Important Stuff

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Music to Game By

Yes, this was once a series that I attempted to write for Blood of Kittens and no, I was never able to fully realize it.  The idea was to put a soundtrack to each of the races and factions of 40K.  Overly ambitious- yes!  Crazy of me to think I could write for 3 or more blogs at once- certainly!  At any rate, I got through about a third of the races before real life took over and I had to unceremoniously let the project fall by the wayside.



Music, however, has always been and remains a very important part of my life and my games.  As such, I'm always interested in trying to figure out the perfect record to play during my games.  Would a selection of German cabaret music add that extra something special to my FoW games?  Should my pal Frank be forced to pump Sabbat every time he takes the field with his Chaos Marines?  Somehow, the answer to all of these questions and more seems to be yes.

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Monday, February 13, 2012

SinSynn Supplemental: FoW 3rd Edition First Impression


Hey folks, SinSynn here.

Time to crack open the new Flames of War 3rd Edition rulebook, and see what's goin' on!

No preamble necessary, amirite? Let's just get right to it.


*Still has that 'new rulebook' smell*

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New Member Monday - Right in the Childhood

Hello everyone!  I'll keep this brief since many of you will no doubt need as much time as you can get to jeer at the re-release of The Phantom Menace.  In 3D no less.  And by all means, heap as much derision on that cinematic stillbirth as you can.  Give in to your hate.  Not only is it a bad movie, but it also puts the relative quality of episodes IV, V, VI in stark relief.  The Phantom Menace ruined Star Wars for me FOREVER is what I'm saying.

GAH!  Ah the nostalgia is being ripped from my body!

But there is some good news as always on this fine Monday.

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Sunday, February 12, 2012

[Musings of a Blog Haver] the Sponsors

I know you we're all expecting to see another wonderful Musings article courtesy of the incomparable Loquacious, but she's having a birfday and has the day off.  So it's up to me to entertain you this fine Sunday Evening.  Now I just need to make sure I do as good a job of her as she did for me. Only I don't have that handsome rapscallion, SinSynn, to help me out.  But come to think of it he can't hinder me either...

I think what makes Lo's Musings series truly interesting is that she's pulling back the curtain on an area of our hobby lives that the vast majority of us only have a passing understanding of.  She's an actual game store owner.  As we've found out, what goes on behind the counter (so to speak) is fascinating.  Which is not to downplay her excellent writing ability and wit, it's just that those are the vehicles rather than the cargo.

Imagine this crashing into your brain.
My grand intention for today is to attempt something similar with blogging.  Which puts me on shaky ground to start with since blogging is a whole hell of a lot more common than game store owning.  So it behooves me to try and articulate the unique parts of my experience with the House of Paincakes.  There's a lot that goes on behind the scenes as it turns out - more than I had anticipated when Dethtron and I first planted our flag out there.

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Saturday, February 11, 2012

The Von Show - INTERMISSION





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Friday, February 10, 2012

Gaming on a Budget: Long-distance Roleplaying

No I said Selleck, not Stelek...geez

 As one gets older, one is faced with a seemingly endless stream of bullshit.  Do I really need new brakes for my car?  How do groceries disappear so quickly?  Where have all of my friends moved?

And that latter dilemma is the one we'll be concerned with today.  What happens when you've got a regular game night going and all of your friends begin to move away?  You'll probably miss playing pretty soon.  It's time to try and hook up a long-distance game.

If you were playing a tabletop wargame, odds are the fine folks at Vassal has probably got some kind of emulator for you, legal or otherwise.  What if it's a roleplaying game?  Well, then it's time to improvise. 

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

User Content - 40k in a Flash + Campaign

Hello ladies, gentleman and people who reject rigid definitions of gender.  While we're waiting for Dethtron's weekly Gaming on a Budget, I thought I'd share a neat chunk of content from one of our many, amazing blog roll members.

Col. Dracus over at his very own Journal has posted some rules for an interesting 40k campaign that has rally caught my imagination.  It's quick, it's easy and I think it'd be a great thing to build a fully painted army challenge around. Hell, I've been planning army lists for the last couple of days and I'm not even playing 40k at the moment!

I put all of them on a FLASH drive!

Anyway, It's an interesting mix of small scale games, fast play and a persistent territory system.  Most of the rules are grabbed from ye olden days of White Dwarf with some updates as needed.

40k in a Flash!:  the introductory post with the basic rules

LAtCS Forum Thread:  the complete rules, a selection of edits/updates and some army ideas from the players

40k in a Flash! Bat Rep:  An excellent introduction to how these speedy, small scale games play out.

I heartily encourage you all to check it out.

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Wednesday, February 8, 2012

SinSynn and the Helpful Hamster


Hey, folks, SinSynn here.

 The problem with having a Hamster living in your head is that sometimes, he gets out.

Well, that's one of the problems. I don't wanna get into the whole 'waste management' issue.
Trust me, you don't wanna know.

So lemme tell you what happened the other day.


I'm sleeping, and....

'Sinsynn....wake up.'

....

'Oh, fer the love of....WAKE UP!'

'What? Huh? I was nowhere near Miss Fox's house last night, officer. That sample you're holding did not come from me...'

'Sigh...wake up, you moron. We've got stuffs to do.'

'Mmmmf. Wait....Hamster? What are you doing out? And...what time is it?'

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Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Always Have a Battleplan...

There is an old saying that goes something like "No battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy". Of course this is a fair point but even the most poorly organised of military forces have at least a vague idea of what they're going to do.....
Many 40K players however seem to have no idea about what their units are going to do once their on the table and that's if they've even bothered to work out where on the table they need to go....

Unfair?

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Monday, February 6, 2012

Community Announcement: Old Stuff Day is Approaching

Just a quick announcement for this fine Monday evening.  Thor from Creative Twilight has taken up the mantle of last year's Old Stuff day.  I'll let him explain:


Last year Rob at Warhammer 39,999 began Old Stuff Day. In short, it’s a day where every blogger showcases articles they’ve done over past year (or longer), that might have fallen off the radar, maybe it’s just something you’d like to bring attention to again, stuff you may have done before you gained popularity or just anything you’re exceptionally proud of.

Lately Rob hasn’t been doing a lot of blogging and so you probably haven’t seen anything regarding it for this year, which is why I’m mentioning it. I’ve talked with Rob and it’s time to put it out there again. March 2nd is Old Stuff Day. So, take some time and go through your archive to find those articles you want to showcase and draw attention to. Rob said it best last year when he explained what Old Stuff Day is.

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New Member Monday - EEEEEEEE!

Hello, everyone and welcome to our 77th week of operation!  It's not too important a milestone, I just wanted to thank everyone for making it possible and making it great.


Additional and special thanks to Lo and SinSynn for their version of a birfday present last Friday   It was thoughtful and hilarious.  Much like The Life Aquatic or C.H.U.D. Though I do feel like I have to make one tiny correction.  The news of my hangover was greatly exaggerated.  Not once did I pee in front of either of those jerks!  But the post was nice anyways.

Anyways, it's that time again!

New Member Monday

Keywords: 40k, painting and modeling, project logs, bat reps

Keywords: Warhammer Fantasy & 40K centric, with an emphasis on hobby

And we have a winning essay this week.  Well... it's not so much an essay as it is a single sentence.

So, in response to the the tried and true "why are you God's gift to the internet", Arydadan of Elfen Stuff Up had this to say:

I got nothing... I check my articles for spelling errors?


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Sunday, February 5, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Intelligent Design : Tone

I'm back from my break. I'm talking about the TONE of games and how that effects design, or how design effects tone, dependent on the situation.


I think it might help to define tone, so we can break it down and talk about it among ourselves. I found two definitions that really work for my purposes today:

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Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Von Show #10 - Death and the Games-Master



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Friday, February 3, 2012

The Weekly Top X- Rumors of a Birthday (with SinSynn and Loquacious)

Hey folks, SinSynn here, with the lovely Loquacious, and a special House of Paincakes Investigative Report.


Followed by an apology, most likely.
And a redaction...

Maybe you've heard the rumors:

  • 6th Edition 40k is coming soon, or not. But look! There's like, a PDF...or something.
  • A new Tau Codex is only weeks away. Or maybe months.. It's coming, though, sometime. Maybe.
  • New Black Templars too! And Chaos (maybe Legions, maybe), and Eldar...eventually. Also very maybe.
  • The 6th Edition Starter Set will feature models from two different army books! No one is really sure WHICH two books, but they'll definitely be in there...we think.
    Some of those mentioned in the rumors:
    All of them.
  • 6th Edition 40k will come standard with passenger side airbags, and get exceptional gas mileage.

And so, Loquacious and I have dedicated ourselves to tracking down the source of these wildly varying, completely inconsistent and somewhat annoying rumors.
We DEMAND to know the truth....




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Thursday, February 2, 2012

Gaming on a Budget: The Internet!

Perhaps you've heard of this new fangled thing that they've got now called the Internet.  I even hear they've got it on computers now.  And did you know that you can use it to save money on your gaming addiction?  Well you can. 



I'm not advocating anything crazy like illegally downloading gaming materials.  No, that is illegal and immoral. 

There are tons of things that you can do, legally, though that will help you pad out your gaming experience and save you tons.

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Wednesday, February 1, 2012

SinSynn's Cure For The Late Night Blues


Hey folks, SinSynn here.

Life can be a lil' crazy, amirite?

Sometimes, sitting down for a bit o' hobby time may be the only thing that saves the lives of my friends and family.
...Like when your stepson edits your XBox Live 'bio' to sound like an advertisement for a male escort service.
  
-_-

Other times, when I'm flitting about, overly caffeinated and...maybe being annoying, the humans in my life may very well yell at me to, 'go paint a tank, or whatever the heck you do.'

So, in many ways, my hobby habit benefits them as much as me- I stay out of the looney bin, and they get to watch TV shows without me making comments and asking dumb questions.

...Nobody but me wants to know what kinda noises Fran Drescher would make while enduring a tentacle probing anyway.

*I bet she makes that face, though*

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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...

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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:

Rad!

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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.*


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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?


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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.

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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.

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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.
Sigh.

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*

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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...

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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:

HQ
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 enough...in theory, right?

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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


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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.


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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.




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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.

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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?

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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*


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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.

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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"?



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