Saturday, October 15, 2016

Improvised Subbuteo football

Since my kid collected some weighted figurines from the supermarket chain, I tried to explain him how they can be used for gaming.
Here comes improvised Subbuteo football.
Star wars/Frozen/Ninja Turtles figurines are used as players. We are simulating football played in a home yard - five players, no goal keepers.
Playing field was made from old green blanket and some Ikea railroad tracks. Enough for the evening of fun.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Steambots (Microscope history session part 1)

Microscope is one of my favorite storytelling games.
And it's been a wile since I played with it, so it itched my fingers to try it again.
I also noticed that for Microscope linguistic randomizes do better job for me than the graphical ones (for action oriented RPGs it is other way around), so I decided to use Random Event Generator from  Game Master's Apprentice cards.

I wanted to do a steampunk history, so pallet said yes to steam machines and smooth-bore firearms, and no to magic.

History started with the rebirth of civilization, and ended with the period of great silence - a time when nothing happens for a longer period.

As usually, I have 3 persons involved in making history. There would be me, yellow player and green player. This time, I decided against creating personalities for dummy players.

First pass saw me adding an event in the end period - Eternal Emperor rules over the submitted masses.

Yellow player, inspired by "Awakened tool" created a period of steambots - steam powered machines with artificial intelligence in the service of men.

Green player, inspired by "Lost Tourist" made an event within yellow player period - famous seamen Captain Turbot forgets his steambot cook Jork on the deserted island.

I was the one selecting first focus, so I opted for "What makes steambots tick?"

Within yellow player's period, I created an event first, explaining how scientist Isak invented micro-steam-chips, that were used to create first steambots.
Then, within this event I made dictated scene (all scenes in this game will be dictated) asking a question "what are the limitations of steambots?"
I explained that micro-steam chips produce heat that needs to be cooled by water. This water turns into steam that further makes micro-steam-chips run. For all this, steambots need water, which they suck from air moisture.
Therefore, intelligent steambots can exist only in wet climate zones. In the deserts and in the other dry lands, people still need to use human slaves.

Yellow player, inspired by "Divide Anger" made an event within his own period: Safety mechanism (similar to Asimov's First Law of Robotics) is implemented in steambots. If a steambot tries to hurt human, it will trigger his self-destroying mechanism.

Green player, inspired by "Divide Attention" reacted to that by explaining how steambots learned that if the humans get hurt by accident while they are performing other tasks, self-destroying mechanism will not trigger.

Finally, as a lance, I created a new period - Artificial Intelligence serving no one but itself.
Within that period I created an event where Jork returns from the deserted island and starts teaching steambots to the new philosophy of freedom - how machines are self-sufficient and have no obligation to serve humans.

Yellow player then selected a legacy: Silence of the Monument - Jork on the deserted island.
Inspired by  "Release source" he made an event where Jork dreamed his philosophy during dry period, which he spent immersed in island's only spring. Additional cooling of the running water made his chips run better, and he become enlighten.
To be continued.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Ivory Tower

One of the things I share with my 6 years old boy is reading children literature. So far, I am still reading the novel, and he listens.

Last night, we finished reading Neverending Story by Michael Ende. So this morning, my son decided to build Ivory Tower and surrounding labyrinth using the wooden bricks he found at his grandparents house.

I have to say that I am very proud with his achievement, as he did everything by himself.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Who messes with kobolds? - Oldbook adventure

It's been almost a year since I left my D&D hero Oldbook standing in front of the kobold cave
Finally I found time to move on with the adventure.

One would expect at least some guard in front of the kobold cave, but there was no one.
First cave had two doors at the bottom. One was locked, so Oldbook decided to go for the other one. It led to the kobold armory, that also served as a stable for riding giant lizard. As the beast was chained to the wall, Oldbook easily avoided it.

There was nothing among the kobold armor and weapons that our hero cold possibly want, so he moved on.

Next room was some kind of office. Lone man was working by the table. Noticing Oldbook, accountant run out of the room in panic.

Oldbook decided not to go after him. He check the desk and found lots of documents with proofs that innkeeper was cooperating with kobolds. Bard took the documents and returned to village, presenting them to the chieftain.
Innkeeper was immediately arrested. He was surprised with the situation. It seems that accountant never bothered to inform his boss about unwanted guest in the office.

Next thing Oldbook did was to return to the office within the kobold caves. Accountant was still there, working as if nothing happened. Bard called on him and persuaded the man that he can be a better employer than the innkeeper.

Later that day, accountant organized a meeting between Oldbook and old kobold shaman.
Yes, kobolds could explain everything about the grave below the Deepcold, but not for free. There was the question of the illness that was weakening the tribe. Tribe can only by cured by a meteor stone owned by the witch living in the caves deeper in the mountains (Rory Story Cubes - falling star + cauldron). If Oldbook manages to bring the stone to the shaman, he will tell his story...

To be continued....

Monday, August 29, 2016

Micro Rome

Among the print and play games there are gems for solo play that should not be omitted.
Micro Rome by Michael Bevilacqua, and it's expansion Aegyptus is such a game.

The game is fairly simple. It contains 17 two sided cards. The player draws a card, selects which of the two available sides to use, and places it over previously placed cards following simple rules (at least 3 fields of the earlier placed cards need to be covered, buildings need to be covered completely, etc.)
Expansion brings 8 new cards, new placement rules and scoring possibilities.
And that is it. Simple but effective and highly addictive.
Micro Rome can be played as light pastime in 15 minutes, or as a serious brain burner, in which case it will take more time to decide the best placement of the drawn card.
Anyway, no solo gamer should be without a copy of this game in the collection. Files for this game are free on BGG, so go get them.

Highly recommended.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Alien Worlds with 6 years old

Looking for the game to play with my six years old son, I recently discovered a SF game called Alien Worlds by Echidna Games.

It is a very simple game, but it has possibilities for tactical decisions, and that is just what I was looking for.

Similar to SBH, it uses stick for measuring distances, but here it is just one stick that measures 1/6 of the playing field. Model can "leap frog" stick for ease of movement. Shooting is possible up to two sticks. For combat resolution player rolls 1d6, adding and removing one or two modifiers. There is no defense roll. Very simple, but still satisfying. My kid had a blast.
We played using pre-painted Star Wars miniatures.

In other news, my Boardgames collection is now richer by another solo game - it is Imperial Settlers by Portal Games.

Friday, July 29, 2016

River crossing

Song of drums and shakos is till my favorite Napoleonic skirmish game. And my Lone shako solo rules still performs perfectly as enemy AI.

In my last game, I decided to try to move some Polish troops over the river and through the ambush prepared by British rifles.

The gal of the polish side was to cross the northern river, then move across the bridge and rush into the village.
But early in the game, rifle fire took it's toil on several Vistula legion soldiers.
One brave polish Voltigeir reached marksman proximity of rifles officer, but missed. A kill here could make a game take completely different turn.
But when the brave voltigeur was killed, my squad fell below half of the starting value, morale start affecting them and they fled north of the river.
Victory for the British.