Saturday, October 17, 2009

Game Zombie

And like a zombie, he emerged from the sodden ground, caked in filth, stench-ridden, and ready to feast on... GAMES!

I've been away from this blog for quite some time. Changing jobs and drastically altering your life as a result tends to do that to a person. It has taken me 3+ months to return to normalcy; albeit a new form of normalcy. Anyway, I'm back from the dead so to speak. I hope I can hang around for awhile this time.

My gaming life has been ultra quiet since mid-July. I've taken a hiatus from development of my Sword of Severnia fantasy miniatures wargame, but work on that is about to resume. The playtesting group and myself will be meeting tomorrow afternoon to reignite the SoS fires, and hopefully get things moving again. We've come so far on this marathon; I'm not about to quit on it 1-mile short of the finish line. I'm resigned to the fact that it will take longer to finish everything to my satisfaction now that I'm only able to spend about 1/10th of the time on it compared to when it was part of my daily work-week. C'est la vie. But I'm still excited about the game, and one way or the other, it WILL see the light of day.

On the miniatures front, I have made some recent eBay purchases over the past 6 weeks. I acquired a nicely painted set of 10 new Khorne Bloodthirster Demons. They look menacing and fill a previously empty niche in my sizeable fantasy-minis collection. I also got a cool looking Cyclops from Reaper. He has a professional, well-executed paint-job and I can't wait to let him see some battlefield action on the well-trod fields of Severnia.

I also purchased some reptilian dino-riders (GW figures) from a seller in Hong Kong. Overall, they're solidly painted, but I was disappointed with the lack of detailing on the faces of the lizardmen riders. When paying $100+ bucks for a set of painted minis, I expect eyes and teeth to be painted, no unpainted areas in "hard to reach places" and tiny details which separate an average mini from a top-notch one. I'm going to have to touch-these up myself, which I shouldn't have to do. I'm iffy as to whether I'll buy from that seller again. Live and learn.

I'm also hoping to get some well-painted Foundry Vikings in sometime soon. I'll post pictures when (IF?) I get them. I'm hoping to cobble together a Norse/Viking (barbarian) army for SoS, but also have enough troops that can serve double-duty in ancients/Dark Ages wargames.

On the boardgaming front, there's a hell of a lot to get excited about. It always seems like a slew of great games come out during the 2nd-half of the year, usually starting in August to coincide with GenCon and continuing into late-October when Essen Spiel takes place in Germany.

New games that have landed squarely on my radar include:
  • Dice Town = a light, dice-rolling / poker style hybrid with a Wild West theme
  • Chaos in the Old World = a 4-player conquest game where each player takes the role of a chaos-god and his minions in the Warhammer fantasy universe. Lotsa buzz on this.
  • Richard III = the long-awaited block-wargame from Columbia Games that takes place during the Wars of the Roses period in England. I loved Hammer of the Scots, and this promises to be as-good or better.
  • Space Hulk (3rd Edition) = limited-run of the new edition of this GW classic are hard to find, but the game oozes theme and features awesome Space Marines and Genestealer (aliens) minis.
  • Dungeon Twister 2: Prison = DT is one of my favorite games, despite having not played it nearly as often as I'd like to. With new plastic minis and new rules including a solo variant, this is an absolute no-brainer MUST BUY for me.
  • The Adventurers = an Indiana Jones style adventure game with promising minis and a fun, beer & pretzels play style. Lotsa room for expansions.
  • Cyclades = an upcoming game about building cities to earn the favor of the Greek Gods, and featuring some awesome minis and great artwork. High on my Want-to-Buy list.
  • Dungeon Lords = basically the boardgame version of the video-game Dungeon Keeper.
  • Stronghold = a 2-player strategic, siege warfare game with a gorgeous looking board. Seems like an interesting mix of Euro and wargame mechanics. I'm intrigued.
  • Dominion Intrigue = I'm behind the curve on the new "hotness" that is the Dominion craze. I was initially skeptical of how fun a deck-building game would be, but the opinions of several podcasters whose opinions I respect has me itching to try the game and its new expansion.
And the most recent buzz on BGG is the news of an upcoming big-box game from Fantasy Flight Games called RUNEWARS. I've never succumbed to the lure of Twilight Imperium 3 (not a space-opera aficionado). And I've even resisted buying Descent, because I just don't have enough people who can get together to play a 4-5 hour game that isn't a miniatures wargame. But Runewars may be just the game that breaks my will. It's a remake of Battlemist, and sounds somewhat like a mix of Wizard Kings, Quest of the DragonLords, and Twilight Imperium, set in the world of Runebound. Okay FFG, you got me. Unless the early-reviews on this are awful (which I highly doubt), this will be the big-box, time-vampire game that finally lures me in to the world of massive FFG goodness.

And last but not least, some game conventions are on the horizon. I'm still deciding on whether I'm heading to FALL IN 2009, the annual Fall miniatures wargaming convention of HMGS East. This year's convention is in Gettysburg (at the Eisenhower Convention Center) from 11/06 thru 11/08. I'm not sure that most of my wargaming buddies are able to make it, so it might be a "go solo or don't go at all" deal for me this year. We shall see....

There's also a local gaming convention in Lemoyne PA the following weekend (Nov 14-15) which is being run by the owner of That Game Store (Lemoyne), who took over the store from my friend Mayer Foner when he retired last year. The convention is Organized Kahnfusion 26, and offers local Central PA gamers a chance to get-together and play boardgames, RPGs, card games, and wargames. I think there's even a Johnny Reb minis game being held.

So that's the scoop on games. I hope they start becoming a regular part of my monthly schedule, now that fantasy baseball season is over and I've become more acclimated to my new work environment in Chocolatetown USA.

See you next time.... Have fun gaming!