Friday, April 22, 2011

One day a Mark VIII Peaches scampered onto the battlefield...

Board View, 5 feet x 5 feet

A Mark VIII "R.O.U.S." emerges over the mountains. The birds silenced their songs, the grass hissed by the passing wind and heads stared in shock at their holotanks. A hush fell over the lazcomm frequencies as a collective shock rippled through the battlefield. Most of those present in the battlespace have heard of such an aberration, but those were only legends. Around the campfire, the unsuited mobile infantry fearfully refer to this fuzzy horror only as 'Peaches'.

Occupying 2.4 square kilometers of ground this terrible, fuzzy and multi colored hair of warfare waddles the battlefield. The R.O.U.S. Mark VIII eyes a Paneuropean Thor Superheavy Tank with morbid curiosity. The shocked and trembling crew reach for the button that would fill their compartments with tranquilizers.

At last, to the Thor's relief, a poor Combine Battlesuit Marine meets a horrible end...
I put the Mark VIII 'Peaches' back into her barracks and gave her a cashew - er - I mean a nuclear powerback cashew (which she then put with her hundred of other nuclear cashews at the bottom of her cage - er - I mean R.O.U.S. shelter). I also 'punished' her with adoration for making my gaming experience much more enjoyable.
R.O.U.S. Mark VIII 'Peaches'
VP: Priceless
ATT: Sharp teeth and a 'cute stare no man or woman can resist'
DEF: Cuteness factor 9
RNG: 1
MOV: 4/3 (not hovercraft, but whoa can she scoot!)
Cheek capacity: 22 nuclear powerback cashews, 6 heavy tanks (not neatly stored) or eight powered infantry platoons in extreme discomfort.
Special powers: Mine laying abilities. The ability to escape any (and I do mean ANY) enclosure.
Sadly the 'Peaches' version has passed on. Her chassis rests behind the garage in a specially crafted wooden box.
On a serious note, AngusKhan from the SJG forums asked me: 
How did you make the mini's? It looks like you bought metal minis and made molds from them, and then "cast" your own, is that right?
To whom I answered him on my account on SJG Toltrin:
The casts were done with bakable clay and talcum powder. They didn't take all that long to make - the quality is somewhat inferior - but at least I have made now a Mark VIII! Complete with 5 Mains, 16 Secondaries, ect. It is quite a sight! The piece is articulated in 3 pieces. I built it just because I could. I love clay! - and yes those are risk pieces. They were easier to identify than those tiny, expensive ones, in my opinion- plus I would never run out of them.
By the time this post was written I now every mini Warehouse 29 sold as well over 140 1/285th scale Combine and Paneuropean mobile infantry. It is the works for me to reproduce many of every one of the units I have examples of in resin once I get proficient with the molding process involving casting resin.
I don't think I will reproduce the infantry though, as they are too small to produce with resin casting. They were so inexpensive, why not buy all I needed (well, wanted). You can see the post I made about them all here

My boardgamegeek profile. What is interesting is that if you Google "Toltrin" my boardgamegeek profile is the FIRST hit. It's nice to have a name all my own under 7 letters that makes it to the top of Google. I tried that with my real name and came up with a famous pharmacologist, professional make-up artist and a chemist. I guess my name is associated with people who are good at disguising themselves as they run their home made drug labs. I love   illogical assumptions, they're fun!

To continue the silliness I give you the Nerf Tank for OGRE/GEV!

The Nerf Tank (yes I made a counter for it):
Att: .0005 (doubled in overruns ... so .0010), One shot nuclear propelled nerf projectile. To achieve a disabled against a def 0 armor unit or building, roll a 1 on d1000. 
When attacking buildings, 1,451 one shot nuclear propelled nerf projectiles are required to reduce the structure by one. 
If indeed over 1,200 nerf tanks DO attack a building, the material from the one shot nuclear propelled  Nerf projectiles form a rubble hex of nerf material that adds .01 defense to any unit in the hex and reduces all movement by 1/2.
Def: 1 (100m thick nerf material) 
Rng: Infinite (If attack is .0005, why not make the range unlimited?)
Movement: Flying, infinite, once (after accelerating past the speed of light, inhabitants of tank are mush)
Points: .01 (600 Nerf Tanks may be bought for 1 armor unit or 6 pts)
Um, oh yeah, it's size is 120.
Cost in vp? You decide!

Here's another silly unit pulled from Steve Jackson's game forum archives (my submission):

Civilian Listening Post:
Att: 0.0323  (Have you been hit over the head repeatedly with tin hearing aids the size of a car door?)
Def: 0.0172 (The human body and giant tin earpieces offer some resistance to nuclear blasts)
Rng: 12
Move: 1/2 (1")
Able to listen for ogres over 18 km away!

One last bit of silliness:

Of course you HAVE to have this guy...

Warthogs crash into Car Wars with disastrous results...

You know now the Warthog from Halo 1 seemed to be the perfect vehicle?
Well, I went ahead and applied Car Wars logic to it (with somewhat hilarious results)

Warthog(Yes, from that Halo game!)
Driver: Room for one Spartan super soldier who can run faster than this vehicle.
Passengers: Room for one passenger wildly firing an woefully inaccurate battle rifle in the front seat and a gunner manning a very large machinegun in the rear turret. How the gunner has to strength to hang on is anyone's guess. Rumor has it that the gunner's hands are carbon welded to the gun's firing mechanism as well as his feet to the floor of the turret.
Armor: Lightweight Neutonium armor all around. Impossible to penetrate or damage except that all damage is bypassed to the passenger, driver and (of course) gunner. No top armor and no damage to all occupants in the case of a vault or rollover. Somehow the occupants are ejected when the Warthog vehicle tilts more than 60 degrees.
Engine: Some super awesome fusion and fairy dust powerplant that is never damaged except if submerged in water. It will explode in water.
Armament: Vulcan machinegun in turret with gunner manning it. For some reason it can shoot infinite ammunition. Rumor has it that there is a mini foundry/factory near the bottom of the machine that turns the dirt beneath the vehicle into bullets at a very rapid rate. Extremely accurate at point blank and extremely inaccurate at longer ranges.
Cost: Unknown. The tax-payers pay for it so who cares?
Weight: Infinite but has a super secret baking formula for making compressed black hole grade neutonium ultra light material armor. In fact it is so light weight that tire friction and air resistance is what limits the vehicle's top speed and acceleration.
Tires: Made of the same ultra light compressed black hole grade neutonium but inflatable for a smooth ride.
Suspension: Extremely sensitive to even the smallest bump in the road for tactical awareness of the surface you are driving on. Gives the vehicle a feeling of "sitting on a balloon rolling over a bouncy castle". Can recover from being dropped from any height and protects the passengers and driver from any concussion action through a small marble sized mechanism in the dash that bends the laws of physics around them. 
Caution: It can kill any living known creature (even an elephant) with just a 1 mph tap of the bumper.

About those dice you saw, I'm not finished...

OK, so I showed you my CRT dice that makes the game of OGRE/GEV go fast as slick snot (ew!). Now here are a few more photos that will confirm that a counter and map based CRT war game based on a 1:3 to a 1:5 odds table should not take as long as it used to.
In my hand are 9 potential CRT dice. You could assign the red ones to OGRE attacks, the white to Combine and the yellow ones to another player. The combinations are endless...

Imagine if you could make laminated labels for six sided dice, why not make dice sets for all sorts of things? Can anyone say random dungeon generator?

My collection of CRT dice along with my extras I am still scratching my chin about what to do with...

Now I own a lamination machine. I also have about a dozen 8.5"x11" lamination sheets (basically a folded over clear plastic with unactivated glue in between) I have turn a few of these sheets (as seen in the picture of the lamination machine) in partial pieces that I can adhere permanently to pieces of paper. When I make my CRT dice I put the printable label through my laser printer, run it through the laminator with a l1-sided lamination sheet over it (to save on materials - these sheets are like a buck a sheet) and then cut out the 7/16th inch pieces and then adhere them to my six sided dice. You can pick up these dice at an online store for around $3 a dozen, but expect to pay around $10 for the shipping. My suggestion? Figure out what dice sets you want to buy, whether blank polyhedrals like these or differing color six sided like these or even close a dozen pure white six sided blanks like these from Chessex. I would LOVE to plug Chessex, they account for about 95% of my dice collection which I will show below. Chessex are fair in their shipping prices, they are reliable (no 'lost' product in the mail) and their customer service is to die for (get it - die - dice - ugh I know...). I would look around for blank dice, but if you are serious about starting a collection of quality dice, I would go with your local brick and mortar or Chessex (and no, I don't get paid every time I say it - haha - j/k they pay me 3 pesos every time).
Here is a picture of my favorite airplane.

Here is a picture of my favorite airplane. I got to see this awesome aircraft about two years ago at the Air Show flying in formation with a P-47 Thunderbolt. The A-10 Thunderbolt II (or nick-named the "Warthog") is the descendant of the great World War two Fighter.

About those game dice you saw...

Well, here are the plans for those game dice I have shown people on the forums. You know, those CRT dice where you roll the dice without having to consult a CRT table (don't we wish we all could do that!).
I will put them on here 1 side at a time.
1. Print out the sides to a scale where each d6 side sticker has to be 7/16" x 7/16" to fit on a 1/2" dice as I did.
2. Laminate the label you printed the dice on (hopefully in 600 dpi color for really really cool results). I can later produce the monochrome versions, but those don't look 1/2 as cool as these!
3. Carefully cut out the six laminated stickers.
4. Gently place each laminate sticker on each dice face, being careful to center as perfectly as you can.
5. Repeat the process to make as many OGRE CRT dice as you wish! I own four right now - one in each color, yellow, white, green and red. My advice is to make four CRT dice for the OGRE of the red variety and two CRT dice for each player you regularly play with of the same color. One player would two to three yellow, next player two to three white, down to the OGRE player who will have the red ones (to signify 'danger').

Note: click on them for the 443x443 pixel versions to save them. Then use a graphic design program (paint shop pro, photoshop, etc.) to shrink them to 7/16" of an inch (.4375 of an inch or very close to 11 mm).

Enjoy the five-color CRT Dice (white, red, black, gray and blue)! Everyone feels blue when they get a NE result...