Sunday, 23 February 2014

GenCon 2014 - The planning.

So as I said in my Tumbleweed post - tickets, accommodation and travel for Gen Con Indy are all booked.

What I plan to do in the next few posts (which might not be consecutive) is cover off some of the planning I've done and will be doing in the run up to this.

  • The booking experience
  • Why Tuesday to Monday (this one has come up a lot)
  • What I want to play - RPGs
  • What I want to play - Others
  • What I want to buy - Budget and Priorities
  • What I want to experience - Talks / Seminars / Presentations
  • What else - Films / Auction / Diana Jones Award
  • Getting ready - Event booking in May
  • Getting ready - Packing - Overall and Day2Day
  • Who to see - "Celebs"
  • Who to see - UK Peeps (Bloggers / Podcasters)
This is only scratching the surface really as the options that GenCon brings are huge and wide ranging. I don't want to over plan it as I want to experience the con as a whole but know that without any form of plan that I am likely to just float my way through.

Combine that with other stuff like how I plan to record this event.
Blogging is one thing and I expect there will be a number of posts about GenCon day to day but alongside that I think I want to record this experience in a variety of ways.
Some of that will be down to who I meet when I'm there but also down to the atmosphere of being part of the best four days in gaming.

So expect a series of posts on GenCon and I'd be interested in suggestions from others on who I should try and meet and what I should be aiming to do whilst there.

Friday, 21 February 2014

Alpha Strike After Thoughts

So on Friday 10th January I played Alpha Strike for the first time.  Tonight I expect to play it for the second time.

What worked?

I bought it on the premise of it being a simplified and distilled rule set that enabled me to play Battletech on a Friday night.  It lived up to that premise and then some.
4 players working in teams of 2.
100 points a side which worked out as 10 mechs on one side and 9 mechs on another.
Total play time was around 1 hour and 40 minutes.
It felt like Battletech.  This is of particular importance.  Ok so it's a different game, a simpler game but it's still Battletech.
Let me put it another way.
We were able to play a game that using even the Introductory Box Set rules would have taken probably 6-8 hours to play through and that's optimistic.  The result and "style" of play was largely the same though.

What didn't work?

Well that's harder to quantify given it's been a LONG TIME since I played Battletech properly.
In and of itself there were only a few things that I wasn't sure about.
We were only using the most basic of rules so it wasn't a true test of the game system. There were a few things that just didn't feel right though.
Charge rules - not clearly defined in the book as far as I could tell.  Need to re-read to see if we were mis-interpreting it as the way we were playing a Charge essentially became a free hit (with risk associated).
Heat rules - Again didn't feel clearly defined so it almost became irrelevant.  Again needs a re-read.

So what's next?

A few more games with the basic rules, adding in complexity over time.  Also likely to try more varied points values.

Overall though?  It's Battletech Lite but Battletech nonetheless and that's good enough for me.

Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Tumbleweed (1d4-1 damage)

It's been almost a month since my last post.   Jeez.

Sorry about that folks.  A number of things conspired against me but mostly it was down to work consuming more and more of my time.

Brief run down on what's been happening -

International Tabletop Day - As mentioned in the last post the club I attend are hosting this.  We've been working on the format of the day over the past couple of weeks and it has a decidedly mini-convention feel about it.  Not entirely sure it's what people are wanting though as a lot of the club members seem to be happy to do "more of the same" rather than use this as an opportunity to try something different.

Friday Night Gaming - This has continued strongly with more Board Gaming and another session of Star Wars.  Haven't as yet managed to do anything with D&D Next though.

Other Night Gaming - Nowt so far.  The St Andrews group seems to be struggling to find a suitable venue.  If nothing develops there I'll start to do my own investigations as I'm sure there are options, albeit they might not suit everyone (public gaming specifically).

GenCon! - Tickets Booked - Check.  Accommodation Booked - Check.  Flights Booked - Check. Deserves a proper post really and I'll endeavour to do one but all systems are go for this.  I also have my 2 travelling companions of +Greg Barr and +Liz Mackie which ramps up the excitement levels.  Next step is the events themselves when they become available for booking in May.

Battletech: Alpha Strike - I actually have post sitting in draft that I never finished.  I'll try and get that up in the next few days.

Work has helped me to progress one of my objectives though as I paid a visit to Fan Boy 3 in Manchester a couple of weeks back.  Excellent shop for all things tabletop and I might do a separate post on them again.

So I think that's you all brought back up to speed.  Hopefully it won't be so long next time!