Friday, 8 June 2012

I'm a bad blogger!

So it's been a truly lousy year, and likely to get worse in the next couple of months, but to cut a long story fairly short, I'm likely to be homeless and jobless in about a month, again. Life seems to be taking great pleasure in crapping all over me. Still! I do have time to get some serious hobby done, and by done, I'm trying to get things finished, properly finished. Which is nice. Sadly, most of the reasons I haven't finished projects is partly lack of motivation and partly lack of specific models, still, working on a shoestring budget is quite satisfying. So first mini project is getting the Tyranids done, and the lack of a mycetic spore model has been bugging me for a while. Mainly coz my warriors dislike walking across the board getting slaughtered, So! Had to find something suitable! I looked into the plasma hatcher idea that has been roaming around the net for a while, but decided to take it a little further,  These are dragons universe toys, they come in several sizes and types.  The two I am using are about 4" and 6" high, depending on the size of the brood! The crater isn't really important, but I had some lying around. The top comes off, but I quite like having it there, makes a nice LOS blocker in Tourny games. This is one of the larger ones, I tend to use it for larger broods of warriors while the smaller ones are for single fexen or small elite broods like zoans. Size comparison  That's the big one next to the lovely tyranofex. Not bad for under 3 quid? 

Friday, 26 August 2011

Opening the box set:)

So my first order of actual infinity miniatures arrived today! Can finally start removing the proxies from our games!
Opening the box we find that, joy of joys, the box is packed with the miniatures between two layers of foam. Both protecting the minis during transport, and making the box into a useful little carry case for the minis after they have been glued and painted! The multi part figures come in Individual baggies to make identifying everyone's arms easier, which is nice. Looking over the models the only damage seems to be to the SAS knife, which is fair enough looking at the size of the thing.

Most of the models were fairly clean, only the Wulver having a lot of flash and tags to be clipped off. Despite this, I wouldn't recommend Infinity minis to the younger gamers, these things are small! and incredibly fiddly. Despite this, it's nice to work with real scale 28mm models and these are lovely examples. Crisp details and lovely sculpts.

There's no way I couldn't not put them together. (Is that too many negatives? I can never tell) So, ignoring everything I'm supposed to be doing I grabbed some glue and a hobby knife.

Picture heavy time.

Highlander Grey




Not bad huh?
I think I like the Highlander grey the least. it's the overly large gun, if I get the other one I may do an arm swop. Since I took this photo I've rotated the Wulver's left arm so his gun is almost touching the floor, looks much more natural, piccys when I start painting.
Starting to wish I'd picked up a few more now. But there's always next time!

Thursday, 25 August 2011

A Beautiful game

And not about football either!
I saw a game of 40k the other day A tourney style mechanized (really badly painted) grey knights army was facing up against one of the best 'Nid armies I've ever seen. I mean, truly stunning. Sadly, I didn't have my camera with me, but if I remember I will update the post with a picture or two.
And knowing both players fairly well, I felt incredibly bad for the 'Nid player. He's one of those guys who doesn't have a lot of free time, so anytime he does manage to get a game in is a big deal, but he wants to play. He wants a good friendly game with a couple of beers and a good laugh.
Sadly the other guy is a dick, he's jumped from army to army, whatever he perceives as the newest, best army, so nothings ever painted, which is fine I guess. But he brags incessantly about his newest list, and then whines when he looses, I'm sure you all know the type. And up to a point it's fine, you expect it of the little kids because they don't know any better, they just want to win. But he's 35. And I've seen him throw models across the store when he looses. One of those players who will mock you for taking a weaker list over whatever the Internet says is "the best". Sadly the 'Nid player didn't know this going in.
Obviously he got annihilated. Swarm 'Nids aren't the most competitive army anyway, especially against a mechanized list, and doubly so against grey knights. I think it took three turn to table them, for no considerable loss to his opponent. Which is ok, it happens sometimes, but the gloating, ohh Gods above, I've never seen such poor sportsmanship. Ever. Constantly belittling the poor guy for having the nerve to take "poor" units over "better" ones. Praising his own list and clever use of tactics.
Words are failing me to describe how much of a dick this guy was being.
Now, don't get me wrong, I like tournament level games, I like that level of competitiveness. But at tournaments, or when I know the guy opposite me doesn't mind, and isn't a complete dick.
But even at tournaments, I enjoy the playing more than the outcome of the game. For me, and for a lot of guys I game with, (which is why I game with them) winning and loosing is irrelevant, it's all about playing a beautiful game.
And it's something that I think is missing from, specifically, a lot of GW stores and clubs. That it is always better to lose a good game, than to win a bad one.
It used to be called "the most important rule", that both players should be having fun. But it seems to have been dropped somewhere along the way. You see little kids now, and some not so little, for whom winning is everything, and who will throw massive tantrums if they lose. Not all, but enough.
It might just be that I'm getting older, that I didn't notice it as much when I was younger, and I hope that's true. But I can't quite shake the feeling that gaming is heading downhill.

In short, don't play to win, play for a beautiful game..

Random incoherent mutterings I'm afraid.

I know I've advertised this blog in a few places, but it's still mostly just for me. So if I want to waffle on incoherently I can :p
One of my friends recently lost a grandparent, thankfully for my continuing health, the chances of her reading this blog are incredibly small as she'd kill me if she knew I was mentioning her in a blog. Still, we ended up having a long conversation about the difference between being alone, and being lonely. Which brings us to the theme of this rather depressing entry.
It's not a new phenomenon, loads of people feel fine when they are alone, but can feel incredibly alone while surrounded by people.
I've spent most of my life being on my own, i usually prefer it, I like having my own space, my own life. Never been much of a social creature, although I make exceptions for decent gaming. And a few people I like. But recently, regardless of if I'm off on my own, or surrounded by people, I feel, profoundly lonely, and I have no idea why. Actually that's a blatant lie, I know exactly why, but I can't do a damn thing about it.
Circumstances conspire to give us exactly what we want, at the exact moment when we cannot, for whatever reason, reach out and grab it.

But it's strange, how you can live perfectly well without something, but miss it when it's gone.

Wednesday, 17 August 2011


I've always been a fan of D&d's alignment rules, especially when upheld by a good DM.
Basically, there are 9 possible states, Good, Neutral and Evil, each of which is split into 3 categories, Lawful, Neutral and Chaotic.

Lawful Good Neutral Good Chaotic Good
Lawful Neutral Neutral Chaotic Neutral
Lawful Evil Neutral Evil Chaotic Evil

Basically, your characters actions in the game define your alignment. If you run around killing puppies for no reason, you'll swiftly become evil. Obviously.
There are certain limitations, Paladins can only be Lawful, Druids can only be Neutral. So if your alignment changes it can have consequences for your character.

sadly, it's a rare thing for gamers to uphold the alignment and beliefs of their character. For example, in a D&D campaign I'm playing in at the moment, we came across a little burial vault. The other players immediately rushed over to loot the poor incumbent. Of course, they looked to the cleric to check for anything magical in the room. I, being a Lawfull Evil Cleric,, refused. Yes I'm evil, but not only are we breaking laws raiding this tomb, but I'm a priest of Nerull, (God of death) so no, I'm not going to join in your looting of the restful dead. Now the other characters did nothing wrong, being mostly Chaotic Evil. But they seemed surprised that I'd turn down a share in the loot, (and it was damn good loot too) based on my characters beliefs. You see it a lot in games, players will nearly always do anything to accomplish their goals. Even if in performing the deed they become more evil than the bad guys they were sent to stop.

Now I'm not saying it happens all the time, of course not. I've seen some great roleplaying moments where players have made life MASSIVELY more difficult for themselves by staying true to their characters. But I've seen FAR more times where players make life far easier for themselves by being, well, Chaotic Evil

I've had great success in "prodding" players to stay true to their alignment by introducing "insanity points" (shamelessly stolen from FFGs RPG Dark Heresy) now, evil type characters aren't too fussed about a little evil influence, but a priest who is forced to sacrifice someone to stop some great evil would be taking some serious points for killing an innocent he is sworn to protect, even if in doing so he saved far more lives. If nothing else, it can be a nice plot line as he runs off on a penitent quest to cleanse himself.

Ok, moving on.
Why are players always so slow to respond to plot?
I mean I'm massively guilty of it too, when I'm not actively playing in a system, i can see all the plot hooks and hints and tips that are dropped in, but, as soon as I become a player, suddenly only the most blatant and least subtle hints seem to register. Bits of information, that would make perfect sense if I wasn't playing, become cryptic beyond belief. Things that should be obvious as soon as we heard them suddenly take most of a year and some very heavy prodding by the crew to become even vaguely solid ideas (I'm looking at you here Thanir, you know who you are). it's seems to be a worldwide phenomenon, wherever I go, people always make fun of the players inability to decipher plot.

I mention this, as I'm planning on starting a character in my local LARP SPEARHEAD, which runs daily liners about twice a month with two big weekend events a year. If you're looking at getting into LARPing and you live in or around Surrey, you should come check out an event.
Now, the new campaign started early this year, and I've been crewing since the beginning, so I've had fairly good access to the plot and what the players should know. I'm just hoping that filling out a character sheet doesn't cause my reasoning abilitities to dribble out of my ears :)

Tuesday, 9 August 2011


Ok, so, it's been a while, I can live with that, it's not like anyone reads this
One of the guys at our local games club brought in a copy of the new infinity rules
Infinity the Game
I watched a bit and had a quick flick through the rules.
I went back and had another look.
Then went home, downloaded the rules pack and, after cleaning up the copious amounts of drool on the keyboard, promptly ordered a starter set.
I've been looking for a nice squad sized sci fi game for a while now. 40K doesn't cut it with only a few minis. Necromunda has never realy grabbed me. And looking at the rules for War Machine makes my head hurt, now I'm sure it's an amazing game, and I've heard it's brilliant once you get the hang of it. But the learning curve is second only to Dwarf Fortress, an amazing PC game I'll cover later, maybe.

Anyway, Infinity.
Now, I always try to avoid the "new game syndrome" that makes people go a bit funny after seeing a new rules set they like. so I always try and find things I don't like about a new game, before I start frothing.
OK, I don't like the scatter mechanic. The scatter dice is an amazing thing and should be used rather than rolling for a random direction. And you can still have that awkward moment where your amazing demo veteran throws his grenade 12" behind him.

Right. So, some things I like. I've been saying for years that the biggest problem GW made was using D6's in it's systems. The D20 means that there can be a real difference between units in the game. I also loved the system for throwing grenades over walls, go look it up. It's great. I love the turn sequence as well. It's an active/reactive system, where one player get to take his actions, and the other can make certain reactions. It helps prevent those horrible moveruncharge turns that units in 40K pull off with impunity.
Ok, no review would be complete without a few pictures. I couldn't possibly show off all the miniatures here, there's far too many, but I think one won't hurt
Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

a little more anime than I'm used to, but I like them. A starter set goes for about €40 with shipping included. And a 300 point game is about €70-100 depending on the race and army composition.

Saturday, 28 May 2011

Citadel Finecast

Ooooohhhh it's a good day for Hobbyists!
Today we saw the launch of Games Workshops replacement resin figures, finally doing away with the old metals. I will admit to being more enthusiastic than most for this particular release as I got the chance to have a look at some before the official release this morning, "yey!"
I'd hoped to pick up some minis that sadly have been pushed back to later, but I grabbed a couple of replacements for minis that I love, but hate playing with.

Offender number one, would be Sammeal on his bike, but I have to wait for that one.

Offender number two would be the tech marine! While I can't wait for his thunderfire toting cousin to be released I picked one up to have a hands on go myself.

Isn't he pretty? The resin is a joy to work with, what little flash there was was cleaned up easily with a knife, far easier than metal. The arms will probably be magnetized later to make transporting the little bugger easier, but they went on with a dab of glue, no issues at all. I'm sure your all used to sitting there with a heavy pice of metal swearing at it until it dries, well the guy opposite me stuck a Hive Tyrant together in about 10 mins, with no fuss, no hassle, no pinning! I did have a couple of minuscule air bubbles, though far less than I thought there would be, easily fixed with a dab of superglue. The detail on these kits is simply superb, so many of the old metal kits get a huge facelift, none more so than the servitors with the tech. Normally I'd have jammed these straight in a draw and ignored them, but the new ones are simply stunning.

I defy anyone to say there's more detail on the old metal kit. Especially the chest and hand detail. Now kits I'd never have used because of the weight of metal, like vanguard or harlequins, are now practically weightless, making gaming with them a reality, finally.

All in all I'm a very happy hobbyist. I even picked my DA up a new toy. There had to be a token Dark Angel model in the new release, and sure enough

The paint job is a little rushed, but the store had a painting competition finishing this afternoon, and once I'd bought him there was no chance I wasn't going to enter him. I won, but only because I spent a mere 2 hours painting him he will be finished off eventually. We spent a lot of time playing "catch" with him across the store, just because we could. A couple of "accidental" drops resulted in no damage whatsoever, not even a paint chip! Although the tech marines flamer fell off after a shoulder high drop.

All in all, I can say despite the pricing changes, (and not all models went up) They are WELL worth the expense. Beautiful to work with, easy to cut and repose and take paint extremely well. It's not often I froth about GW products but this one is well worth the frothing.