Sunday, November 12, 2017

OGRE Nihon Engineers*

A bit back, artist for hire MADMANMIKE made for me a set of Nihon Rangers through some photoshopping of the original NAC Ranger markers.   He opened up his commissions again and I hit him up to fill another gap in the glorious forces of the Nihon Empire.  Engineers. 

*Totally unofficial , not for sale, trade, giveaway,  etc. etc.  All rights reserved to Steve Jackson Games.

Friday, November 10, 2017

Crime? Pfffft!

In Cook County:
Felon in possession of a stolen firearm.  No FOID or CCW.  That's what? 4 possible charges at least?
Withers was taken into custody and charged with aggravated unlawful use of a weapon, a class 2 felony.
Well that's something.  But then the stupid.
During a bond court appearance on Saturday, Withers received an I-bond and was released on his own recognizance.
That means no bail money. He was released by promising to show up. 

While in Chicago they're pushing making it a crime/fine-able offense to text/talk while crossing the street w/ a $90-$500 fine

We can see the obvious danger to society here.

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Compare and Contrast: Talking Points vs Reality

So the usual pundits are making the annual  push for additional licensing/regulation/oversight of gun shops because Chicago is a sh!t-hole
A sweeping gun trace report to be publicly released by the city on Sunday showed nearly one quarter of guns recovered at crime scenes over a recent four-year period came from just 10 Chicago-area businesses.....
 Chicago police Superintendent Eddie Johnson called on state lawmakers to approve legislation to more aggressively regulate gun dealers in Illinois, pointing to a newly released trove of data that shows many guns recovered by police in connection with crimes can be traced back to licensed gun stores in the Chicago area.
Not 'Chicago' proper because Chicago has no gun shops but 'Chicago area'.  SCC tears this 'report' to shreds.   So yeah.  Blame the gun shops.  Now here's the clincher.  What happens when someone is actually caught and convicted for 'straw purchasing' or other gun related crimes? 

Simone Mousheh, 23, of the Chicago suburb of Mount Prospect, will have to complete 15 days of community service in the Cook County Sheriff’s Work Alternative Program and 12 months probation after pleading guilty to illegal transfer of firearms last week, as reported by the Daily Herald.
Mousheh was arrested last September and charged with four felonies after an investigation by the Chicago Police Firearm Investigation Team concluded she had bought handguns through the benefit of her state-issued Firearms Owners Identification card and then illegally resold them.
Four felonies.  At least 3 guns sold to criminals.  1 yr probation.

OK. How about the theft and resale to criminals of 100 guns

10 yrs.  W/ Illinois' 'day for day' system, he'll be out in 5 or less.

But it's the fault of the gun shops that violent, repeat criminals are out on the streets and being armed by other repeat criminals who get slaps on the wrist and low, if any, bail. Tell me again how it's all about 'safety'. Tell me again how it's all about 'common-sense'. Tell me again how all of this is 'reasonable'. 

Friday, October 27, 2017

NFL's 'Hold My Beer' Moment.

So ESPN, NFL etc are losing viewership/attendance left and right by getting involved in politics.  So obviously the best decision is to get involved in even more contentious issues
Thursday, the 49ers and representatives of police unions from San Jose, Oakland, Santa Clara, New York, Los Angeles, Sacramento, Long Beach and Portland signed a pledge that aims to ease national police-community acrimony at the heart of on-field protests that have extended far beyond the field.
The team has also pledged $500,000 for an outreach campaign that includes public-service announcements. Both the 49ers and the police unions plan to solicit participation from other NFL teams and police unions.
 But much of the news conference at Levi’s Stadium on Thursday focused on rallying behind proposed federal legislation to ban the bump stocks, and advocating to outlaw armor-piercing bullets and gun silencers the unions contend are a significant threat to law enforcement.
Yeah.  Tell me how well that works out for you. 

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

What's In A Name Pt II

To add to a previous post about the rotating names/terminology of 'gun control'.

The group led by Gabby Gifford's husband as his own personal slush fund is starting a chain of department stores apparently.
Her group, Americans for Responsible Solutions, is changing its name to Giffords. The new name is part of a larger intention of breaking free from the group’s failure to place further restrictions on the Second Amendment.
So I guess they're no longer 'Americans', 'Responsible', nor looking for 'Solutions'.  Funny how that works.

Monday, October 16, 2017

"No One's Coming For Your Guns"

Hear it all the time. Gun nuts are paranoid and delusional. The Gun Lobby is just trying to sell more guns.  Etc. Etc.

Then there's this:
Synopsis As Introduced
Amends the Criminal Code of 2012. Makes it unlawful to deliver, sell, or purchase or cause to be delivered, sold, or purchased or cause to be possessed by another, an assault weapon, assault weapon attachment, .50 caliber rifle, or .50 caliber cartridge. Makes it unlawful for any person to knowingly possess an assault weapon, .50 caliber rifle, or .50 caliber cartridge 300 days after the effective date of this amendatory Act, except possession of weapons registered with the State Police in the time provided. Provides exemptions and penalties. Prohibits delivery, sale, purchase, or possession of large capacity ammunition feeding devices. Provides exemptions and penalties. Prohibits the knowing sale, manufacture, purchase, possession, or carrying of a trigger modification device. Defines "trigger modification device". Effective immediately.
Registration, confiscation, and taxation.

25 sponsors/co-sponsors as of posting. 

Any Questions?  

Friday, October 6, 2017

OGRE Online @SJGames

From their Daily Illuminator:

Ogre Video Game Available Now On Steam

You've faced the deadliest AI on the tabletop; now take on Ogre in the digital realm! 
Thanks to our friends at Auroch Digital, the Ogre video game is now available on Steam, with as many options as any Last War commander could hope for. If you like Ogre, you'll like this – the digital implementation stays true to the original game. You've got your standard Ogre scenario, one Ogre versus the defenders, and all the classic units. Play either side against the computer or an opponent. In addition, players have content from G.E.V., including the expanded rules, and a host of single and multiplayer options. 
Ogre Video Game
If you haven't played Ogre before, don't worry. The in-game tutorial can get you up to speed, ready to tackle play against the AI and competitors. For seasoned Ogre players, there is an all-new campaign, plus online multiplayer and rankings to test your mettle. Customize your force with varied units, from Infantry to the Ogre Mark VI. Take the battle to a variety of terrain that you, or your opponent, can use advantageously. 
Make sure to share your experiences on Facebook and Twitter with #OgreVideoGame! On Monday, we'll randomly choose five folks who shared to win a copy of Ogre Sixth Edition.
Download Ogre today, and take a step into the future warfare of 2085. Join the community on Steam, and our forums! There are sure to be a lot of commanders looking for an opponent.  (And as this is written, Ogre is #2 on the New and Trending list for all of Steam!) 

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

The Smell of Varnish @Dogmight

As noted previously, I've been a fan of Dog Might Games for some time.  While I may not pick up everything they make, I make it a point to plug them and throw a dollar into the 'Tip Jar' on their Kickstarters.

The latest item I got was a 'Dragon Tray', a dice rolling tray in various designs/patterns. I got a 'Castle' w/ the Ebony finish.  Holy ka-niggets did it turn out nice.

Close-up of the finish:

On the bottom are some rubber feet and a picture hook for vertical hanging.

I am most impressed. This will get a lot of use.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

I Can Quit Any Time I Like

To expand on a FB post showing off our OGRE goodies.

I started collecting when my sister bought the the box edition of GEV when I was about 10.  33 years later, this is the result including RIVETS, the original video game, the horrid Deluxe Edition and much else.  The rolled map on the side is for the San Fran invasion scenario and the craft boxes contain my DE/6E scale pieces.

What I didn't include was my meager minis collection.  I've posted partial pics of them from time to time but never in one lump sum.

The OGRE's:
L-R, B-F:  MKIV (Multicam), MKIII, MKVI (ATAC), Dopplesodner (Soviet Flag), Ninja, MKIII & MKV (WWII Africa Korps),MKIIIb (Nihon)

Combine Mobile Artillery Battery in Tigerstripe:

PE German Heavy Armor company w/ infantry support in Blumentarn:

Australian Coastal Artillery battery w/ Infantry, Lt Tanks, and hvy weapons mounted on trucks.

PE German Re-Enforced Mechanized Infantry company in desert fleck:

PE Russian Armor company w/ Infantry support (Interior Ministry woodland pattern)

Misc: A collection of obsolete Russian and German armor. Radar and Jamming facilities, Acrylic CP, Revetments, Cruise-crawler in Russian OD, underwater OGRE.

The collection.  The empty spot is for the mass o' plastic minis from the Set 1 KS.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Hitting Close To Home Updates

News is reporting a school shooting in the next town over.  Reports are one student injured and suspect in custody.

The real fun is going to be the rumor mongering.  Some students are apparently putting up on the book of face that there were multiple shooters and half-dozen to a dozen injured/killed.

Update as more information comes up.

Update.:  Male student that was hit.  Female teacher subdued the shooter.

Local rumormill. 100% unconfirmed.  Allegedly the shooter had been bullying a female student, both freshmen, who promptly whooped him.  He brought a gun to school and they got into a screaming match before he pulled out the gun and started shooting.  The teacher grabbed him from behind and he then started just shooting randomly. 

Update II:  Other rumors are that the shooter was the one being bullied by various male students and he was responding.  He is currently being evaluated for mental health.

W. the way rumors are spread, I have a feeling we'll never know the entire truth.

Sunday, September 10, 2017

Charleston Hike 2: We Found Maps

The male spawnlings came w/ me as the CinC and female spawn had animal stuff to do.

The trails are apparently color coded but not always clearly marked.  I'll be updating the '1' post w/ a map pic we took.

We took the yellow trail to where it splits off to red at a long, looping wooden walkway.

We followed the red until it split to orange. One spot overlooking the lake had a fabulous breeze.  After about 2 miles of somewhat steep walking, it felt fantastic.  If only the blog had breeze-o-vision.

At the red/orange split, we took orange and ended up at a small pavilion at Woodyard Park. This all was based on random decisions before we found the display w/ the map on it.  What an epiphany it was.  At the park we found a neat spider building a web right by the sign.

We then connected back to the red trail and traced our path back to Sister City Park.  All told 3-3.5 miles we think.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Charleston Hike 1

So in an escape from the internet, the family went hiking at the trails around Lake Charleston w/ the entrance at Sister City Park.
 The start of the trail is deceiving.  The paved trail goes into regular gravel and eventually into dirt.  Dirt that, from what I've been told, gets very slick when wet.  Either way, so far so good. The first part we stopped a number of times for some group shots.

Classic deciduous forest.  It's been dry so the creeks were empty.

At one of the many trail branches, we headed towards Lake Charleston. It was also really low.

4PB found a large mussel shell.

 Hostile tree:

 The trails are nice.  I can definitely see some of them will require a lot of maintenance as they're in washes.  It's also really easy to get lost. Few directions and lots of forks leading off to different directions.  We traveled for about two miles before turning around and retracing our steps since we didn't know if the one we were on looped around or kept going.  Definitely going to do this again though.

Update. Map w/ path.

Thursday, August 31, 2017

Jobu Needs a Refill

So a bit back I picked up a 20-sider from Artisan Dice.  Not just any 20-sider but one made of Mammoth tusk ivory.  It had a nice cedar case but not something to really show off its magnificence. 

Until today.

Thanks to Jolly Blackburn, creator of Knights of the Dinner Table, I now have a proper display for my die. The 'Exalted Dice Shrine'. 

Now to find some cool display for my set of 'Bog Dice'

Sunday, August 27, 2017

OGRE Scenario: A Preview

Preview,....foreshadowing... whatever you want to call it. Either way this is a project I've been playing w. for a long time. One of the main holdbacks has been my lack of any artistic skills.  There have been a few aborted attempts but I finally found a designer willing to run w/ my vision.  Again I abused the services of MADMANMIKE, creater of my character renderings (a job I'm betting he's regretting ever taking since it opened up the doors) and several other projects over the last few years.

 I love the various maps in OGRE but I wanted something a bit more ... personal.   So Mike's challenge was an OGRE DE/6E scale map of my county.  This is the result.

The hexes are a bit bigger than 6E/DE but this has more to do w/ the limitations of the printing services I have available than anything else.  The only local place that will do 24x36 is Walgreen and their editing software is OK but doesn't do everything. 

Doesn't matter. This will work fine for what I have in mind. Two medium sized urban areas w/ numerous strongpoints and heavily roaded. Lots of open areas/farms but a strip of wooded and streamed area (not quite a river) along the eastern side.  The scenario I'm working on is based off of a local uprising near the end of the war w/ local militia, reserves, and obsolete/archaic unts deciding enough is enough.  In response, NAC forces will try to retake these rebellious localities.  I'll be mixing in some old school pre-6E OGRE ruleslike revetments and militia along w/ a few a options I'm mulling over to give the defense some unexpected teeth. 

Now to find the time to write it up and playtest.

Axis & Allies Rnd II

The boys and I decided to have a game of A&A this weekend. I played Axis: Germany and Japan.  The boys wanted to gang up on me w/ 4PA playing USSR/USA and 5P playing the UK. 
Standard startup:

Round 1 was the usual back and forth.  USSR took the Ukraine from Germany but made one huge mistake. Instead of following the traditional 'buy infantry' for the Soviets, he bought a battleship. 
I forgot to take a pic.  By the end of round 2, Germany had been pushed out of Africa and Japan out of the Asian mainland but Moscow had fallen and the USA's Pacific fleet had been destroyed.

Round 3 was a German expansion through Asia and a UK/USA naval buildup.  Finland/Norway and Western Europe changed hands a number of times.  Japan consolidated their gains and built up naval forces.

Round 4: More back and forth w/ Finland/Norway and Asian expansion by Germany. Japan got back it's mainland territories and Germany re-enforced its 'Atlantic wall. The last of the Soviet forces were eliminated. US/USA forces continued an Atlantic buildup of transports and capitol ships but the USA neglected the Pacific. 

 Round 5/6, Endgame.  Africa falls to the Wehrmacht. Australia is occupied. Alaska and Canada are invaded.  During these rounds, the Atlantic fleets of the UK and USA get destroyed by combined attacks from a much increased Luftwaffe and Kreigsmarine.  4PA dropped out at this point after a multitude of horrible rolls (I can relate) and 5P and I decided to finish it off w/ a last few attacks, eventually causing the loss of the Eastern US. 

I did an AAR w. the boys, giving them some tips on play.  We'll see how they do. 

Friday, August 25, 2017

Ancient Dread: Octagon's End and the Rock Faeries

Past where the mural was is a square room with a ladder in the center, carved out of stone, leading up.  It opens up into more of a traditional cavern, stalagtites and stalagmites surround us.  The ceiling is about 25' above us. It leads off to the SE. We follow to the left until it curves back around south.  A path through the stalagmites opens to the left (NE) and to the right (SE). We follow the NE path following the 'Left Hand' rule through numerous caverns.  Something lands on my back.  I shake it off.  It appears to be some sort of tiny gnomelike creatures.  Echo pulls out her light gem making them pull back a bit. I activate my bracelet of charismatic aura.  They become my best friends.  Whispering in Faerie they are.  Rod talks with them.  There are spiders in the caverns.  They ask if we are friends and I respond that we are. They start leading us down a cavern.   The fey creatures lead us to a huge set of double doors, obviously dwarven carving. 

To be continued.

Monday, August 21, 2017

@Gen_Con 2017 : Swag and Stuff

OK. I've covered the days I was there w/ a few of the things I picked up.  This is the rest.

A 'Don't Tread On Me" 4-sider T-shirt. There was also one w/ a lego that looked suspiciously familiar.  Yes, messages have been sent to the relevant parties.

From Crystal Caste, my annual GenCon special dice.  Apparently there were a few variations of this over the weekend.  The ones I have have a 'GenCon 50' on the single pip.  The ones offered on Thursday did not have the pip.  There were also some price differences on the sets offered based on which sticker was on the can. I also picked up a set of the 'Rainbow' dice and some 20-sider earrings for 4PB.  CC was the only place selling them at the con. Took me a while to find.

From ZOE/DG:
Not only did Matt Vancil sign my copy of Pwned, but I picked up the 2016 Patreon patch and 2017 golden waffle pin.  The pencil is from HyperRPG which is working w/ ZOE/DG for streaming.

No. I cannot explain the banana.  I will not explain the banana.  Go and watch Gamers:Shadow Menace

From Palladium Books.
 A print of the 'Hydra'  and a map of the Great Northern Wilderness from Palladium Fantasy RPG

From Forged Foam, I got two sets of short sword/small shield for my boys.  They are being universally described as 'whappy things'.

Now this next piece, the one I'm going to close out with, is something that I've been working on having done for a few years now.  Several artists I've talked to either were too busy or not available.  Walking around the con floor, I saw an artist not only who's style was very close to what I was wanting but also did commissions AT the con with prices that were so reasonable as to almost be suspect.  Her name is Diana Harlan Stein, founder of Naiadstudios.  We chatted for a bit (she's been running a D&D campaign since before forever), fleshed out some details, and I was able to provide some support images.

Now for background.  My Palladium Fantasy character got roped into a relationship in the campaign.  For a Bday present, I asked the GM to give me a background story on her.  He (slowly) started writing it up in journal form.  I got an image of my head of an elderly female elf writing at a table.
This is the result.

I was going to do a 'my thoughts' bit but I really don't feel like it.

@Gen_Con 2017: Day 1 *Insert Funny Title Here*

@Gen_Con 2017: Day 2 Lots of Gamers

@Gen_Con 2017: Day 3 Victory and Loss x2