July 6

Music Video Monday: Hackensack (Katy Perry)

Although I really love the original version of Hackensack by Fountains of Wayne, I do like to hear this particular song performed by a female voice.

Katy Perry is somewhat hit or miss with me. She has songs that I really like and songs that grate on me, but this one is a definite hit for me. I think her voice is really suited to this song and the live video is great.

July 5

Zerg Rush! Live-Action Starcraft

RocketJump, famous for Video Game High School, has produced a fantastic little live-action Starcraft short film that depicts the reality of life in the Starcraft universe. In this case, it shows the struggle of ordinary Terrans in the face of a Zerg Rush:

I really liked this short film. It does a very good job of establishing the world using the two human characters and lots of references back to Starcraft II. It’s a tad brutal, particularly at the end, but that only serves to fully illustrate the terror that the Zerg must inspire in the Terran people. Definitely worth a watch if you’re a Starcraft fan.

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July 4

More Progress on my Italians

I think I’m doing pretty well with my Italians for Dystopian Wars! By my standards, I am painting at a good pace and am making very good progress with my first box (the Naval Battle Group). The colour scheme is finalised with two finished boats and base colours being put down onto the rest of the fleet:

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The scheme I have chosen and the limited palette I am using (6 colours) is very quick and easy to lay down. I hope to finish these by Tuesday before moving on to the support and air groups. My first game of Dystopian Wars on Thursday has got me really enthused to see these finished off.

July 3

First Impressions: Dystopian Wars

Last night, my Italian fleet faced off against Adam’s French fleet in my first game of Dystopian Wars.

Dystopian Wars: First GameThe game got off to a bad start for me and I quickly lost two of my three light cruisers, the ships that I reckoned would be my most flexible and useful tool in this battle. The game did turn though, and I quickly avenged these early losses, coming back to eventually win the game. Speaking as a new player, there was too much going on to recount the whole game and I will instead just share some general impressions.

I found the French fleet’s heat cannons particularly frustrating for the number of dice they brought to each salvo and the fact that every shot had the nasty side effect of setting fire to my ships. That said, I like that so many of my ships have shield generators which definitely came in handy as the game progressed. The engineers of my fleet also allow me to reroll one failed shield roll which further increases my resilience. My fast torpedos are also excellent at taking out squadron ships as they do now allow other ships in the squadron to deploy concussive charges in support of their allies.

Movement seems incredibly important in this game and I need to work on maximising my available weapon options by better positioning my ships. Much like in my beloved Malifaux, I have found that activation control is also crucial and that if you are able to hold a few ships back until your opponent has none left to move, then you are at quite an advantage.

That is all I have for now on last night’s game, but I hope to get some more games in very soon. I probably will only get one more in at most before I head south for a couple of weeks, but I can really see myself playing a lot more Dystopian Wars.

July 2

Dystopian Wars Italians: Test Model

Spent some time last night painting the first of my League of Italian States ships. I went with the colours of Italian flag because ultimately I am entirely unoriginal:

League of Italian States Test Model

Generally, I like what I’ve done with the hull, but am unhappy with the decking. It’s too dark and the detail is kind of lost because of this. I did not have any lighter browns to hand, so grabbed some Coat d’arms bone (colour 112) and some brown ink to have a go at making some pine:

Pine Deck Test

I quite like this and will repaint the rest of the decking today. I also need to work out what to do with the rest of the ship.

July 1

The Subnet: World of Darkness Character Creation

I have an excellent resource to share with you today. The Subnet is a wonderful website devoted to the various games in the classic and new World of Darkness ranges. It is primarily set up as a resource for building characters for each of these games.

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I recently used the website with a friend who was creating a new character for a Vampire: the Masquerade game that I was running.

Subnet is broken down into section for each game, which are further divided into different categories such as, in the case of Vampire: the Masquerade, Clans, Disciplines, Paths and so on. Within these categories there are several subcategories organised by theme or just alphabetically. These make finding individual rules much easier, as they are usually spread across several books and can in some cases be rather elusive.

It is therefore useful not only for designing a character, but also for giving a single, easy resource to keep track of all of the rules for your character’s various abilities. I’ve found it useful as a GM and at least a couple of my players have used to to help them design their own characters.

The site has a few broken, mislabelled or dodgy links and it does look like a relic from the 90s, but so is the classic World of Darkness, so all is fine. The website can be found at http://rp.thesubnet.com/.

June 30

Malifaux 2-Player Starter Set Previewed

Much excitement yesterday as Wyrd previewed the box, decks and models from the upcoming two player starter set for Malifaux. Here are our first glimpses of the box and models:

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The models look decent if, compared to a lot of Malifaux models, a tad bland. What I do like is that with every model having the ‘mercenary’ characteristic, these models can see use in any faction. I also think that the Guild models, with their hospital theme, would look great in a Guild McMourning crew.

The new fate decks for this set are also very interesting:

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First of all, the faction-specific card backs are really nice! The cards seem really legible compared to some of the others and clearly show whether the card qualifies as weak, moderate or severe. It also includes the rules regarding each of the jokers on the cards themselves. I could definitely see myself using these decks with new players to really make clear what bracket each card falls into.

Wyrds actually published a lot of previews for Malifaux, Through the Breach and more. You can find it all on the Wyrd site, but there are two more images that have me rather excited:

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M2E Shifting Loyalties Preview-3

Shifting Loyalties is the next expansion book for Malifaux and, frankly, I can’t wait! The book looks great from the few preview images released and it contains the long-awaited campaign rules. I just wish I had a group who would want to do a campaign! The introduction of the Emissary models is also quite exciting, giving a large centrepiece model for each faction.

June 28

New Large Buildings from Warlord and Sarissa

 

Sarissa Precision Ltd, a company specialising in laser-cut MDF, has released a new set of buildings in partnership with Warlord Games. The English Timber-Framed Range is really quite impressive, with a wide range of buildings and accessories.

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The real highlights of this range, however, are the larger buildings such as the Manor House (below) and the Coach Inn (further down). Substantial buildings, they are very impressive and if completed to Sarissa’s usual standard, they will make great addition to any collection or gaming board.

 

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The prices are quite reasonable, with the smaller buildings costing around £10 to £20, larger buildings at around £40 and the largest at £55 to £60. I am sorely tempted, once I clear my current backlog of unpainted buildings (read: all of my buildings) to pick up the Manor House or Coaching Inn for use in games of Malifaux or other Skirmish games.

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The range can be found on Warlord Games’ website where any any order about £50 will also currently bag you a free model of Napoleon Bonaparte!

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This offer lasts until the end of June.

 

June 27

Bundle of Holding: Traveller Little Black Books Bundle

I am a big fan of the Bundle of Holding, a website that offers themed bundles of RPG PDFs for amazing prices. The revenue from these deals is split between the bundle site, the publisher and the publisher’s chosen charity.

Examples of previous themes that I have bought into are horror games, Trail of Cthulhu, Delta Green, Victoriana and an indie showcase.

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The latest deal is for a selection of PDFs for the original sci-fi RPG, Traveller. The contents look pretty awesome, as the site explains:

For just US$6.95 you’ll get our Starter Collection with eight titles (retail value $31), including the three original Traveller manuals (in their corrected 1981 editions), several supplements, maps, useful forms, and much more. And if you pay more than the threshold price of $15.88, you’ll level up and also get our entireBonus Collection of eight more titles (retail value $26), including the indispensable Mercenary and High Guard rulebooks and the rarely seen Lightning Class Cruisers.

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So, in real money (sterling), that’s about a tenner for a decent collection of sci-fi RPG awesomeness. You can find the deal over at Traveller @ Bundle of Holding for the next few days.