Thursday 25 May 2017

Of Metal and Flesh #3 Master Hoffman

Finally, Master Hoffman himself. I followed the same color scheme on armor/metal parts here. I wanted his base to look a bit more interesting so I used bits from watch parts set I bought a while ago on ebay. 
I can't really say much about Hoff game-wise as I've never used him and never faced him so I'll just leave the pictures here.

W końcu nadszedł czas na samego mastera Hoffmana. Użyłem tego samego schematu kolorystycznego na pancerzu/metalowych elementach. Chciałem, żeby trochę się wyróżniał, więc użyłem bitsów  z zestawu części zegarowych kupionego jakiś czas temu na ebay'u.
Ciężko mi cokolwiek o nim powiedzieć jeśli chodzi o grę, nigdy go nie używałem ani też nie miałem okazji grać przeciwko temu masterowi. Zostawię tutaj tylko te zdjęcia.

I also painted Master Queeg. It's one of those miniatures that look just human. There's nothing unreal or steampunky about him, which makes the model a bit less interesting to me from the hobby perspective (although the miniature itself is very well made).

Pomalowałem też Master Queeg. To jedna z tych figurek, które wyglądają po prostu "ludzko". Nie ma w nim nic nienaturalnego czy steampunkowego, co sprawia że z hobbistycznej perspektywy  jest dla mnie nieco mniej ciekawy (chociaż sam model jest bardzo ładnie wykonany).

#13/2017 Gwendy's Button Box

The action of this short novella takes place in Castle Rock, Maine, which is King's version of America, Anywhere. In his latest work (created together with his friend Richard Chizmar who came up with the ending), he tells a story of young Gwendy. She is a 12-year old obese girl who will be starting middle school after summer holidays. She is determined to change her looks by taking a run up long stairs (know as Suicide Stairs), which lead to a cliff side. One day she meets a mysterious stranger, who invites her to palaver. That word alone caused me to expect some Dark Tower references here and I was a bit worried that it might be just another story loosely connected to that universe, only to increase sales. Fortunately, it isn't so. 
Gwendy receives a small wooden box with several buttons in different colors. She is to become its keeper and after brief, obscure explanation of some of the functions, she returns home. She doesn't know it yet, but her entire life will be greatly affected by this event.
The plot isn't complicated. We mainly follow Gwendy's adolescence and watch her become a young woman. There aren't many shocking events, cliff-hangers but the story is presented in a clear, elegant way. It's easy to identify with Gwendy as she is what can be called an Everyman
The audiobook is read by Magge Siff (Tara from Sons of Anarchy), who does a really good job. Gwendy's Button Box is not very deep or innovative, but it goes by really fast and I really enjoyed it.

Tuesday 23 May 2017

Of Metal and Flesh #2 Eyes on the Sky, Feet on the Ground

I've been working on some more Guild constructs recently. I used the same red for armor as in my previous entry as I thought it worked quite well with these minis. 
The Wardens were fun to work with. The sculpts are interesting and dynamic, these robots seem to have a personality of their own rather than just being plain machines. Watchers. on the other hand, were a bit disappointing, especially the wings, which seem to have just wrong proportions no matter how I look at them. I also had  to go a bit creative with the bases as I didn't want them to look like they were landing on the ground. With such big wings the construct would be barely visible.

Ostatnio pracuję nad gildiowymi konstruktami. Użyłem tego samego odcienia czerwieni co ostatnio, doszedłem do wniosku,że pasuje tym figurkom.
Malowanie Strażników było czystą przyjemnością. Rzeźby są ciekawe i dynamiczne, te roboty aż kipią osobowością, nie wyglądają jak zwykłe, proste maszyny.Z kolei Obserwatorzy byli małym rozczarowaniem, zwłaszcza ich skrzydła, które wydaję się mieć złe proporcje nieważne jak na nie patrzę. Musiałem też trochę pokombinować z podstawkami, nie chciałem, żeby wyglądali jakby po prostu lądowali na ziemi. Z tak ogromnymi skrzydłami same konstrukty byłyby praktycznie niewidoczne.

#11,12/2017 Legion, Skin Deep

In this series, set in contemporary world, Sanderson introduces a completely new character - Stephen Leeds. He has a unique mental condition as he has developed multiple independent personalities. He is the only person able to see them, talk with them, and use their varied expertise in his work as a private investigator. To make things even more complicated, some of them suffer from mental illnesses like schizofrenia. Each of these personalities has a complex psyche and interesting interactions between them take place frequently.
Both stories are fairly short but Sanderson makes up for it with dynamic pace and frequent use of Leeds' personalities. I've complained before that many of his characters use ironic and witty language that sometimes seems out of place. Here such language is fully justified and fits perfectly. 

Monday 22 May 2017

Black Hole Sun

"Black Hole Sun" freaked me out when I first saw it as a small kid. Maybe it's not the best tribute material but for me this has always been first association when I heard Cornell's name. Truly a unique talent who passed away in his prime, he will be missed.

Thursday 18 May 2017

More WIPs

I'm almost done with my latest project. Painting two identical crews simultaneously is a bit tedious so I am looking forward to finishing Hoffman's constructs and returning to my Neverborn.

Kończę już mój ostatni projekt. Równoczesne malowanie dwóch identycznych ekip jest dość nużące i czekam już z niecierpliwością do ukończenia pracy i powrotu do moich Neverbornów. 

#10/2017 American Gods

To be honest, I only learnt about this novel after watching trailer for the TV adaptation. It was intriguing enough to make me reach for The Tenth Annivarsary edition, recorded with full cast.
I was very impressed with he quality of this audiobook. The actors are very well chosen and read their roles really well.
The novel start with a release of a prisoner called Shadow. He is allowed to leave a few days before the end of his sentence due to unexpected death of his wife. As he travels home for the funeral, he comes across a mysterious stranger who calls himself Mr Wednesday. Shadow is soon hired by the man as his driver, errand boy, and bodyguard.
This simple story serves as a background for Gaiman's re imagining of the mythology of ancient gods who still exist in America. Mr Wednesday hopes to recruit them to help him in a fight against new gods. The new gods are manifestations of modern aspects of life such as technology, media, men in black.
While Shadow should probably be overwhelmed by the situation, he just calmly takes everything in stride. His calm attitude stands in big contrast with the new, supernatural reality that he discovers. I liked this idea as thanks to that Shadow serves as a good focal point of the novel, and also a kind of filter through which the story is presented. Gaiman skillfully adapts old beliefs and mythological beings and dresses them in modern clothes. Most of the story shows backroads Americana in its calm and peaceful glory or in complete dilapidation and this is another great strength of the novel. 

Wednesday 10 May 2017


"The best things in life are free. The second best things are very, very expensive."
Coco Chanel

This review is long overdue. I've been using Crewfaux (along with other 5K+ users) for months and have become so used to this fantastic app that I take it for granted. It is used by Wyrdos around the world. However, I believe there is still something more that can be written about it.

Crewfaux is a free app available for Android and iOS. It has been designed by one guy (Pawel Maczewski) who also happens to be an avid Malifaux gamer/collector. Pawel has put in more than a thousand hours of work into making Crewfaux the most handy app for Malifaux. Also, the gaming community has had a big impact on the design and functionality. The app was initially in beta version and all feedback gathered at that stage was used to improve it.

The main functions are generating Deployment, Strategy, and Schemes for an encounter and preparing your crew list. Crewfaux significantly speeds up the whole process. The layout is clear and the whole process is smooth and easy. Members of the crew are chosen from a list that is organized by faction and cost in descending order with all possible merc models added at the bottom of the list. Cost of each chosen model/upgrade is automatically subtracted from the soulstone pool that is automatically set to 50. A prepared list can be easily exported, which makes it easy to share your ideas on forums or on dedicated FB groups.

It is possible to keep track of the score in the Encounter menu by tapping and holding on a strategy and your chosen scheme. Also, there is a very useful option to quickly switch between your crew list and encounter setup, making it easy to adjust your choices before the game as you prepare your list and decide on the best choice of schemes. Also, at the start you can choose which type of Strats and Schemes you want (Standard/GG2016/GG2017). And one more thing, you can share the strategy by generating a QR code. It's a really great option, especially for tournaments. Some TOs upload these to FB events for all participants to access easily. If that's not the case, people can quickly and easily share them before the tournament.

Finally, and this is probably the main thing that made me write this text - in the most recent update a new option to make notes has been added. You can write a not about a model/upgrade or take a picture. It is a fantastic option as it means that you can have the complete package in a single app on your phone - all the stats, rules, upgrades. 
I also want to make a disclaimer here - cards, upgrades etc. fall under IP laws and as such should not be shared and distributed publicly. Make sure you use your own resources for Crewfaux.

As I've written before, the author has put in hundreds of work hours into the app. Pawel devotes his private time and financial resources into making the best Malifaux app for us, gamers. He's also a great guy - I've faced him a few times in different Malifaux tournaments and these games have always been enjoyable. Pawel has recently set up a Patreon page for Crewfaux (you can find it here). He's already announced that the app is going to stay free and only asks for some financial support there to make up for all the time and money he's had to invest into it. I think that buying him a beer (or a coke as that's his preferred drink) by declaring the minimal amount of cash there is the least that can be done to thank him for all his work.

I also wanted to have some of the author's input in this review so I used this opportunity to ask him a few questions.

Hi Pawel, can you tell us something about yourself?
I’m almost-40 guy, husband (my wife’s actually a co-developer of CrewFaux and author of the graphics in the app), father to 3 kids (one of them plays Malifaux already, while the youngest daughter started painting her first minis recently… some fantasy Orcs and Wolsung tentacles). I work as a computer programmer, try painting and playing wargames (but I actually spend more time wondering about what I’d like to play then I really play the game).

How has creating Crewfaux impacted your life?
I asked my wife about it. She said something like: „When working on Crewfaux you did NOTHING ELSE”… Well, that’s not entirely true, but pretty much shows the time of most rapid development - that would be just before going to the beta stage.
Other than that - it’s great to know someone does use my app…
I also became more familiar with some of the Malifaux hiring rules - I get emails sometimes notifying me about some bug in the app, and between digging out the book, checking the rules and answering the the person - I learn a lot.

What was the biggest challenge while working on Crewfaux?
Biggest challenge would be working on it under the time-pressure. Without any official affiliation with Wyrd, I wasn’t able to get my hands on the 4th book before it got released - so I ordered it from Gencon, with fastest possible shipping to Europe and all I could do was to wait… I’ve had a few people telling me what’s there on Day 1, so I started preparing the changes to the app - but still, I had to take several days off my regular day job, dig in a basement and just stick with the app changes, just to have new models, upgrades and some of the new rules as soon as possible, for people’s games.

What are your plans for the future of Crewfaux, what other options would you like to implement?
There’s a long features that I’d like to see in Crewfaux. One of the most requested is the „models collection” that would allow me to mark models I own (with optional „painted” flag) so I can limit my crew selection to only the models I really have. Or I have painted.
The other thing (and it’s on my workbench right now) is redesigned screen for in-game score tracking, revealing schemes to the opponent…
I also get asked quite often about a PC or web version of the app - ifs, whens… And I’d like to say it’s gonna be out there, sooner then later, but I always find something more important to work on, to be honest. And it’s quite a big work to create the entirely new web application that would, in addition to the normal operation, „talk” to the mobile CrewFaux and allow syncing the crews and everything… So it’s a lot of work but it’s super cool to work on, so I’ll try to fit it into my schedule :)

Who is your favorite Malifaux master?
Hard question :)
I stated with Rasputina and Marcus just to jump to Outcasts after one game with each of them. I owned every Outcast master, haven’t played games with all of them just to switch to Ten Thunders Lynch… And after that, Gremlins. Now Ressers.
Out of all the masters I played so far I liked Jack Daw, Mah Tucket and Ulix the most. When I think about it now, I think what makes a master „my favorite” is the story behind her - both the official story, published, as well as the story I’d like to tell when I play the games.
But since I started playing Ressers just recently, I guess the two BFFs, Molly and Kirai, should become my favorites now.

Thanks and best of luck with the app in the future.

Crewfaux in action

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...