Feb 272012

Recorded all the way back in January, Slacker joined Hooligan, WDR and I to discuss everything geek that we’re looking forward to in 2012. This episode clocks in at just over an hour.

A quick correction, we mentioned Far West, but couldn’t quite remember the name. It is indeed Far West.

Apr 242011

So as some of you may know, I’ve gotten into playing Warhammer 40k. The army I chose I think really captures my inner cheeseball nature. No, not orks, I’m playing Necrons. My friends sold me on the army with two words, “zombie robots.” I’ve got a game under my belt with them, they’re assembled, but they’re still that games workshop plastic gray.

Baseline gray

The baseline gray necron, for comparison

Looking around at the different color schemes that people have been painting their necrons, I’ve decided that the drybrush silver on black had been done to death, so again, befitting my nature as a cheeseball, I’ve decided on a color scheme for my necron army: Sunshine!

Very Yellow

The pic is a little fuzzy, but you get the idea.

I would like to point out that this is, in fact, the first mini I’ve ever primed. I’m using that as an excuse if this looks like crap to anyone who’s been doing this for longer than a week. I’m going to bring these down to paint night at the FLGS and ask the people who know what they’re doing if this looks decent and if not what I’m going to need to do differently. If everything looks alright then I’m going to prime the rest and start doing in with some bright orange and florescent green.

Paint night at Pulp Fiction Paint night at Pulp Fiction Paint night at Pulp Fiction Paint night at Pulp Fiction

The guys at paint night, being all competent and stuff.

Below are the rest of the necron images I took for this post, including a picture of the saddest destroyer.

The Saddest Destroyer High Contrast Side by side very yellow

Apr 182011

Ladies and gentleman, I am proud to present the UnderDiscussion One Year Anniversary episode! I want to thank you all for your support and for listening to us this past year. When I suggested to WDR that we should do a podcast he thought I was crazy and that no one would ever listen to us. It’s a year later, we have 38 episodes released, we’ve have reviews and interviews and last month we had our first episode to go over a thousand unique downloads! So if we’re crazy, then we’re crazy like a fox!

This week Nockergeek, Slacker, and Hooligan join us with new guests Hida Man and Dennis to discuss a bit about the tabletop wargame Warhammer 40k. We also announce our IronDie giveaway and a spinoff podcast!

“What’s that?” you say, “What are these ‘IronDie’ you are referring to?” IronDie are solid metal dice made in Italy and we’re giving away a base set of the nine different shapes! What to learn the details? Then listen to this week’s episode!

Logo for IronDie

IronDie, made in Italy, won by you!

8one6 & WDR pose for the UnderDiscussion IronDie Giveaway IronDie green metal dice

The contest will run through April 29th 2011 (we plan to do the hat draw and the winner announcement recording on April 30th.) The winner will be announced on the May 2nd episode of UnderDiscussion.

We are also announcing Preferred Enemies, a Warhammer 40k podcast hosted by the Undergopher’s own Nockergeek, Slacker & Dennis! They recorded their first episode this week. Head over, give it a listen, and let them know what you think!

Here’s the link to our iTunes feed.

Here’s the link to the UnderDiscussion RSS Feed.

Wizz by Bob Wizman

Apr 012011

Greetings gophers.  It is once again past time for a rambling wall of text from yours truly.  Despite most of my free time this month being swallowed by basketball and watching westerns to prepare for an upcoming episode of Underdiscussion, I managed to work in a important gaming first for me. I know what you’re thinking. ” But W.D.R. surely a gamer as worldly and sophisticated as you has done it all.” Amazingly this is not the case. This past weekend the local high school held their twice yearly game convention, Recruits, and I ran my first two convention games. I have to admit that I needed a little prodding to decide to do it. The idea of some random group of strangers sitting down at a table and then me trying to run a game conjures images of every rpg horror story I’ve ever heard. Thanks to the owners of my friendly local game store, Pulp Fiction Comics and Games, I took the plunge.

I was quite pleased with the experience despite my initial misgivings.  I ran a session of Gamma World, which many of you are familiar with from the podcast, and a session of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd edition. I must say that Gamma World makes for a mighty fun convention game. I ended up with a full table of five including a couple of folks I already knew.  Thanks Eric and Ted for making my first attempt a little more comfortable than it could have been.  The game went smoothly and the goofiness of Gamma World produced a fun time for all.  At the end of the game the players had retrieved the yellow cakes and celebrated their missions success. I was relieved that I had made it through the game and had actually had quite a bit of fun.

Next up was Warhammer, which was a much more serious game.  It also has some unusual but good mechanics that could be an issue with new players. I had restricted this game to four players because of the game design and once again had a full table. I was pleasantly surprised to find that one of the players from the Gamma World game had come back for another session with me. I have to admit that this really made my day. I find it a huge compliment for someone to enjoy my game enough to devote another chunk of their convention time to my game. While Warhammer did not go as smoothly as Gamma World, it seemed to be another successful session as everyone involved seemed to have fun. I know I really enjoyed it. I will be running some more games at the next Recruits if I am able. If any of you out there have considered running a game at a convention and haven’t, you should give it a go. It is certainly not like a regular game but it really is rewarding.

When I wasn’t running games, the table behind where I was running caught my eye.  It was a display by a miniatures company out of Atlanta, Georgia that makes 15-20 mm figures. The thing that got my attention was the amazing detail for such tiny figures.  It didn’t hurt that they all had absolutely fantastic paint jobs as well.  I recommend checking them out.  The name of the company is Splintered Light Miniatures. The owner seems like a great guy and hopefully we can find a way to have him on Underdiscussion. I also checked out a local company DGS Games.  They are working on what could be a very interesting system that integrates a rpg, a skirmish game, and a large scale battle game. I would suggest checking them out as well.

That will just about do it for this edition.  I can make no promises about when the next Chat will show up but there will be another one soon.

Mar 032011

So I obviously failed to manage a weekly column, but only true failures give up. Last time I promised to talk about Federation Commander and I have to say that the game has been a pleasant surprise. I started playing Star Fleet Battles years ago and was convinced that I was enjoying myself. I think that I was very sure that I wanted to enjoy the game but to be honest it was way to complicated for me to have more than a small amount of fun. Now before some Star Fleet Battles player tries to burn me at the stake in the comments section, I think it is a good game but it doesn’t appeal to everyone.  In fact the reason I stopped playing was that none of my friends would go near the game.  Just recently I encountered Federation Commander and I was told the game was like Star Fleet Battles lite.  Now I had my doubts about anything closely related to S.F.B. being easy to play but I once again wanted to like playing the game.  So I decided to try it out and picked up the Klingon Border starter box.

After getting home and opening the starter box I knew that this game had some possibilities.  The rule book was a svelte 74 pages which seemed unbelievably short.  The thing that really made my eyes light up were the ship cards.  These beauties take the place of the SSD from Star Fleet Battles and they do it well.  Amarillo Design Bureau really hit these things out of the park.  The ship cards come laminated so that they can be marked on with dry erase markers which is awesome. No more making tons of photocopies of SSDs for this gamer.  Heck, they even give you a dry erase marker in the box.  As I read the rules I could tell that the essence of Star Fleet Battles was there but with the capability for faster more flowing play.  I couldn’t wait to give this a play.

I manage to find an unsuspecting friend willing to give the game a try with me.  So I went about explaining to him how to play and we chose sides and got to it.  Compared to S.F.B. this game fairly flew along and I really loved playing. My friend I had used as a guinea pig had a blast despite having his Federation Heavy Cruiser massively damaged by my victorious Klingon D7. I finally could play and actually have fun.  We actually played a second game immediately after the first.  Once again the Klingons were  the victors but most importantly we had a blast.  Well, he certainly did as his ship had blown up. I heartily recommend this game and look forward to playing again and again. I’ll say goodbye with a couple of pictures showing the aftermath of our first two battles.  Next time I will be discussing a couple of new board games I have played.  Until next time keep gaming and enjoy the pictures.

The second time we used smaller ships.

Jul 202010

Sorry this is so late but last week family issues got the better of my writing time.  So this will not be a thorough report, just my impressions of the battle.

I finally got in a battle with my Space Marine army. Last Monday, being a holiday, some of us got together to play some 40k. The evening began with a epic team battle which featured Nockergeek and Hooligan joining their Tau forces against the might of the Tyranids commanded by Dennis and Slacker. Despite a strong start the Tau were unable to handle the ravening horde of ‘Nids and went down in defeat.  Following that epic struggle, Dan and I took our Codex Marine armies to the field against each other.  We started late and only made it through turn 4.  With each of us in possesion of two objectives, the game was a draw.

I now know why other folks gripe about Space Marines.  They are hard to kill and our battle developed the feel of guys in armor throwing rocks at each other. Due to bad rolling on both our parts the shots that hit had trouble wounding and getting penetration on vehicle armor was difficult at best.  For instance, between us there were 6 or so missile launchers on the table and in four turns they only produced 2 or 3 casualties.

The  lesson I took from this game was the standard Space Marine Codex is very versatile. Dan runs a foot slogging force heavy on dreadnoughtsand terminators while I run a line of tanks and troops in armored transports.  Same Codex but very different armies. I think both Dan and myself will want to incorporate some aspects of the other’s army into future lists. 

I know that I need to add some better assault elements to my list.  That may require stepping up to 1750 points and I’m aware some folks can’t do that just yet. I also think I stay too stationary and need to take the fight more to the enemy.  I need to take some time with my codex and get to know my troops better so that I don’t have to guess about their capabilities. I’m not sure what I do well and what I do poorly, so I will try to take the time to discuss the game with my opponent to get his impression on those counts.

Jul 162010

The Warhammer Fantasy Battles 8th Edition Rulebook arrived this past weekend and I am the proud owner of a copy.   It is impressive just based on the sheer size(531 pages) of the tome, which is nice but not what really matters.  Upon opening, the book reveals that the oft maligned folks at Games Workshop labored long and lovingly to produce a beautiful and comprehensive tome detailing all aspects of the Warhammer Fantasy game.  The book is printed in full color throughout and the numerous illustrations and photographs are frequently awe (and game) inspiring.  The ribbon bookmark built into the spine is a nice touch and has proved quite useful.

 Something I consider vital to a good rule book is ease of reference and the table of contents and index of the book is clear and useful.  The rules section takes up the first 153 pages of the book.  It starts with basic information about dealing with the models and then proceeds to present the basic rules in the order that they apply during a turn of the game.  This is followed by a lengthy section covering the myriad special rules required by the variety of unit types and factions in the game.  The rules are filled with well written and easily understood examples of play, most with illustrated examples.

After the rules section, there is a section entitled “The Warhammer World”.  It begins with the rich history of the Warhammer World, including a timeline.  Also in this section, the background and motivation of all the factions available in the game are explored.  There are some truly striking pieces of art in this section of the book. 

The heart of a table top miniatures game is the miniatures themselves and the third section of the book is jealousy inducing proof.  It is 100 pages of painted miniatures categorized by their faction.  This “Miniatures Showcase” section culminates in several pages of advise about the assembly and painting of an army. 

The final section of the tome is a section entitled “WarhammerBattles” and details how to use and create scenario based battles.  It has information on how to run a campaign and how to gamemaster a battle.  I also features several narrative battle and a section on what they call legendary battles, which includes a battle report and a listing of participating units for the battle discussed.  This section should be a boon to gaming groups that choose to take the time to use the design tools provided.  I certainly look forward to gamemastering battles between my friends.

I have chosen not to go into a profound discussion of the rules because they are legion and most are written by those with more experience.  The bottom line is that the Warhammer Fantasy Battles 8th Edition Rulebook is worth the money I spent on it.  In fact, despite the $75 price tag , I would say you get more than you pay for.  The book is so impressive that it will draw new players into the hobby by its presentation and it just doesn’t get better than that.

May 282010

After recording the wargaming podcast with Nockergeek and That Damn Punk, I got all motivated about getting my Warhammer 40K army on the table.  It had been a while since I have even read the rulebook and to be honest I had not really played a game of 40K since I was in college back in the early 90’s.  The following Saturday Nockergeek, That Damn Punk, and some of our other friends were getting together to play some 40k.  I convinced 8one6 that we should go watch some games so that we could get a handle on the rules and off we went.

When we arrived there were two games going.  One featured Nockergeek’s Tau fighting Space Marines and the other matching up more Space Marines with the Eldar.  As we watched the battles unfold, I decided that I really needed to get in on the action as soon as possible.  Since Hooligan had already assembled a chunk of my army,  I figured  to be ready in a couple of weeks.  That would also give me time to read up on the rules.  Turns out that I would not be waiting very long at all.

After the Space Marine vs Eldar battle finished with an Eldar victory, a discussion ensued that resulted in my borrowing an Eldar army and taking  the field against Slacker’s Tyranid horde.  As I have so often said, the best way to learn the rules is to play the game.  In this case, however, I was concerned about my ability to manage an army whose Codex I have only glanced through.  I have a pretty good idea what my chosen army can do ,but having not played in years, I really am not too sure about the other army choices.  I figured the worst that could possibly happen is some plastic and metal Eldar would be slaughtered by the Tyranids and I would get some actual play time with the Warhammer 40K rules.  I quickly tried to familiarize myself with my army list and went over the rules with Slacker.  For the record, Slacker was really awesome about the whole process from beginning to the bitter end.  Like the Beatles said, I get by with a little help from my friends.  Then we rolled for scenario (Dawn Of War) and for who would go first.  Slacker elected to let me go first and we started setting up our troops. 

Turn1 began with my bringing the rest of my army onto my side of the table.  Based off of Slacker’s set up and the fact that Tyranids are all about close combat, I tried to concentrate as much firepower on his units in the middle of the table.  The first turn of the Dawn Of War scenario uses a special visibility rule that resulted in most of my troops not being able to see the enemy due to my poor dice results.  My shooting phase was thus largely uneventful.  When Slacker took his turn he managed to engage one of my units in close combat.  Fortunately for me the combat turned out to be a draw and would continue next turn.  This concerned me because there were quite a few more Tyranids in that unit than there were Eldar left in mine.  At the end of the turn, things were looking pretty good for Slacker and I was concerned that I might have made some as yet to be determined mistake.

My plan for turn 2 was to put as much fire as I could on his advance units and to get my Howling Banshees into action.  Banshees are fantastic close combat troops and would be able to keep one of his huge units of Termagant off of my troops that needed to be shooting.  The visibility rule that hampered my first turn was no longer in play and my shooting went in the exact opposite of the first turn.  Rockets and sniper rifles took out the Tyranids HQ unit and the large unit of  Termagants that had not engaged yet broke and ran.  While my rolls for shooting were solid but not spectacular, Slacker managed some extremely poor rolls on his saves which resulted in my terrific shooting phase.  In the assault phase, my Banshees were not able to get into close combat due to the Termagant unit running.  The combat that was carried over from the first turn went my way as well, once again due to some unfortunate die rolling on Slacker’s part.  That unit of Tyranids broke and ran as well.  They made their leadership test, so I didn’t wipe them out .  Honestly, running away was fine with me.

Slacker’s second turn began with him rallying his large unit of Tyranids and continuing to remove his remaining units across the table.  One of his reserve units of Genestealers arrived from the side of the table and engaged one of my Viper jetbikes.  In his shooting phase, he succeeded in killing two of my Howling Banshees.  The Genestealers managed to destroy all the weapons on the Viper they had attacked. At the end of turn two, momentum had definitely shifted my direction.  All I had to do was take advantage of it.  The next turn could decide the game.

The first thing I did during turn 3 was to move a unit into cover to try and make it hard for the Genestealers to charge them once my Viper was destroyed.  After that I closed on Slacker’s rallied unit of Termagants with my Howling Banshees in preparation to close into assault with them.  My hope for the shooting phase was to be able to take out the rest of his HQ units and thinning out his Hormagaunt unit moving towards my snipers and missle launcher troops.  Once again my shooting phase was very successful.  I managed to take down all his remaining HQ units and unfortunately for me the Termagants ran again.  The other running unit was reduced to only one member.  Since the Termagants ran, my Banshees couldn’t do anything in the assault phase yet again.  This was a bummer, but overall I managed a very successful turn.

With things going very badly for the Tyranids, Slacker decided to see if his other reserve unit of Genestealers would show up on this turn.  Once more Slacker suffered from unfortunate die rolling.  Since it was a friendly game and victory was out of reach barring a miracle, Slacker chose to concede the game.

I found that I was able to pick up the rules quite easily and the game proceeded at a decent pace after a bit of an awkward start.  Most importantly fun was had by all involved.  I certainly would have had a blast even if the outcome had been different.  I would have to say that it was a triumphant return to wargaming table and I look forward to future battles.