Saturday, December 27, 2014

Dante's Contemplates Suicide

After being imprisoned for several years and with no hope of escape or a pardon, Dante's sees suicide as his only way out.

“By dint of constantly dwelling on the idea that tranquility was death, and if punishment were the end in view other tortures than death must be invented, Dante's began to reflect on suicide, Unhappy he, who, on the brink of misfortune, broods over ideas like these! Before him is dead sea that stretches in azure calm before the eye, but he who unwarily ventures within its embrace finds himself struggling with a monster that would drag him down to perdition.”

Friday, December 26, 2014

Villifort's Reflections

Villifort was the judge that had sent Dante's to prison. It was not for his part in any plot or crime, but to protect Villifort's father from a plot and assassination that he had taken part.

“He (Villifort) had frequently called for capital punishment on criminals, and owning to his irresistible eloquence they had been commended, and yet the slightest shadow of remorse had never clouded Villiforts' brow, because they were guilty; at least he believed so; but here was an innocent man whose happiness he destroyed: in this case he was not the judge, but the executioner.”

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Reflections of Caderousse

Caderousse was a neighbor of the Dante’s and was present, at least in body (Caderousse had drank most of the bottle of wine Danglars had purchased) when Danglars and Fernand thought of ways to betray Edmond Dantes.

“Caderousse was restless and uneasy and had shut himself up with two bottles of black current brandy in hopes of drowning reflection. But he did not succeed, and became too intoxicated to fetch any more drink, and yet not so intoxicated as to forget what had happened. With elbows on the table he sat between the two empty bottles, while specters danced in the light of the un-snuffed candle-specters such as Hoffmann screws over his punch-drenched pages, like black fantastic dust.”

Top Ten Dungeon Crawl Board Games

Back in October I made a post on “Six Print and Play Dungeon Crawl Games”. Recently I came across Top Ten Dungeon Crawl Board Games site, where ten dungeon crawl board games are rated, reviewed, and discussed.

These games are not free or print and play and will have to be purchased and although the title suggests that they are all board games there is a card game listed within the mix. By the way, this game “Dungeon Crawler” is a solo game that can be expanded to allow more players to participate.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Reaper Octopus Aberration

This is the first miniature that I have completed from Reapers Aquatic Familiars II. I had previously completed a Morey Eel from their #P02948B which included the Dragon Fish and Morey Eel. Other miniatures in this familiar pack are a crab, mermaid, and an aberration which looks a large fish with a diver’s helmet on its head.

The Chateau D’If

“The commissary of police as he traversed the anti-chamber, made a sign to two gendarmes, who placed themselves one on Dantes right and the other on his left. A door that communicated with the Palasis de Justice was opened, and they went through a long range of gloomy corridors, whose appearance might even have the boldest shudder.”

The Count of Monte Cristo

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Reaper Miniatures Familiar Packs

I own two sets of Reapers Familiars packs and am planning on ordering two additional packs in early January. Reaper offers 18 of these familiar packs. These packs usually contain between five and six 25mm miniatures of various types. You will find creatures of all sorts like imps, demons, dragons, monsters, aquatic life and other forms of wildlife.

Many of these miniatures are whimsical in nature, but some depict wildlife in a natural, if not in a cute way. There are also two sets of Warlord miniatures to use in your Warlord RPG’s.

I find these packs a very economical way to obtain miniatures of various types. Each familiar pack gives you several different types of creatures to work with miniatures that I might not have otherwise had an opportunity to work with.

Although I don't see myself having to purchase all these packs I can see myself availing myself to several of Reapers familiar packs in the upcoming year.

Friday, December 19, 2014

My War Games by Conflict

Here is another list of my prepared war-games, this time by conflict. It is always more fun and rewarding to play a war game once you have thoroughly researched the conflict. I want to be able to see the conflict from either side. Of course history is always through the eyes of the victor, but through thorough research you can take a peek into the reality of the conflict.  Here are some starting points to that research:

Battle of Lobositz

The Battle of Brandywine Creek
The Battle of Germantown

The Battle of Brier creek
The Battle of Honey Springs

The Battle Manila Bay

Sink the Bismarck
The Malta Convoy(solo)
The Battle for Malaya
Unternehmung 25

Memorable Quotes from the Count of Monte Cristo#4-Danglars and Fernand

“’I know not why you meddle said Fernand, seizing Danglars arm; “But this I know, you have some motive of personal hatred against Dantes, for he who himself hates is never mistaken in the sentiments of others.’”

Thursday, December 18, 2014

December Projects an Update

As often is the case I have gotten off track this month and instead of working on this month’s projects I have started some new projects. To be fair, several of this month’s projects are underway; however I don't see many of them coming to fruition this month.

So what got my attention; some old Reader Miniatures? These are some of the first miniatures I purchased when getting into the hobby. Among the other miniatures I purchased from Reader were two of their familiar packs. These two packs contain several aquatic creatures, of mostly, the whimsical type. I had and still do like all things that are fantastic and whimsical.  Although there are many fantastic miniatures available, there aren't many I would consider whimsical.

I will make posts on these miniatures as they are completed and I am making plans for next year and will be sharing these plans with you in very near future. To think, the 2015 is only two weeks away. 


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

The Battle of Gimley’s Mine Game Helps

For those of you who might have downloaded the Battle of Gimley’s mine game. I have created a “helps” form. The form can be found here.

The Singularities of the Count of Monte Cristo #2-Influential Chemists

Abbe Faria, one of the abbes’ mentioned in the Count of Monte Cristo was a noteworthy chemist in his own right and was said to be influenced either through his readings or by association with the following chemists. The Abbe Faria read a lot of the work of Antoine Lavoisier the reported father of modern chemistry. “It is generally accepted that Lavoisier's great accomplishments in chemistry largely stem from the fact that he changed the science from a qualitative to a quantitative one.”

 Pierre Jean Cabanis was said to be an imitate friend of Abbe Faria. In thus mentioning this fact it is assumed that the Abbe gleaned a lot of his understanding of chemistry from his association and possibly his collaborating with Cabanis.

The Count of Monte Cristo had his tutorage under Abbe Faria where he learned the fundamentals of chemistry. The Count seems to have learned his lessons well and whether he received other instruction or studied further in this field is uncertain, but he did have an ability to create several portions that he used affectively on several occasions. 

Monday, December 15, 2014

The Battle of Gimley’s Mine-Battle Report

The Battle of Gimley’s Mine is a quick and easy to learn game to play and play. By the time you play through the five rounds you understand, quite completely, the games dynamic. I played the game times several times, switching back and forth from and aggressor to the defender. Both sides have their advantages and disadvantages. There is very little skill or strategy involved in the game play. It is more a game of chance that used up to three 6-sided dice. I do recommend reading the back story before playing the game, It gave the game purpose and made the playing the game a bit more interesting.

Memorable Quotes from the Count of Monte Cristo #4

“The young sailor (Dantes) jumped into the skiff, and sat down into the stern sheets, with the order that he be put ashore at La Canebiere. The oarsmen bent to their work, and the little boat glided away as rapidly as possible in the midst of the thousand vessels which choke up the narrow way which leads between the two rows of ships from the mouth of the harbor to the Quai d’ Orleans.”

The Count of Monte Cristo

Friday, December 12, 2014

Kappler Mill & Lumber Co. Tutorials

The Kappler Mill & Lumber Co is a supplier of scale lumber that is often used for building structures for model train layouts.

Kappler Mill & Lumber Co is offering several free tutorials for projects. Most of them seem to be for the HO scale, but most of the tutorials offer dimensions that could be scaled in other model train scales. Some of the tutorials are more detailed than others and there are tutorials for structures and rail cars.

I was drawn in by their Building a Footbridge and Small Wooden Freight Station articles. These projects look like they would fun to build and be easy to assemble.

Memorable Quotes from the Count of Monte Cristo #3 (Danglars)

Danglars was the supercargo on the same ship that Dantes was captain and was one of conspirators that had hatched the idea of denouncing Dantes to the authorities as being an agent of Bonaparte. This quote was made after his plan of denouncing Dantes had come to fruition.

“Danglars was one of those men born with a pen behind his ear, and an inkstand in place of a heart.”

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

My Winter Reading List-War Stories

When I started my search for military stories I was rather surprised with the titles and authors that I came up with. Although I have read military themed stories before I usually read them in a mix with other types of stories. This reading list is a collection of military stories from multiple conflicts and eras..

The Singularities of the Count of Monte Cristo #1-A Five Thousand Volume Library

‘“I had nearly five thousand volumes in my library at Rome, but after reading them over many times I found out that with one hundred and fifty well-chosen books a man processes, if not a complete summary of all human knowledge, at least all that a man need really know.”’

Abbe Faria, The Count of Monte Cristo

Monday, December 8, 2014

Memorable Quotes from the Count of Monte Christo #2 (Danglars)

“Danglars was a man of twenty-five or twenty-six years of age, of unprepossessing countenance, obsequious to his superiors, insolent to his subordinates; and this, in addition to his position as responsible agent on board, which is always obnoxious to the sailors, made him much disliked by the crew as Edmond Dantes was beloved by them.”
The Count of Monte Christo

The Face of Battle Scenery and Terrain Directory

The Face of Battle Terrain page features a large collection of links to manufactures and suppliers of scenery and terrain pieces in multiple sizes ranging from 15mm to 28mm. Although there a few dead links here, overall this page is a great resource!

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Memorable Quotes from the Count of Monte Cristo #1

““Why, you see Edmond,’ replied the owner, who appeared more comforted at every moment, “we are all mortal, and the old must make way for the young.”’

The Count of Monte Cristo

Friday, December 5, 2014

Midst Battle's Din

Midst Battle's Din features two pages of rules for small scale skirmishes. These rules are fitting for battles that use between 10 to 50 miniatures and for skirmishes being fought between the years of 1745-1856.

Midst Battle's Din includes two pages of rules and charts to get you started. There are charts for moral, firing and shooting and rules that dictate attributes of warriors, how the turns should be handled, and statistics on movement and how hand-to hand combat should be interpreted. There is also an extra and optional rules section where special attributes are defined and discussed.

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Giant Conger Eels

“The four adventurers had just quite the Flying Fish and were walking toward an ancient grass-grown wreck when they became startled by the appearance of a snake like head and a pair of fierce gleaming eyes that had, quite suddenly protruded from a gap in the ships side.

Within moments the conger eel, with truly gigantic proportions, emerged from its hiding place and was slithering, boldly toward the four adventures. This wasn't the only conger eel to do so, thus attracted by the strong light from the Flying Fish forty or so eels, some up to 18 feet long came fiercely towards the four almost over whelming the four.”

The Log of the Flying Fish, Harry Collingwood

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Recent War Games Vault Order

This is my first order of digital media from the WarGameVault is online source of war-games, game-rule and scenarios, RPG’s, short fiction, ETC. Most of the content featured on this site are offered as PDF’s, but I did notice one or two e-texts in various e-text formats.

Last night I downloaded the following titles:

01 The Astonishing Adventures of the Handlers, by Eumitto

I might say that the title of this text caught my eye, but really it was its price of 50 cents that made the deal. I didn’t know what to expect. I knew someone thought it was good enough to publish, so I took a chance. Although I have yet to read the text, I was surprised as to its format. For 50 cents I received a twenty-six page graphic novel; the same kind of graphic novels that I have paid up to $12 for. The novel is of the fantasy genera.

Ace Goodknight and Penny Dreadfull: The Case of the GreenElephant, by Irrational Number Line Games, LLC

Ace Goodknight and Penny Dreadfull: The Case of the Green Elephant is 39 pages of game rules that could be played by multiple players or solo. Towards the end of the publication there are about ten pages of templates that can be printed out and used in play of the game. It looks interesting.

Land Ships, Set #1, Mini-Game #90, by Avalon Game Company

This is my first game from Avalon. There are six individual PGF’s that contain, rules, counters, map, player helps, ETC. This is a hefty game; the map alone will take six pages and there are 36 pages of rules. This game will take some preparation before it can be played.

Air Ships 1, Mini-Game #116, by Avalon Game Company

Air Ships is not a standalone game, but an expansion for Avalon’s Land Ship game. This game includes a map and counters, and some rules, but relies on the rules for the Land Ship game for its impetus.

Midst Battle's Din, by Morningstar Productions

Two pages of rules to used with your 1745-1856 era miniatures.

How to Create Great Fantasy Maps (Even if You Can't Draw), by Draken Games
This is a very interesting and enlightening pamphlet in which I will have more say.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

My Games List

Here is a list of the games I have printed, have cut out, and are ready for play. I hope to get a few more finished before winter sets in. These games will give us something to do when the weather has turned nasty. I will be making additional posts or battle reports once a game is played.
  1. Escape of the Dead, fantasy and horror, solo tile game
  2. Planet Run, SCIFI, solo board game
  3. Bad Grandmas, horror, two person card game
  4. Sink the Bismarch, WWII-military, one or two person board game
  5. The Battle of Greenbrier River, ACW military, two person board game
  6. The Battle of Manila Bay, Spanish and American War-military, two person board game
  7. The Malta Convey, WWII military, solo, pen and paper and dice game
  8. The Battle of Gimleys Mine, fantasy and horror, solo board game
  9. The Sword of Valhalla, fantasy and horror, solo board game
  10. The Last Case, horror, solo pen and paper game
  11. Santa Clause & the Goblin War, fantasy,  two person board game
  12. Utopia Engine, science fiction, solo pen and paper and dice game
  13. Postcard from the Revolution: The Battle of Brandywine Creek, American Revolutionary War, two person board game
  14. Battle of Lobositz, Seven Years War, two person board game
  15. The Battle of Germantown, American Revolutionary War, two person board game

Monday, December 1, 2014

Projects or December

The holiday season almost upon us and with the holidays is some time off and winter weather that May keep me more home bound than I care to be; thus the expanded project list.
  1. Ykreol et le Pere Noel miniature This miniature accompanied their Nativity set 
  2. 7 Dreadfleet Grand Alliance & Cogs ships and Dreadfleet Graveyard Leech Wyrm (sea serpent) 
  3. Continue to work on Ykreol Nativity set 
  4. Cut out the Battle of Dorking print and play game components 
  5. Cut out the Battle Honey Springs print and play game components 
  6. Cut out paper dragon or haunted bungalow

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Up Coming Game Night

I don’t get to play war games all that often, so when I do I go all out. I have an upcoming game night coming up where my brother and I will get together and play a few war games. All of the games have been downloaded from online and were free. I will have to fill you on how things go with a set of battle reports. Here are the games I have to play on that night.

I will post my battle reports and give a review on each game in upcoming posts.

  • The Battle of Lobositz (1756)
  • The Battle of Brandywine Creek (1777)
  • The Battle of Germantown (1777)
  • The Battle Manila Bay (1898)
  • Sink the Bismarck (1941)


Monday, November 24, 2014

Battle of Brandywine Creek

This is the smallest print and play game I have downloaded yet. It is scaled to fit the front and back of a postcard. Not a mailer like the other two games I have written about, but the size of a postcard that you might send while on holiday. The image supplied here is the actual size of the map. There are eighteen counters representing continental and British forces.


This game or is it battle has gotten quite a bit of attention, for I have taken note of other versions of this game with boards and counters that are a bit larger and better detailed than the ones that accompany this game. More on this topic that when I get around to printing this version out and had had some time to review it.

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Count of Monte Christo by Alex Dumas

One of the titles on this periods reading list is The Count of Monte Christo by Alex Dumas. The Count of Monte Christo is one of the most interesting characters and novels I have ever read. This is my second reading of The Count of Monte Christo. This time in my reading I will be looking specific and particular facts that I might bring to light or expounded on. Some of the particularities I will be looking for are the people the count apposed, those he was a benefactor, the counts alias and impersonations, jewels he lavished on others, potions he concocted, his estimated worth, ships and priests that were mentioned, and the foreign lands he either visits or had been visited by the count. I will also be on the look-out for interesting quotes that I find interesting. 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Sword of Valhall, Battle Report

Although I might have misread the instructions for The Swordof Valhall, the game process seemed a bit redundant. To the best of my knowledge, here is how the game progresses. You start on the first hex and roll a die. Your roll is tied to the associated outcome under the correct table for the Rune you happened to be on.

For most of the Rune tables you must roll a two to move to the next Hex. The outcome, depend on the Rune symbol you are sitting on, you may be told to add an artifact to your inventory, or remove one from your inventory, ECT. There are five outcomes for each of the Runes.

What I found was that I was either adding an inventory point or losing one. This went on for several rolls until I rolled a two and was able to move on the next Hex. Although every table had its unique actions, the add one or remove one was constant on all of the tables.

Like I have already mentioned, perhaps I need to go back and revisit the instructions. I will give this game another go and perhaps if I added some miniatures to represent the explorers the game might be more interesting.


Monday, November 17, 2014

Details of my Hoards O’ Bits Order

I have received my last shipment of miniatures for this year. All of the miniatures are wonderful and I look forward to working on them. They will all will receive a base coat of either grey or black and await their turn for further detailing.

Miniature
Size
Description
Orc Arachnarok Spider- Trees
28mm
3 parts, some assembly required. Finely detailed.
Dreadfleet Graveyard Leech Wyrm
?
Small, but highly detailed sea monster.
Reaper Dark Heaven- Legends, Leprechaun and Owl
25mm
Nice 25mm miniature from Reaper Miniatures. This is my first “Rider” miniature. I need to revisit the Owls that were featured in my readings.
Island Of Blood
Skaven Poisoned Wind- Mortar
28m
6 parts and assembly is required.
Dreadfleet Grand Alliance & Dreadfleet Cogs ships
?
Very small, but a lot of detail here. These miniatures should be fun to detail.
Reaper Bits Aquatic Familiars, Walking Fish
25mm
I never opened one of the aquatic familiar packs from Reaper and it seems that I already own one of these miniatures. Well at least one of them will get some paint.


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Quotes from Jack London’s, A Son of the Sun #8

“’Hello, shipper!’ Narii called, when he was abreast of them. ‘Can I come aboard to get some breakfast?’ Captain Warfield’s face and neck began to swell and turn purple. He tried to speak, but choked. ‘For two cents-for two cents-‘was all he could manage to articulate."
Jack London’s, A Son of the Sun

Friday, November 14, 2014

Western Dragons: The Frost Dragon

The Frost Dragon range from the Arctic to Antarctica, the frost dragon fly’s thousands of miles in their migration to and from these regions. They create their lair or nests in caves facing the sea or in hollowed out glaciers or icebergs. The Frost dragon and grow up to 40 feet in length and up to 12 to 14 feet high.

The Frost Dragon has many of the same characteristics as its European cousin and can be found in the following colorization's: pure white, white tinged with blue or pink.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Quotes Jack London’s, A Son of the Sun #7

“The deck of the Malahini vibrated under the men’s feet. The taut-stretched halyards beat a tattoo against the masts, and all the rigging. As if smoke by some mighty hand, set up a wild thrumming.”
Jack London’s, A Son of the Sun

Western Dragons: The Knucker

The Knucker is another species of dragon that can found in Western Europe. The Knucker can grow up to 30 feet long by 3 to 6 feet high and is serpentine in appearance and like some serpents; it kills by injecting venom in to its victim. The Knucker has two vestigial wings, but cannot fly.

Knuckers can be found in damp woodland locations and make their homes in deep ponds or wells. You can imagine the horror of going out to your well and seeing a Knucker slithering up and out of your well.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Western Dragons: The European Dragon

Illustration of a winged dragon from a 1658 edition of Edward Topsell's The History of Four-footed Beasts and Serpents.
Wikipedia-Commons



















The European Dragon is the dragon that is commonly thought of when someone talks of Dragons. You know the flying and fire-breathing sort of dragon. This type of dragon is the stuff of legends and folklore. 

The European Dragon’s former range was throughout Western Europe. It commonly made its lair or nest in mountain or sea caves in remote regions.

The European Dragon could grow up to 45 feet long and 13 to 17 feet high. It was one of largest and one of the most feared of all species. This species of dragon could red, green, black, or sometimes gold. It had two great bat-like wings and did breathe fire. This attribute worked well for destroying its enemies as well as roasting its food.

This species only mated every few years and would fly great distances to attract and lure prospective suitors by leaving their spore and markings at intervals along the path toward their lairs.

Other prominent characteristics of the European Dragon are:

  • Arrowhead tail
  • Thick spines
  • Clawed talons
  • Scales
  • Horns
  • Fanged teeth
  • Large eyes that offered phenomenal sight.

As you can imagine; seeing a dragon with these attributes would put the fear into anyone. Yet there were those who for financial gain or just for the glory of it would attempt to slay the mighty dragon. See the story of Beowulf for instance. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Bombshell Miniatures MInE Bot

My Bombshell Miniatures 20mm MInE Bot has been completed. After being thoroughly tested here it waits for its first set of instructions. What tasks will it be best suited? It is anyone’s guess what type of tasks it will be tasked with eventually, but judging by the tools it has been fitted with, some industrial job might be a good fit.

Monday, November 10, 2014

My Last Order of Miniatures for 2014

This is my last order of miniatures for this year. Hoard O'Bits has received a second order from me and will probably receive at least another order sometime next year. Although Hoard O' Bits specializes in surplus Warhammer bits they also have a large collection of bits and miniatures from other manufacturers. This order, with what I already have on hand, should take me through the winter and possibly through part of spring.

Warhammer Bin Bits Orc Arachnarok Spider - Trees
Warhammer Bin Bits Island Of Blood - Skaven Poisoned Wind Mortar
Warhammer Dreadfleet Bin Bits - Graveyard - Leech Wyrm
Warhammer Dreadfleet Bin Bits - Grand Alliance & Dreadfleet Cogs
Warhammer Dreadfleet Bin Bits - Dice
Leprechaun and Owl - Reaper Dark Heaven Legends
Walking Fish - Reaper Bits Aquatic Familiars


Dragons by Location

The Complete Book of Dragons lists several dragon species by location. Dragons are said to have lived in many different locations and habits around the world. The following species are mentioned by location.

Western

European
Kucker
Frost

Eastern

Tibetan
Lindworms
Asian Lung
Chinese Lung

In addition to those mentioned there were other species which included:

  • Wyvern-middle east and Africa
  • Amphithere-Western North and South America
  • Marsupial-Southern Australia, Tasmania, and New Zealand
I will be making posts on each of the dragons in upcoming posts.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Quotes from Jack London’s , A Son of the Sun #6

"The warm air was rich with perfume, and overhead, outlined against the stars, were fruit-burdened mangos, stately avocados trees, and slender-tufted palms."

Jack London's,  A Son of the Sun

Friday, November 7, 2014

The Sword of Valhalla














The Sword of Valhalla is a solo dungeon crawl game published by 8RadGames. The rules are very simple. You start with six inventory points and four explorers. The Artifact Track is used to keep track of the artifacts that you find along the way as you search for the prized Sword of Valhalla. Artifacts are sold when your inventory points run low. The four explorers represent four lives. If a turn starts with 0 explorers or inventory points you lose the game.

There are three actions for each turn: Roll, React, and Resolve. There are four rune symbols used on the map, for each turn you move one space on the map. You then roll one dice to roll against the rune symbol that matches the one you are on. You may use any one of the three actions to modify or change the result of your roll.

Actions Table
Action
Costs
Result
Nudge
1 Inventory Point
May move up or down 1 place for every inventory point spent
Re-roll
1 Inventory Point
Re-roll the result once per point spent
Camp
1 Inventory Point
Sell Artifacts from Artifact Track
1 Artifact buys 1 Inventory Point
2 Artifact buys 1 Explorer











There aren’t any games pieces, three dice are used instead. One is placed on the number six on the Artifacts table, one is used as a token representing one explorer, and the other with the number four up represents the four lives you start the game with. Instead you could use coins or buttons to present an explorer and the number of artifacts you currently have in your inventory.

                                                                

What is on the Docket this Weekend?

Not that I expect to get to all of these game this weekend, but I do want to give The Sword of Valhalla game a try. I also want to get a handle on The Malta Convey and Utopia Engine game rules. These two dice and pen and paper games look intriguing.
  • The Sword of Valhalla, 1 person print and play dungeon crawl board game
  • The Malta Convey, 1 person print and play WWII dice and pen and paper game
  • Utopia Engine, 1 person print and play science fiction themed dice and pen and paper game

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Quotes from Jack London’s , A Son of the Sun #5

“I’ve done some sailing myself, and this naming a craft when its sail is only a blur, or naming a man by the sound of his anchor-its-its unadulterated poppycock.”

 Jack London’s, A Son of the Sun

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Lost Treasure and Morey Eel

I own a couple sets of Reapers familiar packs. I completed these two pieces some time ago. I believe they turned out very nicely and look forward to completing a few more from my collection. The Moray eel can be found in Reapers 02948: Familiar Pack VII or comes bundled with a Dragon Fish, order # P02948B.
The treasure chest is also a Reaper miniature; sorry that I don’t have an part order number for this one.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Airships

Dirigible Airships Compared 

                with 

     Related Aerostats




















From a turn of the 20th century encyclopedia.
See page for author [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

It has been a while since I posted anything labeled “Airships”. I was looking through Games Vault’s online war games offerings and found an Avalon Games expansion set for their Land Ships mini game. I put the game on my Wish List and I will be ordering this expansion along with later very soon. At any rate, that got me thinking about airships. A quick search brought up several airship hits including the “Dirigible Airships” illustration and the following “TheAirship and Futurism: Utopian Visions of the Airship” article, published by Airships.net. 

Ships Mentioned in A Son of the Sun

These are the ships that were mentioned within London’s, A Son of the Sun. These ships, for the most part were sailing ships, plied the South Seas and found trade among the peoples and islands of the South Pacific.

Ship

Type

Berthe

Steamer

Billy

?

Cactus

?

Castor

Steamship

Dorset

Schooner

Emily L No.3

Schooner

Francini

?

Gunga

?

Kittiwake

?

Lancaster

?

Magpie

?

Mala

?

Malahini

?

Mariposa

?

Merry

Ketch

Molly

?

Nuhiva

?

Papara

?

Perry

?

Rattler

Schooner

Roberto

?

Suwanne (ACW)

Warship

Tahaa

?

Toerau

Cutter

Uncle Toby

Schooner

Valetta

?

Wanda

Ketch

Willi-Waw

?

Wonder

Ketch

Monday, November 3, 2014

O My Lair, a Free Print and Play Dungeon Crawl Game

O My Lair is solo dungeon crawl game from the folks at Experimental Playground. This is another dungeon crawl game I have added to my list of dungeon crawl games. You are a dungeon master. You hear of a hero from one your subjects, which is said to be coming to depose of you. To protect your dominion from this upstart you will use all the resources you can conjure up, and the likes lizard man, golem, and the Cyclops. You and you cohorts will do whatever it takes to destroy this “hero” and keep a hold of your domain.


This game with larger counters actually looks like it will be fun to play. The game comes complete with a board, counters, and instructions on how to play.  

Quotes from Jack London’s , A Son of the Sun #4

“All that he (Brown) had ever gleaned from books proclaimed indubitably the faun-likeness of this visitant from the deep. “But a sad faun.”  Was the young man’s judgment, as the golden-brown woods god strode forward to where David Grief sat…”

Jack London’s,  A Son of the Sun

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Projects for November

Last month, I seem to have gotten side-tracked with more than a few Print and Play games. I have been busy cutting out game boards and counters. I have eleven Print and Play games that are ready for play. I have few more that I would like to prepare, one of those is listed as a project this month. I did complete two of my projects from last month. My other miniature from last month only needs finishing touches. Here is my list for this month.
  1. Give the one mini (old gentleman) from last month its finishing touches
  2. Paint baby Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and Angel from Ykreol Nativity set
  3. Paint two dead trees from Imex 1/72 Alamo Accessories Set
  4. Cut and paste counters fronts & backs, for The Battle of Lobositz game

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Another View of Shal-Bala, a Sea Dragon

Shal-Bala, is a Sea Dragon and is feared by all those who ply the sea lanes of the world. I published a version of this image sometime ago and have had this image sitting in an assets folder since then. The image was manipulated in an image editing program called Gimp. I thought it fitting to publish this image, another view of Shal-Bala this month when we celebrate all that is ghoulish.  It is said that Shal-Bala is a pet of Davy Jones, but of cause I can substantiate that claim.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Two Card Games Featuring Witches and Bad Grandmas

Were you under the impression that Witches and Grandmas are one of the same? Shame on you. Both of the following games come from Good Little Games and are of the Print and Play verity. I labeled this post with a horror label more for the Bad Grandmas game than the Witch Hunt game. Some of the expressions of the Grandmas are truly horrifying. 





















Witch Hunt is card game for three to six players. “The game is played over a series of rounds, until at least one player earns 5 points. In each round, the Villagers try to find the Witches, and the Witches try to stay hidden. You gain points for finding Witches and by keeping your identity hidden.”




















Bad Grandmas is a two player game and a bit like the game of war. Cards are revealed in pairs and whoever has the highest strength after modifiers have been factored in gains points. When all fourteen cards have been played the player with most points wins the game.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Six Solo Print and Play Dungeon Crawl Games

The Last Case prints out on three 11" x  8.5" sheets of paper
















To get you in the right frame of mind for the upcoming wonderfully ghoulish season here are six Dungeon Crawl Games you can play all by yourself; since no one wants to be with you any longer because of all of your mischievous eccentricities.

Adventure in My Pocket

“A powerful Djinnhave has brought darkness upon the world. You need to search through the darkness for Nightland and find the Djinn Relic. Carry the Relic into the light and cast it into the Sea of Dreams before the month is out.” The game includes 16 Darkness and Light tiles, 9 Field Note cards, and 1 Attack and Endurance statistics card.

Escape of the Dead

This is a pocket sized game that could also fit in an Altoids tin and comes complete with three cards with backs, and six paper Zombies. The art on the game components are fantastic and the rules are easy to understand so you can be playing within minutes.

Battle of Gimleys Mine

Although somehow I missed this games back-story, I have read the game rules through twice. This is a quick and very easy solo game where you chose to be the attacker, an army of skeletons that is being driven by their undead leader Roschild, that are out to kill all that live and work in the nearby town, farm, and mine or you can choose to be the defender and try to fight the demon energized skeletal hordes. The game uses a set of rules and up to three dice. This actually looks like it may be fun to play.  I have more to add about this game and will be giving a battle report as soon as I have completed playing either side of this solo game.


Tombs: The Sword of Valhalla

This is another one page solo dungeon crawl game and is a bit more complicated than the Battle of Gimleys Mine. The link will take you to a page where you can choose a low link (black and white) version or a color version. The graphics are wonderful in either version.  To save on my color toner, I printed my copy out in black and am very satisfied with the result. As the title alludes to you are looking for the prized Sword of Valhalla, but along the way you find other artifacts. This is another game I am looking forward to playing and will be making another post of this game.

1 Page Dungeon

I am at a loss here. Where do I get started? Anyone out their have any ideas?

The Last Case

In this game six investigators visit an old house in order to investigate a strange case. After they enter the house, they realize that the house is cursed and they can't go back. You have to fight against events like sudden death and fire that comes out of nowhere. To win you collect clues and stash them under the well. You will have to make a deal with the devil, but in the end, you will lose your life anyway.

Although the rules for his game are included on the three sheets of illustrations they are rather cryptic and sparse however, this game seems to be very intriguing. 

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Monsters and Demons

Here are two links to ghoulish minis just in time for Halloween. With this post I have instituted a new label: horror. The horror label with be used to identify all things wonderfully ghoulish and horrid.

  1. Splintered Light Minis is offering their sets of 15/18mm Dungeon Encounters miniatures at a reduced price. These miniatures would be great for your dungeon crawl or RPG games. Splintered Light is also offering a set of 15/18mm Lizard men at a considerable discount.
  2. Twilight Creations is offering their Demons from Dante’s Inferno. There are 21 demons in 6 different poses. These miniatures are very close to 1/72 scale. You can get a comparative here, that shows the miniatures against measurements in the background.( Scroll down a bit on the page to find the piece on Twilight Creations)

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Battle of Greenbier River-Battle Report

The Battle of Greenbrier River, also known as the Battle of Camp Bartow, took place on October 3, 1861 in Pocahontas County, Virginia between the Confederate and Union troops. The Battle of Greenbrier River is a game for two players. Each player sets-up their markers on the board in their historic positions.

It took us a considerable amount of time to set all the markers on their respective places on the game board. Most of the confederate forces are behind earth works which adds a 1 to their defense values and are on the opposite side of the river than the Union forces.

There are no dice being used in this game, but there is a Battle of Greenbier River points system. Unless you were able to mass your units it made making attacks for the confederate army impractical. In addition, if the confederate troops decide to stay behind their defensive positions the Union forces must cross the only bridge to attack the entrenched confederate forces. Union forces would be bottled necked on the bridge and open to artillery and infantry fire.

Combat Results Chart
Difference
Result
4>
The unit you are attacking disintegrates, remove it from the board.
3
The unit you are attacking runs at full speed behind them.
2
The unit you are attacking runs at full speed behind them.
1
The unit moves back one.
0
No Effect
-1
The attacking unit moves back one.
-2
The attacking unit runs at full speed back towards their HQ.
-3
The attacking unit runs at full speed back towards their HQ.
-4>
The unit attacking you disintegrates, remove it from the board.

We just did not care for the point system. We played two rounds and decided that we should come up with a better points system.

The Battle of Greenbrier River a Print and Play Game

The Battle of Greenbrier River took place on October 3rd, 1861 near Bartow, West Virginia. The battle between Confederate and Union forces was a limited engagement.

The Battle of Greenbrier River zip download contains the games print and play components for this historic battle. The game hex board is about the size of an 8.5 by 11 sheet of paper. There are twenty-nine counters representing sixteen and thirteen Union and Confederate units respectively. There are Infantry, Cavalry and Artillery units for each side.

The markers are placed in numbered hex boxes that represent beginning positions for each side. Each counter includes the size of the unit. III being regimental strength, II means it is a battalion, while an I represents a company, or battery. There are also movement, firing, and the strength of the unit factors.

Fran and I have played this game and I will be posting the battle report of our first attempt of this battle shortly.


Other Resources

Library of Congress Map of the Battle Ground of Greenbrier River

Battle of Greenbrier River Wiki

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Four Historical Print and Play Games I am Looking Forward to Playing

These games represent three periods in history, the American Civil War, The Spanish and American War, and the Second World War. These games include all the necessary components, such as game board, unit tokens and instructions.  All four games are turned based and with one or one and a half pages of rules are easy to learn and play.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Quotes from Jack London’s , A Son of the Sun #3

“His was the golden touch, but he played the game, not for the gold, but for the game's sake. It was a man's game, the rough contacts and fierce give and take of the adventurers of his own blood and of half the bloods of Europe and the rest of the world, and it was a good game; but over and beyond was his love of all the other things that go to make up a South Seas rover's life—the smell of the reef; the infinite exquisiteness of the shoals of living coral in the mirror-surfaced lagoons; the crashing sunrises of raw colors spread with lawless cunning; the palm-tufted islets set in turquoise deeps; the tonic wine of the trade-winds; the heave and send of the orderly, crested seas; the moving deck beneath his feet, the straining canvas overhead; the flower-garlanded, golden-glowing men and maids of Polynesia, half-children and half-gods; and even the howling savages of Melanesia, head-hunters and man-eaters, half-devil and all beast.” 

Chapter 3, A Son of the Sun

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Forbidden Desert Equipment Cards




















Equipment cards are drawn when landing on tiles that indicate an equipment card. There are twelve equipment cards. These cards can only be played once during the game, you do not have to play these cards until the player deems it necessary, and equipment cards can be passed to other players that are on the same tile.

Although Forbidden Desert is not Steam Punk in nature, the equipment cards seem to represent Steam Punk to devices. What do you think?

There are six different types of equipment cards that can be brought into play. There are two Solar Shields. These cards allow the holder to ignore the effects of the Sun Beats Down cards, which would typically require the player to    intake from their water supply and tick their water supply down by one. 

There are two Terrascope cards. The Terrascope allows the holder peak under any unexcavated tile, in other words you may look what may be underneath accumulations of sand before actually excavating the tile.  

There are three Dune Blaster cards. The Dune Blaster is used to remove all sand from the tile the player is currently on or they remove all sand on an adjacent tile.

There are also three Jet Packs cards. These cards allow the barrier and one other player on that tile to move to any unblocked tile.

Lastly there are two Time Throttle and Secret Water Reserve cards. The Time Throttle cards allow the player to take two additional actions in their turn and the Secret Water Reserve cards provide all players on that tile with two additional rations of water. 


Friday, October 17, 2014

Quotes from Jack London’s , A Son of the Sun #2

“What's he doing here”? He (Griffiths) demanded of the mate, of the aching sea and sky, of the merciless blaze of the sun, and the whole super-heated and implacable universe with which his fate was entangled.”

 Chapter 1, A Son of the Sun, Jack London

Quotes from Jack London’s , A Son of the Sun #1

“Big rock-cod, dun and mottled played warily in and out of the coral. Other fish, grotesque of form and color, were brazenly indifferent, even when a big fish-shark drifted sluggishly along and sent the rock-cod scuttling for their favorite crevices.” 

Chapter 1, A Son of the Sun, Jack London

My Mid-Fall and Early Winter Reading List

A Son of the Sun is a sea story set in the turn of the last century in the South Pacific and I am just starting it. Just staring, but I have already found a couple few nice quotes, which I will be sharing very soon.

This is second reading of this story. The Count of Monte Christo is one of best novels I have read. This time through I will be looking specific and particular facts that  might be expounded on.

I have read a few of Burroughs works, but have yet to read this one. It was an interesting story along the fantasy lines.

This volume is related to another Collingwood’s stories about the “Flying Fish” a vessel that flew and was also was submersible.

Okay, I must admit that the title of this novel caught my eye and it begs to be read. This is my first novel by this author.The River of Death: A Tale of London in Peril is a short story and was good reading.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Battle of Manila Bay

Game Board is about the size of 8 1/2 x 11 sheet of paper















The Battle of Manila Bay is a Print and Play game for two players. The game depicts a battle between Spanish and American forces during the Spanish and American War. The PDF download comes with a hex-map, 67 counters, and a set of rules. There are markers for ten Spanish ships, three Spanish fortresses, nine American ships, and forty-five damage counters. You must supply twelve 6-sided dice.

Counters are placed on the board and the American forces move first and fire, followed by the Spanish forces. The US must destroy the Spanish fleet in fifteen turns. If the Spanish have more than four ships at the end of the game, then the US has failed.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A Treasure Map

Roger and Harry were stuck in a Spanish prison cell and knew that they were soon to be tortured in hopes that they may divulge the secret location of the treasure of Jose Leirja. The boys hoped to crack the cipher, memorize the location of the treasure, just in case they were able to make an escape, and destroy the only copy of the cipher which was held by them. They were able to crack the cipher and inscription read as follows:

Great worth of jewels, many emeralds and much gold…

Buried in deep hole under a stone. Iron ring cave.
Lonely inlet 75 degrees west by 20 degrees north.
North East end island Cuba.
Stone 14 paces, mouth 5 paces, right wall entering.