Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Orcsports is alive and well...

My abstinence from Facebook games has going pretty well. Outside of a few hand of Poker, and a firm handling of a few complaints from those who relied on my online generosity towards their fantasy world, I've been clean.

Then, I got a blast from the past:

I belive the last time I fooled around with Orc Sports, Myspace was just becoming popular, so it's been around a long time in the digital age.

Orc Sports is Fantasy Football meet Blood Bowl. Orc only leagues are formed, players drafted in an auction format, equiped, and the computer generates matches every few days. Between games, there is healing, extra training, and even looting for more funds and equipment. Outside of a dated platform, it's everything I'm looking for to waste 15-30 minutes per day, rather than an hour for Zombie Lane, 20 minutes just to let Cityville load, and hours of balloon throwing fun on yoville!

Viscount Eric's Legion IV is not doing great this season, but they are holding their own against superiorly constructed teams in the league.

*correction: My entire offensive side of my 1st line litterally got slaughtered in the last game, and my top two defensemen are exhausted. Time to promote a couple of guys for a week, and call up some punching bags, I mean low-level guys to fill in for them.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Hackmaster: The Journey of Mutumbo #8: Orlane

Part 8: Orlane
The group wandered into Orlane, which according to Dalmar was, “the dullest (village) we’ve been in yet.” Thundar decided to wander off into the woods to avoid paying for a room, but the next morning the half-ogre didn’t show up for breakfast. Mutumbo and Cecelia went to the constable, who seemed bored with the missing persons report. Dalmar worked the small bars in town for information, but the he too failed to show up the following morning.

Following some info that Dalmar had been able to give the group before his disappearance, Cecelia and Mutumbo investigate the local temple of Akana, God of Law and Order, Goodness and Light. The only thing they met were ninjas, pain, and fire. Going into the inner rooms of the temple they encountered strangely dressed monks who jumped around and attacked the pair with strange weapons. Literally a full out sprint of a running battle ensues and parts of the temple are set ablaze. Cecelia and Mutumbo escaped out a back door with little info, grab Lord Ralphus at the inn and dash off towards Hydincall.

GM Info: Body Count since beginning of the campaign. 1 PvP kill, 2 MIA. The party failed again to follow up on a module I offered (N1 Against the Cult of the Reptile God), but I couldn’t blame them. Both Thundar and Dalmar were charmed to join the legions of the Spirit Naga who had this town enslaved.

The Naga had actually assembled a functioning adventuring party and sent them out to acquire more treasure and magic. Dalmar was the first of the group to break the charm, and after realizing the situation, continued to fake it. As others successfully broke the charm, if he could get to them first, he would tell them of the plan to kill the Naga (Those who the Naga, or its staff noticed first would be sacrificed.) When enough firepower was accumulated, they slew the Naga in a tremendous fight. With all the charms broken, Dalmar explained the situation and offered his services as leader of a new adventuring group.

This group was the one who discovered the Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh and finished the module trilogy with heavy casualties. To make a long story somewhat shorter: The group took over the mansion, and with the weak feudal system of Crosedes managed to form an independent Duchy of Sworin that included Saltmarsh and Orlane. This rogue Duchy survived for 5 years, well past the death of Dalmar in a random pirate attack. The King of Crosedes has installed a true priest of Akana to act as a Military Governor, but it seems like the name of Sworin is sticking to the region. All this was done with the PCs as NPCs under my control.

Hey, a GM has got to have a little fun as well, right?

Monday, February 27, 2012

My Gnomish Circle Grows Wider

Still working on the last the British Marines. Sloooooooooowly. Family life, wife projects, and trips have eaten into my relaxation. We did manage to see a number of family and friends today, and we also took a day trip to New York City, so my wife could get a tattoo from one of the guys at the Wooster Street Social Club (aka New York Ink.) My wife has gotten a puppy and a pricey tattoo in the last month, I believe I have enough leeway now to either recreate any scene from Scarface, or just buy out an entire flea market session at Cold Wars without any repercussions.

Now onto today's story:
Just over a week ago, my buddy Scott sent me a series of cryptic sounding text messages which basically stated, "Connor wants to play Gnome War." Now Connor is my Godson, good Lord is he seven already? I'm a horrible Godfather in that I moved away right when the little guy was born, and have been a bit haphazard for birthdays and other extravaganza. Throw in the fact that Mom and Dad aren't on "normal" terms, and I feel bad that I haven't been there for the kid.

Now, I have told Scott on a consistent basis that Connor is always welcome to come to game days, especially since Scott has showing up for a couple of Gnome Wars games. Plus Scott's ingrained in my Gnome Wars lore, because we had relive our high school days when we descened upon his parent's house for our first ever non-convention GW game when the first location fell through. The idea that Connor wants to play minis may turn this open invitation into a demand.

Apparently, the crew was at the Complete Strategist outside of Philly, and he took a strong liking to the content inside Wargames Illustrated.

Scott: "Connor, we don't play wargames."

Connor: "Dad, we don't own anything like this. If we did I would want to play all the time.. with you."

Those of you that get misty-eyed from that can go grab a tissue. Ready? Let's continue...

That might be paraphrased heavily from my memories of a week-old phone conversation, but a good enough that Uncle Eric will get involved. How can I deny father-son bonding through gaming? So at Cold Wars I shall pick up some units from them. I'm waiting to see what Connor likes in terms of the pics at the Brigade Games website and I snag up full unit of that, a unit of Highlanders for Scott (he does wear a kilt *shudder*), and we'll schedule a day of painting for the three of us. Nothing too crazy, some Americana paint, a few lessons for Dad about eyes and lining, and perhaps not only will this duo have battle ready armies, but Scott may get motivated to paint the hundreds of Battletech figures he still has stowed away .

But that is a story for a another day.

Scott and Connor, future Gnome Warlords

Friday, February 24, 2012

(Gnome Wars) The Michael Lung Gallery #9

Crunch time is coming for the con, but I'm spending a slow day at work cleaning out the bajillions of gnome-specific emails. Somehow I completely missed this pic that Mike sent me sometime around Halloween:

This is How We Defend a Pumpkin Patch in Germany

Here we have two very well supported German units. A little gun happy, perhaps, and very susceptible to melee... if of course the enemy can survive the heavy machine gun, light mortar, artillery fire, and a careening truck racing across the battlefield. Two buglers, two bier doctors, two bier nurses, these units are ready for anything the scenario presents itself.

Except a Swiss tunnel unit popping out Highlander Bersekers right in the middle of that mess.(Cold War '08, I believe).

I'll get into more specifics with Mike when we can sit and talk at Cold Wars, but I hope we'll see these guys in action if I can convince him to start the Bore Wars Campaign.... sans most heavy weapons, I hope.

Also, with only two weeks to go till Cold Wars, as the special surprises get confirmed, I'll be posting little teaser pics.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

The Apathy of New Releases (March 2012)

One moment and I'm worrying about getting ships and marines painted at the beginning of March, and then *wham* it's the 20th and the next issue of GTM is out.

And I'm behind on the painting.

Want List
Oz Fluxx - both copies of Fluxx that I own are rag-tag and incomplete. The girls like the Wizard of Oz, win/win.

Warlord: There are a pile of Zulu and Boer related goodies available this month, but this was the only thing that made me giddy. The character figs from the movie Zulu, originally only available in the Rorke's Drift boxed set, now available as a four-pack for $15.00. Here's hoping somebody has them at Cold Wars.

Money is No Object List: AND this is tax return month, so this might be a possiblity.
FORCE ON FORCE: BUSH WARS - AFRICA 1967-2010 $24.95 African Bush Wars have always interested me. Heck, I've always wanted to run RECON game in West Africa. From the smallest jungle skirmish to the biggest war, they seem to devolve into some Mad Max-ish battle.

Catan Junior: The kid version trades cities and roads for pirate hideouts and ships. I am interested, despite the $35.00 price tag. How can the traditional theme of wood, brick, and sheep too complicated for kids, so let's trade for rum instead!

The Order Book of the Pegleg Gnome (The If-I-Had-A-Store-List)

I'll admit I didn't get the appeal of Settlers or Apples to Apples before I played them. Euro boardgames met me with a "meh", so the idea of the mega-boardgame, high standard of production, quality playing pieces, etc, still escapes me. Sure, Arkham Horror is fun, but not every game needs to be Arkham Horror. And with a flurry of $60+ boardgames, the stinkers will come out. Here might be one of them: Mage Wars by Arcane Wonders. Choose between a Wizard, Warlock,Beastmaster, or Priestess, each with their own unique strategies and style ofplay; conjure your custom spellbook from over 300 spells; and let thebattle ignite! $75.00

Hmm...Limited player options, yet 300 spells means lots of randomness. And $75.00? This doesn't even come close to a classic, like Talisman, or even Arkham Horror. Seventy-five bucks? I predict this on the discount shelf on a lot of stores' shelves before they do inventory.

Army Painter Warpaints mega paint set $125.00 36 paints/inks/washes + 6 brushes
Army painter Starter paint set - $27.50 10 paints + 1 brush
The bottle size looks bigger than the tradtional dropper bottles. Could these bottles actually be an ounce or more? I will look at color selections of individual bottles at Cold Wars, but for now I'm sticking to the $1.19 Americana paints that are in 2 oz bottles.

Ars Magica: Apprentices $19.95

Doctor Who TCG: Remember the old CCG back in '96? The one that had one or two stalwart supporters, and the box of boosters and four starters nobody wanted was relegated to the corner with Wyvern, Galactic Empires, and Jyhad?Well this doesn't look like that.sounds more like trading cards with fun stuff on them then tcg/ccg in the modern sense, since they come in boosters and "extreme" booster. "Snap into a Slim Jim!"

Heavy Gear: 14 more items? Are these guys solely responsible for the increase in tin prices?

Expeditious Retreat Press: YAY GENERIC(ish) MODULES! As much as I complain about the era of d20, you had a variety of modules to choose from. I don't know if Expeditious Retreat is doing d20, Pathfinder, or is a licensee for 4th edition, but modules under $15.00 are always welcome.
Really, though? Fifteen bucks a module? Well, back in my day they were $5.95 and we liked 'em! Then again, I was making $3.00/hr, so it makes financial sense.
#24: mouth of the shadowvein $14.00

FFG: Deathwatch: Rising Tempest $39.95

Arkham Horr: The Lies of Solace PB - Fiction from boardgame based on the role-playing game inspired by the short stories of HP Lovecraft. Where's Springtime for Cthulhu?

Dust Tactics: Soviet Union Figs? Interesting...

Litko: more 4e tokens. Doors! Don't use dice, spend $6-8. 4 DIFFERENT TYPES? yes, I know a portcullis is a different type of door, but why?



Paizo Publishing

Reaper: More than just this, Cowboys and Gunslingers set looks awesome: $29.99


MAGIC SET: AVACYN RESTORED: Another Magic set. Another month the bills could be paid.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Hackmaster: The Journey of Mutumbo #7: Saltmarsh

Our party at the time:
Dalmar Sworin: Wizard of moderate repute, chronic liar, party leader by hook or by crook.
Cecelia Darkspruce: Half-elf fighter/cleric of Sif with sorority girl looks/attitude and a Lucksword
Mutumbo: Naive Nubian warrior from a distant land who has completed his tribe's quest and is now wandering the land with his new found "friends"
Thundar the Barbarian: Incredibly stupid and foolish half-ogre barbarian who job is to pick things up and kill them.

As the party sails to Saltmarsh, the crew tells them of tales of a haunted house, where a man once killed his entire family in cold blood, and then himself. After arriving in port, and some very light shopping in town, they turned in. The next morning, the group finds a sack of coins outside their door, and there is no sign of Mordeln or Brand anywhere. Deciding a haunted house was not their thing, the group decided to ask for directions. Unfortunately, Thundar is first to ask and literally grabbed a villager and began shaking him violently, asking, “Where are we???? Where we go????” Amid shakes, the villager screams for help and before the party can stop the half-ogre, members of the militia appear and Thundar takes them on. A quick Wall of Fog allows for an easy escape of most of the party, and somehow Thundar managed to catch up… a wanted ogre. That night, in Dalmar’s own words: “I tried to explain to Thundar why he shouldn’t kill people in town, but he just didn’t get it.”

The next day Cecelia was awoken by the loud singing of a Pixie Fairy, Lord Ralphus. This strange creature claimed to be the King of the World and boasted of his powers. Within seconds of waking up, Mutumbo had the “King” locked up in a little cage and offered his release only if Lord Ralphus blessed the Nubian Warrior. Ralphus conceded and not only blessed the dark-skinned man, but knighted him as well. Dalmar: “Unfortunately, this moron wants to come with us. He has a spell book so when he gets himself killed I will get it.”

GM Note: The Sinister Secret of Saltmarsh was offered as possible adventure, but I knew it only had a 50/50 chance of luring the party in. The failure of the party to investigate will lead to a rebellion within Crosedes, as we shall soon find out….

Next: Against... something that keeps stealing our party members.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Gnomish Sailing Vessels... Just About Done!

With a house full of sick women, it finally allowed me some time to finish up painting the ships Jim sent me for our games at Cold Wars. Funny thing is when I snagged up the 192 shades of brown Jim uses on these, I grabbed a decent large brush, thinking it be better. In the end, the best brush I used was one out of my daughter's 20 pack I had picked up for a buck!

Without further ado,I present to you the SCS (Swiss Confederation Ship) Indubitably and SCS Inconceivable!

The Swiss Navy practicing boarding actions while on manuevers. No, this isn't an oxymoron.

Famed Gnome Explorer/Zombie Hunter/Celebrity Chef Bruce Carmezind gets a rare opportunity to be a civilian partaking in military operations. Let's hope someone told him that everyone else is firing blanks and wooden practice weapons.

The Inconceivable (sky blue trim) still needs a little work. There's one spot barely noticeable in the bottom pick that needs the series of dry brushing again.

I painted the color on the boat this way to differentiate them from the ones Jim did.

Next, it's time to see if I need to assemble sails, or if Jim went nuts and did them all himself. While I wait for an answer, I shall finish the British Marines tonight *knock on wood*. Then, I'll just have my Imperial Guard of California to paint. Someday, I might even be able to justify buying more lead!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The Worldwide Jihad Against Fedex Has Been Cancelled... and other notes

First off, the FedEx matter with my friend Mike has been resolved. The sculpts were delivered a few blocks up the road and that person was nice enough to drive them to the caster's house. Please, no violence against FedEx employees on the part of Gaming with the Gnomies. Apparently, one of the drivers is already suffering from a traumatic brain injury.

Secondly, with my current camera on the fritz, I got two promises of photographic equipment for Cold Wars. With Mike's "Super-secret project #2" back on schedule. I'd love to have a special photoshoot of the finished product on the blog in the wee hours of Saturday morning. I'll be drinking heavily at the time, so the pics might be nice, but the words will be completely incomprehensible.

In other words, a regular blog post.

Third, tonight, per special request of my daughter Maja, we're breaking out "The Mouse Book" (Mouse Guard), as well as all of the mouseling/mice warrior figures we can find. Don't know what we're doing, but since her "David the Gnome" ongoing bedtime story has involved Bad Guys, the Land of Oz, and cupcake eating Martian Babies who live on the moon, I can't wait to see what gem she produces.

And finally, with the tax return to be submitted tonight, I need to plan by Cold Wars shopping list. A lot of those "If Money Were No Object" items from my monthly Apathy of New Releases posts need to be considered for purchase, like the Warlord US Army MPs on Motorcycle. If somebody's going to stock them, they better be in the Cold Wars dealer room.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Beware the Tsunami Fedex

Still trying to find time to finish up the Cold Wars Projects. This whole family, PLUS a puppy have been crimping that luxurious hobby lifestyle I was livin' yo!

1- Ships. I need an hour to do the detail and seal them
2- British Marines - Trying to find where my daughter hid all of my white paint. I just need a night with sleeping children to finish this.
3- Samoan Sheet - Is typed up and ready to for print. Samoans are going to need a bit of tactics for 20th Century warfare, but they can be extremely effective. More to come.
4- 1st Imperial Guard of California: This is going to be a last-second rush. Plus, I may require the use of some dismounted American Cav to fill in the gaps.

So, just a regular ramp up for the con.

As I have mentioned in earlier post, Mike Lung is working on an epic project that would easily eclipse the awesomeness of the Znombies. I've kept quiet because (a) I don't want to rock the boat with others and (b) I don't want to jinx Mike productivity.

All I have left from an excuse in (a).

Mike sent me some pics this week: Numerous poses, scenery pieces, even vehicles! And best of all, they fit with our theme for the Gnome Wars games at Cold Wars. He just sent the scuplts to his contact to be cast, and Fedex has lost the package. Months of sculpting gone down the drain, or on some little old lady's porch by mistake instead of her yarn-of-the-month-club shipment.
It's sad, Mike's just a wee bit furious, but he's such a trooper that he's making new sculpts to get cast so they may be there for Cold Wars.

Unlike the "leaked" Znombie pics, I'm holding back and giving this project some proper display and a couple of posts. I will say this: It fits the games' theme and it covers an area that we won't see commercially produced.

More to come...

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hackmaster: The Journey of Mutumbo #6: Adventure is Missed!

Check out the roster of the party here. Please check out #5 for the fate of Arbeow Geniped.

The next morning Dalmar met up with Cecelia and Mutumbo. It seems they tried (and botched) the prison break AGAIN! Despite their incompetence the half-elf (Mordeln) wanted them to help him look for papers of succession in the Grand Duke’s castle… and oh yeah, Dalmar’s invited to come along.

With the gnomeling gone and Sabu Tablesmasher III wandering off, the party picked up a half-ogre named Thundar the Barbarian. Despite Thundar’s absolute stupidity, he was vital to the party’s success that night in secretly entering the castle by silencing many of the guards… permanently. The party managed to sneak into Prince Cardor’s chambers. They found a family tree which proves Prince Cardor is next in line for the throne and also mention Mordeln as the bastard son of the Prince. His bastard lineage, mixed with the racist beliefs of the area prevents Mordeln from taking the throne. Dalmar did manage to discover that Prince Cardor suffered from Lycanthropy and under its affects, killed Duke Aldriv and fled. With information and a map that may lead to the whereabouts of Cardor, the group heads out…

In the woods the group meets Brand, a friend of Mordeln’s and up until that morning an inhabitant of the local prison. The party encounters a pseudo-dragon who bargains Cardor’s whereabouts for the party cleaning out a tribe of goblins. For their first prolonged foray into dungeon was a five-day affair, full of fumbles, poor planning, an absolute clusterf**k. The most successful tactic was a phantasmal force of an ettin to scare off some of the goblins, but most wised up, and even illusionary ettins have problems with small goblin tunnels… After five days, the party was near death and had lost their mounts (including the camel), but the goblins had been chased out or killed off. Of course, after five days, any information the psuedo-dragon had was very dated and it fled for it’s life.

The group stumbled into the port of Brymstone and with what little money they pooled together that was not on the horses they bought passage on a ship going down the coast (the last bit of the pseudo-dragon’s info that could have been useful pointed to a fishing village down the coast in the Kingdom of Crosedes. A village known as …. Saltmarsh.

GM Note: The adventure being run was Aldriv’s Revenge, and the party slowly butchered it. As the party left Brymstone, they would never return to Alois. Just because the party never came back doesn’t mean it isn’t a vibrant part of the campaign. The failure to rescue Prince Cardor forced Alois to accept the Duke’s 18-yr old daughter Wendolin as Duchess and the Minister of Agriculture, Dalcom Minifumes (a Halfling) as regent. A marriage was arranged between Wendolin and Cassius Silvershield, crown prince of Crosedes., making Alois part of Crosedes, and breaking a few trade and military agreements with other neighboring kingdoms. The only good news for Alois is that Duchess/Princess Wendolin is far more sharp than many people believe and holds considerable influence in not only the Duchal court in Yelden, but the Royal court in the Crosedean capital of Hydincall. Meanwhile, Prince Cardor’s illegitimate son, Mordeln Larendin is conducting a guerrilla war with local Grel tribes. Mordeln is assisted by Brand, a ranger of some repute.

Next up: The sinister secrets stay secret

Sunday, February 12, 2012

(Gnome Wars) In a world of Russian midgets

It's a month and a half dated, but I found these online:

At first glance, I was ridiculously hopeful. Is the guy from Olleys Armies here, now promoting a line of WWI Dwarves? Alas, outside of a possible gnome tank commander for a T-17, he doesn't have much these days. And more importantly, this is a different dude in England.

Plus, they're a little short. measuring 20mm to the eyes, whereas the Brigade British Marines I have in queue for painting today are 25. As the title suggests, if you prefer your Russians in the midget variety, these might be for you.

The one thing that does pique my interest is his next project: Cossack Cavalry. for more info.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Last of the Mouse-hicans

As I've mentioned before, I'm slowly compiling an "unofficial" Gnome World Gazeteer. I'm starting the Gazeteer at 1870 and will try to compile the gnome equivilant of most wars between then and 1914.

There are a few wars that the Gnome Wars range doesn't fill in well: Afghanistan, Polynesia, Sudan. Eureka's Teddy Bears fill in nicely for American Colonials, Wild West, and even African Askaris, and I guess the Frog and Turtle line fill in nicely for more tropical cultures. However, one group had me puzzled:

Indians, as in Native Americans

There are so many Indian Wars, border skirmishes, and outright rebellions involving indians that something needs to fill the lack of gnome gnatives.

I present for your approval, Eureka's Mice Warriors line:

Truth be told, the hand to hand mice wield swords instead of hatchets, long spears instead of short, but the bowmen look nice, the mice shaman on the far right of the second picture is great, and they do have mice riding rats for cav. And for $2.25 a fig, they're a good deal for even a large unit.

And come to think of it, I might need to look into frogs and turles as Polynesians, particularly Hawaiians and Samoans.

Friday, February 10, 2012

Cold Wars and Gnomish Battle Enlistment

Crap, it's a month till Cold Wars!

Good news is, just about everything major is ready, because I am largely borrowing from the the Gnome Wars' Treasure Island board. I have four parts that need to get finished.

1) Play Cards for Samoans. Oh yeah, nothing like Samoan natives for the Americans and Germans. A few little surprises, I hope.

2) The Californian Imperial Guard. Short of a 25mm California flag, I'll whip these out to assault Apaula Heights. Everyone knows the Empire of California fought in the 2nd Samoan War, with some help from the Kingdom of Hawaii!

3) British Marines. I have 15 British Marines to paint up for the New Providence game I'm running during the Saturdy afternoon tri-mega-game (mega-tri-game?). They're based and primed and ready from some quality speed painting.

4) Two ships. If anyone is a true gnomie, they are following the "Gnome Guy" himself at . He's been casting and painting his own ships for the game, and I've got two of them to paint up. I need a quick run to Michael's for paint. Apparently I short on my selection of browns needed for shading/drybrushing. Again, cleaned and primed and this is my easiest project... until I get to the masts.

I'm also putting out initials feelers for the Unofficial Gnomish Gazetteers. I'm wondering if any of the gnomies would be willing to "host" some of the wars between 1870-1914. I've been collaborating with some of the gnomies, and we have a good grasp of the ancient "Age of Heroes", the "Age of Peace", the "Age of Exploration", and "The Age of Germanic Industrialization" (we're working on that one). After German Unification, there are simply dozens upon dozens of wars to fight to influence the modern gnomish world.

Anyone willing to run a campaign and give results would be much appreciated. I believe we already have the Franco-Prussian, the Zulu, the Boer, and Spanish-American taken, but just look at the imcomplete list of wars available on wikipedia, there's plenty to choose from.

Next up: Native-American Gnome stand-ins?

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

The Viscount... will return....lalalalala... to Mepacon...

Is this right? Mepacon XXII? After a two-con and one-year absence, I will be returning to Mepacon, April 20-22, at the Ramada in Clarks Summit. Just drive the Northeast Extention of the Pennsylvania Turnpike, and *boom* there we are.

Truth be told, I'll only be attending Saturday afternoon, running a game, catching up with friends, and getting my auction/raffle fix. Mrs. Viscount will be tagging along, as a favor to me. It's my birthday weekend, so she'll hang out, get freaked out by C.J. Henderson, and prevent me from buying a second printing of the beta playtest of the TMNT/Aftermath crossover rpg at the auction, before going out to dinner and a movie.

Without further ado, here is my event for the afternoon slot:
Title: Escape on the Usambara Railway
System: Gnome Wars (duh!)
Description: Outnumbered German forces attempt to escape the evil Swiss forces moving in. . Can the Germans load up enough men and supplies on thetrain until it leaves, or is it curtains for the Kaiser's best?. ...all of this done, of course, with Gnomes.
8 players, beginners welcome, older kids (9+) encouraged.

Yes, my friends, this will be scenario #5.1 of the Tanga Campaign. I've given the German the short end of the stick for the last two games, so I'll give them one last chance to supply the forces in Tanga. Objectives will allow for a fun time by the players at the con, but will influence troop selection, void out special rules, like the machine gun ammo rule, and possibly add troops to later scenarios.

This also gives me enough time to get some buildings together for the city fighting portion of the campaign.

For more info about Mepacon go to:

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hackmaster: The Journey of Mutumbo #5: Rotten Cabbage, Flaming Gnomeling

Check out the roster of the party here.

Finally, the group arrives in Yelden, and Arbeow and Dalmar head to the Drunken Dwarf Inn as the rest of the group finds something to do. They sit at a table along with a racist (humans only) cleric, who begins berating the other races, especially vile half-breeds such as the gnomeling. This tirade goes on for sometime until the gnomeling, who for now had been quietly staring at the cleric, pulls out two daggers and plunges both of them into the cleric’s chest. An all-out bar brawl ensues, Dalmar switches personalities to a little old lady (“blacking out” as he put it). Dalmar came to just outside of the inn, which was engulfed in flames. (as were his robes, as some chap was trying to help him put out the smoldering clothing). He sees the incompetent, now blood-soaked gnomeling staggering out the front door. The flames flare up (doing the 2 points of damage to have him hit 0 and fall unconscious) and Arbeow passes out face-first into a puddle.

Dalmar decided the gnomeling must have had some redeeming qualities as he and this other fellow drag him out of this ignomious death of drowing in three inches of water and rush him to safety before the town guard shows up.

The fire-fighting chap introduces himself as Malven and offers to house as a sanctuary for the night. While all this was going on Mutumbo and Cecelia were distracted by a crowd of townsfolk throwing rotten food at some guy in the town stocks. They were accosted by a half-elf who, after a skin of wine and a few tossed bits of cabbage, managed to convince the pair to participate in the prison escape of his friend Brand, a “political prisoner”.

That night a large black man (fighter) and his blond busty friend (fighter cleric) tried to break into the prison to free Brand. How they didn’t actually end up being thrown into the dungeons amazes me. After a few close calls the pair finally manage to escape the prison first thing in the morning during a guard change, sans Brand and right into Dalmar, who was strolling down the street.

Dalmar had managed to get the low-down from Malven: They were in Yelden, the capital of the Gran Duchy of Alois. Evidently the Grand Duke Aldriv died a few days ago under suspicious circumstances and the rightful heir the throne, the Dukes' brother Prince Cardor, was missing. In the early morning hours, Dalmar transported the unconscious gnomeling from the safety of Malven’s place to the the enormous saddlebags of Mutumbo’s camel (oh yeah, he bought that in Anon-Maxis with his hourglass finder’s fee, along with a large gold chain to put it around his neck... the camel's, not Mutumbo).

Dalmar figured the last place the town guard or whoever would be searching would look was in the saddlebags…. The town guard couldn’t find him, however Mutumbo did. Mutumbo’s player was upstairs making a phone call while Dalmar was hiding the gnomeling. When he came back, he simply stated “Mutumbo is pissed off and I’m going down the stables and turning the camel’s saddlebags into a punching bag.” After a few minutes I tell him, “There’s blood stains forming on the bags… from the inside” Mutumbo quietly took off that portion of the saddlebags and drop it into the camel’s water trough “to wash it out”. Utter silence around the table. Malven was the one to break the news to the party of Arbeow’s demise, by an apparent beating and subsequent drowning. Dalmar quickly took hold of the situation and disposed of the body for the party (i.e. He took the corpse to the town guard so he could pick up the reward money.)

Next up: Duchal court intrigue and half-ogres DON'T mix

Monday, February 6, 2012

Documentaries and the Gnome Timeline

Last night was another glorious party with the little one until 5 in morn, so pardon me if there are more run-on sentences and fragements than normal.

The one advantage of staying up all night was catching up on my DVR. The Military Channel was running the great First World War documentary, I finally got to see the much recommended episode "Global War". "Global War" coverage Germany's expansion of the war, from the Pacific to the Falklands, and even this little area called Tanga. Not very expansive on the specifics, but the color pictures and rough film made up for it. Plus, I got to see more houses and other buildings for that area. One way or another the Hotel Kaiser is getting built after Cold Wars, and I'd like to see other buildings that fit the town.

Which brings up another point. I had mentioned awhile back about an unofficial Gnome Gazetteer covering some backstory of the various nationalities, while covering different engagements in history, some historical and some very extreme "what-if scenarios". I'm assuming 1870 as the the start date for campaigns and playable scenarios. For starters, it turns the scenarios in the rule book into a gnomish Franco-Prussian war (Swisso-Prussian?) that would cover all items except for tanks and trucks. I picture more Gnomezer Mk Ones on the battlefield than Mk IVs and A7Vs.

The historical timeline should include the Tanga campaign, a wee bit early mind you, going into the Zulu and Bore Wars, the Ham Fighter Rebellion, Russo-Japanese, and all the other classics. I will go into better detail to expand upon the German-American War, and perhaps some Sikh Wars information to explain how they show up in Western Gnomenculture without a dominant British Imperial presence.

Somewhere in there, I'd like to find a simple set of naval rules, so the German-American, and Samoan Civil Wars could be fought properly.

Any suggestions are, of course gladly accepted!

Saturday, February 4, 2012

(Gnome Wars) The Michael Lung Gallery #8

It's been awhile since I posted one of Mike's pics, and since I'm frightened at the sheer awesomeness of what he's working on right now for Cold Wars, I figured it's best if I get some of the old pics up, lest I forget to do so.

Without further run-on sentences, German Mustard Gas Artillery:

I think the shells are produced by Gulden's. French's would be too ironic.

Friday, February 3, 2012

PDF Sci-Fi Tiles? Oh, joy!

TMP has been quietly recently, with two exceptions. First off, The Miniature Building Authority is having a warehouse clearance sale. ttp:// I'm hoping the either the tax return comes quick, or the sale continues on through Cold Wars.

Today, Wargames Vault announced the release of PWORK pdf Sci-fi Tiles.

Now yes, they are pdfs, so one must print them out, cut them out and glue them to some cardboard, but seriously, have you seen the prices people charge for old LoS tiles? $6.58 a "pack" for unlimited tiles that only require some work is a steal. I am disappointed that all the tiles shown are "double" hallways, more akin to the opening scene of Star Wars than the hallways of a Machine complex. There are plenty of reasons to fight in a space station, however. is blocked at work, so I'll need to peruse this when I get home to see what other items are there.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

(Gnome Wars) Tanga Campaign #5: Counter-Attack!

It's been awhile, so a refresher on the campaign special rules can here.

November 3, 1914, 1730 hours - The northern-central slope of Mt. Longido
Lt. Colonel Dykstra's Swiss forces had been on the mountain all day in the hot sun facing stiff resistance from the Germans. Luckily, they had fought off a number of harrassing engagements from German units trying to break up the supply lines, or all would have been lost. As the end of the day neared, the commander was pondering pulling his troops back to a safer location to rearm, resupply, and rest before trying it again tomorrow. Unfortunately, Major Kraut and the Germans had other plans, crashing down the mountain to break the Swiss forces' nerve.

This was a bit of an impromptu solo game. The one guy who was available had to bail, so I drafted the services of my own personal gnomes to aid me.

Amelia (left) and Maja look at the Swiss gnomes hiding in the brushline.

My daughters helped out. Amelia would point when I asked her where to move/shoot. Maja was responsible for all die rolls through turn 3.

German Order of Battle
Objective: Exit at least 50% of their figures off the Swiss edge of the board.
3 Infantry Units
1 unit of Teddy Bear Askari Infantry
1 Light Machine Gun Team

German Variable Attachments (1 roll d20)
1-3 2x skirmishers deploy in the brush in the middle of the table.
4-9 1x Teddy Bear Askari Unit
10-17 1x German Infantry Unit
18-19 1x Light Machine Gun
20 1x Teddy Bear Askari and Roll 1 More Time.

Swiss Order of Battle:
Obejctive: Prevent German victory conditions
3 Infantry (hereby called, Tan, Red, and Orange Hats)

Swiss Variable Attachments (1 roll, d20)
1-10 1x Infantry Unit
11-13 2x skirmishers (2 figures from any one unit can set up in the brush in the middle of the battlefield)
14-18 1x Sikh Unit
19-20 1x Light Mortar (not great, but pinpoint accuracy is a good thing in this scenario)

Besides the elevation rules, two more rules came into play. Areas of vegetation are considered heavy brush, halving movement and completely blocking line of sight, unless the figure is on the edge of the area, where he would receive hard/heavy cover (-2 to hit). Figures firing out of the brush must be on the edge to do so.

Teddy Bear Askari stats: Move 12, Rifles follow standard rifle ranges, but max out at 24". Charging Askari get an additional +2 in the first round of combat. We're playing two round combats each turn so if any opposing figures remain and the combat regroups, they only have standard bonuses/penalties.

The Swiss deployed just within the heavy brush line. Dykstra achieved a coup, not only gathering up a rag-tag unit of Sikhs to support the center of the defenses, but by discovering Bruce Carmezind, famed actor/adventurer/author/zombie hunter in the middle of a safari. Carmezind was always an attention whore, so leading men into battle sounded like good publicity. What he did with them in battle would be another story.

Bruce Carmezind leads his untrusty Sikhs.

Sorry boys, Bruce is a Mike Lung custom Znombie Hunter fig that he gave me as a gift. Not bad for one of his first attempts at sculpting.

The Swiss line up awaiting the Huns

The Grey Germans took a pounding while charging the flank

Turn 1: The Germans arrived on the far side of the board, as their card was drawn for initiative. They arrived haphazardly and cluttered in sections of the board to avoid fire. The two Teddy Bear Askari units (Brown and Silver) dashed for the heavy brush in the center. The Green Germans took up a spot to take a clear shot at the Sikhs. Unfortunately, the Sikhs had better shots at the wide-open Germans and they withered quickly. The Purple Germans used the brush to swing around the right flank, and the Grey Germans blew there bugle horn and charged at full speed (plus six inches) completely exposed on the left.

The worst deployment was the machine gun team. They were the last to enter the board and had deal with cramped quarters and a hail of bullets.

Turn 2: The Sikhs tore into the remaining Green Germans, the rifles completely destroyed the the peasants, grenadiers, and support joining the others diving into the rough. The Grey Germans continued to get picked apart by the Swiss rifles in the brush, the medic rolls were phenomenal, and with another blast of the bugle, they surged forth.

The Greens annihilated from the center, the German dive to the cover of the heavy brush

Turn 3: With only an obstinant Grey German unit to shoot at, the Swiss sent melee experts out to meet the Germans. The Orange Swiss clashed with the Silver Askaris with equal bloody casualties. The Orange medic kept his men going in the fray. Major Kraut began to worry, as none of his men had even come close to descending the mountain, yet the Green Germans were already testing for morale.

Turn 4: The Silver Askari - Orange Swiss melee continue in epic style. The Askaris had managed to kill both NCOs attached to the squad, yet the troops kept fighting. The Purple Germans, who had kept a low profile, emerged from the brush guns blazing and punished the few Orange Swiss still hiding on the defensive line. They were one turn away from exiting the board, but alas, a few Sikhs turned to shoot and gunned down the NCO. The unit would automatically rout the following turn. On the other flank, the Greys and the machine gun got into a decent position and finally dealt some damage to the Red and Tan Swiss hiding, with few casualties in return.

Turn 5: With a war cry that freezes the strongest of gnomes dead in their tracks, the Brown Teddy Bear Askaris charged down the hill and smacked the Tan Swiss around. The first round was devastating. The Teddy Bear Askaris' First Charge

Any sense of equal sense of success with the Silver Askaris was quickly muted. One lone Orange pickaxe remained from the carnage. The Silver Askari Commander left one Teddy Bear to finish him and dashed forward to try to reach their objective. The pickaxe not only dispatched the marauding bear, but attacked the Askari unit and took out two more bears before he was finally struck dead. To make matters worse, the remaining Greens were put out of their mercy and routed.

Turn 6: Medics from both the Tan and Red Swiss ran into the melee to heal all but one Tan Swiss. With that luck, and no more charge bonus, the Tan managed to rally, not for a crushing success, but a bitter obliteration to the man. With no medic on the flank, the Grey German finally pushed forward into the brush, dealing significant damage to the Reds, but not able to leave the board.

Turn 7: At this point the German objective was out of reach. Fifty-one gnomes and bears had already lost their lives for the Kaiser, and that did not include the figures routed off the board. Despite the loss of all figures with rifles for the Tan and Red, the rout of the Orange, and the wait-and-see attitude of the Sikhs, the Germans could not muster up enough strength to continue the assault. For most games I would have called it turn 6, but this was the last game of the campaign, and with both sides at a virtual tie, the only way the Germans could win is if they piled up a big body count. And boy did they try.

First off, Brown Askari Commander Lucius nDwengi Honeypot, his unit in shambles from the rallied Tan, chose death before dishonor and charged the Sikh line.

The resulting melee was so one sided that historians just say he was gunned down during the charge. It would have been a more pleasant experience, anyway.

The Askari Commander charges to his glorious death.

The German machine gun which had been so ineffective all game finally wheeled through the brush and unloaded on the emerging Sikhs with some success. One lone Tan pickaxe, still drunk with bloodlust, charged through the brush to kill the machine gun team, only to be met and shot by Sergeant Bogart of the Grey Germans.

Sgt Bogart was the true hero for the Germans. When the Grey's officer went down early, Bogart took over and held the unit together despite overwhelming odds, no cover, and the fact that Bogart was hit five times during the engagement and got up each time to continue the assault. He would earn an Iron Cross of both 2nd and 1st class, as well as Golden Military Merit Cross for his actions.

Turn 8: Sgt Bogart realized how bad the rest of the battlefield was and pulled back (failed rout check). That left the machine gun and the Sikhs, more specifically Bruce Carmezind. Carmezind alone came out of the bush, pulled out his trusty revolver and killed both members of the machine gun team (double 6's). His legend grows more each day.
Carmezind adds to his legend....

For the scenario to work better, it needs two out of three things to happen. Either (a) one more German unit should be added, (b) Swiss firing out of the brush should only get light cover , and/or (c) I need to remember that light machine guns roll four dice per crew member and not three. The Swiss units were all near breaking and an extra 2 or 3 casualties early on could have changed things for the resilient Grey Germans.

The Swiss obviously won this battle. Point wise, it was Swiss 61, Germans 46, making the final total the Longido Mountain part of the Tanga Campaign Swiss 197, German 181. The Germans will loose considerable manpower for the fighting in and around Tanga, although, given my miscues with the machine guns and cover, I plan on running a scenarion 5.5 at the next con to determine what supplies or manpower can escape from the train station to Tanga. That my friends, is for another post.