Wednesday, 29 August 2012
Thursday, 16 August 2012
There is no such thing as “friendly fire”. One side or the other has mistakenly landed a barrage in your battle ground. Roll 1d6 for each figure in play, friend and enemy both. Any figures rolling a 6 are killed and removed from play. Roll 1d6 for each terrain item in play. Any terrain item rolling a 6 is destroyed just as if it had failed to dodge a hit from a heavy weapon. All figures are now marked “Turn Done” and play proceeds to the following turn’s Random Event phase.
Monday, 13 August 2012
Thursday, 9 August 2012
Tuesday, 7 August 2012
So this last weekend my fiancé, Emma, and I headed down to the big smoke to attend the last day of the Olympic Tennis. A grand day was had, but that's not what this blog is about (your sighs of relief are almost audible as I type). Whenever we go anywhere, holidays, daytrips etc I usually throw a few easy fast play games in the bag on the off chance I can catch Ems in a moment of weakness and persuade her to play a game. It's not that she doesn't like gaming but there are a few unwritten rules I have discovered over the years. Rule One: the game rules have to be explainable in under 10 minutes. And; Rule Two (the main rule): the game itself can't last longer than an hour, preferably 30 minutes. If those two rules aren't followed then even though we might get one game in, a general board games embargo starts that could last months. This rules out about 85% of my games straight away, most them being big box strategy games. Usually backpack games include Chez Geek, Pass the Pigs, Guillotine and Citadels (chuffed to bits I managed to squeeze that last one in, it nearly didn't make it due to the ten minute explanation rule).
Well as we were off to the Olympics I wanted something with a sporting theme. I knew I had nothing in my collection so off I went to Board Game Geek (BGG). I'm sure all of you reading this know about BGG but just in case it's an online database of pretty much every board game ever with news, rules, reviews, modifications and so much more. One of the things it has is Geeklists. These are lists of games that people have put together along a specific idea or theme. There are four I subscribe to, one about solitaire games, one about computerised versions of games with AI, one about Android versions of boardgames and another with games that are free to print and play. The last one is great, it is a list of hundreds of games that are completely free. True you normally have to pay for paper and ink to create them using your own printer (hence the title) but some of them don't have many components (and even ones that do can usually be played in virtual tabletop software but more on that in future posts). I remembered seeing a dice game one day whilst 'browsing' called Decathlon. It's one of those games that needs barely any components, just one page of black and white printing and eight D6's cadged from other games (or your disturbingly large dice collection if you're anything like me).
The game plays a bit like Yahtzee (this was my 'in' to get Ems interested as that's one of her family's favourites). It has ten mini games, each of which uses a set number of the eight dice. It is, as the name suggests, based on ten track and field events. Each mini game represents a separate event and each is nicely structured managing to evoke feelings of the real event and remain different enough from the others so that things don't get repetitive. You can play against as many people as you want (or as few, technically solitaire too). It played quite quickly with me and Ems taking it in turns to go first in each event. There is obviously a lot of luck involved as it's a dice game but there is a surprising amount of tactics involved in deciding what to re-roll and what to keep. The only thing we'd do differently next time is that for running events we roll at the same time, one die at a time. We did this for the 1500m and the tension was great.
It was a close run thing with only a handful of points between us as we went into the final event. I managed to win by a tiny amount but obviously I was humble in my victory as otherwise Ems would never play again ;)
Given it's tiny nature (a sheet of paper and 8 D6's) and interesting fast play, Decathlon will definitely be going on more breaks/holidays with us.
The rules on BGG can be found here.
Saturday, 4 August 2012
So today I started my new 'game' - Zombies, Run! It's a cracking little app for iOs and Android (in my case my trusty Android powered Transformer Prime TF201) which at it's core simulates you running away from Zombies whilst jogging.
It's fair to say I'm not a jogger, I've tried before and have always found the motivation hard. Well, after a glowing recommendation from my good friend CJ, I paid the £5.49, quite steep for an Android app, and downloaded the 200mb program.
The startup instructions are a bit pap but it's easy enough to figure out. (Note all these notes are for the Android version and are probably different on ipads etc).
Basically you open the app and start a mission, it then plays an audio introduction to the scenario and then plays your music to you as you jog. Between each song you get the next part of the story. The story seems quite good (although I admit I've only completed Mission 1 at the mo) with you surviving a helicopter crash after the Zombie Apocalypse. You are soon contacted by a radio operator from a local armoured township. The story is one of the apps strong points so I won't give any more away.
You do need to have created a playlist with a third party app before Zombies, Run! will find your music. All I had on my device was Katherine Jenkins and it didn't really fit the theme. I'm going to create a better one with more energetic songs. There is a music shuffle option aswell to stop every mission seeming the same.
Whilst you run you get voice notifications of items you find, these are useful items which you use to upgrade your HQ between jogs (see below) along with 'quest' items mentioned in the narrative. These items are seemingly awarded based on time jogging and are themed around the surroundings your character is currently in.
A good imagination helps as during the course of your jog your character, Runner 5, will be going through wasteland, forests and abandoned buildings all whilst jogging round your park or along your local canal.
With GPS enabled the app monitors how far and fast you have run as well as enabling Zombie Chases. These sound awesome. At random points during songs you hear Zombies approaching and need to increase your speed to outrun them. My TF201 has crap GPS, a known fault being rectified by a hardware mod Asus are sending out to all owners free of charge.
Between missions you can upgrade the township you find yourself in using items you find whilst jogging. Upgrading certain areas unlocks later missions. I'm not sure if this is the only benefit of upgrading as I'm only at the start. If there isn't any benefit, hopefully future seasons (there are plans for a Season 2 already) will do something with it.
It's worth noting people have mentioned that there's no way to change the difficultly but there is. If you have a playlist with shorter (or longer) songs you'll have to jog less (or more) to get to the next narrative section. Although if you run for less you'll presumably get less items.
All in all it's a cracking game. I sure as hell wouldn't have gone jogging today without this app. I'm looking forward to hearing the full story of Runner 5 and hopefully getting a bit fitter too.
You can find out more about the app on it's website.
Keep the Flag Flying!