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.