Monday, June 26, 2017

The WEEKEND Review

With strains of Loverboy jamming in my boss' car as we drove to the corporate offices on Monday, I was constantly reminded that this week, I was indeed working the The Weekend.

The Weekend is a small annual convention at the Continental Inn in Lancaster, PA, born out of the fiery chaos which was Historicon moving out of Lancaster.  Preferring a con in the heart of Amish country, and without the masses of volunteers and politics that keep HMGS cons afloat (or adrift, depending on your interpretation), organizer Otto Schmidt keeps it simple: a $20 donation to the cause gets you in, or simply stay at the Continental over the weekend, and get in for free.  It's a weekend of fun, camaraderie, and old dudes telling stories around the munchies pit.

No actual dealers, no memberships, no con t-shirts, no frills, and that's the way most con attendees like it, dagnabbit!

Thursday, we loaded the whole family in the van, and despite Construction Season being in full swing, arrived at the Continental in perfect time to grab my badge (and one for my eight-year old daughter Maja) and hit the pool.  Wednesday and Thursday, the early birds get to game in the "Card Room" and boardgames are usually broken out and general shenanigans occur.  However, with a wife and two little girls (6 and 8) with me, fatherhood trumps all.  In fact Thursday was pretty much a wash, as we swam, hit Golden Corral before all the buses arrived, and went back to the indoor pool until close.

Friday I let the other comatose bodies lie, grabbed the always solid breakfast buffet at The Continental's restaurant, and went downstairs.

I immediately gravitated towards Bob and Cleo Liebl's "And The Ladies Come Marching Home Again, Hurrah, Hurrah!" for two reasons.  For starters, it's a great set-up, but more importantly, it was the first time I could see and hold the Hinterland female figures I've had on my want list for some time.

I took command of the women, who were moments away from being beset upon my bandits, savages, slavers.  My relief was on the far side of the board looked like they were going to have an equally bad go with it.
Most con games are 10% strategy, 10% tactics, and 80% outrageous dice rolls, and for me, this was no exception. Insufficient buffers between my scouts and the main units, mixed with dervishes and wooly-bullies who were "wildly enthusiastic" to meet the British women led to me falling into square far too late to be effective.
The ladies, trying to maintain square before attempting to break out.
I would like to say for the sake of the AAR that my female cavalry remembered that they had horses to shatter the bandit flank and have a few survivors ride off into the desert "to be continued" but with my die rolling, it probably would have failed anyway.  Regardless, a great game, and I've never argued about free cookies at a game.

WW2
After my game, I ventured back to the room to get the whole run down from the girl's trip to "The Farm."  Their trip to see domesticated animals (and for Millie, age 6, 'Where Bacon Came From') was diverted as the site had a "Please Touch"  museum and the girls were quite occupied with that for 3+ hours.
ACW
Sandwiches from Wawa properly devoured, Maja said those words that melt a father's heart.

"Daddy, I want to go game."

Now, I believe The Weekend is not designed to be your child's first con experience.  The men are old, the conversation many times is blue, and the rules can vary from daunting to "anything but a six".  However, Otto has printed off a very conversational wargaming FAQ towards parents whose children wandered down to the ballroom and marveled at the toy soldiers.

The good news for the con attendees was that my eight-year old is an old pro at cons (she technically was at Historicon in Valley Forge, but her first badge-wearing event was Fall-In! 2015), so we fell into the Blood and Plunder pirate game getting set up by Mack Tuck and Ken Hall.
The pirates fare poorly in game one.
Two things I like about Blood and Plunder, from a Dad with a gamer in-training.  Another version of playing card initiative from how we use it was great, and as someone trying to introduce Song of Blades & Heroes into our household to try to use all the fantasy figures, she definitely picked using multiple activations/actions, as her Spanish militia stayed in their fortification and picked off pirates.
Maja's militia (lower left) 
After that, I took the kids to the pool, a late bite at IHOP/Sonic, I made a quick walk-through for late-night boardgaming, and like frat boys on the weekend, no one remembers when we really passed out.


The Hatfields vs the McCoys
Saturday was going to be  travel day for us, as the girls leave with relatives for the shore on Sunday.  A quick breakfast with Maja, a jaunt down to ballroom to show her the Hinterland figures (and cookies!), and some high-risk tetherball action by the playground and we were ready to go.
The L'Art de la Guerre Mid-Atlantic Regionals were held Saturday and Sunday
I consider the weekend to be a success, play some games, shoot the breeze, and perform fatherly duties in gaming and non-gaming capacities. Great games, no swag (the bring 'n buy table was filled with a lot of near retail items, or items meant for a real flea market or auction), and Maja learned she like Strawberry Kiwi Snapple.

If there's another Weekend next June, we shall be there!

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Apathy of the New Releases (Jul '17)

My Want List 
Flying Buffalo
Pizza Dice ........................................................................................................ $2.00
Fast Food Die ................................................................................................... $1.50
Grimtooth Die .................................................................................................. $1.50
Adventure Dice Pack (7)  ................................................................................. $7.50
All these are forthcoming from the Kickstarter, hopefully before they hit stores.

My Money-Is-No-Object Want List
Toy Vault 
The Princess Bride RPG ................................................................................... $unknown
Wouldn't it make more sense to label it a storytelling game?
My Imaginary Store (The Pegleg Gnome) List
Arcane Wonders 
Sheriff of Nottingham - Merry Men Expansion ..................................................... $24.99

Asmodee
Conan: Stygia Expansion ....................................................................................... $59.99
Loony Quest: The Lost City Expansion ................................................................. $19.99
Secrets ..................................................................................................................... $24.99

Battlfield Press
Savage Worlds RPG:  Ben Dunn's Ninja High School RPG .................................. $19.99
Not a big fan of the multiple system options for the same game.  The d6 version was just listed two months ago and at first glance I thought it was a re-solicit.

Bully Pulpit Games
Ghost Court:  Role Playing Party Game .................................................................. $25.00

Cakebread and Walton
Clockwork & Chivalry:  Clockwork and Cthulhu ................................................... $44.99
Onedice: Cyberpunk ................................................................................................ $14.99
Onedice: Pirates & Dragons .................................................................................... $24.99
Onedice: Universal Revised .................................................................................... $14.99

Catalyst Game Labs
D&D: Dragonfire DBG Adventures:  Dragonspear Castle ..................................... $19.99

Catan Studio
Catan: Legend of the Sea Robbers Expansion ......................................................... $37.00

Chaosium
Runequest RPG:  Quick Start .................................................................................. $ 9.95

Cheapass Games
Kill Doctor Lucky's Mansion That is Not Haunted Expansion Board ..................... $16.00

Cubicle 7 
D&D RPG: Adventures in Middle-Earth Loremaster's Screen ................................ $29.99
Doctor Who: Card Game 2nd Edition - 12th Doctor Expansion 2 ........................... $19.99

Czech Games Editions
Codenames: Duets .................................................................................................... $19.95

Dyskami Publishing
Sailor Moon Crytal:  Dice Challenge ....................................................................... $29.99

Fantasy Flight Games
Star Wars Imperial Assault: Heart of the Empire Campaigan Expansion ................ $59.95
Star Wars Imperial Assault: Ahsoka Tano Ally Pack ............................................... $ 9.95
Star Wars Imperial Assault: Emporer Palpatine Villain Pack ..................................  $ 9.95
Star Wars Imperial Assault: Darth Maul Villain Pack .............................................  $9.95
Star Wars Rebellion:  Rise of the Empire Expansion .............................................. $39.95

Games Workshop
Death Zone - Season Two ........................................................................................ $32.00
Blood Bowl - Scarcrag Snivellers ............................................................................ $35.00
Goblin Team Booster ............................................................................................... $15.00
Skirmish Rulebook ................................................................................................... $10.00
I though Age of Sigmar was supposed to be skirmish?  If they break it down in even smaller units it will be gladiator combat and slap fights.

Goodman Games
Dungeon Crawl Classics: Quick Start Rules ............................................................ $ 5.00
Dungeon Crawl Classics: #91.2 Lairs of Lost Asharta ............................................ $ 9.99
Mutant Crawl Classics: #0 Judge's Screen ............................................................... $ 9.99
Mutant Crawl Classics: #1 Hive of the Overmind .................................................... $ 9.99
Mutant Crawl Classics: #2 A Fallen Star for All ...................................................... $ 9.99
Mutant Crawl Classics: #3 Incursion of the Ultradimension .................................... $ 9.99
Mutant Crawl Classics: #4 Warlords of Atoz ........................................................... $ 9.99
Mutant Crawl Classics: #5 Blessings of the Vile Brotherhood ................................ $ 9.99
Mutant Crawl Classics: #6 The Apocalyptic Arc ..................................................... $ 9.99

Grail Games
Medici: The Card Game ........................................................................................... $21.99

Greater Than Games
Sentinel Comics RPG Start Kit ................................................................................. $19.95

Iello 
Mountains of Madness ............................................................................................. $39.99

John Wick Presents
7th Sea RPG 2nd Edition - The Crescent Empire HC .............................................. $39.99

Konami Digital Entertainment
Yu-Gi-Oh! TCG Legendary Duelists Boosters

Mantic Entertainment
Walking Dead:  Michonne Booster ........................................................................ $19.99
Walking Dead:  Rick Prison Advisor Booster ....................................................... $19.99

Modiphius 
Space: 1899 Revised Edition ..............................................................................  $49.99
Tales from the Loop RPG ...................................................................................  $45.99
Tales from the Loop RPG Map ...........................................................................  $19.99
Tales from the Loop Dice Set ............................................................................... $19.99
Tales from the Loop GM Screen .......................................................................... $24.99

Mongoose Publishing
Paranoia RPG:  More Redacted Societies ............................................................ $14.99
Paranoia RPG:  Mutant Explosion ........................................................................ $14.99
Traveller RPG:  Last Flight of the Amuar ............................................................ $19.99

Paizo
Pathfinder ACG:  Pathfinder Tales Character Deck ............................................ $19.99
Pathfinder RPG: AP Ruins of Azlant Part 2 Into the Shattered Continent ......... $24.99
Pathfinder RPG: Book of the Damned HC ......................................................... $44.99
Pathfinder RPG:  Pawns Traps and Treasures Pawn Collection ......................... $24.99
Pathfinder RPG: Flip Mat Cavernous Lair ......................................................... $14.99
Pathfinder RPG: Flip Mat Haunted House ......................................................... $14.99
Pathfinder RPG: Player Companion Anti-Hero's HB ........................................  $14.99
Starfinder RPG:  Condition Cards ...................................................................... $12.99

Pinnacle Entertainment Group
Savage Worlds RPG:  The Last Parsec Collector's Boxe Set ............................. $99.99

Plastic Soldier Company
Hmmm.... 15mm WW2 getting solicited as a nice option for Flames of War

Pokemon USA
Pokemon TCG:  Tsareena Gx Box

Role 4 Initiative 
Even more sets of carded dice, from $5 and up... 

Steve Jackson Games
Munchkin: Shakespeare Deluxe. .......................................................................... $29.95
Munchkin: Shakespeare Staged Demo Blister Pack ............................................ $ 5.95

Troll Lord Games
5th Edition Adventures: A5 The Shattered Horn .................................................. $ 9.99
5th Edition Adventures: A7 Beneath the Despairing Stone .................................. $ 9.99
Castle and Crusades RPG: By Shadow of Night ................................................ $19.99
Castle and Crusades RPG: Codex Germania ...................................................... $19.99
Castle and Crusades RPG: Monsters and Treasure of Aihrde ............................ $29.99
Castle and Crusades RPG: Codex Classicum ..................................................... $19.99
Castle and Crusades RPG: Codex Slavorum ...................................................... $19.99
Castle and Crusades RPG: Players Handbook (7th Printing) ............................. $29.99

Twilight Creations 
Zombies!!!! Ultimate Collector's Box ............................................................... $275.00

Ultra-Pro 
D&D Owlbear Gamer Pouch ............................................................................ $unknown

Wizards of the Coast
Magic: The Gathering:  Ixalan Boosters

WizKids
Marvel Dice Masters : The Might Thor
DC Heroclix: Harley Quinn and Gotham Girls
Star Trek Heroclix:  Away Team

Zvezda
SD.KFZ 186 Jadgtiger Heavy Tank Destroyer ................................................... $ 4.95


Saturday, June 24, 2017

(Kickstarter) The Yellow King RPG by Pelgrane Press

Pelgrane Press has recently launched their Kickstarter campaign for The Yellow King RPG by Robin D Laws.

Using the GUMSHOE engine, players navigate their characters through multiple settings while navigating a certain King of Carcosa and his deranged family.

I love the concept, I love the new settings provided, and it might be the dumb American viewing Pounds Sterling as the default currency for this project, but there are a ton of options and accessories on multiple pledge levels.  It appears that the core RPG is the four setting books (rules are part of the Paris book) and the set will run $76, with S&H charged after the campaign.  

Friday, June 23, 2017

RIP: Stewart Wieck

It appears that White Wolf co-founder and now Kickstarter enthusiast Stewart Wieck has passed away.    He was only 49.

(Painting) Blue Martians and Some Ramblings

Lots of moving parts on the painting bench this week.  Between a busy week and family mini-vacation at "The Weekend" in Lancaster, not much got finished.

The last of my wave of "Blue Martians" I've been working on since  the Wednesday before the Big Bang are finally finished!
Pathfinder Goblin Pyros (89002) with one random spearman from Pathfinder Goblin Warriors (89003)

More Notes (non-painting):  We did manage to procure a very adequate laptop this week, so not only will I use less of my lunch hour to type up blog posts at work, it's finally powerful enough to let me venture into the world of online gaming with the crew.

Speaking of the crew and role-playing, the  Pigeon God the next 23 actual plays are finalized and scheduled for Tuesday releases through the week after Thanksgiving.  The laptop helps my quest to get these finished, but my quest is to get the year done before my busy season in September and the last twenty or so episodes by early Winter.

Just as I inch under 350 blog posts at various stages behind the scenes (plot ideas/scenarios/scheduled posts) comes the announcement that #RPGaDAy is coming back in August.   I've been an active participant the last three years and it's been a hoot.  It just means another 31 placeholder blog posts behind the scenes.  More on that when the information becomes available.

And it should be noted I had "The Talk" with my daughter Maja this past weekend..  No, not THAT talk.

As we drove around doing errands on Free RPG Day, we covered the options for games.  It's not like a kept a draft board in the car, but I believe the final consensus was:

  1. Mousling Fantasy Role-Play
  2. Stuff with Gnomes, big and small
  3. Continue the Pulp game:  More Egypt, fewer dinosaurs.
  4. PONIES! 
  5. General family games off our nook in the dining room.  
  6. Learn to play Munchkin

Things that didn't make the cut:  Anything sci-f and/or fantasy skirmish related.  I'll have to introduce Song of Blades and Heroes/Mutants and Death Rays to the group at large and see if she picks up on it.

NEXT:  My queue is cluttered again and time limited.  The Mous-a-geddon/Rat-na-rock figures are primed and the big are gravitating towards me.  

Thursday, June 22, 2017

(Kickstarter) Ill-Tempered Tikis

The Wild East Game Company has launched a Kickstarter for their Ill-Tempered Tikis card game, and for good and honest reasons.

The game cards are printed and sitting in shipping boxes on a pallet.  They need funding for printing up the actual game boxes, so for $9 (plus S&H) they're offering their game.  The best part? They've already met their goal, there will be no stretch goals, and the only way you can spend money is either getting more copies of the game, or a few offers coupling other existing products with your pledge.

I'll put a nickel down that this should fulfill with little or no fuss.

(Kickstarter) Dwarven Forge Dungeon of Doom!

It must have been a few weeks since the last gaming Kickstarter impoverish all of gamerdom.

Dwarven Forge believes that gamerw worldwide must have a few dollar hiding, as they've launched Dungeon of Doom.
As always, it's a gigantic project with mind-numbing pledge levels, but there are hundreds, nay, thousands of interested backers.

Coming to a convention game near you, sometime in 2018.