All posts by Jake

My primary hobbies are Warhammer Fantasy Battle and Dungeons and Dragons Roleplaying. I enjoy video games, primarily Strategy games, though I enjoy RPGS (especially older ones), and certain adventure games. Follow my Dungeon Master account DMing101 on twitter for sporadic tips and thoughts and my other gaming twitter jake_hutton for general gaming stuff.

Gaming Resolution: Update 3

Hello ATG fans, Jake here, with my third Gaming Resolution update. This update is about a week late, which means it will be a jam packed article!

First up, a discussion on the progress of my video gaming. As some of you may remember, I was playing my way through Might and Magic 3. While I enjoyed the beginning of the game, around level 13 I hit an awkward point where even with internet walkthroughs I could not figure out where to go next. The game is completely open world; however, the dungeons do not change with your level, meaning certain dungeons are impossible to beat until certain levels. I actually like this aspect of the game, but the game was designed insanely difficult, with dungeon monsters being ridiculously easy, then through the next door a monster would one hit knock out a party member. This design has made it impossible to really predict when I have found appropriate places to advance in the game.

Continue reading Gaming Resolution: Update 3

Gaming Resolution: Update 2

Greetings ATG! After a slight delay I bring you another update of my Gaming Resolution.

With April looming in the close future I have really begun to feel the heat of getting my army painted in time. With that in mind I have been trying to really make some major progress on my warhammer army, but in order to do that I needed to finish my last commission piece, the Ghoul King. I am happy to report that after a day off I have finished my friend Jame’s Ghoul King, here he is in all his glory. Props to James for a subtle but effective conversion adding wings and the tombstone to the model, it really worked well.

Ghoul King

Ghoul King 2

In addition to painting this model I assembled 40 Skeletons. This may not sound like much of an achievement; however, all the interesting graveyard stuff came from careful planning and grabbing additional materials, to make the unit much more interesting. In addition, each model had to have mold lines, lines created during the molding process, carefully scraped away, so they didn’t show up during my painting. With 40 models, each multipart, there was a lot of scraping done (roughly 10 hours worth).

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One of my favorite things to do, as see in this unit, is add older models, such as the metal ones. I think they add some diversity to the unit. Below is probably my favorite addition, a slightly goofy looking skeleton necromancer raising additional troops from a pile of bones. (at least that was the concept lol).

Skellies

Not to worry you video game fanatics, I did play some games.

I managed to clear a few more levels in Might and Magic, as detailed on the show.

I also got my ass kicked by Logan in a game of Sins of a Solar Empire, and began playing a one player game in an attempt to get better. I currently have logged about 11 hours into this game, but don’t feel I have played enough for a full review. I am enjoying it and have found it to be a compelling RTS.

While painting and working on my warhammer I have been watching several documentaries I checked out from the library (where I work). My favorites have been on the “Barbarians” during the Roman Period, attempting to examine the period from a barbarians perspective, demonstrating their diverse and complicated culture. In addition, I am about half way through a documentary on the crusades, both have really gotten me to think longingly about starting a Total War campaign; however, I really don’t want to lose sight on Might and Magic, we will see if I can keep strong.

Well that is it for this update, see you in about two weeks.

Gaming Resolution: Update 1

Greetings everyone! As promised here is an update of my progress towards my New Year’s Resolution.

First, I completed quite a bit of painting, finishing one of my two commission jobs I am currently working on.

The model is called a Terrorghiest, and is an undead giant Vampire Bat.

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My friend who I painted this for wants his army in very natural tones and colors, hence the use of only browns, bone, and blood, minus the green tongue.

Onto my video game progress, other then playing a few online games of Ages of Empires II with friends, and playing a lot of Pokemon for the UUTC (a Pokemon tournament the PUCL Podcast is currently hosting), I began my play through of Might and Magic III: The Isle of Terra. This is an old school RPG from the day of DOS. It is turned based, where you delve through dungeons, towns, and the wilderness fighting a host of enemies. It is open world, meaning you can go where ever; however, with each creatures’ power determined ahead of time there is major danger in traveling too far, or too fast.

Currently I have cleared three wilderness zones, one dungeon, two towns, and two town dungeons. In the first town I faced off against the dreaded Rat Overlord, pictured below, of course by the time I reached him I was high enough level to soundly thrash him.

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One annoying thing about travel is that many enemies inflict various status ailments, which is left unchecked can be crippling. I recently cleared the the third wilderness, which is filled with disembodied heads, which inflict insanity on the party.

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The way insanity is pictured is pretty hysterical.

My party is currently between level 8 and 9; with me trying to find a new place to explore.

Finally, over the weekend I began playing The Evil Within, while my girlfriend watched. We both found the game to be intense and pretty frightening. While I have only played about two hours, only just receiving a gun, the palpable feeling of unease and horror was filled throughout.

The game is quite stylistic feeling like an mix of Resident Evil and Silent Hill. The story gets pretty intense, pretty fast, and I am excited to see where it goes.

A final point in the game’s favor is an unusual degree of difficulty, with me dying over a dozen times in the early part of the game.

The game isn’t perfect, the initial “villain” is a pretty generic brute with a chainsaw, whose motions at times look pretty bad. However, despite this the chase he leads you on is quite uncomfortable and tense.

Well that is my first update of the year, please feel free to offer some comments and questions on the article to show me someone is reading :).

If you like Pokemon, and want to read my musings on the lore, Pokemon, or other aspects of the game, check out my other article series called “Beorn’s Splash,” while there you might also want to consider the other great articles on the site ranging from competitive battling tips, anime discussion, to more lore. All this is found here: http://www.puclpodcast.com/category/articles/beorns-splash/ .

Gaming New Year’s Resolution

Greetings ATG fans, back from the dark depths of the aether it is me Jake!

With the beginning of the new year I always try to make a few New Year’s resolution centered around my gaming, I find it helps focus me throughout the year.

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This year I have two gaming resolutions.

The first is centered around my main hobby, Warhammer Fantasy Battle, it is my goal to complete my secret Warhammer project by April to be unveiled at the Unplugged Grand Tournament, a large competition based in Connecticut. I have roughly about 140 models to paint between then and now, so hopefully I can do it.

My second resolution is that part I think the ATG fans will find more compelling.

Recently, I have been seriously contemplating buying a new gaming PC. The next gen systems don’t really appeal to me, RPGs and Strategy games are my favorite genres, so PC is the natural choice; however, when beginning to budget this decision I realized I still have over a dozen games I have barely touched, some of which are still in their wrappers.

Unplayed games sitting around collecting dust seemed like such a waste, I’m not the type of person to constantly buy new games only for many to not get played *cough* Terrell *Cough*, so I have made a decision, I vow not to buy any new games or systems (with a few exceptions Pokemon, Ages of Empire Expansions, Total War), until I have worked through a list of 15 games I have not beaten, and 5 series or games I want to replay.

I must beat, or put at least 10 hours, into all 15 games on this list, before buying any new games or electronic systems (with a few exceptions, new Pokemon, ect.).

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The loose rules I am setting up is that the new games need to be beaten in some form, or have at least 10 hours of gameplay before they count as tried. There will be some wiggle room here as the goal is after all to have fun, if a game bores me, or really bad then it gets crossed off.

15 Games to Beat

1. Fatal Frame II
2. Might and Magic III
3. Might and Magic IV
4. Might and Magic V
5. Might and Magic VI
6. Kingdom Hearts I
7. Fire Emblem: Awakening
8. Final Fantasy 13: 2
9. Rome Total War II
10. Pokemon Conquest
11. The Evil Within
12. Panzer Corps
13. Sins of a Solar Empire
14. Any Heroes of Might and Magic Game (most likely 3)
15. Bayonetta

Replay List
1. Mass Effect 1-3
2. The Last of Us
3. Uncharted 2 and 3
4. Dead Space 1
5. Batman Arkham City

That is my list, there are a lot of older titles on there, some harkening back to the days of DOS :).

As part of this resolution I am also going to try to post more regularly on this site how many play through are going, and will definitely be posting reviews of the games once they get crossed off the list.

Until next time, I have been Jake!

If you like Pokemon, and want to read my musings on the lore, Pokemon, or other aspects of the game, check out my other article series called “Beorn’s Splash,” while there you might also want to consider the other great articles on the site ranging from competitive battling tips, anime discussion, to more lore. All this is found here: http://www.puclpodcast.com/category/articles/beorns-splash/ .

Otakon 2014: Yu Yu Hakusho Cosplay

Greetings Around the Geek fans!

Otakon has wound down and finished, and I wanted to share pics of all the amazing cosplayers of my favorite anime Yu Yu Hakusho. I was lucky to be a part of Saturday’s and Sunday’s photoshoots as my girlfriend and I were cosplaying as characters from the show.

Here we are as the Toguro Brothers:

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And here as Koenma and Botan:

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So onto some of my favorite shots from the weekend!
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Hope you enjoyed the pics!

Fleet Commander Drukain and The Hidden Dagger

Hi Around the Geek fans! Jake here with the first entry in a narrative warhammer campaign a group of friends and I are attempting to start. The general idea is that our warhammer games, rather then being one off battles, will tell a continued story, centered around the four of our struggles on the Vampire Coast of the jungle continent of Lustria.

The image below details to start of my leader, and his (hopefully) rise to glory on the vampire coast.

As a point of reference for those of you not warhammer players, Druchii is what the Dark Elves (evil elves) are called by themselves and other elves. The Asari are Wood Elves, a volatile woodland race of elves which have a close relationship with the powers of nature (played by another player).

Here is hoping that once we get together and have our first game that I have something good to report back to ATG fans!

Click the image below to get the full story for my character and his crew of raiders.

Drukain's Folly

Unplugged GT: Round 1

Hi all you avid Around the Geek Fans!

Today I am bringing you a report of my first round at the Unplugged Gt. Before I suppose I should detail my army:

Lords:
Bretonnian Lord w. barded Bretonnian Warhorse, Virtue of Heroism, Armor of Agilulf, Sword of Swift Slaying 221

Prophetess of the Lady w. lvl4 (Heavens), Prayer Icon 250

Heroes:
Damsel of the Lady w. Lvl2 (Beast), Dispel Scroll, Bretonnian Warhorse 140

Paladin w. Lance, Battle Standard Bearer, Shield, Gromril Great Helm, Sword of Might, barded Bretonnian Warhorse 130

Paladin w. Questing Vow, Shield, Great Weapon, barded Bretonnian Warhorse, Virtue of Knightly Temper, Dragon Helm 138

Core:
10 Peasant Bowmen w. Braziers 65
10 Peasant Bowmen w. Braziers 65
50 Men at Arms w. Full Command, Halberds 277
6 Knights of the Realm w. Full Command 168
8 Knights Errant w. Full Command 181
8 Knights Errant w. Full Command 181
8 Knights Errant w. Full Command, Errantry Banner 201
5 Knights Errant w. Musician, Champion 107
5 Knights Errant w. Musician, Champion 107

Special:
5 Mounted Yeomen w. Musician, Shield 87
Rare:
Trebuchet 90
Trebuchet 90

My first round opponent was Evan Moyer, playing his all goblin, orc and goblin army. Evan’s list revolved around 2 spear chukkas, 1 doom diver, and 1 rock lobba, 3 river trolls, a big unit of 61 night goblins, which also had several night goblin characters, a smaller mob of 40 or so night goblins several spider rider and wolf rider mobs, a few fanatics, and a giant (which was an awesome forge world giant model). His BsB was on a giant spider, and had the spider banner.

Looking at the list I couldn’t help but feel it was a good match up for me. There was not a lot that could deal with my knights, and the BsB on the giant spider was pretty vulnerable.

For this battle Evan and I decided to use the optional terrain rules on the table, which meant the forest in his deployment zone gave units fear, and on my side was a nasty swamp, which killed D6 models in every unit in it at the end of the movement phase!

Once deployment was over Evan’s goblin mobs were 12″ forward roughly in the center of his deployment zone. His smaller goblin unit was to my left at the side of the bigger unit. His warmachines were deployed behind the massive goblin block, his giant on my right flank and all his spider mobs and wolf boys on my left.

On my right flank I had deployed both my 10 man bowmen units, both 5 man knight errant units, and the 6 man knight of the realm. The trebs were split one on either flank, all three of my knight buses were concentrated on the left flank, along with a combat character in each and men at arms. My battle plan was to kill the BsB as fast as possible, and hope panic would do the rest, LD7 is not great even with rerolls, without its abysmal.

During the vanguard phase Evan showed me just how maneuverable his army was pushing 4 separate units up the gut and into my face. To my amazement this included his BsB. On the left my trebuchet and mounted Yeomen were being threatened; however, Evan’s fear of the trebuchet had left his valuable BsB potentially open.

Turns 1:
Both our first turns were pretty uneventful, with some maneuvering on both sides. Some wild spider riders on the right flank failed animosity and charged into my knights errant, which during my turn received support from more knights breaking the unit.

Amazing during my shooting peasant bowmen managed to deal one wound to the giant menacing the right flank. Go peasants!

Turn 2:
Going for a average charge one of my lances rammed home into Evan’s lone wolf chariot, releasing fanatics from the nearby night goblin units. Amazingly my unit managed to survive, losing only 2 knights!

Even more importantly, another knight lance managed to slam into the flank of Evan’s BsB unit, taking a risk moving into the horrid swamp, but being rewarded for their bravery losing only 1 model, whew!

During combat Evans 2 spider riders were unsurprisingly beaten by my knights errant and paladin, breaking the unit and killing the BsB, panicking the nearby wolf riders. Further up the goblin wolf chariot was slain, and my knights errant unit with the BSB was starring down a ton of angry goblins. Luckily for me my lord’s unit was close by about to lend support.

Turn 3:
Evan, elects not to charge my knight unit, hoping magic and warmachines will be enough. His warmachines absolutely batter my BsB’s knight errant unit leaving only the champion and BsB.

Evan’s giant, who had taken yet another wound from bow fire, was quite close to bowmen and knights on the right side.

During my turn I charged my lone BsB out against Evan’s spear chukka, and slammed my general’s unharmed knight unit into the smaller goblin blocks. Counting fortitude I realized if I broke this goblin unit I would receive bonus victory points for the objective. The lone champion; however, decided that running and hiding behind one of the large boulders on the map was the best options (preserving his unit’s points).

My BsB easily slaughtered the poor goblin crew and reformed facing down more warmachines. Meanwhile the general and his unit, along with a useful wildform ran down the goblins breaking them, despite their steadfast (LD6 is not great). During my magic phase I had Iceshard Blizzarded Evan’s massive goblin unit, who then failed their panic check, after the spear chukka’s death, and began to run from me.

On the right flank my knights of the realm and errant charged into the giant. This was a match-up I was unsure of, but I honestly love seeing giant’s and combat and figured what the hell. Surprising both myself and Evan my knights did great killing the giant and losing only 1 knight of the realm in return (thank god for the Lady’s Blessing rule).

Dying in a spectacular manner, the giant then fell on both knight units. Evan told me he did not have a giant template; however, seeing as how it was a massive forgeworld giant I told him clearly the giant had fallen on all 9 knights in combat. After both Evan’s to wound roll, and my save rolls, the giant had killed 3 more knights from his bulk collapsing on them. Not quite a death worthy of the Lady’s Chosen, but oh well it was pretty funny!

Turn 4-5:
Looking at the board if I could score the goblin unit I would probably score max points; however, the terrified creatures continued to run, and thanks to some rather lucky unit placement on my part in the following turn had no where to land and ran off the board. With this the round ended with me taking a max pointed win 24-0.

Evan was a great opponent and took his lose well. Afterwards we chatted about various things and I gave him a few points for future rounds, such as keeping his BsB back with his units. Overall magic was pretty minimal for both sides. Evan attempted Curse of the Bad Moon twice, but then I killed his wizard, after which most of his spells were nonthreatening. For my part, though I did have some handy spells, such as the nice iceshard blizzard, my magic’s impact was minimal.

Unplugged Grand Tournament: Overview

 

Hey Around the Geek Fans!

Last weekend I was lucky enough to go to the Unplugged Grand Tournament in Hartford, Connecticut. The event was a Warhammer Fantasy tournament hosted and run by the awesome Unplugged Gamers club.

The Unplugged GT was a 2 day Warhammer Tournament where 68 gamers competed and played against each other in 5 one on one battles. Players competed for various prizes including, painting awards, best player for each army, best sportsman, best general, and best overall (a compilation of all the other things).

I went to this same event last year and had a blast, so I had high hopes for the weekend, and was not disappointed. From the amazing tables, which had terrain of the highest quality, the friendly and organized staff, the awesome hotel, and the great opponents this was an amazing event.

The best part of an event like this are the people. Gamers, and wargamers especially, are a social group. Even though I was the only player from the Baltimore area I never felt isolated or alone. I was continually chatting to people I had met from last year’s event, the tournament organizers, and to my opponents during games. The  social atmosphere of the event was a blast.

Another major component of the event was the visual pageantry, that a premier event such as the Unpluged GT, brought out. Walking through the gaming hall it was impossible not to be blown away and inspired by the amazing paint jobs and displays many of my fellow gamers had brought.

One of my favorite armies was by Mike DiCiccio, which was a great looking Warriors of Chaos army. The display, color choice, and subtle conversions made the army unique and eye catching.

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For more pictures from the weekend head over to http://www.unpluggedgamers.com/ where the organizers took a ton of pics (which are better quality then my own).

A unique trait of this event was that the paint judges upon request would give in depth face to face feedback on your army. This was an part of the event I had especially looked forward to. Though half my army was borrowed, I gained great tips on what to improve and change on the completed elements of my army feeling happy with the improvements I had made from my past army. I also left excited to step improve my army even more. A big thanks to paint judges Jeff, Greg, and Mike for great feedback and to Peyton who also popped in to give some advice.

By the end of the weekend I had won one game and lost four; however, despite my poor performance I did receive several awards including Best Bretonnian General (I was the only one), 3rd Favorite Opponent ( for being a fun opponent to play), one raffle prize, and a little goblin painted by Greg Person, one of the organizers, for being most in spirit during the Triumph and Treachery mini game Saturday night (I betrayed a guy for his gold).

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I had an amazing weekend, and would suggest giving larger tournaments, such as this, a try to any gamer. It is a great way to meet more people, play different style armies, and see some amazing models.  The event has super charged my desire to hobby, and has me inspired to really push myself to further improve my painting ability.

In later articles, I will cover in further depth my own personal games over the weekend. Until then a big thanks to the organizers and my opponents Evan Moyer, Omar Martinez, John Chastenay, George Torres, and Jeremy G. for a great weekend of gaming.

Captain America: Winter Soldier

Greetings ATG fans, Jake here with a first time movie review of Captain America: Winter Soldier. I am presuming that since all of you are geeks this movie is already well known to you, if not stop reading this now and go see it. The movie is well worth the money, and arguably the best marvel movie to date (though not my number 1 pick). A warning, this review will contain at least partial spoilers as I pick apart what I liked and did not like. I will start with what I did not like, so I can end on a positive.

Continue reading Captain America: Winter Soldier