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28th March 2022: Monster Mission

Just got done playing another game with the Scoobster that we started over the Christmas holiday. This one being Titan Quest.

Now I can't say that ARPG style games have ever been my fave genre, but I've enjoyed them here and there. A few years back, a faulty graphics card stopped us playing through our last attempt at Diablo II, and by the time I got it replaced and thought about that game again Blizzard had started to act like absolute dickwads, so I decided never to play their games again.
Shame, as D2 had been on the list of games I had wanted to complete for many years. I'd also started to play Starcraft after learning that was free, but that attempted completion also went out of the window. Thanks, Blizzard scum.

Nevertheless, we fancied a bit of ARPG action, with Scoob even dipping his toes back into Path Of Exile. I however wanted to finish one of the games I owned, so it was down to either this game or Grim Dawn. As I'd owned this a lot longer, and it was a lot older, we went with this.

But don't worry Grim Dawn. Your time will come. At some point. Probably.

After installing this on my two machines, it immediately looked like it was going to be buggy as hell. I went for a little test run, and the first quest would not even complete. It certainly got the alarm bells ringing.
But luckily, once Scoob joined me and we played the game proper this problem did not occur and we were able to continue.

However, while we had no problems completing quests from then on, the game still proved itself to be buggy as hell. Just some fun examples:

Surrounded by beastmen

Surrounded by beastmen

Run away!

Run away!

She really doesn't want us getting into her box. Or she really <i>does</i> want us to get into her box. Hard to tell.

She really doesn't want us getting into her box. Or she really does want us to get into her box. Hard to tell.

Floating ratman graphical bug gives a good opportunity for a Twonk! image

Floating ratman graphical bug gives a good opportunity for a Twonk! image

But despite these issues it was a fun enough game, though one we started to get a little tired of by the end. It's definitely given me my fill of ARPG action for the time being. This version of the game also includes the Immortal Throne expansion, but after playing this for 3 months we've had enough for now.

The story was a fairly standard affair for these kinds of games. Three beings known as "Telkines" want to free an imprisoned Titan, who himself wants to go and fight the Gods for imprisoning him. And the players have to stop them. Simple as that.

Who knows what we will play next, but we've just found out that Total War: Warhammer is free in a few days over on Epic Games. Now that's a game we've really wanted to play for a while. And I won't really be able to whine about the DRM if it's free now will I?

Well maybe just a little.

So much loot in this game. And 99.9% of it useless.

So much loot in this game. And 99.9% of it useless.

We hit this yeti so hard it went through the floor

We hit this yeti so hard it went through the floor

Letting the final Telkine have it

Letting the final Telkine have it

The end boss Typhon spits at me while Scoob dishes the plinnage

The end boss Typhon spits at me while Scoob dishes the plinnage

I've now been completing games on this blog now for just over 10 years, and have managed 85 games in that time. I don't know if that's good or bad. I also don't know why I mentioned it. I just seem to be on this anniversary kick at the minute. First there was Resident Evil, and Lord Of The Rings, and now this. And I've also got a big FF7 anniversary playthrough on the go right now.

Maybe I'm just getting old and nostalgic.

What am I talking about? I am old and nostalgic.

But mainly old.

21st March 2022: Space Sulk

Just tried the solo rules to Space Hulk for the first time. As I don't have any painted minis for this game I dived into my 40K collection. And even then, I don't have a painted Terminator Sergeant on a 25mm base, so I went with regular Marines as stand-ins. Whatever.

I kicked off with the classic Suicide Mission, as this is the traditional first mission in Space Hulk, and also the only one that would fit on my available desk space.

Unfortunately I've been left with the distinct impression that this game needs more than just one player in order to enjoy it. The silly enemy AI meant that the vast majority of the Genestealers would not attack my Marines, as they will not enter line of sight without being able to attack on the same turn.

This meant I could walk the flamer Marine right down to the objective room and incinerate the shit out of it with barely any resistance. Only right at the end, when the flamer dude was ready to unleash hellfire, did one of the Genestealers get the chance to charge forward and attack my Sergeant, ripping him apart. But by then it was way too late.

Yep, this needs 2 players, or it needs to go on the very long list of games that need house rules brewing up.

Got all the plastic parts for Space Hulk and Space Crusade painted up at last

Got all the plastic parts for Space Hulk and Space Crusade painted up at last

The Marines make easy progress into the hulk

The Marines make easy progress into the hulk

A Genestealer finally makes it through a hail of overwatch fire to get some nom-noms

A Genestealer finally makes it through a hail of overwatch fire to get some nom-noms

Setting fire to the place

Setting fire to the place


Been having some fun (not) recently trying to put together all of those MDF terrain pieces I bought a few months ago.

The only one I've managed to get anywhere near completion is the Space Elf Soulward, and even that has seen me making some heavy modifications.

With the way it's supposed to be assembled, there are these two clips that hold the pieces of the wood apart and leave huge gaps down between them. I figured this would be an arse to paint, even if I tried to paint it before I assembled it.

So to get around this, I glued all the wood "panels" pretty much flush with one another, then used filler to cover up the much smaller gaps.

It's going to take some tricks and fiddles when I paint and weather it to cover up some dodgy bits, but overall it will be much easier.

The other MDF terrain pieces have completely stalled, as it seems the laser didn't really cut them out very well. You can see on the image here on one side how good the cut is, but on the other the laser has barely broke the surface.
It means I've been having to go along with a stanley blade and try and cut everything out rather than try to punch them out and damage them. Pissing annoying.

Gluing the Soulward together

Gluing the Soulward together

After a spray of Halford's red primer

After a spray of Halford's red primer

Two sides to every story

Two sides to every story


As if I didn't have enough gaming things to get on with, I've been making my own print-and-play copy of a solo game called Black Sonata, in which you have to deduce the identity of the Dark Lady from Shakespearean sonnets. Looks like it might be a fun little game.

Getting ready to hunt down Shakespeare's Dark Lady

Getting ready to hunt down Shakespeare's Dark Lady

19th March 2022: Goodbye Old Games? / Letting Off Steam

This is a weird, and kinda depressing, blog entry.

I've been a user of GOG for around 10 years now, and have been a big supporter of their cause. This is because DRM-free gaming is incredibly important to me, and probably the most important factor I look at when buying games. At a time when DRM-infested platforms like Steam had pretty much taken over, GOG were one of the only, and easily the biggest and best, place to get DRM-free games. And get them I did.

I now own 191 games on the platform, which is nowhere near as many as a lot of other people who have supported GOG over the years. But it's quite a lot when you consider that so far I have only completed 36 of those games. It is quite evident at my playing speed that I have willingly been throwing money at this company knowing I will never get around to playing, let alone completing, most of the games I have purchased from them.

And yet, throwing money at them is something I would have happily continued to do. But over the last few years they have taken actions that make it more difficult for me to care about them. These include:

So now, for the first time in a decade, my GOG wishlist is completely empty.

Don't get me wrong, there are still games on there that I would buy if I happened to see them on sale, and future games might be released that I will want to buy. But for the moment, I am simply not going out of my way to look for opportunites to give GOG money.
And that feels weird.

So what am I going to do instead?

Well, I've currently got a list of exactly 200 games, that are either old that I never completed earlier in my life, or are games I have not even played yet. This is a bit of a ridiculous backlog of games when considering this blog is supposed to be motivating me to complete them. I guess most of my gaming time going forward will be getting through this list.

But also, in recent years I've had to concede that, in order to continue to enjoy this hobby, I'm simply going to have to buy from other places. These places being ones I had hoped I would never have to buy from. Because it's obvious at this point, even to a stubborn old fool like me, that they are here to stay. Most people simply don't care about DRM-free. Wankers.

Despite what I've always said about places like Steam, I've actually had a Steam account since 2015. This is because a code for Metal Gear Solid V came free with a graphics card I bought back then (which is still the one I'm using now! Thanks, worldwide GPU shortage!!).
Since then, I've added a few free games to the account, and have also created an Epic Games account to claim any free games they throw out there.

But for years, I never spent any money, or even installed either launcher. That changed a while back when my brain had a "fuck it" moment, and I bought the 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider on Steam for a mighty £2 or something like that. Though this then promptly got released on GOG so I bought it there instead.

Then I had to install the Epic Games Launcher to download the Ghostbusters 2009 game, which they gave me both for free and DRM-free. Nice.

With my defences weakened, I'm now at the point where I can see myself giving Steam a bit of cash here and there for the right game, in the right situation, and at the right price, especially as there are some DRM-free games on there that are not on GOG, such as Hades, which I want to play at some point.
Epic can continue to give me free shit whenever they want, but I don't plan on giving them any money because of that 40% ownership from certain people with ties to a certain government.

And screw giving them any cash.

26th February 2022: Painting Stuff

I was looking for something good to strip some old metal models, and one suggestion I found on Youtube was cellulose thinners. Unfortunately, I've dunked and scrubbed these old Battle Fortresses twice, and some of the paint is stubbornly resisting. I guess I'll have to find something better.

On a more successful note, I had to fill in a little gap on this Epic Ork Warboss on boar, where I'd glued the two models together. Once that was done, all it needed was some paint.

Cellulose thinners fail

Cellulose thinners fail

Warboss Gwapstik on his albino boar

Warboss Gwapstik on his albino boar

Lots of other painting has been going on the last couple of months, and I've been going back and forth between my Epic Orks and Epic Tyranids, as these are the first two armies of the four I'm hoping to finish this year.

I'm pretty happy with my progress so far, even though I doubt I'm going fast enough to paint 4 armies. I might have to switch to an easier-to-paint army like my Epic Eldar or Androids.

I'm especially happy with how the Gargants have turned out, though I'm having more fun with the Nidz. It definitely helps to fight the boredom when every unit is a different colour. With some of the Nidz, I'm leaving them the colours I painted them way back in the 90s, but just re-doing them much better.

Gwapstik's Boyz all done

Gwapstik's Boyz all done

Gargants!

Gargants!

Updated Dominatrix

Updated Dominatrix

Some colourful Nidz

Some colourful Nidz


Ages ago now I started work on all of my Epic buildings from the old 1st and 2nd edition box sets, as they were in a right state. I separated all of the card walls from the plastic roof sections. Said plastic parts then got a good scrub to get them clean before I undercoated them, along with a few models that I was planning to work on at the time.

It was at this point I decided to go no further. I just think it will make much more sense to get a 3D printer to make new walls rather than try to use the old card walls again. And to me it will make more sense just to paint the entire buildings when they are all assembled.

There's nothing stopping me from painting the ruins from the Epic 40,000 box though. Yeah, maybe I should get to that...

After spraying some stuff

After spraying some stuff

Starting to lay down some base colours

Starting to lay down some base colours

These pictures here show the progress of the Epic ruins I was building last year. They've pretty much stalled at this point as I wait for better weather in which to spray them.

But I'm really happy with how they look so far.

Construction of the new ruins begins

Construction of the new ruins begins

Continued construction

Continued construction

Construction complete. Painting next.

Construction complete. Painting next.


My heavier, metal Epic models got a couple of little upgrades. Firstly, I finally decided to put them in a proper carry case, as they have always just been lying in the bottom of a box up to this point.

And one my Andrayada Titans got a new base, as its old one was twice as big as it needed to be.

That other base will instead go to the Hierophant Titan, when I eventually manage to paint it.

I don't think that will be too long now though, looking at how few Epic Nidz I've got left to do.

Can't wait.

Boxing up my metal Titans

Boxing up my metal Titans

Work on an Andrayada Titan base

Work on an Andrayada Titan base


Looking forward to playing more board games recently as I shift my attention more in this direction and away from computer games for a while.

We got around to trying Burke's Gambit a few weeks back for the first time. Not really sure what to think of it, as it was a bit awkward to get into. I think maybe we need some more games of it to really settle into it. After all, it took us a few games of Secret Hitler to get into it, and we ended up loving it and using it as our main game for months.

Trying Burke's Gambit

Trying Burke's Gambit

Trying not to be a Burke

Trying not to be a Burke

I've also just picked up two other cheap games. One is an old game called Scotland Yard, where one player is the hidden criminal trying to escape the detective players. I have been wanting to play a much more up-to-date version of this called Whitehall Mystery, but that's very hard to find it seems.

I also picked up a co-op card game with a similar theme called There's Been A Murder, where players must work to catch the murderer before he gets away. No idea how this one is going to go down, as the rules aren't fully clear in a few areas.

Picking up Scotland Yard, which is handy...

Picking up Scotland Yard, which is handy...

...because There's Been A Murder

...because There's Been A Murder


Just recently whipped out my old Space Hulk from the loft, after I learned that the old first edition (which is the one I have) has a solo variant. Now, I bought the game from a fellow student at college back in the 90s for a whole £20, which was quite a good deal considering it had most of the Genestealer expansion, and the board sections from the Deathwing expansion, included.

However, even after all this time, and all of the versions that have followed, Space Hulk remains a game that I have never played.

Regrettably, most of the models that came with the game were covered in paint so thick that you could barely make out the details. So after some failed attempts to strip them, a lot of them went in the bin. If only I knew then what I know now about stripping plastic models. But anyway.
A single plastic Terminator survived my purge (the Librarian in my 40K army), and several of the Genestealers went into my 40K Tyranid army. The only other models I have are a few of the Hybrids from the Genestealer expansion, as they were not painted yet.

So in order to actually play this game, I'm going to have to dip into my 40K collection. But that will be fine.

When Scoob learned I was looking into Space Hulk, he recovered his old copy of the game and gave it to me. He's used the models for other things, but it gives me more up to date rules in second edition, the custom dice, and more board sections to throw into the mix. Which is cool.

The end goal is to ultimately make my own game using both the Space Hulk and Space Crusade resources I have available, but that's a long term goal. Got to get my Epic and Super Dungeon rules going first.

But for now, I'll be hoping to try a few games of solo Space Hulk to actually get a little use out of it. Only 25 years later...

Sorting out all the Space Hulk board sections

Sorting out all the Space Hulk board sections

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