Monday, February 28, 2011

The Horrors of cautious gaming

Last summer a buddy of mine and me hid out at his cabin in the Mountains of central British Columbia for a weekend, in between hiking and making unhealthy meal choices we got in a game of checkers. Neither of us were sure when we had last played checkers, with him even pondering if he ever had. But since I had played untold numbers of Axis and Allies, Risk and Battletech games against him in our youth I knew I was in for a good scrap.

I could not have been more right, the game ended within about 10 turns with an impassable stalemate and neither of us losing nor taking a piece. Still not sure what to make of that game, but I finally got some photographic proof.

For the record I was black and he was red.
Anyone ever have this happen to them before?

Thankfully this sort of thing doesn't happen in miniature wargaming, and never could in D&D as every group I have ever played in had zero problem finding people/critters/chiefdoms to stab, blast and or loot.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Blatant product placement or product review rating scheme?

Recently my trusty old craft knife crapped out on me, it is an often used and little mentioned hobby tool and as such a replacement was definitely in order. While out foraging for sustenance with Ella, I took the opportunity to duck into a local model Railway shop. Looking through their racks of exquisite hobby tools, I came across a knife that really caught my eye.

Being a tradesman who was raised by a tradesman I have a huge appreciation for quality tools, and a defining mark of such tools is depth of thought in design. One of the failings of my previous knife was the placement of the threads to haft the blade at the spot where it meets the handle. Although initially this design seems perfectly logical, during use the slight variations of force applied by the fingers fall directly upon the haft and slowly loosen the threads. Not only is this frustrating, I can see it becoming dangerous. I already have enough scars on my hands from work I don't need them from my leisure, skateboarding and road hockey aside.

Oddly enough one of the best priced knives was designed with this in mind. The threads that tighten the blade are (likely via Gond's will or some type of threaded shaft) accessed at the aft end of the handle. Glorious.

It comes with quite the little quiver of blades too. Curved, point, offset (for scoring, which is on the task list) and a saw blade, which I might take fishing.

And the best part?

$6 Canadian.

That's value.

Zona Soft Grip Knife Set, you get my first 5 out of a possible 5 on a 5sided die. Comfy, solid, good leverage, scandalous price, multiple blade options and a sturdy vial to house them, I am more than impressed.