Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

I was chatting with Jamie, the store manager at my local Warhammer store, about painting and he pointed out that there were lots of different colours for undercoat spray painting available. Depending on what you're painting, it might just be more efficient to undercoat a miniature in black or blue o...

I've been playing a lot of Space Station Zero by Adam Loper and Vince Venturella. It's a simple system and a relatively small book at just 120 pages, and a side effect of that is that the potential war gear your crew can carry is pretty minimal. But the premise of the game is that a bunch of diffe...

Are you curious about roleplaying games, but not ready to buy a rulebook or to find a bunch of people to play with? There are tabletop games that can help ease you into RPG, or serve as alternatives to playing an RPG. Here are 5 of my favourites.

The obligatory disclaimer before the list is that p...

Zombies are the perfect mindless threat. I'm a fan of zombies in movies and video games and tabletop games. Do you want to know why? Well, there are 10 reasons.

1. Zombies have no soul

You can kill them without remorse. You'll never walk into the back room of a bunker to find the innocent zombie...

It's widely (although not universally) accepted in tabletop gaming that it's fun to roll dice. Broadly speaking, that tends to be correct. There's a guarantee in rolling dice. You're either going to be happy because you get what you want, or else you're going to be surprised. We humans like getting...

I decided that during 2024, I'd design one game every month. This month, I've created Paper invasion, a wargame designed to be played entirely with pencil and paper. The design challenges for this one were that I didn't want to rely on dice for randomization, and there's a lot of notation required...

Most wargames are designed to be played as a single game event. You play a game, the game ends, and whatever story that game told is over. The game has no "memory", and the next time you field your army it's like you're fielding a brand new army, with no battle scars or past experience beyond what's...

A gaming miniature usually has a base it stands on so that the miniature doesn't tip over during your game. After you paint a miniature, the finishing touch is to clean up the base, because inevitably paint has splattered on to it as you've been painting. Some people decorate the base with tiny shru...

Wargaming and, to a lesser extent, tabletop RPG poses an interesting data management problem when it comes to miniatures. The challenge is that your imaginary player character can have an infinite variety of weapons and adventuring gear, but the little plastic miniature (or paper token, or whatever...

I was recently in the US for a conference, and while there I decided to finally pick up a Steam Deck, which is hard to find in New Zealand. This is my review of [spoiler] a pretty amazing gaming device.

In terms of gaming, there were a few "problems" I wanted to solve.

Time to play

First, I wa...

I decided that during 2024, I'd create one game every month. This month, I've created Magic slinger, a game using the assets of the Grimslinger: Duels box.

Grimslinger: Duels is a game that I bought on a salesperson's recommendation that seemed promising, and ultimately turned out to be not v...

I've been having a lot of fun playing the narrative campaign of Space Station Zero by Adam Loper and Vince Venturella, and this is my review of the game. The rules are, impressively, just 44 pages out of its total 120 pages. You read about 20 pages for the rules (after which, you've learned everyt...

I've collected five or six small armies for wargaming, but I'm still new to the hobby. I've (maybe slower than I should have) noticed some patterns about the process of preparing an army. These are the 5 steps I'm trying to take while planning to assemble an army.

1. Research lore

When I'm think...

Do you have an irrational fear of painting miniatures, because you just know you'll mess it up? I had the same problem, and still do every time I sit down with a freshly primed miniature. Unpainted, the miniature is basically perfect. It's just really really plain. But perfect. And when you start pa...

The Fallout video games are the story of a desolate and dangerous post-apocalyptic world. Each Fallout is a computer RPG known by varying degrees for branching story paths, player agency, a unique real-time yet turn-based combat system, and character customization. The board game attempts to...

If you've played a popular RPG like Pathfinder, Tales of the Valiant, or anything in with direct D&D lineage, then you know that there are at least two modes of the game. First, there's the roleplaying mode. When you're roleplaying, you pretend to talk to non-player characters and you make choic...