Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 ends, I give out some awards

I didn't accomplish too much in gaming this year. My biggest feat I suppose was level capping in RIFT and getting fully equipped in purple raid gear only to have it trivialized a few weeks later when Storm Legion launched. By then I had had enough and lost all interest. I got one level in Storm Legion and dropped my subscription and just never went back.

This was the year of the board game for me. If you look back over my posts and see all the board games I played I got a lot of time in. Near the end of 2012 I got lazy and tapered off quite a bit and went back to computer gaming. Now I have this itch to complete games I largely ignored due to MMO addictions.

I have put time in on Dishonored, Borderlands 2, Skyrim, Starcraft 2, Fallout 3 and others. I even went back to Diablo 3. I guess I am at the point where MMO's are not that fulfilling anymore however I logged a TON of time in Guild Wars 2 due to how easy it was to play and get in and out. I played GW2 a lot like a console game which I still feel it is. There is very little community activity in that game, no real need to group, pretty bad dungeons and empty low level areas already in its young life.

As time goes on I play it less and less but sometimes it is fun for the combat.

Next year my goal is less MMO time and more time finishing these over 200 games plus I own on STEAM as well as cranking out some XBOX360 Kinnect action with the girlfriend.

I dont have a list for things that were good or bad as I did post a small one on Twitter which I will repeat here. Take it with a grain of salt from a very jaded MMO player. I even turned my back on World of Warcraft skipping the dreadful Mists of Pandaria altogether. After 9 long years my run in that game just....ended with no regrets.

Worst PC Game I played: The War Z

Best PC Game I played: This is a tough one. I played A LOT of Minecraft still but that snuck in for 2011. Overall I loved Guild Wars 2 but my RAPTR time was front loaded early, then it cooled off. Also do I take into account MMO's or non MMO games? I had a ton of fun in Diablo 3 and Borderlands 2. At this point I may have some sort of strange 3 way tie in games with Guild Wars 2 (although its faults are REALLY starting to show), Diablo 3 and Borderlands 2 which is a very well done game.

Worst Movie: The Dictator.

Best Boardgame: I had a blast with Runebound and its expansions but that is an old title. For a new game I really enjoyed the Dungeons and Dragons Drizzt, Ravenloft and Ashardalon games.

Worst Boardgame: Zombicide without a doubt. But I would like to add of course that ANY game that involves rum trading, agriculture or is Eurotrash should be added to this category forever and always.

Best sports moment: Denver going 13-3 of course but a runner up is Lovie Smith getting fired in Chicago

Worst TV Show: Is and continues to be Whitney, the lame comedy? on NBC that does not produce one laugh ever....and uses a laugh track. This show has been shuffled around, uses cliched and stale jokes from the 1990's we have heard over and over about couples and yet it somehow continues to make it out of the slum. Meanwhile quality shows like Men of A Certain Age get canned.

I wont be voting on best movie sorry. Movie tastes are just far too different to post likes and dislikes. When I look back at the movies that really struck me as terrific I cannot say I had one film that was just awe inspiring but I know that I did watch the Avengers about 7 times. Not in theatres no but once I got it digitally I did watch it a TON. I think that perhaps that was my favorite movie. Now of course there are so many categories and this topic can go back and forth but for pure pulp action and fun that was the movie for me.

When I look at the PC games I played the most some weird titles pop up. Fallout 3, Minecraft, Champions Online. Ones you would not expect to see hours and hours on. Somehow it is the pop in and pop out quickly aspect I love.

I expect 2013 to be the year of Warhammer 40k again as well as many non MMO computer games. I may get back into PC wargaming but I am really burned out on World War 2 titles. We will see how I feel once the summer rolls around and the GenCon 2013 itch starts to kick  in.

Until then have a good New Years. I post a lot more now on Google + and Twitter so look for my adventures to be put on those sites as well.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Christmas 2012 Update

Christmas peaked early for me this year as I got a new car, a nVidia GTX570 and a new Android phone. At that point I was done so present wise it is a slow time and I am happy with that tech stuff I got earlier.

My New Years Resolution this coming year is to catch up and finish all these games on +Steam I have purchased. First up was Borderlands 2. I am up to level 12 with a Siren and 10 with a Commando. I easily spent over 5 hours in the game the past two days.

Then I went and put over 6 hours into +Dishonored as well. I can't say that I did my best on the stealth aspects. I like the world it is set in and the story but I cant help to think that just running around and killing everyone makes no difference at all as opposed to being stealthy. It is fun but not as fun as Borderlands 2 or Farcy 3.

I spent a about 2 hours in Farcry 3 as well before trying out some older games like Command and Conquer 2 Red Alert. Let me tell you...if you have forgotten the definition of TANK RUSH then look no further than going back and trying this classic again. Within 17 minutes I was getting nuked and then blown off the board by the computer AI. Having forgotten all the build orders I got absolutely and totally owned.

I also re-installed RAGE (a bit linear now that I play it a second time) mainly due to the new DLC and I put Dragon Age back on my PC to really give that a sit down and try it out. Of course this barely scratches the surface of the games I own but it is a start.

Add to that the starting of a Grey Knight army for Warhammer 40k and I have quite a busy year laid out ahead of me.

I managed to get the wash on my squad of Grey Knights over the weekend and I will finish them up next week hopefully.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Grey Knight Strike Squad

Have not been doing much PC gaming other than Kerbal Space Program and Minecraft. I may dab in a little EQ2 here in a bit since I just cannot stand Guild Wars 2 at the moment.

In my preparation for Warhammer 40k I finished building a 5 man Grey Knight Strike Squad which is not as big as I want it to be. I figure I will need 3 more boxes to flesh this list out to start. I want two squads of 10. Luckily, even by GW standards, plastic Grey Knight troop boxes are relatively cheap. I want this mainly because for every 5 Grey Knights in the squad I can swap in another Psycannon. My army also has the advantage of Combat Squads which means even though they are purchased as a 10 man unit, I can deploy them in two different 5 man units and locations

I also want 5 more Terminators. Unlike most armies my Terminators are TROOP and that means GAME ON. Not much else to report other than a link.

Our group that plays miniature games together has a forum that you can find here:

Our group Twitter is here (mostly 40k, Fantasy news)

We like to avoid Facebook because it just doesnt handle groups and such too well plus we like categories and need lots of organization. We have been at this since 2004 after all.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Kerbal Space Program: Growing pains

Thanks to a bunch of fellow bloggers alerting me to this title (mainly Tipa who is usually well ahead of the curve) I have been enraptured lately with this space simulation program.

Imagine if you will taking the Sims, Sim City and Minecraft and setting it in the vein of a space program simulator the likes of which Tom Hank's From the The Earth to the Moon documented.

Now erase Electronic Arts as a publisher and make it an indie game with user community mods and set a price of 23 dollars and you can imagine you have pretty much the best thing since sliced bread.

The Kerbal Space Program, or KSP for short, can be found here:

Community mods are published here:

There is a large Google + Community here:

So imagine if you will building your own rockets, spacestations, flying to distant planets, making space colonies and doing all this in a sandbox environment and thats the Kerbal Space Program. Plus the game is constantly under development so in the future missions will be added.

From the website is a synopsis:

Main Features:
  • The Vehicle Assembly Building and the Space Plane Hangar allows players to build spacecraft out of any imaginable combination of parts.
  • Fully-fledged, Physics-based Flight Simulation ensures everything will fly (and crash) as it should.
  • Take your Kerbal crew out of the ship and do Extra Vehicular Activities
  • Fly out to Moons and other Planets
  • Procedural Terrain delivers detailed terrain at a vast scale. The Kerbal Planet is 600km in radius!
  • Mod-enabled, allows players to create new content and modify the game.
  • Ship systems. Keep an eye out for engine temperatures and fuel levels, and try not to explode.
  • Build ships with multiple stages, and jettison parts away as they burn out.
  • Full control over the staging sequence allows for complex ships and advanced functionality.
Being the total space nerd that I am I decided to take my space program in steps. The first hours I spent playing were building rockets that were functional and sturdy enough to get me into orbit. Along came the Kerbal One.

That lovely beast got me to about 244,000m in orbit. As I refined Kerbal One I added thrusters to control the space capsule and launched another orbital flight. This was Kerbal Two. Kerbal Two achieved a small orbit and successfully tested the RCS thrusters for future missions.

The Kerbal Two came down over the ocean and I considered that a successful mission. I want to launch a few more rockets and test landings with multiple parachutes in my next phase. I have yet to establish a total circular orbit around the planet Kerbal (or Earth as some may know it) so that is my next goal. 

The game can be as complicated as you make and there is a demo, but like Minecraft the demo does not even touch the tip of the iceberg and is missing many features. 

For an overview of the game check out the many YouTube videos.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Building the Grey Knight Army part one: Terminators

My goal this time around in Warhammer 40k was to build one squad at a time, paint it and then move on to the next squad so that I was not overwhelmed and ended up with a sea of grey on the board come Adepticon time here in Lombard Illinois.

An army in Warhammer 40k, or Fantasy for that matter, can take months to get used to. You have to explore every option, try every tactic and see for yourself how they play out. If you don't have a lot of friends games can be far and few between. At any rate the best you can usually do is a game a week. At 3-4 hours a pop that is a huge commitment. Sticking to one army has always been a problem for me so I have decided to take an approach that rewards painting with more models.

First up is the usual Grey Knight Terminator squad. This consists of 4 terminators and a Justicar who is basically the leader of the squad. Now each terminator when you design the army can be kitted out to have different weapons. The most important of the two are the Force Sword and the two handed Halberd. The Halberd confers +2 initiative in hand to hand combat while the Force Sword gives +1 to invulnerability to a save if they have it. So basically that takes a terminator invulnerability save to 4+. Which is nice. It is a tough call on which to use so what I decided to do was magnetize the hands of every Grey Knight to have swappable weapons.

First up was my General. This figure is actually Castellan Crowe but for most of the games we play it will be a Brother Captain. This figure was easy to assemble since he was Fine Cast.

Next up was the bases and the lower torsos attached to them for the terminators. I also put the grit and sand on the base so that when I prime them it seals the gravel in and gives the base some texture.

I prepped the torsos and got the legs affixed to the bases

I made sure to add the cape and added features to the Justicar to make him stand out. I then magnetized each weapon to to his hand so that they could be fully swappable. I use the magnets form this website and have a collection of various sizes:

Next up I put magnets on every Force Sword and Halberd and for now ignored the Falchions because I just do not see that load out working for me.

I made one Grey Knight terminator able to hold the Brother Banner which is like a standard bearer.

This method also saves money. While Games Workshop would prefer you to buy models for each loadout I just don't see that happening. However I will admit I was very impressed with this modeling kit as they provided tons of extra bits and cool add ons to put on the models. I had forgotten how much fun it was to work with a good kit and my terminators will for sure look different than most people's.

When all was said and done it was fun to do and here is the final look at the squad. Now the hard part: painting.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Star Trek Into Darkness teaser trailer

Oh my my. Here we go!

The sad state of a wasted Warhammer 40k license

There has been a dearth of decent Warhammer 40k games. The only semi playable iteration of the tabletop gaming classic has been Dawn of War and Dawn of War 2. I didn't like Dawn of War 2 so much. To me the  game was basically move to a spot, kill mobs, then move to another pre determined spot and rinse repeat over and over. I missed the freedom and the base building of the first game. 

Back in the early days we had the SSI classics such as Rites of War. That was the closest we came to having a great title.

Also why always RTS? I think that RTS games are generally run of the mill and the genre has not changed in literally decades. Space Marine was too Gears of War for me and really not that fun.

Someone needs to come in and make a good turn based Warhammer 40k game. I would even pay for digital army downloads. Of course Games Workshop being the way they are will limit this because they do not want to pull revenue from their overpriced tabletop market. 

Along comes news of this:
SEGA® of America, Inc. and SEGA® Europe Ltd. today announced that Creative Assembly™, award-winning creator of the Total War™ series, and SEGA® Group have entered into a multi-title licensing deal with Games Workshop® to create videogames based in the Warhammer® universe of fantasy battles.
“With this year being our 25th anniversary” A new high-calibre development team has been set up at Creative Assembly’s UK studio to work alongside the existing Total War, Alien™ IP and Mobile teams on the first Warhammer title in the deal, scheduled to launch from beyond 2013. 
“With this year being our 25th anniversary,” said Tim Heaton, Studio Director at Creative Assembly, “it seems fitting for us to embark on such a dream project with such a well-established partner. The incredibly rich and detailed Warhammer world is something we grew up with, and has left an indelible imprint on us as both designers and gamers.” 
More Fantasy titles? WHY? Why not go the opposite direction and do something NEW and give us 40k content? 

What can we expect? What kind of titles? We all know that Warhammer 40k Online was a dismal failure and never got off the ground so what is left to explore? MMO games are for sure OUT of the question.

Turn based that is what. Make it online. Give us downloadable content, armies, heroes whatever you can do. I would be all over it. Imagine a Heroes of Might and Magic meets Magic the Gathering Duels of the Planeswalkers.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Minecraft new server Day 3: Score

So since we decided to start a new server world in Minecraft our adventures have been rather...interesting.

The first day in I got lost and died and separated from my cohort. After I got my bearings I stumbled upon a small village that allowed me to get a head start and get some free housing. I combined both the houses I found via an extension hallway and commenced digging under my home to see what was below me.

My girlfriend and I managed to find each other later that night because I built tall towers of stone with torches on the top. Eventually she found one and we triangulated our positions and met in the middle. Now a nice trail of torches leads us to each others houses.

My significant other in the meantime stumbled upon a pyramid in the desert complete with chests and a few nice mosaic tiles. While she was working on that I was fortifying and cleaning up the area around me and I was prepping to go on a mineral run.

Day 3 rolled around and we spent ANOTHER 3 hours on our server in our separate lodgings exploring and killing skeleton archers and creepers.

Setting a trail of torches on the ground I set out in a random direction and continued until I saw something that caught my eye. It was an innocent enough little passage leading down so I stopped and decided this is where I would descend. While I was doing this I saw a message come up that QTNSXY had been blown up by a creeper and she had lost a good amount of ore. Somehow one had gotten inside her house. I was way too far away to help so she would spend the night recovering materials.

I dug deep and eventually constructed a small safehouse underground and plopped down a furnace and crafting table as well as a chest. At this point I heard lava and managed to dig even deeper finding multiple pools and a huge harvesting area of RedStone ore.

If a player left or right clicks on, or an entity moves or falls on redstone ore, the block will emit level 9 light until it receives the next block tick (47 seconds on average).
Redstone ore veins form at the bottom 16 layers of the map. Below layer 14, it can be found in 1.025% of stone. There are an average of 25 redstone ores per chunk.

I dug up all I could and then doused much of the lava with a nearby waterfall by digging a trench over to extinguish it. Then I saw it. A diamond vein. My entire time in Minecraft I had owned maybe 7 diamonds at best (I frequently start over).

After digging these up I continued to explore and then it happened. A creeper had approached behind me and "set me up the bomb".


My two iron armor pieces were no match for the catastrophic blast he laid on me and my world went up in a violent explosion. With that were my diamonds, lapis lazuli, iron ore and mushrooms. This made me angry because usually I take precautions to place things in chests before moving on and this is why.

I also had not made a bed in my new place so I had not rebound myself near my conquest. So back to the desert I was thrown. Then I realized it was night, I had no wood and had not stashed any tools. I had to run all the way back naked with carrots and a bone for a weapon until I found a nearby tree and could recover.

Luckily I had marked my trail well and I found my digging site and saferoom. Then I went deeper and turned the corner and miraculously there it was: all my belongings floating just above the ground waiting to be relooted.

After taking out numerous zombies and skeleton archers I managed to actually find ANOTHER diamond mine and call it a night. It was a good haul overhaul: I finished with 84 redstone ore, 57 lapis lazuli, 14 diamonds and over 90 iron ore. This was a good haul and would go far toward establishing our stockpile.

My next goal is to find a dungeon for free iron rail tracks and then construct a minecart rail system to get around the map better.

Onward to the next 3 hours!