Wednesday, 27 March 2013

The Botanical Gardens of Julius Forbes-Talbot

One of the settings that has always appealed to me in Empire of the Dead is the Botanical Gardens of Julius Forbes-Talbot.  We have not yet given it a real go in our gaming and I wanted to get some terrain on the board that would give something of a feel for the gardens and the crazy, dangerous plants that populate it.

A trip to the $2 shop generated some funky looking plants, which I then cut down to size and based:

Thanks $2 Shop

I then decided to go a little more exotic and got some fairly garish flowers for the more exorbitant $2.50 and did the same thing with them.  Ugly as they are, they do have a radius of around 2" - 3", which is perfect for the effect of the plants in the rules:

A Lovely Addition to any Gaming Table

I also braved Games Workshop again, and after fighting off many inquisitive questions and sales pitches managed to escape with the one thing I actually wanted: The Gardens of Morr.  I have thought about this for a while - there are lots (and I mean lots) of skulls all over the damn thing, which I wish GW would move on from.  But the crypts are cool and the fencing etc is very helpful.  Some of the fencing had a tendency to fall over so I put them on those big iceblock sticks and based them up.  Here are some of the pieces:

So I have set them up into a bit of a garden, all ready for our next gaming night (family issues last Monday lead to that being cancelled and then I'm away for Easter so it will be a couple of weeks.  The gaming table is ready and waiting though:
Skulls, skulls, skulls

And just in case, a few more skulls...

Friday, 22 March 2013

Empire of the Dead - The Clickers

After the revealing news on The Bedlam Brotherhood, the new EOTD Requiem faction I am excited about, West wind productions had to post some concept art for the Clickers. These guys look amazing and are a stretch goal in the kick-starter campaign. It is a 67,000 goal and considering it is now at 66,000 it is likely to be funded! 

Here is the blurb about these guys:
The Clickers are a New Faction for EotD, they are a race of automata that have realised a collective or hive intelligence through their exposure to Infernium. Becoming semi-sentient they have discovered the ability to self replicate and adapt their selves to various tasks. This guy is the Spider, his job is to capture humans and carry them off to the Jerusalem Iron Works for dissection.

With the discovery of Infernium, it became possible to create all manner of mechanical wonders. A tiny crystal fleck would power a mighty mechanical engine for what seemed like all eternity. Machine servants became commonplace, most famously the marvellous Mechanical Man Servant engineered by the Jerusalem Iron Works established by the reclusive Professor Jerusalem.

What went wrong we don’t yet know? The great gates of Jerusalem are chained shut. The Professor has not been seen publicly for three years and yet, the mighty chimney stacks of hells own foundry still belch forth dark satanic clouds."

With the discovery of Infernium, it became possible to create all manner of mechanical wonders. A tiny crystal fleck would power a mighty mechanical engine for what seemed like all eternity. Machine servants became commonplace, most famously the marvellous Mechanical Man Servant engineered by the Jerusalem Iron Works established by the reclusive Professor Jerusalem.
What went wrong we don’t yet know? The great gates of Jerusalem are chained shut. The Professor has not been seen publicly for three years and yet, the mighty chimney stacks of hells own foundry still belch forth dark satanic clouds.
Anyway I may just have increase our pledge to get these guys. Who knows what could happen. 

Only 4 days to decide! 

On other news, this EOTD miniature is looking pretty sweet!

Victorian Ornithopter

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Boardgames by the Bay

Last weekend I managed to find myself in Tauranga at Boardgames by the Bay a board game convention organised by Seriously Board. I managed to play a plethora of games over the weekend, most I have never played before. Martin Wallace was there play testing some games he is designing at the moment including a follow up to Discworld Anch-Morpork, the Witches. However the upcoming game I am most excited about is A Study in Emerald, which is based on a short story by Neil Gaiman. You can read the story here. Sadly I missed out on the play testing

So here are the games I played and what I thought in played order:


Note: click on the titles to view the game in board game geek. 
The unpronounceable game Yggdrasil started of my weekend. It is a co-op game where you are all gods trying to stop evil gods such as Loki infiltrate some sort of tree, which is important. I must admit I wasn't particularly flattered by this game, but its not really a theme I would normally be excited about. Verdict? 5/10.

The Speicherstadt

The Speicherstadt is a bidding game where you bid for cards which allow you to preform certain actions, such as convert resources to victory points or silver which you use to bid with. It is a neat little game which puts you on edge as you bid against the other players to try and get the required resources and cards to get the most victory points. Verdict? 7/10.

Alien Frontiers

Managed to get in a game of Alien Frontiers a game which I love. See my detailed review here. Verdict? 8.5/10.

Formula D

This game was amazing. Racing tiny cars around a race track sounds boring but Formula D takes a simple concept and makes a pretty fun game. It works by rolling dice based on what gear your in, the lower your gear the slower you go. Each turn you can either go up, down or stay in the same gear which you need to do in order to take the corners because if you go to fast you will wear down your car and eventually it will be destroyed. A fun sociable game which anyone can pick up. I am definately adding this to my collection. Verdict? 7/10.

A game by Martin Wallace. This game is a fantasy game where each player gets a randomly assigned character with a different victory condition. It is set in the town Anch-Morpork created by Terry Pratchett. It works by drawing cards which you can then play to do certain actions. The aim is to get control of territories by placing meeples and building towers. This game looks great and has good artwork. However I did find though the game play was interesting it was not particularly complex. A good game for new gamers. Verdict? 7.5/10.

A mouthful of a title. I really like X-Wing, easy enough to learn, a healthy amount of strategy, and plenty of variability. Plus who doesn't like flying little spaceships around a table. See some of my session reports here and here. Verdict? 9/10.

Spartacus is a fun game based on the TV show which I have never watched. The game works by trying to bring your opposition down by playing nasty cards, bidding in the market and then fighting your gladiators against each other. You can also place bets on the gladiators. I liked the game but it suddenly ends, which I have been led to believe is normal. You feel like you are winning but then someone suddenly plays a few cards and wins the game. I am afraid that put me off the game a bit. Verdict?6.5/10.

I managed to get another game of Formula D in here. 


A classic game and a goody. Similar to Formula D except you are robots, with lasers and coincidentally you shoot each other as well as trying to make it to the finish line first. The catch is you have to plan 5 moves before each round starts with randomly assigned cards. This can leave you spinning in circles, driving into holes which can become quite frustrating. Overall this game is allot of fun and I would recommend giving it a shot. Verdict? 7.5/10.

Overall it was a good weekend and will probably go again sometime.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Empire of the Dead Bedlam Brotherhood.

I noticed that West Wind added the 'Bedlam Brotherhood' to the kickstarter campaign as a stretch goal. That along with the Supernatural Branch are the two new factions I am the most interested in. Here is the advertisement.

Maybe its because by day I am a psychiatric nurse but these guys look like they have awesomeness potential. Here is the description of them:

"Those who survive the Red Death, (the disease which creates Zombies) walk the line between worlds. They see the real and the ethereal, ghosts and phantoms rise from the ashes to haunt theses unfortunate few. The Bedlam Brotherhood see the world as it is and as it will be, they have foretold the coming of the Reapers. Their task on earth is to prepare the way. 
In the rat run of tunnels and cellars beneath old Bedlam Asylum the Bedlamites have built a sanctuary; do not enter this place for all you hold dear will be washed away into utter madness!"

 It reminds me of these Carnevale models I noticed a while back.

My only problem is, though I would probably keen to add 20 to Dan and my pledge for these I feel uncertain about how they will look. I mean buying something even though you don't know how it will look seems a bit funny. Well only a week and a bit till the Kickstarter closes so better decide soon! 

Check out the new Clickers faction here

Monday, 11 March 2013

Empire of the Dead: Rescue the Captives

Game 2 of the EOTD campaign saw me and Steve team up against Chris and Matt's Lycaon faction to try and rescue the three members that were captured last week.  Just to recap, Chris annihilated Steve and me last week and the two of us spent the next week plotting revenge.  The outcome was a slightly unbalanced game that saw Chris fighting The Athenaeum Club and the Peelers.  Scenario was rescue the prisoner and the set up was the Lycaon lair somewhere on the outskirts of town:

The Lair (with Prisoners hidden) and Chris' finger

I split my faction, with President and Erazmus (as a member) on one side and the Vice President (Lord Percival) and the huntsman on the other.  Steve did the same.  The plan was some sort of pincer movement.  Lord Percival and the Huntsman started the night's festivities by shooting unconvincingly:

Lord Percival unleashes with his gatling gun

On the other side of the board, Steve drifted too close to the Beastlord and got himself charged:

Lieutenant Gordon and Constable engage the Beastlord

Having pulled the Beastlord out of the lair, my President (Viscount Horatio) and Erazmus lured the Packlord out to the trees on the other side of the table before charging him:

Viscount Horatio and Eramus take out the Packmaster in the trees

Despite their throwing weapons doing nothing in the charge, and Erazmus falling in the combat, the Viscount with his exo-skeleton finally did the business and took out the Packmaster.

Lord Percival, with help from the Huntsman took care of two of the wolves who had charged out to attack them and suddenly it was looking bad for Chris and Matt.

 Inspector Lestrade and his bobby in support downed another wolf, which meant that Chris and Matt had lost three of their faction, with another down, leaving three on the table.  The wolfskins tested for bravado, lost, and promptly ran from the field.  Steve then mopped up the Beastlord he was in conflict with and I took care of the last down wolf:

Lieutenant Gordon defeats the Beastlord

Rupert the insane got a little confused and ended up with the Lyacons:

Poor Lost Rupert...

This was a great game - not just because I won and because Steve and I got revenge on Chris but because it was truly competitive.  There were more than a few tetchy moments over rules issues and whether the dice was cocked, but with a few beers it was all in good spirits.  Steve and I shared the winning shillings reward so got 10 shillings each, as did Chris for losing (which was debated long and hard)  Final points: Dan 36 shillings, Steve 21 and Chris/Matt 20.

Must say it doesn't quite work with three factions in my mind.  The scenarios are designed for two and it feels a bit hard to fit them into three.  Maybe with the four of us we need to run two simultaneous games each night as part of the same campaign - now that would be something.  Vampire or Brotherhood faction anyone?

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Introducing the Peelers

Following on from Introducing The Athenaeum Club we now will introduce 'The Peelers". This is the second faction in our current Empire of the Dead campaign. This is a Gentleman's faction. Just a side note, these are the first miniatures I have painted so the paint jobs are not 100%.

Lieutenant Gordon (the president) who flies a steam gyrocopter, wields an axe and shoots a shotgun. His marksmanship is also improved by 1 after our first game.

Lucien the Librarian (the vice president) who wields the spirit cannon. He was inspired by Lucien the librarian, ex-raven, form Neil Giaman's Sandman.

Inspector Lestrade (the membership) who shoots a heavy pistol and hits a home run with his baseball bat. 

The membership from left to right; Constable Rupert (knife, light pistol); Constable Charles (knife, bulls eye lantern and hunting rife); and Constable Thomas (heavy pistol)

Constable Rupert "the mad" who is mentioned above has certainly had a difficult life. In his previous campaign he became unhinged. Once again he has suffered the same fate! Naturally he takes on a slightly different appearance once unhinged. 

Cedric Hyde who is in the Peelers custody will help out now and then for a shilling or two. 

Due to our most recent game the Peelers have sustained significant injury. Rupert is insane, Thomas and Inspector Lestrade are captured by the Lycaons and fortunately Lucien only suffered a flesh wound. Lieutenant Gordon gained 1 marksmanship after the first game. There will be some new weapons added to the team as well as some rearrangement of equipment by next game so what is listed here is subject to change. Check out the faction on Umpire of the Dead for up to date information on the Peelers.  

Friday, 8 March 2013

X-Wing wave 2 report and thoughts

Finally, wave 2 arrived and I had the chance to take the new ships for a spin. I have managed to play 2 games. The first game I played as Imperials with a decked out slave 1 and second game with Rebels and a decked out Falcon. Once again, I won't go into huge depth but with give an overview of the game and some thoughts.


The first game I played Imperials. I feilded:
Kath Scarlet (firespray) with; Slave 1; Engine Upgrade; proton torps; Weapons engineer; Ion Cannon; 
and proximity mines. Soontir Fel (Tie Interceptor); Marksmanship; Stealth Device. Academy Pilot.
I felt like this squad was OK but as I mentioned on BGG previously I only overloaded the firespray the first game to take it for a proper trial run. I think next time I won't deck it out as much. The Rebel squad I faced was a 4 squad build of 2 x-wings, a y-wing with ion cannon turret and a A-wing. I am afraid I can't recall what the upgrades where.

The game:

To start with, one of my biggest upsets of the game, my interceptor was destroyed, by a y-wing... Or so I thought, it got 3 hits, lost its stealth device, but then I realised it was an ion-cannon so it only took one of those hits. Still I was disappointed as that was 1/3 dead. Then because I was ionised I crashed into him and he got a clear shot of my firespray.

He quickly took out my tie fighter, as you can see here it had allot of bad token on it! 

His x-wing and a-wing hunted down my interceptor and slave-1 eventually getting his x-wing destroyed and my interceptor hit the dust followed by the a-wing.

What was left in the end was a show down between his y-wing and my damaged Slave 1. He came out on top with about 3 hull left. 


Well the slave-1 was great! I would not deck it out as fully but it has some powerful weapons and really packs a punch. I also though equipping it with engine upgrade giving it boost was important as it ment I could always position the front or auxiliary guns for firing   The interceptor is good but 3 hull sucks! I think the A-wing is defiantly the better of the 2, though it only has 2 attack the addition of shields and missiles is fantastic. Next time I will use the slave but will not deck it out. I think the interceptor is in order again also as it made some good shots here and there. 

Rebels report with the falcon. 

Next I had a game as the rebels. Like the other I decked out the Falcon as well as the a-wing in a 2 ship build. This gathered a bit of critique on BGG when I suggested this squadron but it ended up working a treat. (although i had a fair amount of luck). The squad was Lando Calrissian (Falcon) -Mellennium Falcon -Engine upgrade -Luke Skywalker - Nien Nunb -Homing missiles -Veteran instincts. Tycho Chelchu -Elusiveness -assault missiles - stealth device This was against a 5 squadron Imperial build. 

The A-wing was amazing! It zipped around getting hits here and there including a sucesful multiple hit with assult missiles, this killed his interceptor and wounded a tie. He avoided fire with its stealth device and elusiveness. Being Tycho elusiveness worked well as he doesn't care much about stress. 

The falcon looked great as it lumbered around the board. I just felt however, though it is a tank it doesn't hit as hard as I would like. Maybe this is because I just played with the slave which can have some powerful upgrades. However it could take a lot of damage and give back hard enough. I am interesting in trying the outer rim smuggler some time but only 2 attacks worries me. 

All in all it was a success, I defeated the empire with no wounds to my A-wing and no shields left on my falcon with some pretty lucky rolls. 

Overal thoughts? 

Wave 2 is amazing! It really adds some great diversity to the game. I love sitting down and planning potential squadrons, though getting frustrated I can never get everything I want in there. 

See my wave 1 session report here: also check out my BGG profile steveisatree. 

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Empire of The Dead Campaign Begins

Tonight we started our new EOTD campaign.  My Darkfire Gentleman's club (The Athenaeum) against Steve's Peelers and Chris' Lycaon factions.  I set up the board using a mash up of the streets of malifaux card set, the Hobbit goblin patforms, some 15mm bocage from FOW and a few other things.  Scene was a Victorian wharf:

Rolled for a scenario and got fracas, which involves reducing the other faction to 25% or less.  We each had six models, so we needed four kills to take out a faction.  Having three factions is always interesting - two can gang up on one quite easily.  Steve got to choose his corner and went for the high ground (the streets), Chris the ruins and me the tower.

First round Steve discombolutes my Huntsman with a "10", which got me grumpy and sort of heralded what was to come really. Next few rounds I downed one of Chris' wolfskins before Chris' feral wolfpack charges in at Steve, who for some unknown reason pushed himself into charge territory.  Before the round was out, Constable Rupert and Inspector Lestrade were down:

Maintenance phase next turn and Lestrade rolls a 9 on wound effect and is removed from play.  Steve retreats the Librarian and Steve's other Constable.  Both die after taking multiple hits in combat (with Chris having the +2 charge bonus) and so Steve was broken.  Early shower for him.

Meanwhile I had taken out one of Chris' wolfskins with my gatling gun.  I moved the bulk of my force forward, leaving the Huntsman and the gatling gun behind to cover.  This was a mistake - I needed all the guys I could get in combat and leaving two back who could not shoot into combat anyway was a silly mistake.  Sneaking up on Chris I took out another of his wolfskins with Mikey the Menonite.  Chris had no ranged weapons now, but stupidly I stood and fought him then, rather than running and picking him off with my superior firepower:

I did not realise just how strong the Lycaon were in combat. Despite the odds stacked against me, I almost turned the fight, but my high rolling on the wound effect table took out four of my guys in quick succession, while Chris kept rolling flesh wounds:

Steve and I were left more than a little stunned at the power of the Lycaon.  Chris had collected 68 shillings from his nights work, me 24 and Steve 14.  Chris did have my rules all week though, meaning I did buy my equipment without looking at the stats properly, but that was no really excuse for some further tactical blunders this week.  Steve and I have resolved to go away and plot our revenge - so tune in next week when Steve and I have to rescue three of our number who have been captured by the enemy.  A rather powerful Lycaon faction awaits.

Those injured by the Lycaon 

I do love EOTD - I like the characters, the rules and the game play.  And having the Lycaons truely brings a whole new dimension to the game from the hide and shoot game Steve and my gentleman's factions were playing previously.
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