Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Rise of the Dungeon Master – the comic book about the birth of Dungeons and Dragons

As I have mentioned before in every form of communication I have ever had (speaking, forums, e-mails, Facebook… whatever) I’ve been playing Dungeons and Dragons, or some form of table top role playing game, since 1979. I had breaks 1989-1993 (US Navy with a few exceptions for 2ed Oriental Adventures and White Wolf’s Vampire), 2008-2010 (re-setting my own social life), and 2014-2016 (historical wargaming took over and I became very particular in the kind of RPG I wanted to play).

Many times either to myself or in actual discussion I have pined-away on how Dungeons and Dragons fits into my life, how important it was, and how that has manifested into the man I am today and who my peer group is.

Rise of the Dungeon Master: Gary Gygaxand the Creation of D&D is a graphic novel (aka comic book in larger format book form) just released in May 2017 that tells the tale, in comicbook form, of D&D and Gygax. Though the title does not suggest it, Dave Arneson (the other guy that created D&D) is credited and is given a good amount of time in the book.

“I already knew all this stuff…” might be an easy thing to say and I just said it and it’s true. I never read it in one medium though, never got the whole story from beginning to end. Also, my brain retains comic book art better then written word alone. This book was right up my alley! I’m also positive that there is contention out there regarding the veracity of the story, there always is and I can safely assume there is some here, I mean, it’s part of the lore itself.

Written by David Kushner (past credits include 3 books on video games) and art by Koren Shadmi who is a New Yorker cartoonist and has credits for books Abaddon, Mike's Place, and In the Flesh. The writing is straight forward but not dry. The art is simple and cartoonish and by that I mean in a good way. Not one image was a mystery and the story was very clear.

To be sure to not drop a spoiler, I will go no further into the history or mythology of Gygax, Arneson, TSR, Dungeons and Dragons … all that stuff. It’s interesting and I’ll let you find out about it yourself.

I will type about how this book provoked thoughts and how I felt after reading it.

Reading along this graphic novel I could easily place myself along the D&D timeline. This is a sense of my active part of this whole phenomenon. This is something new to me as I was not able to parallel my own course with the life of a product until later in life and having the internet. Reading through Rise of the Dungeon Master I could point out where I come in and what part I played in that. Gave me some of that emotional-investment so important to movies or TV shows.

A very poignant panel in the comic was the symbol of building blocks or corner stones, in this context corner stone of nerd-culture. The panel had stone blocks stacked upon each other and written on them were:
Star Trek
Comic Books

Some may think this is silly, honestly I do, but it’s true. True like Bruce Wayne is rich. Granted, there are plenty other corner stones of nerd-culture but those 3 work and are some of the ones known to non-nerd-culture as well.

The comic also delves into the Satanic-Panic surrounding D&D too. That affected me greatly in my own life so I felt a bit of co-misery there as well. I’ve heard multiple parents of friends of mine refer to my Mom as an “oriental sorceress” and me bringing Dungeons and Dragons into their homes via playing with their children as some plot. This is for real and not hyperbole. Grown fucking Americans, with jobs and homes and votes, literally called my Mom a sorceress and thought D&D was part of some big devil-plot. On top of that accusing me of living in a fantasy world…

… Anyways…

Like when I see a documentary film about punk rock or metal, or when I answer random Star Trek trivia question I have no idea how I know, or when I see an element in a Marvel Movie that I was first exposed to in a comic book I read in 1978, I feel like part of history. I also feel like an old man but in this context it’s in a good way. It’s good to feel like a part of something no matter how small your part in it was; a part of something that regardless of how dumb, innocent, or wasteful it was back then is part of an acknowledged history today.

Another interesting point made in the book was one small scene where Arneson is invited to play in another DM's game and he accepts. The DM then "kills" Arneson's character and starts to brag about it like he defeated some top gun. This little nuance I see at all the cons I have ever went to and it's a 50/50 mix of some old guy talking about showing up Gygax or Arneson. I always think, "Really? That's what your narrative is? That's your tale to share?"

Most Friendly Local Comic Shops have it though I hear stock is running low. Check there first before buying off Amazon. Amazon is buying Whole Foods for 100 Jillion Dollars right now so they don't need ALL YOUR DAMN MONEY. Give some to a local brick and mortar. I 'aint got anything against Amazon and I buy from them a few times a month but still, go to a local comic shop and buy stuff from them if you can.

*All images used in this post are ones used on the Amazon site for this comicbook

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

My Name

Gabriel Nopodon Martin

That is my full name. I just realized that many people don’t know that. My own family, the white part, probably does not know that – my Dad being an exception. A few close friends and my wife does and I think that’s about it.

Nopodon is my middle name. It is Thai, my Mother gave it to me. “NOH’ Pa’ Dohn” is the pronunciation that I have heard and always used. From my research it stems from a favorite court poet from one of the older Siamese Kings. This is conjecture though as I was never able to find a citation on that and I am in full understanding that people like to put all kinds of meaning in a name, we’re human and always looking for deeper meaning and connection to something grand. The only current person of note with the name is Noppadon Pattama, a rather infamous politician and lawyer connected to the deposed Thaskin. Right now I’m pretty good with “It’s Thai and my Mom liked it.” Google is not a good place to find info on non-Occidental things without drilling extremely deep. Vikings all day long, Siamese history you need to bring a lantern and some good shovels.

A lot of our identities are wound up in our names. This is standard through time and cultures. All kinds of nuances there. I believe our given names are important, the ones given at birth. No woo woo behind it, just important. Exotic and special or not, our birth names is about as much as we “own” so we need to cherish that. When we die it’s what is left of us.

I did try to obfuscate my middle name in the past. No shame and nothing embarrassing, it’s more about going down that tunnel. I tired of the conversation starting around 10 years old. On top of that there was a very real chance of getting my ass kicked for being a “boat people” in Vancouver, WA in the 70s and 80s. Viet Nam was still stuck in some folks’ craw and SE Asian immigrant-hate made it worse. I was lucky in that many identified me as Hispanic and it wasn’t as bad for them at the time. I mean – I’m kind of brown and my “public” name was “Gabriel Martin” and most white folks equate that to Hispanic. Google “Gabriel Martin” and see how many Hispanics pop up.

This, in and of itself, poses problems in a white dominated society which I will not go to far into here. Anecdote though:
I got pulled over on my bicycle coming home from work in 2006. I ran a yellow light. The police officer, reading my name on my ID, said to me, “Do you know why I stopped you Mr. Martinez?” His mind super-imposed an “ez” to the end of my last name. He thought I was Hispanic. Though it clearly said MARTIN on my license and he was obviously literate his mind turned it into MARTINEZ. The mind is an incredible and flawed thing.

So I avoided saying or explaining my middle name. I still do unless the floor is open for a discussion. The only real use of it in my adult life was being in the monastery in Thailand in 2000. The monks there asked me what my name was and I told them Gabriel Martin. They messed around with that some and then I told them my Thai nickname was “Oowon” which means “fat boy”. They laughed but one of the other monks was already called that. Then I remembered I have a Thai name, Nopodon. So they called me Pra-Nopodon. So far it is the only time in my life my middle name was used. Surprisingly it felt good to answer to “Nopodon”. It felt good that there was no discussion or explanation, it was what people used to refer to me, I answered to it, and it finally felt like it was mine.

Another big belief I have is the organics of a name. In that I mean your name must be given. Nick name, legal name, whatever – choosing your name just don’t sit right with me. Sometimes you just have to but it’s always best for others (as long as they are reasonable people for your situation) to give you a name. I scoff at professional athletes that pick their own nicknames. If we all did that we’d all have nicknames like “Howitzer Fist” or “Silent Death”. It’s good for your ego to have a little bit of a self-deprecating name.

This whole bit is not a ploy to get anyone to call me Nopodon, it’s more an admission of my own faults and felling about my own name. A lot of this is also a realization of my own past now that I am in my “middle age”. About as much of a mid-life crisis I’ll get I suppose.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Enfilade 2017

Sorry, no pics. I forgot to pack a charging cord for my iPhone so the 78% battery it had upon arrival to Olympia, WA was all the battery I was getting that weekend and I needed it to get ahold of Gretchen if I had to. Plus, my old-ass iPhone takes pretty crap-tacular pics anyways and I need to figure out my camera game as my nice snap-and-shoot is also dead.

Enfilade 2017, Memorial Day Weekend, the 26th one, at the newly remodeled Red Lion in Olympia, WA and my 3rd one. Of all the different kinds of cons I have gone to this is my favorite one and the litmus on “Cons I Like to Go To”. Without going to deep it’s the only con I like to go to locally.

For those not familiar Enfilade is focused on (historical) war gaming. There is not much else to do and that’s great. The hotel itself is kind of secluded in that there is not a shopping center or some such nearby. A short drive away you have the capital area but it’s definitely not in walking distance and if you are not familiar with Olympia it might be hard to explore. When you are at that hotel that’s what you have, it’s bar and restaurant and all. The convention itself has games to play, a few vendors to shop, and many friends to be social with.

Your days are split into periods, each period has scheduled games by volunteer game masters and you can choose from 30-40 games per period. Each period is 4 hours long and you’ve an hour in between periods to:
sign up for a game in the following period
go pee
wash your hands and face
buy something from a vendor
It all ends about 10:00-11:00 at night, enough time to hit up the hotel bar for a few rounds, get to bed at a non-rockstar hour, and get some sleep before getting up in time for a shower, a complimentary breakfast, and back in the gaming hall by 9am.

Here is what I played and in order and what I thought and how I did:

Friday afternoon: Siege of Haengju – Imjin War (sp) hosted by Dean Motoyama
Great set up by Dean and the figures were really well done. We played with a Hail Caesar ruleset. Activations sucked for us (Samurai) so our initial attack stalled out to the point where it was round 8 and the rounds had to be extended.

Dean had a great set up at his table and his miniature painting is a sight to behold. I hope to be able to paint like that someday. When there was a lull in action I’d pick up a mini and stare at it.

Friday evening: I hosted Fight for York
Using Saga I based (loosely) a scenario off William the Conqueror’s Harrying of the North in 1069. William and a retinue of Norman knights, archers, and crossbows with his Breton ally take on an invading rebellious force of Edward and his Scots allies and some Dane mercenaries. I had 4 seats and 4 sign ups but only 3 of the sign ups showed some I played the 4th seat (as Normans). We got murdered! Scots and Danes took the day!

Spencer and I headed up to  the bar and found Alyssa Fadden and Victor Cina and we got a round or 2 with them.

Saturday Morning: Car Wars Invasion (!!1111!!) run by Bobby Kalahan and Gary Bohon
Used to play Car Wars when I was a kid, all the way through high school with some of my gamer friends in the 80s. Played another game of it in 1996 or there-abouts. Been wanting to play it the past few years and even got the newer reproduction SJ Games put out a few years ago. I LOVE THIS GAME – sorry to squee that one out like that but it’s true.

Great set up on rubber floor mats and some walls, looked like a real Car War arena. We had tricked out Hot Wheels cars and stat sheets to go with them. Speed chart was on a huge dry-erase board and magnets. Great set up and how I always envisioned a “grow-up” version of the game should look.

I did not plan for this nor mean to do it but I even ended up winning the game via victory points (earned for crashes, laps, speed, etc.). Even cooler was the awesome trophies they gave out, mine being of ridiculous size and gaudiness.

That said a fire has been lit up under me to do the same in Portland… that is to run some Car Wars games in the future.

Saturday afternoon: Hastings 1066 by Gary Strombo
Using a Lion Rampant ruleset, Gary set up a beautiful table with his custom terrain. I think he had around 400 minis on the table that he painted. Because I do the same thing, I noticed all his shields were hand painted also.

It was a classic re-fight of the Battle of Hastings though the “big plan” for us (I was on the Anglo Saxon side) was to hold off until we knew we had the Normans in a rout. I was on the Saxon right flank representing Gyrth Godwinson. The Normans hit the opposite flank pretty hard but the Normans opposite me (Odo) got bogged down in the marshy land. I stayed my ground on the hill as Norman archers got within range and did some damage to my shield wall. I REALLY wanted to launch into the Normans and I have a feeling so did they as a unit of Norman knights waited in the wings ready to charge in as soon as I came off that hill and into Odo’s infantry. Brian, playing Harold Godwinson, advised me a few times to not do so. I followed orders and we won the day – changing history!

Spencer and I took a dinner break in the Red Lion restaurant where I had an oyster po’boy sandwich and a Fishtail Ale.

Neither of us were signed up for a game Saturday night. For me it was because I ran out of reserved seats (I had 3 and used them for the above games). Honestly, I surmised that after playing and running the first 4 periods I’d be a little tired by Saturday evening so would either like it “off” or to play something easy and relaxing. Then I noticed (month ago) that Mike Garcia was running a Battle of Kalka River game – Mongols vs. Rus … which is a direction I plan to go soon with my collection. I was too late though as all the reserved seats were full.

My “Big Plan” was to sit in anyways. If there was a no-show I would fill in. If not I would watch for a bit and then go hit the bar early. Mike was using Lion Rampant and, since I was just standing around, asked if I wanted to help him judge so I said “sure” since I kind of know the rules. First lesson learned … I only “kind of” know the rules.

Anyways it all worked out and everyone had a good game and his figures and terrain looked great – even getting a best of award for the Saturday night gaming period.

The night ended with a round of beers with Pat Lowiger – “Beer with Pat” as I call it. He cut a little early to get some rest and I stuck around until midnight with Vitor Cina and a few others.

Sunday morning I went and got breakfast with Spencer after a short visit with “Chief” Andy Doty. We then headed into the game hall for the members meeting which was cool as Alyssa and Victor were announced new Enfilade Board Members, taking the place of Dave and Lloyd. We then started to wrap things up as we wanted to be checked out and on the road by 12:00 noon and we were.

I also brought some extra minis sitting in my Lead Mountain to sell at the Bring and Buy. Not a lot of stuff but I did sell some Varangians, shields, and some other small bits and made $20! Not bad for stuff I wasn’t using. The $20 got spent at the concession stand … where I was getting apples for free (since I was buying burgers for lunch … gotta get into some good habits and I appreciated those apples).

Shopping was light for me this year – nothing at the B&B, and picked up some resin terrain pieces from Monday Knight Games and a Car Wars Arenas set. Just under $50 spent there.

Overall another great convention and my 3rd one in a row. I love these things and plan to keep going until I can’t or they stop. My only, very general, critique is I wish there was more stuff around the Red Lion hotel like a mall or a little entertainment district. The hotel is a little secluded, by the courthouse and some small office buildings and apartment buildings, and since I do not know my way around Olympia I don’t feel comfortable going out on a Saturday night and trying to find things to do away from the hotel like get dinner and a few drinks. This is mainly in an interest to get my wife to come along and she is not a war gamer at all and there is absolutely nothing for a non-war gamer to partake of while there. I guess that’s OK and all but I’d like to offer my wife the opportunity to go sometime.

Things I might do different next year:
1) I plan to, maybe, not run a game next year. I’ve gone to 3 Enfilades and run games 2 years and volunteered at the Bring and Buy for 1.
2) I do plan to volunteer at the Bring and Buy.

3) Bringing food. Red Lion’s restaurant is fine and I liked everything I ate. I even liked the burgers at concessions in the game hall. It’s also the second most amount of money I spent after the room.
4) I hope to get my shirt size down to XL by next year. This year I was at XXL while last year I was an XXXL.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Youtube Channel Saga Thorsday

Via Studio Tomahawk forums I found Wisco Horndog and his Saga Thorsday videos. I have been playing Saga for over 3 years ... 4 years? ... and consider myself experienced. I'm not tooting my horn or anything but I've quite a few Saga games under my belt though I can always use more experience. On top of that I never felt very good at "figuring out" any rule set until I am running it for years (Dungeons and Dragons 3.x for example). Still, time in and reading other opinions about something is the combo I need to learn something. I used to suck at it, now I think I am an OK player and would not feel completely outclassed at a tournament.

Most Saga videos, over the years, have been really basic; unboxings and tabletop reviews. Frankly I hate those kinds of reviews for anything. Nothing is more of a waste of time to me than a review where somebody videos a new and shiny item they just got in the mail and surmise things it could do.

Where was Wisco Horndog (funny fuggin name) 3 years ago!?! Wow! This guy and his guests really do a good job of breaking things down, the Saga battle boards that is.

That brings me to a point I'd like to make and an epiphany I had and have discussed face to face wit ha few others. First, as I have mentioned before, my first 2 games in the genre of Historical Wargames was All the King's Men (in 54mm) and then Saga. I got into other games later. I kind of dove into Historicals feet first and with little knowledge of the generations the hobby has been around and it's history, sacred cows, and traditions. I'm learning about the nuances of the hobby and it's culture as I type this here blog entry.

Bare with me here...

Saga is not a historical wargame. Please, take this statement as just that, a statement. I mean no offense, I also do not mean to attract haters of the game in some shark-frenzy.

It's got historical trappings - Dark Ages, figures in nasal helms and hauberks with spears and shields. They are called Norman and Norse Gael and Anglo Saxons. They have specific boards that have abilities that are congruent to the mythology of the culture named. Pagan Rus are connected to the cold Russian steppes so have all kinds of winter abilities. Byzantines are the Eastern Romans and have a military system to match thus Saga board abilities that match that. The diaspora of Vikings is a fast-moving and aggressive force and their battle board replicates that rather well in my opinion.

BUT ... it plays more like a typical War-Ham-Ma-Hordes game. It at least leans that way. It's "fiddly" and there are distinct tactics you should be playing depending on the war-band you are playing. Not being aggressive with Vikings? You'll fold real fast. Charging straight in with your Bretons? You'll probably get crushed.

Further - Saga is not a beer and pretzels game. It kind of acts like one. Games are under 2 hours most of the time. Small-ish board and not a ton of terrain needed. Around 40 figures per side. Easy to get said figures as there is no exclusive line.

BUT... there are objectives, figure removal, scores, you can pull an ability combo at the right time and change the course of the game so there is some gaminess. One can torque and tinker with a build to exploit certain rules if so inclined.

To me, and in my small amount of experience in wargaming, that is not a beer and pretzel game like Lion Rampant can be. Like many other games I have not experienced can be. You can get a game in under 2 hours though, that's really easy for some experienced players.

On that note, and to bring back around full circle, that's why I love Rodge "Wisco Horndog" and his Saga Thorsday videos. He tells you what the function of a specific Saga Battle Board is and unpacks it to it's core and, since he's a War-Ham-Ma-Hordes guy (and I assuming, I know very little about him really) he can break down Saga like that.

If you are inexperienced I recommend his videos as he and his guests go over a war-band's battle board, some abilities gets a "JUICY" comment, and that indicates to you it's something you should be doing while playing. He boils it down much better than I could ever do I think.

Brings me to the point regarding my discovery a few years ago about finding the "rice" to you battle board... the ability that only costs you a common or uncommon dice and you should load up every round (other than the ability almost all war bands has that increases your attack pool). Here is a partial list off the top of my head from my own experience:
Vikings - Ulr
Normans - maybe Gallop
Pagan Rus - Standing Like Bears
Norse Gaels and Bretons - not sure yet
Scots - Hold the Ground and Counter-Attack

Why do it this way? It speeds up the game #1 (a complaint about Saga I have seen - people take a long time pondering the battle board allocating Saga dice). It also gives you a base tactic that all other tactics will play off of. This helps me focus myself and speeds up the game for me.

Anyways, most of you are getting ready for Enfilade 2017 as I post this so I'll cut it here. If you like Saga give Saga Thorsday a good watch and, even if you are expereinced, you may learn a thing or 2. I sure did.

See you at Enfilade. If not, have a good weekend, Memorial Day is for those that passed before us, and I hope to run into you soon.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Shield and Spear – Portland Saga Tournament 2017

In October 2017 I am hosting a Saga tournament. 11:00 – 6:00, Saturday October 14th, at Guardian Games in The Level Up room upstairs above The Critical Sip.

Entry fee is a $5-$20 donation going to Horns for theHomeless, a non-profit I have been working with this year. Also accepted are new(ish) outdoor gear like socks and gloves, tents and tarps, backpacks and sleeping bags.

Some tournament rules:
Dark Ages, Crescent and Cross, Arthur and Aetius war bands allowed.
Bring 7 points for your war band; you will be playing 6 points per game.
Scenario based score, 3-2-1 (win-draw-lose) scoring – no slaughter points.
Swiss Bracket; tie-breaker will be strength of schedule.
Scenarios will be revealed day of tourney; all of them will be from Core and Crescent and Cross books.
I will be playing if there is an odd number of players – I cannot win anything but I will play my best.

This is the basics for now – I might have a painting contest and I am working on prizes from local vendors or individuals only as I want to support my local gaming suppliers.

Since it’s still pre-Enfilade, no need to RSVP but I’d like that to happen. Keep up with news and developments here and on Portland Historical Wargames Facebook page.

Also you will find this advertised on the Ambuscade! blog:

I will also be handing out small handbills that look the same as the Ambuscade! post at Enfilade this year.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Guardian Games

Guardian Games is my Friendly Local Game Store (FLGS). I’m lucky to live in a growing city that offers me a few choices like Red Castle in SE Portland in Foster-Powell and Portland Game Store in N Portland on Killingsworth, which interestingly enough are both located in neighborhoods I lived in the past… and if I still lived there they would be where you found me all the time.

Alas, Guardian is HUGE comparably. They also have some historical products on the shelves though they have a bit of almost anything I could ever want gaming-wise: Historical miniatures, Osprey books, paint and craft supplies, fantasy and sci-fi miniatures, any boardgame I could ever dream of, Dungeons and Dragons and pretty much any other RPG, even some video games for my PS4. The one thing they offer that I partake of mostly is a gaming space. Red Castle and Portland Game Store do too but Guardian has, like product, a huge range.

The reason why this is important to me is that I live, with my small family, in a small apartment. We do not have the space for me to run an RPG or wargame. One goal I have in life is to have a home that has a garage/basement/extra room/backyard I can put a nice shed in with a big table and shelves for gaming.

Guardian’s space offers me:
·         A walk-in table for any kind of pick-up game, let’s say on a Wednesday night I want to play Tanks with Jeff… we’d just go meet at Guardian.
·         Reservations for any small event, either in the general area or in The Critical Sip where beer can be bought. This is typically how we do Portland Historical Wargaming monthly games. It’s free.
·         I can also reserve a game room, from 4 people to 40 people. These do cost money. Ambuscade and my Saga tournaments are usually up in the Level-Up room that has a capacity of 60 people (though that would be tight).

Like I mention above, you can buy a beer in The Critical Sip. You can also buy snacks of all kinds, wine, cider, mead, Slime Jims, and a Coke. On top of that many places will deliver food there and on weekends a burrito truck will park in the parking lot. If that does not suit you there are many restaurants within walking distance, Bunk Sandwiches being one of my favorites.

A little bit about them selling beer:
Here in Oregon our alcohol sales (and now cannabis) is regulated by a state agency called the Oregon Liquor Control Commission aka OLCC. Not to get too much into how I feel about them the OLCC is very strict and complicated. To sell beer you must open yourselves to regulation by the OLCC. Typically this is done by bars and restaurants and convenience stores. Other places could sell beer too but it is just too much of a hassle for a place to sell beer if selling that beer is not your focus … like a game store.

I worked as a bouncer at many places over the years, almost all of those place selling alcohol thus under the scrutiny of the OLCC. Further, in the late 00s security at establishments licensed to sell alcohol had to also get an OLCC card like a bartender would. I’m not sure if that was legally mandated or just suggested. One of the things I was constantly on the lookout for was OLCC agents setting up stings and sending in people with fake IDs or getting served without showing an ID, there being no “you look old enough” law. The law, as I knew it since the early 00s was that a person old enough to drink in an establishment must have satisfactory proof of age to do so… ID. You can look like fucking Santa Claus and if an OLCC agent sees you in a bar and you do not have ID the bar gets fined. Last I checked it was $750.

So that’s why old guys get carded all the time in The Critical Sip, where they sell beer and cider. It’s also why you can’t bring in your own water bottles or other drinks. It’s not just for them to be able to maximize profit but also it’s the law that, if broken, could cost them $1000.  Being as how beer sales is more a friendly service than a focus of business one should kindly abide by such rules. It’s not them, it’s the OLCC.

The Level Up room and other rooms upstairs, since you have to go through the Critical Sip to get to them, is also under the umbrella of OLCC service rules. That is why, when you come to one of my Saga Tournaments, I will offer everyone a bottle of water that I bought from Guardian.

For those that do not know the lay out of Guardian here is a link to Spencer's Ambuscade blog where he just put up some directions and diagrams. I'll copy and past those diagrams here too:

I also have some very poor pictures of the actual room but I'm going to take some better ones next week, I had reserved a large table in Critical Sip for some pre-Enfilade Saga games and I plan to run up stairs to get a few panoramic shots of Level Up Room for Ambuscade blog.

And to advertise it on my own blog - Shield and Spear - Portland Saga Tournament, will be held in The Level Up October 14th, 2017. Start painting that Dark Age Irish army now! More details to follow of course. Stay tuned on this blog for that. 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Hastings - Bayeux Tapestry plastic flats from Russia

These were brought to my attention by Spencer last month. I went ahead and ordered a box (reasonable price and shipping) from the dealer in Russia via Ebay.

54mm plastic flat figures based off designs on the Bayeux Tapestry's depiction of Hastings in 1066. A novelty for sure but, now that I have them, maybe not such a novelty any more.

Got them today and here is the opening!

Box came in a padded envelope. Shipping was 5 weeks but ... y'know. I did check up on it last week and discovered there was a shipping number. Opened envelope and there was this nice box with not a lick of English on it. Kind of cool! Scale is apparent in pic.

Open it up like an ancient treasure chest full of treasure!

Figures are in a thin zip lock plastic bag.

A total of 11 figures in the box. No multiple poses, all of them were different. The pack is billed as "King Harold's Army".

I pulled 4 of them for a close up.

They are molded with "opposite" sides? Is that what it's called? Like anatomically correct. Left arms are left arms, right arms are right... etc.

These things are pretty cool and I plan to get more after Enfilade. They also make mounted Normans. I'll even do some kind of game with them.

Here is a link to the seller on Ebay.