What I Got for Christmas

Another holiday season has come and gone, and it’s time to tally up the loot under the tree. I won’t bore anyone with detailed descriptions of my new socks and aftershave…after all, no one who reads this blog is the least bit interested in that. Instead, what gaming goodies did Santa Claus leave at chez Piper?

Well, Santa himself didn’t leave much, but that doesn’t mean I didn’t get some cool stuff.

First, Tanks, from Gale Force Nine. Three plastic tanks, some cardboard terrain and everything else you need to play a quick miniatures tank battle game right out of the box. If I like it, I can buy some expansions, much like X-Wing. A pretty darn good value for the $20 I hear Santa paid for it.

Next, Santa brought me Ronin, from Osprey Games, which is something I asked for. Why did I ask for Ronin. when almost all of the samurai miniatures I own are from Clan War, and are unpainted? I don’t know the answer to that. I really don’t. But ask for it I did, and it was under the tree on Christmas morning.

And that’s all the gaming stuff Santa brought me this year. Of course, every year, while shopping for friends and loved ones, I become my own Santa. So…

A close up of the Arid Land mat.

Cigar Box Battle Mats had a pretty cool Christmas sale…buy 3 mats, get 20% off. And I almost went for it, until I saw how much I was spending, and how much the shipping wipes out of the savings. That being said, I love Cigar Box, so I started my self-Santa-ing by buying myself a mat for both Old West and Post-Apocalyptic games. I chose their Arid Land mat.

Looks like it works well for Gaslands

And for whatever Old West skirmish set I decide to use.

I’ve just discovered a podcast called Mission Log, which apparently has been around for years now, in which two guys watch every episode of Star Trek from every Trek series, ever, and dissect the show; providing trivia, commentary and thoughts on morals, meanings and messages contained therein. They’re somewhere in season two or three of Deep Space Nine right now, but they’ve already made it through the Original Series, the Animated Series, and The Next Generation, not to mention all the TOS movies (up to Generations). A few years ago I binge-watched every episode of DS9, which may be my favorite Trek series. (I say may be because it’s kind of a tie with TNG. Both these series came out when I was in high school/college, so they were “my’ Trek era.) Every Trek series is currently available on Netflix (including Discovery, over in Europe), so it makes re-watching them pretty easy, should you be so inclined.

Several months back I became aware of Modiphius’s new Star Trek miniatures from an issue of Miniature Wargames magazine. While shopping on Amazon this year, I stumbled across these sets at somewhat irresistible prices, so a couple of clicks later, the cart was empty. What are irresistible prices, you ask? Well, these sets retail for about $50 each, which makes them quite resistable, as that’s just insane even for foreign-manufactured, licensed character miniatures like these. BUT, on Amazon I found the TNG bridge crew (8 miniatures) for around $25 including shipping, and 10 Romulans for $16! That’s less than 2 bucks per Romulan! Sold!

Of course, then I discovered there was a game to go with these miniatures…

So I bought this bundle, which includes the “new” (about 2 years old now)Star Trek: Adventures roleplaying game, a book of 8 ready-to-play adventures, a combat screen and reference sheets, a map of the alpha and beta quadrants, and this spiffy spaceship pin.

The first thing I did was cast aside the pin with complete disinterest. (I mean, really…if you’re going to include a useless pin in a bundle of gaming stuff, couldn’t you make it a TNG communicator or something cool? ) Then I looked though the core rulebook, and I fell in love.

I’ll probably do a review of the game and the miniatures soon, but for now I have some lingering projects to finish before the new year. Then I have to give some serious thought to what I’m going to do in January…

Happy New Year, everyone!

4 thoughts on “What I Got for Christmas

  1. dick garrison

    Hi Keith, and a happy new year to you too, didn’t really get much gaming related stuff myself this year either, just the “Terminator Genisys” starter game that I picked up for £10.00 in the Warlord sale a while back, and the wife wrapped up for Xmas, I’m still not sure whether to have a go with it or just sell it on at a show bring and buy (hopefully for at least what I paid).

    Looks like yo9u did better though, I’ve never been a big Star Trek fan myself, but I can see the appeal to others, so best of luck with this project, should be a blast.

    Cheers Roger.

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Thanks, Roger. I read an article in Miniature Wargames this month about Terminator: Genisys; seemed like the guys playing it had fun, although they had some criticism for the system as written. I’m pretty sure that would have been last month’s issue for you (we get British mags a month late over on this side of the Atlantic). I’m not a huge Trek fan, I only like it about as much as our friend Jeremy likes Dr. Who…

  2. Jeremy Winstanley

    A very happy Christmas to you, Keith and it seems that Santa brought you some cool gaming stuff.

    Regarding Ronin, the Osprey website has a whole ream of articles/downloads for thw game, including errata for a few of the errors in the rules AND a supplement to add mythical creatures to the game – all penned by the original author. Well worth a look as it does add to the basic game (which is pretty good anyway). I think I’ve also got stats for a couple of historical figures that were published in Wargames Illustrated a while ago, which Ican send over to you at some point. Currently trying to decide whether to intergrate all the extra stuff into the existing rules – kind of a Ronin 2nd edition or do as a separate companion document, but once done, happy to send over a digital copy, if the game appeals.

    1. The Angry Piper Post author

      Thanks, Jeremy. I would be happy to have a look at the historical stuff. Tracking down back issues of WI over here isn’t easy. That being said, I don’t know when I’ll get around to actually playing the game, but that’s true no matter what game we’re talking about…

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