Thursday, October 31, 2019

Monday, September 9, 2019

Super Stuff - Umbrella Academy

Feels like I should catch up on some things after so many gaps this year so I'll be doing that this month. One big thing - lots of super-activity this summer!

Several independent super-shows came along earlier this year and I feel very differently about each of them so let's start with Umbrella Academy. I have not read the comic books or any other version of the story so I was coming in cold. It seems like it was fairly popular on Netflix but I have to say I was ... underwhelmed.

What happens at a reunion years after a kid superhero team splits up? Well ... they all hate each other so they spend a lot of time bickering and not a lot of time doing super stuff. I mean, I get the "dark", the "modern take" - or is it "postmodern" now? I forget. I kept feeling like the stuff they were doing in the flashbacks would have been more interesting than what they were doing in the "now" of the show.

First up - the Attitude:
  • They mostly seem to hate each other
  • They all hate their father
  • They almost all hate that they used to be superheroes
  • There's a fair amount of self-hate on the team too
I don't mind having one or two "dark" characters on a team show but when the whole team is that way ... it's a lot. 

Second - the Bounty Hunters:

Was this originally a completely different story? Was it just grafted on to this one? Because there's nothing terribly original or interesting about it and it really doesn't add that much to the main plot. maybe it was supposed to be the lighter or funny element of the show but it's just not that much. 

Third - the Padding:

Even with only ten episodes it feels like there was not that much story here. Trim out the 90% of the Hunters story line that was unneeded and you could have cut this down to 8 episodes, maybe less. I mean you have a team of 7 super characters, a stern father figure running them, a chimpanzee major domo, a robot mother, and time-travelling assassins and yet it somehow feels like you didn't have enough to fill out ten hour-long episodes of a TV show.

I did stick with it through the end though I considered dropping it multiple times as I was watching. I was curious how they would resolve the big plot ... and even that was a disappointment! Get to the last episode, things are unfolding, and  - welp - see you next season??!! It's cheap and artificial. I'm still debating whether I will even watch the next season after that.

The thing I liked most:

 Mr. I-see-dead-people #4 triggers a device and finds himself in the Vietnam War. We don't see much of it in real-time, mostly it happens in flashbacks throughout the following episodes but he spends a year there, develops a significant relationship, and lives through some pretty rough stuff before he finds his way back. In one episode he goes into a VFW post and starts crying over some old pictures -which he is in- and then gets into a fight with the older members who are inside and think he's being disrespectful. It's funny, touching, and wrong on some level and to me it was by far the best scene in the whole show.

Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Updates for Early August

Activity continues even if the blog has not been keeping up - here's an attempt to improve that situation:
  • PLAYING: I've started a new M&M campaign for the 50 Fathoms group. It's a "limited" campaign and will only run probably ten sessions or less but I'm hoping it will set up interest and momentum for a regular ongoing campaign.
  • NOT PLAYING: The ongoing old-school 5E Isle of Dread Campaign is in a holding pattern while the Con Crew handles their business
  • READING: Pathfinder Second Edition - i like what I see so far and I am of course considering what I might run for an initial tryout of the new system
  • MINIATURES: Working on some new army lists for 40K and I will probably try one of them out with Blaster this weekend.
  • ONLINE: City of Heroes Homecoming - maybe not every day but multiple days each week sees the Amazing Aluminum Man and friends adventuring in Paragon City once again!
The Supersonic Man investigates a disturbance beneath the city streets!

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

Monday, June 3, 2019

Mutants & Masterminds Basic Hero's Handbook

The short version: this is a lot like the recent "Beginner Box" products from some other RPGs without the box but with a little more long-term utility.

M&M 3E started with the DC RPG released in 2010 so we're at 9 years now for this edition, more than 1E and 2E combined. It's a nice change from the typical RPG life cycle and I assume that with the release of this book that Green Ronin is committed to continuing this edition for at least a few more years to come.

A quick breakdown - the first 3 chapters and about half of the page count is dedicated to making characters - stats, skills, powers, archetypes. Then you get about 30 pages (2 chapters) on playing and running the game, covering the basic mechanics and an intro to running superhero games. The last 30 pages or so is dedicated to 4 adventure scenarios and stats for some supervillians and teams.

As a veteran GM and Player, this book doesn't add much to the game for me directly but it is nice to be able to point a new player to this as a resource. the adventures are great droop-ins to any campaign and the bad guys are totally usable as printed though I am pretty sure I've seen some of them before.

For anyone new to M&M I'd say this is the book to get because:

  • 1) as a new player you can build a starting character and advance them a fair degree just using this book
  • 2) as a new GM you can see how the game works, build some characters, and you have several sessions worth of adventures and opposition that you could play through with a group of players
  • 3) it gives you a good dose of how the game works and that's important because it deviates in several important ways from what a typical "d20" game does. The way damage works in particular, with no hit point system, is a huge thing for some people, and I would say it's important to get a feel for that before diving in to a full buy in of the game system.
The picture up above is an example of how the archetypes work  in the book. You have the general type, and then several sub-type options to choose from within that archetype. To me it looks a lot like a class layout for D&D 5E - Class + sub-class options- and I assume that's deliberate to make it easier to grok for new players. It seems plenty smart to me and I have no issue with it. 

However, if you already know M&M 3E and look closely at that you'll see what was the biggest surprise to me: No points!

And the second biggest surprise: No Power Levels!

Ok points are mentioned late in the book as an award for adventuring but nowhere in the book are they discussed as an element of character creation. For longtime players this is a shocking change, at least it was for me: "How can you put out a rulebook for M&M character creation and not include points?!"

Well, you can and they did. It is a limited set of options to choose from in this book, not the totally open-ended version found in the main book and at first I thought this was a fatal flaw. I mean, that's a huge part of the system right?

The more I thought about it though, the more I agreed with this choice for an intro product. In my experience new players to a superhero game do tend to follow some common superhero types. They may not want to play Batman directly, but the stealthy martial artist guy is a pretty common character and this book can accommodate that kind of approach within its "Crimefighter" archetype. This is a great way to get started and -GET PLAYING- without needing a week to "build" a character while still allowing for some customization. The best way to get your game going, and keep it going, in my experience. is to get people playing it, not just playing with it!

They started experimenting with this kind of thing in the GM Screen package years ago by including a random character generation system. it was refined in a later book and I assume this system is an evolution of that. once you have a set of interchangeable packages at PL10, well, if they work for random generation you can certainly make them work for a "controlled" generation system, and make them fit together even better. I'm glad to see the designers continuing to experiment and explore these options.

Power level is mentioned in the GM section but mainly as a tool for rating enemies. Changing up character power level is not really discussed other than "hey it's a thing and you can read more about it in the big book". It does mention that all of the characters created in this book are PL10 and all of the power limits presented are based on that level.

So ... if you have an established group playing M&M I'll say this book probably does not have much to offer you. The GM should get it because we get everything, right? Also it's great for bringing in a new player.

If you are new to the game and want to run it or play it or even start a new campaign for your group then I'd say this is definitely the place to start. It's a one-stop product that gives you enough to make characters, learn the system, and play through 2-3 sessions I would guess, possibly more if you start getting creative.

 It's a 30$ book so it's not no investment but it's not bad compared to a lot of the big books pout there now and it's comparable to most of the Beginner Boxes out there today. The PDF is close to half that which makes it ridiculously easy even for the thrifty gamer.

As a follow up I'll  post up some thoughts on the rest of the M&M game line as it's been a while since I've touched on it and I have Superheroes on the brain right now - stay tuned as the blog staggers back to life!

Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Obsession of the Moment: Paragon City Returns

So many heroes reborn ...

Adamantium Man returns!

Phurious Pharoah returns!

Draco Rex returns!

Not all of my time has been sent with old friends - some new ones have turned up too - more on that later.

Just getting to use that "City of heroes" post tag again has made me smile so it's been an amazing few weeks.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Not-40K Friday - Resurgence! - Aluminum Man Flies Again

I was going to start posting about 40K again but the big thing this week is definitely not 40K here.

For current details look here - it's a few posts down on this page.

Some fun information here.

Sunday, April 21, 2019

Monday, April 8, 2019

Magic Monday

So Blaster got back into Magic: The Gathering with some of his friends last month and once he started talking about it I realized I haven't bought a pack of Magic cards since before he was born so it's been ... a long time.

I played MTG with my friends back in the mid 90s when it first became popular and it became a regular thing for 3-4 years. We would usually play a few rounds as a warm up before one of our RPG sessions

He and Red got into it back about 7 years ago and played it a bunch up at a local store and I did get my old cards out to show them how to play once they expressed an interest but I didn't go buy any new cards - I pretty much let that be their thing.

Now though ... I figured why not? So I picked up some of the new cards and looked over the rules - they haven't changed much - and decided to jump back in. For now I'm just playing him and talking to some friends about it but with a big release coming up at the end of the month I might actually venture out to a store for that.

Rules-wise the biggest thing I see is that it's just tighter all the way around. I mean, the rules should be pretty tight after 25 years+ and they are. They seem to be pretty good at anticipating conflicts and unclear areas and spelling those out nicely.

The main format is "standard" which is basically using only the newest sets in head to head two-player games. There are others - Blaster's favorite is "commander" which is bigger decks in a multiplayer format and the big wrinkle is only one copy of each card other than basic lands. It's almost a completely different game than standard so there are some interesting options within the Magic "family"

The biggest difference I see is the support - wow what a set of cottage industries have sprung up around this game! Sleeves. Deck boxes. Play mats. YouTube channels. Podcasts. I mean 40K has a lot of stuff growing up around it but I didn't realize just how much there was for this card game.

I'll be posting up some more about returning to MTG after 20 years - it's an interesting adventure so far.

Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Cats: No Respect for the Game

Diving back into Magic this month with Blaster and this guy has to jump right into the middle. The bulldog is perfectly happy to go to sleep under the table ... not this one.

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Savage Worlds - Adventure Edition

I've been interested in the Savage Worlds game since the earliest days of its existence - maybe before if we're going back to Deadlands and the Great Rail Wars days. I played and ran some Deadlands in its original form, picking up pretty much all of the books and the Deadlands: Hell on Earth setting and books as well. I dove into GRW a little later and picked up a bunch of the miniatures and books for that too. I was on the Deadlands email list in the late 90's/early 2000's and followed the development of the system as bits came out there - you can see a more extensive version of that info here.

In my experience it's a great system with great support and I've had a ton of fun with it over the years. A lot of this is in the actual play of course. It's also in the way the game is supported - for the most part they do not publish 20 books on one setting - they publish 1 book for 20 different settings. Deadlands is the exception here as it's been a thing since before SW existed but most of their settings are a plot-point campaign book that has all you need to run games in a world for probably a year or more if you desire to. It doesn't feel like you're signing on for a long term subscription just to keep up with a particular setting. Recently a lot of their efforts have been published via Kickstarter and while I have some mixed feelings about that it does mean you can get a more complete set of  "stuff" for whatever setting is being presented - custom bennies, cards, extra books, maps, etc.

The last big Kickstarter was for a new edition of the rules - the Adventure Edition. Pinnacle has said before that they don't usually do new editions to dramatically change the rules. It's more about when they need to do a new print run and decide it's time for a revamp of the presentation and of some of the rules tweaks they've been trying out since the last one. I can vouch for this - I have at least one of each version and the rules changes from one to the next are fairly minor.

After reading it I can say that the Adventure Edition is still Savage Worlds. That said, let me talk about the changes:

  • Default Skills or "Core" skills - Everyone gets a d4 for free in Athletics, Common Knowledge, Notice, Persuasion, and Stealth. I get this and it's fine by me. 
    • Athletics is a consolidation of Climbing, Swimming, and Jumping into a single skill and that's fine too. 
    • Common Knowledge is new too. This sort of thing used to be a Smarts roll but they are trying to make things you typically make active rolls with an actual skill and not a stat.
    • Notice, Persuasion, and Stealth are all very commonly used skills in any given session and now new characters will start with a d4 instead of a d4-2. I'm fine with starting characters being a little more competent in these areas.
  • The Shaken change - technically this came out in 2015 but it hasn't been in the main rulebook until now. Previously when rolling to "unshake" success meant you were unshaken but could not act, while a raise let you act normally. Now a success = unshake and act normally. It's good for players when a character does it but less good for them when a monster/bad guy does it so ... I'm fine with it I suppose. 
  •  Experience: The old rule was the GM awards 1-3 XP per session and every 5XP is an Advance which lets the character upgrade in some way. The new approach is to drop XP and just talk over with your players at the beginning of the campaign how quickly you want to advance - every session? every other? every third? This one is the one that grates on me the most despite being the least important in many ways. I think it affects the tone of the game. 1-3 XP shows some evaluation of how much the group accomplished in a session. The set rate of advancement approach devalues that in my opinion. Its not a game breaker for me, it's just a change in approach I dislike. 
  • There are changes to various Edges and Hindrances - to be expected in a new edition. I don't worry about these too much until I'm running a character that has them so I won't go into any detail here. 
  • Lots of new conditions, or Statuses: Distracted, Vulnerable, Bound, Entangled, and Stunned.These consolidate a lot of separate very similar rules, weapons, and powers into a few set conditions. It's a smart change and one many other games have benefited from.
There are a lot of other changes as well. The chase rules changed again, as they do in pretty much every edition. There are short sections that present other ways to handle a scene or a task: Mass Combat, Quick Encounters, Social Conflicts, and abstracted travel and wealth rules. Some of them I like better than others and that's partly because I know what my players like and also because I know how I like to run things. At the very least though they give you something to push against if you want to explore some alternate approaches. 

One other positive thing that stood out is that there does seem to be more explanation on why things are the way they are. Pinnacle has been good about this in most editions of the game but this one feels even more so to me.

Visually the PDF looks great and I am looking forward to getting my hands on the hardcover in the near future. Then of course the question is "what will I run next and will it use these rules?" and the answer is "I don't know but probably so".

Anyway, more to come.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

The Gygax Story

This article came out last week and I read it, thought about it, waited a few days, and decided to put a link up here. It's tied to the very foundations of the hobby and it's worth a read.

Fantasy's Widow: The Fight Over The Legacy Of Dungeons & Dragons

No judgments other than to say it's fairly sad and it's a shame things don't work out the way you'd hope sometimes.

Monday, March 11, 2019

BatRep of the Week: Orks vs. Orks

Steve the Mountain and a battle of Orks against Orks! It's a lot of fun.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

RPG Stuff: Our 50 Fathoms Campaign Log

So I'm actually playing in two ... that's TWO (!) ongoing campaigns now - and have been for a few months! I could not tell you the last time that happened. I've been playing in one for about 5 years now - more on that in another post - and I've had a few one or two-shot games in that time but it's been longer than that since I played in two sustained games at the same time. I'm also still running a campaign or two myself so it's a really cool situation I find myself in game-wise right now.

I'm playing a kraken water-mage who is also an expert swordsman and it's been a lot of fun. The setting is roughly 1700's tech plus magic and some non-traditional fantasy races (like mine!). There is some one-way crossover with Earth of the same time period so we have the East India Company running around among other familiar landmarks. In the group we have the gun-nut, the trade specialist, the recon/sniper character, and out fearless monkey-cursed captain. So far it's been a little reminiscent of some old Traveller campaigns - lots of trading between different ports while following up on local problems/quests/missions and connecting some larger threads, all while trying to make some money so we can tackle larger issues.

Anyway here's a link to the session logs so far if anyone wants to see how a campaign like this can go: The Caribdus Cruise

Monday, March 4, 2019

BatRep of the Week: Armada!

Something a little different this week as Blaster and I dig back into Armada for a change:

First, a very casual intro by the guys at Shut Up and Sit Down:

Then another "how-to" with a European Champion:

Then the first of a series covering a normal game of Armada with the same two players:

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

BatRep of the Week: Imperial Knights Vs Khorne Battle Report Warhammer 40K

A fun battle with lots of heavy hitters knocking each other around.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Sentinel Comics RPG Kickstarter

A lot of you probably already know about this but just in case the RPG based on the Sentinels of the Multiverse card game has a kickstarter that wraps up in a little more than a week. The campaign is here and it looks pretty good to me.

There are a couple of things I really liked about the original card game:

  • Each hero has a set deck and expansions add new heroes and villains, not new cards for existing ones. So it's expandable but it's not collectible. This keeps it a "game" and not a "hobby" - or an "investment".
  • It's based on a fictional comic book universe including a fictional history of the comic book company and it ups and downs over the years.
  • It's a cooperative game. You team up with the other players to defeat a villain who runs off of his own deck. So everybody can win but it doesn't feel like a "gimmie" game - everybody can lose too.
The thing I like about the RPG (having played the starter kit last year) is that it's an evolution of the Marvel Heroic / Cortex+ system with more tightly defined mechanics. I've played multiple sessions of the Marvel game and had one try-out session with the starter kit and it went well as the players got familiar with the mechanics.

Here's a pretty thorough review of the Starter Kit that explains some of the mechanics.

Anyway it looks like fun and I thought I would help get the word out.

BatRep of the Week: Grey Knights vs. Tyranids

A new one from Miniwargaming that's fun and shows off some of the new Urban Conquest Rules

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

40K Tuesday: Chaos Daemons Update

I spent a fair amount of time in 2018 building up this army alongside the Grey Knights and while it's still a work in progress I did at least make some progress.  I have all of the pieces I want, for now, and I managed to get the Nurgle half just about finished a while back.

As far as that Nurgle half Chapter Approved 2018 dropped the cost significantly. Now, 3 Soul Grinders and a Daemon Prince add up to 729 points where they were over 900 before. I'm not really looking to add any Plague Bearers or Nurglings or Beasts right now so that frees up some room for more Khorne.

The Khorne "half" looks like this right now:

  • Daemon prince
  • Blood Throne
  • 30 Bloodletters
  • 10 Bloodletters
  • 10 Bloodletters
  • Karanak
  • 3 units of 5 Flesh hounds each
  • Option A:
    • A Jugger Herald
    • 5 Bloodcrushers
  •  Option B:
    • 3 Skull Cannons
So yes it's a Bloodletter bomb with some smaller units plus a speedy swarm of hounds. With the Grinders providing a solid fire base my Khorne units are free to rush over and engage the enemy force up close. My main plan is to take the Jugger squad as a fairly tough mobile unit (upgraded to 4 wounds each in Chapter Approved) but the cannons could be a nice "extra-shooty" option as well. The hounds, cannons, and juggernauts each run 250-300 points so I can arrange as needed. All of those are Acquired, all but the throne are Built, and I'd call Painting about halfway done on this bunch. They should get finished up the first part of this year and then I'll put up some pictures.

Future plans: At some point I need to get one (or three) of the big plastic Bloodthirsters but right now all I have are 3 of the older metal ones. I may have to test those out and see how they do after their big point drop in Chapter Approved as well. One of them could swap out with any of those modules mentioned above ... or ... they could swap out with the Nurgle force and let me go full Khorne. It's good to have options! 

Monday, February 4, 2019

BatRep of the Week: Imperium vs. Khorne

This one is from Tabletop Tactics and it looks like they are having a ton of fun in this one. Also: comically bad dice rolls!

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

40K Weekday: Grey Knights Update

I really really like the Grey Knights lore in 40K I remember them being an interesting unit in Rogue trader and then in Epic where they were a single unit you might take if fighting Chaos but not an army on their own. Then came 5th edition when they received a separate Codex and suddenly they were a whole separate force with some really nice miniatures all their own. It's a great look, a great theme, and a great concept for an elite strike force in the game.

In 5th they were a top-tier army.

In 8th ... they are widely regarded as the bottom tier army of the game.

This is sad on one level but it also opens up some possibilities as there have been Grey Knights all over eBay for the last year. It occurred to me that since they are an elite army and there are a lot of them showing up for sale online it might not be too hard to acquire them in nicely painted form at a reasonable price.  I've been interested in adding them to the house armies for a while so this seemed like a great opportunity to do that.

So ... the goal: Build a fully painted Grey Knights army without ever lifting a brush to paint them myself and without paying a premium for having it done. This was to be a total refugee army.

I started looking last January, and this first month of 2019 has seen the final acquisition needed to make my Grey Knights army really playable in 8th edition 40K: A third strike squad! This opens up the Battalion option and a decent number of Command Points when fielding them. It's a nice milestone to have achieved.

The force now:

  • Grandmaster Voldus
  • 2x Terminator Librarians
  • 2x Grand Master Dreadknights
  • 3x Strike Squads
  • 3x Interceptor squads
  • 1x Paladin squad
  • 1 Venerable Dreadnought
  • 3x Razorbacks*
Now I like the silver look for these guys, not the literal grey look, and that seems to be the default color scheme along with red and white heraldry. It's been fairly easy to acquire and there are still a lot of options out there. I don't have any air units, I don't have a land raider, and I could always use another Dreadknight and some more Paladins. 

*I'm cheating a little bit on the Razorbacks. They are not painted. I brought them over from another army and I will probably end up painting them myself.

It's around 2300 points right now so I can play pretty much any normal scenario and have some options on what to bring. The core of the force is 3 strike squads in the razorbacks who sport lascannons to give some usable heavy firepower. Pretty much anything in the force can deep strike either from the unit rules, a psychic power, or a stratagem so the rest of it is pretty flexible. The dread is also carrying a double lascannon as well. The recent buff to bolters makes everyone in the army a little better too.

I've been collecting them for a year but I have yet to play a game with them so I cannot tell you how they play - but that should change this week! I'll put up a report when it happens and hopefully it will be the first in a new series.

Monday, January 28, 2019

The RPG Catch-Up post

Despite the silence this month I have managed to get in some games - here's what's been going on at the beginning of the new year:

  • I'm actually playing in two games! At the same time! Not literally!
    • Paladin Steve's Pathfinder campaign is about to make it's 5th anniversary. We're 10th level now and even playing once a month, roughly, it does feel like a nice long continuous campaign. It's clearly going to outlive the system that spawned it ... and I don't care at all.  
    • Variable Dave has been running his 50 Fathoms campaign weekly for around 10 sessions now and it's going really well. I have not played in an extended Savage Worlds game in a very long time - actually never this long - and it's cool to see the intended progression at work. Playing a squid-faced water mage and ace swordsman has been a ton of fun. People always know when I'm speaking in character because I put my hand in front of my face and wiggle my fingers like tentacles and it cracks us up every time.
    • In general it's really nice to be playing in some games regularly for a change. I've been a constant DM for so long it's good to have that perspective from the other side of the table and it helps remind me of the way the fun works on that side of things too.
  • The main campaign which has run mostly consistently every two weeks is the "Classic Cormyr" 5th Edition D&D game. 
    • I really liked running Storm King's Thunder but I felt like I needed to focus on just running one D&D game for a while -not the 3 I was attempting- to keep on some kind of regular schedule. The players liked playing through Keep on the Borderlands and when I explained my thinking on what other old classic modules we could play through as this campaign the immediately voted to make it "the game". Most of them have not played through these old adventures because they are too young or if they did it was back in 1st or 2nd edition and it's pretty fuzzy. 
    • It's fun for me because it gives me a framework to build around but the process of updating to 5th gives me some space to flex my creative muscles in tweaking the encounters and working up some hopefully memorable characters to encounter, both good and bad.
    • They are now finished with the Keep and next on the agenda is The Isle of Dread which starts later this week! Down the road we will probably encounter some Giants and then likely Descend into the Depths of the Earth.
  • As a holiday one-off I ran Day of the Swarm for ICONS - yes, a Supers game again! It went pretty well so I expect ICONS will show up again as an ad-hoc game.
  • I also managed to run another session of our extremely intermittent Marvel Heroic game! I will write it up in the future but the start of a new Event saw the return of Hercules, new writers for Colossus and Iron Man, and the first appearance of Wolverine. It took some time to shake off the rust but we had fun and this may turn into a once-a-month game to try and keep the rust off.
For the rest of the year I would like to keep these things stable and work in more as much as I can. Hopefully SKT will drop back into the rotation at some point, Savage Rifts is still being asked for regularly, and I'd love to run another fixed-run Star Wars game. We will see but it all looks pretty promising at this point. 

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Beginning Year 10 of the Tower

I started writing here in 2009 as an outlet for my game related-thoughts and that's continued every year since. Last year was a terrible year and posting fell way down, but as I climb out of the hole I intend to keep the blog here as a part of my online life. I'm still running games, I'm still playing games,  so I should have some things worth sharing. I figure 2-3 posts a week will put me back where I'd like this to be so that's the goal for this year.

Currently I'm mainly running 5th Edition on a regular basis finishing up a retro-run of Keep on the Borderlands. We could have gone in several directions but this is what my players wanted to play! It actually started in 2017 then had a long dry spell and picked up again this year and has become the main game - we've even managed something approaching a regular every-two-weeks schedule! As we wrap this up we do have plans to move into the next chapter of the 5E retro tour ...

Besides D&D, in the last six months I've run sessions of ICONS (first run in years - yes!), the Sentinels of the Multiverse RPG (Starter kit - looking forward to the full game), and Labyrinth Lord (Barrowmaze - lots of fun).

For the future I'm hoping to keep the D&D game going and work in a once a month Supers game somehow too. We will see. I'm sure the plans will change - they always do!

I'm still playing in Paladin Steve's Kingmaker campaign. After 4 years we are 10th level with only one character death! It's still fun and all of the original players are still playing.

I'm also playing Variable Dave's new 50 Fathoms campaign! I say new - it started in November and has run consistently since then. I have to say it is a lot of fun finally playing Savage Worlds - not just running it.

Miniatures-wise I've pretty much let Age of Sigmar, Kings of War, Frostgrave, Bolt Action, X-Wing, Attack Wing, and Armada fall by the wayside. The focus is on 40K, both playing it and getting some of those armies perpetually "under construction" finished - at least to the point of having a painted, playable, 2000 point army. I'll post more about that on Friday. I do hope to work some of those other games back in to some kind of rotation throughout the year but for now it's all about the GrimDark Far Future.

Boardgames-wise I've played more Smash-Up this past year than anything else. It's a good game, especially with kids.

Online I take occasional dips into Star Trek Online but I'm mostly playing World of Warships. It scratches a historical itch and is a lot of fun to play, especially when I have a group of friends playing it too.

Anyway there's the state of things as the year begins. I'm looking forward to getting back into the blog and everything else that goes with it.