Games We Play: Except We Didn’t Play

We, meaning myself and others (notably our  boy) have busted their butts for the past few weeks for this weekend. Busted their butts how?

  • Picking a Warhammer 40k army (space marines, tyranid, tau, imperial guard, and possible showing of chaos)
  • Painting much of their army
  • Pointing out their army (200 and 500 point chunks)

All to be ready to Play their army in a series of games this weekend.

We even got really lucky and found a 4×4 folding sides on wheels table for a great price. For the first time in ages, we have a gaming table. Terrain, not Lego, was assembled, some painted, and lovingly looked at by all players in anticipation of blowing the shit out of each other.

Plans, not that we plan much, instead an order was determined, smaller games 200 points to a side at most, no vehicles-think Kill Team without the specialist rules-where everyone not familiar with the rules could learn the rules, ask questions, roll fist fulls of dice, and make tweaks to their armies. Following a break with mini-games, such as the newly acquired Oregon Trail (a whole other post), bigger games, up to 500 points no limitations, on a side, slowly escalating the learning curve.

A whole weekend was set to go…

the first sign of something wrong, a sniffle. Oh sure, sniffle here sniffle there and soon sniffles everywhere. Sniffles lead to a runny nose, a cough, then…

worse this was not limited to the children. I am not implying that had only the children been sick the adults would have played, because I am not that kind of gamer…what I am implying is that had the disease been limited to them the adults could make up their own minds if they wanted to be around our sick kids, further what I hoped for was the miraculous recovery power that children seem to have. If you are a parent you are familiar with child sick one day and the next like nothing happened…

then the first adult succumbed to the disease…

then another.

Here I am, the only non-sick person, eating tons of uber spicy food to burn out any hint of disease, make my body not hospitable to any illness, and because I love spicy food, writing a post. Not a post celebrating our hard work and fun times. No a dirge to the illness that laid our group low.

There will be other times when we can get together for a three day weekend, I know this, but I hate to see so much effort and desire go unused, not wasted, just unused for now.

In a silver lining way, we have a gaming table and it is awesome. We have terrain built and now have time to make the terrain look awesome. Everyone has an army and knows what they need to paint to be ready. This means people have more time to paint, always a plus.

Soon enough everyone will be back on their feet, at the table, rolling fist fulls of dice, as war is waged in plastic.

Puddles and Whiskers New 9

Previously.

Tracking Down Leads

pa-DANG!

The frying pan, bent in the middle flew across the room when the mook shook his mechanical-augmented arm.

“I just bought that!”

Puddles was positive she heard him form a metallic fist. Ducking under his powerful swing, Puddles rolled past the mook, popping up she fumbled with her holster. The mook pivoted much faster than she expected, wired to the gills no doubt she thought, and kicked her in the chest, knocking her against the wall. Her breath explosively left her lungs, leaving her holding out a paw, the other wrapped around her chest, and gasping for air.

“Wa..Wa..Wait.”

The mook did not wait; grasping her outstretched arm, with a single yank he threw her to the opposite side of the room over the desk, scattering office supplies. Rolling to a stop amongst office supplies and her cup of coffee, Puddles tried to stand, still gasping for air. With two long strides he grabbed the desk and threw the desk at her, his aim off the desk exploded against the wall, showering her with desk parts. Puddles scrambled away from the wall, fumbling with her holster and looking for something, anything to give her an edge.

Mook grabbed her ankle, but before he could get a good grip, Puddles slipped her foot out of the boot and rolled onto her back as she drew her pistol. Her first shot blew her boot up; that he reflexively threw at her, her second and third shots put large holes in his thigh and gut. With a monstrous backhand, he knocked her pistol out of her paws. Puddles scooted backwards as he fell to one knee. Her paws landed on the familiar shape of her frying pan she swung with as much force as she could, cracking the mook across the face rocking his head to the side.

For a brief second she thought he was going to continue the fight; then he fell over onto his side. Puddles sat down against a wall. One breath, two, and three. Other than breath the mook had not moved. Standing, she retrieved her pistol and searched the mook; bingo, she mentally cheered pulling an identcase from a pocket. She waved his identcard over her watch accessing public data, nothing other than a name and top-level membership with emergency services. Before leaving the office, she punched in an emergency and dropped his identcard by his head.

“Figures,” she said to herself.

Looking at the frying pan, bent and nothing she could do about that, even better the person she wanted to see was gone. Empty office, at least this desk was intact, she thought ruefully. Puddles sat down and pulled up the holo-monitor.

“Let’s see what the good doctor was hiding.”

Puddles and Whiskers, A Chuck Tail 4

Previously.

Whiskers moved the vid forward and hit play.

The Chase

“What happened,” Whiskers shouted at the vid.

On screen, the image radically shifted from eye-level of a guard to what looked like a polished checkerboard floor moving fast. The audio dropped in volume to the sound of footsteps and shouting. Chuck shifted nervously in the chair, under the expectant stares of Whiskers and Puddles.

“Stop! You can’t go through there without a pass!”

Just his luck, Chuck thought, on the run, his eyepatch slipped attracting the attention of an Aranoth rent-a-security agent and Lorkia sat in her taxi outside. The plan, walk into Aranoth Building, find a place to watch her drive off, get another taxi, and follow; except she wasn’t moving. Chuck tried to walk past the security station as if he belonged, just another wageslave, then his eyepatch slipped.

“Sir,” an officer said.

Chuck continued to walk; maybe the agent was not talking to him.

“Sir!” an officer shouted.

Yep, him for sure.

Turning to face the security station, the eye-patch fell off, Chuck barely caught the patch, and with two good eyes saw both security agents approaching him; behind them Lorika sat. How is a cat supposed to get a break, he thought before turning and running. Shouldering wageslaves out of the way, Chuck ran for the back of the building, hoping to lose the agents and catch another taxi.

Sliding on the polished floor, Chuck rounded a corner straight into hordes of wageslaves waiting for their express elevator in a mirrored hallway. Why mirrors, Chuck thought…maybe the eyepatch was not the issue he thought again as he saw what he looked like in the mirrors as he ran and shouldered his way through; so many food stains on his suit, no wonder he attracted attention.

Chuck bowled over an illietheril couple, he shouted apologies to them, as he slid underneath a herg carrying a box of pastries and coffee, and bounced off a korogin before hitting a wall and sliding around another corner. Behind him, shouts of anger, dismay, alarm, and maybe one of the agents telling Chuck to stop, as if.

More wageslaves, behind them the street. Leaning forward, Chuck ran faster. He saw right before impact the cymean security agent leap at him unable to stop Chuck rolled with the tackle, using his feet he pushed the agent off him and ran past the startled crowd onto the street. Bolting past pedestrians, Chuck ran down the elevated walkway, past a bus terminal, around a corner, and took a breath. Many breaths. Looking around the corner, no pursuit, now back to work.

A second after Chuck flagged a taxi; he realized his other hand was empty. Where did the carryall go?

Back in the Office

“Can we split the footage?” Whiskers asked Puddles.

Minutes later three displays appeared on the screen; in one corner, presumably eyepatch view-dark and furry; in another corner shirt view of the street; and in a lower corner presumably carry all view of a security agent looking at the carryall.

“Oh, that’s where the carry all ended up,” Chuck said.

Worldship Horizon, Scene 1

Worldship Horizon is constantly bouncing around my head, unfortunately nothing concrete, lots of scenes. So in the vein of Puddles and Whiskers, I am writing down the scenes to, hopefully, connect together later. Until then, enjoy. 🙂

Maxwell slapped the side of his helmet, the static disappeared, the tactical display on his visor returned, and disappeared just as quick. Leaning against a pile of debris, mostly large storage containers if he read the labels right, he took stock of his situation while bullets whined, winged, and ricocheted around him. Beyond the useless communications gear, pinned down in a hallway that looked and sounded like sections were seconds away from blowing out into space, most of his squad mates dead or wounded, and down to one or two clips of ammunition, at least he was alive. He flinched as shards from the wall flew his way from another, closer, ricochet.

He looked around him, Johannsson lay dead a few meters away between two storage boxes, across the hallway behind a large stack of storage crates and a damaged loader bot, Mitchell and Sams took cover. They nodded at him, Trisha Sams pointed at her helmet and shook her head, Maxwell shook his head in agreement, and they were screwed all right.

Who the invaders were Maxwell did not know, one moment eating lunch with the squad, the next alarms, and the sounds of the ship going to battle; thump of exterior weapons firing, tactical announcements over the ship, and people moving with purpose, military at least, to their stations. Luckily, ironically, he thought, his squad was on their way to their battle station when the attackers struck; a minute later and the attackers would have caught them unarmed. Running down the hallway, without warning static over comms, tactical displays go out, and shouts of alarm and injury when the bullets fly.

No time like the present, Maxwell turned to face the enemy, peaked over the edge of his cover, and for his courage rewarded with many ricochets and near misses. The enemy at the end of the end of the corridor behind a corner and more storage crates. For a second, he formed a mental note to talk to someone about all of the storage crates left around for the enemy to use as cover. A quick wave got Mitchell and Sams attention, Maxwell pulled a grenade off his belt and mimed throwing the grenade, Mitchell and Sams pulled a grenade and waited. Holding up three fingers, Maxwell dropped them…

Three…

Two…

One…

Standing up, all three of them threw their grenades down the hallway. The milisecond they appeared the enemy started shooting, Mitchell ducked behind cover holding his right arm, Sams fell back, dead. Maxwell ducked behind the storage boxes and tucked into a ball, arms wrapped tightly around his legs.

Whomp, whomp, whomp; all three grenades exploded. Maxwell relaxed and turned to look over the boxes when he heard the noise, a long tearing, metal ripping sound, panicking he looked at Mitchell who flashed him a thumbs up right before he and Sams bodies along with the damaged bot, their cover, and other debris was forcefully ejected into space. Lifted off his feet, arms pin wheeling, Maxwell fly across the wall way and slammed into the emergency bulkhead; crashing to the ground with other debris Maxwell took stock of his situation.

Alive.

 

 

Nail Clippers, Pages 19 & 20

Right around here is where I started making a decision on who Jenkins would become…unfortunately, right after this things get muddled. Hopefully, things get unmuddled and Jenkins chooses a direction. 🙂

Previously.

Old Man Jenkins hated Mayer’s. Unfortunately, there were only two big box stores in town and he refused to shop at AwlMarts, which left Mayer’s where it seemed everyone came at the same time he did. Jenkins walked from the back of the parking lot into Mayer’s picking up a shopping cart along the way.

“Good afternoon,” the cherubic and overly friendly greeter belted out at anyone walking in.

Putting on his best, “I am happy to be here smile,” Jenkins pushed the cart past her. Walking back to the Storage Solutions aisle Jenkins envied Barbossa who was most likely sound asleep on his bed. Another cart crashing into his cart shook Jenkins out of his envious mood.

“Hey, don’t I know you?” Jax asked, as he pulled his cart out of the collision.

Jenkins moved his own cart back and looked up at the man, where did he know him? A wide smile crept across his face as he remembered where he saw this man before.

“You were at the hardware store talking to my wife?” Jax asked.

“That’s right. I had hard wood,” Jenkins laughed thinking about the wood in his cart at the time and the memory of Jax’s wood under the towel.

Jax laughed, “Funny crashing into you here. What are you shopping for?”

Jenkins pointed to the storage solutions, “I have some things I need to store soon.”

“That’s cool. I’m here for more planting supplies,” Jax said indicating the contents of his cart with a wave of his hand, “Well, I need to get home before Jetta returns from lunch.”

“Nice seeing you again,” Jenkins said, “By the way, my name is Jenkins.”

Jax shook Jenkins’s hand, “My name is Jax and my missing better half is Jetta. I’m sure we will bump into each other again.”

A short while later Jenkins loaded the large blue storage containers into his car. Patting down his pants for his keys, he pulled out the delivery receipt for the truck and cabinets, tomorrow around noon. Jenkins looked up feeling the sun on his face, things were definitely moving in the right direction.

****

“Seriously?” Jax asked Jetta.

“Yes,” Jetta replied hand on hip trying her best not to start laughing at the kid in a candy store look on Jax’s face, “we are going to the titty bar tonight.”

“I better get some singles,” Jax said and started laughing, “Which titty bar are we going to?”

“Pussy House Rules.”

Puddles and Whiskers, New 8

The concert is not new, but hasn’t been seen in a bit and leads directly to the end of the Acid Chamber story (until edits and revisions add stuff :)).

Show Time

Concertgoers packed together, no room to move, breathing as one just to breathe. The noise level deafening and the concert had not started, just the noise of that many people in one enclosed space. Whiskers, standing on the right side of the stage wearing sound dampening earplugs folder his ears down to muffle the noise more. Excited to witness one of his favorite bands, Whiskers strained to keep from bouncing up and down with excitement and to pay attention to the sea of faces in front of the stage.

A week of listening to practice and borrowing a few of Whiskers’ Acid Chamber favorites and Puddles still did not get his obsession with this band or their music, if the noise they made could be called music. From his vantage point backstage Puddles watched the last few roadies on their watch list. Titanic and his crew worked feverishly to get the final details ready for the show; unlikely to cause trouble, but Puddles job was to ensure they did not, so he continued to watch.

Crushed against a barrier in front of the stage, elbowing to overly enthusiastic fans in the ribs, Chuck wondered if he really did get the best part of the job. He brought in the data on everyone working for Acid Chamber, assisted in tracking down the few trouble spots, set-up security for the concerts, and all he wanted was the best part of the job; work from the concert floor. Another elbow to clear some breathing room.

A low thrum, felt more than heard, seconds before the lights in the hall went out, the crowd silenced. In the silence, the low thrum heard and felt, slowly ramping up in volume and intensity. Backstage roadies and stagehands moved to ready positions, Acid Chamber assembled, and Whiskers nearly bounced out of his fur with excitement. Puddles moved to another, quieter vantage point backstage, able to see the roadies and stage. Chuck stomped on a foot, elbowed a rib for breathing room, while keeping his eyes on where the stage was in the dark.

Backstage, Acid Chamber in all black, moved onstage.

On stage, Acid Chamber silently took their positions and began the opening notes to their number one quadstomp song, Anthem for the Dying.

To the right of the stage, Whiskers swayed with the opening notes, hoping nothing ruined the concert.

In front of the stage, the crowd surged forward, Chuck eyes still on stage, made room as best he could. Two pin-prinks of green light bobbed and flowed in the dark across the stage, appearing and disappearing to the beat. The opening notes reached the high point and crashed down creating a wave of sound, stage lights illuminated the Acid Chamber playing their instruments, the holo-green flames on each of their outfits dancing in rhythm. The lead singer, green augmented eyes a blazed roared out the lyrics over the roar of the crowd.

Two hours of non-stop music and Puddles had reached her limit, even with noise canceling ear plugs, her ears folded flat, and in a quieter vantage point, the noise reached her and irritated her. Titanic and his crew did their job without any incident. Whiskers spent the entire time enjoying himself, feeling the music move his fur and feet. Chuck, stopped fighting the crowd and moved with the crowd, exhausted he found a place to sit and drink water after most of the crowd exited the concert.

After Party

“Does the ringing ever stop?” Whiskers head in paws mumbled to the table.

Chuck slid further down in his chair, pulling his sweat soaked shirt off his chest, “The cool breeze feels great.”

“What?” Whiskers asked.

Puddles flicked one of the earplugs across the room, smiling when the plug bounced off one of the hanger-ons and into a can of alcohol. Fighting exhaustion and a deep desire to be anywhere else but at the after party, Puddles satisfied herself with the knowledge that Acid Chamber was leaving soon.

Nudging Whiskers, “How much longer do we have to stay?”

“What?”

“How MUCH LONGER DO WE…”

“My ears are ringing, I’m not deaf,” Whiskers shot back.

Rubbing his stomach, “Anyone else starving?” Chuck asked.

“Great job tonight!” Blaster shouted.

Whiskers sat straight, Chuck stopped fanning his shirt, and Puddles glared at Blaster and his lead bassist holding large bottles of beer standing next to the table. A korogin woman grabbed the bassist by the arm and pulling him back to the party. Blaster sat down.

Shoving Whiskers, “Have a good time? I know you did. This was our best time here.”

“Concert was awesome,” Whiskers replied.

“I know. Next time we are in town you are our first call.”

“Thanks,” Puddles sarcastically replied.

Two korogin women approached Blaster, one of them whispering in his ear, pushing back from the table, “Enjoy the after party,” gesturing at the women, “I have fans to…you know.”

“NiHo’s?” Chuck asked.

Standing up, “We should let Blaster know we are leaving,” Whiskers said.

“Go ahead, I’m with Chuck, food is a necessary thing.”

“I’ll get us a cab,” Chuck said heading to the door.

Half an hour later, comfortably seated at their table, hot bowls of noodles in front of them, one by one each of them let out a sigh.

“After a long night, nothing better than a bowl of NiHo’s,” Chuck announced around a mouthful of noodles.

“What?” Whiskers said hoping the ringing would stop.

Throwing My Brain At The Wall

Every now and again, I have to vomit forth the things on my mind to clear out the clamoring and often competing voices. Oh, nothing major or earthshaking that I am aware of, just a lot of stuff going on in one moment of time and I need to clear the space lest the various things cause me to stop working. Some people might call this venting, ranting, a primal scream, or whathaveyou…me, just part and parcel of my head.

To start, other than some family stuff (not Barb and kids) which depending upon who (m) I listen to may or may not be a major event now or down the road, when I find out which I will let you know, all is within the expected range. Barb is working. The kids are schooling. I am writing and taking care of everything not covered by the previous two sentences. There does seem to be some changing of the weather sinus funk going around, but honestly if you knew my history with my sinuses, sinus funk is pretty normal.

The weather, a minor thing to be sure, is very odd even for Michigan, take this coming week: start cold, warm up, rain A LOT, then back to cold. Around this time of year, in the past, cold no rain was normal. Now I have no idea what to plan for because…weather. 🙂

A commenter on this post has gotten me thinking a lot about the cost of digital tabletop gaming products. It hasn’t been something I have thought much about until recently, which made the comment timing nice. Why haven’t I thought about it, because we settled into a few games and purchasing games is always something I do carefully…most of the time. However, recently with writing progressing well I have begun to think about publishing which leads to cost and then I made the mistake of looking into digital copies of books for Warhammer 40k, this did not make me happy. A PDF, interactive being a buzzword, is not worth 40.00 to me. This is not an unusual amount to charge for a PDF. A physical book is another thing, but a digital book, and maybe I am an outlier here, but I am a cheapass.

In other words, if I can’t hold it and put it on a shelf, I am not paying full price for a digital version. Sure I get to “own” it forever (or at least until my device takes a shit or a new version of the software comes along rendering my digital copy moot) and yes, it may indeed be “interactive,” but it is not a real physical object it is a copy of an existing object. Maybe DVD’s and Blu-Ray have spoiled me, but one of the reasons I still purchase a physical copy is because I get a digital copy for FREE. Perhaps game companies should ponder that model of sales.

Related to the above, and always on my mind is writing. I would like to write more, unfortunately my writing space is under destruction once again. This is not conducive to sitting and writing. This is conducive to writing a sentence and wanting to clean. I am hopeful that the Spring/Summer plans for destruction/construction will fix and improve my writing space, but for now…I am surrounded by a mess and it is bugging the piss out of me.

Ah…I feel better. Sure there is more, but I don’t want to bother you with painting, the various plans of destruction around here, summer plans, con season, publishing, writing, bills, and so on…not yet.