Browsing the blog archives for April, 2007

Guild Wars World Map

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Guild Wars

I ran across this image while browsing Guild Wars forums the other day. It’s pretty neat, so I figured I may as well post it.

Guild Wars World Map

Although the image appears to be fan-made (see the small text in the bottom), I think it gives a pretty good estimate of where the various areas of the separate Guild Wars campaigns are in relation to each other. Wish I had time to make such a detailed world map for my own D&D campaigns…

Hordes: Prelude to Battle Reports

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Miscellaneous, RPGs

This week I got in my order of Hordes miniatures, consisting of the Circle Orboros starter Warpack and a unit of Tharn Bloodtrackers. Actually, the Tharn Bloodtrackers came in separately (since I placed my order the day before Privateer Press officially allowed distributors to sell them) and so I haven’t had a chance to use them yet.

The starter Warpack consists of a Warlock, one Heavy Warbeast, and two Light Warbeasts. For the faction I chose, this means that I get Kaya the Wildborn as my Warlock, a Warpwolf, and two Arguses.

-Kaya is, from what I can tell, a finesse sort of character: She has Pathfinding which allows her to pass through rough terrain unhindered, and a spell to give units under her command stealth, or to allow them to teleport from one location on the battlefield to another. She is pretty strong, as all Warlocks are (since they’re your most important units on the field), but she’s more of an assassin than a brawler.
-The Warpwolf is the standard heavy unit for any Circle army. It’s pretty fast and hits quite hard, but can’t withstand much damage. It has a limited ability to warp its physical characteristics, allowing it to warp for speed when not in combat and to warp for strength or armor when it is.
-The Argus is a two-headed dog whose primary feature is its speed. The Argus is relatively fragile and doesn’t hit that hard, but it’s not something you can afford to ignore. Its bark, while not a tremendous threat, gives the starter warpack a bit of ranged capability that can paralyze enemy units.
-The Bloodtrackers (although I haven’t played with them yet) are savage humanoid women who can toss javelins with deadly effect. They can pass through rough terrain without penalty and get to deploy ahead of the main bulk of your force. Though they’re fragile, collectively they pack enough punch to take down even heavy targets.

One thing I’m noticing with Warmachine/Hordes and Privateer Press is they pretty much actively encourage people to play the game with what are called “proxy” units. Privateer Press publishes all of the attributes for upcoming units in Warmachines/Hordes in their magazine No Quarter, which means that you can take those stats and play the game without even owning the miniatures. For example, the Bloodtrackers, which were actually formally released last week, have been being used in play for months already by people proxying the models.

Maybe it’s just my bad experience to the elitist “WYSIWYG” attitude of Games Workshop, but I think it’s kind of nice to see a game company which encourages people to play the game first and foremost, with the impetus to buy the models being convenience and appreciation for the quality of the models. Not to mention that my decision to purchase the Bloodtrackers was formed pretty much by accounts of players saying they have used them to great effect in their own battles.

Anyway, my starter Warpack comes in at 275 points, and adding on a base unit of Bloodtrackers puts me at 335 points. Although this is a playable level of troops, obviously tactics and strategies become a little more interesting when you’ve got more to work with. I’m looking to build up to 500 points in the next couple of months or so. In June a new unit is coming out called the Pureblood Warpwolf, which comes in at 124 points. I am definitely looking to add one into my own army. I’m also looking at adding in a unit of Standing Stones (although I don’t recall their points cost offhand), and possibly taking out an Argus to add in Druids (points allowing) or a Lord of the Feast solo unit, or a Gorax warbeast.

So many options…

Switching and Keeping Allegiances

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Culture, Personal, Visual

My discontent with Battlestar Galactica has been growing for some time now, and ever since the season finale I’ve been mulling whether I want to continue watching the show. You see, Battlestar Galactica right now is rather odd — It’s got great acting, cinematography, and is overall a damned intense, dramatic show.

The thing is, I don’t care.

It started in the second half of season 2. We started having episodes where things that happened off-screen, presumably in prior episodes, became important features of current episodes. Episodes began to be pulled by these invisible strings, and though they certainly twisted each character into tangled positions, their struggles something that I could empathize with, the arbitrariness of it all began to put me off. This continued with Season 3. We got no answers to any of the questions. Why did the Cylons wipe out all of the humans at the start of season 1 and then decide at the end of season 2 they wanted to live in peace? If the Cylons really wanted to live in peace with the humans, as they claim, why put people in death camps? These are big questions, huge questions, but we never know. We just got more twists, more questions, less coherency.

Starbuck dies in some meaningless way only to return two episodes later. Arabic renditions of Dylan music plays through space. Important and unimportant characters are presumably revealed to be Cylons. Who knows what it all means? More importantly, who cares? I thought this show was going to avoid the pitfall of American TV, the aimless wandering with all the pointless plot-stretching, but I was wrong.

Anyway, as I indicated in a previous comment, I’m pretty much deciding not to care anymore. This does kind of leave me with a gap in my passive recreational activities, though. I’ve probably seen every Star Trek: The Next Generation episode and don’t care to watch many again. Heroes is on hiatus until April 23rd, and even then it’s probably only going to come back for maybe four episodes before the season ends and there’s a six-month drought. So I’m kind of looking for something that I can watch when I just want to sit down and relax.

Andromeda1

Enter Andromeda.

I remember a long time ago when this show was on the air getting the impression that it was pretty much Hercules: The Legendary Journeys … in Space! I have to say, though, my TiVo has occasionally been picking up episodes of the show and I’ve ended up watching a few and being pleasantly surprised.

What I’ve watched isn’t anything spectacular. It’s pretty standard-fare space-opera with a few interesting twists here and there: One being Lexa Doig, who is definitely worth watching even if she is a sort of generic beauty, and the other being the Tyr Anasazi character ,whose whole ‘Nietzschean’ angle intrigues me. Even if it doesn’t end up having critical acclaim or supposed parallels to contemporary events or great acting and drama, what it does have so far from what I can tell is good old-fashioned storytelling.

I find it kind of funny, actually, how earlier today I come across this post by Shamus on Steven Den Beste’s impromptu manifesto against our cultural elites … And all throughout writing this I’m thinking of Michael Blowhardian themes of “our elites have turned against us” and “Why does the lit-world care all about the writin’ and none about the good-old craftsmanship of storytelling?”

Ah, well, good company I guess.

The Future of this Site

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Administrativa, Personal

As some of you may have noticed, posting has dropped off a bit here recently. I suppose I should offer a bit of an explanation for anyone out there reading who I don’t know personally.

In January I went to the doctor’s office for a routine check up. It’s been a few years since my last one, so I figured I may as well go. Pretty standard stuff, except the doctor did notice I seemed to be picking up a little bit of weight around the waist, so he ordered an additional test for me — A pregnancy test. It came back positive.

In the infamous words of Internets: O.M.G.

You might expect that this news would come as a shock. Let me tell you, it did. When my doctor suggested a pregnancy test I told him it was impossible as I had my period only a few days earlier. But apparently it’s possible to have a partial period immediately following conception… that is what I seem to have had.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your hyperventilating.

As this has been a completely unexpected turn of events, I’ve had to do some long and hard thinking about my life and everything … And, honestly, as much as I enjoy my own little soapbox on this corner of the world wide web, I can’t see myself dedicating much time here anymore. Currently I haven’t even decided if I am going to continue my job full-time, so a little thing like a blog … It’s funny how a little crisis like this kind of clarifies what’s really important to you.

I’m hoping that this isn’t goodbye forever, but I don’t expect to be here much for the next six or so months … And after that, who knows?