A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

RPGs and the Prices Thereof.

There has been a long running discussion about this topic. You see now many gaming books apparently all have to be full color hardback coffee table books. They also apparently need to cost 50-60 dollars and get replaced by a new incompatible edition every half decade or so.

To many (stupid) people this is a GOOD thing. Needless to say, RPGnetters proclaim it as such. But then again, according to them Exalted is the bestest RPG ever even though I have only heard of one actual campaign played. (Which does beat most of the games they praise over there. At least I have actually heard of people playing it and seeing the books on a shelf in the real world.)

Thus here are my (Now no longer) foul mouthed angry comments both to those people who agree with the RPG sales and pricing schemes, and to the industry (HA!) so they may know my thoughts, straight from my angry heart filled with disappointment and rage over the stupidity of the world.

If thinking RPGs cost too much and not buying the ones I think aren't a reasonable price for a book makes me a bad person?

Well I shall wear that title with pride.

Can we not as gamers, but as people in general stop being (or acting like thanks to credit cards) knuckleheads with more money than sense? I was raised with the concept of "value of a dollar", yet it seems many people in fact were not.

This means I like to get my money's worth. And 60 bucks for a game book that I probably won't ever get to play anyhow because OMG it apparently needs to be full color and hardback instead of being an easily read gaming manual is not a good deal, especially when RPGnet boneheads and their ilk now think we should have to replace everything with a new edition every 3-6 years.

Please to be stopping these incredibly DUMB actions. Use the games we already own. Don't happily buy every new edition they come out with. Ignore the "Me too!" products. Take advantage of what you already have. Heck, come up with some homebrews and houserules on your own as it really is a big part of the fun of the game.

Thank you.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Operation Game Collection 4: The Battletech Edition!

Cuz I am feeling randy (ok, not really..) this one is the all Battletech universe edition of the OGC!

If you don't know what the Battletech universe is, here is a super quick rundown: Its the first and second centuries of the 3000s. Mankind has expanded into space and not actually met any spacemans. However they do continue to fight each other and instead of a new age of enlightenment have turned to religious quackery, warrior culture worship, and varying degrees of hereditary ruled monarchies or constitutional monarchies. Giant robots are the preferred ground weapon of choice as the various factions fight each other for money, power, spare parts, or just because they were brought up thinking its cool to fight people.


Today's RPG selection is:

Mechwarrior

Game Summary: Mechwarrior the RPG is one of two soon to be THREE incompatible rulesets for roleplaying in the Battletech universe. Most are pretty simple ruleswise, though all are rather complex in character generation. My preferred edition is 2nd edition, which is a revised version of the original.

1: Amount I play it.
Low.I ran a very short 2nd edition campaign taking place in the 3020's timeframe that never really progressed much past a Braunstein. In fact we barely even used the characters outside of a reason to generate what robots the PCs had for the core game of Battletech. Also outside of one person I really don't even SEE anyone from that group anymore. (I could but I don't like the RPGs they play.)

2: Desire to play it.
Medium. I really like the Battletech universe and running an RPG in it is right up my alley. Problem is finding the players and everyone having the same RPG edition.

3: Popularity in my area.
Low. The Mechwarrior RPG is barely used in Battletech circles.

4: Amount I own.
Low. I own the 2nd and 3rd edition core rulesbooks. Some rules are in various core Battletech game books but I am not sure if it counts or not.

5: Stuff I may still want to buy.
Low. Not much IS core to just the RPG component.

6: In Print?
No for the edition I like (2nd) and no for the most recent one I do not. (3rd). The new incompatible to both (apparently) 4th edition is due soon and it sort of interests me if nothing else because of the pretty artwork. Maybe if I can get it cheap and opinion is positive on it I will take a looksee. They do have an introductory version up for PDF download. Looks simpler which is good.


My 2nd Boardgame/CCG entry is:

Mechwarrior Dark Age

Game Summary: Its Battletech's universe in the early 3100s using prepainted collectible miniatures and an advanced variant of Wizkid's Clix ruleset. The minis are of a much larger scale than the normal Battletech ones.

1: Amount I play it.
Low. Like not in 5-7 YEARS.

2: Desire to play it.
Low. I would like to play it some to make use of the lovely models, but I would need to download the current rulesbook first.

3: Popularity in my area.
N/A. As far as I can tell nobody plays it anymore, and few played it to begin with. This isn't helped by Battletech players mostly universally rejecting the game. The models CAN be used with each other for Battletech thanks to a supplement book, but most Battletech players prefer to use the smaller scale models designed for Battletech itself. Which is a shame since the models are some of the best prepaints until Rackham's AT 43 and Confrontation lines arrived.

4: Amount I own.
Medium. Got a lot of exclusives, and bought a fair amount of boosters and singles, especially to build up my favorite faction.

5: Stuff I may still want to buy.
Low. If I can get a few of the late era non blind buy Mech sets they made cheaply or supercheap booster I would all over it. But nothing at full price, and by NO means would I be in a rush to buy it.

6: In Print?
Nope. Long dead. Wizkids let it die slowly and then they died. A company is taking over Wizkids' properties but Mechwarrior isn't listed and again, Battletech is run by a seperate group who continue to move it forward.


And finally, this installment's miniatures selection is:

Battletech

Game Summary: A 6mm (ish) scale "Machine Sheet" wargame played either on hex maps or pure tabletop. The core game of the Battletech universe. Its so complete its got RPGs and rules for almost every scale of warfare in some form or another, many of which were standalone games but are now slowly being integrated to directly connect to the original core game.

1: Amount I play it.
Currently low, but was medium.

2: Desire to play it.
Medium. I enjoy the universe, I like the game. The problem is not only finding time, but finding a group of players interested in playing when I can play and wanting the same style of game. When you have an ever evolving universe as long running as Battletech with tons of eras and types of play, getting folks on the same page is rather hard. Some folks want massive endless campaign games, others like pickup games, others want heavy RPG, and so on. Plus Battletech has one of the more... distateful player bases out there in general. My experience with Battletech players has been more negative than positive. My experiences playing Battletech with people I teach the game have been far more satisfying.

3: Popularity in my area.
Medium. The problem is again, the way the Battletech playerbase is in general, and the style of game and availability to play it!

4: Amount I own.
High I think. Battletech was my first miniatures and first wargame, bought back in June 1988. I don't tend to play it actively, but every now and then I pick up more goodies for the game.

5: Stuff I may still want to buy.
Medium to High. If I had more active players of it and got more games in I would probably have way more stuff, and they keep making plenty of interesting things I can make use of. Currently the rules are all being revamped and collated into a series of expensive full color hardbacks which will pretty much end up covering EVERYTHING anyone would probably want to do with Battletech ever. Outside of a new revised edition designed to handle larger scale games anyhow. (Being a Machine Sheet game, Battletech tends to drag when players control more than 1 or 2 robots or a handful of tanks at a time. A game at this year's Connecticon between myself and another semilapsed player took 4-5 HOURS for a 4 on 4 robot game. We just ended up calling it due to being tired and brainhurt thanks to usual lack of con sleep.)

6: In Print?
Yes indeedy. The core Battletech rules are pretty much UNCHANGED from the first starter box ruleset I bought back in 88. The particulars have changed but the core is still there.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Operation Game Collection 3

Its that time again, and long overdue! But while doing my usual morning procrastination at exercising I was inspired by some of the RPG books sitting underneath my coffee table. See I do my situps right by there and was avoiding doing them for a few minutes so I looked through some books.

And here we are!

Today's RPG selection is:

GURPS

Game Summary: GURPS. Gurps is short for: Generic Universal Roleplaying System. Its Steve Jackson Games' house RPG system. Most notable for over its various editions having like almost any possible setting book made for it. Its flexible, but there are so many options and available rules as to make it overwhelming, especially if you want to do anything really advanced. Which much of its fanbase does. Its the RPG for supernerds.

1: Amount I play it.
Low. I have played in an ultrashort Car Wars campaign where it was used for character generation and thankfully not the car combat, and an Aliens play by post at RPGnet where the mechanics never really actually seemed to be used beyond initial character generation. (Which is probably why its the only good play by post game I have ever experienced. Till the GM dropped out and didn't bother to much tell anyone outside of whining in the General Chat area about his issues with his bisexuality and such... Great game killed a bit too soon due to emo GM.)

2: Desire to play it.
Low. The mechanics did not thrill me, and I can honestly use other better systems and just take the fluff sections and transplant it into an RPG system I do like. Plus as I mentioned in the summary, its too damned detailed. Some of the bolt on systems for mecha and vehicular bits take it into the absurd level. Great setting info in the books though, and thankfully the core mechanics of Gurps are simple enough its easy to extrapolate them into other better universal games. Like Chaosium's Basic Roleplaying system.

3: Popularity in my area.
Low. A few people speak fondly of it, but not many. However some people have actually run or claimed to run games.

4: Amount I own.
Medium overall, though I paid Low, or close to it. For a game a player insisted he was going to run and then never did bolting on us while continually proclaiming he was preparing for the game I bought the GM screen which has a hardcopy edition of the core basic ruleset, and the CDROM character generator. From various clearances I have a number of the sourcebooks which are quite interesting. For other games' fluff I bought the Autoduel, Ogre, and Starfleet Universe books.

5: Stuff I may still want to buy.
Medium, but I will only pay low. Much of what I want is in the 3rd edition ruleset which went for a long time when they printed dozens of interesting sourcebooks. But its for the fluff and setting information to use with other games. But the usual generic toolset manner in the books makes them a good source. Gurps is almost the RPG Wikipedia in a way. Their books cover a ton of topics in a nice general format with multiple options and styles to play, with references to take the topic further.

6: In Print?
Yes, in its 4th edition. The majority of my working gameable books are in 4th, though the masses of sourcebooks I got cheap are all 3rd. Its mostly all compatible, but as I mentioned, its all for the fluff for other game systems.


My 2nd Boardgame/CCG entry is:

Alien Predator CCG

Game Summary: Its Aliens vs Predators vs Colonial Marines vs (with a little work) Skynet and the Human Resistance from Terminator.

1: Amount I play it.
Never sadly.

2: Desire to play it.
Medium. Aliens is my favorite movie and I would love to make up some decks or just use the preconstructed starter decks and get some games going.

3: Popularity in my area.
N/A. Never heard of anyone playing it, ever.

4: Amount I own.
Low. Got the starter decks dirt cheap, a couple boosters at the time of its release at MSRP, and some of the Terminator boosters at a massive discount.

5: Stuff I may still want to buy.
Low. I'd love to get a couple boxes of the AvP boosters to make up some nice decks, but finding them on ebay at all much less cheap is a crapshoot.

6: In Print?
Nope. Long dead.

And finally, this installment's miniatures selection is:

AT-43

Game Summary: A 28mm scale scifi miniatures game with prepainted figures. Great backstory (basically its the Korean War in space with posthuman nanotech robots, big klunky Soviet robots, and sentient gorilla men.), awesome models, fun game! Its like Warhammer 40k with most of the suck taken out.

1: Amount I play it.
Currently low, but was medium.

2: Desire to play it.
High. I like the game system, I like the models, I like the universe. I have players. Its a matter of finding the time. And collecting more players and new ones. Of course like all my other ideas to collect people, nobody backs me up on it for various reasons.

3: Popularity in my area.
Low. A few people have armies and claim to play. But getting them together and actually getting some games in? OH DEAR.

4: Amount I own.
High, but spent medium. I have 2 massive armies and one smaller one for the game. Yay distributor changes and massive sales because of it.

5: Stuff I may still want to buy.
Medium to High. If I had more active players of it and got more games in I would probably have at least one more army, and my existing forces would be much larger.

6: In Print?
Yes indeedy.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

My AD&D House Rules Part 9:Let's Make a Character!

Its been a long time, but this little project was actually done around the time of the other 8 parts yet not published to the blog as I had entered it into a contest that never actually went anywhere.

So now the penultimate installment in this project. A project I would probably do quite different these days but so be it!


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Monday, September 7, 2009

Warhammer 40K Battle Report NIDFIGHT!

Its a Tyranid civil war, and as usual here is another of my comics documenting it. Timeline wise this takes place a couple hours after the Space Hulk battle report.

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Nidfight_4

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I like to play nerd games! I am a nerd! Join our nerd ways at https://www.facebook.com/groups/112040385527428/