Decisions, Decisions: Thoughts from an indecisive gamer

A blog where I track my thoughts on my various games which I flit to from one to another, seeking to find that holy grail.

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Games I want to play.

Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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I hardly ever get to game these days, especially with the crazy Australian Summer, so here is a simple list of games that I've suddenly had the urge to play.

StarCraft TBG
This is a game I bought immediately when it was released, having owned and played the Warcraft board game I had good reason to expect much from this game.
What I didn't expect was the complexity jump, you see I am a gamer so complex rules don't phase me as such but my father and wife being two of the regular people I game with will find the learning curve notably steeper than Warcraft TBG.
I love this game, especially with the Brood War expansion, and think its pretty perfect as is once you get your head around the rules.
I wish I could get this on the table regularly.

Level 7 [Omega Protocol]
"And to think.... I hesitated..."
This game is brilliant, sure I was a little dubious mostly because money is tight and my spending habit curbed, but the wife allowed me to get this for my Xmas present and boy is it a good one.
I think this is a game I could con my old man into playing the Overseer so my wife and I could play co-op.
She really doesn't enjoy competitive gaming against me.

Pokemon crossed with Cthulhu, yes please!
I was looking for a simple system to do Pocket Monster battles where you could create your own monster or trio of monsters and duel it out.
My wife and my mother-in-law are really into WoW's Pet Battles so much so that I think its the only reason they are still playing WoW at all.
So I figured a simple game could be fun, just scratch out the Roleplay and keep the pet battling.
And I didn't just want to play the Pokemon TCG, though my Gengar deck is pretty sweet and I've FINALLY gotten a Gengar or three to use.
I did look at the rules for the Pokemon roleplaying game that looks very involved, in fact its too involved I just couldn't make a foothold in the rules.
That and admitted I'm not a fan of 3.0-3.5 D&D, I'm old school 2nd Ed AD&D and preferred the freedom of imagination and improvisation to accomplish things instead of being told "no, you don't have the feat so you can't do that"
Biggest pet peeve about D&D 3.0-3.5.

Anyway I am going to try to organise a pair of three monster teams with my wife and play out some Pocket Monster battling, I might remove the Cthullhu rules and replace them with something simpler like Paper, Rock, Scissors, maybe Paper rock scissors lizard spock?

urk its getting hot already and its not even 9AM... damn Australian Summers, I'll add some more later.
Alrighty, continued.

Sedition Wars: Battle for Alabaster
I was initially disappointed with this product as probably were many others, but I've stuck with it through the changes and like where its all heading - once the 'rolled for' missions are balanced out this should be a great system.
I never really got around to playing a proper game as such, mostly solo learning games though one game against the wife but not with the revised and updated rules which would have balanced the game much better.
The miniatures are pretty nice despite annoying mold lines, but SMV miniatures should release their bases and clip-on base tokens for general use, they are that nice.

Galaxy Defenders
So itching to get this game already, out of all the kickstarters I've backed this is the only one I'm really keen to get and really play the living crap out of.
Plus Ares games have hinted at a Mass Effect style future with the fight being taken off earth and into outer space completely excites me about this game.
I can't wait to get the Railgun for my Agent Iridium, BOOM HEADSHOT!
Addresses have been clarified, so hopefully shipping happens in the next couple of days, expecting delivery mid Feb.
Btw I'm not sure where my copy will be coming from, US or EU for Australian destination.

Bought the book which is just beautifully done, and was a cheap bargain too.
Been short on cash of late and so I scratch built my own teams of CCC, KemVar, and Keizai Waza using Halo Actionclix figures I had laying around.
It was a fun development in creativity, trying to match the original figure with scratchbuilt pieces for ease of recognition - felt rather rewarding too.

Not too sure how I feel about a near future Kickstarter for MERCS 2.0, sure the deals will be awesome but I'm trying so hard to be good and avoid dropping big dollars on new projects just to get a good deal.

Dropping the big bucks to get X number of extra figures plus exclusives and a long wait hmm.
Well my 2 cents are this:
Companies like Mantic that pretty much have everything all ready to go are pushing their luck by using Kickstarter as a pre-order system, mind you I'm not a fan of Mantic in general - they escape GW's clutch to simply copy their old style under a new name... c'mon Orx??
They should really do something that isn't GW derivative because I really hate GW figures with their odd scale and proportions and especially their disproportioned price tags.

I really don't want to back any more Kickstarters, the wait really kills the boner for all the goodies you hype for the duration of the Kickstarter pledge period.
So true of Relic Knights, please excuse the pun (I loved Relic Knights from the get-go because of the unique gameplay and anime style, not because of bewbs. There are enough man-feminists out there who cry "subjugation and exploitation!" of females because of scantily attires.
Many of the females I know I life find the figures either humorous or plain cute.)
Another pet peeve, men who think of themselves and bigger feminists than actual women.
If a scantily dressed figure makes you feel the need to march your protest then lock yourself in your house because far more despicable things happen day to day, looking at recent events of drunken fights started by some MMA practitioner because someone looked at him wrong when he was drunk leading to one punch deaths is pretty sickening.
As an old school martial artist I believe that the physical training and mental discipline are what counts, not the skill to fight but the reasons not to use those skills to fight - its a philosophy that MMA lacks in my limited belief of becoming a 'complete' fighter.

Back on topic, Kickstarters raise massive hype for all the goodies you get as bonus compared to stock game release and sure you do get good deals, but be prepared to wait.
I think I was the biggest fan of Relic Knights, and now I'm just regretting dropping $700+ on it, only the SDE exclusives have my eagerness.
In that regard I'm hoping futilely that MERCS doesn't do a kickstarter for their new edition, mostly because I won't be able to back it.
Promising my wife never to go that route again is one I intend to keep.

TL;DR In short I want to buy less and play more, Ameritrash all the way!
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Wed Jan 22, 2014 12:47 am
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Works on custom projects: Looking back and then forward

Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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I don't know what it is about me that has this need or lack of satisfaction with games which ends up driving me to create stuff.
Some are straight forward like the World of Warcraft miniatures game that died before its PvE potential could really have been tapped, while others are found wanting in some bizarre way I see them and tweaked.
For Gears of War I thought it was a perfect basis for Mass Effect as it captures that cover-centric style of shooter, and my version works though still needs tweaking and expanding.

I've been working on my own custom board game for a while now, but only recently have I actually gotten anywhere.

Thanks to an individual called Malpertius he was able to circumvent my natural lack of skill when it came to graphics programs like GIMP and let me get creative - something of which in the past I had to rely on others.
Take the Arathi Basin Map I did with Rudi Chelli, I planned out the layout in that heroscape map maker and took the in-game screenies of the locations but it was he who put it together and made it look awesome.
It's still pretty cool to zoom in on those areas like the lumber mill/gold mine etc and if you look closely you will see my druid stealthed in cat form as I took the screenies

Anyways, I have developed some skills with GIMP finally, took a while - we never learnt this stuff in school, just Pascal and C++ but that was quite a while ago for me.

So my board game I'm working on is a culmination of a lot of games that I love plus one key concept - I want to play, and I don't want to be the DM.
So I looked at games like Castle Ravenloft, Gears of War, Goalsystem Delves, Galaxy Defenders, Kingdom Death: Monster, plus role-playing games notably AD&D 2nd Ed, 3.5 and 4E, and then finally computer games like Champions of Norath, Diablo 1-3, World of Warcraft and Dragon's Dogma.

Had a couple of play tests with the wife and its working out so far.
Who knows what the future could bring, but honestly, I just want to be able to get together with my friends and play, questing together.
And so my mission statement for my game is: "To create a GM-less MMO style Co-op fantasy adventure game that has room for improving characters, getting better items, and a fun A.I system.

Still tweaking this, but I'm pretty chuffed seeing as before the extent of my GIMPshopping abilities were cutting and pasting a characters head on a friends body - very talentless, though surprisingly accurate

And oh, this was the pic I mentioned as my very first attempt and photoshopping.

"His name is Jaws..... He kills people."


I have made a RIDICULOUS amount of progress, must be something to do with my new meds because my creativity has skyrocketed, In one week I accomplished what I wanted and tried to over 4 months wow

Getting to playtesting soon but I sorted out the campaign system, the quest system, the consequences of not doing certain quests system.
I made this for myself as a little treat, its hell premature, but its just a pretty way for me to organise my in-town game effects.
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Mon Dec 23, 2013 1:13 am
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[Mature and Explicit Content Warning] Reminiscence - F'ed Up Roleplays

Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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This is me getting all dreamy eyed and reminiscing upon some fond gaming memories from back in the long before I got married and tamed.
Needless to say these were times when I really got to hang out with 'The Boys' - that particular group of gamers who shaped the future of our gaming with their unorthodox and surprising ways.

ANYONE EASILY OFFENDED PLEASE REFRAIN FROM READING FURTHER BECAUSE YOU PROBABLY WILL GET OFFENDED - This is not my intention to offend, just to share a laugh of toilet humour.
You have been warned.

Man, where to begin.... back in the day some 15-20 years ago Advanced Dungeons and Dragons 2nd ED was our staple game in our still behind the times state of Western Australia.
Games such as Rolemaster or TORG were like Bigfoot or Santa, you heard of them but never actually got to see them around, just a quick snap shot in Dragon Magazine.

Roleplaying back then was magical for me, it was like taking the books I was so fond of notably Pool of Radiance and The DragonLance Chronicles and BEING a part of them, no not just being a part, actually Starring in them!
I was 14 when I got my first Players Handbook and I loved it, especially the artwork by Elmore and Easley - that second page 'Dragon Slayers' really evoked a mystical world and still leaves tingles of the magic even now as I look upon it.

A year or more after graduating High School I met up with a friend named Adrian Vudjick by auditioning to his band as a lead guitarist and got the part, our influences were similar and styles compatible so it worked.
Through Adrian (Let it be known whenever I mention an Adrian in roleplay or in life in general, this is THE Adrian - sometimes anointed as Seedy-Adrian) I met up with some of his friends when we all got together to play AD&D.
Some of the dodgiest dudes ever lol... for example they went and saw Fight Club at the movies and afterwards were all amped up and had a little scuffle in the carpark outside the cinema which ended up with Blake getting his arm broken
Sure you may think that is tame, well then there was the time Brett and the boys were all gathering to go to a party and he offered to let them piss on him for $100.... I wasn't there, so I'm not sure he meant $100 each or total - Zarb only wanted to do it so he could go to the party later and tell everyone about it.
Weird stoner band dudes.... that was us, except I was always pretty tame.

Some of the things they came up with during role play still leaves me in stitches to this day, and I cannot help but smile and shake my head at the memories.

In no particular order of relevance here goes:

I did an original (meaning I wrote the adventure myself, not the concept) quest line about war between a Dark elf city and a Good Aligned City.
This was the second adventure in what became a trilogy.
Here the players were to infiltrate and investigate what was happening in the Dark Elf City and to do so they had to planescape through what I called The Realm of the Dead God (Shameless theft of Moander)
So they take a magic portal to the Realm of the Dead God which incidentally's landscape is the dead gods body.

So in awe they survey the land realising the magnitude of where they stand when one of them says "Lets bring him back to life! Maybe he will reward us!" which was met in reply from one of the others saying "This is the God of Decay, he will probably reward us by decaying us into lifeless husks to fuel his own power"
Then someone else says "Lets jerk him off, we'll form a ring around his cock, link hands and jump up and down!"

I mean what do you say to that!? LOL


Before infiltrating the Dark Elf City they were giving a teleport amulet entrusted to Adrian that would transport the wearer and all in contact with him back to their good city, but because the party was made of so many different alignments they really roleplayed out the differences causing much friction and factioning of the group.
So knowing that everyone was scheming to get their hands on the amulet, Adrian played possum by feigning death when wounded during a battle and slips me a piece of paper.
I REALLY wish I could scan that piece of paper for you to see, I was going to frame it but lost it.
It read:
"While the battle rages on I hide the amulet up my ass"

Again, what do you say to that

Later on during the following session he addressed the party and the various splits in the cohesion and said that he and those closely allied to him could stealth their way out of the city, so that he had no need of the amulet and proceeded to extract the amulet right then and there.
The only involvement I had with this seediness was the numerous Dex checks I forced on the players to try to grasp hold of the amulet... which was failed many times in succession.

Yup, somewhere somehow we incorporated Penis size as a key character stat.
There are a few instances where I remember it came into effect.

The Holyman and his holiness.
Adrian was playing a black guy and my friend Anthony was playing a Cleric.
For some reason or another they all demanded to roll penis size with the Cleric rolling the highest by a large margin, that sent Adrian off into a hilarious rant.
"OMG what the hell, I'm going to be standing next to you, pissing under a tree and then I'm going to look over and see that thing and know that it's going completely to waste. Anyone know a penis-transplant spell cos I'll have it, its white but its big!"

Bow Chika Wow Wow
This was during the conclusion of the Dark Elf Crisis Trilogy, right before the main battle.
Zarb who was playing a seedy dark dwarf named Bizou and Clint (The seediest dude ever, seriously never accept an email from him!) who was playng a sultry half elf female decided to have sex in the middle of the woods just outside the city.
Oh my... I remember they were pretty graphic about it too....
The Penis size roll gets called into effect by the players (I was pretty much just watching the event unfold - it was a great thing about those old sessions, these guys would keep the story going even without my aid)
which resulted in the Half elf saying that Zarb was a short stumpy dwarf and how he didn't satisfy her and proceeded to yawn.
SUDDENLY, Blake who had been sitting there for most of the roleplay all stoic and reserved pipes in with "I RAM MY COCK IN HER MOUTH! Dex check?"
He was beaming about how he rolled a critical success.
Clint not amused simply stated "Well, I do this" and performs an exaggerated biting motion.
Some dice were rolled.... I decided to be fair and grant Clint's characters bite 1d4 and Blakes 'health' at 1d6 Hitpoints.
Clint rolls first.... a 4!
Blake rolls next..... a 1.....

Suddenly EVERYONE in the room(except Blake) just roars with laughter and Clint turns to me and says "And as the climax, PTOOHEY!"

Blake gets angry and tells me he wants to cut Clint's character down, but I tell him he's bleeding to death... so he picks up his 'belonging' and runs back to the city into the temple to get it healed.
He looks at me, after threatening to make his friends walk home after the roleplay, and says "They didn't put it on upside did they" Nope, all was fixed.
The then states "I climb up the nearest tower next to the gates and wait....." and just disappeared from the game while other more integral elements were occurring with the other players.

An hour or two real time later, Clint says he's going to head back to the city when Blake chimes in "... though the City Gates! Ok, two arrows..."
And proceeds to kill Clint's character off.

It was roleplay on Autopilot, these guys would take the reins and progress those little insignificant tidbits between crucial quest moments and fill them with characterful story, sure it was pretty dodgy story but it was so much fun.

There are even more moments but those are the first off the top of my head, I need to get off the computer and do some things but thank you for letting me share this humorous and wacky, even seedy memories of my old roleplaying days.
And hopefully you will not have been offended.

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Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:52 am
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Kickstarters - Where are they now?

Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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So I quit my job somewhat recklessly months ago, sure I could have done things much smarter but there's no use crying over spilt milk - what's done is done.
Things didn't pan out as I planned, regardless I probably would end up being fired if things continued to devolve at this rate.

Depression, or techincally my dysthymic personality disorder has been running havok with my mind and apparently I have Borderline Personality Disorder but waiting on a proper diagnosis.
The wife's operation has been postponed for even more months and things are rough.

The short story is that I am looking into other games to find that sense of satisfaction and fun, and anxiously awaiting my previously backed Kickstarters to arrive.

This is probably the most eagerly anticipated of my Kickstarters.
Certainly by comparison to the others the figures aren't as nice being parody/homage of the 80's action movies but its the gameplay that really caught my attention for this.

Co-op campaign play with advancement! I am playing the Sniper, no exceptions! My love for the infiltrator with sniper rifle in Mass Effect series just won't let me even consider another character.... although the Predator mmmm.

This pays out soon, the company has received and quality checked their first box recently and passed with flying colours.
So its all a case of cargo shipping the container and then distribution - my hopes are that it will be soon!

It also has the Galaxy Ball rules - something I'm not overly into but its like extra icing on the cake or in this case, a different cake all together.
The main gameplay is the key here, but Galaxy Ball just gives that extra oomph.

Co-Op Game play not requiring a GM - Sheer Awesome!
Campaign improvements to characters - great!
Optional gameplay styles - Pretty damn cool.
Miniatures not as nice as others - Doesn't matter, still nice enough!

Excitement level - Very High.

Eh... while I am still pretty keen on this, the delay announced a month before predicted delivery really killed my boner for this one.
If anything it is the Turn sequence which makes this game great - it really creates cinematic action.

So a 6 month delay till November with probably a couple more months to go... they proofed some of the figure rends, but yea they were supposed to have finished all that sometime last month.

Anime style game and miniatures - awesome!
Great card driven turn sequence - Sheer awesomeness!
LOTS of Kickstarter bonuses - Probably the only reason I still think about it.

Excitement level - Eager but tentatively braced for more delay disappointment.

Eh... this one was around the same time as Galaxy Defenders, in fact I ended up shifting a chunk of my backing for Robotech to GD as they got even sweeter deals with the whole collection thingy.
I personally regretted backing this for a while thinking that I got sucked in by nostalgia, but now that I have been enjoying Gundam 00 and wanting some mecha action I think Robotech is getting more interesting for me.

Not a fan of Palladium Games, too convoluted with their systems and the miniatures game seems similarly minded.
Though after playing Warmachine / Hordes I don't mind games with lots of tracking though Privateer Press really nailed their game right on the money.
Oh, and their release of Con-Exclusive Max Stirling felt like a slap in the face.

Palladium didn't even do a contest for a Kickstarter Giveaway and refused my request for a refund when I wasn't happy with things - Tight Asses, says where their priorities are.
Oh well, I guess I am glad to still have my pledge to come.

Stated for delivery around Feb / March I think?

Its Robotech! - Eh... pretty cool but somewhat hesitant.
Its Palladium - Kill it with fire.
Mecha action - This interests me mmm though I'd really want a co-op of Veritechs vs Zentradi.

Excitement level - Pretty Keen.


Delayed till 2nd Quarter 2014....
Very interested in this one, particularly the game play.
Hopefully the lack of open playtesting won't neuter its potential.

Love the dark atmosphere - very cool
Boobies boobies!? - worth it for the over reactions of people crying sexism. Personally I see nothing wrong, though nothing practical either.
It's part of the adult atmosphere being Dark and Sensual with phallic monsters ala H.R Giger - I can accept that and am not offended.
Honestly if people are offended so easily maybe they shouldn't leave their houses because, according to Today Tonight, more elderly people were attacked in a home invasion and an electrician set up a video camera in the bathroom of the house he rented out filming the females he rented it to.
Seriously, there are more real life issues to concern yourself with than hilariously wildly proportioned miniatures.

Co-op Gameplay - YES YES YES! No GM'ing for me!
Campaign play - Awesome, like the concept of how advancement works.

Excitement level - Keen but not chomping at the bit, I always knew this one would take a while.

That aside, I would like to get my hands on Level 7: Omega Protocol, sounds very promising indeed and might make my playing the Overlord / mind / whatever it was called... Overseer! - ahem, make my playing the Overseer a joy and not a chore.
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Tue Dec 3, 2013 1:50 am
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An enjoyable and tense game on a rainy Sunday.

Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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So I haven't been getting as much gaming in this month as I would have liked, well doesn't feel like I got as much gaming - mostly it has been High Command, my wife enjoys this game and it is fun but really I want to get better at Warma/Hordes.

This has been the most memorable moment in gaming for me this Month - Today I caught up with my friend Myles after he finished his shift and we had a rematch of our 25 Point battle we had a few weeks back.

pVlad the Dark Prince +5
Juggernaught 7
Destroyer 9
Wardog 1

Max Winterguard Infantry with UA 8
Kovnik Joe 2
Winterguard mortar team 3

High Executioner Reznik +6
Scourge of Heresy 9

Vessel of Judgement 9
Vassal Mechanik 2
Max Exemplar Bastions 8
Bastion Seneschal 3

My build is kinda bizarre, I really like Reznik and wanted to make him work so I considered a few things.
- He is a beast but needs medium based figures to shield him
- He can't run too many jacks and does nothing for the survival of infantry = so anything he takes has to be self sufficient.

So one of the best things for him I think is the Avatar of Menoth which was in my original list but opted out for some ranged threat with the VoJ.


It was a pretty brutal game with plenty of mistakes on both sides - my Bastions were killed off pretty quickly (mostly due to a poorly positioned Wrack who exploded from a lucky blast from the Mortar Crew) but he lost the majority of the Winterguard shortly after.

On his second turn he forgot to activate his jacks to move them up, we were both too focused on what the winterguard were doing.
I forgot to feat on a turn which would have benefited, and also forgot a couple of instances when I could have used the VoJ's Doors of Judgement to let a dying figure get a free advance and attack before being RFP.
Though I did remember it once to allow one Bastion to kill off Kovnik Joe - still, one out of three opportunities taken means another note in my 'Remember to do' list.

Towards the end Reznik was sitting pretty behind a wall and was untouchable for a long time, my VoJ scored a nice hit on the Destroyer to score extra damage which fried the wardog - Vlad spent the entire game pretty much toed into a forest and supporting his army with Signs and Portents.

The game eventually ended with Reznik being shot after he finished off the Juggernaught, again the game ended with a highly possible chance of victory just waiting next turn!

That is what I have enjoyed about this game so much, pretty much every game I have played has really come down to the wire - if he didn't get me then, I would have easily had him next turn.

My Scourge of Heresy would have taken a free strike as I stepped back from a winterguard as they both were blocking the line to Vlad, the free strike wouldn't have done much and with its two weapons Scourge would have easily squashed him in return - then with a clear line to Vlad, Reznik would have popped Engine of Destruction and charged with 12 inches of threat due to reach to carve Vlad apart with 5 focus to spend! (6 base focus, +1 from a Wrack, then 2 for EoD)

Soooooo close!


We're hoping to make a start on Iron Kingdoms Roleplaying soon, hopefully next weekend, also my games room is emptying out nicely - you can actually move around the 8x4 table now!

I need to get over my social anxiety and get out and play some games in the Warma/Hordes community.
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Sun Sep 22, 2013 11:32 am
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Warmachine Quest: GM-less Co-op Play

Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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Just posted this on the PP website and thought to share it here to hopefully get more ideas.

NOTE: This is a scatter-shot of ideas I have had stewing upstairs for a while, so my thought process might be disorganised, random, or even looney
I'm sorta hoping someone has done something like this before already but if not, here are my thoughts.

Ok, I have had a copy of Warhammer Quest ever since it first came out when I was in High School though haven't touched it for years and really liking the IKRPG system and was pondering a blending to create an Iron Kingdoms version of Warhammer Quest to have a GM-less system so I get to play too! (until one of the others takes up the GM duties)

For those of you not familiar with it, Warhammer Quest was a co-op dungeon crawl type game based in the Warhammer world using a similar system to its parent game - akin to Iron Kingdoms RPG and Warmachine.
Players each played a single character who would gain experience and loot or die with each quest.

Dungeon crawling isn't entirely suited to IK, occasionally sure but not all the time - some battlefield encounters could be really cool too. So taking out the dungeon tiles from the equation is a start (WM/H bases don't really fit nicely on them anyway, and not everyone has the tiles)
So a simple system to use what miniatures you have at hand (yours and your groups), and what terrain you have available.

So I was thinking of having a large table which you would roll on for an encounter.
For example:
"Ambushed while travelling upon a road"
"Preparing an ambush for an enemy convoy"
"Open battle in a forest"
"Chasing down a runaway while his gang of thugs waylays you"

Followed by another table of what you will be fighting, using the encounter points table from IKRPG as a guideline.
Maybe three encounters as such will account for your quest? (Another thought if you have a particular narrative in mind, pre-plan the encounters - for example I have some Satyxis Raiders so I will have them raiding a seafront village for sacrifices, the second scenario could be entering their hideout when you have to fight some kind of mini-boss with his lackeys, finally ending with a battle at a sacrificial circle against their leader and subordinates)

A more complicated matter might be an AI system for enemies, certainly some enemies might be very straight forward (such as melee beatsticks and ranged enemies) but other types may require something more complex.
In an overly simple way you could do a 2d6 roll with 5-9 being the most obvious action, 10-12 being something exceedingly brave/aggressive, and 2-4 being something excessively cowardly/defensive.
This is just to add some unpredictability to the combat so you simply can't 'map' out what the enemy plans to do.

For a boss encounter, you could have a special AI table just for them that includes event specific things or special abilities they have such as spellcasting- for the example above the leader has some villagers previously captured prepared for sacrifice, so:
2-3 Cowardly / Defensive
4-5 Spell casting
6-7 Melee
8-9 Sacrifice villager / empower
10-12 Brave / Aggressive

This really was scattershot, my aim to get my thoughts out and try to organise them and hoping something practical or effective may be sifted through the wreckage
Thanks for your time guys!
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Sun Sep 8, 2013 4:46 am
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Gaming Diary - Great Saturday night game.

Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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I think I've played about five games since my blog entry but last nights game was so much fun that it must be mentioned.

So I'm organising a game of Iron Kingdoms Roleplaying in the near future and in preparation about a month ago I ran a poorly organised mass battle of Warmachine / Hordes to give the guys in my gaming group a taste of what to expect of the world and a basic idea of the system.
Fast forward a month to last night and I caught up with one of my mates for a one on one game.

I was toying with the idea of points, whether to use just battle boxes or a larger game since my mate had already an idea of how the game works and to delve a bit into how the factions differ.
In the end I opted for battle boxes with an addition to total 15 points.
The forces were as follows

Myles - Protectorate of Menoth
High Exemplar Kreoss +5
Vanquisher 8
Crusader 6
Repenter 4
Min Choir 2

Me - Cygnar
Stryker +6
Ironclad 7
Charger 4
Lancer 6
Black 13th 4

This was ended up being a really exciting game despite such small forces, deceptively so.
It also went a long time as he was puzzling with order of activations as I decided to emphasis the rules about LoS and moving etc so that he'd have a good grounding in fundamentals.

Towards the end after feats had been spent a turn or two ago with Kreoss and his group advancing past my jacks once they were knocked down to strike at Stryker but failing to kill him, and then Kreoss surrounded by his jacks and my Ironclad and Lancer (the Ironclad only had its hammer arm functional and the Lancer had only a functioning cortex).

Stryker was on fire for two rounds and hiding back behind a woods area when the fire didn't go out and took out his last 4 health.
I was all set to move Black 13th and my Charger into firing lanes to pincushion Kreoss if that hadn't happened.

Once again, deceptively action packed for such a small game!
This just reiterates that I have found that spark of gaming magic once again that I was searching for for over 15 years ever since I got disillusioned with Warhammer.
That is probably why I have so many games collected, most of the time I would play a game or two then get bored and feel the urge to look for something else - no longer as I have found a keeper.

Man I love this game!
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Sun Aug 11, 2013 4:36 am
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Gaming Diary - Loving it but still learning it.

Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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As of last night I think my wife has whooped my butt three or four times now with High Exemplar Kreoss.

I attribute her wins as much to my own forgetting of abilities or rules.
Lets see, first game was Menoth vs Retribution - she has been struggling to learn Retribution so we did an army swap just to see what I could do with it.
Admittedly I find Retribution quite difficult to play, they have some nice bits that are excellent but very easy to over look in lieu of a higher damage or range stat.
Tracey is very determined to learn Ravyn so I stuck with her, I found her feat to be somewhat blah but her Vortex spell is sheer amazing.
Just struggling to make all the pieces work together.

The first game I stumbled with my plan to CRA her jacks with snipe enhanced riflemen but forgot the Choir Hymn and then didn't recover after my initial mistake.
The second game I took to the offensive and even neutered Kreoss with a disruptor bolt from Eiryss Mage Hunter of Ios but forgot her feat as she knocked me down and chopped up Ravyn with a cinerator.

The third game, I wanted to try out some Trollbloods I picked up as a great deal from a trade.
This time, I forgot the ability to transfer damage to warbeasts.

The lesson learnt? I should really stick with one army but it is hard being a miniatures addict, definitely should get one finished and get myself out into the community where I can learn my best lessons mercilessly.

If there is any consolation, it is that my wife is now playing without me giving her hints during the game.

I really need to finish up what I started with Circle... my first minis painted in a long time, plus they look so cool on their special bases.
I'm a bit uncertain what direction I want to go with them, other than I absolutely love Epic Kaya the Moonhunter.
I was so dubious about her pose from pictures I've seen but thankfully she looks much better in the metal.

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Sun Jul 28, 2013 5:43 am
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When an Indecisive gamer became decisive.

Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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I remember a time when wargaming / hobbygaming was a truly magical thing, who knew that so much happiness could come from moving little figures around a table with makeshift hills and packaging foam futuristic buildings and rolling dice.

My love came with my first gaming experience of 2nd Edition Warhammer 40K.
There was an excitement, nervous yet electric as you played your turn and then awaited your opponents reply.
Sure I was young back then at the age of what, 16 or 17?
Yes it was around that time, I remember playing it in my final year of school.

I could never forget that excitement, and honestly I have never felt it ever again in close to 18 years, until now.

About a year ago I dabbled with the idea of Warmachine / Hordes and bought the Two Player Battle boxes, initially it was Hordes that had the appeal but I struggled with the rules and so bought Warmachine which made things much clearer for me to relearn Hordes.
I tried a mini game with my wife and just didn't enjoy it, it lacked even the basic necessities which I believe are required to make an exciting game.
Notably Opposed dice rolls, and alternative activation or action / reaction turn sequences.

Now I don't know what happened but for some bizarre reason I had to crank out another game of it recently, I was bored and don't know why I chose Warmachine / Hordes.
But this time around it was a lot of fun, my Khador versus my wife using Circle Orboros.
This game was exactly what I had been missing and it brought back that excitement I had been longing for all those years.
The highlight was her Blackclad putting hunters mark on my jacks and then charging the Warpwolf through the forest to pummel it only to be teleported back by Kaya's Spirit Door spell.
So Vlad the Dark Prince pumped himself up with Blood of Kings and rushed into her trying to cut the gordian knot as it were.
He failed to assassinate her, and her Warpwolf failed to finish him off, it was a tense and exciting game.
We did get some rules wrong and forgot little special abilities here and there, but that did it and sowed the seed for future gaming with my wife.
Before she was reluctant to play a game with me, mostly doing it just to make me happy, but now she plays because she WANTS to play, and that makes me more happy than I could imagine.

It's been a month and this is a game both my wife and I enjoy, its amazing because my wife actually 'Likes' this game and even chose a faction she wanted to collect and paint and play.
Even she is stunned, she never would have imagined herself ever liking a Wargame.
So I spoilt her last night, she decided she wants to play the Retribution of Scyrah, so I got her the book, tokens, dice set, plus some additions to her Battle Box so we can play 25 Point games.

I have heard people often compare PP prices to GW, but to me there is no comparison - sure if you load up on figures it will still hurt your wallet, but you don't really need as many figures and there is no chaff that sits ineffectively on your side eating up points and standing no chance of being useful.

My wife is my best friend in addition to everything else she is, and to share this with her really makes me feel humble and overwhelmed at the same time.

I'm picking up the Iron Kingdoms RPG tonight, and that is icing on the cake, because my wife and I are both interested in the fluff and having an RPG using related mechanics to the miniatures game means she could possibly be playing roleplay with us.
Long ago, someone killed her love of roleplaying and particularly D&D, so if I can unlock this part of her heart this really is a new chapter in a beautiful relationship.

Oh, and I quit my job too, sure it was cosy and paid well but made me miserable and played havok with my depression.
Either way I still have two pays coming in so I have time.
So a new start and clean slate is in order, and already I feel better.

Welcome to the first day of the rest of my life.
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Thu Jul 4, 2013 2:47 am
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Cleaning out my games room part 2 - Reminiscing on what I'm keeping.

Pete aka The Masked Minstrel
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As with my recent need to clean out my games room of some of the things I have accumulated over the years, I'd like to give this salute to the games that I am keeping out of either love, rarity, or sheer coolness.

Warhammer Quest
I used to play this with my high school friends every friday after school, it was great fun back then though the wizard was pretty annoying with his coup de grace fireball on near dead monsters.
I still have the Bretonnian Questing Knight, and managed to score really cheaply at my FLGS the Imperial Noble, the Warrior Priest, The Witch Hunter, and the Pitfighter.
Fun times.
Bought this when it first came out and still have that original copy, though its seen better days.
I do regret not getting all the character expansions when I could.

War of the Lance
Didn't find this in the database, it was a module for the RPG but was a stand alone token based board wargame where you could recreate some specific battles from the War of the Lance, or even the entire war with key events like finding the Dragonlances, etc.
My local Games World store had it really cheap and it was a killer find, we have/had a gaming 'archive' called Valhalla here in Perth where you could find amazing things but ridiculously expensive - they had a copy missing all the game tiles for $100.... can you say Rip Off? wow

Anima Tactics
I was always interested in this game but never really appreciated its beauty until I bought a nice handful of figures and saw the various abilities and stuff.
I love the miniatures and the style of the gameplay, very Final Fantasy.
This I won't be parting with, I originally bought it when FFG was distributing it but I could never get my hands on the Dark Faction Starter until Cipher Studios took over.

I like this game, though I don't play it too often - love the strategy / schemes and how it scores.
Resurrectionists rule!
Gonna paint up my McMourning as Mayuri Kurotsutchi from Bleach, somehow...

Relic Knights
I love this game, and I cannot wait till May to get my loot mmmm.
Is it May yet?

Dust Tactics
I enjoy this for a simple and straight forward game that is brutal.
Later on I will add to it, and the SSU's ground attack chopper is what sells me on the SSU - I always loved the Hind D gunship as a kid watching Rambo First Blood part 2.

Ah... Assassin's Creed meets Cthulhu, how can you go wrong?
Fun rules and very cinematic, a very enjoyable system.
I discovered this just prior to the Beasts of War Carnevale week.

X Wing
I haven't even received this yet but I cannot wait, its a little gift to myself to tide me over till May next year.
While I enjoyed Wizards of the Coasts Starship Battles, this is more involved and takes me back to the old days of playing TIE Fighter on pc with windows 95 I think?
Great missions and it is where I discovered my appreciation of the Empire.
"Serve the Emperor, above all others!"

I hope some people from the community recreate some of those fantastic missions.

Ok getting sleepy, gonna edit later and add the stuff I can't remember in my sleep deprived state.
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Sat Sep 29, 2012 5:16 pm
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