Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

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...

Games Workshop re-released the first edition (titled Rogue Trader) of Warhammer 40,000 to celebrate the game's 30th anniversary. (I'm not sure about their maths. The book was released in 1987, and the re-release was announced in 2023 and shipped to customers in 2024.) Because it's got so much of...

Games Workshop re-released the first edition (titled Rogue Trader) of Warhammer 40,000 to celebrate the game's 30th anniversary. (I'm not sure about their maths. The book was released in 1987, and the re-release was announced in 2023 and shipped to customers in 2024.) What little nostalgia I hav...

Imagine a far future where space travel is trivial, mercenary missions are determined by a random table, and your wargame rules use a d20. Sound unlikely? It's all real, and it's a wargame by Andrea Sfiligoi called Rogue Stars, published by the ever-reliable Osprey Games.

Rogue Stars is a 64-pa...

At the time of this writing, Mantic Games is finishing up a Kickstarter campaign for a 10mm or 12mm mass warfare game called Epic Warpath. I'm a backer for several reasons. I can use the assets for the intended Warpath game, but also as auxiliary troops for some Mech games. I could, obviously, d...

I love lore. It's one of the reasons I play games. Having read through Mantic Games's Warpath Sourcebook, I've been thinking a lot about the quirky cyberpunk / hard sci fi / comedy-of-errors / war-ravaged universe that is the Warpath setting. On the surface, it's just kind of general wargame scie...

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...

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...

Many of us tabletop roleplayers tend to categorise ourselves, and others, into two groups: role players and roll players. The implication is that you either prefer acting out the conversations and emotions of your character, or else you prefer to keep distant from your character's inner workings...