Friday, 27 September 2013

A Second Attempt

Good Friday everyone!

So yesterday I wrote a post, but forgot to save a draft before posting, and sadly after pressing 'post' it was lost into the nether.

Anyway, so things are starting to move forward with the CRYPTS beta! Yesterday two more people signed up, and feedback ideas are starting to come in, so thanks for that, and as always if you are reading this and would like to join in the beta, just drop me your email and I'll send you the files.

Hell Dorado
So I've decided that I'm going to take the plunge into this game, ever since I started reading about it, it's been eating away in the back of my head and just won't let go.

I'm still struggling to find a player or two who I can play regularly, but I'm sure I can wrangle one up, at the very least I can create a force myself and have an awesome time painting them, which for me is ultimately what I enjoy the most.

In fact, I might even try to make a display base for them (after the models themselves, which I've yet to actually do).

Anyway, that's pretty much all from me today. Short and sweet, but hey...

So on that note, stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

CRYPTS plans, The Malifaux 1.5 Initiative & Hell Dorado

Good Tuesday everyone!

I hope you are all in good health!

So last night I had a plan, first I was to create a present list for my wife so she knows what she can buy me for birthday and Xmas (both in December of course). This I had no problem with!

My next plan was to add more info into the CRYPTS QuickStart rules. This of course never happened.

It is with hope that I will be doing this tonight instead, and will be emailing the revised .pdf to my lovely beta testers.

- Again if you want to be in the CRYPTS beta test, just let me know your email and I'll forward the info to you!


Also, yesterday on the way home I was listening to the latest Malifools episode where I noticed a brief mention of my 1.5 Malufaux Initiative as mentioned in a recent post.

What was interesting was reaction that the few talking about it had, talking about what they think my aim is behind all of this.

I'm not able to reveal yet what the aim is fully at this point, but closing for the Initiative will be at the end of this week, when I edit the first post to include the details of everyone who is willing to play v1.5 (currently sat at 4 including myself).

Next week I'll be promoting the interest for an international 1.5 League, played out via the table top or Vassel, whichever is best for the players, and at the end of next week I'll be closing down the interest in that and announcing whether or not the league will be going ahead.

As an added note, if you place top in the league I will send you the grand prize in the form of the Warhamster Scheme & Strat deck!

- Massive props to Mr Awesome for donating these!


Going back to my present list, I realised that three bits of my list were models for CRYPTS:

First is the Hell Dorado Infernal Horde for my Lesser Demons.

Next up is the Hell Dorado Zaaxan for my Greater Demon

Last but not least, the Great Damned One of Wrath for The Butcher.

It occurred to me while writing this, as I hope to get some demons anyway then I should probably grab myself a Demon Force for the game, so I got started reading up on starter boxes:

I must say, while this would be an almost pure gaming purchase, it's one I think could be very fun as after downloading the QuickStart rules there are a lot of things I like.

It seems to be very similar to Malifaux in a way; areas of control, alternating activations, character cards and abilities that require constant referring back to in order to use properly!

In fact reading through these rules actually helps to answer a question I've had for CRYPTS, and that's how I deal with locking people into melee and stopping people using ranged weapons when locked in combat. These rules have given me the ideas needed!

The only problem as always is finding opponents, but no worries about that.

Anyway, that rather random posting is all from me today, other than a quick update on how my recent Wyrd models are coming:

And on that note, stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 19 September 2013

The Malifaux 1.5 Initiative - An Explanation

Greetings everyone!

Today I created a thread on the Wyrd v1.5 Malifaux Subforum:

For those who are curious, I'd like to explain exactly why I have done this.


So for starters there was before a big discussion about the creation of this forum and the need for the 1.5 community to 'get organised'.

Well the subforum was created, and almost instantly everything fell silent. No posts, nothing.

Wyrd gave the community exactly what they asked for and nothing has been done with it.


So today I thought that it would be a good idea for me to throw my oar in and see if I can make a difference.

As you know I still love old edition Malifaux, it's still my favourite table top game, and while I have no problem with the community either dying off or moving to new edition, I can't stand by and do nothing, like almost everyone else is - emphasis on the word 'almost'.


So this is the reason behind the initiative. It will probably go no where and no one will care, and honestly that's what I'm expecting will happen, but at least if it does and the 1.5 subforum is shut down due to lack of activity, then I can rest assured that i tried to do... something.


So dear reader, I would ask you to ask yourself, do you still want to play v1.5 Malifaux? Regardless of your opinion on v2, then please post your details and show your support.

If not, then no worries, no hard feelings and I hope to play you either in Wave2 or in another game.

Stay safe everyone! And I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Maybe I'm Seeing Things Differently...

Good (Thursday? Is it Thursday today? Really? Awesome!) Good Thursday everyone!

Today I would like to talk to you about something I have observed within the Malifaux/Wyrd community.


So I've read some interesting comments recently regarding EricJ's blog: and it seems like quite a few members of the 'anti v2' crowd dislike his writing.

Now maybe this is because I'm not actually part of the 'anti' crowd, and come Wave 2 I can see myself picking up at least 1 crew - and depending on how my exam goes in early October, I'm hoping to pick up the v2 book! But my comments on this blog has put me squarely in a lot of people's eyes as a member of the 'anti' crowd.

But I can't help but disagree, i love reading his blog!

Don't get me wrong, back when he was calling people liars and stuff I was right there in the picket lines saying that it was wrong and we shouldn't stand for that. But ever since he has adjusted his writing style and now I really really enjoy it.

I feel like his previous 'ego' has gone from the posts, and been replaced with observations, that quite often are biased and unbalanced, but you have to remember we are talking about someone's blog.

Are my posts unbiased and 100% balanced? Of course not! And if I can't do it, why should I expect others to do the same?

So to the nay-sayers, my advice is to make a note of what your problems with it are, start your own blog, and after a few months go back and read your work, and I'm pretty sure you'll find you are just as guilty of that as he is.

- of course I am only talking about everything post 21st August. If you haven't read anything after this, then I suggest you go back and read more, it's very very different.


Anyway, I promised a more positive post, and I hope this delivers!

Enjoy, stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Juxtaposed Against Myself

Just a quick one today.

I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place.

I've made it pretty clear that other than for special occasions I am not making the transition from Malifaux v1.5 to 2.0 (yes sorry it's one of these posts).

But I have an issue, one of my favourite podcasts, The Malifools, really enjoy v2 (nothing wrong with that) and now the Wyrd Boards have moved properly from 1.5 to 2 (again, nothing wrong, a logical move).

My problem however, is that every so often I am either listening/reading rule discussions and disparities between cards are raised, such as the discussion the other week on the Malifools about Hannah mimicking Nurses and the difference between abilities that say "you must declare a trigger" vs "you must declare a trigger if able".

I am seeing similar things on the boards, such as the differences between the Void Wretches and Nothing Beast and a shared ability they have with different wording, or the standardisation of weapons so Ronin and Punk Zombies can not both have Katanas with different stats.

The issue here is that I distinctly remember both Wyrd and many high profile v2 players quoting that one of the GREAT things about v2 compared to v1.5 is the removal of "those" rules, such as the difference between "within" and "completely within".

Don't get me wrong, I think these things are great, making everything "within" is a great change. The problem is for me, as long as you have the disparities between abilities and how some are usable but others are not because one uses the phrase "if able" is not standardisation.

It feels to me like this is the age old "we'll tell you one thing but do another" and every time I hear/read a discussion about how streamlined and standardised the rules are, while seeing these disparities and/or typos I can't help but feel the v2 end result was not what it should have been and was either a rush job or not as unified and standardised as everyone claims.


But this is where my real problem begins, I know all of this could be fixed if I just stopped listening to those casts and reading the boards. The issue? For the casts at least, I really don't want to stop listening to them.


I know, I know, this is one of those emotional reactions that EricJ was talking about, but I just had to put it out there as part of the 'healing process' in the hope that now I can just get over it and stop nit picking at every little detail.

Sorry for being a but if a downer on this Wednesday morning.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

I hate my computer!

Good Tuesday everyone!

So last night me, Andrey and And from Soulstone Train all met via Skype to record episode 3 of Hobby Sofa.

Why is it my computer must always screw up?

After about 10 mins of chatting with Andrey in advance, the strangest thing happened to my sound, where it started to warp.

I tried restarting my computer, only to be met by my machine then refusing to find my onbuilt sound card!

After a few more restarts this corrected itself, and 15 mins late we were able to record.

We covered a lot of ground, touching base with pretty much everything intended, and quite a few things unintended.

There were a few problems of course, one of those problems I do have to be honest, and I feel like we didn't involve And as much as we should, and when the show is put out you'll hear this for yourself, but I am as much to blame for this as anyone, and I think that is a problem when you put someone (me) in front of a mic who clearly loves the sound of his own voice.

That is something I need to work on, and I would invite everyone when they listen to the show to give me any hints or tips possible.

You see, I really enjoyed having a guest on the Sofa and would hope to do so again in future, maybe even as a regular feature, but on the off chance they would be bored I am fearful for this.

Regardless, we did have some good chats, and as we were winding down the last topic, my sound problems hit again!

48 minutes later, they were corrected (I am wondering now if they were caused by over heating, as the inside if my machine was super hot) but unfortunately Andrey & And had to leave by then.

We're planning on meeting again on Wednesday where we'll do our close down and then I'll get editing and put the episode out with hope later this week.


So yeah, on that note, stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 16 September 2013

Podcast Prep and Base Building

Good Monday everyone!

So tonight me, @Duck21Andrey and @Guildmonkee are recording episode 03 of Hobby Sofa! Yup we have a guest appearance!

Got some interesting topics to discuss tonight, but I won't be sharing that with you just yet.


For those of you who missed it Episode 17 of New Fairbank Radio is available. You can grab that at either, via iTunes/RSS subscription or via the feed at the top of this blog (when viewed as a web page).

This week's episode is the first of 2 alpha playtests of CRYPTS from the bank holiday weekend. A lot of the rules get modded on the fly, and it's a totally Hinckley-Pickley episode, but I hope you enjoy it.

Next week up will go episode 2, and with hope you'll enjoy that too!


Last but not least, last night I finished building the bases for my GenCon order:

I don't think you can see very well, but I've put the Dark Debts models on small raised wooden plank bases (Depleted, Graves & Tannen).

The other Neverborn (Primordial Magic, Tuco and Doppelgänger) are on basic cobblestone bases.

The Undead (Copy Cat Killer and Necropunks) are on graveyard bases.

Last but not least, we have Hamelin who is on a Dungeon/Sewer base.

I'll be undercoating/washing these over the next week, and looking to paint up the bases (for some reason I always paint the bases first).

Once done I can then put these aside, being back out my CRYPTS models (Imps, Skeletons, Zombies & Spiders), finish building their bases and also undercoat them.

Yeah, for the first time in over a decade I've got a hell of a lot of models to get through. My aim is to paint one model a week, so maybe by next summer I'll be all done!

- oh I should probably also comment on Miss Step.
She is on a large wooden base, this will be a stage base for my wife's Colette crew, I'll be finishing the wood of the stage, and floor before attaching some real carpet I bought from a doll house retailer for the floor of the base.

Fingers crossed this will look good, if not, I'm going to cry.

Anyway, on that note; stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Yay! Post!

Good Thursday everyone!

So on Tuesday I wrote a long post that was full of (not so) witty comments outlaying my plans for the evening involving getting files ready to go out for the first official CRYPTS beta.

Yeah, then my phone decided that being a tit was the best thing to happen, and so that was lost.

I was going to rewrite the post while at work, but we've introduced a new policy that use of personal mobiles outside of emergencies is punishable with disciplinary action - I'm not actually sure if that is a real rule, it may actually be a passive-aggressive attempt by my manager to get me off my phone (even though I'm not always on it, it's just Sod's law that every time he leaves his office I happen to be on it) anyway! So that post never happened.

But that night I got my nose down and as intended got the beta pack out to the couple who agreed to give it a look over.

NB: If you asked but never got an email, let me know.

It's still not complete, with only about 10 types of beasty, and still about half the number of loot cards there should be, but that's ok for now.

Of course the next day I realised that my updated QuickStart rules was missing lots of rules and clarifications, so these were written out in a long email and sent out, these will be added to the QuickStart rules once I get initial feedback back and begin phase 2 of the beta - or do so sans feedback, whichever comes first.


But guess what else was awaiting me? My GenCon order!!

I'm quite happy with this haul, it means that barring a few outstanding models (riders, Nekima etc) I am pretty much complete with my desired backlog!

So I started work on them last night, and I must admit, out of all the models I am most moved by the Depleted, they are lovely models.

For basing I'm looking to do the usual, raised floorboards for the Brilliance crew (Depleted, Graves & Tannen), cobblestones for the other Neverborn (Vom Worm, Tuco & Doppelgänger), graveyard for undead (Copycat Killer & Necropunks) and I will probably go for a dungeon look for Haemelin, as I did get him for an upcoming CRYPTS boss.

Miss Step is for my awesome wife, and I've been base building for her. I was originally trying to put her on a series of raised steps, but my wife didn't like that, so the steps have been removed leaving the floorboards.
I will instead attempt to build part of a stage, possibly with small access steps leading to it (just so it's not a mass of wood). I have also ordered some doll house red carpet which once the wood is painted will be laid over the flooring giving what I hope will be a striking contrast between the stage and carpeted floor.


But that's not all folks! Oh no, just before hitting the sack I logged on to WoW for the first time in a few months to give the new patch a try and venture around The Timeless Isle, and let me tell you, I'm looking forward to doing so again tonight! It was super fun!

I can still feel the pull from The Secret World, especially as I've just been sent to Transylvania and I want to start exploring that place and killing vamps, but i didn't feel like I had wasted my time on WoW and instead actually enjoyed myself, and ultimately isn't that what we all want to do?

Anywho, on that note I'll leave you as always with hopes that you stay safe and that I'll see you CRYPTside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 5 September 2013

3rd Day of Diet and The Thing

Good Thursday everyone!

So yesterday was the second day of my diet, and now that I have increased my kcal intake from 600 to 800 a day I am feeling a lot less hungry! Yay!

But anyway, we're on to day 3, and currently the next 5.5 weeks seems to be stretching on forever. I know it's not, and that time will fly by, but it feels crazy long right now.


So I've also been in quite a The Thing mood the past few days, so last night I dug out my DVD and last night started watching it for what is probably the 8-10th time and straight away was transported back to the first time I properly watched it about 10 years ago.

Now unfortunately I may have fallen asleep far too early, so I'll be resuming from when I closed my eyes tonight, and watching it again.

I'm also looking to re-play the video game:

The only problem is that I have to be honest, it's not the most attractive game, far from it, 11 years after it's release it looks pretty damn ugly.

Now this would be fine if it wasn't for the fact that at the time it looked pretty damn awesome, which is how I remember it.

So I go back now, and go: "oh..."

Any who, that's all from me for now! So on that note, stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- YAY Fog!!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Wednesday, 4 September 2013

Sexism, Gamers & Empowerment

Greetings everyone!

Now before I start I'd like to point out that at no point is what I am about to write supposed to be inflammatory or degrading to men or women, it's just my views on the topic at hand.

If you agree or disagree, think I'm right on the nail or devil incarnate, please let me know.

And now, on with the article:


So I was reading an article over on the website Kotaku, I know, I know, I don't know why I do it either! And I read a discussion about the death threats and rape threats that many women claim they receive on a regular basis for just being a woman with an opinion.
- I say "claim" because I can honestly say, hand on heart that I have never ever seen this. I can only assume it is because I associate with a level of humanity that is elevated above the pond-scum who would think this is suitable and acceptable.

Anyway, my mind began to wander and I was reminded of something that I honestly am not happy with, and that is the level of implied or overt sexuality in war gaming. I'm not saying this is a new thing, far from it, but it seems to me that as techniques and technology increases, so does the level of sexism increase.

I suppose this makes sense, it's like looking at the original Tomb Raider game, sure at the time she was seen as a sex icon, but who really wants to stare at pyramid boobs?

The same applies to miniatures and war gaming and to me looking at the recent art and miniatures from Wyrd kind of cements this.

I know everyone has different opinions on this, and many people like/love the new art, but to me, I see a lot of the new stuff in particular in the art of the new look Ronin

Now I get that sex sells, and a lot of men and women find this sort of look appealing, but for me there comes a line when 'style' outweighs 'practicality'. And this is what happens here, outfits that look like the wearer would 'pop out' if they were required to do anything more than pose in a sultry manner.

This for me is the epitome of sexist, where sex is being used to a level that it becomes impractical.

But it also strays into attitude. I remember about a year ago I heard an interview on a podcast where they were discussing the master Lilith. Now Lilith is a clearly sexual character, she is wearing so little clothes that she is showing more skin than is covered (I'm talking of course about the original sculpt here).

What was interesting about this interview was the words and time used by the Lilith player. He talked about her like she was not only a real person, but that his model of her was actually alive.

Honestly it was disturbing, as he talked he brought images to my mind of a stereotypical 'basement dweller' who spent his days in his parent's basement 'pleasuring himself' over his Lilith model.

Now yes this was largely based on my own discriminatory thoughts, but as an audience member, I was genuinely creeped out.

Now I look at this artwork in Malifaux and plenty of other games and I'm left wondering if this 'creepy' sort of person is what these game companies are advertising to and trying to attract? And if so, do they realise that people like me, those who are put off by people like that, are actually put off by this?

But it doesn't end there.

You see I can not talk about sexism without talking about 'empowerment'.

Now, this is something that is a very touchy subject for a lot of people. Is the use of sexuality, sexism and sexual exploitation something truly empowering to either males or females?

You hear it all the time in the real world, how women that strip for money, or pose naked are actually empowering women, while at the same time you hear from the other side that the very same women are being exploited.

So which is it? Empowerment or exploitation?

Well, I would argue that it is both at the same time.

You see it is commonly acknowledged in the psychological world that Fear and Excitement are actually the same thing, being boiled down to 'Anxiety'. What sets the two apart is cognitive understanding.

In this example, if you the person going through anxiety feels safe, secure and willing, then you are excited by the anxiety, but if this is not the case, if you do not feel in control and safe, then it's fear.

I would argue the same here.

I know of plenty of women who carry and present themselves in a provocative manner either online or in person, and in those situations they feel safe, secure and empowered by their choice to be sexually overt. And that is the thing here, it's choice.

If choice is removed from the equation and the person be them male or female are forced to be sexual, then it stops being empowering and starts being exploitation.

So what about these women in war gaming art? The Liliths and Ronin of the Malifaux world for example. Are they being empowered or exploited by being depicted in that art? And by proxy are they encouraging the exploitation or empowering of women in the real world by their presence?

I would go back to my previous point about being practical.

The way I see it, if a character looks like they would choose to wear that clothing and do what they do, then they are both practical and in doing so are empowering the idea of a strong woman who can be sexual by choice.

If however you look at her and think "there is no way a serious [whatever] would choose to wear that clothing" then it is impractical and the sexuality is in fact being exploited for money.

This is where I would compare characters such as original sculpt Lilith vs the Ronin.

Lilith for example is wearing a tight fitting outfit. Clearly she is being 'supported' by the outfit, and depending on the quality of it, she will be able to perform all manner if acrobatic moves without loosing any more modesty than she began when getting dressed.

Compare that to the Ronin example earlier. She has no support as you can clearly see she is not wearing a bra, her clothing is far too loose and would probably tear at the first bit of combat. We are looking at an outfit that after a quick brawl is going to leave her at the very least topless.

Now let's think for a moment, would a serious fighter really wear something that in five minutes would be torn off by the opponent? Of course not.

And this is why I've got an issue with this, when you apply these rules it clearly shows that this style of clothing is playing on the exploitation of female sexuality with the assumed projection of cashing in on drooling males.


And now I come to an impasse, I'm not happy leaving this post as it currently is, but at the same time I have little more to say about this subject.

And so it is on that note that I will bid you all a good day, and as always stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Day 2 of the diet begins

Good Wednesday everyone!

So yesterday was day 1 of my diet, and after doing some research I've found out the diet is called a VLCD or Very Low Calorie Diet, where each meal is only about 200 kcals each and according to the schedule I'm supposed to have only 3 of these meals a day.

Luckily everything comes prepackaged and ready to go, so you don't need to make these meals from scratch.

What's interesting was just how insanely hungry I was all day, while my wife on the other hand didn't get a single bit of hunger.

Based on this I did a bit of research and found out that because of the extra 500 kcals required for men, this means that for roughly the first week of the week we need to eat a 4th meal packet each day. That is until we enter the state: Ketosis where the body begins to cannibalise it's fat stores, then apparently hunger ceases and men no longer require the 4th pack.

Because of this last night I had 2 packs for dinner to make up for me being super-insane hungry.

I wouldn't recommend doing that to anyone.

You know how Pot-Noodles if they are left turn into a solid mass of cement? The same happens to this stuff.

The thing is, normally a packet only has so much content so you can easily eat it before it cements. However eating two at once means that around the time you get 3/4 through the large bowl it solidifies and you're left with a horrible horrible mess to eat.

Under normal circumstances I'd say "Fuck This!" And quit, but I promised my wife that I would do it to help support her as she wanted to do it.

So despite all of this, I'm duking it out and making it through the 6 week program.


Maybe it's unrelated, but I was super amazed to find myself extremely tired, as in come 20:00 I closed my eyes and essentially didn't open them again until 07:00 this morning.


Well now I'm off to work, have an MS Office training course to attend, but even though the course is in Central London, I still need to pop into the office as I forgot to take my directions/address with me when I left work yesterday.


So that's it for now. Stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 3 September 2013

It's a day of firsts!

Good Tuesday everyone!

So I am back in the real world, after spending the weekend at my Father's in deepest darkest Wales where believe it or not there was no signal for almost the entire time!

It was hell!

But the fun starts today (and by fun I mean that ironically) as not only am I back at work, but it is also the first day of a 6 week long diet.

Now I must admit, the word diet for me is very much a swear word, but it was something my wife wanted to do and at the very least I am doing it to support her, and I could do a lot to loose a few inches from my belly.


So what can I say about the weekend? Not much to be honest beyond that I had the great joy of picking up ALL my old models from my GW days, including 2nd Edition Marines and 'Nids along with 3rd Edition Skaven.

Now I must be honest, the collection is poor, poorly painted, and very much incomplete, but it's where I started, and it will be nice to go back and reprint them to my current standard.

I also had the joy of grabbing my Blood Bowl stuff, including the basic box, what I think is most of a Skaven team and an Undead team.

Tied with that I also got to pick up my 40k 2nd Ed copy of Space Hulk! This is a game that I've NEVER played, but owned for ages, so I'm looking forward to giving that a go after repainting the Genestealers and Terminators.

Now, last but not least, I even got to grab a few things that I am super happy to grab!

First was my collection of Action Figures from university, largely made up of the work of Todd McFarlain (sp?)

And of course lets not forget... DOOM the board game!!

I am so happy to get this back, it's something I've been looking forward to for a long time.


Now that was not all I did the weekend, I also spent time with my good friend Tom and had far too many drinks with my Father.

On Sunday we came back and it was so great to do so. Visiting friends and family is great, but there really is nothing like home.


And so now I'm on my way to work, and until at least October I have no more time off other than weekends.

I'll be honest, after having a week off, then the bank holiday followed by a 4 day weekend, the idea of many weeks at work full time is daunting, especially when I'm unable to supplement myself with coke and chocolates.

But moaning aside, things are looking positive!

I'm going to be resuming my exam revision this week, and we should be seeing the return of New Fairbank Radio as well!


On that note, stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley