Thursday, September 27, 2007

Zen Again: AT-43

Is it finally time to give sci-fi gaming an honest shot?

My wargaming buddies will vouch for the fact that I'm a devout fantasy wargamer at heart. I've been collecting & painting miniatures for close to 30 years and have a fairly large and eclectic collection of fantasy minis from a wide range of manufacturers. Part of my collection also includes historicals, usually from the medieval or ancient periods where my main interests lie. But aside from an oddball figure here & there and some HeroScape stuff (robots), I don't own too much in the way of science fiction miniatures.

Don't get me wrong, I think sci-fi wargaming is a cool, especially for skirmish games. But what has been stopping me from getting into that period all of these years has been a combination of time and money.

I have a rabid fascination with nicely painted fantasy miniatures and enjoy collecting them and forming them into sizeable armies for use in mass-battle games. But without a doubt, you can sink mucho money into this hobby if your aim is to collect high quality, professional looking toy soldiers. Many gamers decide that rather than spend gobs of cash to buy pro-painted figures, they'll paint the minis themselves. This is a much more affordable route to go, but the tradeoff here is time. I really enjoy painting, since it lets me use my artistic talent in a fun way. But I simply don't have as much free time as I used to. I would guess that I spend 20 to 24 hours to complete a unit of soldiers to my level of satisfaction. That's a good chunk of time; as you can see I'm not a speed painter!

So unless you're independently wealthy or retired, you're limited in the number of periods & genres that you can get into. Fortunately, the wargaming hobby is starting to undergo a major change. From HeroScape to Reaper's new Legendary Encounters range to Rackham's AT-43 and revamped Confrontation game, the era of "pre-painted" miniatures is upon us. In my opinion, this is a great thing for the wargaming hobby. It will bring more outsiders into the hobby because the barrier to entry has really been lowered. With pre-paints, it doesn't cost as much to acquire painted minis and you don't need to spend any time painting them. For those of us diehards who still love buying traditional metal minis, oogling expert paint-jobs, and the self-expression that comes with the painting/modelling hobby, we now have a cheap & fast way to expand our wargaming interests into other periods & genres which were previously too costly or time consuming to get into.

That brings me squarely to the topic of AT-43, Rackham's science-fiction skirmish game that features pre-painted models. I've read several reviews of this game online and in wargaming magazines and it seems pretty promising.

AT-43 doesn't appear to have the tactical depth and strong command & control feel of the fantasy wargames that I most favor (especially when compared to my own Sword of Severnia game). But you know what, that's okay with me. There's room for all kinds of different games, with varying degrees of depth & weight. While I may love to really dive into a deep wargame as my main pastime, a light game of HeroScape with its very simple rules is a hell of a lot of fun. My guess is that AT-43 will fit into the medium/light category of skirmish wargames. And for me, that's exactly what I'm looking for: a fun complement to the deeper games that I play.

But what makes AT-43 most attractive to me are its pre-painted models. Rackham is known for its cool sculpts. While these sci-fi models don't have the crazy French-flair of their fantasy range, they're very cool in their own right. Here are some of my favorites:

I don't know about you, but I think these are really cool looking figures. The space apes are just awesome!

I doubt that the factory paint jobs will meet the standards of these showcase minis, but I've heard they're very solid "tabletop quality" miniatures. That's all you can ask for in a mass-produced range.

It won't be long until I take the plunge and pickup some boxes of these babies.

If you haven't heard, Rackham has been in the news recently, and the news wasn't all that good. From the sound of things, it seems like they're experiencing some financial troubles and are in the process of restructuring the company and refining their long-range business plans. I sincerely hope that they get things turned around, as their move to pre-paints is a bold move and one which many gamers are clamoring for.

On the plus side, they recently made a deal with Fantasy Flight Games here in the USA. Fantasy Flight is one of the most popular board game publishers around and their excellent range of games is growing quite rapidly. If you've never heard of Descent, War of the Ring, Citadels, Tide of Iron, Arkham Horror, Runebound, Fury of Dracula, Blue Moon, Wings of War, then where in the heck have you been the past 4 years? They are also starting to distribute the fine World Tank Museum miniature tanks from Japan, and are coming out with a 54mm collectible minis game called Mutant Chronicles soon. So I don't think Rackham could have picked a better partner to team up with than FFG. That move will ensure that these fine minis get plenty of exposure in North America.

Anyway, do yourself a favor and check out AT-43. It may be just the game to get you fantasy, ancients, napoleonics, and WWII wargamers into the world of sci-fi in a way that won't kill your pocketbook or eat up too much extra time.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Game Finds on eBay

I'm what you might call a "Spurt eBayer". I spend 2 weeks buying a batch of fun stuff on ebay, usually wargame miniatures or board games, and then I cool my jets for a month or two.

My buying frenzy usually ends once my Catholic guilt kicks in and I begin to worry about how much I just spent. That $50 I just plunked down for a unit of beautifully painted lizardmen could feed a homeless person for a week you know! But damn... There just aren't many material things that fire off the excitement center in my brain like the beauty of well-painted toy soldiers or the allure of a well-designed, richly themed, and thought provoking board game. Everyone has their guilty pleasures. Games, especially those with a high toy factor and artistic flair, really hit my soft spot.

Recently, I succumbed to the Siren's Call of games as I was browsing through the voluminous pages of goodies that are sold on eBay every day. I've got roughly 80 games on my wishlist of boardgames, card games, and wargames to acquire. So there are plenty of games to hunt for. While it's true that you can buy just about anything on eBay, where it really shines is in the hard to find, lesser-known, and older games that have gone out of print or have been relegated to the backshelves in most game stores.

Of the 4 games I bought recently, only 2 of them really fall into the hard-to-find or lesser-known categories. These games included:
Monkeys On the Moon (by Eight Foot Llama) is a humorous card game involving, you guessed it, monkeys in space. How can a game with that theme NOT be fun? This is one of those games that I would buy just for the title alone!

Battleball (by Hasbro) is a game of futuristic, sci-fi football with cool looking pre-painted plastic models representing your players. It's kind of a "Blood Bowl Light" in some respects. It should go over quite well with some of the younger folks in our game group.

The other 2 games I purchased are much more well-known, but are still a few years old and thus, good targets for bargain hunters. They are:
Attack! is a World War II era wargame of world conquest by the now defunct Eagle Games. Proponents of this game often describe it as a better alternative to Risk and Axis & Allies, especially when played with the Expansion set which provides for a meatier game. So I'll definitely be looking to buy the expansion for this one. The components look pretty darn neat and sure beat the old wooden cubes that we played with when playing Risk "back in the day".

Nexus Ops is a sci-fi wargame from the new incarnation of Avalon Hill. It's a very highly rated game on BoardGame Geek, with attractive components (glow in the dark, bug-like aliens) and a modular hex board. Although "heroic fantasy" is my favorite theme for a game, I also enjoy sci-fi and this game should scratch that itch.

It should be quite obvious from these 4 purchases that theme is a critical aspect of any board game for me. That's where scores of "Euro" style board games fall short for me; they usually offer quick play and elegant mechanics, but the theme is often an afterthought or exceedingly boring.

Don't get me wrong, there are plenty of really good Euros out there which mix good design with a good theme. I'm not anti-Euro by any means. Games like Tikal, El Grande, Through the Desert, Blue Moon, Manhattan, and Modern Art are all on my wishlist because they merge cool themes with elegant game play. But when push comes to shove, I'm probably an American gamer at heart. The lure of immersing myself in a theme and the "game as storytelling" is something that I crave and which American style games and wargames typically do better than Euros.

Thanks eBay... I'll be seeing you again soon!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Wake Me Up When September Ends

Man, what an up & down month September has been for me. There have been some really fun moments mixed in with several disappointments and a heavy dose of frustration. Life is like that sometimes. A lot has gone on the past 10 days, and I apologize for the lack of blog posts.

On the plus side, I made the HARL fantasy baseball playoffs again and my team, the Sevy Rhinos, were hanging onto a razor-thin lead after 2 weeks of play. After 21 seasons of playing rotisserie baseball, I still feel the excitement of September baseball. But man, watching the nightly highlights of your pitching staff's performance can leave you with a queasy stomach. Pepcid AC has become my best friend. Hello Tom Gorzelanny, why did your arm fall off last week at a time when I desperately needed you? Sheesh. There's only 1 week of major league baseball left to play... Can the Horned Ones pull another league championship out of their magic cap? And can my beloved Phillies catch the Mets or grab the NL Wild Card and make the real playoffs? We shall see soon enough.

I saw The Mousetrap at Allenberry Playhouse this month. It was a great little play, with some eccentric characters (Mr. Paravicini, Christoper Wren, and Mrs. Boyle were particularly weird and captivating) and excellent performances by the cast members. You just gotta love those Agatha Christie mysteries! I've been going to Allenberry for many years and always enjoy it. If you live in Central PA and have never ventured out to Boiling Springs for a night of theatre, what the hell are you waiting for? Do yourself a favor and go see some plays!

Anna and I got to see Genesis play at the Wachovia Center in Philly on September 20. Although the concert tickets ($200+ apiece), along with everything else ($40 T-shirts and $7-$8 for a beer), were outrageously over-priced, it was still a really good time and I'm glad that I went. These guys have still got the musical licks, and Phil Collins is not only a very likeable showman, but the man still plays a mean set of drums! As a drummer myself, I was delighted at hearing the really cool sounds that the Phil Collins / Chester Thompson drumming duo generated during that evening's performance. After seeing the Police earlier this summer at HersheyPark, it's quite clear to me that the number of current rock bands that generate the kind of excitement and musical variety of these classic groups is few and far between.

September has, however, had its downside. Development work on the Sword of Severnia wargame project has gone a bit slower than I had hoped this month. While some good stuff was accomplished (I completed the rules for 1-on-1 duels and they seem to have a pretty neat flavor to them), I'm about 2-3 weeks behind the schedule that I set out for myself in mid-August. Part of that is due to some vacation days messing up my workflow. Another hiccup has been that I took an unexpected development detour and have been roughing out some campaign rules over the past week or so. I have good reasons for doing this, but when a Version 2 task suddenly gets thrust into the Version 1 workflow, things get jumbled a bit and you're left feeling like you're behind the curve. I'll get back on track soon.

Perhaps the biggest disappointment is the lack of communication that I've had with my design consulting team of late. I've tried to stir the pot a little, but they've been too busy with personal tasks to really keep up with things project-wise. I understand the nature of these things, but the simple fact is that a 2-month "down period" really hurts the momentum of the project from a team perspective. I hope these guys can rekindle their enthusiasm soon or it's going to be an even longer road to project-completion that I anticipated & planned for at the start of 2007.

Aside from work worries, the most frustrating thing about September has been the lackluster start to the launch of the GODS game club. It all started with much enthusiasm. We even got together for a really fun, 5-player game of Ticket to Ride on September 9. But then I realized that biweekly Wednesday sessions were not going to work schedule-wise for most folks, and so I cancelled them and stuck to a 1-game per weekend gaming schedule. Unfortunately, we had to cancel our very next weekend game session due to lack of participation. That got me a little down in the dumps to be honest. I quickly came to the realization that despite my excitement and initial efforts, getting this club to work would require some re-thinking. Expanding the core group of regular gamers seems like a necessity. I'm considering reaching out to some local folks on BGG to see if I can get another 2-4 gamers to participate. That could be a little dicey since the GODS is meant to be a private club, rather than a public group which plays at a game store, library, or other civic center. Anyway, I'm using this late-September downtime to let some ideas percolate through my mind. I know I'll get this club working, it's just a matter of time and patience... plenty of patience.

All I can say is.... can't wait for October!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Game Club -- Sign-Up Deadline for Weekly Games

If you wish to sign-up to play in a weekly game session once the email notice for that game has been sent to everyone, you must let me know that you're playing by the following deadlines:
  • If SATURDAY game, sign-up by Midnight on THURSDAY night.
  • If SUNDAY game, sign-up by Midnight on FRIDAY night.
If I don't get the minimum number of people signed-up to play in a game, I'll cancel the game session. I'll send out an email with the cancellation notice on the morning after the sign-up deadline has passed.

I need to impose these deadlines so that I can plan my weekend activities around whether we are or are not going to have a game session, and I also need to work my prep-time in there as well (reviewing the rules, getting drinks/snacks if needed, etc.).

Thanks in advance for your cooperation!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Overwhelmed and Underpaid

So you want to become a micro ISV (independent software vendor)? I've got a really good suggestion for you: don't do it. It's a real struggle. Herding cats is much easier. You can thank me later for the 10 years that I've added onto your life expectancy.

Hmmm... You're still not convinced eh? You're one of those people who love the uber-difficult challenges in life. Well, that's a start at least. Because in the wide world of independent software development where so many smart, creative, and well-educated people end up becoming overwhelmed and underpaid, you've got to possess the will to soldier on at a bare minimum.

I came across an old blog-post that I wrote in 2005 for my now defunct Mad Rhinoceros blog. I wanted to re-post it here for two reasons. First, it does a nice job of capturing the essence of the "overwhelmed" feeling that we software entrepreneurs often experience on a regular basis. And secondly, it clearly shows that sometimes the best laid plans fail to work out. In this particular case, the failure was simply due to lack-of-time, the arch nemesis of all micro businesses.

Read on...

[From the Mad Rhinoceros, Sep 1, 2005]

The life of a small, independent software developer is one where you wear many hats. So many hats in fact, that I ought to open my own damn hat store. By the way, if anyone knows where you can buy one of those cool hats the Pope wears, let me know.

The most enjoyable part of my job is brainstorming ideas for cool software products, creating the functional specs for them, and then actually creating the database and programming & testing the software. For those of you who don't know, creating quality software is a long and arduous process. Even with rapid application development tools, there are scads of steps in the process and zillions of places to screw up. But there's nothing quite like the feeling of spending your time doing mental gymnastics and communing with the spirit of Einstein, and to then see your creation come to life. It's a Frankenstein moment of utter excitement.

Unfortunately, just like Dr. Frankenstein, there's a monster to deal with. And that monster rears its ugly head in the shape of all the things you DON'T really prefer spending your time on. There's business planning and marketing. There's web site maintenance to tend to. There's pre-sales inquiries to address, and after-sale customer service and technical support to provide. And there are business dealings to consider and consultants to manage. All of these things are vital to running a successful company and can't be ignored. But let's face it, most software entrepreneurs would rather be creating their next digital golem and nurturing it to life.

So what's the point of all this? The point is that there are just too many things vying for your attention. The trick of not going completely insane is to periodically figure out how you can eliminate the loser tasks and how to streamline your operation. It occurred to me shortly after starting this blog that it could help me streamline Rhino Software's web site.

For a long time I've wanted to find a reasonable way to stay in touch with faithful customers and site surfers that didn't require too much of hit on my time (which there is never enough of). I've thought about writing a periodic newsletter to share tips about Rhino Baseball, Rhino Hockey, and other software applications. I wanted to share comments & insights on fantasy sports, games, and the software business for small/micro companies. Basically, I just wanted to do a better job of reaching out to people and providing a deeper sense of community between us all.

So far, that reaching out has been mostly limited to helping folks with their customer support issues. And while customers always praise me for the excellent help that I provide them, I only really get to talk to a small percentage of you guys. So I thought, why not incorporate news, tips, commentary, and surveys into various pages of the site? Wouldn't that be cool?

Well... Okay maybe it didn't turn out to be so cool after all. Despite my best intentions, I haven't made the time to write software tips articles for the Ask Reggie Rhino page, provide ongoing commentary on the Sports Buzz page, or squeeze in ideas about software development on the Tech Talk page. About the only thing I do stay current with is the What's New stuff on the front page. So here's what I've decided. All of those things (except for the news on the front page) are going away. They will be put out to pasture to frolic in the Land of What Might Have Been. This blog is going to take their place. I am going to divide & conquer. Reggie Rhino will bring his bat, stick, and technical sports brain right here. Everything that needs or wants to be talked about, will be talked about in the blog and combined into one place. Isn't streamlining wonderful?

The real beauty of a blog is that by its very nature, it's great for posting snippets and short commentary on a regular basis. I can write down what's on my mind without worrying that I need to compile a volume of writing that rivals War & Peace in sheer size. So I'm optimistic that this will work out in the long run. BLOGGER comes to the rescue again!


That post was written 2 years ago. Obviously, I had good intentions and had the foresight to realize that blogging was a good way to reach the audience that I wanted to communicate with.
But too many other work-tasks got in the way.

Between the continued development of Rhino Baseball, running 2 stats services, and jumping into the development of a new wargame project with both feet and trying to muster assistance & input from a part-time group of consultants who needed lots of prodding, my plate was full. Not to mention that I had to make a painful decision to suspend work on a product (Rhino Hockey) that was very nearly complete after several years of work, but which wasn't generating enough pre-release buzz.

As you can see, it's easy for a micro ISV to become overwhelmed since every little thing falls on your shoulders. "Lifers" who have spent their entire careers in Corporate America have absolutely no concept of what this is like. They're insulated in their own little worlds, with very specific tasks to work on, and a steady paycheck that mitigates the frustration an independent developer feels of working his/her ass off only to see a small amount of revenue dribbling in.

The desire to blow everything up, quit, and move on to another job (perhaps getting out of the software development field altogether) is a personal demon that I wrestle with quite frequently. It's counter-balanced by my love of the "software creation process" which feeds my innermost desire to be challenged and express my personal creativity. Plus, once you've put 10+ years of your blood, sweat, and tears into something, it's extremely difficult to just walk away from it. It becomes part of you. Some people might say it's like being married. You put up with lots of crap only because the things you love about it are so special.

Anyway... At least I've committed myself to blogging on a regular basis now. I suppose that once this becomes a habit, I won't have to think twice about firing up Blogger or my email program and jotting down passing thoughts, observations, or sharing interesting information with everyone. In some perverse sort of way, it's good to get things off your chest and write about them. It really is cathartic, and helps with the sense of being overwhelmed. Now if I can just find a good way to solve the underpaid problem!

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Zen Again: Otherworld Miniatures

I recently stumbled across a range of 28mm fantasy minis made out of pewter that got me so excited that I giggled like a little school girl. The figures are manufactured by a british company called Otherworld Miniatures (

For those of you who were gaming in the good old days when Dungeons & Dragons was in its infancy and you didn't need a PHD to learn how to play it, you will be simply amazed when you see these minis. Not only is the sculpting absolutely beautiful, but they are dead ringers for those classic images of devils, giants, and orcs that graced the pages of the early editions of the D&D Monster Manual.

The pig-faced orcs are particularly cool. When it comes to orcs, I'm partial to more traditional-looking goblinesque orcs such as those made by Games Workshop, Foundry, or West Wind.

The snout-faced nasties from Otherworld have a style all their own, and really deserve to be considered as a separate entity from standard orcs. They're truly irresistable, and so neat that I'm contemplating creating a separate race of pig-men creatures for the Sword of Severnia tabletop wargame so that players can field units of these unique and colorful creatures in their battles. Check out some of the images of these critters:

The only downside of these minis for American wargamers is that they're priced in British Pounds rather than US dollars, and the price-per-figure cost is on the high-end of the pricing spectrum.

That said, the sculpting quality of these figures appears to be top-notch and the uniqueness of these figures makes them an attractive buy for collectors and veteran gamers looking for a nice change of pace from Games Workshop world domination. It's always good to support the smaller companies in our great hobby.

You can purchase the minis from the company's web site:

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Zen Again: Scapeliciously Good!

If you're a fan of HeroScape (, there's no better time to put your gaming geek-o-mobile into overdrive than right now. Just look at all of the scapeliciously cool stuff that's being released for this much beloved miniatures wargame.

In mid-to-late August, the newest 4-set expansion pack for HeroScape called Fields of Valor was released. This set includes:

  • Templar Knights = 3 mounted Knights with a strong "crusader" feel to them.

  • Fiends & Vampires = 3 very nasty looking Gargoyles and some deadly blood-sucking Vampires.

  • Spearmen & Riflemen = 8 Ashigaru soldiers (Japanese); 4 spearmen and 4 gunners armed with arquebuses.

  • Heroes of Elswin = an eclectic mix here of Elven Sorceress, Ninja, Vampire heroes, and a Soulborg hero (Cyborg).
This looks like an excellent expansion set. The Knights are my faves of the bunch (a cavalry squad was long overdue), and the Vampires, Gargoyles, and heroes are all quite attractive additions to the game as well. I'll be scarfing up all of these very soon.

Swarm of the Marro (Master Set 2)

Just released about a week ago was the brand new Swarm of the Marro master set. The new set includes a couple of refurbished heroes (Sgt. Drake and Raelin to name two popular characters), a few new characters, and a whole lot of Marros (aliens).

In my opinion, Master Set-2 isn't nearly as cool as Master Set-1, but I would have wanted the 2nd set anyway for the additional terrain. But geez, that giant Marro behemoth is just too damn cool to pass up. I'm not sure what his stats are yet, but he looks like he'll kick some serious valkyrie booty.


But wait, there's more! Coming this Fall to a toy store near you is the Wave-8 expansion set for HeroScape called Defenders of Kinsland. This 4-set packs includes Elves (4 elven magicians including one riding a hippogriff), Marro Cavalry, Militia & Wolves (English musketmen from the Revolutionary War and a wolf-pack), and Heroes of the Molten Sea (assorted heroes including a Samurai leader, Templar lord, and Elf wizard among others).

This looks like another winner, especially for those of us who like to use our HeroScape figures in other tabletop wargames as well.

Ticalla Jungle Set

Another terrain set is also planned for a late-2007 release. You'll soon be able to augment your forests, bridges, lava, tundra/glaciers, and castle with jungle terrain. Very cool indeed.

And finally...


For those of you who want to scratch your superhero itch, the new MarvelScape game was released this summer. I enjoyed comic books as a kid and love comics-inspired movies such as Spiderman and the X-Men. But I never got into the whole HeroClix thing mainly because collectible games are not really my bag. I like to know what I'm getting ahead of time. That makes MarvelScape, a non-collectible game, a very interesting & tempting little game. Plus, the quality of the pre-painted figures will surely be top-notch.* I think given time, this game will equal and perhaps even surpass the popularity of HeroClix in superhero gaming circles.

*[Mini Rant] -- Yes, yes I know, I know... Pre-painted minis are never as good-looking as what most experienced wargamers can produce with their own paints & brushes. But people who complain about pre-paints are really missing the point. I enjoy painting, but with my free time at a premium, I don't get to do it nearly as much as I'd like. So I welcome the chance to augment my own painted creations with pro-painted stuff that I buy at shows or on eBay. And I certainly don't mind adding some pre-painted stuff to my collection if it's "tabletop quality" as well. It's a huge time-saver.

But listen up wargaming elitists, there's a large throng of gamers who could care less whether they ever touch a paint-brush in their life. For those folks, pre-paints are the perfect solution. They're affordable and look a hell of a lot better than bare-metal minis! The opportunity to buy toy soldiers and game with them right out of the box will help expand the wargaming hobby into sectors of the gaming world that were heretofore untouched. Reaper and now Rackham are starting to take the hint. And I'll bet that the huge success of HeroScape had a lot to do with their decisions to introduce pre-paints into their own product lines.

[End Rant]

PS: My favorite place to buy HeroScape stuff online is House Mouse Games ( Check out the site when you get a chance.

Peace out!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Weekly Gaming at Sevy's

The game club idea is alive & kicking. I've got roughly 15 people in the mix, and I'm hopeful that I can draw in another 5-to-8 once this thing gets off the ground. Right now, the group of interested people includes the following folks, who I've broken down into 2 groups:
  • Regulars = those people who seem most interested in playing games on a regular basis, coming to several sessions per month and playing just about any type of board game, card game, or war game that I toss out there.
  • Light Gamers = those people who plan to come only very sporadically, or who are interested in only very specific types of games (such as Party games or Card games).
I've created these groupings for 2 reasons. First, I want to know who the "regulars" are going to be so that I can discuss nitty-gritty club details with them and shape the monthly game schedule to focus on their availability and likes & dislikes as much as possible. After all, they're the folks who are going to be participating in gaming sessions most often.

Secondly, it gives the light-gamers a little sense of relief. They may only show up to play a game once every 4-to-8 weeks. That's fine with me. I'm happy to have them as part of the game club. Since they're classified as a light-gamer they know that my expectations for them are low (participation-wise), so they don't need to feel like they're making me spend lots of time gearing sessions specifically towards them when they're not going to be coming on a regular basis. I don't want anyone to feel guilty about any of this; the game club is meant to be fun and certainly not stressful. We've all got enough stress at work!

Onto the breakdowns...

  • Steve Severino
  • Wally Wenklar
  • Kevin Sarnowski
  • Kenny Alfery
  • Mayer Foner
  • Joe Foner
  • Hunter Wenklar
  • Alton Whittle
  • Drew Whittle
  • Geoff Kyper
  • Anna Severino
  • Greg Hagins -and- Janelle Hagins
  • Pat Noll -and- Carol Noll
  • Ed Chance
  • Mike Hoover
If you feel that I've stuck you in the wrong group, please let me know and I'll gladly change it. I wasn't 100% sure where to put Joe, Hunter, and Alton & Drew so I played it safe.

The name for our little local game club is The GODS. GODS stands for Games On Darius Society. Since I'm hosting these events at my place on Darius Drive, I thought this fit quite nicely and was easy to remember.

I worked up the official schedule of gaming sessions for the month of September 2007. I will notify you guys if the schedule changes (dates, times, or games), but for now the schedule is as follows:

  • SEP 9 (SUN @ 7 PM) = Ticket to Ride
  • SEP 12 (WED @ 7 PM) = Feudal
  • SEP 16 (SUN @ 7 PM) = Pirate's Cove
  • SEP 23 (SUN @ 7 PM) = Cash N' Guns
  • SEP 26 (WED @ 7 PM) = HeroScape
  • SEP 29 (SAT @ 7 PM) = Citadels
About 6-7 days prior to each game session, I'll send out an email to the group with some info about the upcoming session and game to be played. That will be your cue to let me know (via email or phone call) if you are coming to that session to play. For now, I'm going to take requests-to-play on a first-come, first-served basis. I'm going to ponder how to make that system better because I want to be fair to everyone. Your ideas are always welcomed. Drop me an email or make a comment on the Six Sided Rhinoceros blog (

Game On!

Monday, September 3, 2007

September Schedule for the GODS

For those of you who responded to me that you were interested in periodically participating in my weekly tabletop games club (to be held at my home in Enola PA), you'll want to make a note of this. What follows is the Schedule of Gaming Sessions for September 2007 for the GODS (aka: Games On Darius Society).

I'm going to list the DATES/TIMES for the September gaming sessions first, and then follow that with several comments.

  • SEP 9 (SUN @ 7 PM) = Ticket to Ride
  • SEP 12 (WED @ 7 PM) = Feudal
  • SEP 16 (SUN @ 7 PM) = Pirate's Cove
  • SEP 23 (SUN @ 7 PM) = Cash N' Guns
  • SEP 26 (WED @ 7 PM) = HeroScape
  • SEP 29 (SAT @ 7 PM) = Citadels

The Schedule of Game Sessions

The session dates and games listed above could change. I will notify the game group at least 4-5 days in advance of an upcoming session if the date, time, or game to be played is going to change. I will do my best to limit the changes, but as everyone knows unexpected events always crop up from time to time and affect your best laid plans.

Inviting People to Play in a Game Session

I'm still contemplating how to best accept players for each particular gaming session. For now, I'll handle things as follows:

  • One week prior to each game session, I'll post here regarding the upcoming game to be played, a quick synopsis of what it's about and a link to its entry on BoardGame Geek (for those wanting detailed info), the maximum number of players, expected playing time, and anything else that I think you should know.
  • I will then accept players on a First-Come, First-Served basis for that particular game. All you need to do is email me saying you want to play in the upcoming session.

I'll do some more thinking about this simplistic system. My concern is to be fair to everyone and make sure different people get to play and join in the fun. I may even consider doing an "invitation only" thing for certain games. If anyone has any great ideas on this, I'd love to hear them!

Length of Gaming Sessions

Some games (such as simple card games like Guillotine or Saboteur) are so fast-playing that we may be able to play 2 or 3 games of them during a session. Other complex games may run into the 3+ hour range (especially during a 1st time play where the learning curve comes into play). I'll do my best to accurately gauge the expected playing time (including rules explanation) in each of my pre-session posts. That said, you should expect to set aside 3 hours for each game playing session to be safe.

If I expect a given game to take longer than 3 hours, I will likely set an earlier Starting Time for that game session, including scheduling some sessions for SAT or SUN afternoons.

Concurrent Games

I know some game clubs have so many people in their club that they run multiple games at the same time. I hope that we can get to that point some day. I do have two 6' x 2.5' foot tables in my house and could probably handle two small games going on at once. I'm not sure, however, of how the "noise factor" would work out in that case. We might try it sometime down the road to see what happens. Anyone have any input on this?

I know that I really don't have adequate space for 10 people to show up and play 2 large games at once. We'll cross that bridge when we come to it. For now, I'm not going to schedule two games to be played at the same time. We'll start with the One Group / One Game philosophy.

That's it for now. I'll have more later on this week. Stay tuned!