Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Von's Frugal Year: Month the Fifth

Written in mid-June, about May. Sigh. We're all falling behind a bit, mostly due to actually doing things instead of blogging about them.

Spending Less - well, I was mostly good. I did shell out £25 on a Cauldron of Blood (since my Dark Elf army needs one in order to destroy you), but that has brought the Dark Elves to a point at which I can say "these are done, I don't need more stuff to play them, have fun and do well".

I've been sticking my fingers in my ears and ignoring the Warmachine releases (although I am, at the very least, going to pick up the Cryx and Mercenary books, a Harrower helljack and a box of Steelhead Riflemen before the year is out), and bracing myself instead for the upcoming release of Warhammer's eighth edition.

Most of the stuff they're releasing around it looks like overpriced ephemera that's not actually massively useful to the practicing gamer, although I admit to quite liking the new template set - and I've paid more than that for plain templates in the past.

The rulebooks themselves are now verging on 'prohibitively expensive', and so I might be borrowing Dave's strategy of waiting until the boxed game comes out, taking out the templates and mini rulebook, and then flogging the rest. GW staff members will no doubt be wailing and gnashing their teeth at this, but the truth is that two hundred (or three hundred) pages of background is a) a luxury for which I'm not able or even willing to pay and b) bloody heavy to carry on your back when you cycle or walk everywhere.

It will mean I have to wait until whenever the box comes out to actually start playing eighth edition, but what the hell, I've still half a Dark Elf army to paint and a couple of Warcraft characters to level.

Ah yes. Warcraft. Let's talk about that in a bit.

Gaming More - I've had a couple of Warmachine knockabouts with the honourable Shiny, and plans for a decent-sized WFB game are in the works (is that this week, chaps?).

These games, and the one between Dave and Shiny the other day, are being recorded, nay, chronicled in fact, using BATTLE CHRONICLER! (yes, you have to shout it. It's the rules...) which is a rather nice and very free utility for making battle reports like they used to have in White Dwarf back in the day. It takes a while to get used to the controls, especially if you're trying to manipulate individual figures (facing in particular has a tendency to stray when a report is in progress and you're clicking and dragging your dudes about), but it looks quite nice when it's done. The first report (on a Warmachine game) will be up on either GAME OVER or Hand Cannon just as soon as the chap who's hosting them gets back to me with a merry "yes Von your stuff is online now". I have the notes together for Dave and Shiny's game, but... well, did I mention I'm qualifying as a teacher in the next few weeks and have rather a lot of paperwork to do? Well, I am, and I do, and my gaming time is being spent... elsewise.

I've started painting Dark Elves (the Executioners, Witch Elves, Shades and Assassins are all on the go and have all had something painted: skin and metal mostly). It seems like a slightly bitty way to get things done, but when you've mixed up too much flesh or metal you might as well use the paint, and it does mean there's a lot of variety on my painting desk (so if I feel like painting armour, I can do some work on Executioners; if cloth, Shades; if big Eighties hair, Witch Elves). I'd rather have the variety to inspire me than have one project on the go and then not advance it when I just don't feel like painting those minis right now.

Also, I've been playing World of Warcraft. Quite a bit. See, my guildmates have finally become frustrated with me for rolling low-level characters and never bothering to do much with them, and so I've pledged to concentrate on my two highest-level pixellated slayers of lesser beings and actually get them to the endgame before the next expansion comes out.

This is beginning to be problematic Serious Warcraft Business territory, and I'm having to remind myself that time, once spent, cannot be regained. With that in mind, I've been setting up both my characters to spend extended periods of time resting, gaining double experience points when played and therefore levelling at something like an efficient speed, getting more done in the time available. I've also been using profession levelling guides to cut down on the amount of faffing around a bit.

So far I've got one character parked at level 70 (I want to take my time a bit more with him, since it's the first time I've taken a wee dude to Northrend and I want to enjoy the scenery and story a bit) and a Death Knight busily mining and grinding and battlegrounding away, not gaining experience, Resting so that when I do start playing him properly he'll rocket through the levels like there's no tomorrow.

Oh, and the Dark Heresy's going well. We're three sessions in and the plot is slowly beginning to move: the lads have requested More Combat, and so next week's session ('The Killing Floor') will be an extended fight scene with tanks and rioters and aircraft and things so they can get the urge to roll dice and consult charts out of their systems.

This means I actually have to learn how combat in Dark Heresy works instead of fudging it as garishly as I have been. I'd, um, better get on that. And painting Dark Elves. And actually finishing my teacher training on time. It's possible that I need to look at my time management skills again... although I have cut right back on my blogging/foruming time, so that's a start.

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