Miniature Wargame Video!

This is my first Vlogging experience, ever, so I’m pretty excited. I hope you enjoy it!

Special Thanks:

Thanks once again to Galaxy Comics Comic Games and More, and a very special thanks to Matt Schmidkamp of angryelfbrewing.blogspot.com, Eric Skarenes, Justin Wilzba, Chris Randazzo and Fred Simmons.

Picture Credits:

  • Matt Schmidkamp  – Warmachine Photo
  • CSW Expo 2009 Photos – Wargame Photo
  • Alan De Smet –  Gary Gygax Photo
  • Photo of HG Well is Public Domain

Music Credits:

  • “Consort for Brass” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com) Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
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Games Workshop: Increased Prices, Complaints, Problems and Paints!

Games Workshop’s increased prices on both their models and paints are causing modelers and retailers to be more cautious.

Last year, Games Workshop announced they would increase their prices world-wide. Then in June of 2013 they announced a price increase on their paint pots. Since the initial price increases, independent retailers of Games Workshop and hobbyists are still feeling the pinch.

These just a few of the kits that were subject to change from last year's price increase.

These just a few of the kits that were subject to change from last year’s price increase.                     Chart Was Made By: Morgan Zwart

Warhammer 40k is Games Workshop’s most popular franchise. Adam Ludwig, a regular at Galaxy Comic Games and More in Stevens Point and avid player of Warhammer 40k since 2008, says that Games Workshop’s problems may be because of the current miniature war-game market.

“There are other companies trying to compete against Game Workshop like Privateer Press and other miniature games that are becoming popular, but the price has gone up almost double from when I started playing. I think it is really hard for new players to get into the game and I  think  its hard for anyone who is not in the middle class or above to really start playing the game and keep up with the game.” said Ludwig.

He also said that this is especially true when the company constantly changes the rules, rule books and codices, that It becomes a lot harder  for anyone to keep up with the game financially. As a player of the hobby, Ludwig says that the current price increases has affected his relationship with Games Workshop.

“It certainly has made me stop buying all of my minis through Games workshop. I actually  started looking at alternatives.  I don’t buy nearly as much of the base product from Games Workshop like I normally do,” said Ludwig.

Over the past five years, Games Workshop has been slowly increasing their prices. Now with the current price increase on their paint sets, it has some cause for concern when carrying any Games Workshop miniatures and paints.

 Chris Randazzo, owner Galaxy Comic Games and More in Stevens Point, says that the sudden price increase on the paints in June of 2013 was a nightmare for him. On the same day of the price increase he  quickly had to change every one of the paints in his system to get the prices up to date.

“I will not have anything bad to say about it in a general sense and it is not even a retailer trying to protect a distributor like Games Workshop, it is not even about that. To me Games Workshop is a very frustrating company to deal with at times.” says Randazzo.

Randazzo also says that Games Workshop’s main rules for their games change drastically at times and will often change how your armies will play in their games.
This makes players need to buy new products from Games Workshop for all intents and purposes, even though officially Games Workshop says that you can use their miniatures.

“I will tell you that, before you ever buy a product from me, before you ever buy a Games Workshop product. Please don’t think that you are going to buy one army and play that army forever and it is your $200 investment and then you are done buying.” said Randazzo

Although this these models may not look like much, they collectively cost $90, plus tax.

These models may not look like much, but because of the new price listings, they collectively cost $90 plus tax.

Randazzo says that as a player of the Games Workshop franchises, you are going to have to buy new stuff, new editions and rules books are coming out and you are going to want to buy new stuff. He then stated that if people were still playing 2nd edition with our old army books players would be bored with the game.

As a realtor though, Randazzo has said that the current price change doesn’t change the way he feels about Games Workshop. He says that good distributors and good game companies see him as a partner, such as Wizards of the Coast.

“For the last 7 years I have been open, Wizards of the Coast has figured out its business model, and their business model is organized play. It used to be that what good products I could buy was based on how much I spent.” said Randazzo

Randazzo says that he was on a different customer tier and the more money he spent the better products he received. Then Wizards of the Coast figured out that if retailers ran enough events then he and the company were going to sell more products. Everything Wizards of the Coast does for him now is based on the events he runs and the more events he runs, the better the products he gets. Randazzo then stated that this model is not used by Games Workshop, however.

“Games Workshop is not my partner. They have never been my partner. Every couple of years they will change the retailer agreement, like what I have to sign, how I have to order and how I pay shipping. And they always present it as, ‘ we are finally going to see you, oh small retailer, as a partner and that we know that your business is as important as anybody else out there and you are what makes us go’,” said Randazzo.

Before June of 2013, all paint pots officially cost $3.50.

Before June of 2013, all paint pots officially cost $3.50.

Games Workshop changed their retailer policy just before the launch of the new paint line, claiming that the change was because of the new paint line. Randazzo did not know that they would be doubling the SKU’s on the new paint line products, much to the complaints of many retailers at trade shows. Game Workshop is still making it mandatory that retailers need to buy their paints in a package of 6 paint pots.

“They only gave me a paint rack if I bought all the paints and said that I might be able to get the rack later on, but if I didn’t buy all the paints then they couldn’t guarantee me one and continued to package the paint pots in 6. Paints that don’t sell as well die on my self. It’s hard for me to stock their paints when I have to carry six of everything.” said Randazzo.

The Dungeons and Dragons Effect

Dragons in the Dungeon

There are many role playing game (RPGs) that are in existence in this day and age, but there some more iconic than others. One role playing game that stands above the rest is Dungeons and Dragons.

Brief History

The Iconic D20 has been used in D&D for nearly 40 years now. Anyone who has played D&D has their own set of dice. The more venerable players ten to have more than one set of dice.

The Iconic d20 has been used in D&D for nearly 40 years now. Anyone who has played D&D has their own set of dice. The more venerable players tend to have more than one set of dice.

The role playing game, Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), was originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave ArnesonThe game was derived from the miniature wargame, Chainmail, which was the first game created by Gary Gygax and Jeff Perren in 1971. Dungeons and Dragons was then published in 1974 by Tactical Studies Rules. Inc. and soon became a rousing success. Today, Dungeons and Dragons own by Hasbro’s subsidiary company, Wizards of the Coast, who now publishes the game. The game is currently in its 4th edition which was published in 2008. however there is a still a number of players that play older editions, like Advance Dungeons and Dragons (AD&D) which used the THACO (To Hit Armor Class Zero) system or Dungeons and Dragons 3.5 which uses the newer d20 system.

How It Has Impacted People

This the Players Handbook for Dungeons & Dragons 3.5. It is one of my more preferred editions next to 2nd Edition AD&D.

This the Players Handbook for Dungeons & Dragons 3.5. It is one of my more preferred editions next to 2nd Edition AD&D.

Dungeons and Dragons has touched my people’s lives over the past 39 years. It has been featured in pop culture and has won dozens of awards. Dungeons and Dragons has done different things for many people. It’s even helped people recover from their injuries.

William Helmke, a student at the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point, says he started playing Dungeons and Dragons after a motor cycle accident.

“Basically, I was inexperienced at the time and I had just gotten my temps. It was my first time on a motorcycle, a motorcycle that was too big for me,” Helmke said, “when I went around a corner and caught some gravel on the edge of the curve, I wiped out.”

During the course of the crash, Helmke tried to catch himself to minimize injury. He managed to dislocate his shoulder and break his leg. It was impossible for him to use crutches and was in a wheel chair for two months. It was during this time that his friends from his hometown of Marshfield, Wisconsin, introduced Dungeons and Dragons to him.

“At the time I couldn’t walk, so being able to play a character that could wield a sword that was as tall as my character and being able to cut through hordes of enemies was a really nice way to escape into a fantasy world that was something different than the real world,” Helmke said.

Helmke says that he has played many role playing games and was always interested in playing the game. Dungeons and Dragons is still his favorite role-playing game that stands above the rest.

“I really enjoy the aspect of being able to play a character that can do things that I can do and things that I am not capable of doing,” Helmke said.

Chess: Not Just a Game

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/224405146/CWTTG_SoundSlides_Chess_Story/soundslider.swf 

Special Thanks

I would like to thank Al Bond and Lynn Schober for there time and patience during the interviews. I would also like to thank Jadeco Hobby, Galaxy Comics Games & More, as well as the members of the Deviant Art Community for photographs.

Music:

“Gymnopedie No. 1” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Copyright Law & Fair Use Doctrine

Interested In Chess?

Here are some related articles:

Inflation: Is it Affecting Traditional Gamers?

Meanwhile In Economics

Recently, in a New York Times article that outlines the current  inflation rate; which is at 1.2% and has been slowly rising like a sloth in the Amazonian jungle. 

The New York Times article stated, that the federal reserve has worked for decades to suppress inflation and that Janet Yellen, the presidential nominee to lead the Federal Reserve next year stated in the article that,”Rising prices help companies increase profits; rising wages help borrowers repay debts. Inflation also encourages people and businesses to borrow money and spend it more quickly.”

Current Inflation Rate

Current Inflation Rate

Experts also said in the article that low inflation is not good for the economy because very low inflation increases the risks of deflation. However the outcome for increasing profits for larger business entities.

In a Hobbyist’s Opinion

However, the price of a product is everything thing to anyone that is a hobbyists, both non-traditional and traditional, though raising the inflation rate could be damaging or beneficial to the hobbyist community. One has to understand that a majority of the products today are much more expense than what they used to be.

I asked Lynn Schober, an employee and particle owner at Jadeco Hobby shop in Stevens Point, for his opinion about the Federal Reserve raising the current inflation rate from 1.2% to 2%. He thought that it would be a not be a good idea and that it will probably impact the hobby. Schober has 45 years as a veteran hobbyist and he has seen the rise and fall of prices in the hobby industry.

“What used to be a $20 dollar model, is close to $60 now and the 1/32nd scale stuff, bigger planes and stuff like that are $150,” Schober said, “who can afford that?”

Schober states that prices of products in the scale hobby such as: military planes, trains and automobiles, as well as board games have gone up over the years. Making it very difficult for people in the traditional gaming hobby to buy certain models and games.

The price of this game is $84.25

The price of this game is $84.25

“We see a lot of people  that come and look and say, ‘Oh man, I love this, but its going to take me 6 months to be able to come up and buy this,” Schober said,  “I know a lot of our games, were people get together for a small gaming group and will pool their money to be able to buy a game, because they just cannot afford it.”

Halfway through interview with Schober, a couple had walked in and wanted to purchase a game called, Lord of the Rings Stratego, but did not have enough money to purchase. The price of the game was $100, due to its rarity. The intensity of the young couple’s gaze was similar to anyone who has ever wanted anything in their life. After brief exchange with the couple, Schober told them that he would go down to a more affordable price. The couple was relieved and then promptly left to return later with the money.

That orange sticker does not lie, it really says $100.

That orange sticker does not lie, it really says $100.

After witnessing this event, Schober stated that what had happened was perfect example of what was happening to hobbyist.

“If everyone had an extra $50 dollars in their pocket, I could make $1000 a day,” Schober said, “because people could come in and make the impulse buys. Impulse buying is down, way low. So yeah, it’s hurting us a lot.”

Game Night

What is a Game Night?

Game nights are the most important part of any traditional game club and family. This togetherness is the most important part in forming a community and brings people closer to one another. It is events like this that helps us make memorable moments with people we care about.

Game Night At The Museum 

Volunteers show parents and children how to play the multitude of games that night.

Volunteers show parents and children how to play the multitude of games that night.

Just this September, Galaxy Comics, Games & More, is sponsoring family game night at the Central Wisconsin Children’s Museum, which takes place from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.,  on the last Thursday of every month.

“This is a brand new thing for us, we had fun with it last time and had a pretty good turn out,” said Chris Randazzo, owner of Galaxy Comics in Stevens Point. “You never know with this sort of thing if you are going to spend the night playing games with each other or you are going to have twenty people.”

Randazzo also said that he that within a few months they will have a good turnout every time and is very enthusiastic about family game night. He sees this event as very important, because it help engage community members and helps in getting parents to familiarize with the fact that there are many family friendly games besides, Monopoly.

He also says that they are trying to show how many fun games are out there and that board games are beneficial.

“The great thing about board games as opposed to electronic games and I have nothing against electronic games, Randazzo said, “is there is so many beneficial things, not only to children, but really for anybody.”

According to Gwen Dewar, Ph.D from parentingscience.com, there are social benefits to board games. These benefits include, games teach lessons about getting along with others and that When kids play with older role models they can learn something else, too: How to win—and lose—with grace and good manners.

At about 5:40 p.m. parents and children startled trickling into the room and by 6 o’clock the game night was in full swing. Everyone was having a great time playing multitude of games like: Ticket to Ride, Forbidden Island, Castle Panic, Hiss, Duck Duck Bruce, Cardline, Hide & Eek and Catan Junior.

Raise the roof.

Raise the roof.

Cogitationes Populorum

I sat down at a table joined Scott Cherkauer, who was with his son Liam and Brandon Uhlig. We were playing Catan Junior for a better part of the hour. Scott Cherkauer said he and his family don’t play too many board games at home, but did play Monopoly and Sorry Slider.

Liam won at Catan Junior. Right Side: Brandon Uhlig and Scott Cherkauer. Left Side: Scott's Children

Liam won at Catan Junior.
Present in Photo: Brandon Uhlig and Scott Cherkauer and Scott’s Children

“We mostly play Monopoly and Sorry Sliders,” Cherkauer said,” but our biggest addiction at home is Minecraft.”

Scott Cherkauer thinks that games are important for kids too and thinks they are great for being able to think strategically, but says there are other ways to accomplish that and that not everybody needs to think strategically.

“There are other things that you have an interest in, Cherkauer said, the important part is making sure that you are honing in your children’s interest and getting them out to do stuff.”

Brandon Uhlig said that board games may not be that important, however they are fun and may useful when it comes to kids.”I think they are fun and they could be useful, Uhlig said, but not having them doesn’t hurt.”

Uhlig also agreed with the idea that families should play a board games once in awhile. “Any amount of family time is good,” Uhlig said, “as long as every body is involved and is having a good time.”

Central Wisconsin Table-top Gaming Podcast

This project was rather fun and enjoyable, because I’ve never done a podcast before. I’m glad I got my feet wet on this project, but if I have to do another podcast like this, I can only hope I get better audio. One my guests bailed on me at the last minute. So thank you Andrew for showing up and getting this thing done.

Music:

“RetroFuture Clean” Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com)
Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Sound Effects:

http://www.soundjay.com/misc-sounds.html

If the player doesn’t work you can find it here.

https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/s/7xkf79ijs03bgsx/CWTTG_Podcast.mp3?token_hash=AAF9dSs8vgmM6Sq6PH1cx3E4v9EWR2iqJy5ZlH5ZIob7sw&dl=1

 

Gathering the Magic

Over the years of playing different table games, a traditional gamer should ask, “what haven’t I played yet?” If you have not already played any card games, I would recommend Magic the Gathering.

Magic the Gathering, also called Magic by its players, is card game that was created by Richard Garfield and is owned by Wizards of the Coast company. The game is now 20 years old and has had a heck of a following since its release in 1993. The success of this game can be attributed to the creation of many collectible card games such as the Pokémon Trading Card Game and Yu-Gi-OH! The traditional game board wiki, 1d4chan.org, describes Magic the Gathering with praise. “Magic is notable for being the first to make it big, and its influence can be seen in almost every since.”

This is creator of the game as his own card.

This is creator of the game as his own card and it is real.

The Story Behind You! The Player!

The story of Magic of the Gathering for the player according to wizard of the coast website runs like this. You the player, are something called a planeswalker which is a powerful mage. The planeswalker can travel across multiverse and have unique abilities that allow them to move from one world to the next. This helps them expand their knowledge and gather experience, making the planeswalker more powerful.

070926-2

What planeswalker card looks like.

Magic Cards Everywhere

Magic the Gathering is also inexpensive to play compared to most collectible card hobbies. Most introduction packs will run you a good $15 to $33 and booster packs will cost $3 to $8. It can easily be said that you’ll be ready-to-play after spending about $30. The fact that you find these cards almost everywhere, like at your local Wal-Mart, K-Mart and Shopko, it should come as no surprise it has a big following and a very player large community.

Davis Kowalski very active player from the Stevens Point is new to the game and he has enjoyed the game thus far. “Through the game you get to learn about what type of person your competitor is. That and elves are awesome.” Kowalski said.

Table-Topping!

After doing table-top gaming for over 12 years now, this blog is a first. To be very honest, I am not quiet sure how to even start this blog off, but I think the best thing to do, is to first tell everyone what Table-top gaming is.

To everyone who does not know what table-top gaming is, it ranges from older traditional table and board  games ( i.e. monopoly and chess),  to the new board and table games (i.e. Settlers of Catan, Dust: Tactics and Magic the Gathering). Considering this, it really is a wide variety of games to cover.  This endeavor shall be more than interesting and I’m looking forward to learning about the old and seeing the new.

There was a game I was reading about the other day, A Journey Through Europe. It really should spark an interest in those who have played a number of boards in there life.The game was made in 1759.

The more modern version of the game.  (www.funagain.com)

The more modern version of the game. (www.funagain.com)

It is the first known game that we can ascribe to an individual designer. In other words, prior to that time, all games were analogous to the anonymous epics that spurred the rise of literature; they were what Dave Parlett (in The Oxford History of Board Games) calls “folk games.” -Greg Costikyan-

You can read the article on escapistmagazine.com. Most games we play today are based around the society, just like A Journey Through Europe was during its time. There is a  majority of the Role Playing Games (RPGs) that can attest to this, such as D20 Modern and Monopoly. I thought that this was an interesting thing to read and learn about, because the history traditional games is really something that should be considered as a important.