Author: michael Page 1 of 51

Prepping for Rabbits

Megan spoke to me and Lindsay the other week about how she has been feeling since we moved, anyway long and short we are adopting a pair of rabbits!

Currently known as Harvey and Hudson, they are being renamed Perrigrin Took and Angron Eater of Cables!

So this past week and a bit has been taken up with the task of rabbit proofing, rabbits are utter hoodlums and will chew any fucking thing.

So all the cables are being sheathed in protective coverings, the board game units are getting doors for the bottom shelves and a couple of extension cables are going into boxes.

Tomorrow Megans mum is coming round and the cage will be built!

I like bunnies, but they are pains in the bum, just so bloody naughty!

What I Am Modelling

I started the week by painting the Lord Castellan for Shadows Over Hammerhal and his trusty Gryph-Hound.

Followed by the Darkoath Warchief, I love the whole Darkoath aesthetic and I tell you, if they ever made a whole army of Darkoath, I would be on it like a tramp on chips!

After this it was the Excelsior Warpriest and his mini Gryph-Hound.

After that came a trio of Aelves, a Loremaster, Sorceress and a Black Ark Fleetmaster.

After this came the last two Silver Tower heroes, the Mistweaver Siah and the Tenebrael Shard.

And I got the Grey Seer painted up!

All I am left with now for Warhammer Quest in terms of Heroes is a Skink Priest, but I need a few paints for that, so it’s gonna wait a week or too.

I then quickly painted up a trio of Havana Destroyers for the UCM fleet.

And finally I got finished a Blood Angels Repulsor!


So what’s coming up next week?

  1. WHQ Skink Priest
  2. Templar Brethren x 10 & Land Raider Proteus
  3. Hobgrot Slittaz x 20
  4. Leagues of Votann Kâhl and Einhyr Champion
  5. The Crimson Court
  6. Ultramarines Lieutenants x 8
  7. Battle Sisters Squad x 10
  8. Ogroid Thaumaturge
  9. Killaboss x 2 & Stab Grot
  10. Drukhari Wyches x 10 & Succubus

What I Am Reading

Finished up The Veiled Masters by Tim Pratt, expect a review in the next couple of days.

I also read and finished Garro: Knight of Grey by Jim Swallow which was really good, if a bit bittersweet, a review will come this week!

And now I am onto The Flower Path by Josh Reynolds, a book I have been looking forward to for a while!

In terms of audiobooks, I listened to Sanguinius: The Great Angel by Chris Wraight.

What Tabletop Games I Am Playing

Played a game of Horus Heresy against Graham on Tuesday, it was a close game and I must admit my Dreadnought killing his Sicaran Punishers was beautiful!

A lot of it came down to my army having a lot of units which just gave up kill points and Graham managing to grab First Blood.

What Video Games Am I Playing

A little bit of The Witcher 3 and that’s it.

What I Am Winning

Another piece of shovelware, I know they are crap but the dopamine hit from winning is cool, anyway now I have The Jumping Muffin for PlayStation.

I also won a copy of Assetto Corsa Competizione for the PS5, which was nice, and certainly not shovelware!

And on Friday I won a copy of Eternal Threads on Steam!

Won my first book since the return to comping, My (Extra) Ordinary Life by Rebecca Ryan.

Not my cup of tea, but right up Megan’s street!


A Spicy Take That Shouldn’t Be Spicy

This shouldn’t be controversial, but I know some people will choose to unfollow/unfriend me for this, but it needs to be said.

No one should buy or play Hogwarts Legacy, if you claim to be an LGBTQ+ ally.

If you buy the game, or play it, then please, stop describing yourself as an ally, because when it comes down to brass tacks, you ain’t.

JK Rowling has a verifiable and blatant history of transphobia and she uses her money and influences to spread hate and bigotry against our trans friends.

If you are asking for examples, well I am gonna be honest, fuck off, they are super clear, there are numerous articles and examples and if you can’t see that, then most likely you are a piece of shit yourself.

Any purchases or streaming of the game, only benefits her, it makes her richer and allows her to do more evil.

And no, donating money to charity doesn’t make it ok, because you still give her publicity and money.

Listen to your trans and queer friends, do not buy the fucking wizard game!

You might wonder why I care, given that I am not trans, well simple I have a lot of trans friends, and I care about them.

Also, if you take Joke Rolling and her dreadful GC posses proposals, that makes me not a man.

My sez chromosomes are not XY, they are XYY, I am, to be blunt, not a standard cis male

And under the arguments put forward by the GC lunatics, I wouldn’t be allowed to use men’s toilets, because my DNA isn’t “normal”.

But there are a lot of bodies out there that don’t fit the XY/XX binary, not all of our DNA matches what we feel we are, it know ourselves to be.

If we were to mandate ridiculous DNA based classifications of gender, what happens to women with Turner Syndrome (XY) or Swyer Syndrome?

Or if we start down the inspection of peoples gender characteristics, where does a lass with Congenital Adrenal Hyperplasia go to take a leak?

The truth is, that there are no perverts wanting to go through the process of attaining a GRC to assault anyone, why, that’s an utterly ridiculous idea.

If a sexual predator is going to attack you, they don’t need a GRC to enter the women’s toilets, this isn’t Hogwarts where men will be magically blocked from entering without a GRC.

Just give you head a wobble, either be an ally, or don’t be.

Don’t try and dress up your decision to buy a game which contributes to transphobia and helps the creator of the IP work to against LGBTQ+ rights.

Oh and the other argument, the devs got paid a salary, they aren’t waiting hungry having worked for years with no pay, they got paid.A

And frankly, if they are happy having their name in the credits of this game, knowing the harm that she does, well, I have little sympathy for them.

Anyway that’s my take, I understand it’s spicy, but frankly it’s shouldn’t be, this should be the accepted standard, be an ally, don’t be a piece of shit and try to justify making a decision that goes against being an ally.

What I Am Modelling

I started off by painting my UCM Vancouvers for Dropfleet Commander.

And then painted up a squad of Intercessors plus a few spares for my Ultramarines.

I then started on the Heroes for Warhammer Quest, with the Knight-Questor being finished first.

A pair of Chaos Sorcerer Lords came next, one from Shadows Over Hammerhall and one from the Silver Tower Arcane Heroes.

After that came a quartet of Duardin, the Auric Runemaster, Doomseeker, Cogsmith and Grombrindal.

And finally I completed the Magistar

On the desk right now is the Lord Castellant, Excelsior Warpreist, Darkoath Chieftain and two Grpyh-Hounds.


So whats coming up next?

  1. Warhammer Quest Heroes
  2. Blood Angels Repulsor
  3. Templar Brethren x 10
  4. Hobgrot Slittaz x 20
  5. Leagues of Votann Kâhl & Einhyr Champion
  6. The Crimson Court
  7. Ultramarines Lieutenants x 8
  8. Battle Sisters Squad x 10
  9. Ogroid Thaumaturge
  10. Killaboss x 2 & Stab Grot

What I Am Reading

I listened to The Holy Terror by Robert Shearman, which was pretty good if a bit surreal, I forgot the time when the Doctors companion was a talking penguin!

I then listened to The Mutant Phase by Nicholas Briggs which was pretty good, an interesting take on a time paradox.

After that I churned through the audiobook of Cthonia’s Reckoning, I have read the book, but needed something to listen to whilst painting and this was on the list.

Not the best Horus Heresy book, but not the worst.

After that my continuing journey into Doctor Who lead me to Storm Warning by Alan Barnes, the first 8th Doctor audio!

I am now listening to Sanguinius: The Great Angel by Chris Wraight.

I reviewed Age of the Undead by C.L. Werner, which you can read here.

I spent time reading The Veiled Masters by Tim Pratt and I am not making as much progress as I’d like, but I am getting there!

What Video Games I Am Playing

A but if time playing The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt and a game of Carcassonne on the Switch is about all I did this week!

What I Am Winning

Won a copy of Dolmen before Christmas in a Twitter competition, and it turned up on Tuesday.

I also won Crazy Athletics for Steam as well, so that could be fun.

I also won a €5 credit for Steam on Twitter.

And on Saturday I won, The Jumping Salad, honestly sounds like crap, but hey, I’ll take it!

I also won a copy of Doom Eternal, but I had already gotten a copy of that in my library from Humble Choice, so that was donated to my brother in law.

What I Am Spending

I bought myself a Land Raider Proteus for my Imperial Fists, I need two of these, so one this month and one next month.

I also purchased a trio of Havana Destroyers to add to my UCM fleets, which will actually be built as Havannas.

Bought myself a few games, this months Humble Choice came with Doom Eternal, Tribes of Midgard, Encased, OlliOlli World, Grow: Song of the Evertree, Conan Chop Chop, Hokko Life and The Serpent Rogue.

Plus I got Space Wolf: Special Edition from Fanatical which had a bunch of the DLC for just £1, code for the main game was given the a friend and I kept the DLC codes,

And cause I am a sucker, I paid £1.89 and got two mystery keys, got two games I already had, but not on Steam, Doom 64 and Stubbs the Zombie in Rebel without a Pulse.

Having seen it on sale for £3 I decided to keep expanding my Doom collection with the 2016 Doom game, along with Micro Machines World Series.

I redeemed them because in the future I hope to get a Steam Deck and I can’t ever see GOG, Amazon or Epic offering their launchers on that device whilst still maintaining things like cloud saves, so if it’s possible, I am trying to only buy games on Steam now to future proof as it were.

I grabbed a sticker bomb pack of Sonic stickers, I only really wanted a couple to add to my task lamp, but it was cheaper to buy a big pack, but whatever!

I saw Taco, Hat, Gift, Cake, Pizza in Aldi the other day, so I grabbed it cause Lindsay was keen on a copy.

And I added to the studios greenery with a third fake plant for the little bit on the stairs, which the girls lovingly went to IKEA to pick up for me.


Age of the Undead

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Zombicide: Black Plague book, Age of the Undead by C.L. Werner, 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 Mr Werner 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 Zombicide

Zombicide is a co-op adventure game set in a post zombie apocalyptic world, created by Guillotine Games and published by CMON.

Its someone of a Kickstarter success story and Black Plague is the standalone fantasy/medieval spinoff, but alas I do not own this version of the game.

The Story

The story sees a plague of the undead sweep over the land, and survivor of a battle against the horde, Alaric von Mertz, returns home to find its fallen to the ravenous zombies.

Swearing revenge on the necromancer responsible for his families deaths, he joins up with a rogueish thief, a witch hunter, a wizard, an Orc, a master dualist and a dwarven demolitions expert, as they make their way to a city, where they hope to find answers.

Unfortunately, the city has also fallen, and they find themselves drawn into a quest to maintain the protections for a refuge of survivors, by raiding the vault of the fortress of the cities branch of witch hunters.

But the undead lurk in every corner of the city!

Conclusion

The first thing that drew me into this book was the cover, its absolutely amazing, with World of Warcraft/Pathfinder vibes that just made me so keen to read it.

This story reads very much like a D&D campaign, and its just works so well, a group of misfits, forced to work together, despite mistrust and some bad history, as they kick down doors, kill the undead and loot the treasure.

Sounds daft, but it does read like that, but its not a bad thing, its so enjoyable to read, because it reminds me of so many nights as a 14 year old, drinking Virgin Cola and eating Wotsits in my pals bedroom as me and my friends delve into dungeons to complete an epic quest!

My only criticism, is that at times, the witch hunter, felt very much like the same character type from Warhammer books, and perhaps thats just me being more familiar with those books and the authors long history of writing in that IP that makes me associate his style with it.

Look, just go buy this book, its just such a kick arse read and I was super happy to get the opportunity to read it.

5 out of 5 Stars!


Age of the Undead is out now as a paperback, ebook and audiobook!

Happy New Year

Ok well 2023 is here and I am really hoping it it’s not gonna be the massive bag of dicks that 2020, 2021 and 2022 were, I really want this to be a better year.

I have planned out some resolutions and ideas I want to carry out, which you can see here.

For New Years Eve I spent a couple of hours at Paul’s, but the damn cold/flu has still kicked my arse and I am struggling with spending time out of the house for far too long.

So I returned home and played some The Witcher 3.

New Years Day we went to Megan’s parents and had a roast dinner, but the ill left me barely conscious for most of it.

A Less Ideal Bit

Sadly our street saw a murder this week, and a fella was purposefully run over, we ended up stuck in the house for two days unable to leave as the whole street was a crime scene.

It’s left us all a bit shaken, I mean it’s the last thing you expect, but it is what it is.

What I Am Modelling

I started off by painting the Lord Veritant for the Stormcast Eternals, need to sort out a list for the AoS Weekender for them.

After which I painted the Contemptor Dreadnought, for my Imperial Fists.

I then painted up a pair of apothecaries for the Imperial Fists too!

I then painted up Sigismund to lead my Imperial Fists in the great battles of the Horus Heresy.

And finally I finished up the Land Raider Spartan for the Imperial Fists!

I am currently preparing to work on a squad of Ultramarines Intercessors for my 2023 Resolution army.


So what’s coming up next week?

  1. Ultramarines Intercessors x 8
  2. Silver Tower Heroes
  3. Blood Angels Repulsor
  4. Templar Brethren x 10
  5. Hobgrot Slittaz x 20
  6. Kâhl & Einhyr Champion
  7. The Crimson Court
  8. Ultramarines Lieutenants x 8
  9. Battle Sisters Squad x 10
  10. UCM Vancouvers x 3

What I Am Reading

I published a review for The Siege of X-41 by Tristan Palmgren which you can read here.

And a review of Stars and Stripes by Sean Grisby and Stewart Hotson which you can read here.

I read Age of the Undead by C. L. Werner and that’s was alright, a review will come next week.

I have since started on The Veiled Masters by Tom Pratt and i have read one chapter thus

I did listen to the audio book of Hostile Takeover by David Liss and it was okay, it was fine just not up to the standards of the Aconyte novels.

What Video Games I Am Playing

New Years Eve I started my new play through of The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt Complete Edition with the next-gen update.

So far I have logged 4.9 hours.

What I Am Winning

I won a copy of the model railway game, Blocks Tracks Trains, which looks fairly cool.

I won a copy of The Jumping Cookie on PlayStation, so that was cool!

I also won a copy of Wobbledogs on Steam, which is cool.

I also won a copy of The Whisperer, which looks like a cool game.

A copy of Theatre of War was also won!

And for Xbox I won a copy of Silenced: The House.

What I Am Spending

I bought a little tool kit for electronics, specifically for the Nintendo Switch Triwing bit.

Megans stocking had a new shell for a Joycon, in her favourite colour, purple!

So this means in the house we will have a Joycon in the favourite colours of myself (green), Lindsay (pink), Paul (blue) and now Megan!

I also picked up some Command Strips to help me mount a few things on the wall, specifically an extension lead for Megan’s dressing table so she can easily use her hair straightens and hair dryer.

Plus it means at long last we can mount her Hue Light Strip, all 3 meters of it.

On Friday, from a yet to be announced sponsor, a new webcam, the Elgato Facecam, which really has elevated my setup above and beyond what the Logitech C920 did!

Really happy with this bit of kit, it required a bit of work on my set up, but damn it looks good now in OBS

Stars & Stripes

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Watch Dogs novel Stars & Stripes by Sean Grigsby and Stewart Hotston, 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 Watch Dogs

Watch Dogs is an action-adventure game franchise, published by Ubisoft, and there have been three games published since 2014, the most recent being Watch Dogs Legion, published in late 2020.

Watch Dogs feature protagonists who are hackers working against criminal underworlds, corrupt companies and rival hackers.

The Story

Stars & Strips follows the protagonist of the original game and is set between the events of that game and Watch Dogs Legion.

Whilst completing a job in Baltimore, Adrian Pierce is forcibly recruited by a shadowy government agent to investigate the hijacking of a transport full of transhuman augmentations!

Forced to work with Jordi Chin, he quickly finds himself in the middle of a conspiracy, that reaches all the way to the White House, as the mysterious Stripes, a white supremacist group look to seize power and enforce their racist xenophobic and backwards agenda on the country.

Conclusion

Well, what can I say the book has lots of character, and the character development of Pierce, is way more than was in the original game!

The book has a very uncomfortable plot as it is basically very much an examination of the culture wars and racism that has seized US politics, as the villains are a group that’s very familiar, they are “patriots” with more in common with groups like the Proud Boys, KKK, Britain First, and the Oath Keepers.

So yeah lots of examination of racism and hatred as a form of patriotism, and I am not gonna lie, it was delightful to see them get what they deserved.

This is a great book, its pacing was just right, I mean its one of the best paced books I have read in a long time, and I really couldn’t put it down and read it very quickly!

I am gonna have to give this wild of a book, an easy 5 out of 5 stars!


Stars & Stripes is available now as a paperback, eBook and audiobook!

The Siege of X-41

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new School of X book The Siege of X-41, written by Tristan Palmgren, and 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 these things cloud my judgement in this review, but I accept that subconsciously it might.

What is Marvel

Look at this point I would bore you with a bit of background to the game/universe, but lets not, you all know the Marvel Universe, if you don’t have you been living under a rock!

The School of X novel series is focused on the heroes that attend Xavier’s Institute and their adventures and the books in the series thus far have focuses on what would very much be considered b-list heroes, which is good because it allows the authors to do a lot more with the characters than they would be able to do with more established heroes.

The Stories

This story picks up a few threads from previous books, specifically, Liberty & Justice for All by Carrie Harris (still need to read this, missed it on Netgallery, but I have bought it since), First Team by Robbie MacNiven, and Outlaw: Relentless by Tristan Palmgren (interestingly part of the Heroines series instead of School of X/Xavier’s Institue, so a nice shared universe being built up).

So this is kind of the culmination of those stories, with things like Anole adjusting to his new arm, and Josh, now known as Elixir, dealing with his fellow students knowing that before he discovered his powers, he was an anti-mutant thug.

These two are the main characters, and to be honest, there is a huge acknowledgement of the fact that their experiences in the previous stories, has left them with mental trauma and struggling to deal with the emotional fallout of kidnapped family members and being held as a slave.

The story sees a team of students, being sent down to X-41, a deep-sea outpost built to assist in the relationship between the Atlanteans of Namor, and the mutants under Charles Xavier. The outpost has been out of use for a while and needs maintenance.

Shortly after arrival, they find themselves under attack by a group of vampiric Atlanteans who relentlessly attack the station, eventually leaving them stranded and trapped at the bottom of the sea, with no way to return to the surface, or communicate with the X-Men.

But things start to go wrong, and it seems like the team is being sabotaged from within!

Conclusion

There is a great continuity in the Aconyte Marvel novels, and I think that good planning and excellent editing, has created a tight, consistent feel to the universe that Aconytes, sadly now former, publicity referred to as Earth 616-Aconyte, just slightly removed from the main Earth 616 with a few differences to make the novels work as a series.

So I am gonna hope that this level of attention of detail is kept up and maintained, because something that Marvel has failed at over the decades, is prose novels, and I really think they are on to a good thing here.

I just listened to The Extinction Key and now listening to Hostile Takeover, and if I am frank, the quality of these video game tie-in novels, is a huge world apart from the Aconyte books.

So turning to this specific book, and its a really cool idea, take two characters, who, frankly hate each other, force them into a small confided space, and throw in some horror!

This story, reminded me greatly of The Thing, in the way the isolation and hostile environment play such a major part in the story, its a really good mix.

The protagonists start off as fairly unlikable, Josh in particular was hard to sympathise with, and Anoles deep hatred of Josh combined with his trauma made him difficult to understand, but as the story wore on, and the situation became more dire, they are both forced to work together and overcome their mutual hatred.

I am gonna give the story 5 stars, its a really good plot and an awesome reward if you have been reading the other novels!


The Siege of X-41 is out now as a paperback and eBook!

Resolutions for 2023

Well my resolutions for 2022 were a disaster because of stuff in my personal life so let’s do 2023 and do it right!

For all my painting resolutions, I will be using the Paintslam 2023 Hobby Log, I have used this before, but because of the disaster that was 2022, I kinda lost track.

You can download the log here!

So here are my resolutions

  • Build & Paint a 2000 Points Army of Drukhari
  • Build & Paint a 500 Points Combat Patrol of Genestealer Cultists
  • Build & Paint a 500 Points Combat Patrol of Tyranids
  • Bring my Primaris Ultramarines to 2000 Points
  • Bring my Orruk Warclans to 2000 Points
  • Build & Paint Two Gangs for Carnivale
  • Get my Weight to Under 100kg & Sustain it Below That
  • Publish One Battle Report a Month
  • Stream Twice a Week
  • Complete my 2023 VideoGameGeek Video Game Challenge
  • Read 40 Books
  • Get Edge of Empire Running Like a Well Oiled Machine
  • A Bimonthly RPG Night With the Polycule

Build & Paint a 2000 Points Army of Drukhari

This was gonna be a 500 points combat patrol, but I was just gifted a box with a fair few Drukhari models in it, so yeah, it’s gonna be a full army now.

Start with a Wych Cult, and build from there.

That I know right now, I have 10 Wyches and a Succubus unbuilt in the sprue, so let’s build them and see where we go!

Build & Paint a 500 Points Combat Patrol of Genestealer Cultists

I have a bunch of Genestealer Cultists from various box sets, starting with a set of Neophyte Hybrids, two sets of Acolyte Hybrids, a Kelermorph and a Acolyte Iconward.

So they are going to be made into a 500 point combat patrol to do Battle Reports with

Build & Paint a 500 Points Combat Patrol of Tyranids

I also have some Tyranids lying around, specifically, a Lictor, two Termagant Broods, two Broodlords, and two Genestealer Broods.

So out of that I should be able to build a basic 500 point combat patrol for battle reports.

Bring my Primaris Ultramarines to 2000 points

I already have 500 points painted, so looking to add 1500 points to the army.

Starting this week with a Squad of Intercessors, well 5 plus a random 2 and the 30th Anniversary Primaris Sgt.

Bring my Orruk Warclans to 2000 Points

I already have a few Ironjawaz done, and one mob of Gutrippas, so looking to add to those.

Next on the table are two mobs of Hobgrot Slittaz!

Build & Paint two Gangs for Carnivale

Rather simple, already have the models, just got to build and paint them!

The two gangs will be The Guild and Rashaar from the 2 player starter set, but I also plan to add the models from Escape from San Canciano, with a plan to do at least one Carnivale battle report this year!

Get My Weight to Under 100kg & Sustain it Below That

A rare physical resolution for me, just want to get a little weight off is all, and keep it off, right now I am kinda between 111kg & 114kg.

Publish One Battle Report a Month

I enjoy doing Battle Reports, and I want to try and get properly focused on doing them regularly, probably initially at Combat Patrol sized.

Kinda thinking if aiming for 20th of the month or so to publish and I am busy planning the first one, which will be Ultramarines vs T’au Empire at 500 points.

Stream twice a week

I enjoy streaming, and I need to do it regularly and more often, so I am gonna get this sorted, with at least one video games, and one painting stream a week.

I will be carrying out some upgrades to the setup this year, the ones that are top of the list are to replace the Logitech C920, with a better camera, the favourite for that is the Elgato Facecam, its expensive, but considering the sheer amount of other Elgato stuff I have, it makes sense as its all designed to work together.

The second upgrade will be a third Elgato Keylight Air because that way I can have a hair light in every single one my configurations.

Complete my 2023 VideoGameGeek Video Game Challenge

I want to hjardcore 10 games this year as part of the 2023 VideoGameGeek Video Game Challenge, which means getting them all completed, and you can see my list here.

The list is :-

  1. The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt – Complete Edition (Steam) – In Progress
  2. Assassin’s Creed: The Ezio Collection (Xbox) – In Progress
  3. Control: Ultimate Edition (GOG)
  4. Borderlands (Switch)
  5. Assassin’s Creed III (Xbox)
  6. Tomb Raider (2013) (Steam)
  7. Marvel’s Avengers (PlayStation 5)
  8. Assassin’s Creed IV: Black Flag (Xbox)
  9. Death Stranding Directors Cut (Steam)
  10. Driver: Parallel Lines (Steam)

I have three alternatives, and they are:-

  1. Bayonetta (Steam)
  2. Disney’s Castle of Illusion Staring Mickey Mouse (Steam)
  3. Marvel’s Spider-Man (Steam)

Read 40 Books

Quite simple, read 40 books, but I am struggling if I should include audio books in this, I am conflicted.

With my brain damage, reading has proven difficult these past 18 months and I am way behind on my reading, and audio books are way way easier for me to process when the pain is bad, but I am admit to a degree of snobbery and I expect more of myself.

Get Edge of Empire Running Like a Well Oiled Machine

Sounds silly, but my disaster of a year has lead to Edge of Empire, not being run as smoothly, its taking me far too long to edit and publish.

And I need to sort out a proper social media policy and guidelines for the guys so we deliver a consistent message, and I get promo for each episode done right.

And actually talk to the guys about a couple of content requests we have had from Patreon.

A Bimonthly RPG Night With the Polycule

Simple enough, get us sat down together round a table once every other month at a minimum to play an RPG, not sure which way to go, Star Trek Adventures, D&D One (when it comes out), Warhammer 40,000: Wrath & Glory, Avatar Legends or Warhammer Age of Sigmer: Soulbound.

Either way we have agreed as a polycule to buy the Dungeons & Dragons Adventurer partworks to build up a way of getting us all back into RPGs slowly and competently.

There being 4 of us, it means we will be buying one issue each a month, and I will pay the additional cost per issue for the premium stuff, cause minis are cool!


Anyway that’s the plan, other things I am considering doing in the year, but these are more purchases I would like to make mostly.

  • Get my tool bag up to scratch and buy a new ratcheting screwdriver (the favourites for this are MegaPro Ratcheting 13-In-1 Multibit or the LTT Screwdriver) and a set of iFixt equipment to make repairs to electronics
  • Upgrade the home media server, which is currently a Raspberry Pi, to a an x64 based system and get Home Assistant up and running in the house to better link together our smart home stuff
  • Make the PLEX and AudioBookShelf services better organised and easier to use when away from home
  • Budget up and begin saving for a good NAS for the house
  • Upgrade my monitor to at least 1440p
  • Rearrange my budget to allow a subscription to PS+
  • Get under the desk and actually cable manage that disaster area properly!

Christmas!

Well Christmas happened, and I spent most of it ill, which wasn’t fun.

This cold/flu is kicking my arse and I just can’t shake it, it’s got my sleep cycle all to pot and taking away any pep I have.

Anyway I did enjoy Christmas, me and Lindsay went to Paul’s for Christmas dinner which was lovely.

Present wise, Megan got me a Lord Veritant for my Stormcast Eternals and Lindsay got me some Death Maidens and Wyld Runners for my Escher gang. I also got some tools off Paul which will come in lots of help, alongside a £15 Xbox voucher.

But alas most of it was spent dying in bed 🙁

What I Am Modelling

First up I painted up a Scout Squad for my Imperial Fists.

I then painted the T’au Cris Suit Team, and a Commander, all armed with lots of Plasma.


So what’s up next?

  1. Imperial Fists Contemptor Dreadnought
  2. Ultramarines Intercessors x 5
  3. Silver Tower Heroes
  4. Blood Angels Repulsor
  5. Templar Brethren x 10 & Sigismund
  6. Hobgrot Slittaz x 20
  7. Leagues of Votann Kâhl and Einhyr Champion
  8. The Crimson Court
  9. Ultramaines Lieutenants x 8
  10. Battle Sisters Squad x 10

What I Am Reading

I published a review of Shadow Avengers by Carrie Harris that you can read here.

I also consumed Planet Havoc by Tim Waggoner in more or less a single session, really really good book, my review is here.

I then started on Sword of the White Horse by Elsa Sjunneson, an Assassins Creed novel, and I demolished that as well, the review is here.

I then read some short stories starting with Harrowhand by Evan Dicken, which was a fun little story.

I then turned to Warhammer Horror and read Pain Engine by Chris Thursten which was a little predictable but still very creepy.

After that I hit up Somewhere Sister by Jeremy Lambert, which was fairly unsettling.

Next up was The Fields of Abundance by David Annandale, which was a lot of fun!

Then I read The Stacks by Chris Winterton which was quite scary and horrific!

Moving on, I read Sacred Hate by David Annandale, a fantastic little Word Bearers story, for a Legion I love so much!

After than It Bleeds by David Guymer was an interesting little story, very interesting World Eaters story that shows how hate can consume you and turn you into that which you loath.

Then it was A More Perfect Union by Rich McCormick, which was an interesting Emperors Childrens short.

Then it was The Shel’Tain Affair by Jude Reid, which was a really good story!

After that I started a full book with The Siege of X-41 by Tristan Palmgren, which I got finished fairly quickly, review coming next week.

Then I moved on to Stars & Stripes by Sean Grigsby and Stewart Hotson, review coming next week!

And then I started on Age of the Undead by C. L.Werner.

What I Am Creating

The final (probably) Edge of Empire episode of our 6th year was published and we delved into the Liber Imperium.

What I Am Winning

I won a copy of Warhammer 40,000 Darktide for Steam which was cool, alas I already owned it, so I gifted it to a member of the Edge of Empire Listeners Community in a contest of my own!

I also won a copy of Night of the Scissors on Steam too, which was really cool.

I also won a code for Cubic Parking for PS4, but the code was for Japan (sad face, make sure to read T&Cs) but I have a friend in Japan so the code was passed to her.

To continue the prize winning, I won a Steam code for Euro Truck Simulator 2.

Continuing a great streak, I won ForeVR Cornhole for my Meta Quest!

I also won a Flexipot BS9 chair on Twitter which turned up on Thursday.

What I Am Spending

I did but myself the final Far Cry 6 DLC, Lost Between Worlds for the Xbox.

And I also bought Grand Theft Auto IV: The Complete Edition in the Steam sale.


Sword of the White Horse

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Assassins Creed book Sword of the White Horse by the amazing Elsa Sjunneson , 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.

I also think I may have met Elsa at the Dublin WorldCon, but I met a lot of people that week and my memory is still addled by the curse of brain damage!

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 used to work 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, and that is the setting of this book.

The Story

This game is set after the events of the main Assassins Creed Valhalla game, and before any of the DLC in 878.

Niamh, a witch-warrior of Avalon and her clan, the Women of the Mist finds herself given a mission by The Lady, the leader of Avalon, to respond to a letter sent by The Hidden Ones, and infiltrate the organisation to find out what their plan is.

Travelling from Argyll beyond Hadrian’s Wall to the city of Lunden in Mercia, she finds herself drawn into the conflict between the Hidden Ones and the Order of the Ancients, as she works to uncover the threat the latter poses to the people of her faith, and the Women of the Mist.

Challenged in her preconceptions, she has to put aside prejudice to work with Northmen, Romans and those from further afield, as she seeks to find an ancient relic, which if acquired by the Order of Ancients, could lead the islands into darkness.

Conclusion

I have yet to play Assassins Creed Valhalla, but the stuff I do know fit in quite well with the book, and it was rather enjoyable.

I devoured it, in two sittings, finding myself unable to put it down until I was literally too sleepy to concentrate.

I was kinda hoping for a bit more of her learning the trade of the Hidden Ones, and ascending the ranks to become an Assassin, but the story didn’t need it, if anything, I would have loved this book to be twice as long.

A lot of excellent world building and the sights, sounds and smells of Mercia felt so real, its a very descriptive story.

There was a lot of great stuff that forced Niamh to overcome prejudices, especially towards Christians and Northmen, as she found herself working to save and work with people from those backgrounds, whilst keeping her true motives hidden, despite knowing the two groups should be natural allies.

I was really excited by this book, and was looking forward to it, but I really wish it was longer.

My only real criticism, is that character development felt, shallow, which I think was a compromise between fitting so much story in and keeping its length down. But I could never really get a good grasp on Niamhs character, was she a planner or did she go by the seat of her pants, cause she kinda never seemed to fit into either, and I struggled to understand her personality.

Also it did feel like the novelisation of a game, with distances and time being a bit wishy washy, but that’s just nitpicking.

I am giving it 4 out of 5 stars, which feels stingy for how much I enjoyed it, but I really think the faults it did have, really could have been resolved with more pages.


Sword of the White Horse is out now as a paperback, ebook and audiobook.

Planet Havoc

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Zombicide Invader book Planet Havoc by Tim Waggoner, 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 Zombicide

Zombicide Invader is a co-op adventure game set in a post zombie apocalyptic world, created by Guillotine Games and published by CMON.

Each player controls a survivor, as they look to complete a narrative objective before being overrun by Xenos, who come in various different forms, the more you kill, the more skilled you get and the more Xenos you can kill.

Its a spin off of the popular Zombicide games.

The Story

The story sees a mercenary crew, employed by a new Guild, Leviathan, who aim to plunder the planet of a mysterious new source of fuel.

Upon landing on the planet they discover the neighboring planet was devastated by a vicious race of aliens called the Xenos, potentially linked to the new fuel.

But pursuing the mercenaries is a quarantine ship, who aim to stop them landing on this quarantined world, and preventing them from finding out its secrets.

Conclusion

Right off the bat, I read one chapter, went to sleep, the next night I picked it up intending to read a little bit more and couldn’t put it down and read it until its conclusion.

Its an amazing, well written and fantastic book, filled with wonderful characters, ok the aliens aren’t really zombies, but close enough, they kind of remind me of Tyranids.

The mercenaries have the more colourful variety of characters, but the military aren’t completely without charm.

Look I am not sure what else I can say, its a great book, go buy it and read it, you won’t regret it.

Oh and Tim, sequel???

5 out of 5 stars!

Planet Havoc is out now as a paperback, eBook and audiobook!


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