Wednesday, December 30, 2020


I don't have an specific software or hardware set up for long-distance gaming, but I did manage to play a game of Axis & Allies with my brother using laptop videoconferencing software earlier this month. He set up the board, moved the pieces, and rolled the dice as I viewed from afar. The opposite end of the board was a little hard to make out from this angle, but the occasional top-down pic of the board (sent via text) helped me (even though I failed to notice that I had no troops in Souther Europe, leaving me open to an Allied invasion). It was fun, and a nice way to game with someone I haven't seen in person in month, although I wasn't able to play the Axis countries as well as I should have. 
A couple of weeks later, we played a little of Steve Jackson Games' Melee, this time with me running it. Instead of setting up a board with counters or figures, I imported the map into PowerPoint, drew some simple counters, and used the share screen function to let him see the board and tell me how to move his figures (note that I numbered and lettered all the hexes to make that easier). I also set up a spreadsheet using Excel's RANDBETWEEN function to simulate dice rolls. Another fun game, even if he did kill all my guys.

I'm hoping for more gaming in the new year, whether in person or through screens. Either way, here's to finally ending this shitshow of a year. Hope the upcoming one is a whole lot better.

Monday, November 30, 2020

Battle of Five Armies for HotT

Greetings in the time of pandemic! I'm still around, doing little gaming or miniatures painting, but I am thinking about gaming and miniatures painting.

My latest thoughts are on the Battle of Five Armies from The Hobbit (the book, not the movie) and how to game that using Hordes of the Things. After getting inspired by the maps in The Atlas of Middle Earth and rereading the novel, I am considering assembling forces, not in the traditional 24-point HotT armies, but in numbers proportionate to the figures chronicled in the novel and the map collection. Oh, and because of the size of the armies, I think it would be cool to do this in 6mm scale.

First you have the armies of Dwarfs, Elves, and Men. Durin's folk are listed at about 500 troops, clad in mail and wielding two-handed mattocks--so maybe four stands of Blades, plus Thorin and Company as a Hero. The Wood Elves include spearmen and some archers, numbering about twice as much as the Dwarfs--let's say six stands of Spears and two stands of Shooters. That leaves the Men of Laketown with a couple hundred warriors--call them two stands of Warband. That's 32 AP total.

Don't forget: the Eagles are coming! (as late-game reinforcements)--four stands of Flyers. And Beorne arrives as well, enlarged to near giant-size--sounds like a behemoth. And that makes 12 more AP.

Then you have the Goblins and the Wargs, which vastly outnumber their foes. The latter forces are easy--eight stands of Beasts. As for the former, you have Goblins riding wolves--eight stands of Riders--and the sword-carrying Goblins with their numerous black and read banners--a dozen Hordes! Finally, you have their general, Bolg, and his bodyguard of huge Goblins with scimitars as a Warband. Tolkien also mentions bats attacking or obstructing the defenders, so a couple stands of Flyers as well. In all, 50 AP.

Not balanced armies, but they feel pretty true to the book. This was a fun little thought experiment; now to source a bunch of 6mm fantasy figures ...

Wednesday, September 30, 2020



I found a whole bunch of stompy mecha clix minis for cheap on eBay, so I bought a dozen or so. Even though I'm a Battletech fan, I'm not gonna use them for that. Instead, I plan on using these as killer robots in games of Mutants and Death Ray Guns, the post-apocalyptic version of Song of Blades and Heroes. I like the choppy-smashy bits and the shooty bits; and size-wise, these will go great with the 28-32mm prepaints I'm using. Or I may just come up with my own skirmish rules; we'll see.

As a bonus, I scored some recovery vehicles that will see action in my Monopolis scenarios for OGRE/GEV, once I can start playing games with other people in person. Speaking of, is anyone back to regular gaming? I miss that.

Saturday, August 22, 2020

Ten years and a thousand posts

Ten years ago today, Super Galactic Dreadnought saw its very first blog post, a nostalgia trip back to my youth and the influences that would shape my gaming. As you can tell from the name of this blog, I was enamored of the Starfleet Wars line of miniature spaceships that I saw in a magazine ad way back when. 

When I started this blog, I was a couple of years into my personal gaming renaissance--a return to regular miniatures and roleplaying after a decades-long drought caused by work, various moves, personal issues, and then law school. Those were great times, as I started playing D&D in a local campaign, met regularly at the local game store for some wargaming, and was in the middle of amassing my collection of spaceship minis.
This was reflected in my blogging--I had posts about games, posts about miniatures, posts about sci fi and fantasy. The output was pretty steady the first couple of years, with 200+ posts when I was in the zone. My posting frequency eventually dropped off, however, to just a few dozen a year for the past few years. That infrequency isn't for a lack of gaming, though--up until the pandemic, I was gaming weekly with a group of local players and running games at MillenniumCon on a regular basis. A lot changed over the years, with moves and job switching, but I think the main thing was that playing so often filled the void that blogging previously had done.
The year 2010 was a much different time, and back then I couldn't have imagined the current events we're living through in 2020. Now, with COVID-19 closing game stores and cancelling conventions, I'm reflecting on my blogging. The numbers worked out nice, and I was able to make sure that my 1,000th post occurred on the 10-year anniversary of starting Super Galactic Dreadnought. I have more than 220 followers, and this blog has over 2,500 comments (not counting spam). I want to thank all of y'all for reading and commenting. I'm thrilled that I can provide inspiration to other gamers, just as so many have inspired me. Here's to more blogging and more gaming in the years ahead!

Friday, August 21, 2020

Ace space base Mace in place

I finally painted this Mace-class space station that I purchased some time ago. It had been sitting on the work table for awhile, so it was nice to get something done.
This Terran base is from Monday Knight Productions' Galactic Knights range (originally the Starfleet Wars line from Superior Models). It was a simple paint job: Spray black, drybrush in metallic black, metallic gunmetal gray, and metallic silver. If you look close, you can spot a dab or two of color here and there.

You can never have too many space miniatures, right?

Thursday, August 20, 2020

Ogre hulk (work in progress)

I decided to try my hand at modding an Ogre into a hulk, for use as an objective or eye candy. I had some fun drilling, cutting, and melting a plastic Mark V to give it some battle damage. I know, it's sacrilege to do that to one of the glow-in-the-dark minis, but it was all I had.
Once I had that destructive work done, I sprayed it in a tan color, then dusted it over with flat black to give it that burned out look. It still needs some work--a wash maybe, and then picking out some of the impact points in a metallic color--and possibly adding some steel wool for smoke, and then I'm done.
I would never do this to one of my metal minis, but since I have an abundance of these plastic models, I didn't mind sacrificing one for the cause of gaming. Anyone else have second thoughts about cutting up their miniatures, or is it just me?

Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Dungeon decor

I picked up Artifacts Set 2 for Mage Knight Dungeons on the secondary market, and I really like the look of these prepainted pieces. I plan on using them for terrain and/or objectives for Melee/Wizard, Frostgrave, Ghost Archipelago, and similar games. 

You can never have too much scatter terrain in your skirmish games, and this set even came with some rules for special game effects that I will try to port over to my own scenarios.

As you can see from my Warhammer Saurus hero (used as a Heritor for Ghost Archipelago), these castings are the right scale and style for dungeon crawls. I hope to see them in action soon.

Tuesday, August 18, 2020

Presenting the 433rd Lift Wing

The 433rd Lift Wing was one of the first North American Combine military units to purchase its own intellectual property and strike out as an independent mercenary organization during the Factory States Era. Focusing on mobility and logistics, the 433rd consists of the Lift Group and the Heavy Lift Group.

Heavy Lift Group has one independent flight (the Sea Monster-class ekranoplan) and two squadrons: the 136th (a single flight of two Kraken-class Ogre transport hovercraft) and the 712th (two flights of three Sea Steed-class LCACs). Lift Group has three squadrons: the 21st (two El-Dingar-class heavy GEV-PCs, the 56th (four Clydesdale-class hover transports), and the 78th (ditto). Although not a combat unit, the 433rd does have a single battery (two Centaur light artillery drones) for defending beachheads.  

I hope to see this unit in action for an aquatic assault scenario (Monopolis-by-the-Sea!) eventually. Meanwhile, I hope everyone is still doing something game related.

Friday, July 31, 2020


Some noncombatant hovertrucks from Steve Jackson Games for use as targets objectives in games of Ogre/GEV or other sci-fi combat.
I have a few more of these, along with some other transports, in a different paint scheme that I will show you later.

Meanwhile, I hope everyone is staying safe and working on minis.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

A new Escape!

My copy of Escape the Dark Sector landed today! This is a RPG-lite card and dice game by the publishers of Escape the Dark Castle--but instead of taking place in a gritty fantasy fortress, it's IN SPACE! The best thing about this line of games is the cooperative play that builds a story of your team's attempt to get away--in this case, from a space station.
Gameplay is slightly more complex than Castle--each character starts with a cybernetic implant that has certain in-game effects. In addition to normal items, you can use ranged weapons (with new dice!) in your combats as you try to free yourself from the installation. And just like the first game, you can play this one solo if you don't have anyone around to join you in your escape attempt. I can't wait to get my escape on.

Thursday, June 25, 2020


I've got plenty of warrior-types for games on my new battle board, but not many spell casters, so I remedied that with set of prepainted figures from Magic: The Gathering: Arena Of The Planeswalkers. These are not the stereotypical mage figures that I grew up with, but they will go well with my HeroScape mins for Melee or Wizard scenarios. I also like the fact that they're already painted. Am I the only one that games with prepainted miniatures?

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Gaslands game

Last week when I asked my wife if she wanted to play a game with me, I was pleasantly surprised when she requested that we play Gaslands. She took the team Born To Be Wild, while I played Blues Brothers.
The scenario was Death Race, and with no weapons till going through the gate, my spouse took advantage of the huge tires of the monster truck Heavy Metal Thunder to run over Elwood.
My pickup still managed to reach the first gate before anyone else, and used its arc lightning projector to take out Smokin' Lighting, while slightly damaging my teammate Jake.
Jake then swung around wide toward the second gate, while Elwood rammed Heavy Metal Thunder.
Of course, my pickup was done for the turn, and the monster truck was able to crush it again.
Then my wife's beat up old pickup, Motor Runnin', t-boned my nice, modern truck.
This was enough to wreck Elwood, which of course exploded!
The blast damaged Motor Runnin' and sent it out of control, where it slammed into Heavy Metal Thunder!
With those two vehicles tangled up with each other, there was nothing stopping Jake from reaching the finish line, so we called the game.
It was a good time playing, although it took a little longer than my wife preferred. Still, she had fun and said she will play again someday.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Civilian spacecraft

For the first time, in a long time, I painted up a spacecraft mini.
The Conestoga-class colony vessel was originally designed for STL intrasystem travel, and constructed without artificial gravity systems. 
Counter-rotating sections of the vehicle used centripedal force to simulate gravity for passengers and crew. 
Although the sublight engines were eventually replaced with a Bachman-Turner overdrive for interstellar travel, it was not cost-effective to retrofit with agrav.
Although the photos are a little washed out, all in all I'm pleased with this nice little model that would not look out of place in a game of Galactic Knights.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Finished Melee/Wizard game board

Greetings, Dear Reader. I hope this blog post finds you well.
I finished up that big game board for Melee/Wizard that I had been working on recently. It's a hex pattern on a 2' x 4' sheet of styrofoam. It's a little bulky to move around, but more convenient then assembling and disassembling HeroScape hexes like I've been doing. Here is the map in all its glory:
With the Wizard arena on one side and the Melee arena next to it, I can run gladiatorial contests or some solo adventures. (Although I noticed once I was done that if I had started my Melee map one hex closer to the edge, I could have had a row of hexes separating it from the Wizard map.) Or I can ignore the hex colors for some larger scenarios of my own devising.
First I think I need to create a few warriors and spell casters and try my hand at Death Test. Or maybe I should start on a different gaming project--wouldn't it be great if I could complete more than one minis-related enterprise with all this time spent at home?

Thursday, April 30, 2020

WIP: Hex mat for Melee/Wizard

The packaging from a recent purchase of furniture for the home office left me with a huge sheet of thin styrofoam (some two feet by four feet) that just begged to be used for gaming terrain. I decided I needed a large playing surface for use with games of Melee and Wizard. I've played before on Heroscape tiles, which look good but take some time to set up and break down. So I decided to use those tiles to imprint a hexagonal pattern onto the sheet.
 After that, I coated the styrofoam in a mixture of white glue and water for protection before spraying it black. I didn't coat the sheet thoroughly enough, because the aerosol ended up dissolving some of the foam. It made a nice texture that looked nice with some drybrushed gray, so no big deal--but I did add another coat of water-glue mix after that. 
While I want this terrain piece to be versatile, I also want to use it for battles based on the arena maps from the original Melee and Wizard. Toward that goal, I replicated those patterns on my game board, which is just big enough to fit the maps from both games. Then, because the colors were so bright, I gave everything a dark wash to blend the hexes back together. You can see the Wizard arena on the left, and the Melee map to the right. Entry hexes are dark green and hard to make out in this picture; I plan to drybrush them with a lighter shade to make them stand out more. I will get more pics once it's done.
It's not much in the way of gaming projects, but I'm happy to be getting something done while on lockdown. I hope everyone is staying healthy, and we can all get together to start rolling dice and pushing around minis again someday.

Tuesday, March 31, 2020

Games in the time of coronavirus

These are weird times for everyone: Global pandemic, mandatory isolation, economic recession, toilet paper shortage, and probably, sometime soon, locusts. Thanks to this disease, my regular gaming location, Dragon's Lair, is closed, and the second annual FnordCon, set for this weekend, got canceled. But I can't complain; my wife and I are lucky enough to still be working, and our pantry's full. So I thought I would see how everyone has adjusted their gaming in this season of uncertainty.
With face-to-face gaming with my regular group not an option for the foreseeable future, I'm trying to get my geek on at home. My wife and I have been playing The Awful Green Things From Outer Space, teaming up as the crew and using some semi-random mechanisms to conduct the monsters. We still haven't managed to completely defeat the critters, but she enjoys playing it with me, and we both appreciate the quirky art. 
My spouse isn't, however, as big a fan of Terraforming Mars, so we've only played a single game together. Luckily, the solo rules for this board game are enough to keep me coming back again and again. While I miss having multiple opponents, it has a lot of entertainment value as I try to meet the victory conditions. And I'm using the PreludeVenus Next, and Colonies expansions to get even more mileage out of TM.
I haven't done anything minis-related, but I may try to start working on some Ogre minis soon--or maybe I will paint up some of the scatter terrain or fantasy minis I have piled up. Maybe I can get something ready in time for the next game convention, whenever that may be. What about y'all? How are you adjusting your gaming to the new normal?