The Bulwark

News and Events from Blythe's Bulwark, Chico, CA

This Month at The Bulwark

June 09, 2010 By: Blythe Category: Leagues and Tourneys, Tabletop Roleplaying, Wargaming

A couple of exciting announcements coming from the Bulwark! Starting in July we will have membership cards which will be used to record the payment of monthly dues.  This will offer a sure fire way of telling who has, and who has not paid their club dues, and make sure club organizers don’t accidentally double charge members. The last thing the Bulwark wants to do is divert any more of your hard earned money than we need to. Besides, an extra $10 is a new chapter pack and can be put towards a lot of gaming fun!

Speaking of chapter packs, the second week of the Game of Thrones Living Card Game league is roaring along, JD is currently sitting at first, with Drew and James sitting next to him at the leaders table Monday night. A full list of our league standings appear below.

The players of the Strange Aeons Warhammer Escalation Campaign (say that five times fast) have had their first round this month. Right now Karen Hechel is on the top of the stack commanding her Tomb Kings army, with Drew and Betsy trailing closely behind. Each of them also has an extra Empire point which they carry into the campaign proper.

Coming up in June and July the Bulwark will be hosting the Dungeon Bowl! Members are encouraged to create 4 man teams with the goal of getting their party through a dungeon to the finish line faster than other PC opponents. The event will run in an Eberron setting and will run like a league as well. If you and your friends think you are the best adventurers this side of Karrnath stay tuned for details!

As always, the Bulwark tries to bring you the best in Chico gamin. We have a lot of private games that are hosted at the Bulwark which aren’t mentioned. If you would like to take advantage of our large tables, library or gaming aids and host a game at the Bulwark simply send an email to or post a comment on our Facebook group. We are open 7 days a week as events come up, and we can pencil your group in anywhere.

A Game of Thrones – The Battle For the North
1st – JD
2nd – Drew
3rd – James
4th – Ben
5th – Ryan
6th – Andy
7th – Joelz
8th – Margo
9th – Don
10th – Pip

Strange Aeons – Warhammer Fantasy Escalation
1st – Karen (Tomb Kings)
2nd – Drew (Dwarves)
3rd – Betsy (Lizardmen)
4th – Ben (Dark Elves)
5th – Damon (Skaven)
6th – Spencer (Gobbos)
7th – Andy (Empire)
8th – Ryan (Orcs)

New Haven Returns to Old Haven

June 03, 2010 By: Blythe Category: Store News

Whose haven? New Haven!New Haven by Night will be returning to Chico State starting June 18th.  The Chico State Campus is New Haven’s ancestral home, and the Bulwark is happy to host them during the cold and rainy parts of the year.  Now that the weather is cheering up, the local members of Prince Batavus’ court will lurk about Chico State instead of gaming store behind K-Mart. “I like the CSU Chico site primarily due to the sheer size. The scale of the site allows us to adopt real-life locations as representations of in-game locations, adding to the degree of believability when one says they are or are not at a specific place,” says Lee Elmore. Lee has been playing in the local Vampire LARP through its several incarnations, most of which have been at Chico State during Chico’s 10+ year LARPing history, “While the CSU Chico site doesn’t have as easy access to restrooms or air conditioning, it grants us the ability to spread out and play.”

No doubt the Bulwark has had a positive impact on the game by connecting new players like Josh Amaral to the community. Josh is looking forward to the move, “open space, the buildings, it all just gives a more, almost sinister, ambience”. NHbN has had a positive impact on the Bulwark as well, while the community was being created NHbN helped solve problems of harsh fluorescent lighting, and establishing atmosphere, concerns which are no longer an issue inside the gaming shop.  The Bulwark looks forward to seeing more creatures of the night around early October, when the weather starts to change. That said, the Bulwark will still try to play an active role in NHbN and if you are at all interested in playing the longest running game in Chico simply email the staff at

The Weekend After – Return From Kublacon

June 03, 2010 By: Blythe Category: Store News

Kublacon was absolutely fantastic. We had several members of our store place in tournaments including Magic the Gathering, A Game of Thrones, and a splendid performance in the Golden Gargant tournament.  For those of you who couldn’t make it, we look forward to joining Team Chico next year!


Kublacon Scavenger Hunt

May 26, 2010 By: Blythe Category: Leagues and Tourneys

Thank you for participating in the Bulwark Scavenger Hunt. Participation is fairly straight forward, but there are some basic ground rules. First and foremost this is supposed to be fun for you as well as the people who aren’t playing, don’t bring down your table, or hog up all the Storyteller’s time, and if the goal is an out of character one, make sure the people involved are okay with it. Bulwark members, & friends of the organization cannot sign off on achievements or participate in them (yes Karen is from the Midwest, but she doesn’t count).

Each category will tell you whether or not it is an “In-Character” goal (IC) or an “Out-of-Character” goal (OoC). IC goals should be completed IC, OoC goals should be completed by actual people with tangible items. Each category will also tell you what is required to prove you completed the deed. If a judge, DM, opponent or person doesn’t want to participate, don’t hold it against them. Again this is supposed to be fun. Finally, if you have to cheat at a convention scavenger hunt, you have more problems than cheating at a convention scavenger hunt.  You will need to email any photos you have, these are due Friday 6/4 to

Walkin’ Around (OoC, Item or photo required)
Get a business card form Geek Chic.
Get a photo(s) hugging 3 con staff in vests.
Get a photo with someone in a kilt.
Donate a pint of blood. (triple points)
Get a photo with a LARPer.
Get a photo with an RPGA judge.
Get a photo with O’Shaserra.
Buy a d6 from the Chessex booth.
Drink a beer (or soda if under 21).
Get a photo w/ someone from the Midwest.
(OoC)Play in a non vampire LARP, have ST initial.
Get photo of something from 2nd ed D&D.
Paint a mini in speed painting. Get photo of that mini.
Stick a kick-me sign on Bulwark member get photo.
Eat at Knuckle’s, keep bill.
Get photo in the hospitality room on top floors
Take a photo at the Polycon booth.
Take a hotel pen.
Tell someone about the Bulwark, have them sign their name on the fourth word on the second paragraph.

ACE & LUX10 V:TM LARP (IC, Player ST or Item Card Required)
Win 3 chops in a row, have player initial.
Loose 3 chops in a row, have player initial.
Acquire a piece of Toreador art, get item card.
Acquire a business from a Ventrue, get item card.
Earn a major boon, have player initial.
Earn a minor boon, have player initial.
Buy a small gun, get item card.
Buy a large gun, get item card.
Acquire a Malkavian’s shoe, get item card.
Acquire Boreal Wine, get item card.
Obtain an occult trinket from a Tremere, get item card.
Get a compass from a Gangrel, get item card.
Pick a fight with a Brujah, have player initial.
Buy a katana from an Assamite, get item card.
Gain a derangement, have ST initial.
Gamble on something petty, player initial.
Loose a humanity, ST initial.
Gain a humanity, ST initial.
Win a poker hand against Shanghai Kelly, get his signature.
Tell a Nosferatu something he doesn’t know, get his signature.

A Game of Thrones (OoC, Signature of opponent required, photo if specified)
Make a humorous comment about incest.
Sit by houses in alphabetical order, get photo.
Earn 7 power in one round.
Get a photo with a Lannister player.
Remove Bear Island from play.
Get a photo of Robert Baratheon stinking drunk.
Take the Hand of the King title, take picture.
Make a funny “Bro”atheon joke.
End a game with 15 power.
Give a player one of your characters during a game.
Defend a Bulwark member who you support.
Cut off Lord Eddard’s head for treason.
Share a mug of wildling mead with someone.
Spend 10 gold in one turn.
Witness an opponent reaching 0 cards in his house deck.
Play in a game where no one has an agenda.

RPGA (IC, GM signature)
Get TPK’d.
See a man about a horse.
Put out an ever burning torch.
Purchase eye of newt.
Drink 5 healing potions.
Stick your head in a bag of holding.
Kill a non-minion in one hit.
(OoC) Have a table-mate draw your PC.
Tell a story about Admiral Melvin Tottlebottom.
Win a skill challenge by 20 or more points.
Run out of healing surges.
Roll a twenty on a death save.
End a module with all your dailies left.
Hug an ogre.
(OoC) Collect three of the same Reward Card.
Roll a critical attack.
Praise Aybar, peace be unto him.
Find a Guzzling Griffin inn.
Buy a torch from a Halfling.
Start a recycling program.
Order a sandwich from a Kenku.
Have an elf wash your clothing.
Ride a creature two size categories larger than you for three rounds.

Warhammer (OoC, Judge or opponent signature required, photo if specified)
Make a 6+ armour save.
Win the sportsmanship award in a tournament.
Beat a Blood Angels list.
Take down a fully kitted out Falcon.
Get a bit from a stranger.
Lend someone your glue, take picture.
Loose all three matches.
Play, and beat another member of the Bulwark.
Take a photo of one of your units being especially badass.

Steal the initiative.
Get a photo of you shaking hands with your 1st opponent.
Purge the unclean!
Get a photo of you shaking hands with your 2nd opponent.
Win all three matches.
Get a photo of you shaking hands with your 3rd opponent.
Win the Golden Gargant Award.
Table your opponent.
Get tabled by your opponent.

Miscellaneous (IC, OoC, Signature of opponents required, photo if specified)
Trade sheep for wood, take picture.
Play a game of Munchkin w/ 3 other people.
Destroy an agent of Horus.
Worship the Elder Gods.
Make a blasphemous statement while playing Blasphemy.
Deal 10 or more damage in M:TG.
Play a game which has not been released publicly yet.
Play as Alexander the Great.
Defend Gettysburg.
Discover a new location.
Call DOCWagon.
Take first in a game of Carabonde
Purchase a number at the auction.
Save the fleet from a Cylon raid.
Get a picture with Eddi Birsan
Capture Piedmont
Win a tournament.
Take the Longest Road award
Take the Largest Army award.
Play a mono-color deck.
Try a game you have never played before, and did not score any scavenger points with, take a picture.
Play 7 different games and get one opponent’s signature on the first period of each of the first 7 lines of text.

Bonus points: My Awesome Achievement
List one major achievement you had during this convention. Whoever has the most awesome achievement will gain a point.

The Young Wolf – New Players Let Westeros Burn

May 18, 2010 By: Blythe Category: CCGs, Leagues and Tourneys

Last night The Bulwark hosted a newbie night for A Game of Thrones the Living Card Game. This fantastic game pits players against the other great houses of Westeros in a dangerous game of politics, power, and displays of military might. Each house has their own unique feel, and the game thrives on group mechanics and chains of victories instead of hoary combos that win the game in a few turns.

The local community is happy to welcome several new players into the hobby, who each assumed one of the core houses of Westeros. Margo Franks as house Stark emerged victorious after house Lannister over extended themselves and allowed Stark to press the advantage.  In the adjacent room, on the Jared Gilmore Memorial Table the Bulwark Vets had a dragout two and a half hour game end in a Targaryen victory (lead by Drew Flicker) with Martell one challenge from victory (played by Karen Hechel). “If Drew would have made me loose that stupid challenge I would have won,” Karen lamented. Oh well Martell, maybe next time.

We are happy to welcome all the new players to Chico’s premier A Game of Thrones Living Card Game league as we start up our second season.

Savior of the Seat, Brahmin of the Butt – A Special Thanks

May 14, 2010 By: Blythe Category: Store News

Special thanks go out to Drew Flicker who helped the Bulwark get hooked up with some new chairs. These new chairs will firmly cradle your posterior while you enjoy hours and hours of cozy gaming at your FLGS.

Show Your Team Colors

May 05, 2010 By: Blythe Category: Store News

It is said in the before-times, before the Great Enlightenment lead by Gary Gygax, t-shirts were an acceptable form of conveying support for a belief. It is said that one would don a t-shirt and his peers would say “That man shares interests of my own”, and “I derive mirth from his apparel”.  After the Great Enlightenment though, many a scoundrel and fiend did cross the land donning t-shirts proclaiming that they may have at one point “rolled twenties” or that they support the Elder God Cthulhu for democratic election to a high office.  These fiends would where these shirts for fortnights, never removing their second skins till they were compelled by their mothers, who dwelled above the basement on the surface.

What are good and honest men to do? The noble history of the t-shirt has been sullied by lesser men; how does a man convey his beliefs for more than one day at a time without falling into an abyssal spiral of poor hygiene? Gentlemen the Bulwark has peered into the darkness, and from its tenebrous depth pulled out your salvation! Gentlemen, I give you – the bandanna!

During Kublacon Team Chico and members of the Bulwark will be wearing yellow bandannas to show team solidarity. These bandannas are guaranteed to be versatile, square, and less likely to get skuzzy than your average con t-shirt.  Also, the bandannas are cheap, only a $1.  Want more? Buy two!  Nothing says “you are about to get rolled” like rolling up with four other guys showing team unity. Here are some events that Team Chico and Bulwark members have signed up for.

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Strange Aeons – 12 Months to 1500 Points.

May 04, 2010 By: Blythe Category: Leagues and Tourneys, Wargaming

The Bulwark is proud to welcome the players of the “Strange Aeons – 12 Months to 1500 Points” Warhammer Fantasy Campaign! This campaign is being ran by Ben Blythe. Right now the campaign is full, but as slots open up the group would love to welcome new players!  The group will meet every other Friday, opposite of New Haven by Night to host open painting nights, and meet on Sundays for campaign turns.  The current list of players and their armies are below, with a description of the campaign setting.

(View the image for high res.)

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The Road To Kublacon – Tournaments

April 17, 2010 By: Blythe Category: CCGs, LARP, Leagues and Tourneys, Magic: The Gathering, RPGA (D&D 4E), Store News, Tabletop Roleplaying, Wargaming, Warhammer 40K

That tree will rip you up!This year there will be several tournaments and organized play events that members of your FLGS will be participating in. Collectively members of the Bulwark often call themselves “Team Chico” when playing in these events to represent a solidarity and consistency of butt whoopin’ us Chicoans deliver;  this also helps organizers either separate us or keep us together to ensure a fair seeding, go with whatever story you want.

That being said one of the worst experiences imaginable is to roll up to a tournament only to find out you cannot participate because of banned cards or an incomplete knowledge of the rules.  A lot of these tournaments take time to prepare for.  Painting, planning, and playing dummy games are all fun but really just whet the appetite for a more hard core and competitive gaming moment.

Fear not, below is your hyper linked salvation!  The Bulwark has compiled the tournament rules for some of the most anticipated Kublacon events.  There are major changes in some, smaller tweaks in others, and some just point out the audacity that is needed sometimes to ensure gamers play a fair match.  The Bulwark’s unofficial motto of “If you have to cheat at [insert game here], then you have more problems in life than cheating at [insert game here]” is all well and good when playing with locals, but while it remains true even in the strangest lands, miscommunications can sometimes lead to people becoming frustrated.  The rules below sort out what happens when pride, ego, and Kublabucks are on the  line to make sure everyone has a great weekend; especially the winners.

A Game of Thrones Apparently there is a banned list! The format each game at Kublacon is in LCG Constructed. Also, note the tweaks in supporting with titles.

Common/Uncommon Grab Bag – This event uses the Magic: the Gathering Comprehensive Rules as revised February 1st 2010, which is a mere 171 page document.  On top of that, when you approach the grab bag bin, you must dip your hand in and remove a grips worth of cards.  You will be expected to hold on to these cards from anywhere between 5 – 15 seconds, and/or to turn your grip up and down.   All players will abide by a consistent set of rules.

One World By Night, Always Comes Evening LARP – While the game’s own house rules can be found here, One World By Night has their own set of rules by it’s representative player council. Those rules can be found here.

RPGA – Even the RPGA, a fan club and cooperative player body, has its own set of rules to abide by.  While most of the rules are common courtesy and can be summed up with “Don’t be a dick” and “if you have been a dick about it, please don’t play with us”, there are a few points that are interesting.  Mostly Wizards of the Coast is just covering all it’s bases with this one.

Warhammer 40K – Warhammer has a set of rules for tournament play that not only rewards savvy generals, but also well rounded hobbyists and people who are just fun to play with.  The Rogue Trader system judges wins versus losses, sportsmanship, and craftsmanship of an individual’s army.  Along with the almost Biblical tome known as the Warhammer 40K Fifth Edition Core Rulebook, the Rogue Trader system has its own set of rules here. Unlike other games Warhammer is very modular, keep this in mind when building your army. Points totals, special rules, and special events may all be included in the specific tournament you are playing in.

With all of these events going on, it’s very likely some where missed.  Many of Team Chico’s Diplomacy players “the Beer and Blades Club” will be trying to get into pick up Diplomacy rounds early on, and remember Catan regionals are held at Kublacon. If you would like to see something posted, comment  below!  The entire program for the convention can be found at Kublacon’s website or behind this link.

The Road To Kublacon – Getting Prepped

April 14, 2010 By: Blythe Category: CCGs, LARP, Leagues and Tourneys, RPGA (D&D 4E), Tabletop Roleplaying, Wargaming, Warhammer 40K

You laugh now, but wait till you see his Vampire DeckIf you were a part of the dozen people who preregistered for Kublacon with the Bulwark you already know about all the events that are happening leading up to one of the biggest gaming conventions on the West Coast.  For the next six weeks the shop will be open 7 days a week prepping for the event. Up until Kublacon you can assume that we are open and doing business while offering some exciting events.

Tuesdays, A Game of Thrones – I will be ordering several chapter packs so we will have access to as many cards in our pool as possible. Don’t forget to use sleeves for all of your cards as they are required for tournament play.

Wednesdays, RPGA – Don will be running a lot more events, after playoffs that is, to help power level characters to the next level bracket. If you want any mods specifically send an email to him or myself. You can reach Don at

Open Gaming Thursdays – This is your best chance to try to get groups together for any odd ball games you want to do.  Remember there are a lot of card games that draft or demo at Kublacon, and I am able to get most games at cost with 24hours notice. Let me know if you guys need anything.

Fridays, Vampire The Masquerade LARP – The Sacramento Valley is full of LARP games for Vampire: The Masquerade. If you want to take part in the OWbN LARP going on each night at Kublacon now is the time to make a character to get some XP under your belt and get to know some of the local PCs. Let me know if you need rules, have questions, or need help in any way. Also you can email the local LARP staff at

Saturday, Boardgames – Several boardgames have regional tournaments at Kublacon, including qualifiers for Diplomacy. Let me know if you want to organize any board game events. Diplomacy and Catan are just a couple of the major games having large scale, free to enter tournaments this weekend.

Sunday, Warhammer – The local group will be focusing on finishing, touching up, and tweaking armies for tournaments. Glue and paints will be on hand for free use, so swing by if you need something.

On top of all of this we will be having a surprise contest at Kublacon for all members. More details will be posted as the con gets closer and full details will be presented Thursday the 27th of May.  Remember Team Chico is having a show of force Thursday night in the atrium before con. Either the atrium or the bar that is.