Ekkeko-Supay Header

The Ekkeko-Supay Disk

Ekkeko-Supay Header

With all the talk about the LotFP Magic Item Call, I’m reminded of my submission  to the LotFP Anniversary Contest a while back (a year and half? yeesh).  I don’t know that the PDF ever went out, so I might as well put it up here. Not enough RPG content here, anyway.


The Ekkeko-Supay Disk

This round disk, a handsbreadth across and less than an inch thick, is made of an unusual metal that is neither copper nor gold. In relief, it shows a man and a demon standing beneath a large, many-breasted woman, holding their arms to her womb. The style of the carvings clearly indicate that it’s of the New World.

If studied by an expert of Incan culture, the man is Ekkeko (god of wealth), the demon Supay (god of death) and the woman Mamma Allpa (fertility goddess). Why wouldn’t a character have sunk points into “Incan Culture?”

If a character sleeps with the disk under their pillow, they’ll awake remembering two dreams with perfect lucidity: the specifics aren’t necessarily the same (though they do tend to be specific), the themes are always the same.

  1. The character sees themselves stumbling across a windfall of wealth. This dream will always become a reality the following day. If these fruits are fleeting… such is the nature of wealth.
  2. The character sees death. Most often, this takes the form of a messy stillbirth… but not always.

The death is always that of one of the character’s descendants, always the farthest out into the future. A line destined to run one hundred generations… becomes one destined to run ninety-nine. If yet unborn (or even unconceived): the final scion of the line dies in the womb. If the character’s legacy is not to be a long one (ie: there are no future, unborn descendants) , the death will be that of one of their children; sudden, violent. If the character has no children, and will have no children: they’ll dream of their own sudden, violent, inescapable death.

As with the dreams of wealth, the dreams of death will always become a reality.

A character can dream above the Ekkeko-Supay disk as many evenings as they’d like. Until they run out of descendants, of course.

MacReady

2014 Year in Review

MacReady

Year in Review

As I’ve mentioned before, 2014’s been rough.  Way too much work and not nearly enough Stuff I’d Rather Be Doing.  It absolutely feels like it was a failure in a number of ways.

But, when I look at the numbers and not how beat up I feel: it really wasn’t as grim as I want to say it was.  I mean, I’m going to just cut ahead and put this here:

2014 Overall - Points Per Month

Pretty much from start-to-finish, this was one of, if not the (and by a significant margin) most productive year I’ve ever had.  I realized that that’s the track I was on in early August: just in time for me to hit work exhaustion.  That was a very positive realization; not only did it help keep me motivated, but I pretty much went into overdrive.

  • January through April (and even a on into March) had me working on Deadzone minis.  The Kickstarter stuff showed up mid-December, and I’d gotten to work on it right away.  I pretty much just painted everything I thought I could paint: Plague (since I figured it’d go quickly– it did), then Rebs, and finally Mercs. Enforcers weren’t (and still aren’t) on the table, because most of the faction’s been delayed until recently, and I can’t help but prefer GW Orks to the Marauders.
  • May was “goofy idea month.”  I got a bug up my butt about doing a ghostly Romans warband for Saga, with some pretty clear goals around what I wanted to do with them in terms of focusing on speed and getting them done.  Although they were successful (about a week?), I’ve only had the chance to play with them all of twice.
  • June and July had me primarily doing NoVA Open prep.   My thoughts around getting ready for NoVA Open 2014 are hauntingly similar to those for 2013 – Shortest path to playable, etc.  To get to ready for 2014 involved more models, but they were (generally) less involved.Also, Historicon was good to me:
    19-2014-07-19 16.56.00
  • August hit, and hard. For some tragic reasons, a vacation was cancelled and I hit a wall.  Shut myself up for a bit over a week and didn’t see anyone but the pets. Also, I built a Bolt Action army, which I then almost entirely painted in September.  Like, I painted a test model in August, and had nine bodies that I wrapped up in early October, but I pretty much painted the whole damned thing in a single month.This is more than a smidge significant.  I painted a Saga warband in about a week, but although I think it’s Clever, it’s not Golden Daemon quality.  The USMC starter+ (I added a handful of models to the Warlord starter) was somewhat larger, also (kinda-sorta) painted within a timebox, and is significantly higher quality.  I was satisfied enough with them to decide to drop my first batch into the Capital Palette, with some success.
    2014 Capital Palatte Bronze
  • The second (but regrettably not final) Deadzone wave showed up in October, so that’s how I spent most of the month.  Since the second wave included some more terrain, I’d held off on assembling or painting any of it until the rest showed up… and I no longer had any reason to hold off.  So, the bulk of November was spent painting Deadzone terrain.
  • In December, I wrapped up my first Infinity warband (squad? team?).  I’m pleased with them, and am looking forward to pushing them around.

Hobby Activity

So, like I said: this past year was nuts for getting stuff done. Nuts.  Forget building stuff (which I’m fast starting to consider Uninteresting in terms of progress), I painted:

  • A Saga warband
  • A Bolt Action army
  • An Infinity team

plus a bunch of just other stuff.

I don’t think I’m going to wrap the following chartdump in much text; I think it’s all pretty self-explanatory.  I got a lot done this year.

2014 - Cumulative Points Per Year

2014 - Points Per Year

2014 - Hobby Points by Month

2014 - Models Painted by Year

2014 - Models Built by Year

One thing I did do new this year was track how much I spent on models vs. how much the models I’d painted were worth.  Because this is a hobby that encourages one to have tubs of unpainted minis, the thought was it’d encourage me to 1) paint about as much as I buy (reducing unpainted minis) and 2) spend less on minis (a built-in cheat was that I’d list how much I paid when I bought a model and how much it retailed for when I painted it… ).

This chart shows two things: the relative spend per month (a negative number meant I painted more minis that I bought, a positive number means I bought more minis than I painted, a flat number that I kept an equilibrium) and the overall number from month-to-month.

Numbers have been obscured to hide my shame.

2014 - Overall Spend by Month

I actually think this was pretty effective.  Really, the worst thing that happened was the By Fire & Sword: Deluge Kickstarter.

Also, the need to just move all of this stuff out of a Google Spreadsheet and into an actual database is increasingly pressing. Half the time Google chokes on this thing… and need to update the above graph to be a rolling one: things shouldn’t zero out at the beginning of the year, you know?

GOALS

2014 Goals

  • FinishComplete Success. As I’ve mentioned, I got a lot of stuff Done this year.
  • PaintComplete Success. Hells, yeah.
  • Compete – Failure. I hit NoVA and played in a mini Bolt Action tournament, but that’s it.  I don’t consider that enough: I even missed Dragon Wars this year.
  • GameFailure. According to my sheet, I played 28 games, total, in 2014. This is awful.
  • HIstoricalsSuccess. Like, huge success!
  • Continue Dumping StuffTotal Failure. I don’t think I eBayed anything in 2014.
  • Finish a Deadzone warbandSuccess.  I got two factions fully painted until Wave 2 showed up.
  • Finish a Muskets & Tomahawks warbandFailure. I’ve got one built, but it’s another silly idea. I have the minis for a normal one, I just have to build them.  Oh, and paint them.
  • Post more RPG content – Technical Success. I mean, I posted RPG content. Precious little.  My Rogue Trader NPC generator from, like, a year ago, was the most viewed poste this year.
  • Organize a Charity RTT – Failure.  I didn’t get to game, much less organize.

2015 Goals

The standard:

  • Finish
  • Paint
  • Compete – Though this will be less key to me.  Tournaments matter less than actual gaming at this point.

And:

  • Game – This is going to be my number one goal for 2015.
  • Dump Stuff – And this will be my number two goal.
  • Finish a Muskets & Tomahawks Warband – I have no excuse not to get this done.

I’d love to have some more specific goals, but really: I just want to get my painted : unpainted ratio more sane and roll more dice.

Mantic Plague

A very specific form of not particularly famous

Mantic Plague

 

The photo of my Plague I posted back in January is the thumbnail on a Mantic Blog post.

Very cool.

(The image isn’t on the post, and either they filter comments or their comment system is busted ’cause I don’t seem able to post there to give them permission to use it.)

Wednesday Workbench 20141217

To Infinity… almost

Wednesday Workbench 20141217

It’s been a bit over three weeks since I got all of these guys assembled, and I’ve made excellent progress on painting them.

They’re pretty close to being all done: I need to do a couple of finishing touches on the Healer (though I’m not happy with her and am half-inclined to strip the paint and start over), and I’ve got to wrap up the Iguana(s).  That’s it!

I got the chance to muddle through some how-to-play games with Chris S last week.  It’s not the full rules or anything (yes, the Mobile Brigada will have a flamethrower and a techno-rifle, but for this: he just has a gun), but enough to convey how the game plays, how the dice mechanic works, etc.

I like what I see so far… but I’m utterly boggled how anyone would or could play this in a tournament environment.  Given that A – my experience with “competitive” 40K and Fantasy is that you cannot assume your opponent will play his rules correctly (deliberately or accidentally) and B – (to make a wholly unfair generalization that I’m going to try to make as least awful as I can) competitive skirmish game players skew towards taking full advantage of every advantage than can wring out of a situation: Infinity’s expectation that you don’t even know what models your opponent has taken until they turn up just makes me tense up.

Like: there’s a whole “optical camo” thing where a model is invisible until they do something.  That’s facilitated by just not putting the model on the table and, when you decide to do something with them, put them down and say, “This guy’s been here, all along.”  In a vacuum, casually, that’s cool.  Hella cool, even.  With prizes or money on the line, though… We used to have a guy around for Fantasy who’d have Magic Standards on his units… that magically changed what they were from game to game to whatever was more appropriate against their opponent and situation.   There is no way that that guy’s list wouldn’t end up shifting from game to game, and no way his dudes wouldn’t uncloak in the most advantageous place, always.

What I’m saying is: I’m looking forward to actually playing Infinity (grown-up, all the rules Infinity, whenever it decides to come out), but I don’t think it’ll be what I play at NoVA this year. (Which is a shame, ’cause I’m still trying to figure out what that’s going to be.)

Wednesday Workbench 20141119

Wednesday Workbench

Wednesday Workbench 20141119

It’s Wednesday. I’ve been doing stuff: like building the Nomad half of Operation: Icestorm (plus the recommended “add these” units to flesh it out to a full list).

Need to work up the base on the Iguana suit: Dragon Forge doesn’t make 55mm bases in that range (and, for some reason, I didn’t realize that was a 55mm base; I thought it was a 40mm when I ordered the bases because I’m an idiot).

Deadzone Terrain (13)

Deadzone Terrain

Most of this terrain showed up in December of 2013, I think.

I’d dry fitted some of it together to get a feel for it… and left it there.  It’s meant to be modular, but the idea of painting the individual pieces and then snapping them together at game-time just isn’t practical at all.  On top of that, I was shorted connectors in the initial shipment: more showed up with the Wave 1 Mitigation shipment, but by that time I’d been distracted and was working on something else. When Wave 2 showed up, it renewed my motivation.

It’s actually a little disappointing: if I’d filled that Wave 3 survey out now, after having really assembled and painted this stuff, instead of before, I’d have bought a lot more.  Like a lot.  Like definitely enough that it’d get me in trouble with Mrs. Rushputin.

Anyway: everything’s painted and gloss varnished.  I need to weather it (some stains, some rust) before another coat, but the involved part’s done.

This is the full table (same configuration from four directions):

Deadzone Terrain (2) Deadzone Terrain (3) Deadzone Terrain (4) Deadzone Terrain (5)

I shot for a board configuration that was crowded and busy… but left a lot open.  This is a lot more terrain than it looks like Mantic normally puts on their tables: I’ve got two mats (plus the paper one), so I think I could safely smear this across two mats and it’d still be dense enough to play with.

If I’d had more tiles, I’d have tried to get some interleaved walkways.  A walkway at Level 2 going East/West and one at Level 3 going North/South immediately above it is the sort of thing I’d really like to have, but it wasn’t in the cards.

I also tried to make sure that most of the pieces would work for 40K.

Deadzone Terrain (6) Deadzone Terrain (7)

These pieces are the components of the building above: I tried to keep things so they could break down into multiple pieces.

Deadzone Terrain (8)

I also tried to keep the terrain practical.  While I loved the idea of a cargo-crate structure up on scaffolding, it wouldn’t be very playable.  So, I kept it so every square’s accessible.

Deadzone Terrain (1)

Deadzone Terrain (10) Deadzone Terrain (9)

I’m nuts about these towers.  I’d have made more if I had more of those bare frame tiles.

Deadzone Terrain (11)

I thought the Landing Pad would be impractical: the Skyshield Landing Pad kind of is.  I’ve got one in tub around here someone and never use it.  This is a little bit to pack away, but by keeping the little cubicle detached, it’s not that big of a problem.

 

Deadzone Terrain (13)Deadzone Terrain (12)

Shan Yu Lives

Not Dead!

Shan Yu Lives

I’m not dead (I think)!

NoVA was a thing that happened: I had a great time (as expected). It’s weird, though: even though I love 40K, and on paper I think I should love this version of 40K, I don’t think I like it very much right now.  I won as much as I lost and most of my games were a lot of fun (even the one really, really, really unbelievably awful game would have been just as awful with any other edition or any other game, I think), but yeesh.  That, plus a literal 24 hours of 40K over a weekend will make anyone want to take a breather.

That, combined with work hitting a level of busy I’d only describe as “traumatic” (seriously: it hasn’t been that bad for a month or so but it still feels that bad) has meant I haven’t time for much gaming.  I’m pretty sure the only time I’ve been able to move toy soldiers around since Nova was a three-way goof-off game of Saga with John and Mike at Victory comics what feels like months ago.

On the bright side: I have not been idle on the hobby side of things, even if I’ve been too busy to blog about it.

Since NoVA, I’ve:

  • Painted 85% of a By Fire & Sword Polish starter (I just need to wrap up those last two bases before I’m done!)
  • Painted an entire USMC starter for Bolt Action starter, plus a few models (63 infantry, including weapons teams).  Enough paint’s been applied to a half-track and a Sherman that I wouldn’t be embarrassed to put them on the table, but they’re not done.
  • Assembled pretty much all of the Wave 2 Deadzone stuff (I’ve got some Plague Zombies left to do).  Since I didn’t initially put together the Marauders, that’s a total of 3 full factions
  • Settled on a Deadzone terrain configuration and painted it.  It’s done and varnished.  Still want to weather it, and I need to do the scatter terrain, but I could drag it out to the game store tonight if I wanted to.
  • Did a lot of airbrushing (see: terrain).  I’m not going to be winning any awards for airbrushed models any time soon (or, ever, really), but I did enough with it, got more comfortable with it, and finally started doing more with it than basecoating.  I leveled up with it, at least.

In fact (because I’m obsessive about tracking what hobby progress I make, I can tell you that), I’ve done more hobby stuff so far this year than I have since I’ve been tracking this stuff. By September, I’d painted more models in 2014 than the entirety of any other single year.

Now to just find time to drag out the lightbox and start with some photodumps.

And to get out and game: I think I need to make that an actual priority, effective ASAP.  Like, “Sorry, I cannot do this thing you ask of me, because I need to be playing with toy soldiers.”