TWIW Episode AT-1 (December 10, 2009)

Like a phoenix from the ashes, This Week in Wargaming returns.
New host Ken Whitehurst presents this week’s news from around the world of wargaming, including items from Privateer Press, Games Workshop, Litko Aerosystems, Lock ‘N’ Load, Grindhouse Games, Taban Miniatures and more.

Joe Krause offers his commentary on the recent round of Games Workshop cease and desist letters.

Ken discusses the past, present, and future of the show, and
This Week in Military History: December 7, 1941.

This Week in Wargaming is sponsored by The Williamsburg Muster wargaming convention, February 5-7, 2010, Williamsburg, Virginia.
http://www.odms-club.com/convention

Episode AT-1 Direct Download

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This Week in Wargaming Episode 34 8-9-09

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MINIATURES AND BOARDGAMES

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Privateer Press Announces Preview of “The Next Big Thing” for Warmachine during Gencon

Meeples and Miniatures doing weekly video review of Historical Miniatures Releases

Fantasy Flight Games launches video preview of Warhammer, Chaos in the Old world

Forge World Siege of Vraks 3 available for pre order

Arcane Legions Box Art Previews for Romans and Egyptians

Army Builder 3.2 available

Battlestar Galactica Pegasus Expansion, Rules Posted

Tumbleweed Tank Preview for AE WWII
And the 1936 Popular Science Article it is based on

AE WWII Occult concept art for SS Vampire

COMPUTER GAMES

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Empire Total War

MEDIA

GI JOE—-

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Sorry, but I could not help at least touching on this film as it released this weekend to tepid but not terrible reviews.

The Reviews

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Wargame Vault

Shooting from the Hip – Professional GameMasters?

First, you may notice that I changed the title from daily rant to shooting from the hip. I  don’t want to restrict myself to just things that annoy me, and I find I have less things that really bother me than I thought I did going into the idea. So every weekday(ish) I will post something that I find interesting, annoying, exiting or just some random thing that pops into my head without trying to shoe horn it into a single emotional category.

 

So for today my sights are set on what I think would be a great business idea for some young, smart college kid with some free time and a head full of geekdom; Professional Gamemastering. I know that to many of you this will seem like abject heresy. “What?” you say,  “Pay for role-playing? You’re insane gunslinger!”

 

But consider this, my friend Raef Granger from The D6 Generation recently pointed out during episode 3 of TWIW that he plays World of Warcraft regularly, but would give that up in a minute to play an actual live rpg with real people online.

 

The reason he would do this, as would I, is that we are middle aged men with full time jobs, commutes and families. The likelihood that we will be able to schedule and maintain a regular role playing group in person is very small. Still Raef, myself and many of our over 30 geek brethren have very fond memories of those days in high school and college playing D&D or some other role playing game with friends.

 

The enormous success of World of Warcraft should show that there is a huge market for interactive online role-playing. The problem with such games really is the lack of role-playing that is involved. For most people this is fine as they just want to get online, grind out some levels, or raid for gear and that’s it. But the existence of role playing servers show that a significant, if minority, percentage of such gamers long for more.

 

The promised D&D insider tools should have provided a gateway, but I think they missed out on how to price this kind of service. People will be willing to pay 14+ a month to be able to easily play online with friends with quality easy to use tools. Yes there are free alternatives, but they are free for a reason as they are labors of love with highly outdated graphics, limited functionality and substantial time requirements needed to make them work with an individual game system.

 

What I believe would change the industry is for someone to offer everything D&D Insider was supposed to offer, and take it one step further. Give us the 3-D character visualizer, virtual miniature creator, 3-D virtual tabletop, online reference guide and add the option of a professional DM! Seriously, if I knew that I could join a group of 6 players from around the world, have a voice and shared virtual tabletop connection with a game run every week by a professional DM who ran one game a day for 4 hours, and prepped for the game for one or two, I would pay for that! I would pay $25.00 a month for that easy!

 

Before you say I’m nuts just think of the convenience, and the play experience you could have if someone who made a living making his games fun for the players working to prepare and support your game. I know this is just the tip of the iceberg for a concept like this, and that the economics and logistics would be hellish to manage. Still, I know I would choose something like this over the most polished and well designed MMO out there. And if even 1% of the WoW market would have similar interest, then it could really be the next evolution in online role-playing.

 

Call me crazy, but I would be first in line to plunk down my card number.

 

Let me know what you think, I’d love to hear your feedback!

Squadron Strike: Enterprise vs Galactica? Now we can do it!

For all those hard core sci fi geeks out there who have wondered if the Galactica could take the Enterprise, (Uhh No it couldn’t. Shields and anti matter weapons beat guns and nukes!) or if a Star Destroyer could wipe out the Andromeda (hmm, thats a tougher one) now we have a game that can do it all!

Ad Astra games, the crazy folks who brought us the Saganami Island Tactical Simulator based in the Honor Harrington Universe as well as the hyper realistic (and hyper complicated) Attack Vector : Tactical, recently announced Squadron Strike. This 3D tactical starshipcombat simulator is designed to allow any ship design from any universe to function realistically within the limits of its own universes physics. By creating three different movement types to reflect the three levels of realism usually found in sci-fi. Whether its the pure fantasy of total inertia less drive, to the half inertial movement found in shows that try to pretend realism down to the total reality of real world physics, you can choose any one of them.

Even more crazy since the rules apply to the ships themselves you Squadron Strike can actually have ships from different universes fight each other with a reasonable semblance of logic. Given the strong community support allready enjoyed by SITS this game should have fan made ship status displays for virtually every vessel in sci fi within day of its release.

If you really want to lay down some space born smack, then this game sounds like it will be a real barn burner. I have already pre-ordered and will be providing a review as soon as I get my greedy little wanna be starship captain paws on Squadron Strike when it is released!

For the official Ad Astra Press Release, go Here.