6mm-Minis is Maksim-Smelchak's blog to discuss gaming, miniatures, books, movies, food, Israel, Judaism, life in general and other funny crud. My favorite scale of miniatures is 6mm, which is also called 1/285 or 1/300 scale. I enjoy many different kinds of games including ancients, Napoleonics, WWI, WWII, the Arab-Israeli conflict, Car Wars AKA Autoduel (a sort of crash'n'derby automobile combat game), 6mm Godzilla AKA Kaiju games, and science fiction games. I'm open to everything though!

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

FILMS: Ancient's Alert: "Empire" Airs on ABC!

Hi Guys,

I'm normally not much of a fan of mainstream television programming, but Diana mentioned earlier this week that a new special about the Roman empire has aired on your local ABC television associate (Or for those not in the USA, I'm sure this program will eventually come out in DVD format... ).

"Empire" looks interesting.

Here is a link to a web page about the television special:


And a blurb about the show:

Tuesday, June 28 at 9/8c

Starring Jonathan Cake, Santiago Cabrera, Emily Blunt, Chris Egan
and Vincent Regan.

Empire, the epic six-hour summer drama series, filmed entirely in Rome and South Central Italy, focuses on Julius Caesar's nephew, Octavius, who is forced into exile after Caesar's murder, and a fictional disgraced gladiator, Tyrannus, who has sworn to protect him.

The time is 44 B.C. and the Conqueror Julius Caesar returns from triumphs in Spain to a neglected Republic and a corrupt Senate drunk with power. Though he's hailed as a hero by the masses, the Senate is wary of Caesar's plans that might place him in a position of ultimate power. Brutus and Cassius try to enlist the help of Marc Antony in overthrowing Caesar, but Antony is loyal to Caesar and refuses. A terrible conflict looms and the fate of an empire will fall to one man - a gladiator named Tyrannus.

Tyrannus , Rome's finest warrior, is undefeated in the arena and considered a champion among men. A slave since he was a young man, Tyrannus impresses Caesar with his fighting prowess and his popularity, and with his dedication to Rome. Caesar offers him freedom in return for his service and friendship. However the Senate puts up a vicious fight for power and manages to separate Caesar from Tyrannus' protective grasp by sending the gladiator to one last match to the death. Cassius and Brutus have Tyrannus' son, Piso, kidnapped. Tyrannus rushes to his son's rescue and kills the kidnappers, only to realize that the abduction is a diversion. He hurries to Caesar's side, but it is too late. His absence results in Brutus successfully leading a group of conspirators in assassinating the great conqueror. As he is drawing his last breath, Caesar swears Tyrannus to an oath to protect his successor, Octavius, his 18-year-old nephew.

Tyrannus and Octavius are forced into exile to protect the young man from those who want to sever Caesar's bloodline once and for all. They are joined by Agrippa, a young soldier, and by Camane, a Vestal Virgin from the powerful religious Order whose members are being hunted down for trying to save Octavius. Together they will help Octavius fulfill his destiny. He leaves Rome an impetuous boy, but will Octavius return as Emperor?

Have a great day!


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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

RPG GAMING: Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay: "Something Rotten In the Reikland!" - Session One.

Hi Guys,

I stopped by Hobby Monkey, my local gaming shop, tonight to meet Eric-Chern, Chuck, Paul and Bo for a game of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay. WHFR is a funny game because where else can you find party with the following professions?

- Boatman
- Charcoal Burner
- Scribe
- Town Watchman

*** Can anyone guess which one of those characters is mine? ***

Next week, Chuck and Eric plan to play a game of "Babylon 5: A Call to Arms." Eric and Chuck are really getting into starship combat games again and are both B5 fans. Eric also lent me his boxed DVD set of the first season of B5 television episodes.

Eric wants to get the guys together to see the premier of the new Spielburg "War Of the Worlds" film tomorrow.


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Sunday, June 26, 2005


Hi Guys,

Well... today did not work out.

I was the only one to show up for today's game... everyone else flaked on poor Vince. I don't understand it.

We spent the first half hour or so getting ready... setting up the board, getting the miniatures out, etc. And then Vince made a few calls and everyone who had previously confirmed simply flaked out without calling. I felt really bad for Vince.

After he'd confirmed that I would be the only show, we put everything back away and decided to watch the film I brought just in case: "Immortal."

"Immortal" was terrible. It was slow and the story was very difficult to follow. Even worse, much of the dialogue was in ancient Egyptian... without subtitles! I do not recommend "Immortal."

We played a quick game of "Lunch Money" from Atlas Games, which I didn't much care for. Vince won.

After that, we played a game of "Settlers of Cataan" and I won. I like that game. It's a classic.

We chatted for a little bit after that and discussed DBA, DBM, HOTT and possible games for the future. I will probably host my Hoth game and monster games there to playtest them before hosting them at the convention I plan to run one or both games at.

Vince is a great guy and really feel bad for him that the other guys flaked on him after confirming. And then they didn't call either (Except for Jon who told Vince he couldn't make it early last week.).

At any rate, I'm upset about today although I was glad to spend some time with Vince. I did feel let down that the big game didn't happen. I was looking forward to it.


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MINIATURES: DBM With Vince And the Gang!

Hi Everyone,

Here's today's game:

Vince Blackburn wrote:
"We will be playing a fantasy variant of DBM at my place, at noon, on Sunday June 26th. Hope you can join us! If you want to bring figures, we will be using 25mm historical/fantasy genre. Please let me know if you have questions or need directions."
It should be fun and Vince is a classy guy... and a perpetual good sport!


Here's a link to Vince's gaming site:



I also referred Vince to some DBx E-groups earlier this week:

Hi Vince,
I was thinking about you today and looking forward to gaming with you, Vince.
I looked up the E-groups we mentioned in our last conversation:



Vince is interested in combining a slight fantasy element to the DBx (DBA, DBM, etc.) system. We tried out HOTT awhile back and Vince wasn't too fond of that system.



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Friday, June 24, 2005

WARGAMING: "Assault on Hoth" Session One!

Hi Everyone,

Tonight (24 June 2005), I finally got a chance to play the West End Games "Assault on Hoth" game with my friend, Dean Volpicelli.

Here's a link to the Board Game Geek entry on the WEG game:


We played for five turns with Dean as the Imperials and me, Maksim, as the Rebels. Dean's five AT-ATs and two AT-STs took a beating.

- The Rebels bunch at the front of their lines attempting to swarm the Imperials before getting slaughtered themselves. The Rebels manage to destroy both Imperial AT-STs before receiving grievous injuries.
- Rebel Snowspeeders are still approaching the front and don't reach the battle.
- Only one of five Rebel Gallofree transports manages to launch this turn.

- The Imperials "strike back" destroying all but one of the Rebel's front line laser towers essentially removing all of the threats to the AT-ATs as the Snowspeeders are still approaching the front.
- Two AT-ATs dismount Snowtroopers upon which the Rebels deal heavy casualties.
- No additional Rebel transports escape this round.
- The AT-ATs advance rapidly and separate into a lone AT-AT heading for the Rebel power generator while the other four head for the location of both the Rebel power generator and Blizzard base.

- The Imperials completely overrun the rebel lines throwing the Rebel defence forces into disarray.
- Rebel infantry reinforcements show up, but have no chance of destroying or even diverting the monstrous AT-AT walkers.
- However, the cavalry finally shows up in the form of two groups of Rebel Snowspeeders.
- A group of three Snowspeeders led by Luke Skywalker fires upon the AT-AT heading for the Rebel power generator scorching the AT-AT all over, which nevertheless manages to claw forward towards its objective.
- One more of the precious five Rebel Gallofree transports escapes this turn leaving three more needed to keep the Rebel flame burning...
- The second group of two Snowspeeders can't reach the main group of AT-ATs and witness the sight of countless Rebel infantry being smashed to a pulp under AT-AT feet overrunning the Rebel lines.
- Imperial AT-ATs dismount even more Snowtroopers.

- Rebels score their first major victory as the AT-AT targetting the Rebel power generator is destroyed by Luke Skywalker who used the force to target vulnerable areas of the offending AT-AT.
- Rebel troops who are near helpless against the AT-ATs suddenly find targets they can destroy on the ground: Imperial Snowtroopers! In the ensueing battle, all but a handful of Snowtroopers are slain.
- However, those remaining Snowtroopers manage to destroy all but two of the remaining Rebel laser towers leaving only the Rebel Snowspeeders capable of threatening the AT-ATs.
- The smaller group of two Snowspeeders manage to sneak behind an AT-AT and take it down with a well-placed harpoon shot. Cheers are heard throughout the Rebel lines!
- However, the AT-ATs take no heed of the cheers and advance relentlessly forward breaking the last Rebel defence line.
- A ray of hope dawns with the launch of one more Rebel Gallofree transport. Only two more to go and the Rebels will have met their victory conditions.

- The Imperials look as if they have the game in the bag with three untouched AT-ATs advancing on the Rebel shields and Blizzard base. The Rebels haven't even managed to launch many transports!
- A second AT-AT is taken down from a determined Rebel harpoon attack flown recklessly by Rebel pilots desperate to save their base. One of the Snowspeeders is swatted out the air after conducting the harpoon attack and leaves smoking ruins upon the battlefield. And, it was Luke's 'Speeder...
- Rebel troops and Snowspeeders are trying to chase down the remaining AT-AT, but can't keep pace with the slow but methodical pace of the mechanical beasts.
- The second-to-last AT-AT is taken down by the combined fire of all four remaining Rebel snowspeeders and a large number of Rebel light and heavy infantry teams.
- However the last AT-AT is now in range and unleashes a first shot at the vulnerable Rebel shield emitters... MISS!
- Rebel troops swarm the evil machine, but their laserfire is like the tinkle of rain on the AT-AT's thick armoured hide.
- The AT-AT's blaster batteries have recharged again and fire... another miss, but just barely...
- The Rebels try one last assault, but can't seem to stop the marauding AT-AT which has managed to advance nearly on top of the shield emitters upon which the salvation of the Rebel fleet is relying...
- The AT-AT fires again... DIRECT HIT! KA-BOOM!
- The Rebel shields fall allowing Lord Vader to overun Blizzard base destroying critically needed Rebel supplies and capturing numerous Rebel scum... Victory goes to the Imperials this game! Muuuhahahahahaaaaa!

- Imperial Victory!

It was a great game and Dean just barely squeaked by an Imperial victory with one AT-AT left...

Shabbat Shalom,

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MODELLING: White Rat's Advice on Glue!

Hi Everyone,

My friend White Rat, one of the greatest OGRE miniature modellers and collectors around, posted this good advice about a new (Or not so new... ) kind of glue.

As a side note, I think Tas knows White Rat whose real name is John Perchalski.

White Rat:
Another note on glues and superglues:

Loctite Super Glue Gel.

The stuff in the stupid-looking plastic bottle with squeeze ears that for years I never bought because I couldn't imagine paying money for what was clearly nothing more than a costly package to drive the price up instead of having more glue.

Then I used some at a friend's house to repair a mini.

This stuff comes out of the spout in a ROD about a millimeter across that doesn't even begin to flex under its own weight until it is a cm long.

It's THICK. It's MUCH thicker than any of the other super-glue gels including the hobbyist 'super thick' special gels. I now use it anywhere I need to stick a piece that isn't easily supportable while it dries, and it HOLDS.

GOOD stuff. Worth the extra forty cents.
You can find the original post at this E-group:


I also posted this message at Epicomms forum.


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MODELLING: An Interesting Tool...

Hi Guys,

Diana sent me a link for an interesting tool:

Diana: Hi Maks!

Here's the link to the disc cutter:


scroll down to near the bottom of the page.

She makes chainmail and jewelry... for fun...



GAMING NEWS: "The Next War" Session One! (23 June 2005)

Hi Guys,

Well, the guys and I got together yesterday evening and played part of the first turn of Next War...

Next War is truly massive game and here's a link to a review of it:


Here's a blurb describing it:


The Next War is a brigade/divisional level sumulation of a Soviet-led Warsaw Pact invasion of the central European front of NATO in the late 1970's. The three maps cover the area from the far north of Denmark, through Germany and Austria to the industrial heartland of Italy.The standard rules constitute the fast game, and contain all the rules necessary to play "The Next War" land game - a complete game that can be played independently.

The most notable mechanic is the combination of combat within the movement of land units, with the ability of units to greatly exceed the basic movement allowance at increased risk of fatigue/attrition. Optional rules cover weather, supply, chemical/nuclear warfare, air and naval operations, airborne/airmobile and amphibious operations, helicopters and special forces, and electronic warfare and add can considerably to the record keeping and playing time.

The campaign game covers the first 60 days after mobilization in three basic scenarios, Sudden War, Spring Maneuvres, Tension. The differences between these three concern the timing of the outbreak of war and the resultant state of readiness of the respective forces. Due to the large number of optional rules, however, the players may in fact choose from a vast array of possible Campaign Game situations.

Six smaller scenarios depict smaller areas of operations over briefer periods of time in the regions of Berlin, Vienna, The Baltic, Fulda, North German Plains, and the Main Front (Fulda + North German Plains). The game components: three 22" x 35" map sheets plus one 6" x 8" and one 10" x 12" map extensions, 2400 die-cut 1/2" counters, one 32 page rules book, one 40 page Scenarios and Situation Briefing book, two identical 4 page Charts & Tables folders, and one 17" x 22" Air Allocation Display.

We started around 5:30pm and only finished the air phase (A massive furball over Europe with F-15s, Mirages, MiG-21s, MiG-23s, etc. dogfighting for air supremacy... ) around 9:00pm... Part of the reason it took so long is that we had to teach the Warsaw Pact players how the rules worked because they had problems downloading the rules (Darn computers!). We all ate sushi and snacks inbetween and had a good time.

We all ate sushi and snacks inbetween and had a good time.

Oh, I almost forgot to list the sides:

- Scott
- Mike AKA Mikos
- Rich (Absent for Session 1)

- Jon
- Vince
- Maksim

Next War is truly a monster game and I'm glad I didn't get together with the guys last time to set the game up... 2,400 die-cut 1/2" counters!


The Warsaw Pact won the first air battle and achieved air supremacy over Central and Northern Europe. NATO losses were severe: two F-4 wings shot down and a number of aircraft damged. The Warsaw Pact was also attritted severely, they must have had almost twenty aircraft squadrons severely damaged. The Soviet Gdansk boneyards must almost be full. And they only ran two big sorties with their remaining ground attack craft and didn't do more than pin down two battallions of NATO ground troops...

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Tuesday, June 21, 2005

NOVELS: "Aztec" by Gary Jennings...

Hi Everyone,

I've been reading the novel "Aztec" by Gary Jennings and really enjoying it.

It's well over a thousand pages, but is enthralling even if, at times, it has some obvious tidbits thrown in for entertainment value (Gore, violence, sex, etc.)...

I've long been interested in ancients history outside of Europe and this book is a fun and easy way to delve into Mesoamerican history. I used to have a patient when I ran a military pharmacy (Back in my service days... ) who used to have long chats with me about the Aztecs and Mayas (We'd meet for lunch when he came on base... ) and this novel is a great way to bring back some of those pleasant old conversations...

I'm only three-hundred pages in, but I'd recommend the novel on those three-hundred pages alone!


As kind of an odd footnote, my entire family (Mother, sister, aunts, etc.) read this novel almost a decade ago, but then the copy was lost and I never got my chance. I found one recently at a Good Will thrift store and knew my time had come!

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Monday, June 20, 2005

FILMS: Pendragon's "War Of the Worlds" FINAL REVIEW!

Hi Everyone,


Well... we finally finished Pendragon's "War Of the Worlds" and both Diana and I decided to give the film these ratings:

Diana: 2.5 out of 5

Maksim: 2.5 out of 5

Diana also added that if I loved her I should never make her watch that film again! LOL


The film was WAY too long!
- They could have easily edited out an hour to an hour and a half of the film and had a better product...
- The pointless "running through the woods" scenes were pretty tiring...
- The use of colored camera lenses made for a very quick progression of time: night, day, night, day, etc. ...sometimes it seemed as if day and night switched every couple of minutes...
- The annoying opera singer was simply terrible!
- The music lulled me to sleep on several occasions...
- Some of the film's dialogue seems as if it was taken from the book VERBATIM... this made for some awkward dialogue in spots...
- The blue screen filming was often PAINFULLY obvious...
- Many of the actors played two or more roles in the film...
- The acting quality on the film wasn't always very high... for example:

The big "Thunder Childe" scene (Martian Tripods versus a pre-WWI naval dreadnought) was like watching a tennis match:

- Pan to characters' faces with incredulous looks...
- Pan to CGI special effect's clip...
- Pan to characters' faces with incredulous looks...
- Pan to CGI special effect's clip...
- Pan to characters' faces with incredulous looks...
- Pan to CGI special effect's clip...
- On and on, etc., etc.

That "CGI to actors back and forth" sequence characterizes much of the film.


- More accurate to the original H.G. Wells novel than any other WOTW film...
- In fact, at times, it seems as if the film EXACTLY mirrors the book's chapters...
- Interesting visualizations of the Martians!
- Cool retro special effects that were pitiful at times but very nostalgic of early sci-fi pulp novels and films...
- The damned preacher always had his mouth stuffed full of bread! He was just as annoying as the book seemed to intend him to be!
- The annoying opera singer who was simply terrible got eaten!
- The period clothing and hair styles were oustanding... Love the curls!!!
- They remembered to feature the Martian "black smoke," but it seemed to be very sparsely featured (I seem to recall that "black smoke" was what defeated the British navy at the Battle Of the Thames... not in the film... ).
- They actually remembered to feature the elusive Martian flyers!


I can't recommend this film for entertainment value, but the alien visualizations are great. Only a very serious fan of WOTW would like this film. The average Joe will be bored to sleep... and maybe a few serious WOTW fans as well... I plan to look at paused stills of my favorite special effects and even a few of my favorite scenes, BUT... I will never ever watch the entire film in a single sitting again!

I do not recommend Pendragon's "War Of the Worlds" film.



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Sunday, June 19, 2005

FILMS: Pendragon's "War Of the Worlds" Continued...

Hi Primarch,

I want to see that!

*** At Walmart you say? ***

Got to check Pendragon's "War Of the Worlds" out.

We finally went to bed yesterday without finishing the film. It's about THREE hours long!

And much of film is a very faithful adaptation of the novel... meaning that it is VERY slow!

There must be dozens of scenes of pointless running through the woods.

Or meaningless dialogue between two Victorian characters pointing out the PAINFULLY obvious...

The special effects are also rather comical in areas...

I sort of like the funny special effects though... they have the feel of an early sci-fi film, which gave Diana and I a few good chuckles.

I still haven't gotten to the big "Thunder Childe" scene (Martian Tripods versus a pre-WWI naval dreadnought), but I've heard that the scene is like watching a tennis match:

- Pan to characters' faces with incredulous looks...
- Pan to CGI special effect's clip...
- Pan to characters' faces with incredulous looks...
- Pan to CGI special effect's clip...
- Pan to characters' faces with incredulous looks...
- Pan to CGI special effect's clip...
- On and on, etc., etc. :p

I still think that the film is a good value for $8.00 USD, but I doubt that I'll ever watch the ENTIRE film again... I'll just use the scene selector to see my favorite clips to get in the mood for a "War Of the Worlds" miniatures game.


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Saturday, June 18, 2005

FILMS: Pendragon "War Of the Worlds" Out!

Hi Guys,

The new Pendraken "War Of the Worlds" film is out on VHS and DVD...

I picked up a copy at Walmart and intend to watch it tonight.

It was only $8.00 USD too!

Shabbat Shalom,

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NOVELS: "The Forge of God" by Greg Bear!

Hi Guys,

I just finished reading "The Forge of God" by Greg Bear... great read!

It reminded me of Pournelle's "Footfall."

Shabbat Shalom,

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Sunday, June 12, 2005

HUMOUR: How to Know if You're a Redneck Jedi!

How to Know if You're a Redneck Jedi!
Hi All,

Ralph passed this on to me awhile back and it's worth sharing.

How to Know if You're a Redneck Jedi:

1. Your Jedi robe is a camouflage color.

2. You have used your light saber to open and cook a can of pork and beans.

3. You think the best use of your light saber is picking your teeth.

4. At least one wing of your X-Wing fighter is primer-colored.

5. There is a blaster rack in the back of your landspeeder.

6. You have bantha horns on the front of your landspeeder.

7. You can easily describe the taste of Ewok.

8. You can find no grammatical errors in the way Yoda talks.

9. You think that the Stormtrooper Elite Guards are just KKK members with really good sheets.

10. A peaceful meditation session is one without gas.

11. You can levitate yourself using a force from within, but not The Force.

12. Your master has said, ''My finger you will pull..hmmm?''

13. You have had an X-wing up on blocks in your yard.

14. You have lost a hand during a light-saber fight because you had to spit.

15. The worst part of spending time on Dagoba is the dad-gum skeeters.

16. Wookies are offended by your B.O.

17. You have used The Force to get yourself another beer so you didn't have to wait for a commercial.

18. You have used The Force in conjunction with fishing/bowling.

19. You have used a light saber to clean fish or open a non-twist-off bottle of beer.

20. You've had your R-2 unit use its self-defense electro-shock thingy to light a bar-b-que.

21. Your father told you, ''Shoot, son come on over t' the dark side... it'll be a hoot.''

A Star Wars E-group worth checking out is:

Have a great day!


Notes regarding photos / pictures / videos: These are not all my images and videos. I am using various images and videos from around the web, mostly from public sources and/or private sources used with permission. I have tried to include only images and videos under public domain, creative commons, or fair use. If I have inadvertently violated any copyrights, please inform me and I will remove your image/s (if it is indeed an infringement).

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FILMS: "Sisterhood Of the Travelling Pants"

Hi Guys,

Diana (the girlfriend) and I went out to a film yesterday after I took her shopping (not for exciting things either). I wanted to see "Hitchhikers Guide To the Galaxy" and she wanted to see "Sisterhood Of the Travelling Pants."

*** Guess which movie we went to see? ***

Yes. You're right.

"Pants" it was.

And surprisingly, I enjoyed it. :)



MINI WARGAMING: Even More Thoughts On the Future of Epic-Armageddon...


Hi Doug,


[QUOTE=darkone26,12 2005 June,12:00]
Q. Hi Maksim, you weren't among the participants in the last batch of Incoming interviews, so how did you get into the Epic hobby?

I started gaming in the late 1970s with Chainmail and Starfleet Battles, but didn't have money for miniatures in those days. In the 1980s I bought my first miniatures for Battledroids which later became Battletech. By the end of the 1980s I had a pretty large collection of 6mm miniatures so when Adeptus Titanicus came out in 1989, I was very excited and immediately bought a box of plastic "beetleback" Titans. After that I was hooked...

Adeptus Titanicus was my introduction to the GW 40k universe and I've liked it ever since as a sci-fantasy gaming background. Interestingly enough, I didn't get to play Adeptus Titanicus very often (Just a few times even though I collected the miniatures and magazines... ) and didn't really start enjoying the game until Epic Space Marine 2nd Edition, which I played many many times.

[QUOTE=darkone26,12 2005 June,12:00]
Q. What did you think of the various versions of Epic as they came out?


Adeptus Titanicus / Space Marine 1rst Edition:

I loved the first edition of the game, which solely featured Titan vs. Titan combat. The game was rules-heavy, but it was fun and the original components were great. I loved the 1rst edition foam buildings. SM-1 added a tremendous amount of complexity to the game and really bogged the game down although the introduction of vehicles and infantry to the game was fabulous. I remember playing just one or two turns in a multiple-hour gaming session.


Space Marine 2nd Edition / Titan Legions:

SM-2 continues to be my favorite Epic game even though the rules creep for the game grew more and more severe as the game developed. I've played more games of SM-2 than any other edition of Epic combined although my E-A game total is starting to match my SM-2 games played total. Titan Legions was a great expansion and I really enjoyed playing it.

However, the reason I have such fond memories of SM-2 (Even acknowledging the severe rules creep... ) is because I have so many fond memories of playing it with good friends. I was in the military at the time and a large number of us would get together for SM-2 games almost every weekend. I'll never forget the bowling balls that SM-2 Gargantz shot off or the wacky criticals that would blow the reactor skyhigh on a Warlord Titan... Good times!


Epic-40k 3rd Edition:

E-40k had such a short shelf life that I don't have too many good memories of it. I barely played it before the game went out of print and lost company support. I started playing the game again after I finished a second university degree around 2001 and enjoyed playing it alot over those few years before Epic-Armageddon entered the development stage. After that, I readily discarded E-40k to start playtesting E-A.

The simplifying of so many units that had a lot of character in SM-2 was very annoying. However, the Eldar really came into their own with E-40k and they were my favorite army to play in this edition of Epic.


Adeptus Titanicus II (Independent Game):

I played this game a few times and it didn't do much for me. It was well-thought out, but I was more interested in other games.


Netepic Project (Independent Game):

Netepic took over developing the game when GW abandoned the game. They developed the
game as a fan-driven project and it is essentially a development of the SM-2 engine with a lot of details added including non-GE canon armies such as the Slaan. Netepic suffers from the same problems that SM-2 had: rules creep. Acknowledging the rules creep, Netepic is a great game and a major acomplishment for the fans that GW discarded. I'm concentrating my efforts on E-A, but if E-A goes belly up, I'll play Netepic again.


Bommas Over Da Sulpha River (Independent Game):

Technically this wasn't an Epic game although it came with Epic miniatures. I loved this simple little game and had a ton of fun playing it!


Epic Armageddon 4th Edition:

E-A is easily the best Epic game that has come along yet. The melding of the character that SM-2 had with the simplicity and ease-of-play that E-40k had has really made for an excellent game.

I miss the early Ork lists for the game, a major disappointment for me, since I wanted to see the Orks develop into something new, but I've become content with the final product that came out. "Swordwind" is great and I'm very pleased with the direction that E-A is taking as a game. Collector's models, vehicle templates, a good solid background and so many other details of the game are vastly improved over previous editions of the game. I've also been building up a lot of good new memories playing E-A and I imagine that my new experiences might even eclipse my really great old ones with SM-2.

E-A is a great game and I'm very happy to have helped steer it towards success while meeting a lot of new friends and renewing friendships with a lot of old ones.


[QUOTE=darkone26,12 2005 June,12:00]
Q. Do you consider yourself a player, a collector or both?

I consider myself both a collector and player of Epic.

[QUOTE=darkone26,12 2005 June,12:00]
Q. What effects do you think new miniatures will have on the fan base? Do you think it would be enough to have a slight trickle of new miniatures to keep the interest alive?

I think that coming out with new miniatures is vital to renewing the Epic fan base. A slight trickle of new miniatures is enough to show the fans that Fanatic is serious about supporting Epic-Armageddon and the fans in general.

[QUOTE=darkone26,12 2005 June,12:00]
Q. You mentioned that Netepic does well and has a following, what do you think is the primary difference between Netepic and Fanatic? Obviously the shakeup of Fanatic doesn't help but do you think that's the only difference between Fanatic and Netepic?

The primary difference between the two is: PROFIT. Netepic is a fan-driven not-for-profit enterprise and Fanatic is a fan-driven business. Netepic has no bottom line and is a project run by fans for the fans. It has a very flexible, loose organizational set-up while Fanatic has multiple layers of administration and superfluous decision-makers.

Essentially, Netepic has no limits or constraints while Fanatic has many limits and constraints.

Of course, a business like Fanatic turns out sellable finished products while Netepic has limited itself to freely downloadable electronic-format rules documents. Parts of the Netepic team have talked about turning out a physical product and even miniatures, but this has yet to come to fruition. Meanwhile, Fanatic has come out with both new books and miniatures as well as online support for Epic-Armageddon.



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Saturday, June 11, 2005

MINI-WARGAMING: More Thoughts On the Future of Epic-Armageddon...


Hi Doug,

Here are some more responses to your questions for the upcoming "Incoming" magazine interview article:

[QUOTE=darkone26,11 2005 June,08:19]
*** How do you think the news of Fanatic has affected people and in turn how did the reactions affect you? ***[/QUOTE]

Well... tough question! Of course, the constant shake-up of Fanatic has had a negative impact on the Epic fan base, but at the same time, new products have been released and there's no better way to encourage the fans to return to the game. the "Swordwind" book is as well made as the original E-A rulebook and the production values on those manuals are the highest of any GW product I've seen to date. The new miniatures are wonderfully sculpted even if the prices are a wee bit high for the market.

In my neck of the woods (I'm usually in Sacramento, California, USA), I'm seeing GW price itself out of the gaming market. I'm seeing more reasonably priced games taking the forefront of gaming like Warmachine, Flames of War and Starship Troopers. It's was a pity for GW to let Andy Chambers go. Being that GW is in decline in my area (They even cancelled the LA Gamesday last I heard!), Fanatic and Specialist Games haven't made any impression in retail gaming stores here, BUT...

There is still a huge following for Epic here in the Northern California area amongst gamers. Eric-Chern and his wonderful Epic army card site at this URL:


As well as my Yahoo E-group "CA-EA-Gamers" both serve to help to organize local gamers to play E-A in local shops and get E-A games at local conventions.

Overall, the constant change at Fanatic Games has impacted me in a negative way (Uncertain of the future of Epic), but it has also galvanized me to be a part of E-A's future success.

[QUOTE=darkone26,11 2005 June,08:19]
*** There has been mention that some Gamesdays within the U.S. have ignored Specialist games, what's your thoughts on this?***[/QUOTE]

Well... as I mentioned before, I'm seeing a lot of signs of the decline of GW and its' associated games within the USA. I see the cancelling of various Gamesdays as a negative measure. I understand the need for costcutting, but a Gamesday event or a similar gaming convention is a huge way to promote the game and even have the fans largely pay for the advertizing.

I don't think the cancelling of various Gamesdays is a good sign.

[QUOTE=darkone26,11 2005 June,08:19]
*** As someone who helps with army lists and has possibly an idea of what's lying ahead, what do think will happen to Epic over the next couple of years? ***[/QUOTE]

I see two scenarios:

- GW decides to drop the Epic line again along the lines that Epic-40k (The last version of the Epic game that was, well... stillborn...) was abandoned. In this scenario, Epic goes underground again and becomes a fan-based project along the lines of Netepic, which has been a colossal success. I've already heard calls for fans to make E-A into a fan-driven project published on-line. I'm throwing my lot in with Jervis and Fanatic, but if the game is cancelled, I will join the fan-driven team to keep Epic alive.

- In this scenario, GW realizes that Jervis and Fanatic have the potential to revive their customer base by re-attracting GW's lost, older fans back to the game. GW continues to give Jervis and fanatic the funding to release new products for Epic and keep their excellent online support of games like Epic alive and well.


I see scenario number two as a very viable possibility and, judging from the activity on the official E-A Playtest forums, I think that the next two armies released for E-A will be "Lost & The Damned" and my "E-A Tyranid" army lists. Both have most of a line of miniatures already availible (The old Epic-40k lines...) and have very exciting army lists in development.

I hope to be a much larger part of the team developing the E-A Necron list in the near future after the "Nid list finishes the development cycle.

[QUOTE=darkone26,11 2005 June,08:19]
*** I noticed that you started a Yahoo E-group for Epic; is that E-group restricted to your part of the world or is it something for everyone no matter where they are?***[/QUOTE]

I ran an E-A game at a convention in 2004 and met a lot of Epic fans that I hadn't gamed with before. I started my Yahoo E-group as a way of organizing the Epic gaming community in my area... The forum is an easy way for players to contact each other and chat about games and whatnot. I later expanded the group to allow visiting players from other areas to contact players while visiting California to set up games and meet new friends.

Here is the charter purpose for the E-group:

Purpose: California_E-A_Gamers is an E-group organized to help GW Epic-Armageddon players all over California and the surrounding areas arrange games and to chat about local gaming issues. Visiting E-A players from Britain, France or elsewhere in the world are also welcome to use the E-group for arranging games when visiting California, USA. General E-A conversation is fine here, but there is probably more E-A chat going on over at the Epicomms forum at Epic40k.co.uk[/QUOTE]

And the URL:


In a nut shell, ANYONE and EVERYONE is welcome to join and...

The more the merrier!

Shabbat Shalom,

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NOVELS: "Uller Uprising" by H. Beam Piper!

Hi Guys,

I was reminded earlier today that I just recently reread the old classic "Uller Uprising" by H. Beam Piper just a few months ago.

The story of "Uller Uprising" is based on the Sepoy Mutiny from the history of Colonial India and has a number of great sci-fi twists including a planet with a corrosive atmosphere, non-carbon-based lifeforms, giant lizards, skyships, native levies and fissionable weapons.


I highly recommend it.

Shabbat Shalom,

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Thursday, June 09, 2005

MINI-WARGAMING: Thoughts On the Future of Epic-Armageddon...


Hi Doug,

Here goes...


[QUOTE=darkone26,09 2005 June,17:20]
*** How are you doing considering you do quite a bit on the E-A forum? ***

I'm fine. Earlier this year, 2005, I was very much overstressed with my playtest list, the E-A Tyranids, not planned for many years and a number of negative fans pressuring me to put out material before I was ready to do so, but now I've got the E-A 'Nid playtest program back on schedule and am happy with the direction the list is taking.

Mostly I'm very happy with the way Epic-Armageddon has been shaping up even with the shake-up of Jervis and the support staff. It's easily the best official incarnation of Epic to hit the shelves and the support, while a bit tenuous, has been very good with models, rules and online support being plentifully availible. I miss the retail store support, but I can understand the corporate decision to not push E-A on store owners. As much as I love Epic, I have to admit that Epic has become a niche game and its fan base has shrunk considerably over the years with all the failures associated with earlier editions of the game.

[QUOTE=darkone26,09 2005 June,17:20]
*** How has GW and Fanatic moved forward or backward in your opinion? ***

It's tough to say... relegating the official Epic Magazine to an exclusively online publication takes away some of the clout that an actual physical publication holds, but, on the other hand, Netepic has had a successful online magazine, "Incoming," for many years. It's hard to argue with the success of the Netepic project and perhaps going online is the way to go.

I like the format of the "living rulebook" being online and changeable, but I think that the finished product should be availible as a physical rulebook rather than an exclusively electronic one. I am an avid gamer and I am seeing many companies do well with the sale of electronic rulebooks, but the majority of gamers still seem to prefer a physical book than can be held in my opinion.

Mostly, I look at the current evelution of Epic-Armageddon and Epic in general as a positive step so I'd have to say Fanatic has moved forward in my opinion.

I remember just a year or two ago when Epic had little to no official support and older Epic fans like myself were increasingly withdrawn from the Epic hobby. That's no longer the case. Just last year, 2004, I ran an Epic-Armageddon game at a California gaming convention and expected to have a hard time making four players... instead I was very pleasantly surprised to have close to twelve players arrive and had many more inquiries.

Epic's future may be in question but there is no question in my mind about there being a viable fan base for Fanatic / Specialist Games to draw upon if they want to promote the game and see it be successful.

[QUOTE=darkone26,09 2005 June,17:20]
*** How do you look at the restructuring of Fanatic / Specialist Games? ***

As long as Jervis heads Fanatic / Specialist Games then I will have faith in it. Having met him in person as well as having exchanged a large numbers of E-mails with him over some time, I have to say that he is a stand-up kind of guy and I trust him to do everything he can to keep us older Epic fans in the fold.

I hear a lot of negativism at the Epicomms forum and many Yahoo Epic E-groups, but I think that the game will succeed if the fans rally to it and be supportive of it. Jervis certainly hasn't given up on the game and I see no reason for the fans to give up on it either.

I felt badly about not being around for much of the time when Epic-40k was released (I was in the military at the time) and I'm determined to see Epic-Armageddon be a success and not suffer a similar fate as Epic-40k. To that end, I've organized a Yahoo E-group for players in my area:


I also volunteered early on to head on of the playtest lists for the newer Epic-Armageddon armies. I thought I'd be heading up the Necron list, but I was chosen for the Tyranid list instead. At first the job of being a list "champion" was poorly defined, but, with a little time, the job has become second-nature to me and I enjoy the process now. Once the Tyranid list finalizes (I think it is close at this point), I hope to become a bigger part of the E-A Necron playtest team.

In a few words, I have a lot of faith and hope in Jervis and the Fanatic / Specialist Games and I've seen that optimism met many times, especially from Jervis. I can't sing his praises enough.

[QUOTE=darkone26,09 2005 June,17:20]
*** Has the restructuring of Fanatic / Specialist Games affected you? Or just motivated you more? ***

Mostly, I'm very motivated to see Epic-Armageddon be a success and, mind you, this is from a fan who is very attached to Epic as a game, but not very fond of Games Workshop as a company.



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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

NOVELS: "Duel For the Golan" by Jerry Asher & Eric Hammel!

Hi Guys,

I've been rereading an old favorite: "Duel For the Golan" by Jerry Asher and Eric Hammel, an old favorite about the desperate fighting between the Syrians and Israelis on the Golan Heights during the 1973 Yom Kippur War. It's one of those books that takes very few sittings since it really engages me.

I started last week (Friday) and just finished this morning (Wednesday)!


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NEWS: Brand New Blog!

Hi Everyone,

While posting over at PG's blog, I was required to create my own and this is the result... pretty easy way to make a blog!


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