Gencon 2017 Day one

Man it’s crowded.  The exhibit hall was packed to the gills like a Saturday and it’s Thursday!  Twilight Imperium 4 is the big release at the con this year so far and it’s just not my cup of tea being 8 hours of turtling and whoever was able to win the role selection for vps mini game wins in the end.

Lines are long.  People smell.  My secret bathroom is overrun and the toilets are heated.  Gencon.

 

Necromunda news

Been a long time since we’ve heard anything about Necromunda out of GW.   This was posted today to the Warhammer Community.  Not a lot of details on the game itself, but you can see the minis.  Much bigger, on bigger bases.   Sort of like going from 25mm to 28mm heroic to 32mm.  Most of the original Necromunda line was good, but not great with the exception of the Eschers which appear to have been sculpted by Jes Goodwin himself.   I’m looking forward to seeing the rules.  Hopefully they don’t oversimplify (AOS) the game and leave it close to the original.  Like I’ve mentioned many times, I think the W40k 2nd edition close combat system absolutely rules and should have been used for Mordheim as well instead of what they came up with.  Let’s hope enough of 2E lives on in the new version.  In any case, we will get new minis and terrain!

Updated rumors:  Will have eshers and goliaths in the box, will not be IGOYG (i go you go) but will have IMPULSE move/act like AT-43.  Will have skill trees, etc.  Again this is just announced today.

Check here for where I got this info.

Beefcake

 

Dunkirk

Finally got to see Dunkirk last night and it was most excellent (in 70mm no less).  No over dramatizing, nearly zero dialog and a sheer focus on the visuals was how I would describe it.  Also, a patriotic film for the stiff upper lip British.  I don’t have to much to say about it except it was superb and you should go see it.

A key thing for me in the war films is the attempt at historical accuracy in the uniforms, equipment and dialog/actions of the characters.   For example, Americans hit the dirt when they come under fire, whereas Germans and Russians typically did not, they would stand their ground (within reason, they weren’t stupid) and return fire.  Undoubtedly, the Germans likely thought that the Americans were breaking immediately after coming under fire, but were very surprised to find that they were simply hunkered down to assess the situation before getting stuck in.   When you watch war movies and this doesn’t happen, it’s quite off-putting to say the least. I did not have any points in Dunkirk where I was thrown out of the film due to some gross historical inaccuracy.

While not an aviation buff, my favorite parts of Dunkirk were the plane sequences.  Maybe it’s because it’s the only fighting in the film, but I more that they were shot beautifully and as far as I can tell, extremely realistically.

Lastly, let’s talk about what happened.   The Germans came through the Ardennes forest, past the Maginot line and were spewing all across France faster than anyone could have possibly imagined (remember these guys were still thinking WW1 static defense tactics and likely had no idea what Guderian had up his sleeve even after the invasion of Poland).   So they trapped the British and French at Dunkirk, but didn’t send the army in for the final blow to capture the remaining brits/French.  Why did that happen?  Popular opinion was that Hitler was feeling friendly with the British and wanted to come to terms, and this is entirely possible if Hitler had been fighting a war for limited objectives; this would make sense.  That is, the Germans invaded France for the same reasons they did in the Franco-Prussian war– to re-unite what they thought was greater Germany and throw off the yoke of debt for WW1.  Letting the expeditionary force go across the channel in that context would have been fine, as Hitler would have made a separate peace with France, acquired territories that were stripped of Germany after WW1 and everyone could have gone home (and waited for the Russian invasion of Europe most likely).  Yet, Hitler was not fighting a war of limited objectives– he was out to put Germany into a war for all the marbles, of total conquest of Europe.  I do not believe and facts seem to assert as well that he did not hold the leash of the blitzkrieg to make nice with the limeys.  I think two things happened: either the Germans on the ground got nervous (I know this is unimaginable based on what you’ve seen in most war films since WW2, but if you read the direct sources, especially Guderian, this happened a lot) or they ran out of gas for a full assault.  Gas is like a tether for the blitz and if you overstretch it, you end up in fist fights with the enemy while your tanks sit in the mud (see the sequence in Patton) and that may be just what the situation on the ground was: tanks in the mud.

What this leads is to is the question as to the ability of Germany to actually attempt a cross-channel invasion if the British army had survived, or if it had been captured.  Based on Guderian, the frustration of the logistics of that attack may have been the final straw for Hitler to foolishly attack the Soviets (remember, as I said above, it was total war and not for limited objectives), at which point any conflict with England and her allies was simply a side-show to the greater conflict between Germany and Russia.   So it follows that the Dunkirk disaster, a disaster from the the German perspective that is, could have precipitated Hitler’s choice to attack Russia, making Germany’s ultimate defeat assured.  And yes, I believe if the Germans had treated the Ukraine situation very differently than they did (the Ukranians could have been a buffer state between Russia and Europe as the Germans could have come in as liberators), they may have been able to hold off the Soviets enough to start planning another invasion across the channel, but by then the Americans were not just lend-leasing, but actively part of the conflict.

 

WipEout Omega Collection splooge

I think my balls blew out the back of my ass about halfway through the first track. I’m not on a PS4 Pro nor do I have a 4K TV but holy shit the game looks good and 60FPS NON STOP, with no stuttering that I’ve noticed at all at any point/any speed.

There are oodles of game modes/race modes –combat only races where you score points for damage done over a period of time, races without any weapons and of course the standard races with weapons and a finish line.   Most of the cars are locked when you start the game, so that puts you on the mousewheel right off the bat.  There are combat, speed and manuver racers for each of the companies (Auricom, Quirex, etc. along with a few new ones).

Pretty much an essential title for the PS4.

 

And it’s always fun to go back an look at all the designs and art from the old games (by the Designers Republic).

Unrelated splooge picture so you understand a bit more of what I’m saying here.

First play, new 40K

Eight editions and I’m still rocking the 1986 beakies. Anyway, I’ve never been a serious player, but dan and I gave the new edition a spin last weekend.

8th ed. is very streamlined with very simple mechanics where once there was a lot of fiddly stuff. Gone are templates for flamers, explosions and the like and they are replaced with a flat or rolled number of hits to the unit in question.  You can premeasure ANYTHING which is one of the things that made 8th Edition Warhammer Fantasy better than all previous versions.  All this simplification was likely to improve speed of play and allow for very large battles.  At just over 1000 points for the game, it was plenty large for my tastes.

Command points are a new thing to 40K 8th edition, something borrowed from AT-43 and I believe they are now in Bolt Action as well. In the new 40K, they allow a reroll of a die when expended at certain points, pretty much like Blood Bowl.

One very interesting thing we used were the new “Open War” cards that lay out a scenario’s objectives, special rules, terrain and the like without rolling on various charts.  These were pretty neat and would work for any edition of the game.



So how did the game go?  It was a ‘grab the objective’ game except that the objective didn’t show up until turn 3.  While I was able to get some casualties on the Eldar, the main thing for me was holding off teleporting on my Terminators until after the objective dropped.  It’s unlikely anyone will get Terminators off an objective in a couple turns. Dan’s rolling was TERRIBLE so there wasn’t much he could do in the end.

Close combat, which is a big thing in 40K despite all the guns, is similar to the old games (chargers attack first, then defenders attack back) except that failing morale checks means removing more casualties as if everything was like the undead from WFB.  This is a pretty elegant solution to remove ALL instances of units running away, rallying and then coming back into the game.  That said we had two close combats that went on and on round after round for awhile, with no clear winner.

I do not like that small arms fire can damage heavy vehicles (i.e.: non open topped or light transport vehicles) so that’s really odd to have someone shooting a bolt pistol at a Land Raider and have it do damage, but that’s my only real beef with the game.

Overall while I like 2nd Edition 40K the best (which fuels Necromunda and Gorkamorka), 8th is very sweet in it’s simplicity without devolving into the Age of Sigmar level.

 

Firepro Wrestling World coming to steam!

One of my favorite games for the Sega Saturn was Fire Pro Six Man Scramble.  I bought six controllers for the console just to force people that came to the kung fu house (usually not to play video games, but to get loaded and go out and have a place to crash within walking distance of various drinking and dance establishments) to play it over and over.  Firepro was made by a video game school in Japan originally and has continued on from there.

While 2D and cartoonish, the game is extremely technical to play with vary harsh timing on the grabs and throws.  In addition to the wrestling, you can not only create wrestlers, leagues, tournaments and stuff but you can program wrestlers AI as well. The depth of the customization is simply madness. This has screamed to be a PC game for a LOOONG time now, and here it is (in early access).

Also, this version has EIGHT-man battle royales, so dude, yeah.

EVO 2017 streaming this weekend

Baiken from GG xrd 2 showing some legs

This weekend is EVO in Las Vegas and everything will be streamed.  I always catch the finals matches of Guilty Gear, Blazblue and any King of Fighters that are on the docket later on YouTube, but there is a ton of, and I would hazard to say most, of the brilliant play is in the non final matches, when players are not super nervous and not playing it safe. And yes there is Teeken and Street fighter too.

More info at shacknews

Steam Sale gem – Domina

A bit like GLADIUS from back in the day except without all the 3D graphics and a lot more death; you are the head of a household trying to make money and gain glory buy the purchasing and equipping of other human beings for them to fight to the death in various arena’s.   5$ on steam I don’t think you can go wrong.

I haven’t played enough to really know the game at all, but it’s quite addicting at first blush and has very silly events.  My only beef with it is that multi-gladiator fights don’t seem to be implemented all that well, with the gladiators all running into a big mosh in the middle of the arena and suddenly some are dead.

 

Big Day for Gaming

Today was a big day for the nerd gaming with Free RPG day which included a new Runequest quickstart, new DCC adventure, the intentionally controversial Vaginas are Magic from lotfp and while I’m not a Pathfinder fan, there was a quickstart for STARFINDER, a new space game from Paizo.

In addition to the RPG goodness, it was the official release of the new version of Warhammer 40,000 in it’s 8th edition.

The 40K book looks incredible, as you would expect from 2017 GW. I had a short talk with Dan about the rules and they look good–it does not seem like they age of sigmared that shit up as was feared. I’m looking forward to breaking out my 1987 beakies and having a go at some point.

The Free RPG stuff Matt and I grabbed up was a trove of goodness. Swords Against Owlbears for 13th Age looks boss, the new Runequest adventure is SOLID Glorantha, though I wasn’t able to make heads or tails of the magic system after a short perusal. The DCC adventure is cool, but what’s best is that the quickstart has the character creation rules in a module format! So I won’t need to lug around the big book all the time nor pass it around the table to get all sorts of greasy hands all over it and spilled beer/bong water.

Finally there is Vagina’s are Magic. While it’s silly and fun, the important bit is the update to the LotFP magic system. It’s similar to the playtest packet that came out awhile back in that no spells have levels. In addition, spellcasters can keep casting spells but have a danger with every cast over their level each day to have a miscast, which can be horrible as you would expect from LotFP. While the spells in the book are cool, what has to happen now is that ALL the other spells in the game will need a miscast chart appended to each one. This will make the LotFP book nearly double in size with 1 page for each spell in the game (much like DCC). VAM may be just testing the water before going that far with the magic descriptions for the core lotfp spells. Looking forward to trying this out.

For me, I got a chance to run Feng Shui 2 (with a new adventure I wrote that will get posted to the blog eventually) and today I got to play FASERIP after a gap of about 30 years!