Fun & Games in ‘Chelters’

Hello MoDers, hope February treated you well with lots of games played; and painting projects finished. My painting slowed down a bit since I finished Squire Zola, however I think this is getting back on track. I did get to play some games however so ‘pros and cons’ as they say.

I visited my older brother and his family in Cheltenham, and this time my little girl came too. I do love my little trips to Gloucestershire, catching up with relatives and having a good relax. Also my brother Daniel and his family play games so there is always fun something to do. At Christmas I bought my nephew Oscar a copy of ‘Adventure time Munchkin’. We played this rather odd card combat game for a while it took a lot getting used to with its curses, monsters and treasures etc, but each game only last about 20 -30 minutes and once you know what you are doing it flows quite quickly. I don’t think I won any of the rounds, but as they say the pleasure is in the playing of the game and this is certainly true with ‘Munchkin’.

I introduced Daniel and Oscar to ‘Frost Grave’, I took my elemental mage and his entourage, to face whatever the boys could put together with their various miniature collections. Daniel took a ‘Chronomancer’ and Oscar selected an ‘Elementalist’ the cool thing about ‘Frostgrave’, is that you can have four wizards from the same originating school of magic, and the spell selection process can still produce totally different characters to play with. The game took a while as there was a lot of explaining to do, the guys certainly got into the spirit of it though as they were soon tearing chunks out of each other, Daniel taking out his son’s Apprentice and Oscar returning the favour by killing his Dad’s wizard. It was this last fatality that gave the game to Oscar, as he and I had collected two treasure tokens each, I only killed minions whereas he took out a main character. Both spell casters survived the experience roll however and lived to loot another day.

I cannot believe that it was two weeks ago already, but I actually managed to make it to H.A.T.E club in Bethnal Green. I had been delaying the campaign a bit, so it was time to face Karl’s Basileans as I tried to take their second town. Somehow I had fewer points that Karl had mustered so we decided upon three scenarios that would level things up a bit. The dice made the final choice and it was ‘Baggage train’. Karl’s troops were to guide 3 wagons across the 4 foot table and defended them from my troops who tried to assail the soldiers of Basilea and destroy all three of his wagons. I made a few mistake such as poor positioning, exposing my flanks and constantly forgetting that it wasn’t open combat, killing units scored me nothing. My biggest mistake was thinking it would be easy, and had not counted on the strong healing powers possessed by the Basilean army. My usual strategy is to try and whittle units down over the course of the game, however the Basilean forces just keep on recovering, and you never manage to weaken them, it actually became a bit disheartening toward the end, but some solace did come by managing to destroy one of the three wagons, it just wasn’t enough. Victory went to Basilea. Luckily my post game experience rolls allowed me to keep most of my units in the campaign, with the exception of my beloved ‘Iron beast’.

Some of you my know that I am on Twitter as ‘Therealmrseb’ I have recently started contributing to a Twitter community blog where we write about topics such as best film or favourite comic. A number of us add a monthly paragraph or two, and it always leads to a great read. It is run by the brilliant ‘Jack and the Geekstalk’, and you can find it at:

https://jackandthegeekstalk.wordpress.com/geekstalkers-community/

Also on Twitter I have been running a weekly poll called #GeekGods which it dedicated to actors and actresses that have played roles in a number of films in the fantasy, Sci-Fi and pop culture genres, so far people have shown their favourite ‘Bill Paxton character was Private Bill Hudson’ and that ‘Milla Jojovitch was best as Leeloo De Sabat’ The quiz is launched on Tuesdays and Fridays and lasts for three days so come along and have a vote.

Four have fun in Chelters…

I had the recent opportunity to take a trip down to Cheltenham to visit my older brother Daniel and his wife and child (Ruth and Oscar). Daniel and Oscar both enjoy a bit of fantasy gaming, and have a small collection of Warhammer Fantasy figures. I had toyed with the idea of taking a small force of Dwarfs from my collection to put their armies to the test in a three way skirmish. However I remembered that I have been trying out some alternatives to Warhammer, and decided to carry something that is quite a bit lighter, but still loads of fun; Lord of War.

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In my earlier posts I have spoken about this card based skirmish game, as I have backed the kickstarter campaigns that they have launched to get the game of the ground, and make improvements. There are currently three box sets that feature six races Dwarfs, Orcs, Elves, Lizardmen, Templars and Undead. There are also some booster sets and other accoutrements that assist with and enhance game place, such as the foam battle mat. The basic rules to the game are really easy to pick up; and as you improve the advanced rules and boosters sets come into play, maintaining the enjoyment of the game.

On my first day in Cheltenham; Daniel took me to a local pub called ‘The Sandford Park Ale House,’ which an excellent establishment, that serves a wide variety of beers crafted around the UK and beyond, they also serve some really tasty food; specialising in a great selection of cheeses. They are also wheel chair friendly which is good for Daniel. We found a free table, ordered our first round and I cracked out the card, I had opted to take my ‘Templars Vs Undead’ card to the pub as they are in plastic card protectors and I did want any errant spills damaging my game. I read the rules to Daniel, and then showed him how to play, as I had been shown by the ‘Black Box Games’ team that were at SALUTE this year. After three pints of ale, a large plate of cheese and a bowl of chips, we had played about four games in three hours. We used both races twice each, and I beat Daniel each time, although I have to admit having played on two occasions previously, I had a bit of an advantage.

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When we returned to Daniel’s home, Oscar was back from school; Ruth was cooking up a roast pork meal, the smell of which had me salivating when we entered the door. Daniel went for a rest, and I offered Oscar a couple of games with the ‘Dwarfs Vs Orcs’ pack, we got one and a half games in before Ruth wanted to serve up, I won the first but the unfinished game was declared a draw as we had both eliminated 10 cards including two characters. Oscar enjoyed the game so much he wanted to go and buy a set on our way to the coach station the following evening.

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The next day Oscar showed me his largely unpainted figure collection, he has some lovely rare metals in there, finds at local auctions apparently. I suggested that we could do some painting that morning, and upped the stakes by challenging Daniel, Ruth and Oscar to a speed paint session. We all chose a figure we wanted to paint, I set up the table, and after Daniel finished having a natter with our Mum on SKYPE, the hours painting session started. As usual with these things the time flew by, Oscar finished his figure (A High Elf Sea Guard) before the time limit ended, while the three oldies were left wanting more time.

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In all I though good efforts were made by everyone taking part. We all had a look at the figures and discussed them, and then it came down to me to pass judgement. Daniel came 4th with his Wood Elf Scout, Oscar was awarded 3rd place for his High Elf, Both Ruth and I had that little extra detail on our figures that made them stand out. However, given that I have more painting experience, and was judging; I declared that Ruth had won with her Chaos Warrior. So my Orc (Whom I had decided was a Chaos Orc) took 2nd place.

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So I had a fantastic weekend visiting family, and got some hobby time in too.

I’ve had some really nice beers since my last post, the dark ales I drank at the ‘Sandford’ were beautiful, but my pick of the most recent ones has to be:

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A nice strong dark ale, perfect for a slow drink whilst you paint you figures, but at 6% make sure you don’t imbibe too many.