Bitter Bummer: My First Homebrew Failure?

After successfully brewing my first three batches of beer using pre-made kits, I wanted to make my fourth batch from scratch using a recipe from one of my homebrewing books. Because this was my first time making beer on my own, I decided to make something simple and cheap. I eventually settled on a recipe for Ordinary Bitter, a light English style. After finding a recipe to try, I scaled it down for my fermenter (around two gallons), ordered the ingredients online, and got ready to brew. Thankfully, the brew day went by without any major issues. However, when I went to measure the original gravity (sugar content) of the finished wort, I discovered a big problem.

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Bolt Action: Korea — Warlord’s most ambitious supplement yet?

It’s no secret that Bolt Action is one of my favorite wargaming rulesets. Though it may not be as historically accurate as many other WWII wargames, its mechanics are highly enjoyable and it is easily accessible to new gamers. In the past, I have bought supplement books for Bolt Action, including several army and theater books. I also have bought supplements for other Warlord games (such as Black Powder). When the Bolt Action: Korea supplement was announced, I knew that I would buy it eventually. Unfortunately, at the time I did not have any armies suitable for the Korean War. However, recently I found some Bolt Action miniatures on sale and decided to start a US army. As I was submitting my order, I couldn’t resist adding the Korea supplement to my shopping cart. It ended up being a good decision.

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Is the Victory at Sea Rulebook Worth Buying?

Like many people who bought the Victory at Sea starter box from Warlord games, I was surprised when I saw the thin rules booklet included in the game. The starter box for Black Seas, another recent game from Warlord, came with a decent-sized 90 page rulebook and the rulebook included in the starter box for SPQR (another Warlord game) was twice that size! When Warlord announced that the actual full rulebook would be released seperately at a later date (for £40, no less), there was plenty of grumbling from fans. Though I was disappointed as well, I eventually ordered a copy for myself. Below I have written short flipthrough of the book with descriptions of each section. If you would like to read my overall thoughts about the book, feel free to skip to the end of the article.

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The Joy and Frustration of Mortem et Gloriam

In the last few months, my local wargaming group has become increasingly interested in Mortem et Gloriam (MeG), an ancients wargaming ruleset usually played with 15mm models. Since I have the most experience with MeG, I have been asked by several people to teach them how to play. As a result, I have played more games of MeG than any other wargame in the past six months. Needless to say, I have plenty of thoughts about the system, both positive and negative.

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Black, Bitter, and Boozy: Homewbrew Black IPA

After brewing a tasty (though somewhat average) one-hop IPA, I set my sights on my third and final brewing kit — Black IPA. I find it amusing that despite the other two kits having cute or clever names (Caribou Slobber and Zombie Dirt), this kit was simply labeled Black IPA. Despite the hundreds of beers that I have tasted, I had never tried one of this style. Yet, here I was about to brew one. I had no idea what to expect.

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Why I Love Miniature Wargaming

My whole life, I have been a gamer. When I was young, I was obsessed with video games and when I graduated college, I was crazy about board games. Now that I am a bit older, my main gaming passion is miniature wargaming. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll still play a good video or board game any time, but they don’t captivate me as much as moving little plastic figures around a table with rulers and throwing fistfulls of dice.

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Unboxing: Gates of Antares Strike on Kar’A Nine

Recently, I was browsing online gaming shops, when I spotted a starter box for Beyond the Gates of Antares with a deep discount. Since Bolt Action is one of my favorite wargames and Rick Priestley is one of my favorite rules writers, I decided to pick it up. Though nowadays I generally prefer historical wargaming, it looked like a good game for players who want an alternative to Warhammer 40k. After ordering it, I did some research and found that there are actually two starter boxes for Antares — the original one, which is larger and includes a hardback rulebook, and a smaller one that was released later. The one I bought, Strike on Kar’A Nine, is the latter. However, despite its smaller size, I have been blown away with how much is packed inside.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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