Sunday, November 18, 2012

Orks in Space! Battlefleet Gothic!

My recent gaming experiences have been with an older miniature game called Battlefleet Gothic. This is a shit-to-ship combat game set in outer space in some far away nebula, galaxy, or universe. There are dark and evil forces at work! My favorite faction is sort of an underdog faction, but one of the cheapest to build fleets with. I like the Orks. These guys are sort of dumb brutes and their ships reflect that character. Some of their ships are nothing more that Brute Rams, designed to run into other ships. Others are nothing more than hollowed out asteroids retrofitted with bits and pieces from some cosmic junkyard. So where do you get miniature ateroids? Would you believe Home Depot? Yup.. most of my Ork models came from Home depot and had some finishing touches put together from leftover pieces from other ship models. My buddy, Scott LeMaster, put them together for me and they are fantastic. This brings me to my biggest gripe about miniature games. If you play either you demonstrate your cheapness and lack of skill by using unpainted miniatures (some circles frown on this) or you pay someone with skill to paint your armies for you. God forbid that you would actually take the time to learn to paint your own miniatures! So either you scrub some paint on your minis and show up with painted figures that look worse than a Picasso portrait or you pay an expert. Then the other factor is going to be buying the miniatures. Bsttlefleet Gothic appears to be a defunct game (the rulebooks are available for free at the Games Workshop Website) and no longer strongly supported. Therefore, you start scrounging the flea markets at the local gaming conventions, or you spend on ebay and pay beaucoup bucks for shipping those heavy units. Hey, I make a living as a working pastor and don't have time for assembling and painting anyway. So why do I like this game? First, entry level for an Ork player is next to nothing using the lava rocks picked up at the Home Depot. Second, in our local group, 750 point fleets are pretty much maximum, therefore keeping up with the other guys is not a big deal using my rocks and the few I purchased off of Ebay. So, with my second hand books and minis, my cheap rocks and Ebay finds, I'm pretty much as invested as I am going to get. After all, the new Fleets are coming out every six months or so. So, my entry level investment is low and that is a bonus factor for me, so I list it as number one. Second, the rules are simple enough to comprehend and get into play quickly. The Quick Reference card is excellent for most things and I can have the downloaded rules loaded on my ipad for quick reference if there is an issue I really need to look up. Nothing too difficult and the only rule that has seen significant change (to my knowledge) relates to how the Nova Cannon works. It isn't as if there is a ton of errata, unlike many of my favorite wargames. Third, I like the way the rules are explained and organized. The designers spent a lot of time designing a system that covered lots of variables and circumstances. They designed a number of races and powers and each faction is provided with options that make playing each one a unique experience with a need for its own unique strategy. None of the factions is overpowered or unconquerable. Finally, the best reason. I like the guys I play this game with. Steve is the consumate diplomat, always willing to explain a rule before a novice player does something stupid like move his miniature off the table by accident. Marty is a careful strategist who thinks every move out thoroughly. Scott is a fierce competitor who never lets you forgot the rule of payback. (payback is always double!) An evening gathered around a table playing Battlefleet Gothic with these guys is a pleasure.

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