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
The unit you are attacking disintegrates, remove it from the board.
The unit you are attacking runs at full speed behind them.
The unit you are attacking runs at full speed behind them.
The unit moves back one.
No Effect
The attacking unit moves back one.
The attacking unit runs at full speed back towards their HQ.
The attacking unit runs at full speed back towards their HQ.
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.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Bombshell Miniatures 20mm Doom Bunny

Who would have known that a Zombie had fallen and was lying with its mouth wide open at the top of your borrow. The Zombie instinctively chomped down on the bunnies’ ear when the rabbit stuck its ear out to catch sound of anything that might have been lurking about.

The bunny quickly withdrew its head further into the burrow. It looked horrified on its now nibbled ear and did its best to keep what had happened from the youngsters. The bunny stayed put the rest of the day nursing its young and its ear.

It wasn’t unit the next day that the bunny got out of its burrow to feed. It was not until nightfall that the bunny returned to its nest to find all of her young ones missing. There was plenty of blood and fur leading up to the nest. It was obvious that the Zombies had made another appearance. The bunny picked up the very first defensive instrument it found, but everyone knows the only defense against a Zombie is offence. The bunny has not let that axe out of her paws since. 

Monday, October 13, 2014

The End to the Notorious Black Pearl

"Such was the end of the Black Pearl!  She had been a floating den of vice, murder, and every conceivable form of infamy, and now her lawless and adventurous career had terminated in her becoming a target for the guns of her avengers. Her career of murder and terror and destruction was ended at last, and the evil spirit of those seas was laid...

A few seconds later her stern was seen to lift high and her bows to point downward; steeper and steeper became the angle of her decks and then, with a slow forward movement that quickly became a diving rush, she plunged to the bottom, vanishing from their sight in a whirl and froth of water."

 Across the Spanish Main, Chapter 14, Harry Collingwood

Dragons by Habitat

According to the Complete Book on Dragonology, at one time there existed ten unique dragons that lived in the following habitats:

Marsupial Dragon

Prairie & Steppe
American Amphithere

Desert & Savanna

European Dragon
Asian Lung
Tibetan Dragon

Arctic Regions
Frost Dragon

Mexican Amphithere

What’s on Your Work Bench?

Although I have gotten sidetracked, as you might have noticed I have completed my 20mm Bombshell Miniatures Doom Bunny and I have made some head way on the other two projects for this month. I have also been cutting out markers for two of the Print and Play games I have had downloaded recently and hopefully will get to two others before an approaching game night.

I have already cut the markers out for the Battle of Greenbrier River, a civil war battle, and am in the process of cutting out makers for the Battle of Manila Bay, an American and Spanish War game. I also hope to cut out markers for Sink the Bismarck and the Battle of Lobositz. More about these particular games will follow.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons

The Dragonology: The Complete Book of Dragons book measures 10.25 wide by 12 high. Inside its covers you will find color images and illustrations, fold out booklets, notes and other adjunct elements. The book also includes touch and feel samples of “dragon skin”, packets of “magic dust” and other supplementary materials.

Although you cannot take all that is presented seriously, it was a fun book to look through and read. I will be sharing a few of my findings in upcoming posts.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Mithril’s 1/32 Lord of the Rings Miniatures

Mithril’s Lord of the Rings Miniatures is a source of limited run 1/32 figures depicting the characters found in the Lord of the Rings and the Hobbit; two of the three stories of the trilogy created by J.R.R. Tolkien. Mithril Miniatures produces a limited run of 2500 pieces of each character that will not be produced again.

My Late Summer and Early Fall Reading List, An Updated

I am reading my last novel from my  Late Summer and Early Fall Reading List. Across the Spanish Main, Harry Collingwood is a real swashbuckler and is story of two young gentleman looking to make a name for themselves while serving on the Stag Royal.

Starfish, Peter Watts
Maelstrom, Peter Watts
Behemoth, Peter Watts
Michael Strogoff or Curer for the Czar, Jules Verne
The Kite Runner, Khaled Hossini
Across the Spanish Main, Harry Collingwood
The Great Stone of Sardis, Frank R. Stockton

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

10 Board Games set in the Philippines

10 Board Games set in the Philippines lists ten board games that revolve around a setting in the Philippines. Although many of listed games are now out of print there are a few that can still be had. Most of the games are World War II themed; however the Battle of Manila Bay game is set during the Spanish and American War. The Battle of Manila Bay is a free print and play game.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Good Little Games

The Good Little Games site features eleven print and play micro card and tile games. Most of the games require multiple players; however the Muse game is a single player game. I haven’t downloaded all of the games, but for those I have the art work is wonderful and the games look like will be fun to play.

Most of the games do not require anything else except the included cards, with the exception of The Empire Engine and Pocket Imperium, which require 45 counters of three types, and markers. 

Friday, October 3, 2014

The Great Stone of Sardis and the Artesian Ray

The Artesian Ray was an instrument created by Roland Clewe and was one of Clewe’s pet projects.  Roland Clewe had put much of his hopes in this project. The Artesian Ray prototype was currently set up in his lens house and was constructed from masses of lenses, batteries, tubes, and coils. It was created to produce a new type of light.

If it proved effective it would illuminate and render everything its light passed through transparent. Its first test was quite successful and it created an effect for those who witnessed the phenomena where it seemed to open a hole in the earth that was several feet in diameter and deep. In fact, it had made the surface it illuminated transparent. 

The Great Stone of Sardis and the Submarine Dipsey

 The Dipsey is a submarine vessel, that is mentioned in The Great Stone of Sardis, by Frank R. Stockton. The novel was copyrighted in, 1897 and then again in 1899, by Harper & Brothers.  The vessel was built at the Roland Clewe works was currently traveling to the North Pole. Up this point all attempts of surface travel have not been successful, so Clewe has decided to send his submarine. Once the Dipsey arrives at the appointed location it was going to try to break through the ice and depending on the circumstances, either plant a flag or drop a buoy.

The Dipsey was a comparable small vessel, but could accommodate a dozen or more people and there was room onboard for stores for a year, plus reading materials, and instruments that might be useful for scientific experiments.

On her bow, her bottom, and on various places on her sides were heavy glass plates in which the occupants could view their surroundings. To make viewing easier and for navigation the Dipsey also had a powerful searchlight on her bow that allowed all to see a considerable distance. 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My First Robot Miniature and Isaac Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics"

Before I start my first robot miniature I thought it necessary to institute certain policies for this robot. What a better choice than Asimov's "Three Laws of Robotics".
  1. "A robot may not injure a human being or, through inaction, allow a human being to come to harm.
  2. A robot must obey orders given it by human beings except where such orders would conflict with the First Law.
  3. A robot must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Law. "
I, Robot is a collection of nine science fiction short stories by Isaac Asimov. I read I Robot many years ago, but I still remember how the text begins. The "Three Laws of Robotics" were presented at the very beginning. The nine stories that followed tell how things play out when a robot is confronted with situations that test these three laws. It is a very interesting treatise on the topic.

Projects for October

Fall is upon us and winter and the New Year will be here before you know it. (I’ve already started to make plans for new projects for the New Year.) It is time to squirrel way books, movies, and projects for those long winter days. The list is short again this month; however I still have projects from previous months that need finishing touches.

1. Bombshell Miniatures 20mm post- apocalyptic bunny
2. Bombshell Miniatures MInE Bot 20mm robot
3. Complete one of the “Old” gentlemen that are on my workbench