Saturday, May 30, 2009

Gaming With Grandma - 97

Another Saturday morning gaming with my mother (AKA Grandma) and seven (almost eight!) year old daughter (AKA Maddie) while my wife was at work. Our three year old daughter (AKA Georgia) spends her time during these gaming sessions either perched on my lap or away watching Dora the Explorer DVDs.

Our first game of the morning was Coloretto. This is a fun set-collecting card game with a little bit of bluffing thrown into the mix. It was a first time play for Maddie and she did surprisingly well. Final scores were me 47, Maddie 41 and Grandma 17.


Our second game was Der Plumpsack Geht Uhm (AKA Sherlock). We always enjoy this fun memory game. The mere fact of having to move the plumpsack around cracks me up. What the hell is that thing anyway? A walking scrotum? We played that the winner would be the first to claim three cards. I won with 3, Grandma was on 1 and Maddie scored 0.

Der Plumpsack Geht Uhm

Next up was an old favourite, Nobody But Us Chickens. This is a fast little card game of bluffing. The aim is to claim the most chickens from the chicken coop over several nights. Players can play chickens, guard dogs, foxes and rats. Depending on who plays what card when will determine how many chickens a player can claim. Final scores were Maddie on 27, me on 23 and Grandma with 19.

Nobody But Us Chickens

Our final game of the morning was Cloud 9. This is an exciting push-your-luck style game where players are ascending through the clouds in a hot-air balloon. Those who stay in the basket the longest end up with the most points, but also risk losing points. Final scores were me on 50 with Grandma and Maddie sharing second place both on 40.

Cloud 9

Friday, May 29, 2009


On my predawn walk to the train station yesterday morning I couldn't help but notice an object in the sky. I quickly pulled out my phone camera and snapped a picture. What do you think it was? A comet? A meteor? An alien spacecraft?

Actually it wasn't any of those (unfortunately). It was simply the contrail from a high-flying passenger jet being caught in the light from the sun. It did look cool though from my earthbound and still predawn perspective. Click on the picture for a larger image.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The One Ring Dice

I was very excited to receive a package in the mail today. These are some dice that I ordered from The One Ring site, a site dedicated to the Games Workshop games Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game and War of the Ring.

My precious...

I was very pleased with these dice, very pleased indeed. Not only do they have some gorgeous colouring and patterns but they have the words and symbol of The One Ring in place of the six. These dice will add some extra theme and excitement to future LOTR games.

A big sincere thank you to Alan Harrison (Dagorlad) of the One Ring Site who organised the production and sale of the dice. Unfortunately my first order of dice went missing and failed to arrive. Alan kindly offered to replace them and they've now arrived today with a second order I placed. Thanks again Alan!

By the way, if you want to see some really excellent Lord of the Rings terrain check out Alan's library articles here.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Garage Sale Goodies

My wife stopped at a garage sale yesterday morning and called me to ask if I was interested in any of the following games:

World War II: European Theater of Operations

1776 - The Game of the American Revolutionary War $4

Statis Pro Football

B-17 Queen of the Skies $4

Patton's Best $4

I got her to buy all of them for me. These are all out-of-print Avalon Hill and SPI games and $20 for five board wargames is not a bad price.

I'm not much of a cardboard chit and hex map wargamer however I already own and have enjoyed playing B-17 Queen of the Skies. It's a solitaire game and although one doesn't have too many decisions to make it certainly captures the feel of piloting an aircraft on bombing missions in World War II.

Of the other games in this lot the one that I'm most interested in is Patton's Best. It is also a solitaire game and puts you in the commander's seat of a Sherman tank in General George Patton's best fighting division, the 4th Armored. Similar to B-17 Queen of the Skies, in this game you control only one vehicle and its crew, starting out with a basic M4 Sherman tank and progressing to later command any of 17 different Sherman variations. You can take part in either one-off engagement scenarios or play through a campaign with your crew gaining experience (and potentially being wounded or killed) as you go.

From a quick reading of the rules it looks like you have more decisions to make in this game than in B-17 Queen of the Skies. Sure, the enemy reactions are still determined by a number of tables, but having to make more decisions will probably mean a more engaging and hopefully enjoyable game.

I'll probably keep Patton's Best and sell the rest on eBay to recover the overall cost of all the games and hopefully make a little extra to fund other aspects of my hobby.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Gaming With Grandma - 96

I haven't done much gaming lately due to recurring cold symptoms. However, Grandma dropped over this morning and Maddie insisted we all play some board games. Maddie even went so far as to stack up a pile of games and then have us play them in the order she'd determined from top to bottom.

Our first game of the morning was Coda. We played three games taking it in turns to be the first player. Grandma won twice and I won once.


The next game in Maddie's board game stack was For Sale. This quick little auction game has been a family favourite for quite some time. We played the one game with me winning on $80K, and Grandma and Maddie both sharing second place on $57K.

For Sale

Our next game was Diamant. This is a fun push-your-luck style of game. We used my home-made copy of the game. I went on to win with 71 points, Grandma was second on 57, while Maddie came third on 28.

Home-made Diamant

Our last game of the morning was Burg Appenzell (AKA Chateau Roquefort). This charming little action point/memory game is all about your mice trying to be the first to locate cheese in the castle. Maddie loves being able to slide the tiles to push a 'hole' tile under an unsuspecting opponent's mouse and have it fall into the depths of the castle. She ended up taking out two of Grandma's mice and one of my own before the game ended. I quite enjoyed this game and find it's growing on me. We played to the first to claim 5 types of cheese with me winning on 5 and both Maddie and Grandma sharing second place with 2 types of cheese.

Burg Appenzell

Saturday, May 09, 2009

Moria Goblins - Part 6

After finishing the sand on top of the bases I then added a combination of flock and static grass with small dabs of PVA (white wood) glue. This glue dries clear so is invisible. After that it was just a matter of giving the base rims a couple of coats of slightly watered down Citadel Bestial Brown paint.

Finally a couple of coats of a matt spray varnish (I use a relatively cheap brand called Cyrstal Kote Matt from a dollar store) and voila! 48 Games Workshop Moria Goblins fully painted!

You can click in the pictures for a larger image.

Moria Goblins - Part 5

The painting of the goblin models was now complete. The next step was to work on the base. To do this I first applied slightly watered down PVA (white wood) glue to the top of a base with an old paintbrush. Don't use one of your good brushes because your brush won't ever be the same afterwards. I use the same brush for this purpose every time I do miniature bases. I then dipped the base into a small plastic tub (in this case an old ice cream container) full of a mixture of fine sand, and some coarser sand and talus I bought from a model railway shop. I then left the models overnight so that the glue would have time to fully dry.

Sand has been glued to the bases

After the glue was dry I then gave the top of the bases a coat of watered down Citadel Scorched Brown paint.

Sand has been painted brown

The final effect for the sand was done with an old brush using the drybrush process to bring out the details with Citadel Bleached Bone paint. Once again, try to use a single brush specifically for drybrushing as it does cause damage to the hairs of the brush over time.

A drybrush really brings out the details

Monday, May 04, 2009

The Hunt For Gollum

At 4.00pm GMT on the 3rd of May (2.00am 4th of May Brisbane Australia time) the fan-film The Hunt For Gollum was released for free viewing on the Internet. I've been waiting for this Lord of the Rings-inspired film to be released for some time so the first thing I did when I awoke this morning was head to the web site and watch it.

And I was not disappointed. For an unofficial, not-for-profit, short film by a group of enthusiast filmmakers The Hunt For Gollum is very well done indeed. The film is 40 minutes long and details Aragorn's search to capture Gollum to learn more about the ring that was at that time in Frodo's possession in The Shire.

I was very impressed with all facets of the movie including the acting, music, wardrobe, special effects and locations. It's obvious that a lot of love and passion for Tolkien's work has been put into this film. If you want to see it then head over to The Hunt For Gollum website.

Update: To watch the film in HD click on this link.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Gaming With Grandma - 95

Another Saturday morning gaming with my mother (AKA Grandma) and elder 7 year old daughter Maddie. We decided to set up a game of Heroscape on the dining room table.

The set-up of the Jungle Guardians scenario

We decided to played the 'Jungle Guardians' scenario from the Ticalla Jungle expansion set. There is a glyph in the centre of the water feature which allows the player who has a character standing on it to control of squad of three Fyorlag Spiders.

It was a 325 point army for each of us with Maddie taking Raelin, Nakita Agents and Krug, Grandma taking Deathwalker 9000, Knights of Westron, 4th Massachusetts Line and Me-Burq-Sa, and myself taking Anubian Wolves, Khosumet the Darklord, Marro Warriors and Grimnak.

Maddie went on the attack early with her Nakita Agents taking out Grandma's Me-Burq-Sa on the first turn before he even had the chance to act. Grandma's forces mostly stayed in her deployment zone while she sent out Deathwalker 9000 to delay any further attacks on her troops.

I sent a squad of Marro Warriors to claim the glyph. I used my power to control the Fyorlag Spiders to good effect over the next few turns, eventually taking out Grandma's entire squad of Knights of Westron.

Then Maddie got Krug into the action. Krug claimed the high point overlooking the glyph and then started pounding on my Marro. Krug has a Hulk-like ability that increases the damage of his attacks if he is wounded. I moved my Anubian Wolves supported by Khomsumet up to take him on. I unleashed a flurry of attacks on Krug over the next couple of turns reducing him down to only a single life point. The problem was that at that point he could inflict his maximum amount of damage. He wiped out my Wolves and was left to wreak devastation as Khosumet high-tailed it for cover.

Krug - king of the hill

Krug then proceeded to smash my remaining Marro squad into tiny little piles of squishy flesh. Meanwhile, on the other side of the board, Maddie's Nakita Agents supported by Raelin were dealing a fair bit of damage to Grandma's 4th Massachusetts Line.

My Grimnak moved to take on Deathwalker 9000 under barrage of explosions. On his way Grimnak chomped down and swallowed one of Maddie's Nakita Agents. Yum. Grimnak did reach Deathwalker 9000 but then fell to a salvo of autocannon fire.

Grandma then started to retaliate against Maddie's forces and sent Deathwalker 9000 to share some love. It was crispy critter city for the remaining Nakita Agents. Krug also succumbed to the murderous fire of Deathwalker 9000.

Raelin and Deathwalker 9000 fight it out for supremacy

My last remaining figure, Khosumet, was knocked out on Turn 7 by a long range shot from Deathwalker 9000. The scenario finished on Turn 8. At that point Maddie only had Raelin left and Grandma only had Deathwalker 9000. Grandma was declared the winner due to having the most points left on the table.

A fun, quick little scenario and I was glad to have the opportunity to get Heroscape on the table again.