Monday, May 29, 2017

Time To Put The Cards On The Table - Yours Truly Is Fed Up & Cheesed Off...






I took a much-needed day off yesterday, and by and large it was pretty nice. I did have a less-then optimal shopping experience at a big-box purveyor of consumer electronics - the old Onkyo tuner-selector-amplifier in the game room failed on start yesterday morning, which didn't surprise me in the least because the poor old thing was the Missus' from before we got married. Twenty-seven years of hard use, all across this continent, and I'm surprised that it lasted this long. So, off to get a replacement, which turned into quite the expedition; I had a good fifteen - twenty minutes in the store with no attention from the sales people (who were all chatting with each other, and not doing anything with the customers in the place) and after telephone consultation with Herself, we settled for the cheapest and most basic unit for the game room. It works fine, and will do what we want it to do, but the store missed an opportunity to 'up-sell the customer'. Discussing my dissatisfaction with the store proved to be impossible, as neither phone calls or their website led anywhere. So, we shrug our collective shoulders, and walk away; repeat sales there will be difficult for them...

Saturday's game was a lot of fun, and I truly enjoyed it; report and photos shortly. This was, I will be right up front about it, a game on my terms and not on other people's; I have made some decisions about some things that have been happening in my life over the last five years or so, and made some choices about my gaming. This has been precipitated by the event in Portland, to be blunt, and with your indulgence I'm going to take the velvet gloves off the iron fists and pull back the curtain to comment on a few things. Cards on the table time, as it were.


The Great Feud between the Arnesonians and the Gygaxians:

I'm tired of Dave's local supporters trying to stir up trouble down in Lake Geneva at Gary Con; I'll have no part of it, thank you, as I know quite well who did what when and I respect what those guys managed to do. There's been talk of doing a 'Dave Con' like Gary Con, but I doubt it'll ever happen; the people proposing this event have all the organizational ability of a colony of cherrystone clams. If Malia - or Luke and Ernie, for that matter - call, I'll be there for them, and not for the partisan fanatics. Get stuffed.

Religious Bigotry:

I've no patience for this. At all. I dropped an old friend of some forty years from my game group and from my life after she went on a tirade about 'Evangelical Christians' and how they were persecuting her. I hadn't seen any such activity, especially from the members of the game group who fit that description. For that matter, I'm Orthodox Christian, and was also Not Amused. I pointed all this out, and got another tirade to the same effect about 'The Burning Times". All right then; time to say goodby.

LGBTQIetc. Politics In Gaming:

On the one hand, the Tekumel Foundation's President claims that Tekumel is the one and only gay-friendly RPG setting, and that as "a bi-sexual person of color" only he can "properly interpret Tekumel" for the hoi polloi. On the other hand, the President of the North Country Gaylaxians, the Minnesota LGBTQIetc. F/SF fan group that puts on the Gaylaxicon convention, claims that Prof. Barker persecuted him because he's a a gay man, and that Phil hated him for being gay because the Professor was "a devout Muslim". I scent the smell of bovine fecal matter on the wind, as I never saw any of this in my years with Phil; it's now become a hot point in Tekumel gaming, and my response is to tell everyone to go out back and settle the issue amongst themselves. Not in my basement, and not with my support.

Sexual Harassment And Assault:

Not tolerated, not here, not ever. Period. Grow up, get a life, and find some maturity. You're not welcome here, or at any event that I support or participate in.

I've been asked, many times, about why I don't do conventions or other public events. These are some of the reasons why; the Missus and I have limits to our time, energy, stamina, and money, an we do not feel the need to facilitate and enable these kinds of behaviors.

End of rant. We now return to our regular programming. Thanks for your patience!

Memorial Day, 2017 - A Pause


It's Memorial Day, and as I usually do on this date I get a little reflective. I got lucky; I had two dads, and both of them had put it all on the line back in 1944 in the Pacific for what they believed in. It's fashionable in some circles, these days, to debate the morality of the Second World War but neither of them had any qualms about their part in it.

Today's photo is from a posting I did, some time back, about some people who run into burning buildings for a living, and didn't come back out. I had also posted something to the same effect on Facebook, and got a pretty unpleasant response from somebody I know saying "Who cares?". I do, having had a firefighter in my extended family who's still a good friend. The commenter is no longer in that category, and after a number of such comments from various people I simply walked away from Facebook. I have no time or patience for such things, or for such people, and I feel that there are better things I can be doing with my life. I don't miss it, and I'll have another post on this kind of nonsense in a few moments; I wanted to separate the upcoming commentary from this note, for reasons which will - I hope - become clear. After that, I'll be reporting on yesterday's game session, and getting some photos up for everyone.

So, while today is a holiday, please take a moment to remember the people who gave us all the opportunity to have it...



Saturday, May 27, 2017

Game room's ready! (Saturday, May 27th, 2017)

Today's game, looking north; general view
The Lost Ruins, ready for adventure!

Pyramids, towers, temples, and mysterious craters

The Underworld, waiting to be explored

The game lounge, all cleaned up
All I have to do is set out the snacks!

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

The Weekly Update - Tuesday, May 23rd, 2017 - It's Only Getting Busier!

Celebrating the Tsolyani New Year

This has been a very, very busy time, here at The Workbench; I have two in-house game sessions on hand for the next two weekend, then I'll be at Free RPG Day at The Source Comics and Games on June 17th showing people what we used to get up to at the meetings of the Conflict Simulation Association at Coffman Student Union back in the late 1970s and early 1980s. The "Legend of Cleopatra" Indiegogo campaign being run by Dr. M. Burns of Dark Fable Miniatures is steaming along nicely, with - at last look - over 225% funding achieved.

It's also been very busy at work, so I'm more then a little tired out by it all.

Be that as it may, it's also the time of the year when the Tsolyani year clicks over into a new one; I'll have to look, but I think we just passed out of the intercalenary days of 2,395 A.S. and are now in 2,396 A. S., using Prof Barker's custom of adding 379 to the present year to get the Tsolyani year.

Projects are moving along slowly, as I've been repacking a lot of what's stored in the shed and in the game room  and simply finding everything that I own; in some cases, I've simply lost track over the years of where something was packed in all the various rushes to get off to some event happened. Case in point: I went looking for the beige tablecloths that I use for my game table when I'm out and about - they match the table cloth for the smaller of my two Skyline display sets - and I looked everywhere for them. They were, of course, packing in the 'show set' bag with the other table cloths. Right on top of the smaller (four foot high) Skyline display.

Honestly; I'd lose my nose, if it wasn't so firmly attached to my face.

The first batch of Cleopatra's guards are now assembled. These are some of the Victrix plastic infantry, the 'Macedonian Hypastist' (spelling is poor, I suspect.) I have to assemble the two packs of phalanx troops, and then I'll do the second set of Numidian lights; these will use the unarmored / helmetless heads, and I'll give them wicker shields from Foundry - I have a lot of this sort of thing in the parts bins - so that they can also be used alongside my XVIII Dynasty figures and my Tekumelyani. Multi-tasking, in a way, and perhaps getting more for my money. Once everybody is built - they are like little model kits! - then I'll wait for a nice day and apply my usual flat white primer.

I am also going to decorate their shields with decals; they have blank shields, and I thought that this would look a little boring, so I'm reaching back into the parts bins for some decal sheets I got over five years ago and never found a use for. When I did the Old Guard Sea People figures that I got quite a while back, I decorated their plain shields with some nice and fierce-looking decals, and I am very pleased with the effect. (And it does save a lot of fiddly painting, too!) So, we'll try this out; worst comes to worst, I'll have to paint the decals over and start fresh.

I have one other news item; my third daughter and her husband are now financially secure enough to hold a big splashy wedding party - they never had the chance to have one, originally - so I will have the chance to be a Proud Father and a Doting Grandfather, all at once. Hurrah!!!

More news and photos, as I get them!



Monday, May 15, 2017

The Weekly Update - Monday, May 15, 2017 - A Month Of Gaming Ahead!




Two large with low roofing, one small with high...

Two small, one large, all with high roofing...

As promised, here are the photos of the foam cooler buildings I've had in the project waiting list for quite a long while. The roof sections are simply solid foam blocks, cut to shape on the band saw, and glued up and glued to the coolers' lids. The blocks will get sanded and filled, and then painted to represent tiles or slates - probably tiles, as that's what Phil liked.

We don't have a lot of drawings or artwork by Phil of buildings, which is a little odd; but then, I suspect that since he knew his beloved South Asia so well, he assumed that we'd be able to get the idea from his descriptions. So, these are a synthesis of his descriptions and what we have, and I think they'll be fine.

I'd also like to suggest the superb 'Temple City Set" from Stonehouse Miniatures; I have one of these, and it's done yeoman service in our games for years. Please have a look, if you would:


It's going to be a very busy month of gaming for me; two sessions have been booked here at the house, and I've been asked to run some games for Free RPG Day at the FLGS. Barsoom is on the slate, as well as Ancient Egypt; Tekumel is being catered for by John Till and his 'FATE for Tekumel' game; we'll see what else shows up, and we'll have a good time with old friends and new.

So, very busy, and I'll try to keep everyone updated as best as I can. More to come, I hope!