Funny Things

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Damn it, I simply couldn't resist yet another outdated music allusion for a post title.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.