Archive | May 2016

Skirmish Games: Tabletop War gaming.

Well I did it, I got back into miniatures after nearly 6 years of minimal activity. What got me back into miniatures was not the same old formula of massive armies, 700.00 starting price tag and so on (roughly, you need army books, rules, dice, and of course the soldiers and paints with brushes and knives to do some good work), but rather some changes that Games Workshop made to one of their lines, and the discovery of skirmish-type games.

 

Now to summarize for you readers, skirmish-type games typically do not require some 150 models (infantry) and vehicles (usually a few tanks here and there), rather what skirmish-type games take are smaller squads, or even just a squad divided into individually moving models. This smaller game style means that I have to carry around less soldiers, and I can take more time in personalizing and painting each individual soldier rather than what I had to do which was speed paint some 25 soldiers at a time, which leaves me wanting to strip the layers of paint off the models due to the sacrifice of quality in favor of speed.

warhammer age of sigmar for blog

The change that Games Workshop made to their Warhammer fantasy line, however, was the key element which caused me to march back into the service of the Emperor. With the new Age of Sigmar setup, the rules and army pages (known was Warscrolls) are free to download, leaving more resources devoted to soldiers which you can field as small a force or as large a force as you want. The restrictions of force organization are gone, which means you can field Bretonnian models with Empire and Lizardmen figures and no one can object to that (well, except maybe lore buffs, or people who are really uptight about mixed armies). Presently in my force I’ve got only Empire soldiers (which is what I want), and these comprise of a Witch Hunter, and some militia. Now I do have Empire state troops, Handgunners (musketeers), and a couple of cannons, but I wanted to do more of an irregular force this time around – makes for an interesting pseudo-colonial guard scenario rather than the Prince’s forces under the command of a Witch Hunter.

Empire Witch Hunter for blog

The painting and modelling aspect was also a contributing factor which drew me back into the fold. With a smaller army to manage, I now can focus on a few specific models and work on them to make them absolutely brilliant – something I have been wanting to do for a very long time. Indeed it is with this in mind that I have also expanded into Warmachine and started a small Khador force to give myself some variety when it comes to miniatures – Bolt Action from Warlord Games might also be on the list in the future, but we will see.

 

While I am still burnt out on Warhammer 40,000 as a miniatures game, it is nice to be able to jump back into a hobby that for a good portion of my early years helped define who I was as a person, and helped shape my interests in the real world – without it as part of my development I think I would have been lost in translation and transformed (so to speak) into a soul adrift in this crazy world we call home. Now folks, that’s all I wanted to touch on for this post – have yourselves a good week if I do not write another post, and I shall see you next time.

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They won’t do a thing.

I don’t know about the situation of housing where you folks live out there in the world, but in British Columbia – specifically the major metropolitan areas of Greater Vancouver and Greater Victoria – there is something akin to a crisis when it comes to housing. Vancouver in particular (alongside Toronto, but we are focusing on the west coast for today’s post) has seen house prices rise and rise with no end in sight. Now I can sit here and write an entire piece on the situation, but my main goal today is to talk about why all three levels of government will not lift a finger until it is far too late (and even then they can shrug and walk away).

 

Property taxes are a stream of revenue for all three levels of government. The municipal government gets a cut of the pie, the provincial authorities do as well, and finally the federal government sees a good portion of that delicious revenue pie with gravy – directly or indirectly. Therefore why would they lift a finger to curb the rising house prices when the more a house is worth the more taxes they can collect?

People have been calling on the three levels of government to do something, and yet all we get is lip service: “oh we are looking into it,” or “oh this is indeed a serious issue, and I think we need to work together to find a solution,” or my personal favourite: “our cabinet is doing everything in their power to find a solution to this issue.” Sure “Loudspeakers,” sure you will find a solution – when you’re retired and sitting on a porch looking at the massive pyramid slum-cities the commoners live in you will still be giving the same lip service you have given to the people when you were in power.

Face it folks, they won’t lift a finger to do anything about this situation; look at cities like Hong Kong, London and so on – their excuse: “world-class cities equals world-class prices.” This, dear readers, can be perceived as the start of the new planetary elite: similar to the Warhammer 40,000 universe, planetary elite make up 10% of the population, but hold the most wealth and power of the entire planet. The rest of the commoners who live and toil in massive, overcrowded hive cities are left in their worlds while the elite talk about Imperial affairs and drink away the equivalent of monthly salaries.

Endless studies done by universities, think-tanks, and so on, and yet we see no real action – sadly we lack the threatening muzzle of an officer’s pistol to induce the political elites to do anything remotely useful in this world of ours. At least in the Imperium a planetary governor can be shot on the spot for failing to provide for the people of the Imperium, and the planetary elite can see their holdings seized for failure to take concrete action – the wealth and materials sent to the Imperial war efforts where it is needed the most.

No, we need to adopt a new approach to our leadership; Imperial Commissars can use the authority they are blessed with to execute leaders for incompetence – that would be a good motivator, wouldn’t you say? Now if some of you soft-hearted folks out there are turned off by this technique, you need not worry – there is over 4 billion humans on this earth, and leaders can be recruited and trained just like any other job position. In time there will develop a cadre of strong leaders who will take hold and take action – on that day we will see our people rise into the stars and beyond.

Until real action occurs, we are left to our incompetent leadership, and to the mercy of an economy that will crush this young generation and leave nothing standing for us to inherit say for our good health and fantasies.

So smooth!

Yes yes I know, the title is closer to click-bait than an actual proper title: well tough. Earlier today (Saturday 7 May 2016), I hopped onto my Xbox One to play Battlefield 4 for the first time on a console. Now up until this point my experience with the Battlefield series was mainly on PC: Bad Company 2, Battlefield 3, and Battlefield 4. The initial shock and awe – if you will – that I experienced was: “wow, this game runs really smooth!” Now as much as I pride myself on making games run on low settings on my machine, I was still amazed at how smooth the title ran on a console. Now there is all sorts of elements that factor into it, but for 9.99 CAD it was a pretty decent grab from a Friday night of browsing through the marketplace.

BF4_imageForblog

Well I can honestly say that the game is a lot more enjoyable with higher frame rates. On my current rig, the game barely runs, and when it does it is often at 15 frames per second – barely playable if that. Now imagine you’re facing an enemy player who can run the game at a higher frame rate, and can therefore react faster – kinda sucks when they can farm you for kills like a pen full of chickens while you attempt to adjust your play style to cope with the new reality.

 

Everything else is still the same; guns, gadgets, and so on – nothing new in that department. Player base is still strong, with myself easily able to find full 64-player maps to get my game on.

 

I am conflicted readers, on one hand I adore PC gaming, but on the other I am really enjoying my Xbox One – maybe this is because my rig is 5, going on 6, years old and the hardware is starting to show its age. If I recall correctly, the same pattern of thought happened to me with the 360 and the PC when I did the phase-shift per se. Definitely I enjoy being a hybrid gamer with options, but for today – and just today – I will go all in with the Xbox One and drink in the fun that is Battlefield 4 until either I need to use the bathroom, I get hungry, or I feel like taking a nap – whichever comes first. Anyways folks, happy Saturday to you all, and I shall see you next time.

 

P.S. it’s mother’s day on Sunday, do something special for that lovely lady who gave life to you and raised you up from the ground – unless they are abusive, threw you out, and never wanted to associate themselves with you; in that case: “INTO THE MOTHERLAND THE GERMAN ARMY MARCHED!” I mean, go hang out with friends……. #RedOrchestra2Gametime (humor intended).