Friday, 25 September 2015


Hello people.
Fair warning this is a musings type post. Might be best to source a beverage :)
Last Saturday I attended yet another X-Wing event. This one was an inter-club challenge representing the 186. It was a good day out up at Wargames Workshop in Milton Keynes. Including five 75 minute games, travel and breaks it was a 14 hour day. By game 5 I was flagging, same as everyone else, and was triumphantly exhausted during prize giving. No complaints though, quite the opposite :)
As a regular tourney player it's something that I'm used to and have learned a few survival techniques. I'm also very familiar with the inside of a gym and run a couple of 10Ks a week. The parallels are all there to be drawn.
For a tourney I'll make sure I get in a decent breakfast, often scrambled egg and bacon on toast. I've learned to snack small between games, peanut butter roll or fruit, and try to drink a bottle of water per game, especially as rooms full of gamers warm up rather quickly. I limit my lunch as I used to play poorly first game back otherwise, Circadian rhythem has an effect apparently. So hydration and regular snacking (non sugar to avoid rush and crash), the parralels begin to form.
Then, as I was contemplating this post I found this article on the Beeb about the physical effect of sustained mental effort. The article specifically looks at bridge, poker and chess but the same principles applying to any competitive gaming. The important word there is competive because primarily we all play games for fun and escapsim from real life. Competitive gaming offers a different edge to things, something I've rambled on about before an exacts a different toll.
With physical training repitition is key to build skill, endurance and stamina. Mental training, in the form of competitive gaming, follows the same mantra. I was interested in the article's claims that chess grand masters can burn 5000+ calories. The stereotypical gamer is either in need of feeding up or a pathalogical salad dodger, though I don't think the stereotype holds these days.
Another parrallel is the need for rest days / periods. With a decent number of events and competitions recently I'm beginning to feel the burn. As a release Thursday nights at Dark Sphere I've been playing much more casually. In a couple of weeks there's the Gaurdians of Tyr Team Touranament and I know a lot of people have been getting in plenty of table time for it. It's going to be an excellent day out but afterward I'm going to notch things back a touch. Tomorrow its Warboar in Bromley which many of us are using as an extended practice day.
With competitive X-Wing, there's more than one kind of STRESS but at the end of the day its all about the Pew-Pew ;)

Wednesday, 23 September 2015


As previously threatened I took a bunch of shots last night as myself and Jon got in our first game of Infinity for a few weeks prior to the club's upcoming campaign.

I could take dozens of close up shots but I've been much more bothered by the overall feel rather than individual pieces. Keeping the District 5 buildings fairly bland has worked nicely against the busier AT-43 tiles and card pieces. Similarly I'm pleased that the construction vehicles have done the same but with a co-ordinating splash of JCB orange.

So, 36 Painting Points on the board but more pleasing is a major project completed. The occasional extra piece may be added but I need to concentrate on figures for the forseeable.

Monday, 21 September 2015

Life on the NET # 3

Hello people,
Following some rather shady corporate refinancing I've somehow picked up some more cards. Not the most unexpected newsflash I admit!

One of my Luke Skywalker promo cards went on eBay just as the Honour and Profit deluxe expansion went on sale just about everywhere so that was self financing. I also did some research on Netrunner DB based on some popular NBN decks and worked out the most useful expansions for the lists I was looking to emulate. Knowledge is power so they say though with next month's budget already at a deficit I going to need some serious spin to stay on message. Just as well I've picked NBN as my primary Corp deck for the forseeable :)

I think the point here is that though you CAN play straight from the Core Set you're really going to want to expand past that point pretty quickly. So far I've "invested" £55 on cards, £15 on a mat and about another £30 on art sleeves. So that's £100 as a "realistic" entry point which gives me plenty to be going on (3 Runner and 4 Corp decks of various flavour) with and is still favourably comparable to many other games / systems.

At the end of it I have an NBN deck with a few variants to play with. I've also slapped together a Gabe criminal deck which is gut rather than research but I'll find out soon enough.  Myself and Rich have a beginners tourney at the beginning of October which gives a nice aiming point. There's also a team tournament run by Gaurdians of Tyr at the end of October which will need some cannon fodder.

I really just need to play some games and will be getting more involved at Dark Sphere on a Thursday night once the current X-Wing glut recedes a touch.

Meanwhile Thunderdome is now entirely completed, bar the dumpster which turned up at the weekend and proved to be laser cut MDF, and will be hitting the table at Enfield Gamers tonight. Plenty of photos shall be taken of the 36, sorely needed, Painting Points worth of lovely, lovely scenery. Now I just need to get back to the figures.......

Tuesday, 15 September 2015

From out of Nowhere

Hello people,

Just a quick one. I dropped in on some friends Sunday one of whom is similary geeky, though far more a console gamer than tabletop, and I had a quick flick through his recently purchased copy of SFX.

Much to my surprise the inside front cover was a double page GW advert for Age of Sigmar. Interesting as seemingly yet another major departure for Gee Dubya. I'm guessing that cost some serious shekels.

Flicking through the reviews there was a third page column review entitled "Not your daddy's Warhammer" with a 4 star, from 5, rating. Excuse the blurry shot but I was somewhat taken aback. Hardly an in-depth review and a continuation of the fast, fun, furious bandwagon but a big score none the less. Surely not SFX's normal content I'm guessing that cost some seriously serious shekels!

Sliding by the website there's minimal visibility on the front page for 40K, or anything that isn't Stormcast in honesty.

GW are really going for it at the short-term expense of anything else it would seem. That in itself causes me further confusion about the end-game, other than the 1000 copy limited edition Stormcast Battle-Tome that is. Are things that bad for GW or conversely so much better that they've finally taken the more corporate road.

Meanwhile Grimdark seems to have finally brought down the Old World. For me that's a shame but that's because that's what I grew up with it. I movbed on some years ago and it seem WHFB has finally done the same. If only GW had put so much effort in back then eh?

Saturday, 12 September 2015

The week off - Thunderdome prt 3

Hello people,

My apologies as I'm sure you've been waiting on the edge of your sears with baited breath.....


Thunderdome is most definitely 90% completed. Everything on the schedule is just about done. Only a cacked can of varnish has prevented me from finishing things off and that will definitely done tomorrow. The buildings, vehicles and all of the detail pieces were finished by early afternoon Friday ahead of schedule. Some of the weathering is a bit severe at the moment but varnish will bring it down a touch at which point a second round may occur. Gloss varnish also needs to be applied to windows and displays but otherwise all good. Very pleased thank you oh so much!

So in short no Painting Points just yet but a horde are upon the horizon. Once everything is 100% I'll put up shots of the whole table set. Meanwhile, without further provarication;

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

The week off - Thunderdome prt 2

Hello people,

So the end of day 3 and I'm very happy with the project so far. All of the buildings and construction vehicles have been block painted, which is a big step. As a bonus I've based all of the remaining Nomads as well.

Tomorrow will be detailing and I'll turn my attention to the smaller pieces. Friday will be weathering and finishing up the smaller pieces. Plenty of varnish will seal the deal.......sorry ;)

Anyway, eye candy;

Tuesday, 8 September 2015

The week off - Thunderdome prt 1

So as briefly mentioned previously I'm off work this week and have set myself the goal of sorting out my Infinity scenery, at least to the 90% mark, aka Thunderdome.

Thunderdome is a light industrial zone with a number of ongoing construction projects. It's not that great to visit and you'd definitely not rather live there. Detailing will be a big deal here and I'm determined to pack in as much as possible.

Yesterday, whilst watching Bladerunner I got all of the outstanding construction dealt with, including my last batch of figures. In an attempt to maximise results I want to be sat in front of by midday and that needs to stick. As you can see I've got quite a lot to get through and the time will evaporate far quicker than expected.

So today is all about basing, undercoating and base-coats. Tomorrow will be the big day. I know what colours I'm going for where, it's just a case of actually getting it done. It may seem fairly limited today but it's club night tonight and I want to put my first Netrunner decks together as well so it's a reduced clock.

On that note, best get to it :)

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Life on the NET # 2

Hello people,

Another 5 games of X-Wing yesterday going 3 and 0 only to get whitewashed in the last two. I was running a bomber based list, it needs work.

Tonight I headed over to Rich's for a few more games of Netrunner. We tried out a few new pre-built decks, much different to previous incarnations. Interesting to work through some different strategies. During the week I picked up a playmat and 300 card sleeves, which was barely enough. As such I've already broken my monthly budget by £8. Rich also had a couple of spare expansions including the incredibly useful Opening Moves which with a bit of creative accounting will be credited against next month's allowance....which is now already spent.....though I now need some more sleeves.
Next step is to put together a couple of decks myself. Definitely going NBN for the Rupert Murdoch effect and probably a Criminal Runner deck to attempt to broaden my horizons. It may be a bumpy ride :]

Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Life on the NET # I

So as threatened this is part one of the Netrunner series and uncharacteristically for me it's an unboxing. I don't normally go in for these as they rarely seem to say much of actual use but it's a very logical starting point. Hopefully I shall not disappoint, myself as much as any of you!
The first thing you come across, other than the push board of tokens, is the rulebook. I say book rather than pamphlet as it's A4 and almost thirty six pages of high end gloss finish. I've had the bonus of being lead through a few games by others. This procedure comes highly recommended. It's not a difficult game, more technical if that makes sense?

In honesty I'm not going to try to give a detailed description of gameplay, I doubt I can with any clarity. In summary Corporations attempt to complete Agendas whilst defending them from the Runners with ICE programs (firewalls), or simply killing the runner. Runners attack the Corporations to steal the Agendas using hacking Programs whilst avoiding being traced and hunted down.
In a full game each player brings a deck for each side and takes a turn at each role.

As mentioned previously it's a very claustrophobic, atmospheric game of skullduggery, bluff and nefariousness. Very, very good fun but fairly brutal with it.

Stealing a quote;
'Getting your head around Netrunner is like trying to grab a fish in a river. It slips always just out of your reach, lets you seize it only for a moment. And just when you think you’ve really got it, brand-new cards are released, making new mechanics possible. It is not about the climb to dominance. It is not about getting better and better until you’re impervious. It’s not about winning, but about growing, laterally, like you’re sketching a map of a world that will never be finished being born.

I fell in love with this game because becoming good at it, and having fun at it, and making it mine, meant that winning stopped mattering at all.'
Onto the cards; On the corporation side you get four Corp specific starter sets (Haas-Bioroid, Jinteki, NBN and Weyland) along with a set of Neutral cards, mainly the all important Agendas. With the Runners you get three stater sets (Anarch, Criminal and Shaper) with a similar set of Neutral cards.

Each faction is neatly themed, as are their faction cards. Haas-Bioroid and Jinteki specialise in biotech and clones respectively while NBN runs world media and Weyalnd runs the numbers. The runner factions are self explanatory with Shapers out to build a better world for everyone.

In short, you get plenty in the core set to dip a toe or two, play a bunch of games and see where you want to go with the game. For £30 that's a very good deal. So far I've only played as Weyland, Jinteki and Shapers. I'll get plenty more games out of the set before NEEDING to pick anything else up. Wanting is different.....obviously!

Having played a bunch more games down at Enfield Gamers last night I understand the principles and tactics of the game far better. For the moment I want to try out each of the factions in the core set and what tactics suit them best. Also, having read around the net a bit this seems to be general advice i.e. try before you buy. There's quite a few cycles out there now so it makes sense to go into things forearmed.

Rich has also pointed me towards which has formed today's lunchtime reading, specifically this and this beginner article as well as a browse of a recommended deck builder.

Hopefully some of that was useful, for you as well as me ;)