Warhammer 40,000 Imperium – Issue 20 Battle Report

The 20th part of the Warhammer 40,000 Imperium Battle Report Series.

In this episode, we see a mix of units try to take each other down!

Who will prevail in this battle between the sinister Necrons and the noble warriors of the Imperium of Mankind.

https://youtu.be/s3dNDY5VEjA

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School of X

I have been provided with an advance copy of the new Xavier’s Institute anthology School of X edited by Gwendolyn Nix, 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 also a, friends with one of the authors, Robbie MacNiven on Facebook, although for him that connection is probably more about interacting with fans than anything else, but I did once interview him for Edge 0f Empire!

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 Xavier’s Institute novel series is focused on the heroes that attend this school 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

As this is an anthology I will break down the individual stories and give a few thoughts about them.

Fifteen Minutes by Jaleigh Johnson

A story in which Goldballs and the Stepford Cuckoos get to take centre stage.

Trapped inside their own minds after movie night, Goldballs gets to act out his fantasies about being a silver screen hero, but to break out of it, he needs to get through to Celeste who is finding themselves drifting apart from her sisters.

This is a solid story, very short with barely a wasted word, really enjoyable and a great opening story.

Note, don’t refuse a Stepford Cuckoos desire for karaoke!

Call of the Dark by Robbie MacNiven

Robbie gets to revisit Graymalkin and Anole after the events of First Team, and in the aftermath Graymalkin has developed a fear of the dark.

Forced to wander the depths of the insitues lower levels, he finds himself in a tussle with his darker self, but is he going mad, or is something more sinister going on.

On this story I have mixed feelings, at times I feel its the best story in the collection, and at others I feel its the least. Its the one I have reread the most and I struggle to really figure out how I feel about it.

That’s probably a sign of good writing, but its one I cannot make my mind up over, its likely I will buy the eBook so that I can dissect this story a few more times.

Uncatchable by Lauria Cath

This is a super fun story in which Hijack and Cipher go out for a midnight illegal street race, but discover a hidden secret to the meets.

Finding themselves having to take down a criminal gang in the middle of a street race, the pair save the day.

This is a simple story, but a great one, its very much something that I could picture as a one shot issue with a great premise, X-Men have some fun, but end up taking down the bad guys!

Eye of the Storm by Amanda Bridgeman

Sooraya, Shark Girl and Rockslide get kidnapped by a cyborg who hates humans and mutants alike, they are forced to fight animal robots.

I hate to be negative, but this story is the weakest of the bunch, I think this would have worked better as an individual short story release. I can’t put my finger on it, but it feels out of place here.

Of Dirt and Bones by Pat Shand

Phoebe Stepford starts to break away a bit from the other Cuckoos, having nightmares that force her into her diamond form whilst asleep.

Traumatised by Emma Frost increasingly brutal training sessions, she is sent over the edge and cut off from her sisters.

She ends up accidently killing a goose, and wracked with guilt she buries it in the grounds of the school, but soon the area is overrun by zombie animals!

This is a great story with lots of wonderful horror inspired elements and really takes a look at the trauma that training to be a member of the X-Men can cause.

Kid Omega Faces the Music by Neil Kleid

This is a really funny story and a very different one to the others, and as the last “short” story in the book is perfectly placed.

The story telling mechanism is fantastic, Kid Omega, who as a character, I really dislike normally, is forcing the story into the head of a random person, because he can’t tell it to anyone at the school, so why not subject a random stranger to a telepathic barrage.

Its written as a conversation between Quintin and the reader, and tells how after sneaking off to a film convention, to steal Wonder Boys glasses, Kang the Conqueror turns up and sends him on a merry journey through time.

But the trip has a purpose, as Quintin sees the evolution of another Omega level mutant, Magneto, and gets a deeper understanding of his teachers journey and the evolution of his belief in mutant supremacy.

This story is one of the real highlights of this book, and to be honest makes it worth the cost all on its own!

Depowered by Carrie Harris

This is more of a novella and sees Carrie return to Triage and Tempus, who she wrote about in Liberty and Justice for All (Not yet read this, I missed its eARC on Netgallery and I have struggled with funds for new books recently).

The Schools teachers leave for an urgent mission leaving the students alone, but not for long as Polaris and Mirage turn up seeing the help of Triage and Tempus to try and regain/control their powers after the Scarlett Witch’s muttering of the words “No More Mutants”.

Unfortunately the powers that Polaris still have are out of control and in the chaos caused by a demonstration, they attract a squadron of Sentinels, who invade the school and attempt to apprehend the young mutants.

It also strongly references the time that Tempus spent in the future in which she married and started a family in the Uncanny X-Men, before being flung back to the present destroying that future forever.

This is a great story, a good mix of action, character development and a focus on plenty of characters giving good screen time to several of them.

Makes me want to go any buy Liberty and Justice for All next time I have the pennies!

Conclusion

Overall this collection is worth the money, yeah some stories stand out more than others, but that’s inevitable with any anthology.

It flows well and other than the one story, all fitted quite nicely together, with most characters making an appearance in the final story.

The ones that stand out, Eye of the Storm and Call of the Dark do so because the characters don’t feature in that last story, I can’t even recall them being mentioned in them.

And I think that’s why they don’t flow as well, the others build up to an almost Avengers style final story where most of the characters come together to face down the big bad.

But yeah this collection is solid, and I can see it as being something I could easily recommend to someone, its got a lot of characters that see less focus in the comics and other media.

I am going to give it 4.5 out of 5


School of X is out as an eBook and paperback now and you can get it right now!


Hello Enterprise

We finally got a new car, a year after we initially ordered one, and it’s a bit of a tale.

We first ordered a Vauxhall Combo Life Diesel in March 2021, we were told a six month wait due to chip shortages.

I was told that the car was built, it just needed chips a few weeks later.

In October I chased it up, oh the chip shortage means it will be March or May when it’s ready.

So anyway, I was browsing the Vauxhall website to check some details about the car only to notice, it was no longer listed, turns out that model was discontinued in September, before I last spoke to them.

So I called them on Wednesday, and was told that the order would still be honoured, sometime in the next 12 to 24 months!!!

So we said we would select an alternative and were assured that we would have to wait no longer than 12 weeks, maybe a few more depending on trim.

Checking the website, that actually said 19 weeks, so we were already a bit suspicious of their promises.

On Thursday me and Megan decided to make some backup plans in case the Mokka we were looking at, didn’t work out, and we decided to give Hyundai a call.

They told us if we were okay to have it in white, we could have a Ioniq Electric, in 4 days time as it had literally just been delivered from the factory to go in general sale.

And even if we wanted another colour, they said it was just a 6 week wait, 8 depending on sea conditions to get another car. Unlike the ICE versions, it’s not subject to the same chip issues as it uses a pair of SoCs like many other electric cars to control everything that other cars have over 100 chips control.

So we rushed up, and spoke with the salesman, Matt, who was a great guy, and he showed us round the one in the showroom, let us sit in the actual car we would be driving away, although it was totally covered in protective plastic, and then it’s a test drive.

Okay, it ain’t the worlds most exciting car to look at, or drive, but it’s economical, it’s a nice drive and it has air conditioning that isn’t winding the window down!

So we did all the paperwork, paid the £199 advance fee, and arranged to pick it up on Tuesday. Motability need 4 days to set up the agreement with the DWP, start the insurance and send the PIN number.

In the meantime the dealers got it fully detailed and charged up, and although we already have a home charging point, it’s not a type 2 port so will need to be replaced, but that’s covered under the Motability scheme.

Given that it’s white and fancy, the girls have decided that it will be called Enterprise, cause as you probably know, we are massive Trekkies.

What I Am Modelling

I started by finishing up the four Zone Mortalis tiles I bought last week.

I then painted a couple of Canoptek Constructs for my Necrons, a Canoptek Spyder and a Canoptek Doomstalker.

And followed a Trio of T’au Crisis Suits, armed with Flamers.

I started on an Ultramarines Intercessor Squad and Redemptor Dreadnought on stream yesterday night.


So what’s coming up for me next week?

  1. T’au Pathfinder Team x 10
  2. Ork Kommandoes Kill Team x 12
  3. Corpse Grinder Cult x 15
  4. Blood Bowl Referees x 2
  5. Blood Angels Assault Intercessors x 8, Primaris Lieutenant & Librarian in Phobos Armour
  6. Skitarii Rangers x 10
  7. Orruk Weirdnob Shaman
  8. Death Korps of Krieg Medusa x 3
  9. Morg n’ Thorg
  10. T’au Breacher Team x 10

What I Am Reading

School of X was finished today and a review should be published tomorrow.

What Video Games Am I Playing

For my relaxing game, I have been playing Townscaper, which really is very very chilled out, I think I am done with it now as I have 100% of the achievements.

I have been playing some Forza Horizon 5 most days, which is lots of fun, and the occasional match of Halo Infinite.

I am doing okay with Far Cry 3, but after the girls watched me skin a tapier, I am banned from playing it when they are in the room!

What Tabletop Games Am I Playing

Sadly none 🙁

What I Am Creating

The next two battle reports from the Imperium series were published, issues 17, 18 and 19.

And the Company of Legends list episode was published on Edge of Empire!

What Am I Backing

No active projects, but the Doubleclicks Greatest Hits album has been delivered from Rawr! Velociraptor!

What Am I Spending

I picked up Assassin’s Creed Valhalla: Dawn of Ragnarock for the Xbox, although I imagine it will be some time until I get to play it.

I also bought some terrain on eBay, specifically a set of Thermo Pipes and a Thermo-Exchanger Shrine to add to my Imperium table.

I also picked up the two store birthday models that I ordered a couple of weeks ago.


Warhammer 40,000 Imperium – Issue 19 Battle Report

The 19th part of the Warhammer 40,000 Imperium Battle Report Series.

In this episode, we see a Primaris Captain and a squad of Assault Intercessors try to take down a Necron Royal Warden and his phalanx of Warriors

Who will prevail in this battle between the sinister Necrons and the noble warriors of the Imperium of Mankind.


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Warhammer 40,000 Imperium – Issue 18 Battle Report

The 18th part of the Warhammer 40,000 Imperium Battle Report Series.

In this episode, we see a Lieutenant backed up by a squad of Aggressors attempt to destroy a Necron Technomancer, but he is guarded by soem Skorpekh Destroyers!

Who will prevail in this battle between the sinister Necrons and the noble warriors of the Imperium of Mankind.


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Warhammer 40,000 Imperium – Issue 17 Battle Report

The 17th part of the Warhammer 40,000 Imperium Battle Report Series.

In this episode, we see a Librarian in Phobos Armour attempt to secure a drop site and is opposed by some Necron Warriors and the terrifying Flayed Ones.

Who will prevail in this battle between the sinister Necrons and the noble warriors of the Imperium of Mankind.


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Thinking of October

October is on my mind a lot, why, because I turn 40, I will officially be old.

And I want to commemorate the occasion, it I can decide what to do. I have a few ideas, but I can’t decide on what to do.

I first considered a LAN party, but I suspect that won’t work cause my house ain’t that big downstairs.

Then I considered hiring a hall and just having some games of Warhammer, but then Lindsay and Megan wouldn’t take part.

Or just throwing another geeks disco as I did for my 30th.

This requires planning and I am just not sure what to do, I really want to do something fun to mark it with my friends.

If Battle Bunker were still around I would have hired that out, but alas right now it’s not.

Maybe I should enquire at the community centre next door to my house.

What I Am Modelling

I started the week by painting a squad of Orruk Brutes alongside Bawla and Burk.

The main give brutes got finished first on Friday night.

And then I finished Bawla & Burke on Saturday.

After that I turned my attention to two sets of STC Ryza-Patten Ruins I had lying about, these are needed for Company of Legends.

I have two tables of terrain which are mostly Sector Mechanicum, and they lack line of sight blocking terrain. So adding a set of STC Ryza-Pattern Ruins to each of them, along with a Haemotrope Reactor each will, I hope, resolve this.

I painted them in a very simple scheme, just kinda assumed the Mechanicum painted everything red and went from there.

I then painted a Soulblight Gravelords Mortis Engine which I got with Mortal Realms.

I also managed at long last to get the air brush out and get the base coats on the T’au I have outstanding, a few Blood Angels and Fafnir Rann.

I am currently working on some floor tiles for Zone Mortalis.


So what am I working on for next week?

  1. T’au Pathfinders & Darkstrider
  2. Ork Kommandos Kill Team x 12
  3. Corpse Grinder Cult x 15
  4. Ultramarines Intercessor Squad x 5
  5. Blood Bowl Referees x 2
  6. T’au Crisis Suit Team x 3
  7. Blood Angels Assault Intercessors x 8, Primaris Lieutenant & Librarian in Phobos Armour
  8. Skitarii Rangers x 10
  9. Orruk Weirdnob Shaman
  10. Death Korps of Krieg Medusa x 2

What Video Games Am I Playing

I uploaded my ad hoc Tuesday stream of Horizon Zero Dawn.

Mostly I have been concentrating of Far Cry 2 in an effort to finish it, which I managed on Saturday evening.

And I finished Unpacking on Saturday night as well.

I started on Far Cry 3 on Saturday night and I have to say, it’s a marked improvement on its predecessor.

What Tabletop Games Am I Playing

Not a sausage 🙁

What I Am Creating

The next battle report for Imperium has been published, this is for issue 16.

Issue 17 and 18 have both been filmed and edited and await their publication date on Wednesday and Saturday respectively.

What I Am Backing

No live projects, but the dividers for the Griefcase from Gloomier arrived at last!

What I Am Spending

I bought myself an Xbox Elite Controller Series 2 with my Microsoft Rewards points!

I exchanged my points for £140 worth of Microsoft vouchers and put another £4.99 towards it.

And it arrived on Wednesday!

To fit it’s charging dock on my desk, I had to sacrifice my original Stream Deck, there was just no longer any room on the desk.

So I have now payed it forward and sent it to my friend Jessica.

A more practical purchase for me and Megan was a new mattress, we got it from Nectar as we had a 45% off voucher, but after signing up to their website, I have been sent a silly number of vouchers for 45% so I highly doubt anyone pays that price.

On the recommendation of RandomFrankP on his Cool Tech Under $50 I grabbed this Tripod/Selfie stick to use with my ZV1 for better vlogging ability, cause holding it at arms length is crap.

I also got a couple of cheap RGB Zigbee bulbs for the kitchen, as this is where I film my battle reports, I need a better white light and these fit the bill perfectly.

This means the existing smart bulbs there are moving to the downstairs loo and the en-suite to await the motion sensors becoming available for Hue again.

I also picked up some floor tiles for Zone Mortalis and a few paints this week.


Far Cry 2 – A Review of A Classic

Far Cry 2 is a game I first played back in 2009, very briefly on the Xbox 360.

I didn’t my last long, it was frustrating and really hard and just felt too much like hard work.

Anyway I realised that though bundles and deals I owned all of the Far Cry games and decided that I had best actually play them!

So I recently finished the original Far Cry, the review of which you can see here.

And thus I cracked on with its sequel, Far Cry 2.

To start with, it’s absolutely and completely different from it predecessor. Whilst Far Cry was a run of the mill Sci-Fi shooter, albeit with a very high difficulty level, Far Cry 2 is an open world game very much based in reality.

So how about we start with the positives.

Even 14 years on from its release, it looks good, the open world of the game is beautiful and very realistic in how it’s structured.

The open needed nature of the game, along with the choices you can make along the way give it a lot of character.

The setting is great, very much one that’s not been explored a lot in video games.

But I have a lot of issues with the game.

It feels very schizophrenic, it can’t decide if it wants to be an action-shooter, an RPG or social commentary about the influence of western mercenaries and blood diamonds in Africa.

And it doesn’t do a great job at being any of those.

If really feels like it wants to be an RPG, it really feels like it wants to encourage you to develop you character. But you never really do.

You get a choice of characters, I chose Frank, but it doesn’t feel as if that choice makes any difference in the game, it feels like it plays the same regardless.

And as a shooter, well this might sound weird but there is too much shooting!

See there are two different factions in the game, not that you would know as they are all, without exception going to attack you as soon as they see you, no matter who you are working with.

When you clear out checkpoints, within minutes they are repopulated, and the limited carrying capacity for syringes, the games health packs, mean that sometimes, you get stuck, unable to go back to a checkpoint for fear of the shootout, but unable to go forward for lack of syringes when you face the inevitable shooting.

So for me, I think this is a game that has a lot of potential, but never quite meets it.

So that leads me onto my conclusion.

This is a game that could really do with a remake, and I mean a full in remake, with the RPG elements enhanced, so that for example, when you clear out a checkpoint, you can reman it with the faction you are working with.

I would love to see the militias of the two factions treating you differently depending on how you have played the game.

Anyway let’s get away from what I wish the game could be and onto what the game is.

The game was fun, but difficult, perhaps too difficult. The story was interesting, but the big bad guy was a little generic.

This game sets the foundations for what the series becomes, and in a way it’s groundbreaking.

So I am gonna award it 3 out of 5.

I had the settings at the maximum possible and was getting 60fps constantly, it never dipped or got higher than that.

Hardware

  • CPU:- Ryzen 5 5600X
  • RAM:- 32GB
  • GPU:- RTX 3070
  • Resolution:- 1080p

Warhammer 40,000 Imperium – Issue 16 Battle Report

The 16th part of the Warhammer 40,000 Imperium Battle Report Series.

In this episode, we see a Squad of Assault Intercessors try to take down a Royal Warden of the Necrons.

Who will prevail in this battle between the sinister Necrons and the noble warriors of the Imperium of Mankind.


You can buy your own Task Lamp here

You can support what I do by doing any of the following:-

Assassin’s Creed – Review After Replay

So I have decided after my recent play though of Assassins Creed, which you can see on YouTube, to give you a review.

First off let me give you a bit of background to my relationship with Assassins Creed. I first bought the game when I got a PlayStation 3 on release, and I actually ended up trading it in very quickly because it felt dull and repetitive.

But about a year later I was given it on Xbox 360 and it was a very different beast, it was a lot more enjoyable and the reason for that was achievements.

Those dull repetitive things now became things I wanted to do because I wanted the achievements, I spent a lot of time in that game trying to score as much G as possible.

And the story got me hooked as well, and it still is a very good story.

Anyway so how does it hold up from a modern perspective, well it’s a bit middling.

The game still looks good, I think games of that generation still hold up today and frankly are comparable to those on mobile phones and even the Switch, yeah the textures are a bit meh, but it still looks amazing.

The score is wonderful and very atmospheric, but the speech of the NPCs is very repetitive, which is think is a result if the limited size of the DVD media that it was released on for Xbox 360, and it didn’t really take advantage of the Blu-Ray disk for PS3.

Gameplay is still good, but the initial complaints still stand, it’s dull and repetitive and I can see why Ubisoft have not remastered this game, it would need more than some HD textures to improve it, it needs a whole remake.

The crack is that doing the game without achievements, although I did have some to collect still, makes it a much less enjoyable game, because it feels like you are doing the exact same thing over and over again.

Yeah it set up the franchise, but it is, absolutely not a classic, if anything it’s a bit of a disappointment in retrospect.

It just doesn’t stand up to modern standards, but the green shoots of what would come in the sequel are there and waiting to be improved upon.

Assassins Creed as a franchise has come a long way, and this was that first step.

Flawed, but with its own charm.


Scoring this game is difficult, I love the story, Altair is an engaging character, it looks good and the score is evocative.

But the gameplay gets boring very quickly.

So I have to give the game 2 out of 5.

Hardware

  • Xbox Series S
  • Xbox Controller
  • 1080p

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