Saturday, May 29, 2010

Convention Day - Anaconda Force

Hier, playtesting de la démo participative qu'on inaugurera au Convention Day.
Au programme, de la drogue, du charme, de la vengeance, des principes rigoureux, et une bonne dose d'ultraviolence.
Yesterday, we playtested the participative game we'll inaugurate at the Convention Day. Expect drugs, charm, vengence, straight principles, and a fair share of ultraviolence.

Delta Force minis are by Westwind (the officer will get a Hasslefree Mac10 w/ suppressor), snake by Reaper - the rest are our very own wonderful ERM/Golgo figures :)

Friday, May 21, 2010

Convention Day - yakékun?

Un petit message pour en appeler au bon peuple: parmi ceux qui vont au Convention Day, y aurait-il un mec qui n'en veut pour tenir le stand Golgo avec moi et co-animer les démos?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Action Dude WIP 3

Some bulking up
And trousers (and chest for the 2nd one) added

Research goes on...

Voilà le genre de truc qui vous fait prendre conscience qu'une vie ne suffit pas. Il m'a fallu passer 31 ans sur cette terre pour enfin tomber là-dessus avec un sentiment rageur de frustration d'inculture.
This is the kind of stuff that makes you fully realise that a lifetime isn't enough. It took me 31 years on this earth to finally see this, and I felt really frustrated and uneducated.

Pour un résumé du film:
For a summary of the film:

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Action Dude WIP 2

A minor update on two of the figs.
Just a little bulking up with greenstuff leftovers from other sculpts. I didn't pay too much attention on the chest muscles of the first one as it will be mostly covered by his army vest.
His right arm snapped (those things are fragile), which won't be too much of a problem as it will be stuck to his chest, firing an M16.
The one on the right will be barechested, so the torso will be the next step before adding the trousers.

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Chosen One From Outer Time

In Golgoville, the rumour was quickly spread that a superhuman girl, immediately identified as the chosen one from The Prophecy, had time-travelled to the city to save it from its evils.
Emerging right in the middle of Haxor Stratocaster's turf, she faced the waves of hapless thugs by the plasmagun and the roundhouse kick. Attracted by the fight, 4 groups are now closing in - with different intentions...
For the evil Haxor Stratocaster and his lieutenants, capturing her is not only fait, but it may be an opportunity to reassess the gang's might in Golgoville.
Maniac Nerd immediately saw the beautiful woman as The Woman - the one he was promised. He would rescue her, and she would be grateful, and he would be her hero, and she would love him, and...
The Van Li brothers - those guys are always on the look out to help good people, and kick the crap out of bad ones. They're a cool bunch really.
As for Colonel Zanzibar, it is a unique opportunity for him and his shock troops of the New Golgoville Order to challenge that Haxor punk on his territory, and possibly seize a new asset for his propaganda, if not for his army - which he intends to take over the world within 6 months, by the way.

Scenario objective: get the girl.
Twist: the good guys (the Van Lis and the Nerd's buddies) get the Street Cred twist to claim additional weapons. The bad guys use the Creature Magnet to activate street punks. From turn 2 onwards, all can activate Tarah's plasmagun (AV 3k2, 24") on a 7. The lady just has to defend herself against those unknown badasses until their intentions are clear.

Turn 1
Gunshot is heard on both sides of the area - but matters will be resolved in good old close combat, as Maniac Nerd slices through Zanzibar's shock troops and the Van Lis get rid of some by street punks bothering Kurt Crowe.
Turn 2
Zanzibar's evil henchmen started by shooting down Egor - a Marie Luis vengeful rampage ensued!
The napoleonic neandertal seized a gun a fan threw him from a window, and shot down a boilersuit, then gave another one a good beating with his club, before knocking out Colonel Zanzibar and stomping on his senseless body!
Opposite the street, Kurt avoided fire from Tarah Diamonds' plasmagun before gunning down Mikhail. Then Bobby Van Li bravely charged Haxor Stratocaster. A few high kicks later, the punk leader bit the dust; unfortunately, his nunchuk-wielding cyborg bodyguard treacherously attacked Bobby Van Li from behind, knocking him down. Meanwhile, the Nerd and Johnny Van Li rushed towards Tarah Diamonds.
Turn 3&4
As his machine pistol proved inefficient against the cyborg's titanium endoskeleton, Kurt decided to engage Kronos 2000X in close combat, which obviously proved much more effective. Meanwhile, the fights around Tarah Diamonds came to a happy conclusion as Bobby Van Li fought off both the Nerd and Marie Luis in an amazing kickboxing fest.
Tarah was in good hands - and with her, it was the hope of an entire civilisation that was safe.

All figures are ERM/Golgo Island, except Kurt Crow (Hasslefree Miniatures); wrecked cars and various terrain bits are by Old Crow/Ainsty. Comics made with Comic Life.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Golgo Island Review

Golgo Island 2nd Edition
Biased and Unedited Review
Jamie Mathews

So, what’s it all about then? Golgo Island is the brainchild, well mostly as he stole the rules in a mugging incident in a dark alley and don’t let him tell you otherwise, of one Sylvain Boudeele. This is French for smells like stinky goat cheese and cheap wine or some such. But I digress, Golgo Island is the step child of the WarEngine, previously incarnated as Shockforce and GWAR Rumble in Antarctica. Brought back to life in printed and current form by Sylvain to fuel the quest for bananas and general mayhem on Golgo Island. Golgo Island is distilled chaos and comedic action in wargames form which can be the defining point as to whether this game is for a particular kind of player. The game is much like a smashing of Mystery Science Theater 3000 meeting the wargaming table. It’s a game that fuels ‘what if’ and ‘just because’. This is where Santo vs. las mujeres vampiro (better known as Samson vs. the Vampire Women) meets Du bi quan wang da po xue di zi (also better known as Master of the Flying Guillotine) in a no holds barred battle as underwater Nazi zombies wash up on the shore of the gaming table and start trying to cause all sort of jack booted mayhem on the gaming table.

It is the B-Movie of wargames to put it simply where many luminaries from the lighter side of cinema make appearances in a land that maybe time didn’t forget but most people that have been there wish it had. This is where Gymkata is still king and most alien invasions start on this island for one reason or another. Most mad scientists that have lofty dreams of world domination build their bases on Golgo Island and disgraced lucha libre wrestlers go to find their pride and confidence before returning to the real world. It’s a kitchen sink of 50’s through 80’s cinema of the terrible brought to life in the spirit of adventure and fun. Sort of a latter days golden age of retrospect treating the action and horror cinema as an ode to the pulp novels of the 30’s and 40’s with even more outlandish characters and situations.

Sylvain Boudeele has also produced an ever growing line of miniatures to support the madcap world of Golgo Island, most of the luminaries and personalities of Golgo Island are already represented and in some cases rerepresented as the Golgo Island Legends line grows at the skilled hands of some masters in the sculpting world (yes, this can be disputed by some water on the head troll but I happen to like the sculptors chosen to make the Legends line) such as Kev White, Tom Meier, Bob Olley, Tim Prow, Kev Adams, and Steve Saunders. A line that is basically forty-eight characters strong with a backing of around thirty five various henchmen, zombies, and Zorgls. More than enough to tempt the imagination and cause crowbar to chainsaw clashes all over the various rural and urban spots of the Island.

The rules themselves are, as mentioned, the WarEngine with a few tweaks in place to make the games more in line with the carefree pandemonium. The basic mechanics are unit by unit activation, slightly better than IGOUGO, preferred by me personally to card activations, just a simple ‘get on with it’ mechanic.

Combat is dealt with via opposed rolls with characteristics of weapons that are built into the character and specialized to one degree or another. Some characters have multiple melee or ranged attacks to choose from based on situations. Some can Affect multiple opponents with a weaker strike or possibly one mightier than average blow to bring a single opponent down to his knees. These are simple, straightforward profiles built that can cover grenade launchers, zip guns, flying guillotines, bone crushing suplexes, and more. Mechanics are based off rolling x number of six-sided dice and keeping x. A 1k1 that is roll once dice keep the roll is for those weaker troops like boiler suit shock troops while a 2k2 or 3k2 that is roll two keep two or roll three keep two allows for a simple escalation ladder to define the well hewn warriors of epic proportions from the wannabes that never will be judging by how bloody most Golgo Island games get. Coming down to the highest roll winning or alternately shooting for the fabled ‘10’ in unopposed tests.

There’s some mucking about with command radii for henchmen squads and making their 6’s into 5’s but most henchmen aren’t going to be around long enough to worry about it much anyways.

The game is structured with a highest roll wins, loser gets sacrificed to the Volcano God attitude with some tactical options but the game is geared to be free wheeling and run quickly as long as you don’t overload the game with too many figures. If you’re going to run that hundreds of zombies versus beleaguered survivalist types you’d be best off limiting players to one or possibly two characters. Gangland warfare mostly knocks around best with 8-12 figures for two players, 4-6 for three players, around 2-4 for four players if you want the game done in that reasonable 2-3 hour play span.

A nice trick in the game is the Twist feature characters have. Doing the usual roll/keep value allows the character to do exceptional things depending on the scenario and also allows for huge mash ups like a zombie infested city without the need for a benevolent or dictatorial game master. Using the Creature Magnet a character generates points that can be spent to activate various beasties on the table to attack other characters, get in the way, generally menace the other players around the table. It allows all players at the table to be each others enemies without directly attacking with their own figures all the time. Simple, but a nice element that adds a new level to the bedlam that already takes place on the tabletop.

Rules include character/henchmen creation with the obligatory love/hate relationship with points and all that. The points can likely be min/maxed like any system but Golgo Island is geared towards enjoying a fine game with fine friends sharing fine drink. This is a game about fun and stretching the imagination within the confines of a wargame. It’s a place where dual wielded chainsaws are king and exploding infants are the norm. It’s not a game for the tournament set precision point spending for every perk and advantage it’s a game for shattering skulls with kickboxing and dealing death from affair with a machine gun that never runs out of bullets on some hapless boiler suit wearing minions.

Rules aside, the creativity and environment for the game is where it truly shines. It’s this kind of creativity that keeps the wargames market fresh with ideas that aren’t a retread of things done before. It’s a game designed with a gleeful party atmosphere, the scenarios on the book are given as two to four player affairs with an obvious overtone of ‘the more the merrier’ around the table. The basic scenarios are designed for fun and above all action., where movement and conflict is required to meet the objectives. No turtling up and waiting for everyone else to duke it out for glory and then have your force at the last minute stream out to crush the weary forces and claim victory for the day.

It’s a game of madcap action with a stable rules system that keeps the fun structured and doesn’t impede or get in the way of the overall quick flow of the game. It’s a sexy, offensive, bizarre, game colored with a myriad of personalities that are sometimes recognizable from some obscure movies and other times just pure creations from the twisted imagination of Sylvain Boudeele. It’s a game world that shows one creative person can take a open source game system and twist it and beat it into submission to match his gaming goals. Then when figures to match the fevered wargaming dreams aren’t out there the creator takes putty in hand and learns to sculpt them to share his vision with the world, whether they like it or not.
This is the game where you can think, “wouldn’t it be cool if’s…” and make them happen. Golgo Island is where a small group of manic depressive Spice Mareenz can fall through a wormhole and find themselves in the situation of defending a shanty town from hybrid pink alien/ape/human hybrids while the forgotten clone of a World War II Axis leader makes a deal in the bar on the outskirts of town with Spain’s foremost secret agent over sweaty shot glasses as Golgo Island’s only female vampire wrestler leads a legion of slaves to wreck havoc on the blasphemous idol of Golgo Island's one and only officially recognized god. It encourages thinking outside the box and dusting off those old miniatures that have sat unloved in their respective packing crates. It's IP is open and encourages use of a variety of figures and the point build system is streamlined to easily attach stats to a variety of figures you might have laying around your gaming room.

But what about so-called serious wargaming? The WarEngine itself can be tailored to run more straightforward games with less flash and kickboxing easily. Designing a WWII scenario or perhaps an American Civil War skirmish is easily a snap with a more conservative use of tweaks listed in books. Civil War era weaponry gets the Slow Reload tweak with a rifle and bayonet attack getting the Long tweak. Just having the WarEngine rules in an easily digestible format in a nice game tool set in and of itself and Golgo Island as a setting shows how the system can be turned on its ear while at the same time showing how it can be used to run more down to earth styled games.

This game represents exactly that breath of fresh air the hobby needs in that it represents a gamer knowing what he wants to see out on the tabletop, not finding it already in existence and going out there and making everything from scratch. Adapting an open source rules set, sculpting his own figures, and then sharing it with the world at large regardless of the possible consequences and backlash against 80's style action and the tongue-in-cheek bad taste that gets some people up in arms and sobbing into their respective drink of choice around the game table.

  • Open source gaming engine that can be adapted to a multitude of genres from the bizarre to the sobering, easily referenced with plenty of examples. Can be used to run Golgo Island circus shows or skirmishes between Napoleonic forces with minimal adjustment required to the rules as long as the players are willing to substitute flavor for hard nosed rules covering every possibility on the battle field.
  • A fully fleshed out range of figures the likes of which are not offered anywhere else. Of course not everyone likes chainsaw wielding demons, masters of flying guillotines, kickboxers, the cast from Double Dragon, clones of Axis leaders, but really this wide span of colorful characters should just wet the imagination at the possibilities even if using other ranges of figures.
  • Full stats for a cavalcade of of personalities and minions that should also engage the imagination and shows a near endless parade of possibilities to pen scenarios that should keep the people around the table engaged and in high, light hearted spirits.
  • A set of easy to set up scenarios that can be banged out on the table easily supplying challenge for four or more players to engage in a night's enjoyment, along with the Twist attribute allowing players to actively challenge each other with neutral minions and keep a steady supply of unending combat to wet the appetite of even the most bloodthirsty barbarian beyond the table edge.

  • I'm biased in that I just really like this game, the environment it generates around the tabletop, the figures, but I did say from the get go I was biased. Some of the rules like the control radius among henchmen I just gloss over in a lot of cases being that I run scenarios that are meant to engage and just have fun with rather than the kind of strategy games that induce a cold sweat as you carefully try to plot out your movement and firing arcs to your advantage.
  • Vehicles, the game needs rules for vehicles. They can be given stats as individual characters with just a few rule tweaks but there could probably be a few ideas I haven't thought of to differentiate a rusted out Ford pick up truck full of Zorgls from the armored car with machine gun turret driven driven by the Royal Guard of President Timothy N'Golgo.
  • Not for everyone, this is just a matter of taste and it always is with fickle wargamers. Some like this kind of tabletop mayhem and others prefer a rigid structure with rules written to try to ax every kind of possible exploitation of the rules. Yes, Golgo Island can be min-maxed but that's going well against the grain and spirit of the game and it's hoped that your table top players are not the kind of rat finks that would do such a thing. Personally, I give table top veto rights by democratic process that if a player is being a real pain in the backside with his character creation process that the players around the table can veto his builds as not being in the proper spirit of the game. Of course, the group I play with gets into the proper spirit so this isn't really necessary.

Can Golgo Island do everything? Well, no, but it surely gives its best try at doing it and while not a game for everyone it's well worth a look for the inspiration of what one gamer can do when he sets his mind to it. For $13.95 it's hard pressed to be beaten as a source of creativity not to be checked out.