So it has been a while. Regrettably due to the various combinations of work, family and Christmas, my time to ruminate upon my most recent tabletopping exploits has been somewhat limited. That doesn’t mean that I have been idle in the time being, but I thought that those of you who have consideration for my blog (whomever you might be), deserve at least a little attention. I mean it is only fair, isn’t it?
So before normal service is resumed (and I am working on an article about a game that I have recently got off the shelf after a fair time of it being neglected and remembered how much I enjoy it), I thought I would give you a little run down of what I have been enjoying; what may have concerned me and where all my precious time appears to have melted away to.
Firstly, for those of you that share my experiences across here and Who Dares Rolls, may remember my article on Games Workshop giving us the new Warhammer 40,000. Well this has been taking up a fair amount of my time and whilst GW are coming thick and fast with the releases, they haven’t damped my enjoyment for the game. Previously the desire to get something new and shiny to the table seems to have resulted in overpowered and expensive miniatures. The new miniatures product have the usual hallmarks of GW quality and some are just bloody amazing (I have no love of the Nurgle range but the Sloppity Bilepiper a piece of art – and no, I did not make that name up). What’s more, they are actively “patching” the game as they go. Already flyer armies, psychic weapons batteries and deep striking daemon bomb armies have come under the withering gaze of their FAQ system. It genuinely a joy to sit down to play a game of 40k again – which is something I have been unable to say for a while.
PC gamers of a certain age will remember the Star Wars flight simulator TIE Fighter. Yes – we were actively encouraged to be the bad guys and fly in the knowledge that a single volley of fire was likely to kill your ship. So it came as a great relief when later in the campaign you were given the Assault Gunboat – a ship designed entirely for the game to be a slower (and shielded) ordinance carrier. God – did I love that ship. Which is just as well, because Fantasy Flight Games gave us some new X-Wing Miniatures content! And the Assault Gunboat is both in it and really good.
I know X-Wing had been getting a bit of bad press lately as it hit a period when it appeared to moving away from its roots, which were as a dog fighting game. The prevalence of turrets and bombs appeared to be crippling the iconic ships from the original trilogy. A combination of the new miniatures and some FAQ changes to certain cards has given the game a bit of a shot in the arm. I’m not claiming that all problems have been instantly fixed (we are not seeing a swarm of TIE Fighters back on the table – at least not at competitive events). But I did play a game using X-Wings and Darth Vader the other day, so it appears to be going in the right direction. Furthermore, the Assault Gunboat is the most 90s ship design of all time – so hurray for my misplaced youth.
Christmas has come and gone and with it the love of new games under the tree. I was fortunate enough to pick up a couple of new ones – the DC Deckbuilder Game and a little known one called Starfighter. I have found both to have their merits which will undoubtedly result in a review either here or on WDR. I will briefly remark that if its only two of you playing, I’d go for a different deckbuilder than the DC game, which appears to come into its own in a larger group. Starfighter I am still working out. It’s clearly a game that reward careful planning and forethought, which I have yet to master. My wife has already developed more nous than I and is merrily wrecking my ships whilst I try to work out what has gone wrong. My eldest son has also joined me in the tabletop hobby in getting his own copy of Magic The Gathering: Arena of the Planeswalkers. I was pleasantly surprised by this one – it has a combat system gleefully borrowed (or stolen) from Heroquest and seems to be a good little skirmish game to introduce new players. However, it does suffer from some incredibly ugly pre-painted models.
Speaking of my children, I have been making some very deliberate attempts to get back to playing games a as family. Whilst my children are devotees of the church of FIFA and Minecraft, playing games together has always been something that defines our relationship. And as the boys get older, I have been able to bring out more complicated and varied games for them to enjoy. Only last night we put away our dinner plates and pulled Forbidden Desert off the shelf. And whilst we failed in our quest one square away from success (we ran out of sand tiles – we have never run out of sand tiles …), it was a good time to talk and do something we all enjoy.
Christmas also brought further delight in a copy of Cities In Ruin for Eldritch Horror. Motivated by this, I invited several friends over for an evening of world spanning adventure. When the numbers were totalled up, it appeared that we had seven of us to try and tackle the ancient evil of Azathoth. I had warnings that games with this volume of players became bloated things that were bound to drag on. However, I am delighted to report that whilst we took our time, the game did not become a chore at any point. I am already busy devising which horror we tackle next (the Masks Of Nyarlathotep expansion is calling to me).
I have also been notified that Airecon is coming back around on 9th to 11th March 2018 in Harrogate. Long time readers of the blog will remember my review piece from last year in which I described my adventures amongst the visitors, exhibitors, other bloggers and distributers last year and it is my aim to go again to try and bring you more news of the latest in new games and accessories.
Like last year, we will be seeing Travelling Man bringing their extensive games library for you to pick a title from (which gave me my first introduction to the splendid Inis). There will be 20 RPG tables for players to get involved in run by experienced GMs. The Bring and Buy sale was a big success and currently 26 exhibitors are confirmed for the event. You may even get to see me (I cannot guarantee you won’t be disappointed). Tickets are available from their website – just don’t forget your AireCup which proved to be a godsend over the course of last weekend.
So that’s in a rather waffley trip round my most recent weeks. Expect normal service to be resumed soon with another entry in my classic game countdown soon. In the meantime, play games and enjoy your start to 2018.