Friday, September 30, 2011

Dwarven Forge

Since mentioning Hirst Arts the other day, I would be remiss to not mention the other premium dungeon terrain manufacturer Dwarven Forge.  Most of their products come premade and prepainted, so you pay a bit more, but if your budget allows for it, these models are excellent.  Here's some pics I took at Gencon Indy -

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Hirst Arts

Just a quick shout out to the good folks at Hirst Arts.  I have yet to drink the Cool Gaming-Aids but have always admired their products.  While they don't have the same portability as battle maps and tile sets, they certainly go a long way to setting the scene an the mood when they can be used.  Here's some pics from their site highlighting one of their contest winner's creations called the Lava Bridge . . .

Monday, September 26, 2011

Wargames Factory

I've mentioned Wargames Factory in passing before but thought it might be nice to revisit them in their own blog post.  Everytime I've looked their way for figures, I've been impressed both with the quality of the sculpts and the prices.  Recently I was rethinking a new army idea for Hordes of the Things, a Viking army idea, and turned toward their Hammer of the Gods line for some major filling out of the troops.  For my purposes, I can not only use their armored and unarmored Vikings, but can press some of their Saxon figures into service.  With 32 figures in each set for just $19.95, you get more than enough with just a couple or few sets to build the main portions of your army.  Sure, they need to be built but that just means more variety in the poses.  Here's some pics from their site but check them out more extensively on your own when time permits,

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Terrainaholic's "Ice crystal stand with new dragon"

Looks like terrainaholoic has a new video this week with one of his creations.  This one is a simple ice crystal tableau for a frosty dragon he picked up a Michaels Hobby and Crafts store.  Enjoy!

Thursday, September 22, 2011

My Weekly Game - Griffins & Grottos and The West Road Warden

My weekly game group has been helping me out playing through one last campaign of Griffins & Grottos before it releases in October. We've been playing through The West Road Warden adventure which releases this next week, so check that out. For the release, it is set up as a Narrative Adventure, a new product line for CMG, that makes it simple to use for any Medieval Fantasy roleplaying game system. More on that tomorrow, so stay tuned. I'll also have a one-shot of Griffins & Grottos at the next EN World Chicago Gameday on October 15th, 2011. It's the ten year anniversary of the gameday, number 30, since we do three of them each year. If you can make it to the event, please do sign up and give it a try. I'll have some pregen characters and no experience will be necessary. If you played any d20 games, you'll pick this up quite easily.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Microsoft Surface Version Two

The Microsoft Surface is improving by leaps and bounds with their new partnership with Samsung. According to the latest article, some of the changes include a 40-inch, rather than a 30-inch, screen and the "five cameras  set up to capture the reflections of infrared light cast by fingertips and specially tagged items and devices" have been replaced by Pixelsense, "transistors that can see in the infrared spectrum and embedded them right into the pixels within an LCD panel."  This lowers the physical depth needed by the devide from nine inches to less than half that.  Although originally designed by concept to lie flat and accessed in a horizontal mode, from 360 degrees, like sitting around a shared table, the new thinness and feedback from consumers like restaurants with space considerations has prompted some development in setting up the device in a wall mounted configuration, which requires new thinking on software and applications that have limited end user access demands.  Anyway, we'll have to see if this develops eventually to the point where we see some FLGSs adding a Surface or two to their game room setups.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Hordes of the Things - Ally Battle

Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the desert.  My ally, a Goblin Army, and my Dwarves worked hard last turn to keep the advancing armies at bey.  It worked fairly well, too, but for one territory we could not retake.  It was a desert territory the Goblin Army and my Dwarves had faught over prior to becoming allies.  He had a distinct advantage, in that the enemy had no retreat, and early on the Goblins were well up but the dice were not with him when it came down to finishing the enemy off.  In his own words -

I chose to go at his left (where his shooters were) with my warband and beasts and shooters while holding the center with my 3 riders, 2 hordes, a shooter (in my dune) and my flyer. In the first 6 turns he angled his knights and rider out into the center of the board, attempting to pressure my left flank. However, I made a line of 3 riders, the hordes in a column and 2 shooters to his front, while holding my right (in front of the hill) with 2 beasts and a warband. Meanwhile, he threatened the dune to my left with a warband while his general (warband) stayed nearby with a shooter he had slid from his left.

Well, during turns 7, 8 and 9 I ran my 2 beasts all the way from my right flank to my left and into the dune. Turn 10 was the critical turn. [My opponent] had not seen what I could do with the beasts and reacted poorly, leaving his warband in the dunes while his general and shooter anchored his right flank near the dune. He made the bad error of moving his shooter into his line instead of backing it to support hi warband. He saw this problem too late and got a bit panicky, moving his flyer to the rear of my line to barker (Zone of Control) my 3 riders (one of my riders was my general). In my part of turn 10 I moved a shooter to get at his flyer with no recoil and L'd his warband in the dune with my beast and shooter. He lost both stands and his right flank was laid bare.

The next 2 turns had him marching backward as I advanced, hemming in his right flank and setting up the assault. Seeing his predicament he launched his one rider into a flank attack on one of my riders (which exposed his rider to counterattack the following turn) and we traded the riders.

Turn 16 came to be. He had used 65 minutes and I had used 35. His General being a warband hanging on the right end of his line, I attacked with general rider to his front, rider in support and flyer attacking his rear, along with another rider to neutralize his knight overlap and my beast right in front of his shooter (behind his right flank) in order to block his barker for my flyer. So, he doubles my beast with his shot (roll is 6-2). But, I have a 4-2 on his general, no retreat (72% chance to win the game)...he rolled a 3....I rolled a 1...push. No problem. in his turn he is so bad off on this flank that he could do nothing to stop the same battle again. So he throws a knight at one of my shooters in the center. 3-4 and he rolls a 6 to my 3 and picks up my shooter. No problem, I am 4-2ing his general again with no retreat (72% chance to win the game)...he rolls a 6, I roll a 3. No problem. On my turn I attack his general again...with no retreat and a 4-3 (58% chance to win the game). He rolls a 6, I roll a 1....

Now things have changed a bit. He has run 2 knights up to support his general and he L's my right most rider, killing it while he shoots my flyer down, which has been on his general's rear. But I kill a shooter in the center and we are both down 10 points in my turn of turn 18 ( I have about 15 minutes to go, he has about 3). I cogitate and set up a 4-3 no recoil on his knight (with my shooter in the center) in the center to win the game (58% chance)....he rolls a 6...I roll a 2. Now, I cogitated a bit because by moving my shooter to get at his knight I was leaving it a bit exposed to another of his shooters who could move to shoot me with no recoil. But, I did the math and there was a 17% chance that I would not kill the knight and he would kill my shooter with his shooter......... So, in his turn he moved the shooter where I thought he would.....and rolled a my 2...winning the game for him.

Even when you have a distinct advantage, there is a slim chance the dice will not roll your way, and such are the fortunes of war.

Friday, September 16, 2011

MACE 2011 - Convention

There's a tabletop gaming convetion in the Carolinas that as been around for about fifteen years and caters to all sorts of gaming tastes.  It is called MACE.  Located in High Point, NC, and held this year at the Best Western High Point, it will run for three days this November Friday the 11th through Sunday the13th.  This is fairly early for me to be blogging about an upcoming convention but this year they share the hotel, and region, with two other large events, Ms. NC and the Special Olympics, so rooms are going to need to be booked quickly.  Check it out if you can make it, but check it out soon!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

LURCH! The Zombie Chess Game - Convention Gaming

Over the last couple of years, I've taken LURCH! The Zombie Chess Game around to a bunch of locations including Gencon Indy and Little Wars, the Midwest HMGS convention, so that I could see how it played with various gamers.  For the most part, I taught the Basic game and then allowed the players at the table to determine if they would add in some Advanced rules and maybe play some of the expanded scenarios.  I've found that the familiarity of the board and simple movement, as well as the attack options, appealed to gamers.  It was quickly learned and enjoyed.  Sometimes, we even had some impromptu tourneys.  Here are some pics from the events.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Classic Wargaming

If you love miniature armies, then go check out the Classic Wargaming blog run by Phil Olley.  His blog motto, Forward to the Past, gave me a chuckle right away when I stumbled across it but the stunning pictures of his armies, and some armies of others, left me breathless.  For those living in the UK, or who don't mind paying a little extra for shipping, it appears he often sells whole armies that he has built and painting, a real treat for those who want a great looking tabletop table army but either don't have the time or don't feel they have the skill to put one together on their own.  He also has a zine called The Classic Wargamer's Journal published since the Summer of 2010.  Here's a couple of the pics he has up at the blog -

Saturday, September 10, 2011

NAV-CON 2011

Just wanted to remind folks who might be interested that NAV-CON 2011 is coming up October 8th, this year.  There' a nautical theme to this one day gameday and military personel are especially accomodated.  It takes place at Oak Creek Centennial Church & Community Center (Salvation Army), 8853  S. Howell, Oak Creek, WI 53154.  Follow the link and check out the details to see if it is something you can add to your gaming schedule!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Chainmail Games at GaryCon III Last March

I realized that I hadn't added any pictures specifically of the Chainmail game (a re-imagining pf the The Battle for the Brown Hills) from last March at Gary Con III.  It was great fun and our forces of Chaos defeated the forces of Law, and even dealt with a wandering dragon at the end!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Wargaming Clubs

Over at they have compiled a list of wargaming clubs and historical societies that I wanted to share with everyone.  It includes fourteen in New Zealand, twenty-two in Australia, eleven in Canada, four in Asia, seven in Africa, one hundred and three in the USA, seven in Ireland, sixteen in Italy, over one hundred and eighty in the UK, and fifty-three in other parts of Europe!  If you have any interest in playing some wargames, even if you never have before, any one of these groups can be a great conduit toward checing out that aspect of tabletop gaming.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Hordes of the Things - Turn Eleven Report

Well, turn eleven was resolved last Monday and I was in for a capitol battle, in my own homeland!  Fortunately, my opponent's ally messed up his turn order and the army I was to face was significantly under-strength to be taking me on, considering I had the addition of the capitol's militia and a fortress to increase my break point.  Due to this error, my opponent chose to fight another day and retreated from the battle, losing one of four field points in the process.  In another territory under contention, one of my allies and myself had a four to one battle from which the opponent also wisely retreated.

To top it all off, three other territories were taken, two close to home and another previously held and now mine again.  We, my alliance, managed to out maneuver our opponents in about four different locations, three of which were directly in my region.

Next turn is possibly the last.  The campaign is scheduled for at least twelve turns and after the twelfth, a die is cast to see if it continues for one more.  If so, that turn goes forward then another die is cast to see if a fourteenth turn is played, which is the ultimate limit for this campaign.  Our alliance currently sits in fourth place and might take third if our main opponents can be bested in the next turn or two, if we get that far.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Dungeon Master's Mat Set from Gale Force Nine

I've blogged before about the excellent Econo Bases I've picked up through Gale Force Nine.  They recently have released a new pair of products, sold together, that make good accessories for tabletop gaming, for RPGs and wargames (particularly skirmish games).  In their own words -

Gale Force Nine’s Official DUNGEONS & DRAGONS Game Mats are high-quality single-sided vinyl surfaces that are ideal battle grids for staging encounters during your adventures! The mats lie flat for ease of play and are sold in a sturdy polycarbonate tube for easy storage and transport. The mats may be marked with WET-ERASE markers to temporarily alter terrain areas or make other notes about battlefield conditions during play. The Game Mats measure 20” x 30” and are marked with a 1” grid.

The Dungeon Master’s Mat Set contains TWO vinyl game mats to stage your own encounters and adventures. The first mat is a simple 1” grid of stone tiles, the basic dungeon environment. With this mat, a DM can mark walls, doors and other dungeon features using a wet-erase marker. This mat will be the staple battle grid for any indoor encounter. The other mat is a green grass field; ideal for staging outdoor confrontations. Like the other mats, a few quick marks from a wet-erase pen customizes the mat with whatever elements the encounter calls for; add a tree line, forest path or campsite.