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Found 6 results

  1. How Did You Learn To Play?

    I have a question for you, if you're interested, and if you're willing to answer it. You can read my rambling explanation, or just skip to the picture of the d20 below if I'm boring you. So I've been reading some blogs, blogs of Big Time Game Writers and Designers, right? I like to keep up on the history of the hobby, even while it's happening. And I have discovered a thing: The Older Cousin Model. Y'see, ever since D&D really started to hit the big time, the marketing people have been trying to figure out new ways to grow the game, grow the market, sell more units. It's what they do. Particularly under WotC, and ESPECIALLY with Hasbro. And they discovered an unusual thing. Roleplaying games aren't like other games. A child sees a Star Wars Rebels boardgame, he's attracted to it because of the cartoon show, but if he's going to play the GAME, he has to sit down, read the rules, figure out how it works. If I find a Game Of Thrones card game, I do the same thing, although it's a safe bet the rules are lengthier and more complex. But the same is true of both myself and the Star Wars child: we see the game, get interested in the subject or license, buy or are given this game, we sit down and figure it out, and try to interest our friends in playing it with us. Sometimes Star Wars kid will play the game at his friend's house first, but like as not, he'll see it on a shelf and want it, without ever having played it before. ....................but not RPGs. Apparently, based on market research? Nearly all RPG players are taught to play by an actual human, THEN start jonesing for their own copy of the game. They have to catch the fever from existing RPG players before developing an interest in the hobby form. Apparently, AFTER you've mastered an RPG, THEN you might develop an interest in other RPGs or RPG genres, and you might, upon mastering D&D, get interested in one of Fantasy Flight's Star Wars RPGs, or a White Wolf LARP, or even just Pathfinder or Starfinder, and you might buy a copy, read the rules, and start your own game... ...but statistically, MOST of us apparently started out as acolytes at someone else's table. They call it "The Older Cousin Model," in that most of us learned it from an older cousin, a sibling, kid we went to school with, whatever. The point is that most of us were TAUGHT, as opposed to doping it out ourselves. It's a social phenomenon as opposed to seeing it on a shelf or in an ad, and that apparently complicates the marketing of the product. And that got my attention. Y'see, I doped it out myself. I was all of like, eleven, and reading this magazine, Rolling Stone's College Life, because, hey, college was far cooler than anything MY peer group was doing, right? And there was this article on this game that was sweeping the country's college campuses at the time, Dungeons and Dragons, where you could take the role of a barbarian or wizard, go slay dragons, become more powerful, have a magic sword, accumulate gold, build a castle... anything you wanted. The nerd equivalent of a permanent floating craps game in the dorm's TV room. It caught my interest, and the next time my immediate ancestors chose to visit civilization, I picked up a Holmes Basic Set at Spencer's Gifts... and there, all my weirdities began. Upon learning how to play the game, and finding others who were interested, everything else followed. Cool college guys used miniatures? Plainly, miniatures must be obtained... and painted. Some of these people play other games by SPI and Avalon Hill? Hm, this should be looked into. Hey, other RPGs like Traveller and Runequest? Investigate! But I had to work it out myself. I taught some friends to play afterwards, and the game took on a life of its own after that... but I was the one who lit the fire. Upon thinking about it? Everyone else I ever played RPGs with? Either I taught them, or they already knew... having been introduced to the hobby by a friend or relative. Apparently, being a gamer is more a contagious paradigm than one imposed by one's environment or advertising. ...and this is what brings me to come bother YOU people. How did you get involved in RPGs? How did you learn to play? How did you develop the interest? Was there an older cousin, sibling, friend, role model? Were you influenced by marketing or advertising? Trip over it at a comic shop? Encounter a screaming mob of beardos, flinging dice and invective at each other? I'd like to know.
  2. Since I went ahead and posted the big project WIP for this, here's what I've already got on hand to start with. For orcs etc., I've finished 6 of the man-orcs, 7 armored goblins with spears and bows, 3 "true orcs", and 7 of the little goblins. There are also four wolves and a rider, a "troll", and two Nazgul on horseback that still sport an original 1970s paint job. For my own amusement, every shield so far is unique, although I hope that the running black/red/white theme gives them a related look. By the time I do nearly two hundred more, I expect there to be some duplication. So far, all of the orcs and goblins have been individually based, but for wargaming purposes, I will be switching to three or six figure bases once I've done a dozen big orcs, two dozen middle orcs, and a dozen little orcs. This stand of dwarves was one of the triggers for my full-scale vintage binge; the figures came from a dealer table at Cold Wars in 2015, and I hadn't seen a Mythical Earth figure in a long time. The elf army to date suffers from a bit of indecision on basing. The one scout stand in the front on the 60mm square base was built from the same bag of miniatures that contained the dwarves. I didn't think I'd ever see another. As I work through the remaining figures, I'll need to do one more stand of three to match it, which will do duty as a Dragon Rampant scout unit, but the rest of the elves will be in threes. Anything that doesn't currently work out to a twelve man unit will be mounted individually, like the archer next to the command stand. The two stands of ents and huorns (the range contained two of each for some reason) have been with me since the '70s. I "enhanced" the horns with some Woodland Scenics tufts, but any more that I acquire, like the large Huorn in the middle, will not be so treated. I was playing with him to attempt to make his bark a more typical tree bark gray. I've got five or so ents awaiting attention, and two more huorns are inbound, so Fangorn Forest is well represented. For humans, I've mostly been doing samples to get the feel of working with them. The back row is a little group of really old Minifig Vikings (base code V5). I got about ten of them in a lot, and the ME range has few archers. I expect them to do duty as needed as Dunlendings, Rohirrim, or Lakefolk. In the front row, a historical NS (Norman/Saxon) spearman is a sample of historical who will be adopted for the same block of cultures. Next to him is a slightly later IR (Imperial Roman) range early Dark Ages warlord, who fits my idea of a Rohirrim leader on foot. Then we have two actual ME mounted Rohirrim, in the early versions. (The later versions were helmeted). You only need one Gandalf, at least on foot, and the ME53 Ranger swordsman has been done as my Aragorn figure. Next to him is a basic Gondorian swordsman, and an archer of Faramir's Ithilien rangers. As of today, they would make a rather odd skirmish game, but, given how far along the elves are, I think the first all-vintage-Minifigs battle is likely to be allies of the north against the goblins of the Misty Mountains.
  3. Some time ago I bought a whole lot of plastic trees from China to make wargaming terrain with. I've finally got around to making a start on basing some of them. The bases are 3mm MDF, the brown forest floor is real dead leaves munched up in a little ten dollar coffee grinder, and the grass is old-school sawdust flock. Lurking in under the trees behind the Lanchester armoured car is a 15mm British wireless operator, but so good is his camouflage that you can't really see him. They're not the most realistic terrain pieces ever made, but considering that the trees cost me about fifteen cents each, and everything else was basically free, I'm pretty happy with the results. This is about a fifth of the whole bunch, so I've still got a bit of work ahead of me.
  4. So as the topic line says, a movie about all things Wargaming: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/954318608/miniature-wargaming-the-movie-0
  5. I'm curious what your favorite failed/less successful games are. We all have them, games that you thought were awesome but which just didn't catch on. For RPG's I love: Dark Ages Fae from White Wolf. I don't care particularly for White Wolf's rules usually but I really love this book, both for its rules implementation of fae and for the setting and fluff stories. This is still the only rpg description of fae that actually both makes sense internally, both in setting and in rules, and still has the anything goes feel of faery myths. And while it kinda-sorta has splats like other White Wolf books, they're implemented in a way that actually works and make sense for the setting without being the straightjacket that their splats usually end up. I re-read this book every year or so but as much as I love it dearly, I've never played it because my group would never go for it and every Changeling group I've ever known doesn't like it. Supercrew by Tobias Radesäter. This is an absolutely brilliant super hero rule set contained in a 32 page comic book. It's very light but very well thought out mechanically. It's intended for four color supers but could be used for just about anything as long as you don't mind not having 'leveling up' rules. I've thought about running everything from Thundarr the Barbarian, to Avengers style games, to Dungeons and Dragons with it. Does require a group willing to be creative in their narration of actions for the game to be fun. For Wargames I love: AT-43 from Rackham. The rules for this were good and had some interesting touches but I'll admit that they had me at Gorillas in Power Armor. I bought a truly ridiculous quantity of them and still use them for 40K. Inquisitor from an imaginary GW that doesn't shoot itself in the foot. I love the art, fluff, and concept of Inquisitor. The actual rule-set and decision to go with a totally different scale than their other games made me grind my teeth. This could have been a great game if they had used the exact same fluff and concept and applied something like the Necromunda rules to it. Or just paid the guys that do In the Emperor's Name to write their rules for them. Anyway, what's yours?
  6. Isle of Blades and Heroes

    So, over in this"]http://www.reapermin...ge__st__75]this thread[/url] I was drawn into a segue about "...schemes (I have) in mind for an island conquest campaign, loosely inspired by Heroes of Might & Magic..." There really wasn't much more to it than that one line, since I haven't even talked my player group into it yet - I picture this as something of a refereed game, where each group starts out as a "nation" shipwrecked on a mysterious island, and must explore and battle each other for dominance. This was pretty much directly inspired by a HoMM campaign I played years ago, and should probably go research before this thread goes much further... ANYWAY. Panzer_Engel jumped in with, "Interesting. . . . How big do you envisage the bands getting, and do you plan any HoMM - style resource gathering/management? Or troop recruitment from settlements in conquered territories?" To which I was forced to actually start putting some of the vague ideas I had into words. "Not sure about the band size, depends on the players and how the game goes. Probably stick around 3 to 500 points. Yes on reinforcements from the cities; having local support would be required, really. Resource gathering would be along the lines as outlined in Gold & Deeds, with other post victory/ territory control bonuses" Him: "Hmm. . . . And fortifying and/or garrisoning your settlements?" Me: "One of my big desires is to see rewards for playing, without the whole process becoming unbalanced by Avid Wargamer Who Always Wins* playing a dozen games when everyone else can only fit in one or two, building an empire and wiping everyone out completely. At the same time, like I said, rewards; I'd like to see everybody's nation-states grow stronger and more awesome. So there'll be some checks and balances involved as far as resource rewards. What I'm thinking right now is that you get a certain amount of points total, and you can assign those around; say 1000 points for your nation, but your maximum roaming war-band can only be 400 (ballpark numbers, bear with me). So, you can have two warbands at 400, or three at 300, and then those leftover points can be troops back at home. Another option would be using the stats for city militia, which are low-grade troops, as a freebie - say, 100 or 200 points of militia guard the cities - and then depending on your last moves, your warband might be home when the enemy comes raiding. Or maybe you can buy garrison options from your resources. All of these are things that can be hashed out, but we should probably start a separate thread for that.." Which brings us here, to a brand spanking new thread. I put it in General Fantasy because, well, it's going to be a fantasy setting; although most of us are previous Warmahordes players, or at least have plenty of Privateer Press made models, so I'm willing to throw in gunpowder, treason, and plot* as needed, and maybe even warjacks if we can find decent enough rules for them.** Thus far this is entirely speculative; I haven't even pitched the idea at my players yet, I'm still trying to woo them into the loving arms of Song of Blades and Heroes. When you add in the fact that we're all pretty distractible, plus I'm a merchant mariner with a habit of leaving the country for months at a time... well, it's all fairly speculative. Still, could be a fun mental exercise if nothing else, and maybe somebody else out there will get some good out of it. So, here we are. *It's Guy Fawkes Day, this was required.