Saturday, September 29, 2012

Now This Is Pod Racing!

Just like most people, I'm not a big fan of the "first three" Star Wars Movies.  Then again, there was one good thing that came out of them; pod racing!  The Munchkin and I used to play LEGO Star Wars a lot and one of our favorite parts was the podracing from Episode 1.  Unfortunately there is only the one Tatooine race track so after a dozen or so times it gets a little repetitive.  If only there was a way to do more with it...

Fast forward to a week or so ago...

I was checking out the Song of Blades and Heroes campaigns on the WeeBlokes blog when I stumbled upon... pod racing!  In this case, it was a game the Spin-Out rules from the Armchair General (well isn't this post just full of link-tastic goodness?).  After printing them up and giving them a quick read, it was off to eBay to see what pod racers I could find.  For those who might not know, Micro-Machines produced several different packs of these so there are lots of options to choose from, making the real challenge finding one that's cheap.  In my case, I was able to find a set of seven used racers selling for a whooping $10 which I was quick to snatch up.

As they come out of the box, the pod racers have a black base with wheels attached to them.  You can leave these on if you want but I liked the look of the racers that were popped off and mounted on actual bases.  arabianknight (author of the Weeblokes blog) suggests mounting them on 60mm round bases but lacking these I decided to go with some old 50mm Warmachine bases I had lying around.  A quick pinning job and voila; pod racers!

Of course you can also go as crazy as you want with these as far as paint jobs but in this case I'm just looking for a fun, fast game so other than touching up the bases I figure I'll just leave these as they are.  Might change my mind once we get a game or two under my belt but for now these are good enough for me.

We haven't been able to get it to the table yet but I hoping that we can give it a try soon and once we do I'll be sure to pass on how it plays.  Until next time...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tale Of A Gamer And His Lucky 13

I don't normally talk much about my personal life on the blog but this time I decided I need to make an exception.

Today my wife and I are celebrating our 13th wedding anniversary which makes it a pretty special day to say the least.  What makes it even more special to me is not only does my wife regularly play boardgames with me and our daughter, but she even took the dive and has been playing in the Dungeons and Dragons 4e game that I've been running for the past couple months.

This by itself is pretty awesome.

Then you throw in the fact that she suggested we celebrate our anniversary yesterday because Spacer and his wife might be coming over tonight and she wanted to make sure we would be free just in case.  I'm not sure how many wives out there get so involved in their husbands' hobby that they would do this but it definitely makes me feel like one of the lucky ones.

So I have to say to my wife thank you for thirteen wonderful years, and the many more that are still to come.

Until next time...

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Monster Hunting... Lego Style!

Back in May I posted about the new Dinosaur sets that were being released by LEGO.  The awesomeness continues as now they have released... Monster Fighters!

And as luck would have it (shocking I know...) we have picked up a couple of these sets and man are they cool!

First up is "The Mummy".


This set features the Mummy and his chariot pulled by a skeleton horse with the Monster Fighter Ann Lee in hot pursuit with her mini helicopter.  This is one of the smaller sets but it's still really good.  The minifigs are full of character and the vehicles are look pretty sweet as well.  I never bought any of the Pharoah's Quest sets but after seeing how well they did with the mummy's chariot I have to say I'm tempted to grab some.

Next is "The Vampyre Hearse".

This set comes with the Vampyre and his zombie chauffeur being pursued by Dr. Rodney Rathbone on his motorcycle.  I think this set rocks.  Not only does the hearse look really cool, there's also the motorcycle and again these minifigs are great!  I mean come on, the good Doctor is wearing a bowler hat, has a steam powered leg, and is packing both a pistol and a rapier!  What's not to love?  This is a very fun set and I'm really glad we picked it up.

Of course this isn't all that they have in the line so I really recommend checking these out.  Not only are they fun to build but imagine running a miniature game like Fear And Faith with these sets.  Now that would really be awesome!

That's all the Lego goodness for now but I know for a fact that more is on the way, not to mention I really want to do a Fear and Faith game with these guys now.  Hmmm...  Need to get some trees...  Until next time...

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Bringing Some Of Your Own Noise To The Audio

We recently started role playing again here in Snowman's Land, but this time we added in our Munchkin to the mix so she can see just what the big deal is about these roleplaying games.  So far she is having fun with it and some of the role playing things that she comes up with just blow me out of the water!

For example, in the first session the adventurers were ambushed by a group of goblins and wolves.  No sooner had the battle ended than the Munchkin's character walks over to one of the dead wolves and starts pulling out all of its teeth.  Not just the canines mind you but all of them so she could make a necklace using the small teeth as beads to space out the larger ones.  The rest of us looked at each other for a second, then Spacer summed it up by saying "Well that's kinda creepy but alrighty then."

Even so, its a pretty awesome bit of roleplaying and I'm loving how she's keeping me on my toes with some of the curve balls she throws my way.  I also love the fact that now both my wife and my daughter are not just taking part in my hobby but having fun with it as well, which all leads into bringing your own noise to the audio.

Since this is the Munchkin's first game (and only my second time running an adventure...) I really wanted to do an audio recording of it but the question was how?  I'd seen things like the Zoom H2 but money was tight and I needed something fast.  After a quick search on Amazon I happened to stumble across the perfect solution for my problem; the Go Mic by Samson.

Personally I'm loving this little microphone and I'm really glad that I picked it up.  I just set in the omnidirectional mode and it does a great job picking up the entire group loud and clear.  It's also plug and play so I can just hook it up the laptop, switch over the microphone feed in Audacity to the Samson, hit record, and just forget about it.  No worrying about running out of memory or power since its hooked up to the laptop, and we've kept the same set up around the table so I don't even need to mess around with the recording levels in Audacity.

The other great thing about it is that its only $40 from Amazon with free shipping if you're not in a rush!  It just doesn't get much better than that, so if you're looking for an inexpensive mic that will still give you a quality recording I definitely recommend giving this one a try.  Until next time...

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Arcanists Arise! Again Even!!!

I've dabbled with my Songs of Torments Reach mod for Song of Blades and Heroes for a while now, but the one thing that I never did was actually finish painting my Arcanists crew.  Kind of silly really since there are only four of them but I just never felt the inspiration to get them done.  Lately though I've been trying to dust off the old projects that I've had floating around and finish them up and these lovely ladies were the first on the workbench so here they are, the Arcanist crew of Sasha Dubois!
First up is Sasha Dubois, leader of the crew.

This mini is one of the first ones that Reaper released in their Chronoscope line and one that I loved as soon as I saw.  She just really captures that steampunk/western feel that Malifaux has so I just had to get her.  Heck, she was part of the inspiration for Torments Reach so I would have a way to use the mini!

Next is Boomer, Sasha's "little" pet.

Yes, I know he's not based yet... One thing at a time now...
This is an old Warmachine Juggernaut that I had laying around.  I used a dremel to take off the Khador symbol but other than that he's just a stock mini largely because he is a massive piece of metal and I'm not going to try to modify him.  I might pick up a plastic Jugger at some point to work on but this version works for now.

The rest of the crew continue the Iron Kingdoms influence as these are both from their old RPG line.  First is Taryn Rose.

Originally this figure was a gun mage which makes her a pretty good fit for a western gunslinger.  The pistols don't quite look right since they are more like flintlocks than revolvers but I decided to leave them as is just too keep things simple.

Lastly is one of my favorite and most frustrating minis, Valeria Alvaro.

I loved this figure as soon as I saw it!  Between her ready pose and the four pistols she's packing, she just seems like the perfect gunslinger.  Unfortunately the pose is also incredibly frustrating because the original has her looking over her shoulder which just looks awkward.  I tend to go with line of sight centered around where the figure is looking so this means that she is walking around backwards the whole time.  After much procrastination, I finally decided to bit the bullet and broke out the dremel.  It took a little bit of work plus some sculpting to fill in the gap but overall I'm really happy with how she looks.

Now I just need to get them back to the table for another round against the Guild forces of Sonnia Criid.  Well, sounds like I've got something for next week!  Until next time...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

And It All Starts Out With A Jenkins

Lately I have to admit that I've been in a bit of a rut as far as my podcasts go.  Some have faded, some have changed formats or hosts... overall, a number of my regulars became not so much lately.  I started to look around for new ones when what should I find but this little gem with some pretty sound advise right in the title.  Look out folks and remember to...

Focus: Traveller actual play
Audio Quality: Four rebuilt assassins out of five
Content Quality: Four and a half kooky psychics out of five
Average Length: just under an hour
Release Schedule: pretty consistently weekly

Close The Airlock is the first Traveller Actual Play that I've ever found out there and they do a good job giving you a feel for the game.  The setting is not the canon Traveller universe but the party is learning their way around at the same time so you never feel like your missing out on anything.  The game play also flows along very nicely as the mechanics of the game run quite smoothly and even combat moves at a very brisk pace (unlike some other systems that are out there...) so there are no moments where you just tune out for the episode as they try to grind away at an opponent.  The group is also pretty familiar with each other as role players so they have a good dynamic as well which is always a plus.

The only downside is the occasional baby crying since the referee and his wife recently entered the wonderful world of parenthood (welcome to the club!) but they are right up front about it in the introduction which is awesome.  After listening to the podcast I have to say that she seems to be a very mild mannered baby so other than occasionally chewing on some of the miniatures its not really much of an issue.  If you're looking for something a little different from the typical AP fare, I'd definitely recommend giving this one a try.  Until next time...

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Sleep 1, Blog 0... Curse You Sleep!!!

Well, I sat down over my "weekend" (one of the joys of Vegas... my weekend is not the same as normal people...), planning to write up a couple of things for this week and... well, let's just say that sleep happens.  One of the in-laws suddenly spending the night due to car trouble and our dogs quite literally getting stuck together might have something to do with it as well but you get the idea.  Unfortunately this all means this is going to be an off week here at the Dispatch but things will be back on track next week!  More "motivationals", more Audio Noise, more battle reports... I've got a few things planned so no worries.

In the meantime, I just wanted to throw out one more pitch for the Relic Knights Kickstarter since it ends this weekend (meaning the real weekend this time...).  Right now its over half a million pledged and there are some really nice perks available so I'd really recommend checking it out if you haven't.  Just do it quick!  Time's running out... tick... tock... tick... tock...

Anyway, that's all from Snowman's Land for now but be sure to come back for more next week!  Until next time...