31 Mar 2016

Infinity Hacking N3

Sadly the time for the release of the post got fucked up so it's was really published a bit late. - Dozer

Infinity entered its 3rd edition over a year ago. Yet the brilliant edition has only a half measure. We were given a while new version of the Army Builder (Army v5). A complete set of rules that were much better organized and delivered then previous editions. We also only got half an army list - only the profiles of the units in the new N3 were updated.

So we waited and after a few months we got the interm FAQ and profiles for all the other units that were not in the N3 books. Those were half measures when you find yourself flipping between the N3 books, profile PDFs, and FAQs. It felt like I was skipping through post-it notes as I worked with units and equipment that weren't updated.

So this week Beasts of War is holding a Human Sphere N3 week in celebration - it's got some good stuff.

So one of the big pieces of news is the new sets of hacking devices. Check out the video and lets take a closer look and what they showed us.

Neat no?

29 Mar 2016

Firearms "Not for everyone"

So I was surfing my news on a rare weekend and I ran into this.

Theory: Firearms are not for everyone.

26 Mar 2016

Mass Effect 2 Journal - 08

It's been a while since I last jumped into the boots of Virgil Shepard.

It started hereMass Effect 2 quickly followed - then life happened. Lady Bear and I moved into a new house, had to set everything back up. I was playing most of my games primarly on the XBox One. I was earning my place at my new job. I was falling deep into the depths of table top gaming with Infinity and drinking the juice of Magic the Gathering.

Life took over, I took up another fucking hobby. I started smoking meat. I tried to enjoy my first summer in Ottawa not working overnights since I met Lady Bear.

Last week I setup the XBox 360 for Lady Bear so she could enjoy Puzzle Quest 2. After playing, I jumped on Burnout Paradise for about and hour and enjoyed myself to no end.

So it got me thinking about my Mass Effect Project... time to finish it. There are some DLC that's not yet been seen by me. I started the project with the plan to finally get into the Citadel DLC and Omega DLC in Mass Effect 3.

Time to get back to work.

24 Mar 2016

Road to GENCON 2016

This year I'm off to the paradise of gaming: GEN CON.

Ontos and I will be traveling from Ottawa, Ontario, Canada to Indianapolis, Indiana, United States of America... by car.

For those of you not in the know. GENCON was started by Gary Gygax one of the two gents, the other being Dave Arneson, who created Dungeons and Dragons. The Big Daddy of Role-Playing Games (RPGs).

The first Gen Con called Gen Con 0 (zero) was in Gygax's basement. The first official Gen Con, where it was located at a public venue and folks paid a ticket fee was at Lake Geneva, Wisconsin... and the event was called the Geneva Convention. Folks called it Gen Con for short.

So here's the plan...

22 Mar 2016

Building a Samurai - Legend of the Five Rings

Tzar my cousin is coming down on in the end of April. He is also going to be running a game of Legend of the Five Rings. He's been running a game in fourth edition for quite some time now and his last run of stories in his world ended with all the player characters dying. The hier and future Emperor was 2-3 years old when the Kolat violently took the captial by force and suplanted the ruling family.

The idea I understand from Tzar is that it's been 15 years since the last game's events. We the players are playing Bushi who grew up with the Emperor in exile. Now he is 17-18 ready for the coming of age ceremony, the gempuku, and he is coming back to reclaim his place as the Emperor of Rokugan.

Of course when the Emperor leaves a loyal servant shall follow and as such Tzar has decided that we the players will have player characters that are going back with the Emperor to help him complete his goals of putting down the Kolat and taking back what is his.

20 Mar 2016

Shadows over Innistrad Spoilers - part 3

Now that the first week of the Shadows over Innistrad spoilers is done I'm catching up on some of the cards that have caught my interest. Once more the pictures are by Wizards of the Coast and used without their permission.

Transformation came from the first Innistrad block and I loved it. One of my favorite cards is Elbrus the Binding Blade. I've mentioned it before but I'm showing it off again as a great example of Transformation being used well mechanically and while supporting the flavor of the setting.

I've always dreamed of building a Unblockable deck and filling it to brim with 'deals damage to a player' mechanics. It would also need a lot of mana ramp but I think it would be neat to try... it would also be bloody expensive.

In Shadows over Innistrad we have another card that really shows off the Transformation mechanic well.

Westvale Abby

Playing a white weeny deck or any mass creature deck would love this card. Burning away a few lesser creatures only to gain a flying, lifelink, indestructible, hasted 9/7 is awesome.

Starting on a high lets see five more.

17 Mar 2016

Shadows over Innistrad Spoilers - part 2

This set is a full two week spoiler season a first from Wizards of the Coast and wow so far it's been awesome.

Before I go into what cards are exciting me I'm going to go over the most interesting card outside of my list to be released in the set, Arlinn Kord.

Arlinn Kord is similar to Garruk Relentless being a double faced planeswalker. Arlinn Kord becomes Arlinn, Embraced by the Moon and vice versa.

Arlinn Kord is the first up being the cast side at a cost of 2RG with a loyalty of 4 and only two abilities.

+1 Loyalty: Until end of turn, up to one target creature gets +2/+2 and gains vigilance and haste.
+0 Loyalty: Put a 2/2 green Wolf creature token onto the battlefield. Transform Arlinn Kord.
Starting Loyalty of 3

So pumping Arlinn for one loyalty you get a +2/+2 vigilance, haste creature. Very nice and simple ability that makes a mid game creature a bomb once it comes out. The other ability does not move the loyalty track but does generate a 2/2 wolf and transforms Arlinn Kord into Arlinn, Embraced by the Moon.

Arlinn, Embraced by the Moon has a different set of abilities. Note that a card getting transformed keeps all counters, equipment, and enchantments. In Arlinn's case she will have the same loyalty counters she transformed with.

+1 Loyalty: Creatures you control get +1/+1 and gain trample until end of turn.
-1 Loyalty: Arlinn, Embraced by the Moon deals 3 damage to target creature or player Transform Arlinn, Embraced by the Moon.
-6 Loyalty: You get an emblem with "Creatures you control have haste and "Tap: This creature deals damage equal to its power to target creature or player."

The first ability is a week Overrun, handy widespread effect and nice little bump. Great in applying presure and keeping the momentum on your opponent. The second ability is the most interesting. She does direct damage to player and reverts back to Arlinn Kord. This is a neat ability that is great if Arlinn is too far away from her ultimate ability and she's looking for more options.

Lastly her Ultimate ability creates an emblem that allows creatures to fight each other. Instant speed permenant fight ability. Wow. Very nice.

Arlinn looks like she will be bringing lots to the game post Innistrad and already I am getting ideas for wolf or werewolf themed decks.

So what about the other cards that have captured my interest?

16 Mar 2016

Exploring the Formats - Assassin

Another Magic the Gathering post - get used to it Shadows over Innistrad is blowing up and I'm loving it. I havn't been this excited since Theros and even then this is a bigger deal for me story wise.

Before I go into this new format Assassin, I want to talk about my trial run of the Emperor format. I mentioned it a few weeks back. Now we played variant that did not allow for team blocking. I think next time we'll allow team blocking. The reason we played it that way was due to some comments I read up on while researching the format. Next time we'll play it full team mode. Also playing a game of Emperor with EDH decks sounds like the next step in play for the six of us that played last.

First off Range of Influence was a big kicker for folks. They really liked the way it played and didn't feel overwhelmed by all the effects going off like what happens in Commander. I am going to pose a question here because it's a puzzler and I've found a ruling I can understand but I still want to hit up an offical on this one.

We have the two teams each with a Left Guard, Emperor, and Right Guard. The RED Emperor cast's a buff (within his range of influence of 2) on his RED Left Guard's creature (who has a range of influence of 1) during a combat between the two Left Guards. BLUE Left Guard cast's a counter spell on the RED Emperor's buff. The question asks is this legal? Can the BLUE Left Guard cast a counterspell that target's the RED Emperor's buff because the target of the buff spell is within his Range of Influence? We ruled yes at the time but I found out that I was wrong... so far.

So far I've found the following in the offical rules:

200.8. An object is an ability on the stack, a card, a copy of a card, a token, a spell, or a permanent. The term "object" is used in these rules when a rule applies to abilities on the stack, cards, tokens, spells, and permanents. Combat damage on the stack is also an object, although many uses of the term "object" in these rules don't apply to it.

601.2. A player's range of influence is the maximum distance from that player, measured in player seats, that the player can affect. Players within that many seats of the player are within that player's range of influence. Objects controlled by players within a player's range of influence are also within that player's range of influence. Range of influence covers spells, abilities, effects, damage dealing, attacking, making choices, and winning the game.

601.4. Objects and players outside a player's range of influence can't be the targets of spells or abilities that player controls.
This means that the spell cast and put into the Stack is still under the control of the player who cast it and as long as it's under the control of the casting player than that spell does not become a valid target outside of a player's current range of influence.

Whew... enought of that, lets look at a new format Assassin.

15 Mar 2016

Shadows over Innistrad Spoilers - part 1

So the Mana Source one of the two You Tube channels I watch when it comes to Magic the Gathering has just posted their first official video for the first day of official spoilers. The other channel is Tolarian Community College which does a good job about showing off neat swag for your collections.

So lets watch the Mana Source and see what they have. After the video we'll take a look at what I'm eyeing.

So what do I think of the top five cards that took my attention in the video above?

Let's find out...

13 Mar 2016

A little Quiet

I've not been as regular as I could be when it comes to posting. Two weeks ago, I hurt myself... in my sleep.

No seriously it's that stupid. I have a shoulder instability which has been a chronic problem all my life. My left shoulder is worse and I can pop it out on a whim. My right shoulder can only slip out, or partial subluxation, when I really push it. Both of my shoulder will go when I sleep on them during the night. Normally when either shoulder slips out, I feel pain and roll over... until I got my new CPAP machine.

When I started using it I got really deep in my sleep and I didn't roll over. So the next morning it hurt but I could still move it. Juts like when someone sleeps in a funny position. Well that night it happened again an this time it was worse. So now I wear a shoulder brace all day and certain movements and positions cause sharp pain.

Sufficed to say this has caused a slow down in my various projects and the pace of my posts.

- Cheers


10 Mar 2016

Infinity ideas: Miyamoto Mushashi – Table Top

This is my first tactical review of an Infinity Miniature – if this works and my ideas are not full of shit, I’ll do another - Dozer

Miyamoto Musashi, or as the folks at Infinity scribe his name Mushashi, was a real person. His origin is a wee bit murky and full of speculation outside of his recorded duels. Eiji Tokugawa wrote the most common interpretation of Musashi’s history and it’s the history most of us know. Sadly it’s heavy on the fiction but it hits the basics pretty well.

Musashi was brilliant swordsman which he demonstrated through duelling with his unique kenjitstu (sword style). He called his style Niten Ichi (sometimes Nito Ichi). Musashi (the novel) is a recommended read for many who think about fighting since the crux of Musashi’s ideas is about shifting the paradigm of a style within the traditional, or shifting the traditional around a style. He writes it all down in two books Go Rin No Sho (aka the Book of Five Rings) and in the week leading to his death, Dokkodo (aka the Way of Walking Alone). Both are real world good reads – I highly recommend them both.

When I was first looking at Infinity at the start in the year 2010, two things caught my eye; Aragoto Senkenbutai and Miyamoto Mushashi.

So 175 years in the future, the Miyamoto Mushashi of Infinity has a different past:

The Project Duellist was initiated by the AI at the request of the VissioRama Maya channel for its Aristeia! program. The idea was to recreate a contemporary equivalent of Musha-Shugyo, the wandering pilgrimage that Miyamoto made between 1605 and 1612. In the series, viewers could enjoy his trips around the Human Sphere and the duels in which he participated along the road against other Aristos.

In the beginning, the series was a success, with reviews, fans and followers admiring him as a legendary being. Amazing and passionate, Miyamoto possesses the deftness of a master, the heart of a lion and the vivacity of a tiger (CloseCombat magazine, Maya). However, little by little, audience rates started to fall. Miyamoto, a severe and sober person, lacked the frivolity necessary to enjoy his Aristeia! star status, and his series, even though it could be very exciting, was not funny. For a warrior like him, with all the experience in combat of his original, to fight following aesthetic considerations was absurd. For Maya, his duels were not flashy enough; on the contrary, they were fast and effective, too fast for the producer and spectators of VissioRama. The channel, after seeing Mushashi would not change his fighting style, requested the deletion and reprogramming of his personality to obtain a duellist as effective but more theatrical and spectacular. Nevertheless, a hacker fan of Miyamoto intercepted the internal communications of VissioRama and alerted his idol, who disappeared into the night.

Currently, Miyamoto is accused of blood crimes and economic felonies against VissioRama, for participating in illegal duels, for murder of several Aspects of the AI and rebellion against ALEPH, which he seems to hate deeply. With such charges and such powerful enemies, he has been obliged to carry on the adventurous life he has always enjoyed. Now he leads a real duellist’s life, a fugitive mercenary always alert to continuous risk and constant flight, wandering aimlessly without a home. Forgotten and missing for months, he suddenly reappears in faraway scenarios and in illegal arenas. Danger and the underground circuits of Aristeia! have helped him polish his martial style the hard way. Specialized in his own kenjutsu technique called nitenichi or nitoichi (Two Heavens or Two Swords As One) Miyamoto Mushashi has revalidated his status as a saint of the sword but a turbulent saint, dangerous and lethal.” – Infinity Core Rulebook, Second Edition (trans from Spanish - poorly)

Miyamoto Mushashi
by Corvus Beli
The N3 write up on Mushashi is an improvement - like everything else in N3.

History lesson over – let’s get into the game.

3 Mar 2016

The Batman Film - Movie

We are a few weeks away from Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, staring Henry Cavill returning as Superman and Ben Affleck with the coveted role of playing Batman. We will also see Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman, with cameos from Ray Fisher, Jason Momoa, and Ezra Miller respectively playing Cyborg, Aquaman, and the Flash. I am looking forward to seeing Alfred done by Jeremy Irons who has owned each scene in the trailer so far.

The script work was done by Chris Terrio and Davis S. Goyer. Goyer is famous for working on movies like the Blade series with Wesley Snipes as the titular character, and the previous trilogy of Batman films done by Christopher Nolan. I’m more interested with Terrio who wrote the film Argo which was directed by Ben Affleck and won three Academy Awards out of the seven nominations it earned; Best Picture, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Film Editing film.

Zack Snyder is helming the film once again. He has hits like Dawn of the Dead, 300, and Watchmen. Even though they were filled with his clever bombastic style and brilliant visuals Man of Steel and Sucker Punch were less well received by critics. No matter what your opinion of the man and his work, Zack Snyder has made some great films and the trailers show that he is very much working to his visual strengths. Hopefully he does not falter with the story. With small tight stories Snyder has done very well. For example Dawn of the Dead, 300, and Watchmen are all tightly plotted stories with a small but powerful cast of characters that each get their time to shine in the story with a cohesive narrative and well arranged plot. Man of Steel and Sucker Punch were more bloated and Snyder was dealing with a less compact story in both cases.

All of this will lead towards the DC Extended Universe. See the comic con trailer below.

Suicide Squad is due out the same year early this August. Wonder Woman was given a June 2017 date followed by the first part of a two part Justice League film for November that year. 2018 has the solo Flash film slotted along side the Aquaman film for March and July. Lastly we have the first Shazam solo film to be out in April of 2019 and the second Justice League film out in June. They’ve also mentioned Cyborg and the Green Lantern Corps to be realised in 2020 but that’s really far off and I’ll believe it when I see it.

My interest will be in the new Batman film who Ben Affleck is expect to direct and repeat his success of his previous three film helm; The Town, Argo, and Gone Baby Gone.