21 Mar

Ironheart Artisans Interview for Dropzone Games

Ironheart Artisans LogoI spent an afternoon talking to Alex Landis of Ironheart Artisans, a miniatures wargame accessory manufacturer based in the brainstorming zone hidden deep inside Dropzone Games in Glen Burnie, MD. We talked about what it takes to make it in the miniatures wargaming world, how best to adapt gamers’ needs to the table, and methods of creating and casting all manner of cool things. In the workshop, Ironheart Artisans sets out to create innovative and affordable solutions for miniatures gamers. And they have a laser.

Read the full article about Ironheart Artisans at the Dropzone Games website here.

5 Oct

Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game Battle Report

Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game Cover ArtOn the heels of my review of the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game, I had the opportunity to take in a battle between the Rebels and the Empire while visiting Dropzone Games. Aside from its simple yet engaging mechanics, one of the lures of the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game is that you can steadily expand on your force with additional ships and, for the game I observed, the players fielded both the new Y-Wing Fighter and the TIE Advanced. Continue reading

1 Oct

Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game Review at Dropzone Games

Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game Cover ArtI did not get to play the Star Wars X-Wing Miniatures Game at GenCon this year. And I left the convention covered in shame for it. After all, I’m a big fan of Fantasy Flight Games, and the look and feel of the game was everything I love about tabletop games: elegant mechanics, cool Star Wars miniatures, and a self-contained game that did not require (the admittedly cool) extras in order to play. Continue reading

20 Sep

Spartacus: A Game of Blood & Treachery Review at Dropzone Games

Spartacus: A Game of Blood & TreacheryWith all my running around at GenCon, I barely got to play any games, but I did get to play Spartacus: A Game of Blood and Treachery. It only took one round of a demo game to hook me.

Not even thirty minutes later I was walking away from the Gale Force Nine booth, a copy of Spartacus under my arm, and off to the hotel bar to poison my friends and behead their warriors.  My devious and bloody exploits became legend. True story.

Check out my thoughts and very favorable impressions of the Spartacus boardgame over at the Dropzone Games website.

22 May

Off-Topic Tuesday: Fire Support

Dropzone Games

The internet is probably more in love with acronyms than the military. Worse still, it’s the unnecessary nature of the acronyms that gets under my skin. I understand the need for brevity when it comes to texts and The Tweets when you are under an actual constraint. I accept the use of LOL more as a form of punctuation than actual speech and I will use WTF simply to avoid dropping f-bombs brazenly in an electronic conversation. But, when you are seated at a keyboard, spelling out “in my humble opinion” shouldn’t be an ordeal. It’s just like when you were young and told to “use your words.”

The term FLGS is, if I’m not putting too fine of a point on it, goddamn annoying. For those who are not hip (nor with it) or are just curmudgeons like me, that’s Internets for “friendly local game store.” Congratulations, you saved yourself a little more than 20 keystrokes. Again, potentially acceptable when that represents over 12% of your available communication space but unnecessary when typing without constraint. And if you literally say “FLGS” out loud in spoken conversation I will punch you in the jeans.

"It rubs the deodorant on its skin or it gets the hose again."

My (apparently) unreasonable demands regarding written and verbal communication aside, my chief concern is determining just how many hostile game stores are out there. Have I been lucky all of my life, narrowly escaping danger as I picked up the latest rules supplement and cheating death while I bought dice? Are there hobby centers tucked away down long dirt roads where a man wears the (rather roomy) skin of his first DM in front of a mirror saying, “I’d level me” with a party of corpses gathered around a cobwebbed table?

I’m going to go ahead and assume I’m wrong about Gamer Ed Gein. Maybe there are stores that are staffed by exceptionally unhelpful people. Maybe they’ll say “Here’s your nerd-books, nerd” after I make my purchase. But why would I shop at a place like that? Why would the person who’s exceedingly concerned about wasted keystrokes shop there or spend the time to put that F in front of the LGS that is worthy of his or her business? If I trust you opinion, I trust that your LGS is properly F’d… or something like that. Although I’ll add that if you say FLGS I likely don’t trust your opinion.

In today’s day and age (an expression of yesterday’s day and age, I think) there’s no reason to shop at a brick and mortar establishment unless they are appropriately F’d. After all, the internet is never out-of-stock and generally has better pricing. Yes, there are exceptions but, at that point, you’re putting so much emphasis on acquiring your product that you’d probably get it from someone with “Intent to Distribute” on their rap sheet. I’ve never seen the expression FLDD so I assume that friendliness stops being a requirement when someone needs to have something that much. If you are going to your local game store instead of shopping the internet, you’re going there for the F.

Some friends and former co-workers are building such a store. Intended to be the destination for wargamers in Maryland it’ll be the kind of place you go to “for the F.” Dropzone Games is going to be located in Glen Burnie, MD. Practitioners of geomancy and devout observers of feng shui rituals may identify the site as the former location of the Games Workshop Battle Bunker. So basically it’s like building a temple for channeling dark power on top of an ancient Indian burial ground.

When they throw open their doors for their grand opening, currently slated for June 15, I’ll likely remind you again. But don’t worry, it’s not located down a dirt road. It’s more of an industrial park so you probably won’t wind up stuffed in a crawlspace or anything. Hopefully they can become your local (war)game store and I’m certain you’ll find all the F you’ll need.

Dropzone Games
Good luck guys!