Friday, January 25, 2013

Sedition Wars: Patient Zero Identified

Last night was hobby night and the first of the Sedition Wars: Battle for Alabaster minis got painted. There are maybe 100 figs total in the "Biohazard" level Kickstart package, so assuming one model per night I have a good amount of painting ahead of me. 
This is a start to finish one night paint job, and that leads to my new "thing." I'm going to try and stay focused on any model I start to paint until it's finished. I have way too many models at the 25% completion level, and I want them to be done. They don't have to be painting competition level or perfunctory level, just done. Like Mr. Revenant here. Done. 1% of the way to fully painted SW:BfA set. I am not limiting myself in the same way for building models, since I might want to assemble some for gaming, but once paint touches a model all others shall be forsaken until that one is done.

In other news, Khador Brian brought in FFG's X-Wing and we played at lunch. Wow, is that fun. Simple rules and nice pre-painted models meant everyone could get into the game easily. Matt immediately realized that he would be dropping a lot of money on this game, and I know he was shopping online shortly after lunch. Larger battles appear to be in our future.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Last Of The Horsemen

An epic poem of seriously inside humor

No more the crack of salty seeds
no more the jest at some's expense
the final horseman met his end
hear now his final tale

In days gone by of fleeting youth
the horseman stood flanked by his peers
but years did pass and fade they did
and left him last to stand alone

Though challengers arose in turn
outlast each one in turn he did
as years went by he persevered
by moving not an inch

But at last the vicious beast
reared its vile head and roared
Amperdragon was its name
Its bane a thing of arcane lore

Long fought the two in fields of strife
What manner of epic conflict this?
What can you say of struggles such?
What knowledge can you lend?

At last the arcane lore revealed
the beast was slain and vanish did
to be replaced by the next threat
an endless queue of ceaseless foes

But in the end the horseman's foe
revealed to be his hand alone
and now the horemen gone are they
their legacy to be forgot


Have you ever wondered what could fill someone's shoes, only to discover that those shoes were actually rotting squirrel carcasses held together with scotch tape and bits of twine? Yeah, better buy some new shoes.

Overcoming the Sedition Wars Glass Ceiling

An analysis of the "Biohazard" level kickstarter rewards, Vanguard faction.

14 male Vanguard models
  • 4 w/ heavy weapon (29%)
  • 9 w/ helmet (64%)
  • 2 hero classification (14%)
19 female Vanguard models
  • 6 w/ heavy weapon (31%)
  • 8 w/ helmet (42%)
  • 1 hero classification (5%)
  • 1 commander classification (5%)
If you are a female Vanguard you are less likely to be assigned a helmet and less likely to receive a promotion from trooper to hero. You are more likely to be promoted from hero to commander. You are slightly more likely to receive a heavy weapon. Those promoted to hero or assigned a heavy weapon cost the same as their male counterpart. 

Looking over the breakdown, I note that the two female Vanguard promoted to hero or above have some form of mechanical augmentation. Akosha Nama is a cyborg and Captain Kara Black has a bionic arm. Does this imply that females must suffer some mutilation to advance in the Vanguard ranks? Or perhaps that one must put herself in harm's way more than the average trooper to be considered for promotion? No Vanguard of hero level or above wears a helmet, save for Vade's rebreather mask. Could the stark discrepancy of helmet use between male and female troopers be an attempt by female troopers to show that they are like their superiors and not averse to risk?

I have daughters of my own, and should they choose the Vanguard as a career choice they should be able to advance within the ranks based on their talent, not their bionics or ability to stay perfectly coiffed through the entire scenario.

Stay tuned for the next article in this series where we tackle Strain bias against bipeds in high level classifications.

/// end transmission ///

I started building my Vanguard force last night, and I am torn between loving the models and feeling a little crazy about getting the mold lines cleaned off. I never got the hang of this new plastic, either in Privateer Press models or now McVey. I shudder to think of all the struggling I will do when my Bones vampire level gets here.
I love that they all come with bases like this, but having to pin each one onto the base is going to be a bit of a pain. I'm using a new alchemy called "Loctite Plastics Bonder" which is a combination activator and cyanoacrylate that they claim will create a very strong bond. I'll do a couple models to the base with this stuff and try a drop test and report back. The tests I've done so far seem like the stuff is pretty strong.

 Here's a little scale pic of the SW minis. From left, Warmachine Protectorate of Menoth Deliverer, Sedition Wars Vanguard Reaver, spess mreen, Wargames Factory shock trooper, GW Chaos cultist, Wargames Factory zombie. The primary difference I see is that the head is more adult proportioned than some of the heroic scale minis. That lends to the illusion that the mini is smaller/shorter even though they are comparable.

Can't wait to play some Sedition Wars!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

I Will Finally Own A Quality Painted Miniature!

James Wappel, one of my painting heroes, has just kickstarted his series of painting tutorial DVD's. The full set is not, shall we say, inexpensive. At 100 minutes each, I also wonder why the colors red, blue and green need their own DVD, or why multiple flesh tones need their own DVD. Hey, you know what? It's his party and if I painted as well as him I'd be in a much better position to judge that.

Here's what I'm excited about: one of the reward levels gets you a DVD plus the miniature painted for the DVD. I don't think it's the actual mini painted for the tutorial... the text says "you will receive a PAINTED VERSION of the mini that is featured on the DVD!!"  If you've ever priced a really good commission figure you'll know that getting the DVD and the figure for $135 is a steal. 

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Turn, Turn, Turn 2013

Well, apparently the world didn't end. Kinda makes me wish I had paid my mortgage in December.

Plans for 2013? They are well defined, with bullet lists of actionable items following the continual improvement cycle as seen below. Okay, maybe not.
I usually skip step 3 altogether and replace step 1 with "Purchase"
I refuse to make New Year Resolutions, because I have enough failed commitments to feel guilty about without having to include myself in the mix. Perhaps 2013 will be the year of hobby self indulgence for me. I will work on what I want to and not feel obligated to get anything done for any reason. Ah, who am I kidding? 2013 will be an endless series of artificial deadlines that mean nothing, flitting aimlessly from hobby idea to hobby idea and never completing anything I start. You know, kind of like every other year.

Here's the current situation:

1. I am finally finishing a Christmas present for a friend. It's been quite a long time coming, but the models look nice.
2. I am working on my Chaos Space Marines, but now that I have enough functional models to play I do not feel driven to build. The box of 30 Zombie Vixens I just picked up will add to my Typhus list nicely when mixed in with my other 30 all-male zombies. That's a whole lot of scoring, fearless, FNP troops.
3. I eagerly await the arrival of my box of Pirate Gobbos.
4. I eagerly await the arrival of Sedition Wars: The Battle for Alabaster.
5. I eagerly await the arrival of Reaper Bones, Vampire level.
6. I anxiously peruse the fan-made Kingdom Death Monster pledge calculator to try and allocate my meager funds to the various tantalizing expansions. (And no, the pinup models are not, nor are they the cause of, "tantalizing expansions" no matter what your dirty little mind is thinking.)
7. I am playing Talisman for the first time, and have committed (hah! see! already!) myself to paint whatever model wins each game. So far the Troll and Prophetess are in the queue, with the Troll already started.
8. I am playing Evil Baby Orphanage. It plays quickly and is tons of fun. We love shouting "USE YOUR WORDS!" at each other and other parental nonsense.
9. Something Blood Bowl-ish or Warmachine-y or Skavenesque. When I feel like it.
10. FTL. Soooo much FTL. I think I'm up to about 300 games played and 2 wins. This is the best $10 you can spend on gaming right now IMHO, since it goes to the developer.
11. Fallout 3, which I picked up for $4.49 at local Gamestop. I play for a while, laugh when I die horribly, realize I'm motion sick and then stop playing. I had motion sickness problems playing old PC games with poor frame rates, but I attribute this to my inability to keep my viewing angle reasonable with the PS3 controller. Seriously, it's like I have lost all control over my neck muscles or something.
12. Dungeon Village ... seriously. There has been a major update on Book of Heroes and I still find myself going back to DV over and over. Must.... get.... 5..... stars......
13. Thinking about game design... I have three ideas that I have been trying to flesh out for a while. They are very different scale, and I would like to eventually see one of them come to fruition, at the very least as a homebrew thingy.
14. Mobile/Flash development. haxe-NME is still the platform I've picked for my Android/Flash dev, and I really want to get something done and posted to Kongregate. Maybe a completed Ludum Dare entry, like my work buddy jomomomo has been doing.

Yep. Laser focus.