Funny Things

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".