The first month of 2012 is over and I think there will be some more mini-gaming in the future. Both with spaceships and small metal men.
- I played a four player game of Runewars at the start of the month. Two of the players were new so it went on a little longer than normal and then I could claim a surprise victory thanks to some sneaky underhand tactics (what do you expect from a bunch of demon worshippers?!). It reminded me how much I like the game and made me decide to get the Banners of War expansion. Also, I think I've finally made up my mind to cut the long 8 piece in half so the entire game plus expansion fit into the small box.
- A few days later we had a wine and board game night where we played Mall of Horror and Cyclades. It was the first time for me playing Mall of Horror and I quite liked it, although it might be just a little bit too long for what it is. But fun nevertheless! It was great getting to play Cyclades again as I've always enjoyed it although I lost the last few times I've played it. Instead of playing aggressively like the last times I played defensively this time which I think suits our turtle-oriented gaming group better. I was down to just one island for most of the game, but that - ironically - made me very rich and in the end I could use the pegasus to ferry a surprise army to take my second Metropolis. Victory!
- We tried A Game of Thrones, second edition for the first time as well. Only one of us had played it before while the rest of us fumbled about, trying to get to grips with the whole diplomacy aspect. In the end we had to end the game early after only a few rounds but I'm really looking forward to the next proper game. Hopefully we'll know what we're doing by then!
- I had a quick game of The Lord of the Rings: The Card Game with Anders and we tried The Hunt for Gollum adventure pack. We still both only used monodecks (tactics and leadership) and got absolutely battered by all the locations in the beginning. We powered through though and by the end I could muster a nasty amount of willpower so we actually managed a win! I got all inspired and bought the next three adventure packs in the cycle. Should be fun to try them out! And start some proper deck building as well...
- I think mentioned that Karl Johnson provided me with an electronic copy of his starship battle game Task Force Zeta for me to review on the blog. I tried the first couple of scenarios with Anders and Niklas (using just the basic rules) a couple of days ago and had a lot of fun! I think it might be a good middle-ground game; a certain amount of crunch and granularity but still quick enough to allow you to field a decent force. Next up we'll start trying out the advanced rules, and hopefully I won't get so severely thrashed!
- Just a couple of days ago a package with Force on Force and Tomorrow's War arrived and I'm eager to explore them more. Although Tomorrow's War is supposed to be a stand-alone product I've heard from several people that it can be confusing if you don't know Force on Force, so I got both. However, I'm not sure if I should start with TW and just use FoF as a reference or simply start with FoF. Advice?
- Last but certainly not least we finally managed to get a full six player game of Twilight Imperium going, with both the expansions! Although there were two new players we decided to just dump them into the deep end and go full out. And we had a blast! Sure it took about nine hours, but it was a great ride! I played as the nomadic Saar and thought I did pretty well until I made a crucial mistake by not reading my secret objective card properly (Master of the Gates). I revealed my hand too early and was then pretty much out of the running. In the end it stood between the Hacan and the Winnu with Hacan managing a win by having claimed more public objectives. It was very even though, with everyone being within a point of each other. Certainly looking forward to the next game!
Painting and Modelling
- The thing that I have both been dreading and longing for is upon us - the Lead Painters League! At first I thought I actually wouldn't try to enter this year as I remembered how drained I felt at the end of those ten weeks, but then I also remembered the sheer amount of stuff I managed to get painted and decided to give it another go! More than likely my 15mm Mars theme will carry through this year as well (with some other stuff thrown in here and there of course).
- My fellow blogger Andy, of the Creepy Corridor, was one of the earliest commentators on this blog and we've supported each other through the fiberoptics through our gaming hobby. A couple of weeks ago I got a cryptic email from him, asking about my address and "don't ask". Intrigued I complied and a few days later a small but heavy box arrived. I was perplexed to find it contained not one, not two, but three Babylon 5 EarthForce Omega destroyers as well as a Nova dreadnought, an Explorer, a couple of Orestes monitors and a Cronos attack frigate! Pretty much the backbone of an EarthForce fleet. Finally I remembered that one of our first exchanges was about me liking the Omega destroyer and Andy saying that he'd send me one some day. The best thing about blogging is the people you come in contact with and the community you create together. And sometimes awesome things like this happens! Thanks Andy, I'm looking forward to painting these bad boys. I wouldn't be surprised if they end up in the LPL. :)
- Not really painting or modelling but I finally caved and ordered a double-sided space mat from Hotz mats. Enhanced space on both sides and 1.5 inch hexes on of them. I talked to Eric and he said I was in luck as they were just about to start a new space mat run, so hopefully he'd be able to send my mat by the end of this week. Now I just need some more asteroids and a planet or moon...
- And finally some actual painting! Yesterday was the deadline for the Gruntz! painting competition that germinated on the forums. I had planned to participate but kept postponing my actual painting, only doing small pieces here and there. So yesterday when I came home from work at 10 in the evening I sat down to finish it! It took a few hours but I'm happy with the results (above). I had intended to paint one of my MicroPanzer Seekers, but realised that I didn't have the time. I settled for the APC instead which was very quick to paint! The HAMR team was fun to do as well as the commander.
- Been playing less SWTOR recently. Not because I'm not enjoying it, but the first feeding frenzy has passed so now it's more moderate play. Got my bounty hunter to 42 and my agent to 22.
- I also played some Deus Ex again and I wish they'd make some more DLC. I quite liked The Missing Link and would love to play more as Adam Jensen. Anders has also finally started playing Mass Effect (he's had it four three or four years) and it inspired me to pop ME2 into the xbox and play my Infiltrator a bit more. Just a month left to the third, concluding part. Eek!
- Finished listening to The Neutronium Alchemist, the second book in the Night's Dawn trilogy by Peter F. Hamilton. It's quite different from the first, not as intimate, but also very good! By now you can start seeing where it's all heading towards but there are still many loose puzzle pieces out there. I always start thinking about Diaspora and what a cool adventure this would be when listening. I think I might steal some things when we make our cluster. I've decided to take a breather after this book so now I'm listening to the final book in the Leviathan trilogy. Quite a difference going from Hamilton to Westerfeld I'll tell you!
- I watched Real Steel and thought it was pretty fun mix of Rocky, The Iron Giant and general father-and-son-movie. Silly, certainly, but also pretty cool! I just have a big soft spot for robots.
- To balance out the happy sillyness I watched Soderbergh's Contagion and I thought it was great! I hear comments about it being boring and that there's no antagonist. I sat riveted from square one and loved the whole realistic take on a true killer virus. The only thing I didn't like was the dismissal of the internet and the "blogosphere" (duh) as something for crazy people, while you get the true stories from TV and newspapers. I never realized Soderbergh was such a luddite.
Nothing this month I'm afraid. Still eager for more Mouse Guard as well as Diaspora and The One Ring.
Alright... bring on February!
Alright... bring on February!