Thursday, 3 September 2015

Games Workshop - Slow Death by its own Fluff?

Warning: This is a Long(ish) Read.

Games Workshop - doomed to be destroyed by its own creation?
The Boring Introduction Bit

Whilst walking to Asda in the rain I tried thinking of several titles for this post: Too much Grimdarkness, not enough actual Darkness? or perhaps Story, Setting and Sales: Incompatible?

Simply, I wanted to ask is GW's fluff inherently incompatible with business longevity? 

Before we start we will assume the following generally accepted approaches of the GW business model: 1. it focuses on recruiting new younger players over retaining repeat buying older gamers and 2. it is primarily a miniature company, interested in selling miniatures not writing games. Also I'm mostly talking about 40k, the most successful game in terms of sales, although Fantasy does get an honourable mention. Full disclosure, it was this superb (better) article on on BoLS that revived my line of thinking on this. 

My long-time readers will know "I'm all about the fluff". The fluff (or background, lore, etc.) is largely what drew me to the game in the first place, back in 1996. 

Saturday, 22 August 2015

New Projects and Quick Update

I'm back from hibernation (and the Edinburgh Fringe Festival) to once again to throw some words at the Internet, and let you all know that I've not abandoned ship, I'm very much still here and have posts queued up to share with you lovely people.

Cards on the table, there'll be little to no GW content anymore, with the exception of some Specialist Games stuff every now and then. Sadly even any residual interest I had in the setting has gone. It's been good to me since '96, but it really is the end of an era now.

My old projects have been mothballed, but this means I can approach new stuff without being haunted by the Ghost of Unfinished Projects Past, Very sad, but necessary to bring a bit of joy back to my hobbying. 

Most of the wargaming I've been doing lately has been with Ed and given that they're campaigns I don't want to chuck out any posts here and there to potentially ruin any final narrative Ed might want to do on it at the end - or give away my strategic scheming to Ed...

In order to give me a kick up the derriere to get posting a little more, and finish the several posts I've already mostly written, here's what you can expect in the coming months:

Wednesday, 27 May 2015

The GM's Corner: RPG Player Character Creation

You can't go wrong with a good Pen and Paper RPG, when done right they provide great stories, excellent atmosphere, and what out transatlantic cousins call sheer bloody beer and pretzel fun. Or they say something like that anyway. And of course there can be great characters, in my humble opinion just as fiction lives and dies by conflict, good RPGs depend on good characters - and good character interaction. That is basically what it is that you're sat around the table doing. That's what the game is.

Obligatory D20 photo
Now some characters are going to be too mismatched to the point that it's really difficult to get any interaction out of them, or you have one character with a trait that makes him/her/it unwilling to do much communicating at first - that's fine in a games with perhaps around 5 players, but with 2 or 3 that can really grind the game to a halt. Or I've sat there wondering why the hell these characters are co-operating at all beyond the necessity.

When I've been in that situation as a GM I end up using my pre-written material more quickly as the players aren't filling the time with their own conversation or ideas. That could be down to bad GMing (and probably is), but it can also be down to newer or more reserved players not quite being ready to jump in. But that's fine and kind of the point.

Saturday, 16 May 2015

ACW Campaign Map - 'Burning Tennessee' 1862

All railroads lead to Nashville... A small snippet of the map wot I drew

Blimey, looking at the date of my last post I feel like Lister getting out of stasis after 3 million years on Red Dwarf, "3 millions years?! I've still got that library book". Has it really been that long..?

Hope everyone's been well. I've been rather busy of late with work, roller derby and life in general. The DIY DH.2 blog, which covers my attempt to build a sim cockpit of the WWI scout/fighter, is now up and running too if anyone wants to have a peek. The wargaming hasn't stopped either, I just felt I'd run out of anything interesting to say. Lost a bit of my mojo, so to speak...

One of the big projects that myself, Ed and his brother Ollie have done recently is a 2mm ACW campaign across Middle and parts of Western Tennessee, with Chattanooga as the campaign objective. For more information, Ed has written an incredible post with a great overview of the campaign.

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