Monday, 30 July 2012

Weekend Catchup

Good Monday all!

I trust you have all been well since we crossed paths last.

Since last we spoke I have been a busy little bee:

On Saturday I ran my second Henching demo at Leisure Games, and I must admit, it was very very fun.

I think with every experience of this I am getting a little bit better at it every time, but i suppose that's to be expected.

While there I picked up some supplies for myself including the Weaver Widow (more to come on that later) the new 'retro' fate deck, Book 1.5 and a surprise present for my significant other.

Firstly I'd like to discuss the Widow:

So initially the model; she's a beauty, but also an arse to assemble! I'll show some photos in a few days once I've started painting her.
But the stats is where my confusion starts:
For 9SS she is expensive, can do some 'alright' damage, can buff dolls and constructs, generate counters and make teddies and dolls.

Now I'm a Dreamer player, I love the Dreamer, and because of her Nightmare status, from day 1 I knew I wanted her.

So I get the idea of it, start the game unburied, she makes a scrap counter, activate Dreamer who buries her and flys off. Then as the game progresses you drop her off in the heat of combat, grab up the counters and make a teddy. This is giving you a nice Teddy and denying the opponent counters (which against Resser and Scavengers is great).

But then you have her CB stat on her claws. 5(Mask). Why is the mask there? I've checked her triggers and her spells, none of them run off her CB. I actually don't understand why this is there.

But I'm going to practice with her, she's a beautiful model and I know I can make her work.

Next up are the 'retro' cards:

Now these I am very happy with! You see the problem with the normal decks is their size, they're just to thick to fit in my travel bag's designated pockets. I am of course referring to them post being used with card protectors, which for me is a must due to their lack of plastic coating.

So now, thanks to my puppet deck and the 'retro' deck I am all set for leaving my brick of cards at home!

Finally it's Book 1.5

Now as I've only been playing for about 1.25 years, I started around the time Book1 was taken out of print. Since then there have been rules erratas and many card changes.

As such for me having the opportunity to grab Book 1.5 (a rewriting of Book1 with updated rules, which in essence replaces the need for the Rules Manual) was a must! Now I can finally read the Book1 fluff, along with character descriptions for all the book1 models!

So yeah I am a happy Doctor!

Last but not least is the present for my dearest wife: Avatar Colette.

I'm not sure what to make if her to be honest. The bunny/hat Colette is fun, and sparkles Colette is also nice, but Crouching Colette is very strange. I think a lot of model bending and reshaping will be needed for her.


Anywho, this week is a biggy!

Tonight I am resitting my Mock1 test for Module 1 of my AAT course. I have gone back over the areas I think I messed up last week and am going to try it again. If I do well, I'm then next week going to make a start on the mocks for the other modules.

Once tonights paper is done, the rest of my week's evenings are designated for painting the Widow and designing/printing the Wicked Doll stat cards in order for next Friday's Pan-London event.

Anyway, as I write this I am nearing the end of the train part of my commute.

So I shall bid you all good day, and will catch up very soon.

Take care, and I'll see you Breachside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Wednesday, 25 July 2012

MaliDAZED & Confused

Good Wednesday everyone!

So we're halfway through the week! Which means Saturday's demo day is looming closer and closer.

I know, I know, it's just a demo day and I'm sure it'll go fine. But what concerns me now is weather or not it will equal my first one.

It sounds silly to say, but my last (and first) demo day was a great success. I never expected someone on the back of my demos, post game discussion and enthusiasm for the game to turn around and buy 2 crews.

But that's what happened, and now I feel like I have a standard to maintain.

On the plus however this month's demo is going to be quite different to the last one. For starters it's only 3 hours long, compared to last month at 5. And secondly, it's there as a small game to play after people going to a card Tourny have finished/been kicked off.

I think the issue is that I don't know what to expect. I don't know if I'll even have a table, and it's not knowing that scares me more than anything else...

However I've not been sitting on my thumbs, no last night I made a first run at my flyer:

Those who play may recognise the bulk text, it's the blurb from the official site. I've also thrown in Wyrd's logo, the store Leisure Games and my club the Titans, or as I like to call it, the Hobby Holy Trinity (Manufacturer, Retailer and Consumer group).

As always a big thank you to Ratty for making the fonts and imagery available.

Naturally if anyone else out there thinks they can do better I would be super psyched to see it :)

The aim of this is a (laminated) page which I can attach to a corner of the table to allow passers by to read, sort of like the little blurb pages you get next to museum exhibits, only with less information (hopefully so people ask about it).

Anywho, those who've been following me recently may have read about my AAT course and how I was taking some mock exams?

Well Sunday was my first, sadly it was a fail at 59.98%, however I wasn't phased, it was my first exam in about 8 years and my first proper look at an AAT paper.

I also looked at where I went wrong and I am confident I can either minimise or remove those problem areas.

On Monday I did my second mock paper, this time I scored a pass at 70.42%!

I'm calling that a success! Again I've looked over where I went wrong and will look to addressing that next week.

Anywho, that's it from me, but first I would like to apologise for my lack of analytical articles, and instead splurge of narrative. I'll be looking to address that soon, I'm just feeling like I've lost my muse.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Sunday, 22 July 2012

In a town in the woods...

Good Sunday everyone!

I was hoping to have a nice update for you all regarding my up coming Malifaux Demo this Saturday, but I am afraid that isn't going to happen for a few days.

This was mainly because I spent 20:00 to 01:00 last night trying to fix my computer.

The symptoms appeared to be a Kim to a virus attack; my AV wasn't running and refused to start and my iexplore was double opening (1 page to my home, the other to some random gambling site).

After a failed attempt at a system restore where it crashed when starting up for the first time, I was then confronted with a new error I had never seen before, after passing the Win7 welcome screen I was confronted with a black screen and a working mouse.

After fiddling around and talking to my texpert friend I finally got it to boot from my DVD drive using my Win7 install disk (I'm so glad I bought that) and then tried to undo the restore and try some other restore points.

None of these worked and so i had no choice but to try and reinstall Win7.

Which worked! Yay! And thankfully it also starts up a lot faster now so really it's a win/win! I still need to sort out some drivers, like my sound card which is scarily quiet even with everything turned to full, but when I get Photoshop reinstalled that will allow me to get my fliers done.

But that I am afraid will need to wait until Tuesday, for tonight and tomorrow night I am taking my AAT mock exams, seeing if I'm ready to sit the first paper!

But anyway, there is something that I was doing on Friday, and it seems to be popular with a few out there in the twitterscape:

Yes I'm talking my painted Wicked Dolls!

You'll notice that I have made an attempt at making my own straw stuffing, this was achieved with Dead Grass from the GW Static Grass series which was glued into place. The pins were made with model tree-branch arms for the needle and green stuff for the ball, the rest of the doll was hand sculpted with green stuff.

I'll also be making my own Proxy Stat Cards for these little darlings and am looking to using them with my Weaver Widow I hope to pick up next Saturday.

Anyway, that's it for today, wish me luck with my mock exams and I'll see you all breachside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Friday, 20 July 2012

Wicked Dolls: WIP

Hi again!

Just wanted to clue you all in on another little thing that I don't feel fitted in with my main post today.

So on Saturday 28th July I'm running my second Mali day: Doctor Loxley's MaliDAZE (more on this next week, hopefully with a promotional poster).

And one thing I intend on doing is picking up a Weaver Widow, I've asked them to reserve one for me, so with hope I'll be able to get one.

For those who don't know, the Weaver Widow is a model of a spider lady from Malifaux who rather innocuously walks around sewing dolls and teddies.

Now I love my teddies, well, My Teddy, only have one. However I don't own any of the dolls, and so last night I got started on making my own Wicked Dolls:

These are still work in progress (WIP) but I think they're coming along nicely.

I'll be painting them up in blue, pink and red patchwork, and will be experimenting with either Scorched Static Grass or Long Leaf Modelling Grass cut down to size as stuffing coming out of their holes, which will be applied after painting.

I'm also looking to apply some spider web to them after they've been finished, probably in the form of stretched out cotton wool covered in superglue. I have no idea how this will look, and so will need to make some test runs, but considering their maker is a giant spider mummy, it makes sense.

Anyway that's all from me for a hobby update.

Take care and see you all breach side!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

The Adventures of Geek Dad: Parents Evening

Good Friday all!

So why has your beloved Doctor been quiet all this week? Well I'm afraid he's been suffering since last week.

He isn't sure exactly what has caused it, maybe it was that rogue bacteria he grew in his posotronic petri dish, or perhaps it was the 'Gnome Begone' jelly he ate last week, but what he does know is that at every available interval he's been coughing and spluttering at the slightest level of physical exertion.

Despite this, last night I went to my very first parents evening!

Sure the Mini Moo is only 8 months old and goes to day care 4 days a week, but they offered for us to come to their parents evening, and I wasn't going to turn down the opportunity to spend some some time with the Moo's key worker. After all, during the week she spends more time with my daughter, and I need to be comfortable with having her looking after my child.

One thing I did walk away with, things have changed a lot since I was a child. Now they track every little development she does in a rather fun scrapbook which I understand goes with her when she moves over to Pre school and beyond.

I also came away being confident that the Moo's key worker genuinely liked her. She took pleasure in caring for the Moo and that most certainly helps in boosting my confidence that she's in good hands while there.

One thing that I must admit, for the past few months I've been tracking her 'firsts' but yesterday was one of my own firsts.

You see, it occurred to me before that all of this time I've been looking at these events as 'firsts' for my girl, forgetting that a lot of these are 'firsts' for me too, of course the obvious ones are from months and months ago; my first changing of a nappy, my first feeding, my first smile obtained, that sort of thing. And last night was my first time sat opposite a 'teacher' being expected to ask questions about my child's development and not having the foggiest what to ask!

The thing is, I can imagine a lot of parents with children under 1 would want to know how their child is settling in, are they happy there, that sort of thing.

Now I'm not saying that I know my daughter better than most parents to an under 1, but I can recognise when she's had a tiring day, an under stimulated day, an upset day and a fun happy day.

So when I get home from work and I see her happy, playing with her toys and Mummy Moo, I know that she's had a happy day with everyone she's been with.

And maybe you think this is lazy parenting, but being completely honest, I don't really care what it was that made her happy, just as long as she is happy.

As more than anything else, that's all I want for her.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Double-barrel buckshot

Evening all!

I'm writing this from the wonderful comfort of my bath, which after the day I've had and the awful cough/cold I've developed is just what I needed.

Before I get moving I'd like to point out that I am currently about 1/2 through the latest Gamer's Lounge pod cast, and there were a few things which stirred some thoughts and feelings, some of them agreement and happiness, but others disagreement and near anger.

I won't touch onto the details of that, but I would like to thank Nix for the podcast. The fact that it evoked emotion kept me listening during my commute, which if it had not I would have tuned out a long time earlier.

No the point I want to tackle is the comments about Comp being possibly unnecessary, and how everyone is naturally of a different skill level.

This got me thinking, and I had to come to the conclusion that on paper, I am a loser.

- Yes, yes, get the laughing out of your system -

My main opponent and I have been playing Malifaux for the same amount of time, in fact he found out about the game the day after me, after I sent him a txt asking him to check it out online.

Now this player is a very skilled player, more skilled than anyone else I think I've played and most certainly more skilled than me.

I'm not putting myself down here, I'm just being honest. Where as he plans and strategises almost every action, I tend to GorkaMorka it and just wing it.

But I enjoy doing that! I enjoy thinking my own plans out loud, and also his plans. When collectively we came up with the Levi Slingshot, that was a game of epic proportions! Both of us had felt that we had uncovered a tactic that was probably not new, but we had never seen it before.

You see, when it comes to competitive play, my role is to lose. Sure I put up a fight and there are occasions when it looks like I could walk off with the big W, but I virtually always lose.

I think this is the reason all the recent discussion around metas and comps and possible redesigning of rules has annoyed me.

I'm not a competitive person in that respects, in the wild I'd be the Beta-Beta Gorilla who's best chums with the alpha female, but on the sly is waiting for the opportunity to "Colossus Smash" and take over the group.

And so I read about these proposed changes, and I think to myself "ok Dr Lox, these Comps are fine, if I don't like them then i don't need to play in those tournaments. I can focus instead on 'casual' games". And I have no problem with that.

But the idea of changing the official rules themselves? To change how core principles work in a game that I love more than any of the other Table Top games before (except for maybe GorkaMorka). That is where I have to draw the line.

This is not aimed at any one person in particular, but instead at the concept of retconning the rules.

If these changes were made official, yes the hardcore experience would be improved, but what effect would it have on my experience? As a casual gamer I feel that it would have a negative impact.

I know what your thinking, 'what does a loser know?' and what i know is that I have experience of my own and thoughts of my own.

If we are saying that every gaming group is an exclusive meta, then my experience is completely different to all the other metas, and therefore can not be fully compared and must be taken with equal merit, as at their cores they are just the thoughts of 1 or a few people who play together.

And so I leave this thought bubble (and with it my still lovely and warm bath) with a request.

Don't just think of the casuals and the hardcores, think of the losers, the runners up and the spoon holders.

Enjoy your win as much as you like, however you like, but please, let us enjoy our losing as well, and currently, I think us losers like the game just as it is.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

More Demo Days and Neverborn Nights

Good Thursday everyone!

Firstly, let's just say, I am so happy tomorrow is Friday! I know I had Monday and Tuesday off, but wow! I really can't wait for the weekend.

Right, so as you can probably guess from the title, I'm looking to be hosting another MaliDay at Leisure Games again pretty soon.

Currently the date is looking to be 28th July. However this is as always, subject to change.

The reason this may move is because that day is a CCG tournament day at Leisure Games. Because of this they are not able to guarantee me a table. It's far from ideal, but as they appear to be busy every Saturday of July, in order for me to meet my 1 event a month quota I'm going to have to make do.

The plan you see is wait for games to finish and for tables to become available, and then once they are, I snag one!

In order to facilitate this I'm looking to run from 1400-1700 so three hours, compared to five like it was last time.

I shall keep you all updated on how that goes, and once Leisure Games confirms what is currently penciled in, I'll start advertising again.

Right that's it today, take care everyone!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Why are holidays never as long as they should be?

Good Tuesday everyone!

It's been a short while since my last update and in that time I've been quite busy.

Saturday was spend travelling to Guildford where I ran some intro games for a friend of mine who had never played before, and at the same time helping another friend play Ramos.

It was a very interesting evening and morning considering I had never seen Ramos in action before and I have to admit he seems very interesting. The Steamborg is clearly a nice beatstick, but at the same time focusing too much on this is a bad idea.

As a series of intro games, we played on a play area half the intended size and it turned turn 1 and 2 into a bloody mash up! And seeing Lilith transposition the Steamborg and kill it in one go was pretty interesting.

Other than that I've also had the past two days off from work, but I'll be honest, I'm am still very, very tired.

Still not long till the weekend.

I am also looking to organise my next Mali Day. I have emailed Leisure Games and an looking to make it for 28/07/12 - which appears to be the release date of the 'retro' cards. I'll need to see if they'll be getting them then or not.

If I am unable to do so, I'll instead be looking to run some intro games at the Titan's club.

Right, I need to go, but before I do I'd like to leave you with my latest completed projects:

Lelu and Lilitu, complete with Dominos Pizza Box!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Friday, 6 July 2012

Greenstuff: It's Not A Mogwai

Good Friday all!

Before I begin, I am super psyched for tomorrow, travelling down south with my wife to visit some friends, followed by two days off from work!

It hasn't been long since my last day of leave, but it feels like forever.

Anyway, we all know the rules: Keep them away from bright light, especially sunlight, it'll kill them. Don't get them wet. And most importantly, never, ever feed them after midnight.

Well, last night I decided to take the plunge with Lelu. And gave him some long hair:

It hasn't come out all that well in the photos, and I'll be sure to take some more tonight.

The reason behind this was looking over my last Nephilim photo:

It's the contrast of the pale blue-grey vs the deep red that I love so much about this crew, and in order to keep with the theme both Lelu and Lilitu are wearing white clothes as per the Young and Mature Nephilim.

I also painted Lilitu's hair red in the same way as the others, but Lelu just did not fit in with them being bald. And so I started sculpting.

I was sure before hand of course to read some guides on sculpting hair. I read about making sausages in the place of the bulk of the hair, smoothing it out to merge, and then scouring out the strands and tufts of hair.

What I had never read before was the importance of keeping it wet (see, that's where the Mogwai reference comes in!).

By keeping the putty wet it meant there was minimal sticking to my knife and I was able to score the putty in the way I wanted to, like... well, like a knife through putty!

For those who have never used Greenstuff modelling putty before, if you don't keep it wet, it sticks to the knife and causes the putty to stretch and become 'bitty'.

Why did no one tell me this?!? I have been using a variety of different putties for years, and not once did anyone tell me about the magical properties of water!

So please, next time your using Greenstuff, don't treat it like a Mogwai, keep it well saturated during sculpting and reap the benefits and rewards!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 5 July 2012

I feel... Filthy

Good Thursday all!

You know, a friend of mine posted on Facebook this morning about how it feels like someone has snuck another working day into this week and that it feels like it should be Friday, and you know what? He's right!

But moaning aside, yesterday I was working on my twin Nightmare/Nephilim. They are nearly ready to be show cased, but for some reason I don't think I'm as happy with them as I am the other Nephs.

But no matter, tonight I'll finish them off and do a show case for you all tomorrow. Then my Filth will be complete.

But one thing I will say, I'm really tempted to try and give Lelu some small spikey hair... Currently he's missing 'something' and I think that's what it is, every other Nephilim has pale skin and monochrome clothes contrasted by the bright red hair, but Lelu is bald!

However I've already painted his head... Not sure, I might just leave it... Hmmm...

Anyway, that was my evening after a day spent finishing off my very very very large pile of paperwork and helping the new HR lady move her office from one room to another. Thankfully I had help from some 'burley' officers to move the heavy stuff.

Tonight after finishing the Neph twins I'll be experiencing Filth in a different way.

Yup I'll be heading back into Kingsmouth to continue my work there.

When I left on Tuesday I had just finished gathering supplies from around town in order to help a dude (who reminds me a lot of Pope from Falling Skies) build a whole heap of bombs. On my journey around town I found an abandoned house on the outskirts, there was a note left pinned to the door, from an apparently suicidal woman to her presumed dead husband. I won't reveal what happened, but let's just say, there are very few occasions where an MMO moves me. This was one of those occasions.

I am also looking forward to progressing beyond Kingsmouth into the Savage Coast, but right now I'm loving the feel of Kingsmouth. It was supposed to feel like a collaboration between Stephen King and HP Lovecraft, and I think they knocked it right on the head!

Right, that's my ramble for the day done, time to catch some last minute sleep before my train gets to my stop, see you all Breachside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

The Secret World: Live

Good Tuesday everyone!

Well today is the day! TSW is now live, and just before I left for work this morning our copies arrived ready to be activated and played!

First things first, to keep you in the loop, tonight I'll be playing more TSW (I've heard there's supposed to be a zombie invasion in Kingsmouth.

Then tomorrow I'll be working on my Neverborn Twins in order to take them along this weekend to an unofficial demo.

So last night I was back in Kingsmouth trying to save the world from all levels of nasty monsters.

I researched into a series of murders in Kingsmouth from 2002, I spoke with a ghost, and I spoke with a bunch of bugged ravens.

I also searched for a pyramid, went bee hunting, and strived to find a set of gallows.

All in all I had a blast! But in the spirit of not revealing spoilers, I can't go into much more.

Right, time to finish listening to the Malifools podcast, stay safe everyone!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 2 July 2012

The Adventures of Geek Dad: Demo Days and Neverborn Nights

Good Monday all!

I trust you all had a nice night sleep including a wake up at your usual time? Me? Not so much. The little Moo decided she wanted to wake up around 05:30 and not go back to bed. Far from fun...

But anyway, Saturday was my first demo day, and by all intents and purposes it should have been very different.

My schedule was to arrive at Leisure Games around 11:30 to set up, play a couple of demos and try to find a way of stretching the time and then finish some time between 14:00 and 16:00 before meeting up with some gamers nearby for a quick drink and get home around 1900-2000.

What actually happened was as follows:

Travel to London, the Northern Line is out of service so I had to take a slower bus service to Finchley, once there I set up and straight away gave a small demo.

In order to keep things simple my demo 'crews' consisted of Francisco Ortega and NiƱo Ortega vs 2 Terror Tots and 1 Young Nephilim, with more on standby if people want to learn more advanced games.

Using this format each game lasted about 20-40 mins on average depending on how quickly the opponent picked things up.

What was interesting: having Guild vs Neverborn on offer, no one ever wanted to play Neverborn.

Anyway, after many demos later, countless post game discussions involving model selections and faction choices it was then 1700 and I was looking to pack up as I was not only an hour later than intended but running behind on plans.

But seriously, I can see why others do these demo days. To share something your so passionate about and bring new players into the game, it's something wonderful and I can't wait for the next day!

I actually can't stress how great the game went. Sure there were a few problems here and there, but that's to be expected.

Sadly however with the Northern Line out of service and a couple of things I had to sort out on the way home, I didn't get back till about 21:45, quite a bit later than intended.

It was also very disheartening to hear from my wife that our daughter had been giving her trouble all day after I left. She thinks it's because she was missing me, I'm not so sure myself.

Yesterday was also interesting. In the evening I played some more Secret World and completed my first entire Investigation Mission chain.

I'll be honest, I did have to ask for help at one point, I just couldn't work out what the puzzle was pointing me to, but after that hint I then solved the rest and was very happy to report it in.

Sadly my wife however did not have the same fun. It seems she's encounter a few bugs, one that screws up the chat channels she can use, and actually gives up errors when she tries to use the ones needed and another that jumbled up the letters typed to her. It was very strange and annoying and meant the game was unplayable for her. However I'm confident if will get ironed out soon, and a GM did say that they have heard of chat corruption bugs that are caused through beta clients being used for gold, and that a fresh install has fixed the issues he was aware of.

Oh and one more thing. I finally have Lelu and Lilitu. I thought that having both Dreamer and Lilith, I really have no excuse to not get them.

Right, that's it from me today!

The rest of the week will probably be TSW discussion, but I look forward to catching up with you all soon!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley