Reaper Bones – Satheras, Elf Warlock

I have been working on this figure for weeks, on and off. But I decided I needed to finish it so I could actually use it in my friend’s Dungeon World game. This is really the first figure I’ve painted to completion, and the first of our Bones Vampire reward level miniatures that I’ve painted.

Satheras, Elf Warlock, front

Satheras, Elf Warlock, front

Satheras, Elf Warlock, back

Satheras, Elf Warlock, back

I was attempting to get an inner glow on the crystal, but I think I need to work on my blending. I also trimmed the pointy elf hood to make it less, well, pointy. I think that worked well. And I’m really happy with the shading on the robes.

Although it has some issues, I’m quite happy with it. I have reigned-in my perfectionism and actually called something finished. This is actually a big deal for me.

Roll20.net for in-person games

I’ve been running a Dungeons & Dragons 5e game at work during lunch on Fridays, which has been quite fun, but also has a few challenges, one of which has been the participation of a player who frequently works offsite. Since we usually play in a conference room with a beautiful, big screen TV, I thought that using a virtual tabletop might help with that and some other issues. I decided to give Roll20.net a try, and after using it for two sessions, I’d say it’s working reasonably well.

Player view of Roll20 virtual tabletop.

Player view of Roll20 virtual tabletop. (see below for GM’s view.)

If you haven’t heard of Roll20.net, they have some good introductory videos on youtube, including a Crash Course, and overviews for player and GM, and lots of good information in their wiki.

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Star Trek Attack Wing – Star ship combat

Over winter break, I spent time reading through the space ship miniature combat games on Board Game Geek. I had no idea there were so many games. For example, check out the Tactical Startship Combat Geeklist. I have played a few of the more well known games, mostly at Carnage, including Star Fleet BattlesFederation Commander, and Firestorm Armada.

But I recently I’ve seen a number of discussions of the Star Wars and Star Trek themed star ship battle games that use the FlightPath maneuver system. It reminds me of Wings of War, to which my friend Ted introduced me some years ago. And because I have a number of Trek fans in my family, I treated myself to the Star Trek Attack Wing Starter Set.

The Star Trek Attack Wing Starter Set box

The Star Trek Attack Wing Starter Set

Jamie and I played the quick start game, and then a game with the full rules. As you might expect with strategy games, Jamie won both battles. But there’s lots to like about this game. Not only is the FlightPath system quick and easy, but you add upgrades and crew to your ship(s) to provide additional capabilities and replay variety. It’s a lot of fun, very much in keeping with the Star Trek theme.

Of course, now I’m eyeing the next ships that I’ll be adding to the fleets. And I’ve even seen videos of people repainting their minis. Very cool.

Winter storm of 2014

The wooded landscape has been transformed into a winter wonderland..

Irish Settlement Road

Irish Settlement Road

Everything is caked in sparkling snow. As you look closer, you notice the snapped trunks of the red pines, the fallen limbs of the white pines, the birches and beeches that have bent to the ground under the burden of ice and snow. The sky is a threatening grey.

Our neighbor's stand of red pine.

Our neighbor’s stand of red pine.

Our road after the storm

Our road after the storm

Most painful to me is the damage to a relatively healthy elm; most of the top branches have broken, and doubt it can be saved. At least it won’t go to waster; we’ll cut it up and use it to keep warm next winter, maybe during a power outage, when our small wood stove is our only source of heat.

A trunk from my  elm tree came down,

A trunk from my elm tree came down,

Most of the top branches of our lovely elm have snapped.

Most of the top branches of our lovely elm have snapped.

Speaking of power, I’m so grateful to the line crews that have worked for days to restore electric power to our communities, sometimes multiple times. We were without power from Wednesday night through last night, with a couple-hours of service on Thursday afternoon. For three days, we had no central heat, no running water, no phone service, no Internet access! We had our cell phones (not smartphones), but rationed their usage for contacting Green Mountain Power’s outage center, and for emergencies.

Trees on the power lines.

Trees on the power lines.

It was fun to cook creatively on the wood stove, eating down the food that we didn’t want to lose from the fridge and freezer. The pizza dough that Jamie made for Wednesday night turned into flatbread. Sausages and oatmeal, french toast and bacon, we definitely worked the breakfast theme.

I was really intrigued by the way our daily rhythms changed. We went to bed early — 7:30 pm early — feeling very tired, and awoke at 5 or 5:30 and set about getting the wood fire going again. I think there is something restorative about living in a way that reflects the changes in daylight. I know we’re going to return to the work-drive schedule of the modern world, but I may try to be more aware of how the diminished light affects my level of activity.

Now we need to replenish our emergency supplies, and give some thought to ways to work around some of the more difficult parts of this outage.

Thanksgiving prep and snow

I got a bunch of cooking prep done yesterday, including cutting up the turkey, making vegetable stock and brine for the turkey, and then roasting the turkey trimmings and making turkey stock for use today in the stuffing and gravy.

Meanwhile, the snow continued to fall for most of the day, and we awoke to a foot of snow in some places.

A chickadee contemplates its choices.

A chickadee contemplates its choices.

I hope everyone has a nice Thanksgiving with family and friends.