Friday, October 30, 2009

What has been occupying my time this week ...

Well I thought I'd wish everyone a happy Halloween ... or all Hallows Eve ... depending on your preference.  Four kids under the age of six means this is a very big time of year and Thus I've been somewhat busy this week. First ... and my apologies for not having more pics ... but here it is ... the 2009 Haunted House ... spoooooky (well to a 4 year old anyway).  Materials used were Popsicle sticks and old cereal boxes.

Needs a little work yet but it was a somewhat quick project and the kids got a kick out of it ... all I was going for. But it did give me a cool idea for a medieval demonic-plague village terrain project.  Last but certainly not least here are the 2009 Official Pumpkins of Excess ... I'm no expert on the carving arts but for an amateur I'm pleased with my results ...


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Why GW ... WHY??

Ok first ... in the next day or two I'll have pics of the Ork Horde progress. This is just some random thoughts based on some chatter out there on the net pertaining to GW not producing wolf Calvary models and other models in the past ... when a codex is released with such models in them. One good example was the Chaos Defiler after the 3rd edition revamp of the Chaos codex was released. I always wonder why GW is so slow to market with products for a new codex. I understand periodic "new releases" can help maintain interest and insure that GW gets maximum cash from existing customers. I guess the rational for doing  phased releases must be that GW feels that releasing a huge amount of stuff for a new codex people are likely to not buy it and never get around to going back and picking it up. I think GW really under merchandises their product line and when they release a codex they should release it all. I'm still shocked that they let other companies take a bite at their apple by not having everything ready. I also am always shocked that they don't merchandise in the US like they do in Europe (well at least the UK). T-Shirts alone ... if they put up T-Shirts with various 40K/WHFB motifs on their website (and had them in plus gamer size) they would not only be gaining free advertising ... they'd be picking up probably tens of thousands of dollars a month in revenue. I bet they'd earn a million plus annually just off of reasonably priced merchandise in the US market again stuff like T-Shirts, Sweatshirts, Polos, Calendars, Coffee Mugs, etc. etc. It would be low to no cost for them to provide that ... give their fans yet one more avenue to spend money on GW stuff ... but that is GW for you. They seem to think that letting other companies take those revenues is alright ... I'm glad I'm not a shareholder or I'd be ticked off I think .. lol.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

What happened to PEWTER FOREVER???

Privateer Press doing the unthinkable ... I know this isn't really breaking news or anything but PP looks to be moving to plastic. I am quite certain once they take the plunge it won't be long before a good portion (if not all) of their line goes that way. I personally have been long since converted to a plastic mini fan (pun intended). Once you get paint on the models they look no different than a pewter model. Yes indeed I do have a slight sadness in my heart when I pick up a model and it doesn't have that old time pewter heft to it ... but I like to do conversions ... and plastic is sooooo much easier to do conversions with. You don't have to worry as much about pinning heavy limbs, etc. with plastic. With pewter while it does have some nice benefits like stripping paint off of old models for example ... and just overall durability ... I feel that the benefits of plastic outweigh the detriments. So I'm glad that PP is backtracking on that statement they made long ago about "NEVER" going to plastic.

Now if only they could clean up the rules of the game and I've seen Mark II and I'm not satisfied ... after the preliminary read of the rules I'd say its just a cleanup of Mark I ... nothing huge. I love the Iron Kingdoms universe, I like the vast majority of the models in the range ... and I like Warmachine for a fun casual game against a friend but I utterly hate the game for competitive play and Mark II won't change that. I can only hope for a major revamp in Mark III. Until then ... still a fan ... Warmachine will remain my friendly game for cold winter afternoons ... while 40K shall remain my first and only choice for a fun game, a scenario game and a game that I might actually play in a tournament.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


Ya ... ya ... I know everyone and their brother has done a review of the game. I'm not going to do anything extensive as I just finally busted out the game though I pre-ordered it from Games Workshop directly and basically recieved it the day of release in early September, the cost then was 100 bucks, now the game is going for around 150 bucks on ebay and from any retailers who still have them in stock. 

Alright the first thing is yes indeed the minis are awesome, the heavy cardstock pieces and tiles are nice and seem made to last.  Overall the game is a vast improvement in terms of quality of board and pieces. The rule book and mission book are well laid out and there is some cool flavor for the true fanboys out there.

Personally I'm actually using my own terminators and genestealers and preserving the minis that came with the game for other projects as I have future plans to paint up the genestelers for the game very nicely and I want to use the blood angel termies for my blood angels army next spring (when the new codex is out) so I'll most likely replace those with some old school termies I have. For now my Deathwing termies shall suffice.

For those of you who are familiar with the previous versions of the game it plays pretty much like they did. The genestealers are ultra deadly and the space marines only hope really is to gun them down before they get in close combat (save perhaps the sergeant and lightning claw equipped squad member). So essentially with most missions the basic strategy is to move as fast as you can towards your objective taking care to preserve nice firing lanes.  The game really provides some excitement and suspense, it seems like all the missions will likely go down the the wire and the genestealers player really has a heavy advantage. The marine player needs to really have a good plan and some luck on their side to succeed. Overall I'd say the game has a decent degree of replayability. Hopefully we'll see an expansion or two (perhaps from a third party like Fantasy Flight)

The first mission is called "Suicide Mission" and it lives up to its name, overall there are 12 missions with one or two available for download at the GW site (and many new fan generated missions available online from various sources as well).  I'll go through the mission with some pictures and quick comments. If you have the game and haven't played it ... get it out and play ... its awesome and you know you want to! If you haven't picked it up yet ... I honestly would pay 150 bucks for this game ... but I'm a hardcore GW fanboy. I don't know if it would be worth that price to a casual fan of GW or just a board game fan who doesn't play GW games, its really fun but there are other games like Decent on the market that might provide just as much fun for a non-GW person and 150 bucks will get you well started into that system. Anyway here is my experience with the first game (against my wife Jessica who usually schools me at whatever game we are playing).

Ok here is a shot of the initial setup of the board. The object of the mission is to get the marine equipped with the heavy flamer into the control room (upper right hand corner of the board). The marine player starts out on the left hand side of the board (where you see the Imperial Aquilas).

Ok here is the action after the genestealers start popping out. I lost a marine right off the bat! Genestealers are BRUTAL in close combat (as they should be).  RUN MARINES RUN! 

As you can see this mission is "operation don't let the heavy flamer marine die!"

Sarge is down! Sarge is down!! Its looking bleak for the marines! The genestealers just keep coming, at 2 blips per turn and 6 move actions per blip the genestealer has the upper hand for sure!

At this point its all about the storm bolters and sustained fire. Can the marines shoot them down fast enough?

The heavy flamer terminator breaks for the control room and his last surviving battle brother makes a valiant last stand to buy him some time.

The valiant last stand diversion works ... and the marines barely win.  It came down to some very lucky blips (only 1 genestealer per blip) towards the end and some amazing shooting by the lone storm bolter wielding terminator.  The heavy flamer was used a few times as well. But the control room was incinerated and two battle brothers survived. Had the genestealer player had average luck with the blips and had I rolled non-phenomenally the marines would have had little chance of pulling this one out.

The final carnage ... the marines died valiantly and took hordes of genestealers with them!  Awesome time ... super fun ... and the genestealers will undoubtedly be back with vengeance for the remaining 11 missions :)  Break your copy out if you haven't tried it yet ... and if you don't own it ... find it ... buy it ... play it!! (and if you want to sell me your minis for say 50 bucks ... leme know ... I'm interested :) ).

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Nazi Zombies and Werewolves ... being whipped by hot Aryan chicks and shot at by Power Armor clad GIs!! HOLY SMOKES!

This game has been floating around out there around the edges of my attention for awhile ... I really hope these guys find a way to get their game out in a big way. I would so very love to play in a setting like this. Stuff like AT-43 is junk ... cool minis ... really lame background.  This is awesome, its dark, its that cool Wolfenstein-esq, Gear Krieg ... type feel to it. They have hot Nazi chicks ... they have zombies ... power armor clad US GIs ... werewolves ... mad scientists ... mechs ... what the hell is not to like??

Anyway check it out and keep your fingers crossed.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Fearing and loathing your favorite games ... WHY ... WHY!!

Is it just me or are there endless numbers of people out there who are majorly into self punishment via the games they choose to play? For example look at any of the bigger Games Workshop fan sites and blogs ... look at any post that has something to do with the dreaded "codex creep" or anything about a new codex, etc. Look at the comments. You'll see raging anger at the game people endlessly upset about this or that. Why do people choose to play a game that causes so much rage. I'm not talking about the times when you get your butt handed to you by someone and get temporarily mad at yourself. We all do that no matter how laid back one is or how easy going about winning or losing ... on occasion we all get a little upset at the games we love. I'm talking about the seeming legions of players who have nothing good to say about GW ... spewing vitriolic hate (like if you get me talking about big corporations or Republicans or something ... seriously that bad) at GW. These people are still playing ... WHY??? WHY would someone subject themselves to that kind of torture?

Its really sad and I wish I could start a global foundation to rehabilitate the fallen 40K and WHFB fans who continue to play despite unending hatred and uncontrollable bouts of ranting about how many pie plates the new guard codex allows. I would rehabilitate them by forcing them to pick flowers in the park, take long walks along a peaceful river while discussing how shitty episode one is. Ah if only ... but that won't happen so all of these people are out there seething about games ... you know this is a good time for me to challenge anyone who is still reading to go visit this link and maybe even this link (check page 31).

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Update on the Orks!

Ok here is a quick update ... I'll throw some more pictures up as I get them.  Essentially this project consists of several orphan ork remnants from various ebay purchases, con grab bags, gamer flea market type deals over the years. Some were partially painted, some were in need of repair and de-glue gooping, etc. combine that mix with 4 AOBR boxes worth of orks and that is basically my army. The plan is to do this army on the super cheap, make use of models that have been gathering dust on my shelf for years and give me a fun little table top standard army to go have fun with. having Relocated to a new area recently I wanted to get myself a bit motivated with a new army to coincide with finding an entirely new miniature gaming group.

My plan is to start out with as much foot troop for the army as possible ... 6 maxed out boyz squads ... 3 slugga choppa and 3 shootas. I'm doing up Ghazghkull Thraka, and three of the AOBR warbosses ... I'm going with 2 ten strong nob squads to start ... doing up a 4 nob bike squad and a warboss on a bike.  I have many other projects that I probably should get to in terms of painting minis ... but if I get out there and start playing the orks and have fun ... I have many further units I can add ... just waiting in the can so to speak. I have a huge amount of tankbusta boy bitz ... 40 old metal nobs which would partially be used as nobs and partially as Flashgitz probably. I have 15 of the new AOBR deathkoptas, and many many toys/boxes of busted GW vehichles/etc. that can be converted into battlewagons, trucks, etc. etc. I also plan to do at least 2 stompas, an orky baneblade converstion and I really do aspire to a scratch built Gargant. I really don't see myself getting all that done right away ... but ... I'm hoping by this time next year I've crossed alot of those extra items off the list as being complete.

Anyway the boyz are verging on half way done. I have the skin tone down for now ... most of their metal bitz are painted up. Now I'm on to the leather bitz, pants (which I think I'm going to do up in a different color for each different squad), and bases ... which will end up lighter brown .. desert-ish color. I want to do a desert display board/terrain centerpiece for them. Sort of a la the old GW Nottingham orky terrain. 

Friday, October 9, 2009

Cool GW painting reference site!

I wanted to share a link:
Perhaps this isn't the best paint tutorial site in the world but it is really decently laid out and its GW centric with alot of good basic paint guides and tips. Good refresher if your tabletop quality painter, great for a beginner ... not sure if there is much there for the advanced painter, however there are some good modeling guides (guide to magnetizing a baneblade, etc. etc.). Check it out ... its worth it!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Alright to give a bit more detail about the project ...

I'm going to be trying to finish a table top standard Ork army consisting of :

-- Ghazghkull Thraka -- pretty much straight out of the box ... probably some slight conversions but he will be  run as himself so the model will remain pretty standard.

-- Warboss on a bike with powerclaw

-- 2, 10 strong Nob squads in trucks (Scratch built trucks using old Ork Trucks, Rhinos and plasticard)
-- 1 Nob squad on bikes (3 Nobs and a Painboy)

-- 6 squads of boyz (3 Shoota, 3 Choppa Slugga squads with Nobs with Powerclaws and Big Shootas)

The goal is to have this all complete by the end of November. The boyz will be done by the end of this month. A few battlewagons will be added along with a few looted wagons. All of the vehicles will be painted red to allow me to do up a speed freaks list later. Each squad of boyz will have different color pants, trying to catch the colors for Blood Axes, Bad Moons, Death Skulls, Goffs and probably two squads with different brownish shades that could be the core of a Snake Bite list. I'll try to get some better shots as things get painted up with a basic step by step of how I'm painting the boyz (not that there aren't a million "how to paint ork" guides out there by better painters ... but hey). Wish me luck :)  WAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHHHH!!!

Orks ... phase 1

Orks ... phas 1

Orks ... phase 1


Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Indy GT circuit ... cool for some ... a non-issue for many

Its really cool for you people in the Midwest and on the East Coast to have such well run cool indy GT events. On the west coast unless you live in the Seattle area or in Central to Southern California ... there is no Indy GT scene. As a former resident of Las Vegas I heard that even the So. Cal scene tends to be kind of sketchy. I hear that it has to do with alot of club infighting, etc. unfortunately.

Now that I live in the Ogden/Salt Lake City area there is really nothing on par with a GT/Indy GT within a reasonable drive from the area. If one was put on in Denver or Las Vegas it would be a possibility for me, GW ran one in Vegas and from what I hear it was successful. I would guess that perhaps employees got a little nuts with spending on the company cards ... so maybe that is why they pulled the plug?  Maybe they didn't ultimately like the negative stigma of Vegas for one of their events as a big segment of their sales are to kids (via moms and dads wallets). 

I really wish GW or a third party site (like maybe BOLS, Daka Daka) would put up a RTT listing with updated results, etc. it would be really easy for someone to put out monthly scenarios and have store owners/tourney organizers report results. Then players could get a score and even if there was just a leader board ... it would be cool. I'm sure GW or the Warstore or some other retailer out there would even host a "championship" tourney and/or give the year end winner some cool prizes, etc. GW tried this several years back but did it so poorly and half heartedly that it failed. From what I heard they put an 8 buck an hour flunky back at mail order in charge of it and the douche ran it into the ground ... go figure. You either need someone who is passionate in charge or someone who is going to get a direct benefit from it (GW themselves, The Warstore, a site that wants to increase its traffic for advertising revenue, etc.) ... also they need to have credibility. I can only hope and dream that someday such a system ... in addition to the cool indy scene some people get to enjoy ... can come to fruition.

SPACE WOLVES ... cool huh ... what? UMMM? Am I the only one thinking this?

I'm excited about the new codex and I have always really liked the wolves and their backstory. I have to say though I am slightly disappointed from a fluff perspective about one aspect of the new codex and that is the heavy inclusion of actual animal wolves as part of the army one can field in the game of 40K. In the grim dark future of 40K I'm sorry I realize this is all make believe fantasy and there are plenty of other goofy models, etc. concepts in the 40K range ... but ... come on people. These are SPACE MARINES I don't care how bad ass the wolves are they wouldn't be riding around with friggin wolves. One or two pet/company mascots with a commander ... ok cool I can buy that a special character with some crazy cyber wolf ... erm .. stretching it ... but ok. Packs of friggin dogs on the battlefield? HUH?? I'm honestly very non-plused about that. I know that people will vehemently argue against me but I just don't like it. I think its lame and a ploy. I mean 13th company was pushing it for me ... but per the fluff it was a group of marines who were basically lost in the eye of terror. The horrible power of chaos to mutate things ... well I could buy that per all of the fluff. This new concept of the space wolves carting doggie crates around the galaxy is just lame. I think this one thing will keep me from playing wolves anytime soon ... this is a "jump the shark" moment for me regarding the wolves. I still love 40K ... I love the real backstory of the wolves ... and I'm going to vote against this new development with my wallet. Sorry GW none of my money on space wolves, maybe next codex :)

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Dawn of War II ... I'm sad :(

Ok ... I'm sure I'll offend some people with this quick review of the game ... such is life. I will start by mentioning that I really am a huge GW fanboy. I'm a fan of the original DOW game and while I'm not a pro I do like the RTS genre. If you look up "professional reviews of the game" you'll see that its getting around an 85% or so ... which is damn good. Read those reviews if you want some unbiased more well written reviews. What I'm trying to do here is give my personal honest opinion.

All that said I am very disappointed with Dawn of War II its a huge letdown and actually worse than the first game which came out in 2004!  I should have known ... to date I've never liked anything THQ has done.  One of my huge complaints about GW is that they keep picking loser companies to partner with. Even their MMO originally was going to be done by Namco I believe, and only through a series of acquisitions did the game finally make it to a big decent game company (Mythic and EA). GW has had a series of dog games ... and Dawn of War was the first one that I really liked.  Old pre-THQ buyout Relic knew their stuff. Well typical GW ... they'll whore out their video games to whoever apparently gives them the most cash up front. I have no understanding what so ever why they do that. Every time THQ gets involved they do a horrible job adhering to the back story of the GW universe, their games suck, poor controls, horrible camera angles, lazily done graphics and maps, etc. Anyway enough ranting and some discussion of my experience of the game.

Ok the campaign ... it honestly starts of decently enough ... pretty fun. You are playing as the Blood Raven Space Marine chapter again. New characters, well the main character from the Kronus (first DOW series) campaign is your commander. You are trying to stop a tyranid invasion of the chapters recruiting worlds and adjacent systems. Pretty cool ... not as lame of a campaign story as the last DOW expansion ... so I was pleased. Yes there were Eldar and Orks involved but it didn't feel lame ... the Eldar were being their typical arrogant "we must save ourselves" and the Orks were using the opportunity to do some good ole fashioned lootin. Ok ... I'll buy all that ... decent start for a campaign premise.

The missions aren't that bad in the beginning but they get repetitive with very few new maps or mission types. So it just becomes a "lvl up your chrs" game. That would all be well and good for me honestly, if the campaign continued. I mean this is online play, the maps are painfully easy, they recycle all the cut scenes, etc. THQ/Steam could be cranking out the add on missions to keep people happy and engaged until the next expansion ... nope. You run through maybe 30 or so missions (maybe less I didn't count). So game time is about 20 hours or so and then your done. I was done in 18 hours of play. I honestly did as many missions as I could, etc. and that was it.  Disappointing overall ... nothing new or amazingly upgraded from DOW. Squad sizes stay small 3 or 4 marines. You get a Dred and some Termies ... but no lightning claws and the "venerable" dred is really nothing special. Your commander gets some cool upgrades but nothing really new or better from the first game.  I actually feel like this is not as good as DOW I.
Also why the hell couldn't there be an Eldar and an Ork and maybe even a Bug ... campaign? What the hell?!?!?

Multi-player is really crappy. I tried 2 games against the PC on easy mode and just quit. Its totally pointless ... I don't need to see how it plays against other people.  Seriously people if you haven't bought this game yet ... don't ... if your a fan and intend to just wait until the expansion comes out and get the set. If  you really don't care either way, just skip it ... its a smoking piece of crap. I give it a flaccid 2 out of 5 ... I can't really call it flaccid though as I feel like I've been violated. That said ... apparently I'm a sucker for punishment ... I will buy the expansion when it comes out in hopes they clean it all up. I see potential there ... its just like one of those games that was released in a "partially complete" state. 


Well after re-reading my late night angry rant ... I'd say I was a little harsh. But having played the multi-player again this morning hoping that maybe I'd missed something. Maybe I'm not giving the game credit enough ... I did miss some things and then again I didn't.

Ok first thing is I have to say that this game looks nice, despite very repetitious maps, the look and feel of the game is nice. Graphics have been improved dramatically since the first version of DOW. As a fan of the GW universe I just like looking at the models as they move around. In addition to that I do very much agree with a point that a friend made to me that the feel of this game is more true to the 40K universe.  Especially pertaining to Space Marines.  My response was then why not make the Orks and the Nids squad sizes much larger to make it really feel like the 40K universe? In the campaign you do feel at times like the Nids are an endless swarm but in multiplayer its just small squad balanced out vs small squads.  So in essence my problem with that is if they were going for capturing an authentic feel of 40K the tabletop game why not really do it. What they ended up doing was making basically a dumbed down RTS. Not a squad based RPG/RTS hybrid ... there are alot of things they could have done.  Unit controls in this game are very clunky, as are play controls ... moving around the map is more cumbersome than in your average RTS I would say. I don't like how commanders upgrade in multi-player ... they never really explain why your constantly clicking to upgrade ... are you upgrading or just changing options? Forgive my angry ranting ... I think this game could be seen as a first step towards a different way to do the RTS for the Dawn of War series ... but all my complaints haven't changed. THQ can redeem itself with a cool follow up that adds alot to the game and cleans up some of the problems. If they do that I'll eat my words ... if not ... I'm still sad and disappointed. At any rate they got my money and they'll get it for the expansion.

Dawn of War II

Ok so I finally broke down and bought Dawn of War II.  I really enjoyed Dawn of War and all of the expansions except the last one.  Ok so I  installed it ... Steam is super shitty by the way. That was my impression on install. You have to log in online in order to play their games ... wtf is with that? WHAT if you don't have an internet connection? What if you don't ever want to play online? Well with steam apparently that isn't an option. Anyway ... so I install the game it runs ok after jumping through the lame hoops necessary to get the game going. I'm enjoying it last night, running through the campaign ... calming down about how lame steam is and generally thinking ok this was a good purchase. Well today I try to play the game, password won't work ... huh? Ok go through the lame 20 minute reset the password exercise ... sigh .. argh ... angry ... berserker rage coming on.  Counting to ten, meditating, calming down. Ok ... 45 minutes later Steam's ultra lame ... designed by insane, drunken chimpanzees, interface navigation aside the password seems to be at least partially reset.  Now I am having "connectivity" issues with Steam ... oh everything else on the PC works just fine. For years I navigated the Blizzard pain in the butt just fine ... the PC connected just fine ... no issues with my firewall downloading endless patches from Blizz, etc. Why now will Steam not connect to my PC. I'm beginning to suspect because I disabled Internet Explorer on my PC. Anyway if I wasn't such a hardcore GW fan I wouldn't be bothering with trying to run this game. I really liked the Dawn of War series but I'm going to write my emails to GW to Steam and to Microsoft. This is ridiculous ... will the emails help ... no ... will it be cathartic ... hopefully.(PS that isn't my keyboard ... it might be though if this keeps up ... lol).

Ok ... several hours later ... I have this figured out. I had to unplug my router ... plug the damn PC into the modem directly to confirm that the game doesn't like my router. Once I figured that out ... then I had to follow some BS steps that probably have permanently bent my PC over to other problems. But hey .. what they hell ... its worth it. I get to rumble around and smash things with Space Marines and Dreadnoughts :)

Friday, October 2, 2009

Spirit of the Adeptus Astartes

I have been toying with the idea for quite some time of modding up the Spirit of the Century system to run a game where players assume the role of Space Marines from the Warhammer 40,000 universe. Dark Heresy is a great system for experiencing the 40K universe ... but it is not designed for a Space Marine or Chaos Marine game. The Astartes are simply too powerful ... per the back story they are on par at least with Master Chief from Halo and many are probably even more powerful. So how can you use any standard stat based static system to really give your players the cinematic, ultra heroic ... downright godlike ... feeling of being a Space Marine? Fate can do that ... the Spirit System would work awesome for that ... anyone out there familiure with Fate/Spirit any suggestions on where to begin would be great.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

By any other name a plastic army man is still a plastic army man ...

Ok so I realized I have been remiss in explaining the 40K pictures ... I have undertaken a paint challenge ... paint duel ... whatever you'd like to call it with a friend from Las Vegas. He has vowed to paint 500 points of Games Workshop Warhammer 40,000 miniatures during the month of October ... I have vowed to paint 1000 points.

Why am I doing this you ask? Painting little plastic and pewter figures ... is it ... well? YES IT IS! It is very awesome and every bit as enjoyable as all the other gaming interests I have. Playing Halo getting T-Bagged by a 13 year old Korean kid ... yup painting minis ... just as fun.  Getting hacked in half by an angry ogre in 4E .. mmmhumm ... yup its as fun as that. Getting all my cities cut off from one an other in a game of Settlers of Catan only to be the lord of wool ... and nothing else ... ya ... believe it or not its that fun.

In all seriousness what brought me to the games workshop mini games was the really creative outlet that modeling and painting provides ... coupled with some really well designed games that huge numbers of people play. You can play in tournaments if you like, etc. its an all encompassing hobby.

I will chronicle my crazed paint challenge and I will also do an ongoing post about my re-entry into the world of Games Workshop in a new town. I've found the place to go locally and that is Endzone games in Clearfield, Utah which is fortunately just a few miles from my house. They have a pretty big GW community in their store and are moving huge amounts of GW product. Its a great game store on par with the places like Game Empire in San Diego and Pegasus Hobbies in Ontario, CA. 

Beyond this I'm going to try to do a quick and dirty guide to getting into GW games. So stay tuned all .23 readers there is oh so very much more to come on this topic!

How does a Space Marine go to the Bathroom?

Wannabe DM/GM (Part 1)

Alright I'm considering a return to GM/DMing. I haven't run a game since I was a kid, though over the past nine years I've had extensive experience as a player and a PhDs worth of BSing about it with some pretty bright gamers. I've been to conventions and seen some very good GMs and I'm pretty confident that I could run a basic game decently. I've always had the ability to bullshit and speak extemporaneously about most anything so I'm thinking I'll be more the storyteller GM but I think I've picked up some good ideas from other GM/DMs as well as reading up a little.

My take on it is that as the game master your in charge of the fun. Your the host in whatever system and setting you and your party are going to be experiencing together. Of course that is obvious right? But think about it for a second. You are the "host" your in charge of everyone's (including your own) fun. You set the stage, your players fulfill the role of the actors ... they bring life to the play. But you have to make sure the theater is booked, all the props are in order, the orchestra is in tune, etc.

There are so many pitfalls for the GM one can be a railroader or be Monty Hall and make players hate your game. One can over plan and over think and bore the party with too much detail ... conversely if your game is too sparse you run the risk of not engaging your players imaginations. You can not be prepared at all and just "wing it" ... which might work for awhile but will probably ultimately lose steam and result in bored participants and/or your game. But you can go the other way and over prepare put inordinate amounts of time into your game which when the party goes left and not right and many hours of work is shot ... I would think could be highly frustrating. SO ....

What is one to do? I think I know about many of the major pitfalls and what a well run game looks and feels like. Yet there is no way for me to guarantee that my experience won't be less than what I hope it can be. So many variables go into creating a game. A huge part of it is running the right game for your party. Especially if you aren't very well acquainted with them and don't have the ability to push them into places they haven't been before.  My situation will be gaming with people I don't know very well, tip toeing around feelings and learning personalities, etc. etc. something that many DM/GMs don't have to consider as they game with lifelong friends.

Right now I'm thinking of starting off with a modified version of the Savage Worlds intro pulp game. The system is clean and straight forward. There is some grid based combat and a decent amount of crunch in the rules and the characters. Yet the rules aren't a massive tome and player and GM prep is somewhat low.

Welcome to your doom ...

Ok first a little about myself

I'll give you a standard gaming life story now ... sorry if its to long and rambling but that tends to be my internet communication style. Its a bit shotgun ... gonzo ... in your face ... rather excessive one might say.

My history in gaming lies mostly in Las Vegas. I was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest (born in Spokane, WA) my father worked for the Union Pacific Railroad and my mother was a stay at home mom who’d occasionally work a part-time job. I had a normal middle class childhood. Living in mostly rural communities throughout Oregon and Washington. We moved every 2 to 3 years due to my father moving up in the ranks of the company. By High School we lived in The Dalles, Oregon and that is where I graduated from High School. I attended University of Western Oregon and eventually transferred to UNLV when my parents moved to Las Vegas. While at UNLV I earned a BA in History and a Masters Degree in Public Administration.

My earliest exposure to gaming was classic red box D&D in the 5th grade. My childhood was filled with C.S. Lewis and Tolkien so when I experienced D&D I was instantly in love and addicted. However I only had about a 2 to 3 year run of Basic D&D (classic red box) and then sports, eventually girls and booze would pull me away from RPGs and gaming through most of high school and early college. So sadly I missed a lot … oh .. ya sure I have a lot of drinking stories and old war stories about football. Honestly, I’d rather have been gaming and I envy those people out there who experienced Magic when it was released, who played all the way through 2nd edition D&D and got to play the classic modules with a good DM.

My life didn’t turn back to games until right around the year 2000. I had recently finished my masters in public administration at UNLV and landed a job working for the city of Las Vegas. So for the first time in years I had time and money and not a lot of friends. I had no desire to re-ignite the old sports fan in me … no more Bluto Blutarsky animal house party guy … so I started searching for hobbies. About that time I heard talk of The Lord of the Rings the movie. So I started searching the internet for info on that and just happened to stumble upon the Games Workshop site. Well one thing lead to another and before I knew it I was a bonafide mini gamer with a fully painted Necron army. I tracked down the local mini game club and really the rest is history. I joined and eventually was the president of the Las Vegas Gamers Club and did many turns at gamesday organizer, tourney organizer, etc. etc. My true passion though was hosting game nights. We had epic game nights over at Casa De Excess. 20 to 30 people. I hosted a 24 person Warmachine tourney in my house (actually we had various tourneys at the house over the years .. 40K ... the CCG Versus, etc.).  We had an epic 12 player D&D game that ran for a year solid (weekly 12 hour games). We had massive 40k battles, board game pallozas, and endless epic BS sessions where we solved humanities problems. Friends came and went over the years, civilizations rose and fell and eventually the unthinkable occurred. Larry moved away … oh the tale is much longer. In essence I as we all do had life happen along the way, career, kids, and many good friends come and go which all contributed to the golden days of gaming for me in Las Vegas. By the end we were down to a few stalwarts but really the Vegas game scene had changed tremendously in that period of time and as I left it really was a much different place. I was basically in a situation in Las Vegas where I would have been rebuilding a gaming group anyway so either way I'd be facing what I am today as far as gaming goes.

I'm actually in a place more akin to that which I was at when I decided to jump back into gaming way back in 2000. But more than that I know what good gaming is and what it takes to get there. I've learned alot as well about gaming community politics, game shop politics, etc. so hopefully that will help me avoid some potential landmines this time around. Today where I'm at is ... I’m in a new area looking for a big game group, looking to start up a game club, etc. and I see the greater Ogden/SLC area being fertile ground for such an endeavor.

My present gaming interests areas really are as they always have been all over the map. I'll attempt to hit some highlights though: RPGs (Any well run non-3 or 3.5 version of D&D) any Indie RPG, but especially Fate/Spirit or Savage Worlds. I love any good board game or non-collectible card game and am always up for that. I am so excited to get back into Games Workshop’s Warhammer 40k and Warhammer Fantasy!! I’ve been building mini gaming terrain as of late via some Hirst Arts molds (one of these days I’ll post some projects). Really though my main and most important goal is to find the gaming community in Utah and get to know as many people as I can. I believe I’ve stumbled into a great D&D group and think I’m just down the street from a store with a solid GW community so it should hopefully be only a matter of time before the golden age can be rediscovered.

I'm really focused on maintaining the gamer friendships that I have  and on rebuilding my own gamer family. I have a two pronged attack planned to acomplish those goals ... one ... work towards hosting  a game night or two on a weekly basis and two form a gamers club in my area. The current 4E group that I've joined is a good group of people who just want to have fun ... no tool players ... everyone is out to have a good time. Very fun and refreshing. Our game nights are Wednesday evenings, we usually run from around 7:00 to 8:00 PM to around midnight to 1:00 AM. The game has been a blast so far. In addition to that I'm as we speak working on a new Warhammer 40K army (Orks) that I hope to get painted up so I can start getting out and meeting some new mini gamers. We've fired up a gaming message board ambitiously titled ... and as I have friends scattered throughout the Southwest (really all of the country ... but I actually see the folks out in the Southwest occasionally) I want to create a board that has gamers in Utah, Nevada, California, Arizona. I'm reaching out to old friends trying to get them on the board and once we have our first club meeting (October 24th, Clearfield Pizza Hut ... up the Road from the Endzone game store) I think traffic will increase. About 25 members on the board or so now ... lots of my ranting and rambling ... but also some other people are posting interesting and intelligent things. So check it out if you can ... its free (well except for the horrible side effects reading my posts cause).