Sunday, 28 February 2016

If you go down to the dojo today...

Ninjas everywhere in a board game, chibi ninja at that (chibi can be thought of as small and cute and is a style of manga/anime characters).

Ninja All-stars is a fantasy skirmish board game set in a Japanese mythical world and is supposed to be the clans in a competition to see who is the best ninja clan. 2-4 players and includes a campaign mode where one's clan get get advances. I am still kicking myself for not kickstarting this as I have missed out on a LOT of cool and useful stuff.

Game play wise it is a board and mini game with simple rules and relatively simple game play which is augmented by the use of game cards, an interesting take on the role the elements play in ninja 'mythology' and an 'elemental' dice system.

This is not a review of game play or components as such, all soda-pop stuff is decent quality I find. Game play wise all I can say is it is excellent fun indeed. The dice take some getting used to and the system is a lot more subtle than it looks.

Obviously my first clan to paint up !

Will try and get some pics of a game up this week. 

Sunday, 21 February 2016

In at the deep end...

Well Andrew picked me up early yesterday morning to head off down to Warboar for their X-WIng Store Championship. Firstly a bit about Warboar/Paridice Games Cafe... A new venue in Bromley it is a 'game cafe' with a huge upstairs for organised events. The games cafe is a blossoming industry it seems and it seems that Paradice is an excellent example, large comfy tables and chairs (as in the tables are the tight size/height for games) and an excellent choice of nibbles and 'food'. Every time I ventured downstairs it seemed to be thronged in joyous gamers and I only wish it was in Enfield.

To be honest I went to the day with the thought that if I didn't lose all my games I would be a happy bunny. Having not played more than one game in a row for around 3 1/2 years (and only a handful in the last few months after a long long layoff) I was dreading playing 6 matches plus in the day. Apparently the largest store championship to date with over 60 players I was certainly throwing myself in at the deep end indeed.

View down the tables 
Round one saw my Han & Poe force for the day up against a classic match up of Slave One plus tie fighters. Han was on fire, although Poe went down fairly early, and I managed a Match Win in a fairly convincing style. Worryingly this put me on one of the top tables for the second match of the day. Again Han was on fire and Poe worked OK... I went down eventually but was pleased with how close I got.

So the next match, down the tables again, saw a duke out between Han and Palpatine in a shuttle with all his shenanigans with the two interceptors. Every inch of the table was used and a really grind match was on... Managed to take out the interceptors, lost Poe and the shields on the Falcon, we ran out of time unfortunately (my very pleasant opponent was not the quickest player at times) and it was a 'modified' win.

Next up was the match of the day for me - great opponent, great fun and a nail biting finish where I managed to stave him off and destroy his squadron while only having one hit left on the Falc in the last round of the game. Han's flying with the boost was painful to watch for any of my opponents supporters (who had gathered) and made me feel slightly dirty (for about a millisecond) - so another match win. Over half way through the day and I was 3-1 up, what a surprise.

But the day was taking its toll and next up was a mid table match with Andrew - I flew very badly and his list is a bit of a killer. At least we got time to go down for a bit of refreshment in the cafe while every one else finished off.

Last game of the day and I had perked up and against 3 B-wings I could do no wrong it seemed and had a convincing match win.... So 4-2 on the day missing the top eight cut (thankfully as it was 8 oclock already) and I went home; C3po alternate art card in tow; very, very happy.

Things learnt:

  • Poe didn't really work against people who basically made sure he went down early. 
  • Phat Han was still a very viable build and gave everyone trouble when flying well. 
  • Six games is mind numbing.
  • Some people are really funny when they don't get things their own way, there were some excellent examples (non of my opponents thankfully).
Looking forward to the next one but going to play around with a Miranda K - Wing to go with Han - even if it means getting away from 'thematic' builds which I normally go for.

More late

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

So what did we learn from last night...


  • Apex is really fun to play, after the time one remembers to install face down cards anyway! Had fun against Phil with it and it was a close game, probably would have done better (maybe even won) if I had been installing from the beginning. Lots of surprises in there for the Corp and once set you can breeze through most things it seems. A keeper, as the saying goes.
  • Jinteki Replicating Perfection with the new cards - this was my first 'net deck' and to be honest I didn't find it worked for me, didn't help not getting any ice out and having an agenda flood with no Mr Howard in site - but still. Back to the drawing board I think. I miss the sneaky underhand traps of my previous Jinteki deck although they are not as functional in the new meta (as they say).
A swarm, a swarm - whatever next?
  • X-Wing shenanigans. Still loving it, remembered the pain of Richard's (Shado's) Avenger themed Interceptor list although in the second game I almost had it. Apparently Guru Andrew C. has said it doesn't do well in the new meta of stress hogs and twin laser turret (TLT) lists but maybe they should let Shado fly them and see!
  • Han on the Falcon with Poe close by - cool fun indeed. Always going to have a good chance of going down to a swarm of heavy hitters but otherwise I am happy with it. Engine upgrade on the Falcon is always fun. Luke keeps Han deadly (although I want to mod some cards up with Finn and Rey on them instead of Luke and C3Po). I think this is the list I will take to Bournemouth on Saturday to see how it goes.  
  • Tried a 6 Tie swarm - was fun but couldn't concentrate fire enough by keeping them tight so they got picked off one by one, good game though. Back to the drawing board and I have made a more synergy dependent list of 4 FO Ties with abilities. Will have to wait and see if it works.
  • That's all for now 

Oh also learnt I shouldn't Internet shop - awaiting delivery of the Ninja All-stars game which looks awesome fun... bad Paypal, bad bad Paypal money!

Looks good fun though :)

Tuesday, 16 February 2016

Pew pew and run last click...

So tonight is club night and I am hoping to test my X-Wing squadrons and my post 'Most Wanted List' Netrunner decks. MWL was a way to purge some of the crazy combo cards that were making it into every Netrunner deck - not sure that it is going to work but we'll see,

X-Wing wise I am going with a Force Awakens themed lists - Poe and the Falcon (although using Luke as a stand in for Rey/Finn) for the Resistance and a First Order Tie swarm with Omega Leader in charge.

Netrunner will see Apex as the runner and back to Jinteki RP for the corp. No idea how they will work out but again I'll keep you posted...

Monday, 15 February 2016

Gaming life... beats prozac!

So yet another go at a gaming blog, good job no one ever bothers reading them anyway!

At the moment I only really have the time and inclination for a few games, Infinity is a brilliant game, I bought into it in depth but don't end up playing much - mainly because of the fact that to play anywhere but home involves truggin around a shed load of 'stuff'. Also it is a bit of a power game comp wise - so its fallen off the radar, which is a shame in way.

Card games are easy - Netrunner and A Game of Thrones decks fit in a corner of ones bag and as such are easy to take to shops and pubs for games against other people outside of the local 'meta' (as it is called - basically meta can be thought of as one's normal group where a certain way of playing tends to develop).

Both these games are going through a rough patch in a way, Netrunner was coming down to competitive play being dominated by certain factions/decks, a big shake up of restrictions took place and now it seems to have morphed into other deck types being prevalent, at least until other cards come out and next years 'cycle' comes in where lots of cards are not allowed in comps any more, BUT it is a brilliant and fun game to play on a social level. A Games of Thrones is a new version of an old card system but has quickly deteriorated I am afraid. Again brilliant fun to play until one gets serious about it when it turns into almost a chess like conundrum where if you fall behind quick there is NOTHING you can do to claw the game back, also at the moment the strong decks are ones which deny the other players cards (and hence FUN) - so probably not going to be playing that much and certainly not in comps.

SO that leaves X-wing the miniatures game - again easy to cart around and play as you need a few ships and a 3x3 foot flat surface. Played it when it first came out and loved it - fell away from it when Juni got ill but got back into it with the Force Awakens set and am now playing it as much as possible again.

Revamping my Flying Lead set of commercially available rules is also on the go - stay tuned for developments and play test opportunities there my friends...

Games are an escape from the hum drum of life when I can't surf...