Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Musings of my Hobby Life

So lately I have not been updating much at all. There are a number of reasons for this including being busy outside the hobby, doing other things in my free time (generally reading), and what not, but the most decisive reason is one that I'm not particularly happy to come to terms with; my gaming group is dead. Ground to dust. Gone. And by dead, I don't mean the members are have no heart beat and are brain dead (thankfully), I mean it is impossible to motivate anyone into playing anything or getting together at all. Many have moved away from the hobby for less time intensive games such as Magic, or have become very busy with work, and others have always just kind of been flakey people. No big deal.

This said, after coming to this realization, I have decided to take my gaming in a new direction. First and foremost I have decided to switch over from playing skirmish games to playing Inquisitor in the 28mm scale, I have talked to three of my roleplaying buddies from past roleplaying game campaigns and they were oddly enough very interested (though two of them are really big fans of 40k fluff, just not so much the game for time and money reasons). This makes me very exciting because these three guys are very reliable, and a lot of fun to hang out with. They also understand narrative, and one even paints! That said we are in preparation for a mid to late January start date for an Inquisitor Campaign in which I will be GMing and are running a facebook group with background on the subsector it will take place in, organizations involved, npcs, and what not. It will also involve different messages to each player from their "superiors" on their objectives, so that each player will be unaware of each others objectives unless they are made aware for a narrative reason or they care to share them with potential allies or enemies.

The other decision I have decided is to pick up the LoTR strategy battle game again (and I'm sure I'll be posting pics of minis eventually), as I wanted a game that is fairly simple and easy to teach, but with lots of options and tactical depth. To be honest of the three core games GW produces, I believe this to be the best rule set. I recently pulled out some of my old miniatures, ordered a few new ones, and picked up the new faction Source books and Hobbit rules (with the new starter which has awesome models in it). Another nice note on this is my girlfriend is a big LoTR fan, and she is really excited to paint the models with me (a fun thing to do together!), and after playing through The Hobbit starter scenarios, she loves the game and is quite good at it. I think this will be a lot of fun, and it will be nice to have a miniatures game we can always play together. Another nice note is I have one buddy who is very interested in playing, and may even start buying miniatures (if not, I have more than one army anyways, as they are considerably cheaper and smaller than WFB or 40k armies, especially with ebay), and another who will almost definitely get into it when he finishes his military training.

Okay, so end rant.

However, I will leave you with pictures of my finished Interrogator Fel (well he needs basing), his Inquisitor (who has switched from being Xenos ordos to Malleus) and the rest of the retinue are WIP right now. The pics are a bit out of focus, but I think you get the point. This model was an absolute pain to paint due to his pose and what not, but turned out pretty well I think. I'm a bit sick now and am going to get some rest, but hopefully I'll get some more work done on the retinue in the next few days

As always comments and constructive criticism are welcome! Thanks for looking!


  1. Sad to hear about the gaming group collapse, but it's good you've taken it upon yourself to fill the gap, especially with something so cool! I can understand the appeal of Inquisitor and the like, the background of 40k is what I've always enjoyed the most, I can take or leave the actual wargame.

    The LotRs game gets a lot of praise on forums and the like, it looks interesting. I've been looking at the minis for D&D use and watching the Hobbit releases with interest. Hopefully you'll get some good games in, the success of the films should definitely help with the recruitment of non wargamers.

    Good to see some P&M pictures again, keep at it!

  2. Hey Smiler, good to hear from you!

    It is unfortunate, however if that is the only thing I am lamenting with the way the world is today, I'd consider myself pretty lucky. It's been a really good excuse to delve more into Inquisitor as well. You are totally right about 40k as well, the game is pretty average for the most part (and often takes too much time/money compared to games that in my opinion have much better rules), but the background is awesome. Even though I haven't played 40k in well over a year, I still keep up with some of the Authors I like over at Black Library.

    It's quite a fun game, I used to play it pretty regularly with my buddies, but set it aside as I had less time. The Minis are pretty nice and are true 25mm scale (meaning they are significantly smaller and more realistically proportioned than 40k/ fantasy miniatures), with this comes a bit less detail on the plastic troops, but they are still great minis (and paint up much faster too!). I think the films will definitely help get some non-wargamers interested, especially is the game is fairly easy to teach (most people can pick up the basic concepts in about 20 minutes as opposed to the hours that it takes to teach 40k).

  3. Inquisitor is a good excuse to buy and paint what you want, explore the background how you want and play as you want without being tied to the tabletop restrictions. I'm not hugely familiar with Inquisitor, though I've heard the rules are quite complex which puts me off a little.

    When thinking about playing games in the 40k universe I think a blend of original Rogue Trader and Inquisimunda would be good, which I would run as a combat orientated sandboxy RPG with me GMing, though D&D is my focus atm.

    I visited a GW for the first time in what, 14 years, to check out the scale on some LotRs minis, they definitely look like they'd fit in nicely with the adventurer minis I've got. The GW staffer looked pretty miserable tbh, though he was nice enough, I've not much intention of going back!

  4. It definitely is, and I think it will appeal more to my roleplaying buddies (they tend to not like straight miniature games very much). The rules are really quite complex, which is what I think daunted me at first, though the more I look at them, they aren't that bad, especially with 3-4 minis a player. I've played Dark Heresy before (40k roleplaying), and the rules are very similar to Dark Heresy. That and anything that is deemed too much can always be house-ruled and what not.

    Inquisimunda is a great system, and could definitely be used as a combat oriented RPG. I would probably prefer such a system, but my former group has little interest in much outside huge whole day 40k battles. I think the "power level" was too low for them, they tend to like the "Epic Space Marine vs. Greater Daemon" deal rather than the more subtle level of things found in Inquisitor/ Inquisimunda (I personally think that is by far the most interesting part). D&D is a great game, and I definitely want to get a game running at some point, maybe after the Inquisitor Campaign.

    You know I've never been to a GW store (they aren't as common in the US, and the nearest one is over 3.5 hours away). The LotR minis are great, and at a lot of online retailers/ ebay you can find them for at least 20% off. A lot of the retailers still carry the 24 miniature boxes, which are roughly 6 dollars more (USD) for twice the amount of miniatures. From all I've heard online, is that the GW staffers have a pretty rotten lot at the moment. I guess they are pushed more than a used car salesman to sell as much as possible, and I'd imagine that after doing that for a year or two, it would take its toll on you.

  5. Nothing bores me more than Huge Epic Battles of Space Mar... blah blah blah, it's the tabletop game equivalent of a Michael Bay film, flashy but boring.

    I imagine Inquisitor to be pretty combat orientated, how does it compare to other RPGs?

    We have the opposite over here, local game stores basically don't exist in most city centres and the ones that do are tiny and not set up to run games unlike the GWs that exist in almost every city.

    Yeah, I think they're pushed pretty hard, it's a shame. Like I say he was a nice guy and tried to be helpful but it felt like he had to force the enthusiasm a little. And he had no knowledge of anything outside GW.

  6. Hahaha, I've never thought of it that way, but that's a pretty perfect description. I don't personally hate space marines, but I feel considering how 75% of people play them in 40k, and how there are roughly a million of them in a galaxy with trillions of planets.....yeah a bit unrealistic.

    It can be pretty combat oriented, but doesn't necessarily have to be. In fact, in many cases you want to avoid it, as combat it incredibly lethal. There are different levels of injury and different locations, and each location takes different penalties based on the level of injury. For example, getting shot in the gut with an average autogun roll of 9(2d6+2) will take a normal character (say 55 toughness) into a heavy abdomen injury which will knock them to the ground and they will get a -1 movement penalty for the rest of the game. Had it been 2 more damage, it would be a serious injury and they would suffer the previous effects and be bleeding to death. Armor helps, but as you see, combat can be quite lethal. The game has mental stats as well, for doing intelligence based tests (like hacking a computer system or identifying a symbol or what not, basically whatever the GM tosses their way). There is also awareness (characters can only see directionally and can sneak around and what not), so you don't always have to just slug it out. Compared to other RPGS, I would say it is more combat oriented, but I would consider it more of a "narrative wargame" than a standard RPG. I would think how much combat is involved would depend on the GM and the group playing though.

    I think that's a bummer to have things monopolized like that. We have some really cool independent shops over here, though I hear you guys have some really cool wargaming clubs and what not that we are lacking. Unfortunately lots of Americans are what one would call "Power Gamers (the kind who exploit rules systems in ways clearly not intended)," and are more about winning than having a good time, so most games here are based around tournaments. Even in my former gaming group we had a few. Things like having one guy in a squad in cover, so anyone assaulting the unit counts as assaulting into cover. Basically exploiting oversights in the rules to win and what not.

    That's a real bummer, I remember only hearing positive things about GW and their stores when I started the hobby about 12 years ago, and as time has progressed, it seems opinions have gotten worse and worse. I don't know if that's because they are now publicly held or what, but it definitely is not good for the company. My only experiences with GW have been a couple times with their customer service (on the phone), and I will say I've had excellent service (probably in my top five experiences ever) both times. That said, I've heard lots of negatives about the store fronts.