Important Stuff

Sunday, July 8, 2012

HoP Idol II Round 1 Voting is now LIVE!

It's finally the time you've all been waiting for (don't correct me if I'm wrong), the voting for the first round of this year's HoP Idol II: The Quickening is now live,  You can see it over there on the left, expectantly waiting for you to make your selections.  Begging for it, even!

In case you weren't around last time or don't remember stuff so good, you get each 5 votes.  Once the voting closes, the writer with the least number of votes is out of the running.  If we had the budget, there'd be a tearful farewell show in which we highlight all of the drama that individual went through - perhaps drunken sex in the hot tub, a bunch of unrelated scenes edited together to make it look like a feud or even a fist fight. We'll never know.  

To further refresh your memories, here's a list of all the Contestants with links to their round 1 entry.

They're all very excellent to extremely excellent in quality, so I don't envy the decisions you'll have to make.

Remember - You get to vote for 5 of these fine gentleman and the contestant with the  fewest votes will still be considered awesome, but is out of the running.


HoP Idol II: 6th Edition, what’s that?

And now ladies and germs.... the finally entry into the first challenge for HoP Idol II.  Don't forget to check back later in the day for open voting, but first you've got to check out this article from Dok and then go peep his daily self-deprecation over at "3 for Int."

6th Edition, what’s that?

Hey all, Dok here from I got to take an early look at the 6th edition rulebook and
while I would like to cover the whole book, it’s not really possible to fit it in one article. I mean, I could
probably write an even longer book just talking about all the rules! So instead of boring you with all the
details, I want to talk about the 5 biggest changes that are going to be sweeping the tables in 6 th edition

1. Flyers – Obviously the biggest hoopla over the last year or so has been the release of flyers to
the various armies(and the various armies that don’t have them…). Dakkajets, Stormravens,
Vendettas, Valkyries, Stormtalon, the Voidraven, and the scythes from the necron codexes. In
6th edition, these will add a third dimension to the game as they cruise around above the heads
of infantrymen.
The problem with these flyers is that at the moment, it’s not really clear how every army will
deal with them. What I’m talking about is that if you don’t have a special rule called ‘skyfire’,
then you hit flyers on a 6. This means that to take an all comers list, you will need to have a unit
that can skyfire available to you. Unfortunately skyfire units need a 6 to hit units not in the air!
This means that you will have to take units that will be restricted on what they can fire on.

I'm pretty sure this is the skyfire icon


[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Looking at Magic

I've heard or inferred a lot of grumbling over Magic:the Gathering during my time as the owner of a FLGS. I've caught snippets of conversations, seen faces made, and listened to more than a few unhappy people complaining about this game and the people that play it.

I have to admit that I rarely play MtG anymore. I'm not very good at it, and I've discovered that for someone that doesn't think quickly, this game is torture. I do however know a lot about it, and enjoy talking to the various kinds of folks that play. 


Saturday, July 7, 2012

HoP Idol II: News Flash! New Bike STC Could be on a Battlefield Near You!

Well well well, we meet again.  Time for another challenge for the HoP Idol II: The Revengening, competition.  Up now we have the incomparable Doc Brian from "Family that Slays."

News Flash! New Bike STC Could Be On a Battlefield Near You!

I've always been a fan of space marine bike armies. They're just so tricksy. Unfortunately, the models
look horrible to me. I mean, really. They look like they're riding scooters with balloon wheels. Or
maybe like the bike that big rockbiter guy rides in The Neverending Story. I guess it’s the foot platforms
that really push it over the edge. So, being the guy-who-marches-to-a-different-beat kinda guy I am, I
wracked my brains to come up with an alternative.

First, some inspiration.

I'm a big fan of the movie Akira. Kanada's bike in particular is pretty cool, but I couldn't see a space
marine on such a low-rider. It would be too impractical to climb up out of it when you need to jump off
and beat face.

Your basic cruiser bikes look a lot like the existing marine bike, so it wouldn't be worth building a custom
bike to get a similar look.

Crotch-rocket street bikes don't exactly fit the bill, either.

I need something big. Something bold. Something impractical. Something over the top sensational.
Something that exudes "Space Marine."


[Games Anatomy] Once More Unto The Breach, Dear Friends

Breach, of course, is another word for rift, and last week, I bounced off Kevin Siembieda's Rifts (R) Ultimate Edition like a British tennis player off Centre Court... what's that, sorry? Oh. Oh, I see. Well. Um. In that case, I'd better get back to Rifts (R), hadn't I?

This week, rather than ploughing through the book in order and foolishly expecting the core notions to be somewhere near the front, I've done what I arguably should have done in the first place and checked out the contents pages, which place such esoterica as 'How to Role-Play' and 'Notable Game and Rifts (R) Terms' on page 274 and onwards.

Okay, okay, I promise that's the last time I'll bang on about the poor layout of this poorly laid-out book. Let's skip the Dragons, the Psi-Stalkers and the Glitter Boys for now, and get on with the bloody rules.


Friday, July 6, 2012

HoP Idol II; "Guys, Can We Quit it with the Criticism"

Hey there folks, it's time for the next challenger up in the challenging challenge round of the challenging challenge that is HoP Idol.  Here come's TKE to drop some knowledge on you or make you angry about something or whatever.  Regardless, we're happy to have him here taking a break from his regular musings over at "Mind War, FTW!"

"Guys, Can We Quit It With The Criticism:


With 6th Edition 40k literally hours away at the time of writing, it’s become apparent to me there is a sizeable gap at the heart of the 40k playerbase.  It’s something I had not been wholly ignorant of before, I saw it expressed in discussions about 8e WFB, but not having been a regular forum user or Blogger when 4e 40k bit the dust, I couldn’t say if it was something that was unique to WFB players - not playing any of the alternatives like Infinity, Warmachine/Hordes, or Flames of War also hampered me in this regard...but there is a clear distinction between players who are happy with the new edition, and players who are...less so.


The Weekly Top X - Classified

Warning: Clearance:  Umbra-/Amaranth-/Omega

++++ Transmitted: House of Paincakes
++++ Received:  <<redacted>>
++++ Destination:  <<redacted>>
++++ Temporal Reference/Send: [5 077-sidereal] 0504012.M03
++++ Telepathic Duct: Locus Solar/HoP Terminus
++++ Sidereal/Ref/Ordinator: 77-0/y56-233/Astropath Hoegaarden
++++ Transcriptor: Autosavant Penitent -42C//Steve - [Liquidated after use]

Thought for the Day:  "Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss."

I hope this missive finds you all in good health and sounds of mind.  My agents have continuously and tirelessly investigated even the slightest rumors in the pursuit of information vital to the security of this sector of the blogosphere.  Though all of my people have entirely  given themselves over to our cause, Inquisitor Loquacious deserves special commendation for her efforts.  She has performed above and beyond even our already high standards.

Per your request, I have compiled a list of the most pressing concerns to the Ordo Paincakes for the past week culled from the reports of our field personnel.  

1) Chronowraith's Corner The Tip of the Brush - Having Standards OR "When is a Miniature Finished?"
Summary:  A being of immense knowledge has appeared suddenly and begun spreading a kind of enlightenment to a artists throughout the sector.  The nature of the being is unknown but is believed to be some sort of friendly, time-traveling spirit from beyond the Ghoul Stars.
Status:  Under surveillance.  Ecto Containment Units on order from the Munitorium.


Thursday, July 5, 2012

HoP Idol II: The Ties that Bind

Welcome back to the HoP Idol II challenge round my HoPateers.  Don't forget that voting will be going live this weekend after the final challenge entry goes up.  Today sees us with the one and only Gartenzing of "Gaming All Areas."  Prepare to have your area gamed...

The Ties that Bind

Hi all,

I’m Gartenzing, from Gaming All Areas. Now, I’ve got 3 options to talk about today, given
the rules of the competition. I can talk about a recent hobby project- well everything I’ve
been working on recently can be found at All Areas, so that would be a bit of a cop out. Or
I can do a book review, but the only books I’ve been buried in recently are Terry Pratchett’s
Discworld, Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time and Churchill’s Diaries, none of which I feel are
particularly appropriate for HoP (anyone that wants to discuss these, feel free to leave a
comment over on All Areas.) This leaves me with the far broader topic of Gamer Culture!


Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Change Can We Believe In (question mark)

Hey folks, SinSynn here.


 Last night was 'epic barbeque night' here in the Bronx- pretty much everyone that lives in my apartment building made their way to the rooftop for a fun-filled evening of fine dining with the neighbors. We do this many times throughout the summer, and it's always big fun.
 The beauty of a rooftop barbeque is that one is not limited to just food off the grill. It's just as easy to make whatever you'd like in your kitchen, and bring it on up. That means you can have rice and beans with your steak, or ribs, or burgers, or hot dogs, even.
 And since this is the Bronx, you can bet a multicultural cornucopia of culinary delights will arrive in full force. Rice and beans is considered a staple here, but there was also payaya, curried chicken, oxtail soup, Italian sausages, even a giant bowl of salad with tomatoes and feta cheese done up in proper Albanian style.
 Oh so much food, oh so delicious.
 One of my neighbors broke out with some 'pre- Fourth of July' fireworks he acquired from some back alley in Chinatown, and another proudly boasted about his grandfather's still, located deep in the forests of the Dominican Republic, which has been producing ten thousand proof rum for decades, apparently.

T'was the rum what done me in, I'm afraid.
*Best not to ask why the bowling ball looks nervous*


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

HoP Idol II: The Term "Gamer" a Pet Peeve

It's that time again boys and ghouls- time for today's HoP Idol challenge.  Today's entry comes from Wyrd of " ."  If you like what you see here, make sure you go to his blog and also vote him up this weekend. I'd pretty well guarantee a lively discussion after this one.

The term "Gamer" - A Pet Peeve 
When I was growing up the term "Gamer" had a very different meaning. It meant someone who played tabletop role-playing games or miniature games. It belonged exclusively to this often elitist subculture like a badge or title of secret unity. You'd be out with a couple of buddies, overhear another group talking, you'd walk up, and ask "Hey you guys game?" If the answer was no there was a moment of confusion followed by an apology, but if the answer was yes it was an instant ice breaker and all the normal social dividers (race, gender, class, age, etc) would go out the window giving way to a sense of camaraderie among people who would otherwise be strangers.


Tuesday Discussion - Bug Guts

We're off to a rollicking start with this year's HoP idol, that's for sure.  But, sadly, the second entry for round 1 wont be up till later today.  So in the meantime, it's another Tuesday Discussion.

The big news right now is that Warhammer 40k 6th edition just dropped.  Well, actually... the bigger news is that 6th edition seems to be more along the lines of a natural progression from 5th rather than the 'holy shit, what the hell happened' jump that we saw with any of the most recent Fantasy Battle books.
Looks like we won't need this after all.
So, lots of good discussion & scientific dissection of the rules are all over the place and most of it's been pretty optimistic.  But that doesn't mean that it's been all sunshine and skittles.  There are at least a few things that people are having a hard time wrapping their heads around:  split FOC charts, purchasable fortifications, flyers and, the dreaded allies matrix.  The basic idea is that these things are all weird and discombobulating now but may get better after some playtesting to see how things will shake out.  Like I said, cautiously optimistic.

But there is one statistical outlier to this happy scatter plot graph - the fact that the Tyranids get fuck all for allies.

So, today's Menu:

1) Feel free to rant about the size of the shaft the Tyranids got.
2) Tell everyone why you think this makes no sense from a fluff perspective.
3) Bonus round: play devil's advocate and defend the decision.


Monday, July 2, 2012

HoP Idol II Challenge: Warhammer "Railgun" Conversion WIP

Well kiddos, it's about that time again.  This week's first challenge entry comes from Neil of the ever fantastic blog "The Dice Gods are Hungry."  Check out the insanity of building a railgun fit for the dark ages.

In an underground domain grubby, smelly, furry-faced monsters clad in dirty rags shuffle around plotting the destruction and enslavement of the world above whilst building weapons of mass destruction.  No, I’m not talking about Al Qaeda-I’m talking about the Skaven of course!

More specifically, I’m talking about my latest warp lightning cannon conversion dubbed ‘the railgun’.


New Member Monday - Hot Diggity Dog!

Hey ho, everyone!  The big day is upon us - the first full round of HoP idol starts later today and I'm not trying to brag, but I've been rock hard about it since I woke up this morning.

If you know what I mean.
In the meantime, we've got another lovely batch of new blogs to share.  You've only got something like 8 hours (as of this posting), before the first entry hits our page.  So you'd probably better get started exhaustively reading these blogs.

New Member Monday

Mydnight's Hobby Corner
Keywords: Malifaux, OGRE, Commissions, Scenery, Painting, and the occasional sculpting
Essay: I am not God's gift to the internet. I am the messenger of Yog-Sothoth, boot cleaner of Great Cthulhu, bell-hop for Nyarlathotep, understudy for victim 3478 in the 2nd act of The King In Yellow, and many other overlooked positions! I also happen to paint from time to time, and thought it'd be neat to share it with other people. I've been painting miniatures for fourteen years, and along the way I've picked up a few other hobbies that go hand in hand. Making scenery, a touch of sculpting, basing miniatures, and variations thereof.

El Clan de los Charizard
Keywords: Pokémon, Warhammer, videogames and more, Muy Caliente
Essay: Thank you.

15mm Strife
Keywords: 5mm SciFi, 15mm Fantasy, Infinity
Essay: I am the Walrus

Not you, 15mm Strife guy.  Just Donny.


HoP Idol II: Challenge the First

Greetings HoPpers and HoPpettes.  This week we're going to be running the first elimination challenge for HoP Idol- the blogosphere's only competition where players compete to take on a bigger workload!

All six finalists' articles will be run in the evening parallel to our normal posting schedule.  This means if you're in Europe, you'll be seeing these in the morning or if you're Australia or somewhere, you'll be seeing them last Tuesday (that's how this whole timezone shit works, right?!?).

The articles will Run Monday through Saturday in the order that entries were received.  Voting then opens up on Sunday and will run through the following Friday- enabling you, dear reader, to join in the democratic process and make your voice heard by selecting who will not continue to the next round of HoP Idol II.  The contestant with the fewest votes at the end of the voting period will be eliminated. 

After the jump, you can check out the challenge details and maybe a bonus funny picture.


Sunday, July 1, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Accessories

I have more than one. I wear them to make me feel pretty, confident, put together or otherwise somehow BA. I match them to my outfits and sometimes bedazzle the heck out of them. I have fancy ones and super good-deal ones, and some in between. I show them off to anyone that will look. I love these wonderful showcases of personality; also known as PURSES.

Well fine and dandy. What the heck does that have to do with anything, much less game store stuff? 

I noticed that the folks at my store have accessories, too. 

Gamer/nerd accessories are a little different than mine; but have similar purposes.

The accessories vary according to the person, but there are a few common denominators. 


Saturday, June 30, 2012

[Games Anatomy] Where No Von Has Gone Before

Abakus, he say:
And you should TOTALLY do Rifts next week. The system's a clusterfuck, but Lord, do I love that game.
I hear and obey! Now, this is going to be a bit of a challenge for me, as RIFTS (which feels like it deserves the capslock) is not a system I've played before, or indeed even read before. This week is going to be more of a 'first encounter' than a deep dissection - I'm going to skim over RIFTS and see if I can lay my hands on what the system's about, because I'm sure I don't know from first-hand experience. I've heard things, though. Strange, terrible things. Things about which I feel a morbid curiosity, as I turn the Games Anatomy scalpel onto this strange, deformed carcass and plunge in elbows-deep, seeking for tasty meats in its food-body.

You can tell I've not had lunch yet, can't you?

SinSynn, have you been infiltrating the nightmares of artists again?


Friday, June 29, 2012

The Weekly Top X - 2. Just 2.

Hello and hi, folks, and welcome to another Weekly Top X!  Today's post may only be showcasing two blogs, but there is by no means going to be a lack of things for you to look at.

1) Colonel Shofer's Mild OCD Model Blog
There's no specific post to go look at here, because you really should be looking at ALL of them.  The good colonel here, is one of the many excellent blogs that make doing the Top X more difficult than I would like it to be.  In this particular case, the format we've chosen for this just doesn't lend itself well to the kind of news and announcement stuff that people do from time to time.  It would, essentially, just be re-blogging a tiny post.

But that's all there is at the Mild OCD Model Blog!  And, holy crap, does he find a lot of cool stuff!  See, the Shofer Magic (tm) is that he finds so much cool shit on the internet that he's never without something cool to share and blow our tiny minds with. I mean, seriously... just go and check out the links he's posted for the last day.  Yes, a single day's worth of links for him is something like 17+ hunks of internet treasure.  There is ALWAYS something new to look at.  If you can't find something interesting to look at on his blog then I suggest you immediately remove yourself from society because you are clearly some sort of horrible monster.

So this one's for you, buddy.  You're almost always at the top of the rolls, one of my favorite places to dip into for a hot minute and you need some long overdue Top X love.

I hereby grant you a promotion to Brigadier General and award you the totally-not-made-up House of Paincakes achievement award in the field of excellence.


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mass Appeal

...If I have to, I go all out- with no mic. Yeah, that's right, cuz I survived mad fights
And for my peeps I truly care, cuz without some of them I wouldn't be here
And they all know how I feel, cuz suckas be like playin' themselves to have mass appeal
- Gang Starr (RIP Guru)

Hey folks, SinSynn here.

So, what shall we talk about this week?
Hmmm...I wonder what hugely important social/economic/racial/gender issue thingy I can poke fun at in my unique (and perhaps tragically misguided) fashion this time? What gremlin-like misbehavior shall I perpetrate?
Gotta tell ya, I'm rubbing my tentacles (and several other appendages) together in anticipation just thinking about it....

Since I'm legally obligated to keep the intro and opening paragraph completely inoffensive, however, you're gonna hafta click to find out.
*You guys know I'll totally press this, right?*


Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Tuesday Discussion - Strong Ladies

If you may remember, last week SinSynn caused quite a bit of a stir with his post on sexy models.  Actually, you may not remember if you we're blacked out in rage.

I kid, I kid, there were some emotional and strong responses, certainly, but nothing I don't think was valuable on some level.

Now, SinSynn did a good job of fostering discussion and finding us some hawt models to look at but for today's, hopefully, less controversial approach to the topic, I want to look at things a bit differently.  

I think that many of you (myself included) would agree that the state of representations of women in the games we play and the hobbies we participate often confuses being super hawt with being a strong character (to put it mildly).

So with that in mind, do one or more of the following for today's discourse:

1) Tell us about a model or story from our beloved games that you think actually portrays a strong female character. Explain your position. Include links if possible.
2) Disagree (at least semi-politely) with someone's choice.
3) Tell us about something that's the so far away from option 1 that it should be embarrassing for the people involved.


Monday, June 25, 2012

New Member Monday - Zeitgeist

Ooooooooooh.  We are just a HoP, skip and a jump away (see what I did there?) from the first full challenge in HoP Idol 2: Die Harder.  Friday is the deadline and then it's gonna get nuts.

Well... maybe not that nuts.  But certainly not nipples molded onto the Batsuit nuts.  It's gonna be awesome it what I'm saying.

In the meantime, we have some new blogs to tide you over til we get all Micheal Keaton on you.

New Member Monday

Chronowraith's Corner
Keywords: Warhammer Fantasy, Warhammer 40k, Warmachine, Hordes, Malifaux, HIstorical, Tactics, Modeling, Painting, General Info (I do a little bit of everything).
Why I am god's gift to the internet? Because god made me that way. It's not fair to everyone else, but that is the way it happens sometimes.

Woah!  That was a short one.


Sunday, June 24, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Breakups

We have cut ties with vendors in the past. The reasons varied, but almost all of those reasons have come down to money. (Yeah, despite our "nice guy" reputation, we have some mercenary tendencies.)

As a rule, we don't hack and slash a company lightly. It usually takes a progression of changes on our end along with choices that hit our pocketbook pretty heavily.


Saturday, June 23, 2012

HoP Idol II: Design Failosophy; One Codex To Rule Them All [Part One]

Last, but not least, we have our final entrant into the Thunderdome that is HoP Idol II- The_King_Elessar. You may recognize him from his bloggings at "Mind War FTW."

There should only be one Marine Codex, they cry, ignorant of how inherently stupid this idea is to the fabric of the game. 

In case any of you are somehow ignorant of this fact, Warhammer 40,000 isn’t actually the story of nostalgic and vengeful Necron Overlords, scheming Farseers and brutal and aggressive Ork Warlords.  It isn’t a tapestry of the fledgling Tau Empire’s efforts to establish themselves as the dominant galactic power, or the story of the Great Devourer, or the Warp’s eventual overrunning all other life, or of Vect’s attempts to slake She Who Thirsts and live forever.


[Games Anatomy] - Four Shades of Grim Darkness

It started with Dark Heresy. Well, that's not strictly true. In one sense, it started with Warhammer Fantasy Role Play, the old faithful engine still thumping away at the heart of all the games I'll be rabbiting on about today. In another sense, it started with Rogue Trader - the first edition of 40K has more than shades of the RPG about it, at least in the early-D&D sense of there being heroes and villains commanding battles 'twixt  their parties of hirelings and henchmen, and a focus on narrative and scenario rather than balance and reliable skill testing. Hell, in one sense of the word, it started with poor doomed Inquisitor. But for our purposes, it started with Dark Heresy.


Friday, June 22, 2012

The Weekly Top X - For Your Esteemed Consideration

Ah, there you are! I'm delighted to see that you received my invitation and have done me the honor of visiting me on this pleasant summer day.  Do come in!

Can I have my man-servant get you anything?  Brandy?  Cigar?  No?

Well, I do hope you wont mind if I partake of a small libation myself.  I find that this is perfect weather for having a small drink and lounging on the veranda.

Geoffrey -  Please take our guest's hat and coat and then bring me a cognac.  I shall also like you to prepare some tea in case our guest is suddenly stricken with thirst.

So how have you been, my old boy?  Not to poorly I hope.  I heard that you had a spot of trouble durin your trip to Zimbabwe.  Some kind of run in with a giant spider on the African veldt?

1) Coloured Dust - Arachnarok Spider

Egads, man!  I had no idea that such a fearsome beast existed?  My condolences to your Porters and your Land Rover.

Speaking of trips, one of the lads down at the gentleman's club recently recounted the details of one of his own recent journies.  He found this wonderful shop... in American of all places!  Sometimes the colonials get things right I guess.


Wednesday, June 20, 2012

HoP Idol II: Writing 40K Army Background

Who's ready to get Wyrd? Everyone? Fantastic because Wyrd of "Miscellaneous Miniatures" is our next contender for the HoP Idol II contest extravaganza.

Writing 40k Army Background

I know what you’re thinking, “Oh god not another damn article about writing army background. Haven’t I read myself to sleep on enough of these?” While I think there are a lot of great articles out there about the topic let’s face it not everyone can get to the same place the same way. Normally that might be some segway into talking about autistic kids and maps but not today. Today I’m talking about army background. In my experience most people look to broad when they start working on this kind of thing and that is I think where we make our mistake.


Sexy Models! (need I say more?)

Hey folks, SinSynn here.

Man, am I in a good mood today!
Despite the fact that it's like a bajillion degrees here in NYC, I'm sittin' at my keyboard with a big ol' grin.

Firstly, my knucklehead stepson managed to survive his first year of Audio Engineering school, pulling in mostly A's for grades.
I'm gonna give him a break on the class he didn't ace, because he claims the teacher was out to get him. Yeah, I'm sure that's not exactly true, because I used that excuse myself back in the day, but whatevs. My steppie is a sarcastic, snarky jerk (I have NO IDEA where he gets it from...Don't you judge me...), and I'm just glad none of his teachers strung him up by his heels.

Secondly, not only am I suffused with something resembling familial pride, but I'm about to get a lil' crazy here. After three weeks of writing coherent, sensible, non-ranty posts about Games Workshop and 6th Edition 40k, it's time to return to tentacles, hamsters, Megan Fox (mmmmm....Megan Fox), and plotting to destroy this miserable globe you humans call home.
Pass me my disintegrator.

Let's kick this party off right...with scantily clad models.

*I'd have real, live scantily clad models if I could, but I've got that restraining order thing*


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Tuesday Discussion - Inclusion

Mr. Laubersheimer's off in the pursuit of his own mysterious errands this week, and he's been foolish enough to cede this slot to me in his absence. I'd been planning to do a little something about rules bloat, maybe, or perhaps edition warfare, but honestly? Everyone and their dog has some perspective on how we should deal with WFB 8, sixth edition 40K or D&D Next, and I don't see that adding another leaf to the storms in any of those particular teacups is going to do my nerves or your electronic earholes any good whatsoever. Then Sunday's HoP Idol post happened, and now I'm coming over all Gaming Curriculum, so I suppose that means it's time to talk about a teacher word.


Monday, June 18, 2012

HoP Idol II: Hobby + Kids

Today's entry from our HoP Idol contestants comes from Doc Brian of "The Family that Slays Together."  Here is a blogger who is offering us a rarely seen perspective.  

I’m not going to post a bunch of statistics.  You’ve probably already seen the numbers touting that kids who interact with their parents or other role models are more likely to stay out of trouble.  Sure, I get involved in their soccer games and ballet recitals.  I kick the ball around while tiptoeing about in my ballet shoes and tutu…

Did I actually type that last part?

Um, let’s just say I try to stay involved and leave it at that. 

Despite my efforts, I always feel like I could be doing better, especially when I’m indulging in my own hobbies.  So, if we’re already spending time with toys, why not kill two birds with one stone?  Why not get them involved in what we do?

So how do we get our kids (or nephews and nieces, annoying little brothers, that neighborhood kid who is always hanging out in your yard) involved in our hobby?  If your kids (or nephews and nieces…


New Member Monday - On A Jetplane

Hello everyone and welcome to what should prove to be an exciting week of HoP Idol goodness that should continue on for a nice chunk of time.  It's real, live blogging entertainment!

By the time you read this, I'll be on my way to short visit to Illinois for undisclosed purposes and I'll be traveling by, you guessed it, passenger jet.  Unfortunately, I did not know that the song I referenced in the post title was by John Denver until just this very moment.  Not to be confused with Bob Denver who played Gilligan on an island of the same name.  Anywho John up there died in a plane crash.  So probably not the best reference in any measurable way.

I had grand intentions to find a snazzy cover of Leaving on a Jet Plane, but all I could find was a bunch of slow soulful, acoustic guitar bullshit.  Mostly but what appear to be indie rock chicks.  By Unholy Krondor do I hate indie rock.  So here's this tangentially related song instead as it occurs to me that I should have just started over with the post at this point.


Sunday, June 17, 2012

HoP Idol II: Premeasure

Hey Ya'll, after missing a beat yesterday due to scheduling constraints with my crappy life, we're back up and running with a fantastic article from our next HoP Idol contestant- Gartenzing from "Gaming all Areas."  Hope you enjoy.

Pre-Measuring: Better or Worse?

Hi all,

Gartenzing here, the writer on Gaming All Areas- it’s a relatively new Blog, but one which I
hope provokes a little thought for the people reading it. For HoP, I’d like to touch on a topic
which has been discussed over the last few months- Pre-measuring.

This has become a bit of a hot topic due to the 40K 6th Ed rumours. Whether it’s coming to
40K or not (at time of writing, the rules haven’t been released), Games Workshop has been
slowly making the movement to pre-measuring for a little while- Lord of the Rings uses it, as
does Fantasy as of 8th Ed. I firmly believe this is a good thing.


[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Doing it Right

There ARE companies that are doing it right. There are businesses out there that Have A Clue (TM) and are using their talents, abilities, sense and acumen to build strong relationships with retailers to grow their customer base.

We have relationships with a few companies that are really "working it" and taking proactive steps to build, strengthen and encourage the gamer community. They're doing things like visiting stores, taking pictures, promoting games, trading blog links and talking to owners about keeping customers satisfied.

One of those businesses very recently gave us a pretty nice bonus in an effort to gain more of OUR business. The idea was that if they made doing business with them easier, nicer, and with a better profit point, we would trade much of our business over to them as an entity. They understood that communication and treating my shop with respect and consideration are key points for earning my business, and work hard to treat all stores they deal with in those ways.

Other businesses pay attention to their product releases and give details far in advance- sometimes as long as 6 months notice for a big release. A great example is WoTC. I've known when releases are coming out for them for pretty much the whole calendar since about February. I might not know specific DATES immediately, but some official communication was given that "early May" and "mid July", we should expect new releases from them.

This is pretty handy information to have, because it allows us to have MONEY to buy the "new hotness" that our customers desire so much. TheDude and I know in advance not to make major purchases in those time frames, because we will be shelling out big bucks to buy enough product to keep up with the demand.

Somehow, WotC hasn't lost any business by telling their customers about release schedules, new projects (Return to Ravnica is happening, and customers are EXCITED) and actual timing of those events. In many cases, they are driving up sales by creating a hype and getting customers ready for the latest and greatest.

The expectations a retailer has about the way their vendor relationships work has a great deal to do with whether those relationships continue. I don't think it's too out of line to expect that I'll be afforded communication and cooperation in regards to new releases, scheduling and money out of my pocket. Some vendors treat those thoughts with respect, and others don't. I know that I'm not alone in thinking it might be time to re-evaluate certain alliances to see if they continue to be beneficial.

For us, as a business, emotion and nostalgia can only go so far; money has to be made as well. That's a tough place to be in when talking about building a community and offering "fun in a box", but it's a necessary choice to make to keep the lights on and customers coming in.

Because as much as I love relationships, I gotta pay the rent. Having partnerships that bring paying customers in the door is a benefit, and when I have those, I reward them by continuing to do business with them. Some businesses "get it", and in return, they get my cash.


Saturday, June 16, 2012

[Games Anatomy] - Savage Worlds

Thanks to all who gave the WoD post a shufty and made comment last week... especially Lo, for catching my lamentable error of letting one of my house rules sneak into the fray. This week, a system I have never run but always loved to play: Savage Worlds.

Savage Worlds is the win. If I had to choose one of my gaming books to keep, while everything else was swept into some sort of ravenous book-eating vortex never to see the light of day again, I'd choose Savage Worlds like a shot.


Friday, June 15, 2012

HoP Ido Il: Hedge-Raper 2000

Today's HoP Idol entry comes to us from Neil.  In addition to doing yardwork, he can also be found writing over at "The Dice Gods are Hungry."  Enjoy...

I recently bought a new power tool for ‘doing the gardening’ (yard work is the
equivalent for those of you across the pond from me, I think) called the Hedge-Raper
2000. This thing is dangerous, and not just to me! It tears chunks out of the hedges
and small tree branches with reckless abandon, bits of wood literally fly everywhere
and annoy my neighbours, who tut while picking bits of hedge off their cars.

In short, it kills green leafy shit. It can’t however take on anything more than a small


The Weekly Top X - Cats & Cowgirls from SinSynn and Loquacious

'She's late,' says the Hamster for the umpteenth time.

'I know,' I reply testily, 'you've made that abundantly clear. Why are you even HERE? This doesn't concern you.'

'Everything you do concerns me, buddeh. I live inside your head, remember?'

I sigh deeply.

'How did that ever happen, anyway,' I wonder aloud (for the umpteenth time, it should be noted), 'I'm positive you never signed a lease.'

'Don't worry yer pretty lil' head about it, darlin,'' the Hamster replies smugly, 'just hope Lo' comes through with the goods.'

'She said she'd be here...she'll be here,' I tell the Hamster, 'and she'll have the stuff. The good stuff.'


Thursday, June 14, 2012

HoP Idol II: Warma/hordes: The Move to Tournament Play

Here is the first entrant for this year's HoP Idol Competition.  These will be coming down through this weekend more or less in the order that we received them, so as not to play favorites and all that.  This one comes from nonother than Dok, whom you may recognize from his lurking around these parts or more likely from his contributions to "3 for Intelligence." ~dethtron

Warma/hordes: The move to tournament play

I’m a tournament player at heart and I would really like to make the jump onto the Warma/hordes tournament scene. So far I have got a couple games under my belt against some of my buddies and it seems like the games are taking a really long time. For example, I played a 30 point game that took an hour and a half! I am still learning the rules, so time isn't that big of a deal. Well, at least not yet… I have been in the same room as PP tournaments before and I have seen people play with their little stop clocks and that is intimidating the crap out of me right now!
So what does a man do to get faster at this game?
·         Is it just # of games played?
·         Familiarity with the units in your army?
·         Familiarity with the units in your opponent’s army?
·         Do I need to put points into celerity? I’m not even the right clan!
I’m sure it’s some combination of the above. Maybe it’s just been too long since I started playing 40k at a competitive level and I just don’t remember how long those first games of 5th edition were. I’m sure I’ll be remembering soon if 6th comes out!

What can I do to get that experience???

I’ve got a couple ideas!


HoP Idol Begins Today

The entries are in.  They have been great.

Starting later today, we'll begin running the short form essays from all of our applicants after announcing who is in the running.

2 of my personal idols- and a hilarious pic

Now here's the first twist (already, I know).  You won't be voting on anyone based on their short essay!  We're just going to post those as a "getting to know you" type of thing to familiarize you with the contestants and help get them some additional exposure.

Voting begins the week of 6/24 (or 24/6 if you're in one of those countries that's into that sort of thing) with our first round of challenges.  The candidates will receive instructions for this challenge some time this weekend.

....aaaaaaaaand on an unrelated note- I've got some shit up for sale on eBay.  Auctions end today, but if you're looking for some magic cards or other sundry items, please check out my auctions by following this link

A very slim portion of the proceeds of this will pay for the HoP URL for the next 3 years.  The rest of the proceeds will pay to replace my current laptop which is on the verge of melting down.... so will basically also help to allow the HoP to exist.


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Talkin' GW, Talkin' 6th Edition Part 3- Cautiously Pessimistic

Link to Part 1
Link to Part 2

Hey folks, SinSynn here.

We have a date now!
Games Workshop broke their infamously stoic silence to officially announce the forthcoming release of Warhammer 40k 6th Edition last week. It's important to emphasize 'officially'  here, since this is the very first time GW has seen fit to give us any information regarding  40k 6th since the rumors and speculation began roughly a year ago.
A 27 second video featuring a flaming Aquila symbol and music from Codex Pictures (no chuckling, please, this is serious business. Keep it down to a snigger, or at most a chortle) finally gave us something real to latch on to:
23 - VI - 12
Despite the fact that the video makes no actual mention of 40k, I was able to piece together the truth with my keen Xenos mind (and a deeply involved Google search). Apparently, the two letters in between basketball legend Micheal Jordan's jersey number (23) and the last two digits reminding us of exactly how many inches are in a foot (12) are not really letters at all! They're actually some ancient Terran culture's method of expressing the numerical value of six in written form.
Oh, Games Workshop, you're so clever...I see what you did there.
But, we know, right? As they say:
*I would link the video, but this is more amusing*


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Tuesday Discussion - Wait, what happened?

And were back with another wonderful, funderful Tuesday Discussion to get your collective brains limbered up for the rest of the week.  For this week's attempt at fostering discourse I'm going back to the Privateer Press well I was drawing metaphorical water from a fortnight ago.

As I've started to get into the swing of things with the MkII reboot, two things have hit me:

1) The MkII rules are so far and above MkI that pondering why anyone thought MkI was fun in the first place is breaking my brain.

2) Where the hell did all the fluff go?

The one thing that's actually disappointing me about all this fun I'm having is that the new army books just don't include any of the old action-adventure fiction that sucked me into the game in the first place.  So if I need a refresher on exactly what happened to Thagrosh between his prime and epic versions, I have to dig out all my old rule books.  The game has lost a lot of it's context in a sense.  Especially disconcerting when you pick up the newest expansions and there's a fat gob of new fiction right there.  A bit of a disconnect.

Obviously, this isn't more than a slight inconvenience for a book hoarder like myself.  But what about the new players?  There's a ton of cool story stuff that's just not being printed... for a game that is very much driven by said story.  Sure the veterans know all about what happened at the Castle of the Keys, but I can well imagine that it's more than a little frustrating to have to rely on word of mouth for the newer players.

So, questions for today (and remember, you don't have to answer all of them):

1) Is the missing MkI fluff actually a detriment to Warmachine/Hordes as a product?

2) How could Privateer Press go about making all the old back story available again?

3) Should Privateer Press make an effort to make the old fiction available again?


Monday, June 11, 2012

New Member Monday - 163rd Day of the Year

Yep.  That's June 11.  I had grand hopes that Wikipedia wouldn't let me down with this week's hair brained idea of a theme.  But alas, I was undone.  It turns out that being the 163rd day (162nd if it isn't a bisextile year like 2012) was the least depressing and least obscure thing on that list.  So there we are, another trip to the amazing world of facts is complete. And disappointing.

Speaking of facts, did you know that the House of Paincakes is completely and certifiably awesome?  It's true!  We're also the only blog network to be announcing four new member blogs on this, the 163rd day of 2012.

New Member Monday

Neil of Orange's Hobby Blog
Keywords: Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Warhammer 40k, Malifaux, painting and scenery

40kegger Tabletop Wargames Club
Keywords: Warhammer 40k, Gaming Club, Tournament, Beer, Winnipeg, Nerd Games, Check This Shit Out, Half Pints

Afterimagedan BFG Blog
Keywords: battlefleet gothic, space battle, BFG scenery, battle reports, Extreme Specificity

Roll of the Dice
Keywords: Wargaming, Rpgs, Painting, Rants, The hobby, Reviews, (not so) intelligent conversations with myself

No essay today since I feel that the fun facts in the beginning of this post are probably all the excitement you could handle right now.


Sunday, June 10, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] It Goes Both Ways

Running a Friendly Local Game Store involves a lot more than just sticking games on the shelf and hoping people buy things from me.

My business boils down to a long string of relationships. To be successful at what I do, relationships are essential. Inbound associations with vendors, suppliers and representatives are just as important as community building, employee interactions and customer service. Building strong ties on all fronts gives me flexibility, knowledge, the ability to be competent and someone my customers can count on for "the juice" of gaming goodies.