Sunday, June 29, 2014

Thoughts for Next Week

Our cat Thomasina, whom I mentioned before, so enjoyed last night's gaming (our first game night in a while) that we said we should do another game night next weekend. I immediately thought of a way to pay homage to Independence Day. I'm planning a Lacepunk "dungeon" crawl set during the American Revolution.

Busy Game Day

Yesterday was a busy gaming day.

In the morning I was experimenting with the quick play soccer rules I discussed yesterday. Although I still used the soccer rules I decided to change the theme to grav-ball (I still want to add some fighting/injury rules). I created an 8-team league named after stars and constellations, which I called the Star League. I plan to play a 10 game season.

Here are the ratings for the league. Note that I simplified them into 3 stats. The Forwards stand in for the midfield rolls as well as for offense.

TeamForwards     Backs       Goal       Total

I played the first week (4 games). Here are the standings after the first week:

Team    Games     Played       Wins    Losses
Galactic Division
Stellar Division
Below is a game report.

Last night, we played another game of Kevin's Krawl. This time, we entered an ancient dwarven mine overrun by kobolds. I added a game report over on Tales of the Templars.

Star League Report - Canopus @ Antares

In the league's first game, Canopans visited Antarens. The team ratings are:


In the first half, the Canopans took charge. They managed a few offensive attacks early in the half but managed no shots. Finally, late in the half they took charge, pushed forward, and managed a shot, but the Antaren goalie knocked it away. The half ended without a score: 0-0.

The second half began with a spirited exchange. The Canopans made a charge. The Antarens stole the ball, advanced up the field, and were looking for a shot. But the Canopans stole it back; their counter broke through the Antaren defense. They shot. GOAL! 1-0 Canopans.

Play was stalemated for a while thereafter. Late in the half, the Antarens made a break, shot, and scored! All tied at 1-1.

In the waning moments of the half, the Canopans advanced. They managed a last second shot but the Antaren goalie made a diving save.

Because grav-ball does not allow ties, the game went into sudden death overtime. Through an entire period of extra time the two teams pushed back and forth without any shots. They went into a second period. The Canopans pushed forward on the attack, but the Antarens stole the ball, rushed forward, and shot. The goalie got a hand on the ball but it trickled in. GOAL!

The Antarens escaped with a hard-fought 2-1 comeback victory.



Saturday, June 28, 2014


Like many throughout the world, I've caught a touch of soccer fever (as a red-white-and-blue-blooded American I cannot call it football; THIS is football). I've also been feeling nostalgic for my high school days, when the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers were in their heyday.

Ray Hudson with the Strikers

Anyway, a recent post on TMP touched upon my fever with a set of fast-play soccer rules. My interest was piqued. I had visions of running a fictitious soccer league much like I did with Strat-o-Matic baseball in the '80s. I copied the tables into Excel and created an automatic dice-roller to speed proceedings. I created 2 teams: their Midfield and Goalie rankings were 3's but Team A had an Offense of 4 and Defense of 2 while Team B had an Offense of 2 and Defense of 4. After a few practice games (without using the "Star" rules, which were an addition to the original rules), I must say that TXWargamer accurately recreated the most salient feature of soccer - boring, scoreless ties. Yes, I had three straight 0-0 games. I know that the "Star" rules would likely alleviate that, but it added a level of complexity with which I did not want to deal.

Yet there was something appealing about the game so I decided to tinker. I removed the Chance roll and went straight to Midfield. I changed the tables to make "chance is over" results less frequent. I also made rebounds more frequent, increasing the odds of a goal. I played my revised version, and ended with a 0-0 tie.

OK, perhaps it was an aberration. It seemed that there were more shots but the ball just wasn't getting through. I tried again - a 4-0 victory for team A followed by a 2-0 victory for team B. We may be onto something here.

Nevertheless, I have an idea for a streamlined game. Instead of using the Two Hour Wargames "pass" system, the De Bellis Antiquitatis opposed die roll system could work. Each team rolls a D6 + their rating. If a tie, the chance ends. If a team wins, it takes control of the ball. Rolling double or more than the opponent allows a team to advance to the next zone (midfield to offense, offense to shot, shot to goal.). Rolling triples moves 2 zones (midfield to shot). I may have to experiment with this.

Soccer purists may complain that my rules make scoring more common than a real game. Hey, I'm 'Murican - we like offense. I've been toying with changing the sport to something faster-paced, like grav-ball (another game I played in the '80s).

Of course, a violent game like grav-ball would require rules for tackling and injuries (perhaps reduce ratings as injuries pile up). Sounds like I need to experiment. In the meantime, here's a write-up for one of my practice games. Enjoy, and go USA!

Quick Play Soccer Tryout

After tweaking the quick play soccer rules on TMP, I played a couple of practice games. I created two teams. Team A became the Dayton Aeros and Team B became the Baltimore Bullets (they were originally team names from my 1980s Strat-o-Matic baseball league). Their stats are:

Team Midfield Offense Defense Goalie
Aeros 3 4 2 3
Bullets 3 2 4 3

When I first created the teams, I thought that their offense and defense scores would balance out. I quickly realized that I was wrong and that the Aeros' offense trumped the Bullets' defense. If the Aeros could get a shot they had a much greater likelihood of scoring than the Bullets did. This advantage played true to form in the first game, which the Aeros won 4-0.

The second game initially seemed like it would be a repeat of the first. The Aeros quickly grabbed control and went on offense. Excellent defense by the Bullets stymied the attack. Shortly thereafter, the Aeros regained control but the Bullets stole the ball and went on offense themselves. Unfortunately, their weak forward line could not maintain the momentum. Once again, the Aeros went on attack, they advanced up the field, and drilled the ball at the goalie. It was blocked and ricocheted up the field. The Bullets made a run, shot, and scored! 1-0 late in the first half. The Aeros made a half-hearted attack but the whistle blew and the half ended.

Frustrated by the fluke goal, the Aeros rushed to the attack in the second half. They pushed upfield and shot! The shot rebounded; an Aero gained control and shot again. Another rebound! This time, the Bullets grabbed possession and made another run at the Bullets goal. Shot and score! 2-0 early in the second half. After this, the Aeros pressed even harder. Time and again they launched shots on goal, but the goalie knocked them aside or smothered them. The Bullets goal was like an impenetrable wall! Finally, exhausted by their efforts, the Aeros lost control. The Bullets moved forward into Aero territory and then killed the clock. Final score: Bullets-2 Aeros-0.

I kept some stats throughout the game:

Interestingly, the Aeros really dominated the game, but they just could not score.

Saturday, June 21, 2014


I just noticed that it's been 2 weeks since my last post. Lately I've been in a definite funk game-wise; I just haven't had the motivation to set up a game or do any prep work. Even Elder Scrolls Online has been on the backburner for me.

That doesn't mind I'm not doing anything. Instead, my projects have revolved around Dagorhir, the LARP in which I participate. I've had a few semi-completed projects, and here is a taste:

This is what I call my "practice" garb - I'm not in full costume. For example, I'm wearing a modern MMA mask rather than my medieval helmet that I wear at events. I do this to save wear and tear on my good gear. Nevertheless, I like to have a medieval-ish appearance at practice.

You can see 2 of 3 recently semi-completed projects in this picture. First is the surcoat, which I am wearing over a long-sleeve T-shirt. I made it from an old bedsheet. I don't sew well so I put it together using Liquid Stitch. I then used fabric paint to add the torch sigil.

A little background on the torch. A couple of friends and I recently formed our own order of chivalry within the game. We call it the Order of the Sacred Flame (the sacred flame represents the principles of chivalry, which shed light in a dark world). The torch is our order's heraldry so I made a surcoat using it. 

Another project is the weapon I'm holding. It's a "mace" that represents a torch. Right now it has a red cover but I plan to replace it with a cover that looks more like flames. I have some orange fabric and am thinking of painting flames on it.

The final project is not visible in this picture. I made a belt flag with the Order of the Sacred Flame heraldry on it. It identifies me as a member even when I am in full armor.

There's more going on in my "medieval" world but I think I will save it for another post.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Elder Scrolls

In my last post, way back on May 21, I mentioned a number of distractions that have kept me from miniature gaming. One of those was Elder Scrolls Online, which I recently purchased. Let me show you what I've been doing in the game. Sorry for the quality; the screen shots were taken at night.
EDIT - I just added new photos of the characters, taken in daylight (albeit late afternoon).

First, I created a character based on myself, although he is much beefier than I am. His name is Rufus (which is my game name in Dagorhir).

Rufus of Dragon Coast

 I got Rufus up to about level 7 before I made a change.

I convinced my wife to play with me, but I wanted to save Rufus as a solo character. Therefore I decided to make a new character. On a whim, I made an Argonian (lizardman). In all the times I played Oblivion or Skyrim, I never played an Argonian so it was a bit of a change.

 I think Slishnek is now level 5.

Slishnek created a bit of a dilemma. Elder Scrolls Online has 3 factions. Rufus and Slishnek both belong to the Ebonheart Pact, which means that both characters are getting the same quests. I decided that I would prefer to experience the quests fresh when I played with my wife, so I shelved Rufus. But who would I use for soloing?

I decided to make a character for the Daggerfall Covenant, which consists of the orcs, Redguards, and Bretons. Redguards are renowned swordsmen, so I decided to create a Redguard character. Redguards are also darker skinned so my new character looks much different than Rufus or me. However, he still has reddish hair and blue eyes.

 I also got sucked into another distraction. My wife follows Wil Wheaton on Facebook and learned that he has a new show on the Sy Fy channel. We tuned in and caught the end of an episode of Heroes of Cosplay.

We are officially hooked. My brother downloaded the first season for us (just 6 episodes) and we watched it over a few nights. We have since seen the first two episodes of season 2. The craftsmanship of the costumes they make is absolutely amazing!