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Jeff's Gameblog
Sunday, 28 March 2004
Okay, this is f'ing creepy...
That eva person who bid on all those copies of Dawn Patrol just outbid me on a first edition Boot Hill. I'm just gonna chalk it up as a coincidence, but it still sent a chill down my spine to see that same name.

Posted by jrients at 9:21 PM CST

I finally set-up a working copy of draft 3 for my chess variant Spacewarp44. I've even played 12 turns of a solitaire game. It's a lot to handle, getting used to the Berolina pawns, Popes, and Crooks while at the same time dealing with the warpsquares. I made at least 3 dumb mistakes already in the game. No actual illegal plays, but stupid, stupid moves.

Later in the afternoon my good buddy Pat, John Pedigo, my brother-in-law Jim, and his son Alex came over to game. Alex's brother Ian had a handbell rehearsal followed by baseball practice, so he could not attend. Mr. Pedigo was running a bit later than the rest. The rest of us elected to start up a game of Carcassonne without him, hoping that we might get through it before he showed up. No such luck. We got a good start on an interesting game, but only about a third of the way through the tileset.

Jim had brought over his copy of El Grande, a great German game. It's significantly more complex than Carcassonne, but not quite as complex as a fully-expanded Settlers of Catan game. I really like El Grande. Unfortunately, Jim and Alex had to leave earlier than usual so we only got through 6 out of 9 turns. I was in the lead for a change, so of course we had to end early.

Afterwards John, Pat, and I sat around a chitchatted about games. It was nice to get a bit of an opportunity to catch up with John. Among other things, he was able to confirm some of my thoughts regarding Savage Worlds. I also think Pat and I managed to convince John to try Starmada in the foreseeable future, and maybe Star Fleet Battle Manual.

The mint-in-shrink Dawn Patrol copy I had bid at $20.50 (max $25) is now bid up to 26 bucks. I still don't understand what's going on with the strange bidding on these copies. If the earlier, non-mint copy went for $62.50, why is this one only at $26?

Posted by jrients at 9:15 PM CST
Updated: Sunday, 28 March 2004 9:30 PM CST
Saturday, 27 March 2004
More Dawn Patrol Weirdness

These Dawn Patrol auctions on the eBay are freaking me out. This eva chick bid on every stinkin' copy, right? She was outbid on the copy I bid on when somebody else went up to $51. That means she bid 50 bucks on the copy I wanted for ten. So I figured she must've bid fifty on all of them. There was nothing special about that particular copy. So I do some net research to try to find someone else who has a copy. I find a dealer who has two copies. The lame copy is for sale at $15 and the better one at $25. Both are playable copies but not pristine. So I figure I could bid up to $25 on one of the two other copies remaining. Though I don't think it will work. After all, the nonremarkable copy I wanted eva was willing to bid fifty bucks on. She must've bid 50 on all of them. Right? Wrong. The best set being offered for sale, a mint-in-shrink copy, I currently have the high bid for at $20.50. What is wrong with this chick?

Posted by jrients at 3:53 PM CST

That copy of Dawn Patrol sold for $62.50. I'm going to continue to follow the other Dawn Patrol copies up for sale, to see how much they go for.

So it turns out that both the battles of Mulhausen and Sambre are fought on map D (blank map). The set-up sheet I downloaded has an error in it, according to the Ancients scenario book.

Posted by jrients at 11:43 AM CST
Friday, 26 March 2004

The Dawn Patrol situation on eBay is getting even stranger. The copy that I had the high bid on for several days at $9.99 is now up to fifty-one bucks! Is this thing a collector's item and I don't know it?

Got an email back from Thom Hendricks thanking me for the invite to Sunday's game, but declining the offer due to prior gaming committments. Apparently Egyptian Campaign, the annual con in Carbondale, IL, is this weekend and he has CIRCA/RPGA duties.

Still slowly reading through my copy of Savage Worlds. I'm now in the GM section, which includes lots of useful advice. Its short on good theoretical understanding of rpgs, but long on good practical advice. (Like, if the players are fighting worry about your friends first and the stupid game second.)

Posted by jrients at 9:22 PM CST

Well, Kathleen can't make it but seemed open to the idea of coming over some time. (This was the first time I had invited her and Dave over.) Still no word from Thom or Paul. I need to give Pat a ring since he never, ever checks his email.

Printed off set-up sheets for some Ancients battles. It looks like I was wrong about the battle of Sambre being terrain-less. Muhlhausen, the preceding Caesar scenario, is the one played on a blank map.

I was the winning bidder on eBay for a copy of Dawn Patrol up until a little bit ago, until someone came along and bid on every single copy for sale. They also used buy it now to win one of them immediately. Very strange. I know that there's an active Dawn Patrol community at www.dawnpatrol.org, but who needs 5 copies?

Posted by jrients at 4:20 PM CST

So I cast my net wide in a couple of emails, trying to get some people together for a game this weekend. Looks like John Pedigo, my brother-in-law Jim, and his boys Ian and Alex will be showing up. Dave Hoover can't make it. Haven't heard back yet from Paul, Kathleen or Thom.

Read some more of my Savage Worlds rulebook over lunch. In less than a dozen pages they cover useable rules for vehiclular combats on the table top, an abstract chase, a mini's skirmish system (fully compatible with the main RPG rules), and an abstract system for large battles. The two abstract systems are particularly well done. The battle system looks like an improved version of the Pendragon system, with good room for figuring PCs into the battle.

Posted by jrients at 2:36 PM CST
SpaceWarp44, rules draft 3
SpaceWarp44 plays as orthodox chess, with the following differences:


Pawns move forward one space diagonally and capture by moving one space forward, "opposite" from the way a standard pawn moves. No initial double move is allowed. Pawns may only promoted to pieces available to be put in play from a standard chess mix. Thus each player may only have one pawn promoted to a queen at any given time.

Bishops may take a single step orthogonally, effectively giving them the movement abilities of both a king and a standard bishop.

Rooks start out upside-down. During the course of the game each rook is allowed a single knight's move. After this special move, the rook is flipped over to indicate that this power is no longer available. Pawns promoted to rooks start out upside-down.

Kings may castle by moving the Rook to the space between the King and Rook, then moving the King to occupy the Rook's starting position.


Location c5, the black square, is not a space. No piece may move through or occupy that location. Pieces are not threatened across it. Exception: The vault of a knight or upside rook may move over c5 and threatens pieces across it.

The 8 shaded squares are warpsquares, divided into 2 subsets, the light colored inner warpsquares and the darker outer warpsquares. A piece on a warpsquare gains further powers in addition to their normal movement and capture abilities. A piece on an inner warpsquare may forego their normal movement and instead move to any outer warpsquare, capturing any occupying enemy piece in the process. Similarly, a piece on an outer warpsquare may move to an inner warpsquare. Pieces may only use this ability to move to a warpsquare of the other type, e.g. a move from an inner warpsquare to another inner warpsquare must utilize a piece's normal movement. A King sitting on a warpsquare is checked if an enemy piece sit on a warpsquare of the opposite type.

Posted by jrients at 12:07 PM CST
Updated: Friday, 26 March 2004 12:08 PM CST
Thursday, 25 March 2004
Game on!
So last night was the first real play (i.e. post char generation) of Dave Hoover's Savage Worlds campaign "Avatars". After more than the usual delays, adding a new player (a fella named Ray) and a change of venue, we settled into a pretty stock wandering party of do-gooders gig.

One slight shock was Dave's announcement that all magic in the setting was clerical in nature, which kinda hoses my PC build. He's built as a wizard-healer, which is efficient since the medical skill heal and the spellcasting skill are both tied to the attribute Smarts. Now that he uses the Spirit-based faith skill instead of spellcasting my advancement plans are kinda hosed. Additionally, the professional edge: Wizard is off the table and I start out with one fewer power as a cleric. That means if I want my crappy "staff aflame" light spell, I'll need to burn a New Power edge for it. Obviously I need to go back to the drawing board as far as the advancement chart goes.

That aside, I had a pretty good time. The try-out combat went well. The Savage Worlds combat system looks alot like D&D 3E minus the Attacks of Opportunity and 5-foot steps that drive me so crazy. Pat's cow-orker Loren seems to be a bit of a contrarian when it comes to roleplaying. If the group wants to talk, he wants to fight. If we want to get on with the adventure, he wants to delay. He even took the Yellow hindrance (his PC is a coward) to assist him in hosing over party efficiency. I'm not sure what to make of this behavior.

One other thing that came up at the game was the fact that my friend Ray St. John has apparently moved back to town. I'd sure like to get him back into a game, but so far I can't find a listing for him.

I had lunch with my friend Don today. His Boy King campaign for Pendragon is chugging along well. Given his and his wife's schedules it looks like a Heroes Unlimited session is not in the cards right away. I may have to move on plans to run my BattleTech scenario soon.

Posted by jrients at 9:26 AM CST
Updated: Thursday, 25 March 2004 4:09 PM CST
Wednesday, 24 March 2004
Rondoo's path
Here's my planned advancements for Rondoo, my Savage Worlds PC, out to 60xp.

Xp Advance
5 +5 Power Points
10 New Power: Obscure
15 Smarts to d10

20 New Power: Dispel
25 Healing, Spellcasting to d8
30 Healing, Spellcasting to d10
35 Edge: Power Surge

40 New Power: Greater Healing
45 +5 Power Points
50 Edge: Healer
55 Professional Edge: Wizard

60 +5 Power Points

(Looks alot like a build-your-own-class system at the moment!)

Obviously, this is a highly tentative plan, but I think the basic structure is sound. I would love to pick up some other stuff along the way, particularly more Vigor and Guts, and maybe learn the Fighting skill, but the existence of the Wild Die discourages working on low stats and new skills are expensive. Besides, my experience with D&D 3E has shown that in this type of advancement system specialization is the key to a maxxed out character.

Posted by jrients at 1:57 PM CST

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