12 Sep 2017

Life and Times of the Dozer

This will be a stream of consciousness post so excuse the meandering of topics and themes. 

Well it's been busy.

My primary job had me leave for a week to be in Yellowknife right after coming back from GENCON. GENCON was an endevor getting my minis ready and getting final prep done as well.

With that my month of August left me with little time to do anything that I wanted. The long weekend approached quickly and Lady Bear had to leave me to visit family while I finally rested.

The weeks that followed included planning the rest of my year on the road, spending on average one week a month at home. That means no helping around the house. No helping with the our very old dog Moby. No spending time my wife... it's not as bad as a military deployment but it is still a burden for my life partner to carry alone. We're both ok with it but I need to conscious of what Lady Bear is going through so I can support her in the same way she is supporting me.

My brother is about to be a father of a second child. My sister is law is due in November and I will most likely be away during the newest member of the Bear family birth. It also means that family gatherings and activities will center around the next generation of us.

I did manage to see some films over the last couple of weeks. Hitman's Bodyguard was a brilliant romp in a pile of violence. Both Ryan Reynolds and Sam Jackson know their roles and they play off each other with such chemistry that it takes the film to a meh and enter into above average ratings.

I saw Hacksaw Ridge and I enjoyed it. Much more than I expected. Gibson is great with the action scenes and Garfield did a great job in looking meek but not innocent. I really think this movie did well because of the support cast; Vince Vaughn, Sam Worthington, and Hugo Weaving were in small parts that really added depth to Garfield's take on Desmond Doss. The line at the end of the 3rd act where the 307th Infantry Regiment is waiting lined up ready to take the ridge again. When the Captain radio comes to life and wonders why the attack is minutes late, Sam Worthington calmly replies "Private Doss to finish praying for us, sir."

Narcos season 3 was awesome. Season 2 sputtered for me after a brilliant season 1. Having the game change back to how instead of who was running the Cartel (in this case the Cali Cartel). Pedro Pascal as Javier Pena really pushed the series forward. Re-igniting the spark that died in season 2 was a good story. Pêpê Rapazote as José "Chepe" Santacruz-Londoño was my favorite of the four Cali Bosses I can see Rapazote get some good roles out of Narcos. I also really liked seeing Miguel Ángel Silvestre as Franklin Jurado and I hope he continues to get more roles in mainstream North American media.

I've started reading Ancillary Justice and this is my first reading just via e-book. It has won various awards and was the first to win the Hugo, Nebula, and Arthur C Clark awards. So far the book is ok. A high science fiction with some neat ideas and sports some great narrative when it allows itself to do what it wants. I feel like I can see the editing of the novel and it's too bad it can become bloated.

Right now I'm just trying to balance my two jobs, my family, and my hobbies... I want to be more creative and that's hard. Once I start my traveling I feel I'll be able to set up a groove but until then I'm just in Limbo unable to start anything with full effort because I'm tried from juggling all these balls in the air.

So that's me and where I've been.

- Cheers


25 Aug 2017

Where did you go Mr Dozer?

Well I was at GENCON. I'm off to Yellowknife in 48 hours.

Life has gotten busy.

I'll post more as I get some fucking down time.



30 Jul 2017

Don't fight a Griffin

So this is a funny aside that got me thinking and ended up having go down a youtube rabbit hole of cartoon violence.

Family Guy really got my attention with the first fight sequence between Peter and the Chicken per the youtube video below.

Since that epic fight it has become a running joke of Peter having elaborate fights with the Chicken. There are quite a few and we're left hanging with the last one ending up in space.

No matter the length or complexity of the fight, Peter Griffin shows himself to be a most capable fighter. As if my irony the most lazy and stupid person in the world is it's greatest hand to hand combatant. Now this makes sense as Lois herself once trained becomes a great fighter in her own right and she in the cartoon world would pick a partner who could match and compliment her skills and talents.

So Lois and Peter are great fighters. Stewie has always had a violent streak. What about Meg and Chris. Meg is easy after a short period of time in jail she herself becomes very dangerous.

Chris does take on Peter and wins very quickly.

This idea that I've had floating around is best shown when Meg and Chris take on their whole school.

So with all this evidence the dumb funny family of american late night cartoons that is the most dangerous is the Griffins.

Don't fuck with them people - they will fuck with you.

- Cheers


26 Jul 2017

Twelve Days Later

A lot is going on.

When it comes to movies we have a slew of new trailers for: Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, Justice League, Avengers: Infinity War, Blade Runner 2049, Kingsman: Golden Circle, the Dark Tower... you get the idea.

GENCON is now three weeks away from the time of this posting. I have an event coming up in the end of September - head to Canadian Table Top Gamer to check it all out.

Comic wise there is buckets happening. Hulk is no longer dead. Invincible is 6 issues out from ending. Vol 2 of Bitch Planet finally dropped. The third volume of Absolute Transmetropolitan is coming out soon.

Then there is life. My day job - the primary job has me teaching like crazy, my second job is on hold. Lots of changes with my family.

Busy, not enough time to stop and type a Blog. There will be more.

- Cheers


14 Jul 2017

It's been a month...

I've been busy.

GENCON is ramping up, we are less than a month from that. WOTAN has been taking up a lot of my time. Also Canadian Tabletop Gamer has been the subject hog of my limited posting free time.

I'm also trying to figure out what does not fit in the group blog that I still want to write on here in my private blog.

Life is interesting and busy. Finding or making time to work here has been a bit hard over the last month.

I'm still here just not - here. Expect more as I get some down time.

- Cheers


14 Jun 2017

E3 so far

I've been busy with Strike Zone: Wotan and Canadian Tabletop Gamer that I've neglected this site. I just finished my night courses for my second job. I've been busy enjoy the summer that finally showed up and I've got fathers day coming up - which as Papa Bear is out of country for the 3rd year in a row I spend it with Red.

My week is my shaving off my awesome beard, slap on my uniform for a night at the second job after a long day at work. Tomorrow I will be going to Ottawa Rib Fest and have an offsite meeting for my second job. Thursday is WIN where I will be playing Doc over control of the Nomad space station on the way I will be picking up Burns and some more smoked meat. Friday is a half day at work before I kill the rest of it at Ribfest with all the previous knowledge that I gathered from sampling on Wed and Thurs. Saturday I'll be with Lady Bear and her family before Sunday is old school Ghost Recon (2001) with the Heroes Unleashed mod, some BBQ and scotch. Next week I start my 30 day no sugar challenge and roll into a PT schedule.

So with everything going on I almost missed E3... sweet Christmas I'm glad youtube and the internets won't let me forget.

2 Jun 2017

Since Firefly was no more

I've not felt this way since Firefly, that sci-fi western in space by Joss Whedon, was cancelled. Few TV shows grasp me in a way that Firefly did. When TV shows are cancelled I tend to not give it more thought and allow the more jaded side of me to take over. Understanding that entertainment needs to be paid for allows me to ignore when TV Shows or Films mid production are cancelled.

There is one caveat: If the show is good I will care.

Sense8 was the best thing on TV since Firefly. It was engaging with a strong plot and interesting story development. It had developed characters that were given times to shine. It was progressive with litter of characters from all walks of life, places on the planet, and different sexualities. We had straight and gay characters. We had men, women, and transgender characters. It was created and written by some of my favorite artists of the medium: The Wachowskis and J. Michael Straczynski.

Good TV, that is TV worth investing in, is hard to find. Sense8 is a hard pill to swallow for some. It was expensive both in costs and time. It was too 'different' for some viewers. It demanded creative thinking from the audience. Alas those harder parts made the show fantastic and wonderful.

Who cares if it was progressive, it was good. Who cares if it took a long time to make it was quality TV. Who cares it was costly... well in this case Netflix did.

Netflix is not perfect but so far they have yet to let me down with their original content. War Machine with Brad Pitt is on my list to watch. iBoy was really well done. Hemlock Grove was a slow burn that tickled my interest as I go back to it over and over again, take a slow bit at a time. House of Cards started off strong while Spacey and Wright are so good they keep me coming back. The Marvel series like Daredevil, Luke Cage, and Jessica Jones have been awesome and Iron Fist was the sole property that has stumbled (not a failure - just not the same standard) so far.

It's sad that the numbers took Sense8... sad and ironic since one of the primary themes of series is doing things out of fear or bad business instead of keeping your humanity, your social connections - doing things because it's right.

- Cheers


26 May 2017

Equal Ice Cream?

In Canada Ben and Jerry's is a brand of ice cream that you can get at our local grocer.

Dairy Queen and Baskin Robbins are the more common ice cream shops. In quite a few DQ shut down during the 6 months of winter that takes over Canada every year.

Now I like me some ice cream and Ben and Jerry's is one of the brands that Lady Bear picks up when we want a treat... it rarely stays long as I eat it.

Then one day I read this...

Seems that Ben and Jerry's has decided to make a point. No order of two scoops can be of the same ice cream until the Australian Government allows for same sex marriage.

I like the take on the issue, it's clever. I find it dumb that same sex marriage is still an issue, but then there are a few things I dislike about Australia. This would be another to my short list of cons from costly travel, expensive food, and internet censorship.

This does not surprise me as Ben Cohen is known for his activism. He's founded Business Leaders for Sensible Priorities, spearheads Stamp the Stampede, and was arrested along side (co-founder) Jerry Greenfield at the Democracy Spring protests.

So same sex marriage is still a thing and instead of being normal. Australia is getting shamed by Ice Cream. Those two Americans with lots of money and lots to say are calling out another thing they don't like.

Awesome day so far.

- Cheers


24 May 2017

Marvel is having a bad...

Marvel comics is the darling of the theater.

You look at what they've spent, what they've made, and profit involved and the numbers are staggering. We are talking a total budget of just under 3 billion dollars without advert costs and earnings of just under 4.5 billion dollars in North America and 7.1 billion dollars for a world wide total hovering around 11.6 billion dollars. That is almost four times the investment in returns with fifteen films.

We have nine films expected in the next three years. We had one film, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2 so far this year and we have two more; Spiderman: Homecoming and Thor: Ragnarok. 2018 has another three films including the third Avengers Film and 2019 has another three films listed. The only film without a solid release year is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.3.

For the longest time they were my comic publisher until Image came around then Image comics ruled my comic boxes. The departure of the big six, also called the X-odus. Due to many of them working on the X-men titles when they left Marvel. Rob Liefeld, Todd McFarlane, Marc Silvestri, Erik Larsen, Jim Valentino, and Jim Lee started Image.

So Marvel is rocking the films, but they are also having a rough time in print.

None of this surprises me. I've lost count of the number of crossover events over the last decade. My favorite event was the X-Cutioner's Song in 1992 and Legion Quest that led into the Age of Apocalypse. Since then I've not been very interested in cross overs. Even DC has lost me and only a few crossovers have kept my interest Dead Heat (Flash - 1995), Night of Owls, and Death of the Family.

Marvel needs to clean up it's act and invest in its audience. They need to stick with a creative team, invest in long term stories, and allow the teams to keep the pace removing the disruptive crossover events from being a yearly thing.

Lastly they need to punch up their TPB prints. Lady Bear would rather buy other comics because the Marvel trade paper backs are so thin and too expensive. Image and DC own the TPB market and DC is known for rebooting their entire line of comics every few years.

I want to "make mine Marvel" but they are not making it easy for me.

- Cheers

18 May 2017

Another loss - Chris Cornell

I was in the 8th grade. I was looking for something to listen to find my place when it came to music. My friend got a Columbia House subscription and from there I found my spot in the audioverse; Grunge, Industrial, and Metal.

His initial subscription was filled with Metallica, Nirvana, Alice in Chains, Nine Inch Nails, Ozzy Ozbourne, Sepultura, Moist, and Soundgarden.

Superunknown was the first album I learned all the words to all the songs. I repeated that feat again with Moist's Silver and Nirvana's In Utero.

I added Rage Against the Machine, Temple of the Dog, Tool, Frontline Assembly, KMFDM, Korn, and more over the following years.

I remember when Rage lost Zack de la Rocha, and Chris Cornell came into the picture after spending some time solo, linked up with the band and created Audioslave.

Today lady bear told me that while on tour Soundgarden lost their voice - Chris Cornell died at the age of 52.

You will be remembered you are one of the few that shaped my generation. Rest in peace. For the rest of you enjoy lyrics that changed me.

4th of July by Soundgarden

Shower in the dark day
Clean sparks driving down
Cool in the waterway
Where the baptized drown
Naked in the cold sun
Breathing life like fire
Thought I was the only one
But that was just a lie

Cause I heard it in the wind
And I saw it in the sky
And I thought it was the end
And I thought it was the 4th of July

Pale in the flare light
The scared light cracks & disappears
And leads the scorched ones here
And everywhere no one cares
The fire is spreading
And no one wants to speak about it
Down in the hole
Jesus tries to crack a smile
Beneath another shovel load

And I heard it in the wind
And I saw it in the sky
And I thought it was the end
And I thought it was the 4th of July

Now I'm in control
Now I'm in the fall out
Once asleep but now I stand
And I still remember
Your sweet everything
Light a Roman candle
And hold it in your hand

Cause I heard it in the wind
And I saw it in the sky
And I thought it was the end
And I thought it was the 4th of July


17 May 2017

Words fail and words are bright

I've been busy and I've lost time for writing words but I've made sure to read words.

I read these words and they were worth time and emotion it took to get through the piece.

I have not suffered and I am lucky.

I will also try and remember lessons so we don't treat each other like this again.

- Cheers


10 May 2017

Why so busy

Well I've been very sparse with my content here.

1. My day job has gone up to 11.

2. My second job has gone up to 11 for the final end of year push then it went back up to 11. - See image below
North Eastern Ontario and Southern Quebec
Have lots of Water
[Image: Global News]
3. Wife's birthday - always a source of stress.*

4. Mother's day - another source of stress.*

5. Infinity Event on 27 May.

6. Money - because our budget changed

7. A 10 week night course - I'm in week 5.

8. Editing the Canadian Tabletop Gamer project.

So there I've been busy.

I want to talk about Mass Effect: Andromeda, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, other movies I want to see, Sense8 season 2 - instead all I can hear is Denzel.

* lacking in many social graces it is a constant effort to make sure the people that are important to me are not disappointed.

- Cheers


6 May 2017

Getting the changes right...

This hit one of my few feeds and it felt good to finally get some good news on how we are treating our planet.

Wolves made it better.

- Cheers


4 May 2017

May the 4th be with you...

May the 4th has become 'Star Wars day' due to the play on words: "May the 4th be with you".

Star Wars is a series of movies, TV shows, comics, novels, and games that have inspired and brought joy to millions of fans.

For me it's a different day.

It's a day about Lady Bear, because she is born on May the 4th. I'm also in love with Lady Bear.

She doubled my range of feelings that originally was made up of: tired, hungry, drunk, and horny. Now I get to experience sadness, empathy, happy, and love. It's a bit of a mixed bag but the last one is my favorite.

Lady Bear inspires me everyday and I've been filled with joy since I met her. We both are fans of Star Wars but in our house today is made special because her, not the science fantasy intellectual property giant.

So all of you enjoy Star Wars day.

I'll enjoy my wife's birthday.

No matter what "May the 4th be with you".

- Cheers


19 Apr 2017

Invincible - A long time coming

Well it's been a crazy couple of days as things change here and the launch of A Canadian Tabletop Gamer. One of the things that I have not done in a while is a review of a comic book or volume of comics. It's fitting that Robert Kirkman announced the closing of his hit series that is not Walking Dead and one of my favorite comic series in print - Invincible.

The upstairs bookshelf -
a very small portion of the Bear comics collection
The series will end with issue #144 and probably end the TPBs (all seen in the image above) at volume 25 so long as the count of issues per volume doesn't change.

I am sad to see the series that has been running for 13 years come to an end. Invincible is about telling comic book superhero stories and ignore the tropes that litter that genre of the medium. Permanent death, realistic violence, grounded relationships in a world filled with flying people, and explored consequences. So not keeping a comic series alive because you can never cancel Batman, Superman, Spiderman, etc... is just another mold Kirkman is breaking with Invincible.

Let me show you around and introduce you to Mark Grayson.

17 Apr 2017

Ghost in the Shell - Review

It's been a few weeks of horror regarding the live action version of the beloved cyberpunk anime and manga Ghost in the Shell, by Masamune Shiro.

By horror I'm talking about vitriol surrounding the release with the accusation of white washing, and small changes to the plot. The movie itself is fantastic.

Go watch the film. Treat it like you would any live action take on a comic book. Just let it be what it is on it's own merits. Then bitch about it.

If you want to know more about my take on the film join me after the break.

16 Apr 2017

Changes to the Blog

I will no longer explore my tabletop gaming on this blog.

Instead I will be posting my life as a table top gamer alongside my friends and family at another location:

A Canadian Tabletop Gamer

The idea is explore the ups and downs, the ideas, the creativity, and the ideas Canadian Gamers face.

Meanwhile I'll be posting family, video games, and media stuff on this blog in order to keep up the writing exercise that is this blog.

- Cheers


14 Apr 2017

Infinity Tournament - 27 May 2017

@ Kessel Run Games
Ottawa, ON, Canada

11 am - 8 pm

Cost: ~10$ (TBC)

1 List
4 Rounds

Prizes include:
2016 ITS Prize Pack
Swag Bags

Register via e-mail: olengravel@gmail.com

Rules are RECON v2.0

7 Apr 2017

Sharing is a health violation

Lady Bear shared and I've been sick.

Sorry for the lack of replies, but I'm sleeping 10-12 hours a night plus all the time I'm napping. One third of my Mass Effect: Andromeda play time is me sleeping.

I did get a nice present last week: A official pic of me as a character in the Infinity RPG.


30 Mar 2017

Quick Update end of

So Lady Bear is sick. I've got two posts almost done: Part three of my quick Rumble experience and my review on Mass Effect: Andromeda. I've got plenty to build and paint for GENCON, work is taking a breather (finally), and I've got some night classes to work on for the next ten weeks starting next week.

Folks we have the next expansion of Scythe! I've yet to play a 7 player game with the last expansion but I'm excited to play it once I can gather enough fools to the party. So reading this from my monthly Stonemaier Games newsletter blew the lid of my pot.

Extra Units: Airships!
Random Boardwide Airship Abilities!
Extra Random Win Condition!
New art by Jakub!
Launches Q4 2017!

So far the week has been ok to lame - it's getting better.

- Cheers


25 Mar 2017

@ the Rumble 17 - part 2

This was supposed to be a series of posts while I played but a few things happened.

1. I lost all my matches.
2. I was having too much fun.
3. PC and Internet access was limited at best.

Here is the breakdown

17 Mar 2017

@ the Rumble 17 - part 1

So Lady Bear and I have arrived in New Mexico and so far the event has been pretty fucking slick.

Met some awesome folks, hung out with Ian who will be my first opponent, and help set up some tables.

I snagged my swag early - was the first in line. I got drunk with one of the TOs - Seth. I hung out with Oren and his fiance from Israel, two folks from Edmonton Alberta, and a bunch of others... seriously good folk so far looking forward to today's games.

I've also been lumped in with the other two Canadians, Oren, and the guy (yet to meet him) from Sweeden. We five make up the O-12 team. There is a team from each state and us the international team. The top player from each team gets to walk away with a fancy group leader prize. I don't think I'll make it to the top but I'd love to be middle of the pack.

So I've got my coffee in hand, there is 15 mins before the room opens, and another 2 hours before the morning admin and the first of three rounds. I'm a happy fucker and I wish more of my mates were here with me at this thing. I'm glad Lady Bear came with me and that she'll be relaxing with a spa today and a bike tour tomorrow while I hit the tables.

Shout out to the folks from the Ottawa WIN (weekly infinity night): We may not play like we used to but hot fucking damn boys this is awesome. I've already volunteered at least one table for GENCON maybe we can do two.

To Doc, McGee, Ontos, Sergeant, and Mr Wolf. - wish you boys could be here.

- Cheers


13 Mar 2017

Ready to Rumble on Route 66: Part 6

Today is a bad day...

I'm so far behind. My Bakunin are not going to make it and I feel like I wasted all the time I had to prep something on a failed cause.

Lady Bear made tea. Alt-J's Summer Remix is playing in the background. I'm upset that my army will look like crap and I need to step away. Then she asks: "Why' not your Japanese?"

Untouched since they showed up to GENCON my Japanese Sectoral Army is my most painted force and looking at them now I feel like such a fucking fool.

OK - New Plan. That's what I'm good at...

Step 1: Build Lists
Step 2: Add more paint
Step 3: Pack them for the FUCKING RUMBLE ON ROUTE 66 - 2017! 'Cause for everyone else who may or may not read this - I'M GOING TO HAVE FUN! I will NINJA, I will BUSHI, Triangles are my FAVORITE SHAPE*, I will MECHA GESHA!


GENCON gets Bakunin.

Dozer is going to have fun and enjoy himself in spite of everyone else and that's another thing he is good at - doing things in spite of the fucking world.

- Cheers


*(stream of conscious writing does not work when tessellate is playing in the background)

12 Mar 2017

Ready to Rumble on Route 66: Part 5

Quick post as I'm busy as fuck. We lost an hour to daylight savings and I'm trying to catch up.

It's Sunday. I'm drinking Bridgehead Coffee and Beau's Lug Tread (Lagered Ale), chilling in the living room working on my minis. Moby my loyal pooch is next to me and Daft Punk (A favorite classical artist to the people of the Nomad Nation) is playing in the background.

I've got a game at 1230 today at Wizard Tower, which after this past couple of weeks is the only game I've been able to keep scheduled. Life got turned upside down around here with a bunch of folks needing help and I've had to can out of Doc and others who've offered up game times to my schedule. I wanted more time to paint and play as per my plan but that went right to hell with the way February went with both jobs.

Beasts of War has a great video with Carlos from Corvus Beli around minute 35 so I recomend you check it out if you're a fan of Infinity. I've posted it below for folks looking for some great news.

- Cheers


9 Mar 2017

Ready to Rumble on Route 66: Part 4

So I've got one list ready to roll and finally an evening to paint up some minis. More like base most of my minis but hey it's what happens when you have two jobs. 38+ hours at the day job, 48+ hours a the second job and you find yourself running out of time.

Before I go into today's post I want to say that Ethan Pearson painted the trophy for Rumble on Route 66: 2017 and posted it on Facebook. It's a custom build of Ko-Dali the symbol of Combined Armies power. Once a Yu-Jing character in the first edition, she was removed from their list and was reposted with new rules in N3 (you could play both in N2 for a time).

Talk about damn fine. The close up pics (which are not re-posted here) can be found on Facebook under the Rumble on Route 66 page.

So I need a second list for the event and with things being the way they are with ITS Season 8, TAGs are a thing. I've spoken about my favorite TAG here but there are two things against me. 1. I don't have one, and 2. I can only use the Lizard as I am playing the Bakunin Sectorial Command.

5 Mar 2017

It has been busy

The title is an understatement.

My day job has been all sorts of crazy while my second job was madness leading up to this weekend. As of the launch of this post I will be finishing the last big "exercise" of the training year (Sept-Sept) at my second job. In about 12+ hours my troops will be prepping to redeploy back home and I will be coming home to a new guest who's life got turned upside down... and not in a Fresh Prince of Bell Air way but he will be living with me and Lady Bear for a while - so there are some similarities.

I've not had enough time to paint my minis or the small ITS objectives I got from LOS Block. I am not ready for Rumble on Route 66. I've not played enough games, I've not spent enough time with my forces. Shit is fucked - it has been busy.

So this week is hunker down time.

Paint, play, and repeat. This coming weekend (10-12 March) will be the same but it will also include a break with family as we play a game of Axis and Allies with Papa Bear, Brother Bear, and yet to decide.

I am looking forward to my vacation with Lady Bear, more and more. I've been working my ass off so I can pay for our vacation which includes Rumble on Route 66, but that same work is causing me to possibly be not ready for the event.

So how have I survived? Lady Bear is the main factor in this whole mess. She's been my rock and star making sure I can always find my way home. My mates have been supportive and have made themselves ready for games once I'm ready (seems like the next 10 days will be spent planning new games). Lastly I lean on small pick me ups like this...

I really want this, already sent in my pre-order. Plus the mini looks fucking awesome. It seems my third faction is Pan-O. I hope Hexas are an option for Svallarheima.

- Cheers


2 Mar 2017

Infinity: Szalamandra

As of now, Infinity is my favorite table top miniature war game in the world. It has a strong and loyal community of players who seem to have the best ratio of jackass:human. The minis are fantastic, the rules are deep but rewarding, and the third party support is brilliant.

Games Workshop is still around, the sheer bulk of the player base is too hard to dislodge. Privateer Press is doing well and their game is tight and well-crafted but has more of competitive game vibe. I’ve stepped away from the war game and have dug even deeper with the role playing game. Knight Miniatures, Spartan, Hawk, and Mantic seem to have a great set of games but the local play groups is lacking and the support from the company is not yet stable.

Now Infinity is not perfect but it strives to get better all the time and give its best before leaving the mothership at the Corvus Beli.

I still have some wants and the first of those wants is getting a new sculpt for my favorite TAG of the game, the Szalamandra. Let me explain why it's so awesome.

25 Feb 2017

Magic the Gathering: Amonkhet

It’s been a white since I posted about Magic the Gathering. With two jobs at full speed, Rumble on Route 66, there has been no time for Magic. My last games played were with my cuz and it was the fan made Star Wars set.

Kalidesh did not impress me.

I’m not sold on Artifact tribal (where you center your deck around a specific creature type; in this case Artifact). I hated the time when Blue-Black was the go to for Artifacts. Ravnica’s 2 colour guilds made me love my two favorite colours and Dimir has always felt like home. Theros did a great job keeping the themes of Blue-Black and Innistrad’s second round was still in that nice sweet spot with those colours. Kalidesh felt like a step back to a lazy Blue-Black themes.

Secondly I dislike gimmick mechanics. I don’t mind them in limited (only cards of that set) but most of my MtG play is outside of limited. Energy was lame. Unless it would be repeated in follow up sets or felt more part of the MtG and less of an add-on I was felt little desire to invest in cards that had energy.

Now I was glad for the return of the Dwarves to MtG. I also loved the new Aetherborn race and the concept behind them. I also liked the modern science-fantasy aesthetic similar to the last couple of Final Fantasy games. Lastly the Vehicle mechanic was awesome. It felt natural fitting simply in the rules of MtG without any changes to current play or extra tokens (unlike energy) that need to be slapped on.

So we have two new blocks coming out, which means 4 new sets (2 sets per block since Battle for Zendikar).
Amonkhet Block (Amonkhet and Hour of Devastation)
Atlazan Block (Atlazan and Conquest of Power)

Amonkhet and Atlazan in that order and I’m looking forward to the first of the two sets. Amonkhet, an Egyptian themed world of gods ruled over by Nicol Bolas with trials for folks to undertake.

Sold – now this is what I’d like to see.

23 Feb 2017

Ready to Rumble on Route 66: Part 3

In my last post I was sporting a team that was a pretty good build but now I needed to finish it off. I have a hundred points, 8 orders (7 regular and 1 irregular), and I need clean up my first list. I've also finally come up with my paint scheme and basing for the rest of my nomads. I'm still on the fence about using Army Painter Quickshade but I finally have a base coat so I can strip my completed minis and re-do my whole Nomad force.

I'll take about my paint scheme with hopefully some work in progress pics but right now I need to finish my list.

Avicenna is my next pick. An easy next pick since she is one of the best specialists in the game. First off she provides a regular order putting me at 8 regular orders.

Secondly she sports a MOV 6-2, meaning she is very fast for a non-TAG and lacking a motorcycle. Most specialists are MOV 4-4 that means that can move 4 inches and perform their short skill to claim an objective, fix something, attack, or move another 4 inches. Avicenna still moves a total of 8 inches on a double move but her initial movement is 6 inches. That’s 2 more inches before healing someone, synching with a civi, or using a cautious advance. Those 2 inches can make or break a play.

She is a WIP 15 Doctor Plus meaning she will be able to keep my living units alive with very good chances and her Flash Pulse shots (which uses WIP instead of BS) will be on the mark and hopefully stunning my opponents units. It also means her interactions with objectives are also sporting a high chance of success. Few specialists sport such a high WIP.

Her skills make her even better: Doctor Plus, normally a Haqqislam exclusive skill. V: NWI meaning she'll keep moving until she takes another hit. Very handy when you know she can heal herself and with the highest possible chance of success you can get in the game. ARM 2 is better than normal for light infantry and a BTS of 3 is always welcome. All of that for only 27 points make her an easy pick. Now with 73 points and 3.5 SWC left I need to find some more options.

19 Feb 2017

Svalarheima Infinity Event

I'm getting ready for Rumble on Route 66 so I need to play more games.

So Ontos and I decided to invite a few folks over to play some short games of Infinity outside in the Ottawa weather in Feb. We're normally in the -20c (-30c with windchill) and on bad days we drop another ten or so degrees. We we're going to BBQ, make some coffee, mulled wine, have some beer... but then the weather turned on us.

It got really warm.

We also started with 2 less people due to sickness and we started almost 2 hours later. I had to go get foods, and we had to set up once I got back.

Before I start off, let me introduce you to the TO of our event,

The story is after the break.

16 Feb 2017

The Vinyl Cafe is quiet...

The last couple of weeks have been busy and I was finishing up a few posts when I found out the following news: Stuart McLean has died after his battle with cancer.

He has been a part of my life since it got better when Lady Bear found me. We were looking for something we could share and the recordings of the Vinyl Café fit the bill very well. Our tastes and style were both able to enjoy and appreciate the craftsmanship of McLean's work. We grew to listen for a few weeks before Lady Bear surprised me with tickets to the 2010 Holiday Season show at the National Arts Center in Ottawa.

We made a date of it. Her love of Christmas and my dislike of the holiday were both appeased by the show. I was able to not kill Lady Bear's holiday spirit, get a whiff of it myself (and only a whiff), and we got to enjoy our time together. After the show we grabbed a bite and sauntered home to Lady Bear's flat in Westboro.

We expressed our joy of the event with friends and family and the rest of the Bears joined us the following years; from 2011 to 2014 we six Bears stopped off to see the holiday show four times - it become a tradition we only missed it once while Papa Bear was abroad. In 2015 our show was cancelled. Lucky for us we had not missed the 2014 show.

McLean announced he had melanoma in November and the 2015 holiday season was cut short. That holiday season the Bears spent the holiday's at Brother Bear's home in rural Hammond, outside of Ottawa. Missing the show came up at the table. We planned with the extended family to do it again next year when Stuart was feeling better... sadly 2016 was a quiet season.

Mr McLean your stories are heart warming and the epitome of the Canadian experience.

- Good bye


6 Feb 2017

A cost

“Progress has never been a bargain. You have to pay for it. Sometimes I think there's a man who sits behind a counter and says, "All right, you can have a telephone but you lose privacy and the charm of distance." "Madam, you may vote but at a price. You lose the right to retreat behind the powder puff or your petticoat." "Mister, you may conquer the air but the birds will lose their wonder and the clouds will smell of gasoline."

- Henry Drummond (by Spencer Tracy), Inherit the Wind written by Jerome Lawrence and Robert Edwin Lee

31 Jan 2017

I'm Sick And Tired Of Bein' Sick And Tired

I'm back.

Back to both jobs. Back to knowing what day of the week it is. Back on track for my next upcoming events including the looking more awesome than ever - Rumble on Route 66.

This post is short after the break you will find the lyrics to "I just want you" by Ozzy Osbourne who I quoted in the title of the post. Why because why the fuck not - next post back on track, painting and Rumble prep updates.

- Cheers


26 Jan 2017

Sick always at the wrong time...

Lady Bear and I are both sick with colds. I in an attempt to do everything at a greater scale also earned a small infection. I just woke up from 9+ hours of uninterrupted sleep. My body needs rest and I'm letting it run the show for a bit.

I have a big week at work next week and this weekend is a large event at my second job. So my Rumble on Route 66 spending cash is being affected by the stuff forcing itself out of my body.

- Cheers

Dozer *resting*

23 Jan 2017

Updates and Movies

It's been too long but before I get into the rest of the post I have some updates.

Firstly the building and painting for Rumble On Route 66 - 2017 is just as slow as I expected. My second job - aka the thing paying for Rumble on Route 66 has been taking up some major time. After this weekend I'll have more time to get work done for the event. 

I wana highlight a few things:

First off is the Ariadian Commercial Conflict lend-lease Program by Hexagon Mill who are trying to help the folks at the Rumble make up the tables. They have full 4'x4' tables of pre-painted durable MDF terrain with playmat deals. Instead of paying 460+USD&taxes with shipping (and tariffs) he's got a deal for each table at 360 USD&taxes. Now that's a really good deal IF you have the initial investment. The terrain looks great for clubs and demo games, and the playmat is always welcome. You get the discount because the terrain will be used at the event and then given to you afterwards. IF you're in Ottawa and you're looking for a terrain solution I may be able to help bring it back. 

Secondly I've gotten a few games without my 300 point list - the rest of my selection is in another post later. I've not had enough time to get my list into shape to play but I've gotten the odd 150 RECON game in to at least keep up some basic skills. 

With that lets look at some flicks.

16 Jan 2017

Ready to Rumble on Route 66: Part 2

I’ve written this post more than once. I've finally chosen to go with a Nomads sectorial. They are my first Infinity minis and the ones who lured me into the game, The Bakunin Jurisdictional Command. Since I started brewing my Bakunin list I’ve re-started this post over and over again. Play testing and brewing against the listed missions has made me change a few options.

My first pick is Zoe and Pi-Well. I need an Engineer and D-Charges. 47 points for two good specialists is a steal. Zoe is a WIP 15 Engineer and Hacker with the STOP! upgrade. Pi-Well has got ODD, Repeater, Sta-Lock, Sensor, and Forward Observer.

10 Jan 2017

Time to spend well

With things ramping up here at work I need to organize my time well. I've got to get ready for the Rumble on Route 66 and GENCON 50. This includes getting some time at the table, painting my minis, and planning both trips. 

So I put together a plan. 

1. Play at least one game a week of Infinity. Each game will be full 300 points and of one of the six scenarios of the tournament. I will need to practice all of the scenarios in order to meet my goal of being in the top half of the 100+ players at the Rumble. 

I'm looking forward to playing Supremacy, Frontline, and Safe Area. Planning and playing Rescue and Highly Classified will be very challenging. Both missions require a level of planning regarding possible specialists and specific tactical choices. Firefight will be the odd duck of a straight up shoot out with some tricks to earn enough points. 

This Thursday - Sergeant and I will be playing a game. Next week Mr. C (still looking for an alias) who is new the game is tentatively booked to play me next Wednesday. Rider and Ontos have also volunteered to help beat me up so I may play better.

Next we have paint... 

5 Jan 2017

Ready to Rumble on Route 66: Part 1

So Lady Bear and I will be off to the Southern United States of America.

Landing in Phoenix, Arizona we will be spending some time eating BBQ and grabbing a few things before we drive up Route 66 and stop at Albuquerque, New Mexico for few days. Then we'll head back into Arizona to visit the Grand Canyon and Sedona, Arizona (aka Wine Country) before jumping back on a plane from Phoenix to Canada. A week well spent.

While we're in Albuquerque we will spend a few days enjoying the town, exploring some sites, and then I'll do a little thing called...

Oh yeah!

I will need to get ready for this event which is the largest Infinity tournament in North America with 100+ people. More than Interplanitario, more than GENCON, and more than the Warsaw Open. It is the first of the Dire States events, named in the same style as the Dire Foes story missions but applying States due to the location and 'Merica.

Seems that Dan Barnaby with over a hundred players and over 50 tables to set up, picked missions with minimal objective markers. That means specialists will only be really needed with secondary objectives, the mission Highly Classified, and the classified objectives. This is looking awesome!

We will be playing the following missions: Highly Classified, Firefight, Supremacy, Safe Area, Frontline, and Rescue.

Dan and the Dire States crew have picked some slick missions. A shoot 'em dead, a jug fuck of objectives, three different take and hold, and lastly a hostage rescue.

I need to know my missions well enough before I start picking my team. So before I choose between Bakunin Jurisdictional Command, good old non-sectorial Nomad, and the Japanese Sectorial Army I'll need to explore what I'll be doing.

Let's brainstorm after the break.

1 Jan 2017

Starting off right

As of the launch of this post we are one hour into the new year and 24 hours since I gave 2016 shit.

So lets start this off right with a new way to watch Star Wars movies, the Machete Order. It removes the irrelevant (and not very good) Episode I. It keeps every twist in the series: The green guy is Yoda? There are twins (actually made better with the order). Luke's dad and Luke's dance with the dark side.

Trust me it's brilliant with only a few hiccups but we've seen many more movies with just as bad if not worst plot holes.

So here is my question?

Do you start with Rogue One: A Star Wars Tale?

Let's review...