Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Catholic sex

Much like the husband in the above scenario I am going to have to pull out at the last minute.

Unfortunately I'm not going to make it to the Warhammer historicals weekend so everyone that was looking forward to seeing the Welsh Lord green get ritually crushed in the car park will be sadly disappointed. Yes, once again poor old Darrel's high standards have beaten him and he's not going to have his Welsh ready for the weekend. Bad luck mate. Still it'll be good in the long run as you'll end up with a cracking army to play with (eventually!). ;>)

Sculpting has been slow going this last week as I've been required to make up a bucket load of hours in my 'other job' to meet my contractual obligation. Apparently they couldn't see this coming so between now and the end of the year I have to work flat out doing more dull admin. I believe this to be the cunning plan of the boss. The word is that he wants to cut my contract by 50% and if I don't fullfill the hours (that they have failed to assign me I might add) then he seems to think he has a perfect excuse. So lets hope I make it. If not then the wife is going to have to quit med school and go back to full time nursing so we can pay the mortgage, either that or I give up the sculpting as anything other than an occassional hobby and get a real job. Of course there is always option three where we sell the flat and move back in with the parents. Time will tell but if there is anyone out there who fancies donating £750 a month to a worthy cause...

Being, as I am, a juvenile fool I have been drawn once again into the world of 40k. I must admit it is one of my all time favourite games despite its many detractors. The thing that has tempted me back to the dark side (not that I'd strayed that far in the first place) is the release of Apocolypse. The chance to just grab everything off the shelf and go at it is tempting indeed and I am already discussing games with a few like minded down at the club.
***I have just read this bit back and it's a bit of a pointless rant. You have been warned***
The fact that it's being played so much at the club has caused a few of the old hands to remember our year long flirtation with Warhammer Panzer Battles (a now defunct WWII version of 40k) a few years ago and even consider a revisitation. Now of course I'm all up for this as it is one of the few games that I have actually finished painting the army for. The one thing that always seems to come up though is the old chestnut of the rules not having a 'flavour of the period'. This is a term I've never understood. Surely the fact that you have British paras and German SS (inevitably) on the table instead of Tau and Space Marines (inevitably) IS the flavour of the period isn't it? If it was 'gooks and Gi's' it would have a flavour of Vietnam and if it was 'Tommies and Jerries' (ha ha, I've only just got that...) then it would have the flavour of WWI surely? I've never really understood the need to make a set of rules (or more specifically an adaptation of a set of rules) fit a period. As long as guns go bang (where appropriate) and sharp pointy things through the chest put paid to the opposition then job jobbed. The flavour comes from the army lists and the miniatures doesn't it? A case in point is weapons ranges, whenever we play a historical version of a game we are farmiliar with somebody is destined to pipe up with this old chestnut. Now of course everyone knows that weapons in real life can shoot much further than 'wargames range' but there are some people that just can't seem to get past this. 'Why can't my machine guns do X, why didn't my tank shell destroy Y they never had shell type Z in those guns'. Fine, I DON'T CARE! It seems to me that there are loads of people out there who have an interest in a period but never ever get to game it because they are forever searching for that holy grail of the ultimate set of rules. I, on the other hand, take a different approach. I like to find a set of rules that every one knows and use the figures from the period I like. If I want to research a period it'll be to find out which unit fought where, what facing colours that regiment had, what cool units had that bit of kit etc etc. My studies will very rarely lead me to investigate the penetrative properties of their munitions, ranges of small arm A compared to its piers or angle of deflection on armour plates and resulting numbers of casualties from spalling (if that doesn't make sense it's because I just used words that I have heard other people use without any idea what they really mean ;>)). These things don't really matter to me. Just because I know every bit of technical data relating to a period doesn't mean I'll be able to make a good game of it but knowing how to turn off my pedantry synapse and just enjoy playing with my toys will. When it comes to wargames it's all down to the dice. Whether rules mechanic A is historically representative doesn't matter that much does it? Just because there isn't a rule called 'crouching behind a bush trying to pull yourself together whilst voiding your bowels in terror' doesn't mean the situation isn't covered in the game. Yes it may have been abstracted down into a simple dice roll followed by a random move but it's there. I can't get on board with people trying to litigate for every possible occourance and set in stone the exact events that will take place as a result. WAB is a prime example of this kind of thing. There are forever people who want to make it more historical and more realistic and to them I say BALLS! And I say it loudly too. Why do you need it to be realistic? Isn't it a game? People have been playing Monopoly for generations (well a couple at least) quite happily but I bet if you put it's future in the hands of wargamers they'd be asking for mortgage rates, income tax, small claims court and a sixteen clause description of what to do when the bailiffs are sent round, chance and community chest not being accurate and detailed enough. I love the fact that players are more than happy to play any other army (and even the 'in period' and 'in suppliment' preferring players like myself) from time periods as wildly differing as 50 to 3500 years one day and then get on the net the next day moaning that the morale rules don't accurately reflect history. We gamers need to realise that these are games, for recreation. If you are buying historical miniatures then isn't the fun in researching the army and all the painting and stuff? Why are we constantly compelled not to enjoy the games we play with these figures. Maybe we're all a bit odd. Or maybe it's just my club, who knows.
***Ranting bit over now. Thank goodness I proof read this before posting...***

So anyway, I'm playing more 40k again and loving it in fact I'm loving it so much that I'm even looking forward th WHW's new game based on it, even though it's going to mean hundreds of hours painting before I can play. If you don't know what this new game is then you need to do a bit of hunting around. It's not rocket science to work out and the roumors have been confirmed on loads of wargaming websites so it shouln't be too hard. I'm not being coy here, I'm just offering justification to those who want it to spend the morning scouring the web. 'Sorry boss I know that report was due but Soapy set this challenge you see...'.

Right now that I've got you all the way down here I regret to announce that there will not be any piccies in this entry. Sorry to drag you here under false pretences.

Stay lucky,

Welcome to the white out!

There is nothing particularly interesting or seditious going on down here but I will be posting up some of my more random thoughts that may not be of any interest to the vast majority of people or that will probably have nothing to do with wargaming. Also I imagine it will have the cruel effect of causing people to scroll all the way to the bottom of this post thinking I have done something similar to a few months ago and posted a cheeky green after a long text gap. I hope they don't get the hump. Anyway if you manage to find the whiteout then:
A: You have to much time on your hands and
B: Please post a reply cunningly including the word forage. Good luck with that!

Anyway, I've been thinking about all this Europe stuff what with it being in the news recently and just to help me figure out how I feel about it I'm going to write about it here.

Now I don't care much for politics or government for that matter but I do think the one adversely effects the other. It seems to me that poitics is there just to fill up the time when there isn't much governing to be done. I mean honestly how much time can running a country take up in a day? Think about it though actually governing rather than politicing. Surely the act of government is largely about having someone there to make a descision when one needs to be made whilst politics is what you do to make sure it's your lot making the descission. The problem is that they spend so much time worrying about whether people will let them stay the ones making the descission that when it comes time to make it they don't, either that or they make it based on whether the outcome will keep them in power.

This is sort of where I've got to in my Euro musings. Everyone is up in arms about joining Europe, it seems, because a large amount of their descission making power will go to the Euro parliment but seeing as their descissions are all based on what'll keep them in power rather than what's good for the country what's the point? I quite like the fact the Gordon Brown (Dave's already done my favourite joke so I'll leave it) just wen't ahead and signed us up. God knows how it'll effect the nation but for Christ's sake things have changed throughout history and we're still all here. Back in the autocratic days things were done and the people had to lump it, bravo I say. I'm so bored with constant statements of position, arguement versus counter arguement and slandering the other guy that it's nice to see someone taking a bit of action. Of course it's all gonna bite him in the arse eventually but who cares? Who other than Gordon obviously. To be honest I don't give a wet fart who runs the country. Since we lost Maggie it's all gone to shit anyway (he says running for cover...).

The currency issue was never one I particularly cared about either. Yes, it would be nice to keep the pound but it I can call them a quid, a fiver and a tenner whether they're pounds or Euro so who give a toss? I'm fairy certain the answer to that question are the folks who think in millions and trillions rather than the working shlubs. A living wage is a living wage and when all you get to do with it is live then you don't really care what colour it is just as long as it goes in the bank each month. It always seems to bother the big earners so much that profits are down from twenty million to a mere fifteen million. This is another of the many things I don't understand. Surely the point of profits are that they are the cash left over when you have covered your outgoings, essentially free money. As long as the share holders are getting a divvi why are they so fussed?

In the general area but more or less unrelated I want to talk about commentators. Now I'm not on about the fellas who get overenthusiastic when England score but the ones who make a living analysing other peoples activities. Wen there are hundreds of people willing to sit around and look at what you're doing and decide that it'll never work and then get paid for telling the world it'll never work is it any wonder that things never get done. It's bad enough at my level (I'll go into this in a minute don't worry) but the problems become worse when it comes to matters of governmental ethics and etiquette. The idea that 'the people' shold know everything thats going on seems hugely deterimental to me. I'm pretty sure that medicine could come up with all manner of wonders if they could use stem cells willy nilly but now that 'the people' know about it government has to be seen to be keeping things under control so that everyone votes for them next time. Madness.

Oh yeah, commentators in my life. Now Davey Dubbya hit upon the subject of reviews in a post of his the other day and wondered if they were a good thing. The thing about miniature reviews is that they are more often than not a free advert. Often the figures in question will have been donated and the person doing the review will most likely have a favourable view of the company being reviewed or they wouldn't have asked to do the review in the first place. The thing I don't get is why are they doing it? I can understand a game being reviewed because you can't see what's inside it until you buy it, books are the same. It also helps if the reviewer has a fair idea of the subject so that they can report on any accuracy issues etc but mainly what you want to know is are there plenty of pretty pictures and will I ever get a game of it. When it comes to miniatures or art or whatever you can see what you're getting by looking at the product. You don't need someone else telling you their opinion of it artistically, you can make your own by looking. When I put up a new sculpt it's not so that I can be praised for it, I do it because people might be interested. Feedback on works in progress is useful and helps to make for better ranges of miniatures. The problem I have is when people post up pictures of miniatures (mine or anyone elses) for the sole purpose of saying look at this pile of shit. I'm all for people posting them up and saying what do you think, it's what I do after all, but allow the viewer to form their own conclussions. Obviously if they they say what a pile of shit fair enough but at least they got there on their own. I like getting good reviews and I like to take notice of bad reviews in the hope of improving in the future but this is only from my point of view as a creator of things to be reviewed. When it comes to being a consumer I tend not to check reviews and just fall for the advertising. I'm such a sucker.

Well, it would seem that I still don't know how I feel about Europe and politicians but at least I got it all off my chest. Apparently I have some, as yet, not fully explored issues with product reviews as well. I'm sure there are plent of other things that I don't really understand yet wish to wax lyrical about so watch out for further white outs, if only to avoid them! :>o


What? This post ended ages ago. What are you doing down here? Nothing to see here, move along.


Anonymous said...

Contracts and shady bosses, eh?? All that and you still have to pay the mortgage. Sounds like we're all better off tossing in the towel and going back to the days when we would run through the woods and forage for our food!

Bill T said...

Some of us still do! It's Mushroom season here is Wales :o)

Stephen said...

Grumpy git - still on for Monday?

WebOgre said...


That make you happy?

Soapy said...

Webogre, before of after the clue?

Stephen, yes grumpy is my default setting unless sitting in front of an army of toy soldiers when it turns to loon. Still on for Monday...

Stay lucky,

Mike said...

HI Soapy just popped in on my weekly forage around blog land and thought I'd say well done on another insightful blog

up Europe I say

Mike (aka the wargames Butterfly)

WebOgre said...

After. As I was disappointed that there were no pics of greens.

That probably explains Mike, also. Not that I speak for him, of course.

Bill T said...

I had to be told rather than forage around for the obvious. Makes me feel rather dim. :o(