18 April 2017

Organizing and accessorizing Frostgrave

Caroline and I had a couple of days off work and managed to play a couple of Frostgrave games this weekend. As Caroline likes this miniatures game the most, and we started playing the Thaw of the Lich king campaign I figured that we could do something to organize our games to make things a bit easier.

Two things were my main area of improvement - keeping track of all the spells you have access to, and quick reference of monster encounters.

The result was, after a couple of hours of work, a decent (still not finished) "wizard book". This was done by purchasing two thin binders in our local book store, and print out and insert all the wizard, soldiers, item and FAQ papers along with plastic pocket sheets from Ultra Pro where you can store the spells your wizard has knowledge of.

This alone saves time shuffling through the spell decks and storing wizard spells problems in between games.  The nice thing about the use of the plastic pocket sheets is that you can cut small pieces of matte tape and stick it on the outside and write with a ball pen the modified casting values.

My second project was to make monster cards, I had already made lots of simple stat cards in Microsoft Word for Blood Bowl, Muskets and Tomahawks etc that had the measurements of card sleeves. However, for Frostgrave I wanted something pretty and colorful. So a bit of searching the internet I found a site that allowed you to create your own Magic the Gathering cards for free. Perfect!

So I searched for artwork matching the monster profiles in the Frostgrave core rulebook and the Thaw of the Lich king (leaving out a few monster profiles that I do not fancy) and then used that artwork for the MtG card creator. Typing monster stats and special rules on the cards, then saving each card as a png file on my hard drive. After this was done I wanted to print full color sheets at my work, so I fired up Microsoft Word and dragged and dropped all cards into a single file, using the picture editing tools to resize the cards in centimeters to fit my card sleeves and arranged the cards 3x3 on each page.

Finally after having printed the sheets, I cut the cards out, and put them in Ultra Pro card sleeves with black backs (inspired by my friend Thomas who have used the same sleeves to great effect). The back of the sleeves help blend in the card as well as add some stability to the card itself. And if you want to draw monsters at random instead of rolling on the monster table in the book then you can just draw random cards facing down from a pile.

It would be great to print out magic items, potions etc, and but them in smaller sleeves but that could prove to be a lot more work than it's worth, those items are often self explanatory.

09 April 2017

Patchwork boardgame review

I guess "Patchwork" is proof that you can make a boardgame about just anything! Caroline bought this little  game a while ago while scouting our local hobby store for 2-player games. I laughed when I saw the box, but the game turned out to be quite fun in all its simplicity and I would rate it among the better 2-player games in our collection.

Patchwork is a resource and time management game with elements of Tetris to it. The goal of the game is to finish a quilt, and have as few empty spaces on your quilt-board as possible. Points are scored for having the least amount of empty spaces and the number of buttons (game currency) in your possession once both players reach the end of the game.

The game has no fixed number of turns, instead the main board is divided into "time spaces". During each players turn, you pick one of the three available patches in front of the turn token - pay the number of buttons the patch indicates and place it on your quilt.  

The patches available have several things printed on them. First you see the price (in buttons), you also see how time consuming it is to apply the patch to  your quilt, and finally you see how many buttons the patch generates whenever your player token crosses a button printed on the main board.

What I liked about this game is the non-linear player activation. Players alter turns only once one player falls behind the other. If player one is 5 steps ahead of player two, then player two can buy and place several patches on his quilt before catching up and pass by the leading player before player turn changes.

Patches with buttons printed on them provide resources for purchase of new patches, and every time you pass a button symbol on the main board you receive a payout from the buttons on your quilt.

Should you lack buttons to purchase new patches you can pass your turn over to the other player, doing so you advance your own player token on the time track so that it ends up just in front of the other player, then you get 1 button for every space your token moved. Thus you receive "money" for future moves but forfeit your current turn.

There is not much more to tell about this game or worth dissecting. The rules are dead simple, but offer quite a challenge between two equal players trying to both outwit each other with tactical choices.

I really recommend this game if you are looking for a easy to learn, quick to play 2-player game. I would also consider this very family/kid friendly

Patchwork scores 7,5/10

02 April 2017

Anno Domini 1666 Colonel Wolodyjowski painted up

The second of the two "Anno Domini 1666" miniatures that I bought while I was in Poland a couple of weeks ago, colonel Wolodyjowski. Also known as the "little knight" because of his short stature, which he makes up for by being the one best swordsman in the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth.

I had bad luck with the matt varnish on this model, I would have liked a matt finish but parts of the model are sadly still glossy despite two layers of brush on varnish.

24 March 2017

Anno Domini 1666 upcoming game from Wargamer.pl

While I was in Poland last week I was lucky enough to play a demo of the upcoming game "Anno Domini 1666" by Wargamer.pl at the By Fire & Sword tournament.

I knew very little about this game beforehand, I had seen some artwork and minis posted on the facebookpage but no  info on what it actually was. So while Konrad from Wargamer.pl showed me the rules of the game I also took the opportunity to ask about the theme, concept and planned release.

The story and the background of Anno Domini 1666
Anno Domini 1666 is as the title suggests set in 1666, but in an alternate universe where historical and fantasy elements blend with those of literary characters such as the Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas with the Polish heroes of the Trilogy by Sienkiewicz just to mention a few.

The story of the game is that the holy German emperor dies and elections for a new German emperor are being held in Vienna. Countries from across Europe send their envoys, spies, diplomats and military retinues to Vienna to ensure that their favored candidate wins the election. The skirmishes played in the game are "illegal" cloak and dagger actions where small bands from different countries clash on the streets of  Vienna to secure various objectives. Those objectives lean towards bribing important people, extraction of secret documents, securing prisoners and not so much towards just plain killing the opponent.

Too much loud shooting in the streets, acts of violence and overall chaos will attract the attention of the city guard, which will show up and end the game/scenario if that happens, with both sides dispersing to avoid arrest.

23 March 2017

Anno Domini 1666 Jan Skrzetuski painted up

While I was making a visit to the By Fire & Sword tournament at Wilanow in Warsaw this year I picked up two minis for the upcoming game "Anno Domini 1666" by Wargamer.pl.

The models for this game, 32mm metal, are simply fantastic, and I'm really looking forward to the beta release and future kickstarter. I will post more pictures of the demo game I played and some info about the game itself soon. For now I just wanted to share a painted up version of Skrzetuski from the "Trilogy" by Sienkiewicz.

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