zondag 31 maart 2013

Please, keep me out of a toy store!!!!

I mean, really, if you see what great sets there are in the pipeline for LEGO, I cannot guarantee at all that I can restrain myself...

First of all, there are new sets comming for the Lord of the Rings franchise (mind you, nothing is known yet for any second The Hobbit tie-in sets), the one that I really fancy is the Corsairs ship with Army of the Dead mini-figs.  Together with the arrival of the Rohirrim (BOTH times, those guys so rock), perhaps the most awesome scenes of the movies (okay, and Brunen Ford, and the March of the Ents + music)...

Together with that, there is also a smaller set comming that I have my eye on, the wizards dual between Gandalf and Saruman at Ortanc

And to complete the LotR releases I fancy, there is also a game comming out, Battle of Helm`s Deep.  I must admit, bar being Lego, those games are actually quite fun as well, more of some recent additions to my collection in a future post, but it involves famous boardgame designers and Lego bricks.

Talking games, this one is something I`m `more or less` intrested in, IF I find it in a discount for the holidays I`ll take it along, if not, probably not...

Another franchise, perhaps less well known overhere in Belgium, is the new Disney movie The Lone Ranger.  Now where I`ll be looking to just get the 4 Turtles as the sets don`t intrest me seperatly, the Lone Ranger has some very, very pretty sets.

Heck, I basically liked them all, but these two are the ones I fancy most... IF they get released over here...

The first one features Union troops, and I imagine that set being a `winner` amongst people wanting to build a Lego MOC display detailing the American Civil War, especcially with this year being 150 years of Gettysburg.
The second is just a greatly done stagecoach, and the minifig of Helena Bonham-Carters (yes, after Bellatrix Vendetta from Harry Potter, she gets a new minifig made after her) is just fantastic.

Talking about the topic of minifigs, in the upcomming series 10 there are some awesome models once more, but this fella especcially will be made sure to join my collection

Well, time to order some chains to tie me to my chair, otherwise I will be planning razia`s on local toystores all the time ;-)


vrijdag 29 maart 2013

The Playstation Challenge part 3 of 12

Welcome to the third instalment of this battle between egos and PS3 owner feuds.  I'm making this line-up this month two days earlier, as with the Eastern weekend at the door, and including a Legacy GPT for Strasbourg, I wouldn't get around to it before probably later half next week...

And on the topic of easter, my eggs are still rocking with the uppercut Andy dealt me this month, as my hard won points reduction has nearly almost gone completely down the drain this month.  A combination of both him and his minion being home somewhere halfway the month smacked a dent in my offensive, and we're almost back to Square One in the points tally.  Have a look for yourself over this months result:


Points: 32.640 + 3525 points gained
Level: 14 - 8% + 45%, raised one level

Platinum Trophies: 7 +1
Gold Trophies: 64 +10
Silver Trophies: 278 +38
Bronze Trophies: 1152 +97

Games played: 220 + 17
Games Beaten: 25 +0


Points: 40.485 +5695
Level: 15 - 6% + 59%, raised one level

Platinum Trophies: 8 +3
Gold Trophies: 103 +16
Silver Trophies: 305 + 27
Bronze Trophies: 1339 +129

Games played: 163 +12
Games Beaten: 19 +3

This means Andy starts the year with a lead of 8670 points, currently the gap is 7845 (WIN TOMSCHE)

Compared to last month, the gap has been currently expanded by 1170 points in advantage to AnRoDr, meaning at current the challenge is still being won by yours truly, but only barely as he pushed me back almost to a draw, only a few trophies at the end of the month saved my ass.  The monthly score now comes to 2-1 for me, but it was a staggering blow this month.

Andy scored no less then 3 platinums this month compared to my one, as the only thing I actually outscored him was the Silver trophies.

That and the amount of games played, because I took full advantage this month of both the 'Exploration' and 'Eastern' sales on the PSN to grab me some nice games dirt cheap.

I expect for the comming months to get hit around some more actually, as with the announcement of the PS4 I have been focussing mostly on finishing my J-RPG and other storylines at least, and then see what we can grind down the road in additional trophies.

That and I really should be making an effort of like rounding up some games I have standing at over 70% for the golds and platinums, but I keep getting distracted by the 'ooh shiny, no manese' syndrom...

More numbers: worldwide I'm currently ranked 118112th, which amends to 1599th in Belgium, while Andy broke the 100k barrier worldwide, being on spot 83957 and with place 1176 on the verge of going top 1000 in Belgium.  This all on an amount of 1265572 tracked profiles.

Until next month, and may the DualShock not fail thee!

donderdag 28 maart 2013

The Imperial Armada

Some more old school Lego I managed to salvage from my boxes, I really liked this line up and about 2 decennia ago.

I know I also have the clipper of the range somewhere, waiting to be restored to her former glory to set sail on the floor, as I had it to fight off the larger pirate ship my mate had back then.

So bein at the disadvantage in size, it would only be fair to have a tower to sail to and protect it with a gunsloop now wouldn`t it ;-)

The tower itself always was one of my favorite sets back then, and I really liked the small floorplates it came with (like most of the pirate sets back then) which featured a small printed island on the board.

Roighty, back to the sorting and building, more of these restored classics will roll by in the future, but I really - really - really should start sorting out pieces for the Gundams I want to build, as I have to know which parts to `Pick-a-Brick`.

Maybe in my holidays in two weeks...

dinsdag 26 maart 2013

Level 14 on the Playstation

Okay, so technically it wasn`t me that achieved it, but my youngest cousin.  He was rummaging around on my PS3 while I was teaching his older brother to paint miniatures.

He achieved the said trophy to score the points needed for level 14 with the `Training All Over Again` trophy, a Bronze 15-pointer whom`s criteria are to do Training mode for the first mode.

The name of the game?  Dragon Ball Z Ultimate Tenkaichi.  Kaaaa-meee-haaa-meee-HAAAA!!!!

zondag 24 maart 2013

First ones!

So I finally painted my very first miniature of 2013, shame on me, I know, but drifting intrests are the largest cause for me.

Though I must say, I did enjoy myself doing them while my two little nephews where abusing the PS system overhere.

Well, until the oldest one (aged 11) kept staring fascinated at the models and I did him some quick basic theoretics, and then gave him a miniature to have a go at it himself.  Sorry for the not to good quality, but his Unicorn is way better then anything I churned out at that age (and years afterwards).

My own model (well, I actually completed three, but two still need to be based and varnished), namely this

MS-08TX(EXAM) Efreet Custom

The Efreet Custom is a heavily armed MS-08TX Efreet type mobile suit. It was built based on the later experimental suit MS-18E Kämpfer. The Efreet Custom was armed with two forearm grenade launchers, six leg mounted missiles, and two heat sabers for close combat.

It was seen in this manga sidestory

woensdag 20 maart 2013

Now Playing...

It has happened.  The Playstation 4 was announced about a month ago and about 4 years before it's planned date (remember the ps3 initial 10 year plan), and slowly things are getting cleared up a bit. 

For one, the console will not be compatible with the older system games, BUT all kinds of older games will be downloadable.

Which still raises my question, will our PS3 save games, whom are stored on the online services of Sony for one, carry over or even keep excisting... I'm going to have find instalments to put the consoles side to side then...

Now, this does affect my take on the Playstation Challenge a bit.  I'm for one now instead of trying to grind game x or y to platinum and such, going to be completing the longer taking J-RPGs I have in my possession, and I'll see how far I am afterwards to look towards grinding more trophees.  Though I am going for the X-men platinum first though, it is at two (very irritating) boss fights away of full completion and 'beatage'.

At the moment, that means I'm mostly playing Ragnarrok Odyssey on the Vita and Tales of Grace F on the PS3.  Unfortunatly, those games have 'very hard' to 'near impossible' ratings on most trophy websites, mainly due to the fact that the storylines alone tend to take up 120+ gaming hours.

Another thing I'm gonna stop is, bar two pre-orders I still have open for the PS3, buying more games for the trusted PS3 for now.  When the 4 is out to play (which in europe should be 1st quarter of 2014) the prices are going to plummet anyways on them.

Okay, so I might be losing out on Andy the comming months, and he is already spanking my ass big time this month, but it might be do-able to strike back hard time around september for the last quarter, when it's all mopping up and grinding to go.  Who knows, I'll just have to hope the gap won't be to big by then...

But now I got to go back to smacking thousands of monsters and pray I die 100 times in the process for that trophy...

maandag 18 maart 2013

First year in competition

So yesterday the first full year of playing ranked Magic The Gathering has closed for the Planeswalker Points, and I can't say I am to unhappy with the result for a 'newbie'.

Coupled with a very strong , for my doing, and more importantly consistent season, in which I had an average result hovering around the 50% wins barrier, this means I am eligible to participate in the upcomming World Magic Cup Qualifiers (for Belgium, the limit is that 40 players need to reach at least 300 PPs)

So these are the dry numbers:

Seasonal Points: 345 points

This ranks me 7822nd out of the first 20000 ranked worldwide, 2132nd out of the first 20000 ranked within Europa and 55th out of 1694 players ranked in Belgium.

Top result was the Top-8 at the Games Day, in which I completely screwed up by myself in the quarterfinal or it could have been even better, but at least I have the exclusive full art Firemane Avenger promo.

Yearly this resulted in 510 points, not eligible for the top 500 rankings within Worldwide and Europe, but putting me in spot 193 within Belgium this past competition year.

Off course, we won't be discussing my 546 lifetime points untill that has mutliplied at least by a factor of 5 hehehe...

zondag 17 maart 2013

Happy St Patrick's Day

May the Irish hills caress you.

May her lakes and rivers bless you.

May the Luck of the Irish enfold you.

May the blessings of Saint Patrick bless you.

Or at least, hope you find that pot of gold...

Disclaimer note: so far I only managed to add the second one to my collection...

donderdag 14 maart 2013

Saint Seiya Myth Cloth: Mime of Benetnasch

A fresh myth cloth arrived at my doorstep today, travelling all the way down from the icy wastes of Asgard, as the God Warrior Mime of Benetnasch, the Eta star guardian, joined my collection of models.

Mime fought Andromeda Shun during the story arc, but he couldn`t use his chains as they didn`t perceive Mime as an enemy.  It was only when Phoenix Ikki came to his aid that he revealed to Mime his true nature and unleashed his hatred. 

Ikki however defeated the God Warrior, who wished for his dying breath for the bronze saints to free the world of strife and war.

His armour represents the Harp, symbol od Odin`s son Bragi, God of Poerty and Wisdom.  His fighting attacks are all based around the use of a harp he carries with the cloth, as his Requiem for Strings technique causes his opponents to die of pain when the final note is played.  In addtion he has one `harp-less` attack, the Lightspeed Fist, which equals a Gold Saints power level.

Now the cloth itself might not be the most difficult one to build out there, but like all God Warriors in my opinion is definitly one of the better ones around.

It comes in the same gorgeous red later used on Steel Saint Sho and has an excellent face representation, I opted for the version with the closed eyes as he looks like playing his harp in misery.  The shoulder pads are `clicked on` to the balls for the shoulder, granting the model a good flexibility to be able to hold the harp in a variety of ways, even posing him sitting against a wall like when he was first encountered.

I would say he is definitly worth getting, like all the God Warriors, and he might be a little hard to find for the range (not as crazy as Bud though), but you won`t regret your purchase...  

woensdag 13 maart 2013

CSI Fatal Conspiracy - 7th Platinum

I just gained my 7th platinum tonight, another of Telltale Games 'storyline games'.  Older then The Walking Dead, it shows.  It's crap.

The game is based on the popular CSI series, the original Las Vegas setting crime lab, and features all the voices of the cast.  Pzersonally, I'm still the biggest fan of their funnier Secret of Monkey Island and farflung puzzles, but that's probably because I grew up with the original Monkey Islands ( the 486 / Pentium 1 eras... I'm THAT old yes) and other Leisure Suit Larry like thingies.

Where the Walking Dead was great fun, this game is more of irritating puzzling in the crime lab itself.  The only two episodes I enjoyed where the third one (a who dunnit) and the fourth one (a love triangle gone sour).

Graphic wise, the game isn't to spectacular, and it often glitches in the sound department where voices 'hackle' or repeat themselves.

In the end, a rather easy platinum once again, but it took only two evenings of time to get the game grinded down.  The hardest trophy is the one for 100% Skill, as one misclick on a fingerprint search or a slip in DNA matching ruins it for the episode.

Now I'm going to be finishing storylines of games first and foremost, then afterwards see where the boat is stranding to grind down some more games to Full Completion.

Cheerios and till next time!

The Riddle of the Ring

What do I have in my pocket?

The Riddle of the Ring is the smallest set of the recent The Hobbit range from Lego, tying in with the release of the recent movie.

I bought this set for the fact it features the two iconic characters Bilbo Baggins and Gollum, standing near a small rocky crevasse featuring the One Ring.

Now the rock is able to open and close, raising the Ring into view, and for the not to expensive price (around 12 euros, mind your probably paying 1/3rd for the license) this is a nice little set to have on your shelves to commemorate the franchise.  I`m not to excited about the other sets, bar the one featuring Bilbo`s house, but that one is rather on the expensive side so unless I find that discounted somewhere...


zondag 10 maart 2013

PTQ San Diego - the Modern Debut

Yesterday, the local wateringhole Outpost Gamecenters Antwerp hosted the Pro Tour Qualifier for San Diego, a x5 tournament multiplier with at the top stake a display of Gatcrash boosters, a 1000 Planeswalker Points... and the coveted invitation to the said Pro Tour tournament including air fare.

The format was Modern, meaning every card printed ever since 8th edition when the prints changed to a more 'modern' look, and even though I had build a deck for fun and casual about a year ago when I bought the goblins m13 set... I decided to jump in and take my gobbos for a spin.  In hindsight, I might have gotten better off with my speedy standard deck, but heck, valuable fine tune lessons have been learned.

This is the deck I took along, dubbed 'Hasty Goblins'.  Yes, I'm more and more tunring out to be an aggro player in whatever format I'm playing lately, and yes, if it has Haste, I'm game.

Creatures: 30

4x Goblin Arsonists
4x Goblin Balloon Brigade
4x Goblin Bushwhacker
4x Goblin Chieftain
3x Goblin Guide
3x Goblin Ruinblasters
1x Krenko, Mob Boss
2x Siege-gang Commander
1x Tuktuk the Explorer
4x Warren Instigator

Spells: 8

2x Krenko's Command
2x Dragon Fodder
4x Quest for the Dragon Lord

Lands: 22

20x Mountain
2x Tectonic Edge

Sideboard: 15

3x Incinerate
4x Lightning Bolt
4x Magmpa Spray
4x Lightning Bolt

The theorie was bloody simple, make an army asap and swamp.  In case of needing to be speedier against, I can just cycle in the whole sideboard for creatures and burn those decks relying on 6 - 10 creatures only.

With 89 entrants, as GP Verona ineviatably took numbers down (thank the lord, it was already a busy affair) and a first dabble in the format, with a deck I have been reading the cards I was going to play on the tram to the venue, expectations where a 0-7, with 1-6 being a good result and 2-5 the goal to make it for myself a good tournament.

In the end, I managed to pilfer away the two victories, one against another gobbo like deck, but that also played black for Deathrite Shamans and had Vexing Devils.  Even on the play, it was just that click slower and I outraced it two times, even though the particular deck went way better then me scoring 4 wins in the end, so I think I actually did well there. 

The second game I lost against a blue control deck, every time putting the opponent down to one point and then started flooding like hell... I just didn't draw a creature or a burn anymore to hit that last point...

Third game was a cool deck to see in action, even though I stood on the carnival against it.  By turn 3 or  it went off, drew out his entire library, then scatterhotted me for a gazillion.  Chanceless there.

Fourth game was sour, the opponent was one of the few in my career so far I wanted to smack around.  He was rather arrogant, clearly disappointed that his artifact / infect deck was playing the bottom tiers, and I just wanted to get it over with that I didn't sack his 10 counter comming in animated land with my tectonic edge because I just had to play him longer then.

Fifth game was against a local mate and bartender, Costa, and he just got darn lucky.  The moment we emptied our hands on a 1-1 score, he had nothing and was on 4 life, I had played my siege-commander and a gazillion gobbos and tokes, readying for saccing the next turn, he top-decked a snapcaster mage into Supreme Verdict, wiping the board, then a Batterskull... sour but a great game.

Second victory cama against another local, Sam, who played Bladesplicers.  At 1-1 I sideboarded in all the burns and didn't flood like in game 2, firing and swarming him to high heaven in 5 turns with Quest for the Goblin Lord, Goblin Chieftains, tokens and Bolts.  He funnily lost the first round to a 5/1 air balloon...

The last game could have been a second win against a Deathrite Shaman deck.  I outraced him easily, but stalled two times again at the last few points.

All in all, I could have snatched perhaps two more wins, but I was satisfied with the results and now am going to tweak a few things in the deck.

First off, is replacing two Quest for the Goblin Lord with two Blood Moons.  Why bother trying to destroy two or so splash colour lands with Ruinblasters and Edges, if I can just turn all non basic lands into Mountains instead.

Burnwise, I'm going to replace 2 Arsonisists and 2 Balloon Brigades with 4 Goblin Grenades.  5 Damage a token to the face is nice, and I should be able to get them in the threat zone swiftly.

Krenko will get dumped, as will one of the Ruinblasters as with the Blood Moons I'm aiming at mana disruption in another way, and the mob boss is just to slow for my deck.  Instead I'm gonna put in two Goblin Kings.  Mountainwalk is handy, seeing the format is mostly dominated with red / white / blue control these days anyways, so there will be mountains around aplenty.

Finally, I'm going to replace two Goblin Guides with 2 of the recent Legion Loyalists.  The trample might be funny in batallion, the first strike could make the pumped up goblins just bloody lethal, even though I suspect him getting burned a lot though...

Those are the changes planned for the deck, probably next time it gets 'out' will be at the GP Antwerp in October, but I might be able to sneak in a few games as Modern is now part of FNM and I think those will start getting played around july in the local watering holes in preparation...

The net gain, 50 Planeswalker Points and a for the moment around 50th place seasonal within Belgium, best season ever for moi so far...

zondag 3 maart 2013

The Society adopts The Creepy Corridor

Exciting news for all of you that used to love Andy's writings over at his now ended Blog 'The Creepy Corridor'!
My Playstation Challenge opponent has exchanged the hobby blog for working on a blog about Krav Maga and the club he is a member off... but has gotten drawn back in thanks to this exciting job offer:

... but that doesn't mean he is out of his geekiness at all, as the PS3 Challenge proves.  I also know he still dabbles occassionally in boardgames and the likes, and so I offered him a hand for our mutual benefit.  Join the Society, and this very blog will be hosting his exploits when and if he decides to write some things up, without having to take care and host a blog of his own!

So from now on, if he puts something down to the virtual paper, he just has to toss me a letter and I'll be uploading it to here.  Spread the word, the Corridors of the Society will be getting a whole lot Creepier!

But there is more!  If you want to drop an occassional line onto the intrawebs about all things geeky that we tackle overhere at the Society, drop me a reply down here or e-mail me, and we'll sort it all out.  No deadlines, no pressure, no writing essays... and no hassle maintaining a blog of your own. 

And what is in it for the Society?  Well, more evil minions of course in the road to intergalactic dominance!!!!

Having to fire things up a notch...

So we're now about one month down the road in Gatcrash, and the first Type 2 Constructed tournaments are behind my teeth (that's Standard for all you modern days kids, in MY days, we labelled formats by boring numbers instead of flashy names).

I talked earlier about the changes I was going to make from my Red / Black melange between a Rakdos andn RDW deck to replace the black by white cards.  Last week, that deck managed to get to the Top-8 of the Games Day Gatecrash, but yesterday at the GPT Utrecht, with the minor change of adding in Two more Boros Reckoners instead of a Firemane Avenger and a Vexing Devil, and replacing one Brimstone Volley with a Blasphemous Act... it stalled.

I went 2 out of 5, but two matches where a wise lesson.  The first was against a mono blue control deck, where I had to play against Time.  First time this happened with my speedy deck, and even though I had the win, it was the first writing on the wall.

The second was against a control / mill deck with Jace's and Obzedat's and the likes.  I raced him down to 2 / 3 hit points before he could stabilise... and couldn't burn away the last few points, even after sideboarding in 12 more burn spells and a Chandra after round one.  Even a Chandra's double casted Boros Charm to the face I started flooding and he stabilised and recovered.

You might say the flooding was bad luck... but he should have died before that started to happen...

So my deck, labelled Scuderia Ferrari (a lean, red racing machine... for you non europeans, Formula One is pretty popular on the old continent compare to Indy or Nascar), went back to the drawing board for the future endeavors.

The first thing I did was drop away the two Stomping Grounds and the two Ray of Revelations.  On all battles so far with the deck, I encountered a fully 1 Blind Obedience.  This enchantment is a bitch against my Haste critters and can come in play as soon as turn 2, so that is why that particular combo had been added to my (sideboard) deck.  It is turning out a dead cardspace.

Another change is that the two mainboard Skullcracks are joining their two copies in Sideboard.  Thragtusk / Sphinx Revelation is less prominent these days, and with the Reckoner being already capable of handling him, I can outrace the deck easily so far.  The two Zealous Conscripts also failed to make the renewed cut, I just don't play them even since they where in the sideboard of the black red original brew.

Other cards going out are the one mainboard Searing Spear transferring to the Sideboard as well, and the remaining Firemane Avenger going out altogether.  Turn 4 drop, turn 5 batallion attack is usually enough to get him removed anyways, as by then they are already in the critical damage zone, or some big flyer like a tougher angel is around anyways to block him off.

Flyers will remain my inheritent weakness and I'll have to rely on burns to either shoot them down, or hope to kill their controller fast enough that they can't hit me to hard.

But what is comming in, and why?

Well, both Brimstone Volleys are back.  My critters tend to die and then flinging 5 damage on the board or to the face is a good thing.  And the Vexing Devil.

I also raised the number of Blasphemous Acts to 2, wipe the board and shoot the 13 damage through a Boros Reckoner to the opponent.

But most importantly, I'm returning two favorites of mine to the deck, namely two Burn at the Stakes.  As soon as midgame starts, I can then pull back from having all my little ones getting blocked to death by bigger beasties, and try to wait out for the Burn at the Stake.

Imagine this dream combo:

I have one Reckoner and 4 weenies on the board (a common occurence) like Ash Zealots, Stromkirk Noble or Rakdos Cacklers.  Opposing me are like two or three big, though beasts that kill two of my attackers each time I would attack.

Enter Burn at the Stake.  That would tap all my creatures, and fling 15 damage to my opponent.  This should kill him as he would have been hit early on.  Now, let's say he survives, I can then cast a Blasphemous Act.  In this situation that would wipe the board, and due to the Reckoner throw 13 damage to my opponent's face as well.

In that situation, that would have been immediate 28 damage for only 6 mana...

Hence I dropped back to only 20 instead of 22 lands.  I rarely get screwed (so far, one round in 19 rounds played over the past week) and it is a viable risk for me IMHO.  I see people get mana screwed playing 26 - 27 lands as well, it's just a part of the game, accept it, deal with it, and move onwards to burn the next opponent.

So here is the deck list of the all new evolution of Scuderia Ferrari:

Creatures - 29

4x Rakdos Cackler
4x Stromkirk Noble
4x Ash Zealot
4x Boros Reckoner
4x Vexing Devil
3x Lightning Mauler
3x Hellrider
3x Gore-House Chainwalker

Spells - 11

3x Blasphemous Acts
2x Brimstone Volley
2x Boros Charm
2x Pillar of Flame
2x Burn at the Stake

Lands - 20

12x Mountain
4x Clifftop Retreat
4x Sacred Foundry

Sideboard - 15

4x Skullcrack
3x Archwing Dragon
3x Searing Spear
2x Pillar of Flame
2x Aurelia's Fury
1x Chandra, the Firebrand