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 CafĂ© 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