Gaming wise I've played X-Wing quite a few times (fun! but with some balance problems I think) and Dust Warfare a couple of times (where my SSU were dealt their first loss!). I managed to sneak in a game of Fiasco as well which was a lot of fun as I haven't been roleplaying in ages. In fact I'm considering taking drastic measures to get back into some roleplaying as my current group have pretty much lost interest in it (sadface). I'm really eager to play The One Ring and would love to try TechNoir as well. Hmm...
Yesterday we started talking about what to do for terrain in our Dust Warfare games. You've seen the table that we use and at the moment it's pretty much a hodge-podge of AT-43 stuff, some paper craft ruins and the tank traps etc that you get with the core box. While the pieces look nice enough individually they don't really have a common theme and the immersion suffers a bit. Anders have been looking at some of the pre-painted buildings that Warlord Games produce for Bolt Action. This combined with what the tabletop actually looks like has made us decide to go towards a Normandie/French countryside themed table. A few of those buildings, a couple of roads, some stone walls and bocage combined with a decorative field or two could make for a nice looking table.
While the buildings look pretty good in the pictures I expect some extra work will be needed to make them look a little less like sparkingly clean ruins. As for roads I've recently become intrigued by the many soft style terrain pieces that are available these days. That is to say roads (or rivers etc) that are made from some kind of cloth or rubber that has been painted and flocked. I really like soft terrain as it is a lot easier to store and I think actually more resistant to damage. I particularly like the stuff put out by Terrain Mat. Looking at the pictures at least the roads and rivers look better than most of the homemade stuff I've seen over the years.
While the stuff at Terrain Mat would work great for the table we had in mind, I found myself wanting to by a 120x120cm scrub lands mat and some 15mm roads to use with Heavy Gear! Argh... I need a second job! :)
Other terrain suggestions are of course welcome. At the moment the time to really make our own from scratch simply doesn't seem to be there so ready made or even pre-painted would be preferable.
MrHarold from Clear Horizon has inspired me yet again as his terrain making, painting and photography skills all combine into very immersive pictures that always gets my imagination going. This time it was his recently finished game board that did it. It's a desolate landscape, almost Moon-like in its greyness, with a few mesas and the awesome colony sheds from GZG. Simple yet brilliant looking! I've been holding off getting to grips with my Mars board, thinking I'd wait until I had enough terrain to fill it up better. But seeing as I have about the same amout of terrain as MrHarold I think I'm actually good to go!
I've got my Zuzzy mat, some of their hills/ridges and a bunch of colony huts so I really think it's about time I got to work. I will need a lof of paint though (primarily red!) and I think I might simply go to a hardware store and pick up some of their acrylic paints as they should be flexible enough not to crack when used on the Zuzzy mat, as well as order of magnitudes cheaper than proper craft paint.
Hmm... still only terrain talk. What happened to painting?! Well, here's a WIP shot of the last four hovertanks for my EarthSec forces. They deserve to ride in style! Really great models that are fun to paint and benefit from some extra detailing like antennas and stowage (that I'll mount later). They are quick to paint too and should be finished before the weekend is over. Stay tuned...
As most of you probably know by now Maelstrom collapsed in on themselves like a black hole and swallowed a lot of oustanding customer orders (read more about it at Frontline Gamer). Unfortunately one of those customers was me as I had pre-ordered the Paradiso campaign book from them. I had heard a lot of good stuff about Firestorm Games and after a quick email conversation with Rob there I managed to sort out the book with the special GoGo Marlene miniature as well. Neat! What was even neater was that it shipped the next day and it arrived at my door just a couple of days after that. So now I'm finally in possession of the long sought after Paradiso Campaign book (plus a Gui Feng spec-ops model). I've leafed through it and it looks to be absolutley stuffed full of goodies and reading the first few pages of background had me smiling from ear to ear!
So... baggage remotes and some more hackers will have to be invested in, and I'm seriously tempted to get some MDF terrain for Infinity. Problem is that I really don't have the space for it at the moment. There are a lot of great ranges available for Infinity players these days, but I think that Warmill is the stuff that I like the best. The PUP looks great and their upcoming futuristic shipping containers look really useful as well. I might get a couple of these cool looking containers from Burning Designs as well though. So much choice!
While my regular miniature gaming friends seem to have foregone Infinity for Dust Warfare (sacrilege!) the Infinity community in Stockholm is growing and I know there will be people with whom I can play campaign.
Movies and TV
Went and saw three movies; Looper, Die Farbe and Dredd 3D. Looper was pretty good! Nice to see some fresh science fiction that isn't burdened by superheroes or space marines. I think the script could have done with some tightening and the way time travel works in the movie is kind of muddled and doesn't really... make sense, although it does make for some great cinema! And as the dear Doctor has explained time is more like a ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey... stuff.
Die Farbe is a low-budget German adaptation of HP Lovecraft's The Colour Out of Space and was screened here in Stockholm during the annual Lovecraft Festival here. I quite liked it overall. Some of the design choices made were different than what I would have done myself, but I could see the reasoning behind the choices and I don't think they were bad in any way. It's black and white and the slowly evolving story has been transplanted to post-war Germany. However this all works very well and doesn't impact negatively on the story. There are very few Lovecraft movies out there that I would anything but tripe (often enjoyable tripe, but tripe nonetheless) however Die Farbe manages to claw itself out of the muck and become something more respectable. Watch it if you have the chance.
Dredd 3D was an absolute blast! I had heard a lot of good things about it so felt cautiously optimistic, but even so it was a lot better than I thought it would be. More gritty and realistic than the comic (or the first movie) but very, very Dredd. Karl Urban does an excellent job of portraying our favourite lawman and Olivia Thirlby and Lena Heady are solid as well. The story is simple; two judges alone and cut-off in a huge hab-block full of criminals hell-bent on taking them down. Yet this simplicity does not detract from the movie, rather it's almost liberating in that there doesn't have to be any huge sweeping CGI vistas - a bit like the more down to earth feel of District 9 and Moon. These days it's really the low(ish) budget sci-fi movies that makes me pay attention. Sure, Avengers was kind of fun, but it still pales compared to the movies I just mentioned. Er... getting a bit off track but suffice to say I enjoyed Dredd immensely and I'm keeping my fingers crossed that the DVD/Blueray sales will be enough for Alex Garland to make a sequal.
Duncan Jones said it best on Twitter: "For anyone out there who claims they love R rated sci-fi, but hasn't seen Dredd or Looper, do it. This is the good stuff." And "If you don't support the good stuff, good stuff won't get made!"
There are not one, but TWO new Infinity podcasts out there! Forward Observer made by some guys in Australia and Infinity O-12 made by Romeo Filip (from Battlefoam) and some other guys. Both shows are quite good and offers insightful hints and tips for beginners and veterans alike. The O-12 podcast is trying to be more slick and professional and is aiming to become the official podcast for the game, however I think Forward Observer often have better actual game info with a lot of stuff that I find useful. Well worth listening to both though!
I've also started listening to The Infinite Monkey Cage podcast with Brian Cox and Robin Ince and I can't believe I've missed out on this until now! It's a smart show about science with great panel guests that also manages to be very funny. Highly recommended!
Err.... Dead Space 2 and Mass Effect 3 multiplayer although I secretly covet XCom!
Finally... happy Carl Sagan day! I'll leave you with this...