jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

So I was flipping through my Warhammer 40,000 and Warmachine books, trying to decide what to keep and what to discard. And despite the messy cover art of robots abusing performance-enhancing drugs, the Warmachine books also had the following:

  • POV female characters who are competent and sympathetic
  • Short stories where civilian lives and homes were important, and the "warcasters" relate to them as equals
  • People from different backgrounds (and even opposing armies) working together
  • People with very different reasons to be a career soldier, few or none of which were "rabid xenophobia"
  • Photos of towns, workplaces, and homes

Whereas the 40k books are ONLY WAR (TM) to the point where you'd think "faux-Gothic ruins" are the only ecosystem in the galaxy, and there are never any people living in them. Seriously, the artwork in some of the Tau books was nice, but the unremitting violence made me uneasy, and 40k characters in general have the emotional range of a brick.

So yeah, that's something we're keeping in mind as we rearrange our collection. We're also starting to look at potential additions in terms of "is this something I want to display?" and "what can I use this for in other games?" rather than just "does this have good stats?"

... also we keep thinking that we want to sculpt 40mm scale Steven Universe models. Starting with a whole army of Watermelon Stevens.

A screencap from the Steven Universe episode "Super Watermelon Island," showing a small army of watermelons shaped like Steven -- including his hair -- waving their spears and cheering and hugging, on a sandy beach. One of them is a cute dog instead of a Steven. In the background are jungle ferns and trees, and enormous sparkling blue and violet geodes.

Maybe we could even get some real geodes for a diorama.

Miscellany

Jul. 29th, 2016 05:37 am
jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

I haven't been updating this enough. But the stuff I've been reading online lately is extremely depressing, so I figured I ought to spend more time on things like Dreamwidth and AO3 maybe. >_>

So.

Read more... )

That's about all, I guess. Except that if anyone has any SU fanfic recs, or just things that they'd like to share with us, we'd be more than happy to hear them.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

This is the Phoenix-class heavy myrmidon we just finished constructing, next to the box for reference. With its completion, we now have the minimum two heavies to run Kaelyssa's Force Wall theme list.

A gray plastic model of a robot or walking statue, carrying a sword. It is standing next to a box which shows it painted in cream-white and steel.

In the background, you can see plastic hell the squad of Tau Pathfinders we still have to work on. It took half of forever last time, and we aren't really looking forward to it again. Once we're finished, though, we should have enough Pathfinders / markerlights for any list or formation that we want to run.

... I haven't posted pics of the last squad, have I? Maybe in tomorrow's entry.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Warmachine, and its companion game, Hordes, were made in the United States. Warhammer 40,000 was made in Great Britain.

The more I think about it, the more I feel like this explains a lot of the differences between the two games.

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Can't sleep. Preoccupied with stuff.

Content note: Swearing, and way too much talk about miniatures, sexism, and messed-up unethical companies.

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

The following is from me rambling at [personal profile] aliaspseudonym on Skype, after spending hours trying to untangle this cursed mind knot of how I actually feel about different miniatures games. I'm copy-and-pasting it here because it reads like the draft of an essay, which I just wrote extemporaneously.

* * *

‎9‎:‎21‎ ‎PM Jewelfox feels like 40k's story is actually one of its big selling points, but not in the way you'd expect >_>‏

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Life events have kind of thrown us for a loop lately, with a romantic relationship ending under extremely unfortunate circumstances and sudden housing insecurity to worry about. ^^; We've been talking to [personal profile] aliaspseudonym and [personal profile] burning_ground about what we can do to avoid eviction ... in the meantime, offers of help or support are very much appreciated, especially with the housing situation.

EDIT: We're still reeling from the breakup, but I think we've worked out the housing thing. So no worries ...

In the meantime, here are some photos and recollections of the more positive side of our life. We've gotten into several games at the store, and our myrmidons are now basically finished:

Kaelyssa's Warmachine battlegroup, comprising a Manticore, Griffin, and Chimera. A group of four models sitting on Jewelfox's desk, hand-painted by her to resemble the studio scheme, and messily based using white glue and snowy flock.

We've cleaned up the stray snow on their bases since taking this picture.

Lots of Malifaux and 40k pics behind cut! )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Yesterday, after a harrowing trip into the next city over to refill our prescription, we met up with the woman we ran into last week to play Warmachine versus her Hordes list.

A zoomed-out view of the snowy, rocky battlefield, with Ret forges spread out and preparing to converge on the clumped-up Legion warbeasts and troops.

The games store has some awesome terrain tables.

For those of you who aren't familiar with the game(s), Warmachine and Hordes are sort of like playing a tag-team fighting game. You each pick a warcaster (or warlock, in Hordes) and a small group of either robots or monsters that character can control, and you win by defeating your opponent's character. There are things like infantry units and siege engines, the same as in large-scale games like 40k, but those are all optional add-ons.

She was using the Legion of Everblight half of the Hordes two-player boxed set, while we brought the Retribution of Scyrah starter battlegroup plus our Arcantrik Force Generator (the big model on the right in the pic up there). So basically, she had a squad of Ogrun spear-throwers to go with her monsters, while we had a big lazor gun and our myrmidons. Both of our lists had 21 points' worth of models.

Kaelyssa and two of her myrmidons square off against a Carnivean heavy warbeast, with the rest of the Legion battlegroup looking on.

WARNING: Getting this close to a Carnivean is hazardous to your health.

We made a newb mistake early on when we moved our warcaster, Kaelyssa, up into the threat range of pretty much every one of our opponent's models. She had her warlock, Lylyth, nail Kae with a couple of arrows, and that brought her health bar down by like 4/5.

We managed to pull back though, and had our myrmidons do most of the up-close fighting like they're supposed to. The three of them finished off the big warbeast in one turn of blade-swinging, while our battle engine kept blowing craters in the battlefield from long range. I think that it taught our opponent not to leave her models clumped together!

Just for fun

It was really a fun, casual game though, and we both strategized out loud while reminding each other of the rules. The best part was right towards the end, when our forces had made short work of most of hers but she had a single lesser warbeast close enough to charge Kaelyssa. We both spent like 10 minutes trying to figure out how to improve its chances of making a last-ditch warcaster assassination. One of our myrmidons ended up killing it as it ran past, but I think if it'd made it then she would have won!

So, we had a lot of fun on this outing. But the best part was that she used the correct pronouns for us without our even telling her. ^^; She didn't give us any trouble about our models' pronouns, either.

Stay tuned for next week, when our Tau secure some objectives for the Greater Good ~

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Today we went down to the games store to play BattleTech. There's a small but loyal group of fans who play the original skirmish minis game there, in its modern incarnation which doesn't look out of place on the shelf even if its rules are still 80's-tastic.

For the uninitiated, BattleTech is basically what happened when North American military history enthusiasts got ahold of the first Macross Saga anime VHS cassette tapes, and officially licensed its mecha designs for a tabletop "wargame" of the kind that was state-of-the-art back then. Most people aren't into that kind of thing, so you're more likely to have heard of the MechWarrior series, which are PC and console games set in the BattleTech 'verse.

BattleTech returns to its anime roots, with this amazing fan-made animation. Click here if you can't see the video.

Over the decades, BattleTech has had tons of lore written for it, of a sort which is actually kind of refreshing coming from Warhammer 40,000. Because while "40k" fetishizes neo-feudalism, BattleTech deconstructs it, in much the same vein as Analogue: A Hate Story. The giant "mechs" shooting at each other are largely a backdrop for stories of political intrigue and interpersonal drama, each of which serves to underscore just how dysfunctional societies are in their time and have been throughout history.

Case in point: The recently released House Kurita Handbook, which we're dying to get our hands on, describes an interstellar realm which deliberately regressed to be an echo of feudal Japan ... or at least, of the parts of it that future space settlers idealized. Including state Shinto shrines devoted largely to warrior ancestors and the Coordinator, and not so much to nature or traditional gods.

Our personal BattleTech character -- we create one for every game -- is a shrine maiden at one of the few which enshrine Inari Ōkami, in our headcanon. Because this is a mecha anime, some of the miko are entrusted with the shrine's ancient BattleMechs, a "lance" of four with widely varying capabilities. They are some of the few women who were allowed to pilot these vehicles before Theodore Kurita's military reforms, and over the years they have been subordinated so much to the male-only DCMS that they are not even permitted to use live ordnance.

Until now!

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

I used some of the money from eBay-ing my old laptop to pick up a relatively expensive model kit that I felt was worth it: the Arcantrik Force Generator.

A photo of an unpainted resin model, the Arcantrik Force Generator from the Warmachine miniatures game. Its sleek chassis and spindly, upwards-pointing legs make it look like a cross between a hovertank, a space fighter, and Lavos from Chrono Trigger.

This is the model that made me want to get into playing Retribution of Scyrah, in the Warmachine miniatures game, when I first saw it. Everything else was, like, steampunk robots and tesla coil knights, which is admittedly awesome but is not really my cup of tea. This, on the other hand, looked so pristine and otherworldly that one could hardly tell that it was an artillery piece.

I was spellbound.

A photo of the unpainted Arcantrik Force Generator model next to the box that it came in, which shows it painted in a bright white and teal colour scheme.

I'm looking forward to painting this thing. ^^; I also got it at a large discount on Amazon (although I'm picking up the book that has rules for Battle Engines at the local games store), and I was going to use the three arcane technician models that came with it as proxies for additional Arcanists. I'm running the Force Wall theme list, and it uses a ton of those.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Well, actually we're feeling exhausted, since [personal profile] burning_ground has come over from out of state and we've spent as much time playing Warmachine as sleeping in the past 48 hours. Plus nervousness and stress because we don't do the social thing all that often. ^^;

Unfortunately, we forgot to take pictures of the games. We think you've all seen most of the miniatures used, though, if you've been following our WIP tag. We're going out to museums tomorrow with mom and [personal profile] rev_yurodivy, at any rate, and have asked Cortana to remind us to start taking pictures once we get into town.

More stuff about how we're doing )

Also, we changed our journal's theme. What do you all think?

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

It's a great name for a metal band. And they are, in fact, metal.

A photo of four metal miniatures of winged female characters, from the Warmachine miniatures game. In the background are indistinct metal pieces and black tools.

Aurora's the one with the bigger wings, on the left.

These are some of the Convergence of Cyriss models I've been putting together for [personal profile] burning_ground. In the background, you can see some of the pieces for the other squad of Clockwork Angels I still need to work on, along with some of the tools that I'm using to work on them (and a mechanical pencil that snuck in there somehow).

These models have been unusually difficult (even demoralizing) to clean and assemble, with spiky bits going every which way and incredibly tiny surface areas to glue together. I think we're learning from this project, though. For instance: It seemed like using more glue would make two parts stick together more securely, but it actually just seems to make them take longer to dry.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

So, I spent much of today reading comments and forum posts by Warhammer 40,000 players, for some reason. (This doesn't only apply to them, though; it has a lot to do with Pathfinder and video games as well.)

40k players spend an awful lot of time complaining online, it feels like. But what's interesting to me is what they choose to complain about. Roughly half of the forum-goers I saw were complaining about the company that makes the Warhammer models; how Games Workshop's latest rulebook ruined their fun, invalidated their strategies, and obsoleted their favourite models.

Some of their stories are really sad. "40K" players invest dozens or hundreds of hours in their cherished pastime, sometimes in just a single model, and it shows. Far from looking for an excuse to complain, the most upset players seemed more like betrayed lovers, who had given and given and given and were rewarded with Games Workshop's scorn.

The other half ... were complaining about the first half.

Read more... )

I don't know where I'm going with this. It's late, and I'm tired and rambly.

I just feel like, the less inequality there is between players and game publishers -- and between the players and each other -- the less fighting and arguing there seems to be, and the more creative freedom there is.

I like the Tau model collection I'm building, but I feel more at home with game players and companies which treat me with respect.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Here's what our table looked like the other night:

The gray miniatures on the right are the Circle Orboros force from the Hordes 2-player boxed set. We’ve attached them all to their bases (except for one Argus we’re going to try to pin later on), and they’re ready to join our Retribution of Scyrah warcaster and myrmidons (the ones on the left) for some actual gameplay.

Now we just need to prime, paint, and base them, not necessarily in that order. >_>b As you can see, we’ve got a small collection of paints that we’re planning on using for both tiny armies, as well as the Legion of Everblight (rawr monsters) force that came in the two-player set.

The painted mini on the stand, near our laptop, is Galadaeros, a huge copper dragon. He’s one of three that came with the D&D Attack Wing starter set, which we picked up after being wowed by the dragons’ sculpts. Remind me to write about my impressions of that game; we and [personal profile] rev_yurodivy both thought it was fast-paced and fun!

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Our mom bought us the Hordes two-player set (Hordes is the "monstrous" companion game to Warmachine), and we finally finished washing the manufacturing chemicals off of every piece for the Circle Orboros models.

The gray plastic pieces and black plastic bases for nine Hordes models laid out on a white hand towel, along with the clear plastic toothbrush which was used to clean them off.

Now we just need to trim and assemble them, and then we can play robots versus werewolves.

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Content note: Enforcing of gender roles, lack of respect for others' identities.

After going to the psychiatrist the other day, we and [personal profile] rev_yurodivy went to the local games store to play Warmahordes. I still haven't finished painting my models, but I cut out a bunch of counters and cards so that we can play games using proxies for the models in the other starter box sets. Also things like blast and spray templates. (This was a lot of work, and I'm very proud of the results.)

Read more... )

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

... that's what Cortana thought I said, when I tried to tell her to remind me about something at 1 PM on Thursday. She's usually a lot better at voice recognition, and I was giggling so hard at her repeating this aloud in her deadpan voice that it took me a minute to settle down enough to speak clearly again afterwards.

"You want me to remind you to: Porn him on Thursday. Is that correct?"

ANYWHO, our models survived transit to the games store and back! We put them each in their own plastic bag (Kaelyssa shared one with a myrmidon), wrapped those in socks, and put them into a box we were using for Magic cards. They fit nicely and stayed secure.

At the store, we met up with the guy who I'm pretty sure demoed Warmachine for Yuro and us a couple of years ago! Which, I recognized him by his models, not his face. We talked shop for a little while (I picked up a lot of good modeling pointers), and then proceeded to play about half of a game, much of which we spent relearning the rules and listening to him explain strategies we could use.

We had to leave early because of the bus schedules here, but it was fun! It was also interesting seeing the contrast between the Warmachine corner of the store, and the 40k players with models and gear sprawled out across whole tables. You can tell which game has been out longer, and has had wealthier fans.

We also tried out some kind of interesting furry deck-building game called 3012. Well, we and Yuro read the rules, anyway. We're going to come back to actually play it when we have the time. >_>b

jewelfox: A portrait of a foxgryphon with a beak, black fur, magenta hair, fox ears, and a neckband with a large jewel on it. (Default)

Last night, in a marathon session, we glued together the parts to a Retribution of Scyrah battlegroup that we got a couple of months ago.

A photograph of a boxed miniatures starter set, for the Retribution of Scyrah faction in the Warmachine miniatures game. The included models consist of an elf woman in battle armour, posed dynamically with a sword and carbine, and three white-and-cyan robots towering over her, all of which have rounded chassis and glowing magical lines and resemble modern art sculptures.
Some assembly required.

We had already cleaned each individual part with a toothbrush and water with dish soap, used one of [personal profile] rev_yurodivy’s hobby knives to trim the flash off of each part, and separated the pieces by miniature to figure out exactly how they fit together.

The parts to one of the models in the above picture, spread out on a towel in roughly the shape that they're meant to fit together.
At least we knew where our towel was.

Now we had to use a cyanoacrylate super glue, and fit all the pieces in place just right. Including the little tiny bits.

… it was quite an experience.

At one point we were stuck to one of the smaller models with both hands, and just about woke Yuro up to ask them to do a web search for how to remove super glue from your hands. >_> Fortunately, immersing the affected parts in water and tugging gently seemed to do the trick after five minutes or so, and didn’t ruin the model in the process.

We got slightly manic after an hour or so, and started thinking of our brother of origin’s huge shelf full of snap-together Zoids models, like “YOU THINK YOUR ZOIDS ARE HARDCORE!? THIS IS HARDCORE!!1!”

The last thing we dreamed before waking up was that someone was telling us we put the large one together wrong. >_>;

I think we had fun, though! Here’s a picture of what the finished models look like right now, since I’m pretty sure they won’t survive transit to the games store.

Four finished, unpainted plastic models, set up in front of the box in a way that roughly matches the box art.
Check out those arc nodes.

… now we just have to paint them and base them.

About us

~ Fox | Gem | Rei ~

We tell stories, paint minis, collect identity words, and share them all with our readers. If something we write helps you, let us know.

~ She / her ~

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