My own personal rant zone

I set up this place so I can mostly talk about Tabletop Gaming...but occasionally some other stuff too...

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Onto Total War...

Ok, so this is a post I wrote, and ripped it off from the CBT fourms. Sorry, I get lazy:

First and foremost I wanted to thank the folks at the FanPro booth to take a moment when it was super busy to say hi, and make me feel really welcome. I also was totally floored being invited into their "Author's Game" on Saturday night. If it hadn't been midnight, the fact I am old, and that I had to get up early to check out of my hotel, I would have dived in no holds bared. So, thanks again made the trip to Indy worth it.

So, the book. I am gonna say here and now, I haven't read the whole thing. I am also not terribly interested in how the minutia has changed, or what have you, so I'll leave that for someone else to cover. I am more going to tell you guys how I plan on selling it to my customers. Those of you who evangelize the game to or for your local retailers might find some usefulness out of this. Feel free to ignore me, I am long winded Wink

Ok. This book is really nice looking. It has dropped BT firmly into modern times, with modern print quality. I am sad that it is going to be in my store late, but I will say here and now" "Screw it, it will be worth it." Y'all know the page count, and the fact that it is hard cover. This book should cost more. (Aw hell, now I opened the flood gates...but whatever). I know printing, and I know printing costs. I cannot imagine FanPro is making much off this book. I would readily recommend you upgrade. It really isn't like buying the BMR, and then the BMR (revised). This is a whole new ball of wax. I would suggest it not only for the rules updates, but for the User Interface of the book itself. The index is deep and really usable. By comparison, the Privateer Press release at the show; Warmachine: Superiority didn't even have an index (and was softcover for only $5 less). Seriously. It's a total overhaul.

The first twenty-ish pages of the book are awesome. This was the part that seriously renewed my faith that FanPro gets the fact they simply cannot continue to cater the hard-core base, but make new players feel welcome as well. These first pages manage to give an incredibly comprehensive view on what BT is, where to find support materials, the basics of the history, and the basics for play. HOORAY! Now _that_ is something I really hoped would pan out for the best, and it has. I know many of these pages were up as PDF previews, but the way they tie into the book is really nicely done.

The "examples of play" illustrations are the best I have seen in a BT product, and totally on par with some of the larger minis games out there. They are crisp, clear, and really make sense. I have been playing BT since 1984, and the "blocking terrain" illo made me truly understand it for the first time. (Stop laughing).

Ok, to sum this long rambling thing up: As a retailer carrying Wahammer 40k, Warhammer Fantasy Battle, Confrontation, Flames of War, Infinity: The Game, and Dark Age...I have a tool to get people excited about BT. I still stand firm that at it's core, this is not an Introductory product, but it will do as one until we can get something a little more suited to beginners.

I can't recommend enough pre-ordering through your local shop. Even if they don't carry the game, showing it to the owner might be enough to get them to carry one for the shelf. I throw a lot of props out to FanPro for bringing BT into the next generation. They did a really good job on this book.

Holy crap, I am tired...

I have a ton to say about Gencon. But this is one of the most awesome things I have read about it yet. From the comments section of Mike Mearls' blog:

"Both Agon and Burning Empires were held up at work today as examples of the cool RPG stuff at GenCon. The Forge booth was (accurately) identified as, 'This is the place to look for cool new games.'"

I dunno if you all can grasp how excited I am that the folks at WoTC are paying attention to the games coming out of the Forge community. I know people are sick of D&D 4e rumor mongering. I kinda am too. But what I will say, is this. Mike Sugarbaker and I were talking about what WE would like to see whenever that new edition hits. I came to the conclusion that I would like to see 3.5 stay in print. Let it be the crunchy rules heavy game it currently is. Sales indicate people like it, the RPGA runs it, D&D minis has an engine derived out of it. Honestly, it's all good. Just keep selling it.

Then, for the rest of us, make 4th ed. a rules lighter story driven game. You can even call it something else, a sub-brand of D&D...I don't care. But lets use the marketing power and money of Hasbro to give us a product that we can use to bring even more people into the hobby.

I am clear...I am not making sense. That's why I have been waiting to post on Gencon, so that I am not so wiped out. But HooRAY! Seriously.

More later, including my first impressions on FanPro's Total War, and the hope I have stemming from it.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

I made it to White Castle...

and I didn't even need to ride a cheetah.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Two podcasts, no waiting!

So, many of you already know that I am a regular member over at the OgreCave Audio Report. It's been a year now, and I think we have dome some really quality work. Being that the show tends to be somewhat heavily industry focused, I really wanted a podium (yes podium. Ok, maybe apple crate) to get behind and start talking about actual play, gaming theory and all that nonsense.
Now, being that I am a games retailer, I can't help but let the industry news sneak right into the new show, so it will happen.

What is this new show I speak of? It's called 2d6 Feet in a Random Direction. We have our first show up, and the next two in the can. I am taping it with my buddy Brian Isikoff, and I am quite happy with how it's turning out.

What's that all mean? I dunno. Nothing I suppose. But you will see all my Gencon coverage over there, rather than here. This is still my rant zone, so if I have something to rant about, and it involves Gencon, well...that goes here. It's all very confusing in theory, but should make sense in practice, right? I sure hope so. Anywho, look for gencon photos and reports over at I am excited. It's my first Gencon!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

The Mantle has been passed...

Today, my 13 year old schooled me at Galaga. Sniff...that's my boy!

Buried in my hobbies...

As I get older, my life is changing. That may seem and sound obvious...but when you are in the middle of it, it really takes some effort to step back and notice it. I don't have hardly any free time anymore that isn't taken up with family or work. My days off are usually more hectic and fatiguing than my days at work. I am constantly distracted, and really don't have much of a chance to sit and concentrate for long periods of time. My hobbies are suffering to the nth degree due to it. Why? Most of my hobbies require at least some "quiet time." Painting, reading, what have you get really, seriously challenging when you have a 3 year old Moose like mine tearing through the house...or a 13 year old who needs a certain degree of hand holding to to get his school work and such done. I am not complaining, I am just starting to understand where my limitations lie.

Pardon me, I had to stop for a brief tickle attack on the Moose.

I think a lot of gamers my age are facing very similar issues. Time is scarce. That kinda leads to the real point of this post: As a gamer, I am finding keeping up is getting harder and harder. I am interested in SO many of the things coming out right now, but only have time for a scant few. I would kill to be in a regular Dogs game, or dabble in The World of Darkness. Maybe run a Shadowrun Campaign...or play in some True20. That doesn't even scratch the surface of attending to all the minis I own..unpainted and unloved. I have been trying to make more time to paint, but as I get busy with other things, painting get shelved. Any progress I make in terms of skill and speed needs to be relearned constantly. In this time, more and more minis come out that excite me, and I feel more and more behind. Now, I have found myself playing more board games. I am totally starting to see the appeal of opening up a box, learning some rules and being able to finish in a night.

I think as a whole, that is where our "industry" is at. SO much new product on a weekly basis that your average gamer must be feeling overwhelmed. More product makes it harder and harder for companies to do business as they always have. Some are shutting down. Others are trying to innovate, and find new models and methods of getting product in front of people. But damn, do I personally feel lost in my own sinkhole of interests. I have really been evaluating my own time in the hobby of late, and it may be time to do a purge. I can't play with all the minis I maybe it's time to unload them. Will I really have a chance to touch my Battle Fleet Gothic minis again? Seriously doubtful. My Mordheim? Even less likely. Flames of War? Maybe...

I just have to wonder if anyone in the industry sees it? Maybe. The lack of CCGs coming out leads me to believe that someone has noticed something. Then I look at companies like Rio Grande. Holy crap...when are they going to realize that they need to retire some of the backlist, and slow down with the front list. I guess I dunno if I do have a point for this post. It's coming across kinda ramble-y. I just hope the industry sees where this might be heading if I am not alone. The "corrections" we are facing are long from over.

The Moose needs Juice. I am out.