Wednesday, 30 November 2011

SBH-SOLO [Project update #6]

End of November. End of Solo Tabletop Gaming Appreciation Month.
Working with my solitaire plugin (SBH-SOLO) for Song of Blades and Heroes has been great fun, and I almost finished it before deadline, which is today!

All rules are there, but more play-testing is still needed. However, it has reached such status, that I have put it into v1.00. It is downloadable from Google docs here:

(I don't recommend anyone to try it out yet, I will need to run through it a couple of more times. Some rules are still untested, like the updated formula for calculating the number of activation dice the automated enemy will use. I will upload a new, more "stable", version of SBH-SOLO soon, hopefully within a week.)

This project has been quite exhaustive, so after it has finsihed for real, I will need to relax by doing some miniature painting or similar! But I have had a great time being a part of the tabletop solitaire community for this November, especially by reading all other solitaire player's adventures! Really got inspired by all that reading!

Saturday, 26 November 2011

My High Elf deck for Warhammer: Invasion

Have played four games of Warhammer: Invasion, and I must say I love the game!

I was sceptic in a previous post, where I complained about a so-so written rule book, a big errata and an even bigger FAQ. I have changed my mind. The game plays smooth, and we just had to pause a few times for looking up rule clarifications in the rulebook/errata/FAQ. We had a great fun playing, and would even call this game one of the best card/board games I have in my entire collection. It is that fun! And a very nail-biting game!

In the first two plays we used pre-compiled decks, but for the last two plays, we constructed our own decks. I went for a High Elf deck, with some elements of the Empire. My opponent went for a Darks Elfs deck, with quite large mix of Chaos elements. My opponent won the first game, and I the second. It was real fun constructing the deck, even though I just have the core game, plus two expansions (Assault on Ulthuan and The Burning of Derricksburg). Will buy more expansion though.

Below is a presentation of my High Elf deck. It is probably a weak deck since I am a newbie in this game, and don't have many expansions. I will tweak it further, and remove a few cards so I land at 50 cards.

Capital: High Elf
Total deck size: 53 cards
Number of High Elfs cards: 32 (~60%)
Number of Empire cards: 14 (~26%)
Number of Neutral cards: 7 (~14%)

High Elfs Units
Sword Masters of Hoeth (x3)
Shadow Warrior (x3)
Initiate of Saphery (x3)
Lelansi (x3)
Archmage of Saphery
Silver Helm Brigade
High Elf Spearmen (x3)

Empire Units
Nuln Tinkerers
Sigmar's Blessed
Gold Wizard Acolyte (x2)
Reiksguard Knights
Gryphon Legionnaire
Free Company
Pleasant Milita

High Elfs Supports
Blessing of Isha
Dragon Mage Wakening (x2)
The Glittering Tower

Empire Supports
Battle Standard

Neutral Supports
Alliance (Empire - High Elf)
Contested Fortress
Contested Villiage
Contested Stronghold

High Elf Tactics
"Do You Know Who I am?"
Gift for Life (x2)
High Elf's Disdain (x2)
Greater Heal
Radiant Gaze
Tear of Isha

Empire Tactics
Forced March (x2)

Neutral Tactics
Innovation (x2)
Boar Attack

High Elf Quests
Defend Tor Aendris

Empire Quests
Defend the Border

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Backed the "D-Day Dice" Kickstarter project today!

Yep, today I went in as a backer of the Kickstarter project for the upcoming board game D-Day Dice. You'll find the Kickstarter page here. And the BGG entry here. (For all solitaire gamers out there, this is a 1-4 [base game] player game, which is a big advantage.)

D-Day Dice started as a print-and-play game. I wanted to give it a try for a long time, but never took the time to do so. But I was lucky, I didn't have to waste my printer ink and time in assemble the game, because it was picked up by an established publisher (Valley Games) and a Kickstarter project was started to finance the production of the game.

First I was disappointed though, since the international shipping was $50. I have bought a lot of games from North America throughout the years, but never at this shipping rate. Usually shipping is around $35. So, I was actually not going to support the project... until...

...more and more extra stuff was added into the project. Stuff that every backer will receive when the game is shipped in March 2012. Everything from special dice, extra cards etc, and even a nice-looking bag for carrying the game! And even more stuff might be added, depending on new total pledge levels the game reaches. It has already reached the number one most funded board game in the Kickstarter history!

So, go pledge, and more stuff will be included in the total package!

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

SBH-SOLO [Project update #5]

Just a quick update of my SBH-SOLO project.

Here's the latest version (downloadable zip file from Google Docs):

Comparing to v0.20, the changes are not radical, but rather many few tweaks here and there, both in the rules and in the MicroAIs. There are still unfinished parts in the rules document.

Still one week remains of the Solo Tabletop Gaming Appreciation Month, and I will use it for play-testing. My hope is to have the first "sharp" version (1.0?) ready by the end of the month.

Figure painting: Four mounted rangers

Have just finished painting and basing four 15mm figures, each representing a human firing a bow from a horse-back. Have not done much figure painting in my life, so I'm pleased with the result.

The figures are Chariot Miniatures, bought from Magister Militum (product number: FHM2).

Obtained roughly 50 figures (all 15mm) from Magister Militum - humans and orcs/goblins. Will paint them and use them primary for Song of Blades and Heroes.

Wednesday, 16 November 2011

SBH-SOLO [Project update #4]

The SBH-SOLO project is coming along quite nicely!

I have reached a point were I'm satisfied with the bones of the rules document, as well as the supporting documents (e.g. the document containing all the MicroAIs).

SBH-SOLO is now in version 0.20, and is downloadable via this Google docs link:

What I will do for the rest of the remaining two weeks of the Solo Tabletop Gaming Appreciation Month, is pure play-testing. The rules will probably change a lot when I really start playing, and the MicroAIs will for sure need tweaking.

I have already got some valuable input/suggestions from Aleksandar (, how to make SBH-SOLO better - thank you! =)

Sunday, 13 November 2011

SBH-SOLO [Project update #3]

Hi there!

Time for a short update of my SBH-SOLO project. I have not reached as far as I hoped this week, but still, I have made progress. Here are three (Google docs) links to the latest status of the project:


The SBH-SOLO-Rules-v0.1.pdf is the main document, describing the mechanics of SBH-SOLO. It has the near-final layout, but is not finsished, even though a good part of the text is in there. Still need a few days to get all text in there.

The sbh-solo-microais-draft.pdf contains a number of pre-defined MicroAIs. This document is just a draft, so the layout is not set. I have changed the format of the MicroAIs a bit, comparing to my previous blog entry. New keywords, keywords on a higher level, sort of. The MicroAIs are not that detailed anymore, they are a little bit more open-ended.

The microais_definitions-draft.pdf document contains (so far very incomplete) instructions how to read the details of a MicroAI. This information will be transfered to the rules document soon.

Still two and a half week left of November, and I think I'm keeping my time plan fairly well. My goal is to have something playable at the end of November, and the documents (rules, MicroAIs, player aids etc) ready (but as early versions).

Note: I don't encourage, or even recommend, anyone to try SBH-SOLO yet. A lot of vital information is still missing in the above documents, it is still in my head! ;-)  I just wanted to post something, so that you know that the project is ongoing.

Friday, 4 November 2011

SBH-SOLO [Project update #2]

Okay, time to talk about the inner concepts of SBH-SOLO - my solitaire project for Song of Blades and Heroes.

Note: The models controlled by the SBH-SOLO rules, i.e. the player's opponent/enemy, are hereafter referred to as the ENEMY.

The central part of SBH-SOLO is something I call MicroAIs (where AI = Artificial Intelligence). Each of the ENEMY models are given a MicroAI at start of a game. There are a number of MicroAIs to choose from, and it is easy to create new, unique ones. One could say that a MicroAI is a super-tiny little mini-brain, that brings an ENEMY model into life, although a very limited life.

A MicroAI consists of Conditions and Routines, and those together form a flow of logic. A Routine is an action that the ENEMY model performs if a certain Condition is fulfilled. The MicroAIs should be kept simple and not too long, just a few Conditions and Routines, so that game play is not slowed down too much.

MicroAIs can be of general nature, that suites many models. But there can also be MicroAIs that are more specialized, having prerequisites. For example, special rule 'Mounted' is required by the model, otherwise that specific MicroAI cannot be used.

At game start, each enemy model is assigned to one MicroAI each. The player chooses, paying attention to prerequisites and the nature of the MicroAIs. Same MicroAI may be used by several of the ENEMY models. Obviously, models using the same MicroAI will behave according to the same pattern, but since they will not start in the exact same spot on the board, they will start with different Conditions fulfilled, and therefore (probably) act different.

Besides the individual MicroAIs assigned to one and each of the ENEMY models, there are also MicroAIs called Pre-Default and Post-Default. They are used to catch obvious actions, that is, actions that a player most likely always want to do with a model if it's activated, e.g. raise a model if it is fallen.

Each ENEMY turn, there will be mechanics to nominate the next model, and then determine how many D6 to roll. I have not worked out those details yet, just been using random while play testing. Then, when an ENEMY model has rolled the dice and got more than one successful activation, these MicroAIs are processed:

Pre-Default --> Model's own --> Post-Default

Click the picture to the left, to see an example of what those MicroAIs could look like. Note: These are just examples. The exact phrasings are not set. 

In the LOGIC part, you'll see Conditions marked with "IF" or "ELSE", and Routines marked with a star ("*"). If ambiguity ever arises, the rules of SBH always have precedence. In second place, player's best judgement.

I have so far created seven different MicroAIs. A few regular, a few for models with special rule 'Shooter', some for 'Mounted' etc.

Next steps: (1) More play testing of the entire basic concept. Identify the big flaws. (2) Fine-tuning of the MicroAIs written to date. (3) Write a few new MicroAIs. (4) Create mechanics for nominating ENEMY models, and determine how many dice to roll. (5) etc

Wednesday, 2 November 2011

SBH-SOLO [Project update #1]

SBH-SOLO = Song of Blades and Heroes Solitaire

In other words, SBH-SOLO is the official name of the project that I have undertaken for this November as a part of the Solo Tabletop Gaming Appreciation Month, mentioned in an earlier post this week. I am about to create some kind of solitaire rules for the miniature skirmish wargame Song of Blades and Heroes.

This is the first post, showing the progress of the project. Not much details in this post. More details of the basic concept/idea/mechanics behind the solitaire rules will follow tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

Anyway, here's a photo showing early play-testing. I don't even have "real" miniatures (have ordered online, not yet received), so I'm playing with small wooden cubes. Since my goal is play-testing and developing of the solitaire rules, this setup is good enough.

Fury in P500 at GMT Games

One of my all-time favourite two-player boardgames are Manoeuvre from GMT Games. It is a fast-playing wargame of the 19th century battlefield. I have mentioned it in an earlier post, that the Manoeuvre designer, Jeff Horger, is working on a fantasy version, based on Manoeuvre. I'm excited!

GMT Games has put it up for P500 pre-ordering at $45 (USD). So far 78 orders. Since I love Manoeuvre, I'm pretty sure that I will put in an order within a few days (just need to convince my wallet!). This is game I don't want to miss.

There is actually one thing about Manoeuvre that I'm not so fond of, and that are the map boards. The art/design of those are extremely dull. The box, the counters, the cards and the rule book, all have nice and good-looking art. But the map boards, they are really uninspiring and plain boring. I really hope GMT Games invest in a full makeover of those boards for Fury. Nevertheless, Fury will be a great game, I am sure! =)

Tuesday, 1 November 2011

Solo Tabletop Gaming Appreciation Month is here!

It is dark. It is rainly. It is cold. It is a typical November in Sweden.

And it is the Solo Tabletop Gaming Appreciation Month!

By an initiative by JF of the SoloNexus blog, this is an event dedicated to solitaire tabletop gaming. Any project related to solitaire tabletop gaming seems to be welcome, so I will join the force of solitaire gamers and contribute with the following project:

A solitaire plugin module for the fantasy skirmish minitaure wargame Song of Blades and Heroes. In other words, my goal this month is to create a set of rules, that (on a VERY basic level) mimics a human player, and could be used as an automated opponent when playing this game solitaire.

I will most likely not have a finished product by the end of the month, but my hope is to have something playable. A draft. I will continuously update this blog with the progress, and in the end of the month, the result.