Friday, February 27, 2009

Paint Recommendation

As previously mentioned, I'm building an Afrikakorps army. For the tanks, I was trying to decide what colours would allow me to get done the fastest but still look good. After all, I *am* an unrepentant lazy painter. So, I figured I'd go ahead and basecoat my tanks in tan then darken with a wash followed by a highlight.

Anyway, this meant that I had to find a good colour tan to use. As an experiment, I purchased a can of the Krylon "Camouflage Paint with Fusion Technology" in "Khaki". Not only was it the right colour, but because it's "Ultra-Flat" it will be a good basis for painting on.

Upon opening it, I noticed that the head is a different shape than what I'm used to. I don't know if this is a new thing for Krylon or just for this paint.

THIS PAINT IS A DREAM! It comes out in a very fine mist and goes on more evenly than just about any paint I've used before. I've always found Krylon serviceable, but I generally had problems with spraypaint. I don't know if it was the favourable weather or what, but I'm incredibly pleased with this paint.

If you are looking for a good basecoat for military figs, I think this is the paint you should take a look at. They have Khaki, Olive, and Brown for your camo needs. It even comes in Black!

If I have any further observations, rest assured, I will post and link here.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Starting Flames of War

Despite what you may have guessed with regard to my last post, I actually am putting the Warhammer Fantasy Army on the back burner. Most of the group of miscreants I hang out with are more interested in pursing Flames of War. As I have started reading the rules I've fallen under it's spell as well.

It doesn't hurt that for my birthday I got three Panzer IIIs, a Panzergrenadier platoon, and two StuG G's.

Links of Note:
Anyway, the next step for me, is coming up with an initial list. They were very helpful at Great Hall with providing guiding me in my first steps. It is a bit tricky wrapping my head around how to build an army list for this game because of the very wide variety of options compared to something like 40k.

I'm thinking that based on what I HAVE so far, I'm going to try something like this (about 1500 pts).


1 Company HQ @ 235 Pts
    1 HQ Section @ [55] Pts
      2 Panzerknacker @ [10] Pts
      1 Motorcycle and sidecar @ [5] Pts
      1 Kfz 15 @ [5] Pts
    1 Anti-tank Rifle Section @ [30] Pts
      1 Anti-tank Rifle team @ [25] Pts
      1 Kfz 70 @ [5] Pts
    3 Sniper team @ [150] Pts

1 Panzergrenadier Platoon @ 225 Pts
    1 HQ Section @ [45] Pts
      1 Panzerknacker @ [5] Pts
      1 Kfz 15 @ [5] Pts
    3 Panzergrenadier Squad @ [180] Pts
      3 Kfz 70 @ [15] Pts

1 Panzergrenadier Platoon @ 225 Pts
    1 HQ Section @ [45] Pts
      1 Panzerknacker @ [5] Pts
      1 Kfz 15 @ [5] Pts
    3 Panzergrenadier Squad @ [180] Pts
      3 Kfz 70 @ [15] Pts

1 Assault Gun Platoon @ 355 Pts
    2 StuG F/8 @ [355] Pts
      2 7.5cm StuK40 gun @ [0] Pts
      2 Hull MG @ [0] Pts

1 Panzer Platoon @ 460 Pts
    4 Panzer III L or M @ [460] Pts
      4 5cm KwK39 gun @ [0] Pts
      4 Co-ax MG @ [0] Pts
      4 Hull MG @ [0] Pts
Total List Cost: 1500 points


Monday, February 23, 2009

Valkia of the Warriors of Chaos

While I've not yet started building the Warriors of Chaos Army, I've been planning the theme and feel. In the book there is the Khornate leader "Valkia". However, Games Workshop does not have a model for her. While I was sorting through my figs, I found one which I can use for her with a little conversion.

She is a Reaper mini called "02923: Princess of Hell". I'd purchased her because it was a cool figure, long before I'd thought seriously about doing a Fantasy Army. Well, I think I'm going to send her into battle by removing the whip - adding a shield there, and possibly replacing the dagger with a full Chaos sword.

I think that'll work....

Friday, February 20, 2009

iPhone whining

Why isn't my iPhone as cool as it SHOULD be? I love my iPhone. But really, there are some areas where it lacks functionality for no good reason. The chips in it are powerful enough (heck the thing plays Youtube videos effortlessly), but the executable code isn't there.

As many readers know, I have the cushy telecommuting job that lets me work from home. Furthermore, my company pays for my internet. This has allowed me to get Roadrunner Turbo/Premium (whatever you want to call it). Further, I've dropped my landline in favor of just calling with my iPhone. However, from time to time I do need to leave the house. When that happens, I only have internet connectivity about half the time. Where is my iPhone tethering? Other phones allow you to connect your PC to your phone and use it as an ISP, why oh why doesn't the iPhone? Its been rumoured to be coming, but I'd really like them to get moving on it.

Heck as part of this, wouldn't it be cool if even though I was at a place with a Wi-Fi connection, I could still run data through my iPhone's Wi-Fi antenna so the thing can work as a Firewall?

I can use VPN and and Windows Remote Desktop on my phone! Why not this?

Furthermore, why should I have to buy a TomTom? The iPhone has the power and ability to do turn-by-turn directions. It's available for other phones! The iPhones Google Map feature is so wonderful; there are other "turn by turn" GPS apps. So it would seem to me to be a minuscule addition in capability to actually say "TURN HERE" aloud and not take your eyes off of the road! If the free market is so great, why the hell hasn't this been implemented yet? (incidentally - Gmap is a rather "meh" application as it has problems when you give it an address)

Here is another limitation. Adobe is looking at trying to implement an iPhone version of Flash (which is wonderful considering most sites I visit extensively use flash). But it's not here yet. Yes, Adobe says it's hard...but this gadget has been around for sometime.

How about software to let me read Amazon Kindle books?

All that being said, I noticed something rather spiffy the other day. AT&T IS preparing to offer a "MicroCell" extender which basically worked like a low power cell tower in your house. It uses your broadband connection to connect to the network. Now admittedly, I do get a decent signal in my house, but I really would like to have the extra insurance and "free anytime minutes". This would really pay for itself as I could drop my minutes from unlimited to something MUCH, MUCH lower (even if it was $5/month). With something as cool as this, why are there these other limitations? Even so, as cool as this is, my iPhone handles Wi-Fi, I should be able to just make calls OVER Wi-Fi.

Other than that, I LOVE this little gadget. Everyone who interacts with me knows this thing is almost permanently attached to my hand. It works with my company's Exchange server, I can VPN and remote Desktop with it. I can control iTunes on my desktop. Then with all of the other free applications I've installed, I feel like I'm almost directly connected to the internet. These other limitations just seem so artificial!

Almost forgot - syncing with iTunes wirelessly...c'mon! This isn't brain science!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

I'm not old...

I'm 37, I'm not old.

Happy Birthday to me.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


More FUTURAMA Coming To Fox Network?? It's Possible, Says Zapp Brannigan!!

Pride and Prejudice and Zombies

Yes Really.....


Oh and Here is a bonus link

This is why you're

It's worth clicking for the "Deep Fried Peanut Butter-Covered Brownie Wrapped In Cookie Dough".

Sites like this make me weep for humanity.

Friday, February 13, 2009

The d20 Modern Campaign

Chris has nicely provided a map of the area our unit is currently stuck in.


The orders that the Sarge got over the satellite phone was to try to make it to Rammstein NATO base in hopes of extraction. However, the Neo-Soviets captured our sniper, so now we need to figure out how to get him out.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Another Miniatures game

I like games. Its cool playing different games with different mechanics and seeing what is out there to have fun with. I also enjoy history (though there ARE vast gaping holes in my knowledge). This had prompted me to look beyond and think about other types of games. One of them that has recently caught my eye is Flames of War. I've not picked it up yet, but I'm looking at it.

Its a World War II miniatures combat game.

I know I need to get my personal life in balance and figure out how best to work my playtimes with the rest of my life. But I digress....

Chris A and I have been looking at this and have considered giving it a go. I've heard it's a good balance of simulation/game (whereas Warhammer, 40k, and Warmachine are more game than simulation).

One of the neat things about the game is that it lists out what part of the war a certain miniature would be from (Early, Middle, Late). It's land and air based combat (if you want a sea based game, tell Chris to get his butt in gear and work on his project). Its actually rather cheap compared to GW or Privateer Press as you can have a HUGE army for about $200.

Of course, I'll be totally and unrepentantly evil and play the German army. Chris has picked the US. Furthermore, we've also hooked in a couple other friends into this. Cliff (the Ork player) is going to play the Italians and Clay (the IG player) will be running the Soviets.

For fun, we've all kinda decided that when we play, it will be a potentially "alternate history" to permit anyone to fight anyone (in 40k style), else certain of us would never fight the other of us (notice though how I picked the army that everyone could fight).

The first weekend of every month Flames of War is played up at Great Hall Games here in Austin, so I'd be sure to find players.

I'm shooting for an AfrikaCorps Panzercompanie.

If any of you dear readers have played it, please comment and let me know what you think!

Monday, February 9, 2009

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Video Documentary #1

Star Wars...those near an far wars....please let them stay....

*edit* This used to be embedded video, but the Autoplay every time you visited, was...irritating. So, I've replaced it with a link to the video on The Old Republic website.

Star Wars: The Old Republic: Video Documentary #1

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Why Digital TV was delayed

I'm related to this I can laugh...

Friday, February 6, 2009

Aborting a campaign

Sadly, I prematurely terminated the Eberron Campaign I was running. I wasn't that happy about having to do it, but there were logistical problems that made me decide to not continue. I still have the campaign material (and boy do I have a LOT of it), but the group dynamic didn't work in the way I was hoping.

Now, some of the problems listed here involve observations on my group's dynamic (many of whom are readers). To those people, THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE CRITICISM - it's more an observation of how I try to run the group. I ask y'all to please not get upset about this - I'm not upset about it.

Problems encountered:
  • Unpredictable attendees - We are a VERY laid back group. So, we ran into the problem of not always being able to have the people in the group there. This meant it was difficult to convey the story I wanted.
  • HUGE group - I am not a great GM and trying to wrangle 8 players was too painful.
  • Raucous group - I often found myself usually having to yell over the group and carefully manage the players to make sure that everyone got an action. If we played in the afternoon, it wouldn't be as much of a problem - but as many know - I tend to run out of steam after 9 pm, so I'd run out of energy too early.
  • Too many details - Because of the large group, it meant that trying to tailor encouters proved far too difficult given the time I had to prepare.
The Saturday is a fun group - and rather random. The fun part of this for a GM is the fact that the party tends to GIVE you material. For example, we had a "vampire" in the group. Well, she had done a few things that were rather brutal - especially in a city based campaign. I suddenly had a WONDERFUL subplot where a member of the city guard noticed her activities and was out hunting the "Vampire" in town.

Gold, right? Yes indeed.

I haven't decided what I'm going to do about this beyond the fact I've stopped the campaign because I couldn't keep it going. I may look at creating something that is a tad more episodic that would better lend itself to the group, but I'm not sure what that'd be.

The sad part is, I LIKE the campaign I came up with. I was using a series of resources and combining them to create a rather rich setting: The Sharn Sourcebook (because it's a Sharn based campaign), Ptolus (to fill in the setting gaps), and The Shackled City (the mega-campaign I was using). I even found a few more sources to sprinkle in as I was going to gently transition from 3.5 to Pathfinder. However, I think I'd need to run this game in a smaller group until I got a better handle on things.

The great thing about Eberron/Sharn is that the setting was rich enough that I was able to pull a lot of different concepts from other campaign ideas I'd had to pull together. For example, a long while back, I'd tried to start a Traveller campaign. In this I'd added a large number of concepts to make it fit the story. I never was able to get that campaign going - but - I was able to pull a number of those concepts and fit it into my Sharn setting (great houses wielding power in a powerstruggle with each other, the group becoming involved in things just below the surface, strong criminal organizations). However, that time has just not come.

Now, of the things I COULD run - I think perhaps something more rules light would help and a campaign design that didn't require me to keep as much continuity in place.

Alternatively, I could make "my" night a "hey, lets play this boardgame" night. If I could get my hands on a copy of "Warhammer Quest", that'd really be cool.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

On Basilisk Station

On Basilisk Station is the first of the Honor Harrington (link has spoilers) series by David Weber. It is a sci-fi setting that is inspired by the Horatio Hornblower series of Napoleonic era sea warfare. In much the same way, the Honor Harrington series follows the exploits of Honor Harrington of the Royal Manticoran Navy. She is an officer in command of the Fearless in the book.

Obviously, it is a military sci-fi book and has aspects that give the space battles a similar feel to Napoleonic era ship combat. Weber fully succeeds at evoking this feeling. While nuclear missiles are used and FTL travel is prevalent, the pacing of combat is similar to the days of wind power and cannons.

The book starts slow as it needs to set up a great deal of hows and whys things are. However, the second half of the book moves up and into overdrive.

I REALLY enjoyed this book. I've already planned to read the entire series.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Finally trying d20 Modern

This past Saturday, the 5 C's gaming group started up a d20 Modern campaign. Chris A is running us through a scenario not unlike 'Twilight 2000'. Coincidentally, the time I had played Twilight 2000, I played a mechanic - and I'm playing one in THIS game too. Anyway, we are starting out at level 7, which is good as in d20 - levels 5 to 15 tend to be the 'sweet spot' for the system.

I've always been intrigued by d20 Modern and always wanted to try it - I'm excited that I'm finally going to be able to give it a go. Its a bonus that Chris is running, as he runs a good game. Furthermore, this is a military campaign, so he is in his element.

The setting is an alternate present where the troop surge backfired. National Guard troops had so weakened the U.S.'s home defense that a number of states seceded (including Texas - the home of our characters). Around this time, the reborn USSR (under the leadership of Putin) annexed a number of former Warsaw Pact countries causing our characters to be stranded behind enemy lines. We are all from different units (with Chris's wife playing an embedded photojournalist) and now have to do our jobs AND get back to Texas (who has recalled us).

The fact I'm starting a book he loaned me called "Team Yankee" adds even FURTHER depth to this. A review of the last book I read is coming up on Wednesday.

Our first move was placing explosives that broke up a Soviet supply convoy. There was a lot of character generations, so we didn't get too far. It didn't help that I got "Airplane Crud" on the way back from Portland so a headache, burning sinuses and general 'bleh' means I couldn't contribute as much as I'd like.

I'm excited to continue with this.

EDIT - We are HERE.