Wednesday, 29 August 2012

The Adventures of Geek Dad: Decisions & Ultimatums

Good evening all!

So I've had a few people asking me about my Henching decision, and where I'm going with it. And I have come to a decision.

Now this decision was not made lightly or flippantly, far from it. Instead lots of time has been spent agonising over what to do, and this evening the final conclusion was drawn.

You see, today I had to work late. I knew it would happen in advance, and so I made sure I caught a later train than normal, giving me a little bit of time (about 10 mins) to play with my daughter.

This got me thinking and wondering; I wonder what she will remember when she gets older? I doubt she will remember any of this, after all she is not even 1, but if things carry on in the current direction, I hope that she will have many fond memories of fun time spent with both parents.

You see, she has recently learned to crawl, and now that she can move from A to B under her own steam, she just wants to spend all day crawling.

Now things are starting to get tiring, more so I would say than when she was new born and I was sleep deprived.

Now during the weekend, I look forward to when she goes to sleep at 1900 for the night.

But this has got me thinking about my parenting, and if looking forward to 'quiet time' makes me a bad father.

Of course I am sure every father asks this about everything they do.

I don't think it makes me a bad father. I may not be winning any "#1 Dad" awards any time soon, but I'm sure it puts me squarely away from the 'bad' bracket.

But despite all of this, every day I look into her beautiful blue eyes, and I see a little miracle looking back at me, I know that every day is worth it, all the crying, the running after, the constant closing of doors to keep her from getting into the kitchen (and cat litter), everything.

And that is why I spent this morning with her. I had to get a later train, and pay for the underground (rather than walk for free) in order to do it, but I wanted to spend some quality time with her.

That is why I can't give up my henching!

Henching for me is so much fun! I love it as I get to share my hobby that I am so passionate about and get some official acknowledgement for it at the same time.

What sort of an example would I be setting if I gave up a pastime that I love so much?

The funny thing is, throughout all my blog posts I've been preaching about compromise and yet had forgotten to do so myself.

It's not all or nothing, it's a compromise between having fun every minute of every day and meeting your responsibilities head on.

It's me doing what I love, be it at the store spreading the fluff-love, or at home with my two favourite women in the while world.

So yes friends, Dr Loxley, the North London Henchman is here to stay.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 27 August 2012

Focus Group

Good evening all!

The time is currently 20:00 on Bank Holiday Monday and I am currently trying to stave off the knowledge that I have to work tomorrow.

Well as mentioned prior, I was meeting some friends this weekend and I was going to be using them as a focus group for my Halloween tourney.

As a result of this, we are now at the following:

There will be three 'prizes' (I will try and arrange prize support, but it might have to end up being certificates, will need to see what I can wrangle).

Best Placing (for the highest TP earner)
Best Costume (voted from the other players)
Best Themed Mini (voted from the other players)

These will be exclusive, and wearing a costume will not award additional TPs.

Currently the first 2 Strats are as before: All Fun & Games, Monster Mash.

But now, At The Mountains of Malifaux has been replaced with Burning Man!

The rules for this strat are simple:

At the start of the encounter, using standard deployment, one side is determined as the Attacker, the other as the Defender.

At exactly 3/4 into the board from the attacker's side, place a 50mm Burning Man token. This represents someone the attackers want to rescue and the defenders want to defend.

This token has 6Wd and at the end of the turn it takes a non-negatable damage flip of 1/1/2

If the attacker can rescue the target before it dies, they earn 2VP, if the attacker fails, then the defender scores 2VP.

The only question left: Should it be a (1) Interact to release the captive, or should it be a (2) Interact?


- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Monster Mash!

Evening all!

It's another late night update from me! And I bring you a new idea for my second strat for At The Mountains Of Malifaux: A very TitanFaux Halloween.

So I mentioned before that I was calling the second Strat of the day Monster Mash, but I didn't have an idea for the rules.

I've been going over the books and so far the current strats are based as follows:

It's All Fun And Games... : A full strat version of the Stake A Claim scheme

At the Mountains of Malufaux: A static version of Supply Wagon.

With this in mind, Monster Mash is an adjusted version of... Shared Treasure Hunt!

That's right! The rules are the same as Treasure Hunt, only now when a model holds the Treasure Counter (hereby known as the Monster Counter) they gain +1 Melee AP (which stacks with either Melee Expert/Master) and Anathema 12.

This weekend I'll be discussing this and the other strats with some friends, and the weekend after I hope to test at least one of them at my next demo.

In the meantime I would love to hear your thoughts on the suggestions so far.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Working Title: At The Mountains Of Malifaux

Evening all, currently it's 23:20 and I've got some ideas that I just have to get onto paper.

So my Halloween themed not-a-Tourny has a working title, however I realised the strategy I came up with recently, the name of which was already used in Wyrd Chronicles V3.

Because of that I'm renaming it: "It's all fun and games..."

So that is looking to be the first game, where the focus is more about speed and/or board control.

Being completely honest, the second game, I am unsure where to go with it. I'm looking for a generic beat... And with that I have a name! "Monster Mash-Up!" not sure on the rules yet... Need to think of that one.

But the third and final game: "At the Mountains of Malifaux" (which i love so much, I may use for the day itself). This will have a single bit of destroy able terrain in the centre, a sort of Creepy Structure if you will (except I don't know the rules on those), one side has to destroy it, the other has to protect it, whichever succeeds gets 'X' VPs.

Any thoughts? Clearly these are still fledgeling ideas, but that's why I'm bringing it up now.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 20 August 2012

Halloween In the city

Good afternoon everyone!

Firstly I'd like to thank those who dropped me comments about yesterday's basing ideas. I think your right, I'll need to see how much cross over there is between crews.

And now onto today's agenda:

During the first weekend I am looking to host a Mali Fun Day at the Titan's club.

The theme of this will be Halloween, with bonus points allocated if you come in fancy dress, and more points awarded if your crew has purpose-done Halloween theme to them (pumpkin heads, orange & black paint scheme, that sort of thing).

I am also looking to create some fun strategies to be played out to fall into the theme.

The first I've been thinking of is the introduction of one I've been planning for demos; the working title for this strat was Spray Tag, but I think Trick or Treat works just as well.

The aim is to have a set minimum of terrain bits, in each deployment each player has one bit each, and there are three more located near to the centre of the board.

Now the aim of the game is to 'tag' or 'egg' a terrain piece. This is done by moving into base contact with it and using 1 Action Point. This piece has now been egged by your crew.

At any point the opponent can also move into B2B contact with the terrain and also egg it, in doing so it then is tagged by them.

At the end of the game the side with the most tagged terrain wins (along the lines of "if you have 3 egged terrain, score 2 VP, if you have all 5 score 4" that sort of thing).

So firstly, what does everyone think of this strat? It's simple, similar to another strat already in play, and with hope should be fun.

Obviously I'll be looking to test play it between then and now.

But then comes the next question: Does anyone have any suggestions for other Halloween themed Strats?

Answers and address on the back of a postcard!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Looking for idea feedback

Evening all!

So GenCon is over (or at least drawing to a close).

In a matter of hours Wyrd are going to start dispatching their orders and that means I am just a number of days away from receiving my order.

Now I have a dilemma. For those who don't know, the new crew I have purchased is under the Neverborn Master Jacob Lynch. The main box made up of Lynch himself, the monstrous beasty that is controlled/controls him, and three 'illuminated':

Then there are his ladies, the Beckoners who are used to entice men to Lynch's venue:

There are some others, but I'm getting them from my FLGS when they're released normally.

To help elaborate, Lynch runs a casino called The Honeypot, now I love the idea of this place, and would love to open a branch of The Honey Pot in New Fairbank.

For this reason I will be basing these models on balsa wood raised from the floor, with The Beconers on a porch type thing where the raised floor only covers about 70% of the base.

The question: do you think this will be a problem? I'll be combining my old west bases as are used by my Guild:

With a balsa wood theme more commonly seen with a Collete crew. Larger models such as the Darkness would be on a pure Western base, but with some selective additions like a falling down fence etc.

I think all of this works well for the crew themselves, add to that a Sarissa Precision building and the whole thing takes off.

The problem: They're Neverborn, and I've already committed to having Neverborn on Cobblestone bases as per my Nephilim:

And Nightmares:

So what does everyone think?

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 16 August 2012

The Night Before GenCon

Twas the night before GenCon, when all through the morgue, not a creature was stirring, not even a worg!

Or something to that effect!

So today is GenCon and will continue for the next few days.

Now I have to come clean, I was awake at 03:00 this morning hunched over my phone, card in hand trying to get the slow pages to load.

But despite being very tired, I got my order in and am order: 12879 which puts me in the first 200 orders (apparently).

So now I begin the waiting game and hope customs don't F me in the A.

So what about anyone else? I picked up Book 4 (just once I want to grab a book from the get go and not be struggling behind everyone else), the Dark Debts box, a set of Beckoners, and the Rail Golem for a friend who is desperate to add it to his Ramos crew.

Now I just have to try my best to wait patently and have my stuff arrive.

Anyway, that's about it for today.

I did have a game last Saturday vs my usual opponent, and I have given some thought to my 2013 Malifaux plans, but I'll cover them another time.

Stay safe and see you all Breach side

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Sunday, 12 August 2012

And now follows a presentation from the Doctor Loxley Fair Game Foundation:

Good evening all!

Today I was asked a favour, something that rarely comes to my door.

The favour was to draw attention to a good cause.

I'd like to introduce a friend of mine who goes by the handle Underdog.

Now Underdog like so many young men like him want to buy stuff from GenCon, but being someone from the UK, he can't just up and leave for the US for a couple of days, instead he has to make use of the World Wide Web and order online.

But in order to do this Underdog needs funds and as such is now selling his own unopened supplies of GenCon2011 Limited Edition sculpts:

Nightmare Teddy

Dead Justice Boxset

Miss Demeanor the Convict Gunslinger

Now with the money he can make from these purchases he hopes to acquire the Dark Deeds box set, and in doing so give me a master to play against who isn't Levi or a Resser.

So please, if you must do a good deed this week, do one for me...

Seriously, I can't take playing against the same masters over and over! I want to scream and pull my eyes out! For the love of all that is holy, buy his stuff and give me a break from Hollow Waifs!


Anyway, and on that note I would like to leave you with this:

Give a man some Malifaux, and he will play for a day.
Buy a man's old supply of Malifaux, and you'll keep his opponents happy for a lifetime!

Please, have a heart, do the right thing :)

--this has been a presentation of the Doctor Loxley Fair Game Foundation, the views and opinions expressed in s broadcast are not his own, but instead suggested via the aid of a bug from Ceti Alpha V... KHAN!! KHAAAAN!--

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Saturday, 11 August 2012

The Second Opinion: Malifools Broadcasting Network

Good morning all! And welcome to The Second Opinion with Doctor Loxley!

So, I am assuming by now you've all been listening to the Malifools Broadcasting Network?

If you play Malifaux, and the answer to that question is no, then shame on you!

I'm not going to sit here and compare this podcast to the others, as I'll be honest, I don't listen to them all, and each one brings something different to the table, Malifools is no different.

Ok well let's get started with the Second Opinion.

The show has three 'designated' hosts, Mike, Jon & Conrad. Each one clearly a Malifool in their own right, but when you put them together you get some great listening material!

- a bit of a tangent here I must admit, you're probably wondering why I'm writing about this now, we've just had Episode 9 released, which means we're 9 weeks in and really anyone who is anyone has already reported on this show.

Well you'd be right, and until now I've been happy just listening to the show and making my thoughts and comments known over Twitter. But you must understand, Episode 9 is SO funny, I just had to post this!

You see, I've listened to plenty of other 'casts', I've heard quality stories, gained valuable privilege information and learned many great game tactics, but I havent really had -fun- and that's what the Malifools Broadcasting Network brings to the game.

The pretence is three regular gamers, sitting around a table in a pub talking about their hobby (note: their hobby, not The Hobby). And while the reality is three guys in different houses talking over headsets, I think that the idea is captured very well; it's casual, fun and quirky.

Now some may not get their humour, but then that is something I am very familiar with myself *goes off to cry in the dark about how no one understands him* but if you do, then it's worth every minute.

You see, don't be distracted by the friendly voices, and the funny jokes, this is a wargames podcast, and they do tackle many issues that personally I think is very relevant to the game at present; should Pre-measuring be allowed? Just because a crew is deemed as low performing, does that mean they are? (See #Molly2012) If a model was a 90s WWF Wrestler, what would be their intro song? (that's how I interpreted the theme song question).

And yes they do make the occasional rules slip up, but then we all do! Virtually every game I play I get at least one rule wrong, and very often while I'm trying to run a speed demo at Leisure Games I will often alter the rules in subtle ways either because a). I am unfamiliar with something and stopping, getting the rule book out and checking will slow down the pace too much or b). The stripped down version flows better on a smaller scale.

So to me, when these guys make their mistakes, it reminds us as listeners that they too are human players who are going through their own gaming journey.

I would love to skip forward a year and see where things have gone, to have so many questions answered: are they still an episode a week? Have any of them become hardcore gamers? Did they win their own inevitable #Molly2012 tournament or was that title taken by another Molly player who flipped more Red Jokers? And more importantly, did they get their own Expo? (PAX started with a web comic let's not forget).

Ok, so perhaps this article is a little gushy, and coming across as very fanboi-ish, but all I can say is this:

When was the last time you laughed out loud on a train and had the entire carriage turn around and look at you with confusion and fear?

For me? Yesterday! Listening to the Malifools Broadcasting Network!

(PS There should so be a 'Where's Conrad been this week segment')

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Friday, 10 August 2012

Weaver Widow & Weekend Working

Good Friday everyone!

So the past 24 hours have been quite interesting.

For starters I finished the Weaver Widow:

Here she is unvarnished. I love this model, the prettiness of her dress, the petit and unspoken size of her folded fan and parasol, the little bob of hair with fascination at a slight angle, and then the creature herself, the toothy maw, the many eyes, and the arms, only slightly longer than normal, making them appear more 'unnerving' than anything else.

I'm glad they left her until towards the end.

Next up is the book 4 previews:

I've only looked in detail at the Neverborn; Mr Tannen (for full size please use the website's link)

For starters he is a Woe, which suggests the Honey Pot crew will also synergise with Pandora. And you will also notice that virtually all his abilities focus on debugging the opponent and their luck. - considering The Honey Pot is a casino, that is quite thematic.

However I think it needs to be said, just because Tannen is a Woe, doesn't necessarily mean the others are as well. I am still very eager to see how the Hungering Darkness and Illuminated work.

Ok, now onto tomorrow...

Firstly I have the misfortune of having to work. There's some facilities work that needs to be done out of hours in my office, so overtime for me.

Thankfully however I get to have Monday off.

Then once I am done there, my regular opponent will be popping over and I'll be playing him at a game of 'Faux.

Sadly however, after this weekend he'll be moving away and so our opportunities to play together will be much lower.

With that in mind, I'm looking to make this game a good one. He has yet to play vs Lilith, or the Widow or the Twins.

I am tempted by using the Widow for this game, I am determined to find a use for her beyond generating scrap counters for her to drop and be picked up by the enemy, and as my opponent should be playing either Levi or Ressers, then being able to pick up and deny them their own counters is always a good thing.

In theory, tying in Lilith's transposition should also work for helping her to move upfield faster.

The only question is what else to take? The Widow, plus the Twins is a grand total of 23 points! In a 30/35SS game, that's a large proportion taken right there.

Maybe twins, mature Neph and the rest made of tots would be a better idea... We'll see.

Anyway I think I've rambled on enough, take care and I'll see you all breachside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

The Adventures of Geek Dad: Times of Poor Preperation

Good Tuesday all,

So as I write this I am currently squeezed between a commuter and an Olympic staff member... It's fun living down the road from the Olympic housing.

Well I mentioned yesterday about my mocks I was taking last night, yeah, not such a great idea. I took a look at the paper and my mind went BLANK! Back to the books for me, but that's ok, between this week and next I can re-read the book in question, and retake the mocks again.

I'm unsure if the same will apply to the other modules, I'll have to see. It's been many months since I've touched them as I've been focussing on getting my head around Basic Accounting 1 (BA1).

I did however have a bit of soul searching yesterday:

It was the Moo's daily bath time, something she loves, being able to play in the water and splash Daddy.

I started doubting if continuing my time as a Henchman was such a great idea. I was playing with my daughter as she would pass me her favourite toy, and I'd pass it back to her, before she'd throw it in the water and then repeat the process with another toy, and it entered my head; I haven't spent a Saturday with my girl in 2 weeks, and I won't be this Saturday because of work.

And let's be honest, who lay on their death bed and said "my only regret is not playing more Wargames"?

But I gave it some thought, like I said, I've had 2 Saturdays in a row and will be working next Saturday.

I should wait until my schedule is back to normal before making such a big decision.

I do love henching, and my next MaliDAZE shouldn't be until early September and then I should have nothing until October.

Oh look the train stop is here..

****** 3.5 hours later ***********

Right then, sorry about that.

So anyway, I am thinking that I should hold fire on any rash decisions for now. I've currently got a lot on my plate and giving up something I love doing is not the best of plans, and once I've had a few weeks with the little one I'll feel better.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 6 August 2012

Painkillers, Poor Sleep & Positive Flips

One hell of a weekend :)

Good Monday everyone!

I can't speak for each and every person out there, but for me it was crazy!

These are the weekends that legends are told of!

But first, let me take you a tiny bit further back...

So last time we spoke it was Monday of last week, I had a mock exam to take, a Weaver to paint, a friend visiting and a non-Tourny to help run. This is not including many other things along the way.

Well you will be pleased to know that the mock went well, and on the back of that today I should be doing mocks for my second module - scary! It will only be a few more weeks before I apply to take the exams for real - even more scary!

We also had some problems with the Moo and some R-Tard blowing smoke in her room. So that resulted in a very unhappy-sickly baby and two parents still awake at 1am trying to calm her back to sleep.

On the back of that I too came down with a little bit of sickness, unsure what exactly, it started on Wednesday, overnight turned into a fever with my sweat causing a change of sheets, and then an almost euphoric Thursday, followed by an ill feeling Friday again. Very curious.

Because of this I've been having an occasional Paracetemol & Ibuprofen cocktail to keep me going. It's not ideal, but I retain my wits, unlike codeine (which for those who don't know metabolises into morphine!)

Well on Wednesday despite feeling like death, I was sat at my computer making Wicked Doll stat cards so that if I needed any for the tournament I could use them.

Come Thursday and my euphoric healthy feelings, I made a start on the Weaver. So far she has only had base coats and washes applied:

More to do on her this week.

On Friday a friend of mine who was coming to the Tournament arrived and we had a pleasant evening, that was until we hit bed time, and the cats decided they didn't want to go downstairs with our friend and instead stayed with us, which involved jumping on top of us whenever we had gotten to sleep.

Next up was Saturday and the Tourny itself. I will write up a post for this itself shortly but it was very good fun!

There were some great players, some amazingly painted miniatures and even to those who had never played a full game before had a great time.

I think that is where I'll leave it, other than with this photo of what happens when your friend tries to make friends with your baby:

Take care, and I'll see you breachside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley