Monday, June 25, 2018

Workbench: Looking at the Algoryn, Concord, and Ghar for Beyond the Gates of Antares

I've been buy over the weekend, trimming and filing and gluing together some of the miniatures that I bought for Beyond the Gates of Antares.  Up first, here is the Algoryn armored infantry...

two Algoryn AI squads with their spotter drones

 Then the Concord strike teams...
two Concord strike teams with their spotter drones

...and a light support drone...

drone with strike trooper for scale

And finally a Ghar battle and assault suit.

assault on the left, battle on the right, and a strike trooper in the center for scale

Overall, I'm really pleased with these minis.  The molding is very clean and the plastics have been easy to work with.  The only thing that I've found a little tricky is attaching the arms to the torsos because the weapons have one hand cast to them.  This means that you have to align the arms and then get the wrist and forearm to meet while keeping the arms on the shoulders.  Definitely not a huge deal but with my fat fingers and arthritic thumbs it was a bit challenging.

In fact there were only two things that I wasn't a big fan of.  The first is the leader for both the Algoryn and Concord have the left hand pointing thing going on with doesn't quite look right. (you can see this in the Algoryn pic; back row, second from the left).  Both of them have what's called a SlingNet launcher on their forearms but on the Concord it is such a slight detail that I decided to use regular arms and I'll just paint him a little different to mark him as the leader.  The Algoryn was a little trickier but I was able to cut the launcher off of one of the spare leader arms and glued it to a regular arm to indicate my second unit leader (front row, fourth mini from the left... and I just realized I put it on the wrong arm.  Oopsy!).

The other thing is one of the leg poses for the Concord.

The first mini is the one I'm talking about

It's dynamic but it looks really awkward.  The toes on the left foot are also bent which makes it look like they should be on the ground but the only way to do that would be position him in mid step.  Not a huge thing but it just looks a little odd to me.

Overall I'm really happy with the minis and I'm looking forward to assembling the rest of them.  Then its on to the painting!

Monday, June 18, 2018

Random Updates: The Gates Are So Shiny...

Well, I did it again.  In addition to picking up Terminator, Wrath of Kings, and Mars Attacks (all pretty much defunct games at this point... see the previous post for info on the end of the Mars Attacks license), I picked up one of the starters for Beyond the Gates of Antares.  What makes this one different is that its still actually being not just supported, but actively expanded on!  What a crazy concept!

So I suppose the question is why hop into another game system when I haven't even been able to get the others to the table.  Since we are more or less moved into our new home, I'm planning on getting together a 4' x 4' gaming space so I will be able to break out some of these games.  In fact, that space is even too large for some of these games as both Terminator and Mars Attacks tend to use a much smaller space.

Mechanically, the game is derived from Bolt Action and as I enjoy that game, it should be pretty easy to pick up Antares.  Financially, Warlord had been running a great sale a couple of weeks ago and I wound up saving roughly a third from the total price.  In addition, Warlord has packed the starters to the gills with product.  Just the miniatures themselves would cost more than the price of the starter and both factions included give you enough to form a good core to expand from in the future.  On top of this there is a set of introductory rules that use a set of scenarios to walk you through the basics of the game, a slimmed down version of the full rules, all the order dice you need for the units in the set plus the regular dice to play the game, a set of plastic templates, and pin markers (like the ones from Bolt Action).

This should be here within a couple of weeks and I'm looking forward to getting a closer look at the various miniatures.  In addition to the Kar'A Nine starter and more Algoryn troops, I also picked up some Ghar battle and assault armor suits.  These minis had caught my eye when the game was first released so I'm especially interested to see what they look like in the "flesh".  Once they arrive and I get some assembled I'll get some of them pictures of them posted.

Monday, June 11, 2018

Random Updates: The Martian Invasion Ends

A couple of months ago I grabbed the game Mars Attacks on a whim.  While I'd decided to pass on it when it was originally Kickstarted, it's one of the few games that in hindsight I wish I'd backed.  It just sounded fun and goofy, ya know especially once I'd read some reviews.

The only problem I could see was Mantic had really stopped supporting the game. It wasn’t officially dead, but it seemed like the end was nigh so I decided to grab some more Martians while I could.  US soldiers would be easy enough to proxy but the Martians are definitely unique looking. I grabbed a Martian army box, a science division set, and a couple of mutant spiders so I feel like I've got the invaders covered… which is good since Mantic has announced that it officially won’t support the game as of the 30th.
I must say that this is too bad as the game seems like it will be fun to play but it’s really the ultimate fate of all licensed games (except for Star Fleet Battles of course… that one will never end). There is only so much that they can really do with the universe before you've explored all of the options available to you.  Sure, they could have pushed forward in the comic book story line to when Mars was occupying Earth even then there is only so much you can do.  Add to that the cost of maintaining the license and the need to get approval for any and all things that are released with the game and it can get very cumbersome.
It's also pretty fitting as my trend continues; Starship Troopers, Terminator: Genisys, Mars Attacks. I’ve got a knack for liking licensed games that fade away. Ah well, at least I was able to get a solid core so I can still play the game. We have relatives in town this week but once they are gone I’m going to bust it out and give it a go.

Friday, June 1, 2018

Random Updates: Feeling a Little Heroica... With Crazy Hats!

My daughter and I broke out one of the Heroica games the other day and much laughter ensued.  For those that might have missed them, these were games released by Lego back in 2011.  The twist is that you can build the board in any way that you want since they are Legos after all.


This is a very simple game but one of the things that had us cracking up was the description of what you do with the dead monsters.  I don't remember the precise wording but they basically tell you to put them in your backpack. Now imagine these tiny microfigures with no arms are somehow throwing dead zombies and bats into their backpacks.  Why would you wonder around with a couple of corpses in your backpack?  No idea, but for some reason they thought it would be a good idea!  Of course since they are Lego we decided on a "better" solution and were competing to see who could get the tallest "hat".


In the end, my daughter managed to snatch away victory by having the most impressive hat.  Sure, I might have saved the king but that's nothing compared to the sheer majesty of the mighty zombie hat.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Workbench: Machines, an Invasion, and a Betrayal

Since we are more or less into our house, I am planning to start focusing on my gaming more.  To that end, I've decided to continue building my forces for Mars Attacks and Terminator Genisys, plus I'm going to start working on modding Betrayal at the House on the Hill.

The Martian Invasion Begins!

So far, I've actually got most of what I want to pick up for this game.  Beyond all the Martians I've picked up, I also grabbed a ruined village set from the War Store.  Between the terrain in the base game and this, I'm thinking I should be able to get pretty decent coverage on at least a 3' x 3' board.  I've also really do think I'll skip using the US troops out of the box and go with my Konflikt troops instead.  I already have a bunch of them, not to mention a couple of Shermans, and I think it would be pretty easy to stat up some of the US heavy infantry as well to give the home front a bit of an edge.  Once I assemble some of the terrain, I'm going to do a solo push around to get my head around the rules and then go from there.  I know that they have a whole campaign in the core rules so I might try that or just throw together some forces just for fun.

Rise of the Machines

A year ago I picked up a couple of Terminator Genisys basic games plus the full rule book.  This gave me a good selection of troops but I do want to expand them some more.  Of course it would probably be good to try pushing this game around too before I get much further but thankfully the Mars Attacks terrain will work perfectly.  Nothing better than being able to find multiple uses for things, especially terrain since its so important for mini games.  Again, I'm thinking a solo push around for this one as well and then I'll look at expanding, though I must admit that I've already had some ideas on that front.  Hunter Killers anyone?

More Betraying on the Hill

Since I can see this game hitting our table more often, I want to do some things to pimp it up a little such as picking up minis for the various haunts you encounter.  I might eventually go as far as even getting some of the item eventually but I figure the critters are a good place to start.  I've actually already ordered some of the figures that I need plus I decided that I want to reskin the "heroes".  The big thematic disconnect for my daughter has always been the bizarre mix of people that are in the house.  Why are the little boy and girl wandering around the haunted house with an old professor and a gypsy?  It just doesn't make that much sense so I picked up a bunch of Heroclix that I'm going to rebase and use.  Now I'm not talking about having Spider Man and Iron Man wandering around the house; there are a good number of generic people in the Heroclix range now that I was able to pick up six new "adventurers" to explore the house that might make a little more sense than the original, not to mention be a little less creepy.