The Goats March On

•December 13, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I’ve been playing Fantasy games! With my beastmen! Which means I’ve had frantic hobby days trying to get things up and running!

In the past week, I’ve played two games (1500 and 2k, respectively) with the son/father dangerous duo of Kyle the Burning-Eyed and Danny (Danny’s gotten a fair amount of mention, but his nickname’s…Danny). Continue reading ‘The Goats March On’

Can I Say Rawr? I’m Saying Rawr.

•December 3, 2014 • 4 Comments

Processed with VSCOcamI had this picture on deck when I wrote my hobbynnui (if you say it out loud, I think it works) post, but thought it’d make a better coda to that somewhat gloomy expulsion of frustration. These three lionmen barely feel like they should count as a conversion…you just take some Crypt Horrors and slap High Elf Lion heads on them. Boom. Still, with a couple layers of paint—and eyes provided by my wife, who…yeah, she’s a talent—I think they look awesome. I’d considered cutting the bones off of their limbs, or gilding them, but when it came to actual painting I liked how they played; I’ll likely give them a light wash to detail it up a bit. There’s some touch-ups to do as well, specifically beard clasps and the tombstone that the rightmost lion is carrying.

Continue reading ‘Can I Say Rawr? I’m Saying Rawr.’

Snare Effect

•November 30, 2014 • 1 Comment

I’ve been feeling extremely disconnected from my hobby of late. The impetus for that was certainly the unpleasant drama of the late-summer/early-fall, but the ennui’s continued to creep up on me. Continue reading ‘Snare Effect’

Players and Sheet Maintenance: A Comment Too Long to Post

•November 17, 2014 • 1 Comment

The Man Larkins had a semi-recent discussion about players and character sheet maintenance, and where the GM’s mandate falls/should fall/must fall. I’d originally intended this to be a comment on that post, but then it got lengthy.

This problem–which more broadly manifests as the stratification of investment players and DMs have in a setting, system, and individual character–really caught me by surprise in the transition back to tabletop from roughly a decade of play-by-post gaming. On all of the sites where I played, DMs (and often even other players) had ready access to at least -viewing- your sheets at all times. Getting into games was often pretty cutthroat, too, since even when the communities were small the pools of quality and reliable DMs, skilled and reliable players, and talented and descriptive writers were generally fairly shallow. People were on point. If they weren’t, they got replaced…except for whatever inner circle illuminati had orchestrated that particular game, who were functionally a terrible and irreplaceable tumor. I was usually such a tumor; which is why, on those rare occasions when I ran a game, I made my own inner circle apply every time. I knew that I’d end up taking them, but I wanted everyone to see that it was because they were (and remain) incredible writers, who also took the time to read instructions and even went so far as to craft characters to fit with each other. Man, typing that out I sure miss the game.

When I started a tabletop game with a wide swathe of player-experience (ranging from folks who played in high school and on and off since to my wife, who had previously not held a d20 except when I whispered “Hold it…hold iiiiitt” with steepled fingers, now and again), sheet maintenance became a real thing. Continue reading ‘Players and Sheet Maintenance: A Comment Too Long to Post’

Imagine Civilization V With More Aliens, Zombies, and Fallout

•November 15, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I’m taking the position in this review that the reader is at least passingly familiar with–and interested in–Civilization and its cadre of similar games. If you’ve got some wild oats simmerin’ and want to jump in even if that assumption doesn’t apply to you, remember: stack food.

The question is, which empire do you want to govern:

  • Dragonmen? They’re men (and ladies, the game’s relatively gender-progressive) with dragon bits. Get a boost in social development from the start, and excel at diplomacy. Essentially, races aren’t eager to blow off folks with dragon bits, so they listen to you.
  • Baroque mannequins you might see in Silent Hill? They’re eager to spread the Good News of their kind-of-robot gods, and excel at the equivalent of Civ’s Social track (they’re better able to shape and guide the growth of their cities and overall empire, focusing every score or so turns on different approaches to gameplay). Homebodies, though, so once you establish a city it’s where you’ll be staying. In compensation, though, you’re so compelling that you can just talk enemy villages into joining you.
  • The merchant at the beginning of Aladdin? The nomadic race excels at trade, cash money, and mobility; the brutality of an all-cavalry army is difficult to overstate. This crew also has the ability to uproot and move their cities–a la Terrans in Starcraft–and those cities are giant beetles. You can also keep other players from using the market, and any time a player does make a transaction (buying or selling), you get a cut.
  • Fallout-style Vault Dwellers, but with capital-R Religion? In addition to some neat travel tricks, they can pick one particular resource (titanium, say, or hyperium) and declare it their holy…stuff. Their units gain special bonuses when wearing material crafted from the stuff, and their cities excel at exploiting it, letting them race ahead in scientific discovery.

I was going to do some teaser-style business and leave it at those factions, but they’re all so dope… Continue reading ‘Imagine Civilization V With More Aliens, Zombies, and Fallout’

Marvel Heroes is from the Streets!

•November 15, 2014 • Leave a Comment

Man, I sure love Marvel Heroes. I’ve picked up both of the Advance Packs, which are moderately high buy-in (though roughly a unit and a car in, say, Warhammer) packages that pre-purchase all the upcoming heroes for the game’s next year of development. The game’s had a bit more than a year of development. I’ve also invested occasionally in costumes, boosts, “team-up” heroes (essentially uncontrolled sidekick characters/purchased buffs, depending on how you equip and employ them), and so, so much storage. It’s safe to say that I’m invested, and happily so!

However, I’ve had absolutely no luck fostering an even remotely similar investment on the behalf of my wife. Continue reading ‘Marvel Heroes is from the Streets!’

On the Concept of “Table Ready”

•November 12, 2014 • Leave a Comment

I find this idea fascinating. In brief, folks describe a model (or unit, or army, etc.) as “table ready” when it meets the requirements for…play on a table.

To some extent this is informed by general tournament requirements, which are more or less 3 distinct colors and “basing material.” The basing material bit tends to piss me off, as it usually means one has to not only paint the bases of the models but also provide them with some sort of texture…which I wouldn’t mind if it wasn’t required, but since it is I chafe at the demand. It bothers me primarily, I think, since there’s a texture paint line GW sells–and those paints are just basically thicker paints. Which you’re generally then expected to drybrush, also potentially wash, and…pah. There’s already a texture to model bases, and it looks about the same.

What fascinates me more, though, is that I see some blog posts–and even have some War Party members–discuss “table ready” as a concept that has a personal element. In other words, folks look at a model they’ve primed, basecoated, washed, drybrushed, potentially highlighted, and theoretically done all that again…all before basing…and said something like: “That’s not very good, but I’ll play it.”

do have models I’d say that for. They’re unpainted. Or they’re just primed. Or they’re half-based. Or maybe I just need to do the interminable detail work (see for reference all of my Chaos Marines). The idea of an additional layer of painting complexity for anything beyond a specific showcase model, therefore, very much befuddles me. If you’re painting your stuff, you stop when it’s painted. The tabletop standard and the “painted” standard seem like they should be roughly the same for the hobby. I suppose the general concept is one of eyeline and scrutiny; that models are table ready when you think they look good from a high vantage. That makes more sense in Fantasy, where there are many ways to goose a unit of models by recognizing what’ll be in the front rank roughly all the time. I do this in terms of how I build and place my sculpts, at the very least. I’ve had friends tell my wife that she can get away with only painting some of her troops from the waist up since they’ll be in the back of units—and she plays Ogres, so that’s not all that many bodies in the first place.

But table ready, as a concept, seems unnecessary for me. Or–and I think this is why the idea bothers me–it seems insecure. If your business is dope, it’s dope. If you’re unhappy with it, keep painting or start over. If you don’t care, put those gray plastic mans on the table and roll like a fiery god.


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