2015 Spring Gaming Update 2015 – Xia, War of the Ring, Saga, and Pathfinder Potpourri

Mostly just dilly-dallying this spring, but I have not dropped off the map.   Since New Years, I have managed to play Pathfinder once, Xia thrice, Saga four times, and War of the Ring five times.  Plus I went to Cold Wars where I spent a too much and played in a bunch of great games.

Bashing down the gate of Helms Deep

If you have not seen Xia, you must check it out.  It is one of the most innovative games I have seen in quite awhile.  I was one of the Kickstarter backers for this gem and I am very glad that my money helped to get it off the ground.   The game comes with a pile of painted starships and you skipper one around the Xia drift system in a very open-ended manner collecting Fame (actually Fame Points) to win the game.  You have a virtually limitless set of strategies to earn a name for yourself including making a living as a free-trading merchant, going pirate, hunting down lawbreakers for the bounty, exploring etc.


Xia – the most exciting board game I have played in a while – What a hoot!

You start with a low-end Tier 1 ship and then as you make money can upgrade to a more powerful Tier 2 vessel and maybe even an awesome Tier 3 beast.  Along the way you buy and sell weapons, engines, shields, and cargo.  I have played 4 times so far and pursued the life of a lawful trader each time for two wins, one runner-up finish, and one dead-last out of fuel and luck drifting between worlds..  If you like the starship parts of TRAVELLER or FIREFLY this game is probably right up your alley.

SAGA or in my case the speedy way to Valhalla continues to perplex me.  My extremely able opponent has trounced me repeatedly for the last 2 years.  I have fielded Vikings and Saxons, but his Normans always grind me into the ground.  Of course, he is a retired Army officer and I am just a squid so I chalked it up to my lack of understanding of land warfare.  Last game I came prepared with my Longship when I thought he said our next game would involve a Fjord – alas, he meant Fords and Bridges and his mercenary Flemish cross-bowmen pin-cushioned me again.  Good thing that the Viking Age lasts for a couple of hundred years and their are lots more Danes to bring across the North Sea.   Most recently, we tried Cross and Crescent.  My Moors did to him as he as done to me too many times.  Game came down to last turn.  We both took 80% casualties, but he limped off the board with a Warlord, a Hearthguard, and 4 Serfs (my forces lay mostly slain).  I am looking forward to more Islamic horse archers in my noble opponent’s future!!!

Pictures Redacted Due to


War of the Ring (WOTR) is the OOP mass combat game that Games Workshop released to accompany the Strategy Battle Game (SBG).  It uses the same wonderful minis arranging them into Companies of four by two movement trays for foot and two by one movement trays for cavalry.  Each formation is made up from one to nine (it varies by force) companies that fight in linear formations.  I gave this game a go when it came out, but my groups lack of sufficient painted miniatures was a challenge.  I more recently wangled myself an invitation to a WOTR group operation in the Northern Virginia area that is running a Rohan / Isengard Campaign at the Chantilly Game Parlor store.

Capturing the Fords of Isen – take two

So far we have fought for the Fords of Isen twice (tossed back the 1st try and secured the fords the 2nd), laid unsuccessful siege to Helms Deep but thoroughly bloodied the Men of Rohan cowering in their fort, and had a field battle against the Ents in Westemnet where we made some kindling, but lost a large portion of our forces.

Dodging Ents

In both Isen games, I led the Warg Cavalry into the teeth of the Horsemen and we enjoyed their flesh.

Massing for the kill!


Bashing down the gates of Helms Deep was a slow slog, but we made them pay.   Next turn we head to Helms Deep again (to take advantage of our previous carnage) and hope to put an end to these thorny men.  Here are some pictures of the gore.

This is the second Pathfinder campaign that I have participated in.  As an old school gamer, Pathfinder has a bit too many fiddly bits, but the youngsters like it and it is an opportunity to role/roll play.  This campaign is set in North America well after an apocalypse opened up the fairy world to the mundane world.  I am a chaotic neutral dwarf named Rory McDougal that uses an axe to make his way in the world.  Stay out of his way and his axe will avoid you.  As our story opened, our party were held as convicts on a train that promptly derailed.

Shoot-out between the convicts and a little throat slitting….

I managed to uncuff myself and the took care of the witnesses (all of them  – with no qualms to my character’s alignment since they were in the way and threatened old Rory with their leers and bossy words).  This did make the other party members nervous – the goody two-shoes!  Off the party went to a nearby desert town run by a mean lady sheriff.  Turns out that the place has been cursed and everyone is a werewolf.  DM has ideas about us solving the curse by lifting it.  The Rory and the party leans to solving it by eradicating the werewolves.  I will find out if that is a good idea.

More later!

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2 Responses to 2015 Spring Gaming Update 2015 – Xia, War of the Ring, Saga, and Pathfinder Potpourri

  1. Scott Bowman says:

    Nice to see the LOTR figures still getting a work out

  2. lostpictold says:

    The LOTR lads have gotten quite a work-out this spring. Lots of meat for the Wargs!

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