Missin’ in Action 2019

After last year’s success, we had another gaming event with friends. This time, the weather was friendly and we could set up in the garden.

The main attraction was a game I had been working on for quite a while (not continously, though): namely a tavern brawl based on the old Brewhouse Bash rules from White Dwarf #223. I collected figures in brawling poses, which were harder to find than I thought, and built some terrain. The main headache proved to be the playing surface. After several aborted experiments I had to make a last-minute compromise and take a sheet of unpainted PVC floor coating. It looks ok, I guess.

Here are some impressions from the game:

 

The game was simple fun. We had eight player, but it still moved along at a good pace. Austrians of a certain age grew up with Bud Spencer & Terrence Hill movies and the game conveyed the feeling of those comic scuffles pretty well.

Afterwards, we played two parallel games of Sellswords & Spellslingers, which is aways a fun game, especially for events such as these.

Thanks to all the players, it was great to spend an afternoon and evening gaming with friends!

Missin’ in Action 2018

Two years ago, we had organised a summer gaming event for friends out in the countryside. A month or so ago, K. and I decided spontaneously to do another such event under the title of Missin’ in Action 2018, this time however at our new house (which is in an area of town formerly called Missindorf, hence the name). The idea was to gather friends and host one or two miniature games out in the garden.

Unfortunately, the weather did not agree and we had to move it inside. Fortunately, people turned up nonetheless.

I chose Sellswords & Spellslingers¬†as the event’s game and decided to have two rounds of games. The first was played with six people, of which only three had played it before. The rules are, however, easy to grasp and, being cooperative, work very well to introduce people into miniatures gaming. We played the ‘Healer’ mission from the rule-book and had to rescue the wise woman. My wizard teleported our archer onto the rooftop of the healer’s hut, where he skillfully covered the rescue operation, led by our intrepid halfling Leader riding his pig.

After a short break, reinforcements arrived in the form of Virago and his two kids. For the second round of games, we split a 6’x4′ table into two areas: One with a village in the middle, where one group played the ‘Defend the Village’ scenario, and another with swampy wastelands, where the other group played the ‘Through the Badlands’ scenario. The border between the two playing areas was demarcated by a river, with the added incentive that, if the group crossing the badlands made it to the ford, it could enter the other game and help defend the village.

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The poor heroes defending the village drew a Brain Devourer as their main enemy and struggled hard to bring him down. Meanwhile, Virago’s elven family shot their way through the lizardmen and orcs standing in our way. My dwarven wizard helped to speed the journey by teleporting people ahead, but in the end it was the elves who did the hard work, killing one monster after another with their arrows. We even managed to reach the village, but before the elves could get off a shot, the Brain Devourer was brought down by the brave dwarven fighter.

This was a really great afternoon! I’ve definitely learned from last time’s mistakes: back then, I cramped all players into one game, which ground to a slow crawl as the rules were unable to cope with such an amount of players. Playing two scenario in parallel proved to be a good solution for a large group that nonetheless wants to share a gaming experience. Each game took less than 90 minutes, so it was pretty relaxed and there was plenty of time to chat. It seems that everyone, kids and adults alike, enjoyed the games and had fun. I’m definitely planning on doing this again next year!

A Weekend of Gaming

I’m very happy that I had several great opportunities for gaming during the last days. The opening was two games of Zombicide I had with an old friend from Germany, who stayed for a couple of days at our place. Not only did we have a great time in general, but we also had two very dramatic games, one of which we even managed to win! He enjoyed the game a lot and I hope we will have another opportunity for gaming soon.

On Friday, I went to the club for a game of Kugelhagel. Kugelhagel are German rules for miniature wargames during the 19th century. They have a very active community around here, so naturally I was curious. We played a game set during the ACW, using the impressive collection of Gand-Alf, who also explained the rules. He was a patient and enthusiastic host and we had a great evening.

I’m not completely convinced by the rules: Although I like the activation system (card driven), I find movement a bit too free-wheeling, leading to some strange situations. I guess this irks me more with a period I know a bit about, such as the ACW. But the game is a great option for multi-player club games – I find it more engaging than Black Powder, as I prefer the card driven activation to IGO-UGO.

Yesterday, another friend came to play Sellswords & Spellslingers. He was interested in the character creation process, so we made a small party of adventurers. While I created two equally strong heroes, he decided to take a different approach and made one hero (a barbarian) and three minions (archers with negative traits). We had a great time playing the first scenario and managed to escape from the Orcs. While the archers did very well, the poor barbarian was knocked out pretty soon and had to be dragged to safety by my halfling girl. The shame!

S&S

Finally, today I continued with playtesting scenarios for Sharp Practice. As K. was away, I played against myself. At first, the scenario did not look very interesting – basically, one side has to storm a fieldwork fitted with artillery. The game, however, turned out to be extremely tense and dramatic, which again shows how great a set of rules Sharp Practice is. There are enough decisions to make it interesting and the game flows along in a way that creates a very immersive narrative.

Sellswords & Spellslingers Campaign

A couple of weeks ago, K. and I have started a Sellswords & Spellslingers¬†campaign. We both created two characters. I’m playing Bad Boy, a Dwarf fighter, and Ingwa, a Dwarf inventor with a big handgun. K. is playing Amarantia, a human fighter, and Annabelle, a human spellcaster.

While the sequence of scenarios is partly determined by my collection of figures and the progress of my painting (I’m painting up figures as we go along), the campaign is primarily a narrative one. The scenarios are linked with a story and we try to take into account what would make sense from the point of the narrative.

party
Annabelle, Amarantia, Bad Boy & Ingwa

I also keep a campaign log where I record the scenarios we played and the campaign activities of the characters.

The story started with the party escaping from an Orc ambush (Scenario Through the Badlands). We managed to flee into a village, where we did some small-time work (busking, vermin extermination, patrolling). However, soon after we arrived, the village was raided by an Orc shaman and his minions (Scenario Defend the Village). The villagers asked us to take care of the Orc problem, but didn’t know where the Orc camp was. They knew, however, that another adventurer went out to find it but got lost in a swamp. We managed to find and free this adventurers, who had been taken prisoner by lizardmen (home-made scenario). Now we knew where the Orc camp was located! However, when we came back to the village, a merchant approached us and asked us to retrieve a cartload of wine that had been stolen by Goblins (Scenario Of Wine and Brambles). Fearing that the Goblins would drink the wine, we decided to tackle this problem before attacking the Orc camp. We managed to get five casks, but discovered that the Orcs and Goblins are in league with dark forces – what is going on?

 

We decided to attack the Orc camp and find out more (Scenario Orcs and Slippery Stones). Unfortunately, the attack did not go as planned – Annabelle was struck down and comatose, while Amarantia was killed. The other two decided to abort the mission and rescue their friends, which they at least managed. As the party didn’t have enough money for the resurrection of Amarantia, we had to loan some from the merchant in the village, whom we now owe a favour. At the moment, our somewhat subdued heroes are pondering what to do next: attack the Orc camp again (Scenario Orcs and Slippery Stones once more), or go to a wise woman living somewhere in the forest to find out more about the dark forces behind the Orc activities (Scenario The Healer).

It’s great how little work is necessary to make the scenarios fit a narrative and it’s easy to make up your own scenarios if you feel like it. We are really having a blast at this combination of miniature wargaming and role-playing. The scenarios are interesting and increasingly challenging, the campaign activities contribute to the flavour and the characters are growing on us – we were very glad we could resurrect Amarantia. Let’s see what happens next!