Friday, April 8, 2016
Adepticon 2016 demos and stuff I did
Adepticon game stuff.
While at Adepticon I played a few demos and two versions of the Star Wars RPG while everyone else there was in one tournament or another.
A post apoc mini game. It is a D6 game with dudes from various factions like every other game. I played these drifter guys that were the typical wasteland gangers. I was opposed by two models that were from the super science faction. It was kill everyone scenario. I had numbers and poor tech. He had laser guns and armor. Needless to say I swamped his guys and won. Only lost/sacrificed one dude in the process. I was never really sure what was going on here it was run way too fast. I just knew I had stats and action points and was D6 for stuff. It seemed pretty brutal and unforgiving with the way dice kept stacking in close combat.
The models were meh. I think they were true 28mm and not the best sculpts. Flipping through the rule book it does have some descent fluff and the ability to play “vanilla” or tailor your forces. There even looked like there was an RPG style of play as well. An awful lot in their rule book and multiple playstyles. Options are always good. In the end it felt like Mordheim for the Fallout/Mad Max crowd.
They were hard sell guys too. That was really off putting. I tried your game and was done. I didn’t hate it, but trying to force it down my throat after a 20 minute demo is a sure fire way for me to walk away.
From the Warlord games guys, who make the Bolt Action WWII game, comes Beyond the Gates of Antares. A sci-fi version of the Bolt Action WWII rule set. After a demo it felt almost identical to the WWII game I had tried. I’m sure there are rule variations, but in a demo the game play seem identical.
Not a bad play system at all. The models look descent as well. The starter set they had to sell came with; the typical two armies, dice, templates, but this also came with a full hardback rule book. Not a bad price either. Sadly I passed because I cannot get into another giant sci-fi battle game. Even if there is an army I would easily use, the Ghar. These little guys look stupid fun and use descent looking robots in battle.
If I was just entering my gaming career I would probably have grabbed the starter set and a few units. I hope this game succeeds. It was really easy and fun.
If parts of Warmachine, Blood Bowl and soccer had a baby it would be Guild Ball. I get the appeal. The rules are descent. The models look good. The artwork is great.
Based on artwork alone what group would I play?
These guys with the giant goon, top hats, cloaks and masks?
The game just isn’t for me. I hate soccer even if it is full of warriors and close combat. It seemed very popular for a newer game too. There are some great models that I could use for gaming. If I wasn’t back logged with so many other models.
Finally I was able to get a proper demo of this game. Love the look of the world and the models in it and have wanted to try it forever. It was an escalation demo as we started with one model vs. one model. Then it ended with two small crews (they call the army/faction a crew) throwing down with fists and claws.
The lack of dice is a bit strange or wyrd (see what I did there). You flip cards and add that suit and value to your attack, defense etc. It is still dice, but not dice. Then you have a hand of six cards you can use to “cheat.” That just means you can add a card to replace the card flipped. This gives the ability to modify attack/defense. The ability to affect the game that way is great. You can really drive home an attack or deflect that incoming bullet. However, your opponent can do the same. It adds another level to a like dice, but not dice miniature game.
Now it was great to see that my horrible dice rolling transferred right over to drawing cards. If the cards in my hand were descent then the deck I drew from was crap. That and if you flip over a joker that is black it equals zero. Yeah I did that three times in four games. I guess that is the equivalent
of rolling a 1 for plasma guns getting hot or 1 for a 2+ save.
I did grab the starter set and am going to make my special lady try it. I think she might like it since one of the two crews in the box is a deranged doctor and his nursing staff. She will love that!
There was a demo of both of these being run and it is what I was excited about most at Adepticon. I have always wanted a great Star Wars RPG. Who doesn’t?
Edge of the Empire pits your group in the universal outer rim. Think lots of smugglers and shady stuff happening. Well at least that is what I took from the description and game we played.
Age of Rebellion threw us into the Star Wars universe I was expecting with a fight against the expanding Empire we all love/hate.
Bothe sessions were four hours and we used every bit of that to play. I went stupid fast though which was good and bad.
First off the two dudes running these games were great! They got us noobs going quickly. They moved the game along well and kept order well. Why kept order, more on that later. If they were available to always run the game for me and mine, then I could learn to love this game. Sadly, that is not an option.
Second, as a D&D player this game is wildly different. It seems like a very story teller game with dice rolls thrown in for something to do. It is a wyrd Shadowrun success roll vs. failure roll system with less dice. Plus it has a sort of narrative set of dice that can cause threat or advantage which seem purely story drive rolls. Having a system ingrained with a need to hit, damage and save; the Star Wars RPG is just so different. The game play was kind of off-putting. There are not really levels. Your damage out/input, weapons armor and stats seem almost useless. Your skills and traits seem the more important part of the game. I really wasn’t super excited about that.
I played a Wookie in each game session mostly so I wouldn’t have to talk much. Plus if given the option of course I’m going to play a Wookie! Nobody else wanted to play them either. What was wrong with these guys? They are awesome!
Now if you love a story telling game, have a dude who can pull it off and love Star Wars then these RPGs are great. Sadly that guy is not me. I couldn’t go all narrative every session. I like my RPG combat with a number to hit, damage to roll, saves to make, etc. I am not a fan of rolling dice to see if I’m successful just to get an outcome of “No success and two advantage.” What does that even mean? How is that useful? That or I roll one threat, two success and a despair with my Wookie bowcaster. What? Does that mean I shot the guy and if so how much damage did I do? It was really frustrating.
Add to that in both games there were fellow players who have had a lot of experience with this game. That is great for a party full of non-experienced players. Well until they railroad the party in some direction and try to constantly take control of the game. They would also try and go off on their own, split the party, try to influence the group to do whatever they wanted to do or were very insistent on trying to vie for the Star-DM’s attention. Sure the game master, Star-DM or whatever they call them, did their best to keep them in check, they were still irritating. This happened in both games with two different guys. How crazy is that?
I couldn’t thank the dudes running the games enough though. They were awesome and made it a damn fun game. It just isn’t possible for them to run for us all the time.
It is a shame that the Star Wars game wasn’t more like a traditional RPG. I can and cannot see the popularity with this game. The free thinkers love it. The dice heavy gamers….maybe not so much. There is so much great stuff in this game universe to boot! I just cannot get behind the playstyle and I’m not sure the guys would either. There is a rich universe but, with a narrative heavy game mechanic and more strange Fantasy Flight dice. It was a fun time, but damn disappointment for me.
I didn’t get a single game played. Why? Well because I didn’t know everyone only plays 35+ points in Iron Arena games. I thought it was bring what you want and play. I saw nothing about points needed to play. I guess I needed to look elsewhere than the Adepticon site for information about this?
I brought 20+ points and received no takers to play. I played no games of Hordes or Warmachine the two days I was there. I guess nobody plays lower points at an event that is billed as “not a tournament” and sounds more open and chill. It sure as shit looked like a lot of competitive and quasi-tournament style builds on the tables.
It was disappointing that the people I approached were so rigid or uninterested in dropping a few points for a non-tournament game. Whatever. So, I will not be bothering to get involved with that again. Thankfully, it was only a couple of dollars so no real loss in that department.
Now Adepticon is a tiny convention, and a convention-wide mobile application really is not necessary. That being said, I did mess around with the Guidebook app on my phone. This listed all the available events, maps, event reminders and locales. It could be incredibly useful for a big convention. If Gencon would get on board with this Guidebook app then it would be awesome!
It was a descent time. I spent too much money. I got to try some games that have been on my radar. I saw a ton of great looking models and tables.