Thursday, June 18, 2015

Powered Play Bases and Objective Markers Arrived Today!!

Hi everyone,

Very exciting -- our PoweredPlay Bases and Objective Markers Arrived Today!

[Here's a link to the PoweredPlay webiste]

Battle Gaming One; Light Up Miniature Bases; Lit Bases; Lit Miniatures; LED Miniatures
Here's what arrived today!  Light-up bases and Light-up objective markers!

We had first met the Chris from the PoweredPlay team at the Bay Area Open convention last year.  Had a great time chatting with him -- and learning about his plans.

Then we bought one of the basic kits -- and still working on fitting it into our Ork Steam Train / looted wagon, the Dakka Chugga.  (Going to be sweet having the burna of the locomotive lit up!)

Then, our friend Corey at Gator Games showed off a Warmachine model he had cored-out to add an early prototype of the PoweredPlay team's 'light-up-base'.  Extremely cool!

And, now our set has arrived....

Have to say that we're pretty excited about the light-up objective markers.  Reason:  we tend to be subject to forgetting things -- and among those things we might forget -- where the objective markers are.  If they're lighting up, it's gotta help!  [Here's one of our blog posts / rants about our poor remembering skills while playing 40K!]

Here's how the objective markers look once we got them assembled.

 First we loaded the button cell battery into the LED assembly

 That fit into the bottom holder

 We placed the two slotted pieces above to create the "light pipe" to connect to the marker

Battle Gaming One; Light Up Miniature Bases; Lit Bases; Lit Miniatures; LED Miniatures
 And, Shazam! here's our marker lighting things up :)

We'll glue the assembly together and work on painting things into a nice color scheme.  (Fork will likely pitch for yellow; Spork for Pink....)

We have some ideas for the bases already -- will post more about those soon.  (Some ideas as part of our Pythos IV campaign -- Supreme Ork Warbosses Fork and Spork working on some more looting -- and going to light those up!

Sunday, June 14, 2015

D&D using Story Cubes [Story Dice]

Hi everyone,

We've been playing D&D off and on for a while now -- and just implemented something we had been scheming on for a bit....

Using Story Cubes to embellish the situation of battles and interactions with NPCs.

"What are Story Cubes?"

We first discovered these at Gator Games -- got ourselves three of the little expansion sets -- gave two away as gifts and kept the third.

Battle Gaming One; Story Cubes; D&D and Story Dice
 Here are the first Story Cubes we used -- the expansion set of prehistoria, clues and enchanted dice

Story Cubes -- officially "Rory's Story Cubes" are nice little sets of dice -- each die having unique icons or images on each of the six faces.

Here is the "basic set" of story cubes...

There are several different sets -- The Basic Set, Actions, Voyages, and two sets of expansions (which is what we had found at Gator Games).

How we've been adding this to D&D....
  • When our party charges into a room (which has 5 skeletons hitting in a pile of rubble) one person reaches into the bowl of Story Cubes -- with eyes closed -- and grabs two.  Then, he or she rolls these.  And, we come up with a way to build the result into the story. 
  • When somebody rolls a 1 we do the same -- and work the fumble into the story
  •  And, thinking that it would be fun to the do same for a natural 20 critical hit [but haven't tried that yet]....
It took us a while to come up with a system which worked.  At first we had all of our Story Cubes out in a pile -- but didn't have a very good way to decide which of the dice to use....

Our D&D set-up with our Story Cubes ready for business
Then we came up with the idea of putting them all in a rather high-rimmed bowl -- and having someone at the table pick with eyes closed.  This worked out really well -- added another aspect of excitement to the game -- and also let the players feel that they had some involvement in the DM's management of the game.

Our bowl full of Story Cubes!

And, here's an example where the party was fighting skeletons.  Wouldn't you know it -- a skeleton rolled a natural 1 -- and we had agreed that for fumbles, this would mean (you guessed it) -- Story Cubes....

D&D Fumbles, Battle Gaming One, Story Cubes
Rolling the story dice when a skeleton has rolled a 1 and fumbled....

We decided that these dice indicated that rather than executing a proper strike with its spear, the skeleton lost its grip and threw the spear into the wall....

In terms of other things which are helping us to keep the game moving -- snacks (watermelon in this case) are certainly helping.  Thinking hard about the the "overhead projector" we had seen one person write up in his/her blog.  This sounded sweet.

Here's our table set-up....

Have to say that the D&D Spell Cards are really helping us to keep things going.  No more flipping through the only (dog-eared) copy of the Player's Handbook to find out how long "Protection from Evil" lasts.  Now it's all in the players "hand" so to speak.  :)

Here are the cards set up for Ms. P's Bard character :)

We'll report in as we continue to refine ways to add fun to the game!

And, here is a link to our earlier posting about playing D&D 5th Edition:  D&D 5th Edition First Try

Sunday, June 7, 2015

40K Campaign is Underway -- A Battle for Pythos IV

Hi everyone,

Today we headed over to Game Kastle to meet up with Mr's M, L and Z to start our 40K Campaign!

Fork and Spork were in attendance as we rolled off to see who would select their landing zone first :)

This is us rolling a 6!  And, get to deploy first....

Mr. M (our Game Master -- or Campaign Coordinator) had placed a map on his blog so that we could study things before hand.

Here's a link to that:

With four players, he nicely crafted the military zone of Pythos IV to have 4 Spaceports -- and so that each of us could take one if we so desired.

We were lucky and rolled to land first -- and after a bit of bashing back and forth, Fork and Spork elected to land in the southern-most Space Port:  Hex 1-34.

Tyranids and Eldar then landed -- and things ended up with Tyranids to the left of us; Eldar to the right.  Mr. M's Space Marines are directly opposite.

After considerable argument, Fork and Spork summarized things as follows:

Fur Pythos Numma Four, dese are da Orky Know-wotz:

- Supreme Warbosses Fork and Spork 'ave seezded da best spotz
- Sniffed ou' Panzys landin' to our righ' 
- An, dos' Bugz is 'ere too -- on our lef'
- Humies is far off on da udder side (no worriez)

Spork:  "I sayz we charge direkly at them Panzys and fight 'em now!"
Fork:  "Shet yer pie hole, Spork.  Dat's empy headed talk.  Take da Hive City, says I!"

Map showing the results of Ork Rekon

Haven't decided on our orders yet -- likely to have a bit more arguing between Fork and Spork before we can share the plan....

Here's the layout with the hex IDs....

Created this fancy map to show where everyone holds territory right now.

The big decision is whether we go after Mr. Z's Eldar (with his powerful new Codex behind him); or Mr. L's Tyranids; or charge to the Hive City to unlock the Moon!

We'll post more as things develop :)

We'll also post more about how Fork and Spork are coming along!

And, here is a link to Mr. M's write-up of the Pythos IV back-story:

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

"Use Real Things for Real Things!" - Update on how to make pipes, tubes, wires, cables, etc....

Hi everyone,

Wanted to post an update on what we've found to be a better way to do things....

Few weeks back we were posting about using our little press (from Poland) to make wires, tubes and such out of epoxy putty.  (Here's a link to that blog post.)

And, we mentioned that when we chatted with Seth at Game Kastle about this -- mentioned that we wanted to add wires and hoses to our Ork Supreme Warboss (Spork) -- and also that we wanted to add bigger, more involved ones from the "engine" to the "Eldar unit" on our newest locomotive conversion "Da Pain Train"....

And, after being super patient and indulgent, Seth said "use real things to model real things."  :)

So, we've been working at that!  Here's our update.  Spoiler alert:  Of course, Seth was right.  PS:  Got very similar and excellent advice from friends on DakkaDakka.

1) Wires / cables.

Where to get little cables?  Well, around here, if you need old electronic stuff, you can buy recycled electronics at nice low prices:  Weird Stuff Warehouse!

So, we headed down there -- and got some small spools.  You can see the prices on them ($0.50 and $1.00 and $3.00).  The super small gauge wires were cheaper (30 AWG) the 18-20 AWG bigger stuff was a little bit more....

Here are some spools of wire - and a short length of multi-conductor wire we got at Weird Stuff!

Then, we brought out our trusty hand drill (some good advice from a different DakkaDakka set of questions and help from friends)....

Here is the little hand-drill set we got on Amazon

After a little bit of experimentation -- found that one of the small drill bits is JUST right for the 30 AWG wire.  Don't even need to strip the wire.  Slides in with insulation on!

For the larger wire, we used one of the middle-sized bits -- and there we did have to strip the wire to get it to fit into our drilled hole.

What we were going for on Spork was to run "power" from his backpack (which we had built up from some bits) to a) his leg; b) his head; and c) his POWER SPORKA....  So, we used little wires for his head and his leg.  And, then we used the bigger wire for the POWER SPORKA.

After cutting the wires -- we primed them.  (Ended up with lots of paint on our fingers.)  Then a little bit of painting and super glued them into place.

Here is how Spork is shaping up these days.  Going to add some spikey bitz to that front pink part of the POWER SPORKA.  Had put the chains and skull there.  But, when we decided to change his pose to "OVER DA HEAD" had to move those.

We were also really eager to find a way to do pipes and tubes (so that we could run LIKWIDZ and GASSEEZ between the engine and the looted Eldar flying on Da Pain Train)....

So, we found that on HobbyLink we could order miniature PVC tubing, rods -- even I-beams!

Weren't very expensive -- and just arrived....  They are going to work out well.  But, as you can see we've got a little bit of work to do to get 'little tubes' which fit nicely inside 'bigger tubes' -- to resemble tubes, fittings, unions and the like as you'd find in real plumbing systems.

The tubes, rodes and I-beams we got on HobbyLink

So, now (in addition to finishing up Spork) we're ready to start work on Da Pain Train :)

Da Pain Train - Gotz rodz and pipez.  'Ere We Go!

And, with the plastic I-beams we got -- what'll we work on?  Well -- mostly likely a gantry for the Grot Rokkit so that we can use it with the Ork Pulsa Rokkit rules in the up-coming campaign!

As for the little press -- it's still going to see action.  As we see it now -- it's still great for making tubes of different sizes -- particularly when we need them to bend very tight corners.  So, planning to use it on Da Pain Train to make 90-degree elbow piping pieces  :)

Monday, June 1, 2015

Kublakon, Cool War Train and Rivet Wars!

Hi everyone,

This past weekend we spent a little bit of time at Kublacon 2015!

We're still pretty much gaming convention rookies - but we did have a great time :)  Here were several highlights for us:

1) We got to meet our friends from Game Kastle.  Was fun to see them at the convention -- especially in the middle of so many games.

2) There were some really fun displays -- like the guys selling dice.  Had never seen so many dice in one place.  So many colors!  The random grab bin was fun.  And, even found a 24-sided die.  A d24, we guess you'd call it....

One of the racks from the big dice supplier!  Great colors!

Here is a photo of some of the ones we found and brought home....  We figure the Pink Orkys might use the top one for "VERY KRITIKAL" dice rolls.  Don't know what we'll use the 24-sided one for yet.  And, thinking to use the smiley-face die for random D&D encounter generation.  We liked the colors of the others :)

Our fun dice finds!  (We asked the dice guys if the grab-bin dice came in great big boxes.  They siad "yes, and those boxes are REALLY heave!)

3) We spotted a game called Rivet Wars -- and bought it from our Game Kastle friends -- got some fun game promo models since we bought it at the convention.

  4) We got to *play* Rivet Wars in the room where they had two games set up.  And, hey! we like Rivet Wars!  So, this was very good.

Near the end of our first game of Rivet Wars.  Putting our single grey guy into enemy territory helped us to win some key victory points!  Our opponent was very gracious and made several strategy suggestions :)

Here are some quick points about Rivets Wars:

a) It's a fast game.  Maybe 30 minutes to play?

b) The little models are funny and fun.

Here we are playing at home.  Deployed our tanks right away to enjoy the cool look!

c) There are lots of choices about what to try, what to move, how to attack.

d) You can add different upgrades into the "sockets" of different models.  For example the crawler tank above has the "Turret" upgrade added -- instead of the starting cost blank plug which can go in the socket.  (There are character, "pilot" type upgrades as well -- very cool look to have your general commanding from inside your tank.)

d) It's easy to temper the game for different skill levels.  You don't ever really "run out" of army units -- you can simply keep generating and generating them turn-after-turn.  So, if you have a skill delta, it's pretty easy to agree that the game plays on even if one person reaches 10 victory points early.  [We actually enjoy "continuous mode" where you simply skip Victory Points altogether and just keep on playing and playing!]

e) We are still a little bit fuzzy about the moving and shooting rules in the game -- but after watching a Youtube video with the game creator, think we have it figured out :)

5) We got to see a VERY COOL War Train!  Someone had set up a display with a very long Germany WWII armored train.  Studying the locomotive and gun-cars, had lots of ideas for how to continue our work on the Ork and Space Marine trains!

[Link to our Dakka Chugga Post; Link to Da Pain Train Post]

We thought that this car with turret and anti-aircraft gun was pretty cool.  Worth thinking about making an Ork version (or - just loot this one!)

A very cool armored train model.  Hard to even see the locomotive and the tender here -- but if you stare long enough you can see them.  Cool ideas for a Space Marine train, maybe ??

All-in-all, we had a great time -- looking forward to Kublacon 2016!