Important Stuff

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

HoP Idol Challenge Round IV: A New HoP

Hey there kiddos, I'm back from my indefinite hiatus of life kicking my ass to bring you the next HoP Idol Challenge. 

Tomorrow, we'll begin posting the next set of entries- which I can assure you are totally kick ass, as usual. 

But first I'd like to thank Wyrd, of "Miscellaneous Minis" for writing this week's challenge.  We're trying some new things this go around and wanted some past contestants to get some extra pimping and gain the ability to make a little parting shot, as it were, at the remaining entrants. 

Here's what Wyrd's fiendish mind has come up with for this week's challenge:

"HoP II Round 4 Challenge - House Rules"

I think I can hear the grumbles through my computer. Yup, I can. 

I'm talking about the game changers. The house rules that change the way you actively play the game. Not things like rock/scissors/paper over rules disputes. 6th edition 40k is here and now that most folks have had a chance to absorb it what better time to talk about an elephant in the room that many people try very hard to avoid. Everyone has an opinion one way or another. If you say you don't grow a pair, drop the politically correct neutral indifferent bullshit, and say what you really think. I'm not trying to sound like angry internet "troll" but lets face it people can get very emotional over this topic. If you really want to know want to know what someone thinks and how they can write what better way than to use an emotional topic. If you are all for them GREAT! Say it damn it and tell us why. If not that's fine too. Tell us why and not just some angry rambling that doesn't say anything like your average political debate. Take a stand, put on your big boy/girl pants, and tell us.

Enjoy kiddos.

also, I'd really appreciate it if you guys took the time to go check out my band Crusader (part of the reason I've been absent from the blog so much lately) and then proceed to our just opened kick starter to see if you could find it in your hearts to help out some starving metalheads.  


Confessions of an English Undead Fancier

Regular HoP readers will doubtless know that one or two of our authors have one or two... proclivities, in particular directions. I'm naming no names and pointing no fingers, I'm just going to make a few remarks about aliens, tentacles and Megan Fox, and let them speak for themselves.

It's easy to laugh at people's enthusiasms, especially when they're expressed as, ahm, hyperbolically as those of my learned colleague who shall continue to remain anonymous, but people who live in glass houses can't really throw stones. Since I happen to live in a particularly macabre glass house myself, I tend to keep my stones where nature intended, and spend my time cautiously avoiding letting on how far gone I am in my own little obsessions.

They tell me it's good to talk and that expressing oneself is healing though, so here it goes. I'm a pervy undead fancier.


Monday, August 27, 2012

New Member Monday - The Art of Furniture Selection

Hey guys, the Illinois Central Servicing Office is gearing up for the busy season and I just thought I'd share some pics of the office furniture that's been coming in.

First up, we've got a special piece of office furniture guaranteed to improve his productivity by 10 fold.  It was a big of a challenge was finding something that would conform to his alien anatomy, but in the end I think we manged to get the right solution at the right cost.

It looks a little tight, but I can assure that not only will SinSynn ft in his chair, but he will have ample freedom to admire his office poster.

Which he selected by default when he insisted on selecting choices not on the rather expansive list of pre-approved options.

Looks like that's all I have room for right now.  Maybe next week we'll get to see Lo's new stuff.

New Member Monday

The Ruins of Medusa V
Keywords: Warhammer 40K Blog-Based Campaign, Medusa V

Furious Painting Studio
Keywords:  Warhammer 40k, Orks, painting, brand new


Sunday, August 26, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Vacation!

As some of you may already know, last week TheDude went on vacation.

He didn't go to the beach or Florida- he went to GenCon!

I was on "vacation" too, but I used my vacation from my day job to mind the store.

TheDude's been gone before, but usually just for a couple days and he's been readily available via phone or text. If something came up, I was able to ask him what to do or how to handle things. This time, he was gone for 5 days and due to reception issues, was almost incommunicado the entire time. I was "on my own".

I did have our awesome staff (who work at the store a whole lot more than I do) to back me up, and I had a pretty good set of directions for more complicated or involved stuff. But this was a big responsibility and I had to take good care of our business so I didn't  "burn it down to the ground" while TheDude was gone.

I learned a lot during this vacation that TheDude took. I spent tons of time at the store, finding out more about our customers, products, processes and problems while I covered our business so that TheDude could get his relaxing done.

TheDude came home and immediately announced that he wants to take the entire family next year. Preparations and planning for our next vacation are already in motion.

In normal jobs, you rack up vacation time and take it when you want it, and still get paid. When you own your own business, it's a little different. We have to plan not just for expenses of the trip (hotel, food, games, fun) but also for the expenses of keeping the business open while you're gone. We have to figure out how to pay for employees, as well as make enough to "make money", or have a whole lot saved to make up for the possibility of lost income.

Is all this planning and thinking ahead worthwhile? Seeing TheDude's face and attitude after he returned from vacation, I say absolutely "yes". I'm looking forward to sharing the trip with him next year, and am busy making sure we have all our ducks in a row to do so.


Saturday, August 25, 2012

[Games Anatomy] Of Attack Matrices and Spells By Level

So far, Von's been finding the original Dungeons and Dragons rules to be fairly sensible and easy to parse. That said, he's only gotten to the end of character generation so far. How well will things hold up in combat? Will the archaic customs of mid-1970s historical wargaming defeat him? Will he ever stop talking in the third person?

Not to spoil my own post, but the answers are "moderately", "a bit", and "yep." Also, I'm having hilarious Internet-connectivity problems at the moment, which apparently preclude Googling pictures of Bohemian ear-spoons with which to amuse you. Sorry about that.


Friday, August 24, 2012

Community Announcement - The End of the Blood Angels

Hey folks, we've got a fun little announcement here for you on this fine Friday.

Some folks calling themselves "Ballistic Skill Four" contacted us a while ago about a pretty neat-soundin crowd-funding campaign they're running.

I'll let them do some explaining:

We are Ballistic Skill Four, and want to announce the release of the ``Last Days of the Angels´´ indiegogo campaign. The fictitious end of the glorious chapter known as Blood Angels. Our goal is to make between eight to fifteen dioramas. Each one tells how a tyranid invasion goes taking strenght and how the blood angels organize the last stand until the final breath. I´ve attached a pic of the first completed diorama. A handful of blood angels resisting in a corridor against a huge wave of tyranid genestealers. Our idea is realize the largest diorama of all warhammer 40000. For this quest we will need mountains of miniatures, materials, paintings, and a lot of hours and days of work.

To this end, they've gotten themselves an Indiegogo campaign up and running and they've even got the first completed example of the dioramas ready for your viewing pleasure.

As is customary with crowd funding, they have a series of funding goals AND, more importantly, a selection of perks for certain contribution levels.  At $160, a custom painted Land Raider could be yours and if the examples they've got up are any indication, that's a pretty good deal on it's own.

Anyway, you can head over to Indiegogo and check it out.

Last Days of the Angels Campaign.

The House of Paincakes doesn't endorse this project beyond thinking it's pretty rad.  We're just posting this as news for our readers.  There's always a lot to think about when it comes down to actually moving some money around, and we urge you to use your own best judgement.

As this is a crowd funded deal here, there's no guarantee that the project will be completed.  Further, as this is an Indiegogo based campaign, if you contribute and the project isn't funded, you don't get your money back.  I suggest checking out the Indiegogo terms of service page if you have any questions.


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

On Violence in Gaming

Hey, folks, SinSynn here.

The one common denominator shared in the vast majority of games we play is violence. Whether you're playing 40k or Dungeons & Dragons, the primary focus of the experience will be shaped by violence.

Whether or not this violence is perpetrated for competitive reasons or for the sake of creating a story is irrelevant from a certain perspective, I suppose. Violence is simply a tool, a game mechanic that enables a means to an end.
That tool can be used in many ways, from enhancing, building and driving a narrative, to simply eliminating the enemy to determine the outcome of a scenario. The means to an end is always the same, however. It never changes, in any game, whether or not violence plays a part.

It's fun.
The games we play are intended to be fun.

*Sadly, some things will likely remain unfun forever*


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.