Monday, October 31, 2011

Gnomes at Southern Front

Still trying to piece together my weekend at Fall-in! Lancaster alternated between tons of awesomeness and a few signicant disasters. Games went well, swag was obtained, but I'm about halfway done typing that up.

While I wait, here are some pics from Southern Front, one of them a Gnome Wars game with the infamous Chocolat Suisse gnomes of legend.

And to whet your appetite's here's a pic I found on The Command Tent of my Battle of Yellowstone game: for other pics.

I had camera issues, so I'm editing and constructing my posts carefully. First one should be up tonight.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Off to Fall-in!

Well, not quite yet, but my riding mates to the first Fall-in! since 2001 are my wife and two young daughters, so I'm amazed I got time to clean out or pack the car.

Somehow I have only one project for Friday and that's finalizing the "random" event initiative chart. My event is historically based, and to cover 30-years of history in one scenario involved a little tweaking. It should go over well, as I will need someone to be in charge of the sheep.

Otherwise, the Missus has a shopping budget (and separate fundage), and I should be able to enjoy the meeting of the gnomish minds, a lot of train fun, and hanging out with my two-year old Maja, during the joust Saturday night.

And of course, I've purge the camera in anticipation of the craziness that Mike Lung is bringing. A full report with pictures is a given.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Strange Aliens from ZombieSmith

I'm sorry, I didn't read the fluff on the website, but these guys are just too cute not to mention:

Simply called "The Hook", 7 of these bad boys are $21.00. The figures are roughly 21mm. for more info

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Holy Moley... There's an HMGS Newsletter

The strangest things happen when I check my email late at night.

Lo, and behold a newsletter from HMGS... With actual information! It seems that the organization is (barely) in the black for the year and that there is no great conspiracy to destroy the HMGS or make the BoD part of the 1% through some underhanded dealings. Just a bunch of people trying to operate a non-profit organization and run some conventions most of us love.

What amused me greatly, and most gentle readers who aren't HMGS, were some fantastic little articles written by Bob & Cleo Liebl.

Thoughts upon the Selection of Armies & Scaling-Down One’s Mistakes : A nice write-up about scale, period, and a beautiful comparion of 54/25/15mm, or my eyes fail me and they're 25/15/6mm.

55 Days in Peking: The Defense and Relief: Some great pics of the 55 Days in Peking game at Historicon.

Kid-Friendly Games: Giving some love to the games played by kids, both young and old. Gnome Wars gets a great deal of love and pics, as do the HAWKS games (Lego Cowboys!)

For all the info:

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Space Mouselings vs Mr Squiggles?

I know, I know, Fall-in! is just a couple of days away and I should be focusing on gnomes, but I went on Reaper's site to see pictures of the Mouseling Tavern boxed set and this smacked me across the face with the power of awesomeness!

The display is not for for sale, but the figs on it are available in two different packages.

Space Mouselings are available for $14.99 for three figs.

Terror on Planet X set includes the three mouselings plus "Mr Squiggles" there for $29.99.

If my shopping list wasn't already over budget....

Monday, October 24, 2011

(Gnome Wars) Gnome Wars 2.0 Review

This July, Brigade Games finally released the much awaited Gnome Wars 2.0, written by Jim Stanton. The Gnome Wars universe had expanded much since the 1.1 release and it was getting difficult to properly play with incomplete or missing nationalities in the book, Australians and Living Gnomelings being just two of them.

I'm assuming a bit of knowledge amongst the casual readers of the blog. I hope you've seen pictures of the figures, know a little of the core nationalities, and might even possess a copy of version 1.0 or 1.1 of the rules. If you do want a full break-down of the core nationalities, drop me a line. I may thrown something together early one in this blog, but I won't mind putting another one together, maybe a "Gnome Wars Primer," or a permanent link on the front page.

The book is 89 pages, spiral bound, although it was noted that future printings may be perfect bound.

Being a Gnome Wars homer, you might expect a rave review. Certain things just piss me off, so I'll cover the negatives before going ga-ga over the new stuff.

Typos: The 1.0 and 1.1 editions were riddled with typos: shaky grammar, bad spelling, and inconsistencies between the the rules pages and the reference sheets. I expected most of them cleaned up, yet upon the first page of rules (pg 5)

Step one of sequence of play.
1) Check Moral.

I don't want to be holier-than-thou, but unless there's a Roman Catholic Gnome Army coming out soon, no morals need to be checked. Not a huge error, but the same one from the 1st edition rulebook, and repeated twice more on the same page

Just reading this got me in a foul mood, but I continued.

Reference sheets are different from the rules pages.
Alphorn: Rules: needs to be tested each turn on a 2+ to see if Swiss units can advance. Reference: one just needs to be in play.
Tunneling Rules 2+ save/ Reference: 3+ . Plus how long does that 16 inches take, one turn the end of the next?
Rule changes
American Medics - Northern medics heal on a 5-6 on d6, Southerners 3+ on d6. They are new units, but a d6 and not d8?
Sikhs can be healed? I couldn't find anything saying they still eschewed western medicine.
Santa: With the new armies, is anyone NOT allied? Nothing is specified.

And while I'm not sure what the best way to construct an index for the book, one is needed for those item not usually found on reference cards. "Vehicles", "Artillery", and "Moral/Morale" might be three broad suggestions for items I regularly reference within the main rules.

System-wise, it's still the same tried-and-true mechanics. d6 to hit, 95% of ranges are in feet, with very basic modifiers to hit.

Moral/morale is a rarely used but critical mechanic that works well. In most units, morale doesn't kick in until 2/3 of the unit has been lost, and then the roll gets progressively more difficult to make each turn until it's impossible. Most of our units here at Casa del Viscount don't make it so well, but we did have some tense moments in the first Tanga game with morale.

Of course, the healing phase is what makes most new players giddy and confused at the same time . After all the movement, firing, hand-to-hand, and artillery one could stand, the medic figures roam the battlefield "healing" their comrades with bier. St. Bernards, Bier Doktors, and a few saucy Bier Maidens have a set amount of special movement to use only during this phase, and each healing attempts deducts three inches from the total. In most cases, a number of figures could never be saved, and even those that do are saved only 50% of the time!

The New Stuff!

  • The Holy Gnoman Empire. While the name conjures up miniature Charlemanges, These are strictly classic Romans. A lost legion(s), if you would. Unlike the Irish, who have a tendency to be slaughtered in a charge, the Gnomans use a number of different shield defensive formations to provide cover from ranged weaponry, form square to ward of cavalry, etc.

  • The Americans: The classic Civil War without that whole slavery issue. Northerners are technologically advanced, and their "hero" makes the Terminator look like a jack-in-the-box. They even have to option of creating one "black legion" with extra bonuses depending on the number of Northerner units fielded. The Southerners use their rural homeland to their advantage. Southerners move at normal rate in the woods and gain additional cover modifiers while there. Plus in the "Unit and Army Creation Section" there is mention of Naval units for both sides. Could little gnome sailors not be far off?

  • Highlander Cavalry - Not only do we have to worry about berserkers, now we have to worry about stampeding Scots? Sweet Baby Jesus in a kilt! The new stampeding rules . Still no medics, thank God! Scottish Golfer is a bit overcomplicated, but right up my alley.

  • Japanese - Riceball Pitchers and the Sushi Cannons were added.

  • Irish - A full expansion of the Irish from 1.1 limited info to all the rules from the con games. Rainbow connection, et al. Plus the Orangemen are fleshed out, with room for an expanded mini line.

  • Australians- Aussie Cav on kangaroos is detailed, but no infantry or other units.

  • Gnomelings are quickly covered, the clockwork IED that are associated with the Gnome Wizard, and the living breathing ones who drive little tanks and grasshoppers, and attack en masse.

  • Russians: Officer and regular troops. I never realized the sentries fired blunderbusses!

There is enough new information that the other issues can be forgiven, to a point. The new nationalities with rules has created some excitement. My buddy Nichols, who swore up and down he was happy with 2 1/2 units of Highlanders, giggled with glee at the notion of Scottish Cav and he has callied dibs on an army of Southerners. I, on the other hand, have the Gnomans on my list and can't wait to assemble a Northern army, only it will be the Imperial Guard of the Republic of California.

Rules clarifications need to be made, but I suggest working off the unit cards in the back of the book for the time being. I know I will be at Fall-in! this weekend. I know plenty of people who bring there own modified units that aren't covered in the rules to the con events, and we just work with it. As I have used in another set of rules, "This Ain't No Avalon Hill Game." We have people playing with teddy bears, zombies, gingerbread men, and one guy replacing the alphorn with a gnome in sunglasses with a boom box. If you love the gnomes, and want to play with them the way they initially conceived, the rules are necessary. Mechanics-wise, I find little fault in the core rules. It's my worry that the rules/stat conflicts interfere with gameplay. There are enough discrepancies in the rules for people to bicker over 3+ vs 4+ rolls and forgot that they are playing with freakin' gnomes

And I just want to play with freakin' gnomes.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

(Gnome Wars) The Michael Lung Gallery #6

I'm usually good a keeping a secret, but after seeing getting a series of pictures from Mr. Lung, I'm giddy over the Friday events at Fall-in!

Mike's been working on Znombies, and here the cinematic end result of his labors:

Warning, if you click to enlarge, the pic is HUGE!

We've already been in discussion for rules for these bad bodys, and sorry folks, they're not available for sale.... but perhaps we need a discussion with Mike, Lon from Brigade, Jim Stanton, and an appropriate pile of adult beverage and hash out an agreement. I'm just saying.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Living Dungeons of Corn!

Two weekends ago, my wife thought it was a good idea to take the kids up to Roba's Farms up in Dalton, PA, for some pumpkin picking and a jaunt through the corn maze. While I had some petty misgivings about the trip, we loaded up the car and headed out to meet the Lasoski/Verbyla clan (My friends who participated in the Hawaiian Murder Mystery I blogged previously).

Roba's is a nice place with plenty of parking and a petting zoo of sorts with Llamas, goats, chickens,and an adorable rabbit town done to 1/20th scale. We barely got to visit the Pumpkin Pillow (a giant inflantible balloon for jumping), the pig races, or the pumpkin cannons, because, we almost became that Massachusetts family that called 911 when they were hopelessly lost in a corn maze.

A corn maze is a living dungeon, especially if you're under 5'10". Outside of a few wider areas, or at one of the bridges could you really see where you were within the maze itself. Plus I hadn't packed for dungeoneering, so there was no chalk to mark the paths, no iron rations, no graph paper, and no ten foot pole!

I'll bore you with the minor details but the gist of the maze was that we received a blank map at the start and within the maze there were 11 different stations, each with their respective piece of map. I believe it took us 45 minutes to find the first one, but we did have a full adventuring party. Three kids under three, two strollers, and five adults. Throw in some mud and no idea who was doing what and it was backtrack city.

We finally reached the first bridge and realized (a) we could see two of the stations... if we could just figure out how to get there and (b) we would have to lung two strollers up and down a flight of stairs. While our flag bearer was coming back with the third piece of the map, we encountered a large family who had collected all 11 pieces. Unfortunately for them, no one could actually read the map and get them out of there! Fortunately we had a postivie reaction check, (go-go high charisma), and we convinced them to lead them out. By the time we reached the commercially convenient snack bar 2/3 of the way into the maze, we had picked up two more groups and I started feeling like Moses leading the Jews around in the desert for 40 years!

For the last third of the maze, I stuck with the tried and true method: I stuck to the left side of the wall and we were out in less than 2 minutes. Of course the young girl who had assembled the map had taped the last piece crooked, meaning we could have gotten out even sooner if they had been line up right to start.

Granted, it was fun, but do I wish to do it again soon. Oh hell no! The only mazes I would like to be involved with have graph paper, 10' spiked pit traps, and random encounters. Roba's did have all the other attractions mentioned above, plus a nice playground for the kids, and I think I heard people mention a train.

But next time I'm bring my horseman's flail +2.

Our intrepid adventurers: Two fighters, a thief, a cleric, and three halfling cuties. My wife (taking the pic) might be a cleric too, as it took divine intervention to prevent her from killing anyone from the group who attached to ours.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Apathy of New Releases (October 2011)

Since I was behind on my last "Apathy" entry, I completely forgot about the next. Again, it's only three weeks late and the next Game Trade comes out in eight day, but in my humble opinion, I'm not missing much.

My Wishlist: Nothing

My Let's-Have-a-Look-First Wishlist: The Dewdrop Inn supplement for Tunnels & Trolls. $11.95

My Imaginary Store List:
Ars Magica : Cradle and Crescent HC

A company I've never heard of named Blackwyrm Games is releasing a slew of Hero compatible campaign sourcebooks. I'm not big on Hero, but the settings are "unique" aka weird enought to mention.

  • PostHegmony: Terra Nomenklatura - space colonization, except that Earth has been colonized by aliens!

  • EarthLux Aeternum: Space RPG with the 17th c spirt of the age of exploration, including silly feathered hats.

  • The Wreck of Alpha Central - roleplaying in an alien post apoc future.
Risk Legacy: Campaign rules for Risk? Seriously?

The 40K RPG Block:

  • Deathwatch: First Founding

  • Dark Heresy: Book of Judgement.

  • Dark Heresy: Haarlock Legacy Trilogy

  • Rogue Trader: Hostile Acquisitons

  • And for Warhammer Fantasy Role-Play: Lure of Power

Warhammer.. er I mean Mantic Armies. I'm spoiled by my personal wargaming habits, so I don't even know if this is a steal versus Games Workshop. Dwarf, Abyssal (Chaos) Dwarf, Elf, Orc and Undead Armies for $175.00 each

4 Paizo Pathfinder related products

Deadlands Reloaded Players Guide

For 4e D&D
Book of Vile Darkness
Shadowghast Manor Dungeon Tiles

And in the clix world, Incredible Hulk Heroclix.

Outside of a desire to stock Mantic armies, it looks to be a great month for mid-level restocks and expanding product lines in preparation for Christmas.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

(Gnome Wars) Civil War Gnomes now available at Brigade!

Perusing the Brigade Games website, I did find the American Gnomes (North and South) listed on the website. Plus I finally found a picture of the Shetland ponies!

Unit pricing is also available: $65.00 for cav and $47.00 for foot.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

(FOR SALE) 54mm ATKM AWI for Sale!

The hammer has been dropped. As much as I love 54mm, I can't expect to paint my figs, much less play with them, anytime soon.

Below is the list of all the All the King's Men figures I've accumulated. It isn't much compared to the mega-games, but I've only budgeted a pack per convention usually, and the terrain caught my eye lately. Sorry, the terrain stays. Gnomes + giant haystacks = awesome!

  • 1 unit, British Light Dragoons (8)

  • 1 unit Continental Infantry (14)

  • 1 unit British Infantry (14)

  • 1 unit Continental Skirmishers (8)

  • 1 unit Artillery

  • 1 pack of three pounder field guns (3)

  • Northeastern Woodland Indians plastics boxed set (18)

  • Another set of Indian plastics (12)

  • Litko 1.25 in circular bases, 3mm plywood (25)
I'm asking $120.00 for the whole set, shipping included. I think this is a fair price, given that I do believe Ken at ATKM was forced to increase prices for the new casting.

I would prefer not to sell this piecemeal, but I am willing to make any decent offer. I'm even willing to meet at a "offsite" location to deliver the figures at Fall-in! if need be.

Feel free to contact me at viscounteric at gmail dot com. We can talk turkey get these into the hands of someone who can give them a good home to be killed little lead deaths over and over again.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Miskatonic School for Girls Deck Building Game

Thanks to a friend on Facebook for bringing this to my attention, even if she does work for Games Workshop:

The Miskatonic School for Girls Deck Building Game is a combination of cute little girls with horrors of the lunchlady, er, I mean H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos.

Miskatonic School for Girls

While I don't think the concept is as visionary as the designers might claim (you play your school students and beset your opponents with evil, corrupting faculty and staff who drain their sanity. Last player with any sanity left wins!), it looks put-together, it's Lovecraftian, and it might just be fun.

While I haven't thrown a cent into their production, this looks far better than 95% of the items solicited montly (Trust me, I'm working on my monthly Apathy of New Releases post for October and this could have the worse mechanics in the history of card games and be game of the year compared to the drivel being released by the "major" companies.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

(Gnome Wars) The Michael Lung Gallery #5

It's been awhile and since Mike is currently working on a super-secret project that requires a lot of brain power, I'll focus his first mark of genius.

I bring you, the Gingerbread Men, as sponsored by the Count of Keebler:

The figure with the baking board is a German peasant, the Baker is part of the French Pastry Mortar. The rest of the unit are original sculpts.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

(Gnome Wars) American Gnome Preview!

Brigade Games has recently released pics of the new American Gnomes!

Basic Cavalry (South - North) Northern Infantry
Northern Drummer / Standard Bearer
Northern NCO / Officer
Cavalry Officer (Southern / Northern)
Musician (Southern / Northern)
Southern Infantry
Southern Musician / Standard Bearer
Southern NCO / Officer

I have a good source telling me that the mounts for both sides will be Shetland ponies. When I find pics for them, I'll post them

Monday, October 3, 2011

(Gnome Wars) Battle of Yellowstone Playtest

Sunday afternoon, Nichols came up and we playtested my "Battle of Yellowstone" game for Fall-in! I've realized that the scenario could easily be an all day event, like a mega board game that could go on and on. However, with simple reference sheets for each unit and a ref to keep things going, three hours will be a nice change of pace for the average HMGS con game.

Given the dense terrain, the limited units versus a normal Gnome Wars game, and the vast quantity of animals (yes, animals) we may have oversimplified firing, movement, and morale, but this will allow players with failed units to quickly jump back in and players can even play "solo" if they're not in the thick of things.

I do need to buy more sheep.

After two hours, we decided to wrap up the playtest and move from the garage to the dining room table to relearn Legions of Steel. As I've mentioned before,the guy who sold me the boxed set on eBay threw in Space Marines and SW Robots to make up for the missing UNE and Machine minis. Today's game reaffirms my belief that anything space marine related sucks. Since I had experience with the leadership Nichols system, albeit 12 years removed, I took over the UNE forces and let Nichols get comfortable with the Machines. He opened up with an aggressive defense of their facility that bordered on suicidal, but poor deployment, mediocre tactics, lousy die rolls, and criminal misuse of leadership created a slaughter of my forces.

Deploying the figures wrong cause bottlenecks and misue of Forcewall grenades, throwing off my tactics. I did manage to destroy half of my objective, but I panicked when I should have secured the area, regrouped, and systematically worked my way up the board.

So, at least I can cross off one thing on my yearly bucket list. LOS has been played, huzzah!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

My Gaming Master Plan for 2012

My wacky schedule has decreed the end of my gaming year, I've done a nice little recap of a rather bare year of gaming for me, so now it's time to figure just what I want to/can accomplish for 2012.

Gnome Wars: If I have named the blog in conjuction with the game, I guess I need to play some games. I have to mention that evil word again: Tanga. Unless the space miraculously appears at someone else's house, the summer will be a mad rush to play the battles in and around the city... in my garage. I have my game for Fall-in! and I'm 90% certain to run Chicka Zulu at Cold Wars. I'm one of the weenies not going to Fredericksburg for Historicon, but I'm pretty certain a few conversations at Cold Wars will net us a replacement GM to help Jim or run an alternate to the GW mega-games.

Call of Cthulhu: It's crunch time for the campaign. I need to stoke the interest in it so we can get a few sessions in this year and prepare for the fallout of 1925. I have at least five different scenarios to lay future plot scenes, get characters further into the perdicament, and generally just have fun in the Big Apple and Boston. I also have my sights on a campaign with the tenative nickname, Plausible Deniability. More on that in the weeks to come.

Fantasy: Is basically dead. It requires to much prep work and constant playing that I just don't have to the time to give. "Home" and "City-State of Kathad" games aren't even on the back burner nowadays. It is a bit depressing that the new Hackmaster 5e books are coming out and I have zero desire or need to pick them up, and there's a part of me that should crave them like a drug.

Gladiator Arena: I have the figs, I just don't know if I can get things ready for SATLOF. And it's mundane friendly!

Advanced Candyland: My daughter, Maja, is getting Candyland for Christmas and I will be working feverishly to teach her how to play the game and to integrate different figures and stories using the board. This will be an experimental gateway drug, slowly moving into a game based on Mouse Guard using lots of dollar store props.

Savage Gnomes: This is a project I just thought up in the last week: Using Gnome Wars figs in a role-playing setting. I've seen what good Savage Worlds has done to a variety of settings, so I might as well give it a go. Plus, it's an excuse to use more terrain in more games.

Risus: Always a stand-by game. Might even break out Geezer for it. Hopefully 2012's Day of Sloth is better attended that this years and we get a game off.

Legions of Steel: I will get a couple games in, even if I don't have all the figs. I still scour eBay looking for bargains.

I have to admit another "urge to purge", this time for financial reasons. I love All the King's Men, I love the 54mm AWI, but they are so low on my list of priorities, it's wiser to sell it off and use it towards bills or other *coughFallincough* ventures. I'll have the listing up here by the beginning of the week. I'll also post a pile of other stuff I'm getting rid of.

Besides some gnomes and MBA buildings, I don't see any major purchases in the future. I have a bunch of CoC books on my list but I just don't need any of them, and the gaming store I could venture to wouldn't stock them anyway. Okay, maybe the Mouseling tavern set by Reaper, but not much else.

Cons: Definitely Fall-in! and Cold Wars, no to Historicon, but we might throw something together for the summer. This time I'll announce something if it's a bit more concrete.

And, of course, I'll just keep blogging....

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Gaming Year in Review 2011

It’s that time of year again. I track my gaming year closer to a government fiscal year than a traditional one. Don’t ask me why, it’s been done like that for twenty years.

This is the 23rd year of my gaming career, and this whole being an adult and parent thing has significantly cut into quality gaming.

Of course, the big event of this past year was the birth of my daughter, Amelia. As if a newborn at home with another under 2 wasn't tough enough, she also spend 17 days in the hospital suffering from RSV. What's RSV? In layman's terms, take the worst cold you ever had and just couldn't shake, and give it to a two-week old. Bad stuff, but she was a fighter and got through it.

During those late nights at the hospital, taking a break from sitting bedside with her, I would walk down to the 24-hour cafe and use the free internet . I didn't do much, but I did spend some time on eBay and rediscovered a former addiction: Legions of Steel. Between January and March I snagged up a few random LOS items on the cheap, including a black box set where the UNE and Machines were replaced by Space Marines and Star Wars robots. Funny thing is, despite these purchases, I still didn't play a single game of LOS!

One of the amusing things I discovered was that people actually read this blog! As I was setting up for my "Very Gnomish Civil War" game at Historicon, I lost count on the number of people who came up to the table and said hi, or just said "Hey, Gaming With the Gnomies, cool." That was even more impressive as I was at a different table than scheduled, so that meant they had to have read this silly thing!

Alright then, the games:
Gnome Wars: Gnomes, gnomes, and maybe some teddy bears! We finally got the Tanga Campaign moving along (If your a consistent reader of this blog, you may have heard it mentioned a time or two.) I also got some solid fun playing at Cold Wars and running a nice game on a Miniatures Building Authority board at Historicon.

Everything else was a passing interest.

Toon: Cthulhu Comes to Springfield Redux was not only run at a con, but playtested! A rousing success for both and kudos to my regulars for fleshing out a new final scenario "Duffman failed his SAN check."

Risus: Did manage to get some IOU magic in after the Toon playtest. Got some of the Freshthings jobs and an Intergalactic parcel company starship. Unfortunately, we did not get our annual game during the Day of Sloth picnic, due to lack of gaming attendees.

Hackmaster: At Fall Mepacon, I threw together a game based on the BD&D module, The Lost City. Everyone had fun and it lasted almost the entire 4 hour slot.

Call of Cthulhu: Trying to rejuvenate what had been a staple game. I finally got Phil and Jess involved, and even if Dr. Millheim never makes an appearance again, I think the group can move forward. If they can make it in New York, they might be able to make it in London, Kenya, Shanghai, and Innsmouth.

D&D 4e: I did get invited to my buddy Steve's 4th Edition game for a session. The game was fun, the system, nicht sehr gut. My Scottish Knight is welcome back if I ever have time.

Murder Mysteries: Although I don't normally count these types of games in my listings, my wife and I did host two different games this year with some close friends. They were suprisingly a hoot, even if my Chief Wiki-Wiki was nearly sent to prison for a crime he didn't commit.

Conventions - I had a blast at Mepacon Fall 2010, made one days for historicon and Cold Wars, that's it. The Society of Neffs Gamers (SONG) had a crazed notion of throwing together a con in Wilson Borough this year, but life's curve balls silenced that idea for now.

Projects: Holy crap, I got some painting done this year! Not the prodigious amounts I've seen on Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog/, my favorite blog, but I did get the Swiss Park Rangers finished, complete with bicycle tank, and a Scottish Golf Mortar. And "most" of the figures I'm playing with at least have base coats.

Of course the joy of painting has been picked up by my two-year old daughter Maja. There have been more than a few figs with a rainbow color scheme, but I'll never disuade her from doing anything creative. Anyway, who's going to paint figure for Daddy in a few years?

I also got the boards for Tanga put together. It was my first experiment with insulation and modeling in general for quite some time, but I consider them a success for how utilitarian they needed to be.

Purchases: Kids, the economy, and the price increases for metal and paper made it a year to search for deals.
For LOS, eBay was my friend, picking up the mish-mashed boxed set, a copay of Planetstorm, two Black Chariots, a Mk I Assault Fiend, and a slew of support troopers and I probably spent more on shipping than for the figs.
For Gnome Wars, only the Scottish Mortar and a copy of Gnome Wars 2nd Edition.
From Eureka, I snagged up two Teddy Bear Bearoplanes and a pack of their Mice Warriors. They will work well with:
From Reaper: the Mouselings boxed set and Frumitty, lemur cleric.

Other stuff: Complete Masks of Nylarhotep HC, CoC Keeper Screen, Isle of Death and Dead Gawd's Hand for Hackmaster, and a pile of books from the Historicon which included Arena and a slowly developing interest in gladiator battles. I also picked up an MBA Guard Tower.

Best Game: I should pick my Very Gnomish Civil War or the Battle of St. Abe Gnome Wars game, but the Toon Cthulhu Comes to Springfield gets a top nod because it got run twice and everything is sitting in a file, ready to go at a moment's notice. Plus, it's motivated me to work on a Simpsons Cthulhu game for Christmas.

Best RPG Purchase: Masks of Nylarhotep hardcover, hands down. The Keeper Screen is beautiful and will get more work, but a high quality book wins in my book.

Best Miniature Purchase: My Mk I Assault Fiend. Fifteen years after its initial release, its even more badass the I originally thought.

Best Miscellaneous Purchase: The Miniatures Building Authority guard tower has been worth every penny and I've only use it once. Can't wait to use it again for Fall-in!