Archive for June, 2015

When did people become so stupid?

Well a lot of people seem to have become a lot more stupid with the advent of social media sites like Facebook and twitter. Why have I decided to have a “rant” about this and what does it have to do with wargaming?

Well it started yesterday morning when a picture was put on Facebook. A picture, one single picture generated nearly 400 comments in 8 hours.

What was so special about the picture?,

Was it the death of some popular icon, Nope.

Was it a flag being burned, Nope.

Was it a the face of Ozzy Osbourne in a loaf of bread, Nope.

What was it then?

It was a picture of a table, with about 25 copies of Alien vs Predator The Hunt Begins board game on it. The picture was taken by Wayland Games who had received their stock of the game and were going to start sending it out to the customers that had pre-ordered it from them. This one picture, opened up the biggest shit throwing contest I have ever seen on Facebook. In the end I don’t know how many people were involved as I gave up reading it and it was removed at some stage last night, but it was not far from 400 comments after 8 hours. Towards the end, it had devolved in to 3 or 4 people throwing abuse at each other. But like I said I gave up reading the comment after 8 hours!

Its not the first time I have seen it.

It happened With All Quite On The Martian Front, Deadzone, Mars Attacks, Tablescapes, and Shadows Of Brimstone and to a certain extent Incursion. The reason why so many people become so stupid over kickstarter projects is simple, a lot of backers don’t like getting their stuff after people who “pre-order”. But what backers seem to miss is the extras that they are getting (a royal guard, a berserk, facehuggers, and 3 free stretch goals, as well as the base game) which comes to around £65.00 for free!.

Of course they could just have waited and picked it up at retail for £67.50 and got it on the day of release, but then they would have missed out on the freebies, and would have nothing to moan about!

Which is what is now happening with AvP.

Prodos have said that it takes the same amount of time to wrap 1 boxed game for a backer as it does to wrap 1 pallet to send to a retail outlet.

In all honesty I think Prodos set the “goal posts” to close to each other with shipping backer copies and retail so close to each other, the other thing was how many they were going to ship out each day/week (originally they were aiming for 600 a week, but that dropped to 40 a day). But with all the delays that the project has suffered over the past two years, it is understandable that they need to get AvP out the door.

Don’t get me wrong I’m pissed that I don’t have my copy yet, but with what I am getting as extras in wave 2 for free0

2 x Royal guard.

2 x Berserk.

14 x Facehuggers.

10 x Alien warriors.

2 x Predaliens.

and

8 x Objectives

As well as the 2 copies of the game that are on their way to me now, I am more than happy. and if the pledge manger gets re-opened then I will pick up another copy of the game!

So yesterday I received shipping information form West Wind for my Incursion Buckets Of Blood kickstarter package, and it turned up a few hours ago. Their are however a few extra surprises in the box which I was not expecting.DSCN0663First up the boxes look fantastic, if I walked in to my local game store and saw these I would pick them up to have a look. However the backs of the boxes don’t give you any information about the game, they only have the logo on the back.

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Inside you will find 3 sheets of tokens/counters, 2 books (rules and assets), 2 reference sheets, a sheet of stickers, 1 double sided board, and the sub pen tile.

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Above is both sides of the game board and the sub pen tile.

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Their are 2 trays of models. One tray contains the US models, the German “special” models as well as dice (6) and plastic doors (10). The second tray contains all the zombies as well as the game cards. It is worth noting that both trays contain the “stretch goals” from the KS. I will take a closer look at the models later in the post.

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Next we have the SNAFU boxed set. Again 2 books (SNAFU book and assets), a sheet of counters and tokens, a paper version of the game board (both sides on one)  and the sub pen. Now I was a little bit surprised to find another copy of the “assets” book as well as the sub pen (the exclusive Gretel is also their as well).

DSCN0677You also get one tray with the MI-13 models as well as the reinforcements for the US and German forces. Their are also 3 dice for the MI-13 forces,10 plastic doors, and the cards needed to use the models.
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Next we have the rest of the KS exclusives in the form of (the left picture), An extra game board, cards for the models, a transfer sheet, a dice bag, and 15 dice. 6 for the drop troopers, and 3  for each of the other factions. The other picture (on the right) is all the other “stretch goal” models, in the form of  10 more doors,the German drop troopers, and again reinforcements for the other 3 factions.

Ok its time to take a look at the models

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First up the  US “APE” suits. their are 16 in the the KS Set. Their are 2 different pose of “grunt” and you get 4 of each. Then you have 2 of each “HMG” and Blazer” suits. lastly you have Slugger Murphy and the “sergeant” model.

Next we have the Germans. Their are 2 “blitzhounds” jumping, 1 “standing” blitzhound, Hans, Gretel (1 standard and 1 exclusive), Ilsa von X, and 4 bomber zombies.
DSCN0672Now on to the zombies their are 12 different models, and the KS set includes 5 of each pose giving you 60 zombies (the base set only contains 24)

DSCN0675Next we have the plastic doors (10), their are 2 designs and they are the same as the ones sold by Fenris Games (but in plastic rather then resin)

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Next we have the SNAFU models the bulk of which are the MI-13 boys. Their are 10 commandos (2 poses), 4 gut gunners,2 grenadiers, 1 corporal, Paddy Mayne, Zip Kelly, and Gracie. The “APES” get reinforced with 2 bazookas, while the Germans get the 2 Drohnes and the SWD Panzeraffe.

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Next we have the new models that were funded by the KS project. First up we have Brigitte (4 models one for each faction), then we have Nigel and 2 MI-13 ack packs, then we have Rosie for the “APES”, and finally Hugo Von X for the Germans. Now the weird thing is I switched these out for the “metal” versions, as I figured that I would be more interested in painting the “metal” versions over the plastics. DSCN0682Next we have the Drop Troopers, their are 6 basic models (2 troopers, 1 HMG,1 Flame thrower, 1 missile launcher, and 1 sergeant) and Hilde Becker a deadly lady with a spear!. In total  their 6 troopers, 2 HMG,2 Flame thrower, 2 missile launcher, and 1 sergeant.
DSCN0683Here we have a “comparison” picture with some other plastic models. The top row are the Incursion models, the second row are Zombicide season 3 models from CMON/Guillotine Games, and the bottom row are Mars Attacks from Mantic Games. Apart from the Incursion models being slightly larger than the rest they would fit in well with the other two ranges. The plastic they are made from is however very soft a flexible (even the doors which are thick) but it does “spring” back into shape unlike the Mars Attacks ones that need to be put into hot water to repose them.

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Here we have the metals vs Plastics. On the left is Zip Kelly and on the right is the exclusive Gretel Von X.

As you can see the plastics are near on perfect copies of the metals however Zip Kelly has a Plastic support to hold him in the air (my metal model has had a pin placed in his foot). The plastic Gretel has suffered from a “pin head” problem, and in all fairness it is the only model out of the whole lot that has a major problem.

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The plastics scale up well to their metal counterparts, the only difference that I noticed was the back pack on Hilde Becker was slightly smaller on the metal model than on the plastic version.

I will never get round to painting the models that are included in these sets, I will however paint the “metal” versions and as you can see I have made a start with some of the Germans

Its been a long time coming but it Incursion V2 has been worth the wait!

I seem to be stuck at the bottom of a pit, and am struggling to get out off it!

Over the past few weeks I have struggled to to get anything completed.

Take the Fenris bases I ordered the other week for AvP, the first thing I did was wash them in warm soapy water and let them dry. After undercoating them and painting them up, I decided to add some yellow and black hazard stripes to brake up the colours. After painting the areas with Averland Sunset, I applied some low tack fine line tape to make the stripes. And then painted out the black areas, and left them to dry. I then removed the tape and that’s when disaster struck, as I removed the tape the paint peeled off all the way back to the bear base. Now If it had been just one or two bases I could have understood it but it was all twenty three that I was working on.

Then their is the camouflage that I was painting on some test models, I just cannot get it right it just looks a mess! So they will end up in the pot to be striped with the Fenris bases.

Another thing is I have been reading the same book for the last three weeks (most books only last me a week)  I have read several of the chapters more than once as I either miss bits or it just does not make sense. I don’t want to “not” finish the book as it it will bug me even more than it is now!

I have even tryed playing Aliens: Colonial Marines computer game (which I like, and have completed) but again I just cannot get on with it at the moment.

Like I said at the beginning of the post I am really struggling with any form of model making, what ever I touch goes wrong.

Kickstater wise nothing has been seen of AvP (no reports of anyone receiving their copy) and Incursion has started to appear with some EU backers (mine is properly at the bottom of the pile as I had a low backer number)

Speaking of Kickstarters,I may well have to brake out Zombicide and have a few games of that…………………………………………

So its going to be a close race as to which Kick starter project turns up first. AvP from Prodos or Incursion from Grindhouse Games (my money is on Incursion coming in first). Both projects have had their problems and are both well past their “projected” delivery dates. Incursion was meant to ship in March 2014 and AvP was meant to ship May 2014. However the problems faced by the projects have been very different. Where most of AvP’s problems have been copyright Issues, Incursion suffered from supplier problems.

In short the company that was tasked to handle the project, had taken on too many projects which pushed the project further back (despite having 90% of the money upfront!). The difference between Grindhouse and Prodos is, Grindhouse is a much smaller operation then Prodos. Currently their are two guys working away out of a garage sorting all the KS orders out, but they still mange to keep backers “in the loop” with what is going on. The complete opposite of Prodos, who struggle to give you any info (backers have been asking since shipping began about “tracking numbers” for shipments, and still no reply)

Now I had no problem with backing Incursion as I have been following it since it first appeared way back in 2009. And I have picked up nearly everything that has been released (the only thing I am missing are the limited edition tins that were released)

http://www.grindhousegames.com/blogs/incursion-blog/1166552-starter-tins-and-resin-bases

Unfortunately most of my Metal models are in desperate need of a repaint (from when my ex-wife kicked me out). I also managed to pick up some reinforcements just before Maelstrom Games went under a few years ago.

I have to say I am really looking forward to Incursion turning up, but we will just have to see who crosses the finish line first!

So I’ve read through the rules a couple of more times since my last post, and apart from the few things that I mentioned in the first post nothing else really stands out. However one thing that is missing is background “fluff”, all we have is the name of the ship USS Theseus, their are no details about how the Aliens got on board, what Marine forces were deployed, why are the Predators their?

Thanks to the Wayback Machine http://archive.org/web/

I manged to find one of the old KS pages with a small piece of the background “fluff”. This came from the first day of the campaign (8th November 2013), however by the end of the campaign (28th November 2013) it had gone from the page.

The Game setting, Intro and Story…

The Board Game will be set between the “Alien” and “Aliens” movies.

Weyland Corporation has dispatched the ship “Theseus” into space. Its primary objective to populate the Mining Planet, LV-669, with a workforce of convicts and genetically modified beasts of burden (to be used for labour and food). The convicts are guarded by a detachment of Colonial Marines and the ship has a strong contingent of Medical Cyborgs. All the humans and animals are in stasis. Whilst in transit, the “Theseus” receives a new order:

+++Investigate potential Xenomorph infestation on Planet LV-426+++- -+++extract samples+++ +++

The Cyborgs alter course as defined. The ship arrives and sets orbit around LV-426. The medical crew extract ‘Alien Egg’ and ‘Facehugger’ samples from the surface. When they report back they are directed to propagate and incubate the xenomorph samples. They utilise a percentage of the Theseus convict and animal cargo to complete their directive. Putting infected ‘cargo’ back into stasis. Once the new directive is complete the Theseus resets its course to dock with the Weyland Medical Station orbiting Earth. During the return flight, a facehugger escapes the med-bay to get sucked into Power Turbine Cooling System, where it is macerated. The acid-blood quickly destroys the Turbine and breaches the ship’s hull. The Main Power Grid and communications are compromised; hence no communication with Weyland HQ is possible. The majority of the cargo is awoken from stasis with the loss of power. A number of key personnel, the Colonial Marines included are still in stasis, due to secondary power supply grids. After a while the Xenomorphs appear and a short battle between convict, cyborg and Alien ensues. The outcome is inevitable. Meanwhile, a small conclave of Predators has detected the ‘Alien Nest’ and forcibly boarded the Theseus, damaging the computer systems keeping the Marines in stasis. A fire ensues…

+++fire detected+++ +++stasis-end protocol initiated+++

More to come in the form of a short story in AvP The Hunt Begins by the franchises’ ϋber-novelist Steve Perry

Now don`t get me wrong but Steve Perry is far from the “franchises uber-novelist”. The 3 Aliens books Earth Hive, Nightmare Asylem, and The Female War, and Aliens vs Predator Prey are all based on the original Dark Horse comics from the late 80’s and early 90’s. So most of the work was already done as they are basically adaptions the same way that films get adapted to books and vice versa.

It has however been noted on Facebook that all the “fluff” that Prodos had done including the stuff by Steve Perry was not approved by Fox, one piece that was mentioned was a “facehugger bursting through someones chest”

Oh well I will just have to make my own background “fluff” when it arrives………………………………………………..

So last night Prodos Games put up the rules for the AvP board game on their website.

http://prodosgames.com/

Look for the Downloads tab and its hidden in their, at the bottom. Now players of Warzone: Resurrection will be familiar with the rules as most of them are the same. And it goes to prove the WZ:R rules can be ported over to a board game, which may lead to some of the old Warzone board games (Blood Berets, Siege Of The Citadel, and Fury Of The Clansmen) being redone in the Future.

Now having downloaded and read through the rules (I’m still waiting for my copies of the game to arrive) I can say it is a different beast to GW’s Space Hulk, but they do share their similarities.

Both games use action points, with AvP giving faction specific actions (like an aimed shot, for the marines). Their are also Extended actions that require 2AP’s to be used (like welding doors shut, for marines).

Both games also use “Blip/Ping” tokens. With Space Hulk each token represents 1-6 models meaning things are pretty random (where as AvP Each token represents 1 model).

One of the things that grabs me is the forces involved. Each battle features 5 marines, 3 Predators, and 15 Aliens. Now the Marines and Predators I can understand, but you only have 15 aliens seems a little bit weird. At first I thought I had missed something, and so I re-read the missions again and it does seem that you only get 15 Aliens for each of the missions. Now any fan of the Alien vs Predator (and Aliens) franchise will know that the aliens are represented as a horde (or swarm) army, but after reading the rulebook I just don’t get the right feel for the Aliens.

Another thing is, in some of the missions the Aliens have to destroy rooms, why? Again this is not something that I can see the Aliens doing. Protecting an area yes (maybe it leads to the hive), destroying an area no. The aliens instinct leads it to survive and breed not to go around destroying rooms, after all if the engines on the ship are destroyed then their is a chance the ship may exploded.

In the rulebook the pictures of the “ping” tokens shows the 3 Predator tokens as being larger than the Marine and Alien tokens. Now the “ping” tokens are meant to represent the motion tracker of the marines from Aliens, the senses of the Aliens, and some form of tracking from the Predators. Now as anyone who has seen the Aliens film will know that the motion tracker cannot tell the difference of what is their (after all it picks up some hamsters in a cage in the film). Its a minor thing and hopefully its just a wrong sized picture in the book.

The advanced rules cover things like Force lists, Creating Your Own hero, Custom Victory Conditions, and what I am guessing are the solo rules (p61 Horde instinct) None of which I would class as “advanced”. Their is however something that is missing. In the original draft of the rules the board had a grid marked on it, however Prodos dropped the grid “as it spoiled the art work on the tiles. A number of backers (me included) picked up the Battle systems kickstarter as it would come in handy for the game. However now models only move 1 tile per move action (rather than a number of squares), we were told that rules for using grids would be included (we were also told that the resin models would be KS exclusives, as would the double sided boards!)

So after reading the rules, I see AvP as more along the lines of a wargame (played on a board) rather than a proper board game. I cannot comment on the Strategy cards for each faction as their are no descriptions in the book (the same goes for the environmental effect cards) but can only assume that the strategy cards are the same as cards used in WZ:R.

Don’t get me wrong it looks good, but as they say the proof of the pudding is in the eating!

Over the weekend I have seen more and more people complaining about the Alien Vs Predator Kickstarter.

Firstly we have the problem with the reprint of some of the cards. Now with all the problems that Prodos have had with getting the AvP game approved by 20th Century Fox, this was the last thing that the Prodos team needed. So they decided to push shipping to backers back until the 8th of June. However as with most Kickstarters their communication is rather poor and as people want to know whats going on the two Facebook pages were hit with people wanting answers.

On the 9th one of the UK Prodos team posted on Facebook that shipping had recommenced the day before, and that they would be shipping by backer number.

However a number of people started whining about shipping by backer number as they had backed late in the project, meaning they would not receive the game for a few weeks. Now for the whole KS campaign right up until the page was taken down last year, their has been a number of “whingers” or “trolls” (in fact one was booted from the project when it was active)

However Prodos Friday update caused a little bit of a shit storm

“Orders began shipping on Thursday due to a delay getting the reprinted cards ready and waiting for the special order shipping boxes to arrive.

The parcels are being shipped in a random order to be fair to everyone, this was due to comments made about people having a high backer number upset that they would be last.

The first 150 boxes have been shipped with more following on Monday.”

So shipping started on Thursday and not Monday, and Prodos have let the “whingers” win by sending out pledges randomly rather than by backer number! as you can imagine this has not gone down very well.

Secondly we have the Issue of tracking numbers. In the Friday update Prodos posted this

“Currently we are not sending shipping notifications. This is due to the fact we had not designed the pledge manager to ship in two waves. The IT dept. is working on a fix for this, but we need to be very careful not to mess up the pledge manager code or lose any information.”

But hang on they have been talking about 2 waves of shipping for 6 months! Why leave it till now to sort it out?

The last thing that keeps raising its head is the fact you can order the boxed set in the UK for £67.50 (the RRP is £75.00) and again a number of “whingers” are moaning the KS backers are getting a bad deal! Well some one posted that they backed at the £75.00 (We`re in the pipe, five by five) pledge and that gets him the following

1 box set (£75.00)
5 facehuggers (£10.00)
1 royal guard (£20.00)
1 berserker (£10.00)
* 5 warriors (£15.00)
* 1 predalien (£10.00)
* 4 half synthetic objective markers (£10.00)

which is an extra £75.00, giving a total of £150.00 all for £75.00. Some how I don’t see it that KS backers are getting a bad deal in fact I see that we are getting a very good deal (even better with my “get to the chopper” pledge)

On a side note Incursion is in the UK. and is due to be sent to west wind on Thursday the 18th.