Friday, November 26, 2010

(RPG) Space 1889 - Red Sands Released

This week, Pinnacle is shipping Space 1889: Red Sands, the eccentric classic of Victorian Sci-Fi where the sun never ever sets on the British Empire, since they have colonies on four planets!

The original Space 1889 was something I had great interest in, but like all non-traditional settings, I couldn't get enough interested players versus D&D, Hackmaster, Star Wars, etc. Victorian values, hordes of noble (and ignoble) savages, and just the occaisional headstrong woman mucking up the adventures. What else would you want? (I do question the use of spandex in women's clothing during the sci-fi Victorian Era. The woman on the cover's clothing seems a bit tight for the modest standards. The ripped clothing is just a result of her "not knowing her place, " and would be anticipated, if frowned upon.)

The new game is set up for use Pinnacle's Savage Worlds system and does require the SW main rulebook. Considering I was just invited into a yet-to-be deteremined Savage Worlds PbP game, we may have another setting/genre choice.

For order information:

For more information:

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The (Much Less) Apathy of New Releases (Dec '10)

It's that time of month...

The latest Game Trade Monthly (#130) is out, and as a former retail manager, I'm a wee bit confused. The last two GTM should have covered November through early January releases (with the obvious delays that gamers are used to). For holiday season releases, outside of a few board games, there was very little to pad the coffers of your FLGS, or even Dirty Pompous-Ass Store That Sells Games. This issue covers January and February, the true dead season for gaming retail, and if they could survive a rather weak holiday sales season and still have enough put aside, I foresee a rather profitable Winter into Spring...

But first, let's break this issue down:

My wishlist:
  • Wargames Illustrated: I'm just Jonesin' for something to read. Anything post-18th Century will do.
  • Cthulhu and D&D Rainy Day Activity Books: Hackmaster did this a number of years ago. It was fun, although I pity the fool who did the wordsearch in the middle of combat.
  • Age of Cthulhu 5: The Long Reach of Evil -- Cthulhu Mythos in South America.
  • Monsters! Monsters! -- The "Reverse Dungeon" concept RPG, but by the dudes at Flying Buffalo. And only $14.95 to boot!
  • And speaking indirectly of Flying Buffalo: The New Khazan, is a space supplement for Tunnels and Trolls, produced by a 3rd party.
  • Pirate Fluxx
  • They re-offered Strat-o-Matic Football 2010, and I'm both games geek and sports geek.

My practical list: Nothing will usurp a spot on my current want list, but if I came into money (in order of preference):

  • Pirate Fluxx
  • Monsters! Monsters!
  • and a fairly new issue of Wargames Illustrated.

and of course, My imaginary store wishlist

  • Rogue Trader: The Frozen Reaches-- an adventure for the 40K RPG.
  • Dust Tactics Expansions-- I've ignored this, but a WW2 game, set in 1947 and infused with alien technology piques my interest. Not enough to buy any right now, but it might be worth a store to infuse a little investment capital.
  • Reaper: the usual assortment, complete with *sigh* zombie strippers and Orangutango: Super Ape!
  • Colonial Gothic: New France. Everyone should celebrate a supplement for one of the few 18th Century RPGs.
  • WoTC pays some stores' bills this month: Three new D&D books, the latest Magic expansion, and D&D fortune cards, which provide temporary in-game benefits. I noticed this in the Gamma World boxed set. Seems gimmicky, like something Gary Jackson would do for Hackmaster in a KODT comic. In fact, I think he did something like this years ago... Ah, when art imitates life.
  • Pathfinder has 5 new products slated for release, and since I noted a sizable and money-affluent group of Pathfinder players at Mepacon, this appears to be a good thing. Plus their Game Mastery line is releasing new dungeon maps, and you crazy 3.0+ GMs/players eat that shit up. Don't lie, I've seen it anecdotely!
  • Dystopian Wars- I'm used to seeing Victorian Sci-Fi minis in 25-30mm, whether on Earth, Mars, or Venus. Dystopian Wars looks like 1/900th scale or even 1/1200th scale with naval, air, and ground forces (for comparison, Battletech is 6mm or 1/285th scale). Mass combined forces operations can be conducted en masse, and you could still afford the nice digital camera to take some awesome pictures. The deluge of fantasy naval games do not catch my eye, and I loved Man o' War, but this does fill a separate niche and I hope it does well.
  • Finally, *sigh* the "evil" GW is re-releasing Dark Eldar. Now I know it's been a long frickin' time since the Dark Eldar were unleashed en masse onto the crazed 40k masses, but I've survived Saturdays during the Necron and Tau releases, each new space marine codex, each new mini and vehicle release. All of those combined could not match of the gamer lead-gasm that was unleashed with Dark Eldar (white metal gasm just sounds way too dirty... oops I said it). Not since the initial release of Ral Partha's Slave Auction had I seen nerds openly clamor for naked chicks cast in metal to further decorate their vehicles. Perhaps I should direct you Reaper's zombie strippers? Anyhow, the models look eerily similar to the originals, just with brighter accents against their Matrix-like black and green. I'm not impressed, but I know stores still sell a ton of this stuff, even without a direct (i.e. higher discount) account with GW.

Since I don't post pics on these types of posts, check out: for more basic info, more items I didn't deem worthy, and don't forget Google works well for more specific questions (trust me, I checked it out for Dystopian Wars and Dust Tactics.)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Painted Mouselings... they exist

Doorway fight
Originally uploaded by Hexxenhammer

Ladies and Gentleman, I present to you, non-metallic mouselings, just not mine.

The photographer's story is just too cute. This mouseling set was bought by a gentleman on TMP for his 7-year old little girl so she could have a warband to play with dad.

This is the first time I've seen a size comparison. I own a set of the Gnolls they are fighting and to say they are 40-45mm wouldn't be an exageration.

Check out the post for full details on the Wargaming in General Message Board on TMP.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Look! An innocent poll! Hide it from the Germans!

Next April 8-10 will be Mepacon XX, again up at the Ramada in Clarks Summit. For a bi-annual conventions, that means ten long years of consistency, which nearly impossible for gamers to do. Hell, editions of D&D come out in more frequent intervals!

For the last con (XIX), I ran two events for entirely different reason. The Hackmaster game was by request, and although Steve 'The Drow Guy' Heitzer did not play in what he asked for, it filled a vital niche for the 9am Saturday time slot.

The second game I based on history. Ed Lehman, the convention director, had previously alluded to ten years of Mepacon, and I felt it proper to run a 'Best of' event. Not best of my Mepacon games, rather one of the best convention games I've ever run. The Toon, Cthulhu
Comes to Springfield was epic in scope and in play, and nostalgia did not obscure that a week ago at the con.

For Mepacon XX, I want to continue this tradition of running a new game, followed by one or two 'Best of' games which should guarantee filled seats (if they know what's good for them!)

To the left should be the official 'What Should I Run at Mepacon XX' poll, which is running until the end of November. You may vote for multiple events, but definitely vote for the ones you would be interested in playing in, if you could make it to the con:

Talislanta: The Crystle Dungeon -- This was my first convention game I ever ran. Friday Evening, Lehicon IV. Three players younger than me, what little story my teenage mind had constructed turned to bashing Darklings and smashing around Gnomekins. I would probably used 3rd Edition (WoTC), although with the free downloads, I might check out the lastest edition.

Toon: Cthulhu Comes to Springfield 2 - Electric Disco Stu-- The original game had at least eight 'episodes', so there is room for more stories, and more characters: I already have requests for Dr. Nick, Comic Book Guy, Otto. The core characters are down, now we can have some fun (with the Mexican Bee Guy). It's not on the poll, the Family Guy Cthulhu was batted around as well.

Gnome Wars: The Tanga Campaign-- Yes, yes, this will become a reality for the Society of Neffs gamers, but it the boards as to be constructed, might as well share the joy. Historical fighting in German Southeast Africa during the first year of World War I.... with gnomes. If I'm bringing one board and figs, I might as well do three rounds.

GURPS-IOU: Scavenger Hunt! and other Disasters-- Perhaps the most epic role-playing experiences I have ever conducted as a solo GM, Illuminati University is comedy gold and role-playing platinum. Ran like it was back in the day, with GURPS, 3rd Edition. Two or three rounds of this might make them kick us out of the con!

Hackmaster - "Sideways" Dungeons-- A "New" idea for an event. Most people are familiar with "Reverse" dungeons: players taking the roles of the monsters, defending themselves against adventurers, even going on the offensive if they can. "Sideways" dungeons are using the classic modules, but having the players run PCs who are inhabitants (but not monsters). I've run B10, and B4: The Lost City from the perspective of the inhabitants of the lost civilizations, with mixed results. I'm tempted to use X1: The Isle of Dread, or B3: The Palace of the Silver Princess a whirl with it.

Buring Plastic: Polymers in Flames-- Burning Plastic is either one of the biggest draws of the con, or the biggest bust. One of the most memorable games is a Bogglecon at the Easton Inn with 16 players, and yet no one ended up in the adjacent pool! I'll try harder this time. I might possibly be able to run my "King of the Hill" scenario to its wonderful completion.

TWERPS: To Impossibility and Beyond-- TWERPS, "The World's Easiest Role-Playing System" began my downward spiral towards minimalist systems all the way back in 1993. It is elegantly simple almost to a fault, and we've just about any type of genre with it (There are a 13 suuplements to it). One of my favorite games was a Space Cadets-styled game with a Flash Gordon feel of adventure and a Barney Fife school of execution. This version of TWERPS would include one group, we always alluded to, but never implemented in-game: The Gnomish Space Marines. (We're all part of the Gnomish Space Marines, the Gnomish Space Marines, the Gnomish Space Marines...)

Call of Cthulhu: The Wrath of Novez-- "New Game" The Wrath of Novez has been the CoC Modern game I've been tinkering with for years. It's a campaign that one part X-Files, one part Mythbusters, and one part modern pulp goodness, all set in a world where both Ghostbusters movies actually took place. Everyone and their brother are smacking down ectoplasmic entities that no one notices the actual horrors walking just inside the shadows from the light of humanity. Wrath would be set up in an on-going campaign style a la The Drow Game, Larry Ander's Dragonlance game, or even some of the Star Wars games of the past.

Basic D&D: Return to Gygar's Castle: "New Game" This one might take some assistance from other players. Full blown D&D game, minis, terrain, the whole shebang. I put down Basic D&D, but I might mean White Box, Holmes, Mentzer, or even worse, 3.0. I've had this one in my head for five years and used different systems for execution (of the game, not the characters...) I just need some temporary "donations" for the length of the con.

There they are folks, and if you think of something cool that I missed, mention it in the comments.

And no, I'm not doing another LARP!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Stand-Alone Rules for The Song of Fur and Buttons Now Available

Good God, it's a good week for random stuff I like. Welcome to National "I'm in the Demographic" Week. Enjoy the complimentary punch!

Per a post on TMP, Ganesa Direct has announced a stand-alone version of The Song of Fur and Buttons, a setting dedicated to Eureka Minis Colonial Teddy Bears. Apparently there was a previous version, but that requires the The Song of Blades and Heroes, Colonial Rules with *gasp* Humans!
From the description, if it doesn't cover all the bases of the Eureka, it will probably give you enough to make up your own rules - Colonial Bears! Pirate Bears! Dinosaurs! Kermitians (frogs)! Terrashells (turtles)! Plus, there are 14 different scenarios included, designed for the young, and the young at heart.

Here are some pics, I believe I absconded them from Genesha blog, actually:

Teddy Bears and their Kermitian ally are surrounded!

Some Colonial Teddy Bears


"But there so small and tiny! Surely, they aren't a threat!"

Price given for the book will be $21.00. I need to buy something so there's space on my list to buy this!

When you need a healer with BIG watchfull eyes..

Reaper Minis announced the release of the Thanksgiving mouselings today. The Mrs. and I need to discuss Christmas arrangements so I can see if I can stop procrastinating and just buy all of them, dammit!

I scoured their website for a picture of the upcoming Christmas Mouseling, but alas, no dice... I did find this, however:

01428: Frumitty, Lemur Cleric ($9.99)

It's a limited edition production. I can't tell you what scale, or anything, but my little girl is in love with a stuffed animal lemur, so this gets added the the mighty list....

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Brigade Games *updates* the Gnome Wars page

Lon at Brigade Games has been posting new vehicle releases for other lines on the Brigade Facebook page, so I figured to take a gander over to the Gnome Wars side of things.
Sorry, no new releases as of yet, although Lon has promised new figs before Christmas. However the GW page is now chock full of pictures!

Japanese Riceball Pitcher

Gnomo Sapiens!

The added pics flesh out the core armies (German and Swiss), with Highlanders and Japanese getting a whole lotta love, as well.

Some of the pics are cropped versions of early full army pics, while I think I see my shots of the Orangeman (very blurry) and Aussie Cav being used.

I see whomever painted these has a certain penchant for the white beards on all of the gnomes, even the caveman. It is nice to see a yet another perspective to painting the figures.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Mepacon Fall 2010 Review

I survived Mepacon Fall 2010, but I didn't even get a lousy t-shirt!

Despite late hours to finish up one game and a complete collapse trying to finish a second, Mepacon was a rousing success. Parenthood/fatherhood any hobbies, I got to go up all day Saturday, run two games, catch up with friends, and clean out some gaming stuff in the auction.

I arrived at the Ramada in Clarks Summit around 8:30am to find an empty ballroom. Apparently Friday night was lightly attended, but those who were there had a GREAT time. Once I picked up my bag I ran into Gerry (know to the Lehicon con as the beret guy). We caught up and I found out the was a possibility of an appearance my Mike Griffith. Mike has been MIA since 2000 and it would be have been nice to see him, but family issues always trump gaming.

At ten after 9, Larry stumbled into the hall. He apparently had a awesome time the previous night and treaded carefully with each step. By 9:30, a half hour after the time slot started, my Hackmaster game was actually just starting up. I actually had five players: Larry, Gerry, some guy named John, and two guys who claimed they played Hackmaster with a drunk Jolly Blackburn. Of course this is the game that had unfinished pre-gens. I had the group roll of characters on 4d6, roll twice for quirks and flaws, armed them and we were ready to go.

My event, Citizen Chaos, was staged in the lost city of Cyndicea from B4: The Lost City. The PCs were drug addled citizens of a decadent society, banded together to solve an epidemic of undead that were terrorizing the inhabitants.

I don't think a formal after-game report would do the game justice. Everyone determined their own motivations, their own goals, and just how often they partook in hallucinatory mushrooms. Going through the catacombs, one member dragged around a boat (or DID he? Have another mushroom.), another was a goblin shaman whose magic only seemed to work around said boat, and yet another was left in a storeroom full of wine. They group encountered undead, deities, and somehow with only one tweak by me in the last thirty minutes, the final encounter. We picked up a sixth player at that time (a third player with drunk Jolly ties). It was a deadly battle, very Conan-esque, but the evil was vanquished. But in a city were short term memory is a way of life, would the surviving PCs actually be heroes?

After a quick lunch at Damon's I finally got to tour around the con. The dealers were pretty standard con fare: The Portal from Bethlehem with a decent new selection, some store that just sold those expensive board games everyone drools over, perrinial Guest of Honor, horror author CJ Henderson, and a new author, although every time I got near, I saw a "Sorry I missed you, check out my site," sign on his table.

There were also two tables for different LARPS games: one for Werewolf and another for a Fantasy game. I do not disparrage LARPers. They bring more people to the con and more people means more money for the con. However, about half of their representatives were of the "Scuzzy and Smelly LARPer" variety.

They also introduced video gaming in a corner of the hall. Three large TVs, multiple systems available, yet I only saw a never ending game of Sou Caliber (4?). I would rather see the tables used for a display of family and board games, rather than hidden under a table somewhere .

Finally, the true revenue source was at full capacity: Organized Play. RPGA and Pathfinder games were again located in the restaurant's hotel. About 50 people, over 80% paying admissions filled the room and rarely seemed to leave.

The second slot I didn't have to fulfill my duties as back-up player for the Drow game. Steve had 10 players, and in proper Drow fashion, the party barely got out of the bar. I spent the slot, tweaking the Toon characters, shooting the breeze, and filling out auction slips for my boxes of stuff.

The extended break between the afternoon and evening session is chock full of raffles and the game auction. As auctions go, it was definitely good, and some of the bids were definitely impressive, but I picked up absolutely nothing. There was barely anything I would pick up for a buck or two, much less the 4 or 5 they were going for. Remember, I'm not the demographic.

The evening session was another slow starter. I scrounged up three players for Cthulhu Comes to Springfield, snagged Patrick, one of the drunken Jolly players, and after the first episode, corralled Mepacon staff member Jim Minor to play Apu.

The Toon game went off well, actually subdued in the "TV-MA" areas I was worried about. Of course Jim won the award for most sadistic PC, having Apu lure a Homer-Shoggoth into the elementary school, and I do have updated notes on the new episode the Neffs helped create last weekend, "Duffman Fails His Sanity Check."

Finally, the most interesting development came while chatting with Nichols. He mentioned that Wilson Borough opening up a community center that was available for rentals. Right next to Meuser Park, it's three minutes off of Rt 22, with plenty of parking. We threw around some numbers, how we could to get the word out IF we were to run a con in the Lehigh Valley, and I convinced him to check up on prices for a Saturday. By the end of the night I had about ten different people coming up to offer events and support for a con that we'd hadn't even done the premilinary research on. The Lehigh Valley is definitely desperate for a convention. I wonder if anyone still "owns" the rights to Lehigh Valley Games Fair? Game Day? Whatcon II? Covecon II? We-didn't-name-it-Lehicon?

Edit: Of course, it doesn't help that I mentioned this to my wife, Michelle, and her first response?
"If you could make a couple of dollars from it, you should do it!"

When my non-gaming wife likes the idea, I guess we start the preliminary planning.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Mepacon Eve....

Well, technically Mepacon started its games at 3pm this afternoon, but if I tried to get time off, drive up there, and avoid all fatherly duties in a house with an 18-month old, my gaming books would be in a pile in the front yard.... on fire.

But it wouldn't be the night before a con if I wasn't slaving away finishing up events. My second game, the much ballyhooed Cthulhu Comes to Springfield is just about done. I need to rewrite the schtick cards and sort them out, and *ding* it's perfect. My Hackmaster game is another story. I need to be out the door by 7am tomorrow, and I still need 6 character backgrounds, oh yeah, plus the characters aren't finished. It's one of the few times I hope I don't have any players in the morning.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Favorite Games of the Past...?

Today's recommended post from National Blog Posting Month ( is, "What was your favorite song this year? Five years ago? Ten years ago? Twenty?" So, let's obviously twist that into the dice-chucking realm.

What was my favorite game this year?: Doing calendar year (per my 2010 year end review) obviously it's Gnome Wars. I mean, c'mon, I have this blog that I started due to my love for it. It's something that I can do with the family, with friends, and an excuse to make more friends when I travel to Lancaster and Valley Forge. Now, the financial outlay is greater than RPGs, plus, unlike RPG books, a load of gnome lead might be difficult to unload. I'm not going to make any unwise purchases just for the hell of it. Anyway, another pile of unpainted lead might depress me.

Five years ago? 2005 was a barren year for gaming. I had purged my collection before moving to Wellsboro. The closest game store was an hour away in Williamsport. I did play in some Magic booster drafts using the Kamigawa block. I also had plenty of visits by Michelle and breaking out the party games, like Fluxx. Limited playing time and a limited budget forced me to focus on one RPG: Risus. It's so ridiculously simple, with a cooperative group you could do just about anything with it. I had run a portion of A Kringle in Time for the group's Christmas game in December '04 and just kept going. I got a Risus Membership, the Compendium, signed up for all the Risus boards I could find, heck I even ran the Baby Jesus portion of Kringle at one of the Scranton Mepacons.

Ten years ago? This was the end of my Bronze Age of Gaming. 2000 was the final year of Griffon Games, my final year of college, and the last time I would do an exhorbitant about of gaming. I had Mordheim and Necormunda leagues during the week, RPGA games on Sunday afternoons, and a full catalog to peruse at my disposal. Despite being deemed the "Lehigh Valley Games Guru," by Andy Dawson and Mike Griffith, my love was still Advanced Dungeons and Dragons. Screw the edition wars, we played fast, furious, and just about every weekend on the college calendar. Five players one weekend, ten the next, the World of Georic was never more vibrant, more exciting than the beloved "College Game." At the end of the Spring semester of '00 I wrapped it up with a dozen player blowout after-hours in the store. Dice and beer flew, Baraxus the Destroyer was vanquished, and the group was left confused as long dead hero Talis Makolin had been telling the epic story of the campaign... in a freakin' alternative universe. But then again, aren't they all?

Fifteen years ago? Wow, I must be getting rusty, I wrote a great little bit about my (1st) heyday of playing Magic, until I realized that that was 1994! 1995 was a few months of working at New Frontiers, playing Magic, setting up my "Army" AD&D game with my Reserve buddies from Bethlehem, but most importantly I do believe this was the front end of my Legions of Steel addiction. Around Christmas of '94 I was cleaning up around the store and an LoS Fast-Play set, with a paper map and couple of UNE Commandos and Nightmares. It seemed fun, by buddy Wooly and I split the LoS boxed set during the Dreamscape Comics christmas sale, and we were off to the races. To be honest, I never understood the appeal of Space Hulk. Most games I saw run were mostly "Slaughter genestealers until you group falls," affairs. Having the enemy actively fire back, adds that extra layer of tactics. Pretty soon we were demoing at UBCon, Lehicon, and the following year, Origins.

Twenty years ago? Christ, I've been doing this a long time, but twenty years ago is my Golden Age. Nostalgia helps fill in the cracks to the problems with gaming in high school, but '90 was a cornucopia of vintage gaming. GURPS, Palladium, TMNT, Talisman, Best of Dragon Games, Talislanta, whether is was the game of the day, or no one would ever hear of it agained, we gamed. AD&D was the game of the day, again edition be damned. We tried everything we could find in book or Dragon Magazine. I started my first Georic campaign using T1-4 Temple of Elemental Evil, moved to Forgotten Realms, and somewhere in there, mixed in a little Lankhmar. It was a bloody mess, but it was the beginning of a beautiful thing.

Monday, November 8, 2010

(RPG) Playtesting is fun... and should be banned in 39 states

Sunday was the much anticipated playtest of Cthulhu Comes to Springfield, my Simpons Toon game. We all met at Balls' place in Allentown, which has its perks (well stocked bar, walking distance for food, and his wife met us at the door in her robe, but that's another story for another blog.

Nichols, Scott, Balls, and Steve were test subjects. I figured the four of them could do equal damage versus a group of six strangers at con, so we were go for playing.

We ran three of the hour long episodes I planed on running next Saturday: Work at Homer, Mister Smooth's Baskets, and Krusty the Kultist. I won't go into details so as not to spoil the surprise at the con (and possibly subsequent con events), but let me just say that Scott makes a great Groundskeeper Willie, Steve and Balls do spot on Chief Wiggums, everyone's portrayal of Ralph nearly broke me, and the the age limit will imediately go up from 12 to 18. If the con group plays half as twisted as my playtesters, I could not, in good conscience, run this game with children or teenagers present.

The group also helped me brainstorm the 4th episode (tim permitting) The Atomic Call of Cthulhu. I have such faded memories of that and the fabled 5th episode that it was better to rebuild it from only the most basic of outlines. Three words: Car, Seats, Duffman!!!!!!!

After a jaunt to the local Chinese buffet, we threw together a quick Risus: IOU session. Tannenbaum, the Professor, and Keith Stone got served court papers implicating them in the damage of a multi-billion credit starship, as well as unleashing Elvis onto the Human Occupied Landfill (HoL). The bad new was that they would be forced to do community service for the Intergalatic Parcel Service. The good news: Keith Stone got the keys to a delivery shuttlecraft.
This helps me expand upon 2011's two words: Radioactive Spittoon.

Friday, November 5, 2010

(Battletech) Free Download!

via TMP and my email - has announced that their free download of the week is BattleTech: A Time of War Quick-Start Rules by Catalyst Game Labs. These are the quick start rules for the RPG (aka the new version of Mechwarrior.)

Of course, you could always download the full version of the rules on the site, or perhaps a hardcopy on Catalyst's website.

Otherwise, yay biker shorts in 3060!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

What Out-of-the-Blue Item Do I Want?

Random question #2 for the month of November: At this second what is the one out-of-the-blue item would I be interested in?

Answer: Skirmish-level 20mm to 28mm Vietnam game with great campaign rules.

Explanation: My thought was RECON, that lovely Palladium wargame turned into an RPG that played like a wargame without the figs. I loved the slim 2nd edition/Advanced Recon combo. No frills, no character "depth," just get through enough missions and go home. Back in my early college days at Nic-Nac I even started a West African game using the rules, but after two sessions it fell to the wayside, just like every other game that entered the club.

Despite the heavy body count, I would love to see some campaign development rules a la Mordheim. Incremental stat increases, backup weapons, and lucky "trophies" to add some flavor to the game. And don't forget about those NVA and Viet Cong. They didn't become sneaky overnight, although they might benefit from an accelerated xp system to offset their "nameless" roles they usually portray.

You get me that, then we'll talk about regional/historical updates to cover most modern African Wars, Middle East conflicts, heck I'd even play zombie apocalypse with that.

Anybody know something like this? Anyone? Bueller? *crickets*

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

My favorite con I travelled for

So, perusing other people's blogs, I notice National Blog Posting Month. It seems to be a 365 "month" , but they do offer different topics each day: "What is your favorite thing?", " What toy do you still have from your childhood", and "What would you do if you didn't have to pay rent/mortgage," are three recent suggestions.

Now, I'm not one to discuss politics, personal history, or my favorite Spice Girl on a gaming blog, but I took the NBPM suggestions, some TMP and message board reading and came up with.

What was my favorite con that I had to travel an hour or more for?

I've had the pleasure to be within short driving distance to a number of one and three-day cons within Mid-Eastern Pennsylvania., but there's something more memorable about travelling hours with poor directions, random stops along the way, crashing at some random dive or somebody's floor.

Our honorable mentions--
UBCON '93-'95- Three years of travelling Rt 17 to get up to the University of Buffalo campus for a weekend of gaming. Each could be the ultimate definition of "ROAD TRIP!", involving drunken brawls, men wearing dog collars, getting chased off-road by the New York State Police, transporting minors into Canada, and hanging out with Larry Sims of Battlelords of the 23rd Century fame. The stories themselves are only told in full with a proper accompianment of alchohol and the three years and their players merge and meld into one another, so I can not pick any of these.

Garden State Games Faire '96 - A one shot con outside of Trenton with lots of gaming and a simply massive games auction. I have fond memories of running my only LARP, an Illuminati University game the involved a bomb, a swimming pool, and room full of pissed off RPGA members seated around the above-mentioned pool.

Origins '96-'97 -- My trip to Origins in Philly involved running piles of Legions of Steel, meeting Uncle Duke for the first time, and a six foot tall cross-dressing prostitute in a leopard print mini skirt. Due to a court order, the trip to Origins in Columbus, can only be described online as OHIO!!!!!

Dexcon '96 -- Edison, NJ con. My buddy Wooly and I ran Legions of Steel all weekend long, we set up next the giant maco-battles 28mm OGRE, 40K with Titans, and a giant Star wars space battle in a 20' x 50' space. The highest point was eating lunch with Steve Jackson.

HMGS Cons-- Cold Wars, Historicon, and Fall-in! I've had a blast at each one, and after marriage and parenthood, these are the only cons I'll travel to now. I've had a blast at each, but no one con stood out amongst the others.

It could be considered underwhelming, but my favorite con was not a GenCon (never been, don't care to ever go), but actually Organized Khan-fusion 19 or 20. It was a small con outside of Harrisburg and I had promised Mike Griffith (Lehicon/Bogglecon organizer) to pass out fliers for the next Lehigh Valley con. I had found myself without a reliable vehicle for the trip and commandeered the services of my Dad.

The site for the con was small, there was perhaps two dealers (one being M.Foyers Games Only Emporium, the convention organizer), but there was a good variety of games. We were only there for the afternoon slot at best, didn't play in a game, but the fliers got dropped off and I spent my time there trying to explain each game to him. Even if he feigned interest, he did it well (the WW2 microarmor game picqued his interests, as he was a history buff).

We grabbed a late lunch/early dinner and headed back to Easton in a dreary drizzle, but with warm conversation about gaming, and anything else that came up.

Truth be told, my Dad had an attitude to my gaming (mostly D&D at the time) that I wish most grown-ups had: "I don't understand most of it," " It doesn't look appealing," and "I wished he used that time to do something more productive, but he's staying out of trouble and his friends that do it seem like good guys." To say other circumstances in the late 90's were "complicated" would be an understatement, but for that afternoon it was camping trips as a kid and just random conversations I had with him, when times were less "complicated."

In the big picture it didn't matter whether it was 19 or 20 con-wise, within a year my Dad passed away. We'd spend some afternoons and a few holidays together during that time, but no memory is as unblemished as that dreary car ride down I-78 and 81, in a late model Monte Carlo.

I notice that the shop that hosted the con changed hands and names, and that they're running a two day con the same weekend as Mepacon. If it goes well, perhaps I can scout it out one afternoon in the distant future, and then take my girls down for some good old-fashioned fun.

With dragons, 6mm shermans, and plush dice...