When I introduce my high school students to Google Scholar or Advanced Search, and allow them to use only web sites with the domain .edu I’m always struck by the huge change that’s occurred in ease of access to information. “When I was your age my challenge was scraping together enough sources to work with,” I tell them from the front of the classroom, “your challenge is recognizing quality information amidst the flood of digital clutter.” Another key message is, “We don’t need to be relegated to the role of savvy consumer.” There is a way we can take an active role in dictating what content makes it onto the web in the first place.
This article was originally published in Wargames, Soldiers, and Strategy Magazine #94 which can be purchased from the WSS website. This blog version is posted with kind permission from WSS.
With a WWII Africa campaign now underway I’m steadily building up my supply of terrain for the miniature battlefield. The set of walls we looked at last time have been a welcome addition to the collection but there’s still a lot of empty space on my 6 by 4 foot gaming table. The British company Renedra produces plastic model kits for just about every era. Of particular interest currently is their versatile Mud Brick House kit. From WWII North Africa to the modern Middle East the kit and accessory set are a quick and easy way to bulk out a terrain collection. Let’s have a look at Renedra’s Mud Brick House and how to convert it for maximum versatility.
William Gibson has been accurately predicting the future for the past thirty years. His prescient mid-80s Sprawl Trilogy novels – Neuromancer, Count Zero, and Mona Lisa Overdrive – gave us a three decade early warning about the legal ramifications of sentient AI, virtual stores to accessorize virtual avatars, data mining, and corporate cyber espionage in the name of a newer, colder war. Gibson’s more recent work plays with the nearer future, more often serving up incisive interpretation of impending trends than outright predicting them. His latest work, Archangel, is a departure into the graphic novel genre and is a worthy addition to a deservedly celebrated body of existing work. Most importantly, Archangel succeeds where many film misfires have failed by at last providing a strong and enhancing visual ‘rez’ that’s vivid enough to keep up with Gibson’s storytelling.
I’m very pleased to create a guest post or two for Henry Hyde’s Battlegames website. Henry, the “Dean of Wargaming”, has run a successful Patreon campaign to give him the resources to continue to create great content, as well as allow people like myself to contribute as well. For the uninitiated, Henry Hyde is a prolific writer, editor, and publisher for all things wargaming, history, and self-publishing related.
For visitors from Henry’s Battlegames website: Welcome! Below, you’ll find a few posts that will be of interest to wargamers.
Existing readers may have noticed I haven’t been doing the usual Friday morning post. I’m transitioning to a twice-a-month format so I can take advantage of opportunities to publish in print and web hobby magazines like Battlegames and the January edition of Wargames, Soldiers, and Strategy Magazine. I’ll link to all articles from this site so you can find my content easily. The Palm Tree Tutorial is available here.
The game designers at AEG keep on shaking the Smash Up bottle and awesome sauce continues to spill out. Further cementing its fan base, AEG threw in a marketing masterstroke and provided us with a (very tongue in cheek) free Sheep faction if we agreed to follow their efforts to corral both new and old fans alike. Their most recent Big in Japan expansion also gives fans new wrinkles to the proven formula. Let’s have a look at these two newest additions to the Smash Up faction family.
Four months ago the Thursday night game crew took a leap of faith and fired up the Imperial Assault: Jabba’s Realm campaign. With the echoes of the finale still in my games room here’s a summary – warts and all – of the Jabba’s Realm campaign complete with commentary and analysis by the players and yours truly, the Imperial GM.
Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) has taken over the wargames terrain market. Every new miniature game release seems to get a companion set of MDF scenery to go with it. The Roman Coliseum, a Wells Fargo Bank and stagecoach, or Japanese temples are all available as laser cut MDF flatpacks. While I welcome the variety, MDF has serious drawbacks: kits are still overly expensive for what you get, MDF itself is bad news if particles become airborne, and it takes a lot of work to make perfectly smooth MDF look anything remotely like a textured brick or natural wood surface. However, I did pick up Warlord’s Modular Terrain Boards during their Christmas sale and found to my surprise that, for area terrain, MDF is the perfect medium to work with.
The first Mansions of Madness big box expansion takes us to the Streets of Arkham. New mechanics, spells, items, models, investigators, and monsters enrich and inhabit the new setting. Most importantly, the app driven game gets three new scenarios. Let’s walk through the Streets of Arkham to see if it’s worth the trip.
Finally, a guide to Painting Wargaming Figures that doesn’t flog a specific brand of paint and doesn’t assume the reader has aspirations to win a figure painting competition at a big gaming convention. There are plenty of websites like coolminiornot.com if you want to see single miniature works of art that’ll take you two weeks to paint and you’d never let your nephew touch, much less play a game with. Javier Gomez’s book, published by Pen & Sword, is about getting a uniform quality set of playable minis on the table in a reasonable amount of time with techniques that everyone can understand and employ. Read More
A year ago, in need of a creative outlet, I set myself the task of writing one fully developed ‘Mind Candy’ gaming blog post per week. I wanted to spend less time idly consuming and more time creating what was on the web. On the site of Henry Hyde, the ‘Dean’ of wargaming, I publicly threw down the gauntlet. With the upcoming publication of an article in a major wargame magazine, which will in turn pay for an upgraded website, I feel I can say: Year One Mission Accomplished! Here are a few things I learned this year and the first post on the new website: OnSeansTable.com