Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Weekly Update - February 23rd, 2016 - TRE Games Wins Again!!!

Round tables and stools, triple bunk beds or shelves,
and a practical spiral staircase!
The new series of these kits; the flat stairwell 'tiles' pop out of the matrix,
and are double-sided - 'UP' and 'DOWN'...
This was about ten minutes of work; the crates can be modeled with
the lids open, which I think it pretty cool!

It was a very long weekend; we had the NHL Stadium Hockey series in, and I worked back to back Saturday and Sunday games, which is why this update is so late. (I also had a long phone call yesterday, which took up all my free time. Anyway...) I did get the chance to build some of the TRE Games furniture kits, and pick up some more as well.

The new (to me, anyway) kits are a set of double bunk beds, to go with the triple bunk beds, and two sets of crates. I always need crates, especially the bigger ones, so these kits are very welcome.

Building all of these kits is very easy - use a tacky craft glue, and they are done in no time flat.

I put Chirine and Origo in the picture of the built-up crates for two reasons; one, to show size, and the other to show tactics.

We're rifling somebody's warehouse, and there's the expected banging on the door with shouts of "OPEN UP, IN THERE!" from the guards. Vrisa assumes a decorative pose, I break left and dive behind some chests and crates, and Origo breaks right:

Origo:  "I get in the crate and pull the top over me, Phil."
Phil:  "Huh?"
Origo:  "Yeah, it's the big crate you said was empty, when I looked in it."
Phil:  "Oh, all right."

So the guards finally come bursting in, are stopped dead in their tracks by the sight of Vrisa (the usual reaction, actually) and while they are distracted Origo lifts his box lid and zaps them with his Eye of Raging Power.

Tactics, and why crates are so useful.

And that spiral staircase!!! Practical, useful, and easy to build - I'll be getting more of them!!!

Special thanks to the reader who pointed out that the TRE Games website is up, too!

Monday, February 15, 2016

The Weekly Update - February 15th, 2016 - Pilgrims To The Holy Mountain

TRE Games strikes again - more furniture, and a
SPIRAL STAIRCASE! Whoo Hooo! :)

This past weekend marked the annual local game convention, Con of the North, and I had a steady stream of visitors throughout the weekend. I had a grand time, telling people about Phil and Tekumel.

The Usual Suspects of 'The Friends of Tekumel' group put on a pretty darn good show, from the reports and photos, and I am very pleased at how well it all went.

It was asked why I wasn't there, and the answer is pretty simple; the guys had a limited space available to them, and they had a full program of events to run. My style of game play, heavy on the miniatures, scenery, props, and just plain stuff does not fit easily into limited spaces. The logistics of my gaming, anywhere, requires people and time to help me move in and out of the venue - and which are usually not available, especially on a convention weekend, as people are working on and running their own games.

Which, in my personal opninion, is a very good thing for Tekumel as a whole. More then one person has noticed that for the past thirty-five-plus years, Yours Truly has been out there stumping the hustings for Tekumel; it's been a lot of work, a lot of effort, a lot of time, and (if I may say) a lot of cash to do it. So, I am pretty delighted that the Con of the North events happened, because it's a sign that the thing has 'legs of it's own'. I am very pleased.

Having visitors in, on the other hand, is a lot less of a drain on my very limited stamina and energy, and it's a lot easier for me to simply pull something off the shelf to show a guest. So, win-win all the way around, from my point of view.

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I will be taking this week to answer the backlog of e-mails that I have amassed. Please be patient... :)

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TRE Games - I don't know if their website is up yet - has some new furniture, as seen above, and the Holy Grail of model builders, a spiral staircase. More on these as I get them built - I am really looking forward to these kits!!!

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Lots more going on; more as I can get to the keyboard!

Sunday, February 7, 2016

The Weekly Update - Sunday, February 7th, 2016: Of Bases And "Advance Standards!"

The miniatures shelves, newly reorganized

First off, this Sunday, several of the bloggers that I follow - links to the left, thank you! - have posted some pretty interesting stuff - have a look, if you please!

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I was asked, last week, what I'm doing with all my new-found free time and the answer is "getting back to what's important to me." My writing, specifically, and revisiting a project that has largely gotten lost in the rush of other people's issues: "Qadardalikoi: Advance Standards!"

This is, purely and simply, my set of miniatures rules for Tekumel updated and upgraded. It's been a long time since 1982, and while the thing is still as playable as it used to be, it is older then my daughters are and could use a little work. There's a few changes that I'll be making - nothing very big! - but which are based in incidents in our gaming in Tekumel in Phil's campaign that we hadn't run into when we did the rules.

Back in the day, most of our fights were within the Five Empires, between various 'regular' forces; it wasn't until later on in the 1980s that we started doing fights with large numbers of 'irregular' forces, like the tribal hordes of the Young Master outside Hekellu. Lots and lots of tribal warriors, who are long on courage and short on armor. So, I'm doing a bit of tweaking to account for this.

This has also led into a revisiting of that arcane and obscure subject, the basing of miniature figures. Back in the day, when the rules were originally written, this was a very hot topic indeed, with lots of learned discussions over 'true scale' and 'ground scale'; I went, as was noted at the time, with a ground scale that would allow for the size and stances of the figures we had available to us back then. I'm looking back at those base sizes, and today's figures, and working out what I should do about both.

One issue that's come up is 'square / rectangular' and 'round' base shapes; back in the day, as you might guess, about all we had was hand-cut card or wood, and round bases were a fearsome and dire peril to contemplate. These days, of course, you get them at the FLGS in laser-cut plywood, and rounds are easy as all get-out. Which has led to...

My miniatures collection has, over the decades, morphed and changed with time. Originally, the idea was to have a set of miniatures with which we could fight any battle we wanted to; units were the order of the day, and my original plan had been to build up all of the various units in the old "Armies" lists at their 2,354 AS strength, just like any self-respecting historical gamer would do with his hoplites or chariots. However, this thing called a 'role-playing game' came along, and pretty soon I found that I was doing a lot more miniatures for our EPT campaign on Thursday nights then I was doing for Saturday battles.

For decades, everybody got squares or rectangles, and we used all of the figures for all of the games. Then, I started getting rounds, and the 'house rule' that evolved over the last fifteen years was that units were all on the old bases, and individual player-characters and other "RPG figures" were on the rounds. Well, okay, that seemed to work, and then we started using our PCs as commanders in battles. People tended to get a little confused at times, but we managed to work around it.

As the collection has changed content and focus, I've failed to really think about this and adapt to the changing times. I took this past weekend to go through the entire collection, updating the inventory lists along the way, and getting the entire collection reorganized and re-based as needed to make things more accessible and more playable. The shelves are no longer a random-access affair, but everything is grouped by function and then by type.

We can still fight any battle we want to, but we can now fight any RPG fight we need to. I'm pleased, if I do say so myself...