It has been almost a months since my last blog-post, so an update on my gaming-related activities is in order.
Working full time (from 12 pm to 6 pm most weekdays, and one or two Saturdays per month as well) has really taken its toll on the amount of free time and energy I have available for traditional Pen & Paper role-playing. I still don’t have an ongoing role-playing campaign of my own, as the logistics of getting a group together regularly is just too much work, not to mention the time it would take to do the planning of the actual game sessions. I’ve tried getting together a regular group for some kind of low-maintenance gaming, but finding three-four other people with schedules matching my own, who’d also be interested in the same kind of gaming I am has proven a hurdle I haven’t been able to pass. I haven’t given up hope yet, though, so I guess I’ll continue planning for possible campaigns. The latest idea I have is running a mini-campaign of “Good Old Days” Vampire: The Masquearade, but as the people I used to game with are (if possible) even more timetable-challenged than I am, I don’t expect this project to take off from the ground any time soon.
Role-Playing at Tapiolan Pelikauppa is still going strong, with Jim running Lamentations of the Flame Princess bi-weekly. Our second in-store game at the moment is Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd Edition, which I’m game mastering myself. We’ve only played one session of it so far, but we had a record attendance of seven players. The rules system used is way heavier than LotFP, and as the group was rather large, we didn’t get that much actual role-playing done. I think I’ll have to limit the gaming group’s size somewhat, as eight people at one table is just too much.
There’s also the small(ish) matter of key time hours (paying hours) dedicated to something which doesn’t directly correlate to numbers (e.g. sales), so at the moment I’m doing this pretty much on my own, non-paying time. It doesn’t, however, come as that big a surprise to me that role-players are crappy customers, who think the hobby should be free, and any book that’s over 20€ is too expensive, but as I haven’t really sold anything role-playing related in two-three months, the sad fact of RPG non-viability as a product category in Finnish retail is really starting to sink in. (Yes, they told me. At least I gave it a shot.)
Console gaming is something I indulge in on a semi-regular basis, mostly for the sake of keeping up with new releases. I have a Playstation 3 console I got as a birthday present from my lovely wife, but I haven’t had that much time to actually play some of the newer games I’m really interested in (Fallout: New Vegas for instance). My hand-held Nintendo DS console gets a lot more attention, however, as the relative ease of popping the lid open and just playing for a few minutes makes it the ideal console for the timetable-challenged. The Nintendo also has a strong nostalgia factor for me, as the 8-bit was one of my first consoles, and I’m of the generation who was of appropriate age when Donkey Kong and other hand-held consoles became all the rage in the 80’s. I’m currently playing a Legend of Zelda NDS game, and Dragon Quest IX: Sentinels of the Starry Skies, which is another one of those Japanese, vaguely role-playish games where you fight monsters, do quests, gather experience points, and horde loot. Not great, but still good fun gaming. There are also a few puzzle-type games I’m looking into at the moment, the Ace Attorney and the Professor Layton series of games chief among them.
My other love is tabletop wargaming, which I’ve ben involved with on and off for the past two decades or so. I was on a hiatus from it for a few years, but working in a gaming store specializing in wargaming has really re-ignited my interest in the hobby. I’m currently working on and gaming with a Chaos Space Marine army, which is at about 1750 points at the moment. The current CSM Codex is kind of crap (Curse you Gav Thorpe!), and not really competitive with the real big boys of WH40K (in my opinion the three Space Marine Codices, and Orks). Chaos Space Marines (more specifically Emperor’s Children) was the army I started with way back when, however, so I’m sticking to my guns, and slowly expanding my army while I wait for a new edition Codex, which hopefully won’t suck as much as the current one.
My army is themed around the Red Corsairs, a force of piratical Chaos Space Marines operating out of the Warp Storm known as the Maelstrom. I’ve played only five proper-size WH40K 5th Edition games so far, and I’ve mainly taken a beating from more experienced players, but I’m slowly improving, learning how to utilize my army’s strengths, and how to counter some of the stock tactics of other types of armies. The tally so far is three games against Orks (one narrow victory, and two defeats), a game against Space Marines (a narrow defeat), and a game against another CSM army (a tie). Next up, I need to paint two more Rhino troop transports, the special character Huron Blackheart, and a Squad of Noise Marines, all of these for a Planetstrike tournament in four week’s time.
That’s it for now. Tally ho, Yarr, Blood for the Blood God, Stay frosty, and above all, Keep gaming!