TSM Geek – Mar/Apr 2021

I’m not sure it’s worth the effort for this bi-monthly report, as there’s very little to add that I haven’t mentioned in recent posts.

Despite the limited lift to restrictions we haven’t really ventured out anywhere. We took the dog to Attingham Park, which I’ve talked about before, and we recently walked from Benthal Hall into Ironbridge, a round trip of about 5miles, which I suppose merits at least a paragraph or two.

Ironbridge is a large village that sits on the banks of the river Severn (and very prone to flooding) and is described by some as “The birthplace of the Industrial Revolution”. Whilst strictly inaccurate (The IR didn’t exactly start in one specific place), it is certainly in the heart of where it all took place.

Walking there from Benthal is pretty easy going; it’s coming back that’s the hard part. Climbing out of the Severn valley there are two paths to choose from. One, a long steady climb that lasts pretty much all of the way. The other is a couple of hundred steep steps (I have counted them in the past but can’t recall the exact number) through the woods. Which would you take?

Ironbridge
A view of the famous ‘Ironbridge’ in… Ironbridge!

We’ve done them both several times and believe me, it’s much easier taking the steps than the long, arduous climb. It just goes on and on, slowly sapping your will and depleting your energy reserves. Whereas taking the steps, which do put a fair strain on the knees, is a fifteen minute, heavy breathing workout for those of us not in prime physical condition – I can’t believe that just a few years ago I raced my daughter to the top, running all the way… what have I become in such a short time that I had to stop halfway to ease the aching joints? Unfit, that’s what; went jogging with the dog today, lol!

And the reason for doing all this? Chips! Okay, not totally true, we just wanted a family walk and to treat the dog to some different smells, but the chips in Ironbridge were very nice!

Anyway, here’s a brief round up of the last two months geekiness…


Games

We’ve played very little and I think everything we have played has been mentioned in previous posts – Mansions of Madness, Eldritch Horror, Legendary Encounters: X-Files, and Marvel: Crisis Protocol. There’s very little more for me to say about Mansions and Eldritch, both games are great and regularly get to the table.

It was our third game of Legendary Encounters: X-Files and we’re still sticking to seasons 1-3, as Yasmin hasn’t seen the rest yet (more on that shortly). We lost, but only just and it was a good game. We’ve certainly speeded up now, as we’re familiar with the setting up the decks and how it plays. It wasn’t as enjoyable as the previous plays because we’ve got to know the cards that come up, but this will change when we advance onto seasons 4-6.

Marvel: Crisis Protocol is fast becoming a favourite. We’ve had some really close games and things are becoming quite competitive as we add characters to our rosters that we think will find a chink in the others armour. It’s the thematic game play that really draws me in. Plenty of cinematic moments are created and the tension that builds as the game goes on is extremely exciting, and a little bit addictive; the banter we give each other when rolling dice is great fun!

I am making an attempt to play more solo games now, especially as there are some I’m dying to get back to the table but Yasmin doesn’t particularly want to play them. I’m also going to write short posts on these games as I play them, highlighting anything of interest, such as game mechanisms, strategies, or simply things I don’t like. One such game is Tainted Grail: Fall of Avalon, which I’ve just started playing, so a post is imminent(ish!).

Last thing is Call of Cthulhu. We haven’t played the next scenario yet, mainly because I have finished writing it yet! It’s nearly there, just need to refine things and run everything back through my head, checking that it all makes sense and I’ve not left any glaring holes in the plot – you can guarantee if there’s a single weak spot in your design the players are sure to find it!


Painting

Things have progressed quite nicely on this front, particularly the Mansions of Madness minis. As I’ve mentioned before, they’re not great quality and so I’m trying to get them turned around as quickly as possible. So far I’ve completed the Hunting Horrors, Deep one Hybrids, Ghosts, and Wraiths – posts are on their way.

Just waiting for transfer to transparent bases.

Ships are coming along too. I’ve just finished the Bismarck to go with the Hood, Prinz Eugen, and the Admiral Graf Spee. In progress are the Prince of Wales, King George V, and Rodney, all of which are basecoated and just need the finishing touches. Each ship takes less an hour to complete, so I’m hoping to be onto the next batch after this weekend.

Hood, Bismarck, Prinz Eugen, and the Graf Spee.

I’ve assembled the next Marvel: Crisis Protocol characters – Loki, Hela and Star Lord, and what a joy they were, not!

These have been really fiddly to put together for a number of reasons. Let’s take Star Lords head for example. His head is of a similar size to that of a match’s, but comes in three separate parts… why! I don’t see why this had to be produced in so many tiny bits and not as a single item, or at the most two bits. Boy was it a pain. Then there were his legs, Loki’s arms, and Hela’s (I wish it would stop auto correcting her name!), well, Hela’s everything really, all of which were very vague in how they were supposed to be joined together. Not normally an issue, but in these cases getting them positioned wrong led to the next part being ill aligned, and so on in a domino effect. I ended up with quite a few gaps to fill!

I’m the first to admit that assembly and prep are not areas of the hobby I enjoy, nor am I particularly good at, and so it could be just my ineptitude, but I’ve never had much problem assembling minis from other manufacturers. Anyway, they are done and just need a wash and prime. Should be making a start on them this weekend.

If anyone is interested, I usually post pictures of my progress on Facebook. Not particularly good pictures admittedly, as my phone’s a little on the old and decrepit side, but pictures nevertheless.


Screen Shot

Well, not a lot to report here. We have now advanced onto the fourth season of the X-Files and Yasmin is really enjoying them. Even though I’ve seen it all before I’m still riveted by it. I take more notice of how the main plot grows throughout the seasons and can see things I missed previously.

We’ve been watching Grey’s Anatomy as a family, though I’ve been dipping in and out as they tend to watch whilst I’m painting. I like this because it has a good balance between covering serious issues and humour, and it has a good cast of likeable characters – We’ve now named Yasmin after one of them, she’s referred to as Yasmin Yang… ‘It’s ALL about me, it’s all about MEEEEEE!’

I’ve yet to finish WandaVision, though I’m not really bothered if I do, and still haven’t started The Falcon and Winter Solider, but I will get around to that one. I haven’t progressed Farscape either, just haven’t found the time.


Between the Sheets

I haven’t read a single book in the last two months, shame on me, however, I have been doing a lot of reading on the Internet. Mostly it’s been in the form of Wikipedia, reading up about WWII Naval battles and the ships that took part, as well as paint schemes for the different nations. All research for painting the ships and getting ready to play Victory at Sea when done.


As I said, not a lot to write about this time, which makes a change, as I usually rabbit on for far too long.

To make up for things I’ll leave you with this: Guess the games… Smiley faces for correct answer!

Picture A
Picture A
Picture B
Picture B
Picture C
Picture C
Picture D
Picture D
Picture E
Picture E
Picture F
Picture F

I never said it was going to be easy!

12 thoughts on “TSM Geek – Mar/Apr 2021

  1. I think Ironbridge is a fascinating place, but I had no idea they did good chips! I wish it was on my doorstep…
    PS: Guess the game – no.5 is Nusfjord! I claim my smiley face.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Iron bridge is a lovely place, as is the whole gorge; I’m lucky to live so close.
      West Midlands Chips – best in the country – and if you want the very best then it’s a trip to Blists Hill Victorian town or the Black Country Museum – Both cook their chips using traditional methods, yum 😋

      Liked by 1 person

  2. That river walk looks beautiful! And chips! You just don’t get them in Switzerland like you do in the UK.

    I love the guess the game idea. Is B Pandemic? E is on the tip of my tongue but my mind keeps saying Agricola which I don’t think it is.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. I should have looked at the post above mine 😛

        Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Chris.
      Yes, chips in other countries just don’t match up, though Switzerland is a beautiful country and they have the best chocolate!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. You seem to be having no end of problems with your crisis models, having not put one together, I couldn’t pass comment on how hard or easy they are. Seems like you’ve been busy over the last two months, would strongly recommend watching to the end of WandaVision as what you have seen already gets explained, and also there is some characters that will be introduced that have impact on the films coming out. Falcon and Winter Soldier is well worth a watch.
    Doesn’t research take a lot of time, and a single reference can lead to two hours lost !
    The River Severn has some great places along it, we live near to it as well, just two hours further south

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re so right. Up and down the Severn there are so many lovely places. I grew up fishing along this stretch – Bridgnorth, Quatford, Bewdley, etc – and we love walking along its banks.
      I think it’s just my inexperience with assembling miniatures that is the problem. Most of what I’ve done before have been simple compared to the MCP ones and I’m still finding my feet. Practice, practice…!
      Thanks for the advice; I’ll make sue I watch the rest of WandaVision before I start on Falcon.
      I don’t mind doing research, but it’s so easy to get drawn in and then find that half the day has gone, you’re right there!

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Nice to see the ships coming along well, Justin (well, OK, and everything else)! 🙂 I’m also doing ships at the moment, with an Italian Oriani class destroyer being painted and a Royal Navy J Class destroyer hopefully following! And whereas Ironbridge chips might be nice, North East seaside chips take a lot of beating!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks John.
      Looking forward to seeing your destroyers; I’ll be adding the Italian Fleet to my collection at some point – some interesting battles there to play out.
      I’m sure yours will look much more magnificent than mine as they’ll no doubt be a larger scale? These are pretty basic in detail but look good when on the table, especially in numbers, so I’m looking forward to playing some large fleet actions.
      I’ve had chips in the NE… good, but not Midlands good!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, when you do your Italian fleet I hope you enjoy painting the air identification marking as much as I haven’t! 😉 Will have to agree to disagree with you on the chips though! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

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