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The Adventures of Inquisitor Smashface

There’s a game available on Steam (and, presumably, most modern consoles) called Warhammer 40K: Inquisitor – Martyr. As you can guess it’s linked to the ever popular tabletop wargame, Warhammer 40K, a game where you move little soldiers about your friends Mum’s dining table, rolling dice and listening to W.A.S.P., while casually keeping an eye on his mum and her friend who are obviously trying to pretend that they can’t make out the lyrics to the live version of Animal (Fuck Like A Beast), which starts with a rising chant of “Fuck like a beast, fuck like a beast”.

Allen Johnston, I’m looking at your here. I’m still amazed that you never got pulled up for that.

Anyway, Warhammer has come a long way since the heady days of my teens. And while I have a reborn love of moving expensive tokens about a make-believe battlefield, the electronic gaming part of the hobby is yet another channel to pour the precious seconds of my life into.

I’ve played Inquisitor – Martyr before, initially on the Playstation, but I could never get into it. An almost perfect storm has caused me to get into it again now.

  1. My daughter has all but commandeered the Playstation. It was inevitable.
  2. I got a new pc at the start of the year, a shiny laptop to replace the aging Frankencomputer I had before.
  3. The game was really cheap on Steam.

A. Perfect. Storm.

It’s a game in the style of Diablo. You play as one of four character types, each with their own playstyle, you gain experience points for killing baddies and completing missions. All the usual stuff.

So, Inquisitor Smashface. He runs about with a heavy flamer (a bigger than big flamethrower) and a thunder hammer (a two-handed hammer that has electricity running through it). And it’s great fun. Smashface has reached level 20 now, which means I can take the hammer. Before this, using the flamer was like running the game in easy mode. But now that i’ve unlocked the Thunder Hammer? Bloody hell, it’s fun.

As long as I keep moving, and don’t get tied up in fighting mobs, i bash the heads of heretics in. It’s great fun. As I unlock more skills, i’ll try other weapon combinations but, for now, it’s all about burning the enemy and flattening them with a big hammer.

EVE – Yet Another Enjoyable Time Sink

At the start of the year, with lock down being a thing and my daughter hogging the Playstation, I installed Eve Online on my shiny new laptop. Eve had transitioned to a Free-To-Play model with two states of being, Alpha – which had a limit to the skills and ships you could use – and Omega – the paid-for account which opened everything up to use. I had played Eve before so I was already aware of the game – a vast space MMORPG.

Oh, it’s not Pay-To-Win, like some MMORPGs. The ships available to an Alpha account are perfectly playable.

So, having spent a few months here and there in the vast galaxy of EVE, just logging on for a hour at a time, tonight felt like my first proper game,

A few weeks ago I joined a player-run corporation, the equivalent of a guild in Warcraft or Guild Wars, and a few days ago I decided to fly from system to system to where the Corp is largely based. Tonight I logged on to put my new ship though her paces and was joined by a Corp member who just turned up to help me destroy an enemy space station. We shared some chat after and went our our seperate ways.

And this is what I had been missing: the social element.

I’ll probably log on every day this week for a bit, and see if anyone wants to fly about and blow stuff up.

Al’s shiny new Confessor

And the Corp even have their own Discord server, which is even better. I wonder if I can get any of them to play Guild Wars? 😉

A Brief Update

Hello peeps,

I hope you’ve been behaving yourselves. This is the time of year when I pay for my annual webhosting and think “I really should do something on DesertOfZin to justify the cost”. Ha!

Is everyone well?

I hope so.

I had my first of my Covid-19 jabs at the beginning of March. That is exciting. And the schools are back, which is great for the daughter (although they’re off for the Easter holidays right now.)

It is weird that my wife, the Computing Science teacher, hasn’t yet had her first vaccination. You’d think, with the rush to get the children back to school, the teachers would be high on the list of essential workers. Obviously not.

And here in Scotland our Tier 4 lock down is slowly coming to an end. On Monday past more shops and businesses opened with the rest, hopefully, seeeing another positive change come April 26th. As with everything, time will tell.

Anyway, stay safe.

A Few Bad Poems

My daughter is home/remote schooling at the moment due to the Covid-19 situation here in Bonnie Scotland and part of her school work today is to write a poem, as it’s Burn’s Day. I’m not much for Robert Burns or poetry but, in an attenpt to encourage the child who isn’t either, I’ve written a few bad poems for you.

A Mean Old Man

I’m a mean old man
so my daughter says.
I make her eat her greens but only
every other, other, other, other day.

Her room she will clean
when her feet can’t be seen
from standing down below
under her first floor window.

Washing? Behind her ears?
One of her deepest fears,
to disturb the potatoes growing there
that are handy snacks. (For when her dinner isn’t on time.)

Attention!
There’s never enough.
Dad! is the cry.
There’s nowhere good in the house to hide.
(It’s not that big and I think she knows all the better hiding places.)

and there’s this masterpiece:

Little Froggy (or desperation in story-telling)

Oh, the little froggy,
croak, croak, croak.

Down to the shops
to get some smoke.

That doesn’t make sense
but at least it rhymes.

Poor little froggy,
Crimes, times, chimes.

No, YOU’RE welcome.

Links:
Robert Burns – Wikipedia
Burns Supper – Wikipedia

Rammstein – Deutschland

I’m not much for metal anymore but I have a few favourites still, mostly a holdover from years back. Rammstein is certainly one of these holdovers. There’s nothing quite like metal sung in German. It’s almost like it was made for the music.

So, I find this:

It’s from back in the golden, care-free, pre-covid days of 2018. As I said, I’m not into metal as much now so it totally flew under my radar. But it’s just marvelous.

Take a listen. I’ll be going down the Rammstein YouTube rabbit-hole…

Be seeing you…

Links:
Rammstein – Deutschland

New Year, New Army?

There’s this thing, New Year, New Army, which I know is a marketing tool used against the weak-minded. Or me. It’s being used successfully against me.

There are these monsters in Warhammer 40,000. Tyranids. Part of an intergalactic-biomass-hivemind, they travel between the stars stripping planets of biological matter. Tasty, tasty biomass.

Tyranid Hive Tyrant. He's pretty, isn't he? And hungry too.

Image copyright Games Workshop
Tyranid Hive Tyrant. He’s pretty, isn’t he? And hungry too.
Image copyright Games Workshop

There are was to play the army, one is with a horde of tiny monsters and the other is known as “Nidzilla”, which is a collection of big monsters.

I’m going down the big monsters route.

I’ll post some photos of the guys I’ve painted once I can get access to a better camera. Ha.

So, Nidzilla. This is for a number of reasons.

  1. Big monsters
  2. Not so much to paint.
  3. It’ll look amazing.
  4. Big monsters.

That last point was an important one.

I’ve painted two models out of the seven I currently own and I’m digging the paint scheme. You’ll have to manage your own expectations there.

Links:
New Year, New Army – Warhammer Community

2021 – Goodbye, Raging Hellscape Of 2020!

Happy New Year. You can almost taste the enthusiasm there, can’t you?

Let’s all agree that 2020 was crap, yeah? I was fortunate enough to get out the year without losing any loved ones to the Australian bush fires, murder hornets, Boris Johnson, Brexit, Trump or Covid-19. I count myself lucky.

Now begins a fresh orbit of the Earth around the sun and it’s a good time to shake off the cobwebs and reach for some hope.

I’ve not been one for hope. Especially not for the last few months. It’s been in short supply here in Desert Of Zin Mansions.

But it’s a New Year.

The calendar is fresh, Earth’s rotation has begun anew, there’s potential ready for all of us.

And the sunlight hours (for us in the north of the world) are getting longer.

Good luck out there, travelers. Excelsior!

Plans for October

October 2020, here you are already. What a year.

Hey folks, I hope wherever you are, you’re safe and well.

So, yes, October has arrived. the world is frought with difficulties, one of the main ones being the ongoing threat of Covid-19. Again, stay safe, wear a mask and wash your hands.

Okay, where are we? Right, plans for the next month.

Sometimes it feels like I’m just struggling to stay afloat, much like loads of us over the last few months. My mood has been rocky as all hell recently and this last week, especially, I’m being particularly conscious of how I manage my responses to things. An even mood is required!

In this last week, so far, so good.

And creative projects?

There’s NaNoWriMo 2020 with Ghostland (working title 😉 ), which I’m quite excited about. I have some of it planned but not a scene by scene breakdown yet. The only time I’ve been successful doing a NaNo I had a solid plan. Let’s see if I can do that again.

I have other writing that I’m doing this month. I have a weird sci-fi horror story that I have been struggling with. It came down to a problem with the point of view. I was trying to do something different with telling it all from a 1st person, from a main character’s viewpoint. I was good but it just wasn’t clicking.

I changed the viewpoint a few days ago and, boom, it works so much better.

I’m going to set some writing homework for myself this month that will give me some practice with a viewpoint story. Just need an idea to hook it on.

What else?

The current lockdown measures in Scotland means that tabletop gaming is a no-no. That’s just annoying. No Warhammer. No X-Wing. Meh.

It does, however, give me a bit more time for painting before my next game.

My Astra Militarum / Imperial Guard are all but done. Two Chimera transports, a five man squad of Scions, 4 Heavy Weapons Squads, a normal Command Squad and a sniper one, and a handful of individual character models are all that are left. If I push through then I can get then done and that’s all the IG I currently have. It’s been ages since I’ve finished a large army project. It’s so close…

And other than that, it’s just the normal getting through life stuff.

I hope your October is a good one. 🙂

Transformers: War for Cybertron, part one of three – Siege

Howdy folks,

There’s and all new Transformers animated series, in a nifty anime style, on Netflix, called, if you didn’t read the title of the post, “Transformers: War for Cybertron”. It’s part of a trilogy of six episode miniseries with the first called Siege.

It’s all about the Autobots trying to escape Megatron’s Cybertron, while he tries to bring about their total annihilation.

I’ll be honest, it’s the same origin story that has been done to death about the Transformers but its well done, the animation is pretty cool, the synth soundtrack is kicking and it’s actually a lot of fun. And Ultra Magnus is in it. And Jetfire too. 🙂 And few other characters who it was good, and unexpected, to see.

The next two chapters of the trilogy aren’t out yet but if you gain any joy out of giant robot space opera, then I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

I’m looking forward to the next parts already.

Now, on to something new…

Ghostland – NaNoWriMo 2020

Howdy, folks.

In recent years I’ve been dodging NaNoWriMo as I’ve not really seen its worth, or not worthwhile for me, at least. (NaNoWriMo, for those who don’t know, is National Novel Writing Month. A challenge to write a 50,000 word novel, or 50k words of a novel, through the month of November. I successfully finished it, I think, in 2008.) And that was my intention for 2020.

But, as is the case sometimes, I have a story idea that I just can’t shift.

It came as a title.

Ghostland.

I think, if I remember correctly, that I was looking at ghost story novels and collections, and the title popped into my head. I had no inkling that it was going to be a working title of anything. That happened over the course of a few days.

And then I thought to myself, “Maybe I should try NaNoWriMo this year?”

So, there we are. 🙂

And the tinkering with story ideas and doing some writing fits nicely with 356 Days Of Writing. More on that later.

Links:
NaNoWriMo