IKEA: Making gaming great again

In case you were unaware, there is currently a Petition for IKEA, on Change.org, to make an affordable multifunctional table for gaming.

Started only a week ago by Brad Smokely, his IKEA petition has over 19,500 signatures.

There have been many attempts either by private companies or by Kickstarter to develop a high-quality multi-functional table for both dining and gaming, but most have been out of the price range of most of the community.

IKEA is a  leader in multi-functional furniture at affordable prices, and it is the hope of the petition that IKEA will take notice and fill this gap thru their international stores. The gaming community is already a heavy user of IKEA’s KALLAX product as it is an efficient way to store and display their gaming collections. 

An affordable multi-function gaming table designed by IKEA would not only be an incredible addition to their line of products, but would also be an essential item for people who play card games, board games, and tabletop Wargames.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.

– from The Man Cave

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Hobby Hack #4 – Cutting the Costs


We are all aware of the cost of our hobby (well, except our partners, who we usually fudge the prices of our purchases to). 
Let’s face it, our hobby isn’t cheap. Between model/ miniature costs, the cost of accessories, paint and glue, costs rake up pretty quickly. As such, we are usually on the look out for ways to either cut our costs or to get a good deal on our purchases.
Some times this is buying on the secondary market, other times it’s finding alternative products, and it’s the latter (alternative products), we’re going to delve into today.

The first item we’re going to look at is ‘Primers’. For those of you who are uninitiated, a ‘Primer’, is basically the first step in painting a miniature or model. It’s basically a base coat of paint you apply to your model, so that your other paints can grip to, and not flake/ rub off. Although the most common colours to be used in priming a model are black and white, you can use nearly any colour, it just basically depends on your paint scheme.
There are a number of different ‘Primers’ available on the market from companies such as Games Workshop and Army Painter, just to name a few. Generally they are applied either via an Airbrush or a rattle can. I use the rattle can variety (as I don’t own an airbrush), the price of a can of ‘Primer’ can vary depending on where you get them, but usually a can of ‘Primer’ will cost between €10 to €15 per can, and if your painting an army of miniatures for games such as Warhammer 40k, Age of Sigmar, Warmachine/ Hordes, Dropfleet Commander, or Infinity as an example your going to need multiple cans.

Today we are having a look at a cheaper alternative to the big boys.

Today we are looking at Halfords Plastic Primer (grey colour). I’ve been previously told about this product but haven’t had a chance to test it till now. Now that I have tried it, I don’t think I’ll be using anything else going forward.

So how much does it cost?

At a cost of less than €8 for a 300 ml can, and less than €10 for a 500 ml, price wise you can’t go wrong.
What’s the coverage like?

To me, the spray seemed to be finer than say Games Workshop or Army Painter ‘Primer’ sprays. It didn’t clump or collect in recessed areas either, like I have happened with the previously mentioned sprays. I was impressed in the colour coverage, the spray even reached those hard to reach places (you know the ones I’m talking about, like between the legs, and in recessed tight corners).

So how did the ‘Primed’ model turn out?

I was interested to see how a ‘primed’ model would turn out, so I tested the spray on a number of different models. I would a this point take a moment to point out that although I did ‘prime’, for the most part I didn’t remove mold lines and flash from the models.


First up I primed a couple of containers from Puppetwars.eu, the containers are made of a resin-foam material. In a few places it appears the spray ate into the model but I believe this is more to do with the resin-foam than the spray.


Next up I tried a Fusilier model from the game Infinity.


I then did the Librarian from Games Workshops Dark Vengeance box set (I swear it has nothing to do with 8th edition 🤔). The grey is nearly an exact colour match for the Colour of GW plastic. The spray actually got in between the sections near the shoulders and back pack.


Next up I primed my fleet of UCM spaceships (8 frigates and 5 cruisers) from Hawk Wargames, Dropfleet Commander.


Finally I primed the web store exclusive Saratoga class cruiser from Dropfleet Commander.

The Halfords sprays come in a variety of colours so if grey isn’t your preference, you have a range to choose from.
If you haven’t tried the Halfords Plastic Primers before, based on my experience with them I can’t recommend them enough. 
Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.
– from The Man Cave 

On Kickstarter – Equisite Beast by Turtle Dream Games


Exquisite Beast is a game of mad scientists, minions, monstrosities, angry peasant mobs, lightning bolts, and wanton property destruction for 2-4 players aged 10 and up. 

In it, each player is a mad scientist sitting pretty in their castle, high above the quiet valley town of Peasantville. However, the peasants have grown weary of their local mad scientist and are plotting to drive them out. 

In order to protect yourself, and incidentally take control of the town from all the other imposter mad scientists in their clearly inferior castles, you dispatch your minions out to various arcane and dangerous locations to collect the remains of great fallen beasts of legend. Once you have gathered a suitable collection of parts, assuming the weather is cooperative and provides a convenient lightning bolt, you can animate your stitched together Beast and go wreak havoc on both the peasants and your rival mad scientists’ servants and creations.

Currently they are just under €14,000 after smashing their goal amount of €8,000 with just under 2 days to go, so you still have plenty of time to back this Kickstarter.

As part of their Kickstarter, the guys over at Turtle Dream Games, were running a Build Your Own Beast (B.Y.O.B) poll. Every day, they were offering the choice of body parts and it was up to the community at large to choose how the Beast was created. Once created the Beast would be inserted into the game.

The Kickstarter is in its final hours so there is still time to grab a copy of the Game for yourself, so stop waiting around and start pledging.

Until next time, I’ll see you at the table.

– from The Man Cave

Joining forces…

The Man Cave is pleased to announce that we have joined up with Nerdai as a content contributor.

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Nerdai is a group of gamers based in Dublin, Ireland. We produce podcasts, videos and run the Nerdai site (which can be found here!) which hosts reviews and articles based around games and other such nonsense. Nerdai are an open group and thus, are always looking for new people to get involved.

On top of this Nerdai run a weekly gaming evening
every Tuesday in the Thomas House Bar at 86 Thomas Street, Dublin 8, Ireland.

Nerdai also run the annual Non Con, which is a weekend event dedicated to all types of gaming.

So if you get a chance, why not give one or all of the links a click, and as the saying goes ‘Like and Subscribe‘… Seriously, Like and Subscribe, otherwise I’ll have to send The Night Lords to your house.

Until next time.

– from The Man Cave

What is Syrinscape?…

I’ve recently been trying my hand at being a Games Master/ Dungeon Master (GM/ DM). I got myself a copy of Fantasy AGE + Titansgrave (more about that in a later post).

I suck at it at the moment, I’ve gotten a bit better tho.

While looking thru YouTube for some helpful GM/ DM tips, i came across a video for Syrinscape.

So what is Syrinscape?

The short, simple answer would be a ‘Sound Board’ for games, whether thats tabletop games, board games or role playing games. The true answer is so much more.

Syrinscape is a sound app/ player that adds ambient background sound and soundtracks to your tabletop gaming experience.

Syrinscape uses ‘Sound Sets’ to conjure aural landscapes, from ethereal forests, stony shorelines to dank vermin-filled dungeons, spooky depths of the underdark and even old abandoned space stations.

As a side note, I should tell you that Syrinscape have a range of ‘Sound Sets’ for the RPG system Pathfinder.

For this post I’ll be taking about my experiences with their Sci- Fi player as that’s the one I’ve been playing around with on my Android tablet.

Currently Syrinscape has 3 different versions (fantasy, sci- fi and board games) of its player. In each player there is a number of ‘Sound Sets’. Each ‘Sound Set’ comes with ambient music and sound effects, and each set comes with a sub-set.

To me what really makes Syrinscape shine, is it’s customization.

Your not limited to just a looped pre-recorded musical track. Although you can go that route. Your able to create your own custom ‘Sound Sets’ with music and ambient sounds by mixing and matching what suits your needs from different ‘Sound Sets’.

With the Sci-Fi player you get 2 free ‘Sound Sets’ when you download it. You get ‘Shipboard’ and ‘Blaster Battle’.

Just by using these 2 generic sets, you can set up a fight scene for your game with lazer fire and explositions or add the trum of machines and engines.

Additional ‘Sound Sets’ are available from Syrinscape thru either a once off payment or thru a subscription.

If you get a chance why not drop by their website here! and have a look for yourself.

Syrinscape is available for Windows + Mac, and their App is available for Android and Apple.

Until next time, keep rolling those dice.

– from The Man Cave

The secret life of a Wargamer…

Every once in a while a certain image/ memes will show up on one of the facebook groups i’m a member of.

Typically, when i try to find it, to use in this post, its nowhere to be found.. So i’m just goning to throw this one in.

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If you are a tabletop gamer you are bound to see it at some point.

Its basically an image of someone’s tabletop army displayed in all its glory, with the tag line ‘My greatest fear is that my wife will sell my models, for what I told her I paid for it’.

The image/ memes has always made me giggle secretly to myself, because for myself it’s true. I have at times ‘shaded’ the truth a little concerning the cost/ origins of my ‘toys’.

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I have been playing tabletop games for a good 20 years at least.

I have played different gaming systems. I have collected different armies/ factions/ models from Space Marines + Necrons of Warhammer 40K, PanOceania’s Military Order for Infinity, Menoth + Convergence for Warmachine to the newest, The Morticians of Guildball and Gundam’s.

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I just did a quick grab of some of the rule books/ army books i have lying around the house. I dont know if your like me but I tend to leave my books all over the place. One could be beside my chair, another in the kitchen and i’m not against leaving one in the bathroom.

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As you can see, i play a few game systems.

Some times i myself wonder where i got the money for all my toys cause lets face it, armies/ factions arent cheap.

Sure, my other half gives me money come christmas or my birthday for my ‘toys’ but an army/ faction doesnt come from that.

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May be i’m a Plastic Crack Addict, or suffer from Shiney Penny Syndrone, but there’s always that new something on the horizon that i want.

As a matter of fact, i recently received a bunch of new models from Miniature 13, that i backed on Kickstarter (on the sly), i’ve backed Hawk Wargames Kickstarter for Dropfleet Commander and i’m after getting new toys for Hawk Wargames Dropship Commander.

I have a misses and 3 kids, and my wages only go so far, so i have to be alittle ‘inventive’. At times i’ve ‘won’ models, a friend ‘gave’ them to me but usually i just sneak them into the house. If asked about them, the usual answer is ‘They’ve been sitting out in the shed for ages’

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At the moment i have 2 boxes of Malifaux models (Rasputina + Sonia Crew boxes if i remember) and the starter box of Star Trek Attack Wing hiding in my mothers house for the past year or so, cause i havent sneaked then in yet and have been distracted by other ‘toys’.

What about you guys? Have you always been honest about where your ‘toys’ have come from?

– from The Man Cave

Endure the Stars on Kickstarter

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I came across ‘Endure the Stars’ on Kickstarter quite by accident, and I’m glad I did.

‘Endure the Stars’ by Grimlord Games, is a 1- 5 player Sci- fi, Co- op, survival, horror game set aboard the ruined spaceship the N.W.E. Hikari.

Players pick up the story one year into the Hikari’s planet colonisation efforts and everything has gone to hell in a hand basket. Scientists aboard the ship were attempting to genetically engineer life forms to explore the planet below, unbeknown to the ships general populace. A series of tragedies lead to the truth being discovered and the ensuing chaos resulted in the creatures escaping from containment, where they (of course) rampaged through the ship, killing anyone and everyone they came across. Now the remaining crew live in small groups, salvaging whatever they can to survive.

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As a Sci- fi, horror fan so far I’m sold on the premise and artwork.

In Endure the Stars, you take control of one or more of the survivors and attempt to complete missions by exploring the ruins of the ship. There are 5 unique character classes, each with their own special abilities and skills. First up you have the Captain…

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… Then we have the Medic…

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… We have a Psychic…
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… Then the Engineer…

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… And finally, but not least we have the Marine…

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The ‘Baddies’ of the game are escaped genetic experiments called the GEPs. The GEPs or Genetically Engineered Planetary Explorer Candidates, were originally designed to help mankind colonise new and hostile worlds. In theory GEPs could be grown and tailored to whatever conditions a planet had to offer but that was before they escaped confinement and went on a murderous rampage. In the game there is 3 types of GEPs (with a fourth as a stretch goal). First up we have the small but numerous Swarmer class…

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… Then we have the fast and mean Jaeger class…

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… And finally the big papa of the GEPs, the Titan

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So, how does the game play?

Characters have a number of action points to use during their activations. Characters can move, search, trade with one another and attack for example. Characters also have an Active, a Passive or a Crisis ability (a 1 time only ability) which are represented on their Dashboards (or character cards) which gives each character its own personality.

The GEPs, on the other hand operate differently. At the start of a game there are no GEPs models in play, rather they are represented on the game board as sensor ping tokens. These sensor pings tokens at first move randomly on the board till one of the games main mechanics comes into play.

A main mechanic in the game is ‘Noise’. Certain actions or cards in the game will generate ‘Noise’, and the GEPs are attracted to ‘Noise’. So you have to be as quiet as possible, unless you want to be eaten.

To me, this fits in perfectly with the premise of the game. After all, in real life how long would you last, if you went stomping around, making a racket on a ship full of murderous creatures?

Once within ‘Line of Sight’ of a character, ping tokens are flipped over to reveal, what horrors are hunting you. This is were the ‘Resolve’ mechanic kicks in.

As you might expect trying to survive on a ship full of murderous creatures might leave you a bit on edge. A Characters ‘Resolve’ is how far they are from losing it totally.

The setting of the game, the N.W.E. Hikari is represented in game by a series of game tiles. The game tiles have been designed in a modular style, which allows for near limitless map sizes and set-ups. Games can last anywhere between 30 minutes to 3 hours depending on the chosen scenario and difficulty. Every round an ‘Event Card’ is drawn, to simulate the ravaged condition of the Hikari. These cards can be anything from a life support failure, to lights going out, to a gravity failure, even to doors locking down (possibly locking you in a room full GEPs).

All in all, your certainly getting bang for your bucks in this box…

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Endure the Stars met its funding goal of £45, 000 and has past its first 2 stretch goals, an additional Character (the Scout)…

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and an Accomplishment deck.

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With 17 days left on their campaign there’s still plenty of time to back their Kickstarter. So why not drop by and have a look yourself at their Kickstarter page here!

– from The Man Cave