Friday, 11 July 2014

Spidey vs Hulk

Just a quick post here to pay homage to a great cover by Christian Nauck showing some real characterisation for both the burly Hulk and the playful Spidey.

Apart from his blog, you should also check out his DeviantArt Gallery, here are a few more pieces to inspire you to hit those links:

Thursday, 10 July 2014

Toy and Game Expo

The Toy and Game Expo was a new event for me and I had very little idea what to expect, was hoping for games and it certainly didn't disappoint. I can only imagine that a giant games convention of some sort would be truly amazing but I surprised myself how forward I was about getting in and talking to gamers, playing games and chatting with boardgame developers.

(a few pics of the fun, view from the mez, my outlaws and some of my new xwing set)

Things I tried (have I forgotten something major?):

Monstrous, an Aussie made game that is in final development was great fun. Even without all the final artwork it looks stunning. The creator seemed to enjoy bringing 3 people and explaining things in very short order, in a few minutes we were Greek gods hurling mythical creatures down onto the world battling each other and frightening the humans to worship us more. The game did a great job of imparting that feeling that we were gods looking down on the world, the physical mechanic of actually tossing the cards onto the table enhanced that even more for me. At the end of a quick game where there were lots of wayward monsters I walked away with the most faith gained - VICTORY!
Good stuff Kim Brebach! A really clever game that I hope finds its way to kickstarter very soon. I havent playtested many games before, but I would have bought this game right there and then if it was ready...
(closest thing to a link to the game I can find: Monstrous)

I tried a quick game of Dead Mans Hand a wild west miniatures skirmish game with a nice card mechanic that really sped things up. It looked cool with the nice miniatures and a table decked out like an old town.

I had a really fun game of a light version of the X-Wing miniatures game. I had been meaning to try this for ages, even before x-wing with the WW1 version. I had my single rookie x-wing pilot and the two scary tie fighters just kept coming peppering me with lascannon fire. My little rookie was up to the task though, coming through against all the odds to blow the evil empire out of the skies. The force was with him as I rolled just so so so many dodges on those dice. I had such fun with that little venture that I find myself the owner of the base game and quite a few other bits already.

With Evren, Segah and Joey we played Saboteur and it was a really nice mix of secret roles, quick gameplay and thematic fun. The game was a little awkward, but with all the positive reviews I was hearing for Saboteur 2 - I now seem to own that as well.

Chess, no didnt play any chess, but watching a grandmaster circle his little ring of games playing a slew of people all at once was pretty cool. The Settlers of Catan competition looked a bit too serious actually, so we just peered in for a bit through the glass.

There was a heap of other stuff there for kids and enough shops to make the wallet hurt and as with Supanova, just a great bunch of people all of which like games and hanging with or chatting to other gamers (if they arent playing).

Wednesday, 9 July 2014


I am having a blast having rejoined the weekday nights roleplaying sessions. As we explore more game types, styles and rulesets all the creativity of collaborative gameplay storytelling is just so much fun. I like that as a group (player and GM) we are crafting worlds, characters and situations that are special and intriguing for as they play out with surprises coming from all directions.

So, Tremulus is built on the Apocalypse World engine and thus creates a very story-centric gaming experience. We are cast as a character set to become embroiled in Cthulian or Lovecradftian horror and mystery of some form. We were using the Frozen Wasteland expansion as well as extra playbooks. The setup in the book had us choosing  bunch of options which led us to two plot generating start-points which then were blended together to create our adventure (LC14-RL4). An adventure that cast us as members of the first Japanese expedition to the Antarctic in 1910. We were headed there for the Emperor to fly the flag but also to investigate reports of an asteroid strike that had altered the environment down there...

We then agonised over the various playbooks, ending up with a Mechanic, Guide and Journalist. My overly enthusiastic young reporter for the SMH, Shelby Brooke, joined the expedition in Sydney along with the guide (who I knew already as the last surviving member of the ill-fated expedition on which my father died) and there was also the ships mechanic (with a scary past).
I liked how the books helped generate a world that we then expanded upon. The playbooks arent like pre-gens they all hint at character and we are making really hard choices right from the beginning about our attributes, moves and gear.

The mechanics of the game are just so so elegantly simple. The roll 2D6 with a few modifiers for everything mechanic is neat and only players roll. Every roll is interesting, either the success brings a bonus, the middle ground is success with consequences, difficult choices or limited appeal and the failures are always going to be fun. (10+, 7-9, 6- respectively). Add to this that there are just the 8 basic moves and a few special ones relating to your playbook and you basically have the whole game on your character sheet.

Our adventure was 3 or 4 sessions total and is full of great memories. There was a fever that we first saw on the boat and Shelby was often delusional with the fever seeing the red flower and then the red lady - convinced that she would save them if we could get to her and trust her. He snapped out of it near the end when he was shot, she didnt protect him after all and he saw her for the vile entity she really was. He got away only by allowing her to mark his soul...

It would have been cool if I had written things up as a story to be published or as Shelby's diary/notebook - but I was obviously too lazy. Document our personal struggles in this "war between two mythos monstrosities"

I loved the system and the way it played out. Onto a superhero game of FATE next.

ps. 3 cheers for Mik the GM and my fellow players (awesome little gang)

Tuesday, 8 July 2014

Lego House and Rendering

Lets start with LEGO IS AWESOME, then shift over to Denmark's architecture wizards BIG and their design of the Lego House. The design draws heavily on the idea of the Lego bricks themselves, playing with the solids and voids, spaces and connections. Then enter the artists with the rendering coolness of the Chaos Group's software and we get this nifty little visualisation:

This article on Vizworld hasmore info as well, but how cool is that :-)