Important Stuff

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Around the Blogs Rolls - The Back 40k + Wyrd Plastics

Hey guys and gals, I was just snooping around the blog rolls this afternoon and came across something I thought I should share.

SandWyrm of the Back 40k has done a pretty great write up of the new Wyrd Games change to the way it produces the Malifaux  models.   There's a lot of good information about this recent announcement out there already, but I think the Back 40k post is a fantastic place to start.

Essentially, Wyrd have moved to digital sculpting, and hard plastic injection molding without making the moronic mistake of doing it at the exact same time of.. let's say.. an annual price increase that you could set your watch to.  Holy Cats and such.

If you're willing to wade through some forum spew, these threads on Wyrd HQ are also full of stuff:

 - Wyrd Plastic and Special Edition Models
 - Wyrd Plastic and the Neverborn releases
 - Wyrd Plastic and the Arcanist releases

We'll know for sure of this is the real deal once these babies hit the streets, but we could be looking at the next big step away from metal and a massive leap in quality over resin.

Now if Wyrd would just get around to cleaning up the Malifaux Rules they'd really have something.


Monday, July 30, 2012

We Interrupt You Regularly Scheduled Programming

Well, I will be specifically.

I'm moving in about a week (a little over 1000 miles away) and since this also goes hand in had with a new job starting the week after that, the HoP posting schedule is not exactly stable at the moment.

We've got a great group of authors here on the writing staff and it turns out that they're such a good team that we're well on our way to making sure that we have pretty good coverage for their lay-about bosses' lack of free time.  So I don't imagine that there will be many days like last Friday where we just plain miss something as important as a Top X.  Looks like I can cancel the team building retreat I had scheduled since they're already a team and so forth.

Anyway, I just thought I owed it to all our loyal readers and our stalwart blogroll members to let everyone know that things may be a bit dodgy around here for a little while.

Now, on to other stuff...

Today marks the first time on the HoP where we didn't have any new members join up, so for the love of god, people get out there and spread the word! Jeez!!  I mean.. if you wouldn't mind.  Sorry I flew off the handle there.  It's been a stressful couple of weeks.

Anyway, there's no New Member Monday today because of legitimate reasons and not because I slept in or packed boxes all day.

Though if anyone is interested, over on my blog you can take a look at what I was doing this past week when I should have been writing a Top X or scheduling a pinch hitter.



Sunday, July 29, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Leagues

Last week we talked about the experience of the game store, and someone brought up leagues and their relevance to the enjoyment of a store and its' regulars.

I've noticed that leagues have an interesting  effect on the store overall, and I thought I'd talk about it at least a little. 

Leagues are almost always run by  a volunteer at the store, rather than a staffer. There are a couple of reasons for this, but the long and short of it is that a staffer has to pay attention to running the store and ringing up paying customers, not playing games.

As much as I love a good game with my local crew, I discovered the hard way that it's just not fair to any of them for me to constantly interrupt the game to go help a customer.

Our volunteers do a lot to come up with fun ways to play the various games we offer at the store, and for the most part, league play is enjoyable and exciting due to their efforts.

League play is a blessing and a curse. When we have a league going on, our attendance shoots up, and our players are more intent and focused. We see higher purchases and a lot stronger interest in actual play. As a store owner, those are all positives and we would be silly to discourage them from occurring.

There are invariably some new people or guys that are looking for something more casual than league play. We also have guys that sign up and then can't commit to the entirety of the league, or guys that want to join partway through.  With league play going on, it can be tough to accommodate these kinds of situations. It's often been suggested that we offer an open table for the casual or walk-in player on league night; but our space just doesn't allow for it at this time.  Trying to be inclusive to the casual player while supporting the league and promoting the hobby is one of our constant challenges.

Right now, we have two of the more interesting leagues I've seen going on, and I think they will do a lot to foster the hobby community. Rather than based on winning and losing, they are either about actual play, or the hobby aspects of the games being played.  They are also set up to be played at more than one store, with the idea of growing the community and increasing the overall player base. I really love seeing the intensity and devotion to the hobby from the players.

How do leagues change things at your store level? Is there anything you like a lot, or really hate? I'd love to hear all about it... 


HoP Idol II:n Musings of a Game Store Patron

 Last up in this week's challenge is yet another take on Lo's "Musings..." posts.  Looks like that one was a popular option.  This one comes from The_King_Elessar of "Mind War FTW."
Musings Of A Game Store Patron - Totally Not At All Like When Dethtron Did An Article With This Name

TKE here again, with a bit of a spin on the lovely Loquacious' usual lowdown of life ...something else beginning with 'L'.  Luckily, this article ties in quite neatly with hers this week, which will either work in my favour, or look like a cheap attempt to cash in and grab votes.  Either way, I'm going to write the article I want, just like I always do. :P  The fact that it kinda totally sounds vaguely similar to one 8 months ago on this very site doesn't matter - especially when I am taking a different direction.

I haven't been in as many game stores as a good number of you, though unlike most I have made the trip to the Mecca of GW's *ahem* 'Hobby' and pilgrimmaged (that's a verb, right?!) to Warhammer World, so that cancels it out?  I haven't been to a humongous number of places, simply because I live in a small country with a population of under 3 million (being within the larger confines of the UK is pretty irrelevant when separated by a mass of water) and the number of LGSes that have been open nearby in my lifetime is relatively limited.


Saturday, July 28, 2012

[Games Anatomy] Of Backswords and Bucklers

Having spent three weeks exploring an RPG with which I didn't get on, it occurs to me that it might be worth my while to talk about a game for which I have unadulterated respect, and perhaps to explain what it is about that game that makes me like it so much. So this week I'm going to be appallingly self-indulgent and talk about Backswords and Bucklers by Tied To A Kite Games.


Friday, July 27, 2012

HoP Idol II Challenge: DoK

Better slightly late in the day than never, DoK (my fault for not getting this up in time, not his) of "3 for Int" is bringing us his interpretation of a certain unique HoP writer.  At least I'm fairly certain that's what's going on here.  Hamster's on the loose it seems.

Hey everyone, Dok here from and for this weeks challenge, I was asked to take one of the normal writers segments and put a twist on it.  I was thinking and thinking about it and really there was only one way to go. I had to do SinSynn... Not like that, I'll save that for the tentacles.

Hey Folks, Megan Fox here.



Thursday, July 26, 2012

HoP Idol II: Games Anatomy: A less impressive beard is still a beard, right?

Guys... OMG, guess what!!!!! It's time for today's HoP Idol II challenge!!!!!!!!!!!!OMG.  Today we'll all be hearing from Doc Brian, father extraordinaire and keeper of the "The Family that Slays together" blog.  Today he'll be following in Von's footsteps and bringing us his version of the "Games Anatomy" articles he is now officially Internet famous for (official because I just said it, damn it).

Games Anatomy: A Less Impressive Beard Is Still A Beard, Right?

In my introductory article, I mentioned that I like to find games that both I and my kids enjoy playing.

I've had some success stories with games like Blood Bowl and the Killzone skirmish rules for 40K. I've also had some not-so-successful experiences with some old favorites like Axis and Allies. So it seems like a pretty natural fit for me to do a Games Anatomy style article. Except with tabletop war games instead of RPGs. And with the caveat that I'll be playing with youngsters and would rather not tear my hair out in the process. And with a significantly less impressive beard. And no hat. So not really much like Games Anatomy, I suppose.

But before I can get on with this review, I think a little back story is needed.


Wednesday, July 25, 2012

HoP Idol II: Memoirs of a Game Store Staffer

Woo,  I've survived another day and am pleased to bring you the next contender in this week's challenge- Gartenzing of "Gaming All Areas."  This week he'll be posting his own version of the always famous "Musings..." post from the perspective of not THE (WO)MAN, but rather the humble drone at the game store.  Enjoy....

Memoirs of a Game Store Staffer

Hi all. Well, for this week’s challenge in the HoP Idol contest, I’m using the regular “Musings of a
Game Store Owner” as inspiration. Now, I’ve never owned a game store, but I have worked in a
few over the years (Independents, as well as various Games Workshops) so here’s a Top 10 of my
memorable moments serving hobbyists...

Since I got to pick the pic, I decided on something every British writer could identify with- a David Letterman reference- suck it Jools Holland


The Last Moments of the Emperor Revealed!

Sanguinius stared at his image in the mirror and frowned.
Previously, he would have simply asked his brother Fulgrim for advice in this matter, but that wasn't an option any longer. Now, as he glared at his reflection, Sanguinius resented Horus and his rebellion more than ever. For no matter what he did, the Blood Angels Primarch simply couldn't get his eyeliner on right.

*This is IMPOSSIBLE, shouts Sanguinius*


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

HoP Idol II: Musings of an Impulse Buyer

First up this week, we've got the ever amazing Neil of "The Dice Gods are Hungry" dropping some knowledge upon us about his little problem in stores.  He'll be aping Lo's ever popular column, "Musings of a game store owner."

Musings of an Impulse Buyer

I like reading the ‘Musings of a Game Store Owner’ articles because it’s always interesting to know what’s really going on across the counter.  Of course, Lo can’t tell us everything that goes on because the people who read it might actually go to the store in question and that would be baaaad (I work in the motor trade, I serve customers and I know what gets said as soon as customers are out of earshot!).

But what about us consumers?  Where are our musings? 


HoP Idol II 2nd Challenge 1st Movement in B flat Major

Another Challenge week is upon us for the HoP Idol Competition.  Starting this afternoon (in America Time- Central, specifically- but not Central America) the 2nd round of challenges goes up.  Throwing a curve ball this week, I randomly pulled a pretty exciting and unique challenge out of my ass... errr magic hat.

Like to hear it?  Here it goes...

The Challenge:
Take your favorite regular HoP column and put your own twist on it.  That's it, write an article to fit in one of our normal weekly series (New member monday, gaming on a budget, musings of a game store owner, Tuesday Discussion, Games anatomy, whatever it is sinnsynn does, etc).  Do whatever you need to do (a la bizarro week where musings of a gamestore owner became musings of a game store patron) to bring your own voice to that column.  Make sure to include an introduction stating whose column you are basing your post on and briefly explain why.

This is deliberately pretty open, because I think it'll give you all a good chance to take this in a lot of different directions.  Note that you don't need to copy a certain author's style, unless you want to.  We're only asking you to work within the same parameters and scope (or the oppossite ones if that's where you're headed) in order to complete your post.  Hit me up with questions.


Monday, July 23, 2012

Dave G - Straight Outta Canada

Just a little late afternoon pimping for you today, the world famous Dave G is back at it again after a much needed rest from his fund raising activities.

In this metaphor, Dave is the cat.
He's got his own Blog-network-finder-doodad up and running and it's the real deal.  I'll let Dave explain:

First, my new network list is fully functional now, and a shout-out would be awwwesome and mucho appreciated. Haven’t had tons of people re-signup, (had over 70 sites before) and I’m really hoping to build this in to somewhere that authors can advertise their contacts and visitors can quickly find blogs with the content they’re interested in. The big change is that it’s searchable now, and authors can update their blog information themselves. How many times have you had to Google looking for an author to find their site, sifting through results, then from there having to look through bars is varying forms of (dis)organization for an email, Twitter or Facebook? This way it can be in one place!
Link:  Wargaming Network List

Second.. I guess things got a little crazy on your site over the last few weeks, which made me think of a feature I was missing - so this weekend I added content ratings. Authors can now choose to list their blogs for “Everyone”, “Teen” or “Mature” readership. The idea being that parents, teachers, or the easily offended can find blogs that are upfront about the type of content they contain.
Link: Network content ratings and my own promise

Good stuff, right?  Of course it is.

I may not be all that hip to the 'street' culture but I'm relatively sure that the G stands for Gangsta.  I guess what I'm trying to say is that you should head on over to Dave G's site and check his shi... stuff out.

(For the record, I think the House of Paincakes is all over the place in terms of a rating - but usually between a T and an M.  I wounder if I could get Dave to make us a special, HoP only rating that represents our wide range of appropriateness for age levels and the seemingly random chance it'll be different from day to day? )


Old Member Monday?

What's up, everyone?!  Welcome to another fine week at the House of Paincakes!  We've gotten a bit off script this Monday and while we have added a blog to the rolls this week, it's not really a new blog as such.

Which reminds me..

Tell your freinds about us and anyone you see not flying our colors!  Maybe even your parents!!

Remind them of all the benefits outline on our Join Us! page.

pictured: networking opportunities, animal sexual magnetism
With that out of the way, a kind reader wrote in to let us know that he had started blogging again after a year long hiatus.  Luckily, we're pretty good at reading between the lines and we added him back into our links straight away!

Old Member Monday

Prometheus at War
Keywords: 40K, mostly about tactics, a little bit of modelling. Strongly focusing on Grey Knights, SM, and Tau, but also general battle-concepts.
Essay: Because I'm a freaking tactical genius. Also, I've procured a few dozen very talented artist's from who are willing to let me use their art on my site, with proper attribution. So I aim to have one of the prettiest 40k blogs on the web. Also, I'm so cool that I don't need 500 words to justify myself.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] The Experience

As you walk in the store, the 14" glass counter is on your immediate right.  It looks something like (but not exactly like) this:

The owner is behind the counter, chatting with customers who are clustered around the cases, checking out the various wares. He looks up, greets you with a smile, says hello and asks if he can help you find anything. He allows you time to answer, and lets you browse when you say you're just looking for now.

The store is well lit, and clean, with tables organized in neat groups for games, with a few people checking out the new D&D Dungeon Command game.

On the left is a solid wall of games, board games on the left and miniatures on the right. The board games are organized alphabetically, with quite a few facing out to catch your interest. The miniatures section starts with tools and accessories, with models divided by company and game system as the section wraps to the right and ceases at the end of the wall. A section of used games and roleplaying games is on the wall across from the miniatures, with a new arrival section front and center in the store.

Walking around the tables, you are able to see all the merchandise in one area, in full view of the counter, as well as a fridge and snax area for your convenience.

After you's selected your goodies, you make your way to the counter. The owner talks with you a bit, and tries to find out your name, what games you like, and shares a card with information about the store with you. You're invited to join in on any of the many activities held at the store, and are treated with courtesy and friendly professionalism.

This is "the experience" we try to create for each customer at our store. We try to greet the customer with a smile as soon as they walk in. We offer to help them find what they are looking for, and share our enthusiasm for games with them. We learn who they are, what they like, and invite them back for more fun with us. That's the standard we strive for- an opportunity to deepen a relationship and a chance to share in our hobby together. It's part of our essential understanding of the model we strive for- how do we want to be treated? We give that to every person in our store, to the best of our ability.

What's the experience like in your store? What things can be improved on there? How can we as FLGS owners, be better?


Saturday, July 21, 2012


So, how about them games? I hear we like to talk about them 'round these parts.

I promised I'd give RIFTS (R) one more crack of the whip in an effort to find the game in amongst all the crazy details and rambling insights. I've tried the introductory bumpf, I've tried the character generation rules, and I've yet to find any consistent core principle or mechanic, anything I can hold up and say "this is how RIFTS (R) works, dudes". This week I'm going to delve into the nether recesses of the mighty Ultimate Edition and check out the combat system; maybe there's some magic here?


Friday, July 20, 2012

The Weekly Top X - Punch and Pie to Follow

Hello Ladies and Germs, and Welcome to the the Weekly Top X.  Recently declared (by Forbes magazine, no less) to have the ' cleanest restrooms' for all national chain gas stations.  It's an honor and I'm not ashamed to be proud about it.

Good ol' bathroom humor.
But I'm not here today to talk about the long list of prestigious, made-up awards the HoP continues to amass.  No sir or madam.  Today is about getting the word out about our member's blogs.

1) Strictly Average - Finally! Finished Grey Knight Commission 
A long-ass time ago, Brent took on a commission to paint an entire Grey Knights army. Mistakes were made, challenges were overcome and lessons were learned. Now it’s finally done and I think it was worth the wait and certainly worth the effort.

2) Turn 7 Wargmaing - Battle Report: Tyranids vs. Necrons (7/14/12 RTT Round 2)
We got one of our newer members here as well as a newer blog. If this is the kind of quality the man can produce, he’s well on his way to a bookmarking service near you. As an added bonus to all this awesome shiz, this report all takes place within a fairly comprehensive use of the 6th edition rules.


International Cat Video Day of Healing

Just to prove that not everything here at the HoP is Serious Bizness these days, we're going to take this opportunity to take a break from the heated debates over sexuality, the female form, etc in gaming and bring you something completely different- the first ever International Cat Video Day of Healing!

Yeah, you read that right.   We decided to unwind a bit and take a break and post about cat videos.  We figured 'hey if Google creates an artificial intelligence and it learns to watch cat videos on its own then fuck it, cat videos are probably alright- plus, I can't conceive of how this could possibly lead to a flame war.'  "Your cat video is inferior and stupid." No, your cat video is the worst and you are a Nazi."  yeah, that sounds pretty silly.

So, here's a happy cat video for you all.  Share your own favorites via links or embedding in the comments and we'll get this ball of yarn a' rollin'.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

HoP Idol II Round 1 Results

It is with a heavy heart that we must bid adieu to our beloved contestant Wyrd of "Miscellaneous Miniatures."

Sadly, he will be the first off of the Island this time around, but don't fear, you can still catch him by following the link to his blog up above or just checking our very own HoP blogrolls every now and again.

I also don't want to give away too many spoilers or blow a good twist, but I think we'll most likely have another opportunity to hear from him before this contest is through. 

Tune in Starting Monday when the next wave of HoP Idol II articles hits the intertubes.  Until then, dethtron out.


Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Blogging, Responsibility, and Hamsters

Hey folks, SinSynn here.

So, is the internet like, the most amusing thing ever, or what?
No matter who you are, and what you're into, you can log on and quickly connect to like-minded individuals. This is a tremendous boon to folks with 'niche' interests, to say the least.

*But keep a porno tab open anyway*


Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Double Dose of SinSYnn - Battlefront's Big Decision Regarding 3rd Party Models

Hey folks, no Tuesday discussion today - the personal lives of the management are chock full of IRL issues ranging from working three jobs to planning to move 1000 miles across country in three weeks.  It's a shitty excuse, but that's all we got.

In any caase, our very own walking controversy, SinSynn, has done a pretty cool guest post over on 3++ is the New Black and instead of re-inventing the wheel for a Tuesday Discussion, I thought I'd save some time and just direct you all to a nice glass of SinSynn's freshly squozen mind-grapes.


Monday, July 16, 2012

New Member Monday - A Turn Between 6 and 8

Howdy and hello, everyone!  New Member Monday is back at it's regular time (on Monday, duh) and we've got a humdinger of new blog to share.

Aaaaand that's really all I have to share with you guys today....

They're will probably be a HoP Idol announcement later in the week, so there's that.

New Member Monday

Turn 7 Wargaming
Keywords: Warhammer 40K, Battle Reports, Lists, Tactics, Not to be confused with Level 7, the exciting new board game from Privateer Press.


Sunday, July 15, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] The Fanboi

One of my favorite things about our client base is how diverse it is.

We have old school grognards and neckbeards. We have 2nd (and 3rd) generation gamers, RPGers and board gamers, Magic dudes and miniatures guys. We have hipsters and closet geeks, grandmas and grandkids, and married people that come in regularly.

We have families-a LOT of families-  and we have single people looking for likeminded friends. We have ladies (a very large number of ladies) and we have dudes. We have brilliant, unparalleled professionals and engaging and thought provoking intellectuals. We have redneck hicks (who are stunningly smart) and we have run of the mill regular people. We have young people, just starting out, and we have retired folks. We have military (active duty and reserve), and we have full on pacifists. We have anti-establishment rabble rousers, and those that keep order intact.

Our customers include the typical demographic of "20-35 year old white dude", but we also have a good group of people that defy those demographics. Customers from India, South Africa, the Philippines, customers of central African descent, Asian customers, and mixed-race customers all help us be well rounded and make us work hard to welcome everyone.

What we haven't had until very recently was a fanboi.


Saturday, July 14, 2012

Games Anatomy- Heroes Galore

This is Lo, filling in for Von, who is off playing games this weekend.

Playgrounds are very interesting places. They offer swings and slides and merry go rounds and see saws and all the like. When I was young, I loved the sand box. It had four walls keeping the sand inside it, but inside the confines you could make anything you could imagine.

And so it is with Hero.

In many ways, Hero is the ultimate sandbox system. While it started as a superhero game known as Champions, it quickly evolved into a flexible system that could be used for any setting. The system was easily and naturally adapted to make just about any universe possible, all with minimal changes to the rules.


Friday, July 13, 2012

Weekly Top X- Lo and SinSynn Make An Appearance

'I can't believe this,' exclaims the Hamster that lives in my head, 'this is simply unbelievable.'
'What can't you believe,' I ask him, 'that she's late again?'
The Hamster lifts a single fuzzy eyebrow.
'No,' he replies, 'that I can totally believe. She's probably beating some poor sod to death with words and a very cute purse. What I can't believe is that we somehow ended up here.'
I look around, and I gotta say...I'm wondering the very same thing myself, for the Hamster and I seem to have found ourselves in a bit of a pickle.
'I mean, really,' says the somewhat dumbfounded Hamster, 'who ever knew that this place really existed?'

A voice booms out:


Thursday, July 12, 2012

HoP Idol II Round 1 Voting is still LIVE!

Look, I don't want to be pushy but you guys should really get off your asses and vote in the first round of HoP Idol II: The Secret of the Ooze.  Like RIGHT NOW!

There's a secret under there.  Just touch it.  C'mon.  Do it!
It's seriously easy.  Just look over there to your right. No.  I'm not trying to trick you into doing an Old Spice  thing.  Just look over there already!

Ok, that schmancy box is the official HoP Idol 2 voting location.  All you need to do now is vote for your 5 favorite entries in the contest.  Here are some links for those of you with Goldfish memories.

All right, now.  Get clicking!  You've only got 3 days left.


Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A/B Machines

Got my A machines on the table, got my B machines in the drawer
-Sleigh Bells

Hey folks, SinSynn here.

So there I was, tentacle poised above my left mouse button, prepared to click. My multi-lensed ocular appendages focused intently on the lil' box upon which my on-screen cursor hovered.
'Download Warhammer 40k 6th Edition Rulebook.pdf,' the words inside the box stated. It wasn't even phrased as a question. It was like the internet wanted me to have it.
Nevertheless, I sat there, and stared at the box for a while.
Stupid box, Y U mock me? You know I sorta swore off that stuff a while back....

My cellphone, which had been sitting quietly on my desk, interrupts my one-sided argument with the box (which never responded to my accusations). It begins to do a merry 'vibrate my way off whatever flat surface I'm planted on' dance, and I thankfully manage to catch it before it hits the floor.
I just got it turned back on a couple of weeks ago (Don't you judge me! If I could get my hands on Infinity accessories, which always seem to be out of stock everywhere, it still wouldn't be on), I don't want to have to replace it already.
Since my Star Wars badguy ringtone accompanies the vibrating, it can only mean one thing.

The Ultimate Rival is calling.
No wonder the phone tried to jump off the desk.

*Yeah, that's him. This is how he moves his models*


Tuesday, July 10, 2012

New Member... uh.. Tuesday

Sorry for the delay in announcing our newest blogroll members, but I wanted to give the HoP Idol II voting announcement some time to breath.  Anywho, I'm back a day late to shower attention on our four newest members.

But first:  Have you cast your votes for the first round of HoP Idol II: Lost in New York?  

You should really get on that.  Just look to your right.  Yep, just below the search box.  DO IT, ALREADY!

New Member Monday

Keywords: 40k, Warhammer Fantasy, three amigos, newness

Keywords: Warhammer Fantasy, 40k, Warmachine, Hordes, Hobby

Keywords:  Collaborative blog, Poetry Slams, Mocha Chai Lattes, Converting?

Keywords:  Warhammer, Warhammer 40,000, Force on Force, Modern Combat, Wargaming scenery, Making terrain, Tournaments, Converting


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.