CMON Previews Kick-Ass

Aug. 17th, 2017 11:00 am
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Posted by Polar_Bear

Continuing with our look at new products that CMON was showing off at a media event here at Gen Con, we get a look at a game that looks pretty kick ass. It’s Kick-Ass! Once more, I was able to wrangle Eric M. Lang away and get the lowdown on this new game.

Kick-Ass is a cooperative game for 2-5 players (games taking about 60min). In it, players will take on the role of a superhero, trying to keep the city safe from all the villains out in the world. The villains are controlled by unique decks that will give the players different challenges. But it’s not just thugs and bank robberies and kidnappings that the heroes will have to worry about. The comic, which the game is based on, very much deals with the hero’s life away from they’re being heroes. So will the game. Players have a delicate balance they’re trying to maintain as they play.

Eric described the game as having a bit of a “Euro-like” feel to it. Also, he was very excited about just how much the game “feels like” the Kick-Ass comic. Through the various interactions with the villain deck and the heroes actions, they will more-than-likely find themselves in much the same situations and having to face the same tough decisions that the characters in the comic do. If you’re a fan of the series, you will be a fan of the game.

Stay tuned for more details as the game moves closer to release.

CMON Previews Hate At Gen Con

Aug. 17th, 2017 10:00 am
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Posted by Polar_Bear

At a media event here at Gen Con, CMON was showing off some new games they have coming down the pipeline. I was able to grab designer Eric M. Lang and get the lowdown about Hate, a new bloody and brutal board game that will be CMON next Kickstarter project.

While an individual game might be 2-player (and last about 60min), the “core” of the game is a campaign-style series of games that up to 6 players can participate in, overall. So think of the game as its own 6-player league. While one-off games are certainly fine, the real “meat and potatoes” of the game comes from playing the league-style campaign, where players will be able to upgrade their characters and village between game sessions.

Though that may be getting ahead of myself. The game takes place in a brutal… very brutal post-apocalyptic world. It was described as “Mad Max on steroids.” This isn’t going to be a game to take to grandma’s house or play with little kids. It is brutal. It is mean. Unspeakable acts will be done (all in good fun on a game board, of course). Players are in control of their own band of survivors and they are looking to increase their resources and become leader of the world. They’ll do this by engaging in battles with the other players’ tribes.

In the game, there are three main stats. Those are: Resources, Scavenge, and Hate. Resources are just that. They’re things players will use to upgrade the buildings back at their camp in order to make it more livable (and brutal, but we’ll get to that). Scavenge is what you’ll use to upgrade your warriors. In this harsh land, you’ll need every scrap you can to survive. Finally, there’s Hate. This also allows you to upgrade, but more in terms of abilities and things like rerolls for your characters.

So, everything seems pretty tame so far. Well, that’s where the real nastiness comes in. As I mentioned, the game is used to its fullest potential when played as a set of interconnected scenarios. Thing is, if you have a character die, they’re just gone. If they get horribly wounded, that’s not healed between missions. Want to drag off an opposing player’s character and throw them into your spike pits back at your camp? You’ll be able to do that. Doing so will even get you bonuses and resources from it.

And that’s a quick overview of Hate. Obviously, expect more details as this gets closer to its launch on Kickstarter.

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Posted by Simon Long

It’s now just under two years since we released the Jessie version of Raspbian. Those of you who know that Debian run their releases on a two-year cycle will therefore have been wondering when we might be releasing the next version, codenamed Stretch. Well, wonder no longer – Raspbian Stretch is available for download today!

Disney Pixar Toy Story Raspbian Stretch Raspberry Pi

Debian releases are named after characters from Disney Pixar’s Toy Story trilogy. In case, like me, you were wondering: Stretch is a purple octopus from Toy Story 3. Hi, Stretch!

The differences between Jessie and Stretch are mostly under-the-hood optimisations, and you really shouldn’t notice any differences in day-to-day use of the desktop and applications. (If you’re really interested, the technical details are in the Debian release notes here.)

However, we’ve made a few small changes to our image that are worth mentioning.

New versions of applications

Version 3.0.1 of Sonic Pi is included – this includes a lot of new functionality in terms of input/output. See the Sonic Pi release notes for more details of exactly what has changed.

Raspbian Stretch Raspberry Pi

The Chromium web browser has been updated to version 60, the most recent stable release. This offers improved memory usage and more efficient code, so you may notice it running slightly faster than before. The visual appearance has also been changed very slightly.

Raspbian Stretch Raspberry Pi

Bluetooth audio

In Jessie, we used PulseAudio to provide support for audio over Bluetooth, but integrating this with the ALSA architecture used for other audio sources was clumsy. For Stretch, we are using the bluez-alsa package to make Bluetooth audio work with ALSA itself. PulseAudio is therefore no longer installed by default, and the volume plugin on the taskbar will no longer start and stop PulseAudio. From a user point of view, everything should still work exactly as before – the only change is that if you still wish to use PulseAudio for some other reason, you will need to install it yourself.

Better handling of other usernames

The default user account in Raspbian has always been called ‘pi’, and a lot of the desktop applications assume that this is the current user. This has been changed for Stretch, so now applications like Raspberry Pi Configuration no longer assume this to be the case. This means, for example, that the option to automatically log in as the ‘pi’ user will now automatically log in with the name of the current user instead.

One other change is how sudo is handled. By default, the ‘pi’ user is set up with passwordless sudo access. We are no longer assuming this to be the case, so now desktop applications which require sudo access will prompt for the password rather than simply failing to work if a user without passwordless sudo uses them.

Scratch 2 SenseHAT extension

In the last Jessie release, we added the offline version of Scratch 2. While Scratch 2 itself hasn’t changed for this release, we have added a new extension to allow the SenseHAT to be used with Scratch 2. Look under ‘More Blocks’ and choose ‘Add an Extension’ to load the extension.

This works with either a physical SenseHAT or with the SenseHAT emulator. If a SenseHAT is connected, the extension will control that in preference to the emulator.

Raspbian Stretch Raspberry Pi

Fix for Broadpwn exploit

A couple of months ago, a vulnerability was discovered in the firmware of the BCM43xx wireless chipset which is used on Pi 3 and Pi Zero W; this potentially allows an attacker to take over the chip and execute code on it. The Stretch release includes a patch that addresses this vulnerability.

There is also the usual set of minor bug fixes and UI improvements – I’ll leave you to spot those!

How to get Raspbian Stretch

As this is a major version upgrade, we recommend using a clean image; these are available from the Downloads page on our site as usual.

Upgrading an existing Jessie image is possible, but is not guaranteed to work in every circumstance. If you wish to try upgrading a Jessie image to Stretch, we strongly recommend taking a backup first – we can accept no responsibility for loss of data from a failed update.

To upgrade, first modify the files /etc/apt/sources.list and /etc/apt/sources.list.d/raspi.list. In both files, change every occurrence of the word ‘jessie’ to ‘stretch’. (Both files will require sudo to edit.)

Then open a terminal window and execute

sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get -y dist-upgrade

Answer ‘yes’ to any prompts. There may also be a point at which the install pauses while a page of information is shown on the screen – hold the ‘space’ key to scroll through all of this and then hit ‘q’ to continue.

Finally, if you are not using PulseAudio for anything other than Bluetooth audio, remove it from the image by entering

sudo apt-get -y purge pulseaudio*

The post Raspbian Stretch has arrived for Raspberry Pi appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

CMON Previews Arcadia Quest: Riders

Aug. 17th, 2017 09:04 am
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Posted by Polar_Bear

At a media event held by CMON, they previewed numerous upcoming games that they have been working on. The first that I’d like to talk about is Arcadia Quest: Riders. Sure, the Guilds have had animal companions with their cute, little pets. But now, they’ll be able to actually take to battle riding impressive steeds!

While the set is still being finalized, we did get some important details about it. First, this is a new, modular expansion, meaning that you need one of the core game boxes (either the original core game or Inferno) to use it. Also, this set will be sold direct-to-retails. I repeat, this is NOT going to be a Kickstarter project.

So, what will be coming in this set? First off, each Guild will be getting a mount. Mounts allow a Hero to saddle up and ride into battle in style. Mounts all have a shove-style ability, being able to clear other characters out of the way. They will also all have a unique ability, giving each Mount something cool they can do. And, like the Pets, they will have specialized gear that they can use to enhance their abilities and increase their survivability on the battlefield.

Along with the mounts, the expansion will also have two brand-new heroes, as well as a brand-new major villain and a brand-new minor villain. The set comes with a new 6-mission campaign, too. It is neat because there are alternate scenarios given for when you have other Arcadia Quest expansions. So, for example, if you have the Pets expansion, there’s an alternate version of one of the scenarios that makes specific use of that material. Same goes for Beyond the Grave. And if you have both, there’s yet another alternate scenario you can try out. So this set really ties in with all the different Arcadia Quest products out there (and, of course, you can use any Hero that’s out there with the Riders set).

Be on the lookout for more information as the set gets closer to release.

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Posted by Polar_Bear

I used to play a lot of Scrabble. I still have my Deluxe set that’s got ridges on the board to keep the tiles in place and the whole thing’s on a Lazy Susan, so you can spin it around to see the words easier. It’s a great game. But, occasionally, it could get a bit old. Well, Digraphs are here to help shake things up. They’re a set of new tiles that can be added to the game. They’re up on Kickstarter now.

From the campaign:

Digraphs is an accessory for Scrabble that introduces eight new tiles, each with two letters instead of one. It provides the chance for higher scoring as more points are up for grabs while requiring you to think a bit differently as you play. It’s a fun twist that can be added to Scrabble whenever you like.

The campaign is running now and is set to go for another 23 days.

Source

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Posted by Polar_Bear

There’s treasure in them-thar barrows. And you aim to be the one to get it. Collect together your band of legendary heroes and head into the deep, dark, foreboding, and monster-infested halls underneath dark-ages Britain. That’s what you’ll be doing in Darkholds: Ancient Barrows, a new fantasy board game from Mierce Miniatures that’s up on Kickstarter now.

From the campaign:

In the dark holds, YOU command heroes to gather treasure, fight creatures of darkness and gain the ultimate prize – life after death…

Set in the lands of darkness – the brutal, uncivilised world of dark ages Britain in the 7th century AD – Darkholds: Ancient Barrows is a board game containing miniatures, tiles, counters and cards to enable 1-4 players to control legendary heroes and their henchmen as they explore the caverns, barrows and halls of the undead Wihts

The game can be played as a story campaign comprising ten levels of varying design and aspect in three areas, beginning in the caverns and natural gorges near the coast (area 1, levels 1-3), then exploring the catacombs and barrows of the undead (area 2, levels 4-6) and eventually fighting through the halls of the ancients (area 3, levels 7-9) to gain the secret of undeath (the quest’s end, level 10); but each level can of course be played on its own. You can even choose to play each area – three levels – as a mini-campaign!

If Darkholds: Ancient Barrows is played as a campaign, players can purchase certain types of mundane equipment or hire henchmen in between levels – effectively meaning heroes have a retinue they can bring with them to the next level!

To succeed in their quest for eternal life players must overcome a horde of enemies trying to stop their heroes, gathering treasure, ancient artefacts and sorcerous weapons or armour to help them along the way. The Wihts, scampering grave spiders and huge, terrifying mound beetles, ancient G?sta and shrieking Dr?aguth all wish to deny the secrets of the Jutes to the outsiders, and they will do anything – including the destruction of their own halls and tombs – to stop them.

Players must also understand that – whilst the game is co-operative – there will also be an element of selfishness to how each player plays the game, for each hero must draw a quest card at the beginning of each level.

The Kickstarter campaign is up and running now. It’s set to go for another 20 days.

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Posted by Polar_Bear

Man, people sure do love to get into wars. I have a history degree, and I still can’t keep up with all of them. I have to admit… I have no clue what the Marlburian Wars were. But if they’re a favorite of yours, Studio Capitan has released Marlburian Commander, a new set of rules for fighting those battles on your tabletop.

From the announcement:

Commander system, Marlburian Commander rules catch the essence of the wars of the first half of the 18th Century. Two different infantry tactiical styles and two different cavalry approaches are handled . European armies had not yet instituted the firm command chain system with divisional structures and commanders of later decades, so much depended on the quality of the commander-in-chief. The much-praised mechanism of two-phase ordering counters and the resulting uncertainty for your opponent are present, with the accompanying fog of war.

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Posted by Polar_Bear

There’s a new subscription box that will be available soon. This one is called QST and it’s bringing together some of the greatest minds in gaming to deliver you regular games right to your doorstep. The project is up on Kickstarter now.

From the campaign:

QST is a subscription-based tabletop game program that will deliver a BRAND NEW, NEVER-BEFORE-SEEN small form factor game directly to your mailbox EVERY MONTH!

As cool as getting a new game every month is, what makes QST really special is HOW these games are made. Each game is an unprecedented collaboration between three creative superstars. So, every month you will experience a totally unique game crafted by a team of your favorite creators!

The KICKSTARTER-EXCLUSIVE price is $12.99 a month (plus shipping)! It will ONLY ever be offered at that price during this Kickstarter. If you back this project, you will be able to renew FOREVER at the $12.99 price for as long as you keep your subscription!

The regular price for QST will be $19.99 per month for 12 months and $22.99 per month for 6 months. So, the campaign offers an INSANE value you will not see again!

The Kickstarter campaign is up and running now and is set to go for another 44 days.

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Midweek Corner Snippets

Aug. 16th, 2017 06:00 pm
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Posted by Polar_Bear

As I’ve said numerous times over the past couple weeks, Gen Con is coming. Like… tomorrow. There’s going to be, oh, about a bajillion things going on, so it’s best to stock up on some bite-sized gaming stories. Plus, since we didn’t get it on Monday (and there’s a chance I might not be able to get to it tomorrow), let’s go ahead and get some Terrain Corner pieces in here, too.

So, in all we have: 1-48TACTIC now has free add ons, Warzone Studio Releases Gigafactory Battle Mat, Brigade Models Releases 2mm Scale City Blocks, Crocodile Games Releases Remastered Abominable Snowbeast, Badlands: Fantasy Gaming Mat Available from Pwork Wargames, New Statuesque Female Heads on Sale for 10% off, Darkmook Paper Miniatures Releases Supernatural Western Town Terrain, A Dog’s Life Introduces Tillman the Skateboarding dog, The Army Painter Announces Runewars Paint Sets, and Arid Plain! Fantasy Gaming Mat Available from Pwork Wargames.

1-48TACTIC now has free add ons

Now you will get 1 free stick of your choice between all of the following:

Code: LS4 – Wooden Drum, barrels and cask (5 pcs.)
Code: LS6 (currently not yet released) rolled up tents and tarps (4)
Code: LS7 (currently not yet released) US jerrycans (6 jerrycans)
Code: LS8 – WWII wooden boxes (4 pcs.)
Code: LS9 – 200 l steel drums (4 drums, 1 jerrycan and 1 bucket)

starting as soon as we reach €13.500 plus one more every €1000 after that!

Warzone Studio Releases Gigafactory Battle Mat

A nice wargame battle field, suitable for sci-fi wargames like Infinity or Warhammer 40 000. Add some industrial constructions and your space station terrain will be finished.

Code red, I repeat, code red! The enemy has breached through the loading sector. Take up arms in the Dock 7!

Composite material with polyester netting and plasticizer-filler
Water, temperature, rolling in tube, hits and scratches resistant
All mats are packed in special carrying tube.
We can place any hex or grid on your mat or make a special size for you.

Brigade Models Releases 2mm Scale City Blocks

Many European city centres are built, at least partially, on a block system. The blocks of apartments generally have shops or offices on the ground floor with 4-6 levels of apartments above that. They surround a central courtyard which can be a garden space, parking or can sometimes be partially filled with smaller buildings and sheds. A perfect example of this is Barcelona’s appropriately named Eixample district.

Today we’ve released what we hope should be some very useful City Apartment Blocks. We’ve created three sets – a pack of four corners, another of four straight blocks, and a third consisting of two T-pieces and two straight pieces with an archway into the courtyard area. The blocks are built on a 40mm footprint – each corner is 40x40mm with the depth of the apartments set at 20mm. This means that a pack of four corners will create a block 80x80mm square, with a central 40x40mm courtyard. Adding straight pieces means that the blocks can be extended in 40mm increments. For gaming purposes, this works perfectly with rules that use 40mm frontages for figure bases, as units can be placed in the courtyards to indicate that buildings are occupied.

SSS-8094 – City Block Corners – £7.50
SSS-8095 – City Block Straights – £5.00
SSS-8096 – City Block Ts and Arches – £6.50

Crocodile Games Releases Remastered Abominable Snowbeast

He’s big, he’s hairy, and he’s back – now in resin at a lower price… the Abominable Snowbeast returns to Crocodile Games!

The Abominable Snowbeast model is one of the largest figures that we produce, nearly a pound of metal and lots of parts to assemble. We’ve always wanted to be able to sell it for a better price, and to make it easier to assemble, so we’ve teamed up with On The Lamb Games (specialists on resin production) to produce an improved model – made in high-quality resin.

What did we do differently with this version? The new Snowbeast has been remastered from Ben Siens’s original sculpture, but is now lighter, less expensive, and with fewer pieces to assemble. The body/chest area has now been made into one single piece, rather than 2 parts that were difficult to glue, and inevitably ended up with gaps that had to be filled with putty. The new model fits together much easier! What’s more, the resin castings actually have less distortion than the earlier metal castings. And did we mention that it is now less expensive? We’re now able to sell this giant model for $59.95, that is $15 less than the old price of the metal casting.

The Wendigo Summoner model is still included, and he still has a metal body – but his horn is now in resin. Because the resin is a little lighter than the metal, the Summoner is now less top-heavy, so he’ll stay on his feet when the Snowbeast stomps around, shaking the table!

Badlands: Fantasy Gaming Mat Available from Pwork Wargames

Badlands! Fantasy Gaming Mat from Pwork Wargames!

Play on a bare plain of reddish earth, with the ground cracked by the fury of the elements, among large open spaces, dusty pahts and rocks eroded by wind!

Materials: PVC / Syntethic Cloth / Mousepad
Available size: 4×6′ / 4×4′ / 3×3′ / 3×6

New Statuesque Female Heads on Sale for 10% off

Statuesque Miniatures is pleased to announce the release of three new sets of Statuesque female heads.

Heroic Scale Female Heads NARROW – Bionic adds to the new range of narrower Heroic Scale heads.
Heroic Scale Female Heads NARROW – Bionic is available as a New Release Special Offer for only £4.25 per set, saving over 10%.
Pulp Scale Female Heads – Berets rounds out the range of Pulp Scale heads.
Pulp Scale Female Heads – Berets is available as a New Release Special Offer for only £4 per set, saving over 10%.
Finally, Fine Scale Female Heads – Berets rounds out the range of Fine Scale versions of the heads.
Fine Scale Female Heads – Berets is also available as a New Release Special Offer for only £4 per set, saving over 10%.
Don’t forget to check out the comparison photos and test conversions linked to in the listings to see just some of the uses for these heads.
These offers will run until Sunday the 3rd of September, or while stocks last.

Darkmook Paper Miniatures Releases Supernatural Western Town Terrain

After something of a hiatus, Darkmook Paper Miniatures returns with their first tabletop scenery set!
The SUPERNATURAL WESTERN TOWN set includes 9 fold flat Western Buildings: Doctor’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, Gunsmith, Barber, General Store, Bank, Saloon, Undertaker and Railroad Station (with track).
The SUPERNATURAL WESTERN TOWN is designed for use with any Western themed tabletop or roleplaying game, and is ideal for Weird West horror settings like Dracula’s America: Shadow of the West.
Buildings are designed to be easy to assemble and can be stored flat when not in use.
The set is available from RPG Now, so go get ’em cowboy!

A Dog’s Life Introduces Tillman the Skateboarding dog

The new A Dog’s Life board game has met their next Kickstarter goal and has introduced Tillman the Skateboarding dog as part of the Dog’s life lineup.

Tillman is still the coolest dog in the neighborhood and he’s decided to roll into our game with his skateboard. We wanted to present a tribute to Tillman, who will never be forgotten! As a two time Guinness world record holder, he is the most popular skateboarding dog on the planet. Play as Tillman and skate to victory with your tongue out.

The Army Painter Announces Runewars Paint Sets

The Army Painter has assembled a series of customized paint sets to bring the action of Runewars Miniatures Game to life. These faction-specific sets contain a painting guide, hobby brush, and ten high-quality acrylic Warpaints. Each vibrant collection has been carefully selected to evoke the armors of each faction battling for Terrinoth: the Daqan Lords, Waiqar the Undying, the Latari Elves, and the Uthuk Y’llan. The detailed painting guide included in each pack enables commanders to customize their armies, whether they are new or experienced miniatures painters.

Arid Plain! Fantasy Gaming Mat Available from Pwork Wargames

Arid Plain! Fantasy Gaming Mat from Pwork Wargames!

Play on a dry rocky plain, a barren and desolate landscape created by time and severe weather, on a bare land, whose soil is strewn with crumbled stone debris and where life doesn’t seem to take root!

Materials: PVC / Syntethic Cloth
Available size: 4×6′ / 4×4′ / 3×3′ / 3×6

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Posted by Polar_Bear

You know, a lot of bad things can happen out in space. So when a giant ice hauler suddenly started changing its course and not telling anybody why, people were curious. Enough so that a team has been sent out to find out what happened. That’s what’s going on in The Dying Ship, a new full-length adventure for the Coriolis RPG. It’s available now from Modiphius.

From the website:

The ice hauler Orun II has stopped responding to hails, and has changed course towards a deadly asteroid cloud. The player characters are tasked with intercepting the heavy freighter to find out what has happened onboard and bring it back to Coriolis safely.

What is hiding aboard the silent hauler and what has happened to her crew? In this full-length adventure for Coriolis – The Third Horizon RPG, the players get to explore the mystery of the dying ship, confront an ancient secret – and hopefully live to tell the tale. The contents include:

An exciting and action-packed scenario taking place on Coriolis, in space and onboard the dying ship.
Ship plans for the ice hauler Orun II.
Several player handouts.
Practical tips for the Gamemaster.
Five pre-made characters, ready to be used right away.

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Posted by Polar_Bear

WWII was truly a global conflict. While the various European forces were making their way back and forth across that continent, and Rommel and Monty were dueling it out in Africa, the islands of the Pacific saw plenty of fighting as well. Sally 4th is now letting you recreate those battles with their South Pacific supplement for Combat Patrol. It is available now. But it’s not just the supplement that’s new. There’s also a new deck box and some terrain.

From the press release:

This week sees the release of the new Combat Patrol supplement for gaming platoon level engagements set in the Second World War Pacific Theatre of Operations.

Fighting in the South Pacific during World War II was unique compared to other theatres, even other parts of the Pacific. This supplement includes rules that represent the unique nature of Japanese morale, Banzai! charges, suicide anti-tank attacks, night infiltration, vehicle-mounted flame throwers, and other rules. The Banzai! charge rules strike a good balance between effectiveness without overpowering the charge and making the Japanese invincible.

Of these new rules, the most significant are those for Japanese morale. The basic morale rules work very well for other theatres, including China, Burma, and India. In Combat Patrol™ morale failure is represented more as a loss of cohesion than a sudden, unexpected retreat. As units take morale checks, the unit gradually dissolves or stops responding to commands. Japanese morale failure in the South Pacific seems to have been more unit oriented than individual; the unit leader will decide to retreat, take cover, or assault the enemy in response to fire rather than individuals melting into the jungle. The new morale results reflect this.

Japanese Action Deck RRP £6.50

In Combat Patrol™: World War II, cards in an Action Deck are used by players to resolve shooting, determine movement distance, conduct hand-to-hand combat, and check morale. This eliminates the need for charts and tables. Each player has an Action Deck that he uses to resolve these actions. New decks are now available for gamers using a Japanese army. The parts of the cards that deal with small arms fire, melee, HE, movement and cover saves are the same as all of the other Combat Patrol decks, but the Morale section is unique to reflect the rules for Japanese morale. The new cards are optional as existing cards can be used to cross reference the Japanese morale rules in the supplement, but having the specific cards makes morale tests a lot easier.

Sally 4th has released two new accessories for Combat Patrol players this week.

Combat Patrol Card Dispenser £10 RRP – Easy to assemble MDF kit to make a handy and attractive card dispenser in the shape of a bridge to keep your action deck and discards tidy on the gaming table and easy to move around with you to where the action is.

Combat Patrol Card, Token and Dice Storage £15 RRP – Easy to assemble MDF kit styled on the vintage card index, and including drawer with dividers to hold dice and counters and a set of index card dividers. The set includes five dividers, four marked as Action and one as Activation.

As usual the supplement is available as a free to download PDF file, the new cards and the Combat Patrol card dispenser and card and token box are available to purchase from Sally 4th website http://wargamesbuildings.co.uk/Combat-Patrol and we will have them with us at shows including ‘The Other Partizan’ on Sunday 20th August.

Combat Patrol Site

Plaid Hat Games Posts Gen Con Preview

Aug. 16th, 2017 04:00 pm
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Posted by Polar_Bear

It’s coming down to the wire. It’s the last day before Gen Con officially begins (though, trust me, there’s plenty of activity going on behind the scenes). Vendors are setting up their booths and carting in product. What sort of product? New and awesome things you’ve yet to see. Plaid Hat Games has some of those, and you’ll be able to check them out tomorrow.

From the post:

Plaid Hat Games is ready for Gen Con and there is SO MUCH going on that we’ve got to jump right in and get to the GAMES! Be sure to read it all because we’ve got SIX major products to talk about and they all deserve their own headlines.

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Posted by Polar_Bear

Most of us have known someone who just had too many cats. I had a neighbor when I lived out on Kansas that was a true “reclusive crazy cat lady.” Well, those cats started out as kittens. And maybe the lady was just looking to create a cat army. That’s what you’ll be doing in Kitten Casualty, trying to build up a cat army. Of course, your opponents don’t want that, and so will be looking to take your kittens out of the fight. The game is up on Kickstarter now.

From the campaign:

Build your kitten armies to sacrifice and destroy your enemies! this highly strategic, points builder game is crazy fun to play!

The campaign is up and running now. It’s set to go for another 22 days.

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Posted by Polar_Bear

Many gamers love tweaking their army lists to get the most out of them. They look for any points-saving measure they can find. Well, the Guns for Hire expansion for the X-Wing Miniatures Game gives Scum & Villainy players several new options to do just that. One such is the Vaksai title. It reduces the costs of upgrades to the ship it’s on.

From the post:

The Vaksai Title is something of a conundrum. Unlike the StarViper Mk. II Title, which applies a flat three-point reduction, the Vaksai Title starts at zero points and only gains squad-point value as you load your ship with upgrades. The more upgrades you add to your Kihraxz fighter, the greater the squad-point value your Vaksai Title offers.

Traditional wisdom, however, warns us against spending too much time—and too many squad points—loading our ships with upgrades.

At the end of the day, X-Wing is a game about lining up shots, aiming, and firing, and it behooves us to throw as many attack dice as we can reasonably modify toward success. At the same time, we want to defend against our opponents attacks with as many points of agility, hull, and shields as we can. Squad points spent on upgrades are traditionally less valuable than points spent on ships, then, because the attack and defense bonuses associated with upgrades tend to be more expensive than those associated with the ships themselves.

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Posted by Polar_Bear

Well, they did it once. Why not do it again? Steamforged Games found great success with their Dark Souls board game. Now they’re looking to add another dark and loved video game to the tabletop. They’ve announced that this fall they will be running a Kickstarter campaign to create a Resident Evil 2 board game.

From the press release:

Steamforged Games is thrilled to announce an exciting new partnership with Capcom to bring the iconic Resident Evil™ 2 video game to the board gamers of the world. Building on the success of previous titles including “Guild Ball” and “Dark Souls: The Board Game”, Steamforged Games will be launching this latest game, “Resident Evil™ 2: The Board Game” via Kickstarter in late Autumn 2017.

Steamforged is proud of its proven capability to bring video game IP to life as board games and plans to fully realise the core game experience of the much loved Resident Evil 2 world. “It’s a privilege and an honour to be trusted to bring such an important video game to life as a board game,” said Mat Hart, Creative Director and Co-founder of Steamforged Games. “Resident Evil 2 helped to define its own genre of games and has created a lasting legacy in video game history. Steamforged has several Resident Evil super fans on the team and so we have a deep understanding of what makes RE such a compelling game experience; one that still has legions of fans around the world still playing the game nearly two decades after its release. We’re determined to surprise and delight players new and old with this board game realisation, even the most hardcore of fans!”

Steamforged Games previously broke a number of Kickstarter records with their last game “Dark Souls™: The Board Game” including the highest funded board game ever launched on the KS platform. Steamforged takes immense pride in taking amazing game worlds and lovingly crafting them into high quality board and card games…we specialise in understanding what makes each video game so compelling and then unlocking that experience in the physical game space.

Resident Evil 2 Board Game Page

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Posted by Polar_Bear

Dungeons & Dragons is a great game. However, it can, occasionally, be rough to try and keep up with everything for it. The various books and other supplemental material offer players and DMs lots of chances for customization, but it can occasionally be a bit daunting to sort through it. That’s where the D&D Beyond set of digital tools comes in. You can get it now.

From the announcement:

For over 40 years, Dungeons & Dragons has ruled the TRPG market, bringing players together at tables all over the world. D&D Beyond, Curse’s new digital companion web app, aims to enhance the D&D experience by making game management easier by putting all of the game information you need to tell fantastic stories with your friends into a digital format, eliminating the need to manually search through books, and taking the load off of players through other features.

At launch, D&D Beyond offers a compendium with all the game rules, lore, and adventures, as well as sought-after tools like a character builder and an interactive digital character sheet. It’s built with official D&D content and the ability to create and add your own custom homebrew spells, magic items and monsters. Groups can play with digital versions of every official D&D sourcebook within the compendium. They can build characters using all the material published by Dungeons & Dragons for fifth edition, while adding custom magic items or spells created using the homebrew system. That homebrew content can then be shared with the community for other players to use in their own games.

The team at Curse has an extensive roadmap for D&D Beyond, including implementing features such as a mobile app, encounter builders, and combat tracking. We are excited to continue to work closely together with them to implement all new adventures and rules material into the toolset, such as Tomb of Annihilation and Xanathar’s Guide to Everything coming this fall.

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Posted by Polar_Bear

Isle of Sky is getting its first big expansion. Mayfair Games has announced Isle of Skye: Journeyman. In it, players will have more control over their characters, getting special player dashboards that will let you track your various stats. As you progress along, you’ll be able to place new tiles, but only if you’ve moved your Journeyman pawn around the kingdom to the right spaces.

From the announcement:

Isle of Skye: Journeyman, is the first big expansion to Isle of Skye from designers Alexander Pfister and Andreas Pelikan.

Becoming a king is hard, but being a king is even harder. You need warriors to protect your kingdom, merchants to keep your treasury liquid and heralds which proclaim your popularity across the kingdom. Luckily, your best mate has agreed to take over the hard graft so that you concentrate becoming a glory chieftain.

This new expansion contains new personal player boards indicating your progress in terms of strength, prosperity and popularity. As each progress step has requirements to be met, the personal player boards affect tile selling and placement. However, in order to claim the next level of development and gain potential rewards, it’s not sufficient to place the corresponding tiles only. A new pawn (the journeyman) needs to travel the kingdom and “activate” the tiles. In addition, 4 new scoring tiles are contained respecting the new challenges of Isle of Skye: Journeyman.

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Z-Man Games Posts Gen Con Preview

Aug. 16th, 2017 01:00 pm
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Posted by Polar_Bear

Guys! Guys! Gen Con is just a couple days away! I know, I spent all of yesterday and will be spending all of today getting ready for it. It’s going to be an awesome show. All the vendors here are excited to get things underway. There’s tons of new things to see and games to try. Z-Man Games certainly has plenty of new stuff to check out. And they’ve posted a little primer to get you ready for it.

From the announcement:

Z-Man Games invites you to join us for the best four days in gaming! Gen Con 50 is right around the corner and if you’re planning to attend we want to see you at booth #1429. You’ll be able to demo a number of our upcoming titles and have the chance to get your hands on new games and expansions before anyone else. We’ll also have a full slate of events on tap for the convention, including the National Championships for Pandemic Survival and Carcassonne. The players in these tournaments are the best of the best and the winners win a trip to represent their country at the World Championships later this year.

On top of these tournaments, at our booth you can participate in a bevy of other competitive events, rub shoulders with some of the best minds in the game industry, and much more.

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Posted by Polar_Bear

Just about everyone, when they were a kid, had some sort of stuffed animal that was their favorite. Maybe a stuffed bear or dragon or tiger or something. You know, the Hobbs to your Calvin. And, like Calvin, you probably went on some epic adventures (either real or imaginary) with them. Well, Plaid Hat Games is letting you relive those with Stuffed Fables, a new StoryBoard game from the creator of Mice and Mystics.

From the announcement:

Plaid Hat Games is proud to announce our latest epic experience – Stuffed Fables –a cooperative story and game system lovingly crafted by Jerry Hawthorne, designer of Mice and Mystics.

Stuffed Fables is a StoryBoard Game – an exciting new product line from Plaid Hat Games. In a StoryBoard Game all of the action takes place in the unique storybook – a book that acts as your rules reference, story guide, and game board, all in one!

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Community Profile: David Pride

Aug. 16th, 2017 12:20 pm
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Posted by Alex Bate

This column is from The MagPi issue 55. You can download a PDF of the full issue for free, or subscribe to receive the print edition in your mailbox or the digital edition on your tablet. All proceeds from the print and digital editions help the Raspberry Pi Foundation achieve its charitable goals.

David Pride’s experiences in computer education came slightly later in life. He admits to not being a grade-A student: he left school with few qualifications, unable to pursue further education at university. There was, however, a teacher who instilled in him a passion for computers and coding which would stick with him indefinitely.

David Pride The MagPi Raspberry Pi Community Profile

David joined us at the St James’s Palace community celebration, mingling with the likes of the Duke of York, plus organisers of Jams and clubs, such as Grace and Femi

Welcome to the Community

Twenty years later, back in 2012, David heard of the Raspberry Pi – a soon-to-be-released “new little marvel” that he instantly fell for, head first. Despite a lack of knowledge in Linux and Python, he experimented and had fun. He found a Raspberry Jam and, with it, Pi enthusiasts like Mike Horne and Peter Onion. The projects on display at the Jam were enough to push David further into the Raspberry Pi rabbit hole and, after working his way through several Python books, he began to take steps into the world of formal higher education.

David Pride The MagPi Raspberry Pi Community Profile

David’s determination to access and complete further education in computing has earned him a three-year PhD studentship. Not bad for a “lousy student”

Back to School

With a Mooc qualification from Rice University under his belt, he continued to improve upon his self-taught knowledge, and was fortunate enough to be accepted to study for a master’s degree in Computer Science at the University of Hertfordshire. With a distinction for his final dissertation, David completed the course with an overall distinction for his MSc, and was recently awarded a fully funded PhD studentship with The Open University’s Knowledge Media Institute.

David Pride The MagPi Raspberry Pi Community Profile

Self-playing xylophones, Wiimote air drums, Lego sorters, Pi Wars robots, and more. David is continually hacking toys, giving them new Pi-powered life

Maker of things

The portfolio of projects that helped him to achieve his many educational successes has provided regular retweet material for the Raspberry Pi Twitter account, and we’ve highlighted his fun, imaginative work on this blog before. His builds have travelled to a range of Jams and made their way to the Raspberry Pi and Code Club stands at the Bett Show, as well as to our birthday celebrations.

David Pride The MagPi Raspberry Pi Community Profile

“Pi & Chips – with a little extra source”

His website, the pun-tastic Pi and Chips, is home to the majority of his work; David also links to YouTube videos and walk-throughs of his projects, and relates his experiences at various events. If you’ve followed any of the action across the Raspberry Pi social media channels – or indeed read any previous issues of The MagPi magazine – you’ll no doubt have seen a couple of David’s projects.

David Pride The MagPi Raspberry Pi Community Profile 4-Bot

Many readers will have come across the wonderful 4-Bot before, and it has even made an appearance alongside David in a recent Bloomberg interview. Considering the trillions of possible game positions, David made a compromise and, if you’re lucky, you may just be able to beat it

The 4-Bot, a robotic second player for the family game Connect Four, allows people to go head to head with a Pi-powered robotic arm. Using a Python imaging library, the 4-Bot splits the game grid into 42 squares, and recognises them as being red, yellow, or empty by reading the RGB value of the space. Using the minimax algorithm, 4-Bot is able to play each move within 25 seconds. Believe us when we say that it’s not as easy to beat as you’d hope. Then there’s his more recent air drum kit, which uses an old toy found at a car boot sale together with a Wiimote to make a functional air drum that showcases David’s toy-hacking abilities… and his complete lack of rhythm. He does fare much better on his homemade laser harp, though!

The post Community Profile: David Pride appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

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Posted by Polar_Bear

One of the bigger news stories of the last week (and there’s been several), is that Fantasy Flight Games is coming out with a new edition of Twilight Imperium. Got an older version? Want to see what’s changed? Wondering what all the excitement is about? Well, the rulebook has been posted online for you to check out.

From the announcement:

The day will soon come when a new Empire will rise. For the sake of all, may the new Emperor have not only the power to seize the throne, but the strength to conquer the peace.

– Mahthom Iq Seerva

This Thursday, attendees of Gen Con 50 will have the opportunity to demo Twilight Imperium Fourth Edition, the next evolution of the classic game of galactic conquest.

For those not attending or looking for an all-encompassing view, the Learn to Play guide and Rules Reference are now available! Players can now read a complete ruleset for the epic game, and prepare their strategies for galactic conquest. Keep an eye on Fantasy Flight Games for further previews of Twilight Imperium Fourth Edition and be sure to participate in the extensive Pre-Order campaign for the game!

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CodeSOD: Object Relational Mangling

Aug. 16th, 2017 10:30 am
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Posted by Remy Porter

Writing quality database code is a challenge. Most of your commands need to be expressed in SQL, which is a mildly complicated language made more complicated by minor variations across databases. Result sets often have a poor mapping to our business logic’s abstractions, especially in object-oriented languages. Thus, we have Object-Relational-Mapping tools, like Microsoft’s EntityFramework.

With an ORM, you use an object-oriented approach to fetching your objects, and could write something like: IList<HJFRate> rates = db.HJFRates.where(rate=>rate.typeOfUse == typeOfUse) to return all the rows as objects. There’s no concern about SQL injections, no need to process the result set directly. While ORMs can generate poor SQL, or create really inefficient data-access patterns, their ease-of-use is a big selling point.

Which is why Bob Zim was surprised to find this EntityFramework code in a C# web-service:

public ActionResult GetHJFUseTypeInfo(string HJFtypeOfUse)
{
    String query = "SELECT * FROM [dbo].[HJFFeeRateSchedule] u WHERE u.typeOfUse ='" + HJFtypeOfUse + "'";
    System.Data.Entity.Infrastructure.DbSqlQuery<HJFFeeRateSchedule> selectedUse = 
        db.HJFRates.SqlQuery(query);

    string TypeOfUse;
    decimal unitValue2016;
    decimal unitValue2017;

    TypeOfUse = selectedUse.FirstOrDefault().TypeOfUse;
    unitValue2016 = selectedUse.First().FieldUnitValueRate2016;
    unitValue2017 = selectedUse.First().FieldUnitValueRate2017;

    List<decimal> HJFUseTypeValues = new List<decimal>();
    HJFUseTypeValues.Add(unitValue2016);
    HJFUseTypeValues.Add(unitValue2017);

    return Json(HJFUseTypeValues, JsonRequestBehavior.AllowGet);
}

Pretty much everything here is completely wrong. The obvious issue, blinking like a neon sign, is the obvious SQL injection vulnerability. A vulnerability that, as implied by my “ORM 101” segment above, is completely unnecessary.

Keep in mind, further, that selectedUse is a query, not a data object. Each call to .First() re-executes the query, meaning this takes three round trips to the database. Also, mixing .First() (return the first result or error if there isn’t one) and .FirstOrDefault() (return the first result or a safe default value, typically null) is a bizarre choice.

Then, of course, we actually return the data, not as an object, but as an array of decimal values. Judging from the names of some of these fields, it looks like this code may have to change in 2018.

It’s a lot of bad to cram into one handler for an HTTP request, which brings us to our last problem with this code: controllers shouldn’t be doing data access directly. Normally, breaking that rule is worthy of a slap on the wrist, but in the context of this pile of everything is wrong, it might as well be brought up.

Bob adds:

This code was written by the senior dev on the project as well. He doesn’t work here anymore so I can’t ask him what his reasoning was.. but I did send him an email with the text “WHY!?!?!?” and a screenshot of this code. No response.

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Posted by Orlygg Jafnakol


From time to time, we have the opportunity to glimpse something that could have been. Unreleased models, artwork and occassionally whole games themselves. Some of these games survive as mere mentions, ghosts on the page, such as Richard Halliwell's Lustria campaign or Blood for the Blood God supplement for Warhammer. Others have lain lanquished and forgotten, only to be rediscovered and enjoyed once more, as with the Bolt Thrower or Bust game I blogged about last year. 

Chivalry was one of those lost games, only one that existed as a simple card game published in White Dwarf 130 in October 1990. There were always rumours and suspicions of more, especially when the enthusiast reads back through the original article, and I quote: "As some of you will know, we have been working on a new Warhammer game called Chivalry. It is quite a departure for us because, rather than being set in our own game universe of the Warhammer World, it takes place in the wholly historical setting of the fourteenth century, complete with knights, retainers, peasants and all the bloody trappings of medieval warfare." 

Flicking through copies of White Dwarf from this era, it is obvious that something was certainly afoot. The Perry's produced a stunning range of medieval miniatures (labelled Bretonians, though clearly purely historical models) which saw considerable coverage in the magazine, with painting and iconography guides being published. Several works of art appeared baring a discernibly historical tone and a couple of beautiful Pery dioramas captured our imaginations with their gritty realism and bright, intricate heraldry. As David Frost used to say on 'Through the Key Hole' - "the clues are there!" 

Over the years, former Games Workshop illuminati have also briefly mentioned Chivalry and shared what they could remember of the project. 

Graeme Davis: I remember the Chivalry card game, though nothing really beyond the fact of its existence. I also remember that someone (the Perrys, I think) was working on a jousting game at some point between 1986 and 1989, but nothing beyond that. I don't think the game got any further than Bob Naismith's Tower of Screaming Death. I'm pretty sure that was Nigel Stillman's Bretonnia book, so Bretonnia wasn't really on the radar at the Design Studio at that time. 
Quoted from comment made on RoC80s in November 2014

Rick Priestley: The Chivalry game was actually written up and developed by Nigel Stillman - based on an idea from Bryan Ansell - and utilising a range of models developed by the Perrys. So, yes Alan and Michael were involved - and did contribute to the game - but it was Nigel who worked up the game and Bryan had the 'vision' for it. In fact it was many games interlocked - with an overarching dynasty building game behind it - as I remember. There was a jousting system I think - and a man to man combat game that was based on cards - which I think I had a hand in. I remember playing it with the Perrys on the train down to Salute! 

Just one of the very many things that were worked on and adandoned back in the day. 
Taken from a Facebook conversation about the game 'Chivalry'. March 2015

The card game is well known, and I have blogged about its several times. I too, have pleasant memories of playing the game on long journeys (to and from school) and incorporating it into a WFRP campaign, complete with the PCs mimmicking the poses with plastic swords everytime a combat was played out. Very entertaining I can tell you! Over the years, I have met many an enthusiast who has fond memories of the game, with most of them recalling the more amusing 'distract' and 'boot' cards with oblivious relish. In 2013 some Oldhammer chaps utilised the card system in a Robin Hood inspired game and the Grognard's Grognard, Harry Howells, shared his thoughts about their implications. 

Harry Howells: Everytime any two characters got into a fight we used the cards to resolve it. It played pretty well, although sometimes it could drag on a bit waiting for someone to get the upper hand. But a perfect bit of fun to add to a narrative game. We didn't worry about the weapons they were actually using. I always thought it looked good... it took me all these years to make any use of it, but I was really glad I gave it a go. It made the character fights between Robin and Guy more 'cinematic' as the advantage passed backwards and forwards and there were lots of opportunities for Errol Flynn style banter... "Not so fast, Guy!" and "Take that you saxon scum!" 

This would have otherwise have been lost in a simple roll of a dice. I would certainly use it again. 

Now, if you have got to this point in this article and you are thinking - what on earth are these Chivalry cards everyone keeps banging on about? Let me illuminate you with a couple of photographs. If you are looking for some scans of the cards themselves, then look here for some slightly blurry examples that are fairly straightforwards to print out, trim and get into the action with. 



What we have covered so far is all that was published for the Chivalry game, and for some 'was' the Chivalry game, but for years I'd been fascinated by what the rest of the game would have been like. Last month, I was chatting to Bryan Ansell and Tony Ackland at the fifth Oldhammer Weekend when out of the corner of my eye I saw a battered, plastic boxfile wedged under several pieces of original GW artwork. It was unremarkable and unassuming really, just another piece of stationary save for the word 'CHIVALRY' scrawled in permanent pen across the front. 

You can imagine my excitement was palpable when I asked them about it! I was even more jibilant when Bryan told me it was all that was left of the Chivalry project and that I was free to borrow it for further study! By now you have probably realised that the image I began this artcile with is a conceit. I crafted it on my computer but it is funny how that old 'Bretonian' painting that appeared in White Dwarf seems to make the perfect frontispiece for a rulebook - it makes me wonder if this image was indeed intended to grace the cover of Chivalry. 

Obviously, the game was never published and Bryan's manuscript is very much a manuscript, complete with scrawled and slightly illegible annotations in blue pencil. 

Here's the front page.


The historical background to the fourteenth sets the perfect stage for everything from small scale raids and skirmishes, to pitched battles as well as the proving grounds of the melee and joust. The overview to Chivalry explains Feudal obligation and uses as a context to hang a campaign on, including the role of the king attempting to prevent any single baron becoming too powerful. There are a huge number of different ideas here, far too many to cover in a single post like this, and some of the content is fragmentary at best. As Bryan explained; 'we never finished it'. But a great deal of material has survived, including detailed rules for tournaments and baronial conflict. 


Though art is mentioned in the manuscript, much of it is obviously missing - with some of it no doubt making it into the pages of White Dwarf. On other pages are some wonderful illustrations of mounted knights, though whether any of these were intended for publication I do not yet know. However, it is clear that the campaign game was a card based affair and that 'Chivalry' can be best described as a series of games within a game, miniature wargaming being just a part, just as Rick Priestley recalled. 


The campaign seems to have had a strong RPG flavour with a number of components indicating that the baronial characters would have experienced positive and negative events in life, including marriage - which I guess can go either way! Flicking through the pages that survive gives me the impression that character progression would have been a considerable part of the game and can well imagine the fun you would have leading a lowly knight from the tournaments to wielding considerable power along the way. With a multiplayer campaign, there would have been plenty of scope for skullduggery and deception too. 


Some of the cards were printed to become test pieces, like these campaign maps that appear similar in style to Mighty Empires. If you look closely you will notice a few admendments made in tipex or some other white out material - a relic of the time before desktop publishing was a breeze. The cards are interchangable and can be used to make inumerable combinations for play. 

A question now needs to be asked. What can be done with a 'used' unpublished game? I am lucky enough to be custodian of the document for a while, and will return it to the Ansell family archive in October when I take part in Night of the Living Lead. Between then and now I intend to scan the entire document in high definition for posterity but I am really tempted to do more... 

Perhaps, even have a go at finishing the game and trying it out at next year's Oldhammer Weekend! Looking at what survives in the document, I can imagine a project like this would consist of three phases:

1) Tweaking the Chivalry card game rules to develop a narrative based tournement ruleset for battling knights, including some additional campaign rules - think Chaos Warbands aka Slaves to Darkness only for knights. 

2) Complete the Chivalry card game rules for jousting, which are sadly mostly missing. This could eventually be incorporated into the Melee game in phase 1. 

3) Edit and play the full campaign game in a series of events to simulate baronial conflict circa AD 1300, recruiting some suitably bloodthirsty Oldhammerers to slug it out to victory. This would include a Mighty Empires style map, cards and small and large scale battles. 

Expect to see more about this discovery in the coming weeks, and some of my progress on Phase 1 of this project. I just need to get hold of a couple of suitable knights, real and miniature. 

Orlygg
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Posted by Polar_Bear

Many of my gaming friends have kids that are just starting to get to the age where they’re wondering about all these cool games that their parents are playing. But many games are a bit more complex than your average 6yr old can really manage. Thankfully, there’s an ever-growing catalog of games designed specifically to bring new gamers into the fold, as well as be interesting enough to keep veteran players engaged. That’s what Gauntlets & Goblins looks to do. The fantasy RPG is up on Kickstarter now.

From the campaign:

Gauntlets & Goblins is the result of my nephew’s desire to play the kind of games that mommy, daddy, and his uncle played. I took the concepts of conventional RPGs and boiled them down to the absolute simplest form. As a result, G&G has all the essence of a full fledged experience in a package that a six year old can understand.

Gameplay: We use cards and symbols to make the game as manageable as possible for young players. Dice mechanics are simple, roll a set amount and count your successes. Spellcasting is a breeze with easy to grasp, conceptual spells like fly, enlarge, or disguise. Combat is engaging and exciting, but not overly threatening. If you run out of heart cards, you just fall down until it’s over.

The Kickstarter campaign is up and running now. It’s set to go for another 25 days.

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Posted by Polar_Bear

Spartan Games is looking to massively expand their Firestorm Armada range. They have launched a Kickstarter campaign in order to do just that. The project contains a couple different 2-player starts (and we all know how much I love those), a 3.0 set of rules, as well as core faction expansions and other goodies. Whether you’re a veteran captain or a rookie ensign, there’s a bit of everything for you.

From the campaign:

Our Firestorm Expansion is based around several key products, all directly correlating to important data we collected from a survey of Firestorm players. This feedback has allowed us to tailor this Kickstarter campaign to directly meet the needs of existing Firestorm players, and gives us the opportunity to introduce many new players to the exciting Firestorm Galaxy via our new 2-player Starter Set.

We have created a number of new products which we feel are perfect for new gamers coming to the Firestorm Galaxy for the first time. Products such as our 2-player Starter Set, latest Firestorm Armada Rulebook and so on. To add to that there are Core Faction Expansion Sets to allow existing players to expand their fleets too!

The Kickstarter campaign is about 5/6 funded with still 25 days left to go.

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Posted by Polar_Bear

If there’s a game that lets you go just about anywhere and do just about anything, it’s Rifts from Palladium. It’s well-known that players can dimension-hop all over everywhere. With such an open ability to travel, there’s countless potential destinations. One such is the Mythical Lost City of Atlanta…. err, I mean, Atlantis. (That just raises further questions!)
Palladium has a new sourcebook talking all about this race of sub-mariners.

From the announcement:

Rifts® Secrets of the Atlanteans™ is one of those epic sourcebooks with ideas on every page and packed with all kinds of useful and fun information about True Atlanteans, Tattoo Magic, Stone Pyramids, Crystal Magic, Shadow Magic, Atlantean clans, the Sunaj, new Atlantean O.C.C.s, old O.C.C.s revisited, the Shadow Dimension and its monstrous inhabitants, and more. And there are many secrets revealed. Please take a look at the free preview on DriveThruRPG.com for more details and a few choice glimpses of what you can expect. 224 pages, $24.95 retail.

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Posted by Polar_Bear

Though many of us think of grand battles such as Waterloo or the sieges of Vienna when it comes to conflicts from a couple hundred years ago, truth is that there were countless little skirmishes between warring factions during those larger campaigns. Studio Capitan feels that those, too, should be able to be recreated on the battlefield. As such, they’ve released Company Commander, a new set of skirmish rules for historical battles.

From the announcement:

Now is time, as Company Commander to make your assessment of Studio Capitan’s COMPANY COMMANDER wargames rules. They are designed for games between small units of men such as reconnaissance patrols, convoy escorts, intelligence missions, border attacks, and other missions given to small groups of selected troops. The actions of small groups of soldiers and the direct commands of their officers are the most important aspects of play. The system simulates the frantic rhythm of an encounter. The “human factors” of individual initiative, speed and leadership are worth more than the grand tactics of larger battles.

These are small-scale rules at Company level that provide for close order as well as skirmish action, designed to play with 15mm miniatures with no rebasing needed – make use of your Napoleonic, Marlburian or Seven year wars Armies, and play small scale actions…. No rebasing needed…. Or make a brand new Army for the game… (Rules include conversions for paying in other scales as 28mm, 10mm…)

This edition includes Napoleonic & 1st Carlist Wars Armies lists. In the near future, we will Release Company Commander (Loss of Empire) an adaptation of the rules to play the Colonial Wars, second half of the XIX century and pre WWI wars….

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Podcast Roundup

Aug. 15th, 2017 06:00 pm
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Posted by Polar_Bear

Many of you out there will be traveling via planes, trains, and automobiles towards Indianapolis over the next couple days (or you’re on your way now). Well, for those long hours as the Earth moves beneath you at a rapid rate of speed, you’ll need something to make that time go by. I might suggest some gaming podcasts. Which ones? Maybe these…

This week we have: Game Classy 143: Top sellers from a couple months ago!; Meeples & Miniatures Episode 224: Forager; Epic Gaming Night Podcast Episode 118: Gencon Preview!; The Cardboard Herald Episode 40: Dr. Gordon Hamilton, designer of Santorini; SAGA THORSDAY Episode 50: Battle Report – Anglo-Danes vs Jomsvikings; and Plan of ATK! Episode 9.

Game Classy 143: Top sellers from a couple months ago!

The boys talk top selling games for last quarter, a kickstarter update, and which is better, The Prequels or The Hobbit.

Meeples & Miniatures Episode 224: Forager

The Meeples & Miniatures crew get together once again to talk about what they have been up to, which this week includes Conan, Dungeon Saga, Lion Rampant, Lord of the Rings miniatures and I Ain’t Been Shot Mum

For the feature part of our show, we chat with rules author Adrian McWalter about his upcoming Napoleonic skirmish rules – Forager – which launch on Kickstarter on the 18th August 2017

We hope you enjoy the show.

Epic Gaming Night Podcast Episode 118: Gencon Preview!

Roy & Rob take a look at the new game coming out at Gencon 2017! Also they talk about the new Fall out game from FFG!

The Cardboard Herald Episode 40: Dr. Gordon Hamilton, designer of Santorini

Jack talks with Gord! designer of Santorini and the brain behind Math Pickle. Gordon talks about his proudest achievements in life, the importance of mathematics AND gaming in a child’s education, and the long and storied history of Santorini coming into publication. This episode wraps up my coverage of Dice Tower Con 2017. Special thanks to Chris Douglas and The Death Force for their instrumental track “Barbecue Rag” to exit the show.

SAGA THORSDAY Episode 50: Battle Report – Anglo-Danes vs Jomsvikings

Rodge here, aka the Wisco Horndog. Welcome to SAGA THORSDAY – your weekly source for Saga the miniatures game content!

This week is a battle report between my Anglo-Danes and Aaron’s Jomsvikings.

Plan of ATK! Episode 9

The episode begins with discussion of Simon’s Best Minis Game ever, a massive Horus Heresy game played with old friends earlier in the month. Laurie talks up her shop and bemoans her lack of painting time. News features the requisite 40k discussion and a number of interesting Kickstarters and upcoming minis peripherals. Simon and Laurie are joined by special guest, John Demaris of Muse on Minis who has much to say about his own journey from competitive play, to podcast emperor, to laser cut tokens and terrain entrepreneur. Simon reviews the new Codex Adeptus Astartes Space Marines, and the episode concludes with off topic rambling about Ozark and other things.

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Posted by Polar_Bear

Even the dead hate to simply walk their way into battle. And what’s a horse to do after it’s been put out to pasture and, well… passed? Their glory days can be relived during the nightmare life of an undead cavalry horse. That’s just what will be galloping their way to Runewars tabletops soon. Fantasy Flight Games has posted up a preview.

From the post:

Among of the most renowned and feared of the forces of Waiqar the Undying are the infamous Death Knights—a unit of undead veteran warriors mounted upon vampiric steeds born from the Mistlands. Death Knights are dangerous foes of the living, their tormented spirits overcome with an intense jealousy for the free will of mortals. To many Death Knights, the act of slaughter is more than just obeying orders—it is the only way they can express their hatred for those not cursed with undeath.

Before you unleash your deadly forces upon the world of Terrinoth, Fantasy Flight Games offers you a closer look at the Death Knights Unit Expansion for Runewars Miniatures Game!

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Who you gonna call?
Well, I’m kinda hungry, so I was thinking about calling for a pizza. But if it’s rivers of pink slime that causes people to go crazy, or paintings taking over people, you might just want to call the Ghostbusters. And you’ll be able to soon, as Cryptozoic has announced that they are coming out with Ghostbusters: the Board Game II.

From the announcement:

GHOSTBUSTERS: THE BOARD GAME II is ready to take retail stores around the world by storm!

Building on its highly-regarded predecessor, this massive stand-alone expansion has 1-4 players taking on the roles of the Ghostbusters as they investigate the Mood Slime that has flooded the city, causing earthquakes and riots in an attempt to bring Vigo and his minions back. Inspired by the Ghostbusters movies, comics, and toylines, the Campaigns have you taking on the Scoleri brothers, riding the Statue of Liberty, and battling through Vigo’s Ghost army. The numerous new Ghosts, enemy types, and Bosses will make busting an exhilarating challenge!

There are many exciting new gameplay elements that add loads of complexity and fun. Equipment Cards offer an array powerful of Weapons, devious Traps, magical Tomes, and helpful Utilities that you’ll need to use to win. As you level up your Ghostbusters, the updated Character Cards will show you what you’ve unlocked, including abilities, Class-S Equipment, and use of the Ecto-1a’s Ecto-Tank. The Ecto-Tank is a fresh piece of technology installed in the Ghostbusters’ favorite ride that recycles negative Mood Slime into rule-bending bonuses!

The game features highly-detailed figures based on original designs by Dan Schoening and an original story by Erik Burnham, both veterans of IDW’s Ghostbusters comic book series. Each Ghostbuster has two figures that you can switch between during gameplay—a Proton Pack version and Slime Blower Pack version—depending on the supernatural adversaries you’re trying to trap.

All these new features add up to an exciting adventure across three Campaigns, totaling 12 scenarios! Each playthrough of GHOSTBUSTERS: THE BOARD GAME II is absolutely unique: The Equipment you recover, Events you tackle, and tactics you learn are never the same twice!

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Osprey Games Posts Gen Con Plans

Aug. 15th, 2017 04:00 pm
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Posted by Polar_Bear

Osprey Games is one of the hundreds of vendors that’ll be here in Indy this week for Gen Con. They’re going to have some new pre-releases available at their booth, as well as a chance to meet some of the game designers. Check it out.

The Eagerly Anticipated Update to Martin Wallace’s Classic Game

This new edition features a brand-new map and revised rules specifically designed for two players. Grow your city through the decades, as you vie to become an icon of London.

Samurai Gardener is a quick, fun game of snatching the best cards as fast as you can, then carefully deciding how to add them to your garden to make it the most pleasing to the Emperor.

A new series in the bestselling skirmish wargaming world of Frostgrave. Fight your opponents to claim the Ghost Archipelago’s treasure and magic on this mysterious island chain filled with the legacies of ancient civilizations, deadly beasts, and riches beyond reckoning.

Osprey Website

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Posted by Polar_Bear

Catalyst Game Labs has announced that they have acquired the license to make tabletop games based on the Master of Orion computer game universe. Their first game as part of that series will be a deck-building game called Master of Orion: Conquest. But that is only the beginning of what they have planned.

From the announcement:

The original Master of Orion (MoO) computer game released in 1993, creating the 4X video game genre and capturing the attention of strategy loving gamers for over 30 years. The Master of Orion series has been featured on numerous “greatest games of all time” lists; several retrospective reviews from such established gaming media sites as GameSpot and IGN regard MoO as the standard by which turn based strategy games set in space are judged.

This iconic series was most recently rebooted by WG Labs as Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars—featuring immersive gameplay and garnering a nomination for the 34th Annual Golden Joystick Awards 2016 PC Game of the Year.

Now tabletop gamers can also “Conquer the Stars” as Catalyst Game Labs has inked a deal to publish a stellar series of games based in the storied Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars universe. First to arrive will be the galaxy crushing dueling deckbuilder: Master of Orion: Conquest.

“WG is proud to partner with Catalyst Game Labs to deliver the universe of Master of Orion to tabletop gamers with the first product; the Master of Orion: Conquest dueling deckbuilder game,” stated Michael Buonagurio of WG Labs. “The wealth of experience Catalyst brings to the project will now deliver this venerable and loved video game to a new audience of gaming communities.”

“Anyone who has ever lost a large piece of their soul to a 4x game understands their appeal,” said Loren Coleman, Owner of Catalyst Game Labs. “And Master of Orion rates among the best. Focusing on fleet engagements, Conquest brings X-termination to the fore!”

Be among the first to experience Master of Orion: Conquest this weekend at Gen Con 2017 in Indianapolis, Indiana! Make your way to the Catalyst Game Labs booth at Hall H, Booths 1611 & 1703 and get ready to battle for galactic domination…one killer deck at a time.

If that weren’t exciting enough, every game includes a code that allows you to receive the Revenge of Antares Race Pack for free if you purchase Master of Orion: Conquer the Stars!

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Posted by Polar_Bear

Soda Pop Miniatures loves to do crossovers. They look to their other properties, as well as other popular games and integrate them into their games. It’s cool to see characters you love from one game making their way into others. In this case, they have started taking pre-orders for the Twilight Knight from Kingdom Death, as well as Takoashi schoolgirls as characters for Super Dungeon Explore.

From the announcements:

The adventurous girls of Takoashi have barely gotten into summer, and already they want to go back to school! Schooling monsters that is! These adventurous ladies come fully equipped, complete with hero card, cast in luxurious resin. Available for pre-order now, or you can stop by and see us at Gencon, booth #2827, and get yours then.

Soda Pop Miniatures, in partnership with Kingdom Death, present this re-sculpted and remastered Twilight Knight for Super Dungeon Explore. This miniature is re-sculpted from the ground up, with decorative base, cast in high quality resin. Updated 2.0 Super Dungeon Hero card included. Pre-orders are going up now, and will only be available on shows, and direct from our store.

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Posted by Polar_Bear

I have a degree in history. I made quite a study of various ancient civilizations, as well as saw just the general flow of history. Of course, with the knowledge of what has happened, it’s easy to look back and go, “Man… I sooo would’ve done that differently!” Well, that’s what you get to do in Sid Meier’s Civilization: A New Dawn, a new game in the vaunted game series. Will you make the world better, or just conquer everything you can get your hands on?

From the announcement:

Sid Meier’s Civilization: A New Dawn is a strategy board game in which two to four players act as the rulers of history’s most memorable empires. Over the course of the game, players will expand their domains, gain new technologies, and build many of humanity’s greatest wonders. In the end, one nation will rise above all others to leave its indelible mark upon history.

This new game presents players with an undiscovered country to conquer, built from beautifully illustrated map tiles. These would-be conquerors construct and populate the map with barbarians, natural resources, and city-states, then formulate their plans for how they will shape this world to their vision. Their exact goals, however, change with each game. Agendas are detailed on victory cards, three of which are drawn during set up. Players race to become the first to accomplish one agenda on each of these victory cards, spreading throughout the world and ensuring their civilization’s place as the greatest world power.

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Posted by Polar_Bear

We’re halfway through August, the most gaming of months. Seems like a pretty good time to have your latest releases available. And that’s just what Mierce Miniatures has. You can go pick up their latest Darklands offerings over in their webshop.

From them to you:

We’re keeping up the release frequency with another thirteen of them for Darklands in August – but that’s a bit misleading, as there’s actually thirty-three different items you can buy from this load, including monsters, infantry units, starter hosts and nobles!

We’re expanding the Atalantes greatly this month with a noble (Hektor), a unit of infantry (the Oplites) and a beastie (Dynatos, a giant bronze bull). The Érainn gain a warlord in the rather chubby shape of Rudraige the Fat and an even chubbier monstrous infantry unit, the Fir Bholg Hurlers; three new nobles for the Jutes, Ætulla, Bareheaded Ætulla and Wihtwald; a monster for the Khthones in the sail-backed shape of Iskarnos; a unit of infantry for the Vras (finally giving Quick-Blade some mates), the Spear-Vras; Danilo Cruz on horse, a sell-sword able to kill monsters rather easily; a new starter host for the Ysians, the Great Club Brute Starter Host, and a monster for them too, the awesome Conjunct X. There’s some superb miniatures in there!

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OK Google, be aesthetically pleasing

Aug. 15th, 2017 01:02 pm
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Posted by Alex Bate

Maker Andrew Jones took a Raspberry Pi and the Google Assistant SDK and created a gorgeous-looking, and highly functional, alternative to store-bought smart speakers.

Raspberry Pi Google AI Assistant

In this video I get an “Ok Google” voice activated AI assistant running on a raspberry pi. I also hand make a nice wooden box for it to live in.

OK Google, what are you?

Google Assistant is software of the same ilk as Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri and Microsoft’s Cortana. It’s a virtual assistant that allows you to request information, play audio, and control smart home devices via voice commands.

Infinite Looping Siri, Alexa and Google Home

One can barely see the iPhone’s screen. That’s because I have a privacy protection screen. Sorry, did not check the camera angle. Learn how to create your own loop, why we put Cortana out of the loop, and how to train Siri to an artificial voice: https://www.danrl.com/2016/12/01/looping-ais-siri-alexa-google-home.html

You probably have a digital assistant on your mobile phone, and if you go to the home of someone even mildly tech-savvy, you may see a device awaiting commands via a wake word such the device’s name or, for the Google Assistant, the phrase “OK, Google”.

Homebrew versions

Understanding the maker need to ‘put tech into stuff’ and upgrade everyday objects into everyday objects 2.0, the creators of these virtual assistants have allowed access for developers to run their software on devices such as the Raspberry Pi. This means that your common-or-garden homemade robot can now be controlled via voice, and your shed-built home automation system can have easy-to-use internet connectivity via a reliable, multi-device platform.

Andrew’s Google Assistant build

Andrew gives a peerless explanation of how the Google Assistant works:

There’s Google’s Cloud. You log into Google’s Cloud and you do a bunch of cloud configuration cloud stuff. And then on the Raspberry Pi you install some Python software and you do a bunch of configuration. And then the cloud and the Pi talk the clouds kitten rainbow protocol and then you get a Google AI assistant.

It all makes perfect sense. Though for more extra detail, you could always head directly to Google.

Andrew Jones Raspberry Pi OK Google Assistant

I couldn’t have explained it better myself

Andrew decided to take his Google Assistant-enabled Raspberry Pi and create a new body for it. One that was more aesthetically pleasing than the standard Pi-inna-box. After wiring his build and cannibalising some speakers and a microphone, he created a sleek, wooden body that would sit quite comfortably in any Bang & Olufsen shop window.

Find the entire build tutorial on Instructables.

Make your own

It’s more straightforward than Andrew’s explanation suggests, we promise! And with an array of useful resources online, you should be able to incorporate your choice of virtual assistants into your build.

There’s The Raspberry Pi Guy’s tutorial on setting up Amazon Alexa on the Raspberry Pi. If you’re looking to use Siri on your Pi, YouTube has a plethora of tutorials waiting for you. And lastly, check out Microsoft’s site for using Cortana on the Pi!

If you’re looking for more information on Google Assistant, check out issue 57 of The MagPi Magazine, free to download as a PDF. The print edition of this issue came with a free AIY Projects Voice Kit, and you can sign up for The MagPi newsletter to be the first to know about the kit’s availability for purchase.

The post OK Google, be aesthetically pleasing appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

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Posted by Polar_Bear

Shades of Vengeance’s last Kickstarter campaign was to create a bunch of expansions for Era: The Consortium. It was successful and the game got quite a huge boost in terms of material. Well, those products are now starting to be made available to a general audience. That’s in preparation for Shades’ upcoming Kickstarter this October where they will be adding even more to the game.

From the announcement:

Shades of Vengeance are releasing the unlocked expansions from their Kickstarter last October in preparation for their Kickstarter this October!

Get The Secret War, A New Dawn, Rapier, Revival and The Fifth Race for the first time!

Shades of Vengeance on DriveThruRPG

Modiphius Posts Gen Con Plans

Aug. 15th, 2017 01:00 pm
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Posted by Polar_Bear

I’m here in Indy, ready for Gen Con. Ok, so not quite actually ready for Gen Con yet. But I’m closer to ready than I was yesterday and the day before. Anyway, other companies are also filtering in and about to get things set up. That includes Modiphius, who has posted their Gen Con plans.

What they’ll have at the show:

Modiphius Entertainment, award-winning publisher of the Star Trek Adventures, Achtung! Cthulhu, Mutant Chronicles, Conan, Infinity and John Carter of Mars roleplaying games, announces today the line-up of activities planned for the historic Gen Con 50 convention (August 17 – 20, Indianapolis), including the launch of the highly anticipated Star Trek Adventures: The Roleplaying Game, the first new Star Trek RPG to release in more than a decade.

With an all-star design team behind the bridge, Star Trek Adventures uses the Modiphius 2d20 game system (Mutant Chronicles, Infinity, Conan, John Carter of Mars) designed by Jay Little (Star Wars: Edge of the Empire, X-Wing Miniatures Game). The accompanying Star Trek miniatures line features 32mm-heroic scale resin figures of classic Star Trek characters and crews, landing parties and away teams, all of which will be on display at Gen Con. Attendees will be able to purchase the Star Trek Adventures core rulebook, along with custom Q-Workshop Star Trek Adventures dice, at the Modiphius booth in the Gen Con exhibit hall (2461).

Attendees of Gen Con will also be among the first with an opportunity to demo the forthcoming Fallout: Wasteland Warfare miniatures wargame and preview select miniatures. Set to release in December 2017, Fallout: Wasteland Warfare puts players in the midst of the apocalypse with the stories from the video game franchise, as well as unique random missions with narrative-style objectives, played out with high-detail 32mm heroic-scale miniatures, including iconic characters, factions, creatures, robots, scenery and settlement buildings from the Fallout universe.

Attendees will also be able to pick-up the Thunderbirds cooperative board game for only $20, available at the Modiphius booth with the special voucher from the Gen Con coupon book.

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IDW Games Posts Gen Con Preview

Aug. 15th, 2017 12:30 pm
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Posted by Polar_Bear

One of the companies that ends up with a lot of really cool licenses for games is IDW. They’ve got several rather popular IPs that they’re working on games for and they’ll have them here at Gen Con this week for you to check out. There’s sci-fi. There’s fantasy. There’s card games, board games, dice games. Just a bit of everything, really.

From the post:

We are excited for GenCon’s 50th Anniversary and looking forward to showing off and demoing a lot of anticipated games at our Booth #154. We have been working with some great designers and artists to bring an excellent line-up of tabletop games to the show. Along with that, multiple game designers will be running events of their games, giveaways at the booth and early previews of our new games too. Here is a look at what IDW Games and partners will be showing this year at GenCon 50.

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Posted by Polar_Bear

Mere days away, attendees here at Gen Con will be able to get their hands on the new version of Legend of the Five Rings from Fantasy Flight Games. But there’s still previews to be had. In this case, it’s the Scorpion Clan.
Makes me want to watch Five Deadly Venoms.

From the preview:

The Scorpion best those who oppose them not through physical might, but through shame and sabotage.

This is exemplified by Way of the Scorpion (Core Set, 185), a card that doesn’t provide a bonus to you, but instead dishonors an opponent’s non-Scorpion character during a conflict, potentially lowering their skills and forcing your opponent to lose an honor when that character leaves the field.
Yogo Hiroue (Core Set, 106) already excels in winning political conflicts with four political skill, but as an action can also bring a character into a conflict he is participating in and dishonor them if you win the conflict. Not only does this force a character into a conflict they may not be optimal in, the additional dishonor ensures they are left in a poor state, and bowed at that.

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Cut Short

Aug. 15th, 2017 10:30 am
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Posted by Charles Robinson

Marcus worked on a small networking team responsible for keeping a series of UK-based garages interconnected with the world-wide web. Seymour, the Team Leader (in title only), knew far less about networking than Marcus, but that didn't stop him from acting like the big shot. Seymour was working a cash register at the original garage several years ago when the owner asked him, "You're a young guy, right? That means you know how the internet works. What can we do to make this place internet-friendly?" After taking a Networking 101 course, Seymour managed to get the garage online, when enabled it to monitor gas prices and perform credit card transactions. This made Seymour a hero to the owner, and earned him the title, "Networking Team Leader" before he even had a team.

Eventually the garage grew from a single location into a chain. When each new location opened, Seymour made it "internet-friendly", using the same techniques he learned at the original store, which usually involved sloppy cable runs and the cheapest router he could buy. When it came time to do more than just have the ISP arrive to show where Seymour to plug in the network cable, he was completely lost. Having multiple locations networked together was really advanced stuff, so he convinced the owner to hire some help.

Enter Marcus, who was willing to be hired on as Seymour's subordinate while realizing he would be the de facto brains of the networking team. It didn't take long for Marcus to realize he had his work cut out for him to get things in order. There were several hack-y solutions put in place that Marcus was able to improve upon, but in the end he got no credit for it because Seymour was there to take the accolades.

People gawking at a cabling horror, which is just one of the stranger pictures I've stumbled across on Creative Commons
CC BY-SA 3.0, Link

Seymour's technical knowledge was only matched by his work ethic. He enjoyed leaving their humble office two hours early to perform things like phantom "receipt printer connectivity troubleshooting" at an undisclosed garage location. Marcus knew he was really just heading to the pub but didn't say anything because it was better without Seymour around.

One Friday, a call came in that a garage's network connection kept dropping. Seymour surprisingly volunteered, leaving out the detail that it was next to his favorite watering hole, the "Bee and Barb". "I'm on it!" he said, springing up and grabbing his coat. "Have a good weekend, Marcus. Don't work too hard!"

Marcus rolled his eyes and went back to work. An hour later he got a frantic call from Seymour. "Marcus! I need you to get over here, stat! Bring the network cabling toolkit, I forgot it there. This place has some bad cabling, I don't know who has been touching it, but it's a disaster! Oh, and I won't be here when you arrive. I, uhh, got another call, I need to go!"

Marcus knew Seymour volunteering to work on something on a Friday afternoon was too good to be true. On the way to the garage, he just happened to spot Seymour's car outside the "Bee and Barb". Maybe he could at least get a free pint out of Seymour after he fixed this network cable.

Marcus went in the front door and asked the clerk if someone fitting Seymour's description had been working on the internet cabling and where to find it. "Sure was. It seemed like a struggle. He kept cutting bits of it off and using profanity. Eventually he stormed off and just left it hanging there," the clerk motioned towards the back corner, where bits of blue cable were strewn around a disconnected router.

He followed the trail of shredded cabling to just behind a large, difficult to move store display. There he spotted a tiny 1.5cm nub of network cable sticking out from behind the display. Beside them was a forgotten crimping tool, and discarded 8P8C connectors. Obviously, Seymour had been screwing up with fixing the cable. With each failed crimp, he would cut off a section and start over. He had botched it so many times that this was all that was left for Marcus to work with.

Marcus knew he only had 1 shot to put a new end on this cable before it would become necessary to run a new one- alone, and with a gigantic store display to be moved. With the deliberate care one would use to disarm a bomb, Marcus managed to crimp a new end on to the cable and jam it in to the router as it hung close to the wall. The garage's internet was restored. Marcus quickly packed up and walked on over to the pub, where he planned to confront Seymour over a few pints.

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Posted by Orlygg Jafnakol

Two additional figures from the Wargames Foundry range - an older woman and a young man - note the 'pageboy' hair cut and the hairnet!
A few weeks ago, I published a post about my love for the Foundry's European Bronze Age range and discussed how the 1921 discovery of the Egtved Girl came to inspire Michael Perry's sculpting. She certainly inspired me too, and I have continued to work on this seemingly unpopular, but excellent range, as you can see! 

This time we are going to have a closer look at the garments worn by people in North West Europe around 1600 BC, as illustrated by these two wonderful character figures. I like to think that these represent the Egtved girl's family; perhaps her parents or siblings and that they inhabit the same village or environment. Roleplaying is possible in Europe's distant past, see? Though as we will find, these two additional figures may be more closely matched to each other than I originally thought. 

So what do we know of the people who inhabited this sceptred isle three and a half millenia ago? The first thing you need to forget is the concept of the nation state. Modern views of nationality and regional identification didn't really develop into the form we recognise today until the end of the 18th century. People were tribal for sure, but where one tribe began and another ended is now largely lost to us. 

Here, in what would one day be called England, population density seems to increase significantly from the Neolithic period, with smaller family clans gradually morphing into settled, larger communities. Some scholars have even suggested that the total population of the British Isles (that includes Eire, remember modern geo-politics don't apply here) could have reached 1,000,000 by 2000 BC. 

Image result for bronze age clothes denmark
Ye Olde illustration of Bronze Age costume inspired by the Danish oak coffin finds. Again, note the hairnet and rounded hats, both present on Michael Perry's models. 
The reasons behind this population increase are hotly debated by prehistorians to this day, but the general consensus is that farming practices developed rapidly and this resulted in a more substainable food source. As the population grew, there were more people to work the land and in turn generate further produce. Environmental archaeology, particularly the discipline of palaeoethnobotany, has provided evidence to suggest that these growing populations cleared large areas of forest to develop the first field systems. Occasionally, these fields were enclosed with boundries, using earthworks, wooden pallisades or drystone walling, such as at the Dartmoor Reaves. Much of the woodland remained as a managed resource, with scholars arguing that around fifty-percent of forest growth had survived by the Middle Bronze age. Ancient versions of barley and wheat (remember, our crops are the result of thousands of years of manipulation: GM produce being nothing new) were harvested, alongside hay and straw to aid in animal husbandry, thatching and many other purposes, such as bedding. Malt was also cultivated, as alcoholic drinks were fermented and no doubt enjoyed in copious quanities- just like today! 

Climatology surveys suggest that the weather was probably slightly warmer in the Bronze Age, with a two degree difference on average to modern times, and this obviously effected agricultural land use, as arable farming was able to spread to moorland and upland environments. By the later Bronze Age, this weather pattern changed into the cooler, wetter variety the inhabitants of these islands are famous for enduring, and so many of these upland farms were abandoned. 

With food production no longer a day to day necessity for all, some people began to specialise in skilled activities. Evidence for metal workers, shipwrights, leather tanners and so on suggest a varied cabal of craftsmen operating throughout the Bronze Age. Despite having the name 'Bronze' in this period, stone tools were still used extensively, though their production lack the artistic finess of the Neolithic or Mesolithic periods, and any modern day search of freshly ploughed land, or even your own back gardens here in Europe, can result in the discovery of these stone relics if you know what you are looking for.

Image may contain: food
Bronze Age stone tool, discovered by the author in his garden. 
As we learnt from the Egtved Girl's teeth, travel around the European continent seemed to be a common enough occurance three and half millenia ago. Archaeological excavation has proven time and time again that there were strong trade links between the British Isles and the continent even then, with metalwork and ore (particularly tin) being shipped out and amber, jade and such being imported, and that these links were probably already well established by the Neolithic. Exotic or unusual items would have been seen as status symbols and the relative 'worth' of a item needs careful examination and avoidance of modern bias. A good contemporary example of this can be found in Ancient Egypt, where silver was deemed of greater value than gold, something that was beyond the ken of our Victorian antiquarian forebears. 

If we now return to the subject of clothing, we can understand that there is a good likelihood that textiles would have been traded and may have seen specialised production, though if we look at comparative societies in the Iron Age and Medieval periods, the production of textile was an activity carried out by women and sometimes children. Though I very much doubt that the production of textiles was a 'women-only' pastime, sewing was a skill of great importance for thousands of years, and it didn't matter if you were a queen or a milkmaid, you still spent some of your time at the loom and needlecraft was a highly valued skill. 

Though we can never know who actually made clothing in the Bronze Age, at least we have a few glimpses of how clothing was made and what these outfits looked like, largely thanks to the Danish Oak Coffin burials we touched on last time. The Egtved girl being one of the twenty so far unearthed. Hopefully, the ongoing investigations at Must Farm (nicknamed Britain's Pompeii) will reveal more in future about clothing in what would one day become England. What we do know is that clothing was mostly wool based, with a variety of weaves and more sophisticated that the animal hides worn during the Stone Age. As natural dyes were used to colour clothing, we can expect fairly drepressing shades of brown, green and dark red to have been the norm. Leather was plentiful during the Bronze Age and was probebly used extensively in clothing, and elsewhere. A shoe dated to 1420-1260 BC was found by accident in Norway in 2006, thawed from an icefield in the Jotunheimen mountains, and was found to be an equivalent size to a UK size seven. One of the shoe's seems was very well preserved and there was some indication that shoelaces were used to fasten the garment. 

Interestingly, the simple design remained in use until around AD 1600! 

Bronze Age clothes
A great reconstruction for Bronze Age clothing found at Ancient Craft, though not exactly like the outfits worn on our miniatures. 
The male miniature seems to have been based on male clothing excavated as part of a suspected family group found at Borum Eshøj. First discovered in 1871, these burials were uncovered inside a large barrow situated near Århus, the second largest city in Denmark, and weren't fully recovered until 1875. Sadly, both excavation and preservation techniques were primitive at best, with local visitors recorded as poking and proding the bodies after their removal. 

The excavations of 1871 resulted in the discover of a single grave with the body incased in a oak coffin, similar in many ways to the Egtved Girl's. Inside, lay the remains of an elderly woman. During more extensive fieldwork four years later, two further coffins were discovered and were found to contain the bodies of two men - one considerably older than the other. It has been suggested that the barrow itself was originally raised over the body of the older man, and the subsequent two further burials were added later. Dendrochronology provided a date of roughly 1350 BC for the oak coffins used, so about twenty to forty years after the Egtved Girl. 

Careful analysis of the skeletal remains, suggests that the older man had reached later middle age when he died, around fifty to sixty years while the younger male was around twenty years when he was buried. The female's age was estimated at being similar to the older man. 

The primary inhumation was very well preserved and had to be dismembered for transport to Copenhagan, as the sinews and muscles were still holding the skeleton together. His nails were well manicured and his face newly shaven, perhaps suggesting that he had been cleaned up after death as some people still do today. Like the Egtved Girl, he lay on a cow hide and was covered by a woollen blanket. He wore a wool hat, its crown round in shape, a kidney-shaped cloak, a kilt, two foot cloths and and belt. As far as I could gather, the only other item of clothing in the grave was a wooden needle, which may have been used to fasten the cloak around the neck. 

The female had a short but stocky build, and the preserved traces of muscle on her bones suggests she carried out a great deal of hard physical work. Again, her clothes are well preserved and were more numerous. A dress made from several rectangular pieces of cloth made up her dress, along with a blouse, hairnet, cap and two belts, all made from wool. She was clearly a wealthy individual, and this is reflected in the many grave-goods associated with her burial; a bronze belt plate (similar to Egtved Girl); two tutuli (ornamental bronze plates in case you were wondering), a neck ring, arm rings, spiral finger rings and a clothes pin. A ceramic vessel, a wooden box, a bronze dagger and a horn comb were also found in her coffin. 


Related image
The preserved clothing of the older male found at Borum Eshøj is practically identical to our wargames miniature's.
The younger man most closely resembles the figure shown here. He was twenty years old when he died, and again his body was well enough preserved that his muscles and other tissues were still attached to much of the skeletal remains. His hair was also very well preserved and could be described as being in the modern 'pageboy' style popular in the 1970s and with George Lucas' leading boys ever since, just check out Jake Lloyd in the Phantom Menace and you will get the general idea. Like the older man, he wore a kilt of woven wool and a kidney-shaped cloak with the obligatory belt to hold it all in. If you return to the Foundry figure you can see he is wearing one of the rounded hats on his head, similar to the elder male individual. It is clear that the male burials at Borum Eshøj inspired Michael Perry with this model. In fact, there is an elderly man with a walking stick in the set which I suspect is based on the older individual - I just haven't painted him yet!

It is tempting to state that these burials must represent a family group, with two elderly parents being interred with their son. The dendrochronology certainly suggests this, with the initial burial being dated at 1351 BC while the latest is dated at 1345 BC. I couldn't find any record of a DNA analysis having been carried out on the bodies, but I suspect that such an investigation would be hazardous, considering the amount of contamination the bodies have suffered since burial, but I would love to be corrected. 

Though the female burial at Borum Eshøj shared some of the clothing items with our Foundry figure, she doesn't closely match her in the same way as the male figure matches the younger burial. In fact, I couldn't find a really close match for her at all. The female at Borum Eshøj was buried with a hairnet of singular type, though today she doesn't have any hair left on her skull, thanks to the rummaging hands of local farmers during her discovery, and beyond a simple illustration made during the excavation we have no idea what her hair style was like. Thankfully, we know more about ladies' hairstyles and their hairnets thanks to a more recent discovery (1935) in a burial mound not far from Skrydstrup, in Southern Jutland. 


This reconstruction of the Skrydstrup Woman is very similar to Michale Perry's figure, note the embroidary on the sleeves and the pleated top to the dress. 
The so-called Skrydstrup woman was around 18 when she died and was laid in a oak coffin wearing a short sleeved blouse of woven wool with embroideries on the sleeves. Dated to around 1300 BC, she too was laid in a oak coffin wearing a large piece of textile fashioned into a long skirt. Her hair was finished in an unusual style in which all of her hair was combed forwards over a hair pad. A woollen cord was afterwards bound around her hair, which was plaited across the forehead, temple to temple like a wreath of flowers might be incorporrated into the hair. Finally, a hairnet was used to cover the elaborate style, crafted from horse hair, though a woollen 'cap' constructed using the 'sprang' technique was also placed alongside her in the grave. Large, golden earrings lay by both ears and a horn comb was attached to her belt. 

Sprang technique hairnets or caps
There seems to be a nod to both the hairnet and the sprang constructed caps on the female figure. Looking at the sculpting I was unsure how to procreed as the band around her forehead seemed to suggest a textile. In the end I compromised, giving the top of her had the plaited hair look and the band a woven, woollen tone.

A modern reconstruction of the Skrydstrup's woman elaborate hairstyle. 
Looking at the modern reconstruction, hair was clearly just as big thing for women then as it is today. I could imagine my wife spending and hour or two plaiting such a design into my own daughter's hair and there must have been quite a few tears, not to mention a harsh word to two if such a design was intended to be worn by a child. The fact that both razor blades and tweezers have been found in Bronze Age burials just goes to show that these ancient people took personal grooming just as seriously as we moderns, and that fashion and 'looking right' was clearly part of death, so it must have been part of everyday life. 

Before I depart I would like to talk about the colours I chose for the models. On the whole I took Nigel Stillman's advice (published on the Foundry website) and kept the colours very natural and subdued. Browns, greys, greens and dark reds seem to be very much the order of the day when talking about Bronze Age clothing. But as I said in my last post, the very special enivronment that ensured these garments survival also affected them over the years, often tanning them a rather turgid brown in tone. Recent investigations into the fabric of another preserved individual, Huldremose Woman, has revealed a start difference between what her clothing looks like now and how it might have appeared when she lived during the Iron Age. Of course, there is a thousand years between this individual and our Bronze Age people, but who's to say that the same vivid colour counldn't have been possible three and a half thousand years ago?

                               

It certainly gets the miniature painter considering the possibilities, doesn't it? In the end, I opted for a much muted colour pallette for my figures and though I am deeply satisfied with their appearence, I think I might well pick up a second set one day and attempt something more imaginative with their paint schemes, perhaps something patterened as can be seen in these images. 

Right, before I go I really must point out a blog post by a fellow enthusiast, Red Orc, who wrote a wonderful opinion piece entitled 'In Defence of Ritual' after I gently mocked this most controversial of archaeological habits. It is well worth and read, so please go visit. 

Orlygg                     

Headed to Indy

Aug. 14th, 2017 01:00 pm
[syndicated profile] tabletop_gaming_news_feed

Posted by Polar_Bear

Hey everyone,

It’s travel day for me. Gen Con’s just a couple days away and I’m on my way to Indy. I’ll try and get some posts scheduled in for you when I make it there. Until then, safe travels to everyone this week and I’ll see you at the show!

-PB

[syndicated profile] raspberry_pi_feed

Posted by Alex Bate

Thanks to the very talented sooperdavid, creator of some of the wonderful animations known as RealLifeDoodles, Thomas Pesquet and Astro Pi Ed have been turned into one of the cutest videos on the internet.

space pi – Create, Discover and Share Awesome GIFs on Gfycat

Watch space pi GIF by sooperdave on Gfycat. Discover more GIFS online on Gfycat

And RealLifeDoodles aaaaare?

Thanks to the power of viral video, many will be aware of the ongoing Real Life Doodle phenomenon. Wait, you’re not aware?

Oh. Well, let me explain it to you.

Taking often comical video clips, those with a know-how and skill level that outweighs my own in spades add faces and emotions to inanimate objects, creating what the social media world refers to as a Real Life Doodle. From disappointed exercise balls to cannibalistic piles of leaves, these video clips are both cute and sometimes, though thankfully not always, a little heartbreaking.

letmegofree – Create, Discover and Share Awesome GIFs on Gfycat

Watch letmegofree GIF by sooperdave on Gfycat. Discover more reallifedoodles GIFs on Gfycat

Our own RealLifeDoodle

A few months back, when Programme Manager Dave Honess, better known to many as SpaceDave, sent me these Astro Pi videos for me to upload to YouTube, a small plan hatched in my brain. For in the midst of the video, and pointed out to me by SpaceDave – “I kind of love the way he just lets the unit drop out of shot” – was the most adorable sight as poor Ed drifted off into the great unknown of the ISS. Finding that I have this odd ability to consider many inanimate objects as ‘cute’, I wanted to see whether we could turn poor Ed into a RealLifeDoodle.

Heading to the Reddit RealLifeDoodle subreddit, I sent moderator sooperdavid a private message, asking if he’d be so kind as to bring our beloved Ed to life.

Yesterday, our dream came true!

Astro Pi

Unless you’re new to the world of the Raspberry Pi blog (in which case, welcome!), you’ll probably know about the Astro Pi Challenge. But for those who are unaware, let me break it down for you.

Raspberry Pi RealLifeDoodle

In 2015, two weeks before British ESA Astronaut Tim Peake journeyed to the International Space Station, two Raspberry Pis were sent up to await his arrival. Clad in 6063-grade aluminium flight cases and fitted with their own Sense HATs and camera modules, the Astro Pis Ed and Izzy were ready to receive the winning codes from school children in the UK. The following year, this time maintained by French ESA Astronaut Thomas Pesquet, children from every ESA member country got involved to send even more code to the ISS.

Get involved

Will there be another Astro Pi Challenge? Well, I just asked SpaceDave and he didn’t say no! So why not get yourself into training now and try out some of our space-themed free resources, including our 3D-print your own Astro Pi case tutorial? You can also follow the adventures of Ed and Izzy in our brilliant Story of Astro Pi cartoons.

Raspberry Pi RealLifeDoodle

And if you’re quick, there’s still time to take part in tomorrow’s Moonhack! Check out their website for more information and help the team at Code Club Australia beat their own world record!

The post Thomas and Ed become a RealLifeDoodle on the ISS appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

CodeSOD: Attack of the "i" Creatures

Aug. 14th, 2017 10:30 am
[syndicated profile] the_daily_wtf_feed

Posted by Remy Porter

Mrs S” works for a large software vendor. This vendor has a tendency to quickly increase staffing to hit arbitrary release targets, and thus relies heavily on contractors. Since they’re usually doing this during a time crunch, these contractors may have a… dubious skill set.

They also don’t care. There is no documentation, no tests, and no explanation. They are just paid tho write the code, not maintain it. They’ll be on another contract before long, so it’s some other schmuck’s problem.

Which is why “Mrs S” found this code, which takes a version number, as a pair of integers, and converts them to a string, but still couldn’t tell you why it does any of the things that it does.

void SetFileName(unsigned short FileID, unsigned short* VersionNumber)
{
    //...
    for (i = 0; i < 2; i++)
    {
        if (VersionNumber[i] > 89)
        {
            FilePutName[13 + (2 * i) + i] = '9';
            switch (VersionNumber[i])
            {
            case 91:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '1';
                break;
            case 92:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '2';
                break;
            case 93:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '3';
                break;
            case 94:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '4';
                break;
            case 95:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '5';
                break;
            case 96:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '6';
                break;
            case 97:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '7';
                break;
            case 98:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '8';
                break;
            case 99:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '9';
                break;
            }
        }
        else if (VersionNumber[i] > 79)
        {
            FilePutName[13 + (2 * i) + i] = '8';
            switch (VersionNumber[i])
            {
            case 81:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '1';
                break;
            case 82:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '2';
                break;
            case 83:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '3';
                break;
            case 84:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '4';
                break;
            case 85:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '5';
                break;
            case 86:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '6';
                break;
            case 87:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '7';
                break;
            case 88:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '8';
                break;
            case 89:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '9';
                break;
            }
        }
        else if (VersionNumber[i] > 69)
        {
            FilePutName[13 + (2 * i)] = '7';
            switch (VersionNumber[i])
            {
            case 71:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '1';
                break;
            case 72:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '2';
                break;
            case 73:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '3';
                break;
            case 74:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '4';
                break;
            case 75:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '5';
                break;
            case 76:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '6';
                break;
            case 77:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '7';
                break;
            case 78:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '8';
                break;
            case 79:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '9';
                break;
            }
        }
        else if (VersionNumber[i] > 59)
        {
            FilePutName[13 + (2 * i) + i] = '6';
            switch (VersionNumber[i])
            {
            case 61:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '1';
                break;
            case 62:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '2';
                break;
            case 63:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '3';
                break;
            case 64:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '4';
                break;
            case 65:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '5';
                break;
            case 66:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '6';
                break;
            case 67:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '7';
                break;
            case 68:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '8';
                break;
            case 69:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '9';
                break;
            }
        }
        else if (VersionNumber[i] > 49)
        {
            FilePutName[13 + (2 * i) + i] = '5';
            switch (VersionNumber[i])
            {
            case 51:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '1';
                break;
            case 52:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '2';
                break;
            case 53:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '3';
                break;
            case 54:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '4';
                break;
            case 55:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '5';
                break;
            case 56:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '6';
                break;
            case 57:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '7';
                break;
            case 58:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '8';
                break;
            case 59:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '9';
                break;
            }
        }
        else if (VersionNumber[i] > 39)
        {
            FilePutName[13 + (2 * i) + i] = '4';
            switch (VersionNumber[i])
            {
            case 41:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '1';
                break;
            case 42:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '2';
                break;
            case 43:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '3';
                break;
            case 44:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '4';
                break;
            case 45:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '5';
                break;
            case 46:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '6';
                break;
            case 47:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '7';
                break;
            case 48:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '8';
                break;
            case 49:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '9';
                break;
            }
        }
        else if (VersionNumber[i] > 29)
        {
            FilePutName[13 + (2 * i) + i] = '3';
            switch (VersionNumber[i])
            {
            case 31:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '1';
                break;
            case 32:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '2';
                break;
            case 33:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '3';
                break;
            case 34:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '4';
                break;
            case 35:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '5';
                break;
            case 36:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '6';
                break;
            case 37:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '7';
                break;
            case 38:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '8';
                break;
            case 39:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '9';
                break;
            }
        }
        else if (VersionNumber[i] > 19)
        {
            FilePutName[13 + (2 * i) + i] = '2';
            switch (VersionNumber[i])
            {
            case 21:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '1';
                break;
            case 22:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '2';
                break;
            case 23:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '3';
                break;
            case 24:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '4';
                break;
            case 25:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '5';
                break;
            case 26:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '6';
                break;
            case 27:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '7';
                break;
            case 28:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '8';
                break;
            case 29:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '9';
                break;
            }
        }
        else if (VersionNumber[i] > 9)
        {
            FilePutName[13 + (2 * i) + i] = '1';
            switch (VersionNumber[i])
            {
            case 11:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '1';
                break;
            case 12:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '2';
                break;
            case 13:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '3';
                break;
            case 14:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '4';
                break;
            case 15:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '5';
                break;
            case 16:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '6';
                break;
            case 17:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '7';
                break;
            case 18:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '8';
                break;
            case 19:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '9';
                break;
            }
        }
        else
        {
            switch (VersionNumber[i])
            {
            case 1:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '1';
                break;
            case 2:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '2';
                break;
            case 3:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '3';
                break;
            case 4:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '4';
                break;
            case 5:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '5';
                break;
            case 6:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '6';
                break;
            case 7:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '7';
                break;
            case 8:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '8';
                break;
            case 9:
                FilePutName[14 + (2 * i) + i] = '9';
                break;
            }
        }
    }
}

It puts me in mind of this sketch from the classic MST3K episode. They just didn’t care.

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