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 ;)

Monday, 1 August 2016

Competition Time?

Hello people,

Once again it's been a bit quiet on the gaming front. A bit of life getting in the way,as it does, but also a natural lull as I've taken a bit of a natural break from competitive gaming. It's been somewhat necessary, with my Bolt Action Commandos recycled to a new home while I've been at it.

X-Wing has been my pick up game of choice with a touch of Netrunner as and when. Weekend events have neither been a want or need recently though I now feel happy to venture back out onto the circuit.

With Netrunner I need to go back to basics AGAIN whilst with X-Wing I've "allowed" Nationals to sneak up on me in the same way as Yavin. It's been that kind of year and will probably stay the same way.

I'm once again going to use a major National event to re-launch my gaming, rather than the other way around. As for lists it'll either be Imperial triple aces "Disco Inferno" aka the sensible choice, or Scum double Scout / Zuckuss "Feel the Zuck" which I've flown twice......but rather fancy.

On that note I have got all of the above painted up. Vader was done sometime ago but the rest are recent. I've gone for an alternative metallic scheme for Inqy and something a bit in between for Vessery. Zuckuss and the Scouts have been a labour of love for a while. Well pleased :)

Moving neatly on that's a dozen Painting Points that I need to claim. Mojo has stayed intact, it just needs a bit of a kickstart. Roll on Nats!!

Thursday, 7 July 2016

Undiscovered Country

Hello people,

Yet another LIFE inspired hiatus but I am actually playing games. Last week saw a swarm of X-Wing match ups with a smattering of Netrunner culminating in a whole weekend of "I am your Father!" at Warboar and Lost Ark.

Warboar were running an inverted Hanger Bay format, take two lists each with opponents choosing for each other, and Lost Arc limiting the field to Imperial vs Rebel.

For Warboar I selected my slightly disfunctional Dengar / Plasma Boat / Feedback Z because I wanted some table time with it and Vader / Inquisitor / Vessery because of theme, Imperial Veterans and the fact that I've never flown triple aces, or the Inquisitor.

Disco Inferno (100)
Darth Vader: Veteran Instincts - TIE x1 - Advanced Targeting Computer - Engine
Col Vessery: Veteran Instincts - TIE x7
Inquisitor: Push the Limit - TIE v1 - Autothrusters

Hopefully it's fairly obvious that Vessery works off of his compadres Target Locks whilst barrelling around at high speed for near constant Focus / Evade. In fact it's three green dice and bucket loads of dice modification all over the shop.

Saturday all five of my opponents chose to fly against Disco Inferno which surprised as I felt it was by far the stronger list. A PS10 Dengar was quoted as bring scary but maybe it was just U Boat bias.

Long story short I went 4-1 only losing a very tight game to Chirneau / Whisper. I was kind of in shock as I'd always felt that triple aces simply wasn't my thing. Apparently not, I even beat dual IGs three times, and it was a lot of fun while I was at it.

As such, also with a late finish and a cancelled train home, I ran exactly the same list for a very similar result of 3-1. In honesty three of those games were extremely close with me winning two of them on the last roll of the dice. 

Lots of fun and a new archetype to add to the potential rosters. Inqy and Vessery have also found thier way to the head of the repaint queue. 

Disco Inferno will boogie again :)

Monday, 27 June 2016

Menage et Trois?

Hello people,

So, completing the set Nigel dropped by last night for a game of Infinity, to kickstart us both back into the game. He'd recently picked up the Onyx Contact Force set and I just wanted to get back to it with some table time.

As such I went with a tried and tested Corrigedor force against the rather elite force of recently constructed Morats and drones including a new fangled EVO Repeater Hacker drone.  Turns out I have access to them to.
Playing Supplies Nigel won WIP and decided to go second leaving me to claim the high side of the table. Forcing him to set up first worked well initially as I gunned down his Q-Drone and grabbed a supply crate with a Tomcat who legged it back to my line.

After that the Morat super jumping link team of ultimate doom preceded to tear chunks out of me at an alarming rate wiping out the link team of Aguaciles, including Leutenant, and the Reaktion Zond on Turn 1.

Loss of Leutenant kind of nullified my Turn 2. I braced myself for a continued Morat onslaught at which point the Intruder Sniper went all a bit Rambo popping rounds into ape-faces and drones at will, eventually outgunned by a combi-rifle. At that point the Fraccta dropped in and executed my beloved Lunokhod and the Tomcat.

Turn 3 swung back my way as the Engineer lucked out to ventilate the Fraccta and reclaimed the care package while Doc got Rambo back up and the Moran made a charge for a second set of supplies, only to fail his WIP at the last.
Nigel ground his teeth slightly and went all out for Rambo who simply wouldn't have it. Making a suicide super jump for a potentially game saving supply box Rambo finally succumbed........only for Nigel to realise his remain Specialist was too far away to do the job!

Just the game I needed. Good fun, tight result and not having slipped down the learning curve all that far. Tonight I dug the Shasvassti back out into the painting queue and finished off the Jumpmasters and G1-A to make room.

As I've been saying, Mojo fully restored :)

Sunday, 26 June 2016

Filthy, Filthy

Hello people,

So once again real life has got in the way but last weekend that was all brushed aside as I spent both day playing Netrunner,aka Filthy Cards,  and thoroughly enjoying myself whilst I did it :)

Saturday was Dark Sphere's Regional with a trip up to Northampton on Sunday to catch up with Gaurdians of Tyr's 2016 Grand Tournament.

In total I played 10 games across the two days, didn't win too many, came away with an impressive haul of swag, including a wooden spoon, and as with Birmingham a reinvigorated Mojo. All good :)

To be honest that was pretty much my goal for the weekend as I'd realised that by not playing much recently I had slipped down the learning curve somewhat. Netrunner's curve is pretty steep so it was more a case of how far.

As such I took older decks, which have done decently for me previously. Other than a mild issue with Influence, oops, the only issue was going to me. I made a lot of mistakes over the weekend, I got swept repeatedly, three in a row at Northampton, but relearnt a lot from it.

I've been keeping up online and with something of a Eureka moment can see the benefit of more varied Runner decks, mine being more mono-themed and as such having less choices to make.

I also recently came across an interesting article about running Jank on which resonated pretty strongly with me and seems like a good, fun way to delve into the wider card pool.

First off , put into practice the relearnt lessons of how to play a bit better which means rocking up for Secret Weapon in Stratford on a Wednesday night on a more regular basis.

Oh, and stop running 4th click so much ;)

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

Never being Boring

Hello people,

So, after the qualified triumph of Yavin / Expo as a bit of variety I've been dabbling elsewhere, which is allowed under my self imposed gaming restrictions as I haven't spent any money. Nor will I.....honest :)

Nigel recently picked up Warhammer Quest: Silver Tower and has played a couple of games down at the club. I jumped in for a game last week and it short was really impressed. There are plenty of reviews out there, here's Beasts of War two pence, so the main contribution that I have to make is that it FEELS right. Simple mechanics, depth to tactics plus a need for co-operative play versus the random event studded scenarios.
Production quality is as high as you would expect and the figures are gorgeous, the otherwise overpowered grim-dark fitting very nicely, though I still can't get on with the Celestians. As much as anything the game actually fits with, what I remember as, it's original ethos. It's not often that this gets said but WELL DONE GW. Ahem,....

All of this is just as well as GameZone's HeroQuest 25 version is apparently still under production as well as 18 months overdue. What seems to be lacking is any form of recognition of that issue. Gears will grind slowly I'm sure...... (grumble)

Speaking of slow grinding gears, it's almost like it's deliberate, Rich ran me through TANKS, Battlefront's new game commanding a tank platoon. It looks like a kind of Flames of War lite but it's actually a boardgame, just on a 3x3 tabletop.
Nothing wrong with that but maybe you should make that plain. Rich referred to it as WWII X-Wing which isn't too far off as you have a 100 point platoon of variously pointed tanks that you can equip with Ace abilities and various other crew, equipment and ammunition. Movement is template based, combat decided by attack an defense dice with critical damage causing extra effects. Topping everything off is a numerically rated initiative system.

So WWII X-Wing. It's good fun, once again simple mechanics allowing depth of tactics. As much as there's the room to be gamey genuine tank platoon tactics still have thier place.

Both good games in thier own rights, there's plenty of them out there. Meanwhile I'm slowly getting back to some casual flying,Dengar to the max! Elsewhere it's an entire weekend of Netrunner on the cards, ahem, with Dark Sphere's Regional Saturday and Gaurdians of Tyr Sunday. It's been a while since I've played regularly so I've got a bit of learning curve to re-climb.

Happy Days :)

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Battered, Bruised, Triumphant!

Morning people,

Far too late a finish yesterday to post. Apologies as I know you were all waiting with great expectation ;)

Long story short I went 3-3 which is better than I expected but slightly dissapointing as I slipped from 3-1 with bad match ups in the final two rounds. No spangly shield tokens to take home with me but plenty of Mojo which was always biggest thing.

I've obviously been trying a bit too hard recently. In 11 competitive games I only had one difficult opponent and I still won so yah boo. Elsewhere I played and beat various Jumpmaster lists more times than I lost to them. Throughout I back relaxed into my natural game again and flew far better for it.

Overwise it was another excellent X-Wing event, the biggest in the world so far and a genuine privelige to be a part of.

Naturally we talked a lot of shop during the event. With the obvious explosion of X-Wing there's a much bigger field of good players out there. Events are bigger, longer and far more competitive. Lady Luck's fickle fortune feels magnified alk the way through from maych up to how the dice fall. This is quite obviously a good thing for the game but the competitive scene has definitely morphed in a different beast, far more muscular and attritional rhan it has ever been.

For myself I've had a great weekend gaming but I'm shattered. No Hanger Bay for me, I won't be able to do it justice and I don't want to kill my buzz.
I'm off to the Expo itself to remind myself again why I love being a geek ;)

Friday, 3 June 2016

Expect the Unexpected

So, despite my apocalyptic predictions I actually had a pretty good day.

Opening game of the day was triple Jumpmasters. Not so good. Settling down I got stuck in, leading with Oicunn. Despite forgetting Issard and my Ion Bomb I traded Oicunn for two of the Jumps and played the patient game to grind out the win. First time against Jumps. Big grin :)

Second game was triple Jumps again, the result not quite so good. Third was 8 Zs, the fourth Imp Aces against an excellent player and a good buddy. I was competitive throughout to go 2-2, the Aces game being one of the best I've played for a while.

Back in the groove with Mojo fully restored I went in to the fifth contemplating dropping to regroup for tomorrow's main event. The accompanying mental lift cost the game but provides a final lesson for the day.

Walked away with a Hera card and fully recharged X-Wing battery.

Tomorrow's going to be a good day, whatever the result ;)

Sunny side up?

So, yesterday's trip up was delayed a touch but no-one died so all good.

The hotel is fine, I consumed a particularly good double burger and most importantly we picked up all of our event tickets and found the gaming hall. This year it's been upgraded from sweaty marquee to actual bricks and mortar with air conditioning which is a big deal. Definitely still shorts at the ready.
The biggest concern remaining is how robust event logistics will be. It's not a lack of trust in the organisers, more that we've been round the block a fair few times ourselves. 450 odd gamers tomorrow will be interesting.

Major bonus so far has been the programme which has been put together with a decent number of proper articles as well as all the usual info.

Having discussed my recent gaming woes at length on the trip up it has become clear that I simply need to get my mojo back a touch so that's the main objective for the weekend. I'd also like to get a decent look round the main event 45 as that didn't happen last year at all. I'm fairly sure ove got some free time Sunday morning ;)

Anyway, breakfast!

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Hope vs Expectation

Hello people.

So its the eve of Birmingham eve i.e. a third Regional followed by the Yavin Open most likely followed by an afternoon of Hanger Bay.

Currently I'm most looking forward Hanger Bay. Primarily this is because I've realised that Oicunn / Soontir is a mis-step away from the meta and though it can probably hold its own against Imperial Aces I'm seriously up against it anytime I encounter Jumpmasters. In fact anything I've been flying recently probably fits that bracket.
I can't deny that I have a feeling of impending DOOM. It's been a bit like that recently so my strategy is to drop any expectations what so ever and just concentrate on flying as well as I can.

Once the weekend is over I'm going to detox by playing the Scum lists that I've been meaning to for a while now and not worrying about anything else.
Slooping back to Hanger Bay one of my lists will be just that: Dengar / Boba Boat / Feedback Z. The boats are just about finished up, really really pleased with them :), with  Zuckuss not too far behind. Hopefully they're going to be the highlight of my weekend. That's the expectation.

Soontir and Oicunn have also received fresh paint to match Vader and the Fo TIEs. Hopefully I can do them some justice.

I'll have a go at posting every night but it'll be rough and ready via phone app.
Strap in people, it's going to be a bumpy ride ;)

Sunday, 29 May 2016

Playing the System

Hello people,

It's all been a bit overly X-Wing recently with an escalation league at the club and a third Regional and the Yavin Open up at Games Expo in Birmingham next weekend. Add in a bit of life and anything else has taken a definite back seat.

As such I went looking for some Netrunner yesterday to get me back into the game properly. As is so often the case there were clashing Spring Kit events at Dark Sphere and Lost Ark. In honesty Dark Sphere was always gong to be the bigger more competitive field but I just needed some games and I always enjoy Lost Ark. A slightly improved chance of coming hone with some alt art was also a factor ;) It also turned out that I had rail replacement on my line. Hindsight justification ;)

Rocking up it turned out I was half of the field for the day. Not an issue say I, more than happy to sit and play some games for the day. Unfortunately my opponent wasn't so keen. He was playing Teir 1 decks and didn't have too much issue seeing me off. After that he was more bothered about his swag and didn't fancy sticking around. To me that's all sorts of wrong in all sorts of way, at best pretty disrespectful to all involved,especially Lost Ark.

Picking up a couple of datapacks I chipped off with an alt art Leela and Political Operative. I don't buy alt art but I hardly feel like I "won" these. Sorting out various piles if cards I'm going to put together a Gang Sign / Leela deck I've seen about to kick myself back into action.

Positivity from negativity.....

Sunday, 15 May 2016

That's the Kicker!

Hello people,

As I've banged on about previously I try and strictly limit my Hobby these days in the names of efficiency and effectiveness, which at times seems to be contrary to the point but does actually reap positive effects the vast majority of the time.

Fairly obviously this hasn't always been the case and despite various purges of recent years I still, as we all do, own a pile of games and figures that might have hit the table once or twice before being relegated to the eponymous Lead Mountain (of Shame).

KickStarter has been a regular temptation for many. Having dallied I have successfully weaned myself away from this Pagan of False Promise preferring instead to hold to the Old World notion of paying and actual shop for actual product. Heresy I know!

One of my previous "investments" was Heroquest 25 run by GameZone, originally on KickStarter only to move to a similar Spanish platform after various IP issues. I followed and laid out just over £100 for the full monty. 16 months later I've just received another e-mail from the Spanish platform,  who have been excellent, as a result of a vote regarding how to take the woefully delayed project forward. In short GameZone are going to asked to submit to a full audit of the project as they haven't been overly forthcoming recently.

Like Monday's cat I, and many other backers, have been "Hanging on in there" with few options to do anything else. Imagine then my multiply mixed feelings when GW announced the re-release / reimagining of Hero Quest........

Yes there is a strong element of sour grapes here. As I've previously blogged I've moved away from GW as much, if not more, than they've moved away from me. I feel that they deserve praise for making the kind of seismic changes that they have, whether you agree with then or not. The recent move to nostalgic big box releases is sensible business, especially as entry level product.

That in itself is rather besides the point. I backed Game zone as an alternative to GW and as a hark back to my "golden age" of gaming. Hindsight is a wonderful thing :)
So, another lesson or two driven home which is just as well with Blood Bowl and Adeptus Titanicus on the horizon. I never had Titanicus as a kid so surely that one's allowed ;)

Hmm, back to X-Wing :)

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Veteran Instincts

Hello people,

I went up to Lost Arc in Stevenage yesterday for the first time in a while for an X-Wing Spring Kit. There was another Spring Kit at Warboar with a bigger, more challenging field but I knew Lost Arc would be more relaxed with plenty of guys I'd enjoy playing so bit of a no brainer and I like supporting Lost Arc.

Four games across the day proved to be just what I needed. As a bonus I got to give Oicunn / Soontir a bit more table time and even managed to go 3-1 to claim 4th and a touch of swag.

In all honesty my first two games weren't overly challenging with my first opponent playing in his first tournament with a less than optimal list. On top of that his green dice were fairly awful. In that kind of situation I feel that there's an obligation on the more experienced player to help thier opponent get the maximum from thier game. We've all been there and I think it's a strength of the community that so many give back. My opponent asked how many games I'd played, it must be in the mid hundreds at least, which gave a bit of perspective.

Games 3 and 4 were against good guys I've played a few times. Game 3 I was in control until a set of blank greens for Soontir settled the matter. Game 4 he got pretty much whatever he needed to give me the game after riding my luck at touch or two.

As an apparent Veteran player I've decided to focus my attention on Oicunn / Soontir and Vader Black Crack until after the Expo weekend. It just makes sense to get the most out of the event. After that it's Dengar, Dengar and a touch more Dengar ;)

I've also decide to go back and repaint my Imperials. The Tau transfers just annoy me now and having painted a few red / bone schemes rather than bone / red I think I can do a much better job.

Plenty to work on :)

Monday, 2 May 2016

Trials and Tribulations

Hello people,

I've got rather out of the habit here. I shall make amends, to myself at the very least. You have been warned :)

Yesterday was the X-Wing Regional up at Milton Keynes run by the eve excellent Gaurdians of Tyr. As previously mentioned this one, somehow, kind of crept on me. As such, and with the Jumpmaster meta in full flow, I reverted to Vader Black Crack as a list that I've done well with before. Yesterday was not such a day.

I took a couple of big wins only to drop off a cliff for three games. I made a couple of mistakes, as you often do, to get punished by the dice, as you often do, but some days it just isn't going to happen for you. Yesterday was that day. Game 5 was particularly frustrating, phrase of the day, against Miranda, Stresshog, TLT. I totally out flew my opponent only for the dice to say otherwise. It happens and dealing with it is part of competitive play. First world problems.

Thankfully I took my final game for yet another 3-3 and 65th place in a field if 104. As fate would have it I'd been joking all week about aiming for 65th as that's where the Hera alt art participation cards ran out and the extra prizes kicked in,...including 4 alt art Vaders ;) I left very, very pleased only to find a parking ticket on the car :(

As you often do I've worked through what I could have done differently. With so many moving parts, meta, match ups, dice etc there's only so much you can do. What you can control is your list, including obstacles, and how you fly it. With Vader Black Crack dropping Howlrunner or Engine for an Ion Pulse Missile. Options to work on.

With two more Regionals and a couple of Store events on the cards there's plenty of opportunity. However if I want to pick up my play I really need to return to a couple of lists full time.
Meanwhile I've finished up the repaints of my Gozanti and TIE Fos to score 12 Painting Points for April. Something else I've kind of got out of the habit of. No transfers this time, going for a cleaner look. I had a brief scare with varnish propellant but all good in the end.

Vader would be pleased (behind the mask)  ;)

Sunday, 24 April 2016

It's only a GAME..... put up a real good fight!

A touch of deja vu on this one, on several fronts, as I'm tapping this one on the train to a casual Netrunner Day Job event at Loading Bar in Stratford. As previously promised to myself I've put together a fluffy Edward Kim deck and tweaked my Argus build to include some traps as I really enjoyed playing them last week at the Half Draft.

Despite being advertised as super casual I have my doubts that it will be though having discovered on Friday that most of the London scene are at another Day Job event in Brighton I feel far more relaxed.I'm not really looking to be overly competitive today, just get some games with different stuff, but I'd far prefer to be at least able to hold my own.

It's been a bit of a theme for me recently. It's my first X-Wing Regional next Sunday and it's kind of crept up on me to the point that I'm still debating what list to take. With Triple Jumpmaster dominating the meta there's several builds I just don't feel I can take. That in itself is an interesting reaction to me to the point that I'm close to just taking whatever I fancy getting some time with and view it as a day out playing games for the sake of it.

Being firmly ensconced in the competitive X-Wing scene that's a different tack from my play last year which was predominantly geared towards preparing for major events. 24th and 10th at UK and Scandenavian Nationals was the result, which I'm pretty proud of. This year so far has been about rounding out my play with different builds and ships. I impressed myself with Oicunn / Soontir recently and have enjoyed learning to fly the Phantom.
It's been really nice to take a step back a touch though at the same time looking to improve my play in a more indirect manner. Working my way up the Netrunner learning curve has been a similar experience, ditto Infinity, so why not keep on keeping on, especially as Ive been having a lot of fun doing so?

I suppose the honest answer is that of expectation, mainly that which I put upon myself, and my percived reputation within those gaming communities. I'd like to think that I'm known as a good player who will give a good game on a number of levels. Being part of a high end gaming group can magnify that at times.

Additionally, prize kit supported FFG Organised Play events are so prevalent now that they are the norm to the point of having become an expectation. If you want to run an event you need to have prizes. Having alt art cards and tokens don't create an arms race of Wizkids proportions but it's still there.

There have been a few store credit X-Wing events waving some fairly large amounts about. Some reports are that it's kept more casual gamers away, expecting an invasion of the WAAC pack. I feel that I can see both sides of it, most top end guys don't need the extra motivation, which kind of cuts both ways. I've recently heard of an event offering £1'000 cash which seems to be the antithesis of the reason I play games. For me personally it makes me feel uneasy about attending such an event, more from the point of the organisers motives rather than that of the players.

So, currently I'm on the train home and needn't have worried at all. The afternoon was pretty much a club night. We weren't charged the advertised entry fee but still got an alt art Political Operative, scarily apt.  The rest of the prize kit didn't come out and we organised ourselves with pick up games and plenty of teaching going on.

For myself Mr Kim did better than I thought he might whilst Argus needs a bit more focus. Even better I got to know a few more guys an locate a couple of regular groups.

To be honest that's the best result I could have had. Well pleased :)

Sunday, 17 April 2016

The Other Side of the Fence

Hello people,

With the UK X-Wing community exploding over the inferred effect of Intentional Draws on competitive play and the "Fly Casual" Name and Shame backlash I felt somewhat inspired to muse upon the following.

In the past three weeks I've TO'd two events at Enfield Gamers. We ran X-Wing for 18 and last weekend 8 for Netrunner. Both were pretty casual events, as intended, though both featured FFG winter prize kits with a few extras added into the prize pool. I enjoyed organising and running both events and it was nice to get a different view of "competitive play".

So as much I've previously gone on about my outlook as a player I thought I should cover the other side of the coin. I'm going to cover two related strands; the event itself and the role of the TO.

With the ever growing popularity of X-Wing it's not difficult to find yourself an event most, or every, weekend. Many are are regularly run by groups / shops that now have an established reputation and quite often thier own player base and meta. Gaurdians of Tyr run a series of events throughout the year as a championship. Other are more one off and as such are often a touch more casual.
The Hobby attracts different people for different reasons and events / tournaments give the opportunity to realise those intentions. Myself I specifically differentiate between events and tournaments. They may coincide but they don't have to, at least for me. X-Wing is my stronger game and I attended four Store Champs this year with differing intentions. A couple I took my stronger lists too, others I took new lists to give them a good work out.

Back at my point I feel that an event is there to facilitate the differing intentions of those attending within a theme, i.e. having fun playing X-Wing. How each player achieves that is up to them, though preferably without impinging on other players too negatively.

As an aside an event can also promote The Hobby, the game itself, the store or club associated to it etc.

As such I feel that the role of the TO is to facilitate all of that not just to kerp score, enforce rules and make judgements. I also took on the role of compere / host as it's all part of the day out for people and hopefully builds the club's reputation. 

For both events the last thing I wanted was a Bye. As such I didn't play X-Wing but did with Netrunner to keep numbers even. I've attended a couple of events when the TO has fully competed, on one occasion CREATING a Bye, and another time coming first to take home the top prize. Hard not to go home with a sour taste as a paying player in those situations.
Today I was back as a player for a Netrunner Half Draft event. Pretty casual, great venue, prizes for all and plenty of games. What's not to like?

Happy Days :)

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Recharging the Cycle

Hello people,

Bit of a rest for you all as I haven't had too much of value, actual or imagined, to say recently. With the completion of any decent sized project, rare as that is, there is often something of a resultant void to traverse. In my case there has been a period of post Nomad procrastination though I am now in the process of sorting myself out.

I have however been getting plenty of gaming in. This weekend is only the second since the New Year when I won't be gracing any event with my presence. No bad thing either way in multiple contexts.

So, given that I utilise this blog to motivate and organise myself strap yourself in for a Spring State of Gaming Address;

Wave 8 has finally dropped at which point I've been fairly reserved with one each of  Jumpmaster, Mist Hunter and TIE Advanced Prototype. They've joined the repaint queue but I'll finish up the Gozanti and TIE Fos first because I should really.

Gaming wise I've been doing rather well with duel ship builds recently, a perceived weakness of mine, and continued up the Phantom learning curve. All very pleasing :) With a mini break in the tourney schedule I've got a few Scum lists I want to get some table time with.

Between Corvus Belli's Flamestrike campaign an Campaign Paradiso at the club I've been getting more games recently. I'm still making mistakes and want to make better use if Hacking and Camo. In the same way as with X-Wing I may just need to put in the effort to read up a bit more; rules, forums, bat-reps and keep up with the games.

Over the Bank Holiday I picked up and put together a couple of pieces of scenery, a Troll Trader Fire Station with Rooftop Accessories and a Warmill Alpha Lander.
I've had a Troll Trader piece before, the apartment block, and though they're toward the budget end of the spectrum they scrub up pretty well. The fire station comes with open windows and I was hoping to leave them open to use the internal floors. Unfortunately the rather basic box construction made this nigh on impossible. There is no middle floor and very little designed connection between the boxes meating that they don join flushly. So instead it was a seal up and fill job which is a bit of a shame as it's a nice big piece. Lessons learnt, you get what you pay for.
As you might expect it's quite the opposite with the Alpha Lander. It's designed to go together like a dream with full interior detail and even a swinging door. For £15 I think it's an absolute steal. I'll definitely be taking a closer look at the rest of thier range.
The paint jobs are about halfway there and will make or break both pieces so I'll be putting in the necessary time and effort. The obvious Ghostbusters temptation may be far too much to resist :)

This is the one game that I haven't played until a cube draft Thursday night just gone. I've put together another couple of decks and basically I just need to find some more games. There's an East London scene on a Wednesday night that I've been meaning to get to for some time now, just need to make it happen.

So, slightly scary as it is I've actually been trying to get organised with a paint queue and a pile of fleet, army, deck lists worked and printed out. I'm also keen to start booking up the next batch of events, a couple a month should suffice :)

Time to just get on with it really; )