Monday, 30 January 2012

6th Edition Leak comments and what sucks

Doing a google image search for bored found this little fella, from an article complaining about wargaming release strategies ... hmmm I'm not alone.
"Bored" search on Google.  It's an article from "6 inch move" complaining about boredom with GW release strategy ... Zoicks!

It's been a couple of weeks since I've read the 6th Edition 'leaked' PDF, and overall I'm just a bit well ... bored.

That's not to say this article will be boring ... I hope ... but all the hype, all the dev, all the expectations have all scuttled along to nothing.  This, combined with the latest release rumours (Dark Angels, CSM and 6th Edition for 2012) have done nothing to give me a buzz about the game.

To explain, I stopped playing 40k after BlogWars.  IT wasn't their fault per-se, but fighting three 'marine' armies in a day.  Losing 2/3rds of the time to Terminators, because I'd bought a 'mixed' guard list ... wasn't fun.  I packed away my 28mm models with a heavy heart. 

To be fair, Infinity has had mixed results for me.  I love the models, the game concept and the play style.  But it's got a steep learning curve and I haven't got enough games under my belt to bite into it.

Since then, the released armies haven't really filled me with hope, in fact the opposite.

The 6th Edition leak was the first 'spark' of interest.  It was quite exciting.  Now, unlike many, I DO believe the leak was a genuine GW document.  However, my gut was always that it was a WIP document.  This has been confirmed locally that this document was the one produced by the 'designers' given freedom ... before the 'editing' process entailed.  since locally for me includes Nottingham ... I'm inclined to agree.

Interestingly, you can see a lot of Flames, Infinity and Hordes influences in there.  Clearly the designers, if given freedom, are fully aware of the limitation of the GW system.  However, I think most of the interesting bits will be chopped out... afterall, accessibility is an important core value.

One that INFINITY might do well to listen to (as brilliant and clever as it is!)

So 6th Edition gave me a spark.  Rumours of Tau and Chaos Space Marines in 2012 got me properly excited.  That would mean that 3 out of 4 of my armies (sorry Tyranids) would be competitive.  This is a definite result!

Than further crushing rumour mill blow, as Tau gets pushed out in favour of an all-Spezz Marin 2012.

Boo.  Double boo.

So now I'm getting more and more bored of the over-hype around 40k.  The biggest problem is that GW seem to take a meteoric age to create ANYTHING.  I've already noted that Flames can produce inch thick codici for all forces on the eastern front ON THE SAME DAY!  That Hordes can poop out prettier models than 40k like a machinegun.  That infinity uses the internet for Wiki and auto army builder for your convenience... so overall, all this 'maneurve' with GW politicking leaves me cold.  It's boring.  The simple fact of the matter is that it isn't the rules, or the codici, or codex-creep, or Smurf-humping that gets me most depressed about the £100's of GW plastic sitting on my shelves.

It's the fact that everything at GW is measured out in glacial timescales.  Why does everything have to take soooooo long.  It's just retarded.

GW codici come out slower than films.  There's no urgency in GW.  You telling me LoTR's film take less effort than a 100 plastic model designs and a few new 8mm thick A4 books, someone's milking the employment cow methinks?

GW rules take forever to change.  We don't want change too quickly, but since they have Errata, can't they spend some effort on it ... I mean seriously.  There needs to be some decision making and fast, upper management get some bones in ya... no seriously, I mean come on!

GW models take forever to release... It's hard to copyright a new mini - when no-one's ever seen one?  Panic GW, panic!  OOOOOORRRR, pay a designer to 'design' a mini OR pay an artist to give you a 'vision' of the mini in the codex.  Copyright issue over.  Wow, that was hard.  Alternatively, start making them quicker?!?

Finally, Finecast is just funny in how shite it is.  I mean really - you expect us to pay more for snappable, non-covertable, highly dubious material ... profit and propoganda before value methinks.

LMMFAO .... wait ... repeat.  Ad infinitum, it's just dull.

I'll be over here, playing on-line game and tabletop games that actually work AND are fun to play (at the same time ... I know, shock horror)!

Oh and F**K my 'commitment' to the game.  I play wargames for kicks, not loyalty.  I'm already married, a good friend, a son and a twin - that's enough commitment for anyone, I have to keep sweet with plastic men?  "I'll get more out if I put more in" ... well I've put shed loads in and I'm  currently dissapointed, will that improve if I double my financial and time based commitment?!?

I doubt it.

Rant out.

Friday, 27 January 2012

Turning Japanese Part 3: Getting there on a budget

Osaka Castle during Hanami - it's all about the cherry blossom!
I had a really good post through on the Turning Japanese Series:

Mrmoemoe2000:  Japan is super expensive.  Always wanted to go there but is it possible to have a good time on a budget?

Good question.  Japan is expensive, no doubt.  Even after 20 years of recession, the economy isn't what it was, but the exchange rate, combined with the comparative costs of a large amount of imported goods means that inflation is still high and therefore some of the 'basics' prices will come as an awesome shock.

If you are keen to go, I would limit your tour to as local a location as possible.  Local travel in Japan is actually pretty reasonable, buses are well priced, as are local trains.  Travel by car or Shinkansen is a great way to kill your budget.  The local trains operate with local companies and are a fraction of the price.

The problem is that you will need to change trains a few times and the local services are always in Kanji (circa 1997, it may have changed, but I doubt it.)  It tends to be a 'local service for local people', so plan well - carefully plan and record your ideograms (Kanji) beforehand and travel in 2-3 is better than alone.  Japan's really safe, but really daunting.

I would recommend the Kansai Region.  This will put you in range of Kyoto, Kobe, Osaka and other places of interest.  Kansai is famous for being a bit more relaxed and friendly than elsewhere in Japan.  Plan a route around Osaka, and use the Japanese Youth Hostel service for accomodation.  They have 400 sites all across the country and the managers should be the most welcoming.

Depending on what you're interested in will affect your choices, simply window shopping is an extraordinary experience.  Osaka is famed for it's street eating as well, and many smaller - sideways type restaurants will give you a better chance of eating the food Japanese people love to eat.

Sushi is expensive, as is beef and other 'westernised' meals.  However, who could resist Mossburger?  OR Ramen noodles or teriyaki.  All of these are accessible, authentic and 'real' Japan.

Temples, castles and Parks.  Get up into the mountains during your visit.  Japan is an extraordinarily quiet place in the mountains (as no-one lives there), and as such it has some of the most severe and untouched scenery going.  The Japanese really cherish their nature.  Additionally, it's worth looking into Temples and Castles. Reading up on Japan's rich Samurai history is essential, but outside Hiroshima - don't expect the Japanese to have a lot about WW2.  Unlike the Germans (who actively engage with their history) the Japanese have largely buried and repressed it.

Japanese Parks are formal, but majestic.

I would personally recommend visiting Japan in the Autumn or Spring.  In the prior case, the Hanami (see flowers) will be in full show, and you'll hopefully catch many of the exciting outdoor Shinto street festivals (Omikoshi being a great sight).  Alternatively, Autumn in the mountains is spectcularly, as all the Acer trees ever known give you a natural display beyond measure.

Dig deep, take risks, meet people and have fun!

For more in depth (and up to date) information, look at the following:

The backpacking Site
Japan Cheap Travel
The Back Packer

Flames of War Campaign

I've now played a good half dozen game of Flames and in the words of another player "I haven't had an un-fun game yet."  I does seem to lack a lot of the unit crunching aspects of other games, and it's nice to have a bunch of humans fighting eachother, rather than space aliens.

Interestingly, on the 40k front.  The local club, which has connections in GW HQ, have said that the 6th edition leak is actually real and a sounding WIP.  If so, many of the changes to the core rules could make 40k a really exciting game again.

Anyhow ... back to Flames.

The local club is running the Cassino Campaign to get everyone into the game.  I've been playing around with some lists and even got a couple of test games into the mix.  The games are strickly small scale 500-900pts affairs, with no vehicles.  Cassino and the Gustav lines was one of the hardest slogs and most WW1-like campaigns in WW2.  Casualties mounted as the allies smacked head-first into some of the toughest defensive positions of the Second World War.

As such I'm taking Russians (mascarading at Greek Partisans).  At 500pts I'm fielding the following:

Rifle Battalion - 500pts

Rifle HQ (Command, 2nd, Commissar) - 30pts
Rifle Platoon (Rifle and Machine Guns) with 2 additional Maksim HMG - 180pts
Rifle Platoon (Sub Machine Guns) with Kommissar - 145pts
120mm Heavy Mortar Platoon (6) including command and spotters - 145pts

The SMG's are my assault leaders and can defensive fire or assault fire the best.  The Heavy Mortar platoon sits at the back and punches well above its weight, bringing the pain.  The Rifle/MG's have a range of 16", with the HMG at 24".  They will strive for a strong defensive position and cover a flank and offer aggressive fire.

WIP Round 2 - 800pts

Scout Platoon - 100pts
82mm Strelkovy Mortar Platoon (incl spotter) - 110pts
Sappers Rifle Platoon - 85pts

Thinking .... the scout platoon can use the 'infiltrate' rule to pull forward the Rifle Platoon into a good aggressive position.  The SMG team will be secondary to the 'sheer firepower' of two mortar companies ladling it on. The lighter mortars can also pot-shot directfire, giving them fair bunker busting capabilities.

WIP Round 3 - 1000pts

Additional Stelkovy Platoon - 110pts
Flamethrower Platoon - 90pts

Flamethrowers and Mortars - well the germans will be dug in, so what else matters.  The additional Strelkovy Platoon on the 'assault' platoon will bring this up to 15+ models, meaning that the defensive fire will need 10 hits to pin, rather than the standard 5 (Quantity is Quality rule).  As Assault platoon of Rifles/Machine guns, SMG's, flamethrowers and a command team.

Hopefully that should help crack those Fascist Bastards!

Monday, 9 January 2012

Sometimes Youtube is just pure win!

Just a quick post to highlight a brilliant piece of hard work being done by QuickScope 2012 over on Youtube.  This guy has a serious tank fetish, and has done a brilliant job editing and posting well polished shows like KILLER TANKS (subtle ;-p), with great run downs on the KV, T-34, Sherman, M3 Lee and Panzer.

Cracking work fella.

Linkety Link (to Clickety Click) for QuickScope's channel.

Just type 'killer' for some excellent tank info, alternatively go research U-boats...