Monday, October 26, 2009

Oil Fields of Elysia

Arturo led his cadre around their usual rounds, command had said there was some unusual activity in the area and that his patrol should check it out. The MILICIA was made up of undiserables and as such most utilized older era Gears. Often seen as disposable plenty of patrols have "gone missing" and weren't missed.. there were always more recruits for the MILICIA.

It seemed to be a routine patrol of the oil fields but Arturo had a feeling something was up, though the MILCIA was handed second hand gears the veteran pilots were quite experienced at staying alive. He split his squad sending two gears to make a sweeping action to search through the oil refineries while himself and two others took to high ground to spot any trouble.

Without warning autocannons barked and the enemy was revealed, four paratrooper jagers intent on keeping the oil refinery in a hostile takeover. Though the initial fire was an impressive sight the shots did not connect to any gears leaving his squad intact. With practiced ease his squad mates took up firing positions on the hill and started to fire downward onto the paratroopers. Caught in the open and being surrounded the paratroopers didn't stand a chance and they were eliminated piece meal.

Red lights flashed in Arturo's gear as the enemy grew desperate and fired all their guns at him. Though his gear was heavily damaged and sluggish his flanking team showed up behind the enemy and finished them off before his gear finally sputtered and gave out. "Command we got rid of the problem, four paratroopers send a scout team to look for survivors...".

This was my first full game of Heavy Gear Blitz without referring to the rulebook every few seconds lol. The game played out quick enough even after we rolled the special event "Friendly Fire" that had random blasts dotting the battle field. Cash and myself were playing the same faction "The South", though we played two different types of forces. While I was playing with a more general force that focused on numbers and speed, Cash chose the more elite Paratrooper Jagers with plenty of upgrades.

My list:
Command Jager with Medium Auto Cannon
Jager x3 with 1 Medium Auto Cannon and 2 Light Autocannons
Stripped Down Jager with Light Autocannon

The game itself went by pretty quick I managed to get the high ground with my command jager and two others while I sent a stripped down jager and a regular jager into a flanking move. It turned out that Cash had no real option to hide from my group on an elevated position and paid for it dearly. If he had tried to climb the tiered mountain he would be wasted time and get shot all the way up, if he tried to run I still had a clear view of most of the board.

All and all it was a very enjoyable game and it got me motivated to finish putting together my gears. Which I might add are pretty detailed though they are the size of a regular 25-288mm miniature they represent a large mech rougly the size of a house, so all the gears and servos are crafted along with a few extras.

Hopefully I get a few more games in to get a better feel for the game and actually motivate me to paint.. though there are plenty of "toys" already on the painting line..

Friday, October 9, 2009

Tales of the Weird West...

I finally got to try out Malifaux, a game set in a sort of victorian/steam punk/wild west setting. If you have ever played the rpg/cc/ttg of Deadlands it is very similiar in many aspects. The story line is there is a mining town of Malifaux that is between the rift of different dimensions. This tear in reality has caused many a curious adventurer to settle the town and mine for riches. What they mine are called "soul stones" which help fuel/bolster the magical essences of magic practioners.

There are five factions in Malifaux:

"Guild" which is the company that regulates and oversees the mining operations in Malifaux. They could be seen as the "good guys" but in reality they are watching over their interests first any citizens second.

"Arcanists" run under the guise of a "Steamfitter's Union" which is a cover for their crime syndicate, this faction is made up of powerful unlicensed magic users.

"Neverborn" are for lack of a better word demons that were former residents of Malifaux before the humans decided to come in and populate the town. They are the things of nightmares and fairy tales that humans have dreamt up come to haunt them.

"Resurrectionists" those that experiment and raise the dead, this faction is made up of necromancers, gravediggers and mad surgeons leading an army of undead. They do not live in the town of Malifaux themselves they live on the outskirts or closed off sections of Malifaux as the Guild is relentlessly hunting them down.

"Outcasts" made up of clones, gremlins, martial artists and other guns for hire. This group is made up of individuals each with their own agendas to complete, some of them are for hire and others only exclusively work for their own faction.

Each faction currently has three sub-factions or "Masters", you can mix and match your minions to suit your playstyle. That makes for 15 different "armies" in the game and I think that's quite good for the first printing of a rulebook.

The things I like about this game:
-Alternating Activation

-Each model has many different rules and abilities down to the lowest costing model, there is so much each model can do

-Deadlands-ish setting, till now I haven't seen many games in this type of genre especially seeing such a positive reaction in such a short amount of time.

-Skirmish level. The starter boxes bring you 4-5 miniatures which actually makes for a full and enjoyable game. Some people have run "starter box" tournaments which has quite some appeal that you are ready to game right away.

-Use of cards, you can use regular playing cards or the custom cards to play Malifaux. There are no dice instead you use cards to determine everything, it is actually quite refreshing. You feel like you have more control because you can "cheat fate", if you don't like what you flipped you can use a card in your hand! It gives the player more control over whats happening, but watch out use all your high cards early on in a turn and you may not have anything for when a nasty surprise comes later in the game.

With that said I am really a big fan of the game already and I am quickly seeing how it's popularity is spreading. In our group we have 3 other players besides myself and we have a few guys that also might interested. Hopefully in my next update I can show you some pictures of my painted crew or at the very least battle report. Stay tuned..