Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Rolling Wednesday: Free Dice Winner!

Rolling Wednesday shall end with free dice!

More of my dice collection
The winner is Thriftomancer (Ellen Rimar).   You will be receiving this eclectic mix of dice.  Congratulations and thank you to everyone who entered.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Rolling Wednesday: Free Dice Contest still going!

Last Wednesday I announced the retirement of the Rolling Wednesday posts.  In celebration I decided to send some free dice to someone.  There are no claimers yet so here is what I have decided.  I will continue this contest for another week.  I will add more dice to the pot.  If there are no winners by next Wednesday, I will add even more dice to the pot. 

Soldiers playing dice in a tavern by Adriaen Brouwer 
Here are the rules to the contest.

If you would like me to mail you some free dice, here is what you need to do:

Send an email to nedpatrick ( AT ) yahoo ( DOT ) com.
Put "I love Dice" in the subject line.
In your message include your name and your favorite kind of die.

That's it.  Next Wednesday I will pick a winner.  If I get no entries then I will add more dice to the pot and continue the contest.  There are currently 12 mystery dice in the pot.

Good luck and happy rolling!

Sunday, March 11, 2018

"Game" Review: The Tragedy of GJ 237b

The Tragedy of GJ 237b is a game that I would not have know about if it wasn't nominated for a Nebula Award (although it did not make a spot on the finalist list).

You can read the full text of the game for free at and you can obtain the pdf on a pay-what-you-want basis at  The game text is very short and there is no way I can avoid spoilers in this review so I suggest that you read the game for yourself or be ready to have the contents spoiled.

The Tragedy of GJ 237b is a science fiction role-playing art piece about the negative consequences of human contact with alien ecosystems.  The game mainly consists of a description of the inhabitants of GJ237b.  Those inhabitants where irrevocably changed by contact with humans.

I will repeat that I cannot finish this review without spoiling what is in the game, so either go read it yourself or be prepared for spoilers.

Spoilers to follow!
The alien life on GJ237b was destroyed by the arrival of humans.  The game sets up a sort of Schrodinger's cat scenario.  The game materials are put out in a room and then the room is sealed with no one inside of it.  When the door to the room is opened, the game ends.

Sounds weird, right?  I will say it again, read the game for yourself.  I enjoyed reading The Tragedy of GJ237b and I ask myself, "Is it really a game?"  I would say that it is game adjacent.  The Tragedy of GJ237b is more of a piece of art than a game, and I think that this is what makes it interesting.  I challenge you to have your game group read the rules and then debate whether or not The Tragedy of GJ237b is a game.

The main theme of the game, that human interaction will fundamentally change ecosystems, is a thought-provoking science fiction trope.  Kim Stanley Robinson explored this topic in his book Red Mars, and it also touches on issues of  colonialism.  It is a heady theme and one that will elicit lots of opinions and discussion. 

Is this game worth playing?  Can you even play it?  I think that this game is worth reading for the fact that it is trying to do something different.  I would love to see it set up at a convention, or in a spare room of a house during a game night.  The alien culture of GJ237b is truly unique and will be an inspiration for science fiction fans.  I recommend it, and if you decide to stage a "playing" of the game, let me know how it went.     

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Rolling Wednesday: Free Dice Giveaway!

Rolling Wednesday is going away!

I am retiring my experiment of trying to post a picture of a die or a dice-related post every Wednesday.  I may bring it back, but for now this will be the last Rolling Wednesday post.

Let's end it with free dice!

A portion of my dice collection

I love dice.  I love buying them, collecting them, rolling them, and giving them away.  Do you want some dice?  I will go to my local game store and a few other locations and pick up some dice.  There will be polyhedrals.  Other than that it will be a random hodgepodge of dice.  Will there be nothing but d4s?  A misshaped d12?  Whatever they are, you can have them for free.

If you would like me to mail you some free dice, here is what you need to do:

Send an email to nedpatrick ( AT ) yahoo ( DOT ) com.
Put "I love Dice" in the subject line.
In your message include your name and your favorite kind of die.

That's it.  Next Wednesday I will pick a winner.  Your odds of winning are good, since this blog is mainly read by my dad.  Shout out to Dad, whose Avalon Hill wargame collection inspired me to become a tabletop gamer.

Good luck and happy rolling!

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Gaming Wisdom: Use What You Have

I admit that I am a games collector.  My shelves are full of great games that more than often sit unplayed.  I consistently challenge myself to use to stuff that I have.  The other day I received a karmic lesson.

Last year I ordered the Storm of Sigmar starter set and the Age of Sigmar: Citadel Essentials paint and tool set from Games Workshop.  The Citadel Essentials set comes with a set of clippers, glue, a brush, and 3 mL pots of paint for the figures in the Storm of Sigmar set.  I assembled all of the figures from the Storm of Sigmar set.  Then I packed everything up for our move.

I have written on the trials and tribulations of our move.  All of our stuff spent about a month and a half in a Houston warehouse during the hottest months of the summer.  A few days ago I pulled out my Sigmar figures and paints and decided to put a coat of Imperial Primer on one of the figures.  This was the result.

The miniature is supposed to be coated in black.  The paint I was using was not doing a good job of covering the figure.  The covering is patchy.  When I looked in the pot I saw that most of the paint had dried into a huge lump on the side of the pot.  The lesson learned is that I should have used my paint right away.  The paint would have been still usable.

I went to my local game store to buy a pot of Imperial Primer.  The store was out.  The Games Workshop site currently does not list Imperial Primer as a product, and Games Workshop is notorious for changing their product line.  Maybe the store will be able to order another pot or maybe I will need to buy a different brush-on primer (I can't use spray primers).

This is a good learning experience.  Use what you have.  Don't worry about saving things for tomorrow.  Enjoy what you have today!

Sunday, January 7, 2018

2018: No Resolutions!

As we enter a new year I would like to take a look at my gaming habits in 2017 and reflect on the state of the blog.

Boardgame Highlights in 2017

One of my struggles as a game collector is finding a multitude of great games but then not actually playing them.  For years I have been interested in the game lines from Starfleet Games, such as Star Fleet Battles and Federation Commander.  Both of those games have free print-and-play demos and I have tried both of them solo.  This year I convinced a friend to try out the Federation Commander demo.  We ran a basic Federation vs. Klingon scenario.  I now own a copy of Star Fleet Battles so my goal for this year is to find an opponent for that game.

Returning to Magic the Gathering was another gaming highlight.  I have always been curious about Magic and I found someone to teach me the game about six years ago.  At that time I had steady opponents.  I played for a few years but them my Magic playing trickled to a drip, and Magic is a game that requires practice in order to be proficient.  In 2017 I started playing more and I even participated in a sealed league, which is a format that was new to me.

Play-by-Mail Highlights in 2017

I continued to experiment with play-by-mail in 2017.  I dropped Duel2, the gladiator combat game run by Reality Simulations.  I enjoy the game, highly recommend it, and will probably return to it again.  I just needed to spend my time and financial resources elsewhere.  I am still playing Hyborian War, a grand strategy wargame in the Conan universe.  Once this current game ends I will sign up for another one.  I have started a science fiction game called Starweb run by Flying Buffalo.   Starweb is an exploration/trading/combat game.  I plan on writing reviews for both Hyborian War and Starweb this year.

Role-Playing Game Highlights of 2017

I was reviewing my rpg plays over at and I was pleasantly surprised to see that I started 2017 by running a Pathfinder session.  I have wanted to return to Pathfinder as the first time I ran it I didn't feel that I knew enough at the time to make it work as smoothly as it should.  That session ended in a TPK!  I continued to be a player in a D&D 5ed campaign in 2017.  I enjoy playing and I think that every gamemaster needs to play a lot in order to understand gaming better.  However I am definitely getting the urge to run a campaign and I ended the year running a Black Crusade scenario.

Life Highlights of 2017

We moved!  Moving has put some chaos into my life.  We moved into an apartment and my gaming space shrunk.  I have two FLGS in the area, both that have game nights.  I have not been to either game night yet.  I also applied for a job in the tabletop game industry.  I did not get the position, but I did make it to the second round of applicants.  Not bad for someone with no profession game industry experience.

State of the Blog in 2017

I did not write as many entries in 2017 that I would have liked to.  I had 35 posts, which is the 2nd lowest total for a year.  I was hoping to keep up Rolling Wednesday throughout the year.  I thought that posting a picture of dice wouldn't be too hard.  Well, moving really messes up our life and my Rolling Wednesday experiment did not post every Wednesday.  I also failed to make any big changes to the visual look or design of the blog.

No Resolutions!

We are in 2018 and like the title says, I have no resolutions.  My goals are what they always have been, try to play and create more.  I will continue posting to the blog.  I will continue writing reviews.  I am consciously trying to limit my acquisition of game products and enjoy what I already own.  In fact, I have a bunch of unpainted miniatures that I hope to paint soon.  When I do I will post pictures!  Game on!

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Rolling Wednesday: Random d12

Here is random d12 from my collection.  I'm hoping to resume regular posts soon.  Happy Wednesday and game on!