Sunday, June 26, 2016

The Sunday Miscellanea - Etsy Items

Over on the DragonFishTreasures Etsy store, have a look at the "Tabletop RPG Dice Box" here.

Also, on the LadyHelenSoaps Etsy store, check out the "Star Trek Insignia novelty soap" here.

Finally, on the ElephantCraftsShop Etsy store, there's a fine "Splendor board game wooden organizer" here.

Essentially, a clearinghouse for topics on
not covered elsewhere or wanting a particular focus.
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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Systems Saturday - RPG Advice

Over on, he says, "My 6-Year-Old Designed A Dungeon, And It's Terrifying."  Learn of his terror here.

Also, on, they teach "How to Make Your Combats Twice as Fast" here.

Finally, on the Mike Shea YouTube channel, he shares "Tools of the Lazy Dungeon Master."  Enjoy!

A look under the hood of various Games, Rules and Systems.
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Friday, June 24, 2016

Tabletopper Friday - Spike (2014)

Tom got a new game from the last Lake Geneva Games Blind Auction titled Spike (2014).  I watched it played a couple of times and then got the chance to try it myself last week.  I got to play it with two players and then three players and found it to be just as fun both times.  It's a train game, so of course Tom needed to bid on it.

The description from Board Game Geek is as follows:
It's the early 1900's and you are the owner of one of the fastest growing rail companies in the eastern USA.
In Spike, you expand your rail network as you connect cities in order to pick up and deliver more goods; complete contracts and routes to bring in money to modernize your train; upgrade your engines, tenders and railcars to transport the most freight; and build farther, transport more, and amass wealth on your way to become "King of the Rails".

The rules are fairly simple and easy to learn.  Strategies can vary and I think this game presents enough ways to win that it is more than simply a race for victory points.  I'd like to try it with even more than three players but I suspect it will hold up just as well.  This one feels like a winner.

Mostly about card games and board games,
unless they have a decidedly wargamey feel.
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Thursday, June 23, 2016

Nostalgia Thursday - Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit (2000)

At a recent Open Boardgaming Thursday event, a couple of the guys (Shane and Brad) played a game of Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit (2000).  I hadn't been familiar with this one and it surprised me how many minis were in the box and how complex the playing boards were, not that they were difficult to use.  The rules were clearly laid out and well illustrated.

The description from Board Game Geek is as follows:
Based on the four battles at the end of Star Wars Episode One: The Phantom Menace -- the battle on the plain between the Gungan forces and the droid army; the attempt by Naboo forces, led by Queen Amidala, to storm the palace and capture the Trade Federation viceroys; the fight between Darth Maul and the two Jedi Knights; and the space battle in which Anakin's starfighter destroyed the Droid Control Ship.
The forces are represented by 155 plastic miniatures on three separate boards, including a three-level palace. The action is driven by two decks of cards for each side. Each turn, each side simultaneously chooses four action cards from a hand of ten, and places them in order. The actions are then carried out one at a time, alternating sides. Combat is resolved using special attack and defense dice.

The players seemed fairly well matched for this contest and from what I could tell looking in regularly as they played, the sides were well balanced and gave both opponents a fighting chance right up to the end.  I enjoyed the action card mechanics and the decision making in where to play them.  The game called for a good amount of strategy as well as tactics.  One of these days, I will have to get in on a game of this myself.

Focusing on the roots of current tabletop gaming
with an eye toward the last century and before.
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Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Wargaming Wednesday - Naval Wargaming

If you're going to approach naval wargaming intent on adding it to your hobby gaming, do check out an article on titled "Naval Wargaming – An Introduction To Battles At Sea & Beyond" here.  You might also look over "Top rated naval wargames on BGG (Board Game Geek)" here.

Also, on, the "Naval War College reenacts Jutland wargame" here.

Finally, on, Adam has used the General Quarters rules to run the "Battle of the Dragon Islands" here.

A closer examination of board and miniatures Wargaming.
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Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Terrain Tuesday - Texture, Grass, & Water

Over on the dreamspiritwar YouTube channel, a "Tools of the Trade" video teaches us "How to texture a gaming surface."  Enjoy!

Also, on the TheMisterdan01 YouTube channel,  a "Dan's Model Railway" video teaches us"How I apply my static grass."  Cool!

Finally, on the Terrain Wench YouTube channel, a "Miniature Terrain" video teaches us about"Water & Waves."  Go with the flow!

For purposes here, the term Terrain is used broadlyto cover
3D tabletop pieces made from foam, felt, and other materials.
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Monday, June 20, 2016

Minis & Modeling Monday - Hobbit Heroclix

It was reported on Facebook in some circles recently that Target stores were blowing out their Hobbit Desolation of Smaug gravity feed packs at $1 each (others seem to range from $3 to $6 depending on the brand and product line).  Even if I was not going to get into the game, this seemed like a pretty good deal and since I was taking a road trip for Father's Day anyway, I decided to pop into a Target or two along the way and snag some.

I discovered their were two Target stores along my chosen route and the first had none of these in stock, so I wondered if this was going to prove to be bad luck.  At the second, however, I found two open gravity feed boxes with 37 booster packs between them out of a possible 24 each or 48 total.  Since it is my intention to eBay some of the uncommons, rares, and chase figure if I found any, I grabbed what was there.  I wasn't disappointed.  Eight of the figures should resell on eBay for well over the invested funds and even pay back the gas used for the trip and then some.  The remaining 29 can be used in other gaming efforts.

It's fair to call these Heroic 32mm scale figures, I think, and they are prepainted plaster that can be easily taken off their Heroclix bases and put on a base more suited to other games, if that is what someone desires.  I will put the eight uncommons, rares, and the chase figure up on eBay in a single lot for a starting bid of about half of what the going market rate is at popular online singles stores.  If they go for more, that's great.  If they just get the opener, that's fine too.  They include the Necromancer, Thranduil, Beorn, Master of Lake Town, Thorin Oakenshield, Tauriel, Alfrid, and Gandalf the Grey.  I'll be getting my investment back plus a bit more for the effort.  If you're interested, check the auction out here.

A look at prepping and painting Miniatures,
crafting buildings and paper Models,
and other non-terrain stuff for the tabletop.
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