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Wednesday
Jul302014

What's in the Box? Storing Game Components

Relic Knights – There are a lot of cards associate with Relic Knights; the deck, each character has 2 cards, the reference cards, objective cards, boost cards etc. There are also a bunch of acrylic tokens to mark the various thing you might need to mark during a game. And of course the Knight cards are oversized and need something to put them in as well. Oh yeah and you need a marker as well. That's a significant amount of stuff to keep together and transport. Here's the various solutons I've tried:

The first thing I looked at was just putting everything into a standard plastic Ultrapro Box. The basic cards and deck fit fine but there was no room for the oversized cards, tokens or markers. They make a Relic Knight themed version of this box as well but its the same size as the standard deck box so it doesn't really fit my needs. 

Next up I looked at the Ultrapro Toploader boxes, these are bigger boxes made to hold card in a plastic toploader (really good for Warmachine and it fits a commander deck fine). I could fit all the basic cards, deck and tokens in this box; however the oversized cards don't fit nor do the markers.

Onward and upward,  I then took a look at the dual deck boxes from Ultrapro. These came out when Wizards released Planechase this is a box designed to fit the oversized cards so it should be a win right? Well technically it holds everything pretty well however I can only find them with Magic Graphics plastered all over them and I'm to neurotic to be able to store games for one system in something branded for another. Also everything slides around a bunch in this box so it's less than ideal.

The final box I looked at is Ultrapro's Duel Deck Tower. This is a box I saw on Amazon a long time ago and thought it could be cool to store Commander, Archenemy and Planechase cards in it. The photos showed it had a flip out section for the oversized cards and two compartments to hold two 100 card decks. It seemed perfect. So I went to several local cardshops to see if they stocked it and unfortunately they did not. 

Annoyed with not being able to touch and feel the box before I bought it I went to Amazon and read some reviews of the box. Overall they seemed positive so I ordered up two of them. I didn't want to go whole hog for all my factions before I had a chance to see it in person.

The boxes arrived and I opened them up and sleeved my cards up to see how they fit in the box. I'm impressed.

The top part holds all the faction cards sleeved in clear Dragon Shield protectors as well as the battle deck sleeved to match the faction with some room to add more cards as they are released. The bottom drawer pulls out and holds all the acrylic tokens with some room left to add other markers you might need. Not sure the boost tokens will fit but they'll probably go in foam with the minis. The flip out section holds the oversized cards I have sleeved in oversized toploaders. There is also enough room in this section to hold a few dry erase markers and a key chain size tape measure.

The box is made out of a sturdy textured plastic with a magnetic closure to keep everything in it's place. The branding on the box is subtle black on black printing of the ultrapro logo and name of the product. I should be able to create my own graphics for the box if I decide to gussy them up a bit. There's plenty of room to do a faction logo on the top or side flap. I'm guessing if you wanted to get fancy and diecut some vinyl to apply to the outside it would look pretty sweet.

Monday
Jul282014

Game On ... Relic Knights & 7th Edition 40K

Game Night – This week the stars aligned and four guys from my gaming group were all free on Sunday to play some games. With everyone busy with their families and various summer obligations its been hard to get together to play some mulitplayer games.

We started off the evening with a quick teaching game of Relic Knights. Everyone caught on to the core concepts really quickly and seemed to enjoy the game. for this game we used the starter boxes of Black Diamond, Noh Empire, Doctrine and for the Speed Circuit: (2) Belles, Marie Claude and Ryn.

The game scales really well to multiple players since the objectives are unique to each player. I also think that the card mechanic is done better than it is in Malifaux, particularly in mulitplayer. Anytime you're attacked or burn through cards you draw up to five during the clean-up step. This means you don't get those situations where a player runs out of cards in hand and gets ganged up on by everyone else because they don't have a had to defend with. 

We opted to just play to 5 VP to speed up the game and just get everyone to understand the core mechanics. Because of how fast this game plays and how well it scales, I think it may see plenty of rotation on Thursday nights.
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We then set-up to play a 2vs2 game of Warhammer 40K seventh edition. For this game each player brought 1500 points and was randomly assigned a partner. We set up a fairly sparse desert board with a few LOS blocking pieces in the center of the table and some smaller areas of cover scattered around the perimeter. My space marines were partnered up with a Chaos Space Marine force and we fought against two tank heavy guard forces.

The game was fun and honestly the changes to the rules didn't seem to impact the speed of play. Of course no one had a psyker so we ignored that phase completely which may have been the reason we didn't see that drug out into the mess I've read about online. The changes to the vehicle tables and D weapon tables were really nice, one of out players has a landraider that hasn't made it past the first turn in the last 15 or so games we've played actually got to use it and make an impact on the game. It did die around turn 3 or 4 but that was due to losing hull points and not a random Lascannon shot.

Having everything be able to score objectives was nice because most everything on the field was moving to try and capture them. Unlike the previous edition where your goal was to kill troops as fast as possible so your opponent couldn't score. No one opted to build an Unbound list so we all had the benefit of Objective Secured on our troops which also made for a more tactical game.

My first impression from my first game of seventh edition is pretty positive, they did a nice job tweaking the rules slightly to eliminate some of the more annoying aspects of sixth. The changes however are minor enough in practice to draw out the game or over complicate it. I may however need to build a different list to see if the psyker phase is worth caring about or not.

Sunday
Jul272014

101 Things To Do With Craters ... Terrain Thoughts

Terrain Building – So back in sixth edition 40K I made a crater and created a mold of it so I'd have something to represent all the exploded rhinos and other vehicles on the table top. Now seventh edition doesn't leave a crater when vehicles explode so I have to figure out something to do with all the plaster casts I made of my crater. Perhaps I can do a "101 Things to Do with Craters" series of articles.

Things to do with craters #1: Jungle Pool
The first idea I had was creating a simple water feature. By adding some pink foam it's easy to create a rocky embankment to surround the crater. I also have a ton of plastic wheat grass sheets that make a pretty convincing jungle growth area.

I use a combination of hot wire cutting and traditional razor blade carving to shape the pink foam into a rocky surface that complements the crater. This can take some time to get right. You want to be sure to carve out a space so the crater fits snuggly under the foam. Once I was happy with the shape I used hot glue to attach the foam to the crater. If there are any gaps I used a mixture of glue and the off cuts to fill them in and make it solid.

The next step is to add some gravel around the areas where the stones meet to hide the seams and make if feel more natural. I use a mixture of plaster bits from bad casts mixed with sand and kitty litter. This paints up nicely and helps with the transitions between elements as well as hiding any bad glue blobs.

It might not look like much now but once I get some paint on it, glue down the vegetation and add water effects this is going to be a cool looking jungle pool.

Friday
Jul252014

Naming Contest ... Win Cool Stuff!

Random – Yesterday I became and Uncle, my sister had her first little boy with is very exciting. Unfortunately she has yet to pick a name for the little rascal. Being the thoughtful brother I am I decided to help her out.

That's where you my faithful readers come in. 

I'm running a contest from the time this posts until 7/27/14 Midnight Eastern Standard time.

To enter simply post your suggestion in the comments below, one suggestion per comment please. After collecting the suggestions I'll send the off to the pround new mama and if she picks your suggestion I'll send you a nifty piece of Terrain, Ice Pillars or a Flame token.

Be sure to include your email address when you post your suggestion.

Thursday
Jul242014

Lucy in the Sky with ... Black Diamond Starter

Relic Knights – I'm still cranking away at getting my Relic Knights assembled. I'm trying to get them done ASAP so I can send a complete list of missing parts over to Soda Pop to get them sorted out. It's a bit of a bummer that even though CMON is the company that took the money for this and handled the packing that I have to go to Soda Pop to get the missing parts. It's a weird dynamic that I hope winds up working for everyone involved. It still blows my mind with the amount of negativity on the kickstarter page as well as in Soda Pop's own forum. It's unfortunate as the game is really fun and the models are pretty good considering the cost of them during the kickstarter.

Anyway the Black Diamond starter was pretty straightforward to assemble. The troopers have this shield that I'm guessing fits on their shoulder (at least that's were I put it). But other that that one wonky part everythign else went together fine. 

The tank seems a little odd as there is this one area that looks blank almost like it's missing a part but I can't really tell from any of the product shots because it's on the rear of the tank.

Magnus is really a cool model and I'm really happy with how he turned out, super easy to assemble with mold line that were easy to remove.

I was also able to put together the Diamonback Mecha and this was a dream to assemble everything fit just right and mold lines were easy to remove. 

Overall so far these models seem to work fine in this material. I do however still have the other half of this faction to assemble.