Happy Halloween – 2014

wh39kTurtlePumpkin (Medium)I had a slight speed bump when it came to hobby progress as of late (which is funny, considering that I haven’t really been making much progress as of late–at least not that I’ve documented).  Still, I did have to put the paintbrush and superglue down this weekend and took up the annual tradition of gourd evisceration.

You may remember my Hormagaunt pumpkin from 2010, or the demonic baby fetus from 2011.  I also did a pumpkin in 2012 as well, but I never blogged about it (perhaps because it wasn’t 40k related–but then again, neither was the fetus).  This year, I’m still estranged from the 40k theme, but I figured I’d blog about it just the same.  Not because it exactly constitutes hobby progress, but because it was what I did in lieu of that progress.

For the past 8 years or so, I’ve been working with Styrofoam pumpkins because my mom bought me a bunch of them on sale after Halloween one year.  I really like the idea that they last forever, but they’re far more difficult to work with and there’s a lot of things you just can’t do with them.  With my first foray back into real flesh carving, I decided to work on a relief sculpture.  While I was originally planning on doing something like Eddie (the mascot for Iron Maiden), it really came to me that my kids would far prefer something of the mutant variety.

wh39kTurtlePumpkinLit (Medium)Without a doubt, my son’s favorite TV show (at least this month) is Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so I opted to go with that.  It being a cartoon, it would be more forgiving to sculpt, and my lack of experience with this sort of carving made that an enticing enough reason to go with it.

I wound up carving it almost exclusively with X-acto knives: one smaller one and a larger one.  All in all, it took probably about 2 hours, with a hefty dose of conversation thrown in.  I was a bit afraid that the light wouldn’t shine through, but I think it works out nicely.

For preservation, I found a link over at Extreme Pumpkins that suggests washing the piece in bleach, so I gave that a whirl too.  It only has to last five more days though, so I probably could’ve just left it au natural.

Anywho, hopefully I’ll be able to post some real hobby progress in the near future.  Thanks, as always, for dropping by.

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Hero Academy

My most recent gaming fascination is not using little plastic men, or on my computer, it’s on my iphone. I’ve all but forsaken computer games, as they eat up far too much of my life, and my interest in miniature games has waned over the past year (though it is coming back, as I’ve stated before). So one outlet I’ve had to entertain myself has been my trusty iphone. It’s (almost) always with me, and if I can find small games that take very little time (and preferably are free), then why not?

If you do play, feel free to look me up. My user name is warhammer39999

My latest discovery is “Hero Academy” by Robot Entertainment. For lack of a better description, it really seems like a re-envisioning of the classic game, Archon: The Light and the Dark. For those who haven’t played that game (for the record, you’re missing out), these games are really an asymmetric take on chess, with cute figures and ranged battle thrown in. I really wanted to liken it to battle-chess, but that was really just pretty looking chess with dynamic fight scenes; at it’s core though, it was just chess.

Of course, that’s not an insult. Chess is an amazing game (perhaps the best game ever), but I’m also a sucker for flashy lights and explosions.

The objective of the game is to destroy the enemy’s crystals (and defend your own), but you can also win by eliminating all of the opposing pieces (which is my preferred strategy). There are three different races, each with characters that sort of fit some standard molds:

  • Tank – tends to have high hp and does melee damage
  • Healer – can heal friendly units and resurrect them when they’ve fallen
  • Ranged Damage – High damage to a single unit at ranged
  • Splash Damage – Medium damage to multiple units (often at range)
  • Ultimate – Special units like Ninjas and Wraiths which have unique effects

These archtypes are pretty clear in each of the three races (Humans, Dark Elves, & Dwarves), though there are variations. For instance, the Elves tend to be good at assassinating opposing units, whereas the Dwarves are staunch and do better rushing the crystals directly. The only team I’ve played is the Humans though, because they come free, and I’m a cheap bastard.

It’s a turn based game, that takes very little time, and can be played at your own pace. For this reason, it makes it a good game that I can fit into my schedule. I’d recommend it to anyone with an iphone.

If you do play, feel free to look me up. My user name is warhammer39999

Watch your Dark Elf sorcerers though—I’ll do anything I can do kill them early…