Monday, September 5, 2016

Pledge for September!

Complete a Rebot!

Fingers crossed, I'm gonna win it!

Sept 7: Finished smoothing mold lines and removing flash. I'm excited about daring to try more dynamic poses. I can see why so many modelers choose to assemble them the same way -- it will take a bit of work to make them strong enough to stand any other way! The ball and joint sockets seem... overly optimistic to say the least. :)

Finished! (at night so bad lighting)

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Do you have the Aleph starter box? Because I do, and here's what I wished I knew about how they survive attacks. Each and every trooper in the Aleph starter set is tough to kill in it's own special way. Their similar sounding rules are easy to get wrong, be it ever so slightly.

There are no normal troopers in the Aleph starter box. None. But for reference, normal models stop fighting after a single wound and die after a second. 
No wounds suffered - fighting. 
One wound suffered - unconscious. 
Two wounds suffered - dead

But when normal troopers are hit by "shock" weapons, they die immediately from the first wound suffered -- no unconscious state, they're dead straight away. That's how normal models behave.
No wounds suffered - fighting
One shock wound suffered - dead

Nagas are like that but with an added bonus. When they are unconscious you can choose to have them keep fighting instead. This skill is called V: Dogged. The downside is that after the end of the turn in which you activated V: Dogged they die. Their automatic death represents the deadly toll of fighting with injuries. Its a tradeoff -- if they just stay unconcious and alive a doctor can try to patch them up later in the game.
No wounds suffered - fighting
One wound suffered - unconscious, or V: Dogged
Two wounds suffered - dead

Deva functionaries have an even better bonus, "V: No wound incapacitation." When they are unconscious you can choose to have them keep fighting, but unlike Nagas, they don't die from fighting while injured. They can potentially keep fighting while wounded for the entire game, so always activate it, there's no downside.
No wounds suffered - fighting
One wound suffered - fighting because of V: No wound incapacitation
Two wounds suffered - dead

The result of V: Dogged and V: No wound incapacitation is that your troopers will seem to be twice as tough as normal troopers. Normal troops fall down and stop fighting after suffering a single wound, but Nagas and Deva functionaries keep on fighting until they die from the second wound. However, they have no special defense against shock ammo. If they take a single wound from shock they automatically die. Shock ammo is deadly against normal troopers because it deprives them of their unconscious state, but it's especially harsh for Nagas and Devas because it deprives them of a chance to use their V: Dogged and V: No wound incapacitation.
No wounds suffered - fighting
One shock wound suffered - dead

The Asura is the toughest trooper in the starter box. She fights until she suffers three wounds and dies. She's so tough, it doesn't make a difference if those wounds are shock. Shock damage, normal damage, its all the same an Asura.
No wounds suffered - fighting
One wound suffered - fighting
Two wounds suffered - fighting because of V: No wound incapacitation
Three wounds suffered - dead

When any of the preceding troopers are healed by a doctor or paramedic (like your Dakini tacbots!), they recover by having one less wound than they would when unconscious (or V: Dogged, or V: No wound incapacitation). This is equivalent to removing the last wound they suffered, which means that they're two wounds away from death -- even for the multi wound Asura.
Asura after after healing:
No wounds suffered - fighting
One wound suffered -  fighting because of V: No wound incapacitation
Two wounds suffered - dead

Dakini Tacbots are a kind of robot called "remotes." Shock ammo acts like normal damage for them because they have structure instead of wounds. They also have Ghost: Remote presence, so they have TWO levels of unconscious.
No wounds suffered - fighting
One wound suffered - unconscious
Two wounds suffered - unconscious 
Three wounds suffered - destroyed

Since they're not alive, they don't die, but they can be destroyed. They can't be healed by a doctor but they can be repaired by an engineer;  returning them to full structure, it's like they were never shot at all! This is equivalent to undoing one or even two wounds.

Aleph is infamous for having lots of V: No wound incapacitation so your opponents an be expected to bring plenty of shock weapons. However, shock ammo is wasted against shock immune troopers like Asuras and Dakini tacbots.

So good luck and remember to keep your Devas and Nagas away from shock ammo, your Dakini tacbots unconscious after two wounds, and your Asura in the thick of things. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

First TAG-kill ever!

HMG Asura (work in progress) shoots through a smoke template to destroy an Iguana TAG in full suppressive fire. The Iguana pilot escaped with a HMG, harassed my flank and claimed an objective.

Monday, July 11, 2016

 Daktini tacbots. 

Notable re-sculpting:
New heads: 
I'm very happy with my new serpent-faced bug-eyed talbot heads because they look wiser and sneakier than the default. The eyes are HUGE so they'll give me a canvas to try NMM. They have no mouths, which fits with them being the automatons of Aleph. 

New gun-safety protocol: 
I converted my Daktini takbots never point their gun-arms at anything they don't want to destroy. I like that they look like they mean business in a Ghost in the Shell sort of way, not in a guns blazing sort of way. 

Decommissioned codpiece: 
The one on the left is fixed, the other two will be on the chopping block soon. 

I'm enjoying the miniatures, totally unlike the squat GW minis that I'm used too. Please let me know what you think of the changes. 

We're from Section 9, not Section Gangsta.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

I'm starting Infinity:N3 and really enjoying it. Here's my first purchase, paid for by a gift cert I got for Christmas. Thanks Santa!
Aleph starter pack. Asura, Deva, Naga, Dakini tacbots (x3)

Friday, April 12, 2013

Red Dead Redemption Xbox 360

I finished Red Dead Redemption. I liked it. I can't remember the last time I played an Old West video game, but the best Western game I've ever played. The look of the game is perfect. The glorious sunsets, the sun scorched deserts, the antique firearms, and flawless horse animation -- I can see why this game is so highly recomended!

I played on "hardcore" difficulty where combat is an enjoyably deadly affair and death is dealt with a single bullet (or two). I particularly enjoyed the challenge of ridin' an' shootin' but I didn't enjoy the "deadeye" slow motion and only used it as a crutch when I was outgunned.

My favorite memory was hunting mountain lions with a knife. Every once in a while, when I was playing RDR I'd hear a roar and then see a Mountain Lion kill my character, with no hope of retaliation. (On "Hardcore" difficulty mountain lions are deadly!) After a while I learned to anticipate their arrival. Horses whinny in fear whenever they sense a dangerous predator, but Mountain Lions are the only silent and invisible predator. Even so, all my Mountain Lion hunting trips ended with me as the prey. My first break was when I stumbled across a sleeping Mountain Lion. I had never seen one before and it was very helpful to get to see what it was that was hunting me. I tried to soften it up with some small arms fire, but it escaped.

After that I set out bait. I saw a lot of wolves and boar, but precious few mountain lions. Eventualy I encountered one by chance, wounded it and chased it on horseback. My plan was to kill it with my knife, but instead my horse trampled it to death and I was no closer to my goal. The big breakthrough for me, was when I finaly attracted a Mountain Lion to some bait. I was up on top of a tall hill looking down, and I got to observe it's sneeking pattern and most importantly how it moves. An RDR lion moves like a race car. It even fishtails when it accellerates. After that, hunting them was easy. One I hunted from horseback, and the other I was on foot.

I also enjoyed the battles on the river and the stage coach. Those were a lot of fun.

That said, I did not enjoy the third act. It's non-Western and the gameplay takes a turn for the worse. Whereas in the first two acts I was very happy to blaze away with my cowboy weapons in real time, act three has a bunch of cheap ambushes that can only be survived with "deadeye." The third part is full of Plot! History! and Acting! that is lamentably bad. Worst of all, everyting is played against type. The lawmen are unlawful, the villian is not a villian, the revolutionary is not revolutionary, the anthropologist is not an anthropologist and so forth. The effect is a disorienting nightmare and I was glad when the game ended.

RDR doesn't have the fun or lasting appeal of DDO, but I enjoyed it for a few weeks. My 6yo daughter thought the horse stuff was great, and was forever commanding me to lasso and break more wild stalions.

Red Dead Redemption is a solid game set in an exotic milie but don't listen to the actors or play Act III.

3/5 stars.