Wednesday, 27 November 2013

A new medium for Wyrd, but is it a new direction?

Good Wednesday everyone!

A bit of a short one today that I suspect some may/will see as a moan/bitch, but anyway...

So yesterday Wyrd revealed the contents of their Black Friday sale

There's a lot to look at here, but only one thing that I think is fair discussing as it doesn't bring the issue of taste and art into it, and that is the mention of 'opaque' sculpts.
It can be better seen in this shot:

So what do you think?

I look at these and something I find very interesting is the comments that comes with it, that these sculpts are tournament legal when unpainted or 'naked'.

It's interesting because previously naked models were not tournament legal for Wyrd, instead they needed to be both painted and based.

Now I am assuming that basing is still required, but this suggests to me that if these models are suitable straight out of the box then in which case there is a possibility Wyrd themselves are seeing the models more as 'game pieces' and less as 'hobby miniature'.

For me if this is the case, I would not be 100% surprised, after all one of the reasons I fell out with v2 Malifaux was because it felt more 'gamey' to me and less of a fun social experience.

When you factor in Wyrd's involvement in making board games (Puppet Wars and Kingdoms) and card games (Evil Baby Orphanage, Jetpack Unicorn and that other one [i forget it's name]) it does seem that Wyrd are moving more and more into a general 'Games Company' and less into miniatures.

Is this just a natural evolution in today's market based on supply and demand? Maybe but it takes a twist when you factor in that Wyrd started as a company who were only making miniatures, and that it was only after they made the models did their initial rules for Malifaux surface.

Anyway, I'll leave this for now, I'd be interested in hearing your thoughts on the matter, in particular if you think that Wyrd are shifting into being a Games Company rather than a Miniatures Company, but also if you think this is a good or bad, after all change does not have to be bad!

Stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Ad Nauseum

Good Saturday everyone!

Currently I am on a train on my way to the office as I have to work today supervising a deep clean - woo!

But I would like to very quickly share with you the final realisation of literally years of deliberation.


So you regularly hear the question asked:
If you could only watch one more film for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Ok I admit, I am normally the one asking that question... But it's still a valid question.

For literally years I have struggled with this question.

Just what would I want to be the only film I watch? With something like 500+ films in my collection just what would be the film I would be happy to watch over and over again?

Would it be Fight Club? The clever film that speaks for so many men of my generation?

Would it be Back to the Future? A wonderful family film that never really gets old?

Perhaps it would be Repo:A Genetic Opera?

Well today I realised what the answer was:

James Cameron's Aliens.

I know, big surprise right? -Yeah that was sarcasm, it's only my favourite film in the world ever!

But until this point I have been unwilling to say that I would pick this film. The reason? Because it bothers me that if it was the only film I was able to see, if I would grow to resent and dislike it, and how terrible that would be for me.

This morning however I realised where I was going wrong, how I was looking at this from the wrong side.

The question is not: "what film would I want to watch over and over again?" The question is actually: "What 1 film do I not want to loose from my life? What film has made me a better person, sparked my imagination and driven me to achieve? What film can I not bear to live without?"

And in answering that the result can only be Aliens.

If anyone tells you there is a deeper meaning to the film, then they're just being a pretentious ass justifying their over priced media studies degree. There is absolutely no deeper meaning.

Aliens is an Action-Horror-Sci Fi film, it fits snugly in that small genre and performs exceedingly well there, but it is less the film itself and what it has done for my life which is why I can not bring myself to imagine a world where this film does not exist.

It is based on my love for this full that I am who I am, this film and what has come from this film has given me the strength, courage and need to do many things that I would not have it it had not been for this film.

I have made many life long friends on the back of this film, I have joined, inherited and nurtured an online gaming clan in the game AvP, which had it not been for Aliens would have never existed.

It was this online community which nurtured me with both the bottle and the cane through my angst filled teenage years and saw me emerge a better man because of it.

So much has happened in my life that is either a direct or indirect result of this film and it is for all these reasons and more that I am declaring this film, Aliens as the film I would pick if I could only see one more film for the rest of my life.

It is on that note that I bid you good day, stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

An interesting shift

Good Wednesday everyone!

Today I'm here to discuss an interesting shift I have noticed within the Malifaux community.

- Disclaimer
While I may not have made the move to v2, I still keep in contact with a lot of people who did, and almost all the blogs and podcasts I used to/still do read and listen have made the move.

Anyway, I'm not going to name drop anyone as depending on how you take this post it might be seen as an attack, and I don't want to attack people, especially when it comes to writing blogs and recording podcasts.

So one of the reasons I jumped into the Malifaux Twitter community - for the record there is (or was) a massive difference between those on twitter and those on the message boards. Anyway, one of the reasons was the attitude. There was hardly any competitive nature, quite the opposite, I would regular read and hear from a plethora of sources about how they were 'competing' for the wooden spoon.

No, instead the discussion was almost never about tactics, but instead about the models themselves, their emotional experiences, their upcoming plans and everything else tied into the game but almost never about tactics.

Sure there were the occasional discussion of tactics things like "how does Player X make use of Molly effectively", but they were the exception never the rule.

Now we're in a whole new world. I could list you countless numbers of blogs that almost exclusively deal with either tactics or game theory, and every single -Malifaux- podcast now focuses on tactics and how to use models well, talking about the models themselves rather than the players behind the models.

Is this a coincidence? Perhaps, but I'm not sure.

V1/1.5 of Malifaux was (apparently) not optimised well for tournaments, where as v2 is (apparently) extremely optimised for that.

Does the focus of the game on bringing out the competition and tournament scene almost lead people down that path? If reading the v2 rules had sparked some joy in me and I had jumped into the game, would I now be discussing how to best play Dreamer in wave 2?

Maybe, but remember, I'm not a competitive player, I never have been and I never will. The few tournaments I've ever been to, I've never focused on playing games, it's been all about meeting people and getting to meet the gamers, not the game.

But I can go on about this all day "What if X" or "Why Y" and I'm not going to play that game.

But it's a shame, my podcast listening I used to need roughly 2 hands to count on, now I don't even need 1 whole hand.

Same with blogs.

Is the content on these products bad? In most cases, no. They are well written posts and good recordings.

If someone was to come to me and ask about advice on playing certain masters, or about how to improve your game then I know exactly where to send them.

The problem I have; I don't have an interest in reading or listening to it myself.

It's a shame, and one I am not happy about as it means I am by choice distancing myself more and more from people who not long ago I called friends and peers, but it's a choice that I have made none the less.

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

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

I have a job!!

Good Tuesday everyone!

Just a small update from me today.

So for those who don't know, the company I work for have been going through a restructure plan for the past 6 months, part of this restructure is merging 3 areas into 1, which of course means only 1 finance team, so like the sword of Damocles I've had the possibility of loosing my job to redundancy hanging over my head.


Well, 6 months, many many meetings and updates, countless BS sessions and being reassured so much that "we understand this is a difficult and trouble time for everyone" crap they have finally been able to tell me the only thing that I want to know:

Do I have a job?


As you can probably tell from the title of this post: yes I do!

What is more, my assistant is being promoted to peer and we are making up 2/3rds of the new payroll team! This is fantastic news as we get on really well both as personalities and work wise, plus she knows how to take the crap I deal out and sling it right back at me, and as my wife rightfully put it, anyone who has worked with/for me and survived really should put it on their CV as it's one hell of an achievement!


Anyway, I'm declaring tonight a night of celebration, and to mark the occasion I will begin compiling Dr Loxley's Manual of Monsters!
- Beta testers should expect to see this in this week's update.

Luckily a large amount of this has already been covered in my blog as I've introduced Beasties with short stories, this is good as it means most of the work is done, just a few short stories to write this week, format and arrange, and BAM! One Beasty supplement!

On that note I'll return you all to your evening viewing.

Stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 18 November 2013

Painting, Computers and more

Good Monday everyone!

I trust you have all had a good weekend.

Mine was a combination of joy and frustration.

So Friday came and the evening was spent on the sofa, brushes in hand doing some painting. After all with my computer out if service I had nothing to do with it.

I spent about 4 hours in total painting, and I must be honest, it feels like I've done next to nothing.

Most of my time was spent lightening up the skin on my demons and Neverborn, but annoyingly so, when I look back at the work I've done, they don't 'really' look any different.

That was annoying, but I will withhold judgement until they're finished.


Alongside painting we were also using the time to clear some of the skybox hdd, involving the last three episodes of Dexter I had yet to watch.

Now I don't know about everyone else, but I've been a massive fan of this show since Episode 2 of Series 1 (Episode 1's Dexter wasn't likeable enough) but I feel that this ending to the show did not do it justice.

I know it was supposed to be emotive etc, but all I walked away with was a feeling that Dexter was a prick and not the likeable character that I had been watching up until this point.

It was almost as if the writers didn't want to commit to an actual final ending for him, so copped out and chose the middle ground: "making him happy would annoy those who want justice", while "making him pay for his crimes would annoy those who want him happy" so instead they went for "we'll go down the 'meh' route instead!"


Anyway, Saturday came and with it my new graphics card!

I was so excited, like a child on Xmas morning. I installed it, ran a game, and then sat there gob-smacked as a card developed in 2011 turned out worse than my 2008 card.

Yeah I didn't really do my research so it's my own fault to be honest. My previous card was a HD 4850 and was beautiful! It would run the latest games at maximum quality with an average FPS of about 30-40, which is more than playable if you MUST have max graphics. The only drawback was the lack of DX11.

My new card is a HD 6450, so a whole two generations higher, it would stand to reason that it should be better.

It was also super cheap at only £30.

Yeah... What was running at 30FPS now ran at 3.

I was annoyed, but more so at myself for not checking this out first.

I had a look at some benchmark tables and found my old GPU had a score in the 400s, my new card, in the 200s.

It's really not for games.

Apparently it's awesome for watching films etc, but rendering games? Yeah...

But it works. If I turn the quality down low I can still play lots of my fave games, and that's better than the current state of my old card which won't even stay powered on for more than 10 mins.

So now I play the waiting game, waiting for Friday the 29th to roll around so that I can buy another graphics card, a HD7750, which has a benchmark score of just over 1000! So well over double the power of my old card. This time, it will be good!


Anyway, the weekend passed, now I'm on my way to work.

It's annoying as it's going to be a 6 day week as I have to work Saturday. The good news however is that I get next Monday off as a result.

So on that note, take care and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Friday, 15 November 2013

The Failure (Of Modern Technology)

Good Friday everyone!

Today I was hoping to bring you some painting updates, but sadly that was not possible last night.

You see I got home at the usual time, spent time with the youngling, had dinner and did my studying.

While powering up my computer however I noticed something very strange: green dotted lines along the start up, and crazy strobes along the desktop once it had started.

I knew what that was, it's the classic sign of a failing graphics card. But I thought: "stay calm, just reboot and see what happens".

So I did, and thankfully no more strobes etc.

I counted myself lucky before doing my studies followed by going for a bath.

Following said bath I logged quickly onto WoW and TSW to do some crafting, and I noticed that something didn't feel right. The colours were off, and the framer are just felt... Wrong.

Anyway, I shut everything down as was prepping to do some painting when I noticed strobing again.

Oh no...

So I did some more tests, about an hours worth gathering info, removing the card and cleaning it, reinstalling drivers, nothing worked! Instead it just got worse and worse where eventually it wouldn't stay on for more than about 10 mins before BSODing.

Anyway, onto my phone I go and a purchase later I am expecting a new graphics card in the mail to arrive on Saturday.

I'm not happy about it, after all I love my card! It's four years old but performs like a pro, and I'm concerned that the new one despite being technically better in every way, it just won't give me the same reliability, but oh well, we'll see.

The good news however: being without a computer means that tonight I'll have nothing but painting to keep me occupied!

Stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Time to get my paint on!

Good Thursday everyone!

- Seriously can you believe we're already at Thursday? Where's this week gone?

Just a small one today (that's what she said!) so in the past month or so I've done absolutely no painting or modelling at all, in fact where I left off with my models is as follows:

As you can see, my Malifaux models are pretty much under coated and that's about it!

My Hell Dorado are a bit further along:

Still a lot of work to do, but that's why it's time to get my brushes out and give it some wellie!

Of course I'm going to work right now, so I can't do it straight away, but tonight! Oh tonight I will!

You see a few weeks ago I picked up some new tools including a large flat white tile (I understand they're good for paint manipulation) as well as some Clear Red for making fun gore on my Demons.

With hope I will stick to my convictions and have some more photos for you soon.

I do have another photo to share with you:

This is Simon. Simon was bought back in July 2011 while we were furniture shopping in prep for the Youngling's arrival.

Well it is with great sadness and total serious that I have to share the news that with the recent cold snap we've had, Simon got very unwell and on Tuesday evening was declared dead.

I'll miss you Simon.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Weekend Catchup & CRYPTS Update

Good Tuesday everyone!

No idea why but for some reason I couldn't sign into my blog or twitter. How strange.
I sure hope nothing happened...

Anyway, I hope you all had a good weekend? Me, mine was good, great even! If not a little tiring (read VERY tiring).

It all started Friday evening when I resigned myself to completing the initial works on CRYPTS.

Wow what a task! But was worth every minute!

We now have 12 Beasties, 60 Loot Cards, 4 Bosses and 20 Encounters.

More so than anything, I am very pleased with the bosses, each one featuring a different style of mechanic.

How they are deployed in the game is really up to the Keeper (CRYPTS' version of a GM) but I prefer having 1 set aside to auto spawn in a room of your choice, and then if the BOSS card is flipped elsewhere in the encounter list, picking one at random from those left.

All that is left from the core set is to redo the loot cards to reflect the background change from MaliQuest to CRYPTS, and at a later point think of some more fun names. At the moment they're things like "Common Sword" and "Uncommon Shield".

Fancy helping out and sculpting this game into something we all want to play? Shoot me an email:

"What is next?" I hear you ask! Well the first Optional Expansion "CRYPTS:Trinity" is basically done and in need of testing along with the rest of the game, so no need to really worry about that.

No, what is next is my attempt at writing a proper rule book for the game, including of course Dr Loxley's Manual of Monsters, featuring both fluff and rules for both beasties and bosses!

What fun!!


Anyway, Saturday was fun, we did lots of cleaning and prepared for Sunday...

Sunday, the day I was kind if dreading, my little Moo's 2nd birthday!

Now I was dreading this for one reason alone: I hate entertaining. Absolutely loath it. But over all I think it went really well, and most importantly, Mini Moo had a great time, and let's be honest, even if everyone else has a horrid time, what matters is that she enjoys her birthday.

In the evening we got to wind down and finally relax, and that was spent eating left over party food and finishing the Story Missions from The Secret World.

-Awesome game by the way! Something I would love to do would be create a blog chronicling my adventures in that game up to this point and beyond, but there's no way I'll have the time to do that.


And there we have it!

Hope you all had a great weekend, and until next time; stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 11 November 2013

A Friendly Takeover


Hel&o is th£s thing wo*k%ng?
H@ld on


Ok how's that? Ah it's coming in much clearer now!

Ok, right: shit this is much harder than I thought it would be: ok delete that. No delete it! For fuck's sake!

Ok let's start again shall we?

How to start this? Friends, Romans, Countrymen, lend me your ears! All your base are belong to us! Fuck I don't know.

Ok I have it. Start now!

Citizens on the World Wide Web: You are being deceived!

As you read this there are powers that are conspiring in keeping us apart. They will stop at nothing from stopping this message, which is why I have chosen to feature it in the one place they would never look: the private blog of a massive nerd.

I feel I should apologise at this point to the owner of this, Mr Loxley, I'm sorry but I assure you it is important, and as soon as I am done with this message control will be restored to you, you may do with this message as you see fit.


If you are reading this then my message has gotten past their filters and I can tell you who I am.


My name as far as you are concerned is Skorn. And while my true identity may remain shrouded, know that I am your friend.

For the past 6 or so months I have been with a small group if agents working for an organisation that from this point on will be referred to as only "The Company".

To some we are the enemy, and while our actions may seem extreme at times, know that we are your friends, wishing only to protect your best interests.

As I said before however, you have been deceived. There are operatives in London, Seoul, Venice and Tokyo who do not share our good nature, and there are some even within the company who would see me hanged for simply sending this message.

You see, it was not long ago that I didn't care for the fate of humanity. My soul burned and I wished to see the world burn with it. But then I met some special people, and one in particular, let's call then I and H.

They reminded me that some lives are worth saving.

H, if you are reading this, you more so than anyone, you saved me. Fuck you guided my actions and saved the world as a result!

I don't know what would have happened if that prison was destroyed, if the fucking monster within was unleashed on this world, and while you were not with my physically, it was your hand that guided mine to repair the seals and lock the fucker away for centuries more! Oh and I, you helped too!

I'm sorry, I am getting side tracked.

And so, for those reading this, know that you are not alone. This world does have heroes and we are fighting to protect it from evil. For now it is safe, but tomorrow, the day after? It may not be so. And as long as there are others conspiring to bend it to their will you will not be safe.

I hope in time I can speak to you again, but I'm already getting an alarm, they are starting to track my signal and I need to relocate.

I'll leave you with this: beware the whispers! They lie! And beware Orochi!

There is a world behind ours, a secret world, and they hope to control all if it.

- This is Agent Skorn signing off

>>>>>>>>>SIGNAL LOST

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Another day with some general chit chat

Good Wednesday everyone!

So we're halfway through the week already! And my has it been a good week so far.

It's funny really, even the bad parts have been good.


Monday evening I did a bit more work on CRYPTS and completed the 3 Aspect cards for the starting 3 Aspects. They will be going out in this week's update, but I hope before then to complete the Beasty cards for Others.

I'm also thinking about duel weapons and if they should have an effect? My initial thoughts are that if you have 2 of the same type (and by type I mean 2 1handed melee or 2 1handed range) then whichever you decide to attack with you roll +1 d6 to hit. Not sure about that, will need to test it out.


We've also had a few issues at home what with the fireworks and my little one having a bad cold/cough. For the past couple of days she's been waking up in the late evening and needing attention and soothing to calm her back down, but then what do I expect by having neighbours who think it's ok to launch fireworks in a residential area where people have young children that need their sleep? It's just selfish twats being selfish twats and wasting their money on gunpowder rather than actually putting it where it matters (like bringing their family out of a lifestyle a-kin to a Jeremy Kyle contestant) but no matter, they'll keep doing what they do, and we'll keep reassuring our Mini Moo that she's safe and loved, and she'll give us that loving smile as we take her back to bed.


Yesterday I had the joy of winning an eBay auction for Sarah! It's a present that I hope she'll love for Christmas.

You see over the past few years I've been constantly upping and upping the grade on presents. It all started when I got her a Slanket (a blanket with sleeves) and ever since I've had to outdo the year previous.

The Slanket was beaten by a Onesie with inbuilt feet and hood with detachable mittens and last year that was beaten by among other things, a replacement ring for her old and damaged engagement ring along with a ThinkGeek charm bracelet and USB powered toasty hand warmers. This year is looking to be the best yet, but obviously I can't reveal why here (yet).


Anyway, things are looking good, my studies for my next exam are coming along and I hope to be ready for it in time on 30th November but until then, I still have a lot to go over, but not much time to do so, but still it's the last exam of this year, and assuming I pass it first time, in January/February I'll be sitting my final exam of the level. If that's all good, then that's AAT Level 2 done! Then it's on with level 3! :'(

Anywho, time to let you all get back to your own wonderful lives! Thanks for stopping by, take care, stay safe and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 4 November 2013

A Brave New World

Good Monday everyone!

You know I had an interesting discussion earlier today that reminded me of something I was meaning to discuss with you all at some point earlier but never got around to it.

So I mentioned in an earlier post about how we are mere months away from the two year anniversary of this blog, and extremely briefly touched on the highs and lows of that, but I hardly invested into those points, and honestly I think that based on what happened it is worth talking about.


Truth be told however, I think this started long before that, going back to June 2012 when I held the latest SquigFest.

I got a liking for running demos of Malifaux, for sharing my love of the game and having others bask on that love.

I realised that despite my fears and concerns, that I should volunteer my time as a Henchman, and from there Dr Loxley's MaliDAZE were born.

Compared to a lot of people the time and effort I invested into being a Wyrd Henchman was pretty minimal, but it was all I could offer.

While there I made some good friends, some of whom I keep in contact with via Facebook, email and Skype, there is also the shop staff as well who were always welcoming and understanding and never shy when it came to stoking my ego over the effort I was making, even when times got quiet and the interest began to dry up.


But then we entered a new era, one where perhaps Malifaux and my time as a Henchman began to take a back seat, and MaliQuest took centre stage.

It pretty much began with an interview, which I discussed back And from this over 300 cards were printed and sleeved, a 3 hour long SkypeQuest began and the foundation of New Fairbank Radio was made as to cover the beta testing of the game.

Things were looking good! Great even!


It was then we entered a twilight for the blog, as Wyrd went ahead and released v2 of Malifaux, and by changing how a few mechanics worked pulled the wool out from under the feet of MaliQuest.

In this dark time I did wonder if this was an intended bonus for them, but I always knew it was not, that my work on MaliQuest didn't even register on their radar, and I think that was a realisation I didn't want to admit.

I had worked so hard on this game, and with a single sweep felt that it was defunct and moot.

I was hurt and that coloured my interactions from that point on.

Let's not forget to call a chair a chair however. There other situations, transactions and paradigm shifts that I wouldn't support, all of which eventually lead to me handing in my Henchman status and also stepping away from the Malifaux v2 race.

It was then that twilight turned to night...


It was after my decision not to play Malifaux 2.0 that things started looking really bleak for my hobby and online sanity. With the rest of my gaming community excited for v2, I as left behind. Like the party boat had set sail but because of one reason or another I had missed it.

It was then that things started to take a turn.

It was small to begin with, but later became apparent.

Some people (you know who you are) despite all of this, the paranoid wailing, the bitching and moaning, the mud slinging and doom mongering, they stuck by me, and without even meaning to, their kindness and tolerance pulled me out the other end.


It was then we reached the dawn of the new world of New Fairbank.

With the lessons learned from a year of work MaliQuest was converted to CRYPTS and as I speak is in closed alpha testing, being built up to a stage where it is nearly ready to be released in the free prototype form.

I've still got those great friends, and now I walk into this brave new world with them. We may not have the unifying game of -Malifaux- to bind us, but instead we have something better, something greater, something that I can't quite put my finger on, but it's there, as real and as solid as the brickwork of my home and the foundations it's built on.

So yes dear readers, it's been one hell of a year, but you know what? I wouldn't have changed a thing!

Stay safe, and I'll see you Cryptside!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley