Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Niles von Crane's Flying Circus!

Friday night brought a slightly different style of gaming session to normal. It was all straight-out-of-the-box gaming. No painting for weeks and weeks only to end up disillusioned with the average-looking results of your hard toil, no crappy-looking almost-suitable terrain (well, not much), just lovely prepackaged gaming delights with an absolute minimum of effort. It's a lazy boy's dream, and the future of gaming, boys and girls!

Just don't tell the gang at Lead Adventure, lest they burn me as a heretic!

First up was the rather delightful, and newly-acquired Wings of War. Here we see Chronoglide et Fils. Chrono is doing his best to look windswept and moody (but I think he's coming over more just as grumpy) for the camera, while Fils is engaged in Brain Training or something.

...And they're off. It's the Red Baron, failing completely to line up his shots on the enemy. There was a lot of this kind of thing. The business of having to think three moves out in advance is heaps of fun, makes for much tension and excitement, and is generally a grand idea. But it does mean, with novices like us at any rate, that you spend a lot of time flying around in confused circles not shooting at anything. Or randomly shooting at someone who unexpectedly pops up in front of you who you weren't expecting to shoot at all.

Still, one suspects that the real thing may have been a little like that. For everybody except the top aces, at any rate.

That's more like it. Take that, Englander! DAKKA! DAKKA! DAKKA! DAKKA! You have to make the gun noises or your shots don't count, it says so in the rules.

Notice my hastily-improvised playing area, cobbled together from felt, canvas and leathercloth. So rubbish home-made scenery was not entirely absent after all.

We had two games, both times with Wakey and me as the Allies, and Sickers and Chrono the Central Powers. Chrono got shot down the very first time he was fired at by Wakey (which was funny), and mostly due to luck I eventually brought Sickly down in a seething ball of flame.

In the second game my Belgian accidentally flew his Camel off the map (what an idiot!), and then the two Dr.Is rapidly devoured poor Wakey (Those Dreideckers with their tight turns are nasty little bleeders).

But because I never got shot down, I guess the Allies won overall on points (4-3). A bit like the war itself, really.

So that was Wings of War. Great fun, one to get out after Christmas Dinner, when everyone is getting tired, 'toxicated, and tetchy, I reckon. Might get one of the other boxes to add to the rules complexity and scenario options at some point.

Next it was: A Dungeons and Dragons ride!

Yes, the D&D board game. Seems to me the ideal way to play the game. I cut my role-playing teeth on the excellent Call of Cthulhu, so have no fond teenage memories of "Steal the Monsters and kill their treasure"-gaming like some other people have. Never quite saw the point in it, after atmospheric games with characters, a terrifying ambiance and an actual plot. But this is the ideal way to experience such dubious entertainment. Nicely packaged with high production values, and the plot (such as it is) already worked out for the GM (I'm not a DM, I'm a GM. Dungeon Master? Who wants to play a game where you just guard a bunch of prisoners? Well, maybe if they were sexy lady tennis-player prisoners in their knickers, but that's a whole other matter...)

Wakey bought me this as a gift ages ago, and though Sickers and his elder brother had played it, the gang as a whole hadn't touched it before. So now was the time.

It was all good, old-fashioned fun, and I think everybody enjoyed it. It was a raid on a Goblin lair, the naughty inhabitants of which had kidnapped the local mayor or something. Bish, bash, bosh. Lots of hitting things, casting spells, laughing at the Thief's complete ineptitude concerning spotting hidden traps, and finally a nice healthy dose of bickering over treasure. You get the idea. We'll probably continue with this on those occasions when nobody has met their painting deadline. A nice change from the norm of tedious painted-figure gaming. All the monster-killing, treasure-hunting, trap-setting off fun of D&D without having to keep up the ludicrous pretence that one is role-playing.

So, an enjoyable evening, particularly Wings of War for me. It's got me really looking forward to the new Red Baron picture that is supposed to be imminent. Though I do think the producers of that one have missed a trick. There is only one actor for this role: David Hyde Pierce. He's the spit of old Manfred, I tell you.

Manfred von Crane and Niles Richthofen. Can you tell which is which?

See? Uncanny, isn't it? You absolutely can't tell which is which, can you? Don't say you can because you can't. If you say you can then you're just a bloody big liar. Stop lying! What are you lying for? Don't you know lying is bad? Stop it now! I sha'n't tell you again...


WebOgre said...

I can tell the difference...

Oh...and, Heretic!

Have a lovely day, evening, whatever your time zone!

Anonymous said...

You haven't gone missing over on the continent again, have you?

Guido said...

No, I ain't gone missing. Things are a bit quiet on the Western Front, that's all.

I've adopted a policy of only speaking when I actually have something to say. I don't see the point in regular updates just for the sake of it (unlike some blogs).

Hopefully I'll have some new content soon, but right now I ain't got nothing.

See you.

Andrea Angiolino said...


I'm Andrea and I designed Wings of War. I am really happy you liked it! Thanks a lot for telling around...

Happy gaming!