Friday, August 29, 2014

Dwimmermount has arrived! (Review) - UPDATED

Its finally here.

In April 2014 the Dwimmermount Kickstarter campaign was successfully funded to the tune of $48,756 with an initial goal of $10,000.  I am not going to get into all the drama that followed but it has taken several years for the final product to arrive, and boy it's a beauty.  Autarch did a fantastic job putting this together.  There are two versions available; Labyrinth Lord and Adventurer Conqueror King.  The version I have and am reviewing today is for LL.

This is a BIG, MEATY book, it's 408 pages of deep, dark adventure.  I have not had a chance to read all the way though this beast yet, its going to take some time.  I recieved three books; the adventure book, an illustration book and map book.

Dwimmermount on the left, Dungeoneer's Survival Guide on the right, River the cat in the background.
Lets get started with the Map Book.  This includes a wilderness map of the area surrounding Dwimmermount, the town of Muntburg and two page maps of all of the Dwimmermount levels.  Also included are the dungeon era illustrations and a four page side view of the entire dungeon.  Its all in black and white and is perfect bound.  The maps are big and easy to read, overall a very usable book.

Nice big maps.

Next up is the Illustration book.  This book is half the size of the map book, so roughly 8.5"x5.5".  It has a very nice color illustration on the cover that is printed on a very interesting material, it almost feels like a velour but is a paper.  I find that I keep rubbing the material, its very nice.  Inside are 44 black and while illustrations from various locations around the dungeon.  The likes of Jeff Dee, Steve Zieser and Erol Otus grace the pages, its a really nice book but I find myself wanting it to be a full sized 8.5"x11" booklet, the pictures are just to small for my liking.

Love that cover!
The illustrations are fantastic but should have been bigger!
Last but certainly not least is the main adventure book itself.  It starts with a very extensive table of contents and then its into the good stuff.  Chapter One covers the area around Dwimmermount.  Chapter Two covers the history of the dungeon.  Chapter Three is all about adventuring in the dungeon, everything from common knowledge of the dungeon to rumors and adventure seeds.  The following chapters cover the town of Muntburg which serves as the home town for adventures into Dwimmermount.  The Factions get a chapter and then its into the individual levels, one chapter each for a total of thirteen.

Following the levels are the appendices, all 91 pages of them!  They cover new magic items, new spells, new monsters, rival parties, the four worlds, Azoth and the secrets of the Turms Termax.  There's some really good stuff in here, lots of fun spells and monsters to throw at your players to keep them on their toes.

I'm really looking forward to digging  further into this book, it looks fantastic and varied enough to keep things fresh.  Unfortunately my issue with this adventure is the same I have with all mega-dungeons, I will never have the time to run this all the way through from start to finish.  One-shots are how I have to roll, my gaming time is limited these days so something we can start and finish in one or two evenings is best.  I'm sure I could use bits and pieces of this for smaller adventures, it may be the only way I get to use it!

Lots o' adventure!

If you have an itch for an epic mega-adventure, Dwimmermount will not steer you wrong.  It's a lot of material and is a steal at $10 on for the .pdf.

Five beer steins out of five!

UPDATE 08/31/2014: I received an email from the Kickstarter campaign today, it stated that the Wilderness Map and Dungeon Tracker are also complete and shipping, I will update the  review once those two items have arrived!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Otherworld Miniatures; Labyrinth Lord Level 2!

My new Otherworld miniatures arrived today and I'm super excited!  As you can see above they come in their own case (Feldherr I believe) with a sleeve wrapped around the case.

Each miniature has its own slot, there are two levels in the case.  My only complaint would be that many of the bases do not have slots which means I will need to cut them myself.  This is different from the first set which all had pre-slotted bases.  Some of the figures also have VERY tall tabs at the bottom which will need to be sliced in half to get them to fit in the bases.  Unfortunately the material is quite thick, its going to take some elbow grease to get them cut.  Other than those minor complaints I am very pleased with the set, the sculpts looks awesome and I really like the giant ooze!  More pics to come as I get to work on these later this week.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Queen of the Spiders

Queen of the Spiders is still considered one of the greatest Dungeons & Dragon adventures ever printed.  It's also one that I have never owned and I have decided to rectify that.  I checked Noble Knight Games, they have no copies availible.  Next up was Amazon, they have copies running from $100 all the way up to $2936 (really?!).  I've been burned several times on Amazon with old modules, missing maps or in really bad condition so I'm a bit wary to purchase this piece from them.

What I need from you oh faithful readers is your feedback, I really cannot see paying $100.00 for an adventure, no matter how good it is.  Is there anyone out there that is aware of an alternate source (I already own a .pdf copy but would really like a hard copy) where I can pick up my own dead tree version?  Is anyone aware of some little out of the way online store that might have a copy that will not cost me an arm and a leg?

This might be a long shot but I figured its one worth taking.  I will be wrapping up my Temple of Elemental Evil campaign soon and was thinking of running all the way through Queen.  Anyway, thanks in advance!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Surviving K2! Brrrrrr.

My wife and I found some time last night to give K2 a try.  Adam Kaluza is a board game designer and avid mountain climber.  He has released several climbing games with K2 being the first, followed up by and expansion called Broad Peak (which I do not own....yet) and finally his newly released Mount Everest.

Being a person that loves to camp and hike and climb these games are right up my alley.  I'll keep my comments focused on K2 as I have not had a chance to play Mount Everest yet.  

Each player is assigned two climbers each with their own tent.  The goal is to climb as high as possible to gather as many victory points as you can.  Points from both of your climbers are added together at the end of the game to find your final score.  The game is simple but offers many choices and changing conditions.  As a player you hold six cards in your hand but can only play three per turn, these are movement cards, rope cards (which can be used to move faster down the mountain), and acclimatization cards.  The three cards you play can be split between your two climbers.  Each space on the board has a movement cost and acclimatization cost which can be positive or negative.  You gain victory points by reaching higher spaces but if your climber dies (by going below one acclimatization points) you get only one victory point for him/her.

My wife plots her red climbers strategy.  Points track is on the right edge of the board.

Fun stuff included in the game are the tents, which can be pitched once for each climber.  This changes the acclimatization in one space for that climber to +1 instead of negative points.  Pitching tents are essential to making the summit, when and where you put your can can help win you the game.  Tents are setup by paying extra movement points, once placed they are there for the game and can only be used by the matching climber.

Pushing toward the summit.  You can see the weather track to the left of the board.

Weather is another big factor in the game, there are 18 game turns, each with different weather.  You can see the weather for the next few days and can plan your assault on the summit accordingly.  Weather can cause negative acclimatization or movement in different altitude bands.  This is why tents are so important, if you are losing acclimatization points due to the altitude and also due to the weather your climbers would quickly expire.  As you near the peak there are also rules allowing only so many players in each space, you can pass through but cannot stop and exceed the maximum number allowed.  This allows you to block other players and force them to use more movement cards exposing them to risk factor tokens.

The game board includes two sides, one harder than the other, also included are two sets of weather cards, one good weather with the other being winter weather for increased difficulty.  My wife and I played on the sunny side board with the good weather cards.  Next time we will try the harder versions of each.

My wife's first climber made the summit and then died from overexposure.  My climber is two spaces below the summit in his tent waiting out the storm.

Its a great game that plays smoothly and takes a bit of strategy to plan out your turn.  You never have enough movement and acclimatization cards to execute all of your plans, you need to adapt on the fly to be successful and to keep your climbers alive.  If you have any interest in climbing themed games give K2 a try, you will not be dissapointed!

My climber in his tent is blocking my wife, she needs to play extra movement points to advance past him.

She leaped over me and then I returned the favor and reached the summit!

Here's how the game ended, ten points for each that summit-ed and six for my other climber.  My wife's second climber died giving her only one point which gave me the win!

Sol Tachi (Star Wars Edge of the Empire Character)

Edge of the Empire is another game that I have not had the time to actually play.  Its a big beautiful book with fantastic art throughout.  For my first character I decided to roll up a Bounty Hunter, Sol Tachi.  He come from a poor background, his father was an unsuccessful local system Bounty Hunter.  Sol learned the trade from his father at a young age and decided if he was ever going to be a success he needed to get a ship and leave the planet.  I gave him Freedom for his motivation, Sol is driven to do what he wants when he wants, he strives to be his own man.  For an obligation I gave him a criminal record, he had a brush with the Empire on his home-world of Fondor.

I figured he was technically proficient so I gave him the Gadgeteer specialization.  Gadgeteers are a mix of tech and combat experts, equally able to jury rig failing equipment or blast their way out of a dangerous situation. 

He has good Cunning and Presence and is a descent pilot and has good underworld connections. He's armed with a standard Blast Pistol with a filed down front sight but also has several non-lethal weapons to take down his marks, including a bola, two Stun Grenades and a pair of Shock Gloves.  Check out the rest of his stats below!

Sunday, July 13, 2014

New Labyrinth Lord Miniatures on order!

Well this morning I ordered the next set of Otherworld Miniatures made for Labyrinth Lord.  I'm very excited for this set, it comes in a Feldherr case and includes the following minis; 3 Gnolls, 3 Ghouls, 3 Zombies, 4 Troglodytes, 2 Shadows, 3 Large Crab Spiders, 3 Berserkers, 1 Green Slime, 1 Yellow Mold and 1 Evil Magic User.

I'll make sure I post some pics once they arrive and again once I start painting.  Hope you all had a great weekend!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Painting Operational Detachment Alpha - Complete!

My Delta Team is complete! Today I washed the figures in Citadel Devlan Mud, let them dry and then went back in and highlighted them.  I finished with two coats of Citadel Matte Varnish to help protect them.  I enjoy these figures, though I'm not super happy with the kneeling guy but I think that's more the pose that anything. If your looking for 20mm modern figures check out the Elhiem line available here in the US of A at Syr Hobb Wargames.