Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas!

Today is Christmas Day, and I wish a very fond one to all who celebrate it!

I'm posting an image of a Nativity set that has been in my family since at least the 1940s. It belonged to my Great Grandmother, who in turn gave it to my mom when she turned 16. They've been in her possession ever since, but they've been a fixture in my holiday experiences since childhood.

These "Baby Jesus action figures," as I used to call them, have been set up by your's truly for the past several years in a row. It's a tradition dating back  long time.

This is the 2013 setup! I set it up as soon as I got home after flying out from Washington, DC.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

1st Annual Krampus Race

The legend of the Krampus goes back ages. While Santa Claus brought presents and candy to all the good little boys and girls of the World, the Krampus took care of the naughty ones. Sometimes a companion of Santa and his nemesis other times, Krampus collected all the bad children in his sack and took them off to be punished!

Having finished my Krampus figure earlier today, and tonight being Krampusnacht, I figured why not celebrate? The folks over at Wargame Vault have a mini game called Krampus Race you can download for free. While you don't necessarily need miniatures to play (they provide all the pieces for you to print out), what's the fun in that?

I coaxed my girlfriend into playing a round tonight after dinner. Like Turkey Shoot! on Thanksgiving, I intend to make this a new holiday tradition!

Und jetzt, meine Damen und Herren, die Krampusrennen 2013!

The object of the game is to collect as many naughty children as possible while making it to the finish line first. You role a D6 and move the appropriate number of spaces on the board (which I spruced up with some trees from the dollar store). Afterwards, you draw an action card and do what it says, such as moving back a space, collect a child, etc. Then it's the next player's turn. This goes on and on until everyone has reached the end.

Since I didn't have another Krampus figure, Teresa elected to play as a turkey. Krampustruthahn! My girlfriend went first as she rolled higher than I did I'm an upstanding gentleman.

For the entire game, however, Teresa failed to pick up any naughty children. But this worked to her advantage because she kept drawing the action cards telling her to put kids back.

"Smart kid dumbfounded you with a riddle and saved his brother. Lose 1 child."

I move my Krampus forward a few spaces.

"Stuck in Christmas shopping traffic. Lose a turn."

In the end, Teresa got to the finish line before I did. This immediately gave her 10 points. But finishing first does not necessarily mean winning in Krampus Race. I got 5 points for finishing second, but also received 5 additional points for each naughty child my Krampus collected. With two kids in my sack, I squeaked by with 15 points and won the game.

All in all, Krampus Race is quick and fun little game to play. It's seriously taken me longer to write this post than it did to play the actual game. Definitely making this a new tradition!

Gruß vom Krampus!

Gruß vom Krampus!

Saint Nicholas and his traveling companion, Krampus, have been fixtures of Alpine and Germanic traditions for centuries. The two of them are said to travel the land on the night of December 5 (the eve of Saint Nicholas Day) to respectively reward and punish children. Like his Americanized offshoot Santa Claus, Nicholas gives gifts and presents those kids who have been all year. Bad children, however, are punished by Krampus. Think of him as the "bad cop" to Saint Nicholas' "good cop."

These punishments vary by tradition. In some, Krampus gives naughty children coal or swats them with a bundle of birch sticks. More sinister traditions, however, say that he kidnaps them and takes them back to his lair.

So in the spirit of this holiday tradition, I present to you Krampus!

This Krampus figure was produced by Reaper Miniatures (who seem to make anything and everything under the sun in 28mm scale). I painted this guy up in about an hour while I was taking a break from my final projects.

Gruß vom Krampus!