My First Homebrew IPA!

After my initial success with my first homebrewing kit, I immediately ordered two more. Though I eventually wanted to brew beer from scratch using recipes and maybe someday even design my own, but in the meantime, I would focus on improving my basic brewing skills. For my next beer, I decided to dive right into the hop-filled deep end with a single-hop IPA. A few weeks after submitting my order, my kit arrived and I was ready to brew again.

Read More

Is Memoir 44 Too Simple?

The first time I played Memoir 44, the light wargame based on Richard Borg’s Commands and Colors system, I completely dismissed it as oversimplistic, unrealistic, and just plain boring to play. That was ten years ago, when I was still in college and just beginning my tabletop gaming journey. Now — as the cliche goes — I have a full-time job, a wife, and three beautiful children. My perspective has changed quite a bit. Does that change the fact that Memoir 44 is an overly simple, not very realistic wargame? Not really, but I realize now why that might actually work in its favor. In fact, it might even elevate the game above other Commands and Colors games.

Read More

Why I Have Never Finished a Game of Sharp Practice

About a year ago, one of my gaming buddies and I decided to get into Napoleonic wargaming. We split a Black Powder Waterloo starter set and got to work painting the minis. While we enjoy the Black Powder rules, we found them to not be well suited for our 4′ x 6′ wargaming table (at least not with our 28mm minis). Transporting the large amounts of minis to the gaming shop we play at was also a hassle (especially when I need to take them on a crowded bus). Additionally, I feel that Black Powder benefits greatly from pre-game scenario preparation and is not well suited for casual pick-up games. When I heard about Sharp Practice, a large skirmish-scale gunpowder era wargame that doesn’t require large armies or a large table, I got very excited.

Read More

Unboxing: Warlord Epic Battles ACW Starter Set (Deluxe Preorder)

Today I finally got my deluxe pre-order edition of Warlord Games’s new hot game — Epic Battle American Civil War (ACW). Its not actually a new game, though, just mini miniatures for an existing game in a smaller scale than Warlord usually sells. If you’re new to wargaming, this may sound ridiculous, but actually its a really big deal. While many gamers already play large-scale battles with small-scale miniatures, they almost always have to play with metal models that are fragile, heavy, and often expensive. These new models from Warlord are the first small-scale (around 13mm) ACW miniatures I have seen in hard plastic, and boy are they nice. So lets take a look at this box set and see what I got.

Read More

My Homebrew Journey Begins

A little more than two months ago, I decided to start brewing beer. Truth be told, I am not a huge drinker, though there is something special about beer that deeply attracts me. About two years ago, I wrote a short-lived beer blog for a local website (you can check it out if you want, though its in Chinese). During this time, I got the opportunity to try out many different types of beers and learned much about their characteristics. However, as I started reading up about homebrewing, I realized that my blog had only begun to scratch the surface. Despite beer being made up of four simple ingredients (malt, hops, yeast, and water), to a brewer it is an infinite canvas filled with countless possibilities.

Read More