Friday, June 25, 2010

Music: Doom Remix Project

Hey 1990's gamers!  Remember Doom?  Yeah, that Doom.  The first and only game that made me think "I didn't know a computer could do that."  The game that made me ditch my Amiga and get a 40MHz AMD 486 equivalent DOS box (yes, 40MHz.)  The game whose sequel forced me to upgrade to an impressive 8MB RAM.  Yeah, that Doom.

In honor of Doom's 6041st birthday, I would like to bring your attention to something wonderful released 1783 days ago, the Doom Remix Project.  This is a freely downloadable group of musical reinterpretations of the incredible music that accompanied the carnage in Doom.  Go listen and relive the days of 6000-some-odd days gone by.

Also, kudos to for their date duration calculator.

Friday, June 18, 2010

First 40k Solo Victory!!

It's true!  The long series of draws and losses I have suffered is over.  I actually won a 1v1 game of 40k, and I beat Blood Angels with my Blood Ravens.  Blood this, blood that.  Come, sit, and I will tell of the time those loyal to the Emperor defeated the aberrant Blood Angels.

The mission was seize ground, with five  objectives.  Deployment was Dawn of War.  I'll spare you a long batrep, but I only won this game because I was able to kill his only scoring unit (an assault squad) and then run like a scared rabbit from his units of unstoppable killage and hold a single objective at the end of turn 5, when the game ended.

So here are the Blood Angels units that caused me so much pain:

  • Death Company w/ Reclusiarch:  re-rolls of 3+ to-hit and 3+ to-wound.  Ouch.  Nothing these guys assaulted lived past the initial Furious Assault-driven wave of attacks.  The only thing that even got attacks back was my captain, and only because he is I5 and struck simultaneously.
  • Stormraven: I had wondered how much a "flat out" cover save could do for a skimmer.  The answer here is that it prevented the Stormraven from being destroyed repeatedly.  All I ever managed to do is shake it and at one point knock out its assault cannon.  With the machine spirit is can flat-out and still fire too.  Whee.
  • Baal Predator: what's better than a tank with 12 anti-infantry shots?  An outflanking fast tank with 12 infantry shots.  Zoom.  Brrrrraaakkkkkk.  Ugh.  
  • TH/SS Terminators: just like your regular 3+ invulnerable save dudes, but with Feel No Pain!  That means your average marine shooting a single boltgun shot will kill, on average, one Terminator every 36 turns.  A marine with a plasma gun stands a much better change, killing a single Terminator every 5.4 turns, and only a 1/18 chance of killing himself each turn!
At the top of turn 5 I was holding one objective with a single sergeant w/ power fist, and was within move/run of two others with a combat squad and scout squad.  He ran the Baal pred up to my pf sergeant, zoomed the Stormraven over near the scouts and moved the Terminators to block the combat squad from getting to their nearest objective.  He had already lost his scoring unit, and all he needed to do is prevent me from taking an objective in case the game ended and engage me as soon as possible to win.  Nothing I had on the table could withstand what he still had.  The scouts and double-autocannon dread were unable to take out the Stormraven, so no objective there.  The Terminators were too scary for the combat squad to get near, so no go there.  The last hope was the lone sergeant (a conversion of the Crimson Fists char Cortez)  who needed 6's to hit the pred.  He charged, rolled enough on difficult terrain to make it to the tank, and made his three attacks.  One six!  Okay, now it's S8 vs. armor 10... glance on a 2, pen on 3+.  Even if I pen I still need 5+ to make the objective uncontested.  I roll.... pen! and on the damage chart...... 5!  wrecked!  (wipe sweat from brow.)

Finally, at the end of turn 5, I rolled to see if the game ended, and it did.  Blood Ravens take the victory 1 objective to 0.  

Rules note:  When jump troops fall back, they move 3d6" and use their jump packs to go over other units and terrain.  I lost a unit of assault marines because they fell back from a tank shock and I didn't apply this rule.  I moved them like normal marines, although I did move them 3d6, so they just couldn't put enough real estate between themselves and death company to avoid getting assaulted.  If I have been able to jump over the DC I would have put myself out of assault range easily and would have survived.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Strange Case of Alvin Greene

I am absolutely fascinated with the whole Alvin Greene story.  If he was just an unknown who managed to squeak out a victory I don't think anyone would be all that surprised.  No, instead he's a felony-facing, zero-campaigning, unemployed dude who managed to get almost 60% of the primary vote.


So here are some theories, with my analysis:
  • He's a Republican "plant."  This would imply that R's crossed over and voted in the D primary to sabotage the general election.  Vote counts in each primary make this hard to swallow.  Democratic primary turnout in 2010 was almost identical in vote count as the 2004 primary, the last time this seat was up for election.  More votes were cast in the 2010 Republican primary for the seat than in either the initial 2004 Republican primary or the ensuing runoff.  2.4x more votes were cast in the R primary than were cast in the D primary in 2010, so for this theory to hold water it implies that Republicans were able to increase their own turnout, get >25% of their own voters to cross over and vote for Mr. Greene and simultaneously suppress the Democratic turnout in similar numbers.  Sure.
  • Voters are stupid.  Actually, this one is a combination of two theories.... that voters voted for him because he was the first name on the ballot or because they confused him with soul icon Al Greene.  Seriously?  Seriously?
  • Voting machines were hacked/broken.  The SC Elections Board has declined to initiate an investigation of the process, stating the the system "performed accurately and consistently" on June 8, so we're not likely to get much investigation on this one.  Next logical question: who is on the Elections Board?  Are they appointed, perhaps by the governor?
  • Anti-Incumbent fever. Neither democratic senate primary candidate was the incumbent senator. The favored candidate in the race, Vic Rawl, is a member of the Charleston County council and a former state legislator, for what that's worth. Negative name recognition? If Mr. Greene beats incumbent R senator Jim DeMint in November then I'll give this one a second thought.
Or maybe.... just maybe.... he actually won.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Miscellaneous Wedding Tales

So, some thoughts about the wedding this weekend....

The gentleman officiating the ceremony is seen at left, taken in the limo between the ceremony and the reception.  Apparently his office of "bishop" is holy, but he's just a regular guy.  He had adequately established his "regular guy" status such that by the time he started talking about "the shocker" I was in no way shocked.  I had not however heard of "the Spocker" which I will leave you to research or not at your discretion.

The ceremony itself was outside in a park by a pond and was quite nice.  A light sprinkling of rain fell on and off punctuated by bright sun.  There was runner going down the aisle which was not holding up well to the wind and foot traffic.  As I escorted the corresponding bridesmaid along the runner I was overly concerned with not tripping on the thing, so all picture Stef took of me have me looking down at my feet.  I look so stupid in them.

If your limo is designed for 11 and you have 14 people in your wedding party, take two cars.  The 14 of us + Bishop Shocker made for a very cramped car ride in which there were four of us on the floor at any given time.

Silver Yo-Yo's as a groomsmen's gift:  Best.  Idea.  Ever.

The guests were wonderfully eclectic, ranging from military in dress uniform to decked-out goth to gamer stereotype (fat w/ big beard.)  Everybody seemed to be having a great time and the groups seemed to mix seamlessly.

I'm not terribly loquacious with people I've recently met, but apparently I had a lapse in social skill during the reception.  One of the bridesmaid's boyfriend had only moved into town in the last 4 months from Hawaii, and when I found out he painted 40k I started talking to him.  I showed him a couple of my painted minis using Stef's iPhone, and we talked about painting and eBay selling.  Then he turns to his girlfriend and says, "You'd better say something or he's just going to keep talking."  Plain as day.  Wow.  I can honestly say I have never had someone drop such an overt "shut the hell up and go away" on me.  So, I did.  Thanks for the memory, Charles from Hawaii who recently moved to the Mason area.

So after the festivities had wound down, I tried to help get things put away as much as I could.  The parents and relatives of the bride/groom were doing all the work while all the 20-somethings were standing around watching them.  (Was I like that?  I hope not.)  I took the push broom away from the elderly aunt and went to work.

All in all, a fun and interesting time.  Thanks for the good time, folks!  I'm glad you liked your present.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Jimmy and Mimi: Zombie Hunters

Congratulations to Jimmy and Mimi, getting married tomorrow afternoon!  Jimmy likes miniatures and Mimi likes "Left for Dead" so I could not think of a better present than a zombie diorama starring the happy couple.

The paper on the side of the stairs is a scan/reprint of their invitation, which I'm hoping they will recognize.  The paper on the back of the stairs is devised to look like a flier from "Necto" (a night club they frequent) and has their wedding date and a replica of the wax seal that came on their invitations.

The top picture is taken with a spooky backdrop, and the final product is encased in a glass dome, shown in the bottom pic.  I took the pic before the glue along the dome wasn't quite dry, so it still looks white in spots.

Update: I got a call from Jimmy on Sunday (6/13) to tell me how thrilled he and Mimi were with the diorama.  Jimmy, Mimi and her family apparently spent  an hour just looking at all the details.  I am pleased.

Here's another great zombie diorama that was created as a gift. Everyone loves a zombie themed gift.

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Secret Project : Miniature Math

Addition time:
Girl with chainsaw
guy with shotgun
green stuff long hair + 
simple masonry 
= wedding present.

Pics to come... the wedding is this weekend, and I don't want to spoil the surprise.  Oh, wait.  I think I just spoiled the surprise.

I would have liked to make more elaborate masonry for this project, but all the Hirst molds I co-owned were siezed by a friend's former house-mate (and defacto landlord) for non-payment of rent.  All in all, the charming gentleman took about $500 worth of models/hobby supplies/etc. in lieu of $150 owed for rent.  And by "took" I mean "I'll go through your stuff, take what I want, and dump the rest on the front lawn for you."  

Saturday, June 05, 2010

It's a Little Thing But It's Annoying

ClickLock.  Grrr.

Stef's new computer has Windows 7, and we discovered a little irritation with the way it operates.  When browsing, sometimes the vertical scroll bar would "stick" to the mouse, so movements of the mouse would move the page you were browsing up and down. 

This irritating little feature is called "ClickLock."  To turn it off, go to Control Panel -> Hardware and Sound and then click "Mouse" (located at the top, in the vicinity of "Devices and Printers.")  Once the Mouse Properties window is open, uncheck "Turn on ClickLock" at the bottom.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Warmachine/Hordes Template Deviation

For the number of times we've had to calculate what model gets hit by what template after it deviates, I'm posting it for the world to see.

small base = 30mm = 1.18 inches, .59" radius
medium base = 40mm = 1.57 inches, .79" radius
large base = 50mm = 1.97 inches, .98" radius

Radius of the base + radius of the template = maximum deviation and still be touching model.
When hit, models within (radius of template - radius of model) of the target are hit indirectly.

3" template:
small base: 
  • When target missed, deviation > 2.09" misses completely
  • When target hit, models within .91 inches are hit indirectly
medium base: 
  • When target missed, deviation > 2.29" misses
  • When target hit, models within .71" are hit indirectly
large base: 
  • When target missed, deviation > 2.48" misses
  • When target hit, models within .52" are hit indirectly

4" template:
small base: 
  • When target missed, deviation > 2.59" misses
  • When target hit, models within 1.41" are hit indirectly
medium base: 
  • When target missed, deviation > 2.79" misses
  • When target hit, models within 1.21" are hit indirectly
large base: 
  • When target missed, deviation > 2.98" misses
  • When target hit, models within 1.02" are hit indirectly

5" template:
small base: 
  • When target missed, deviation > 3.09" misses
  • When target hit, models within 1.91" are hit indirectly
medium base: 
  • When target missed, deviation > 3.29" misses
  • When target hit, models within 1.71" are hit indirectly
large base: 
  • When target missed, deviation > 3.48" misses
  • When target hit, models within 1.52" are hit indirectly

Please feel free to correct my math if I'm off.

Know Your Enemy: Another Protectorate Victory

Today, the Menites were victorious, but only just.

  • Commander Strakhov
  • Spriggan (heavy warjack)
  • Great Bears
  • manhunter solo
  • Yuri the Axe 
  • Vice Scrutator Vindictus
  • 10 Holy Zealots w/ monolith bearer
  • Choir of Menoth (6 models)
  • Dervish (light warjack)
  • Repenter (light warjack)
  • Hierophant
Turn 2 the bloodshed began as the Zealots surged forward, augmented by Vindictus' "True Path" spell.  They were able to get within 5" of the Great Bears, making the stealth granted by Strakhov's "Occulation" useless.  A few Pow14 bombs later the Great Bears were gone.  Brian had placed Yuri the Axe in woods, but had placed him close enough to the edge that I could see in, so the remaining Zealots killed Yuri with indirect hits.  With effective DEF of 18, they weren't going to hit him directly.  

On the other side of the field, the two warjacks were advancing with the choir acting as a screen against the Spriggan's charge.  To my dismay, Brian charged the Spriggan right through the choir, using bulldozer, Superiority and Strakhov's feat, knocking them back as he heads directly for my warcaster.  I remember back to the last time I played at Planeswalker's, and a Spriggan with Superiority charged Kreoss and won the game for my opponent.  With 3 focus on the Spriggan, I didn't really stand a chance.

And then Brian whiffs the charge attack roll.

The remaining attacks did enough damage to bring Vindictus to within 4 damage of seeing Urcaen first-hand, but he held on.  The rolling was bad in the way my last battle was (with all the snake-eyes.)  With Vindictus still standing, I pelted Strakhov with fire bombs from the Zealots and then finished him off with the Repenter's flail.  

So here's the lesson.... not knowing your enemy can cost you the game.  Brian didn't know about Vindictus' mobility focus, and the extra movement (and pathfinder) that he can grant to everyone in his control radius.  It caught him flat-footed on turn 2 and cost him 8 points of models.  I, on the other hand, didn't know about bulldoze.  By setting the choir up I thought I was shielding my jacks from the Spriggans charge.  When Brian picked the straight path between the jacks, through the choir and straight at Vindictus I thought I was done.  He bounced each choir member back 2" clearing the path and only taking minor damage from the free strikes.

I am now almost at 50% win/loss in Warmachine, which is a new high for me.  Maybe next week I can officially tie it up.  Maybe.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Dune (movie) and 40k Imagery

Second Dune post in two days.  Second Dune post ever, come to think of it.

What an odd coincidence that the 1984 Dune movie was on TV last night.  I watched it, and was fascinated by how closely the imagery resembles what we have come to expect from 40k.  I'm not talking about the conceptual comparisons like warping space or god-emperors or what not.  I'm referring specifically to the way Dune was represented on-screen in that movie.  From the winged flying lamps to the translator-on-a-staff that the navigator guild envoy used to the ...

Okay, that's strange.  I just got a call on my office phone and the number is from a Pizza Hut in Naples, FL.  Huh.

Anyway, if you can sit through the 2.5 hours of mediocrity, then I recommend 40k fans take a good hard look at this movie.  I don't remember how much style is lifted directly out of the book, but considering it came out three years before Rogue Trader I suspect it had no small influence on the stylized setting we've all come to know.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010


I did this for the amusement of a friend.

I thought I'd share it with y'all.