Why I haven’t posted in nearly a month.

My back and legs are acting up again, it’s infuriating. I have struggled with this for years and I lost a bunch of weight, over 200 pounds, with the hope that it would make things easier for me. To a degree it has made things easier and having a dog forcing me to get out and move can only be a good thing. Nevertheless being hampered with intense pain and limited mobility more often than not is taking a fairly drastic toll.

I don’t know what to do about it, all the doctors I have seen have either brushed me off or upon examination of the diagnosis just wish me luck and give me more pain killers. It’s a hard pill to swallow, I don’t think anybody wants to hear their doctor say there is nothing that can be done. I know I don’t, it has really taken a toll on my moral and enjoyment of life.

So many things I have enjoyed over the years are now beyond me, simply sitting and painting a model is too painful for me, siting at the computer doesn’t happen (needless to say I am thrilled I have an iPad to fill this void), standing long enough to cook dinner is so painful that I don’t want to eat when I’m done, even sitting on the toilet is taxing. The list goes on and on of things that used to be mundane that are now painful. This is one of major contributing factors to me not playing Warhammer anymore, can sit or stand long enough to get through a game, and painting an army is out of the question.

I don’t know what to do anymore and seeing another doctor doesn’t seem like the answer, I need help.

Posted in Handicap, Lapband, Troubling times | Leave a comment

It’s about scale

I’ve mentioned the importance of scale in wargaming a lot but I don’t think I’ve ever explained why it’s so important to me or why it upsets so many games. I’m not talking about the scope and scale of a games fluffy bits, though that does play into the game play too, what I’m really talking about is the scale of the rules and how that effects the number of models on the table and thus how much time, effort, and money it takes to get a game going.

Some games, the smaller scale games, like Malifaux, Anima Tactics, and the AE series, generally top out about 15 models. That’s not to say they can’t be played with more but if enough models hit the table the rules cant handle that size of game. Where as other games, like Warhammer and 40k, break when there are less than 1000 points, or about 35 models give or take (a lot of the model count is dependent on the army being played). That’s a pretty big separation between the games and it’s an even larger separation between play styles. Of course these are different games with different scales and scopes but it has a large impact on the games ability to attract new players.

The GW games put out a good spread but the entry level cost of playing is very high, generally to high to be a simple dabbling, they are all or nothing games. I know many people that have passed on GW because of this and I know many other people that do play but use other people’s armies to avoid spending the kind of money needed to play. There is a middle ground in Warmachine/Hordes where a person can play with as few as 4 or 5 models and can then grow to a much larger army, though still on the small side compared to GW games. The antithesis of the GW games are the indy or small-scale games, games that can played with as few as 3 models (Anima Tactics) to a half dozen (AE-WWII and Malifaux).

For a log time these indy games got little attention outside of the few rouge players that played everything under the sun or the old-timers now fed up with GW’s expense looking for a wargaming fix. That’s been changing, at least where I am, and I don’t know if it’s because of cost or if it’s simply that people are interested in trying something new, either way it’s good news for the game maker and better news for gaming communities that so often succumb to game fatigue.

In the last 5 years there has been a marked decrease in GW players many of them dropping GW for Warmachine/Hordes, which has had a massive uptick. Most of the stores in my area have the full line of the Privateer Press model ranges and a ever stagnating few shelves of GW now. The rulebook shelves are also swelling as several of the LGS now have the indy game rulebooks on hand all the time, though the models still require a trip to the web.

All this points to gamers trending to the smaller more intimate games and away from the massive scope of the 41st millennia. In this particular case, scale is killing games, a GW games is too expensive and too big to support itself anymore, just look at GW’s numbers from the last year if you don’t believe me. The bottom line is the scale of the smaller games are perfect for most people looking for a fast, fun game which is something GW can’t deliver anymore.

Posted in AE-WWII, Gaming, Rant, Wargaming, Warmachine | Leave a comment

AE-Bounty

Good stuff today, I got my AE-Bounty rulebook in the mail, found the proper models for my bounty hunter crew, and had Korean BBQ. What a day.

The AE-Bounty book is pretty slick. The physical books is a nice size, small (Gamma World, D&D Essentials size), I wish more books would come out this way. It much more practical to have this pocket size book than I giant hardcover tome of charts and such, but that’s not in the cards for a company trying to make money. I digress, the books is full color, printed on thick, matte paper and generally a pleasure to read.

The rules themselves are fun and a nice departure form the trappings most miniature games fall victim too, like inane amounts of math, adding points values and how that effected by unit options, anybody who’s spent a little bit of time playing Warhammer knows what I’m talking about. AE-B uses the detachment system from AE-WWII but it’s been upgraded, the options for crew customization are epic.

Every unit type has a ranking, green, regular, veteran, and elite, each list is made up of a certain number of these troop types. From there each models gets there gear and assorted weapons, while there are restrictions to this process all of them seem to add more flavor to the game and some of them can be cancelled out by trading some part of the of the basic crew list. Trading things seems a little one sided at first but on closer examination it pretty cool, if you want a bigger crew you can trade a higher level solo for a lower level unit with and thus you have more guys on the field. I’m not explaining it well, I know, but it’s a cheap book, go get it.

Anyway, the game plays out like a pretty typical miniature game, all the models have stats that designate their ability to move, fight, shoot, and how much the can get their asses kicked before the fall over dead. It’s pretty basic stuff for the average dice nerd and there are few enough stats to manage that even a newbie can jump right in.

They book suggests a 4×6 table, but judging from the scale and scope of the game that seems a bit silly, I think a 4×4 table will do just fin when there are only 15 models on the table, in turn that makes this game very playable in your average home. Go down to the local fabric store pick up a little over a yard of felt in your favorite shade of grass green and desert yellow and throw that over the dining table and you have yourself the beginnings of a war zone.

Continuing down the hobby path, Darkson Designs made minis for this game, but the reality is that any spare models can play the part, I already have two crews worth of models and one of them came from the bits box while the other came from the bargain bin at the LGS. There, for the low, low price of $35 I have a game I can play on a diner table that’s have depth and strategy, how sweet is that? I’ll tell you, it’s super sweet.

The real icing on the cake is the models I picked up in the bargain bin at the LGS are Judge Dredd model from the Mongoose Publishing line, that’s right, my crews of Bounty Hunters is a bunch of badass Judges.

I’ll post more as I stumble through this game and hopefully I’ll have plenty of good news.

Posted in AE-Bounty, Wargaming | Leave a comment

No joy

I played my first game of 40k in almost a year, I didn’t enjoy it. The guy I was playing against is cool and is always entertaining, and playing his Demons is always a chore but it just wasn’t fun. I brought my Deathwing for a last game before I sell them off, I’ve always loved Deathwing, but even they couldn’t get me into the game. I’m going to play again next week but I’m not excited, certainly not as excited as I was a year or two ago and I don’t know what to do to get back to that mind set. I am going to go ahead and pack up my models after next week, I don’t have enough time warrant keeping them out in a desperate attempt to play more games. I think this is all proof positive that it’s time for a break, from Warhammer/ GW anyway.

I will however keep my AE-WWII and AE-Bounty models out so I can work on them, I’m still waiting for the rulebooks in the mail but that’s minor details because I love these models and I want to be ready when the books get here. I only wish I had more time to camp out at the LGS for a game on Friday and Saturday when there are lots of people there, but tables are too few and far between. I did find some people who play on the forums for me LGS so I will just need to plan a game instead of getting pick-up games. Meh, whatever, I’m still pretty excited about having small scale skirmishes in a weird war setting.

I can’t wait to paint this werewolf for my SS Detachment, he’s so cool!

As I get the models built and painted I will post up some pictures, cross your fingers that they come out good.

Posted in AE-WWII, Space Wolves, Wargaming | Leave a comment

Purging and gathering

I’ve sold off most of my Warhammer and still feel pretty good about it, I thought it would be harder for me to part with these things I have spent so much time focusing on. No biggie, I guess.

I kept my Thousand Sons and Space Wolves, granted these are both big armies, 3000+ points apiece, but I really like working on the models and I have some grand plans for some dioramas. I also picked up a few other models in the selling process, namely a Forge World Trygon and boy is she pretty. I also got some cash which is always nice since times are tough. What I’m most excited about it how many rulebooks I scored, like Humanadverb read RPG books, I read wargaming rulebooks, I’m a whore for the mechanics. At least the books I picked up take up a lot less space than the number of models I had.

Now I have to decide what’s getting packed for a later look after I get to Seattle and what’s gonna spend the next couple of months living on the coffee getting read over and over. I’ll figure something out.

Anyway, here’s what I picked up:
AE-WWII
AE-Bounty
Mercs
Malifaux

There are a few others I’d like to get my hands on but this should be enough to keep me busy for awhile.

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Little things

Trying to blog about something I think is important is like trying to teach and fish to ride a bicycle, it’s imposable. So much crap floating around the old cranium but nothing wants out, it prefers to sit on the cusp of the shadows blanketing the corners of the rooms in my mind. Turns out the shadows hold a lot of stuff, maybe I don’t want to deal with these things or maybe I just don’t care, either way it’s brought focus on things I was leaving alone.

I have some real issues with obsessive behavior, I can leave somethings alone and I replay this videos in my head. Not 20 minutes ago I was outside having a smoke lamenting burning a veggie burger last time I cooked dinner for the gang. In my defense I had never cooked a veggie burger before and didn’t know how easily they burn. Dan and Laura said it was fine but they didn’t eat them and I don’t blame them I wouldn’t have eaten it either. This silly moment, that’s completely inconsequential really bothers me and haunts me on a daily basis, for no good reason.

A burnt veggie burger is not the event, but the rest of them are just as mundane, 8 year old conversations about trying to look past a light source. There are a lot of these moments in time that stalk my waking thoughts, nothing important about them, nothing inappropriate.

It bothers me everyday for hours on end, little events gone astray.

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There are always options.

Even with getting out of Warhammer, I still have a horrible addiction to game books and mechanics. This addiction is resulting in a compulsion to buy or trade for rulebooks for games I don’t have models for and little interest in playing, I just want to read them, over and over. On the bright side it’s a lot cheaper this way and I end up with a cool collection of books that will help me make the game I want. (that project is still going, though much less focus, a back burner project if you will.)

At this point I have picked up the rulebooks for Malifaux and AE-WWII, both are small scale skirmish games, model count somewhere between 5 and 15, depending. That’s where the similarities end though, the most noticeable difference aside from the setting is that Malifaux uses a deck of cards instead of dice. I don’t have enough experience with it to make a solid judgement but I’ll get to that in another post.

The point of this rambling post is that there are other options to the big names in tabletop gaming, sometimes you have to go looking for them but they are there. So for those people losing hope of finding a way to quench the thirst for miniature gaming there is hope, and inexpensive hope at that. So keep your head up and eyes out for cool small press games out there, it could be worth your while.

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