Friday, March 28, 2008

Pictures from Cold Wars -- Volume 2

As promised, here are several more pictures from Cold Wars 2008 courtesy of my picture-taking pal Kevin Sarnowski. Hope you enjoy Part-2 of this 3-part visual goodies series!
We start off with some photos from the beautiful Gnome Wars game. The Sikh gnomes are invading the village, and it looks like they have company. Is that a band of Ice Trolls heading in from the coast?

But wait, are those German gnomes advancing!

We liked this neat medieval village atop the cliffs, and admired a World War II game with scads of paratroopers dropping in from above...

Here's a big American Civil War battle, followed by some ship battles...

And finally, some close-ups of airships from a Sky Galleons of Mars game, and preparations for Roman chariot racing...

And that's the scoop for Part-2. I will hopefully get some pics that I took on Saturday (3/08) offloaded from my digital camera soon. I'll share those once they're ready to show.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Pictures from Cold Wars -- Volume 1

Back on March 7 and 8, I made my way down to Amish country and attended the Cold Wars miniature wargaming convention held at the Lancaster Host hotel & convention center in downtown Lancaster, PA. I thoroughly enjoyed my two days at the convention, which is the first of three HMGS East conventions (Historical Miniatures Gaming Society) held throughout the year in central Pennsylvania.

I had the pleasure of hanging out at the con with my longtime friend and gaming pal Kevin Sarnowski on Friday the 7th. We had a great time shopping in the flea market and vendor hall, took some time out to stop by the Paint & Take to paint up some French Foreign Legion infantrymen, and wandered around observing lots of ongoing wargames in the scads of rooms that make up the meandering layout of the Host.

I also really enjoyed talking to lots of nice chaps in the Vendor Hall such as:
  • David McBride from Splintered Light Miniatures, a young southern gentleman and all around nice guy. I'm a 28mm gamer, but I've gotta say that their 15mm fantasy minis are quite cool and very tempting. I encourage you to give them a look-see.

  • Craig Acheson from Acheson's Creations, who is one of the most enthusiastic, creative, and downright friendly people I've ever met at an HMGS convention. I came away from Craig's booth with a painted celtic hut, a colorful painted mushroom piece, and an unpainted viking long house. Great stuff; great guy.

  • The happy-go-lucky Soderquist brothers from Bronze Age Miniatures, who drove all the way from Utah to come to Cold Wars and sell their awesomely cool martians, norse gods, and skeletal pirates. Now there's dedication! I bought some of the Norse Gods and can't wait to paint them up -- they're full of character.

  • Neal Catapano from The WarStore, a big-hearted Italian American whose online store has become my #1 stop on the internet when looking for gaming stuff. My wife, who bought me a batch of Christmas gifts from The WarStore sums it up nicely... Neal rocks! It's really great to see a WarStore booth overflowing with goodies at the HMGS cons. I hope they can make many more of these in the future.

  • I was surprised to bump into the always friendly Igor Olshanky in the vendor hall (he's IGWARG for you TMP-ers out there). Igor paints some very nice minis, and I've had the pleasure of buying painted figures from him in the past. Hope you did well in your Warhammer tourney Igor!
Suffice it to say that there are some really great people in this hobby if you just take the time to stop by and chat with them.

Moving on... Kevin brought his camera and snapped quite a few pictures of the various participation games. There was plenty of gorgeous eye candy for wargamers here. With Kev's permission, I'm going to show off some of his pictures on this blog. This will be part-1 of 3-part series. I hope that you gather some inspiration from these photos. Enjoy!

More pictures to come in Part-2. See you soon!

Monday, March 24, 2008

He Lives!

Wow. Has it really been 2.5 weeks since I last posted here? It seems like even longer than that! Hopefully my readers haven't totally abandoned me. I'm not dead folks. I do live!

So where have I been since March 5 and what's been happening?

Rhino Software

Well, for starters, I have been mega mega busy with work at Rhino Software for the past month. Being that our flagship products involve fantasy baseball software and a weekly baseball stats service, the preseason (especially late February, March, and the 1st half of April) is always totally crazy for me work-wise.

On the plus side, orders for software and stats services have been steadily rolling in these past few weeks. I'm very grateful for the business, but of course, I wish there was even more. The fantasy sports business is extremely competitive nowadays, and it's tough for a tiny company like ours to compete in a world that's dominated by the giant media companies such as CBS, ESPN, Yahoo, and But we offer products a little outside of the mainstream, and our customers are a little more experienced and do-it-yourself than the typical fantasy sports fan. The really great thing is the nice batch of repeat customers who have stuck with Rhino with many long years. I've lost track of how many folks are in our Gold Club; it has become quite sizeable. Serving these people, who have become my friends in many ways, is really what makes all the thankless years of hard-work worthwhile. Thanks for keeping me going guys!

Rhino Baseball

Despite the fact that Rhino Baseball has been around for 10 years, I know that it could still benefit from lots of added exposure. Perhaps I'll eventually force myself to make the time to create some updated video demonstrations of the software via YouTube or another online movie/demo tool. Rhino Baseball takes some time to learn because it's a pretty deep program, but man, it is a very cool program once you learn what it can do. I wish more people could really see that by having an expert user like me show them all the neat stuff it can do.

I obviously love fantasy baseball, having played in and run a league for 22 years now. But I can honestly say that I probably would have given up on fantasy baseball many years ago without Rhino Baseball. It just really adds so damn much to my enjoyment of projecting player stats, doing draft prep in the preseason and tinkering with plans/strategies, tracking my picks & progress at my annual player auction, running my HARL league in a smooth fashion, and being able to provide my league-mates with some fantastic analytical reports such as in-season dollar values, impact ratings, team point graphs, top-30 roto leaders, and other neat reports during the regular season.

Blecho Sicko

The flu bug has really bitten my family and friends hard this year. Just about everyone that I know has suffered through some bout of illness this winter. I was healthy up through March 10 and then BLAMMO! On March 11 it struck. I came down with some nasty bug, which knocked me on my tookus for almost 2 weeks. I'm still dealing with the tail-end of it as we speak.

Needless to say, being sick in bed for many days, with occasional forays into the office to take care of some pressing business needs, put the kabosh on my blog-writing for awhile.

I had planned to do some reporting on my experiences at the Cold Wars convention in Lancaster which I attended on March 7 and 8. Those reports will be coming real soon -- they'll be part of one of my next 2 blog posts. It was a great weekend. Perhaps I caught "wargamers disease" from the teeming masses of damp gamers (it was rainy that weekend)?

The Blog is Back!

So although the blog was on hiatus for the past few weeks, the Six Sided Rhinoceros still lives. Over the next few weeks, you can expect:
  • A mix of miniature wargaming stuff as I report on my adventures at Cold Wars 2008, share some pictures taken by my friend Kevin (and some of my own), and discuss the cool toys that I bought there. It was a very good con for painted minis!
  • A few words about the coming fantasy baseball season. I've got 2 weeks to prepare for my upcoming draft (HARL Draft Day is April 5), so my head is swimming with rotisserie thoughts right now.
  • Some fresh boardgaming stuff. I've also been on a tabletop gaming hiatus for the past 5-6 weeks, simply do to lack of time and being sick. Once early-April rolls around and my fantasy baseball draft ends up in the rear-view mirror, I'm hoping to get back into the swing of board gaming and wargaming again.
  • Some thoughts on Sword of Severnia playtesting. Spring sees the kickoff of playtesting of the much anticipated computer-assisted miniature wargame that I've been developing for Rhino Software for the past 2+ years. I'm probably going to go ahead and share some thoughts on that process and the wargame's development progress here. Maybe I'll even share some designer notes as well, although I've got to be careful not to reveal too much before the game is officially released (hopefully later this year).

So stick with the blog and come back often as the posting frequency should increase now that I'm healthy again!


Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Ogre Power!

Sheesh. This time of year is just crazy for me. I've been so busy with work lately that writing to this blog was put on the backburner for awhile. Hopefully, things will calm down a little so that I can write more often. Anyway...

About the only fun, game-related thing I've done in the past 2 weeks involved an eBay purchase of some painted miniatures. I won an auction for a warband of 5 Ogres from the GW Dogs of War range. These were painted by Phoenix Painting Service (Oriental Dragon Trading Co.) of Hong Kong. Yep, that's right, I took my first ever plunge into buying stuff from the orient.

These babies are colorful, well detailed, and full of character. They look just fantastic in the flesh. Here are a few pictures of the Ogre boys:

And here's a shot of their heroic leader (in the center)...

Another cool thing is that these guys are on magnetic bases, which is perfect since that's exactly how I base my figures (i.e magnetically based minis on metal-atop-wood movement stands. Niiiice.

Until tomorrow, when I hopefully squeeze in a preview of things I'm eyeing at Cold Wars this coming weekend, peace to all you Ogre Lovers out there!