About Me

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I'm a bit of a born-again wargamer! I played many of the Games Workshop games when I was in my teens and early twenties, but left the hobby behind when I went to University. Over the last few years I have gradually got back into it and am literally having a ball! I'll play pretty much anything now, ranging from ancient historical to the far future! I think that I get more out of the painting side of things than actually playing, but that might just be because I get more opportunity. Hence the title...this blog is all about the colour of war!!

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Revenge of the Gwan-gee-three!

Tonight, George, Paul and I played the sequel to our Pulp Alley dino wrangling game from last year. Having subdued and captured the terrifying Gwan-gee-three, the jubilant cowboys bring it into the local town, Los Locos, for display. Of course they neglected to tranquilize it sufficiently, so it duly breaks it's bonds and sets off on a rampage across the town. Drawn by the screams of the townspeople and the roars of the beast, more raptors descend from the valley to join in the carnage!

George's league was his usual Wild West one, led by Rooster Hogburn. Paul played the outlaw list that was played by Nick last time. For myself, I decided that Ben Cartwheel was counting his cash on his ranch, so I created a fresh league of US Cavalry men that have been requested to come and ensure the safety of the town. In this outing, we had four raptors and the T-Rex. The raptors would become minor plot points and the T-Rex the major plot point when they were brought down. Completing the plot point was regarded as finishing them off, so there was always a danger that a downed dino could get back up. And, of course, delivering the coup de grace to a dinosaur is extremely perilous!

The townsfolk would activate after the characters, but before the dinos. They would simply move 1d6 inches away from the closest dino. To rescue a civilian, a character needed 2 successes on Might, Finesse or Cunning. This was a long action, so even lowly followers could eventually save someone. Once under the character's control, the civilian had to be moved to the Bank, Sheriff's Office or Hotel to be saved. Each saved civvie counted as an extra VP.

Lights, camera, action...!
The bustling town of Los Locos is about to get...busier!
"What the...!"
My cavalry private (follower) starts to try and talk sense into the local preacher who is raving about repenting sins!
Paul's outlaws shoot down a dino just before it pounces on a luckless mother trying to shield her children.
With a thunderous roar the Gwan-gee-three seizes and consumes its first victim of the day. Now it has an appetite for more!
The downed dino was not injured enough and leapt up to devour the mother! It's snapping jaws only snagged her bustle, though, buying time for the outlaws to save her from certain doom.
Chaos reigns as the townsfolk flee in panic.
The outlaw leader, The Colonel, displays his expertise with double pistols and a dino crashes to the ground. The cavalry close in for the kill!
The other raptor isn't dead yet and lashes out at an outlaw who is casually examining why his pistol misfired. He regrets this lapse in concentration!
As more hapless victims find themselves in the jaws of the beast, the heroes converge on it to lay down fire. The thick hide of the dinosaur protects it though.
The Gwan-gee-three peers down the alley. Amidst the movement its attention s drawn to a sinister looking man attempting to hide in an outhouse...

...and with a bellow it charges! The outhouse is smashed to matchwood and the victim disappears down its gullet! Tasty!
The outlaws spot their chance! Sarge has attempted to get to the downed raptor, but a flick of its tail brings him crashing to the ground. Can they get there to claim a second prize?
Meanwhile, there is a lull in the action on the other side of town as all the townsfolk have either run to safety or been devoured!
Sarge gets back to his feet, but Paul has the initiative and uses it well to claim the plot point.
With guns blazing, Rooster's men try to wound the mighty beast, but all they succeed in is drawing it onto them.
A vicious firefight ensues around the Sheriff's Office as the cavalry men recognise the outlaws for the nasty varmints they are. The Colonel is brought down in the storm of lead!
With a terrible roar, the Gwan-gee-three exults! It's belly is full for now and all the townsfolk have fled. Even the brave heroes realise the virtue of discretion over foolhardiness and retreat. The town is left to the dinosaurs!
What a great game this was! A little unusual as there was very little conflict until the end as all of us concentrated on being the heroes and rescuing as many civvies as we could. In the end, Paul was the clear winner with two minor plot points and about four townsfolk rescued. My favourite moment was the nod to Jurassic Park with the outhouse. This was a completely random happening, the civilian happened to roll exactly the right move to put him there. I just love it when these cinematic moments occur in games like this! And now we are all feeling very inspired to start a Pulp Alley Western campaign, now that the Dirk Drake saga has drawn to a close.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Perilous Island Part 2 - Final Flight

Tonight we played the second scenario of the Perilous Island campaign - twice! As we had three players we decided if we could power through the game twice so that all leagues got a go. The first run through saw Conrad Cortese try to prevent The Rocketeer from getting Lady Elaine Darrow on the last flight out of the small aerodrome, not far from Karnak. The Rocketeer had to make sure he got tickets for Lady Elaine and then get her on the plane, while Cortese was intent on delaying her journey. To achieve this, he sought to steal some valuables from the luggage lying about and bribe a mechanic to sabotage the plane! So, without further ado...lights...camera...action!

Game 1 - Conrad Cortese vs The Rocketeer

The airfield. The tickets are being sold in the compound in the lower left of the shot. The valuable package is just outside the large shack at the upper right.

The soldiers guarding the gate make it a bit perilous...!

The Rocketeer approaches the ticket desk. The ticket officer is accompanied by a surly looking customs official. Getting the tickets will not be easy! They are in high demand!

Murdo Mackenzie approaches the valuables, sidling past the patrolling soldiers.

The haggling is not going well! Neither the Rocketeer or Mr Johnson can seem to strike a bargain. Big Al muscles in through the mob, but he is tripped by someone and falls over.

Mackenzie seems to have trouble prizing the box open. But Cortese soon lends his aid and the valuables are in their hands...

...and they spot the mechanic having a fly cigarette near some crates!

Poppy runs over to him to try and use her feminine charm to persuade him to help them, but he is only interested in hard cash! (To attempt the plot point the character needs the package)

Meanwhile, Prof hears a shout from the Rocketeer that he has snatched the tickets, so he scouts around and finds Lady Elaine.

A gaggle of burly sailors start to push and shove around poor Poppy!

And some of them get knocked down in the ensuing melee!

Zooming over with the tickets, the Rocketeer lands to find that the Prof's eyesight isn't what it used to be. He has found Elena Tarrow! Elaine Darrow is actually further over near the hangar! (The 'red herring' rule is great fun!)

With Cortese leading the bribed mechanic to the plane, a mexican standoff develops under the watchful eyes of the patrolling gendarme! The lack of fighters in the Rocketeer's league, however, are not enough to prevent Cortese's thuggish sailors from clearing a path and the mechanic dutifully makes sure that this plane isn't taking off soon.

 Game 2 - Lo Chan Fu versus The Rocketeer

The next day sees the plane fixed and tickets are once more on sale. However, Lo Chan Fu has arrived and also wants to ensure that Lady Darrow does not depart yet. He hatches had a wicked plan! Why not bribe a mechanic to sabotage the plane? How original!

The Rocketeer and Mr Simpson begin the troublesome haggling again!

Wong gets a bit carried away and takes a pot shot at Poppy, who is hit and knocked out! However, the gendarmes are instantly on the scene to tackle the nasty Tong! (We used the soldiers to denote who had brawled or shot and was therefore in extreme peril)
Under the shadow of the wings, Mei Ling confronts Big Al an Mr Simpson. They are not the brightest and fall under the Dragon Lady's unearthly presence, failing to land any hits on her! (Unearthly is the bane for brawler characters! It means they have to use Cunning or Finesse to fight her!)

After a lot of blocking by the Prof and Mr Johnson, Xiufang hands the mechanic over to Lo Chan Fu, who mesmerises him into 'fixing' the plane!
Another two brilliant games, both played in about two and a half hours. We are really starting to know the rules inside out which helps! We were a bit pushed to get the second one finished, though, hence the brevity of the report. This is an absolute gem of a scenario, though, and played out very differently both times. In the first game, George and Paul both avoided combat and managed to secure the plot points, but it ended up in a last ditch fight at the plane. In the second, there was much more violence and much earlier, but that was my plan, to tie up his allies while Lo Chan Fu and Xiufang did the dirty work. Plus the 'red herring' rule worked a treat and foiled The Rocketeer's first attempt.

All in all, great stuff and a fantastic start to gaming in 2014!

Monday, 6 January 2014

First figure of 2014 finished!

Sigujana Clear Spirit

From the Eden Bamaka starter set. There's a couple of finishing touches on one of the other models, but that's me done. Really like these figures. I'll post a group shot some other time and talk a little about Eden.

Sunday, 5 January 2014


Followers of this blog may recall that I always treat myself to a boardgame at the turn of the New Year, and 2014 is no different. Normally I take a bit of time and think about what I want and what is available, but this time it was a no-brainer (pun intended)! The obvious candidate was Zombicide! 

There are three reasons for this being top of the list for buying. The first is that it's pretty hot at the moment and there are a bunch of folk playing it quite regularly at the club. The second is that it is co-operative, which means it can be played solo.The third, and the master stroke, is that it supplies me pretty much everything I would need to get started with ATZ - some survivors, some terrain boards and a big pile of zombies! And if the game is as good as it's purported to be, then that's a big bonus! So, let's look at what it's like!


The components are pretty much what you'd expect from a modern boardgame of this type. The counters are all made from nice thick cardstock. The boards are very nicely detailed and the images are clear and crisp. The miniatures are absolutely lovely for plastic and should paint up nicely. The cards are of a high quality; equal to anything from Fantasy Flight. My only complaint so far is that the boards started to warp almost immediately upon laying them out for the tutorial. I'm sure this is something that can be overcome, but it's still not ideal.
The box opens! The packaging is excellent, as everything will pretty much pack away as it was taken out. The inner boxes contain the miniatures. 
The smaller one contains the six survivors and the Abomination.
This is but one tray of zombies. The game comes with two of these. There are 40 walkers, 16 runners and 8 fatties.
One of the character cards, with a starting item laid on it. Yes, frying pans can brain a zombie!


Now we've seen the bits in the box, what is it like to play? To test it out I set out the tutorial mission and played it through. From a first read of the rules, it seems pretty simple to get to grips with. The zombies activation phase is straightforward with only a tiny bit of complexity around splitting groups up over multiple paths to the survivors. The survivors themselves actually have a wide range of things they can do in a particular turn, but nothing terribly complicated, such as attacking, searching, moving, driving, etc. Where the real nuances come in are in character activation order. As more and more zombies crawl out of the woodwork this becomes more and more important. And they will come crawling out the woodwork! There are spawn cards that see them coming out of the sewers and search cards which uncover walkers, rather than gear! And the more you kill, the more appear as the danger level (seen at the top of the character card) advances. All in all, Zombicide is a rather good fun! It's not super deep in complexity, but there is plenty of strategy and decision making to be done, which usually makes for a good game.
The tutorial board is nice and small. Not too many zeds, either!
Who's that grunting behind that door? Braaaains!
When you open the first door to a building area you spawn zombies in all the rooms...
...and then have to deal with them as they spill out on you...
...and take a bite!
I enjoyed the play through, but the tutorial was quite simple and easy, really. So I simply had to try out a slightly larger scenario. I picked one with a small board, but it was noted as being hard in rulebook. I duly got all my characters consumed by an angry horde of zombies!
Errrrr...Phil.....they're behind you!


This was a good purchase. I have a ton of zombies, the boards are useful (as long as the warping can be sorted) and the game is good fun! It was pretty good playing solo, but I think that this one will really excel in a multiplayer game. Colour me happy! :)
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