Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Bolt Action!

So while I've been playing some D&D over Google Hangouts over the last few months, I had pretty much packed in my miniatures.  I stopped by a local hobby shop hoping to track down some DBA gamers and instead ran smack dab into Bolt Action.

If you aren't familiar with it, Bolt Action is a Skirmish/platoon level wargame set in WWII, designed for 28mm figures.  The game was written by Alessio Cavatore and Rick Priestley, and published by Warlord Games and Osprey Publishing. As you might have guessed based on the authors and scale, this is 40k for WWII.  Thankfully there are some great rules innovations.  Instead of players taking turns moving and firing all of their units, players draw dice from a bag to see which player gets to activate a unit next.  There's a mechanic for suppressing fire.  Close combat is rare, but decisive.  It seems to be a great set of rules that makes for a tactically interesting game.

From a modelling standpoint, there are plenty of great miniatures out there.  While 28mm is the suggested scale, as that is what Warlord Games is selling, it would be very easy and economical to use 1/72 scale figures and tanks.  The armies aren't that large generally, so the cost should be prohibitive.  A typical army consists of 30-50 infantry plus leaders, an artillery piece, and armored car or recon vehicle, a tank, and possibly some transport vehicles. Standard 1000 point armies are available for $120. If you want to jump in feet first, they have a whole Pegasus Bridge set for $280.

For an old 40K fan that loves history, is working on a budget, and demands a solid ruleset, Bolt Action is not to be missed.  I'm hoping to get some games in at Cold Wars next month.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

An Ode to Orthodoxy

I've never met Frank Mentzer. I don't know anything about his reputation.  All I know is that he was responsible for BECMI and Temple of Elemental Evil. With that in mind, I find the statement below from 1982's RPGA module R-1 'To the Aid of Flax' to be ponderous.

Has anyone else ever gone 6 years in a single campaign and not created some sort of house rule, new spell, or new monster?  If Mentzer's statement is 100% factual, it has to hold the record for the most orthodox, by the book campaign in history.  Of course I'm sure he used the AD&D combat rules exactly as written.

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Why I don't blog anymore

It's been a long time since I have put anything on this blog, though I had lots of ideas to write about. Every time I start writing something I decide not to post it.  I regret not posting, but there's always a reason not to.

It's been said before.  A lot of time things I want to express have been said before, and sometimes quite often. I feel there's no need to add my two cents. Here are some eloquent, thoughtful people that have stated positions and thoughts similar to my own, and I don't see much point in a 'me too' post.

It's stupid.  Little odd things interest me.  Talking about them publicly makes me feel like a very strange person. So I'm hesitant to put my weirdness on full display.

People are going to disagree with me.  I don't mind them doing so, but I feel the need to defend my position, and I dislike trying to do so in an Internet forum format.

I prefer to talk about these things in person.  I enjoy discussing the things I want to post about, and posting is not discussing.  I really enjoy talking face to face or via voice chat etc.  the change of ideas that goes on in that environment see much superior to anything I would get out of posting something on a blog and reading comments.

I don't have anything worth adding. It's just egotistical to think people are going to be interested in my random thoughts about gaming and what I've been up to recently. This is probably my biggest hurdle to blogging. I usually get half way through writing a post and ask "why am I doing is?"  I never have an answer.

So why am I blogging now?  After getting past the reasons I don't blog, I started thinking about why I should. And it turns out that there are some good reasons for me to start posting again.  I want to point out things that others are blogging about that I find interesting. I want to bring up some odd topics I've been reluctant to mention, but write about them from a neutral standpoint.  I'm more interested in seeing what other people think than expressing my opinion about most topics.  I'd also like to start reviewing some products, both RPGs and wargames, old and new.