Pimp My Board Game

a pursuit of fruitless endeavors and endless refinements

Category: General (Page 2 of 13)

Just Milling About

So it’s been a few weeks since my last post but only because I’ve been head-down in a new project: learning CAD and CAM for milling on a CNC machine.

Way back at the beginning of the year, I was excited to have a brand new tool added to my pimping arsenal: a CNC Machine. The only issue was it was a kit I needed to build and I’m not so handy with building things this complex.

The project progressed in fits and starts until just a few weeks ago, I finally got everything all together and running.  I had to take a quick detour and clean out the garage and cobble together a quick workbench table to have room to run it all but I was able to knock that out in a weekend.

With everything prepped, I grabbed a template off BGG and set it up using a trial version of Fusion 360.  I have to say, the resources MillRight CNC have put together on their site is outstanding and the direct responses from them for questions I’ve sent have been amazing.  They really go above and beyond supporting their customers on what could easily be a nightmare project.

The my workspace ready and my machine up and running, I imported Flashhawk’s PitchCar mini-converter SVG and got to cutting to test it all out.

As you can see from the video, the machine definitely did its job.  The cut was nice and everything worked as it should.

Punching out the piece was easy and cleaning up the “tabs” that hold the piece in place while cutting will be easy.

Just one little issue…

So obviously there are some scaling issues but the test was successful and I’ve been working up several new concepts that I’m eager to complete.  The first step has been taken, now the real challenges begin.

6×6 Gaming Challenge: Mid-year recap

Now that we’re in July, I thought I’d take a quick moment to recap where I’m at with my 6×6 Gaming Challenge. I always keep the running total up-to-date at the top, under my “About” header.

The good news is every game on my list has been played at least once. Even better news is I’m sitting at 20 games/sessions played out of 36 for the challenge so I’m beating the curve by a good 5%.  Let’s look at the details:

The Walking Dead: All Out War:
Dropzone Commander:
Santorini:
Batman Miniature Game:
Pandemic: Legacy:
Championship Formula Racing:

As you can see, Dropzone Commander and Batman are a bit behind the curve.  Batman may be the toughest to get all the way through before the end of the year since it is completely self-driven.  Dropzone Commander still has regular monthly get-togethers so I’m not too worried about finding a game.

CFR, Pandemic, and The Walking Dead have been going quite well with a lot of interest still peaking for those games.  The next few months are going to be a little tough as I prepare for Gen Con and a vacation later this summer but I still have a lot of plans for all the games on the list so at least the drive is still there.

CabinCon Cup: Part 2, Nürburg

After a break, our team concluded our 2-game mini-cup with a 2-lap session of Nürburg. We all took a moment to re-tool our cars and I decided to create a lop-sided car with an 80 acceleration and a 40 deceleration.  To help compensate for all the late braking I might need to do, I dropped my skill in favor of more wear tokens.

After the bidding, I did slightly better than last time and came in 4th position.

Colton, in the black no. 4, decided to follow the “lead from the front” strategy in the rule book and bid high for pole position.  He took off quickly, pushing his start speed to 140 while the rest of us played conservative and fell in line.

Using my acceleration, I (green car) pulled into 2nd following slightly behind Colton. Sterling in red decided to take the outside line while Reese in Blue fell in behind me.

Colton continued to push and burn wear while I fell back a little.  Sterling’s outside line caused him to fall back into fourth.

Colton used the straight to widen his lead and quickly was getting into a dominant position.  James’ silver car started to make a move on the pack I’m leading.

The third turn pulls Colton back a little but James is able to push hard to fourth and battle into the second place scrum that is developing between Reese (blue car) and I.

A shot from the rear as Colton starts the next turn and James falls in line behind Reese and I.

Heading into the straights, James starts to get into position.  His car is the fastest with high acceleration and the highest top speed of all of us at 180 mph.  He also isn’t afraid to push it to 200 when he needs to.

It doesn’t quite time out for James and he’s forced to get back behind Reese. Colton is able to maintain about 4 spaces on us but can’t seem to get any further away.

My acceleration spaces us out in the straight and I gain on Colton’s ultimately slower car.

Colton is forced to slow-up for the turn and we descend on him, cutting his lead to one.  This has some unintended consequences as all hell breaks loose.

James, seeing an opportunity to really “be somebody,” pushes the 80 mph corner at 140, uses two wear and a green skill token but still gets burned by boxcars on the dice.  The resulting crash happens before Reese can approach the corner and the debris causes him to spin out.  Since I got through before James’ death rush, I was about to pull up alongside Colton.

Sterling and Jeremy round out the crazy turn by starting a battle for 5th place.

Colton is able to negotiate the corner and I’m not willing to risk hitting the corner at a faster speed to beat him off the line. The craziness of James’ wreck allows Jeremy to blast into 3rd from the rear.

James is able to get free of his wreck moments before it starts to smoke and flame.

I totally mismanage this upcoming turn as I know Colton is going to go 80 mph to line up this inside line (eventually slowing to 60 mph) and he is out of wear. For some reason, I think I’ll be able to go 100 mph get alongside him again. Instead, I chicken out and end up late braking and burning my wear token advantage on him.  At this point, I realize that if I just maintain second, my overall points will give me the Cabin Con Cup.

Re-evaluating this turn, I should have maintained my 100 mph and taken the outside line. The next turn would have dropped me to 60 (or 80 if I wanted to spend the wear I would have lost late braking).  Either one would have put me either alongside Colton through the turn or one space past him to take the lead.

Colton and I take this first turn at the stock value and cause Jeremy to late brake but it messes up his deceleration and he spins. I’m in the beginning of the turn now doing 40 mph and Colton is in a great position to accelerate out of the turn.

I botch the corner and Colton is able to take off again. Reese tries to make a move but spins out and Sterling starts to march on Jeremy.

Jeremy pushes again fighting Sterling but with a naked chance roll, he rolls just enough to crash out and starts smoking.

Now there are four racers left and Colton has regained a good lead while I’ve separated from the remaining cars as well.

We’re back in the straights and I can make up more ground as we approach “James’ Doom.”

We come into the critical last turn. Colton knows my car will take him to task out of the turn as I have both the top speed and acceleration on him so he elects to maintain as much speed as possible taking the outer line.

His gambit pays off as I stay 2 spaces behind but he’s still going 100 mph and can accelerate to his top 140 while I’m at 60 mph and can also jump up to 140.  Even if I push to 160, I won’t be able to break even with Colton so I leave it and hope Reese doesn’t have a trick up his sleeve to push me out of second place.

Colton takes the flag and I, predictably, stay within two spaces of him.  The race may have ended up a little different but I played conservative to maintain my second place.

Even though the race results didn’t change much after the first turn or so, I still found it really tense. It seemed like I was caught in this never ending trap of trying to keep up with Colton while getting distance on the pack behind me.  The pack behind me was frightening because they felt like they had nothing to lose and so kept pushing chance rolls all the time. If it was just one car pushing chance all the time, I’d be less concerned as the dice would eventually fail but with three cars, it always seemed like someone was on verge of coming up and winning their chance rolls.

After this race, the final standings were:

  • Myself: 5.1 pts
  • Colton: 4.2 pts
  • Reese: 4.1 pts
  • Sterling: 3.2 pts
  • Jeremy: 2.2 pts
  • James: 2.0 pts

Walking Dead Wednesday: Obligatory “Got Mine!” Post

At long last, Mantic’s Walking Dead: All Out War kickstarter is complete. My “Wave 2” package arrived the other day in all it’s glory and I’m pretty excited to see what we have in here.

Opening it up and removing the cautionary plastic flotation devices, we find… more boxes! And a floater. Well not really, that’s just Morgan. Loose and roaming free with a packing slip.  While booking face I saw that Mantic had a possible issue with the original Morgan sculpt that went into the package so they fixed it and chucked a loose one in the box just in case you get a bad one in the packaging.  Who knows, maybe I’ll go all “Ash vs Evil Ash” with the copies.

Loose Morgan will serve as our reference rep for the remainder of this show and tell. Here, he climbs the white boxes of expansions. They are a bit small but there is a lot of love packed into each one of those suckers.

In random opening order, we have the prison expansion Safety Behind Bars on the left, the Greene farm expansion, Miles Behind Us in the center, and the Woodbury expansion, Made To Suffer on the right.  While the new minis, cards, and templates are nice, the big draw for me are these rule books.  Each adds new scenario content and new core rules to the game.

In Miles Behind Us, we get to see the full campaign rules where, unlike the story mode narrative campaign, you build a core set of survivors for 150 points and run linked scenarios with them.  All the while, they will gain experience, items, characters and likely lose some friends along the way.  It was the preview of these rules sent out to backers early on that really got me hooked on this game’s potential.

Safety Behind Bars is probably the weakest of the three when it comes to rules as it introduces the cool new “interior” rules for fighting and navigating the confines of buildings and tight spaces.  This is really cool but is duplicated in the next expansion and expanded a bit further there.  That isn’t to say this expansion is light. It boasts 7 total scenarios and introduces a new class of walker, the armored kind that traipse around in old riot gear.  The rules and scenarios also seem the most self-contained as the rules have a lot of detail as to how the Prison map works.

Made To Suffer rounds out the three by expanding the interior rules and city environs as well as adding the iconic Tank to the mix.  This expansion also adds an environmental rule with “night.” Having played a bit more of the Batman Miniature Game and knowing Mark Latham had a hand in Knight Models’ ruleset, it isn’t surprising that a similar ruleset is coming to Walking Dead. I think it is fantastic as it is something very iconic to the Batman setting and will work very well in the Walking Dead games.  Essentially, the darkness of night will limit line of sight and shooting to 8 inches unless a target is within the killzone of a lamp post.  This just further mixes my Batman and Walking Dead scenery together.

Lastly, on Made To Suffer, they expand the rules further to include the running of large games, sometimes epic in scale (over 1000 points).  This includes using larger maps or play areas and adding alternate victory conditions with Special Objective cards. These larger games are previewed in our first official two map scenarios detailing the epic Governor attack on the Prison.  If I wasn’t such a sucker for a lasting narrative campaign like Miles Behind Us gives us, Made To Suffer would be the best expansion to date.

Alright, enough about the rules, let’s check out some props. Here we have bendy Otis. How is this guy any good at hunting? No wonder he messes up Carl.  The bent rifle will be an easy fix and was the only really bent model I noticed in the whole batch.

Hell yeah, Axel. I follow ya.

Badass Rick is Badass.  I can’t wait to start using him in earnest.  Just a great pose for the star of the series.

Loose Morgan is back now to show us some of the other components like these room templates.  The scenery looks a little small for giganto Morgan.

But oddly, the bed is about the right size.

The tank is pretty massive and dwarfs my little black tank I added a while back.  That’s ok though as I suspect Mantic will release a kit to build our own tank.  They already confirmed they will be doing a kit for the Miles Behind Us expansion:

Maybe a Prison guard tower and Woodbury house/tank kit will come in the future.

That about covers it for my initial opening of the Wave 2 kickstarter material.  Very pleased and, honestly, a little sad that this kickstarter is finally closed down.   Not too sad, mind you as I have a ton of new content to pour over and new models to paint up.  Likely starting with this guy:

GLENN! HE EXISTS!!

Cabin Con 2017 Recap

Our yearly game gathering, Cabin Con, has come and gone.  It was a great time this year and I think we’ve hit our stride as we’ve done this enough times to relax a bit on the planning and still have it work very well.   Six of us were there this year and we hit a ton of game over the four and a half days.  Below is a quick recap:

  • The Duke (11 plays) – The Duke was by far the most played game we hit during the weekend.  It helps that three of us are avid players.

The Duke

  • Mystic Vale (3 plays) – We finally got this deck-builder to the table and even though I’ve gotten stomped in every game, there is something seductive about the card crafting you do.
  • Rattus (1 play) – We first hit this last year and it still proves to be an engaging area-control game.
  • Santorini (3 plays) – A new abstract game for the group but while it looks amazing, it doesn’t have the strategic pull that The Duke offers.  Still a fun time though.
  • Camel Up (2 plays) – A perennial favorite with our group due to the willingness to push the camels into complete chaos and never let a camel get too far ahead or behind.
  • 7 Wonders (2 plays) – It’s been awhile since we hit this old standby but with 6 players at the cabin, this is a perfect medium weight game that can get everyone involved
  • Star Wars: Destiny (1 play) – I tried this late at night and with non-starter decks thrown together and the experience was pretty miserable.  Maybe the game will be better with beginner decks.
  • Tiny Epic Galaxies (1 play) – We have a lot of “Tiny Epic” fans so it wasn’t a surprise to see one of these games hit the table.
  • Road Hog (1 play) – I picked this game up right before the ‘Con and during a lull, we put it out.  It went as expected (light, tactical game) but definitely needs more players to be interactive.

Road Hog

  • Fugitive (1 play) – I only saw the tail end of this game so I wasn’t quite sure what was going on.  Seemed like an asymmetrical deductive game.
  • One Deck Dungeon (6 plays) – This game saw a lot of hits last year but as a solo game, it was usually pulled out when others were busy doing something else.  To my knowledge, no one ever won a game.
  • Dead Man’s Draw (1 play) – This light card game could have come out a lot more but most of us are pushing variety in gaming during this ‘Con so it’ll have to wait for a different lull in our gaming schedule to see more table time.
  • Isle of Skye (1 play) – This Carcassonne killer always seems to come out when we have new players.  What’s nice is the new player tends to win out.  Maybe the veterans just overthink this game.
  • Wrath of Dragons (1 play) – I was tasked with running this one but totally didn’t prep enough so it ended up pretty botched. Even with the rules mistakes, I was reminded how much I like this game.  Now that we’ve gotten a game under our belt as a group, it’ll be good to throw it on the table again.

Wrath of Dragons… sort of.

  • Valeria: Card Kingdoms (1 play) – This engine building game initially sounded like a better themed Machi Koro but quickly turned into a slog and just seemed to never end.  It might have been the weird card combinations that came out but it was sad to see it fall flat after so much potential.
  • Crokinole (3 plays) – Our top dexterity game got some love this weekend with new players.
  • Liar’s Dice (1 play) – This Cabin Con darling didn’t get as much love this year but still made an appearance.
  • X-wing Miniatures Game (1 play) – We decided to break out some X-wing since my friend has kept on collecting even after I stopped.  It had been awhile since the last time I played but it came back quickly and has started a renewed interest.  I’m sure we’ll see more it hit the table again in the future.

X-wing bombing run

  • Friday (1 play) – This solo game hit while I was sleeping.
  • Five Minute Dungeon (2 plays) – Another “while I was sleeping” game.  Too many late night miniatures games to meet up with the early risers
  • Roll for the Galaxy (1 play) – Another hot game from yesteryear and we all agreed that we forgot how much we like this game.  Hopefully we’ll see it come out again.

Roll for the Galaxy

  • Patchwork (1 play) – This game was going on when I pulled out Hnefatafl.
  • Hnefatafl (1 play) – We tried this ancient abstract game again, this time using more established rules (4 enemies to capture the king, no one can go through the middle or ship spaces, King can’t capture, etc). It went a lot smoother but we’re basically in the infancy of learning this one.
  • Championship Formula Racing (2 plays) – One of the Cabin Con “premiere” games for this year.  We held back-to-back races to crown a Cabin Con Cup winner.  Players were discussing the possibility of playing a 3rd game so it must have went over well.  Report to follow.

Championship Formula Racing

  • Mansions of Madness (1 play) – We tried to bust out a game of co-op Descent but we forgot to bring the map tiles so we switched gears and pulled out Mansions instead.  I led us to ruin as my strong armed but weak-minded gangster went insane and melted his mind in only a few turns near the end.  The game is ok but for all the story-driven content, it’s weird that there is no story for how our random bunch of misfits came together in the first place.
  • Villages of Valeria (1 play) – I missed this one as well.
  • Clank! (2 plays) – Another deck builder to hit the table.  I think this is my favorite concept of the deck builder genre.  The combination of board play and deck building works very well with so many push-your-luck elements.
  • Kingsburg (1 play) – This game is an old standby of mine. It hasn’t come out in years but it was good to see it again.
  • Valley of the Kings: Afterlife (1 play) – Another game I missed. It looked like light deck builder.
  • Jamaica (1 play) – This pirate racing game used be a big hit even among new players but it played pretty middle tier when it hit with the group. It has some oddly restrictive actions so I wonder if that just irked the players a little.
  • Batman Miniature Game (1 play) – As I wrote about last week, we finished up our LED lampposts and got it to the table. Report to follow.

Batman Miniature Game

Batman Miniature Game

  • Quadropolis (1 play) – The last game we hit at Cabin Con.  It’s a nice little city builder that went down to a tiebreaker victory.

All in all, we hit 32 unique games in 58 total games played over the four and a half day period.  Not too bad.

(baby) moose

and squirrel!

Until Next Time!

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