Tuesday, April 27, 2010

House Rules: Extra Gear and Darkness for Strange Aeons

Everybody was feeling under the weather this past weekend, so no gaming took place. On the up side, I don't have to add another loss to the scoreboard. /wink

Since I don't have an after-action report to post, I thought I'd share some of the house rules we're using in our Strange Aeons game. Namely, darkness rules and extra gear for Threshold characters:

Extra Gear
Lantern, Torch, Flashlight
A model equipped with a lantern and all models within 2" of it are immune to the rules for Darkness (see below). However, so are models targeting lantern-equipped models with ranged attacks.

A torch follows the same rules as those for a lantern. However, it may also be used as a weapon - treat it as a club with the fire special rule. (Details of this rule can be found in Shocking Tales #1.)

A model equipped with a flashlight is immune to the rules for Darkness. However, so are models targeting the model for a ranged attack. At the start of each Turn, roll a die: on a 1, the flashlight's battery dies and it is useless for the remainder of the game. (Assume that the batteries will be replaced prior to the next game.)

Camera
(Note: I recently purchased from eBay the "Adventures" set from Grenadier's old Call of Cthulhu line. I felt compelled to add special rules so I could properly use the camera-wielding mini - "K" in the photo to the right - from this set.)

During a game against Lurkers, a model equipped with a camera may spend an action to ready its camera, and an action to take a photograph of any Lurker model in its Line of Sight. (These actions must be consecutive and taken on the same turn.) Each time the model does so, it gains a photograph token. If the model's camera is destroyed or stolen during the game, the model loses its photograph tokens.

During the post-game treasure hunting phase, a model with photograph tokens may attempt to develop the film in the camera. Roll 1D3-1 for each photograph token; this is the number of Build Points the model's team gets for the photograph. Once all tokens have been rolled for, the player must immediately spend these Build Points (just as if the team were re-equipping).

Darkness
These rules cover games played in varying light conditions: Dusk/Dawn, Moonlit Night, and Utter Blackness. Prior to the start of a game, roll 1d6 to determine the level of light:
1D6Light Level
1Utter Blackness
2Moonlit Night
3Dusk/Dawn
4+Daylight

When playing a game in low light, the effective range of visibility is based on the light condition:

Light ConditionEffective Range
Utter Blackness3"
Moonlit Night6"
Dusk/Dawn9"

Movement in Low Light
When moving in low light, if a model attempts to move farther than the effective distance in a single Turn, it must make a Dexterity check at the end of the action during which it exceeded this range. If it fails the check, it falls Face-up; if the roll is a natural 1, it falls Face-down.

Ranged Attacks in Low Light
When targeting models in darkness or fog, ranged attacks are made as normal. However, the target gets a saving throw based on its distance from the attacker:

Distance is:Save
Up to effective range6+
Up to 2x effective range4+
Up to 3x effective range2+
Over 3x effective rangeAuto

These darkness rules have yet to be tested, but both the Threshold and Jade Lily players in our last game made good use of the camera, earning a few extra build points each.

Enjoy!

. . . . .

Thursday, April 22, 2010

After-Action Brief & Scoreboard Update

I didn't get pictures of last weekend's games, and I don't have the time to write up a full after-action report for each of them, so I'll just do a quick recap and scoreboard update:

On Sunday the gang got together for a spaghetti dinner followed by a game of Strange Aeons. The scenario was "Treasure Hunt," and this time out the players reversed roles: the Threshold players from the previous two sessions took the role of the Lurkers, and one of the previous Lurkers players brought a Threshold team to the table. The other previous Lurkers player (my fiancee) used this opportunity to test out some house rules we've introduced, bringing a new faction to the table: the "Society of the Jade Lili." (Although the Jade Liliy and Threshold are ostensibly enemies, the players decided that the two groups had settled upon an uneasy alliance for this outing.)

The game went very quickly, and before the allies could move into the second pair of search zones (this scenario has the teams searching the table in sixths for treasure) they were descended upon by Lurkers. My group of Lurkers, composed of several cultists and a winged minion (a house-ruled creature - essentially a winged creature with cultist stats) fared well at first, inflicting heavy casualties on the Jade Lily force. The Jade Lily soon returned the favor, and before long both forces had annihilated each other.

On the other side of the table, the Threshold team found themselves facing a ghoul, a cultist, and - oh no! - another maniac. True to form, the maniac waded through the entire force until, finally, it was down to only a female Threshold agent and the maniac left on the table. When the dust from that little scrum settled, only the maniac was left standing.

Although the Lurkers (barely) won this one, I'm counting it as a draw, since even though the Lurkers won the game, my force was wiped out first. (The Jade Lily herself was still standing when my last model went out, so I didn't even beat my fiancee.)

Once again, I can't help but be left feeling that the maniac is one of the most cost-effective Lurkers a player can field.

For the second game of the day, it was down to three players (since my fiancee retired early). We decided to give Spinespur a go. We've been chomping at the bit to try this game since I picked it (and many of the miniatures for it) up several weeks ago. (Calling people "Jack" and mimicking Mr. Jingles' trademark "mee-hee" noise has become a recurring joke in our group - if you have the book, read Jingles' intro and you'll get the joke.) The three forces we settled upon were agenda builds: Institution, G.O.D., and Slaughterhouse. Oddly enough, despite the fact that he's one of the most talked about characters amongst our group, no one opted to field Mr. Jingles.

I was playing Slaughterhouse, and I quickly lost a gormie to Doc Akron and his Trauma Hounds, and a pair of shacklers to the Men of G.O.D. I also found my leader, Pigskin, locked in mortal combat with the Institution's heavy hitter, Hack. These two are pretty evenly matched, but thanks to my forgetting to do retributive strikes (one of Pigskin's special abilities) and losing blood every turn from wounds inflicted by Hack's chainsaw (one of that character's special abilities) I soon found myself in danger of losing that battle. I lucked out and managed to put him down, but Pigskin was left standing with only three wounds remaining - and three bleed tokens on him. As a result, he bled out at the end of that very turn; the two psychos had killed one another.

Oh, and I lost yet another game. /sigh

Although the setting and characters of the game are an unqualified hit with our players, the Spinespur system itself was not quite as popular. It's very unwieldy, and at times downright tedious. Just about every character has a half-dozen or more special abilities. Keeping up with these and what - especially when contrasted to Strange Aeons - is a complex system leeched the fun out of what would otherwise have been a really enjoyable game. Also, the alternating activation system made it difficult for the teams to act tactically, essentially forcing models that should act as groups to act independently. Although I've used this sort of activation system to good effect in the past (in fact, all three games I've written myself use alternating activation), I've made sure to make allowances for models to activate simultaneously to allow units to act as they should. (Such a rule may exist in Spinespur - but with the sheer bulk of the rules I may have missed it.)

I really do think Spinespur has a lot of potential - and, as I said, the setting and characters are brilliant - but the system needs a lot of paring down, in my opinion.


.............................................................................

A Hard Won Thing Scoreboard:

0 wins / 1 draw / 4 losses

Monday, April 12, 2010

After-Action Brief: Strange Aeons

(I'm calling this one a brief because it's not going to be a full after-action report - just a quick recap with highlights.)

So, our gang played its second session of Strange Aeons last night. Once again, we played a four-player game - two Threshold players and two Lurker players. The scenario this time was "Retrieve the Artifacts." The Threshold team was dispatched to gather artifacts at an old farm; the Lurkers, of course, were there to prevent this. (The scenario calls for four artifacts to be placed on the table; we doubled this to account for the two-player Threshold team.)

The Threshold forces were the same as in our last session, with one exception: agent Molly Dawson took the place of her late sister, Maggie. As for Lurkers, the Threshold team found itself facing one group composed of a maniac and two zombies, and another composed of two ghouls and a trio of cultists.

For the first few turns, the game played fairly smoothly. The Lurkers focused on gathering the artifacts on their side of the table and scurrying away with them to prevent them from falling into Threshold hands. Meanwhile, the Threshold team secured and searched several artifacts on their side of the table. The only casualties were the three cultists, one of whom became Molly's first act of vengeance; the other two were J.P. Dither's first dynamite victims.

The tide turned, however, when the maniac emerged from behind the farmhouse on the Threshold team's right flank. In the blink of an eye he was on top of Agent A's group, and in one turn he took out Agent B, then moved to attack Agent A. Agent A held his ground (despite being wounded) but before Agent C could move to help, the maniac finished him off.

Despite the Threshold team's valiant efforts, that maniac dispatched one team member after another - it was a bloodbath. It was only a couple of turns before the only Threshold agent left was The Professor, who was desperately attempting to search the last artifact before being set upon by the blood-soaked maniac. Unfortunately, the maniac got to him before he could do so, and the elderly agent found himself locked in mortal combat with a near unstoppable foe.

Here's how the first action of that combat went (the red dice with black pips are The Professor's close combat dice):

(Let this stand as Exhibit A to any who would dispute my professed inability to roll dice to save my life!)

But The Professor refused to go down without a fight! Here's the next close combat action:

The professor fought valiantly, bringing the ravening maniac within one wound of defeat. Alas, the dice once again betrayed him in the final round of combat, and he fell to the maniac's cleaver:

It was a solid Threshold defeat. Worse yet, of the three artifacts searched, only two held anything of use. (Naturally, the single artifact my group searched was empty. My dice truly hate me...)

On a positive note, none of the Threshold agents suffered any lasting effects from their wounds. (Two went out with only minor injuries; of the other five who suffered major injuries, all recovered fully.) I suppose things could have ended worse...

.............................................................................

A Hard Won Thing Scoreboard:

0 wins / 0 draws / 3 losses (but another - oh, you know!)

. . . . .

Friday, April 9, 2010

Resources: Strange Aeons Cards

Speaking of Strange Aeons, here are some Threshold record cards I've created for the game.

Like many contemporary miniatures skirmish games, Strange Aeons uses sheets to track model/team info. (You can find PDF's of these sheets on the Strange Aeons Web site.) However, table space is at a premium where our group plays (my kitchen table!), and 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper tend to take up far too much space near or within our playing area. That's why I've taken to creating cards - usually 4 x 5.25 inches - to track our tabletop units for such games.

Here are the individual Threshold model cards:

And here are the Threshold team record cards (intended to track overall team data):

Enjoy!

. . . . .

Thursday, April 8, 2010

After-Action Report: The Hills Rise Wild

Our group played a memorable four-player session of The Hills Rise Wild a couple of weekends back. (For those of you not familiar with the game, The Hills Rise Wild is a cross between a miniatures game and a board game. Its Lovecraftian theme makes it great fun for the Lovecraft/weird horror fan, and its semi-comical undertones make it great fun in general. Check out the link above and the game's BoardGameGeek entry for more info.)

Here are the gory details of our session:

The Cult of Ezekial (hereafter "CoE") took the first turn - and found the Great Whately Seal in the first shack they searched! (Much to the chagrin of the CoE player, who knew that carrying the Seal around meant his cultists had a big red target painted on each of their robes.) One of the cultists took a potshot at Lavinia Whately - and killed her outright! (Little did we know at the time that this would be the start of a disturbing trend for the CoE.)

Rather than dashing after the cultists, however, the other factions decided it would be best to poke around and find some useful gear first. Each of the players took a couple of turns exploring the shacks - during which time a scrap erupted between the Whatelys and the DeGhoules. (I was playing the Whatelys and my fiancee was playing the DeGhoules - she always comes directly at me when we play minis games, regardless of the objective of the game.) While those two factions duked it out, the CoE and the Marsh clan jockeyed for position outside the mansion.

Around the fifth turn, the DeGhoules disappeared into their tunnels. (My fiancee was ill, and had to bow out of the game.) The CoE had opened the mansion, however, and found themselves beaten to the Necronomicon by the Marsh clan, who played a relay race with the grimoire until getting it into the hands of the Sea Hag - who promptly teleported home with it! Freed from my melee with the DeGhoules, I sent every remaining Whately dashing across the board toward the Marsh lair.

As the sixth turn started, the CoE found themselves blocked by a wall of fish-men at the rear of the mansion. At the front of the mansion, only Chosen and one cultist were not engaged in combat, so they immediately moved toward the Marsh's lair. Those cultists in combat killed their opponents (two of them) outright. (The first died as a result of a successful hit followed by a high normal damage roll, then a high brutal damage roll. The other was a natural 20 to hit, followed by a high brutal damage roll. Score so far for the CoE: three hits, three kills.)

The Marsh clan spent the sixth turn holding the CoE at bay, but doing little damage to them. Finally, the Sea Hag performed the ritual - and the player rolled a 1! Zot! The Hag was a stain in the summoning circle.

The Whatelys spent the turn dashing around the shacks behind the mansion. (It was definitely the long way around, but the CoE and the Marsh clan had a real charlie foxtrot going on behind the mansion.)

As the seventh turn started, Chosen and the lone cultist made slow progress toward the Marsh lair as the other members of the CoE continued pushing their way through and out the back of the mansion. Two more Marsh members fell dead (five hits, five kills) leaving only Captain Obed to make a mad dash for his home.

Unfortunately for him, the Whatelys got there first, as Clem and George ran to block the window Chosen was heading for, and Wilbur - unable to reach the Necronomicon where it lay upon the Sea Hag's smoldering corpse - opted to block the door. The hound and Cletus circled the building and attacked Chosen, inflicting severe wounds that the creature totally ignored.

At the start of the eighth turn, Chosen attacked the hound, who was still "fresh" (un-damaged). Can you guess the results? (Six hits, six kills.) The cultist attacked Cletus, who was also fresh. (Seven hits, seven kills.) The other two remaining cultists (in the fracas in- and outside the mansion, the Marsh boys had whittled the CoE down to Father Darke and Brother Whatever-his-weird-ass-name-was) attacked Captain Obed, but missed.

Captain Obed broke from combat and stepped to the other side of the door from Wilbur and pulled an "Ezekial" on him. (One hit, one kill.) With his last breath, Wilbur invoked his father's name - but Yog must have been in the shower, because no help came.

From within the Marsh lair, Clem and George finally manage to put Chosen down.

At the start of turn nine, the lone cultist stepped over Chosen's body to attack Clem - and the player rolled a 1. Clem attacked back, and the CoE finally got a taste of its own medicine as Clem laid the cultist low with a single blow.

The remaining cultists attacked Captain Obed, and Father Darke's hit would have killed him if he hadn't invoked his special ability and ignored the brutal damage. (Almost eight hits, eight kills.)

Captain Obed attacked Father Darke and missed, and Clem and George moved to attack him from within the Marsh home. He was trapped in the doorway!

When the scrap in the doorway was finally done, Clem and George were dead - George having been "Ezekialed" by Captain Obed. Obed himself had - despite his earlier dodging of this bullet - become the CoE's eighth hit, eighth kill.

With the book in their - erm, hands - the two cultists dashed back to their lair. At the start of the next turn, Father Darke performed the ritual - and must have mispronounced something, because after a rumble and a flash all that remained of the cultist was an empty pile of robes under a moldy old book. (The player had rolled a 1 for the ritual.)

Trembling with trepidation, Brother Whatever-his-weird-ass-name-was stepped forward and picked up the book. We all held our breath as the player rolled the die, each of us half-expecting a 1 to come up.

Alas, such was not the case, as the player rolled an 18 and the Cult of Ezekial - having left one mangled corpse after another - won the game.

"Praise Yog and pass thuh ammo!"

.............................................................................

A Hard Won Thing Scoreboard:

0 wins / 0 draws / 2 losses (but another fun one, none the less)

. . . . .

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

After-Action Report: Strange Aeons

I returned home on Saturday to find something oozing with mind-numbing horror lurking in my mailbox: my Strange Aeons rule book had finally arrived! (And there was much rejoicing.)

So I spent the remainder of the day reading the rules and on Sunday the group gathered to have a go*. The scenario we played was "Escape... into Danger!" After the forces were readied and the table set up, we had a pretty good idea about the back-story (which I will embellish upon slightly for your reading pleasure):

Escape from Franklin Corners

Having heard rumors of nefarious activities taking place in the small New England hamlet of Franklin Corners, Threshold sent a pair of its newest operatives to investigate. "The Professor" and "Agent A" assembled their teams. The Professor brought agents Denny O'Keefe (a crack shot), J.P. Dithers (an explosives expert, armed with dynamite) and Maggie Dawson (an intrepid female, armed with a double-barrel shotgun). Agent A brought agents B (armed with a shotgun) and C (armed with a tommy gun).

After a brief investigation, the Threshold team discovered that the entire community of Franklin Corners were members of a cannibal cult. Having witnessed unspeakable rites being enacted in the fields to the west of town, the team attempted to elude the cult and make good an escape to the east. Between them and safety lay the huddled, dilapidated buildings of the sleepy hamlet bisected by an east-west road; beyond the far (eastern) edge of the town lay a cemetery to the south of the road, and a cornfield and abandoned mine entrance to the north.

Here's how the scenario played out:

Figuring that the cemetery - with its high, spiky fence - would slow them down whereas the corn field would offer cover for their escape, the team planned to skirt the town to the north, move quickly past the rear of the run-down houses, through the field, and past the entrance to the mine. However, as they approached the town it was apparent from the swaying of the corn stalks that there was considerable activity in the field. The agents quickly amended their plan and decided to skirt the town to its southern edge, hoping that the cemetery would not significantly hinder their movement.

For a while, it looked as if the Threshold plan might work. Then, as the team approached the last house before the cemetery, Agent A (whose well-armed unit was leading the way) spotted movement among the headstones. Quickly, the team formulated a new plan: since it was obvious that an ambush awaited them and that escape without a fight was no longer likely, they would turn northward toward the center of town, where the open road would provide them the best field of fire.

They moved quickly between the last two houses and into the center of town. On their right, the cemetery was mostly out of view, but to their left the team could see a good portion of the cornfield. The swaying stalks gave away the positions of the cultists within, so Agents B and C - at the vanguard of the escaping team - opened fire. Alas, the cover proved to be too much, and their shots failed to find their marks.

Suddenly, a figure emerged from the all-too-healthy corn and with a half-chittering, half-meeping noise it lunged for Agent B. Agent B fired as it approached, but his shot went wide of its mark. Reeking of the grave, the bipedal creature snapped at him with its canine-like jaws and slashed at him with its long, yellow claws. Despite its fearsome form, Agent B's resolve held, and he struck the beast with the butt of his shotgun, cracking its skull wide open. It fell limply to the agent's feet.

As the beast breathed its last, a pair of shots - obviously from a small-caliber weapon - rang out from the corn, but none of the agents were struck. Agents B and C returned fire, but again their attacks were in vain.

The team crept forward, and again the well-armed agents in the lead fired blindly into the field. This time, their shots were answered by a cry and the heavy "thump" of a body falling to the ground.

Suddenly, a pair of robed figures rushed from the corn, the glint of steel in their hands. The lead agents fired, but their desperate shots failed to hit home. Agent C quickly dispatched his attacker with the butt of his SMG, but Agent B found himself locked in a life-or-death struggle. He cried out in shock as much as pain as the cultist sunk his teeth into his shoulder.

Before The Professor's group could move to help, a cry sounded from behind them and a pair of figures darted out from between the houses. They'd been outflanked by the Lurkers they had spied in the cemetery! Maggie fired at one of the attackers, but her shot went wide and she suddenly found herself staring into the wild eyes of a lunatic. Before she could react, the maniacal woman swung something at her that looked - strangely enough - like a teddy bear. Something inside the stuffed figure's form glinted in the moonlight, and when it fell the sting of steel biting into flesh came with it.

The other figure lurched into The Professor with its bony claws. The stench of rot was upon it, but The Professor was unaffected by it. He wrestled with the undead thing, but despite his best efforts it managed to sink its half-rotten teeth into his forearm.

Behind him, the maniac raised her teddy bear for another strike. This time, Maggie's blood hid the steely glint of the cleaver concealed within. That blood-stained bear was the last thing poor Maggie would ever see.

Meanwhile, Agent C moved to help Agent B. Stepping behind the robed cultist, he drew his Bowie knife and plunged it into the back of his neck. The cultist collapsed like a rag doll. The agent then moved to help The Professor, but the elderly man growled at him (as he struggled with the reanimated corpse): "Get out of here!"

Respecting their comrade's wish, the three members of Agent A's group darted down the road and disappeared into the night.

Denny moved to help The Professor, but the creature lashed out with a decayed hand and tore open a gash in the young man's chest. The Professor finally managed to reach his Bowie knife and quickly dispatched the undead thing - its half-rotted head rolled away into the shadows. Ahead of them, Dithers moved farther down the road and fired at the lone cultist that remained lurking behind the rows of corn. The robed figure fell dead.

With a maddening cackle the maniac leaped over Maggie's limp form and attacked The Professor, her blood-stained teddy bear cleaving a gash in his arm as he tried to fend her off. They struggled more, but neither could best the other.

Denny moved to help The Professor, but the maniac - with her insane strength - threw him to the ground and he struck his head. (When he awoke later, he was severely traumatized. He kept mumbling: "The monsters are coming! The monsters are coming!") The Professor buried his knife in the insane woman's side, but she only laughed at him. Dithers moved to help his friend, but The Professor waved him off.

"You must get clear of this accursed place!" the elderly man pleaded.

Reluctantly, Dithers turned and made for the edge of town. Behind him, the maniac wrestled The Professor to the ground and, with one final muffled blow from the teddy bear cleaver, the night went silent.

(The Professor and Denny would turn up later, in a doctor's office in the town of Kingsport. Recuperating nicely from his wounds, he regaled his surviving comrades with his tale, relating how he pretended to be dead and waited as the maniac moved to the other fallen bodies. She settled upon one of the bodies and began to strip the flesh and eat it. (He told them the body was that of one of the cultists, but in truth it was Maggie's.) While she was preoccupied, The Professor crawled to Denny's inert body and slowly dragged him into the night. He made it to the road several miles to the south, where a passing motorist found them and drove them to Kingsport.)

Unfortunately, the Threshold team failed to procure any of the map pieces they believed to be hidden within the town of Franklin Corners. Despite having exposed the cult's existence, The Professor couldn't help but feel that their mission had been a failure.

. . . . .

*Although there are no multi-player rules in SA, we had to accommodate four players. So we decided we would play our initial game with two Threshold and two Lurker players. Each Threshold player created a team with 15 build points. The Lurkers pooled their 15 build points each, and even though this left one of them with less than half as many models as the other, in the end the one with the fewer models was the only player with models alive on the table at the game's end. This simple multi-player house rule served perfectly for the scenario at hand.

Game Details (as best as I can recall them)

Threshold player 1 bought a character with Improved Command (a waste, since he later took his third agent off his roster in favor of more equipment), an agent with Ambush and a shotgun, and an agent with Ambush and a tommy gun.

Threshold player 2 (myself) bought a character with Improved Command, an agent with a Dexterity boost, an agent with Munitions Expert (IIRC) and dynamite, and an agent with Ambush and a double-barrel shotgun.

Lurker player 1 bought a cultist leader with a .22, a trio of cultists with knives, and a lone ghoul.

Lurker player 2 bought a maniac and a zombie, and the Plot Point (the name of which escapes me) that makes all of the Lurker humans cannibals, giving them crits on 4+ instead of 6 on the second die. (My fiancee - she loves her some crazy cannibals. Maybe I should be worried...)

As a side note: the maniac was portrayed in this game by a West Wind miniature in the form of a woman wielding a teddy bear high above her head. We've decided that this is none other than the grown-up version of little Zoe from Betrayal at House on the Hill. Poor little Zoe, so cute - so broken. (See the images to the right, each courtesy of their respective game publishers.)

Some Post-Game Thoughts

First: I love this game! It's easy to learn, fast to play, and really lends itself to character and story development. (It also reminds me a lot of my favorite Games Workshop game, Necromunda - only with cleaned-up, more-playable rules. This is a Very Good Thing.)

Some things that came up:

Weapon range: We felt that the limited weapon ranges are problematic. To that end, our group has decided to implement the following house rule: at 1/2 a weapon's range or less, attacks are at +1 to hit; at over and up to twice a weapon's range, attacks are at -2 to hit.

Ghouls: They should really be tougher to handle in close combat. I can see them being brought down by gunfire, but agents should be afraid to face them in close combat. With only 1 attack, they're far too easy for an agent to best in hand-to-hand. Just increasing their attacks score to 2 would suffice. (This has already been adapted as a house rule amongst our group.)

Lurkers: Really only one of my players strongly felt this way (she's the one who likes to play the monsters in games like this), but it would be nice if there was some system of development for them the same way there is for Threshold. I explained to her that this wasn't really the goal of the game, but I can see her point to an extent. Some sort of campaign rules for Lurkers would be nice, at least as an option to standard play.

Maniacs: If you're playing Threshold, stay far, far away from them - they're dangerous! (Especially in the hands of a player who's known to warp the dice-rolling bell curve toward the high end. Trust me on this, as I watched in horror as three of my Threshold team fell to one maniac.)

Dynamite: If you're planning on throwing it, make sure the character doing so has boosted Dexterity. Thanks to the range of thrown weapons, the radius of dynamite's effect, and the devious deviation rule that allows the enemy player to determine the direction of deviating dynamite, I found myself very reluctant to even attempt doing so. If my math was right, it panned out to a 67% chance that the blast would end up encompassing the character doing the throwing - and about a 50% chance that his comrades would also be in the blast radius. Let's just say I was not comfortable with those numbers...

Otherwise, Strange Aeons is a brilliant small-force skirmish game. I'd heartily recommend it to anyone who likes the genre.

.............................................................................

A Hard Won Thing Scoreboard:

0 wins / 0 draws / 1 loss (but a fun one, none the less)

. . . . .

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Welcome!

Welcome to "A Hard Won Thing," my new blog focused on gaming with miniatures.

As with "A Rust Monster Ate My Sword," I plan to use this virtual space to share the materials I've created over the past three decades of gaming. (Well, technically that's two decades when it comes to wargames.) I also to hope to share the exploits of my miniature armies here - we'll just have to play that one by ear, though.

"Why 'A Hard Won Thing'?" you ask?

Well, it's because that basically describes any game I've won in the last 20 years. I love gaming with miniatures - constructing plans of battle, mulling over tactics, etc. - but when it comes to making those dice work for me, forget it. It's a real struggle for my little lead men to pull out a victory, thanks more to fickle Fortune than to any major tactical flaw.

In fact, I'm pretty certain I've not won a tabletop miniatures game in four or five years...

. . . . .