28 February 2010

"You wouldn't think that cutting the cheese would be difficult."

Is what I said after cutting up cheddar cheese for a toasted sandwich.
Seriously, how hard is it to cut a slice of cheese from the block? I have trouble with that, I always come out with a slice too thick, or half of a really thin slice. It's annoying because too much cheese on a toasted cheese sandwich just isn't that cool.

So life these days is as difficult as can get. Work sucks because I can't keep concentrating on it. Otherwise, I'm busy with other things. This whole week I have had hardly any time to touch myself. Monday was alright. I talked with Jenny for a while and then went to bed.

Tuesday I went to Fastbreak and there has been a new debacle with the Kids at the Gamers Table. A Lad liked this Girl who had massive hints sent towards her for about a week. So he told a Fella because he wanted some advice on it. The night before the Tuesday, the Fella asked out the GIrl. Nobody was happy. And a Guy came in and he's a friend of Chicka, but he didn't apparently speak to her at all so that wasn't cool.

On the brighter side, we may have another Monpoc Player! I was going to give him a demo, but I realised that I don't have enough dice. He'll be there next week though, and I'll give him a demo then!

Wednesday, I went to Ace with the Guy and another Bloke to play some Warmachine/Hordes. That was probably some of the most fun I've had in ages. A good game of Warmachine comprises of not only a good battle strategy, but also a friendly conversation of Smack Talk. And my Smack Talk mood was all about 'Yo Mother'. Boy was it fun. I didn't win either game, but it was fun anyway.

This was also the night I found out the actual plans for my weekend. I was under the impression that this weekend was going to be the weekend I'm at my family reunion. My sister, however, called me up and said "No, it's next weekend. 6th of March."
"Seriously?" I answered in surprise.
"Yeah. It's on Facebook and everything!"
"Wow. That changes everything. I can delay grabbing the tent."
"Yeah don't worry about getting the tent. Dad hired out a Cabin for us."
"Wait, he's actually coming?"
"Yeah, he's going to come down and pick up Mum and we can follow him in my car."
"Wait wait wait, he's picking up Mum? Then driving down with him?"
"Yeah, I know."
"The two of them will tear each others heads off!"

Thursday was gaming with Kel. That's right, I've used someone's name. I've totally ruined the anonymity of this post! We planned to have a game of Warmachine, and I thought I'd give the Butcher Themed List a crack at 35 points. Kel decided to take out Kara Sloan and see how she runs. Now Man-o-War have a reputation for high hit points and high armour. He was running Gun Mages and a few ranged 'Jacks, who are both reasonably hard hitters. Kel ended up winning, as per my gaming record, but it was still good fun. He was intimidated by the Tough-As-Nails list that I have. But while I got some heavy hitters onto Sloan, she survived by my 4 missed attack rolls against her.

Next week, I think we might have a game of Grind using Humphs Grind Set.
Edit: Wait, that might not happen. Kel isn't going to Humphs for a few weeks because work reasons, and I can't remember if last week was his last week or this week is...

Friday night wasn't D&D! No, that was the night I had dinner with Danika. We've been meaning to do this for quite a while so that we could swap Xmas presents that we got for each other. She originally wanted Pride and Prejudice and Zombies but I saw the two and picked up both of them for her. She picked me up Unseen Academicals to read which I'm rather excited to have a read of. She came and picked me up and we drove off to Wagamamas at Chermside.

I told her about what I heard that day so that she could have an outraged giggle at the pathetic things that a particular someone says. So Thursday day, I went to go do the shop run. I go to the back room and talk to the Manager to see if she wanted anything. She wasn't sure what she wanted, but asked if I heard about the Particulars latest Dream. (That's right. Anonymity is back, Bitch) I do warn, that the next paragraph is hidden because it's pretty gross. If you want to read it, highlight the empty space.

[So the dream goes that he was in this non-descript room, and a lady approaches him wearing nothing but a strap on. She asked him if he wants some Fondue. Next thing he knows, he's taking her waterfall of Diarrhea to the face.]

I was trying not to vomit out of laughter and disgust.

The next day, the Friday to be specific, we were talking with the New Girl and telling her about The Particular and I told her that story to get an idea of the stupid shit that he comes up with. A little while later, it was told to The Particular that I informed her. Next thing I know, I get an email.
Oi you fucking dick, why did you tell her about the fondue story?!
Being the smart arse I am, I replied with "I wanted to inform her of your wisdom!"
This is when the Informer, the guy who told The Particular about what I did, turned around and said "Hey Matt, apparently that story wasn't real."

WELL! Wasn't that a surprise. I wasn't told otherwise and now I'm laughing at how stupid it is that it was so believable anyway. The Particular dribbles a lot of shit, and I'm not just talking about the fondue, and he's always talking about his dreams such as creating a Snuff Film, or having 'Lucid Dreams'. It's all extremely stupid shit and we're all getting rather sick of it. So it's not surprising that something like this is Believable from him.

Later again, in the same day, I found out what else The Particular has been saying. Ages ago, he started having a thing for Danika. He was always asking me to hook him up with her and I was like "No, you can fuck off." Danika was having a bad time with guys at the time and he had recently been saying stupid shit like "Oh man, I dunno. I just want a girl to fuck, but just a regular fuck." So I was HEAVILY Inclined to corrupt any chances of him getting with Danika. He had kept nagging and nagging and I told him no and what reasons I had for it, but he didn't believe me. He eventually asked me "Do you have a thing for Danika? Is that why you're not letting me hook up with her?" Out of exasperation, I simply said "Yeees, mate. That's absolutely it." So since then, he's been taking it that way and saying I have a thing for Danika.

Anyway, what he had been saying was that Danika had been hitting on him, and he was all like "Nah, I can't do that to a mate". Danika giggled her little head off, it was that funny and pathetic. The only reason she figured he would get that idea was from when they last spoke, she was being nice and asked about his band. So now he's a Fondue loving desperado.

Danika giggled so much that we almost made a scene in the restaurant. So now we know what to think of The Particular.

Saturday rolled around and it was a happy day. Jen and I were able to talk, after not being able to hear from me since Monday. Text were always being sent, but Skype is better. We spent the day talking about anything and everything until about 4, when I had an hours Nap and went to D&D.

D&D continues to be an annoying point for Aaron by way of my Character Class. I faced 3 ogres and 2 minions, while Richard and an NPC fought Four Ogres and 6 minions. I won, of course, and I understand his gripe, that I'm such an impossible character to kill. I have ways of giving myself Regeneration, or Temporary hit points, or Damage Resistance, and all the while dealing massive amounts of damage. And it's all Legal.

He's just going to have to work around it. Anyway, it was a pretty short D&D overall and I got to lead a stampede of Pigs into a strip mine by strapping a satchel of bacon on my back.

Coming home, I realised "Holy Crap I have lots of things to do."
I have about 5 books to read here at home: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets; Unseen Academicals, Making Money, A Hat Full of Sky, and the next Honor Harrington Novel that I'll borrow from Kel. I also picked up Tasmanian Babes Fiasco, however I want to read it after I read He Died With a Felafel in his hand. The problem with that is that trying to find a copy is like trying to convince people you don't like Fondue.

Then there's the video games. I've finished 40th day already. It was easy enough. However, I want to collect all the gear for it. So I have to run through it once again and shoot the living crap out of everything and anything in it.

Borderlands has brought out another downloadable expansion called "The Secret Armoury of General Knoxx" which features more weapons, different enemies, all on new levels along with a Level Cap increase up to level 61. Yes, Sixty-one, because 10 new levels just won't be enough for this!

One thing I forgot to mention about Friday Night was that after dinner, Danika came back to my place. She has been wanting to play certain games to find out what all the hype was about. Particularly... WoW. So I said "Righto, you can play my account for a month and see how you like it." She got really into it and now I just have to wait for her to come back to my place and grab a copy of it from my computer so she can play the rest of my account.

I might even have a gander at it again.

22 February 2010

Erin inthePumpkinwithDiamonds

She ain't no Cabbage Patch doll. She has flavour, and substance.
You can mix her with things without going "Why does my food taste like snot?"
She can be used for a variety of things. Jack-o-Lanterns are the least of her talents.

At midnight, she does change into a pumpkin. Not to say she gets fat and has a weird hairdo. Actually, this analogy will turn out badly no matter where I go. Transformation into a pumpkin isn't exactly cool.

At least it's not a cabbage. Nobody wants to wake up next to a cabbage. * Shudder *

She's Smart. One of the smartest girls I know. She graduated uni just last year and turned 21 a month later. She has been working at a Charity Organisation for the Breast Cancer Foundation and plans events all year round. Last I heard, she has 3 on her plate and, while a little frantic, she has them all under control. That's Impressive in my eyes.

She's Funny. She dribbles enough shit to fill a reservoir and all of it is hilarious. The only reason I see her not talking is if she's asleep or dead. If she had a grenade in her mouth and someone was threatening to pull the pin if she didn't shut up, she would debate the consequences of killing her conducting an entire story akin to a butterfly effect. She could blame him for terrorism in Russia because he got annoyed at someone talking. The saying "She could talk the leg off an iron pot" is too... light hearted. Yet you still hang around to see where the story leads.

She's in Love. His name is Jared. And apparently I remind him of himself. He's a cool guy, which is where both Erin and I laugh until we've had kittens. Toadie from the little Rascals is cooler than I am. FFS, I don't think I spelt his name right!
He's outgoing, inventive, and generally quite fun. And he adores her as much as she adores him.
He's hard work for reasons I'm not going to mention here. She loves him and so she deals with it. “Not that it doesn't make it frustrating” she says to me one night when we last talked. The moons must have aligned or something, because it's rare that we synchronise our MSN times and we've done it like three times over the past week.

She's loyal. My week just isn't the same when I don't get berated at least once for my incompetence by her. Our history is kinda funny, but the story is so old that I can't be bothered repeating it here. But we've had our ups and downs and we've become very good friends because of it.

Thanks for being around, Erin.

Since Wednesday?

So last week I got a few random gadgets

Wednesday Night, I come home and find a packet on my bed labeled as 'Magnets'. “Fuck yeah!” I said to myself. A few weeks ago, I made an order for “Zen Magnets”. $50 for 432 rare earth magnets the size of ball bearings, with 12 spares. I really enjoyed the Video they have on the main page and it pretty much sold me on how much entertainment it would certainly give me.

Hence why I spent until about 2 am playing with them.

Thursday, I got a call from Aaron while I was at work. “Medway, are you home tonight?” “Yeah, I'm staying home to do some stuff.” (Frankly it was some housework and sleep, I hadn't been sleeping right again) “Cool, the cases arrived today”

When Aaron returned from his US Honeymoon, he said to the boys and I that he was going to shout us each Privateer Press “Battlefoam” cases. Aaron was meant to pick up 2 Warmachine and 1 Hordes Case, however the order came through with 3 Hordes Cases. Although I'm not exactly complaining. I have a great case to keep all my stuff rather than having to carry it all in a dodgy games workshop case and in my bag.

It has pockets for everything I need and some additional extras as well! It's awesome! I can get ALL of my Khador figures into there and have some spare room! And if I take out a tray, I can get books and spare figure stuff into there! For the Man-o-War army I'm doing, I'm going to need another Medium Tray for most of the figures, but Aaron has offered to let me borrow his which is great. I was rather surprised by the ring binder in there which is very nifty, so I've taken advantage of it instead of the massive ring binder folder that I have.

Friday night was D&D night. Richard had to bail because he was headed to T-bar with Mel and drove off that afternoon leaving me in the house alone for that night and all of Saturday, and leaving Me, Scotty and Aaron for D&D.

Scotty and I single handedly role-played and got us rolling on to the next area and into a small encounter. Aaron said to us at the start that it was going to be an easy encounter. But at the moment we're fighting an army of supernatural ogres that pop up every so often, and Skarburn and his father before him are basically charged with helping to defeat this army.

So in this encounter, Skarburn, Azure, Sapphira and an NPC were fighting against Two Ogre Spellcasters and Five Brute Ogres.

First turns, everyone got into position for the second turn, and I was at the top of Initiative. Second turn, I did what Barbarians are meant to do: Charge. So I charged my 12 spaces across the field, aiming straight for the Spellcaster in the rear. They're nasty buggers so I definitely don't want them hanging about.

The least likely thing happens. My charge attack rolled a 20, and instant critical. The damage started off at 43and then added another 2d10 and 3d6. With a slightly above average roll, I ended up with a total damage of 66. Good hit. Now for the second hit, as when a Barbarian hits with a Critical, he gets an extra attack once per turn. So with a second attack, just a standard hit, I killed off the Spellcaster Ogre with a roll of 5 dealing 26 damage. With the death of the Spellcaster Ogre, I receive temporary hit points and use an encounter power to CHARGE AGAIN! This time, after the Grunts since the other spellcaster wasn't present yet. With only being a standard attack, the Grunt takes about 30 something damage.

The damage simply increased as I continued. While I killed about three or four of the enemies there, the hits I made were just phenomenal. And we all kept count of our damage, including hazard damage. And every few rounds, I would give an update on the amount of damage dealt.

By the end of it, it sounded like this: In Third Place, with a very quaint score of 149 is Scotty. Not too far ahead, with an almost well rounded score at 147 is Richard the Sheep. Blowing everyone out of the water is Medway with a Staggering Four-Hundred-And-Two Damage!

I was quite happy with my rolls for the night.

Saturday was spent talking to Jenny and telling her all about Outrageous Fortune, a TV series I watched all night/morning until I knocked off to sleep at 4pm. I only just started the second disc when I realised she was just finishing work in a cranky mood. I amended that quite well.

Then I had a nanna nap, and watched more Outrageous Fortune. Boy is that a good show.

Sunday was Monsterpocalypse. Four people turned up, including myself. That was disappointing, but hey. We all left a little early out of a little exasperation, but gave me a chance for a Nanna nap before Del's Birthday dinner.

I was a little nervous. I hadn't seen Del in a couple of years, and meeting her friends was going to be a little random. But she reserved a place for 10, but unfortunately only 4 other people arrived for her, including myself again. I wrote her name in Zen Magnets and chatted with Bec some more. While it was a good night, it could've been better. All well. Next year will be good.

And now it's Monday. The radio has been changed to 4KQ and I'm about to knock off work. Game on.

Oh, and my thongs broke at work. Bad example for the new girl who has come in.

21 February 2010

"Everyone and their Mother is Backwards Compatible"

Many moons ago I had a very angry rant about Backward Compatibility, using the above quote as a joke to push a point across, and directing the anger towards the Playstation 3 console.

In the period of time since then, I have attained myself a PS3 Slim and have enjoyed what I can on the console whether it's playing a major classic such as Gran Turismo 2, to playing newer games such as Army of Two: The 40th Day, and I've enjoyed it all.

One of my favourite Playstation Exclusive games was Ratchet and Clank. I still remember one of the first stages where the Terrific Twosome are trying to have a meeting with Captain Qwark, Hero of the Galaxy, and warn him of the immenent danger and having to make full use of the Swingshot to reach him.

I finished that game 10, maybe 11, times to gain enough Bolts for the R.Y.N.O. (Rip Ya a New One), an extremely difficult weapon to attain that cost 9,999,999 Bolts! Now that was a hard number to reach, even with the Bolt Detector on hand! Sifting through each of the levels like an old man at the beach with a love of treasure in his heart. It was great.

Most recently I was given as a Xmas present “Ratchet and Clank: Tools of Destruction”. Boy did it bring back memories. The fast pace, the fun guns, the crazy enemies and the visually entertaining levels. It's been too long, but I believe every game has a city set in the sky, or in the midst of skyscrapers, with nothing below the platforms but oblivion.

I still have those games. Even the dodgy port of the PSP game “Size Matters” to the PS2. I've finished each of the games at least once, collecting and levelling up each weapon, giving them upgrades that they have earnt, and laughing again and again at the jokes they pull out.

To play them again would be fantastic.

But alas, I have difficulty. My Playstation 2 console, a loyal friend and so dear to my heart it is, is nearing its time. I have had him for 8, nearly 9 years. I remember picking him up for $400 with a platinum copy of Gran Turismo 3, telling Dad that I needed a memory card and a second controller as well and we were set. I loved Gran Turismo, and having borrowed my brother-in-laws PSOne to play GT2 over the summer holidays was one of the highlights in my gaming career. Until that point, I was still playing the Sega Mega Drive, mastering Sonic 3 and Knuckles, trying my hand at Boogerman, and occasionally putting in the clunky Game Converter to fail at Dragon Crystal, or to play Wonderboy In Monsterland and run out of health in the Labyrinth.

With the coming of the PS2, I had a new range of games available to me, much prettier games than the 640x480 quality stuff that was being pumped out on Mums old TV. No, now it was cleaner at 1024x768 pixels, almost doubling the detail that could be thrown into a game. I didn't know the specific details at the time, I just knew that it was going to be prettier and I was going to enjoy it. But what games were on the PSOne that I did enjoy, I wasn't going to miss out on them because the PS2 could still play them!

I still have the memory card in my PS2 from the day we brought it home, and a recording of something that still entertains me to this day. Dad wanted to have a go at playing Gran Turismo 3. We had a multiplayer game, me driving against Dad. I explained the controls to him, but after about 2 minutes he gave up. I know it was 2 minutes, because that's how long the recording of our race went for. He floundered and drove straight into the wall, and got stuck. I giggled for a little bit and helped him out, but he gave up anyway. I kept the recording as a momento.

Come to 2006. The Playstation 3 was released, a new generation of gaming had begun. They weren't likely to win the games race, what with the Xbox being released about a year beforehand, but that didn't matter. They were contenders, and a well based contender at that. They've got games dating back to 1994, over a decade ago, able to still be played on the PS3 so they weren't losing out on their range at all! To top it off, they added a unique aspect to the system: Blu Ray, a new disc format that includes higher quality videos and more information available for game discs! Their PS3 exclusives would be absolutely Phenominal!

However, there was bound to be a problem. And that problem was cost. The initial price tag for the 20gb Playstation 3 was around the $1000 mark.

$1000? Who could afford that here? I certainly couldn't. I'd just started my current job so I certainly couldn't afford it for quite a while. But I was still content. While the PS3 was just released, they were still bringing out PS2 games, and I could handle that with the knowledge that eventually the price will drop to something I could afford and I could, for want of a better word, Upgrade my PS2 to something more up to date along with expanding my range of games.

So Patiently I waited for the price to drop. And it dropped slowly, but at a serious cost. The elimination of Backwards Compatibility with PS2 games.

“What? Why” I question to myself as to the motives of the Sony Corporation Playstation Division. "How could you become a Eunich so willingly? Especially with such an impressive endowment?"

The range of games for the PS2 is phenominal! My computer freezes when it tries to load up the Wiki page! And the number outshines any other console on the market, and of any other previous market, and continues to do so!

For years after I had hope, hope that they did make a mistake and they're bringing back the compatibility that I appreciate so much, a signature aspect for two generations of an entire console family! Built in Backwards Compatibility! Not many consoles had that before the Playstation 2. In fact, I don't think there were any aside from the Sega Mega Drive Converter!

Then my heart shattered.

During an interview for the new model of Playstation 3, the PS3 Slim, the spokesman was asked about the backwards compatibility with Playstation 2. And he laid he cards on the table and said "it's not coming back. It's just not a selling point any more."

"Not a selling point? Of course it isn't! Everyone and their Mother is backwards compatible!" I howled in outrage. "How could he be so stupid! He keeps the PSOne games, but PS2? Oh no, that's no good for the PS3 is it! Really brings down the generation there, dunnit!" (Sometimes I get a bit Pommy when I get angry)

It confused me, even the other reasons behind it made no sense. 'Difficult to integrate into the system'? You had 2 variations of it: Hardware Integration and Software Emulation. I can understand the Hardware Integration. That increases the cost of the actual device and the lack of profit would be staggering. But then you made a Software Emulation! It didn't work properly with certain games in the end.

So you have a Software Emulator installed to the 60gb PS3. Fair enough.
It's really buggy. Fair enough, nothing's perfect the first time.

So what's wrong with organising a division of the Playstation Department to work on these bugs? Refine the Emulation and occasionally update with the updates. Better yet, release the Emulator for all consoles so that everyone has access to the Backwards Compatibility! That would be a grand idea! Nobody misses out except those who don't have access to the internet.

It was at this time, when the Spokesman made his declaration, that I gave in and bought the new PS3 Slim. At half the original price tag, it was at least within a range that I could afford. And the console exclusives were slowly growing with some real golden pieces in there. InFamous is a good example, a Comic Book hero Sandbox game. Think GTA but add in climbing and balancing acrobatics with electrical attacks. And instead of doing lots of bad things, you can choose to do lots of bad things or lots of good things! It has nothing to do with the movie of the same name.

But I still have my PS2. My almost 9 year old PS2. So dust filled that even air in a can may not be able to help (Although that isn't a bad idea anyway). The Memory Card Slot is practically broken, although the card doesn't get taken out for years at a time. I wouldn't be surprised if they have rusted together. It all still works which is good, and if I want the old feel of the original hand controllers, then I can easily go over to a shop and buy a new one. Frankly, the Logitec Controller is a little too small for my hands and makes playing it uncomfortable after a little while.

If nostalgia really takes my fancy to an extreme level, then I'll probably return to the Ol' Gerry and have a crack at some of the games I haven't finished, or just want to have another crack at.

The only other thing I would wish of the PS3 is Reversed Remote Play. Currently, the Remote Play function allows your PS3 to be played through the PSP, allowing access to PSP games, and the occasional PS3 game. It also allows you to play music and videos through it as well, optionally with the sound through the PSP or through the PS3. Works well if you have the PS3 set up through a sound system.

But the Reversed Remote Play? Well, I have a range of PSP games. Unfortunately, I really don't like the handling of the PSP Controls, I find it just too janky to actually use without getting frustrated. I would love to play it through my PS3 on my TV with something that sits comfortably in my hand, specifically the PS3 controller. Were it on a TV, I could see everything clearly too. The lower Resolution is fine because my TV has trouble handling the graphics on most PS3 games anyway. The Lower Resolution will be a small grace on my eyes that strain sometimes to see what's going on in the crazy frenzy of the PS3 games.

I would love to play my PSP games, like Dungeons and Dragons Tactics, Locoroco, Patapon and whatever else I have that I've lost track of. An external UMD drive to plug into the PS3. That would be grand, for sure. But, that will only remain a dream.

12 February 2010

Repeat Poker in your head and see if it loses meaning

Relationships are like a card game. And everyone reckons it's Poker, AKA: 5-card. That's not a very good choice of metaphor, because you get one hand of five cards and if you don't win, you lose the pot. That's more of a sex analogy, because if you're a bad root then you're more than likely going to be dropped for a pair of jacks and a king. Or Queen. Whatever takes their fancy.

Cribbage is a better analogy. You get dealt two hands of 6 cards. You figure out what cards you want to keep to use later, and discard two cards to the crib which goes to your opponent to use when counting the cards. Then the deck is cut and the top card is turned over for everyone to use.

Then you play your cards, adding up until you reach a point where there's nothing else to add without going over the sum of 31. If you both have cards on hand, then you go again until you have no cards or you get to the point without going over again. A point for last card, and two points for finishing on 31.

Then you count up the points in your hands, the dealer counts their crib, and work out where you are on the board, or scorecard. Then it repeats back and forth, the crib alternating between players until someone reaches 121 on the board.

There are also other little bonuses that turn up. If you turn up a jack on the cut, you gain a point. If you have a jack of the same suit as the card turned up, you gain a point when you count your cards.

Now I'm an old player of Cribbage. It's one of my favourite card games! However I've hardly had my hand in relationships of my own. One girl for five months, and a few half arsed attempts here and there to start something but ending up flat twiddling behind on points because of a shit hand, or giving too good a crib.

So why is it that everyone is trying to fucking convince me to play the fucking game of 5-Card? Hot girls are not a massively motivational thing to do something I don't really want to do otherwise, and I find it to be a pretty sad reason to invite me to something because there's hot chicks there that I might be able to score with.

Now there's the thing. I like good company, someone you can chat to about whatever and have a good laugh. And so I make good company for myself. There are few situations that I'm uncomfortable in because of strangers. The reason most people enjoy my company is because there is no further expectations. I'm never out to play 5-Card, whether for bets or for casual play. I'm out to play cribbage.

Now that is a bold statement for those who understand the metaphor. About 20 dozen men across the globe have sat up and said “NOO! Another male has lost his masculinity!” But you know what? I don't give a shit what you think. If you want me to do otherwise, to do what you do, then get stuffed.

The annoying thing is that they instantly turn around and say I play 52 pick up with the prison crowd.

Some people do it out of the kindness of their hearts, setting someone up for me to hook up with and maybe get that rigorous game of Cribbage that reaches a tie and we turn to a tiebreaker game of 5-Card. I don't want that. I really don't, because nobody knows what I like and I would rather not tell them. If I see someone might give me a good game of Cribbage, then I'll ask if they want to be dealt in.

It's the similar thing with my other regular players. We'll play and have a good game and that's it. Some people stand out and watch and say “Why don't you move onto 5-Card with them?”

Well, probably because they enjoy playing Cribbage with me? Or maybe the deck I use for Cribbage isn't appropriate for 5-Card? Because if I started asking to play 5-Card, they'll think that I don't want to play Cribbage any more and will piss off?

There's also them asking to play Cribbage, or even 5-Card, with my regulars. Now I will judge how they will play against each other and put it in favour of my regular. I treat them well and play for fun.

But when a new player comes on the intention of joining on a 3 player game of Cribbage, I'll know if they're playing for competition or not. I don't like to play for competition, and I will play for competition in my regulars favour. I'll even give them hints and warnings. The new player won't get any help from me unless I actually like playing Cribbage with them. I won't tell them the style of play if they don't deserve it.

And of course there's always the 5-Card players, and would-be 5-Card players, that think they're better than the Cribbage Players. Arrogant pricks that always look over their hands and reckon that what everyone really wants is to play 5-card all the fucking time but play Cribbage because they're useless at it, or just love to play 52 pick up.

You know what? I'd get out of card games if I didn't like playing Cribbage so much. Whatever card game I want to play is nobody else's business, so don't fucking tell me what I should and shouldn't play.

10 February 2010

Hats Shirts off to Dina Meyer

So for the coming year I have a themed Warmachine list that I would like to build. Designed purely for fun, I have decided to go for the 75pt Man-O-War themed list, a contingent of men wearing heavy steam powered armour and wielding Hammers, Halberd and Chainsaws with Grenade Launchers.

Now, I have had a terrible history of getting figures painted. My only reason for it is that I'm really in it for the game. I love the game, I reckon it's fun and the setting is just entertaining in my mind, and a lot of the players I face up against are really cool guys. And as far as I know, they all enjoy playing me. I won Best Sportsman in Gencon Oz 2008 for a reason, apparently.

But as for painting, well I have a bit of trouble in that respect. It's not the shitty paintbrushes that I have which really don't help matters, it's not the Colours that I have a small collection of and will have to invest in a few others next time I go to Ace, and it's not the overhead lamp that I don't have and really need to invest in as well. It's the patience. I can be patient, but if I get into a job, I really have to get into the job until it's done. With painting it's good to have a rest after you've done a few layers here and there to let the paint dry, because if you immediately start painting on it again with a different colour, it'll mix up and make it look funny. With the colour Red, you have to put on a few layers because it usually looks clumpy when it dries up rather than just a solid layer. At least, that's what happens with the Games Workshop Reds. And to help make it look really good you scale each layer by brightness, such as starting with a darker red and each following layer gets brighter and brighter until you've reached a good point. That way it's harder to notice any stuff ups, and when someone does it'll still look good because it's just a darker shade of red.

Some other colours don't necessarily need to be layered, particularly metals. Metals usually come out solid, but you can always put on layers. One of the first metallic layers was a rust effect. A Bronze layer dry brushed with an Iron layer makes a very solid rust effect. There's always others with better effects, but hey, I'm only a junior painter.

So I know some of the basics to paint, and that's really all that I need to know to get an army completed. Man-O-War figures are reasonably easy to deal with as they have many flat surfaces and any particular details can be dry brushed with a dark metal. Faces will be a problem as sometimes the details are tricky to keep right, but overall it's pretty easy and I don't have too many to actually do. You cover the skin in brown, and then dry brush a skin colour over it on something like a 90 degree angle.

The other thing I wanted to do however was to have colours to differentiate between units. I'm not talking about having one unit with Red shoulder pauldrons while another has Yellow. I'm meaning the whole unit are a different colour. In particular, a Black and White unit in the guise of the Man-O-War Shocktroopers in the original Prime book, drawn by Scott Fischer. For those who don't know, I can't really help. I can't scan it in, and Googling “Scott Fischer”, “Warmachine”, “Man-O-War” or “Shock Trooper” doesn't really come up with the right images. Scott gives me his D&D art, Warmachine gives me one of the incarnations of Iron Man, Man-O-War comes up with the band, and Shock trooper gives me topless photos of Dizzy from the Starship Troopers film. Though I'm not particularly complaining about that last one.

I did have a funny idea at one stage, though. I was playing Sonic the Hedgehog one day and thought about the figures for a second too long and realised “I could turn them all into Doctor Robotniks. The leaders would have a moustache sticking out of their armour since their faces are visible, and the rest would simply have similar paint style. It would really be quite easy.” But I'm not going to do that. It's just asking for trouble. If I face a Blue army, I won't win. Because that's what Bad Guys like Dr Robotnik do, they lose to the Good Guys like Sonic. And Khador aren't Bad Guys, as such. They just have a very different train of thought. The pattern may be something along the lines of Homicide, but that's not bad! Just frowned upon.

So up until August, and possibly until September, I'll have between 28 and 34 models to paint. The list is simple and has a few variations, which explains the range of figure numbers. But it will happen. I have a graph that I remind myself of the progress, and lack thereof. I'll probably put the progress graph on here to show everyone my weekly progress. Game on.

For those concerned, here's the potential lists.

Supreme Kommandant Irusk
- Decimator
- Destroyer
- Spriggan
Man-O-War Bombardiers (Max Unit)
Man-O-War Demolition Corps (Min Unit)
Man-O-War Demolition Corps (Max Unit)
Man-O-War Shocktroopers (Min Unit)
Man-O-War Shocktroopers (Max Unit)
Man-O-War Drakhun (With Dismount)
Man-O-War Kovnik
Man-O-War Kovnik
Total Figures: 29
Karchev the Terrible
- Behemoth
- Berserker
- Decimator
Man-O-War Bombardiers (Max Unit)
Man-O-War Demolition Corps (Max Unit)
Man-O-War Demolition Corps (Max Unit)
Man-O-War Shocktroopers (Max Unit)
Man-O-War Shocktroopers (Max Unit)
Man-O-War Drakhun (With Dismount)
Total Figures: 31

And if I do all the figures up, I have 95 points.

Supreme Kommandant Irusk
- Spriggan
Karchev the Terrible
- Berserker
- Behemoth
- Decimator
- Destroyer
Man-O-War Bombardiers (Max Unit)
Man-O-War Demolition Corps (Max Unit)
Man-O-War Demolition Corps (Max Unit)
Man-O-War Shocktroopers (Max Unit)
Man-O-War Shocktroopers (Max Unit)
Man-O-War Drakhun (With Dismount)
Man-O-War Kovnik
Man-O-War Kovnik
Total Figures: 36

I may have to consider buying a second Drakhun and dismount.

08 February 2010

... as bow legged as a Prison Bitch.

That's how I feel right now. I'm quite sleep deprived from gaming and it has been the best weather just to curl up in bed and rest. Rain pattering outside, a cool breeze coming in through the window, pushed down by the fan onto myself, wrapped up in a sheet and a blanket that mum made for me many moons ago that is long overdue for a wash.

The sleep pattern for the past week is as such.
  • Thursday Night: Up until about 2am learning Bloodbowl. Wake up 6:30 am for work.
  • Friday Night: Up until 2/3am playing Warmachine and Hordes at Allans Place. It could just be me, but I believe I play a very quick game. Played 35 points with Allen against his Mortenebra, and naturally lost, but I made him think! That's what made my night! But it was over fairly quickly. Same thing with my game against Scott. I lost, but it was over very quickly.
    As a side note, I gotta remember that Advanced Deployment is 6”, not 12.
  • Saturday and Sunday Night I stayed up late talking to Jen. It was okay for Saturday, I didn't have anything to worry about except for a Monpoc Tournament which was at 1 anyway so I think I slept in a little. Sunday however, I was just bad. We kept talking, and I admit that I stalled a little near the end, but hey.
  • Monday Night was spent playing The 40th Day. It's fucking badass, man! I even expanded the other Army of Two blog, but that was because I just didn't want to make people groan again at “UGH! Another game warning!”

Now you understand the post title. I think it's a good innuendo for "I feel fucked".

Edit: Today, the 9th Feb, I woke up at 7:20. That is exactly when my train leaves the station, which is about 750m down the road. I don't quite understand. I went to bed before midnight...

Edit 2: I realise why I'm so fucked right now. I have a cold.

07 February 2010

Low count but High Entertainment

So Sunday the 7th February was the first tournament to usher in the new year with the Quantum of Pocalypse. Quantum is a term used for something you just don't want to explain because it's either too complicated or it's so ridiculous that you just make something up so that you seem smart because you can explain Quantum.

By the way, Scientists are the Greatest Bluffers Ever.

Unfortunately we didn't have enough preregistered players to receive the prize kit, so we didn't get the official prize kit. However, our local press ganger organised a few emergency prizes to put forward so that someone has something to go home with!

With the new year of gaming and no more of the frantic organisation of meetings, such as those associated with December, we were hoping for a rather good turn out.

That was not the case. I turned up alone and early, knowing that our Incinerus player had dropped out due to work reasons. Turning up, I found that our Zor-Magna player may not turn up because of a very late night last night. Ask no questions, tell no lies.

Okay, fair enough. I checked to see if our Ape Player will be turning up and he said that he would be so there's a plus. In the end, one other player arrived: Rethy, one of our Triton players. That was about it, for our turn out. It was only good in that Fastbreak didn't have a lot of room for the day, since there was a Magic and Yugioh Tournaments, and a D&D day happening at the same time.

Our Ape Player turned up an hour and a half late, so that left me playing against Rethy. I like playing against Rethy, and we always have fun games. Out of the two games we played, we each went one for one. His Ultra Anglix versus my Mega Cthugrosh. It was a fun game, and we danced the day away tearing up the town over and over again. Each game I was thrown into the danged Crystalline Building, but I can live with that. It was always the first damage my alpha took, and he wouldn't die from it that way. This is where I shake my fist at it.

The second game was rather more impressive, playing amongst Boardwalk Brawl. He has the advantage, by being able to wander the waters with his units uninhibited, but he didn't really take advantage of that. He did however use the Nautilus Blasters very well. These figures, with their long range, Power Gorge Blast Trigger and Armour Piercing Skill make for an awesome piece of work. Their draw back is that they're really slow with a Speed of 3.

This didn't stop him, though. Cthugrosh was in the middle of the field a lot of the time, so he didn't have any trouble getting into range. And keeping hold of a Radar helped as well, giving him an effective threat range of about 10 squares, including movement, from where it starts.

Adding in effect bonuses such as weaken from a Nullifier Pod, or from Ultra Anglix himself, it makes Cthugrosh quite an easy target. Being DEF 5 in his alpha form, the aliens were turning the tables and putting the Hentai on the tentacle monsters. DEF 7 in his Hyper form wasn't helping either. The last turn was entertaining though, having Rethy and I giggling to ourselves quite heartily for a good five minutes as Rethys units took some unlikely pot shots at Cthugrosh.

2 Shots, using a Nautilus Blaster and a friendly Blastard unit. Coupled with High Impact, they both made 2 A-die and 4 B-die attacks against Mega Cthugrosh's Def 6 (after accounting Armour Piercing). Both successfully hit, Leeching two health to Anglix. That made us laugh. Considering the unlikely outcome of the dice hitting, it was hilarious.

Then I ticked over the health counter. “I'm dead, Rethy”. And so another 5 minutes was spent laughing.

So with more day left, and Aaron the Ape Player finally arriving, I let Rethy take on the Brass Monkeys, Mega King Kondo and Gakura, in a two monster brawl. Rethy was low on monsters, however, so Aaron let him borrow the Cyber Khan he had in his box.

It was an interesting match trying to watch Aaron win by almost only using King Kondo. It wasn't going to be likely, and with Kondo having Def 5 on all his forms, he was only going to suffer more damage than he would've liked. And Rethy did it too. Every attack hit home, even on Gakura's Def 6 when he entered the fray, and Rethy came out with a very strong win.

It was great to see Rethy. I'd like to see our other players turn up. The prize kit wasn't distributed to anyone, so I said I'll leave it for the next event In 2 weeks time, as we didn't have enough preregistered for that prize kit either.

If anything else we'll still have a few people turn up for a game or two, but it would be great to see others turn up to the later events! They're listed to the side of this page, so be sure to schedule it for your future!

04 February 2010

Fuck game warning.

It was a stupid idea anyway.

This week has been wrought with entertainment and shenanigans. Last Sunday, on the venture out with mother dearest, my nephew tagged along. This is my oldest nephew, aged at 16 in April, and he's still surprising me. Last time I saw him at Xmas (was it Xmas?) I was surprised to find that he was that old now and that he was so friggin tall! He's 6 foot now, after the 4 foot something I last remember him at. He definitely didn't take after his father, who's still in the mid range of 5 foot whatever.

Mother and I had a plan for the day: Go see the new Sherlock Holmes film. But you know what? The little bugger had already seen it, so Mum said “We'll see something else”, to which we watched the tale of “Old Dogs”, a film based around two bachelors who are getting on in years and are suddenly submitted to the 'worst thing that could happen to them': Children. With John Travolta and Robin Williams leading, I half expected it to be a funny movie. It's Travolta and Robin Williams, ffs!

But no dice. Even with Bernie Mac playing a man dressed in pink felt surrounded by people costumed in animals and making kids laugh so much that he's proud when a kid shoots milk out his nose. So shenanigans happened and that was that for “Old Dogs”.

Along that day I also picked up a few new Terry Pratchett books, a little to my disappointment as I was going to pick up some Lego for work. What? I like Lego. The books I picked up were Making Money, A Hat Full Of Sky and Night Watch. At the time I bought the books, I was reading through a book kel let me borrow: David Webers “On Basilisk Station”. The silly thing was the people kept mistaking it for “David Weber on Basilisk Station”. Then I'll say it's about a girl named Honor Harrington and they would say “Then who's David Weber?”

But after finishing it just yesterday, I have moved onto Night Watch. I did enjoy Honor Harrington and I look forward to reading through the other novels. I also really like Sam Vimes. What I like best about Terrys City Watch novels is that it never seems to end. It climaxes at the middle, not near the end, and slowly lets you down with smaller and smaller climaxes. If a graph was made based on one of Terrys City watch books, it would look like the silhouette of a Mountain Range.

And he has the most interesting characters as well.
"I've always wondered about his name," said Nobby, possibly the best living demonstration that there was some smooth evolution between humans and animals. "I mean... Legitimate?"
"Can't blame a mother for being proud," said Colon.

So with finishing the Honor Harrington Book, I returned it to Kel last night. Last night was also when he taught me Bloodbowl. Kel has raved on about Bloodbowl since I met him and he has some pretty entertaining stories. So I decided to give the Video game a crack, because it is exactly like the tabletop game but without the finicky bits of keeping track of dice and turns, because the computer does it for you! But I'm a kinaesthetic learner and it's better for me to be shown than to have something written down in front of me. I can read rules better after I understand the game on hand, so the most confusing part (Making a team and placing money into stuff) will be fairly breezy now that I have a better grasp on it. Soon, Skarboyz Orks will be running about doing something...

I won't go too far, because frankly I'm sick of doing gaming blogs. This is a personal blog! I should be doing something OTHER than doing game reviews, or explanations! I have an entire blog about Monsterpocalypse! And I'm working on a D&D Campaign! And I bought Army of Two (1 and 2) for $85 just before! So anything funny that happens will be reported here. Like in D&D. That was funny. That was quite funny. Especially since Aaron gets extremely frustrated over a perfectly legitimate Character.

I sigh in favour for Aaron, as if he ever gets a chance to play my D&D Campaign (if it's refined enough), then he will get to kill a Pseudo Skarburn at level 3. I do fear that I've made it a little too strong, but then again I haven't run the stats by the Monster Manual yet so I'll eventually find out when I get a chance to work the numbers.

This is the state of my world as we know it, and I feel fine.

Edit: In other news, it's been announced! "Sonic the Hedgehog 4 - Episode 1" LINKY!

01 February 2010

Army of TuTu

Army of Two, a story about two men in post-military positions who become part of a Hired Mercenary Corporation. It has been recorded numerous times in history that Small Offensive Military groups are more successful that large scale battles.

In light of this, there has been a massive push into privatised military and Mercenary groups have become legitimate companies.

Army of Two follows the success of two Military men caught in a political tangle and put their 2 cents in the only way they know how: Through someone's head. With a bullet.

The game system starts off seeming like your a-typical over-the-shoulder shooter, AKA: Third Person, blazing away with Modern Weapons that you can upgrade along the way, along with choosing your outset of armour, and a variety of Styled masks to make your character look more threatening than usual.

To expand on this, they added in a second player character. This IS after all Army of TWO. So now you have two characters running about, one either a friend or a computer AI, guns blazing, scaring people with their face plates, and generally tearing shit up.

But that's not enough. Having two guys run about would be silly because they could take different routes and generally linchpin any silly bugger who waits at the end. So the developers made it worth the value of having two people actually staying together.

This is where they made the Aggro system. As one player kills more and more enemies in quick succession, the enemies take him under higher priority, being considered a more dangerous target, and thus drawing fire away from the other player. This is shown by a Red Glow emanating from the character.

So where does this leave the other player? Oh, he's running around to the back of the enemies to smack them across the head, or shoot them in the back of the head. Or, the smart bastard is standing in front of you holding some sort of impromptu shield, such as a car door, as you wade through the poor saps trying to shoot the pair of you down.

As one glows more red, the other becomes more and more invisible. When the Aggro meter reaches its maximum, the players enter Overkill mode. For the next 15 seconds in bullet time, the player with all the Aggro has infinite ammo in his current clip and takes less damage, while his partner runs around faster than normal whacking opponents across the head.

Naturally you're given two weapons as well, a primary and a secondary weapon. Now, they make a very big distinction about this by having your primary weapon being your “Fuck off” gun and your secondary being a piddly gun of annoyance, such as a pistol or Sub Machine gun.

You can pick and choose what weapon you want to use based on the stats available on the actual weapons themselves, including the Aggro stat. The higher the Aggro, the more threatening it is, hence the more Aggro you generate. The gun with the most Aggro is the "Fuck off" Chaingun. It's not called that but it's a Chaingun and, frankly, "Fuck off" is a good warning.

And you can upgrade these stats as well by attaching various parts, such as shield, under slung shotgun or grenade attachments, or simply pimping it out by plating it with silver and/or gold, and maybe even some lovely woodgrain. That's right, you can pimp out your “Fuck off” Chaingun with gold barrels and a wooden stock.

So far, I've been talking about the good stuff of this game. So lets make a point about the bad side of the game.

The basic storyline is good. Personally, however, I would've preferred if it was spread out a bit more since the overall campaign is rather quick, a good 10-15 hours of gameplay on the first run through.

The game also has a fast pace going for it, however the controls feel clumsy and players are bound to do things that weren't originally intended, such as moving in or out of cover or simply having a hard time shooting something/someone.

Overall, it's a very entertaining game. Some of my favourite parts is when they do the back to back. It's scripted, so you can't pull it out whenever you want, though it would be cool to wade through a level while in back to back. Everything gets into a bullet time and the players just rotate around and shoot people running at them.

Mid last month they released the Sequel, Army of Two: 40th Day. Why didn't I know about this?! I gotta pick up a copy of this!

“Okay, this looks pretty cool. I hope the rest of the game isn't as frantic as this, it'll give me a headache for sure.
“Ah, it's settled down. This looks pretty good, the scenery is well defined, the glare is working well. I don't like how they changed the scar across Rios' face, but Salem looks alright with hair. It looks like mine when I grow it out. They changed their voices too, only slightly. Must just be because of different recording gear.”
“Oh man, the controls are so much smoother. This makes me happy. Oh, what's this? What does this tooltip say? Press the... I think that's L3 button... to alternate...” * Press L3 Button and the camera swaps side of the character * “OH THANK THE PINEAPPLE PASHING BASTARD WHO ACTUALLY KNEW THAT THIS WAS NECESSARY! THANK FUCK HE HAS GOOD TASTE!”

These were my first thoughts that ran through my mind when I began playing The 40th Day after playing Army of Two for a few hours. The whole game is a massive improvement in a variety of aspects, many of which I listed above. Especially the camera angle. Army of Two didn't give players the option of changing the angle of the camera in relation to your character unless you were sidled up against a wall the wrong way. And even then it didn't always work and you would be flooded by terrorists and their bullets without any chance of retaliation until you sat down waiting for your partner to heal you. The problem afterwards would be that the AI would try and take you to a safe place on the other side of the map, while the countdown timer to a detonating missile would casually stroll down the minute it was given. All because you couldn't see.

They added in another aspect into the game: Morality! Which pretty much comes down to the choice to kill ruthlessly or to not kill ruthlessly. The first morality choice was to kill a contact or not, and I was going to go the good route but my fingers got ahead of my brain and I shot the poor bugger. It was a pretty awesome scene, because he took the bullet to the head, staggered, then turned around to strangle Rios. Rios then forces him off, shoots him in the chest a few more times before kicking him through the railing, and down into an alleyway from the top of a building. As a moment of reflection, a comic book montage rolls and shows him falling, hitting a wall before landing dead, and then showing his face on a missing persons report, all to say “This is what you've done, you horrible person.” Since then I've been taking the immoral road and it has been pretty harsh. Stray Bullets, termination of a Species, and I've still got more to come.

The story itself... well I'm not sure where it's actually headed. It could be that I just turned off my brain and just went through guns blazing half the time, and secretly getting a headache from straining my eyes because my TV is too old, but so far all I've been able to follow is that we were on a job which went pear shaped when Shanghai began to get bombed. Then we found ourselves shifting between buildings, going up and down stairs, walking down the side of a fallen building, saving their operations girl, and going back-to-back on a platform being lowered by a crane to get to street level. I just know that some organisation is invading for some reason or another.

This is the first and second Chapters.

I'm really enjoying this game. I can't wait to get back to it.