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Extra Life – How to Pledge to our team (and play some games with us)

As we said in Episode 25, we will be taking part in the Extra Life campaign this year at MACE near the new babystrollercenter and it is not beneath us to use opportunities like playing Eldritch Horror or game with Stephen Avery (designer of Nothing Personal) to help our contributions. Marty has the page set up, so if you want to reserve a spot at the table for $5 minimum, head over to Extra Life and click on the Donate Now link at the top, search for Rolling Dice page, and then click on the Donate Now button or follow this link. When donating, include your name and write a message saying which game you want to play Eldritch Sign (Nov 16th. 9am – 1pm) or Nothing Personal (Nov.16th 2:30-5:30)

If you are interested in being on our team, we would be more than happy to have you join us just go to our page and follow the instructions. Marty set a goal that might be a slight challenge being new to the podcast world and our first year doing Extra Life. Thanks in advance for your contributions.

In pictures:

Game Review: Star Trek Attack Wing

The (War)bird is on the wing…
By Scott Baughman
Space…The final Frontier – with those now immortal words Capt. James T. Kirk launched a franchise, nay a legend, into the collective pop culture consciousness some 40 years ago. Star Trek isn’t just a TV show or a movie, it’s a part of mankind’s existence now, inspiring everything from cellphones to medical technology.
But there’s one area in which Trek has never excelled – gaming. There are very few good Star Trek video games (a match-up that seems it should be made in heaven) and a good Star Trek RPG or board game is even rarer. But thanks to a little help from the mad scientist game designers over at Fantasy Flight Games the masters of models at WizKids/NECA have decided to try and change that with their latest offering, Star Trek Attack Wing.
One sci-fi-themed miniatures game has been tearing up the hyperspace lanes this year, and that is FFG’s Star Wars X-wing. With a great intellectual property license like Star Wars behind it, X-wing would’ve likely sold well on name – and starship – recognition alone. But it’s got a great, ruleset going for it. And WizKids knows a great ruleset when they see one. The company that has the license for Star Trek miniatures in their HeroClix line, WizKids decided to license the X-wing FlightPath game engine and put capital starships into the system.
The result is a spectacular wargame with a tasteful amount of Star Trek flavor thrown in for good measure. In Star Trek Attack Wing, players pick some iconic Star Trek starships – like the Galaxy-class U.S.S. Enterprise-D and Nu’Daq’s IKC Vor’Cha Klingon Battlcruiser – and then outfit them with a variety of technologies, extra weapons and other tactics to try and dominate the competition. But the greatest ship in the galaxy is no good without a fine crew and captain, and Attack Wing lets you customize the commander (Picard? Kirk? Riker?) and crew for your vessel giving you access to even more special abilities or benefits.
If you’ve ever played any outer space-based miniatures game, you know that handling the three-dimensional aspect of the final frontier has always been a problem. Attack Wing takes a “simpler is better” approach to handling this. If two vessels ever end up passing through each other, they are assumed to be above or below the other as necessary. This isn’t to say that a cunning commander (or, perhaps a cold one) can’t send his soldiers on a suicide assault if he wants to, he just has to use a special order to do so.
Attack Wing takes all the great aspects of X-wing – ease of maneuvers with the FlightPath system, quick range checks with the weapons bar and specialized 8-sided dice for attack and defense – but adds the strategic depth of outfitting your vessel with crew members. A player is faced with a plethora of options when taking actions, but to keep the game from bogging down each player still typically only gets to execute one action per turn. The turn is split up into movement, action and then attack phases. On the attack, a player rolls a number of 8-sided dice equal to his ships attack stat, along with any relevant modifiers. To see if he was able to successfully dodge the incoming fire, the defender also rolls 8-sided dice along with relevant modifiers. All the trappings of Star Trek are in play for the game – photon torpedoes, cloaking devices, phasers, disruptors and near-omniscient sensors are all options for the canny commander. And several of the various pieces of tech or skilled crew give the veteran wargamer that one thing he knows he needs to find success in the clutch – a timely reroll of the dice.

Give Star Trek Attack Wing a try the next time you crave a fast-paced but strategic sic-fi miniatures combat game. 

The Making of a Dice Tray

I was asked to post some pics of my attempts at making a dice tray, so here they are with some quick comments. But first, why use a dice tray or what good is one? Well, both Marty and I use it to pass the dice around the table for games like Elder Signs, King of Tokyo, and Zombie Dice. I use my small hexagon as a way to contain my dice during our RPG sessions. They also keep the dice on the table for those zealous rollers that you might have in your gaming group.

I started off with an octagon, tried the hexagon, and went back to octagon. An octagon requires a miter cut of 22.5 degrees, and that is a challenge to find that .5 degrees on the table. That is why I tried the hexagon, but I didn’t like how the dice reacted when they hit the sides. From the picture below, you can see the various sizes and heights that I have attempted. I also tried numerous stains and I think the Golden Oak has been my favorite so far.

I have tried numerous ways to attach the bottom with rabbet cuts and groove cuts. I was using rabbet cuts at first, but when I inherited the Shopsmith Mark V, grooves become very easy to do with a dado blade. The picture below shows the cut, but unfortunately it is hard to see. (Also, when you type in Google rabbit cuts, you get a whole different set of webpages and you learn Zombie survival tactics). Now that I got the process down, I will start upgrading the wood so they sides are much nicer and will require less sanding.

As already stated, the right tools are a key and the strap clamp that you see below helps me get the pieces in place and then I can either glue them with the base board in place, or I will then put a rubber band around the trays to get everything in place, glue (Titebond is the stuff) and then air nail the whole project. I use a heavy foam template for marking the thin plywood veneer to cut out for the base (white board marked 1)

The finish product is below, but this did not stain as well as I wanted. I found some Rustoleum Stains marked way down at Lowes and while they looked good going on, they didn’t cover very well. Not sure what happened there. The base is covered in a foam piece to help deaden the dice and then the fabric so it feels good on your fingers when you pick up the dice. I will use any material to cover the base because when I am at Walmart, I go through the scrap fabrics and pick up cheap leftover pieces. Overall, the inside dimension of the tray is 9 inches and that seems to be a good working size.

Well, that is about all there is to the making of the dice tray and I will say that a table saw really has made a huge difference since I started playing with this. I am going to start on the towers next and I promised a friend a Warmachine carrying tray which is going to be done next weekend I hope. I will post pictures of those projects as well.
I hope to have a bunch made by MACE and sell them at the show so I can upgrade some equipment for doing the podcast and of course pick up a few new games so we can get the reviews out to you guys.
Good luck if you decide to make a tray.