Friday, 27 January 2017

Friday 40K: A Solid Wall And The Ground To Build It On

Following my New Year's Resolution to get some actual games of 40K in this year (think I've managed two at most since I moved to the West Midlands in early 2011), I've been hard at work expanding my scenery collection. Below are the results of January's efforts; the completion of a Tau shield wall I started painting in 2015(!), and a third Realm of Battle board for it to lie upon.

I rather like the design of these things, and I'm happy with my paint job. It's quite simplistic compared to the sort of drybrush-heavy stuff I put out these days, but then it needs to match the Tau army I started in 2003 (I have to stop saying stuff like this), when my abilities were far less developed.

If there's a problem here, it's that the shield itself is too high up for my Tau to shoot over. You'd think the Earth Caste would have thought to measure their cousins at some point during the design process. Still, maybe the energy field allows shooting from one direction. That's just the sort of underhanded trick you'd expect from these sneaky xenos. Still, my mate Dave promises me his Space Wolves will be eating my entire cadre fairly soon, so I guess it doesn't matter all that much.

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Infinite Diversity, Finite Combinations 3.1.4

Donald Trump and Daimon Tarr. You never see them together, do you? Here's why.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

Infinite Diversity, Finite Combinations 2.1.4

The Animated Series once again, with some of the worst stuff about women the original crew ever gave us. Which, as I'm sure you know, is really saying something.

Monday, 16 January 2017

The Limerick Of Grond

There was a door-knocker named Grond
Of whom Sauron was very much fond
'Cos to Denethor's place
Did Grond apply his face
'Til that strong door of Gondor was gone!

Sunday, 15 January 2017

Geek Syndicate Review: Children of Lovecraft

In which I commend a Cthulhu anthology for finally including more female writers than it does racist piece-of-shit stories.

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Infinite Diversity, Finite Combinations 1.1.4

It's back to the original series once more, with a look at "The Naked Time". This is where it first became obvious to me that Spock is suffering from a serious case of depression.

Wednesday, 11 January 2017

No Apologies For The Infinite Radness 1.2.1 - "Uptight" (Green Day)

A song about holding yourself together as you're charging forward.

There's a tremendous sense of tightness about this song, as the title would suggest. A tension born not from self-restraint, but from imprisonment. Almost every section of the track sees the guitar part oscillating wildly between two positions, like a bullet ricocheting down its own gun barrel. It's not so much that the song can't move - indeed it has a surging momentum to it that fires me up every time. It's that the route it takes as it barrels forward is horribly narrow.  Last week I went on a boat ride into an abandoned lead mine. We coasted down a tunnel maybe five feet across as we passed under a Peak District hill, slamming against rock walls as the boat drifted from side to side and back. That's what this song remind me of; that claustrophobic, echoing trip into darkness, only played back at eight times the speed.

As a result of this closeness, neither song nor listener is given a chance to breathe. The standard verse-chorus-verse structure is replaced with two verses in succession (themselves filled with reversals) which lead into a chorus we never really escape. The only structural change we get after that point - right up until the song collapses in exhaustion and is swept away after just three minutes - is a middle eight in which we'd expect Billie Joe Armstrong to burst into one of his snotty solos. Instead, though, the song snap back into the same riff repeated throughout, just with more muscle. The song coils tighter rather than unwinding, pulsing more fiercely, the way your thumb does when you squeeze it harder. Things don't become faster, the direction doesn't change, but the song gets thicker, somehow. More laden with weight. The bullet gains mass as it rockets from wall to wall.

The end result is a standard Green Day trick - to make bleak cynicism seem buzzing and vital - performed with a level of panache they seldom reach. Sooner or later we all find ourselves in tunnels we can't escape except by running their entire length. This is the best soundtrack possible for working your way deeper into the dark.

B-side: This. Because we always need more cowbell.

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Infinite Diversity, Finite Combinations 6.1.3

We reach the end of the third IDFC cycle with a look at "Strange New World". Just like the cave system it takes place in, it's surprisingly deep.