Friday, December 30, 2011

The End of the Year As We Know It...

Well, there's only two days left, give or take a couple of hours I guess, before this year is over, and in a way I'm glad.  It's been a rough year, and I'm more than ready for the new one.  It's funny how we think in terms of the calender designating the passage of time.

I've really gone off the tracks when it comes to post topics these past couple of weeks, but next year I'll get back on track.  As part of the plan I've done a bit of brainstorming, and made copious notes for blog topics.  Also, the character's in Kinship have been screaming at me to let them out.  I want to continue the last story I posted, and continue on with others.

I believe I mentioned in a previous post that I started yet another blog, and it's called: The Mayhem of Miniatures.  It's more of a place to track things, a project log of sorts.  A way to quantify what I get accomplished in the realm of miniatures.

I finally acquired the AD&D 1st Edition Player's Handbook.  It's one of the orange spine editions, but I don't care.  I wanted the material inside, the cover didn't matter to me.  I received it in trade for some Mage Knight miniatures.  I'm considering writing something I can run at one of the local conventions, but it's been years since I've run 1st edition!

I was hoping to hit the 200 post mark before the end of the year, but that's probably not going to happen.  Oh well, next year for sure.  Of course I haven't made any New Year's Resolutions yet, and probably won't make any at all.  Goals are something else entirely, and I need to come up with some.  One of them will be to get some gaming accomplished...

So it's the end of the year as we know it, and I feel fine.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Area 51

I finally made it to Area 51, and managed to infiltrate the facility.  I accomplished this task with the help of my brother.  Of course you may be thinking that I'm talking about the secret military base in Nevada.  Nope.  Area 51 is a gaming store in Grapevine, Texas.  It's full name is Area 51 Gaming & Collectibles.

Here is their website.  Overall, it's a nice, clean, and ORGANIZED store.

Area 51 is primarily a gaming store, but they also carry a nice selection of comics. I didn't notice any back issues, and I don't think they carry them.  Since it was two days after Christmas the store was a bit picked over, but honestly I wouldn't have known if the owner ( I guess it was the owner ), didn't mention that fact.  They carry mainly Warmachine, Flames of War, and Warhammer 40K.  They also had some DUST.  There were a couple of other miniature games, but nothing I am interested in, so I don't remember what they were.  One was Dystopian something or other...  The role-playing games section was kind of small, and all I saw was the beginner box for Pathfinder, ( of course there may have been other stuff ), and some of the new minis, which look awesome.  I will be buying some of those.  But to tell you the truth I was there mainly to check out the miniature gaming selections.  They had some HeroClix as well, and I was coveting the Watchmen set.

Of course, if they don't have what you want in stock, they will order for you.

The best thing about Area 51 is their gaming area.  I didn't measure it, but as a guess, I would say 50% or maybe more of the square footage is devoted to gaming tables.  They have tables for CCGs, and bigger, sturdier tables for war-gaming.  It's awesome.  It boasts of having the largest gaming area available in the DFW area, and there is no charge to use.  I think this is probably true, but I'm sure the other gaming stores might look at me funny if I go in and start measuring their gaming areas.

They also have lots and lots of tournaments and events.  Check out their website for more info on that.  All in all, if you're a gamer, and you're in the area ( heh ), check out Area 51 Gaming & Collectibles.  I'll will be visiting the store again.  On a scale of one to four stars, I would give it 3 and a half stars.

If you visit the store, tell them Zanazaz of Have Dice ~ Will Travel, sent you...

Monday, December 26, 2011

Skyrim = Frustration

The only gaming related gift I received for Christmas was Skyrim, which is all I really wanted anyway.  So once I got home, I decided to install it, so I could play for a couple of hours, or maybe six...  This is where the frustration begins, because to install the stupid game you have to have a Steam account.  So I registered for the account, and tried to log in, but it wouldn't let me log in.  I could enter the password, but nothing happened. The log in screen did nothing, and I got the "Steam is not responding", message.  UGH!

I know ( despite some problems ) that  I managed to create the Steam account.  I just can't log in!!!  And if I can't log in, I can't install the game!  If I can't install the game, I CAN'T PLAY THE GAME!!!  Frustrating...

I'm really disappointed in Bethesda Softworks.  Why couldn't Skyrim be like all the previous releases, and be installed just from the freaking disk???  Why create so many problems?  I've had no luck finding a solution to this problem online, but I have sent a query to Steam Support.  Hopefully, they can help with this problem.

Of course while I tried searching for a solution to the problem...
Aside from that, it was a good Christmas, albeit a bit subdued.  The day was spent with my mom, brother, and his girlfriend, and a friend of hers that's been staying with them.  After dinner and gifts, we watched Sherlock Holmes.  Of course my brother and I were slightly disappointed he didn't get Zombieland from his gf.  Her opinion was that it was a stupid movie.  I said, "It's not a movie, it's a training film..."  She just kind of rolled her eyes, and shook her head.  My brother agreed with me, and said it would help him defend her from zombies.  I tried to tell her about how the Soviets had created bioweapons that could turn people into "violent zombies", but she wasn't buying our arguments.

I hope everyone had a great holiday.  I really wanted to post about my first experiences playing Skyrim, but that just didn't work out.  Hopefully, I can eventually get the game installed.  Until then... I'm going to be in a bad mood.  Gggrrrrr.... aaarrrggghhhh...

Friday, December 23, 2011

Blogomania & Other Stuff... AKA Late Night, Lack of Sleep Rambling

It's almost 5 AM, and I haven't had any sleep.  I tried, but it just wasn't happening.  So I started a new blog, and posted on a couple more I've been lazy about updating.  One blog I hadn't updated in over a year, so I decided I needed to check the viability of the links.  I really hate dead links.  Thankfully, all the links were still good! Hopefully, before the end of the year I can check the links here on HDWT.
Since I couldn't sleep, I've also been brainstorming ideas for blog posts.  I've jotted down quite a few ideas for HDWT.  I really think it might help to be a bit more organized.  My plan for next year is to be more frequent with my posts.   One idea I've been pondering is monthly themes.  Not sure how that would work out, but you never know.

So this makes blog post number four for the night.  ( On four different blogs. ) Insomnia seems to help my productivity!

I've got a trade pending for a copy of the AD&D Player's Handbook 1st Edition.  Of course tonight I realized I need a DM's screen for 1E!  Well, I may just make my own.  I've made nice progress on replacing gaming books this year.  I also need to be a bit more organized about my collecting.  Prioritize things, decide what I want/need; instead of buying willy nilly.  I actually haven't bought that much this year; most of my acquisitions have been through trades.

I hope everyone has a safe and happy holiday.  Merry Christmas!  ZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Tis the Season...

Actually, a low key Christmas this year.  Not much in the way of festivities, no decorations up, no tree, no lights.  It's the first Christmas without my sister, and it's kind of depressing.  All in all, I'll be glad when it's over.

However, I'm looking forward to next year.  I've got a few ideas I want to work on, but I won't be commenting on them yet, because that seems to be the "kiss of death"  I'm also looking forward to All-Con, and running my workshop again.  I also plan on attending the local gaming conventions, and maybe even running something.

I know I haven't posted much lately, not due to lack of ideas, but rather,  I just didn't feel up to it.  That and I've been trying to sell some things on ebay.  Not much luck on that front.  So I'm putting the auctions on hold until after the first of the year.

On the book front, I'm still trying to get a copy of the AD&D Players Handbook.  It's the last of the original three core AD&D 1st editions I need to replace.  After that I work on acquiring the rest of the Rolemaster books.

Gaming, gaming, gaming.  I wish I could get some gaming done.  Hopefully, that will change next year.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

300 or FTMB's

I've been doing my usual, "I'm bored, so I think I'll read blogs thing", and I found one I wanted to add to my blog roll.  Whelp, I discovered I had hit the "blog following ceiling".  Luckily I keep a spreadsheet with URLs I might want to visit again, so I just added it to that.  However, I started thinking about it, and due to my sometimes obsessive need to quantify things I realized 300 blogs is a lot of blogs to follow.  So I started doing the math...

Let's say for some odd reason, every single blog I follow has a new post in one, single day.  Now lets say it takes a minimum of five minutes per blog.  ( This is just an example, because I can scan a blog in a couple of minutes, but with a slow bandwidth sometimes it takes longer to load than five minutes! ) At 300 blogs, that's 1500 minutes.  Now considering there is only 1440 minutes in a single day, if every blog is updated then I can't spend five minutes per blog, because there's not enough time in the day.  I still have to eat, sleep, etc. ( Yes, sometimes I eat dinner and read blogs. Multitasking is good! )

Yes, I know not every blog is updated every day, but sometimes I spend a lot longer than five minutes per blog.  I try to skip the posts that I'm not interested in, but sometimes even those have something interesting.  It's quite the dilemma.  Following a lot of blogs can eat up a lot of time.  I think I need to be a bit more selective.  And then there's the forums, and writing posts for my blogs.  I need more time in the day...

So I think I may have to do a bit of a blog weeding.   FYI, "FTMB's" stands for: Following Too Many Blogs.  Yes, I like acronyms.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Dungeon Mechanics

It was around 1 AM, and I couldn't sleep anymore.  I was just tossing and turning.  Trying to sleep was pointless, so I got up and went into the kitchen for a drink.  Groggy from a lack of sleep, I found myself looking at an old issue of Popular Mechanics magazine.  It was the September 1981 issue to be exact, and an idea began to form...
©2011 Frank Anderson, Jr.
Click to enlarge as usual.  The art is in the public domain, and it's easily found with an Internet search.  I could have colorized it, but I was more interested in creating the mock up of the cover.  The cover took me a little over two hours to create, and most of that was coming up with ideas.  The art really made the cover come alive.  The layout worked perfectly.  It makes me want to create a complete issue; maybe a one shot would be fun.

Interesting note: I did an Internet search of "Dungeon Mechanics", and I got about 5,240,000 results.  What a world we live in...

Friday, December 2, 2011

The Mage Knight Project, or My Plastic Obsession...

I spent most of yesterday on the Mage Knight Project, i.e. doing an inventory of every single miniature.  I started with the first release, Mage Knight Rebellion, and spent many hours sorting through plastic bags.  I created a spreadsheet to track numbers and value, which is much better than writing it all out on paper.  I'm not sure if I got them all counted but, I know I'm close.  There may be a few scattered in the other bags, which I'm sure I'll find once I start on the next set.

So far the total number of Rebellion miniatures is 613.  That doesn't count the 50 or, so I sold on eBay last month, or the 54 I just listed there.  The annoying thing is that's not even a complete set!  Aaarrggg...  There are lots and lots of duplicates.  I could field quite an army on the table.  Of course NOW I'm getting obsessed with completing a set.  ( Actually the goal is three sets, one for me, one for my brother, and one to sell or trade. ) Which shouldn't be too difficult, except for the unique figures, which after a bit of research, can be quite pricey!

Next up is Lancers.  I already have the list entered into the spreadsheet, and sorting and counting this set should be easier.  Not so many to sort through.  Of course if I had more space, and a better way to store them it would be so much easier.

I know many gamers don't like Mage Knight, but I do.  I've been reading the rules because it's been a while since I played, and they're nice and simple for the most part.  It's a shame that they don't produce the game anymore.  I look forward to playing again.

Many of the miniatures are available and cheap, and of course can be used in RPGs and other war games.  I'm thinking of using some of them to create a Hordes of the Things army, or for fubar.  Many people rebase, repaint, and even customize them.

I need to network with some other collectors so I can do some trading, and if I keep this up I think a Mage Knight blog may be necessary...