fun


My first time playing a Games Workshop game. Kind of*

It was the make up date for the Second Saturday for the Scrum Club. On the agenda was Lord of the Rings skirmish game by Games Workshop. This was a game run by Josh O’Connor, using the LOTR skirmish rules as written. I played Merry (L) and Josh played Pippin (r). They didn’t have the cool Western blades from the Barrow Downs, per the books. Nor the Elven cloaks, as we aren’t into Lorien yet. Steve played Aragorn, Joe played Frodo, Zach, Rich and Francisco played Nazguls. We were all heroic level characters that were head and shoulders above the regular schlub troops in this game system. Our job was to start touching the Prancing Pony and make it through a break in the hedge and off into the fields beyond. I stayed close to Aragorn the first couple of turns to take advantage of his move bonus. There were Nazgul at all the compass points and covering the retreat. Rather than cross over the bridge and bumping into a ringwraith, I opted to dive in the river and cross it

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The Bridge of Khazad-Dum and Dumber

As I referred to in the last post, I attended the recent Barrage convention (put on by the HAWKS, a MD based gaming club) two weeks ago. I played Cruel Seas from late afternoon until 5 (see last post) and then squeezed my way into an evening game. I was glad I did. The game was THE BRIDGE AT KHAZAD DUM and the GM was Matt Kirkhart, from somewhere in Maryland. Matt was reenacting a critical sequence from the Fellowship of the Ring, where the Balrog emerges to chase the Fellowship to the Bridge, and Gandalf says his line, and, well, you know.. mumble mumble… Here’s the cool part. He made the miniatures. Pippin Sam Frodo, plus Glowing Sword STING Aragorn Gandalf Pretty cool, huh? These were made with “bits and bobs and craft bits and interesting shapes and a lot of paint”, to paraphrase the creator. The result is a set of miniatures to create a LOTR miniature game that is entirely unique, visually striking and not for sale anywhere! Follow me,

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First actual game of Cruel Seas at Barrage

Note: Barrage was 27-28 Sep. I’m behind the 8 ball writing this. Last weekend, I went to my first BARRAGE show, hosted by the HAWKS wargaming club from Northern Maryland. It was a fun day. Barrage is a two day show but I didn’t have time to go on Friday, so I went up Saturday morning. It honestly wasn’t that bad of a drive but I didn’t get there early enough to play the game I would have wanted to play, which gave me ample time to shop around and look at the cool games that started in the early shift: Barrage main hall. The HAWKS is a club from Northern Md, and they have been putting on this convention for years. Buck Surdu’s awesome, scenery hogging Star Wars game. A superb show piece. A giant Boxer Rebellion game. Sadly over by the time I got there. Story of my life.. another favorite period for me. More of that giant Star Wars game I just mentioned, different angle. Empire on the Attack!! It’s a Ralgard Ship from Uncharted Seas, but I think

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National Capital Model Soldier Society Annual, Springfield, VA

The National Capital Model Soldier Society puts on a show once a year. I have posted on their shows on here about 8 years ago, and they are still at it. This was the 58th year’s show, located at the Springfield Hilton last weekend.Now, about “Model Soldiers”. I’m sure you’ve seen pictures of miniatures on here before. Painted by me, painted by others. Everything I use, paint, create,or buy is painted to a wargame standard. There is a huge difference between the kind of painting my friends and I do to make games happen with miniatures and the kind of miniatures displayed at the Miniature Soldier shows. I paint well enough to pass from a distance of 3 feet up. A hobbyist who paints soldiers good enough to enter into juried competition is creating lifelike works of art. It can be kind of humbling visiting one of these shows, but I still like to go. Just because the best I can manage is apprentice level doesn’t mean I don’t relish looking at the works of the ma

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Second Playtest of Star Schlock!

Star Schlock is designed to simulate the low budget, forgotten sci fi films and tv shows produced between 1968 and 1988 on the tabletop. I’ve got a soft spot for such gems as Starcrash, Battle Beyond the Stars, and Robot Jox, but Star Schlock should work for getting high brow fare like Battlestar Galactica, Planet of the Apes, Dune and Star Trek on the table as well. – John Sears, designer, on his blog “The 1000 foot General” John Sears ran the monthly Scrum Palace game this month. It was a replay of the playtest of his Science Fiction Skirmish game, STAR SCHLOCK. He had made some changes since the last game a couple months ago. Instead of playing the hapless planetary militia, I was on the side of the evil empire this time. I had two squads of expendables, pictured above, Captain Vrock, also above, and Murderbot, not pictured. Same cast of characters as last time.. the Baron, the Baroness, the Militia, the Doc, the Space Cadet.. etc. There were some new compon

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Side Stories: Historicon 2019

As you know already if you’ve read this blog for a while, I write about conventions on here. These posts can get awfully long and full of pictures. I like writing about the what I see, what I did, who I saw, what I bought, but if you add in the games you play Convention posts can be monsters. So I’ve taken to breaking out games I’ve played on other posts, either in Adobe Spark for something quick and visual or another WordPress.com post for something more lengthy. Here are the Side Story posts from Historicon Last week: A Very British Civil War on Friday Oh, what a Tanker! on Saturday The Great Idontknowrod race on Thursday and Mad Maximillian 1934: A Hot Day of Death on Wheels (I ran this, Friday night)

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Historicon 2019, now that’s bucolic!

This is an After Action Report of HISTORICON 2019, the Summer show (and largest show) put on by the Historical Miniatures Gaming Society.  This show was the first show in the convention’s new home, the Lancaster Convention Center, located in downtown Lancaster, Pennsylvania.  For once, I forsook the pastoral route of 270 to 15 to 30 and I sought the advice of Couselor Waze.  That took me up the Wilson Bridge, to 95, to 83 near Baltimore, up to York, then North up to 30.. so yes, I did get a chance to enact the classic “going to a Con” ritual: https://i.imgur.com/lwfgezY.mp4 Town center appears to be most accessible coming from the Route 30/York side by going down 222 (which I think is called the Fruitville Pike. Any locals can correct me).I got there in good time. Faster than the farmland route. The Hotel itself is a Marriott, run by a local hotel group under license. Everything you heard about parking is pretty much true. It’s limited, it’s a logistical

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Mad Maximillian 1934: A Hot Day of Death on Wheels

A hot day of death at La Cavalleria della strada 28mm Pulp Rules: Mad Maximillian 1934 (Grande Tour Expansion) GM: Walt O’Hara Description: Inspired by the chariot races of ancient Rome, the modern Autodrome excites the same passions from its audience with death-defying feats from its modern-day charioteers, the Cavaliere de Strada! Come test your mettle and your metal in Il Duce’s Grand Arena of Death! Background: I have been working on running test games of the new (as yet unpublished) campaign supplement for Mad Maximillian 1934 from Mana Press. Actual racing is a big part of this supplement and campaign structure. When I was reviewing the scenario list I was immediately drawn to the one about racing in Rome, in Mussolini’s Italy. I liked the idea– In my version of Italy in 1934, Fascism has not taken hold nearly as completely. Facing a determined opposition and nearly constant revolution and coup attempts in the turbulent era of global depression. Mussolini embark

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Guidebook for Historicon 2019 is out

It’s Back! Guidebook has returned for HMGS conventions. Or at least Historicon 2019. Joby has authorized a purchase for Historicon. This is getting out late, for that, I apologize, but there’s plenty of time to get it downloaded to use at the show. Features: The features are pretty much the same since Guidebook’s last major build last year. Since I haven’t posted on this in a long time, here’s the main feature list. NOTE that these pictures are from an Ipad. Your screen layout will be somewhat different on an Android or IPhone. Main screen All the download information is at the bottom of this post. Same deal as usual, go to the Historicon 2019 LANDING PAGE, download the app and install it on your Android, Ipad, Iphone, or use it on your computer’s web screen. The main functions most people are interested in are the Schedule, My Schedule, Maps, and Exhibitor Lists. This is the schedule. It contains ALL events, including Games, Tournaments, Ho

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There’s going to be a Frostgrave 2.0

Joseph McCullough says so. Version 1.0 A casual perusal of Reddit this morning had this line catching my eye: Well, the news has leaked, so I might as well go ahead and make an official announcement.There will be a new edition of Frostgrave: Fantasy Wargames in the Frozen City coming from Osprey Games in June of 2020! Now, as you might have picked up here and there, I’m pretty bullish about Frostgrave, or the original Frostgrave, or Frostgrave 1.0 or whatever. I feel like I’ve definitely made back my investment in entertainment. It’s fun, engaging, and based around simple concepts. I’ve always equated a game of Frostgrave as being “all the fun action its from Dungeons and Dragons without any of that pesky roleplaying to slow it down.” This is probably over simplifying and being a tad unkind to Joe’s great design, which I have been an enthusiast of since I first bought it. With that said, I was scratching my head a bit when reading t

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Fast Times in a Roman Coliseum

We playtest the coliseum game scenario for this year’s HISTORICON 2019 I have Adobe Sparkpost on my Ipad, so I decided to give it a try. I like the transitions but it can’t repost here directly, so follow this link:Playtest of Mad Maximilian 1934 Coliseum Race at the Scrum Palace Steve, Joe, Rich, Francesco, Jared and myself going pew pew pew and VROOM VROOM! View post on imgur.com//s.imgur.com/min/embed.js

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Session 2, Rift of the Frost Giants

So, I’ve been a little remiss in posting lately. We did a follow up to our last D&D v. 5.0 session at Casa Scrumm two weeks or so back. This is the continuation of the session that Jared put on for Joe’s birthday, which was a delve into the next in the series “Against the Giants”, a famous series of D&D Modules from way back in the day, revised for version 5.0 of D&D. If you remember from the last post, we delved around on the top floor, some members wandered off, and nearly got eaten by wolves or a giant bug thing. Given how that worked out we stayed more or less together this time. This time, our doughty crew started clustered together and didn’t deviate from that. We started after having retreated to our cave camp that is somewhere in the approaches to the Rift. We retreated there to heal up and learn some spells so we got in some long rests. It was during this rest period that we created the fiction that had Rich McKee’s character join us. As

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Space Schlock Alpha Test at Scrum Palace

Meta note: The crappy pictures are my own from my Ipad.  The nicer ones are courtesy of Ms. Ellen Levy who did a fantastic job of recording the game as usual.  Permission was granted up front. Friend and fellow Scrummer JOHN SEARS (whom you may know from the 1000 Foot General blog) is working on a labor of love called (at least for now) SPACE SCHLOCK.  John will correct me if I get the particulars wrong, but Space Schlock is a small unit skirmish game, with units roughly being 5-10 individual figures plus individually based special characters.  The setting is .. hmm.. well, the kind of B tier science fiction movies from the late 70s or early 80s you would associate with being Star Wars rip-off genre films in a science fiction setting.  Battle Beyond the Stars would be a perfect example. John is working on transitioning from design to development so he requested the able assistance of the Scrummers to do a little Alpha testing.  Four active players showed up so each of us got a s

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The Long Arm of Tolkien and how he saved us all

Poster for TOLKIEN by Fox Searchlight Pictures. All rights reserved I went to see an extraordinary event last night– the sneak peek premiere of TOLKIEN, a biopic of the foundation of J.R.R. Tolkien’s adult career as a linguist, scholar, poet, and (not necessarily in that order) the most famous fantasy writer in the English language. Afterward there was a live streaming Question and Answer session led by Stephen Colbert, the host of the Late Show. If you are ignorant of the fact that Colbert is probably the only person I’ll acknowledge being a bigger Tolkien geek than your humble narrator, that’s understandable. By way of background, Colbert struck up a friendship with Peter Jackson, the director of both the Lord of the Rings and Hobbit trilogy. Jackson was so floored by Colbert’s encyclopedic, intimate and enthusiastic knowledge of Tolkien’s works– that he admitted publicly that Colbert was a more learned Tolkien scholar than he was. Colbert was later extended an offe

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