Back At It

Ok so this week I have really been working at getting back on tack and it’s mostly working.

We may have discovered a reason why I am just so ugh at the minute, a blood test revealed that my iron is in the toilet.

This means I am starting an intensive three month course of iron supplements and have to give a bunch of blood samples and other stuff to try and figure out the issue.

Douggie is as ever being a charmer and I love the photo of him I have used for this post, he is just so bloody cute!

More PC Stuff

Megan’s PC is mostly complete now, we put it in a new case, a Corsair 220T RGB Airflow, in white, and it looks really nice.

The only other thing we wish to do to it, is add a Corsair H60i RGB Pro XT to cool her CPU and some sort of heat sink for her SSD.

Possibly add a Corsair Commander Pro as well to manage all the fans.

She is going to get a capture card in the near future, I am adding an Elgato HD60 Pro to my setup, arrives tomorrow, and in time it’s going to take over console capture from my 4K60 Pro so a CamLink Pro can take the place of that.

The 4K60 Pro will then find it’s way into Megan’s rig and that will be hers basically complete.

I have also grabbed her a dock and charger for the Nintendo Switch so she can use it on the monitor at her desk.

So now my attention turns to building a NAS, the basis for its first iteration will be a Dell Optiplex 760, an ancient computer, but one which will do the job initially until a system that is tailored to the job better can be procured.

I have already obtained a cheap SATA 128GB SSD to run as it’s boot drive for FreeNAS and will be adding a couple of large HDDs (hopefully a round 6TB each) to run in RAID as they initial storage solution.

What I Am Modelling

I started off with some Dominion of Sigmar statues from Mortal Realms, both with a slightly different finish to indicate that they were added to the city of Esasa.

I also painted up some Grimghast Reapers for the Nighthaunt along with the 500th Store anniversary model, Garkor the Bladeghast Revenant.

I then I started work on some Crypt Flayers for my Flesh-Eater Courts.

I then had a building spree as I need to get a bunch of stuff built before I could move on.

I have my next 20 projects built apart from a squad of Krieg Infantry and some Crypt Ghouls.

I also had another crack at 3D Printing which went so so, but I have had some excellent advice on how to make it better.


So what’s coming up next for me then?

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. Niki’s Death Korps of Krieg
  3. Stormcast Eternals Judicators with Boltstorm Crossbows x 10
  4. Necron Night Scythe
  5. Blackstone Fortress Beastmen x 6
  6. Sylas Beastbane, Leena Stormspire, Astreia Solbright & Berek the Indomitable
  7. Necron Lychguard with Warscythes x 5
  8. Death Korps of Krieg Infantry Squad x 10
  9. Stormcast Eternals Vindictors x 10
  10. Legio Custodes Pallas Grav-Attack x 2

What I Am Reading

I am now about halfway through Target Kree, which is pretty good thus far if a bit fighty.

I also finished the audiobook of Mortis which was very good as the prose version was.

What Video Games Am I Playing

I decided to split the What Am I Playing section up, to try and force me to play more tabletop games and get more focused on my video games.

So I am going to start streaming games again, The Witcher is going to feature a little bit but I have decided to work through a list, which you can see below.

  1. Bioshock Infinite
  2. Assassins Creed
  3. Borderlands
  4. Assassins Creed 2
  5. Horizon Zero Dawn

So I will start streaming Bioshock Infinite as of Tuesday.

What Tabletop Games Am I Playing

Sadly none 🙁

What Am I Creating

The stream upgrade video is almost done and will be published this week!

What Am I Backing

I completed the backer kit for Isle of Cats.

And I am backing AB Con, because it’s something I want to see grow and become successful.

Also backing the Assassins Creed Orlog game, because it looks really cool!

What I Am Cooking

I wash supposed to help Megan cook dirty rice, however we had to do an emergency application to renew her Blue Badge so I did that whilst she cooked.


A Few Gloomy Weeks

The past few weeks have been very poor for me mood wise, the temperature, and generally other life anxieties have got me very glum.

Not the mention the two times the Covid App has pinged me and made me self-isolate.

When thinking about it, I haven’t been right since the chair broke, I think that really knocked my confidence, the way Lindsay and another friend said it was my own fault it happened. Made me feel like an idiot and a fat mess, and I haven’t been really able to feel very happy since then.

I am gonna try and sort myself out though, and I am actually gonna buy a decent chair at some point in the future.

Dominion

Finally got Dominion, I know it’s had a mixed response, but I have been looking forward to this box so much!

I picked it up at a Midnight launch along with a copy of the Generals Handbook, and the three new paints!

I have gotten the Stormcast side all built and plan to get them painted as soon as possible.

I am not sure what I will do with the Greenskin side, I already have some Ironjawz from Mortal Realms, so I am thinking a Big Waaagh!!! army with elements from all three major tribes of Orruks.

The Kruleboyz don’t really do it for me that much, but aspects of them are quite cool.

3D Printer

This month I acquired a 3D Printer, a Monoprice MP Mini SLA, a resin printer, when I was actually banned from buying one!

Anyway it’s a lovely little machine and only cost me £50, but it a great little starter machine.

I got it set up where the Inkjet printer used to go in the studio, alongside a curing chamber.

I did print some skeletons but they didn’t come out all that well, but I haven’t had the confidence to try again, I might do this week.

Streaming Setup

Thanks to sponsors, I have made some major upgrades to my streamings setup, so much of setup has been replaced, upgraded or added to its unreal.

Got a video about that coming hopefully Friday!

What I Am Modelling

Painted a Vulturax for my 30k Mechanicum army.

Came together really quickly and a part of me is kinda wondering if it needs something more.

After that I painted myself a Squad of Krieg Infantry for myself.

And then I painted the big Ork himself, Makari and his pal Gazkhull Thraka.

I then worked on some Evocators and a Lord-Arcanum on Celestial Dracolines.

I then began to work on some Dreadnoughts for my Custodes. Starting with a Venerable Contemptor.

Followed by a Telemon, which is fully magnetised, along with one of each gun and two Caestus close combat weapons.

And I finished up with the Contemptor-Aquilius.

I am gonna paint the Grimghast Reapers x 10 & Garkorr next for an easy win.


  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. Niki’s Death Korps of Krieg
  3. Flesh-Eater Court Crypt-Flayers x 3
  4. Stormcast Eternals Judicators with Boltstorm Crossbows x 10
  5. Necron Canoptek Wraiths x 6
  6. Nighthaunt Grimghast Reapers x 10 & Garkorr
  7. Blackstone Fortress Beastmen x 6
  8. Sylas Beastbane, Leena Stormspire & Berek the Indomitable
  9. Necron Lychguard with Warscythes x 5
  10. Death Korps of Krieg Infantry Squad x 10

What I Am Reading

Very slow, the whole depression feeling down thing has gotten me struggling to read, so I have only read a little bit of Target Kree by Stuart Moore.

And I have gotten most of the way through the audiobook of Mortis and should finish that in the next few days.

What I Am Playing

No tabletop games, just some video games, which has mostly been Forza Horizon 4.

I have managed to buy Bamburgh Castle and have now reached level 200.

What I Am Creating

I have published a new episode of Edge of Empire, and have plans for some new episodes of The Hobby Studio.

And I published a video of an unboxing and review of an adaptor to allow you to use GameCube and Wii/Wii U Classic controllers with PC and Switch.

What I Am Backing

I backed the GURPS 2021 PDF Challenge, which successfully funded.

And I am now in the pledge manager for The Isle of Cats: Don’t Forget the Kittens, and have selected what I want.

I am giving serious thoughts to backing Orlog, the Assassins Creed dice game.

What I Am Cooking

I tried to cook something tonight, but the anxiety over getting it wrong ended with me throwing up, and we ordered in a pizza instead.


The Devourer Below

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Arkham Horror book The Devourer Below edited by Charlotte Llewelyn-Wells, published by Aconyte Books, so here is the honest review I promised in exchange for the book.

Stories in this collection are written by Evan Dicken, Georgina Kamsika, Thomas Parrott, Josh Reynolds, David Annadale, Davide Mana & Cath Lauria.

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.

Also I am friends with a couple of the authors on social media, not that we are close friends, for them its probably about connecting with fans rather than wanting to be my pal!

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 Arkham Horror

Anyway that put to one side, let’s look at this book, by first looking at the game Arkham Horror which is a cooperative game, originally designed by Richard Launius, and is now in its third edition which was released in 2019.

It’s published by Fantasy Flight Games, a subsidiary of Asmodee, and is set in 1926 in the town of Arkham, Massachusetts. Each player takes on the role of an investigator, who are working to stop the Ancient Ones, eldritch horrors which lurk in the void beyond space and time.

It’s a 1-6 player game and you work together to gather clues and defeat the evil of the Ancient Ones and save the world.

As I said I haven’t actually played Arkham Horror but I do own its spin off Elder Sign the cooperative dice game.

The Story

Like the rest of the Arkham Horror novels, its set in the 1920s, and this collection of short stories all feature characters from the upcoming new revised edition of the Arkham Horror Card Game Core Set.

So lets look at each story one by one and I will give you some brief thoughts on them.

Running the Night Whiskey – Evan Dicken

This story is about Leo, a war veteran who runs into an old comrade in arms and gets himself involved with a bootlegging run with very sinister consequences.

This story was fantastic to open the book as it really did have a loveable protagonist who whilst a bit naughty, but very loveable.

The story has hints of horror that finally culminate in an ending which is quite eldritch, and sets up the rest of what’s to come very nicely.

Shadows Dawning – Georgina Kamsika

Lita Chandler, a recent widower whose husband was murdered by cultists, is desperately trying to get revenge.

The story wasn’t big on horror as the others, but was interesting to read as Lita seemed to get more and more desperate as the story went on, there was a real sense that she had lost all control of herself in her desire for vengence.

You really do find yourself rooting for her.

The Hounds Below – Josh Reynolds

This is in my opinion the strongest story in the collection as a journalist, Holsten manages to convince the doctors at Arkham Asylum to let him interview Mr Drew, a war veteran with a particularly gruesome compulsion.

This story is very sinister and chilling as we slowly hear the backstory of Mr Drew and his decent into depravity and madness. The ending is very intense and an extremely horrific twist, a real page turner.

Labyrinth – Thomas Parrott

This is part one of a two parter and is the most unique of the stories, being the telling of a story from Greek Antiquity in a Lovecraftian way.

Joe Diamond is trying to save the life of an innocent girl and his research leads him to find a connection to the myths of the Minotaur from Greek myths, and its very horror filled.

The time jump was a bit weird, and this finish left me a little confused, but the second part resolved that issue, but it would have been nice if it was clear that this was a two part story as that wasn’t clear to me.

Its a really solid story and shows that the world of the Cthulhu mythos isn’t confined to a small part of New England.

All my Friends are Monsters – Davide Mana

This is one of my favourite stories as it sees the morgue worker, Ruth Turner find herself blackmailed into helping sinister and dark forces when her other life of cross-dressing, speakeasy visits and a queer relationship is discovered.

This is a tragic tale of how Ruth slowly finds herself getting involved deeper and deeper with the cult. Its a deeply engaging tale and you find yourself rooting for her and Charlie.

The plot is in my opinion the most engaging in the book and it got me hooked more so than the others.

The Darkling Woods – Cath Lauria

This is an okay story, but I found it less engaging than the others simply because it felt so obvious in its nature.

The characters didn’t speak to me and the plot felt rather forced.

But it was really well written and cleverly crafted story, I just couldn’t connect with it, and I felt it lacked the same horror as the other stories, but that was just me and I am sure others will feel differently.

Professor Warren’s Investiture – David Annandale

This story shows how easy it is to succumb to darkness and evil, as they say the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

In this story Professor Warren has been working on a book about the occult for the past two decades, mocked by his colleagues at Miskatonic University, when a mysterious woman approaches him at the library and offers him all the occult secrets he ever desired.

Professor Warren feelings of anger and humiliation come through quite well and this story really does show how he was susceptible to the approach of the cultists.

Its a very interesting story in the way it plays with your emotions, you sympathise with Professor Warren, but at the same time are horrified by his choices.

Sins in the Blood – Thomas Parrott

The conclusion to Labyrinth and sees Joe Diamond team up with a waitress called Agness to save the life of Nadia.

I enjoyed this one, the pacing was just right and it built upon very solid foundations from the first part with the characters involved in a race against time and cultists to prevent Nadias life being taken by a horror of the old times.

My only negative comment about this story is that Joe kind of got overshadowed by Agness, despite his being the hero of sorts, perhaps had Agness been involved in the first story that would have felt better. But they had to do a lot to shoehorn her and her story into the limited time she featured.

Conclusion

This was a very enjoyable and creepy book, a lot of emotions were played with and some fantastic characters to root for, or be horrified by.

There were of course stories I enjoyed more than others, but in general they complimented each other very well and built a general idea about the particular cult who form the antagonists in this collection.

The length of each story was just right and allowed me to dip in and out over a couple of days, making it a very very easy to read book.

Its a good primer for the general idea of Lovecraftian horror and sets up the card game very well, potentioally giving you new insight to the characters you will play with.

The editing I would add is extremely good, other than the slight confusion about the two partner, nothing feels off, and the stories flow very nicely from one to another.

A good balanced anthology that leaves you wanting more.

5 out of 5 Stars


The eBook is out on the 6th July and the paperback on September 2nd.


Helsreach

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Black Library Masterworks book Helsreach by Aaron Dembski-Bowden published by Black Library, 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 am also friends with Aaron on Facebook, but I suspect that’s more about him connecting with fans rather than being a big fan of mine!

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 Warhammer 40,000

Warhammer 40,000 is a miniatures Wargame set in the 41st Millennium and published by Games Workshop. It is the worlds most popular miniature Wargame.

In the 40k universe, the Imperium of Man, a stagnant human empire in which scientific and cultural progress have ceased, individuals matter very little and exist only to oil the machines of war.

The Imperium is under siege from the forces of Chaos, and various Xenos races.

The setting owes a lot to the influence of Lovecraft, Tolkien, Milton, Herbert and a lot of 2000 AD with a sprinkling of 1980s political satire.

It’s a setting in which there is little hope and is often described as being Grimdark after the marketing line, in the Grim Darkness of the Future, There Is Only War.

The Story

This story is set during the third war for Armageddon and focuses on as the title implies, the Siege of Helsreach.

The Third War for Armageddon saw this cursed world, invaded by Orks lead by the Beast, Ghazghkull Mag Uruk Thraka (an example of some of Games Workshops 1980s satire).

Helsreach is an important port and promethium refinery on the Tempest Sea, and is defended by forces of the Armageddon Steel Legion, the titans of Legio Invigilata, sisters of the Order of the Argent Shroud and a small force of Black Templars lead by newly promoted Reclusiarch Merek Grimaldus.

This story explores the events that lead to Grimaldus attaining the tile of Hero of Helsreach, as originally told in Codex: Armageddon back in the days of 3rd Edition in 2000.

The story is told from multiple points of view, not only Grimaldus, but also includes Zarha Mancion the Crone of Invigilata, and possibly one of the funniest and most charming characters in all of 40k, Andrej Valatok.

The story is one of defiance in the face of hopeless odds, the characters all know they will lose, they questions is how long can they last before they succumb to the endless stampede of the Orks. As plots go, it’s pretty straightforward.

Conclusion

Helsreach is a masterpiece, and I am going to be honest, I am a huge fan of Aaron, he is able to conjure up an emotional response from a book whose main focus is on Dakka.

The book was originally published under the Space Marines Battles banner, books who generally were considered to be Bolter Porn, but in reality they were often a lot more than that. This book, the second in the series, very much set the standard of being action based books, that could be well written and emotionally evocative.

There is an interaction at the end of the book, which will make you weep for the character, it’s honestly one of the best written character arcs in all of Black Library fiction, despite it being relatively short.

If you have previously dismissed fiction as action books for teenage boys, I would strongly suggest you give this novel a read, ok you need a little bit of background to 40K to understand some stuff, but only a very surface level amount, but it’s well worth a read.

Seriously Aaron has yet to write a bad book, this was only his second Black Library novels and there is a very good reason he is considered one of the greatest writers ever signed up by Games Workshop.

5 out of 5 Stars


Helsreach is available now as an eBook, MP3 Audiobook and Hardback as a Masterworks.

eBook

Audiobook

Hardback


Resolution Update

This month I got up to 778 painted models, and even unveiled my secret Iron Warriors project.

So how do my New Years resolutions stand?

Paint 2000 Points of Necrons for Warhammer 40,000 – 87.5% Complete

This month I got painted a unit of immortals with Guass Blasters and a some Lychguard with Hyperphase Swords and Dispersion Shields.

As well as two Crypteks

With the changes to points for 40K via Chapter Approved, I have had to update my list slightly.


Paint 2000 Points of Flesh-Eater Courts for Warhammer Age of Sigmar – 38.5%

This month I painted a 20 Ghoul unit of Crypt-Ghouls to add to the army.

Of course numbers here are going to change due to the new edition of the game coming out in a few days time.

Bring My Mechanicum to 3000 Points for Horus Heresy, Including The Warhound Titan – 37.99% Complete

I have added to the army this month four Castellax to the army, two armed with Mauler Bolt Cannons and two with Darkfire Cannons.

I also added a Vultarax as well, to give the force some air support.

Paint Blackstone Fortress And It’s Expansions – 11.25% Complete 

I started this resolution this month by building the Explorers from the Core game and Escalation, as well as the Chaos Space Marines and Obsidius Mallex.

Completed Resolutions 

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

So what’s my list look like going into next month?

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. Niki’s Death Korps of Krieg
  3. Stormcast Eternals Evocators on Celestial Dracolines x 6 & Lord Arcanum on Celestial Dracoline
  4. Custodes Venerable Contemptor Dreadnought, Telemon Dreadnought & Contemptor-Aquilius
  5. Flesh-Eater Courts Crypt Flayers x 3
  6. Stormcast Eternals Judicators with Boltstorm Crossbows x 10
  7. Necron Canoptek Wraiths x 6
  8. Nighthaunt Grimghast Reapers x 5 & Garkorr
  9. Blackstone Fortress Beastmen x 6
  10. Sylas Beastbane, Leena Stormspire & Berek the Indomitable

A Need To Focus

I am out of whack, I am once again left without focus in life.

I won’t lie, Lindsay moving back to the studio has majority thrown me off balance just as I had things figured out and a proper schedule going on.

I love her being back in there, but I cannot deny it’s thrown me a lot. but I absolutely wouldn’t change the situation for the world.

So to try and refocus myself this next month, I am going to try and stream for at least an hour a day, starting tomorrow.

I have to get back into the swing of things and this is the way I will do it, no schedule other than Monday and Friday, just something bet it video games or painting.

Speaking of the studio, we did do some sorting out this weekend, we put up another corner shelf, moved another shelf and put up some pictures, it looks rather nice again in Lindsay corner.

What I Am Modelling

This week has been slow thanks to the heat, which I don’t do well in.

But I started off with a couple more Explorers for Blackstone Fortress, Espern Locarno and Aradia Madellan.

And then on Friday because I needed an easy win, I painted up a unit of Lychguard and Kamoteph the Crooked.

This was followed by Dahyak Grekh and Amallyn Shadowguide.

And then I was able to finish off Rein & Raus.

And finally the two Rogue Traders, Neyam Shai Murad and Janus Drake.

I am now currently working on a Vulturax and Gazkhull Thraka & Makari


So what’s up next?

  1. Zone Mortalis Terrain
  2. Death Korps of Krieg For Niki
  3. Gazkhull Thraka & Makari
  4. Death Korps of Krieg Infantry Unit x 10
  5. Stormcast Eternals Evocators on Celestial Dracolines x 6 & Lord Arcanum on Celestial Dracoline
  6. Custodes Venerable Contemptor Dreadnought, Telemon Dreadnought and Contemptor-Aquilius
  7. Mechanicum Vulturax
  8. Flesh-Eater Courts Crypt Flayers x 3
  9. Stormcast Eternals Judicators with Boltstorm Crossbow x 10
  10. Necron Canoptek Wraiths x 6

What I Am Reading

I am now reading Helsreach by Aaron Dembski-Bowden for a review for Black Library.

It’s been a long time since I first read it, and I am remembering a lot of details I forgot, it’s a great story.

Also still listening to the audiobook of Mortis by John French.

What I Am Playing

Mostly still just playing Forza Horizon 4, and haven’t really played anything else at all.

What I Am Backing

The Isle of Cats Kittens and Beasts campaign successfully funded and I am only in for £1 so I can get access to the Pledge Manager.

What I Am Creating

Noting, but plans are afoot!

What I Am Cooking

Not a sausage this week 🙁

Just been in too much pain.


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.


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