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Updated: 2 days 18 hours ago

Tracy's AAR for 2019/11/14, 2019/11/21 and Late Game Tomorrow

Wed, 12/04/2019 - 16:49

Games are "normally" on Thursday nights sometime after 6:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

Tomorrow we are back on schedule with a late start. No sooner than 7:30PM, so the game will have to be quick and easy.

We had our usual Philly Cheese Steak Pizza with fresh Mozzarella. Lately we have added diced tomatoes.

After Action Report (AAR) for two gaming sessions prior. (Due to U.S. Thanksgiving Day on 28 Nov, we skipped it.)

++++ SUMMARY ++++

On November 14th, we played Avalon Hill's "Civlization" and the Western expansion board with 5 Players. It was another game with a learning curve but our new partipant got the hang of it. I deprecated myself by picking Crete so the other players would have a chance. By the time we had to quit, we finally got to the point of being able to "trade" a catastrophe because we had gone through the trade decks.

On November 21st, we Played Samurai Swords with 5 players, due to the learning curve we didn't get very far. One player consistently bid on the Ninja and took out a couple of Daimyo to prevent battle before it started. Everyone was still fairly even with territories by Turn 6 when we quit. Although a couple of Players lost an Army and would have been hard pressed to maintain the status quo.


Tracy Johnson



Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

Gaming AAR for 2019/10/17, 2019/10/24 and No Game Tomorrow

Wed, 10/30/2019 - 14:26

No game tomorrow because I'm staying home to answer to door for Trick or Treaters.

Next game will be on November 14th. I have my local American Legion meeting on the 7th.

(Note the new domain for SOCDAISY in the "To" address, we have migrated off of yahoogroups due to group deprecation.)

Games are normally on Thursday nights sometime after 6:30PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

We had our usual Philly Cheese Steak Pizza with fresh Mozzarella. Lately we have added diced tomatoes.

Summary for two weeks prior:

++++ SUMMARY ++++

On October 17, we Played another round of TSR's "Dungeon!" we had five players this time. A visiting Player won as a Wizard by pretending to go back to the staircase to replenish his spells, but he really had his 30K in gold.

After taking the game back home I put it in dry dock for refurbishment. There are no manufacturers for sleeves on those little 28mm by 38mm cards. So I ended up buying 43mm by 65mm sleeves and snipping them short in a paper cutter 3 or 4 at a time.

On October 24, we Played Rail Baron with 5 players using the B&O extends to New York option. Again our guest Player came out on top with only 4 railroads, but a good network. (Although I think he eventually would have lost money but we called it due to time constraints.)


Tracy Johnson



Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

Gaming 2019/10/10 Dungeon!

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 20:53

Games are normally on Thursday nights sometime after 6:00PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601. (Yes I moved back to Thursday.)

We had our usual Philly Cheese Steak Pizza with fresh Mozzarella. Lately we have added diced tomatoes.

++++ SUMMARY ++++

On October 10, we Played two games of TSR's original "Dungeon!" the children's version of D&D played out on a singular map.

The game is full of small cards, 28mm by 38mm.

You start out as one of four types of characters, represented by a simple colored pawn. A green pawn to be an Elf, a blue pawn to be a Hero, a red pawn to be a uperhero, or a white pawn to be a Wizard. The objective to return to the start space with prizes as follows:

Elf: Prizes worth 10,000 gold pieces.
Hero: Prizes worth 10,000 gold pieces.
Superhero: Prizes worth 20,000 gold pieces.
Wizard: Prizes worth 30,000 gold pieces.

Each Monster has a number to roll on two dice to defeat it. The Elf in this regard has the more difficult die rolls and the Superhero generally has the easier die rolls. The Wizard also has a much difficulty as the Elf, but he has two spells, Lightning Bolt or Fireball to defeat the Monster. To mitigate the difficulty of the Elf, the Elf gets to go through secret doors easier.

The layout of Dungeon! very simple, there are a series of rooms color coded for levels one to six. Each room has a Prize card in it. On top of each prize card, a Monster card is placed on it. Players move tokens five spaces down hallways from room to room. If you open a new room you fight the Monster, if you defeat it, you win the Prize card. If you lose, you roll on a LOSER table and odds are you may drop a Prize card and retreat. If you roll snake eyes, boxcars or a three, you drop everything and go to back to the Starting spot. (On snake eyes your character is dead but you get to start as a new character anyway.)

In any case back to the objectives, the Prizes on levels one, two, and three are smaller and the Monsters are easier to defeat. Hence the Elf and Hero should stick to those levels. The Prizes on levels four through six are progressively harder, so the Superhero and Wizard should concentrate there.

Here is the funny part. Should you drop all your prizes and be sent back to Start, another Player could enter the space where you dropped the prizes, defeat the same Monster and get all your prizes. Or you can ambush another player and take their prizes. The game plays with 2 to 12 Players, so in a game with a lot of Players, they have a tendency to follow each other around hoping the other Player has a major defeat to collect the loser's prizes.

There are other small mechanics too numerous to mention them all.


Next game is Thursday, we had a new Player show up, so we may get back to HackMaster again. I have a fallback game in mind if this pans out.

Tracy Johnson



Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

Gaming 2019/09/26 Summit

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 20:43

The HackMaster moniker has been removed from the Subject line. I'm retiring that campaign and going strictly to ad hoc games for the time being.

Games are normally on Thursday nights sometime after 6:00PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601. (Yes I moved back to Thursday.)

++++ SUMMARY ++++

Last game on September 26, we Played two games of Milton Bradley's "Summit" from 1961. This was a blast from the past from the Cold War that has relevance to Today. Three to six Players play over a polar projection of a world map and represent major world powers, U.S., Russia, China, Western Europe, India and South American as a whole. (Given the relevance to the 1960s I think the last two countries were thrown in because they needed to make space for 6 Players.)

The game design offered a "training game" where the random events deck are pre-programmed so the Players learn what to do by doing for the first two turns. This was our first game so we opted to continue as it was after the pre-programmed turns. The second game we played naturally. I won't say what the results were or who won, (mainly because I forgot).

It is actually more fun to describe the game. The players are supposed to build their economies by spending resources (represented by "I" beams) to build tokens representing steel mills, factories, and military bases on minor countries at a cost of two "I" beams each. Countries can share the same steel mills and factories, but if you but a military base on a minor country, the mills and factories are removed and the owner gets a token representing scrap to rebuild elsewhere.

Steel mills in your own country produce an "I" beam, and with a hat tip to the colonial exploitation of the time a steel mill in a minor country produces two "I" beams.

The event cards also seem like today's news, for example a trade dispute can make you lose production or that your country develops a new missile so you get a military power token. One player commented, "These cards can be updated by prefixing it with "Your President's tweet causes ...".

Victory is determined by adding up tokens across the board by event card that calls for a census which may occur several times throughout the game. You get extra points by having a military base on each country on the final census.


Next game is Tomorrow, I plan on bringing out an old TSR classic "Dungeon!" which was a board-like reenactment of a Dungeons & Dragons game back in the day.

Tracy Johnson



Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

HackMaster Summary for 2019/09/20 Tempus Regressus

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 20:36

We had another Steak and Fresh Mozz with Tomatoes pizza.

Due to a lack of a quorum we played another game of RailBaron with the 21st Century options, namely:

1. B&O serves New York

2. You don't have to pay the $1K on your own railroads. (Saves on time played.)

Oddly enough when not Playing HackMaster I attracted two more players so we had a 5 player game of Rail Baron.

++++ Change of Days ++++

Because the noise and crowd factor on Friday nights is untenable, I'm moving back to Thursday nights. The other gamers in the room are so loud you can't hear yourself talk. It is strange that a small room of people who are sitting next to each other feel the need to shout at the top of their lungs.

Tracy Johnson



Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

HackMaster Summary 2019/09/13 Rail Baron

Wed, 10/16/2019 - 03:43

Games are normally on Friday nights sometime after 6:00PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.

We played the board game RailBaron three times, hence there is no HackMaster summary report. The second game lasted 10 minutes as we determined the winner by early purchases and bad location die rolls by others. The winner got SAL and ACL before anyone else and two other players rolled Miami as their next destination.

Looking for a quorum next time. Perhaps we can roll up new characters.


Tracy Johnson


Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs

HackMoor 2019/08/09 and 2019/08/30 Final Battle (in B4)

Fri, 09/06/2019 - 00:59

Games are normally on Friday nights sometime after 6:00PM at World's Best Comics, 9714 Warwick Blvd Newport News, Virginia 23601.


This concludes a two month hiatus in the campaign. We have had board games in the interim and cancellations due to absences. But usually we meet, whether we run the campaign or not.

This is a two session report. Both nights we had an extra large Philly Cheese Steak with fresh Mozzarella. The second time we added fresh Tomatoes also.

What has gone before:

[Repeat] The Party is with a small underground civilization named Cynicism (demonym: Cynics) who are constantly stoned out of their gourd due to the poor diet of mushrooms, underground fish, and lack of sunlight. (I think it's mostly the mushrooms.) The Cynics are controlled by a priestly class of Ba'al worshipers and a tribe of Hobgoblins. The Party has aligned themselves with three rebel Catholic factions whose numbers are still too small (450) to defeat Ba'al. (Ba'al has 550 plus a tribe of 200 Hobgoblins, and a large family of Ogres.)

[New] This time the party has been reinforced with 500 light foot recruited by Sham the Samurai, 400 from the Duchy of Ten (Town of Rustagern) and 100 from Blackmoor (Gar's Hold). I set this near the Southwest end of the Blackmoor campaign map near the Nomads of Ten (a.k.a. Plains of Hak).


Anyone with a modicum of old D&D knowledge will have figured this is old Basic module B4, "The Lost City" modified for a different set of religions. Currently the party has decided to assault the government run by Ba'al cultists with reinforcements. I had transcribed the underground city map from from the module (the oblique map with the lake in the middle) onto a cutting board with a plastic overlay. Both sides battled it out amongst the buildings.(a)

Because we had large forces I translated this into the 2nd Ed. AD&D BattleSystem rules with 100 person units represented by 10 figures each. Except the Magi of Jesus which only had 50 Magicians with 5 figures, but as a magical unit they had distance weapons and potentially were more effective than a regular unit.

In the web site version of this post I will add some pictures from the halfway point where we took a three week break.

From the right side of the city, the party set up their forces into units of 10 figures each appearing from buildings "L", "M", and "N" (a) which were the headquarters of the three factions. 200 Brothers of Joseph we called the "Joe Bros" (b), 200 Maidens of Mary (c), and 50 Magi of Jesus (d). Reinforcements from the Duchy and Blackmoor were to emerge from the main cavern entrance on the upper right side of the map. Each 100 person unit was also represented by a 6 inch by 4 inch card showing the unit's combat statistics. You can imagine there were different values shown for Light, Medium, Heavy, and other units.

To make the game more interesting, I told the players to write down their character's name on one of those cards and told them if the unit is eliminated, so is your character. Sham the Sam(urai) choose the BlackMoor contingent. Glaxx chose one of the Maidens of Mary units, Paveltepec chose the Magi, Cadfael one of the Joe Bro units, Navel and Thune one of the Duchy reinforcement units each.

I set up the Goblins and the Hobgoblins and tribe of Ogres on the left side of the city on the plateau.

Previously, Glaxx our Druid, used her powers to convince a Giant Constrictor Snake held in the livestock pens from area "F" on the map (a) to help block one of the bridges connecting the plateau to the city to slow down any Hobgoblin reinforcements. I also made the snake an "Elder Snake" from HackMaster (e) to make it smart enough to understand the request. Originally, the party wanted the Elder Snake to break the bridges by constriction, after some forethought, I decided the snake wasn't THAT big. Anyway it did its job as a speed bump and and the Hobgoblins had to fight it to get over the bridge.

Anyway back to the assault, the factions emerged from their buildings and assaulted known barracks and the main temple of Ba'al. The Joe Bros and the Maidens lead the assault to be backed up by the topside reinforcements based on a die roll for Turn arrival.

To keep players guessing enemy locations with a perfect intelligence assessment, I randomized the Ba'al units among the buildings by placing their cards upside down and added some blank cards. One known location were the Temple Guards, to which I assigned the Ba'alist Heavy Infantry unit. I also declared that Ba'alist units would be activated on a die roll or when one of the Player's units came within 5 inches of that unit. The die roll represented the uncertain effects of the magic mushrooms on the population in its regular diet. Once the general alarm sounded, it also represented how quickly a unit would muster by getting out of their stupor to put their armor on.

The party quickly defeated the Ba'alist Light and Medium units. Because of the way BattleSystem works, morale die rolls quickly bring a unit's effectiveness down. Also figures are lost quickly. The center lake on the map eventually became a pile of dead figures.


The Temple Guards held out for awhile fighting both units of the Maidens of Mary. But were quickly decimated when the Magi of Jesus unit cast their Magic Missiles and Fireballs on them from a distance.

One of the cards turned over was a unit of Tourist Trolls. (2 figures, who regenerate hits every turn unless killed outright.) Defeating them took a few extra turns.
Meanwhile, the Hobgoblins, Hobgoblin Archers, and the Ogre tribe (two figures) finally arrived on the scene and faced the slightly reduced Maidens of Mary and Magi of Jesus. In a miraculous feat of die rolling, the Hobgoblin Archers got five hits on the Magi of Jesus from a medium distance. (The number of dice are halved one die for each figure. Which meant all five dice hit.) On top of that, all five figures of the Magi failed their Armor Checks which in turn meant that all the Magi were killed in one volley.

After a short pause from that throw, the Player for Pavetepec turned to me and said, "You realize you just killed my character?"

Of course I did.

The Ba'alist Medium and Light infantry held out longer in pitched battles against the Joe Bros but eventually lost due to bad die rolls. But they lasted long enough to see the Duchy of Ten and Blackmoor reinforcements arrive. The Ba'alist Archer and Halberd units were then activated just in the nick of time and caused the Duchy and Blackmoor units to retreat back to the cavern entrance due to a morale check.

That is when Ba'al himself showed up at the cavern entrance. (I used a large Cthulhu-like figure.)

Then I took pictures of surviving unit map locations and we took a three week break.

In the next session the Duchy of Ten and Blackmoor units regained morale and fought Ba'al directly. I made him a 5 hit unit that regenerated every turn. Being a large unit, he got two twelve-sided dice to inflict hits, as opposed to six-siders for the Light Infantry facing him. But Ba'al had bad luck, on those, he rolled a three on one turn and two the next. The Duchy and Blackmoor units eventually regained their composure and ganged up on Ba'al and imposed 5 unsaved hits to kill it, which took 17 figures hitting all at once.

One the other side of the map the Hobgoblins, Ogres, and Hobgoblin Archers gained the upper hand. Even though the Ba'alists lost the Ogres the Hobgoblins formed a line in front of their Archers and let the Archers kill all the Maidens of Mary. (This meant Character Glaxx also died.) The Hobgoblins then started a march across the city to fight the Duchy and Blackmoor units who had just turned about face and were back to fighting the Halberdiers.

It was touch and go for several turns. The Blackmoor unit was eventually lost (meaning Sham the Sam's character too).

Finally the Player's side won when they realized once they got into melee with Archers, the Archers were not so effective.

In the final tally there were only 20 figures left on the Player's side. All characters except Namo the Thief were killed.

Paveltepec rescued himself by Playing a HackMaster card that said "Rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated."

At that point I reverted the game back to roleplaying mode and told the Players unless Ba'al is permanently killed, he is going to come back. By this I meant that they had to take Ba'al's center horn and cast it into the lava pit on the island in the center of the lake. (Much like a bad Conan movie.)

So Namo and Paveltepec went to Ba'al, grabbed his center horn, got onto one of the city's fishing boats and rowed out to the island to do this thing.

"Plop" in to the lava pit it went.

Then I tell them a portal opened up before them. Cautiously Namo sent one of the surviving Duchy of Ten soldiers though. The soldier doesn't come back. So Namo also decides to jump. Lastly, so does Paveltepec.

(So much for the The Lost City, he Module and the Campaign.)

I told the players they landed in shallow water by a river bank near a swamp area. In the distance they see people with conical hats in black pajamas tending a rice paddy outside several hooches.

(I was sorely tempted to give the villagers AK-47's and tell the characters they heard music of "Flight of the Valkyries" and a "whop, whop, whop", sound approaching from a distance. But no, I'm going to keep this a medieval style campaign. But the ubiquitous greeting, "soldier, me be with you long time" may still be a valid contractual arrangement. Although I still haven't decided whether the characters can speak the local language.)

At this point I tell them the portal winked out.

Oh wait, I'll send in the 10 Sprites, along with their musical instruments, just before it does. (They didn't fight after all, so there should be no penalty.)

Toto, I don't think we're in Blackmoor anymore.






(a) Module B4 "The Lost City", map insert just before page 15.

(b) Brotherhood of Joseph, (originally the Brotherhood of Gorm from Module B4).

(c) Maidens of Mary, (originally the Warrior Maidens of Madarua from Module B4).

(d) Magi of Jesus, (originally the Magi of Usamigaras from Module B4).

(e) Hacklopaedia of Beasts Vol VII page 86


Paveltepec, first level Painted Mage
Sham, first level Samurai (Deceased)
Cadfael, second level Cleric (Deceased)
Glaxx, first level Druid (Deceased)
Namo, first level Thief
Thune, first level Berserker (Deceased)
10 Sprites, in a musical band called the Pharies
500 Light Infantry, enroute (80% deceased)
1000 Cynics (95% deceased)





This is also posted on two forums, and a blog.

Tracy Johnson



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Categories: Miscellaneous Blogs