Sunday, January 31, 2016

Short Update

This week I spent most of my time working on a video showcasing the miniatures I am working on as they relate to my projects. I had plan it would take a day or two to finish the video and then I could work on the first issue of Holy Moon. Instead it took the entire week to finish. My experience with making this video will go a long way to help me with future editing. I now know the process of what goes into making a video for when I start to produce my own battle reports. I also got a valuable lesson into what it takes to make the War Journal: Flames of War podcast. New episodes will be recorded the same as before but now it will be on me to put them together.

Outside of working on the video, I did find the time to play a practice game of Warhammer Fantasy. It was months since the last time we played and I figure we need the practice to get back into form. The rules came back to us fairly quickly but I realize there is one skill in Warhammer that I have sometimes neglected. List building. When I make a list in Warhammer, what kind of story I want to tell usually has a bigger factor than battlefield effectiveness. I don't want my web novel to be about the Bretonnians that loses every battle! I don't plan on being hyper competitive but I now realize list building I need to pay more attention to. Not that Bretonnians have that many choices compare to armies with newer books, which is everyone else.

So here is a quick run down: Holy Moon - Going to start writing the first issue this week. I plan on it being out in about 2 weeks. Going to play another practice game with Bretonnians this week. Might do a short battle report about it. Everything else I'm working on is touch on in my new Project Progress video. Until next time!

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Holy Moon/Scarlet Nights Intro

The land of Thylalon is protected by the guardian Lady Vivianna. She is beloved by Thylalon's people and in return she empowers Thylalon's defenders. Lady Vivianna's powers of precognition foresees dark days ahead and the Thylalon kingdom is not ready to deal with the upcoming threats. She tells King Dylan and his knights that they must undertake a dangerous quest that will end with the deaths of many beloved knights. If they refuses or fail in this quest, then everything they hold dear will be no more!

Holy Moon/Scarlet Nights is my serial fantasy fiction series. Key elements of the story will be decide by the results of various games such as Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer Age of Sigmar. Holy Moon/Scarlet Nights will be release as chapters and episodes. Chapters are entire story arcs made up of multiple episodes. Episodes are the individual story post. Episode titles will be based on the chapter it is from. For example the third episode of the first chapter will be entitled "1.3" while the fifth episode of chapter seven would be "7.5". The story will be told in two ways. Text post which will tell the story just like any other piece of fiction and with battle reports which is a description of what happen during a game that is apart of the story. I will be using two types of battle reports. Summary reports will give an overall description of what happen and will treat the event like a game. That means it will include game concepts such as army list, dice rolls and custom rules if any that were used in the game. Dramatic reports will summarize events in a narrative style. Any concepts that are game system specific will not be included in dramatic reports. Battle report titles will be named after the episode that sets up its events. So the battle report based on episode 3.6 will be entitled either "Summary Report 3.6" or "Dramatic Report 3.6". If a single episode sets up the events of multiple games then the corresponding titles would include a letter ie "3.6 A", "3.6 B" and so on.

The story centers around King Dylan and his knights which will be represented as Bretonnia in Warhammer Fantasy. As the story progresses other actors will take stage in the narrative represented by different Warhammer armies. Age of Sigmar will probably be used when the battles are either smaller or one of the forces don't neatly fit into one of Warhammer Fantasy armies. My personal collection is not as big as I would like and a lot of it still needs to be painted. My friend's collections is probably about half fully painted, half only assembled. I don't actually own a Bretonnia army yet. I will be putting together one as I am writing this series. Many of the early games will be done with my friend's Bretonnia army along with a lot of proxying. Hopefully by the end of the year the battle reports will be done with my own fully painted models.

In addition to the above I will be doing Author's Notes post as needed to keep readers inform on my current progress. These will be for discussing scheduling delays, answering fan questions or behind the scene elements I want to share. The Author's Notes are separate from my general Chaos Updates for the blog which I try to do every 3 to 5 months. I am a little behind where I wanted to be at this point so I will probably won't get to a battle report this month. Chapter 1, Episode 1 should still be out before the end of the month. I've never done a serial series before so it might take me a while to find my rhythm. I hope you will follow me along this journey and enjoy the ride. Until next time.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

New Year Update!

2015 was a very mix year for me and Chaos Magic. I co-started a Flames of War podcast and we were able to release new episodes throughout the year semi-regularly. I also took the steps needed to move this hobby into a business. In the middle of the year I had a personal crisis which derailed everything I was doing for 4 months which prevented me from having the level of progress I had hope for in 2015. 2015 was not the year I hope it to be but it was a year I took many steps forward. For that I am very grateful. And I need to keep going. For me to be successful in 2016 I need to produce even more quality content. Here is all my current projects and my plans for what I plan to do in 2016 with them.

Border Prince Campaign - As far as I know, I am one of only two players in my local community that is still interested in playing Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition. As long as that is the case then the Border Prince Campaign will remain on hiatus. That doesn't mean there won't be new updates in the new year for the Border Prince story. When I went through my notes to finish the skip story article, I realize I have many more partially written short stories that needs to be finish and posted. In addition I have ideas for stories I can tell as flashbacks in the Border Prince Campaign to help flesh out the overall story. The Border Prince Campaign will no longer be the main focus of this blog but these new stories will help bridge any gaps with my new main projects.

Warhammer Fantasy/Age of Sigmar - I no longer know enough people interested in Warhammer Fantasy or Age of Sigmar to do a normal campaign. So instead I'm going to commit to a narrative campaign. How this is going to work is I will write a story that ends with a battle of some kind. I will play out the game with my friend Phil using either Warhammer Fantasy 8th edition, Age of Sigmar or Kings of War, depending on what we want to play. I will followed our game up with a battle report here. Based on the results of that game will determine what direction the next part of the story will go. While Phil has told me he has no interest in working on the story aspect of the campaign, he will have an opinion on what armies we will play with, which in turn will affect how the story will go. My goal will be to have at least 1 story post and 1 battle report a month this year. The name and intro of the campaign will be upcoming in the next two weeks or so.

BattleTech - I have two projects in BattleTech I plan to do this year. I mention the Warhammer narrative campaign to my friend Chris and he suggested I do something similar with BattleTech. He gave me the idea to do a story about a group of warriors that is defending their home during a planetary invasion conflict. I love the idea as it immediately made me think about my favorite Gundam series, After War Gundam X. I don't feel as confident in writing science fiction but this is a great idea for me start practicing! I still don't own that much BattleTech stuff. After coming up with my team of heroes and their equipment I will need to pick up the corresponding models. The problem is that I'm not familiar enough with BattleTech to know what I want in my force (I'm always amazed at how large and in-depth this setting is). This have given me the idea of doing another project first before starting the narrative campaign. Chris and myself will compete in an abstract attrition campaign. The both of us will start with a set number of BV points, like 200k. When we decide to play a game, we will pick mechs from our individual rosters. At any time we can add new mechs to our roster by buying it with BV points. The campaign is over when one side is out of BV points and have no functioning mechs. There will also be a resource mechanic that will be earn by winning some of the battles. Resource will be use to fix damage mechs that have otherwise survive a battle or to pay ransom to the other player in certain scenarios. This gives us an easy to run campaign that will eventually end on its own. It is also a system that will allow me to try out many different types of mechs. I will give updates on where we are on starting the narrative campaign. Once we work out the numbers more details on the abstract campaign will be posted and its first battle will be around a month from now, hopefully.

Descent: Journeys in the Dark - I mention in my Refocusing post that I was considering doing something with Descent. Since then I have started running friends through the base game campaign. So far I am enjoying the game and I think my friends are as well, even though we are still making a lot mistakes with the system. Trying to craft a story to fit into my setting will be harder than I initially thought. So after we finish the base campaign, if my friends are still interested I will pick up one of the expansions and run them through that campaign as well. After that I think I might be confident enough to design my own campaign. In the meantime I will be picking up various Descent products such as lieutenant packs and the monster packs. We are playing with Tracy's copy of the game but eventually I want to get my own copy so I can paint the models. In the coming months I will be showing off my Descent models and maybe reviewing elements of the game. I am not sure we will get to my own crafted campaigns this year but we will see how far we can get.

Alien vs Predator: The Hunt Begins - This is a game I heard about but I really did not think it would be something that would affect me. I was wrong. I failed to realize how much Tracy and Chris were Alien fans. Tracy picked up the game when we were at the gaming store to play Team Yankee. We have since played it 3 times and overall think its a very good game despite some pretty big flaws. The rules are in desperate need of a FAQ. That said I can see many fun hours being had with this game. With it being such a big brand and how protective Fox is with this brand, I am much more reluctant to do anything with this game. That said, sometime my mind doesn't listen to reason and have already generate ideas on how to develop stories with this game. Nevertheless this is one game I will never buy anything for nor will I have any pictures of its models here. There is too much risk for me to include them. A possible idea I could do is recreate our games with Descent tiles and Warhammer models and I could take pictures of that. My only problem with that is that the marines don't have a good analogy in my fantasy fiction. Of course two weeks ago I barely heard of this game and there was no way for me to imagine it might be one of my most play games in this new year. Given more time I am sure I will come up with something.

Team Yankee - Team Yankee as well as Flames of War is in a weird spot for me in that I know they will be major elements of this blog in the new year but I am not sure how. With Team Yankee being a new game, all of my current efforts are going into learning how to play the game and deciding on what my force will look like. Much like with Flames of War, I am not sure if Tracy will have the time to commit to do a campaign with either game. That said, I have notice there is a lot of buzz about Team Yankee around my local gaming store when we played. If a couple people pick up the game in addition to Tracy and myself, then the prospect of a Team Yankee campaign increases immensely. The only thing I can be confident on is that I will have Team Yankee models in my gallery and a few battle reports here and there. I am very interested to see where Team Yankee takes me in the new year.

Others - Even when I think my hobby is full, something always surprises me and changes things up. I am sure 2016 will continue that trend. I have side projects like Relic Knights, Samurai Battles and BattleLore that I'm not sure at this time what my level of interest will be in the new year. It is possible in six months one or more of these games will be added or replace my current project list. Or they might remain on my shelves, unplayed. I do plan to show up at my local gaming store more often this year on my own and see what people whom I don't normally play with are playing. I might discover a new game that I'm interested in with new friends to play with.

I will end on two more points. In this new year I plan on playing as many games as possible and giving my thoughts on those games here. Whether I'm doing reviews, offering tactic advice or exploring ideas on how to make games better, I hope readers will find my content entertaining and informative. On my major project I will work hard to make sure they are release on a reliable schedule. I am working with friends whom have their own time constraints and may not be available when I would like. I will try to work around my friends' schedules but that may not always be possible. Those are my plans for the new year. Be safe and have a Happy New Year!