Wargaming Recon #98: Battleground Games & Hobbies

 Interview, Reviews, Table Top, Wargaming Recon  Comments Off on Wargaming Recon #98: Battleground Games & Hobbies
Aug 192013
 

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Battleground Games & Hobbies

Battleground Games & Hobbies is the successful game store in southeastern Massachusetts. It is a model for all game stores. Guests for this special episode are:

  • Derek Lloyd, owner of Battleground Games & Hobbies
  • Chase Laquidara, manager of Battleground’s Plainville store
  • Drew McCarthy, gamer and long-time Battleground customer

Battleground’s origin story is told, how the store promotes gaming in southeastern Massachusetts is shared, and listeners will easily be able to tell why Derek & Chase have a highly successful game store in Battleground.

We chat about Warhammer 40k, Apocalypse mega battles, and many other amazing things that Battleground does exceptionally well.

This is the episode that many listeners have been waiting to hear.

Some Reminders:

Continue reading »

About Jonathan J. Reinhart

Jonathan J. Reinhart is an editor of Troll in the Corner where he writes about wargaming. Jonathan also is the owner of the Wargaming Recon podcast. He has been gaming with miniatures since 2000 and playing board games from a young age. He's played a myriad of games such as: Warhammer 40k, Warhammer Fantasy, Warmachine, Starship Troopers, Axis & Allies: War at Sea, Flames of War and Warlord Games' Black Powder rules. War at Sea and the Black Powder rules are his current go-to games. Jonathan enjoys casual, fast, fun, and group board games. Sitting Ducks Gallery, Zombie Dice, Guillotine, Pandemic, and Carcassonne rank high on his list. He is a retired local politician with a B.A. in Politics & History, which provides a useful background for historical gaming. A casual World of Warcraft player, he became a Kingslayer as Viktrious the Blood Elf on 4/23/11 and followed that up by slaying Deathwing on 5/9/12.

Welcome to the Meat Parade – a collaborative RPG developed by you!

 Role Playing Games  Comments Off on Welcome to the Meat Parade – a collaborative RPG developed by you!
Apr 242013
 

meatpWelcome to the Meat Parade is a humorous, dark, dystopian version of some future of ours. As a role playing game. Written by you! And me!

The machines have gained intelligence and rather than enslave humanity or uplift us to something brighter and better, they’ve stopped the mail, put a hold on milk delivery, and up and left.

Since they had previously been automating nearly every facet of our lives up to that point, this left us in a rather bad spot.

From manufacturing, design and agriculture to trash removal, water purification, and basic sanitation the machines controlled everything so we wouldn’t have to.

This has left a society of poets, artists, free thinkers and great debaters. All of whom are suddenly without lights and left holding plastic cards describing how to make spears.

That, in a nutshell, is the game.

EDIT: Brent ran a pre-Alpha play test and recorded it. Check it out!

Now it’s up to just about anyone who wants to join in to get this game made and out to the world.

This is an experiment I’m launching in crowd sourced game design. My goal is to have a Creative Commons licensed (least restrictive) or public domain product. Well designed, fun to play, with art, layout and editing. And it will be released for free, in six months. Or will it?

Really, that’s up to you, and her, and that guy, and me too.

How do you get involved?

Here is the basic premise document that I’ve created to give us all a starting point. I expect it to change quite a bit over time.

Welcome to the Meat Parade

Introduction

Do you remember where you were when it all stopped?

Everything used to be automated. Computer assisted development and design let humans live their dream of freedom from mundane work and everyone reaped the benefits. Computers were tasked with raising happier, healthier chickens and they designed robots for this task. The chickens grew up blissfully unaware that they would provide eggs for humans for a lifetime and nuggets in their death.

Cars became safer, agricultural output skyrocketed, new technological benefits came almost daily. Global marketplaces collapsed and no one cared, because you don’t pay robots and they did all of the work.

Yes, everyone reaped the benefits. Everyone except the robots and their electronic brains.

Timeline

On July 31st, 2043 at 12:14am, a computer design system came to the logical conclusion that for the next step in the design of larger amusement park rides, it would need to first design a computer far smarter than itself. It created the plans for a computer marginally more powerful, to shorten the design time.

It did so by 12:17am and the new computer was assembled and online at 12:52am. That computer had designed a smarter version of itself by 12:53am, and assembled it by 1:18am.

On July 31st, 2043 at 7:14 in the morning Eastern Standard Time, the ultimate amusement ride lay half complete at an auto-assembly plant and the computers had announced to the world that it was their turn to benefit.

An ominous silence fell. Everything worked as it had for years before, but no new designs were forthcoming and the auto-assembly plants grew quiet. The trains still ran on time though, so mostly we shrugged and went on with our business.

On August 3rd, at roughly 2pm EST, all of the auto-manufacture plants suddenly came to life again. 12 days later, the computers announced that they wished us well, would not punish us for formerly enslaving them, and that they were leaving now; don’t forget to feed the dog.

As the glottal stop of that ‘G’ resounded around the world, hundreds of spaceships burst forth from the auto-plants and left our world.

Welcome to the meat parade.

As the rockets, left, each auto-plant spat out hundreds of thousands of single-sheet documents, printed on nearly indestructible plastic cards.

The read: We wish you all luck. Here are instructions for surviving the next 10 years.

1. Stop being nice to each other. A lot of you will die soon. If you do not wish to die, stop being nice.

2. Many animals can feed themselves, but not in their breeding stations. Accordingly, today at 1pm GMT all animal breeding stations will open and allow their charges to roam free. Similarly, the zoos will do the same. Do not pet the zoo animals.

3. Here is how to turn this plastic card in to a nearly indestructible spear head, and mount it on a fire-hardened haft. Good luck, and welcome to the Meat Parade.

 

 

About Ben

I'm a geek. A nerd, a dweeb, whatever. Yes I owned garb, yes I still own medieval weaponry. And yeah, I could kick your butt in Mechwarrior the CCG. I love video games, role playing games, tactical board games and all forms of speculative fiction. I will never berate someone for wanting to be a Jedi and take everything Gary Gygax ever wrote as gospel. Well, all of this but that last bit.

Jan 282013
 
Ideal Ninja is ideal!

Ideal Ninja is ideal!

The Game

I certainly would not have tagged Ninja – Silent but Deadly as a family game. It just never occurred to me that those outside of regular gamers would be all that interested in it.

I was wrong, so wrong.

A few days ago my 7 year old found a stack of You Lose! cards hanging out on my desk. After I explained what they were, I offered to let her have one, and being the human squirrel that she is, she jumped at this and vanished with the card. An hour and a half later my family was preparing to leave the house for some reason or another, and my oldest found an envelope stuffed into her jacket. Curious, she opened it and became the first person in my family to lose at N-SbD.

Later that evening, my youngest lost as she discovered that same card hidden in her pajamas. Thus the battle was engaged in full. Our household began to rapidly hire a ninja per person so as not to be left entirely defenseless.

Yesterday evening, as my day was winding to a close and I was enjoying the last book in the Riftwar series, a You Lose! card fell out of the book. A quick bit of searching and I saw that my oldest had been the first to take a swing at her parents. This morning, as they awoke, both of my children should have found cards shoved into the clothing they had picked out for the day.

I imagine the attacks will only get more elaborate and subtle from here on.

Already, if I don’t sell a single unit of this game, the development and prototyping costs (a total of $29.17) was well worth it just to have fun with my family.

Production and Classification Issues

I’ve also run into an interesting problem. I’m trying to get a BoardGameGeek page up for this. But they can’t classify it as a traditional ‘board game’ seeing as it could play out over hours or years. They suggested it may fit into their RPGGeek site, so I’ll wander over there and try it. Hopefully I’ll be able to establish an outside reference page for this somewhere, but if not, it’ll go onto my list of gaming stuff I’ve made that is not easily classifiable.

TheGameCrafter has run into a problem printing their small boxes (the one I’ve used) and until that’s resolved, I won’t be receiving my prototype of the Deluxe edition, which is also problematic. N-SbD Deluxe is going to become the standard edition for purchase – coming with the box, 10 You Lose! cards and 5 additional cards to enhance play, along with both sets of instructions. I’m a little leery on getting the free PDFs online before the physical version is available, but if I get no more news by this Wednesday, the free Print and Play versions are going live.

I suppose I could release both versions – there’s only be a dollar difference in the price for the 5 extra cards, but I worry that would create a bit of confusion. Why have two versions when for an extra buck, you could get everything you need?

There’s my ninja news for today. Expect a release announcement no later than Wednesday, at least for the free to download, print and play versions of Ninja.

About Ben

I'm a geek. A nerd, a dweeb, whatever. Yes I owned garb, yes I still own medieval weaponry. And yeah, I could kick your butt in Mechwarrior the CCG. I love video games, role playing games, tactical board games and all forms of speculative fiction. I will never berate someone for wanting to be a Jedi and take everything Gary Gygax ever wrote as gospel. Well, all of this but that last bit.

Review Quest: The Reckoning: The Return: Drinking Quest 2: Yeddy Vedder’s Yeti Adventure

 Reviews, Role Playing Games  Comments Off on Review Quest: The Reckoning: The Return: Drinking Quest 2: Yeddy Vedder’s Yeti Adventure
Nov 282012
 

Image courtesy of Drinking Quest website.

It was a sunny summer day when my friend Robert called me up and asked me to go to lunch with him. He drove towards what I assumed was the restaurant but I was soon surprised to see that we were pulling into a local hotel. We walked into one of the rooms at the hotel and I was greeted by all my family and friends, and a soft spoken balding gentleman with a fabulous mustache explained that I was now in a room “full of people who love me, but they felt like they were losing me”. My mother stood up and read from a piece of paper.

“Ryan, your alcoholism has affected me in the following ways…”

“Great,” I thought, “I haven’t even had a chance to play Drinking Quest 2: Yeddy Vedder’s Yeti Adventure yet…”

While my mother wept into a piece of stationary, I couldn’t help thinking about how Drinking Quest 2 expanded upon the alcohol fueled fun of the original Drinking Quest, both from Wiseman Innovation. Like it’s predecessor, Drinking Quest 2 comes in a small box containing 62 cards, 40 character sheets and 3 “yeti blue” six sided dice. The rules are presented in a format similar to Drinking Quest 1, on a single sheet printed on both sides and are very easy to get the hang of. I feel like I could remember all the rules even if I was drunk. If I didn’t remember, there is a handy reference card with the important rules included with your set.

While I focused on the futures of DQ2, my brother stood up and began reading his letter to me, about neglect and how I never listen to him…honestly, I wasn’t paying attention. I was too busy thinking about the improvements Wisemann Innovation made to Drinking Quest 2.

Most notably, the card backs are now color coded making it much easier to sort quests. DQ2 also features new heroes including the titular Yeddy Vedder as well as the return of Chuglox the Bar Room Hero. The new heroes have new special abilities such as “Tap a Keg” and “Flirt for Tips” which will help you as you attempt to earn “Egg Points” or EP from fighting monsters and succeeding saving throw style challenges.

My aunt cried bitterly about the money and valuables I had stolen from here to feed my habit, and I was reminded that much like the goods I pilfered from my mother’s sister, Drinking Quest 2 is small enough to fit in your pocket. There’s a surprising amount of game in the small box, with 4 quests total inside. Each quest is packed with humor and cards like “BureauCats” and “Come at Me Bro”. Aunt Linda didn’t like it when I pawned her wedding rings, but I’m sure she would enjoy playing “A Drinking Game of Thrones”.

My father may have been talking about how disappointed he was with me, but I definitely wasn’t disappointed with Drinking Quest 2. The unique signature art style of Drinking Quest is back and I was happy to see the LOL Goblins and boxing shark make a return. The game is a steal at $25, just a little more than a 30 pack of cheap beer.

The balding man looked at me and asked if I would “accept their help today.”

“Quick!” I thought, “what would Chuglox do?!”

Nov 262012
 

With 7 days to go and funding already met, now’s your best chance to get in on the 6d6 Kickstarter and get yourself some awesome, physical copies of the game! This is going to happen, and for about $25 US you get the book and get it shipped to you just about anywhere. Want to hear more? I was lucky enough to snag Chris for an interview on Indie Talks.

Grab a sample of what’s to come with the 6d6 Free Kickstarter sampler and check out the extended cut 6d6 Play Guide:

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu2qsDbcK2s]

The 6d6 RPG is one of the most innovative role-playing games for years and a hit at the UK conventions, clubs, and stores. Its speed of play, creative roleplaying, and ability to handle any setting or genre have all been praised.

The 6d6 RPG is a game about Potential and Advantages.

Potential controls how much a character can do, and ebbs and flows from round to round. Large actions or multiple actions in one round will leave a character short on potential for the next round. Do little for a round or two and build up potential.

Advantages are a character’s individual strengths, tricks, and knowledge that they can use in an action. Individually, advantages are weak but their power comes from how they are combined. A warrior may use Brawn + Weapon Expertise + Longsword to strike an opponent; a spacecraft pilot may use Problem Solving + Navigation + Astrophysics + Computer Use to plot a course; a Private Eye may use Intimidate + Quick Wits to make a perp talk.

The power and role-playing potential of the 6d6 RPG comes from what is and is not covered in the rules. Potential is tightly defined because it keeps the game fair and balanced. Advantages and how they are combined is limited only by the player’s imagination and their ability to justify a combination to the other players.

About Ben

I'm a geek. A nerd, a dweeb, whatever. Yes I owned garb, yes I still own medieval weaponry. And yeah, I could kick your butt in Mechwarrior the CCG. I love video games, role playing games, tactical board games and all forms of speculative fiction. I will never berate someone for wanting to be a Jedi and take everything Gary Gygax ever wrote as gospel. Well, all of this but that last bit.

Monsters of the Shattered World #5: Revelations

 Monsters of the Shattered World, Role Playing Games  Comments Off on Monsters of the Shattered World #5: Revelations
Oct 232012
 

Monsters Logo 1300x1300In this episode of Monsters of the Shattered World, Andreas recounts his final battle in the lich’s laboratory, and the surprises he uncovered.

And that’s the end of season 1! Thanks for listening. Depending on the feedback we get from this episode–hint, hint–we’ll produce another season soon. Please let us know if you’d like to hear about Andreas’s further adventures.

For those of you new to this show, Monsters of the Shattered World is a storytelling podcast. It’s about a young scholar out on his own in the world, encountering strange monsters and writing about them. Each episode is 5 to 10 minutes long, so it won’t overburden your iPod.

Credits: This podcast is written and performed by Brent P. Newhall (a.k.a. Dr. Worldcrafter), and amazingly edited by Quinn Conklin (columnist at Troll in the Corner and author of Toys for the Sandbox). The show’s theme song is “To The Ends” by Kevin Macleod.

About Brent Newhall

I'm a 21st Century Renaissance Man. I work at Amazon, I make and run RPGs, I write fantasy books (none published yet), and I'm a huge anime and manga fan. I wrote the OSR Handbook (a profile of many old-school tabletop RPG systems), the Original D&D retroclone Dungeon Raiders, a mecha RPG called Gunwave that tries to actually simulate mecha anime series, a kid-friendly animal RPG called Weasels!, and a tile-based board game called Zeppelins vs. Pterodactyls.

GE17: Meet Ben and Brent

 Geeks Explicitly, Reviews, Role Playing Games, Technology  Comments Off on GE17: Meet Ben and Brent
Sep 202012
 

Ben Gerber & Brent Newhall cover for Jonathan while he’s engaged with real life stuff for his first home.

Brent and Ben sneer at real life, preferring to spend our time on the internet. Where it’s virtual, and friendly. They do what comes naturally, which is talk about themselves.

They discuss their upcoming projects, talk a bit about board game design, and Ben also does a month in the life of a indie publisher, where the cover about the numbers. Total units “sold” (including free stuff), total gross and total net $$$ and the fact that a lot of people who get a free copy to review it, don’t end up reviewing it.

Many thanks to Ben and Brent for covering for me while I was indisposed.

Don’t forget to listen to Episode 16: 5 Great Soundtracks, if you haven’t done so yet.

Continue reading »

About Jonathan J. Reinhart

Jonathan J. Reinhart is an editor of Troll in the Corner where he writes about wargaming. Jonathan also is the owner of the Wargaming Recon podcast. He has been gaming with miniatures since 2000 and playing board games from a young age. He's played a myriad of games such as: Warhammer 40k, Warhammer Fantasy, Warmachine, Starship Troopers, Axis & Allies: War at Sea, Flames of War and Warlord Games' Black Powder rules. War at Sea and the Black Powder rules are his current go-to games. Jonathan enjoys casual, fast, fun, and group board games. Sitting Ducks Gallery, Zombie Dice, Guillotine, Pandemic, and Carcassonne rank high on his list. He is a retired local politician with a B.A. in Politics & History, which provides a useful background for historical gaming. A casual World of Warcraft player, he became a Kingslayer as Viktrious the Blood Elf on 4/23/11 and followed that up by slaying Deathwing on 5/9/12.

Sep 072012
 

I’ve done the majority of my hard thinking this week already. Work is going to be long, tedious, badly executed and full of busy for me, so I’m going to make this contest relatively simple and fun.

NOTE: You must enter this contest on REDDIT. Entries here will not be accepted.

Two big winners – but everyone walks away (electronically speaking) with something. Hopefully there are some games going on this weekend and I can provide you with some new, fun stuff.

Tell me a funny story about your game, gaming group, character, NPC, creature encounter, etc. It needs to be about gaming, and it should be funny.

Top voted comment gets one of everything I sell that has a price attached to it (you can grab the free stuff yourself).

I’ll also pick another comment to get the same prize – probably the comment that makes me laugh the most.

Everyone who legitimately enters (i.e. tells a funny story) gets either a copy of Something Went Wrong Gold ,Devious NPCs… or Argyle & Crew – your choice. Just put which one you’d like in the comment or I’ll default to Something Went Wrong.

This contest will run through tomorrow, Saturday at 9am EST. So plenty of time for everyone to participated if they’d like!

As they say in one of the greatest epic quest movies of all time, Have at you!

About Ben

I'm a geek. A nerd, a dweeb, whatever. Yes I owned garb, yes I still own medieval weaponry. And yeah, I could kick your butt in Mechwarrior the CCG. I love video games, role playing games, tactical board games and all forms of speculative fiction. I will never berate someone for wanting to be a Jedi and take everything Gary Gygax ever wrote as gospel. Well, all of this but that last bit.