Friday, 30 October 2009


I bought myself a new toy this week.

I have embarked on a university project that requires access to some quite specific bits of very tedious software, which only exist on very specific and tedious computers in university. And naturally, any time I need to use one of these bits of specific and tedious software, either I can't find a free computer, or I find one and it doesn't have the right software on it, or I find one and it has the right software on it, but a class starts five minutes later and I have to leave.

This was all getting a bit tedious; and so after consulting the RoboJEW for advice and then procrastinating for a couple of weeks, I went out and bought a shiny new laptop.

Despite my usually crippling e-tardedness, it was next to no time at all before I was playing solitaire in the comfort of my own living room.

The casual observer might suggest that I would have been able to achieve the exact same results at a lower cost by simply buying a pack of cards. But could I waste an entire evening doing finite element analysis on a deck of cards? HUH? COULD I?!

I wish I'd bought that pack of cards.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

blood for cream

I've been listening to a lot of This Will Destroy You this week. They're an amazing band, but it's not doing much for my will to live.

The only other thing to happen this week was the final banger racing fixture of the year at the world-renowned Mendips Raceway. There were mini-rods and special rods racing, but we barely saw them as we spent most of our time wandering around the pits poking at the wreckage from the main event - the unlimited bangers.

Unlimited means no restrictions on engine size, and since there was also a prize of £50 for the oldest/rarest entrant, we got to see an impressive variety of automotive excellence get atomised.

There were a few Jags... old Triumph 2000...

...a Mk3 Toyota Supra...

...some ludicrously big ol' Daimler of some description (shown here shortly before it caught fire)...

...quite a lot of Volvos (including a team of four bright red 760 estates with the words "TEAM IMPACT" daubed ominously on the sides in lurid purple)...

...and some stuff that could no longer be identified.

And here's what they were all fighting for; big prizes.

That's right; shiny trophies, rough cider, and blocks of cheese.

Welcome to the West Country.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

health warning

Those with a serious aversion to geekery of a toy-soldierish nature should not read any further - click here to watch video footage of a kitten fighting with an electric toothbrush instead.


Here's what happened at Heat One last weekend.

Game 1: Vampire Counts

Y'know, whenever I play a game against Matt's loser Middenhiemers (lead by that unprincipled ruffian loser Captain Von Beard) with my Undeads team, I usually get to see a lot of Matt holding his head in his hands whilst my army doubles in size every magic phase, increasing exponentially until the huge pile of raised skeletons and zombies is so vast that it has its own gravitational field and the moon is pulled out of orbit and hurtles screaming to the earth, triggering earthquakes and tidal waves, blackening the skies, and wiping out every living thing on the planet.

Well, this game was kind of like that; except a) it was the other guy that had the cheating undeads team, and b) his army rapidly started to collapse when my minotaurs chopped up his Vampire Lord in the fourth turn.

So I won my first game (by a whisker) and prevented the occurrence of an extinction level event. And all before lunch, too.

Game 2: Lizardmen

I'll be honest, I didn't really know what I was doing here; so when I won the dice roll for first turn, I just ran towards him with everything.

It worked.

My favourite bit of the game was when his 450pt Slann Mage Priest got chased down and eaten by five warhounds.

Game 3: Tomb Kings

I'll be honest, I didn't really know what I was doing here; so when I won the dice roll for first turn, I just ran towards him with everything.

It worked.

Although not quite as convincingly as before; there was an epic combat in the centre of the table that swung back and forth as we each sent in wave after wave of goatmen and deadites. Fortunately his guys did a better job of exploding into clouds of splintered bone and costume jewelery than mine did.

And so I finished the first day 7th overall, out of 150. And I felt pretty good about that for a short while, until I realised that I had essentially ruined my Sunday by ensuring that I was ranked high enough to only play against wankers with massively gay armies for the rest of the tournament.

Game 4: Dark Elves

This was a massively gay army that mostly consisted of a regiment of always-strike-first Black Guard, 2 Cauldrons and 2 Hydras. They were backed up by a handful of crossbowmen, who were really only there to applaud loudly every time one of the Hydras turned another of my units into a red smear across the battlefield.

It felt like two hours of being slapped in the face with a massive, gnarled green lizard-cock.

Game 5: High Elves

You know that thing about High Elves? That special rule they have, that's the only thing that makes them even remotely worthwhile?

That "always strikes first" thing?

Yeah, well, I forgot they did that.

Game 6: Empire

He had a Steam Tank. And the Grand Theogonist. With Van Horstman's Speculum. And the Sword of Fate. On a Popewagon.

Traditionally, I've always found playing against this kind of Empire army to be a bit like playing any other game of Warhammer, except that your opponent gets to make all of the rules up as he goes along. Or, if you're more of a 40k kinda guy, to be a bit like every game you've ever played against Eldar, ever.

This was no exception.

And so after three wins and three losses, I ended up pretty much exactly where you would expect; in the middle of the table, 76th out of 150. On the plus side, my toys were deemed pretty enough that I was in the top 5 best army nominations, so I still qualify for the finals in February, despite all the substantial evidence pointing towards my supreme crapiness. Huzzah!


...and you're back in the room.

Went to see the mighty Dälek on Tuesday.

First support band Action Beat weren't there, because they apparently don't have any money. Kind of a shame, on their myspace they describe themselves as a noise band that normally consists of 3 guitarists, a bassist and between 1 and 4 drummers. Could've been interesting... or awful... I find the line tends to blur a bit.

Instead the gig kicked off with the inimitable Charles Hayward, some 58 year old guy that was apparently one of the founder members of experimental rock band This Heat (no, me neither). Accompanied by only a weird box of tricks that vomited tuneless electronica into the musty confines of the Croft, he smashed out some crazy beats on his drumkit and only occasionally ruined everything with odd cockney beat poet warbling. Every so often he would glare at us in a confused and agitated way that suggested he didn't exactly know what was going on either.

On the face of it, an absentee noise rock band from Bletchley and a crazy old sticksman might seem like odd support for a hip-hop outfit from New Jersey. But
Dälek are no ordinary hip-hop outfit, as they showed with set opener Culture For Dollars. Industrial seems the best word to describe their music, although it has more in common with doom and drone in reality. No bling, no bitches; just a dense wall of dirty noise, and huge, unstoppable beats.

That said, I have to agree with The Boy's assessment of the crowd as being "a bunch of people all competing to see who can be the least white."

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Beastmans Team - ASSEMBLE

Argh school argh.

Still seem to be needlessly repeating a module from year two. Didn't have access to the online project brief that might enable me to make a start on group project work. Still don't have replacement access card to provide access to engineering computer labs with CAD and FEA software for individual project.

There's a Meet The Employers Fair on tomorrow. A large contingent of firms seem to be defence-based. The rest are in IT and communications.

Fuck this shit. Some people have real problems. Here's my Beastmans team for Heat 1 this weekend.

But pictures ain't enough for you hardcore nerds. Here's what's what.

  • Doombull - with Mark of Nurgle, heavy armour, shield, and The Black Maul (or, if you're Spanish, El Negro Destroza).
  • Wargor - with Mark of Nurgle, Battle Standard, Bloodhunt Horn and heavy armour.
  • Bray-Shaman - with Mark of Nurgle, Chaos Armour, Dispel Scroll and braystaff.
  • Beastherd - 8 Gor & 10 Ungor, with full command.
  • Beastherd - 8 Gor & 10 Ungor, with full command.
  • 3 Minotaurs - with Mark of Nurgle, light armour, great weapons and standard bearer with the War Banner.
  • 3 Minotaurs - with Mark of Nurgle, light armour and great weapons.
  • 3 Minotaurs - with Mark of Nurgle, light armour and great weapons.
  • 2 Tuskgor Chariots.
  • 7 Warhounds of Chaos.
  • 5 Warhounds of Chaos.
  • 4 Dragon Ogres - with light armour and great weapons.
The Doombull runs around with the War Banner wielding Minotaurs, stabbing everyone's face off with his Black Maul.

I know it's a maul. He's gonna stab people with it anyway.

The Wargor and Bray-Shaman get unit of Beastmans each to boss around, the Warhounds are there to die gloriously, and everything else is just well hench.

In theory, it should be a good army. In practice, it'll be me using it; so I'm aiming for just a single win out of the six games, and hoping that I qualify for the finals on that sweet, sweet Best Army nomination meal ticket.