Thursday, 25 September 2014

13th Age - final analysis

After playing through a fairly extensive series of sessions using 13th Age characters, I thought I'd add my summiation of the game system as experienced so far. I should emphasise at this point that this review is being written from the perspective of a player, not a GM. I would add, however, that 13th Age fits the bill of 4th edition Dungeons &and Dragons 'done right', just as Pathfinder, despite its complexity, is probably a better riff on 3rd edition DandD. Heck, I don't think I'd ever consider running or playing DandD 4.0 now - 13th Age is a superior product, which I would like to try out from the other side of the referee's screen at some point in the future.

So, let's get on with my observations:

13th Age is a ROLEPLAYING GAME


13th Age is a roleplaying game, but what do I mean by this? I mean that there are mechanics that involve roleplaying. It is not a glorified skirmish wargame. It is not just about fighting and killing monsters. It is also about who your character is. What is his / her One Unique Thing? What makes them special? Why should the campaign be focused on this little group of adventurers rather than any others? Why do they have the potential to be legends? The skill system has also been streamlined and melded into the background, letting the players decide what their non-combat skills might be as a consequence of what they did before. Hence, 'Pirate +1' can cover a host of things, from sailing and navigation, to chatting to sea dogs down at the docks, plus we know you used to be a pirate in your past, and the GM can bring in elements to the story that could draw on that background. Is that the sound of your old comrade Blind Pew making his way up to the Admiral Benbow inn?

You need to do your homework on your character


Like 4.0, you need to keep focused on what your character can do. Each class in the basic game is like an entire sub-game in itself. I played a Rogue, a Barbarian and a Bard, and each is radically, radically different. Even within each class, there can be builds which can take you off into a totally different direction. There is plenty of meat here for players without the need for additional splat books. But, it means you have to concentrate in a battle in order to maximise your abilities. It is easy to miss an opportunity - if it is not your turn to act, it pays to stay focused on what the other party members are doing and what the opposition is doing. Some characters have out of turn abilities that can react to others' actions. The downside: it is hard to run two PCs at the same time, there is quite a lot to stay on top of. Playing Savage Worlds, you can run a whole squad of GIs quite easily, but not in 13th Age.

A 13th Age GM needs to think on his feet...but players get story input


Icon relationships mean players can align themselves with the great powers of the game world, in a positive or negative way. This makes the game much more political, and gives it an epic feel that is lacking in many games. You feel that what your characters are doing is important, and will affect the delicate balance of power in the campaign world. It also means you can control the story to a degree. I am a fan of the Adventure Cards in Savage Worlds, which do something similar. The icons dice in 13th Age kept coming into play in a big way, helping us to overcome obstacles, find magic items, source help and information and indeed drive the course of the plot. But, caveat emptor, it requires a GM who can think on his feet and build a story on the fly. If you are a GM who likes pre-published material which you can run out of the box, 13th Age may not be the game for you, unless you drop the icon dice mechanic completely, which would be a shame.

Player characters don't feel too overpowered...so far!


We played until our PCs were 4th level. 13th Age has 10 levels, so in power terms this probably equates to 8th level in Pathfinder. At this point in their evolution, I felt they were still being considerably challenged by encounters, and indeed we lost one character KIA at 3rd. However, IMHO, Pathfinder really only begins to break down at around 12th level, which would be 6th in 13th Age. It remains to be seen how the game behaves at higher levels. The spell throwers in 13th Age don't feel as powerful as in Pathfinder, or even in 5.0; hence the game may suit those who prefer a slightly lower magic environment. I reckon you could even run this in a setting like Fritz Leiber's Nehwon.

The Dragon Empire - make of it what you will.


The campaign world is an interesting one. Obviously, the icons play a big part in it, but because it is new and does not have copious amounts of detail, it is easy for GMs to make of it what they will. I think this is a hugely important issue, because the players have more control of the story, and can inject their own ideas into the campaign the minute they dream up their One Unique Thing. You need a world with just high level detail because the players will be re-drawing the map from the start. Running 13th Age in a highly detailed world like the Forgotten Realms could prove more difficult, unless you are prepared to re-write much of the canon.

Battles take less time.


In an average session of Pathfinder, let's say 3-4 hours, you will be lucky to play through three encounters. In 4.0, perhaps two. Battles in 13th Age are much quicker, with the capability to get through 3-4 encounters in an evening with ease. This feels more like the good old days of 1.0, before things got too crunchy. They are still exciting, still challenging, and because of the story driven elements, should still be of importance. Part of this is thanks to the escalation die mechanic, which prevents fights from dragging on, as the advantage gradually shifts in favour of the heroes. Yes, we ran into the odd wandering monster, but most of the time there was a good reason to be fighting the people we were fighting.

Magic items need more work.


I've already beefed about 13th Age magic items on this blog. I'm not sure I like the way they work so far. They are meant to affect the personalities of the character, but really, there are no mechanics in the game to make this happen, and while some players threw themselves into the additional role-playing elements offered by the magic items we acquired, others largely ignored them. Magic items are not as prolific in 13th Age as they are in Pathfinder, and harder to make / acquire. Potions seem to be freely trafficked however, but are less potent given the inherent recovery abilities character possess. My PC owned some elven leather armour which provided him with a +1 bonus, which I could understand - it was elven armour after all, superior to mere human armour. But would it really mess with his head too, particularly as he was a reptile with non-mammalian physiognomy? I have the glimmerings of an idea about how semi-permanent items could be unique and perhaps provide players with some of the abilities of classes not represented in the party. For example, a wand of healing could provide the same ability as the cleric's Heal ability (cf 13th Age, p95), but perhaps with limited charges and usable only once per battle...?

Summary


I like 13th Age. Along with Castles & Crusades, it remains the game I would most likely run if the urge seized me to GM some traditional fantasy roleplaying. Is 13th Age traditional? Possibly not. It represents the latest iteration in a sequence of game design which has taken the world's favourite roleplaying game in a number of different directions since the end of 3.5. But it is an important one, and I believe it will hold its own with many groups against both Pathfinder and 5.0.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

13th Age - the summing up

Rarity - teller of lost legends
So at last we come to the summing up of our campaign and of the 13th Age games system. IIRC, we reached fourth level in 13th Age, which is the equivalent of eighth level in, say, Pathfinder terms. It may be that we resume the campaign at some point in the future. I hope so.

What follows are my impressions of the game, having played at least 40 to 50 man hours of it. I've done more than crack open the book and look at the shiny pictures! I've earned my stripes, from the depths of the Elf Queen's lizard-haunted forests to the automaton-guarded tunnels of High Rock, floating thousands of feet above Horizon.

The story telling aspects of 13th Age are brilliant. One of my criticisms of Pathfinder and Dungeons and Dragons 4.0 were that there were no real role playing mechanics embedded in the rules. Having been exposed to Exalted and Savage Worlds, I felt there was something missing in 4.0 when it first came out. 13th Age addresses this lack of roleplaying mechanics with its system of character backgrounds and its icon relationships.

There are no alignments in 13th Age, so no detect evil. With Pathfinder I increasingly find myself defaulting to Neutral or Lawful Neutral or Chaotic Neutral, as this gives the character the most flexibility outside extremes of behaviour. There is no strict moral code you need to adhere to. Business can be conducted in a nebulous grey area.

For example, we are playing an occasional Pathfinder campaign at home now, and both the PCs are Neutral (one is a Lawful Neutral  War Priest, the other a Neutral Drow Gunslinger). In 13th Age, you define your character's relationships with the Great Powers of the campaign world. This replaces your alignment, and introduces the icon dice as storytelling mechanics you or the GM can bring in during the session. Sure, there were times when I rolled a '6' with one of my icons and simply burned it to find a magic item associated with that icon, but at other times my positive relationship with the Prince of Shadows helped to provide transport (e.g. a crew of smugglers to sail a boat) or information (to enable us to blackmail a magistrate, for instance).

The icons mechanic does sometimes need your GM to stay on his toes and be able to respond to sudden twists in the campaign plot, for example when we decided to help the Blue escape from its geas, making Shadow Port an instant focal point for the next session. This is not a game for rigid plot structures, and I'm not sure whether 13th Age is a game for very localised adventures - it plays more like the sort of epic tale you find in three volumes on the fantasy book shelves at Waterstone's. I feel like I've just reached the end of volume 1. A referee probably needs to be comfortable with 'winging' it from time to time.

The One Unique Thing aspect of your character is inspired, as it forces you to add plot elements into the campaign which the GM can riff from. We had a pirate bard with knowledge of lost treasure, the only red dragonborn, a tiefling barbarian who remembered forgotten legends, a wizard possessed by the devil and a warforged who could see through the fabric of reality. It made for a memorable and colourful combination of characters who were really starting to find their feet by the time we hit 4th level. I'm not even going to discuss the Dragon Empire's semi-pro tavern brawl league, which became setting flavour dreamed up by one or two players.

Each class in 13th Age is like a mini game unto itself, which does make it harder, much harder, to play another player's chatacter when he / she is away. This is also the case with Pathfinder at higher levels (say 12+), to the extent that sometimes the characters of absent players just had to sit out the session, guarding wagons or foraging or somesuch mundane activity. Focus is needed to get the most out of your character. I suspect I failed to make the most of the Swashbuckling feature of the rogue at times.

Speaking for the rogue in the main, but also to an extent for the bard and the barbarian, I felt that some talents were no-brainers; they were powerful, and you really needed to have them, while others were really of less import. Luckily, you can dump talents that you're not using in favour of the more powerful ones you acquire as you level. Having said that, my rogue was still regularly making use of talents at 4th level that he acquired at chargen stage.

The game seemed to avoid some of the silliness of Pathfinder (e.g. the ability to summon rampaging woolly rhinoceri at the wave of a hand, detect evil, detect magic, etc.) We didn't end up 'tooled up' to the extent a typical Pathfinder party would be by 8th level. The game also limits the number of permanent magic items you can carry (something of an articifical constraint). I think more work needs to be done on magic items - the items we recovered were meant to influence our personalities as well, but there are no mechanics for this. In our Pathfinder Carrion Crown story arc, my cleric Veneticus was carrying a powerful magical artefact that was effectively played by another player and on occasion did seek to influence his behaviour (luckily Veneticus' high Will save precluded this). I think mechanics are needed to make 13th Age magic items more personal. I will think on this further, as I feel magic items could add considerably to 13th Age games.

Overall, I really enjoyed 13th Age. It is a vast improvement on 4.0 Dungeons and Dragons, and while Rob Heinsoo and Jonathan Tweet claim that it is an amalgamation of the best of 3.0 and 4.0, there is little of the 3.0 I can see in here. It feels more like 'son of 4.0' and very much the Alexander of Macedon to 4.0's Philip II. I really can't see myself ever playing 4.0 again, unless I was looking for a very combat focused solution. I shall, however, keep my 4.0 books for nostalgia's sake, next to my original copy of the Fiend Folio.

13th Age is written in a very engaging style, and contrasts directly with the dense content of Pathfinder, which sometimes felt like the corpus of a European Union directive rather than a game. That's not to say that my kids don't still love Pathfinder and want to play it, which they do, but then they've had little experience of much else. If I were going to run a Dungeons and Dragons style game now, I'd probably reach for 13th Age.

Caveat emptor - we have just started playing 5.0, of which I will write more in a future post, including how I feel it compares with 13th Age. But suffice to say I'm now backing the 13th Age Glorantha Kickstarter, which offers some very interesting synergies indeed! More on that anon...

Thursday, 11 September 2014

13th Age - of shadows, mazes and talking dogs

Last time, our 13th Age party lost its Bard, Jordan Young, who was beheaded by a barbarian (a bit like Saint Denis really). The survivors of this bloody contest decided it was time to leave town with the wooden box that we believed was the source of the geas that bound the Blue to the service of the Emperor. This turned out to be easier said than done, as strange shadow creatures emerged from the...er...shadows, to way lay us. It quickly became apparent that they were part and parcel of the city's defences. Not only that, but Shadow Port also had the uncanny ability to move streets around, making our efforts to reach the edge of town null and void (something like Brighton & Hove Council, in fact).

How the permanent residents manage to put up with the regular re-jigging of their streets is anyone's guess (I'm talking about Shadow Port here, but the same goes for Brighton). Our navigation was made harder by assaults from yet more shadows, forcing us to take to the roof tops in our bid for freedom. Eventually we were compelled to seek refuge with a priest who used talismans to keep out the shadows (and lamps too...obviously). We suspected he might be a cultist of a sleeping sea god with a strange, tentacled face, but he seemed affable enough and ready to help.

We also decided to try to accomplish our mission by destroying the wooden pyramid, but having done so, Sartheen didn't feel particularly different. Had the geas been lifted? There was a long discussion about this which went largely nowhere.

Taking the priest's advice, we decided to head for a tower in town belonging to a wizard called Hallas, in the hopes that he might be able to advise us (we felt we'd exhausted the priest's store of knowledge by this stage). En route, we were attacked by an odd fellow in black armour made from cured hobbit skin, with a flaming green skull where his head should be. I seem to recall that there was a suspicion he may have been sent by the Lich King to kill one of the party members with whom the LK had unsettled business. This was not Sartheen, hence the details are a bit fuzzy...

Our dynamic assailant became the victim of what is technically termed hideously poor dice rolling by the GM, from which our GM luckily suffers quite regularly, even more than me. A battery of low rolls left our undead attacker nothing but a vacant suit of armour lying in the street. Said armour was appropriated for us, but ethical qualms remain about its provenance. Sartheen stuck with his elven leather armour, which is quite nice, thank you.

After that somewhat random attempt at mugging, we proceeded to Hallas' tower, where, following no response to knocking, shouting and ringing of door bell, we entered. Here, Sartheen revealed - again - that 13th Age rogues are not necessarily the best spotters of traps, as he triggered one after another fire traps on the stairs of the tower. This is something anyone coming to 13th Age from Pathfinder needs to bear in mind. Rarity took over trap finding duties, but this still didn't prevent Sartheen from triggering another.

At the top of the tower, we confronted Hallas, who seemed a bit vague, other than to tell us to s*d off. He didn't seem interested in helping us. Indeed, he also had a talking dog which threatened us too. All very rude. Eventually this discourse degenerated into a fight, as by this stage the party was tired, hungry, down a man, and just keen to get out of Shadow Port by any means necessary. We didn't bargain with the tower being attacked by a shadow beast the size of a mansion, or Hallas being 'inadvertently' killed by one of our spell slingers (I can't remember who, but think it might have been Amras). As it turned out, Hallas was the key to the geas, being the anchor to the Arch Mage's spell. He was not really a wizard at all, more a simulacrum, as far as I understood it. Ho hum, anyway, the Hallas 'thing' checked out, as did the shadow beast (did I mention our GM's propensity for rolling '1'?)

With the tower collapsing like the proverbial James Bond secret base, it was time to scoot out of Shadow Port before someone asked any probing questions. Before leaving, we discovered a statue that turned out to be a petrified half orc paladin (who must have asked Hallas directions or some other such appalling sin). We revivified him, and high tailed it. Sensibly, he came with us.

The city was still making stringent efforts to prevent us leaving, and we had to run down some more shadows before exiting its precincts. Once out of there, we were faced with going back to the portal, which led to the Blue (not a prospect relished by Sartheen or anyone else for that matter), or finding some other way off the island that Shadow Port sits on. Luckily Sartheen, a former member of the Shadow Port thieves' guild, recalled that some smuggler friends of his had been executed a while back without anyone bothering to retrieve their boat (a 6 on his Prince of Shadows relationship dice, although after the events in this chapter, I'm thinking he'll need to revise that relationship from friendly to ambiguous at the very least, while his standing with the Three may well have been augmented).

We finished this arc of the campaign with our hardy heroes sailing to Glitterhaegen. It seemed like a good place to pause, as the summer holidays were upon us, and there were dark mutterings about test driving 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons, which was due out in August.

That's it in a nutshell really. I will include my thoughts on 13th Age in a future post, but hope that we will be able to resume the campaign at some point in the future. Bear in mind, of course, that this all began as a test of the rules using the published scenario in the rule book, and you can see how we have been able to run with the story telling elements in the game. But that's a discussion for another time.

Monday, 8 September 2014

Idea for a WW2 solo miniatures game

Last night I was ruminating about WW2 miniatures wargames, particularly at the platoon level, when I was hit by an idea for a solo wargame.

This brainwave stems from a set of rules called Men Against Fire which I owned, but did not play, in the 1980s. Authored by Paddy Griffiths as part of the folio of Sandhurst wargames, it used some of the principles established by then nascent table top RPGs.

Using the background of the island war in the Pacific, it required an umpire to manage the role of the Japanese defenders, while the players took on the roles of an individual squad of US Marines. The idea was to provide fog of war, with the Marines unaware of where the Japanese were at the start of the game. Like the excellent Charlie Company from RAFM, enemy troops only appear on the table when you can actually SEE them. Even when they're shooting, all you might see are muzzle flashes, hence markets will indicate possible enemy positions.

The principle is the same as a dungeon bash RPG. The war in the Pacific, apart from the earlier phases in the Solomon Islands and New Guinea, and the campaign in the Philippines (about which you see little these days), was primarily a naval one, with the Marine Corps being employed to assault the critical Japanese-held island bases like Saipan or Tarawa. Hence, the Japanese were primarily on the defensive, with frequently little or no armour or air support, dug in and waiting for the Americans to bring the fight to them. Reading about the fighting on Iwo Jima, for example, one realises this was more like trench warfare in the Great War than the war of movement on the Russian steppes.

Does this make for an interesting game? Possibly not for two players, I would argue. Hence, I began wondering whether it might instead represent a good solo game. I own a copy of an old historical wargame about the battle of Iwo Jima which is exactly that: the player deploys the Japanese in strongpoints face down, without knowledge of the strength of the various enemy companies, and then begins to take the island piece by piece, trying to minimise casualties, while seeking to take with island's vital air strip within a given time limit. The Japanese defence is very static, and it is left to the Americas to scout and then penetrate the defences while maintaining some level of momentum.

As a solo game, then, this could be more interesting. As the American player, you would potentially begin with a relatively blank table. A generation system would need to be devised that would populate that table gradually over time with enemy obstacles, including mines, bunkers, and interlocking fields of fire. Spotting and morale rules would be as important as combat rules, which could be poached from another system.

A hex-based game might suit this, as you would need to refer to specific areas of the battlefield over time, to determine enemy locations, fields of fire, location of artillery strikes, etc.

Here are some other features that ought to be included:

  1. Marine squads should suffer losses in morale and fatigue as well as wounded / KIA in the course of an operation;
  2. Japanese defences should have a logical progession rather than be entirely random;
  3. The game should have a simple scenario structure, as the overall military objective was often simply to clear an area of hostile troops;
  4. There should be a time limit to mission completion, as in Chainsaw Warrior;
  5. Missions can be made harder by limiting the number of heavy support options available, or these can be randomly diced for;
  6. There should be more detail on squad and platoon leaders - they should have personality traits that will affect their performance in the battle;
  7. Enemy troops should remain hidden, and total numbers are only revealed when a position is assaulted or they pop up for a banzai charge, hence something along the lines of the detection markers in Space Hulk might work;
  8. Event cards like those in Force on Force will provide upredictable elements for the commander to cope with.
  9. All enemy activity in relation to a given squad or fire team is based on a a hex template, with the squad's location at the centre. Hence, you're primarily concerned with what is happening one, two or three hexes out from your immediate location, possibly more. For example, spotting into hexes would be based on such a template, with percentage chances based on whether it is day or night.
  10.  Markers and terrain in a hex help to populate the previously featureless battlefield - e.g. with bunkers, enemy troops, trenches, mines, craters, etc. Fortifications in this game are as critical as enemy troops. The size of the hexes used will be an important part of the overall design process.
That's it in a nutshell. I will do some more brainstorming on this blog going forwards when I have time, and if the enthusiasm remains with me. Along with the Russian campaign, the Pacific was always the campaign that interested me most in WW2. It would be great to generate some rules which worked for this, and which could be played solo.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Painting project: Punic Wars armies for Impetus

So, I'm keen to start playing some Impetus in 28mm next year, and want to get at least 300 points of Romans and Carthaginians together to form armies. As such, I'm in the process of building army lists for Impetus.

The objective is to get these armies onto the table in April. This could be a tall order. However, I will be using this blog to track my progress as I go along, while running some smaller painting projects in parallel. It will also help to manage the process, keeping track of goals and painting/modelling issues.

So, here is how the armies break down for Impetus, using the army lists on page 46 of Impetus. These are preliminary only and may be juggled around a bit in the course of the project:

Roman Republic

Legion 1: 4 bases (one each of Hastati, Principes, Trairii and Velites) @94pts

Legion 2: 4 bases (one each of Hastati, Principes, Trairii and Velites) @94pts

2 bases of Roman medium horse @19pts each

4 bases of Italian allies @16pts each

1 base Balearic slingers @12pts

Total cost = 302pts, 15 bases

Carthage

2 bases of Punic medium cavalry @23pts each (VBU 5 upgrade)

5 bases of Gaulish mercenaries @12pts each

3 bases of Numidian light cavalry @21pts each

2 bases of Libyan infantry @22pts each

2 bases of Libyan veterans @33pts each (the hard core)

2 bases of Numdian skirmishers @14pts each (VBU 3 upgrade)

Total cost: 296pts, 16 bases

Next: buying bases and itemising the miniatures already in the lead/plastic pile.

Thursday, 4 September 2014

Miniatures gaming agenda for winter 2014/15

Winter is coming, as they say, and hence it is time to harvest the crops, bring in the livestock, and salt the food supplies. Oh, and pack the kids off to school, start a new RPG campaign - as we seem to traditionally do in September - and lay plans for gaming and modelling.

For this post I wanted to include some information on miniature games I'd like to play over the next six months or so, if such can be achieved. Much of these will be play test efforts, some of these may require painting a few extra figures, but hopefully nothing massive.

I am listing them below in order of readiness, with the scenarios nearer the bottom (like Space Hulk) requiring more work on my part, and hence unlikely to see the light of day before Christmas. Heck, where does the time go?

Force on Force: one or two replays of this game. Regular readers will know I've already played this before, including in its earlier guise as Ambush Alley. This is a great skirmish system for modern / near future warfare and is my go to set of rules for the period. I'd probably be looking to play a couple of scenarios from the Road to Baghdad supplement, just to refresh my knowledge. Or I may just lay a couple of the original scenarios, including the classic Contracting Trouble.

Bolt Action: I'm looking for a new set of platoon level rules for WW2 (not happy with Disposable Heroes), and hence am planning to give Bolt Action by Warlord Games a trial. I've never played this before. I'm going to put together Soviet and German platoons and probably publish these on this blog. These are pretty much ready to go as is.

X-Wing Commander: I was kindly given the X-Wing Commander starter set by my RPG buddies last October (thanks again guys!), and with one thing and another, I've not had much of a chance to play this since then, although I have played it before. I am determined, however, that this situation will change! The great thing about X-Wing is that you can play it straight out of the box, no models to build or paint. So expect to see this getting an airing soon.

Lord of the Rings: Long time followers will recall that Kelvin and I did begin playing the Fellowship of the Ring journey book from Games Workshop, but did not get beyond the first two scenarios, with the Nazgul stealing into the Shire. Well, it's time now for Sam and Frodo to set off on their travels. My Pippin miniature for this campaign is currently being used as my monk character in our new Dungeons and Dragons 5th edition campaign, but I'll be replacing him soon.

Rampant Colonialism: The Zulu War remains be big period of interest to me, but I want to see if we can keep things down to a sensible skirmish scale - i.e. avoid turning it into a big battle game. Up until now, I've been playing either The Sword and The Flame, or an adaptation of Legends of the Old West. I am, however, keen to test drive some other colonial rule sets over the next year or so, to see how they measure up against TSATF, although I suspect TSATF will remain the default.

Charlie Don't Surf: These are actually company-level rules for the Vietnam War from Too Fat Lardies, rather than platoon level, but after reading so many positive reviews about them, I was keen to give them a try. I've been determined to play some Vietnam War battles since I picked up a copy of RAFM's Charlie Company, but have failed miserably. CDS is a derivative of TFL's original WW2 company level set, I Ain't Been Shot Mum, but updated to cover the conflict in Vietnam. I currently don't have enough troops for a 1:1 company level engagement, and am a little worried that the table will look too cluttered in 25mm scale, so will play test these with a 1 figure = 2 soldiers scale and see where that gets us.

Saga Middle Earth: Saga is a Dark Ages skirmish level game which has been garnering plenty of positive reviews in the wargames press and blogosphere. Its first iteration is very much late Dark Ages, although a Crusades era supplement is about to appear. I'd like to play test these to see what all the fuss is about, but I've yet to accumulate Viking and Irish warbands. Hence, I'm pondering whether to give them a shot with Lord of the Rings figures instead.

In Her Majesty's Name: IHMN is a set of steampunk / Victorian science fiction rules that recently saw the light of day from Osprey Publishing. IHMN is focused on gang-style battles,similar in scale to Necromunda or Mordheim, but using a hypothetical late 19th century time line. There are a wide range of possible factions to choose from in this game, so hopefully I'll be getting my werewolves and vampires back onto the table soon, not to mention Tarzan! The Lord of Greystoke versus Dracula, anyone? Awesome.

Space Hulk: I still have a copy of the original gathering dust on my shelves, and recently downloaded the game on the iPad as well. This one is NOT ready to go yet, as Genestealers and Deathwing marines still need to be finished, but all is not lost. This should see the light of day eventually, and I may even take the corridors 3D eventually.

That's it in a nutshell folks. If I get all this done by Easter, I'll be damned lucky.