fun


Cold Wars 2019: progress, progress

I went to HMGS‘ Spring show, Cold Wars, last weekend.   Cold Wars is a show that I usually don’t volunteer to work staff for, because sometimes I actually like to go to events in the morning. Imagine!  This time, however, there was a plaintive request for assistance on the HMGS board, so I said to myself, “eh, okay, self, why not?” An Epic Journey.. okay, a two plus hour drive.. https://i.imgur.com/UZu2p48.mp4 Of course, we had to honor a time-honored tradition. https://i.imgur.com/ynP53l6.mp4 So I’m going to mention this stuff up front, so we can get it out of the way fast and just discuss convention activities. The Host has gone through some changes for the better. I will be the first to admit I have been critical of the Host’s diminished capacity in the last few years. Some might say even scathing. The last show, in particular, was fraught with facility problems that just seemed to be taking forever to make headway on. So don’t be shocked, but I’m going to sa

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Two new vehicles for Mad Maximilian 1934

In preparation for COLD WARS 2019, where I’m running a Junkwaffel game Friday night, I have rolled two new vehicles out of the shop.  The Leyat Fan Dancer and the Blue Omega.  Both cars are diecast conversions, not kit cars. First, a little history.  Both diecasts are based on ancient vehicles that actually existed.  The first is the ALFA CONSTANZA 40/60 AERODINAMICA, which was designed between 1913 and 1922. I like the unique shape. At the Alfa Romeo Museum, Italy I am intrigued by the new Spar Torpedo rules that were published in an article in WSS 95, so I thought I’d build a few conversions featuring this weapon. Enter.. the Blue Omega! Blue Omega with one Torp deployed.  Figure for scale. Blue Omega with both spars in stow configuration Conversion was simple. I added a couple of brackets on either side of the Omega, and then built a large spar with a rocket shaped game piece on top for the “warhead”. Note that the WSS95 rules state only one spar per car, but I cheerfully broke this

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Kickstarter Incoming: MyMiniReport

Well, this just came to my attention via Reddit’s /tabletop subreddit.  A French company is fielding an app on IOS and Android that will (they say) capture the salient points of a tabletop gaming experience, allow you to add notes and comments on the fly, and share to social media outlets . The project is called “My Mini Report” and I can see the need for it, because I do a lot of blogging and usually take pictures with an Ipad or an Iphone. With that said, it reminds me strongly of an earlier product called COMIC LIFE, which essentially does the exact same thing in a less structured format. From what I can glean from the video and description, they MyMiniReport people are adding value to the idea because the app generates the reports on the fly, while Comic Life required you to be at your desktop to really use it effectively. Also, PDF is a decent format for sharing, and would be really useful for, say, a gaming club newsletter that needed some quick content. My issue is that the PDF is gr

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Yessir, that was the Scrum that was!

* Image Credits at bottom I am happy to report that Scrum Con happened, last Saturday, at Davis Hall, College Park, Maryland. Attendance was sold out a week ahead of the date, and adjusted a little with a couple of last minute cancellations and a couple of walk ins.  Davis Hall is a medium sized meeting room in College Park, used by the municipal authorities apparently, and I had never been there prior to this event.  It was full up, to be sure, but not too crowded.  We provided a lunch at reasonable price to mitigate any mid-day exodus in search of fast food, and that proved to be reasonably popular.  We even had vegetarian options!  Yeah, that’s right, we’re hip!  We also had coffee and bagels for GMs in the morning, which is more than I ever got at any convention. ScrumCon was conceived as a fair play, equal ground concept for both RPG and tabletop miniature games.  It was built that way because, frankly, that’s what the Second Saturday Scrum Club likes to play.   So there were equal pa

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Countdown to ScrumCON 2019

Our little jury rigged community effort convention is a mere short two weeks away (less, even). Video courtesy of Ellen Levy. Advertisements __ATA.cmd.push(function() { __ATA.initSlot('atatags-26942-5c5c6bd3af6a0', { collapseEmpty: 'before', sectionId: '26942', width: 300, height: 250 }); }); __ATA.cmd.push(function() { __ATA.initSlot('atatags-114160-5c5c6bd3af6a3', { collapseEmpty: 'before', sectionId: '114160', width: 300, height: 250 }); });

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Junkwaffel: Southern Cross sold out, but…

JUNKWAFFEL: THE SOUTHERN CROSS! at ScrumCon 2019 I’m pleased as punch to announce my ScrumCon 2019 Mad Maximilian 1934 game, JUNKWAFFEL: The Southern Cross is sold out. Ten players will be a challenge, but it won’t be impossible. If you are an attendee and want to play, get on the wait list. I have lots of cars, we’ll work something out. Source: Junkwaffel: Southern Cross

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Live from the Past: SJG Pocket Boxes kickstarted

Loosely following up: Is SJG Banking on Nostalgia? Hey, I’m as nostalgic as the next guy.  So when Steve Jackson Games decided to remake OGRE/GEV into a game in a box the size of a coffee table back in 2011, I thought it was cool.  I wasn’t going to buy it, necessarily, but I thought it looked great.   SJG made an important discovery on that release.. people will spend buckets of cash on nostalgia releases.  Make no bones about it, I like what SJG does, but nothing they have released recently constitutes a radical departure in game design.  One of the reasons we played Car Wars, OGRE/GEV, Illuminati and The Fantasy Trip back in the 80s was that they were new at that time.  Nowadays, there are market alternatives to the SJG classics that, in my opinion, blow the earlier games out of the water, which is to be expected.   That’s the thing; nostalgia releases succeed for a few reasons: 1) the game is way out of print and people are clamoring for a reprint 2) the game is a “classic” w

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In memory of Hal Dyson

With deep sadness, I note the recent passing of Hal Dyson. He was a fixture at conventions, running giant Aerodrome games back to back sometimes, solely for the love of the game. I always talked to Hal, who participated in some of my earlier Wild West and Victorian Science Fiction games enthusiastically. Honestly, I can’t find a good picture of me with Hal… so here’s some generic Aerodrome pictures instead. Hal lived a pretty eventful life, serving his country in many places and in many conflicts.  He was a Vietnam veteran.  He rarely discussed these things.   I never knew him to get overwrought about organizational politics, or hold a grudge against anyone in particular.  He was on an even keel. Hal was kind, energetic, caring and understanding. His patience was legendary— making him a great GM for children players. Hal never complained, never was bitter, even when declining health forced him out of the GM business. He was attending shows until the very end. I’ll miss you Hal. Heck, we all

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So I went to Comicon

Yeah, not that one.  The other one.  The one being held in Farifax, VA.  The ad blizzard commenced about four months ago on Social Media.  I figured, eh, why not.  I’t amazingly close to where I live. I got my steps in.  The closest available   parking felt like it was just under a mile away.  Maybe it just felt that way. One thing’s for certain– the cliches that get thrown around about Comicon on shows like BIG BANG THEORY were true.  There were a lot of people there, and many of them were dressed like cosplay geeks. Daddy Hellspawn has to balance his Gatling Mini-Gun on the baby stroller.  Safety FIRST! It wouldn’t be a Geekfest without him! I have to be honest. I was kind of nonplussed about the whole thing.  It was incredibly crowded.  The merchandise was a lot of comic related stuff that I really never get, like bobble heads and action figures and posters and shirts.  There was a strong anime culture present and frankly, I know bupkus about anime stuff.   On the favorable side, i

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Spud is just too sexy for Tumblr.com

This morning, I got up to make pancakes and coffee, which is a winner on any given Sunday.  Today, however, my mutts wanted to stay in bed under the covers.  Spud, in fact was acting like a righteous little diva about the whole idea. Nope, it’s not happening.  Nope.  Woof!  It’s too cold out.  Go Away! Yawwwwn.  If I must… As some of you know, Tumblr recently enforced rigorous automated filtering of adult content, as it had become a haven for reposted porn.  You can read up on that here: Tumblr.com is banning adult content, and it’s already not going over well – LA Times Because I post to Instagram, I set Instagram to also copy posts to Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. It’s lazy man’s blogging. Today, I got an email beep about some pictures being held “for adult content”…  These pictures. What twisted algorithm went off when it saw a rescue dog’s belly? \ Clearly, Spud is way to sexy for his pants.        

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The Coming of the Americans to the Western Front (WWI)

Vera Brittan serving as a nurse’s aide during WWI Vera Brittan lost her fiance, brother and two closest male friends in the first world war. She wrote Testament of Youth as a cry of outrage and agony, so that the futility of their deaths would be remembered. Eighty years on, it remains one of the most powerful and widely read war memoirs of all time. This short read is my favorite section of this book, where Vera and her fellow nurses (French) witness the arrival of fresh American troops in their sector of the battlefield. The contrast between her nervy war weariness, her cautious upswelling of hope where little was there before… it’s just a fantastic couple of paragraphs, and a perfect addition here. document.createElement('audio'); https://mcdn.podbean.com/mf/download/v2va6m/westernfront-verabrittan.mp3 Initially recorded for my audio boom account, I am moving it on Airy Persiflage due to Audioboom’s pay policies.

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Scrum Con 2019 T-Shirts for sale

Wow, I get to use a hipsterism now.  Our little convention, Scrum Con 2019, has “merch”.  Yes, that roguishly handsome young man below is modeling our convention t-shirt.   You can find them here, on the Scrum Con convention registration site: https://tabletop.events/conventions/scrum-con-2019 Convention Organizer Joe Procopio wearing a t-shirt test Visit the Merch Page today! Get ’em while they last, 20 dollars each up to 3X What the heck, maybe you can sign up for a laid back, mellow day of gaming while you’re at it. I hear that Junkwaffel game in the morning slot will kick serious butt, but it might just be a rumor. Advertisements __ATA.cmd.push(function() { __ATA.initSlot('atatags-26942-5c43af13d3e26', { collapseEmpty: 'before', sectionId: '26942', width: 300, height: 250 }); }); __ATA.cmd.push(function() { __ATA.initSlot('atatags-114160-5c43af13d3e28', { collapseEmpty: 'before', section

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Starting the Cruel Seas project

Whaaat?  Another Period?  Another Fixation??  I admit it.  Behold part of my Christmas present for 2018.  The big differences between this and other fixations I have written about on this blog are 1) I didn’t drift into this.  As soon as Warlord Games announced Cruel Seas in late Summer 2018, I made an informed decision that “Yeah, I’m going to get into that”.. and the more I learned about it, the more I wanted in.  2) I’m not replacing anything.  Mad Maximillian 1934 is moving forward, and I’m going to be running a game at ScrumCon next month.  and finally 3) This isn’t unprecedented.  I love naval games, although very rarely any set in WW2 or later.  There’s a reason for this.  We’ll get into that. Cruel Seas is set in WW2, both theaters.  It is a small, skirmish level (!) game that loosely simulates the fast, chaotic naval combat of WW2 using small coastal forces.  I knew that this focus on small force size, fast combat would make for rapid, fun inten

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A Visit to Hillwood Estates

Last Saturday, my family and I went on a field trip to historic Hillwood Estates, the home of Ms. Marjorie Post, the American socialite that was a compatriot and confidant of Presidents, Premiers, actors, and gardeners.  Much could and has been written about this formidable woman.  She was a collector and patron of the arts, with a penchant for collecting the very best from 18th century France and Russian arts and artifacts.  In later life she took steps to convert her splendid Washington DC mansion and grounds into a permanent museum housing the treasures and art she collected in her lifetime.  I could write a very long blog post just about Post herself, but I will let Wikipedia do the talking this time.  Suffice to say she was as close to a Dowager Duchess as America has produced. It being a brisk yet bearable day, we drove up to Upper NW to the estate, which is north of the Zoo among the wealthy riffraff and about as far as you can get from the hoi polloi and still be inside the confines of the District of

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