Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Wyrmwood Dice Vault

When I am not busy buying way too many miniatures from Mantic Games kickstarters I like to look around for others items to invest in. One of those items was the handmade dice box from Wyrmwood Gaming.

Dice Vault in Rosewood

These boxes are all hand crafted and stained. The carry a full standard set of polyhedral dice with room to spare for a few extras. There is not enough room for a full set of Fate Dice, but you can get a good number in there (all but two i think). The fit is really quite nice. The boxes come with a magnetic closure which holds very well. The kickstarter boxes also included a foam insert to keep dice from shaking around too much. 

These really are very nice, and I highly recommend them as a gift item for gamers. I hope to see them start another Kickstarter with a new product once they get this one "in the box".

Friday, December 13, 2013

Snap, Snap, Click, Click Terrain

I spent some time assembling some of the terrain I received with my Mantic Deadzone kickstarter shipment. It was a huge box of stuff which I will cover in some detail later. I got a lot of terrain through the Kickstarter because it is one thing I am just not good at creating and I knew that it would be super important to this game. I figured it would also work for 40K or any other science fiction based skirmish miniatures game.

A Bit of Scenery and a few Plague models
A couple of things I will note, as there seem to be some issues floating around the forums about the shipments and functionality of the terrain pieces:

  • I appear to have gotten all the sprues that were coming to me for terrain. I need to go back through one more time to be sure, but I am 90% sure that things are good.
  • Using a flat screw driver I was able to assemble off of these pieces quiet easily without breakage. The one thing that is hard to deal with are the flat connectors when trying to put the cubes together. It is hard to lay them down to get the correct leverage. Luckily, the flat connectors are also far easier to get in with just your fingers and a bit of pressure. 
  • I don't think I will need to use glue. These are well connected. In fact, they are so well connected that even using a small screw driver to try and push the connectors out has been a challenge.
  • I did find that you can get away with fewer connectors and still maintain stability when you have more walls.
Overall I am very happy with how it is turning out. I will be building the landing platform tonight along with a control building which will represent the first set of terrain pieces I plan to play with. There are still a bunch of pieces that I have no clue how to use. Hoping to find more sample builds so I can see how others used the bits. If you know of some good examples, please post links in the comments.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

...again to 40k

Nothing like finding a group of people doing something you really love to make you take a head first dive off a cliff to join them.

A few years back I started a blog called ...again to Warhammer. My plan was to re-imagine my hordes of undead. It worked well for a while until I got distracted with other things. I have the army though, nearly finished with assembly, and i am thinking of pulling it out and getting it done. This post isn't about the WFB army though.

This post is about ...again to 40k, after spending the night Saturday dusting off my Necrons for an attempt at 6th edition. The game was fun, and reminded me that for all the board and roleplaying I do that I am a miniatures gamer at heart.

On the way home I thought and thought about what army I wanted to play. Keep and enhance the Necrons or try something new? I really have always loved IG, but they are sort of boring. Space Marines are also a favorite, I love speeders. Then I started thinking about Tyranids. I got home and saw some of the newer models, huge. Then I saw some of the rumors for the new codex and was pretty well sold.

The small group we have includes another Necron player, a Tau and a Blood Angel. I think some enormous bugs will fit right in. Look for more posts and pictures as I get started over the next few weeks.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Catch Up TV: Sarah Conner Chronicles

Terminator: The Sarah Connor ChroniclesImage via Wikipedia
My favorite thing about Netflix is that it gives me commercial free access to old TV shows that I missed when they were on the air. The most recent show for me has been The Sarah Conner Chronicles. I wrapped up the series tonight, and in general think it was very well done. Some spoilers appear below about how the series ends.

The added benefits of Summer Glau walking around in her underwear aside, the show was well cast and the acting was quite good. The story line picked up after the second Terminator 2 movie and follows Sarah & John Conner as they try to stop Skynet from ever forming. They are joined by Cameron who is a 888 terminator sent back from the future to guard John. Various other characters play into the series including a number of other terminators in both the 80x and 100x (liquid metal) lines. Plenty can be read about all this at the Terminator Wiki, better than I can do here.

I would not call myself a big fan of the Terminator movies, nor have I kept up with all of the fiction spawned from the story line. I do now the general story though, and after watching this series I was a tad disappointed in how it ends. Don't read any further if you want to keep the surprise.

We end the series at the end of season 2 with John Conner in the future, after the war has started, with no one knowing his name. Now I fully understand that multiple timelines (universes) exist in large part to all of the damn time travel going on, and I understand that he has jumped forward in the future and not had a chance to make a name for himself. That said he has got to be kinda pissed. His whole life up to this point has sucked ass, and he now finds himself in a world where he is unknown and all the hiding and running was for nothing. I am sure it feels good to not be in the sights of every walking tin can, but still sort of a let down from everything else we have ever heard about John.

As Weaver gets ready to make the time jump Sarah backs away leaving her son to go to who knows where with a terminator that only moments earlier she accused of building Skynet. She spends 15+ years protecting her son day and night from cyborgs and then just lets him disappear into nothing with one that she clearly doesn't trust? Talk about destroying continuity. At least have her beg and plead for him to not go. This was my biggest disappointment.

I do really like the John Henry/Weaver/T1001 story line though. It was sort of obvious for a lot of season 2 that Weaver was not completely bad. When they tried to kill Savanna though, it became more obvious that she was being hunted by the true bad guys. You also discover that very few people realize Weaver is not human, maybe just John Henry. That there are terminator models that do not have to blindly follow SkyNet makes good sense for this story overall, because without some help it is hard to imagine that any humans survive. This series makes it plain that John keeps lots of cyborgs around him. Building a computer to match SkyNet, but teaching it how to "be human" is an interesting idea. Having John Henry painting miniatures and playing D&D was just icing on the cake. I would very much like to have the ability to always roll a 20.

One thing I found interesting was that in the episode where Cameron goes bad she prevents John from killing her by telling him that she loves him. Obviously, she cannot because she is just a cyborg. However, when John sees Allyson (the human who's form is used for Cameron) at the end of the series you get the idea that they will hit is off good. Makes me think that it was some memory of Allysons that made Cameron tell John he loved her. Perhaps they become close. Though it would be hard to imagine him turning her over to be assimilated then.

With only 2 seasons this show was certainly cut way short. It is amazing to me that shows like this die and all of the reality garbage stays on the air. I suppose it is people like me who are to blame though. I didn't lend my eyes to the viewer-ship when the show was on the air. Watching 4 years later on Netflix doesn't count for much in that regard. The show is worth watching if you like science fiction, and likely worth a glance even if you don't.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Catch the WFRP Disease

If you were to ask me what roleplaying game I was most interested in playing I would have to say Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd edition. I think my background as a board and miniatures gamer plays a role in thinking this way, I like the visual aspect of the game. However, it is not just that this game has a lot of pretty looking bits to it. The components in this game are actually really useful to game play, and help to set a tone that I have never seen in the other games in my collection.

I was reminded of this while re-reading through the disease rules last night. If you are not familiar with the game I suggest that you check out either the Outsiders You Tube channel or the Reckless Dice podcast. In summary, the 3rd edition of Warhammer makes use of cards to track player characters. Each career (think class) of PC has a number of slots that can hold talent cards. Talent cards are similar to Feats from 4e D&D, they allow PC's to do better at tests of various kinds. The mechanic works well especially since a PC can have access to more talents than he has slots for, and swap them out as the situation warrants.

The power of the components really shines though when you look at something like the disease rules. The Warhammer world is a dirty place, rife with disease and other nastiness. In the game you can contract diseases in any number of ways, and if you fail your test to resist you fall ill. What's great is that when you fall prey to the disease, represented by a card, you slide it in to one of the slots normally reserved for your talents. Until you get better, you cannot use a talent in that slot. Each disease has it's own nasty effects, but in addition, your illness prevents you from operating at 100%. This is all very visual, you can actually get a sense from just looking at your character sheet that you do not feel good, that your sick. In D&D, even if you contract a disease, you never get a feel like your sick. You operate the character the same for the most part. There is no visual representation to remind you that you should feel like crap, and it is easy to forget to roleplay the illness. WFRP goes a long way towards keeping the condition front and center, and hopefully enhancing roleplay as a result.

I recorded a quick video to demonstrate how it all works.