Thursday, June 27, 2013

Dystopian Legions Ironclads

As I mentioned in yesterday's Apathy post for July, the new Ironclads for Spartan Games' Dystopian Legions looked promising, but for $67.50 I wanted a scale comparison.

Yeah, I don't think that disapoints.  Each Ironclad has a resin body with metal treads and accessories. 

The problem I have converting them to Gnome Wars is that in Legions, they're effectively fast moving howitzers, where the GW version of them would be the traditional lumbering tank with a cannon.  Unless the cannon range is modified, or hull points added, the only justification for buying this model with gnomes is looking cool. 

Not that it's a bad thing.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

The Apathy of New Releases (July '13)

Although there are gamers everywhere pinching pennies to ensure they just enough fundage to survive a pilgrimage to GenCon, the September and beyond releases are being solicited.  If you have regulars that take the trip, their enthusiasm can carry over to your open gaming area, and a store owner is wise to keep an ear to the ground to supplement the idle chit chat with physical product to tempt the ones who stayed at home.

My Must Have Want List
Nothing.  Almost feels good to be back to normal

My Money is No Object Want List
While I wouldn't buy them sight unseesn, even if I had hit the powerball, I might be interested in Pelgrane Press'  Trail of Cthulhu: The Final Revelation as well as the Dystopian Legions new Ironclads (i.e. big-ass tank).

The Imaginary Store List (The Pegleg Gnome)
For a store, the first thing I noticed was a LOT of re-solicited items or "Offered Again"   Overall, the new item count is down and companies like Avalanche Press get a much larger portion of the book.  I don't know if the companies pay for this,  Alliance just received a restock, or Alliance wants to move some product before blowing it out, but it's always a nice change.
Alderac has a new L5R expansion plus three new stand alone card games. While the games range from $10-20,  I'd like to see some buzz from GenCon or anywhere before I invest in the six unit displays.

Arcane Wonders
Mage Wars: Conquest of Kumanjaro
I really thought that Mage Wars would vanish from the surface of the planet.  In a world of high quality board games, it had looked mediocre on its best presentation.  Reviews have not been too promising and I've only seen it at cons, and discounted heavily too boot.  An expansion for the game boggles my mind.

Ares Games
Sails of Glory
Assembled cardstock ships representing the historical Age of Sail, rather than the one from the Pirates line?

Atlas Games
Ars Magica 5th Edition:  The Contested Isle - The Hibernian Tribunal  $29.95

Catalyst Games
Battletech Introductory Boxed Set.                                                     $59.95
Leviathan Captains Box                                                                      $59.95
Sigh, it's a sad day when even Battletech is a $60 boxed set.

Captain Treasure Boots
Fish Cook
Then again, when a company called Cheapass Games puts out new products are all $15.00, it makes sense.

Street Fighter the Deck Building Game                                                $40.00
This is either going to be respectable or drop like a lead balloon.

Cubicle 7
World War Cthulhu   The Darkest Hour                                              $39.95
A new campaign setting, using BRP.

Evil Hat
FATE Core System                                                                            $25.00
From Kickstarter to reality.  It does happen!

Spirit of the Century  Beyond Dinopacalypse                                       $15.00

Fantasy Flight Games
Star Wars X-wing Miniatures  Game: B-wing Expansion Pack                              $14.95
Star Wars X-wing Miniatures Game: Hwk-290 Light  Freighter Expansion Pack   $14.95
Star Wars X-wing Miniatures Game: Lambdaclass Shuttle Expansion Pack           $29.95
Star Wars X-wing Miniatures Game: Tie Bomber Expansion Pack                        $14.95

Goodman Games
Dungeon Crawl Classics #79: Frozen In Time                                                       $ 9.99

John Wick Presents
Wicked Fantasy                                                                                                   $49.95
John Wick envisions a Pathfinder campaign with new visions of the races, each with a "Wicked" twist to it.

Yu-gi-oh! Tcg: Judgment Of The Light Booster Display (24)
Yu-gi-oh! Tcg: Number Hunters Booster Display (24)

Transparent Polyhedral Colors Dice  7- or 10-Piece Assortments                $6.00 or $8.00
This doesn't psyche the average gamer if they look at the Game Trade Monthly. (Stock see-through dice in different colors? Excellent!)  As I've stated before, retailers need to stock more dice, both individual and in sets. They are an impulse buy in the store's equivilant of the candy display at the register.    All the recent sets being promoted were over $10 a piece!    Six bucks is less than two packs of the latest CCG, and everybody loves dice.

Do my eyes deceive me.  A company selling just bases?  A wee bit costly, and no description telling me what they're made of, but it's a start.

Osprey Publishing
The Book of Camouflage                                                                             $9.99
I'd be more worried about this book disappearing off the shelves *rimshot*

Bolt Action: Armies of France and the Allies                                                $24.95
Myths and Legends: Thor, Viking God of Thunder                                       $17.95
Zombies: A Hunter's Guide Deluxe Edition                                                   $19.95
I do like Osprey's attempts to move into gaming and non-traditional wargaming subjects. 

Paizo Publishing
Pathfinder Adventure Path: Wrath Of The Righteous Part 2 - Sword Of Valor  $22.99
Pathfinder Campaign Setting: Mythic Realms                                                    $19.99
Pathfinder Campaign Cards:Wardens Of The Reborn Forge                             $10.99
Pathfinder Flip-mat: Speedy Tavern                                                                 $13.99
Pathfinder Pawns: Reign Of Winter Adventure Path Pawn Collection                $19.99
Carboard stand-ups?  I usually just list the Pathfinder stuff without paying much attention, but 100 stand-ups for twenty bucks isn't as outrageous as the other things I was complaining about.
Pathfinder Player Companion: Mythic Origins                                                   $12.99

Pelgrane Press
Gumshoe: Ashen Stars - The Justice Trade                                                       $16.95
Gumshoe: Trail of Cthulhu - The Final Revelation                                              $22.95

Spartan Games
Another series of heart palpitations for those stores that stock Dystopian Legions, Dystopian Wars, and Firestorm Armada.  It's the first time I've seen the actual tanks for Legions (Ironclads) and would love a size comparison to justify the $67.50 price tank.  They are pretty sweet, however.
(EDIT: I found some pics, and they are indeed HUGE!  Work won't let me go to the Spartan Games website, so I'll set up a Gnome-centric review of them when I get home.)

Steve Jackson Games
Munchkin Pathfinder                                                                                     $24.95
Munchkin Tricky Treats Booster                                                                    $ 4.95

Wizard of the Coast
D&D Premium 3.5 Edition - Magic Item Compendium                                  $49.95
Is this one of the 3.5 books with a limited initial run.  Can one not just go over to eBay and snag one up cheap?  As usual, I'm confused.

Magic the Gathering CCG Deck Builders Took Kit 2014                              $19.99

Hello Kitty Shuffling the Deck Card Game                                                      $9.99
Family friendly, Hello Kitty.  Probably a big win at such a cheap price.

The Hobbit - Journey to the Lonely Mountain Strategy Game                        $49.99
Marvel Heroclix - Wolverine and the X-Men
Pathfinder: White Dragon Evolution Boxed Set                                              $39.99
Trains and Stations Strategy Game                                                                     ?
After all the other train games, plus the Ticket to Ride series, this is what Wizkids wants to go into.  Again, color me confused.

Monday, June 24, 2013

(Gnome Wars) The Battle for the Hair

This past weekend was one of the most productive, but also most relaxing ones since I've gotten married 6 1/2 years ago.

After a morning of yard and housework, we received a small trickle of visiting friends all day.  No major arrivals of giant families from Michigan staying overnight, just recently divorced (and bored) friends and a few bored neighbors as well.  At one point, my wife needed to leave to go to her annual review for her Per Diem job, and my friend Don, the lone visitor at the time, had taken a nap on the couch.  Soon, my littlest, Millie, was passed out on the chair, and I waited for Maja to pass out as well.

Instead, I got a "Daddy, can you bring out my tower and play a game?"

How can I resist?

In "last week's" episode, Snow White had evaded capture and got changed to her normal, morbidly obese, Little People size. 
Now Rapunzel had been captured by the German Gnomes, and stowed away in a castle.  With no Flynn Rider figure to rescue her, who would do it?

The Rescuers
Four separate teams were formed by Maja as I set up the Germans:
  • A unit of a female warrior and two mouslings had already infiltrated the castle and were attempting to get through the defenses
  • A kick-butt unit of Little People Snow White, Bruce Carmezind (The Most Interesting Gnome in the World), a little red frog, and a Little People Race Car (with driver)
  • A unit of renegade German Bunny Cavalry.
  • A "Peace" Van driven by David the Gnome and Zeke the Mouse. 
The Evil Gnomes
  • 2 units of German Gnomes, one guarding in front of the river, the other behind it.
  • Stonecutter Homer was watching the Battle from a safe location near the tower.
  • An Owlbear, as placed by Maja, was guarding the interior of the tower.
  • An out of control Ettin.
The Geman Gnome Defenses - Rapunzel is NOT to scale.

From L to R: Snow White, Bruce Carmezind, the Race Car, the Peace Van with David and Zeke, and the Bunny Cav.
Armed with only a blunderbuss and a bow, respectively, David and Zeke did what any credible rescuing hero would do: floor it and plow into people, running over three of out the five peasant infantry blocking the bridge.  Bruce climbed atop a hay bale and started gunning down Germans.  The Bunny Cav positioned itself to charge the German flank, and were oddly followed by Snow White.

On the Germans turn, their guns were wildly ineffective. Everyone apparently was soaking up the irony of a Peace Van running over people.  The next line of German peasant infantry defending the bridge slowly creeped back, only to be met by the rampaging ettin, who cared little of friend or foe.
The Van Rides to Rescue!
The rescuers responded by sending the little red frog into hand to hand combat with the Green German line, and his ultimate demise.  Bruce, jumped off the hay bale and wildly shot into the Germans staring at the van.  The van met the ettin head-on to a violent collision, but had enough power to slowly push the ettin off the bridge, making hime more dead than wet.  The Bunny Cav finally got ready to charge into the Germans, yet Snow White stood in the woods, staring off in the distance.

Our Mousling friends (& Human)  in the tower made mince meat of the Owlbear, yet could not defeat the donut laced machinations of Homer.

Van vs Ettin
The German counterattack whittled the Bunny Cav down, as well as gunned down Bruce Carmezind.  While heroes in the tower fought Homer, the ultimate betrayal occurred.  Maja decided that Homer was close enough to Flynn Rider that they kissed, fell in love and wanted to escape everyone. 

Our heroes caught unawares, the van flew over the bridge and slide to a stop, only to be surrounded by the German rifles...
Wow, the valet parking is so attentive!
The Bunny Cav finally got their charge in, routing the Grey Germans still guarding the near side of the river. 
Did Snow White know this was going to happen?

The Happy Couple
The mouslings in the tower managed to escape, but David the Gnome and Zeke the Mouse are prisoners of the Kaiser!

It was a great impromptu hour long game with my daughter.  Everyone else napped and became much more pleasant for the rest of the day.  Now I just have to figure out the next game for her and her sister.  It may be a variant of a very old scenario after I come back from my Daddy's gaming extravaganza next weekend, but I need to know who's on who's side....
There are double agents everywhere!

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion is Now Available!

Perhaps the biggest news for the month of June comes from the good folks at  

The long awaited Masks of Nyarlathotep Companion has finally been released as a PDF in per publication version 0.9 FOR FREE.  Over 500 pages of more juicy details, campaign expansion, and tidbits to help the Keeper run what was already one of the greatest COC campaigns of all time!

I've only managed to peruse it quickly, but for a Keeper who doesn't have players that rush through things, this is a godsend.  While the first thirty pages of the book are self induce backslapping and more advice for new Keepers, once it moves into expanding the background and each location.  

The one thing that I could immediately give praise for is that they gave Jackson Elias some depth and substance.  The man responsible for the deaths of thousands of investigators since Mask's first printing,  the Companion offers further descriptions on his writing and research, PLUS an adventure to introduce the character well before the campaign is to start.  This very nice, as I've read, heard, and seen enough games where this incredible character is given a 60-second treatment and handout #1 and the characters need to feign affection and loyalty to this person. 

One more thing I like is an expansion of NYC to add a second finale to possibly clean up some loose ends.  They even advise the possibility of using historical figures to help out.  I assume the info on the other locations follow suit, plus even more NPCs (possible future PCs), more lore on the books, and at least one adventure aboard an ocean liner to ensure the group never gets a moments notice.

The full Masks Companion can be found here:

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Black Hat WW1 Halflings Now Available for General Consumption

A successful Kickstarter campaign this winter has allowed Black Hat Miniatures to release their WW1 French Halflings for general sale.

The halflings look to go for a hair over $3 a fig, these look like a nice deal.  Scale Creep carries Black Hat in North America, and I don't see them on the site yet.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

A Very Moderate Swedish Conflict and Other Stuff I Follow...

It's been very quiet along the the blog front recently.   For the longest time, only the sheer output on Tim's Miniature Wargaming Blog kept me checking my list daily.  Of course, he does more painting in a night than I do all year, and most of his figures tempt me to dabble into new genres and eras that I still have no money to purchase or time to play. 

My friend's blogs are always amusing, and the 40k blogs I follow as a friend of a friend simply reinforce the ultimate truth that GW as a company is evil.  A lot of the other blogs have either shuttered for the summer, or gone of to different interests that don't match mine.  Oh well, c'est la vie.

I have picked up three blogs of note recently.  A Very Moderate Swedish Conflict is part of the Ådalen Miniatures blog that covers the Swedish military from 1910-1937.  As if I need another ridiculously obscure wargame, they've commissioned Swedish minis to fight an even more dignified skirmish than A Very British Civil War.  This blog, and his co-conspirator here. are simply beautiful, including painting guides.

I also started formally following Buck Surdu's blog.  Buck is a dedicated member of the HAWKS (Harford Area Weekly Kriegspielers) who have their own room o' fun at the HMGS East cons.  He's also the author of the Skirmish Elite Tanga Campaign I've been using for Gnome Wars.  Nothing recent is gaming-related, but his cross-country trip with his family along the northern edge of the lower 48 has been very enjoyable.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Attack of the 50-Foot Princess!

Ah, Father's Day!  Playing Mr Mom while the wife works a full day, we got in a trip to the park, a nice long walk, and our annual Father's Day game with the kids.

During our last game this Spring, Snow White was captured by the Germans and experimented upon.  She's gotten loose and needless to say she's a bit peeved.

The Townsfolk Flee!
The Order of Battle
Snow White
Objective: Reach the tower at the end of the board.  This should take four turns. 
Special Rules:  Treat the Princess as an OGRE (a la Steve Jackson).  She moves 11 inches (a sheet of paper lengthwise) per turn and can perform any two actions as well.  Success base is 7+ on two dice

The National Guard
8x infantry riflemen
2x machine guns
2x bazooka
1x howitzer (initially unmanned.  Two can give their action that round to operate it)
1x tank

Special rules:  infantry hit roll 1d6, hit on 5-6, then roll d20 for hit location 15-20 head)
Machine guns roll 2d6, bazookas 3d6, tank 4d6.  If they roll all 6's each scores a two points of damage.
1x Bruce Carmezind "The most interesting gnome in the world".  2d to hit, 4+ save to avoid catastrophe. 

The town was a collection of shoebox buildings and birdhouses from Michael's .  Upon discovering the kids had used up their hoarder level supply of construction paper, particularly the black pieces, I hastily grabbed a handful of lunch bags, spray painted them black and painted a double yellow line on it because Maja, my oldest at 4, said that it wasn't a real road without one.
The Calm Before the Storm
Deployment:  Snow White started at the near end of the table  opposite her objective.    The army men set up on top of the "Maja Train Station", because she set them up for me.

Nice kid.  I did convince her to move one bazooka to the decorative boat on the roof of the building across the street. 

Turn one:  
Snow White went first and promptly walked over to the station, knocked two guys off the roof, then weakly kicking a car on top of them.  The army responded with ineffective hits to the body except the machine guns, with tallied two heat shots.  Six more head hits and the Princess was going down... indefinitely.  I also made most of them run for the hills.

Captain? Can we call in reinforcements?
Turn two:  
Snow White turned to destroying buildings.  It was a simple roll of her 4d strength versus the building's .  Shoeboxes were 2d, while birdhouses were 4d.

The station never stood a chance, and neither did the lone guy who remained there.  She kicked a car and hit two guys hiding across the street.

The army responded with a more effective barrage.  The howitzer got manned and responded with three body hits and one machine gun rolled double 6s .  Bruce Carmezind even managed to climb to the roof of the church to distract her.  The only major problem was the tank.  I rolled. 1, 1, 1, 2 and ruled the the tank couldn't aim high enough and compromised the church with its blast!

Turn three: 
Snow White tried to grab the most interesting gnome, but failed, and in her ensuing rage, knocked down the weakened church.   The church collapsed and Bruce took actual physical damage!   He fell off the church and onto the floor, breaking off his hand!  Luckily the hand is pinned on, so a little glue and he will come back!

She watches the die rolls like this too.
Realizing that she could waltz into the tower the next turn without any resistance (initiative creates more problems than anything else in our games, so I just do girls-go-Dad-goes and all is well) I asked the the dice gods for their blessing and went to town.

Double sixes from a machine gun.
All four hits head shots.  

The infantry and tank did moderate damage to her body, but even if I had another turn it would take incredible luck to being her down that way.  I had one bazooka left, still sitting in the boat on top of the one building.

6, 6, 3. -  darnit, only two hits.
First location:  15. One head hit to go and she falls mere inches away from the tower.
Second location: 6.  Snow White stumbles to the tower and gets shrunk down.  

Back to normal
Great fun, the girls only took one break to watch some Tom & Jerry for five minutes.  The makeshift roads look like they'll last for a few sessions, but there are questions as to who Snow White's mysterious benefactor is.

I guess the world will never know.

We Do!!!!!!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

(Kickstarter) Cthulhu Wars

When I get my driver's license renewed this month, I have to remember to change my address on it, because I've obviously been living under a rock.

Now on Kickstarter, Call of Cthulhu creator Sandy Petersen's newest endeavour, Cthulhu Wars.

To see a half million dollars raised in what feels like scant minutes for a boardgame is extremely encouraging, but I ask one simple question that will piss some people off. 

Why am I paying $169 MSRP for a copy of Cthulhu meets Axis & Allies?

Yes, the minis vary between just awesome to breathtaking. 

Yes, the "Early-bird" bids allow a cheaper price PLUS the stretch goals.  

Yes, it's Sandy Petersen, the Godfather of Call of Cthulhu.  Just about everything he's ever touched turns to to playable gold.

Yes, the figures are all 28mm scale so you can use them in your games (Cthulhu and his ilk are 40mm) although I've never actually seen the old RAFM CoC minis used in anything but pulp wargames at cons.

I get the feeling that this is the minis version of Arkham Horror.  Great visual presentation, good gameplay, it's just looks so cluttered on that board. 

You know what I first thought when I read Cthulu Wars.  Full blown legions-from-beyond armies-of-cultists tabletop wargaming.  In 15, or even 10mm, these battles could be truly epic.  Heck, you probably could keep the big bad nasties the same size for effect.  A Cthulhu Apocalyptic wargame could go over so well, I actually picture it as what Inferno could have been.

Inferno was a game produced  by Global Games, the same that made my beloved Legions of Steel.

It was 1/285th scale (6mm) game set on the planes of Hell.  Demon Princes (40+mm tall) would tower over the battlefield, commanding their lieutenants (25mm) and their legions of the damned (6mm).  The CONCEPT of the game was cool, the execution of the game not so much.  The rules needed more playtesting  (I believe I was listed as a playtester.  The first time and only time I played was when Marco taught me the rules the first Origins in Columbus.)  The minis were not aesthetically pleasing.  And this was the beginning of the end for Global Games, with their merchant packages for Inferno and LOS.  Mix in the carnage that was the X-Game and the sub-license to produce Star Wars minis with the fall of West End Games, and it was not a good time for them.

But imagine a blasted 40k landscape that dots every game store in the country the stocks GW product.  Now instead of an Ultramarine army defending against the forces of Chaos, make it the unending legions of Cthulhu vs the unnameable armies of Hastur.  Cthulhu Wars needs to have a full wargaming component to it.   A boardgame doesn't do the figures and scope of the game justice.    In 6mm, the hordes of human cultists and smaller denizens could be properly represented.  Hell, you could even pull out some Dystopian Wars units for some exotic battles, or micro-armor for pre-apocalyptic ones.  In 15mm, we could do some cross-playing with the All Quiet on the Martian Front.

But 28mm?  For Role-Playing.  If I need to break out the battleboard for more than one PC vs Shoggoth fight a year, I'm going to lose players.  Maybe in this post-3e universe, everything needs to be set up visually, but it's not my thing. 

And that's all I'm going to say about that.


Friday, June 14, 2013

You Came Here Looking for WHAT?

On my friend Jugular Josh's blog, Where There Had Been Darkness, he has occassionally busted out the weirdest of weird searches that brought someone to his blog.  I've got nothing close to "Batman Eating Wings on the Toilet" but I have my top five.
5. chicken skull
Gaming with the Gnomies -  my personal blog about voodoo and human sacrifice?  Could somebody tell me these things up front?

4. disembowling a rabbit
Okay, the gnome bunny cav don't have the best track record with me, but really?

3. i ran the first scenario 
Sure I mentioned that I ran the first scenario of Day of the Beast, but who does such a vague search, and multiple times, as I get this one two or three times a week.  Perhaps this is part of the attack of the blog bots.

2. girl fired by the catapult
Is there some medivel circus I'm not aware of?

and #1
1 maja 8, kudowazdrj
I have no idea what this is, but it links to multiple relgious and adult sites in another language.  I know why my blog comes up with this search, but what the hell is it?

While we're at it, let's take a look at the "normal" reasons people find this blog over the past month:
#10 catan 15th anniversary
My most read post of all time is about the anniversary boxed set, so that's no surprise.

#9 54mm. acw miniatures
I love the All the King's Men 54mm figs, regardless of era.  

#8 girl fired by the catapult
This is a fairly new phenomena

#7 rules for reaper miniatures mouselings

#5 gnome wars using mouselings
I really need to finish the mouslings and get them in a game.

#6 historicon
Lots of Historicon coverage.  Makes Sense

#2 gaming with the gnomies

#4 gaming with gnomies
Way to obvious.

#1 i ran the first scenario
Blog bot searching key phrases, or new gamer from Slovakia looking into buying a compliation for their system of choice?  All Hail Slovakia!

And a rather boring list of the Most Popular Searches of ALL TIME
#1 gaming with the gnomies
#2 gaming with gnomies
#3 mouselings
#4 gnome wars
#5 mouse guard miniatures
#6 mouseling
#7 western town 28mm blog
I have a lot of pictures of the High Noon game from the HMGS East conventions.  Hope it helps the person searching for them.

#8 1 maja 8, kudowazdrj
What the hell is this?

#9 settlers of catan 15th anniversary edition
#10 of the purchase

Of course, I wrote this post just so I can get ever MORE ridiculous traffic....

Batman Eating Wings on the Toilet
Batman Eating Wings on the Toilet
Batman Eating Wings on the Toilet

Can't wait for the fun to start.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Countdown to Father's Day

Don't tell my wife, but I enjoy Father's Day.  Mainly because she's been working that Sunday for the last three years and I can play with the kids without any of the expected hub-bub of a holiday designed to sell ties and power tools.  I already got my rhubarb pie last weekend, any other gifts will be overblown.

While I'm desperately getting "grown-up" gaming time organized, I truly enjoy playing the fun games with the girls.  This weekend I have two games I'd like to run for them, if time and a lawn that looks like a grazing pasture allows.  Toys of all sort shall be used and no Fisher Price Little People shall be safe!

I'm not telling what they are, but two hints.  One is an homage to the hobby... the other is an homage to a classic 50's movie.  Both shall be excellent, no matter how many dice the kids lose.

Or I could set up a kitty MMA Ring:

Monday, June 10, 2013

Goodbye Dreamscape Comics, Goodbye

This weekend was effectively a low-key Father's Day for me.  Saturday was a single Daddy Day with the kids.  Sunday was strawberry picking at a nearby farm, with the ladies of the house following up with an afternoon of jam and pie making.  There's a rhubarb pie sitting on the counter with my name on it for this evening.  Life shall be good. 

Saturday afternoon had the girls begging for a car ride, so I bit the bullet and sauntered down the PA Turnpike to visit Dreamscape Comics.   As I mentioned here, Nick, the owner, had passed away and his longtime companion Jeanie had taken over full store duties.  Unfortunately, the swirling rumors were confirmed:  Jeanie had decided to close the store and and slowly begin the process of cleaning out a store that was a cross between a great graphic novel store and an episode of hoarders. 

I refused to take pictures of the muddled carnage.  It's just too painful.  I may complain about it, but the store has been a significant part of my life for far too long to do that to. 

I will, however show some of the bookshelves, brimming with aged stock:

More GURPS books than Steve Jackson stocks anymore

DC Archives and Marvel Masterworks out the Wazoo!

The remains of the WoD books that aren't hiding in the bins.
The girls were armed with Archie comics and barricaded into one of the back issue aisles that was blocked up with shipping boxes.  From there, I could peruse the gaming section on the shelves, and in a number of magazine-sized back issue bins.  Of course, I had to clear off about two feet of miscellaneous Marvel bobblehead/comic combo packs to access them.

Before I go any further, one point needs to be brought up.  All the old stock on those shelves?  For the most part, those are the fifth or sixth copies ordered.  Nick was great at restocking product that sold.  His fault was that he rarely cleared his inventory of dead stock or non-sellers.  My retail philosophy is that manageable inventory is a great thing, so long as sales can offset the tax burden at the end of the year.  I am sick and tird of stores stocking the top ten selling products and nothing else, or worse yet, purging all inventory after six months, even items that still sell well.   Still, most of those books have been out of print for almost ten years (?)  He could have done a little better with the discounts at the last couple of post-Christmas sales.

I compared the shelf stock with my wallet and only found two key items to run away with.  First was a copy of OGRE Scenarios #1 - seven scenarios for either OGRE or OGRE Minis.  The second was the copy of Advanced Squad Leader that had graced the shelves of the Easton location since it had opened back in '90.   Wargaming was never a big seller, despite the Osprey sales, but to stock anything Avalon Hill back in the day, the unititated would go down the list in the catalog and select the first two items Acquire and ASL.   I can't tell you how many stores I've seen this combination at, and both were dust covered.

With these two items and a stack of Archies for the girls, we drove back home to take out food and naps.  I may swing by in a week or so for some more items.  I'm more interested if Jeanie can dig up some other randomness from the back before the formal going out of business sale commences.

For now, we have

Archies - Maja and Millie, plus an Uncle Scrooge for good measure
OGRE Scenario Book #1 - Daddy
ASL - will be the ultimate gift for my friend for his gaming bachelor party.  If he doesn't want to play it, he can sell it on ebay (still in the shrinkwrap) and pay for his groomsmen suits... or the caterer.

Oh yeah, I almost forgot to mention, the infamous Bill called in while I was there.  It was good to hear from him, even if I went into a comic geek rant about a Cyberfrog #1 limited edition Rob Liefeld cover.  He may have soiled himself.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

GI Joe 275mm Action

We use toy soldiers, some of us have even tried 3 3/4" action figures, but it's been a long time since I've seen 11.5" GI Joe used in battle.  

I remember a game at Fall-In! 2001 that used them to fight the Battle of Stalingrad.  Giant tanks, even bigger cardboard buildings, and it took up a full corner of the All-Star Center in Gettysburg.  

Of course, there are some problems with using the larger figures, especially when played with outside. 

The Thrill of the (Road) Kill

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Bexi Warrior Princess

Grekwood Miniatures has produced an eclectic assortment of miniatures, from zombies to "Adventurers" and their Companions

Never have I seen a company produce a mini based off of someone's cosplay.  Getting released tomorrow is Bexi Warrior Princess.

Now I don't know what use this mini would have.  A really wacky Dr Who game?  A completely crazy Zombie Apocalypse game?   Perhaps the Gnomish Space Marines need and arch-villaness?

Friday, June 7, 2013

Gnomes Around the World

CWhile the epicenter of the Gnome Wars universe is largely the Mid-Atlantic,  Brigade Games ships anywhere on the planet so there's a good chance that their are gnomes on all the continents.  

I know there are gnomes in Australia thanks to Helen and her now defunct Tankgirl blog, and some running around the tables of Europe with the continental Fantasy WWI figures.  I would love to see more. 

Back in the states, we had two GW games that were outside our normal zone of dominance:

Please note, none of these pics are mine
Gnomecon II - Savannah, Georgia

Fantastic paint job on the Highlanders, and an actual appearance of the Gnomes of the South
The Gnomeling Cricket Cav Ready for Battle.

In a battle between a War  Elephant and a truck, always bet on the elephant

Enfilade 2013, Seattle, Washington

The Russians have reached the West Coast!

Love the Tank, love the Znombies, but another fantastic paint job on the Highlanders for the win!

The Russians don't seem as motivated as their officer.  Might need to add a MG team in the rear for motivation

GW (Gnome Wars) Znombies in a GW (Games Workshop) Cemetary piece

Thursday, June 6, 2013

(Historicon) Catastrophe Averted!

It is with great regret and deep sadness to say I won't be attending Historicon in July.  My sister has decided to rearrange her wedding and festivities to that weekend... in Boston. 

That being said, I scurried around in a panic, but luckily my event:
S-459 Sikh and Destroy
Fantasy ; 9 AM; Length: 4 hrs; Hosted by: Eric Jacobson; Scale: 28mm; Rules: Gnome Wars; No. of Players: 8

...will now be hosted by the unusually effervescent Mike Lung on the MBA Middle East board.   Mike has a few changes to the scenario, but I predict a fantatic time for all who are willing to wake up that early, and hopefully this will convince Mike to run one of his one crazy scenarios for Fall-in!

As a token apology for rescheduling my life (I've also had to pull out of attending my buddy Hoyce's wedding the previous weekend... also in Boston), my sister found cheaper and closer hotels for the familia as well as a list of things to do with the kiddos that aren't in Boston proper.  The high point of her list is finding a gaming store is right next to where the reception will be held! 

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

(Podcast Review) The Crook'd and Crack'd Manse

I've made mention numerous times my forays into RPG podcasts, most notably Cthulhu on Parade.  I did manage to finish the nine episodes they've posted of Masks thus far, and moved into their other sessions, in particular a special "celebrity" one-shot of The Crook'd and Crack'd Manse.

I had complained that the last episode I heard  (Masks #9) was a horrible orgy of bad role playing.  Manse's attitude was completely different.  While the group's core relationship was predicated on being hired to investigate the mansion (save the "childhood friend"), they mixed in a proper amount of bickering and even the right amount of sadness and hope as they tried to save themselves from the big bad evil.  The fun fact is that outside the Keeper (Will) and the first casualty (The Other Will), the other players are special guests and have marginal Cthulhu experience, at least from what I could gather.

There were some inside jokes, and we all go overboard on some facet of the game, whether it's doors or ice cream shops, but the group stayed on target, dealt with the horrors man was not meant to know, and some went down swinging.

If someone needed a audio example of what a Call of Cthulhu game is, I wouldn't hesitate using this episode. 

For my own players, please feel free to listen and enjoy.  With all the loose ends I need to wrap up in our game, I can't think of an opportunity I'll get to run it, and that goes for the rest of the scenarios in Mansions of Madness as well.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

The Poll Results are in!

After much complaining and gnashing of teeth, my poll "What should I run for (pirate-themed) Mepacon this Fall?" is complete. 

I don't know what happend to Blogger's poll app.  It recorded the first five votes, then everything was erased and no other votes would register.  The poll was transferred to a fairly legit-looking Facebook app (it was) and we got the bulk of our voting through there.  As the poll closed last week, I surprised to find three random votes attached to the Blogger one!  All were added together, and I'm proud to say, the winning game I'll be running next November in Mepacon is....

Mouse Guard - Mice at Sea!

Voting was extremely close, as our second place game was a tie between Gnome Wars and the Burning Trogs, both of which were only one vote back of Mouse Guard.

Now if I only could find time to write out and playtest it! 

Thanks to everyone who voted!

Monday, June 3, 2013

(Kickstarter) Baby's First Mythos

In a similar veing of revisions and adjustments like the CoC 7th Edition Kickstarter, I somehow completely missed a month of the the Baby's First Mythos Kickstarter

Baby's First Mythos, by Erica and CJ Henderson, has been a twisted educational book, covering one's numbers and ABCs.  Since it's original printing, it's been a bit of a cult classic, done before the Lovecraft parody children's books like Where the Deep Ones Are were even a glint in the eye of the author.  With the exception of the addition of the letter "X",  little has changed.

Now the artist would like a new printing, with all new artwork  and a few nursery rhymes!  Reading is fundamental, even you're a fundamentalist cultist!

A $20 pledge will get you the hardback copy of the book, which will be double the pagecount of the original, plus the pdf.  After all these Kickstarters that require an $80, $100, or even $333 pledge to get into the mix, it's nice to see such a reasonable project (that has almost doubled its goal...)

More importantly, as I type this THERE ARE ONLY THREE DAYS LEFT!

Go forth, educate our young spawn, errr.. children the Mythos way!

Sunday, June 2, 2013

(Kickstarter). Call of Cthulhu 7th Edition is Live

While the dark times prophesied that this would occur when the stars were right, I was still shocked when Chaosium announced a Kickstarter for their 7th Edition of Call of Cthulhu.

I've mentioned elsewhere the underwhelming sense of "meh" for the new edition.  Too many changes for the sake of change when they aren't needed.   The desire to add more pulpiness into the system to draw back players who are perfectly happy with Trail of Cthulhu and the other Lovecraft variants. 

CoC is an old, wonky system to some, but it has survived six or seven generations of "cutting edge" systems that have faded into obscurity.  Previous editions were minor revisions and addendum.  This has too many concept changes. 

The new edition will also be broken down to a Keeper's Rulebook and an Investigators Handbook.   Even though it is repeated many times that the Keeper's Rulebook is a complete game, with character generation, the next sentence usually follows with "The Investigator's Handbook contains contains rules for character generation (inc. further optionality and more occupations, plus specific player advice etc).  By that sentence, the extra sections are NOT in the Keeper's book.

Color me nonplussed.