Monday, 12 September 2016

Ugly Ducklings?

So, I've actually painted something ;)

Though in honesty these are re-paints of re-paints ad I've been rather unhappy with the original re-paints or more accurately the overdone transfers applied to them.

I'm MUCH happier with these versions. Painting as a pair I've gone for reversed schemes and kept everything much cleaner, the main detail work being the rather heavy weathering......if that makes sense.....

Neither have seen the table-top for quite sometime. I don't have a Palpatine knocking around and am still on too much of an anti-meta kick at the moment to give him a go.

Anyway I'm still claiming the Painting Points, six in total, while I move on to Victory Star Destroyers.

Tuesday, 6 September 2016

To the MAX!!

So Sunday I headed out to the BABW, Bring Another Brit to Worlds, Netrunner event at Scenario gaming pub in Stoke Newington.

In short there are a network of such events running up and down the country to raise funds to financially assist the eventual winners with costs to attend Netrunner Worlds in Minnesota. This is a fantastic thing that the Netrunner community generates for the Netrunner community, which is to be lauded.

For myself I was there primarily to support that ethos and also play a few games. For that I got an alt art Maxx card which was very pleasing.

Just as well really given that after splitting my first game I tanked like a stone. Unfortunately this was an event where the TO decided to play despite creating a Bye, pet peeve, which I collected in the final round. It was the only thing that kept me from the wooden spoon.....technically.

In honesty I didn't play that well at times though it didn't help that my Corp deck insisted on Agenda flooding me at every opportunity. During what turned out to be my final game I was sat with an entire hand of them at one point.

So once again a few lessons learned, decks tweaked and the determination to play more. I shall also be trying out a Maxx deck :)

Friday, 2 September 2016

The Turning Wheel

So Thursday last week I dropped down to the Post Office early doors to pick up my great big package of Armada.

Whilst I was in town I had a bumble about, picked up a latte and strolled into WHSmith looking for potential new reading material. As is the custom I had a browse through Wargames Illustrated and Miniature Wargames, primarily as a blast from the pass.

Back in the day (10-15 years ago) I was an avid reader always looking for the next period / theatre / scale from skirmish to Grand Armee, literally at the time, in our triumvirate gaming group.

What struck me was how much my hobby has changed since that time. I later realised that it was actually I and my circumstances that had changed and that my hobby had simply morphed in my own image. I'm sure this must be a common misconception? Back then I worked for Gee-Dub and in hindsight more than likely pursued historical gaming as a diversion from the day job, along with alternatives such as Warmachine and Hordes. That is after all the purpose of a hobby?

Moving on, employment and otherwise, in time has seen me gravitate back to my first love of sci-fi / fantasy but without without ever returning to the "scene of the crime". As with so many of us there's a LOT of games that I've played before I arrived at my "Triple Shot" that has worked pretty well for the last little while.

These days I have a couple of golden rules that seem to have pretty much written themselves;
1. Is it Fun? As simple as "do I enjoy playing it", as complex as does it have a depth of mechanic and strategy to keep me engaged and keep me coming back for more.
2. Would I go to a competitive event? By this I don't mean win but hold my own, learn etc in a positive manner. Infinity struggled for me on this front. Once you reduce your gaming circle for safety I think that's writing on the wall time.
3. Hobby, Hobby, Hobby? I'm a hobbyist before being a gamer. Can I customise through modeling, painting etc? Netrunner is an anomaly here outside of deck construction and sleeves but it's huge meta is variation in itself and playing straight out if the pack is a major strength.

It's been an interesting transformation, in hindsight. I was never much of a card gamer. A bit of Magic a long time back and then Warhammer Invasion, which I've still got, as a replacement for Fantasy. Now I can't seem myself ever not playing Netrunner and the new Cthulu Mythos card game from FFG is hugely tempting.

As a result of my gaming shift I have less opportunity for modelling and painting I do spend a lot more time actually playing games. I still find projects for myself but army painting hasn't happened in quite sometime. The introduction of a lot more boardgames has compounded this also. I kind of miss it but not badly.

Anyway I've rambled enough for now ;) Onwards and upwards?

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

Event Horizon # 4

So the end of a long week off. Tradition dictates a wrap-up post.

The last couple of days I've played a few games with Rich who also took me SUP-ping, stand up paddling Monday morning. We'd played a couple of games of Halo on Friday. I got a bit more into it and won both of our very close games. I'd quite happily play it again. After SUP it was Duck, Duck, Go which was pretty much all I could, or wanted, to handle. Fantastic game!
It's been a good week off,  playing plenty of games and eventually getting round to some painting on the last day. It's kind of been the point to not have a specific project this time round and recharge the gaming battery a bit. A hackneyed phrase but the change has been as good as a rest and I'm keen to get stuck into Armada. Rich kindly donated me a bunch of ships so I've got plenty to be getting on with.

Deciding to go full broadside I've blacked in the bases, including all the card piece edges, and got basecoats on the Imperial capitol ships. I have plans to use tiger stripe and dazzle camo schemes on them. I see them as a very rag-tag outer rim force. Ill crowbar Thrawn in there somewhere, somehow.
Its good to have a positive focus back and by indulging myself elsewhere I've reminded myself why I'm playing the games I do. X-Wing will always be there but Netrunner and Armada will be my focus for a while.

The triumvirate system is still working for me, just need a touch of readjustment :)

Friday, 26 August 2016

Event Horizon #3

Hello again.

So Wednesday I headed down to Warboar in Bromley for a day's gaming with a long time mate, Alan, and also to pick up some FFG prize kits for club events. We had a good chat about all sorts, including our time working together for the big Gee-Dub, but fairly obviously plenty of hobby.

Fairly spontaneously I prevaricated as to my recent gaming woes and came to the conclusion that my self-imposed "Rule of Three" probably hadn't helped in some ways.  All this whilst Alan set up Rebellion along with sage nodding and occasional supportive throat noises. It occurred that most gamers are notorious magpies leaping from one game / system to another, often hoarding multiple half completed projects in protective coatings of dust. I had dared to challenge my hard gained affliction and fallen foul of my own good intentions.......

Maybe nothing quite so drastic but variety is the spice of life and with so many, MANY, quality offerings out there its a good release to dabble on a regular basis as much to remind yourself why your staple games are so. Even better if you can try before you don't buy through mates, clubs or board games cafes such as Warboar / Paradice.

My considered review of Rebellion is that it's a good game, FFG after all and I rather enjoyed trolling around as the Imperial fleet crushing the Rebellion wherever I found them. After forcing and winning a major engagement I did eventually locate the Rebel base on Ryloth, but not before leaving Coruscating open to a Rebel terror cell. Forced into a last desperate assault my favourable all game dice failed me and the Rebellion triumphed.

I'd definitely play again but I'm unlikely to ever part with cash for the privilege as I don't have to. Shared resources amongst a group of gaming buddies is a given. I'm off to do the same today with Rich. It's the lack of variation that hasn't helped my, first world, gaming issues and this week is dealing with that nicely.

I also picked up my Armada package from the Post Office yesterday and fairly obviously supplemented at Warboar whilst I was there, rude not to. As such the weekend will feature a bit of overtime in the shipyards for a potential deployment at the club on Tuesday.

Brace yourselves ; )

Wednesday, 24 August 2016

Event Horizon #2

I'm back!

Only fair that you might thought otherwise as I've hardly been overly active on here over the past couple of months. As I've mentioned recently X-Wing has found a natural dip for me since Yavin. Infact gaming as a whole has, for various reasons.

Going back to Nationals the point of reporting by photo was to try and concentrate on the whole weekend as an experience rather than on the X-Wing Nationals. Which such an event the road-trip, early morning fry ups, nights out and your gaming buddies are all a big part of it.

For the weekend the drive up was hard work and then I realised that there was no trade show, my misunderstanding. We then discovered that the side events that looked so good on paper had tiered prizes, making the good stuff very difficult to win.

For Nationals I was running my triple Imp Ace list, that I had a dozen games with. I was flying competitively casual as usual;
Round 1: was a dual ordnance K-Wing hard counter that I'd not seen before. Just lost this one but a great opponent who I chatted with all weekend.
Round 2: was triple X-Wing that I flew to beat despite mediocre dice. My opponent was less than fun.
Round 3: was dual ordnance K-Wing again. I lost hard inside 30 minutes. Nice guy though.
Round 4: was Ryad / Crack Swarm. Fantastic guy. I flew poorly for most of the game but somehow got away with it.
Round 5: was against guy I'd played previously and has been my worst opponent ever. He plays mind games, I wasn't in the mood and the dice finished me off.
Round 6: was against an 11 year old with dual Decimators. Neither of us had any fun.

I got a bit grumpy after round 3, got it back together for round 4, lost it for 5 and got perspective back to finish 3-3. It was a weird event with 120 odd players and a top 32. I got, unusually, grumpy knowing that I'd missed the cut by round 3. I was wondering why I was staying two nights in Birmingham for a regional sized event that could easily be on my doorstep. What brought the weekend back for me was my friends within the X-Wing community and the determination to make the most of the weekend.

In honesty I wasn't alone in such thoughts as many players I know well voiced familiar feelings. Jumpmasters and Palp Aces dominated proceedings once again. I've waxed on about how it's hard to find a "casual" event these days. One guy I know well has declared that he may no longer attend major events. Hyperbole and first world problems I know but it's still an issue and its not gking away.

For me I've realised that I've struggled to enjoy my gaming recently. X-Wing has become very competitive and I've been falling out of love with Infinity. It's been pick up games as and when recently without too much purpose, which explains my lack of activity on here.

The solution is simple, make the change;
1. Trade Infinity in for Armada. It's a move I've been contemplating for a while. Playing a game and a half over the weekend simply triggered a decision already made. Facebook buy & sell groups have done the necessary.
2. Prioritise Netrunner. Make Wednesday nights at Secret Weapon a regular thing and play as much as possible. Enjoy regaining ground on the learning curve.
3. Fly Casual. X-Wing still maintains it's place but fly some different stuff, plenty of Scum. Maybe right off the competitive scene for the rest of the year or until the appetite returns.

Right now it's Armada to re-spark the figures, on and off the paint station, with Netrunner to compliment and X-Wing to fill in the gaps. A different perspective and something new to blog about :)

Monday, 22 August 2016

Event Horizon # 1

Hello people,

I've got a week off work which is traditionally a time when I set a project and inflict it upon you as a form of personal motivation. This week is no different in respect that there's a project, it is different in respect of the goals and back story to it.

A couple of weekends ago I, and many others, went up to Birmingham NIA for FFG's Nationals competitions. That was X-Wing for me and might also have been Netrunner if it hadn't been on the same day. In short the weekend was rather an anti climax for me in some ways, far better in others, which in turn sets the background to this week off. It's also finalised a number of hobby decisions that were pretty much making themselves along the way.

I did actually attempt to blog from Birmingham but Blogger App wasn't playing ball. It turned out that the event wasn't what I'd hoped it might be, for a number of reasons, and also inspired me to blog / report predominantly in pictures rather than words;
The slightly esoteric point here was that despite dissapoint on the tables it became far more about making the most of the weekend. For a couple of hours on Saturday I became rather grumpy for a number of reasons but sorted myself out before ruining my, or anyone else's weekend.

More about that later, I have redemptive stuff to go and do ;)