Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

A battle mat is useful in both wargames and roleplaying games, and there are lots of different options for what to use. Like many players, I use a mix of them, including Paizo's dry-erase grid boards and flipmaps, BattleTech map packs, and boards that come packaged with games like Zombicide and...

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 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...

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...

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 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...

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...

Last year, I developed and published 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 miniature...

Player characters in an RPG can be tricky. A player character is an imaginary person who you're meant to speak for and control. The character is meant to be distinct from you (in reality), and you're also supposed to be mindful of fellow gamers at your table (in reality) which obviously your fiction...

Last year, Catalyst Games ran a Kickstarter campaign to fund BattleTech: Mercenaries, an expansion set of miniatures for BattleTech: A game of armoured combat. I don't play BattleTech (yet?) but I like mechs, I'd like to paint some miniature mechs, and I do play some mech battle wargames, so I...

I love pre-built characters. That might seem strange, because I also love building characters. On a week when I don't have an RPG to play, I'll often sit down with a rulebook and build a character that will probably never get used. And yet, I love a system that provides a good array of pre-built cha...

My partner and I love a good "couch co-op" game, a video game where you and a friend can play together on the same computer rather than over a network. We recently played through Quest Hunter and its Strangewood DLC, and this my review of it. This review contains minor spoilers.

Cutting to the...

I've been a pretty active blogger for a while, although initially most of my content was concentrated on the very technical side of open source computing. My gaming life tended to creep in on my tech blogs, though, and so this past year I made a concerted effort to expand my active blogging to g...

I'm running Tomb of Annihilation as a Pathfinder 2e adventure, and as usual there have been some surprises when comparing what a book says and what happens in a game. I regretted starting my players in Port Nyanzaru because, as hex crawls go, Tomb of Annihilation is not exactly the best. It's ab...