Thursday, April 16, 2015

A word to say ...

I am not gone.
I just tend not to say anything when I don't have anything to say .
When I do have something to say, I want to make sure it is worth your while and appeals to your eyes and ears, and also your minds.
Rest assured, my lovelies, I think of you every day.
We'll talk soon.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Goodbye, Sir Terry

Like many others, I find myself deeply affected by the news today that Sir Terry Pratchett has died at age 66.

It was so unfair, as it always is, that he was suffering from the effects of Alzheimer's. His diagnosis hit me hard too. That disease was going to ravage so rich a mind ... I wept then, just as I do now. That he kept writing up until the end is his triumph. Our world is a poorer place without him.

This is the man who gave us the definition of the thaum, the basic particle/energy unit of magic. A thaum is the measure of magical energy required to produce three billiard balls or one live dove.

This is a man whose last few tweets were his conversation with Death, who had always been one of his greatest characters. That he took the time to share how he pictured that moment, in the terms of the fantasy world through which most of us knew him, is a great gift from him to us, his fans. I, of course, heard Death's dialogue in my head in Christopher Lee's voice, with an appropriate amount of reverb.

You can see why I love him.

His early works were pulp pastiches of Conan tales, and as his career progressed, he crafted some of the best satires in the English language. More than 70 books, 40 or so of them in the Discworld. The BBC says his works have been translated into 37 languages and have sold over 70 million copies. Well done, sir.

If you've not read any of his works, I recommend "Man at Arms" as a start. (Don't read them in order, please! Going back and catching up those early books is easy, once you've really gotten enamored of the world.) Then read "Small Gods." Then one of the books with the Witches -- "Maskerade," or "Wyrd Sisters" maybe. I don't think you can go wrong on that one. Hold off on reading "Interesting Times" until you've encountered Cohen the Barbarian in other books, so it'll make more sense. There are some short stories about with Cohen in them, too, I believe.

I warn you, though, the end of "Interesting Times" made me cry. If you care about warrior culture, bravery, honor and loyalty, it will probably make you cry as well.

I will miss his books, just as I will miss his opinions and his antics. The Discworld is one of those many fantasy realms in which I feel at home. And within that world, within the beautiful counterpointed structure of his satires, I often learned things. Things about life, and things about myself.

Those characters are old friends. Sam Vimes and Corporal Carrot. Detritus, Nobby and Fred Colon. Gaspode. The Librarian. Rincewind, Twoflower and The Luggage. Death, Albert, the Grim Squeaker and Susan. Granny Weatherwax, Nanny Ogg and Magrat. And then Agnes and Tiffany. The Bursar and his frog pills. Brutha. The Great God Om. Mustrum Ridcully. HEX. The Nac Mac Feegle. The Hogfather. Cheery Littlebottom. Moist von Lipwig. Lord Vetinari. The Great A'Tuin. So many, many, many characters I know and love.

Thank you, Sir Terry. For those of us who follow in your footsteps as scribes of our imaginations, may we populate our worlds as warmly and as well, and may they last as long.

The Turtle Moves.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Testing, testing ...

... is this thing on?

I looked up, and suddenly we were into the third month of the new year and I had sent no dispatches!

Dreadful. I am going to give myself a stern talking to when I do my annual performance review.

But it does not mean I have been idle. I know I see most of you on Facebook from time to time, and I am readily available there. I am also on Lead Adventure Forum, though less frequently, and I do have a digital presence on Google+, as well as Twitter and Instagram, though I hardly use those.

As I blow the dust out of the microphones and adjust the EEG probes built into the back of my chair, while I make sure the flux capacitor is wired into both the oscillation overthruster and the vortex manipulator and, most importantly, as I step up the reactor power input THREE ... MORE ... TIMES!!!

Here are some demotivators I had a hand in. Not all are original with me, although several are. Some are reconstructions or improvements of ones I found when trawling the web. My editorial impulses make me go in and fix grammatical mistakes before I'll put them in rotation as my desktop backgrounds.

Picture-heavy nonsense after the jump.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Good riddance, 2014.

I will not be reviewing this past year other than to say I bought lots, painted nothing and gamed less. I read lots and wrote some.

As the year is pinioned through June and July for me with my and Tracey's hospitalizations, this is a twelvemonth I am happy to see in my rearview mirror.

I will not make predictions nor set gaming goals for the coming year. I will strive to be in the moment, not pre-live them through either high hopes or needless worry.

Happy New Year, all of you. Good luck, good health, much love. Let's be careful out there.

Back to the boards, everyone, and I'll see you across the table soon.

Monday, December 29, 2014

Welcome aboard!

Welcome aboard to The Miniatures Man, about whom I wrote back on Dec. 7.

So make Joakim Ström welcome, everyone. I greatly appreciate his time and attention, just as I enjoy reading his most excellent blog. Hope you enjoy your time here, sir.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Zombicide Season 3: Rue Morgue unboxing (pic heavy)

I was surprised today by the delivery of the box for Season 3 of Zombicide, called Rue Morgue.

The rulebook includes 14 new scenarios.

Cool Mini or Not had announced last week that delivery of the game had exceeded their warehouse capacity, so American backers of the game who confirmed by the deadline would receive their copies ahead of the expected fulfillment date in February. The remaining new expansion, Angry Neighbors, and the stretch goals and specialty figures remain on target for February delivery.

Rue Morgue is designed as a standalone game, but it can also be combined with the earlier sets for the game: Zombicide, Prison Outbreak and Toxic City Mall. Set months after the initial outbreak, Rue Morgue has players running teams of survivors who are more hardened, more ruthless than their predecessors.

The 12 new survivors for Rue Morgue gat more skilled the more zombies they kill.

And, as we know, when supplies get scarce, it's the other survivors who pose the greatest danger.

Opponents in this release include the new skinner zombies, who continue to fight as Crawlers once they've been cut in half.

Content includes:

12 Survivors: Louise, Maddie, Travis, Parker, Terry, Dan, Jane, Cathy, Joe, Laurie, James and Bear.
40 Skinner Walkers
8 Skinner Fatties
16 Skinner Runners
15 Crawlers
1 A-bomb Abomination
9 double-sided game tiles
12 Survivor ID cards
8 dice
12 experience trackers
11 tent cards
155 mini cards
9 Team Action cards
92 tokens

Let's take a look at the zombies.

And the tiles.

You'll notice there's one tile image missing. My eyes went swimmy trying to figure out which one I missed. So one will have to be a surprise for you!

Tent cards, front and back:

Dice and experience trackers:

I really like that the pips are bullets.

Character ID cards:

Mini cards for zombie actions and Team Action cards:

Dual-sided tokens:

This edition has the same consistently excellent artwork and sculpts we've come to expect from Guillotine. It's really the materials here that are the star. I swear you could build a strong house out of these tiles! And the plastic used for these minis is among my favorites. Certainly easier to deal with than Mantic's restic.

Hope you enjoyed the look at the contents of this early release. Back to the boards, everyone, and I'll see you across the table soon.