Saturday, May 27, 2017

In Progress: Dark Angels Shrine

Sorry it's been a while, but I haven't been super-motivated for a number of reasons.  Waiting on stats for my armies for 8th finally has a date in sight, but until then, I'm hesitant to work on any models at the moment.  I'm sure Space Marines are fine, Adeptus Mechanicus stuff likely will only change to have them incorporated, but as I built my Deathwatch all around Formations (which are dead, according to rumors IIRC), I'm not sure on if I need to re-form my units again.

In any case, I decided that in the interim of not getting ANY gaming in (board or war) during the past several weeks, I could at least work on some terrain.  So, I dusted off the Dark Angels Shrine (from White Dwarf #327 from APRIL 2007!!!), bought a can of Caliban Green spray, and got the project started!







 And then, I made some progress...








Now, it's actually done (pending Army Painter Strong Tone drying and final inspection), but as I was pushing to get the piece done ASAP, I didn't get any other progress photos.  Hopefully I'll get some photos of the finished piece available soon!

Saturday, April 22, 2017

8th Edition Announced!

I won't post links here (posting from my phone) but you probably already know about it.

I remain cautiously optimistic, but at least now I have the reassurance I need to continue my indefinite hobby hiatus.  Gaming isn't necessarily out of the question (especially if I can get my hands on a copy of not-Necromunda) but that might require opponents, lol.

Friday, April 21, 2017

Thoughts without Progress

Well, it's been another month without anything on the tabletop front.  Not much gaming to speak of, nor have I made any project progress; again, waiting on the impending release of 8th Edition is *really* holding things up, and I know I'm not alone.

In the meantime, I put 60+ hours in Mass Effect: Andromeda, and while it wasn't nearly as great as the last trilogy, it's a bit unfair to judge it by those standards.  Game Informer gave it 8/10, and I think that it's probably a fair assessment.

However, my main reason for breaking radio silence:

http://www.modiphius.com/fallout.html




So...yeah, I need more information on this.  Especially if, in fact, it's a wargaming experience and not some boardgame with minis.

Friday, March 17, 2017

Random Thoughts

Forgive me for taking another month to hammer out another non-progress post; I'm still not able to get anything painted, and have been allocating my funds elsewhere (more on that in a bit) that has kept me from seeking out commission painters.

40K:
I'm trying to wait until June when 8th Edition allegedly arrives, because I'm honestly over 40K as it is.  The rules bloat is one thing, but having datasheets and formations spread out over so many non-Codex books has gotten to me.  Don't get me wrong, these latest campaign books are neat and all, along with the badass Triumvirate models, but at the current pricing of the books alone ($50/each), I'm not going to grab them if, indeed, this is the end of 40K as we know it.

Right now, I'm leaning towards getting rid of all of my Marine stuff, save for the Deathwatch and maybe a handful of Grey Knights.  I'm sure I'll be pro-Blood Ravens again once Dawn of War III launches, but right now I'm seeing so much bare plastic that I can't paint and probably can't afford to have someone else paint either... :(

I'm also slightly irritated by the announcement of Shadow War: Armageddon because I freakin' want Necromunda and gangs, not mainstream 40K races!!!

PC:
Part of why my funds have been "haywire" is that I just spent a ton of money upgrading my computer set up.  Not only did I get an all-new computer (for Tuesday's launch of Mass Effect: Andromeda), but the new rig has a new keyboard (wireless, of course), new speakers, new monitor, new external SSD drive (for saving music and photos).  Not only that, but I'm not sharing one keyboard between the two old computers (an incident regarding a spillage of iced tea ruined the other set)!  So now I have three computers in the house: the new gaming rig in the office, the oldest one hooked up to the TV, and the "older" gaming rig is now in the basement hobby room (where I'm currently typing this post from)!

Andromeda and high-end gaming aside, this means that I know have better accessibility for my basement hobby stuff (instead of shuttling upstairs all the time), so I can research, listen to music, and post directly from the same room I game and paint in.  However, yeah, Andromeda is going to eat up a lot of my time!  Not to mention I can also play Star Wars: Battlefront (currently taking forever to install) and other games I couldn't run well on the last computer.

Board Games:
I've acquired some new games since my last post:
-Deception: Murder in Hong Kong
-51st State Master Set
-Colony
-Happy Pigs

I've only gotten to play Happy Pigs with family (they liked it), but want to get some of the others in too.  Of course, I still have a backlog of other games AND that's not including still waiting on my This War of Mine Kickstarter to arrive.

Armada:
(Borrowing from Stable Abe's post on BOLS)

I wished for Hammerhead Corvettes in Armada...and they're happening!!!


Now, Armada doesn't currently have actual rules for disabling and pushing ships around, but I'll be damned if I don't try this every time I get to play!

Read more about the announcement of Fantasy Flight's website to see what some of the new upgrades look like (BOARDING PARTIES) and to see the other ship coming out...but seriously, this wave could be just Hammerhead Corvettes and I'd be stoked!

Thursday, February 9, 2017

First Post of 2017

It's been almost two months since my last post, geez!

Well, I wish I can say that I've been super productive in the interim...but I can't.  It's not like I can even blame bad weather for being unable to get painting done; aside from the fact that I have tons of undercoated models ready to go, we've had such a temperate (if not wholly unpredictable) winter that I've even had ample opportunities to get models sprayed, should I have desired to.  I couldn't even be sussed to come up with a year-in-review post, since I know 2016 was a terrible year for me for several reasons.

Nope...I'm simply catching up from work fatigue.  My agency is still grossly understaffed, and overtime in November and December (all mandatory, as my days of working voluntary overtime are done for) was at an all-time high during my career.  In exactly two weeks, I'll hit the 8 year marker with my job, which is more than quadruple any other job length I've ever held; however, this past year felt like 5, and it's worn me down completely.

On top of that, the American Electoral College elected a monster to the highest office in the country, and although I fit in the least affected demographic (straight white male), it's completely troubling.  I'm not even a so-called liberal (I actually changed my registration to Independent from Republican this past year), but often find myself being labeled as such for my views.  I think both parties are populated with scumbags, but continually find myself voting for the lesser of two evils, i.e. the one that doesn't openly or quietly advocate discrimination for any reason.  Seriously, I don't even know why social issues are even something politicians even argue about; treat everyone equally and worry about domestic finances and foreign affairs...a person's race, gender/sex, sexual orientation, etc. isn't really anything the government should have a hand in legislating.

I know this isn't meant to be a political blog, but it's important to put this out there: I'm a straight white male, and I fear for the direction my country is headed.  As such, it's been hard to find the motivation to paint models when I'm constantly having to educate myself on what my country's leader is up to (not to mention, I'm still working 40+ hours a week).  I would love to have a productive discussion with certain people in my life about the truth of the situation, but it appears that they are lead primarily by fear and emotion  rather than facts and logic, which makes said discourse impossible.  I'd like to mention that I understand where they are coming from, because I once thought like them, so I can empathize with them...but empathy is something that they seem to lack, which troubles me.  I just have a hard time comprehending how someone can be so intolerant in this day and age, when accessibility to facts and other people (and their experiences) is greater than it has ever been...and that weight bears down on me, to the point of sucking out any ounce of creative energy I had.

Alright, enough political shit for now.  Rest assured, it may leak back in from time to time, depending on how the coming months shape up...but I'm sure that's not why my few readers check in!

For the record, it's not like I did absolutely squat in the past few months!

Analog Gaming:
For Christmas, my in-laws were kind enough to shell out tons of money for some board games for me.  They gave me Dead Panic and T.I.M.E. Stories, neither of which I've gotten to play, but most importantly, they bought me Imperial Assault, a game I've wanted ever since before I'd gotten to play it (and more so after a few plays with a friend), largely due to the narrative campaign.

As I've lamented in the past, finding players is difficult for me, thanks to my work schedule and lack of desire to befriend strangers in a game store.  However, my wife and my brother both decided to take on the challenge of a campaign (running two heroes each) while I played the role of the antagonist Empire...and by some miracle, in about 3-4 play sessions, we managed to complete an entire campaign!  The Rebels only lost 3 missions...but sadly for them, one of them was the finale, which is winner-take-all (and I was really rooting for them, lol).

I received my copy of Imperial Assault on December 21st; today is February 9th, and I own everything for the game that's been released.  So yeah...I like it.

I also am now caught up on Armada releases, and finally put together all of my fighters for the game (which took about 2 hours alone)!  I'm going to photograph my forces at some point, but haven't had the time to clean up the game room to get said photos together.  I still want to buy another set of each release I only have one copy of (everything but the Victory Star Destroyer, CR-90 Corvette, Nebulon-B Frigate, Imperial Fighters I, and Rebel Fighters I), but that will have to wait.

I'm hoping to get a campaign going for The Corellian Conflict with my brother, which will necessitate each of us commander two 400-point fleets...which is harder to do when you're still restricted on fighter points (133 in a 400 point fleet) and to start the campaign, each ship can take only one upgrade card (Commander not included for the flagship).

I did also pick up New Angeles, but until I find at least 4-6 players (myself included), it shall remain shelved alongside my other large-player wishlist game Junta. :(

I treated myself to the XCOM board game expansion in case I'm feeling masochistic!

Digital Gaming:
In the electronic gaming world, XCOM 2's Long War 2 mod dropped, and I've been playing the absolute hell out of it.  Coupled with all of the DLC I hadn't played either (I stopped playing the game before any of it released), the experience has been completely changed, and for the better, IMO.  I LOVE having multiple squads to dispatch on missions, instead of relying solely on 6 incredible soldiers with a couple of benchwamers (in the off-chance they were wounded or in training); that alone has made the game so much better.

Also, of course I lost my mind when the announcement that the same team behind the PC/console version of Mordheim is developing Necromunda!  If GW could freakin' drop a tabletop version too, I'd be quite motivated to bust out all of my old gangers and get to scrappin' in a campaign setting again!

Wargaming Gaming:
Amusingly enough, at least, a recent fortune cookie is trying to remind me to get back on track:






















I've been debating on using Vyndica's painting service to get some of my stuff done; sadly, by the time I get around to considering it, my paycheck is gone, so I feel like it keeps getting put off indefinitely.  I think my hesitation is due to a variety of factors:

-I'd have to trust strangers to honor their agreements, and trusting strangers is something I had trouble with well before the current political climate.
-I'm genuinely afraid of losing models to a thief, either outright theft or because my painstaking kitbashes will be ruined by a shitty paint job.  I have a particular vision for my armies, and I'd hate to see them ruined or lost.
-I'm so torn by my many hobbies that I'm fearful of sinking a lot of money into commission painting models for a game I haven't played in over a year.
-The state of 40K as it is...is unnerving.  I'm all about change, because the game itself has become so overwhelming, what with the numerous ruleset locations ("want special formations?  buy this campaign book for $50!"), slow gameplay due to a quagmire of special rules, release schedule outpacing my budget, etc.  I'd love to see a simpler (but not too simple) ruleset...
-...and while 8th Edition is rumored to be on the way, possibly this year, if it's anything like Age of Sigmar, I'm going to be disappointed.  I'm not even critical of the ruleset (as I've not really looked at it, since I never played Warhammer Fantasy Battles to begin with), but the HUGE narrative change means that, well, some of my models/factions may not even exist in a new and improved 40K universe...so why spend money getting models painted if they wind up being "unusable" in the current ruleset?

So...that's what my last couple of months have been like.

I'm also planning on seeing Rogue One for the fourth time next weekend. :)

And I still want Hammerhead Corvettes for Armada:

Friday, December 16, 2016

Rogue One (spoiler free!)

I saw it.

And it was absolutely amazing.  Easily my Star Wars film of all time.

I promised no spoilers, and I intend to keep that promise; all of the photos below are from trailers, but I included them because I wanted to talk about the movie's space battle scenes.

It's no secret that I love Star Wars: Armada (I wish I could get back into X-Wing, but until I hit the lottery, my hobby budget's too tightly stretched as it is), so of course during this particular battle I'm going, "How could I re-create this in Armada...?"

A new type of Rebel ship?  It's crewed by Mon Calamari, but doesn't look like any of their style of ship...perhaps something akin to an Assault Frigate Mark II?

Also present were Hammerhead Corvettes (something from the cartoons I never watched), and they were cool as hell!  I want them for Armada!  Keen observers (and fans of the cartoon) noted the presence of Ghost in this shot...

And, of course, how could you have a Star Wars movie without X-Wings?

Seriously, this space battle was way cooler than even Return of the Jedi's.

Rogue One (and Star Wars in general) has lit such a passion in me that I almost want to punch out of 40K and focus on this wonderful universe instead...almost.  Not to mention that my vacation was a total bust; I played a few board games but did absolutely nil with "the hobby" I'm afraid.

Tomorrow's release of the Imperial Agents book will likely see me getting excited about the Inquisition again, lol.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Vacation!

Well, I've actually been on vacation for about a week now, but haven't really had time to think about "the hobby" because of Thanksgiving + shopping for the holidays.  Having said that, provided that my hands don't hurt much, I do intend to get some work done during my couple of weeks away from work.

In the interim, I received an early gift from my brother, in the form of a Deathwatch Corvus Blackstar!  Not sure how I want to kit it out just yet...

In other news, I've acquired so many new board games and PC games that it's hard to keep up with what I haven't posted here.  Look me up on BoardGameGeek sometime!  I've been trying to log plays in, so I can keep track of how often I get to play.

I managed to acquire a Kickstarter copy of Posthuman, and I've played it three times in the last two days: once was an aborted attempt to play with the wife while learning the rules, a second was with a friend (he won, I turned into a mutant and lost), and solo (I definitely lost).  I wouldn't mind getting a larger game going!

That's about all I have for now.  I'm still alive!