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  • Happy Holidays

    For many of us Christmas is looking very different this year, with less family gatherings and more silent nights. Nevertheless we wish every one of our Losties the very best of the season, while still respecting COVID protocols.

    Lost Hemisphere will be taking a break, and will return on January 1st with our first Paint The Target post of 2021. We’ll still be sharing stuff on social media, but it’s been a long year and my brain is tired and I figure a week long nap is in order.

    To tide you over, please enjoy our favourite piece of LH holiday art, by the ever-amazing CaptainSpud.

    Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.
    See you in the new year.


  • WMH: Blight Archons

    Imagine that you’re a functionally immortal entity. You and your siblings had a big spat with dad, and when the neighbours didn’t like you hiding out in their shed they whupped your butt so bad that it led to a series of events resulting in your controlling the twisted, mutated forms of an entire culture of winter elves. You’re basically a disembodied voice in the heads of a select few, a high priesthood if you will. No wonder you think of yourself as something of a god.

    Now, imagine you’re doing your thing, kicking it in the crib with a fresh bowl of popcorn and an “I Love Lylyth” marathon is about to start, when suddenly those other gods – you know, the ones who didn’t earn it like you did – start manifesting among the mortals as they squabble, in the form of divine archons.

    What bullshirt is this, you declare? Why weren’t you included on the heavenly conference call where physical manifestations of divine power was on the agenda? Those bastiches left you out! Such doo-doo-heads! Fine, you decry, tossing aside the popcorn and rising from your barcalounger. I’ll make my own archons! With hooks and arcane glow!

    This is pretty much what I imagine when through Everblight’s disembodied consciousness when the archons started manifesting. Now he’s had some time in  his workshop, and the Blight Archons have been unleashed on an unwitting world.

    Continue reading  Post ID 20620


  • MCP: One Track Mind – Drax

    Imagine waking to find that your mental capacity had been reduced to being borderline imbecilic, but you’d been made virtually invulnerable, immensely strong, and given one purpose: To kill the mad titan, Thanos. Then, imagine at a time with an army of insectoids from the Negative Zone were making their way across the cosmos devouring entire galactic empires in their wake, you undergo a metamorphosis. Much of your strength, size and invulnerability is gone, but you’ve regained a focused intellect and  a pair of knives, along with a human tween female named Cammi.

    That’s pretty much what happened to Drax the Destroyer. Genetically manipulated to be a titan-slayer, he lost all of his memories of his time as a human (yes, sorry MCU fans, per the comics Drax was once a human being, and father of the Avenger Moondragon to boot). During the Annihilation event (an excellent read) Drax was reborn, given his own limited series, and became the surly combatant we know today. Gone is the purple spandex and cape, welcome sensible pants and things to stab with.

    Building Drax was very straightforward, painting him more of the same. His tattoos are minimized somewhat on the model, and clearly delineated and thus easy to trace. It’s always easier to paint green skin than trying to match a standard humanoid skin tone too.

    Drax is about 120% a melee fighter. You want guns? Pick up Rocket or Quill. His Blades roll a respectable 5 damage, and inflict Bleedon the target. If the target already has Bleed, he gets to reroll two of those attack dice, significantly upping your chances of a palpable slice. His second attack is the very affordable Headbutt, which rolls less damage but can both Stun and push an opponent away. His third – making him one of the very few characters with more than two basic attacks – only rolls 3 dice as a base, but rolls an extra dice for every damage token on Drax, and can throw opponents as large as the Hulk.

    In case you weren’t done throwing things around, The Destroyer lets you redirect urge to send opponents skyward, into lobbing dumpsters at people. I’m sure the sanitation department will be grateful for your efforts.

    Drax has a solid 12 health total, and I Can Take It makes him even more resilient by reducing the damage he takes from any enemy effect.

    His last ability, Driven By Vengeance, showcases was a vengeful, spiteful sod Drax can be. When he’s damaged by an opponent, he can mark the attacker with a vengeance token. When he attacks a marked opponent, he rolls 3 additional dice. Now, imagine Bullseye has thrown a buckets of nails at Drax and done 5 damage (because, you know, Bullseye). Drax marks him, and comes swinging in with Titan Killer. 3 base dice, 5 additional for the damage on Drax, and then 3 more for the vengeance token, and while you’re at it throw Bullseye into the side of a building. You’re going to need to borrow some dice from your opponent…

    Drax the Destroyer contends with Gamora and Nebula in a competition to see who’s the stabbiest member of the Guardians of the Galaxy, and he comes in a two-pack with Ronan the Accuser. Hunt them down at your FLGS or preferred online retailer.

     


  • MCP: The Man Without Fear

    Daredevil – the Man Without Fear – has been a Marvel mainstay for decades, with some great stories and a rogues gallery that includes big names like Kingpin and Bullseye, and less big names like Gladiator and Stilt-Man. The silver-tongued Matt Murdock has a thing for the ladies, including Black Widow, Elektra and Typhoid Mary, but let’s be honest: One of the smartest things he ever did was switch the yellow eyesore that was his original costume for the classic red. There’s been a few variants over the years since, including a predominantly black version and the awful suit with layered shoulders. but when Atomic Mass announced that he’d be joining rosters for Marvel Crisis Protocol, there was no question in my mind that he’d be monochromatically red once he left my paint table.

    There’ve been some excellent works appearing on social media that have changed the base to a grassy look to that the headstone looks more at home, and a few folk have removed the cable, but I secured the cable to the back of the leading hand for extra stability.

    Daredevil is the latest high-mobility hero to swing onto the table, his movement of L and Wall Crawlerhelping him get around the  board as needed. HIs defensive stats are 3 across the board, but Radar Sense means he treats blanks on defense rolls as successes, so he’s more resilient than he might first seem.

    His basic strike stuns targets if he rolls a wild, and as a reaction he can pay 2 power after being attacked to fire off a Strike thanks to Man Without Fear. This does mean that he can potentially score that Stun before the attacker swings at him with their first action, making them pay more power for their second action. It should be noted, though, that he can only use Man Without Fearuntil his card flips, when the power changes.

    Baton Hook is a nice ranged attack that ignores LOS and cover, but more importantly it pulls the target S toward Daredevil, making it an excellent tool for pulling a target away from an objective, or into into range for a teammate’s swing.

    Devil’s Deliverance is a dark reflection of Baton Hook,pushing targets away from Daredevil. This is an area attack that starts with a low strength of 2, but the dice pool grows for each enemy in range. If you can place Daredevil in the right spot, this could result in a thorough drubbing for a mob of foes.

    I mentioned earlier that Man Without Fear goes away when the card flips; it’s replaced with Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, which allows Daredevil to use his Strike or Baton Hookattacks against a target within 2, though if he rolls any skulls he takes a point of damage in the process. Note that while it’s an active power, it doesn’t take one of his two actions to use, so you can keep firing off extra attacks as long as you have the health and power to fuel it. Flurry of blows indeed…

    Daredevil leaps from the rooftops in a pack with Bullseye, available through your FLGS or preferred online retailer. Strap on the spandex and grab your billy club, someone needs to keep the streets safe…


  • MCP: Gamora – The Deadliest Woman in the Universe

    We’re on a bit of a Marvel Crisis Protocol tear right now, and Gamora’s next up. When I think of the Universe’s most dangerous beings, I confess that a green-skinned, sword-wielding alien wouldn’t have been my initial thought when we’ve got Death Stars and the Borg and the like, but when it comes to daughters of the mad titan who’ve been raised as superlative combatants and assassins, only one can hold the title.

    Gamora has been a member of the Infinity Watch, long time guardians of the Infinity Gems, and in more recent years has carved her way into the limelight as a core member of Peter Quill’s Guardians of the Galaxy.

    Swinging in at Threat 4, Gamora is fast and lethal. Her basic attack is God Slayer, rolling 6 dice and inflicting Bleed. That in itself isn’t bad at all, but when you stack it with Deadliest Woman In The Galaxy ability means every Wild you roll lets you convert a dice that otherwise missed into a hit. This significantly ups the hit averages on God Slayer and her even deadlier Cosmic Assassin.

    Cosmic Assassin isn’t cheap – costs 4 -but it has a longer range than God Slayer, strips a defensive success away from your target, and grants you a free second attack at another target within 2 of the original target. Note that this means you can make your fist swing at a target 3 away from Gamora, and then the second at a target 2 further beyond them, making it one of the longest threat range attacks in the game.

    Her melee attacks are supported by Assassin Leap for bonus distance as the throws herself S distance ignoring any collision damage, and Martial Prowesslets her roll 5 dice in defense against any attack launched from a nearby source rather than her natural 3. Odds are you’re going to reduce any incoming damage, but if you manage to negate it entirely, the attacker takes 2 damage themselves. On offense or defense, Gamora is stabby.

    Living up to her title, Gamora is something of a cruise missile. She can run L, Assassin Leap S, Cosmic Assassina target at 3 range, triggering the second rapid strike attack at a target 2 further, tolling 6 dice for each of the attacks with Wild results letting you switch misses to additional hits. While she may not be inclined to succumb to pelvic sorcery, she’s certainly equipped to conduct emergency surgery as long as you’re willing to consider disembowelment as a successful result.

    One of the heaviest hitters on the Guardians roster (at least until I get my hands on Angela), Gamora is the precision scalpel to balance out the hand grenade that is Ronan. Packed with her sister Nebula, you can find Gamora at your FLGS or preferred online retailer.


  • Support small

    As the pandemic continues, we’re seeing business open up again, we’re seeing services and utilities work to get back up to speed, but a lot of vendors are still struggling. The two biggest events on the North American gaming and SCA calendars – GenCon and Pennsic – were both cancelled, and the impact for a lot of smaller vendors – and larger ones to, granted – has been devastating. Some have had to shutter their doors outright, others struggling to keep forging forward, others are pleading for patience as they realign supply chains, work with reduced staff, and and so many other struggles that impact their ability to keep food on the table.

    Lost Hemisphere’s past sponsors included Dragon Forge Design, a company that I very much believe in and support, who have consistently produced some of the finest resin bases in the tabletop wargaming industry. Dragon Forge Design’s owner posted an update on Facebook recently talking about some of the challenges he’s facing, not the least of which is the disruption of the postal service he relies on to both provide the supplies needed to manufacture bases, and to deliver product to eager customers. Here’s some highlights:

    “9th edition hit and I got slammed with orders, a lot of orders from current customers, old customers returning to the hobby and most important new customers to my products. I’m currently trying my best working long days trying to get these orders processed and shipped out. I appreciate your patience in all of this but I’m starting to get flooded with a lot of complaints and where’s-my-order emails. I’m doing my best to get stuff out and keep everyone happy.” 

    “The second issue is delivery once cast. I use USPS to ship all my orders. At the moment its my only option. I have tried to contact other services Like UPS, Fed Ex or DHL but I’m to small for them to want to deal with or give me any discounted rates. It would just mean shipping costs 2-3 times higher than they already are. Everyone’s shipping volume is messed up right now because of Covid-19. Things are being delayed. This is on incoming to me, like supplies I need being delayed from days to weeks to orders being shipped out delayed. Add to it the total mess the USPS is becoming due to the current administrations attempt to dismantle the post office removing sorting machines and cutting staff, the mail is slow. Packages are reaching everyone, they are just taking longer. “

    “International orders is another thing. With Covid-19 effect on international travel and flights packages are taking weeks even months to get to people. No international passenger flights = no international mail. The delays in international mail are getting less for larger countries but smaller ones are slower. The mail collects in places like Chicago until they have enough for a container or a plane and then dispatch it. I’m sorry I have no control over this.”

    Smaller businesses – and not just those in the gaming industry – need support in order to weather the current storm. From mom-and-pop bakeries to small bookstores in your hometown, to smaller vendors like Dragon Forge Design – who, again, make frankly the best bases I’ve ever had the pleasure to work with – they all need your business, your support, and your patience.

    Wash your damn hands. Wear your damn mask. Support small businesses.


  • If you play it, they will come.

    I was hoping to be able to do an unboxing for the Warcaster: Neo-Mechanika goodies from the Kickstarter, but while I’m seeing any number of pics from giddy souls elsewhere on the continent, sadly there’s no tracking number yet for a box of Iron Star Alliance heading toward the Gdaycave. The anticipation of the arrival of the new shinies has had me thinking, though. While we’re all socially distancing and gaming together isn’t an option for those adhering to social distancing, it won’t be this way forever, and there’ll come a time when I’m in a position to host an opponent or two in the Gdaycave…

    … but to host an opponent, one needs… an opponent.

    The question is, then, how to encourage your fellow gamers to take up the game you want to play, or how to encourage your non-gamer friends to share your interest. Some people just aren’t into tabletop gaming, and that’s cool, but I know I’m looking forward to sharing tabletops again when we can, and if I can help some new people discover a new hobby, then I’m all for it.

    When the Press Ganger program was running I made a point of dumping my PG Points into starter boxes and models that I could use to either run demos for new players, or to actively gift to enthusiastic newbies to help them start their collections. This sadly isn’t an option any more, and a new product like Warcaster doesn’t yet have the depth of lore or range of models that Warmachine & Hordes have, or any number of other games. Joys of being the new kid on the block.

    While we have a very dynamic ruleset, we don’t yet have easy, ready access to all models, but we do have a setting we can share, and some super cool art pieces. It’ll be awhile before there are enough models out there to show prospective newbies, but if you can get your hands on two starters, paint ’em up, and you’ll have demo kits. From there you can showcase the game to your friends, how it plays, and mayhap point them at an FLGS or preferred online retailer so they can get some models if their interest is sufficiently piqued.

    This train of thought may have been inspired by a recent article on Warhammer Community, but the same principles apply to any game system. The key to finding new opponents, regardless of your preferred flavor of toy soldiers, is you.

    You’re in the position to be an ambassador not just for your chosen game, but for the way you like to play your chosen game. You can not only welcome new players into the lore and setting and ruleset of  your favourite game, you can also show them the different ways the game can be enjoyed. Want opponents for tense, edge-of-your-seat, mentally challenging nailbiters? Want opponents for relaxed, beer-and-pretzels nights of seeing who can roll the most dice? Wherever you fall on the spectrum, I encourage you to play the game the way you love to play, and in doing so share what you love about your games. Be mindful that a different aspect may appeal to your newbies, but with a bit of luck you’ll find a kindred spirit, and make a new friend… who will also turn out to be your fondest enemy. Yeah, Spud, I’m looking at you 😉

     

     


  • MonPoc: Unboxing Blastikutter

    Whether you enjoy relaxing and reading the Sunday paper, or congregating with fellow worshippers, there’s nothing that’ll ruin the tranquility or fellowship of your Sunday morning quite like an enormous monster clawing its way up from below, wreaking carnage on the landscape by means of an enormous torso-mounted drill that it keeps inexplicably thrusting vaguely in your direction. Oh, and it has a giant chainsaw for one hand and a cannon for the other. We have no idea how it scratches its butt. Let’s unbox Blastikutter!

    Continue reading  Post ID 20620


  • An appeal to common sense

    No pretty pictures in today’s post. I’m taking a moment to reach out with an appeal to common sense and mindfulness. This past weekend pictures and a video were posted of a group of over a dozen wargamers from my local area, engaging in an outdoor Warmachine tournament. Even ignoring the fact that when playing a cross a 4′ table everyone’s going to at some point be within 6′ of their opponent, players were certainly with 6′ of players at other tables. Masks were not being worn.

    By the guidelines in Ontario, updated only a week or so back, masks should be worn, social distancing should be utilized, and that gatherings should be of no more than ten people, and if you’re not going to use masks and social distancing at your gathering, those ten people should be with an agreed-upon social bubble – ie, that those ten people agree to socialize exclusively with other members of the bubble, including their households. This means that if Bob and Joe want to be in a bubble, that bubble would consist of Bob, Bob’s partner, Bob’s kids, and the same for Joe. If both have three kids, then the bubble would be Bob and Joe’s immediate households and no-one else, such as grandparents and other extended family.

    What I saw on the weekend was a gathering larger than the prescribed limit (and thus every person present could have been fined if the authorities were called, starting at $750 per person), none with masks, and I know several of the players present have partners and children. All it would take is for one person present to be asymptomatic, and the entire gathering and their households could have been infected. Despite the risk, I don’t expect anyone at that gathering to put their households on a two week full quarantine as a precaution.

    Now, I get it. I really do. I haven’t played a board game or minis game in several months. I miss my gaming pals something fierce. I miss being able to get together, to hang out, to relax and nerd out among like minded geeks. I also get that Canada hasn’t doesn’t have anywhere near the extremity of COVID-19 outbreaks that our southern neighbors are enduring. A large part of the reason Canada hasn’t experienced as prolific a spread of cases is because people, at least initially, observed self-isolation recommendations, cancelled public gatherings, limited any contact with anyone outside of their house, and hand washing and mask wearing were prevalent.

    Now things are slowly reopening, we’re moving forward in stages as we try to return to some semblance of normal, but there are still guidelines in place for a reason. The more people ignore the guidelines, the more we’re at risk of an increased outbreak, and the longer this whole thing is going to continue.

    Yes,I want to see my friends. Yes, I want to be able to go down to the FLGS and play games. I’ve almost completely painted a Flesh-Eater Courts army for Age of Sigmar that I’m super keen to actually put on the table. I’ve knocked out a bunch of Riot Quest, Marvel Crisis Protocol, Monsterpocalypse and more – so many great hobby projects, and I have no clue when I’ll finally be able to actually play with them, but I refuse to be a transmission vector. I refuse to be the reason COVID-19 gets introduced to someone else. I refuse to put other people’s lives at risk due to my own selfish desire to geek.

    More significantly, I want to be able to hug my kids. I want to be able to take my girlfriend to visit her son, and I want her to be able to hug him. It’s something of a blessing in disguise that the rest of my family is on the other side of the planet, but have you had to visit with a loved one, standing apart, and have you had to walk away without hugging them? It sucks dirt.

    So I’m asking you.

    Please be mindful. Please consider those around you, and the grander consequences of your choosing to disregard the recommendations and guidelines. Your flippancy potentially endangers you and your household and those you love. Your casual disregard potentially pushes the clock that much further back on when we can -all- move forward.

    Yes, it all sucks, masks can be uncomfortable, social distancing and lack of human contact takes a toll mentally. Yes, not being able to gather during beach and bbq season is both incredibly disappointing and depressing, especially for those of us who are more socially inclined. Sure, your health is your own business, and you may choose a more lackadaisical attitude toward precautions, but when you do so you potentially put other people at risk. Take precautions and follow the guidelines. They may not be 100% guaranteed to thwart transmission, they’re our best bet of beating this, or at least holding out until we can get a vaccine.

    Fire up a tabletop simulator and play online. Get yourself into an online D&D game with Zoom and Roll20 or somesuch. Fire up Diablo III and play with your friends as you work to finally level up a Necromancer. While it’s certainly not the same, it’s better than being the reason why someone else has to say goodbye to a loved one.

    We’ll get back to nerdier things later in the week, for now… please be mindful.

    And wash your damn hands.