Aug 302011

Well, I am back from Grand Prix Pittsburgh.  It was a great event.   I am glad that I was a part of the staff serving 1400 plus players in the main event. But let’s back up.   I arrived in Pittsburgh Friday morning and left Sunday evening.  Here is a brief overview of some of the experience.

On Friday I herded players to the correct location for registration.

Saturday was a different story.  I was on the paper team for the main event.  The most interesting ruling I had was well I didn’t have any of the cool ones.  That does not mean that the event did not need judges, it just means the players have a good understanding of standard.   My favorite ruling of the weekend has to be: A player with 0 cards in hand casts preordain.   Instead of scrying 2, he makes puts both cards in hand and plays one of them, a land.  The other remains in hand as he passes the turn.  Ouch!  Drawing Extra Cards, nope the card is easily identifiable.   It was downgraded to a GRV and the card was returned to the top of the library.


Sunday, is never as busy as day 2.  I worked side events.  I floated around the floor as much as possible.  I was fortunate enough to HJ 4 of the events.  I think that is a fair amount considering we had divide the events up amongst about 20 judges.  The Limited PTQ had an amazing 379 players.  That is awesome


Special thanks to Mike Guptil, The Head Judges (Erik, and Kevin)all of the team leads, Wizards of the Coast, and all of the players.

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Aug 242011

Well, I really wish I had a lot more time to hype this Magic the Gathering event up – I don’t.  Here is the run down.  I am Leaving early Friday (Augus26th 2011) morning, after sending the children off to school, to judge at the Grand Prix in Pittsburgh (standard).  Between now and then I have to maintain my Dad’s Kitchen image for the kids, study more, shop for food (I always take some healthy foods just in case), and pack.  They are a very fun, and educating experience.  If you are a judge, Grand Prix’s are an awesome avenue for learning.  There are so many players and judges there that you will something new at every event, and most likely each day.   Since you are broken down into teams it is an excellent time to set a goal for yourself, like learning layering.  OOPS!  I’m rambling.  This event is going to be extremely busy.   There will be about 50 judges to handle about 1500 players.  That is going to be a lot of work.  I am looking forward to it though.


The artists attending are RK Post and Christopher Moeller.  I always look forward to getting some cards signed and buying at least one print.


Well enough about the Grand Prix for now.  I will Try and have a GP report up by Tuesday August 30th.

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Aug 172011

Every year thousands of gamers (geeks) descend on Indianapolis to take part in Gen Con. The best four days in the game industry. Here is gamers don crazy costumes, play games, buy, sell, trade, learn trade secrets, and more importantly just have fun.

If you are a gamer, of any merit, and you have never experienced Gen Con it is something you should plan on. There is something for everyone, even for non gaming significant others. Gamers can play almost any game of choice whether it is in print or out of print. While guests of honor and teachers host seminars and panels for more serious individuals who wish to break in the gaming industry.

This year I focused on the Writers symposium. I managed to sneak in a few questions with Matt Forbeck, Anton Strout (guest’s of honor), and many other authors on the symposium. We managed to meander through the Exhibit hall every time we had a chance. I have had the opportunity to demo or watch a few games (Dust Tactics, Mercs, Relic Knights, KoW).


The Writer’s Symposium

Matt Forbeck

Anton Strout

The Exhibit Hall

Games I Demoed/observed

Dust tactics


Relic Knights



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Jul 272011

Well, my summer has been absolutely NUTS.  As a result I have nit spent as much time on my blog as I would like.  I have however gathered a lot of firewood with my dad.  I have been busy judging and writing a short story .   That is on top of taking care of the three children.


Look for my new articles:

Origins  Game Fair review

Table Top Quality  What it means

Building 16k (living document for WHFB)

Serving food safe in the summer


New sections coming soon.

What I believe

Writers welcome -The name will change to reflect its nature

Game Reviews. Using the calculator that reflects what we look for in a game based on our experience form owning a game store.


Sorry,  I have been gone for a month.  I am back now.

Jun 142011

If you know me you  know that I would much rather play a game of 40k, Fantasy, or Rezolution over putting models together.  I know for some of you that is like a carnal sin.  But I have no problem putting unpainted models on the table.  Heck I don’t even have a problem using a pair of socks as terrain.   Some would look at it and say “I can’t play on  that it doesn’t look good.”   Well, I would laugh and tell you “It is an imaginary hill in an imaginary game world.”  My point is I bought the toys to play the game.


There are several ways to to make sure you put more game into your hobby.  Some of these will boost your spirit and want you to play more, others will make it easier to play.

  • Pick the right game
  • Buy the army you want to play
  • Play before you paint
  • Pick easy models if you can
  • Don’t be mislead by what others say make your own decision
  • Choose the right group to play with.

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Jun 102011

This is why you do not leave fee back for your buyers on eBay.

  • You can’t leave negative feedback
  • You can only leave feedback for one transaction
  • They can leave you negative feedback for every item even though they might be on the same transaction.   My answer to this is I no longer combine invoices.
  • DSR’s are discriminatory against buyers that do not have a high volume of sales.
  • It is too easy for the buyer to falsely represent an accurate expectation of the dsr’s  ( I have received DSR scores of 1 across the board within 15 minutes of some purchases)


So, until eBay fixes their feedback system a seller should never leave feedback for a buyer.    After all, if we don’t go there to sell no one will be able to buy.


That is my eBay vent for the week.   It has been coming for a long time.   I just can’t wait to see the day when I no longer need to sell on eBay.

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Jun 072011

With Games Workshop on the price hike rampage a few of our players are looking for other options for their fantasy miniatures fix.   While I have known about Mantic for almost a year now I have not entertained the thought of their product line.   We always felt that our money would be better spent on items we knew would move.  But, with some of the recent events in the game industry our players are diligently trying to make the shift from spending more money on less product to spending less money on more product.  So I was asked to look that the rules.


Here is what I found before play testing.

The rules are pretty darn good.

They are simple.

Here is what I like about the game.  The magic system is figured right into the cost of the character.   The winner of combat is determined by a nerve (command/morale in other game systems) check.   It has a fast pace – 2000 point game should take about an hour to play.   The models look good and are inexpensive.


Here is where I have reservations about the game.   While the rules are simple and scale well, if you plan on running tournaments you might need to interpret the rules for your players.  There are no casualties in combat; I just can’t figure out if I like this or not.


Here is what I do not like about the game.  Without play testing the game the only thing I dislike is the fact that it does not use alternate activations.


There is one more thing that Mantic is doing right that you should know about – they are making a sci fi game.


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Jun 072011

It seems like only it was only yesterday that I played my first WARMACHINE game.  I remember thinking it was a fun game and that the company would bury themselves.  Well,  not only was I wrong they made it through ten years of gamers.  I am sure Privateer looks back at the ten years with puffy chests, and they should.   They have accomplished so many great things.  But that is not why I am writing you today.  In all of the partying Privateer has announced a 10th anniversary no Quarter.  It is going to be one massive issue with reflections of the past.   But, that is not all Privateer Press is running all kinds of sales as part of the celebrations.


So thank you, Privateer Press for remembering us in your success.

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Jun 022011

Well, not really the news is just filtering down to us.  It appears that the GW price hikes have really ticked off the Australians.  Yes that is right, so much in fact that they have started a Facebook petition page.  The concerns they have are the price hike, and the quality of the new Citadel fine cast.   Please take  the time to go to the  petition and read it over.   It is a good one.   It will give even the most disillusioned player an eye opener.  As if that isn’t enough, Gw has attacked The Australian market again by placing an embargo on UK sellers.   This embargo restricts sellers from selling to certain countries.   Here is what Maelstrom Games posted about GW’s new policy.



While Gw can’t stop sellers from making the international sale – they can.  Games Workshop exercises their power very well by bullying vendors.  If they catch a a vendor in violation of their policies they will simply stop selling to them.


Gw has been showing their true colors for sometime now.  As a result it looks like players are uniting and saying shove it.  Go get  em Australia – best of luck.

  • assignment for money
  • ,

  • movie review help
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May 252011

With the 1st major cookout holiday of the year right around the corner, I took some time to mix up some burgers.  Being the chef that I strive to be, I never really do just the simple — well I do, but what fun is cooking if you don’t make it personal?  So I made three burger recipes.  The first has been a family staple for years, garlic and onion.  The second is really an experiment that uses Asian flavors.  The third is my first attempt at a chipotle burger.  Read on for the recipes… Continue reading »