Thursday, October 25, 2012
Tuesday, October 2, 2012
Today I make some wild (or maybe somewhat obvious) predictions on where tabletop miniature wargaming is headed. Over the years there have been many different changes it has gone through. Scale has varied from 6mm up to 54mm. The build materials have evolved from pewter, white medal, resin and now a large movement towards plastics. But overall, we are still doing the same things; We buy, assemble, paint, and then move these little men (and women) around a board and try to kill the other guy's army.
What will be the norm in 10-20 years for miniature gaming? It is hard to predict, but gauging by the advancement of technology and newer generations getting into the hobby, things will evolve. Below are some ideas that I see.
1. Powered by Computers
I might start with the most obvious one. Hey did anyone notice we are using computers more? Of course this also includes smart phones and tablet technology. Computers are getting more powerful and becoming smaller. We see them being integrated more and more into everyday items. Microsoft's Surface project is a great example of computers merging with our everyday. Here they took a tabletop and laid a touchscreen display under a glass surface. Users can interact with the screen using touch controls. I've seen demo versions of boardgames and even RPG sessions using the MS Surface. This will be a natural progression, as the newer generations of players jump into the miniature wargaming hobby with well established roots in video game.
And just think how cool it would be to move your soldier model up within range of an enemy, select who your attaching with your smart phone and click fire, and all the combat is resolved on the smart phone. Plus you'd get graphic and sound to enhance the attack made.
2. Physical meets Virtual
The Skylanders franchise is a great example of using physical objects to interact with the digital world. Last Christmas a Christmas frenzy was started with their release. Now a year later, over 30 million toy figures have been sold. This XBox & Playstation game allows kids (their target audience) to buy a toy figure and once they set their model on the game console's portal (RFID reader) they can play that character in the game. One of the most interesting features allowed kids to take their character to a friends house and continue playing their character with all the gained experience. Due to the ongoing success, they are releasing an expansion this Christmas called Skylanders: Giants.
This technology could be adapted to embed RFID chips into the wargaming models we build. Combine this with a MS Surface and you've got yourself a formula for success.
Do you remember watching R2-D2 and Chewbacca play the hologram game in Star Wars? Who didn't think that was a cool idea? This one is kind of a wild shot, since there have been many attempts at bringing holograms to gaming specially in the arcade, and it hadn't met with much success.. Holograms most likely will be overshadowed by Augmented Reality. I still hope to see little projected men battling it out on a tabletop near you.
Why wait for shipping when you can print your own models right now? With the development of rapid prototype machines and 3D printers this is coming to reality. Ideally a player could purchase a 3D file from his favorite game development company and load it into his own 3D printer. 10 minutes later, open the door and there is your new 28mm soldier. Prices have dropped significantly and quality has also increased dramatically. This will open the door to digital piracy, but hopefully if the gaming companies embrace this technology it can be limited. Another benefit is building your own stuff. Design software will no doubtingly get easier to use and the ability to design your own pieces (if not complete models) is fantastic.
5. Co-Location Gaming
Our lives and schedules tend to get pretty busy. One of the biggest challenges for any local gaming club is getting people to meet at any particular time and place. Technology can help with this. Vassal is the current king of remote gaming. It allows people to play their favorite miniature games online. I predict this will become much more prominent and supported more by established gaming companies. With the merger of miniature games and computers this will become a natural choice for many.
6. WarGamer Score
XBox Live and Playstation Network track players as they play through their favorite video games. It tally's success, failures and rewards ongoing play with unlockables or trophies. This is a natural match for miniature gaming. All the games that each miniature gamer plays would be tracked and scores kept. Do you want to know your record against your best friend using X army. Just look in your account. How about a quick glance at your opponent's record just before a tournament match. I predict that individual game companies (GW & PP) will release these initially, but an open-to-all-games platform become the predominate tool. Let the bragging rights commence.
How'd I do?
Do you think I missed any major or minor ideas? Leave a comment below with your thoughts.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
Video: Made for Play: Board Games & Modern Industry
Wednesday, August 29, 2012
So, here is my question: Should I go ahead and just use the Names and Locations from the series in the game? Mind you, its loosely based, the outcome will be unscripted, and players will be free to make any alliances they choose to make. However, if "Branded" the game will for better or worse, have the added emotional impact of pre-existing characters and concepts, as well as be much easier for me to write.
Would you be more willing, or less willing to play in a game with a familiar "Brand?"
Sunday, July 1, 2012
I wouldn't deign to give Spooktalker tips on using inks as I'm helping him carry his painting contest trophies out to the car, nor would I, with my bum knee and vans try to go long distance running with Skywatcher (during a Con mind you, the guy is kind of a badass). I do sometimes try to match wits with DoomsDay, but only to keep my Daedric Sarcasm (Epic) sharp.
Pretty stinkin' nerdy.
Wednesday, June 6, 2012
|Box Art with Alien eye!|
Here are some details:
|Game demo from nqmagazine|
|game demo from nqmagazine|
|Game Demo from nqmagazine|
Well.... I was looking forward to another gaming universe developed by Privateer Press instead of a one-off board game. But I can go with it. It is very interesting that this game type is getting alot of attention right now. Zombicide took Kickstarter by storm, and Sedition Wars looks to be doing very successful. Are there too many survival tile board games coming out?
One thing in Level 7 that is obviously missing are miniatures. How could they think of releasing this with cardboard models? I hope that there are minis coming. What do you think?
Monday, June 4, 2012
What is better than 1 Panda? 200 Pandas! The Chaos Manifesto blog (run by HotPanda) is celebrating their 200th post to the blog and wanted to celebrate with a great giveaway. Check em out if you get a chance.
Here are some cool links he has shared on his blog that are also worth checking out...
CHRIS RYNIAK: Night Critters
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Axles & Alloys 2
@ KublaCon May 27, 2012
Download Quick Rules Sheet | Download Car Sheets
Download Full Rule Set (I changed up & removed some of the rules for the con)
We had a full turnout with 8 players signed up. I setup the board with terrain and briefly gave a run down of the rules. Everyone seemed ready, grabbed a car and we were off. (Mental note for next time, bring a tan/brown sheet to lay over the white table for better visuals)
Scenario: Speed Bumps
I picked a scenario called "Speed Bumps" pitching everyone against each other with pedestrians that randomly spawned around the table each turn that awarded bonus points for killing. One point for each car kill and 2 points for each pedestrian taken out. At the beginning of each round, I rolled and randomly spawned 3 new pedestrians at 6 different possible points around the board. It was great fun to watch everyones plans adjust to were the people showed up. A few times right in front of an oncoming car. Once the game got underway, everyone quickly realized that it was best to go after the pedestrians than the other cars. But we did have, I think, 2 cars destroyed during the 8 round game. Victor picked a winner Kubla Pin and second place got $10 KublaBucks. After the game wrapped, we still had plenty of time and everyone wanted to go again (cool!), so we took a break and got ready for another game.
|The rules are light, but tactics are still king|
|Cars dance around the table|
For change of pace, I picked a scenario that would form 2 teams and pit them against each other. One team was in charge of escorting a semi truck (Semi with two escort vehicles), their victory condition was to drive the semi from one end of the table to the other. The attacking team of 4 cars drove in with the sole purpose of destroying the semi. Each team deliberated over tactics, then charged into the fight. With the escorting team being alittle too aggressive and over taking the semi and driving to the other side of the board, leaving the truck to fend for itself. With a huge deluge of well placed dropped weapons (spikes, mines and napalm) the semi was left in a pickle of a situation. It narrowly avoided the deadly path left by their adversaries, but was plinked away round after round until it eventually was destroyed before reaching the half way mark on the table. Victory and $5 KublaBucks went to the attackers. All to easy.
|2nd turn of game 2|
|Escorting vehicle drives by semi|
|Witness the impending path of this semi through napalm, spike stripes, and then mines to finish the job!|
|By luck (or terrain adjustment) the semi cranks the wheel enough to detour from disaster|
All but two players had never played the game before. Everyone unanimously agreed that it was a great game to run at the con, with easy to learn rules and quick turns, plus fun cars. From the feedback, the truck was both underarmed and should have used the same targeting method as the cars for taking fire. I personally had a great time running the games. I can also say that the game ran very smoothly because we had a great group of people at the table. Thanks for those who came to play!
Be sure to visit the creator of this rule set at axlesalloys2.blogspot.com
Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
Chin chin, and carry on with your mud-pies.
Thursday, April 5, 2012
Join us at KublaCon in Burlingame, CA on May 25-28, 2012. I have scheduled to run the vehicular combat game of Axles & Alloys 2 on Sunday at 10:00am.
"Come focus your pent up road rage in our radioactive desert landscape. Axles & Alloys 2 is fast paced and easy to learn car combat miniatures game. Rules are a homebrew adaptation of Full Thrust, with cars rather than Spacecraft. Rules are quick to learn (fit on 1 page) and don’t take themselves too seriously, and are designed for jumping in and playing. Free for all battle and scenarios planned."
I will be bringing my custom modified hotwheels/matchbox car miniatures. I have some scenarios we can try or just royale rumble style. Join us at the Khan of Cons!
Sunday, March 25, 2012
So with a 2 week soak in Simple Green and a little tlc, they are starting to look like the crack team of metal militants they were made to be.
I made a few minor alterations to establish some character, for instance the CQB Combot with his auto-shotgun would be in the thick of the fighting and ought to have a few more scrapes, dents and blown circuits than the basic model. So I used round and leaf-blade needle files to add some realistic battle damage.
The set also included a boonie hat, designed to fit snugly over the 'Bot's camera eye. While test fitting, I found the slouch of the hat combined with the roundness of their domed heads to give a overly comical cartoon hobo appearance. Not the sort of thing that causes hardened Martian Commandos to quake in their grim, skull shaped gasmasks. Determined to rise to Spooktalker's challenge of, "I know you'll put this to good use," I thought of a picture of Carlos Hathcock wearing a boonie hat tipped back on his head. Probably protecting him from the harsh South East Asian sun while he rested after shooting yet another top NVA sniper straight down the scope into his no-good commie eye.
I also made a minor conversion to his left arm and hand, in order to give him a scouting "Hold, Contact" pose. An homage to several classic Perry Brothers Imperial Guard minis.
Monday, February 20, 2012
I had cleaned assembled and based the miniature before hand. I used Green Stuff, it has a predictable set time and is stiff enough to span gaps unsupported. After mixing I rolled it out as flat as I could, then put it in between to sheets of plastic. I used a sandwich bag. Then I pressed it between two hard cover books, standing on them in order to get it even flatter. I let the putty set for 20 minutes before removing it from the sandwich bag, then cut it into the size and shape I needed. The putty was stiff enough to hold its shape, yet still workable. Once stuck to the miniature, I used a rubber tipped shaper to smooth folds and curves, and a metal blade tool to create the smaller wrinkles at the top of the cape.
There were a few unwanted wrinkles from the sandwich bag as well as from the shaping. I plan on touching these up with some more putty. Here is the cape from the front:
Saturday, February 4, 2012
At least a couple of you must have seen this already, but I realized I get up to Op-For HQ so infrequently these days (deep cover covert ops, etc, you know how it goes) the word has probably not got around. But for the past six months now I've been doing a blog called Belched for the Depths—check it out!
The low-down is, now that my new career is in full swing and I've shelved the commission painting gig I've finally got the time to throw myself into my own projects, and BftD is for those projects.
Don't worry, though, I'm not leaving the band and you can still find me around here on the Op-For blog. I know you were all panicking there for a sec. ;)
Monday, January 9, 2012
Let's do a product review. Have you heard of Tor Gaming? If not, go check them out. They produce 28mm scale miniatures and have created two gaming systems they work with (Relics and Unbridled Fury). We will talk about their Relics game which they coined "stitchpunk." They have developed three factions within the game. A Britanan and two monster type groups. The models in the Britanan are sorta cute, stitched together, dolls bearing weaponry and clothing from the early days of Britain's army. They have just posted up their rules and are beta testing at this time. A great time to get into the game! Reviewed here is a promotional piece called St. Nikolaus, themed after jolly old St. Nic, but in stitchpunk styling...
What's in the Box? (or blister):
This blister pack included everything to assemble on St. Nikolaus model. And was easily opened, no cutting or sharp plastic edges! Blister was labeled with part number TGRBESN1
- One St. Nikolaus body
- One bag of holiday goodies
- Sprue with piping and bone pieces
- One 40mm round plastic slotted base
This model is on the small size compared to others I've worked with. The quality of the casting is very good. With very little mold lines and the flash was almost not existent. This model is only a few pieces so it should be easy to assemble. Pose options are limited. The model stands about 16mm to eye level.
Here is a size comparison to some other models.
A very nice model. If your on the lookout for a little more light hearted skirmish game, maybe Relics is your ticket. Thanks again to Tor Gaming, and I am looking forward to checking out their gaming rules and how they develop more.
Click here to order on Tor Gamings website
Monday, January 2, 2012
1. Complete my playable Bloodbowl Chaos team
2. Complete my Mordheim Carnival of Chaos warband
3. Host a game day at my house
4. Create a diorama piece
5. Continue actively posting to this blog (a repeat from last year cause its a good one)
6. Organize my collection of miniatures, supplies and tools better