Monday, December 31, 2012

now that was an awesome gaming x-mas!

i'm a pretty lucky guy because the sadie knows me so well. for x-mas she got me a bunch of stuff, but my favs were these:

needless-to-say, i'm eager for some new year's gaming!

best wishes to you and yours in the new year!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

what do we want? a cure for adhd!

when do we want it? oh my god, x-wing starfighters!

it's xxx-mas and like all kids, i get all kinds of excited about new toys and fun stuff to do with the toys i already have.

recently, i've been super excited about ffg's x-wing. so i've decided to make a play mat that's portable to take along with my little mens.

would you believe they're fighting on hoth? no? didn't think so.

the rules suggest a 3'x3' playing area (though you can go with a larger play area for larger point games). i want to keep it basic, so i've decided to stick with a 3'x3' size.

to make your own, you'll need the following:
  • 1 yard of 36" wide cotton duck canvas (3'x3') available at most art supply shops 
  • black gesso (the smallest bottle will be more than enough)
  • skull white or menoth white paint
  • a paint roller and a large bristle brush (games workshop's tank brush works great for this)
  • a drop cloth
  • rubber/nitrile exam gloves
  • paper towels and warm, soapy water (for clean up and in case of spills)
day 1
  1. put down a drop cloth unless you're cool with getting black gesso all over the floor.
  2. lay your canvas out flat on the drop cloth
  3. use the roller to apply the gesso to the canvas and let it dry overnight
i sense the dark side...

definitely use a drop cloth unless you want a rough square outline on your floor.

day 2
  1. you're going to be using the bristles of the large brush to flick paint onto the mat's surface, so put on the rubber gloves unless you're cool with having white paint all over your hands.
  2. load up the brush with paint, then wipe across a paper towel to get all of the thick excess off of it. 
  3. from a height of about a foot from the surface, hold the brush parallel to the mat, and pull your finger across the bristles of the brush allowing it to throw off small points of paint. you may want to try this on a piece of cardboard first so that you know the right amount of paint to have on the brush and how the pattern will appear on the mat.
  4. let the white dry and you're done!
i think the results speak for themselves:

here you can see me trying out the delivery of paint via flick.
despite my best efforts i did have some big drops splat down near one corner.
i carefully blotted them up, then covered them with a couple of coats of gesso.
luke, wedge, and dutch versus vader and elements of black squadron!

as always, comments are welcome!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

cut the chatter, red 2. accelerate to attack speed.

at gencon this summer i saw fantasy flight games running demos of their new miniatures game x-wing.  

initially, i was a bit non-plussed about the game. it seemed simplistic, basic even, and i have enough going on with 40k, flames of war, and warmachine. i really didn't see myself playing it at all. 

a few weeks later, i was presented with the opportunity to pick up the basic box and a y-wing for pretty cheap, and as usual, i was unable to prevent my gaming from flaring up, so i bought them.

opening the box, i found the quality of the product to be pretty amazing. ffg has gone above and beyond to create scale versions of the fighters we know and love, and the game itself is fast, fun, and full of the same cinematic action we saw the first time we watched the battle of yavin. 

yep. that's a seinar fleet systems tie advanced, and you can have a squadron with darth vader. he's awesome.
each turn you plan the maneuvers of your ships, execute those maneuvers (and take a pilot action if able), then try to shoot down your opponents if they are in range and in your field of fire. your pilot skill affects how movement and shooting is resolved. movement is resolved from lowest pilot skill to highest, and shooting is resolved from highest pilot skill to lowest. the actions you take after moving can provide you with a potential boost to accuracy if you're feeling aggressive on the guns, or an extra bit of maneuverability if you've got a bogie on your six.

the game scales nicely, with the suggested size of games being 100 points which means about four to five ships per side. it also plays well for teams (each player controls a 50 point flight) and the basic set includes a some card asteroids to add some terrain to the table (and terrain does make a difference!)

the btl-a4 y-wing starfighter is a freakin' tank in game. 
the current expansions (x-wing, y-wing, tie fighter, and tie advanced) are all available for about $15 a pop, so it's pretty affordable for a miniature wargame, and there's a lot of current interest in the game; boardgamegeek has had it on "the hotness" list for a while and folks are doing great stuff with the game itself, like creating an online squadron builder.

personally, i think ffg, despite my inital hesitation, has done a great job with x-wing, and i can't wait to see the future releases beyond the a-wing, tie interceptor, millennium falcon, and slave 1.

all images in this post are property of fantasy flight games, used without permission.