You've stumbled across Dr. P's Dorky Blog, a rather pointless collection of entries that celebrate all things related to the dorky pursuit of gaming and the all-consuming hobby it supports! The blog mainly helps to serve as a scrapbook of gaming goodness and painting projects. From time to time, you may also catch a few oddball posts related to my teaching, research, and other hobbies.

Friday, December 9, 2011


Our final "regular" Dork Club meeting of the semester was a fun one! One of the club's good friends visited and hosted an exciting World War II battle. The game used the Nuts! rule set, produced by Two Hour Wargames, and we found it to be an interesting and fun event. Our game setup was very simple, given that it was our first experience playing this rule set. We had roughly three squads of U.S. army facing off against two squads of Germans. It was a scouting mission scenario, where each team was to locate the opposing force and identify any unit markings from fallen soldiers. The Germans opened fire immediately in an attempt to take out the American sergeants. Nuts! allows for a number of sight and received fire checks to be taken, which allows various players to act in response to the active player's actions. The system took a little time to get used to, but was pretty fluid once we became more comfortable. In the first game, the Americans claimed victory.

In the second game, we played a take and hold mission that focused on a single structure objective, located in the center of the board. The Germans made aggressive initial moves and captured the objective. They were successfully able to keep the Americans pinned down in the surrounding forests, racking up victory points in the process by holding the objective. It was another fun evening of gaming!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

This may be our...Last Night on Earth!

Yes, we were overdue for another fun Dork Club game night, especially since Halloween is right around the corner! This week's gathering focused on some of our more "spooky" games. Last Night on Earth, produced by Flying Frog Productions, remains one of my favorite board games. I enjoy it so much due to the way it translates the survival horror film narrative into a cooperative board game experience.

Our first game was a scenario where the heroes had to search for gasoline and keys in order use a truck to escape the zombie horde. Two players teamed up to control the zombies while the other players control a fun cast of human characters that must cooperate to complete the scenario mission goals. In this game, the humans were waaaay too confident and met their end as they frantically attempted to gas up the truck. Ripped limb from limb, it was an embarrassing epic fail of a defeat.

The second game we played was a killing spree mission, where the hero goal was to dispatch fifteen zombies. This one was really fun and came down to a cinematic moment where the heroes were surrounded by a mass of undead that closed in for the kill. Luckily, a simple fire extinguisher turned the tide by providing the humans with a clutch means of escape! Once away, pistols, chainsaws, and blow torches were ultimately used to dispatch enough zombies for the win. It was another fun night of gaming. When I left, the guys were starting up a fun game of Munchkin Zombies!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Battle beyond the stars...my first Directorate Fleet!

Following our last Dork Club meeting, I've been meaning to post a few photos of my Firestorm Armada fleets. First up is my Directorate Fleet in all its red and white glory. The fleet didn't require any assembly since all the ships are cast in a single piece. Just a little elbow grease to remove some flash and you're off to prime and paint. The color scheme was inspired by a number of examples over on the Spartan Games forum.

Everything was primed black and followed with about four colors of dry-brushing. I used Cold Grey, Stonewall Grey, Bone White, and Dead White (all VGC). Each color was applied so that some of the previous layer was left exposed. Finally, the red panels were picked out in a gradient of Scarlett and Bloody Red (VGC). A little VGC Black was used in the panel recesses, followed by three coats of Krylon Gloss Coat and one coat of Krylon Matte Coat. I was please with the results and they really look fun on the table!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

In space, no one can hear you roll for crits...

Tuesday was another Dork Club game night! It was a blast trying out my newly painted Firestorm Armada fleets. Firestorm Armada is another great game system by the folks at Spartan Games in the UK. It is very similar in mechanics to Uncharted Seas, with a few added layers of complexity. The game is also quick to learn and lets you roll lots and lots of dice as you duke it out across the void. Firestorm Armada includes fighters, teleport assaults, torpedoes, and a pretty sweet miniatures range. The ships are detailed and a blast to paint.

Our game was based around a capture and control mission to take a secluded weapons research space station. Two fleets raced toward the station and did their best to teleport their assault troops onto the station in order to score victory points. At the end of each game round, teams earned points for each squad of troops remaining on the station...or at least those that survived the fighting if both teams had squads on board. Victory points were also earned by destroying ships of the opposing fleet. The swifter frigates and cruisers raced in and traded shots early, but the game took on a different tone once the big dog battleships entered the fray. Our favorite high-rolling history professor scored some really nasty hits from his battleship that disintegrated two of the opposing cruisers, leading to a reactor meltdown that mauled the remaining one. That turn changed the tide of battle and the other team's battleship ultimately made a hasty retreat to hyperspace before being encircled and destroyed. It was an exciting game with loads of fun moments...another fun game night!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

For a few mechs more...

Lots of papers to grade tonight, so I took a break and decided to throw a couple more mechs up on the site. Again, these were blending practice with a couple of new color schemes. A few water-slide transfers spiced things up, followed by a simple black wash.

The Orion is a painted with a core of cruiser tank green (FoW) and blended outward into limbs of green ochre (VMC).

This fun little Piranha mech is loaded to the gills with MG's. I decided to try a simple gradient of magic blue (VGC), imperial blue (VGC), and Andrea blue (VMC).

Monday, September 26, 2011

The Hunchback of Battletech...IIC that is...

Yep, here's another mech post. The Hunchback IIC is truly a fun one to play with in a close quarters game...at least until you run out of ammo. This bad boy packs two Ultra AC20's that can cause some serious pain! Anyway, mine is painted in a dirty Halloween scheme with orange fire and black (VGC). As always, I appropriated a few GW transfers to decorate this guy.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Ahoy! Thar be fun playin' Uncharted Seas!

Over the past few years, Spartan Games has become one of my favorite game companies. This UK outfit has a stable of really fun games that are quick to play and let you roll tons of dice. I enjoy all three of their flagship games: Uncharted Seas, Firestorm Armada, and Dystopian Wars.

Last year Uncharted Seas, a game of fantasy naval combat, was a big hit with the Dork Club. Moving squadrons of beautifully sculpted ships around the table and blasting your opponent out of the water makes for a fun evening. Play moves back and forth between the players as they take turns activating small portions of their fleets. All of the archetypes are represented (elves, orcs, dwarves, etc.) and a couple of original races as well. The game is The exploding dice mechanic is a blast and the rules allow folks to jump in and enjoy the game quickly.

Below are a few images of my Shroud Mages (think chaos dwarves) fleet. I'll try to post more as I get my other primed fleets properly painted up.

Here's a photo I snagged last semester that shows a clash between the above Shroud Mages and my Iron Dwarves fleet. You can see a chaotic frigate battle raging on (note the epic fail markers on frigates that completely missed their shots at point blank range) as the Iron Dwarf battleship withdraws in search of bigger prey...

Battletech Mechs: Werewolf & Hornet

Battletech was the gateway drug that led to my love of miniatures wargaming. Imagine sixty-ton robots the size of office buildings beating the crap out of each other! I discovered the game during my first summer research internship. I was away at Texas Tech and spent free time at a small game store near campus. Battletech still holds a special place in my heart. While ownership of the intellectual property has bounced around over the years, the game still has a loyal following. The mechs also provide a really nice distraction as painting projects. When I get burned out from painting scores of space marines or 15mm aliens, mechs are great side projects. I love the spirit of the early 3025 time period of the game, as opposed to the more recent story arcs of the Battletech universe, that conjures up a WWI "knights of the sky" fighter imagery where each plane had a unique paint scheme. Even though I collect mechs from various time periods, my painting attempts to keep my paint schemes diverse. They also provide a great way to practice painting techniques. Here are a couple recent projects that I used to practice blending various colors. Sure, they won't win any competitions, but they look great on the tabletop.

Werewolf: Hawk Turquoise, Jade Green, & Scorpion Green (all VGC paints)

Hornet: Sun Yellow, Moon Yellow, Bloody Red, Gory Red, Red Black (all VGC)

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Contact! Taking on the Red Baron and the Fokker Scourge

Our first Dork Club meeting of the semester was a good one. The turnout was great and we saw a lot of new faces. We even had a mathematician show up and lead a game of Munchkin that looked like a lot of fun. Our regulars were there, except for our new President that was working hard at rehearsal for an upcoming campus theater production. Our loyal historian (now a TV star) and Dean were able to make it out as well.

I introduced one of my favorite games to the club, Wings of War. This is a very accessible and extremely fun game that puts you in the chaotic skies of WWI dog-fights. The game has some of the best prepainted miniatures that I have ever seen. They are historically accurate down to the camouflage and squadron markings. Many are specifically modeled after the planes used by famous aces of the war. Gameplay is fast and furious, where each plane has a deck of cards that allow each player to select maneuvers as they try to hunt down their opponents on the table. Damage is also handled in a simple manner using decks of cards that denote damage values when planes are hit. The deck includes a number of zero valued cards to represent shots that miss. The damage deck also includes special damage cards that add the fun of planes on fire, trailing smoke, engine trouble, gun jams, pilot injuries, and the sort. Wings of War plays very quickly and allowed us squeeze quite a few missions into the evening. My favorite missions were the team deathmatch fighter patrols and an attack/defend mission where we had a huge observation balloon on the table as our objective. It was a fun time and the game was well-received; I'm sure we'll be playing this one again soon.

Shakedown Entry: Welcome to the Dork Club!

Welcome to this random assortment of posts that celebrate all dorky pursuits! My day job involves teaching chemistry at a small, liberal arts college here in the Midwest and I truly enjoy my job. I have amazing colleagues and the students make you happy to wake up and go to work each day. The college is a vibrant community that supports a wide range of interests and the numerous student clubs reflect this. Faculty serve as mentors to these groups and they are a great place to interact with our guys outside of the classroom. Currently, I enjoy taking on this role for a couple of these groups.

Our "Dork Club" has inspired the creation of this blog. The Dork Club was founded by an amazing group of theater majors back in the day and continues to serve as the campus gaming group. The club meets roughly every other week and includes students from all classes and campus living units. We even have a few faculty and admin regulars that join in for some D6 rolling fun. The group enjoys everything from traditional board and card games to more exotic tastes, such as historic, sci-fi, and fantasy miniatures wargames. If you read future posts, you will quickly see that I am a miniatures wargaming nut. Much of the posts on this blog will relate to the club, our gaming misadventures, and my painting projects that support the club. Everyone needs a hobby to stay sane and gaming is mine.