Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tonight the part of Peter Cushing will be played ...

... by Vampifan!

Peter Cushing, not Vampifan

Well, I hate that it happened this way, but a week after the close of my giveaway, I still have not heard from the winner of the "Lost World" prize. I feel I have done my due diligence and made a good faith effort to contact him.

Therefore I'm vacating his win and rolling down to the next name on the random drawing list, which was Vampifan's.

I've already informed Bryan via personal message of his win, and I've contacted Andrew at Antediluvian with Bryan's shipping info so he can send the two dinos he so generously added to the prize.

Maybe I'll be fortunate enough to run another giveaway in a couple of years. Hmmmm. Maybe for our fifth anniversary?

Thursday, July 16, 2015

We have winners!

Ladies and gentlebeings, we have winners, and I'm happy to say that each winner was able to receive his or her first choice from among the prizes.

The winners are:

· MARS: Finn Morgan

· Lost World: Michael Morales

· Old Blighty: myincubliss

If these goodly readers will comment below and tell me how to best get in touch with them, I can begin making shipping arrangements.

And, of course, the big winner was me, because I got to share with you the joy I feel in sharing this hobby and this blog with you. You are all wonderful people, and some of you have become my dear friends over the years.

Additionally, I was floored by the generosity of Andrew Taylor at Antediluvian Miniatures. When I was messaging with him on Facebook about the great quality of the minis I'd ordered for the Lost World prize, he volunteered to add in the Megalosaurus and the Iguanadon models for the winner. Thank you again, Andrew.

I don't know about you, but I hope that says something about the reputation of this blog (and its writer.) It feels, to me, that it really acknowledges that we've reached the next level and can stand shoulder-to-shoulder with some of the best gaming blogs out there. "Dispatches from the Rim" is a niche publication for sure, covering steampunk skirmish wargaming, the occasional zombie infestation, and whatever else bright and shiny attracts my attention, but now I feel our quality can compare favorably with the blogs out there that inspire me ... like Vampifan's World of the Unded, like Hendybadger's Tales of a Tabletop Skirmisher, and even ones that came along after I started, like Gordon's "I have wrought my simple plan." I am so proud to be among their company.

The contest brought in new readers and, while we didn't break the 100 mark for public followers, we got darn close. 97! Woo hoo!

I also got to find out more about the international reach of the blog. Most of my readers are in the U.S. and U.K., with a strong contingent in New Zealand and a pocket in Poland, but it was really nice to here more from Europe, with new readers in France, Belgium and Sweden.

Thank you all for enjoying this ride with me, for the many compliments about the blog's content, for the birthday wishes and for granting me your time and attention in this oh-so-busy world when you could be doing other things.

OK, that's it for now. Back to the boards, everyone, and I'll see you across the table soon.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

It's "Dispatches"' birthday, but the presents are for you!

Thanks to the generosity of Andrew Taylor and Antediluvian Miniatures, the "Lost World" prize has been augmented by an Iguanadon and a Megalosaurus. While the explorers will ship from my place in the States, the dinosaurs will ship from Antediluvian central in the UK.

July 8 is the third blogiversary of "Dispatches from the Rim," and I've decided to do a giveaway to celebrate. It's also a celebration of my upcoming birthday (next Wednesday) and a milestone that I overlooked about a month back -- "Dispatches" passed 50,000 pageviews!

There are going to be there different prizes, each geared toward different areas on which we steampunk skirmish wargamers tend to focus.

A boxed set of Games Workshop Adeptus Mechanicus Skitarii. They can be assembled as either rangers (hoods) or as vanguard (helmets).

I know plenty of us are planning to use these figures as some faction on Mars. Here's a chance to get a jump start.

A set of the three new Lost World explorers from Antediluvian Miniatures. Who doesn't want Peter Cushing, Doug McClure and a fur bikini-clad Raquel Welch fighting dinosaurs in the Earth's interior?

A set of five Victorian firefighters from Brigade Games. Set to defend Trumpton or wherever you decide, these firemen bear a certain unkempt dignity. Are they putting out fires or setting them? Up to you!

So, how do you get in on this giveaway? Simply comment on this post and tell me which order you would rank them as your favorites, or which you would want most. You don't have to be a public follower of this blog, but it would make me very happy if you were. We're nearing 100, and it would be cool if this were the event that pushed us over.

On July 15th, my birthday, I'll randomly select three commenters and award the prizes as best I can in order of their preferences.

All the minis are brand new, unpainted plastic or white metal.

When you comment, don't forget to tell me the order in which you would prefer the prizes. All you have to put is "Lost World. Blighty. Mars." for example.

Feel free to share this around on your own blogs, Facebook pages and groups, or other social media. The more, the merrier.

OK, back to the boards, everyone, and I'll see you across the table soon.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

It's Father's Day today, so to all you fathers out there, happy birthday!

The title is a paraphrase of the great Ralph Kiner.

My father is a great man. Whenever I hear those Old Testament Bible verses about there being "giants in the earth," I think of my dad. Not because he's descended from the Nephilim, necessarily, but because that's the kind of stride his life has had across the landscape of my own.

So I decided to write up some stats for him for "In Her Majesty's Name."

Why? My dad's not a gamer -- he'll neither understand nor be able to appreciate what I've done here. It'll just join the other million, million things I've done during my life that he'll have to shrug at and go, "OK, if that's your thing ..."

I've left the era particularly vague. If you wanted to run him as a Victorian character, as I certainly do, he'll work, but you could just as easily drop him into his actual modern era using the stats and description I've written. My web fu doesn't feel particularly strong right now, but offhand I think the figure I might use for him as a Victorian mechanic/tinkerer would be Capt. Arland Strangewayes from the Cygnar faction of Warmachine. (Although then you'd need to up his Armor from jack/lined coat.)

The human field mechanik in the unit set might work as well, although Dad's not bald. He just has a mustache.

If you want to use him as a modern survivor, the nearest analogue as far as the kit he's carrying would be Raoul from Zombicide. Here's his picture. Just make him older and give him a mustache, but no beard, and that's a pretty close image for how my dad might face the zombie apocalypse.

Here's a Google Docs link to the pdf: My Dad

And in Dropbox: My Dad

So Happy Father's Dad, although I doubt you'll see this, unless one of your granddaughters points it out to you. Love you much!

Saturday, June 6, 2015

"I'm a joker, I'm a smoker, I'm a midnight toker"

A while back I stumbled across this great thread in the Workbench section of the Lead Adventure Forum.

A group was rounding up orders for, or gauging interest in, a Victorian version of a certain nemesis of a caped nocturnal vigilante.

Well I was in for it immediately. The sculptor, who goes by Vermis but is, I believe, named Warren, was even doing alternate heads -- one based on Conrad Veidt, the star of the German Expressionist silent film "The Man Who Laughs," from the Victor Hugo novel (and a big inspiration for Bob Finger's original design of The Joker), and the other with the skinned and reattached face we've seen in recent comics.

There had apparently been an earlier drive to craft the Gentleman Vigilante himself. I opted not to purchase one of these, but they do look good.

So I had to get two of Mr. Grins, and they arrived at my secret base in the heart of a dormant volcano yesterday. And they are every bit as wonderful as anticipated.

Here's a pic of my two minis in the metal. These are really clean casts. There was one tiny piece of flash attached to one of the top hats, but I took care of that with a judiciously applied fingernail. The only mold line of any significance runs along the underside of the figure's right arm, but a file should get rid of that with minimal effort.

I don't exactly have a plan to slot him into the world of "Brass & Blood" yet, but it'll come to me, no doubt. I mean, every setting can use a psychopath disfigured by a Glasgow smile, right?

And the vigilante haunting Victorian smokestacks and alleyways to stop him is already in my collection.

Monday, June 1, 2015

This week's "Penny Dreadful"

Having now seen episode 5 of Penny Deadful season 2, "Above the Vaulted Sky," I don't think I'd amend anything in my company list based on any of this week's revelations.

(Unless there were a roll to put Barry White music behind everyone's actions. Almost everybody got to break off a little sumpn-sumpn.)

The only thing I might add would be giving Madame Kali/Evelyn Poole the Curse spell from IHMN Gothic, based on how she's got Sir Malcolm ensorcelled. It's a 12-point spell, which would push her total to 83 points. Given Madame Kali's age and apparent level of power in the show, I'm OK with that.

If you wanted, you could swap Curse in for the Chameleon Skin spell, which I gave her for consistency's sake with the other Nightcomers, but we've never seen her use that particular talent. That exchange would leave her as a 71-point character.

If you need them again, here are links to the company list: Google Drive or Dropbox.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Dreadful developments

As fans of the ever-expanding world of "In Her Majesty's Name" await the release of IHMN Gothic, we craft what we can from the delectable morsels of the work that Craig and Charles have released on the official blog.

One of the hottest properties in the Gothic genre right now is Showtime's "Penny Dreadful."

I loved the first season, and the second season is proving to be quite the roller-coaster ride.

So I have taken upon myself the task of converting the main cast into IHMN stats.

Please note that I have not tried to build them as a starting company with the traditional 250-point cost. I have tried to include or replicate their abilities as seen or hinted at on the show, taking some liberties here and there to improve their survivability in-game.

F'rinstance, I have given several of the characters magneto-static bodices, where other characters have no armor at all. This is almost entirely at my whim. In addition, I have given Victor a Faraday coat because it makes sense, despite the lack of arc weapons on the show.

I've included the math in adding up the character costs below each entry, so you can check behind me or more easily make changes for your own games.

There are two main changes I can see people wishing to make. One is upping the steampunk quotient, which I have tried to address in part in the optional armaments at the end of the list.

The other is dropping the points cost of some characters to something more "livable." Here are some suggestions to that end:

· Drop Sir Malcolm's Hunter skill and Hunting Rifle.
· Raise Malcolm's Pluck and lower his SV.
· Drop Ethan's Lightning Draw.
· Lower his hybrid form's FV.
· Drop Ethan's Bless Person power.
· Drop John Clare's Strongarm talent.
· Drop Dorian's Erudite Wit talent.

Again, these are things I included to be true to the characters from the show or to enhance their viability on the tabletop.

Here's a link to the list as a pdf on Dropbox and another on Google Drive.

Let me know how you like them! Back to the boards, everybody, and I'll see you across the table soon.