The Necropolis Empire

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Twilight Imperium book The Necropolis Empire by Tim Pratt, published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.

I am going to try my best to not let that cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

What is Twilight Imperium

Twilight Imperium is a much beloved strategy board game published by Fantasy Flight Games that’s currently in its 4th Edition.

First thing to know, it’s very long, my pal Drew, one of the owners of the amazing Meeple Perk, tells me it’s an 8 hour game as a minimum!

Secondly it’s an epic space opera, set in the power vacuum left behind by the decline and collapse of the Lazax Empire, as various races and factions vie for dominance and to become the new galactic superpower.

The Story

The story is about a young girl, Bianca Xing from a remote farming world, whom has spent a lifetime yearning to leave her provincial planet and travel to the stars, but she has a yearning to travel to a certain part of space.

But when her world is annexed by the Barony of Letnev, she is whisked away, told she is the daughter of a scientist of ancient renown, and the heir to a great fortune. But in actual fact, she has a hidden secret hidden within her DNA, secrets that could change the course of the galaxy.

Teaming up with Dampierre a determined Letnev captain, and a crew of treasure hunters turned smugglers, she goes on an adventure to the edge of known space to discover the home world of an ancient civilisation.

This was a big improvement on the last story and in all honesty I expected this to be a continuation of the last story, but its a totally different one with only two recurring characters.

This worked better because there were fewer obvious clichés and it just felt a lot more natural.

Conclusion

As with the Fractured void, this is a fun and enjoyable space opera, just my taste and this is exactly what I needed to read.

There was humour and the clichés that were there, were very well done.

I really struggled to put this book down and was awake until 3am two mornings running because I was just enjoying it so much.

I am really not sure what else to say, its a great read, and even if you have no background knowledge of the game or universe, this is utterly entertaining and wonderful to read.

I know Tim is a great writer and I know I had some mild criticism of his last book, but this seems to have acknowledged all of that, and gone on to produce a better book that takes the good qualities of that and knock it up several notches.

I expected this to be a straight sequel to the last book, but this was a totally different story and it really feels like Tim is doing a lot of world building here, that is really deep and most of all, fun.

More please.

5 out of 5


The Necropolis Empire is out as an eBook on the 3rd August and as paperback on the 14th October.


So Much Pain

Past couple of days have been absolutely dominated by pain, I have essentially been stuck on the sofa which I really hate.

But I am hoping to have a better day tomorrow and go into the rest of the week with positivity.

What I Am Modelling

I started the week by working on a squad of Devastators for mine and Megan’s Blood Angels.

This squad is armed with two Missile Launchers, two Grav Cannons and the Sgt has a Combi-Grav.

Then I started work on the Explorers for Blackstone Fortress. The first ones I finished were Daedalosus, X-101 and UR-025.

At the same time I worked on the Chaos Space Marines for that game as well, getting finished those plus the big badObsidius Mallex

This was followed by three more Explorers for Blackstone Fortress, Taddeus the Purifier, Pious Vorn & Gotfret de Montbard.

The rest of the Explorers are on the table and Aradia and Espern Locarno should be finished tomorrow.


So what’s coming up next on the plan?

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. Blackstone Fortress Explorers
  3. Gazkhull Thraka & Makari
  4. Death Korps of Krieg Infantry Swuad x 10
  5. Stormcast Eternals Evocators on Celestial Dragoline x 6 and Lord Arcanium on Celestial Dracoline
  6. Custodes Venerable Contemptor Dreadnought, Telemon Dreadnought and Contemptor-Aquilius
  7. Necron Lychguard with Hyperphase Swords & Dispersion Shields x 5 & Kamoteph the Crooked
  8. Mechanicum Vulturax
  9. Flesh-Eater Courts Crypt Flayers x 3
  10. Stormcast Eternals Judicators x 10 & Sylas Beast-Bane

What I Am Reading

My review of The Ming Storm was published, it’s a negative one which had me very worried, still not sure it’s the right move, but I just didn’t enjoy the book.

I am however very much enjoying The Necropolis Empire by Tim Pratt.

And I have been listening to the audiobook of Mortis by John French.

What I Am Playing

On Xbox I played a little bit of Halo 2 Anniversary and I downloaded and started playing Forza Horizon 4 which I have really been enjoying.

No tabletop played sadly.

What I Am Backing

I am backing the Isle of Cats Kittens and Beasts campaign, although for just £1 to get access to the pledge manager as I cannot afford the game on the day it funds, but hopefully will shortly after.

What I Am Creating

The next episode of Edge of Empire should go out tomorrow, but it will be missing a section due to a schedule conflict 🙁

I am also planning what to do for the next battle report, perhaps Blood Bowl Sevens.

What I Am Cooking

I just made some Reggae Reggae Wings with microwave rice, but nowt more than that 🙁


The Ming Storm

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Assassins Creed book The Ming Storm by Yan Lei Sheng, published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.

I am going to try my best to not let that cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

So let’s crack on with a review then!

What is Assassin Creed

Assassins Creed is an adventure game franchise published by Ubisoft (One of my Edge of Empire Co-hosts works there as well I should probably mention), and depicts a millennia-old conflict between the Assassins, who fight to preserve free will, and the Templars who desire to bring around peace by controlling people.

The games take place throughout various historical periods, the original 2007 game being set in the era of the 3rd Crusades, and the latest game Assassins Creed Valhalla, set in the Viking Invasion of Britain.

This book is based on Assassins Creed Chronicles China.

The Story

This takes part after the short film, Assassins Creed: Embers in 1526 China and features the female assassin, Shao Jun, who has returned from Europe where she trained with the protagonmist of the second game, Ezio Auditore da Firenze.

She returns to China to fight the Eight Tigers, a group of eunuchs aligned with the Templars in the court of the Jianjing Emperor.

Prior to the novel, the Eight Tigers had all but wiped out the Assassins of China, leaving just Shao Jun and her mentor alive, so this is very much a story about revenge.

Conclusion

Look I wanted to love this book I really did, I am a big fan of the games, but this book just didn’t work, it was not an enjoyable read at all.

There is no real flow to the book as so much technical detail is thrown in, and it just gets so mired in trying to describe every single kung-fu move being used and its meaning.

The narrative changes point of view in a way that makes you have to go back and go right when did this characters point of view come in, I had to reread so much simply because there was little warning when the perspective changed.

It should have been a great action novel and don’t get me wrong, the story itself is really good, excellent in fact, but I struggled to read it, its just doesn’t work.

I hate giving a bad review it hurts me, but I see potential in this book, a round of editing to deal with the persepective changes and some heavy cuts to make the fight scenes flow better and I think that underneath is a good novella.

But it feels like its been padded out to make a novel.

2 out of 5 stars.


The Ming Storm is out as an eBook now and as paperback on the 19th August.


Mood:- In Agony
Caffeinated Beverages Consumed:– 4
In My Ears:Chicken Wing Song – Leo Moracchioli
Tabletop Game Last Played:- Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Fluxx
Video Game Last Played:- Forza Horizon 4
Book Last Read:- The Necropolis Empire – Tim Pratt
Movie/TV Show Last Viewed:- Parks and Recreation
Current State of Projects:- Blackstone Fortress Explorers about 50% Done

Football Probably Isn’t Coming Home, But We Can Hope

The football I love the most is the international tournaments, simply because it feels less like its hyper-commercialised and players are all mercenaries with no love for the teams they play for.

It really does feel like the teams play with more passion and determination, it just feels more like football should be.

Perhaps I am just a plonker and fall for the excitement of a big tournament, but I just love it, there are games on the TV almost every day, all on free to air TV and it feels like players put in their all to win the games.

I watched the Scotland game yesterday and despite being English, I got right behind the Jocks and was cheering them on and getting extremly emmotional eveytime they missed a goal, and I was so happy that Wales got a draw.

I want all the home nations to do well, because if we all do well, all the UK can be happy (well apart from Northern Ireland).

The England game was special for me as I watched in my sister in laws yard as we had a BBQ (For which she made enough meat to feed several football teams) with some of my nephews, and that’s something I have never done before.

I kinda found myself wishing I could have all my nibblings in one place to see it, but it was wonderful to do it with two of them, but does make me determined to make a trip to Suffolk for the World Cup next year to do the same with my nephews down there.

Anyway, I am looking forward to the game on Friday when the Three Lions take on the Jocks, and whilst I am backing England, I do hope Scotland give us a hard time and have a positive and good run against us.

But will England win, probably not, but let me have hope for a little bit, at least until we get knocked out on penalties!

What I Am Modelling

I started the week off by painting four Castellax Battle Automata for my Mechanicum, two armed with Darkfire Cannons and two with Mauler Bolt Cannons.

After this I got a unit of Necron Immortals armed with Gauss Blasters and a Finecast Cryptek painted up.

I then painted up the Krulghast Cruciator & Bladegheist Revenants for my Nighthaunt.

With those out of the way, I started on some Scouts for the Blood Angels.

I painted up two squads, one armed with Bolters and a Heavy Bolter, and one squad with Sniper Rifles and a Missile Launcher.

I then put some Crypt-Ghouls for the Flesh-Eater Courts on the table and got those finished overnight


So what’s coming up next week?

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. Blood Angels Devastators x 5
  3. Blackstone Fortress Explorers
  4. Gazkhull Thraka & Makari
  5. Death Korps of Krieg Infantry Squad x 10
  6. Stormcast Eternals Evocators on Celestial Dracolines x 6 & Lord Aranium on Celestial Dracoline
  7. Legio Custodes Venerable Contemptor Dreadnought, Telemon Dreadnought and Contemptor-Aquilius Dreadnought
  8. Necron Lychguard with Hyperphase Swords & Dispersion Fields x 5
  9. Mechanicum Vulturax
  10. Blackstone Fortress Black Legion Chaos Space Marines x 3 & Obsidius Mallex

What I Am Reading

I finished up The Ming Storm by Yan Lei Sheng and a review is coming shortly.

I started on The Necropolis Empire by Tim Pratt, I loved his first Twilight Imperium novel and this one is looking pretty good so far.

And I finished listening to the audio book of The Gate of Bones by Andy Clark, which was really good, if a little less epic in scale than the first book.

I have now started on the audio book of Mortis by John French.

What I Am Playing

Played a little bit of Halo 2 Anniversary and have reached The

On the tabletop we had a couple of games of Deep Space Nine Fluxx, the girls won one a piece.

I also had a bit of a play on the Blood Bowl 3 Beta, and it looks really really nice!

What I Am Backing

The Redgrass Wet Palette 2 campaign finished and was funded, my pledge has been collected and I will be adding a second one in the Pledge Manager for Megan.

I am backing the Isle of Cats Kittens and Beasts campaign, although for just £1 to get access to the pledge manager as I cannot afford the game on the day it funds, but hopefully will shortly after.

What I Am Creating

The 8th Episode of Edge of Empires 5th year was released, although it was a very weird episode because of various illnesses and injuries.

And at long long last I finished my battle report for a game of Aeronautica Imperialis I played with Megan way back in March!

What I Am Cooking

Not much but I did help with Wing Night by making some Kansas City BBQ Sauce and then using that to make some Kansas City BBQ Wings.


Well That Was Tough

In short, we failed, out of 83 pieces of terrain, only completed 64, but we did raise £160 so I am over the moon with that, and you can still donate here.

Next year will be a more achievable project, perhaps a start collecting box in 24 hours!

Saturday

We started by cracking on with the washing of the building and pipes, followed by the Munitorium Armoured Containers.

Whilst they were drying, I then put the base metal colour on the Haemotrope Reactors and the Thermic Plasma Regulators.

The Fuel Barrels got done fairly quickly, in a nice rusty look, and those were our first models finished

Folllowed not long afterwards by the Munitorium Armoured Containers and storage crates.

Then we did the drybrushing of the buildings and pipes, which allowed us to finish the first bits of pipes.

All the while I was doing a little bit of work here and there on the Galvanic Servohaulers and got the two smaller tractors finished.

We then painted the flooring of the buildings and got them washed and began the painting of the red windows and doors.

And finally we finished Saturday off with the Thermic Plasma Regulators and Haemotrope Reactors being completed.

So at the end of Saturday, 33 of 83 models were painted.

Sunday

Sunday was tough, the first four hours of it was taken up putting the red on the buildings.

Once that was done we turned our attention to the Thermo-Pipes and quickly got them finished by tea-time.

This was followed shortly afterwards by the Thermo-Exhanger Shrines.

And finally I managed to get finished the Auto-Choral Transmitter.

At the end of Sunday we had all the metallics on the buildings on them and washed, and finished a total of 64 of 83 models!

Mopping Up

On Monday I did bugger all because my hands were in agony!

But on Tuesday I did a little mopping up. We got the Galvanic Serohauler Crane painted up.

And the smaller ruins.

On Wednesday we slowly finished the details on the larger ruins, and finished them through the day.

And the final piece, the centrepiece as it was, the Sanctum Administratus was finished late Wednesday night.

The Finished Product

Here are some shots of the scenery on a table with some minis on them, which are from my recently revealed Iron Warriors army.

Thank You

Some silly sod went and bought me an Elgato Camlink 4K to replace the cheap capture card for my GoPro facecam, that I was previously using.

It has in recent days given up the ghost, I mentioned it on my stream on Friday and can only assume that someone grabbed me one, I did get the notice that something from my Amazon wish list had been bought.

It arrived today and I was utterly blown away by it.

It’s a huge improvement to the quality of the GoPro, so thank you so very much.

What I Am Modelling

I started off after a few days off by picking up my Vexilus Praetors for the Legio Custodes.

At the same time I was working on the T’au Broadsides and started to paint them.

I am now working on four Castellax for my Mechanicum army.


So what am I working on right now.

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. Mechanicum Castellax x 4
  3. Blood Angels Scouts x 10
  4. Necron Immortals with Gauss Blasters x 10
  5. Flesh-Eater Courts Crypt Ghouls x 20
  6. Blood Angels Devastators x 5
  7. Blackstone Fortress Explorers
  8. Nighthaunt Krulghast Cruciator & Bladegheist Revenants x 5
  9. Gazkhull Thraka & Makari
  10. Krieg Infantry

What I Am Reading

Making very slowly through The Ming Storm by Yan Leisheng.

Also started listening the audiobook of The Gate of Bones by Andy Clark.

What I Am Playing

Not really played any video games this week.

But I have played a few board games, staring with Gretchinz!

The on Saturday we played Deep Space Nine Fluxx.

Followed by Ticket to Ride The Heart of Africa on Sunday.

I also got in a game of Horus Heresy with Graham at club on Tuesday as well. Taking my Death Guard against his Solar Auxilia.

Of course I lost all of my games quite badly!

What I Am Backing

The Oink Games + Kickstarter funded successfully and we unlocked a second game, which is nice.

And I am still backing the Redgrass Wet Palette 2 and I can’t wait to get it.

What I Am Creating

We put out the long delayed Episode 5 of The Hobby Studio Podcast.

What I Am Cooking

I cooked dinner today, a lovely Irish spicebag to remind us of the time we were in Dublin for WorldCon.

Was really nice if a little too spicy for the weather.


The Secret Project Revealed

Well it’s time to unveil my secret project that I have been working on for the past year!

Its The Iron Warriors

Having resisted them for so long because Graham plays them, I decided to build and paint a Zone Mortalis force of the IVth Legion.

It’s started because I saw someone use Nazdreg Yellow Contrast over Leadbelcher and I loved the gold that it made, it just look so burnished and old, perfect for Iron Warriors and I decided to paint a test model of a Praetor, and I ended up painting a Chaplain and Praetor from Betrayal at Calth at the same time.

I then painted up a Tactical Squad using a MKII set I already had and some Iron Warriors upgrades I managed to acquire from Heresy Trading.

After this I painted up another HQ, this time a Chaos Space Marine Warsmith which fits perfectly in the army looks wise.

Next up was a Rapier with Quad Heavy Bolters which just looks so good in Iron Warriors colours.

This was followed by a couple of Legion specific units, a unit of Tyrant Siege Terminators and some Iron Havocs armed with Lascannons.

After that I had a break for a while as I needed to save foe the next lot of models.

The penultimate unit was a Contemptor Dreadnought, armed with a Chainfist with Meltagun and a Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon with Twin Linked Bolter.

The final unit I added to this army was a squad of Breachers, armed with a couple of Meltaguns and a Combi-Melta on the Sgt.

The List

So what’s the list I have built here, well it’s as follows.

+ HQ [220pts] +

Warsmith [220pts]: Artificer Armour, Bolt Pistol, Digital Lasers [15pts], Iron Halo [25pts], On Foot, Power Fist [20pts], Warlord
. Combi-weapon [10pts]: Combi-weapon: Meltagun
. Warsmith [50pts]: Cortex Controller [15pts], Servo-arm [35pts]

+ Elites [240pts] +

Contemptor Dreadnought Talon [200pts]
. Contemptor Dreadnought, Legion [200pts]
. . Dreadnought Chainfist [25pts]: Meltagun [15pts]
. . Dreadnought Close Combat Weapon: Twin-linked Bolter

Rapier Weapons Battery, Legion [40pts]
. Rapier Weapons Battery, Legion [40pts]: Quad Heavy Bolter, Shrapnel Bolts

+ Troops [475pts] +

Breacher Siege Squad, Legion (Compulsory) [280pts]: 9x Breacher Siege Space Marines, Legion [135pts]
. Additional Wargear [55pts]: 2x Meltagun [30pts], Nuncio-vox [10pts], Vexilla, Legion [15pts]
. Breacher Siege Sergeant, Legion [25pts]: Artificer Armour [10pts], Melta Bombs [5pts]
. . Combi-weapon [10pts]: Combi-weapon: Meltagun

Tactical Squad, Legion (Compulsory) [195pts]: Bolters, 9x Tactical Space Marines, Legion [90pts]
. Additional Wargear [40pts]: Additional Chainswords/Combat Blades [20pts], Nuncio-vox [10pts], Vexilla, Legion [10pts]
. Tactical Sergeant, Legion [30pts]: Artificer Armour [10pts], Bolter, Melta Bombs [5pts], Power Fist [15pts]

+ Heavy Support [565pts] +

Iron Havoc Support Squad [270pts]: 4x Iron Havoc [100pts], 4x Lascannon [60pts]
. Iron Havoc Sergeant [25pts]: Artificer Armour [10pts], Lascannon [15pts]

Tyrant Siege Terminator Squad [295pts]: 5x Power Fist, 4x Tyrant Terminator [200pts]

+ Allegiance +

Legion and Allegiance: IV: Iron Warriors, Traitor

Rite of War: Zone Mortalis Assault Force

So the initial three HQs are surplus to requirements, but that’s fine.

Expansion wise, not sure if it will become a full army, but it might, probably based around The Hammer of Olympia.

Paint Scheme

The paint scheme is a lot of drybrushing and contrast paints.

I start by priming the models in black and then give them a heavy drybrush with Leadbelcher.

The trim is then painted with Nazdreg Yellow Contrast, and any areas that are getting hazard stripes or are leather are painted with Wraithbone.

Those areas are then painted with Iyanden Yellow Contrast and then the black is added using Abaddon Black.

The weapon casings are painted with Corvus Black, and then the whole model is painted with Wyldwood Contrast mixed with two parts Contrast Medium, and leather is painted with pure Wyldwood Contrast.

This gives a very dirty and grimy look to the models, just perfect for Iron Warriors.

It’s also very quick and the Dreadnought for example was painted from start to finish in about 30 minutes.

The basing scheme is Stirland Mud or Stirland Battlemire, which is then drybrushed with Balor Brown and then Screaming Skull to create a dirty but sandy mud look.


So that’s the project, and it’s been a lot of fun!

Really giving serious thought to expanding it into a full army, because I have enjoyed painting these models so much.

It’s a super easy paint scheme and they look so different to any thing else I have done before.


Resolutions Update – May 2021

Had a slow month due to the leg injury but I still got a decent number of models painted.

So far this month I have painted a grand total of 664 models.

That does include a bunch of stuff done during the painting challenge.

So let’s take a look at the individual resolutions.

Paint 2000 Points of Necrons for Warhammer 40,000 –

This month I got painted a squad of Immortals with Tesla Carbines.

Paint 1000 Points of Early War Germans for Bolt Action – Complete

This month I got this resolution completed by adding the two vehicles to the list, the Hanomag and Panzer IV Ausf. D

Paint 2000 Points of Flesh-Eater Courts for Warhammer Age of Sigmar – 31.5% Complete

This month I added Crypt-Horrors and a another unit of Crypt-Ghouls to the army.

Bring My Mechanicum to 3000 Points for Horus Heresy, Including The Warhound Titan – 11.52% Complete

I added a unit of Peltast to the Mechanicum.

Paint Blackstone Fortress And It’s Expansions – 0% Complete

I started this resolution this month by building the Explorers from the Core game and Escalation.

Completed Resolutions

  • Paint the Scourge for Dropfleet Commander
  • Paint 1000 Points of Early War Germans for Bolt Action

So what’s coming up in my painting queue headed into next month?

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. T’au Broadsides x 3
  3. Custodes Vexilus Praetors x 4
  4. Mechanicum Castellax x 4
  5. Blood Angels Scouts x 10
  6. Necron Immortals with Gauss Blasters x 10
  7. Flesh-Eater Courts Crypt Ghouls x 20
  8. Blood Angels Devastators x 5
  9. Blackstone Fortress Explorers x 14
  10. Nighthaunt Krulghast Cruciator & Bladegheist Revenants x 5

Preparing For The Charity Stream

We are almost ready for this, tomorrow morning is the day!

First off the terrain is now all primed in Wraithbone or Leadbelcher as per the plan, which means we can just crack on with it.

I have had to do a couple of hardware things, first off, we have added a PCIe USB expansion card so that I can run extra cameras, specifically one for Megan’s painting desk and for her face.

And I added an extra decent webcam, Megan’s facecam has up until now been a Creative Live Cam Synch HD720 which is an utterly dreadful camera. so this has been replaced with a Logitech C925e.

So all we have to do is crack on with it and see if we can raid the £100 we are aiming for!

What I am Modelling

I have finally gotten back to the painting desk this week, and I started by basing the Secutarii Peltasts I finished last week.

I managed to get the next twenty projects primed, and ran out of Grey Seer and Black spray paints at the same time.

I built, primed and painted a model for my secret Heresy project, and I am so close to getting that all finished, just one more unit to go.

I then moved on to painting some Haemotrope Reactors for my Zone Mortalis board.

Two were finished on Saturday and the other two on Sunday.

Whilst also working on the vehicles for my Early War Germans for Bolt Action, those being a Sd.Kfz. 251, usually known as the Hanomag, and a Panzer IV Ausf. d, which is armed with a 7.5 cm KwK 37 L/24, which is basically an infantry support gun.

I went a little further with these, using weathering powders properly for the first time.

And this completes the resolution to paint 1000pts of Early War Germans for Bolt Action.

I then finished off the last unit for my secret project, but more about that next week!

Tonight I painted the Enduring Stormvault from Mortal Realms, which is in all honesty the worst part of the whole collection, simply because it doesn’t really work without a big piece of Stormvault terrain.

And finally I painted some Crypt Horrors for my Flesh Eater Courts.


  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. T’au Broadsides x 3
  3. Custodes Vexilus Praetors x 4
  4. Mechanicum Castellax x 4
  5. Blood Angels Scouts x 10
  6. Necron Immortals with Gauss Blasters x 10
  7. Flesh-Eater Courts Crypt-Ghouls x 20
  8. Blood Angels Devastators x 5
  9. Blackstone Fortress Explorers
  10. Nighthaunt Krulghast Cruciator & Bladegheist Revenants x 5

What I Am Reading

I finished Mortis and wow, what a book!

Started the Ming Storm by Yan Leisheng but I haven’t read very much of it yet.

What I Am Playing

I finished Halo: Combat Evolved Anniversary and started on Halo 2 Anniversary.

Also in general been trying to play a lot more video games!

What I Am Backing

My pledge for Chai: High Tea was refunded, turns out the company is a bit dodgy and I got kicked off the project for asking questions.

I am still backing Onik Games+ and I have gone in for a Redgrass Wet Palette V2.

What I Am Cooking

Only think I cooked was this slow cooker General Tso’s Chicken


Death’s Kiss

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Legend of the Five Rings book Death’s Kiss by Josh Reynolds, published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

So here is an important disclaimer which is always important to put out there first. I have a casual work contact with Asmodee to demonstrate board games for them in stores and at conventions. Asmodee being the parent company of Aconyte the publisher.

I am also friend with Josh on Facebook, however I am sure for him that’s more about connecting with fans rather than being one of my best buds, that said he is actually a really nice guy.

I am going to try my best to not let that cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

So let’s crack on with a review then!

What is Legend of the Five Rings

L5R as it’s often known is a fantasy setting for a series of card games and RPGs originally published by AEG, but now taken care of by Fantasy Flight.

It’s set in the empire of Rokugan which is heavily feudal Japan influenced, with a bit of other East Asian influences, like China and Korea thrown in as well.

It’s a fantasy setting with the usual fantasy tropes of goblins and rat men, but also oni and kitsune too.

The Story

Daidoji Shin is a an aristocrat of the Crane clan banished to the City of the Rich Frog, to serve as his clans trade envoy.

In the last book Poison River his talent as a detective was discovered as he foiled a plot to bring the cities various factions to war.

And since then it seems he has become a very in demand fella, and the owner of a theatre (which he did sort of get burnt down). And when a powerful friend asks him to investigate the circumstances of a murder in another city.

The murderer is in custody and her execution is called for by the family of the man she killed, but the local magistrate is holding her as he attempts to figure out why the incident occurred as he tries to avoid the two families from coming to blows in the street.

With a woman’s life on the line, Shin throws himself into the case and ends up getting caught up in a sinister plan by a group of revolutionaries that wish to change the empire forever.

Conclusion

I am gonna put my cards on the table here, and say that whilst I liked this book, I felt is should have come further down the line.

The City of the Rich Frog was so well established in the last book, so well developed with an interesting cast of background characters who made it so deeply interesting, that I really missed that in this book.

Don’t get me wrong, Josh did a wonderful job in establishing a new city and new characters, but I just didn’t gel with them as well as I did those from the previous book.

He has set up some interesting possibilities for future books however with this novel.

Again we continue that Holmesian tribute act that Shin is, and it’s a very good one, the case may be straightforward but Shin needs to understand the why, not simply the how. He tenacity not only leads to a resolution that’s best for all the families.

I really enjoyed this book, knowing what happened did lend the twist as we tried to figure out the reasons for the crime, because they really do matter, and whilst there was some general predictability, it wasn’t glaringly obvious.

Instead the book makes you feel smart as you go “ahh I think I know”, then leads you to they why, what giving it’s all a bit of a twist.

This novel felt a bit more pulpy than the last one, not a bad thing, but it was an easy and enjoyable read that was hard to put down.

Josh has built a very interesting little corner of Rokugan and I really want to spend more time there.

I am actually currently thinking about perhaps running an RPG campaign in the City of the Rich Frog, I am that enamoured with the work Josh has done.

It’s 4 out of 5 for me and I only drop a star because I feel like the characters life in the City of the Rich Frog needed more development before he went elsewhere.


Deaths Kiss is out as an eBook on the 1st June and as paperback on the 19th August.


Enforced Rest & Douggie

So last week the minor tear to my calf muscles means about 2 weeks of enforced rest, this first week of which has been spent upstairs in our living room.

The advantage of the set up of our house is that the living room is on the same level as the bathroom and has a fridge and tea making station here, so all my comfort needs are being met.

I have managed to get downstairs a few times, but it’s been very very painful.

Meet Douggie

We adopted a new cat, we really shouldn’t have, but when Beckie at Yarm Cat Rescue said no one had been interested in adopting him, we knew we had to.

So here is Sir Douglas T Cat, aka Douggie, who like Barrington before him, has had a very rough life.

He was beaten and kicked so badly it shattered his pelvis, which has healed very badly and given him a very wobbly walk. He will thus need extra special care for the rest of his life.

He has made himself very much at home, demanding loves, fusses and strokes quite regularly and even sleeping with us.

We are very much in love with him, and even Barrington is tolerating him, which is about as close to be long good friends as Barrington gets.

What I Am Modelling

Well seeing as I am not in the studio, not a lot!

I did finish building the terrain for the 24 hour painting challenge.

And I started painting some Secutarii Peltast that Megan brought upstairs for me.

They all finished apart from the basing.


So what’s on the list, if I can get down to get some painting done this week?

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. Flesh-Eater Courts Crypt Horrors x 3
  3. German Hanomag & Panzer IV Ausf. D
  4. T’au Broadsides x 3
  5. Legio Custodes Vexilus Oraetors x 4
  6. Mechanicum Castellax x 4
  7. Blood Angels Scouts x 10
  8. Necron Immortals x 10
  9. Flesh-Eater Courts Crypt-Ghouls x 20
  10. Blood Angels Devastators x 5

What I Am Reading

I finished Death’s Kiss by Josh Reynolds, it was a lot of fun and a review is coming this week.

I have started reading Mortis by John French and so far it’s very good.

What I Am Playing

Mostly been playing Halo this week as I okay my way through Halo Combat Evolved Anniversary and try and pick up as many Achievements as possible.

Got myself on The Library now, and gonna get the game finished in the next few days having collected all the Skulls and visited all the Terminals.

What I Am Backing

The Rival Networks arrived today, can’t wait to play that.

I am still backing Oink Games + because I love the games they make.

What I Am Cooking

Well I am stuck upstairs so no cooking this week 🙁


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