Month: January 2019

And … Action

Last year was pretty pathetic in terms of gaming but the biggest letdown was the amount of events I went to.  One.  One event out of a whole year.  I know, rubbish isn’t it. Sure there was the Butterfly House and MAGE but I organised those so they don’t really count any more than a home game does.  Which brings us to one.  Surely I can do better than that this year?

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Well the weekend just gone (26th Jan if you are counting) I (we as Matt was with me) made a start by going to Board in Brum near Birmingham.  This is a venue that I haven’t been to before but will certainly be going again.  It has a well stocked shop (with stuff from a decent range of manufacturers) several 6×4 tables and decent toilets 🙂  Thats always a good start.  The fact that the very reasonable £10 fee also included food from the local chippy was an awesome bonus.

The reason that we went was to take part in the 2nd 7TV day that has been run there by a guy called Mike Strong – there are a lot of Mikes who play 7TV it turns out.  We’ve talked about 7TV from Crooked Dice in the past but if you’ve missed that heres a quick recap.

7TV bills itself as Inch High SpyFi as the basic premise is your models (a cast) are part of a TV show and that the game that you are playing is actually an episode of that show.   The SpyFi bit comes from that fact that the game is heavily based on the spy TV shows of the 60s and 70s such as The Avengers and Man from U.N.C.L.E   Your cast is made up of Stars, CoStars and Extras and each is worth so many ratings (you get around 100 profiles in the game so far).  You build your cast to the rating level of the game (we were playing 30 rating games which gives around 6-7 models) and then play out one of the scenarios given in the rule book.  Its a UGOIGO game that uses a limited resource (plot points) to control both activation and special actions that your characters might be able to do.  Finally it uses a countdown deck to ensure a special event happens every turn.  These are all TV based so you get things like Continuity Error where two cast members will suddenly switch places.  For me it is hands down the best set of skirmish rules I have ever played as by its very nature it gives the cinematic game experience that I love.  Sure there are individual genre based rulesets that have the same effect on me (Dead Man Hands springs to mind) but the power of the 7TV ruleset and the inherently balanced nature of the possible cast members means that it works across genres and makes for an excellent gaming experience.

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Having said all that I would be a liar if I didn’t admit to some pre event nerves as we rocked up to the venue.  Suppose the other players weren’t into the game for the same reasons I am and were actually looking for a more competitive gaming event that I was hoping for – it had been billed as a campaign day but that means different things to different people.  Suppose, suppose, suppose.  Sure I had talked to them on the 7TV facebook group but online personas and all that.

Of course all these worries were for nowt as you couldn’t imagine a nicer bunch of gamers who were all there for the same reasons that we were and who all had the same attitude to the game as we did.  I thought I might have gone over the top when I worked out my cast as I had created my own fictional TV show, had worked out that it was cancelled after 6 episodes and knew who the big bad in each one was.  Turns out that I hadn’t as all of my opponents had done exactly the same 🙂

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So onto the event itself.  I won’t bore you with a play by play but the day started off perfectly when our esteemed organiser told us that the 7TV studios were in financial trouble and that we would have to deliver advertising lines during the game (gaining extra plot points depending on how and when we delivered it) and it basically went from there.  I had 3 fantastic games full of cinematic highlights as Jonny Chan kicked and punched his way across the set pausing only now and then to deliver his carefully crafted lines to the camera.  Winning and losing didn’t matter, it was the taking part and fulfilling what Conrad likes to call the social contract that was the important (and indeed, only) thing.

I should also mention the sets (boards)  They were all provided by the players and were all fantastic.  So much effort had gone into them and it was a real pleasure to play on fully painted terrain for a change – so many of my home games are in MDF city.  It’s really going to force me to up my terrain game and actually paint stuff.  I’ve chucked some pictures of them in this post but my shoddy photography doesn’t really do them justice so apologies for that.

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A special shout out should go to Wayne, one of the players, who works for Wargames Illustrated.  He very kindly brought along a lucky dip containing loads of OOP miniatures which had enough for all of the players to get one each.  I got an awesome Dan Dare type model that i will be painting up for a future cast.

And speaking of painting (did you see what I did there???) one of the prizes at the end of the day was for Best Cast and I was absolutely gobsmacked to walk about with the prize for Jonny Chan and friends.  The other two awards were for best board and best sports – yes no gaming prizes awarded – and the event was all the better for that.

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On the drive home Matt and I were buzzing with ideas for boards and casts as there is going to be a lot of 7TV in our future.  Oh and if the Spy thing puts you off, this year will see the release of settings for Post Apocalypse and Pulp (my personal favourite) and the beauty of the ruleset is that it can be easily expanded into any genre that you want to go.

The next event at Board in Brum in on 21 September and there is a pulp themed day being put on by Wargames Illustrated on 6th July

Fantastic day, fantastic people and a fantastic game.  If you aren’t playing then you are missing out.

Did I deliver that correctly Mr DeMille?

Practically adequate in every way……..and Rock week

This post is a Bit later than planned but I went with the missus to see Mary Poppins Returns recently.

Ordinarily not something that I would rush to see but given that anyone with an ounce of compassion loves the original and Emily Blunt (hubba hubba) I was keen to give it a whirl.

I’m generally not a fan of remakes/reboots or apparently unnecessary sequels I tried to have as open a mind as possible. It also helped that BBC2 had helpfully had Saving Mr Banks on a couple of days before which gave some interesting context of what PL Travers thought the story was really about.

MPR has a difficult act to follow and a difficult path to walk. I thought it did all of that well. Emily Blunt does a good turn, Jack the lamp lighter has a dubious accent, the kids are not too annoying. MPR strikes the balance perfectly of respecting the original without losing anything due to that reverence. The animated scenes are as pleasant as the original and the song and dance bits are every bit as competent as the first time around (but we’ll come back to this).

Interestingly, the core of the story – the Saving of Mr Banks Jr is slightly more overt (albeit still superbly done) than the original and it is clear throughout the adventures, that the losses within his life are the ones to be resolved.

As I came away, as good as it was, I couldn’t help thinking that something was missing from making the film a ‘modern classic’. The songs.

Whether it is through years of rewatching or because I’m old and cynical now but the songs in MPR just didn’t stick in my mind or feel like instant singalongs for me. They were ok but there was no ‘Spoonful of Sugar’ or ‘Supercali-etc etc’ that had you humming along. Given the impact of the music from The Greatest Showman that I hear every bloody where, it just feels like it’s a missed opportunity to take it to the next level of fan adoration.

Enjoyed it though.

I followed up over the last week by catching up on a trio of older movies that I missed the first time around all of which starred Dwayne Johnson. It was a Rockfest.

I watched Jumanji 2, Rampage, and Baywatch.

Jumanji 2 (yeah I know it wasn’t actually called that but f##k off) – enjoyable enough. Some funny bits, borrowed some body swap tropes from elsewhere. Jack Black played Jack Black in a hat. Not awful but only a 6/10.

Rampage – more enjoyable in a ridiculous B movie-sequel plot free action flick style. Jeffery Dean Morgan seems to be a new Billy Bob Thornton. Naomi Harris dials in a performance. CGI is good. Stupid but fun. Sammy (my 8yo boy) lived it and I guess that’s the target audience.

Baywatch – in order to contradict what I said above, I enjoyed the Jump St remakes and tolerated The A team, so really had no expectations of Baywatch. I never really watched the TV series, although was aware of its popularity and why. The movie acknowledges the ridiculousness of the pretty people playing at lifeguard/detective while still giving plenty of eye candy to look at. It was an opportunity for DJ to play a more comedic role (there is action in slo mo – of course) but actually, there is some really snappy and funny dialogue in there too. Made me laugh lots, made me look at boobs lots. 8/10.

More stuff soon,

Kisses

Matt

2018 Review

My last post was June 2018. Clearly I’ve absolutely neglected posting here since that time. The intentions were there but I got waylaid.

How did my 2018 go you may ask? Not too bad is my answer! Based on my 2018 articles (yes there were 2 as I forgot some stuff on the first one), this is how I did.

  • Health – this has improved greatly. I suffer from pustular psoriasis on the heels of both feet. At it’s worst, this caused cracks in my feet of up to 2 inches. It was like walking on broken glass and was extremely painful at times. Inevitably it caused me to adjust the way I carried myself when walking or running. This puts a strain on various joints (mainly the knees and back). The result of this was that I strained the tendons on my left knee when running for a train. I can tell you that was something I don’t want to repeat!

    I eventually got referred to a dermatologist and after agonising whether or not to take the drug she had prescribed for me which is potentially life changing due to the possible side effects, I’m in a much better place with this awful thing. It’s no cancer but if you go join one of the support groups you will soon learn how drastically it reduces your quality of life.

  • Weight Loss – I got no where near as far as I wanted to with this. I dropped from 14st 7.5lbs to at the lowest 13st 10lbs. I’m currently 14st 1lb after putting on 4 lbs at Xmas. I suppose its good that I’ve tried to lose weight and I’ve pretty much managed to maintain a weight of below 14st. I will continue to pursue this in 2019.
  • Better paid job. On Dec 10th 2018, I started a new better paid job. The only issue is that its on the complete other side of the M25 to me. Hey ho you cannot have everything!
  • Build more Ad Mech – I managed to do this enough to facilitate my taking part in the club 40k campaign and also the brilliant Apocalypse game we held to finish this campaign off. The other brilliant thing about this finale was that everyone who took part wanted to do another Apocalypse game. So much so that the club had another one at Xmas which was store staff  (see more about who these are in the section about the club keeping going) versus all comers. We are due to have a follow up Apocalypse campaign game in Q1 of 2019.
  • Complete painting my BA British Army force – this did not happen.
  • Get some paint on the Ad Mech – this did not happen.
  • Continue to play and support the 40k club narrative campaign and to play 40k in general – I did this throughout the year but I ended up playing less 40k towards the back end of 2018 due to the fact that there was so many good things happening at the club to support and play.
  • Attend at least one Bolt Action gaming weekend event – this did not happen.
  • Play more Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit – well it should be called MESBG aka Middle Earth Strategy Battle Game. A bit of a mouthful but I guess Gdub wanted to cover both LoTR and The Hobbit genres of armies/forces. I’ve played a fair amount of this in 2018 once the new ruleset was released. Its a great game and I love it. We are going to be running a map based narrative campaign in 2019. I’ve also got tickets booked for an event called Ardacon for 2019 to go to an MESBG event too!
    LOTR Game
  • Paint LoTR figures – this did not happen.
  • Play more Kings of War – this happened big time too mainly because the club is running a slow grow narrative campaign. Its been a huge amount of fun and we about 2/3rds of the way through this with armies currently about to fight at 1350pts. With the new Clash of Kings 2019 released by Mantic, we’ve got more stuff to look at and a new set of scenarios to play for the rest of the campaign.
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  • Play more Wrath of Kings – sadly this did not happen. It riles me a little as I bought some of the new figures and I also bought some of the WoK cards too. There were a few small events that I heard about during 2018 and it would have been nice to have supported this. Too many games.
  • Gaslands – there was an initial flurry with this game shortly after it was released with some club members invested in playing at the club. I ended up buying some terrain for the game and I envisage using the campaign rules that were published in a wargaming magazine to run a club campaign in 2019.
  • Dystopian Wars – the intention was to keep an eye on the new game as Warcradle Studios had taken over the IP for this game. I’ve been watching the rules development and have downloaded and read some of the versions of the rules. Its being done in a very iterative and community friendly way but I have not had a play test of the new rules at all. No time. I’m still keen to see and watch and possibly get involved (lets not kid myself here!) with a play test game or two.
  • Regular board games session once a month – well this kind of happened. There were times when we could not meet but I would say that we probably met at least 6 or 7 times during the year. Its been good fun and I got to play some good board games 3which included the Game of Thrones board game which I really liked.
  • Continue to grow and support Tanelorn Wargames Club – wow this was an interesting year for the club. EXP Leisure, our previous hosts, essentially folded. This left Magic Madhouse who had floor space in the EXP Leisure rented facility high and dry too along with us and other people who came to play games at EXP. What unfolded was that Magic Madhouse, London was formed which took over the venue for a while before moving one floor to a different size area on the 3rd floor of the current venue. For a month or two things were touch and go as to whether the club would lose it’s venue and have to fold in to storage for a while whilst we found another venue. Thanks to Magic Madhouse, London we have survived (thanks Gav, Tim and Luke @ Magic Madhouse, London) and continued to grow. Club membership has marginally increased and we have run 2 Warmahorde events at the venue too which included the London Team Event too. I hope that we can survive 2019 now!
  • Relic Knights V2 is due out in 2018 – it hasn’t turned up. There is much negative feeling towards ninja Division but my take on this is it will either happen or not. I did play test and provide input in to the V2 rules when Justin Gibbs was at Ninja Division so I do have a feel for the new version of the game. It’s a real shame that Ninja Division have provided yet another KickStarter experience which may be perceived as unfavourable.
  • ebaying excess schtuffings – I’ve had some limited success with this but it is hugely demoralising doing this. I made some good money which I re-invested in to the hobby in the form of an AoS beastclaw army. I’ve nearly build a 1000pts of this now too. I need to continue with this in 2019.
  • I suppose the other thing to note is that I have probably built stuff that isn’t covered by any of the stuff above. The AoS stuff for example was a new buy. I’ve recently bought in to Warhammer Underworlds and I love this game. So much so that I have already started to paint some of the warband figures. I’ve also actively taken part in the club monthly vow. I don’t always achieve it but I’m doing stuff.
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On to my 2019 hopes and aspirations …….

Just the facts

It’s traditional as we start into a New Year to do a blog post that talks about all the hobby you did last year and all the hobby that you are going to do this year.  Enter into the year full of enthusiasm about how this year is going to be different etc.

It’s all a load of bollocks.

So I’m not going to do it.   Matt has, which you can read here and I’m sure Conrad will as well but there is no point in me making predications that I won’t stick to or going into great depth about how last year was crap.

So suffice to say I’m going to try and make this year better than last and this may or may not involve blogging, podcasting and perhaps video.

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Jonny Chan and friends

 

 

New Year – New efforts

2018 sucked. It was fu##ing awful.

The world became a less tolerant, hate filled place. We argued over Brexit, Trump, race, faith, money, sport, food and everything in between.

Even worse, Mike and me barely played any games, didn’t record and barely blogged.

2019 will be better.

Probably.

As is the tradition for this time of year – hobby pledges must be made.

I have 2.

The first came about through realising that even though had had played very few games during the year, I still spent a f##k tonne of money. I have piles of stuff that I have no intention of using. Armies that I want to use that I need to paint.

Hence #costneutralhobby2019. A ridiculous idea that I want to try and get through the year without having spent any money on the hobby. With the amount I have to sell, I should be able to fund the small amounts I need to buy. Ambitious – yes. Ridiculous – hopefully not.

The second pledge is #12projects12months.

With the amount I have to paint, I’ve set myself the goal of completing stuff this year. Some linked to events, some just linked to a desire to complete. My 12 projects are:

A Saga 6 point Norman force

A Saga 6 point Crusader force – different stuff to the Normans

The Samurai ‘Good guys’ army – 36 points of Dragon Rampant

The Samurai ‘Bad guys’ army – as above

2000 points of Seraphon for Age of Sigmar

2000 points of Freeguild for Age of Sigmar

2000 point 40k Army

A standard 7TV cast of 50 points

Bloodbowl Nurgle team

A pulp 7TV cast of 50 points

An Epic 40k 2000 point army

Necromunda Van Saar force

I also want to record with Mike and blog more, we’ll see how that goes……….

love and stuff

Matt

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