Tuesday, 27 December 2016

[actual play] Kingdom Death: Monster - People of the Stars - Lantern Years 21-25 - Ends of Empire

Aido, Anro, Angripede, and their newest arrival in the settlement, a man made of clay, Aura, headed out to hunt, seeking a great lion, the largest possible. They knew that to stalk such a beast they must become its prey. The sounds of the White Lions in heat sent  shiver through them. The very darkness clung to them, a clammy heat that sapped them of strength. And then with luck they found a lion club and slew it, drawing the attention of the largest female lion any of them had faced.

Look at the counters on that beast, but the survivors made short work of it.

The next lantern year approached, and the settlement set to work on the tomb for their Tyrant lord. A massive construction that involved back breaking work. And for this work they were gifted a Hazmat Shield.

Anabraxas, Ammut, Apalala and Anata Deva set out to hunt a Phoenix, intent on slaughtering the creature in order to created a Rainbow Katana. On their journey they encountered a Mask Salesman, and in exchange for a White Lion Mask, Anabraxas sold his name, and became Nemean Orichalcum. Journeying on, they came upon a river of glowing blood, felt time flow backwards and unmake their leather shield, and heard the bellowing of Gorm's laughter. 

That is one dead phoenix as lucky critical hits rend the beast apart.

Another year of back breaking work and the tomb of the Tyrant grew big and grand. But those sent out to fight took the blessing of the Tyrant and prepared to defend the settlement against one of the most brutal foes they had ever faced. The Hand. The luck bestowed by the Tyrant enabled the survivors, all who bore a white aura thanks to benefit of having all affinities enabling iridescent hide armour. But, no matter how hard they fought, and their one opportunity to land significant hits, the Hand brutally killed Anata Deva, Apalala, Anro and Angripede.

The final hunt had come, as the tomb stands complete, and the Tyrant looks upon those who do not bare a constellation, and with a sense of pride these survivors all fell dead. Aida, Aapep, Ammut and Aido headed out on one last hunt, seeking what they could from the Antelope. Along the hunt they easily dealt with the seething mass of ticks. Aapep found on the ground a strange pulsing stone heart. Following the migrating antelope, and following the river they found the beast and battle commenced, with Aida landing a killing blow, slicing the beast's neck open.

Death blow!
Doomsday has arrived, and the Tyrant shifted his form and became the towering Dragon King. His heart pulsed with the heat of a thousand suns. The eerie green glow illuminating the settlement. Aida Hwedo, Aapep, Ammut and Aido Wedo, stood before their lord, ready to perform their duty, to kill a god and in turn ascend to the heavens themselves. Aapep, a master of the spear, bore the celestial spear and hazmat shield, ready to face the behemoth.

Everywhere the monster trampled it turn stone to molten lava, able to send the warrior flying with but a flick of a finger, or sweep of a tail. With careful planning the survivors were able to whittle away the titanic monster. Bearing beacon shield and as much armour as possible the other survivors barely survived the searing nuclear blasts from the beast. But not all could survive, as Aida had his head melted away. Aapep herself was sent hurtling into the heavens only to land with a bone splintering crash. But her shield allowed her to weather the blasts of energy. Time and again the waves of energy were absorbed by the shield. Aapep acted as decoy, but together the hunters slew the dragon.

With the dragon dead, the survivors lifted the body and took it to the tomb, and together ate its heart. They felt a boiling heat within and crumbled to ash, only to rise again.

The End.

So the People of the Stars campaign is an epic way to play through Kingdom Death, punctuated with dramatic battles against the Tyrant himself, and finally with the Dragon King. The main aspect of this campaign that shines through is the focus on making some spic survivors and from them creating bloodlines that means that you can preserve and fast track survivors towards becoming survivors with constellations. I would have loved to have obtained more of the constellations, as I only got Storm three times and the Sculptor once, but those were really strong to have. I can't wait to play this campaign again, and swap out some of the quarries.

Right time for a new campaign.

[review] Guildball - Kickoff!

Guildball's new boxed game, Kickoff!, is both an excellent introduction to the game of Guildball, and also a wonderful self contained game.

The contents of the box are of a high quality, featuring two full teams of single coloured, one piece, plastic miniatures, die cut, thick, card components, mini rulebooks, and a playmat, and of course dice.

Lets start with the minis. They come sat in a vacuum formed holder in their own box. The Brewers team, are in orange, and the Masons in blue. Both teams consist of their season 1 roster, including a team captain, and a mascot. This means there are 12 miniatures in total. The single piece plastics are well made, and perhaps or a better quality than those made by Privateer Press currently. This bodes well given that Guildball is shifting over to this type of plastic in for all future releases. Something that they are also using for their upcoming release, the board game of Dark Souls.

Each miniature of course comes with their associated card that details their stats, abilities and playbook. These have been updated for season 3, with some teams and characters being re-balanced, with an overall improvement in the layout of the cards.

The thick card components are great too. They have a nice non-slip finish, and there are many. Again there are plenty of coloured counters for influence for each of the teams, and coloured tokens for abilities the characters are able to activate. Then there are counters for status effects, like poison, bleed, and knockdown. A useful set of templates, are the measuring templates. There are a good number of these, and they measure a range of distances. Both these and the scatter templates have been printed so there are enough for both players.

The rulebooks included is the full rulebook in a compact form, which is also available for free online. Perhaps it could be produced to a better standard like the mini rulebooks the Privateer Press provides in their boxed games, but still it is a good thing to have. The other books included are overviews on how to use the teams included in the box, and how to expand upon them in future, and a quickstart guide, that goes through a full first turn of the game, demonstrating how everything works.

Finally there is a 3 foot square play mat, that is double sided. The one side is a generic green pitch, which the other side is printed with a thematic field with goal markers for Brewers and Masons. This pitch is marked for 3v3 starter games and of course for larger games.

What was a surprise to me was the quality of this playmat. Rather than just some printed poster, what we get in the box is in fact a fold up card mat. The mat is in fact in two pieces, with when folded out and lain together forms the 3 foot square. Again the finish is tactile and non-slip. To go with the mat there are number of card tokens for terrain.

Overall I was really impressed with the contents of the boxed game, given that it is a great introduction to game, and for the price point, is a great self contained game that is not going to break the bank are require further investment, unlike some of the competitors out there.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

[actual play] Kingdom Death: Monster - People of the Stars - Lantern Year 20 - Asura Rises

Aapep, the eldest and first of the People of the Stars, leads Anro, Aido Wedo and Aida Hwedo on a hunt for a phoenix. They narrowly avoided the very ground gobbling them up, and felt the tug of time flowing forward. They once more passed pools of saliva, feeling sick at the sight of such bubbling bile. Onwards they travelled, and in the dark Anro found a shimmering feather. On touching it he instantly forgot everything. He was a blank slate. One last hurdle impeded them, as Aida fell into a pit, and droppings fell from the sky and struck Aida on the head.

The phoenix was found resting on a tree, pecking at the remains of some monster. The hunters quickly made their way up to the creature, making a combined attacked that knocked it down. A flurry of strikes, and the beast responded, beating its wings an causing time to twist. Its iron hard beak tore through armour, but the creature was eventually struck down.

With the creature dead, Aida Hwedo looked to the sky, as it opened up and the stars looked down. He was exalted, as a sculptor. His lost arm regrew, as if made of obsidian. On returning to the settlement he set about using a stone face from the ground that looked like his own, and made a living statue in his image, and into it he breathed life. Asura was born, and equal to Aida Hwedo in every way.

The camp continued building the tomb for their god. The work was exhausting, and to sanctify it two of the lowest of the tribe were sacrificed. The Tyrant in return blessed them with Hazmat shield.

The apocalypse was looming and there was still much work to be done.

Meanwhile Anata Deva sneaked off and listened to a tale told by a lonely beetle knight.

Friday, 2 December 2016

[actual play] Kingdom Death: Monster - People of the Stars - Lantern Year 16-19 - The Sacrifice

With the arrival of the King's Man, and the need to defend both the settlement and the legacy of the tribe, the weakest of the tribe were sent out to face the armoured figure. Ahriman, Ahrimanes, Amhuluk, and Akhekhu went out to face the monster. They used every skill they had, and made use of the new tactics that the tribe had developed, surrounding the beast and making a combined strike. However, the King's Man proved too strong, too resilient, and in short order killed the survivors. Their loss, their sacrifice was mourned and revered, as Aapep led the celebration of the fallen. However, the first of the tribe to acquire a constellation - a blessing of the Tyrant - lost her child in birth, and in an attempt to save her life she was also left barren. Her blood line was not ended, but she would not conceive any more children of her own.

With the death of the sacrifices, Ammut Iron, Aido Wedo Gold, Aida Hwedo Mercury, and Alklha Gold headed out on the hunt again, seeking to find a phoenix. Along the way many strange things happened. They experienced shared dreams, and time began to flow backwards, as they wanted a crop of nightmare corn revert back to saplings growing in the bodies of slain survivors. The eventually found a pool of clean water, with Ammut, Aido and Alklha drinking from it and finding their hair had turned white. As they journeyed on further they soon came upon a bubbling cauldron. Some ate from it, others were drawn in and fed it their blood. Ammut was fortified by the draft he took, while Aida became obsessed and had to be dragged away from the meal.

Onwards they travelled, avoiding the very ground from gobbling them up, and passing the strange pools of gurgling saliva. And eventually they found it, perched on a gnarled tree - a phoenix.

The Phoenix proved a simple beast to defeat, such was the might of the survivors, as steel sword and katar cut into the hide of the giant bird. Hacking away it screeched, beating its wings and causing time to stir and churn. Alklha was unmade!

Returning to the camp the hunters were met by a survivor who used tools to perform dentistry. But the camp had no need for their services.

Armour and weapons were forged and a new hunt was soon ready to hunt again - and they had the taste for phoenix.

Ammut Iron led the hunt, with Aido Wedo Gold, Aida Hwedo Mercury, and Aman Gold departed. Ammut discovered a stone face which whispered their name, drawing them into a kiss, from which the others had to drag Ammut. As they moved on, crossing the plains of faces, the Phoenix landed atop a tree nearby, and the hunters moved in to kill it. The battle was a bloody affair, but it ended with Ammut becoming exalted, blessed by the Tyrant and the Storm constellation.

Returning the hunters were named a number of nicknames, some good and some bad.

The camp was close now, as others were feeling it within their blood, the closeness of the stars themselves, a destiny close to being fulfilled and becoming one of the Tyrant's own clan.

With this in mind the strongest of the camp sent forth their weakest to face the Tyrant, one last time. A chance for the weakest to prove themselves. The Tyrant however exerted his full power, teleporting and putting in place his statues with which he could summon down from the heavens his celestial might. Even with careful planning and the smashing of his statues, the fighters had no chance. One by one Angra Gold, Anata Copper, Anata Sesha Mercury, and Aman Gold died. Pulverised and broken by the Tyrant.

With the sacrifice over, the remaining survivors of the camp bowed to their lord, who instructed them on the design of his tomb. There was little time, and much work to be done. The survivors dug out from the ground a harvest of nightmare corn, that prepared them for the coming battle, and also from an encasing, the calcified ding beetle armour. Hopefully, armed with weapons of the heavens and armour of the beasts, the People of the Stars would be able to help others to be come exalted, and together all help their lord Tyrant to his destiny.

Sunday, 13 November 2016

[actual play] Kingdom Death: Monster - People of the Stars - Lantern Year 12-15 - Pride of Death

Aido Wedo Gold, led his band of hunters, Aida Hwedo Mercury, Alkha Gold, and Am-mit Iron, to find a White Lion. They found markings left by the beasts on the open plains, and as they slept after the first night, Am-mit suffered terrible nightmares. The next day saw them wade through the dangerous seas of golden grass, but as they did so Aida was taken by a near overwhelming urge to kill all that was about him. But he kept his nerve and soon the moment passed. It was Alkha who found a winding path through the rock faces of the landscape, and they before one of the large faces they recovered numerous pieces from the cadavers that were draped in the mouth of the carved face.

Another day of tracking led them to a sculpture made by the lions, and Am-mit fought the urge to give in and converse with a strange stone face that looked much like his own. The hunters journeyed far into the darkness, and it felt as if it was a liquid that enveloped them, wanting to snuff out their lanterns.

As if to drive the darkness away Aido made the Thunder Call. Lightning broke the sky asunder, and they passed numerous dead beasts until they stood before a gold armoured figure who rests against some giant lizard. He bellowed but Aido did not turn away, and took the offerings of a steel sword and shield.

As they left the armoured figure they did not have long before they confronted a large lion. Through guile and cunning the hunters made good use of their weapons of the gods. Celestial spear and steel sword cut deep into the beast's hide. Swords rang out and the beast snarled and roared, as they men and lion fought in the shadow of a tree that was festooned with dead humans and captured lanterns. Aido summoned the might of his acid palm technique and smashed bone and flesh, as Aida used his shield to block the strikes of the beast. Soon enough the monster was dead and the hunters rejoiced.

However, things would not be that easy. Exhausted, and carrying their spoils of battle, thick mists shrouded their route home, and their only option was to hunt another beast in order to survive.

Together the hunters set out to find another lion. And as luck would have it they found a lion cub. They slew it, bringing the parent to them in a rage. But the hunters, though exhausted from their previous hunt, made short work of the lion, and took the spoils. With the mists gone they were able to return with a bounty of skins, bones and more, and they set about making weapons and armour. The lion armour was finally complete, along with katars that allowed the hunters to emulate the beast.

With the new weapons and armour ready, Aido Wedo Gold, his child Akhuklu Gold, Amermat Iron and Aman Gold set out to face the hideous Butcher. Using wits and skill, and Amermit bearing thick armour, they were able to withstand the assault of the Butcher. Amermit was able to defend against a rain of blows and from it learnt the Butcher's secret fighting art.

With the Butcher dead, and claiming one of his cleavers, the hunters returned to camp, with Aman dying, crushed as the ground opened up beneath them.

Knowing that they needed to fashion armour and weapons that would allow them to survive the wrath of the beasts that must hunt in order to honour their lord Tyrant, the hunters set out to find a Dung Beetle Knight, as the dung they could take from it would also improve the coming harvest. They would hunt a large beetle this time.

Aida Hwedo Mercury, Aapep Iron, Ahrimanes, and Alklha Gold journeyed across the nightmare landscape, coming face to face with a wildfire that swept the plains. But, luck allowed them to follow two sets of tracks, and find a beetle, injured.

With the beast already severely crippled, the monster, though large, proved easy pickings, even as it rolled the dung ball about as a weapon.

Having killed the beetle, Alklha and Ahrimanes explored the tunnels of the beetle, with Ahrimanes failing the Trial of Valour, deterred by the boiling lava.

On returning to the camp a hunt re-enactment was performed, with one of the tribe murdered by Aharman playing the monster.

This would not be the end of hunting the Dung Beetle Knights though. Amhuluk Mercury, Amermit Iron, Am-mit Iron, and Aida Hwedo Mercury set out on another hunt. They found on their hunt a cave filled with drawings that they could not comprehend. They also came upon a field, covered in dung. Onwards they went, discovering a camp of survivors who were rife with a disease that Am-mit caught. They were now suffering from leprosy. Ever onwards they went, finding the strange training dummies of the Beetle Knights, and a field from which they gathered acanthus plants.

This fight against the Dung Beetle Knight was much more simple, given it was a smaller specimen, and they took advantage of its penchant for smelly things. They led the beast about, making its ability to use the dung ball as a weapon less of a threat. Aida using his acid palms to strike blistering punches through the thick shell of the beetle.

So all that Dung Beetle armour, Iridescent Hide and Dragon Vestments is meaning 10+ armour. Which is not bad for a survivor with no chest armour. Getting real close to happily rocking lots of mixed armour to get the most out of Iridescent Hide. Hopefully this group will result in a good number of constellations.

With the beetle dead, and shell and dung gathered, the hunters returned to camp, and again were faced with the ground opening, and this time Am-mit died a crushing death. Am-mit was not mourned for long, as they dug up the ripe bounty of the harvest, digging up a vampire artichoke. From it and the beetle organs and shell, numerous armour pieces were fashioned, and another crop was planted, with one piece of armour buried to help it further harden.

With the hunters festooned with celestial spears, dung beetle carapace armour, hands that burned acid, and steel swords and shields, they prepared for the beast who lay in wait outside the camp. Another of the Butcher's kind of men.