Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Yet Another Day in the Block - Part 5 (A First Law: Override short story)

On returning to Honos, Tannus quickly reacquainted himself with his previous Block based lodgings. Tannus had assumed that Brooks would have cancelled his own apartment, but Tannus had not done the same. He had known his time on the Bastion would be brief and even if it raised flags and questions, it was easier than the alternative and right now accommodation worries were the last thing on his mind.

The first task that needed to be achieved was that of contacting the Trydan. As Tannus had already established that his latest target was a member he knew that it was only through infiltrating their closed ranks that he would find the data he needed and get to the bottom of just what was going on.

Tannus had always assumed getting the attention of the Trydan would be easy, after all if the rumours and stories were to be believed it was them who tapped every comms transmit and every trade across the Block be them legal or otherwise. Surely in situations like this you needed only make it abundantly clear that you wished to speak with them and they would send a representative.

Two days passed and Tannus had heard nothing. He wondered if perhaps the rumours were just false, maybe the Trydan were no more omnipresent than any of the other gangs who claimed to own the Block. It was at that point that he received a nock on his door. Checking the digi-viewer Tannus saw that no one stood on the other side, and with a slight creek he opened the door and looked from side to side. Sure enough there was no one there nothing but a small tripod robot no bigger than a foot or two in height. It's form appeared less like the traditional box-shaped machines employed by Humans or even the thick plated orbs designed by the Kratel Regime, instead it's spindly blade like limbs looked more like the pseudo robots utilised by the Red Claw who salvaged what little tech they could from others but augmented it with decorative blades and bones, but those machines were faulty and poorly maintained, responding to orders via jerky movements and almost involuntary spasms. This however was sleek and responsive, more like the totemic guardians employed by the Hydan engineers, only unlike those machines complete with ornate curved chassis and finely tuned forms, this appeared almost deadly, venomous even.

Tannus shook his head in disbelief, it was impossible! All machines in current circulation were first law enabled. It would be impossible for one of these to harm him. Even if it's owner wished it, it's first law programming would kick in and render it temporarily inactive. When he returned his gaze to the link-bot's location the machine was gone, no sign of it beyond small pock marks in the dirt where it's spindly, blade-like limbs had carried it away. At his feet Tannus noticed a small rectangular data card, no bigger than a manual payment card, reaching down he picked it up and carefully pressed his thumb against the screen activating it. With a green hue it illuminated displaying a single message:
Region: 452, Sector 98, Room 67

This was what Tannus had been waiting for, a direct invitation by the Trydan, or at least that was what Tannus hoped.

Tannus left immediately for the address provided on the digi-screen. The invite had not specified a date or time, but he was not going to let this opportunity pass him by. He waited only long enough to grab his coat and sidearm. The pistol would be far from ideal should he enter a fire fight, but it was discrete and the explosive tipped ammunition it carried packed a surprising punch.

Water dropped down the walls of Sector 98, pooling in small sickly brown puddles as Tannus paced quickly to room 67. This region had seen better days and appeared to Tannus to be nearly derelict. Certainly if the region was not currently condemned, it was only a matter of months away.

As the Wraith made his way past the early sixty rooms he detected a strong smell. It burned through his inbuilt filter and collected in his nostrils like an acrid smoke. The smell was unmistakable; Zip. Zip was the street name for a particularly popular drug used throughout the Block. It heightened the users senses, made it appear at if colours were brighter, sounds richer and deeper and smells had layers to them undetectable by normal standards. It was also cheap to produce, so almost anyone could manufacture it, sell it at a price obtainable to even the most desperate in the Block and still make a profit for themselves. As the smell intensified, Tannus knew he was heading in the right direction.

The door to room 67 was nondescript. Even the door number had been removed, but it took no time at all to establish which room was the right one, and with a heavy fist Tannus rapped his knuckles on the hard faux-wooden door. The sound rang out in such a way only possible from the plasteel composite made from low grade materials, and after a few short moments the door opened.

What began as nothing more than a small gap quickly opened in full and a huge waft of sickly smoke poured out from behind the door. Within the doorway stood a single Hydan wearing a thick external breathing mask, it's tendril like pipes connecting to a single large atmo-container strapped to his back. His eyes were obscured by what appeared to be welding goggles and his clothing was a combination of tattered black trousers with a torn red tshirt. The Hydan nodded at Tannus before quickly beckoning him to enter the room.

Inside Room 67 there appeared to be little normal lighting, instead a series of half burned out candles provided limited illumination. Tannus expected this was for many reasons, but largely due to a lack of supplied power to the entire sector. The walls were bare except for large patches of exposed metal where the interior insulation wall had been corroded over years of neglect and the floor was nothing more than a series of exposed cables and wires. At some point, Tannus imagined, these wires would have carried both power and data across the entire sector and out into the Block. Now they were nothing more than a fused mess.

The masked Hydan lead Tannus through the apartment and into a small side room. Tannus assumed that this had once been a bed room, which of course would have placed this apartment has of a higher class than his single 'open plan' apartment he had called home for the past number of years. Once inside the masked Hydan removed his breathing mask and let it hang limply on his chest. His facial features instantly recognisable, this was Turen Kopa, the Trydan member who's re-breather filter he had found at the exchange site.

"You gotta be careful ou' there with th' gas" exclaimed the Turen. His voice sounded strange, almost human in it's tone and use of language "tha' shit will burn through ya' breather faster than ma' mamma's cookin'".

Turen scanned Tannus' face, noting the lines of confusion that crossed it like a map of the Block itself "My apologies friend" Turen continued "I have spent a lot of time with the Humans here, they are my primary customer, and I find it easier to speak in a way that they understand".

Tannus nodded, he had to admit, Turen's ability to mimic Human mannerisms was a talent in itself.

"So what would you like? I am afraid I am all out of Zip at the moment, brewing a new batch right now, but I have Fives, Blues, Reds even some Murples if you like?" Turen stopped pausing for a moment before tilting his head to the side, his bone covered scalp glistened in the candle light revealing a series of dark engravings, the same type used by both Hydan priests and Trydan gang members.

"I know what you need" Turen continued, you're after the good stuff, right? Nectar! Tell me friend is it Blue or Green? I'm all out of Red at the moment, but due some stock pretty soon" Tannus knew what Turen spoke of. Nectar was the name of given to one of the most illicit of drugs in the Block. The process of making Nectar was a long one, first the right amount of other drugs were needed, a whole cocktail in fact. These drugs were then ingested in the usual manner by a host, sometimes willing but more often, not. Then once the drugs were swimming in their system a combination of bodily fluids including blood and spinal fluid was drained, filtered and contained. Green was Hydan, Blue being Kratel and Red, Human. The mere mention of this supply angered Tannus in ways he could not put into words, but despite all of the mixed emotions of rage and anguish, Tannus’ resolve remained. With a cool head he locked eyes with Turen.

“Actually, I'm after something a little different, how would I go about sourcing a Shock Drive?”

The words rang through Turen like alarm bells as the Trydan’s eyes widened in both shock and realisation.

“It's you!” Turen almost spat the words “You’re him! The boss, the boss said you wouldn’t…” His voice trailing out as he quickly looked around the room he was stood in. It was clear there were no weapons available, and the only door out was blocked by Tannus. The Trydan gulped hard, and with a lightning fast reaction thrust his palm into Tannus’ throat, the bulk of his strike forced hard against Tannus’ own re-breather filter. Tannus balked in reaction, the sudden pain taking him by surprise in a way that he had never experienced before.

Before the Wraith could react Turen had turned, unslung his breathing apperatus and sprinted at full force towards the carbon fibre treated window of the room and dived through. Tannus, gasping for air followed behind, clutching at the wall as his re-breather quickly began to fail. Already he could feel the trace toxic elements seeping in from the neighbouring room, mixing in with the foul human atmosphere mixed in equal portions with pollution and all manner of unknown chemicals. Tannus looked to the floor and reached for the atmo-tube and breathing mask discarded by Turen. It was heavy and bulky as he slid the tube into his back and grasped the mask to his mouth. Tannus was unsure if it would do the job, but it was either this or risk exposure to the inhospitable atmosphere of Honos. Tannus clutched the mask with both hands and fell to the floor breathing deeply. Already the pain in his chest was lessening as he smelt the familiars of Hydan air. With all his might the Wraith picked himself up off the floor and followed Turen through the open window.


And so ends another part of Yet Another Day in the Block.


I'm willing to go on the record and tell you that this is not the first you will see of Turen Kopa. I can't go into much, but he is a character that I am looking to write into Book 1 as a Reaver Merc with a rather special skill and set of talents.

I hope you like where this is going. I find that I really enjoy writing about the exploits of Tannus. As a Wraith he is almost like our very own James Bond and when you compare to the other focal characters we currently have:

Paul Homes: Independent Bounty Hunter (I have something planned for him and the 612 Bounty Store in either Book 2, or probably Book 3, but trust me, that will be fun!!)

Bal'Tek: Reaver Hunter-Killer. Expect more about him in book 1, but you should see him really come to the fore in Book 2.

Jinn: Reaver Ghost. As it stands we have possibly seen most that Jinn can offer you. I was super happy with the Wetware story and I think it was my best yet.

The others have yet to have short stories about them, but these all have different feels to them. Bal'Tek as the destructive but insanely loyal puppy, Homes as the film noir detective, Jinn the kid who got in over his head and Tannus, the secret agent who would defy his own agency to close a case and find the truth.
- I realise there is a similarity here between Homes and Tannus, which is why I have done my best to portray Brooks (Tannus' partner) as a polar opposite to Homes.

Anyway, hope you have enjoyed this part of the story and I hope to return soon with more!

Until then; stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

BTTF: How Marty Saved & Condemned Our Tech

Greetings friends!

So today is the day! 07:29 (Californian Time), so that's 14:29 GMT+1 on 21st October 2015 was when Marty McFly and Doc Brown made their journey from 1985 in a flying car.

No doubt if you have any sort of social media presence you'll have seen example after example of what the film got right, and what it got wrong, but I have yet to see a single example of why actually both versions of 2015 can coincide. Instead it is just repost after repost of this:

I understand the joke and I get it, but I am here to tell you all -why- that version of 2015 is so different and how the Back to the Future Trilogy not only allows for the differences, but requires there to be differences!


Let's look at the film.

In BTTF2 we see the lead characters go into the (then) future of 2015 where everything is powered by fusion generating rubbish machines, flying cars, cyberpunk headgear, hoverboards by Mattel and fax machines EVERYWHERE!!

Then thanks to what is essentially the plot of the film they end up changing the past by Biff as an old man going back to see his younger self in 1955.

This is explained with good ol' use of chalk and a blackboard:

This explanation of changing something in the past which will go on to change the present via alternative versions of time is something that has been used and emulated in numerous other TV and films, essentially because "BTTF got time travel right", or at least as best we understand through physics.

This is crucial, this is the bit of the film which defines EVERYTHING that comes afterwards.

When the third film begins we see that Doc Brown is destined to die in 1885, however as a result of the events in that film Marty saves his life along with the life of the Doc's new love. In other words he has changed something in the past which will have effects on the 1985 present and subsequent futures. However considering the Doc proceeds to almost straight away go exploring time with a greater understanding of how effects can change time, it is unlikely that this would have -much- of an effect on the timeline beyond that these characters were still alive, after all as they are now essentially time lords, they are pretty much outside of the timeline.

Now, let us momentarily go back to Part 2 of the film series where we are told that the reason Marty never really amounted to anything in later life was after he received nerve damage following a car accident, that same car accident that through the events of Part 3, Marty avoids at the very end of the series.

Now Marty and Jennifer are not separate from the timeline as their access to a time machine are now null and void, instead they are very much present in time from 1985 to 2015, only now Marty is not suffering from nerve damage and is still playing guitar.

Yup, thanks to chaos theory and Marty's accident being the butterfly and 2015 being the tsunami, because of this one event it means that both Marty & Jennifer are now present in an alternative timeline.

If the Doc was to turn up again after that accident was avoided and take them back to 2015 again, they would see our version of 2015, not the version they saw in Part 2.


So yes, the fact that your car doesn't run off rubbish, nor does it fly, nor can you buy a hoverboard from Mattel is all thanks to Marty McFly from avoiding that accident and carrying on playing guitar... Yup that future was essentially killed by Marty's music career!

But before you start getting into a froth and sending hate mail to Michael J Fox for ruining our present, remember this goes both ways.

Yes we don't have flying cars and hover boards, but we also have better 3D animation, wireless technology and email! I mean seriously, how rubbish would our lives be if we still used faxes as our primary form of message sending?


So there we have it, I hope you've been following along at home, and I would love to hear your thoughts on the matter, but let's be honest; if I am right with this then not only was the film series thoroughly entertaining, but they even put in clauses to ensure that if 2015 isn't like their version, then it won't be seen as a joke (a la Space 1999).

I hope you enjoyed this chat, and until next time, stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 20 October 2015

Another Hobby Update

Greetings friends!

Today i'd like to share with you where I am with my hobby pledge.

So Week 1 was to complete my gaming terrain for my 'generic scifi' board. As you can see from the pictures below this was a resounding success:

I have received some concerns that this board looks a little 'too generic scifi' and adding some flavour items to make it feel more Override-y would be a good thing. I really liked that idea and have been trying to reach out to a laser-cutting company to see if we can work together on this. FINGERS CROSSED!!

Week 2 was to base coat my Red Claw Kratel (or Infinity Morats to those of you unfamiliar with my proxies). This was met with mixed success. The hair and skin was done as intended, but I ran into some problems painting up the armour as I wanted it base coated black, but they came out a little -too- black. As such last night I was repainting their armour and clothes grey and applied a black wash to them:

The goal here is to provide suitable highlights for the areas which I want to remain black such as armour chunks, while the clothing will go into grey. The aim here is to create a shocking contrast between the muted armour and clothes to the vibrant red hair (except for Bal'Tek at the front there, he has white hair, so his armour will be a dark red in comparison. As a Merc (special character) I want him to stand out from the crowd.

This leaves me with half a week to do all the highlighting as well as painting the bases. This is not going to be easy, or even possible I don't think. As such I am extending my pledge to 3 weeks for the Red Claw. I could have maybe pushed ahead with their initial problems, but I fear I would have resulted in subpar models as a result, and that is not something I am willing to risk.

So my plan for the rest of this week is to work on the cloth areas and get them finished. That leaves me the armour and bases to go next week. I might even try and squeeze the base coat for the bases into this week if I can as at least then there will be a little bit more wiggle room.

Oh and of course there is the weapons... Damn I forgot about them! I'm hoping to make the blades a strong deep red so that they stand out as well, the guns however I'm not sure about. I am wondering about trying digital urban camouflage on them to give them a strong contrast with the 'all-black' of my Raider guns. Not sure, but I think that could look good, something like this which I believe is from GoW?

After all if the armour and clothes are black and grey, it would make sense for the weapons to follow suit.

- oh and I forgot one last thing! Free hand shoulder work! Yup, I'm red I want to paint a handprint similar to this from Total Recall:

Don't know if I can pull it off, but in bright red I think that would make a perfect image for a group who call themselves The Red Claw!

Anyway, that's all from me for now! Until next time; stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Blood Bowl 2: A Second Opinion

Greetings friends and welcome to another Second Opinion with me Dr Loxley!

Today i'd like to share with you a game I've been playing for a short while which I think deserves it's own review. The game in question is of course, Blood Bowl 2 by Cyanide Studios.

Now I should probably point out that I played this game using the PC build however it is available on PS4 and Xbox One so different formats may give different results.

What is Blood Bowl 2?
Blood Bowl 2 is the fantasy (American) football sequel to Blood Bowl which was also developed by Cyanide Studios.

In Blood Bowl 2 you take the role of a new coach who has to sign up and lead your very own Blood Bowl team to victory. Now your team is no ordinary team as this game is set in the Warhammer World designed and developed by Games Workshop. As such you have a wide selection of fantasy races to choose from including Orcs, Elves, Chaos beast men, the rat-like Skaven and of course Humans to name but a few.

Victory however is achieved via a combination of punching the opposition into a bloody pulp and scoring touchdowns. Of course technically it is only by scoring touchdowns that you win a game, but it's a lot easier to do if the entire opposing team is face down in the dirt.

What is the History behind Blood Bowl 2?
Believe it or not we had to travel a long way to reach the Blood Bowl 2 stop in life, and I'm not talking in an existential or evolutionary way. No, Blood Bowl has had a very long and complex incubation complete with multiple births.

Originally a table top game designed by the before mentioned Games Workshop, Blood Bowl was played out on a board with a series of models per side. These models were ideally built and painted by you the player and the game would take place through dice rolls and square counting and statistic measuring.

Back in the 90s I had the pleasure of playing (and still to this day owning) Blood Bowl 3rd Edition however I personally had problems with the game. Namely there was a lot of maths involved and lots of things to remember including the wide range of skills your players may have.

Simply running to a spot on the board, first you needed to know how far your player could move. Then you could move additional spaces by rolling dice and being lucky. However if you wanted to move past opposing models then you needed to roll dice to dodge. What you had to roll was based largely on your own stats, however you would get modifiers or rerolls depending on your skills, and likewise the opponent would get modifiers depending on their skills. This was a lot of information to keep in your head and even to this day I get feelings of dread when I think about playing the game on a board again.

Then the game had its support dropped by Games Workshop and it came down to the community to instead develop their own versions of the rules, one such version is known affectionately as 'The Living Rulebook'. While I was not involved in that myself, I am familiar with those who were and could probably tell you a lot more about that than me.

Then around the mid naughties came a sudden twist. A company was developing a video game called Chaos League that promised to be 'not-Blood Bowl' on a computer.

The game was interesting at the least, it played pretty smoothly but was plagued with issues namely the fact that it really was Blood Bowl in a different name, however the lack of a brand recognition did not help it.

A few years later Games Workshop came along as said "we like what you did with Chaos League! How about you now make Blood Bowl for real?"

And so the first computer version of Blood Bowl was created featuring a few of the main races (Humans, Orcs, Elves, Skaven etc) the game was good, it was fun, but it still felt slow to me. Yes I no longer had to remember stats etc just to move a player as the game did all that for me, but there was something about the game that didn't play smoothly.

Then they released Legendary Edition. The same game but with a tonne of extra teams but little more else. This was then closely followed by Chaos Edition, same as Legendary only with the extra Chaos team.

Following Chaos Edition things went a little quiet before being announced that Cyanide were now working on the brand new Blood Bowl 2 which promised to take everything learned from all 3 previous versions of Blood Bowl and create an experience with better graphics, smoother gameplay and less of a barrier between player and game.

Which brings us up to today!

The Good
So what is there to Blood Bowl 2 that is good?

Well if we look at the previous goals of making the game prettier, smoother to play and less of a separation between player and game, I am happy to reveal that this has been achieved on all fronts!

As you can see from the screen shots, the game itself is beautiful and doesn't require a monster rig to make it look like this (no TitanX required) and not only is gameplay smoother, but the interface is much more intuitive than previous iterations of the game!

Gameplay while still being turn based consists of you clicking the player you want to manoeuvre and then clicking on a second point, this can be either an open space of ground to run to, or a friendly player to pass the ball, or an opposing player to tackle. If there is only 1 choice available to you (such as tackle the opponent) then your player does this automatically after receiving confirmation that you want to go ahead with the move, if however there is a choice then it gives you the list and let's you pick. You don't need to spend time thinking about the best route to run from A to B as it calculates it all for you and executes it perfectly! This has changed how the game plays meaning you can focus on what you want to do rather than how you are going to do it.

The same applies to building a team roster. If you want to, you can go through player selection one at a time picking who and what you want in each role, or you can set the game to do this for you loosing it to create a balanced (but perhaps not optimised) team so you can jump straight in and play.

They have also added a single player mode which unlike previous game versions actually has a semblance of story. No longer are you Generic Team X playing off against Generic Team Y, now you have contextual commentary who have more than 3 lines of dialogue repeated ad nauseam and a reason and drive to do what you are doing!

The Bad
Ok so Blood Bowl 2 is not the perfect game for a lot of people. A quick check on Steam reveals a lot of people unhappy with certain elements, but what is very telling are what those elements are.

Firstly we have the ruleset that the game itself plays by. This is not the Living Ruleset used by the tabletop community at large. Cyanide have been very open in saying that they have made many changes, some of them open and obvious, others subtle, but they were all made in order to create what they believe makes the game more fun.

Secondly, to a degree player choice has been removed in certain circumstances. Remember when I told you that in the tabletop game you had modifiers and rerolls based on player skills? Well you didn't have to use them. In Blood Bowl 2 the game automatically will use those skills. Personally I don't see a problem with this, why have the Dodge skill if when you need to, you don't use it? But apparently the fact that you are required to use it is an affront.

Others have argued that the game has dumbed down Blood Bowl as a lot of the rules around the game such as building a roster, along with rules within the game such as finding the optimal path to run your player, can now be automated by the game. For these players, this is not the Blood Bowl for them, it's the Pop-Corn Pop-Culture version of Blood Bowl designed to appeal to console players.

The Ugly
Micro transactions and DLC. There I said it. It's the ugly truth of the modern gaming world and it is here to stay with Blood Bowl 2. Currently not in play, but with plans to release, we will see the team rosters expanded in future with extra teams as micro transactions/DLC.

Obviously some people are unhappy with this. Their attitude is that when they buy a game they should get the full game and not have to shell out an extra £50 split over £2.50-£5.00 increments for additional content later down the line. The thing is, we saw in previous iterations of Blood Bowl what happens when you don't design the groundwork to accept DLC, we get three whole different games where in some cases all they are doing is introducing a single team.

What this system lets you do as a player is pick and choose. If Cyanide decide later on to release a Vampire Counts team, or a Nurgle Rotters team, then they can do so and as a player you can pick and choose if you personally want to use those teams yourself. You are not buying a whole new game with tens of new teams just because you want to play one of the new teams.

Once again we are seeing control being given to the player and letting them play how they want to!

So we get to the ultimate question; should you buy it?

As always it depends on your tastes. For me Blood Bowl 2 is a mixed bag. I really enjoy playing it, a lot! But that is because it lets me play Blood Bowl, without playing Blood Bowl (in the traditional sense). When I play this game, the brain hurt and dread I experienced from the tabletop version and the previous video versions, it's all gone!

It is almost as if Blood Bowl 2 is the Blood Bowl game for those who don't like playing Blood Bowl.

Focus has been taken away from the 'serious business' of tactics with a focus instead on 'fun'.

So if you play your games to ROFLStomp the enemy into the ground and drink their tears, then honestly this game is probably not for you.

If however you like playing a silly game for fun which you can also play against your friends, then there a lot worse fixes you could get out there.

Ultimately I had great fun playing, and isn't that the reason we play videogames in the first place?

Until next time; stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Friday, 16 October 2015

Yet Another Day in the Block - Part 4 (A First Law: Override short story)

Hours stretched on as Tannus bid his time. The first day after arriving he had kept his head down, ensuring to avoid contact with any of his peers or senior operatives. The second day however this would not have been possible.

The call came in from his handler, instructions to meet in order for a full debrief of his investigation on Honos. The debriefing room was on eastern side of his current suit block, and that would not do. Claiming a case of G-Sickness Tannus insisted that the location for debriefing was much closer to his suit. This was a total lie of course, Tannus was at the peak of Hydan health and it was almost unheard of for a Wraith to suffer from an illness. That said, it was acknowledged that the Bastion's Gravity was mildly different to that of Honos, and such a change could bring about a temporary illness that was not too dissimilar to fatigue and was colloquially known as G-Sickness.

For this reason the debriefing room was moved to the next closest suit available, one that as luck would have it was on the western side of the suit-block and located adjacent to the level's server connection. Tannus didn't like to congratulate himself very often, but even he had to admit that these series of events were wonderfully orchestrated by himself.

Tannus had arrived to the debriefing early and had made a bee-line towards the server port. It was no bigger than a digi-pad and was mounted into the wall opposite the debriefing room. With little more than a flick of the wrist he had been able to apply an amplifier onto the device. He knew this would be discovered in time, and when it was it would undoubtedly be traced back to him, but with hope he would have his information and be back on his way to Honos by then.

The debriefing itself was non eventful. His handler, a Hydan no more than a hatchling, was explaining why the data they had recovered from the Red Claw was vital in putting a stop to any further attacks by the terror group against the Accord. Tannus knew this to be nonsense, they hadn't recovered anything and the Shock Drives they had managed to obtain were nothing more than duds. None the less Tannus played along, agreeing and nodding at all the right moments while shaking his head and looking shocked at the updates he was given about further attacks that the Accord had received at Reaver hands since his assignment had commenced. Many of these attacks he had seen himself with his own eyes, he knew all too well that the reports had been exaggerated, that hundreds murdered in reality meant some incapacitated but he smiled and nodded all the same ensuring to keep an eye on the time.

Once his debrief was concluded Tannus left the suit and returned to his own. He was now on his own time. Usually between operations this time could last for anything between a day or two to a couple of months, but it was always unreliable and for this reason Tannus knew he would need to act swiftly. As it currently stood he would raise enough suspicions returning to Honos on his own choosing, but doing so when he is supposed to be on an operation elsewhere would be even worse.

From his small suit Tannus sat with his terminal, a direct connection to the bug-feed was streaming information directly to him from the Bastion's central server. It had been easy for Tannus to access the DNA database, easier than he had thought which in itself was a concern. So he sat at his terminal with lines and lines of data streaming in front of his eyes. This wasn't needed of course, he was running his own algorithm to scan for the correct information and alert him when it was found but all the same, with the ease of how this subterfuge was going he wanted to keep an eye of everything at every stage of the scan.

It was early the next morning when the terminal chirped it's notification sound, the scan had completed with a single match to the noted DNA strand, before Tannus' own eyes a full profile was displayed:

Name: Turen Kopa
Race: Hydan
Gender: Male
Age: 78 (Hydan), 23 (Human)
Last Known Address: Region 682, The Block, Badlands, Honos

The report continued, it talked of known affiliations, height, weight, eye colour and everything in between. Tannus read everything including the description of the Hydan's gang activity. It appeared that this Hydan had left the Bastion when he was just a juvenile. He had travelled across the Outer Fringe with numerous pirates and traders before settling in the Block on Honos. In the space of a few years he had managed to move through membership of three gangs, first the Yellow Doves, then the Bishops before finally settling down for the past three years with the Trydan.

Tannus knew that this information would have serious ramifications. He racked his head as he tried to assess the situation but he came up with nothing shy of more questions; why were the Trydan trying to frame the Red Claw? They were allies after all, but perhaps even more importantly, why were the Wraiths trying to cover this up?

With a reluctant groan Tannus stood from his seated perch and stretched before reaching for his coat. Less than three days after returning to the Bastion he was going to have to leave for Honos and the filth hole known as The Block, but at least he now had not just a name but also an affiliated organisation, the Trydan were a bitter smear on Hydan history and he would take great pleasure in putting an end to whatever they were planning, with or without the support of the Wraiths.


And so ends Part 4 of Yet Another Day in the Block.

Hope you like where it's going so far. I want to get this story out into the public forum before the next public release of the rulebook, this is largely due to me writing short-ish biographies for all of the named Merc Characters so that they are more than just a series of names and stats on a table.

The aim and reason for this is due to my desire to fill out more of Tannus' character. Yes he is a Hydan Wraith, but he is hireable by any non-Kratel Accord force, why is that? If the Wraiths are so secretive would it not be unheard of one of their number to work with other groups? With the events of these stories you see the story of the character as he explores what it means to be a Wraith and that sometimes being a true operative means breaking the laws you are sworn to protect.

There's still quite a bit left to tell in Tannus' story. We now know that he is searching for a Hydan, however the Hydan in question is a gang runner, including a current affiliation with the Trydan (I contemplated using a different Block Gang, but figured it would also give me an opportunity to explore more about them beyond what we saw in the story Wetware, however as they were quite major players in Wetware, I do think we saw a good amount of them).

Ultimately I did want to write a lot more about the Hydan. I think that through the story of Wetware we covered a lot of what it means to be a UEF citizen, what the deal is with the Raiders and Ghosts, and also gave a very 2D impression of the Trydan. Through Bal'Tek's story and the biographies (yet to be released) for Bal'Tek and Ekta Tramn we are covering some important aspects behind the Red Claw and the Kratel (including a nice sneak peek into the Imperial Regime Propaganda-Machine) but the Hydan and the Wraiths are still quite vague in terms of understanding. I hope that this story added to Tannus' biography will go part of the way to fixing that.


As an aside, compiling the lore/fluff book is proving awkward - especially when I factor in my hobby pledge (which is looking unlikely to meet in the 2 weeks I have put aside, may need to extend to 3 or even 4 weeks). This is why I am posting the stories here. It's important to me that they are released, and even if it's mind splurges on my blog, that is better than the alternative that was currently presenting itself.

Anywho; until next time - stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Yet Another Day in the Block - Part 3 (A First Law: Override short story)

The journey from the Block to the Bastion had been long but largely uneventful. Both Tannus and Brooks had assumed civilian clothing and appearance before catching the next express shuttle that travelled directly from the Block to Nova Casa and the Accord controlled space port. On more than one occasion Tannus found himself musing on how Brooks' civilian clothing looked little to no different from his combat attire, he still wore his tattered X-Metal band t-shirts and his battered and worn jeans, however his posture was far more relaxed, this was something Tannus was grateful for. He knew all about Brooks' discomfort while wearing the Wraith stealth-suits and the last thing he wanted was hours spent on the express shuttle with his partner adjusting his posture and making grunts and groans as if trying to prove his discomfort to all within earshot.

While Tannus had been happy to spend the journey looking out of the view windows at the many wonders and sights Honos had to show, Brooks was not so easily placated Instead the Human complained about one thing after another, if it wasn't about the extra costs involved in buying a ticket out of the Block, it was about the lack of Human jobs made available in the Anchorage Falls many factories. At one moment Tannus found himself needing to restrain his own body as he almost instinctually lurched towards the Human as Brooks actually attempted to justify the Reaver's need for political representation and separation from the Accord. Tannus had never heard such nonsense from a Hydan, but put it down to Brooks' Human biology; the Hydan had spent generations on board the Bastion and their vast space faring fleet, Humans however had not. Clearly the nonsense that burned his ears so was nothing more than a form of unusual 'cabin fever' or as he had heard others referring to it 'going stir crazy'.

After arriving at the Nova Casa port-terminal they were required to make a four hour stop-off as they awaited the next shuttle to the Bastion. The terminal itself was sheet white walls comprised of plasti-glass and blue trim. Tannus knew it was the Human attempt at both function and minimalism; just enough colour so it does not appear entirely white, but enough white to give their Hydan and Kratel visitors an illusion of cleanliness and sterility, promoting the idea among the other races that Humans are not the filthy unwashed that they appeared to be when they first arrived in the Outer Fringe all those decades ago. Tannus knew this was all image crafting, and if any Hydan needed to see the true Human that inhabited the world of Honos, they only need look at his travel companion. Humans were supposedly evolved from a primate based life form, and observing Brooks in his natural habitat as he attempted feebly to comb his long messy hair with one hand while scratching his chest with the other, Tannus was sure he would be forgiven in wondering just how separated Humanity really were from their primitive ancestry.

In stark contrast to the terminal, the shuttle to the Bastion had not an ounce of fallacy about it. The seating onboard was measured to allow for the exact number of passengers that would provide for optimal atmosphere burn and reentry. The outer hull was constructed out of a single sheet of Hydan-made composite and melded using techniques that were still largely unknown by their Human allies. Where Human craft were bloated space-whales designed for maximum seat space but with little attention towards the art of space travel itself, the very design of the shuttle itself was a masterpiece ensuring maximum surface area on every surface possible to enhance the solar-absorbing materials to work at full capacity allowing for every home comfort that a Hydan would expect after a life within their towering crystal structure that they called the Bastion. Once more Brooks continued to show his lack of appreciation as he shifted and fidgeted within his seat, complaining that the seats were too small or the unadjustable back tests were too uptight.

After a short and equally uneventful flight the shuttle arrived at the Bastion, it's opaque blue walls shimmered with energy that flowed through it's every part ensuring a constant and regular flow of power to the site was always present. Brooks stared out of the window in disbelief, he had been to the Bastion previously as part of his Wraith training, but despite this, every time he saw the structure with his own eyes it always took his breath away, a shining shard of blue energy gleaming within the depths of space itself. With a shake him of disapproval Tannus stood and lead the way out of the shuttle as they landed within the arrivals terminal and prepared for security to scan their bodies to ensure a zero presence of foreign bodies ranging from Honian fauna to the rarest of viruses.

As was expected the security check was both competent and efficient, but Tannus expected nothing less and would have personally filed a complaint report if he had experienced anything of the kind. Once completed both Wraiths were provided with the details for their temporary lodgings and set on their way. Tannus' inner voice shouted orders to him, telling him to leave right there and then, to make for the market district or even jump out of a shuttle bay into the vacuum of space, anything but stay where he was waiting for Brooks to say something emotional. Then it happened.

"So I guess this is good bye then dude?"

Tannus looked down at the Human with almost pity. The longing and sadness within Brooks' eyes was clear for all to see, and the human was obviously only a matter of moments away from making an overtly emotional scene right there within their residential lobby. Tannus said nothing instead turning 180 degrees away and began to walk away as fast as he could. Brooks called out after him;

"Oh I see! It's like that is it?" His voice sounded choked as if he was holding back big wet tears "Tannus! We were partners and you're turning your back on me just like that? Well fuck you dude! Fuck you!"

At the sound of his voice bring shouted Tannus spun around and sprinted towards Brooks forcing his palm across his mouth before whispering in his hear "don't shout my name like that Brooks! The less who know I am here the better".

Brooks looked bewildered, total confusion racing across his face as Tannus leaned in towards his an ear "I'm working".

With not even a backwards glance Tannus turned and left once more, the pang of guilt and remorse stabbing into his chest. He wanted to explain everything to Brooks, to inform his partner of the spent filter capsule and his theory of Hydan involvement with the Red Claw, more so his theory about why they were pulled from the case, or why head quarters had been unable to assess that the strike they had been sent on was nothing more than a diversion. Tannus had his theories, but he dared not discuss them with anyone especially Brooks for fear of involving the human in something from which there may be no escape. Tannus knew all too well that if his theories were correct, then Wraith Management would do everything in their power to make the issue and those involved disappear.

Mid stride, Tannus paused. He couldn't be right about this, of that he was sure, and his investigation would prove just how wrong he was. It wasn't possible, the idea alone implausible, no he was most certainly wrong, there was absolutely no way that the Wraiths themselves were involved in this and wanted to cover up one of their own involvement in this smuggling deal. The Hydan shook his head temporarily dismissing the idea, after all the Hydan despised the Kratel. What possible reason could there be for them to work together?


And so ends part 3 of Yet Another Day in the Block.

What do you think? Is Tannus right? Are the Wraiths covering something up? Is it one of their own operatives working with the Red Claw? After all it's not unheard of for the Hydan to work with the Kratel; especially if that Hydan believes themselves to be of True Hydan blood.

Until next time; stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 12 October 2015

Updates: Of Hobby & KickStarter

Greetings friends!

So my last hobby related post to you all was outlying my pledge to you all to get a load of stuff done in time for my friend Tom to visit in mid/late November.

Pledge #1 was to get my terrain painted and ready for game use. I set myself a very simple goal here, it was just to get it 'game ready' and not 'professional painter' standard.

Annoyingly I don't actually have any finished photos for you right now, all I have is what I took after a few days of work:

So the first stage was to finish washing the terrain, this was done I'm Monday leaving the works like this:

As a reminder this was metallic spray base with a 'rust wash' comprising of a brown emulsion mixed with water and washing-up liquid.

This stuff was wet, very wet by by Wednesday it had dried and was ready for stage 2: a wet-drybrush.

This is where my first picture came in. This was achieved with a big F-Off brush and a sample pot of emulsion. After dipping the brush and brushing off just enough so that it didn't 'coat' the brush, but wasn't dry, then a quick splish-splash-splosh over the terrain to cover the flat and raised areas but leaving the dents and creases with rusty metal.

The final stage took place on Friday but I'm am idiot and don't have a photo yet. This was an actual drybrush of a light grey using a traditional drybrush-brush, this brought out the highlights and provided a bit of relief from the flat grey emulsion.

I'll be getting a shot soon of what this looks like on my 2x2 may complete with my Holo Ad terrain by MAS.

So what's next?

Well tomorrow (Tuesday) I'll be getting my brushes dirty again as I work on my Red Claw Kratel (or Imfinity Morats to those who don't know) as I try to get them done. My intent is over Tuesday and Thursday to paint up their skin and hair as well as base coat their armour.

The skin will be a lovely shade of blue with a great red for the hair. I've used this combo in the past for Malifaux with my nephs, and it looks terrific.

The armour will be following my Reaver colour scheme of Red & Black, I'm using the same scheme for my Raiders and Trydan. You might be wondering why I would do this, but remember that at any point you can recruit mercenary units to fill in roles, so should I want to recruit a Human Merc into my Red Claw then I will have plenty in the same colour scheme.
- There will be differences of course. The Red Claw for example will have White shoulder pads complete with a suitable symbol for the Red Claw (watch as I try and free hand) and the Trydan will all have white helmets (Raiders, not sure yet, other than having a totally boss Big Bro).

Week 2 should be applying highlights to the Red Claw armour, so we'll see how that goes, as while I was working on my Raider Sniper it took one hell of a long time to get all of that looking nice.

We'll see how that goes and if I can finish my 2nd Pledge quite like I finished my first.

If nothing else I want that pledge finished before the end of the month, painting the other force and a half if less of a requirement, but that is a must.


On another note, it looks like this year I am not going to be backing anything on KickStarter.

So a couple of weeks ago I was backing 3 projects:

The Others: 7 Sins

The Icarus Project

Allison Road

Of these I pulled out of The Others due to moral reasons, and both of the others were cancelled due to failing to meet funding goals.

So while this is great for my wallet, I am feeling a little bit like a bad penny.

The truth of the matter of course is that it has nothing to do with me and everything to do with bad PR from both creators who unfortunately made a few pretty bad mistakes in regards to handling publicity.

The good news however is that neither creators are put off by this setback and promise to return in future with some good lessons learned and developments.

I honestly wish them all the best and hope to see more of their games in future.

And on that note; stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Thursday, 8 October 2015

Yet Another Day in the Block - Part 2 - A First Law: Override short story

Region six eight four was run down, possibly more than any other region of the Block Tannus had the misfortune of venturing into. Weather he liked it or not, this was where Tannus needed to be if he hoped to discover the truth of what really happened.

With reluctance he turned his re-breather up via his wrist mounted control. As a Hydan he struggled to breath on Honos which had been terraformed for Human lungs, the problem however was that even for a Wraith, re-breather filters were not cheap but unfortunately this region had been allowed to fall into disrepair as most extractors failed due to corrosion and toxic clouds present within the lower levels of the Block.

Due to their innate resistance to toxins and radiation the Kratel were at no disadvantage within these regions and it did not surprise to see row upon row of Kratel refugees lining the walls of the region asking for a credit chip here and there. It sickened him to his bones, watching these degenerate excuses for humanoids begging like this. Yes they were fleeing some real or imagined threat from their home world, seeking aid from the infamous Lady Tramn and her Red Claw bruisers, but you would never catch someone of the noble Hydan blood sinking as low as to ask someone for credits.

As he waded through the rows of mite infested Kratel, Tannus arrived at the site of the previous trade off. He could feel his inner voice kicking itself, he should have been here after the real deal. If he hadn't relied on the information sent from the Bastion and instead his own intuition then he would have found this site and caught the culprits in the act. Instead he was forced to sift through their rubbish in the hope of finding something of use.

With a hefty kick of frustration Tannus launched a stacked pile of rubbish from the region's street into against a corner. The junk hit a wall and the unmistakable sound of metal on metal resounded through his finely tuned ears. With a start Tannus paid immediate attention to the sound, he had heard it plenty of times before when he had experienced sickness while residing in his Block apartment and how after a strong sneeze or cough his re-breather filter would be forced out of it's mounting and launch itself across his room before hitting his metal walls.

With gloved hands Tannus picked his way through the pile of junk that littered the floor, he knew the sound came from here, all he had to do was find... And there it was, nestled between an empty can of Second Best and spent capsules of Spike, a re-breather filter. It was small and round, no larger than a physical credit chip and other than the typical residue you would expect from spending time surrounded by rubbish it was clean and free from corrosion. Tannus quietly collected the filter whilst eyeing his surroundings, his keen and trained Hydan eyes watching for anyone who may be observing his current actions. Rather surprisingly no one was paying him any notice as if a combat suit dressed Hydan rummaging through rubbish was the most normal thing they had ever seen. Something about this did not feel right and with a quick step Tannus made for his safe room.

The safe room itself was a storage suit held within the lower reaches of the Block. It's region was so dilapidated that not even the Kratel posed a threat risk, and the only real requirement Tannus required for security was a top of the line filtration system allowing for maximum efficiency but zero traceable emissions. Within the safe room Tannus held a secure battery powered container that had been sealed by the best biometrics he had been able to locate outside of Wraith security on one side of the room. Only a matter of feet away from this was his work desk complete with low-power digi-station. Currently the station was humming to life while Tannus stood crouched in front of the screen studying the acquired filter with his naked eyes.

The filter was indeed the same make as his own, this was troubling as that meant it was intended to be used by only one type of clientele, a Hydan much like himself. It appeared that the filter itself had burned out, which explained why it had been discarded into the rubbish. Beyond that there was little to suggest the filter had any further information to surrender. Tannus however knew something that most others did not about each of these filters; they were indirectly coded to the user's own DNA.

Back when the Hydan had attempted to colonise other worlds they quickly encountered issues with atmosphere, and much like the Humans had done with Honos they transformed the very worlds themselves to be suitable for their own breathing requirements. Where this was not possible or when they were required to visit the world prior to completion, the intra-dermal implant had been designed. Imbedded within the skin itself this flat device would release a specially formulated enzyme that allowed the Hydan to essentially breath the atmosphere providing certain requirements were met. The implant required only two things, a regularly changed filter to be surgically installed either within the neck or cheek of the user to allow for a waste gas to be released once collected and that the implant was calibrated to the exact DNA of the user allowing the correct volume and potency of enzyme to be released at the right time. This level of re-breather could then be calibrated on the fly through any digital device with local wireless capabilities. Every single re-breather as a result of these calibrations therefore produced an enzyme who's qualities were as unique to each other as the user's finger print, by proxy so was the waste gas produced and vented through the filter. Tannus knew this and as such with an analysis of the filter he also knew that he could obtain a waste-finger print that could be traced back to the very re-breather of it's user. Once that was known it's user's identity would also be known. Obtaining that information however would require a hardline to the Wraith's secure database held within the Bastion itself.

With a vibrant flash Tannus' terminal announced it's completion of the filter showing it's age, how much waste it had filtered and more importantly, the waste-fingerprint Tannus needed. With a dual finger swipe he closed the analysis tool and opened a video channel. The video stream fuzzed and blurred, clearly obscured slightly by the radiation and thick pollution present outside Tannus' safe room before the image distorted and the face of Brooks was revealed.

"Hey Bro, you ok?" Brooks asked, a clear concern present in his voice "You took off bloody quickly before".

Tannus nodded before locking eyes with Brooks "Yes, and I'm ready to return to Head Quarters".


Greetings friends!

So here's part 2 of Yet Another Day on the Block, and things are starting to heat up for ol' Tannus eh? What do you think is going to happen? Think Wraith HQ is going to be happy with him using their database after telling them to abandon the case? Who do you think the filter belonged to? What were they doing there and why would they be working with a Red Claw smuggling operation?

I guess you'll have to wait until next time! Until then stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Yet Another Day on the Block: A First Law: Override short story

Brooks' apartment had seen better days. A single room no bigger than 10 feet by six with a single bed, a table which supported an old re-heater and a wall mounted digi display. The walls were plastered with marks of both corrosion and damp with attempts to cover up made through the use of aged X-Metal band posters. Tannus, the Hydan Wraith who had worked with Brooks not eighteen hours ago to try and end a Red Claw smuggling operation, was sat hunched over the end of Brooks' unmade and dishevelled bed.

"This room is unbecoming of a Wraith" Tannus muttered to himself as he instinctively applied an emphases to the title Wraith.

"Shove it Bone!" Replied Brooks as he leafed through a selection of thin platiboard disk holders. Brooks paused a moment as he found his chosen one, placed the remaining stack on his table, unfolded his selection, withdrew it's contents and placed it carefully within the Digi-Display mount on his wall. The display came alive with a series of luminous shapes and from inbuilt speakers a roar suddenly erupted. It sounded to Tannus like a bar of metal being scraped against more metal while a domesticated pet was being going through vivisection in the background. Tannus looked at Brooks through pained eyes.

"And this is?" Tannus asked.

Brooks smiled wider than Tannus had seen in quite some time. "Tyrannosaurus Decks!" Brooks called out over the rising volume "Isn't it the best?"

Tannus was familiar with X-Metal. Being partnered with Brooks he had learned that the Human had only one love, and that was of music, but this particular type of music. Tannus had spent the time learning about all types of music that had come before, and how in it's hay day on Terra-Prime the genre of Metal had split into so many different sub genres which had constantly moved to reinvigorate themselves as each generation matured. X-Metal, or Xeno-Metal was just the latest in a long line of music varieties. It prided itself in having no lyrics, or even much of a tune, and instead tried to sound as alien to Human ears as possible. Of course the Human audio spectrum was a lot narrower than that of the Hydan, so to what sounded to Brooks as 'aggressive noise' was to Tannus nothing shy of pure audible pain.

"Look, Brooks!" Tannus almost shouted the words over the deafening noise "we need to speak about the operation".

Brooks swiped a hand in front of his digi display, pausing the music. The sudden silence was almost as much of a surprise as the music itself. The Human Wraith paused for a moment before pulling out a digi pad from his inside jacket pocket. After a series of two finger swipes and slides Brooks located what he was looking for and fed the information to his wall mounted digi display. The screen shifted as it's image mutated from the previous audio/visual information to the new input. Rows of data scrolled across the display at an almost unintelligible rate before Brooks held up a hand pausing the display once more.

"Here!" Brooks blurted out almost enthusiastically "at the same time as our raid on the Red Claw there was another deal going on, just three levels below us!"

Tannus studied the data and nodded in agreement. Brooks was right, while they were fighting with the Kratel over fake Shock Drives, another deal, presumably the real one, was happening right under their noses "What's HQ say about it?"

Brooks' brow furrowed "they're not happy. Orders are to finish up what we have here and return to the Bastion".

"Impossible!" Tannus' barked his response at Brooks, the unusual reaction took the Human by surprise "there is no way they would ask us to leave the case! We should investigate the site of the trade, see if we can locate the ones responsible and bring them to justice!"

Brooks shook his head with grim determination "our orders are clear bro, we gotta go".

Without so much as a word Tannus stood from his perch at the end of Brooks' bed, picked up his coat and made for the door. Brooks didn't attempt to stop him. On more than one occasion the Human had gotten in the way of Tannus while in a bad mood, and every time he had been left sprawled on the floor with a black eye, a broken nose or worse.

Tannus left Brooks' apartment and paced the direction away from his own. He knew his orders, he knew he had to gather his equipment, burn all records that may tie him back to his lodgings within the Block and leave for Wraith headquarters. Despite knowing this he found himself going instead to one of his safe locations outside his apartment. Tannus knew that within the safe site he would find secured away from prying eyes a set of stealth suits that had been modified to remove their digital serial signature making both them and him within untraceable from Wraith headquarters.

What Tannus was committing was nothing shy of mutiny and he knew as much, but one thing the Wraith also knew was that they were never recalled from a mission early unless the recall came from above the Wraiths themselves. There was something about the deal that the Accord themselves knew would be an embarrassment and with or without support from Wraith headquarters, even without the support of his partner; Brooks, Tannus was going to get to the bottom of it, and it would take nothing shy of the Bastion itself striking him down before he was about to let a bunch of Red Claw Grunters walk off with genuine Class-A Shock Drives!


Greetings friends and welcome to the next part of the Tannus & Brooks story for First Law: Override!

For those curious as to what happened before you can pull up the (revised) edition from the First Law: Override book found at

Enjoy, stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Tuesday, 6 October 2015

The Adventures of Geek Dad: Sometimes we feel shitty too!

Greetings friends!

So I realise that it's been a while since I've written a Geek Dad post, but I have been waiting for a topic that would be both important and also meaningful.


The past few months and weeks have been difficult for Chez Loxley as our little Moo has developed a little bit of an attitude. After spending a few weeks over the summer being spoilt rotten by a number of people (myself included) things took an obvious downhill direction.

- Don't worry, we're fine, I'm just using straightforward language, and let's be honest; what parent hadn't had troubles with their child?

I don't feel bad for admitting that there are times that I find myself still loving my Moo, but quite honestly not liking her at that moment (having someone shouting in your face the most hurtful things they can think of simply because they're tired and frustrated kind of has that effect).

I don't like feeling like that, and honestly I really feel shitty over it. I know that she doesn't mean what she is saying, I know she is only saying it because she is tired and frustrated but I get so angry and on more than one occasion I have spoken back in ways that I shouldn't, which I know only makes things worse.

I know about how much of an effect an aggressive and violent house can have on a small child, and I find myself questioning if an aggressive environment if just once or twice is having a seriously negative impact on my Moo. If in years to come she will look back at her father and remember just a simmering pot of rage.

[EDIT] This isn't an apology over doing anything particular bad, as has been pointed out that this reads to others. More me stressing how crappy I feel over getting frustrated etc

Those who knew me before I started the blog will know that anger and rage are two things very important to me. It was my anger that got me out of bed in the morning and my rage against others that got me through the day; a universal discriminator who hated everyone and everything in equal measure.

Then the Moo came along, and my life was flipped upside down. I wanted to protect her from everything bad in the word, including me. I knew that there was a darkness in me (wow that sounds fucking emo) and I needed to shield her from that.

We all have a duality within us, and to a large part I believe that my acceptance of the part of me that others may deem 'unsightly' is one of my strengths, but when it came from my Moo, I wanted to keep her safe from all of that. It was (and still is) my hope that in years to come she will see her childhood as one of fun with fond memories - basically the opposite of what mine was, what little there is I haven't reserved for my 'repression vault'.

I know that all me and the wife can do is our best, and that we will make mistakes and we will have off days, and there will be moments where I just want to scream in her face, and on occasion I know it will happen even if I don't want it to. We are after all; only human.


The thing is, I still feel shitty over it.

Most people; I don't give a damn about if my actions hurt them, but the Moo is different. I know it's just a combination of chemical imbalances that forces the reaction, but I want to do what I can to help and protect her, and few things are as shitty as either knowing that she is upset because of something you have done, or that the reason you yourself are so frustrated is because you have reached your limit of what you can do to help and you know you are unable to 'fix' whatever the current problem is.


I don't know if it's a male thing, or a me thing, but it is important to me to fix things, and being stuck in a situation where you want to help but you know there is nothing you can do to fix it, that's heartbreaking.


Anyway, what started all this off?

Well I guess I just wanted to put this post out there, heart on sleeve, that sort of thing.

I'm a dad, and sometimes I feel like a piece if shit about it, that I'm inadequate and a total failure, and I am 99% sure that every other dad out there feels the same from time to time.

Why am I saying this? Because I want others out there who may be feeling the same on occasion to know that they're not alone!

So a message to dads:
It's ok! We screw up! But if you are upset about that, it means you care and that's a fuck-site better than a tonne of others out there!

And a message to mums:
Next time you see an article from NetMums or some other BS Clique that talks about how shit fathers are, and lists "10 things that only a Mum would understand" but goes on to talk about late night bottle feeds, or teaching your kid to walk or go to the toilet, think twice about sharing it and the negative effect it may have on the other dads who may read that as it goes on to bad mouth dads the world over as useless sperm donors. Yes there are shit dads! But there are also shit mums, and just like how you feel insecure and shitty about how you are doing as a mum, we feel the same about how we are doing being dads. The difference is that as well as your significant others, friends and families, you also have support groups bending over backwards to listen to you.

Us dad's don't

Disclaimer: This post came in response to an email I received from one such 'mum-support-network' that was filled with articles talking about how shit men are at being parents. The reason I received the email being because I was inadvertently signed up to it while claiming some free childcare samples a couple of years ago, and despite clicking 'unsubscribe' countless times and adding them to my blocked list, they still somehow get through to my regular inbox, and I'm sorry but the level of self indulgent narcissism present in those articles (whilst flying the victim flag) was just disgusting and compelled me to tell a side of the story rarely told to Joe Public.

Stay safe and be excellent to each other.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

Monday, 5 October 2015

Hobby Pledge

Greetings friends!

Today I want to share with you a little bit of fun that I'm doing right now...'s my own little hobby pledge. I'm putting it out there so that if I fail then you can all wrap my knuckles for being a total failure.

Pledge 1: Terrain in a week!
Yup to start off I have one week that's 05/10/15 to 11/10/15 to paint up my remaining DeadZone terrain.
This might sound difficult, but all it involves at present is spraying metallic (already done), washing with rust effect (half done) and dry brushing with grey.
So all I have to actually do is wash half the terrain and then dry brush the lot.

Pledge 2: Paint my Red Claw Kratel!
For this I have allowed 2 weeks, so 12/10/15 to 25/10/15. This includes painting roughly 15 models, so it shouldn't be too hard as they are using uniform colour schemes and similar.

Currently they are all based, undercoated and washed so it's base coats, washing, highlighting and BOOM! Done!

If I am able to do all of this, then I am then going to try my hand at painting up my Raiders. This has a rough deadline of 26/10/15 to 08/11/15. I say rough deadline because I want to allow this time as extra touch up time for my Red Claw - don't want to see them get rushed.

If for any reason I am somehow able to get through all of these, then I am looking to paint up what I currently own for a Trydan force. But the chances of this happening are next to none!


So this week is terrain week. I'll be looking to post an update next week showing off what l have done for terrain this week. I hope it will be complete so I can show off my 'completed' table - note: because of the terrain placement rules for First Law: Override, I am trying to have more terrain than needed, so example shots will be more cluttered than a normal game.

As an idea, this is pretty much where I am now:

Of course as I am sure you have seen there is no rust effect applied in these shots.
- Notice the DeadZone 2x2 mat which I think looks awesome! As well as the MAS Holo Ads, all the while bulked out with the Infinity Operation Icestorm fold-out terrain.

Hope you like, and I look forward to share an update with you in due time!

Until next time, stay safe and be excellent to each other!

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley