Monday, December 8, 2014

Musical Weekend

Good day! I know it's been a while since I've updated and I apologize for that. It's amazing how busy this time of year can be...

Anyway, I just want to make an update for myself as a snapshot in history as well as to share my life with you, gentle reader.

I took Friday off to be with Vanessa and we wound up getting massages at the recommendation of our doctor. Well, it was recommended for Vanessa - I just took advantage of the opportunity as I had never had one. Oh. My. Gosh! I was more relaxed after that than I have been in a while! I'm sold now. :-)

Friday night we visited some friends from Centerville (they invite us up to stay whenever I'm booked for the Grinders Switch Radio Hour) and stayed up late picking and singing with Robert, Terri & their special guest Dan, who is a third VERY close and dear friend to us as well.

Saturday morning Vanessa and I got to the studio and I got to pick a little with the early members of the band. Always fun. :-) Then the show started and when it was time for the "special guest" I played three original songs for the crowd. After the commercial break I did four more songs with the band. Vanessa made a video of Wagonwheel and I will be posting it to YouTube very soon. This is one of the BEST bands I have EVERY played with, and I've played with a ton of musicians!

 Grinders Switch Radio Hour

Mom and Tammy made it to the show and we had some great barbecue just down the road afterward. Southern Way - fried cornbread with fresh pulled pork on it and then covered with baked beans. In the words of Jerry Clower - 'haaaaaa!' :-)

Robert, Terri, Dan, mom & Tammy joined us for lunch so we had a great time there as well! We talked about "hair" and loblollies and various other "satchel" things and just had a big ole time!

Vanessa and I drove to Dickson to do some shopping and ran into an old friend there! I see him every week on as we game, but not in person that often. It was great seeing Craig there!

Saturday night we pulled into Henderson Family Dance for round three of music. :-) Using the bass this time we played and sang for the dance crowd. Mom and Tammy came up for that and brought our nephews Will and Wes. Will danced EVERY dance!

Sunday night we made it back to our home church and I had the bass in hand again... My buddy and fellow bluegrass musician James Wallace (you've seen his picking on several YouTube videos I've posted) had asked me to play bass for him and some friends while they did some gospel numbers. I took my guitar and banjo in hopes of some jamming before or after, but that didn't materialize. Vanessa and I did do a couple of songs for her mom and some friends after supper though.

All in all a great weekend of music but more importantly a great three days of spending some special time with my soul mate, both in the company of and absence of special friends and family. :-) I love you babe!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Dice Masters Tradelist

I spent a bit of last week under the weather, so no writing, no posting, not much gaming and I was pretty lazy around the house as well... Spent the last half of the week catching up at work.

The new expansion for Marvel Dice Masters is now out and I bought a sealed booster box. I wound up with a FULL set of commons and uncommon (yay!) and several rares as well as one Super Rare. I also wound up with multiple commons (2 full common set extra, I believe) & uncommons and on duplicate rare.

That being said, I'm looking to trade... Below is my want list and have list. I prefer to trade in person, of course, as it's 100% safe for BOTH of us, but am willing to trade via the mail as well. If I don't know you or you have no references, I'll ask for you to ship first. But if we know each other or you have references I'm happy to ship first or we can simul ship.

But - on to the list... :-)

Please note I'm not tied to a 1:1 swap. I know some of the cards are valued higher than others and I'm happy to trade multiples for a better card or a better card for multiples.

First Set - Avengers vs. X-Men


84 Nightcrawler Abandoned

99 Angel Soaring
100 Black Widow Killer Instinct
101 Colossus Piotr Rasputin
102 Cyclops Scott Summers
103 Deadpool Chiyonosake
104 Doctor Doom Victor
105 Doctor Octopus Mad Scientist
107 Gambit Cardsharp
109 Green Goblin Norman Osborn
110 Hawkeye Robin Hood
112 Magneto Sonderkommando
114 Mystique Could Be Anyone
116 Nightcrawler Circus Freak
117 Nova The Human Rocket
118 Phoenix Jeannie
120 Punisher Big Nothing (pending)
123 Thing Idol of Millions
124 Venom Angelo Fortunato
125 War Machine James Rhodes
126 Wolverine Formerly Weapon Ten
128 Vibranium Shield Cap's Protection

Super Rare
129 Black Widow Tsarina
131 Mr. Fantastic Elastic

Limited Edition
5/13 - Collateral Damage
11/13 - Iron Man     Phoenix Buster

Dice Only
Black Widow
Dead Pool (2)
Doctor Doom (2)
Doctor Strange
Mr. Fantastic
Night Crawler (2)

1 Beast Big Boy Blue
2 Beast Genetic Expert
3 Beast Mutate #666
4 Captain America American Hero
5 Captain America Natural Leader
6 Captain America Star-Spangled Avenger
7 Hulk Anger Issues
8 Hulk Annihilator
9 Hulk Jade Giant
10 Human Torch “Flame On”
11 Human Torch Matchstick
12 Human Torch Playing with Fire
13 Iron Man Inventor
14 Iron Man Philanthropist
15 Iron Man Playboy
16 Spider-Man "Tiger"
17 Spider-Man Webhead
18 Spider-Man Webslinger
19 Storm African Priestess
20 Storm Goddess of the Plains
21 Storm 'Ro
25 Basic Action Card Distraction
26 Basic Action Card Focus Power
27 Basic Action Card Force Beam
28 Basic Action Card Gearing Up
29 Basic Action Card Inner Rage
30 Basic Action Card Invulnerability
31 Basic Action Card Power Bolt
32 Basic Action Card Smash!
33 Basic Action Card Take Cover
34 Basic Action Card Thrown Car
35 Angel High Ground
36 Black Widow Natural
37 Colossus Unstoppable
38 Cyclops Slim (4)
41 Doctor Octopus Megalomaniac (3)
43 Gambit Ace in the Hole (4)
44 Ghost Rider Johnny Blaze
45 Green Goblin Goblin-Lord (3)
46 Hawkeye Longbow (3)
47 Loki Trickster
48 Magneto Former Comrade
49 Mr. Fantastic Brilliant Scientist
50 Mystique Unknown (2)
51 Nick Fury Mr. Anger
52 Nightcrawler Fuzzy Elf
53 Nova Quasar
55 Professor X Principal (4)
56 Punisher McRook (3)
57 Rogue Anna Raven (2)
58 Silver Surfer Silverado
59 Thing Ever-Lovin' Blue-Eyed (2)
60 Venom Eddie Brock (2)
61 War Machine Combat Comrade (2)
62 Wolverine Wildboy (2)
63 Mjolnir Fist of the Righteous (3)
64 Vibranium Shield One of a Kind (2)

78 Human Torch Johnny Storm
79 Iron Man Billionaire
88 Punisher Vigilante (3)
91 Spider-Man Wall-Crawler
92 Storm Wind-Rider
93 Thing Grim Ben
96 War Machine Parnell Jacobs
97 Mjolnir Forged by Odin

Limited Edition
Rally (2)
Thor The Mighty
Spider-Man The Amazing (2)

Dice Only
Cyclops (2)
Doctor Octopus
Green Goblin
Iron Man
Mjolnir (4)
Professor X (3)
Punisher (4)
Rogue (4)
War Machine



095 Ant-Man - The Insect World
102 Falcon - Air Strike
103 Iron Man - Superhero
104 Magik - Redflag #133
108 Namor - Imperius Rex
111 Pyro - Uncontrolled
112 Red Hulk - Superhero
113 Sabretooth - Superpowered
117 Spider-Man - Spider Sense
120 Vision - Victor Shade

Super Rare
123 Emma Frost - Hellfire Club/
125 Scarlet Witch - Controls Probability
126 Spider-Man - Superhero

Dice Only

035 Ant-Man - Biophysicist (5)
036 Apocalypse - Awakened (3)
037 Bishop - Omega Squad (3)
038 Black Panther - Wakanda Chief
039 Cable - Man of Action (3)
040 Captain America - Special Ops (4)
041 Emma Frost - Archvillain (4)
042 Falcon - Samuel Wilson (3)
043 Iron Man - Upright (2)
044 Magik - Illyana Rasputina (5)
045 Marvel Girl - Telekinetic (3)
046 Mister Sinister - Archvillain (5)
047 Mystique - Ageless (2)
048 Namor: The Sub-Mariner (2)
049 Professor X: Recruiting Young Mutants (4)
050 Psylocke - Betsy Braddock (5)
051 Pyro - Saint-John Allerdyce (5)
052 Red Hulk - Thunderbolt Ross (3)
053 Sabretooth - Something to Prove (4)
054 Scarlet Witch - Wanda Maximoff (3)
055 Sentinel: Mutant Hunter (3)
056 She-Hulk: Jennifer Walters (5)
057 Spider-Man - Hero for Hire (3)
058 Storm: Weather Witch (4)
059 Toad - Tongue Lashing (2)
060 Vision: Density Control (5)
061 X-23 - Scent of Murder (4)
062 Cerebro - Cybernetic Intelligence (3)

063 Angel - Flying High
067 Black Panther: T'Challa (3)
068 Cable - Techno Organic
069 Captain America - "Follow Me!"
070 Cyclops: Field Leader (2)
071 Falcon - Recon
074 Kitty Pryde - Just a Phase
075 Magik - Lightchylde
076 Magneto - Hellfire Club
077 Marvel Girl - Superhero
078 Mister Sinister - Nasty Boy (2)
079 Mystique - Raven Derkholme
080 Namor: Atlantean
082 Psylocke: Ninjutsu
083 Pyro - Pyrokinetic
084 Quicksilver - Villainous
085 Red Hulk - a.k.a. Rulk
087 Sentinel: Archvillain (2)
089 Storm - Superhero
090 Toad: Sniveling Servant (2)
091 Vision - Android
092 Wolverine: Antihero
093 X-23 - Assassin
094 Cerebro - Supercomputer

114 Scarlet Witch: Unity Squad

Dice Only
Ant-Man (3)
Apocalypse (2)
Bishop (2)
Cerebro (4)
Captain America (4)
Black Panther (3)
Cable (3)
Emma Frost (2)
Falcon (2)
Magik (4)
Marvel Girl (3)
Mister Sinister (6)
Mystique (2)
Professor X (3)
Psylocke (5)
Pyro (4)
Red Hulk (2)
Sabretooth (2)
Scarlet Witch (2)
Sentinel (4)
She-Hulk (4)
Storm (4)
Toad (3)
Vision (4)
X-23 (4)

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Song Club - continued

Typing on 9/23/14...

Adam Levy has taught me a great deal about songwriting and "opening up." He has given me several methods or "tricks," if you will, to help me with my writing. One of these is a writing prompt.

Some time ago he invited me into his exclusive club called Song Club. Each week he would give a topic or phrase and you had to include that in your song. I wasn't as diligent as I should have been and there were weeks that went by where I didn't follow through, but the weeks I did? WOW! The creative juices flowed freely and the words just came from nowhere! (I know they came from God and from within and from my life experiences, but you get the idea)

I could give you some examples, and I'm happy to do that, but I'm hesitant to tell where all my song ideas come from for fear of it making them less "personal" or less interesting. :-) Just know that if I ever share with you where the ORIGINAL idea for a song came from it doesn't mean that I didn't put my own spin and my own life into it. The idea of the Song Club is a writing PROMPT - something to get the individual writer started down a path. It's still up to the writer to come out the other side with a song.

So Adam took a hiatus from this and he turned me onto another one. Same thing - I didn't take part every week, but the weeks I did I was VERY pleased. I had even thought of starting one of my own but didn't get much response so never followed through. Well this morning on the drive in I decided I AM going to do this, and if you're a writer that is interested in this let me know!

To go over some specifics, there is NO COST and you still own the song when you are done. This is for us as songwriters to get our juices flowing and get a song. You don't owe me or the other members a thing, but you will feel better about yourself if you follow through every week.

I will get doe details together over the next couple of weeks and get this started soon. No, that's not another "when I get around to it" thing. I'm just trying to decide the best time to start. I had originally thought about January 1 and let it be a weekly thing for the year 2015, but then decided that's too long to wait... I need this for me. :-)

So I thought about October 1 - but that might be too fast to get this going. I don't want people thinking they are coming in late if they want to be in on the first one. :-)

So - what's your thoughts? This blog entry should post before October 1st, so what's your preference?

My email - for direct communication -

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Song Club

Typing this on September 23...

Two nights ago there was a new episode of the Commercial Suicide Songwriting Podcast. I started listening and then finished it up yesterday morning. It has inspired me in two ways...

First, I had told Steve Rempis, one of the co-hosts and the actual founder of the show, that I had an idea for a segment and would record some "listener submissions" to be used. So far I have not done this. No excuse, it just hasn't been at the top of my radar...

Second, I realized a couple of weeks ago when Katie Hutton asked me, "written any songs lately?" that I could only answer... No. This kinda made me sad in a way, and I told myself then that I would get back on that.

Well, needless to say I've not written anything since that conversation and I haven't even submitted the old ideas I had. I did get to thinking while driving to work this morning just WHY I haven't written. Several things came to mind...

First, I've been performing a lot more and promoting my new CD. By the way - do you have it yet? :-) If not, I can mail you a copy and it can also be purchased on iTunes, listened for free on Spotify and I have a limited number of "download codes" where you can get the whole thing on CD Baby.

Anyway, performing is a passion of mine and like I said it's been more and more lately and now I've started in a regular band on Saturday nights. No, it's not as fun as having MY band and doing my own music, but it's fun to make people happy and watch them dance. As a dancer I know the feeling of a good, solid band doing traditional music that I can dance to, so I have a connection with the crowd.

Another thing that has taken some of my writing time has been preparing for our weekly Star Wars RPG game via And no, this is NOT a complaint. That has been some GREAT gaming time (and you, gentle reader, will remember that gaming is a high interest hobby of mine) but the MAIN reason I have zero regrets is that it's time I get to spend with Kyle every week! I will not be trading that in for anything and wish I had more "gaming time" with Colton as well...

But anyway, these things were going through my mind on the ride this morning and I was thinking about another song I had written as "self therapy." No, this one is not on my CD and I really thought I had put it on YouTube, but now I can't find it...

Anyway - it's called "Riding with Daddy" and while I was "riding with Vanessa" to work this morning I was singing the song quietly to myself. When I got a particular line I could not for the life of me remember the words to the first part, but I remembered the second part. And just like that the "real" words - what it should have been from the beginning - came to me...

Stand up for yourself but don't be a bully...

So, am I writing? Yes. Well - rewriting, and that's part of the process...

Rather than continue, I'll come back with the next post and talk about the Song Club... :-)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

lunch hike

Edit - this was actually typed a couple of weeks ago...

Just walked back in from a lunch break today. Whew! I wanted to get more exercise - well I got it today! I went to a "local place" and scouted out a place to hide the final stage of a big multi I've been thinking about off and on for a long time... I found it! No special equipment needed to get there, but for a guy my size on a 90 degree plus day... Well - it was a walk! :-)

I have another stage already planned. I found "the spot" a few years ago and had an idea and it has just brewed in the back of my mind. I think I'll get a chance to use it on this one... I also have another spot I've wanted to use before but never had a good way to use it. Now my gears are turning for that stage as well... :-)

We used to name all of our caches with the title of a book as it refers to where the cache is or the way it is hidden. The book I'm reading now is A New Dawn. It's the new Star Wars book that ties into the future Rebels show. I'm thinking of incorporating that somehow, but I'm not sure...

Anyway - just wanted to document the hike and start documenting this cache. Vanessa and I never cared for multis that were just point A to point B and just another film can, so I want this to be something you have to figure out. Something that's not completely obvious at first, but yet makes sense. I might even hide clues in other caches and wind up hiding several in the process, but the "big" one be something worthwhile...

Maybe one of my CD's for FTF. :-)

Monday, September 29, 2014

What's Old is New Again

I'm typing this on the 15th of September. I just made the following post to Facebook -

In five days, the Henderson Family Dance place will reopen! I've been asked to supply bass guitar as well as vocals on part of the set. We have a great show planned for this Saturday night and those that have been there before know how great the floor is for dancing!
Plenty of great seating as well! We plan to start at 7 - hope to see YOU there!
(let me know if you need directions...)

As Paul Harvey would say, here's the rest of the story. :-)

This place was open before and I actually subbed from time to time on bass guitar. It closed down for over a year. A few weeks ago I was contacted by the keyboard player from a couple of groups I used to play with (NashVegas in Halls and Pure Country in Hornbeak and Cayce). He said he was going to try and have a place open every Saturday night starting in September and asked if I was interested.

Now at this point, those of you that know me well know that of COURSE I was interested. My only hesitation? I don't want it to take the place of my solo endeavors and especially my songwriting. Knowing also that most of my songs are "traditional" style and recognizing the fact that the best way to get inspired is by having new experiences and being exposed to more music, I agreed. 

Does this mean I've stopped the solo thing? Not at all! I'm still booking solo appearances and singer/songwriter stuff, and of course I hope to introduce the people of Henderson to some original songs as time goes on as well. 

The floor down there (Henderson is South of us) is GREAT! There is plenty of seating to the SIDES of the dance floor for those that like to hear the band and watch the dancers. There are concessions at the back as well. I don't know what the "per head" price will be, but most places are charing around $6 a person, so I'm confident it will be comparable.

Who's in the band? Jimmy Skiles is the keyboard player and "leader" of the band. He sits to my right. To my left is John Hodges on lead guitar. Behind me is Stacy Shattuck on drums. We will all sing in turn so that at the end of the night each of us has done one fourth of the show, and of course it's all dance music! Waltzes, line dances, two stepping, slow dancing - it's all included. :-)

I don't think you'll find the place on Facebook, and I don't know the "official" address, but dropping a pin in Apple Maps gets me this - 

4955 US Highway 45 S
Finger, TN  38334-1992

The pin is on 45 ByPass between Henderson and Selmer and the gray roof building in the upper right is the dance hall itself.

It's super easy to get to... Coming from Jackson just go to Henderson and stay on 45 ByPass. This pic shows a little better where it is - 

Once you pass Leath Lane you will pass a "turn around" at Old Naylor Road, then you'll see a flashing arrow sign on the left side of the road. Make the next "turn around" and you'll come right back to the sign and make a right into the driveway.

If you're coming from the South (Selmer, or Mississippi), you'll take 45 ByPass past Selmer and Bethel Springs. You'll see Finger-Leapwood Road on the right (that's the biggest "road" coming from that direction) and you'll know you're VERY close...

Just past the fifth "turn around" you'll see the Arrow Sign on the right at the driveway.

If you need specific info, feel free to call me or text me at 731-345-9229...

edit - here's a pic from opening night...

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Better Fit - and games

Okay - I want to lose weight and I want to get healthier. Okay - I've said it - I've made that proclamation public.

We just celebrated our 28th Anniversary and had a great time! I took Vanessa to eat at Olive Garden in Jackson (which wasn't around when we were married) and drove to Casey Jones Motel (which was there) where we stayed the first night of marriage.

We visited a little chapel back by the mini golf course and sang our song to each other. We also rang the wedding bells as we left the building.

I then drove us to the site of the place where we "met" 31 years ago. There used to be an amusement park just off of Hollywood. The bowling alley next door is still there, but that's all. There was a building with an arcade, they had a water slide, bumper boats, a batting cage and mini golf. Now there's just a blacktop parking lot and grass softball fields, but we can still see everything like it was yesterday...

Speaking of yesterday, we picked up Colton and Tiffani and the four of us went to eat at Lambert's in Sikeston. We had a great time and some great food! While we were waiting for an hour and a half I decided to walk around the building to get the Munzees that I had not gotten before. I captured seven of them and grabbed the eighth on the way out. (there are nine, but I had gotten the oldest one on a previous visit) Since I didn't have a geocache for August 31st, I stopped on the way out of town at a used book store and grabbed one there.

What does this have to do with getting healthy? I'm typing this on a parking lot while Vanessa is shopping. We just bought her a new bike to ride and I'm going to service mine when we get home. I noticed there are now a TON of Munzees in Jackson, and one was 300 foot from the truck, so I made the walk. I realized right away that this is going to be part of my exercise...

No, I'm not jumping back into the geocaching game with both feet. It's a team sport, as far as I am concerned, and my team mate is not interested right now, but I realized that I can do some walking and capturing like I did last night and again today. Every little bit helps, right? :-)

She's back - time to roll!!!

Thanks for reading...

Addendum before posting on 9/20... I had some issues with my bike so we ended up buying one for me as well. LOVE IT! Nice big tires... Better handlebars... And the brakes work! Always a bonus! :-)

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Happy 31st Life Day

Life Day - for Star Wars fans that's the Thanksgiving and Christmas time of year. For me, it's September 16th and the first one was in 1983. That's the day Vanessa and I officially became "a couple."

We "found each other" before that, but that was the time we officially started dating - and the rest is history! We have now been married for 28 years but our life together started before that - on Life Day - and we've been together ever since!

Yes, this is a short post, but I want to commemorate the day with best wishes to my wife and soul mate! I love you!!!

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Car Wars Unboxing

On our first day of Gen Con, one of the things Kyle was anxious for was the new release (or re-release?) of Car Wars Classic. No, this is not the pocket box - this is an actual "box" about the size of Munchkin.

Anyone who knows me knows that growing up Car Wars was my favorite game. I still run PBEM games of it - current one is at    And for about 10 episodes I published a Car Wars Podcast. Thanks to the wayback machine and another Car Wars fan, I have collected all of these old episodes and am planning to resurrect the show. I'm trying to decide if I want to republish the old episodes "as is" (in a "classic" move) or incorporate the content into new shows first. This will preserve the classic content but let me take out ads for podcasts that are no longer around as well as links that are no longer good. :-)

Anyway, I was excited that Kyle was excited about it and gladly bought it for him. We did an unboxing, but played X-Wing miniatures instead. :-) I was impressed that the counters were "punched" (in the old days we had to take scissors to them) and that it even had a turning key! The map was a VERY nice addition as I expected no map or at the very most road sections.

I had some response from some Twitter posts, so before we left town I took pics of the contents. This blog post includes them all...

This was a pic I posted on Twitter and had some responses.

And this one as well.

The rest, below, are an official "unboxing." :-)

Box Top...

Box Bottom...

Close up of the name of that side of the map.

Pretty sure the website wasn't there in 1990... ;-)

Reminded me of the Muskogee Expansion, just smaller.

The arena side.

This reminded me of one I found a long time ago and called it "Wall to Wall." The solid black lines are tall walls that block movement AND line of sight. The While ones block movement only.

This was referred to on the forums as the "floppy disk arena." Can you guess why? :-)

Larger shot...

The rulebook. I verified that it's 5 phase movement and the crash tables looked like 2.5.

The "bits." This was one of the most impressive parts! Remember how we had to cut these out in the old days? Everything was just like you see it here, including the turning key!

Some blank record sheets were included.

Weapons list had the basic stuff, but NOT all of the various "nickel and dime" stuff.
Notice the MG and VMG, but NOT the LMG, MMG or HMG.

All in all, a good opening, and VERY refreshing after seeing Version 5 a few years ago... This is the old game, but not boats and such. It's the game as it was meant to be played.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Gen Con Pics

I was pulling in pics from my Phone for the post about the Car Wars unboxing when I realized I had a TON of pics I never put anywhere... I wanted to share some here...

Day One... Vanessa wearing one of her EMT shirts (that's her geekdom)
and me with a shirt...

Kyle was trying on different Victorian vests and long coats, so we got a pic of him
with one of the little "mini hats" - I don't know what they are actually called...

Vanessa while we were in line to get into the FFG booth to throw money at them - LOL

I think Vanessa and Devin had left me and Kyle in the line and he's talking to Devin...

She let me grab a "kissing selfie" :-)

I took a pic of this to go back and try and solve. Nope - never looked at it again!

Vanessa sporting her new ears...

Devin trying on some ears...

Took a pic so she could see what this tail looked like. She opted for the one that matches the ears.

Kyle looking tough in one of the vests he tried on.

Outside the FFG booth... Everyday they had people in costume since
Star Wars is probably their biggest IP right now. I'd love to make my own
flight suit for next year. Can you tell the Stormtrooper is a chick
by the way she's standing? :-)

And Vanessa's new tails swings left...

And then right...

Love this shot! I don't know how it worked out, but it's like she's standing still in a sea of movement!

Trying on red hair...

Getting her first look at it...

This was a great "do" but I said it was too close to her actual hair.

So she opted for red. Looking good!!!

We picked up a Gen Con exclusive copy of "Roll For It" and we
played a few games in the lobby to get off of our feet...

Saw this cosplay and had to grab a shot!

Kyle's new vest! Looking sharp there son!

Sporting our Blue Peg Pink Peg shirts! Was good to meet Patrick and Robb in person finally!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Escape from Mos Shuuta... Again

Sunday afternoon, Gen Con was officially over. But not the gaming side of it!

We headed back to the house and Kyle talked about wanting to GM Star Wars. I told him I brought the 'beginner box' for both Edge and Age -

He said at first he wanted to run the Age one, since it would be totally different, but then decided since he had played through the Edge one that it might be easier for him to run it. So we got back to the house and he took the GM Screen and the module and we split up the pre cons. Vanessa took the Medical Droid, Devin took the Twi'Lek Bounty Hunter with the big gun, her friend Amanda took the Wookie with an attitude and I took Pash - the human pilot. 

Kyle did a GREAT job and much fun was had by all! We got through the first encounter with some interesting action and took a different path to the second encounter than what Kyle and the others took when I ran it. Since it was getting late we stopped to talk about the game and tell the players what would have probably come to pass. Everyone agreed that it was a great system and well worth playing again, so I left Kyle some of my dice (he now has three full sets, which seems optimal - I need to get another set so I have three) and both Beginner Boxes. I also left him the GM screen, since it makes rolling on crit tables and looking things up MUCH faster during game play... I need to get a replacement... :-)

Anyway, I left him all that stuff so he can start a live campaign there with Devin, Amanda and maybe some others. Meanwhile Vanessa is interested in maybe getting into the roll20 game we have going and I think Devin might be as well. Might be that not everyone can be there every time, so this would allow for the party to still progress and be a "good sized party" each session. Or there's the option of a second campaign - maybe with Kyle as GM and me, Vanessa and Devin as the players - Amanda too?

Loving this game and loving the time I get with my family! Gotta get Colton into this... ;-) He has played X-Wing and likes it too, but with his hours at work we don't get much gaming time...

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Star Wars RPG

We have an ongoing Edge of the Empire campaign on in which I am the GM. Kyle is playing as well as my old friends from high school - Craig, Brent & Chris. Brent's son Jonas is playing as well, though he's not there for every minute of every session. We are having a BLAST! Gaming with my old gaming friends is great, of course, but it's even MORE special gaming with Kyle as well.

So, while at Gen Con, we picked up the next Core Book - Age of Rebellion. We had the softcover Force and Destiny beta core book in our hand, but decided not to purchase it. Why? A couple of specific reasons...

First, Kyle said he couldn't justify paying $30 for a book that would get updates via PDF download for the next 8 months or so and then have to turn around and spend $60 for the hardback final release. I mentioned that we were "late to the party" getting into Edge of the Empire anyway and Age of Rebellion beta was out when we started. It released hard cover just a few months ago and we are just now picking it up, so there was no 'rush' to get a beta.

I also commented that even though he and I were the only ones to get the Age book right now that it will benefit the others too. I now have the "Duty" rules as well as new ships, races, rules, etc. that everyone will benefit from. (side note - We started a module a few weeks ago that ties into Craig's character's Obligation and backstory, but was also a mission for the Rebellion. We finished it AFTER Gen Con so I was able to assign Duty as well. They are officially a 'mixed group' now.)

So - after a cursory look at Force and Destiny, we realized that the only player to benefit from it would be Kyle and since he was hesitant anyway, we opted not to get it. It is full of force user stuff. Not just Jedi, but all disciplines, and even includes rules for "dark side" players. Yes, it might have come in handy for me to 'outfit' the NPC at the end of the module they were on, but that's the only thing I saw worth it, and that wasn't enough.

So - we didn't buy it, just like we didn't buy the beta for the first two. We did, however, get to play in a "con module" with Phil as GM. He's known as GMPhil, a regular co-host on the Order 66 Podcast as well as DarthGM on Twitter. He had written a module that he wanted to run at Gen Con (I think this was also his first Gen Con) and I made contact with him about getting a seat for Kyle and myself.

The two of us drove back to a hotel adjacent to the convention center and walked into the "open gaming" room. Holy Cow! There was table after table of gamers playing different board games and RPG's. To skip ahead, I told Kyle on the drive back that the vender hall was great and next year I want to play in some scheduled events (Dice Masters, X-Wing, etc.) but that THIS is where the real gaming happens!

Anyway, we found some others that looked like they were standing around waiting, and I knew from our Twitter conversation that Phil was running last minute, so we approached them. Yep - they were there for the same game.

I will not go into detail here of the module, in case you get a chance to play through it (my friends know how much I DESPISE spoilers!) but I will say that Phil is a MASTER at GM'ing! He had some professional quality maps created and printed, he had tokens that represented our characters, he had magnetic colored tokens to go on the bottom to show elevation, pending setback die, pending boost die, etc. He used a dry erase marker to note initiative order and did the classic "here's your difficulty" as he would show what the dice were and why they were there.

He also had something I thought was cool... A felt bottomed dice tray to roll into (to keep stuff from being knocked around on the table). I've been looking at and thinking about a dice tower, but I like the feel of shaking and rolling the dice. This little tray gave me the ability to keep the dice "close" without losing the feel of 'shaking and rolling.'

When it was all said and done the PC's "won" the module, but not without some exciting play, combat, decisions, rolls and disagreements. Now, to be clear, the PLAYERS didn't disagree at all. We all worked together as a team though we didn't really know each other... But our CHARACTERS had different opinions and different outlooks, and it really added to the game.

We started a little after 8 PM and finished up just before 2 AM. It was awesome. :-)

Here's the pic Phil put on Twitter just before we started...

Since this is running a bit long, next time I will tell you about Kyle's foray into GM'ing the game... :-)

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Post Gencon

As I sit here on this quiet Sunday morning I realize that this last week has been a blur... Knowing that blogging helps to stir the creative juices, my goal was to blog more often. This didn't happen this week, but I definitely have SEVERAL posts worth of things to talk about. :-)

First, Gencon. Or is it Gen Con? This was my first, but will not be my last! Kyle had invited us up to stay with him during the con, which saved us a TON of money on hotels! For those that are not aware, Gen Con is a gaming convention. No, not video games - board games, RPG's, miniatures, card games, dice games, etc. It's something I've known about for a long time but just something I never figured I would be able to make it to. Well 2014 was "the year." :-)

There are so many things I could touch on here, but for now I'll talk about the standout stuff. Day One we hit the vendor hall and walk around a little bit. Kyle decides he wants to brave the FFG line, so me, him, Vanessa and Devin stand in line for over an hour just to get in. The first thing I grab is one of their new Star Wars dice bags -

They have four different styles, but this is the one I liked the most. And I was shocked at how BIG it was after I got it out of the package! (TWSS) My Star Wars dice went into this bag immediately...

We looked at all the new X-Wing Miniatures ships as well and gravitated to the YT-2400. Yes, that's Dash Rendar's ship. This was a character from the old N64 game Shadows of the Empire which was a part of both Kyle and Colton's youth, so just the name has sentimental value. I had not planned to buy the latest batch of minis mainly because there's very VERY few chances locally to play it. The Z-95 Headhunter is one I would like "just because." :-)

Anyway, Kyle had asked me to bring all my minis so we could play and we both wanted to see Dash Rendar hit the table, so I bought it.

We then picked up a copy of Age of Rebellion for each of us. This is the Core Book for the next "chapter" in the RPG we play. We still call it Edge of the Empire, but this book opens up some new Force talents (Kyle plays a Force Sensitive Wookie - Shorkazza) as well as some VERY detailed information about the Rebellion and getting existing characters into that role. It's no secret that the crew I've been GM'ing via have been interested in joining the rebellion, so this helps that out as well. Of course, like the famous Han Solo, their past is not completely left behind, so they still have Obligation to contend with...

Well that's it for today... I still need to show the pics of Car Wars as well as talk about Hutt Ball... But that will come later...

Thanks for reading! And Kyle - thanks for having us as guests!