Saturday, December 26, 2015

My First Game of Team Yankee

I played my first game of Team Yankee against Tracy two days ago. We used the models from the two box sets, Bannon's Boys and Potecknov's Bears, along with several Flames of War models as proxies so we could get a feel for the entire range. While its too early for me to give a proper review, especially how our game went, I did gain a lot of insight into the new rule set.

I played US while Tracy played as the Soviets. Even as we were setting up we both were learning new aspects of the rules. I quickly realize my list had a major flaw. Essentially I had nothing that could shoot at Strike Aircraft. I had no idea helicopters are unable to shoot at airplanes. So I was really worry about my chances before the first die roll. Turns out my anti-aircraft problems were worst than I thought and I didn't even get the chance to be concern about the Frogfoots! For the mission we rolled up Dust Up, which gave us Delayed Reserves. Only getting half our forces until turn 3 (maybe) really change how we approach the game. Tracy decided to start with a unit of T-72s, BMP-2 Recons, Gophers and Hinds. I had a unit of M1 Abrams, Mech Platoon and M109 Field Artillery Battery. In addition we both had our commanders and an observer. Tracy "won" first turn (neither of us wanted to go first) so his Hinds had to fly off the board. Since they used spearhead the BMP-2 were close to an objective so they moved up to take it. The T-72s moved across ruins and half of them got bogged down. The remaining T-72s plus the commander shot at my unit of M1 Abrams. They only bailed out two of my tanks which would be no big deal in Flames of War. However in Team Yankee since I only had three to with start, that was a morale test. Failing that test would mean I would instantly lost a quarter of my entire force just like that! Luckily I passed the morale test and began my turn 1. The Abrams remounted and were ready to go. Tracy had place pre-planned artillery target on that objective so I was hesitant to approach it with my M1s and commander. It slipped my mind until later that his artillery was still in reserves so I had nothing to worry about. I was fairly sure my shooting was going to removed the BMPs off the map but if I had bad dice rolls I would instantly lose the game. My Abrams destroyed three and bailed out the 4th BMP so now Tracy couldn't win on turn 2. Mech Platoon dash across the field to take on the Gophers. The Gophers couldn't do anything at the time but I wanted them destroyed before my aircraft came in from reserves. My artillery rain fire on the Gophers as well but I only manage to bailed out two of them, who immediately remounted next turn!

Turn 2 was the beginning of the end. The only Anti-Aircraft weapons I had were AA machine guns on the Abrams and M109s which I wasn't confident in their ability to take down Hinds and the Dragons in Mech Platoon. However Dragons are guide so I can only fire them on my turn and they can't be fired while moving. Given they also have a minimum range means the Dragons will never be a threat to the Hinds if Tracy knows what he is doing. So on turn 2 6 Hinds showed up and wiped my commander and M1 Abrams off the map. Turn 3 the hinds nearly wiped the M109s off the board as well and there was little I could do about it. Neither one of us got any reserves on Turn 3 so I surrendered. There was a chance with some good rolls I could delay Tracy from winning next turn. Ultimately I felt it wouldn't have help me win the game and next turn Tracy had a way to auto-win.

I wrote the previous sections the day after the game so those was my initial impressions. However my feelings have change after spending a day reading the rules and the forums. While my lack of dedicated AA made the game an uphill battle for me, I now realize that slope wasn't as steep as I first thought. My list did have the tools to deal with the Hinds if I only played it better. My points about Dragons were mostly true. However I forgot to consider the Blitz Move order. The ability to move 4 inches and still shoot changes its usefulness. During the game I thought both of the Abrams' AA machine guns range was 16 inches. This allowed the Hinds to be able to shoot at the Abrams outside of that range. In actuality the .50 cal machine gun has a range of 20 inches! If the hinds can shoot at the Abrams, the Abrams can shoot back with the .50 cal. I am not entirely sure I would have shot if I had known because in my mind its probably not worth giving up the ability to fire the main guns on my turn. Of course we had this rule WRONG as well when we played. The rule is if you fire AA weapons during the opponent's turn you are not allowed to fire that WEAPON on your own turn. We are used to it being teams but it is per weapon fired. That means the Abrams can fire both AA guns during the opponents turn and still fire its main gun on its own turn. So I had no reason not to shoot at the Hinds! I had another powerful option against the Hinds I didn't realize was there. My artillery had the laser-guided projectile upgrade which gives the guns the Guided special rule. That means while the FIST is alive the artillery could shoot at the Hinds on my turn. The next time we play should have a much closer result. That said I learn several things about Team Yankee in that game.

1. Options - When I first learn Team Yankee was just going to be Soviets and US at the start, I was concern that the initial lists would be limited in the options you could take. We were both pleasantly surprise this was not the case when we made our list. With the system as it is I could easily makes 3 to 5 very different lists and I wouldn't be shock if that number goes up the more experience I get with the system.

2. Need dedicated AA - Weapons need AA in there description to be able to shoot at Strike Aircraft. Only relying on Guided weapons to take out helicopters might not be enough to stop helicopters from taking over the game. US and Soviets both have cheap options for dedicated AA so remember to take some.

3. Strike Aircraft in reserves - Strike Aircraft can go in reserve like any other units and they count when picking how many units need to go into reserves. In the starting step rolling for Aircraft is before rolling for reserve. That means Strike Aircraft in reserve can not be used in the same turn they arrive from reserves. So if you put Strike Aircraft in delayed reserve, the earliest you can used them is turn 4!

4. Bogged Down - Being bogged down doesn't matter for morale, just destroyed and bailed out. This is one of the differences from Flames of War that caught me by surprise.

5. How many Abrams? - Abrams are really expensive so it is tempting to go with a few as possible. Six total Abrams (1 HQ, 2 platoons of 2 and 3) cost 48 points out of a default total of 100 point game. With the new morale rules however one or two bailed out results means a morale check that could wiped them out! I don't think there is an easy answer to this and will always be something to consider when making a list.

6. Brutal Game - Things die fast in this game compared to Flames of War. I'm used to playing with strategies that limited my own casualties. In Team Yankee that's not going to work. My models WILL die and I need to plan around what to do with those that survive. This makes delayed reserves a lot scarier than in Flames of War. I wouldn't be surprised if most delayed reserve games end before reserves even show up!

I foresee us playing at least two more games next week. Whatever knowledge I gleam from those games I will share here. Until next time...

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Border Prince Lore: Warriors of Chaos 3


The battle between Chaos and Lizardmen was a close fight and extremely bloody. The generals on both sides had apparently died in the initial moments. The lost of their general did not affect Chaos morale much. If anything army morale went up because of how much they hated Xizamiron. Still they were surrounded by Lizardmen so they couldn't celebrate yet. So they fought all day long and in the end were the victors.

Without a leader the army decide to just celebrated their victory for the next few days. Those unfortunate enough to be injured and not die were taken to the medic squad. These warrior doctors uses a mixture of medical knowledge and dark sorcery to heal their patients. Sadly for the patients is that the medic squad's healing techniques are similar to their killing techniques, only that the killing techniques are less painful.

Dizadeim watch the celebration in silence. After a time he decided that their true leader and queen needed to know what had happen. Figuring a normal scout would be too slow to send the message he travel to his own personal tent. He was one of Vanacyr's most trusted advisers and arcane student. He knew dark magics that could get word to Vanacyr in mere hours. While in his tent he could tell the celebration was still quite boisterous and loud. However Dizadeim had elven ears and he was highly trained to use them. They alerted him to a presence entering his tent. He quickly spun around with a sword at the ready. He paused however once he witness the intruder with his own eyes. The intruder look like a male, possible human covered head to toe in dark robes. It was impossible to see the features of his face. More than that, the intruder moved like he was severely injured and seemed to be struggling to breathe. The intruder said something that Dizadeim couldn't quite make out, but he immediately recognized the voice. A very unique, unearthly and unforgettable voice.

“My Lord?” Dizadeim said amazed. Xizamiron was turned to ash in the battle. How could he still be alive.

“Move the army … march them northwest,” Xizamiron whispered. He sounded like every word was painful for him to say.

“First we need to get you to the medics, you need their power,” Dizadeim said.

“Don't worry about me. Your medics healing would do nothing for me. I just need rest and to be alone. Now get the army moving!”

Xizamiron gasp heavily for a few moments and then stumbled out of the tent. Dizadeim followed his commander to the entrance of his tent. From there he watch Xizamiron walking staggeringly away from the rest of the army and eventually vanishing into a copse. Dizadeim started moving towards the rest of the camp to issue Xizamiron's orders but then he changed his mind.

"No, our true leader must be informed first!" Dizadeim said aloud though he meant for those words to remain unspoken.

He returned to his tent. On a parchment he scribes the recent events of the army from encountering the Lizardmen to witnessing Xizamiron vanishing in the trees. Trying to balance finishing quickly with providing enough details proved to be challenging but Dizadeim decided it was worth risking time to make sure his mistress had an accurate picture. Once finished he rolled the parchment up and sealed it with his own blood by pricking his thumb and saying a short incantation which gave his blood the properties of hot wax. The words of another, more potent spell was already on his lips. Dizadeim left the tent with his report in hand. Unseen magic took hold in his surroundings as he finish the second incantation. The rhythmic sound of a flapping bird overhead told Dizadeim his spell had its desired effect. Dizadeim toss the sealed parchment into the air and a falcon flew down and yank it out the air. Raising quickly, the color of the falcon slowly darken until it was a solid pitch black. A third eye grew from its forehead. Each wing suddenly split into 2. The now 4 winged creature flew at such speeds that should be impossible for a living bird. Dizadeim eye sight was superior to most, but even he lost sight of the creature in mere moments.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Team Wraith

First I want to say the newest episode of War Journal: Flames of War is out. Episode 20 was our Team Yankee Special and you can listen to it here: In 'Our Hobby' on episode 20 we discuss ideas on developing a Team Yankee campaigns. I want to expand on that conversation and go into what my Team Yankee forces will look like.

Starting with my Himmlisch Drachen Stamm, I have decided that my fictional nations will only use what was available from a single nation. That means I won't have a nation that has Cobra's and T-72s. Tracy brings up the possibility of playing such a game but I am not interested in modeling a force in this way. The exception to this is if I ever decide to build a force based on the classic GI Joe cartoon. I have decided to keep my Himmlisch Drache Stamm to be inspired by Germany and I will have a NATO and Warsaw Pact version of them. I have time to develop my history and organization of the HDS since it will be a while before Battlefront gets to release Germans. Another nation I really want to work on is a France inspired force. Like the Germans there isn't much I can do until Battlefront gets to France. However if the community puts together a historical accurate fan list for France using models Battlefront had already release then I would immediately start putting together a French force. At the moment the only forces available for Team Yankee is US and Soviets. I am still working on a concept for the Soviets. It will probably be something based on Slavic mythology. As I know nothing about Slavic mythology there will be a little moment on this front until I can get some research done.

US is a different story. My plans is to develop a ghost theme battalion that I will be able to used in multiple different stories and campaigns. In scenarios where we are using fictional nations the ghost battalion can act as part of my country's fighting force. In a more realistic setting it can still act as a fictional part of the United States military. The ghost battalion, which I haven't came up with a name yet, will be compose of 4 companies. The lead company will be called Team Wraith. They will be a mix of ideas from Bannon's Team Yankee in the book, movie version of Delta Force and other ideas of my own creation. The color scheme of my vehicles will be black/near black with white/light grey highlights. I will be playing around with patterns so I might end up with a force with widely different markings. Uniforms will be something I will be waiting until I'm done with several vehicles before I decided on. I don't see myself picking up US infantry anytime soon. For upcoming battle reports I will be either using Tracy's infantry or my Germans. One of the other companies will have a more traditional US look. For the last two companies I will wait to see how things develop, both with Team Wraith and the local gaming scene. At a minimum Team Wraith will have a three tank platoons of M1 Abrams, 4 AH-1 Cobras and 4 A-10 Warthogs. After playing a few games I will decided what else to add.

Beside picking up US models, I will also be purchasing a small collection of terrain for my own use. I like the looks of a few building Battlefront and others are releasing that could be used with Team Yankee. This will allow me to play Team Yankee games without Tracy involvement, which will be useful to help spread the game locally. Also I will be needing my own terrain for long term projects. Once my Bannon's Boy box set arrives I will be posting updates on how the assembling is coming. Before the end of the year I plan on posting one more fiction piece and a update post on what is coming up for Chaos Magic. Stay tune.

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Amended to War Journal Episode 19

We just release the newest episode of War Journal: Flames of War. On this episode, which is 19, Hydra, Cobra and a New World Order, Question of the Week #94 baffled us. Even after doing a little research we were still confused about this question. We say that we finally figured it out during the podcast but we really didn't. It wasn't until we were editing the podcast together that we finally got what was confusing us. I suggest you listen to the episode, or at least to Front Page News where the issue came up first before reading the second part of this post. Doing so will give you a frame of reference to understand my explanation.

First of all, this question only deals with moving in the movement step. I missed that part until much later. Knowing that wouldn't have help us get the answer right but it would have help us understand why their answer was correct. Next, rotating the turret does not count as moving at all. You have to rotate the turret to face whatever you are shooting in the shooting step which doesn't count as moving. I suppose it would be unfairly harsh to punish an action in one step when you could just simply want until the next step and do the same action for free. I think we made up the rule about the turrets hitting the trees causing bogging check because we were trying to explain a ruling about a different issue we saw in "Letters From the Front" which had to do with the stormtroopers move. That dealt with the question 'Can you use stromtroopers special rule to just rotate the turret'. The answer was yes but it counts as moving (thereby causing a bogging check). I think we mistakenly took rotating the turret with stormtroopers move causing a bogging check meant any rotating the turret in difficult terrain counts as moving. We now know that is not the case. I hope this brief explanation helps you understand what our issue was in the podcast. Until Next Time!

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Inspirations From The Joy of Painting

At the end of October Twitch Tv did a marathon of every episode of the Joy of Painting to celebrate their new Twitch Creative community. The marathon lasted over a week and once I learn about it, it was always running in the background. For seven days I went to bed to the soothing voice of Bob Ross. Judging by social media, I wasn't alone. The number of viewers the channel had was insane. Blizzard's Blizzcon started around the time the marathon was ending. Compared with a highly anticipated opening event, the Joy of Painting marathon had about 20,000 more views than Blizzard's. There is good reason why so many people tune in to hear about 'happy little trees'. Even if you had no interest in painting landscape, Bob Ross's voice had a way to make yourself feel better. I've found one of the best ways to relax after a stressful day is to listen to the Joy of Painting while laying down.

While painting landscapes and painting miniatures are two vastly different hobbies that involved painting, there are a few tips I got from listening to Bob Ross that I plan to used the next time I paint. The big thing I notice is that he only uses a handful of colors that mostly remain the same season after season. Titanium White, Phthalo Blue, Phtalo Green, Van Dyke Brown, Alizarin Crimson, Indian Yellow and about 2 to 3 other colors was all Bob Ross used. Maybe exchange one or two colors for something else but that's really all he had. I heard Titanium White, Phtalo Blue and Pthalo Green so often that they were burned into my psyche. I don't know if this is common with oil painting, but when I thought about it I found it amazing. When I go buy a new paint for my miniatures, I'm looking through 60 to 80 or more different colors to choose from. My own collection has about 40 different paints in them and I feel I still need more. I didn't realize I had that many colors until I just now counted them. The reason Bob Ross can paint such colorful vivid painting while using few colors is because he is constantly mixing them. And half the time it seems he's not sure what color he wants. He just add colors together until he gets something that feels right. It is that kind of experimenting that I bring to my miniatures. I have mix paints before but until I watch Joy of Painting I felt mixing was more of a last resort opposing to it being a tool I should use as often as possible. I now don't feel paralysis by not having a specific color. Now I feel more comfortable going through my large collection and try experimenting mixing paints together to get something close to what I originally want. Or even mix random colors together to see what I get for fun. Now when I say mixing paint, I mean mixing together multiple colors on the palette before applying it to the model or canvas.

That brings me to my second related but slightly different tip I picked up and want to try. Bob Ross not only mixed colors on the palette, he also blended them together on the canvas. Oil paint is slow to dry, especially compared with miniature paints. That means Bob Ross is using wet paint on top of wet paint. So even using a single paint Bob can get a wide range of coloration because of the wet paint underneath. Every now and again I remember hearing Bob saying to switch to a new/dry brush or don't touch specific areas on the canvas with a particular paint because it would ruin the effect he was going for. This is something I doubt I would have thought of on my own. Granted no doubt that oil paints and miniature paints will behave differently so not all of Bob Ross techniques will work for me. Still it will be another tool for me to use, albeit much harder to incorporate due to miniature paints drying so much quicker. Also I am not sure what kind of look this technique will earn me but that's what experimenting is for. Though there is one look I think this technique will help me make. For some of my BattleTech mechs part of my plan paint scheme will have one solid color morphing into a different color. I attempted to do this look on my Valiant model but I did not like how it came out. The next time I attempt that look I can try out Bob Ross's blending style. My only issue would be that I will have to paint fast and will probably need to use three brushes at once. Two for each color and a clean dry brush to blend with.

I end with saying that the Joy of Painting marathon is not really over yet. Probably shock at just how popular the marathon was, the people behind the Joy of Painting twitch channel have decide play a marathon of a single season every Monday. In addition they have decide to have the full week long 24/7 marathon every year starting on Bob Ross's birthday. I'm usually excited at the end of October for either Halloween or the start of National Write a Novel Month but now they both have taken a backseat to my new favorite event, the Joy of Painting week! If the Joy of Painting have brought joy into your life, please tell me about it in the comments below. That is it for now, see you next time.

Sunday, October 18, 2015


I initially created this blog to host my stories from the Warhammer Campaigns I was apart of. It was slow in the beginning because my group had the habit of ending campaigns early. For this blog that meant little was posted before the campaign it was based on was cancelled. The Border Prince Campaign was the first time I was able to produce a substantial amount of material here. Over time I've expanded what this blog about, such as including other war games that I play. The plan was to eventually have campaigns with other games but the core of this blog has always been Warhammer, until now.

I have come to the realize that my Warhammer world have fundamentally change and I need to adjust my blog because of it. When Age of Sigmar drop, it destroy my local Warhammer gaming community. Beside Phil and myself, it seems the rest of my peers have decide to move on to other games. None of them care for Age of Sigmar, which I can certainly understand. What is disheartening to me is that they seem to also giving up on Warhammer Fantasy as well. The games they are considering to move to are all games I have thought about getting into in the past but have decided I have enough on my plate for now. In about six months I will see how my peers still feel about 8th edition then. Or maybe I will have the funds to get into the games they are currently playing. In either case for now I have to contend with the fact I have only one opponent to play either Warhammer Fantasy or Age of Sigmar. That does put it in the same boat as Flames of War for me, just with a different opponent. At least Phil is still expanding his 8th edition forces and is interest in playing weird match ups.

Mixing games with my own fiction will still be a major part of this blog. I just have to use more than just Warhammer to tell my stories. Which games is something I still have not decided on. So much of this depends on who I get to help out and how much free time they have. Here are the games I'm considering. Legend of the Five Rings's Clan War is very appealing to me. While I have never read that deeply into the setting, I own the third edition RPG book and was in a short lived RPG game. In general I like the setting, I know several people who would be interested in playing and my podcast partner Tracy has A LOT of the models. However I have never played Clan War itself so I might not even like the system. Another downside is that I'm not sure Tracy could even commit to a campaign until the Summer. For a similar favor kind of game, Samurai Battles is also an option. It might be a little harder to get people into it but I do have my own small set of figures. If I could get enough interest in it then I would either be reliant on Tracy's large set or expand on my own. Fortunately, for a war game Samurai Battles is cheap to expand upon. For a completely different style of game I am considering Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition. Instead of a war game, Descent is an adventure game similar to a board game version of tabletop RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons. This will require work to figure out how to turn a gaming session into something I can post here as I don't want to just post videos of us playing the board game. The upside to Descent is that it will open the door to my friends whom are not interested in war games. I've actually have not played Descent: Journeys in the Dark Second Edition, but I have played several games like it including very briefly the first edition version of Descent. I am confident that it will be a game my friends and myself will enjoy. Another option that I am much more reluctant to try is for me to game master a tabletop RPG. I would imagine it be even more difficult to turn gaming sessions into material I can use here than it would be for Descent. I've also been burnt out on tabletop RPGs in the last few years. There are two upsides to this. For one it will be by far the easiest for me to get people to join. Second, along with Descent will allow me to craft stories that are at a more personal scale. Instead of the focus being on large armies crash into one another, the stories can be on individual heroes trying to make a difference in the world. And I have to admit I still have the itch to want to GM a game. What system to use is yet another wild factor in all of this. Dungeons & Dragons 4th and 5th edition, Pathfinder, Anima and Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay are all options on the table. No matter which of these options I go with, from Clan Wars to Pathfinder, the story I tell in them will be set in the same world as the one I created for the Border Prince campaign. This means a lot less for Clan Wars and Samurai Battle as their story would be literally on the other side of the planet. For the others while I won't visit the Border Prince region, I will connect them to my current lore in some way.

With all that said, Warhammer Fantasy and Age of Sigmar will still have a place here, albeit probably much smaller. I will be working on designing a narrative campaign that the two of us can play. It will be a very free from system where we decide how the outcome of each battle will affect the next. In some ways it reminds me of the End Times storyline. End Times was written in a cycle of the plot leading up to a battlefield confrontation, pausing the story to discuss who were the major characters of that battle, telling you the results of the conflict and then continue on with the plot that would eventually lead to another battle. The narrative campaign will be posted here in a similar way. One or more entries detailing the fiction that leads to a conflict. The next post will be a detail battle report of what happen during the game and the significant of it. The following posts will continue on with the story. I've never tried anything like this before. I am hopeful that it will work out but if it crash and burns, I will just have to come up with some else. I will also be playing some 8th edition and Age of Sigmar games that will be for fun and/or practice that will have nothing to do with the narrative campaign. If something interesting happens during those games or I learn something new I will have a post discussing them on the blog.

One last thing to mention is that I am also working to get a BattleTech event here. Unlike everything else I have mention so far, if the event gets off the ground, it will be in its own universe. However a lot of things needs to happen and I'm not confident that it will get done in a reason amount of time. If it does seem like it will happen I will talk more about BattleTech then. I will most more once I come to a few decisions. Until then.

Sunday, September 6, 2015

Narrowing Down Armies for 8th and AoS

Earlier this week I've played my first game of 8th edition Warhammer in while. It felt like months though it most likely hasn't been that long. I played Bretonnians against Orcs and Goblins. The vast majority of my 8th edition games have been with Chaos so it was rather refreshing to play something different. I didn't get a chance to take a really good look at the Bretonnia book before I made my list and played the game. I had an idea of how I wanted to play Bretonnians and created my list around that. I expected to lose but I actually crushed my opponent. Part of that probably had to do with my friend making a "soft" list and being really lucky with magic. The fewest amount of power dice I had to cast spells were 8. Magic by itself wasn't auto winning the game, but having that much certainly help. I learn a lot about Bretonnians from that game as well as me reading more of their army book. I've recently been thinking about new armies and my new found Bretonnia knowledge will be useful towards that endeavor.

With the release of Age of Sigmar I now have the urge to collect and play armies outside of Chaos. From when I started playing Warhammer Fantasy until recently, Warriors of Chaos was the only army that interest me. Other armies had models that I like but I try to think of ways to convert them for my Chaos army oppose to actually starting a new one. One problem I have with my Chaos army is that I never form an over arching story line with them before I started collecting. At first I just brought random boxes, mainly choosing what was the best dollars to point values. I develop multiple story lines later but they were not based on stuff I own or wanted to pick up. I let my imagination run wild and now I am slowly trying to turn those visions into something on the gaming table. I really don't want to repeat that process with another army.

Fortunately, the story I have crafted with my Chaos forces already has background references that can base new armies on. They are an elven nation, a holy knightly human nation and a goblin force that worships a death angel. The elves are the ones I have developed the least. Storywise I have two chaos characters that are elven maidens (Vanacyr and Zifa Winters) and a future event that involves the Chaos King invading the elves and that's pretty much it for now. I have a general feeling on how I want my elven army to be on the table but at the same time I've never read any of their army books. While I have a box of Mantic archers I got as a present, I think I should probably wait until I've develop more of their story before trying to build their army. In the meantime I can use the archers as practice for potential color schemes. As for the holy nation, that has a stronger case for me starting an army for. There is a lot for it I also need to develop (among which is an actual name), however I have a general idea who they are and where I want to take them. With that as a foundation it will make further development much easier. The holy nation's story is very light for now. They are enemies to the Chaos King and are a threat that my other forces need to keep in mind. Bretonnia is probably the closest play style to what I envision the holy nation to play as. What I will bring to the game table might look weird for a normal Bretonnia list, but I live and die by my themes. The other army option is the goblin one. This idea came about me combining End Times' Lore of Undeath with a pure goblin list filled with wizards. I like the idea as it will be vastly different from what I normally play with Chaos. I have a very rough draft of a short story that explains how the army came about lore wise. When I think about how I want to paint the army up, I find myself with an overwhelming urge to also paint up a "normal" goblin army. I don't know why other than its my ADD trying to take over. Now that I think about it, it could very easily be a non-chaos Arkyrian Cabal force. As attempting as that sounds I will wait on an Arkyrian goblin force for the time being. With that decided, my next step is to work on some Bretonnia, undead and goblin models.

Now you are probably thinking that its crazy to start two separate Warhammer armies at once and you will be correct. I do have two counters to that point. I do plan to go very slow and small on both armies. A single character and a few models here, a single war machine there. I tend to bounce between projects a lot which leaves most of my models partially or unpainted. For these two armies I plan to work on each unit until I completely finish it before moving on to the next unit. Even though this will be a slow process, these armies will be made with both Fantasy and Age of Sigmar in mind. That means I will be able to use completed models as soon as they are done in Age of Sigmar since its playable with a lot less miniatures. And that is just using my own miniatures. My other point is that I have a friend with complete Bretonnia and Goblin armies. While I build up myself force, I can use his stuff to test and play games in the meantime. This is not exactly a perfect option as what I want to do with these armies is quite a bit different from what he owns. For now it will be enough in our practice games. For campaigns and other events I will make an effort to collect the unique elements of my armies ahead of time.

I think I have ramble on enough. I will end on what will be the initial elements of my armies, most of which I already own. For Bretonnia round 1 will a damsel character and a few peasant bowmen. I have a Reaper model that I will use for the damsel. The model, Sarah the Seeress, is perfect for what I need as I plan to have a fair amount of characters on foot. My friend didn't get any damsel characters with his Bretonnia so it is lucky I already had a miniature I could start working on immediately. The bowmen on the other hand might be a while as I will need to purchase them. The peasant bowmen were one of the units I really like from my previous game. Perhaps a lot of that had to do with the fact that I'm use to having nearly no shooting attacks and was really happy to have something to do in a game phase I usually skip on my turn. It probably doesn't that they are even better in Age of Sigmar. What I am not sure of is if I want to pick up the peasant bowmen box or the Bretonnian Battalion box. The Battalion has everything that I want but its a lot more expensive. A single bowmen box is a lot easier for me to purchase. I suppose I can wait on making that decision after I finish work my other round 1 items. Round 1 for Goblins will be three Fanatics and 3 skeleton archers. I have a box of Night Goblin Fanatics already assembled. They just need to be prime and painted. I also have several packs of Reaper's skeleton archers. I will paint up at least one pack of them. I brought a bunch because they were cheap and I plan to use them in two separate armies with very different paint schemes. From here I'm not sure where to go with the Goblins. Unlike Bretonnians, the 8th edition and Age of Sigmar versions of Goblins will be quite a bit different. But I think I can wait on that discuss. No need to consider round 2 options before round 1 is done.

Monday, August 31, 2015

Team Yankee

Team Yankee is a new upcoming miniature game from Battlefront, the makers of Flames of War. It is an alternate history World War 3 game based on the novel of the same name. I talked a bit about it on the War Journal podcast, but I want to give it more attention here. As Battlefront's first non historic miniature game (to my knowledge) there is a lot to say about it.

At this time very little has actually been release about the game. Nevertheless, excitement for it runs high. Why the excitement? Set in the mid 80s, it will be the only major miniature war game that features modern day weaponry. So whether you are a historical fan of modern military vehicles or you love classic 80's action war movies then you will soon have a miniature game you can play at your local gaming store. There are so many vehicles fans are looking forward to such as the Tomcat, Apache, Black Hawk, Abrams and more. Probably the most exciting and talk about vehicle is the Russian Mil Mi-24, known by most as the Hind. In every movie I've seen that has a Hind in it, that helicopter has such a intimidating and terrifying presence. I wouldn't be surprise if most players of Team Yankee has a few Hinds, regardless if they play Soviets or not. Personally I have another favorite I want to see on the gaming table (well third favorite after the Hind and Apache). I've nearly forgotten about this helicopter until very recently. It is the Hughes OH-6 Cayuse and its various cousins such as the MD 500 Defender. I first got introduce to this helicopter from the TV show Airwolf as more than one villain had a Hughes variety. I also remember a Hughes variety in many other movies as well. Off the top of my head both Blue Thunder and Fire Birds movies had a final showdown with one.

I do have some concerns with the game. There are a lot of modern military vehicles that I love and they all are aircrafts. In Flames of War aircraft have a very minor role in the game and on the battlefield. That is not to say they are not important. Aircraft can easily change the outcome of a battle but the actual time they are on the game table is very small compare to other models. Lists can have a maximum of one aircraft and for that option you only need one model. I really hope Team Yankee does not go with the Flame of War style and instead give aircraft an much more active role in the game. I would love to be able to field an entire force of aircraft but that might be a bit much to balance against an all ground force. Nevertheless I want to be able to take more than one aircraft in my Team Yankee games. The ability to have 2 Apaches, a Hughes and a F-16 covering my ground troops would make me a very happy gamer. I think it would also draw in a lot of other players into Team Yankee.

Given that Team Yankee is not historic opens the door for creative options on the battlefield. Historical players can paint up a 1980s era appropriate force while others can bring something from their imagination to the table. Have an idea for a fictional private contractor or terrorist organization? Bring it to life with Team Yankee. Or go with a more well known fictional terrorists group. Painting up a force that looks like something from the GI Joe cartoon/comics would be awesome. I think this is a good direction for Battlefront to go. Flames of War is a great game along with its Vietnam and Fate of the Nation cousins I assume. However there is a limit on what you can do with historical games. You can't create new vehicles that wasn't in World War 2 if you are a historical game but alternate history is a different story. If the US and the USSR went to war with each other in the 80s, that would most like push the need to develop newer, more advance weaponry. After Battlefront puts out models for every vehicle that existed in the 80s they can then work on models of vehicles that could have been develop in a hot war. If Battlefront encourages new fantasy minded players that fictional armies are an accepted option then they can greatly expand upon their historical audience with Team Yankee.

There is lots of creative options to play in Team Yankee but what am I going to play? To be honest I have not completely decided on that but I do have a few things in mind. One idea that will definitely see light in some way will be my Himmlisch Drachen Stamm army, 40 years later. There is a lot I still need to develop for my fantasy Flames of War army so it might seem strange to also work on a 40 years later version of a work in progress but it makes sense to me. There will always be some regiments of it after its Flames of War results. Whether it is still a nation-state or has now become a private contractor like organization, there will be a Himmlish Stamm story to tell. How Himmlisch Drachen Stamm will look in Team Yankee is something I am less sure on. I might use West Germany as a template or I might use a mixture of various different nations to make my dragon army. Of course this is all before I even know what options to play as even are. The second option I thought about is quite similar to the first. Himmlisch Drachen Stamm will need a rival and Team Yankee might be the place to develop them. Being the GI Joe to the Drachen Stamm's Cobra of a sorts. Both Tracy and myself are excited about Team Yankee but nether of us have committed to a force yet. What I finally decided upon to play will partially be depended on what Tracy goes with, if he decides to play.

Which brings me to a point where I need to inject a little realism. What happens if Team Yankee is a game I don't like? With what little is known about Team Yankee it is very possible it will be a system I can't stand. I hope this is not the case. I enjoy Flames of War so I have faith that I like another game from the same company. But it is entirely likely that Team Yankee uses a different system. So in case I do not like it, I will still buy some of the models. Just not in the numbers need to play the game. There are a lot of vehicles I would love to have models for and I like Battlefront's miniatures. Of course I would prefer to buy models for a specific game but sometimes you need to look for the silver lining. Having a collection of modern military vehicle models can still serve a purpose other than being showcase pieces. I've recently came across an intriguing game called Frostgrave. Frostgrave is a fantasy game base around playing with war bands lead by wizards. The interesting thing I found about Frostgrave is that in my initial search I didn't see anything about the game's miniatures. I found a lot of information about how good the rules are and how nice the rule book is. But nothing on the official miniatures themselves. If anything mention models, they were about other companies models such as Games Workshop or Reaper. I finally found the miniatures on my second search attempt and they were nothing to write home about, at least to me. That tells me that the most important thing about Frostgrave is the rules themselves and I should just uses models I already own or buy them from other companies. The take away from this is that something similar could happen with a 15mm modern/sci-fi game. A game could come around (or is already out and I don't know about it) that has great modern warfare rules but lacks models. Heck, I could even use Team Yankee models in BattleTech. Battlefront's models are somewhat too large for BattleTech, but if BattleTech fans can accept counters and scraps of paper, then painted oversize models should work just fine. But here is hoping Team Yankee will be a rule set that I can enjoy.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Age of Sigmar, Round 2

I've played my second game of Age of Sigmar. Vampire Counts vs Goblins. We decide to go with 100 wounds per side. This game was even more of a disaster than the first but amazing I had more fun playing it.

Vampire Counts had 4 vampire lords, a tomb banshee, a Black Coach, 5 hex wraiths, 2 blocks of skeleton warriors and a unit of six vargheists. I had a goblin shaman, night goblin shaman, a unit of 31 goblins, 3 nasty stalker, goblin spear chukka, a unit of 20 night goblins, 3 night goblin fanatics and 14 forest goblin riders. You might notice my opponent had way more firepower and I had little chance of winning. That said this was the first time I've played with goblins and it was a learning experience for me. Also my opponent played a little loose so we could see some things in action. The forest goblin riders shot up and charged the hex wraiths. They nearly wipe the wraiths out, much to my surprise. Unfortunately for them the banshee move up and screamed at them which prove to be devastating. That and their bravery was well, goblin-like. Nevertheless they did remarkable well against the charging skeleton warriors ... well until the warriors got vampiric backup. On the other side of the battlefield the normal goblins fired their bows at the incoming vargheists. Being enhanced by the magic of the shaman, their arrows did work on the vargheists, just not enough damage to stop the vargheists from charging in and wiping them out. Did I mention the vargheists had the help of the Black Coach as well? It was not pretty. The nasty stalkers popup and said hi, but the undead just ignored them. The goblin spear chukka after 4 turns of doing essentially nothing, finally killed one of the vampire lords, and that was all it did all game. So that leave 2 shamans, the night goblins and their fanatics to face the remaining vargheists, Black Coach, 3 vampire lords, a banshee, and 2 units of skeletons. So yeah, I surrender soon afterwards but at least I got to see what the fanatics can do and it was glorious.

As I said, this game was more of a learning experience than anything else. My opponent and myself both agreed that making army list base on wound totals alone is not a good method. It hurts multi wounds models like the forest goblin riders unless they are really really good for its wound totals. Vampire Counts brought way more value per wounds than I did. That is okay because I didn't think wound totals was a good method in the first place. More importantly I learn important details how I can play a goblin army in Age of Sigmar. I was surprise at how fast the forest goblin riders were as well as the amount of damage they can dish out. They also die fast so they are a powerful but delicate tool. The key to their use is to know when to retreat with them. On the "core" front" I found myself liking normal goblins a lot more than night goblins. Night goblins has more unique tools that I did not utilize that should increase their worth but the sheer power of normal goblins' shooting is immense. If I had a warboss along with the shaman, my goblin shooting probably could have deleted the vargheist unit in one round. Their only problem is that they are worthless in close combat while night goblins seem to be more capable in hand to hand. Now when talking about these units, I also have to talk about what can be hidden in them, the nasty stalkers vs night goblin fanatics. Nasty stalkers are better to counterattack with since they can go first and their damage is decent. However I think fanatics are better in nearly every other way. They have no save but the damage they do is insane. In my game I had them charge the Black Coach on the Vampire Count's turn to prevent it from charging my night goblin unit. The safe play for my opponent would be to start combat with the Black Coach and wipe out the fanatics. But he wanted to see what they can do so we did another combat where he crushed my forest goblins instead. So the fanatics got the chance to attack and obliterated the Black Coach. Then the fanatics move across the board and charged a vampire lord. It was my turn so they got to attack first and obliterate the vampire lord. After that they just died but the thought of how much damage they can do makes me giggly. While I don't have to hid fanatics in a night goblin unit, its far too dangerous to start them in the open unless I'm facing someone like Vampire Counts with their limited shooting. That means fanatics and normal goblins are going to be fighting each other over who I am going to pick up for my own army. There is not much to say about the shamans other than I forgot about the mushrooms ability. They did well and I will use them when I used their goblin type units. The last unit I used was the goblin spear chukka and its results were disappointing. Reading its stats I thought it would be pretty nasty on the table but it was actually quite tame. The goblin spear chukka is only going to be useful against a handful of units and its going to take me some time to learn when to use it. I was really hoping more out of it because I have plans to pick up 6 for my 8th edition goblin list.

I keep saying goblin army because I am not a fan of orcs and I will not be using them. Of course this means I have few choices for a front line. Goblin archers are nice but I need a tough unit to screen and guard them. Fanatics are too much of a glass cannon to be of use for this job. That leaves for my choices either trolls or mangler squigs. I have 3 trolls that I need to finish up and will probably need to pick up a few more. I love the rules for the mangler squigs but I am not a fan of squigs concept. So I need come up with a replacement monster to use in place of the mangler squigs. I have started my goblin army with a pack of fanatics. I am slowly assembling them and then I need to decide how I want them painted.

I've been thinking about how to balance my third game. Just going by model or wound count doesn't work and I am still against using anything like points. I ran into another friend when we played our Age of Sigmar game. He mention he played a game of Age of Sigmar and it was completely unbalance because he plays Ogre Kingdoms. That got me thinking. Anything I come up with I want to make sure it would work with Ogre Kingdom as well. And I think I finally came up with something that might work. I still need to propose my idea to my friend but I want to do a game base on war scrolls. Each side gets an army of 20 war scrolls worth of units, of which there can only be 10 unique scrolls. There is a "limit" of three hero war scrolls and two monster/war machine war scrolls. War scrolls that has multiple models (non war machines) can take up to twice their minimum model count as a single choice. If the war scroll has no minimum, then it can take 5 models as a single choice instead. War scroll sizes can be increase at a cost. A war scroll can take up to three times their minimum model count at a cost of an addition choice. A war scroll can further increase it size to four times their minimum model count but this reduces the number of unique war scroll the army can use. Again if the war scroll has no minimum then 10 can be taken at a cost of an additional choice and 20 at the cost of the reduce unique of 1. Additional heroes and/or monster/war machines can also be taken at the cost of an addition choice. Heroes that are also monsters count as both.

My system does not deal with the issue of summoning yet. It does form the backbone of my ideal way to play Age of Sigmar. I still think what models you bring compare to what you use in the game needs to be consider with any comp system and will handle summoning problems but I am ignoring this concept for now so my friend and myself can concentrate on learning the other aspects of the game. In my next Age of Sigmar topics I will go into my design philosophy, why I am against using a point system and example armies using my comp system. Until then, stay positive and have fun.

Friday, July 31, 2015

The Arkyrian Cabal

While most enemies are easy to recognize, there is a threat to the world that is invisible to most eyes. A threat that has threads into nearly every nation or military force. That threat is the Arkyrian Cabal, a secret society of wizards whom true loyalties lies with themselves and the organization. Being among the most accomplish wielders of magic in the world, the Arkyrian's members have earn positions of great influence as advisors, court magician, and the like in numerous armies or nations. Using their influence Cabal members have siphon wealth and information from their home nation into the coffers of the secret society. Because this spying is not to another nation, their deceit is nearly impossible to catch. Spying aside, members do help their home nation to the best of their abilities until that nation's goals are in opposition to the goals of the Arkyrian Cabal. In that case members will not hesitant to bring their home nation to ruin.

An unique aspect of the Arkyrian Cabal is that even the members do not know the identity of other Arkyrian members. At their meetings every member wears oversize hooded robes to hide their features. While there they are given a large medallion to wear around their neck. Each medallion has a different letter engraved on it. These letters have no importance other than a means of identifying the member who wears it. None of the members even know exactly how many Arkyrian Cabal members there are total. Estimates are around 20 to 30 "grand" members and around hundred "lesser" members. Cabal meetings usually take place in deep caves or underground caverns that are dimly lit to help mask peoples identities. There is usually three to six very large alcoves in the meeting hall. They are always filled with a deep impenetrable darkness that makes vision inside impossible. Members whom wander near these alcoves can feel the powerful presence of something emanating from within the alcoves. Everyone assumes the alcoves hides the identities of the more monstrous members but few knows for sure.

The one entity that knows all of the Arkyrian Cabal's secrets is its mysterious leader. The leader is the one whom created the Arkyrian Cabal and personally convince every member to join while keeping his identity a secret. The members only know two things about their leader: his arcane knowledge is immense and his presence exudes more magical energy than any being they have ever known. Even the most arrogant sorcerer will admit that their leader can wield magic better than themselves in every way possible. Despite his overwhelming power, it was his charismatic leadership plus his willingness to share his knowledge that earn the loyalty of the Arkyrian members. For a handful of members their level of trust for their leader goes beyond this. The mysterious leader acted as a mentor to these members early in their mystic studies. His teachings was what allow some of those members to excel in the arcane arts in the first place. For these members the mysterious leader is not just a source to achieving greatness but more of a father figure.

The goals of the Arkyrian Cabal are simple. They want power. Some wants to be kings or queens, some have other ambitions, but all of them want to increase their own arcane power. By following the orders of the mysterious leader, the Arkyrian Cabal has formed the building blocks of an invisible empire. Scatter across the world the Cabal has hidden military outpost and secret laboratories. These facilities has money and other resources members may need and can tap into. During the Cabal's latest meeting, the mysterious leader announce that enough of these facilities have been setup that the Arkyrian Cabal can now move into the next phase of his plans. He assure his members that soon their personal power will grow and the foundation of the world will shudder!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Update on My Lore

I have written about my Chaos Magic Lore in a few articles. Some of the things I have talked about have change slightly. Most of it has remain the same thou there are now some new issues. Since I am about to release a series of new lore pieces I figure this would be a good opportunity to restate what my lore is and to clear up issues relating to it.

Chaos Magic Lore is the fiction that gives life to my wargaming armies and the campaigns I play in. A literary world that continues to grow with each additional campaign and self-contained short story. I do consider my settings to be different from the official settings of the games I play in. That means I do not try to write in a way to fit in with the official settings and I have the option to change game systems if need be. This last point has been mostly academic since I only played one game system with each setting. However with the release of Age of Sigmar I now have a real opportunity to do fantasy campaigns with two different systems.

All of my lore is not one single universe. I have separate settings for each genre of games: Fantasy, World War II, Space Age Science Fiction. As I expand on the number of settings I write about I will develop methods to make sure it will be easy to know what canon each article belongs to. Currently I have only written lore in two settings. One article was about my team in the BattleTech League. Every other piece is in my fantasy canon which up to this point have been played exclusively on Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition. I am reluctant to remove articles I have already posted here but that may be the fate of the lone BattleTech piece. The League ended before I was able to write anything else on it, lore or gameplay elements. That means the piece is not anchored to anything else in the setting. There will be future BattleTech campaigns or leagues I will be apart of and it would be nice if I was able to connect that old piece with the new lore whatever that is. However it is possible that the new lore will contradict what I have already written. In that case I will remove the current BattleTech story. Until then it will remain here on its lonesome.

One method I will be using to help organize my lore is with pages I call "nexuses". A nexus is a page dedicated to one topic such as a campaign or a setting in general. Each nexus will have at least two major parts. The first part is background information about the topic and the second will have all the relevant links to articles on the blog in one organize location. I plan to have three new nexus pages out soon, two of which should be out next month. These will be the Border Prince and World of Chaos nexuses. The Border Prince Nexus will have the story behind the campaign, a description of how the campaign is played, and links to every Border Prince article. Someone new to the blog will be able to quickly understand what the Border Prince campaign is and be able to follow how it played out by reading the nexus. The other major nexus I'm working on is the World of Chaos Nexus. The World of Chaos Nexus will be dedicated to explaining my fantasy setting in general. It will have major characters' histories, glossary for unique elements, describing how campaigns are connected and much more. The third nexus will be dedicated to the new campaign I will be running myself and it will be up around the time that campaign is ready to start.

Hopefully this will make more sense once my nexus pages are up if this isn't clear. Feel free to send me any questions or comments. In the meantime enjoy my up coming (and long overdue) lore fiction.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

My First Age of Sigmar Game

I played my first game of Age of Sigmar earlier this week. That first game both maintain my excitement for the system and slightly change my opinion of it in some ways. We played Bretonnia vs Warriors of Chaos. We decided to go with 50 models a side. He made a list ahead of time and I just brought a sample of my collections and just deployed units until I got to 50. My idea was to adjust what I would used on the fly but it didn't matter in this game. Partly because I didn't bring enough different options to have a choice and partly for another reason I will discuss at the end. I believe what my opponent brought to the battle was a Bretonnia Lord on a Pegasi, Damsel of the Lady, Grail Knights, another cavalry unit that I can't remember, a unit of Peasant Bowmen, 2 units of Mounted Yeomen and a Field Trebuchet. I brought 2 Chaos Sorcerer Lords, 2 units of Warriors of Chaos, 1 unit of Marauders, 1 unit of Forsakens, Dragons Ogres, 3 Chaos Spawns, a Hellcannon and a Chimera. The game started out fairly even for the first two rounds. On the west side of the board the two heavy cavalry units, the Lord and Lady face off against Warriors, Forsakens and a Sorcerer Lord. On the east side had the Mounted Yeomen trying to shoot to death the 3 Spawns, Dragons Ogres and the second Sorcerer. The other Warriors unit was also on the east side but their presence did not matter until the end of the game, which was around the time I remember the run option. The Bowmen and Trebuchet rained death on the east side from their comfortable position in the center of the map. The Hellcannon tried to rain death right back on the Trebuchet and took way too long to do. The Chimera sat next to the Hellcannon looking pretty. And the Marauders were immediately deleted by the Trebuchet before my first turn.

As the game move to the later rounds, I quickly found myself getting grinded into a slow painful death. The Warriors and Forsakens were not a match for 2 heavy cavalry units. Even getting the assist from the chimera didn't stop my west flank from disintegrating. Once my chaos forces were gone the heavy cavalries that only took modest casualties ran into the Hellcannon. Probably should have ended the game here but we kept playing until I got tabled. Th east side fared much better at first. The Dragon Ogres along with the Chaos Spawns murdered the Yeomen but then got shoot up by the bowmen. The final Dragon Ogre tried the charge into the bowmen but died before he could do much damage. Heading into the end game I had 2 Chaos Spawns, 1 unit of Warriors and a Sorcerer Lord. My opponent had the 2 heavy cavalry, the Lord and Lady and the bowmen. The second Warriors unit and friends didn't fair any better against the dual heavy cavalries. The Sorcerer Lord did manage to snipe the Bretonnia Lord on a Pegasi with Arcane Bolt. I consider this a minor victory due to how much damage I threw at him and him just not dying. But in the end I got tabled with the majority of the Bretonnia force still being on the table.

So what did I learn from my first game? You might gather from my tone that I was a little bitter and I would be lying to say I wasn't. At least at the time and I tried to kept it to myself. I knew my negative thoughts were just excuses to protect my bruised ego. So after digging a little deeper into how the game went I finally realize two important points. One was that I had answers to the things giving me problems. The two heavy cavalry units with support from the Lord and Lady was what wreck my army. This was due to their high save and me not able to generate enough wounds. If I had concentrated the Hellcannon and chimera's range attacks on them I probably could have turn the battle around as they both do mortal wounds which means the cavalry would not have gotten any saves. It would also help if I realize the chimera had a range attack earlier in the game. This is one of the many mistakes we both made in terms of forgetting what our force can do. The other thing I realize is that I am playing a different game. This should have been obvious as Warhammer 8th edition and Age of Sigmar rules are nothing like each other. Nevertheless I found my thinking that since I'm using the same models with the same name as 8th edition, they will perform a similar role in Age of Sigmar. If my first game is any indication then that line of thinking is very wrong. I'm use to my warriors having really good saves but in Age of Sigmar they only have "decent" saves which means more failures than I am use to. Their balancing factor is that now they have 2 wounds each which is nice if it wasn't for the fact that the cavalry also had 2 wounds each. Also my shields were worthless because my opponent didn't have any attacks that did mortal wounds outside of Arcane Bolt from the Damsel but she had better spells to cast. Another factor was that I had no synergy in my army while my opponent had some. Nearly my entire army had a chaos mark but in Age of Sigmar they do nothing unless I have something that specifically affects them. For example Glottkin has a command ability that affects friendly Nurgle units. Its going to take a while to wrap my head around the fact marks does nothing by themselves. This means when I plan out future lists I very much need to keep what synergy options I have available.

There is no telling where Games Workshop will take Age of Sigmar but I now have a few guesses what the future holds. I think competitive games will be compose around balancing what models you bring to the game and what models you use in the game. In essence you will have two "list" instead of the traditional one. I know some in the community want to make single lists like what we did in 8th edition but I think this is a flawed approach to Age of Sigmar. It doesn't take advantage of Age of Sigmar's unique elements. Instead I think the following example would be a better approach. You and your opponent agree to play a game with equal number of models per side, such as 50. You and your opponent both brings models in excess to the agreed total such as 200 to 400 models each with the previous example. You both deploy one unit at a time from this pool until you reach the agree upon total and the leftovers can only be used if summoned as well as you are only able to summon models from this initial pool. Additional composition restrictions might be needed to be applied to the agree total though I need to play more games to see if this is really needed. With a system where you bring more models than what you use on the table allows for an environment to have healthy counters. 8th edition has it share of counters but I don't think it was very healthy. You had to factor in potential counters to your army when you make your list and if you left something out and had to face it on the table you had to either work around it or you were just screwed. With Age of Sigmar, as long as you have the models, you can adjust your play against potential counters on the fly in similar ways that real-time strategy games work. This is what I attempted but failed to do in my game because I lack the models and the knowledge of the new way my and my opponents armies play. However this style of game is what gets me excited about Age of Sigmar. All that is needed to for Games Workshop to balance their armies and not in ways most players are use to.

My next game of Age of Sigmar will probably be next week. I'm looking forward to a Skaven vs Goblin match. Until then try to stay positive!

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Age of Sigmar

Age of Sigmar has created such a wave in the miniature wargaming community that I feel I need to throw in my input. First for those of you who don't know the significances of Age of Sigmar or was curious why its cause so much rage in the community, this is my narrative version of what is going on.

The setting of Warhammer Fantasy is around 30 years old and its lore has a rich history. The Warhammer Fantasy game is currently in its 8th edition of the rules. Last year Games Workshop started a major event in the setting called "The End Times". The event came to a conclusion with an apocalyptic final battle that was publish earlier this year. In the end evil won and the world was destroyed. Games Workshop has said they will no longer support Warhammer Fantasy and eventually all Warhammer Fantasy model lines will be removed to make room for their new game: Age of Sigmar. The story of Age of Sigmar is that Sigmar, one of the setting good gods escape the destruction of the Warhammer Fantasy world and took a few surviving remnants of its population with him. They found a set of new worlds to settle in. After a time the Chaos Gods found the new worlds and started corrupting people again because that is what they do. At this Sigmar basically said "Oh no, not again!" and created a race of divine angel-like warriors to fight against this new Chaos threat. Thus the Age of Sigmar begins!

Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition and Age of Sigmar are two vastly different games. I can understand the rage fans of 8th edition have with the destruction of their favorite game and setting but I also see why Games Workshop went with a reset in the first place. From a narrative point I like having an advancing metaplot. If a major element of your metaplot is "the end of the world is coming", at some point you really need to do your world changing End Times like event. You don't have to have evil win and destroy it all but I digress. Story aside the real reason Games Workshop is doing this reset is because they want a setting with stronger intellectual protection and I can't fault them for wanting that. Warhammer Fantasy has a rich history but at its core its really just European history mix with generic fantasy tropes. To be fair Warhammer was one of the pioneers for fantasy tropes but now these concepts are everywhere. I can fault them for the ideas they decide to go with but that is another discussion.

So what are my thoughts on Age of Sigmar? I have read the rules but I haven't played a game yet. The person I would most likely play with went on a family vocation around the time the rules were release. Now that he is back we will be getting our first game in later today. What I can say is the I like the theme of the rules and where Games Workshop may be taking them. That said there are only two official armies out. Games Workshop release rules to allow everything in 8th edition to be play with Age of Sigmar rules. However I consider this to be giving the community a taste of what is in store with Age of Sigmar. I'm sure over time these rules will be phased out as the meat of the new setting comes out. Overall I like the new direction GW seem to be taking this. The rules are free online and a spokesperson has said GW plans all future game rules will be release for free. They want to make the game easy for new player to get into and I can respect that. As I said 8th edition and Age are vastly different games that will probably scratch a very different itch. Unless I end up utter hating Age, I foresee myself playing both games for years to come. I will not be consider any of the community built "8.5" nonsense. For me I will either play vanilla 8th edition, 8th edition End Times or 8th edition modified for specific campaign rules. One thing is that I will probably be playing with a different force in Age of Sigmar. What force I am not sure yet but Age is just beginning so I have time to decide.

In terms of my projects I can see Age of Sigmar having little affect initially. I will finish Border Prince with the exact same 8th edition rules that it ended with. My Dragon's Fall campaign will be using modified 8th edition rules if its gets off the ground in the next few months. After that I may consider having Age of Sigmar projects.

Now I need to leave to actually play Age of Sigmar. I will have a lot more to say after I have real gaming experience with it. Until next time.

Sunday, June 28, 2015

Update in Chaos (6-28-15)

Hello. As was hinted at on the War Journal podcast, I am currently dealing with a crisis that is affecting my progress here. I do not want to go into the details at this time. What I can say is that the issue is mentally draining for me and it directly influence Chaos Magic in several ways. I currently do not have a proper place to assemble and/or paint models at my home. I am also hesitant to carry a lot of items out of my home. This means I can't play Warhammer unless I'm playing with someone else army. Flames of War and Battletech is not an issue because I mostly play with other people models. That said my crisis doesn't look like it will end anytime soon and I can not allow it to paralysis me any longer. I figure this will be a good time to update the progress of my current projects.

Warhammer - To my surprise I have already found people willing to help me finish the Border Prince Campaign storyline. Sadly it will be a while before we can get to games because I don't have access to my army and I wanted to start my own campaign first. In the meantime I will be working on the backlog of the Border Prince storyline and the Border Prince Page. I won't give a timeline for when they will come out since I have a horrible track record of sticking to those dates. I will say the storyline piece that I skipped should be out soonish and the Border Prince Page will be right afterwards.

I am still working on the design of the campaign I will run myself. I have shown my rough ideas to my potential players and they seem happy with the direction I am taking the campaign. I have temporary named the campaign "Dragon's Fall." One of my ideas for the campaign is to have every army possess 3 different special rules. After I come up with a list of unique rules I plan to go to the Warhammer community for help balancing that list of rules. Of course this is probably not a good time as the World of Warhammer is in a upheaval over the new edition. Personally I've decided to avoid the rumor mill and wait until the new edition is out before I decide to what to do on this aspect of my hobby. Just hope I can get help with my rules during this chaos. Besides the rules, I need to polish the random ideas I have for the storyline behind Dragon's Fall itself and the army I will be playing in it. If all goes well, I will be publishing the introduction of Dragon's Fall shortly after I catchup on the Border Prince Campaign. Lastly, I want to create my own map that will be in the style of the Border Prince map. However the map is one of the last things on my list of priorities so I will not be starting on it until most of everything else I mention in this section is done.

Flames of War - The War Journal podcast is going strong. Last week we release our 10th episode and since we have started we have only missed one week due to technical difficulties. I am proud of the work we have put into the podcast. The next project we plan to do is a video battle report. So that we have as little proxying as possible we are waiting until I finish assembling my two Whirlwinds and the Jagdtiger. For gaming purposes the Whirlwinds are actually done (finished the second one yesterday morning). Both still needs a little more work before I can prime and paint them. After the battle report we need to look into doing a mini campaign. A few months ago I started designing a campaign I named "Call of Calamity." I wrote down my initial ideas but I have not gone back to the campaign since. Probably the reason for this is that my vision for Call of Calamity is way more ambitions than what we are able to handle at the moment. Instead I am going to design a much smaller campaign so we can get it off the ground as soon as possible. As much as I like stories, I do not think this campaign will have one. I think just getting something more long term to play and to be able to test part of the Call of Calamity system is more important than story.

Shadowrun: Crossfire - My Shadowrun: Crossfire show is an example of my imagination and excitement running away with themselves. This was a project I should have stopped and thought about before writing about it here. Do not get me wrong. I still think the idea of a Crossfire show has merit. However in my excitement I failed or ignored two issues a Crossfire show would bring up. First it doesn't fit the direction I am trying to take Chaos Magic in. This blog is very different today from how I imagine it would be when I first started it. I have change the image and direction of Chaos Magic many times but two core elements have always remained the same. And that is miniature gaming and story telling related to miniature gaming. Once Chaos Magic is much larger I can see it branching into other gaming fields. Shadowrun: Crossfire has nothing to do with miniatures and given that Chaos Magic currently does not have a lot of material related to its core element, I feel its a little premature to add an non core project to Chaos Magic at this time. The second issue is that I eventually realize how I wanted to do the show was going to require a lot more work than I initially thought. I figured at first all that would be required is to record us playing the game and then doing some minor editing. That changed when I decided to only used images from the cards instead of a live video. The reason for this was that I wanted to make sure it would be easier for the viewer to understand what was going on. This lead to the need of having limited animation ... And so on. I do not have the skills to do this and I know from my experience with the War Journal podcast there will be a lot of headaches before I would get it right. For a side project this amount to way too much work. At least for now. I do have future miniature plans that would require similar skills as the Crossfire show. Whether that means I will be coming back to Crossfire sooner to practice those skills or later after mastering them I am not sure. What I can say is that I have a lot on my plate at the moment and Shadowrun: Crossfire is not a top priority for right now.

Other - There are many other projects I have ideas for and many other games I want to play. BattleTech, Relic Knights, Horde and more. For many of these games I am at the mercy of friends of when I can play and its up to them to develop campaign like events. For my other projects I need to put them on the back burner for now. Warhammer and Flames of War is where I am putting my focus on at the moment. Of course I am the type of person that switching focus often but I think this time I can stay on target until I am able to finish some loose ends.

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Banners of Xizamiron

The demon Xizamiron's army was not one unified force in the Border Prince. Instead it was a patchwork of war bands working together for their own goals. The biggest of these war bands was Vanacyr's army before Xizamiron took command of it. Since the Border Prince region was so large, Vanacyr (under order's from Xizamiron) split up the army into smaller forces called banners. Some of the banners were mostly made up of one war band or another. In many ways each of the banners has their own story to tell.

Pandemonium - Xizamiron personal banner whose members he had hand picked himself. And he picked a little of everything the army has to offer. Many speculated that Xizamiron made his choices because he wanted as much variety as possible. Others think it was because he wanted his banner to be a mini version of the entire force. Other more sinisterly think it was so he could keep an eye on every faction in the army. The truth was that Xizamiron did not care who was in his banner and he solely picked members randomly.

Vanacyr's Blade - Every member of Vanacyr's war band was extremely loyal to her. Nevertheless she had an inner circle of followers whom loyalty went beyond the norm. This inner circle was called Vanacyr's Blade and nearly every non-members goals was to get promoted to it. Vanacyr's Blade had two parts; guards and students. The highest skilled warriors in the army were assign to the Vanacyr's Blade to serve as Vanacyr's personal bodyguards. The group rarely leaves her side. The other part of the Vanacyr's Blade were her sorcerous students. Vanacyr has numerous mages studying under her. They practically worship Vanacyr and her lessons. The Vanacyr's Blade banner was mainly composed of Vanacyr herself, the remain bodyguards Xizamiron didn't take with him and about half of her students. It was rounded out with a few of her 'basic' troops from her original army and some of the monsters Xizamiron subjugated.

Sun of Corruption - This banner is nearly entirely made up from a single war band, one that Vanacyr's people almost attacked on sight. That was because at a distance these warriors resemble holy knights. It would be easy to confused them with knights from famous holy orders ... at a distance. Up close there was no doubt these warriors were empowered by Chaos. They rode horses that rotted the land with every step. The stronger warriors glowed with a divine radiates. A light that withers planet life. Vanacyr has no idea who these warriors were nor why they are willing to help as they immediately join without concern for payment. She had the feeling the Cabal had already arrange some kind of deal with these strange warriors. They kept to themselves and refuse to talk about their history. Vanacyr never pressed the issued. She had more urgent concerns and if these warriors do back stab her later, she was fine dealing with them then. In the meantime she put the remaining warriors into a single banner and called them 'Sun of Corruption'.

Nature's Curse - To be updated later

Chaos Black - To be updated later

Blood Rage - Berserkers! These blood thristy fanatical warriors were hard to control and nearly every war band had a contingent of them. There was even a war band made up entirely of berserkers. Most berserkers ranged from distrusting magic to out right hatred of it. Considering that the army was commanded by sorcerers caused the berserkers to be even more violet and uncontrollable than normal. Vanacyr decided to put most of the berserkers in one banner and let them go off cause as much destruction as they want. She figured this would undoubtedly cause trouble down the line but at least she doesn't have to deal with them immediately.

Rage of the Dragon - To be updated later

Darker than Chaos - To be updated later

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Three Battalions of Himmlisch Drachen Stamm

Episode 8 of War Journal: Flames of War was release over the weekend. If you haven't heard it yet you can listen to it here. The episode is a week late due to various issues, some of which I will discuss in the future when the pain is not as raw. I do want to expand on Episode 8's "Our Hobby" segment. I was a little nervous and I don't think I explain my three Battalions very well.

First I said I was going to named my army the Ruby Dragon Army. I misspoke. What I should have said was that I was going to named a branch of my army the Ruby Dragon Army. I also failed to mention that at this stage all my ideas have a historic mirror. The mirror for the Ruby Dragon Army was the Heer. I'm also toying with names for other branches of my army; Emerald, Sapphire and Diamond. If I go with these names Sapphire will be the mirror for the Luftwaffe and Diamond for the SS. I am more up in the air for what to use Emerald as. If I eventually go into more supernatural fantasy the Emerald Dragon Army could be the force that has steam punk elements like mechs or I could go into the mundane and use Emerald as the mirror for the Kriegsmarine/Navy. As far as I know Kriegsmarine is not in Flames of War in any way so it doesn't matter how I use Emerald Dragon until I bring Himmlisch Drachen Stamm to another game.

I touch on this lightly but the reason I am putting so much effect into the design structure of my army before I paint or even put anything together yet is because it does affect how the model looks. For example take the 3 digit number that is on many German tanks. That first digit refers to what company that tank is from so I need to know what company that tank belongs to when I'm painting it. I am sure there will be other things that are battalion or company specific that will affect the look of the model, either historically or of my own creation.

Bridge at Remagen has 4 German list to play as. Three are Heer and they work together. By working together I mean under the Support Platoons section of each list you can take elements from the other two. The fourth list is a SS one and their options for support are completely different with the exception of the 512th Heavy Tank Hunter Battalion 3rd Company. And the 3rd Company didn't work with the rest of the 512th. This basically means I have a choice between two separate webs/interconnected choices. Of the 4 lists the 512th is my favorite to play with so I pick the web that the 512th was apart of. So those three Heer list are 512th Heavy Tank Hunter Company, 654th Heavy Tank Hunter Battalion and the 506th Heavy Tank Battalion. All three are battalions so I am making my fantasy versions also battalions (the game list name for the 512th is Company but the description refers to it as the 512th Heavy Tank Hunter Battalion). I decided to call my versions of the Heavy Tank Hunter Battalions the Fire Dragon Battalions and for the Heavy Tank Battalion I call mine the Red Dragon Tank Battalion. I haven't decided on numbers yet. However to me it is more important to know what will be my unified forces.

Next I was going to break down what options can be used in other list but at this point it will not matter much. I will be starting with the 1st Company of the 512th and they have no options to take 654th or the 506th (they do have the option to take 512th 1st Company). At my current rate it will be many months before I would be ready to pick up anything from the 512th 2nd Company, 654th or the 506th and there is no telling if my plans will remain the same then. Say nothing of the fact that I still want to build an Italian force at the same time. Nevertheless I think I have address the elements I wanted to talk about. The big thing was the deal with Ruby/Heer which I completely failed to mention in the podcast. Hopefully my ideas are a lot clearer here but I am not sure if that is the case. If not, I'm sorry. In any event I hope you enjoy the podcast as well as this piece. Until next time!

Friday, May 15, 2015

The Border Prince ... is Over?

The Border Prince Campaign has come to a troublesome junction. The Game Master (Vampire Counts) will be unable to participate for a couple of months so my group has decided to end the campaign early. Using the current standings after turn 15 the High Elves are the overall Border Prince winners. Warriors of Chaos took 2nd place and Beastmen took third. As the host and Game Master the Vampire Counts was ineligible to win.

Of course this now leaves myself and Chaos Magic in a very uncomfortable position. First of all in general I hate ending a campaign early. Most of the campaigns I've been apart of have ended early and while I agreed with the reasoning to end early for some of them, every campaign that did end early left me feeling disappointed and the experience tainted. Besides my own personal enjoyment of it, the Border Prince campaign was suppose to be the starting point of my campaign storyline. I was planning to play a different faction for the next campaign but the events of Border Prince were going to play a role in future stories. Now that the Border Prince has ended with my story unfinished what am I suppose to do next? Should I remove all the Border Prince material on Chaos Magic and try again next campaign? Should I finish my Border Prince backlog and then leave the story unfinished? Should I write an early ending to the Border Prince storyline? All three options I find very unsatisfying. The first two options is what I've done in the past. My problem with the first option is that unlike with previous campaigns which ended before I got much done on Chaos Magic, I already have a sizable amount of material online with more on the way. The Border Prince Campaign was three quarters of the way of being finish and even thou I did get behind most of what I wanted done did get posted. It would be such a waste to lose all that material. On a similar note, it would feel like a waste to leave the story unfinished which is why I dislike option 2. With everything I have said option 3 would sound like the most obvious choice. However my writing style is such that I reveal small but important details through out the tale with a (hopefully) big payoff at the end. Rushing the end feels like it will undermine what I was going for. That said a good writer can probably make just about anything work. If anything I am probably too stubborn to write a rush ending to do option 3. So what option is left for me?

Option 4, continue the Border Prince campaign with a new group! The choice to use this option was not easy. Getting new players to finish someone else campaign is like heresy. Yet it is the only option that will fulfill my needs as I mention above. The continuation of the Border Prince campaign will not be happening anytime soon. Finding people willing to help me with this will take some time. I also think I will need a break due to the nature of what I am attempting. And lastly I want some experience running my own campaigns for the time being. While I said Border Prince was suppose to be a starting point for my campaign story lines, there were going to be others. Starting one such campaign is one of two options I am considering for my immediate Warhammer future. The other option would be a Border Prince side story campaign. The idea is to explain the story reason why Razeek Twotail withdrew from the Border Prince region after turn 8. This idea requires the original player to pick up the Skaven mantle again. The player said he was willing to do so but also express interest in playing a different army for his next campaign. Can't really blame him as he has 8 armies last I counted. Whether I go with option one or two will be entirely based on what he wants to play. If option 1 happens I will probably be playing Warriors of Chaos again. On the other hand if option 2 happens then I will either play Orcs and Goblins or Bretonnians. I will explain why later along with more campaign details. One thing to say about my up coming campaigns is that they will be very slow moving. A secondary reason for me wanting to run a campaign is to give some local players that I know a chance to play. These players are normally so busy with work they are unable to keep up with a normal campaign schedule.

That in a nutshell is my current plans with the Border Prince campaign. Due to other issues I'm dealing with I will not be able to start the new campaign for at least a month if not longer. Until then I will be working on the Border Prince backlog which includes the Border Prince page. I also have other ideas for material to help expand the Border Prince narrative. When I do get back to the Border Prince campaign, how I report the remaining 5 turns will be difference from my current style. How difference will depend on how much my blogging skills level up by then. In the meantime please enjoy the upcoming works of my current projects.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Shadowrun: Crossfire

The world of Shadowrun. I have a lot of experience with the Shadowrun universe. I got introduce to the setting with a short lived 3rd edition role playing campaign. I found the setting interesting but I was not a fan of the 3rd edition game mechanics. My next experience with Shadowrun was the 4th edition system and that was my sweet spot. I have lost count how many 4th edition games I've been apart of. I'm sure I've been in two or three short lived games that I've forgotten everything about them. I've also been in two difference 4th edition games that last well over a year each and many, many other games that last in between those two extremes. I have not played 5th edition yet but I have not like what I heard about it. I have a slight issue with some of the game mechanics of 5th edition but that is minor grievances. My initial dislike of it deals with the setting. You see each edition is not just an overhaul of how the game is played but in many ways nearly different settings. 3rd edition takes place in the 2060s, 4th edition starts in 2072 and 5th is 2075. The world of Shadowrun also had earth-shattering world changing events between each of the editions which is the main reason the editions feels so different. There is so much more I could say about the Shadowrun setting and most likely I will say more in the future but the focus of this post is about the deck building game Shadowrun: Crossfire.

I have to say Crossfire was not the Shadowrun game I thought I would be talking about on Chaos Magic. I first heard about Crossfire when I was looking into the game Shadowrun: Sprawl Gangers. I learned that Catalyst Game Labs had planned on doing a massive event called "The Year of Shadowrun". The idea was to release several different types of games set in the Shadowrun universe during a 2 year time period; board games, role playing games, computer games and more. The first year of the event, 2013, was suppose to see the release of Crossfire, the 5th edition version of the role playing game and Sprawl Gangers. Being the miniature gamer that I am, out of the three I was most excited about Sprawl Gangers. While I didn't like where they took the setting, I would still love to play a tactical game with colorful minis in the Shadowrun mythos. Shadowrun has elves, dwarves, high-powered guns, cybernetic implants, magic, hacking and dragons! Fun. Of course that was the plan. How did that turn out? Well, Crossfire is out, 5th editions is out, Sprawl Gangers is ... not. The latest information I found on it has the designers saying they are still working on it and the game will be release ... eventually. So I kind of zone out on Shadowrun events. Until two weeks ago when a friend brought Crossfire over for board game night. Before I played it the only thing I knew about Crossfire was that it was a game Catalyst Game Labs was working on that wasn't Sprawl Gangers.

After an evening of playing two games and not getting very far I had too strong impressions of the game. One, its a really, REALLY hard game and two, I love it! Shadowrun: Crossfire is a cooperative deck building game that captures the feel of the setting very well. The game can be played with 2-4 players. There are four roles to play as, each with a corresponding color and deck of cards. You need to defeat enemies called "obstacles" to complete objectives and earn resources needed to purchase more cards. Unlike most other deck building games (or at least the ones I've played) there are no resource cards. Instead tokens are used to buy new cards so there is no issue about having the right cards to purchase. Having the right cards to do damage is a different story. There are 5 types of damage in the game; spell, weapon, skill, hacking and neutral. The initial decks can do each of the first 4 damage types but they specialize in one. The neutral damage type can only be used when a specific type is not required. The obstacles have multiple levels that need to be destroyed in order and it either takes a single point of a specific damage type (one of the first four) or multiple points of any type of damage to destroy a level. In addition to picking a role players also need to pick a race. Each race (human, elf, dwarf, ork and troll) have different starting hand size, hit points and nuyen which is the Shadowrun currency. There are also some effects that are race specific. In Shadowrun even the best design plans go up in smoke due to some unforeseen event. Shadowrun: Crossfire mimics this potential chaos with the amply named Crossfire deck. The Crossfire deck is played at the beginning of every game turn and its contents changes the rules of the game to the detrimental of the players. Limiting the number of cards that can be played, increasing the damage obstacles do or even allowing obstacles to heal are some of the effects from the Crossfire deck. At the beginning of the turn the current Crossfire card is discarded and a new one enters play. The number of cards in the Crossfire discard pile can affect other abilities. For example some obstacles have effects that only happens or are worst if there is a certain number of cards in the discard pile. To win players need to work together, plan their moves ahead and be ready to adapt to changes caused by the Crossfire deck.

As I said, this is a hard game. In my experience most board games seemed to be design so that new players has a good chance at winning on their first time. Some of those games give options to make their game harder so seasoned players can challenge themselves. This is not the design choice for Shadowrun: Crossfire. New players of Crossfire have almost no chance of winning their first game or even their fifth! However for those that stick with it and tries to learn and then master the game, I can then see people winning more often that they lose. If you like your board games to be more of a casual affair then Shadowrun: Crossfire is probably not for you unless you don't mind losing a lot and can find at least one other like-minded individual.

Another aspect of the board game that I enjoy is a built in campaign system. If the entire team survives the mission they earn karma. Between missions players can spend karma on upgrades for their character. These upgrades can provide a variety of effects such as an increased starting hand, nuyen or hit points or something more unique like being able to pay 2 nuyen to draw a card once a turn. To maintain the games brutal difficulty, you get a penalty to the karma rewards based on how much karma you already have. For example the karma reward for the default mission is 3. If you have already earned between 11 and 30 karma then the reward is only 2. Missions do have options to increase the difficulty for an increase in the karma reward. One problem I have with the game is that it only comes with three missions and one of those missions recommends the runners to already have 70 karma. There are a few more missions on their website and it sounds like the second expansion for the game will also have more missions. Still I would have prefer the base game to have between four and seven playable missions for new characters.

One last thing about Shadowrun: Crossfire. The game has inspired me to develop a show. I will create several characters and record their progress during a campaign using all of Catalyst Game Labs rules as is. The show should showcase how to play the game ... or showing me putting a lot of effort into losing spectacularly. Either way it should be fun. The first step will be posting character bio on Chaos Magic. Each bio will be their name, race, preferred role and background history to give the character some life. The first episode or two will be a two player game. So far I have only one friend who have played the game enough that I feel they are ready to try this without it being a train wreck. Phil and myself spent this past Friday afternoon playing Crossfire many times and if we were keeping those characters, those characters would have earn 13 karma. The next time we get together we are going to make characters with 70 points of upgrades and test out the Dragon Fight mission. After that we will probably recording the show the following week. As a side project, I will take some of the episodes from the show and write out a narrative short story version of what happen. A few of those and I should have an interest flush out Shadowrun mythos here. Now if Sprawl Gangers ever gets release afterwards, I could immediately do a miniature campaign that has a rich history...

Until next time. You can buy your own copy of Shadowrun: Crossfire here. Or you can visit Catalyst Game Labs.