Monday, 27 May 2013

Man Date to Common Ground Games in Stirling

So at the weekend, myself and some of my cohorts from Glasgow Games Group decided to go through and check out a new games store that has opened up in Stirling, called Common Ground Games. If you click on the link, you'll be taken to the facebook page, and you can join, ask questions, and find out more about it. Common Ground Games facebook page

The plan was to bundle into a car, with various games, drive through and spend most of the afternoon there. And I must admit, this time I really did love it when a plan came together.

We'd met the owner, Steve, before at Carronade (the wargames show in Falkirk put on by the FDWC), when he was handing out flyers. And what a nice fellow. Arriving near opening time, we said hello, and Steve quickly said he'd give us the grand tour of the place.

Upon entering, you're presented with two options. You can turn right, into the retailer section, or straight ahead into the gaming section.

The retail section has a good stock of various games, including Dystopian Wars, Dropzone Commander, Malifaux, Warhammer, 40K, Warmachine/Hordes, Empire of the Dead, Infinity, and some slightly more obscure ones like Anima Tactics, and MERCS. He's also said that he's looking at stocking Bushido and Godslayer (Yay!!!!)

Along with miniatures, there's a small section of RPGs, including the FFG ones based on the GW universes, some D&D, Pathfinder and a couple of others. There's also a whole load of board games, from the usuals like Settlers of Catan, and the various FFG games, to the more usual family games.

A good selection of the popular card games are behind the counter, while facing the counter is an area with scenery from the ever popular Battlefield in a box range by GF9, to a whole load of scenic bits also produced by GF9, a good selection of paints from Vallejo and Army Painter, and tools and brushes, while another shelf stocks a good selection of the current wargaming magazines.

That's not all in the retail section though, as he also has a fully functioning cafe, serving baguettes, toasties, various cakes, cans of soft drinks, and tea and coffee, along with a dedicated staff member for said cafe. While not featured on the menu, they allow a bit of customization, so I ended up with something dubbed "The double pig", comprising of a ham, bacon, and cheese toastie. And it was mighty tasty. There's also a nice little seating area in the cafe part, for relaxing away as well, perusing your purchases, while having a tea.

I can tell your impressed. Now the gaming area is no less impressive. He's got if I counted correctly 20 6x4 tables set up, all with scenery, and a whole host of smaller tables for things like card gaming, roleplaying, or as we used them for, playing Dreadball and Bushido, as I'd brought a 2x2 board.

A photo of one of the lengths of table, with some of my cohorts having a game of X-Wing in the corner. I'm informed Darth Vader died like a bitch.

A wonderful sea board, great for things like Dystopian Wars, lovingly hand painted by Steve's wife.

Another board, with some Malifaux terraclips, and some Dropzone commander card scenery.

One of the space boards, again lovingly handed painted by Steve's wife. Also note, cupholders are a feature on all the boards, so no more spillages.

Another row of boards. You can also see off to the boards to the left and right, space is provided for all your bags etc.

Some wonderful scenery made using the hirst arts moulds, which was kindly donated to Steve by a benefactor. Perfect for Godslayer I think.
 And how much I ask you to use these fine tables. The answer, £3.50, per person, for a whole day, during which you can have access to any of these tables, so you can play a game of 40K on one, then switch to another table for another game, or use the space board for some X-Wing. While the scenery currently looks a bit sparse, he is looking out for more, and is in talks with Sarissa Precision to get more stuff, and actually look at stocking their items.

If you just intend on using the smaller tables, it's only £2.00 for the whole day. Again perfect if you play a lot of RPG, or a Dreadball league. Given the opening times are 2-9 Tuesday and Wednesday, 2-11 on Thursday and Friday, 2-8 on Sunday, and a mammoth 11-11 on Saturday, I'm sure you'll agree that's a good deal.

Also, as if it couldn't get better, there's also some lamps provided on one table, so you can do a bit of painting or modelling.

And yet there's more. If you decide you don't want to play games all day, and actually fancy a break to go do some of that outside stuff, but don't want to lug all your gaming possessions around, they also have lockers to rent out, so that you can store your stuff and come back for it later.

So to sum it up, I'm a bit in awe. Steve appears to have thought of everything and has crafted what could be the perfect store. You can go in, make your purchases, have a bit to eat, and play games in what is a nice, bright and airy gaming room. You can then put your stuff in a locker, go out for a bit, and then come back for more games.

I keep thinking to myself the only problems is that it's in Stirling, and I'm in Glasgow. Yet when we drove there, when we got on the motorway at 10, we were there and parked by about 10.40 at the latest. So really not very far at all.

I know we are already talking about going back, possibly making it into a monthly visit, but even then, with the long opening hours, and actual relative closeness, you don't even need to plan it that much, if you just fancy going up for some games, it's a great place.

So if you're anywhere near this place, I can only recommend it. Go there, play games, buy stuff, cause otherwise who knows if it'll survive. And given how great this store is, that would be a terrible, terrible shame.

As always, thanks for looking. 

Sunday, 12 May 2013

Carronade 2013

Yesterday was Carronade 2013, and was the debut for the newest demo game from our club, G3.

The game, X-Treme G 3000 racing, a fast, fun and furious race around the track to be crowned champion of the track.

The track in all it's glory, with the buildings I've slaved away over, plus all the over bits all the other club members have contributed.

You can see the LEDs under the track section here, though it was actually a bit too bright in the hall to get the best effect.

Apparently, when you google for fictional energy companies, the first one that comes up is Ewing Oil Co.

Some of the race attendees

Some of the races. From left to right "La Femme Fatale en Bleu", The Yellow Hornet, Edward Dredd, and Princess Barbara. Unfortunately I managed to cut The Red Baron off, so they'll have to remain a mystery.

More race attendees.

It's basically a homebrewed ruleset we came up with, which results in a reasonably fast, enjoyable game, that's basically a bit like Mario Kart or Wipeout. You get two laps round the outer circuit of the track, you go over speed boosts, or slow downs, you collect power-ups, and shoot each other with missiles and spin out.

We managed to run 5 games during the 6 hour show, and each game had all 5 racer slots taken up, with several more people coming up during the course of the day, asking where we got the track, the buildings, what was the game about etc.

All in all, it was a long day of talking to people, running games, and our shift system going out the window, but it was an enjoyable day. There wasn't really any downtime at the table, as the slots very quickly filled up once one game was finished.

All in all, I didn't get much time to wander around etc. I did manage to see a few of the boards and what not, but not really any other pictures other than grabbing these ones. However the guys from the club next door to ours, the Phoenix club, who organise Wappinshaw (which is the next show for us, on the 1st of June in Kelvin Hall, Glasgow) managed to get a good few, and they can be found here

Unfortunately as well, there was no prize this year, as it went to RAF Leuchars, who were running a game called Divine Wind, about Kamikaze attacks on an aircraft carrier. There's photo's of it in the link above, and it certainly looked a good table.

 In the few occasions I managed to get away for a wee bit, I did a quick round of the traders there, and it was a decent show as always, along with a new presence from Hawk Wargames who make Dropzone Commander. They along with Critical Mass games got pretty much most of my money, as I purchased some items from them, and a few packs of bases for 15mm stuff from Warbases.


That's a set of Hawk Wargames new card scenery, which for £30 gets you enough 10mm scale roads and buildings to cover a 6' x 4' table. The road tiles are double backed too. The Arc Fleet Otilium refinery set from Critical Mass games, which given if you pre-order for the show it goes from £60 to £30, is an absolute steal. While it's 15mm, given it's big industrial nature, you can easily get away with having big doors, so can see use in 10mm games as well. Some of Critical Mass's Alien Jungle Flora stems, 18 for £7.50, to make some weird sci-fi planets with, some 15mm radars from CM as well, a pack of the digital camo MaskFX as I want to try it with my airbrush, and the bases from Warbases.

I also bought some more stuff from Hawk Wargames, though it's getting posted to me, though since I bought it on the day, they'll ship it free of charge, which is jolly nice, as the guys made the effort to come all the way from South London type area, and came up on the train, so couldn't carry everything. However it was really good to see them, and nice to see more companies coming up to do the Scottish shows, as I know it's a long day for them.

Possibly the best purchase though, and one which I have bought several of, in various colours I might add.

Knitted Cthulu says Fhtagn  

I'll leave you with that image, as I don't think I can top it. Thanks for looking.

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Sarissa Precision System Infinity complete

Today draws a close on Operation: Paint all the fecking club scenery on time. And I must admit it's glad. While I enjoyed getting the use out my airbrush, I at times get bored of painting very quickly, and having a deadline at times can either help, or hinder, as I feel the pressure mounting.

Still it's done, and to a good standard if I do say so myself. I'm pleased with how the airbrushing has come out. Given it was pretty much my first time doing anything of actual substance with my airbrush anyway.

I still don't think I'm up to painting normal miniatures with it, but I certainly look forward to giving it a go, and using it more in the future. I've at least got all my own scenery that I can do with it, so that'll give me more practice.

Anyways, here's some pictures of the finished product.

The first show is Carronade, which is in Falkirk, this coming Saturday the 11th of May. If you can make it along, come along and you can see the scenery, and myself in person at the Glasgow Games Group (G3) participation game, X-treme G racing.

Thanks for looking.