Saturday, October 29, 2011

Model expo = models

This morning I took a break from playing World of Tanks to take Lizardking and the lads to the SA Plastic Modellers' Associations' annual expo. We got there about 11:30 and spent maybe an hour and a half on site (a large school hall in the heart of Adelaide). There seemed to be lot more viewers present as we left than when we arrived, and the vast empty table spaces between displayed models were filling up. So, we might have missed some of the treasures but we managed to savour what we saw without the disadvantage of crowds jostling us or anxious model owners snapping back against the tide of people.

Instead, we had a cool hour or so checking out the various display categories, and about half an hour at various of the stalls selecting our own wares to purchase.

My favorite individual model was a Dragon T34-85 (1:35), followed closely by a 1:72 Pfalz monoplane. Most impressive exhibition in my mind were the ships of Task Force 72, including a 3m long (!) work in progress of the HMS Hood and a 2m long jap sub. Besides being impressive scratch built models, these were WORKING ships, full R/C and working turrets, etc. The subs even submersed. The nice man said that the group meet at the boat lake in Bonython Park in the parklands, the last Sunday afternoon of each month, so I might head down there next Month (or even tomorrow, but they might have their ships all at the expo so I'll have to think about that one).

So, what goodies did we leave with? Lad #2 decided on a glossy book of American Supercars, and a three pack of 1:72 personnel transport models (Ketengrad, Kubelwagen and Jeep). Lad #1 settled on a 1:72 medieval bombard and crew, together with a 'Sheriff of Nottingham' 1:72 infantry pack. The Lizardking went for a Dragon (?) M4A3E8. And me? A Maquette 1:35 T34-85 and a Dragon kit of four 1:35 german infantry with their ambush equipment. Maybe I have some vague idea of streetfight diorama? I've never built a 1:35 kit before, nor have I constructed human figures before , so when I finally get both time and space to get to work on them I'm sure it'll be quite an adventure.

Needless to say, a good day was had by all. For me now, it's back to the grind of World of Tanks.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

91,000 players at one time

I have now driven in over a thousand tank battles in World of Tanks (WoT). The team I have been on has won slightly less than half of the battles I've been in. I've averaged a 'kill' about every five battles (though the ratio varies from one 'kill' every two battles for one type of tank to one every nine for another). I have seriously driven seven types of tank, and had cameos (ten or less battles) in three others. The most advanced vehicle in my garage is a T-34-85 has been in 252 battles at time of posting, second only to my T-34 in number of times I've driven it. The most kills I've had in a battle was 4 (T34) and the one which I gain most experience points and credits with is my T34-85. I have been playing it for almost four weeks. My immediate goals are to open up the possibility of new types of tanks by continuing to gain experience in my t34 fleet and to increase my team victory percentages. I have not spent a cent on the game, and don't intend doing so.

The game itself originated in Russia and attracted a large following from Germany and Russia. More play from these two countries on the european server than from anywhere else. There are over a million registered users in Russia. The Russian server established a guiness world record for number of players simultaneously on a server in a MMPOG (91,000+ in January 2011). The US server apparently has about half the volume of players that the European Server does. Average nightly playing time is apparently 3 hours and 20 minutes for active players.

I've no doubt I'll be posting more on this excellent online game.

Most of the information summarised above about the game itself comes from this wiki.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Tanking It

For the last month or so I've been busy playing World of Tanks. You might remember that I first mentioned this game in June when I found out that my (then) computer didn't have sufficient guts to run the program. Since then I had a birthday, and on my birthday (besides the amazing cake) I got a new computer. And, on that computer, had been conveniently loaded the client program for the online megamulti player game of World of Tanks. Seeing as the machine runs on Vista, most everything else I have doesn't work on the new machine, so guess what I've been doing for the past month when in front of the screen?

I'll post a pic of that birthday cake just as soon as I get this vista worked out.

Monday, October 10, 2011


Played a game of Civilisation (the old AH classic) on Saturday. Five players and about six hours to get through to the end of the late bronze age. It was all very civilised, with only a bit of narkiness between North Africa and Italy late in the bronze age as the Italian began to feel put upon. Which, considering the african owned all the desert from Carthage to the Great Western Desert as well as Southern Italy, Sicily and Minorca, they might have been justified in feeling.

I played Crete, and had a nice comfortable little space on my own islands and well as the greek mainland city sites, where I managed to avoid any conflict except to keep the poor Balkans as my buffer against the Thracians and their western Illyrian neighbors as they spread south from the breadbasket of Europa.

Thrace grabbed prime agricultural land early and was beginning to take the pelopynese islands, as well as balancing trade, income, urbanisation, and cultural development nicely for a rush towards the iron age when the player had to depart for other activities (a zombie walk, of all things). Lucky for the rest of us, as Thrace might otherwise have become a cultural powerhouse.

Poor Illyria had a player who hadn't played for ten years (though he had previously won as North Africa, no mean achievement) and so got left behind in the development stakes, despite all the prime agricultural land he held. He does however wish to play again sometime within the next ten years (haha), so this will be a space to watch.

North Africa won on points, with Crete a fairly close second. All in all, played under the verandah with kids playing around our feet on a beautiful spring day, a great way to have some fun.

Sorry to be away for so long. I've been reading my usual blog roll when I can, but not much else. Will fill you in soon (it's gaming related) ...