Friday, November 30, 2012

Not a real module, but it should be

As the Rush Clockwork Angels tour hits San Antonio this evening, I had to share this image from the blog Save vs. Dragon.  It's for a Dungeons & Dragons module that doesn't exist, but should.  The title of this faux adventure comes from a 20-minute epic by that Canadian power trio on their Caress of Steel album--the same album that includes another multi-part D&D-sounding track, "The Necromancer."

The blog's author, Big New Dragon (Richard J. LeBlanc, Jr.), has more where this came from: an entire post of classic rock song titles made into D&D modules.  Go check it out, and you'll have at least one of those old tunes playing in your head the rest of the night.

Thursday, November 29, 2012


Has anyone else ever rediscovered some minis weeks or even months after you started working on them and then set them aside?  I just did.

I was looking at my gaming stuff, wondering what I might blog about, when I stumbled across this handful of starfighters for Starfleet Wars/Galactic Knights.  I had dunked them in Pine-Sol some time back--who knows how many months ago--to strip the paint and redo these craft. 

I then forgot all about these tiny little minis until I rediscovered them just now.  So I took them out of their Pine-Sol bath and used an old toothbrush to get the remainder of the paint off.  Now they're drying on a paper towel, and I have eight more starfighters (five Comets and three Meteors) to add to the Terran starfleet.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Since everyone else is doing it ...

This post at Grognardia told me to take a picture of my gaming bookshelf, so I did.  Although the author asks for the books we reference when writing and/or gaming, most of my gaming is miniatures these days, and those books are in the closet with the minis, not on the shelf.
Most of the gaming stuff I acquired during the time I was away from the hobby, except as a reader--although the shelves contain quite a few recent finds as well.  Note that there's not just gaming material on these shelves; there are also sci-fi novels, comic books, and even SF art books. 
I have to confess that I don't usually do much playing from these books.  I read the various tomes and adventures mostly for relaxation and inspiration, although I do consult them to look up an esoteric rule every now and then.  And yes, that's a Trapper Keeper, where I stashed all my characters and dungeons I created as a kid!  Anyone else have one of those?

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The Sons of Muspel gather

I've assembled enough figures to expand my Sons of Muspel army by another 24 AP.  I'd like to take these guys into battle with my original fire army for Hordes of the Things.  Ideally, I'd like to play a big battle, with my 48 AP of fire giants joined by another 48 AP of frost giants, taking on whoever in Ragnarok in a four-on-four battle.  I've fought against the frost army before; it would be fun to ally with them against a big Norse army.  And an eight-player game--96 AP per side--would be interesting since the largest HotT games I've played have been 3-on-3.  Now I just need to get these based...

Monday, November 26, 2012

Full Thrust prototype Sa'Vasku minis

I saw these Full Thrust castings for sale recently and thought I'd share them with y'all.  I didn't bid on this auction, but I thought it was interesting to note these early designs for one of the FT setting's alien species, the Sa'Vasku.  While still organic in design, these models aren't quite as spiky as the current Sa'Vasku range.
As the seller noted, these craft were depicted in the More Thrust rules supplement.  However, these miniatures were never widely distributed and can't be found on the GZG website.  Does anyone have these models?

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Sunday Starships: Tale of the Comet

Back in 1997, the old TSR produced a boxed set called Tale of the Comet as part of its Odyssey line of game settings.  This particular product took the concept of a crashed spaceship a la Barrier Peaks and cranked it up to eleven.
I picked up my copy at Half-Price Books many years ago.  The box contained three booklets, several maps, and numerous play aids.  Tale had stats for sci-fi weapons and gear, as well as data on vehicles and machine opponents who appear in the campaign world via a starship wreck.
With this adventure, you could even take the fight to the stars in a working spacecraft.  That's right--D&D In Spaaaace!  Note the self-destruct mechanism, built right into the dashboard--when blowing up your ride just can't wait!
I never played this back in the day, but at the time I did get a kick out of the art.  Did anyone else ever use any part of this adventure in their gaming?  Had you even heard of it before now?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

More Sons of Muspel

I purchased some more figs to add to my Surtr and the Sons of Muspel army for Hordes of the Things.   These ebay purchases (for pretty cheap) are almost all Heroclix minis. 

In the back we have some Human Torch miniatures; the big guys are representations of a character called Zzzax (that's his name; look it up), and there are some Toro minis, also on flying stands.  The three yellow guys are some more Handful of Heroes characters--Sabretooth, to be precise--from across the toy aisle in the action figures section.  Look for these to appear as Hordes and Blades elements as I expand my fire army to 48 AP.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Axis & Allies game

Turns out I got a chance to play a little Axis and Allies this holiday weekend--emphasis on little.  I talked my father into sitting down for a game of A&A.  Because the box had been turned on its side in the past, all the components were mixed up, and it took us longer than normal to set up.  I took the Axis, so my dad played the Allies. 
We enjoyed playing a full turn with each country before he had to take my mother shopping.  We paused the game until they returned, but once they got back, my father wasn't really interested in continuing.  Despite Gonsalvo's comment that the game's meant to be finished in three hours, my dad had a different take:  "World War Two lasted six years," he said.  "To play this game it takes eight."

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

With family in town, I won't get in much gaming-related activity this weekend.  It's not like the good old days, when my friends and I were out of school and had tons of spare time to pursue such activities, like an all-day D&D session, or an afternoon and evening of Axis and Allies.

Now, most of the folks I game with live in another city, and they all have holiday plans of their own.  Still, I'm grateful for all the games I've taken part in this year--not to mention family, health, employment, etc.

So even if there's no dice rolling and minis moving, I'm having a good Thanksgiving.  And who knows, my dad's reading a book about the Battle of the Bulge--maybe I can talk him into a game of Axis and Allies.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

More on the HotT campaign

Our Hordes of the Things campaign continues.  Da Baron is a graphic artist, and he whipped up this nifty little campaign map for all seven kingdoms.  We have, clockwise from the top, the Nightmare Legion (my GW skeletons), the Chaos Kick-Butters (Blake's WFB Chaos figures), the XIII Legion (Johnny's Romans), the Scorpion of Dirz (Da Baron's Confrontation figs), the Defenders of Ulsevf (Hunter's GW Empire), the Warhost of Naggaroth (our host using Da Baron's GW Dark Elves), and the Justice League (Grant's rebased Heroclix minis).  
Our first night, I defeated Blake's Chaos army, which is for sale, then did it a second time, taking his capital.  I even managed to ensorcell his hero, who now leads the Chaos forces as a vassal of the undead kingdom.
Meanwhile, Grant's JLA army tried but failed to defeat the Defenders of Ulsevf.  These were the final battles before winter set in on year 1 of the campaign.  My army will be back at full strength and I will have a definite ally in any invasions I might commence.
I'm looking forward to year 2 of the HotT campaign, which we plan to take up after the holiday.  Here's to conquest!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Circus Maximus at Millcon

Some more photos from Millenniumcon (why yes, I am milking these):  The oversized setup for the chariot-racing game Circus Maximus.  Yes, those are 28mm scale chariots on the board.

This game is always a big hit at conventions.  There's a lot of action on the board, and interaction between players as they try to take out their opponents' chariots.  It seems to draw a lot of kids, too.
Circus Maximus was originally a boardgame, but you can see it's easy to scale up so you can pack a lot of players and spectators around the table.  Once again, I missed out on this because of my schedule, but I could hear the players having fun.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Two Hour Wargames at Millcon

Although Ed the THW Guy couldn't make Millenniumcon this year, he had Darby, author of the Vietnam War rules FNG, manning the Two Hour Wargames booth.  I had a chance to chat with him for a few minutes before I ran my game; very nice fellow.
Darby also has his own line of minis--Darkest Star Games, which produces some 6mm and 15mm sci fi minis.  I forgot to take a good closeup of the display figures, so you'll have to settle for this zoom of the big photo above.  Go to the DSG website for more on these models.
As scheduling would, Darby ran a Vietnam game at the same time I ran Star Navy, so we didn't get a chance to game together.  Still, it was great talking to the name behind the rules, and the best of luck to him in his new endeavor.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Sunday Starships: Star Navy at Millenniumcon

I playtested 5150: Star Navy at Millenniumcon in Round Rock last week.  I had four participants (I'd planned for up to eight) who had never played the rules before.  I got a chance to trot out many of my spaceships, including models from Starfleet Wars/Galactic Knights, Stardate: 3000, and Star Frontiers, and other miscellaneous minis.
Given that the last time I ran a game at Millcon, it was full, I was expecting more players.  As it was, about half of the spaceship minis I brought stayed in their box, but I did break out the asteroids and make use of the escape pods in this game.
The scenario was that each player commanded a small fleet of Free Company (i.e. mercenary) fleets, which all had heard about an unarmed and unescorted cargo fleet (run by the referee).  The players' ships all show up at the same time, and hilarity ensues as they fight and/or assist one another.
The players all seemed to picke up the game very quickly.  Long story short: I'm happy with the rules, but disappointed with the scenario I ran.  I'll explain what I mean in a later post.
Still, I'm grateful to the players who took the time to sit at my table, and I hope they enjoyed playing my game, as there were a lot of cool scenarios going on at the same time that they could have played instead.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

(Coloring) between the lines

In the comments to yesterday's post, I mentioned that I filled in in some of the illustrations in my copy of the Fiend Folio with colored markers.  I thought I'd inflict my teenage artistic renderings upon you this evening, so without further ado, gaze upon my coloring work of the early 1980s:
Any of those guys look familiar?  Bonus points if you can name them all.

Sure, I defaced a classic D&D book when I drew in it, but you know what?  I'd rather have this copy, which I used and enjoyed as a kid, than a mint condition book that no one had ever gamed with.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Two reasons to buy a second copy of the DDG

The Cthulhu Mythos and the Melnibonéan Mythos.
This is today's Half-Price Books brag.  Sure, the cover's horribly faded and worn, but I never owned a version of of the old AD&D supplement Deities & Demigods that included entries based on the works of H.P. Lovecraft and Michael Moorcock respectively.
I was jealous of my friends who had this edition back in the day; by the time I bought my copy of the DDG, they had been redacted.  You get the eldrich illustrations of Erol Otus in the Cthulhu section, and the renderings of Jeff Dee in the Melnibone chapter. 
Interestingly, I remember speaking with Deities & Demigods author James Ward at NTRPG Con last summer.  Two items of interest he shared regarding this book: First, he actually had clearance from both authors' literary estates to use their material, but was vetoed by TSR's legal department.  Second, in compiling the various other mythologies, he had to omit a lot of background information because of all the sex in those old tales!
Finally, the cool thing about used books is seeing how their previous owners treated their tomes.  I like this one because of this sticker on the inside of the front cover.  Any of you do something like this to your game books?

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Another four-dollar figure

I got another miniature off ebay; this time a figure to go with my Sons of Muspel fire army.  I plan on expanding the Sons to 48 AP or more.  The sword's a little droopy, as sometimes happens with these prepainted plastics, but some hot water therapy should fix that.
This prepaint is a Flame Harrower from the Dreamblade collectible minis game by Wizards of the Coast.  I've had my eye on this figure for some time, but they usually go for twelve bucks or more on Buy It Now.  That expense has kept me from purchasing one until now.
Surprisingly, this mini was from an auction starting at 99 cents.  Since no one else even bid on it, I got the figure for that price, plus $3 shipping.  Even though I bitched about paying that much for a Warhammer fig, I'm fine with the price for this one.  A lot of these translucent figures are expensive because of the demand for them--they just look cool.  So I was happy to pay just $3.99 for this one.
I think this guy will fit right in with the rest of the Sons of Muspel.  I plan on basing him as a Hero element, inspired by this guy's fire army using a Flame Harrower as a Hero in that army.  Now, I need just a few more minis to fill out this army.  Back to ebay ...

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Furioso D&D adventure

This is Furioso, a Dungeons & Dragons adventure published by Dimension Six, Inc. and written by Davy Davis.  Or maybe I should say adopted, since it's based on a piece of sixteenth century European literature.  I picked up this obscure D&D product at a game store in a Denver mall about 30 years ago on a church ski trip.
This adventure was used at Genghis Con II in 1980 and it's based on the Italian author Ludovico Ariosto's work Orlando Furioso.  I never actually ran it as a DM or went through it as a player.  But I've read it a few times over the years.  One interesting concept is that it includes "pre-rolled" saving throws, attacks and damage for all the monsters in the module, the idea being to make the tournament as consistent as possible among different participants.
Furioso's very railroady, as appropriate for a scenario based on a literary work or meant for a convention tournament in the early years of roleplaying.  The typesetting and layout's pretty primitive, too--about what you'd get from Judges Guild products of the time.  I don't know what spurred me to buy this back in the 1980s, but I've never seen anything else like it; have you?