First off... Merry Leap Day!!!
Mini and Board Games
- Had a laid back board game night over at Anders' house at the beginning of the month. Micke came as well and we played Gears of War and actually won, for the first time! I think we've started learning how to play well. Once we were done we had some more time so looked at what Anders had available. We talked for a while but finally ended up with Talisman! Which was pretty cool since I hadn't played that in more than a decade. I played as the assassin and had fun harrassing the other players but in the end came in last while Anders walked away with the Crown of Command. I enjoyed this surprisingly much and wouldn't mind playing it again when the mood strikes.
- We also played another game of Twilight Imperium with the full six players. While I love the game I didn't enjoy this game as much as I ususally do. I tried out the Arborec but was hemmed in very early on by my two neighbours and felt very limited in what I could do. The very different playstyle of the Arborec naturally compounded the problem as I wasn't really sure on how to use them best. I think TI is best when you let it rest for a while between games so you can recharge your batteries as it were. Also, last time we played with a premade (balanced) map without Distant Suns and everyone were within two victory points of each other. This time we played with a player build (random) map with Distant Suns and the VP spread was much larger (between two and seven points). Coincidence?
- Finally today, on Leap Day(!), I played a couple of games of Infinity. At a local game store/club Infinity has become really popular with every Wednesday being scheaduled for Infinity. I went there to have a look around and ended up playing another Yu Jing player twice. The first game was 150 points and I included my new Aragoto, a HMG Tiger and a Guilang (among other things). It proved very one-sided with the Aragoto, with some help from the Tiger, wiping out his entire force in the first turn! High speed, Mimetism and a Spitfire is a deadly combination. The next game we upped the points to 200 so I added my Su-Jian and a bunch of Kuang Shi. It went similar to the first, with the Aragoto and Su-Jian racing ahead and killing stuff. I had some nice synergy going with my Kuang Shi flushing out his Daofei allowing my humble Guilang to take him out from combat camo. So, two solid victories where I've really come to appreciate speed!
Painting and Modelling
Yes! Back to painting again and I'm enjoying it immensely!
- I added some support weapons to my EarthSec army. I have some another squad half finished, but Infinity has gotten in the way. :)
- I also got an order from GZG containing colonial shacks and some more Crusties. I'm really looking forward to putting together my very own Martian shanty town! John was kind enough to include some additional robots and a shipping container. Thanks!
- So, you've seen my Aragoto and my Sù-Jián already. I'm almost done with my two Guiláng (WIP above) and have some other stuff lined up; Hsien, Yáokòng and Sforza to name a few. It's fun coming back to Infinity miniatures as they really are a joy to paint. My friend Anders has also started working on his Nomads, which is really awesome! He even ordered some Windsor & Newton Series 7 brushes and new paints from Vallejo. Good stuff!
- Got a couple of orders incoming from Ravenstar Studios and Hasslefree as well. Plus the space mat from Hotz Mats.
- During the first half of the month I played the demo for Starbreeze's Syndicate reboot a lot. At first it just looks like another sci-fi shooter. Sure it looks nice and cyberpunk always works for me, but how is it different? Well, there is a large co-op part of the game where you work as a team of four agents against the AI in different missions and once you get it it's spectacular! There are all the cool guns and upgrades you can get of course, and teamwork is essential, but what really sets it apart is "Breaching". This is what Starbreeze calls hacking in the game and it allows you to do all kinds of stuff, from healing your team mates to hacking through doors to disabling grenades as they fly in the air towards you! Some of the game's tougher enemies requires you to breack/hack their armour as well or you won't be able to damage them. Once you start understanding how it all goes together you realise there's almost a kind of MMO metagame going on where one can act as the "tank" while another heal and a third exert "crowd control". It's a really neat game with great visuals and audio and the closest we have to an Infinity video game. Check out the demo at least!
- As I mentioned last month I didn't want to jump straight into The Naked God when reading The Night's Dawn trilogy, but instead relaxed with Goliath, the final part in the Leviathan trilogy. It was pretty ok, just as the other two books, very light but fun with steampunk and Darwinist creations. I wouldn't mind recommending them to young teenagers. I also read The Sharp End which is a Hammer's Slammers novel. It doesn't feature huge amounts of hover tank combat but is instead a bit more intimate, reminding me of a mix between Yojimbo and Shichinin no Samurai if that makes sense. I like the Slammers books... gritty though they are. Now I've just started reading The Naked God and things are certainly ramping up. Anders has started reading The Reality Dysfunction so I look forward to being able to discuss it with him.
- I watched Fincher's version of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo and I thought it was quite good (click the link for the trailer, it's spectacular)! With all the hoopla around the Millenium trilogy of books/films here in Sweden I've been a bit... tired of them and not really felt motivated to watch or read them. However, Fincher is Fincher and I wanted to see what he made of it and sure enough, he turns out spectacular work. I liked Daniel Craig in the role and Rooney Mara was great... very alien. Although it's been debated in Sweden whether she's being portrayed weaker than in the Swedish version. She really reminded me of Molly from William Gibson's Sprawl trilogy; interesting to examine the parallels. The Swedish accent(s) are all over the place though! Not as bad as Skyrim, but sometimes a bit jarring.
- Also started re-watching Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (which is awesome) and tried to get going again on the second season of The Walking Dead. We'll see about that last one as I think I've had my fill of zombies for a while. Oh, and been watching an unhealthy amount of Invader Zim as well. Muahahahaaa!