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.