Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Sunday Miscellanea - Counter Trays, Yard Dice, & Forge Welding

If you make your way over to GMT games here, you'll find that they have their counter trays back in stock for the time being.  Grab them quickly because they don't last long!

Also, over on Amazon, you can snag some Snake Eyes Yard Dice here.

Finally, Storm the Castle has a new video on their Epic Fantasy YouTube channel showing "blacksmithing - How to Forge Weld."  Watch and learn.

Essentially, a clearinghouse for topics on
not covered elsewhere or wanting a particular focus.
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Saturday, May 23, 2015

Systems Saturday - 14 Winning Strategies, 1E Weapons v. Armor, & Designer Interviews

Over on, they share "The mathematically proven winning strategy for 14 of the most popular games" here.

Also, on the forums, I uncovered a three year old thread that asks the question, "So, how does weapon to hit bonus by amour type work?" in regard to 1E AD&D here.

Finally, over on the Dice Tower YouTube channel, they shared a video with a "Q & A [Featuring] - Uwe Eickert / Eric M. Lang / Chris Cieslik."  Enjoy this for almost an hour and a half!

A look under the hood of various Games, Rules and Systems.
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Friday, May 22, 2015

Tabletopper Friday - Argent, Sellswords, & Libertalia

Although the video came out at the start of their Kickstarter campaign over a year ago, now that it is available Argent: The Consortium (2015) is one I wanted to learn since some friends are looking to play soon.  Check out this demo from the designer on the David Talton YouTube channel.  Watch and learn.

Also, from Episode 33 of The Dragon's Table, earlier this month they taught us how to play Sellswords (2014).  Enjoy.

Finally, join Wil Wheaton on the Geek & Sundry YouTube channel for is TableTop show while he is joined by Seth Green, Karen Gillan, and Clare Grant to play Libertalia (2012).  Great fun!

Mostly about card games and board games,
unless they have a decidedly wargamey feel.
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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Nostalgia Thursday - Outdoor Survival (1972), Springboard to RPGing

It was recommended that every person who purchased the original Dungeons & Dragons boxed set of booklets own a copy of Outdoor Survival (1972).  It's boardgame map was meant to be used as a de facto outdoor setting map until a GM could fashion his own campaign setting.  It worked well enough and the idea of the "hex crawl" where players moved their characters from hex to hex on a top-down map while a GM rolled for random encounters was virtually born from this map used with (O)D&D.

Not long ago, a gamer-friend and myself broke out the old (O)D&D rules and my Outdoor Survival map to kill a short afternoon.  We rolled up a dozen low-level characters and controlled two each as we began to haphazardly explore the map.  I had not gamed this way since 1974 when first playing, as my first-ever GM at that time was quick to put together a setting, as was I for when we switched off who ran the game.  It was every bit as brutal as I remembered it.  Granted, we mostly tried to evade and get closer to civilized areas but even then we burned through our pregens faster than a Magic-User uses up spells and potions.  Mind you we were not giving ourselves much leeway, since we were GMing ourselves, essentially.  As I recall, when we first played way back in the day we were fairly tough on one another as well.  A player would go through a lot of characters before one managed to survive to get a foothold in a campaign world.  Yeah, I know: walking to school, snow, uphill both ways, etc.  It was certainly a different game than most I see played nowadays.

I mean that when I say, "a different game."  Too often I hear or read people suggesting that something is a matter of "playstyle."  I'm not sure how this word gained traction but it often gets used to describe not just different ways of playing with a particular set of rules but rather which additions to the game are being used.  A "Sandbox" game, for instance, is essentially what is described above with the possible addition of some nouns (people, places, and things) fleshed out in advance by a GM without regard to where the player character might decide to go.  If something is hidden, they might not find it even if they are looking.  A campaign setting wasn't static, mind you.  It just existed, in theory, whether the PCs were there or not.  If the PCs interacted with some portion of a campaign setting, that portion reacted and consequences were handled by the GM, and described to the player within the scope of their knowledge and senses.  How far a ripple depending on the size of the impact and the weight of the consequences.  This was the essence of how a roleplaying game worked.

In a follow up post, I will discuss the addition of game elements that altered the game in how it was played and how the game itself fundamentally altered based on those additions.  I'll also look more closely at a better example of "styles of play" within a roelplaying game.  In the meantime, think of it this way.  Below is a video of how to play Outdoor Survival (1972).  If I use the boardgame map to play (O)D&D that's not me exhibiting a different playstyle.  I'm playing a whole different game.

Focusing on the roots of current tabletop gaming
with an eye toward the last century and before.
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Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Wargaming Wednesday - A Successful Huzzah! 2015

Just this last weekend in South Portland, ME, a great many gamers went to experience Huzzah! an Historical Wargaming convention for New England.  Too far for me to make it this year but it is certainly on the must-attend list for someday in the future and a must-see by way of pictures already.  I keep up with the Barbarians Facebook group and Mike Paine is kind enough to Share information and photos from the festivities.  Here are a few examples below though I would urge everyone to check out more of them in the "public" album here and Like the Huzzah! FB page if you are a wargamer, love terrain and beautiful tabletop setups, or are simply curious to see reports from other members with links to their own albums.

A closer examination of board and miniatures Wargaming.
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Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Terrain Tuesday - Fae Stones, Cork Rocks, & Putty Reviews

Over on The Lost and The Damned under "Miniatures" in the "Fantasy Painting and Modeling" section, check out the work Mortis has done on Fae Stones here.

Also, the Terrain Tutor has uploaded a video on his YouTube channel showing "How to make cork bark rock faces for your wargaming scenery."  Very cool!

Finally, late last year and early this year, on the Terranscapes YouTube channel, a couple of videos take a closer look at "Milliput, GreenStuff, & Procreate" sculpting putties.  Watch and learn.

For purposes here, the term Terrain is used broadly
to cover 3D and 2D maps, foam, felt, and such.
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Monday, May 18, 2015

Minis & Modeling Monday - Fossils, Pennants, & The Spanish Inquisition

Over on, check out some of the cool things you can repurpose for your tabletop games here.

Also, on, they have some "Downloable Flags & Pennants" here.

You probably didn't expect me to post about what can be found on 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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