• What’s on your wishlist?

    Most think it can be hard to shop for gamer pals, but in truth, it’s not as difficult as it seems. Worried about gifting a model for the wrong faction? Congratulations, you’ve just provided inspiration to for a whole new army! Worried about gifting a duplicate? Truth be told, the percentage of models that can’t be used in multiples is very low, and there’s always the chance to convert a model. What about roleplaying resources? Sure, no-one needs two Dungeon Masters Guides, but there’s always something missing from their library that can be identified with very minimal research. Worst comes to worst, have you -ever- heard a roleplayer say they have too many dice? Today I thought we’d drop some hints for shoppers, or last minute additions to your wishlists

    Miniature Games

    Everyone’s well aware of Games Workshop’s Start Collecting boxes. Almost every faction in Age of Sigmar and Warhammer 40K has a Start Collecting box available. They’re all excellent value, and they pretty much all have kids that can be built with multiple options, so there’s very little fear of duplication.

    If you’re looking for something a little more affordable though, that can welcome a new player to miniature gaming? Privateer has you covered.

    G.U.A.R.D. for Monsterpocalypse

    Warmachine/Hordes starters provide everything you need to gets started, except a table and an opponent. Each has a complete rulebook and a selection of curated models that are suitable for learners, but that will still provide fun play for veterans. Suitable for the Fantasy/Steampunk fan.

    Monsterpocalypse starters follow the same philosophy but aimed at those who really enjoyed Godzilla or Pacific Rim. Will you level the city and crush the puny humans, or will you save mankind from monstrous invaders? Either way, you get to slam your opponents into building and stomp their puny tanks. Good times.

    If you’re a sci-fi junkie, Warcaster starters are the newest kids on the block but still pack a punch with plenty of pew-pew in a distant galaxy. Player communities are developing and the feedback on this game is positive and an exciting opportunity for someone looking for a dynamic new venture.

    Roleplaying Games

    Tales From The Loop

    Dungeons & Dragons is the biggest name in town, and there’s a world of supplements and resources available. From the Starter Set for someone who’s never played before, to the Players Handbook for someone keen to take their first steps into a campaign, to Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything – the very newest resource for players and DM’s alike.

    If you’re looking for a different roleplaying experience, the options are all out there – you could pre-order the Dune RPG for hardcore sci-fi fans, combat nazis and elder things with Achtung! Cthulhu, or sink your teeth into the award-winning Tales From The Loop for fans of Stranger Things.

    Amethyst d20 from Norse Foundry

    Not looking to commit to a whole new campaign, but think a one-off would be good times? Steamforged’s Epic Encounters are self-contained adventures that can also be worked into an existing campaign.

    If you’re not looking for a new game, dice are absolutely a thing. Stunning dice in wood, stone and metal are available from Dogmight, Elderwood Academy, Dice Envy and Norse Foundry. If you’re looking for dice for an LGBTQ+ gamer, Heartbeat has you covered.

    Adventurers & Adversaries offers modular miniatures, and both Heroforge and Eldritch Foundry allow for customizable model designs that you can then have printed or print yourself.


    Brush Wielders Union

    Subscription boxes are all the rage nowadays for a variety of industries, and gaming hasn’t been overlooked. Privateer Press offers two different monthly subscription lines – one for Warmachine/Hordes and the other for Legend of the Five Rings – over at Mini-Crate. Dungeon In A Box, RPG Crate and Dungeon Crate all cater to Dungeons & Dragons fans, and there’s even dice subscription services like Libris Arcana.

    Additionally you could look into a subscription to D&D Beyond, perhaps a membership in a subscription-based community like the Brush Wielders Union, or even hook them up with a link to a favored author’s Patreon so that they can get sneak peeks at upcoming works.

    The worlds inhabited by tabletop gamers can be dizzying and confusing for those on the outside, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t be navigated with a little assistance. I wish everyone the best in navigating the coming weeks as we close out 2020. We may be isolating for the good of the community, but that doesn’t mean we can’t find ways to get our hobby on, or to help end encourage the gamers in our lives to do the same.


  • I get it, we miss cons, but…

    As the global pandemic continues and we sit through another wave here at the Gdaycave, with numbers on the rise and nearby cities going into modified lockdowns once again, I’m fearing for the conventions of 2021, should any happen. CaptainCon has already been cancelled for 2021, so we won’t be there to run our annual charity fundraiser, and it’s becoming more and more likely that there’ll be no GenCon next August.

    Yes, this saddens me, yes, it sucks dirt, but every one of us who values our own health, let alone those of the more vulnerable members of our families and communities, should be taking every precaution we can to halt the spread of COVID-19 by limiting outings, avoiding gatherings, and doing whatever we can to ensure that we’re not vectors for the disease to spread.

    That’s why I was somewhat aghast when I head that Anime Dallas took place a week or so ago. Then I read that the convention organizer and his daughter were exposed to someone with COVID a week before the convention, and still went along anyway, showing cavalier disregard for the health of every person at that convention – vendors, guests, attendees – and everyone in their circles.

    Briana Lawrence wrote an editorial which delved into the whole affair more effectively than I can right here. I encourage you to go read it, but I’ll post some snippets below.

    “The entire weekend Anime Dallas was going on, many—and I mean MANY—people took to social media to say how bad of an idea it was. This wasn’t just convention goers, but industry folks who were perplexed that a convention was going on when there has been a massive, ongoing spike in cases. After all, this was one weekend after Thanksgiving, and we’d all already been advised to not travel or have large gatherings.

    But what makes the Anime Dallas situation even more frustrating is that the con chair reportedly knew better, too.

    As reported by Anime News Network’s Lynzee Loveridge, not only was the con chair advised by several people to NOT hold the event, but the con chair had been exposed to someone with COVID a week prior to the event.”

    “… Swasey posted on Facebook about the safety measures being taken and reassured everyone that he, his daughter, and the rest of the staff did not have COVID. Of course, he failed to mention that he’d been exposed. “

    “We can’t reach the point of having a solution to the pandemic if we keep spreading it around and making it bigger than it already is.”

    Ignoring the pandemic, pretending it’s not a thing, is doing NOTHING to halt its progress. More and more people are dying. A hospital in Reno converted their parking garage to hold 700 beds for COVID patients, for crying out loud. This isn’t going to go away by itself.

    I want to go to GenCon. I want to go to CaptainCon. Heck, FanExpo isn’t even a gaming convention and I’d love to go. But one of three things are going to happen.

    • One, Everyone – and I mean everyone – starts taking this more seriously, starts listening and adhering to medical directives, actively taking efforts to stop the spread, and we get on top of this. Once it’s quenched, we can look at gathering again.
    • Two, Everyone gets vaccinated. Everyone. This will take time and the conscious participation of the populace. We’ll reach a point where we can look at gathering again.
    • Three, enough people continue to ignore the severity of the pandemic that more and more people die and the lockdowns and restrictions continue.

    I know I’ve harped on this before, but this Anime Dallas thing has be dumbfounded, that someone could so wilfully disregard the health and safety of hundreds, and from there into thousands, of people.

    Don’t gather. Socially distance. Wear your freakin’ mask.

  • The expanding Monsterpocalypse

    When Monsterpocalypse was relaunched a few GenCons ago, I was rather excited. The initial incarnation was a thing when I was first getting into Privateer Press products, but the blind box model meant that I could never guarantee that I’d get anything I actually wanted out of a booster box, which made it difficult to swallow the price point given that, knowing my collector mentality, I’d be pushing to try to get complete factions. The relaunch took care of this by doing away with the blind box model, and added in the bonus of adding in a hobby element along with the resculpts, letting us paint the models however we so chose.

    Doing away with all of the old agendas, the new Monsterpocalypse simply had two sides: Destroyers and Protectors. Every Destroyer can ally with every other Destroyer in their quest to bring about the end of all that is, and every Protector can band together with every other Protector in defense of Humanity and the world as we know it. Initially we got three of each – GUARD, Shadow Sun Syndicate and the Terrasaurs seeking to shield humanity, while the Planet Eaters, Martian Menace and Lords of Cthul were set to lay waste to the planet… but it wasn’t long before more factions started appearing. In addition to the starting six we have:

    Fighting the Good Fight

    • The Empire of the Apes, led by King Kondo, have muscled out of the hidden forests.
    • The Tritons rise from the depths, all tentacles and fishy smells.
    • The Green Fury would otherwise be seen as ecoterrorists, but when the world’s being broken apart?
    • The Elemental Champions tap into monastic traditions the world has not seen for centuries.
    • The Draken Armada have arrived from the stars with noble intentions and a grudge against the Planet Eaters
    • The Legion of Mutates? Lions, tigers and bears, oh my! Well, lions, hippos and rhinos…

    Appetites for Destruction

    • The Subterran Uprising have breached the surface with whirly drill bits.
    • Uber Corp International are always happy to steal a good idea, and then make you pay for it.
    • The Savage Swarm are all abuzz. We’re gonna need a bogger apiary.
    • The Waste are sentient sewage and pissed off pollutants.
    • The Necroscourge are a nanite hivemind, reanimating and repurposing the dead into weapons.
    • The Zerkalo Bloc are from a parallel Earth, conquering their other dimensional counterparts.
    • The Masters of the 8th Dimension are inscrutable, and just plain weird. But deadly.

    With no less than -nineteen- different factions to choose from, the variety of aesthetics and playstyles is somewhat bewildering, but it’s pretty much guaranteed that you’ll find something that appeals to you whether you’re focused on playstyle or aesthetic.

    Which faction’s your favourite, and why is it the Subterrans?

  • Kringle bells

    I’m not normally one for shoving projects aside on the painting table to paint something seasonally appropriate, but I sure as heck am on board with changing gears to work on something completely unrelated to the current goal based on spurious whimsy. Accordingly, without warning, the Cawdor models that have been slowly receiving love were unceremoniously shoved aside as a train of thought mainly centered on dwarf characters for D&D reminded me that I’ve had a longbeard sitting in a drawer aging like a fine cheese for about a year now.

    Kringle is one of Ninja Division’s Masterclass models, quite obviously themed after a certain  jolly fat man. These resin models have been part of Ninja Division’s commitment to making good on their kickstarter commitments, and are an inordinate amount of fun to paint. As someone who otherwise spends his time painting heroic scale models for Warmachine, Age of Sigmar and the like, painting chibi models can be an incredible breath of fresh air.

    Painting Kringle started with the reds of his hat and robes, followed by the fur trim and beard, before getting stuck into finer details. The wet palette saw more use than it has in awhile, with the leaves being a blend of five different green tones. While the berries may have been intended as holly, I had The Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy in my head so I went with something a little more purple and sugar-dusted. I think it’s also provides a little  better contrast against the red of the hat.

    The staff head unfortunately broke off, and while I had originally been contemplating trying to do something along the lines of a candy can with alternating tones, I really liked the idea of his just having a walking stick or cane rather than a druidic staff. The end result is a model that I’m pretty darn happy with. Sure, he’ll never be at the forefront of an army, but there’s always the chance someone will play a dwarf wizard or somesuch in a D&D campaign, once we’re in a position to play in person again. My Super Dungeon models often appeared on the table as both heroes and monsters, since I’ve managed to collect a small horde of assorted chibi gribblies over the years.

    While Kringle is a playable hero in Super Dungeon, his ultimate fate may be to be woven into a small vignette.  A few scenery elements, maybe another model or two to tell a story, and some judicious use of small LED lights and a veritable mystical wonderland could appear encapsulated in a glass sphere.

    Time permitting, a new side project may happen over the next little while. Much will depend on whether or not I can find the elements I’m picturing in my head. Where does one find a chibi owlbear to approximate a sasquatch? I can’t rightly put a yeti in a forested scene…

    It’s worth noting that both Kringle and Krampus are available for order until the end of January, for those who might be interested in taking on some new chibi painting projects of their own.



  • Jolabokaflod

    Everyone celebrates the holiday season differently. From family gatherings with a big meal to taking off for sunnier climes, from going skiing to hitting the beach, from midnight mass to spinning a dreidel, different cultures and difference traditions can make the season marvelous. As we go rapidly approach the holidays under the shadow of a global pandemic the holidays are going to look very different for a lot of families, and many of us are looking for alternative ways to mark the holidays that will allow us to do something special without putting ourselves or those we love at unnecessary risk. Enter: Jolabokaflod.

    With thanks to Magnificatz for the graphic, Jolabokaflod is an Icelandic Christmas Eve tradition where you gift books (never a bad thing), and spend your Christmas Eve with a few morsels of chocolate and a new tale. It may not be the most social of traditions, but in an environment where we’re trying to avoid gatherings, this may be the perfect time to start participating in Jolabokaflod. Encouraging people to enjoy the written word is never a bad thing, and who knows what worlds of adventure await you hidden amidst the pages.

    With that in mind, some suggestions for your consideration.

    Skull Island Expeditions was Privateer Press’ e-book adventure, and while the dedicated site may no longer be available, the tales of the Iron Kingdoms are still available through DriveThruRPG. Whether you’re a fan or Warmachine or Hordes, there are plenty of texts to choose from. Personal favourites include Howard Tayler’s Extraordinary Zoology, Dave Gross’ Dark Convergence, Chris A. Jackson’s Watery Graves, Larry Correia’s Into The Storm, and several of the short story anthologies with tales by Doug Seacat, Aeryn Rudel, Orrin Grey, and a host of other authors.

    Games Workshop’s Black Library continues to spit out books at a borderline alarming rate, filling the lore of their assorted universes with books, e-books and audiobooks. Whether you’re into Warhammer 40K or Age of Sigmar, Necromunda or Blood Bowl, you may find something of interest. This year they’ve opened up the Warhammer Crime and Warhammer Horror imprints, including the classic Drachenfels, written in the 80’s by Kim Newman – one of the first game-related novels I ever read as a nascent nerd, donchaknow. The Siege of Terra also continues in their cataloguing of the events of the Horus Heresy, the defining conflict of the Warhammer 40K setting.

    If you ever ask me for a book recommendation and I don’t reference Sir Terry Pratchett’s Discworld at some point, I may be trying to subtly let you know that I’ve been kidnapped or something. There are 41 canon Discworld novels, written over 32 years. The earliest parody fantasy tropes and literature, while later books satirize elements of present day life and society. Wyrd Sisters, for example, parodies Macbeth , while Monstrous Regiment cocks an eyebrow at war, propoganda, and gender roles. Most recently I reread Unseen Academicals, which is – on the surface – a tale about the citizen of Ankh Morpork formalizing a soccer (nee football) league, but along the way has something to say about at inclusion vs exclusion, nature vs nurture, the link between ignorance and racism. All in a fantasy setting with a smattering of both Romeo & Juliet and Cinderella. There are so many great books in the series that where to start can be a much bigger question than it would first seem, but there are Reading Order lists out there and I’d be happy to help point anyone in the right direction.

    The gift of a book can amazing. It can be from an author you know the recipient loves, or it can be an opportunity to share one of your own favorite authors. If you want to go non-fiction, it can be a stepping stone into a new hobby or field of interest, or even a promise of an activity that you’ll share with the recipient once we’re on the other side of the pandemic, such as with a new RPG book (Tasha’s Cauldron of Everything just released for Dungeons & Dragons), a new sourcebook for tabletop gaming (The Broken Realms event for Age of Sigmar has started with Morathi), or perhaps something to fuel the creative side (Such as Angel Giraldez’s Masterclass). Maybe this year, since many of us can’t gather with our loved ones, the gift of reading may provide some comfort, should we take a tip from Iceland.

  • Thought processes: Starting a new faction

    When starting out a new faction, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with options. When playing a faction you’ve known and loved for ages, it’s less common but still easy to get overwhelmed with options. One of the best things Privateer Press ever did with Warmachine & Hordes was to introduce the concept of theme forces. In MkII, these allowed you to build thematic armies based around a particular Warcaster or Warlock, limited to model choices that fit with the leading character or a point in their fictional history,  but with additional perks and benefits to balance out the loss of competitive versatility.

    In MkIII the concept changed to align with the subtypes of each faction, opening up a lot more versatility through Warcaster/Warlock choice. For example, Cygnar’s four in-faction themes are Heavy Metal (Warjacks), Storm Division (Lightning-centric), Sons of the Tempest (Gun Mages) and Gravediggers (Trenchers). Circle Orboros’ themes are Devourer’s Host (Tharn), Bones of Orboros (Wolds), Wild Hunt (Wolf Sworn) and Secret Masters (Druids). These allow players both new and old to make purchases, build their collections, and create lists using models that will thematically work together, helping combat some of the potential analysis paralysis, and you can easily just choose a concept that you really like and build an entire army around it, with the theme benefits actively rewarding you for your choices.

    Basically, it’s a winning concept, so it’s no surprise that other companies have their own incarnations.

    Continue reading  Post ID 20593

  • Paint The Target

    It’s December. The festive season descends upon us like an inevitable celestial wombat, cascading through the atmosphere with tidings of good will laced with anxiety as we try to figure out how to make all this work during a global pandemic. Still, there’s painting happening, and a bunch intrepid brush artists slapped paint on models and sent them in; it’s only fair that I show them to you, before we determine who’s won this month’s prize.

    The Target for your November efforts was “Bullseye” – models that can hit one, models that are currently acting as one. Let’s see what slid off the painting tables…

    It’s not easy being green. These gremlin bushwhackers are making the most of it though, thanks you a little help from NotThatOne.

    Continue reading  Post ID 20593

  • WMH November Update: Burn Notice

    While COVID may have many of us staying away from tabletop around the tabletops (depending on local gathering restrictions and the contents of your bubble/pod), make no mistake: We still sit around thinking about how to fine tune our lists, searching for new combinations, and otherwise seeking the road to victory for the day when we can once more push army mans around the table and fling dice. Last week Privateer Press dropped the November Update for Warmachine and Hordes, codifying the results of the Trollblood CID and updating a number of other models. Players from the Kriels are no doubt wrapping their brains around the changes to the Trollkin, but anyone who’s spent any real time around the Lost Hemisphere knows that the Protectorate’s where I call my home, so there was one model update in particular that I’ve been staring at.

    One of my favorite burny boys has received an update, and is ready to set the world ablaze…

    Malekus the Burning Truth

    Gain the Divine Passages ability and sub-menu

    Divine Passages – Once per turn at the start of this model’s activation, it can use one of the following effects:

    Fable of Ash – While within this model’s control range, friendly Faction warrior models gain Ashen Veil. Fable of Ash lasts for one round.

    Hymn of Might – This model can cast one spell this turn without spending focus.

    Verse of Cinders – Friendly Faction warjacks activating in this model’s control range gain Blazing Wrath. Verse of Cinders lasts for one turn. (A model with Blazing Wrath can charge enemy models suffering the Fire continuous effect without spending focus.)

    • Remove Immolation spell
    • Gain Brand of Fire spell

    Developer’s Notes:  Malekus was missing a bit of versatility in the options available to a player each activation. We specifically were looking for a way to increase player agency when running Malekus and also to increase his fire delivery methods. His new Divine Passages offer a set of powerful and interesting options for a player to choose from each turn, while swapping Immolation for Brand of Fire (which can potentially be cast for free each turn) means Malekus has a bit more control over his fire effect allocation.

    Much of Malekus remains unchanged, but adding in the Divine Passages plays into the same concept exemplified by the Choir of Menoth – the ability to manifest divine magic effects through hymns and prayers to Menoth. In Malekus’ case, we now know why he’s holding aloft his text. We already know from his backstory that Malekus isn’t possessed of a shrewd intellect like our boy Vindictus, so he clearly has trouble remembering all the words. Hence, the book.

    He still has Ashen Veil, he still has Scourge for knockdown, Banishing Ward for protection or to hinder enemy buffs, Ignite for an attack buff and potential fire source, Open Fire for additional attacks (more Vanquisher pie plates?).

    Brand of Fire adds a new way to toss fire about the board as a RNG10 POW14 spell, setting the target and d3 nearby enemy models on fire. Given Malekus’ fondness of warjacks, a FOC3 spell might not see a lot of play, but – BUT! – thanks to his new passages, if he opts for the Hymn of Might he can cast it for free. Given that he can subsequently use the Verse of Cinders to let his warjacks charge the now-burning enemies for free, it lends some significant mid-late game focus efficiency.

    The other thing to be mindful of is that this also plays into his feat, Raging Inferno. The more things that you’ve managed to set ablaze, the more mileage you’ll get out of the feat, with each burning model taking an additional dice of damage on their fire damage rolls, and those same fire rolls not expiring in Malekus’ control area.

    Malekus may be a battlebox model, but Privateer has always impressed me with their dedication to keeping their starter models relevant, not just something you can use to learn the game and then shelve as you move on to more complicated, difficult models. High Exemplar Kreoss remained in my play roster for years after I’d adopted Amon Ad Raza as my MkII main, and Malekus continues to be a part of my plans. The Flameguard may not be my favourite subsect of the Protectorate’s military, but Malekus is putting the rest of the Iron Kingdoms on notice. On Burn Notice. (See what I did there? I kill me…)


  • MCP: Judge, Jury, Executioner – Ronan

    It’s not easy being a comic hipster. Sure, I loved Spider-Man and the X-Men and all that jazz, but I found a bizarre measure of joy in cruising Artist Alley at comic convention and collecting sketches of lesser known characters. Beta Ray Bill and Stilt-Man were the top of my list, but I had a battery of alternatives, including Black Bolt and Ronan the Accuser. Then Jae Lee wrote the astounding Inhumans arc, and the royal family of Attilan gained prominence with the Illuminati and the War of Kings. Then the Annihilation Wave shone the spotlight on Ronan the Accuser, he married into the Inhuman royal family, and of course, he was the bad guy in the immensely popular Guardians of the Galaxy movie.

    Long story short. Ronan the Accuser went from being an occasional Avengers/Fantastic Four villain to suddenly having a much more fleshed out backstory beyond “He’s like, an arrogant alien Judge Dredd without the charm”. Heck, I even saw a cosplayer at GenCon (as the MCU version). Still, when it all leads to my favorite Agent-of-the-Supreme-Intelligence turned Outcast-Pariah turned Ruler-of-the-Kree-Empire making his way onto the tabletop, I’m not going to complain too loudly 😉

    Ronan swings in heavy at 4 Threat. Hardly surprising with his being one of the select few that can wield the Power Gem. His basic melee Strike deals out a healthy 5 damage dice, and will also Throwanyone of size 4 or less. Our boy has oomph. He has a free ranged attack with Universal Weapon, which adds insult to injury with a Push and the Shock condition.

    If he feels like firing off something special, Kree Justice is shorter range but causes both Stun and Stagger effects, as well as potentially damaging other nearby enemy models if the dice are in your favor.

    Judgement is a reactive power, and lets any enemies who dare damage Ronan or one of his pals that they have been found wanting. While the Judgementcondition is on a model, that model cannot gain power when damaged by enemy attacks. This can dramatically hamper your opponent’s ability to respond to your assault.

    The Accuser is also reactive, and more than a little spiteful, allowing you to get the last word in before Ronan is KO’d or Dazed. Whoever dares deal sufficient damage to bring the Accuser low will find themselves the recipient of a retributive attack before Ronan goes down.

    One of the heavier hitters on the Guardians roster (Gamora being the other Threat 4 and Angela being Threat 5), Ronan is also the only Guardian other than Groot over Size 2, protecting him from a number of opposing movement effects (pushes, throws). Even if I wasn’t a big fan of the character himself, his potential for board control shenanigans combined with his size and damage output make him one of my first choices for a Guardians roster. Then we can consider adding the Power Gem, just for giggles.

    Ronan the Accuser is available in a two-pack with Drax the Destroyer (because it really doesn’t count unless your name is followed by “the Something”) from your FLGS and preferred online retailer. Between the two of them you’ll also have more opportunity to use more green paint in one painting project than you have since you painted The Hulk.

  • MonPoc: Voyaka 099

    I can’t be the only one who watched Pacific Rim and thought Cherno Alpha was a freaking amazing machine. The idea of thousands of tons of cold war era soviet tech stomping around in an enormous jaegar with absurdly thick armor plating made for an amazing visual and one of the highlights of the film. When Privateer announced the Zerkalo Bloc for Monsterpocalypse, a little part of me squeed.

    Carving through dimensional barriers, the Zerkalo Bloc hail from a world where the cold war ended very differently than it did in our own universe. Voyaka 099 is the spearhead of an incurion, a walking battleship bristling with an array of cannons and a chest-mounted brace of spotlights (There are five lights!).

    The main hun fires shells 6′ across, while the forearm-mounted secondary batteries provide smaller fire – while still enormous – ammunition capable of shattering an opponent’s chitin or piercing through to the foundations of a building. Closer to the groups, an array of cannons are mounted on each leg for use as anti-personnel weapons. Woe betide any G-Tanks that find themselves singled out by Voyaka 099’s targeting systems.

    Continue reading  Post ID 20593