Mixed Signals

Straight-forward gaming

I've been painting lots of Pathfinder and Cursed City miniatures lately, using my Citadel Contrast and Vallejo Xpress Color paints. Because I've been using them a lot, I thought it might be useful to provide a review of each Xpress Color paint based on how I've been using it, and what I thin...

I haven't been painting miniatures for long. In the past, I've purchased pre-painted miniatures because I didn't have the time, money, or bravery required to paint miniatures myself. Recently, I've felt comfortable enough with my personal budget to spend a little money on a paint kit, and I buy a mi...

There seems to be a lot of talk these days about character death in D&D and other roleplaying games. It seems that there's an audience that doesn't want their player character to die. Ever.

Which, admittedly, is the point of the game mechanic. If players don't care about death, then there's no poi...

When I find art I love, I'm usually compelled to share and promote it, because that's what we humans do when we're excited about something. With independent art, though, that can be tricky because sometimes the art you love is literally one-of-a-kind, or it's only available from the artist directly,...

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...

I think a lot of us gamers think that tabletop roleplaying games are exhilarating at the beginning, but that they tend to taper off toward the end. Commonly, this is expressed as "the problem with high level play." I sense that it's seen as more of a problem in class-based systems that emphasize the...

Some people have the impression that solo games, or playing multiplayer games by yourself, are consolation for people with no friends. The assumption is that it's "normal" to buy a game for your family or your game group, and that you'd only resort to a solo game when there's something wrong. Maybe...

Tales of the Valiant (ToV) is a tabletop roleplaying game developed by Kobold Press, replacing Dungeons & Dragons 5e. The game is fully compatible with 5e, meaning that you can use content from any 5e book in a Tales of the Valiant game. It doesn’t mean everything in ToV is suitable as a one-fo...

Tales of the Valiant is a new tabletop roleplaying game, developed by Kobold Press, to replace Dungeons & Dragons Fifth Edition (5e). Back in December 2022 until January 2023, it was urgent that somebody replaced 5e, because Wizards of the Coast was claiming it had the right to control who could...

Somebody once told me that paint is paint, and that it didn't much matter what you use for miniature painting. Turns out they were wrong. I've been painting with Contrast paints for the past few weeks, and I don't think I want to paint with anything else ever again (forgive the hyperbole).

Contras...

Last year, I read through a bunch of books published by Wizards of the Coast, and I wrote reviews about them which I scheduled to publish throughout 2023. I did this because I was reading the books in preparation for some 5e games. I've still got two 5th Edition games running as I write this blog po...

It turns out that not all miniatures you buy for your tabletop RPG or wargame are created equal. If you've been painting miniatures all your life, this is probably obvious. But for those of us new to painting miniatures, this is an important lesson. Here are my thoughts on miniature quality.

Detai

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Recently, I've purchased some wargames, like Reign in Hell, Space Station Zero, and Mechaforce, and they all require miniatures. I knew they needed miniatures when I made the purchase, but they're all intentionally indifferent to what miniatures you use. My plan was to use RPG miniatures, and...

At the time of writing, Wizards of the Coast has just held a "summit" for D&D "influencers" and publishers. The event was well covered by Enworld and some Youtubers. I understand that it's in the spirit of reconciliation to take WotC at its word, to believe that they're sorry for what they attempt...

I like to treat painting miniatures as a craft project, not as an artistic one. Thinking about my process of painting in an objective and purely functional activity makes me less precious about it. I don't feel the weight of my own expectation. I don't sit staring at the unprimed miniature in dread,...

Painting miniatures is hard, and I'm no artist. Before miniatures, I'd painted walls, and that was my experience with paint. That was pretty intimidating, honestly, and it was a significant block for me to start painting as a hobby.

Once I started painting miniatures, I discovered something I hadn...