A Musical Cornucopia

Doing what every sane person did years ago

Caught up with Fabes and Juan over the weekend. We got the last of the boards flocked and had a quick scratch-up game of 40k. Fabes totally kicked my arse again – this time in two rounds – but that’s cool because I wasn’t actually trying to win. I was actually using the game to test some different strategies and gathered some very interesting data for further consideration…

(Fabes may think I’m just saying that after the fact to excuse my execrable performance, but I said as much to Juan before the game began, so there! :))

I’ve also started work on another project. While hanging around at Fabes’ place it occurred to me that I haven’t actually sat down and listened to a CD in ages. In years in fact. I listen to plenty of music, but it’s all via iTunes on my computer. I’ve got a couple of two metre tall IKEA racks full of CDs that I never touch, and I desperately need somewhere to store all the 40k models I’ve been buying. The solution is obvious – pack all the CDs up in a cupboard somewhere, and use the racks to hold my army. Brilliant!

So how is that a project you ask? It’s simple, I’ve got to go through and rip all the CDs before I put them away.

You see, I’ve never properly ripped most of them. When I first started listening to music on my computer I was cursed with a small hard drive, and a highly tempermental CD drive, which meant I could only afford to rip the songs I really liked at comparatively low quality to save space – and I usually had to rip them multiple times to get versions without annoying drop outs. In the end about 10% of my music collection actually ended up on my computer.

But now I have a huge hard drive and a CD/DVD drive that reliably rips tracks at close to the speed of light (or so it seems compared to my old machine). So I’m going to go through every single CD I own and get it ripped, imported and organised at high quality. It’ll be a marvellous cornucopia of music! And I’ll have somewhere to keep my Valhallans. Everybody wins!

Yeah, that’s really all I’ve got to say πŸ™‚

(Watch this)


How to annoy the Customs department and Cyberpunk fans

Long weekend! Hooray!

(Yes, I usually take every second Monday off, so I get plenty of long weekends, but this is one I get paid for :))

Been spending much of my spare time messing around with Warhammer 40k models – the sad, nerdy results can be seen in my Flickr Stream. The boards that Fabes and I have been building are starting to actually look good, and my force of Valhallan Imperial Guard now consists mostly of models rather than paper cut outs. Still a long way to go though – for one thing I’ll have to paint them all.

Here’s a thing – if you’re going to post gaming materials to Australia, do not put “Warhammer Parts” on the declaration form unless you want customs to open it up and make sure you’re not sending someone prohibited medieval weaponry πŸ˜€

Oh, and here’s another thing – a promotional video FASA made for their Cyberpunk/Fantasy fusion game Shadowrun back in 1990.


No one ever moves like that in real life. If you want to be stealthy you move in discrete jumps from shadow to shadow or cover to cover. You don’t skip down street wagging your head back and forth like a caffeinated hamster.

When you’re making a movie your first budgetary consideration should be hiring actors who can actually act. Costumes, pink spotlights, hairspray and fog machines can come later.

If you come around a corner and spot a guard, what do you do?
a) Retreat back around the corner and discuss your options
b) Stand out in the open, right under a spotlight, and yell at each other.
(Hint – if you chose anything other than “a” you’re doing it wrong)

The whole video reeks of preaching to the converted. If you have no idea of what Shadowrun is, you would be left feeling confused (and annoyed). Where are the cybernetics? Where are the meta-humans? Why doesn’t that guy put on a goddamn shirt?

So, magic requires your shoulders to be exposed, and causes temporary paralysis. Good to know.

I know Netrunners (or whatever they’re called in Shadownrun, my pedigree is Cyberpunk 2020 after all) aren’t meant to be the muscle of the team, but those panels didn’t seem to require a muscle bound freak to open them.

Oo! It’s a cheap-ass TARDIS control room! And netrunning decks look just like chunky 1980’s keyboards. Retro cool!

If you don’t want the future to laugh at you, don’t blow your entire budget (and half your runtime) on computer graphics that are going to look ludicrous in five years time. And if you are going to whack in a bunch of computer graphics at least include some kind of narrative so people can tell that they’re part of the story and someone didn’t just tape over the movie with an MTV clip.

So, intrusion programs are designed by the Tall Man? Neat.

OK, that’s about all I’ve got to say. Go and make your own entertainment.



Two of my eBay orders arrived yesterday (well, actually they arrived earlier in the week and I was only able to pick them up yesterday) which means I now actually have some models for my force of Valhallans. Not a huge number, but it’s a start.

Let’s see, I have a Valhallan Commander (who needs assembling and painting), two Iron Legion lascannon teams (the posting on eBay said they were Valhallan, but hey, I can convert them), a Techpriest Enginseer (who needs some repairs and a decent re-paint) and two partly constructed Sentinels that I’m going to modify the crud out of.

I’ve got some other bits and pieces on order including parts for the Sentinel project, a Commisar and an Valhallan Officer. And a whole load of flock for the game table that Fabes and I constructed over the weekend. I’m also wondering if I have the patience (and money) to build some bear cavalry… mmm…. bear cavalry…..

In other news it’s 9:30 in the morning, and already 37 degrees. The temperature is not expected to drop below 20 until Thursday next week. That’s the minimum temperature I’m talking about. Oh joy.


Ah! They’ve revised the forecast! Now we’re going to be hit by Tropical Cyclone (Hurricane, Typhoon, whatever you want to call it) Bianca instead.

That sounds catastrophic, but by the time cyclones get as far south as Perth they tend to lose their puff. It’s due to hit on Sunday and will just be a slightly larger than normal storm. The good news is it’ll drag temperatures down to the much more reasonable low 30s with slightly cooler nights. Hooray!

On second thoughts…

They’re the anchor of the Free Mantle Systems

Maybe my Valhallans were fighting the anchor of the Free Mantle Systems, the Freo Marines?

Freo! Name: Freo Marines
Founding Chapter: The WAFL Marines
Founding: Unknown
Chapter Master: Matheus Pavlach
Homeworld: Freo
Fortress-Monastery: The Dock
Battle Cry: Freo! Way to Go!


Imma Charging Mah Lazers

Reinforcements incoming from Philadelphia

Well, I’ve done it. I’ve gone and thrown stupid amounts of money at eBay to start a collection of Valhallans. This is slightly better than throwing stupid amounts of money at Games Workshop to start a collection of Valhallans, as the stupid amounts of money I’ve thrown at eBay are about half the stupid amounts of money I’d have to throw at Games Workshop for the same amount of models. They’re still quite stupid though.

Since Fabes’ Space Marines seemed to be fairly intimidated by my Laser Cannons, I’ve bought a couple of them. Also a mortar team, an officer and a couple of large, nasty surprises, the nature of which I’m not going to mention because then they wouldn’t be surprises any more (you have read up on all the vehicle rules haven’t you Fabes? πŸ˜‰

When my reinforcements arrive from Sunny Philadelphia I’m planning to do some conversion work on the officer. He’s a very fine model, but is basically a bit too 19th century for my tastes. The general look of the Valhallans is World War II Red Army – having them commanded by a mustachioed Cossack in a giant fur hat just doesn’t gel with me.Β  I’ll be chopping down his hat and replacing it with a ushanka for a start, and plan to go with a more subdued paint job than the example above.

I’ve also bought some scary neodymium magnets for weapon swapping. They’re very tiny ones, so hopefully I won’t accidentally amputate anything trying to get them glued into place.

Finally I’ve avoided blogging about the floods because really, what’s to be said? It’s a disaster, and me going on about it in my usual irreverent style wont make it any less so. I’ve donated to the relief appeal and my thoughts and sympathy are with all those affected. That’s about the best I can do.

No Battle Plan Survives Contact With Fabes

In the grim darkness of the 41st Millennium there is only Fabian

Back to work tomorrow. Kill me now.

Headed up to Fabe’s place for another test game of Warhammer 40k yesterday. This time we had 1500 point armies and played on a full sized field on his living room floor – which left both of us with agonisingly painful necks and knees.

I fielded a force of Valhallans (printed out onto paper and stuck onto bases with blu-tack), while Fabes rolled out his newly purchased Space Marines, backed with a bunch of the Space Hulk models Matt left behind when he debunked to the Alps. Because we’re still learning we played without vehicles, which led me to some interesting conclusions…

1: Footslogging Imperial Guard across a battlefield is not much fun.

2: Footslogging Imperial Guard across a battlefield without any kind of mobile cover is even less fun.

3: Footslogging Imperial Guard across a battlefield when your opponent has spent over half of his 1500 points on Cyclone Missile Launchers and Conversion Beamers is possibly the least fun thing ever.

It was basically a prolonged duck shoot. I barely got any units out of my table quarter, and conceded defeat at the start of round five when a Space Marine Captain took out my Company Commander in single combat (and my knees were killing me).

That said, I did manage to hold off disaster for quite a while – mainly by rolling an unreasonable number of fives and sixes while Fabes kept rolling ones and twos. My heavy weapons teams inflicted a fair bit of damage and my Company Commander survived far longer that he should have thanks to his refractor field. The champions however were my ratling snipers, who managed to eliminate Fabes’ Master of the Forge despite drawing the attention of numerous grenade and missile launchers and a nearby group of snipers containing some whiz-bang special sniper character who seemed to have spent the entire battle huffing obscura (The sniper! He does nothing!).

My least useful unit was the massed one consisting of 20 veterans (with various heavy weapons) and a Ministorum Priest. The first round of missile strikes reduced this to about five models who promptly fled – I managed to rally them but the game was over before they got back in range of anything (The Eviscorator! It does nothing!)

Despite being smashed by Fabes’ somewhat underhand weapon choices it was a really fun day. I think I may have to consider buying some models…

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