Tuesday, April 03, 2018

Adepticon 2018 Recap


I survived Adepticon 2018 and it was an interesting show to say the least. I flew out the Wednesday before everything started to help set up the CAV Strike Ops booth with the Talon Crew (Jon, Nate Luke and Myself). Jon of Talon Games had built a new booth for this show and it looked awesome! It was big, bright and full of all kinds of CAV Strike Ops love, what more could a CAV player want!

Another view of our Awesome Looking Booth!
Our goal was to make a splash with the booth and Jon and Nate would operate the booth while Luke and myself would run the big CAV Strike Ops game throughout the weekend. But do to some miscommunication with the Adepticon crew, they had scheduled the big game for a solid 6 hour block. We wanted it to be set up so that players could cycle into the game every two hours, that way folks could play in other games or attend classes. But with it showing for a 6 hour block, no one wanted to sign up for a 6 hour game. So instead we ran folks through demos of the game and kept score of the folks that did the most kills.

Large board for the Big Game/demos

As for Adepticon itself, it had a strange vibe to it this year, I really can't put my finger on it as to what felt different though. Maybe it was because I was in a different role this time as a vendor, maybe its been a few years since I last attended. But I did meet up with a bunch of friends that I have made throughout the years and it was also very good to catch up. I have always stated that Adepticon is a great place to build new friendships over our hobby.

Some of my haul this year!
Now, with being a vendor this time around, I had early access to the vendor haul, so once we got our booth set up, I started wandering around looking at all the cool vendors. Fantasy Flight was there in Force with all the Star Wars games including Legions that released while I was there. Two of the companies that I knew i would spend money with was Pulp Figures (which I did spend about $85.00 with!) and Knuckleduster Miniatures which I bought about $80.00 in minis from them. I also picked up a few Blood Eagle models from Footsore miniatures for myself and a few friends. I also picked up a few terrain items from Death Ray Designs for Drunkensaumari.

Chicago Deep Dish Pizza!

As mentioned above, I did get a chance to make the rounds and see a few games that were being hosted at the event. One in particular was the new Fallout miniature game. I couldn't get any good pictures due to the amount of folks around the table. It did look pretty cool, but I noticed that it uses specialty dice much like Fantasy Flight games for Star Wars. This seems to be a trend I am noticing in the game world. I also got to see the new Blood Red Skies WW2 game from Warlord, it looks interesting but with so many new games coming out, I really can't seem to get to excited about buying. There is just only so many games one can actually get to the table in a year and I am not sure I am ready to jump into a new game right now.

One last thing, Jon Walker of Talon Games and his two boys, Nate & Luke were awesome to be around all weekend. Jon seems to know most of the vendors and I got to meet and hang out with a few of them, especially Ed from Reaper (who owns the company). So it was rather interesting to hear how other vendors deal with this hobby of ours and I got to see behind the current of the game industry.

So overall, the show was good, not great like it had been in years past, but overall it was good. I do believe that Adepticon is changing as more big game companies come on board with Adepticon. It seems that this con is now looking to expand into the realms of Gencon status as it grows larger every year. So if you have never been to Adepticon, go, it is an experiance, but as a long time traveler to Adepticon, I may not be back for sometime. It really depends if Talon Games goes back and they need me for the trip to help out again. But I think my days of going as a gamer are just about done, it was still an expensive trip for me even with the help of Talon Games.


Monday, March 12, 2018

Heading back to Chicago!

So, in just about 9 days I will be boarding a flight and heading back to Adepticon 2018 in Chicago. But this time I will be going as an actual vendor this time with Talon Games for CAV Strike Operations.

I will bet there running demos, working the booth and running the large game that we will be putting on for the event. It will be nice to see some of my Chicago friends again as it has been about two or three years since I was last out. So if you are a fan of this blog, stop by and say Hi or better yet get in a demo of CAV Strike Operations with me!

I of course will be taking tons of pictures of all the fun and of course will be doing some shopping while there as the list of vendors is pretty large. So stay tuned for more updates here.


Thursday, March 01, 2018

Video Games are bad...

For me anyway,

Here is why, they sometimes inspire me to paint things I haven't painted in years! So a little back story may be needed, so as some know, I have for the past 9 years I have run Saguaro Painting Service. Well after painting countless miniatures for others, I decided to retire my brush and get back to painting for myself.

But now with nothing pressing on my bench for the first time in 9 years, what would I paint? So I did what I think most painters do, I flopped down in front of my TV and started playing some good old fashion video games on my PS3 (Don't judge, I love my PS3!) One game that I got a few Christmas's ago was Shadow of Mordor.

Now when you run a successful painting business, you do not have time for such luxuries as playing video games, there is always a commission that has to be painted (or something for the house, or wife or...). So while looking through my games, I decided to drop in Shadow of Mordor and spend some quality time hunting Orcs!

Well first off I have to say this is an awesome game and I am enjoying it very much. (Makes me want to go buy a PS4 for the new game in the series). But something foul started to take seed, I didn't realize it at first and I should have seen it sooner. But after the first night, of playing, I went and dugout and old Reaper Dragon that I have had lying around waiting to be assembled and painted.

Big ass Dragon from Reaper, that's a 6"x 6" tile he is sitting on!
So out came this dragon and after hunting orcs, I spent about an hour cleaning it up and assembling it. It felt very good to go and dig this model out and start working on it, I had no plan, but it just felt right. This should have been the first clue to me that evil was taking root inside of me, but I thought nothing of it.

Well a few more nights of hunting orcs with Shadow of Mordor and I had this idea of painting up some orcs. Why? I can not tell you, but that is how evil works my friends, there is no rhyme or reason to it, it just happens! So yesterday I went into to my game closet and grabbed a box of miscellaneous Lord of the Rings models that were waiting to be assembled and painted. This should have been my second clue that something evil was afoot, but alas I did not see it.

It smells like orcs around here!
So I happily dug threw the large collection to find bags of plastic orcs that I had assembled and a few were primed awaiting paint. So I dumped out a few models and started to paint while listening to some Rush! Well after a few hours of painting, I found that I had a small army sitting on my table. It seems that I was really excited to paint up orcs, it is that evil seed I am telling you!

We are ready for war now boss!

So after the painting, what started out as a few turned into 38 orcs painted! As I sat thee looking at what I painted, the real world realization hit me like a ton of bricks, what would I use these for??? Well the oblivious answer was Lord of the Rings, I sent my buddy Drunkensamurai a FB message, but he cleverly saw thru the evilness and didn't respond about playing. The evil magic did not effect him it seems. So with that, I came to realization that I painted these just for the heck of it and I am okay with that. It feels great to be able to paint what I want, when I want. It has been a long time since I have been able to do that.

Now lets see, now I need to figure out how to get these onto the table...


Monday, February 19, 2018

Battle of Salem Church prep


In about two weeks, we will be doing another Huge ACW battle with Black Powder. Our group has been working on forces for about ten years now and we are just about done with everything. We will be at Imperial Outpost on March 3rd playing the Battle of Salem Church. It will be an all day affair as the table alone will be about 12'x8' with close to 1000+ models on the table! This will be the biggest battle we have done to date.

So since I usually play Rebels, I committed to building and painting at least three Large units of 40 figures each! So about two weeks ago I dove into painting the boys Union Federal Blue. The first unit ended up being 44 models, not sure why 44, I think my cats knocked a few models off my table one day and i had to assemble four more models. Regardless, I now have a large unit 44 men strong!

Getting ready for war!
My second unit is a 40 man regiment and funny thing that happened here is I glued down what I thought were 5 men to my paint sticks, I had four sticks so that would be 40 right? But for some reason I came up six models short! Once again I blame my two kittens that like to knock stuff of my paint table and play with them in the kitchen. I suspect that I will find various items under my refrigerator, including my missing troops!

40 men, but six went awol!

My last unit is a zouave unit which I based off the 10th New York. The have brown jackets and the light blue pants. Rob has two zouave units and I wanted a unique looking unit and these guys are it. This unit is only a 36 man regiment, no kitten issues here, I only had 36 of these to start with!

10th New York
 Seeing how I just painted 120 figures, I felt like painting a few guns for the game, now these are being finished later today, but the now I have a 4 gun regiment for my growing Union force.

Four Guns almost ready.

And after the guns, I figured I needed a few command models, so these guys got painted up and their basing will be completed later tonight as well.

Six out of Eight Commanders
So after all was said and done, I have painted up 156 models (Counting guns and horses) in about two weeks. I am pleased with my newest contributions to the game and look forward to seeing them on the table top.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Arizona Game Fair Recap

Well Arizona Game Fair has come and gone and I have survived! This was my first time attending this event which is normally a all Board/Card convention, this year I was the first actual miniature game to be hosted (Yes X wing was there, but I look at that as more of a board game than miniature game), which was CAVSO. I also was brought in to run the Paint & Take for the event, which was sponsored by Talon Games. 

I ran about 20 people through the CAVSO demos, which all but one had never played a true miniature game. All that played this weekend had a blast and loved the game,  so I would say that it was a hit!

CAVSO Demo Table, thanks to Robert for lending the terrain!

A packed table for CAVSO!

Besides the demos, as I mentioned I ran three Paint & Takes with CAVSO models. Talon Games sent a bunch models to use as well as Reaper paints. My friend Richard who recruited me to AZGF, bought the brushes to use for the event.

CAVSO models on display to inspire painting!

Two full packed tables for the Paint & Take
Each session had 12 folks signed up and all but a few had never actually painted anything before. As I said before, this is primarily a board and card show, so not many painters there. Now with more board games having cool miniatures, more folks are looking to paint there miniatures in their board games. So this was a great excuse to pick up a brush and test out their skill with out having to invest in paints and brushes. Once again folks had a blast painting and for most, these were the first miniatures that they ever painted.

So how was the rest of the event? Well from what I saw of it in between my demos or classes, tit looked like it was pretty well handled. There were lots of board games and when I went over to the RPG room, it was packed! The vendor area had a good selection of shops, including Imperial Outpost. All of the shops present had good selections of items, although not to surprising, none of them had any miniatures. All the folks that played in the demos or went to the Paint & Take were asking me if they could buy any of this there, which sadly I had to point them to the Reaper website. I imagine that with more miniature games, the vendors will respond by bringing more minis next time.

And because of the success of the events I ran, it looks like i will be going back next year to host more games. In fact I will be running a few Fistful of Lead games next year at the event. How do I know that, well I went and did a bad thing the other day, I ordered two bundles of Sarissa Precision of Old West terrain!

So next year, we will have some Old West Action going on at Arizona game Fair. I am also meeting with Richard to discuss just what sort of miniature games should be show cased at future events. Now, I need to wait to get my new toys, so stay tuned for some new terrain.


Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Arizona Game Fair


This up incoming weekend I will be out at Arizona Game Fair, running a few events. Now Arizona Game Fair is primarily a card and board game show, but they are trying to branch out to other games such as miniatures.

I will be running a few demos for CAV Strike Operations as well as running a paint & Take sponsored by Talon Games. The nice thing is that Talon Games has provided all the miniatures for the give away as well as a few books to give away for CAV Strike operations.

So why am I doing this? Well that's a great question! You see I sort of hung up my organizers hat a few years ago after I closed down Gathering in the Desert. It became a lot of work to put on the event and besides a few folks, I really didn't have much help. Now I always envisioned linking GitD to a bigger event, but for the longest time we had no such events in the valley of the sun.

Also about a month ago a few folks approached me asking what did it take to put on an event. I told them they were nuts from starting from scratch and that they should join up with another established game event. Well that got me thinking, if we ever wanted to have a miniature based con here in the valley, then we would have to grow it with another event.

So hence when my friend Richard approached me about Arizona Game Fair, I thought I better put my words were my mouth was. So I made a few calls and figured out what I wanted to do. Funny thing is, about two weeks ago I organized the Taco Bowl Blood Bowl day, I had another organizer approach me to run a few more miniature games at another local con, CritHit . So it looks like the events are starting to happen, so it seems I will be busy rather soon.

So if your are available, come on out to mesa to play a few games...


Saturday, February 03, 2018

Fistful of Lead Reloaded!


A while back, I stumbled onto a Fistful of Lead Reloaded rules on another blog I follow, Wargames and Railroads which is a great blog by the way. Anyway, Kris the blog owner did a review of a few Old West rule sets and honestly, I was not looking for another set of rules since I was happy with Legends of the Old West. But the problem with LotOW is that it is out of print and it is hard to get new players to play as most want the rule book. So after reading Kris reviews on the different rule sets, I found myself looking at the Fistful of Lead Reloaded by Wiley Games run by Jaye Wiley.

Now I have been stopping by Jayes blog for years from time to time and never put two and two together that he wrote FfoL. But after reading the review I picked up the rules and gave them a try with my buddy Robert. We were both happy with how simple and fun the rules were and it was not too long of a game. We both said we will need to get this back on the table.

Well about a two months ago, I ran another demo for my friend Richard and once again, I used the FfoL rules. It proved too be a very fun game once again and it took very little explanation to get Richard up to speed with the game, in fact it took about 5 minutes to explain everything.

Set up at Games U for Richard
 One nice thing with these rules is that they are very simple and very fun to play. The reference sheet has all you need to play on it and pretty much tells you how to play without looking at the rules. I have always said, if you can figure out a game by just looking at the reference sheet, it is a solid game.

The Good Guys from Gorgon Studios
 The game I ran for Richard brought a lot of folks around the table and the use of the playing cards for activation, just made everyone get into the mindset of Old West gaming. So with a nice looking table and a quick fast playing rule set, how can this not be a crowd favorite.

The Bad guys from Artizan Designs 
So after thinking about the games I ran and played in, I went over to Jayes site and ordered a few more items from him. I picked up For a Fistful More book, which is a nice scenario book for the game. I also ordered his laser cut tokens since it seemed wrong to use the LotOW counters. I also picked up his special playing cards, these have all the special rules on them, you can use regular playing cards, but heck, why not have these cards.

Even more scenarios!
I also order Viva la Revolucion for doing the Mexican revolution, can you say Wild bunch??? And I also picked up his Horse and musket rule book as well for my buddy Robert. I am curious to take a look at it for some Pirate action! So i see many games of FfoL in the very near future, in fact I may be taking running a few games of FfoL at a local con in July, still working out details.

So if your looking for an affordable fast and fun Old West game, Fistful of lead Reloaded is right up your alley, I highly recommend it.


Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Taco Bowl I 2018 in the books!


Ever since I bought my first Blood Bowl box game way back when, I have always wanted to run a Blood Bowl Tournament. Now I had tried many times, but thee was no real interest with my group of players. I had run a few Blood Bowl days with a few folks, but with the game being out of print, it was hard to get folks excited about it.

Well last year when GW re-released Blood Bowl, a few of my gaming group got into it and played a few games. My son over lunch one day (while eating tacos) brought up the idea to do a tournament and I thought maybe it would be a good time to do something about it. As we were eating Tacos at a favorite place of ours the Taco & Dilla Parlor we came up with Taco Bowl I.

So with an idea in my head, I came up with this back story for the Taco Bowl:

Taco Bowl I came about after an up incoming Halfling named Paul Hairytoes went on an “adventure” across the Great ocean in search of new recipes. His travels took him to a far south western port where the locals made hard crispy corn shells that held various meats, vegetables and cheeses, the locals called these Tacos. Well, Paul Hairytoes found his newest creation and sailed back across the Great ocean to introduce this amazing, delicious creation to the people of the Old World.

Unfortunately, Paul had run into some trouble with gambling and betting on Blood Bowl matches before he went on his little “adventure”.  So, while on the ship back to the old-world Paul came up with a brilliant plan, He would change his name to Paco, no last name, just Paco and start selling his own brand of Paco’s Tacos (trademark pending). But Paul aka Paco, had to figure out how to get the word out about his Paco’s Tacos. His plan was simple; he would sponsor a new Halfling Blood Bowl Team called the Tiny Titans and sell his Paco’s Tacos to the crowd. This would allow him to get rich off Paco’s Tacos and let him bet against his own team, thus guarantying that he would never have gambling issues ever again, because Paul aka Paco knows, Halfling teams never win!

With that said, Taco Bowl I was launched, with Paco’s Tacos being a proud sponsor of the Tiny Titans and the glorious Taco Bowl I. Teams from all over the old world will travel the newest venue, the Paco’s Tacos Stadium or as the fans call it, The Taco Bowl.
As this is the first ever Taco Bowl I, this will be an invite only (as Paul aka Paco is trying to stack the deck to better his winnings). 

With the story set, I hand picked 8 players to participate in the first ever Taco Bowl I. The format would be simple, build a Million point list of no more than 16 players on the roster. Each round would have the teams reset but the players needed to keep track of kO's and TD's scored. I also allowed each player to pick one card out of the the various special cards used for the game.

The Mighty Taco Bowl I Trophy as well as the lessor Assassin Award & Mr. TD award, we spared no expense1

Now that we had eight players I needed a fun trophy for the event which was secured at the local party store and then my brother said we need something to put in the trophies. So it was decided that hot sauce packets from a local Del Taco were just the perfect thing! My wife found a "Taco" hat, and we had our prizes for this glorious event. 

Our venue for the glorious Taco Bowl I would be at Funkatronic Rex Board Games and More here in Phoenix. Mike the owner just opened the store about a year and a half ago and was looking to do something with me. And with it being right next door to the Taco & Dilla Parlor, it was a no brainier.  Plus it got a few new folks to come over to his shop.

With that, we were set and 8 players arrived at Taco Bowl I and we were able to get in two games each. Here are a few pictures from the event.

Everyone had a great time, we had two old pros (Myself & Mike G) as well as some veterans (Kat & Derek) and the rest were all newbies (Jerry, Robert, Mychal and John) some had only played one time and that was a few years ago (more like 7 but who's counting!).

After all was said and done, we had three winners for the day. My son Mychal took home Mr. Touch Downs, Derek took the Assassin award and Mike G took home the big Taco, being the First Taco Bowl Champion!

The Big Winners!
All in all it was a very fun day and I used this event to dip my toe into the waters of running a bigger Blood Bowl event. I wanted to see how everything would shack out and I am trying to get folks to join me in playing a small league for BB, we shall see on that.


Sunday, January 21, 2018

Smoke and Death


Robert and I finally after about 5 years of painting and planning, got a small game of ACW Black Powder on the table. Now we have played larger games, but we had this idea that BP could be played on a smaller table (8'x4') with about two brigades each. Now some of our game friends had said that BP couldn't play on a smaller table due to the orders and how far movement can take place. But we were not convinced that would be the case, so we put it to the test. Now to be honest, Robert was waiting for me to get my two brigades completed, hence why it took so long.

The Battlefield

We each took two brigades worth of stuff, which each brigade having a Brigade commander and four regiments along with a gun. Model count for my Rebs, put me in the 220 figures or so. Roberts Union had a few more, with these model counts, it reminded us of the WAB armies we used to play with at 2000 points.

The Brigade General in the center.
With the armies chosen, we rolled off to alternate deployment, which the Union arrived first and began to deploy. I choose to deploy with a strong middle and a heavy right flank. keeping only one Regiment to hold the left flank. My plan was to push the center faster than the Union could out flank me. But this is BP and I am notorious for not passing command checks. But it was a plan and I tried to stick to it.

Right Flank
Well as the game began, the Union pushed across the table pretty quickly in the center, while the left flank stalled and his right flank pushed to the edge of the fields. My left pushed up to the edge of the fields and a stand off ensued

Left Flank holding off the Union
My Left Flank was getting hammered but they held their ground and the poor Union troops could not pass through their own lines, apparently the volley fire was too much for them. This allowed me to get one of my guns up to start laying down fire to support the left flank.

Mean while the fighting in the center intensified and the Rebs started to make headways on the Union troops in the woods. The Rebs must have had to Grace of God on their side because they hardly suffered any casualties during the fight. One Regiment was able to take the bridge and pour Volley after volley into the Union troops.

About this time, the Union center started to fall apart and the Rebs started pushing them back. One Regiment was able to get across the river and enfilade fire into the Union troops. After two vollies, the Union troops retreated back across the river to leave the battle.

The Union feeling the pressure of the Rebs Advance
Needless to say the Union troops started to suffer more casualties and soon the battle was over with the Union having a broken Brigade. The Rebs had pushed the Yankees back across the River!

The Union Center collapses!
So, how did the game play, it played great! The movement orders that a few thought would be too much, never happened and the game felt very much like a WAB game of old. It was great to see that BP can be played in a smaller setting (if you say 200 models a side is small!). And I am sure that Robert and I will be doing this again in the very near future.

Union Surgeon doing his best.
Now really this game was more for us to re-learn the rules besides try out smaller armies. We will be doing the Battle of Salem Church in about a month or so which we will have well over 1600 models on the table and Oh, this is all in 28mm people!

Stay tuned for that coverage in about a month or so...

This is the end...

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Gentleman, Start your engines...


On my Amazon Wish List I asked for this awesome board game from GMT Games called Thunder Alley. Its a Nascar racing game that I was introduced too by Mike over at DaGreenskins Blog with his crazy idea to upscale the game to 1/64th scale cars. The plan was to build this for con games and honestly, Mike likes doing cool things to games like up sizing them!

Well I wanted a copy for myself but never actually pulled the trigger to purchase it, but my brother settled that dilemma for me by purchasing it for me this past Christmas.

Thunder Alley is a very unique sort of racing game in that it uses cards to move the counters rather then rolling dice. You are also racing a team of cars of your own trying to get them to place as high as they can. This then will get you more points at the end of the race to determine a winner. Also, when you move a car, you could be moving the whole pack of cars, which to me is always making the game very interesting.

To make the game more interesting, there are event cards that are generated after everyone was gone. These events could be anything from restarts to major crashes on the race track, it is very amusing to see these events come up, especially when it effects the lead car.

This game is a traditional board and chit game, and everything in it is high quality and well produced. You do get a lot of counters and plastic bags for them, which was nice that they included those.

 My only issue, which was minor, is one of the boards I got was torn apart, it looked like it was a bad seam. The good news was that GMT games took care of replacing the board rather quickly, they have an online chat and I had a new board within days of contacting them. I offered to send the damaged board back, but they told me to keep it. Great service and very quick on helping me out.

Needless to say I got the game on the table with the wife and my brother and his wife on New Years eve. My brother and I enjoyed the game very much, the wives, not so much. I look forward to playing more of this game in 2018 and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a race game. I would have to say I enjoy the game more than Formula D, and that says a lot. I am also now eyeing there other race Game, Grand Prix which uses the same card activation as Thunder Alley.