Monday, 24 September 2012

Navigating the Mists - Part 2: A World of Warcraft Short Story

Dr Loxley was lost. The men tracking his boat were drawing ever near, and he could hear their voices clearer with every passing moment.

He thought long and hard, he knew he had to make land, he also knew that he did not know which direction was the best way to go.

Loxley mused over this thought some more. If no direction is apparently better than any other, than all directions must be the right one!

He spun the wheel on the ship causing it to bank in the water before settling once again. This time he had no idea at all which direction he was facing, or even which direction the Alliance ships were in.

In that moment, Doctor Loxley fired his modified engines and the ship lurched forward with a new found speed.

The ice cold mist wracked his old face and he smiled a wicked smile. This was progress! Science never advanced through caution! No! It leaped in bounds with no attention to those around it or whatever stood in it's way.

These thoughts turned Loxley's smile into a grin, for the first time in years he felt like himself again, venturing into the unknown and striving to leave his mark on the world.

It was then however, lost in his own thoughts that the Island reared up ahead of him, a sheer rock cliff easily fifteen feet above his boat loomed out of the mists.

As the boat collided with the rocks and wood splintered and water soon enveloped him, Doctor Loxley smiled once again. At least he had gotten out of those damned Goblin Slums.

It was shortly after that he felt a rough tongue lapping at his face and the faintest whiff of preserving agent on his rescuer's breath. Opening his eyes he saw his faithful companion sitting on his chest forcing the water out of his undead chest.

"Archie!" He called out before gripping the part mechanical cat and hugging it for all it's worth.

His friend had saved his life, and not for the first time. My if the Doctor thought of every time Archie had brought him back from the point if death. Doctor Loxley paused in thought for a moment, he also realised that most of those occasions, it had been Archie who had put him into those moments in the first place...

But still, a faithful companion is a faithful companion, even if it is the cyborg body of a cat housing the still sentient brain of his old Dwarf assistant.

Sitting up, Loxley soaked up his surroundings, on all sides there were thick bushes, tall thin trees and a dense mesh of vines. The whole place appeared to be suffocated by the dense mist.

Readying himself, the Doctor got to his feet and began climbing the incline he had found himself on, even the sandy ground itself had been turned into a type of mud as the water filled air soaked into it.

With every step he felt exhaustion creeping in, but up ahead he saw what he was certain was the end of the rise. As if in agreement, Archie rubbed his furred cheek against Loxley's leg and darted off over the top of the rise.

With a final huff, the Doctor climbed to the top, and gazed in amazement.

Around him the mist had dissipated, and he was surrounded by a dense forrest, scattered around were the strangest of statues, they were reminiscent of the ancient Troll statues he had seen throughout Stranglethorn Vale, but where the Troll carvings were brutal and barbaric, these seemed peaceful and artistic. Ahead he heard the sound of running water, and hurrying through the trees he reached a meandering stream.

Here the water was as blue as the sky of Crystalsong, and reaching down, the clear crisp taste was unlike anything he had ever tasted.

Loxley smiled to himself, maybe he had died in the crash, maybe this was heaven... Beautiful surroundings, wonderful smells and sounds, and best of all, no short sighted Humans!

At that moment Archie jumped out from a near bush, his fur on end, his tail bushy and a high pitched hiss emanating from his throat.

"Archie my boy, whatever is the matt..." His voice trailed off as he looked ahead. Being lost in his thoughts he had followed the stream, and right now was no more than a foot away from the edge of what appeared to be a 100' drop.

Looking down and ahead Loxley was truly taken back, the stream was cascading down in a beautiful waterfall which glistened in the late morning sun, and ahead he saw sights he had never thought possible.

In the distance he saw what appeared to be familiar shapes, but he was clearly deluded, a trick of the light. So turning away from the glorious vista, he reached into his home made Pocket Space Device (TM) and started retrieving everything he needed to make his stay in paradise all the better.

Days passed, and much to Loxley's surprise, he took to living in the jungle surprisingly well. With the aid of Archie and his collection of inventions, there were very few things he had to go without.

Food was provided through fish from the steam and the exotic wild animals in the jungle, and whenever something bigger arrived, his patented cloaking device worked wonders for concealing his camp.

After nearly a week, Loxley was awoken by an all too familiar sound, buzz saws and axes. He raced back to the clearing by the waterfall, pulled out his monocle and set it to zoom mode.

Peering across a glade he saw those same familiar sights he thought he had seem when he first arrived, only now in clear focus there was no denying it.

Large warships sat in a crystal blue lagoon, each one bearing the red and black standard of the Horde. Surrounding the lagoon, what had once been a lush forest much like the one he currently resided in, was now a strip of bear tree trunks, their carcasses being carried away by goblin loggers.

A part of him welcomed this sight. The Horde had always welcomed him, and with hope he may even be reunited with some old feigns, but at the same time his dead heart sunk. He knew that this paradise he was in, the heaven he now called home and sanctuary, it would soon be torn asunder, as wherever the Horde went, it was only a matter of time until the Alliance followed.

Loxley swill owed hard as he accepted the inevitable. War was coming.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Navigating the Mists: A World of Warcraft Short Story

Dr Loxley von Kulstein strained his eyes as best he could, ahead of him all he could make out was a thick fog.

Sitting back in his makeshift captain's chair he pondered what had brought him to this place. With a grunt he looked down at his gloved hands, gave one of the weather beaten gloves a tug and pulled it off revealing decaying flesh and bone.

He remembered all too well.

It wasn't too long ago as he saw it, maybe two, three years ago. But after all this time he was still running for his life... Well, un-life.

Behind him he thought he heard the voices and strains of the Alliance navy, they had been sent to capture him after he was seen stealing this boat from Theramore harbour.

Has sure the mariners had been paid well, he was Dalaran's Most Wanted #7 after all. No way he could have bribed them, not after this long, not after he had spent almost every gold piece he had paying the Goblins to keep him safe.

He thought back, remembered about that one glorious day, when all of Azeroth marvelled at his brilliance. On that day at the foot of Ice Crown Citadel the entire world saw his incredible machine, his walker. He remembered fondly as he threw explosives against swarm after swarm of Undead Scourge, as he laughed and laughed as his walker's mechanical limbs crushed their pathetic bodies underfoot. If it had not been for him they would have never reached the door of the Citadel, and the whole war effort would have been for nought.

But even one day of heroism doesn't make up for years of terror.

It had not been long before that he was known by a different name, The Tyrant of Tirisfal.

He smiled at the memory, the thought that for once in his un-life he was known for more than his failures.

It was a shame that this title was earned through someone else's abilities.

The funny thing about all of this? The whole of Azeroth knew about what happened, how he had been captured by a rogue necromancer, had been kept under his spell and forced to kill and terrorise all for the purpose of luring out the Skyreaper family and the greatsword the necromancer coveted so much.

Loxley found it almost amusing how they had no problem in removing the bounty from his head and forgiving him of all accounts, on the grounds of combined insanity and mind control.

What he did not find amusing was the charges that still remained. Multiple accounts of murder within the city grounds of Dalaran itself.

Those foolish mages! Did they not understand? Did they honestly think he enjoyed eating Gnome jerky on a day to day basis just to stop his hunger from taking control?

He knew now those events were all connected; his growing hunger, his need to feed on fresh flesh, the dreams of running free as a beast, tearing skin from flesh. It was all part of his corruption at the hands of that necromancer.

But the mages refused to drop the charges against him. They said the tens of men and women he had lured into the sewers before setting on them, tearing out their throats and feasting on their bodies. That they claimed was all his doing.

The Doctor smirked, his actions may have been out of necessity, but that doesn't mean he didn't enjoy it.

Since then, he had been in hiding amount the Goblins, paying for their silence with every gold piece he had.

It wasn't long before his purse was empty and they wanted to claim Archie his mechanical taxidermied cat. That was when he knew he had to leave.

He had heard rumours around the slums, of an island hidden from the world, a place even Deathwing himself didn't know existed.

It was with hope that Doctor Loxley vied to steal a boat and find that island. That shrouded within it's mists he could hide for as long as he wanted.

He looked down at his faithful companion curled at his feet.

He had found the mists, and the Alliance ships had found him, he just hoped he could reach the island in time.

(To be continued)

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 18 September 2012

The Cat of God

Good Tuesday everyone!

A quick and slightly silly post today, so please bare with me.

Anyway, so apparently I've had a complaint about my blog...

Apparently there aren't enough posts about cats in Malifaux...

So it is on that note I bring you:

The Cat of God!

Well now, years and years ago I used to play Fantasy Battle at a friend of mine's house (this was probably a good 15 years ago).

And this guy used to have a cat who loved begging for attention.

Based on this we introduced the Cat of God rules: essentially, any model moved by the cat counts as a legal move (outside of your own turn) and any model knocked over by said cat counts as instantly dead.

As you can imagine, with these games in play, I would always try to convince his cat to knock over his Bloodthirster.

Anyway, on that note I introduce my very own Cats of God:

First up is Mischa!

He loves eating green things and flumping/rolling onto things in order to get his belly rubbed.

Can push models around or knock them over with a powerful Flump attack.

Once flumped, almost impossible to move.

Next up: Tycho!

This cat is much faster and more erratic than his brother, but also more chaotic.

Tycho's boundless energy allows him to pounce on any model present in the board, and after his first pounce is quickly ready to perform that action again soon.

While Tycho's energy allows him multiple use of his signature move, his chaotic use of this move leaves you little control of when he will use it.

Also his secondary move "Rebound" can cause massive amounts of models to scatter in all directions. Best saved for when defeat looks imminent for you.

And there we go.

Just a little fun for now

See you all breachside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Sunday, 16 September 2012

The Honey Pot: A Ten Thunders/Neverborn Crew

Good Sunday all!

I'm going to keep this quick and straight to the point today: I have done my first part of studying, tomorrow I'll be re-reading another book and then in a couple of weeks will be applying for exams.

The point, no time to hang around in the bath going over the ins and outs of the new plastics. That's for another post.

So first things first, I'd like to introduce you to my new crew:

First we have Jacob Lynch himself. At some point i would love to go back and detail his cards being drawn by the skele, but currently my freehand skills suck.

I also found his face to be teeny! Getting what little detail I could was an uphill struggle as the fraction of a millimetre off and his whole face was ruined.

Next we have Beckoner #1.

I really liked this model Pre paint job, I felt her sculpting was really good, but as time has gone by I've been drawn more and more to the second:

Which leads us nicely onto Beckoner #2.

And onto Illuminated #1.

This guy I originally disliked. I felt his model was far too top heavy and was just plain weird, but now I'm really liking him.

I doubt it's come out well, but I really like the creeping infection that appears to be spreading across his chest.

Then we move onto Illuminated #2 or Alex Mercer as I've come to call him.

This guy was quite fun to paint, but I beg you, do not stand on his claws. They should remain intact, but your foot may not!

Then we have the final Illuminated, #3.

Originally I liked the concept of this model, she just seemed so freaky! But as with others, the process of painting her has changed that.

She has a wonderful top (a bodice I think it's called?) that is completely covered by her distended jaw, and so just gives her the appearance of being a model that's all skirt with a big mouth.

Next up we have the Darkness himself.

And for those curious of where the detail is on this model:

I'm not so sure about this wormy. I like the idea, and I think it works, I just don't like how it's a large mass of flesh. In my case I found it very limiting for how/what could be painted.

Anyway, that's my recent crew, I hope you like, but personally I feel like they're not my best work.

I don't know if the problems were with the sculpts, my imagination or my skill, but I believe I've done better.

Anyway, time for this cowpoke to sign off:

See you breachside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Friday, 14 September 2012

The Adventures of Geek Dad: Everything Changes

Good Friday all!

Well what a week it's been!

First things first, a bit of back tracking for you all:

On Sunday my lovely Mother in Law popped by and picked up the Mini Moo so that she could spend just under a week with her granny.

Of course this meant that my wife and I got to enjoy a week of 'the old life'.

With my GenCon order arriving last Monday, that actually meant for me many nights of painting and modelling all accumulating with a nice meal tonight out at our usual place that we haven't been to for nearly a year.

What is funny is how things change.

So I described it just now as 'the old life'. But the reality is quite different.

You see, things can never go back to the way they were, because neither my wife or I are who we were back then.

Having my daughter has changed me in ways I'd have never thought possible, and what is even more strange about it: I wouldn't go back, even if I had the choice, I would not choose to go back to my old lifestyle of zero responsibility and carefree lifestyle.

This realisation comes as a bit of a shock to me. You see, when the Mini Moo was born, mentally I put my old life on the shelf with an ear mark to revisit it in 18 years time.

I now know that such a thing is not possible.

Maybe that is why so many people struggle with retirement? They try to return to their old lives but can't.

I'm even left wondering to myself, if I could meet who I was a year ago, would I even like him?

Anyway, just some random thoughts for the day from me.

Tune in next week for my report on the new Wyrd Plastics, and (with hope) finished paint jobs for my Lynch crew.

See you breachside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

Of Things and Stuff

Good Wednesday friends!

I'm guessing by now most of you have already heard my good news, and are either sharing my happiness/good fortune, or are writhing with jealousy and asking "where the eff is my order?"

But yes, on Monday my Wyrd order arrived and with it came something I am super psyched about receiving:

Yes! My henching TShirt arrived!

Along with it came Book 4: Storm of Shadows, the new plastic Neverborn starter set: Dark Debts, a set of Beckoners, a Rail Golem ordered for a friend, Miss Terious and a miniature Malifaux branded tape measure.

So what are my thoughts on the new plastic medium? Well I'm afraid my friends that will have to wait a few more days.

Once I have finished my crew I'll be writing a thorough review which I'll be submitting to Wyrd. It will have positives, negatives and a few suggestions.

However I will say this, with all the bad press the Dark Debts set has been getting, I went into it with very low expectations, but currently I have been enjoying myself a lot!

Anyway, on with my works:
So since Monday night I've been working on basing the crew.

For those of you who've seen my 'at home' board, you'll know I have a love for the old west. My board is an old west town with some rocks etc, for example:

(that reminds me; Underdog, any chance of you emailing me that photo you took of our last game's board?)

So my next terrain project is to finish up the buildings here (paint the rooftops, paint up some shop signs, ink in some details, that sort of thing) and at the same time pick up a Sarissa Hotel:

All of this is to fill out the town known as New Fairbank, with the hotel being The Honeypot: New Fairbank Branch.

So please, keep this in mind while you see these models.

First up we have the Beckoners (or Jezebels if you read the Crew Creator chart in Book4)

As you can see the models themselves have only been primed but the bases are essentially done.

I have included unpainted copies of these gals just to show what they looked like originally - however I forgot to do so for the rest.

Next up are the Illuminated:

You'll notice a couple of things here: 1). The bases don't have any 'outside' on them. That's because they are 'inside' models for me. 2). The gaps haven't been filled. This is because I SUCK at that. I'm going to see how it goes without, and if they look awful once painted, go back and try my best at filling.

Next we have the master himself: Jacob Lynch

The aim with Lynch was to give him a standard inside base, but with a slight twist of detail. In this case it's a blue rug. Lynch is a very subtle Master who in the fluff seems to do best when he is not drawing attention to his Neverborn (or Ten Thunders) ties. I wanted to capitalise on this with his simple and unimposing base.

Next up we have The Hungering Darkness:

Now this dude is quite a strange one, the model is all mouth! His body is very small in comparison so I wanted to give him a base to add some weight.

With hindsight, maybe I'd have given him an inside base perhaps with some furniture on? But regardless, this is the monster who pops up, feasts on Brilliance and leaves as quickly as he arrived.

Last but not least, a model I painted last week and my first attempt at playing with wood (notice how his base is a lot lower than my latest models)

And that's where we are. Tonight I'll carry on with my painting and with hope before the weekend have a fully painted crew to show you all.

I hope you've enjoyed this little trip with me.

See you breachside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Saturday, 8 September 2012

At the Mountains of Malifaux

Fixed Faction 30SS MaliFun Day Tournament

Each round will have a pre set custom strategy:
Round 1: Trick n Treat
- Every table will have 5 items of terrain nominated as 'taggable' 1 in each deployment and 3 with the middle of the board.
- Deployment is Standard Deployment.
- Any significant model that is in Base2Base contact with a taggable terrain piece can use a single (1) Interact action to tag that terrain as yours.
- Once tagged, place a designated marker next to the terrain piece.
- At any point an enemy model in B2B contact with an already tagged piece of terrain can re-tag it with a (1) Interact action.
- At the end of the encounter, if one player has 3 tagged pieces of terrain, score 2 VP. For every piece in addition to these 3, score +1 VP.

Round 2: Monster Mash
- See 'Shared Treasure Hunt'.
- The Treasure Counter, from this point on referred to as the Monster Counter gives the carrier the following additional stats:
Anathema 12
(+1) Melee Expert - Stacking with any current additional AP

Round 3: Burning Man
- Designate one side as the defender and one as the attacker.
- Place a single HT3 50mm Burning Man marker with 6WD completely within the Defender's side of the table, but more than 6" outside their deployment zone.
- At the closing of every turn, the Burning Man counter suffers a damage flip of 0/1/2
- If the Attacker can reach the counter and perform a (2) Interact action, then the counter is discarded and they earn 2VP
- If the attacker is unable to perform their Interact Action before the counter looses all it's wounds, the Defenders gain 2VP.

Schemes will be unique. This means that each player can only take each scheme once for the day.

Tournament Points are awarded as follows:
Winning: 3TPs
Drawing: 1TP
Lose: 0TP

Only one proxy model is allowed per crew.

There will be three awards on the day:
- First Tournament Place
- Best Halloween Themed Costume
- Best Halloween Themed Single Wyrd Miniature

Friday, 7 September 2012


Good Friday all!

I would like to start today, if I may with a quick discussion.

Now as I always say, I can comment on nothing but my own experiences, and recently these experiences made me question something very deer to me.

For years now I've subscribed to the ideology that technology is our way forward.

That as a human race we continue to evolve through the application of our brains to better ourselves and our living conditions.

It is through this betterment that we develop better medical techniques and vaccines along with faster more efficient machines.

70 years ago, if you had a frozen piece of meat you would have to leave it out overnight to defrost, now you just pop it in the microwave and leave it spinning for 8 minutes!

Only 30 years ago, if I was to try and reach the masses of the world with my thoughts, experiences and musings I'd have to either buy/start a publisher or tv channel, or failing that try and pursuade an existing one that the dribble I turn out is worth promoting.

Now however I just pick up my branded phone, select the branded APP, and bam I'm away. No need to think about a time frame or a number of words.

It is through technology that I am able to slay dragons with my friends half way across the world and learn about new and upcoming releases from companies I would have never even heard of without.

I freaking love technology!


But it then struck me.

There's a woman I work with who for now we will call J.

Now J is a technophobe. She owns a mobile phone, but never uses it, and the idea of having a phone for anything other than calls is just crazy.

She owns a computer and uses it to send emails to friends, but to the best of my knowledge doesn't have an Amazon account.

Now under normal circumstances this would be followed by plenty of mockage and joke making, however when I stop and look at how J operates, I see someone who is the polar opposite of me.

At work, I will never call someone if I can E-Mail (yes I'm one of 'them') and other than one set of neighbours at home, I have no idea who my neighbours are, never mind their names or personalities.

Now compare this to J, very regularly on the phone keeping in contact with those around her, almost every week visiting her neighbours and welcoming them around for tea. You could almost say that she is part of her local community.

Now I wouldn't want to say which of these extremes are better, as I don't know.

What I do know is what works for me, and what works for J.

But what I also see are many other comparisons to almost unrelated issues.

You see, back in the 70s, film director Kubrick made A Clockwork Orange which was supposed to show the current world through a dystopian lense, now I'm only 28, I wasn't even born in the 70s and so can not compare, but I watch that film now, and what looks like a vision of the future is actually reminiscent of an old block of flats I used to rent near to.

Is this a co incidence? Or is it random chance, as we have become more reliant on technology to fulfil all our basic needs, have we forgotten how to be a community?

I think about this possibility, and I see only one outcome...

In 1997 Skynet was supposed to launch the US stored nuclear warheads starting an international nuclear war that would wipe out most of humanity. This never happened, but maybe it wasn't needed.

Maybe we have already allowed the technological menace into our homes, given it our PIN number and DOB.

Maybe we have already specified our own destiny to be an unknowing, yet perfectly willing slave to technology.

Me? I'm a child of this era, and as long as those food pellets keep coming, I'll keep pushing the FEED button!

As I've said before, we all have our roles to play in life...

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 6 September 2012

The Adventures of Geek Dad: When Lives Collide

Good Thursday!

So it has been a while now since my last update, and I suppose you all deserve an explanation for that.

So where we last left off, I had been visiting friends and had my focus group regarding the Strategies for my tournament.

Since then, last week was INSANELY busy.

As many of you know, I work for a law enforcement force in the UK. But what many of you won't know is how the rostering was organised during the Olympics (and is still going on at the moment with the Paralympics).

Of course the details of this is highly confidential so I am not allowed to divulge it here.

What I can say, is that we were busy. Working flat out plus extra time - busy.

This meant last week was either spent working extra hours, or zonked out asleep on my sofa.

It's been pretty rubbish for everyone involved, including my wife, and I would like her to know just how sorry I am for being an anti-social git these past two weeks and how grateful I am for all of her support.

But the week came to an end, and with it came another busy weekend:

Saturday was a Pre booked demo day at Leisure Games where I was able to test out my first Strategy: It's All Fun & Games...

It went quite well I would say, there was more combat than I would have liked, but that is often the way with strategies.

Then then with the following day, our little Moo was visited by her Auntie and Uncle-Out-Law. Which don't get me wrong, it was fun and enjoyable for all, but what I was really looking forward to was a day of rest.

Roll on Monday.

Now because of the craziness of work I was able to book off Monday & Tuesday as leave, something I desperately needed.

Unfortunately in Monday my wife who normally has Mondays off part time was required to work, so I spent the day running around after my daughter, taking her to and from town in order to try and organise our mortgage renewal at a lower rate.

Well in the morning me and Moo went to the Parent Centre to get her weighed (it's open every Tuesday, so if I ever have a Tuesday booked off from work I take her along), came out as 21.5lbs which is pretty bang on target.

Then I dropped her off at day care for the day (we're paying for it after all) and then proceeded to go home, do some cleaning and house work, before tuning in to the Malifools Broadcast Network and relaxing for what felt like two hours in the bath.

So as you can see, I've been trying to keep everything together, but there will always be something that falls by the wayside, and for these couple of weeks it's been my blog.

But no worries, in a few weeks time once the Paralympics are over and the inevitable torrent of paperwork that follows them is over, then I'll be writing more regularly.

In the meantime, tune in tomorrow for an editorial discussion on the effects of technological evolution and the correlation with socio-economical breakdown! Yes that clearly interesting topic is on the cards for tomorrow.

See you all Breachside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley