• Category Archives Level 7
  • Pinning for the fjords: Gdaybloke’s Fave Five PP Pins

    The announcement that there’s going to be a Monsterpocalypse pin set available at Lock n Load has answered a question that’s been floating in my subconscious, occasionally surfacing, for some time know: Will there be any more Privateer Press Pins? The last Privateer Insider about pins was at the end of 2016, and I’ll confess a measure of disappointment that there were no new pins to satisfy my cravings for enamel and small metal spikes that I could accidentally pierce my nipple with. It’s no secret that I love my pin collection – it’s on the wall over the desk where I do all my bloggery after all – but there are some significant spaces I’d love to be able to fill.

    I see you don’t believe me, and I need to establish my credentials…

       

    Click the pics to slightly embiggen. There’s a few Disney pins, some Pokemon pins, and some other stuff on there too, including a vial of salt that was the site token at an SCA event, but you get the idea.

    Given that there’s hope for new pins on the horizon, I thought I’d use the day to share the five favourite Privateer Press pins in my collection. Some pins are rarer than others, some have been traded for, some have traveled halfway around the world to end up on my wall, but these are the ones that make me smile more than the others, for one reason or another.

    5. Glow-In-The-Dark Pistol Wraith Caine

    This was one of the first “hard to get” pins. The Glow-In-The-Dark variant was a limited release of only 250 pins, and was only sold at Lock n Load 2014.

    This pin is special to me because it was gifted to me by a friend who attended, and I wore this pin on the brim of my hat in the last large scale team tournament I played in. The fact that it’s an evil, unholy incarnation of one of those filthy Morrowans from Cygnar, twisted into an abomination -and- it glows in the dark? Bonus!

    4. Honey Bunches of Goats

    The cereal box series has been an entertaining source of Warmachine/Hordes related puns, from Lucant Charms to Raisin Rahn. I didn’t make a point of collecting the cereal box subset, but I did grab a few.

    Honey Bunches of Goats was a must. The dad-joke-ness of it is almost transcendent, and it rolls off the tongue beautifully. Add to that, it makes sense as something that *could* be done as a cereal, as much as it makes me gag to think about it. Let’s face it – the idea of some poor kids being raised in Immoren with a big bowl of Honey Bunches of Goats on the table every morning, is bloody hilarious.

    Try not to think about what part of the goat might be made into the ‘bunches’, especially given the size of Gnarlhorn Satyrs…

    3. Sweet Retribution

    Released as part of the GenCon 2014 exclusive pin set, Sweet Retribution was the first pin of Eiryss, Mage Hunter of Ios, followed later by her two chibi versions. The set celebrated Privateer Press’ partnership with The Ram brewery, where each year we’re treated to a special brew, with shirts, mugs, growlers, and for the last several years, alternate sculpt miniatures. Each brew – from Kilt Lifter to Bombardier Bombshell to Blindwater Brew – has its own logo art, four pieces of which were turned into pins for the 2014 set.

    No alternate model was released for Sweet Retribution Pale Ale, but it remains my favourite logo, with 2018’s City Smasher coffee-infused stout’s Monsterpocalypse-themed  logo a close second. The Sweet Retribution logo had a delightful level of sass as Eiryss reclines, beer in hand, and crossbow ready for a cheeky snipe.

    2. Chibi Reznik

    I love the chibi pins. Almost all of them make me smile, and with a couple of notable exceptions I think they’re an amazing, fun alternative representation of characters we’ve grown to love, be it from their performances on the tabletop or based on their fluff.

    Reznik, the Protectorate’s Human Resources director and general all-round sociopath with tunnel vision, brought me mixed results on the field, but he’s always been fun to play. His chibi incarnation is one of the best translations from standard version to big-headed mini-psychopath, especially from the five chibi Protectorate pins (Sorry Feora and alt-Harbinger, you’re outclassed by Malekus,
    Harbinger and Reznik).

    1. Subterra Bravo Facilities Icon

    This one flies under the radar, it’s fantastic. It was only handed out to people who did a Level 7: Escape demo at Lock & Load in 2014, but I was lucky enough to trade for one at GenCon with a PP staffer. It’s smaller than a lot of PP’s other pins, about the size of the ability logos, and since it’s not a character or warjack, it’s not as blatantly geek centric.

    I once wore it to a wedding as a lapel pin, with a tie that matched the purple, it was perfect. While I’m normally totally on board with flying the geek flag high, being able to wear this rare piece of bling is quite fun.

    Add to that, I really like Level 7. I think it’s a fantastic game series that many people didn’t give the chance it deserves, so I’m delighted to be able to wear the pin and show some love for one of my favourite boardgames.

    Honorable mentions:

    Three pins almost made the list: Zombie Gunnbjorn, the Chibi Warpwolf, and Chibi Vayl. Vayl was a very popular pin and the original sold out very quickly, so Privateer released an alt-Vayl for those who missed the initial release. As for the Warpwolf, just look at him… he’s damn adorable in all his Wyrm-loving, civilization-hating, feral angriness!

    Are you a Privateer Pinhead? Which pins pricked your fancy?

     


  • Omega Protocol 2: The Omega Protocoling

    Privateer Press’s explorations into other IP’s than the Iron Kingdoms haven’t always been as successful as they’d like, but that hasn’t stopped them from putting out some amazing games. Bodgermania wasn’t amazing, but Heap was fantastic. Monsterpocalypse’s original distribution model rubbed some the wrong way, but the new release has me thrilled and super-keen to see more releases – heck, I’m mid-painting Brewgrosh right now. The IP that really shone for me though, was Level 7. Escape, Omega Protocol and Invasion are all very fun, each tackling a different genre of game – Survival Horror, Dungeon Crawl and Global Strategy – with a continuing narrative. Now we have a second edition of Omega Protocol for those who missed out on …. you know, I was going to say the best of the three, but it’s not a fair comparison given that each is a different genre of game. One way or another, Level 7 [Omega Protocol] has a new edition coming our way via Kickstarter.

    When this was first announced some discussion arose and much of it in my circle centered around what were sure to be Kickstarter Exclusives and how those of us who already have copies of the game don’t need a second copy but would be fighting our completionist urges. Privateer has very nicely catered to our needs by including a pledge level that solely contains the new stuff – a new scenario book, room tiles, game cards, and an alternate model for your team leader.

    Other tiers include New Operator (the main game + the new content) and Fully Loaded (the main game + the Extreme Prejudice expansion + the new content). I’m impressed to see the tier pricing is very reasonable for what you get – anyone who’s peeked in the [Omega Protocol] box knows that you get a ridiculous amount of product for your money, and it’s something of a point of pride if you can get everything back in the box after you’ve ooh’d and aah’d over it all.

    We don’t yet have the 2.0 rules, so I can’t comment on the new edition just yet, but for those of you on the fence who haven’t had a chance to play [Omega Protocol], I do want to note – as I did in my original review (archived in one of the older versions of LH but still readable at BoardGameGeek here – LINKY!) – that when it comes to dungeon crawl style games, where one player plays the bad guys (the Overseer) and the rest of the players get to play the adventuring heroes (Disco Team), this is one of the best damn games out there. I’ve been the DM for a D&D group, Storyteller for Werewolf, Dark Consul for Super Dungeon Explore… Shadowrun, Hunter Planet, Marvel Superheroes, Super Squadron, a string of other games… and an awful lot of the time, as rewarding as running the game can be, playing the heroes is just that much more *fun*. Until [Omega Protocol].

    I have never played a game that balances both sides of the game – Game Runner vs Players – as well as [Omega Protocol]. The Adrenaline system is flexible, dynamic, and downright engaging. I honestly could not tell you which side is more fun – both sides are a blast. Even if this wasn’t one of the only sci-fi themed dungeon crawls out there, I’d recommend it for any playgroup on that basis alone.

    The Kickstarter for Level 7 [Omega Protocol] is running until November first. Check out the campaign – Subterra Bravo isn’t going to clear itself out. Are you ready to join Disco Team?

     


  • Templecon Prize Table Loadout

    And now, for the next expisode of Adventures In Terrible Photography, I’m going to give you all a reminder of some of the niftiness that’s going to be on the prize table at Templecon! Remember, folks, this is all for charity, and all of these prizes have been donated by not only the Lost Crew and our sponsors, but also by the companies that make the games we love, and by members of the community – folks just like you, dear reader, who are pitching into make this all awesome. Again, we’re raising funds for the Hope Alzheimer’s Center through the raffle, and for Earl’s Brain Trust through the sale of apparel via the swag bag, and of Lost Hemisphere pins at Templecon with the assistance of the New England Privateers.

    HopeCenterLogo650earlpins

    First up, sent to us just for this event by our pals at Privateer Press and to help you save your pennies for a Sacral Vault, enough Gators to start your very own Jaga Jaga theme force…

    Continue reading  Post ID 17441


  • Danger Close, by Nathan E Meyer

    autojack80I have had quite a bit of fun messing around with Level 7 lately. It’s been an interesting series of games. At first I was turned off, not because it didn’t look like fun, but because I had grown used to Privateer Press’ being synonymous with Warmachine and Hordes, and I felt like any attention they would give to their other projects was attention that could have been spent on my beloved war game. Since then, however, I have had the opportunity to play and enjoy most of the games (though not Omega Protocol – despite my owning it for almost a year now), and have grown rather attached to them. They incorporate elements of video games, for one thing, and are as such part of what I’ve been calling the board game renaissance – an amazing new swathe of board games that have been quietly flooding the market with mechanics inspired in my opinion by video games.SIX Level 7 Danger Close_0 For another, they’re really quite elegant. The story is simple enough, though I have to admit, I was getting to be a little boggled by the time Invasion was rolling around. I’m one of those people who has to experience the whole story, not look it up on Wikipedia, so I’m a little behind. I caught up quickly, though, and in no small part this was due to Nathan E. Meyer’s Danger Close, a fun little novella released in anticipation of the game on which it is based, Level 7: Invasion.

    Immediately I was struck by the romance. For one, the novella reads like the opening to a film adaptation of a Tom Clancy book, with somewhat faceless government and military cogs attempting to react to the sudden assault of the alien Hydra. Certainly it captured the atmosphere, at least how one would picture it. The night-fighting the soldiers engaged in lent further meaning to the title – a term used by bombardment spotters (air, naval, artillery, etc.) to denote close proximity of friendly troops to the target. Can’t always see the targets in the dark, as I’m sure you can imagine. I think the theory of the title is two parts cool and one part commenting on the skill of artillerists hitting their targets despite friendly fire. This does actually happen in the novella, and like the swansong of American exceptionalism, gunner Thomas Rubio is lauded for it.

    Continue reading  Post ID 17441


  • Level 7 [INVASION]

    And to think, it all started when we busted out of an oversized test tube in the depths of Subterra Bravo. Remember what fun we had, skittering in the darkness, crawling through ducts and trying to Escape the horrors of a subterranean complex full of hostile aliens and merciless guards? Oh! And then the whole place went on Lockdown, and it just got so darn wacky that the powers that be sent in those roguish lads from Disco Team to enact the Omega Protocol.

    Ah, good times.

    And now, of course, the Hydra are here to hunt down the remaining Ghin and their collaborators – that’s you and I, donchaknow – in a full scale Invasion.

    Yes, Losties, today we’re looking at what’s inside the the heaviest box that came back from GenCon with me. I’ve been vocal about my advocacy for the Level 7 franchise in the past – Escape and Omega Protocol are both excellent games in their own right – and once again Privateer’s taken the IP and moved it into another genre of board gaming. Escape was a semi-cooperative game of survival horror, Omega Protocol was, if I may use the term loosely, a dungeon crawl that had some of the best darn balance in terms of protagonists vs antagonists that I’ve ever seen in any such game, and now Invasion kicks it out to the global scale.

    Before heading to hang out with pals Valrus, Gaspy and Autojack the other night to play the game, I spent some time playing the ever-awesome X-Com: Enemy Unknown, and Autojack pointed out that it was an excellent primer for the evening’s planned Invasion shenanigans when considering global positionning of defences, using the world’s resources to combat invasion… of course, the X-Com teams never had to deal with Dr Cronos…

    Continue reading  Post ID 17441