Thursday, 20 December 2012

Never tell me the odds!

This week in...


The DnD guys all managed to assemble so we could continue our epic quest. Our party chronicler, a Barbarian Dwarf has been keeping track of our progress. I am a little disappointed that he hasn't recorded our progress in first person as diary entry's as his character is rather interesting. When we left off, the platform we were standing on was disintegrating.  Here is some of his work.

"Concerned about our unsteady footing, and the apparent endless void below, the group tied themselves to each other with generous lengths of rope and set to navigating towards the larger platform ahead.
Abruptly, the stone path began to crumble and break up! Forceful gusts of wind threatened to cast us into the void, yet we managed to remain fairly steady.
Thom was above these trivial concerns - literally floating above. He perceived that the magics in this place were elemental in nature, and quite malleable before the force of his will.
After briefly testing his power, he attempted to remake the platform beneath our feet and met with some success. The party breathed a collective sign of relief as the prospect of tumbling into the abyss grew more distant.
Behind us however, swirling flames continued to advance. Thom's efforts to remake the path were effective, but he saw that he couldn't outpace the flames behind.

In a flash of inspiration, he instead thrusted the remade platform forward with psychokinetic force, sending it hurtling towards the cultists. 
Worried by our sudden advance, the cultists sent flaming elementals to impede us, but Thom's will sent them directly back at their would-be masters.

A moment later, we were upon the cultists. Our floating lifeboat smashed with tremendous force into a ridge, pulping an unfortunate cultist while the rest of us vaulted to safety.
Before us, we saw what we presumed to be the Eye of Morcar - a large orb of darkness filled with glittering points of light - held within a cage atop a pillar that rose from the stone.
Some cultists had already been set upon by the fire elementals that were turned against them, others were preparing for battle.

The rank-and-file cultists fell swiftly to our assault, yet their leader offered greater resistance. He rushed to the orb and used its magic to try immobilizing our group.
He was only partly successful, and we quickly knocked him away from the orb. Thom found that he could tap the orb's power himself, so he used it to augment his attacks. 
Hoping to find strength in evil snake-related power, the cultist leader transformed himself into a giant python!
This did him little good as he was immediately beaten back with greater force and hurled from the edge into the abyss below. 

Before slipping to his doom however he managed to use a geyser of his own foul blood to create a fearsome giant crocodile, intended to finish us off. 
Indeed it proved tougher than its summoner, mauling several of us and gnawing Duerim into a dangerously bloody state before finally succumbing to its own injuries.
Fortunately, it never managed to actually swallow the dwarf - perhaps due to his spirited resistance and repeated assaults, or maybe due to the taste.

As Thom neared the orb, he studied its nature and realized he could manipulate it. He magically shrunk it to a reasonable size, and took possession of it as we turned from the fallen beast to figure out our next goal."

I joined in another game of Deathwatch at the local club and was invited to participate in a regular campaign.
in the mission I played the kill team was tasked with investigating a small settlement that was abandoned after some rumored monster sightings we restored power to the town and cleared all the structures, in the process we slew eight elite Genestealers. Five of the fell beasts were downed by my Dark Angel Rafen.
There was some minor damage to the civilian structures. Our assault marine used a krak grenade to open a new doorway and Rafen tried to flush a Genestealer out of a house with a flame thrower the house and Xeno were both reduced to ash.

Victory! was the cry of the Britannia armored forces. Dystopian  Wars exploding dice worked in my favor last week there was a repeat of a exploding tank damaging the firing squadron, only this time it was my opponent that was on the receiving end of the backfire. My objective was the destroy all the large models as he only had one Sternpanzer I just had to focus all my fire. Inthe end it was my sole surviving small tank that dealt the final blow with an incredible series of exploding 6s.

It took the focus of my entire army
to crack the armor of the Sternpanzer.
My math is a little fuzzy but I think the
odds of rolling  8 six's in a row is 1,679,616 : 1

& Hobby

On Sunday before I headed to the Game club I spent some quality time with my eldest son painting some Space Marines I painted up Rafen my Dark Angel in the Deathwatch color scheme and my little Xman made up his own color scheme. I helped him with some techniques and showed him on my marine. otherwise I just let him go it, I was surprised how good it turned out. Now he is chomping at the bit to start his own army and start rolling dice.

He chose the melta gun because it looked the coolest.
The Blue and Gold armor has a nice contrast.
He even painted the purity seal. 

Black & silver with the Deathwatch
oaths inlayed in the silver.

Dark Angel Icon.

First Space Marine I have
painted in  years


Monday, 17 December 2012


My son and I recently got to experience a very rare event. A solar eclipse passed very close to our city, so early before school we set out for the beach. I borrowed the work theodolite and set it up so it would project the image of the sun on to sheet of paper. This was necessary to protect our retinas from scorching radiation. It was an incredible event clear sky's and a unobstructed view over the ocean.

It had already started when we set up.

The moon moved into alignment quite quickly.

Getting close.

We could  just start to see the corona at the edges.
Pity the camera didn't catch it.  

98% of Totality.
The light dipped and heat of the sun ebbed.    

It was all over in 45 minutes 

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Within the sound of silence

I have been very quiet in my bloging lately. But I have been active in my gaming and other hobby's.
With a bunch of games played


My DnD group has been having trouble assembling for games lately it seems that life and circumstance conspire to impede the group's progress. The other players normally still meet up to play something and lately that has been Zombicide. It has become one of my favorite games to play. We have added a house rule to keep everyone evolved, when a player dies they have the option to spawn another character on to the map. This has allowed us to complete most of the missions so far, usually at a very high rate of character attrition.

I have managed a few games of Dystopian Wars. This included a massive three player game of my & a friend's combined armored forces against a huge force of  INVADERS  FROM  SPACE ! Sadly I had call the game off due to fact that I am a Dad. So the earths forces retired form the field of battle and all of mainland Europe was overrun by the alien menace.
In the last game I played something amazing happened we played to the correct conclusion of the game. The victory conditions for both sides was to destroy 50% of the opposing force including all small units.
The game ended in my crushing defeat but it was still very satisfying.  I have been having problems getting a whole game in the time I allocate for gaming. But now the games have been flowing smoothly that we understand the rules better.

My small tanks prepare to
sweep around the right flank.
The medium tanks hold the left flank.

Damn exploding dice 17 hits from 5 dice
8 of my small tank tokens gone=game over
My small tanks surround an enemy and
disappear in explosion from a critical hit.

The battle lines are drawn
2420 points aside. 
Got to use my fuel counters
they worked good.

 Despite the problems with getting six people to put there lives on hold to go adventuring in the fantasy realms of the Forgotten Kingdoms we have some games of DnD. Some notable events of the last couple of sessions, My Half-Orc rouge opening a kitchen cupboard and being promptly eaten by the shambling mound contained within, The party searching every item in a castle study looking for the quest item only for the DM to exclaim that he forgot to draw a door on the map, My Ranger drinking and smothering himself in the contents of series of jars containing the base ingredients to produce potions of elemental protection, In the following battle my ranger took no elemental damage so as far as he is concerned he is now immune to all elemental damage and the party mage becoming imbued with elemental power and the ability to levitate then proceed to only use this method of travel even though it is only 15feet every 6seconds.
The last session ended on a cliffhanger. The party standing on a stone bridge spanning a void filled with chaotic elemental power as the bridge is rent and shattered by incredible cyclonic lighting charged wind.
Waiting patiently to see if Gumbar the Ranger survives.

I normally play Dystopian Wars on the weekend at the local club but last week a friend and I joined in a game of Deathwatch that some of the other members had been running. Play time was limited as with every pen and paper RPG I have seen the character creation process is a time consuming pain. But we did manage an suitable epic entry for Space Marines. Walking on up to a fellow marine and gunning down the Tau Stealth Suits he was locked in hand to hand combat with in a hale of fully automatic Bolter fire at point blank range.
I believe the Deathwatch system and setting lend its self to, one off encounters and drop in drop out style game-play, allowing players to skip a session and not feel like they are breaking the story. Unlike DnD were a character disappearing during a long trek through a dungeon would make little sense. Deathwatch killteams are deployed in short notice to any possible type of terrain for any type of mission in numbers varying  from a single marine to hundreds of battle brothers.


Spartan has released there new System Dystopian Legions set in the same universe of  Dystopian Wars I was wondering what kind of city these guys would inhabit I guess it would be something like Dishoned.
I decided to sketch out some ideas for some gaming terrain with a steam-punk bent. I liked the results and will development them further, after I finish work on my first set of industrial platforms. I got to thinking about how people must steel from get influenced by the different media they consume and sketched out some more terrain ideas inspired by some of my favorite games. The one at I think has the most promise is the stuff inspired by Mass Effect I really liked the octagon shaped Hab-Blocks from the mission to the Horizon colony.

Modular  SiFi walkways

Every colony need stack of cargo pods

 Living in prefabricated comfort.

I good fend recently traveled to Brisbane to listen to some music lucky bastard. In between enjoying the sights of a great city and listening to Cake and Ben Folds Five I had him pick up some brushes. Brushes made from the finest quality sable hair. I am not sure what quirk of evolution gave sables such  crisp, pointed, springy hair but apparently Winsor & Newton decided they were perfect water color brushes for the super rich. he also picked up some brush soap apparently made from powered Ultramarines.

And the sign said "The words of the prophets are written on the subway walls 
And tenement halls
And whispered in the sound of silence