Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Happy New Year 2015

Another year has come and gone. In terms of the hobby I managed to play a few games of In Her Majesty's name. I guess I didn't quite get everything posted which I would have liked to. But its a brand new year coming. Time to choose a new hobby goal and move forward with that goal.
The goal which I want to accomplish this year is to complete some of my samurai army. If I work on a figure a day I'll have it done in about a year. I guess a more realistic goal would be to paint enough until I can do a decent sized battle (or tire of painting sashimos) whatever comes first.

Anyway, hope your holidays were great, and I'll see you on the other side of 2014.

Friday, December 5, 2014

More Wargames Factory Figures + Future Project

I purchased several boxes of WargamesFactory figures on their black friday sale. They arrived a few days ago and I'm looking forward to assembling them when I get time. I've always been intrigued by Japanese samurai, so I purchased several boxes of those. I'll get some pictures up of them when I begin to build and paint them. Right now I'm in the research phase to determine which clans I want to paint up. Ii Naomasa's "Red Devils" seem to be a popular clan to paint up. They were a subdivision of the Tokogowa Clan. I might decide to paint them, but right now I'm leaning toward painting clans which are not as popular to paint for miniatures, because then if I meet another person who plays samurai miniatures, then we won't be fighting with two of the same clans on the battlefield. I'm still waiting for my rules so far.

Have a good battle,

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Latest Photograph: Ghost 109E

Another photograph taken at the Chino Air Museum. That place is amazing if you are into miniatures to see some of the different paint schemes which could be used for Check Your Six. It's also amazing if you are just a fan of airplanes or World War II in general. This is a manipulation of the BF-109E which is awaiting restoration in the museum. It was a very fun manipulation to do, I've now learned what I can do with RAW files. It makes it a lot easier to balance the final image. I have more control over the final result by shooting in RAW.
I have not yet gotten out to see one of their air shows. But if I ever get the opportunity, I would not hesitate to see one.

Ghost 109E by IntermissionNexus on deviantART

Monday, November 3, 2014

My Photography

Hello again readers,

This post will have little to do with actual miniatures as the past ones have been, but don't despair it does relate somehow. It will rather feature two military plane photos which I have for sale as prints.

Photography is one of my loves just like miniatures and painting them. I thought I'd link to my deviantart page where you can find wonderful prints such as those pictured below. There will be more photos coming in the future. That will now be where I will maintain my photography.

Storm Crusader by IntermissionNexus

Cadillac of the Skies by IntermissionNexus

Heart of Fire by IntermissionNexus

The link to it is

If you feel so inclined and would like one of these pieces hanging on your wall, you can purchase prints of these off of my deviantart site. Watches and faves on deviantart are appreciated as well.

Thank you
Kevin Meeks

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Poll for the next month or so

Hi everyone,

I'm running a poll for the next month or so on this blog. You can find it on the top of the blog. I'm mainly just curious as to how you found out about this blog. Were you searching for it specifically, or did you stumble across it some other way. I'd appreciate it if you gave me some feedback.


Gaming Goodness 04: Letters From Whitechapel

Hello readers. After a bit of a hiatus, I've returned to the blogging sphere, posts will be infrequent as of late, since I have now began a new job within the last two months, and have gone back to school at DeVry to get my Master's degree in Netcom Management. I won't even try to keep this on a regular schedule, but I'll be posting when I have new and interesting items to post for your perusal.

In another edition of Gaming Goodness, I'll be covering the game Letters from Whitechapel. Letters is a board game which was revised by Fantasy Flight Games in 2013 from a version originally published in 2010. It is similar in game-play to Scotland Yard. Letters is a deductive game with a strong cat and mouse feel.

This game plays similarly to another deductive game, Scotland Yard. Although in it you as the players are trying to find "Mister X" as he moves across London. In that one you only know where he is by the methods of transportation used, and when he has to reveal himself at strategic points. The hidden movement mechanic is where the similarity ends with these two games.
Letters gives the players an especially nerve wracking game play experience.
One player takes the role of Jack the Ripper. It is his goal to select a hideout on the board. The white pawns are Jack's targets. Jack will place out white round tokens of which a few are dummies to denote possible targets. The police players then put out their patrol tokens, as directed by the head of the investigation. Like Jack's wretched tokens, the police patrol tokens also have some dummy blanks.
The round is ready to begin. The waiting game is more important in the play because it gives Jack the opportunity to determine where the patrols actually are, but it gives the police players the opportunity to move the wretched pawns onto another adjacent number in a way that might make it harder for Jack.
The heart of the game really begins after Jack strikes and then he is trying to maneuver from the crime scene to the location of his hideout. The trick is that he only has a certain amount of moves available each round. Although they are enough to get across the entire length of the board, if he is forced to detour a lot, then it would reduce the amount of flexibility that he has.
Letters from Whitechapel Gameplay
1 Rulebook, Game Board, and Jack Screen
6 Reference Sheets
4 Jack's Letter Pieces
5 Head of the Investigation Tiles (the oval ones)
5 Special Movement Tokens (Coach and Alleyway)
16 Wooden Tokens (Black for police patrols and white for the targets)
12 Wooden Pawns (2 Jack Figures, 5 Police Figures, 5 White Wretched Pawns)
27 Plastic Markers (Red crime scene markers, and yellow clue markers)

What I thought of it:
I've had a chance now to play it several times. Both playing as Jack, and as the police. It is a totally different experience based upon which side you play. Jack is the harder of the two to play. Firstly because he is never actually on the board and you must keep track of him, without giving away your location based upon how you look at the board. The police are in essence a team of players, who can confer as to where best to place the tokens on the board. Although it is easy for Jack the first few nights, don't allow that to fool you. I've been caught before on the final night, and I've also managed to throw the game by making an illegal move as Jack, which would have lead to me getting captured. If you are looking for a good cognitive game of deduction, then you have found it in Letters From Whitechapel.

I rate it 5 meeples out of 5.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Laser Grenadiers and Walkers (Oh My!)

Today's entry is a simple list, or update if you will about what I want to eventually get to for this hobby of mine. Here are some of the things I'd like to finish within the next few months. These dust tactics figures will be very useful to for In Her Majesty's Name. I finally have figures so I can test out the walker rules. Right now they are in various stages of paint. When I get back to them, I'll post some more pictures of them.

Great looking walkers, got to love the weaponry...

They'll take some work to paint and weather.

I also picked up some Laser Grenadiers from Dust Tactics as well. If I get to painting the German troops, then I'll have some good VSF looking troops which I can either use for the Prussian squad in the books, or fashion my own. The Laser Sturmgrenadieren Squad just is dripping with Victorian science fiction potential. Those could be anything from arc-rifles, to flame-throwers, to weapons that launch projectiles off of super-heated steam. Just some ideas of how I might stat them up for IHMN.

Troops with goggles and gasmasks (very steampunky)...

There are also a number of board games I'd like to get on the table. Sky Traders being the main one. Some others are Space Empires 4x, Dread Pirate, and Letters From Whitechapel. Seeing as how I've not gotten a lot of play with those. A review of Letters of Whitechapel is forthcoming on this blog. Stay tuned.

Peace, Love and Good Gaming

Monday, October 6, 2014

Miniature Mondays 06: Starship Chambers

In the past there once was a Star Wars miniatures game, up until WOTC lost the license and it was aquired by FFG. That being said, this edition of miniature monday's will take a different approach than the past ones. This month Paizo released a map pack for the game Pathfinder entitled Starship Chambers. 
These map tiles have many possibilities beyond their namesake. You could run them with Star Wars Saga Edition, since the square tiles are just the same size as the maps for Saga. I however plan on using them for the Star Wars Miniatures Game, since it would be interesting to try a game that wasn't shaped like a standard map. Or by overlaying the tiles on to an existing map, we now have a installation in the arctic of Hoth, or a medical facility on the forest of Endor. Here's some ideas that popped in my head as I looked at the tiles, beyond just the namesake starship.
-- Imperial facility
-- Forest shelter
-- Defunct science station
-- Mad scientist lab
-- Hidden rebel facility
The possibilities are almost endless. This map pack has value for anyone running any sort of Star Wars game. Or any modern or near-future game. Just a short review this time.

4.5 out of 5.0
The hallways in this pack could be a bit mundane, but if you watch the Star Wars films, what you encounter more often than not, are long metal hallways that seem to stretch on forever. This map pack delivers a space station feel, in spades.

Saturday, July 5, 2014


It feels like eons since I've posted anything. After taking a recent break from painting miniatures, I've decided to get back to it. I got to play in a Check Your Six! game at the HMGS Spring Convention back in June. It was a great time. I returned home with some Wargames Factory Persians which I won in the raffle, and a model of a T34-85 by Revel which will be a future project at some point.

You may be wondering where is it that I paint these miniatures, what does his work area look like? In this post I'll give you a tour of my workbench. Please keep all your arms and legs inside the vehicle, and we'll proceed.

It's a simple workbench out in my garage where all the magic happens. On the left of the bench is a shoebox to hold the Tamiya paint pots. On top of that box (but not in the picture) is a smaller box that I use to hold the I-94 decals for the Check Your Six! aircraft.

The cutting boards are versatile items for painting, cutting, and gluing miniatures. It helps protect the table underneath. What I currently working on are planes for the miniatures game Crimson Skies. An air game set in an alternate 1930's America.
Now we come to the right side of the workspace in this tour. This is lead-mountain, the file-trays and bags next to them. Various unpainted figures and WW2 aircraft for future projects. Mostly my unpainted German and Japanese. A cup to hold the brushes, and a clock for me to watch as time passes by.

I hope you have enjoyed this tour of my workbench. Some of my future plans include building a shelf above the clock, paralleling the bench. This would give me additional room to hold some Vallejo paints, and they'd be easy to reach.

Until next time. May the skies be full of critical hits!


Tuesday, May 27, 2014

For in My Eyes

For in My Eyes
By: Kevin Meeks 

For in my eyes you've gone away
and now I'm forced to walk alone
yet in my heart love does stay.

I rise to walk another day
along this path that's overgrown
for in my eyes you've gone away.

I watch the clouds that turn so grey
and think of what I should've known,
yet in my heart my love does stay.

I wait on time to come what may
as I'm a rag doll tossed and thrown,
for in my eyes you've gone away.

You were once my sunny day
my warmth for you my heart has shown,
yet in my heart my love does stay.

You choose to walk back to the bay
to leave me hollow and unknown.
For in my eyes you've gone away
yet in my heart my love does stay.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Gaming Goodness 03: Pandemic

Pandemic is a game originally released in 2008 by z-man games. The 2013 version of the game is the version which I have. And for this installment of gaming goodness this review can also apply to the older one, since the addition was two new characters and some minor tweaks. Having now played both versions, they both play the same. There are just some additional bells and whistles in the revised edition.

The Components of the Game

What's in the box? There are seven role cards in this edition. The contingency planner and quarantine specialist are the two new roles in this edition. What do the roles do? The quarantine specialist stops outbreaks in whatever city they are in. One of my friends had this role in a game I played a few months back. It was highly effective. The other new card, the contingency planner allows the player to look through the event discards (using an action) and place that card beneath the role card. The card can then be used once and is removed from the game afterwards. It can be quite powerful when used appropriately.

Outbreak cards are inserted into the infection deck depending on how difficult you want the game to be. More outbreak cards make for a more difficult game. Infection cards are randomly drawn and those cities are infected in the beginning.
The players begin in Atlanta after the roles have been dealt out. They perform 4 actions. Draw 2 player cards. And then infect cities at the current infection rate.

Move between interconnected cities (Car or ferry).  To a city that player holds (direct flight) discard the card. To any city if current city is played (charter flight). From research lab to research lab (shuttle flight).

Treat disease
Players remove disease cubes at the rate of one per action.

Find a cure
Discard 5 city cards of a color to cure the corresponding disease. (4 if scientist).

Build a Research Station
 Discard the matching city card you are in to place a Research Station there.

Share information
Give or take the matching city card from another player that matches the city both of you are in currently. Very difficult to do, in the game I played last Friday this did not come up.

5 out of 5 Meeples

If you are looking for a game which the players can easily win, I'd rate this one lower. But as a cooperative game goes, its one of the best. Every move counts, and the difficulty ramps up in the end, as with any cooperative game. In last Friday's game we played the players almost won it, and then the game took us. It might have been easier had we been using the newer edition. Seeing as how the quarantine specialist would have been a very valuable team member to have.

Monday, May 19, 2014

A Thousand And One

A thousand and one sounds like a great tale. It is in fact, its the classic Arabic epic. Although in this case its page views not classic literature. Yes you read correctly. I'm happy to have broken this threshold recently. Here is a poem and some miniatures pictures in honor of the event.

A Thousand and One
By: Kevin Meeks

Seeking to find the legendary lamp,
under the skies blazing lamp.
The riddled door is barred and shut,
to seal within the golden lamp.
The route beneath the desert hidden
to all but the seeker of the lamp.
Wrapped in class with scimitars
the guardians of the mystic lamp.
The three wishes all men seek
which lie within the bowels of this lamp.
Tales have been sung of this treasure
the golden cavern of the lamp.
Greed attracts men, once they hear
to rub the plain golden lamp.
Wanting everything is a fault
as only three wishes lie in this lamp.
Beyond that no more can be sought
of what's imbued in this lamp.
Genies are in mythic tales told
and reward those who find the lamp.
Pushing men to madness and drink
searching for this magical lamp.
Three wishes you'll get and one is spent,
two more are within this lamp.
You try again to get your wish
leaving one more within the lamp.
The last one you spend frivolously
as you remain holding the empty lamp.
You learn the truth of Ali's lamp
of the three wishes inside the lamp.

Here are some miniatures which I have to get around to painting one of these days. They are Arabic in theme which would work very well for pulp era gaming, as well as any steampunk adventure set in the wilds of the orient. The first is a figure with a fez (those are cool) and a scimitar. the second figure has a hat like a mongol, and of course a larger sword. In the second photo there is a wizard, could be used as a vizier (in a fictional sense of the title). There is a slightly smaller 25-ish mm figure advancing with a spear and a turban style hat. And last but not least we have a bearded man in a turban brandishing what looks like a shotgun. These all need to be stripped of paint, re-primed, and then painted.


Monday, May 12, 2014

Miniature Mondays 05: Zulu Warriors

The Zulus have actually been completed for some time now. They were instrumental in the scenario "Into Darkest Africa" which I ran two months ago. The results of those games can be found earlier in this blog. The Zulu miniatures are manufactured by a company specializing in hard plastic miniatures, Wargames Factory.

These figures came with a lot more sprues than the zombies did. But came with the same number of figures, 30. The disassembled Zulu came with separate right and left arms, heads, bodies, and equipment. The equipment was an array of short spears, long spears, clubs, shields, rifles, and an arm holding a rifle.

The best part about these figures is the sheer amount of variations in assembly. The benefit to this is that no two figures will be identical. Between assembling and painting that means that these 30 figures will not be identical to another player who has bought the same set.

Another thing to note is that they don't come with bases, but I ordered some from Wargames Factory as well just to be safe. I don't know if they will be packaged with them in the future, but I doubt it. I must say that this was a great idea because the bases are made from the same plastic as the figures. The plastic cement that melts the figures together, ensures that they'll never fall off their bases.

The figures themselves took to paint very nicely after priming. The detail on the castings wasn't lost under the paint either. I could probably go back and change the skin tone to have more of a range of colors instead of just one dark skin tone. The most fun part of painting these miniatures were the shields and the white war paint. It gave me a great deal of joy to try and make each figure unique. I'll leave you with three pictures of the finished horde.

Until next time!
And have a great game!


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Hobby Day May 10 2014

Hobby day is put on by the St. Crispin's Irregulars on the second Saturday of each month at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Anaheim. They have recently started having themes for hobby day. This means that ideally they want the games played during that day to be in some way related to the theme. This month's theme was "Adventure on the High Seas." I arrived in the morning and stayed until the early afternoon. I usually stay the entire day, but I had a family birthday to attend in the evening. It was a good day of gaming despite the low numbers of people who showed up for the event.

I managed to get some board games on the table that day with my friend Eric. We played "Dread Pirate: Buccaneers Revenge," "Agricola," "Pirate Fluxx," and "Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock."
"Dread Pirate: Buccaneers Revenge" is a game where the players maneuver their pirate ship around the map, completing quests. The quests are in the form of mission cards which have a start location and and objective. The game was good with two players, although its a lot more cutthroat when played with four people. The bag of loot and gold coins are a nice addition to the game. It feels like a euro-game in simplicity and ease of play, with some depth in the abilities that the completed quests give you. All in all it is a nice family game. I would recommend this game to anyone of any age who likes pirates.

I have previously blogged a review of this game, so I won't go in depth here. I had a fun time playing this game on Saturday and adding some of the expansions as well. Eric and I got in two games of this. It was his first time playing this, and by the second game, he had already grasped the concept extremely well to the point that we added several decks of cards in the second play. It was my second time playing with the "Legen*dary forest deck" which is the second non-serious expansion for the game. I had a great time teaching the game to Eric, and look forward to getting Agricola back on the table more often.

In keeping with the theme of Hobby Day "Adventure on the High Seas," I also got this game on the table. Pirate Fluxx. As with the other Fluxx games the game is never the same twice. It begins with the mechanic of "draw 1 card, play 1 card." As cards are played however, that changes rapidly. Many of the cards are new rules, or meta rules. After several hands the rule might be "Draw 5 cards" "Play All." The goal of the game is to have "keeper cards" in play that match the goal. And when that occurs, you win!
This fast paced dice game worked alright with two players, but would be better in a larger group. You are trying to defeat the black die with a roll of the three red dice. If the black die defeats your red dice, then you lose a chip, placing it back in the center. If a red die matches the black die, you pass a chip to the right. If you roll a "pass left" result, you pass a chip to the left. The object of the game is to be the only one left with chips at the end. It was a quick and simple game to play.

Saturday, May 10, 2014

"The Feasting" and "Groundhog's Day"

The Feasting
By: Kevin Meeks

Just off the space rail to Newtown, Mars,
dusk glints softly off the glaciers.
And the ears of the two martian babes
flick with interest.
They have traveled long from the mountains
to guide the explorer and me.
We leap over the metal wall into the cafeteria
where they have been cooking all day, alone.
Their lips twitch, hardly hiding their teeth
which are sharp.
They nod contemplative as fat friars. They like us outsiders.
There is no admiration like theirs.
Uneasy once more,
they begin consuming the tough meat of dinner on the table.
I would like to taste this meal also,
for they have left none for me
and my companion.
They are gray and blue,
their hair is short and fuzzy on the top,
and motion moves me to gaze towards the rear.
That is when they attacked and I was hit.
Suddenly I realize
That they were not feeding us, but
we are food.

Groundhog's Day
By: Kevin Meeks

She looks around with concert eyes
into the sleeping riot.
Beneath the iridescent traffic vest
her world tunes into quiet.
Dusty vehicles shift into gear
turning out-dated rotors.
Thirteen months becomes a year
in this daylight spending time.
Phil rose up and then died,
Oh! what a groundhog's day it was.
The crowds doffed their hats and sighed,
beating their breasts as they vowed.
Across the pond the old blokes still met.
Fellow writer, the group of Kolbiters,
the Bird and Baby quartet.
They paid no attention to this day.
What of the Fahrenheit protocol?
Does she know what it means?
Spending another dime night in Omaha
as the geese pack their carpet-bags.
The overcoat of groundhog pelt
keeps her tiny frame warm.
As she shuffles into the tuna-melt
and turns off her brain with her charm.

Thursday, May 8, 2014

The Elms

The Elms
By: Kevin Meeks

Blazing, neutral, razor-sharp
cupcakes line the aisles.
The turnip-lined boxes
are playing classic Jazz.
The air is permeated with
a cacophony of rhythmic beats.
Not a single note is distinguishable
out of the desert complex.
Wingless halos come out of hiding
beneath the Jell-O pillow.
The plants in the waiting room
hunger for human brains.
They are trapped within
the iron-shackles of their stands.
Trying to gain self-consciousness,
but failing in the attempt.
While the denizens listen
to the nasal voice of reason.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

What is this thing called Steampunk?

In recent years the community of steampunkers are more widespread in culture than they once were. What was once an underground movement relating to science fiction enthusiasts, is now a movement that stresses the do-it-yourself ethic. It usually takes the late 1800's era and tweaks it. Adding airships, clockwork robots, and of course the ever popular mad scientist. It has grown to a proportion where even major television shows like Castle have featured steampunk in one of their episodes, exposing the greater culture to the subculture of steampunk.

What is it about this movement that captures the hearts and minds of people?

Steampunk at its heart is retro futuristic science fiction. What I mean by that, is that it places some of the future back in a past that never was and attempts to make sense of it. The entire nature of the movement is  anachronistic. Hence allowing for a wide berth of imagination. As long as the technology in question can be explained within the constraints of its setting, then it will work in the story. That being said, within steampunk the improbable is quite possible, and most often required.

The roots of steampunk stem from the broader category of Victorian Science Fiction (VSF). Much of steampunk is dependent on the improbable gadgets so common to the genre. Without gears this genre, quite possibly wouldn't exist. In VSF on the other hand the focus is on the adventure just like in other forms of pulp fiction. The typically hero in steampunk is the scientist as a hero. Its a genre where brains are valued over brawn. Victorian Science Fiction on the other hand does have a tendency for scientists as heroes, but can fit many other types of heroes into their formula.

In VSF the discovery of the unknown beyond our boarders is the main thrust of the adventure. Likewise, it can be similar in steampunk stories. Both genres owe their lineage to the works of H.G. Wells and Jules Verne as the main fathers of this genre. The submarine in 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was a futuristic concept at the time of the books publication. There was a submersible created by Robert Fulton in 1800 named the Nautilus, with a hand cranked propeller. Which probably inspired Jules Verne's novel in 1870. At the time, the ocean was vastly unexplored and lent fertile ground for the writings of science fiction. The genre of steampunk is primarily a written one, before a costumed one. People who adhere to it generally have at least some knowledge of its literary origins, and try to match their cosplay likewise.

In today's popular culture, steampunk is epitomized by the excessive use of goggles, gears, brass, brown, and gears. The zeppelin has also become an icon of steampunk. But it should be more than just an icon to distinguish the genre. Steampunk ought to be foremost a mindset. Typically set within Victorian ideals, it then subverts those ideals and rebels against the setting, giving us the edge to the punk. The "punk" term has bothered me as a description. If another term should be used, I feel revolution is a better term. "Punk" has stuck as a term because steampunk came about as a response to cyberpunk. It is the opposite of archaic, cyber-punk is ultra-futuristic where technology invades all of society, even invading man with the aid of bionics. Steampunk I believe is the retaliation to cyberpunk. There is some punk to the movement, despite its love of the analog. The band Abney Park who some describe as "the quintessential steampunk band" had quite an edge to some of their songs, cementing them strongly into the punk of steampunk. All in all, the genre of steampunk is great fun to write and be, and can be considered fun for most. I hoped that this post helped you understand a little of how I view steampunk. So raise your tesla-colied logarithmic calculator and join the steampunk revolution.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Gaming Goodness 02: Agricola

If you've ever wanted to own a farm but not the hassle of working on it, then this is the game for you. Set in Germany during the twelfth century, this game gives you the freedom to do what you like with your farm. If you want a vast array of fields teeming with crops, you can. If animals are more your thing, then you can raise sheep, boar, and cows and cook them later for food (mmm! Hamburger).

I've played several games of Agricola now ranging from the family game, to adding multiple decks. I've come to the conclusion that the cards can be a major hindrance to the growth of the farm. They do give you good bonuses at times, but it costs an action to get a card into play, and many times your actions will consist of obtaining enough food to not starve during the harvests. If you happen to have extra actions however, then by all means play a card.

For example, a game I played the other night, I was focusing on getting pottery, and the potter cards into play. The end result would yield me four food from two clay. That means feeding my family of three would not be difficult. But it took me ten rounds to get it implemented. Which meant that the expansion of my farm suffered. In the same amount of time my opponents had burgeoning farms. One player focused on fields while another focused on breeding animals. They focused very little on the occupation and minor improvement cards.

In the end of the game the begging cards hurt my score, the first few rounds I couldn't get enough food. The other players had more points than myself. The player with a lot of fields did the best, taking first with no begging cards. The player who took second had large pastures filled with many animals. What hurt me was that I really didn't have a good food engine going, while the other two players did. That's something for me to think about the next time I play.

The re-playability of the game is a debated topic online. Some see that there is only one clear way to win, that of expanding your house and family as early as possibly and establishing a food engine to support the family growth. If you take that route every single time you play then the cards will not mean as much to your strategy, since it takes an action to play a card which could be better utilizes expanding your house, or filling your farmyard. Some critics online might say that it is broken, but I think that it is just strong play if a player goes this route.

Creating more family members is essential to this worker placement game. The most important thing in the game is more actions. But this comes at a cost of having to feed the family. I enjoy the variety of the different cards which can sometimes lead to great combos being played. Although the cards are more like the icing on the cake, whereas the real substance to the cake is getting a food engine going, and procreating to obtain more actions.

The components to the game are top notch. The wooden meeples fit their role great. The animeeples give the game a lot of character since now you can see all the animals on the farm, and you get a good feeling when you have to cook them.

The game play can be a little confusing for someone who has never played a worker placement game before. But they get the hang of it after one game. The learning curve is gentle at first, but can sharply increase when a lot of cards are on the table. Then it becomes a brain burning exercise to remember what cards activate with what actions.

This one is up there in my top 10 games because of the re-playability and I can usually manage to get it out on the table.

Rating 5 Meeples out of 5!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Miniature Mondays 04: Brains! Must eat brains!

As you can guess by the title. This weeks Miniature Monday will focus on the undead. Either that or we've found ourselves dining in the Temple of Doom. As the undead goes these are the plastic zombies from Wargames Factory. As far as scale goes, they are 28mm but a bit emaciated. Thinner than my Zulus which are made by the same company. They are perfect when you need a hoard of the walking dead. And when it comes to zombies who really cares if it is exactly the same size as the rest of their 28mm figures. 30 figures to the box, in a variety of sculpts. There is not as much variety as the Zulu pack, but enough to reasonably mass a hoard of undead.

My plans for them is to run a "Pride and Prejudice and zombies" themed game of In Her Majesty's Name. They're not Victorian in dress, but they'll work. I'm still in the process of figuring out stats for them.

They come in sprues with five torso sets and five leg sets, there is also a single figure in a long coat. I would have liked to have both arms separate to create more variety. But then that's what knives and plastic cement are for.

Painting the undead.
I use a mix of Vallejo Basic Skintone and Ivory which gives a slight green cast to it. The resulting mix gives the figure a human tone, but a very pale tone (ie dead). The blood is Black Red Vallejo. In order to get the look of wounds I used Ratskin Flesh and then added the blood color.
I'm still in the process of painting them up, but here is a shot of the beginnings of the hoard.
Have a great game!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Gaming Goodness 01: Forbidden Island

This will be a new segment on my blog entitled "Gaming Goodness" where I will review board games which I have played, among other things. For the first post of this new series I wanted to review a favorite game of mine. Forbidden Island a 2010 released game.

As you may be aware, this game falls into the category of co-op games in the vein of Pandemic. You and your fellow players either win or lose together. In the game's theme, you and your fellow players are adventurers on an island which is rapidly being reclaimed by the sea (global warming anyone?) and your task is to unearth four treasures and bring them back to civilization.

What's in the box?
In this case its a tin for a box. There is a flood gauge and marker, 6 pawns, 24 double sided tiles with flooded and non flooded locations respectfully, four plastic treasure markers. One deck of 28 treasure cards (5 of each treasure, 3 waters rise, 3 helicopter lift, and 2 sandbags) and one deck of flood cards matching the 24 locations on the board.

How to play?
The object of the game is to collect all four treasures and return to Fools Landing to escape before the island sinks under you (This is easiet said then done I might add). The players are dealt a random adventurer card, each having a specific unique ability. Each player begins with two treasure cards.
The order of play is simple
1. Take up to three actions
2. Draw 2 treasure cards
3. Draw flood cards to current level

What are actions?
Actions are what your player can do during the turn.
-- Move to one tile
-- Shore up (which is to flip a flooded tile to its unflooded side)
-- Give a treasure card if you are on the same tile, unless you're the messenger.
-- Capture a treasure. Turn in four identical treasure cards on one of the two matching locations and take the plastic token.

What I thought?
This game scales wonderfully in relation to the number of players. I must stress that every move in this game is important. If the players think that they can squander their moves in the beginning of the game to set up for a better end-game, they will be sorely mistaken as the island will sink beneath them. A redeeming fact is that the tiles that flood are always placed on top of the deck, so the players always know what will flood if their memory is good. Its a simple to play game with somewhat of a deep strategy.

My rating: 4.5 out of 5 meeples

Monday, April 21, 2014

Miniature Mondays 03: Thrift Store Finds

I pulled my fedora lower over my eyes and readied my bullwhip as I hunted through the jungle. After clearing away a stretch of vines, I beheld an idol of a long lost civilization. Its piercing gaze stilled me. The small dog held in its arms made me wonder if the civilization held dogs in high honor, or simply as a tasty delicacy. I hoped that human's weren't on the menu also as I pushed farther into the uncharted jungle...

Recently Unearthed

These two tower over a 28mm figure

Captain Mal Reynolds scouts around the fallen idol of a lost civilization
These finds were of great use in the game of In Her Majesty's Name that I ran at the St. Crispin's Irregulars and the HMHS horse and musket day. The tall one worked well as the central objective and can be seen in action in the after action reports.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Into darkest Africa IHMN AAR 4/19/2014

I apologize as this post is quite picture heavy. I had the chance to run the same scenario the following week at the HMGS-PSW. I ran the event twice that day, teaching the rules to the grandchildren of a fellow member as well as other HMGS members. In my opinion all the players appeared to be having a good time.
My scenario for In Her Majesty's Name, entitled "Into Darkest Africa." I made some changes to the layout of the map after some suggestions of the players from the week before. The sun disc was now located at the central statue, thereby forcing the players to attack one another in one location.
The goal of the scenario was to excavate the sun disc which was located at this statue, surrounded by a river which stopped movement.

The addition of wild animals to the game, gave more hinderances and helped thin out the natives before the adventures encountered them.

The Queen's Rifles advancing in mass.

Part of the Queen's Rifles advancing through the river obstacle.

The Queen's Rifles have reached the statue. But beware, the British Expeditionary Force is in hot pursuit as a battle rages. Each group wanting to claim the victory and the accolades.

The BEF sets up a defensive perimeter in the jungle, hoping to cut off the escape route for the Queen's Rifles.

Dexter Small has claimed the Golden Disc and is running toward his friendly forces in hope of escape. No one could catch him however and the BEF lays down heavy covering fire as Dexter secures the goods.

The setup for the second game of In Her Majesty's Name. This time the Egyptian squad defends the statue and the two British squads must race to capture the sun disc first.

The BEF advances through the jungle, about to be ambushed by the Zulu natives.

The BEF defends their native bearer from the attacking Zulu.

At the statue the BEF and the Queen's Rifles fight to the death as Professor Maxwell Zwigler readies his electromagnetic device.

After activation, the electromagnetic device was far more effective on his own troops than it was on the British. The native hoard advances rapidly, eager to return their sacred idol to its proper place.

Clay Arkwright manages to unearth the idol and seeks to claim a victory for the Queen's Rifles.
Each British company had a victory in the two games. The second game had far more casualties, as I wound up losing almost all of the Queen's Rifles to the deadly military rifles of the BEF. All in all it was a great day of gaming and everyone involved had a good time. Until next time.

Have a great game!