Overall I am really impressed with the device, its super cool, but I do want to sort out eventually dual booting with Windows, so I can play things like the Ubisoft titles, I have the Heroic Launcher setup for Epic and GOG already and they are mostly working.
I have been having a lot of fun with the device, and its helping me game a lot more, cause I can hang out with Megan and Lindsay whilst I am gaming, rather than having to exile myself to the studio!
What I Am Modelling
I started off by painting up the horrors for Warhammer Quest, so that’s 2 Pink Horrors, 4 Blue Horrors and 4 bases of Brimstone Horrors.
Then I painted the Blood Ravens Infernus Squad for the Space Marine Combat Patrol
I completed my Backerkit survey for the TT Combat Paints and Washes project and picked my two paints, went for Supernova Chrome and PHR Bone.
What I Am Winning
A while back I won a competition run by Durham Prints Store for anything in their Etsy shop.
So I opted for this personalised slate signed with “Kill, Maim, Burn” on it, the warcry of the World Eaters, cause I thought it would be funny!
It’s taken a few weeks but it’s finally arrived and I am super happy with it!
What I Am Spending
I need to get back to streaming properly again, and I decided to spend my sponsorship money on a new toy, an Elgato Stream Deck Pedal, which is gonna sit on my floor and be useful for things like muting the microphone, which I think the fellas on Edge of Empire will appreciate!
It might have escaped your attention, but I really love the plethora of mini consoles released in recent years.
Well the consoles themselves are cool, and offer a great way to transport some awesome games to play very easily.
I much prefer emulation via RetroArch, but the mini consoles usually bring something with them, as close to original controllers as possible.
I mean you try and get a PC Engine controller outside of the box containing the CoreGrafx Mini!
There is just something so much nicer about playing with controllers that are basically like what we had as kids, and often the knock offs just aren’t as good.
But that leads into another obsession, controllers and that’s a subject for another time!
But the consoles themselves are pretty cool so let’s take a look at what’s in my collection!
The C64 Mini
The C64 Mini (note not the Commodore 64 Mini) comes with 64 classic games for the Commodore 64 and VIC 20.
The design of this one is just so adorable, yeah the keyboard doesn’t work, but it doesn’t need to, and they even got the discolouration right.
The joystick however, is to be honest, rubbish, I hear that the standalone one is better, and I think I may invest in one.
I never had a Commodore 64 as a kid, but plenty of friends did, and I remember wasting plenty of time playing Speedball and Impossible Mission.
The most irritating thing about it was to have it load up, only for it to fail at the last second meaning you had to rewind the tape and load it up again!
This particular console is great, but I wish I had grabbed the Maxi or the VIC20 for the working keyboard, but that would have taken up so much more space.
Now living in the UK, the NES wasn’t that popular or common. We mostly had the ZX Spectrum and the Amstrad CPC, and when a console did get big, it was the Master System.
I never saw a NES in person until I went to university, but the GameBoy was very common.
I got this when it first came out on release day, and it’s kinda cool, but I guess, the games in it, don’t have the same nostalgia kick for me as they would for others.
I mean I have played a fair few of these games, either in the arcade or in later rereleases down the years.
The big issue with this controller is the puddly length of the controller cables, you can’t use it in the average living room without extension cables.
And the connector itself is a Wii Nunchuck port, so the controllers themselves whilst being very very well built and almost perfect replicas of the originals, they require an adaptor to use them with PC.
Mega Drive Mini
This is my main nostalgia kick, my first console that wasn’t borrowed from a friend, the 16 Bit masterpiece that was the Mega Drive.
My parents got me and my brother one with Sonic the Hedgehog, Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle, and a three pack with World Cup Italia 90, Columns and Super Hang-On.
It also came with the Master System Convertor so we could swap games with our friends who owned the earlier system, as well as buy our own games for that system.
It was far and away the best system of the era, the software was great and there were so many fun games on it, I even saved up the money from my paper round for 6 months to buy Virtua Racing for it, cause it cost an eye watering £100 back in 1994!
The mini version is grand, comes with a lot of the big hitters, but sadly missing Sonic 3, the controllers are just *chefs kiss* but a part of me kind of wishes that they bundled the six button controllers simply because games like Eternal Champions and Street Fighter II work better with them.
PC Engine CoreGrafx Mini
The PC Engine was a weird console, it was technically an 8 Bit console, but it’s 16 Bit GPU, and the lateness of its release meant most people considered it part of the 16 Bit era.
The PC Engine was super rare in Europe, but I did know one kid who owned one, that he imported from Japan, and we did have a lot of fun playing bullet hell shooters!
The mini version is a bit of an oddity, carrying both Japanese and English language games, and there are times in here that I am rather upset didn’t get an English version, Snatcher being the biggest disappointment.
Always wanted to play that game, but the lack of a modern release, and the only English version is for the Mega CD, and that was massively censored.
But there are plenty of other games on there, and even Japanese ones which require little, if any reading.
This is a great little console and the only way to get CD Engine controllers in USB, I know 8 Bit Do have released some similar controllers, but they lack the turbo switches and instead only have a turbo button.
I had an Amiga A500, our best friends had one as well or in some lucky cases, an A1200, I even had a friend with a CD32!
The Amiga was the dominant platform that wasn’t a console for a very long time, and the versatility of what it offered was wonderful.
We used to have just as much fun with Deluxe Paint, as we did with Lemmings, Sensible World of Soccer, Alien Breed and Zool!
This platform was fantastic and the death of Commodore after the failure of the CD32 was devastating to me, but it did essentially allow to IBM PC platform to become the dominant force it is today.
The A500 Mini is the most recent addition to my collection and thanks to the developers awesome system, I have a 32GB USB stick, with every game ever published for the platform on it, including all of the CD32 games.
My only criticism is that the game pad, whilst clearly taking inspiration from the CD32 controller, is quite a bit different, but I guess I can live with that.
Being British, the SNES, well it wasn’t as big a deal as it’s Sega rival was to us.
I did have a friend with one and there were some absolutely killer games released in the platform. The Mario games are up there as classics, for a long time it was the only way to play Street Fighter II at home, and Mario Cart made its debut here.
The SNES Classic is one of the best mini console offerings, the controller cables are a bit longer than those offered by the NES Classic, but are still rather short.
This is the dud of the collection, Sony looked to jump on the bandwagon and put together this offering which in all honesty, just missed the mark, by a long shot.
Ok you have some classics, like Resident Evil, Metal Gear Solid and Final Fantasy VII, but so many games that should have been on here aren’t.
No Gran Turismo, Wipeout, Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater, Crash Bandicoot or Tomb Raider to name a few.
The controllers are great, but it really feels like Sony just couldn’t be arsed with this one.
The modding scene around it is great, and it’s something I should probably consider, but this is technically Lindsay’s as I bought it as a birthday present for her, so she would need to approve any modding!
Well there are other options out there, the main one I really want is the SNK Neo Geo Arcade Stick Pro, which will combine my desire for an arcade fighting stick, and a Neo Geo games machine.
But beyond that, that would be it, unless a Master System Mini or a Dreamcast Mini hits the market. I really cannot see a PlayStation 2 Classic, due to the poor response to the PlayStation Classic and the technical issues would probably prevent development of a Saturn or N64 Mini.
I already have a PlayStation 3 and a Wii, which can play GameCube games, so realistically the only think I want that’s not a mini console, is a PlayStation 2.
What I Am Modelling
I painted up a unit of Sicaran Infiltrators to add to my Adeptus Mechanicum army.
And begun the painting of a T’au Fire Warriors Strike Team, which I finished up last Saturday night.
I am then finished a Necron Chronomancer.
And I am currently working on a pair of Necron Tomb Blades.
On Saturday, myself, Lindsay and Megan played a game of Ticket to Ride London, and I lost, really badly, Megan blocked a route which ruined my whole strategy, but that’s the game!
On the Tuesday I enjoyed a couple of game of Just Oney with Lindsay, Megan and Jane, we only scored 5 on one game and a perfect 13 on another.
What I Am Spending
I grabbed the new rulebook for Dropfleet Commander so I can sort out running some battle reports and demos of this amazing game!
I also bought the Leagues of Votann dice, I am not sure if I want an army of these guys, but I grabbed the dice in case I do.
I got a four pack of USB Sticks, I only wanted a single 16GB stick, but turned out the 4 pack was the cheapest option for that, weirdly.
I needed a 32GB stick as well for the Amiga games, so picked up the same type, just bigger.
And I replaced the little drawer I keep my USB sticks etc with a new one.
My beloved fridge, that I have had since I started university in 2001, has died, it was a fair few years old when I got it, and it’s lasted for 21 years with me, at times having to serve as the houses main fridge.
The last 10 years it’s been exclusively for the storage of pop, snacks and medicine, and since we moved was kept in my studio.
But last week it ceased functioning all together, and we had a look on eBay and Facebook Marketplace and found this London themed Husky fridge for £50, and we picked it up on Wednesday night.
I managed to score a cheap copy of Marvel’s Avengers for PS5, I know it’s had mixed reviews, but you can’t go wrong for £8.
I wanted the PS5 version because it has Spider-Man in it!
We also grabbed a 4TB Hard Drive to add to the PLEX server, adding Paul’s library has taken up a considerable amount of space on the existing drives.
Adding this drive we found sealed and unopened on Facebook marketplace, for a killer price, had allowed us to expand the server space to 13TB in total.
For Dropfleet Commander, I grabbed some Nickar Class Hunter-Killers for my Scourge fleet.
Also some fleet condition tokens, but they have all been put away now!
What I Am Winning
A little prize came, a cast photo from Star Trek: Picard Season 1, and that made me very very happy!
The second bout of Covid has really messed up my sleep, when I want/need to be awake, I am sleepy, when I want to be asleep, I am wide awake, and no matter what I do I am really struggling to return my day/night cycle to normal.
Tonight I am gonna stay awake until bed time on Wednesday again, to try and shock my system back into a normal pattern.
I have tried it already but it didn’t work, but lets give it another go.
What I Am Modelling
I finished off my Blood Warriors for the Blades of Khorne army, which I think finished off all the mortal units I have for the army.
I also painted up a Kataphron Breacher that I got from my Forbidden Planet Imperium order.
I then had a weekend cat sitting for my sister in law so I took a few models to build, specifically the heroes from Shadows Under Hammerhall, which I built on Saturday night.
On Sunday I built the next two models, a Black Ark Fleetmaster and a Loremaster.
When I got home, I finished up the work on the Auto-Choral Transmitter for my Imperium table.
And on Monday I built the Chaos Sorcerer for Shadows Over Hammerhal.
My Stadia Controller arrived. It was awful it stank to high heaven of cigarettes, I mean the guy I bought it off must be a very heavy smoker, and honestly, that’s something that I cannot stand the smell off.
When I opened a return he became abusive to the point where eBay stepped in, suspended his account and refunded me right away.
But a different one I bought did turn up, along with a Chromecast Ultra for mine and Megan’s bedroom TV.
I did buy an Adeptus Soriatias Codex and Datacards to allow me to run that army again, it’s an army I have a great love for and need to expand to 2000pts from the current 500 or so points.
I did pick up a hair drier, I need one for working with resin and Lindsay complains when I pinch hers from our bedroom, so this means I have one in the studio, which I am sure Lindsay will use when she needs it.
So I am gonna write about something, controversial, well I don’t think it’s controversial personally.
I want to write about the US swimmer Lia Thomas, whom you may have seen featured in hate filed articles arguing that as a biological male, she has no right to compete against cis women.
I saw a meme that made a big deal about the fact that in the 2020-21 season, she ranked 462nd amongst males.
But you see that got me wondering, she had to be on oestrogen for a full 12 months before she could compete as a woman. So that means in the 2020-21 season she was competing against cis men whilst on oestrogen.
Oestrogens biggest impact on a person assigned male at birth, is the extremely quick reduction in muscle mass, it drops off you very quickly.
What this means is that you have a denser bone structure that you need to work harder to make work, so against cis men, and even against cis women, you would find yourself at a disadvantage.
So how did Lia perform in the last season she competed in, prior to oestrogen treatment.
Well the answer is available for all to see, she was in the 500, 1000 and 1650 freestyle events, number 1, not simply good, she was the best amongst men in the entire US.
Her times when she swam before her transition were exceptional, I mean they were incredible.
She was an exceptional swimmer when competing as a man, and is an exceptional swimmer when competing as a woman.
What this says to me is that it’s not about her being a mediocre man who changed sex to win medal, but that she is simply a good swimmer no matter how she competes.
It reminded me of a US army study that looked at trans women in training. After being on oestrogen, they did have an advantage over the average cis woman, 12% to be precise.
However, the average elite level female runner is 29% better than the average cis woman, and none of the studies participants even reached that level.
Now I conceded, the research done into trans woman’s participation in sport is limited, and the conclusions are not quite conclusive either way.
But so far the evidence suggests that trans women are less likely to be as good as other cis athletes in their ability level.
But contrary to what people say, trans women aren’t dominating woman’s sport, far from it.
Lia Thomas is simply an exceptionally good swimmer, she has demonstrated it in both gender categories by dominating them.
So frankly I think it’s more likely that like Michael Phelps, she may have genetic differences that simply make her better at swimming.
What I Am Modelling
I painted the Pathfinder Team for my T’au Empire.
After that I finished Darkstrider.
A Thermo-Exchanger Shrine got bought earlier in the week and painted up on Sunday night to add to the Company of Legends terrain.
After this I competed a unit of Deathmarks for my Necrons.
I then turned my attention to the Skitarii Rangers that I needed for a battle report.
Currently on my painting desk are some Primaris Suppressors for the Ultramarines.
So what’s coming up next week?
Ork Kommandos Kill Team x 12
Corpse Grinder Cult x 15
Blood Bowl Referees x 2
Blood Angels Primaris Lieutenant, Librarian in Phobos Armour & Assault Intercessors x 8