Thursday, July 30, 2015

No painting due to broken lamp base!

My painting came to a grinding halt on the weekend past.


The plastic central hole finally perished and broke in multiple places.  I found out what they used as ballast - lots and lots of tiny round metal pieces.  Individually I viewed them as weightless, but clearly packed into a base - weigh quite a bit.

So the painting came to a dead halt.  I tried sourcing a replacement base, but no one seemed to stock any in Brisbane.  When I looked online they seemed to be only (my search capability is not great) available on eBay.

Lots of friends suggested help, but in the end I had to resort to my own genius to solve the issue.

So a lump of pine (its all I had), some nails and a drill made this work.  It works until I can sort out a more effective means of balancing base.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Pulp era miniatures

My latest distraction.  A days work.

Thursday, July 23, 2015


I pre-ordered a copy from The Emperors Legion and picked up my copy yesterday.

Still have to read the rules, but I did have a quick gander at the rules, they seem ok at a glance.  I can easily use any of the figures I already have from my eclectic collections.

More to be revealed in time.

A quick dig through my RPG miniatures found these models.
Mainly Reaper (metal).  Painted over a decade ago.

My thoughts on Limited Edition items.

Limited Edition - What is the point?

It concerns me as a person who enjoys games and gaming that there continues to be an increase in limited edition items.  I look at many projects that are on Kickstarter and the limited items that become unlocked after a certain funding point has been reached.  This has led to the opportunist and speculative buyer coming to the fore.

I remember years ago running Wizkids events and the limited edition models that were given as prizes.  What we had was the game being dominated by a few individuals, who would attend as many events as they could to win the limited edition prizes.  This meant that a few individuals cornered the market, sold the spares for profit and didn't endear themselves to many in the community.

(TIME FOR A DISCLAIMER: These people did nothing legally wrong.  They were good players and in all the cases I knew of, good people.  They used the system to profit them, which while many may find morally bankrupt, is not breaking any rules in how prizes were won and what they could do with them after having been won.)

The madness that comes when people (particularly those who are passionate about their hobby) see limited edition means they automatically believe that their purchase is worth more than what they paid for said item.  This is not necessarily so.

My hobby is particularly difficult to give an accurate example of, as the community seems to have not grasped the concept of worth.  So I'll give an example with trading cards.  Up until the late 70's and possibly early 80's trading cards had some value beyond their intrinsic cost.  With a number of changes in the industry there was suddenly and explosion in quantity, price and shops selling cards.  At one point there were card shops everywhere, all trying to compete.  Then the bubble burst.  People who had bought sealed boxes of cards found that there might not be any worth in their purchases at all.  While the box may have a particularly rare card inside worth a considerable amount, there was no guarantee.  Thus the mass produced product became less than the card it was printed on.

Another example was where an expert in sports memorabilia gave his opinion that buying the limited edition signed cricket bats or other such product was unlikely to get a person any more than the value they initially paid for the item.  A true limited edition item worth money would be the entry tick signed by a sportsman who won the game, broke a record and the like.  In this case it is truly limited and worth something to a true collector.

What does limited edition mean in a gaming context.  It only has an appeal in two ways; first is its game attributes and secondly as a collectible piece.  If in the first case it is a game changing item, then all hell breaks loose as people who play competitively seek them (like rare cards in Magic:The Gathering).  Where money is involved people can become rather aggressive and sometimes obnoxious.  The richer players will get the limited items, and the rest languish and ruminate over how to defeat an opponent with this game changing item.

Where the item is a collectible piece you attract the people who wish to have a complete set, and those who are speculative investors.  I myself am a collector whose OCD drives me to complete sets, and to use what it is I obtain.  Concept of worth will be determined long term, and this is where the limited edition value of items in the industry (I think) has not been properly tested.

When the recent global financial crisis hit, a number of wealthier individuals who had lots of items to  sell found that they got very little in return investment.  Limited edition meant nothing when many people didn't have much money and were more worried about feeding themselves or keeping a roof over their head.  Having a limited edition during a depression won't net you much.  It was a good time for those people who had money and could capitalise on another misfortune.  I even recall that one case came to my attention where the unfortunate person selling was lucky enough to run into a generous person who actually paid them more than they were asking, feeling that to take advantage of a person in such dire circumstances was morally irresponsible (I believe the person was a religious one).

Where you have a thriving economy and a growing number of wealthy persons with cash in excess of needs, then you can possibly make a return on the item.  In a lot of cases these can be people who as a child could never afford the items, but now as a successful and wealthy individual they can now afford to offer more than any sensible person would be willing to pay.

I find that the mentality here in Australia is that due to the cost of freighting an item to this country, it's smaller pool of limited edition items, can potentially earn more than what should be the case.  The sellers know this, and take advantage of the fact that to buy the item from another overseas source would be as expensive.  I see that limited edition items overseas sell for far less than what Australian sellers are asking.  They argue (the sellers) that sure you can compete for the item, but I have it here and now at this amount.  They may think "remember the exchange rate, the cost of freight, my price is what you want to buy it for, trust me, I'm cutting my own throat (Dibbler: humour from Discworld) to sell you this item".

So my opinion with thinking about limited edition items is this.
  • Decide, and be honest about this, whether you want the item to be used, to form part of a collection, or that your only interest is making money from the item.
  • If you are a purchaser, research the item and its initial worth.
  • If you are a seller, then consider the economic environment and how it will affect your expectation of price.

My own advice is never pay more than what the limited edition piece sold for (inflation modified).  This price would only be paid if the original bill of sale was included, the item was still sealed and has not in any way been used.  If it has been used under any circumstances, seals broken, damage of any sort then maximum of 50% reducing downwards depending on quality.

I have in the past paid far more than I should have for some items, and the person who did so gloat at my expense whenever they get a chance to.  Don't be a victim of your own desire, buy wisely and sell responsibly.

Here ends my long winded diatribe.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Blind Pig Club Day 18th July 2015

Thanks to a number of people for helping out today, Tim W for taking the trailer to and from the club, to Jason B for looking after the lunch order for pizza and the counter.  Hopefully Paul will be back with us for the next club meet.  Thanks of course also goes to the regulars, so don't feel left out lads, it's much appreciated.

It was also wonderful to have a visit from Jeff T, who has been missing from the club for some time as he currently works in China.  Great to see you again mate, you were and continue to be missed.

Numbers today were in the mid 20's with a mix of games going.

On display today were:
EPIC Armageddon
Dystopian Wars
Dreadball Extreme
Star Wars Armada
WFB 8th Ed (yes what a surprise that was to see)
The Battle for Hill 218 (excellent 2 player game)
Gods Gambit (hilarious UNO)
Rise of the Zombies

Below photos from today.

Next club meet is 1st August.  Hope to see you all there.

Dreadball Extreme

EPIC Armageddon - Ork vs Imperial

Dystopian Wars

Star Wars Armada - using the very nice play mat that Wade brought along.


GASP.....  WFB 8th Ed game!



Warmachine/Hordes.  Lovely to get a visit from Jeff T, holidaying
here from his job in China.  Great to see you Jeff.
They show their love of me taking photos.

A game I played today, lots of fun - two player game.

Gods Gambit.  Was hilarious with 6 players.

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The penniless pensioner. He rambles again...

The Penniless Pensioner

It's been a while since I've had a good whinge and here it is.

I know that I've had a whinge about this before but it seems to be my one and only gripe these days.
What the hell are people thinking when they sell second hand goods!  Yes, yes, yes, you can go on about a free economy and people being able to buy and sell as they see fit but where is sanity as opposed to greed.

Second hand to me is less than 50% of the original retail price, don't for one minute think that asking merchant prices should get you a sale.  Thinking that because an item is out of production (OOP) means you will get more doesn't cut it with me either.  Coins minted during the Roman Empire have been out of production for millennia and they are cheaper than what some people expect their goods to sell for.

In the current environment I see that there are two kinds of collector or buyer (which I think is the better word).  A product is bought either to be used, or as some form of speculative investment, hoping that a return on an item will make the initial investment worth the purchase.  I am, as you may guess, a person who uses what he buys, my purchases are used, not stuck on a shelf on the off chance that I can sell it for more than I paid.  Personally I believe a person has better value buying gold, dabbling on the stock market and money exchange than playing silly buggers over costing miniatures and games.

I am an exception to the rule of old age and cashed up pensioner trying to buy his "childhood" memories back.  My memories don't need to be re-purchased, they will always be there. However attempting to purchase items that have clearly been inflated due to a perceived notion of worth annoys the leaving hell out of me.  While I am old, I don't have the wealth I once did.  (Being a pensioner on a government pension is worse than being penniless.)  Yes I bought a lot when I had cash, but this has slowly been chipped away as I've had to pay for expenses in real life or to chase another project.  In the case of selling for another project, the loss of product compared to the acquisition has been horribly stacked against me.  Rather than some form of equivalent exchange I've had to part with more than I'd normally want to.  Yes, yes I can hear you say, well you didn't have to sell at what you didn't want to sell for.  Well I sold for what I believed was an acceptable price for a sale, my problem is that no one else seems to follow this practice. 

All I can think of is depression when watching people sell armies or games and seeing asking prices in the high hundreds to even into the thousands of dollars.  Who has that sort of money around?  I certainly don't, even though people seem to think I do (once I did, but then I bought items new, not second hand). 

There is a person (of a growing number I know) who annoy the hell out of me when it comes to selling items.  Yes they can be a canny buyer, but they expect more in a return for items they no longer require or have purchased purely to make a profit.  A person who seems to have the cash to make those purchases that I'd baulk at, or be too slow to get.  All because I don't have the wealth to acquire.

I keep thinking of the value of my collection of played games.  My family will gain some value from it when I am gone, but it worries me the sort of person who is going to buy it.  I'm certainly of the mind to have the whole lot burnt and destroyed rather than see some greedy bastard acquire what I bought for the love of my hobby.  

People today don't seem to know what it's like to do without, always wanting the mansion before the humble cottage.  I have been privileged, I have had wealth and I have at a few times been destitute.  Relying now on a government pension to exists means that that is all I do, exist.  What few pennies I have left over after paying all the bills is little.  So when I go shopping I really need to buy what I can for what I think is an acceptable price.  I could save the money for something bigger but my family have a capacity to drain me of money before they are prepared to spend their own.  As a parent and husband, my wife and children always come first, as it should be.

The world seems to be filled with greedy people, who care only for themselves, who don't seem to think.  Please if you are going to sell something, then think about who you are going to be selling to.  Take the time to determine whether or not the person who wants your goods is someone who will cherish and use the items.  Have some social conscience and sell to someone who may very well become a friend and enjoy a game or two with you.  I'm sure that the person who buys for altruistic reasons, who has only their own pockets to line or dusty shelves to burden will be a soul lost damned.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Dreadball Extreme - Painted Figures

Over the last 8 days I've been fiddling with small painting jobs.  My surge of productivity has fallen off, my desire to paint countless boring Prussians has come to a halt.  So I'm just looking at small job lots that will provide me with an achievable outcome.  To point - Dreadball Extreme.

Here's what been painted.  Hope to have a game of this at The Blind Pig on the 18th July club meet.

I picked my copy of Dreadball Extreme up from Last Stand Miniatures and Games Hardware.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Warfighter - Card Game

Yesterday saw my much maligned serf appear with a couple of new board games to play.  The first was Warfighter, we didn't get a chance to play the second game (something to do with zombies).

BGG Link
From BGG:
Command the world's best Special Forces operators and complete vital assault missions around the world!
Warfighter is a card game for 1 to 6 players. You play cooperatively with your friends against the system to complete present day squad-level combat missions.
At the start of each mission, you each select a soldier, equip him/her with skills, weapons, and combat gear within the mission's Resource limit.
You then fight your way through hostile territory, engaging hostiles, as you attempt to reach and complete your mission objective.
Every mission is a stand-alone game. You build your Soldiers, select your Gear, and then run your mission. Within 30 to 60 minutes you will have succeeded or failed.
Warfighter uses a new combat system that takes into account the fire mode you select for your weapon, range, running out of ammo, suppression, and cover - all in the same dice roll! This system creates an incredibly deep narrative with every attack.
As you eliminate hostiles, you gain experience to Upgun your Action cards.
Anthony and I played two games yesterday.  The first game was a learning the rules type run, well for me at the least.  Played the middle of the road game in the Middle East.  Diversity is needed in troops, I learnt this as we played.  Running out of ammo is a real threat, and coming up against opponents that can only be damaged by explosives needs to be considered.  
The second game was the top level/threat and we only won the game because I had mortar support card with a card that reduced the cover save of the Bomb Shop (the mission).  Mind you we spent I think half the game turns at one location, a BMP, couple of trucks and snipers.  
My thoughts on the game.  Excellent for 1 player play.  You can play up to 6 players, but the collaborative fight for equipment and troops could be the downfall of play.  There is a set cost for the mission to be spent amongst the players.  I can see some of the more aggresive players elbowing their way for points and leaving many floundering for effective troops and equipment.  Still a simple game to master with hours of replay ability.

RATING: 5/10
The game in play.

Quirky dice, but really impractical on any surface that is not flat and hard.
I sued normal D6 and D10 while playing.  Novel idea but not what I'd use.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Another year survived.

Another birthday has come and gone, another year of death being denied.

This is always a hard time of the year for me, it's one of those flash points where suicide is a very real possibility.  This year has been marginally better than past, I only had a small cry at the start of the day.  This was also the first year when I did not have any of my children home to wish me happy birthday.  I guess it was this that brought me to tears more than the depression of having survived another year and the futility of the future.  Having had both children as part of my life for almost 20 years, always at home, always near, it is a shock when you sort of wake up and realise that they are no longer part of your everyday life.  I know that a lot of people leap for joy and say how happy they are that their children are gone, but this is not the case with me.  Unlike my mother whose only desire was to manipulate and control me, I want my children to love their father for being the man I am.  My children will achieve whatever fate has in store for them, and not what their father can do for them.  I gave my children freedom, and I think with that they have become wonderful adults.  They laugh and think I'm silly for keeping all the things they made for me as they grew up, or those achievements they made, memories that will be for them to remember when I am gone.

So unhappy birthday to me for another year.