Infinitively Infinite

First Quarter Hobby Update

Last year I did a half year update on the hobby as to what games I’d played up till then. 


This year (maybe driven by the extended Covid lockdowns) there seems to be a positive explosion not only for indie skirmish games but more importantly solo-able skirmish games. Not games that you can play 2-handed (like Star Breach) but games with actual AI rules for the opponent forces. 


And they’ve been quite easy to get as well. I’ve been on an acquisition spree these past 3 months and I’d like to give an update as to what I’ll be playing these upcoming 3 months. 


WITCHIN' HOUR


This was a Kickstarter game and features a band of witch hunters doing what they do best. 


The interesting thing about the rules is that it’s not confined to the traditional witch hunting era of say Witchfinder General (Solomon Kane era) but any era from fantasy to a far flung grim dark future. 


In truth the game works best as a 2-player game due to the bluffing nature of the activations (which is pretty unique) but also combat which bears resemblance to the one in En Garde!


Activations: each turn there’s only one active player, and the players don’t take turns. But both players receive activation tokens based on how many each of their models provide. Some provide 3 tokens, some 2. And the active player will spend x tokens to activate a model. Why x? It’s up to the active player. Because the other side can counter-bid and pay x+1 tokens to jump ahead and activate first. And so it goes. So there’s a fine line and decisions to be made on how many tokens you want to use to activate your models. And you can pay to activate a model again (much like Infinity). 


Combat is similar to En Garde! Where the opposing models will decide how many dice to commit to attack and defence. 


The AI rules do a reasonable job of simulating an opponent in this regard and if you don’t mind looking up tables and rolling dice to resolve the tables, and the theme appeals to you, you might look up Witchin’ Hour. 


PLANET 28


This started off as a free / pay what you want set of rules that was birthed out of the fan-led Warhammer 28 (?) movement if I’m not mistaken. "Planet 28 is a quick and easy sci-fi narrative skirmish game for two or more players. Inspired by the amazing work of miniature kit bashers and converters, planet (sic) 28 gives you the tools to create a warband of unique characters with which to act out your own adventures and conflicts on the tabletop."


The rules here are pretty standard and there aren’t many surprises here. It's alternating activations and the non-active player can choose to counter an attack by activating and have it out instead of just standing there and taking the attack.


There's all the chrome you'd expect to see if WH40K was a skirmish game set in that milieu with psychic and other traits you can give to your characters.


GRIMDARK FUTURE FIREFIGHT


Grimdark Future Firefight (the skirmish version of the mass battle Grimdark Future) is a set of (mostly) free rules from OPR. 


It’s their take on the big dog : GW’s Kill Team but with simpler (compared to the current iteration of KT) and arguably more fun rules. 


The important aspect here is alternating activations (not IGO-UGO) and only an attack roll vs a defence roll. There’s also a small fillip that the targeted model will roll 1d6 to see what happens to it when it’s hit. Results range from stunned to knocked out.


Otherwise the game play proceeds as you’d expect from a skirmish game. Units can range from solo characters to small squads of 3 troops and heavy weapons teams. 


As mentioned the basic rules are free and if you like you can pay (a pittance) slightly more to get the full rules that add stuff like battlefield complications, extra objectives and full scenarios. The army lists are all free and cover a range of factions. If you have models from a grim dark future game and want to try something different with them, you’re all set. Other gamers can use whatever models you have. There are also a lot of YouTube videos that teach you how to play. Best of all, the solo rules are also free.


SPACE WEIRDOS


Of all the games mentioned so far, this is the one that I’ll be playing soon. Real soon as I've already built the war bands  The reason being the rules are only 16 A5 pages. Short sweet and straightforward. 


The twist here is when a model gets hit, you roll on a table (a bit like Shoot People in Space) to see what happens. Results range from returning fire to being down or staggered or dead. 


What draws me to the game is it’s simple but not simplistic as there are meaningful decisions to be made on how to use your 3 actions per model. 


The good news is there are official solo rules and the full rules are pretty inexpensive from Wargamevault. 


The game is gaining lots of traction of the usual blogs and YouTube channels so check out the game if it tickles your fancy. 


SHOOT PEOPLE IN SPACE


This is the one I’ve been play testing and the best I can say about it is it seems to be a cross between OPR’s GFF and Space Weirdos minus the psychic rules but with the addition of light vehicles (bikes and trikes). 


If you shoot or melee, certain die rolls have you rolling on a Threat table that gives you variable results. And even if your shot lands on target but doesn’t do any damage... you roll on the table again. 


The game also comes with solo rules, NPC war bands and even wandering monsters just to make things even crazier on the tabletop.


If you are interested in what I've written so far in my playtests, you can check it out when it's eventually released from Nordic Weasel Games.


TALOMIR TALES : DISTANT SHORES


Talomir Tales. It’s from 2-Hour Games using its semi-RPG + Chain Reaction system. I like it because on the one hand it provides a campaign system with emergent story telling (like 5 Leagues) and you can start with just 1 character and see where it takes you. You can remain at just a single character or take on companions to go on adventures and quests. 


This appeals to me because the scope is wider than 5 Leagues (2nd Ed. as I haven’t picked up the latest Modiphius version. Yet.) and I can either use the provided milieu or make up my own according to whatever minis I happen to own. 


The plan is for this one to hit the table during Aug-Oct and see where it goes. 


ON THE PAINTING TABLE


I’ve also been busy with the paint pots and brushes. I actually completed painting the froggies and 4 core heroes from Mantic’s Hellboy board game. The reason being of course to play the game ... and to use the minis for some Pulp Alley horror adventure goodness. I’m particularly happy I managed to do all these in 3 nights. 

I’m also painting up some Cthulhu: Death May Die investigators and cultists for both the board game and Pulp Alley. 

So look out for more Pulp Alley in the next 3 months. 


And that’s it for my periodic hobbying update this round. 


How are you all doing with your gaming resolutions so far?

Comments

  1. Love this blog and thank you so much for sharing your insights and experiences.
    - basicgamer

    ReplyDelete
  2. You're welcome! Let me know what else you want to see on this blog in the future.

    ReplyDelete

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