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Wednesday, 26 October 2016

Boardgames and How to Win Them

So last night, I played a couple of games with JT and her sister; 2 rounds of Ticket to Ride and a round of Lords of Waterdeep. And by luck and/or skill (mostly luck I think) I won all 3 - also NO DICE WERE INVOLVED!

As such I just wanted to share my tactics as they apply to these games (although many of the themes can apply to any game or scenario).

Ticket to Ride

  1. Don't be afraid to get rid of a ticket. At the start of Ticket to Ride, you get 3 destination tickets. First of all work out how these routes could work together and if they don't get rid of one.
  2. Have a clear plan. How are you going to complete (and connect your routes)? This gives you an idea of what colours you need to collect as well as what routes are vital to you (and which ones have multiple options).
  3. Flexibility. Don't be afraid to change your route. You have an original plan but if your heading into traffic then go elsewhere if you can.
  4. Keep them guessing. Start at one end of a route and go to the other end. This ties up one end of your route, stops you having to take detours if a gap you've left is filled, and hopefully makes your route more likely to be continuous (for longest route).
  5. Zero points is sometimes the best place to be! Well for the early game anyway, the longer you can afford to just be collecting resources without playing the better - this ties into all the previous points and if you collect the right cards means you can then claim route after route and complete your tickets before anyway has opportunity to react.
Lords of Waterdeep

Lords of Waterdeep should be played in a similar way except for the following:
  1. Play quests. Unlike ticket to ride, other players can interact with your resources so just stockpiling isn't as much of an option. Also quests have instant rewards (resources) as well as ongoing effects.
  2. Only play your quest types. Unless there is a significant positive effect (ongoing effects etc) then don't play quests which aren't of your type. Our game was so close until we started counting up our "Lord" points. At this point I got 40 points and flew away!
So there's my short hints and tips section on these two games - any other advice from people would be appreciated.

Monday, 17 October 2016

Frostgrave - Standard Deployment

So me and the missus played a throw down game of Frostgrave; half the minis are unpainted, the other half need the bases doing, some scenery is built but part painted and we found didn't have nearly enough - so might just buy a few bits to tie me over (just not enough time to do everything I want to!).

Anyway my Gronn Flamme boys took on JT's lads in a free for all - 6 treasure in the buildings and see what happens.

I can report (as I did after the game I played at the club) that the mindset has to be different to a traditional wargame mind (especially one like mine which tends to play larger scale games). Its a raid - get what you want and get out. This mindset was there for Jade and she managed to quickly get the 3 on her side of the table. Meanwhile my apprentice (with half of my smaller warband) took up position on a small hill with a great field of fire - unfortunately not really covering any tokens and only really good if enemy were coming to attack me. Eventually the removal of thugs to carry off her treasure whittled her strength down and I was able to cause some casualties with my better quality soldiers including my wizard laying the smackdown on her wizard.

I promise next time to have some pictures of the game but here are the results (for housekeeping if nothing else). Can I say although I was lucky in game with some of my combat rolls, JT rolled incredibly for recovery.

Blue Sapphire (Update)

Wizard Romanoff - KO (Recovered)
Apprentice Zito
Elgiva the Archer
Gerard the Crossbowman - KO (Recovered)
Guy the Infantryman - KO (Recovered)
Etheldreda the Thief
Faramond the Thug
Ansger the Thug
Sedemay the Treasure Hunter
Osgyth the War Hound - KO (Recovered)

Cast 4 Spells and Carried off 4 Treasure = 250 XP
210 GC
Magic Weapon/Armour - Mail Armour
Magical Item - Horn of Destruction
3 Scrolls - (Leap, Furious Quill, Illusionary Soldier)
L2 (increase Fight and Health)

Gronn Flamme

Wizard Heimr
Apprentice Baldr
Aylwin the Archer
Walburga the Infantryman
Wulfhild the Infantryman
Goldwin the Infantryman
Bathsheba the Man-At-Arms
Diggory the Thug

Cast 3 Spells, Carried off 2 Treasure, 1 Kill by Wizard, Wizard killed Wizard = 320 XP
180 GC
3 Potions - (Teleportation, Invisibility x2)
Grimoire - (Enchant Armour)
L3 (increase Fight and Health, Learn Enchant Armour from Grimoire)

Needs for next game; Choose Base of Operations, Reinforcements (Paint), Get more scenery, Make Spell Cards, Make Quick Reference Sheets (I've got some somewhere)

Wednesday, 12 October 2016

Fact Or Fiction

So I have a new blog which is a bit more serious, where I write little essays with a quick summary of whether someone is using historical analogies factually or whether it is all fiction. Hope you enjoy:

http://facorfic.blogspot.co.uk/


Monday, 10 October 2016

Terrain Tiles Part 2 (Trenches)

So the initial discussion about terrain tiles was with regards to trenches (as I'd previously made a few blocks). This then evolved into how you'd be able to make modular terrain with these blocks and normal terrain blocks without making those blocks excessively thick for what they need to be.

As such I have come up with a couple of options I think could work:

OPTION A "DOWN, UP, UP"

So this design is fine if the first tile is a standard tile then further trenches behind (or 2 regular tiles then this trench tile). But in larger table setups might not fit in as well.
Normal Trench Tile
So this is what a "normal" trench tile looks like - obviously this varies for "2nd line" tiles as well as corners - I can also include mortar pits or bunkers.
In this first concept, the side facing the enemy would be at standard tile depth of 1" and the other side would be at 2" (trench depth). This means there is only one area that needs real care with regards to matching edges and that is int he slope up to the trenches.
Option A
As long as the start of the slope starts at the same point (at the edges) this shouldn't be an issue. The rear area behind the trenches being extra thick makes it easier with regards to adding extra features.

OPTION B "DOWN, UP, DOWN"

This option is better in terms of material price per tile as well as flexibility in larger games (if say there is "normal" terrain to a rear area.
Option B Overview
Again using the "standard" trench tile set-up you can see the slopes leading up to all of the trenches. This gives more of a feeling that when constructed, the materials removed were used to build up the walls (more realistic?).
Option B
So what do you think? I've seen and completed designs which are all at the increased depth but a lot of this is about how it interacts with the other bases in a modular setup so I'm split.

Friday, 7 October 2016

Terrain Tiles

So having discussed a super secret project with my friend DW, we have discussed the potential to make a large quantity of terrain tiles (once its announced I will be letting you all know exactly what is going on!). With a back and forth about what he wants etc I have come up with following pros and cons etc.

Table Setup: 6' x 4' with modular terrain (standard table size)

2 feet square vs 1 feet square:
  • 1' is obviously more flexible in terms of arranging your terrain in different layouts. 
  • 2' gives you more flexibility as to where your terrain leaves the table. You always want it to be the same place on each tile so they match up and gives you the flexibility of deployment. In a 1' tile you should probably put the leave points in the middle especially if cutting down as the strength of the tile will be compromised. Whilst on a 2' tile you could put it at 6", 8" or 12" (the middle) away from the edge). Having said that you would still need to leave at midpoints to achieve maximum flexibility.
  • Cost; 1 2' tile is a lot cheaper than 4 1' tiles.
  • Edges; when building if you have a full woodshop you can make edge guards out of wood - obviously this is cheaper when making 2' tiles as less edges. I don't have the capacity to do this so I just put the polystyrene up to the edge and papier mache. The only problem is that this creates some shrinkage away from the bases and therefore slight gaps when putting tiles together. This is an increased problem when you have more, smaller tiles.
  • Storage; may be easier to store 1' tiles, there again 2' tiles have less edges so less chance of damage. This really depends on what your storage is like.
  • Weight;  obviously the 2' tile is heavier (and bulkier) so more difficult to move around the space. However this means they should be less susceptible to movement on table.
Looking at all this I'd advise 2 feet squares. I would also only put terrain to cross board edges when there is a physical depression (trench tiles, rivers, gorges etc).
The only other feature that would cross board edges would be large hills - either with set crossing points or as a terrace (cliff) - I think this could lead to some really fun designs with waterfalls.

Significant hills should probably be terraced (With smoother edges) - this makes it a lot easier to join edges across boards as well as reducing issues with figures falling over and for rules which use heights is a lot more quantifiable.

Other terrain we can build to sit on top of this could be other linear features such as roads, fences etc or area templates (woods).

With regards to depth of the tile it would be the depth of the wood base and then about 1" of polystyrene.