Tagged: tabletop

Amazon Prime Day

So apparently July 11th is Amazon’s “Prime Day”.

First I ever heard of it. Apparently this is an annual thing.

Since the wifey and I are Prime members, I decided to peruse the selections they have, in hopes that, maybe, I could find something.

And surprise, surprise mine eyes did rest upon a few good deals (that weren’t already sold out).

Amazon Echo (The CIA)

Echo.pngA. K. A.  the CIA’s little helper.

…on second thought don’t get this…

“What Doesn’t Kill Us” by Scott Carney

Hof

I’ve always loved the cold and realized early in life that the more I put up with a small amount of discomfort in the cold, the warmer I eventually became. Then I discovered Wim Hof through several channels and was immediately interested in the “Ice Man” who could be comfortable in ice water.

I’m told “What Doesn’t Kill Us” is a great book about Mr. Hof and his techniques and I look forward to this Prime deal.

Numerous Polyhedral Dice

dice.jpg

Heavy breathing…

For the gamer in your life…or you. Or your gaming group. Ever run low during a D&D campaign, keep losing your dice, or running a tabletop game requiring more than one dice type? This baggy looks great for all of your tabletop gaming needs.

Though, if you are a more hardcore gamer, these will probably just get mixed in with the 36″x12″x10″ tote you have already full of dice…

Dynasty Toys Laser Tag Set

laser tag.pngDo I really need to explain why?

Go Forth

I’m not going to lie, that’s all I found at 8:32AM this morning (July 11th) not yet sold that caught my eye. There were a few video games and that, but Steam just recently ran some great deals and I got Dishonored and Dishonored II for $30 altogether.

But I’m one person in the millions shopping. What cool deals, especially for those of us geeks/nerds did you find?

Until next time. . .

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Kickstarter I’m Backing – Rail Raiders Infinite

I don’t normally back Kickstarters. My money tends to go to a specific amount of gaming each paycheck. Like recently, one paycheck went to purchase Saber Heavy Grav Tanks and Razorworms for my Scourge force for Dropzone Commander. Another paycheck went to purchase a Gekko Squadron for my Infinity Nomads. Having a family reduces miniature wargame spend significantly.

So when I do back a Kickstarter it is a special occasion.

To begin, let me ask you a few questions.

Do you like Firefly?

Do you like Wild West Exodus?

Do you like Chibis?

If you answered yes to all (or at least one) of those questions, then Rail Raiders Infinite is for you.

Rail Raiders Infinite is a table top miniature game from Soda Pop Miniatures and Ninja Division where you and your friends play as chibi raiders in a sci-fi western universe and attempt to rob a space train. (Right? Sure.) But beware! Law bots and marshals fill the train and will attempt to stop you. Do you have what it takes?

All salesmanship aside, this game looks like a blast. I am told Soda Pop Miniatures and Ninja Division put out some great games. I love the look and feel of this game. It is very Firefly-esque. And the law bots are something right out of Wild West Exodus. It looks fun and funny and I can’t wait to play it. (Maybe in October 2016? Sure. I’ll believe them…for now. Let’s just hope they’re not like Drake II…)

Even some of the raiders are hilarious. Stretch goal “Canton Cobb” is an ode to Jayne Cobb from Firefly, and “The Typhoon” is Vash the Stampede.

The train itself is a series of tiles. Instead of normal dice, the face of the dice are card faces (10, Jack, King, Queen, and Joker). And there are coins. Coins make every game better, right? Right.

It makes me smile. 🙂

Don’t believe me that this is a great game? (Or looks like a great game!?) Head over to Kickstarter and check it out now!

And give them $50.

Until next time!…

Geekery – My First Game of Dungeons and Dragons

Before last Wednesday (February 17th) I had never played a Tabletop RPG.

I had played plenty of video game RPGs. The Final Fantasy series. Skyrim. Balder’s Gate. World of Warcraft. Warhammer Online. Just to name a few.

And of course I’m a tabletop game player. Battletech, Warmachine, and Infinity are just some of my favorites. I’ve played Star Trek: Attack Wing, and the Star Wars fighter game. And I love board games like Takenoko.

But tabletop RPGs never attracted my attention. Maybe some of this was the stigma of the people who played tabletop RPGs – then again that same stigma is attached (or at least used to be) those who play miniature war-games.  For whatever reason I was just never interested in getting into tabletop RPGs.

That changed recently – and by recently I mean GenCon 2014. I decided I’d try to get RPG’ing a shot and went to a Shadowrun character creation seminar at GenCon ’14. It was interesting but I really should have gone to a RPG session seminar. While waiting to start the seminar I was talking to three guys that had just wrapped up playing some D&D 5th edition. At that time 5th edition was relatively new and they were ecstatic about it. On top of that, they broke the tabletop-RPG’er-mold. They looked like normal bros doing bro stuff. And if they were down for D&D, then I could be down, too.

Fast forward a little over 18 months later and my gaming group has been disbanded for a while. I was being a bad member myself and, though I paid my dues, I was not attending with any regularity. Other members were going regularly – but not paying dues. And overall the group had shrunk and money in the war chest wasn’t matching rent for the store front. The gaming group closed, and I was left flapping in the wind, tabletop game-wise.

Within the last two weeks I had begun to adamantly look for a new gaming venue. I need tabletop gaming like some people need to watch their favorite shows weekly. It’s both an escape, and a mental exercise that keeps my mentally sharp. Previewing the events at the local game shop (called The Game Shoppe) here in Bellevue, NE I saw there were D&D demo games every Wednesday. After about a year and a half, I was ready to try a tabletop RPG.

My wife lovingly gave me a lot of crap for it. 🙂

And so, February the 17th I ventured into the cold Nebraskan night to try Dungeons and Dragons.

Overall it was fun. I created a human barbarian named Lothar (of the Hill People) and played with two other people who had low-level characters. Our DM was asked by his group at the last minute to be the DM for the newer, lower level players, and so he was unprepared and had trouble reading the quest notes on the tablet he was using. But we killed some wild dogs and saved a tiefling adolescent, and killed some red-furred goats. I got 100XP out of the whole ordeal. The other players seemed like good guys and we quested decently together.

The group was very inviting and helpful. They offered assistance and resources (like miniatures and pencils) freely and made sure I generally felt welcomed.

I plan to go back this coming Wednesday in order to get more experience. Hopefully things are a little more organized and our DM a little more prepared, or at least ready to DM on the fly. If not, I can watch the group play and see how they play.

Next I may get into Battletech: A Time of War RPG. Who knows?

And if you’re in the Bellevue, NE area and want to game let me know!

Until next time!…

Gen Con Prep

So Gen Con is just around the corner and like most people I am stoked. Weather.com shows that the weather will be mostly sunny with temps in the upper 70s/lower 80s the whole time the convention is going on. It’s going to be an awesome four days of gaming, First Exposure Playtest Hall, and Designer & Publisher Speed Dating.

What I’m Excited To See
There’s going to be a ton to see at Gen Con, and I’m sure more than there is to see in just 4 days. Note that this is my very first Gen Con. But consulting the Gen Con Exhibit Hall map and checking on other events that are available, I’ve already got a lot I want to see:

– Catalyst Game Labs: I will be haunting them. 🙂 No this is not creepy. (This is creepy.) But I cannot wait to meet their team and see all the cool stuff they have coming out. Shadowrun: Crossfire looks fun and I’d love to see/play a demo game. And of course Battletech. Duh. When in doubt, Battletech.

– Iron Wind Metals: Co-located with Catalyst Game Labs. They will probably be taking the second half of my monies.

– Corvus Belli: I’ve already pre-ordered my copy of Infinity Operation: Icestorm. But I’d love to see the other goodues they have.

– Privateer Press: ’nuff said. But rather than looking forward to just the stuff they have at the convention, I’m also heading over to The Ram for the tapping ceremony of the Everblight Ale!

– Table Forged: These guys are cool, and have a great game called Iron And Ale where you drink beer and beat the crap out of your friends. Oh there are cards to do fantasy stuff, too. 😛 But they threw down an arm wrestling challenge, and I answered it!

– Hawk Wargames: Dropzone Commander looks like an amazing game and I cannot wait to play it. I’ll be stopping by to see what they have, and maybe try my hand at a game or two.

– Mantic: Love the games these guys are putting out. Huge Deadzone fan, and already pledged for their Dwarf King’s Quest Kickstarter.

– Fantasy Flight Games: These guys are game making machines. Love their Star Wars game and may pick up a pack or two.

– Gale Force Nine: Everything I’ve heard about Firefly the Game is great! And being an ardent browncoat I wanna try my hand at it.

– Welovefine.com: Because I need a Catbug T-shirt.

– The D6 Generation: Recently started listening to their podcast and I am a huge fan already. Who knew there were people who talked about all the cool stuff I love? Gonna try to squeeze into their recording Friday with the other mob of people trying to get in. But would just like to meet ’em in general.

– The Cardboard Republic: Another great site and podcast that I instantly got addicted to, and would like to meet their team if I get a chance.

These are just a few of the companies I’m looking forward to seeing. The list is long and I have only a rough plan on how I will navigate…perhaps even astrogate this convention.

May have to break out those Delta-V calculations…

First Exposure Playtest Hall
If you haven’t already heard/read, my game Ship Strike will be debuted in the First Exposure Playtest Hall, located in ICC 107-110. If you’re there stop by and get a game in!

Schedule is as follows:
Thursday, Aug. 14: 10AM-12PM, 1PM-3PM, 5PM-7PM
Friday, Aug. 15: 3PM-5PM

I will be running two games at once, so four people can get in per time slot.

Work on Ship Strike has come along great. I’ve gotten some awesome feedback from playtests from friends, family, and the gaming group I belong to.

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Work, work, work...

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Laminate ALL the stat cards!

Probably one of the smartest thing I did was laminate the stat cards. It’s a lot of mind numbing work, but the endstate of what this is, and what it could become, drives me onward!

And So It Begins…
The final countdown to Gen Con has begun! I look forward to meeting a lot of fellow gamers and have a blast!

Gen Con 2014 First Exposure Playtest Hall

Finally everything is set for Gen Con 2014! Ship Strike will be available at the First Exposure Playtest Hall, and I have the days and times right here:

Thursday, August 14th
10AM-12PM
1PM-3PM
5PM-7PM

Friday, August 15th
3PM-5PM

If you’re going to Gen Con 2014, stop by the First Exposure Playtest Hall at any of these times and get in a rousing game of Ship Strike! I’d love to meet everyone and see what you think about the game.

We’ll Call This Progress

So I’ve made some decent progress on getting Ship Strike ready:

20140612_214646Box full of completed tiles, and some uncompleted. CSM added for scale.

20140612_214629Level 1 crates (all 21 of them) and tiles that I’ll work on tomorrow…along with my mess.

Progress seems slow. But I have to remember I’m the only one working on this.

That said, using foam core instead of cardboard has been a great improvement over the cardboard I was trying to scrap from boxes and packages we had lying around the house. Though not pristine, edges are cleaner. I printed the tiles onto cardstock instead of using graph paper, making the tiles themselves look cleaner.

So where do I go from here? First I will finish cutting the foam core and gluing on squares. I actually have doors and stuff so I need to make those, too. Then comes the really hard part: making cut-outs of the dudes (read: miniatures).

Dudes are important for this game.

They are sorta the focus.

Hard to play a miniature wargame without your dudes/dudettes. (Disclaimer: Ship Strike is an Equal Opportunity game)

I’ve considered purchasing and painting up some cheap minis from somewhere, but I’m not sure where to look and I’d hate to pitch this to a big company and have them look down on, or even reject, my game because I’m using someone else’s – perhaps even a competitor’s – models. I’m not sure what route to go there. If anyone with real industry knowledge/experience has input on that I would greatly appreciate it.

And then more playtesting. While I’ve firmed up the rules for the most part, and the troops for each faction are pretty tight, there is always room for improvement. And you  never know when something will come up where you and your playtesters will go,”What the deuce?!”

I have also decided to post the rules on the http://www.boardgamegeek.com forums.

Many people worry about piracy and having their idea stolen, and I had this worry, too. But Adam Ferrel, creator of the game Havok and Hijinks, made an excellent point on The Cardboard Republic podcast when he was asked about it. First, Adam stated that he didn’t believe piracy really existed. If someone snagged and played his game for free, oh well. But he made a much more important observation. He stated there are three types of gamers.

First, those who would never buy the game. They would print off his rules and cards and play for free forever. And he doesn’t care. He’s just happy someone is enjoying his game.

Which leads to the second category of gamer, those who will first play it for free, and then go out and purchase it. Whether they download and print everything themselves, or are introduced to the game by a will-never-buy-friend, this individual will, theoretically, become a customer.

And finally there is the gamer that will always buy the game to support the creator and to get all the cool stuff you don’t get when you print and play.

In Adam Ferrel’s mind, all three types of gamers are good for his game. Word of mouth and PnP gaming sessions will spread news of his game and increase its popularity.

I’m inclined to agree with Adam Ferrel.

The Ship Strike rules will be posted in the next day or so after I give them a once over and ensure the majority of spelling errors are corrected, and that any changes to rules/stats are updated in the official documents and not just my notes.

It’s all coming along, and I’m getting really excited about it! Playtests this weekend. I will update with pictures and results.

No One Can Hear You Scream in the Black

The two metal behemoths charged through the hatch as it hissed open. Both were mere men, but the two tons of robotic armor than encased them transformed them into the super soldiers of the Olympus Mons Technocracy. The metal claws of their left hands were open ready to strike in close combat. The right arms of the suits ended in the thick barrels of man-pack lasers and tracked back and forth, up and down. Around them the cargo bay, normally full of crates and equipment, was empty. No crew could be seen.

“Area clear,” the trooper on the left said.

“Moving,” another voice said over the comm.

Another trooper appeared through the hatch from the airlock. His armor was a carbon copy of that of his comrades except for the Chief’s rank adorning his helmet.

“Advance to the bridge,” Chief McIntyre said. “Wagner, left. Lin, right. Make sure to check high.”

“Aye chief,” came the response.

The magnetic clamps of their Titan power armor suits made their footfalls heavy and loud in the bay. The resounding thump of their steps rose the blood pressures of the Olympian troopers, but not enemy appeared.

Chief McIntyre had almost reached the hatch leading to the ship’s central spine. This was an old ship from when man began to conquer his solar system. The bridge would be at the “top” or “front” of the ship, depending on one’s perception.

Just before the three troopers reached the next hatch it opened on its own.

“Chief?” Wagner asked.

“Wasn’t me,” McIntyre replied.

Suddenly two people in old, ratty armored space suits swung into the open hatch, each wielding heavy machine guns.

“Contact!” McIntyre yelled.

*     *     *

Hail!

After almost a year and a half I’m back. A lot has been going on with work and life. Not a lot of writing (though there’s some of that on the back burner).

My latest work:

SHIP STRIKE – The game of space-boarding combat in the 24th Century.

Image

Above is a picture of a partial game board layout. From left to right: bridge, centrifuge/gravity deck, cargo deck.

In Ship Strike players battle one another to achieve their objective, whether that be annihilating the other player, taking the ship/space station/habitat, finding lost technology, or even setting the vessel’s self-destruct. Along with fighting one another and achieving their objective, players have to navigate ships without gravity.

At the moment there are five factions to choose from:

Olympus Mons Technocracy (located on Mars)

Elysium (located on Mars)

Lakshimi (located on Venus)

Star Folk (space nomads)

Minor States/Pirates

The reason minor states/pirates are a single faction is two-fold. First, many minor states may revert to piracy to meet their resource/monetary needs. On the other hand, pirates that build bases may find themselves the leaders of small or proto-states due to the number of troops, support personnel, hangers-on, and slaves in their camp.

GenCon 2014

It’s just 79 days until GenCon 2014! This will be my first EVAR GenCon, and my first evar wargaming convention (though I have been to Dragon*Con and other comic conventions). I’m super excited. The younger brother, my fiance and her daughter are going with, though the fiance and her daughter will not be participating in GenCon itself. They’re there for moral support/shopping. 🙂

Why do I mention GenCon 2014?

Ship Strike will be previewed at GenCon. Either officially, in the First Exposure Playtest hall (if my application goes through), or off to the side (if my application does not go through). I will have at least two playable copies of Ship Strike at GenCon. Three or four ideally. If you’d like to help playtest, please comment below or shoot me an e-mail.

In addition to playtesting, I will also be taking part in the Publisher and Designer Speed Dating put on by Minion Games! In a speed dating-style event, designers (like me) will pitch our prototype games to major publishers with hopes of getting our games published! I’m REALLY excited for this and will be putting a lot of work and effort into getting ready for this.

Future

I will be posting a lot more development and playtest updates as I go with plenty of pictures, so keep an eye out for that!