Monday, February 28, 2011

Today's the Day

   My first 39th birthday. Wish me luck.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Gameday Report

   Played a new game today: American Civil War naval. Ironclads. In 1/600 scale.

   And to the everlasting shame of my great-great-grandaddy, I played the Union side. I think the outcome would make him feel better. That is, the Confederates won, and totally wrecked the Union fleet in the process.

   The scenario was that on a river, the Union forces needed to take out three Confederate shore batteries. To do so, they were given four mortar rafts, two mortar schooners, and four other ships (three ironclads, and one 'tinclad'). The Confederates had four ships as well (three ironclads and one steamram). One of those was CSS Arkansas, which could (and did) ignore all the gunfire from the Union ships.

   I did get a couple of the Reb boats. But the mortars were ineffective and our ships were not deployed to the best advantage (our admiral forgot which direction the current was flowing). I lost USS Cairo, but the most spectacular moment was when one of the Union ships rammed a Rebel boat dead amidships while doing 10 knots. Cut the Reb in half, pretty nearly.

   So it was a fun game, even though my side lost (as usual). Plus, it went pretty fast.. 3 1/2 hours start to finish, and three of the players had never played before.

Friday, February 18, 2011

More New Toys

So I got my copy of When the Navy Walked this week...
And an Epic W40K Termite...
And some 15mm Prussian Line infantry, heavy infantry and clockwork infantry from Black Hat via Scale Creep...
And 30 of Khurasan's 15mm lizardmen...
And 7 of their crocodile knights - I'll need more of them...


Monday, February 14, 2011

In the Dawghouse...

For the first time in almpost 6 years on TMP, I have been put in the infamous Dawghouse. For three days!

"Why?" you may ask.

I made fun of the French. Or, at least, it was perceived that I made fun of the French.

Ah well. Just one more reason to dislike the cheese-eating surrender monkeys.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Genius Stuff!

  I just caught on to this manufacturer from a posting on TMP. I was interested in the airship models for use in my 6mm When the Navy Walked project. When I scrolled down further, I saw the terrain pieces.   I am not entirely certain about scale, but some of the comments I have seen lead me to believe they are in about 1/300 scale. In other words, perfect for BatteTech or any other 6mm projects.

  A closer look and I noticed the bases are cut to be compatible with Heroscape hexes. Since I use Heroscape hexes when we play BattleTech, I am very excited. The pieces are resin, and not too expensive ($2.75 - $5.50). I assume they are not painted, but that's okay. They have other pieces as well, just check out the Sky Kings line at Hangar 18 FASA. They also sell clustered sets. Anyway, check them out. I will be...

   Man, I need a raise in my allowance.

The Whispering Cairn, Episode 6

   At last, the sixth and final installment of the heroic doings of a band of young adventurers...

   Returning to the tower, to the moment when Degar set off the alarm, we see a marked improvement in play.

   Hearing voices from the floor above, the party rushes up the stairs, weapons ready. They arrive in time to greet the first of the troglodyte zombies as it spills out of its tank. Degar thumps it with his axe, and Norman turns two of the vile undead, who run and cower for the remainder of the combat. Advancing further, Sarmek concentrates arrows on Filge, the necromancer. He misses, but hey, it's doing something - namely, keeping Filge moving around a lot! Wren fires a stream of magic missiles at the largest zombie, so that by the time it reaches Degar in the forfront, one swing of his mighty axe drops the hideous thing.

  The party mops up the remaining zombies, with Norman destroying the skeleton in his next turning undead attempt. Filge is knocked unconscious, then trussed up. Once he is awakened, he offers to sell out his friend Balabar Smenk (a powerful man in Diamond Lake) in exchange for his freedom. The party agrees, they gather tons of clues and information, and set Filge to wandering back to Absalom, the huge city three days from Diamond Lake. Filge also dispels his necromantic hold on the remainder of the Land family, allowing the heroes to collect their earthly remains for burial.

   The party returns to the Land farm and decently bury the dead. Then they rush back to the Cairn, hoping to beat the other party of adventurers to the True Tomb. Remember, Sarmek spilled the beans about the Whispering Cairn only a couple of days before to rivals.

   Arriving in the cairn, they find that someone else has obviously been exploring the place, but has not penetrated into the tomb yet. Our Heroes quickly light the lanterns and rush tot he inner sanctum. Alastor was true to his word - the doorway is opened. With the end of the quest in sight, the party enters the tomb, only to be confronted by the final guardians of Zosiel's rest: two Wind Warriors (see below).

   These fellows are pretty tough, but the party handles them pretty easily, then ascend the wind column into the tomb itself. Opening the sarcophagus, they find a few treasures, and one minor artifact.

  In the aftermath, Greyson decided he just didn't like his Dwarf Knight (Degar). Being a nice dad, I allowed him to remake his character into a Human Fighter. He kept his original stats (adjusted back from the Dwarf racial adjustments),  and I forced him to take a rank of Knowledge (Nobility and Heraldry) to represent his minor nobility upbringing.  All party members had reached third level, so we did all of the level increase paperwork.

   The party also did a good bit of shopping, since the money from the sale of the baby owlbear arrived, giving them each 700 measures (gold coins). Sarmek purchased a new longbow, which will provide him with benefits to accuracy and damage due to its quality of manufacture. He also picked up a quiver of serpent's tongue forked arrows.

   Norman took a new name as well, indicating the fact that he has moved upward from the novitiate of Heironeous, and is now an acolyte of the Order of the Sword, one of Heironeous's militant clerical orders. His new name is Brother Tighraine, casually known as Tigh ("Ty").

   Eager to move on, the heroes rest up for two days, recovering formtehir adventures, and then set out to explore the metropolis of Absalom, an immense city three days to the west of Diamond Lake.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Khurasan = Kool

   I am rapidly becoming a big fan of Khurasan Miniatures' various 15mm lines. Not that there is anything wrong with their 25mm lines, but the 15mm is just... great! First is the newly released Control Battalions. Great stuff for sci-fi gaming. Not that I am starting another new scale/period. Not yet. But I really like the hover drone support weapon.

Command and Support Weapons

Control Battalion Riflethings

   Next up, I want to show the 15mm lizardmen that will one day replace GW skinks for Venusians in 15mm for my VSF games. One day. Maybe this summer? These figures have been out for a while now, and the lineup is receiving some additional figures in the (hopefully) near future, according to Khurasan's website. There are already some mounted crocodilian knights that I shall also be using for the primitive lizardmen hordes of the Misty Planet.

   Back to more traditional science fiction (well, as opposed to my usual Victorian Science Fiction), the Garn are some really cool baddies. With teeth like those, they pretty much have to be bad, right? But at the same time, oh-so-good, if you know what I mean.

   The last batch are Mekanoid Grenadiers, which I think could be used for VSF mechanickals, if you wanted. Just need a bit of primitivizing, maybe a large backpack for a steam engine and smoke stack? This range is getting some cool stuff added to it as well. I especially want to see the centauroid Dragoons they are planning to go with this faction. Sounds nasty!

   Anyway, this is just a bit of fanboy gushing. For the record, I took the photos directly off the Khurasan website, and none of the paint jobs are mine. I believe Steve Dean painted the Garn, Chris Yaro painted the Mekanoids, and the others I am unsure of the painters. All very well done!

Friday, February 4, 2011


  Wow. I have a day off because of 'snow.' In Houston, Texas. Heck, south of Houston. And no snow at all fell around my house. There was some ice overnight and early this morning, so probably a good idea to keep the school buses off the roads. And since I am a school teacher, that meant I have the day off, too! So what to do with an unexpected day off? Well, let's see...

  For those of you who are unaware, I am involved in helping to develop When the Navy Walked, a set of rules for VSF games.

Kevin Williams

  I found a pack of these guys in the half-price bin of a dealer at OwlCon. They are from the Chronoscope line produced by Reaper. I thought they looked just perfect for some giant walkers to go with my 6mm forces for When the Navy Walked. I like the rules best for bigger battles, and that's why I am doing a 6mm setup for them.
  Anyway, they aren't painted yet because it's too cold to prime them at the moment - I am afraid the spray would freeze before it hit the mini, it being only about 28 degrees in my garage at the moment. Haven't quite decided what kind of paint scheme I am going to go for with them. I thought I might make them for at least two of the different European empires, probably Great Britain and Imperial Germany.  the really big one might be fun for Russians, but I haven't decided if I am going to try to reproduce them in 6mm. I do want to do them in 25mm, at least partly because of some really inspirirng work by Sterling Moose on the forces of His Imperial Majesty, Tsar Nikolas II, on Lead Adventure Forum.
  I am also trying to get some painting accomplished today. I can't work on the Whirlifliegers remaining to be done, because I can't prime them. I am working on some Empress British figures and trying to finish off the ten RAFM Martian archers.
  I also ordered some more minis from Scale Creep, the Black Hat Prussians, mostly. Needed more 15mm Germans. A platoon of Aetherbattalion is nice, but I need some regular Line troops. I've also been on eBay, shame on me.
  I also have to get to work on some editing, and do some work on the Aethergraph. Speaking of which - SUBMISSIONS! I'll take anything you have VSF related. Even if its just a character description. Or some odd techno-device you use in your VSF universe.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

It's so cold...

...they are re-enacting the Winter War in 1:1 scale in my front yard. minis are demanding another coat of paint. French Napoleonic Old Guard are reminiscing about the Retreat from Moscow. yeti figs have finally quit bitching about the heat.

...I fully expect a white dragon to claim my lawn as its lair at any moment.

...I can predict the overnight temperatures with a d20. 28mm minis have experienced 'shrinkage' to 15mm.

...polar bears are swimming in our HOA pool.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

OwlCon XXX Report

  Reporting from the trenches... Okay, well, not from the trenches. More like in the safety of my classroom during my conference period a few days after the fact... but I digress. I think I will break the day we spent at OwlCon into three segments, just like the Con itself is!

  We arrived at about 0900. Registration was easy enough (though they only take cash, kind of a bummer). Game signup was likewise very simple, and unrestricted. If there was an opening, you could grab it, as long as you didn't have a game in that timeslot already. Walk-ons were also allowed if there were no-shows or room to grow.

1000 - 1400
  Dane and Greyson play in a large dungeoncrawl (really impressive layout) of Reaper's Warlord, 2nd Ed. Dane won that round, and Grey came in second. Alas, they were short on time, the GM having arrived almost an hour late, and so they were eclipsed in their points by the end of the day. No Major Award for either of them. But they had fun, and will likely want to play again next year. Plus, they are now pestering me to get a game of that pulled together. I shopped during this period, not having a game I was overly excited about. Swag report will be later this week, so stay tuned.

1500 - 1900
  Dane was involved in a game of Uncharted Seas, the fantasy naval combat game. He played part of a Dragon Lords force, and was the only kid at the table. I think he got used by the other 'adult' players to soak up fire, and it seems like one guy on the opposing force may have been cheating some, but he still had fun. Greyson shopped and kind of kept an eye on his brother, just hanging out with no game this session.

  I played a game of Atomic Highway, a post-apocalypse RPG. My character, Brewer, was a beer-guzzzling mutant scavenger with a chainsaw. My new DROID came in handy here, as I downloaded a chainsaw sound app for special efects. The game is supposed to be podcast on Swing and a Miss, I think. I actually won the award for "best roleplaying" at this game - a first for me!

2000 - 2400
  The last session of the day was very full for us. Greyson and Dane were, as usual, at the Gutshot! game run by our friend and game author, Mike Mitchell (not the only author, but he's the onliest what wuz there, pard!) . Again, the unquiet dead rose from their graves, hungering for human flesh. This time, the cowboys, preachers, saloon gals, et al, managed to suppress the whole durn lot of them, without losing a single human to the stinking hordes of braineating shamblers!

  Meanwhile, I was in the year 2061, driving a car in a mad race around an arena, with bullets and rockets flying everywhere! Yep, that's right: Car Wars, the classic car combat game from Steve Jackson Games. Loads of fun, and crashes galore! Ever seen what happens to a car when it rams a rolling car at a combined speed of 180 mph? Now figure in the hit was on the roof of the rolling car. Totalled out (as in every single point of armor, and everything in between) both cars, and still had more than 35 points of damage left over! Confetti! I was taken out, but at least I didn't stab the 8-year-old kid playing with us in the back, despite ample opportunity and temptation (he got a bit mouthy). Still, had a lot of fun, and had the option of coming back into the game as a revived clone in a crappy car. I came in for a turn, but decided that it was getting to be time to go.

  The last thing we all did before we left was to hit the BattleTech MechForce pods. If you ahve never seen these, they are big, well, pods, in which a multi-player BattleTech simulator is run. Loads of fun, and they're interlinked, so you can blast each other, 'bot' players, and so on. They have a location here in town with 16 pods, but they only brought 4 to the con for space reasons. Look them up if you live in the Houston area - its a lot of fun!

Con Miscellanea:
  The food was decent at the deli onsite (hot sandwiches, sodas, smoothies, snacks), and prices were not too bad. Parking still sucks there. I recommend the parking garage, even at $11 a day, because it is loads closer to the site than any other lot.   The FOG Ancients tournament and Warhammer tournaments seemed popular and well-attended. I thought several people were going to be there for the FOG, but not one of them showed for that. I did see two of the regulars from my gaming group, but not in the tournaments.