dinsdag 30 april 2013

Grand Pope Shion

Grand Pope Shion was the Aries saint of the previous holy war (depicted in both the Legend of Hades and the Lost Canvas manga series), and rose to the position as one of two survivors of that era (the other being Dohko of Libra, who would become the `old master` of the Five Peaks).

He was the apprentice of Hakurei the cloth maker in The Lost Canvas, brother of Grand Pope Sage and them both also survivors of the Holy War before that.  An inhabitant of Jamir, Shion also had the powers to repair and restore damaged cloths, apart from being one of the younger and most recent Gold Saints during his era.

Upon becoming the Grand Pope, Shion could no longer perform the duties of the Aries Saint as he had previously done - thus, he began to train an apprentice to succeed the Cloth. Shion found that successor in Mu, during the 20th century, an extraordinary young man of the same race as Shion with a natural talent for Cloth reparation. Mu not only became the new Gold Saint of Aries, but he did so with all of Shion's abilities under his belt.

After Athena had once again reincarnated as a human infant after more than two centuries, Shion began preparations for the inevitable war. He understood that, due to old age, his
own time would soon be up, and therefore needed to choose a successor for his seat. With the exception of Sagittarius Aiolos and Gemini Saga, all of the Gold Saints were too young and inexperienced to take up the responsibilities. After a lengthy time of consideration, Shion eventually settled on the Gold Saint of Sagittarius. While Aiolos was not as powerful as Saga, Shion felt confident in his choice because he knew of Aiolos' undying loyalty to Athena and undeniable devotion to virtue.

Unfortunately, Shion was confronted by Saga in regards to his decision shortly after the announcement. It seems Saga felt discontent at Shion's choice, and demanded an explanation for it. Shion revealed that, while he acknowledged that Saga had a heavenly reputation and was the more powerful of the two, he could not help but sense something terrifyingly dark within the Gemini Saint. It is at this point that Saga confirmed Shion's suspicions, and assaulted the weary Pope with a deathblow.

Shion returned from the death by Hades, and created and led the plan for the fallen Gold Saints to look like traitors in order to allow the bronze saints to travel to Hades`s castle and enter the Underworld to help in the Holy War of the 20th century.  The plan was revealed when he battled hos former friend Dohko, before his new lease on life is fleeting away at the sunset of the new dawn...

The model is one of the SS `bottlecap` gashapon models I have in my collection, now I only need to paint Saori herself (but first replace the staff handle with an iron rod, as the soft plastic has been bend beyond straightening) to complete the whole `Sanctuary` series and move on towards the next batch, the Marina generals of Poseidon.

Unfortunatly for them, there is only a set of the Temples for background scenery though, no Pillars are on the market in that scale.

maandag 29 april 2013

Antwerp Convention 2013 report

It was that time of the year again, the Antwerp Convention was upon us.  Taking along the GF and the Munchkin along this year, I was out with a modest shopping list: my goals where three Saint Seiya Myth Cloths: God Cloth Hyoga, and Gold Saints Aldebaran and Aiolios.

Together with some orders that Archonia would be bringing along, that would be the planned loot, but lets have a look at the convention... with the occasional comment placed in between.

 The area for various contests and cosplay events.  At 11 in the morning this place was quiet, and as we vacated the hall around 1300, it seemed that we went out right on time.  Around 1400 they had thrown in some masses of attendees, and I read and heard it was a very busy affair then.

 Robo Wars, the germans beat the dutch again...

 North Korea snacks, didn`t get around to it this year though
 Catwoman having a shake
 Japanese slot machines, Evangelion style.  You go Rei!

 The two critters I like the most, Pikachu and Munchkin

 Pacific Rim... wanna so see the movie, it`s time it`s July....

 Every Star Wars fan worst upcomming nightmare...

 Dirty Harry pinbal machine
 Munchkin, whom i tend to call Smurf in the house, and his `family` hehehe
 If you like, please place a vote for this very nice lady.  It doesn`t hurt and it only takes a second.  It basically translates for english followers that Michelle would love to become a Smurf Ambassador.
 I learned GF likes Gizmo *scribbles down in notebook*
 I don`t know much about Harry Potter, so this was the one stand GF and Munchkin outclassed me by a gazillion
 Munchkin in full swing of expanding his arsenal.  In the end he chose the Voldemort and the Bellatrix Vendetta wands.

 Got the card, got my eye on a couple of T shirts...
 I was SO tempted to haul along a series of KO original Dinobots...
 Got me a small token of affection for the GF here, she didn`t notice me sneaking off teeheehee

 Let`s go all Marty McFly...

 Munchkin still has the living daylights scared out of him by this bloke.  An evil plan has been forming to `Bleh` him when he was in his bed, but the GF stopped me...

 Dutch Resident Evil players
 R2 with a nifty gimmick, one of the panels opened to hand out candy to the little attendees

But this brings us to... THE LOOT

I didn`t find any of the three cloths I was after, but did get some great deals.  Both Black Phoenix and Shun only costed me 30 euros each, a real bargain.  Furthermore, Archonia brought along my orders, being Thetis the Mermaid, three more volumes of the Lost Canvas manga (in french) and the most recent Magic the Gathering comic.  I also found a Kanon the Seadragon with the trader I always buy at at both AC and FACTS.  The Gigurearts Kouga was added to the collection as well, as was a Lego book with limited edition Han Solo, topped off by a FREE illustrated book of Bilbo`s Last Song at Brugse Boekhandelaar. 

That last one seemed to be handing out free books, as my GF bought two Rien Poortvliet `kabouter (leprechaun) books there out of youth sentiment, and got a free (big) book with it of Eragon`s world full of illustrations, the histories of elves, dwarfs etc etc.

I also got said token, not pictured, being a heart shaped pin of Tinkerbell, while the Munchkin walked away with his two wands.  In the end, I haven`t even spend 200 euros for all my loot and the foodstuffsies, so i`ll call this a very well scored convention!!!!

zondag 28 april 2013

The Playstation Challenge part 4 of 12

So here we are again, fresh from the Antwerp Convention fantasy fair (check back here tomorrow evening for pictures and brabblings) with the traditional last sunday of the month oversight of the Playstation challenge.

And is only a draw at the moment by 30 points, so I guess we can safely say that Andy has handed out another uppercut, as he gained a few thousands points again for the second month running.  Are you using walkthroughs or USB save games lad? ;-)

Seriously though, this was as predicted last month, and to top it off all, I started painting again (a little bit, I did 8 figures this year, all in the past month), combined with a couple magic events, the evercontinuing trying to clear out all my wargame models and of course the lass requiring attention, and that all resulted that I didn't get to play and finish what I liked. Oh well, I can aim for that X-Men Destiny platinum then perhaps next month?

Anyhow, here are the standings for this month... or in my mind set, tap black, tap red and tap 4 uncoloured mana, and it feels like I had my Slaughter Games reflected back at me.

Last update: 28st of April 2013


Points: 34.905 +2.265 points
Level: 14 - 36% +28%

Platinum Trophies: 7 + 0
Gold Trophies:70 + 6
Silver Trophies: 298 + 20
Bronze Trophies: 1227 + 75

Games played: 228 + 8
Games Beaten: 27 + 2


Points: 43.845 + 3.360 points
Level: 15 - 48% + 42%

Platinum Trophies: 13 + 5
Gold Trophies: 114 + 11
Silver Trophies: 327 + 12
Bronze Trophies: 1429 + 90

Games played: 188 + 25
Games Beaten: 21 + 2

This means Andy starts the year with a lead of 8670 points, currently the gap is 8970 (DRAW)

As you can see, apart from the silver trophies, I got beaten over the whole line, even games acquired and played.  And 5 vs 0 platinums is an immense 600 point bonus gap.

It seems I'm going to need a plan to try and reverse the fortunes a bit the comming month, where it not that my professional contract is ending half way in May and I have to do a lot of paperwork to go back to school, am spending a lot of time playing non supported games (Saint Seiya on PSP for one) or playing immense storyline trophy ones (Ni No Kuni) so I fear it will be more another month of damage control for me.  And my team is still as apathic as a cow watching the high speed train going by for the first time...

I can only pray to Athena the team gets moving again, if not the contest can be run in the comming two months and I'll be groping and grabbling in an uphill battle to salvage the last bit of decency that can be gained.  But first the goal set for this year, get to level 15 on the rankings and see from there.

So let's end with the traditional numbers, the international and national rankings.

Currently YGC is tracking 1.278.616 profiles, resulting in Andy placing 76.102 worldwide and 1.087 national ranked.  Compared to that, I'm only 110.131th worldwide, which in turn is good for a 1.506th spot in Belgium.

Improvement is definitly needed it seems... hopefully next month as now it stands 2 - 2 in monthly victories...

zaterdag 27 april 2013

Universal Century Mobile Suits

Yes, I know I should be focussing on a variation of things, but I found my `brush` back and have completed two more Gundam mobile suits, this time from the earlier series (Gundam, Z Gundam, ZZ Gundam storyline era).

So set aside for a few days where
1. Cleaning out my wargames closets
2. Sorting doubles and non-played Magic cards
3. Battling the Playstation challenge

The first suit on the left is a MS-09 Dom variant, armed with a cannon.  The Dom was Zeon`s follow up suit of the Gouf, being more manouvrable and faster even though he looks rather sluggish.

The suit on the right is the YMS-15 Gyan was the prototype suit piloted by M`Quave to compete with the Gelgoog suits.  The Zyan was to be the brawler suit, while the Dom`s would provide the long range support, but proved to be no match at all for the Earth Federation's Gundam RX-78-2 piloted by Amuro Ray, with the prototype being destroyed and M`Quve dying in the battle.

dinsdag 23 april 2013

The farce that was my WMCQ

WMCQ... the World Magic Cup Qualifiers.  You have a whole year to play towards, in the case of Belgium, the minimum limit of 300 Planeswalker Points .  Then your allowed to play in this event, which has a nice x5 PP modifier.

It is the cullimination of a yearly effort, and in Belgium, about 320 people had reached the limit.  There where to be 3 Qualifiers in the country (Liege, Antwerp and Brussels) and I went to the Antwerp one past weekend, full of good hopes that my Rakdos / Red Aggro hybrid would make a good show to end around the upper midfield.
It's the kind of deck that goes off or not, but when it starts going, it can burn and hit rather fast.

I also resorted to voodoo, because I really love the top-8 playmat with the fireball toting Chandra, and so I offered innocent souls of deadborn polynesian mudfrogs to Joo-Boo, in order that
1. I wouldn't face too many Thragtusks, the cow really has it on my nerves and is the bane of my deck
2. My opponents would have the necessary mana flows and screws to sneak a winning round in left or right in that way.

It went severly wrong with the fickle Voodoo god though.  I was plagued all day by mana and colorscrews myself, and (as I kept count for sport), faced no less then 17 Thragtusks spread over 4 opponents.

The 'top of the case' was even when in my 6th round, I was able to, at 1-1 in rounds, Slaughtergame BOTH Thragtusk and Sphinx Revelation when he was at 4 life.  I had a Cackler out at that point, which he Abrubt Decayed.  I was at 20 life still... and lost.  Mountain after mountain after painland turned up, no burn, no beast to be seen.

It was going so well, that going to round 7, at least there where only an uneven number of players left and I got the bye for being in the cellar.  I reallly had expected the way the day was turning out I would have to face yet another band of the green beasts.

So the poor end result was 1 win, 1 bye and 5 losses, good for 6 points and an 84th place on 107 players... oh well, chin up old bloke, with the 50 points I gained even this way, I'm on the road to revenge next year.

To top the karma off, my favorite soccer team went down 4-1 in Lokeren, killing the last title ambition chances, and Ferrari had an off day in Bahrein...

Now, with Dragon's Maze arriving at the end of this week, I'm going to be doing some tweaks to my deck and go in 'deeper' into the Rakdos part, sacrificing some 'weenie speed' for extra body.

The first change will be replacing 4 of my 12 mountains with Swamps to handle the heavier need of black mana, and 2 more for Rogues Passage's, because I'm going to include 1 or 2 Master of Cruelties.  The unblocked ability this bloke has is nice, but the deathtouch blocker might prove handy late game.  I'm also going to run at least 1 Exava the Blood Witch to boost my unleashers with haste, and definitly going to run 4 of the new B/R drop 3/1 haste goblins.

Cards on the cutting list are the 4 Stromkirk Nobles, they are great guys, but in the current meta there aren't that much humans around that aren't able to burn him down when he is 2/2 or 3/3 to attack in turn 2 or 3.  I prefer the one drop Cackler at the moment over the noble.  Two of the 4 Reckoners will get cut as well (for now, I'll see how the manabase and curve will handle it all), as will the lone Guttersnipe hiding in my deck.
The Lightning Maulers are in the balance at the moment, depending again how well the base / curve goes with the Exava.  Decisions, decisions, but I figure it might be better to already get a hang off a 'pure' Rakdos deck already in order to be prepared when the Innistrad block cycles out, taking over half my current deck with it... even though that will cost me a lot of points to get the hang off the revised playstyle and timings.