Monday, March 26, 2012

30,000 Page Hits!

I couldn't find a pic with more Doombots.
Thanks for all the interest.  I continue to hope to make it worth your while.

On the plus side, I found the missing arm from my Ork Boy.  By stepping on it.  In my bare feet.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

New Project: Orks!

Well, maybe a few of them.  The ones from the Assault on the Black Skull Reach of Bloody Death box set.  There's an Ork Warboss, 4 Ork Nobz, 20 Ork Boyz, and 3 Defkoptas.  Only when I finally got them unearthed, I'm missing an arm, so I'm down to 19 Ork Boyz.

But hey, we're on our way!  Here's a pic of the figures:

I'm going to tackle the defkoptas later.  But I'll keep you abreast of this project as it develops.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The last s-post you'll see here for a while...hopefully

There's a term out there called s---posting (sorry, I tend to keep it clean here) where a person posts something on his or her blog of no apparent value.  A lot of people do it.  Most people do it.  I've been known to do it from time to time.
There's variations of the theme, and then there's people who just do nothing but s---post.  I tend to do it when I haven't been doing anything noteworthy in terms of my hobbies.  Which, as you've probably noticed, has been pretty much all of March.
But, I took a week off from everything (except my in-laws, which is really saying something) and had a little sit-down with myself to talk about What I Should Be Doing.  There's a couple of projects that I just need to start pounding away upon, and I think I've got them pretty prioritized.  Sadly for my buying impulses, I own the minis for all of them already:

  • My son's tyranids.  I've had these guys for a long time, and yet have only done these guys.  What's worse is that they aren't that hard to paint, in terms of a color scheme.
  • Orks.  I've got the starter army from the 40K box set.  I could get these guys painted up for my son or I to use in some practice games as well.
  • Shock Troops (Wargames Factory).  I've got a friend who is hassling me to put together a small army for some games of Tomorrow's War.
  • Zombies.  I still have a ton of those guys left to go.
That's four reasonable and not-overwhelming projects, not to mention all the other stuff.  When I get back, I'm going to get started on one of them right away, and get some pics up here to boot.  So get ready for some more content, gentle readers.

Friday, March 16, 2012

What I am doing other than painting--March Edition

It's a good thing February was so good to my painting goals, because March is practically a goose egg.  The good news?  Even if I don't get anything else painted for March I'm still pretty much on track for the 150 I want to get painted for 2012.

So what have I been doing instead?  Is it vaguely relevant?  Let's see:

1. Work
Not actually me.  I'm better looking.
Work has been kicking my ass lately, especially when it comes to stuff in the evening, which is when I usually paint.  I'm talking three or four evenings a week at a minimum.  So if I give one of those evenings to gaming and another to my wife, I'm got maybe one evening free and don't I have two children?  Oh yes, I do...

2. Trying to figure out how I'm doing that one night of gaming

So part of my gaming life is that I can only do it every other Friday because one of the charter players in our group has the other weekends with his daughter.  Saturday nights are out for me because I have to go to work early on Sundays.  But, if I have conflicts on the other guy's good Fridays (no Lenten pun intended), then we've got a problem.  And we've got a problem all the way through June.  So a lot of time has been spent meeting with the other players trying to figure out this weird alternative schedule, because we're basically one gaming session away from the end of this almost year-long campaign, and no one wants to miss the final battle.

3. Pathfinder

So once that long campaign arc is done, in theory the GMing role switches back to me, and my son Ammo Grot has been hassling, I mean requesting very strongly and often, that I run Pathfinder instead of 4E.  This isn't a huge edition-wars sort of thing.  Ammo Grot loves Order of the Stick, and loves the idea of animal companions/familiars, and is somehow convinced that Pathfinder, with its wealth of PC-creation options, is a superior game.  He might be right, although I think that it is just a matter of what kind of gaming experience you want, but trying to put together even a two- or three-session mini-campaign from scratch requires so much more work on the part of the GM.  Aside from having to basically un-learn 4E because they are so similar I will inevitably get some rules confused, I have to do the whole "add levels to base monsters" thing.  This is on top of having to introduce the rules to my entire gaming group, since none of them even played Third Edition.

4. The Game After That

I don't see Pathfinder being the Next Big Thing for my gaming group; most of them are just humoring Ammo Grot (I could be wrong, but I think that they will think that it is too similar to 4E to justify a long-term switch).  So what will come after the mini-campaign?  Well, there's some options. The guy who is currently running our 4E game has been hinting broadly that he’d like to keep going, maybe even switching to Gamma World.  Add to the mix that I’ve got another person who has approached me about joining the group.  And the aforementioned scheduling problems.

I think that we’re heading for a bit of a crossroads in some ways, namely a situation where the other GM runs a game on the “good” Fridays, and I run a game on the “alternative times” with the new player, and some people play in both games (including the other GM).  If that sounds confusing, it is.  Let’s make it easier: Evan (the other GM) runs a game with Todd, Other Rob, Rachel, Ammo Grot, and me.  I run a game for Other Rob, Rachel, the New Guy, and maybe Ammo Grot and Evan.  Two games, five players in each game.  Evan likes 4E and Gamma World and in general the games that require miniatures.  I'm good either way, and in fact might enjoy doing something totally different for a change, since outside of EOW I haven't played a game of something other than 4E in almost four years, and that was a very short campaign of WEG's Star Wars.

So I'm currently bouncing around games, everything from Modern d20 to Serenity to one of the Star Trek RPG incarnations.  Sometimes I think I'm just being stupid and should just stick to 4E, which happens to be the only game that most of the players know, period.


It it too late to salvage March?  Probably.  I'm out of town for the next week or so, which means I'll have about a week if I'm to do anything, which again is unlikely.  In the meantime I'll spend some of the week pondering my RPG situation, and hopefully coming up with an answer.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Book Review: Boneshaker

Steampunk plus zombies plus airship pirates.  That's Boneshaker (Sci Fi Essential Books) by Cherie Priest in a nutshell.   In nineteenth century Seattle, mad scientist Leviticus Blue invents a massive mining vehicle called the "Boneshaker."  On its test drive the Boneshaker tears its way through the city (and in a suspicious manner through the banking district) and in the process releases a subterranean pocket of gas which turns people into zombies.  A little over ten years later the infected portion of the city is walled off and Blue's widow, the young Briar Wilkes, is living with the stigma of being related to the late Blue, who reputed died during the test drive.  Wilke's son, Ezekiel decides to enter the walled-off portion of the city to prove his father's innocence, and Briar goes after him to rescue him from zombies, survivors living in the walled-in portion of the city, and the aforementioned airship pirates.

Boneshaker is a chunky book full of detail and interesting characters, but at times the plot seems to meander about aimlessly, mostly to accommodate the introduction of one curious steampunk fixture after another.  There's not much of a antagonist, just the shadowy "Dr. Minnericht" who may or may not be Leviticus Blue.  After dragging along for three quarters of the book, the plot suddenly hits the gas at the end, almost to the point of feeling rushed.

If you're a steampunk fan, the book is a must read, especially if you like a good, solid female protagonist.  If you're a zombie fan, this is probably a pass, since the "rotters" are very much on the periphery of the story.  The "Blight," the name for the zombie-producing gas, is more of a peril than the zombie themselves.  I found myself initially excited about the book, then sort of losing interest about halfway through, then barreling through the back half in one sitting.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Elven Druid

A while back we had a woman player in my D&D game who was playing a drow druid.  I got her a miniature, another figure from Reaper, but before I could get around to painting it she (and her boyfriend, and her daughter, and her daughter's friend) dropped out of the campaign.  That was sort of one of those low points where I thought that my RPG days were done.

Anyways, I busted out her miniature and gave it a paint job.  The one thing I don't like about the sculpt is the face with the wide, flat nose. It looks almost simian in nature.  But otherwise it is a pretty good paint job.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Aukan, Goliath Warden

You know, there are not a lot of great Goliath figures from Wizards of the Coast.  I'm got the plastic one from the DDM line, but he's not great and his head look funny.  So when my son wanted a fig of his own to represent his goliath warden, I went looking for bald guys in other ranges.  This one is a half-orc barbarian from Reaper Miniatures (the best source of fantasy RPG figures for PC's, in my opinion) painted up to look like a stone-based goliath.  He's got a lot of colors in common with the eladrin wizard, adding to a nice "pseudo-uniform" look for the team.  Plus, to give Reaper credit, he's a great figure with lots of easy-to-paint detail.

In other news, February was a solid month for me on the hobby front. I got a good number of figures painted, played a wargame, played in my RPG campaign a few times.  Like I said--a solid month for one that traditionally isn't always so great.  March may be a bit of a slow month for me though.  Work tends to pick up, there may be some vacation days in there, etc.  We'll see.


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