31 Dec 2016

2016 ya done

Well its the end of the year. I writing this post two weeks ahead of time to make sure that I get it out in time. This post I will be addressing the entity that we've named 2016. Crafted between the moments of time we call years, made of more DNA called days and hours. 2016 is beast of a year, one of great change and in many cases not for the best.

You're done 2016.

My wife lost her two grandmothers and you kinda sucked in making those deaths a month apart.

We lost our home that we planned our next five years around, now we've had to make another home but the pace we set to start our dreams has stumbled.

You were witness to the strangest election of the United States of America as one who all laughed at took the seat of power from someone who may not have been much better.

Conflict rises and people suffer and yet this year it seems we found more ways to do harm to each other and we're watching it today.

You scared me with death in a manner that I could not do anything in reply but wait for good news. Never once have I been so weak and powerless.

I've changed in you 2016, I changed because more times than I expected you had something unpleasent for me instead of a better forward.

I really hope your sibling 2017 does more with the time it represents.

I know I will. I will try with my life partner to make things better in our lives and hopefully do something that will make a moment better in the life of someone else. I will try to do more and be better.

I will try. That's the best I can do.

You 2016, the best you can do is get the fuck out of here and never come back. You have 23 hours make the best of them...

- Fuck you 2016.


28 Dec 2016

Top 3 of 2016 - Boardgames

This was an easy category for me to do up since my number one has been at the top of my head for quite some time. Honorable mentions goes to Dead of Winter: Long Night which I picked up at GENCON and have not regretted playing. I just wish I've played more of it as well as the base game.

This post will be short because I feel like I'm just nodding as I run to the finish and call out this years top board game for me. This year was really easy for board games and it dosn't seem like I really needed to explain why each one of these games are here.

They just are and if you like your board games you will love at least one of these if not all three.

Number 3: Secret Hitler

I am the first Canadian backer to receive his game. The folks at GENCON told me so when I picked up my copy from their happy hands. They asked to see my funny plastic bills that we up here use as money and they squeeled a little too strangely for my liking. So I said thanks, grabbed my wood box and fled the chamber of games that they had set up.

So what next?

26 Dec 2016

Top 3 of 2016 - Magic

Magic had a good year. It may have missed the chance to do some level up Zendikar cards with the second half of Battle for Zendikar but it had some great cards come out non the less. My honorable mention is the reprinting of the Planeschase cards. I've now only played a few games with Pale Rider and I have to say two things: 1. I need to give him a new knickname for this blog, and 2. It's fucking fun and I'm looking forward to playing a game of Emperor Commander with the Eternities Map planechase varient.

Note that I didn't pick my choices based on play and meta results. I pick my card based on how well they inspire me to keep playing and building decks. I pick them on how much fun I think they will be unless I've played them and I know they are fun.

With little ado lets get the ball rolling.

Number 3: Curse of Vengeance

Vidor is my favorite Norse god. Second in strength to Thor and known for being very quiet and killing Fenris out of vengance. Vengance is a theme I love to explore in my games. Getting a card that does just that is awesome and became my easy pick for this year's number three... now I just need to get more of them.

What's next on my list.

23 Dec 2016

Top 3 of 2016 - Movies

This years movies have not yet finished and I'm still due to see a few more flicks like the Accountant and Nice Guys but my honoranle mention is split between Deadpool and Dr. Strange. Both are comic flicks that did their characters justice in bringing them from page to screen. Ryan Renolds is Deadpool and no matter what nit pickings I have with the flick it was fun. While Dr. Strange was a breath of fresh air with some of the best FX fight scenes in a long time. The rewind fight is still a moment of screen time I keep thinking about.

Number 3: 13 Hours

Tears of the Sun is my favorite military movie with A Bridge Too Far in close second. My father's is We Were Soldiers and my brother's is Black Hawk Down both great choices. Tears of the Sun has a special place for me due to my own experiences. The choices folks make in uniform are hard ones, the good choices they will chose are even an greater hardship.

13 Hours is a great piece of action film that really shows the issues from keeping hydrated in a prolonged fire fight, the chaos of fighting an non-uniformed enemy, and living with the orders that are given to you to follow. Fuck the politics and the e-mails of Clinton - 13 Hours was well put together and it did so without making look like a bunch of americans were saving the world during a single firefight. It was honest more than most films and for that it took my 3rd spot of the year.

22 Dec 2016

Top 3 of 2016 - Miniatures

Once more the top three will start with my honorable mention the Cosmica Jurisdictional Buildings some of the sexy terrain pieces that Warsenal. The only reason I have not gone crazy and bought a shitload of their terrain is because I have already way to much to paint, finish painting... and that's just terrain. Looking forward to seeing how the new Haqqislam terrain continues to roll out.

Number 3: Mobile Brigada (Corvus Beli)

This year started with an awesome boxset for my Nomads. These minis look awesome and they are even better when you have your hands on them, Painting them is a joy. They have been at the top of this years list of minis but they are not the best of this years releases.

Lets see what else I liked...

19 Dec 2016

Top 3 of 2016 - Video Games

This year I'm keeping the list short and easy for my favorite things that were released this year.

Today will be video games. Now I've been playing some video games all year and not as many as I'd like to play but I've really come to enjoy my time in these places.

Honorable mention is: MWO (MechWarrior Online)

I just started playing this game this fall and I really jumped into it. It's been fun and I wish I had more time to play this rewarding online team shooter. I have a post on my experience with the game that has been in draft format since September so maybe 2017 will kick it out of the door.

Number 3 - Dishonored 2

I'm not finished this game but wow is it good. Great atmosphere, great sound, brilliant graphics, and a sense of level design that continues the better levels and mission design from the previous game and it's major DLCs.

17 Dec 2016

This guy I get

I don't post much about my second job.

My longest job, the one that has been more than once a full time job. I find it hard to not let the topic take over and consume the whole of this blog. I also am active in my second job and as such I need to be careful that what I put here does not discredit those who I share a vow with and those who no longer can join us at the table and on the field.

I keep this blog as an exercise on writing. Its PT for my hands, brain, and the words that fill me up.

I'm lucky to find something that expresses some of my feelings and thoughts...

- Enjoy


15 Dec 2016

The Village Part 2

So with some help from the gaming community on the Privateer Press forums because I ran into a problem. There was only a few places that could host the location of my village from my last post.

So my options were limited.

Firstly I changed the name, Der Riss is from the German language and means 'the gap' or 'the chasm'. I dropped the Der and kept the name of Riss. It sounds like the word 'rice' and I like the way it has a curt and small name showcasing its isolation and stature.

Secondly I spent more time on the inhabitants. I already had lots of info on parts and portions but through the week I came to write down bits and pieces started to flesh out. I spent some time on the larger farming families and how they settled near Riss (see how it slipped in and didn't feel clunky). I spent some time on working out history as well and making landing spots for characters to fill once a player was done with that character.

One of the reasons for this is the nature of gaming. Sometimes, games go on for years and sometimes they don't. I've ran campaigns that have lasted ten years (Legend of Five Rings 1st and 3rd edition) and weekly games for over two years (Rifts). In both cases I made space for those characters to fit so they could take a level of ownership in the setting and make the experience a bit more richer. It didn't always work and there were some sessions that had better results.

With two jobs and two major games, I have limited time and I can see the odd game being a one shot and some of the campaigns being not very long. For example it's hard to see the premade player character from the Unleashed boxset (which is awesome by the way) continue to work together once the conflict in the adventure set is resolved. In that case I could see some of the one shot PC's move into Riss and make a place there or become a fixture in the setting.

Unleashed box contents
by Privateer Press
So making places for players to fit their characters in the setting is important. I have lots of info but if the world is already super cool why have the PC's. Dragonlance as a fantasy series was awesome but it sucked as an RPG setting since you'd never be as good as the Heroes of the Lance. Same goes with Wheel of Time and Game of Thrones for RPG settings, the players need a place to tell their own stories and to have them be valuable to the whole setting. Otherwise what's the point.

So with that done the geolocation of Riss was the hard part.

Let's see what I decided.

9 Dec 2016

What a week and the village.

Once more the ability to put out posts due to my jobs and life, has been limited.

Lady Bear lost her grandma and we had a funeral. Charging Pun joined us and we stayed with family through the whole process. He had a scare later that week with his youngest so we're all a bit burnt out. I'm looking at working weekends again for the end of the big push before the holiday but I'll be using that time back during the holiday week.

On the constructive side of my life I'm in the midst of planning an IKRPG adventure that I'm really excited about. Mister Wolf asked me to run as a guest GM on 17 Dec, and Sleeves also asked for a game for his Birthday on 7 Jan a few weeks later. Both games will be played in the same place and I want players to affect each other's game - fuck it I want them to impact the setting.

Then an idea hit me finish making the village.

The village was a location I've been working on to run the majority of my IKRPG games. A living breathing setting that would accommodate many types of games. Exploration, pioneering, dungeon crawls, seafaring and pirate stories, war conflicts, nature vs civilization, etc... I've been building a place that would allow me to play all those games. A place where player character could season the place when they adventure there. A place where it would allow many travelers to come and go. A place that would allow stories to be told and yet still keep a level of isolation from the rest of the world while still being impacted by the changes in the world.

So the village is after the break - see you all next week hopefully with more regular posts.

- Cheers


2 Dec 2016

Its starts with the first page...

This post has been a long time coming. Funny as the subject of the post is about finally getting into something.

I wrote the first page I hope to write more.

Life has not been easy these past months. Work, and work, illness and death in Lady Bear's family, my health scare, an offset schedule, Remembrance Day, tight wallets, getting behind with the cottage dream, and the horror of the upcoming Winter Season Holidays (a bad thing for someone who loathes Christmas).

Last night it happened. While Lady Bear was deep into her first binge of a tense sci-fi TV series (Orphan Black), I finally wrote that first page. I've tried in the past to put it on paper. I've drafted synopsis, characters, backgrounds, settings, events... the whole shebang.

I've never written the first page.

It took me an hour to get through it, to find the voice between the idea. To have the words start flowing. Once I got the engine warmed up, I wrote that page. Then I re-wrote it and after an hour I was happy with my page.

I've been inspired by the efforts of others and the lazy stance I've had all this time.

Lady J has asked that I read her first draft of her book. It took me three hours to read through what she had. My notes were put on my phone's notepad/quicknote function. Afterwards I pasted them at the end of an email where stream of consciousness took over at eleven thirty pm to give her my full attention.

I've read and was at the book release for Maynard James Keenan's Biography. He insights and experiences were interesting as Alan Cross moderated the event asking questions and littering the events with humor, depth, and notes of history. Maynard was sick and it ended quite quickly, lasting only two hours, but I was happy and inspired by the event. Inspired... more ashamed that I haven't gotten off my ass to write what I want to write.

The folks I work with suffer through my rambles and the reply when I decide to take in oxygen is always: "You should write a book." A slap to my ego's face every time I hear that. I want to scream, I've always wanted to. I've got ideas. I've got a few ideas primed and ready. The words should have been - every time, I'm writing one right now.

That would have been a lie.

So the first page is done. My next step is the second page. A few steps after that I'd like to finish the chapter. Once that's done I'd like to write another chapter.

I'm writing. I'm finally writing.

It all started with a first page.

- Cheers


25 Nov 2016

Hearing the call of the Creed

Well Assassin's Creed has a special place in my heart. The last game Assassin's Creed Unity did not leave me with a great taste in my mouth.

So Black Friday happened on my XBOX Live account and vola all of Assassin's Creed Syndicate, all of the DLCs - everything for only 30 odd bucks. So I picked it up and let my XBOX spend close to 24 hours downloading everything to do with the game.

Assassin's Creed - Syndicate
If you don't know, I've wanted an Assassin's Creed game in Victorian London since Assassin's Creed - the first game. The idea of hanging out during the time of Charles Dickens, Charles Darwin, Florence Nightingale, Jack the Ripper, Alex Bell, Birth of Scotland Yard, the London Underground, the construction of Big Ben and the "Square".

It was a time of invention and wonder. It was the stepping stone that led to the 20th century, the modern 20th century. London was at the center of the whole Empire and it was a place of great innovation and change.

First lets talk about Steam Punk, not my favorite sub-genre of science fiction/fantasy, that's Cyber Punk. It has been the technological level in a few of my favorite settings, Warmachine, Dystopian Wars, Dishonored... but I like not the science but level of creativity that found in those settings. Assassin's Creed Syndicate has a wee bit of Steam Punk... just a smidge and that's perfect. Anything else and it would have lost me. The time and place are already rife with innovation lets not go any farther into the rabbit hole.

Spoiler alert - I love this game.

24 Nov 2016

Where the duce is Dozer?

Well work and life have been pretty crazy recently.

I've got some job applications for other positions while my current job twists and turns. My second job which I havn't been able to attend due to my main job is chugging along without me because I've got a great team of folks who've done a bang up job of keeping the fort while I'm away.

So I'm here but I'm not free enough to write anything down... hell I want to but when I'm starting my day or coming home, its Lady Bear time or brain dump time.

So expect some new material in the future... but not too soon of a future.

- Cheers


9 Nov 2016

It happened

The demagogue has left the stage and taken over the town hall. As per the ongoing and pending lawsuits this man who's business practices are described as criminal will now lead one of the world's most powerful countries. By reaching out to the common denominator he has claimed the seat of power along with the other two branches of government.

Maybe this was the people deciding that their hopeful leader was not enough. As much as he wanted, Obama's success were moderate in great part to conflict with the other branches of governments. This election result could be the culmination of frustrations. To just get something done without all the pissing around that's hampered the American government the last eight years.

This is coming from an observer who's from Canada. Both of my parents are poor baby boomers who made themselves educated and successful. I am a middle class, educated, white male. My family even though educated never cross the portcullis into the fortress of academia but compared to many Americans my education may create a divide between myself and my southern neighbors.

I expect many changes. Maybe these are the changes that will burn it all down and the United States will rise from the ashes. Canada and Mexico will be challenged as will the rest of the world. Their is a shift in world power.

I hope this does not go like the Brexit. Where folks interviewed were filled with a buyers remorse. Many who voted were commenting the next day on social media that maybe they made a mistake.

In the end we are now awaiting the coming of President Trump. His leadership will hopefully make some progress. I hope the cost of this progress is not as high as I fear.

I'm afraid. So are many in the business world as financial markets react to his election. There is a great unknown ahead of us and that fear is also exciting.

This will be interesting.

- Cheers


5 Nov 2016

The Plan

This is for Yasha...

Good Luck my southern neighbors.

- Cheers


30 Oct 2016

Day 14

It's my second day off of my two day break... some folks would call it a weekend. The twelve day stint of work that ended last Friday was long and because of the long 9+ hour days, I leave at 1200 (latest) and I'm back by 2130 (soonest), the last couple of days of the work cycle ended up being me becoming a vegetable. Simply beat and I'm not adding any of the day to day chores and stuff that I need to catch up on... harder when locked away form the world.

Yesterday was a perfect looking day. Hang out and XCOM 2 while painting with Sarge. Drink some vodka and eat from Indian food. Hit the Red's for some beer and fall smoked BBQ chicken wings, hang out with folks, and get some game on.

Instead I started to crash hard around noon, by the time 1500 came around I was sick. Cough, low fever... I'm fighting something and I really wanted to enjoy my down time not fight a biological enemy.

So I rest - I need to be ready the next stint is 14 days long...

- Cheers


19 Oct 2016

Day 3

It's 0650 EST in Ottawa. The sun has started to show evidence to it's rise and dim patches of light ebb their way over the tall grass fields that surround my subdivision. I have Moby in tow, we've just come back from what has become our morning walks. I'm approaching the flat where the open kitchen widow has let the smell of the coffee seep out into the early morning. I make a fresh pot, just enough for two small cups of coffee, before I take out Moby. Once the winter snows cover the ground being able to let him out anywhere will change. None of the neighbors want to see pools of half melted yellow snow, so I'm getting the old dog get used to moving away from the flat.

It's also an excuse to wake up and keep my current sleep schedule. I don't leave for work until noon and I've been home the last two nights around 2130 (9pm). It leaves me some time to see Lady Bear as she's settled in the bed, already at Morpheus' doorstep. We chat as we drift off to sleep. She'll wake up at 0430 rising for her early morning job for Parliament. I'll wake up when she says good bye and slow rise fighting off the urge to go back to sleep.

This is the third day of 9 weeks of intensive work. I have after today I still will be working the next nine days in a row before I get my first day off. It will be a blissful four days off before another twelve day stint of working the odd side of the day.

I make a fresh breakfast with Moby tired from our short walk lying in on the floor nearby. He's emptied his bowl of water and finished the food in his bowl. I quick have toast with butter and an egg scrambled. A blend of soft spices keeps me from adding salt while still keeping the egg flavor. With the food I take my dose of medication to keep the gout at bay. It seems to flair up every morning, my right foot slightly swollen due from standing for most of the day in front of my audience who between rounds of chaos take on my instruction.
Dire Foes: Mission Pack 1 - Train Rescue
by Corvus Beli

Today I'm planning on working on the next step of my PanOceania for Infinity. Yesterday I completed the rest of the basses and I base coated all my minis. I have the whole slew of miniatures from the Operation: Ice Storm Starter box. A limited edition Joan of Arc from Angel Giraldez's Masterclass Vol.1. I also have Bipandra from my Dire Foes box set, a Jotum, and the Fusiliers box set to go. Today I'll be working on the armour platting.

I have two hours to spend on the minis. In between coats of paint I'll be running some laundry, taking a shower, and listening to music. I may even get about 30 mins of time on Dues Ex: Mankind Divided on the perma-death setting aptly named 'I didn't ask for this'. I don't want to waste the time playing video games and I have plenty of minis to work on.

So far the new schedule is working out but I do miss Lady Bear and I'm looking forward to Saturday and Sunday when we get to spend the morning together before I leave for work.

Well that's me so far.

- Cheers


14 Oct 2016

The Plan

Unless you’re Yasha, who is enjoying nice gentile 3 meter waves at sea, you may not be familiar with “the plan”.

That sound is God laughing at your “plan”. All plans are doomed to fail upon first contact with the enemy. Life is what happens to us while we are making other plans. All human plans [are] subject to ruthless revision by Nature, or Fate, or whatever one preferred to call the powers behind the Universe.

There is a lack of confidence in “the plan”.

We’ll I have a “plan”.

4 Oct 2016

The quiet before the storm...

... but it's not that quiet.

So my day job is super busy. We're about to roll out and when that happens I'm working 49 out of 61 days. Starting 17 October I'll be putting in three 12 day stretches, a 8 day stretch, and a 5 day stretch of work. I'm gona be le fucking tired when I have some down time. My other job has also been busy as all hell and I've just passed on to my second job bosses this news I got yesterday.

So here's the skinny on what the deuce I've been doing and what's on the go.

Well I missed the Kalidesh pre-release, completely gapped the events. The set is looking interesting and I'm seeing lots of Rogues and I like the feel of the Aetherborn. Commander 2016 is still on the hush and I've not seen a lot from that set yet. The Planechase Anthology is looking good and I'm interested in it but it may be an end of year pick up. I missed the Planechase set and it's Planeshifting mechanics are a neat twist to Magic the Gathering. For me the next big release is Amonkhet the Egyptian themed block that follows Kalidesh and Aether Revolt.

Infinity wise the Kessel Run has been great in supporting the short time we've been there. Right now we're playing games of Infinity RECCON - go look up it up on Data-Sphere and you'll find the rules. It's a great way to play small games of Infinity without watering down the experience. The six missions are well sorted and balanced. Army generation is neat and they make sense. I also love using my painted MDF terrain on the 24x36 paper mats that come with products like Operation: Ice Storm and Operation: Red Veil. I've even started painting again and I'm 1/4 finished all my PanO minis, next up is the Nomads that came with Operation: Ice Storm. Lady Bear has been super supportive and helped me sort out the office so I can get back to work - when I have the juice to do so.

I've been playing MechWarrior Online - I have a post drafted on this topic but understand the game is neat and it's allowing me to play some quick and rewarding matches as the weather turns cold and while I have little energy to work on anything else. Video game wise, I play very little due to little time and most of my games need larger blocks or I just don't have the energy to jump in and play. Mass Effect Andromeda is looking good and will be bought once they sort it out. I have Dishonored 2 on my radar but sadly that's all I can think of. Which is not so bad, I'm behind in my games so the break is ok.

I've been watching TV and when I don't pass out on the couch, I'm enjoying Longmire season 5 and Luke Cage season 1. Nothing else has caught my attention recently and I'm waiting for the next waves of films.

So that's it. I'm busy at work so I can be even busier at work. My free time is spend resting and helping folks out when I've got any juice left in me. It's start of October and I'm already looking forward to the month of December when it all calms down.

Oh last thing! Lady Bear and I are planning a trip in March of 2017 for the South Western States but I'll write more later. Until then I'm busy and slow but I'm still here.

- Cheers


20 Sep 2016

Where has Dozer gone!

It has been about 20 days, and math sucks...I also don’t care.

I have a fancy old school drafting table that needs a home. I have boxes of books to store in my brother’s basement since we moved into the house in August.

As the first Canadian backer to get his pledge reward for the Secret Hitler Kickstarter, I’ve only played the fantastic game three times. The number is only one larger but the same can be said for my special edition of Scythe.

Since returning from GENCON I’ve not been able to do a single lick of painting and I wanted to start up a weekly game of Infinity and a demo night at my LGS (Local Game Store).

My day job is spooling up for a major release that has been 3 plus years in the making. Since joining the project 2 years ago on 3 September 2014, I’ve been busy learning the product and becoming a bit of a master so I can teach it to others.

My second job has me in a new position as I await my medical for word of my promotion. Seems having a CPAP machine make me no longer valid for promotion and my whole medical history had to be reviewed. Of course this year starts off with a bang and instead of ramping up to a good start we scrambled into a series of wet hot messes that are one; getting more tolerable or two; getting better – maybe a bit of both.

So with work being crazy before GENCON and both job jumping to elven since GENCON my time off. This has made things hard for me to enjoy my time off or at least where I can direct whatever juice I got left in the bones. Work 12 hour days over the course of two jobs sucks. Lady Bear dislikes the evening or over super e-mail from one job person or another, whose lack of planning is now trying to become my emergency. Some of them I need to deal with since the only people fucked in those situations are gone be me and mine.

Last weekend I worked after a long week at work and this week was also long and this weekend is another on the job site away from my family and home.

I’m tried and sadly this project of posting and writing practice was an initial casualty. Other casualties were my painting and Infinity projects, the unpacking and setup of the office/guest room, any games that require focus and attention.

Let’s get into the update after the break…

1 Sep 2016

Some Good News.

I’ve been slowly moving into the wide crazy world of American Football. The NFL is a strange beast to me yet since I don’t work alone and my coworkers are all NFL fans I decided to take up a team to follow this season.

Following a team also means that I was to be introduced to what Football is to those who live in the United States of America.

Footballers like Travis Rudolph have a celebrity about them that matches Hollywood stars. 

Do you know 11-year-old Bo Paske?

I didn’t until this. Travis saw a young man, Bo Paske sitting alone. Bo normally sits alone because kids are treating him differently due to his autism. Now the young autistic man does not sit alone.

A simple gesture that made the world seem less shitty. Less to do with blond tuffs of lint in suits making plays for world power. Less to do with folks getting shot and bombed across the world. Less to do with racial inequality. Less to do with a dying world... it was a simple gesture that made me smile.

So today I heard some good and that’s a good start to a new fall season.

I’m back and I’m starting with a good vibe.

- Cheers


19 Aug 2016

Something on the Go

This weekend has been busted up. Lady Bear has to see her family in Hamilton and for one of those not good reasons.

Because of the family 'stuff', unpacking the new flat has been knocked from the priority list. Resting from the past week and getting ready for a hell of a weekend is the primary task at hand.

I really wanted to get the office up and running so I can get my stuff ready for September. I'm really bent on getting my Operation: Completed and some terrain finished so I can start playing weekly at Kessel Run.

So I'll be away this weekend supporting Lady Bear as we help out her side of the family.

- Cheers


17 Aug 2016

GENCON 2016 - Fin

Today's post will be a barrage of images and short quips from my time at GENCON 2016.

Kewl showing at the Game Hall - a super sized version of King of Tokyo. There were lots of super sized games, like Catan kicking around the Game Hall.

King to Tokyo - Super Sized
Cos players were a plenty and missing Lady Bear I found two instances that I wanted to capture and show her.

I ran into Marceline and Princes Bubblegum
In the Gaming Hall
I met Nahiri and her knitted Emrakul
In the Vendors Hall
More after the break.

15 Aug 2016

GENCON 2016 - Part 3

Ontos and I had decided as we got closer to GENCON that we would leave on Saturday if there was nothing going on that evening. As we drove the 13 hours from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada to Indianapolis, Illinois, USA we started to throw around the idea of leaving Saturday afternoon. We both had a two brush blending event to go to but it was not the focus of the trip.

The Corvus Belli seminar was the key show for us when we planned and it was top of our list. We decided as we (well me, Ontos was DD) poured ourselves into our room, post drinking with folks, that the painting event was not worth better driving conditions so we made the call to leave the next afternoon.

Dozer waiting for the seminar to start
The plan was simple. Park the car, see the seminar, do a final round of shopping in the vendors hall, and get the fuck on the road to enjoy Sunday at home before we being back to work on Monday (Ontos and I work together as well).
GENCON Corvus Beli Seminar 2016
Dozer is drinking is Coffee while everyone else gawks
First off the seminar started like this...

13 Aug 2016

GENCON 2016 - Part 2

So it's Friday and we have to be there for 8am for the 9am start of the 9 hour, 4 round Infinity Tournament. The Taxi didn't come so it was a last minute scramble to drive into downtown Indianapolis and find parking before a slew of other nerds took all the spots.

I may have driven the wrong way on a 4 lane one way street but I fixed myself and we found some brilliant parking that was close enough but past the lazy nerd line so few convention folks fought to get access.

Ontos at the Tournament
We arrived on time at 8am and we were greeted by Yuriko Oda herself. My playing the Japanese Sectorial Army made me feel pretty good and took it as a sign of a great day.

Feeling pretty good
I had no fucking clue how awesome it was going to be but it was the best day and evening of GENCON 2016.

11 Aug 2016

GENCON 2016 - Interlude

I write poorly (sic post) about relationships and brother hood. It’s an important topic I like to explore from time to time.

As a gamer I feel this is important enough to have written (sic post) about it, more than once. Hell my second post, my first real post was all about the topic of not being able to call out for a table for one in my hobbies.

I’ve already mentioned in my last post about some people being oblivious while we waited for the doors of GENCON to open.

Instead I’m going to introduce you to Ian. Ian is a good person and a reason why my hobby will continue.
This is Ian

8 Aug 2016

GENCON 2016 - Part 1

Edit: Seems the post went up early last night by accident and I wasn't finished with my edits. Sorry for the confusion. - Dozer

So I'm back from GENCON 2016 and the take away is... I'm already planning to be back next year for GENCON 2017 aka the 50th GENCON.

Ontos and the main doors it's 3 hours until they open
So how was the first day?

4 Aug 2016

GENCON 2016 - prologue

Well today was a long drive down from Ottawa, ON, Canada into the alternate universe that is the United States of America. Seriously my southern neighbors are so familiar and at the same time so different it's creepy.

So I showed up at Ontos's place at 0630 in Ottawa and loaded up the car.

Loading the Car at Ontos's house.
I picked up Ontos and we scooted to a McDonald's and grabbed some coffee with some breakfast before hitting the road. We drove and crossed the boarder into this strange realm called the Unite States of America and drovefrom 0730 for 5 hours solid before our first break. The rest of the day until we arrived at 2045 in Indianapolis, IL, USA was filled with four more quick stops, getting stuck in rush hour traffic in Cincinnati, and driving through the most boring state I've encountered Pennsylvania.

The Hotel is... ok. I've been in worst. The shower has only two temperatures hot and fucking hot. The room cards have an Dominos' Pizza add but alas they won't deliver after dark for security reasons. Otherwise the hotel is dark and the food come only from a vending machine - the restaurant is only open on weekends.

Painting Kit pulled out and set up
I pulled out my new portable paint kit which is 90% of all my painting supplies and worked with Ontos to get our various minis ready. I built my Domaru Butai and I'll spray them and finish painting the rest of my gang tomorrow after I add a few more pieces...

It's 0026 and I've got to be up by 0600 to raid the hotel complimentary breakfast before driving down to the Convention Hall for day one of the 49th GENCON.

- Cheers


27 Jul 2016

Feeling Old for the First Time

This morning at 0210 I woke up to pain in my foot. My foot has been all sorts of fucked up since Canada Day. I feel like I popped it out of place and it popped back in. Last week it was semi bruised and sensitive but otherwise much better... this weekend it got worse again and due to the trauma early in the month I had an acute arthritic reaction (so far as the Docs can tell) also known as Gout.

It's now 0900 I've been in the hospital since 0230 and I have an important meeting. I've cleaned up and waiting for Lady Bear who's been super awesome since I had to be driven to the hospital emergency room. She will be driving me to work so I can make the meeting, and then fuck off back home to finally get some fucking sleep.

If everything goes well I should be able to get back at the packing - cause this thing has been slowing me down since last Friday and I need to move this Saturday.

- Cheers


25 Jul 2016

It's been 12 days since I last...

It will have been 12 days since my last post.

I have a lot to jam about but the move is now in the final days. We move in five days and I have some more on the Sunday.

I hope to be jamming once we're settled and I'll be doing a full set of posts for GENCON 2016.

- Cheers


13 Jul 2016

Mid Summer Update

The move is coming along. By the end of the weekend the rest of the lab will be packed up. By Saturday brunch the table will be killed and carted off. Right now my tools are all packed up. My hobby materials are all stored in a grab a go which has everything including my new very quiet air compressor. The terrain is loaded and packed since last weekend. As of this writing half of the lab is packed and put away. My Magic the Gathering collection will be last since Lady Bear and I have a pre-release this Sunday and we have a whole new injection of cards coming one Eldritch Moon launches the following week. As such next week will be the final clean up and shuffle of basement materials. It will be empty by the time 23 July rolls into view.

So updates to follow the break.

8 Jul 2016


I don't read the news until I get in every morning at work. I'm always behind the times, like some odd 1980's office drone who reads the paper in the morning before and while on the way to work.

I do so because of the extra software that runs on my PC takes some time to load up every morning and since most of my co-workers aren't in by 0600, the internet bandwidth is mine to hog for a few news articles.

Today I started reading about Dallas.

I could go on a rage about long gun ownership rights in the US but Peirce Morgan does it better than me when arguing with a man over Guns being safe but the child toy/candy combo Kinder Surprise is too deadly in the US (I'll post the video once I get home). I also know that this will be another outrage on pro control and pro gun rights - why would I start that here. I'm a nerd from another country simply watching.

I could go on about the social issues that rile the US with police shootings but I've already done so with two other posts. No point in starting that when plenty of other more qualified folks will be doing so in the coming hours.

I could say pray but hit up Samatha Bee and her opinion on that and it reflects much of my own on that topic.

I'm not going to talk about violence in the media, video games, or even my own hobbies - I'm the small voice and I'm not supportive of the simple scape goat of shaping of minds through fantasy violence without any other factor. You need more than a few hundred hours of Call of Duty, Halo, and Battlefield before you can go about killing folks with impunity. Grand Theft Auto and Warhammer do not make the whole of a human experience when regarding violence. It's disassociated but it's also only a single facet in the complete experience and that shard does not a killer make. Well I guess I did touch on the subject - sorry.

I'm going to continue being as honest as I can. I'm going to continue to encourage folks to not be dicks to each other, let alone be violent to each other. I'm going to hope the neighbours in the south fix their shit and if there is something I can do, I'll do my best to do that thing... yet I feel that thing will be simple and only a drop in the bucket of needed effort and change to fix the issues that plague my southern neighbour.

I wish folks well and I wish it to stop. It not how you get knocked down, it's how you get up and I hope the many communities of Dallas and throughout the Unite States find the best way to stand back up again.

- Peace Out.


3 Jul 2016

Operation Red Veil

I called it more than once.

Corvus Beli always said that they would have another 2 player starter box and it's been two GenCons since Operation: Ice Storm.

Wow - so what do I think?

22 Jun 2016

See you later WIN

Weekly Infinity Night shortened to WIN was originally Wednesday Infinity Night. I wanted WIN to be used for any day of the week instead of just the Wednesday that we played at my house basement aka the Lab.

The area was called the Lab because it was surrounded by books, terrain, minis, and sported the almost ten foot long workbench dedicated to the hobbies. There in the heart of the Lab we created things and experiments within our various hobbies. New Magic decks, Warmachine lists, miniature conversation, dedicated air brush space... the lab is awesome.

Will have been awesome...

I've mentioned before stuff is changing and so I reflect on how I got here and where to next.

19 Jun 2016

You cannot stop us all

Listen to this.

What the hell did you just listen to? Well that was a remix of a NIN (Nine Inch Nails) song that can be found at remix.NIN.com. This was Trent Reznor's big middle finger to the music industry that had started to affect his work. Once Year Zero was launched he started self publishing and this was the first step to sharing his music and letting communities of music fans work on his music to make more music.

It's been a while since I looked there and I started searching for the man and what he was doing. Boy did I stumble on something and it had me starting to think about the internet.

16 Jun 2016

"I could do this all day"

It seems like the world, or folks in the world, are attacking us - the majority. I'm making it very clear that the majority of folks on this world have enough 'good' in them to do right by their neighbours and fellow human beings. I emphasize that those who wish to do ill, those who do harm to the rest of the brothers and sisters of this world are of a minority. This could be argued and debated but I'll just give the largest piece of evidence to my assumption, my belief to you the reader.

Community. Humanity has a habit of bonding and generating social groups. This can only be done when folks gather together. Who support each other through necessity or simply a 'good' nature.

I will not define evil in this post. Evil and Good are too broad as terms to be fully defined within the scope of a single blog post from a fucker in Canada who has a hard time spelling words and making coherent sentences. Instead I will address some of the evidence of a slew of crimes, abhorrent behaviour, that are done by minorities. Understand me when I say these people who do these things, who treat their neighbour with such violence are the minority. I will not name these people, as they are still people but giving their name presence by taking up precious electricity and bits of information is a waste at this time and in this post.

As I draft this, the BBC just posted that MP Jo Cox was killed while meeting her constituents at a regular local gathering. The world at large is drowning in media coverage and reactions to the mass shooting in Orlando, Florida - where a person murdered 49 humans and held hostage many more before he was killed during a police action. 53 other humans had non-fatal injuries but I can only guess at the non-physical trauma they may suffer still. A few days ago I read the story of Saeni, a 53 year old woman who operates a small café in Indonesia and was raided by a group of public order officers (not police but who help police) who confiscated her wares and means of earning her living.

I wanted to finish some posts that had gotten behind me due to my eyes giving me grief while they heal. Seems like I need sight to finish typing the posts I had drafted last week. Post about what's new in my hobbies, reactions to the E3 events, ways my life is changing with Yasha leaving the city and my moving into a new home with Leady Bear and our dog Moby. I write about being a nerd, sometimes I talk about things that piss me off, or I try to write about things that steal my interest.

This is practice for me to keep up and develop (more on the develop) a stronger writing style. A written voice that is wholly my own. I try to keep the soapbox at home. I am no internet demagogue, nor a preacher of human nature. I write and that means at times I share who I am. Few folks read this blog and that's ok. I do get surprised when the numbers spike but I think that's just some sort of false count from the various machinations that run the internet.

Yet drafting some sort of reply after a week of shitty news, I find myself unable to write about being happy or pensive about my interests. I also crushed my soapbox in frustration with recent events. There is no need for me to shout that these things are wrong - plenty are doing that with stronger voices and eloquent language. I don't need to add my blip of data to the noise of the internet... but I want to do something. I want to express something that shows how I feel because why the fuck not? In the end this blog post is about me and my feelings, my observations, my experiences.

I obviously don't like the above events - crimes, I need to use the right words. I don't like the crimes I've mentioned above. "I don't like bullies"... another quote from Movie Stephen Rogers but it has a place here. It's why I like the cinematic version of that character. It's his faith in people and his resilience and mental desire to continue when facing adversity, even superior adversity. I feel like I'm off topic back in my nerd realm - quoting comic characters on movie screens. Fiction, on fiction, on fiction when I writing about my feelings on the real world.

I feel that it's a normal reaction, retreating to a world that makes more sense. Where things are more clear... yet I've lived in this real world for 36 years now and I've seen quite a bit of it. I haven't been afraid of the ugly things, the less pleasant things that litter the world. Maybe the fiction expresses my feeling better, I don't feel like I'm retreating into fiction just using it to give me a clearer voice. I have another quote I love from that same character that I feel would be a good title to how I feel and what I want to say.

The world can be shitty sometimes, but it's up to us - as a community, be it family, coworkers, neighbours, etc. to make it better. It takes buying someone lunch, dropping a few quarters in the parking meter to prevent a ticket. It takes small acts of kindness, layered over each other to support the grander gestures of our whole.

Those gestures like the support given to the family of Christina Grimmie, who was murdered last Friday, by Adam Levine. He paid for the funeral and to have her body taken home to be with her family.

Gestures are acts - actions are something. Facta non verba "deeds not words", is how I feel folks should judge each other. Because they make something change, they make something happen.

Some folks give what they can, other's pray, some write... there are those who put on a uniform and stand up leaving family and home to join those who don't have to leave because 'it' is in their home... together they push back. Some teach in hopes they can educate someone to make better actions and avoid 'it', and learn to see 'it' for what 'it' is. Some gather people around them to create a united force - a community can be a force, to fight back against 'it'.

We are many and we have just as many actions to each of these 'it'.

What ever 'it' is... collectively our race, our world, we're still here. We will heal and survive. I believe we will help out more than we will hurt each other. As a collective, a community we can act, we can do better.

We can all do this all day.

- Peace


7 Jun 2016

My Table needs a Safeword

2016 has now reached the halfway point of the year. I am about to move to a new location, loose the lab and table, and deal with changes to 17 years of my second job. Yet I feel like that's just life. It changes and you can't do anything about it - change and life go hand in hand. I feel safe saying that if life is not changing I'm probably doing it wrong.

Now outside of my table getting dismantled, the title above is ref to the abuse my table is taking this year.

Infinity has started up a storm with N3 the third edition of the game. Slick new books, streamlined rules, and sexy new 3D designed miniatures. We've been waiting for the second half of the game to get updated with the recent release of Human Sphere: N3.

Meanwhile as I set up my pre-order for HS:N3, Privateer Press drop their own bomb by releasing the third edition for Warmachine and Hordes to be released by the end of this very month. We're talking some major changes and a new direction for the IP.

Lastly Magic the Gathering is blowing up this year after a strong start with Shadows of Innistrad as a new standard for set design to finish with Eldritch Moon. On top of that we have the new Eternal Masters which is about to launch and the cards listed are all wanted. Conspiracy: Take the Crown is the follow up to very successful limited set Conspiracy that had plenty of fun and flavor for draft play. Come the fall we're getting  4 colour commanders for Commander 2016, which looks like to shake up the format. Last but not least another Magic: Anthologies set is being printed; Planechase Anthologies which will reprint every Planechase card printed allowing players like myself who was not playing during the original release of the Planechase cards to get into a very interesting format.

My table is going to get worn out with all of the above and that's not adding in MERCS 2.0 also getting released. My Kickstarter backer rewards coming in for Human Interface: Nakamura Tower, Scythe, Secret Hitler, Infinity RPG, and Endure the Stars. Plus all the fun with my fan made draft cube of Star Wars Magic the Gathering.

I have more toys than I have time to spend playing with them. All of which means, until we move, my table to going to get abused.

I feel like I've reached my max but that's ok. I feel like I'll be playing more Warmachine/Hordes at the local game shop while bringing some Infinity to the shop a few times a month. My Magic decks are coming along and I have enough decks to show up and play with mates on my off time. When I have down time, I'll have plenty to play and want for nothing...

Not bad for me but my table... that's another problem.

- Cheers


1 Jun 2016

Lazer Eyes

So we found a new place to live, figured out how we're going to pay for the cottage, and got back on track for doing the normal day to day.

Of course this all happens right before the Lazer Eyes.

Cyclops by Marvel Comics
use without permission
Sadly those will not be the laser eyes. I will have normal vision once the PRK procedure has been completed and I've healed.

Now I need to worry about sun glasses.

Final thoughts on stuff before I go blind for a few days:

I did see X-Men: Apocalypse last night. Much like X-Men: Days of Future Past it's an ok, meets the standard super hero film. It does a few things well and a few things poorly to balance out into a ok 3/5 film. Only X2: X-Men United and X-Men: First Class have reached the lofty above average score of 4/5. It had fun with Quicksilver but the rest of the powers seemed to rise and fall as needed for the plot. Too many characters flooded the screen much like X-Men: Last Stand and few characters got enough screen time for me to care about them like I did with Captain America: Civil War. 

Human Sphere Infinity 3rd Edition is awesome!

The recent XCOM 2 DLC has been interesting and I want to play more.

The direction of Magic the Gathering this year is looking fucking slick.

Well... I'm off to get laser eyes.

- Cheers


27 May 2016

Week's been crazy

Well it’s been a crazy week at work.

My day job has been a week of crazy days of starting at 6am/0600 and working until 4pm/1600. Add in WIN, life, rest oh and car shopping with Lady Bear. Yepper she’s got herself a new car to help out with our new move.

Yep, we’re moving.

I’ve posted here before that we have 13 months to move out and find a new place. That means no more Lab. No more 8x4 gaming table with another 6x4 on the side. No more heavy bag in the morning. No more Heinz (unless I can fit him in the small yard of the new place). We had two guest rooms… well Lady Bear’s office and a guest room. We had plenty of couches, cots, and air mattresses. We had plenty of parking 3 SUVs or 4 cars in kissing distance of each other plus more room on the street.

Our kitchen sucked and we only have 1 toilet for the house. With my guts there are times we needed a second. The air quality was better than our old 2 bedroom wasp infested flat but it was still an old house which housed a horde of cats and a back yard of dogs.  We’re talking in the double digits here. So the vents and air system were a bit… dirty.

So we’re moving…

19 May 2016

Longweekend is coming

Long weekend is upon us. Things have changed for my long weekend plans but I'm very much ok with that.

This Friday evening the old boys (Crew 2.0 - Ontos, Longsword, Doc, Pale Rider and myself) have our every two month gathering for board games. We're going to play Myth - we had a successful MERCS Recon run in March and Emergence Event in Dec so we're going to try the last Megacon Game product to complete the set.

Saturday was a bit of a bust and I've canned the Open House BBQ at my place that was planned for Sunday. We got some bad news regarding our house, we need to move out come next Summer instead of 4 years... so that deck that would have cleaned up the backyard to have folks come and go and enjoy the space is no longer being built on Saturday. Without that space we don't have enough room to host and the event now has to be canceled. C'est la vie - Awe well.

This weekend I'll be working on terrain, planning a backcountry camping trip or three, and getting some game on my PC. XCOM 2 has some great DLC that has dropped recently and I'm missing out here. My Xbox One has also been neglected, as miniatures have taken up my time and my money so jumping back into that pond sounds about right.

12 May 2016

The Battle of the Capes – Movie Review

I’ve seen both Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (a couple of weeks ago) and Captain America: Civil War (opening weekend).

Before I go into my review of the films I to remind folks that I was really looking forward to both films and the Batman v Superman in particular.

So as context I’m going to go on about the previous films before I do into the reviews.

As much as Man of Steel failed in some aspects mostly in some of the major plot points Henry Cavil looked like Superman. I felt I was watching a Superman movie and when the action heated up it was a pretty good Superman movie. The last fight was a bit over the top and the repercussions to ignoring the civilians was addressed pretty well in the follow up movie. The final end of General Zod (who had the shit acted out of the part) was awkward. The film faltered with the whole DNA matrix and Lois needed to be taken hostage alongside Kal-El in Act 2 for no reason. It had great parts where Lois figures out Clark Kent’s secret, or when she’s working with the Jor-El AI to escape the Kryptionian ship. I go on in more detail here.

With Captain America: The Winter Soldier I never wrote a formal review, but I really liked the film. It showcased the man out time aspect that is Steve Rogers. Black Widow, Winter Solider, and Falcon had great showings. The action was tight and really well done. There were a few holes with the Cloaking Facemask as a master key for the final moments of the intrigue portion of the plot. The Hydra Uprising felt a little flat, I figure all the folks who worked at SHIELD would fight back in some way. The All glass server rooms under the three new Heli-carriers felt like a huge failure ala an exhaust port in a Death Star (maybe it was a nod to another Disney franchise – I dunno).

What I really liked about the film was the development of Cap. His relationships with the folks around him, Agent 13, Agent Carter, and Nick Fury, grew and evolved or showcased how alone he feels. I’ve always stated that Captain America’s power was faith. He believed in humanity not just the ideals of the USA. His faith is in systems that were built by people and run by people… he believes in people. He hopes when it’s not popular or easy. Those aspects of Capt have fallen aside over the many teams that have put him on page in the fifty plus years of comic history. I’m glad that the MCU version of Cap puts those attributes to the front makes him more likable in a modern and more realistic setting without making him Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight. This started in Captain America: First Avenger and has carried on through into Avengers: Age of Ultron so the path of this Stephen Rogers is based on faith in everyone else.

With the flashbacks done let’s take a look at each film.

9 May 2016

Everything in May

With everything that has been going on offline my ability to keep the online posts running regularly was hampered. Both jobs have ramped up but lucky for me my second job, the one with the uniform will be shutting off for a few weeks. This last month of activity has been brutal with my second job and I’m looking at taking some time off getting all my Tuesday nights and weekends back until Mid July.

A few breaks with my primary job have started to show with all the madness so that’s changing but still level. I’ll be finishing my applications for my Master’s Degree soon and that will be another item off my plate.

This summer I have a few things on the go outside of the series of Projects I’ve been working on:

1. A huge BBQ (weather permitting) on 22 May.
2. A BBQ at Ferrus's log-house home on 28 May.
3. An ITS tournament event which I will be fully covering here. Looking like the weekend before Canada Day (25 June – also the opening weekend for the Independence Day sequel.)
4. Going to GENCON with Ontos

Updates after the break -

4 May 2016

Birthday Lady Bear

It's Lady Bear's birthday.

She's awesome and I love her.

That is all.

- Cheers


28 Apr 2016

Infinty - The Add On's

This post is a long time coming but I'm only now getting to it. With everything that's going on it's hard to write up a new post so I'm reaching into my drafts and finishing what I already have down.

Infinity is one of my favorite games, and my favorite Table Top miniature game for the last couple of years... pretty much since N3 (Infinity 3rd edition) hit the floor. Warmachine and Hordes are my second favorite due to the range of minis, merging and supportive games in the same IP; IKRPG, High Command, etc.

Infinity is a game with beautiful miniatures. It is played with a deep rule set with lots of breadth for gamers to use. The community is one of the more supportive collection of gamers with a focus on intent of actions and casual play. Even with the annual ITS (Infinity Tournament System) release for organized play, the games have come off more casual than other games I've played. Also the price is brilliant when compared to other games in the hobby.

Infinity is also demanding game. You need terrain. You need a slew of tokens. You need lots of support. Pod-casts like MayaCast and Forward Observer, sites like Data-Sphere, and all the free rules, army builder, and PDFs from the company really give a good foundation on what to expect from the game and the folks who run this game.

Recently with all the terrain I've been building - which is a lot of terrain, I've still been looking at even more terrain. Because I'm a fucking nutter.

Check out what I found.

25 Apr 2016

Bad Days

Today I got some bad news.

My sleep apnea and other test results may prevent me from advancing in my second job and may even release me from those duties forever.

The routine medical check up led to some life changing news.

If things go well I will be able to advance and continue at my second job but some limitations on where I can go and what I can do.

If things go well ... I've got more testing and I wont be able to do lots of what I want to do while I live my life.

If things are at their worst well... that's a different post.

So now I'm trying not to lash out at every passer by, or close relation - I don't want to use Lady Bear as my emotional punching bag. I'm trying to think positive and come up with plans to solve my issues.

Today will be the bad day - tomorrow will be another day. Maybe it will still be bad or it will change. That's life but I have a huge say in how I will accept things.

I hate bad days.

- Cheers


16 Apr 2016

Mass Effect 2 Journal - 11

Note that I did Thane's mission and ran around doing a few side quests before taking on his loyalty mission.

Nassana Dantius
Diplomatic Evoy - Mass Effect
Liara had already given Shepard the information regarding Thane and his most recent target before she left Illium. Thane was targetting Nassana Dantius a former diplomatic evnoy Shepard had run into during his time fighting Soveriegn.

She had asked Shepard to find her sister who was captured by slavers. After hunting down and killing all the slavers Shepard discovered that the Asari Slaver was in fact her sister and she con'ed Shepard in removing her sister from affecting her business.

Now years later her practices were catching up with her. Thane was coming in to shut her down. Shepard had to get to him. Seryna was a shipping clerk who had been bribed by Thane for info on his target. She explains to Shepard that Thane is probably going to infiltrate Nassana's office buildings the Dantius Towers through the second tower which is under construction into the completed tower and location of Nassana's office.

Shepard airlifts in and proceeds to infiltrate the building. Garus and Kasumi take the flank as Shepard makes contact with construction MECHs. After the fight he frees a a group of trapped salarian construction workers who were put in there by Thane. It seems they were to be killed by the new mercenary guards and Thane killed them and moved on. Seems the Assassin is particular about who he kills making Shepard even more interested in the Assassin.

The team's presence was now known and went into full assault mode. They quickly took back the second tower and got across the first tower. Total kills 105 - yep there is 105 bad guys from start to finish. This was a massacre. By the time Shepard breached the office, Nassana and her Eclipse mercenaries were ready. She vented and ranted about how she had Shepard kill her sister and she was now going to kill him. Suddenly Thane comes down from above and in seconds kills everyone not part of Shepard's team. After gunning down Nassans, Shepard watches the assassin pray over her body.

Thane is dying, Shepard knew that, but Thane is trying to leave the galaxy in a better shape and that means cleaning up the garbage for as long as he can. Shepard offers Thane a spot on the team and Thane quickly accepts.

12 Apr 2016

Updates and it's getting hard to find good sleep

First off new Edition of Warmachine and Hordes annouced! It's been six years and Privateer Press is in a edition change. When you look at Warhammer 40k, I came in around Third Edition (1998) and was there for the change to Fourth Edition (2004). I left after Fifth Edition (2008) and I missed the changes to Sixth Edition (2012), and Seventh Edition (2014).

Looks like a new set of Warcasters and Warlocks. New fancy starter boxes. Changes to the battlegroup mechanics. Loss of Terror and Abomination. Pre-mesuring ... Seems my GenCon this year just got the more crazy.

My major concern was the effects to IKRPG. Right now Privateer Press has three game systems for the Iron Kingdoms property. The core games are Warmachine and Hordes as the table top tactical game. Fullmetal Fantasy IKRPG and Unleashed as the role-playing games. Lastly we have Undercity and upcoming crowdfunded game - Widower's Wood as the adventure boardgames. Now all three game systems share lots. Between the tabletop and the RPG the mechanics are some similar that it's easy to cross over and play your RPG characters in larger crazy battles. With the changes to the core products will this greatly affect the RPG? I hope not since that's been the best selling feature to the IKRPG.

Folks this week has not been a good week and it's only a Tues. Both jobs have kind of exploded and I'm having issues with my new sleeping device. Not a good state after a fun but not so much relax focused vacation.

For the last couple of weeks I've been on a CPAP device to help me stop snorring. I did a sleep study at my old job and I had bad... really bad sleep apnea. I left that job before they could hook me up with a solution. Well last September (2015) - I had nose surgery and I work up in the ICU. So things did not go as planned. I did another sleep test post surgery and the results were much better. Only 40+ sleep events in an hour. Severe sleep apnea is 30 events an hour. So I went into my third round of tests last Thursday and they had to change things. Since that Thursday I've not been sleeping well and it's kicking the everliving shit out of me. The adjustments to my device have been hard for the body to adapt to. Add in the start of seasonal allergies and it's a mix of poison on to of poison.

I'm sleeping 8 hours as per the machine but I'm waking up beat up and exahusted.

Since the start I've come to hate my machine - I rip off the mask most nights near the back third of my sleep cycle but even then I felt rested and not beat up. Now... well things are changing and Dozer here is not adjusting well.

So chillax I may be a bit behind for the next couple of weeks.

- Cheers


11 Apr 2016

Infinity Human Sphere - UPDATE

Holy shit while I was away on vacation down south at Adeptacon Corvus Beli dropped some major news along with some Human Sphere news.

First off the minis for the next two months.

April - New Releases
Kazak Spetznazs – HMG
Revered Healer – Boarding Shotgun
Yaogat – MULTI Sniper
Maghariba Guard
ISS Starter Set

May - New Releases
Bashi Bashouk
Kosuil – Boarding Shotgun
Xeodron Batroid

Mushashi 3d image
by Corvus Beli
Also sometime soon we're getting the First Contact Onyx Army pack, which will be some sort of army deal for the brand new Combined Army Sectoral.

Please note that they are making a new Musashi ... sorry two new Mushashis. Looking like a version 1.0 and a new version 2.0. The 3D sculpts look fucking awesome.

Mushashi v2.0 3d image
by Corvus Beli

Oh did you notice the Maghariba in the list...

Maghariba Guard 3d image
by Corvus Beli

That's a nice 3D render - but the full mini below looks even better.

It's here... the paint job has the potential to melt eyes
by Corvus Beli
Lastly we also have news on the new ISS Starter

ISS Starter
by Corvus Beli

Awesome can't wait for the new love for the JSA.

Gen Con is looking awesome. I really hope the new two player starter is released there. I think that ALEPH or Tohaa will be one of the two factions. I think Haqq and Yu-Jin would still be the better pack but if one of them left I'd have it for the two factions that will be showing up for the first time in N3.

- Cheers


9 Apr 2016

Mass Effect 2 Journal - 10

Shepard returned to the Liara and checked in on his investments. He moved a few more strategic pieces and spent some time with Liara. She was still in the darker places and he needed to try and remind her that there was a reason and a light worth keeping lit.

Upon returning to the ship, Grunt started acting out. EDI surmised that he was entering a development phase. Unlike a human where puberty is new hair and odd feelings, Krogans need to kill things. In the case of a genetic perfect Krogan, Grunt needs to kill things that are really big. Shepard took Garus and Grunt to see Wrex now the leader of Urdnot Clan. Krogan go through a right of passage with the support of their clan. Without a Clan Wrex explains that Shepard and Garus are allowed to help the young Grunt enter into adulthood as his krantt. Grunt's unique place in Krogan society causes problems - Gatatog Uvenk. A Krogan extremist and isolationist who challenged Grunt's right to perform the trials.

Shepard ignored him, no need to spend energy on someone like that. With Garus providing overwatch Grunt and Shepard arrived at the trial space. At the place of the trial lies a Keystone that when used summons a thresher maw. Before the creature arrives the keystone called lesser creatures. Grunt would always run right into the fray getting bogged down by the waves of beasts. Shepard would charge in to break up the mob while Garus' shots pass overhead striking down weakened creatures.
Grunt meets a Thresher maw

In the end the thresher maw arrived. Shepard had defeated these things in the past but normally in an armored assault vehicle. Now he was on foot. The monster dropped Grunt in a few blows and soon it was Shepard and Garus doing all the work until Grunt was able to get back up and rejoin the fight. Each time the young Krogan would be knocked down and Shepard would be there to pick up Grunt.

The trial was more than individual success it was about demonstrating the ability to pick the best team to support your hunt. Grunt had the best with him and after some back and forth the thresher maw fell. Gatatog and his kratt were watching the whole time. It seems the last person to not only survive but defeat a thresher maw in the trials was Wrex. Grunt is indeed a powerful Krogan and Gatatog has it in his head that killing Grunt will afford him a higher social standing. Instead he crosses the line - he threatens one of Shepard's crew. Gatatog has much to learn along side everything else in the galaxy. Don't fuck with Shepard's crew. The fight was fast and brutal and help solidify Grunt's entrance as a full member of the Urdnot Clan. Grunt would be back but the thresher maw was nothing to killing a Reaper and Grunt wanted in on that so the team returned to the ship.

Within everything that's been happening Mordin reached out to Shepard. They were still in orbit of Tuchanka and it brought up a secret. Mordin had helped with the Genophage... updating it to overcome the natural evolution of the Krogan who would finally overcome it through generations. His old apprentice Maelon who worked with him on the Genophage was captured by Blood Pack and was being held on Tuchanka. They were hired by Weyrloc Clan who was trying to overcome the effects of the Genophage. Mordin had two problems: the first was saving his former apprentice who's knowledge of the Genophage could advance their work, and second prevent the Weyrloc Clan from defeating the Genophage.

The team headed to the abandoned hospital at the edge of the Urgnot borders. The scouts who guided Shepard here did so only because they hoped he'd bring back one of the own who had gone missing. Contact with the Blood Pack was early on the advance towards the hospital. Garus made the first shot calling the team to arms. Shepard followed up slamming into the mercenaries. Mordin just watched. Seriously he did nothing on the first fight - as if he was scared or frozen.

Shaking off the fights and entering into the hospital the team comes upon the first of many failed experiments. Live experiments and almost tortured subjects, Mordin shows anger as he riles against what he is seeing. They get deeper into the hospital when they are confronted by the Speaker of the Weyrloc Clan. Like a madman he pontificated above Shepard and the victims of the experiment. Shepard cut him short and fired a round at a set of gas tanks. Mordin was no longer frozen and waded deep into the fight. Shepard kept Mordin from getting overwhelmed when Garus got into a duel with the enemy shooters.

The fight was short and the team moved deeper into the hospital. They found the wounded scout and told to link back with the scout team outside. Once in the bowls of the hospital in the occupied research wing. Weyrloc Clan and Blood Pack tried to hold Shepard and his team back but now they knew they were under attack and time was the factor for ensuring Maelon would not be killed. It was now a Hostage mission. Once they breached the final lab they found Maelon... who was working with the Weyrloc Clan out of guilt and not through threat. Mordin was furious - he knew the guilt Maelon carried but Maelon should never have given in to it. The horror's that Maelon inflicted on the female Krogan was barberic and Maelon threatened to restart for as long as he was alive. Mordin quietly solved that issue and was only left with Maelon's ill gotten data. Shepard had Modin keep it why waste something that was paid for and at such a high price.

Back at the Normandy Morin and Grunt settled in back to their respective routines. Grunt was now fending off mating offers and Morin was even more vested into the mission at hand. Shepard visited each of the crew to see how things were going. Jack and Miranda were more calm and focused. Jacob and Garus was gearing up for the fight... Shepard returned to Liara and checked in on her. She was busy working but took some time for him. He looked over the rest of the information on the dossier that Cerberus had given him. The Assassin... Thane.

Shepard needed someone who was already dirty. Someone who could get the job done in case Shepard died. Shepard needed a backup plan and Thane would get it done and Shepard's team would be saved the guilt. Yet Thane's files showed something else... Thane was not just another killer he was repentant. He was another dirty job man just like Shepard. Unlike Shepard he was dying cancer...

Alright Thane looked like the perfect candidate for the mission. Time to go get him.

4 Apr 2016

General Update - April 2016

Folsk today will be quick and dirty. I leave for vacation tomorrow and I have lots of bits and pieces to throw on the post before I fuck off for the week. My images will update through the day since a few didn't fully upload.

First off Project Updates -

PROJECT MILL STONE: Is going well, I'm elbows into the sprite sheets and tomorrow I'll be on the train for 5+ hours to meet Lady Bear in Toronto. I'll be finishing the sprites - I hope, and getting some draft background done for Ben. I'm really excited with how this is going next week I hope to have my sprites animated and Ben will be using those for the proto game we have so far. I'm also going to be drafting some ship layouts and designs as well... this has been one of two art project that have really hit that art nerve of mine.

PROJECT GET AWAY: We had a early end last session right before the final battle. Since then Brother Bear's unit of Mercenary Man-O-War Demolition Core have been put together. I have his custome made dudes in armour all ready to be based which I hope to do this afternoon after I get back from appointments at Ottawa University (I want more education!). I even did some scuplting with some putty and green stuff (It was the grey stuff but same thing) and the results look great. I havn't sculpted anything since I played Mordenheim in the early 2000s.

PROJECT MASS EFFECT: Is back! It's nice to be working on the series again and getting back into the head of Virgil Shepard.

Project update done, what else is new?

2 Apr 2016

Mass Effect 2 Journal - 09

Before Shepard left Liara's new base - he spent time pouring over the Shadow Broker's files on each of his team. He said goodbye to Liara promising to return often as possible. Shepard ordered the Normandy away and he met with his team one on one.

Miranda as Shepard's liaison between him and the Illusive Man was the first to make a request. She had gotten word that her sister had been found by her father - the man who had genetically modified her to be perfect. Shepard had agreed to help in hopes to have Miranda on his side when Cerberus would eventually turn on Shepard. After reading the file on Miranda, Shepard was convinced this was a worthy effort. She was deep in the world that Shepard had found himself in. It was his job to free everyone else.

Shepard and Garrus escorted Miranda on to Illium and took a local shuttle to meet with her childhood friend Niket. He was one of the few whom she trusted with the information of her sister. Before they could land Eclipse Mercenary Gunships shot down their shuttle. Landing hard a few meters off from the Mercs Shepard and his team move aggressively to meet with the Mercs who are being led by an Engineer. She orders the Mercs to hold fire and explains matter of factly to Miranda that Niket and her sister are being escorted off planet by Eclipse Captain Enyala. All the while the Mercs spread out around Shepard's team getting into better fire positions.

Eclipse - Shepard had just put down their elite team called the 'Sisterhood' who tried to smuggle out Minagen-X3. He had fought his way through them when he recruited Kasumi. Lastly and most importantly they tried to kill Garrus because he was better at killing them. Eclipse was full of the wrong people. Shepard ends the conversation. He breaks the Engineers neck and blows a shipping container above the heads of the Mercs getting into position. The combat is quick - Garrus probably had a bead before the fight broke out, and most of the mercs died before Shepard and Miranda could react (Seriously awesome - Garrus just rocked the fight, I only got one attack off before it ended).