Hobby plans for 2018

2017 zipped us by and I’m glad it did as it’s been a mixed year. Busy for me and a bit disturbing for the world. I didn’t game nearly enough this year as placement and then my final semester ate the majority of my time. It was worth it though as I graduated alongside my cohort and man, that was one of the best feelings ever- we all worked hard to be there and all the stress, study and assessment paid off 😀 Read More »

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The End is Near!

No, Earth isn’t about to end anytime soon but rather the chapter of my life that is university studies. To reiterate for the umpteenth time, the Arc Fatigue is real. However, this year has gone by so quick (and this semester in particular) that in four more weeks, I’ll have entered SWOT-VAC (that’s Study WithOuT leave VACation) without any exams or assignments to hand in. That means, that from the period of November to December 10-15 (graduation week, details to come) I am for the first time in seven long years, free. Read More »

Ixalan: Pre-release retrospective

Ok, so the ‘magic’ bit in ‘Peddler of Magic’ is starting to become linked to MTG, which s fine. I’m pretty much tapped out for miniatures besides the DG stuff (termies, tallyman, slug tank, marines) and to support the FLGS I’m going to keep on with MTG. $35 for a prerelease, then $10-20 per draft/event is decent enough, plus prize boosters is more than enough incentive.

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Jace and Vraska sitting in a tree…

Anyhow, on to the Ixalan prerelease retrospective. Ixalan is a set that is pure, unadulterated awesome. The set contains dinosaurs, which brings out the six year old in all of us- who didn’t have a set of 3d dinosaur pages and glasses when they were a kid? See also: Godzilla, Jurassic Park, your local history museum, etc. It’s a tribal set, which means there’s ‘factions’ aka tribals. Last time I had anything to do with these was back in lorwyn/shadowmoor, which was highschool. Regardless, Ixalan’s tribals are: Spanish Conquistador Vampires (black/white), Aztec dinosaur riders + dinosaurs (red/white/green), Aztec Merfolk (green/blue) and PIRATES (red/blue/black). This is not counting the fact that Ixalan is set in a tropical archipelago-plus-mainland setting with 3 of the tribes trying to find a lost city and one (with fishy motives) trying to prevent said city from being found.

Having felt pretty lukewarm about Hour of Devastation, I’ve been excited for Ixalan since I saw promo art. Plus the pirates and dinosaurs were a major draw. I hit up the Sunday morning prerelease as I can’t make the Saturday usually (was off sick on Friday as I was and still am Virus Boy).

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Lifelink, uh, finds a way

My prelease pack’s 6 boosters gave me a shi-ttonne of vampires (no plz, just no. Ick.) but also a foil mythic rare in the pirate tribal! I went the full three colour tribal with pirates as I wanted to run red/blue pirates this block, but the three colours is awesome. My pre-release promo was the transformable blue enchantment –> land, “Search for Azcanto” which suited my card pulls decently as I had many discard abilities or creature retrieval spells. Overall my deck had to lean into control as I had a whopping 10 creatures in a 40 card deck, six of which were pirates (yarrr matey, yarrr). The other creatures were an elemental (flying stuff is important), a ship which boosted pirates +1/+0, a bat (also flying) and a trilobite. I fucking love trilobites. They were and still are my absolute favourite fossil/extinct critter since ever. Yes I am excited for this set but hey, it ticks all the boxes plus treasure tokens are sweet.

I henceforth became Captain No-beard and set sail into the 4 round maelstrom. My first round I lost 1-2 as I fought some damn ass punk vampires with merfolk. Just couldn’t get my creatures out/lifelink kept me at bay. Nevertheless, I had fun and 3 match rounds are good.

Round two saw me win 2-0 against some dinosaurs- the raid mechanic is helpful to me as I keep forgetting about after combat, there’s main phase 2: electric boogaloo. Learning what’s called ‘tempo’ is something new to me, but I felt that I was playing better than I normally do.

Round 3 was much the same- there’s a red enchantment which forces your opponent to attack you each turn if able with at least one creature. It also generates treasure tokens to add some ramp. When you have spells to get your creatures back from the dead, you can play aggressive with that by trading pieces only to resurrect your dudes (Davey Jone’s Revolving Door). Won 2-1 against dinosaurs again. They hit hard, but when you can boost pirates and loot, pillage and plunder, it’s good. One of my creatures raid effect states that ‘if a creature attacked this turn, etc etc deal 2 damage to creature or player’. This helped me win this round as I almost lost in round 3, my opponent was on 2 life and summoning said pirate onto the field sealed my victory.

Round 4 was again versing dinosaurs, I lost 1-2 but damnit I had fun. My win came down to tempo/control as my last 2 life was about to be hit with a 3-damage to target player spell, but I had a counter! Huzzah for not tapping mana out! Suffice to say I came about 6th, but man, both boosters were prize boosters, not pity boosters.I learned a great deal about control/tempo as timing is everything- reading abilities helped a great deal/I’m getting “better” at MTG.

All in all, I’m psyched for the drafting events and the block in general. It feels less ‘world at stake’ or ‘massive crisis’ the previous 3 blocks have been. Just a buncha people trying to find and pillage a lost city. Gonna save up for a booster box/go halves in on, I just love this set. 😀

-Pete, aka Captain No-Beard (for the duration of the Ixalan block)

 

MTG: EDH/Commander- Thoughts

Someone found out about how almost everything in the history of MTG is allowed in Commander/EDH and that you don’t have to buy a commander deck to take part. Ha. Since Amonkhet/Hour of Devo is out and Ixalan is almost here, I’m slowly acquiring Minotaur creature cards to build a Black/Red/Green (largely) Minotaur tribal deck. Turns out I can build two with the second being pure minotaurs but white/blue/red. Anyhow, on the B/R/G one, I’m debating using either Xira Arien a 3-drop for 1/2 with flying and a card draw ability or Sek’Kaur a 5-drop for a 4/3 with a token generating ability.

Sure, neither is a minotaur, but the good ol’ internets says to never go Full Tribal (every creature is X) unless you’re going Slivers (versing them is like getting fucked with a rusty metal cactus using tabasco sauce as lube- i.e. Not Enjoyable). Anyhow, a lot of minotaur cards are red or red/black and are found across the ages but most commonly in the Theros Block and the Amonkhet block. A bit of Ebay hunting has tracked down the minotaur theros block deck, as the majority are in there and also some of the other ones from ages back. Gotta trade for a Neheb, the Eternal as he’s pretty good and doesn’t kill off Neheb, the Worthy when he’s summoned.

The current idea is putting these cards in for synergy:

Neheb, the Worthy (R/B)- first strike and gives all other minotaurs first strike

Kragma Warcaller (R/B) – haste and gives all other minotaurs haste and +2/+0 when they attack

Felhide Petrifier (B) – deathtouch and gives all other minotaurs deathtouch

Rageblood Shaman (R/B) – trample and gives all other minotaurs trample and +1/+1

Anaba Spirit Crafter (R) – all minotaurs gain +1/+0  (if your opponent has some, they get buffs too)

In the most ideal situation, every minotaur gains first strike, haste, trample, deathtouch and +2/+1 then a further +2/+0 when they attack. That’s a whopping +4 on the attack, combined with first strike, trample and deathtouch, that’s um, a bit evil.

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Holding the world ransom, one shitty EDH deck at a time

Add in Ragemonger, who makes minotaurs cost 1R+ 1B less to cast, Neheb the worthy becomes a (1) drop instead of (1)R+B to cast. This is in absence of ‘tap for mana’ artifacts and the like, the <amonkhet god> monuments, which reduce creature spells of a different colour by (1). Ragemonger in tandem with either Bontu’s or Hazoret’s monument makes Neheb, the Worthy a free cast. There’s even the artifact: Didgeridoo. That’s a (1) drop to pay (3) to take a minotaur from my hand (say, a 5-7 drop) as if it were summoned. Looking back to other minotaurs gain haste, etc…you can see where this is going.

The obvious weakness I can see is a lack of flying/counters to flying. Hence Deadshot Minotaur, a red/green one who does 3 damage to target creature with flying when he comes onto the battlefield. This is also where if I go with Sek’Kaur, I’ll keep Xira as a creature within the deck as she has flying and her card draw would help as there’s some cycle/discard synergy with the minotaurs and Archfiend of Ifnir. Minotaur sureshot has reach, so that’s something. Of course, there’s also more green cards to add in to shore up weaknesses, or RAMP UP THE CARNAGE! The Kaladesh block gives me ways of putting +1/+1 counters on creatures and green in general has many instant spells for +x/+x. Durable handicraft is one such card- pay (1) on top of summoning to put a +1/+1 counter on said summoned creature. a 7/6 Scorpion god, or a 5/4 minotaur before adding in buffs? HELL. FUKKEN. YES.

Some of the red/green to green stuff in here rounds out the mana curve and adds Samut, the tested to give a critter double-strike; Revels of the fallen god is a 7-drop spell for 4 2/2 red/green Satyr tokens with haste. If Khenra Charioteer is on the board, those wily goat men get trample as well. It’s tempting to track down the <something> Liege cards from Shadowmoor, which give  other <colour> creatures you control gain +1/+1 for two different colours. Buuuuut the deck is largely filled at this point outside of fine tuning for instants/enchantments/sorceries. Oh and full art lands, because EDH.

Now, on the White/red/blue side the minotaur commander is obviously Zedruu, and opens up white and blue mana to get those sweet Boros minotaurs and some of the earlier minotaurs, namely Raka Disciple, Minotaur Illusionist and Labyrinth Minotaur. Through in instant/sorcery SHENANIGANS. Mainly though I just want the minotaur cards because mythology and y’know, tribal stuffs. If a 5-colour minotaur commander/legendary creature is ever released, man am I gonna have fun. 🙂

This is the most thought I’ve put behind any deck so far for MTG, and this is from someone who’s life-gain deck from standard got up to 56 life! XD Still lost, but that’s what happens when you’re fighting 5 regular zombie creatures and 12 zombie tokens which are 5/5 a piece and have menace due to buffs!

Have a good one

-Pete

Age of Sigmar: Of Blood and Brass

It’s been a while since I’ve played any Age of Sigmar. I’ve been busy with MTG and 40k (and assignments, seriously it’s a busy semester) and no longer have the aelfs. Blame the colour scheme dilemma for that. Sad but true: If I can’t find a colour scheme for an army, I can’t finish said project. On the plus, it’s why I’m always stoked for my Death Guard vectorum, The Micturators. Man I love that name! I’ve also figured out the overall commander’s name: Gaius Syphilus. Yep, more lame ass puns (you know you love ’em though).

Anyhoo, for the past few weeks I’ve had to work Mondays for a bit after uni and while it’s a long day the extra money has funded some Khorne Bloodbound. Yes, I know I said I’d have a “no chaos” policy in the Mortal Realms, but damnit the models are neat plus sometimes you just gotta BLOOD FOR THE BLOOD GOD. Plus the order colour schemes are a bit dull to paint- I like bright schemes for one-offs, an army is pushing it for me ^^; The extra money per last fortnight funded my the AoS starter, as it’s extra shift money and long days so feh. I needs muh plastic crack, plus the Death Guard release still isn’t here so the money I keep putting aside for that gets Khorney.

I did a bit of rummaging around and found some forsaken minis I had leftover from the WHFB army from years ago- beautiful kit but sadly a little flat. However, the armour and posing is in line enough with the Khorne BB blood warriors, so that’ll be nice conversion fodder. Using some of the leftover bitz from the starter (the 20 bloodreavers can have a command unit or not, there’s a choice!) I’ve made an Exalted Deathbringer with blood-noun axe.

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Observe Slaughticus. He just needs a shield looted from somewhere and he’s golden/fitting the warscoll description. The starter bloodreaver unit champion’s axe and trophy carrying arms were used in addition to the forsaken legs, torso and khornate head. Some ogre bitz lended Slaughticus some meat hooks and more skulls.

Since my FLGS is comprised of dudes made from awesomesauce, I’m paying off the Khorne battleforce box (the big one) gradually, so I’ll use the spares from the blood warriors to bling Slaughty up a bit and turn the remaining forsaken bodies into more blood warriors (and maybe a few lesser heroes like an aspiring deathbringer- think the Exalted/Aspiring Lord/Hero from WHFB days). Gonna go with the late winter/early spring theme from another failed project and create some kinda background for them. Perhaps they’re on the edges of both the realm of life and the realm of death? I can imagine Khorne warbands raiding Shyish to steal skulls from Nagash and his minions. Also need to figure out an army name for this force too.

Hopefully I’ll be able to game more once my assessment is largely done, I’m almost done with one of the 3000 word assignments, nearly done with a short report and working on another report due this Friday. After that there’s 3 pieces of assessment left, including a lit review I haven’t really started, but ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.  Oh, I also got my placement results back- a distinction for the theory subject and a satisfactory (pass/fail unit) for the actual practical. Feeling stoked about that as this is the final semester. At long last. 🙂

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Peter defeating his anxiety, circa 2017 (artist’s rendition)

In non-hobby stuff, aka life, I’ve been increasingly social and reconnected with someone I’ve not seen in quite a while and enjoyed a fantastic night out. We went to Eat Street near Brissie and caught up over dinner, spent some time walking around and wading through crowds. There were so many sausage dogs there too, which was awesome. Not gonna lie, if I had one as a pet he’d probs be called ‘snags’ or something. Getting off tangent, gonna have her over for dinner in the next few weeks as I’ve also been making inroads into becoming better in the kitchen and I enjoy cooking/baking stuff for people. Awaiting some cookie cutters to arrive from overseas (8-bit heart, LOZ style and a D20 shaped one) and can’t wait to add them to the collection of nerdy cooking stuff.

Also made some preliminary plans for Cancon 2018, should be great to catch up with friends interstate and overseas. Might even try and get over to NZ sometime next year if I land a scientist job- having actual holiday leave would be awesome. So yeah, lots of positive things happening. 😀 I’m gonna ‘fess up here and say my blog is kinda part hobby blog, part life journal, lol.

Life is good, it really is.

-Pete

Here Be Dragons (and Kobolds)

In recent months I’ve been feeling far more social than I have in ages and have cracked open my copy of Super Dungeon Explore as diabolical plans need time to come to fruition. The aim is to host people for board games, laughter and merriment. You know, general social stuffs.

I’ve been sitting on this since 2014! And only assembled 6 kobolds and the heroes. 3 of which were painted, the others were primed. They’ve been dunked into the drink (drowning the adventurers, good or bad DM behaviour?) and am waiting for the isopropyl to do its thing. In the meantime, I’ve assembled the rest of the box and am starting to paint things! PVC though is a weird material to paint, and trim mold lines off. It’s awfully rigid stuff too 😛

Did you know: 1 in 6 Kobolds suffers from impotency?

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A spear: A -long-, -hard-, -shaft- of -wood- which is used with a -thrusting- movement to  -penetrate- an enemies defenses. Cue George Takei.

Gonna paint that one looking at his spear- a wizard’s obviously rubberized it lol. 3 different types of primer later, every baddie has been primed and I’ve sped paint all of the non-boss dragon mooks today. It was a rough week so I gave myself today off before delving into assessment tomorrow.

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SPOT THE REFERENCES!

I’ve also got an expansion coming in the post and have eyes towards the Forgotten King expansion, but for now the plan is to paint everything then host people. Also need to practice a bit of stoicism, as work’s been getting me down and well, next week is also going to be rough. On the bright side, extra money for Death Guard (or more Super Dungeon Explore).

Have a good one,

Pete

Social media and MOAR ramblings

Since the peak of wargaming blogging around 2013, various other avenues to blog, display and talk about the hobby have taken off. Chief among these are facebook and instagram. Since I started Peddler of Magic in 2015, I’ve been rather ambivalent on promoting my site and this is partially to due to not wanting to try and get internet famous via the hobby. Seriously, there’s a bazillion commission artists out there for mini painting and likewise for bloggers too. I’m not in it for the likes, I’m just here to hobby and type words onto a screen because writing about it is fun.

Recently I’ve become a bit wary of facebook as a social media device. Right now I use it to keep infrequent contact with family and friends across the globe. Additionally I use it to organise gaming through my local gaming store (ok, it’s not local, but it’s where the Malifaux was at and I know the people there) and as a secondary source of memes (reddit being the primary source). I also run Peddler of Magic over there too, though that’s mainly to have an avenue to easily share photos without having to upload everything on my personal feed. In light of all that, I’m a little concerned about how pervasive social media is in our lives- does everything hobby-related have to happen on FB/insta/tumblr/etc?

Part of the reason I’ve been thinking about this is the migration to facebook from other platforms. I’m part of around 6-7 different groups and I’ve stopped following most as seeing the constant barrage of super high-end stuff (and regular stuff) put a big dent into my own hobbying. Another reason is technology/social media addiction. There’s been some alarming trends towards people on social media pretty much constantly. I’ll point out here that I find it a bit ironic that the people who warned us of spending too much time on video games are addicted to smartphones and their like.

I’m debating about whether I should retreat away from facebook and keep in touch with people via email, phoning, skype and such. One immediate issue I see with that is that it’ll be harder to organise games of 40k/malifaux in an already woefully lacking social life. On the other hand, I’m a bit over facebook as it seems to diminish social interaction- why bother chatting in person when you can browse their page to know what they’re up to. One other option would be to try and get just messenger as opposed to both facebook and messenger. I’ll be shutting down the FB version of Peddler of Magic as it’s a little bit of work to run that and here, plus the constant “Promote ur page by giving us monies fer fake leiks” tips gives me the shits.

That all sounds a bit negative, doesn’t it? In other news,I’m kinda on top of my game this semester as it’s just assignments galore and I’m at uni 2ish days (I could go Wednesday, but eh 3-6 lecture and work at 6:30? not happening lol). I feel fucking stoked to be in the final semester. Not only that, but I’ve been exercising consistently and started going to the gym again. It hasn’t paid dividends in physical changes yet, but I’m, for the first time since 2010, feeling super confident. Like, who’d have thought that replacing anxiety with confidence would make me feel better? Haha. The exercise has also offset any fatigue from night shift- sure it gets rough some nights, but I’ve more energy during the day. This is a good thing as energy = productivity, which Gets. Shit. Done.

Tying into all that is that I’ve also become far more social at uni and am talking to people, sitting in groups and being a well-rounded human being as opposed to being a ‘grumpy loner’. This also is paying dividends as there’s this girl who seems pretty interested in me ^_^ She’s pretty cool herself but I think I’ve missed a few windows to ask her out (but you can’t really in the middle of a lecture). Still, this week I’ve resolved to rectify that (not in the lecture though). Ha, I’ve nothing to lose. That’s another positive in my life thing in my life at the moment.

All in all, this year has been so much better than 2016 (as it was predicted) and is getting better. Once I get close to graduation, I’ll launch resumes and CVs everywhere for scientist jobs, even interstate. It’ll be a bloody melee with everyone graduating at the same time but I’m confident I’ll land something. Hopefully work will have something by November as I’d like to stay there but would like to use my degree more. I do need to get through this semester first though! I have around 5 major assessment pieces, 3 of which are 3,000 word assignments. They must Voltron into a thesis, or something, like a power rangers megazord.

Have a good one,

-Pete

PS: I changed my profile pic and username as I wanted to leave the grumpy, anxious and antisocial me behind. Plus I’m ‘on’ again in my on/off relationship with MTG, so there’s that. White/Green FTW.

PPS: I’ve got rec leave off for an end-of semester costume party ( halloween themed), so ideas would be appreciated given that I need to budget and there’s a time constraint.