Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Khurasan down! Suggest a 15mm force for me??

Just heard that Khurasan minis has closed down until the autumn ... so much for the Vespulids for our homebrew wargaming rules then!

So, my options now are:

  • Back to my pre-waspid idea of GZG NAC troopers and wheeled tanks - low tech, possibly Chinese / Asian Confederation (People's, obviously) army... purely 'cos I love the trikes, but we have no rules for them yet.

  • Original plan of GZG (again) grav-sleds, possibly accompanied by UNSC - high tech, likely to be tied into my Martian rebels for [Starmada] - the ACEF.  Not very near future though?

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Father's Day present to all fellow geek dads!

Just got socks? I thought I'd share a code I got emailed for 20% off at RPGNow, valid for any and all of:

4e Players: Hero's Handbook: Dragonborn for those who feel drawn to the new dragon-blooded race, and Amethyst: Foundations for SF/Fantasy crossover goodness.

Mech Warriors: Heavy Gear Blitz, which I'd recommend a read of - and play if I could - and Mekton Zeta Plus.

Savage-worlders: Noir Knights for pulpy paranormality ... is that even a word?

Travellers: Judge Dredd for Traveller.  Um... It's Judge Dredd.  For Traveller.

Plus: The Inquisitor's Handbook for Dark Heresy, SF/Horror game Splicers, King Arthur Pendragon, and PDQ-based Ninja Burger RPG.

I'll trust your integrity only to use it if you're a fellow dad, or buying for one...  Just enter HotJuneDrive2011 as a discount code, before the 10th of July. Apparently.

Saturday, 18 June 2011

What's been a'happening in the Polyhedral Tower...

It's been a while - insanely busy at work, I'm afraid - but although I've been too busy to post, I've not been too busy to game!  See photographic evidence below:

Our group's been working on our own near-future / SF skirmish rules, although some of the factions are expanding way beyond "skirmish" size!  Pretty cool-ly, the rules still hold for larger forces too... hopefully we'll post a beta soonish ... if anyone's interested in playing.

Friday, 6 May 2011

Getting into 15mm gaming...

This Is Why It's Called 'Hordes Of The Things'Image by Kaptain Kobold via FlickrIt's been a while... sorry!

I have been busy - after trying out a few free SF wargames rules, our group is working on our own 15mm near-future skirmish rules, so we can use modern and sci-fi minis.  Which means I finally get to make some terrain!

Current projects:

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Rollin' with it: Piratical feats 'n' treats

Arrrgh! | PiratesImage by Joriel "Joz" Jimenez via Flickr
Yarr!  My Freeport game for Pathfinder is gathering speed - in my head at least.  I've been reading through the Pirate's Guide and getting a handle on the wheels rolling behind the setting.

E6 games need feats, so I got some Combat, Subterfuge and Immediate Action feats from Genuis Guide to keep my players (and NPCs) up to speed.  The "Immediate Action" feats are pretty cool, essentially providing more options for Attacks of Opportunity - throwing weapons and all sorts.

Friday, 1 April 2011

Pathfinder session report - good to be playing again!

OrcsImage by Steve B Chamberlain via FlickrButt kicking - for goodness!

Picking up our PFRPG campaign, Caedric and Falstoff dove bravely into a goblin infested crypt to rescue a kidnapped child...  My summoner's ranged attacks were limited due to poor lines of sight and lack of darkvision (the human had my Light cantrip cast on his glaive to help him see what he was slaying) but much fun was had summoning creatures when my eidolon "died" fighting a bunch of orcs and bugbears.

Friday Freebie: Errant RPG for classic Fantasy gaming

mighty warriorImage by SoulCookie via FlickrAt first glance, Errant rpg seems to be a reskinning of d20 - STR, CON, DEX, INT, WIS and CHA; saving throws; ACs; DnD flavoured races and classes...

However, it isn't.  I flicked through it the first time through looking for stuff to borrow for houserules - particularly the Saves which represent a wide range of instinctive/innate resistances: vs. pain, magic, poison etc as well as the usual "reflex" - here called Snap - et al, plus one to see if you can hold your breath.  I like it.

Sunday, 27 March 2011

Monday Mini: Gyrostabilised Monowheels!

From Maxmini.eu
After a few conversations* on Twitter, I realised how much I missed the old Orks from Rogue Trader / 2nd Ed. 40k... where everyone woz an individyool, and we cud let our creeative jooces flow...

(OK, I'll stop that now.)

If you have, or have ever had, an inner Greenskin - now is the time to set it free!  Orky bionic legs and monowheels return courtesy of Maxmini.eu, and we don't really care if we don't have the rules for them anymore 'cos we're Orkses!!  Plus Maxmini have spacey-versions of the Orc heads from last week's Rollin' With It for that Freebooter look, which make me wish I could play Gorkamorka.

* I say "conversations" - it generally involved me WAAAAGH!ing into the void and/or complaining about how much more character they used to have... like when firing the guns on a warbike used to make it turn randomly...
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Thursday, 24 March 2011

[Guest] GM Screen: Why You Should(n’t)

Role Playing Gamers at the Burg-Con in BerlinImage via Wikipedia
I've been playing RPGs for 26 years, and in that time I've seen all kinds of GM screens.  Some really cool (a castle wall, complete with towers and crenellations), and some not so cool (a cardboard box).  In all that time I've seen how they've been both helpful and hurtful to a game.  Regardless of your preference, take a look at some pros and cons of using (and not using) a GM screen.  You might alter the way you game, and be thankful you did.

Why you should use a GM Screen:

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Rollin' with it: A place to call home...


Maxmini Orc heads - for flavour!
First decision made:  I'll be running Pathfinder in Epic 6 mode because at least I know what I'm doing and I know my players like the system.

I'll also be going miniatureless - which is unusual for me, but worked well in Alternity and saves a lot of mini-and-map-related hassle!  Go go Gadget imagination.

Second decison made:  We'll be playing in Freeport, for multiple reasons:

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

[Guest] On games design and complexity

Colette WIPMalifaux: Image by waferthinninja
I'm not going to lie to you, because, at root, this is a blog about Skrapyard, the skirmish miniatures game that Precinct Omega Publishing has in development.  But just to prove that I'm not randomly spamming adverts, I'm not going to provide a link for the lazy.  If you actually find this blog interesting, then why not do a Google search from Precinct Omega Skrapyard?  You're sure to find a link eventually. (or see my posts on the game - Tom)

But before we get to Skrapyard, I'm going to have a bit of a moan.

Sunday, 20 March 2011

Giving Back Sunday #1

I have invented the blogback.  It's like a pingback or trackback, but more personal.  Here's the idea:  on a Sunday, every month (or once in a while), I'll go through my Analytics data and check out all the blogs that have sent us traffic.  I'll briefly link to something I found interesting or noteworthy, thus returning some traffic.  Networks don't count, they already get a feed and a badge!

Without further ado - Blogbacks for the last rolling month:
  • Colonel Shofer has been sharing amazing amounts of great miniatures lately, including a - sadly photoshopped - Ork DreadKnight.  Waaaaagh indeed.
  • Super Galactic Dreadnought continues to pump out more on space combat games than I could ever hope to get around to - and as such, should be saluted.
  • The Savage Afterworld gets bonus points for a Haz-Mat suited Legoman and a post-apocalyptic take on the "hot elf chicks" meme, on top of the usual Thundarr-related goodness.
  • In keeping with my own thoughts on RPG "adventure path" design - hinted at here - Errant RPG has very interesting discussions of the weaknesses inherent in modules, and seeds of a solution for no-prep GMing.
  • http://tomsche69.blogspot.com has some very nice con pics, featuring painted models on some very nice terrain - loving the hexagonal modular stuff - which is refreshing :P  If only all battle reports had pics like this...
  • diceRolla has me (pleasingly?) filed under "Itchy" - as opposed to Scratchy or Poochie - and would like some input on NEW GAMES as well as having some beautiful LandRaider pics.  Don't we all love finding new games..?
  • Mad Brew Labs has been madly brewing an online Pathfinder character generator - see, it's good for me to get out there and see what's going on too! - which will be seeing quite a lot of use in the near future.  [And bonus points for making Tourq weep (again) because his group resists PFRPG... time to convert them, my friend!]
  • On the subject of which: Stuffer Shack continues to go from strength to strength, accumulating staff like no-one's business and featuring helpfully topical (to me) articles on improvising and designing fantasy cities.  This is what happens when you open up guest blogging early!
  • ...and finally, StalingradBob is still yet to tell us what's going on in the RuneQuest / SpyCraft game that will be run when Nathan's finished his spell as Pathfinder DM.  Hi Dave!
Make sure you jump on the blogback bandwagon join the craze sweeping the blogsphere and blogback - and post a comment telling us about it.

Thanks all, over and out.

Rollin' with it: The Zero-Prep GM Challenge!

D&D Choose Your Own AdventureImage by mediafury via FlickrThe plan, following my jaunt into free-flowing GammaWorld goodness, is to structure my game-mastering so that:
  • There is no "Adventure Path Railroad" my players have to follow, but there is still structure and plot.
  • The heroes can choose their sides and actions without having to worry about derailing the abovementioned plot-train.
  • I have minimal prep for each adventure / story arc, and can easily take the game wherever the players choose.
  • We can roll dice, have fun, and tell stories without anyone having to write (or, for that matter, READ) pages of story and fluff that may not end up being relevant to the story anyway.  See points 1 and 2.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Sub-optimal character: Mounted Halfling Summoner

Let's face it, halflings have an enormous capacity for rpg cool.  See the DnD mini in the pic if you don't believe me...

I've been playing with my character's build for our upcoming Pathfinder game... and I decided to resist the urge to tweak myself an optimal character in favour of someone I wanted to play:

I've chosen a Halfling Sumoner.  For the sheer joy of riding around on my Eidolon shooting things with a longbow.  A small longbow.  Meanwhile my trusty steed, Snapper, will be using his combination of natural reach and "trip" on his bite attack - and AoOs - to keep the Enemy at arm's length.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Monday Minis: SuperDeformed Kobolds!

Flicking idly through some con pics, I happened upon these kobold minis:  Not weak and weedy first level sword fodder here - these Kobold Ironscales from SodaPop Minis are refreshing, as are the rest of the range, in a world where everything seems to be getting a little bit samey...

Rise up, my kobold minions!  You shall no longer suffer being small and weak, laughed at even by those heroes who lack a BAB...  You shall become both tough-looking and slightly cute, to gently terrorise players in a bungling-but-potentially dangerous manner.  As Zelda afficionados will only be too aware, your cuddly appearance shall lure them into a false sense of security..!

Ahem.  These are from an upcoming game, featuring similarly large-headed heroes, but would be great on a D&D table too ... view the whole range here!

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Rollin' with it: Lessons learnt from GammaWorld...

...or: The ongoing Misadventures of Murtt and Bugeye.

My GW campaign is on hiatus - we've rotated DM, which means I get to play. Yay!  We'll be playing Pathfinder, but that's irrelevant...  I've been thinking about this for a while, as GW has been zero-prep for me over the last month, but still satisfying and great fun to run.

SO: What have I learnt from running Gamma World?

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Two things:

Firstly - I'm opening up guest blogging as an experiment... got something to say?

Secondly - Skrapyard contest closes midnight (GMT) Saturday, you gotta be in it to win it!

Saturday, 5 March 2011

"Friday" Freebie: Resolute, Adventurer and Genius

A free RPG this week - and a day late due to internets being replaced.

RAG expands on the warmly received Warrior, Rogue and Mage by taking the WyRM system and using it in a pulp game.  Hurrah!  It's nice to see some love for the pulp genre in gaming - other than Thrilling Tales for SW, what else do we have?

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

System Hacking: Dragon Age

Elemental MagesThere's been much discussion of DARPG around - enough to warrant me reading the Players' Guide and GM Guide through quickly to see what all the fuss is about - with a lot of gripes leveled at the fact that the initial Set 1 release only caters for levels 1-5.

Personally, I think this is a good thing: let players grow into the game before you throw everything at them.  There's been a lot of discussion of broadening the classes over at darkAgeOracle, to cater for the likes of Clerics and Archers, and given my love of polyhedral dice (d6s are sooo dull) I soon developed an idea - probably spawned by WyRM's "define your character as a mix of Warrior, Rogue and Mage" spin on the traditional class idea...

Monday, 28 February 2011

Monday Mini: Captain of Swords (giveaway)

As promised in Friday's update - this 40mm VSF mini is up for grabs (or the Faerie Emissary) to anyone who's read the Skrapyard rules...

Just go HERE and give your details and the name of one of the other Skrapyard characters - I'll roll a thematic d12 to choose one of the first 12 correct answers and pass the winner on to Precinct Omega.  Then delete all the submissions 'cos I really don't want your email addresses...

Good luck, and if no-one enters I look forward to keeping this very nice mini to myself!

And don't forget today's the last day to download the beta rules before they get replaced with the stripped-down free version...

Saturday, 26 February 2011

Gaming with the kids: starting small

Trying to get my children into gaming... this is going to be an ongoing project!

Last night we played Battleships, which is supposedly for 5+ but a bit beyond my 5 year old... not enough action to engage him.

This morning we've all had a fun game of MiltonBradley's Pac-man game: A trip down memory lane for me, a fun tactical experience for my eldest and a counting / gobbling giggle for the two year old.  And aimed at 7+ too!

Aces.
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Friday, 25 February 2011

Friday Freebie: Skrapyard

Hungering for a VSF skirmish game?  Skrapyard may be for you.

I discovered this game while merrily wandering the Twitterverse - I got a message from Precinct Omega saying I'd won one of their minis, and decided to check the game out... and as I'm no good at painting I thought I'd put the mini up for grabs too.  Check back on Monday for details.

How does the game play?  It's nice to see a slimmed down system these days - especially after so many years of 40k - and Skrapyard's core idea of only needing a single d12 really struck a chord with me.  It's a nice, streamlined roll-under-stat system - but the beta rules are coming down at the end of the month, to be replaced with a fluffless "light" version... so if you want to check it out I'd head over to the Skrapyard download page sooner rather than later!

It sounds like there are plans to introduce some more Steampunky war machines too... I'm definitely keeping an eye on this one!

Holy bundles of RPG stuff Batman!

Essentially: free product when you donate $20 (£12 ish) to the Red Cross via RPGNow... I had to grab this one after missing out on the Haiti bundle - in the fact that when I clicked the link, it was available no more, so I donated otherwise instead - click here to see just what you get for your generosity! (Not an affiliate link!)

What to read first... PFRPG bits or CthuluTech?

...and the Supernatural RPG is a chance to get a look at Cortex for free on top...

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

15mm Infinity: The concept

From infinitythegame.com
It's an idea I've had in my head for ages now, having played Infinity and liked it - but not having the cash to buy the (frankly beautiful) minis or the time to convert and paint them in a manner that would do them justice:

15mm scale Infinity!

OK... why?  Because I've been looking for a decent skirmish game for ages, and I like the way Infinity plays - and I could get much more mileage from, for example, Ground Zero's 15mm StarGrunt SF range as far as troop minis go.  Plus there's little need to convert for the right standard/support/heavy weapon types as they've a pretty comprehensive range, whereas the Infinity minis - at least when I first got the beta rules - were pretty limited.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Monday (ahem) Mini: Twilight Knight

From kingdomdeath.com
I'm not usually a fan of scantily clad fantasy minis... but I was looking into 3D printed miniatures after browsing through all the spaceships on shapeways.com when I stumbled upon Kingdom Death.

From what I can gather: the minis are being made for an as-yet-unpublished game, and have 25mm base circles (so they'd fit into a standard Warmachine / Hordes style base) but seem to be more like 40mm to eye level.  Will people buy them just to paint up - and it seems from CMON that they already are - if they can't use them with standard 25/28mm figures in their wargames?

I do hope so - they've an interesting selection up to view so far, generally more horror than fantasy - and this one seemed to have them most "mass appeal".  I do like the not-too-big sword and her facial expression, wonder if we'll see a version in more appropriate battledress?

Friday, 18 February 2011

Friday Freebie: Full Thrust!

HPIM3829Image by robartesm via FlickrIt seems my internet is back on, temporarily at least, which allows me the pleasure of introducing the free game that's probably inspired me the most:  GroundZeroGames' Full Thrust.

Full Thrust got me completely and utterly into space fleet wargaming, and it can't just be coincidence that GZG also make and sell some very nice starship minis to play the game with.  The newer designs are particularly nice - check out the ScanFed, for example - and far as I can tell from my research, GZG ships set the benchmark in 1:3000 scale space minis.

So... what's the game like?

Sunday, 13 February 2011

This service is temporarily available...

Hi all gamers, bloggers and readers...  My ISP and phone provider has been letting me down BADLY of late: My carrier drops about every 5-10 minutes and signal-to-noise ratio on my line is about 3:1 at the moment.

So - I'm still alive, and awaiting a new line and broadband provider at the beginning of next month.

I'm considering whether or not to move this blog over to 6sided.net and their dedicated gaming blogs philosophy... any opinions welcome.  Their network feed has been added to the sidebar, some interesting stuff up there already.

See y'all next month, for those missing my random wittering you can always follow @plaspoly on Twitter as I can tweet from my phone.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Friday Freebie: LEGO wargaming!

(c) Mike Rayhawk 
Pirates vs Ninjas!  Blacktron vs Atlanteans!  Romans vs Police!?

This week's free game is the amazing BrikWars tabletop minifig wargame - quirky and beautifully illustrated, and available in online rulebook form HERE and handy downloadable pdf HERE for all your genre defying death-dealing needs.

The appeal of this game is nicely summed up by the the rulebook:

Monday, 31 January 2011

Monday Mini: Belter Battlewagon


My group's current wargaming fix comes from playing Starmada - although we're starting to get tired of the "superweapon arms race", any suggestions? - and much as I love my little GZG Neu Swabians I've always been blown away by the Belter ships designed by Coines23 on shapeways.com. Here's someone who's embraced a new way of producing minis - these are 3D printed on demand, not cast in moulds - by designing ships that would be almost impossible to produce by "conventional" means.

Expensive? Yes. Awesome? Undoubtedly.

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Friday Freebie: Warcanto


Not Friday, but still free - it's skirmish wargame Warcanto!

I got a copy of the rules from a friend when we were looking for filler games... And have just got round to reading them.

The rulebook is beautifully presented - not just for a free .pdf - and illustrated, giving the basic details of how to play and the various races. Each faction also has its own army book with more detailed info and ability ladders for their leaders - presumably these are being added to as the writers add more units and rules.

The basic concept:

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

RPG / Boardgame System Scan

Taking a breather from Pathfinder has got my mind wandering again - I guess my love of the crunch and my desire to tell compelling stories leave me lost in the no-man's land between rules-light and GURPS... I'm still looking for The Perfect System folks!

Site overhaul v2.0

Things are starting to get messy again, so it's time to overhaul the site design again!

I know what I want to see - but what about you? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated:

* Can you find what you're looking for on PP?

* Are there any design/layout niggles you'd want changing?

* Would you be interested in more articles rather than ramblings? :-)

* If guest blogging was an option, would anyone take the plunge?

I'm looking to: Make this site more readable / navigable, start to condense things under proper tags and headings, make better connections with other gaming bloggers and make more like-minded friends... I have my ideas, but I'd welcome any from the readers too.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Monday Mini: Widowmaker Kapitan


This week's mini - the very characterful Khadoran Widowmaker Kapitan, in this case painted by an ex-Rackham pro painter, from Privateer Press' Warmachine.

We tried Warmachine out... I really liked the Khador miniatures - Nath seemed to like Cygnar, which would be handy - but we dismissed it as too expensive, both in money and painting time. Handily the core mechanics were streamlined down for Monsterpocalypse at about the time I was being all indecisive about it...

If I did play Warmachine, I'd plump for Khador any day - mainly just to field a squad of these guys. I have a thing for steampunk, and PP's minis really appeal.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Gamma World: session 2... and sandbox world creation

CC Licensed, click to go to owner's page.

In which many things go BOOOOOM, and our heroes don't get quite the welcome they were expecting...

Our intrepid young heroes were last seen amidst a giant explosion in Redman town hall - and now was their chance to react. Picking up the unconscious town Elder, they staggered for the door just in time to bump into a shadowy figure fleeing into the gathering crowd. And the arrival of the town guard. Being strangers in town, they were naturally suspects, and were *supposed* to go quietly... but Murtt and Bugeye had different plans!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Playing With Myself: Monsterpocalypse #1

I've never tried solo gaming before, but I noticed there were rules for a solitaire game in the MonPoc book I'd dug out with all my old figures...



Monsterpocalypse is a deceptively strategic game - but as I'd only ever played the incredibly aggressive Planet Eaters, I'd never really given the nuances much thought. Time to switch sides: taking on the mighty Gorghadra (!) with the collection of Cthul units I'd swapped with a friend for the wimpy ShadowSun and Martian minis I'd had... The joy of collectible games - but I digress.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Monday Mini: Dwarven Veteran

I'm hoping to showcase a miniature that I think deserves it every Monday - and as I've been reading through the free Warcanto rules from the DwarfTales website, where better to start than with one of their amazing Dwarf veterans?

I've never been a massive fan of Dwarf miniatures, perhaps because of the GW Warhammer minis that always looked a bit too cheesy for my liking. What is it with the Dwarf being comic relief? In the Lord of the Rings movies, Gimli seems to exist solely for our amusement - Men are brave, Elves are "cool", Dwarves are simply... short. And invariably Scottish.

So here's to the Warcanto Dwarf! These miniatures hold true to the resilience and craftsmanship of the classic Dwarven race - to the extent that the game's other races look a bit poor in comparison - and, above all, these Dwarves look hard.

Saturday, 15 January 2011

Science Fiction, Sextuple Feature! Surge buffer overload...


I was just sitting thinking about how to redesign my "bombers" for Starmada - I was hoping to use some of the nifty NSL strikeboats from Ground Zero Games to differentiate them from my corvettes - when I thought I'd slide by FireBroadside to see how the StarBlazers fleet was coming along...

Yet another awesome game moving under my radar, in the form of the very intriguing-looking Earth Reborn.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Gamma World - First Impressions

Moving OnImage by chiaralily via FlickrAfter a (long) break we're finally back to the table - and diving straight into the awesome post-apocalyptic Gamma World.

Gamma World is also available as a setting for d20 Modern, but I was looking forward to bit of a change from the d20 system, so I plumped for the 5th Edition that runs under Alternity.

The setting itself feels similar to the Fallout games, Mad Max, etc. and is pretty standard post apocalyptic fare...

Sunday, 2 January 2011

New Year, new games?

Happy New Year to all!

My gaming resolution is to actually get playing stuff... so while I build my Arthurian Pathfinder world, I need something to jump straight into:

The Hotness: