Thursday, May 31, 2012

Be Careful What You Wish For...

Just in case you have't noticed, I am very proud that my daughter has embraced a number of Daddy's wacky interests. I can say, with a healthy dash of  mad scientist laughter, that I am raising a three-year old gamer.  So long as I can keep things fun for her, I hope she'll appreciate all this time, even if she does become a teenage girl one day.

With all the positives, there are the occasional negatives that I ultimately laugh off.  Minis get broken, terrain bent, dice lost. Or, in her case, it will revolutionize cooking and the model making hobbies.

After a great dinner, I was vegging out, when out of the corner of my eye, Maja had one of my recently washed out containers that I use to store flocking, the fake grass and stone that go on the base of each miniature I paint.    Think dollar store Tupperware cup.  I then cover the base with glue, put the fig in the container and move it back and forth until it's covered to my satisfaction. Pretty simple stuff, even for me.

Much to my surprise, Maja had one of my store containers of flock in her hand and refilling the empty one.

"Maja?  What are you doing, sweetie?"

"I;m filling up your grass, Daddy."

All well and good, until I realized the container she was emptying was actually this:

A couple of thoughts:

  1. At least she didn't try to switch my grass with oregano.
  2. Basil looks like tiny mulch. If I even need to model a fancy garden, or a playground, I'll know what to use.
  3. That big thing of Basil was $1.99.  I wonder if I could use the appropriate spice to flock the bases of ethnic groups.  Curry for the Indian troops?
  4. If I base a vampire army with garlic, do I automatically lose?
  5. Once I get the right mixture of static grass, ballast, and small rocks, I wonder if Maja will do the basing from now on?
It goes without saying that my daughter is awesome.  That and she may have thought dinner was a bit bland.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

The Goblins are Coming! Or, if You Want a Little Kraut

According to TMP, Black Hat Miniatures in the UK announced the purchase of a range of WWI goblins, available for immediate sale.  There are a number of figures, and many are available wearing either Stahlhelm or Picklehaube.
Flamethrower Team
Field Gun with Crew
Officer in Stahlhelm

I love the figures. They are 20mm at the eyes, and each one averages out to £2.00 per figure.

But wait, ViscountEric!  Aren't Germans already represented?  Why, of course they are. While the 2nd edition of Gnome Wars no longer vilifies the Germans, they have had a long-standing relationship with the Witch and Vampire, so why not a few dark and devious goblinoid allies?  These could be written up stat-wise one of two ways.

  1. German supplemental troops. Troops would cost less.  Goblins would be less effective at firing, or require a target for mass firing only. They would also have decreased morale.  They  might also require to remain in a massed open formation for movement (no more than 1/2" apart.)  Goblins are too erratic for closed formation, but anything further apart and they suffer from the "Ooooh, SQUIRREL!" effect.
  2. Eastern European troops.  Traditional firing, decreased morale with slightly less restrictive formation penalties.
If anyone wants me to post some UNOFFICIAL stats, please let know, and which option.

Otherwise, check out Black Hat for more info.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The Tower of the Ruby Princess

My daughter Maja has been the final vote for a number of projects since before she was born.   The thoughts of her just months before she arrived convinced me to go into Gnome Wars. The simplicity of the system and her love of mice have made me immerse myself into both the comic and rpg versions of Mouse Guard.

Most importantly a three year old looks at their Daddy as a deity.  He can reach things no one else can. He can          fix things that no one else has a clue, and his Voice of God can stop her exaggerated hysterics, and a follow-up squeezey bear hug can make even the most determined tears cease.

So when my little girl picks up one of my fourth tier projects in the garage and asks me to paint it to her specs, I'll be damned before I tell her no, especially when it involves picking up a paint brush for the first time in months.

U The item in question was a castle birdhouse sold through the Michael's craft stores.
Michael's has been, unfortunately, the closest thing to a hobby shop that I've had recently, and the quirky birdhouses are perfectG for 25-30mm figs and they are often on sale for well under five bucks.   The rocketship and church were better candidates for first birdhouse painted up for a wargame, but my little girl is the boss.

I sprayed over an old white undercoat with fresh black primer to avoid the need for a wash of some sort, and I immediately afterwards I ran into a snag. s

I had planned on using a similar technique to the one I used for my boats for Cold Wars: drybrushing using successively lighter colors to accent the stone. The problem was that I had ONE shade of grey amongst my entire collection of paints.  To counteract this, I

 1. Painted the entire tower Dark Midnight Blue (All paints will be Americana for this project).

 2.  Then heavily drybrushed it using Slate Grey.  More problems arose as that lone bottle had dried up and had to be reconstituted.  Reconstitution seems to take a day or some, I tried to draw paint from a spongy substance with every drop that I could gather.

 3. I then hit the stonework with a light drybrush of Titanium White, and painted the parapets with multiple coats of the same.
 4.  I then used three coats of Poodleskirt Pink on the parapets,  Evergreen for the base, and added a morbidly obese prince on the top.
5.  For the final touches, I added some static grass along all four sides, and bushes around the front entrance.

The birdhouse itself is a low-quality product.   There were numerous wooden slivers of the house coming off  during prep and the parapet, second level was a nuisance to paint a floor.

The final pic does allude to the projects I'm working on for May/June. The GW wolves are quite prominent, but if  you look to the far right, there is something literally burning a hole through my mind. I plan on 14 stands of figs marching across the board. It shall be glorious.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Rescuing the Ruby Princess... for a Three-year Old

Over the past few days, a couple of things came up that enabled a game with my three year old daughter, Maja. First, I've been wanting to develop a simple rpg system, so I didn't need to break out all of the gnomes when she wanted to play. Second, our nightly ongoing story, "David the Gnome," culminated in the heroes trying to rescue a princess. Third, the wife was working all day Saturday. I had my chance without any "Mommy, Mommy" distractions.

Maja colors on a huge roll of paper, so I pulled that out, a giant black Sharpie, and the dice and "minis" involved.
Introducing our heroes (L to R) Kenny the Gnome, David the Gnome, and Zeke the Mouse

We are dealing with a three-year old, with an 18 month old little sister constantly yammering "what's that?" to distract her, so I kept it to 2 or 3 encounters, with a one hour window.  For resolution, I stuck with a four  sided color die I had snagged up from Harmony House Hobbies at one of the HMGS cons.   For playtesting     sake, I had one color mean something good happened (red) and another for something bad (blue).  The other  two colors (green and yellow) meant the encounter continued without change, guys were still fighting each other, guys were still chasing another, etc.

The characters my daughter was running:
David the Gnome:  David lives in a tree in the woods with his wife, he has many friends, and loves to help people.  For this adventure, he had just returned from babysitting the Martian babies on the Moon, so he was dressed as an astronaut.  Don't laugh, you know you've brought far worse concepts to your serious gaming table.

Kenny the Gnome: Kenny is David's friend and loves to fix things.  He also likes to party a bit too much.

Zeke the Gnome:  Zeke's mouse family was rescued when David and Kenny cleaned out the old gnome castle down the road.  Zeke tagged along to finish the job, and became bosom buddies with the gnomes. He's small, but speedy.

Our adventure started with a giant Abby Cadabby magically transporting them to the Castle of the Ruby Princess.  The princess was missing and only our heroes could find her!
Abby Briefs the Party on Their Missioni

Maja made all the decisions, what doors to go through, left or right, and even what to do in the encounter.  When they heard a load roar in a cave, she tried to run the group past it, but alas, she rolled a blue and they were forced to bop the angry owlbear on the head to proceed.

She did throw a pleasant surprise at me.  While I was setting up the next encounter, she proclaimed with all seriousness, "They are hurt and tired and are going to rest."

Her training is going far better than I ever imagined.

I changed gears, threw in a dream sequence while they napped, telling the group how to find the giant ruby of the Ruby Princess, and I advanced the sheet to set up the final fight.

Maja Looks Over Her Options

Our heroes were led to a large room with a statue holding a giant ruby,with four bad guys, and an evil kangaroo trying to stop them.

"Wait Daddy, that kangaroo is a good guy," *moves the kangaroo over to the heroes, rummages through my pile of stuff, picks up another kangaroo* "This stinky kangaroo wants to fight with the bad guys."

Let it never be said that I don't let my players influence the game.  I guess I do show special preference to family.

Running the initiative as fastest first and rotating the group as such round by round, Zeke the Mouse scurried to the ruby, but couldn't avoid the one bad guy and stinky kangaroo.  David and the kangaroo fumbled with their fight, but Kenny the Gnome made up for them and cleared a path. A few rounds later, Zeke managed to chuck the ruby to the kangaroo and upon leaving the room, the Princess and her Prince were freed!

With the objective achieved, the bad guys surrendered and the our heroes (plus a marsupial) were treated like royalty and invited to the Prince and Princess' wedding the next day. Huzzah!

All in all, I thought the quick little game was a success.  I'll need to buy more four-color dice and revise the hit point system I chucked during the first round of combat with the owlbear.   Best of all, I had a full docket for storytime that night with the Wedding of the Ruby Princess.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The Apathy of New Releases (June 2012)

Another month, another month closer to the big GenCon releases.  So let's see what the companies are releasing for May through July!

My personal want list:  Nothing

My money-is-no-object list
Cthulhu Fluxx!!!!  We still haven't played the copy of Family Fluxx that my wife picked up at Mepacon.

Now, everyone knows that I'm not 40K guy.  However, years ago, I did get into Warhammer Fantasy.  I got rid of the figs, but I do have a soft spot for Skaven.  Too bad there isn't a sci-fi equivalent of them to play.

Thanks to Mantic, I preset to you, the Ver-myn!
Mantic is constantly turning "mainstream" sci-fi wargaming upside down, and I'll just giggle uncontrollably in the corner.

What I would fill my imaginary store with (The Pegleg Gnome)

There are a plethora  of new board/card games, from a various and sundry list of companies.  The problem is, I have nothing to work off of a random solicitation and picture for games like Farmageddon, The Crow and the Pitcher, and Castle Dash.  It I'm a couple of bucks shy of free shipping, or maintaining/improving my discount, there are still dozens of other products that I could order instead and move out faster.


*Catalyst:  All Catalyst items look to be for GenCon release, if not sooner.

BATTLETECH: FIELD MANUAL SLDF                 PSI CT35251............................$39.99
BATTLETECH: TECHNICAL READOUT 3067      PSI CT35127............................$34.99
BATTLETECH: TOTAL CHAOS                             PSI CT35400............................$29.99
SHADOWRUN 2050                                                PSI CT26230............................$44.99
SHADOWRUN: CHARACTER SHEETS                 PSI CT26520............................$14.99
SHADOWRUN: HUNT THE BLACK LODGE        PSI CT26411............................$14.99
SR: RUNNER’S BLACK BOOK 2074                     PSI CT26105............................$39.99
SR: RUNNER’S BLACK BOOK 2074 LTD ED       PSI CT26105L .........................$49.99
SR: SPRAWL SITE -NORTH AMERICA                 PSI CT26500............................$19.99
BOARDROOM BACKSTABS                                  PSI CT26410............................$14.99

I did have someone ask why I never mention Corvus Bellis miniatures.  Simply put,  some of the figs are real nice, some are strange, and at $11.73 per fig for a game I've never heard of outside of the order book. I can't justify the expenses.

Batman! Superman! Wonder Woman! Aquaman! The Flash! Green Lantern! Cyborg! The Justice League of America is ready for action - are you? Fight the never-ending battle for truth, justice, and peace in the world’s greatest super-hero universe with the DC Comics Deckbuilding Game! Power up with Bulletproof and Super Speed! Equip yourself with The Batsuit! Unlock special abilities and unleash devastating card
combos against your opponents! Craft your hero deck into a well-oiled machine to take on the most vile villains in the DC  Universe in your quest for Victory (Points)! The DC Comics Deckbuilding Game comes complete with 214 Game Cards, seven Oversized Super Hero cards, and a rulebook.
CZE 01532 ................................................................................$40.00

This training manual for Blue Blaze Irregulars features guidelines for taking on the roles of either your own Blue Blaze Irregular Strike Team, or the roles of Dr. Buckaroo Banzai and the Hong Kong Cavaliers themselves. Familiarize yourselves  with global threats ranging from Red Lectroids from Planet 10 to Hanoi
Xan and the World Crime League, learn about the specialized equipment available from the Banzai Institute, and begin to embrace the motto of the Blue Blaze Irregulars: “Helping him to help us.”
PSI CB5019..............................$44.99
I should be all over this, but as I mentioned on a recent post about pdfs, designers who piss me off by being arrogant and ignorant on shall never see my dollars, and one of those individuals is part of this project .  Since this is for a fictional store, I would keep some of my personal feelings aside and allow special orders.

The Islands of the United Kingdom are steeped in history, myth, magic, and folklore. Even the smallest hamlet or the most remote piece of land has some event or some story linked to it and, even if it doesn’t, people are more than willing to make one up for you. Cthulhu Britannica: Folklore gives life to strange
tales and strange places where myth meets mythos in Britain’s darkest corners.
PSI CB351 ..............................$24.99


Daleks! Cybermen! Sontarans! The list of threats is endless and no place in the universe is ever truly safe from danger. But there’s one man who’s made it his mission to defend the defenseless, help the helpless,
and save everyone he can. A mysterious stranger. A force of nature who has seen his own planet die. A madman with a box.
PSI CB2100..............................$29.99


PSI CB1004..............................$24.99
LotR with the serial numbers filed off and it plays similar to Burning Wheel.  Coolness

Now Pathfinder-compatible, Spellweaver presents an alternate magic system that transforms arcane magic into a matter of skill and not just level climbing.
PSI CB7401..............................$19.99

It is the year 1867, and it is a time of revolution - an industrial revolution that seems unstoppable! As new technology appears  at terrifying speed, many worry that mankind is becoming enslaved to the vast
industrial machines that belch smoke into the streets of London. And, in the supernatural world, the forces of order and chaos clash once more as the planes align. Around you is a darkness that lurks not only
in the alleys and back streets, but also in the clubs and estates of the rich and powerful.
PSI CB0300..............................$49.99
A copy for the shelf and probably no re-orders, but some of these games do get a following.

In the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game, players take on the role of  squad leaders, commanding a group of merciless Imperial or daring Rebel ilots in furious ship-to-ship space combat. Featuring stunningly detailed
and painted miniatures, X-Wing recreates exciting Star Wars space battles
from small engagements of only a couple of crafts, to large conflicts where
multiple squadrons clash. Select and equip your ships, pick your crew, plan
your attack, and complete your mission! Scheduled to ship in July 2012.
FFG SWX01 ..............................................................................$39.95
The one nice thing about this is that you know what you're gettinng Tie Fighter, Tie Fighter Advanced, X-Wing, and y-Wing singles available, plus extra dice special for the game.  I have fond flashbacks to Dexcon '95/'96 with the giant Star Destroyers plodding through the ballroom and dozens of fighters flitting around them.

*Iron Wind Metals
BEOWULF IIC MECH                              IWM 20-5048..........................$11.50
CARNIVORE ASSAULT TANK (2)         IWM 20-5049..........................$12.95
INCUBUS II                                               IWM 20-5047............................$9.95
TALOS MECH                                           IWM 20-5046..........................$11.95
THUNDER MECH CLASSIC SCULPT    IWM 20-5050..........................$13.50

Lots of flight bases, and accessories for air combat.


Rules covering 1918-1939, almost made my want list, but I definitely want to see reviews first



GAMEMASTERY  MAP PACK: ROOFTOPS                                             $12.99
PATHFINDER TALES:  BLOOD OF THE CITY                                          $9.99
PATHFINDER: ULTIMATE EQUIPMENT                                                   $44.99

*Steve Jackson Games
Cthulhu Dice Metal                                                                                          $10.95
Munchkin Zombies 3  Hideous Hideouts                                                          $14.95
Munchkin Conan                                                                                             $24.95
Munchkin Skullkickers                                                                                     $9.95
Castellan                                                                                                         $39.95

*Twilight Creations
Zombies!!! The Card Game                                                                             $14.99

*Holy Crap, Dragon Dice are coming back?  That is all I have to say about that.

*Warlord Games
All items were listed for April release, so some items may already be in the store.

The big highlights to me are:
Pike and Shotte Rulebook, somewhere  in the range of fifty bucks.

They also have Zulu and British Army sets at around $110, and the Persian Cav looks awesome!

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Historicon 2012 PEL is Online

With the tiniest of delays, HMGS has released the Preliminary Event Listing (PEL) for Historichon 2012!

With the weekend realization of its release, I didn't prodigious amounts of naysayers poo-pooing the "apparent lack of games" or whatever BS they're coming up with.  A couple of things to ponder about that.

One, the con moved five hours away, which may make even the staunchest GMs rethink their logistics. Two, the new GM policy (GMs must be a member of HMGS or a regional chapter).  For years the only way I got into cons was through the GMs get in free policy. Heck, I remember when Bogglecon tried to do away with the      policy all together, and that resulted in a near mutiny, and one of the worst attended cons on record.
Even with all of that, we still have 500+ events for the convention attendee to choose from!

The full PEL can be found here, and it is a thing of beauty. One thing I enjoyed greatly was that each start time was bookmarked for easy reference.

Let's get down to brass tacks, what games are being run?  Missing this con this year in particular, is now beginning to piss me off.  The convention theme:

“Empires at War” 
Colonial Warfare, Imperialism and Gunboat Diplomacy, 1836-1937

couldn't fit my historical interests any better. I do believe that there are more than two dozen non-gnome that caught my eye.  

Seriously, I've been forced to survive Napoleonic theme after Napoleonic theme, and my reward is a con theme I love at the biggest venue available, and I can't go?


Okay, enough of that, here's the Gnome Wars games  first.

T-462 Gnome Wars: The Defense of Regensburg
2 PM: Length: 4: Hosted by: Jim Stanton: Scale: 28mm: Rules: Gnome Wars: No. of Players: 12.
To the East of the Bavarian Forest lies the tranquil town of Regensburgn, a port on the banks of the Regen River.Regensburg has attracted the attention of the Allies because the inhabitants of the town supply the German military with the majority of its vehicles and tanks. The Germans have entrenched hoping to repulse the allied attack and save the Motor Works factory. No players under 13 without a playing adult with parent/child teams encouraged. Anyone bringing a painted unit from Brigade Games does not have to pre-register.  Also run as S-467 at 7pm Saturday.

T-463 Gnome Wars: The Castle in Teutoburg Forest
Gnomes: 7 PM: Length: 4: Hosted by: Steven Stanton: Scale: 28mm: Rules: Gnome Wars: No. of Players: 12.  On the retreat after losing their brewery in a fierce battle, Lon’s Lunkheads meet up with the rest of their clan at a German stronghold in Teutoburg Forest. The Highlanders, Swiss, and Sikhs hope to defeat Lon and crush his monopoly of the gnome beer market. Let’s hope that their pillaging of the brewery
doesn’t influence the allies’ battle readiness. No players under 13 without a playing adult with parent/child teams encouraged. Anyone bringing a painted unit from Brigade Games does not have to pre-register.Also run as F-465 at 7pm Friday.

No official confirmation from Jim, but from the sounds of these descriptions, they probably have the big castle table that MBA sets up.

And we have other gnome games!

S-212 Wings of Gnome Wars Theme
WWI: 3 PM: Length: 3: Hosted by: Brian Robinette: Scale: 1/48:  Rules: Wings of War: No. of Players: 8.
Come play WOW as it was meant to be 1:48 using Corgi Biplanes!!! Rules taught, Parent/Child teams encouraged.

F-464 Gnome Wars
Gnomes: 2 PM: Length: 4: Hosted by: Brian Robinette: Scale:
28mm: Rules: Gnome Wars: No. of Players: 8.
The Jagermeisters are back at it, trying to settle a score with
Les Legion du Chocolat Suisse. Will the Suisse send the Huns
packing or will they melt in the face of German offensive heat?

Fresh from a raving success at Spring Fever,  Brian's games should be a hoot!  One day I might even post the pics from it that I found online.

Fun fact:  out of 500+ games, only 5 of them are listed under "Gnome," and another has gnome pilots.  

It has been confirmed, Historicon is being overrun by Gnome Wars.  Sell off all your lead to me cheaply and  get out of the hobby, the world is ending, the Mayans were right.

The one thing that disappoints me is that there is no Gnome Joust, or Gladiator Combat, or Bake Sale (Mike, I'm looking at you!).  Perhaps Virginia frowns upon bounties a bit more than Pennsylvania.

And now, the rest of the Viscount Eric desired games, in chronological order, with minimal comment.

T-266 George S. Patton vs Pancho Villa
Theme, Western: 9 AM:
High Noon goodness.

T-321 Battle of Beige Bay, 1904 
Theme, Early 20th Century: 2 PM: Length: 6: Hosted by: Chris Carlson: Scale: 1/6000: Rules: Fear God & Dread Naught: No.of Players: 12.
Large-scale Russo-Japanese fleet action.

T-509 Seal Team 6: Operation Smackdown
Modern: 3 PM: Length: 3: Hosted by: Del Stover: Scale: 25mm: Rules: Dr. Who Miniatures Game: No. of Players: 4. 
Seal Team 6 caught my eye,  Dr Who Miniatures for the system has me scratching my head. Plus it's only a four-player game.  That is either going to be epic or a complete disaster.

T-306 Mall of the Walking Dead
Modern: 5 PM: Length: 3: Hosted by: Steven Johnson: Scale:25mm: Rules: Dawn of the Dead: No. of Players: 8.
A miniature version of the SPI boardgame.

T-208 “Not men, but demons.” The Foreign Legion at Camerone, 30 April 1863 
Theme,  Colonial: 7 PM: Length: 4: Hosted by: Michael Montemarano:  Scale: 28mm: Rules: Rich Hasenauer’s Alamo, modified: No. of  Players: 9.
Hey, I enjoy French Foreign Legion games...

T-540 Northwest Frontier by G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. 
Theme, Colonial: 7 PM: Length: 4: Hosted by: Buck Surdu: Scale:  28mm: Rules: The G.A.S.L.I.G.H.T. Compendium: No. of  Players: 8.
One, Northwest Frontier.  Two, Russian Victorian Sci-Fi.  I just want to see this!

F-157 The Alamo – Children’s Game
Theme  Mexican War: 9 AM: Length: 4: Hosted by: Bob Burnham: Scale: 25mm: Rules: The Sword and the Flame (modified): No. of Players: 8.
I love that this guy is running separate games for kids and adults.  Of course, by the end, half the adults belong at the kids game and vice versa.

F-430 Return to the Fort – French Foreign Legion 
Theme, Colonial: 9 AM: Length: 4: Hosted by: Scott Landis: Scale:10mm: Rules: The Sword and the Flame: No. of Players: 6.
FFL in 10mm?  I'll bite

F-288 Holiday in Zululand, South Africa, 1879 
Theme, Colonial: 9 AM: Length: 4: Hosted by: Ed Watts: Scale: 15mm: Rules: The Sword and the Flame: No. of Players: 6.

F-193 Battle of Manila Bay
19th Century: 9 AM: Length: 2: Hosted by: Brian DeWitt:  Scale: 1/2400: Rules: When Dreadnoughts Ruled the Seas: No.of Players: 6.

F-122 “The Shortest War in History” – The Anglo-Zanzibari War, 27 Aug 1896
Theme, Colonial: 11 AM: Length: 5: Hosted by: Rick Nance: Scale:  28mm: Rules: Soldier’s Companion (modified 2nd edition): No. of Players: 10.
Everyone knows I love this obscure stuff.  Plus the guy is selling off the terrain, so you can buy and prep your own Zanzibari game for the Obscure War theme for Cold Wars 2014!

F-158 The Alamo – Adult’s Game 
Theme, Mexican War: 2 PM: Length: 4: Hosted by: Bob Burnham:  Scale: 25mm: Rules: The Sword and the Flame (modified): No. of Players: 8.

F-529 Mystic Warriors – the Boxer Legend 
Theme, Colonial: 2 PM: Length: 3: Hosted by: Ben Fornshell: Scale: 25mm: Rules: Tabletop Battle System: No. of Players: 6.

F-434 The Defense of Rorkes Drift, January 22-23, 1879 
Theme, Colonial: 2 PM: Length: 4: Hosted by: Thomas Uhl: Scale: 28mm: Rules: Never Take Them Alive: No. of Players: 6.

F-317 Battle of Luzon Strait, 1913 
Theme, WWI: 2 PM: Length: 6: Hosted by: Michael Harris: Scale: 1/2400: Rules: Fear God & Dread Naught: No. of Players: 12.
Some German-American "What if" Naval play in the Phillipines.

F-513 Seal Team 6: Not on My Watch!
Modern: 2 PM: Length: 3: Hosted by: Del Stover: Scale: 25mm: Rules: Dr. Who Miniatures Game: No. of Players: 4.
Doctor Who-oooo,   hey!  Doctor  Who!

F-183 Prevent Defense Theme
Colonial: 4 PM: Length: 6: Hosted by: Russ Jeff: Scale: 25mm:  Rules: The Sword and the Flame: No. of Players: 8.
U.S. Marines are making a river assault on a French Foreign Legion outpost that has been stopping and seizing American gold shipments.  - The description is more than enough to make me giddy.

F-168 Campaign of Vengeance 
Theme, Colonial: 7 PM: Length: 4: Hosted by: Bruce Schaper: Scale: 25mm: Rules: Land of the Long White Cloud Home Rules: No. of Players: 4.
Maori Wars

F-281 Pancho Villa’s Raid, 1926
Inter-War: 7 PM: Length: 4: Hosted by: Rob Beattie: Scale: 28mm: Rules: Flying Lead: No. of Players: 8.

F-247 Pig Wars – Saxon Raiders
Dark Ages: 8 PM: Length: 3: Hosted by: Steve Robinson: Scale: 28mm: Rules: Pig Wars – modified: No. of Players: 6.
Pig Wars is a guilty pleasure, our group needs to play more  of it

F-272 Poncho Villa invades the US!
Theme, Western: 8 PM: Length: 4: Hosted by: Leo Walsh: Scale: 25mm: Rules: High Noon: No. of Players: 16.

S-365 Rourke’s Picnic Theme
Colonial: 9 AM: Length: 2: Hosted by: Jim Reynolds: Scale: 28mm: Rules: Teddy Bear Picnic: No. of Players: 8.
There has got to be more Teddy Bear games as a rule...

S-531 The Fall of Beijing
Colonial: 10 AM: Length: 3: Hosted by: Ben Fornshell: Scale: 25mm: Rules: Tabletop Battle System: No. of Players: 6.

S-251 Trench Wars – Treat Them Rough!:
WWI: 10 AM: Length: 3: Hosted by: Steve Robinson: Scale: 28mm, Rules: Trench Wars,  No of Players: 10

S-534 Boxer Rebellion
Colonial: 5 PM: Length: 2: Hosted by: Ben Fornshell: Scale: 25mm: Rules: Tabletop Battle System: No. of Players: 6.

S-336 Rorke’s Drift Theme
Colonial: 7 PM: Length: 5: Hosted by: Daniel Stokes: Scale:10mm: Rules: Home Grown: No. of Players: 6.

S-428 Midnight Massacre
American Civil War: 10 PM: Length: 4: Hosted by: Scott Landis: Scale: 15mm: Rules: Fire and Fury (Brigade): No. of Players: 25.

Thank God there's no Sunday games that are must-play. After the Midnight Massacre I would be exhausted!  Twenty--seven games I would be interested in playing, a good deal of over-lap, and this year pre-registrants can register for TWO games per day!   

Gotta hit the Powerball... Gotta hit the Powerball.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Viscount Eric 30K

Sometime in mid-September 2009, I started this blog, and after three years, almost 400 posts, and some wacky goings-on, Gaming with the Gnomies has finally reached 30,000 pageviews!  And yes, that's not counting my nostalgic views like a loving parent.  

Where has the time gone?  Why do I still have a mountain of lead to paint?  The two little girls I love and adore might be the answer to those questions (and my wife too...)

This is an eclectic blog, I thoroughly admit it.  I've written about miniatures, wargaming, RPGs, random interet games, raising gaming kids, and, of course, various and sundry entries about gnomes.  But what brings a random person to this blog?   I present to you the Top Ten Most Popular Blog Entries of All-Time!

#10 Cold Wars 2011Part Three: Gnomes!:  A nice recap of the Gnome Wars Verdun game Jim ran, also, if my memory serves me correct, my first encounter with Mr. Michael Lung. Oh, what madness has occurred within a year...

#9 Jurrasic Reich:  One of possibly two posts mentioning Eureka's Weird War II line.  The minis look great and the players at cons look like they're having a blast. I have too many other items to purchase from Eureka to even ponder adding any of these to the list.

#8 Historicon 2010 Part Three: The Other Games: A rather ho-hum report of the"other" games I didn't play at Historicon. Not my best work.

#7 Modelling with Formula Bottles:  One of my many aborted projects. I got a few cleaned and primed, but a stray cat adopted our garage, and had kittens, so in a post-natal cleaning frenzy, they all got chucked.

#6 Paper Tanks: My only mention of paper miniatures.

#5 Beer and Pretzels Gaming at Steve's Man Cave: One of the posts I am proud of, our gaming session at Steve's that included not only Mouse Guard, but also a game of Burning Plastic fought among pretzel bags and beer bottles.  We all need a dose of this from time to time!

#4 Historicon 2010 Part Two: Uncle Duke's Diamond Jubilee My  review of Uncle Duke's retirement, and the plethora of games he had running (and for sale).

#3 Reapers New Mouseling Line: My first mention of Reaper's Mouselings, poorly formatted at that.

#2 Eureka Releases Mice WarriorsMy first mention of Eureka's line, with one pic covering all the figures, plus a pic of armed schoolgirls. 

#1 Settlers of Catan 15th Anniversary Edition: Not gnomes, not Hackmaster, not even cute mice could top the list.  That title resides with an quick post promoting the bookshelf edition of Settlers of Catan.  Even on a slow  week this can net two dozens hits from google and yahoo searches.  The funniest thing is, this post has more page views than 2-4 combined!

The funny thing is, even this month, the top three posts are the top three all-time.  Which means I need to either start playing some Catan, or that box of mice need paint jobs!

Thanks to all who have visited. I'll try to do better next time....

Edit:  It seems, upon further review, that Blogger is not calculating the all-time post counts correctly.  Some page view numbers are off by almost a hundred, and other posts, such as my Battle of Yellowstone AAR should easily fit into 8th place.  Ah, mysterious Google.

Monday, May 14, 2012

An Open Letter to Gamers in Regard to pdfs

I once again made the mistake of staring into the abyss of This time, it was one of my favorite train wrecks of topics, pdf sales. First off, the proof copies of the the new edition of the Hackmaster Player's Handbook have arrived at Kenzerco for final approval.
Sure, they're a bit full of  themselves, but with books that nice, I'll cut them some slack.

The longstanding preorder policy for the book was $60 (SRP) would net you the 400-page hardcover, plus a free  copy of the pdf.  Up until this point, not only was it a copy of the pdf,  but you immediately got access to the current beta version, plus each update until the final release.  From the information I have read, this has created an extra level of editing which has caught rule confusions and general typos, hopefully creating a better quality end product.

With the proof copies arriving to their satisfaction, Kenzer has allowed for orders of just the pdf, for $40 USD.

Forty Bucks!

The previously mentioned thread started with the original poster questioning/complaining about the high price of the pdf. His group was slightly interested in the new edition, plus he had a strict no-hard copy of the rules. The $40 price tag was just too steep for his consideration, as he had purchased many an equal product for $10-15.  The thread, as it could be expected, devolved into three subjects:  pdf pricing, Hackmaster's viability, and "Is Kenzer freakin' nuts?"

Before I get into those topics, two minor points:
  1. The original poster is a moron for having an all-efile policy.  In the few short months after the Christmas glut of electronics I've seen enough iPads imploded, Nooks nullified, Kindles killed, and hard drives failed  to not only recommended a secondary, but a tertiary backup source.  Plus, even with the "Almighty Cloud," if  you can't access the information with a busted device, it's like you left your materials on another continent.  Call me a grognard, but outside of  perhaps an electronic battle board, I'm not comfortable with devices at the gaming table.  Dead tree edition + cold dead hands, you get the idea.
  2. As I can describe myself as former Kenzer fanboy (last major purchase was the first printing of Aces & Eights),  as insular as the Kenzer fanboys were to their line of thinking, the folks are worse.  When I do relapse and poke around the site, I've done my best to "ignore list" (IL) a number of people, and I added some last night.  Worse yet, there are a number of writers/creators/publishers that I not only have put on my IL, but I actively avoid their products.  To be fair, there was an extremely well-presented post today that was quoted in another's post, and that was enough for me to  give that person a second chance. Hopefully I can a find a product of their's that I will enjoy and give them some money.    
PDF Pricing/Is Kenzer Freakin' Nuts?
It is true that I just posted within the week that I thought that Chaosium's pdf pricing was too high, so it may seem hypocritical to think that $40 for a pdf rule book is an okay price. In reality Chaosium's price decreases involved products that were out-of-print, never going to the light of day anytime soon, and Chaosium deemed it a proper move at this time. The items had already pulled some form of a profit and the only expense is digital storage costs.  

With Hackmaster, there aren't going to be a pile of immediate revenue sources, a la Pathfinder paths, or D&D sourcebooks.  At this moment, ensuring that they're covering the expenses of their print run is priority number one.  Their niche market has become one of high-end roleplaying books, in price, and hopefully same can be said in quality.  Anything that restricts the sale of said books, or even worse, might restrict the profitability with a limited print run, is to be avoided.  Ergo, the pdf will stay at $40 as a business decision of the company, probably until the feasibility of a second printing is met.  Even then, if it drops below $25, I  will be surprised.

And really, the company can set whatever price they want for a pdf.  It depends on how they calculate its inherent value.  If they want it for general consumption, sure, make it free or ten bucks,  if they provide it as a viable alternative to the person in the Australian outback who doesn't have a game store nearby and doesn't want to pay the $48 for shipping, good for them.  The business model that works is the one the company is most comfortable with (and still brings in revenue to pay the bills.)

Plus, the "Oh noes!  The game isn't complete" crowd completely waved aside arguments that the Hackmaster Basic pdf for $15 was a complete game and a great way to test the system.  The pdf/softcover book has the exact same rules, but only covers up to 5th level.  The experience system is consistent enough with the old edition, and with a TPK in the first go round, it took about 75 weekly sessions before everyone reached 5th in our campaign.  Let's halve that for a "safer" party/GM and we still have a full year's worth of play (holidays/off weeks/no-shows calculated into that). 

Hackmaster's Viability
The built in base from 4th Edition is there.  The new fans of the Aces & Eight plus people turned off by the previous WoTC license requirements should be quite pleased.  If you don't like crunch, you probably won't like  Hackmaster, but outside of a  full cinematic game, I can't think of a system that can run through G1: The Steading of the Hill Giant Chief in a single session, complete with a 80+ person regular combat when the party made a clusterf.*** of things.  The new edition is more tactical, for you 3/4/Path players who like that kind of stuff.  

That all said, I'm not buying either medium the new Hackmaster yet.  Fourth edition is fine by me, and we haven't played since forever. In fact, if we did miraculously started up again, I would significantly fiddle with the skills rules

And seriously people, if you refuse to pay more than $10 for a pdf, use your, or apparent lack thereof, in protest.  I haven't ventured over to Drive-thru or rpgnow, but back in the days when I did, I found little there     that I wanted, and most items that appealed to me had a hardcopy alternative.  I still consider the pdf the domain of illegal scans or special bonus material (usually free to begin with).  I know, I'm so 2001....

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Warlord's New Leprechaun

It's been awhile since anything truly caught my eye over on the TMP Newsfeed, much less anything that could be used for Gnome Wars, but I believe Warlord Games has ended my drought.

I present for your general consideration, or a present for the Irish Gnome player with everything: A Leprechaun Banker.
He's listed under their very small 28mm Fantasy section for £4.00.  I'm assuming that this fella will be tiny in comparison to the Irish thugs we're accustomed to, but if you want a crafty guy guarding your gold, he's swarmy enough to qualify.

Check out Marty McGuinness for more info.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Princess Maja's Birthday

Today is the birthday of my eldest, Maja. As they say, three years ago, everything changed in ways I can still barely fathom.

Maja is also my experiment into gaming parenting, much to my wife's chagrin.  She loves the gnomes, she loves dice, she demands stories from Mouse Guard, she loves to paint figures, and in twenty years, might make some poor nerd out there feel like the luckiest guy on the Earth (and he would be right).   Then again, we don't discourage anything she does, from playing house, to spontaneous dancing, to playing any type of sports (I'm still hoping on that UConn scholarship, she's abnormally tall and surprisingly coordinated.  Gotta work on that skyhook after her party.)

My youngest, Amelia, is still too little, so she is interested in everything, yet nothing at the same time.  I hope she becomes my wife's little shopping buddy she talks about, but I believe Maja is all mine, at least until she nears puberty.  Until then, I get some active brain exercise by telling her spontaneous stories every night before bed. I may  introduce her to a new princess tonight after her cake tonight.  A little Choose-your-own-adventure stylings with the Palace of the Silver Princess might work. Or I'll continue May's project of memorizing "In the Merry Old Land of Oz" for nighttime singing.   Oh, in a couple of years, we can get all the Oz books, and between them, Mouse Guard, my David the Gnome stories, and whatever interests of her develop until them, I think we're going to have some fun along the way.

Maja, with her much-loved Mepacon dragon shirt, which pre-dates her!
Happy Birthday, my OG (original gnome).  Once your Daddy can find his brain, we'll finish up the Princess Gnome and the Undead Wolves and we'll play The Princess Who Cried Wolf with Daddy's terrain.  Daddy loves you, even if you already kick my butt in games.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Chaosium announces the stars are right for a website upgrade

I normally receive email updates from Chaosium, and usually it's just new releases, upcoming products, and when the company is vacationing in the Dreamlands.  This one brought up three important pieces of info (at least to me.)

  1. The Chaosium website will be undergoing upgrades throughout the month of May. This was more of a simple warning of potential service outages than anything else. I've liked the website for quite some time and hope it's nothing too drastic.
  2. They have reduced the prices on their pdfs for out-of-print books.  It looks like a 10-15% decrease, so, in my opinion, they are finally priced correctly. Digital copies should not be that close to the print copy price.  If the prices are too close, I always go with  the dead tree version.
  3. I may have missed this at the bottom of previous updates, but it looks as if they are offering free shipping for domestic orders over $60.   My one gripe with Chaosium was that their shipping was outrageous for Parcel Post to the East Coast.  Perhaps I'm spoiled from East Coast shipping all of the time, but this will allow me to order things direct instead of using an intermediary like  

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

My Blogosphere Required Review of The Avengers

********Seriously? You don't think parts of the movie will be spoiled on a review four days after its release? If that's the case, then I'd like to tell you that Rosebud is the sled, but you're so stupid you think Citizen Kane is a WWE documentary.***********

The movie is out, the civil war of opinion has broke out across this intraweb thingy. Pro-Whedon vs anti-Whedon. Coulson vs Hill. Titanic struggle versus the big bad villan using Carmen Burana as the soundtrack versus Aerosmith's Rag Doll. If you look, some weird ass position on some niggling detail can be discovered on just about anything.

I have watched a little Buffy, no Firefly, found Serenity to be an ok movie. I'm not familiar enough with any of Whedon's later works to form an opinion. In the Whedon War, I'm Switzerland because I don't care who wrote, directed, or was 3rd Key Grip in Singapore for the damn movie.

That all off my chest, I will warn you I'm going stream-of-consciousness on this and I'm starting with the end, the climatic battle scene sucked. Generic alien menace coming out in groups so small a biker gang could handle them? I know the New York City is the center of the universe to some, but having them invade up to 39th Street, and every time a building is significantly hit, it's the only one within three blocks to have any noticeable damage? Really?

Next quibble. Did SHIELD transform from a branch of Homeland Security into a super secret international task force in Thor? Yes I know it was probably international from the beginning and used a convenient cover, but that was the only piece of movie canon that I missed, and I did not see Thor to fill in that minor piece of information.

So, the Earth's Mightiest Heroes, The Avengers, are to join forces to combat an impending invasion from the great unknown. The alpha dogs that they are, the heroes create great personality clashes, many verbal, some physical, before learning to work together and save the Earth. Welcome to number of classic Avengers comic plot lines. Enjoy your stay. The movie handles it well and delivers on the basic promise true believers demanded of them since the Sixties.

I knew I was going to enjoy the dialogue the second Stark Tower powered up, more specifically, when Agent Coulson arrived. I knew what information Tony had just received, I was more intrigued by the cellist in Portland. Maybe I've watched too many chick flicks with the missus, but I already know the superpowers, equipment, etc. I've read enough Marvel Masterworks to know that. I want that appropriate dialog to make these comic book characters real, and I think the film delivered without seeming too witty.

The characters were as spot on as one could expect with multiple movie sequels to worry about.

Captain America starts with a small bit of self doubt in the beginning, as 70 years as America's greatest popsicle could do to a person. That doubt slowly thaws out of him so by the time the big battle starts he assumes the mantle of leader and world greets their first superhero with open arms (after one minor snafu, but that is quickly remedied with action and a bit of comedy).

Iron Man: Tony is Tony, except he learns that it's okay to play with others for the greater good, especially if you're the only guy who can save New York.

Thor: my exposure to him and verily I say, he's exactly what I hoped for. I so wanted more dialogue between him and Cap.

Hawkeye always gets the short end on the stick in the comics, so outside of the mind control incident, I was very content with his portrayal. A mortal among gods (small g as to not piss Cap off), he does what he can, and he does that well.

Black Widow: this version seems more hypnotic than the deadly seduction I've seen. Plus, as another true mortal on the team, she does play a significant part in stopping the invasion. The scene where the Hulk is chasing her does make her look more scared Hollywood starlet than cool collected comic book heroine running for her life. Plus I don't believe that Johansson went commando to fit into that suit. She had to have had major bones and vital organs removed as well.

SHIELD: Fury: solid.  Hill: Aunt Robin needs to gain 15 lbs of solid muscle to help avoid looking like real life Liefeld drawing, only without the large boobs and broken back pose. Coulson: after this movie, I can only picture his face on Vision's body. But who to play the Scarlet Witch?

Banner/Hulk: I've heard rumors of two Hulk movies. I've just decided to deny their existence from this point forward. Mark Ruffalo makes a badass Bruce Banner that I would watch for 90 minutes without him turning into "the other guy". That other guy is pretty awesome, but let me combine those comments under....

Loki: everyone I've seen has got Loki wrong. He isn't anywhere near the big bad villain people portray him as. He's really the henchman of the henchman of the villain! He's a clever mook with big aspirations. His fight with the Hulk was perfect in that regard. Loki's most devious schemes weren't the issue . The starship on the other side of the portal was a far more dangerous.Hulk took the perfect amount of time to resolve that nuisance.

The ending:  part of my brain would't shut off about the Stark Tower architecture, so now I'm pleasantly surprised.

The secret ending: This is going to get messy,

Patiently waiting for Iron Man 3 and the continuous wave of movies leading out each summer...

Friday, May 4, 2012

The Apathy of New Releases (May 2012)

I know, I know, how did the Earth keep spinning with this being 15 days late?  Truth be told, I'm a wee bit crabby in regards to this month.

My Must Have List:  Nothing

My Money is No Object Wish List:
The Spider-God’s Bride is a collection of  ten blood-red sword and sorcery adventures, inspired by the pulp era tales of Robert E. Howard and Clark Ashton Smith. Venture in the footsteps of Conan
the Cimmerian, Satampra Zeiros of Uzuldaroum, Imaro of Nyumbani, and other fabled thieves, reavers, and slayers!   Scheduled to ship in July 2012.   MGP 8302 ..............................$19.99

I  must have missed the actual rulebook amongst the plethora of other products Mongoose pumps out, but this looks interesting.  Plus $2 per adventure is a steal.

The Imaginary Store List: (Viscount Eric's Pegleg Gnome)

Flames of War - The prices have always bothered me with this line. $58.00 for 5 tanks?  $45.00 for 4?  I can find 15mm tanks for ten bucks apiece on multiple websites, why would you want to pay  more for the convenience of having them all in one box?



oooh, Talisman.

One thing that does get me aggravated with GTM is the lack of information on some products.  Some listings are just the company name, name of the product, and the infamous "PI" for "please inquire" under price.
Let's use this as an example:


Wow, you get all that, plus a kick ass piece of art:

yet, no information pertaining to scale, number of figs, or anything promoting the sale of the product. C'mon people!

Gale Four Nine:  A whole pile of D&D maps
FOX FOUR ..............................$19.95
COBBLESTONE ROADS   GF9 BB141 ..............................$45.00
DROW SANCTUM VINYL CAMPAIGN MAP  GF9 72779..............................$19.99
TEMPLE OF LOTH VINYL CAMPAIGN MAP  GF9 72780..............................$19.99
LARGE SUMMER WOOD  GF9 BB543 ..............................$30.00
RURAL CHURCH                GF9 BB139 ..............................$40.00
RURAL ROAD EXPANSION SET  GF9 BB140 ..............................$45.00
SMALL SUMMER WOOD GF9 BB542 ..............................$30.00
TRAIN STATION                GF9 BB136 ..............................$40.00

Goodman Games:  After years of modules, their own rules set
DUNGEON CRAWL CLASSICS RPG HC (GSL)   $39.99   with a special edition for $69.99

Green Ronin:


Traveller books: Droyne and French Arm

Created as a joint project between Warlord Games and Osprey Publishing,
and written by veteran game designers  Alessio Cavatore and Rick Priestley, Bolt
Action provides all the rules needed to doing the great battles of World War II to
your tabletop. Using miniature soldiers, tanks, and terrain, Bolt Action allows
players to fight battles in the shattered towns of occupied France, the barren
deserts of North Africa, and even the sweltering jungles of the Pacific.
Scheduled to ship in July 2012. OSP BTC001............................$36.95





Here's a quick rant in regards to Dystopian Wars.  To the complete novice, all the ships look the same! With             a casual glance, I could't tell the difference between Antarctica, France, and the Tribal Kingdoms of  Wantahockaloogie.  At least with a game like Battletech, the"they're all robots" can be dismissed by the variety of figure designs. Dystopian Wars is probably cool, but I'm better off starting historical naval minis, or even Axis and Allies navals.

Let's hope that this is better than the similarly named tripe they released just prior to 4th Edition.

Magic The Gathering Core 2013:  Not the cash cow the other sets are. Core sets are the closest thing to slow and steady sales in the feast-or-famine Magicverse.





Thursday, May 3, 2012

OGRE Kickstarter Update

It's been awhile since I ventured over to the OGRE Kickstarter Project that Steve Jackson Games had set up.

Originally, they had set up modest goals for the massive Designer's Edition that Steve Jackson himself dreamed of. Those were quickly obliterated, as were the numerous target goals they had set up since. When I had last checked up on the effort, it was nearing $250,000 and the quality and quantity of the components had been vastly improved.

This afternoon, I checked up and my jaw dropped:
3,063 supporters
and still 7 days left!

This level of support has brought out the little things that would make any fan of OGRE break out in tears of joy:

• A computer version of OGRE by 2014 (platform TBD)
• An expansion for OGRE for 2013
• A pocket version of OGRE scheduled for Summer 2013. Kickstarter supporters will get a copy with their big box.
• The classic counter sheets can be added to the kickstarter orders as an extra as well as available at Warehouse 23
OGRE FREAKIN MINIATURES!!!!!!!!!!   Or at least their re-development

The upcoming goal will allow some poor sod a dream job:
$550,000:  Interviews for a full time OGRE line developer.
$575,000:  Still looking for ideas. The box is already about to explode.  Can we just start working on reprints of the other classic games?

Check out OGRE Designer Edition on Kickstarter to see how crazy things have become.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Catching up...

April has been a far rougher month for me than originally planned, but I'm barely getting back on feet.

First off, so I make some space on my sidebar, the results of my latest poll: "What Gnomes Should Brigade Release Next?"   Thanks to all thirteen voters (even if you voted twice, or didn't notice you could vote for multiple figs).

Aussie Foot. 8
Canadians. 5
Znombies. 3
Banana Republic. 2
Casualty markers 1
British sailors. 1
More Russians 1

With no consideration to sculptor availability, expenses, or even outside demand past those eight votes, I think it's a safe bet that at least a basic Aussie foot soldier would be greeted with some positive response.  The officers, boomerang grenadiers, and bartenders (Beer: Australian for Medic) could come later if the demand justified them.  This might be aided in those of us who bought Aussie Cav painted them up and brought them to the HMGS cons.

Canadians are "in the works" as the rumor goes, although I'd only hold my breath for short periods of time.

Next, Mike Lung, our resident mad scientist/sculptor among the gnomies, is on another super-secret project.  I won't make mention until he's done (and gives the ok), but if you thought gingerbread men, znombies, and cannibal  gnomes were great, this next one will make you giggle.   More to come, once I answer his last two emails.

In the short term, I'll be posting a "best of" collection of  photos from the Gnome Wars game run at Spring Fever by the great Southern Gnomie himself, herzogbrian.  The game looked awesome and definitely gives me a reason to pick up some gnome mummies.I'm need to acquire photos, give proper credit and get basic permissions to use them.

For the two people who look at it, I didn't forget about this month's Apathy of  New Releases.  It was available during Mepacon and I've had bigger  issues to worry about.  There is a rough draft on the blog, and I'll  warn you, it may be bitter and rantish.

Speaking of rants, I still have a few random thoughts about  Cold Wars, although I may package them together into a more general post about cons, gaming, and volunteers.

Finally, I'd like to post some initial idea about the German-American War, as well as the last post of our Call  of Cthulhu game.

As a famous man once said, "We shall see what we shall see..."