Friday, March 30, 2012

I'm Not Dead Yet!

Yes I've been reeeeeeally bad about posting for the past week... or maybe two... possibly three even?  BUT as the title says, I'm not dead yet just taking a long protracted and unplanned break is all.  Ah, the joys of real life and bus schedules...  and people asking me about shoes...  where was I?

Ah, now I remember!  Now questions about Hexes... Oi!

Anyway just wanted to let anyone who might be wondering know that there is more on the way soon.  There are minis that I've been working on, plus I will be posting more battle reports, and I've even got some game reviews as well!  Not all at once, of course.  Gotta pace myself after all.  Anyway be sure to come back next week for more of my mad ramblings!  Now I'm off to file Hexes and have some enchiladas.  Until next time...

Thursday, March 15, 2012

To Boldy Go Where No MMO Has Gone Before...

While everyone else out there is clamoring for Tekken vs. Capcom, or Mass Effect 3, or Knights of the Old Republic, I've just gotta be different.  Oh I feel for a computer bug again but not one of the new shinnies.  Nope, I'm not nothing if not a nonconformist.  Heck, I don't even know if that statement makes any sense but I do know that I'm enjoying playing...

This game is seems to be set some time after at least Next Generation and maybe even Voyager but I'm not exactly sure.  While I do enjoy the whole Star Trek franchise every now and then I'm definitely not one of the rabid fans who can give you the exact star dates for everything that happened in the show..  Not that there's anything wrong with that... well, I don't know I'd go that far but I digress...

Star Trek Online puts you in command of your own starship in the Federation as it balances on the brink of war with the Klingons, Romulans, and even the Gorn.  The game play seems pretty standard based on my own limited experience with MMORPGs but one of the things that this game includes that I'm particularly enjoying is starship combat.  Never mind running around in the woods hunting for orcs, now you're soaring through space in all of its three dimensions as you try to out maneuver and destroy your opponents!  Just throwing in that third dimension adds in a whole new... well, would you believe dimension?

From what I've seen so far this game is lots of fun and though I could see it getting somewhat repetitive in the long run you can't beat the price; it's free.  There is an optional monthly subscription that runs $15 a month but if you are just looking for something that lets you cruise around the universe, explore new worlds, and blow stuff up too boot the free subscription should work out for you.

That's about it for this week but be sure to come back next week for a long overdue Song of Blades and Heroes battle report!  Can the adventurers overcome the goblin menace?  Will I be able to finish painting the last of the heroes before I bust out the camera?  You'll just have to come back to see!  Until next time...

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Oh No! Rocket Propelled Simians Hurtling Through The Sky!

In the Decoder Ring Theatre review a couple weeks back I mentioned that I was listening to another actual play podcast.  I never did elaborate further as I wanted to check out some more episodes before I said anything but now the verdict is in.  Watch out for high flying simians because...

Focus: Actual play
Audio Quality: Four and a half stolen jetpacks out of five
Content Quality: Five monkey screams out of five
Average Length: roughly two hours
Release Schedule: usually weekly but occasionally longer

Monkeys Took My Jetpack is one of the most enjoyable actual play podcasts that I've ever listened to.  Most AP sessions manage to flow up to the point that the dice come out but this group focuses on games with very elegant mechanics that let the story just coast along with barely a pause in the action.  Everyone in the group also does a wonderful job playing off of each other and really put an emphasis on the role playing aspect of the game.  And did I mention that they have sound effects?  All of this wrapped up together makes for a very enjoyable listen that I can't recommend highly enough.

The only downside that I've noticed is occasional problems with Skype that effect their audio quality but these are usually quickly resolved (or very well edited) so that they don't break up the pace of the game.  There is also about half an hour worth of feedback and batter leading into each episode but this is easy enough to get past if you just want to get to the game.  Either way I really do recommend check these guys out.  Until next time...

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Game Death

"Call it nurse."

"Game officially dead at 10:37am."

"Alright, time to get this one to the morgue."

It's happened to us all at one point or another.  The story is just getting to the dramatic climax, your group is just one session away from the big showdown... and then real life steps in and puts the kibosh on your plans.  The cliff hanger turns into a fall off the Empire State Building as you reach a point where you just want the story to be over.

Unfortunately this is the situation that I am facing yet again with my group.  Of the four role playing story lines that we've done three of them have died.  I don't have any hard data to go on but this seems pretty abysmal to me.  I mean really, why even play the game if you never reach the end?

This is a question that I really wish I knew the answer to but it looks like its something that I'll never find out with my current group which begs the question "What do I do now?"  Recently I have been listening to a few different games that feature groups that play over Skype.  I've never tried this before but since it looks like it might be the only way to get in some role playing its something that I'm going to start looking into more seriously in the near future.  Don't know how well its going to work out but I'll be sure to pass along my experience when I do.  Until next time...

Thursday, March 1, 2012

What's In The Box Man?!? What's In The Box?!?

Holy chicken wings Batman!  Two posts in one day?!?  That's just crazy talk!  What could possibly be that important?  Read on to find out...

In case you haven't guessed I had a box arrive today.  Not in itself too interesting but the contents... now that's another story.

Deep inside this (comparatively) massive box were a whole two brushes.  Not any brushes mind you but two Winsor & Newton Series 7 brushes.  Sweet!!!

So what's the big deal about this?  For years and years now (well maybe not that many years...) I've been using pretty cheap brushes.  Actually no, they're really cheap but its always been one of those things "Do I want to spend money on the miniatures or the brushes?  Bah, these old brushes are good enough... kind of.  Let's buy some more minis!!!"

Well, I finally decided that it was time to step it up a little (kind of like Everest is a little mountain...) and invested in some really good brushes.  I had first heard about these brushes a year or so ago from an artist who painted did some work for Privateer Press but when I went to the local art supply store found out that they needed to be special ordered so I decided to hold off for a while.  This time I cut to the chase and hit the Dick Blick website to order them and man am I glad I did.  With "sale prices everyday" I was able to pick up both of these brushes for a mere $27 instead of $59.  Esh... man that's a lot of minis...  Anyway they just arrived today and I'm hoping to break them out soon.  Of course it's my Monday so it might take some juggling (ah the joys of the Vegas week...) but as soon as I've had a chance to give them a try I'll be sure to share my impressions of them.  Until next time...

It's Gotta Be Fate

If there's one thing that Vegas is famous for its just gotta be the incredible culinary diversity.  Just kidding, of course its the gambling!  From dice to tiles, there are a lot of different ways to risk your money but the most common tool used to determine whether you get to keep your money or not is with a simple deck of cards.  Ironically Malifaux handles things in a very similar way with their Fate deck but just how does their deck measure up?

I can't speak for the regular decks but I can say that the Puppet Wars deck measures up very well indeed.  Most online stores that I looked at before I bought these described them as being plastic but didn't elaborate any further.  Were literally sheets of sytrene that were made into cards or were they more like the casino quality cards that you find around town out here?  Oddly enough they actually seem to be a little bit of both.
The material has a slight texture to them that you commonly find in quality playing cards but they are sturdy enough to have a solid feel without being difficult to shuffle which of course is essential for playing cards.  The artwork is also top notch carrying on the Puppet Wars theme throughout.

Overall, I would definitely recommend picking up a deck if you are playing Malifaux but these are nice enough that you could just use them as a regular deck of cards as well.  Sure the suits are slightly non-traditional and the cards are numbered ace to thirteen but these are easy enough to work around if you wanted to break these out for something different on poker night.  Oh, and they also cost more than a traditional deck of cards but these are nice enough and look to be durable enough that I would recommend biting the bullet and picking some up anyway.  Until next time...