[Weekly Top X] This Is An X Parrot

Kill me now.

Porky’s Expanse has recently concluded an interesting series on ‘the nature of Gothic’ – quoting extensively from and reflecting on an essay by John Ruskin, in which the spirit of both the medieval movement and the nineteenth-century revival are stripped down to their core principles and ideals, and assessed. Porky’s gone easy on the assessment, instead presenting the four principles of Savageness, Naturalism, Changefulness and Grotesqueness pretty much as Ruskin wrote them. Scraping through Ruskin’s dense prose, one feels that the psychology of the amateur hobbyist is pre-emptively laid bare; the essay serves by turn as a cautionary slap on the wrist, and an inspiring vindication.

I love a good Border Legion paintjob. Thanks to Ministry of Miniatures for providing it!

Rites of Battle, meanwhile, asks a similarly searching question, with an answer which you might not be expecting, and a consideration of how the ‘netbuilding’ phenomenon works in different gaming contexts. While I’m not sure that I buy the conclusion – I don’t think small groups are more likely to throw up something that trumps a netbuild, because, well, they’re small, which surely means a smaller pool of available collections and builds interacting – the comparison between 40K and Magic is apposite and the musings on how netbuilding is acceptable in one context but not in another are most informative.
Geek Garage gets another mention this week for throwing up this saucy Circle sacred site. While I’m not sure of the piece’s in-game usefulness – it doesn’t look super-accessible for anything other than single small-based models, it’s top-heavy and it’s a bit fiddly if it has the stairs attached – it’s a lovely piece of work and it’d be great for, say, an IKRPG encounter where the scale is small enough that interacting with the environment can be a focus rather than an “oh damn just prop it up with some dice” “no wait those guys are an inch further up the slope” “can we just say the buildings are impassable?” faff-around to ensure quick and smooth play. If you only have half a dozen models on the field, complicated terrain becomes much easier to deal with than if you have forty-odd and just want your Pureblood Warpwolf to stand in a place where he has Cover and can still receive Ghostly.

Meanwhile, at White Metal Games, Caleb is trying something a bit experimental. As a seller of commissioned models, checking out the competition by commissioning stuff from them seems like an obvious idea, and yet I wonder who’s thought of it before? I’d do it if I could afford to – I take commissions mainly so I can fund little things like ‘having an army to take to SmogCon’ and stuff – but since I can’t, I’m following Caleb’s adventures with interest. Experiencing things from the consumer’s perspective can’t hurt, as a service provider, and comparing those experiences and the quality of service received should give our man Caleb a much stronger sense of where he is on the scene. POST O’ THE WEEK, I think.

I know it’s a WIP, but come on, loserstudio‘s half-done stuff looks plenty fantastic enough to show off.
40Kegger has managed to evade my notice so far, but this Misfits of 40K thing caused a blip on my radar. The Rough Riders are a pretty maligned unit, as these things go, but the argument that a hundred points for a single Marine-murdering wonder charge and a couple of suicide special weapons afterwards might not be so bad is… quietly compelling. I don’t necessarily think that ten per cent or less of your points going on a ‘maybe?’ choice is necessarily a bad thing, especially when it’s a fast one that can lurk in reserve and still probably do something useful when it turns up.

Talking of 40K, Atomic Warlords have come up with a novel take on the Flyer; a mode of gameplay centred around flyers pew-pewing ground troops and having dogfights, rather than interacting with a ‘normal’ game of 40K as this weird hope-you-were-ready-for-these-rules thing. It seems… different. Almost reasonable. The stuff on the ground is just there to score points off and shoot back ineffectively; the real competition is between the planes themselves, in the air. I kinda like that. Oh, and thanks so much for the earworm, lads.

Welcome… to… the DANGER ZONE… welcome to the… DANGER ZONE… nananaa…

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