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I really liked this article and couldn’t help thinking of Central Belt PUGs and the gaming project in general after reading it. I’ve reposted here as not everyone has access to LinkedIn:

#1 Be able to describe what you do/what you are in one clear sentence. Donald Trump is correct, that elevator speech is really important. Ask a friend or colleague to give you an honest evaluation of your description. Does it give the listener a basic understanding of what you do? If not, make it a priority to work on it. Before someone can decide if they may need your product or service they must first understand what you’re saying.

#2 Be UNIQUE in ALL that you do. Don’t just give it lip service. If you’ve decided to adopt a unique approach to make your business memorable (tagline, business signature, giveaway, mascot, illustration, photo, color scheme, etc) be sure to use it consistently in your marketing efforts. It should become part of your brand.

#3 Use your mission statement as a filter for all that you do. Once you’ve clearly decided what your marketing goals, strategies, targets and tactics ARE, it should be easy to identify those things that DON’T fit. For example, if you have identified the best marketing vehicles to reach your customer then it’s very easy to say “no” to those salespeople offering you marketing opportunities that don’t fit your plan.

#4 Don’t jump-process….Discover your target market and your points of difference before you start marketing. Your printed collateral materials, Web site, and advertising will be much more effective and less expensive to produce if you have your marketing strategy established first. Then you’re simply following your plan in all that you do. Avoid the “shotgun” approach or “reactive” marketing.

#5 Give back to the community…strategically. There are so many great causes and organizations out there and you can’t do everything. So, pick the ones that will best position you with your target market.

#6 Network efficiently and effectively. If you don’t feel that you are a competent networker, now is the time to learn how to be or hire someone that is. Enough said.

#7 Remember that inconsistent advertising is wasted money. A prospective customer must be exposed to the same message in the same way numerous times before they are ready to entertain a buying decision. Pick an advertising vehicle where you can afford to have an ongoing and consistent presence.

#8 If you do trade shows, have a plan and work the plan. Companies participate in trade shows for a variety of reasons. Unless you have a success plan, you won’t know if it worked.

#9 Look for ways to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Speaking engagements, publication articles and volunteer leadership roles can all help label you as an expert in your field.

#10 Keep all marketing communications clear, brief and focused…Did I mention brief? Enough said.

The original article can be found here:


Last updated November 19th 2012: gbblseason1-14122012

I painted these as freebies for the up and coming Chaos of the Warp 5 tournament where lots of weather changing and zap spells will happen as a part of the custom rules pack. More details over at Without further ado, here’s the plague of frogs!

Yesterday was one of those big days – you know, the kind of day when everything happens all at once and you wish you could do it all. For starters there was the Glasgow Comic Con where one of my friends went and got published out of it – congratulations Evonne! In the meantime our local gaming group had set a gaming day too  (accidentally it has to be said, we never wanted to clash with a convention!) where quite a few of my friends went to play RPGs and Boardgames at our new hall, which all told went swimmingly; thankfully, because I was one of the people involved in setting it up after a brief hiatus when we lost our hall.

However the event I ended up going to was Chaos of the Warp 3, a tournament set up in Dunfermline for war games including Warhammer 40k, War Machine, and of course, the one thing that would drag me away from an event that I had a large hand in organising, Blood Bowl.

The Kayoss Bowl involved an early start with me getting up at 6 to be at Motherwell train station at 7. My friend Rikki, I was travelling with had to get up at 5 so it could have been a lot worse. After being late to the last Scottish Blood Bowl tournament I was at, I was determined not to be again, especially as I was doing the round draws and taking results on the day. The Scottish weather denied my wishes  for that though as localised flooding meant my 7 o’clock train from Motherwell cancelled, making my late and slowing the tournament up in turn.

Despite the weather though, we got cracking an hour after originally intended. The tournament set up was for 3 games, 1050k gold with 3 regular skills, picked at the start of each match – meaning you would have 1 skill for the first, 2 for the second and 3 for the last.

Of my 3 teams (yes 3, I had totally forgotten all about my partially painted Necromantic), I chose my Skaven over my High Elves as I didn’t like the idea of fielding an 11 man elf team with very little dodge or block. When I think about it, as the tournament organiser, I really should have brought the Necromantic team since they’re a little lower in the Tier system than the powerful top tier Skaven team. Ideally though, I really need to invest in a Goblin team if I’m going to run more tournaments, so that’s at the top of my budget.

Of the teams there I was the weakest in terms of strength so I was expecting a long tournament of getting mashed all day by the 2 Undead, 1 Dwarf, 1 Chaos Dwarf and 2 Orc teams there. Great…

First match was up against our usual tournament organiser, Ant, Edinburgh born but a Geordie at heart (“Areet man!”). This was our first match together despite playing in other tournaments together and generally getting sloshed together and making mischief. Some of our feats of debauchery include staying up late to play Munchkin while listening to Earthtone9 and going to bed early after a nice curry and pint.

Ant was playing one of the two humans teams at the event, his was without the somewhat unreliable Ogre. Sine there were very few teams at the tournament with starting Dodge skills (myself, the two humans and a Lizardman team were the 4/10 who did) he chose to take the pseudo dodge negater, Frenzy on a Blitzer. I chose Guard on a Stormvermin to try and win the bash war against what was a similarly powered team in regards to bashing. I also though it would help me break cages open once I had a corner of the cage.

I won the kick off and chose to receive for a slow turn 6 score. During my drive Ant lost his Frenzier and we both lost a Linemen to KOs and injuries. However, he had taken a babe inducement so he was at 10 men for the next drive while I was at 11.

Pouring rain meant he failed his original pickup giving me a chance to pressure him on my turn 7. On his turn 7 he got the ball almost clear and in my endzone with a 2 man cage and a catcher holding the ball. For me to the stop him scoring, I had to dodge through 2 tacklezones and use to go-for-its to one dice blitz him.I had a reroll. I never needed it, as my Gutter Runner got an open POW on the blitz, forcing the ball off the sideline and out near my endzone.

I then needed to make a 3+ then 2+ dodge with another Gutter Runner then a 3+ pick up to get the ball so that he would at least struggle to score on his turn 8. I had a reroll though. I never needed it. Gutter Runners are amazing.

Still on my turn 8, I had to make a long pass with the same Gutter Runner to another Gutter Runner who was man marked meaning a 4+ pass and a 3+ catch. I had a reoroll though. I never needed it. Gutter Runners are truly amazing.

Finally, to score, still on my turn 8. I had to run my Gutter Runner receiver through a 3+ then 2+ dodge away from his marker to score. I had a reroll in case I used my Dodge skill for the 2+ dodge. I never needed.

This set the tone for the next half as I was 2-0 up and Ant and needed to score and then steal from me to win. He scored to make it 2-1 but then a scored again on my turn 14 to make it 3-1 at which point he conceded the game after we brutalised our teams earning 3 casualties each.

Game 2 was against my old nemesis, Squinty with his Dwarves. I have now faced Squinty on three occasions, twice now with Skaven and once with a loaned team of Dark Elves. We have drawn now on both occasions so I knew this was going to be rough. I also knew that I was going to get truly mashed as he had taken Mighty Blow for his first skill on a Troll Slayer and decided to gleefully do so again on his second. I figured that the only way I could beat his team was if I stole the ball before he could cage up so I took Kick on a Gutter Runner.

He won the kick-off, meaning, if Kick didn’t work, I was getting mashed for 8 turns.

And mashed I was indeed. We rolled a Riot for the kick-off so it was only for 7 turns thankfully but the kick landed right next to one of his Runners and he started as he meant to go on by taking out two of my scrimmage line-rats on the first blocks of the game. Uh-oh…

I tried to stop a cage forming but when that failed, I stopped standing up my line-rats and ran my Gutters all the way up the end of his end zone so that they would be safe. He left 7 players in a cage and screen in my endzone and chased the gutters and my Guard Stormvermin (one got knocked out) and chased my surviving team with 4 of his players in a game of Cat and … Mouse. See what I did there?

By the end of the first half, he was 1-0 up and I had 8 players including all of my positions and one surviving line rat. This meant I would struggle to score and had to steal from him too if I wanted to win. I scored in two turns with a pass and some Gutter Runner magic. The stealing would be the hard part and he had 6 turns to score. Oh boy…

I set up asymmetrically, relying on Kick to boot the ball to the side I was on if he set up symmetrically, or Kick to the opposite side of the field if he set up asymmetrically like I did.

He set up symmetrically with an equal distribution of Dwarves on either side of the pitch, so I booted the ball up the left side of the field where my 4 Gutters and 1 Stormvermin were on – the other 3 rats being on the line of scrimmage. Sure enough he picked up the ball but didn’t form a cage around his runner. I had a chance…

I one die Blitzed a Dwarf covering my access to prey (using my final reroll to do so) and then rolled 4 2+ no reroll thanks to tackle, dodges on my Gutters to swamp the ball carrier. He then botched a roll on his turn and the ball was mine! I had to stall for 4 more turns, otherwise he might make the result 2-2 so we played cat and mouse again as he tried to catch my gutters while they hovered in his end zone but eventually I got the turn 16 score to make it 2-1.

Phew! Last up was Phil, whom along with Ant, I went down to Monkey Bowl with as part of a 4 man Team Scotland. As a fan of grunge and having good taste in music in general, I knew Phil had an able brain in there underneath all those riffs, 3rd-verse-same-as-the-first yell-alongs and song names named after random women.

Phil was playing an Undead team with a Block Ghoul, a Guard Wight and a Tackle Wight he rightly chose for me. My third skill was a toss up between Strip Ball and Wrestle. In the end I chose Wrestle because I knew it would useful even if he didn’t take Sure Hands on his remaining Ghoul. Now that I think about it, I should have known he would take Tackle and just went in with the Strip Ball.

He won the kick off and proceeded to mash my team as I failed to break his initial cage. We played some more cat and mouse as I dodged away from Mummies as far as I could while staying near his cage so that I could pressure it on his last turn before scoring and fouling and (screwing up!) crowd-pushes on anyone that I could. I might have messed up his drive had I had Strip Ball, but no matter. He scored on turn 8.

This left me with one turn to score. I set up for a one turn touchdown but then we got a riot on the kick off result. Despite this I failed a dodge on a Gutter Runner leaving me just one more turn to score. Phil put a tacklezone on my ball carrier and then after knocking down my receiver, went for a go for it to foul him and failed it. Just as a side note, he attempted 3 foul actions with go for its and every one failed all game.

This left me with my turn 8 to score and with a 6+ longbomb, I did just that. My ratty heroes made it 1-1

In my drive,I was only a few players down so I elected to go for a slower drive, rather than a turn 2 score and in my attempt to send 3-4 Gutter Runners near his end of the half as receivers I double 1’d a Gutter Runner dodge meaning he managed to steal the ball. as I was setting this up. He then blitzed my ball carrier and in return, in the furor, I stole it back off him and ran away with it to my endzone with my thrower. He then pressured my stalling tactics and as I tried to make a longpass to a receiver, I 3+ dodged a Gutter Runner out and failed. He got a free Blitz with a reroll on my thrower meaning he really ought to have scored but only got pushes and that I got another chance to play some Hero Bowl.

This may just be the play of the day, even more so than Ant’s ball stealing.

He had committed all his faster players to chasing down my ball carriers and had some Mummies and Zombies tying up all my players in the middle. I had a Gutter Runner that I ran up into his side of the pitch and a Lineman marked by a Zombie.

I dodged my Thrower out and threw a long bomb – not to my Gutter runner who was in long pass range, but the lineman, man-marked by the zombie as I knew that if he didn’t catch it, he would struggle to get many people around the ball, meaning my Gutter up there could do its magic. Sure enough though, he failed his intercept attempt and while I was simply hoping for a 4+ with a Pass reroll so I didn’t fumble the ball with my Thrower, BAM! I get a 6.

The line rat now needs a 4+ to catch, which of course, being the hero that he was, he did. He then need a 3+ dodge out of the zombie’s tackle zone and 2 go for its to score which, of course, being a star of my team that I put on my line of scrimmage to get eaten by mighty blow players all the time, he did.

After going up 2-1, on the resulting kick-off,Phil was looking at playing for a draw at this point until I rolled a timely Blitz for me to make it 3-1. Luck, luck, luck. That’s how you win a Blood Bowl tournament!

Before rounding off though, I want to thank all the guys at Chaos of the Warp for being awesome in general. I had some time between the rounds to talk to not only the Blood Bowl players but the guys in the other tournaments too. The atmosphere was really welcoming and friendly and the day went without any hitches other than those caused by the weather.

Normally I’d give a props and slops section a la old Magic: The Gathering writers when they reported their tournament results but there were no slops (not even the train operators who did the best they could) and instead would like to give 3 super-awesome-fantaculous-winslice-megabumps instead.

Super-Awesome-Fantaculous-Winslice-Megabump number 1 goes to Geoff who organised Chaos of the Warp as he did a fantastic job doing all the heavy lifting of taking payment and organising a hall and other logistics to make the tournament happen. Where I may have ran the Blood Bowl side of things, he made it all happen.

Super-Awesome-Fantaculous-Winslice-Megabump number 2 goes to all of my opponents for putting up with my spawny, spawny luck all day and not killing all of my super-hero players, though not for trying 😛

Super-Awesome-Fantaculous-Winslice-Megabump number 3 goes to the guys on the committee at Lanarkshire Gamers – namely Doug and Chris, for running the show while I was away kicking ass and taking names. Thank you!

* * *

Normally I would end the post there but I’m feeling so good that I’m going to have to give a bonus Super-Awesome-Fantaculous-Winslice-Megabump.


The Super-Awesome-Fantaculous-Winslice-Megabump Bonus goes out to Brian at Lead Legion aka ‘Brain Rae’ for pro-painting the star players I won. Here they are in all their glory:

I didn’t get nearly as many photos of this as I would’ve liked so I may just have to go back and get some more as my terrible photography meant that I had to delete a lot of blurry and otherwise unpresentable pictures.

So as many of you know, I visited gaming paradise for the first time there on Friday. It’s called Casa Del Giochi (House of Games) and is about 20 minutes on the metro from central Milan. It’s worth pointing out that this is a not-for-profit venture and not a private shop like in America or in some instances, the UK.

Casa Del Giochi is an old school complex with lots of different side rooms, a main hall and a basement which wasn’t being used. Jonatha, the chap who completed the project around 2006-07 was an aide to a local politican (who is now under house arrest for some sort charge, probably corruption, but less said about that the better…). As a result Jonatha knew a lot about what buildings were on offer and how to work the council to his best interests for the idea.

Before I go on to talk about the man behind the idea, I want to give you an idea of the scope of this place.

For starters, it has every RPG, gaming book and game you can think of that can be just be picked up and played. Here are just some pictures of the library to give you an idea of the scope of this place:

Then there’s the main play are area – note the judges station off to the left:

There are WC’s behind the station and another large gaming room as well as two more gaming rooms towards the left outside the margins of the picture. The picture was taken at night but you can go out beyond where the windows are and play games outside on nice days. There are two more small rooms from where I’m standing taking the picture for RPGing and quieter games. Then there’s the bar behind and to the right of where I’m taking the picture from:

Unfortunately I didn’t get pictures of the basement where there are 4 interconnected room for LARPing alongside lockers full of LARP kit. Next to that there was another basement room with Jonatha’s personal collection of games he had amassed overthe years and that picked up on the cheap from games shops closing down on the cheap. If he hadn’t found a place for them in Casa Del Giocha I would have accused him of hoarding! Just seeing it was a shock – my emotional range went from stunned silence, to flabbergasted, to angry and envious to stunned acceptance. There was so much of the stuff; games I didn’t know existed. Did you know there was Teenage Mutant Ninja turtles euro-style card game? Gaming treasures that I did know existed – like the copy of the 80s version of Ogre by Steve Jackson.

Then there were the clubs, some bigger than others. There was a wall full of these plaques, one representing each club:

The atmosphere around the place was great too as there were families with their kids just playing games together, eating, drinking booze – just having a great time. On the Saturday there were LARPers in their kit enjoying themselves as other quieter games went on in the background. The atmosphere showed what the gaming dream could be as opposed to the stereotype we often get lampooned with: anti-social Dungeons and Dragons players in the basement.

There are similarities in what he and I do. For a while he did what I do now and went around different clubs asking them if they would want to move their play area to a centralised area, which would soon become Casa Del Giochi, but got little incentive as the gamers were mostly happy where they were. He also tries to convince gamers to join together and play more games.

But that seems to be where the similarities end as he seems to. Jonatha joked about having to convince the gamers to come to the central meeting point rather than random pubs and clubs by using any means necessary from bribery to blackmail to threat of force. Although he was mostly joking, and considering how Italians do things, I’m pretty sure he used did just about everything within his power to ensure that these clubs ended up in The House of Games.

He’s also found it harder to spread gaming around. He told me that one of his greatest problems was cross-pollinating gamers in Casa Del Giocha. Traditional games like Scrabble and Chess seem more popular in Italy than in Scotland but those same gamers who love those games seem to consider it ‘their game’ and not one they would split away from whereas in Scotland we can meet people who may consider themselves miniature gamers but also do RPGs or even LARP.

Further to that, he said that he couldn’t put 2 different gaming groups in the same room. If chess players were put with backgammon players, there would be a row, guaranteed. In this sense, Scotland is similar for those gamers who don’t feel the need to play other games other than their chosen one.

Also, whereas most of my base of contact comes from the web and the Internet, Jonatha’s base is all personal contact. This may be because Milan and the surrounding area has a population of 4-5 million; the size of Scotland alone and Jonatha could simply travel around them all and meet them face-to-face when he was setting the place up.It could also be attributed to the fact that he wasn’t very keen to use the Internet as a means of spreading the idea and was surprised when I talked about how we have some great podcasts in Scotland that disseminate the good stuff going on in the gaming scene.

The other difference he found has its roots in culture. He mentioned that normally there is a kind of ‘Capo’ or leader of each gaming society in Casa Del Giocha and they seem to manage everything successfully. This seems to be the same in Scotland. The difference is that when the organiser leaves for whatever reason (moving abroad, giving up the game, new schedule) it was very hard to find someone to pick up the mantle afterwards. He talked about how in one case, a group of Italian gamers would rather see the club of 50 or so die out than step-forward to ensure it’s survival. For the most part, we don’t have that problem as handover to other people seems to common at least in my experience.

He also spoke about how to keep the place going. He employs 6 staff and has about 1,400 gamers come through to the place in any given year. 900 of those were regular types who visit at least once a week whereas the other 500 would be those who come to play their game of choice once a year or so. He charges each player a membership card of 6 euros a year (!) and the clubs who use the place also charge their own membership fees too.

During the summer he runs a summer camp for kids to come through and keep their kids busy for the summer. This is more of an Italian tradition when kids are off for the summer for 3 months or so but it’s definitely applicable here too. These kids will likely grow up with a sense of nostalgia and fun for gaming and may come back to it even if they drift away from it in their hormonal teenage years. Think of that for a moment, generations of gamers…

Either way, there’s a lot to learn from his example and a lot of ideas that I have come away with that I would like to implement if not copy wholesale! Where to begin…

So a while back I talked about putting this bad boy together, so now here it is! The linerats are night runners with micro arts studios straw hat heads on them; the stormvermin and thrower have ashigara heads from micro arts studios with bodies from the divine wind teams midfielders; the gutters are from the Green Dog range, 3 of which were regular gutters and 1 of which was one of their linemen with a puttied on mask; and finally the rat ogre is from goblin forge with a green stuff straw hat and fu manchu beard.

You’ll notice some of the models have different mutations – these are not different models, I’ve used magnets for hand swaps and extra mutations. To complete the team I will make 2 more linerats with ashigara heads this time, 1 more thrower with the possibility for an extra arm mutation and a big hand swap potential on the gutter with 2 head potential.

Massive thanks to all who contributed with ideas for minis in the previous thread where I originally put the idea forward. Without further ado, here they are!:

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Bonus content GET’s!:

“Uh oh! L’il Cthulhu is hungry after his long nap. What does he do? He eats his followers! They love Cthulhu and want to be eaten. Their souls make his tummy happy!”

Apologies for the bad camera work, as the lighting makes the armour appear shinier than it is and the rest of the model dulled or too close-up. Enough excuses, I bring you ‘The Forgotten Phoenices’, my team themed around forgotten film and TV stars:

Yellow plumes indicate throwers, blue are linemen, purple are catchers and green are blitzers. If you have any questions feel free to drop me a message below.

EDIT: I just put some more finishing touches to the models including drybrushing the armour a silver mixed with a little white which makes them look less dark and re-did some of the plumes on the helms so that the highlights are more distinct. Also added white pitch lines to some of the turf bases. Next step varnish, gloss and all that jazz.

Here’s the basic premise; to post in this thread you must invent a game!

The rules:
You have 100 six-sided dice in total. They come in 10 different colours – so that’s ten dice in ten different colours for a total of one hundred dice.

To post in this thread, you must make a game that uses all of these dice. Not 1 of them, not 99 of them, but ALL THE DAMN DICE!

You can add extra items of equipment if you need them for your game – for example, tumblers to roll the dice in or pieces of paper and pens but you cannot use less than the 100 dice stated above.

Kudos if you can ensure your rules description is 100 words or less – let’s get rolling!


Big thanks go out to Bez who came up with the original idea for creating lots of games from lots of dice and also major kudos to Andy P for having the original massive bag of dice which inspired us both to want to throw them everywhere!

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