Monday, April 30, 2012

Release the Hordes!

I've been looking forward to the month of May for quite awhile now for several reasons. The Avengers comes out this weekend. The Origins Game Fair is later this month. But, another reason that I've been excited for May is the scheduled release of the Trollblood Warpack starter box featuring plastic models instead of metal. And, that means I will finally be playing me some Hordes!

Hordes, of course, comes from the creative minds at Privateer Press. Privateer Press also produces the mega-popular Warmachine miniatures game. I've been circling Warmachine since around 2005 or so. I loved the look of the steampunk-y fantasy world that Privateer had created. That's huge for me. The world of the game is really, at the end of the day, more important to me than the actual mechanics of the game. The world of the Iron Kingdoms that Privateer first introduced to the gaming world through some D20 RPG supplements was unlike anything games had seen up to that point.

But, for some reason, I just couldn't get into Warmachine. The game didn't seem to have much traction in the area, and I found myself less and less interested in assembling metal models. I especially didn't want to work on models that you had to pin in order to keep them together. So, I moved on to other games.

Privateer Press soon introduced us to Hordes, a complimentary game based more in the wilds of the Warmachine world. I still remember seeing the Next Big Thing ads on the back of No Quarter magazine that was promised to be unveiled at Gen Con of that year.  Hordes was an amazing expansion to the world and introduced several new factions including the monstrous Trollkin and their ilk. But, I still didn't want metal. So, no Hordes for me.

Flashforward to the present. Privateer Press has, in the past couple years, started producing some of their kits in plastic, much to my pleasure. Now, I had been hoping that Privateer would produce a plastic starter box for the Retribution of which point I'd start playing Warmachine. But, apparently, for some reason, it appears Retribution isn't fated to get such a starter. But, then I saw that plastic starters were starting to come out for Hordes as well, and the Trollkin started calling to me.

According to the War Store, the plastic warpack for the Trollbloods is due out on May 9th. That is just around the corner! I've got my fingers crossed that date is accurate.

So, if everything aligns just right, this is the month that I will finally be delving into the world of Hordes! And, I cannot freakin' wait!

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Games Workshop Comes to Columbus

Today was the Grand Opening of the Games Workshop store in Columbus, Ohio. It's a pretty small store in one of the strip malls along Sancus Boulevard in the Polaris area. But, small though it may be it was packed full of product and excited fans this afternoon when the doors opened early just before noon.

I arrived about a quarter 'til noon on this unseasonably chilly and wet April morning. But there were still about 30 dedicated GW players huddled in line waiting to check out the new store and meet the staff there. That number increased once the doors opened and soon the place was just packed. It made it a bit difficult to move around and check out the various offerings, but it was great to see so many folks come out for the opening event.

 Up front, near the windows, was an Order Point station. Need to order something that the store is out of stock on? No problem. You can take care of that right on this handle terminal. Need an item that's only available online? No problem. Again, you can order it here and have it shipped right to the store. Very convenient.

With several items only available online currently, this is a very handy service offered by the store. You can order your online items, and come in and buy them together with in stock items at the store in one handy transaction.

There were several events scheduled to take place today. There was a Conversion Contest to test your model making skills and creativity; a Space Marine Painting Contest and scenarios for Warhammer Fantasy, 40K and Lord of the Rings.

Speaking of Lord of the Rings: one of the reasons I'm excited about the store is that other stores in the area don't carry much of the Games Workshop Lord of the Rings Strategy Battles Game line at the moment. I expect we'll see some upswing as we get closer to the release of The Hobbit (pt 1) this December, but right now it's difficult to find product in stores. So, seeing shelves full of LOTR models did my heart good. I'd love to get into this game. Ironically, they did not have the core rulebook for the Strategy Battles Game in stock. They did, however, have the recently released army books as well as the other previously released supplements.

I'm really jonesin' to pick up the Mines of Moria set soon.

There were three tables set up for games. These aren't full-sized tables. I expect these will utilized more for teaching new players how to play, or possibly some small in store gaming events. Either way, it's great to see some playing space given the relatively small size of the shop.

Merchandise surrounds you on the two side walls and the far back wall (the storefront, of course, is dominated by windows). There is a display case just inside the front door containing a variety of painted models. Some beautiful work there.

In additional to models for the three core games, there was a large selection of paints and hobby supplies. There was also a nice selection of Black Library novels (which seemed to skew more towards 40K, but I expect those novels are bigger sellers than the Fantasy ones). I even saw some books from Forge World, which should make those a bit more obtainable for local players.

I'm sure there's the question in the minds of some players and retailers of how the presence of this store will affect other local game stores. That's a valid concern and one that, as a former game retailer myself, I get. I think, however, that the location is far enough from existing shops that it shouldn't adversely affect sales in the area. The limited playing space means that players will still be hitting thier usual haunts for regular games and tournaments. Hopefully the store can be a place that helps to create new players to feed into the local gaming communities of Central Ohio.

As a newbie Games Workshop player, I'm pretty excited to see this store open. I'm looking forward to getting in there soon and speaking more with the manager, Josh, about the store and what he hopes to see in the future.

Games Workshop is located at: 8653 Sancus Blvd, Columbus, Ohio. Their phone # is: 1-800-394-4263. Like them on Facebook at:

And, tell 'em The Rural Gamer sent ya!


Thursday, April 26, 2012

This and That...

Well, it has certainly been awhile since my last posting to The Rural Gamer. I'm still rural. And, I'm still gaming ('though not nearly enough as I'd like). But, life has it's ways of redirecting your priorities and that's what's been going on here.

Just to catch you all up to speed, I'm neck deep in a job search. Some of you may know that I used to be a pastor, and am looking to do so again. That's where the majority of my time has been dedicated lately. The search began in earnest this past January, which - amazingly enough - is when I last posted here. Funny how that works out. The search goes on, but I'm making a concerted effort to keep blogging about all things gaming...from a more rural perspective.

I've gotten several games lately that I've yet to get to the game table: Mage Knight from Wizkids, War of the Ring 2ed from Ares Games as well as the new Wings of Glory WW2 Starter from Ares Games. I hope to get those to the table soon. I'm dying to play War of the Ring especially, and so glad to finally have that in my collection.

I have played a little Lord of the Rings: The Card Game from Fantasy Flight Games, Summoner Wars from Plaid Hat Games and got to play Wizards of the Coast's Castle Ravenloft boardgame just this past week. Those were all good times!

I'm finally going to be getting into Hordes with the impending release of the plastic Trollbloods Warpack starter box in early May. I've had the books for ever, but have just been waiting for the plastics. Yeah, I'm one of those weird gamers who prefers plastic to metal. Maybe it's from my toy collecting background, I don't know. But, yeah, plastic is where it's at for me when it comes to games, with resin being a close second and metal a distant third (or necessary evil).

Convention Season is rapidly approaching. For me that means Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio and Gen Con in Indianapolis, Indiana. I expect to be at both shows covering them for The Rural Gamer and Action Figure Insider (the other place I hang my writer's cap online). I'm very much looking forward to both shows.

And, lastly, this coming Saturday sees the Grand Opening of Columbus, Ohio's very own Games Workshop store. The store opens Saturday, April 28th at noon and is located at 8653 Sancus Blvd (which is between Polaris and Lazelle). Come on out for the opening festivities if you are a local GW player or just want to check it out!