Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Frostgrave Invaded by Female Soldiers

North Star has launched a new boxed set for Frostgrave, and this time, they're all female soldiers.

Let's assume they'll be making their way through proper overseas distribution channels in due time. 

Between the new boxed set and their regular line of metal minis, Frostgrave might be the game with the most appropriately clothed female figures in quite some time. 

Tuesday, December 11, 2018

Curse of Nevoz #2 - Calgary Deep Dish/Canadian Deep State

April '94 Medicine Hat College, Alberta, Canada, a few weeks after "the incident"

This late in the winter, even hardy Canadians grow tired of traipsing across to the icy quad on a Friday night to hit the drinking district of Medicine Hat.   While some might hit a dorm room stash of Alberta "Premium" Whiskey or a few loose cans of Molson that rolled under the bed, for many it's a night of food deliveries and jamming out to the beloved stylings of Bryan Adams and Celine Dion.

In room 117, three students were jamming out to Ace of Base.

Bob Krebs: A college student in his third Sophomore year, Bob's a Liberal Arts major at Medicine Hat College with a minor in Art History Appreciation (he's failed the same class so many times, they gave him a minor in it). He enjoys listening to lumberjack grunge music, wearing lots of red flannel, looking for "the mara-who-juana" and hanging with his friends.  Bob had started dating Jewel, but a relationship built upon the terror of watching random people getting devoured by an invisible entity was never meant to last.  They recently broke up, but Jewel's cool enough to hang with the crew, eh...

Alan JonasA Junior at Medicine Hat College, studying Geography. He was an academic drop-out at the Royal Military College of Canada, known for academic guffaws and short, violent outbursts.  Nowadays, he's relaxed a bit and can be found chilling with his friend, Bob and his recently ex-girlfriend, Jewel.  . 
From that one time he joined a Robin Hood themed game of Killer on campus.
Jewel:  Ex-girlfriend of Old Man Ralph, and recent ex-girlfriend of Alan. This Junior Canadian English major still enjoys the company of her new friends, even occasionally offering her dorm room for activities, even if her roommate Elaine doesn't appreciate it.
If she could only sing or play guitar...
As hungry as the trio was, Bob and Alan's room was akin to a toxic waste site down in the States.  Somewhere there had to be a flyer for Chinese or pizza.  If only these Canadian dorm phones could store frequently used numbers, or at least remember the last place you called....

Finally, Bob pulled out a menu for a Puck 'n Pizza, home of Medicine Hat's own famous Calgary Deep dish.   Calling in, they order a pepperoni and Alan's favorite, back bacon and maple syrup.

A few minutes later and a knock on the door produce a odd-looking Russian delivery guy with two pizza boxes.  A quick search for couch change for a tip (and Jewel covering one of the pizzas), they brought out unused textbooks as plates and chowed down.

The pizza was warm and filling, the finer songs of Ace of Base emotionally opening, but something weird was underneath Alan's pie.

Attached to the crust and syrup was a 5 1/4" floppy disk.

With the computer lab closed since 5pm Friday night, the crew was confused by their find.

"Hey," Jewel meekly emitted, "Elaine has a computer with one of those drives for the computer disk.  She's out studying or some nonsense.  I'm sure she won't mind if we use it to see what's on it."
."Cool..." Bob said, "let's go up to your room.  Jewel, grab the pizzas..."

"And I'll grab Axis and Allies," cried Alan.

Upstairs, they powered up Elaine's computer and inserted the disk, not expecting much.  But even with Canada's finest syrup drenching the disk, the drive whirred to life and the screen lit up.

OUTSIDE COM PORT DETECTED....

CONNECTING....

CONNECTION ESTABLISHED 2400 BAUD....

LOADING...

Bob was impressed, "She's got one of them twenty four hundred baum moderns that connect to those bulletin boards."

The green screen generated a graphic of the great nation of Canada, with "Welcome to Royal Canadian Air Defense Command."
The computer made weird screeching sounds, then the computer tower lit up like a Christmas tree as text generated under the map.

FILE TRANSFER INITIATED 

... flashed every three seconds.  Wanting to see what was happening, the trio waited.

... and waited...

... and after two games of Axis & Allies, heard of a knock on the door.

It was the same Russian delivery guy, except know his Pizza Delivery Track Suit smelled of sweat, and he had a worried look on his face.

"Da Pi-zzah... you not get right order, I need to take back what you get and get you fresh order from car."

Jewel was the first to question the situation. "Why didn't you bring the new pizzas up with you.... and how did you know we'd be here?  This isn't the room you delivered to???"

The Russian took a step inside and produced a pistol.  "I vill take pi-zzah.... the da disks."

He then formed a look of horror as the took a first glance at Elaine's computer working overtime on some operation.

"You fools, you inserted the disk to access Canadian Arctic NORAD. We are all doomed," he exclaimed.

Just then the dorm room door opened up, and Jewel's roommate Elaine barged in, surveyed the scene, and burst into a rage.

"What did you do to my computer?  Why are you eating pizza with these freaks on textbooks?  Who is the creepy Russian dude."

The Russian quickly stowed his gun in his back waistband, gazed into her eyes and said, "I like strong American woman here now, I am Vladi, and these folks grabbed me from computer programming project to fix your computer before you come back, but they are very cheap and we negotiate long time before you arrive.  For date with you, American fox, my treat, I fix computer quickly and for free."

Elaine pondered the option, but a series of small red lights shone on her body, proceeded by a series of gunshots cracking through the window.  Vladi whipped his pistol back out and unload an entire clip into the nearly decapitated body of Elaine, the momentum somehow sending her body across the room, and tangling up some white clad commandos swinging from the roof.

As he reloaded his pistol, another volley of small arms fire from a distant helicopter, ricocheted through the room, hitting the Russian multiple times.

The three surviving college students low-crawled through the room and crawled out the door.  Sensing movement at the stairwells at the ends of the hall, Bob pulled a fire alarm and screamed.  The ensuing throngs of half-drunk college students obscured the view of the heavily armed men.

They escaped down the central staircase and were met by Canadian Special Forces

"OH....MA....GAWD...!!!"  Jewel exclaimed in her best California exchange student voices.  "The Flames and Canucks are in overtime and SOMEONE has the nerve to pull a fire alarm!  The nerve, like you know?"

The commandos bought it and let them go.

As the mingled into the crowd of students in the parking lot, Alan looked at his friends, "We're still going to get in trouble.  Elaine's dead, Jewel's room is a mess, and that disk thing is still in the computer."

"No it's not," Bob corrected Alan, "I snagged it when we dashed out the door, I got it right here."

Bob reached into his back pocket and pulled out the disk, folded harshly into thirds.

*cue music*

GM Notes: When our online 5e doesn't go off, I have limited time to plan and play a scenario.  With this very nebulous "Nevoz" setting in the Canadian prairie, while monster of the week could work with as rare we get to play it, it's also a venue for me to work in some cool concepts stolen from other source.

Calgary Deep Dish is inspired by episode #233 of Ken and Robin Talk About Stuff.   In fact, I'm quite certain that the idea of rogue Chicago Deep Dish pizza shops profiting off the success of the best shop in town... in Canada, helped me formulate the foundation of the game.

I have gotten more requests for "Cthulhu" when we're presented with possible cancellation of the 5e game, so anticipate future episodes... someday.

Next: #3 -  Fourteen Beers at Chili's 

Monday, December 10, 2018

Fourteen Shopping Days Till Christmas.... Ugh.

This late Thanksgiving coupled with the kids' insane sports schedule has made me realize this morning that there's only 14 shopping days till Christmas.
We have no clue what we're doing for anything.

It might have to do something with (a) my wife snagging a charity hockey sweater via auction that amounts to our usual his/her budget, (b) new sets of furniture for the living room and TV room, (c) new flooring for the entire first floor of the house.... getting installed the entire week before Christmas. 

My weekend had a short amount of time where I entered two more entries for the Lost Dispatches (it's finished well into March), installed some much needed lighting in the Kriget Rum, and applied second coats on a lot of the minis I got started before the last update (Oh, the brightness...).

Most of the weekend was dedicated to professional hockey (1 family outing), followed by grade school community basketball.   Yes, they're Dad-gushing stories, but they're better than most gaming write-ups. 

Millie had one game in her 2nd Grade league.   She's the only girl on her team, and most teams only have one or two girls, go a big chip on her shoulder is required.  Although league rules stipulate score is not kept (heresy!) we figured it was a tight game in the low 20's for each team. 

Millie's line is pretty impressive, given the previous info:  6 points, 10 rebounds, and 1 big steal, but my proudest moment wasn't listed on my unofficial scorecard. 

Somehow she got the ball by the basket and was immediately swarmed by the five boys on the other team.  Instead of getting stripped of the ball, or ending up with a dead ball call (jump ball), she thrashed back and forth in such a violent way that she managed to make one step and and clean pass to a teammate.  Sure, the other kid missed the shot, but everyone in attendance showed some appreciation for the effort.
It was a little like that....
Compared to Maja's runner-up team last year, her current 3rd/4th grade girls team was a complete dumpster fire last week.   Regardless she was pumped to play at 5pm Saturday, until she got the call to fill in for team short on players.    Good news: She would be playing with two of her friends from last year.  Bad news: they played a double header 3pm/4pm, right before her usual game. 

In the end, she cruised in her first two game 42-17 and 20-9,  Maja doing exactly what was needed. 

The best part of her story lay in the final few minutes of that first blow-out.  The coach had figured out that all girls had made a basketball save for a tiny little 3rd grader named Molly.  With the game well in hand, it became the team's mission to get Molly the ball to score, by any means necessary.   The other team was not too keen on that idea and the last three minutes was some of the most vicious early season play I've seen at any level. 

Finally, with five seconds left, the ball eeks into the paint where Maja grabbed it and had an easy uncontested shot.  Instead, she hit a perfect bounce pass over to Molly who made the shot just as time expired.  Kids screamed, parents cheered, and two mothers may have been crying.  Molly's.... and my wife. 

So, no matter how little I'm getting done with my hobby, my home and family life are pretty awesome.

Plus, we had a dwarf sit behind us at hockey, wearing the following sweater:

Sunday, December 9, 2018

For the Hackmaster Player With Everything

If 3-D Printing was only available 17 years ago, when I had the PCs face a dreaded gazebo (dopplemeister) in my Hackmaster Journey of Mutumbo Campaign


3DPrintedDebris offers a Dread Gazebo Mini on their Etsy page..  At 4" x 4" x 1.5" it's a little small for 25mm, but let's assume the creature shrinks when they attack, shall we?

Saturday, December 8, 2018

(Kickstarter) War for Chicken Island

My Kickstarter judgement is pretty good, and part of me says this is too good to be true, but a large portion of just loves the concepts and application for War for Chicken Island.

Draco Studios recently cancelled the first launch for the game.  They readjusted the pledge levels and add-ons and this second try is near its new, lower goal within the first few days with a solid retention from the original campaign.

Heck, the minis only reward level is ridiculous enough that I'm tempted.


Friday, December 7, 2018

(Kickstarter) OGRE Battlefields by Steve Jackson Games

Steve Jackson Games is fulfilling promises from their OGRE Designer's Edition Kickstarter by launching new boards for OGRE Designer and OGRE 6th Edition with OGRE Battlefields.


Thursday, December 6, 2018

Alternative Armies: 28mm Fantasy Snowmen our last two new releases for...

I do follow Alternative Armies' blog, but I have to credit our intrepid correspondent Mike Lung for point out their latest post, 28mm Fantasy Snowmen our last two new releases for the season

Because the world needs more 28mm Snowmen

Alternative Armies is usually rich in material this time of year for Flintloque and Slaughterloo, and the snowmen are a fantastic start.