Saturday, 31 December 2016

Past - 2016

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Share it Please
Another year behind us and it's time to have a look back at what came and didn't come to pass during my 2016 gaming year (I'll simply refrain from talking about all the horrible non-gaming related stuff that has been going on and focus on the fun stuff!). As always the board games far outweighs miniature and roleplaying games, but that is only to be expected. So let's get stuck in with the top three!

Board Games

The big fat number one on this list is, of course, Star Wars: Imperial Assault. We started playing the campaign in August and since it's tricky to line everything up for the four of us to get together for 4+ hours to game we still have the last two missions of left to play. This is scheduled for next week so hopefully we'll be done with the core campain then, and since we started on August 7th that will be exactly six months from start to finish!

I think we've all had a good time with the game and at times it can be incredibly cinematic and you get that Star Wars feel, but it can at other times feel like a bit of a slog with a lot of minutea and careful consideration of every move. I played FFG's new edition of Doom yesterday (it is very good!) that uses a card play system similar to MYTH and I think it is just what games like Imperial Assault and Descent need to feel more... modern again.

Now don't get me wrong, I really like Imperial Assault and I think the newer campaigns will be a great step up from the one in the core box, which is very uneven. I'm especially eager to get my hands on Jabba's Realm as that kind of Star Wars underworld has always been close to my heard. And who don't want to sick a rancor at those pesky rebels!

Next up is MERCS: Recon by Megacon Games - another dudes on a map game but very different from Imperial Assault. Especially since I've played this mostly solo! While you can be up to five players it's also a great solo experience that most of the time has the right amount of shit hitting the fan as you try to exfil through and increasingly secfor infested lab while fires are raging and civilians are running all over the place! And now I have got all the extra kickstarter material that I haven't even touched yet, which really makes me eager to get back to this soon.

On place number three is Bios: Genesis from
Sierra Madre Games, again mostly solo plays! If you're wondering if I've lost all my friends it's simply that we've been focusing mostly in IA when we've played together. Haha! Anyway, Bios: Genesis might be my second favourite Eklund game after High Frontier as it has such an awesome theme that is well implemented, creating a game that changes as you play. At first it's all about creating lifeforms, but as life is starting to pop up the game changes to become a battleground inside these lifeforms as you parasitize and absorb other players. A great achievement by Phil!

Other games close to the top is Twilight Struggle, Sushi Go!, Forbidden Stars, Netrunner and Andean Abyss (again mostly solo!). If there's one thing to take away from my board game experience this year, it's that well designed solo games can be great fun and a great way to scratch that board gaming itch even when you can't find time to do some actual face to face gaming with your buddies.

Comparing my played games to my Future - 2016 post from a year ago it lines up fairly nicely. I've played MERCS, Imperial Assault and a Sierra Madre Game (although not High Frontier 3 as I had hoped). I haven't played a single game of Roll for the Galaxy though... need to remedy that.

Roleplaying Games

Not a lot of roleplaying, but 300% increase from last year at least. One of my long, looong time roleplaying dreams have been to play Jovian Chronicles and this year it finally happened! We started playing the Odyseey SEED campaign in early spring and managed another session during the summer. It's been on ice since then, again because it's hard to get people together, but I'm feeling session three coming along early 2017. One of our players has recently finished moving house, so hopefully it'll be a little easier to get it going now.

With the kickstarter for Jovian Wars - the new miniatures game from DP9 - I'm sure the interest for the setting in general will grow. I'm not holding my breath for anything new for the rpg, but it's still nice to have a "living setting", as it were.

I also got to play (yes, play not GM!) the new Coriolis by the Free League and Modiphius and we're looking to continue our adventures in the Third Horizon in 2017. Our group are explorators - archeologists to be precies - and we're currently investigating a rumoured artifact in the Erequ system. My character is a fugitive with mystical powers that has found employment as an articaft "specialist". We are currently on the run from the local secret police and seem to have become embroiled in a secret war between the current totalitarian regime and the old regime that lost its power in a coup. Good stuff all around!

Beyond that I've taken a look at Storium which is an online rpg medium which seems interesting. You take turns and write about what you do so a game can extend over weeks and months, which is a nice contrast and cool to just have humming in the background. I've even considered integrating it with our Jovian Chronicles campaign as an advanced form of blue booking. Maybe. It's an interesting concept anyway!

Considering I got to start playing Jovian Chronicles I'm putting a big checkmark on my January post on which rpgs I wanted to play in 2016!

Miniature Games 

Infinity again saves the year from becoming completely mini gaming barren! Me and Claes just managed to squeeze in the first two tutorial missions from Operation: Red Veil this week. Although he tried the game last year it didn't really stick so we both felt we might as well start from scratch, and also motivate each other to paint. Unfortunately none of us finished any figures for this game, but we still played to get our motivation going.

These are of course tutorial missions, with just three or four minis per side on a tiny battlefield with paper terrain and yet Infinity's core mechanics are so well designed that even this can become nail-biting experiences! Some highlights include; a shotgun blast, covering two of my Zhanshi and hitting on 17 or less, that missed with a roll of double 18! My nice big heavy armoured Zuyong being the first casualty, showing how lethal the game is. The final roll in the game with my last Zhanshi firing at the Khawarij, the last standing Haqq model, and critting - saving me from loosing the game and settle for a draw instead.

While I have some important other painting priorities to take care of first, this really made me eager to play the rest of the mini-campaign!

You might wonder what happened to Dropzone and Dropfleet Commander that I went on about a year ago. Well, I'm still waiting for my opponents to even put together their Dropzone models so I have kind of shelved that - even going as far as considering offloading my Games & Gears Dropzone table that finally arrived. Things might change if they get inspired by Dropfleet, but if not I simply need to focus on the games that actually get played. Fingers crossed though!

As for Dropfleet - it has arrived in all its kickstarting glory and it looks both fun and beautifull! However, as I mentioned above I have some other painting to take care of first, and I have also decided to wait until my opponents have at least built, and hopefully painted, their fleets before I touch mine. I know I can finish mine in a few evenings so I am not worried about falling behind. And don't worry, I'm not bitter simply pragmatic. I will build and paint things that I know will see play from now on.

Last year I also talked about Jovian Chronicles and Lightning Strike and I've shown some of my painted exo armours but.... you ain't seen nothing yet! Hehe!

That sums up most of my gaming year I think. As always I'll follow up this post with the Future - 2017 post soon about all the games I want and hope to get to play during the coming year!

Now, Happy New Year everybody!

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