Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Victorian SF & the Yuletide Invasion

Bastet, in the form of our cat Vader, couldn't
resist nestling down amid all the
plastic foliage.
I’ve wanted to run a Victorian science fiction miniatures game for a while now, ever since John from the 54mm or Fight! blog generously sent me a box of 15mm painted and based miniatures. In the wake of Queen Elizabeth II’s passing – and reflections on gaming and colonialism – I started developing a storyline in which I could fight battles between the various forces John sent, including French Foreign legionaries, African troops, some American Civil War zoaves, and a massive host of lizardmen. I pulled out my jungle terrain and Egyptian temple pieces, set them up on my three foot square green felt mat, carefully assembled and deployed my units, jotted stats on record sheets, prepped my dice and cards...only to realize the yuletide holidays were bearing down on me. Although I’ve done everything to set up the initial battle in a campaign, including developing an overarching storyline, playing will have to wait until after the holidays.

Tuesday, November 15, 2022

Share Our Good Fortune

 “We count our miseries carefully and accept our blessings without much thought.”

Chinese Proverb

I was thinking of making the two-hour drive from Culpeper to Mechanicsville, VA (a suburb of Richmond), at some point in November to treat myself to a few purchases at Waterloo Games. A friend from the Williamsburg gaming conventions I attend, Rob Eubanks, opened the store just as the pandemic started in 2020 and, through his own dedication, his family’s support, and the patronage of a great gaming community, managed not only to stay open but to thrive. I’ve visited the store several times in the past year. Before trekking down to Richmond I check the website and Facebook page to see what’s going on. This time I saw Rob posted a notice that he’s collecting food donations for a local charity, Feed More, to help those in need during the upcoming holidays. It reminds me how fortunate many of us are to have the means to indulge in the adventure gaming hobby...and how unfortunate many others are. I celebrate folks like Rob inspiring his game store community to help their neighbors during the holiday season. And it reminds me to not only show gratitude for my good fortune by donating to help others now, but to do it more often throughout the year.

Tuesday, November 1, 2022

Reconnecting with Tunnels &Trolls

I’ve been busy lately more with wargames than roleplaying games – both core elements of the adventure gaming hobby (along with board games) – but I recently took a break from various wargaming projects and dove back into an old yet renewed game I’d enjoyed in my youth: Tunnels & Trolls. At first I didn’t get very far, just reviewed the rules and rolled up a character, but soon I was perusing different adventure books and couldn’t resist running a solitaire scenario. For a short while I basked in a comforting feeling from my earliest gaming days, sending my character wandering through programmed adventures, stumbling around traps, and either fighting my way to victory and fantastic treasures or failing that one saving roll and suffering a seemingly arbitrary and undeserving death. The experience proved a refreshing change from my current activities and one I intend to return to when I need a bit of contrast to my usual gaming scene.