Important Stuff

Sunday, March 25, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] The Bubble Part 2

A while ago, I talked about 'the bubble' as I see it. to me, the bubble is a sphere of influence, ownership or shared responsibility for an undertaking. It might be a sports team, a girl scout troupe, or a small business. Those INSIDE the bubble know what's going on, when, why and how- and those outside the bubble know what is told to them by those inside it.

I've been on both sides of the bubble. Recently, GW told my store that they were making a big change to its paint line. They wouldn't tell us what KIND of changes, but I figured "hey, that's ok; they will tell me what I need to know". I also assumed that I was closer to the "inside" of the bubble than the "average consumer" since I sell theit product for them.

I got my official email after several large blogs had broken the story. I read about the new paint line and colors online at major hobby blogs before I read it from the company I'm supposed to be partnering with. I discovered that despite a heavy cash investment, I am NOT inside the bubble. I find things out when everyone else does (and sometimes later).


Saturday, March 24, 2012

The Von Show #15 - The Non Show

Nobody wants to see my hangover face, do they? No? Good.

This week, I want to talk about hacking.

 No, not like that, you nar-nar. I mean hacking games.

Closer... warmer... but not quite cooking yet. Let me back up and explain a bit.


Friday, March 23, 2012

The Weekly Top X- SinSynn vs. Laundry Girl

High atop the tallest building in sight, a lurking figure peers over the ledge and into the night.

The figure converses with itself, sometimes raising it's voice to a yell, other times a low, babbling mutter pours continuously from it's vocal orifice.

There seems to be an argument taking place within it's head. There's some foul words directed at a Hamster, but there appears to be no actual Hamster anywhere in the vicinity.

The argument reaches a crescendo....


The figure cackles in evil glee, and assumes his coolest bad guy pose.
“The only being in the universe that could stop me now is-”

A tremendous flash of light blazes from the sky, crashing down upon the roof with an earth-shattering kaboom.

The lurker picks itself up, coughing. As the dust settles, a shining figure is revealed before him.

The silhouette of a Terran female, a cape flowing gracefully off of her shoulders.
So...Springtime fresh.

The small, twisted lurker knows this can only mean one thing....He points an angry, multi-knuckled digit at the new arrival.



Thursday, March 22, 2012

Gaming on a Budget Spare Parts Month- Ogre BSB part 1

Before we begin, don't forget that in 2 weeks I will be highlighting your -dear readers- creations made from spare parts.  Send an e-mail with "spare parts month" in the subject line to me at  Be sure to include some pictures of your work and a link to your own site (if you have one) and anything else you might find to be pertinent information.

Well, now that that's out of the way, it's time to fix a glaring hole in the WFB Ogre Kingdoms model line.  There is no battle standard bearer.  Yeah, I know, ludicrous that there's no model for an absolutely essential addition to any army, but here we are.

To remedy this situation, I'm going to be converting one using nothing but spare parts.  Now, you'll probably see me use a bunch of tools that may be moderately expensive and bash together parts of several not too cheap kits.  Then you'll be all like 'hey, what the shit happened to the budget part.'  Well it's still there, I assure you.  As I've mentioned before, I don't mind spending money on quality tools that have many uses and are built to last- this is a sound investment- and part of my "budget" approach to this is selecting essential tools that are a good value.  Now as for the kits- well, if you're playing an army, you have to get a bunch of kits.  Being smart and figuring out how to game the system and stretch what you get in those boxes.... well that's budget friendly.  Honestly, the only cost to me for this whole project will be $.50 worth of plastic rod and a bottle of wine that I would have drunk anyway.

To start out, you'll need an Ironblaster/Scraplauncher kit:


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Path to Victory is Paved With Hobo Corpses

The best laid schemes of mice and men, go often awry
-Robert Burns

Lil' story...
At the final Version 2 FoW Tournament I attended, I missed placing in the top three because of a failed bog test.

As the two hour mark approached, and the TO announced '15 minutes remaining,' I left one of my Tiger tanks guarding the approach to my objectives, along with a somewhat battered Engineer platoon. The Tiger platoon leader and a teammate made a mad dash for an unguarded enemy objective.
The enemy was a Russian Mech list, which spent the majority of our game pushing the west flank. The eastern side of the board was empty, with the exception of the single Grenadier platoon I had protecting my own objective on that side of the table.
They were chillin,' drinking coffee and Schnapps, observing the fireworks from the comfort of a wooded grove.
The enemy east objective looked awful tempting, since the mission was Free-For-All. I suspected my opponent would play for the draw when he realized he wasn't going to take the west flank, so I went for it.
All I had to do was cut through a lil' patch o' woods.

*Friggin' potholes*


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

FoW Supplemental: Tactical Sticky Spots

Hey folks, SinSynn here.

Something that's made me pretty happy of late is seeing some of my favorite bloggers take up Flames of War.
The guys from the Back 40k, Stelek from Yes the Truth Hurts, and my buddy Purgatus from Best Overall have all grabbed some models and a free mini-rulebook and, like myself, are writing stuffs about it.
It's nice to see the conversation leap off the FoW forums and out here, where semi-interested people might get lured in...
...and trapped.
Heh. One of ussss....One of ussss...

*Now go buy tankie-tanks!*


Monday, March 19, 2012

New Member Monday - Do You Know Where Your Lauby is?

Hey cats and kittens - or Dawgs, if you're not a cat person.  Sorry for the extreme delay for today's post, but I just absolutely had to watch an entire season of Archer last night and the lack of sleep threw my whole day off. Well... that and the dental work.

Not that kind of... sigh.  You jackass

But never mind all THAT.  We have some new members today!

New Member Monday

The Neverness Hobby Chronicle
Keywords: Warhammer, 40,000, Warhammer, Black Library Fiction, Warhammer /wh40K roleplaying systems, and White Dwarf rants.

Field Factory
Keywords: Scenic bases, commerce, España

No essay today, since both of our new pals have better things to do.  So instead of my usual internet treasure, let's play a game together.  In the comments, let us know which SINGLE HoP member blog's name sounds the most  like some sort of sexual euphemism. It's also OK to point out which blogs have titles that are actual euphemisms as well.... Brent.

I've got my own idea, but I wont spoil it.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Connecting People with Games

Helping a customer find "just the right game" is one of my favorite things to do.

I highly enjoy finding new, interesting, challenging and fun games for my customers to try. I like it so much I extend it to friends over the internet, too. I've helped many a blogging buddy come into a game that thrills them and presses their "ooh shiny" button.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Von Show #14 - Balance Is Boring

Business as usual this week, now with 100% more Hark! This week's technical error: sound quality, as my microphone has lost its pop cover and wasn't really designed for two people anyway. I've done what I can but it's still a bit quiet. Still, you can always skip to the transcript.

Incidentally, if anyone has any suggestions for topics, or thought-provoking questions, don't hold back!


Friday, March 16, 2012

The Weekly Top X - Space Elfs

The other day I was looking through my closets and came face to face with the fact that I saved every box that the kits for my Eldar army came in.  I'm not entirely sure I did this other than for this shot:

So there's one long term goal of the ol' check list... and a trip to the dumpster to make.

With that in mind, today's Top X is a tribute to all the faithful Eldar players out there still pluggin' away on the hard road that is life as a 40k Xeno.

1) Scratchbuilt 40k - Scratch building Eldar Weapon Platforms, updating old Wraith Lords
We open today's festivities with a cool scratch build and a slightly alarming and definitely colorful trip down memory lane.  A solid couple of hash marks in the W column for Krisken.


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Gaming on a Budget: dethtron Rocks Spare Parts

Greetings y'all.  Spare parts month continues....well, it's still a month even if it's 4 non-contiguous weeks, right.

Don't forget to send in pictures of your own projects that make major use of spare parts.  I'll be doing a feature on other people's work in about two weeks.  All you need to do is send an e-mail to with "spare parts month" in the subject line.  I've gotten a few submissions already, but would love to see more.  Make sure to include a link to your blog as well, so that I can give proper credit/attribution/pimping.

Stay tuned after the jump for a gallery of some of my favorite conversions I've done from nothing but spare parts.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

You don't have to understand...just don't touch anything

Hey Folks, SinSynn here.

Wow- I am having one of those crazy weeks. 
The Crazy Lady I Live With is celebrating a birthday, and family members have traveled from far and wide to come party. We've got people crashed out on couches and inflatable mattresses in our living room.
It's all very annoying, cuz it's cutting into my hobby time.
Hobby time is always the first thing to go, isn't it? In my case, this is immediately followed by blogging/internet time (why my post is late today), and 'doing anything fun time.'

And then we get to the awkward part when you have to explain all the lil' models on your desk.... 

*Actual pic of the in-progress models on my desk*


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

FoW Supplemental: I Heart Panzer IV's

GMort's been having some bouts of 'real life' recently so he's gonna be out of the office for a couple of weeks.  Nothing bad, mind you - it's for life affirming and good reasons.  But he absolutely needs a short break.  So here's SinSynn eager and willing to fill all our holes.... in the schedule.

Hey folks, SinSynn here.

Since I've decided to take a break from running Infantry lists for a lil' while, I've had my head buried in Grey Wolf. Gotta tell ya, I've become quite enamored of the generic Panzerkompanie list featured in the book.

As I mentioned here, the list has a lot of potential, some great options, and the ability to add the Warrior Dietrich Van Saucken. I know the new Grenadiers are nifty, too, and neat lists from the Finns, Stug Batteries with tankriders and other cool things definitely bear more looking at.
For sheer, sword-like cutting power, though, it's tough to beat 12 Stugs, and 6 Panzer IV's, led by Van Saucken at 1750 points. That list will be turning heads at Tournaments around my way soon, for sure.
The addition of Van Saucken to what was the bog-standard Fortress Europe list makes for big fun.

The Panzer IV took a back seat to the Stug prior to the point decrease in Grey Wolf, and the new Turret rules in Version 3. Now, however, it's time to take another look at the Panther's kid brother.

*Panzer IV sez 'Shhhh! You don't see me. I'm a bush.'


Monday, March 12, 2012

New Member Monday - Inside Job

Hello everyone and welcome back to the House of Paincakes!  The only blog that was voted to have 'the best smile' in it's high school blog yearbook.  It never showed up for the picture though.  That shit is for chumps and chumpasaurs.  Also, best smile is a lame award.  Pretty much on the same level as 'most changed'.  Know what I'm sayin', Dethtron?

Inside jokes aside, we've got another new addition to the blog roles.  This time we've only got one for you.  But  how Wulvir and his buddies found their way here is a harrowing tale of subterfuge and experimental weapons perpetrated by Kirby and SinSynn.  Who, apparently, are our go to guys for this sort of thing.

New Member Monday

Wulfvir's 40k blog 
Keywords: Warhammer 40,000, Regular Warhammer, Tactica, Space Wolves, Team blog

What's this?  An essay winner?!  After so long without one?!!? Indeed.  Wulvir himself not only wrote an essay but attached it as a separate word document.  Hilarious AND inconvenient.

God’s gift to the internets; enough said. But seriously, we are a new blog focusing on 40k tactica,
eventually branching out to include tactica on ALL the races of 40k. At the moment, most of our
posts are focusing on Space Wolves, admittedly, but there are a couple on Sisters and a little bit on
Blood Angels. Ok, that is a lot less than 500 words, but if you are ignoring it anyway… :D


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?