Well, things haven’t quite gone to plan. I had hoped to get back to regular posting, once a week, but life just seems to have got in the way. Half-term recently came and went, and I’d planned to get some games played and a healthy amount of figures painted, but no, it turned into a week of Yasmin’s support service, as she had so much going on – a concert and rehearsals, volunteering at the Shrewsbury museum (of course, she goes in on a Sunday when there are no buses to that neck of the woods), to name but a few.
And so, here we are again with a Geek that will reveal very little in the way of Geekiness. However, whilst my time to play and paint has diminished, my enthusiasm to play has not, and a game came along a couple of weeks ago that has me chomping, as will be revealed shortly…
We had planned to revisit Powis castle over half-term to see the gardens in their colourful autumn decor, but the weather put paid to that. Sue and Yasmin took a wander around Shrewsbury over Halloween weekend before Yasmin’s stint at the museum – Yas went dressed as a witch, unfortunately no pictures otherwise I would be cursed! The town had quite a lot of decorations out for the eve of Hallows, which shows how things have changed over the last ten years or so. Halloween in this country has certainly become a lot more commercial than it used to be. I remember celebrating it as a kid, going round to a friend, bobbing apples, and having a BBQ. I don’t recall ever dressing up, but we certainly had pumpkins carved out, though not to such elaborate designs as today. Anyway, here’s a photo Sue took whilst out and about…
We continued playing Gloomhaven, leaving it up on the table in the garage, until I needed to stock up on wood for the fire and needed the space; it was getting a little on the cool side for playing in there anyway, so we packed her up in the box. I can’t see it coming back out now until things warm up next year, it’s the kind of game you want to leave out to make some substantial gains into the campaign. We’ve enjoyed it tremendously, but a little secret… shhh… don’t tell Yasmin, but I think I still prefer playing it solo!
Talking of solo, a game landed on my doorstep the other week, ISS Vanguard, which I’ve already posted an unboxing of it, but now I’ve actually played it… Exciting, isn’t it?
So far, I’ve played the tutorial and a whole other round, which comprises of ship management and a planet landing. Other than that, I’m not going to give anything else away, as I’m already plodding my way through a first thoughts post, but I will say one thing… ‘Wow!’
I have been making inroads with the MoM characters, having completed three and almost another two as I write. These are awaiting varnish before I attempt to transfer them to transparent bases. I’m not sure if I’ve done the right thing here, though, as I’ve painted them on their original base and hope to slice them off with a scalpel once varnished without damaging the paint. I did try removing one this way before painting and it seemed reasonably easy to do, but the proof of the pudding…
Anyway, here are Wendy and Charlie, I gave a glimpse of Rita in the last Geek. Once I’ve got five finished, I’ll crack on with the varnish and see how things go, so hopefully it shouldn’t be too long before you see them posted up.
‘Elvis’ is the one thing worth mentioning here, the movie featuring Austin Butler and Tom Hanks. We all enjoyed it, yes, Yasmin watched it too (this part of American history is covered in her History A-level), but I would describe it as just ‘Okay.’ The story line focuses on the relationship between Elvis and his manager, Col. Tom Parker, and manages to miss out swathes of Elvis’s life in order to do so, with a few inaccuracies creeping in here and there, some obvious and some not so, such as the bit where he’s in the army and first meets Priscilla – he’s shown wearing the rank of Sergeant but he didn’t get promoted until 1960, two years after meeting her!
Would I watch it again – No. Would I recommend it – Yes, the music is good (Hey! It’s Elvis!) and the closing five minutes is great, where it shows actual footage of the King himself, but the inaccuracies lead it too far away from the truth and, and this is comical, nobody ages through-out the film!
Between The Sheets
I read a great book – Sea Wolves the Extraordinary Story of Britain’s WW2 Submarines, by Tim Clayton. You don’t come across too many books covering this area of the war, not about the British Submarines anyway, and this one is excellently written. It follows the lives of several submariners and does it in a way that lets your imagination fill in the more horrific details. For example, it will be talking about a Sub and her crew, and then in the next breath say that it left such and such harbour and was never heard of again – it hits you in the face! You get to know the people and their stories and then they just disappear… for good.
There are lots of instances in the book where it will lead you along and then allow you to fill in the feelings and the sheer terror that some must have felt, especially when things go wrong. It never dwells on what the sailors are feeling, Clayton never tries to second guess this either and lingers just enough to allow you to form your own thoughts on the matter, and that, for me, is what makes this book such an enthralling read.
There’s a lot of comedy moments too, such as ‘getting one’s own back!’ Using the ‘Head’ in a sub is quite a complex thing and various valves have to be moved in a certain order, with the final thing being a purge of the system before resetting the lever. If the previous occupant didn’t purge, and you then came to flush, well, let’s just say, you ‘Get your own back!’
Sea Wolves is a book I’d recommend to anyone interested in true WWII naval stories, and it’s certainly made me want to fish around for more by Clayton.
Hobby Aims Update
I reckon I should knock this on the head, as progress has been at best a crawl, at worst non-existent, but anyway, here’s my progress on this year’s Hobby Aims.
1. At least 70 posts – I was actually surprised when I counted them up. Thirty-five, more than I expected but nowhere near my target. With less than two months to go I can’t see me getting near this now.
2. 10 Reviews – Two – Unmatched and Sherlock Holmes… sad face!
3. Complete my Mansions of Madness miniatures – 1 Monster left, the Basilisk, and around 15 characters. This one will be close.
4. 8 More MCP characters – 5 and that’s where it will stay for the year, as I don’t expect to get anymore until Christmas.
5. Paint and play – Bolt Action – Picture me, laughing loudly at this one!
6. Finish painting my Scythe factions – Still haven’t gotten around to it, and this should have been a cert!
7. Paint at least three major pieces of scenery – Nil!
8. Paint one miniature to the best of my ability – Er… No!
9. Post at least three Battle Reports – More laughter, as I was sure I’d get this done during the summer, and yet here we are, with my garage full of wood and too cold to play in now, so this is one for next year.
10. Assemble and play at least two games of Shadows of Brimstone by end of Feb – Played just a single game because Gloomhaven took over!
11. More solo content – Fail!
12. Back a maximum of one crowdfunding project – Hurrah, none backed though there might be a single one on the horizon, I haven’t made my mind up whether to press the button on it yet or not – The Wolves of Langston, a 5e murder mystery solo adventure, go take a look.
13. Finish watching the Walking Dead and the X-Files – To be honest, I’ve lost interest in The Walking Dead, halfway through the last series. It’s by far the worst of them all, and… SPOILERS… the reintroduction of Maggie has just killed it for me. It became the Maggie and Negan show, that and, ‘Look, more baddies from out of nowhere!’ It lost its focus on building good, strong characters, even Carol and Daryl’s characters became too one dimensional. I might get around to finishing it one day, but for now, it’s time to move on to something new.
X-Files, though, has been progressing, though somewhat slowly, as it’s been difficult for me and Yasmin to find the time to sit down together and watch it. We’re just about onto series 7.
Well, that’s it for the Geek, let’s see what the next two months bring…