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  • 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 20420


  • 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.


  • No nerdity today.

    We have bigger things to think about.

    Lost Hemisphere has been built with the help of people from a variety of backgrounds. A lot of people who enjoy this blog, who I’m friends with thanks to the hobby we share – we’re connected by our love of geekery, regardless of ethnicity or creed. Right now? A lot of those same people are dealing with something I can barely fathom. I’m at a loss seeing the violence, and I’m frightened for those who are being impacted – physically, emotionally, psychologically.

    As a middle-aged white CIS male, I’ve never felt the kind of systemic racism endured by so many others. I won’t pretend that I truly understand or that I can wrap my head around the enormity of what’s happening in the States right now, and around the world.

    I encourage you to take some time to think about the events that have led to where we are now, and maybe what we could do differently in the future. Be kind to each other, and everyone… please be safe.


  • Miggy’s Table: Pt4 – Laughing At Myself

    Hello, Losties! I’m back with some more progress on how my modular table is coming together. While I’m making tons of progress, I did run into a few snags that taught me some important lessons. For instance, I was wrapping up putting the boards together when I discovered something about the foam board that I was using. There’s a thin paper covering on either side that can be removed. In my case it should have been removed. Turns out that the raw foam can take on a more interesting texture and allows for better line separation for the concrete blocks. Ah well, that’s one lesson down.

    In the last post, I brought up the fact that these boards needed some tarmac. I mentioned that Mel over at The Terrain Tutor suggested using sandpaper which sounded brilliant! The only downside was that I actually needed a ton of sandpaper to get the desired effect. I dug around for what I had and, as it turns out, the little scrap of sanding material that I used to rough up the edges of the foam was all I had.

    Please join me in laughing at myself for a minute.

    Alright, so that wasn’t going to work. I needed to figure something out. After some digging around on the ole YouTube I found just the thing I needed. Jay over at  Terrain Made Easy suggested using joint compound or spackle to make realistic asphalt. Now that was an interesting plan. Good thing I had some of the stuff on hand!

    The stuff I had was very dry from lack of use. A couple of teaspoons of water and it was ready to spread. After spreading it on a tile, I used an old brush to stipple some great texture. This was starting to turn out great!

    What I didn’t account for was the warping.

    Continue reading  Post ID 20420


  • Pals are makin’ stuff

    While I’m happily chugging along with my Flesh-Eater Courts as my #PandemicProject, friends of mine are embracing technology that’s way beyond my ken, and extruding plastic filament and resin stuff through printers that don’t get paper jams. I’ll freely admit I have no idea what goes into 3-D printing, and thankfully I have an FLGS that will print files for me, but as the pandemic’s rolled forward friends of mine have shared with me their endeavors, which I now share with you.

    Pal Rob  is all about mechs and tanks and stuff, so it’s no huge surprise that he’s been designing  building on hexes for Battletech. Each is on a 1.25″ hex base, and the range he’s designed stretches from apartment buildings and offices to fortifications and artillery. Rob has his designs over on ArtStation, and welcomes you to take a peek. Of personal interest, his vehicle designs will scale nicely for Marvel Crisis Protocol, and some of the sci-fi trucks may well make for perfect scatter terrain for Warcaster: Neo Mechanika…

    I haven’t painted anything close to this scale since the late 90’s when I worked on Space Marine/Epic armies. Painting tiny windows is a pain in the proverbial, but then, I painted every single damn button on Aiyana’s bodyguard Master Holt, so I knew I could muscle through these. I was perhaps unreasonably proud of the helipad on the roof of the BMW building. Freehand really is not my strong suit (I mean, look at the BMW logo) but I was very happy with how round I managed to get it. Big thanks to Rob for letting me play with some of his toys!

    Pal Steve is also printing, and in order to work the kinks out of his printers he agreed to print some samples from Modphius’s range of scatter terrain for Fallout: Wasteland Warfare. Steve will be working on providing a printing service once he’s got a few more things sorted out, so we’ll offer up a plug for him when the time comes. Modiphius’ range of STL’s, in the meantime, includes some really cool stuff, from the Red Rocket to toilets with or without a seat, as per your personal preferences.

      Crates are always good for scatter terrain, even if they look like a matched luggage set. No losing your stuff on the conveyor belt at the airport. More importantly, I’d like to point out that 1980’s Gdaybloke would be in seventh heaven to have a multi-rack stereo system like that. I’m thinking these will make good Necromunda scatter terrain too…

    As we all make our way through this, I think it’s important to have some sort of creative outlet, something to focus on. I consider hobbies to be a key part of our mental well-being, and I’m delighted that Rob and Steve are both exploring new avenues with their printers, and thankful for the opportunity to paint some of the stuff they’ve made. Me, I have no idea about this sort of stuff, but time at the painting desk both helps me destress and gives me a sense of productivity and accomplishment as I mark off milestones on the #PandemicProject. What works for me may not work for you, but I encourage you to find your geeky peace as we weather the ongoing storm. Nerdmaste. Wash your damn hands.


  • Kicking around: Raptor Claw Island and Dungeons Box Pocket

    I’ll freely admit that my gaming schedule is pretty damn full, but that doesn’t mean I’m not interested in knowing what else is out there in the world of board games, tabletop wargaming and roleplaying games. I’m reading through Modiphius’ Conan The Adventurer at the moment, but a couple of other projects have cropped up on Kickstarter that I thought warranted a second glance. The first is one of those rare entities, the co-op miniature wargame, and the second is an RPG accessory for the gamer on the go.

    Ulaya Chronicles: Raptor Claw Island

    Set in the thunder-lizard infested setting of the Drowned Earth, Raptor Claw Island introduces solo/co-op wargaming with jungles and pirates and things that go rawr in the night. You and your fellow players are shipwrecked and must contend with a variety of dinosaurs and cutthroats in a fight to survive the over-arching story, with your characters advancing and developing new abilities as you work your way through the scenarios. This makes it appear more of a campaign based overland dungeon crawler than a wargame, but there are element so both both game styles.

    At a base pledge level of £39, you get the core game with a bunch of cards, standees for all the heroes and reptiles, enough tokens to choke a stegosaurus. Everything you need to play is here. Up it by £20 and you get miniatures for the four heroes including multiple options for arms and weapons (head swamps locked at the time of writing), and levels beyond that give you miniatures for the dinosaurs, up to the 50mm base Baryonyx. Optional add-ons include Corsairs, alternate dino’s, and other models that re all compatible with the Drowned Earth setting

    Raptor Claw Island caught my eye because hey dinosaurs, and games – good games – that can be played solo or as co-op aren’t that easy to find. Most dungeon crawl style games really shine when there’s a human mind running the bad guys, rather than a simulated AI, but the gameplay videos for this one seem solid. Add in a setting style that’s not over-represented in the market, and some pretty sweet miniature renders and I think we have a game that’s work a look conceptually, mechanically and aesthetically.

     

    Dungeons Box Pocket

    Remember all those years ago when you first heard of Wyrmwood or Elderwood Academy? Let’s face it: We roleplaying nerds love fancy wood stuff. From exotic dice all the way to bespoke gaming tables, wooden gaming accessories have been the darling of the rpg accessory market for some time now. There’s a lot of fancy stuff out there, with prices to match the fanciness. Part of the appeal of Dungeons Box Pocket is that it’s a neat looking accessory that won’t break the bank but can still add a degree of spiffiness if you’re one of those players who’s always traveling to a friend’s place to play, and  your mobile phone is your preferred interface for your character sheet et al.

    Dungeons Box Pocket takes the common concept of a dice vault and expands it to allow for space for a miniature and a phone stand, while at the same time still being small enough to fit into a pocket. Well, one of my pockets, at least. I’m not particularly svelte, my jeans pockets are sizable. Now, there are plenty of magnetically sealed dice vault style products on the market, but this project caught my eye by not only offering some nice exotic woods like purpleheart and ebony, but by starting out with the base level box being made from bamboo,  a material that is durable as heck while also being environmentally sustainable. As one of the jerks who lives on this planet, I have something of a vested interest in the continuance of its habitability, so seeing something that would simultaneously allow me to get my nerd on while at the same time not placing undue burden on the ecosystem for the sake of my geek pride, well, it’s a thing.

    For the gamer on the go, I think you could do far worse for a nice dice vault than the Dungeons Box Pocket. Heck, if your DM was comfortable just using his tablet, the space-saving benefits of this little fellow in terms of corralling your dice and keeping your character sheet in one spot could make for a fun little afternoon playing in the corner of your favorite watering hole.

     

    The gaming industry – along with pretty much every other industry, to be fair – has taken it on the chin throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, and it’s nice to see some creative types out there are still pouring themselves into their products despite the challenges everyone’s facing. I’m looking forward to getting my Megaton Mashup on for Privateer Press’ Monsterpocalypse, Warcaster is on the way, Atomic Mass has promised me Dr Strange soon for Marvel Crisis Protocol, Ninja Division’s Masterclass sculpts are looking amazing, and there’s a whole bunch of online rpg’s happening right now. The people that make the games, the diversions that have helped us get through social distancing and self-isolation, are still doing what they do best, albeit under assorted restrictions. Take a look at what’s out there, and plan your next adventure.