Thursday, September 29, 2011

Loyal Rebels

I just received in the mail my copy of Loyal Rebels: Andreas Hofer and the Tyrolean Uprising of 1809. It's a book I've been interested in getting for a while, as English sources on the subject are scarce. I finally saw one come across AbeBooks and snatched it up-- for $8, including the shipping!! Quite a bargain. Not just that, it appears to be signed by the author.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Domo Arigato, Mr. Roboto

Number One Son is, like most ten year olds, pretty bad with his money (in my stodgy, fatherly opinion). My exhortations to save his money tend to fall on deaf ears. But he is a Lego fan, so at some point I told him that if he would save up half the $260 price tag for the Lego Mindstorms base set, I would pay for the other half. I was a little skeptical when he took me up on it, but he saved his money all summer and, with, I suspect, more than a little help from some grandparents, made the goal last week. He was pretty enthusiastic about it-- he started building the "humanoid" robot Alpha Rex without any instructions, just eyeballing the box! I slowed him down a bit, got the electronic instructions installed on the computer, and encouraged him to start the intro kit. His Shooterbot shot all the gaming group that came over last night for some Race for the Galaxy. I woke up this morning to find him already up, the Shooterbot disassembled, and most of Alpha Rex built. I think to him, it's not a robot if it's not humanoid. He keeps talking about how he has a toy robot, and I keep trying to convince him that, no, this is a real robot. I think it's starting to sink in.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Mah boy gets Gutshot!

IMG_1648, a photo by The Gonk on Flickr.
Three Rivers Con is an occasional local convention which is mostly devoted to role playing. I've been meaning to make it to one, but something always seems to come up! This year, a small window opened up between soccer games and family obligations for me to take Number One Son to the show. It wasn't just the show, but Mik was running Gutshot with Flounder's assistance. Flounder has run this several times for us, yet I had never been able to make one of the games, so I was actually pretty excited about playing in it! Mik borrowed my Whitewash City buildings, but used Lego cowboys. This was a hoot, especially since Number One Son is also a Lego fan. We were given two Gutshot character sheets at random, and then took turns assembling our characters! It was more fun than I expected.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Field of Battle 2

Field of Battle 2
I got Piquet's Field of Battle 2 last week! I've really been sold of FoB for a while. FoB2 doesn't really bring any big surprises. Blunder on the Danube has all the changes to the system. However, the coolest thing about it is, in my opinion, the scenario generator. It's a way to build a campaign-style framework around a one-off battle. Both sides have some options based around the quality of the Commander in Chief's command rating. You choose your focus between Deployment, Reconnaissance, Strength and Tactical Adjustment (once your opponent's disposition has been noticed). If you have a great C-in-C and he focuses his strength on Recon, you're likely to get more areas of the table to set up troops in, especially if your opponent has not chosen to emphasize Recon. However, there is still Fate. Each side gets three Fate rolls, which may or may not apply to each area. It's a simple system-- a d4 to choose the area, and a 50/50 roll to determine a positive or negative adjustment. However, these positive and negatives are rolled via a d12, so there are six adjectives for both the positives and negatives. You might get bonus to Recon due to Cavalry Screen, or Maneuver. You might get a negative modifier due to Bad Maps or Poor Staff Planning. It's enough of a description to give this Fate bonus a little meat to help explain why the scenario set up is what it is. Scenario creation is honestly not one of my favorite things, so anything that helps me come up with a more interesting scenario is a big bonus in my book. Combine this system with a simple "best 2 out of 3" campaign, and it looks to me that you can have some simple, but real, campaign fun.