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Legions of Steel – Miniatures Game

I’ve always been a fan of miniatures. We used to buy the Ral Partha minis waaay back in the day and use them to represent our AD&D characters. We never thought of building terrain to help visualize our game campaigns, and we certainly never thought about building a game totally around the minis themselves.

That all changed for me back in the summer of 1994. I was introduced to the boxed game called Legions of Steel. It had little square tiles that would “snap” together. The game setting was the future, thus the tiles had a futuristic print applied to them, they looked like the innards of a space-ship or a future military base.
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There were two types of minis; human space marines and the robotic machines. You rolled dice, there were loads of little cardboard tokens that signified when you were shooting your gun, when you tossed up a shield wall, or when you threw out a grenade. The scenario (and there was countless scenarios you could play) we did was simple, the machines had taken over a bunker and were trying to implant a virus into the computer system. It was the job of the humans to reach the computer center and either take out the enemy or blow up the computer center.

los1I played the machines. There were 3 rounds left before the program infected the computers, I was down to 1 machine left. There were 2 marines coming at me from down the hall. I moved into a room and stopped. They approached and I tossed a grenade. I fumbled my throw and it dropped at my feet. Somehow I managed to kill the two marines and myself with that grenade. Game over right? Nope! With two rounds left and no marines to stop the program, the virus got sent and even though all my machines were now piles of scrap, I won the scenario!

I’ve been hooked on it ever since.

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After a month or so of playing, it sure did feel like this was a game of Humans vs. Terminators. I painted my machines to look like Terminators and the scenarios quickly morphed into something that John Connor would face. We even created special stats just for one marine and named his John Connor.

One day, while playing, a 3rd person wanted to play.  How could we do that?  We then decided to get a 2nd box of Legions of Steel and mesh the two games together.  This called for a different color scheme for the machines, this time they were painted red (just because red was my favorite color).  We used the same rules, no worries there, and just expanded the board by adding more tiles.  Now it was two factions of Terminators vs. Humans.

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Now I had many more tiles to work with but I wanted something big.  Something grand.  Something effing epic!  Then it hit me…  What if I added some Aliens to the mix?  Oh sure, a new set of rules had to be created for them, but hot damn this was going to be some hot-diggity fun!

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los8And then I ran across even more Aliens and like the red Terminators I gave these guys a different color scheme too.  Now we had enough board and teams for 5 players!  Yeah, the face-huggers couldn’t do squat to the Terminators, but the acid sure did work a number on them!  And oh yeah, everyone could team up and go after 1 specific team.  It was bloody chaos!

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But it wasn’t over yet.  My role in the game swiftly went to the sidelines because with so much going on, the rules got a little complicated.  I mean, shucks, we did deviate a bit from the main rules set.  Yes, the marines still used the same rules and the machine did as well, but now we had Aliens and multiple teams, it was getting crazy.  Yeah, I felt it best if I just mediated the game from now on.  We still played some one on one games, because I missed playing, but damn, it sure was fun to be the one who master-minded everything.

Then I had a grand idea…

Oh hell no.  During once scenario I told them there was a massive rumble felt deep within the facility.  When one of them went to check it out they found bleached skulls…

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And so introduced my newest game idea.   We had been playing for about an hour when I introduced him.  The players cheered and the Terminators immediately teamed up.  The two Alien players tried to team up, but team 1 ended up backstabbing team 2 and they all died (team 2).  The humans were trapped in the middle but did fairly well.. until they ran into this:

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Oh yeah, a Predator.  I never finished painting it but that didn’t stop us from having a grand game.  Humans were slaughtered, machines were reduced to slag, aliens oozed acid all over the place.

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Then in the end… everyone died.  There was no stopping…  HER.

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From 1994 up to about 2003 we played this game, the various “home-brew” scenarios, and we had FUN.  Eventually the cardboard tiles got pretty tired, they were cardboard after all.  Eventually we starting making out own terrain, players came and went, but the game itself was legendary in the game store.  I’d highly recommend picking this one up if you can find it.  I’ve still got mine along with all the minis and now me and my two kids play it…  Quite often.

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Zombie Pandemic Sneak Peak

After I posted about Radiated Wastelands from Pixel Pandemic, Thomas from over there shot me a little bit of sneaky information about one of their other games, Zombie Pandemic.

Here is what he had to say:

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“The free to play browser survival horror MMORPG Zombie Pandemic is getting a complete overhaul. Based on several requests from the community about being able to play the game fullscreen, having an user interface which supported navigation and exploration better and lots of other input the development team is now finally only a few weeks away from making it available. The combat system will also be dramatically changed and include splash damage and special attacks as well to simulate the survival horror experience even better. Exploration will include more hurdles as movement in the quarantined will be more limited making use of obstacles. The sound design is also getting a major update in a few weeks and Pixel Pandemic has also revealed that they are working on a PvP combat system, introducing more scarcity making looting even more important and other more hardcore gameplay elements which has also been requested by the community for long time.”

You can check the game out here:

www.ZombiePandemic.com

It’s also free to play, was that mentioned already? Yeah, well, free is always good especially when it comes to zombies.

Peace!

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Radiated Wasteland – PBBG MMORPG

The Future!

Flying cars!  Lasers (on sharks!)  oooh this is going to be cool!

Radiation?  Wasteland? Mutants? Ghouls?  ahh crap.  You mean I’m not going to go around in a flying car or have a hover board? 

Well wait a second.. What is Radiated Wasteland and what exactly is a PBBG?  I know MMORPG, but wha…

Let me back up a bit.  Didn’t mean to get all Tarantino on you there.

PBBG stands for Persistent Browser Based Game.

Okay, I’m clear on that now.  I think.  But what is Radiated Wasteland?  You didn’t answer that.

Keep your nose on, I’m getting to that.  First let me place a banner image of their game:

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Does that say Open Beta?  I love those!  Gives me a chance to play the game and provide feedback!  OHH!  It’s FREE to play too!

Now who’s getting ahead of who, I’ll get to the Beta in a moment.  Didn’t you want to know what Radiated Wasteland was?

Ohh, snap.  Sorry about that.  Continue.

Okay, so it breaks down like this…  In the future the fit has hit the shan.  The planet is in ruins, and everything we know is a Radiated Wasteland.  You play as a survivor trying to get by in this apocalyptic world.  Actually, it’s more than just survival, you will face mutants, ghouls, and of course other humans who just want to kill you to take anything of value off of your body for their own survival.  It’s made by Pixel Pandemic (the same people who brought you Zombie Pandemic ).

Mutants and ghouls sounds good.  I love end of the world type games.  How much time do I have to invest in this?  I’ve got a job and kids and they don’t really give me much time.

That’s one of the coolest aspects to this game, because this is a PBBG, it can be played in less than 15 minutes a day!  This opens up for several challenges.  Firstly, it is a turned based game with a limited number of actions per day.  This should give you a good challenge as you consider what to do in order to gain the most out of each play session.

That sounds like a lot of fun.  Do you have any screen shots?  I want to play a game that looks cool.

Take a look at these:

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Yeah, those are kindav small.  Hmm.  I tell ya what..  Check out this movie:

I like that!  Tell me more about the Open Beta.

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The Open Beta opens on February 11th, 2013.  It’s FREE!

How do i sign up?

Simple!  Head on over to their website and click the button (hint, it says SIGN UP).  Their website is http://www.radiatedwasteland.com .

You can also follow them on Facebook as well as Twitter.  Those links are:

http://www.facebook.com/RadiatedWastelandGame

http://twitter.com/RadWasteland

That’s a lot to chew on, no doubt about that!

There’s more.

More?

Yep.  I tell ya what, just head on over to their website, it’s got all kinds of great information.  They talk about the storyline, the vision of why they made the game, they even go into the details of co-op game play.  Shucks, you can even check out all the game features such as customizing your avatar, game events, perks, achievements, and more over there!

Just don’t let the ghouls get ya!

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How I named my Guild

Many a year ago, around the early 1980’s I sat down in front of a Commodore 64 and read the following line:

“You are standing in front of a white house with a boarded up front door.  There is a mailbox nearby.”

The game was Zork.  I was hooked.  I discovered that day that I was a gamer and that I would be for life.  The years rolled on, games came and went.  Zork certainly was a life changer, as strange as that may sound.  Oh sure there were other games that shaped my gaming; Bard’s Tale, Ultima, Dragon Warrior, Temple of Apshi, Mortal Kombat; just to name a few.

In the early 90’s I was introduced to an online game called Kingdom of Drakkar.  You can read a fair bit about it here: Kingdom of Drakkar.  Whoah!  This game was super cool!  I could jump into a game that other people also were in and actually talk to them in real time!  I could also join a group called a guild!  This was more or less like an online “family”.  It was a group of people who liked to take on tasks and hunts together.  This was certainly my kind of game!  (I still play it to this day – yes, Kingdom of Drakkar is still online but more on this game a little later.).

Then came along Evercra.. er.. I mean EverQuest.  This one too had guilds.  I tried my hand at running a guild, I have after all, been running a 3 year long Dungeons and Dragons campaign.  How hard could it be to run and orchestrate a group of players in an online game?  It really wasn’t too difficult but the most challenging aspect was that not everyone was on at the same time.  That caused me to start playing at some odd hours because there were some players that I really enjoyed playing with.

Eventually World of Warcraft came along.  I guess I’ve been playing it pretty much since vanilla (that’s just over 8 years).  I’ve run a total of 7 guilds in WoW.  I’ll admit that none of them have been what mainstream players would call “Uber” or “Leet”.  They have been mostly small, friendly, and laid back.

Yes, yes, there have been other games that I’ve played, some I still log into, others I’ve wiped from my system to never dream of returning to.

However…

Remember a few lines above I mentioned that I would return to the topic of Kingdom of Drakkar?  Okay, this is it:

I do a hand-full of graphics for that game.  It’s a 2D retro styled game.  To be fair it’s really a game that is rich in story and in background, and the graphics have simply stayed at the era in which it was created.  More or less.  Keep in mind Kingdom of Drakkar was originally called Realm and came out in 1984 as a text MuD (that’s Multi-User Dungeon), and the name was changed in 1989 to Kingdom of Drakkar (that’s when the textual Mud was tossed and a graphical interface was coded in).  It’s 2013 as I type this.  Yes, this game is almost 30 years old.

Why that tangent?  To simply explain the graphics.  They started out as 8-bit graphics and are now 24-bit (those are the ones that I do for it).  I’ve done 90% of the ground terrains (stuff like water, grass, lava, dirt roads, dungeon floors, etc), as well as several items and a small handful of monsters.

The reason I’m going into detail here about Kingdom of Drakkar is to share with you the personal connection I have to the game.  I also want to share with you the connection it has with World of Warcraft.

Wherever I go somewhere and run into a gamer I try to spread the word about Drakkar.  It’s a small community and word of mouth goes a long way.  I let them know, just as I am about to let YOU know, that I’m almost always logged into the Drakkar lobby (feel free to download the game, log in and say hi).  As a result of my connection to Drakkar, I also try to embed it into various places.  I may go to the public library and go to Drakkar’s website and leave it there, same thing on demo computers at places like Best Buy and Walmart.  Stuff like that.

SO when it came time to rename an old guild I had in Warcraft, I figured what would be a better name than <DRAKKAR> ?

And thus it came to be that <DRAKKAR> is the guild name.  It’s on the Fizzcrank server (Alliance) if you want to drop by and check it out.  We are level 25, have most of the guild achievements, but get this.. we are only 5 active players.  That’s all we have.  Five.  Getting in is very difficult, it’s pretty much invite only, but to anyone who plays the game and knows who I am in Kingdom of Drakkar, well.. You may very well be a good candidate for joining if you so desire.

Oh, and for those on the Horde side, we have a guild on the same server for you as well, <RAKKARD>.

See what I did there?

So with any game out there, look for that guild, you never know, it may very well be me.  Say hi, let me know that you read this article and we can team up to take on any baddies out there!

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10 Horror Apps You Must Have For Your Smartphone

I’ve got an iPhone and I love it.  To be honest, I don’t really use it as a phone; I use it more for the apps than anything else.  Yes, yes, I have Angry Birds, Tiny Towers, Pocket Frogs and other silly games, but that’s not what we are going to talk about today.  No.  No, today I want to share with you some of the more fun Horror Apps that I’ve run across, and the best thing.. They are all going to be FREE!  However, to be fair, some of what I am going to share with you will also have a paid version of the app as well, so be sure to look for the one that is free (or cough up the little bit it does cost ’cause the apps I’m about to show you are hellicool!).

Also.. I’m not going to provide links to these because I really have no idea which smartphone you may have; Iphone or Android; to find them, just go to your favorite store and look for them by title.
I can’t say any one is better than the next, but they do get the most use of any of the other apps I’ve tried. Here they are in no particular order:
Dead Runner

This app is a game of sorts.  Have you ever had that dream where you are running through the woods and something sinister is chasing you?  That’s this game.  You are in a dark and eerie forest.  Within each of the trees around you are twisted souls that whisper to you, telling you to run as fast as your legs will carry you.  There is something evil in those woods that crawls closer to you as each moment passes by.  You simply run as far as you can without being caught.

 

Zombie Smash

Another game, but perhaps one of the best free zombie games that I’ve tried.  This is a side-tilted game where you use your thumbs to flick zombies away from your house.  Flick them up and away or raise them high into the air and smash them down upon the ground and watch them explode in a mass of gore.  There are several weapons that you are able to unlock as the game progresses, rocks, guns, soccer balls, even debris from outer space.  The objective is to keep them from attacking your house.  Just beware of Bruno, the super zombie!

 

Shoot to Kill

You have gone to the Seventh Level of Hell with a shotgun.  You stand in a pentagram and are able to rotate your character around pointing at different demons that come at you from the darkness.  As you progress up the levels of Hell, demons get tougher, but you also get slightly more powerful guns.

 

Finger Slayer

This is a reaction game.  Remember that hand slapping game you played as a kid where you put your hands out, palm up, and your friend put their hands on top of yours, palm down, and you tried to quickly slap the top of their hand?  It’s a little like that, but not really.  You place your finger on the screen with an image of a guillotine and a timer begins.  Suddenly the guillotine will drop and you must remove your finger before it gets chopped!

 

Werewolf Locator

This one is not exactly a game, but it is a really cool app.  First off it will tell you what phase the Moon is in.  Secondly it will sweep a radar searching for Werewolves.  Yes, on the surface it would appear that you can only use it once, as werewolves only show up during the full moon, and well.. the full moon happens once a month.  Ahh.. but there is a ‘cheat code’ function that allows you to enter in a combination of three numbers, and with that you can enter in 1,1,1 to have a “fake full moon cheat” active any time you wish!  You can also enter in 6,6,6 to see where the Devil himself is roaming!  Some others that you will just have to enter in for yourself to see what they do are:  0,6,9  8,0,8  and 1,0,1  are just a few.  If you find a vampire or zombie code, let me know!

 

Haunted Manor – Lord of Mirrors

I-Spy type game with puzzles.  Okay, you are trapped in a haunted house.  Several ghosts, a few of which are not happy that you are there, inhabit the house.  The objective is to move from area to area, from room to room, searching for items and clues and ultimately a piece of a broken mirror.  Once all the mirror pieces are found and put back together then you are able to escape the house.  While the game is incredibly fun, the free version only contains a few rooms to explore.

 

Ghosts ‘n’ Goblins Gold Knights

I can remember pumping quarter after quarter into this damn machine at the local gas station when I was a kid.  Now I find myself playing it endlessly again, thankfully it’s not costing me twenty-five cents each go around this time.  This is pretty much just like the arcade game from the 1980’s but with a few tweaks to make it flow a little better.  You are a knight tasked to go from one end of the screen to the other.  Zombies, flying things, and other monsters keep getting in your way, and you better be careful because you will get your armor knocked off leaving you in just your undies!

 

101+ Horror Stories

Simply put, this is just over 101 Horror Stories that you can read.  Yeah, the text it kindav tiny on an iPhone, but you can resize the text.  These are mostly classic horror stories from about 30 or so authors.  A small sampling of authors:  H.G. Wells, Bram Stoker, Edgar Allen Pow, Henry James, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and Ambrose Bierce.

 

Blood Booth

I love taking pictures.  Seriously, I have about 19 photo apps on my phone, but Blood Booth is perhaps the most horrific.  Take a photo (or load one from your camera roll) and apply all kinds of fun effects, from nails to splatters of blood to funky glasses.  You can even add captions.  I’ve used it a few times to make a stupid little horror comic (I love the caption feature).  Once you have your photo to the perfection of gore, you can save it to your camera roll or upload it directly to Facebook or Twitter (provided you have those apps installed).

 

Hungry Shark Night

Yep!  An app based on the movie!  Yeah, yeah, the movie was kindav lame but the apps is just too bloody to NOT be cool!  You don’t play the role of silly tourist trying to get away from the sharks and find a way to stop them.  You are playing the role of the shark!  You must swim around and eat schools of fish and silently stalk the dangling legs of swimmers!  Yeah it’s a goofy game, but it’s fun to see that blood explode all through the water when you chomp down!

 

These are by no means all of the horror apps out there, but they are damn fun to goof around with when I have some down time.  What are some that you have run across?

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