Maybe I’m back

Three years ago, I moved from this blog to another hosted on Blogspot called The Army Collector, because I was thinking I’d be collecting armies.  I then set up another blog, called Graph Paper Games to cover my roleplaying games.  Then I started a blog strictly for my solo zombie game called Hard Boiled Zombies.  Which, if you’re counting, is three blogs, all fairly specialized.

There’s a lot I could write about how three years ago I was beginning a massive process of changing a lot of my life, and how that prompts blog-platform hopping.  But I’m also realizing a few things.  First, I don’t feel like collecting armies anymore, having built up a sizable Space Marines army over the last few years.  My roleplaying gaming is going well, but I’ve realized that RPG material isn’t all that interesting.

Finally, what do I do with wanting to write about a historical murder mystery?  Is it a wargaming thing?  A roleplaying thing?  Or just a thing I like?

That’s why I’m thinking of coming back here, to my blog that doesn’t really have a specific “theme.”  Speaking of theme, WordPress blogs just look great, while Blogger blogs all look a lot alike.

At a minimum, I’ll keep the zombie blog, since having an ongoing story there with a lot of people following it.  But I’m going to try blogging here again, not about a specific thing but whatever I want.  We’ll see how long that lasts.


302 The Gateway Back

After a pretty long and holiday-induced break, my D&D 4E campaign is back underway.  It was one of those crazy sessions where the players were rolling 20’s all over the place at the beginning and then couldn’t catch a break later at the “boss” encounter.

The game had that great combination of nail-biting intensity, laughing until you weep, and mildly inappropriate humor that I think represents that wonderful zone that brings you back to the table again and again.

One thing that did boggle me, however.  I don’t know how many times you can say, “there is writing on the walls” and have them ignore it.  Oh well, I guess they’ll learn about it sooner or later.

290 The 2009 Review

As the year draws to a close, I thought I’d take stock in what I’ve accomplished in terms of hobbies over the past twelve months.  As usual, I’ll go by my “three setting switch” categories:


By my count, I’ve finished 57 miniatures in 2009, most in the last few months.  Adopting a swifter painting technique and dedicating more time each evening to painting, rather than watching television, has done a lot to get that going.


I was shocked to see that I had completed 15 terrain pieces this year.  Admittedly three of them were cardstock, but I had forgotten how many of them were sci-fi related (e.g. the filtration tower, the green thing, the zombie bunker).  That doesn’t even count the several pieces I made for EOW, which I left off the list because they lack paint.

Roleplaying Games

I have managed to stick with D&D 4E, getting my gaming group all the way to fourth level.  Hopefully we will be getting back up to speed now that the holidays are over.


We have not had the final battle of the 2009 campaign yet (it will spill over into 2010) but I spent the year battling with Vampire Counts, and doing a pretty bad job of it.  I thought the army would be easy to use with its large blocks of unbreakable units, but it proved to be too slow, too predictable, and too dependent on magic to do well, especially at smaller point levels.

Looking ahead to 2010


I’ve got a load of Numidians from Wargames Factory to paint, and I hope my new “bop ’til I drop” painting philosophy will keep the tempo high when it comes to miniature painting.  I’m also looking at some old Chronopia and Games Workshop dwarf miniatures too.


Unless something radical shifts, this area may go a little dormant, to the point that I’ve even packed up in long-term storage some of the molds.  Right now I just lack the space for more pieces.

Roleplaying Games

This will remain unchanged, since the twice-a-month-or-so D&D campaign is healthy and going well.


Once the current campaign is over, it is my turn to conceive of a new campaign concept.  I’m still thinking on this one.

Thanks for taking the time to come here.  I always hope that it is an informative and inspiring visit.

Holiday Musings

The holidays are always a particularly busy time for me, between work and hosting the family gathering (both of which can only be described as inevitable).  I’m glad I got through the last of Skaven miniatures before then.  Those skaven were actually some of the odd miniatures that were part of the large lot my wargaming club liquidated a while back.  Having sold most of the really valuable pieces, I was left with the odd bits to do as I please.  So I have sprues of skaven and skellies and Mordheim mercenaries kicking around the worktable right now.

So while my worktable is covered in wrapping paper and gaming sessions get bumped by family dinners, here’s where my hobby brain is, at least.

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RPG’s in the Attic, Part One

As I mentioned in my last post, I’m cleaning out my attic and am looking through about a half dozen boxes of old RPG’s I stuffed up there years ago.  It has gotten to be time to get rid of some of this stuff, so I’m going to sort through and see what I want to go.

I’m doing in this real time, blogging as I go.  As a final note before the break, if you see anything you like, let me know.

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Christmas at Strange Vistas

I thought that as long as I was putting up Christmas decorations at home, I’d do the same here on my blog.  I’m hoping that my shipment of Numidians from Wargames Factory will arrive soon and I can get started on trying out the basecoat-and-dip on those.

While I was up in the attic pulling down boxes of Christmas tree lights and ornaments I saw about four boxes of roleplaying games that were consigned up there a few years ago.  I’m thinking I might go and pull some of them down, sort through them, and see if there’s any that I want to sell on eBay.  A lot of them came from my “compulsive RPG buyer” phase and most have never even seen a game table.  But we’ll see and if you’re interested, I’ll post the auction link.

Character death

The last player character I had die during a gaming session was shot in the back by another PC.

It was too bad, because I had successfully navigated the character across a post-apocalyptic wasteland, survived pirates and psychotic robots and watery deathtraps.  I had even, while hanging onto the side of a tossing raft, uttered the cool tough-guy phrase “gun me” before having a pistol slid over to him by another PC.

But, we were using pre-generated characters, and apparently in my PC’s past he had shot and killed another PC’s father, and the punk kid shot me in the back at the very end of the adventure.  So it goes.

I didn’t mind, not just because he was basically a one-off character not of my own creation, but also because it was a death that worked for the story.  He was a self-destructive gunslinger looking for death, and he got it.  In the matter of PC death, I don’t mind when PC’s die because they are unbelievably stupid (“yes, I will try to disable the bomb even though I lack the appropriate skill”) or take on overwhelming challenges, either heroically or foolishly.  I’m not a fan of the “oops–you stepped on a trap.  You die” where it just comes out of nowhere, but I get that it happens too.

Long story on PC death after the break.

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