Tag Archives: meta-blogging

DC Geeks

I’ve mentioned before that some of my friends are responsible for the DC Geeks site, dedicated to any and all goings-on in Our (well, my and theirs, but some of you are Otherplacians) Nation’s Capital that might be considered geeky.

As it happens, this toy soldier painting thing we’ve got going on: not mainstream. (Who knew?)

Since it’s something unfamiliar to them, they’ve asked me to write a bit on how to get started in the minis hobby.

I think I did a pretty decent job of remaining impartial re: the biggest minis games in the area. Malifaux’s not for me and, although I don’t talk about it much, I hate Warmachine/Hordes like only an embittered devotee who’s lost their faith can… but that doesn’t mean the hypothetical reader of the article won’t enjoy them.

I know Dust Warfare’s picked up some steam locally and didn’t get mentioned. Two reasons for that. 1) It’s just started picking up steam locally. We’ve had more than our fair share of flash-in-the-pan, game-of-the-months. I’m not saying that I won’t take it seriously until Bill starts a podcast about it… but if people are still actually playing it six months from now, we’ll talk. 2) I seriously wrote the thing, like, two months ago. I’m only so prescient.

Anyway, I’m curious about any thoughts folks might have about it.

Similarly, they interviewed me on their podcast. If you’d like to listen to me chat with some friends for an hour or so ostensibly about toy soldiers (but, frankly, mostly about GW stuff), tune in.

I’ve got a weird relationship with podcasts: I’ve got several friends who run their own (8-Bit Radio, the aforementioned DC Geeks Podcast, Gamer’s Lounge). There are some really good ones out there, that do valuable, worthwhile things (11th Company, Jennisodes, WTF with Marc Maron). And I can’t hardly listen to any of them.

I find interviews really, really interesting (the Marc Maron stuff is amazing, and I think what Pat does on the 11th Company is the easily the most worthwhile thing being done with 40K podcasting)… but that’s it. The conversational, bunch-of-people in a room format that most podcasts use just isn’t something that works for me. Definitely a matter of taste, mind you, and I know that I’m in the minority here, so whatevs. (It does make me feel mildly hypocritical to shill about being interviewed, conversationally, on a podcast, though; hence the digression.)

Anyway, that’s all the self-slash-cross-promotion I’ve got in me for today.


Seriously, I freaking hate G+.  I got in to it pretty early, stuck around for a bit, then bailed because it wasn’t doing anything new and it was a dang desert.

Worse, Google decided to castrate the social features of its most useful of applications, Google Reader, in an effort to drive traffic to their mediocre, desolate social network.  This was, quite literally, the end of the honeymoon between Mountain View and me.  Google, who could do no wrong, really fucking had.

So, I killed my G+ account quite some time shortly soon after.

Anyway, it sounds like G+ is still a desolate inbred wasteland, but it also sounds like there are some interesting RPG-related things happening there.  So… I’m probably going to reactivate my account to see what’s up.  I’m definitely going to hate myself for it.

Positivity vs. Negativity

Go to Faeit 212 and read this article about how unhelpful negativity is in our hobby.

This is great stuff.

Our hobby is a big tent, and sometimes, it feels like there an entire sub-hobby dedicated to bitching about Games Workshop.  The negativity accomplishes so little, and gets exhausting quickly.

Moving from Tumblr

This blog was originally started as a Tumblr; a place to dump interesting tidbits I stumbled on.  Since then, as OneNote’s stepped up as a much better tool for that sort of thing, and I’d like to support more of a conversation than I’m able to get Tumblr to support.

Rather than manually moving posts from the Tumblr to here, I’m just going to link to it.  It’s just as well; do I really need to repost that a Masters of the Universe 4E game “It’s gonna happen” at Madicon 21 (~3 months ago)?  ‘Cause it didn’t.

I’ll repost significant, useful posts, but that’s about it.

Anyway, if you’re curious, the Tumblr can be found here: http://OwlbearStabbings.Tumblr.com

Blog Lists

In goofing around and moving my RPG Tumblr to Blogger, I finally got around to changing the old/obsolete Who I’m Following gadget (or whatever the heck that thing was called) with a Blog List gadget.

The upshot of this is that it’s no longer tied to the on-the-way-out Follower structure (which is being replaced by G+, grrrr) and, more significantly, it’ll do WordPress blogs as well.

The downside is that I’ve got over 80 blogs in that feed, which would eat up more vertical real estate than I’d like. So, I’ve set it at the 25 most recently updated.

Thoughts?  Comments?  It’s important to me that I link out to other blogs I follow: I know I’ve gotten a lot of traffic from folks linking to me, so I need to make sure I’m doing a decent job of returning the favor.

(Now I just need to figure out how to fit links to the Kickstarter/IndieGoGo campaigns I’m supporting in the sidebar without it looking like ass.)

Warpstone Pile – 3 Years Old!

Image courtesy of TurboPhoto

Today, WarpstonePile’s three years old!

It feels like it’s been a lot longer than that; not sure why.

I suppose I could get into a breakdown of what each year’s looked like in terms of content, and how it’s evolved over the past year… but that’s basically what my Year In Review posts are, and one of those a year is self-indulgent enough.

So, instead, I figured I’d 1) acknowledge the milestone and then 2) actually post (since March has been a bad month for that).

I’d started these guys before the new paints were announced, and I’ve decided to go ahead and finish them.  When they’re done, I’ll have 20 (well, 21) painted Halberdiers… and a decision to make in regards to proceeding with my current paint scheme or picking up some of the new paints and seeing what results I get with those.  I’m early enough in painting this army that it’s not too painful to change my approach.

I don’t expect to have too many problems finding a comparable look with the new paints, but it’s better to evaluate it now, before I get too much further into the army.

Speaking of painting the Empire army: I also need to stop and reevaluate where I’m going when the new book comes out next week.  I’m pretty excited about it, but I’ve no doubt I’m going to have to build to a new list.

Finally, I’ve gotten around to making some progress on replacing the Google Spreadsheet for tracking hobby progress.  The DB’s setup, the interface with the DB’s in place, and I’ve got a charting approach sorted out (using HighCharts).  There’s more charting to be sorted, for sure, and I’ve got to figure out how exactly I want to handle data entry and authentication… but progress is progress.  I come from a .NET background but have Unix hosting, so there’s a lot of relearning how to do things that should be pretty basic, which slows things down but is growth.

More than anything, I’m looking forward to the dust clearing with my job and having enough time to get out and actually play with my toy soldiers.

Shillin’ Like a Villain

I’m going to take a moment to shill for some friends:

Zpocalypse is a competitive/cooperative zombie survival boardgame some good college friends of mine.  It’s got a Kickstarter that is blowing up: it’s more than doubled its goal and has a month left.  I haven’t had the chance to play it yet (they’re up in Massachusetts and I’m in Northern Virginia), but that will likely change mid-April.  It’s blowing up on BGG, and folks who have had the chance to play it have good things to say about it:

So, if you’re into boardgames, zombies, or both: be aware of the game and check out the Kickstarter.

Speaking of living in Northern Virginia: something I’ve been remiss in noting here* is the DC Geeks blog that (another set of ) some of my friends run.  It’s dedicated to tracking, advertising, and documenting geeky things in the DC/NoVA/MD region.  This ranges from roller derby to video game art exhibitions to LARPing and on.  I’ve tried to keep them hip to local wargaming events, but not methodically or regularly.  I probably should change that.

If you’re nearish to the nation’s capital and are into the sorts of things that would be featured on a blog about geekery in DC, you should check them out.

* Negligence?  Or deliberate snubbing over not being interviewed as the region’s preeminent expert on piles of Warpstone? Jerks.

Old Stuff Day

I almost missed this entirely. In honor of old stuff day: a handful of posts from a few

  • 10/15/09My Bonebreaker Rat Ogre conversion -This guy is currently about 2/3rds of the way painted, despite being assembled back in late 2009. Yeesh. I probably should finish him up. He’s a fun, goofy conversion, which is where I like my hobby to be.
  • 12/1/2009Assorted Skaven conversions -This is still one of my most visited pages.
  • 5/25/2010Blogger & Picasa – I try to explain how Blogger hosts images uploaded to it and how folks can leverage that.  Probably should get a slight update to note how Picasa web albums behaves when you get too many images in it.  (Answer: oddly.)
  • 6/26/2010Dawn Power Dissovler – Man, if you’re not stripping with Dawn Power Dissolver, you really should be.  Just sayin’.

Catching Up

Apologies for the quiet ’round here: haven’t have much going on, so there’s not much to say.

Fantasy Campaign

I dropped out of the Warhammer Fantasy campaign we’ve had going for the past couple of months: it’s felt like work for the past month or so.

The short version is: two guys (one of whom I know to be a cheater and refuse to play) took unfun lists and allied with each other.  On the first day of the campaign, one of them attacked another player who (literally) said, “Not worth it,” and dropped.  So, the rest of us allied to try to keep them from steamrolling: we didn’t want to give them the satisfaction, you know?

I was well-positioned to tie up the other guy.  So, that’s what I did.  It became clear that I was going to play the same game with the same list against the same opponent’s list from now until the campaign wrapped up.  It didn’t take me long to get burnt out on that.

And, to make things even easier, we caught the guy I’d been tying up doing dishonest things with his list in our last game.  Really the worst possible note to end things one.

Question, regarding my hobby status sheet: should I bother logging a game in which the other guy was cheating?

So, I’m a little sick of Fantasy right now, which is a damn shame.  I’m not far from having my Skaven there, you know?

Warhammer 40K

If I’m done with Fantasy for a bit, I can play 40K, right?

I’m having a hard time getting excited about playing it, though.  My Daemons don’t like they’re going to fare well in a post Grey-Knights world.  I still don’t understand my Tau in 5th (and keep hoping they’ll get a new book so I won’t have to).  That leaves my Dark Angels, who got a huge shot in the arm via the updated FAQ… except the list the FAQ really benefited isn’t exactly the list I want to run: Deathwing got a lot better, but I still kinda just want to run Battle Company Dark Angels who are so bad, even “Rank the Codices” lists that everyone loves to do almost always forget to mention them entirely.

Anyway, that’s enough whining.  It might not be quite the list I want to play, but Deathwing’s viable and will give my friend who’s been learning to play 40K by way of playing nothing but (not my) Daemons something new to go up against.

So, this is the list I ran on Tuesday.  It’s pretty much exactly the list Casey‘s suggest I run:

Belial – TH/SS
Interrogator Chaplain – Terminator Armor, Combi-melta

Deathwing Command Squad – Apothecary, Standard Bearer, TH/SS x4, Heavy Flamer
Deathwing Terminator Squad – TH/SS x2, CML
Deathwing Terminator Squad – TH/SS x2, CML
Deathwing Terminator Squad – TH/SS x2, CML
Deathwing Terminator Squad – TH/SS x2, CML

Heavy Support

It did well, despite my dice not really cooperating with me.  I’ve got some work to do pulling the models together for this: my command squad’s currently heavy on Lightning Claws, and I need to assemble a few more TH/SS terminators.

(I also need to figure out if I want to run the CML on one of the TH/SS brothers or on one of the PF/SB brothers.  I’m pretty sure the former’s better, but the latter involves less work.)

NoVA Open

So, this thing‘s on the horizon: about four months out.  I’m not really excited about it right now: I’ve gotten extremely burned out on the idea of Competitive play (capital “C”).  Every time I think about the cash prize I facepalm and start dreading shitty, unfun games… because now there’s actual cash on the line.  Given my recent experiences with the campaign, where nothing has been on the line I think my pessimism is pretty justified.

Furthermore: I’m not sure what I’ll want to do with it.  My Daemons are my most visually impressive army… and I’ll go farther on looks than talent with this thing if you know what I mean.  I’m spinning up on my Deathwing, though, and I think it’ll produce more satisfying games.

At the same time, my Skaven are coming along badass, and could conceivably be finished by August. I’d have to sell / trade my 40K ticket for a Fantasy ticket… but that’s probably more feasible than going from Fantasy to 40K.

Anyway, I’m starting to think about it.

EDIT: It looks like I was conflating two things: the NoVA Open (that I have a ticket to) and the NoVA Invitational (that, let’s face it, I’m not getting an invite to).  So, no cash prizes.  I’m still writhing in the throes of existential hobby disappointment, but the threat of money isn’t contributing to it.


After bitching about needing a lightbox for something approaching a year: I finally grabbed one off of eBay.

I’ve played around with it a bit:  I’ll have some photos taken in it up in the next couple of days.

Hey, it’s been a while!

It’s been a while (a couple of weeks!) since I’ve posted here.  Probably should fix that.  A bit active on the gaming front, but unusually slow on the hobby front.

What I’m Working On

A lot of half-done things here, mostly due to post painting grind restlessness.  I really powered through finishing off those Flamers of Khorne in time for Madicon.  Whenever I do that, I end up a little burnt out and need a break.  Work’s kept me too active to really feel like I’ve had that break, though.  Anyway, what we have here:

  • Another 10 Skavenslaves.  20 total to go (including these).  Soo much painting.
  • Objective markers for my Khornate Daemons.  Stalled due to lack of inspiration, combined with grimness about the playability of my Daemons in a post-Grey Knights world.
  • A pink High Elf.  I’m still riffing off of the success of Battle for the Cure II and there’s a Fantasy version coming up in a few months.  The mood seized me.


Madicon went down two weekends ago.  Overall, I had a great time.  I ran the 40K Tournament and the WHFB “Tournament” (concurrently),  played some Dark Heresy and relaxed.

The 40K tournament had 8 people turn out, which was precisely my success/fail metric.  Things ran smoothly and most everyone seemed to be having a good time.  We did have one guy who was a bit argumentative: at the time, it looked like he’d just been conflating 4th and 5th edition rules.  In retrospect, he was probably cheating (as his list seems to have changed between games).  That bothers me, but at least he didn’t end up winning anything.

The Fantasy “tournament” gets scare quotes because 60% of the an already light signup list flaked out and no-showed… which left Mike A. and Sean playing three games against each other.  They were happy enough to do that, but I’m going to recommend that Madicon not do a Fantasy tournament next year.

While at the con, I also picked up the A Game of Thrones LCG starter; right now I’m hoping to use it as a standalone game, without getting into any deckbuilding.  Not sure I have the mental bandwidth for that, you know?

Battle for the Cure

We held our second annual Battle for the Cure at Game Vault just this past weekend.

Something like half of the signups flaked out and no-showed, which infuriates me (much more than the flaking out at the Madicon tournaments.)  Despite this, but because of an unbelievable amount of generosity from folks on the internet who donated things for the auction, we were able to raise $2,000 for Susan G Komen.  With half the turnout from last year, we were able to raise $600 more.  Next year is going to kick ass.

Mike G. did a great job of pulling everything together.

I went 1/3, but I don’t feel bad about my poor showing.  Despite having a list that naturally lent itself to the composition scoring (no vehicles), I pretty much looked at every scenario and went, “Wow.  I guess I’m not supposed to win this game.”  I’ll generously call them woeful.  That I did as well as I did makes me feel pretty confident.

I won best painted army, though, which I’m extremely proud of.

The auction was also a huge success.  I decided to not offer to paint a unit for the auction, as I did last year, simply because I’m too damn busy and it took me forever to get Mark his Sternguard to him.  At the last minute, I relented and offered to paint a single infantry-sized mini.  The winner’s still got to get the model to me.

While I was there, AGoT LCG on my brain, I snapped up the Warhammer: Invasion LCG (unfortunately, I did this at the top of the day… well before I won a gift-certificate for the best painted army).  Since buying more cards means being able to play Skaven… it’s a safe bet that that might happen in the future.

I Love Hearing About Myself

Yesterday morning, I got a note that I was Blog of the Week on Blunt Force Gamer, so I gave them a listen.  Thanks for the kind words, guys!

(Now I feel bad about let Warpstone Pile lay fallow for the past couple of weeks.)

I’m Selling Stuff!

I played the bejesus out of Warmachine a few years ago (just a bit before Superiority came out)… but have since very much lost interest in it.  I haven’t pulled my minis out in a couple of years, now, and that’s really not likely to change.  So, time to unload stuff.

I’ve got a lot of painted stuff (especially Cygnar).  I think I’m asking a reasonable price for the painted stuff… but I’m very open to negotiation, particularly if you’re looking to free me from a lot of stuff.  The more you take, the more I’ll give!

A list of what I’ve got and what I’m looking for can be found here.  If there’s anything you’re interested in, let me know!  If you know anyone who might be interested, pass the list along!  Thanks!