Wednesday 15 August 2018

More Alien Worlds with the 7 year old

Alien Worlds has been a BIG hit with my daughter. We've played a few games now.  This evening, the Dwarf raiding party struck the chapel of Clonrickert, there to sample the magic waters of its Crystal Pool, but of course a patrol has been alerted, and a group of soldiers are there to ensure the sacred waters are not defiled...

I've built on the original 'Quick Start Sample Game' from the book, and developed a few embellishments straight from there, on the fly. I'm intending to slightly revise and make reference to the rest of the book as we move forward, but at the moment we're playing that very simple version with the following tweaks:

  • ranges are halved. We're playing with 28mm figures on a 2'x2' board with a movement range of 10cm
  • we're calling movement range 'short' and shooting range 'long'
  • close combat is an opposed roll. Models who look more heavily armoured get to roll 2 dice and pick the higher. Draws are rerolled. I made this tweak because it feels more like a fight to us, and because she remembered it from another game we played a while back, so it was instinctive. I suspect it makes the game a little less tactical, but that's not a concern for us yet.
  • one model on each side is the Leader. He isn't better at fighting, but when he dies, every other model in his band rolls a D6, and flees on a 1. It's a very basic introduction to morale as an idea and my opponent grasped it quickly, and it's made for some moments of high drama!
  • MAGIC! At my opponent's suggestion, I devised the following rules for wizards and an attendant magic system:

This was judged a great success by my opponent. We had a wizard each. She used all of her spells, and it caused much hilarity. including this sequence:

First, she decided against cravenly skulking behind obstacles, and moved her Leader (who her warband are pleased to call Sir Lord) boldly to the top of a pillar.

I thought to punish his hubris, and chose to use TELEPORT, and promptly moved Sir Lord to the very top of the Tree of Woe.

I used my second activation to begin climbing my own leader, King Krum, up the tree to meet him in single combat.

In retaliation, She used her own turn to cast TELEPORT also, and hoisted King Krum into the sky- but where should she set him down?

On the chapel roof of course. The sight of the two leaders' dignity so compromised was too much- evil cackling ensued...

I suspect we shall be fighting more battles very soon...

Tuesday 14 August 2018

Review- Echidna Games' Alien Worlds

I've done quite a lot of stuff in the past months that I've neglected to record here. Today, my daughter and I played a simple skirmish game using Echidna Games' ruleset 'Alien Worlds', which is billed as 'fast paced miniatures rules you can enjoy with your children'. I'm happy to report we both enjoyed them as advertised!

I set out a simple scenario. A raiding party of dwarfs have heard a rumour that the fabled jewel- the Dragon's Eye- had been hidden at a crofter's cottage and they attempt to retrieve it, only to run into a band of soldiers who have anticipated their attack. My daughter took the Humans and I took the Dwarfs.

Her humans consisted of 4 archers (one of whom was absent for this picture!), a warrior and the leader.

To keep things simple, my Dwarfs functioned identically, but I had two fewer shooters and two extra warriors.

We played a slightly modified version of the super-simple introductory game.  Each player chooses two figures which move up to 'short' (10cm) and either fight if in base contact with an enemy or shoot if within 'long' (20cm) of a target. Shooting is a single D6, with some extremely simple modifiers, and a success is a kill- this game is quick and bloody! If the leader of either band is killed, I decided, the other models in his band should immediately roll a D6 and flee on a 1.

I tweaked combat to make it a basic opposed roll but with more heavily armoured warriors always rolling two dice and picking the higher.

These rules gave us a very decisive result within about 20 minutes. My opponent won, saving the Dragon's Eye from the greedy dwarfs, and she is keen to play again soon. I'm already thinking about ways the two sides can be differentiated and made more interesting. Alien Worlds is a simple and solid set of rules which does what it sets out to do and can be built on and expanded easily- heartily recommended if you want a game you can play with young children, or if you just like very simple rules.

Wednesday 16 May 2018


I've acquired a couple of boxes of the old 1997 Parker Brothers boardgame Lionheart, and, therefore, I now have about 180 chunky plastic figures in a pleasing "Hollywood Medieval" style which I like very much. I have plans to paint up an army which will work for Dragon Rampant and for Kings of War which I'm playing again and very much enjoying.

Some of the figures (particularly the cavalry) are very similar to the ones from Battle Masters, so I'm planning to add in some BM bits too .

The dragon is a modern kit from Tehnolog, but the style seems to fit.

I've gone for a very simple toy-like paint job which seems appropriate.

Monday 30 April 2018

The Calcium Crew

Having fun with ancient plastic GW Skeletons. These are being made with Dragon Rampant in mind .

Thursday 12 April 2018

Tuesday 10 April 2018

Mk1 Land Speeder

"anywhere here on the left is fine"

An absolute pig to assemble, this lad's got more pins inside it than Evel Knievel. I've wanted one of these since I was 10.