Saturday, August 20, 2016

What I Did For My Summer Vacation

I’m not dead.

I’ve been on vacation. 

Which, at times, fort of felt like the same thing... 

You can read all about our adventures on my bike blog, here:

But here are a few extra pics…

In Edmonton I did get to hook up with Bob and his family and got to play some Dragon Rampant!

We used all his beautifully painted BattleLore Figures.

Next to me was The Boy and his monstrous minions.

I got to play some sort of Dwarves. We were essentially on two teams of three and romped around the table trying to pick up gems… or beat up enemies and take their gems away…

My Highland Dwarf Ponyriders… despite their supposed impetuaosity, I don’t think they moved more than once in the whole game!

My “Spearmen” (they look more like pointy caber tossers) going toe-to-toe with The Boy’s Ogres (or something like that…?)

There were three different colours of gems and we didn’t know the value of them until the very end. I had only three red gems at the end, but they all turned out to be super valuable so I ended up winning! Huzzah! Fun games + good company = great evening!

I also met up with my friend CVT in Edmonton – with whom I have played many games. We didn’t get to  tossing dice or pushing little men about a table – but it was still good to meet up with him again. Next time we’ll bust out the toys!

We did get to stop in at a Board Game Café in Edmonton as well… but didn’t have time to play any games… The Girl did buy herself a new game – Bananagrams!

We did play Bananagrams a few times over the vacation – in Jasper and Canmore.

We also played a few games of Race for the Galaxy in Canmore

One game I totally rocked it with the Alien stuff – I think I had 91 victory points at the end!!!

When we hit Calgary we made a few trips to the the Sentry Box! I think this was the kids most anticipated destination of our journey – Oh, they totally had a great time doing all the other stuff we ended up doing. But if we could have picked ONE THING to do before we left, I bet the kids would have both said “let’s go to that game store!!”

I had meant to take a bunch of pics of the store – with the kids running around like maniacs – eyes buggin out to their heads – but once I got there I got too wrapped up in searching through their treasures.

This is really just part of the store… This is the mezzanine area where games are played, the picture above looks down at the board game area and part of the GW stuff. Below this mezzanine area is a huge area for Role-playing games and collectable card games of all sorts. Beyond that board game area is an HUGE area filled with science fiction and fantasy novels – that’s bigger than most book stores I’ve been in lately. ABOVE the novle area (up those stairs barely vidible at the top is another entire section devoted solely to HISTORICAL subjects – board games, miniatures, books… (I spent most of my time up there…).

The kids checking out The Girls treasures after the first trip to the Sentry Box. She spent pretty much all her money there the first day. She mostly picked up stuff for Shadowrun (including some old Greanadier Models miniatures from the Fasa era), which she seems fascinated with at the moment, but I think there was also a few miniatures destined for a Frostgrave or other fantasy skirmish warband. Oh and a character deck for Red Dragon Inn and a miniature for Super Dungeon Explore

The Boy and I kind of just tried to "Take it all in" and then spent some time between visits thinking about what we really wanted the most (because there was no way we could bring home all the treasures we found there!)

When The Boy finally bought his stuff he mostly picked up some D&D graphic novels (Dragonlance Classics? I think...?) and a new Star Wars RPG game - the Force Awakens beginner box. 

My haul from the Sentry Box.

With the exception of the GW figures and Arkham Horror dice, most of this had been sitting on their shelves since the last time I was there…. Probably been on their shelves since longer than the kids have been alive... I wasn't interested in new stuff - new stuff I can get at my friendly local game store -  Dragon's Den Games - it's the old weird stuff they've had forever tucked away in the back corners that i was looking for... Unfortunately some of the stuff listed in their online catalogue - was tucked so far away that no one there knew where it was... so I had to settle for this lot. 

We spent a day at Heritage Park in Calgary and one of the houses had a small display of Toy Soldiers.

Curse those dark rooms where I cant' take clear photos!.

I also stopped by Things Military in Calgary and picked up a replica Canadian Great War uniform... for...  reasons...   more about that later!

A number of my oldest gaming pals live in Calgary – Woody, J.C., Cory – I’d hoped to meet up with them all at play some games. But somehow it just mostly didn’t work out...

I did get to go to Cory’s the last day there for a fabulous meal of roasted veggies and veggie sausages and finally got to meet his partner Martha!

And we did get to play one game – ROLL for the Galaxy

And that was about it.

We did visit the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Drumheller – but I was all vacationed out and just wasn’t into it – all I could think about was hopefully being able to use The Men Who Would Be Kings (coming out SOON!) for VSF adventures of hunting dinosaurs on Venus?!

And now I’m back and need to get working on the Vimy Project and my game for ToonCon (Regina Trench!) coming up in just FIVE WEEKS – more about that soon - registration is open and there are only four slots (of which one has already been filled!).


  1. Tim, an enjoyable browse as always and thanks for that Senty Box picture, it looks an amazing place. Many years ago, I self published some Desk Top Published games (self make counters standard) and they took a batch. They were very nice people to deal with, so it is nice to have an insight into their set-up. Norm

    1. Thanks Norm, It is quite the store. No trip to Calgary is complete without a visit there! I wouldn't doubt they still have some of your games squirrelled away somewhere there... Whether anyone has a clue where they would be...?

  2. Glad you aren't dead Tim!
    Looks like a great holiday and clearly those kids have been well tutored :-)

  3. Tim! Most excellent adventure and very thorough travelogue. Enjoyed the cycling photos and especially the quick photos of The Sentry Box. With all of the bike friendly street furniture, Calgary looks to be a very progressive place for a cyclist. The Sentry Box looks outstanding. Who knew their were still shops like this in the age of Internet? It has been many years since I last visited Calgary. Being about eight hours south of Calgary and a devoted cyclist myself, I ought to consider a trip up north.

    Enjoyed your travelogue very much! As I have commented often, you have a great family!

    1. Thanks Jonathan!

      Calgary is an interesting city. It is still very car-centric. It was a little unnerving driving in the city (but then we almost never drive, and it's a bigger city, so...) but they have made strides to make it more pedestrian and cyclist friendly. The cycle tracks are a new thing, but all the mulit-use trails we rode on are part of a network that has been around for decades. The city has had a cycling plan since the 1970s (Saskatoon didn't have one until the 1990's and they largely started ignoring it the moment it was printed and accepted by city council - things have gotten better here too... but it seems to be at a snails pace when you consider the changes going on in other North America cities now...)

      The Sentry Box is pretty amazing - it says on their website "if it's in print, we'll try to stock it!" - they maybe aren't so successful with the historical miniatures, but historical miniatures are really hard to do - there's just SO MUCH out there.

      I think the way stores like the Sentry Box and my local game store The Dragon's Den stay relevant and profitable by creating a community - it's not just a store, it's a social gathering place, where people can get together with (hopefully) like-minded folks and play games. They sponsor tournament and leagues and games nights and all manner of events. It brings people into the store and them people spend money there.

  4. Sounds like a great holiday. And the Sentry Box looks amazing...I'm afraid if I stepped in there no-one would ever see me again!

    1. It was pretty great!

      I also could have just spent the entire four days in Calgary snooping around the Sentry Box...

  5. Sounds like a cracking time. The Sentry Box looks amazing!

  6. Great stuff, Tim! I have good memories of Edmonton and Jasper myself, from back in the day ;)

    1. Thanks Monty! When were you in Edmonton and Jasper?

  7. Tim,
    In looking at your other blog about your family vacation (I can not wait to be able to do that with my kids, who are too young) I noticed that your camera went haywire and lost pictures. The same thing happened to my wife and I when we were in Pompeii and had climbed Mt Vesuvius. I was soooooo pissed, but when we went to a camera store back home, they were able to retrieve the images, we couldn't view them but they were still in the card. I would suggest not to wipe the card and try bringing it to a professional camera store. It's worth a try.

    1. Thanks Shawn!

      I haven't deleted anything off the card because I was hoping to take it in somewhere - just as you suggested - glad to hear it worked out for you! It gives me hope that a few of mine might be retrievable!