Friday, August 31, 2012

Today's catch from Half-Price

Half-Price Books has a sale during just about every three-day weekend here in the States.  I got out of work early for the Labor Day holiday, so I stopped off at the HPB on my way home. 

I didn't find anything game-related, at least not directly.  I did, however, pick up this history book for three bucks, with an additional 20% off for the store's Labor Day sale.

The book is Bayonets for Hire: Mercenaries at War 1550-1789, by William Urban, and it focuses on the use of troops for hire in Europe during that time period.  I don't really game historical periods, but I thought the subject matter was interesting, and I would like to learn some more about European history.  Besides, the book might serve as inspiration for some scenarios or background that could translate to a fantasy or sci-fi setting. 

I haven't started reading the book yet, so I can't tell you whether it's worth the read (but for less than $3 on sale, I bet it is).  If nothing else, I have some reading material for the long weekend.  What about y'all?  Any purchases you will enjoy, or other plans for the holiday?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

How I hurt my hand

I'd like to say I got a cut while fighting ninjas or something, but no--it was because I was careless with a sharp knife.  During GuadaComaCon, Kutalik's Special Lady Friend needed help cutting plastic ties off a new stroller, and she didn't want to handle the blade herself.  She asked if anyone had a knife, and I quickly borrowed my brother's multitool, which contains a wicked sharp cutting implement.

So I grasp the stroller in my left hand and use the blade to cut the plastic.  But like a dumbass, I held the stroller with my hand in the direction I was cutting.  Those plastic ties were thick, so I mustered my strength to force the edge of the knife through the strap.  Of course once the razor-sharp blade broke through the plastic, it continued on into my hand, about a half-inch deep.

It hurt like hell and started bleeding profusely.  Luckily, my brother's a registered nurse, so he was able to patch me up pretty good.  The cut still hasn't healed completely, but at least I didn't have to get stitches.  The injury did kind of put a damper on the rest of the day, though. 

I hesitated to tell my wife about my injury at first.  I don't know why; I guess I didn't want her to freak out or anything.  When I did tell her, she took it very calmly--and threatened me with bodily harm if I ever tried to hide another injury from her.  I'll be sure to let her know right away if I ever injure myself again.  In the meantime, I'm staying away from sharp objects.

Clay-O-Rama at the con

Like I said earlier, the Clay-O-Rama game was a great hit at GuadaComaCon.  We had five or six players in the game run by Jason Braun.
I was feeling lazy, so instead of sculpting legs on my creature, I just took the round shape of Pla-Doh out of the can and squeezed a couple of limbs.  That and some detailing of the eye/sensory organ and mouth, and I was good to go.
But without legs, I couldn't move that fast, and everyone else ended up in combat before I did.
The losers were mercilessly smooshed.
In the end, this lovely trophy that Jason sculpted went to Brad of the blog Skull Crushing for Great Justice.
They should have this event at every game convention

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

DBA and HotT at GuadaComaCon

GuadaComaCon had a lot more miniatures games this year, thanks in part to the Lone Star Historical Miniatures guys, who drove up from San Antonio with all their De Bellis Antiquas gear. 
They played several games using that set of historical rules throughout the day, including a Napoleonic DBA variant.
Unfortunately, I didn't have a chance to play any Hordes of the Things matches against the SA contingent, but I did manage to get in a quick introductory game with Maj. Diz Aster (who recently started his own blog on the subject) to the HotT rules.
I loaned the Major my fire giants as I deployed my skeleton legion.  Unfortunately, we were playing on a smaller mat (2.5 feet square) intended for 15mm armies, not the 3x3 for 28mm forces.  This meant my opponent didn't have as much room to maneuver as he should have had, and so it wasn't really a good example of how the game plays out.
So it seems like all the miniatures games at the convention either DBx games or Two Hour Wargames events.  But don't worry, there were roleplaying games too.  More coming soon about all the other con events.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

GuadaComaCon report

Why have I taken a week-and-a-half blog break, when everyone's waiting to hear about GuadaComaCon?  Well, a combination of post-convention crash, a self-inflicted injury, stress at work, and training for a marathon have all sapped at my mental energy, leaving me nothing left for blogging.
Still, some people might want to hear how the New Braunfels game convention went, so I'll share a little of it right now.  We had a pretty good turnout, nearly twice last year's attendance, and everyone found something to do.  One big hit was Clay-O-Rama, where you build a creature from Pla-Doh and fight everyone else's monster in a free-for-all.
The really fun part is what you get to do when you reduce another player's critter to zero hit points:
One attendee brought these shot glasses, created by his wife.  If you look carefully, you can see they have images of polyhedral dice etched into them:
I will post more pics and game reports later on, but I just wanted to let everyone know I'm still here.  My thanks to all who attended the con, and we hope to make it bigger and better next year.  I'll leave you with this photo of my hand bandaged after my injury, and I'll share the story with you later.
How did y'all think the convention went?  Let me know in the comments.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Off to GuadaComaCon!

The game convention starts in a little bit, and I'm headed to the New Braunfels Convention Center.  I forgot to mention, there's parking in the back.  See you there!

Friday, August 17, 2012

Prepping for Star Navy at GuadaComaCon

The paint may still be damp, but I should have these asteroids ready to use tomorrow as part of the 5150: Star Navy scenario I'm running at GuadaComaCon.
See you on Saturday!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Who's coming to GuadaComaCon?

GuadaComaCon is this weekend here in New Braunfels!  This FREE game convention runs 10 a.m. till 10 p.m. on Saturday, August 18. 

Some of the people running games include some of your gaming professionals like Jeff Dee and Ed Teixeira; some South Texas bloggers like me, Chris from the Hill Cantons, and Brad from Skull Crushing for Great Justice; and professional artist Jason Braun

The mini-con will be at the New Braunfels Convention Center once more.  Here's the schedule of events.  We will also have T-shirts available, but the supply is limited, and several are already spoken for, so get 'em while you can.

So who's gonna be there on Saturday?  Do me a favor: If you're planning on attending, leave a comment so we can get an idea of how many people will be there.  See you this weekend!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

More goodies in the mail

I started playing Hordes of the Things with the idea that I could use all my old Warhammer Fantasy Battle miniatures and not spend any money on new figures.  So of course I saw something else on ebay I just had to have, so I spent more money on new (to me) figures for my skeleton army.
This mounted figure intrigued me.  I haven't had a chance to identify it yet, but the seller described it as a necromancer on a cockatrice.  Cool model, but I think I want to redo the paint job.
The main reason I bought this lot was for the skull chucker catapult.  I already have one of these, but another will make for some great long-range firepower.
The siege engine came with its three metal crew figures, and there were also more than a dozen plastic skeletons.  At $18 for the lot, it was a pretty good deal.  Only thing is, look how the plastic model compare to the old metal figure--it towers over the older mini. 
I didn't realize how much scale creep there was till I put these two miniatures side-by-side.  This means I probably won't use these plastics with my Nightmare Legion.  Anyone else turned off by the scale difference?

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Additional asteroids

What used to be a free sample of lava rocks from the home improvement store soon will be an asteroid field for my starship games.  They just need priming and drybrushing.  Here's a comparison shot with an Avarian cruiser, so you can see how they'll look in a game. 
Speaking of playing, what kind of rules do you have for space rocks in your battles?  Do they block line of sight?  Can they hit a ship (or vice versa)?  Or are they just there for decoration?

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

More Star Navy

Here's how many ships I had in our latest playtest of 5150: Star Navy, a mixed force of Free Company capital ships and Planetary Defense Force escorts:
Here's Ed's Star Navy force--smaller in number, but higher in quality and capability:
The game lasted an hour and a half, ending when I decided to make a strategic withdrawal after he shot up or ran off most of my fleet.  The basic rules mechanics are pretty much done; now we need to refine the writing and start thinking about what else will go into the game. 

Monday, August 6, 2012

GuadaComaCon game schedule

UPDATE (TUESDAY EVENING):  Due to requests from the various people running games, I've rearranged the schedule a little bit.

Here's the tentative gaming schedule for GuadaComaCon.  This mini-convention for South Texas will take place Saturday, August 18, at the New Braunfels Convention Center:

MORNING: 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
AFTERNOON: 2 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.
EVENING: 6 p.m. to 9:30 p.m.
Don't forget, we will have a limited number of convention T-shirts for sale.  And remember, admission is FREE!  See you in New Braunfels.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Sunday Starships: Babylon 5 ships

These models don't belong to me (although the asteroid does); they're some of Ed the THW Guy's recent acquisitions.  He tells me they're from the Babylon 5 setting.
I'm not sure what spaceships they are, but these minis look pretty good.  They were painted by the same person who sold Ed some nice-looking Starfleet Wars/Galactic Knights minis.
Anyone know which designs these starships are, and who made them?  Please share what information you might have.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Moria game at GuadaComaCon

Two Hour Wargames fan Richard and his son have offered to run a Mines of Moria scenario (from Lord of the Rings) using Two Hour Wargames rules at the upcoming GuadaComaCon.
The game will have room for up to five players.  Help the Fellowship make their way through the mines, past the watcher, goblins, a cave troll, and the Balrog.
The map is a nice 4 x 6 setup, scaled for 25mm miniatures.  Richard didn't specify which ruleset he's using, but I'm guessing it's either Warrior Heroes-Armies and Adventures or a modified version of Swordplay.  Either way, the rules will be easy to learn.
So come on out and check out the Moria setup.  It looks like a fun game.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Adding "terrain" in Star Navy

The playtesting of 5150: Star Navy continues apace.  In the latest battle, Ed the THW Guy and I threw roughly equal (points-wise) forces at each other.  Yes, there's a points system, and it seems to work pretty well. 
I played Hishen, using my Galactic Knights Avarians.  Ed played Star Navy with his Galactic Knights Terrans, while his GaLakTik TakTik Dominion ships and my GK Terrans proxied the Planetary Defense Forces.  This time, however, instead of an empty table, we placed some scenery on the board to represent asteroids (even though some of them look like planets or moons, for the scale of this game, just consider them large, spherical space rocks).
Asteroids block line-of-sight, which means players can now employ more tactics than just line-'em-up-and-shoot.  We also put a range limit on starships' beam weapons, which means vessels must get a little closer for optimal fighting effectiveness.  In exchange, we increased the amount of hits on a partial success.
We also used a LOT of fighters in this game, and I'm happy to say the fighter rules no longer slow the game down the way they did in early playtests. 
So how'd the game go?  I blew up or drove off a lot of Ed's Class 3 ships--he had 10 or so, and pounded the hull of his Class 5 flagship but was unable to damage any other capital ships.  He took out three of my cruisers (Class 4) that were escorting the battlecruisers and carriers (Class 5), so in the end I decided to skiddadle instead of fighting to the last ship, ceding control of the system to the Star Navy.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

GuadaComaCon T-shirts

We're thinking about getting some T-shirts printed for the convention.  They will be dark gray and feature the full-color logo (designed by Jason Braun) seen here.  The price will probably be around $17 for L or XL, slightly more for larger sizes.

The cost for these shirts might decrease if we place a large enough order, so who would be interested in buying a GuadaComaCon T-shirt?  You don't even have to attend to get one of these pieces of apparel--if you spring for the postage, we'll send you a shirt.

Who wants one?  Please let me know in the comments.