Thursday, June 30, 2016

Nostalgia Thursday - Fantasy Tabletopping

Over on examiner.com, they put forth a list of their "10 greatest fantasy tabletop games of all time" here.


Also, on toddcannon.com, Todd Cannon asks "What Is Old School Role Playing?"  Find out what he thinks here.


Finally, on the David Megarry's Dungeon! YouTube channel, enjoy "How to Play Dungeon! with Ross Maker."



Focusing on the roots of current tabletop gaming
with an eye toward the last century and before.
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Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Wargaming Wednesday - Schools of War

Last week on my blog here, I mentioned the US Naval War College and it got me thinking about their wargaming classes here.  This also had me exploring the classes of the US Army War College here.  Over on paxsims.wordpress.com, they even expound a bit on the latter here.


Also, on the Wargaming Connection blog, they discuss "The Battle to Teach Wargaming" here.


Finally, on warontherocks.com, there's a similar article titled "Wargaming in the Classroom: An Odyssey" here.


A closer examination of board and miniatures Wargaming.
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Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Terrain Tuesday - Triple Helix

Over on the Triple Helix Project, there is an irregular Terrain Tuesday category that has some fine blog posts and I'll point out three, the first being "TerrainTuesday - Aegis Defence Lines" here.


Also, have a look at "Terrain Tuesday - Factory based and Fortified" here.


Finally, check out "Terrain Tuesday – Hab-Block Completed" here.


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 27, 2016

Minis & Modeling Monday - Crimson, Rats, & Leaders

Over on lead-adventure.de, a retinue marches "At the Court of the Crimson King" here.


Also, on fencingfrog.blogspot.com, Adam shows off his "Challenge Entry: Giant rats for Frostgrave" here.


Finally, on 10mm-wargaming.com, they share the "New Command Personalities from Good Ground Miniatures" 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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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 MFWARS.com
not covered elsewhere or wanting a particular focus.
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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Systems Saturday - RPG Advice

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


Also, on fastercombat.com, 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 beastsofwar.com 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 usnwc.edu, the "Naval War College reenacts Jutland wargame" here.


Finally, on fencingfrog.blogspot.com, 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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Sunday, June 19, 2016

The Sunday Miscellanea - Cookies, Dice, & Foam

Over on geeksaresexy.net, check out the "Critical Hit Cookie Cutters" here.


Also, on thinkgeek.com, have a look at the "Squishy 7pc Polyhedral Dice Set" here.


Finally, on thefoamcave.com, you can get all sorts of ideas and help making foam costume pieces here.


Essentially, a clearinghouse for topics on MFWARS.com
not covered elsewhere or wanting a particular focus.
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Saturday, June 18, 2016

Systems Saturday - Stone Age (2008)

One of the most excellent gateway worker placement games I keep bringing to the table is Stone Age (2008).  My friend Wendy hadn't played it before so we set it up for a fast game and she did tremendously well.


The description from Board Game Geek is as follows:
The "Stone Age" times were hard indeed. In their roles as hunters, collectors, farmers, and tool makers, our ancestors worked with their legs and backs straining against wooden plows in the stony earth. Of course, progress did not stop with the wooden plow. People always searched for better tools and more productive plants to make their work more effective.
In Stone Age, the players live in this time, just as our ancestors did. They collect wood, break stone and wash their gold from the river. They trade freely, expand their village and so achieve new levels of civilization. With a balance of luck and planning, the players compete for food in this pre-historic time.
Players use up to ten tribe members each in three phases. In the first phase, players place their men in regions of the board that they think will benefit them, including the hunt, the trading center, or the quarry. In the second phase, the starting player activates each of his staffed areas in whatever sequence he chooses, followed in turn by the other players. In the third phase, players must have enough food available to feed their populations, or they face losing resources or points.

My advice when we completed this game was to make sure that sets of Civilization cards are collected.  If a payer doesn't grab them when they can, their opponent(s) will which means a double swing in victory points.  Snagging buildings is important, too, but Civ cards are where the big end points can be found.


A look under the hood of various Games, Rules and Systems.
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Friday, June 17, 2016

Tabletopper Friday - A Touch of Evil

Recently for a Open Boardgaming Thursday, Norm broke out A Touch of Evil: The Supernatural Game (2008).  This game can handle up to eight players or as few as two.  Five played on this day and I have played it before, myself, so I simply observed this time around.


From the description on Board Game Geek:
"A Touch of Evil, The Supernatural Game" is a fast-paced game of fiendish creatures, dashing Heroes, and high-adventure. 
Each player takes on the role of a unique monster-hunting Hero, racing against time to stop the forces of darkness from claiming another foothold in the world of man. Only by investigating the town and building your Hero’s strength can you hope to hunt down the Supernatural Villain to his Lair and defeat him in an epic Showdown. Players can race Competitively to be the first to defeat the Villain and save the town, or they can work together Cooperatively to defeat a much stronger Villain.
Featuring a gameboard map of Shadowbrook and its surrounding countryside, eight Heroes to choose from, and four different Supernatural Villains to hunt; each with its own host of unique Minions and powers to drastically change the game.  A Touch of Evil is designed to create an adventurous cinematic feel as the story and game unfolds.
So grab up your Wooden Stake, stuff some shot in that Musket, and hold onto your Tri-corn Hat; no one is safe from the creatures of the night and no one can be trusted…for inside everyone lies A Touch of Evil.

While the game says it is face-paced, in practice this game can bog down tremendously unless someone is overseeing the pacing.  The cinematic feel and race against time are utterly lost if this game grinds down.  Players who are prone to paralysis analysis can take this ninety minute game and turn it into a four to five hour slog if folks aren't careful.  It's not difficult to teach the basics and the finer points can be learned on the first turn or two, so folks should be off to the races quickly and prompted what options they have on their turn to ensure swift playing.  With that warning in mind, this can be a very fun game, so keep up the pace and have a blast.

Mostly about card games and board games,
unless they have a decidedly wargamey feel.
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Thursday, June 16, 2016

Nostalgia Thursday - HPB Finds Cont.

Along with the wargames I mentioned yesterday here, I managed to pick up a few older items at Half Price Books on recent trips.  A couple of days ago, I was surprised to find a copy of Waterdeep and the North (1987) by Ed Greenwood from TSR.  This copy was in plastic, though not shrinkwrap, and had the original map in great shape.  From Wikipedia: "Waterdeep and the North describes the region of northwestern Faer√Ľn, known as 'The North', particularly its leading city and port, Waterdeep. (. . .) The book describes Waterdeep in detail, including its history, neighborhoods, defenses, sewers, guilds, political factions, noble families, and important personalities. The book includes seven adventure scenario suggestions. (. . .)Waterdeep and the North comprises a 64-page book and a large color map of the city, wrapped in a removable six-paneled gatefold cover. The outside gatefold contains a map of Waterdeep, the inside front cover has a map of the city's known sewers, and the inside back cover has diagrams of basic floorplans that might be found throughout the city."


Also, on the same trip on Tuesday, I discovered a copy of the Celts Campaign Sourcebook (1992) from TSR.  It, too, came with the map and is in great shape.  A copy of Charlemagne's Paladins: Campaign Sourcebook was also on the shelf but didn't have the map so I passed it by.  Graeme Davis, who wrote the book, has a lot of neat freebies on his website that you can download in PDF format and utilize in your tabletop gaming here.


Finally, on a trip not so long ago, and because I hadn't found time to mention them in a blog previously, I also stumbled upon two of the supplements for Warhammer Historical wargaming system from Games Workshop: El Cid (2003) by James Morris and Spartacus (2004) by Simon Brown.  I'll need to find a copy of Warhammer Ancient Battles at some point to make full use of these supplements but I have enough on my plate right now to occupy me, I am sure.


Focusing on the roots of current tabletop gaming
with an eye toward the last century and before.
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Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Wargaming Wednesday - HPB Finds

I found a few wargames at the Brookfield, WI, Half Price Books when I was up that way yesterday.  I'll blog about them individually at some point in the future.  The first is a game from Games Workshop from the turn of the century called Warmaster (2000).  I've had a copy of the Ancient Armies supplement for this wargame for a while now and have been watching for the chance to grab a copy of the main rulebook to go with it.  I'm not sure if I will ever put a 6mm to 10mm army together on stands to try it out in full but I might make due with some labeled counters just to give it a whirl.  From Board Game Geek (BGG): "The command mechanism in Warmaster is simple but evocative. Each leader model has a Command factor. To issue a command, such as 'move forward' to a unit, two dice must be rolled against that target command factor. For every subsequent order attempted the target number becomes more difficult to achieve. As a consequence, despite being on the surface a move-counter move system, the turns are variable length and each player may not have the full opportunity to achieve everything they may want to. This simple mechanism introduces enjoyable tension into what is otherwise a largely conventional set of wargame rules."


Also, among the boxed games, they had a copy of Hibernia (2008) by Eric B. Vogel from Closet Nerd Games.  I read about this one a few years ago and had it on my list of games to keep an eye out for.  When I spotted it yesterday, after having already found some other goodies, I felt very pleased.  From BGG: "Set in Iron Age Ireland, Hibernia is a fast, simple wargame with strong European-style mechanics. It depends on well-balanced and clever play rather than pure aggression. Die rolls restrict when players can attack or reinforce their positions, and a unique scoring mechanism changes the resources which players need to score points each turn, keeping player positions dynamic."


Finally, another Vogel game called Cambria (2009) from the same publisher.  I became aware of this game around the same time as Hibernia and put it on my mental list as well.  From BGG: "It is 400 AD and the Roman occupation of Britannia is drawing to a close. Most of the Legions have been withdrawn. The system of Roman fortresses and roads is only thinly defended, particularly in Cambria. Across the sea, Hibernian warriors prepare to invade… Cambria is a fast and aggressive game of siege combat. To win, the players must make skillful use of their die rolls to surround and capture Roman fortresses. Cambria combines the simple, clever mechanics of a European-style game with the direct player conflict of an American-style game."


A closer examination of board and miniatures Wargaming.
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Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Terrain Tuesday - Bits Box & Terrain

Over on wargaminghobby.com, they explain the concept of the Bits Box here.


Also, on spikeybits.com, they give us a "Bits to Barricades – Terrain Tutorial" here.


Finally, on theminiaturespage.com, they show off "The Ubiquitous Bits Box Junk Pile Terrain Piece" here.


For purposes here, the term Terrain is used broadlyto cover
3D tabletop pieces made from foam, felt, and other materials.
Please Like, Share, Plus, Tweet, Follow, and Comment!