Category Archives: Boardgames

A Time Of War

An old friend recently offered to run a Battletech RPG campaign for us. As a long-time fan of the board game and the Battletech universe I was actually overjoyed and immediately started to think about my character. The whole group talked about the idea and in the end we decided that we wanted to play Inner Sphere mercenaries. And start the campaign just before the Clan invasion.

Initially the plan was to use Mechwarrior 2nd Edition since it was written with the early Clan invasion era in mind. But later my friend told us that he preferred using A Time of War, the most recent edition of the Mechwarrior rules. Even though I own the rules basically since day one, I haven’t had the chance to play the game yet and from what I remember it was a great improvement over the somewhat weird 3rd Edition.

catapult

The group will consist of three players (the GM’s wife, my girlfriend, and me). Since our group is a bit small, we’ll each run our primary characters (which will be Mechwarriors) but also take control of secondary characters like technicians, aerospace fighter pilots and so on. Hopefully we’ll create characters this weekend but it will probably take a few more weeks before we can start the campaign. We already picked our ‘mechs (yes, our GM is very generous man). The GM’s wife chose a Thunderbolt, I picked the Warhammer (probably in the Liao variant), and my girlfriend decided her character should pilot a Catapult. One of the lancemates will be a NPC and we thought it would be nice to have at least some scout-capability, so the NPC will get a Phoenix Hawk. Our GM already told us that there will be opportunity to upgrade and/or modify our ‘mechs later, so I hope I can get my hands on a Nova Cat later (which is my favorite Clan mech). I keep my fingers crossed. Smiley

warhammerI am extremely excited to play a roleplaying game in the Battletech universe. Battletech was basically the game which brought me into roleplaying, since it were my BT-playing friends who introduced the concept of roleplaying to me back in the early 1990s. I have played most of the BT computer games, and have played the board game sporadically over the last years and even introduced my girlfriend to it. She’s not an avid fan but she enjoyed the boardgame and is always up for a roleplaying game where she can cause massive destruction and wield big guns. Zwinkerndes Smiley

Has anyone of you already played or run A Time Of War? If so, could you share your experiences? Is there some advice you can give novice players? Please post your comments below!

RPG a Day 2015 Challenge – Day 16

Another Sunday post for #RPGaDay2015 appropriate for the weekend since that’s usually the time we currently have for extra-large RPG sessions.

Day 16 – Longest game session played

I used to run two marathon sessions a year, one during the summer and another during winter break! We’d get together and play from morning until night. Whereas most session would be 4 to 6 hours long these sessions would be 12 hours or more… Sadly with real life and other responsibilities, they’ve become less frequent. I believe the last time we did this was about 3 years ago, we went to the beach apartment of one of the players and played all night and then most of the next day.

But the longest RPG session without breaks would probably be a 14 hour session back in high school. We did play an Axis & Allies game which ran longer, about 26 hours!

Axis & Allies

So what was your longest session?

I’m Back–Let’s talk about gaming!

The last two weeks were pretty relaxing. I managed to recharge my batteries, spend some quality time with my girlfriend, and played a  couple of exciting new games. So without further ado, let’s talk about gaming…

For some reason exciting computer and video games always seem to be released in batches. There are months without anything cool coming out and then suddenly dozens of exciting titles hit the store. In the last weeks I picked up the following video games: Ryse – Son of Rome, Shadow of Mordor, Civilization: Beyond Earth, and last but not least Destiny. I usually don’t talk that much about video games here, but from time to time I make exceptions. Either the games I talk about can be used as inspiration for pen & paper RPGs or they are of a special importance to me. Such is the case with all the games listed above.

imagesLet’s start with Destiny. The multiplayer shooter/action RPG by Bungie has a great art direction and a wonderful setting – even though a lot of the background is just hinted at. For some reason it has a certain Numenera-ish vibe to it, but perhaps that’s just me. If you haven’t done so, you should definitely check out the concept art Bungie has shown off before release – it’s just beautiful! And I am sure there’s more than enough RPG inspiration to be found in the game.

DownloadRyse: Son of Rome is a graphically impressive game, and a pretty impressive combat system which reminds me of the Batman series (Arkham Asylum, Arkham City, etc.). The main reason I’ve picked up the game is the setting. There are not that many third-person action games set in ancient Rome and it’s a lot of fun running around as a Roman soldier slaughtering barbarians. Smiley mit geöffnetem Mund
I am still pretty early in the story, but I like it very much so far. Hmm, perhaps I should eventually run a pen & paper RPG set in Rome one day.

civbeCivilization: Beyond Earth is something I’ve been waiting for a very long time. It’s pretty much a spiritual successor of Sid Meier’s Alpha Centauri built on top of the Civilization V engine. A lot of gamers seem not to be particularly happy with the latest installment of the series, but I totally love it. And if you are a science fiction fan like I am, you’ll surely enjoy the vision of the future Firaxis has come up with. And if you are looking for inspiration for a SF campaign, look no further.

Alas I haven’t been able to play Shadow of Mordor for more than a couple of minutes, so I won’t go into much detail here. From what I’ve seen so far, the game is fast-paced and fun, the so-called Nemesis system is a nice touch, and the graphics are not bad on the eyes either.

pic1687157_tAside from computer games I’ve played a couple of boardgames notably 1969 and Battletech. I’ve played Battletech irregularily for the last twenty-two years or so. Recently I picked up the new Introductory Box, which contains a set of high quality plastic miniatures. Even though we haven’t played the game for quite some while, we got back into it pretty quickly and had a blast. One of the scenarios we played was three Inner Sphere ‘mechs (3025 era technology) against one Mad Cat aka Timberwolf. Even though the Inner Sphere ‘mechs had two times the tonnage of the Clan ‘mech, the Inner Sphere guys had no chance. It was still a lot of fun for everyone involved.

pic1364640_tLast but not least let me talk about 1969. According to Boardgamegeek it’s a “push-your-luck style game” in which players are in charge of their nations’ space program. Even though there was some skepticism first, at the end everyone enjoyed the game very much. The rules are pretty easy and a game lasts about an hour. It’s definitely something we could play again on one of our regular pub meetings.

What have you been up to while I was away? Please share your comments below!