Edge of Empire – first play

I got to play Star Wars: Edge of Empire Saturday with Matt and run by Dan at this benefit thing.   We could pay $$ for rerolls or the game’s version of bennies so it was good.

Thoughts:

I have a fucking sore spot for Fantasy Flights ‘special dice and cards’ style of RPG/board game after they fucked up Warhammer Fantasy 3rd Edition with one of the most complicated RPG’s that it could have only come out in 2009.  I wanted to like it, bought a bunch of stuff in the fire sale but it was VERY difficult to learn, VERY difficult to play/GM and covered the table in crap.  The core dice mechanic wasn’t terrible though, it was everything else surrounding that which had the suck.

Secondly, while I like the new film a lot, I’m not a big star wars GAME fan. Yes Xwing vs Tie fighter was awesome but I pretty much stick to the movies and that’s it. There’s just not much there that’s gameable to me.  Two factions, one is on the run, the other one is cool for the movies, but otherwise boring.

Naturally when Edge of Empire came out I scoffed at it since it was a version of WFRP3.  However, having played, it’s not that bad.  Gone are all the stupid cards for attacks, and though the character sheet is about 4 pages of crap long, it played fast.

What’s more, while it uses some elements of those lame-ass story games like FATE and Dungeon World, it can be played entirely ignoring that type of stuff on the dice, and use those sides for entirely mechanical effect.  It has some blammo sides to the dice (triumphs) but their effect is completely dictated by the GM, it’s basically a reason for GM fiat to hurt or help the players.  This is without any mechanics if you want, unlike FATE which piles every fucking thing about everything in the game world into ‘aspects’ that are really just wholly mechanical +2’s.  So if your group has realized that the FATE-style games are a total waste of time like ours has, you can roll and not care about that stuff.

We played with minis, but it was very abstract, like Numenera, 13th Age, etc.  That is very good.  No nurpling around with goddamn squares and five foot steps and all that 3.5 bullshit.

So, I have a plan, that may or may not happen. I want to run a 1 v 1 JEDI fight using Edge of Empire, the Star Wars West End D6 game from the 90’s and … Design Mechanism’s free Mod for Runequest 6 and see which is the most fun.  I know where my hypothesis would tell me, but let’s see what happens. Volunteers?

Star Wars

Warhammer inception interview with Rick Priestley

This is an excellent interview with Rick Priestley on the inception of Warhammer and 40K and those two big beautiful books from the 80’s that I still pour over from time to time (3rd edition Warhammer and 1st edition 40K that is).

With the release of Gates of Antares, which does not have the amazing aesthetic that 40K does (what with Jes Goodwin and John Blanche), we have Priestley’s seminal rule set for sci-fi gaming.

Good Quotes:

“The fact that the Space Marines were lauded as heroes within Games Workshop always amused me, because they’re brutal, but they’re also completely self-deceiving. The whole idea of the Emperor is that you don’t know whether he’s alive or dead. The whole Imperium might be running on superstition. There’s no guarantee that the Emperor is anything other than a corpse with a residual mental ability to direct spacecraft.

“It’s got some parallels with religious beliefs and principles, and I think a lot of that got missed and overwritten.”

And this:

“When you’re doing something something as wacky as a huge toy soldier game with goblins, it can be a bit of a tough sell. But when people can see how glorious it is, see the beautifully painted armies and all these people hooting and hollering and rolling dice, it gives you an instant idea of how much fun it is.”

And finally:

“The studio, the creative part of Games Workshop, had always been kept apart from the sales part of it. One thing Bryan said was that if the sales people got to be in charge of the studio, it would destroy the studio, and that’s exactly what happened.”

Chaos Warbands! First play since 1993!

Last Saturday, Mouth was in town and we dragged Dan and Amie into a 4-square of the old-school Chaos Warbands using 8th Edition rules and a mish mash of stuff from the two wonderful and awesome Realm of Chaos books.

For those that don’t know about these, they are absolutely essential to any gaming library, whether you play Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, Warhammer 40K or none of them.   You simply must own them both even if you have to pirate the PDF’s.  Inside each are rules for the four major demons of the Warhammer world, plus rules to make your own, plus a kitchen sink of rules for all three of the systems listed above.   These are both a MEGA supplement, one that these days would have had content split across 16-20 separate books.

What’s more, there’s a fucking GAME in these books that’s separate from all three games they supplement where you roll up a character and his warband and fight it out to get favor from the dark gods. I played this in college a bunch, probably 50 or so battles with multiple warbands and only one guy “won” the game with his champion becoming a minor daemon.  The rest of us either got turned into spawn, or died in pools of blood and urea. And that was fun as shit.

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My champion was one MAGROK ROCKSLIDE a chaos dwarf with FITS and a flail.  Pretty weak to start except he was accompanied by a Dragon Ogre!  After four battles, I ended up with a chaos weapon, four chaos spawn who gave people the evil eye, and eight beastmen.  My spawn had 6 chaos attributes a piece and here is where the old Chaos warbands rules start to fray a bit.  You can end up generating demon weapons, attributes, spawn inside other spawn that transform into other types of spawn longer than you end up playing out the fights!  Now a bit of this is a ton of fun, and the randomness is one of the fantastic elements, but based on the recent play, there would need to be a cap on the amount of chaos attributes at least.

In addition to the chaos attributes, all entities in your warbands that get wounds have them applied individually.  What this means is when you have a unit of beastmen or humans, you need to know which one has -1 toughness and which has a busted leg.  This gets tedious as hell.   More modern designs like Mordheim (which had it’s own terrible problems*) and Legends of the Old West, solve this issue by differentiating between Champions and minions. Minions are treated as a group and have less complex rolls associated with them.

Overall, it was a fun day of gaming.  I only got four games in, and probably could have had a bunch more if I had just an hour or so more.  I worked on an updated set for Mordheim ages ago (here is the PDF) and I think based on rumors of 9th Edition WFB being skirmish based, it may be a good time to rewrite them for 9th Edition in the coming year.  Note, statements in the PDF are contradicted below.  We learn stuff over the span of time…

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Dragon Ogre vs Minotaur!

 

*Mordheim is a fantasy game with swords and stuff should have a focus on close combat, naturally , and yet, it’s sci fi brother with lasguns and bolters and stuff, Necromunda, has much, much better close combat rules.  I wouldn’t say Mordheim’s close combat rules are bad, I’d say they are terrible.

 

Total War: Warhammer cinematic vid impression

Good, but unsurprising news, TW and WFB are slapping together! This had been rumored for a long while and then leaked in some magazine a few months back so not a shock .  GW tried back in the day with Blizzard (which later became Warcraft), then later with Shadow of the Horned Rat, to get Warhammer on the computer successfully.  Frankly one couldn’t ask for a better mash up of brands and companies. Unless, of course, you were waiting for Total War: Medieval 3 which following their M.O., should follow Attila closely.

There are no gameplay bits in the following video, but if you’ve played any recent Total War games, you know what to expect minus the MAGIC and big monsters.   I’m pretty pumped for it, but then again I get a fucking giant boner every time any Total War stuff is announced or released and then have to untuck my shirt for like a whole day or look like BUSDRIVER.

Animation wise, awesome.  Not so great with the voice acting.  The Greater Daemon of Tzeentch at the end is wicked looking.   We have to remember that GW is in the process of destroying the Old World we grew up with– so we have to see how this leaks into the computer game. It may be that the TW game will coincide with the story of the destruction of the Old World, which would be fun to see rather than buying all the crazy expensive END TIMES books.

This reminds me I have not put hours into Attila nor played a game of 8th Edition in a looong time…