Saturday, September 27, 2014

Brimstone Background Music

Having background or 'theme' music on while gaming is really a double-edged sword. If all players know the game well and don't have severe ADHD then it can be a real mood-enhancer for a thematic game. Like playing spooky sounds in a Halloween/Ravenloft game or Daft Punk in the background of a Cyberpunk game. But if you are trying to teach the rules to people then the background music, no matter how good, can be distracting and bring the game to a halt. Note: In all cases background music should be just that, in the background, and therefore at a very low volume during the game.

As most of you know, Flying Frog Productions always includes a self-published Soundtrack CD in each of their boardgames. These are a very mixed bag of synthesized and digitized original compositions by FFP. The digital music's okay most of the time, if a little rough, but the games themselves last far longer than the CD, so the songs get old, fast. Often by the fifth turn someone is ready to fling that CD right out of the window. Shadows of Brimstone has the best FFP soundtrack CD yet in my opinion and I genuinely like it, but even that album gets booed out of the room when I have more music-discerning players over for a game of Brimstone. Nevertheless the dark old west-style theme of Shadows does yearn for a good background soundtrack, and I believe I've stumbled upon an alternative soundtrack for Shadows of Brimstone.

Iron Horse: Fade to Bluegrass

Iron Horse takes Metal and Rock songs and churns them through the Bluegrass-ifier. Metallica's songs lend themselves surprisingly well to Bluegrassification, so the resultant compositions on Iron Horse's two-volume Metallica Tribute Album (Fade to Bluegrass) have a real familiar-but-creepy feel to them. Perfect for Brimstone!

PS: Another benefit is that Iron Horse is available for unlimited streaming on Amazon Prime, if like me you've already signed away your soul and first born to the Overlords of Amazon.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Painting Heroes

Today will be a quick update on some Brimstone painting progress.

Because of ancient maths and the esoteric laws of the Multiverse, I always paint character minis in threes. On one hand painting three different minis at once is enough real estate that I can paint a color on one, move on to the second, then on to the third, and by that time the first mini is dry enough for me to add another color to it. Keeps the downtime to a minimum. On the other hand, three different minis is not so much diversity in color schemes and outfit styles that I become overwhelmed with the options and just give up and watch something like DragonFyre on Netflix.

So without further ado, I present my latest three heroes from Shadows of Brimstone: the Bandito, the Gunslinger, and the Marshall.
Were denim jeans around in the old west? I could look it up...or just assume that if they weren't then the gunslinger must have found some in an alternate dimension.

That leaves six heroes painted and just three heroes left from the Core Sets (the Saloon girl, the Rancher, and the Preacher). After they're done then I can move onto the hordes of monsters. Good times.

Keep on gaming!

Saturday, September 20, 2014

Shadows of Brimstone - Solo Game Review

Sometimes you want to game on a regular old Tuesday, but your buddies aren't spontaneously available to come over and play another game of Shadows of Brimstone. Even Mary was busy and not interested in a pick-up game. So I took it upon myself to take my Level 2 Indian Scout, Mingo, into the mines for a bit of a Solo Adventure. I wanted to see how well the game scales to a single adventurer as well as use some of my newly-constructed minis from 'The City of the Ancients' Core Set.

Proud and (over)confident Level 2 Mingo, ready to take on the City of the Ancients!

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Boardgame Quick-Tip: Edging those Tiles

So I was setting up another game of Brimstone the other day and something struck my eye. I notice it with every boardgame with similar kinds of cardboard map tiles (Ravenloft, Doom, etc.), and that is the edges of those cardboard tiles that you pop out of the big templates. They're so bright white. The rest of the tile has nice art on it but I feel like the unpainted edges really detract from the effectiveness of the art on the tile. Everything is outlined by this glaring white line on the map, which is distracting.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Pre-Winter Brimstone Painting

Its September and its starting to get cold again here in the upper Midwest. And while to many people that may mean a respite from lawn mowing or relief from mosquitoes, to a miniature painter it has a more sinister chill. That is, oncoming winter gives one the realization that they'd better prime their miniatures now, or they may have to wait until Spring.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Business Gamer Travel Tips #1 - Bring the Rulebooks!

I know, I know. All the readers of The Vorpal Chainsword just want to see that second Shadows of Brimstone Core set review.  Believe me, I want to play another marathon game session of Brimstone more than anyone. However, like many of you, I must maintain a big fancy corporate job in order to support my serious and debilitating gaming problem. And also like many of you, I spend many a night in hotel rooms wishing I was panting minis, setting up boardgames for arriving guests, or playing video games on the ol' Steambox setup.

But alas, those are not always options for us tie-wearing power lunchers. Instead we are left with hotel bars, iPad app games, and Netflix to fill in the time between gaming weekends. But I finally, FINALLY had the most obvious revelation one could have, after so many drunk games of Elder Signs:Omens and half-watched episodes of Supernatural.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Right in the Heals - 5th Edition Review

So, 5th edition Dungeons and Dragons is out.

And to be honest, its a good read. And I'm saying that as a devout OD&D fan. I'm generally a Labyrinth Lord-style 'Save versus Death" kind of guy, hwever, I have to admit there are some things I like about the new book. The art, for instance. Its pretty good. Also I do like the addition in D&D for any race to play any character class ever since 3rd edition. If I want to play a game with you and you take the time to come to my gaming table, then if you want to play an half-gnomish warlock ninja, well then who am I to judge?

But this post isn't about the things I like about 5th edition. No, its about the one thing I dislike the most about it, and my ingenious fix to that problem. That's right, I already fixed it, so everyone can rest easy.

But first...the complaints!

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Shadows Over Eternia at GameHole Con 2014

Listen up gamers of the Midwest!

Last year a new gaming convention threw its hat into the ring. Right here in Madison, Wisconsin (the best of the Madisons), back in the Year of Our Lord Two-Thousand and Thirteen (by Dale Reckoning), GameHole Con was born. And if you're familiar with my intermittently-updated blog, which I know you are, you know that this con blasted the asses off of any pants-wearing gamers who attended.

But this post isn't about how GameHole Con is most radical game convention this side of the Time of Troubles. Or how it has the freshest games, the dopest guests, or the baddest roller-derby ladies. No, this post is a teaser about the game I'm going to run at GameHole Con 2014. Not just any game, but the game you've been waiting for your whole life...