Important Stuff

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

That long Winding Path Through Geekdom.

The path to geekdom begins in different ways for different people.

Mine began with this,

It was as far as I'm aware the first of it's kind. A book that worked like a role-playing game. Create a character, choose your equipment, head off to kill the 'Evil Wizard' who for some reason will end up fighting you in hand to hand combat rather than blowing your head off with a bolt of lightning, get the treasure but not the girl because as far as I remember there wasn't one and become the hero you always secretly wanted to be ;-)


Monday, June 27, 2011

New Member Monday - Important Reminder: Always Give New Member Monday Posts a Subtitle

Hello everyone!  Aside from a late Top X and even a mis-titled New Member Monday, last week went pretty smoothly.   Musings of a Game Store Owner has hit a fantastic stride and GMort is still the page view leader despite his constant worry over his comment count.  Heck, both of the User Content Days were so good they had me clapping my hands and running in a circle until I passed out.  All of this rounded out nicely by Dethtron's continuing awesomeness with his 15mm terrain.  Now if I could just get SinSynn to respond to my emails...

Now if you really appreciate this fine content brought to you week after week, you should consider calling in and donating 5, 10 or even 25 dollars.  Now, if you want to get your hands on a tote-bag...

Woah, sorry about that.  It was a pledge day on NPR.  Forgot where I was.

Well... here's even more good news: MORE MEMBERS!  YAY!!


Sunday, June 26, 2011

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] A Lot to Juggle

I asked for your comments, and you all responded. Thank you! I have definitely learned a lot about the desires and motivations of the tabletop crowd. I appreciate the generosity and time you’ve shared with me.

A lot of your comments are very intuitive- they’re things that TheDude and I have agreed are essential components to our success. It’s nice to know that we’re not completely on the wrong track in our assessment of key issues. We’ve certainly felt some relief in hearing from our own customer base that we’ve done –some- things right. But we can’t rest on our laurels, we have to keep working to improve- it’s a vicious cycle.
Just as soon as we have something locked down, we have to add a new thing to the mix, and it gets to be a heady trip juggling all the factors that make any retail establishment go from good to great.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Weekly Top X - Better Late Than Never

All right everybody!  All the issues with what was supposed to be yesterdays Top X have been ironed out.  So now you get all the cool blog posts you can eat and on a Saturday even!  I've decided to call it a 'good deal'.  No time for jibber jabber today, Mr. T is watching and Brent just moseyed on over.

1) Rathstar's Ramblings - Battlefield in a Box Review
Brent: Soooo... two weeks in a row we have a review post hit Top X? AND they’re quality? I detect bias, sir, bias.
Lauby:  I.. I...  sir, you offend me.  Explain yourself or taste my blade!
Brent: Bias against crappy reviews out there. Of which there are many.
Lauby:  Phew.  I thought I was gonna have to stab you for a second there.  But your all to right - I would rather collect my own urine, freeze it into popsicles and then eat those popsicles than read another shitty nerd-rage dump with a 'review' sticker on it.  +1 internets for Rathstar for bringing this to our attention.
Brent: So we’re talking about the product now? I THINK WE SHOULD USE A PIC OF THE PRODUCT. I’m happy that companies like this and Pegasus Hobby are making affordable, ready-to-use wargames terrain. Good stuff.
Lauby:  Agreed. And with all the awful 6th edition rumor reviews that are starting to crop up, stuff like this is most welcome.


Friday, June 24, 2011

User Content Friday - Dungeons & Bolters: The Door To 40k

Due to technical* problems it looks like this weeks Top X has sadly been pushed back a day or two - maybe more. Because missing one of our scheduled posts is frowned upon 'round these parts, the User Content Friday is making a brief comback.  This time we have a neat little post from Roll With It about gateway drugs and the how kids are the future.  Special thanks to Porky's Expanse for pointing me to this post and for being a link aggregating machine!

*Not so much technological problems, but things that are, technically, problems.

With the dawn of the New Year comes the gloomy news that Games Workshop have issued a profits warning. Sales were down over the past 12 months and the expected Christmas rush didn’t happen leaving share prices dropping rapidly. The reasons for this can be found debated across the internet; poor economy, overseas distribution, miniature prices, neglected armies, rulesets and periodical updates etc. However, I do think a big factor is the first step prospective gamers need to take.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

Gaming on a Budget: The Silent Hedges Part 1

Well, if you thought that I was about to stop titling these posts after dated music allusions, then you were damn wrong! 

We're coming close to the end of the tutorials related to my gaming table.  It's been done for weeks now- on target with my hopes, so be expecting the big reveal to come any time now.  For sort of a last hurrah, I've saved my favorite part of the table for last- my hedgerows. 

As soon as I picked up FoW I was instantly drawn to the Bocage rules and as such knew that I was going to need to build a shitload of terrain to support them.  Seriously though, having hedgerows not only makes a fun and different gaming experience, but also makes for some seriously bad ass looking tables.  Working from the sorely lacking semi-instructions from Das Book, I plowed into the project with gusto. When I say sorely lacking, I am dead serious.  Not only were there about 20 missing steps in what is provided, but the directions would have made some of the flimsiest shitty terrain ever.  Needless to say, I made a lot of improvements of my own on the plan and will be sharing some things that I would do differently if I were starting from scratch again.

It also goes without saying that I made these hedgerows (almost 9' worth) for pennies.  The materials used were all readily available and, with a few exceptions, dirt cheap.  Tools notwithstanding, making enough hedgerows to cover a table shouldn't cost much more than $20 all said and done.  Not bad bang for your buck, really.


Wednesday, June 22, 2011

User Content Wednesday - How to pimp your board games!

I was actually going to post this last week during our infotaining run at a unified theme.  Then I went and asked Lo to write a post, which she did,and thought that maybe I would be lazy.  Which I was.  So, running behind and lazy, there was no User Content Wednesday.  It wasn't until just now that I realized that finding an appropriate post would have been as easy as heading over to Fire Broadside!  and grabbing practically anything out of his back catalog.  And not just because of the subject matter, but also because Martin is a Swede who knows his way around the English language.

Recently I've started "pimping" my board games a lot more than in the past. I think it started with painting the playing pieces and then kind of grew from there. But there are many ways to enhance your board gaming experience, and many more that I'm probably not even aware of yet!

So, to get down to business. Here are the things I usually do to pimp my games:


Tuesday, June 21, 2011

When does 'Competitive' become 'WAAC'?

So pretty much by definition the point of a war-game is to win the war...

But how far do we go along with this viewpoint before we become a cheating fuckwit or 'WAAC' gamer as they're sometimes known?

First let's first look at a few circumstances which would put a person in the cheating fuckwit WAAC category as far as I'm concerned.

My greatest fucking hate ever. There are subtle versions and blatant ones but however it's done it's still cheating. Each move has a set distance associated with it for a bloody good reason. Even an inch here or there can make a massive difference during a game when that inch could enable a charge that would never have otherwise happened or puts a melta-weapon into short range for that extra die roll of penetration.


Monday, June 20, 2011

New Member Monday - [Retroactive Title Addition]

Hello and welcome to a theme-less week at the House of Paincakes.  Back to bid'ness as usual for us - so it's back to the age old question:  what the hell is the difference between 28mm Heroic scale and 30mm scale?  It's a conundrum to be sure.

Maybe one of these guys can help:

New Member Monday

Eldar Acceptance Society
Keywords: Eldar, Accpetance, Societies, Being incredibly chill about the whole "we lost your app" thing.

Team Snake Eyes
Keywords: Warhammer 40k, Tournament stuff, Battle reports, the Heartbreak of psoriasis

The Big House
Keywords: Warhammer Fantasy, Fantasy Island, Ricardo Montalban, Fake plastic abs, KAAAAAHN!

Daan of War
Keywords: Chaos Space Marines, Dark Heresy, Skaven, Warmachine, Black Library, Tournaments, Painting & Hobby, MacDonalds and Guitars

3 for Int
Keywords: Gaming in general, 40k, Whale Tales, Team blog, other stuff

Sadly not a one of these guys wrote an essay.  Well... that may not be true.  I lost the Eldar Acceptance Society app and there may well have been a work of genius there.  In place of that, here's a MadLib style essay you can all play with:

I am god's gift to the internet because:        Funny Essay    

It's so easy!


Sunday, June 19, 2011

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Improving Terrain

Our little store was built on a very small but loyal group of people. In that group, a large amount of them are miniatures players. It became obvious that paying attention to the wants and needs of our miniatures group was going to be a vital part of our growth. We've always made it a point to keep the wants and needs of miniatures wargamers firmly in mind when making changes and improvements.

Table space to play and fun, compelling terrain are things that have always been on "the list" for that particular crowd. When the store first opened, there wasn't very much terrain- so the miniature wargamers got together and made some. Old pizza boxes, foam core, various and sundry model train scenery kits- they used it all to get something on the board.

A great example of one of our older pieces. Simple, not super pretty, but effective.


Friday, June 17, 2011

The Weekly Top X - Original Recipe

One of the reasons I wanted to get a this weeks theme up and running is because with rare exception, all it seems people are willing to talk about in our little orb of the blogosphere are Warhammer and Warmahordes.  It's not that I have anything against those games or even the publishers, it's just that there such a wide variety of games out there and, more importantly, ways to enjoy gaming as a hobby.  Day ina nd day out, it's kinda frustrating when the two biggest companies with the two biggest advertizing budgets get all the free publicity that nerd rage can generate.

Huh... this may have been a good thing to mention at the BEGINNING of the week.

So in an our week-long effort to explore the nooks and crannies of an incredibly diverse hobby, think of this week's Top X as a kind of capstone to the whole endeavor. Different games and different ways of looking at things.

1) Mik's Minis - The Games of CabinCon V 
Brent: One of the locals is a huge Board Game Geek, which is, of course, one of the sub sects of Geek in the same way Wargamer is... interestingly enough, I wonder if Historical Wargamer is a peer of Wargamer or an offshoot. It came first, right? But it seems like a niche these days...
Lauby: Maybe a niche within a niche.  And don't you dare make an Inception joke.  Have you ever considered exactly how few people there are that push little mans around the table as a whole?
Lauby: Well think of it this way, Brent.  We're already involved in a niche hobby.  A much smaller percentage of the population plays these kinds of games than I think is commonly understood.  Which kinda makes all those imaginary divisions kinda self destructive.
Brent: Maybe.
Lauby: Right, so this is the part of the story where you tell me what you've learned.  Get to the point, man!
Brent: So I have to get to the point? I enjoyed this article because it gave me a look into the madness that is board games. I can now actually say, “It sounds like fun!” with a straight face.
Lauby: I've played a few of the selections myself and there was a ton more that grabbed me in this post.  If someone invited me to CabinCon, I'm positive that I'd Joseph Gordon-Love it.

"That joke was awful, Lauby"


Thursday, June 16, 2011

Gaming on a Budget: Run to the Hills!

Damn it, I simply couldn't resist yet another outdated music allusion for a post title.  Seems to be becoming a theme for me... oh and speaking of themes, this is still not GW and Not PP week here on the HoP, so I'm going to continue blathering on about the terrain I'm putting on my gaming table for FoW.

Hills are an essential part of any gaming setup for just about any system.  Thankfully, they're also dirt cheap to make.  With a few cents worth of materials, some leftovers, and some TLC you can make some hills that will really come alive with the sound of.... shit not going there.  Just believe me when I say that hills are a snap to make.


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

An Introduction to Flames of War

There's a lot of positive things to say about this game- everyone that I know who plays it says it's engaging, fun, challenging and has hours of play. There are a lot of ways to play it (from Early War to Late, from Infantry to Tanks) and a lot of scenarios available. There are a lot of models available to chose from, and some wonderful color options.

The real downside is that it's a WWII game- and getting new people into that particular genre is pretty difficult. It's easier to sell corn to a guy from Illinois than it is to get someone into the WWII scene. It's often referred to as "as much fun as watching paint dry". Let's put that aside and pretend all of you want to play very suddenly. With pretty few exceptions, finding a store that carries the game is not an easy chore. You're going to have a hard time getting an army at your FLGS.

FOW is a niche game in a niche market. It's usually played by veteran gamers, well-established and well entrenched in their social circles. It's pretty rare for them to expand their ranks, and even when they do, it's one or two guys at a time- not a whole league or more. Plus, they're pretty exclusive. In my experience, it's even harder to get one of these guys to take on a "second army" than it is to get a fanboi to say something negative about their favorite game in space.

an actual book
Once a guy (and this is one of the MOST predominantly male games I've ever run across) has his army, he's not really interested in buying more pieces. The market is pretty shallow, and it's fairly saturated, making it a tough sell for the FLGS owner to consider picking up. Additionally, the kit that Battlefront pitches to any store as the "starter" is NOT cheap, and it's full of the most basic pieces- nothing that will appeal to anything other than a --- BRAND NEW --- FOW player. Trying to grow a community with bad selection in a deeply saturated market isn't the wisest move a FLGS owner can make, and many pass entirely rather than take the hit on merchandise they can't move.

Even with the downsides, this is a great game. If you're not sure it's for you, try your hand at it at a local convention or hassle your friends to shake the trees for the local players. Despite being a pretty well established group of guys, most of them like to show off their toys and will gladly demonstrate a game or two. You can try it out and see what you think- I promise it is waaaaaaaaaaay more fun than watching paint dry!


Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Combining Hobby Life and Family Life...An Impossible Dream?

As this week is themed around 'not Games Workshop or Privateer Press' I find myself at somewhat of a disadvantage when it comes to writing an article...

My suggestion of writing an article about the Dark Heresy RPG as it's technically released by Fantasy Flight Games rather than Games Workshop was reacted to with much the same response I would imagine is aimed at people who try to claim that Daemon Princes aren't actually Daemons.....

So instead I've been forced to go for something generic.


Monday, June 13, 2011

New Member Monday - It's a Theme Week!

Hello and welcome to a fine and fresh idea brought to you by the House of Paincakes!  We're excited to unveil our most ambitious and original idea yet - a theme week!  "What's that all about?" you may be asking.  Well, a theme week is when all the posts have the same basic theme running through them.  To my knowledge this has NEVER been done before.  Another HoP first!

Sit back, relax and enjou "Not Games Workshop or Privateer Press Week"!

... and I guess we have some new blogs too.

New Member Monday

The Way of the Wargamer
Keywords:  Playing it all with miniatures, Silent Death, Flames of War, Flying Lead, Hot Lisbon Action

Fabricator In Exile
Keywords: Warhammer 40k, Gaming, RPing, Writing, Personal Whismy, Book Reviews

Bionicknees Miniature Painting
Keywords: Warhammer, Warhammer 40k, Miniature Painting, Modelling and conversions, Miniature Commissions, Product Reviews

And, as it usually happens, the essay that made me laugh the most, won our pretend literature award for the week.  Congrats to Abakus from Fabricator in Exile:

Dearest Managers and Readers of the International HOP,
It has come to my attention that there exists a medium by which the
most flagrant falsehoods may be touted as fact, and the most ignorant
among us may carry themselves as the equals of those with staggering
powers of intellect (my self and yours indubitably included in the
latter). I refer, of course, to the Internet. More importantly, to
that layer of electrons and silicon known as “The Blogosphere,” where
any man spew forth his knowledge with impunity! (I understand other
layers are used for spewing other things.) As such, the world,
mankind, nay, civilization itself shall not go a day longer without my
wisdom pouring forth into its collective ears! This shall be an outlet
for all things Hobby, Literature, and Gaming related (whether those
games be video or role-playing), where Man may mingle with his fellow
in absolute harmony under my beneficent rule.
Wait, you CAN take over the world with the internet, right? Like in
Ender’s Ga…no?
Screw it, just add me to the damn blogroll.


Saturday, June 11, 2011

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Baby, I've Been Burned Before

For the last couple weeks, I have opened up the floor to you as readers and asked you to talk about the good and the bad at the varied FLGS’ around the blogsphere. I wanted to get a real grasp on what you value and what irks you off, so that I don’t miss the mark when talking about what’s important for a FLGS.

I noticed something pretty striking in the comments for both articles. I noticed that the negative comments, complaints and criticisms outnumbered the positive comments and praise by a margin of 2 to 1. Apparently, you guys have been burned.

That says something really important to me as a business owner. That tells me that while I may do a large number of things right, my customers don’t notice or remember those nearly as much as they remember the things I do wrong.

You guys know what you want, and you have very long memories. Each one of that shared about a horror story or problem area knew exactly what, where, when, how and who made that experience bad. You know why it was bad for you- and maybe even know why it happened the way it did. Most of you relayed that you have quit going to your local store over the incidents in question. In short, you guys are a walking firing squad, just one bad visit to the local dice slinger’s spot away from dropping me (the general me, a FLGS) as your source for goodies over the internet.

Knowing that my customer base actively remembers and relates bad experiences in a disproportionately higher rate than positive ones puts an onus on me to get it right the first time- and let me tell you, that’s a lot of pressure. Scary pressure.

I’m not complaining; I love what I do. However, the knowledge that I’m essentially constantly interviewing for my job as your hobby provider can get downright terrifying. In addition, each of you is different, and knowing how to give each of you at least a touch of what you like is a balancing act that can be hard to manage.

From families to old timers, to college kids to the young professional; the hardcore hobbyist to the dyed in the wool roleplayer, the Magic players and the board gamers- finding a place for everyone is a challenge. It’s one I willingly take on, and even enjoy. Finding a place for everyone is going to involve some balance, and some choices that the customer might not like.

I might decide that there just isn’t a place for X game or crowd. It might be temporary, or it might be permanent. I might hire someone that knows a little about a lot, instead of a lot about a little. I might get new snacks that you don’t like, or I might change the bathroom towels to save on costs. You never know what it is that a customer might find upsetting, and you have to keep trying to improve.

I’ll be talking about improvements nxt week- specifically; terrain, and what has worked and what hasn’t. Hope to see you then…


Friday, June 10, 2011

The Weekly Top X- Random Goodness

Hey guys & gals of the internet! It's Friday, and that means it's Top X Time. Usually Brent and Lauby ham it up, bring on some hilarity and showcase some awesome blog linkage for you.

Lauby is out of town and Brent is uh--- where IS Brent?


Dang. I like letting Brent look good when I do all the wo-- I mean, when we collaborate for Top X. Doesn't matter, the Net waits for no one, and I have a list of great stuff for ya to check out.


Thursday, June 9, 2011

Gaming on a Budget: Road to Nowhere

Well perhaps these posts are all going to get song titles for names now.... who knows?  Shit, possibly one day I'll even break out of the 80s so you kids have some idea what the hell I'm talking about.

Now listen up folks, today I'm going to be bringing you the newest installment covering the gaming table I'm building and this one's an original.  I may ramble a little bit about missteps I made along the way or speak to how I would improve the process in the future, but pay attention and you're going to learn how to make some fantastic, relatively cheap, and really fucking durable dirt roads.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

User Content Wednesday: No Pants Friday: Net Lizsts

Hey everybody!  It's dethtron here, filling in for Lauby while he's off dealing with a family emergency (everybody wish him well).  In honor of Lauby not being here to find somebody else' work to share with you, I've decided to do something that's never been done before and re-post an older article of his from Laubersheimer Industries.  "No Pants Friday: Net Lizsts" comes from a series that has sadly gone away, but such is life.  Anyway, this is a fun little article, not only because it is a nice, sensible article in which I am obliquely involved, but because if you look hard enough, you'll find another reference to breakfast food. 

Ahhhhh, the sweet smell of the same Franz Liszt joke Dethtron and I keep using that nobody seems to care about....

For those of you fleeing the latest Friday Night Internet Fight, here's some good news - the  refugee camp that is No Pants Friday has plenty of room for you.  So lets begin the orientation and begin your re-adjustment to real life so you can reclaim your place as a productive(ish) member of society.  I may have to let the Surgeon General know about this FNIF stuff and what it's doing to the populace, she* may need to get some warning label's ready.

The start of the process begins.... NOW!

I'm more than willing to help rehabilitate you, but nothing is free.


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Freedom of Choice or the Lack Thereof...

As a player who enjoys the competitive side of the hobby, I've been somewhat disappointed with the changes to the Throne of Skulls format that we recently experienced in the UK (everybody else also got the same 'new' format as well I believe). Don't worry, this isn't an article from a year ago that I forgot to post...I have a currently relevant point ;-)

The general attitude in certain areas of Games Workshop seems to be that we should all enjoy the rich written background of the hobby combined with a load of pretty models as the primary focus of our 'fun' with the whole 'kick your opponents teeth down his throat' aspect being a distant last. This would be fine if this 'background' was consistent and the 'power level' of the respective codices was also of a similar level of consistency.

Unfortunately this is not the case...


Monday, June 6, 2011

New Member Monday -

Hello and howdy!  Honestly, I'm having a hard time keeping the intro topical WITHOUT being depressing.  Seems everything newsworthy is kinda shitty of late.  Well, everything except the Good News of the House of Paincakes.  Rejoice friends, its another:

New Member Monday

Scratchbuilt 40K
Keywords: 40k, scratch build, modeling... that actually pretty much covers it.  Huh.

Casual Bryssling of a Ruthless Mind
Keywords:  40k, Britishness, Scottishness, Casual Battle, Being Bad at Tennis, Blancmanges, Planet Skyron in the Galazy of Andromeda

The Dice Abide (the other one)
Keywords: Warmachine, D20 System, Vampire, Beer, Rants, Menswear, etc.): Games
Workshop, Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer 40k, Warmachine

Prometheus at War 
Keywords: 40K, tactics, modelling, Grey Knights, SM, and Tau, general battle-concepts.

Lorin Alpha
Keywords: Warhammer 40k, Fire Angels, Space Marines, Painting, Complaining, Campaigning.

And now, a winning essay.  Today's insight comes courtesy of Chris Seadon from Lorin Alpha:

"I am not writing 500 words.. not unless you pay me."

Good show, old bean!


Sunday, June 5, 2011

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] What Makes a FLGS terrible?

Last week, I asked questions about what you want out of a game store, and why those things were important. I got some very good answers and a lot of material to consider. As a store owner, listening to other people's opinion is a very important part of the job. It's knowing how to cull the wheat from the chaff that's a tougher aspect, and one I work at every day.
So now that I have some insight on what you feel is important for the success of a store, why noHide allt ask about the things that make a store fail?

So many of the things that "go wrong" seem obvious at the outset- but without talking about or asking for opinions on them, it is pretty tough to figure out what NOT to do.

So, let it rip- what things make a store suck?

I want to hear it all- from the truly essential pieces, to the tiny stuff that just drives you nuts. No matter what thing it is that a store does to make it fail, please feel free to share.

Overpricing? Snooty staff? Dirty floors? Kids who run amok? Bad (or non-existent) refund/return policy? No play space? Badly enforced rules (ie- not at all, irregularly, or with favoritism)?

These are just some of the offenses I want to hear about- and I'd love to hear WHY they upset you so much. I'll be glad to take a good look at the replies and see if there are any common themes, and what might be done about them.

I'm looking forward to hearing from you!


Friday, June 3, 2011

The Weekly Top X - Snark Sandwhich

Brent: My Bell of Lost Souls article on Tuesday highlighted the work of an average game club; then, being the Internet Personality I am, I asked others to dropped examples of their work in the comment’s section.

Feel free to do the same here. As a blogger, you should feel free to whore your work whenever possible!

The reason I bring it up is there were a number of comments pointing out how to increase traffic to your blog. Why, look, I just happen to have a quote!

Rebel Grot: “According to the stats of mine almost all the traffic comes from the blogrolls of BoLS, FTW and HoP. The service they provide to keep us bloggers 'in the loop' is excellent so go for it.”

This is simply the truth. Blog Rolls like the House of Paincakes are the primary jumping point for readers. If you’re not signed up already, it’s very easy. In fact, drop a line in the comments and Lauby will make sure to help walk you through it. (let me save you some time, read the Join Us page)

Lauby and I, as True Artists, flew as the muse directed... and this week the muse (me) directed us to a Caption Contest Style post! Read on, McMuff.

1) Prometheus at War - The Case for Anval Thawn
Lauby: After reading this, I think 75 points is a small price to pay for the amount of fun Thawn brings to the table. If you’re still not convinced, it may help to think if it as an investment in not being the worst kind of person.
Brent: “One man, unkillable, that can score...” Elvis hasn’t left the building just yet, now has he?

I'm not the only one, right?


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Gaming on a Budget: In the Flat Fields

Sorry kids, I can never resist the urge to drop a Bauhaus reference on you...

Today, moving along with the budget gaming table project, we'll be looking modelling fields.  This is entirely appropriate since I'm building a table based on the Villers-Bocage area of Northern France.  The area, along with most of the Northeastern bits around Normandy, are heavy agricultural communities, producing mostly cattle, fruits, and a few grains.  The pastures between hedgerows are perfect for creating grazing areas for cattle and planting various types of crops.

The final table will have some open pastures between the hedgerows, but to create a nice, visually appealing table with lots of cover, it will also be heavily planted.  With fields being among the cheapest and easiest types of terrain to create, we're going to be making a lot of board coverage for next to nothing, giving us more money within our $200 budget to work with for other things.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011

User Content Wednesday - How To Make Razorwire

A while back a blogger whose name I now forget applied to join the House of Paincakes.  A fairly normal occurrence to be sure.  However, he had this neat little tutorial on wrapping wires to make a substitute for guitar string.  Its turns out that his trick gave you a section of 'tubing' that was signifigantly easier to work with than the guitar string.  I'm sad to say that I did some light scoffing.  Luckily, I was properly rebuffed.  But I always felt a little bad about it.  I was looking for that very post for today's User Content Wednesday.  Totally couldn't find it.  So if anyone out there knows what the hell I'm talking about, hit me up!  

In any case, I found another great tutorial on a different kind of wire shenanigans that fits in nicely with what's been going on with Gaming on a Budget Basically, it's a dirt cheap way to recreate the GW razor wire without spending $10 on a bag of bullshit you can make yourself.  I'll let

Ok, now it's time to put some razorwire on those sprue barricades we made in a previous post.

First off, cut yourself a length of very fine wire. For these I used 22 gauge wire that I got for cheap at Lowe's. There are plenty of ways to get free wire, but I wanted to be spared the hassle. Keep in mind that every foot of wire is going to equal slightly more than 1" of razorwire, so 6' of wire would be a bit more than 6" of wire. Since our sections are 6" long, 6' is a perfect length.


Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Arrogance and Laziness...

I'm pretty damn good at 40K,

I normally win something like 95% of my games, my list building skills are sound and I understand the rules of the game and how to use them to my benefit in ways that may occasionally border on (but not cross into, I hasten to add) the realms of WAAC.

However recently a change has occurred...


Monday, May 30, 2011

Gaming on a Budget: Making a Gaming Surface Part 2

Sorry about disappearing like that folks: I had wanted to finish the gaming surface series in one go, but as I was writing the last one, I realized that I was almost late for pseudo-work, so had to leave.  Then I had a show the next day and got unexpectedly sick, the next, so haven't really had the time to wrap this up until today. 

As you will recall from the last few episodes, I'm currently hard at work building a series of 2'x2' tiles out of foam to make a modular gaming surface that can be placed on a table or the floor.  The table will be made to represent western French areas like Villers-Bocage in 15mm, but will be designed to accomodate other systems such as 40k and WFB as well.  I'll be putting the whole thing together, terrain and all!, for right around $200 all said and done and should be completely finished by this coming Saturday.


A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to The Forum

The great and powerful Tordeck and a group of people I can only assume are his minions, started up a new Dark Eldar forum.  Having dabbled in forum creation before, I can tell you that getting that crucial critical mass of commenting members can be rough.  So maybe you should all head over there and check it out in an unprecedented show of HOP solidarity.  And if anything FNIF worthy crops up, be sure to tell Dethtron.


New Member Monday - I Decided Against a Tasteless Memorial Day Joke

Speaking of Memorial day, it sure would be nice if, in addition to remembering our fallen service men, I could remember to respond to our new blog requests faster.  Sorry guys, we've been dropping the ball.  Derping it, even.  We'll be better next time around.  Promise.

In addition, enjoy this hilarious video as part 2 of the apology:


Sunday, May 29, 2011

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] What Makes a FLGS?

What is a FLGS? What should it have or offer to be the place you want to shop? What elements makes a store truly excellent?

I’d like to explore that with you for a week or two, and let you express your expectations and the successes of the stores you frequent.

What are the key elements to making your local store great, or groan-worthy? I’m very interested in hearing specifics. How important is knowledge of the product (and which specific products), stock levels, special order policy, play space, cleanliness, and more.

If a discount is important to you- please tell me what level of discount you expect and on what products. Across the board, just specific lines, with a “membership club” or “punch card” – how would a discount work?