maandag 31 oktober 2011

Far Side Newsletter issue #3: New Beginnings

Heyheyhey all, and welcome to a new unregularly timed issue of what`s hot and what`s not at the TSA Far Side gaming group, Exploring the Outer Reaches of Insanity.
In the spirit of the Holiday Season that is rapidly approaching (my Go.. Myself, a year is nothing anymore), today we will be visited by the ghosts of Far Side Past, Far Side Present and Far Side Future

The Ghost of Far Side Past: Wrapping Up

So, quite a few things have come to closure in the past weeks, as more and more projects where put of, put forward, shuffled around and turned upside down.

A Regiment a Month

It`s ended. Six months long, the idea was that 7 people would be painting a full regiment each month, in order to
a. Get armies ready for gaming and
b. slice a tiny bit of of Lead Mountain

It`s a pity, but it didn`t really hit the mark, with only two persons reaching the finish line, and 2 never getting of the starting line.
But personally, I don`t mind that much, it got me occupied and motivated to swagger my brash instead of ramming away on my PS3, netting me in the end 7 units for various game systems, mostly ACW Union.

I don`t know if I`m going to try set up something like that in the near future again though, as at the moment I got like 149 full units to paint soread over 3 armies, and that is not counting things like my Gundams and the likes. I`ll be quite busy the comming weeks me thinks hehehe. I`m surrounded by literally hundreds of Tau, Chaos Dwarfs and Union infantrists for the moment (but hopefully they`d be all in boxes and stocked a bit decent by the end of next week).

It`s safe to conclude...

... that some games probably died a silent dead by now. ACTA Babylon 5 foremost on the list, even with the Star Trek set they are now releasing, and which I`m buying just for collection sake, the game has literally been torn assunder.
The same fate seems to have befallen Where Heroes Dare! Even though I know that when Andy reads this, he`s gonna say it ain`t true, but fact of the matter is that no-one has looked even over his shoulder to the set. It was fun, but let`s move along shall we.
Some games are in the walhalla at the moment, like Historics. Not much animo after the initial get go, but at least all those ACW regiments can be of use for the annual ACW weekend, just click the link on our all new and sparkly club website for more information: TSA Homepage

The Ghost of Far Side Present: Indecisiveness Galore

The Glue has been Chosen, but will it set?

So as I said in a previous post, we needed another game that we could `bring and play`. In a topic I opened on our club forum, the 9 regulars of the Far Side managed to suggest no less then... 23 games! In other words, a hopeless cause.

But then a series of coincedences happened...
* Forge World released Throne of Tamurkhan, with an official, tournament legal army list for... the CHAOS DWARFS! After years of limbo, we`re spared the Squat fate, though even if it is in the sidelines, the dawi Zharr of Hashut are still alive and kicking.
* The second fact was that I was, at that moment, sorting out through the remnants of my old, trashed, chipped army.
* Thirdly, in all the talks I had with Far Siders, the memories, both good and bad, of the `GW Days` came to the fore. More importantly... most people still had armies for Warhammer and for 40k, or both, around.
* We needed a fresh influx of people, and what better to get fresh people to play against then by revisiting the classics. We where Magic`ing anyways, so what the heck, we can go all back to our gaming roots and start over then. Well, apart from those 15 odd years we can`t rewind on our biological clock that is...

So the decision was made, and for 2012 the Far Side is throwing itself back onto the games of GW, not necessarily with their models but heck, a game is still better then twiddling thumbs due to nothing happening that evening.

A Hedgewizard with Parlor Tricks

Or how my current level of `back to Magic` is progressing, I get whoopied a lot, but I`m learning. Drafts are great for both getting easy cards, and more importantly to learn to build a deck with what`s literally in hand...
DCI numbers are registred, the Far Side is comming to zap you! Well, in due time... perhaps... from behind you... when you aren`t looking.

Invasion Earth!

The title of the finale of the 6mm Future War Commander, starting the 11th of november. The setup this time is a bit different from previous campaigns we ran, as this one is, being a finale, invitational only.
Only regular Far Siders and the two very commited rookies from the grand one from the beginning of the year have received an invitation to take a spot.
The idea is to make this one a frantic race to the finish. The system, instead of map or pointbased, is this campaign TIME based. Humanity, having won the first campaign, holds the whole map, and the Aliens have to force their way in. Instead of grid selection, they can attack anywhere (let`s say they drop `em from orbit for easiness sake, iight) BUT have only 50 games (and that is ALL players combined) to score at least 26 victories, otherwise their last ditch invasion has come to a halt and the remnants of the forces annihalated.

And now to ruin the budget

Well, two weeks ago it was FACTS and next week our club is hosting Crisis... needless to say, my wallet doesn`t like this period, but I still have pledged myself to try and keep the extra space I created for my Saints Cloths effectively for those... wish me luck hehehe

The Ghost of Far Side Future: no comment...

Is it a Launch?

So that brings us to things in the pipeline, and my own personal rating of wether or not I see this taking of...

ACTA Star Trek: not going to happen. I can`t imagine people buying the new rules, or models, and as i said earlier, after almost 7 years it`s been good but done with the rule system

Uncharted Seas: This might just work. I don`t see it becomming an every nighter, but I can see a few Siders play the game IF we communicate when we`re playing, not when suddenly two turn up and by the time the rest painted their fleet it is buried again... the fate of many a game in many a group around the globe.

SuperSystem: I HOPE this will take off. Problem is that it ain`t the simplest of rules, and errrm, let`s say Far Siders aren`t the most focussed rules-studiers in the gaming world. But I`m going to try and run a series of linked battles, titled `Zombie nation` (insert German trance classic here)

*editor`s note: okay*

which will be featured on thos very own blogspot as a team of Heroes and a team of Villains will work their way to a common finale. Think of it a bit in prgressing as Marvel`s EXCELLENT Civil War series from not to long ago, where lines became more and more blurred until the climax of the storyline.

So that is about it for this issue, as CRISIS is upon us, and I will be there a couple of days helping with the build up and all, so if you read this blog, and are one of my loyal fanbase (or, alternatively, you want to punch me in the nose), make sure to drop by on saturday to say hi. If it`s for the punch, i`ll probably point to my neighbour claining `he`s Tomsche` teeheeehee

Ciao Ciao, and till the next time!

zondag 30 oktober 2011

Regiment of the Month 6: Crossing the finish line

So here we are, the final instalment of this effort by a heap of TSA`ers. At the end, not many reached the finish line, but I wouldn`t call it a flop though, it motivated me at least to seriously tackle some `have to do` units on Lead Mountain.

And just to celebrate this, I present you this month with no less then two units finished...

Tau Fire Warriors: Pro-painted, your friend!

Now, I`m not meaning in any way by this that they are pro-painted, but if you look for `pro painted` on sites like eBay, you`ll find the most horribly coloured in, misassembled heap of miniatures on earth, and they are dead cheap to boot as well. I netted this unit for only a pound on the famous auction site. Sure the backpacks where upside down and yups, guns didn`t fit nicely in hand, but my wallet loved the blokes.

One just wonders how those people`s `tabletop standard` or `average` paintjobs would look like.

But on to the unit then. I opt not to go for to much flashy stuff in my `core` units, so I just took the top size of 12 with no blah blah, apart from two pulse carabines. You never know when you might get lucky and get an extra volley in with the, imho, superior standard weapon of the game, the pulse rifle.

Roll out the guns

The second unit is actually not the one I had planned. I wanted to present the 69th New York (the Irish Brigade) in their still `militia` state, the regiment where the `Boys that wore the Green` evolved out.
But I ran low on my Coat D`Arms Light Blue, the colour I use in the pants for one, and of course, the models are wearing the long coats that need to be in that colour... typically. Luckily, Crisis is only 6 days away now (well, for the build up and all, technically 5).

So instead I painted up a small battery of 6pdr guns. The models are Foudnry crew, but I have no idea where I found the little cannons, I have them in my bitsbox for ages.
I noticed my confederate opponents over the course of ARAM all prepared artillery, so now we can at least give some counterbattery fire before the heavier guns get a paintjob.

To Infinity... and Beyond!

So what to do now then? Well, with the return to GW, of which the who and why will be featured in the next Far Side newsletter by the end of the week, I now have no less then 5 main projects running for painting *swallow*

There are the warhammer and 40k armies that need to be build up to about 1000 points each to get the ball rolling, then there are the Union forces that still need a couple of regiments to be added to their ranks, the Dreadfleet ships and accessories are also in the making and finally, I have to start preparing for a new Lead Painter`s League should the fresh season start...

I guess I`m going to `alternate` in sequence and go for full regiments at a time, now that I got the hang back of the requirements in painting regiments hehehe.

So, till the next time, ciao ciao!


Thanks all for stroking my ego that much! Up to the next milestone, the 50k it is...

I hope I can bring you some stuff that might even vaguely tingle your intrests, and tomorrow that will start with the finale of A Regiment A Month

vrijdag 28 oktober 2011

Care for a Joke?

Some fresh painted Heroclix, this time from the DC universe:

The comical and deadly duo of Gotham city, the Joker and Harley Quinn waltz in to make some people`s life`s very, very miserable.
One carries a bomb, while the other hops around armed with... ermm... a pair of... oh my... fish!

The only thing that I find a bit of a shame is that they haven`t released Harley so far as I know in her newer look from Suicide Squad, where she exchanged her birthday clown outfit for something, well, more special in style...

donderdag 27 oktober 2011

Saint Seiya Myth Cloth review # 19: Nachi of Wolf

I like Nachi. I always thought his cloth pretty neat, and his personality rather heroic, if even that seems to come forth out of a foulish bravery though.

His first `moment` was when he charged the Phoenix Ikki during the Galactian Tournament, which admittedly didn`t seem to be his brightest idea afterwards as he is quickly taken out with Ikki`s Genma Ken attack. But it was brave none the less.

It was also Nachi that pointed out it is quite unbelievable that Ikki and Shun are related due to their extreme differences in character, but mostly he comes around as being a laid back person. One of the 100 orphans, Nachi picked the ticket to Liberia, were he trained for 6 years until finally obtaining the Bronze Wolf Cloth.
After having lost in the tournament, he went back to Liberia to further progress in his training.
He later came back and with the other 4 Bronze Saints, Jabu, Ichi, Ban and Geki he headed for Sanctuary. There he and the others rescued Tatsumi and the comatose Athena, and stayed with them until Gold Saint Gemini Saga, the false Pope of Sanctuary, had been defeated.

In the Hades arc, Nachi along with Ichi had been appointed to commanders over the Sanctuary guards and takes their job seriously. But as the dead Silver Saints started appearing and as they realize their attacks don't work so good, they are saved by Jabu. Later he appears to protect Seika from Thanatos, and risks his life in doing so.

His signature attack is known as the `Dead Howling`, a fast angled fist attack that can rip the enemy to pieces due to internal injuries.

On to the cloth then we go. First of, I consider Nachi my absolute trophy from past weekends FACTS convention. One of the harder to get saints, if you look for him on eBay he goes for around 120 euros, and then the shipping from Hong Kong or the likes have to be added, usually around 20 euros for a Saint model. I saw him at a stand for... 35 euros, so I immediatly bodychecked one of my buddies to get my greedy paws on the box.

The Wolf cloth is one of the least altered form the manga, only comming with leg armour in the anime series, though it`s colouring was changed from yellow to a (better looking for sure) greenish grey.

The model is like all the bronze saints, not to much flashy details but a well executed, simple cloth. Most of the parts are metal, namely arms, chest, knee and leg pieces, leaving only the belt, shoulders and headpiece in plastic.

Unfortunatly, the face doesn`t win me over though, it would have been better in my opinion if they had made his face smirk that little grin he often has in the series, instead of the rather neutral expression he has now.

Can`t say much about it though, there is not really anything wrong with the cloth, just like his other `b-team` bronze saints companions, but the face gets me to detract a point, rating him a nice 4 out of 5. Yes, this is biased as well by the fact that I love the cloths look, I`m even considering the Wolf cloth as my first experiment with fibreglass molding to make a costume myself for FACTS next year, when the Far Side plans to go cosplaying...

Meet the Team

And with Nachi, I know have the first sub team of Saints completely collected, the so called `second rank` Bronze Saints.

Ban of Lionet, Nachi of Wolf, Jabu of Unicorn, Ichi of Hydra and Geki of Bear.

Bringing my collection now to 20 Saints, and the collecting rate stepped up as I dropped other intrests of the wargame hobby (mainly, paint before you buy teeheehee), I am now 60 cloths down from the full collection of `normal Myths`, including Shaina (pre ordered already) and Harpy Valentine who aren`t released yet.

So with the envisioned rate of getting myself two to three cloths a month, I should be able to catch up near to a full collection in the comming years...

woensdag 26 oktober 2011

Avengers Assemble!

Painted up a batch of fresh heroclix, this time a bunch of the mighty Avengers to file out that team. Okay granted, if your a Marvel reader, it seems that each and every hero at one time has been either a) an X-man or b) an Avenger, but heck, if it suits the story it suits me.

So left to right we have:

Wasp - Janet van Dyne: Wasp wings grow out of her back when she shrinks to less than 4' tall. Having undergone the same treatment as Hank Pym, she is able to shrink to a smaller size and has small hand blaster devices she calls her `Wasp Sting`s`

Quasar - Wendell Vaughn: Being of pure quantum energy; Formerly wielded the Quantum Bands in his role as Protector of the Universe. His worthiness was determined by the cosmic entity known as Eon. After Eon's death, Epoch now serves as Quasar's mentor.

She-Hulk - Jennifer Walters: Jennifer was shot by mobsters while being visited by her cousin, Bruce Banner, AKA the Incredible Hulk . A blood transfusion from Banner was necessary to save her life, a side effect of the gamma-irradiated blood was that she mutated into She-Hulk.

Iron Man - Anthony Stark: Tony Stark was born to parents Howard and Maria Stark. During the Vietnam War (recently changed to the Persian Gulf War), Stark was captured by Communists and, with a piece of shrapnel in his heart, was about to die. Constructing a suit of iron armor that would also help with his recovery, Stark broke out of captivity and journeyed back home to the United States. Since then, there have been many newer versions of the suit, being around version 27 in the comics, before Odin assisted in creating a magically infused version in the recent `Fear Itself` series.

The Vision: The metal monstrosity called Ultron created the synthetic humanoid known as the Vision from the remains of the original, android Human Torch of the 1940s (actually a divergent Human Torch created by Immortus for his own machinations) to serve as a vehicle of vengeance against the Avengers, Earth's Mightiest Heroes. The Vision possesses a number of superhuman powers ultimately derived from his artificial substance and metabolism. The Vision's android body is functioning replica of a human body containing analogues to virtually all human organs, blood, and tissue, composed of an unrevealed synthetic organic-like substance. This substance mimics all the functions of human tissue, but is several times as strong, durable and resilient.

zondag 23 oktober 2011

Saint Seiya Myth Cloth review # 18: Sorrento of Siren

The messenger of Poseidon as he is often called, the Siren scales are the first of Poseidon`s generals we get to see.

In the original manga, he attacks the hospital where the Bronze saints are recovering from their injuries sustained during the assault on Sanctuary. He is held of by Aldebarran in what is one of the oddest battles in the series, including a `head in chest armor` turtle move, a `hide behind the gold cloth move` and the moment he punctures his eardrums, having grave consequences later on in the Hades chapter.

In the anime adaption, Siren reveals the awakening of Poseidon and his role in the posessing of Hilda by the Nibelungen ring. Siegfried, the last surviving God warrior, then grapples the Marina general, launching himself into the sky.

Later, it is revealed that Sorrento survived this, as he faces Shun at the Pillar of the South Atlantic Ocean.

When the final Marine General, Sea Dragon Kanon, revealed the plan he started 13 years ago to manipulate Poseidon into starting the war with Athena so that he could take over, Sorrento realized that all of the Generals were only pawns used by Kanon to achieve his goal of world domination.

After Poseidon was defeated and sealed, Sorrento again encountered Julian Solo, now no longer possessed the spirit of Poseidon. Though they became friends, Julian does not remember their previous meeting. Sorrento accompanied Julian to use the power of his music to bring joy to the victims who suffered from the global natural disasters caused by Poseidon's awakening.

Sorrento's final appearance was in the Hades arc of the manga. Poseidon's soul reawakens in Julian Solo, and joins the battle between Athena and Hades. Sorrento is surprised that the spirit of Poseidon was not sealed completely in Julian. He then wishes the Bronze Saints good luck.

One thing I like about the Siren, is that for once a saint that fights with music, isn`t using a harp. The Siren wields a flute, and the Dead End Symphony is a nice piece of music in my opinion.

The model is nicely detailed with a lot of extra pieces to add when assembling the cloth. For example, there are small plastic parts that go on arms and legs to cover up the top of the feet and the wrists.

It is a rather complex build to be honest, depending a tat on `timing` when certain pieces need to fit together (the upper chest halves together with the upper chest body for example).
Another minor point is that if you position the flute `as it is in real life` correctly aligned with the fingers playing it and the mouth at the height of the blowpiece, the head needs to be tilted a bit to the right. This however causes the right shoulder pad to `lift uprwards` as can be seen in the picture going with this small review.
The final points of bleurgh I have with this model is the robe piece. If your not using the Bandai stands, you can`t put the legs close enough to each other to have it close firmly, leaving a small split between the front plates. This is not a fault of the model for me though, just a result of the choice I made about the bases.

Siren is a very nice model executed for his hair piece and the colouring of the eyes, with a very serious looking facial expression as he stares over his flute towards his enemies. I would rate the model `only` a 2.5 to 3 though, for the issues stated above, but as always, don`t let my biased opinion persuade you to not buy it, I just offer a viewpoint of an independant, non store attached collector oppossed to all the reviews of models `out there` on professional sites.

And a picture of an assembled model on a regular table surface, so no photoshopping and a chance to get a nice idea of how the model really looks ;)

Ciao ciao, and later this week, I`m reviewing my FACTS trophee

zaterdag 22 oktober 2011

FACTS 2011 Convention Report

Nestled just before the annual Crisis show, there is FACTS in Gent`s Flanders Expo. The name is short for Fantasy - Anime - Comics - Toys - Science fiction, and as it suggests, that is what the show is all about.

Now for us wargamers, Salute and Crisis are two of the largest shows around, and I managed to convince the full Far Side to tag along this year, just to give them an impression of that aspect of the hobby, things like cosplaying, collectibles and the likes.

The Far Side in all it`s glore: Creepy Corridor Andy, myself with the pikachu hat, Sgt Looney Bjorn, Centurion `my nemesis` Guy, Mr Skratch Wim and lying in front Mechaniak Sven.

That cap is for sale for 9.99 pounds at, oddly enough I had quite a few people asking where I got it since they didn`t see it in the halls.

Their jaws dropped open! The cue at the morning was a whole football pitch long, yet filed in under 15 minutes due to advance ticket ordering (sorry for the Salute organisers, but this is what que busters are meant for), and a first guess would be about 5000 people in the early hours alone. Minus the Early Birds that could already enter at nine, and the fact there is a second day on sunday, we`re talking I guess somewhere around 7000 to 8000 visitors. Making it a small con if you view it against american monsters like ComicCon, but still, for little belgium, that is mightilty impressive.

So let`s have a look around, first off, the trader and dealer halls, there where two of these, as in total the Expo counted 3 halls for the event alone (1 hall being about the size of the whole Metropolis hall we have at our disposal for Crisis).

But FACTS is of course also about the cosplaying. Yes, where considering going fully costumed next year as well, so I better start studying how to work with fibreglass to make myself a Saint armor teeheee

In the third hall, most of the clubs we`re located as well as a heap of videogames like ubisoft and the likes. Here, the mainstage also ran the cosplay competitions as well as some acts by cosplay groups

So that birngs us to the dribs and drabs that caught my particular eye, for a variety of reasons whatsoever and don`t fit into the mass material above...

A Beast cosplayer, I thought his look just awesome

The venerable M41 Pulse Rifle from Aliens, it must be the coolest looking scifi gun ever made, but I`m afraid 790 euros is even over my budget for a decoration piece

Even though that gun could come in useful...

The return of the pinball machine. There was a whole lot of them on display, and I was most impressed by how gorgeous they looked

This was pretty neat, a girl, not associated to the demo stand, was playing a dancing game with a character she was dressed up.

We are your friends, we come in peace. I`d hide my hamster though...

The R2-D2 Builder`s Club was present once again. I keep thinking that the idea of a group of people tinkering in some garagebox to build droids is sheer awesomeness.

Go Go Power Rangers! One thing I admire about cosplayers, is that not only they have the balls to walk around playing dressing up, but they spontaneously pose for every camera pointed their way. Something those overpaid sportstars and the likes can really learn a lesson about!

A beat em up featuring Pikachu... maybe it`s time to buy just one more gameconsole... Speaking of which, there was a dealer selling USB `classic` gamecontrollers, like the old Nintendo 8 bit, or those arcade joysticks with the 8 big buttons (4 black, a yellow, a red, a blue and a green - you`ll fondly remember those if your older then, I`d say 25 years), and compatible for PC, PS3 and the likes. I was severly tempted to buy one though (but in all honsesty, we where already returning to the car when I remembered to get one)

Glassfibre costume building... I`d better start studying that picture then.

Here`s a quiz for you: where does the original 4 bit Space Invaders screen end, and Mechaniak`s sweater start?

Creepy things go on in the Creepy Corridor

I`m not sure who should be the most afraid... poor Freddy, better slaughter those scream queens

And so the day ended as we where waved of by the inhabitants of Azeroth on the way to the car. Will the Far Side return next year? I think they will, I haven`t heard complaints of people being bored and stuff, only about `my wife will kill me if I buy that` kinds. And we are considering to dress up for the occassion then as well...

Which leaves me with one last, traditional convention picture: The Loot

I`m a VERY happy camper. First of all, there was a pre-order I did with Archonia, for about 30 comics. I found one of the SEED Destiny manga`s there, as well as three volumes of the Saint Seiya manga. Only 4 left for full completion of the series.
But then the jewels are found. Two sets of 3 Gundam manga, namely G-Fighter and The Last Outpost, for only 10 euros a set. A hadfull of button badges to fill my messenger bag I carry to work even further. A few sleeves with cool vampire art for my Magic deck and a Pokemon deck box for something special I have in mind.

But the jackpot... Nachi, Bronze Saint of Wolf. This is one of the most hard sought after saints from the Myth range. if you look for him on ebay you`ll find him costing between 110 to even 200 euros! I found him from a small traders stand for... 35 euros!!!!!

I was exstatic (and sorry Guy for the shove, I needed to get to my prey as soon as possible...)

Ciao ciao and up to the next convention!