Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Playing Cards Odds and Ends

History of Playing Cards
The History of Playing Cards site offers insight into the history of playing cards. This interesting site offers information on the history, popular card games by country, Joker designs, producers, collecting, and the different types of decks that are available.
Alphabetical Index of Card Games
Like the name implies, this site offers an alphabetical list of popular card games. The site also offers the following special card games:
  • Commercial games (games requiring a special pack of cards produced by a single manufacturer)
  • Solitaire / Patience games (games for one player)
  • Invented games (newly created games and variations contributed by readers)
Bicycle Card Homepage
Although there are other brands of cards, one of the more popular brands of playing cards are Bicycle cards. The site offers information about Bicycle’s brands of cards and there is an online app that will help you choose an appropriate card game for the company you have and tells you how the game is played.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Escaped from Kotir, Gonff’s Song

As the troop of woodlanders were marching back from the fortress of Kotir with Martin and Gonff, Gonff played his hornpipe and danced about and sang this song:

"I’m a mouse with a very long tail,
With a heart and voice to match.
I’ve escaped from the pussycats goal.
They’ll find me hard to catch.
So, away, through the grass, the flowers and leaves,
Like smoke on the breeze, the Prince of Thieves.
Lets cheer for the day when we will see,
The Mossflower country safe and free."

(Mossflower, 69)

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Gonff’s Escape Song

After having the necessary tools smuggled into the prison, Gonff played his flute and sang another of his improvised songs:

“Pickalock, pickalock, you’ll regret the day,
When you took a mousethief and locked him away.
Sillycat, look at that, its two for one.
The thief and the warrior,
By dawn will be gone.”

(Mossflower, 50)

(It is fortunate that none of guards heard Gonff’s song.)

It should be noted that the pair had over slept and did not start their escape until way after dawn. They were still able to affect their escape, but along the way out of the castle the two mice ran right into Tsarmina Greeneyes, the wild cat and purported ”Lady of the Thousand Eyes, Slayer of Enemies, Ruler of Kotir, Conqueror of all Creatures.” If it had not been some quick action by Martin the two might not had realized their escape.

Gonff’s Prison Song

Gonff had been apprehended by the soldiers of Kotir for his thefts of their stores. This is another song sung by Gonff, the mouse thief, after being thrown into a cell with Martin the warrior.

“I knew a mouse in prison here,
More than a hundred years,
His whiskers grew along the ground,
And right back to his ears.
His eyes grew dim, his teeth fell out,
His fur went silver-gray,
‘If my granddad were here,
‘I wonder what he’d say?’ ”

(Mossflower, 38)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cloudship Atlantis RPG

Cloudship Atlantis is a Steampunk Role Playing Game

Atlantis is Victorian city that floats above a barren wasteland called Terra Firma. There are two classes living on the Cloudship Atlantis, the Humbles and the Gentry. The Humbles are born into servitude. The Humbles are born and live below in the bow of the airship, and they work stoking the fire of the boiler and servicing the boiler, the Humbles mine coal, and make sure that they keep Atlantis’s air sacks inflated. The Gentry live in luxury above the bow where the air blows cool. “Gentry are tall, educated and haughty. Appearance, decorum and social status is all important.”

You and a fellow Humble escape from the bows of the cloud ship. Perhaps it was done on a whim, or because of a wager. Perhaps you just wanted to see and experience how the other half lives. At any rate you make it above the desks and now you need to ensure that you stay there.

The Cloudship Atlantis RPG was written by Dr. Robert Lang, back in 2009 for the RPG’s Blog 24 hour Competition.

A Comprehensive Cloudship Atlantis Review

Monday, July 21, 2014

The Battle of the Coral Sea

The Battle of the Coral Sea site offers an interactive animated map and timeline of the four day battle between the Imperial Japanese Navy and Allied forces. The Battle of the Coral Sea did not go to well for the allies where the US lost the Lexington Aircraft Carrier, a destroyer, an oiler, and the Aircraft Carrier Enterprise sustained heavy damages.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Two Interesting Science Fiction Novels

Recently, while browsing the Feedbooks site I came across two interesting science fiction titles. Although I have read a lot of this genre, it has been while since I had done so and I was searching for something different and found these two titles:

The Defenders, Philip K. Dick (epub)
The Defenders, Philip K. Dick (LibriVox)

The Defenders is short story by Philip K. Dick. “No weapon has ever been frightful enough to put a stop to war--perhaps because we never before had any that thought for themselves

Starfish, Peter Watts (epub)

“A huge international corporation has developed a facility along the Juan de Fuca Ridge at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean to exploit geothermal power. They send a bio-engineered crew--people who have been altered to withstand the pressure and breathe the seawater--down to live and work in this weird, fertile undersea darkness.”


Saturday, July 19, 2014

Another Song of Gonff

Gonff was heard singing this song as he skipped through the flowering woodlands with a "heavy intoxication of springtime" or was he intoxicated form the elderberry wine?

"Cuckoo, cuckoo, good day, my friend, to you.
O sly one you know best,
To lay in others nest.
But I am smarter, sir than you.
Cuckoo, my friend cuckoo."

Mossflower, 35

Forbidden Desert Adventures Cards

There are six Adventurer cards. Each player receives one of these cards. The cards provide two purposes. One, they provide a method of viewing a players health, that is to say how much water they have on hand and the card also provides the player with an unique character. Each character has attributes that add some value to the game and to the other players


The Archeologist can remove two sand markers from any single tile for one action. That is double the amount of sand ordinarily can be removed from a tile.


The Climber may move to a blocked tile, which is a tile with two or more sand makers on it and may take one other player with him. Players on the Climbers tile are never buried and may leave the tile even if the tile has two or more sand markers on the tile. Normally when there are two or more sand markers on a tile, the player would have to dig their out before being able to move to another tile.


The Explorer may move, remove sand and use the Dune Blaster diagonally. The Dune Blaster is used to remove all sand from a tile.


The Meteorologist may choose to pick-up one less Storm Cards then is required, or may choose to spend one of their actions looking at the top Storm Cards, equal to the storm level and may play one of these cards on the bottom of the deck.


The Navigator may move another player up to three unblocked tiles per action. The Navigator may move the Explore diagonally, and can move the Climber through blocked tiles. When moved this way the Climber can also take one player along, including the Navigator.

Water Carrier

The Water Carrier starts with five rations of water instead of four. The Water Carrier can take two water rations from excavated wells as one action and the Water Carrier can give players on adjacent tiles water at any time as a free action.

Friday, July 18, 2014

A Poem for Gonff

“Across the lea, beneath the leaves,
When country lands wake up to spring.
Hurrah, here comes the Prince of Thieves,
Hear every small bird sing,
So daring and so handsome too,
He makes a wondrous sight,
But if he comes to visit you,
Lock up your treasure tight.”


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Hoard O' Bits

I recently came across a site that deals in surplus Games Workshop Warhammer bits. Some of the brands that Hoard O' Bits carries are Battletech, Dreadfleet, Dreamforge, Hobbit, Wargames Factory, Warhammer,Warhammer 40k, Pegasus Hobbies, and FireForge. Some of the types of bits that Hoard O' Bits carries are Board Game Bits, Buildings, Creatures, Terrain, Weapons, and Monsters.

While I was visiting the site the other day I purchased three Dreadfleat islands. I thought I might try to make use of these islands with my Pirates of Mysterious Islands miniatures. I also purchased a Warhammer Powder Monkey and a Garden Of Morr - Main Gate.

There were more than a few items that caught my eye, but at the time of my visit were temporary out of stock. I created an account with Hoard O' Bits and I will be contacted when the following items are back in stock: Female Sorceress, The Hobbit Goblin King, and a Small Shack.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Building from Styrene

In the past I have featured articles that described how people used styrene plastic to construct things. It is very easy to create all types of things out of styrene. I hope to post my own article on how to build a corrugated shed very soon. At any rate here are three articles that explain the process.

Styrene Sheets, Basic Building Material for Smaller Scales

This is a very basic article. The article describes how to work with Styrene, how it can be purchased, and how to finish it.

Modeling Basics: Working with Model Styrene

The author give the reader an overview of what styrene is and the forms it can be purchased. He goes on to describe what is needed to work with Styrene. The author includes images of some of the things that he has created using Styrene.

Building things out of Polystyrene

This article explains how the author, using drawing and real specifications created a “4-inch” AK-47 out of laminates of plastic sheet. The article is pretty detailed and the completed model superb.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Song of Gonff

Gonff a citizen of Mossflower and mouse thief had just lifted cheese and elderberry wine from the larder of Koter. As he ate and drank he became merry and sang this song:

“The Prince of Mouse thieves honors you,
To visit here this day.
So keep your larder door shut tight,
Lock all your food away.
O foolish ones, go check your store
Of food so rich and fine.
Be sure that I’ll be back for more,
Especially this wine.”


Monday, July 14, 2014

Forbidden Desert Order of Play and Player Actions

There are two basic actions required from each player:

  1. Take up to four actions
  2. Draw Storm cards equal to the Sand Storm level

The actions that a player may make are:

  • Move
  • A player may move on tile up, down, left, or to the right, but cannot move diagonally, to a blocked tile, that is a tile with two or more sand markers on it, or into a sand storm (that is a empty tile)
  • Remove Sand
  • The player may remove one sand marker per turn
  • Excavate
  • If a tile no longer contains any sand markers the player excavate the tile by turning the tile over city side up
  • Pick Up a Part
  • The tile must be free from any sand before the player can claim the part. The part is set before the player. Once all four parts have been excavated, rush to the Launch Pad, assemble the flying machine and take off to win!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Finding Purpose for my Splintered Light Miniatures

There are many scenarios that these mice could be brought into. The Redwall series includes several mice, and The Chronicles of Narnia features two mice. The Redwall series and The Chronicles of Narnia both include many situations that could be used to create a skirmish game. In addition, Mutants and Machine-Guns’ RPG makes use of evolved animals. Evolved animals, I believe, would walk on their hind legs and be able to wield a sword or some other weapon.

Mice of Redwall

There are many notable and a few notorious characters within the pages of Redwall. Some of the most noteworthy are its mice citizens. Mice have been inhabitants of Redwall since the beginning. "In Redwall mice have always been considered good creatures; Redwall's founding fathers, Abbots, and its Abbesses have been mice."

While the majority of the mice have been peaceful and devoted to their vespers there have been a few notable exceptions. Martin, Matthias, and Luke were warrior mice and protected the abbey and its inhabitants from harm.

Here are eight notable mouse characters that are found within the Redwall series:

Friday, July 11, 2014

Further Up and Further In

“And the sea in the mirror or the valley mirror, were in one sense just the same as the real ones, yet at the same time they were somewhat different-deeper, more wonderful, more like places in a story: in a story you have never heard but very much want to know.”

Further Up and Further In, The Last Battle, The Chronicles of Narnia.

Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Mice of Narnia

Mice in Narnia did not always speak. Aslan gave speech to the mice after they had loosened the cords that the White Witch used to bind Aslan. There are only two notable mice mentioned in any detail in the Chronicles of Narnia.

Reepicheep is the Chief mouse and was knighted for his brave and dedicated service. Reepicheep one the most beloved characters in the Chronicles of Narnia was featured in the following volumes of the Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and The Last Battle.

Reepicheep has dark (almost black) fur. He stands about two feet tall, and walks on his hind legs. While voyaging to the end of the world on the Dawn Treader, Reepicheep decided to stay behind in Aslan’s country.

Peepiceek is the other notable mouse in Narnia, and was second in command of the Narnian mice. Later because of the absence of Reepicheep, Peepiceek became the leader of the Narnian mice.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The Wrap-up of Narnia

Now that Aslan is wrapping up Narnia and the story is coming to a close I am feeling a bit sad about its coming to an end. I feel as if I have been on a very journey with a group of friends. Friends that have grown close through many adventures and experiences we have shared.

When returning from a long journey you do feel glad about getting home and getting caught up with friends and family, but there is a part of you that doesn’t come home. You have changed. You have been through the thick and thin. You see everything through a new set of eyes. The old has past and a new world has dawned for you. The Chronicles of Narnia is like that.

The seven books (novelettes) that make up the Chronicles of Narnia is an adventure that is seen through the eyes of the participating children from this world and the Narnian animals. Each novelette builds upon the last. The story and its adventures feature many aspects of Narnia and its creator Aslan. Aslan was the king of kings and always made things right. Whom more than Aslan has the right to bring Narnia to a close?

“All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on forever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”

Farewell to Shadowlands, The Last Battle, The Chronicle of Narnia.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Horse in Numenor are Honored

“In Numenor all journeyed from place to place on horseback, for in riding the Numenoreans, both men and woman, took delight, and all the people of the land loved horses, treated them honorable and housed them nobly. The horses were trained to hear and answer calls from great distances and it is said that they could be summoned at need by thought alone."

A Description of Numenor, Unfinished Tales, J.R.R. Tolkien

28mm Bretonnian Horse

My Games Works 28mm Bretonnian Horse is complete. I still do not have a place for this miniature, but eventually it will be used in some scene. This miniature went together easily.

Recently, I went back through a few of my earlier posts and added a “horse” label. It really is a lot easier to add the appropriate labels as you go, but sometimes I don’t have enough foresight as to the needs of posts in the future.

Monday, July 7, 2014

A Song of Matthias

Looking through my notes on my readings of Redwall I found this song, which really is more a riddle than anything else. This song was sung by Matthias, the warrior mouse, to the King Bull Sparra, after the King had a collar put on Matthiases neck. The mouse, as he danced around singing his improvised song was thought to be crazy by the King and his attendants, but the song was telling of how things really stood. Bull Sparrow would soon be deposed by his sister and the sparrows would become allies of the Redwall abbey.

“Up higher than before,
I’m near the roof indeed,
The King gave me a collar,
His sister holds the lead.”

Saturday, July 5, 2014

RPG’s and Twenty-Sided Dice

I have been reading through several RPG’s and realized I will need a few sets of twenty-sided dice. The d20 (twenty-sided dice) mechanic is a role-playing game system that was first published in 2000 by Wizards of the Coast. I came across the GM DICE site that offers dice of all sorts. GMDice also offers miniatures for RPG play and several games.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Mariners are Men of two Minds

Now Almarian, the queen of Numenor asked her son Aldarion. "Must you depart again"? Almarian said this because the king was getting along in years and had hoped his son, being his only heir, would soon take over as the king. Queen Almarion continued. "Is there nothing that will hold you in this fairest of all mortal lands?"

"Not yet", Aldarion answered, "but there are fairer things in Armenelos than a man could find elsewhere, even in the land of the Eldar. But mariners are men of two minds, at war with themselves, and the desire of the Sea still holds me."

Aldarion and Erendis, Unfinished Tales, J.R.R. Tolkien

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Great Pacific Volume 1: Trashed! A Graphic Novel

Graphic novels have a few advantages over the traditional comic books. Graphic novels use high quality glossy paper, high resolution graphics, versus the low res used in traditional comic books. In addition, graphic novels have a plot and usually a decent story line.

This is the second graphic novel I have read, the first being The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, which had a great plot and included well known characters, such as Captain Nemo, Allan Quatermain, Dr. Jekyll and Hawley Griffin, and the Invisible Man. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen also had some outstanding graphics.

Great Pacific is a science fiction thriller. The main protagonist Chas Worthington sets off to the great Pacific garbage patch with his personal assistant and a prototype of his Hydrocarbon Remediation Operation device (HERO). The Hero device can convert oil and oil by products into water vapor.

As I have alluded to Great Pacific has a great plot and includes Pacific Islanders, Pirates, a giant octopus, and United States Navy seals, as Worthington's antagonists.

The ending of Volume One leaves you in suspense as nuclear weapon is detonated by, I believe some Pacific Islanders.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Projects for July

Half the year has passed and I am so far behind in completing my miniatures. I purchase new items faster than I can complete them. As a fellow blogger has recently mentioned it is the collecting that is more than half the fun of this hobby.

Creating a project list seemed to work last month. I completed three out of the four projects that I had designated for the month of June. Perhaps I should have stuck with three projects instead of the four, so this month I have only designated three projects for the month of July.

I have brought the incomplete project forward to this month list.

  1. Assemble and paint one 28mm Persian miniature
  2. Assemble and paint the 28mm Games Workshop Bretonnian Horse
  3. Complete painting two Splintered Light mice miniatures

These projects may be completed in any order, as the mood strikes.