Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Maintaining Momentum

It's been a rough few weeks.  The antics of GW has actually presented a lull in enthusiasm, and while we've worked to reach a solution that's amicable with everyone attendance at these meetings has dropped dramatically.  The way we perceive GW has changed fundamentally - we have always been seen the Design Studio and tournament organizers as a benevolent authority over gamers, now we see them as the actual dearth of our game club.

However, all that's behind us now.  It's all ahead full at the Wargate - and a new community revolution is in progress.  Nothing as toxic as GW's policies toward games, rules and models will keep us from enjoying Warhammer as we want to.  We claim control of the rules for the Gatekeepers.

So, a new action plan has been implemented.  A grand reorganization has occurred, and GW is not on the 2014 or 2015 schedules.  However, the years pass quickly for we ancients.  In two shakes of a newborn's breath, it will be 2016.  It's very possible the embargo will be lifted by then, but when GW returns to the schedule it will be us controlling the rules, not GW.

We should have already learned from experience not to sell off stuff we want.  In light of this, despite what you've heard or what has been previously discussed at council we will not be liquidating the entirety of our GW collections.  When GW games are reintroduced to the schedule, all of your armies will still be there - some may even benefit from painting in the meantime.

We will be introducing an eBay store here on the site as well.  Our reorganization has changed the plan for the store as well, so if you've missed the last couple of council meetings you're probably far out of the loop.  We will be partnered with a few other collectible stores as well, and aim to bring you the best gaming material we can at the best prices as well.

So, now that we're building momentum again, how do we maintain it?

Clan Strife will continue until June 1st, when we begin our new Warmachine campaign!  That runs until September, when Flames of War begins to finish out 2014.  After that, we have a brand new initiative we'll be taking on - Star Wars X- Wing!  Chapters interested in joining any of these need only contact the Project Coordinator.

However, the RPG section is a big draw as well.  Dark Heresy will continue starting this next weekend.  Sorry for the delay in posting and gaming, but we had a lot of work to do.  Now that all the cases have been sorted through, we're ready to get back on track.

A few other changes as well.  We've talked about how we're going to handle new players and 'floaters' in the club as well, and investing in models is no longer an issue.  Trust me, members of the Collective have plenty of awesome stuff to do from now till doomsday with no further investment.  To that end, Hobby Days will become a more prevalent part of Game Day going forward.

Updates will come more frequently now.  It's all been ironed out, and this post is to assure you we have not forgotten our true mission.  If you've been absent, now's your chance to hop back in and not miss a beat.  That's what the rest of us have decided to do.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Anticipating "Next"...?

"Settle down there, Gloryblaze - have a Snickers."
As the seasons change, so too do the editions of these various games we play.  In many cases, we (as fans) can react poorly to these changes, especially with Dungeons & Dragons.  There's just something timeless about D&D, and no one wants to see something they have fond memories of change into something they can't recognize.

Yet when looking back, only one edition of Dungeons & Dragons suffered from this stigma - indeed, 2nd Edition was a very welcome addition to the brand, and 3rd Edition was the grand revision everything needed to bring it in line with a new millennium.  3.5 Edition was not something I cared for, but I simply used all those books I somehow acquired for my 3.0 games.  This was the same thing that 2nd Edition haters did when it rolled around - indeed, 2nd Edition was pretty much designed to work with the 1st Edition material.

Now, recently we've changed our ideas on edition grinds.  For Dungeons & Dragons, we see pretty much every individual edition as standing on it's own merits.  Now, granted I haven't ran a 4th Edition game yet - but I do intend to.  The club is worming it's way through all the ancient material right now in an attempt to play every Dungeons & Dragons game / setting, but we'll get there eventually.

So, what does that mean for us and for 5th Edition, gleefully being called "Next"?

The basic setting of 5th Edition seems to be the Forgotten Realms, and this is what we are looking at this summer:
  • Basic Introductory Set (July 15) - 19.95
  • Player's Handbook (August 19) - 49.95
So it looks like the hardcovers are going to be as expensive as GW books, and we all know that's a count against them.  $150 US for the three basic manuals.  The difference is that these books will last a lot longer for the club than any publication GW has ever done.  Case in point - we played 1st Edition most recently, and I have the original 1979-81 publications.  We all know it's going to be a while before we crawl though all the games we want to, but without GW stuff on the schedule it's going to go a lot quicker.

Personally, I'll probably pick up 5th Edition when a setting I like is published for it.  I don't really care for the Forgotten Realms post-3rd Edition because of how the setting has changed, but we're going to play through the TSR/WotC material from 1st to 3rd Edition - it's the bomb.  Yet, like we have Dark Sun for 4th Edition, "Next" will probably be a short(ish) stop on our long journey across the planes by focusing on a setting that's different from most of the other realms the 'gate leads to.  We'll see what offerings pour forth in 2015.

So where do you stand on "Next"?  Looking forward to  it?  Will adding it over-saturate our schedule with Dungeons & Dragons games?  Is that a good idea?  Would you like to see more D&D and less GW in RPG, and perhaps battle games as well?

Obviously we have a while to iron out the kinks that have developed since the "embargo".  There are a LOT of holes in the current schedule.  So while we wait, sound off on the comments here, on Facebook or where ever else you may be.  See you on Game Day!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Land on the Island of Lies!

It's finally here - the fabled Clan Strife has begun.  Check out the campaign page for the full story of Spring Dragon Island, and decide where you stand in the coming conflict.  So far, 3/4 of the Great Clans have staked a claim on the infamous island...and now, the struggle for supremacy begins.

We're keeping it relatively simple since we've not really put Ronin through the ringer yet, but we've spent the past few weeks taking an extensive look at the system.  Though the more expansive campaign system we're working on didn't make it into this season's skirmish game, expect to see more in the future.  After all - we've got plenty of models now!

We've been waiting long enough, so it's time to get those katana cracka-lackin'.  Or whatever.  We'll be rolling out rules on the Clan Strife blog during the season, so new units will become available - though it not all the clans will get special rules in time for this game.  That's fine - the campaign is to get you used to the Ronin ruleset, the baseline if you will.

Sharpen your wits and blades.  It's time to bring your warriors to the Island of Lies.  Yet, be forewarned - all is not as it seems upon Spring Dragon Island...

Monday, March 17, 2014

Wargate Campaign Rules vs. Rulebooks

It may seem as if the world is shaking, but for some of us the tremors have already passed.  We've embargoed GW for the same reason you'd break up with an abusive significant other.  We had an intervention and now GW is locked up in rehab.  Now, we're starting to realize that since we have so many intelligent folks with a lot of gaming experience between them there's no reason we should slave ourselves to the shoddy workmanship of certain game companies any longer.

So, this post is short and sweet.  Basically, we realized we don't have to use anyone's rules if they appear imbalanced or simply boring.  So, we've added an "official rules" section you'll be able to find by tag and collected on a new State of Play, aptly titled Wargate Rules.  Check those out to the right.

We've stated to catalog our "house" rules here for ease of use by our club chapters, and general accessibility for everyone.  Previously we kept this material in Battles Books, but those are limited to the physical copies each club possesses.  All house rules currently in effect will be placed on the new State of Play when it's season rolls around, so there will be some nice additions in there in a year or two.

We're not sure how far we want to take rules development - we certainly have always wanted to play games, rather than make our own.  Currently, our ambition extends to modifying existing systems to please our club members.  Our game rules are just as good as anything "tested" by billion-dollar companies. never know what the future might hold.  Just don't panic when the world starts to shake - it will probably be ok.