Important Stuff

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Are 'Mono-builds' inevitable?

Like most games of it's type Warhammer 40K uses a points system to manage size of games and to indicate the relative 'worth' of a unit.

A unit that costs four points is going to be absolutely shit but hopefully can hopefully survive and win through sheer weight of numbers.

A 500 point unit conversely should be able to have a massive impact on the game that's equivalent to it's worth...
and any unit worth 2000 points should be the most awesome thing ever...


Monday, January 30, 2012

New Member Monday - Of Basements and Horsemen

Hello everyone!  It's another opportunity filled week here at the House of Paincakes.

What opportunity you say?  Why, the opportunity of a lifetime - blog promotion!  

For the last few Weekly Top X's, I've been experimenting with a new format.  The basic idea is to create a sort of topic guide using the HoP blog roll search engine to dig as deeply as possible into your output.  But here's the thing - thinking of topics is harder than we thought.

This is where you come in!

What topic(s) would you like to see us do for the coming weeks?  Hit us up in the comments!

New Member Monday

Keywords: battle reports, 40k, video explosion!

Geek in the Basement
Keywords: painting, terrain, zombie, apocalyptic, miniatures, Warhammer 40k, Car Wars, models, board games 

No essay, but here's a video that Four Horsemen found:



Sunday, January 29, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Xeno]

Hey folks, SinSynn here.

The lovely, luminous Loquacious is doin' the gamestore thing at a Hobby Convention somewhere, which means I'll be filling in today.
Uh...yeah. Sorry 'bout that.
But hey, when Lo' and theDude come back, I'm sure they'll have lotsa cool pics and whatnot, so there's that to look forward to...
In the meantime, let's hang out a bit, shall we?
We'll talk about our guilty pleasure.

The Game Store.

*This came up in Google image search for 'guilty pleasure.' Iz funnie.*


Saturday, January 28, 2012

The Von Show #9 - The Games I Play

Yes yes yes I know the numbering's slipped.  This is what happens when you change your mind halfway through a three-week dump of pre-recorded footage that you hastily edit while you should be working.  Normal service, i.e. the single-week dump of fresh-recorded footage that I hastily edit while I should be working, has now been resumed.  I blame any factual errors, lapses into slackjawed silence, or outbursts of TVTropes-speak on the lack of a script.  It's been a busy week, okay?


Friday, January 27, 2012

The Weekly Top X - Arkhan Land is a Dumb Name

For one brief moment I was going to do this week's Top X on the 6th edition leak.  But I pulled back at the last second.  I just can't shake the fact that most of you out there just don't care about a rule set that is  maybe half real or probably mostly fake.

The last attempts with this new 'search and return' format have been focused on the written word.  But what about a more visual medium?  With that question burning in my mind, I decided to do a Top X on painting and modeling.  Today's subject: the Land Raider in all it's glory.

Blog Name: Scratchbuilt 40k
 - Mk1 Land Raider Tutorial:  A pretty amazing step by step (in four parts) for your very own Mk1 Land Raider.

Blog Name:  The Waaagh Heresy
 - unbagging forgeworld: Heresy era Land Raider part - A nice little overview of what you can get from Forgeworld if you're not into all that DIY stuff.

Blog Name: Outsyder Gaming
 - Remote Controlled Land Raider: Pretty self explanatory but super neat.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Gaming on a Budget - Things You Shouldn't Buy

Hey everyone and welcome to another episode of gaming on a budget!  Dethtron's tied up with a little something he likes to call "ensuring I can pay my mortage" - whatever THAT means - so I'm filling in.

As usual, my contribution will be a little off beat, but I won't be asking you to spend a bunch of money or trying to stretch a paragraph's worth of information on plastic bags out to a full post.

Today, I will be listing off a number of things that you shouldn't buy.  Thusly, I will head off the spending mistake banditos at the pass and allow the train that is your finances to make it to El Paso intact and un-robbed.

Space banditos, if you prefer.
So, here is a short list of items you may be tempted to buy as a gamer - but shouldn't bother with.  This is all first hand experience.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

SinSynn: When Good Models Go Bad

Hey, folks, SinSynn here.

Man, do I love me some Tau Crisis Suits.
I mean, seriously, I'm an anime, sci-fi kinda guy, and...I love me some Crisis Suits.

Well, everything except the little 'ball in socket' ankles, which sit in their big, mechanical feet.
...cuz they always break.

If a Crisis Suit takes a tumble, and does that hideous 'skittering across the floor' thing that models do when knocked from gaming tables (as we stand there, horribly aghast and frozen in fear), I can virtually assure you he'll break an ankle.
Or two.

Oh, and usually, the lil' ball from the ankle breaks off in the foot, and yer kinda screwed.

Author's Note:
Listen...I saw Underworld: Awakening in Imax 3D tonight, and it was da awesome.
Now I realize that at this point, most bloggers would place a Crisis Suit pic right about here...
I am not most bloggers, however.

*So this is what you'll get instead. You're welcome*


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

A reasonably unbiased opinion on 6th Edition (Maybe).

I don't like change.

The saying "If it ain't broke don't fix it" seems entirely fine as a philosophy to me.  Of course with Games Workshop involved we need to also add the slightly paraphrased saying "If it ain't broke don't break it..."

As pretty much all 40K players who have been paying attention are aware a certain 'document' has hit the internet which is supposed to be the 6th edition rule-set (or an early play-test copy of it at least). The fact that it's full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes doesn't necessarily mean that it's not genuine as lets be honest there are a great many finished codices out there that are fucking full of them. Based on various information sources I am led to believe that 'early test copy' is the most likely explanation and I'm going to discuss it based on that basic premise.

The interwebs reaction to it has been the usual split into two camps...


Monday, January 23, 2012

SinSynn Supplemental: FoW, dealing with reserves in your list

Hey folks, SinSynn here.

In Flames of War, list design begins with picking your flavor- Infantry, Mech, or Tanks.
After that, a 'combined arms' list seems a safe approach, doesn't it?
A few mandatory core units, supported by some anti-tank assets and artillery certainly sounds like a good idea.

Combined arms is how war is done in real life, after all.

Flames of War is a game, though.

Despite it's 'historical' branding, like all mini games it has some mechanics that influence list design, and it comes as no surprise that these mechanics outweigh 'historical' or 'real life' considerations when building said list.

For example, a typical 'combined arms' Infantry list might look something like this, in it's most basic form:

Full Infantry Platoon
Full Infantry Platoon
Full Infantry Platoon
Armor Platoon
AT Guns
Artillery Platoon

Seems like a good list. Got a little of everything.
Six platoons is a good number, since in reserve missions you'll have 3 platoons on the table (an odd number of platoons means that 'more than half' will stay in reserves in FoW), which should be theory, right?


New Member Monday - Young Turk

Hello and Welcome back to the House of Paincakes!  It's, perhaps, been a while (maybe).  Have you lost weight?  You look great!  Very sexually harassable. So, so harassable.

This message approved by Herman Cain
Incidentally, have you ever tried to have a serious conversation about the House of Paincakes?  I know I have, and boy howdy does our name make it difficult.

Anyway, we're fired up for a busy week of blogging that will probably include a post by GMort this time around.  And two from SinSynn!  It's our little way of celebrating National Braille Literacy Month.  We may not be blind, but I can guarantee that every one of our authors is prepared to touch things with their fingers.

New Member Monday

Mr. Lee's Painting Emporium
Keywords:  Warhammer Fantasy, Dark Elves, Historical Wargaming, Painting, Modeling, Living in Turkey


Sunday, January 22, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Intelligent Design: Mechanics (Part 2)

This week, I'm taking the basic "pillars" of mechanics and looking beyond the basics. I'm examining what works, what doesn't, and ways to make the basics work for a more fun game.

I'm talking to a lot of folks, and I've gotten some great feedback.

Let's get to it.


Saturday, January 21, 2012

The Von Show #8 - Balance of Power, Part III

Funnily enough, after the comments on the last two weeks' instalments that suggested the death of player characters and the differences between games as Important Things To Discuss, this week's third and final instalment of the increasingly-poorly-edited 'Balance of Power' conversation touches on just those things.  Hark waxes philosophical about under-achieving goblins, being crushed by tanks and tickling tentacle beasts back to the underworld, while I consider ways in which the GM can shoot any attempt at an even semi-serious atmosphere in the foot.


Friday, January 20, 2012

The Weekly Top X - Vampire Counts Round Up

Right, right, right - it's Friday, the HoP blog roll search feature is humming along at full power and you're all waiting for a post.  It's Top X time!  All we need now is a topic.

Let's go with a topic torn from yesterday's headlines and see what the new Vampire Counts release has to offer us besides an epic WTF moment.

you could say I'm 'reanimating' the topic.
 As I was last time, I will be making extensive use of the search feature to show of it's raw powers of information retrieval.

It slices!  It dices! It's machine washable!  More importantly, the search tool allow me to really scrape the cobwebs off the ol' rafters - if ya know what I mean.  I guess what I'm saying is that it's a very deep search.  It also makes my job easier on two fronts - post finding and innuendo.


Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Limits of Decency and Good Taste

I apologize in advance to anybody who was looking forward to it, but today there shall be no 'Gaming on a Budget.'  It's not that Ive run out of ideas (that'll be my excuse for next week [I kid, we've got stories for years, like Marge becomes a robot...]), but I've developed a rather large ingrown hair in my ass regarding a certain necromancer.  I'm feeling the need to deal with that and eschew my normal responsibilities for the day.

Yeah, and my model still sucks too

You may know him as Heinrich Kemmler of Vampire Counts fame, but isn't that phonetically just Heinrich Himmler?  Yeah, what the fuck Games Workshop?   How was that remotely necessary?  Sure this guy isn't anything approaching new to the scene, but when I got my new VC book last night, I couldn't help but be struck by the fact that he's still in the book.  Why?  You've got a character named after one of the greatest war criminals of all time, The Reichsführer of the SS, you know, the piece of human garbage that ran the concentration camps and is directly responsible for possibly the greatest genocide seen in modern times.  You couldn't just unleash Herr Ward on this situation to change his name and the fluff behind the first necromancer?  Were you worried that you might accidentally change his name to Adolf Fitler?  What the shit?


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

SinSynn: Hamsters and Trainwrecks

Hey folks, SinSynn here.

The Hamster that lives in my head is a lil' tired today, it seems.

'It's your fault,' he's muttering morosely.

'I'm sorry, Hamster...what's that you say?'

Uh, oh...he looks disgruntled, and grumpy.

'I said it's your fault. How can you possibly be this annoying and deaf at the same time?'
'Uh...I'm sorry. I'll try to be less...deaf, I guess.'
'No change on the annoying thing, then?'
'Prolly not, Hamster.'

The Hamster sighs deeply and glares in an irritated fashion.

'Well,' he squeaks petulantly, 'Are you gonna ask me what's wrong? Or am I just gonna hafta put in my memoirs that you were like, neglectful...and stuffs.'
'You're...writing your memoirs?'
'Maybe I am. What's it to you?'
'Oh, fer the love of,' I begin, but I know it's pointless arguing with the Hamster. I mean, he lives in my head. These things can be...awkward. And besides, I never win. He's a tenacious, opinionated little fu-

'It's the thinking, man,' the Hamster blurts, interrupting my train of thought...which clearly is like, N scale, or something.

*SinSynn's train of thought fails a dangerous terrain check*


Monday, January 16, 2012

New Member Monday - The Good Doctor

Hello everyone!  It's another fantabulous week at the House of Paincakes.  I don;t know why I have to keep telling you that.  You guys should really mark your calendars.  Like, for serious.  If it helps, think of the suggestion as a continuation of Dethtron's most recent and always excellent Gaming on a Budget.

For those of you who didn't know, it's  Martin Luther King Jr. day here in America!  One of our very few national Holidays that celebrates a private citizen.  As important as the day is, it's had a fair bit of trouble in making it's way toward national recognition.  The full story is kind of a bummer on the face of it, but there are some bright spots.  So while the people and places you would expect to resist the Holiday (Jesse Helms, Arizona), there were some nice surprises as well.  Most notably that the NFL was instrumental in in dragging one of the last states to observe the Holiday into common decency.  Specifically through boycotting the state for a Super Bowl.  This ultimately cost Arizona half a billion dollars.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Intelligent Design: Mechanics (Part 1)

I started out this series by talking about the elements that make a “good game”. I brought up art, mechanics, tone (also called setting or world), emotional connection and the ability to pull it all together. I’m hoping to break each of those pillars down even further, so that we can examine them and see how each one fits into a well-designed game.

What do I mean, break down?

Well, maybe not that. 

Let’s make sure we’re talking the same language. When I started talking about game design and started interviewing people, most of those that replied assumed I was talking about 40K specifically. So I had to talk about that with each of them and try to make it clear that I intend to discuss all kinds of games, and not just table top ones.

Today, I’m talking about mechanics. What do I mean by "mechanics"?


Saturday, January 14, 2012

The Von Show #7 - Balance of Power, Part II

Continuing from where we left off, with ref: sticking d4s up noses and things GMs have to put a stop to.  No lengthy introduction this week, I've got to get down the shops for my Vampire Counts book, about which I will no doubt have some words to say later over 'ere.


Friday, January 13, 2012

SinSynn Supplemental: FoW Tournaments and Tactics...not necessarily together...

Hey, folks, SinSynn here.

So, having survived my first two FoW Tournaments, I return to you filled with deep thoughts and much wisdom....
Or, maybe not so much...heh.

For starters, I'd like to give a shout-out to the Cellar Dwellers, a fine bunch of gentlemen who apparently roll into rival clubs wearing cool matching shirts, flashing gangs signs....and then leave with all the prizes...

Then they kindly invite you to their club, and do the same darn thing...

I kid, of course.
A good time was had at both events, and following a lil' humbling at the first tourney (I went 1 win, 2 losses), I managed to tighten up my game a bit at the next one, and I went 2 and 1.


The Weekly Top X - Infinity Community Guide

Contrary to at least one person's fears, the Weekly Top X is not a dead duck.  It's a very much alive duck.  It still floats and everything!  It just needed some time off so i could enter almost 400 URL's into the House of Paincakes Blogroll Search.

See, I told you this would keep coming up.

Today's Top X is going to be quite a bit different than the normal formats.

Today I'm posting up a collection of articles on a specific subject that I found using the only the search tool.  The idea being that I'll collecting as much of  the hard work and different perspectives on the subject that I can to promote our members and promote a game I know people want to know more about.

Beyond promotion, I just want to give people a taste of what's out there.  As I am constantly reminded every time we get a new application - there's always a new rock to turn over for great content.  Just the HoP has something like 370+ blogs on it's rolls. Even if you were genuinely committed to reading as much as possible every week, there's just no way to get to it all.  Even our 370 members is just scratching the surface of the hobby blogoshpere.  Staggering, really.

Unfortunately, there turned out to be so much out there that I had to get picky.  If you write about Infinity and weren't on this Top X, post some links on the comments.  We'd love to see 'em.  If you're just an interested party, I cordially invite you to check out the search tool over there on the right.

Let's get started with the HoP Infinity Community Guide!


Thursday, January 12, 2012


Porky took some time out of his busy schedule over at the Expanse to drop us a line concerning something he felt we needed to promote.  He explained everything to us and we immediately agreed with his appraisal of the situation. We also mentally noted how awesome it was that his promotion request wasn't for himself, but for Hereticwerks.  That's community, people!

Anyway, I'll  let Porky do the talking since what he emailed us is way better and more informed than what we'd write:

They're (Hereticwerks) planning to get an online game up and running, or rather up and
running again, because they were running it last year until Blogger
pulled the rug out.

Here's the post they used to announce the continuation, and it explains
the concept.

Here's the map of progress so far. We broke in at 'E', found and opened
the secret door, bridged the gap with a trunk from the wilds outside and
got jumped by a strange gassy creature in area 3. We almost got us eaten
by its young in one of the rooms further in, but we hid and I think the
vortex is holding them back.

All the related posts use the Bujilli label, but there's not a lot yet
because all the old was at a different blog.

Basically, a yeti-like creature called Bujilli wants to escape his uncle
and make his own way in the world, a very strange world. He's found a
gem that tells him things and it's sent him to a ruined palace, a weird
take on the classic dungeon. The whole thing is a kind of online
roleplaying by blog. The readers control Bujilli by suggesting actions
through the comments and using the dice roller widget in the sidebar to
generate numbers. Before the Blogger thing the group of players was
getting big, and they had a mix of backgrounds, from the roleplaying
blogs as well, even from outside the gaming blogs.

Thanks, Porky!

Episode 8 went up today, so I highly suggest you head over to Hereticwerks to check it out.


Gaming on a Budget: Time

Hey there kiddos, I'm back after surviving Gathering all the Magic of the past that I could.  Today's class will be on a topic near and dear to my heart- time.

Simply put, there's never enough of it and it becomes quite valuable, much like money.  Budgeting your time is just as important as budgeting your.... budget?

While I could spend all day extending the multimedia explosion begun last week and linking to videos on the subject of time

or even the same video by a different band, I won't be doing that. 


Wednesday, January 11, 2012

SinSynn: Pulling Phones Off Of Walls

'Just because we have the internet doesn't mean we all have to play the same.'

-James S, of Warp Signal fame

Hey folks, SinSynn here.

I imagine if you look at any particular gaming 'community,' whether it be RPG's, mini games, or card based games...or board games or anything really, one might perceive it as 'fragmented.'

This so-called fragmentation can caused by anything, really, but here on the interwebz, we've got cutesy acronyms and nicknames for virtually everything...
Cuz our lil' fragment is L33T like that.

*And we luvs da kittehs dat pwn da n00bs ftw...lmao*


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Lack of Direction Kills...Well it Kills Blogs at least.....

I started a blog for no reason other than I thought it would be a good idea, I also thought that I would always have something to talk about...All I needed to do was find my 'Niche' and all the Internet could bask in the warm glow of my brilliance.....


Monday, January 9, 2012

New Member Monday - Interrobang

Hello all!  It's another week at the coolest blog network ever (that's the House of Paincakes, btw) and we've got a nice new batch of blogs to share.

But first, did you notice the new HoP blog roll search?  It's over there on the right.  Plus, you can read about it here.  Which you should do.  Which you HAVE to do.  Obviously, if you already saw the announcement on Friday then you're excused from reading it again- but it would be a nice gesture.

We'll be promoting the heck out of the search tool so don't worry - if you're not sick of hearing about it now, you will be later.


Sunday, January 8, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Building

I know I said that this week I would be talking about mechanics and game design- and the intelligent design series will return next week, I promise. However, since we didn't move to a larger location, we decided to improve the one we had. Yesterday I spent the day making physical improvements to my store. This was an exceptionally long project and any chance at writing I thought I would have went right out the window once we got started. 

Stolen directly from TheDude's blog, here are pictures of what we did yesterday. 


Friday, January 6, 2012

The Von Show #6 - Balance Of Power

A'right.  This week I'm trying for something a wee bit different as we're talking more about things from the player's perspective, and that's not something I know too much about, so I've recruited Hark and we've done a bit of a double-header.  In fact we've done a lot of a double-header - there's about five times as much material as I usually record (this is what not having a script will do for you), four after all the awkward waiting-to-see-what-we-think-of-next pauses have been edited out, and nobody wants to sit through approximately thirty-eight minutes of two British people talking semi-seriously about nerd games all at once.

So it's a three-parter.  The fourth is a bit off-message and I'll be saving that for when I inevitably get brain mange or something and need a filler episode.  Anyway, here's Part The First, with 100% more Hark, 100% more multi-partness, and 100% more actual transcript rather than cheat-and-copypaste-the-script.  There's even some swearing.


House of Paincakes Blogroll Search

Normally on a Friday, there'd be a Top X to read.  But not today.

Normally, someone from our crack staff of ace journalists would sift through the blog rolls and select 5-12 posts to promote.  It's actually some pretty solid  fun with a hefty dose of self edification.  But there are a couple of flaws - it's time consuming, it's not all that guided and it leaves people out.

That last bit is the important part. 

As the House of Paincakes has grown and matured evolved, we've always stuck by our goal to promote our members.  The Top X. the intermittent User Content Days and all the authors we add are here to draw attention to the blogs we support.  Back in the beginning it was pretty easy to make that happen.  The blogrolls were shorter (and there were only two of them) and the only challenge we had in promotion was making sure we didn't constantly double up on our small (and elite) constituents.  


Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Twelfth Day of Fishmas

Paul Destroys the Universe
All right guys and gals, it's the final day. Everything has been building to this. We've even added ANOTHER commentator to the mix since today is very special to him. What we have here is a multimedia explosion. I only mention it because it's literally the first time I've gotten to use that phrase for serious.

Uglyraincoat: Next Year’s Only Hit Single.

dethtron:  So the story goes something like this:  back many moons ago (like 2003, I think) Uglyrainoat hosted a LAN party at his house.  This back at the dawn of time when LAN parties were de rigueur and all the rage.  Anyhow, the kids all wanted to play some FPS that my computer couldn’t run.  Seems I couldn’t hang with the big dogs if the big dogs wanted to play anything more complicated than say “Worms World Party.”  If memory serves, my graphics card was at fault and there wasn’t a way to remedy the situation- the 24 hour graphics card store had yet to be invented.

Doing what any person in this situation would do, I told everyone to go ahead without me and proceeded to figure out how the tunable speech synthesizer worked on my sequencer software.  An hour and a half later “Paul Destroys the Universe” was born and the rest is history.


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

The Eleventh Day of Fishmas

dethtron:  Lauby, I don’t think I can adequately dedicate myself to discussing this card.  Every time I look at your art I lose my shit.
Lauby:  Haha!  This was the pinnacle of my skill with going dumpster diving in Google images.  You know...  now that I think about it, I’m just now noticing the kind of War in Heaven theme we have going on in this set- Jesus, the halo on Billy Ruben, the use of “the last supper” all the ‘damned’ stuff, references to demons and, now,  Satan.  Was all that on purpose?  
dethtron:  I want to say yes.
Uglyraincoat: Idea for next set: Unholy Satanic Furry.
dethtron:  creepiest card idea you’ve ever thrown out.


SinSynn's Sinny Awards!

Hey folks, SinSynn here.

During my interminable stay on this miserable globe, I've notice many strange, recurring behavior patterns you Humans exhibit.
For example, every year around this time, you like to look back, and reflect upon what has occurred during your previous Terran calender year.
Also, you like to hand out meaningless awards.

*I purchased these on E-Bay*

While I find these ritualistic fiascoes a tad curious (why do you clap for 'best sound production in a foreign short film'? Because that part of the show is over?), in all honesty I find most of what Humans do to be inexplicable.
If everything goes according to plan,'s all moot, anyway.


Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Tenth Day of Fishmas

Lauby:  This actually would have been a nice land if we tweaked it a bit.  Either add a second mana option or ditch the sacrificial aspect of it I’m thinking  Yes, it’s a totally boring reference to the challenges of fishing in man-made lakes, but in an alternative universe, a card series like this is the kind of thing that could skew an entire metagame.  I declare the alternative universe us’s to be geniuses.
Uglyraincoat: It is for those reasons that this card is more than just a green fishmas knockoff of Alliance’s Kjeldoran Outpost.  
dethtron:  perhaps giving all fish protection from everything could have been a more interesting mechanic for this one.


'Cheating' not as obvious as you might think.....

A few of my friends are practising for a tournament in the near future and as usual my home became the 'training ground' for the test of these new armies. While we were 'helping' each other with the tweaking of these lists, the inevitable discussion about playing against cheating bastards occurred.....

However while relating these amusing tales to one another it became evident that what each person defines as 'cheating' can be radically different.


Monday, January 2, 2012

The Ninth Day of Fishmas

Lauby:  Speaking of drunk driving...    
Uglyraincoat: It is funny because it is offensive to a certain group of people’s lifestyle.  [Face palm.]  
Lauby:  What are you talking about? This is a perfectly fine salute to our country’s proud yokel heritage.  It’s pretty much the most powerful card we made and my favorite card to play as a result.  It IS America to me.
dethtron:  AMURICA!!!!!
Uglyraincoat: True, and that guy from across the way who gave us all of his “old beer” is a case in point.  He had just driven in from the Anheuser Busch factory, and insisted that anything with a born-on date older than two days tasted inferior.  (His beers were born that very morning.)  He had somehow achieved being a snooty beer-snob about Budlight.  Plus, he ran his mobile home into a tree, knocking down a branch.  He then drafted our help in a bit of impromptu tree-trimming in the middle of the campground - with chain-saw.  I guess it isn’t worth a face-palm if the joke doesn’t make any of the people it references feel bad.  We were cool with Mike, and Mike was cool with us.  Now, Mike’s wife, on the other hand, was not ok with us because her retired husband had suddenly reverted to beer-swilling, 20-something behavior and wanted to play in our bean bag tournament.  
dethtron:  AMURICA!!!!!


New Member Monday: Choosing a Champagne

Happy New Year everyone!  I trust you've all recovered from your massive hangovers.  If not, then what the hell happaned!?  It's a new calendar year at the HoP and our first crop of new members is a great way to start things up (especially nice when paired with the amazing post by Lo on Monday).

But first, I need to do a little bit of a public service.  Now, It's a couple days late, but the information is still invaluable.

Anway, it may come that next year you are invited to a New Years Eve party and have been asked to bring a bottle of champagne.  Or even some other, lesser fancy party later in the year.  It will be very important that you don't fuck this up.

How to Pick a Bottle of Champagne
his is not a complicated guide and will be skipping over much of the minutia of wine drinking and will probably curdle the blood of an aficionado. But them's the breaks.

Now, wine is a tricky beast - with all the hard to pronounce varieties, the food pairing rules, the question of vintage, the wild differences in quality between regions & vintners and so on and so forth.

It's all very important stuff... if you're a hard core wine drinker.  You're probably not. And if you are, then good on you - you're the fanciest drunk there is and I'm jealous.  But we don't need to hear about it. All you need to know is to follow these three rules:

1) Go to a good liquor store.  Or even a wine shop if you've got one handy.  Just make sure it's a little upscale.  Once you're there, go to the champagne section (this will be clearly marked in a good store). DO NOT go to a grocery store.

2) Buy actual champagne.  ALL champagne comes from a single region in France.  Otherwise, as Rob Lowe tells us, it's just a sparking white wine.  If the bottle you are considering lists another white wine type (Pinot Grigio, for example) and/or was made outside of France, it IS NOT champagne no matter what the label says.

3) Spend more than $10.  Hell, you should probable spend more than $20 if we're honest.  But so long as it's French, the $10 rule is good enough.  If you're prepared to spend even more, a good indication that the Champagne will be good is if the bottle comes in a fancy box (but is NOT boxed wine).

There you go.  Now you can avoid embarrassment and impress your friends next year.


Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Eighth Day of Fishmas

Lauby:  Here’s a nod to the bane of camper’s everywhere.  The raccoons that hung around out campsite were particularly well fed since even if you’re a classy drunk, you’re still a drunk.  I guess what I’m saying is that properly storing your food is not likely to happen.  And then all your paella and port are gone.
Uglyraincoat:  However, they are extra cuddly in case you forget your pillow.  
dethtron:  judging by the sacrifice ability on this card, those are some bloodthirsty raccoons.


[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Intelligent Design: Art (Part 2)

Welcome everyone and Happy New Year!

I hope your hangovers aren't too bad, because I'm doing some serious discussions about art and its place in game design.

Last time around, I mentioned that there are various stages in the creation of art. I really only touched on what I meant; giving the merest of hints at what's in store for you today. I gave an overview of the factors of art in game design, specifically mentioning cover, interior and pieces. But how much of what you see in a game is ART, and how much is DESIGN?

Stephen Glasgow, owner of Mox Creative, elaborates this way:

When I’m “on the clock”, and talking to a potential new client, I am pitching my design work.  As I explain my process and methodology I emphasize that there is a huge difference between “art” and “graphic design”.  Technical skill wise, both have the same core -  strong use of creative eye, hand skills, use of balance, contrast, etc.

One crucial detail however, separates the two into completely different entities. As a graphic designer, I am visually communicating someone else’s message.  As an artist, I’m visually conveying my personal emotion.