Pimp My Board Game

a pursuit of fruitless endeavors and endless refinements

Month: February 2017 (Page 1 of 2)

“FateCon” 2017 Part 1

Earlier this year, I had the fortune to set up a flight to Dallas over this past holiday weekend to hang out with another gaming friend. He lives in Fate, Texas, a small burb outside of Dallas and so we decided to call this little game fest “FateCon.”

It just so happen that another event was happening nearby called the Dallas Games Marathon (DGM).  This game-centric event happens every month and for $20, you can get a pass to play games at their facility and use their library of over 1,500 games. We only decided to go for one day but found that even going one day is worth the $20 weekend admission.

Day 1

We started things off with Isle of Skye.

image from Boardgamegeek

I first played this Kennerspiel des Jahres winner for 2016 at Gen Con and found it great then.  Replaying it at DGM reminded me that I need to play it more often.  It is a mix of Carcassonne‘s tile laying and Castles of Mad King Ludwig‘s auction/price-setting mechanics.

Doom setup and ready

My friends brought Fantasy Flight’s new Doom board game but I had my eye on the Pegasus Spiele game, Porta Nigra.  I’ve been trying to get a demo or play-through of this game for awhile now but it hasn’t been at Gen Con so I dove into the rulebook while the others figured out Doom.

“learn to play” scenario complete

By the time their Doom “learn to play” scenario was done, I had Porta Nigra read and set up.

Porta Nigra early game

The game went well and has an interesting area control system to it.  Ultimately, I failed to realize the importance of the side set collection mechanic and performed pretty poorly.

Porta Nigra end game

I’d like to try it again but I don’t see a need for it in my collection though I find the tower building aspect pretty charming.

We started looking through the DGM library some more and saw AssassinCon by Mayday Games.  The idea seemed interesting as a board game version of the famous college game Assassin.

Unfortunately, the game is pretty weak.  The rules are horrible, the execution overly convoluted, and the game tends to reset itself just when things start to get interesting.

Fleet Commander fleets deployed

Next we hit another game that I couldn’t ever find a demo for: Fleet Commander.  This game seems to struggle getting across the pond as I’ve never seen it in stores or at conventions. It must have some kind of following as it has multiple expansions.

Fleet Commander end game

I think the game has some potential but the little intro game we played seemed to lack enough weight behind it to really feel competitive. It has an interesting dice mechanic where you pick from several colors to move ships, attack other ships, and put up defenses. Unfortunately, I have a plethora of two-player games and I’m heavily invested in Star Wars Armada so I’d play this game again but wouldn’t own it.

my fearsome red dragon, ready to pillage and destroy

We ended the game picking up Catalyst Games Lab’s Wrath of Dragons.  Wrath saw a lot of press at Gen Con a few years back and seemed to sell out at the Con due to it’s euro/worker-placement rules and destruction/fantasy dragons theme.

tight game with a 10 point spread between top and bottom player.

I actually found this game to be my favorite of the games I played at DGM (not at all influenced by the fact that I won. not at all). The combination of the Dragon theme, the worker placement and set collection made for a lot of things to do in the game and they were all interesting. Overall a very fun game that I’m considering picking up to add to my library and a great way to end our DGM day.

Later, back at my friends house, we broke out the racing dexterity game RoadZters.

This game is in direct competition to PitchCar and since it is no longer in print, it looks like it didn’t fare too well.  It has plastic race sections that snap in similar to electronic slot cars.  The main mechanism centers around a special ball (Z-ball) with bearings (or magic?) inside that allow the ball to stop on slight elevation grades and spin in interesting ways.

Overall, it plays exactly like PitchCar but you can do a lot more with the Z-ball in your flicking and it’s easier to have a smooth play track.  I already own and like PitchCar so I wouldn’t pick it up but found the game a fun alternative.

So that concluded an eventful Day 1 of “Fate Con.” Next time I’ll wrap up the last two days of the event with all the games we played at my host’s house.

Walking Dead Wednesday: Shane and Carl

A little light update for today’s Walking Dead Wednesday.  I started working on Shane and Carl this past week.

Also, I was able to pick up the Prelude to Woodbury and Morgan booster that are retail only.

It’s nice to have extras of the of Killzone template and dice but the ruler is a little off.

As you can see, the Prelude Ruler is shorter than the Kickstarter Core Set.

Comparing it to an actual ruler, you can see the Prelude ruler is almost a quarter inch shorter. Bummer.  The Killzone and Threat tracker was the same though so it’s odd they changed the size just for the ruler.  Likely it wouldn’t fit otherwise and since the ruler is for a solo set, all the distances will be consistent within your own solo game.

The other little mistep in this set is the Solo Event deck.  This is likely one of the biggest draws after the new figures and cards.  The Solo Event deck rewords the text to clarify how to execute the event in solo play.  Unfortunately, the cards have “Solo” emblazoned on the back of the card so all those great solo missions in Days Gone Bye and future expansions that add new event cards (which don’t have “Solo” on the back) won’t work unless you use opaque card sleeves.  Ah well. Maybe I’ll pick some of those up.

Lastly, Mantic is running a Walking Dead week this week on their blog and Facebook page. They’ll be talking about custom templates, a limited edition resin diorama, and more so be sure to check that out.


Building the Future

I talked about getting a CNC Machine a while back and detailed my start at putting it together.  I have made a lot of progress since then and will catch you up.

I had already built the Y-axis that will serve as the main bed for all the machining.  Now it is time to build the Z-axis plate that will hold the router/spindle and have the machine rise up and down.

The front side then holds the router clamp.

I forgot some bolts so I had to run out to Ace Hardware and grab some extras to attach the router clamp.

Next, we have the X-axis plate.  This will attach to the Z-axis plate and both will travel on rails across the top of the machine.

I attached the Z-axis motor and the Z-axis plate to the X-axis plate.  Then can the hardest part of the whole project, threading the Z-axis belt in between both plates and around the various pulleys and motor drives.

Next, we have the axis plates set on the horizontal rail and the the sides of the machine.

At this point, it’s really starting to take shape.

And with this, the machine is complete.  I still have a ways to go with setting up the electronic components but the motors are all set up and the chip board is attached.  The belts were particularly tricky as they kept tracking up and off the pulleys but after a few conversations with the Millwright team, we figured it out by cutting some aluminum shims out and re-aligning the pulleys to square things up.  Yay for soda cans to use as cheap aluminum shims.

A friend has an old laptop he’s letting me borrow so when that is ready, I’ll start setting up the programming side of the machine and we’ll be ready to start actually cutting projects soon!

Walking Dead COMIC Wednesday: Group Effort

Welcome back to this month’s Walking Dead COMIC Wednesday! I have a super-sized issue for you this week as we explore the next chapter in the Days Gone Bye expansion:

Chapter 2: Ready to Roll

If you missed the previous issue, you can find it it my Comics link in the top menu.

Batman Miniature Game: Frank Miller Batman vs Jared Leto Joker

Well my friend and I pushed and we were able to get some paint on some models, slap together a “demo” squad of 150 reputation (“points” in this game), and get a learning game done.

Above is my Joker (Leto) and Eyeball Man henchman team.

Ready to take on Frank Miller’s Batman and some GCPD lackeys.

We set up an impromptu board and did the first scenario of the main game book: A Chance Encounter.

Gotham’s finest makes his way into the street, walking his normal beat.

While Joker and Eyeball Man are on the prowl for a score.

Gotham’s Finest finds a peculiar puzzle on the ground. Being an expert at the daily crossword, he quickly solves it not realizing that that puzzle was meant for the Joker himself.

Eyeball Man jumps into action and sprays the officer for a couple of damage.

Clearly outmatched, the officer calls in back-up.  Agent Ron is the closest to the scene and arrives just in time…

…to watch Eyeball Man light up his comrade and knock him out in a hail of gunfire.

Joker, the sadistic thug he is, runs over and puts the poor officer out his misery.

Batman arrives seconds too late.

And in his haste, totally whiffs his first attack.

Surprised by the sudden appearance of the Dark Knight, Eyeball Man flees and opens up on Batman only to whiff as well.

Batman then takes the fight to Joker and beats the hell out of him in one round.

One more hit and the Joker is out, which will likely cause Eyeball Man to flee the scene.

Winning initiative for the round let’s Joker dash up and run to the sewers to hide out the rest of the encounter.

Batman isn’t through yet though and rushes Eyeball Man.

Dealing exactly the justice this scumbag deserves, KO-ing Eyeball Man.

The night ends with one of Joker’s goons in custody but the big man himself is nowhere to be found.

Unfortunately, that means it was too little, too late for Batman as Joker wins the round (14 VP to 12 VP) and continues on with his diabolical plan.

So a lot of great things in this miniatures game and we had a lot of fun.  We totally messed up the first few turns forgetting that you can’t allocate more move counters to your character than their actual move value.  This had our characters running all over the map in the beginning.  We corrected it on about round 3 and things went smoother after that.

There seems to be a learning curve on this due to all the little keywords each character has so our game ran pretty long as we constantly were checking rules. This should get better as we play more and we’ll likely make better cheat sheets for next time.

For next time, we plan on taking it simple and expanding our current force to 200 reps (points).  I’m already working on finishing up these two models and adding my third to get me close to 200.

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