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!

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Rolling Wednesday: Custom Game Store Dice

I haven't done a Rolling Wednesday in a while.  Today I want to show what I think is a cool idea, making custom dice for a game store.  I have some dice where the owners have put the logo of their store on the six side of a d6.   I'm not sure how much it costs to order a batch of custom dice but I think that this is a great way to advertise a store.

These are from the Dice Dojo in Chicago. Illinois

These are from Excalibur Comics, Cards, and Games in Shreveport, Louisiana
Gamers always need more dice and custom dice are great conversation starters.  I approve of game stores advertising with dice.  Game on!

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Move is Done!

This summer we moved to another state.  I wrote a blog post with some advice on moving a large game collection.  The move is done and I have some more advice.

1.  Do your research!  We went with a broker instead of a regular moving company.  We did this to save money.  In hindsight we would not do this again.  All a broker does is hire a cheap mover to move your stuff.  These cheap movers are often of dubious quality and operate in the grey areas of moving laws and regulations.  I don't think our move would have been perfect if we went with a mainstream company, but I definitely would not use a broker again.

2.  Be prepared for stuff to get messed up!  Before the move I read many articles on how to pack.  They said things like, "Label boxes with fragile tiles TLO for top load only."  I wrote TLO on many boxes.  When the movers showed up they did whatever the hell they wanted.  They ignored labels and put boxes where ever they wanted.  They didn't even have stickers to mark our stuff.  If there is something that is extra-special, take it with you and don't let it go on the truck.

3.  Get heavy duty boxes!  I bought moving boxes from various stores.  When I was at Lowes there were two kinds, regular and heavy duty.  The heavy duty boxes were about double the cost of the regular.  However, they are worth it for keeping your stuff in good condition.  As I stated above, the movers threw boxes into the truck with no regard for what was in them.  Almost all of the regular boxes were sunken in by the end of the move.  This resulted in some bent books and game boxes.  The few heavy duty boxes that I bought kept their integrity.

You could say that the Axis got "crushed."  Despite the battered box all of the game components were unharmed and are in playable condition.
Moving is rough.  Next time I have to move I will do things differently.  Now we are set up in our new place and are in the process of adjusting to our new lives.  Hopefully when things are more settled I can post more.  Game on!

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Suspense & Decision Magazine issue 17 is out, and I have an article in it!

Suspense & Decision is a free web-published magazine dedicated to play-by-mail gaming.  Play-by-mail is an old school style of gaming.  Flying Buffalo, publishers of Tunnels & Trolls, started out as a play-by-mail company and is still running games today.  If you want to gain some insight into the current state of the play-by-mail hobby, Suspense and Decision is a great magazine to read.  Issue 17 is out and I have an article in it.  It is a review of Duel2, a pbm game run by Reality, Inc.

You can download the latest issue, or any of the back issues, from  You can read my review of Duel2, which is a great game for people who have never tried play-by-mail.  Personally, I am intrigued by the ad on page 27 for something called Dark Commonwealth.  It appears to be a pbm role-playing game in supernatural Olde England.  Go grab a copy.  It's free!

Thursday, August 17, 2017

State of the Blog: Not at Gen Con Edition

This blog has been silent for a while.  The last post talked about how I was packing up my sizable game collecting in preparation for a move.  Well, we have moved to our new destination.  However, we still do not have our stuff.  In fact, we have been without our stuff for 48 days.  I will not bore you with the effects sleeping on an air mattress is doing to my spine or how many cooking uses I have come up with for aluminum foil.  We have been existing in a state of limbo, hitting the point where we have begun to think, "Perhaps we will never see our stuff again."

While all the lucky gamers are running around Gen Con looking at the new edition of Twilight Imperium or Paizo's new sci-fi rpg Starfinder, I sit in a bare room typing this post.  I did bring my Magic the Gathering cards with me, as well as a copy of the new Conan rpg and my copy of Star Fleet Battles.  I didn't pack the Magic cards because I wanted to have something to play while our stuff was in boxes, and the Conan rpg and Star Fleet Battles arrived in the mail after our belongings were carted off.  However, without a table or a group, these games are sitting in the closet.  Also, my energy has been drained by the move and it has been hard to think about gaming.

I am still playing two PBM games, Hyborian War and Starweb.  I hope to head down to the local game stores and play some Magic, but right now we are at the mercy of other people's agendas and schedules.  In fact, this move reminds me of an online Diplomacy game that I am playing.  I have one Austrian army that is being pushed around between Italy and Turkey.  Maybe one day I will get one of my home centers back, just like one day we may get our stuff delivered.

I hope this post leads to more.  Good luck and good gaming to everyone!