Gaming in the lockdown

Mythic Battles Pantheon – Ares vs the Chimera

Like most, if not all tabletop games clubs, the BAD Gamers is currently suspended from its normal habit of meeting on Tuesday nights. We went into lockdown in March, with our last club night being March 17 (which seems a VERY long time ago).

However, we’ve managed to keep our gaming habits fed with games via Skype, Discord, Teams, Zoom and Whats App, allowing us to communicate while we play online versions of our favourite boardgames and role playing games. At home many board games have also been hitting the tables as families look for distractions other than binge watching Netflix and Amazon Prime. Mythic Battle Pantheon, through to Jaws and more standard fayre like Ticket to Ride and Love Letter have become staples of family game nights.

What is missing is miniatures games, but these are also getting played if only as solo or in-family efforts. Warcry, The Walking Dead, and Core Space have all gotten table time. Plus, the hobby aspect of miniatures gaming is a live and well with new armies being painted, terrain pieces built and projects completed. Just take a look at one of the club members blog at snitchythedog to see what sort of work is happening.

So, while we can’t meet up, socially, gaming wise, there’s a lot going on. The question is will it continue after the lock-down is over? If so, does it mean that a richer gaming vein has been tapped because of the lock-down, than would have been realised without it? Only time will tell, but purely from a gaming standpoint, and in no way detracting from the pain & anguish the virus has brought, the lock-down could be looked back on in twelve months time as a good thing for tabletop gamers.

Stay Safe


Fantasy gaming to the fore

Descent continued its journey towards the end of the campaign with part two of the Wyrm Turns scenario. This saw the (so called) heroes try and stop the Overlord’s minions escape from the dungeon with the Red Dragon Skull.
Despite Overlord Frank now playing with a little more organisation (he has a spreadsheet!) allowing him to target the heroes more effectively, the heroes continued their drive to complete the campaign with no losses. But it was a closer run thing than many of the proceeding adventures (the magic of Excel?), with one dice roll probably deciding it. On the positive side, for the Overlord, the heroes didn’t get much loot from the dungeon (cue Evil laugh).

The crew then moved onto the fun pre-programmed wild west themed game, Colt Express, which saw the wacky fight for the loot on the train. Always a fun story and inevitably, why doesn’t this hit the table more often.

On the other table a four way game of Frostgrave raged on with Olly, Mark and Chris taking new comer Andrew through the streets of Felstad.
This is always a fun game, with a D20 mechanic that can both make and ruin a Wizard’s day. Couple it to the fantastic terrain collection that the crew have, and its also a good looking game.

Next week there is no meeting of the BAD Gamers as the School Play is on. But we’ll be back on July 4 with games of The Walking Dead: All out War, and D&D the adventure board game to name a few



Area control, old friends and vampires

That was the content of last night’s meeting of the BAD Gamers.

Tom, who hasn’t been around for a while, and is now secretary of the Banbury wargames club, NOW Gamers, came along and had a game of Wrath of Kings with Darren A. The RPG’ers played the dark ages version of Vampire and the rest of us played a range of board games with a loose area control theme.

We kicked off with a game of King of Tokyo, which Chris and Lee took to a bitter end. Then we moved on to Alien Frontiers and new game Inis. This is an interesting mix of a 7 Wonders style drafting, an expanding map, an area control system and a choice of three victory conditions. It looks beautiful, plays fast, and after the first few turns players will understand the mechanics. After one game strategy will be understood.

The evening then rounded off with one of Frank’s favourites, Onward to Venus, which has a strong tactical rather than strategic play but is also area control in nature. Martin, playing the German Empire took the win after playing a “very quiet let everyone else get on with the game” approach.wrath-of-kings-feb-7-17-2 wrath-of-kings-feb-7-17 inis-feb-7-17 alien-frontiers-feb-7-17


Next week looks like Frostgrave and Inis plus no doubt, more.

Sharp Practice and Dystopian Wars

Last games of January 2017

Only five of us out last night at the BAD gamers, but we got some good games in nevertheless.

Ben took Darren S and Mark H through a starter battle of Dystopian wars with the East India Company coming to blows with the Polish- Lithuanian Confederation. Not sure how the geography on that one worked out, but the game was bloody and close, going down to the last ships on each side.

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On the other table Steve and Frank played a game of Sharp Practice ACW. Set in 1864, Steve’s Yanks were attempting to sweep Frank’s Rebs from the table. Steve pinned the Rebs on his left flank, avoided those in the centre, and broke through on his right leading to the collapse of the rebels morale. Frank blamed his lose on poor positioning and early deployment of his main unit. Both agreed the game was great fun.

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Both were good games, and it was great to get the toys to the table.

Next week is RPG – modern Vampires and Boardgames. Possibly Inis and/or Conan.


January catch up at the BAD Gamers

With January about to leave us, its time to catch up on some of the games played recently at the BAD Gamers

Mark, Lee and Frank took Merchants & Marauders for a spin. Been a while, and it showed in Frank’s ability to remember the rules! Still Lee created a good narrative as a merchant who found fortune through trading and then fame through taking down the local pirate (and in so doing winning the game).

At the all day January session, Pete took Paul, Graham and Frank through Conquest of Nerath. A dudes on the map game set in one of the D&D worlds. The strategy needed to play the game evolves over time, making this more than a fantasy version of Risk. Indeed the euro situation of having too much to do and not enough to do it with came out in the middle of the game, meaning that every attack had longer term consequences.

Also at the all day session Mark ran two games of Frostgrave, with his new gaming mat. Both games proved great fun, what with teleporting wizards stealing treasure, other wizards using telekinesis to move treasure about, and yet other wizards blowing themselves up while miscasting spells. A fun miniatures game, and one that will hit the table again in the coming weeks.the-undercity merchants-maruders frostgrave-2 frostgrave-1 dd-board-game conquest-of-nerath













Additionally we played Carcassone, 13 Days, the Undercity, D&D Boardgame and Warhammer Quest.

Its been a good January of gaming.

Disaster in the Congo!

Frank and Paul took the new miniatures hotness, Congo, for a spin on Tuesday, while the rest of the club played Vampire RPG.

Being a fan of the Studio Tomahawk games Muskets & Tomahawks and Saga, a lot was expected of Congo, and it didn’t disappoint.

With both players bringing out their newly painted forces – The Zanzibaris for Paul, and the White Mens Expedition for Frank – and using Paul’s excellent Pulp Alley jungle terrain, the game looked terrific.

We played the Queen of Aksosum scenario, which saw the European’s camped out in the centre of the table, with their hands on the Queen’s sacred jewel (!), and being attacked by the Zanzibaris. The Europeans had to try and get the treasure off of the table, while the Zanzibaris both tried to stop them and looted the camp.

It was great fun – with melee’s and gunfire all around the table. HOWEVER, we got a lot of the rules wrong. Including the card mechanic, the scenario specific rules, and the melee outcomes.


We’ve put the game down as being a learner, and are looking forward to getting it to the table again (Frank has even ordered more figures).

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Two Saga’s

Saga has been an on and off favourite at the Club for a few years now. For example a competition league was set up and saw a good range of games played, but then we moved onto new games, as is the way with these things.

So, it was great when a couple of weeks ago we decided to get the figures out again and do battle once more.

We had two tables and four players – Mark fielded his Normans against Darren, who played Vikings.
Normans hold the hill
Vikings prepare to assault the hill







On the other table, Frank took his Anglo-Danes for a spin against more of Mark’s Normans, this time being played by Paul.

Norman CavalryThe speech goes on, and on








As ever, with any game you haven’t played in a while, there was a degree of relearning the rules, and also for Paul, an introduction to the game. But we soon got back into the swing of rolling the Saga dice, deciding what actions to take on the faction battle boards, and knocking seven shades out of each other.

Mark and Darren fought over a hill, with Mark’s forces taking a battering but holding onto the hill. Frank and Paul fought over Frank’s village, with a scenario win for the Anglo Danes, which can justifiably be put down to Frank NOT explaining the scenario properly to Paul. Shenanigans could be rightly called by Paul, although Frank is chalking it up as another victory for his unbeaten Anglo Danes.

All in all, it was good to get Saga back to the table, to again see how the factions play out differently, and to try and play to the faction’s strengths rather than in a vanilla Dark Ages style. Hopefully it won’t be such a long time before it hits the table again.


October’s all day Sunday

Sunday saw the BAD Gamers hold their 5th of the year All Day Gaming Sunday. Sadly only six of us could attend this time around, but we still got to play a broad range of games;

Axis & Allies Angels 20: Paul, Frank and Pete played Paul’s blinged out copy of this WW2 air combat game. All three of us are veterans of Star Wars X-Wing, and this proved to be a step up in the level of detail, but not much more complicated.

The classic tactic of getting altitude on your enemy, and then diving on them for a better shot proved to be a tactic that worked in the game. And the points system worked, meaning that the two sides were well balanced with the game coming down to a few crucial key shots deciding the victor rather than one side having the upper hand from the off.

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Kings of War: Sean and Steve took Mantic’s Kings of War for a spin, using a range of their 28mm figures in a 1500 points game. KOW plays fast and easily, and is becoming something of a club favourite with the death of Warhammer.









Star Wars: Rebellion and Star Wars Risk:  As we all know, Death Stars are prone to getting blown up.  But, three times in one day?!  That’s just silly.

However, that is exactly what happened when Frank and Pete went Star Wars crazy, playing Rebellion and two games of Star Wars Risk.  Frank took the title of Most Destructive Rebel by taking out the Death Star in both Rebellion and Risk.  However, his efforts in Rebellion were in vain as Pete’s Empire crushed the Rebel Base after much torturing of Jan Dodonna. Thus making it two for two, for the Empire, in the games of Rebellion at the Club.

The two games of Risk saw two wins for the Rebels including Pete’s sole Death Star bombing run of the day.  Pete’s success was not without losses though as Frank did manage to throw Luke Skywalker to his doom.

Both Rebellion and Risk are great games.  Different in their scope, simple to learn, and with a depth of challenge that comes from the too much todo and not enough resources to do it with, dynamic.



Warmachine: Steve and Ben played 3rd Edition Warmachine – Ben wants to get his list ready for some competition. Third edition has changed the game a great deal, with Jacks now being all over the place, rather than just a few on each side.

Last Night on Earth/Colt Express/Camel up: Ben and Steve finished Warmachine and then joined Frank & Pete for some boardgames – Last Night on Earth which saw Ben’s Chemistry teacher heroically holding off the Zombie swarm, but sadly to fall at the end – Colt Express, the programmed move train robbery game, and Camel Up the camel racing betting game. All of which were very entertaining in their own way. Which is why we game.

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So, all in all eight different games played in nine hours in what was a great way to spend an early October Sunday.

Next, and last one of the year, is planned for December 4.

The Men Who Would Be Kings

The new colonial rules from Dan Mersey, The Men Who Would Be Kings, hit the table at the BAD Gamers last night.

Mersey has written a good range of rules, many of them published under the Osprey Games blue book umbrella, with Dragon Rampant (large scale fantasy skirmish) being a favourite amongst the BAD Gamers. The Men Who Would Be Kings (TMWWBK) takes the ideas of Dragon Rampant – activation by dice roll, large scale skirmish, simple rule mechanisms, and a focus on fun over competition – and evolves them into a 19th Century Colonial set.

Frank and Paul were both keen to get the rules to the table, and they didn’t disappoint. They played the To the Last Bullet scenario, which saw a small force of 36 British infantry men fending off a Mahdist force of nearly 100, as they tried to fall back onto an old farm building, for cover.

The game proved to be great fun, with simple to pick up rules, and fast.

The Mahdists overwhelmed the British, killing them to the last man, and providing a great narrative in the process.

Two things stood out in the game – the roll to activate mechanic, in that each unit must roll a certain number to activate, based on the quality of their leader, and the leadership traits. The first adds friction to the game, in that you can never be sure that your troops will act when you want them to. The second adds character and story; the British Captain, Terry May, was an idiot, demonstrating this by leading his platoon in a charge to meet the oncoming horde, rather than staying in cover and shooting at them. His Lieutenants, Hammond and Johnson were respectively brave and a drunkard. Which saw Lt Hammond holding off a Mahdist force for a couple more turns after his platoon had been charged by the enemy, thereby buying time for Lt Johnson to get his men into the relative safety of the farm. Unfortunately, this was squandered by Johnson, who in his drunken “we’re doomed” mindset failed to get his troops to do anything for three turns, resulting in his and their massacre, in the open, by the swords and spears of the Mahdists, in the final act of the game.

The game was played in 15mm using Peter Pig figures based up for Patrols In The Sudan. Frank and Paul agreed that while it would have looked better in 28mm, the fun and drama of the game wouldn’t have been improved, so they are happy to stay with 15mm as the scale.

Well recommended, and it will be seeing more visits to the tables of the BAD Gamers.