Monday 30 May 2016

Star Wars Imperial Squadrons

As any wargamer will tell you, you need two forces for a wargame.  When you buy Star Wars X-wing one gets two TIE fighters to challenge the Rebel X-wing.  I haven't managed to maintain that Imperial disparity, primarily because my interest is in the Rebel Alliance ships, and because money.

Still I plan to add to my collection of Imperial ships because it's nice to be able to make changes in force composition.  Besides which it makes sense to have pairs of ships so that one can have a wingman.  Except for big ships like the Punisher above, or Slave 1 etc.

One of the things where Star Wars X-wing falls short is the ability to re-enact specific moves from some of the movies: for example Darth Vader and his two wingmen in the Death Star trench.  Now this isn't necessarily a bad thing, after all this is a game not a replay of a film, but I suppose I would like to have seen a rule that made a nod to this.  Something along the lines that Darth Vader's special ability is to have two junior pilots move when he moves – because at the moment, given the rules about movement order, Vader always moves last and shoots first for the Imperials.

More X-wing to come, as I'm writing up a battle report from a game I played this weekend.  Expect it later this week.

Thursday 26 May 2016

Star Wars Rebel Squadrons

My collection of Star Wars miniatures has been growing slowly mostly down to me being broke.  However, now I'm working I feel I can treat myself to adding to my force because why have one of something when two is better and three or more is better still.  This probably counts as a wargamers mantra, along with oh look shiny!

Besides, this is a game I actually get to play, so I have actual motivation to keep adding to my force.  Though my recent X-wing purchases have been for my Godson and his sister who are both big Star Wars fans and who enjoy playing the game when I go and visit them.  We fly around the board making pew-pew noises and complaining about Dodgey Luke getting all the luck.

Anyway, my plan is get another two more X-wings and then re-touch the paint to make them look like the six main Red squadron craft at the Battle of Yavin.  I have compiled shots of the studio models and will do just enough re-touching to hint at each of the named pilots.

While we don't see A- and B-wings in the original film they are, I believe, canonically supposed to have been there, just off screen, lurking or something.

The Y-wings are of course for my Gold squadron.  Again some minor paint changes will be made to make them look more like what we see on screen.  It took me forever to realize that the markings on the top of the cockpit meant: one stripe for Gold Two and two stripes for Gold Three – dividing the band into two and three stripes and the Y-wing without a stripe was Gold leader.

At some future point, when finances allow, the Fantasy Flight Games Rebel Aces set with the different paint schemes for the A-wing and B-wing will be acquired.

Thursday 12 May 2016

Some More Thoughts on Archery

Left to right: Rowan, Richard, Kevin, Vicky, Susan and me.

On the Bank Holiday Monday I shot in my first one day event at my club's St George's Day Shoot.

On Saturday we had gone to practice as usual, and the weather was perfect.  I had a new set of limbs and arrow heads (heavier to make my arrows flex more the riser and then fly straighter).  I changed my sight settings to compensate for all the changes and was shooting really well during the morning's practice session.

I was optimistic that on Monday I would rock.

Admire my awesome carbon limbs.

On Sunday I lovingly hand waxed my new string for Monday's shoot. Monday the weather forecast was for rain later and the day was cloudy with lots of wind.

I'm shooting what is called a short Western, this is where one shoots three dozen at arrows at 50 yards, then move the target to 40 yards and repeat, and finally pulling it back to 30 yards for shooting the final three dozen arrows.

Not allowed to wear combats during a competition, so leggings and a skirt.

Before we began the competition we got to shoot six sighting arrows.  All mine fly over the target and I have to reset my sight based on nothing more than my best guess, which isn't much to go on.  The wind is making the arrows fly all over the place and my dream of rocking in the competition disappeared in a gust of wind.

Then the sun came out to play.

So I took layers off as I was getting hot and bothered.  Then the sun went back in and the wind chill cut in.  Just look at those grey clouds in the picture below.

Look at my pigtails flying in the wind.

I was shooting at one butt with Susan and Rowan, a new archery friend, and here's our arrows at the end of the tournament.

By this point the target was 30 yards.

My score sheet is below.

That poor first round killed my chances of coming anything but last.  I had fun, but I was a bit disappointed.

The following Saturday the day was glorious and I had to take my leggings and extra layers off because I was so hot.  If only the competition shoot could have been so nice.  However, I still didn't manage to match my shooting consistency with that of the first Saturday with the new limbs, partly down to having to reset the sight and the change from the new high performance string affecting everything.

Me trying out Susan's 24 lb bow, which I could barely manage to draw only a month or so ago.

What I learnt, and this is the RPG/wargaming relevant content part of the post, is that wind will bugger your chances of making a shot, and that even small changes to your bow and arrows can have a big impact on your shooting.

Monday 9 May 2016

An Update

I had planned on doing a late May the Fourth post last week but...

I meant to post a piece last week but on Friday I started having problems saving off some pictures I had processed and was unable to compile the image stack.  So, it wasn't until Saturday morning, after leaving said images to be processed on the computer overnight that I realized what the problem was.  I'd run out of space on my hard drive, which given I have 500GBs came as a bit of a shock.

However, the problem was that I had been saving images off onto my smaller partition, which I keep for my work, rather than the random stuff I decide to download off the net.

Given that each RAW file is approximately 16 MBs and each process TIFF file is 48MBs, and a stack consists of 25 images you can see how a partition might fill up.  I also realized that saving off the process TIFF images was taking up too much storage space.  So Sunday I spent the majority of the day reorganizing my hard drive, deleting extraneous TIFF files and doing a complete new back-up of my system.

Normal service will now be resumed.