A blog about tabletop hobby and or strategy games, with a side order of electronic turn based goodness here and there. Now with tons of retro gaming content both electronic and tabletop. Also with 20% more self loathing douchebaggery!

Friday, October 31, 2014

Mechwarrior Online Update: Mehtober.

Yeah some minor but eh changes and free robot.

Let's see what we got in the patches this month yes?

 The preference option?  Well it lasted a couple days till outrage basically had them backtrack.  I can kind of see why they would just make it a preference to speed up the Matchmaker process but the people have spoken.

 New stuff for morons to spend real money on fake things.  Moving on.

 It is kind of sad Clan XL engines are only NOW getting damage penalties to heat but better late than never I suppose.   HUD Reward info is now moved around.  Its mostly a thing that makes the next patch more useful.

 Yay more money and GXP sinks!  The real way to make players grind!

 Thank you sweet Raptor Jesus for hiding Trial Mechs from my inventory!

 The big spender players got a free 100 ton Atlas.  I did not.  It seems to be an ok mech to build on.  Still not worth replacing the D-DC model with the ECM.  On the upside you get 30% more C Bills using this one.  Like the next one I did get:
 The Centurion is.. flawed but interesting.  It is a 50 ton mech that needs SERIOUS C Bills spent on it to make it viable as it is a 3025 tech machines.  One that is penalized by being an ammunition weapon only mech.  As a Medium class.  But like the Atlas, 30% C Bill bonus, and a fancy paint scheme.

 A MASSIVE change to XP and C Bill rewards in game.  Now more ways to make bank that will hopefully encourage play other than MASS UP AND KILL ANYONE DUMB ENOUGH TO STICK THEIR HEAD OUT.  A small step towards causing other play styles.

 I am VERY happy there are rewards for causing the most damage to a target as opposed to just for component destruction and kill.

 More tweaks to stuff.  

 Yes we have more stupid Clan mechs coming you can waste money on.  

 And Inner Sphere too!  The Panther, Enforcer (LEPUS CAN LIVE AGAIN), Grasshopper, and Zeus will be coming in.  Most of these are.. ok looking.  Not better nor worse than the 3025 Readout originals really.    Maybe a little better.  Maybe.

And a bonus Assault class, the mighty KING CRAB, 100 tons of cool looking.  Sadly I doubt it can be painted to look like Rampage from BEAST WARS.  Because then I would need one.

Let us finish this post with some screenshots in game as is my wont. (Click for bigger as always.)
 Just an absolutely lovely shot where I had found a really nifty perch to see a huge percentage of the map without Jump Jets.

An absolutely GORGEOUS Dire Wolf.

A lovely hero Jagermech.

The Mad Dog (Vulture) in Project Phoenix colors.

In the cockpit.  Oh god that monkey.  I CAN SEE FOREVER.

 Now your XP and C Bill gains for doing things are in the lower center of your HUD.  But in a smaller font to not get in your way but still give you info where you can see it.

Getting a whole bunch of money and XP due to breaking a robot. 

 The free Centurion with all the gear ripped out of it.  Notice how much money I currently have.

Now with my preferred colors and fully kitted out, accepting what gear I already had stocked up.  About 9 million C bills to turn my "free" robot into something I might enjoy running in.

 But was it worth getting a small C bill bonus each match I use it?  Eh.. not really?  If I didn't already have three of this chassis already Elite skill mastered I wouldn't even bother honestly.

So another month, another pile of tweaks, patches, and more ways to mooch money off of players to keep doing the same damn thing we have for a few years now.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Warmachine Hordes Journeyman League: The Path to Painting Inspiration?

Or should I say Paintspiration?


Kiss my ass then jerk.

Anyhow yes.  The local Warmahordes (combination of the two Privateer Press sister games Warmachine and Hordes which are fully compatible with each other outside of how their wizards work basically) had a Journeyman League go on.

Basically you paid the store five bucks, and then got a record sheet to keep track of your wins, losses, and other achievements.  And then got some sticky patches to make your Trapper Keeper look cool.

 Each week you get points based on playing up to five games each week, and hobby points based on what you painted.  After so many points you got a patch add on.  If there was some sort of league prize for overall winning I have no idea.  Didn't ask.

And to make it more interesting we had weekly special achievements you could get.  The bottom shows the scenarios of the week, and the composition rules.  Our Press Ganger (basically the local "Street Team" promoter of Privateer Press stuff) allowed us to use any basic battlegroup we wanted, not just whatever was in our chosen faction's starter box.  So I went with Grim Angus, a Troll Bomber I had magnetized so I could swap hands and head to also use it as a Mauler, and an Impaler.  Making me 3 points under for the first week.

Until the last week your Battlegroup had to stay the same, though in the fourth week you could begin to switch said Commander Wizard.  (Basically your Quarterback in US Football.  If Phil Simms and Joe Montana could fire out devastating magical spells anyhow...)

This is cool because it gets newer players to slowly get used to their pieces and gives veterans incentives to try out new builds or maybe a new faction.

Given my free time and work schedule I could usually only get a game in each week especially once we reached the 25 and 35 point levels.  You got 3 points for winning, 2 for losing, and then paint points.  I won the paint part like a boss.

AND AS WE ALL KNOW I BLOODY HATE PAINTING.  I am super slow at it.  Like glacially so.  And never totally happy even when things turn out nice.  But I ended up with multiple Journeyman Chevrons, and the Paint Thingie which now are on my 15 dollars from Aldi Ipad case:

(I have three blood donor stickers in total on this case.  On the top flap that magnetically closes it and thus hides the speaker and camera hole I have an Intellivision sticker and a miniatures game sticker.  I have room for a couple more blood donor ones on this side and the back.  The magnetic holder and the way the case bends obviously mean my Journeyman patches aren't gonna fit properly but who cares?  I also have Derpy Hooves (PS BRONIES SUCK GO AWAY YOU FEDORA WEARING PERVERTS), Olaf from Frozen, and a graphical abortion from SA Retrogoon Acid Police.)

Yes I effectively paid five whole dollars to have embroidered stickers on my Ipad Case.  But the painting part got me working.

It inspired me to paint.

Let's inspire you shall we?

 On the right we have a bare metal Trollkin Scattergunner from the metal box I got at half off at Connecticon 2013.  On the left, a figure from the same box at what I consider "Base Painted".  Primer.  Core color spraypainted.  Flocked base with painted lip.

Even this small amount looks so much better than bare metal right?  It shows you CARE.

 This is the same model with spray primer.  Again, it alone looks better than bare metal but the leftie is still further along.  (In the back you can see my plastic Dire Troll kid in the process of having magnets and liquid green stuff putty applied.)

And now the base color.  This isn't hard to do at all or will take much time.  And it makes your stuff look better even if you don't have proper time to paint, or much time period.  Just spray around the top and sides of the model in a paint box or a well ventilated basement (I do most of my spraying by the bulkhead door in my basement on the steps.), let it dry, put it face down and spray it again to get those under parts, dry again, spray the front.  EASY PEASY!  Some cardboard to stand them on and you can rotate the board to cover all angles.

But let us go DEEPER, eh?  Howabout we add in some flesh to one of our Troll Impalers?

 While leftie is a starter box plastic and rightie is a metal they are roughly the same design so it will work.  I tried to be as careful as I could to avoid overspill and just adding in the big parts of skin makes him look so much better right?  

Wouldn't take a lot of time to get an entire small sized miniatures army up to this standard.  Just paint a little bit each day you know?

 Now we add some metallic colors.  Tin on top of the brown makes for a great low tech metal armor as the Trollbloods might have, and some silvery metallic for the spears and the keg.

 And now we give him a hair color, and use two different brown paints to be rope and wood.  I generally thinned my dropper bottle paints from Vallejo and Army Painter and my mostly mid 90s Citadel Colour ones were right from the bottle.  (And the few mid 00s Foundation but that subline always dries out and needs water so ends up being thinned in the bottle anyhow.)

Now even stopping here gives you a decent looking figure at least at a distance.  Give extra coats where needed, and clean up missed spots and where you went "out of the lines" when coloring in 3d.

But washes and shades?  As the local Press Ganger calls them:

Liquid Skill

Armor wash on the spear tips makes them feel alive and used!  A blue wash on the skin and a little wash in the eye socket brings out the detail and natural shading.  A brown wash over the wood and rope makes it used and lived in.  And the current Nuln Oil Citadel Shade everywhere else for a very light matte wash that is practically MAGIC.  

Sure it won't win any awards but who cares?  Cool Mini Or Not has people approving of Eldar Guardians having their breastplate removed as an Imperial Guardsman is undoing his pants as his troopers watch what obviously terrible thing he is about to do to her.

We don't give a happy crappy what they think!

Its a simple and effective setup and I used the base color as a foundation.  Rock on!

While it took a TON of my free time over those five weeks I did a bit every day that I could, sometimes just doing a little bit to a figure each day...

I worked hard, even trying out some HAS CHEMICALS THAT CALIFORNIA SAYS CAN CAUSE CANCER, BIRTH DEFECTS, OR OTHER REPRODUCTIVE HARM (and it says you want to keep away from an open flame) Tamiya Weathering Powder to get a great worn and rusty look to my CANCER BEAR.  (Ok if I had skill he would have been a Panda, maybe even the super cute Red Panda.  But I do not.  As it is, my super glue drippage on many of these models took out a bit of detail on the models.  How people can glue after they paint blows my mind.  Even if it does make getting in all those tricky spots easier.  On the upside, you can't see everything so don't worry about those spots as much.  Its why a good base color makes a big difference.  Or if you just hand paint everything go with black primer for natural shadows.  Unless you love to use yellow paint schemes anyhow..)

And more Minion book bros join the fray!  Yeah you can see a little flesh color on the inside of Gudrun the Wanderer's cloak but you have to stare at it head on to see it.  And fixing it is nearly impossible unless I use a magnifying glass, those hands free grips, and a toothpick.  It will do.  Like I said, don't worry about what you just can't see!

And here we have it!  A full 25 point Trollkin army list all painted!  I need to touch up the bases a bit but they are done and will look so very nice on the table.  They won't be the match of the work of painting pros or anything but they are simple, clean, effective, and show I care.  

I just paint slow as hell.  Some people paint a model an hour.  I am closer to 4 hours a standard 28mm scale model.  Yeah.

But if you use things like a Journeyman League or self set goals you will get your models painted and you WILL make your games that much richer and more pleasing!

Even if you frequently get your butt whooped as I do.  (Though the regulars do say I have made a ton of progress as a player.  I really need time to read the full Hordes rulebook.  I've read the Warmachine book twice but that is every year or so and you forget stuff you don't use, you know?)

And of course PLAY MORE!

Takin the bros out to party inspires you to paint them!  It makes you want to buy more of them!  To try new stuff!  





 Remember to BE AGGRESSIVE 




(Just not too aggressive because then your Warlock gets eateded by nasty things.)

But sometimes other sides will do the same "Hail Mary" moves you do and you can pull out a win.

(Mostly just Gudrun the Wanderer keeps having to take more swigs from his booze.)

Hope this inspires you to paint more, play more, and check out any local leagues and mini tournaments for the games you enjoy.

Provided they aren't full of hyper competitive tryhards of course!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Mechwarrior Online: A New Dawn as Transverse Farts

Well we have a LOT to cover over the last month plus so let us get to stepping, shall we?

(I want to play more Wasteland 2 dammit!)

 Hooray we can make units!  So now groups of people can have the MMORPG equivalent of Guilds with chats and the like.

While this is nice, this last August patch wasn't blowing one away.  It is a start though, right?

It is helpful as opposed to just a massive friend list and off game organization as we in the Word of Lowtax have had to follow.  And we even have COOL BROS who sometimes play with us!

 A couple new hero mechs in early September and some AMS/ECM toggle.  Plus public in match chat is turned off as a standard.  Because some of us are mean.  Or the rest of you are sick of those losers who think BACON is hilarious.

 A couple more Clan mechs are now available for something other than real life money.  And we have a bunch of different module types now.  Which can be useful but is really more of a money sink.  (Taking an Inner Sphere AC20 from 270 range to 297 for 3 million C Bills and around 3,000 GXP can be little else really.)

 The newest map is AMAZING.  The Mining Collective.  (In game shots will be below.)  Also the Mad Dog, aka THE VULTURE is now up in the game for people.

 The biggest and scariest mech in the game the Dire Wolf (Daishi) is now available for 20 MILLION C Bills.  You normally make around 70 thousand C Bills a match, and some consumables in match reduce this to like 20-30.  The only down side is like all Clan mechs and many things are locked in place and you cannot change some parts, mostly just weapons and heat sinks.

Oh yeah, and colors for names in game chat.  So you know who are opponents, lance, and team.  Wee.  And Clan LRMs are reduced a little bit in making you have a headache as half the enemy spams hundreds of missiles at the first sucker to stick their head out.

And more bug fixes.  

And now we get goodies for being long term or loyal players.  In spite of this game doing everything BUT endearing itself to fans.  Also it was a way to get people to play more to get goodies.

 As I only dropped 15 dollars due to guilt of getting free robot quasi fun (most of the fun was playing with the alcoholics and druggies that ARE the Word of Lowtax honestly), I won't be getting most of these.  I am totally jealous of people who get the King Crab though.  Not enough to spend money however.

See player retention has been a big problem given all the missed deadlines, failed promises, and ever sucking metagame.

So they really HAD to do something.

 But more PAY TO GET virtual robots are not really the way to do things but the player base seemingly has more money than sense of course.

 I am not happy about Free to Play (F2P) schemes as I posted here.

 We have also had two weekend challenges to encourage more play because lots of folks gave up or got sick of it all.  Sadly the Premium Time activates the second you complete that Tier which means in getting SIX days of Premium Time (Which roughly adds 40K extra C Bills a match for me.  I haven't liked the Clan Nova or the Battlemaster which were the last new mechs I tried and wasted gobs of C Bills on.  So no XP bonus help for me really.) I am really only getting 3-4 hours of playtime out of it.  You really should be allowed to activate the reward when you choose to or only having a lesser set of hours that are only in use when you are actively playing.

Again, it is more a way to get more people playing.  It is sort of like a Casino and getting people to stay and gamble and spend more money, and by being active getting other people to do the same.

 Look at all those C Bill sucking Weapon Modules!  

 Targeting Computers, Command Consoles, and Beagle Probes allow for improved zoom features and the like.  Why have 2x zoom when you can have 2.24 provided you have the space and weight for it?

 Just a picture of a gorgeous Dire Wolf.

 If you have the cash you can see and set up custom games for you and your friends.  Its kind of a pain in the ass really.

 My cupcake goodie! It even has lovely fire effect on the candle.  Pinkie Pie must have found it first as it has a bite taken out of it.

 Our new map is GREAT.  It looks lovely and has plenty of places to get into awesome close quarters duels while not punishing long range units.  Except unlike Alpine Peaks it actually helps "brawlers" like myself who like getting into near point blank range and fighting it out like a manly man of manly manliness.

 Oddly enough playing without the Word of Lowtax is when I have my best games.  I don't know if it is just because groups are composed of better players so we get more serious play comprised of people ok with being boring and dull provided it is game winning or that I am generally better than I think I am.  It is more or less the former I think because I am not so good at Mechwarrior Online.

 Six kills.  One Heavy Mech.  Fifteen shots a gun.  I felt like Al Bundy I did.  

 The color and environment on this map is just SO GOOD.

The full level map.

I am not exactly sure when the I toggle started showing player names and their locations but it sure is nice!

And Conquest mode points.

And the Drop Preparation info page.  

And one final shot of my new favorite map, showing a couple vehicles we sadly cannot damage or anything.

 A pair of Mad Dog beauty shots.  The Vulture looks excellent in this game.

 An in cockpit shot, showing some speakers that make sounds when you get a kill and a very creepy cockpit bobbler.

 Speaking of lovely paint jobs here is a boss hero Jagermech.  Appropriate for the Halloween season!

But this was what put a fire back into PGI.  Their new game, Transverse.  Well, this was 2-3 weeks ago, like a day or two after their site went live.

Shall we check on them today?

Well they dropped their goal to 500 thousand.  And still have a whopping 11 thousand dollars only.  They have basically failed.  Their audience both doesn't care about a new game, and are utterly soured at the failed promises of MWO.

So now they don't have a backup plan.  It is DO OR DIE time from MWO.  They claim to now have a set date of December 21st for major Community Warfare mechanics to go live.

Given their current history I won't say I am going to hold my breath.


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