Important Stuff

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Missing the Bloody Obvious.....

We don't live in a fair world. Not everybody has the same amount of stuff, the same level of skill, the same looks, athletic ability or any number of other variables.

Yet people expect every new codex to balance perfectly with the ones that came before it. There seems very little middle ground in the most recently released books. Either the complaints are that they're underpowered or the most cheesy thing ever but in my experience the reaction is never universally consistent.

Halle Berry discovers that Immolators are to be nerfed...
The Grey Knights codex caused a bit of an uproar with Daemon players due to the fact that you can make a Grey Knight army that virtually auto-wins against Daemons with little thought and the proliferation of Force weapons did little to cheer up Tyranid players either, lol. Whether you believe it to be an example of 'Codex Creep', indifferent design or the greatest thing in the world ever, few people would argue that it's 'balanced' without at least one person using the phrase "What the Fuck!!!".


Monday, August 8, 2011

New Member Monday - We Can Rebuild Him

What's up, e'erbody?!  I've returned to the hallowed halls of New Member Monday to ring you some choice cuts of USDA inspected blog but to also get you pumped about some site updates.

Actual News
Later this week, a major and much needed overhaul of the blog rolls will happen.  We're not going to be renaming or rearranging them - but we will hopefully be making them more accessible and more useful for getting you guys some traffic.  Looks like adding scroll bars and enabling thumbnails are the name of the game.  Special thanks go to Oink and his Overambitious Terrain Projects for the kick in the pants we needed to be regular ambitious.

PS:  go look at his blog.

Now, on to today's fun. 

New Member Monday

Bad Brushes
Keywords:  Warmachine, Mordheim, 40k, sunshine and unicorns

The Fang
Keywords: 40k, Space Wolves, Blood Angels, WIPS and chains.

Craftworld KaHoS
Keywords:  40k, painting, rpg, movies, music, rants, battletech, FunDave is fun,  FunBags


Sunday, August 7, 2011

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] - Musings of a Game Store Patron

Lo is either enjoying the extended version of her 20th anniversary of her marriage to The Dude, or sleeping it off.  Either way, she's taking a well deserved day off this fine Sunday.  So it's up someone to fill in for her.  That someone being me, Lauby.  

Last month I took a much needed and well earned vacation from the hustle and bustle of the grand and mysterious east coast that I live on to head back to the homelands of Illinois and Iowa.  On the way there, Special Lady Friend and I had the opportunity to visit Lo and the Dude on their turf: Armored Gopher Games.

As I sat down today to attempt to fill in for Lo, I got to thinking of the little mini-report of my surprise 'inspection' she put up.  This line in particular:  "I hope TheDude and I are living up to the hype."

Lo writes about owning and operating a game store and the steps she and The Dude take to make their store a successful bid'ness.  But what about a customer perspective?  We as an audience only get that via Lo's entertaining anecdotes.  This is where I'm gonna step in.


Friday, August 5, 2011

The Weekly Top X - Some Kind of Duet.. or Something

Ok, ok. I have no idea how I got wrangled into this, but apparently Lauby has some amazing super-persuasion powers because I volunteered and don’t even feel dirty. (Maybe it’s just that I have no shame? I don’t know.) However, this week was full of a lot of really touching and personal stuff, with some great opportunities to enjoy more than just fluffy nonsense. 

Hey Everyone!  I'm back from vacation and properly back in the groove that is non-vacation life.  I've got Lo backin' me up this fine Friday and it should be a pretty great Weekly Top X.  Now, If I know anything about the differences between Brent and Lo, it's that the banter should be on topic today and I'll be responsible for ALL of the crudity.  Let's get started!

1) The Realm of Dungeons & Dragons - The Killing Joke
Lauby: I think we can all relate to this.  And not just in games either.  The sad fact of the matter is that while change is often good, it is also profitable.  In any case this is a great post on the subject that brings up a number of sad similarities with the TTG that most of you/us play.  Oh!  And be sure you click on the link that Doctor Warlock had in the post.  Some very good stuff in that as well.  2 for 1, baby!

Lo: Starting off on a serious tone, a pretty cool thought on the environment of games and gaming, from the RPG side of things rather than miniatures. I’ve got a major soft spot for discussing the way the landscape of gaming has changed over the years, and this post has a great perspective.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Gaming on a Budget: Aerials and Antennae for Your Minis

There's something happenin' here...
Hey everybody.  I'm going to be making a triumphant return from the land of terrain building in this week's article to discuss a snazzy way to zazz up your minis by adding some swanky ass new antennae and aerials to them for the low low cost of nothing.

I discovered this trick years ago in my never ending quest to save money in my gaming budget to put towards more minis and to make sure I don't waste anything.  Armed only with an old paintbrush, glue, and paint you will soon be able to add antennae to your tanks, vox casters, radio operators, etc etc- the list is endless.  This is a great way to spruce up command tanks, radio controlled tanks, other vehicles, and infantry models that will look fantastic in any scale up to about 28mm heroic.


Wednesday, August 3, 2011

40k Charity Auction - Painting With Purpose

Hey everyone, I'm back from vacation and in the process of catching up on pretty much everything.  While I wade through emails both professional and personal, I thought I'd ease back into the blogging routine with a nice little shout out.

That Guy James is got himself a charity fundraiser going on. I'll let him explain:

Hi there,

My name is James Arnold, and I am a miniature wargame painter with a mission.

I have just finished a new 2,000 point space marine army for Warhammer 40k, completed entirely for a charitable organization: Ohanamalu Tae Kwon Do. Operating out of Buffalo, New York, this amazing group is out making a difference in the community every week. They give disadvantaged youth a place where they can be respected and safe for a few hours during the day while keeping healthy and active with non-contact Tae Kwon Do.

I am writing to ask for your help to spread the word. Awareness is critical, and anything you can do to help would be fantastic.

The auction is live on Ebay right now:

Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions or requests.

Thank you so much for your time.

James Arnold
Best of luck to James and his mission.  You've got four days to get out there and help some kids via proxy!


SinSynn: Confused and Angry...sorta....

Hey, folks. SinSynn here.

You guys have had, like...bad weeks, right?
Prolly bad months, and years as well (much like me), but let's not go there, huh?

So, yeah....this post is prolly gonna be bitchy, cuz I'm having a bad week.

*Refuses to spell 'Probably' correctly. Grrrr.....*

So I thought I'd vent a bit about some things in our collective hobby that piss me off, bug me out, and otherwise vex me.
Pretty sure this will become a series of posts...but I'll tell you what:

I will do my best to balance things, cuz there's actually MORE stuff in this hobby that I think is awesome, as opposed to things that suck.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

It's Not Always Easy Being a Winner...

There have been a great deal of articles written on the benefits of losing. People quote the inherent learning opportunities gained, the character building it encourages and any number of other entirely reasonable conclusions.

I don't enjoy losing.

At all.

I do however understand that it's going to happen some of the time and so I tend to react to these occasionally losses as an 'occupational hazard' of playing a game involving dice. There also have been quite a few articles published over the years about tournament* and gaming etiquette* but these tend to be biased towards being a good loser, not being a twat while playing and various other highly laudable points of courtesy...

* The best ones were obviously the ones I wrote but some of the others had merit as well ;-)


Monday, August 1, 2011

New Member Monday: dethtron's Odyssey

Greetings folks! We've got two more great blog added to the network this week, and we'll get to those in a second.

Lauby was in town for a few short days and in addition to playing some 40K and FoW with the local crew, we were able to decide on the finalists for the HoP Idol competition, so we'll be making an announcement about that and begin running the contest in earnest shortly.  We're really excited about it, becase, again, we seem to have attracted some of the best writing talent out there for this.


Sunday, July 31, 2011

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Talking As An Owner

As an individual and as a player, I have no real qualms talking about games in an open and honest way. I’ve always been able to express what I enjoy about a game pretty effectively, and I’m not too bad at sharing what I don’t like, either. I just sit down with my buds and chat away (sometimes to their chagrin) giving them the straight dope, no holds barred.


Friday, July 29, 2011

The Weekly Top X- 'Lo Goes Solo

You know, with Lauby on vacation, I could use this opportunity to get into all kinds of trouble. Instead of prepping three articles and chasing down errant writers, I could be out boozing it up and getting wet and wild.

I guess I'm some kind of masochist, because here I am, all alone, bringing you some awesome linkage from the blogsphere for your reading enjoyment.


Thursday, July 28, 2011

Gaming on a Budget: I got it on eBay

Hey party people.  It's dethtron back to bring you the finest in money saving advice for your gaming obsession.  This week's topic- eBay.

'No shit you can pick up stuff on eBay cheap, dethtron, is there a point to this?'  Well, you certainly don't have to be such a dick about it and yes, there is a point to all this.


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

User Content Wednesday - The Two Skills of 40K

3++ is the New Black is a pretty amazing blog.  Good writers, a good vibe and a deep archive perfect for mining User Content Wednesadays from.  While Kirby is the front man and absolutely bends over backwards to make sure that the it's 2 in the pink and none in the stink, he also has a pretty good team of writers to help him out with that.  This post by AbusePuppy is a perfect example of the all pinkness, non-stinkness that hangs around 3++ in almost the same way as thinly veiled allusions to the shocker hang around hastily written intros.

There are a lot of big names in the 40K internet scene- I'm not going to even try go to into naming them all, because I will inevitably leave someone out and there will be hurt feelings and crying and internet rage and a great and bloody war will start and the streets will echo with the cries of lamenting women and dying men and quite frankly I don't want to have to worry about all that when I go out to do my laundry.

This brings up an interesting question, though: what does "being good at" 40K mean? I posit that it essentially breaks down into two very separate skills that tend to get clumped together, resulting in much of the internet arguments that abound.


Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Very SinSynn Battle Report

Resplendent in his jet black power armor, with his chapters' heraldry proudly displayed on his gleaming bone white pauldrons, the Black Templar Castellan stood at the edge of the battlefield. A fiercely scarred veteran of a thousand military engagements- much like the one rapidly approaching him now, the Castellon appeared unfazed by the impending carnage.

"SERGEANT!" he bellowed.
His sonorous voice carried the full weight of his authority, and the soldier addressed immediately stepped forward and snapped to attention.

"Sir! Yes, Sir!" the soldier returned.

"Now that our....transport... has landed, and we've...disembarked our forces....remind me what the frak it is we're doing here?"

"Uh....sir? If by 'transport' you mean 'armybag,' and by 'deploying our forces' you mean 'unpacked,' well, then.....I feel obligated to remind you that we're toys, sir. Plastic models, to be precise....and this is a game, NOT any kind of 'actual war.' We've, uh, discussed this, remember?"

"Sergeant...remove your helm, if you would please..." the Castellon growled.

"Uh, sir...I can't remove my helm. It's glued to my torso. Remember? We discussed this, too..." the sergeant's voice trailed off, and he lapsed into an awkward silence as the Castellon turned towards him.

Faster than an Imperial Thunderbolt, the Castellon lashed out, and struck the Sergeant once in the head.

No quote necessary


It's just a fucking game asshole.....

Apparently 40K is just a game,

There's no need to get all angry or annoyed or pissed off or depressed about it's just a game....

Because people who play games don't get angry do they?

I mean in an event where two people compete directly against one another in order to see who's the best nobody ever get's emotional now do they?

Of course they fucking do, lol.


Monday, July 25, 2011

New Member Monday- When the Lauby is Away, the dethtron Will Play

Hey there boys and girls, kids of all ages, unicorns, unicrons, chimerae, and sentient robots.  Lauby is out this week on vacation, which probably doesn't involve shady, back-alley sex change operations in South America.

dethtron prepared to take ass and kick names on his first ever new member monday


Sunday, July 24, 2011

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] The Boss Pays A Visit

All bosses like to check in on their employees- especially when they can do a surprise inspection. Lauby had us all lulled into complacency with his vacation and we got just a little naughty, thinking the worst he could do was be all “don’t do that again” later.



Lauby was on some epic road trip involving family (so he says), booze and 40K. On his way through the land of corn, he and SpecialLadyFriend decided to stop in my little shop and check in on my “creative process”. I was sort of slacking and arrived after he had taken a look around. I walked in the door to TheDude introducing me to my long distance blogging boss. I watched a little nervously as he conducted his examination, and tried to hide my shortcomings (which isn’t easy ‘cause I’m a shrimp).


Friday, July 22, 2011

The Weekly Top X - Defining the 3-Way 3 Ways

Brent:  It always scares Lauby when he leaves the Top X in my care... not sure why. Anyway, he shot me this email:
Brent, thanks for helping me cover, but for God’s sake don’t pull out your selection of genitalia shaped terrain. It’s not funny. We don’t want the House of Paincakes readers to dream of a Herpes and Hep C explosion crawling down a leg. It’s just not cool.
And for God's sake, don't lose control of SinSynn!

Drats. Still, his week I’m determined to do him proud! I will bring zero - and I repeat ZERO - fun and frivolity to the post... I’ve invited SinSynn and Loquacious; the former to bring the juvenile humor and the latter to make sure it doesn’t get out of hand.

Don’t worry, Lauby! Nothing can go wrong, I assure you. So, first up Synn, we’ll put Loq in the middle, and I’ll finish it all up.



Thursday, July 21, 2011

Last Chance to Enter HoP Idol- Two Idols Enter, One Idol Leaves

As the title of this post implies, today is the last chance for you to enter the HoP Idol contest that will be beginning shortly.  So, head down to the convention center for your audition send us your short micro blog post audition tape today.

You've just a scant few hours left until the deadline (the end of today 7/21 in whatever time zone you're in), so don't procrastinate.

Lauby will be on vacation for the next few weeks, but is dropping in to Chicago to get some games in and decide on the contest finalists with me, so stay tuned for more announcements about this in the next two weeks.

Full contest details can be found by following this link up in here.


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Gaming on a Budget: Dethtron's Gaming Table Revealed

A couple of month's ago I set off to make a gaming surface and more than enough terrain to fill it up in as short a time as possible and as cheaply as possible.  To make it even harder, I decided to base the whole project around the Vilers-Bocage area of France during WWII.  This has been the subject of my last several Gaming on a Budget posts and has been a shitload of fun for me.  For those that have missed this series so far, I'll have an index of the tutorials involved in making this gaming table at the end of the article. 

All said and done, I came in slightly under both my time budget of 2 weeks and my budget of $250, so I'm pretty happy with how this turned out, proving that you can make good looking terrain for cheap.  My complete cost breakdown (minus tools, as those are a sunk cost paid for long long ago) is after the jump, so click away.


Friends, Rivals...Knuckleheads

Hey folks, SinSynn here. This post is dedicated to Purgatus at Best Overall....cuz he's my dogz, and a big ol' knucklehead, too.

So not too long ago I decided to pull my Tau outta the closet, dust those bad boys (and one very special lady) off and take 'em out for a spin.

"I'm tired of getting beat up with my Tyranids," I thought, "I feel like getting beat up with an entirely different army for a while."
Genius plan, right?

Glutton for punishment that I am, instead of taking a ride to the (not-so-local) LGS, and playing a wonderfully pleasant pick-up game with any one of the many friendly 'regulars,' I immediately called my Ultimate Rival......

-Yeah...that's him-


User Content Wednesday - Learning to Love Losing

The King Elessar was one of the first bloggers I started following on a regular basis once I figured out that forumitis was a communicable disease.  He probably also had a psychic hand in my subconscious when it came time to pick an army that would take me two years to paint.  As useful as his Eldar specific advice was to me, I was always a bigger fan of his general gaming philosophy.  This little bit on losing is one of the treasured and rare rants on the internet with a focus and actually makes a point. 

TKE is currently in posting hibernation, but hopefully some renewed interest in Mindwar FTW will get him to at least forage for berries more often.  

Notes:  I've added pictures to liven things up. Oh, and because he'll mention it, Kirby posted this once as well.

In order to be a Competitive Player of this game, this is a skill you require.
In order to be a non-Competitive player of this game, this is a skill you require.
In order, basically, to not be a dickhead - this is a skill you require.

No-one LIKES losing, in of itself, of course.  It's ingrained in our genes - feeling like a failure isn't something any of us set out with the ambition to do, and it hurts.

However, losing is simply the best way to learn.  If you steamroll all your opponents with your list, then find better opponents, or tweak your list slightly.  Maybe they are intimidated by your army/reputation? Swap armies.  Mix it up.  Hell, buy a new army, whatever.

If you never find yourself taxed in games then you will not only never improve, you will probably stagnate and get worse.  When a player eventually DOES come along who is better than you (and it will happen eventually, unless you quit first) you will be the one getting rolled...and you will almost certainly be a bad loser from your lack of familiarity with it.


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Why Do I Still Bother With This Blogging Stuff.....

I recently had a brief break from blogging.

My excuse was that I was too busy with a number of personal issues to spare the time to come up with posts that would be worth reading so it was better if I just took a break.

Of course that wasn't strictly true.....

I could probably have found time if I'd tried but the truth is I really couldn't be bothered...

Terrible, huh?

Most people reading this presumably have blogs of their own based on the fact that this is an article on a blog network, lol. So I'm sure there's a lot of different levels of experience in the world of the blogging ranging from 'just started' to 'been doing it for fucking ever!!!' reading this right now.


Monday, July 18, 2011

New Member Monday - Samson Minis

Shockingly, we only had one new addition to the House of Paincakes.  A temporary and fleeting occurrence, I'm sure.  In the meantime,  rather than pretend I have enough content to make a traditional New Member Monday, I'm going to do something a little special for our one and only add.  A little something called:  "We Only Had One New Member This Week so Here's an In Depth Look at His Blog" (WOHONMTWHILHB).

I was initially going to call it something else that was much cooler, but I was having an overly hard time trying to communicate reverb effects via text.

Now for a quick aside:  If you see a blog in your e-travels that isn't flying the HoP colors, you should probably point them our way.  Not only would Dethtron and I appreciate it, but you'd be doing a great service for your fellow gamers.  Call us an awesome-based initiative that tacitly supports civil and rational discourse. So get out there and spread the Good News.


Sunday, July 17, 2011

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Dressing The Part

When I first proposed this series, there were some articles that the bosses wanted to see. They're pretty cool guys and let me write on their blog once a week, so I figured I should at least humor them and see what I can come up with out of their suggested material.

As a rule, I've tried to keep my articles about things that stores across the country (and maybe even the world) can identify with. It just makes sense to keep things relevant to more readers than fewer, and maybe I'll hit on something a lot of people find interesting.

However, I was asked about a topic that's very specific to my store, and it's given me a lot to think about.


Friday, July 15, 2011

The Weekly Top X - Happy Endings

Pssst! Hey you - yea, you! I can hear you breathing. I can see you typing...

...what, you weren’t using your webcam anyway! Forget all that right now, we gotta do this quick before Lauby sees us!

You know what’s never happened on Top X? Me nominating me.

C’mon! It’s a genius idea! Granted, since Top X is really meant to focus on the little guy (he says, whilst picking a ‘not little’ blog this week in Musings of a Metal Mind...), I imagine Lauby will yet again put a stop to my sinister machinations.

Not sure why he does that, but this may be a one-time deal. Given that, I’m going to do a Best and Worst of the Average... and much like the Official Strictly Average Criticizer Da Warboss Stalin... it’ll be on the bottom!

Hey everyone!  And welcome to the Weekly Top X!  Little does Brent know that I can read green text at almost the same level as I can all other colors.  I'm well aware of his plan.  However, in the name of "seeing where it all goes", I've decided to allow his micro-rebellion.  Unfortunately, this kindness is not without a price.  Little does Brent know that the nosebleed and headache he just suffered was caused by my psychic theft of one of his memories.

Dastardly mind powers aside, this Top X is in the same style as last week'sI pick 3, Brent picks 3 and then we try and figure out why.  I know, I know...  trying to codify Brent's thoughts may seem risky.  But that's just the kind of thing I do to keep the HoP running.


Thursday, July 14, 2011

Gaming on a Budget: Using your Scraps or Pet Cemetary

Almost forgot to make a dated music reference in the title, oh no.

Anyhow, due to the recent demolition of my game room and scramble to find gainful employment, I haven't gotten a chance to take final pictures of the gaming table I've been building- they'll be done by next week; I promise.  This does, however give me pause to talk about something semi-related, however.


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

User Content Wednesday - 40k Theory: It's All About The Numbers

Nikephoros has absolutely been blowing people's faces clean off with math over on Bringer of Victory lately.  Many of you have probably already seen some of this, but clearly not enough of you.  The dude deserves more than the 93 followers he has at the moment.  So check the inaugural post of the 40k Metrics series out, then go to Bringer of Victory and see some actual science.

Actually, between this and Monday's calendar essay, I think I could have done another theme week... 

Note to GMort:  Create time machine and then go back in time to tell yourself to write a post on some math related topic. 

What is ballistic skill?

I mean, what does it really mean in terms of winning and losing on the table top?

Absolutely nothing. Quantity of fire in Warhammer 40k is usually far superior to quality. At very least it's equal. So what am I getting at? There is no correlation between winning and ballistic skill. The army with the superior average ballistic skill shouldn’t (assuming the game is properly balanced) have any advantage over one with a lower average ballistic skill.

This is the inherent problem I've been wrestling with mentally. When players compare units/armies/lists they are, generally speaking, comparing irrelevant metrics. So what that Khorne Berserkers have 3 attacks each? So do Orks, and you can get 4 Orks for the same price as one Berserker.

Not a single stat on the units' stat lines give you the faintest hint of if it will make your army win or lose more games by using it. Even when you factor in points, it's mostly irrelevant. As I said in the moneyball article, none of the "stats" in a unit's stat line are correlated with wins on the tabletop. So we really can't use those stats as a metric for measuring a unit's effectiveness.

Warning: numbers ahead



Hey folks, SinSynn here, and this post is dedicated to Brent, from Strictly Average....just because.

By way of an 'introduction piece,' which I probably should have written prior to my first post (heh), I thought I'd share the story of how I ended up playing this silly game we all love so much, and why it's such an important part of my life.

In truth, not many people know what I'm about to share, and some people may find it a drag.....but it's the truth, and in a way I feel like I kinda NEED to write it out, for some reason.
Some kinda weird catharsis, I suppose.

Bear with me a sec, if you don't mind- it takes a minute to get there, maybe, but there's a point....
You cool with that?
Ok, here we go.....


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

A Money Saving Guide to 6th edition 40K.

There's been much talk across the internet lately about the imminent (or not) arrival of 6th Edition 40K with the usual varying opinions on the accuracy of the rumours and whether it will be a good thing (or not) based on those self same bunch of rumours.

Instead of 5th edition Ver 5.01 that people were expecting it seems were instead going to get a major overhaul.....because obviously that worked so well with Fantasy......

Rather than give my opinion on those rumours I'm going to instead show you how with a few simple steps 6th edition 40K can save you a fortune...


Monday, July 11, 2011

New Member Monday - HoP Idol and SinSynn

Hello and welcome to another week on the internet.  Wargames Con finished up on Sunday so we should be getting some good content spawning from that in the near future.  I expect to start seeing some posts as soon as the hangovers wear off and as soon as people catch up on their sleep.  In the meantime, there are some moderate to big things happening at the House of Paincakes.

HoP Idol
We kicked off a contest last week for a coveted spot in the HoP author pool.  We've gotten a few entries so far, but we'd really like to see more.  Be sure to check out the details here:  HoP Idol

Just a bit of clarification - if you end up as the lucky winner of this fantabulous test of skill (which may or may not involve traveling back in time to have a dream date with the star of your choice at the time of your choice), you'll be producing an original series for us - not reposting something you already do.  Just wanted to make that clear.

Oh, and I've watched enough youtube clips to be fully up to speed on the whole Randy "dawg" thing now.  So... dawg.. I guess.

Speaking of new authors...


Apply to HoP Idol Today!

The first applications for Season 1 of HoP Idol have started trickling in and man is there some good stuff to be read.  There is going to be some stiff competition in this contest, I can tell you that.  Don't forget to submit your application today so you don't miss out on the action.

Remember, the deadline for getting in on this life-changing contest and to chance to land a record deal become a HoP weekly author is 7/21/11

If you were too busy checking out all the Wargamescon coverage this weekend or working on your lawn or hanging out at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and have no idea what Hop Idol is, you may wish to refer to this previous post for all the juicy details.