Saturday, September 25, 2010

"Kick Ass!" 5th birthday blogparty #4. The final countdown

Life's little ironies or, "It's my party and I'll cry if I want to"
What's a man to do? I mean to say, after some ups and downs you finally hit your blog's 5th anniversary and manage to put together an impressive bunch of prizes for your readers. Just how can you follow that? Ah, I know. How about taking a mood downswing and disappearing from the site for a month? Yeah, that's a really good idea. Really.

Anyway, here I am. I'm not swanning about in sunny Acapulco with all that lovely swag offered up by my generous donors (chance'd be a fine thing). Nope. I'm living la vida loca in the slough of despond in rainy Glasgow. There've been games at least, a lot of games, Dominion especially. So it's not been all bad. But that's not really the point of this post, oh no. This post is about prizes (remember those?).

Monday, August 23, 2010

"Kick Ass!" 5th birthday blogparty
#3. First prize draw winners!

Who are this week's lucky readers?
The entries for last week's draw have been counted and the draw has been made, using my shiny Conpulsion 2010 random number generator. I am pleased to announce the winners in the first RD/KA! 5th anniversary bumper prize draw bonanza. My congratulations to all the lucky winners; my commiserations to everyone else. Don't give up yet though: there are still three more draws to go and you can all (previous winners included remember) enter those too.

A Bill King Gotrek and Felix omnibus
I am delighted to be able to announce that, fresh from the trials and tribulations of flitting, Bill has been able to unearth 2 English-language copies of Gotrek and Felix: the First Omnibus which he has generously donated to the spoil heap. One of these will go to Chazz Kellner. The remaining copy will be added to a subsequent draw.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

"Kick Ass!" 5th birthday blogparty
#2. Draw the first

Four, weekly prize draws
The RD/KA! 5th anniversary bumper prize-draw bonanza will consist of four, weekly draws. This week's draw runs until midnight (BST) on Sunday 22nd August. The draws are all open to all of my readers (yes, that includes friends and family).

Draw the first's prizes
There are 5 prizes up for grabs this week.

A Bill King novel.
Choose any one.

Friday, August 13, 2010

"Kick Ass!" 5th birthday blogparty
#1. Prizes! Prizes! Prizes!

"Lights... Cameras... Action!"
Alighting on this page as you have dear reader, be welcome to the 5th anniversary of "Roll dice and kick ass!". Yes, it's been 5 years to the day since I launched myself into the geek blogosphere with a report on Interaction, the 63rd Worldcon. I took to blogging a hobbyist wanting to write. What I didn't bargain on were the technicalities of creating an illustrated webzine: hunting down links and references, image work, layout; all suprisingly labourious and time-consuming. Enough already with my blood, sweat, toil and tears. Feast your eyes, dear readers, on the booty below...

Matt Forbeck
Hot off the presses, Ghosts of Ascalon — "the first original Guild Wars novel" — is Matt's and Jeff Grubb's spin on the popular fantasy MMO Tyria. I am told that Guild Wars- soon to see its first reboot, disposes of that WoW-grind by the simple expedients of a level cap and rapid character progression; which reads to me like a recipie for playing more characters having more adventures which play out more quickly. That sounds thrilling and action packed. Expect no less from messieurs Forbeck and Grubb.

Prize #1
Signed author's copy courtesy of Matt.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Meeting Richard Williams

The best laid plans
Unfortunately last Saturday's planned trip to Claymore fell through. I'm in a bit of a downswing just now and my main symptom is sleep disturbance, typical phase 1 for me. And so Friday night dragged on into Saturday morning leaving me facing 2 hours sleep before I was supposed to get up to catch an early bus to Edinburgh. The result was inevitable. Ah well, c'est la vie.

But still...
I did manage to make it to GW Glasgow on Friday afternoon to meet Black Library author Richard Williams. Richard proved friendly and easy-going as you'd expect and I passed a pleasant hour or so sharing his company with the other fans who'd turned out to meet him.

The inevitable signage
I'd taken along my copy of Liber Chaotica as planned. I'd thought that'd be all but Steve- the local manager, had managed to rustle up some copies of the currently out of print Reiksguard, in search of which I'd visited the store only the previous day and which had then been strangely absent from the shelves; so I bought that. As William and I prepared to pose for a couple of photos I figured that it'd be churlish not also to pick up a copy of the latest- and current, BL book in which Richard's writing has seen print: the anthology Legends of the Space Marines.

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Of GW, the lure of Chaos, gribblies, and stuff

Space Hulk wins 2 Golden Geek Awards
My recent visits to the pages of Black Library novels: Graham McNeill's Heldenhammer- which I picked up at Conflict 2010, and Nathan Long's Bloodborn- which I reviewed last month; these visits to the world of the book have revived my interest in tie-in fiction set in two of my favourite gaming universes. And so it was that last Saturday saw me dropping in to my local GW in search of new reading matter. Also available was the new issue of White Dwarf. I confess I'm in the camp who finds GW's house magazine to be of limited utility in terms of adding value to my GW gaming interests- namely 40K, but I always like to read interviews with the creative types at the Design Studio. White Dwarf #368 features two, so I bought it.
One mighty game; two well-deserved awards

Skimming through the pages of news and new releases, as you do, I was pleasantly surprised to read Jervis Johnson's grateful acknowledgement of the two 2009 Golden Geek Awards the BGG community had awarded Space Hulk, whose 3rd edition was released amid great fanfare last year. The awards were:
  • Best 2-player game.
  • Best artwork/presentation.
Pleasant: because it was good to see that Space Hulk had received these accolades from the BGG community, and because it was nice to read Jervis' appreciation of this in the pages of White Dwarf. Surprising: because, regular BGG user that I am, I had no idea of these awards- the official awards ceremony was in November last year, until I read of Space Hulk's 2009 success in White Dwarf.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Q-workshop STRIKE!!!!

Journey to the unknown land of dice manufacturing
Remember that mention I gave back in June to Q-Workshop, the novelty dice company? I thought I was just honouring my side of a bargain made at UK Games Expo 2010, when I wangled a small discount on some dicecups in return for a promised mention here at RD/KA!. Little did I know then the ancient emnities- as long as beards and as sharp as ears, with which I had become involved for the sake of those two quid. What am I talking about? Watch this video and you'll see.

It seems then that the introduction of new design and manufacturing technology means that big changes are afoot at Q-Workshop, including:
  • New cheap classic RPG dice sets.
  • New premium 3D dice.
  • New deluxe metal dice.
  • New box packaging.
  • New lower prices for older dice sets.
"New" and "lower prices": phrases which are bound to delight dice geeks everywhere, especially those who are already fans of Q-Workshops' wide range. But is this really good news all round?

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Not 'just another' Claymore

Convention off the starboard bow
August is waiting at the door and so Claymore is manoeuvring itself into position again on the local convention calendar.

My plans aren't in place yet but my intention is to attend as ever. The success of last year's new venue means that I await 2010's Claymore with anticipation tangible enough to feel quite novel.

Zombies and Daleks, oh my!
This year's programme of participation games looks interesting all round. I can honestly say that I'd be happy to play in any of the games in this year's programme. Needs as needs must though, so here is my shortlist of 3 games for the day:
Daleks, zombies and an alt-history British civil war? Truly messieurs convention organisers, you are spoiling us.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Rain starts play

Get down, deeper and down!
Tuesday's visit to G3 was just the icing on the cake of what had been a bumper few days gaming for yours truly. Such a big night took priority over the weekend's gaming here at RD/KA!, which- thanks to my trip to Edinburgh and the recent good weather, saw our first Sunday session in a month. Donald, Gav and I made three on the day. First choice was down to Donald, which put him in the Overlord's Seat of Power for a long-awaited return to Descent, my favourite dungeonbash boardgame.

A dynamic duo?
With only 2 heroes a solid tank was a priority. Gav chose that role and quickly settled on Mordrog. I decided to run a rogue , choosing Kirga for his ability to keep the spawning monsters at bay. And so we had a pair of scurvy greenskin 'heroes' we hoped would be fit to tackle the best that the Overlord could throw at us.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A big night out

Small beginnings?
In part 1 of my 2010 gaming wishlist last December, I wrote of how I needed to find new opponents to maintain my regular fix of WW2 tacsim gaming. I finally took steps towards this end last month when I posted an 'Opponents wanted' thread on BGG. The thread resulted in one reply which I confess wasn't encouraging, but it was enough.

And so it was that last night saw me lugging a big bag full of Memoir'44 down to a local municipal hall- conveniently located a few minutes away, there to attend the very same Glasgow Games Group (G3) which had been my old stomping ground in the years before I started blogging, and whose 10th anniversary celebrations I had attended back in June 2008.

As you can imagine dear readers, returning to an old haunt like this involved meeting with a few familiar faces. The first was Barry, whom I'd introduced to Memoir'44 when it was still new back in the days before I took my break from the club. What a pleasant surprise that was. This led to another entertaining little moment when, chatting to Barry about what had brought me back to G3, I mentioned the person I was to meet that night. He was lurking nearby earwigging, naturally enough, and so I was introduced to Gregor.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

"Trapped in the netherspace, the void between the worlds"

- MAJOR Doctor Who season 5 spoilers ahead -

Oh. My. Goodness!
I may only have written about Doctor Who once before here at RD/KA!- at the end of David Tennant's first season back in 2007, but everyone who knows me knows only too well that I am a devoted fan of the show, albeit not a Whovian geek as such. As I set to writing this I've just come from watching for the 3rd time the 2-part finale to Matt Smith's first season as the inimitable Doctor, to refresh in my mind what made this season so striking as to prompt me to give vent to my enthusiasm for what has been 13 weeks of truly matchless television.

Brace yourselves dear readers!
In light of what I said last Sunday about the pointless sound and fury so often aroused in geek culture by clashes of tastes driven by blind partisanship, I want to begin with a warning and a clarification. If you don't like Doctor Who, or you do but don't share my high appreciation of the merits of this season: that's all well and good, but I don't care. Mule headed blind partisanship? No. I simply can't. This is just the blunt end of my critique of what I was hinting at last Sunday when I referred to how "personal tastes are justified against other people's by being raised to the level of intellectual generalisations".

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Death becomes them all

Again with the old pals routine
My old pal Rob- whose job regularly takes him to Sweden for weeks at a time, was back in town last week so we decided a trip to the cinema was in order. We chose to go see Black Death, a film which has been on my 'would like to see' list ever since I noticed its release. Regular readers should have no difficulty in guessing why a film set in plague-ridden medieval England should appeal to me, but I'll come back to that later.

The critic's eye
There is a lengthy review on the IMDb Black Death page in which I think the reviewer is quite quite wrong. The IMDb page correctly tags Black Death with the horror and mystery genres. These features of the movie are nowhere addressed in that review; poor form and a shame, because these were the movie's strengths.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

A welcome return?

Sometimes we just can't help ourselves
Geek culture can sometimes be less a cultural panorama than a minefield for the unwary. I'm talking of course of the irrational passions and prejudices which can be oh so easily aroused by our own version of 'brand loyalty'. Sure, so-called 'mainstream' culture is no more free of blind partisanship than any other social sphere in which personal tastes are justified against other people's by being raised to the level of intellectual generalisations, or just by plain mule headedness. Mainsream culture though lacks the wide spectrum offered by edition wars- RPGs and miniatures games; new writers and/or artists- comics and books; the full range of cross-media adaptions (which rarely stray beyond prose into movies in the mainstream)- most any geek medium into most any other; Euros versus Ameritrash- boardgames; 'old-school' versus 'indie'- RPGs again. And this is just a selection. I'm sure readers could easily add to this list.

The recent Black Library Warhammer novel Bloodborn is a case in point for yours truly. Its author is Nathan Long, of whom I first heard- as I imagine would have most of my readers who recognise his name, when he took over writing the Gotrek and Felix series from Bill King, with the novel Orcslayer. You can imagine then, dear readers, that the geek spasms so induced meant that this was hardly the best introduction a reader could have to a new writer. This misbegotten mentality was only encouraged when I heard that Nathan Long was going to be writing a Gotrek and Felix spin-off series featuring Ulrika the Vampire.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Conflict of Heroes on tour

Kingdom of Adventure
Friday afternoon a week ago saw a traveller- somewhat weary thanks to insufficient sleep the previous night, hauling his heavy luggage through the door of Kingdom of Adventure in sunny Kirkcaldy, there to be greeted by David, the cheerful and friendly store proprietor. My luggage was stowed in the back office and David proceeded to show me round his shop.

Kingdom of Adventure is a really nice wee shop. The ground floor is bright, airy and spacious. There is a smaller upstairs gaming room whose 6 tables make it more cramped, naturally enough, and which lacks the full length floor-to-ceiling window which gives the ground floor such a pleasant aspect. For all that this is no poky wee hole either.

David hard at work keeping his customers happy over a cardgame

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Free RPG Day 2010

A bumper swag-bag!
Started in 2007, Free RPG Day has already become something of an institution in the international rolepaying community. I was alerted to this year's event- which took place last Saturday, by FFG's recent announcement that they'd be contributing an introductory scenario- Final Sanction; for Deathwatch, their soon-to-be-released and long-awaited volume completing the 40KRP trilogy.

My other plans for last Saturday having proved impractical or just plain fallen through, what else could I do but hie myself to Static Games, there to avail myself of the opportunity presented by this annual celebration of roleplaying. And what a lucrative opportunity it turned out to be!

I grabbed myself 7 different products:
  • Quickstart rules with scenarios:
  1. Final Sanction (PDF link; 2 more PCs to download here).
  2. The Trail to Esavar; for Claymore Entertainment's upcoming old-school FRPG Hero's Bane.
  3. Heirs to Olympia; human-centred medieval fantasy by Countess Games.
  • Introductory scenarios:
  1. Legacy of Disaster; for AEG's recently released Legend of the Five Rings RPG4e.
  2. The Murderer of Thomas Fell; for Pelgrane Press' 2008 Ennies-winning horror RPG Trail of Cthulhu (pregenerated character handouts here). Trail of Cthulhu is just one of many games based on the Gumshoe investigative RPG system by Robin D. Laws. This system has intrigued me for a wee while now. I expect I'll be investing in one of its versions sooner or later.
  3. Dungeonbattle Brooklyn; for Goodman Games' unique take on fantasy sport, Xcrawl. This game looks like it could provide an interesting change of pace for fans of classic dungeon-bashing.
  • Setting and background:
  1. Punjar: the Tarnished Jewel; part of Goodman Games' Dungeon Crawl Classics range, this is a complete city gazetteer. A GM can never have too many mapped and detailed cities to hand so this is a very nice package all told.
Oddly enough, only Final Sanction and Legacy of Disaster were part of Free RPG Day's 2010 giveaways. The rest were from previous years; Dungeonbattle Brooklyn actually dating back to 2007. Roleplayers passing up on free stuff? Who'd've thunk it?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

UK Games Expo'10 #4. Winding up and wending home

Birmingham geek-out!
My travel plans on the Monday after the Expo gave me a day to spend in Birmingham. I deposited my luggage at the station then pondered my options: was I going for the cultural day out, or the geek day out? I chose the latter, naturally enough (no slur intended on the cultural attractions of the fair city of Birmingham I assure you dear readers, this option just proved easier to pursue on the day).

Who goes where?
Decision made, I set off to visit the local GW as is my wont when I'm on my travels. Luke- the staffer on duty, gave me the familiar friendly GW greeting when I arrived. I gave him my card and told him the story of my trip to Birmingham, then we fell to chatting. Answering the usual questions, I told him that I'm a DIY Space Marine Chapter Master and filled him in on some of Penumbra's Talons' background. I talked about how Belon (the Talons' home world remember) is located in the Eastern Fringes, which is where it's all going down in the Dark Millenium these days:
  • There are rumours that the protracted death of the Emperor on his Golden Throne has reached a point where the Astronomicon- upon which depends all human interplanetary travel, no longer reaches the Eastern Fringes; or that it is at least weaker and less reliable than ever.
  • The imminent Deathwatch RPG is to be set in the Jericho Reaches: located in the Eastern Fringes, and the target of a major Imperial Crusade aiming to reconquer lost Imperial worlds.
Little did I know what I was letting myself in for all those years ago when- on a simple whim, I plumped for the Eastern Fringes as the location for the home of my lads.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

UK Games Expo'10 #3. Games to the left of them, games to the right of them

A weekend of lovely stuff
With trade stands and demo tables spread through 6 halls in the Clarendon Suites there was plenty to keep me busy on Saturday before the Combat Commander tournament, and on Sunday. I had to exercise a measure of restraint at the trade stands this year because I was hauling my own luggage home by train, which gave me an added incentive to pass the time playing as many games as possible.

Cubicle 7
My first definite port of call on Saturday was the Cubicle 7 stand, located in the Gold Zone (where I'd later play my first game of Dominion). I was a man on a mission: I wanted a copy of the new superhero RPG Wild Talents, which I'd seen in the Expo programme because it'd been nominated for 'Best New RPG' in the Expo Awards. The stall was very busy so I only had time for a brief exchange of pleasantries with Angus Abramson before moving on.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

UK Games Expo'10 #2. Once more unto those hex-and-counter battlefields

The best laid plans
My experience of- and the feedback from, CC@UK Expo'09 had led me to reconsider the tournament's format, which had been very open last year: players just paired up at their own convenience and chose whichever scenario they wished. This had worked well; even so I was wondering if it might be worth experimenting with a more structured format.

My final decision so to do was forced to a degree by space constraints. Last year we had essentially just squatted as many tables as we could get away with in the Strathallen's main opening gaming room. This meant that we occupied space which could easily've accomodated twice our number or more so I wasn't at all surprised when Richard Denning- with whom I was liasing for CC@UK Expo'10, asked me about space requirements so that he could allocate us a specific room of our own.

The result of all this was that CC@UK Expo'10 was set up with 6 preselected scenarios to be played in seeded rounds. The scenarios were:
  • 8: Breakout Dance.
  • 13. Tussle at Maleme.
  • 19. Metaxas Season.
  • 21. Saint Agatha (@RD/KA! here).
  • E. West Tank Barrier.
  • K. Burning Buna.
In the event this format was abandoned on Saturday in favour of last year's because players were having to sit around for too long waiting for others to finish so that the next round could begin. This was pointless, the main aim of the tournament being to play as much Combat Commander as possible.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

"Alas, I am undone!"

Sieze the day?
I said last Thursday that I wanted to get Dominion to the table up here in Glasgow "at the earliest opportunity". That opportunity arose when Badger appeared for Friday night gaming. I'd been touting for a game of Conflict of Heroes- what with the upcoming demo tour, but the lure of Dominion proved too much to resist. A Euro-style cardgame that can keep this grognard's favourite treadhead's game off the table? Regular readers will realise that this must make Dominion something really special.

What went down
The rules of Dominion include a few recommended sets of Kingdom cards to give beginners balanced games which demonstrate different dynamics of play (you only use 10 of the 22 different kinds remember?) so- knowing what I was looking at and for this time, I was quickly able to get the game set up using the starter game cards (all shown in the illustrations left and below). Five minutes later we were playing. Five minutes after that Badger was playing his cards like he'd been playing Dominion for ages: grinning all over his face as he surveyed good hands; grimacing at his hands of shite.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

UK Games Expo'10 #1. Friends old and new

Rattle and hum: the convention circuit with added cyberware
As many of my readers will know, one of the special charms of any convention is meeting new people with an ease all too uncommon in everyday life. The simple foreknowledge of passions shared with those you encounter, coupled perhaps with something of a 'hothouse' environment as people try to squeeze as much as possible out of the convention experience, creates a drive to turn chance encounters into memorable moments. This pleasure grows when continued convention-going turns these passing moments into casual acquaintances and more enduring friendships.

This already familiar experience has changed in recent years thanks to the intervention of the internet, and of social networking in particular. People you know online become candidates for organised rendezvous at the earliest opportunity; those you meet at conventions are added to your online network so that it's easier to meet up in the future. And so the hobby community is enriched as a whole- by the growing networks of its members; and for each of those members- by their increasing ability to participate in and contribute to the life of the community of their shared interests. (Image via Online Teaching Resources.)

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Playing catchup

Turnover has been slow here at RD/KA! lately. My mood hasn't been great, as old hands might already've imagined. More important than that though- and a contributory factor too no doubt, is the fact that I've been living for several months with the burden of undiagnosed type 2 diabetes, which has left me tired and lacking in motivation. Now that I'm know I'm hoping that management of the condition will soon get me rolling again.

In brighter news I returned last night from UK Games Expo 2010. I had a great time and will be getting to work soon on my report. Meanwhile here are some bits and pieces.

Prizes! Prizes!
The response to my Waste World prize draw was sufficient to make a draw necessary so that's a result I guess! I am pleased to announce the results of the draw:
  • Grand prize: the Waste World rules and the Hydra sourcebook go to Josef.
  • Consolation prize: the A Fistful of Credits starter set goes to the Gnome.
Congratulations gents! If you'd like to email me your addresses I'll get your goodies off to you as soon as possible. Commiserations to those of you who didn't win. Keep haunting ebay and remember: this was the first RD/KA! prize draw.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

My little Old World: Ashes of Middenheim

This is the index for the WFRP2 campaign I ran in 2005/06. The campaign featured:
I have left out a couple of inconsequential posts which have nothing to do with the actual story (these can be found via the 'my little old world' label). The campaign history is otherwise presented exactly as I wrote it, warts and all.

Wednesday, May 05, 2010

First grand "Roll dice and kick ass!" prize draw!

Spring is here and we're all celebrating long days and bright sunshine. As RD/KA!'s small contribution to these annual festivities I'm announcing my first ever prize draw.

Late extra!
Bill King's return to the Black Library to write a Warhammer Fantasy trilogy about legendary Elf heroes Tyrion and Teclis will be news only to those of my readers who don't follow the Black Library blog or other F&SF news sites, where the news broke back in February.

Bill is of course best known for his 7 Slayer novels, featuring dwarf slayer Gotrek Gurnisson and his human poet companion Felix Jaeger; and for his 4 Space Wolf novels, featuring Ragnar Blackmane. He may have 2 major characters to whom the phrase 'pointy ears' is simultaneously a term of abuse and a target designation, but writing about elves isn't new to Bill. He co-wrote with Andy Chambers the 4th edition Warhammer Armies: High Elves, in which he created most of what remains the canonical account of Tyrion and Teclis. And he wrote about the 40K Eldar in the novel Farseer.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Local talent takes off

The discovery
My friend and neighbour Sioux is- to paraphrase an old Scottish expression, a lass of many parts. Pen and ink line illustration is Sioux's latest hobby, one she started last year as a diversion in a period of enforced idleness. I'd seen some of her early work and liked it. It turns that I wasn't alone in that.

Sioux: the artist

Sioux exhibited a few of her illustrations at the Glasgow Art Fair last March. A tad intimidated by the fact that she was the only artist showing black and white line illustrations at the 2010 Fair, Sioux was quite gobsmacked when she was promptly offered a deal by the Art Exposure Gallery here in Glasgow. And you could've knocked Sioux over with a feather when the gallery owner told her that she was to be launched with a private viewing to which she could invite family and friends.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Not your regular Sunday session #2. Of gangers, competitors and winners

Getting wired inWednesday's first installment of this Conflict Scotland 2010 report was all about meeting people, seeing the sights, and loading up with swag. Today I'll be telling of how Andy and I fared when we joined in the fun, and of the results of the competitions: the event's purpose after all.

Underhive shootout

The game
Knowing that there was to be open gaming laid on, Andy and I took along some of our models for a game. Andy took his 1500pt, 20 model Space Wolf Wolf Guard army (Andy's tried this army out already- against David's infamous Tau: you can read Andy's battle report here). I'd considered taking a Penumbra's Talons army but decided against it in the end, preferring instead just to take along my gang for a game of Necromunda with Andy.

Now part of GW's Specialist Games range, Necromunda was originally released in 1995 in a big box stuffed to the gunnels in best GW tradition (a box whose contents included- IIRC, the first appearance of the now highly prized plastic bulkheads). The game was an instant hit and has since won itself a following whose fanaticism is matched only by that of Blood Bowl, another game hailing from the same period (Blood Bowl's definitive 3rd edtion was released just the previous year).

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Not your regular Sunday session #1. Of GWers, gamers and swag

It's been a long time
With no gaming the previous week because we had decided to go for a walk in the lovely spring sunshine, last Sunday's session was also cancelled because Andy and I had chosen to accept our mission: to attend GW's premiere Scottish gaming event, Conflict 2010. My last Conflict- at which I was a competitor, was back in 2002, so it was nice to go to another and to see what had become of this event in the intervening years. Neither Andy nor I were competing this year so we had plenty of time to take in the sights.

The writer
The Black Library stand was the first thing Andy and I noticed on our entry into the venue- the Braehead Curling Rink, but we barely had time to register its presence as we were both making a rapid beeline for the bargain stand across the far side of the hall. On this first of several visits I spotted a shopworn copy of Heldenhammer: the Legend of Sigmar, the first in Graham McNeill's trilogy of novels about this founder of the Empire in the Warhammer Old World; a bargain at a mere £1. Result!