Friday, September 28, 2012

Busy Hobby Shelf Update

The busy hobby shelf tells its unwavering tale of projects started, projects finished and projects left idle. The Blood Bowl Skaven and Dwarf teams sit proudly by my NAF dice, but in nearly the same state they were in last update. Forgeworld Nurgle Sorcerer has had some progress, although I broke his weapon end off and had to pin it back on. A figure from Munchkin Quest sits barely started. The most recent addition is the Vassal of Menoth on the far right. He's for our little Steamroller tournament at work (only 2 people, and only 15 points, but hey... we're playing.) My opponent Brian painted the Gunboar on the shelf for my not-quite-started Pigs 'n' Gators army. I can't quite remember why Gunboar migrated from the WM/H model storage to the hobby shelf.

Last night was a fun hobby night with Mike, Mark, Andrew and Kyle all showing up. Mark showed off his Ork flyer while Mike struggled assembling a Khador mortar. Apparently the fit of the model is a frustration.

I may have successfully kicked my Kickstarter habit for the time being. As much as I was enjoy buying stuff on "preBay" I managed to let some pass without contributing. Some were more painful than others, but it's getting easier. Just takin' it a day at a time...

Monday, September 10, 2012

40k Meme

Yeah, I don't really know what I was thinking either. It's based on the "Why not Zoidberg?" meme.

Clumsily done in Gimp. Then updated again.

Fixing Your Stupid U-verse Inernet Without Talking To a Filthy Human

On multiple occasions now my AT&T U-verse internet has stopped working for no discernible reason. The DSL and Internet lights are just off and no sites are accessible. After a few rounds of phone support, I have figured out how to correct the problem (sort of) without having to sit on the phone for a geological age.

  1. Reboot the gateway (or router, or whatever you want to call it) by unplugging the power. If you are like me, you've already tried that and it didn't help. Proceed to phase 2.
  2. Go to from a mobile browser and log in with your AT&T credentials. Yes, the mobile browser part is important. I haven't figured out how to get to the right page from a non-mobile browser. Strange, I know.
  3. On the "Which service requires support?" screen press "Internet". 
  4. On the "What would you like help with?" screen press "Restart Gateway".
  5. Click Yes and Continue for as many times as you are prompted to perform the restart. Wait a minute and watch the gateway. From this point one of two things will happen.
  6. If the gateway restarts, watch the DSL and Internet lights. If they blink and then go solid, you're good to go. If not, reboot the gateway by unplugging the power.
  7. If the gateway does not restart (commonly indicated by an error on the mobile browser page) wait a minute and then reboot the gateway by unplugging the power. The DSL and Internet lights should blink and go solid when you have connection again.
This has worked for me every time. About 1 in 3 the gateway will actually restart when I do those steps, but most of the time I have to manually reboot the gateway once I initiate the remote restart. Something about that remote restart gets things rolling on AT&T's end.

Anyway, hope that helps someone! Drop a comment if you arrived here through searching and it worked for you.

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Distorted Sense of Value

I picked up the Dark Vengeance Limited Edition box this week. Actually, I should say someone picked it up for me, since I spent absolutely zero energy on the endeavor (funds, yes... energy, no.) Let us, for one hot second, compare the value of the new 40k box set to the prior 40k box set.

Assault on Black Reach:
  • 20 basic foot soldiers (Ork Boyz)
  • 10 Marine tactical squad
  • 5 elite foot soldiers (Ork Nobz)
  • 5 Terminator squad
  • 3 bikes (Ork Defkoptas)
  • 2 independent characters (SM captain and Ork warboss)
  • 1 walker (SM dreadnought)
Dark Vengeance:
  • 20 basic foot soldiers (Chaos cultists)
  • 10 Marine tactical squad
  • 5 elite soldiers (chaos Chosen)
  • 5 Terminator squad (Deathwing)
  • 3 bikes (Ravenwing)
  • 3 independent characters (chaos lord, SM captain, SM librarian)
  • 1 walker (Hellbrute)
That seems amazingly similar, except for one thing. Black Reach was $60 when it came out and Dark Vengeance is $99. What in the world would warrant a 65% price increase in less than four years? Okay, I'm not starting on that rant... so basically Dark Vengeance is $2/mini. It didn't seem like a very good deal when I thought it over, but I think my box set value baseline might be skewed, for the following reasons:
  1. Assault on Black Reach was an amazing deal at its release price
  2. Sedition Wars kickstarter (about 100 minis) for $100
  3. Reaper Bones kickstart ( >200 minis) for $100 + lots of cheap extras
Is it really fair to compare those three? Maybe not. Let's compare other things I have purchased and been perfectly happy with.
  1. Warmachine starter box (5 jacks, 10 heavy infantry models, 2 warcasters) for $100
  2. Malifaux "The Body Thieves" box (5 miniatures) for $36
  3. "Dead Justice" LE Malifaux box (5 miniatures) for $50
  4. Space Hulk (35-ish miniatures) for $100
So what am I complaining about? I'm not really sure. Maybe it's the fact that after all this time, I finally have enough miniatures. Wait, did I say that? Yes, and maybe I meant it.... not sure yet. I have 51 more figs now than I did a couple days ago, and another 300+ coming in March from kickstarters. I have battleforces in my office that are still in shrink-wrap. I have a shelf of unopened blisters, collected mostly through playing "impulse buy theater" at FLGS (what is dead may never die.)

Since I can't seem to bring myself to sell anything, I suppose I'd better stop acquiring them. And paint them. Maybe I can make a dent in them before I die, if I live to a ripe old age. 

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

Review: Braaaaains! The Zombie Card Game

On sale now at The Game Crafter. Top Media Studios moved to print on demand after a kickstart attempt. The short version: Braaaaains! is quick and fun but could use some additional mechanics.

The concept behind Braaaaains! is that you are one of a zombie  horde collecting brains and dealing with the various incidents a zombie might encounter. The first player to hold ten brains wins. Play involves drawing cards from a heap in the center of the table, which will either be a brain card (score!) or an incident. Incidents all have instructions to follow, some positive for you and some negative. If you draw a brain you may continue drawing if you wish, but an incident ends your turn. It plays very quickly, and my family had a lot of fun with it. My 8 year-old especially had a great time. He loved mixing the heap around (a common occurrence, since incidents are mixed back in after being resolved and some incidents involve "heaping" some of your collected brains.) He also won part of the time, which reveals both a strength and a weakness for the game. Braaaaains! doesn't give players a lot of choices. You can sometimes choose another players to steal a brain from, but for the most part you are just following the instructions on the card. For kids unaccustomed to strategic play this is great casual fun. The problem is that you can't really get better at Braaaaains!

Positives: fun to play; quick games with fast pace keep attention spans in the game; simple enough rules that kids can pick it up easily; fun artwork and humorous event descriptions; the opportunity to repeatedly groan "Braaaaaaaaaains...." in your best zombie voice.

Negatives: game mechanics limit strategy; Shipping from print on demand service makes game a bit expensive