Wednesday, 19 June 2013

On the Table - Viceroys

We've a little desk area upstairs that was ostensibly built to allow my wife to work from home, which just happens to be a nice size to set up the odd wargame and leave it out for a few days. I didn't plan it...honest. Anyway, the aforementioned wife is away on a business trip which affords me a little time and space to set something up, and that something happens to be Viceroys from Task Force Games.

Sadly my wife being away also seems to coincide with our youngest daughter deciding that sleep is an optional hinderance, and this leaves me with the slightly annoying problem of having the time and space to play something complicated whilst having the mental capacity of a cabbage. Still, I keep trying and occasionally it works out, sadly it's a little slow going this time round but I've been enjoying trying to figure the thing out.

Viceroys is a game of exploration and colonization, set in the age of exploration. It's pretty much 15th century 4X, you explore, make discoveries, colonize, produce wealth from those colonies, buy new units, fight natives, other players and pirates. It's all played out on an old school map, complete with the inaccuracies of the time which adds to the theme, though it is a little confusing to play on.

Luckily it comes with rules for non player characters so it's playable solitaire, as I'm not entirely sure it'll make it to the table with the group. It's old for one thing, 1986 though it feels like an old game, the pieces are old school cardboard counters with bad/non existent art, the cards are the old style thin stuff that came in sheets, it's got a ton of die roll modifiers to keep track of, it's looooonnng or at least I can see it taking a long time. The whole thing feels a little clunky in the way some of these old designs do.

There is a lot to like though, there's a lot of scope for interesting play, the diplomacy idea in particular sounds like it could be fun with people being able to make verbal or signed written treaties. Verbal treaties are just that and can be broken easily, but if you sign a written treaty then you lose victory points if you decide to break it. Each player takes on various "offices" to help run the actual game, and these offices bestow small benefits like extra income. There's land and naval combat, plus a system for war in Europe. There are lots of additional rules and intricacies, which make the whole thing seem more like a moddable system, though this is partly it's problem, especially with the particularly meandering rulebook which splits the rules up for no apparent reason into completely different sections.

Well, I've not got far. I may leave it set up a little longer.

You have to love a game which has the line "For the purposes of the game, the world is round" as one of the rules though. :)

Monday, 17 June 2013

Yo Ho Ho.....

Just had to write a quick post to point people towards the latest release from Two Hour Wargames. They produce some really interesting rules for tabletop wargames which have a lot of flavour, with great roleplaying and campaign elements. I've a few of their books as PDFs and have messed around little but it's their latest I am most interested in.

"And a Bottle of Rum" is their new product focussing on pirates, and our group really does enjoy a little over the top pirate gaming. I grabbed a copy as they had a sale over the weekend, and I might try it out if I can get over the current bout of sleep deprivation. One of the great things about their rules is that they can be played competitively, cooperatively or even solo, which makes getting them on the table and testing them out a little easier. The campaign and character creation usually has a lot of tables to roll on, and there are reaction tables for almost everything which determines how non player characters react to your actions.

Just need some miniatures...though I might just makes some card ones for now.

Anyway, some info from their website:

Everyone likes Pirates…okay, maybe not everyone but, if you’re reading this, I bet you do! So how do you like your Pirates? What? Let me explain.

Some like their Pirates from history, you know, Blackbeard, the Spanish Main and such. But some like their Pirates a little more open-ended. More “what if” history, where the game is grounded in the period, but the player is open to do what he wants. Write your own story, if you will.
In “And a Bottle of Rum” we do both. We start you off learning the mechanics of the game. Build your crew, get your first ship, etc. We give you all the game mechanics you’ll need for you table top adventures. Not strictly a miniatures game but not a traditional Role-Playing Game either. We like to call it an Immersion Game where you take the role of a Pirate Captain and fight and flee as needed to gain Fame and Fortune.
Inside you'll find...
Rules for small land Encounters from Carousing to Smuggling.
Rules for Big Land Battles for sacking cities.
Rules for ship to ship combat with boarding actions.
Rules for Big Sea Battles with multiple ships per player.
To cap it off, in “And a Bottle of Rum.” We give you two Campaign areas. The first is the Spanish Main, the New World around 1660; the Golden Age of Piracy, if you will. That’s the historical part with the places and people of the time period.
The second is the “what if” historical version. Instead of the Spanish Main you’re plying your trade off the coast of Lemuria, seeking the charms and treasures of Mermaids then carousing in the Trade Ports of … but I digress.
What we’re saying is you can Pirates your way. Torn from the pages of history or from your imagination, it’s up to you! So grab a beverage of choice and prepare for nights of high adventure as you write your story. Listen! Hear the song? Sing along matey, you know the words.
You can also find some more information at their blog, with some examples of play.