Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Ground Hog, Woodchuck, What the Hell?

I was pleased to recently share with my family a small bit of trivia, Woodchucks and Ground Hogs are names for the same animal. More important to my current situation, after getting rid of 4 of them 2 years ago, a new one has returned to the burrow under my steps in preparation for winter 2013. This bugger has dug a new entrance into the old burrow, pushing through the mesh we had installed after removing the previous rodents, and is working on refurnishing a nice winter home. I have spent the last several weeks waging a semi-passive-aggressive war to encourage the varmint to relocate elsewhere. Ammonia seems to work really well but needs to be periodically reapplied. Clay based cat litter poured into the burrow (after he has been encouraged to leave), wet with more ammonia, and then covered with soil also seems to work well. The problem becomes this varmint is smart and found the one spot under the step I missed hitting with the litter-fill and dug a new entrance into the burrow. I'm trying to keep from poisoning the furry beast as I don't want a thawed corpse stinking up my front step come spring. I think we have dislodged him (again) but am in the several day waiting period to find out.

I realized recently why we have so many problems with this guy. Woodchucks / Groundhogs are related to squirrels. Everyone around my house knows that squirrels are just cleverly disguised demons from hell.

I realize this has nothing to do with gaming of any sort, but I figured it would be fun to share. So, with 3 weeks of quiet recently, whats been going on on my side of the interwebz? Lets jump in and take a look.

Role Playing Challenge

First to tackle is the recent RP challenge issued by friend Austin. It was nice to see him jump in and comment on my recent post. He and I think alike on many areas of running and playing in RP games, which means we had some of the same ideas of character generation. I plan to go into that a bit more in future posts as plans solidify.  It was also a nice reminder that I cannot post too many spoilers without either a spoiler tag or waiting until after the campaign to post the information. All of that said, I have had some more ideas but nothing concrete enough to dive into a full blog post on.


On the Malifaux front there has not been much happening. I am working on getting my aColette models painted up. Despite the severe falling out with Wyrd, I still like the models I have and plan to paint them up even if they just sit in my display case. I spoke with the owner of Huzzah about how M2E has been doing in the store and am happy to hear it's been doing ok overall. He has seen a resurgence in book and deck purchases, with a couple players reigniting interest. We also talked about the fact that most of the people seem to be "home players" which contributes to the decrease in attention and presence in our store of regular Malifaux games. There seems to be a small 2-4 player group on most Tuesday nights I am there, but they all leave very early and the overall community at Huzzah appears to have sharply dropped. I suspect this has as much to do with the difference between my henchman style and that of the new henchman as it does with the new version coming out. I still have a small group of players playing Malifaux Classic, and depending on how things go moving forward we may have enough to run a small event.

I have been keeping in touch with whats going on through a variety of podcasts. While several have dropped off my listening list, a couple have stuck around and are worth listening to. Currently subscriptions I have include the following:
  • Malifools - Interesting talk overall, very M2E centric. 
  • Through the Breach - The recent episode with Josh and Biggles discussing "Unitasking Masters" was really good
  • Cheated Fates Radio - I love Joe and really look forward to hanging out with him at Adepticon again this year. I think Adam is a great addition, and really like him as well. I have ended up shutting off a couple recent episodes from losing interest, but it's still a quality Malifaux podcast for those interested in M2E.
  • Gaming Done Right - all the arrogance you would expect from my previous co-hosts, and then some. Lots of gaming topics and some Malifaux here and there.
  • Crit of Gamers - These guys hit Malifaux a bit less than general gaming and gaming community. I'm not completely sold but have not unsubscribed yet.
Then the last bit of Malifaux news for me is the upcoming Adepticon 2014. Word is there will be a Malifaux Classic event at Adepticon this year during the Story Encounters. If I understand correctly, it will be run in parallel with the M2E Story encounter and during the costume contest. I am looking forward to this and plan to take part.  I am looking forward to it!


Talking about podcasting it's probably a good place to jump into a quick update for those who are interested. I should probably copy this section over to the Gamers Lounge blog as well (if your reading it there then this was part of a recent DTP blog post).

First off, I recently joined Richi and Andre for a great discussion on a variety of subjects on the Hobby Sofa. I had a lot of fun and hope to return in a future episode for some additional discussion. In the recent episode we talked about basing for models, Hell Dorado, and Andre reviewed the new Seamus plastics. The conversation diverted to religion and a variety of other topics as well. The Hobby Sofa has a couple locations, search for it.

On Gamers Lounge news, we are not dead yet, it's just the quiet before the storm. At least I hope thats the case! The recent games I have been playing are not ones that make good podcast episodes (in my opinion) and I am looking forward to the return of some miniature war games. Netrunner is fun to play, but not really something I am passionate enough about to discuss for an hour or more. X-Wing with my daughter is fun, but again not enough to discuss. The upcoming Wild West Exodous is very exciting for me and I plan to record several episodes about my jump into that game. I have some high expectations (as mentioned elsewhere) and hope the game is as good as it appears to be. Regardless, learning the game and deciding if it's going to become my primary game should make for some great recording material!

Also on the horizon for GL is something I mentioned in one of the last episodes. I have been talking with the primary game designer of a new company (and helping playtest some of their games when work gives me the opportunity) and we have a segment planned for a number of future episodes. It's a "Game Designer Diary" type of segment where he and I will discuss some of the decisions designers need to make for their new games as they are building the games and their company. I think it will be interesting for people to hear, and for us to have the discussions. Life challenges have jumped in the way with both our schedules, so the plans to have several segments recorded already has been delayed by over a month.


Things are getting pretty long already, I thought this was going to be a shorter post that it has turned out to be. That said, I will try and wrap up the last couple things on my mind. Last night (Tuesday Oct 29) was the first of the Huzzah Hobbies monthly Netrunner tournaments. It was a lot of fun with 8 players showing up, 4 of which I had not played before. I ended up only playing 1 new opponent and did well overall. I won all 3 games I played with my corp deck (a fast score NBN deck) but did not win any of my runner games. My Kate/Atman deck just did not run fast enough to pull off the wins, losing 2 games to Scorched Earth and 1 to a race for the final agenda point (we were both at 6 agenda points). At the end of the 3 round event I came in 3rd place overall, so not a bad showing. I ended up with the LE art Scorched Earth card and the LE art Kate personality card (pictures above). I am looking forward to the next monthly tournament and will be overhauling my runner deck to work a bit faster.

Wild West Exodous

We are all still waiting on the WWX stuff to pry itself free from customs and then start shipping our way. I am thinking we will end up with the kickstarter stuff in our hands within the next 3 weeks, putting WWX in reach for the middle to end of November. This has me and a couple locals excited to get the models in hand, painted, and start learning the game. In the interim, there is a great new podcast to listen to regarding the game. Check out The Good, The Bad, The Enlightened on their iTunes feed or at their website.


My daughter and I have been playing a bit of Fantasy Flights X-Wing recently and its been a lot of fun. Enough that I am trading on Bartertown and shopping locally to expand our collection of ships. She is consistently beating me in the games but its nice to jump in to a quick game with her. So far we have only been learning the ships and blowing each other up, expanding to building our own ships with the upgrade cards (and pilots) and playing around 75 point games with asteroids on the board. Eventually we will get to missions and objectives, but for now its exciting to see her excited for the game. Add in how much quicker it is to play and now we have 2 games (X-Wing and Malifaux) for different gaming windows.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Challenge

Years ago I ran a long running D&D game which we named Fire Pass Keep. The game ran over a couple years with a core group of players (Austin, Trevor, Jen, Mike) and a couple other players who joined the game for periods of time before departing. The game was in a home brew world I had created and was set-up as in "Books" and "Chapters" for a story progression standpoint.

My approach to running RP has always been "Theater of the Mind" in style, rarely placing models on the table and always tied to an overarching storyline driving the "plot" forward. The players have filled the role of "actors in the play" or more accurately "independent characters in the story" who directed their own path's in relation to the overarching storyline. I find this a great way to run a game as it allows the players to operate "off the rails" and make their own choices within the world but still experience the impact of their actions as the story progresses around them. This allows a tremendous amount of freedom for character actions (both individually and as a party) and really rewards them as they act within the storyline, while not overly punishing them for pursuing goals outside the storyline. Overall it was a great deal of fun and the game developed in ways we all enjoyed. One of my players (Austin) posted a writeup from his character point of view that can still be read online here.

The game wound down around mid-campaign due to a number of issues in scheduling and other life issues (marriages, babies, moving, etc). We all still talk about the campaign from time to time, but we have all drifted to other gaming venues and activities over the years. I have moved more heavily into miniature games and have not revisited the RP arena in many years at this point.

Recently Austin and I were talking and he issued me a challenge. We both have fairly rigorous life and family schedules but he was getting a rather strong urge to revisit playing a character in one of the stories in my head. The challenge was fitting some solid RP into our crazy lives. He posed the question:

"Would it be possible to frame a RP campaign over several hours spread across three weekends, with those weekends spread across 3-4 months?"

I was intrigued. Trevor had also mentioned recently that he and his wife (Jen) were hankering for a revisit to a solid RP game with me running it. The three of them plus another 3 acquaintances of Austins brought us to a party of 6. My intrigue turned to facination, and after only a couple seconds of contemplation I decided.....

Challenge Accepted!

Now I need to start wrestling with the creative side of my brain to work out the game. First there are some challenges:
  • Timing: The story needs to neatly fit within 3 sessions of ~6-8 hours each.
  • Players/Characters: The story has to encompass 6 active characters in a party. Timing may preclude a "group comes together" scenario and may require the party being pre-formed. I also need to decide between pre-generated characters vs character generation by the group.
  • Story: The story needs to be exciting and engaging, I want us all telling stories about this for years.
  • Setting/Background: I need to decide where to base the story. Do I set it in my homebrew D&D/High fantasy world? Do I set it in one of the other pre-created Fantasy worlds? Do I create something new?
  • System: I will probably use D&D 3.5 as the setting, as I am fairly certain we are all comfortable with the system and have the books.

I plan to visit this from time to time on the blog as I plan out the game and then again when we get the gaming sessions in. I have a whirlwind of ideas surrounding this, so I expect it will be interesting to see how things settle out. 

Thursday, October 3, 2013

WWX Battle report

It's been a WWX week for the DTP so far! AS I understand it, Robert Gunter is the Devilish level backer for the WWX Kickstarter. Robert had the chance to fly out to Duelcon recently and hang out with the Outlaw Miniatures crew, get a load of models, and get in an "official" game of WWX with the final rules and models. He has very nicely posted a series of videos on Youtube, including a great battle report of Outlaws v Union. It's a lot of fun to watch, here are the links:

WWX Battle Report video #1
WWX Battle Report video #2
WWX Battle Report video #3
WWX Battle Report video #4

I am excited to see this battle report mostly because it is played at a skirmish level with a small number of models. The comments indicate this was a $750 game (750 points if you will), with Robert fielding all characters while Sean (I think it's Sean) fielding characters and hired hands.


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Sometimes it's the little things

I have to admit that sometimes it's the little things that really shine. There are small things that show when a company is willing to go that extra step because they care about their customers or their community. Many of you know that I backed the Wild West Exodus kick-starter. I am greatly looking forward to getting the kick-starter rewards in hand and getting some time to try out this new game. I have a tough time lately keeping my hopes for the game in check until I get to play a couple times and see how it really "feels" on the table.

Even with my high anticipation and carefully reigned in enthusiasm, I have to say that the communication on the kickstarter side has been the best of any kick-starter I have been involved in. Furthermore, it's far better than most of the kick-starters I have heard about or looked at. Yesterday evening I recieved an email from the kick-starter that was just a step further than any other game company has gone. It's such a nice touch and I really wanted to applaud Romeo and the Outlaw Miniatures team for going this extra step.

Project Update #139: The Boat Is Leaving China!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hey everyone.
If this weekend could not get any better we have official news that the boat is leaving China. 
Here is the boat name Hatsu Courage 0795-058E 
From there enter the boat name in the top left hand side. (Hatsu Courage) 
We also have the container number for you to track if you need it. FSCU4632150 
Here is how you can track this beast full of WWX goodness all the way to the USofA.
You will get an exact live location of what the boat is doing and when it will reach US Customs. 
Keep in mind that once the boat reaches the US it still needs to clear customs and get put on a truck to reach our warehouse. 
From there we take the container, unpack it and begin the process of shipping orders. This should be a very exciting month. As always please email us if you have any questions. 
Thanks guys and as always, In Jesse We Trust



 This is such a cool little thing they decided to do, sharing this information with the people who are building their community and are buying their product. What amazes me even more is that its such an easy thing and no one else seems to have done this. Again, bravo Outlaw Miniatures!!!