Important Stuff

Monday, January 7, 2013

New Member Monday - Raicho Madness

Hey Folks!  Welcome to week two (and the first full one at that) of 2013 here at the House of Paincakes!  As you've no doubt seen, our authors have slowly been trickling back into the light of day and thrown off the funk that the holidays can sometimes cause.

Nothing terribly, exciting news wise, I'm afraid.  But I did want to point out an amazing step-by-step miniature progress pictorial.

Those of you who've had any exposure to Infinity have likely come across the mind bending skills of Ángel Giráldez.  For those of you who didn't know that this guy existed:  you're welcome.  As I'm in a full Infinity dive, I've been paying a lot more attention to their release schedule and Mr. Giráldez' blog in particular (since he sometimes gets to spoil the new releases).

Recently, this bad mama jama came out:

And holy balls, is it cool.  What's more, is that the man responsible for bringing this thing to life also gave his audience an extremely rare gift - a step by step progress pictorial on facebook.  It's a few weeks old, but I I just couldn't stand the thought of their being people out there that hadn't seen this.

New Member Monday

SRS Business
Keywords: Warhammer Fantasy, Warriors of Chaos, Ogre Kingdoms, Vampire Counts, Warhammer 40k, Daemons, Chaos Space Marines, Super Dungeon Explore, Dr Pepper, Scotch, Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn.

Dark Angels Blog
Keywords: Warhammer 40k, Dark Angels, Modelling, Tactics, Tutorials, Reviews


Sunday, January 6, 2013

My Winter Project. The Plot Sickens...

Hey, folks. SinSynn here.

So the Holiday season has come and gone. The Crazy Lady's two brood-mates (sister and cousin) have retreated to whatever mausoleums they usually haunt, and everyone in the great city where I live is bundling up against the cold and returning to their normal, grumpy selves, resigned to suffering through about two to three months of the winter doldrums.
This is a bleak time of year- icy winds whip down lifeless, empty blocks, rattling the branches of the odd sad, skeletal tree poking up out of the concrete. Considering my block is usually teeming with humanity, it strikes a melancholy chord in me as I peak out the window. For most of the year, I very much enjoy mingling with the Terrans on the stoops of our respective buildings, but waddayagonnado?
Winter is settling in.

*Traffic cops are still lurking about, though. You can bet that double-parked van will get a ticket*

It is entirely too cold to hang out in the gaming garage, and much to the Ultimate Rival's frustration, I am more than a little reluctant to get up early on a Saturday or Sunday and take the drive upstate to the gamestore.
I really, really like to sleep late on the weekends....if I'm not working. Blah.

For the record, sleeping late means 'till ten AM. The Ultimate Rival, having served in the military, has a very skewed sense of what 'sleeping late' is. Needless to say, he's a knucklehead who wakes up with the dawn and starts yelling at peoples. I'd happily sleep through a Saturday or two if circumstances would allow that.
Anyway, the bottom line is that not a lot of actual games are gonna get played until Spring. But hey, that's what hobby projects are for, amirite?
So I've started plotting mine...


Friday, January 4, 2013

[The Von Report] At Last, We Face Something In Power Armour

So, I've had my Necrons a while, and since they've continued to serve me well since I bought back into the army just before Christmas 2011, I've decided to focus on them for the club league rather than buy into a new army. Admittedly, it helps that I have quite a few unpainted Egyptian-style death-robots cluttering up the place and a hobby budget best described as 'negligible' for the first four months of 2013. I just prefer to think of it as a reward for their faithful service and continued failure to be absolute tosh.

Here's a photo of the new stuff, with which the unfortunate readers of GAME OVER may be familiar.

Put this all together and it's at least nudging the 1500 points we've been tasked to paint... so I just paint that over four months and I'm sorted, right? Wrong. Unfortunately, the collection only holds 12 Troops models, and that might be satisfactory if they were super-tough Deathwing Terminators or similar, but alas, they are comparatively squishy Necron Warriors who cower in fear of the ubiquitous autocannon or even the laughing- stock heavy bolter.

The plan, therefore, is to paint up this 1500 points of stuff to qualify for the painting points, but to actually field the new units on some sort of in-and-out cycle, with the Warriors (and possibly Lords) already in my collection to top up some lists that won't just implode the second a Hydra or Rifleman Dreadnought looks at them funny. I'll still have 1500 points of new toys painted up to show for it at the end of the four months, but I'll be pulling odds and sods from the complete collection in order to build some lists that aren't a complete embarrassment.

That said, I might be able to get away with using only the new models for the first month, with a list that looks a bit like this:

  • Vargard Koschei - Necron Overlord - warscythe, sempiternal weave
  • Catacomb Command Barge - tesla cannon
  • Royal Court - 4 Crypteks - all Harbingers of Destruction
  • 6 Necron Warriors
  • 6 Necron Warriors
  • Ghost Ark

My general plan is for the Crypteks to boot the Warriors out of their Ghost Ark and hijack it for use as a gunboat, drifting around unleashing two infantry squads' worth of firepower while they snipe at tanks or heavy infantry off the back. The Warriors shelter beside the Ark and receive some help with reanimating while they cower on whatever objectives they can reach, and Koschei swoops magnificently around trying to hit as many things as possible with his warscythe before he's inevitably pulled off the back of the Barge and killed.

To see whether that plan survives contact with the Enemy, click the button! To spare your eyes the full majesty of my word hoard (even a 600 point game runs to a 1500 word report, you see), I've presented some edited highlights for your viewing pleasure, with a link to the club forum where you'll find the blow-by-blow. If people would rather have the full reports here, I can start doing that next week...


Wednesday, January 2, 2013

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] Well the holidays didn't kill me...

Being a game store owner during the holidays is somewhat like playing whack-a-mole blindfolded with a chainsaw. There's tons of messes and destruction, and when it's all over you have to clean it up-

but this is all a good thing in the long run.

We've gotten through Christmas, which is always a challenge- balancing orders with distributors and their holiday schedules, as well as the general uptick in demand for special orders and "fixture games" ( Ticket to Ride, Cataan, etc). It's a lot to balance and doing it well is pretty important.

But our busy season is just beginning. At the end of January, we have our annual local game convention. We go every year, and it's always insanely busy. This year, we're adding insanity to the mix, on purpose.

This year, TheDude is going to be running events at the con instead of running the booth. The convention turns 40 this year, and TheDude LOVES to run roleplaying games. He's decided to showcase his homebrew system and is going to use it for all four events he is running at the con.

That's not all! Oh no, we don't go halfway. We're all in! In addition to TheDude going to be as far away from the booth as possible, we're also running a M:tG Pre-release event at the convention. We're doing it overnight between Friday and Saturday, and we're hoping to host 128 people all at once. We normally hold several waves of 44 or so at a time.

I have 5 total staff to run the con and this event with, and planning and logistics are my purview. So, suffice it to say, I'm looking for volunteers and planning on a whole lot of no sleep.

My focus for the next month is going to be planning and getting ready- so I'd love to take on questions you might have about the FLGS industry or what it's like to run one. Please hit me up in the comments, and we'll see what next week brings!


Tuesday, January 1, 2013

New Year New Member Monday + Contest

Hey folks and welcome to a new year here at the House of Paincakes!  Now that the writing staff have made it past the holiday season and, presumably, survived - we should be slowly but surely getting back up to more than one article a week.

Special thanks to SinSynn for keeping the lights on while he tried to wrap his alien brain around all this holiday cheer and figure out just who this 'Christopher' person is.

Right. First post of the new year.   The fact that it's a New Member Monday would be perfect if it were actually Monday.

But we have a new Member anyway and here it is:

Shades Of Chaos
Keywords: Wargaming, painting, gaming, reviews, battlereports, vornucopia of games, commerce

But wait!  There's more!  It turns out that these fine folks are running a little contest to kick off the new year. So if you fancy your chances of winning a plastic Chaos Lord on a super sweet Manticore and are capable of liking things on Facebook, then you should probably check out this link:



Sunday, December 30, 2012

Holiday Chaos and the Writhing Tentacle Fiends

Hey, folks. SinSynn here.

So the holiday season is wrapping up, and things are quiet here at the House of Paincakes. All of my fellow authors are out and about, leaving me alone here in the office.
The least they could've done is turned off the electric fence.
After all, I did promise not to, uh...have another 'accident,' and I'm pretty sure Lauby has our insurance all squared away, but whatevs. I'd rather be trapped here with no one but the Hamster That Lives In My Head as company than to be at home.
Y'see, shortly after Halloween the Crazy Lady's sister arrived, and she has stayed as our guest throughout this holiday season. Their cousin arrived just before Thanksgiving, turning our apartment into the world's smallest bed and breakfast.
In a couple of days, we'll usher in a New Year, and the Crazy Lady's sister and cousin will return to their respective tombs...errr, I mean homes.

*Next year I steep the mat in garlic. That'll keep 'em out*


Sunday, December 23, 2012

The Politically Incorrect Gamer: Adult Material

Hey, folks. SinSynn here.

Sorry I missed you guys last week. 
I ended up working a 6am to 6pm shift at the Brooklyn Navy Yard, repairing damage done by Hurricane Sandy...which is, apparently, a lot of what I'll be doing for the next year or so.
I'm an electrician, by the way. I've mentioned that to you guys, right? Hey, a Xeno hasta earn a living - disintegrators ain't free, y'know.

*A snazzy model like this one will cost ya a pretty penny*

So, yeah- apologies for not bein' around.

Anywho, I'm about to write a post that's kinda been stuck in my craw for a bit now, just rattling around. It's been there long enough to become annoying, actually. As you all know, I'm not a big 'planner' when it comes to my posts; the post you're about to read is the one I'm about to write.
Or, at least, I hope you're going to read it. I'm sure this wandering introduction isn't helping to sell the piece.

I'll tell ya what, though- you should prolly read it, cuz I'm sure I'm about to spout something stupid.


Thursday, December 20, 2012

Concerning Hobbits: An Unexpected Review

First things first: The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey is, essentially, fanfiction. You adapt a book to a film, some things are going to change - it's par for the course with moving between a medium where everything has to be described in turn to one where things can just exist side-by-side and be seen, between a medium where there's a narrative voice and one where that's usually kind of weird and intrusive. That's going to happen. It's still possible, though, to produce a pretty faithful adaptation of source material (just look at Watchmen).

Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro, Fran Walsh and Philippa Boyens have not done that. Their Hobbit has, well, made a few changes. It's developed a few characters and incidents, and added a few more; it's reshuffled quite a few plot elements; it's explicitly setting out as a prequel to The Lord of the Rings rather than 'that children's book that Rings was the sequel to'; it's recognisably the same story, but everything that Tolkien set off the page has moved onto the screen, executing a generic shift toward the epic. It's a film made by four people that love the book but want to seize control of it and do things with it, who love it for its potential rather than as a pristine and untouchable cultural artefact. It's exactly the sort of thing that good fanfiction does - but it's not one for Tolkien purists.

And, frankly, I think that's a good thing.

[What follows will, naturally, be spoileriffic. I wouldn't normally warn you about this, given that the book has been out since 1937 and all, but there's that much new stuff here that I think it's worth doing. If you care about spoilers do not click 'Read More'. You have been warned.]


Monday, December 17, 2012

New Member Monday - Two Weeks For One

Hello and welcome, everyone!  New Member Monday is back after a short hiatus.  A hiatus you say?  Indeed good sirs and madams.  Your humble author was just this past week struck down by a vile and insidious contagion that rendered him unable to do anything except watch Ken Burns documentaries.

"You may remember my film style from that one episode of Community"
Sadly, I could not send any missives detailing my convalescence and for that I am sorry.  But there was good reason, dear readers!  SinSynn had only just finished reading HG Wells' War of the Worlds and I did not want to cause him any undue stress by fueling his nightmare scenarios with the ghastly realities of the common  cold.

New Member Monday

Hour of the Wolf 
Keywords: Warhammer 40,000, 40K, RPG, Dark Heresy, Rogue Trader, Only War

Temporary 2+
Keywords: Warhammer Fantasy, 40k, Magic: the Gathering, lotsofrage, whatever else I want to post about.


Saturday, December 15, 2012

[Games Anatomy] We Interrupt This Programme

All right, boys and girls, here's the deal.

I'll be spending the festive season in the wilder and woolier parts of Merrie England (in the smog-strewn streets of Manchester, where Hark's from, and in the depths of the West Country, where I'm from), and as is the custom with me and these little away missions, I'll be pretty much off the grid while I'm there.

Now, I'll be coming back, don't worry, but I'll be coming back with something a bit different, forsaking my current role as THE ARR PEE GEE GUY here at the House of Paincakes and blogging about those tabletop wargames played with miniatures which we are (allegedly) all here to talk about.

See, I'm committed to playing quite a lot of 40K over the first few months of 2013 for my games club's slow-grow league - enough, in fact, to have a weekly or at least fortnightly battle report, and I'm obliged to produce a modelling report once a month as well, and if there's one thing I think the House of Paincakes homepage has been short on so far, it's regular battle reports.

So that's the long and the short of it. I'm taking a few weekends' break, but I'll be back early in January with THE VON REPORT. Stay tuned, kids, and happy holidays to one and all!


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

[Musings of a Game Store Owner] GGP- The Big Shots

This is the last installment of the series about getting a game published. I had hoped to share some insights from folks that had published materials with the "big boys", but the interviews never panned out.

The thing is, that doesn't mean there isn't information available out there about the process. It's been well over a decade, but at one time, TheDude was in negotiations to write a supplement book for HERO. He had a great idea, and he had some friends who had worked for HERO who were willing to vouch for his work.

He made the connections with the line editor and started talking about the idea he had and how to turn it into a product. At the time, it didn't go anywhere (mostly because we saw friends not getting paid for work performed); but it was valuable to learn how to proceed in the process of being a published author in the industry.

Things are a little different now. The OGL has changed the landscape pretty seriously. While it allows ease of access to new ideas, the rules and requirements have to be accepted and met before you can publish. For those of you who aren't familiar with the OGL, it's open source material to use for game/adventure publication. It's owned by WotC, and it's community enforced. Porky has an illuminating article about the OGL here.

Something he mentions in his article is worth repeating- Pathfinder was born out of the OGL. The folks at Paizo wanted choices, but were willing to follow the rules that "conventional wisdom" said would ruin the industry. It didn't.

Pathfinder is currently the best selling RPG in the industry, beating out D&D by several percentage points. Pathfinder has let a large amount of its published material go through third party vendors to avoid a lot of risk, but also reap a ton of rewards. This "little game that could" is taking advantage of the dynamics of the industry to create a community driven game. People who want different things publish them at their own risk, but get big ups by applying the Pathfinder label to their material. Win-win.

Would any of our favorite tabletop games benefit from something like this? Wouldn't it be great to be able to publish our own scenarios, codex material and even figures for big name games and not have to worry about the hammer of a lawsuit? Or would that water down the brand and create confusion?

I'd love to hear your thoughts on this one... because I think it's worth considering.


Sunday, December 9, 2012

What is the 'Official' fluff now?

Hey, folks. SinSynn here.

One of the most ridiculous arguments I've ever had with the Ultimate Rival, and believe you me there have been many, began due to the inclusion of a Land Speeder in the Horus Heresy novel entitled The First Heretic.
Mind you, this is by far my favorite Horus Heresy book. Aaron Dembski-Bowden wrote it, so that's more or less reason enough for me. More than that, however, I felt that it was the first Horus Heresy book that really focused on the particular Primarch that was it's focus. During the course of the novel, I really got to know Lorgar. I empathized with his desperate need for something to believe in; something bigger than himself.
Unfortunately for him and his Bearers of the Word, the truth you want is never quite exactly the truth you get, and by the time he realizes that it's already too late.
Poor Lorgar.
Yup, I loved that book.

When I tried to discuss it with the Ultimate Rival, he scoffed.
'Pffft! That was so bad I couldn't get past the first chapter.'
Surprised, I immediately inquired why.
'The Ultramarines show up right a Land Speeder!'
I'm somewhat confused now. Ok, a Land Speeder. So?
'The Land Speeder wasn't invented until after the Horus Heresy! There were no Land Speeders then! That's why the Traitor Marines don't have them! Duh.'
Ummm....ok, that's some sorta big deal because of why? This is science fiction, after all. It's all sorta made up, isn't it?
'Listen, if the author can't even bother to do a little research and get the fluff right, then I can't be bothered to read it. End of story.'

*And Spock was famous for saying 'never tell me the odds, kid'*