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Topics - CADmonkey

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General Chaos / What Wargames are you playing?
« on: October 22, 2017, 07:38:38 PM »
I was going to post something in HAY GUYS HAVE YOU SEEN THIS THING, but I thought that I was posting a bit much about wargames in that thread and since the RPPR crew are talking about wargames on thier podcasts, I'd start a new thread:

Here's a podcast interview with Jon Tuffley, the proprietor (and sole operator) of Ground Zero Games: Meeples & Miniatures Episode 230 Ground Zero Games

The interview begins at about 36 minutes in.

GZG published a number of sci-fi tabletop wargames rules in the 90's: Full Thrust (starship fleet action); Dirtside (6mm ground combat);  and Stargrunt (25 mm ground combat), and sells miniatures for all of those game lines and others.  I own copies of all of Tuffley's rules and have played a lot of Full Thrust, and even after all these years FT is still my favourite sci-fi fleet action ruleset.  And pdfs of their rules can be downloaded for free from the GZG website, there's a link on the podcast blog post.

As discussed in the podcast, GZG is a rare long-time survivor in the wargaming industry who (unlike other companies that have come and gone over the years) haven't tried to become "the next GW" and burnt out as a result.

One thing I'd like to hear about is people's introduction to wargames and their experiences in the hobby.

I began wargaming in '84, shortly after my friends and I discovered rpgs.  There was a hobby store in the local mall which sold rpgs, wargames, dice & miniatures in addition to models & model making supplies.  While browsing the rpg shelf, we noticed notice some little boxed games with names like OGRE, G.E.V. and Car Wars nearby.  I was immediately hooked on Ogre/GEV and one of my friends was smitten by Car Wars.  I've played plenty of other wargames since then, both hexmap and miniatures, but you never forget your first love, and I still get in a game of Ogre at least once a year at a local gaming convention.

Since first playing Ogre/GEV and figuring out that Car Wars was just too damned complex, I've played a fair number of wargames.  I haven't kept track of hours played, but all told I'm probably more of a wargamer than a roleplayer.

I've gotten into historical wargames, but mostly of the WWI/WWII variety, and mostly of the microarmour (6mm) and naval wargaming scales.  For a while in the 90's I played quite a lot of Spearhead, a WWII microarmour game, until the day the president of the club walked in wearing a "2nd Waffen SS: European Tour" t-shirt and a shit-eating grin, and that was the end of that gaming club. >:(  I haven't played much in the way of WWI/WWII skirmish games, though I did pick up a copy of Crossfire, a very interesting looking skirmish game with a unique initiative/action system form the author of Spearhead a while back, but I haven't actually had the chance to play it.

In sci-fi wargaming, I've played a fair number of games.  As I said above, I've been an Ogre/GEV fan for over thirty years, somewhere in storage I have a full set of Ogre Miniatures from the early aughts, and I'll probably be buying the new Ogre Minis when they come out too.  As mentioned above, I've played GZG's Full Thrust, a game which really has everything I want in a sci-fi fleet action experience.  There was a fellow who used to run FT at local conventions and the FLGS downtown regularly, and I got into his games quite regularly for years there.  I never got into 40k, but I have played a bit of Epic, the microarmour scale version of 40k.  The sci-fi wargame I've played the most would have to be Heavy Gear, a mecha game from a little gaming company out of Montreal called Dream Pod 9 (I've also played Battletech, but never really got into it).  The 1st & 2nd editions of Heavy Gear had gorgeous artwork & mechanical designs and a very well fleshed-out setting; I had a lot of fun playing it, particularly the skirmish/Gear duelling rules.  Unfortunately, the local HG scene fell apart after DP9 put out a new edition which most of the existing playerbase (myself included) hated, and which also failed to attract a new, sustainable playerbase.  These days, I'm not wargaming as much as I used to.  I get in some games every year at CanGames, the local & long-running gaming convention, and I've been demonstrating and organizing games of Mobile Frame Zero, a mecha skirmish game where you build your giant robots (and the terrain) out of lego.  MFZ is heavily influenced by the sort of "Real Robot" anime that I'm a fan of, and the creators are unrepentantly clear about their politics (tl;dr: no space nazis).

I never got into fantasy wargames.  That's purely a matter of taste, the look of fantasy just doesn't appeal to me as much as sci-fi.

So what's your wargaming story?

RPGs / Your introduction to CoC/Lovecraft?
« on: August 18, 2017, 07:45:21 PM »
I did a search, and couldn't find a thread here on this subject, so I thought I'd start one:

Since Call of Cthulhu is pretty popular with RPPR, I thought I'd ask folks how they first "discovered" CoC and/or H.P. Lovecraft's writing?

I actually discovered Lovecraft first.  I was about 11 or 12 and looking for reading material before going on a fishing trip with my folks when I noticed a book with this cover art:

I wasn't really into horror, but the descriptions of the stories on the back cover piqued my interest, so I bought it.  I started reading on the first night at the fishing lodge.  We were staying in an old log cabin on a lake that was only accessible by an old mining/logging road and the place didn't have electricity at the time.  The cabin had bats in the attic, and walls had been compromised by the chipmunks & mice that lived in the surrounding woods, so that night when the gas lamps were turned out, the cabin came alive with the sounds of squeaking and scurrying creatures.  And the first story in that Lovecraft book? The Rats in the Walls.

My introduction to Call of Cthulhu came some years later.  I was playing RPG's regularly and had joined the local RPGA club (the RPGA was TSR's old organized play arm) and at the time the RPGA supported games made by other companies, including CoC.  Unlike most of the other players at the table, I had read some of Lovecraft's work, but I'd never read any of the CoC books.  I was handed a pre-generated character, given a quick run-down of the rules, and we were off on our ill-fated adventure.  I soon discovered that the local RPGA folks approached CoC in much the same way that they approached D&D and Shadowrun: they had all memorized the spell lists & monster stats, and instead of actually describing things, they just barked spell & monster names at each other.  At one point, I had this rather memorable exchange with the keeper:

Keeper: A Byakhee bursts through the window-
Me: A what?
Keeper: [blinks] A Byakhee.
Me: I don't know what that is, could you describe it?
Keeper: [sighs] Could somebody help him?
Another player: [grabs a copy of the Malleus Monstrorum, flips through it, shoves it under my nose] Here!

I have played CoC since, but I will never forget that first game.

So, what were your first experiences with CoC or Lovecraft like?

Role Playing Public Radio Podcast / Cow Tunnels!
« on: May 20, 2014, 06:40:30 PM »
Today's episode of 99% Invisible:

Cow Tunnels

Posting this here because Ross mentioned the Cow Tunnels of Manhattan in an RPPR podcast a while back.

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