Thursday, April 20, 2017

Close calls and forging ahead

Hello True Believers,

So here we are, smack dab in the middle of April. That was fast. Not that I had any goals to hit before now, but still, seems time is in a hurry to get somewhere.

Welcome to my random thoughts on gaming. I'll try to organize them a bit though.

Latest temptations from GW, Blood Bowl and Shadow Wars.
I have to say, I'm digging the new models for Blood Bowl. The orcs in particular look fantastic. In the past, I had tried Blood Bowl a few times, and even own a couple of iterations of the PC game. There is one constant with the game in that it throws me into a blind rage pretty much every time I play. Something about those darn block dice just trigger that inner barbarian. Looks fun, seems fun, going to cause me to have an aneurysm one day.
And now we have the "spiritual successor" to necromunda with the new Shadow War game. I haven't delved too much into this one. I have owned a necromunda gang since that game came out. And the whole "gang campaign" game seems like it should be fun. One thing always bothers me though, the dreaded WYSIWYG. In most cases, I'm all for it. However, in a game where a character/model may end up changing weapons several times...I can barely get the motivation to convert/paint a model once. Now you want me to cut it up after the fact just because they now have a bolter instead of an autogun?? Screw that. I get that you want to represent whether its a heavy weapon, standard, or a CC kind of model..I do. But there is no way I'm going to cut up my classic escher models just because of a gear change. So necromunda sits on the bench.

Spartan Games reaches out...to late?
So I'm a big fan of Spartan Games. I love the models they come out with. I'm not so much of a fan of the rules sometimes...and definitely the sheer amount of games they keep pushing out, each one with little support. Well it seems they are trying to right their ship and have taken a big step with reaching out to the Firestorm fans. They've laid out their internal changes and a roadmap for the future. So it's a big "wait and see" with them. I hope the community hold their feet to the fire on this. They really need to change their ways if they want any hope of winning people back.

Leading the way for Flames of War v4
So I've invested in V4. I probably should have waited to see if the community would take hold of it first, but they suckered me in with the Africa focus. So now I'm going to see if I can help this game get some local traction. I think Flames is a great game, and I'm really hoping that V4 follows in that tradition. I'm going to go digging through my collection and see what forgotten DAK models are still in blisters and boxe and start working on them. I think I have a few units that are present in 4th that I had never used before. Also, the new command cards that were talked about might prove to let me use some of those units that were left out of the book. For instance, I could see a card that lets you bring Nebels instead of the 105s. At least that is what I'm hoping for. The best part is, assembling Flames units is normally pretty easy, so I will hopefully get a few done this weekend and then can add pics later. Hold your breath for that.....heh.

'Til next time...


Monday, April 3, 2017

The Flames are rising higher

Hello Sports Fans,

So March was a slow month...meh...I was sick for most of it. Seriously. I'm currently going on week four of a cold that still has its nasty hooks in me. I've almost forgotten what it feels like to be well. However, I didn't let it stop me from getting in my gaming.

Dungeons and Dragons Online
Yup, I'm playing the "bleep" out of this game. They recently added in the Dragonborn race (for free) and some additional content. I've already got two new characters made and running around having a blast. It doesn't matter that I've run the same quests 10 times or whatever. Whether it is solo play or getting together with my friends, it is fun and challenging. The new Reaper mode they added to the game is fantastic. It really cranks up the difficulty and keeps you on your toes. And there is actual reward for that added risk in the way of additional chests and reaper skill tree points. Now I do pay to be a VIP. For $30, I get three months of full content, lots of character slots, and 500 DDO points a month that I can spend on whatever. I consider it a bargain. The new dragonborn are really interesting, but not overpowered or out of balance. I replaced a  half-elf sorcerer that I was running with one. Now he looks way cooler, and will eventually get some nice buffs when I can spend points in the dragonborn tree. My daughter made a favored soul and it really got some nice boosts from the race tree.

Overwatch
I typically play Overwatch around 15-60 minutes on a typical day. Now I play quick matches almost exclusively. I want to play the game, not wait around for stuff and I'm a casual player. However, that being said, I still try to win when I play, and I expect the same from others. I can get worked up when I see people playing really poorly or just not doing what I want them to do. :) Seems silly when typed out loud, but there you have it, I'm human. So I play in small bits to keep working on my skills and hopefully become more tolerant. My daughter reminds me if my temper is not kept in check.

Flames of War
Yes, there is actual miniature games content in this update. My purchases this past month include the new v4 mid war rulebook, the free books from BF, and the first two army books for v4 (Desert Rats and DAK). I haven't talked a whole lot about v4 because to be honest, I wasn't sure how much I was going to get into it. First off, kudos to BF for producing quality stuff again. The new rulebooks are all hardback, reasonably priced ($25 or less per book), and well done. The free books were also well done (but not hardbacked). Now the reason I haven't jumped in to v4 with both feet is due to the initial info that popped out. You see I've been playing FoW since v2. I started out with DAK and the North African front has been my favorite theatre. I also own a desert rats force, I have a sizable Italian army as well, both Carri and Bersaglieri companies....the desert war is the shit. So I was super excited to hear that was the focus of the v4 release. But then the actual info came out and they gutted the armies. I say gutted, because as a vet gamer who owns a ton of stuff for these armies, over half of my units are gone. I was like, "where the F is my army??". I was all ready to rage against BF for what they did. But then in a moment of maturity and clarity, I realized what they did, the made the game accessible. They released with the new player in mind. I am not a new player. So I will have to be patient. But if you are a new player, you are a happy clam. You have an $80 boxed army that you can jump into with brand new plastic kits that are freaking cool. You have army books that do keep things simple, but still gives you options to expand and add more depth to your game play without asking you to become a historical expert in WWII. Plus, you are being fully supported with accessories and terrain right from the start. This is a great time to try out Flames of War if you previously haven't. As a veteran player, I get a bunch of new people to play against, and a new system to learn that brings new options of play. Yes, I will need to make adjustments, and I will have to wait before I can bring all my favorite toys, but hopefully I won't have to wait too long. And if I really miss them that much, then I can always bust out v3.

Flames of War has always been one of my favorite games. The rule set was always good, the armies well balanced*, and I loved how you could play for a close loss that still makes you feel like you accomplished something. All of that wrapped up in the knowledge that stuff like this actually happened and that this is history, not fantasy.

* as with all games, you can find a way to abuse them. However, I have always found that it was easier to make balanced games with FoW than most others.


Monday, March 13, 2017

Rainy Days

The pacific northwest is living up to its rep this Spring. I haven't seen it rain so much since the late '90s. This always creates a huge lull in any painting I want to do as rainy weather makes priming impossible. Okay, so maybe not really impossible, but it has been so long since I brushed on primer that it pretty much feels like it.

On to gaming. Well the search for the two missing vanguard models has pretty much been called off. I have no clue where those models could have gone. At this point, they are lost to the warp. I did trade for a new kit though, so I'll be replacing them shortly. Still, I hate losing stuff.

I have also been purchasing some air brush paints recently. I found some gift certificates that have been building up over the years and finally remembered to bring them with.  My son also surprised us this weekend by coming up and getting all of his furniture out of the garage. So with some work, my garage man-cave can be reassembled and I will have space to pull out the airbrush. That is exciting and scary all at once.

I also made some bolt action purchases with that money. I would have liked to have spent them on GW stuff, but GW retail is just too expensive. And GCs are basically money. If I'm not willing to spend cash on GW, I'm sure as heck not going to spend a GC on it. But that is okay because I got some cool bolt action units. They will go on the bolt action stack in my office. Sad I know.

Oh, I have also gotten a few fantasy models as well from a local guy selling his stuff off. Good prices and well worth the trip. Who doesn't need more savage and black orcs? So I keep finding ways to spend money on my hobby without actually playing it. One day they will actually name that disease.

This weekend I also went to go get my free 4th ed Flames of War book...but was denied as battlefront didn't deliver to my store on time. Boooooo. However, I did get to see what the new book would be and I'm very happy with battlefront. They treat gamers right. Didn't get a chance to get the new mid war books as they were already sold out, but hopefully I'll get them this next weekend.

Also, Dawn of War III is on preorder. Now this really gets me a bit. I went to the site, and they have a collector's edition ~$130 and then a limited edition ~$60. The collectors is pretty cool, but the limited edition is pretty much crap. Steam also has a pre order deal going on too. I'm going to think about it. I have a little time before I need to decide. I'll probably get it as I have enjoyed the DoW series so far.

And finally, got to play Pathfinder this weekend. Had a good time as always. And I saw that 5th Ed D&D has a new app coming out and you can sign up for beta. I really think Wizards could have been doing so much more digitally for their game. Such a shame. They have had good tools out since 3rd ed, but they have always fallen short at some point. We'll see if this set is better.

Till next time...

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Deserters!

Models gone AWOL! Gah! I am missing models! And it is driving me crazy. I currently busted out my Ad Mech guys to take inventory so that I could see what I had available for the OFCC. Well once I got them all out on the table, I found several were missing. I had two partial big robot guys that were missing their arms, and the tech that went along with them. Then I found that I was missing two electro priests, and two of my vanguard armed with arc rifles. I haven't been doing anything with this army for months...so it has really thrown me off as to what could have happened to them.

I have scoured my office, section by section, looking for the models. Thankfully, I did find the missing pieces to the Kastelans. However, the four others are still missing. I have checked every case, every foam container, every shelf. I've pulled out whole sections of my office to no avail.

I've wracked my brain trying to think of where they would have gone. I hate losing things. And there is no reason for these four models to be missing. I could see maybe one if some odd accident happened where it got bumped off a shelf and into a garbage can or something...but four? I just don't see how that could happen.

It's also depressing. I just don't like losing stuff.

EDIT: okay, so after some research, I've discovered that I only ever had eight electro priests, and not ten. Thus, I am not missing two models. That is a relief. So now I just gotta figure out where I put those two darn vanguard models!

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A little R&R goes a long way

What HO! and forsooth and all that stuff. And no, I did not just get back from a Ren-fest. Nope, instead I just got back from a nice getaway with the wife unit. The only thing that was wrong with it is that it was far too short. It is very nice to get away from it all, and where we went didn't even have cell singals...so we were pretty much completely unplugged. I also didn't bring any hobby stuff with me. Normally I always bring something along, some models to assemble or a book to read at the very least, but not this time. It was nice to get a break from everything.

But that isn't why you folks (or more accurately, folk) are here. You want gaming news of some sort. Even my pitiful amount of gaming news for some odd reason. So what have I got for you? As if you couldn't guess.

Well first the bad news. My PC's HD went out again...only three months old the "new" drive died on me. I say "new" because I didn't install it, a PC shop did...so whether or not it was really new or not is somewhat up in the air. That was not what I was hoping to have happen when I got back from vacay.

I did get a chance to play Pathfinder last week. That was fun...except we are still playing too late. I was just zoning out most of the time until finally some excitement happened towards the end of the night...which sucks because then I get all awake and then we quit....at midnight...and now I gotta try to sleep. People who RP know that isn't easy to do.

On the war gaming front, there is a little bit more. The big news is that I just secured a bunch of squat models to add to my meager collection. It isn't as good as I had hoped as the collection that I'm splitting wasn't as advertised, but I'll have enough guys to make an IG detachment for my Ad Mech army. How cool will that be? I've got all these super cool Ad Mech dudes, and then have a nice bunch of retro squats supporting them. And Knights too....not sure if it gets any better for 40K than that.

Also, Spartan Games has been putting out some Dystopian Wars news lately. Freaking about time. And here's the crux of it, when they do promote their game, I get interested in it again. Because its cool! So my buddy bought into the Kickstarter they just did and he hadn't closed out his pledge yet, so I was able to hop in and get the new rulebook and an expansion fleet. They have also released some modular battleships for the main six fleets. Not so sure how crazy I am about those yet. We'll see. But the big thing is, when Spartan actually promotes their game, it makes me what to play it. Gah!

Also, with the new year means a new OFCC. I really want to participate in it again. It has been years since I went to one as a player. Originally, I thought I'd go with Flames of War, but it seems that game has really died out locally and I don't think they are in a good position to have a tournament for that game. That means I'm now looking at 40K. I suppose I could enter in the 9th age tournament, but honestly, I don't want to get into 9th age. With 40K though, I'd want to bring my Ad Mech...which is great, because I love them...but they are completely unpainted. So that is a lot of work. So we'll see. Maybe the squats will motivate me into painting a new 40K army.

That's it folks. Until next time....

Friday, February 3, 2017

Times are a Changing

Man, I had really hoped to get in one more post in January, but it was simply not to be. But that is okay, as lots of stuff is going on. First off, we have a new President. This means I'm spending less time on facebook as it's all filled with political crap. I don't think it matters much on which side of the fence you fall, the whole topic is just so toxic right now. I'm done with it. Therefore I am spending more time on gaming. Yay me!

Kings of War - well I decided to take my new Dark Elf army over for kings of war day. However, we only had three players, and not feeling my best, I decided to sit it out and help out a new player that had showed up. Thankfully, he brought Twilight Kin (dark elves) so I got to play them sorta anyhow. :)

Poor Nick, his Tomb Kings got beat again. But it was a good match and things just fell the way of the dark elves in the end. That is a nice solid army and one that I will happily play. However, now that our new guy is going to be bringing them, I have to go and figure out a different army to bring. Someone requested Orcs, so I'll give them a go next time. However, I may use my herd models as they are simply more table ready than my orcs.

I still haven't found a buyer for my abyssal army yet. A few people were interested, but nothing solid came out of it. I may have to go Ebay. Bleah. If I do, I'll also be putting up my Mantic Enforcer models too. Got them in a Kickstarter a while back and just never did anything with them. Might as well find them a good home.

Pathfinder - finally got to play pathfinder again with my new group. We hit level four and I have to had it to Matt, he gave us one doozy of a fight. The only downside to the pathfinder group is that they like to play late, like midnight late. I'm old. I don't do midnight games anymore. Just wrecks my whole weekend. :)

DDO - well the Clemson DDO group is still chugging along. Its like herding cats, I swear. There are three of us that are pretty committed to playing. The others....well not so much. Shame too because I really like it when everyone makes it. We don't take it too seriously and try to even inject some roleplaying into it. Last time we played, the little kobold shamans on elite were throwing lightning bolts around. One nailed my poor sorcerer in the back and I was a floating spirit stone. I laughed out loud. It was just so unexpected and funny to see happen. It was fun, which is the whole point of playing. So I'm gonna keep herding those darn cats.

GW - so I do kinda keep an eye on GW's announcements and such...mostly just the 40K stuff. Well they just released a new model for one of their primarchs. The funny thing is, he looks like a grown up version of Joffrey from Game of Thrones. It's creepy.

TV - all of my TV shows are back! So now its back to watching just hordes of bad shows with the wife unit. One of the few stand outs though is Magicians. My daughter and I watched it last season and really enjoyed it. Its definitely one of the more mature shows, but I like the writing and the story makes sense most of the time. Which is a whole lot more than the DC comic shows that the CW produces. I mean I want to support comic book shows as much as I can...but damn the writers just fail so much. :)

Okay, so that's it for now.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Changing of the Guard

Hey-oh! Hello Sports fans, welcome to the latest edition of "oh crap, I forgot to blog". The blog that doesn't plan at all and is just posted on the fly. Readers beware.

So what do we talk about today? Well gaming stuff of course. The big news is, I've bought another army. I just couldn't pass it up. It was a great deal, and it was a great set of models. Doesn't matter that I've owned this army twice before and sold or traded it away. Nope, what matters is that I like the models. Luckily for me, I can use them in Kings of War as well as Warhammer 8th/9th edition. When I will use them or where I will store them are completely unknown. But I'll have them.

I'm also selling my Abyssals. They just aren't for me. Which is really a shame since I just spent a significant amount of money in order to bolster them. GW was selling this certain range of female demons that I could not pass up. However, I think I'll be able to fit them into my new army just fine. So its all good. I have yet to actually sell the Abyssals though...but I have had a few inquiries, so fingers crossed.

I haven't played any more KoW since the last post, but I have games coming up this Sunday. Now to decide what to take. I could take my new army which I'll be picking up on Saturday....or I could bring the gobbos again to make someone else feel the pain.

Otherwise, the weather here has been both lovely and destructive which has put my Pathfinder game on hold. I will be playing this evening though again, so that's good.

Myself and Anthony (college buddy) was able to successfully herd the cats and get a full DDO group of Clemson Adventure Guild alum together! That was a big deal. We had our first game on Monday night and it was a hoot. Just like the old days. Oh, and of course...Go Clemson! Whoooooo! National Champions! Go Tigers! (football reference for those that don't know).

Still playing quite a bit of Overwatch as well. Some characters I just hate. Like Genji. Gah! can't stand him. I swear they shrunk his hitbox when he jumps around. Oh, and I wish there was a way to detect aimbot usage. But if I find myself getting mad then I quit playing. Just not worth it.

So that's it...but honestly...quite a bit of stuff. New army, getting rid of one, D&D, computer games....and my wife is still happy with me and my kids are safe and healthy. I call this a win. Till next time.