Important Stuff

Monday, August 20, 2012

New Member Monday - Anxious Robots

Greetings friends and family of the House of Paincakes!  We're slowly but surely getting settled into the new Illinois Central Servicing Office.  Once the drab, corporate furniture shows up we'll all be even closer to getting back to full speed. This time distraction free and thrice as efficient as before.

Don't tell anyone, but if we hit our numbers this month, I plan on letting the staff each hang a single, pre-approved poster as a reward.

One of many captivating choices.  Wimsey!
And one lucky dickens will even get a coffee cup with a racy slogan (which they can keep using so long as no-one complains).  Keen!!

The Weekly Top X

Twitchy Droid Painting
Keywords: Warhammer 40k painting website, showcasing my commission and personal work, focusing on conversion and lesser known 40k armies (such as Imperisl Guard Beastmen, Harakoni Warhawks air cavalry, etc)


Sunday, August 19, 2012

[Musings of a Frugal Gamer] Paying Where You're Playing

People like me exist in an awkward relationship with people like Lo.

On the one hand you have a group of people whose raison d'etre, or at least whose everyday living, comes from being enthusiastic about a wide range of games and game-related produce, and communicating enough of that enthusiasm to their victims customers to induce purchasing. On the other, you have a group of people who are defined by their bone-deep resistance to hype, their inimical opposition to impulse buying, their allegiances to the secondary market and the third party manufacturer, and a general reluctance to purchase anything that they haven't angsted over the potential input/output reward of for six months prior to levering their wallets open.

This can result in a little tension.


Saturday, August 18, 2012

[Games Anatomy] The Original Dungeons And Dragons

For those who demanded more precision in identifying 'the original' Dungeons and Dragons, that's Gygax, E. G. and Arneson, D. (1974) Dungeons and Dragons: Rules for Fantastic Medieval Wargames Campaigns Playable with Paper and Pencil and Miniature Figures, Lake Geneva, WI: Tactical Studies Rules. Three monochrome pamphlets and a pack of reference sheets. These ones, in fact:


Friday, August 17, 2012

Weekly Top X- Crime and Punishment

Loquacious is trying to get settled into the new Illinois Central Servicing Office of HOP. The building is undisquisedly ugly, cinder block and steel, with overly shiny floors from a massive coat of Simonizing wax.

There are no rock n roll posters, no tea cushions with frippery and no tentacle hentai. There is also a decided lack of painting tables or cat trees, and Lo is fussing about the office, shouting loudly:


It's true, Lauby cheaped out on the furniture, with everything ordered direct from
CubicleMart. Lo seems  extra put out at her missing chair. She flumps down on a folding chair at her makeshift desk and simply pouts for a moment while she scrounges inside her everyday purse.

A UPX Driver enters the building and produces a SUPER PRIORITY Envelope.

"Ms. Uh.....Lock....Loqui---Locker...- what the hell is your name?"

"Loquacious. It means I talk a lot. People call me Lo. What do you have? More fan mail for the alien?"

"Um. No. It's a Signature Required item. For you."


Thursday, August 16, 2012

HoP Idol II Results Show

No sense explaining how the wheels fell of this week and caused this post to come so damn late- c'est la vie!

It was a tense weekend of voting overall and it was anybody's ballgame for a bit there.  In the end, only two votes separated the playing field- the closest HoP Idol vote to date. 

Unfortunately, this time we must bid farewell to Neil.  He's had some great contributions to this here competition, so he will be dearly missed. 

Fortunately for all of us, though, he's still running a great blog of his own.  Don't forget to go check him out at "The Dice Gods are Hungry."  We'd all appreciate it if you stopped by to say hello.

The remaining contestants will be receiving a special challenge- devised by "Miscellaneous Miniatures'" Wyrd, who was knocked out of the competition in round one.  So, stay tuned to watch a phoenix arise from the ashes.

Pic may not actually be Wyrd


Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Why I Play the Bad Guys

Hey folks, SinSynn here.

My buddy the Ultimate Rival always plays the good guys. Always.
If you ask him about it, he'll tell you it's because he has to. It's like some kinda moral issue with him. He can't play the bad guys, ya see, cuz they're, well...bad.
He can't support that kind of behavior. It ain't right.

As for me, I always play the bad guys. Always.

*Ludicrous speed!*


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

New Member Monday - Central Illinois Can't Handle Me

Welp... it's been a rough week for me - for us all.  I just moved 1000 miles, Dethtron got a new puppy and Lo & SinSynn burned down the HoP offices.

Luckily it turns out that there was a women's shelter that was willing to take in my two arsonists.  As luck would have it, I was able to convince the reinsurance people that 'the event; wasn't an act of god since SinSynn is, technically speaking, not of this earth and therefore not beholden to the same natural laws as us.  It was complicated.  Lawyers were involved and SinSynn suffered a light case of 'being paraded around for all the world to see."  Overall, out spirits remain high.

Other than that slight hiccup,  the consolidation of the HoP authors into the new Illinois Central Servicing Office goes apace. Though now I can afford to Simonize the entire office!


Sunday, August 12, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] It's All About Relationships

When you own a business, it is important to know what things you are going to do. If you are good at numbers, handling the books might be your job. If you are more physical, moving heavy things might be your job.

At my store, TheDude is in charge of operations. That is a short word that means : everything that happens within running the store. Ordering, stocking, supplies,  helping customers, answering phones, reading trade magazines, talking to reps, pricing items, and lots more I am certainly forgetting here are all included on his list of "stuff to do at the office". He knows a lot more about the ins and outs of the business and all that happens inside it than I do, but that's his job.

Yeah, he IS a geek. And he loves his job. 

My job is to deal with people and relationships. While TheDude is damn near superhuman in his ability to remember customer names (and often their spouses names as well), my specialty is very different, but still important.


Saturday, August 11, 2012

[Games Anatomy] Advanced Fighting Fantasy

Picture the scene...

Rolling, bleak moorland, sun-baked by day and rain-blasted by night - except when it's the other way around. A thin and narrow road winds and wanders its way over the hilltops, a thin chain of tarmacadam linking one knot of grim, grimy buildings to another and, perhaps, having one end or the other moored in civilisation. There are few signs, and fewer signs of life, save the odd sheep chewing the odd patch of grass, and there - incongruous against the moody slate-grey sky, a red telephone box, of the customary British sort.

A tall figure, potbellied and bearded, wrapped in a shabby tweed overcoat, is cramped inside the crimson booth, muttering through his beard as he feeds low-denomination coins into the antiquated machinery.

"Come on, come on," he grumbles, drumming his fingers on the handset. Outside, a pale girl with a blonde mohawk and an outsize wooly jumper glares through the cleanest of the glass panels.

"We're supposed to be on holiday!" she calls.

"Ah! Finally." A tinny voice chatters something out of the handset. "Look, it's not my fault if the system doesn't work - I'm in bloody Yorkshire, I'm amazed they have public telephones up here..."

"Wrong side of the Pennines," agrees the girl outside.

"You would say that, you're from Manchester." The occupant of the phone-box takes his hand off the mouthpiece, and makes vague nodding motions, despite knowing full well that nobody on the other end can see him. "Right. I see. Well, I don't know what you expect me to do about it, I'm on holi - What do you mean, it's burned down? My fault for turning my back for five minutes? What? How dare you!"

A hand slams the handset back into its cradle, and Von - for 'tis he - shuffles out of the phone-box, slamming the door and rattling the panes.

"Well?" asks his companion.

"Bastard wants me to write my own Games Anatomy this week. Apparently Lo's burned the office down."

"Well, that settles it. No Internet up here. First thing, we leave for London."

"Don't be ridiculous. I need at least an hour for lunch."

Thanks to Lo for covering for me (again), thanks to Hark and the gang for a delightful week in the country, and thanks to withnail_eye on Flickr for the photos. Now, on with the motley for a trip down memory lane...


Friday, August 10, 2012

Weekly Top X- Loquacious and SinSynn at The Office

Loquacious is in the HOP office again, typing away on some document that she seems to erase and retype every few minutes. Some kind of grumbled frustration and general sighing can be heard from her corner as she works.

In the midst of this annoyed pace, a "ding" is heard from the other side of the workspace.

'Lo looks up, realizes it is Lauby's computer, and goes back to work. She seems to actually get something done and mutters "almost done" as she types furiously. A second "ding" is heard, and Lo continues her frenzied writing. A third "ding", and then a fourth, seem to get under her skin.

She hops up from her chair and heads over to Lauby's desk. She looks for the speakers to his computer to turn them off when it dings again. She peers at the computer screen. We see her type in a password of some sort, and then

"Bingo! Ok, let me answer these real quick and make this thing shut up. I'm almost done and tired of hearing that noise. Plus, Lauby's busy. I'm sure he won't mind if I help out."

Lo starts typing and hits "enter" at least once when the phone rings. She looks around almost in surprise, and answers....

"House of Paincakes, Where WAAC is the FAAC, how may I help you?"


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

How Real Should Games Be?

Hey folks, SinSynn here.

When it comes to most things in our hobby, I have little to no problem deciding whether or not I like it. Usually I have one of two reactions. If something is cool, I'm all like 'ermahgerd,' and if something is lame I'm like 'ihateit'sstupid.'
Easy peasy.
One thing I can never really settle on is exactly how much reality I'd like in my games. Do I want my games to accurately reflect life as I know it? Heck no. Blah, in fact.
That's one of the reasons I play games, pretty much. To get away from...all of this. Pretty sure that's what games are for, amirite?

Take 'morale,' for instance; it features into many mini-games in a big way. OK, well...getting shot at is entirely unpleasant, fer sure. In reality.
But...this is a game, right? So how much should getting shot at affect our imaginary lil' troopies? Suppression that prevents reactions, movement, or any basic function? Fear and panic, and whatever could possibly result from these conditions (some of which could possibly be pretty amusing)? Running away?

*Aaaaand....the French held the castle successfully*


Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Community Pimpin' - FAQ's are Coming: Lets Help

Hey guys, got an interesting one here for ya today.  As you know, the 6th edition of Warhammer 40k came out but there's been a bit of FAQ problem.

Enter Son of Dorn.  SoD has been organizing a large community effort to try and make sure that the best possible questions we as a community can ask are answered in the FAQ due in September (if I remember correctly).  We think that that is fantastic and are doing our part to help him out in his effort.

So that is what this post is. Any serious questions that you feel need to be answered can be posted in the comments, and then Son of Dorn and some other fine nutters will collate them and try and get them into someone that matters at Games Workshop.

 The purpose of this is not to bitch, moan, complain or rules lawyer, but to really help the community with the hope that we will somehow, just maybe get these viewed by someone that matters.

So if you are interested, lets get this going. If you think a question can be easily answered that someone has asked, by all means answer it. It will help the community as a whole if we can get these questions answered.

You an also check out this fine post by Naftka over at Faeit 212 which we were advised to use as a template (and so we did).  Much obliged, good sir.  Naftka has a bunch more comments so feel free to post questions there as well or instead of here.


Discussion Tuesday: Get your music on

Hey folks, it's Tuesday and I've decided to, without warning to Lauby or anyone else at the HoP, hijack the Tuesday discussion post for my own evil purposes.  Hell, I've got the day off work and really had nothing better than cleaning up the house, finding some greasy Filipino food, and giving my dogs baths planned. 

If you've ever read just about anything I've ever written for this or any other blog, you know that I'm way into music.  It permeates everything I do and always had.  When it comes to my gaming life, I've always had to have something on at all times.  Whether painting, modeling, or gaming, there's always a soundtrack for me.  Recently I've been listening to Glasvegas a lot while painting, but this obsession started years ago.  I have fond memories of putting together mix tapes in the early nineties to accompany roleplaying games.  For some reason there has and always will be a connection in my mind to Die Krupps and Shadowrun. 

Movie soundtracks have always been a source of inspiration for me in less modern games.  Play WFB with the "Last of the Mohicans" or "Braveheart" soundtrack blaring some time and you'll know what I mean.  Shit, we haven't even touched on real classical music yet, either.  I could go on and tell you that anything by Mussorgsky, Wagner, Tchaikovsky, Stravinsky, Mahler, Holst, and so many others are great fodder for wargames, but time is short, so I won't go into that. 

So, dear readers, I turn the floor over to you.  What do you listen to while you hobby or game?  Are there musical experiences that you can no longer imagine outside of the context of a gaming memory?  Bonus points if you can find music that is actually themed around a game.  There's a lot of GW inspired music out there and I happen to know that there's some steampunk music happening these days. 

I'll leave you with a shameless plug from my band Crusader's last show with a high quality video featuring a song that, if you listen closely, may be about a certain Imperium of Man.  Ps, you should like us on Facebook unless you are supremely uncool ;)


Monday, August 6, 2012

New Member Monday - Scofflaws and Skullduggers

With today's induction of our newest member, it's looking more and more like last week's distinct lack of a New Member Monday was a fluke. A mere statistical aberration... probably engineered by our enemies on the Cyber Police Back-tracing Squad.   Rampant miscreantism is what it was!

Anyway, today we're back into things with a brand-spankin' new member!

Later this week, we should even see the results of the latest (HA!) and most recent Hop Idol II (The Richard Donner Cut) voting.  So keep your eyes peeled for that one.  We've had some fantastic posts so far and it  has been truly tough to vote people of the blog this week after week.  


Sunday, August 5, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Learning to Be a Better Boss

TheDude really loves being his own boss. He finds the challenge of managing himself, his time, his talents and his wisdom to be one of the most rewarding experiences he's ever encountered. We found this career almost entirely through a happy circumstance, but he knew within a week of trying it that he wanted to do it  for the rest of his life.

Sell games & dice forever? Awesome!

We've already made the decision that this is permanent for us.

That conversation was kind of illuminating, because at one point, I had a different opinion than TheDude did about what we would be doing in 5-10 years. His totally committed and confident comment that he wanted to do this until he retired or died, whichever came first, was the wakeup moment for me. I had to buy in pretty fast- fast enough for my response to be-- "Okay".


Saturday, August 4, 2012

Games Anatomy- GURPS

Inside the HoP offices, 'Lo is rummaging around her desk for a Ho-Ho and sadly finds the drawer empty. She sighs and looks around the office and notices that it is also empty. Somehow, she has stayed past closing time yet again.

As she is looking around, she checks out her coworkers' desks. SinSynn's desk is more of a hovel than a desk, covered in slimy ick. Lauby's desk is covered in moving boxes and sternly worded warning letters. Dethtron's desk is cobwebby and barren, his voicemail light blinking steadily implying many messages. Von's desk is mostly neat, but has a large pile of Beards Quarterly stacked about the edge. There's an empty desk, waiting the newest arrival to the nuthouse  network. 

Loquacious starts to gather her very cute purse and keys when the main phone rings. She looks at the phone crossly, and picks up after apparently debating for a moment or two. 

"House of Paincakes, Harrassment Free Workplace since... today, how may I help you?'

Loquacious listens as the voice on the other end prattles on for quite some time. She holds up her finger as if to interject (even though the caller can't see her) and interrupts after a bit. 

"You just HAD ONE, and I filled in for you THEN, too. Look, I don't care if we're both wordy roleplaying wackos, why is it always me? Oh. Well, I'll do it for Hark, since she asked, then." 

'Lo hangs up and sits back down at her desk, a resigned look plastered on her face. She looks in another drawer for a beer and comes up empty there, too. She opens her purse and fishes out a pen, turns on her computer, and sits down to work.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Weekly Top X- SinSynn and 'Lo are The Usual Suspects

It’s a quiet late afternoon in the hills of southern california. Secluded on a brushy incline is a lush white mansion, with white lace curtains lazily floating in the gentle breeze in various windows. Low along the outer wall of the compound, a dark figure skulks in an attempt to keep hidden along the hedges. The figure is somewhat disguised by a trenchcoat, but telltale tentacles poke out from the bottom of the coat. One of them holds a digital camera with an ultra-mega-super zoom lens attachment. The squidly arm is trying to hold the camera over the wall and keep steady. 

Kind of like this, only creepier. 

Over the wall, we get a glimpse of one the mansion’s inhabitants, piercing green eyes glaring steadily at something in our direction. The pouty mouth is seen forming the words “restraining order” before the face turns away and our view is cut short by another form. 

There’s a nebbish fellow with a bush jacket standing behind the tentacled form, smiling at SinSynn. The smile is a little strange, in a creepy, almost menacing way. There are Coke bottle glasses on the man’s nose, and he has a pocket protector holding several pens in his jacket.

“I finally found you! You’ve been very tough to find this week. What’s the deal with hanging out at Megan’s instead of HoP or WoW?”

“Shhhh, James! I’m stalking my future wife. Don’t worry, though, the restraining order stipulates that I hafta remain 100 yards from her at all times, and we’re currently standing 100 yards and one inch away, so we’re good”

“Crikey, that’s a relief. Listen, I just wanted to make sure everybody reads my Infinity posts. I heard you were writing Top X with Loquacious again, so I was hoping you would maybe mention them.”

“Sure thing, James. Not a problem. Warp Signal rocks. Say, buddy, can you hand me that telescope?”

“That’s not a telescope. THIS is a telescope...”

SinSynn stares in disbelief, and wonders how that thing fit in a bush jacket.

“Fer the love Aussies don’t do anything halfway, do ya?”

“No sir we do not. By the way, on my way here I passed an odd man sitting in a corner. He said he was keeping it warm for you.”

“Oh, that’s my friend Captain Kellen. Yeah, I’ll probably need a place to hide shortly. Good thing he’s nearby.”

“I also passed a very angry young woman with a mohawk brandishing a pitchfork. She inquired about your location...”

SinSynn visibly pales.

“Was she British?”

“I do believe she was. She said she wanted to discuss your opinions regarding scantily clad models, among other things.”

SinSynn begins hastily packing his spying equipment into the various pockets of his trenchcoat.

“James, if you wanna live, I suggest you run. Run now, far and fast.”

James is no fool; he and SinSynn beat a rapid retreat.


Thursday, August 2, 2012

HoP Idol II voting is live albeit a bit late

As the straightforward title of this post would indicate, voting is live for the HoP Idol contest. 

Apologies to the contenders and fans of the series for the delay in getting this out, but there have been some big things going on around these parts and a few setbacks.  But I guess that when the founders of the site are either moving halfway across the US or working 3 jobs and thinking that adopting a 3 month old puppy is a good idea, then these things are bound to happen.

Come with us now on a journey through space and time and revisit this week's HoP Idol posts.  Voting will be up through Sunday in order to keep things moving so remember to vote early and often.  Also, don't forget that you are allowed to vote up to 4 times in the contest as the contestant with the fewest votes will be out of the running.

Without further ado, ballyhoo, etc, here are the fricking entries:

TKE's "Musings of a Game store Patron"

DOK's masterfully titled "DOK"

Doc Brian's "Games Anatomy"

Gartenzing's "Memoirs of a Game store Staffer"

Neil's "Musings of an Impulse Buyer"


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

How Can I make a List With No PC? 0_o

Hey folks, SinSynn here.

My computer died a whimpering death the other day, so I'm sitting in the living room, using the Crazy Lady's computer. Good thing I keep all of my tentacle hentai on a ginormous portable hard drive, or I'd be pretty upset right about now. Blah.
*I think I pressed ctrl+alt+explode*


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?