Important Stuff

Monday, October 4, 2010


As promised, its time for your Monday Update on the House of Paincakes scene.

First up, general site news... or, in today's case, the lack thereof.  That being said -

Article Submissions
Keep sending those in!  Friday would be a sad, lonely place if we didn't have anything from our members' to promote.  Remember, anything you wrote that you think is awesome is fair game.  Just please refrain from suggesting posts you didn't write and/or are on blogs outside of the HoP membership.  Also keep in mind that new and original content gets first consideration and repeated awesome original submissions may be a way to get added as an author at the HoP.

House of Paincakes Super Bad-ass Haiku Contest and Not-at-all Shameful Grab for Filler Content
We've gotten some good entries so far, but we could always use more.  So check out this thread, gaze in awe of Lantz and write a damn haiku, already!  The winner will be presented this Thursday - with or without a new picture of Lantz (we hope there is a new one).

And now, the first installment of a new feature:

New Member Monday
A Monday event within a Monday event!  It's CRAAAAZY.

OK... woah.  Let me dial it down a notch and present (in no particular order) all the new members who've joined the House since last Monday.

Eldar Addict

The Painting Sanctuary


Defending Humanity

Combat Tactics

Crew Shaken, Not Stirred

Terminal Nerdocity

Each one of them a precious stone buried in the porn-soaked flesh of the internet.  So tear yourself away from the boobies and check 'em out!  The blogs, that is.


Friday, October 1, 2010

That Fucking Guy by GMort

One thing that Dethtron and I love is a close fought game between to tightly built armies.  For us, that's the essence of competitive play.  It not about clubbing baby seals or even going to tournaments.  It's just good games with good people.  Unfortunately, a big chunk of the reason the false dichotomy between 'casual' and 'competitive' exists is because of one guy.  That fucking guy, to be precise.  He's not interested in playing a game to the best of his abilities, he's interested in winning.  At all costs.  But he calls himself competitive and he has clones.  GMort has his own, personal Chaotica and humbly put forward this primer to help the world with 'That Fucking Guy".

That Fucking Guy.

We've all had games against 'That Fucking Guy' (which will be abbreviated to TFG from now on).

TFG: also known as 'dick head'
Now I'm not necessarily talking about competitive gamers who build their armies to win, carefully optimise units and know mathematically which unit should beat what as many of my regular opponents enjoy playing like that and are generally not arseholes...well, not all the time anyway ;-).

So, what puts someone into the TFG category?

The following list is by no means conclusive nor in any particular order but it does cover all the things that annoy me most.


Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lantzing the Boil or Where in the World is Lantz?

On Monday, Lantz bravely - some would say, foolishly - volunteered to help us fill our holes....  ~gross...  in the posting schedule.

It turns out that his offer was genuine.  Here is Lantz from The Magnet Pro in all his glorious glory:

Lantz sez: "Me, drinking a hip apple-tini in a hip bar with assumed hip people. I'm hip."
Also, to make this as weird a scene as possible, here's a semi-related Haiku to kick off the official House of Paincakes Super Bad-ass Haiku Contest and Not-at-all Shameful Grab for Filler Content.*

The House of Paincakes
Awesomeness cuts like a knife
Old trout dies alone

So that's it for this first installment in what I hope will become a regular series here.  I think we'll learn something about life's greatest mysteries along the way.  Why does the human spirit feel the need to wander?  What is the meaning of community?  Do magnets work as explained by scientists or are those motherfuckers just lyin' and gettin' us pissed?  Why do I even have these night vision goggles?  Is plaid still hip or is it so fall 2009?

I will leave you with my own Haiku-
Dethtron's MBA
Program so boring; must go
on silk wings time flies

*Official rules:  your haiku most follow the 5/7/5 convention and the haiku must be, nominally, somehow related to the House of Paincakes.  Post your entry in the comments section of this post.  One entry per contestant.  No purchase necessary.  The winner(s) will be selected by the HoP admins and any agents we may designate.  The winner(s) will receive the dubious honor of having a filler post dedicated to their poem(s).


Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Weekly Top X: Brent’s in Charge; Hide the Beer

This week I forced Brent at gunpoint gently encouraged Brent to be the one that chooses the the top X material.  So if you don't like it, please send all your hate mail to Brent so he can ignore it instead of us.

In all seriousness, Brent had been absolutely swamped with grad school and his busy regimen of whoring himself out across the blogosphere... wait, I said in all seriousness, didn't I?  In any case, Brent is a busy guy and fitting just one more post into a schedule was pretty hard considering all the book learnin' he's been up to lately.  I had been doing most of the legwork and I thought this week would be a great way to get Brent back into the mix as fully as possible.

So let me kick this off Brent-style:

Hello again boys and girls, Unicorns and children of all ages, Brent here bringing you the House of Paincakes Weekly Top X!


Monday, September 27, 2010

Monday is for Lovers

As the House of Paincakes continues to grow, Dethtron and I are always looking for ways to improve the way we do bid’ness. We’ve been considering quite a few things of late and a number of them have actually made their way from being a vague idea to something we can actually implement.

Here’s the latest batch:

A Posting Schedule
The HoP landing page is pretty integral to what we do here. Beyond being a place to get a logo, it’s where people can come and take a look at what the other members are up to via the blog lists and our various promotional efforts. A key factor to getting people to come here is to actually have content to trick entice them into coming back. Now, Dethtron and I have been fairly consistent on getting things posted, but we’ve decided to formalize it bit.

Generally speaking, we’re going to have a minimum of three posts a week until other new and exciting things fall into place. Then, we’ll start ramping that up. Here’s what were working with for the time being:

Monday – HoP announcement/news day. Pretty self explanatory here. We’re just going to use Monday as the day where we share info on what the HoP admins are up to. We’ll also be announcing new members who have joined up over the last week. Expect this to start next week.

Wednesday – Top X day. It’s been like this for a month, so no surprises here.

Friday – User Submission day. We’ll put something up one of the community members have sent us and let people mull over it for the weekend.

Tuesday/Thursday – Ladies’ Choice. We have some stuff in the works here, but nothing is finalized yet. These days will likely be used for all the odd-ball stuff that can come up or even for more user submissions.

This may change and/or expand in the future, but we’ll let you know on another Monday.

Blog Roll Changes
At this point, HoP membership is approaching 80 blogs. The blog lists are getting a bit big and we’re beginning to collect old posts at the bottom of them. Primarily, we need to save space on the main page so we’re going to limit the rolls to only show the first 25 most recent posts. We’d do 30-35 if we could, but blogger doesn’t have anything between 25 and 50. If you’re bummed out about being hidden at that bottom, the answer is simple: POST MORE! I mean, seriously, there are some great authors we’d love to see more from

We’re also looking into to creating a member’s list page as well, where we will collect links to EVERY member's page, regardless of post frequency. More on this as it develops.

Keep Sending In Those Article Submissions!
We’ve got a bunch backlogged, but we can always use more. Remember, the more submissions you guys submit, the more stuff you’ll all see on the site. Just keep in mind that when we say we want more submissions, we’re actually asking for more submitters

With that, I’m done blathering on about the House of Paincakes. Check back later this week for Brent’s handpicked Top X choices as well as some other delightful, hand-crafted treasures. Enjoy the rest of your Monday! - Lauby


Friday, September 24, 2010

Improving Hobby Skill: Supplies by Chaosgerbil

My copy of Island of Blood just came in the mail a few days ago and it got me a little nostalgic about the first Warhammer box set I bought (4th edition).  It brought up a lot of memories about my start in the hobby. It also made me think about kids just now picking up the hobby.  Sufficed to say, the new "Read this First" book that comes with IoB left a lot to be desired.  I put myself in the shoes of a new player and could see myself being quite unprepared for assembling and painting all of those shiny new minis in the box.  Luckily, in real life when I found myself in a similar predicament in 1992 I had my Dad's decades of model railroad experience to fall back on, but I'm sure most people are not so lucky.  So the following article from Chaosgerbils' Lair seemed like it fit in well with what's been running through my head this week.  It's a solid list of the essential tools you'll need that don't come in your IoB box and some good recommendations of specific products and how to use them as well (although Lauby and I prefer Duplicolor sandable primer to Gerbil's suggestion of Krylon [not really primer- a very very common mistake], but we'll get to that down the road- the most in-depth article on primer you've ever seen is coming soon). But anyway, read on for more hobby info than you can shake a stick at ~Dethtron

Everyone can improve their painting and modeling skills. I’ll start with the basics for a solid foundation.

A moderate investment in hobby supplies will pay off. Unless you are some kind of hobby genius, your work can only be as good as your tools. Old frayed brushes and cheap dried up paints will give you poor results.

Basic tools: Brushes, model paint, black spray primer, glues, razor blades or a hobby knife, clippers, and basing materials.

Optional tools: Files, pin vises, razor saws, sculpting tools, magnets, palettes, and paint additives.

Each of these will be covered in more detail below. (By the way, GW stands for Games Workshop)


Stop the Presses, Warhammer Forge Announced

Hot on the heels of the announcement of the amazing, yet somewhat slightly un-Necron looking Tomb Stalker and the rickety Mega Grot Tank, Forge World has announced the creation of Warhammer forge.  It looks like more details about this will be forthcoming from Games Day UK, but we're pretty chuffed about the project.  With GW getting more serious about making WFB a game that people actually want to play, it's great to see that FW will be falling in line to back them up. 

As of right now, it looks as though the project will include Imperial Armour style books in addition to resin kits. 

Here is a brief excerpt from FW Newsletter #250 explaining the project:

Veteran games developer Rick Priestley and Forge World sculptor Mark Bedford have spent the past few months masterminding a brand new project, a long-awaited foray into resin products and detailed expansions for Warhammer, The Game of Fantasy Battles.

Warhammer Forge unveil a veritable horde of work-in-progress resin kits as well as early layout copies of the first in a series of lavish expansion books for the very first time at Games Day UK.

You’ll be able to see the staggering range of resin models that have been created over the past year, and Mark Bedford and his intrepid in-house sculptors Keith Robertson and Steve Whitehead will be available all day to answer any and all questions you have. These intricately detailed models are some of the finest yet produced in resin, adding an incredible depth and breadth to the existing Warhammer range.

Looks like we'll have to wait until Games Day for more news on this.  Could this lend some credibility to the rumors about Chaos Dwarfs returning?  If you're going to be there let us know what the hell is going on and send us some sweet ass pictures.


Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Weekly Top X: FIGHT!

This weeks Top X is a bit special.  You see, today is our one-month anniversary and we're chuffed to bits over it.  As I've said before, Dethtron and I didn't think things would move so fast round these parts.  The mere fact that we've had enough material to already do 4 Top X's in a row is pretty amazing for us.  And we owe it all to you guys.  You guys rock pretty hard.  One could even say you're hardly rocking...

So lets all celebrate this 'milestone' just like any 8th grader would on their own 1 month aniversy - with heavy petting and shameful groping.  Wait!  NO!!.  Ok... maybe...

But lets also celebrate this day with the most appropriate post - a Weekly Top X chock full of dick jokes.  This week its Battle Reports (mostly) and Brent and I found some good stuff to share.

1)  Rumors of Heresy Orks vs. Double Land Raiders: A quasi-battle report

John: Oh Orks, when will you ever cease to amuse me. Is there ever a time you can’t make the world smile? So it’s not a full report, but it is a great example of the kind of introspection that Brent and I get E-Hard over. Its also a nice little cautionary tale about rock armies and outflanking.
Brent: I’m E-Touching myself right now! They should make an attachment for that - I could plug it into the USB. What are we talking about? Oh, yea! I really like Delusions of Grandeur and I have two comments about this post: 1) Orks aren’t broken, and 2) pictures make everything better.

2)  Blackjack and HookersDaBoyz GT Primer: Game 3

Brent: Okay, Lauby, you’ve hit a nerve here. First things first, Chumby is one of my favorite IP’s (that’s Internet Personalities for the uninitiated - I’m coining phrases lately) and any battlereport he writes should be considered required reading. Thing is, I’m attending Da Boyz GT later this year and it’s a heavy comp event. Chumby touches on that (E-Touch! Heh!) in this battlereport... and I have the feeling it’s only the beginning of a bigger conversation.
John:  I had a feeling you'd like this one.  But aside from all that comp nonsense, there's also an important and life affirming lesson in here:  talk to people, god dammit!  Chumby took a shitty situation for his opponent and made it not terrible through the simple act of being a good Do Bee.  Now if we can just convince the rest of the world to put on their big-boy pants we may have something.

Chumby, in the flesh

3)  Grimcron Warhammer 40K - Battle Report: Storm Giants vs Imperial Guards

Brent: Grim does some of the best battlereports... ‘cause he uses pictures! Really, guys, you’d be amazed how much more traffic your blogs will draw if you give folks something to look at. Also, he tends to use good lists and writes up what he learned; I love that. It looks like he’s given his blog a facelift recently, doesn’t it Lauby?
John:  His blog doesn't have a face, Brent.  You so crazy!  But I have to echo Brent on the pictures thing.  Unless you throw in some shots of the battle in progress, you have to spend a lot more time on your language skills to make things as clear.  Grimcron's post may be sparse on the actual text, but each one of his pics is worth 994.2 words (according to recent research, 1000 is slightly innaccurate).  Just by having his camera around, he was able to add almost 12000 words... without having to write anything.

4)  Mi40K - Fenton 40k Tournament Recap

John: While I do tend to like detailed analysis of single games, I’ve always had a soft spot for these kind of quickie tournament run downs. Sometimes, 3 full reports is just too much report. I like these kinds of posts for the fact that they highlight some of the crazy moments in statistical probability that can crop up as well as give you a feel for the event itself.
Brent: He had me with Thundercats! I think this is a blog to watch, but I’ll repeat my ‘pictures make it possible’ message here. Also, I spent a ton of time looking for the list he used - did I just miss it?
John:  No, Brent it just wasn't there.  But Lion-O doesn't owe you anything.  Not even a samophlange.

5)  The Buddy Times - Color Modulation Tutorial - part 1 and part 2

John: This one isn’t really part of this weeks theme, but its important never the less. You see, The Buddy Times was accidentally dropped from the blog rolls at one point. Since the HoP is all about the public exposure... of our members.... yeah.... I thought it would be nice to make up for lost time by showcasing this blog. Luckily for the sake of my free time, I didn’t have to go back very far to find something good great to show off.  These posts 100% belong on a Top X.
Brent: I’m going to publicly E-Expose my E-Peen that I’m E-Touching whilst shouting, “Buddy, it’s time!”
John:  I am beginning to regret getting you that 'medicinal' ecstasy.  Having had a bit of experience with color modulation myself, I can say that this is a very good intro to the concept. It covers a big chunk of the details without being any where near as intimidating as the dvd I own. Extra big props to anybody who goes out of there way to make a video tutorial and does it this well. Not only is it difficult, but there's this latent fear that if people hate it they’ll make fun of your voice. Amiright, Brent?
Brent: *sigh* You had to bring that up, didn’t you? The haters will always find something! I’ve had ‘em make fun of my voice and my hair... what’s next? Bottom line, if you feel a passion for blogging, repeat after me:  “I’m good enough, I’m smart enough... and people like (touching themselves) me!”

Welp, this Top X has come to a close.   Nothing left to do but obsessively wait for the comments to role in.  Thanks for reading, guys!  Oh and as always, if you notice that your blog isn't on the rolls and it should be, drop us a line.  I'm relatively sure we're missing one since one of the admins accidentally added a gmail account to the blog lists at one point - Lauby


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

40K basics: Are you using everything in your toolbox? By Sonsoftaurus

Today we're bringing you a nice, broad-spectrum tactics article/think piece from sonsoftaurus of Sons of Taurus.  Not only do we like that this article is well thought out and gives you some important food for thought, but also because it uses the word "tool" more than anything else read before it.  ~Dethtron

In 40K every unit in 40K has a variety of things it can do - some obvious, some not so obvious. Whether you're building a list or in the middle of a game, keeping the toolbox of options and abilities in your mind can help.


Monday, September 20, 2010

A Call for Papers/Suggestions

Its been nearly a month since Dethtron and I lit this candle.  So far its been a fun and rewarding experience.  People are responding pretty positively to our mission and site traffic seems to be up across the board for our members.  On top of that, we've managed to bring nearly 70 blogs into the house so far.  In only one month!

But before we break out the drugs and call up those 'professional' ladies we know for the one month anniversary ironic 80's retro coke party, It'd be a good time to point out that we HoP admins still have a lot of work to do.
<sniiiiifff>  FUCK YEAH!

With that in mind, let me first give everyone a hearty thanks for helping us get such a good start.


Now, I need to let you all in on a dark secret.  Dethron and I were taken by surprise by how successful our first month has been.  To be quite honest, we expected to languish in total obscurity a lot longer than we have.  As a result, we're on our back foot a bit in terms of actual HoP content and a regular posting schedule.

This is where you come in.  The House of Paincakes is all about a lot of different things.  Standing above our policies on swearing, the promise of animal sexual magnetism and our totally sweet name, the most important part of what we're striving for is promoting YOU.  We're here to get the word out about YOUR genius.  Not so much ours or even an elite cadre of writers.  Its YOU.

So what can you do to help? Well, in a couple of fairly easy and monumentally important ways:
  1. Submit an article.  A couple weeks ago, Dethtron mentioned that we're more than happy to promote you by posting something of yours on our main page (with proper credit).  Apparently, most of you thought we were kidding.  We were and are quite serious.  Send us an old post you love, write something new  - we don't care!  Almost any submission will be given serious consideration.  Remember, we're here for your ego more than we are for our own.  All that we ask is that you promote the hobby in a positive way and that you be prepared for editing.
  2. Drop us a line.  Again, the HoP is all about the member blogs.  Dethtron and I have a notion of what we want to do to promote you.  But maybe you have a new idea.  We'd love to hear from you on a wide range of topics - including, but not limited to: your suggestions, praise, complaints, constructive criticism, ideas for a new series and/or testimonials.
In case you're too lazy to click on our contact info page, here's our email:

We look forward to hearing from you!


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Weekly Top X: That New Blog Smell

Hello and welcome to another edition of the House of Paincakes Weekly top X.  Once Brent and I came down from our opium highs on Sunday, we scoured the HOP blogs for some of the best stuff that was published be the good people who are kind enough to openly admit that they are associated with us.

In a drug addled haze, Brent and I both had some flashbacks to the meager beginnings of our own blogs.  It can be hard to get noticed when you get started and it takes time to get readers and the sweet, sweet approval of your e-peers.  So with that in mind, Brent and I decided on focusing our attentions on blogs that have existed for less than a year.  Hopefully we'll get some of these guys the readers they deserve!

1) Bringer of Victory - Don't Be Stupid, Ya Moron

Brent: So, we’re looking at new blogs this week, Lauby. To which I have to say... this isn’t about me at all! How can we correct this glaring problem?
John: I don't know, Brent.  Maybe we could politely ask all of this weeks authors to sprinkle there posts with pictures of your glorious faux-hawk.  But what I'd really like to talk about is-
Brent: Jeez, man - way to make it about yourself. We’re pushing new blogs here, like this one, Nike40K. As with any new blog, there’s not much material to go on, but I think we’ve picked a winner here. He’s got a dry wit and knows how to spin the absurd for laughs - check out his Warseer articles! The one we’re featuring today is an honest self-assessment of his army at Hard Boyz, to which I can only say: I’ve been there, brother, I’ve been there.
John: Yah man, me too. Self delusion can really be a motherfucker.

2) Ragnar's Fist - Spiral Binding Your Codexes

John: I know its not technically from the last week, but this is just too good an idea not to share. Since he just got back from a vacation and I didn’t want him to miss out, I fudged a bit. I’m an editor. I can do that. I’m not sure if I’m a fan of his solution yet, but he’s certainly got me thinking about doing something to protect my large investment in army books. Especially considering how much the get used.
Brent: Actually, I’ve done this to my book before and it works out great! My Eldar Codex is always opened to psychic powers, since that piece of crap book is so hard to find anything in... sorry, I’m ranting. Point is, an open book on a gaming table is an annoyance, but with spiral binding it’s a convenience. This idea is tres useful.

3) Rant in E Minor - Retro Review: The Failcon Grav Tank

John: As Eldar players, I think both Brent and I can appreciate where this guy is coming from. The Eldar don’t have as many successful build options as we’d like anymore and there is a certain amount self loathing involved when you use the tools you do have. A spot on analysis of the shenanigans the Eldar have been reduced to to win against the newer codices. Bonus points for snow-mobiling the fluff. That killed me.
Brent: I’m just glad he didn’t steal my snowmobiling color! I still haven’t forgiven the last chap who took green, using it for his comments in the hideous love-child that was the monkey-fucked-football-grotesquery 5-man snowmobiling of 2010. He knows who he is! (Oh yea, give the article a read...)

4) N++ - Liguitex Matte Varnish

John: Sealing your models is always an opportunity to fuck them up somehow. Most people who write about varnish seem to not realize this or at least try and sidestep the issue. Which is entirely frustrating since you pretty much have to seal you stuff if you plan on actually playing a game. Dave’s piece is the exact kind of post on the subject I like to see - objective, honest, educational and with a trouble shooting section.
Brent: I couldn’t agree more. Did you know Heavy Metal doesn’t seal their models? It ‘ruins them for photos.’ Fuck that - the rest of us can’t afford to repaint what we’ve painted!
John: Or at least the rest of us aren’t being paid to maintain our corporate masters’ collection. HIYO!

5)  BJC MiniStudio - Bartertown.Com Admins: Part I with MagikalMemories

Brent: Folks, we really did save the best for last this week - nothing against these other articles, but this one is so freakin’ useful I can’t stand it. My boy Evil Homer knows how to work these online trading angles, and it seems to be a great way to stretch your hobby dollar. In this economy, that means more money for your toys. This dude wants to give you money... what are you waiting for!? Check out this site’s Bartertown posts so you can understand The Secret. I mean, it’s got to be better than that Oprah book, right Lauby? That had nothing whatsoever to do with man-dolls!
John: I wouldn’t know, Brent. I just wouldn’t know. I’ll quiz you about it later so I can keep up at book club. Speaking of people who do interviews... I’m actually a big fan of stuff like this. There are a lot of cool people out there doing some really great things for our hobbies and getting a peek inside there head is always fascinating for me. From my own experiences with barter town, I can say that if you’re patient, its a pretty great way to save a buck.

There you go, guys! Another Top X has come and gone.  I have to say that we really hope you enjoy this series as much as we do.  Its fast becoming the highlight of my blogging week.  See you next time!  - Lauby


Monday, September 13, 2010

Notice: New URL and Associated Errors

Just a quick notice for everyone - Dethtron and I are startin' to get all super slick with the HOP site and we went and bought a custom URL.

You can go ahead and use this much less complicated address to hit up your favorite blog network landing page of all time.  Or... you can use the old blogspot address.  Both will work as we've set up a redirect.  Or at least it will once a niggling blogger error goes away.

We're under construction you see.  Accidents happen.
Unfortunately, the custom domain stuff on blogger keeps wrecking our blog lists while the custom url is active.  Once I switch back to the blogspot address things go back to normal.  So if you're the kind of obsessive fan we hope to one day have, you may notice some broken things off and on. Not to worry, though - we're on it.

Please bear with us as we deal with the mystery that is blogger.  Watch this post for updates.

[UPDATE:] Screw figuring out web problems.  I went ahead and set up the redirect and then reentered all the blogs back on the rolls.  Please check the roles to make sure your blog is there!

And now, because Chaosgerbil raises a valid point:

I bring you a lolcat

and boobies

The new address is live and we're one step closer to world domination. With that out of the way, things should be pretty stable for now.   Let us know if we broke anything and thanks for bearing with us for the last few hours. - Lauby


Friday, September 10, 2010

Join Us or Die!

Hey everybody!  Hey Dr. Dethtron (well I'm not really a Dr. but I'll be an MBA before too long...).

Well anyway, I just wanted to write and implore all of our readers to make sure they not only "follow" this blog, but also to submit your blogs to us for the roll.  As you'll see if you poke around, we're not particularly discriminating when it comes who we include.  Basically, as long as your blog is about tabletop gaming or roleplaying, you're in.  Right now we seem to have a lot of GW related content, as that's what the site owners play for the most part, but if you know FoW, Warmachine/Hordes, Battletech, or whatever, we'd love to have you on the network.  We're working to get some authors to talk about other systems right now, but that is a long range project.

I've also noticed that there are a few "followers" who have blogs, but haven't asked to be included in the network.  What the hell are you waiting for?  Click the "join us!" link up top and get on board already, or die.  Ok, so you won't die, at least through any fault of my own, but I just wanted an excuse to use a picture from Robin Hood Prince of Thieves.  I secretly like that movie even if Kevin Costner is involved.  Well I guess it isn't really a secret any more. 

Lastly, if you would like to contribute to our posting schedule, let us know at  We're not quite ready to start adding permanent extra authors yet, although it will be happening soon, but we'd love to re-post an article you're particularly proud of or- better yet- put up some original content for the HOP that you wrote.  Fair warning though, I'm a stickler for editing, so don't be offended if you get an article sent back with lots of red notes on it.  I'm not trying to be a dick, I just want this site to be that good.

Have a great, safe weekend everybody, and we'll be seeing you shortly.

1 comment:

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Math- Can't Truss' It

You know an article is going to be awesome when the title contains a Public Enemy quote.  Those of you that have been following my work on Dick Move already know that I'm a sucker for math.  I enjoy a good round of mathhammer nearly as much as a game of Warhammer.   Statistics and probability are things that you really need to have a grasp on to elevate your game.  Knowing the odds of killing an enemy, surviving a reckless action, or passing a leadership test are invaluable in my own decision making process.  I won't lie and say that I always calculate the exact odds of accomplishing what I want, but I know that if I want to take down a Landraider with missile launchers, it's going to take more than just a handful of shots to do it. 

Don't fret if you're not math savvy.  Heresy Online has a good 40k combat calculator that can help you out of a jam. 

Having said that, I will also let you know that I am extremely mistrustful of the application of probability to a game of Warhammer.  Frankly, you are rarely going to be rolling enough dice at one time for the outcome to logically follow predicted outcomes.  Perhaps something like Khorne Berzerkers on the charge come close, but keep in mind that rolling 20 is less likely to behave as we would assume, but rolling 1,000 dice would probably yield pretty close to average results.  Rolling an infinite number of dice will yield average results. 

Here is a real life example based on a series of highly improbable events that happened to me recently.  It's centered around these assholes here:

Yeah, these assholes
This past weekend I got a chance to play my first game of Warhammer Fantasy 8th ed against my good buddy Hoagy.  He already went to the trouble of making up a battle report, so if you're interested in reading it or seeing more pretty pictures of mostly unpainted miniatures on my desert board you can read it here.  For me, the game was fraught with bad luck from the outset.  Turn 1 saw my cannon misfiring itself to death after my Lvl 4 Life Wizard miscast and killed 3 greatswords while resurrecting 3 crossbowmen- not a good trade off to say the least.  Over the course of the next few turns I lost both my other artillery pieces (a mortar and a Helstorm Rocket Battery) to misfires- it was a small game and I was more interested in trying out as many things as possible than having a cohesive army, so I didn't have a lot of artillery and didn't get to spam anything. 

Anyway, let's crunch the numbers on my suicide artillery.  I took a total of 5 shots over the course of the game.  3 of those were fatal misfires. 
  • 1 result on the artillery die is a misfire, so the probability of rolling a misfire is 1/6
  • 1 result on the misfire chart (a roll of 1) results in a wrecked piece, so the probability of being wrecked is 1/6
Noting the above, the probability of an artillery piece getting killing itself with a misfire on a single shot is 1/6 * 1/6 = 1/36

This also means that the probability of not killing itself (inclusive of non-destructive misfires) is 1 - 1/36 = 35/36. 

Since in my particular case I got 2 shots off and died on 3 others the odds of that happening were:
(1/36)^3 * (35/36)^2=  1,225/60,466,176 = .00002026... or odds so low that my calculator just had to resort to scientific notation.

I stood a 0.00203% chance of exploding my 3 war engines over the course of 5 shots.  Ordinarily when you fire a cannon or what have you, you assume that you're going to the shot off.  Statistics even tell you that you have a 35/36 (97.2%) chance of at least not destroying yourself.  Seems like a pretty safe gamble.  Hell, I'd take odds like that in Vegas all day long.  Sadly, just because something is likely to happen doesn't mean that it is guaranteed to happen.  Despite the fact that there was nearly 100% certainty that I would not lose all of my own units to misfires, it happened.  Shit happens. 

And that my friends is the moral of the story.  Shit happens.  Despite your best efforts and confidence in  statistics, you can't expect all of your rolls to behave as predicted.  Even if you know that firing 10 lasgun shots at BS3 will yield 5 hits on average, it is still possible or even likely that you will get 4, 6, 10, etc hits when you roll.  At the same time, even though I know that shooting a single missile at a Landraider at BS4 only stands a 11.11% chance of glancing, so it's not worth the effort if there are other viable targets.  If anything is to be learned by this, it's that knowing your stats will help you to make logical decisions, but don't be surprised when things don't work out quite as you expected.

So there you have it.  Anybody else pulled off any ludicrous rolls?  Got advice for applying stats to your game?  Inevitable math errors to bitch about in my calculations?  Sound off in the comments section.


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Philip K. Dick Presents: the Weekly Top X

The House of Paincakes crack team of researchers has been hard at work for the last days searching for some of the coolest things are members have committed to the internet.  This week, we have a double theme (loosely speaking).  Without further flim-flam and rigmarole, welcome to today's Philip K. Dick/hobby Weekly Top X!  Remember, these are in no particular order!

1)  When Cannons Fade - How to Make Your Own Movement Trays

John: I know I’m stating the obvious here, but movement trays are the kind of thing that can make or break a game of Fantasy. Unfortunately, the options GW sells just aren’t as ‘one size fits all’ as the package claims... or as cheap as you’d want them to be. With all the new interest in Fantasy cropping up, ideas like this are pure genius. Not only can you make ANY size you want, but its also no big deal if they get destroyed!
Brent: I had my doubts about this one, but I’ve actually seen a local try it and it works quite well. It’s stable and light... and cheap! My biggest peeve about the GW brand is how perfect they are for 20mm models and how unperfect they are for 25mm. Make your own and avoid all that.

2)  Musings of a Metal Mind - Gunheads and Walkers

Brent: So, here’s a blog that was getting on this list this week regardless. First of all, it’s always cool. This dude is a true original and I dare any of you to call this kit-bashing. Anyway, I preferred the Lackeys article but I see where Lauby is going with this choice. It is a great example of the crazy vision Mark has. Mark is that robot dude who does all this - I betcha didn’t know that, Lauby.
John: Are you saying Mark is a robot!? Quick! Break out the Voight-Kampff machine! Well, even if he is a robot, Mark has cranked out some seriously impressive robo-conversions. A lot of love and creativity went into these models and you can tell... even if he didn’t come right out and say it. HA!  Not only are the gunheads pretty freakin’ sweet, but they’re an appropriate eulogy for the sorely missed GW bitz service.

3)  Drunken Gamers of Ottawa - Pre-Heresy Night Lords

Brent: This... is... freakin’... awesome..!
John: Kids, there are pre-heresy armies and then there’s this. I’ve seen very few people this committed to including original models in their armies. And the conversions - that’s were the real genuis is. No wait! Its the scratchbuit drop pods. No wait! It's the hand painted...
Brent: Let me interrupt you there, Lauby - you’re distracting from the pure win that is RTB1-era Space Marines. I love these old models. I actually have an army of my own, but I’ll admit right here that this one blows mine way out of the water. Truly inspiring.

4)  Indy 40k - August in Indy

John: Hmmmm, this feels a lot like you’re trying to sidestep the arbitrary limits I’ve set. A link in our top X to another top X - for shame, Brent!
Brent: You’ve caught me! I’m a rebel I am, and I did bring this one to the party because it’s like a freebie. We pick him and he picks others and voila! It’s like Amway, except we’re at the top of the pyramid!
John: You sly devil!  In any case, this is the same kind of thing we hope to promote with our own top X.  Damn, we are like Amway executives.  Maybe we can introduce Ubik into the product line?

5)  40k for the New Professional - A Real Pennfield Mood Organ
Brent: This is the one I had to make sure got on the list. I like this post for a variety of reasons, some of them personal, I’ll admit. First up, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep was a firm favorite of mine growing up. It was the first work I ever learned to appreciate rather than liking right off; it was worth the effort. Even now, I can picture the protagonist going home to his fake animals and dialing 888. That’s bleak shit, it really is. Point is, Kennedy is right: we can shape our own moods with music. That’s got to be better than sitting in front of the television, right?
John: I dunno.. if I’m in a ‘c-beams glittering the dark’ kind of mood, a funny movie or some hilarious tv tends to do much the same as the music could for snapping me out of it. The big thing here, is that Kennedy’s article has some very useful applications for going about the business of painting your dudes. I use music and telefilm myself to alter my mood and get me focuses in a distracted kind of way.
Brent: (Dial 888: the desire to watch TV, no matter what’s on.)
John:  Note to self:  Buy Philip K Dick anthology.  Read anthology.

And there you have it.  The second Weekly Top X has come to its esoteric close.  As always, we look forward to tormenting you with our banter next week.  Read like the wind!  - Lauby


Monday, September 6, 2010

Tactica: Warbuggy vs. Deffkopter

For the HOP staff, its not a question of whether or not Orks suck but rather a question of what color of green should you go with.   Mercer over at Imperius Dominatus also felt that the age old rivalry between dune buggy and personal helicopter also needed to be addressed - Ork Style!  As part of our continuing quest to promote the HOP network members, we bring you the entirety of Mercer's post on the subject with minimal edits.

Here's a article to possibly end the debate of which is better; Warbuggy or Deffkopter!