Saturday, 3 June 2017

These Are The Changing Times We Live In.


Stevie and I communicate a lot. I think that is what makes us get along so well. It is a strange thing to have to admit that I can look at me and him and see with blinding poignant clarity, that after ten years together, we know one another umpteen times better than even my own parents do after 50 years married, and from personal observation alone, I can see that this is not a localised thing, but stretches across the board. An example springs to mind of the last time Stevie and I went for a drink together at a local pub. Now, neither of us are much in the way of pub go-ers (we both used to be in our youth of course), but this particular time.. many months ago {and incidentally the last time we actually did this} we sat nattering to one another nonstop, as usual. But my eye was constantly drawn to this other ( middle aged) couple sitting at a window. They both just sat there staring into space (not even at each other) and in the hour I carefully observed them, I don’t think he or she spoke more than a dozen words in conversation. I watched another couple too, same thing. Does the life go out of relationship or a marriage after a certain number of years? If so, what are we doing wrong, lol.. because Stevie and myself have as much… no more.. to talk about now, than we did the day we met. Is it because we are hobbyists, gamers, modellers, etc? Are we a more expressive breed than other types of people? Hmmmmm I really don’t know. But one thing I do know is, it’s all down to Stevie. He won`t let anything rest. If he sees a problem, or even perceives he sees something needs addressing, he faces it head on. I was not used to this, coming (as many families do) from a convention of silence, and never sharing ones thoughts and emotions because it was a sign of weakness. It took me by surprise at first, until I realised “hey I like this.” No lies, no hidden grievances, no build up of resentments, no black book diary of dark mark crosses to hold against one another in argument.. in fact no arguments full stop. Stevie heads off all potential angst and problems before they even build up, and so by discussing every little thing that could be a potential pothole or hidden mine, we maintain a balanced peace and share togetherness that is a true delight to live. Bless you for that Stevie.

**hands out the sick making buckets a moment**

Anyway, after that meandering preamble into the topic of this quick filler post (while himself works on the next Test of Honour article for later next week), I shall get back on subject and continue the game talk natter. So what was that all about anyway? Well it is actually relevant. It`s to illustrate how we sit and talk.. lots. And of course, as we are both passionate wargamers and fantasy/sci-fi role play gamers, naturally a lot of our discussions are about the hobby. Now that Stevie has decided to `retire` early from the professional side of things and just enjoy the hobby from now on (no more busman`s holidays for him.. must have been hard to stay so enthused in the hobby, while having to work round the clock for it as well). But yeah, within a few months, he will have tied up all remaining work and will officially become a man of leisure, Wooot!!!!

Anyway, I`m doing it again aren’t I? So, back on track. Where was I?. Ah yes. We tend to talk about things a lot. And so it came to pass (sounds like the beginning of a Hans Christian Anderson tale now) that we got jabbering about focussing our time into more manageable chunks. And a few surprising results came to the fore. All our focus and attention up to now has been on using our inherent imaginations to create about 80% of what we do ourselves, from scratch. This manifests in that: play Zombicide and we tend to throw away half the rule book and use our own. Play Shadows of Brimstone and the same thing, in fact we don’t even use the official rules for that game anymore, and instead use our own written ones. Same with FFG`s Descent, Journeys in the Dark, and same with their Doom boardgame, and Star Wars Miniatures. Warlord Games Bolt Action, Pike and Shotte, and Black Powder.. all have been given the same treatment. In fact, take almost anything we do, and you will probably find we have customised it to some degree or other, or dispensed with or/and  thrown away the rules and often half the components altogether, and instead do things our way. This does have the advantage that this allows us to combine all our miniature `toy` collection.. all our game maps, terrain, tokens, etc etc, and especially where we narrative our games (i.e. role play) we have access to a truly vast array of pieces to play with. But there is a big downside too. It means we rarely can just get out a game and PLAY IT OUT THE BOX as it was originally purchased to do. We end up with a lot of bits and pieces of games, but we would have to hunt around a bit to put everything together to play a game with all its components intact anymore.
Well, we discussed this, and both came to the startling conclusion that, maybe it`s time we did start to play a lot more officially written games, and spend less time always trying to create everything we do from scratch. I mean sure, it`s great to be able to do this, not to have to follow everyone else all the time, but at this stage it`s almost a case of “been there, done that.” And maybe now it`s about time we just relaxed into the hobby a bit more and played things straight out the box, as it were.
I asked himself what had made him come to this conclusion, and he replied “Test of Honour.” Playing Test of Honour, Stevie had been play testing it with an eye to changing it to suit his needs.. as we always do with our things. But this time round, something made him stop and go: “this game doesn’t NEED changing.” Tarot found the same thing long before us in fact. She saw us changing Heroclix and Horrorclix, and inside she went “noooo I like that game just fine as it is.” But being a loyal little trooper, she allowed herself to go along with us and get swept up in that wave of hobby fervour.  So what happened, a year later, yep, she was right, and we went back to enjoying our Clix the good old fashioned Wizkids way.
 
Stevie said that all this had got him to realising of late, he was missing Super Dungeon Explore, Zombiecide, Bolt Action, and the rest. And he really wants to go back (if only for a while) to playing things out of the box, as is, without anything more than a few house rules here and there, where needed (like everyone else does). He said he had been feeling this for a while now, but wasn’t sure he wanted it enough to bring it up in conversation. But the moment it was opened up and discussed (sitting up in bed, over a couple of morning mugs of tea and coffee), he realised with a deep driving passion that this was in fact where his heart lay. He wanted to go back to the old days of playing games.. as they came.. in the box, instead of always changing things, just because we could.
 And so he asked me what I thought about it all? And I told him, I thought his idea was a sensible one. I will always follow him into whatever direction he wishes to go, but if asked outright, I will always reply frankly. 


My thinking this time though was simple: we are both of us not getting any younger, I have a series of operations ahead of me, before I finally get back to full health and back to long hours gardening, long mountain and beach walks, and swimming every day, mmmmmm hallelujah!  Stevie carries a condition that leaves him quite tired a lot of the time, and he does drive himself so.. at the best of times.  Couple this with our reclusive life, happy dabbling about at home with a hundred and one other things as well as gaming. Then add in the fact that we have handed over the running of the club to younger, fresher blood,; and we have cut down our home rpg sessions to once a month due to the fact that Tar` is away working, our kids are spread all over the globe now with jobs, collage study, and their respective partners, and……. well, these are indeed the changing times we live in.


Maybe it`s simply time to take it easy a bit, and enjoy our hobby without making it all so much hard work for ourselves. So yes, I totally endorse Stevie`s new directional plan.


 This means you will see a lot more `games in a box` being played by us: Super Dungeon Explore , Dungeons and Dragons Adventure System  Boardgame, Zombicide Black Plague, Sails of Glory, Memoir 44, and so on. And for our table top wargames, you will see Stevie play a lot more `skirmish level games` – like Song of Drums and Tomahawks (for his French Indian Wars, the American Revolution and for his Pirate games).


 Of course, there is also his Christmas present as well. The newly released Travel Battle by Perry Miniatures, which I know he has had his eye on for while now… long before its release date this month even. But he can`t have it, can`t even look at it, until Christmas Day. Hehe, I`m cruel I know **grins**

So, I guess this is a foreshadowing of the direction The Game Cupboard will be taking from now on. Anyone who enjoys visiting our place can expect a LOT more games from Stevie like: Test of Honour, Sails of Glory, Memoir 44, and Super Dungeon Explore (because we all know what he thinks of THAT game).

I picture of true bliss...  couldn't catch that picture again if I tried.


From me, expect a lot more Batman with a tiny bit of Cursed Earth crossover thrown in now and again, plus plenty of “bet my Wonder Woman can beat your Hulk” and “yeah but my Aquaman can kick butt on your Scarlet Witch” which I always thought was a fun way to enjoy the lighter hearted side of the clix hobby; with plenty of grudge matches, Horrorclix as well, but no matter what I do.. ALL OF IT will be played using proper Wizkids Clix rules from now on.

As for Tar` when she`s not working, I think we can expect a lot of Blakes 7, and a bit of Planet of the Apes with Stevie.. or even with Dave on the odd occasion, if they ever get to meet up much now that work keeps everyone apart so much.
 
This feels like a fresh breeze A spring cleaning. And a stretching of the limbs, all to allow new directional focus to settle in and guide our dice hand for a while.
 
Thank you for reading.
 
May Your Favourite Dice always roll a 20.
 
Article by Hilary

 
 

 
 


25 comments:

  1. Nicely put Hillers love. Sweet post actually. Oh wow you found out that old piccie of me... LITERALLY the moment posty delivered Super Dungeon Explore into my hands. An iconic moment of happiness I will never forget.

    You are right Super Dungeon Explore and the expansion Forgotten King, and eventually this damned SDE Legends {IF THE KICKSTARTER EVER BLOODY WELL GETS SHIPPED OUT TO US POOR SAPS WHO PAID FOR IT IN ADVANCE NEARLY TWO YEARS AGO} all should be played with LOTS more. This game has been calling me lately, and I have found myself wanting to pull it all out and start some cool anime chibi gaming.. all over again. Soon as I get to grips a bit more with Test of Honour, I will. But I am determined, first, to play through (and write it all up for the blog) the whole six part mini campaign that comes with the base box set.

    Same with my Memoir 44, and Great War, AND my Sails of Glory. I want to play these lots and lots and lots over the coming weeks, months... year(s).

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    1. For me, its Black Plague. That's the one I want to get to grips with most. The fact we left it sealed in its cellophane all this time, all the kickstarter pledge boxes sealed and as new as the day it arrived in the post, this was a GOOD decision Stevie: by keeping it all unopened, it will feel like we literally just went out and bought it all new at the game shop.

      Strange that we left it all this time, but with so many other projects on the go at the time, it would have been an absolute waste to try and `fit it in` at the time (that's the trouble with kickkstarters, you order something, full of excitement and enthusiasm, but by the time a year has passed and you eventually get the thing you ordered so long ago, you`ve probably gone off the boil for it lol). However, in this instance, while we never got to savour this game, it was one of the best things we ever did - to buy it at the time like we did, along with all those extra stretch goal goodies.

      Watching that truly delightful couple play in on you tube {Pantheon of Geeks} really enhanced my desire to start in on this game soon: and go for it with a full on focused passion.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bC4YwoWeuQg&list=PLFayblZiI1XgSihM5N3lpyQAAqJyXEtGQ

      Incidentally, they do a couple of really good Test of Honour play throughs and an un boxing as well. I really like this couple, they`re sweet.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9pfJHxwY48w&list=PLFayblZiI1XhHrZN0LWr9aLZnBBp7rG1O

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  2. Soon as I`m back, I`ll get the Federation troopers finished and varnished, and then you will see some Blakes 7 games from me. Which I`ll post here for sure, if I may. I`ll be back for a full month next time (long leave for good behaviour hehehe) so plenty of time to get it all done.

    Lovely post Hil, and I completely understand why you have decided to do things this way from now on.

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    1. it will be wonderful to have you back with us for a while, and you can write ANYTIME silly lol xx. I have been greatly looking forward to your Blakes 7 adventures for a long time now, and am probably as excited about it as everyone else is for Simon`s imminently fore-coming Doctor Who game. Hurry back to us soon.

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  3. You know, its sometimes nice just to sit back, chill pill, and accept what the hobby brings into our net, without always having to test ourselves all the time.

    I started in this hobby in an age when it was considered `cool factor` to invent, make up stuff for yourself and poo pooh anyone who used commercial adventures and campaign settings for D&D (pointed the finger and made the "Geeeeek" noise like Donald Sutherland in "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"). But old school gamers were a little `precious` I think, from long years of being the school geeks, suddenly they had this cool factor going on, and made the most of their new found elevation lol.

    Playing games `out the box` as you say, is cool too. GO for it and enjoy every minute, that's what I say guys.

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    1. LOL hi Dave, you know, you are totally right, at that. Why it should matter whether we play professionally purchased adventures {and worlds} or make our own up from scratch, should not even be a consideration regarding cool factor. If you can afford to buy a fully developed world and save yourself months and months of tears, hard work, and swear and blood.. then fair play to you is all I can say hehe. Other side of that coin is, of course, make it all up yourself, and struggle to pull it all together through dedicated hard graft, and it does give you a unique sense of pride of achievement, which no purchased campaign word can ever give you. So yeah, double edged sword really.

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  4. what do you think of the brand new Black Plague (stand alone) expansion `wave 2` "Green Horde." Have you SEEN the pledge giveaways for it so far, and its hardly even begun yet, and already the stretch goals mounting up are simply staggering... with new stretch goal things each day. Thoughts on it Hils?

    https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/cmon/zombicide-green-horde

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  5. DON`T *sighs* don`t tempt me. I know love it looks fantastic, and its even got A DRAGON, wooop!! I can hardly pull my eyes away from that page.

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  6. Don't worry, you now have it to look. I have just bought it for you both {full Horde Level Pledge}. Early Christmas present, though I doubt you`ll get it until the Christmas after next hehehe. But I knew you would badly want it, and thought when I saw it "Ooo that would make a lovely present." So there you go, **grins**

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  7. Oh my goodness T what have you DONE. It not often you bring tears to old Hilary`s eyes. You are so naughty and so lovable, wow darling thank you so much. We truly don`t deserve it, but a true Irish thank you from both of us.. Go raibh míle míle maith agat. xxx

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  8. **dances and sings loudly*** Green Horde, Green Horde, Green Horde, Green Horde..... yesssssssss, were getting the Green Horde, Green Horde, Green Horde, Green Horde.... I said **Elvis wiggle** Greeeeeeen Horde!!!! thank you very much ma` am, yes I said it **lowers glasses over nose** Greene Horde.

    ***hugs Tar` tight***

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  9. Ooooooh stretch goals have released the hero and heroine from Vikings WOOOHOOOO!!!!! {{ Katheryn Winnick as "Lagertha" and Alexander Ludwig as "Bjorn Lothbrok"

    And and ... and... I see James Earl Jones is one of the celeb hero survivor characters, and Miranda Otto "Lady Eowyn" from lord of the Rings, and hahahahaha Prince, and Fredie Mercury, hahahaa oh this is so COOOOL.

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  10. Aww, bless you. A relationship to be proud of.

    Whilst I lean towards the "make up your own rules" camp, this is mainly due to the cost of buying in to a new game. However, as quite a lot of the companies are now releasing the rules as free PDFs, there is really no reason not to play 'straight out of the box' or 'straight from the printer'. Obviously, this only applies to wargames, but having recently read both the Test of Honour rules and Donnybrook, I can see myself using these rules as they stand. Well, I might have to add monsters to ToH, as I MUST have monsters, but there's no reason not to do this within the existing framework.

    The same applies for roleplaying. I love AD&D 2nd edition, have the main rulebooks for it, several relevant issues of both Dungeon and Dragon magazine, as well as the Ravenloft hardback. I'd planned on restarting roleplaying shortly, but my initial idea was to use it to test out a half-finished set of roleplayong rules. However, having received the generous gift of the Kara-Tur supplement from Tarot and Hils, I've now decided that I'm going 'old school'. Whether it be Kara-Tur, Ravenloft or Rahasia (that's a mythological Indian setting built from various articles, adventures and official online content published by TSR/WOTC), I'm not sure yet, but it WILL be 2nd edition. Plus both I KNOW this system inside out, so it means that the adventures can start straight away.

    Of course, you do realise i'm going to have to go and look at the Gteen Horde Kickstarter now...

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    1. Part 1

      Hi Jez,

      I think buying into a game system or a set of rules isn’t necessarily something that needs cost a fortune. Indeed `buying into` a new game CAN be costly if you choose to take that route, like Games Workshop`s Warhammer 40K or Age of Sigmar. Similarly ANY company who make a set of rules which promotes trying to get you to you buy lots more of their product, whether that’s lots of expensive miniatures or/and lots of supplement books. Warlord Games Bolt Action would be a prime example. £30 for the rules book, then you will probably need several of the Army books, the Germans, Americans and the British being essential: and then people probably won`t just stop there, and will want to collect the other 20 or so books, because each offers such juicy promises of lots more options {Airbourne Elite, Ski Troops, Russians, Battle of the Bulge Winter Offensive, Operation Sea Lion, etc etc etc etc All of which are, of course, supported by a staggering range of yet MORE choices of purchase.. in the form of boxed and blister pack miniatures}. Then on top of that, the average gamer is going to spend literally HUNDREDS and HUNDREDS of pounds on the exquisite miniatures needed to play the game Sure, you can play with just a boxed starter sets (just like you can with Games Workshop boxed starter sets), but realistically, who does that? End of the day EVERYONE who `buys into` this will expand and expand, until literally a small fortune has been spend collecting your treasured books, expansion manuals, and miniatures.. and we haven’t even touched upon the exquisite terrain they tantalise you to buy either.

      Yes that is one route. But there is an equally valid second approach. Not everyone can write good rules,. Most people think they can, but the blunt truth it that very few actually can.. otherwise everyone would be doing it. Just like everyone thinks they have a novel in them. If this were true, there would be a lot more books in existence than there are lol.

      If you can write a set of rules, quickly, and smoothly, have them play tested perhaps five hundred times (and copious notes taken), and the system can STILL hold up to criticism, then yeah you can probably write rules. Then of course you need to find a club (preferably more than one club) willing to play test for you. And when in reality.. the average gamer is lucky if he/she plays a dozen home games any given year, how can they ever truly write a system of their own, for others to use and follow?

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    2. Part 2

      But why put yourself through all that anyway, when there are so many amazing sets of rules out there already played, tried, and tested, and which work.

      There are a LOT of truly great rules out there which are very cheap (Drivethrurpg.com sell many PDF sets of rules from as little as 1 dollar upwards to 10 dollars or so). And there are some truly great sets of free rules out there on PDF, written by people who can write amazing rules, but for whatever reason, decide to give them away for free. Prime example of this would be the amazing Doctor Who “Time Lord” and all its supporting expansion PDFs, which quite frankly, are masterly, and anyone thinks they can do better is most probably deluding themselves. I`m not even a Doctor Who fan and I can see the merit of these superb free rules.

      So yeah, there really are other alternatives to taking up with a mainstream game company and their expensive offerings (this is why I like Warlord Games Test of Honour: the rules are a 16 page booklet, with lots of 3 or 4 page add-ons (all of which are free on line).

      Dungeons and Dragons (especially ODD `basic`, and 1st edition AD&D and especially 2nd edition AD&D) have year and years of playtesting behind them, thus they WORK very very well. I do not think you can go wrong with your Kara-Tur, Ravenloft or your Indian Rahasia. Using D%D 2nd ed, you are effectively `buying into` a tried and tested system, which should give you years of FREE pleasure. Though I would possibly question whether 2nd ed D&D is actually better than the OSRIC retro clone, I think if you have D&D already, then stick with that.

      But you mention Donnybroook, and this is another incredible (and self contained) narrative skirmish miniatures rpg-ish type game I would highly recommend to anyone.

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  11. {{Of course, you do realise i'm going to have to go and look at the Green Horde Kickstarter now...}}

    Oh God Jez, don't do it lol. The campaign has barely begun and already the stretch goal giveaways are mounting up massively. This one promise to be pretty amazing. For us, because we already have the first Black Plague to go with it, but as a stand alone game this is the ideal jumping in point for new people start, join the gang, and see what all the zombicide fuss is about.

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  12. >> Obviously, this only applies to wargames <<

    Naaaaa, applies to full on wargaming, skirmish, AND to role playing games.

    There are a veritable host of cheap (and I mean under a tenner) rpg out there, some of them exceptionally good, such as Mythic, Labyrinth Lord, and Cartomancer (hmmm actually Cartomancer is free when I think about it). But there are an equally vast number of free ones out there too... many of which are well tried and tested, with years of game play behind them. I wont even mention any names as I truly wouldn't know where to start, the options are so many. I suppose if I had to mention just a few free rpg systems out there, I would point to one or two of my own, of to Pete Jones site, where he has literally hundreds of free rule systems up for grabs - from complete wargames to full on rpg (and again, including many of my own),

    Interesitngly, after the chat with Hils about `directions` and `focus` I did a bit of a U-turn on a few things. YES, I really want to start playing a lot more of my boxed games (game in a box) such as Memoir 44, Sails of Glory, etc. But you know what, even though I adore the official game of Super Dungeon Explore, I STILL find myself unable to give up my own Chibi World, which (quite frankly) works so much better for the type of anime miniatures game I want to run and play. Same applies to a few other topics too, Again I love Bolt Action: but you know what, even though I am repeatedly seduced by its professional shine and quality, more likely than not.... when it comes to actually setting up and playing a game, end of the day I would be far more likely to turn to my own Generic Wars & Little Figurines to play the actual game. Hmmm, either these rules or One Hour Wargames.

    So yeah, I think I see a combining of ideas here. YES I want to play a lot more oficial game, as they are straight out the box. BUT I also don't see myself changing any time soon, when it comes to some of the deeper and richer narrative style games I enjoy, be they historical wargames and skirmish table top battle, or role playing games - either with or without miniatures involved.

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  13. Here`s one for you Mr Stevie. What about Test of Honour. Will you play it straight out of the box or will you customise it and make it more your own?

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  14. Good point, and the answer is straight and simple. I wouldn't touch a hair on its chinny chin chin. Test of Honour is simply right the way it is. The creator of the game ever suggests that once you have played through the campaign that comes in the boxed base set, and started making up your own scenarios and are intimately familiar with it all... that you start using the existing stats as attributes to make up your own rpg style characteristics, as a cool extra depth to the narrative nature of the game. There really is nothing I would want to change or add to ToH at all Tar.` Originally I envisaged I would, but having played the game through a few times (and especially after playing through part two of the campaign, which I will write up on the blog in a few days) I can categorically state that this game, as is, is the best thing since sliced bread lol.

    Even the things some people fault it for, I see as bonuses. Such as the lack of detailed terrain hindrance rules (cover simply blocks line of sight), no plusses or minuses to anything else. But it WORKS. Its subtle, but totally cuts out bows and muskets dominating the field of play (and gives a real incentive to wanting to set up nice complicated terrain features in your games).

    Same would apply to Zombicide Black Plague, I wont be changing a thing I don't think. Few house rules here and there is all, but nothing major.

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  15. Interestingly, Japanese Samurai table top games look stunning without a lot of ``heavy`` terrain, i.e. you don't need many buildings. Sometime just a single one will do: a small shrine, or a Samurai`s house, and perhaps a small outhouse or a well or a small Geisha hand cart; perhaps a bit of wood/stone fencing and a Torii gate. Other than that, it all easy stuff like cool trees, nicely kept gardens and a water feature, and rich, beautifully coloured plants and bushes. The Oriental gamer really is spoiled for choice a lot of the time.

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  16. I think what I was trying to say regarding 'straight out of the box' is that in the instances of boxed games, i.e. Zombicide, you don't have the choice of alternatives. In other words, you kind of need ALL the components to play. Whereas with ToH, as I've got the free basic rules, I don't specifically NEED the official figures to play a game. I could probably make the tokens myself, although I probably would need the dice. However, as I've got a copy of 'Ronin', which the writer of kindly posted the stats for Mythical creatures online, there's no reason not to use these rules. Or Way of the Crow. Or whatever other rules I choose.

    I think the point I'm trying to make is that it really doesn't matter what rules you use for whatever game you're playing, as long as you're happy with them and you have fun. As there are so many options out there, why restrict yourself? Surely part of the make-up of any gamer is their flexibility, as not every situation that crops up in ANY game, be it board, war or roleplay, will be covered by the 'rules'? And when this happens, does everything grind to a halt? Of course not - to preserve suspension of disbelief and the flow of play, someone makes an on the spot judgement and the game continues. It's what we do.

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  17. YESssssssss absolutely right.

    although....

    {{Whereas with ToH, as I've got the free basic rules, I don't specifically NEED the official figures to play a game. I could probably make the tokens myself, although I probably would need the dice.}}

    Tokens you could wing, dice you could easily make from scratch, as they are just D6 shaped dice with different symbols on each face.. but the CARDS you would need. And there are lots and lot of these. Miniatures you could use anything in an existing collection (though the ones in ToH are magnificent and a proud addition to my Oriental army).

    Monsters would be SO EASY to add into ToH byw.

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  18. {{{it really doesn't matter what rules you use.... as long as you're happy with them and you have fun.}}}

    This is very true Jez. In fact I would go a step further and suggest that rules are secondary to = GOOD PLAYERS (or single player if playing solitaire, like you can with Mythic or IGRADIC), GOOD IMGINATION AND SUSPENCION OF DISBELIEF, and A WILLINGNESS TO BEND AND ADAPT (as situation and storyline requires). Like I have said before, I have actually hosted a full six hour session of Dungeons and Dragons before: and only at the end of it asked the lads how they enjoyed it, and was told it was FANTASTIC (even got a big round of applause): then with a smile, I announced to them "I didn't use any campaign adventure material or rules, I just used my imagination and made the game session up in my head as I went along." But it proved the point I had always known, HG Wells knew it, Peter Cushing (who was a life time wargamer) knew it, and Chris Perkins (current head of game design for WotC) knows it, that even a rpg relies of joint participation, trust in the DM, and the ability to BELIEVE in the situation you re in, like reading a book. NOT the rules. The rest is easy after you make that just of understanding!

    People tend to get very hit up and caught up even, on rules. As though they are the all important tablet or laws on `how to do it` they`re not. All that stuff is already in the DM`s head, helped along by a good solid player group, who will help the DM do his job well, by HELPING not hindering him. Rules are like a focal aid, to remind the DM what he should be doing at any give time. But no rules will actually help the Game Host define the world, make it come alive, to live and breath for the players to enjoy. All that is not contained in any set of rules, its in the DM`s head to convey.

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  19. "Turning Japanese I think I`m turning Japanese I really think so La la la laaa laa la alaaa" <-- sings!!

    A TENTATIVE - BUT VERY SERIUS OFFER:

    I seem to have caught the Oriental bug. Not just Toh. Would anyone into Bolt Action be interested in doing a cool swap? I have maybe 40 WWII German minis and an unopened set of about 20 German miniatures - 1945 "last Measure" Berlin Last Defence (like German equivalent of Dads Army, only everything from youngsters to old men). I am looking for WWII Jungle theatre Japanese, Brits, Americans or Australians. Any takers, let me know :)))

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