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Monday, August 8, 2016

Updates! Infinity! Rum and Bones! Etc.!

Hello fellow plastic crack addicts!

This weekend proved to be very eventful in the gaming department, as well as a few other distractions.

On Saturday I managed to play a pick up game of Infinity with my buddy Reuben. Although we had planned on playing Malifaux, he didn't have a deck of Fate Cards and I completely forgot to bring spares of useful things like that. What is the point of having 5 Fate Decks if I don't bring them along for new players?!

Luckily I did bring my Infinity models as a back up, and Reuben already has a sweet set up at Toxic City Comics - the store we met up at - so we decided to play a small 185 point game using my Yu Jing against his Nomads. The scenario revolved around capturing the center building over 3 turns. Usually I brush up on my rules before playing a game I'm not as experienced with, but this one caught me off guard so I was extremely rusty on my rules and abilities.

My Shinobu's hidden deployment and Superior Infiltration

I spread my force out to cover a few crucial lanes while he concentrated most of his troops in the center. I had a Guilang sniper on a central roof and my Hsien leader on another roof nearby, while he had a sniper in a corner building. In hindsight it was a terrible place to put my leader with no cover, but I overestimated his staying power.

The first turn he killed my Hsien in one shot using Double Action ammunition, which is brutal stuff to a heavy infantry. I spent the rest of the turn using my Shaolin Monks to throw smoke and advance while creeping up my remaining forces. Our snipers shot back and forth, and I eventually lost him as well.

Both hidden deployments revealed!

When I managed to get close to the building he revealed his Spektr, and I countered by revealing my Shinobu! I felt bad though, since I forgot to roll my Superior Infiltration during deployment so he didn't know I put her in his half of the table. Even though I rolled it when the mistake was brought up and passed, it's still crucial info that your opponent should have at the beginning. 

I managed to miss my surprise attack with the Combi Rifle. Instead of keeping Shinobu on the Spektr I had my Monks and Celestial Guard dispatch the Spektr, and Shinobu went after the Mobile Brigada.

Time to Slice and Dice!

She is just a beast in melee. She killed the MB in one fell swoop, but he reacted with a flame template that killed her back. Due to rustiness, I had completely forgot about having a high critical chance along with sending him straight to the Dead state, but it wasn't a big difference. I had managed to capture the building with my remaining forces and snatch the victory. It was a fun game, I'll definitely play more of it.

Infinity's rules are quite dense, however. A lot of rules will not pertain to your particular game but is necessary to know in case that it does come up. It also results in a lot of important abilities not being used correctly or at all. The game's learning curve is extremely harsh, even for gamers with experience like myself. The most helpful thing I've come across is bringing your laptop with the rules on it, that way you can search for rules much faster than using your phone like I had to for this game. It's also much faster than searching the book itself, and you can have access to the Wiki as well.


Yesterday I had a chance to play a new game I have called Rum and Bones. It's a pirate themed board game based on Multiplayer Online Battle Arenas (MOBAs) like League of Legends. I'm a fan of MOBAs, and play Smite almost every day on my computer. I was extremely intrigued by a board game version of the popular computer game genre, especially since the models are pretty nice.

Overall I really loved the game. It's a Cool Mini Or Not game, so you're getting tons of card and plastic for the price and is pretty complete out of the box. The rules are extremely easy to grasp, after a few turns you're swimming along at a fast pace and can understand the overall goal well enough. Strategies formed very quickly and the game would swing back and forth leaving no impression of being steamrolled. This is a very important point for me, as I thought that it may snowball once you start racking up Objectives.

We got a few rules wrong, namely how you respawn heroes and the Sea Dragon. We were initially not counting the Dead Man's Coins toward respawning limits and had heroes coming back onto the field way too fast, this was making a pretty big stalemate as there weren't any consequences to throwing heroes out to die. Once we corrected this it proved to ensure caution and consequence when throwing your heroes out there. It's a really fun game that you should go out and try, even if you're not a computer gamer used to the genre!

In other news there was a recent reveal at Fantasy Flight games about RuneWars Miniatures. This really piqued my interest as I absolutely love Fantasy Flight games (what can I say, I'm a sucker for cardboard tokens and tiny cards). This game taps into my old love of Rank and Flank Warhammer Fantasy games.

Not only is it a callback to blocks of infantry and monsters, but it modernizes the game by utilizing their Maneuver Dials from X Wing miniatures. This may be a divisive point for some, as I know a few puritans who don't like fidgety tools for game enhancement. Their opinion carries weight of course, as I know that it's a turn off for a certain type of gamer really, just like how tons of rules instantly turn me off a game but works for others.

One of the main reasons I'm a fan of FFG is that they integrate gaming devices to ease game play. With X Wing they used bases that had notches to hold their movement templates. In WHFRPG they used small cards to showcase talents and abilities, which almost eliminates looking at the rule book entirely. Granted this does create a cluttered table with all their extra bits, but I honestly prefer it.

In this game they have notched/interlocking block bases. While not the prettiest solution, this does create a great amount of potential in game aids. One, units can lock onto each other. This isn't a necessary thing, as more often than not it's probably easier to just slide them into each other rather than locking them. But if you look at their turning aid it shows that it locks into the side of the base and precisely guides the wheeling of the unit. In the old WHFB games it was pretty much an inaccurate affair to wheel units unless you got a third party widget for wheel maneuvers. I've encountered plenty of people who purposely got additional movement from shady wheel practices, but this extra aid helps eliminate it as much as possible. I've yet to see movement disputes in X Wing due to foresight in mechanics like this.

The addition of the dials creates an interesting mechanic, as you'll have to plan and anticipate moves. This creates a lot of interesting turns in X Wing, but it's doubly so in this game as one dial decides your unit's action while the other modify's it, creating a lot of possibilities in your choice. I find this pretty invigorating but can see it generating frowns from the old school gamers who don't like frivolous additions like this. We'll have to see if it's successful, but I'm pretty motivated to try it out one day.
Another point of division may be its proprietary dice. For some reason special dice in a game is a huge turn off for a lot of gamers. I don't agree, as it's only proven to be a problem to me when dice are out of print, but surely solutions can be made with a printer and label sheets.

It doesn't hurt to have sweet models that bring back style nostalgia!

We'll have to wait to see if it's a good game, as in my experience FFG can be hit or miss. Lately they've had very impressive games, as I love Descent and X Wing is pretty smooth. Their rules can be pretty clunky in writing and implementation at times, but they tend to hit it out the park with their simpler rules sets.

That's it for now, I unfortunately do not have any painting updates. I recently got an electronic drum set for myself as a birthday gift (lol) and haven't spent much free time painting. The wife is extremely thankful that I can use headphones with this!