Suburbia: City Building Board Game on IOS

I’m a bit of a sucker for good deals.  You may have already realized this if you’ve been following my Frugal Gaming updates, wherein I can’t seem to say no to buying anything remotely hobby related if I think I can resell it and make a quick buck (or a really slow buck, as it typically is, since I’m too lazy to list things on ebay).  So, when I found a recommendation to buy a game that was on sale and highly rated, I wound up jumping in–I mean, how fun does it really have to be to justify a $2.99 price tag?

Having never heard of the game before (and not knowing anyone who played it), and a real lack of an in-depth tutorial, it was a little difficult to pick up.  The premise of the game is that you’re a city planner (I guess) and are laying out various residential, commercial, and industrial areas to arrange a city (I’ve omitted whatever they call the gray areas, which consist of things like schools, municipal buildings, etc.  I guess they’re government zoned?).

Each town has three difficulty levels which, after unlocking, lead to expanding to more towns/difficulty levels.  Each town has it’s own mission that needs to be accomplished that typically involves some variation of ensuring a minimum/maximum level of:

  • City income
  • Population
  • Appearance
  • Cash on hand

SuburbiaGameThe easy level isn’t easy in most examples (in fact, some of them took me upwards of a dozen attempts to beat on the easiest setting), and the hard levels seem to be designed so that tiles have to come up in a specific order for them to even be possible to achieve (I’ve only beaten a couple of cities on that setting, despite my efforts).

In total, there are about 10 different cities (forgive me, I’m going from memory here), each with their own twists.  Beating them tends to unlock another city/difficulty level, and they culminate in a city in England (Essex, I believe).  The weird thing is that many of the cities seem to have nothing to do with unlocking a path to Essex, so I guess they’re just there for fun?

The weirdest part about the game is the scoring.  Each tile has stated ramifications to the various score tracks.  So, when you place a tile on the board, it may be affected by other nearby tiles.  But the scoring seems almost arbitrary.  If you place a tile with +1 appearance in one section, it might give you +1 appearance, but it might also give you +0 or even as low as -5.  I’m sure that the game is basing this upon other qualifications that I have no understanding of, but it almost seems whimsical how each piece/location affects a given score.  It’s because of this seemingly random behavior that I can’t beat the games on the hardest setting (I swear that when I put a +10 population tile in San Francisco at the end, it only gives me +2 population for some reason).

It’s also because of that factor, that I fear playing the game in real life would be completely unmanageable.  If I can’t grok the scoring at all through the digital game, how difficult would it be to manage in real life?

I find that I played it for a  few hours and am pretty much done with the game now (despite not beating every city/difficulty level).  Was it worth $3?  Sure, but what isn’t worth $3 anymore?  I would love to understand how the scoring system works, but I don’t think I could recommend this game as a board game.  If you’ve got $3 burning a hole in your pocket though, you could certainly do worse than this…

wh39kDoneNidz (3)

Painted Tyranids, Awaiting Orders…

wh39kDoneNidz (2)In my last post, I suggested that I would have individual pictures of models in the near future–while I’m sure that’s going to happen, I figured I might as well post some pictures of the finished/based models.

Keep in mind, the photos aren’t taken under controlled lighting, so half of them are overly dark, but it does give you an idea of the finished models.  Also note that there are arms/heads/other parts that need to be glued (or in the case of those that are magnetized, simply assembled) on to them.

Lastly, I should also mentioned that the “coiled carnifexes” aren’t recently painted or dipped, but have been painted for almost six years (can that be right?).  You may remember that I used to use them as Tervigons before I painted my current models, so they were originally based on the large ovals.  These ones are now based on the smaller ovals that came with the carnies in the Stormclaw box.

I really don’t have anything else to say at the moment, so I’ll leave it at that and let you look at the pictures.  More detailed shots to come in the future!

wh39kDoneNidz (4)  wh39kDoneNidz (3)  wh39kDoneNidz (1)

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Basing Tyranids

So, with my Tyranids recently dipped, the next step was to base them before I could truly play with them (ignore the fact that I’ve already played a game with some of the models).  For this, I turned back to my old standby for forest bases.

To handle this, I largely followed my original tutorial on making forest bases, but I made some minor tweaks this time around due to necessity:

  • wh39kbase (2)I didn’t include any wood/trees in the lot.  I figured this was a small enough lot that you wouldn’t notice when they get combined with the rest of the army.
  • I included more metal scrap.  This is because I happened to have Cole’s bits box in front of me when I was working on bases, so I just rolled with that.
  • I used “coarse pumice gel” instead of “extra coarse” as I normally use.  I’m not sure that I don’t like this output better though.  The finished product when using “coarse” is a sandy consistency, whereas “extra coarse” includes lots of small rocks.  Coarse did a better job of covering up blemishes, and building up.  I might make this the new standard (Especially because I have more of this lying around).
  • I used different colors of paint–still staying with brown/black, but I just used what I had available.
  • I used different amounts of the various static grass colors (not pictured) since I was running out of “burnt grass.”

wh39kbase (1)In total though, the outputs are very similar to the others.  I also wound up using some tree bark chips from the garden as suitable replacements for rocks (in the past, I used actual small rocks).  These work better because they’re lighter, and because I can drill through them if I need to pin something.  In order to prevent it from chipping/breaking in the future, I painted each with a coat of Elmer’s glue mixed with water before priming them with black gesso.

Of course, these photos don’t show the finished product, but they give an idea of the work in progress.  Things definitely seem to include more metal scrap than previous iterations, but now that they’re painted, they all seem to blend in well with the rest of the models.

Soon I’ll work up some completed pics of each of the models/units and then I’ll have to do an updated army shot–because 14,000 points of bugs just wasn’t enough models I guess…


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Batrep: Hive Fleet Proteus vs. Chaos Space Marines (1850pts)

In the past, I’ve created some battle reports days after playing the actual game, and the report suffers from holes in my memory.  You’d think that this would help me to write them faster after the battle happened, right?  Well, not in this case.  This particular battle happened almost a month ago, and I frankly don’t remember all that much of it, but at least I have pictures to go on, so there’s that…

Anywho, Mitch showed up again and we opted to play what I think was an 1850pt game.  I’ve played him twice before and won both times, plus he has a history of losing, so I decided to play a slightly more fun list.  I didn’t want to just throw the game completely, so I took a couple of old standbuys, but felt it was a good opportunity to try out some “new” units as well:

Hive Fleet Proteus:

  • HQ:
    • wh39kvMitch2 (2)Flyrant w/ Devourers (Catalyst, ???, & Dominion)
    • Deathleaper
  • Elites:
    • 1x Zoanthrope (Warp Blast, Catalyst, & Dominion)
    • 1x Zoanthrope (Warp Blast, ???, & Dominion)
    • 1x Pyrovore
    • 1x Pyrovore
  • Troops:
    • 5x Genestealers inc. Broodlord w/ Scything Talons
    • 5x Genestealers inc. Broodlord w/ Scything Talons
    • 20x Hormagaunts
    • 20x Hormagaunts
  • Fast Attack:
    • Dimachaeron
  • Heavy Support:
    • Trygon Prime
    • Trygon Prime
    • Trygon Prime

So, the plan was to test out the Trygon tunnels I’d created last year.  They haven’t seen the table because, it’s frankly an “unofficial terrain piece for a horrible rule that applies to a bad unit.”  That’s so sad because Trygons used to be pretty fantastic (not overpowered, mind you, as they generally died the turn they popped out of the ground, but when they hit combat, they did a pretty good job of destroying a 10-man space marine squad).  Anywho, after starting with them, I threw in a couple of Pyrovores (another unit that gets almost no table-time), and then fleshed things out a bit from there.  The Dimachaeron had been recently painted, so I included him, and then decided I didnt’ have enough synapse, so I opted to include some Zoanthropes, which forced me to pick up another CAD (and another HQ, which wound up being Deathleaper because he was freshly painted as well).

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Games Workshop Likes My Stained Glass

wh39kStainedGlass (1)Despite the fact that I still write posts for my blog on a semi-regular basis, I’ve really fallen out of touch with blogging–which is to say that I write my own content, but I don’t really follow up on others.  There are really two exceptions to this, as I read any of Thor’s posts over at Creative Twilight as well as Dave Weston’s over at Confessions of a 40k Addict.  Now, I’ll admit that I don’t read either on a daily basis, but about once every week or so, I’ll go back and read through Dave’s posts and I read Thor’s every morning as I scroll through twitter (I never would’ve guessed that I’d use twitter that much–it’s really gotten so bad that I rarely comment on Thor’s blog directly, instead I just reply to his tweets).

GWStainedGlassStolen01Otherwise, I do check other blogs from time to time, but nothing else on a regular basis (hopefully I haven’t just offended someone by stating that).   I’ve just clicked a bit more with those two guys than I have with others.  I really get the vibe that they’re great, like-minded gamers that just happen to be a few thousand miles away from me.  One day, I’ll convince them to fly up to the wilds of Alaska and get a game in.

With Dave, I actually friended him on facebook, and I get to see a little more of what’s going on behind the scenes.  Well, the other day he pointed out to me that a certain GW store in “Arndale Centre, Manchester” had a suspiciously familiar looking piece of terrain in their display.

It would appear that someone from that GW store, had stumbled upon my templates for stained glass and was using them in a Shrine of the Aquila temple.  Apparently this particular GW is “well known for the effort they put in their display” (at least according to Dave), so I was especially flattered that they’d use my templates.

GWStainedGlassStolenWhen I think that some schmuck in Alaska came up with a nifty idea for a terrain piece in a miniature game, and that somehow gets filtered back all of the way to the motherland HQ where the game is made/designed, that’s pretty spectacular.  Then, not only is it copied and displayed prominently, it somehow is recognized and traced back to the originator and I was made aware of it.   It just goes to show that the world is such an amazingly small place now.

Obviously, I’m flattered that they’d use my designs, I just wish they would’ve taken the time to use the other templates for the various windows.  It also helps to illustrate the difference between using a single template (like GW did) and using a double template with reversed images.  The colors on my windows are just more stark, at the expense of losing some transparency.

Wh39kBuildings (26)If you’d care to see more of these pieces, feel free to drop by my house in Alaska (or just visit the blog post on the subject), or swing by the Games Workshop store in Manchester at the below address:

Unit R35, Arndale Centre, Manchester Arndale Shopping Centre, Marsden St, Manchester M4 3AT, United Kingdom
+44 161 834 6871

While you’re there, feel free to point out that there are other templates they could be using for the other windows.

Thanks again to Dave from Confessions of a 40k Addict for pointing this out and for letting me use the pictures on my blog.

Image Credit: Pictures of GW Manchester provided by Dave Weston.