Friday, 30 December 2011

Tabletop board games on Android

I have been an Android (smart phone) user for about two years. As a vivid board gamer, it is nice to see how more and more tabletop board games are (professionally) ported into the Android platform.

There is a useful blog over at BoardGameGeek, covering news and posting reviews of Android/iOS board game apps (board games ported from the tabletop world). It's found here: iOS Board Games (despite the name of the blog, it covers the Android platform)

I have so far bought and installed three board game apps:

An official version of Carcasonne, created by Exozet Games. The app is very true to the original board game. It features one expansion - The River II. Highly recommended if one cannot get enough of this classic. Would be nice if more expansions were added in the future though - would make it more challenging.

Hey, that's my fish!
Also a classic board game, this time from Fantasy Flight Games. Fun, quick and very good looking implementation.

Elder Sign: Omens
An Android implementation of the tabletop board game Elder Sign, also from Fantasy Flight Games. Basically the same game as its tabletop cousin, with very few exceptions (from what I have read; have not played the tabletop version myself, although I would like to).

The future of tabletop board games coming to the Android platform lokks bright. One title that is very welcome, and that is already available on iOS, is Neuroshima Hex. From what I can tell, it will hit the Android Market really soon, hopefully during January 2012. And then we have Victory Point Games. They have some really great tabletop board games (many solitaire titles), and with their entry into the Android development and one title released so far, I'm hoping for more, especially a release of one of their States of Siege(TM) titles.

Friday, 23 December 2011

Save the Princess - Lego game created on the fly together with daughter!

Save the Princess - click to enlarge!
Me and my eldest daughter (5.5 years) created a cooperative Lego game a few days ago. We named it Save the Princess, and it was all about saving a princess from a bunch of bad monsters!

We created a board consisting of areas. In one end there was a castle (with a princess), and in the other end, monsters were spawned. And for each turn, those monster moved one area closer to the castle. Me and my daughter had one hero each, which we moved around and fought the monsters so that they ran away, i.e. protecting the castle and the princess. If a monster would reach the castle, the game would end in a failure for the heroes.

We used this simple turn sequence:

1) Spawn new monsters. We draw small colored Lego pieces from an opaque cup. If the color just drawn, matched a color indicator in a 'monster spawn area', we put a new monster there. If no match, no new monster entered play that turn.

2) Heroes move/fight. We moved our heroes. Up to one area for my (slower) hero, and up to two areas for my daughter's (faster) hero. If a hero ended up in an area with a monster, a fight was initiated. My hero fought with a D8 (a little stronger), and my daughter's hero with a D6 (a little weaker). As the initiators of the fight, a D4 was added in their favor. Monster always fought with a D8. Highest total sum of all dice on each side (heroes vs. monsters) won the fight. If the monster(s) won, the hero(s) backed two steps towards the castle (shortest path). If the hero(es) won, the monster(s) ran away and was out of the game.

3) Monsters move/fight. All monster moved one area towards the castle (shortest path). If a monster ended up in the same area as a hero, a fight was initiated by the monster, meaning the monster would get the extra D4 die.

We ran the game until all monsters on the board had ran away, and there were no new monsters to spawn. Took about twenty minutes. It was a lot fun! Bothing building the board and play!

I will tweak the rules a little bit for the next game round. Make a little bit harder. Make the monsters win the fights more often. It was a little bit too easy during this first play-through.

Tuesday, 20 December 2011

Miniature terrain: Two abandoned cars (15mm modern/sci-fi)

Final result!
I have created my first piece of miniature terrain! Two abandoned cars, crashed upon a small hill of rocks. The terrain piece is intended for 15mm figures, and the setting would be modern or sci-fi.

The scenery is built on top of an old CD. The hill is created by spackling paste, and surrounded by sand. Then some fake grass (whatever it is called in English!). And of course, the two cars, that I stole (with permission) from my youngest daughter's (3,5 years) toy collection! I asked her if I could use them for a project of mine, and she said okay. I also told her that I have to break them, permanently attach them to a CD and then paint them, and she said okay. I said thanks! Very understanding girl!  ;-)

Final result - another angle!
I had great fun creating this piece of terrain, and it will certainly not be the last one I create. Now I just need MANY more, and also some fantasy themed pieces as well...
Before undercoating and painting.

Monday, 19 December 2011

Board game Tournament 2011 [ended]

I have ran a board game mini-tournament with one of my friends during the year. It ended yesterday. I lost.

15 wins for him, only 9 for me.

Since I lost, I had to buy a board game for him (of my choice). I bought Call of the Cthulhu: The Card Game (an LCG) from Fantasy Flight Games. We had discussed that game for a long time, so we are both interesting in trying it out.

The last 10 games rounds in our tournament, was Warhammer: Invasion - my current favorite board/card game! I really like the idea of the LCG concept.

It was fun running this tournament, and I'm pretty sure we start a new one for 2012. It makes the gaming a little bit more tense and nail-biting!

Sunday, 18 December 2011

DungeonMorph Dice

Finally, they have arrived in Sweden - the DungeonMorph Dice!

One set - five dice.
Very cool! I'm really happy with how they turned out. Now I have to figure out in what contexts/projects to use them. So far, I have these ideas:

1) First and foremost, I will use them in a writing exercise I started up a few weeks back. It is a solitaire roleplaying project, where I use the Story Engine Plus Editon as the roleplaying ruleset, together with the Mythic Game Master Emulator. I bought a small (A5 sized) notebook, and I'm actually playing/writing by hand! (Feels great being analogue for once!) In the last pages of the notebook, I have glued photo copies of the Mythic GME tables, and I will glue some Story Engine references too. With this notebook, I can play whereever I want - like at the bus, in the bed just before closing my eyes for sleep etc. I will write more about this project (and show photos of the notebook and how I organized it) in later posts. Anyway, the story I write/play is a fantasy story, so the DungeonMorph Dice will be perfect for creating dungeons that my PCs will explore as a part of their adventure!

2) Song of Gold and Darkness - an expansion to Song of Blades and Heroes (SBH). Not an expansion I own, yet, but it looks interesting. It covers dungeon adventuring, using the SBH rules. I thought I might use the DungeonMorph Dice for creating the dungeon.

3) Create a dungeon crawler game, and use the dice for randomly create the dungeon layout. There are tons of dungeon crawler games out there already, but I have never made one of my own. So perhaps, it has become my turn to contribute in this genre with a tiny game, with simple character characteristics, quick game play, easy rules etc. Nothing serious really, just for fun!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Figure painting: Three rangers

Completed three 15mm figures today: Rangers with sword and bow

I'm no expert painter (as the picture reveals), but the result is good enough for me.

The figures are Chariot Miniatures, bought from Magister Militum (product number: FHM1).

These will be used primary for Song of Blades and Heroes. With these three newly painted figures, I have in total seven humans 15mm figures painted. A few more to paint, for variety, then I have enough for the human warband.

Friday, 9 December 2011

SBH-SOLO [Project update #7]

Okay, so here it is, the first "stable" release of SBH-SOLO (downloadable zip file, containing pdf files, from Google docs):

It is not perfect. I know it isn't. But it is playable. And I find it enjoyable (of course, my biased opinion).

If you want to play Song of Blades and Heroes but have no live opponent for the moment, have no other solitaire rulesets at hand - give SBH-SOLO a try! Any comments/questions/complaints are MORE than welcome! Any feedback is appreciated, really!

I will not stop developing it, this is just the first drop. I have many ideas for its future.

The zip file will also be uploaded to the Song of Blades and Heroes Yahoo group, and possible to the Song of Blades and Heroes BoardGameGeek entry.