Thursday, June 26, 2014
Several members of the Ambler Gamers invested in the All Quiet on the Martian Front kickstarter, and with all the cool new models to be had, it was a natural fir for our group. I missed the inaugural AQMF session, but tonight's game saw more models, more heat rays, more carnage. For those unfamiliar, the game picks up where the HG Wells book leaves off. Ten years after the first Martian invasion, the little green men and their tripods are back. This time, they brought a cure for the common cold. Humanity has not been sitting still, though. They are armed with steam-powered "land ironclads" and are determined to make the Martians pay for every inch of earth land they conquer.
|That's Scott Washburn surveying the battlefield. His Paper Terrain company has the license to create buildings for AQMF. All of the buildings you see here were designed and built by Scott.|
|A closer look at an armored column rumbling through at Grovers Mills.|
|Scott actually rigged his tripods with tiny battery-powered LED lights for a really cool heat ray effect. You can read about how he did it here.|
|A reserve platoon of Rough Riders revving their engines, eager to get in the fight.|
|Civilians! I'm sure they will stay out of harm's way...|
|Behold the hypnotic eyes... (Well, technically speaking, Martians don't have hypnosis rays. yet.)|
|Pesky army tanks, taking advantage of the crest of the hill. The infantry in the fortifications are starting to take casualities.|
|Finally! My tripods reach the crest of the hill. At about this point, my terrible dice rolling started to balance out in my favor. Just ignore the Rough Riders who have circled around me.|
|Suck it, humanity! We're coming for the town!|
|As lopsided as the first game was, the second saw a decisive victory for the Martians. Joe looks out over the smoking remains of the US armored units.|
|A Tripod contemplates the fickle dice which give victory on one hand, and snatch it away with the other. I will personally strangle the next person who says "Hay, roll anything but a one." Hey, are you trying to rout my entire army?|
Wednesday, June 11, 2014
My big gift to myself at NJCon (rationalized by the fact that I was only up for the day, thus saving the family the cost of feeding and watering me for the weekend) was a copy of Ares Games' Sails of Glory. This game was funded by Kickstarter, a campaign that was so successful that copies of teh starter set were hard to come by until they were recently reprinted. My copy cost $70, well below the MSRP of $100. To an old fart like me, it still seems like a lot of cash for a game with only four major playing pieces, but on further investigation, there's a lot of value for the money.
|Oooh...the box is open! Even after punching many of the counters and cracking the cello around the cards, the molded plastic lining of the box works really well for storage.|
|Each ship has its own stat card and damage track, which fits together like a puzzle. The stat card then slides inside the play mat.|
|These are the play mats. There is a counter sheet still set into the top half, with ammunition and sail status counters that will be used during play. I played the basic game my first time out, so I did not use most of these.|
|This counter sheet has devices for indicating wind direction and speed, and for measuring a ship's attitude to the wind. There are also islands to maneuver around, if you don't feel like sculpting your own.|
|In the basic game I played, the only counters I used from this sheet were the range gauges. The colored bands indicate teh damage counter used for certain types of ammunition at specific ranges.|
|The HMS Defense's damage track in action. Both crew and hull sustain damage. The ship becomes less effective each time the ship takes cumulative damage equal to or exceeding its Burden (or size, as we lubbers say).|
|This was the decisive moment of my game. the Genereux whipping around to catch the wind, being met by a closing Defense. Both sides were able to hammer each other with a full broadside at close range.|
|The rules are available as a .pdf on the Ares website. Very convenient to project them on my classroom smartboard.|
Saturday, June 7, 2014
A friendly, competent staff.
A well-lit, comfortable and carpeted hall.
Spirited and friendly gamers.
Gorgeous and fun games.
And bathrooms that were clean at 3:00 on a Saturday afternoon.
What's not to like about NJCon? A big thank you to the staff for a fun event!
|Pegasus Bridge. On June 6. Wow.|
|I have to hand it to FOW Tournament games--they always do a good job with terrain.|
|I helped Joe Alexander run his Age of Marlborough game. Tons of lead, and, in true Ambler Gamers spirit, it was fast, fun and bloody.|
|There was a small but well-stocked dealers room. I finally got my coveted copy of Sails of Glory.|
|I gotta try Sergeants one of these days. Their games are always well-attended and spirited.|
|And our game gets underway...|
|My cavalry pounces on Turn One. After some early triumphs, they quickly found theimselves in hot water when the dragoons failed to arrive in support.|
|And here come the Dutch.|
|Viking general rides a Jesus horse!|