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. 🙂

Managing Expectations…

So, this happened…

Then, this happened…

Initially scunnered, I’m now sitting at my desk with broken tanks, glue and a sense of peace and acceptance.

J.U.L.I.A.: Among the Stars

I bought the game yesterday because it was both on sale on Steam and had been on my wish list for a few years now.

And also because I fancied playing a point and click adventure, and J.U.L.I.A. was well reviewed.

I bought the game yesterday, played it on and off all day and finished it about 10 minutes ago. Perhaps that’s the review / recommendation all there, in a nutshell. I just couldn’t let it go.

The backgrounds are beautiful, the puzzles are tricky without being hair-pulling and the story is really good. When I look back at it, the story fits together nicely.

Only things that are a bother are, the sassy ship AI gets annoying sometimes and I’m sure I’ve missed the complete explanation why the protagonist is alone on the ship to begin with.

I did rattle through it at some pace though, so there’s a chance that a few details have slipped through the net.

So, 9 out of 10? Much fun, Steam sale price-point, well crafted. A good way to spend a day in Covid-19 lock down.

Oh, and I might have missed something but what does J.U.L.I.A. stand for?

(also posted as a review on Steam)

Chess? Oh, Go On Then

This evening I’ve been learning to play chess.

I’ve played before with Ruth but what happened is that she taught me to play, I beat her twice and we haven’t played since. Now, I’m not saying that as a boast. I prefer playing tactical games more than she does.

Anyway.

That was years ago and, while I can still remember the moves that each piece makes, the finer methods of play are beyond my experience.

What happened was, I was talking to some rando online when they challenged me to a game of chess. I created my account on chess.com and was roundly beaten three times. Since then I’ve been reading up on the finer points of the game.

Strategy and the like. I can’t say I’m any better now, because how much can one man improve in 4 hours but I don’t think I’m quite so sucky at it.

Time will tell, I’m sure.

Tomorrow I’ll try against a computer opponent before I feel confident enough for playing against a fleshy one.

40k : astra militarum and alpha legion vs. tau (750+750vs1500)

Tonight’s game was a three player, two vs one, game of Warhammer 40000, Games Workshop’s futuristic military tabletop miniatures game.

I brought 750 points of Astra Militarum.

This isn’t a battle report of any kind but a wee breakdown of how my army performed, unit by unit, especially as I brought some things to battle for the first time. Let’s begin.

Company Commander
+ laspistol
+ frag grenades

Company Commander
+ laspistol
+ frag grenades

These guys are order generators, and to pay the H.Q. tax. Low points and a basic loadout, they’re not used for actual combat.

Infantry Squad
+ lasgun / 9
+ frag grenades
+ laspistol / sergeant

Infantry Squad
+ lasgun / 9
+ frag grenades
+ laspistol / sergeant

Infantry Squad
+ lasgun / 9
+ frag grenades
+ laspistol / sergeant

One squad for minding the Basilisk with a Company Commander. The other two, with a CC, for objective sitting.

Bullgryns
+ Bullgryn maul / 3
+ frag bombs
+ slabshield

A first time unit. I wanted to see how useful they’d be for hitting and smashing. They took on a Tau Commander and lost. To be fair, I rolled badly. Adding a Ministorum Priest would have given the unit an extra 3 attacks. The slabshield was worth the points, though. It kept my guys alive for another turn.

Hellhound
+ heavy flamer
+ inferno cannon

Armoured Sentinel
+ heavy flamer
+ Sentinel chainsaw

Armoured Sentinel
+ heavy flamer
+ Sentinel chainsaw

The Hellhound was a new unit. The inferno cannon is a beast. 2D6 auto hits at strength 6. It all but wiped out a unit of Tau Fire Warriors. The Sentinels I used to accompany the Hellhound. They did an okay job, but swapping them out for a second HH seems a better use of the points.

I DO like Sentinels though.

Basilisk
+ Earthshaker cannon
+ Heavy bolter

The Basilisk needs a pal. One isn’t enough to do serious damage now that weapon templates aren’t a thing. I can churn out a good amount of damage to single units, but only D6 hits (rolling two D6’s and choosing the highest) a turn. I should have used it for picking apart battlesuits but I wasted it on squads of cheap infantry.

Valkyrie
+ multi-laser
+ two multiple rocket pods
+ two heavy bolters

For delivering the Bullgryns and annoying the enemy. It was okay but didn’t do as well as in the past.

For a next game, at that points level, I’d add a second Hellhound, drop the Valkyrie and Basilisk and maybe add some Heavy Weapon Teams. And maybe a Chimera transport for the infantry, for objective camping.

A good fun game though. 🙂

battle ready – pastor niles

Okay, as promised, an actual model that’s been painted. 🙂

Everyone, say hello to Pastor Niles.

Pastor Niles is one of the Ministorum Priests assigned to Major Emerson’s Fighting 27th, a motley collection of soldiers trying to stay alive on the nightmare world of Planet Nine.

He’s shinier than expected when seen close up. That must be something to do with the light of the God-Emperor, or something…

battle ready – windmaster oh

I’ve had this model kicking around, unpainted, for years. A couple of editions of Warhammer Fantasy Battle ago.

Now we’re in the brave new world of Warhammer Age of Sigmar, version 2.0 no less, and maybe it’s time to splash some paint on the old fella. Also, I’ve been inspired by the recent chat over at Warhammer Community and Citadel Colour of getting models, units and armies “Battle Ready”.

And, let’s face it, it’s something else to do with my amazing website of no content.

Windmaster Oh, all green and keen.

Windmaster Oh, for want of a better name, has a base coat of Loren Forest here. I’m just about to splash some Biel-Tan Green over him. Once that dries I’ll start working on him from the base up.

little plastic unpainted faces

No, not a sermon on the devilry of over-used plastic surgery but a few thoughts on that other scourge of our times… Warhammer!

I had a long term strategy where I wouldn’t use any model that wasn’t fully painted. Problem is my painting speed is glacial. So I have a number of boxes of wee plastic men who haven’t seen any tactical game action.

The last few games, however, I’ve brought out a few tanks that aren’t quite finished. Then a squad that haven’t seen anything other than undercoat.

And that got me thinking, why am I doing this to myself?

This week I’m going to unbox as much as possible and glue it up so that it’s usable for a game. I wonder how much I’ll have ready by the end of the week?

the saga of inquisitor emerson

This (and apologies for the poor paint job / image) is Inquisitor Emerson.

Inquisitor Emerson

I play Warhammer 40K. I’m sure I’ve banged on about this in the past. Its not something I hide. Recently I’ve been bogged down in too many miniature painting projects for too many army ideas and, as is often the case with such procrastination, very little has been done to complete any of these projects. 

But ages ago I had a daft idea for running my regular games with more of a narrative in mind. It doesn’t really matter if my opponent does the same, only that I do. And it means i can swap different detachments in and out of my force and as long it keeps to the overall story then I can justify keeping that army around rather than have lots of disparate elements that don’t seem to gel, or ever get finished.

So, I’m going to build something round Inquisitor Emerson. I was tempted to repaint the model as I’ve come on considerably with my painting but I’m fond of him so I’ll probably stick with it. I have a few ideas of a wee retinue that would follow him about and would join him in games as required. Also, two other Inquisitors, named Lake and Palmer. Just because.

I have a game coming up on Sunday so I think I’ll write a wee background story and one that help theme my army. Let’s see what I come up with.