Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

From Games Workshop, Battle in Balin's Tomb is a skirmish wargame thinly disguised as a board game. One player controls the Followship of the Ring, and the other player controls goblins of Moria. Is this game meant for boardgamers as an easy introduction to wargames? Or is it meant for wargames wh...

I've been thinking about the games I play, and what kinds of games I tend to enjoy playing the most. I've written about atmosphere and mechanics previously, and both of those apply equally to tabletop and video games. There's another component that strictly applies only to video games, although...

I've been painting exclusively with Citadel Contrast and Vallejo Xpress Color paints lately. The idea of a high contrast black is a little strange, though. There's no contrast to black, it's just all black. If there's something blacker than black, then the first black wasn't true black. And yet ther...

I'm the developer and publisher of Skuffle Wammer, the universe's smallest wargame. It's designed to be played in 5 minutes or less, with the intent of being the tabletop gaming equivalent of a good stand-up-and-stretch at work. The play area is an A4 sheet of paper, you throw out some miniatures...

The D&D 5e book Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft includes an adventure called House of Lament. Last year, I ran House of Lament as a side quest in an Expedition to Castle Ravenloft game. This is my review of the House of Lament module as a Game Master. It mirrors my review as a player.

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I've been thinking about why I enjoy games, and what kinds of games I tend to gravitate toward. The more I think about it, the more I find that it's probably an unsolvable riddle (but that in itself seems a little like a game). Either the gamer or the technical part of my brain has taken the bait, a...

I've been pondering lately why I enjoy games, and what kinds of games I tend to gravitate to. The more I thought about it, the more I found that it's probably ultimately an unsolvable riddle, but that in itself seems a little like a game. Either the gamer or the technical part of my brain has taken...

Blackstone Fortress is a Black Library novel by Darius Hinks. As its name implies, it's largely about a fortress. Made of noctilith, also known as blackstone. The reason it's significant that the fortress is made of blackstone is that noctilith famously both channels and repels the powers of the wa...

I don't like sports. I tend to think of geek culture in general as being against sport, but that's a sentiment influenced strongly by my own social experience. If you think about it, sport and tabletop gaming share a lot in common. They're competitive, they're games, people play them for fun, there...

I play an Adeptus Mechanicus army in Warhammer 40,000 and the new Adepus Mechanicus Codex recently came out. I've purchased it and read it from cover to cover, and this my review of it. In short, it's good. I'll talk about why in this blog post.

Before talking specifics though, it's worth explai...

The D&D 5e book Van Richten's Guide to Ravenloft includes an adventure called House of Lament. Last year, I ran House of Lament for a group of players, and later that year I played in House of Lament with a different group of players. This is my review of the module as a player.

Before I b...

I like re-playing RPG adventures and I don't let my knowledge of the module interfere with the way my character follows clues. Should you re-play an adventure, though, there are some important things to keep in mind.

1. Yarn wall

My primary rule is pretty simple. If I can't trace a decision my...

Several years ago, a video game called Mechanicus was released by Bulwark Studios. I found the game before I'd started playing tabletop wargames, but after I'd discovered Black Library, so my main question was whether the video game would accurately reflect the cult as it was presented in the book...

I get bored during action scenes. Books, comics, movies, it doesn't matter what it is. But sometimes an action scene actually works for me. The scene somehow manages to be engaging, maybe even tense, and something makes me want to read or watch it. What's the difference between a good action scene a...

I played the Shadow of Mordor video game to completion, and I enjoyed it, so this is my review of the game. The game is a Warner Bros. game and I've heard that its combat system is a lot like the Arkham games, but as of this writing I've not played those games (I like Batman, and I've meant to pla...

As a newcomer to miniature painting, I'm, er, fortunate to have made lots of stupid mistakes early in my hobby journey. In my own defence, I did a lot of research before starting to paint. That saved me from some really egregious errors. But I managed to make a mess of a few things. Here's what they...