The Project pt.1

27 07 2010

I recently wrote about how my interest (obsession) with wargaming in general and Warhammer in particular had been rekindled as a result of a very thoughtful present from my girlfriend.

Things have progressed quite far from that point… some might say too far.

Basically I decided to myself that I was a fool for having not indulged my hobby over the years and that I should waste not a minute more in making up for lost time.

So it began…

I got straight onto the PC and fired up my trusty broswer and set sail for the Games Workshop home page. I was sickened by what I found.

Any of Games Workshop’s offerings have always made for a relatively expensive way to occupy your time but in my absence things have gone from the extreme to the ridiculous, after browsing the online aisles for a few minutes (more like 2 hours) O decided that if I wanted to continue to eat and live in a house with walls there was no way that I would be able to go the sparkly new route offered by GW no matter how enticing it might seem.

The two options left open to me were either to look at one of the alternative providers or to delve into the world of second hand miniatures.

Now as much as I like minis from other manufacturers, I am particularly fond of Reaper Miniatures, a lot of people that are wargaming these days, especially around here, like their games GW flavoured and a lot of these guys aren’t too keen on you rocking up with your minis that look completely different and that don’t fit neatly into the canon of the Warhammer world.

So my choices were down to one, second hand. Now as with most things second hand these days there is one huge gleaming mecca shining out into the wilderness….EBAY.

This posed a problem, all be it a minor one, I hadn’t touched the virtual crack that is Ebay for a number of years, whilst I never had a problem with it like some people do I did use to find it far too easy to end up living in a continual vortex of unwanted crap that was in a constant state of being bought and sold.

In the end it all got so time consuming that I instigated a self imposed ban on use of ebay. That aside I couldn’t really see any other reliable way of finding large numbers of decent second hand minis with which to fuel my obsession.

The next choice was what exactly do I wish to play/collect?
I still have a fairly sizeable collection of Dark Angels and Tau (2500 points of each) kicking around in a couple of boxes but I just don’t feel the love for 40k that I once did.

Fantasy it is then, but which army? I have never really been an avid fantasy player so haven’t got a pre-disposition towards any particular race so of course I took the very mature route of looking at the various miniatures that are around and picking the army that I most like the look of, probably not a terrible option but not one that is that well thought out either.

I settled on Lizardmen, I really like the Aztec like look of the models and the fluff that accompanies them is pretty dam good as well.

So there we have it Lizardmen it is, looks like it’s time to carry out the work of the Old Ones and clear these warm blooded fools off the face of the world 🙂

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Letting my geek flag fly

22 07 2010

Ever since she has known me my girlfriend has had to listen to me waffle on at length about a whole plethora of geeky things, one of the most geeky being my 20 year plus love of Warhammer, Blood Bowl, 40k and wargaming in general.

She has been shown a selection of miniatures that I am particularly proud of and has heard me expound at length about the many positive aspects of the hobby and how much fun it is.

At xmas when we were on holiday in the UK, I dragged her into the Oxford branch of Games Workshop and she had to endure over an hour in the store complete with painting tutorial (she painted me a gandalf model from the LOTR range) whilst I tried out the newest set of rules to 40k and slowly realised that I was so off the pace these days that I wasn’t even in the race anymore.

Stoically she sat and smiled politely whilst I regaled the youngster (in a relative sense of the word)
with tales of when my White Dwarf subscription was £2.25 a month and when you could buy a squad of Space Marine Terminators without having to take out a new mortgage.

I think that something from that day and my many rambling diatribes about the joy of gaming must have sunk in as a couple of weeks ago I was presented with my anniversary present about 6 weeks early…

What was it you ask?

A Citadel paint set and a box of Uruk Hai 😀

Well of course I set about trimming models off of sprues and undercoating and all of the many other things that will make the heart of a grizzled old Warhammer vet glow with joy.

It was like the first time many years ago when I was sat at my uncle’s dining room table liberally applying thick coat after thick coat of gloopy paint to a High Elf spearman (I still have that first ever effort to this day). I was hooked all over again.

As soon as I got home that evening I decided to dust off a particularly fine Necromancer miniature from Reaper that I had purchased at the Orc’s Nest nearly 2 years ago in the mistake belief that we were going to be starting up our D&D evenings again.

It feels good to be back





Keith Allen Vs. West Boro Baptist Church

22 07 2010

I have previously mentioned my distaste for the “work” of Fred Phelps and the West Boro Baptist Church.

If you have read my previous posts about the WBC you might have read about a documentary I particularly enjoyed by British comedian/actor Keith Allen in which he tears Shirley Phelps Roper a new one for being a nasty small minded hypocrite.
Well I finally managed to find this documentary online in a version that is actually of a watchable quality, so here it is:





Hot Smoked Chipotle Oil…More like fail sauce

14 07 2010

Anyone that has read any of my recipes or listened to me wax lyrical about various different hot sauces etc will know that I have a little bit of an obsession with chillies  and all things hot and spicy.

As such you can imagine my interest when I saw bottles of Hot Smoked Chipotle Oil on special offer at the local supermarket (a Lidl for anyone that cares!)

I’m not normally an impulse buyer but in this case it had two very strong selling points

a. it was a chilli oil

 b. it was cheap (€1.49 to be exact)

So I picked up a bottle and said to my girlfriend that if I liked the oil I would be back for more (you can never have too much chilli oil after all)

Well it was vile.

I’m not over reacting when I say that it just simply was one of the worst things I have ever tasted.

For starters there was no heat at all, we are talking a big fat 0 on the scoville scale – not a good start for a chilli oil. To test the fact that there was no kick to the oil I called my girlfriend into the kitchen and insisted that she try some of the oil on  a little bit of bread.

Now my partner can’t handle any heat at all in foods and is somewhat wary of things that I get her to taste (it has something to do with some Naga chillies that she didn’t appreciate) but even she remarked that there was no heat at all and this is from a woman who finds black pepper to be practically atomic!

Next there was the actual taste of the oil; not only was there no heat there was no taste of chillies. I know some people who don’t like chillies will tell you that none of them have any taste, well they do, especially something like a chipotle which should have a nice fruity smokey taste to it.

The only taste that this oil had was a vague burnt taste, certainly not smokey more like the taste you get in the back of your throat when someone is burning something they shouldn’t like plastic bags or tyres…not what you want to put on your food.

I think possibly the worst thing about it though was the sheer greasiness of it, I realise it sounds nuts describing an oil as being oily or greasy but it was! The oil they had used was sunflower oil and it just felt really really greasy.

I make chilli oils myself as they are something that I like to use to give a bit of oomph or sneak in some illicit chilli flavour  but I always use a good olive oil for mine and I can really see why now.

Luckily though Lidl did manage to redeem themselves by having the Nando’s Piri Piri sauce in stock at roughly the same price…





Hobgoblin Ruby Beer

12 07 2010

I realised yesterday evening that  I have been rather tardy in posting any new beer reviews lately so I decided that it was time to start clearing out the backlog and what better way to do it than with a beer that always keeps me coming back for more.

Hobgoblin from the Wychwood Brewery

I have been a fan of Hobgoblin since I first encountered it about 12 years ago and it’s  not just because I like the oft fantasy inspired artwork that Wychwood use on their labeling.

Because Wychwood are the UK’s largest brewer of real ale and Hobgoblin is its most popular beer you can find it all over the shop and I have known a few people turn  their noses up at it as being a “gateway beer” or “too mainstream” well yeah it IS a gateway beer for many people and you know what I say to that – GOOD…

If more people were drinking something like Hobgoblin maybe the brewing industry in the UK wouldn’t be in the state it is and there would be more decent beer around as opposed to just superchilled flavourless rubbish.

Well rant over.

Hobgoblin is indeed widely available across the UK and overseas, most people will have seen it in it’s bottled form at some point or another gracing the shelves of their local supermarket or offy, it is also available in a can and can be purchased on tap in an awful lot of good pubs across the country.

The bottle bears the Wychwood logo of a Witch riding a broomstick and the Hobgoblin label shows it’s namesake wielding a rather nasty looking axe against a dark blue background, all in all fairly unmistakable!

The beer itself is 5.2% a.b.v in it’s bottled form and 4.5% a.b.v on cask (I do remember years gone by when cask hobgoblin was tipping the scales at 5.6% but ce la vie) and regardless of which you get your hands on is a dark ruby red beer which is clear when poured and has a nice compact creamy head to it.

The aroma that you get from a freshly poured pint of hobgoblin is one of almost chocolate like toffee with a nice background hint of citrus, it’s not overwhelming but it’s very definitely there.

Hobgoblin is a wonderfully smooth beer to drink and although it isn’t the most complex beer around it has a lovely full-bodied feel to it, not watery in the slightest. The predominant flavours are that of toffee coupled with a nice hit of roasted malts.

There is a refreshing fruity background that has just the right level of citrus to cut through the sweetness from the toffee and stops it from being cloying.The finish to the beer has a light yeasty taste to it  and you get a nice crisp hint of alcohol dryness on your tongue.

Because of its ease of drinking and the fact that its flavours are well balanced I find hobgoblin to be a great beer to accompany food as well as being a superb session beer.

Whether you are a seasoned beer drinker or someone who is just trying to find their feet in the world of real ale consumption hobgoblin will have something for you, the bottled beer is excellent but it is even better when you find it on tap.

A real English classic

4.7





WOW Questionnaire

6 07 2010

I saw this questionnaire on MMO Gamer Chick and  I would complete it myself and see what anyone else has to say on it

1. Raider, farmer, PvPer, or altoholic?
Raider / Altoholic but I am getting to like the PvP these days

2. Favorite raid or dungeon?
Got to be The Black Temple, I must of played through that place like 100 times when TBC came out

3. Number one choice for a new playable race?
Arakkoa / Ogres

4. Class you suck the most at?
Rogues, my first ever main was a rogue and I just couldnt enjoy it at all

5. Original UI or modded UI?
Modded, but not that much, when I’m levelling it tends to just be Recount and Omen with PallyPower stashed away for groups

6. Profession you’ve never leveled past 200?
Leatherworking, I have an annoying habit of leaving professions until I hit level cap and then blizing them and I never seem to bother with Leatherworking

7. Favorite flying mount?
Has to be the Proto Drake, even though I don’t have one 😦

8. Nozdormu — friend or foe, you figure?
Neither, when you control time who needs concepts like friends or enemies?

9. Useless item you have in your bank that you’ll never get rid of?
My midsummer fire festival tabard, pointless but I kinda like the look

10. Most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?
Same as most people epic flying skill and coldweather flying in one fell swoop – 6k straight down the hole

11. Favorite starting area?
Eversong Wood, don’t know why but I just like it, maybe because I know it so well (8 blood elves started so far)

12. Inane goal you worked hardest to achieve?
I’m fairly sure they are all kind of inane!

13. Darion Mograine VS Tirion Fordring, gloves off — winner is?
Mograine all the way, if only for the fact that first time I ever heard the name I was sort of blitzed and heard it as Dave Mustaine and since then it has made me chuckle

14. Game music or your own playlist?
Neither, I don’t listen to music whilst I game, the sole exception to that in recent years has been LOTRO

15. Particular option or setting that you always toggle on a new alt/server?
Have to add the extra action bars straight away

16. Highest amount of levels gained in one play session?
27, from level 3 to level 30 whilst sat in an internet cafe waiting to find out if I could get a flight home for xmas

17. Thing you’d most like to experience or see in-game?
A horde win in Strand of the Ancients,the horde sucks balls at SOA in our battle group!  I guess a more serious suggestion would be an all paladin raiding guild, just to lol at all the palyl haters

18. Worst PuG moment?
A mage entering as Tank for HoR because in their words they didnt have to queue so long

19. Best dungeon/raid moment?
First time my old guild and I completed Mount Hyjal, we managed it second time round without even knowing how we survived it and it just felt epic, I kinda feel like some of that epicness is missing these days

20. Worst quest ever that you totally hate doing?
Any in Zul Farrak, it’s not the quests more the instance. As it’s sort of the first proper instance there are always a lot of people that haven’t a clue and you can get really bogged down in there for quite a while. On my newest toon it was enough to make me think about dual boxing.

21. First thing you do when you hit 80?
hit the AH to see if there are any instant “wins” to be had in terms of bargain crafted epics

22. Character (of yours) you would RP as if you had to?
Curadane my Blood Elf Paladin (also my current main) If only because I have this whole little back story already worked out in my head

23. Keyboard, mouse, or both for using abilities?
Both.

24. Thottbot or WoWhead?
Has to be WoWhead, the level of trolling and general asshattery on Thottbot has gotten real old these days, especially as my time is limited

25. Acronym you’ve seen in chat but don’t understand?
On coming back to the game 3 months ago after a 2 year hiatus I hadn’t a clue what GS or gearscore was or what I might do with one if I found it

26. Plot point you’d like to see resolved someday?
The whole Blood Elf/Sunwell Saga

27. Biggest thing you’re looking forward to in Cataclysm?
Flying in Azeroth

28. Guild event you’d like to see?
Around the World of Warcraft in 80 days, a scavenger hunt with a clue released each day, first to finish on the 80th day wins a prize. We organized something very similar in my old LOTRO kin and it was great not to mention that we had over 400g in cash and prizes

29. Level range you hate being in?
I loathe the Barrens, if only because the chat there is inane babbling

Favorite map to quest in?
Hmmm I love Stranglethorn and Un’ Goro Crater





STFU about your gear score

6 07 2010

I asked a guy for an invite to a Naxx 10 man last night, he had been shouting out looking for DPS for about 20 mins and I thought hey I have some time why not.

The first thing he asked me was am  I/can I hit over 2k DPS and did I have time to run the instance in full. Well it was  a yes to both of those without any hesitation on my part.

He sent me an invite and there I was ready to go, not 3 minutes later though I got a whisper back to me – Sorry I am gonna have to boot you. So of course I asked him why this was, bearing in mind he had been shouting out looking for DPS of all things for over 20 mins, the answer?

My Gearscore…. He only wanted people on the raid with a GS of more than 2500, I decided to challenge him on this to find out exactly why he felt this way and what he was hoping to achieve.

Apparently if I didnt have a GS of at least 2500 I was a noob who was wasting his time and would make the raid fail, boy did I laugh at that.

I had a little look at his gearscore just out of interest, it turns out that yes indeed he was over 2500 however none of his gear was really working together, instead he had just whacked on a jumble of armour, trinkets etc that would give him the highest GS.

He was the MT for the group and yet was wearing an epic helm that gave spirit and int as stats solely because it had a decent level, none of his armour or his weapons were enchanted and he only had 3 pieces that gave stamina as there main stat.

By comparison my noobish gear of shittyness which only gave me a paltry 1.7 gs is all giving bonuses to strength, crit, stam and  hit.

I have enchanted everything I can with appropriate enchants giving boosts to my strength, crit, ap etc oh and I spend big amounts of gold socketing appropriate epic level gems.

Despite the fact that he was the main tank and I am just some noob fool who doesn’t respect the might of GS I had over 2k more health unbuffed then he did, I would be interested to see if he could even survive Naxx as MT let alone hold aggro without any issues etc etc.

This isn’t an isolated incident, everywhere you look people are bleating on about GS this and gearscore that as if it was the sole purpose of playing the game.

Sure having good gear can be an indicator of some being a good player or not but you are equally as likely to get owned by someone who isnt obsessed by their GS and actually focuses on playing.

I think some people forget that there were still kickass players around long before GS was a twinkling in some fat nerd’s myopic eyes. It’s a tool, granted it has it’s uses but it is still just a tool.

Unfortunately it’s user base seem to have a lot in common with it, they too are tools








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