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Michael S (chgowiz)
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Michael S (chgowiz)

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Nothing new for Swords & Wizardry Appreciation Day, because I keep using it as I have it.

But, if you're interested in a homebrew system created from S&W Whitebox, I'll link you to my Ultima RPG - "The Siege Perilous" - based on the CRPG games of the early 80s. 

I have started running this game at conventions - building a bit of a con-campaign with it. It's run well as I've played it. 
"Siege Perilous" is an RPG based on the Ultima Age of Darkness CRPG games - #1 through #3. It is developed from an adaptation of the Swords & Wizardry White Box (1st printing) and uses several other sources - Skathros's S&W Companion Rules, a magic system developed by Arminath, the Minimal Space ...
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Michael S (chgowiz)

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I can honestly say that will be the last time I walk into my local GW store. Just an overall unpleasant experience. At least there is still +Games Plus and Amazon.
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Last time I was in one, I was buying a Chessex Mega-Mat on short notice. The time before was for a game run in the Fantasy Flight Game Center, which has a store in it.
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Michael S (chgowiz)

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What's in the box from Germany?

When I attended GaryCon, I looked at the display of the old Lake Geneva gaming/wargame group. They had a couple of the old "Elastolin" Bodenburg castle models. Well, I saw that and thought of how much fun having a castle as a table piece for wargames and D&D games. With all of the expensive Dwarven Forge sets, this might look cheesy, but it would be fun. And possibly much cheaper? Little did I know...

So... one Ebay trip later and I had sticker shock! Some of these are going for hundreds of dollars! Holy crap, for some of these, I could build a damn castle from Hirst Blocks or Dwarven Forge and be money ahead!

Well... google-fu and shopper-fu later... I found an ECO (I believe this is the same company as Elastolin, just a different brand name) castle in Germany. And today, it finally came! So the pictures show the unboxing and then some 25mm (true 25) figures in relationship. The dude packed this EXTREMELY well and it had no shipment damage at all. And the cost... well, I'm embarrassed at how cheap this was, but it was a fraction of what they are going on Ebay.

And... the fucking drawbridge works! When +Angie S saw all this, she declared that her PC "Aeli" would enjoy owning this castle thankyouverymuch. I think she's going to lay claim to it very soon.

I can't wait to have castle scenarios now!

Edited to add: I know that this castle is NOT a Bodenburg. It's very close to how I pictured the Keep of Enonia (my home AD&D campaign) which is why I bought it.
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+Adam Thornton  - yes it is! You remember how big the castle was at GaryCon? This is similar. I believe it's supposed to be 40 to 50mm scale. but my 25mm figures fit right in.
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Michael S (chgowiz)

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+chris mowthorpe, his son and I got together Saturday night for a good old fashioned Battletech throwdown.

Why is it ALWAYS the Locust LCT-1Vs that cause the most problems, and are usually the funniest/funnest part of the battle?

More on that story tomorrow. 
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"old fashioned Battletech throwdown", how I love that phrase.

I've never managed to do much fun with a Locust, or any light mech actually. They often just stay out of action or get mauled without doing anything.

I am not a great mech pilot...
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Michael S (chgowiz)

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At GaryCon VII (2015), I had the pleasure of playing in Jeff "Chirine" Berry's EPT/Tekumel game. He had one of the box sets there on the table, as well as what appeared to be the original books with the comb binding - about 4 copies, if I recall. The maps were wonderful, and the books were much better than dealing with the PDF scans.

I had so much fun at that EPT game that I decided to see if I could find a box set. Ebay had a copy, but it went for about $165. My Craigslist-fu worked much better and I found this still-mostly-sealed box set that appeared to be a second printing. An offer and counter-offer later, I had this in my hands for less than 2/3ds of what most of the Ebay auctions are going for. 

This book and maps are going to get used! Games were made to be played. I may still print off a coil bound copy or two for my own personal use from the crappy PDF, but for right now, this is going to be my main go-to copy.

Enjoy the unboxing! It looks nice on the bookshelf next to my artsy-craftsy OD&D "book" box with my LBBs.
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Michael S (chgowiz)

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Question for the Battletech Universe gurus - 

What I'd like to find is a map of the IS that shows what units were stationed on which planets. So that if I wanted to do a Marik v. Steiner campaign, it would be easy enough to determine which forces oppose each other on which planets and assemble which units.

If I have to make it myself, no worries, I have the BattleTechWiki and can walk along the borders and the last ISC maps that are on the web --- but I'd like to see/know if this thing exists right now. My Google-fu seems to be coming up short in this.
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Cool..  We have campaigns we setup in MekHQ and Megamek where our team plays against the bot computer.  That way we are all on the same team playing against that evil computer.
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Michael S (chgowiz)

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Finally! After 4 months of slowly getting back into it, I finally finished some miniatures. A lance of Medium Marik Militia Battlemechs, and a lance of Medium Lyran Guard Battlemechs. They saw the table at GaryCon, but I put the finishing touches and based them this past weekend. Sorry for the crappy cell phone/flash photos, but I don't have my old mini-pictures setup anymore. So this will have to do for now. I'm just thrilled to put 8 figures in the "finished column."

406 to go...
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Thank you!
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Michael S (chgowiz)

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Read Empire of the Petal Throne rules from 75 on the flight to LA. Really amazing details, but Gygaxian organization to the rules. 
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lol,  well described
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Michael S (chgowiz)

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Dear players in my various games,

You have to go no further than this video to understand how I love to take things and turn them on their head...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MOB13T6Zmh8&hc_location=ufi
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Michael S (chgowiz)

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How a Locust LCT-1V (20 ton Mech) managed to survive a 35 ton Phoenix Hawk and a 70 ton Warhammer.

I fielded a similar tonnage, but under-gunned Free Worlds League lance against a much more powered Steiner lance. We were playing one of the scenarios from the Introductory Rule book. It was a "gun 'em till they can't move" scenario.

I like to use my lights as harassers. Tie up the bigger guys or, if they smartly ignore the light, take pot shots at the backs and hope for critical hits. So, I threw my Locust right into the center to do a sprint. He quickly got caught up in between the WHM and PHX.

This Locust would not die. The WHM fired both PPCs at the Locust. Missed. The Phoenix Hawk shot the Large Laser two rounds at him and missed. The dice were just as unforgiving to me and I could not hit anything with the Locust's medium laser. My machine guns, though, were busy scratching paint everywhere. 

At this point, my off-photo Archer and Assassin were starting to bracket the WHM with long range missiles, which had the potential for some serious effect, but my friends were bound and determined to kill that Locust.

Finally, between the PHX and WHM, they scored a hit. Critical, gyro out. But, my Mechwarrior managed to make his piloting skill rolls! He kept going! Using his MGs to annoy the crap out of 5 times the tonnage in machine.

In the pic below, it was literally a behind and behind attack. The Phoenix Hawk did an Alpha Strike on the Locust. From the rear. All weapons (Lg Laser, 2x Med Laser, 2x MGs). Missed, except the MG. 

In the end, the Locust did to itself what those two enemies could not. The 'Mech finally fell due to gyro hits. So, he attempted to stand up and promptly fell over again. The gyro took another hit and per scenario rules, the Mech was out. 

"Screw you guys! If you can't kill me, I'll kill myself!" the Locust brayed at his opponents.

The game went on and we savaged each other to a draw. 4 hours! It's a real Battletech game! LOL. But we all agreed that the winner of the day was truly the little Locust that would not die.
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+Richard Grenville  - we were playing with stock-out-of-the-box Mechs. I would have liked an extra ML or even an SRM/2 on that Locust. 
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Michael S (chgowiz)

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Dear EPT collectors,
I'm going to make you cry and wail today. In this box is a 38 year old sealed 2nd printing of the Empire of the Petal Throne box set. I'm unboxing, unsealing and playing with this sucker.
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Awesome. I totally agree with Dyson on this one. It is worth nothing in the box on someone's shelf. Play on!
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Michael S (chgowiz)

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Musings on cavalry and mounted combat. 

One of the surprises in AD&D is that in the core rules there is surprisingly little about mounted combat. There are a few tidbits about lances getting double damage on a cavalry charge, but I expect more, considering AD&D's predecessors: OD&D and, by extension, wargames such as Chainmail.

Not surprisingly, on a search around my favorite blogs, Delta over at his blog considered this back in 2011 - http://deltasdnd.blogspot.com/2011/01/basic-d-on-cavalry.html

His questions and musings led me to hope that there would be a follow-up, but there wasn't.

OSRIC, not surprisingly, follows AD&D's pattern with the "very little" on it. 

So, I did a search on Dragonsfoot and found this little tidbit - http://www.dragonsfoot.org/forums/viewtopic.php?p=502689#p502689

In summary, the Wilderness Survival Guide 1e splatbook had a couple of pages devoted to mounted combat.

So if I were to take the idea of Chainmail and WSG and "combine" and fiddle with the OSRIC/AD&D rules, for tabletop RPG play... see a proposed set of rules here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BwiMsojGKI2KUzhKY21nbGc3QUU/view?usp=sharing 

I think it keeps to the spirit, at least for AD&D. I'd simplify for OD&D quite a bit. I'm still chewing on that balance. 

Please understand my design approach. I want to be consistent, I want to be clear, and I want to be FAST. I don't like a lot of fiddly bits and where I can abstract into hit/damage, I will. If you have your own approach, please post it on G+ and lets see what you've come up with - the more the merrier. 

(Some of this comes from an email I sent to Daniel, but I thought I would share my musings here.)
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I came in with Holmes and AD&D, so "going back" to OD&D allowed me to fill in gaps where it didn't make sense. I probably was more Holmes than anything else up until 2008 when I got sick of trying to make 3.5e work - having come back to D&D after 20 years - and went looking for something very simple. 
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Chgowiz
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aka "ChicagoWiz"
Introduction
Riding in the Windy City.

I am gaming again. Mostly OD&D, a bit of AD&D online and Battletech, plus as much fantasy wargaming using Chainmail, HOTT or Book of War that I can. 15mm, 25mm. I've got a couple of DBA Sumerian armies too.


Bragging rights
Went on 14 day primitive survival course (BOSS) at age of 42.