Important Stuff

Sunday, March 11, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] The Myth

"So, 'Lo, you must get to play a lot of games- I mean, you own a game store..."

This phrase or variations of it are pretty common. There's a genuine belief that being a game store owner means that I get to play tons of games. In many ways, this belief boils down to the idea that I my "job" is to have fun and goof off.

This concept that I get paid to play games and have nothing but time to slack off is a big fat myth.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Von Show #13 - The Very Model Of A Man Inquisitorial

Hey folks.

This week's Von Show has run slightly longer than I anticipated. In fact it's run so long that I can't get it recorded and edited and posted in the time that I have available, given that I have three work deadlines to try and meet in what's left of this weekend, and writing the Show has already taken up a whole morning. However, I didn't want to completely deprive you of my dulcet tones, so... well. Here we go.

Anyway. When I was putting together this week's Top X, I found some of the specialist games easier to get the skinny on than others. Some took a bit of digging - I was there for half an hour trying to find anything good for Warmaster, for instance - but one proved to be a deep and abiding mystery, with nary a peep seemingly uttered about it anywhere on our blog rolls. Inquisitor. This week's Von Show is dedicated to working out why that happened.


Friday, March 9, 2012

The Weekly Top X- 'Lo Visits Von-

[Lo appears to be in the midst of a foggy, muddy field. It looks she’s been there for a bit as there are tracks and ruts all over, and spatters of mud cake her from the knees down. She scowls quite seriously at a scrap of rumpled paper. She twists it this way and that, muttering words that are NOT PRINTABLE HERE under her breath as she twists, looking behind her in utter confusion. Her rantings veer off into something comprehensible and (somewhat) printable after a few moments.] 

Where  IS Wolverhampton? It’s NOT anywhere Near The Hamptons... It’s not in Connecticut (last time I listen to that darn Xeno fool)... I know it’s in England... but this place is confusing as well... who the heck calls places WestANYTHING if it isn’t WEST!!!! These nimrods can’t even make a decent map!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

HoP Member on GW's "What's New Today" Blog

A member of the HoP since it's founding and singer of NWOBHM band Crusader, Hoagy has landed one of his minis on the Games Workshop "What's New Today Blog."

I've known Hoagy for years and have always been impressed by his attention to detail and ability to paint most people I know under the table. 

Be sure to check out his blog When Canons Fade after you peep his Wolf Guard from GW's site.  His is the one on the right.

Wolfin it up with Hoagy

Congrats Hoagy!


Wednesday, March 7, 2012

SinSynn: What's the deal with 'those people,' anyway?

Hey folks, SinSynn here.

So I've decided it's time to talk about something of a dark nature that occasionally crops up in relation to our hobby: racism, Nazi fanbois, and the strange, unpleasant vibe that goes with them.

As I am honor-bound to keep the initial paragraph (or whatever passes for such in my posts) and choice of blogroll pic controversy-free, I'm gonna use this space to warn you now that I may use words, terminology and imagery that might be unpleasant for some. Please be advised that I am doing this not to generate page hits, clicks and comments, but to generate some discussion, as is my want.
Most folks that have ever read anything I've written know that's what I'm about- no judgement here, no hate.
So...after the 'page break thingy,' we'll get started.
Token goofy joke first...

*Let's begin by admitting Monsters are racist, shall we? And Aliens are stereotyped. Nyah*


Monday, March 5, 2012

New Member Monday - My Head is Like a Shark's Finn

Man, what a busy weekend!  Friday was Old Stuff Day and Sunday was GM's Day.  I can tell thee days were successful and had a huge national impact on account of all the relevant greeting cards being sold out.  Couldn't find a single one.  I ended up having to buy some old seasonal greeting cards that were on sale.  Once I crossed out the original holiday name it was a simple matter to write in 'Old Stuff Day' or "GM's Day".

Nailed it.
New Member Monday


Sunday, March 4, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] The Hammer

This is a topic I really wasn't sure I wanted to talk about, but it has been brought up a few times at home by TheDude in relation to some incidents at the store (and at least one outside of it), so I'm going to tackle it.

What was I so desperately avoiding? 

The practice of banning customers from businesses, specifically game stores.

I want to be totally clear: this post is not about any one person, situation or circumstance. This is about making a deliberate choice to tell people that may or may not be customers not to be in your store- ever again.


Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Von Show #12 - A Very Special Day

Sorry about that. Back now. Still feel a bit rubbish in the voice department, but at least I actually remembered to record something this week, right?


Friday, March 2, 2012

The Weekly Top X - Old Stuff Day

Did you remember?  Did ya?  It's OK if you didn't, it's not like it only happens once a year or anything. Oh...  that's EXACTLY what it's like.  Well, WE didn't forget about Old Stuff Day!  So you can take heart in that at least.

Which is where this Top X comes in.  I thought that I could kill two birds with one stone and do a Top X of the most read posts on the House of Paincakes.  As it so happened, number one on the list was a post about Big Jim's army was stolen.  Lame.  So I revised the criteria a little and decided to do a Top X entry for each one of our authors.  So today, a self referential Old Stuff Top X - the most read post from each of out authors.


Thursday, March 1, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Intelligent Design Supplemental

I just wanted to throw out a quick heads up for all the Intelligent Design fans out there.  Lo is running a kind of leftovers special over at her own blog (World of Wonder) and was too timid and polite to abuse her powers here at the House of Paincakes.

The first interview is up in it's totality so you can see all the cool stuff that hit the cutting room floor for the actual posts that appear here.  First up is Brian of a Gentleman's Ones fame.

Here's the linky to series:  Intelligent Design Interviews

Here's a  picture of some cool as balls marines from A Gentleman's Ones to pad out this post's length:


Gaming on a Budget: Spare Parts Month

Spring is in the air.  With that comes a desire in me to get some much needed cleaning done around the old game room.  And with that much needed cleaning came the realization that I have an ass load of spare parts laying around.

One of the dethtron secrets to being a cheapskate and hoarding absolutely everything is hoarding absolutely everything.  Seriously, I don't throw much of anything out.  In the past I've even showed you folks how to use bits of sprue.... in at least two separate articles (article numero uno y dos).  Now, you can bet your ass if a kit comes with any extra parts I'm not getting rid of them.  Instead, I save them in clearly labeled boxes, right next to my jars of urine.

and these are only some of my spares...

Well, as you can see from the picture above, I've amassed myself a little collection of parts there.  But there's a reason for all of this- it saves me money!


Wednesday, February 29, 2012

SinSynn on Why Complaining is Important

Hey, folks, SinSynn here.

My good time buddy, and simultaneously most hated enemy, the Ultimate Rival, is currently infuriated with me.
Why, You ask?
Well, it seems he's not happy with many of my opinions regarding Flames of War version 3.
I gave the new rulebook a grade of C a few weeks back, and that really ground his gears.
How dare I insinuate that Flames of War is not perfect? How dare I point out what I perceive as 'wackiness,' and use terms like 'bloated' in reference to this divine guide to gaming with WWII miniature models?

He labeled me 'complainer.'

*Yeah, that's me*


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

The Importance of Balance.

Several of my friends went to a tournament at Warhammer World in Nottingham this weekend...

This might not be an advert for the actual tournament they went to but it's close enough...
As usual the venue was first class, the tables had a nice mix of scenery and there was a bar...but like many of Games Workshops events the 'fun at all costs' posse had decided to stick their fluffy bits into the works.


Monday, February 27, 2012

SinSynn Supplemental: More Flames of War 3rd (with slightly better batrep pics)

Hey, folks, SinSynn here.

Talkin' Flames of War.

What can I say? I'm happy.
Flames of War 3rd is da awesome, especially when combined with some of the new lists in the Grey Wolf book.
Well, for me it is, cuz I play Axis.

My Grenadiers have gotten considerably better, thanks to some of the new rules, like Combat Attachments increasing the stand count for platoons- ever so important for 'more than half' morale checks.
HMG teams are RoF 3 when pinned or moving, and are cheaper in the Grey Wolf lists, etc.

*My Grenadiers- now moar shooty! Xenos HQ guards the objective, a burning Sherman. Arty Observer has the blue base*


New Member Monday - Yeah, Baby!

Ladies, gentleman, man-children of all ages:  welcome to another funderful week at the House of Paincakes!

man baby!
This first post of the work week is designed to be a kind and gentle island of tranquility since Lo's Intelligent Design series has started wrap up.  Not to worry, Lo will still write for us, but what new treasures she will unearth are not known to the likes of me.   But man, I'm gonna miss the design series.  

In hindsight, my choice of picture does not really help the tranquility thing.


Sunday, February 26, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Intelligent Design: Putting it all Together

The Intelligent Design Series has been a lot of fun, and a huge challenge. For this series, I really wanted to talk about the elements a designer looks at when creating a new game for us to play. I wanted to address more than just a single piece of the puzzle, I hoped to touch on everything that is involved in new material.

Designers think differently and put differing priorities on the various elements we've discussed thus far. Some elements are harder to effect than others. Certain pieces of the puzzle elude game creators and others just don't matter to them. It's a rare designer (or group of designers) that actively looks to (or succeeds in) include all the parts and makes it an effortless and sucessful design for us to enjoy.

What makes a game great?


Saturday, February 25, 2012

The Von Show - DEAD AIR

Evenin' all.

I have a confession to make. Much like fellow HoPist and righteous dude SinSynn, I've had a bit of a week of it. I've been away from base, and my mind has been occupied with Things That Aren't Blogging, and the long and the short of it is that it was 5.30 UK time before I even remembered that I hadn't planned, scripted, recorded, edited or posted the Show this week. And when I did sit down to record, I realised that I had nothing useful to say about the topic that was suggesting itself to me.

I have no idea how to deal with problem players because... well, because I don't play games with wankers. I play games with reasonable adults who can tell each other what's going wrong with their happy fun make-pretend time. If I do end up with a wanker in the group, nature will take its course, the group will implode in four or fewer sessions, and the people who can play nicely together and want to will go off and sort out their own game. And on the rare occasions that the wanker in the group is me, I'm big enough to own it, apologise for it, and either put myself in check or leave the game.

All well and good, but it doesn't make for an interesting, informative or long column.

Anyway, it's too dark for my webcam to get any sort of decent image recorded, the cat's howling the house down because it's ten minutes to feeding time, and I'm in a bad mood because if there's one thing I hate, it's flaking out, being caught between doing a bad job or no job at all, and having no-one to blame but myself for the case of affairs.

But nobody wants to hear me grumbling about how I fail at life a bit this week, SO! Here's the deal. For one week only, I'm going to break the First Rule of RPG Club. Tell me about your games, your characters, the awesome times you're having at the gaming table. Fill this dead air with your blistering white-hot enthusiasm, and make me feel better for leaving my spare keys in the hands of Mr. Cock-Up.

In the meantime, I'm going to feed the cat, and spend the night making Vampire NPCs. Feh.


Friday, February 24, 2012

The Weekly Top X - Verily, Ye Olden Tymes Doth Previale!

Hello everyone and welcome to another Weekly Top X chock full of snazzy information and only a slight bit of turpitude!  We had a training session which, I feel, should significantly cut down on all the wickedness and wrong doing that was going on.  I also made everyone shave their Snidely Whiplash mustaches as well.  That shit was getting seriously out of hand.

Everyone looked like Jack Lemmon from the Great Race.
Anyway, for Today's Top X, I thought I'd go aaaaall the way back to the first post that could be considered a New Member Monday and see where some of our longest standing members are today.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Gaming on a Budget: Battlefront is Brilliant

Yeah, that title is a bold statement.  It's also a true statement.  While this series has always focused on the consumer side of things, I'm actually going to put my education to work ('bout damn time) and get a little discussion going about one of the best moves I've seen from a company in a long long time. 

Do you own a copy of Flames of War 2nd ed?  Really, well go to your FLGS ASAP, throw around some more acronyms, and get a free copy of the new 3rd edition rules! 

3rd edition FoW- not hard to get.  Also, anybody else notice that this plane took out a train?

Okay, so yes this obviously will save you, the consumer, money on keeping up to date with the latest rules set since you'll be out exactly nothing on the "purchase" of the new book, but that would make for a short Gaming on a Budget article- and I'm not letting you off the hook that easily.  That article would actually pretty much end here, but instead will continue after the jump in a slightly different direction.


Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Actual (bad) pics of SinSynn's FoW Stuffs

Hey, folks, SinSynn here.

Sorry my post is late, but a lil' sumpthin' came up, and I wasn't able to spend my usual time at the keyboard.
In lieu of like, an actual post, I've got some (pretty bad) pics for you.
Listen, I tried for days to make this work properly, and take actual decent pics for youse guys.
Obviously it didn't work out as well as I'd like, and for now you're stuck looking at these.
Sorry 'bout that.

*Da Tigers*


Tuesday, February 21, 2012

HoPpy Holidays!

Well hell, you didn't think your guy and gal pals here at HoP Headquarters would forget a few holidays, did you?  No, of course you didn't, and of course we didn't.

honestly feared the worst, but the search for 'President Pancakes' turned out to be pretty tame in Google Image

So we've got a hell of a holiday extravaganza to celebrate today what with it being Pancake Day in the UK, Fat Tuesday other places, and Post-Presidents Day in the US.

In honor of these holidays and more, please listen to some holiday themed music after the jump.


The Rumour Trap.

Rumours are something we come to expect in the world of Warhammer.

Every potential new release comes with the usual selection of information from various sources. From the guy with 'inside' information, to the 'play-testers' who were using a version five years old with the odd bullshit wish-lister thrown into the mix we're given piles of information to sift through and most of it has one single factor in common.

It's complete bollocks.


Monday, February 20, 2012

New Member Monday - The Schweet Taste of Victory

What's up ya'll!   The all year hootenanny that is the House of Paincakes continues!

Before I get to the fine, disease free bloggers who joined us this week, I just wanted to give a quick shout out to Kirby and his wild success with 3++ con!  Thins seemed to go pretty swimmingly and there's a ton of great post over on his blog.

But as we all know, a tournament isn't truly successful until there's enough e-drama to fill the pages of a four volume leather bound collectors edition limited print run.  So let me get this ball rolling:

STAND IN only scored 11.389 battle points.  Strictly an approximation since we would need that fourth decimal place to be sure.  Anyway, as we all know, battle points are the only true measure of a man.  For this reason, STAND IN is a most likely a CHUD.  He probably cheated too.  That guy should be banned from Australia.


Sunday, February 19, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Intelligent Design: Emotional Connection

That thrill. That incredible rush. That incredible sensation all over - my shin tightening, and my breath catching. all just from looking - I was terrified to touch, but couldn't wait to get my hands all over ---

My first RPG and my true love

While CB has made them all fancy, I adore Napoleonics something fierce

I love "Planes on Sticks", also known as Blue Max 

The emotional connection a game sparks in us almost always has the single-most important impact in decision making we face as consumers. If a game has any hold on you at all emotionally, be ready to cry a lot as your wallet opens almost involuntarily to purchase the newest edition, latest release or even worse, the "collector's edition".

I'm not the only one that feels this way. All of us, at some level, have a game that hits us "below the belt" and makes us feel quivery and somewhat intoxicated. I talked to a lot of folks, and all of them had a memory of "that love".

Here are some comments from people around the web:


Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Von Show #11 - "I cast Detect Asshat!"

Slightly shorter than usual this week 'cause my throat's packing in. Sorry if the voice isn't quite as sultry as usual, too.


Friday, February 17, 2012

New Citadel Paint Inbound?

OK, so the HoP is probably not the first place you'd probably come to get rumors, but there's a reason for this- we don't like to participate in the dissemination of complete and utter horse shit.  Without some kind of hard evidence, most rules don't really hold up.  Here, I'll start one- Take this Internet....

Squats are coming in the Q4 black box next year.  Their background has been altered slightly to explain that they were not wiped out, but went on a journey in the good ship deceiver to probe other galaxies and time continua and have just returned to take their revenge on Pedro Cantor for calling one of them short during a formal dress dinner party.  This has been said to appeal to both fans of Heinlein and "Downton Abbey."

Oh, I forgot I had a point and a real rumor to substantiate.  More after the jump.


The Weekly Top X - Just BeCosby

Oh holy hell... I just took a trip through the way back machine and was forced to confront the fact that Brent and SinSynn made you all look at gross tentacle stuff waaaay back in September.  Here's the link in case you forgot what it was like.  I've come to think of it as something the House of Paincakes should make amends for.   Not because I feel bad about personally or anything, but just because it's expected.  It's a lot like Tiger Woods apology for all the sex he had with those women.

So today's Top X will be much more family friendly.  So long as that family is the Huxtables... and you ignore the first paragraph.

It's time for the Top X.  With me, as always, is my co-host:  Animated GIFs of Bill Cosby.

except this one


Wednesday, February 15, 2012

SinSynn: Honor In Gaming

Hey, folks. SinSynn here.

When Grand Theft Auto IV released, my stepson immediately took a shine to the multiplayer mode known as Cops and Crooks.
The premise of this game type is that one team plays Crooks, and attempts to reach a 'getaway vehicle,' while the other team of Cops tries to stop them.
Well, that's the way it's SUPPOSED to be played- my stepson didn't see it that way.

And so, the first thing him and his lil' squad of buddies would do when they spawned in is immediately team kill anyone who wasn't 'down with them,' and proceed to destroy the getaway vehicle so no one is going anywhere, hunt down the opposing team, and kill the crap outta them using a combination of glitches (spamming the crouch button and firing a shotgun produces an 'automatic shotgun' effect, for example- no more pumping between rounds), and vicious pack tactics.
He sent his favorite controller out to be 'modded,' even.

He was quite proud of his Top 100 ranking on the worldwide leaderboards, too.
Right up until he received his first 'Code of Conduct' ban of 24 hours.
This was followed by the 72 hour ban, the week and month long bans, and eventually his account was killed by Microsoft altogether.
His Gamer Score, records, position on the Leaderboards, and everything else, gone.

*Feel the power*


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.


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*


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.


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.