Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Inspiration for Writing: History of Rome by Mike Duncan

Oh, how I miss classes. This summer, I have been inspired by Mike Duncan's History of Rome podcast. The original show ran from 2007 to 2012. How did I miss that?

In any event, Mr. Duncan's excellent show has been very inspirational for me. I've been listening to two shows a day, once while writing and once before bed. I can't wait to catch up and start listening to his new podcast, Revolutions.

You can also check out Mr. Duncan's great book, The Storm before the Storm on Amazon.com.

Add your inspirational podcasts down in the comments. Lord knows, I don't want to miss any more great shows.

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Friday, May 19, 2017

Gemstone IV and The Wizard

This week, I will be reviewing the Simutronics Wizard for Mac and PC. The Wizard is the client for most Simutronics' games, I will be focusing on Gemstone IV, but this could apply to any game supported by the Wizard.

My goals are:
Install Wizard on Mac OS 9.
Install Wizard on Chromebook.
Install Wizard on Windows.
Getting the most out of a Mac OS 9 install using other software.

Bonus points if I cover:
Telnetting into the game.
Cover Stormfront for Windows and/or Linux.
Cover other MUD software for Windows, Linux, Mac OS, OS X and Chromebook.

Tall order...

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Research for Pio

Pio is a novel set in Italy before Mussolini's rise to power. It has sat on the back burner for a while and there it will remain until I do some more research.

To that end, I am reading How Fascism Ruled Women. While it is set at some point after this novel's timeline, the effects of fascism were already becoming a powerful force on society. Reading the end point is kind of backwards, but helpful.

I order a physical copy from Amazon, which was a little pricey but worth it.

What I have found is that I need to back up in time to really capture what and why things were happening in Italy between the World Wars.

I love research!

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Space Marines (Continued)

I found a few Space Marines weeks ago. I keep finding just enough parts to build a couple more. These three are mostly painted. I thought I would try a little red highlight on the figures to switch it up.

(Obvious, I have never played Warhammer 40K.)

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Amarillo Design Bureau Freighters, Kitbashed

Starfleet Battles is an intensely detailed and competitive game. For the longest time, how ADB designed ships was a secret. A few years ago, the team took a shot at rules to modify ships. The rules were written, but then abandoned by the authors. The general problem was Starfleet Battles ships have a power curve, meaning the ships should have limitations and abilities based on speed. It is easy to modify a ship to reduce or eliminate a limitation.

The nice thing about ADB is they have a rich history of two-way player support. They post rules for players to try before launching a product. Very often those products are loaded with player created content.

ADB correctly assessed that modification was not good for the product line, but then posted it for player's home campaigns. Personally, I like to use it for freighters. Freighters have a long life and well, they are often used ships with odd histories. They also don't fight very well, so modifying one doesn't unbalance things too much.

The freighter above has an extra sensor box, hence the large antenna. As a backstory, the ship was modified by Starfleet and then they realized the hull itself caused sensor performance problems. That and the antenna took up cargo space defeating the purpose of the ship in two different ways. It also causes a strange shimmy when accelerating and a terribly annoying whistle in the comms.


This ship is modded to have two extra hull boxes. In game terms, the extra boxes gives the ship more survivable without really giving it any real combat edge.

The backstory behind this modification is grandma and granddad promised to give a grandson their ship to carry on the family freight business. The problem was, the family business wasn't very profitable, so granddad and grandma built a retirement module on the ship before signing over the title. Worse, grandma and granddad don't talk much any more, so everything is rather awkward.

The S3 rules for Starfleet Battles are very comprehensive and nice for the friendly game but really very terrible for a fair game. However, if you kitbash ships, they are a handy reference of what is technically possible via the rules.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Amarillo Design Bureau's Starfleet Battles Freighters #MiniatureMonday

(Updated based on the ADB Facebook page. Go ahead and like them.)

Amarillo Design Bureau does several series of ships for Starfleet Battles, 2400 and 2500 series. The major difference between the two series is scale, however general ships like these freighters are the same size between these two series. Backward compatible if you like. :)

Once or twice a year ADB packages up all of the ships with defects or flaws that makes them generally unsalable and sells them by the pound.

I didn't mean to post about the scrapyard ships, but why not? Its a cool and cheap way to get into kitbashing and SFB.

These two ships were painted with Vallejo paints. The white piece holding the ship is a piece of soapstone with an arc cut into it to cradle the ships for painting.



In my next post, I will show a couple of freighters that I modified.