Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Society & Gaming

A recent podcast on gaming and stereotypes by the Fear The Boot guys (http://feartheboot.libsyn.com/) caused me to ponder mine and other gamers’ interactions with non-gamers. Do you hide your hobby from others? Are you somewhat embarrassed that you like killing ogres and you get excited over a “nat” 20? As you read over dinner, do you hide the cover of your Warhammer book from prying eyes?

I generally don’t discuss role-playing or war gaming with non-gamers, and although this could be due to the “geekiness” associated with the games, I believe I mainly don’t discuss them because I don’t think the people are interested. For example, I don’t talk techno-babble with non-computer guys neither. That is not to say that I don’t believe there is something of a stigma attached to gaming… I grew up in the ‘80s after all (when D&D was gonna cause us all to be homicidal killers, sell our souls to Satan, or both). However, I have the feeling that the stigma has fallen some over the last decade or so. Fantasy and science-fiction both seem to be viable main-stream topics for movies and books, and computer gaming (a cousin to table-top gaming if you ask me) is definitely on the rise (especially with the popularly of multiplayer games).

That being said about secular society and gaming, I think the stigma may be better than previously but still pretty bad in most Christian contexts. (I’ve not had much experience with other religions, but it seems like Christianity and its branches are the only religions that have a problem with table-top gaming.) I may be wrong about this; I haven’t participated in any open discussions at church about gaming. It is just a “feeling” I have… that may be based on all that crap from the ‘80s mentioned previously. However, I don’t seem to be the only one with that idea. A gamer friend and I attended the same church a few years ago, and although I was comfortable with discussing the latest gaming news with him before/after service, he was always shushing me and telling me that we could talk about it later. He always seemed amazed that I was willing to discuss gaming in front of other church members, but I’ve been a Christian for most of my life and the only problem I have with gaming is the amount of time I “waste” goofing off. That’s no more a sin than football or fishing or any other main-stream hobby, so I’m not going to be ashamed for that. (I’ve lived long enough and made enough poor decisions that I’ve got plenty of other things of which I am ashamed.)

Any other gamers care to share their thoughts/experiences?

Friday, April 25, 2008

Awesome Comics Week & FCBD!! (4-30-08)

Action Comics #864
Avengers Initiative #12
Black Summer #6
Black Summer Auxiliary #6
Blue Beetle #26
Buddha: Story of Enlightenment #2
Daredevil: Blood of the Tarantula
DC Universe Zero

Devi #19
Dr. Who Special #19
Ex Machina #36
Fables vol 1 TP: Legends in Exile
Facts in the Case of the Departure of Ms Finch HC
Giant Size Avengers/Invaders #1
Glamourpuss #1

Gold Digger Tangent #4
Green Lantern #30
Grimm Fairy Tales: Piper #2 (OF 4)
Helen Killer #1 (OF 4)
Hercules #1

Hunter #2
I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space #1
Immortal Iron Fist #14
Jack of Fables #22
JSA Classified #37
Legion of Superheroes #41
Marvel Comics Presents #8
Marvel Illustrated: Moby Dick #3 (OF 6)
New Avengers #40 SI
New Battlestar Galactica Season Zero #7
New Warriors #11
Noble Causes #33
Order #10
Ramayan 3392 AD Reloaded Guidebook
Snakewoman: Curse of the 68 #3 (OF 4)
Spider-Man: Tangled Web vol 1 TP
Spider-Man: Tangled Web vol 2 TP
Star Wars: Rebellion #13
Superman Symbol T-Shirt – S/O #54
Tall Tales of Vishnu Sharma Panchatantra #4 (OF 5)
Teen Titans #58
Teen Titans Go #54
Teen Titans: Year One #4 (OF 6)
Thor: Ages of Thunder
Thor Premier HC vol 1

Ultimate Fantastic Four vol 1 TP: The Fantastic
Ultimate Galactus vol 1 TP: Nightmare
Ultimate Human #4 (OF 4)
Ultimate Spider-Man vol 2 TP: Learning Curve
Ultimate Spider-Man vol 4 TP: Legacy
Ultimate X-Men #93
Ultimates 2 vol 2 TP: Grand Theft America
Uncle Sam & the Freedom Fighters #8 (OF 8)
Usagi Yojimbo #111
Wizard Magazine #200
Wonderland #6
X-Men: Legacy #210 DWS
Youngblood #3

Daredevil: Blood of the Tarantula - Carlos LaMuerto, a.k.a. Black Tarantula, is finally doing something good with his life. Well, at least it ain't all bad. Lying low after getting out of prison and wiping out an entire gang, Carlos has become a low-key Robin Hood -- cleaning up the neighborhood he used to run as a gang lord. But he's about to discover that leaving his past behind isn't as simple as a change of attitudeƖas ghosts from his former life haunt him, Carlos turns to his friend/adversary, Matt Murdock. Now Black Tarantula and Daredevil must work together to save the streets of Hell's Kitchen from a powerful new gang from Carlos' homeland.

DC Universe Zero – This is it! The greatest DC characters! Your favorite writers and artists! Everything leading to Final Crisis and beyond starts here for just 50¢! Take a journey through the past and present of the DCU, and witness the emergence of the greatest evil in the universe - and the stunning return of a force for good! You dare not miss DC Universe: Zero!

Giant Size Avengers/Invaders #1 - Whet your appetite for Alex Ross, Jim Krueger and Steve Sadowski's 12-part AVENGERS/INVADERS maxi-series with these classic tales! Witness the Invaders' first appearance in AVENGERS #71 (1969), as Earth's Mightiest Heroes encounter the wartime Captain America, Human Torch and Sub-Mariner - and experience the story from the Invaders' point of view in INVADERS ANNUAL #1 (1977). Finally, the Invaders thwart a Nazi assassination attempt on President Roosevelt and Winston Churchill in GIANT-SIZE INVADERS #2 (2005). Also featuring in-depth dossiers on both teams and AVENGERS /INVADERS preview pages!

Glamourpuss #1 – Master graphic novelist Dave Sim - the creator of Cerebus - returns! Glamourpuss is three comic books in one: a parody of fashion magazines, a history of photorealism in comics (starting with Alex Raymond's Rip Kirby in 1946), and the strangest super-heroine comic book of all time! Featuring the first appearance of Glamourpuss, her evil twin sister Skanko, and the heroine's long-time therapist Dr. Norm. Available with two covers - a 'Comics Edition' with a classic EC-style cover, and a 'Fashion Edition' that parodies fashion magazines.

Helen Killer #1 (OF 4) - In 1901, twenty-one year old college student Helen Keller, with the aid of a fantastical device invented by her friend and mentor, Alexander Graham Bell, regains her sight and hearing as well as near super-human strength and agility. Helen is enlisted by the Secret Service to protect President William McKinley who has been targeted for assassination by Anarchists. As a deeper conspiracy to destroy America unfolds around her, Helen discovers that her new abilities come with a dark and terrifying price!

Hercules #1 – Fourteen hundred years ago, a tormented soul walked the earth that was neither man nor god. Hercules was the powerful son of the god king Zeus, for this he received nothing but suffering his entire life. After twelve arduous labors and the loss of his family, this dark, world-weary soul turned his back on the gods finding his only solace in bloody battle. Over the years he warmed to the company of six similar souls, their only bond being their love of fighting and presence of death. These men and woman never question where they go to fight or why or whom, just how much they will be paid. Now the King of Thrace has hired these mercenaries to train his men to become the greatest army of all time. It is time for this bunch of lost souls to finally have their eyes opened to how far they have fallen when they must train an army to become as ruthless and blood thirsty as their reputation has become. In the dark epic vein of Frank Millar's 300, Radical reinvents the Hercules legend like never before, behind a sumptuously rendered cover by Jim Steranko. Designs by jim Steranko, Weta Workshop and Imaginary Friends Studios.

I Was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space #1 – The Lesbian Pirates set off for the Phlebon-6 First Intergalactic Bank, hoping to fill the ship's brig with big stacks of cash. But mild-mannered bank employee Andrew Manly isn't going to take this lying down! If only he could find a phone booth to use so he could change! Yeah, I couldn’t help but order this after seeing the title – it sounds hilarious, and I think that’s all it’s meant to be. I hope it’s worth checking out…

Thor: Ages of Thunder – As the Mighty Thor reclaims his rightful spot in the Marvel Pantheon, we join Matt Fraction and Patrick Zircher for a special examining the triumphs and tragedies that have befallen the God of Thunder across the eons. As the things he holds dearest are threatened by unimaginable forces of evil, Thor must rise up, again and again, to hold the line against terror and chaos as only the God of Thunder can!


See you at Haven!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Wednesday's Comics! (4-23-08)

1001 Arabian Nights: Adventures of Sinbad #0
Batman #675
Birds of Prey #117
Checkmate #25
Countdown to Final Crisis 1
Death of the New Gods #8 (OF 8)
Dynamo 5 #12
Fables #72
Fall of Cthulhu #11
Gold Digger #95
Gold Digger Peebo Tales Special #3
Gold Digger Sourcebook #16
Haunted Mansion vol 1 TP - S/O #7
Hulk #3
Hulk vs Hercules: When Titans Collide

India Authentic #12: Andhaka
JLA #20
JSA vol 2 HC: Thy Kingdom Come (pt 1)
Marvel Adventures Fantastic Four #35
Marvel Illustrated: Dorian Gray #5 (OF 6)
Marvel Previews #57
Mice Templar #4
Mighty Avengers #12 SII
Ms. Marvel #26 SII
New Exiles #5
Previews vol XVIII #5
Return of the Gremlins #2 (OF 3)
Sadhu: Wheel of Destiny #1 (OF 5)
Scooby Doo #131
Secret Invasion #1 (OF 8) Blank Con Cover Variant - S/O #3
Shadowpact #24
She-Hulk 2 #28
Sonic X #32
Spooks #16
Spooks #2
Star Trek: Next Generation – Intelligence Gathering #4 (OF 5)
Star Trek: New Frontier #2
Star Wars: Dark Times #10
Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic #27
Star Wars: Legacy #22
Super Friends #2
Superman/Batman #47
Supernatural: Rising Son #1 (OF 6)
Tales from Wonderland: Queen of Hearts #1

Thor #8
Ultimate Fantastic Four #53
Ultimate Spider-Man #121

Uncanny X-Men #497 DWS
Walking Dead T-Shirt – S/O #110
Wolverine First Class #2
X-Force #3 DWS
X-Men First Class vol 2 #11
Young Avengers Presents #4 (OF 6)

1001 Arabian Nights: Adventures of Sinbad #0 – The fantastic tales of adventures from 1001 Arabian Nights have entertained and enchanted audiences for hundreds of years. Now Zenescope brings you a bold reinterpretation of these classic tales. Sinbad journeys to a strange volcanic island in search of the first piece of the mysterious Jericho's visor. But the sexy and seductive witch Queen Alorana has other plans in mind for Sinbad and his crew.

Hulk vs Hercules: When Titans Collide – 32 PAGES!? BAH! HULK NEED BIGGER BOOK! HULK SMASH PUNY BEARD SKIRT MAN!' Calm down, big fella. You're going to need your strength when you go up against the Lion of Olympus, the INCREDIBLE HERCULES! We're bringing you a BRAND NEW story with THE most SMASHING, CRASHING, BASHING, MASHING and LASHING you've EVER witnessed, and THEN we're giving you some of the greatest HULK and HERC stories from yesteryear! BRING ON THE FIGHT!

Sadhu: Wheel of Destiny #1 (OF 5) – James Jensen, the Sadhu, is drawn deeper into India's struggle for independence as he becomes acquainted with Mahatma Gandhi and his principles of non-violence. Meanwhile, dark forces gather, intent on unleashing bloodshed and an ages-old evil.

Supernatural: Rising Son #1 (OF 6) – Dean and Sam Winchester were raised as Hunters by their widowed father, seeking vengeance on the supernatural elements that took their mother from them. But the road to vengeance is a dark one, and is it a place where children can have any semblance of a life? Picking up several years after Supernatural: Origins, the boys are now old enough to join John on his cross-country 'hunting trips.' Amid the carnage and violence, John's seeking something specific: any information on why his wife was murdered. But is he prepared for the answers that'll he find? And is he willing to sacrifice his 11-year-old son Dean to this hard, lonely life by giving him his first 'hunt'?

X-Force #3 DWS – As X-Force searches for their missing teammate, Wolfsbane strikes-and she's not taking any prisoners! But the Purifiers have more than an ace up their sleeve- they've got the deck stacked. And when Wolverine, X-23, and Warpath learn the truth behind Risman's nefarious plan...no one is safe. And no one is guaranteed to get out alive.


See you at Haven!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Awesome Comics Wednesday!! (4-16-08)

52 vol 3 TP – S/O #83
Amazing Spider-Man #557
Amory Wars vol 1 TP: Second Stage Turbine Blade
Annihilation Conquest #6 (OF 6)
Army of Darkness: Long Road Home #8
Avengers Classic #11
Avengers Initiative #11
Batman & the Outsiders #6
Battlestar Galactica vol 3 HC
Brave and the Bold #12
Captain America #37
Captain Marvel #5 (OF 5) SII
Catwoman #78
Countdown 28 – S/O #83
Countdown 29 – S/O #83
Countdown 30 – S/O #83
Countdown 31 – S/O #83
Countdown to Final Crisis 2
Cthulhu Tales #1
DC/Wildstorm: Dreamwar #1 (OF 6)

Dr. Who #3
Dr. Who Magazine #394
Dresden Files #1 (OF 4)
Fables vol 1 TP: Legends in Exile

Flash #239
Ghost Rider #22
Gotham Underground #7 (OF 9)
Green Arrow Year One HC
Grimm Fairy Tales #26
Incredible Hercules #116
Iron Man #28
Iron Man: Legacy of Doom #1 (OF 4)
Jack of Fables vol 1 TP: Nearly Great Escape

Knights of the Dinner Table #138
Legion of Superheroes in the 31st Century #13
Lone Ranger #11
Marvel Adventures Avengers #23
Marvel Illustrated: Illiad #5 (OF 8)
Persepolis TP – S/O #122
Powers Annual 2008
Pride of Baghdad SC – S/O #122
Red Sonja #32
Rex Mundi #11
Robin #173
Salvation Run #6 (OF 7)
Star Trek, Year Four: Enterprise Experiment #1
Suicide Squad: Raise the Flag #8 (OF 8)
Superman #675
Tangent: Superman’s Reign #2 (OF 12)
Ultimate Spider-Man vol 1 TP: Power & Responsibility
Uncle Scrooge #374
Walking Dead t-shirt XL – S/O #110
Walt Disney’s Comics & Stories #689
War is Hell: First Flight of the Phantom Eagle #2 (OF 4)
Willow Creek #1 (OF 5)
Wolverine Origins #24
World of Warcraft #6
World War Hulk Aftersmash: Warbound #5 (OF 5)
Worlds of Dungeons & Dragons #1
X-Factor #30 DWS
X-Men: Divided We Stand #1 (OF 2) DWS

Cthulhu Tales #1 - Kick off the new monthly series readers demanded, based on the fan-favorite, critically-acclaimed anthology. Yes, Cthulhu Tales is back, but this time it's monthly! More great Cthulhu stories from more great writers and artists that you know and love. Heed the call every month!

DC/Wildstorm: Dreamwar #1 (OF 6) - Universes collide! The Justice League vs. the Authority. The Legion of Super-Heroes vs. Stormwatch. The Justice Society vs. Tranquility. When opposites meet, chaos reigns!

Dresden Files #1 (OF 4) – Harry Dresden is on the case again, this time investigating a brutal mauling at the Lincoln Park Zoo that has left a security guard dead… and many questions unanswered. But Dresden isn't a private detective, looking for a murderer – he's a wizard, with the ability to interact with the magical world around our own, and to see that there's much more to this case than a simple animal attack. As Dresden begins to hunt for clues to figure out who is really behind this crime, he finds himself next on the victims list…Written exclusively for comics by New York Times bestselling author Jim Butcher, The Dresden Files: Welcome to the Jungle is a brand new story set in the world of the wildly popular sci-fi series of novels, The Dresden Files, that's sure to enchant readers with a blend of gripping mystery and fantastic adventure!

Iron Man: Legacy of Doom #1 (OF 4) – Dr. Doom returns to menace Iron Man in the chilling and long-awaited conclusion of The Camelot Trilogy! Mephisto has apparently found a way to bring about The End Of Days and Tony Stark and Victor Von Doom must form an uneasy alliance to try and stop him. But all may not be as it seems. And it takes a journey to Hell itself before the shocking truth is revealed! Iron Man legends David Michelinie and Bob Layton are joined by penciler supreme Ron Lim to bring you the first part of an epic literally decades in the making!

Worlds of Dungeons & Dragons #1 – Featuring tales of Drizzt and Raistlin! Double-sized! Monthly! The tomes of Dungeons & Dragons hold countless stories of fascinating mystery, unbelievable danger and bravery beyond compare! Beginning here, these tales come to light! Starting here: part one of Dark Mirror a tale of morality and introspection featuring Drizzt of the Forgotten Realms! Also, part one of The Legacy - a story of power and lineage featuring Raistlin of Dragonlance fame!

X-Men: Divided We Stand #1 (of 2) - In the wake of Messiah CompleX, there are no X-Men. But where does that leave the mutants that WERE X-Men? Some of the industry’s hottest creators bring you stories of your favorite mutants. Mike Carey (X-MEN, ULTIMATE FF) and Brandon Peterson (ULTIMATE EXTINCTION) bring you a tale of Cannonball and Husk. Matt Fraction (PUNISHER: WAR JOURNAL, IRON FIST) and Jamie McKelvie (Suburban Glamour, Phonogram) tell a story about Nightcrawler. Craig Kyle & Christ Yost (X-FORCE) and Sana Takeda (Drain) take you to Wakanda for a tale of Storm, Black Panther and Neznho. And Skottie Young (NEW X-MEN) writes and draws a story about your favorite New X-Man Anole.


See you at Haven!

Friday, April 11, 2008

The pros' inspiration

Comic book creators, including Brian Michael Bendis, Robert Kirkman, Warren Ellis, Gail Simone, Darwyn Cooke, Dave Gibbons, Brad Meltzer, Brian Wood, Jim Lee and others, talk about which comic book hooked them to the medium.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Adolescent Radioactive Blackbelt Hamsters #2
Amazing Spider-Girl #19
Amazing Spider-Man #556
Avengers Fairy Tales #2 (OF 4)
Batman Confidential #16
Batman Death Mask #1 (OF 4)
Booster Gold #8
BPRD 1946 #4 (OF 5)
Cable #1 DWS – Shortage Replacement
Civil War Chronicles #10
Countdown to Final Crisis 3
Devi #18
DNA Hacker Chronicles #1
Dock Walloper #3 (OF 5)
Doktor Sleepless #6
Fables vol 1 TP: Legends in Exile
Fantastic Four #556
Freddy vs Jason vs Ash #6 (OF 6) – S/O #83
Gamekeeper Series 2 #2
Gen 13 #19
George RR Martin’s Wild Cards #1 (OF 6)
Gold Digger #94
Gold Digger Dreadwings Mymior Special
Green Arrow/Black Canary #7
Green Lantern Corps #23
Groo: Hell on Earth #4 (OF 4)
Harbinger: The Beginning HC – S/O #28
Hedge Knight 2: The Sworn Sword #6 (OF 6)
Jenna Jameson’s Shadow Hunter #2
JSA #14
JSA #14 VAR ED – S/O #71
Last Defenders #2 (OF 6)
Locke & Key #3
Megas #2 (OF 4)
New Universal TP: Everything Went White
Nova #12
Punisher #56
Scud, the Disposable Assassin #23 – S/O #6
Serenity: Better Days #2 (OF 3)
Snakewoman: Curse of the 68 #2 (OF 4)
Sonic the Hedgehog #187
Superman Confidential #14
Tall Tales of Vishnu Sharma Panchutantra #3 (OF 5)
Terry Moore’s Echo #2
Tezukas MW GN – S/O #35
Tiny Titans #3
Titans #1
Titans #1 VariantS/O #71
Ultimates 2 vol 2 TP: Grand Theft America – S/O #35
Wizard Magazine #200 GOLD
Wolverine #64 DWS
Wonder Woman #19
Young Liars #2

Batman: Deathmask #1 (of 4) - BATMAN: DEATH MASK is written and illustrated by Yoshinori Natsume, acclaimed creator of Toguri, who makes his American comics debut with this original Batman manga tale. In BATMAN: DEATH MASK #1, there’s a new serial killer in Gotham, one who may have ties to the training Bruce Wayne acquired as a young man in Japan. Does the murderer know that Bruce Wayne is the Batman?

DNA Hacker Chronicles #1 - Now on the run, Michelle hunts down the would-be assassins that attempted to kill her and her brother. Jackie is still lost in the grips of the Transcoder, and only Christian can save him!

George RR Martin’s Wild Cards #1 (of 6) - In 1946, an alien virus was unleashed that changed the world forever, and people who were affected made their draw. Most drew the Black Queen and died horribly. Almost everyone who survived drew the Joker, and became deformed, broken, hated and feared. But a handful drew the Ace, and gained super powers that allowed them to achieve almost anything the mind can conceive - both in dreams and in nightmares. Sixty years later, an ace named Croyd Crenson, better known as 'The Sleeper,' is framed for the murder of a young nurse in Jokertown. And as it turns out, the killer is another ace, with the ability to walk through walls! Meanwhile a group of teenagers in Colorado accidentally activate the dormant Wild Card Virus, causing the entire town of Whiteoak to experience the effects of the virus. Most draw the Black Queen, but emergency crews will find themselves faced with two people who have drawn the ace!

Serenity: Better Days #2 (of 3) - Joss Whedon returns to the world of his blockbuster film Serenity--and his 2005 bestselling miniseries Those Left Behind--with the three-issue comics series Better Days. The second issue of Serenity: Better Days, follows Mal and his rag-tag crew on a short-lived vacation, where they explore their fantasies and confront long-forgotten enemies.

Titans #1 - A new team of Titans is born in the extra-sized first issue of a new ongoing monthly by Judd Winick (GREEN LANTERN, GREEN ARROW, OUTSIDERS), Ian Churchill & Norm Rapmund (SUPERGIRL, TEEN TITANS EAST SPECIAL)! Someone or something is continuing its attack on anyone who's ever been a Titan, including Nightwing, Starfire, Donna Troy, Beast Boy and Raven. You won't want to miss this new startling chapter in Titans history that may forge a new team from the ashes of old, dead friends.


See you at Haven!

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

MidSouthCon Gaming Report

I am finally back in town (and at work *ugh*) from MidSouthCon (www.midsouthcon.org), a gaming convention in Memphis, TN. I actually arrived Sunday and had Monday off to recuperate from the drive and the lack of sleep, but unfortunately, my lawn was calling to me for much needed attention so I ended up working anyway, just not for pay. Hmmmmm... maybe next year I can try a "Tom Sawyer" routine on Josh (Wheeee! Look how much fun it is to mow!) and get my lawn mowed while at MidSouthCon; something I'll have to ponder.

Anyway, I arrived at MidSouthCon on Friday around 1:00 PM. After checking in at Operations (one of the privileges of being a GM volunteer), I wandered a bit before the first game slot where I tried to play a game of Witch Hunter: The Invisible World (swashbuckling adventure and colonial-era horror). Unfortunately, my hope of burning witches was dashed; there was apparently no pre-con interest so the GM didn't show for the afternoon game. (This was not very considerate in my opinion, but then again, as far as I know, I was the only interested player at that time slot so it would have been a bust anyway - although I could have actually discussed the game and probably looked through the book.)

Having some free time, I took another look at the schedule and decided I'd try a game of RunePunk: Steam & Shadow. RunePunk is a Savage Worlds setting (dark steampunk fantasy) produced by a local (Memphis) gaming company, Reality Blurs (www.realityblurs.com). I had actually played RunePunk before which is why it was not my first pick for the session, but it is a fun game and I definitely think highly of the Savage Worlds system. Additionally, the game was ran by the President of Reality Blurs, Sean Preston, whom I met several years ago at MidSouthCon when I first heard of this new game called RunePunk on which he was working. I just think it is cool that his company seems to be doing well (well enough to be producing another setting soon); after all, don't all gamers wish they owned their own game company?

After the RunePunk game, I had a little time before my own game, HorrorClix: Aliens Vs. Cthulhu, so I checked out the Dealer's Room... and managed to find a copy of the Warhammer 40000: Dark Heresy RPG!!! The only copy for sale at the con! Go me! (As you can probably tell by now, I've been looking for a copy, but it is out-of-print until this summer at the earliest.)

Friday evening was time for some HorrorClix action. I was actually pleasantly surprised at the response. From my experience, most miniature gamers think ____Clix are a little too simple, but I was actually able to play 2 games with 4 different players. In both games, the aliens won, but it was a close call. I also had my ego rubbed by the number of people who wanted to take pictures of my Cthulhu temple... ah, to be respected and loved. Now if I could only find that in Huntsville...

That pretty much sums up my Friday so let's move on to Saturday, which started in a rather disappointing manner. 9:00 AM was the time for my Metamorphosis Alpha game (old school, post-apocalyptic, science-fantasy), but I had no players. I'm not sure if it was the setting, the system (Metamorphosis Alpha is an OLD game), or the time (morning is not the best time for gamers), but my hope (since I like the game) is that it was the time, so maybe I'll try it again another year. However, it turned out that this was actually a blessing in disguise. Since I now had free-time, but most of the other games had already started, I began to wander about aimlessly in the hopes of finding something. I bumped into Sean again from Reality Blurs and tried a miniature game of his new setting; I can't remember the name but it is essentially feudal Japan-based with magic - think samurai, ninja wizards, and bamboo war vehicles. After an enjoyable quick game, I turned around and played a miniature game of Savage Worlds: Deadlands Reloaded ran by the CREATOR, Shane Hensley! THAT was an absolute *BLAST* and the best game I played at the con! Plus, I now have bragging rights that I played in a game ran by Shane.

At this point, 2:00 PM had come around so it was time for a game of Horror Rules: The Simply Horrible Role-Playing Game (www.crucifictiongames.com). I had never played Horror Rules before so this was a new experience. It is a fun, fast paced, easy-to-learn horror comedy role-playing game... essentially, your character is a star in a 'B'-rated horror movie.

After successfully escaping from a museum full of animated figures, I thought I'd better get some food in me before my own game of Paranoia (a light-hearted game of backstabbing, treachery and guile) so I headed out for some quick fast-food. Returning to the con, I watched the end of the current session's Paranoia game in order to start the mood for running my own. Once time for my Paranoia game hit, I had a full table of 7 players... and then the madness of Alpha Complex began. I think everybody had fun although there weren't as many clone deaths as usual (but that may be because the Troubleshooters were not issued lasers). At the end of the game, I handed out prizes supplied by Mongoose Publishing (www.mongoosepublishing.com), and I think there was at least one new convert to the game.

I was pretty tired by this point so once I called my girlfriend and said good-night, it was time for bed. (2:00 AM is late enough for anybody.) The games really start dying off by Sunday, so I took my time getting up and packing. I made it by the Dealer's Room one last time and picked up a copy of Infernal Contraption, a card game where goblin mechanics race to assemble nigh-uncontrollable magical machines. After saying my good-byes to a few people I know that I only see once a year, I hit the long road home... exhausted but content.