Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Welcoming Wednesday and recent acquisitions

I have a new follower. Unfortunately, due to the vagaries of blogger, I'm not exactly sure who it is. However, comparing my old posts, I think it's John Davis. I could be wrong though. I also think John Davis is proprietor of Orktopia, but I could be wrong about that, too. So welcome, John Davis. If you are a longstanding follower of this blog, then you're doubly welcome.

And if I've missed out someone else, my apologies.

Not much activity on the gaming front as my life has been too full of mundane adventures. However, I did pick up the new issue of Ravage (the English edition) and the Lead Adventure Bonnie and Clyde steampunk minis.

I don't have my own photos of them because they're still at the post office!

Also, I have another something brewing but I don't want to jinx it, but I'll let you know once it comes to pass.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Double Requiem Unlock today

News from the Empire of the Dead: Requiem kickstarter today reveals two more models: First, the lizardlike Professor Gecko, who does not look like he's selling insurance.

Also, the third of the Vampire Brides has been revealed in all her glory:

As you can see, she now has a name, not just a letter designation, as do her two sisters. Alas, neither my suggestion of Ilona nor what seemed to me to be the fan favorite, Ingrid, were chose.

I don't have updated images of the other two ladies, but I do have their names.

Her name is Teliaska, as suggested by supporter Binnman.
 I have no idea what it means nor from whence it comes.

Her name is Darla, as suggested by backer Barry Graham.
Its source is, of course, "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel."

Additionally, there are still a few early-bird specials left. After the initial specials sold out within hours, leaving those in the Americas in the lurch, West Wind's Andy Cooper added more to the system, at both the £76 and £101 levels. Forty-four of the first remain, and 33 of the second. At present, the project's funding stands just under £38,000, with 35 days remaining.

I'm guessing I'll have to get Professor Gecko as he's a lizard, to add him to my Moreau-themed crocodilian Army of the Abandoned (a Lycaon list). Perhaps Gulth Deathroll and his fellow experimental escapees found something in the burning labs and sheds of Moreau's Northern compound before they fled, some serum that has given them infectious bites that spread their reptilian characteristics, and Professor Gecko is one such result. (Can you tell I love the fluff of a game/setting/army as much or more than the mechanics?)

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Requiem supporter avatars

If you want to show your support for West Wind's Empire of the Dead: Requiem kickstarter, you can use one of these pics as your avatar.

West Wind also created this lovely billboard for use on websites:

Share and enjoy!

Empire of the Dead: Requiem kickstarter

West Wind's kickstarter for the miniatures expansion of Empire of the Dead, called Requiem, is certainly going great guns. Once it launched on Valentine's Day, its £5,000 goal was fully funded in two hours. I plumped for one of the early bird specials at the £75 level, making sure I get my grubby mitts on all the LE kickstarter-exclusive minis they're producing, plus 28 points worth of the new models.

 As of this writing, the campaign has taken in nearly £34,000. As the funding level increases, miniatures within the factions are being unlocked, and stretch goal miniatures are being added. The difference is that everyone pledging Requiem-level (the aforementioned £75) and above gets the stretch-goal minis (which are limited-edition kickstarter-only) for free. Unlocked minis can be chosen with the points you receive for your pledge level. (Most human-sized minis are 1 point, some larger ones, like Mr. Hyde, the Baron's Monster or the squamous Professor Gecko are 2 point minis.)

So what of the stretch goals and unlockables have been revealed so far? First the exclusives:

First up was Tatu, who Andy says is a half-vampire servant of the Broken Dawn cult. I guess that makes her a Dhampyr. At right is Jade Dragon, an Imperial assassin wielding a massive twin-barreled pistol. Again, these are free with your pledge at Requiem-level and above.

I neglected to mention that every supporter at the £5 level and above receives the LE mini of Nedezhda Durova, vampire hunter. I took this image of her from the project page on Kickstarter.

Werewolf Hunter Aisha will be the next stretch goal mini to unlock, once the campaign hits £40,000.

It also appears that two minis for the Order of the Dragon set (vampires, of course) have been unlocked. The Mad Man and the first of the Vampire brides.


If you're a backer, go to the update about the vampire bride and suggest a name for her. My google-fu is sometimes wonky, but it seems in Stoker's book the brides are unnamed (and are called "sisters" but not brides), and they have acquired names in some film adaptations and written reimaginings. Although I chucked a few suggestions of my own in there for Andy, I really like Marcin Zdybicki's suggestion to call her Ingrid in honor of the late, great Ingrid Pitt, who played Carmilla in "The Vampire Lovers."

That wraps up everything I've seen so far about the single figures. I haven't been combing the comments like I usually would, but I see Andy's been answering questions there. Here's the big graphic with many of the figures that are part of this project, but there are higher-quality versions on the project's main page.

Later I'll come back and discuss the new faction they revealed today, Scotland Yard's Supernatural Branch, as well as they vehicles they're working on.

On a personal note, I want to greatly thank everyone for their words of care and comfort last night when we had to take my wife to the emergency room after she fainted and fell. She's feeling better, just bruised and a bit embarrassed. And pissed off about the scrape on her forehead where she hit the floor! But she's doing much better today, and we're both relieved this wasn't another incident where her hemoglobin had dropped precipitously low, like it did a few years ago. They admitted her that time, and it took an enormous amount of transfused blood and intravenous iron to get her back to normal. (Or as normal as anyone in our family ever gets.)

Additionally, I want to thank those who took the time to write about my post immediately preceding this one, whether you commented here, privately, or on the Lead Adventure Forum.  I've always known our community is a caring one, but by your words and actions you continue to show that you are some of the best people ANYWHERE. I am humbled to be friends with so many of you, whether we have ever met face-to-face or not.You are some damn fine folks, and I am proud to know you.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Confession to make

OK, you readers have been too polite to say anything, but I hear the whispers of the questions through the vibrating power lines. My mechanical parts feel the doubt building in the stray electrons left by my posts.

"Christopher, why don't you ever post pictures of your painted minis?"

Because there are none. Not new ones anyway. To be honest, I haven't applied paintbrush to mini in over two years. And the last time all I did was spray-prime my nascent zombie horde.

It hasn't stopped my planning and acquiring minis to paint, obviously. You've seen those photos.

It's not for any insecurity about the results. I'm a decent painter, to what I consider a good tabletop standard.

My problem is finding, or rather making, space to paint.

Because I'm a hoarder. Every surface in my home is crowded and cluttered. The floor, to me, is a low, flat shelf.

God, it feels good to admit it in a public forum. I. Am. A hoarder. (Warning: Personal revelations only tangentially related to gaming follow. If you're a tl;dr type of person, you may want to skip to the end.)

For years I thought I was just sloppy. And lazy. And I am both those things, for certain values of sloppy and lazy.

It moved into full-fledged hoarding over the years, as health crises and family events chipped away at my stability. It's not to the degree of the people you see on television, mainly because I don't own property. (And no cat skeletons under the furniture here. Our cat is very much alive and a multi-clawed threat to my safety and well-being.)

My wife and I rent a two-bedroom duplex, and the clutter and collections and trash, sometimes all intermingled, have taken over both bedrooms and are threatening the living room and the kitchen.

If it were just me, I might ignore it and just go full-on batshit crazy and become "that guy" in our little town, with the house the kids warn each other away from with the judicious use of campfire tales and sleepover horror stories.

But even as the indecision, insecurity and, at times, obsession inch closer to overwhelming me, I am consumed with something more powerful.

The love of my wife. I love her with the white-hot heat of a thousand suns. I would pull the stars from the sky for her. I would drag souls to hell for her. If I could heal her crippling genetic disorder with a smoothie made of severed heads and blended babies, I would become the greatest mass murderer this planet has ever seen.

But I can't. So I won't. (Who am I kidding? I abhor violence IRL. I even have trouble transgressing my own moral code in a VIDEOGAME. I am the only person who plays Grand Theft Auto and stops at the stoplights.)

Instead I am fighting the bad programming in my head that makes the stacks of boxes and mounds of clothing feel like castle walls and parapets, protecting my too-oft-wounded heart. Even as I shoulder Sisyphian guilt over the condition of our home, I also feel safe. The clown prince of clutter. A king of rags and patches.

I gradually make headway against the clutter littering the floor, which has reduced the amount of our home my wife can access to about 25 square feet.

Unfortunately, even if it were spotless, she couldn't move much farther anyway. She suffers the genetic disorder ankylosing spondylitis, which I think I've written about before. It's sometimes called "bamboo spine," because as it progresses, it fuses the spine into one solid mass of bone. It hinders her movement and leaves her in constant pain. She gets about some with a walker, mostly by wheelchair. Drugs manage most of the pain and the muscle spasms.

She has made friends across the world on the Internet, as have I. I try to make sure she has as much access to information, communication and entertainment as possible. Now I'm fighting my own brain, my fear, to return our home to a state of which she can be proud.

It approaches irony that the artistic release of painting minis would do much to ease my mind and soothe my brittle feelings. So all I can say is ...

Yes, soon. I made big strides on my days off this week, and I plan to do a little more each day. Eventually, I'll have enough of a clear work area that I can drag out my minis and paints and get to work. My goal is within two weeks. I'm also using this as a motivator:

Studio McVey painting competition on Wamp

Having just acquired Sedition Wars (and having a few of the metal SW minis as well) I am spoiled for choice. And the entry deadline isn't until April. Even I should be able to hit that.

I'll be back later today with more about the Empire of the Dead: Requiem kickstarter (to which I've already pledged.)

Happy Valentine's Day, everyone!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Welcoming Wednesday

It's Wednesday, and that means it is time to welcome our new followers. Today we welcome Cristina Piras, aka Cristina Violet, who authors the blog Violet Paint at Looks like she mostly paints GW minis herself, with a smattering of other manufacturers and card art! Very exciting to have you aboard, Cristina.
Also I had some great news today. Over on Facebook, the folks at Dirigible Days, a steampunk Web series you can find on YouTube -- strike that, you SHOULD seek it out -- chose to share "Dispatches from the Rim" with their readers! I found Dirigible Days largely because author, bon vivant and raconteur G.D. Falksen is part of the cast. I'm so glad that I did, and soon you other steampunk fans will be, too!
I promise I'll have some more new content for you by Monday, faithful readers. See you then!

Friday, February 1, 2013

It must be mine

Saw this on the Carnevale Facebook page. I must have it for my all-alligator (and crocodile) Army of the Abandoned (which is a Lycaon list) for Empire of the Dead. Adds some interesting story options for me, too.

Who would do the mechanical upkeep on such a beast among my ragtag collection of freed Moreau experiments? Obviously they're making allies among other factions, but who? Perhaps a doctor among the yet-unseen faction I'm hoping for, the Cirque du Noir?

Welcoming Wednesday (on Friday!)

I missed Welcome Wednesday this week because of a combination of illness and a power outage. A tree fell by our apartment during a bad storm and ripped down the power lines, which are being restored today.

So my apologies for this belated entry. But a warm "Dispatches" welcome nonetheless to two new followers of the blog:

So welcome aboard, you two, and thank you for your time and attention. I hope all is well with all my readers. Happy gaming!