Garbage collection

Started playing Necromunda again this weekend. It’s a 28mm skirmish game in the grimdark future where you control a cyberpunk gang and battle your friends for control of the Underhive. My gang are Enforcers – dedicated to restoring the rule of law in the Underhive. A very fun game to re-learn!

squad

The dude with the machinegun in the center is overwatching most of the field. He downed about 30% of the enemy gang! We’ll play with more terrain next time. I was nicely dug in.

squad2

Outnumbered almost 2:1, I split my 6 dudes and forced the gangers to come to me.  They tried to encircle me, but the heavy machinegun on the flank picked off guys as they broke cover and tried to close with me. 40″ range is great on a small table!

As I was armed with 18″ range shotguns, my opponent’s 24″ range rifles tried to pin my left bunch as the fight developed. Their good cover and elevation reduced the effectiveness of the rifle fire, and they were able to enfilade some gangers rushing the machinegun as they exited the building on the right. The rest of the fight was mostly one-sided. I think my team will have more problems on the attack if I can’t concentrate them. As it stood, sticking together and having supporting bases of fire helped inflict a large amount of casualties.

If I were fighting as the more numerous gangers, I would have made a big deathball of dudes and rolled down one flank trying to conceal my advance behind the buildings. I might have kept a small bunch of dudes to pin down the machinegunner, or at least stop them moving freely. When I had a superior force concentrated on one flank, I’d spring the trap and hit them very hard. All 10+ would have been much harder to kill in one turn.

IOPS

Had these awful meibomian cysts on my eye for the last year. Hot compresses didn’t get rid of them, so I at last got them scraped off last week. There ended up being like 6 on the top lid. Seems like there’s a low chance of reoccurance, but daily hot compresses and massaging the eyelid is the way to prevent it.

I also have blepharitis linked to the cysts, so this should make it easier to manage. Already, my eye is less crusty and swollen.

IOPS = eye-ops

 

group

Starting up painting models last week for campaign my friends are doing.We’re playing 5th edition 40k, which we felt was one of the better rulesets before it got too bloated. 3rd ed was good, but had many ambiguities in the rules.

Most of these models were 10+ years old sitting in wardrobes, and I never felt I could paint them adequately. So they festered in the back of my mind for a decade. It was only this year I worked up the interest to start them. I tried to limit my colour palette and give them a “warm” look with the red and brass. This made me learn colour theory, and improve my skills with a brush. The army will be Inquisition themed.

I have my driving test at the end of next month. Feeling good for it, doing plenty of driving. Think I hurt my Achilles tendon driving in pointy dress shoes though, as well as running too much on my forefoot.

RPGs and investigation

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I’m not a fan of D&D because 3.5 turned my friends into gay satanists. I much prefer wholesome Warhammer RPG games where you roll up a ratcatcher, a watchman, the town drunk and a hedge wizard and die horribly against knights, orcs, daemons or cholera. But the narrative you make together is what it’s all about. No one cares about generic +1 swords. Players want connections. I think more narrative games hit that sweetspot for me.

The Warhammer 40K RPG ‘Dark Heresy’ is a particular favourite of mine. It does melee combat, tactical gunplay, insanity and mutation very well. But the investigative part of the rules is very underwritten. Nowhere are you told how to make an investigation work. This is supposed to be about agents of the Holy Inquisition, rooting out the witch, the heretic and the alien from the Imperium! I’ve run a few games in the past, and a linear A > B > C progression, or going freeform week to week was all I could manage. That worked well when you had experienced people familiar with the setting. But it fell apart when I tried it with inexperienced players unfamiliar with Warhammer 40k. My usual way of running games failed, and it wasn’t enjoyable to play or run. This game only last 3 sessions, partly due to clashing characters and unreliable players. But really because they weren’t involved in the story, and felt lost about what to do next.

6 months ago when I returned to Ireland, I was asked to run another Dark Heresy game for the same group. I thought about what they asked for in the feedback I did following each session: maps for each location and more clues on where to go next. Simply telling them where to go next wasn’t enjoyable for me, and I struggled to make maps for a dark science fiction world.

So I did research to ensure the players were not lost in the setting, and make them feel they had agency in the story, and  an escalating threat to counter. We’ve run about 12 sessions now, for a total of 40-50 hours, and I was very pleased with what I put in place.

Maps:

I edited some generic fantasy maps to have more science fiction elements. While I haven’t drawn many complex maps from scratch, I’ve bashed several together in Paint and they players have really enjoyed the tactical elements of advancing under fire, laying and responding to ambushes, and successfully breaking/making contact as a squad of 10. I even watched ROTC videos on squad and individual movement to challenge them. Great playlist below on this!

 

Situations, not plots.

After a linear intro session, I decided to have more node-based play. There were several options to begin with: A or B or C. They could be tackled in any order, but all the clues lead to the next layer of the investigation. If they blew their cover, or took too long, enemy factions would take appropriate steps to lock down the area while they hunted the players or even unleash a plague to cover their tracks as they escaped.  So the scenario was more about the characters, and the desired ends of the antagonists. This naturally built the story and created tension.

The clues lead to one single location for the climax. They took clever steps to recon the disguised enemy base and degrade the enemy ability to monitor the situation by starting a riot in the settlement.  They prevented reinforcements from breaking through by recruiting an initially hostile gang. While they failed to kill the big bad, and were too injured and unprepared to prevent her escape, they had enough evidence to gain clues for the next stage of the mission.

These four sessions were based off “Edge of Darkness”, which I highly recommend as an intro to Dark Heresy. https://images-cdn.fantasyflightgames.com/filer_public/0e/1c/0e1c1623-734b-48d6-85a8-7ed306132b14/edge-of-darkness-scenario.pdf

Clues:

I try to give the players 3 clues in each situation to lead them to the correct conclusion. Essentially, the first clue should be automatic, and the subsequent clues should be interpreted to find suggest the next possible locations. This lets the players make their own choices and takes much of the pressure off the GM. Edge of Darkness hits several of the points made in this essay:http://thealexandrian.net/wordpress/4147/roleplaying-games/dont-prep-plots

Maps again made these situations easier.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Gaels gone wild

Going around with a dane axe, a fringe and long moustache demanding the establishment of Brehon law in the UK
w h e n
Sasanach forbidden
Polygamous marriages of multiple brothers to one wife
Cattle raids
Druids openly riding chariots down the street
Beheading for some
Rich oat porridge for others

Sire my heir / Catholic strength secrets

http://civilmarch.org/

smh tbh fam

I think it’s noble to try bring peace to Syria like these guys are doing, but I wonder what the thought process behind this was. Did someone stand up and say:

“What we need is some kind of… ‘crusade’ you could call it, to help these people.” “Those poor Syriac Christians. Maybe swing by Jerusalem. You know… for the falafel.”

dv

 

Been trying more mobility stuff because I’m clicking and popping like an old man. My glutes are pretty turned off from sitting 8+ hours a day, and I know that’s only bad for me. After all the kneeling and squatting at mass recently, I realise you get some decent glute activation while you kneel on a pew or hover over a bench. I propose the superior glute strength of Christendom was a factor in the first Crusade. Plus they were already conditioned from marching and sacking Hungary, with the result being sick gains in the entire Levant area.

Gotta confuse the muscles by fighting and pillaging pretty much anyone who gets in your way. Arrows pittering off your mail and gambeson and hitting those triggerpoints.

Read Only

Big rollup of updates:

Job is going well, we’re settling back home. There was a plan to move out, but it will be after Christmas, if at all. I’m saving money to buy a house as rental market is crazy here. Commute is fine, workmates are nice. Reading lots of fiction, trying to write as much as possible.

Seeing everyone again has been great, very glad I came back for this reason. Running another Dark Heresy RPG that picks up where the last group died/gave up/turned to the dark side. That’s been very fun. Relationships are a bit strained between gf and I as we don’t see each other every day like we used to. It’s fine.

Grandmother yesterday died after 4 years in nursing home and 15 years of worsening dementia. Family is in bits, but she died surrounded by 6 surviving children and as many grandchildren as they could get in the room. A good death, hopefully some closure after my aunt’s (her daughter’s) suicide. Some of those questions have been answered and were not pleasant, but necessary. Wake tomorrow, funeral Wednesday.

I am not lifting, but am now not kidding myself that I am not lifting. Which is a start.