NOCF Saga Raffle Live!

The NOVA Open Charitable Foundation raffle I was able to help Dave Taylor out with went live yesterday!

It’s a 6 point Viking warband for Saga from Gripping Beast, packed in a KR Multicase, and shipped anywhere in the world to the winner. Only $5 a ticket, benefitting Doctors without Borders.

More information and directions on how to purchase tickets can be found on the NOCF page.

If this is your thing, it could be your thing, so try to make it your thing!

It Came from the Lightbox – Shadespire Skaven

I painted up the Shadespire Skaven over the weekend: I want to give them a try, and there’s no excuse for me to be playing anything in Shadespire unpainted.

It only took about a day and a half’s hobby time.  I don’t think they’re particularly noteworthy: just servicable Skaven.

I painted them up with my old approach to Skaven, but with a few differences:

  • I went with a pink, pale flesh instead of the yellowed flesh I used to use; I really like this.
  • The red turned out much brighter than it used to, I clearly don’t remember how I used to do it, but I don’t know where I went different.
  • The grey turned out alright, even though I used VMC and not GW paints

Weekend Workbench

Closing in on the Alguaciles, but taking a side trip to paint the Shadespire Skaven.

Workbench

I always take the Monday after a weekend trip off; even though our Madicon was abbreviated this year, I still need the day to decompress.

So, I’m painting. Wrapping up Bran Do Castro, and some Nomad Support dudes, and teeing up some Alguacil special weapons, a pair of Prowlers, and a Zero.

Thinkin’ about how I want to paint Yu Jing.

Huzzah Hobbies Inaugural Infinity Tournament

About a month ago, I ran an ITS event at my FLGS, Huzzah Hobbies.  I’ve been meaning to post about it for a while, but vacation, work, and trying to get the post perfect have all conspired against that… so instead, I’ll shoot for good enough.

What Worked Well

Just about everything.

Turnout was off the charts.  It was enormous.  We had 27 players. Folks came down Maryland.  Folks came down from Pennsylvania.  A couple of folks came from Michigan.  I’m fairly confident that it qualified as a Dire States event: that’s incredible for a first tournament.

Prize support was off the charts.  Black Maria Designs gave us prize support and a thing for everyone who showed up.  Black Sheep Industries gave us prize support. Warsenal cut us a deal on prize support.  The Michigan GT had Data Tracker tokens for everyone who showed up. Myomer had a nice gift for the Wooden Spoon prize. Many, many people contributed stuff for the prize pool.  There was enough stuff that Everyone Got Something, with stuff left over to go into the pool for next time.

I attribute most of that to BMinusCPlus, who did an incredible job of hustling both attendees and vendors for support.  If he hadn’t been involved, we’d have had the quiet 8 person turnout I’d expected.

What Didn’t Work Well

There was a scheduling conflict that resulted in us losing about a quarter of our table space.  I knew about this, and had been told there’d be no impact, but failed to do the groundwork to confirm that. In the end, everything worked out Just Fine, but there was a period there where it wasn’t clear that things would work out.  In the end, we had a couple of tables smushed together, and everything got along OK.  Had I done that groundwork, I’d have likely dialed back on the event size from 32 to 24.

For next time, a couple of items: I don’t think the scheduling conflict will happen again.  If it does, I have a better understanding of the remaining capacity so I can adjust the event size accordingly.  Finally, it was a good reminder to trust, but verify.

I also ran a poll of players after the fact and the consensus was that smushing tables together: not great but not the dramatic inconvenience we expected it to be.  That data point will also help in planning better next time, as well.

What Can Be Done Better

Spirit of Infinity was scored 1-5, per player, per round.   It’s not my prize to give, but I’d tweak a couple of things about how it’s scored. Only one player can get your top score. We had some folks giving out top scores like candy, and we had another withhold a top score (thinking they’d only get one) in case they played a certain other player they expected to have a great game with.  This means I’d collect those scores at the end of the day, not round-to-round.

It was important to me to have an appearance award; we went with Player’s Choice. I kind of hate Player’s Choice because it’s lazy, and doesn’t necessarily result in the best painted army winning. At the same time: it’s doesn’t require much work (and who has time for more work when running an event?), and abdicates the responsibility for who should win it to the players.  Regardless, I’d decided to do Player’s Choice and then stopped thinking about it.  Separate score sheets might have made things easier, and no accommodation was actually made to do the review: hadn’t scheduled it, hadn’t prepped player numbers to go by armies, etc.  Player’s Choice doesn’t need much planning, but it needed more than it got.  Next time, it’ll get it

Wednesday Workbench

I’ve got one more building and some scatter terrain I need to knock out, but I need a palette cleanser and to put a dent in my unpainted Nomad queue.

On Making Tokens

Dark Age doesn’t require as many tokens as Infinity does, but it does require kind of a lot of them.  The nicest ones I’ve seen come from Terracutter, in Russia. I’ve yet to really get my money’s worth out of my Dark Age figures, if you know what I mean, so I’m not about to take on those shipping costs.

Not a problem: I created my own with just a little work. (Nothing here is likely new if you play Infinity but… you never know.)

Download my Prevailer Token sheet.

Items Needed:

I play Infinity, and in addition to a number of manufacturers (my preferred is Warsenal) who make tokens that range from OK to gorgeous, the classic go-to is the Infinity Marker Sheet Creator.  You select the tokens you need, the size you need them in, and the size paper you’ll be printing (A4 != letter), click Submit, and it spits out a PDF you can print and cut the tokens out of.  (So far as I know it’s kept quietly up-to-date; it’s got logos for NA2 and Druze Bayram.)

While the IMSC doesn’t generate tokens for anything non-Infinity: I have access to Visio.  Generate a bunch of 25mm circles, fill them with the content you want, and print them out, and you’re in the same spot.  (As I typed this up, I realized that I need to give this a try with LibreOffice Draw, just to see it work.  I’d be surprised if it didn’t.)

To do this yourself:

  • Drag in a 25mm or 1″ circle.
  • Give it a 1pt line around the end.
  • Fill it Solid or Gradient with whatever colors that make you happy.
  • Add a Text element if you want text. Make it white, so you can see it on the color fill of your circle.  Give it a drop shadow; why not?  Drag it into the circle and arrange to taste.
  • Go to Game-Icons.net, look around for an appropriate Icon.
  • Download it white on transparent background.
  • Drag it into the Visio.  Give it a drop shadow so it stands out and you can find it against the white background. Resize and arrange it to taste in the circle.
  • Group ’em if you want.
  • Repeat, with variations until you’ve got all the tokens you need created.
  • Align those suckers. Have some self-respect.

It’ll look like this:

PROTIP: if you’re gonna share things that use those icons around, don’t forget there’s a CC license you need to reference.

Have your tokens printed at Kinko’s in color at the highest quality and on a heavy stock paper.  You can print them at home (I did), but the colors simply won’t be as vibrant.  Also, if you print them on just regular paper, the punch will have trouble cleanly punching through the thin paper and you’ll end up with mangled paper edges that look awful; to mitigate this, you’ll have to punch through your token AND an index card at the same time.  That’s a pain.

Buy a craft circle punch.  Get a 1″ punch like this one for 25mm/1″ tokens.  If you need 40mm tokens, for whatever reason, get a 1.5″ punch like this one: the difference between 40mm and 1.5″ is more significant than the difference between 25mm and 1″, but it’s Close Enough.

Cut your sheet into strips so you can get the punch lined up, and punch out your tokens.

Now, having punched out your tokens, you’ve got a choice to make:

Option 1: use some clear 1″ bottlecap jewelry stickers like these, and you’re done.  These run 200 of them for less than $10, so this is very inexpensive.  Just peel the sticker off the sheet, press it and your token together, and that’s it.  They make these in 1.5″, too, if you want to do some larger tokens, but they’re less inexpensive.

Option 2: use some clear, 1″ acrylic disks like these (I use 1/8″ thick, instead of 1/16″).  (If you shop with Soto, the coupon code TNK15OFF should be good for a 15% discount.) Brush Mod Podge onto the back of the disk, stick your paper token printed side against the glue, and smooth it out so there’s very little glue between the paper and the disk.  If you want, brush some thinned Mod Podge against the back of the token. Once everything’s dry, scratch off or carefully take a little rubbing alchohol to the front of the token where you’ve clumsily gotten glue fingerprints on it.

I’ve done both ways.  In general, I prefer the acrylic disks.  I think they look nicer, and they’re much easier for me to handle.  Unfortunately, they also require quite a bit more work, and cost about 6.4x as much.  So: while I made my Infinity tokens with the acrylic disks, the Dark Age tokens I just knocked out got the sticker treatment.

Here’s a comparison photo:

  • Left – Punched out from an Infinity box, bottlecap sticker
  • Center – Printed out, clear acrylic disk
  • Right – Warsenal full-color acrylic token

So, maybe not as nice as the Warsenal tokens, but definitely good enough.

Weekend Workbench

My plans to go up to a tournament today have been dashed by work… so instead I guess I’m painting some much-needed bases.