Thursday, 13 April 2017

RPG Update: Dread, Fiasco and Doctor Who

Sorry for nicking your graphic to headline this post, The Nerd Work, but damn it's a fine graphic.
It's time to catch you all up on some unrecorded nerdity from 2016.  This time we're talking about role playing games and in particular three seasonal one-offs I ran during some off weeks of Starfleet Academy - one mid-way through for Halloween, two at the end for Christmas.

All of these are games I've ran before so more long-term readers will probably recognise the systems involved.  Hell, one of them features the same characters as wel always play in that system so it should be a true blast from the past for those strange people who read my blog religiously.  (Well not "past" since they're walking around  a good century or two in the future.  This time.)

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Unboxing Video: Rumbleslam

Something I've not done much of lately.

Oops, I've rather let this blog slide, haven't it?  I haven't posted since my birthday which is three months ago and since then I've had a bunch of RPG escapades as well as continued progress on the nerd room to report back.

More updates to follow but to tide you over here's a video from the end of March when I got Rumbleslam, the fantasy wrestling board game, delivered.  Think Blood Bowl meets WWE - then think a ten minute video in which I talk about it.

Wednesday, 18 January 2017

One Score And Thirteen Years Ago - A Bearded Quail Birthday With Bonus Video

When you're born on Friday 13th, all the bad luck stuff associated with it always feels kinda mean-spirited.
Those of you with a good memory may well realise we've passed an important milestone in the Bearded Quail's calendar. The 13th of January is my birthday - this year like the year I was born it was a Friday.  (Unlike the year I was born, there wasn't a snowstorm causing blackouts.

With that I have become older and now scale the heady heights of 33 years old.  I do now own a house so I feel a bit more grown-up than last year, but I still spent a chunk of my birthday reading comics based on 1980s toylines and eating an R2-D2 cake so it kinda cancels out.

Basically every element of my birthday is associated with something negative.  Even though I have the same starsign as Jesus, which you'd think would count for something.
Inevitably my birthday means a few new nerdy odds and ends as gifts.  Some are more vaguely practical, like a whiteboard easel that just happens to be convenient for use while RPGing to track initiative or draw maps.  Some are nerdy but outside the scope of this blog, like the Bluray of Tron and Tron Legacy.

Some, however.... some fit right in.  And one even justifies the first ever Bearded Quail Vlog!  Oo-er, missus!

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

A Cadet Will Not Lie, Cheat Or Steal: Starfleet Academy Series 1 Conclusion

My only experience prior to this point of playing in Starfleet Academy.
 Last time I blogged in 2016 it was about Starfleet Academy – the Star Trek RPG I was running a sort of “spin-off” to my main Trek game.  The players were all taking the roll of teenage/twenty-something students who were trying to survive military university and graduate as a Starfleet officer.  They were mostly first year students (with a couple of “veterans”) and represented not the crème de la crème but the “just passing” sort of student.

This game has now concluded and the TL;DR is that the game seemed to go down well and the group agreed they would play it again in the future.  Everyone had their spotlight episode with some better than others – Ailsa and Dave had particularly good episodes I would say.  I think Molly would withdraw K’Ratak (possibly back to the main Star Trek game) and roll up a fresh new player – but everyone else I think would hang onto their character and continue their story, with some strong ideas for future episodes floating about.

Of course I’m not the kind of guy to leave it at a short description like that.  So details follow...

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Everyone Looks Smart And Wears A Tie - Christmas 2016

OK, so we have passed the Epiphany and thus Christmas is over.... but better late than never, right?

This blog has lain rather dormant for a while because Sister Superior and I have been continuing work on the new house.  Since I last wrote we have painted, floored and assembled furniture for the dining room/study.  Into this room and it’s many bookshelves have gone most of our novels, dictionaries, graphic novels, DVDs, computer games and CDs. 

Rather than assembling tanks I’ve been assembling IKEA furniture, which tends to be less fiddly than Warhammer figures and with fewer skulls.

Alas despite this progress the Nerd Room remains a Nerd Room only in potentia.  It’s next on the to do list – and no reflooring or DIY work is required bar a fresh lick of paint, so it should be quick going.  Once the nerd room is done not only can I finally unpack all my RPG and wargaming stuff but I’ll be able to finally get some more miniature painting done and thusly have something worth talking about on this blog.  For now, however, it remains home to many cardboard boxes and not much else

I could really use the Constructions about now.

The other reason why I haven’t posted much lately is that it has been Christmas, which inevitably means I have been stuffing my face and sleeping inbetween family shindigs.  In anticipation of the return to geeky normality, though, Hobby Santa even brought me a couple of treats… and it seemed to me the epiphany was as good a day as any to update you on these.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Ex Astris, Scientia (Despite The Boxes): Starfleet Academy, Season 1 Mid-Report

Welcome to my life
It's been a while since I posted, but then to be honest it's been a while since I did much fun.  It's chaos at thw Quailcave which has finally relocated from a flat in Glasgow a house in Glasgow.  I am now a home-owning nerd and one whose possession had to be placed in boxes.

You've seen my possessions, ladies and gentlemen.  Its a lot of boxes.

The new house is warm and dry with fully functional kitchen and bathroom.  Apart from that, however, it's a bombsite.  Redecorating has taken longer than expected and inevitably nerdity suffers because Sister Superior wouldn't be impressed if I put off painting the feature wall of the bedroom to go paint a Knight Titan's heraldry.

Though that feature wall paint will get some nerd use later on.  She says "feature wall", I say "Martian landscape"
In the long run it's gonna be worth it.  The new place is bigger and with an extra room taking over the dining room & study roles, the Nerd Room will be purely a lair for my silly projects.  A garden with shed offers a great place for spray-painting, casting and other more smelly/messy projects.  Sister Superior's parents have even offered us a larger dining table, meaning the existing one is about to become surplus to requirements and could easilly become a more permanent painting/play space.

For now this is all in potentia.  Right now I just live in chaos.

And not sexy chaos or cool chaos.  Just "where the hell are my Traveller notes" chaos

Still, after all the chaos we were glad to get some normality back so our RPG nights have resumed after a couple of week's hiatus.  That means I can now give a midway report on our current roleplaying game - a game set in Starfleet Academy during the same period as our other Star Trek game.

Four weeks into series 1.

Effectively this is the Deep Space Nine to our Next Generation - a spin-off show set in a static location that allows for a different style of story-telling than the traditional Enterprise hops from planet to planet every week" model.  Our game is set back on Earth, at the main Starfleet Academy campus and focuses on a single dorm inhabited by an odd-ball mixture of new and experienced cadets.

This was initially a bit of a tough sell to some of the group since it sounds like Dawson's Creek with lasers and nerds, bless them, don't usually get drawn into high school drama type proceedings.  Frankly, most nerds hate high school with a passion and treat it as a dark time where tyrants ruled which shall never be spoken of again - which is why my copy of Alma Mater remains unplayed.  To the typical nerd, it's about as enjoyable a prospect as a Schindler's List LARP.

...Apologies for the rather grim analogy there, but I suspect there's a few readers that are still sorta nodding along.

That said, Sister Superior was more into the idea because she has very fond memories of Saved By The Bell even if her own teen years sucked.  Furthermore the reason that an Academy setting appealed to me was the fallibility inherent in the premise - rather than being Picard, Spock, Dax or other super-skilled experienced characters these will be 17-22 year olds who aren't fully formed yet.  I'm sure we all have memories of things we or our friends did as younger people which seemed totally fine at the time but, on reflection, were majorly uncool - but sometimes we only learn by trying and failing and those shit moments of our past can be key parts of what make us people.

A Starfleet cadet game isn't going to be as grim as DS9's war arc - I don't think we'll be doing any Ben Sisko getting off scott-free with war crimes type stuff - but it does allow for players to mess up big-time because even in the utopia of the Federation, teenagers and students will be total idiots

This but with more aliens and less 90s fashion.
So, all the students are sharing dorms and will be somewhat flawed.  Who are these guys?

Monday, 12 September 2016

Moving House & Recent Nerdity

Living in boxes
 So I have been absent for a while for which I must apologise, but not much nerdity has been happening.  You see, Sister Superior and I are moving house - to be exact, we're buying our first ever place and we have been going through the packing and paperwork associated with that.

The flat is a bit of a riot as a consequence and much of my wargaming and boardgaming stuff is in boxes - RPGs are next on the list.  Combine the fact that the spare room has stopped being "the nerd room" and started being "the place we keep boxes in" and I imagine you can see why not much has been getting played or painted in the Quailcave.

Damnit, Atmosfear is an awkward shape

"But why don't you do some gaming at someone else's house", you may ask?  Well, sir, that would be because if Sister Superior was busy trying to arrange home insurance or chuck out old clothes while I'm playing at spacemen then she would probably be... unimpressed.  Not to mention that clambering over the boxes of packed stuff to dig out Dreadnoughts and Hobgoblins would probably be considered unhelpful.

No, I'm afraid realistically not much Warhammer related stuff has happened in the last few weeks nor will it happen in the next week either - not at least until the final switcheroo happens mid October.  Until then I need to be productive and not shirk my duties in front of Sister Superior.

That's me, that is.
 It'll be worth it in the long run, of course.  As well as owning the property we will also have slightly more room.  It's three bedrooms rather than two, which means the nerd room can be a dedicated nerd room while the third bedroom can be a study or possibly even a glam room for my better half.  There's a garden shared with only one other house, a big change from the six to sixteen families I've had to share outdoor space with for the last decade.

But best of all, there's a loft and a shed.  A real garden shed, ideal for spray painting!  Loft space ideal for terrain storage!  Truly this is a nerd dream and continues my transformation into the dad from Friday Night Dinner.

Martin Goodman was the first time I empathised with a father, not a son, in a TV show.
 Anyway, I do have some stuff you haven't been told about.  I haven't spoken about the last few games of Anachronista 40,000...
Killerating things on this rather pretty urban terrain

...nor have I spoken about my thoughts on Chaos Space Marines finally getting a new rule book....

Well, I say "new".... but that's a comment for another time!
...but instead let's focus on where I've been more productive of the last few weeks, which is roleplaying.  What have my Thursday night crew been doing in our imaginary lands?