Thursday, 25 May 2017

Runewars Miniatures Game Scale Comparison (Part 2)

A while ago, Asmodee sent Must Contain Minis a review copy of Runewars by Fantasy Flight Games. In this post, I am going to show my readers a scale comparison of the Daqan (Human) miniatures in the base-set to figures by other companies. This is the second part to my two part series about the scale of Runewars minis. The first part looked at the Waiqar (undead) army.

The Daqan (Human) models in the Runewars Starter Set
The Daqan army from the Runewars starter box.
When I first saw the artwork of Runewars, the first thing that popped in my mind was "I wonder how these minis scale to the biggest miniatures company out there." Below is the answer to that question.

Scale Comparison Runewars to GW
Here we have a Sig-Marine taking on three Daqan Spearmen.
The Sig-Marine towers over the Daqan soldiers. Are the models compatible for RPGs and other games? Perhaps. Take note, though, that the Marine is "heads-and-shoulders" above the Spearmen. Overtime, we will see how the two brands compete. :)

After looking at the figures with a Sig-Marine, I wanted to see how the figures scale against Frostgrave miniatures by North Star. Below is that comparison and they fit in quite well. These are 28mm in scale.

Runewars figures size comparison to Frostgrave minis
Here we have the Runewars Daqan Spearmen side-to-side a number of North Star Military Figures' Frostgrave Barbarians. 
While they fit in perfectly with the Frostgrave figures, they are a little shorter than Reaper Miniatures figures. These are genrally 32mm in scale.

Reaper Miniatures to Runewars Scale comparison
Here we have the Daqan Spearmen next two Barbarian figures by Reaper Miniatures. 
Below are images of the other units with some comparison figures.

Size Comparison... Reaper to North Star to Runewars
Here we have some Calvary surrounding two Barbarians. The Barbarian on the left is by North Star and the one on the right is by Reaper. 

Here we have a Reaper mini on the left, Runewars Kari Wraithstalker in the centre, and a Frostgrave figure on the right. 
Kari Wraithstalker is the Daqan Hero in the base-set. As a side note, one of her special abilities is that she allows players to take an Elven unit into their Human Army. That is an interesting way to allow players to experiment with the Elves without having to buy a whole army.

Speaking of heroes, how does the line measure up to another excellent boardgame distributed by Asmodee? The game I am referring to is Conan, and the answer is fairly well. 

Above we have a scale comparison between the minis in Runewars and Conan. The Runewars minis are a little shorter, but fit the scale together well enough. I could see RPG and Skirmish game players easily dipping into these figures to create interesting adventures in a variety of games. 
Given how well they look together, I could imagine RPG players using these figures together for both the original games as intended and for their own RPG scenarios. I could also imagine some Runewars players thinking of adding Conan minis to their ranks. If that idea struck you, the Conan bases do not fit the Runewars' movement trays.

The Conan figure on the far right does not fit into the Runewars movement tray.
The final figure in the Daqan army (from the Runewars starter box) is the Rune Golem. He is rather sizable.

Here we have the Golem taking on Conan. Who do you think would win?

In this battle, the Golem taking on a Reaper Miniatures Hill Giant. Who would be the victor here?
Overall, the model quality on these figures is decent. I wish that the Rank-and-File miniatures had more than four poses, but the models in the box are still quite serviceable and look sharp. Most of the miniatures came in two pieces and had to be assembled. As stated earlier, the models are 28mm. 

I hope that everyone enjoyed this article. The purpose of this post is two-fold. One, to help people curious about the scale of the Runewars Miniatures and two, to help consumers, like myself, that might buy a game with the intent to play that game and to also re-use the minis for various other games such as Dungeons and Dragons or Frostgrave. 

Thanks goes out again to Asmodee for sending Must Contain Minis a copy of the Runewars Miniatures Game by Fantasy Flight Games

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Monday, 22 May 2017

DBA Demo Game - Battle Report and Impressions

DBA (De Bellis Antiquitatis) is a game with a lot of established players in my local historicals scene. At Broadsword 3, I played my third game with the ruleset. My host for this game was Howard Tulloch and we used a modified version the third edition rules. He slightly modified the rules for simpler demo play at conventions.

De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) After Action Report (AAR)
Here two armies line up to prove their might in battle.

This battle represented above is part of the Peloponnesian Wars between the Athenians and Spartans. I played the Spartans (which is the army closest to us in all of the pictures). The figures are all 15mm and supplied by Howard.

To start, both players moved their armies up with the Skirmishers (Psiloi) units ahead of the main armies. Below is how the battle unfolded.

De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) After Action Report (AAR)
The lines move forward with the skirmishers leading the way.
De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) After Action Report (AAR)
Some of the skirmishers engage. Two of Psiloi on the Athenian army moved to the edges of their army, leaving just one unit in the middle to deal with the two Spartan stands. 

The Psiloi engage. 

De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) After Action Report (AAR)
The Spartan skirmishers lost. One stand perished and the other ran away. Look at the distance it covered! 

De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) After Action Report (AAR)
With the skirmishers out of the way, the armies engage.

De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) After Action Report (AAR)
The lines waver, but overall, the Spartans hold up better than the Athenians. The Athenians lost a couple of units and have a a bit more wavering in their lines.

De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) After Action Report (AAR)
A close up of the action.

De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) After Action Report (AAR)
The Athenians strike back and now the Spartan lines are seeing holes of their own.

De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) After Action Report (AAR)
On the left wing, the Spartans outnumber the Athenians so one of their units break off from the main group to perform a flanking maneuver. 

De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) After Action Report (AAR)
On the Right side of the battle, the Spartan lines did not hold. Two stands die. The Spartan Skirmish unit that ran away earlier is there hoping to offer a bit of a deterrent preventing the Athenians from charging the right rear of the Spartan lines.

De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) After Action Report (AAR)
The Spartan sweep on the left flank continues and the Spartans win the battle through elimination points. They had reached the victory conditions for the number of stands killed.

Overall, DBA at Broadsword was very enjoyable. Howard is absolutely awesome at introducing new players to the game. The rules as presented here are very easy to pick up and run with. That said, the feedback that I get from many veterans of DBA is that if you are to learn, you need a veteran player (or the Internet) to help you along. I am told that the rules are simple, but can be hard to understand straight out of the book without help. Having never read the book, I cannot attest to the validity of that statement, but I can assert that I have heard so from multiple players.

Of the DBA games that I played, they all worked out somewhat similarly. There is some maneuvering and marching to the centre of the table followed by a battle in the middle with perhaps a few units trying to get in behind or to flank the others lines. From there, the units push back and forth (or waver) until one side breaks. Once one side breaks, it gets easier for the other side to sweep them.

Personally, I like the wavering line aspect of the game. It is simple enough that you could almost put the game on autopilot when the battle engages, but there are some choices to be made. Units wise, there is a rock, paper, scissors gaming going on in that different units have different results when defeated by other units. There is a chart to reference for the unit effects. There are lots of other elements of strategy to this game too.

One of my favourite aspects of the game is how action points are generated. Each turn, a player rolls a die to see how many commands he (or she) gets to issue. Roll one pip and you can only order one unit. A unit is all basses in base-to-base contact. You can also break and rejoin elements within a unit. The game relies on geometry and precision. For those that get really deep into it, I could imagine movements in the centimeters making a difference. For those not as deep into DBA, it is a fun game to try out and play in a casual setting. If you ever see it in a demo setting, try it out and let me know what you think.

De Bellis Antiquitatis (DBA) After Action Report (AAR)
Howard hosted three demo games simultaneously while acting as my opponent. He is well versed in the system and very good at teaching DBA. Thanks Howard!

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Friday, 19 May 2017

Must Contain Minis becomes One-Year Old!!!

Exactly one year today, I wrote the first post on Must Contain Minis. Since then, I published 180 articles with a total pageview count of over 190,000. Not bad at all!   :)

In today's article, I am going to write a little bit about Must Contain Minis origins, write a little bit about me, give a few shout-outs of appreciation, and answer three of my most Frequently Asked Questions.

A RAFM Figure infront of a 4Ground House
Above is the very first picture ever posted to Must Contain Minis.

The Start

Must Contain Minis started as a side project of mine to practice my writing skills while focusing on a topic for which I have passion. When brainstorming what to write about, I asked myself what is my favourite hobby. At the time, it was board games, but not just any board games - but specifically board games that contain miniatures. Hence the name, "Must Contain Minis."

My intention from the start was to make "Must Contain Minis" a Reviews and Battle Reports website focusing on both Miniatures Games and Board Games with Miniatures in them. I achieved that goal and am very pleased with the response from the gaming public with the website. For those wondering, it is my reviews and showcases that get the most visits.

A Little Bit About Me

I was a little hesitant to start Must Contain Minis. It took the encouragement from my wife to help start the site. She mentioned for years that I should do a Blog or Podcast related to my gaming. This encouragement spurred me into creating the site. I also started this site for personal development and the retention of my writing skills.

Right now, I work for a very good company doing mostly end-user support for meeting rooms. I deal with video conferencing, web conferencing and projectors on a daily basis. What I like best about the job is the interaction with people it gives. The job is also related to many of the courses I took in school. I went to college for Audio, Visual and Multimedia Production and hold a Professional Certification related to the AV Industry.

While I use my Professional and College training daily at work, I do not take advantage of my University Degree or my University Level Writing Certificate (the degree is in Media, Information and Technoculture [Technoculture is the study of how technology and culture affect one another]) during the course of my usual day. Must Contain Minis is my venture to reawaken skills acquired from this training.

Must Contain Minis also allows me to actively participate in marketing and promotion for the website, which is something that I enjoy.

A Little Bit of Help

I have been very upfront about the companies that help Must Contain Minis with Review Products. Today, I want to take a look at a different group of people that helped me along the way. They all deserve a shout-out and these people are friends.

Anyone who plays a game with me and lets me photograph it for the site really helps me out, but today's shout-outs go specifically to...
  • Dave Lamers. Dave helped provide terrain for the convention games that I ran at Hotlead 2017 and Broadsword 3. He lets me bounce ideas off of him for the website and is one of my main opponents in the site's Battle Reports.
  • Jeremy Cada. Jeremy is one of the owners of Forbes Hobbies. He has been very supportive of this website from the start and is always up for a chat about Bolt Action or the Hobby in general. I photographed most of my Battle Reports in his store. He also does some commission work for the site including the awesome Frostgrave Demons for Hotlead.
  • Brenden Brown. Brenden is a very active in the Historical Miniatures and Flames of War scenes. He has been tournament organizer for the last two Flames of War Tournaments that I attended and I feature his miniatures in my "Brenden's Flames of War Showcases." 
  • James Palmer. James is a member of the local board game community and his interests in games overlap my own. We both really enjoy miniatures games that cross the lines between board games and miniatures games. My Dreadfleet, Project Elite, and Dropzone Commander posts were all done with his games.    
  • My Wife. As I stated earlier, my wife was the one that originally suggested that I start this website. I dedicate a lot of time into Must Contain Minis and I am thankful that she is supportive.
Must Contain Minis Turns a Year Old - Frostgrave Picture
Jeremy Cada helps paint some of the Miniatures for Must Contain Minis. Above is a picture of an awesome Centipede Demon that he did up for the site!
There are plenty of other people (in addition to those above) that deserve thanks for contributing to the success of Must Contain Minis. The ones listed above are the ones that go above and beyond in keeping the site going. Thanks for all of the help everybody!!!

Thanks also goes out to my readers as your visits and comments help encourage me to keep posting!

Frequently Asked Questions

When I meet fans, I find that they have some similar questions. Those questions include:
  • Will you be starting a YouTube Channel?
  • How Can Readers Support Must Contain Minis (do you take tips)?
  • What upcoming products have you excited?
Below are answers to those questions.

Do I intend to start a YouTube Channel?

Yes, I do intend to start a YouTube Channel. As to when, I do not know. Right now, YouTube is an idea floating around my head. My hope is that I might target the Fall for a first video.

What holds me back is that I know how much work goes into videos, that I want the videos to be of high production quality right off the start, and that I started Must Contain Minis to practice my writing skills.

To be honest, I shot archival video for 8-years as a profession so jumping into YouTube for the sake of making videos is not my priority. When I make it there, I want the videos to be polished! That takes time and preparation.

Is there a way for Readers to Support Must Contain Minis?

At this time, there is no direct way for readers to support Must Contain Minis. I do accept Review Products from companies (so if you have a company and want to support the site, you can do so that way), but that leaves the average reader with no way to contribute.

I have played around with the idea of using PayPal, but some sites (Blogs specifically) run into issues with the Donations button when it comes time to collect. The issue is that the fine print in PayPal reserves Donations for Charities only. A Blog might be able to squeak in as a non-profit, but I have read some stories of people being unable to collect (or having to jump through hoops to collect) because of this stipulation. There is also a perceived loop-hole that stating "buy me a coffee" near the donation button eliminates the problem. The idea is that this statement turns the "donation" into a "buy," but it doesn't. The proper way around it is to set specific values and have the "tip" come through as a purchase. To me, this does not look nearly as slick as a donation button. While there are plenty of Bloggers that use the donation button without issue, there stories of Bloggers not able to collect the donations from their fans. I plan to avoid the situation entirely by not participating.  

Many other Bloggers and Vloggers use Patreon. Patreon appeals to me, but I am not ready to jump in at this time. I believe that I need to generate more of a fan-base before engaging in a program like Patreon.

For those that want to throw a few dimes my way, I do have an affiliate program with the people at DriveThruRPG an the WargameVault. If you click on either of those links (or their banners on my site) and buy something, I will get a small commission.

What I like most from my readers is for them to "like" and "shared" across the web. If you enjoy this site, please be sure to head over to my Facebook Page and give it a Like.  

What upcoming products am I excited about?

I will admit right away that my eyes are always looking for new games and products to explore. Some of these products are new and some are "new to me." What has me most excited right now is Cigar Box Battle's upcoming Kickstarter for double-sided battle mats. Their regular battle mats are absolutely awesome so making them double-sided will only add to their value.

A teaser for Cigar Box Battle's upcoming Kickstarter.
Blood & Plunder, and Flint and Feather have also caught my eye.

The guys over at Firelock Games plan to do a second Kickstarter soon for their Blood & Plunder game. I played it at Broadsword 3 and it has to be one of the prettiest games that I have ever seen. The Kickstarter will be offering new content and will also likely be offering the original Kickstarter items at a discount versus retail. The other game that I hope to get in on a game called Flint and Feather by Crucible Crush. I enjoyed the Beta version at a convention a few years ago. Now that it is nearing completion, it should be worth another look.

As for expanding on what I already have, I plan to go Island hopping later this year with Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago and Bolt Action's new Campaign Books Sea Lion and New Guinea. Blood & Plunder and Flint and Feather might also feature water aspects. I also hope to build up a small gang that I can use in Osprey Game's new Mad Dogs With Guns and in Bolt Action's Sea Lion.

I also plan to go back to the roots of the site a bit and cover more board games. I plan to get Conan painted and am looking at other games too. Fireteam Zero by Emergent Games looks like it would fit the flavour of this site in that it mixes horror and the occult with WW2. Other board games that I would love to review including Massive Darkness, Sword & Sorcery, and Gloomhaven.   

There is so much to look forward to and this is just scratching the surface.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Wednesday, 17 May 2017

Bolt Action: Campaign Sea Lion - Review

Recently I got my hands on an advanced copy of Bolt Action's Campaign: Sea Lion and, boy, did Osprey Publishing and Warlord Games ever hit the ball out of the park with this book!

The Cover of Campaign Sea Lion for Bolt Action. If you love early war British or German armies, this book is awesome!!!
Image used with permission from Osprey Publishing.

The basic premise of Campaign: Sea Lion is that Hitler actually invades Britain as he contemplated on doing during the war. This never happened in history, but this campaign is a "what if" scenario that uses units that both sides built up in case the invasion ever actually happened.

As most of my readers will know, I prefer game play and unit statistics over fluff. This 124 page book gives 8 pages of fluff (an alternative historical timeline), 12 pages of new British army lists, 20 pages of new British units, 13 pages of new British weapons, trains, and fortifications, 7 pages of new German lists, 8 pages of new German units, 2 pages of new rules, and 25 pages of new scenarios.

There are a couple of things that I want to draw out for my readers attention. One, nearly everything is new! Two, this book is for German and British players in the early war period. If you are solely a Soviet, American, Japanese or small Nation player, this book is not for you.

For those of you that play German or British armies, read onwards.  :)

To give an idea of what is in my pre-existing Bolt Action collection, I am a Late War British player. I have German and American armies too, but my painted army, that I use regularly, is British. Upon reading this book, I found myself thinking of how to retool my late war army to fit the units in the book. At its simplest form, retooling for Sea Lion involves removing some of my SMG soldiers from the basic units. After that, the armament fits the unit descriptions in Campaign: Sea Lion.

Many of the new army lists in this book are called "Patrols." These lists are intended to be used for smaller 'Raid' engagements but can also be used as allies of "Reinforced Platoons." Of the lists in the book, there are four that I would love to build if time and budget were no issue.

These lists that I would love to build include the British Urban Militia Patrol, the British Water Patrol, the German aligned British Union of Fascists and German aligned Gangsters. All of the above lists are essentially civilian lists in civilian clothes.

The Urban Militia is exactly what it sounds like. British civilians taking up arms against the German invaders. The weapons they can take include hand weapons (for melee), shotguns, rifles, a pistol and even a blunderbuss. The Water Patrol is similar to the Militia, but with fewer weapon options and the ability to take a motorboat as a transport.

The German British Union of Fascists (BUF) is depicted in the book as wearing Blackshirts and using a whole range of weaponry from hand axes and hammers to rifles and shot guns. They have access to some unique models that I just love. The Gangsters platoon is comprised of, quite simply, Gangsters. They, like the BUF, can use a variety of weapons, but can be better trained than their BUF counterparts. The gangs also use a unit called the "Hangers-On." This unit is armed entirely with improvised hand weapons (save for the leader who has an option to take a shotgun or pistol)

Above are the lists for the British Union of Fascists (BUF) and Gangsters Platoons.
Image used with permission from Osprey Publishing.

Check out this unique BUF model below!!!

What awesome figures!!! This page also shows that the patrol is Inexperienced. Many of the new units in Campaign: Sea Lion are Inexperienced so hordes of civilians can be included if one was so inclined.
Image used with permission from Osprey Publishing.

I absolutely love how Warlord modelled the BUF Support Squad! It is a pair of guys using a pipe and wrench as an improvised mortar. Wow!

Outside of these units, German players have access to all sorts of neat things including Invasion Barges, Assault Boats and Tauchpanzers. The Tauchpanzers are sealed tanks intended to be dropped in the ocean several hundred meters from shore. From there, they would drive on the seabed to the battle. There are special rules for the Tauchpanzers and these tanks could find themselves stuck on the seabed or driving around in circles under the sea. To me, this is simply brilliant stuff that should be a lot of fun to play on the table!

The scenarios in the book all look to be very interesting. Now, they do state in the set up exactly what lists players should select for the game. This makes for interesting and heavily themed scenarios, but it might not be fair to people that don't own multiple lists. For them, I would suggest that you use the "Forces" portion of each scenario as a guideline and perhaps replay the scenario if you end up purchasing those "required lists" in the future.

These are interesting scenario, but the scenario dictates exactly what patrol lists are to be used in the game.
Image used with permission from Osprey Publishing.

There is a campaign system in that each scenario provides points depending on objectives completed. At the end of a series of games, players tally their scores and look at the difference to determine the overall winner and to what level that player won (i.e. Draw, Tactical Victory, Crushing Victory and so forth).

Before writing this review, I took the book to both my local gaming store where I play Bolt Action and to a local Gaming Convention. I asked select individuals to keep the content secret (as the book had not yet been published) and let them browse through the book. Their reactions were as pleasant to the book as mine. Two of them even said that they were "uncertain of the book, but now that they have seen it, they have to buy it." They were impressed with how much new content is in the book and it really got their creative juices flowing.

One of the guys even talked about possibly doing up a Women's Federation Toxophilite Club Patrol. This list consists of multiple shooting teams all armed with Longbows. How crazy is that?! It is a desperate situation when someone would take a bow an arrow to the field against guns. That said, there are a lot of civilians armed with all sorts of weapons in this book (including clubs and knives).

My Final Verdict

Campaign Sea Lion for Bolt Action is absolutely fantastic! This book offers a ton of new content and it really got my imagination going on multiple potential projects. I had high hopes for this book and it exceeded all of my expectations. My hat really goes off to John Lambshead and the rest of the team at Warlord Games and Osprey Publishing for producing, what I would consider, a perfect supplement to Bolt Action.

Usually I like to have a few criticisms in my reviews,  but I didn't really find anything negative in Bolt Action's Campaign: Sea Lion.

As I stated earlier, Campaign: Sea Lion focuses on the German and British armies only. If you collect neither, this book is not for you. It also focuses on early war lists so those who play late war only might find themselves retooling their existing lists and buying models to make their lists fit the scenarios in the book. Likewise, the scenarios suggest the use of specific lists which might put some people in the situation of not being able to play scenarios without using substitute lists and units.

Finally, the format of this book is how I feel they should have published Konflikt '47; that is, as a supplement rather than a separate game. At the same time, I totally understand why they went the route that they did with Konflikt '47. Konflikt '47 has been very well received by a certain demographic, but not as well received by the historical community. As a separate system, the people that want to play just Konflikt '47 don't have to buy two books, and it probably lessened the backlash from historical players that wanted no part of science fiction units in their games.

It is my hope that the historical community will gravitate towards, and accept, Campaign: Sea Lion much more readily than they did to Konflikt '47 because the game is tied closer to historical units.

There is a lot of good stuff in this book and it would be sad for people to miss out on this one. Personally, I am a fan of both Konflikt '47 and Campaign: Sea Lion, but I am really excited about Sea Lion at this point in time.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Discloser: Osprey Publishing provided Must Contain Minis with an Advanced Copy of Bolt Action: Campaign: Sea Lion for Review Purposes.

Monday, 15 May 2017

Flames of War Showcase: Brenden's Kradschützen Platoon

Today we are looking at some more Flames of War models made by Battlefront. Here we have a Kradschutzen Platoon painted by Brenden.

This platoon looks great and I love how all of their bases are the same. Close up, the paint jog looks even better. Check out these pictures below...

The colours on these guys are very nice. Brenden really makes the figures pop from the vehicles and terrain. That is some nice paint work!

Same group from the opposite side.

The texture on the bases looks really nice for this unit.

A close up of one of the motorcycles with sidecar. Very nice!

Wherever these guys are going, they are going in a hurry!!!

A shot from the top. On the tabletop, these guys look very impressive!

Brenden did a very nice job on these guys!!! And those bases, just awesome!!!

For those wondering how Brenden made such a nice texture on the bases, here is the secret... He used vinyl mats from a Craft Store (the ones used to make streetscapes for Christmas villages). He then cut that mat to fit each individual base, glued it and painted. The final effect is visually stunning!!!

Very nice work Brenden!

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everyone!!!

Thursday, 11 May 2017

Convention Report: Broadsword 3

May 6 (2017) marked a day that I was looking forward to for several months - the Broadsword 3 gaming convention in Hamilton (Ontario, Canada).

Just before the event, I was worried I wouldn't be able to make it as we received tons of rain and several communities were subject to floods. The day came and I went anyhow. What a great time I had! Barnaby Ore, the convention organizer, did a really fine job at putting together an enjoyable event. Over 100 people made it out despite the rain and flooding in some regions.

Blood and Plunder Miniatures Game at Broadsword 3
Above is a Picture from my first Blood & Plunder game ever! I played this one at Broadsword 3 so continue reading to find out what I thought about the game and its miniatures.

Check out these other pictures from the event!

Might of Arms Pike and Shot army
A game of the 30-years war using the Might of Arms Ruleset. I love the imagery of Pike and Shot armies.

Pike and shot - 30 years war miniatures
There are some great paint jobs here. :) 

Might of Arms being played at a convention
A shot of the game in play from a little further away.

Team Yankee Terrain
Team Yankee!!!
I really like how dense the town is on one side of the mat versus the open ground on the other.

Team Yankee. The mayhem is underway!

Iron Maiden units for Team Yankee
Some British Team Yankee units. Very nice!

Modern Wargaming in Afghanistan
Here is a really well constructed compound for a 28mm Force on Force game in Modern Afghanistan. It looks great!

Ambush Z Miniatures Game
This table was called "Maul of America" using the 28mm Ambush Z rule set.

As with most of the local conventions, BattleTech also makes it out. I actually bought my copy of BattleTech because I played and liked the game at a local convention several years ago.

Frozen table for the Hobbit - Wargaming Terrain
This is not Frostgrave, but rather a set up for the Hobbit. Looks nice. :)

Conan the Board Game
Even Conan and some other board games made it out to this event!

So, what games did I play at Broadsword 3?

As soon as I arrived, I eagerly signed up for Gotham Nights, a Home-Brewed game by the guys from Six Squared Studios. Unfortunately, the guys were running late due to some localized flooding, so I was not able to play the game this time around.

Instead, I played DBA.

Six Squared Studios Custom Game
This is the table set up for Gotham Nights. Too bad I missed it this time. I could have signed up for the afternoon session, but I really wanted to try Blood & Plunder. Perhaps next time.

DBA Demo
Above is a picture from the DBA game that I played at the event. I played the Spartans (closest to camera) and my opponent and demo-guide, Howard, played Greeks.  

Blood & Plunder

Finally, I got to play Blood & Plunder by Firelock Games for my first time. This game I was very excited for and was very happy to see someone running it at a local convention.

Firelock Games Blood & Plunder
This game is really gorgeous. Here there are two players on each ship trying to position for better firing angles (4 players total).

Firelock Games Blood & Plunder Sloop Combat - Ships
These ships are sloops, the smallest vessels in the game outside of a rowboat. Our host chose to use asymmetrical forces and despite one force being larger than the other, the game seemed balanced.

Firelock Games Blood & Plunder
A look at the land portion of the same gaming table. The GMs made really good use of paper terrain. To me, it looks stunning at what would be a fairly affordable price.

Sloop for Minaiture Wargaming
That is one of the two sloops. In the distance, one can see the land where the other four player battle was taking place. 

Blood & Plunder
The models for this game just look so fantastic! Here we have the ship of myself and Dave loaded up with plenty of regular crewmembers.

Firelock Games Blood & Plunder ship with crew
Our opponents, Randall and Tom, crewed a ship with a "Legendary Captain" and all veterans.

Unfortunately, we did not make it all the way through the demo as we had to leave and prep for our own gaming table.

Blood & Plunder is a game that has captured my eye ever since it was first kickstarted and it was really nice to try it out. The game doesn't appear to be too expensive to get into and I hear that Firelock will be taking it to Kickstarter again soon - perhaps there will be some further deals there. This is certainly a game that I would play and write about, if I were to own it. I think Blood & Plunder would make for some really sharp looking Blog Posts.

Check out how awesome those minis and ship look! Wow! This game looks fantastic.

Firelock Games Blood & Plunder ship with crew - Sloop
Blood & Plunder looks fantastic.

As for my official opinion of how the game plays, I would have to play it a few more times and go through the rules before coming to a conclusion.

Wrapping it Up

After playing DBA and Blood & Plunder, I set up my own game of Frostgrave. This time, I ran the game on a 3.5' by 5' table rather than a 5' by 5' table like I did at Hotlead. There will be a Battle Report for this game in the future.

5 player Frostgrave Table
The Frostgrave Table that I ran.

Outside of playing fantastic games, I also visited the vendors. I bought some cool new fences from Six Squared Studios and a plethora of miniatures from RAFM.

Until next time, Happy Gaming Everybody!!!
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