Wargame Wednesdays: NeoCon 2017

NeoCon 2017

NeoCon 2017 was held on April 29 and April 30 at the Onward Resort. My gaming group, Limitless Fails Gaming Group, had a small booth with a miniature display and demo table. We had miniatures from five different games displayed: Warmachine and Hordes, Flames of War, Warhammer 40,000, Infinity and Guild Ball. We had a lot of interest this time around with many people asking questions about wargaming and the hobby. We also made a short video that will be posted soon.

Feedback

We received great feedback from people at the booth and friends at the convention. A few people that stopped by said we had the best booth. After the convention was over we thought about our overall experience and what we can do better. We will be implementing some of these changes for the next convention.

A few of our changes will be to make a small 2’x2′ table for demo games like this one, display boards for armies and using tablets as video monitors. having one dedicated demo table is great but it does hold up the demo line. Each demo game takes about 30 – 45 minutes and people may not wait around. Two demo games going at once will definitely speed up that process.

Painted miniatures are great but displaying them on a black tablecloth is not the best way to present them. I’ve noticed people would look at my miniatures a lot longer, maybe because they were on a display board. Overall, I think more display boards would help our table.

We wanted to do a video presentation like the last few conventions but our space was limited. One of our members that volunteered, Van, came up with an idea for some video displays. He used his tablet to loop videos of miniature games. It was a great idea so Rodel and I used our tablets as well. Next time, I will download videos to my tablet, eliminating the need for wifi.

Check out some of the pictures below.

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The Bam! Box Unboxing: Adult Cartoon

 

What is the Bam Box?

The Bam Box is monthly subscription box for collectors. Each month contains nerdy and geeky items as well as autographed collectibles. The Bam Box also has an auto upgrade and instant winner system. You could receive extra items or automatically receive an upgrade to an item in the box. Upgrade examples are variant pin, print and comic colors.

What’s in the Box?

The pin for this month is from South Park. You could have received Cartman or Kenny as well. I really like Chef from the earlier seasons of the show. He was one of  my favorite characters before Isaac Hayes went nuts.

The first item is a metal print of Homer Simpson. It’s a very interesting item and would look great on my wall. I love the Simpsons and have been a fan of it since I was younger. My grandparents didn’t like me watching it which only made it cooler!

The first autographed item is from Dynamite Comics. It’s signed by cover artist Ken Haesar. Not a big fan of Betty Boop and would have liked something different. The comic books in these boxes have been misses for me. I was hoping for something more mainstream like Marvel or DC.

The next autographed item is from cosplayer Kristen Lanae. While it’s a sexy picture, it’s not for me. I’m not a big fan of cosplay and this item is wasted on me. I will probably try and sell it on ebay.

The last autographed item is “Bevis and Butthead Attack Rick and Morty” by KC Day. This is my favorite item in this box since it’s a mash up of two great shows. I will definitely be putting this up on the wall soon.

Final Thoughts

While this was a great theme the people at Bam Box missed the mark. I was hoping for more mainstream adult cartoon items and something more than just prints. This was a make or break box and I’m sad to say I will not be renewing my subscription. I had high hopes for this service after seeing past boxes but the last two months have been disappointments. I’m sure other subscribers liked all the items this month but I’m not one of them. If the quality and variety of items change in the upcoming months, I may resubscribe.
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Loot Crate August 2016 Theme: Anti-Hero

Images taken from the Loot Crate email.

 Next month’s theme is going to be Anti-Hero. I love most of the franchises listed except for Harley Quinn. A t-shirt will be included as usual with some other cool stuff. The email mentioned a new Q-fig, a “fist full of coins” and “a new candidate for president”. Hopefully the figure is not of Harley and is one of the other characters. My pick would be Uma Thurman in the yellow track suit from Kill Bill. She looked awesome in that movie.

This month will also include a free 30 days of World of Warcraft including all the current expansions. I haven’t subscribed to WoW since the Cataclysm expansion so I might give this a shot. Hopefully my computer can handle it.

If you’re into these franchises and want to sign up use this LINK, also use the promo code SAVE3 for $3 off any subscription. I get credit towards more Loot Crates if you use the link. If you have any questions, leave a comment at the bottom.

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My Week As Rx (Probably Scaled): July 4 – July 10

 

Tuesday

Overhead Squat – Find a 3 rep heavy
I haven’t done heavy overhead squats in awhile. With my grip and shoulder issues, I’ve been staying away from the movement. After doing a lot more mobility before class and at home, my grip and shoulder issues have improved. My 3RM is 195 lb. and I wanted to come close to that weight.
Started out light to warm up. Lately, behind the neck push presses were hard to do. It would put a lot of strain on my shoulders and I would barely complete the lift. It wasn’t too bad however. After a few reps, I felt normal again. I loaded up the bar to 185 lb. and completed three reps. I decided to stop since we had to get ready for the workout. We only had four minutes left in the session. Surprisingly, the weight wasn’t too bad. The first rep was easy and quick. The next two were not too bad either. I could feel my grip slipping a bit but that’s probably because I didn’t have chalk. I didn’t finish at my 3RM but I came within 95%, which I’m happy with.
Partner WOD – 12 Minute AMRAP
50 kb swings (Russian, 54 lb.)
100 double unders
50 overhead squats (95 lb.)

This was a fun partner workout. My goal for this workout was at least two rounds. My biggest issue would be the overhead squats. The work was split equally. The kb swings were not too bad. The reps were broken up into sets of 10. The double unders went well. I was able to complete 40 reps before breaking. The overhead squats were broken up into sets of 10. I had to break it up into sets of five during the last two sets.The second round did not go as well. I was gassed by this point and I wasn’t moving very well. I was able to keep up with the kb swings but I lost it at the double unders. I would do around 5-10 reps before tripping. I was exhausted and my timing was horrible. I think we could have finished more reps if I didn’t mess up this section. The overhead squats were not as bad as the double unders but we started running out of time. We finished 1 round and 192 reps at time. We were so close to two rounds!

 

Wednesday

 

Snatch – 1×2 at 60% (95 lb.), 1×2 at 70% (110 lb.), 1×2 at 80% (125 lb.) x2

My snatches are starting to feel better. I had to adjust my pulls at the lighter weight because I was catching the bar high. As the weight became heavier, it was easier. The second round felt better than the first. It was probably because I was warmed up. Most of the reps felt really great and I didn’t make huge mistakes or any misses.

Clean and Jerk Complex – Every 1:30 for 9:00 Minutes

2 clean + 1 jerk at 75% (165 lb.)This workout was rough since I tried to keep the reps under 30 seconds. This way, I would have enough time to rest. The first few rounds, the cleans were not too bad but became harder as time went on. The jerks were the easiest part and I decided to focus mostly on form. I was able to get in good reps even though I was tiring out from the cleans. I’m still having some issues with grip but hopefully the stretches alleviate the discomfort. I may want to try and lower the bar on the first clean instead of dropping it before the second clean. This way I can also work on grip strength as I lower the bar.

Clean High Pull – 4×3 at 85% (185 lb.)

Did these reps quickly without resting too long. I took about a minute between sets.

Front Squat – 5×2 at 80% (245 lb.)

This was a fight. 245 lb. felt a lo heavier than 80%. The first two sets were great. My breathing was on point and I manage to keep my elbows up and back straight. The third set on was a struggle. I couldn’t keep a full grip on the bar and it would eventually go on my finger tips. My breathing was a bit harder to control and I felt like I was collapsing in the bottom position. It wasn’t too bad but I know where my weaknesses are in the squat. Not sure how I strengthen it either, hopefully doing more squats and midline work will make it easier.

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Miniature Mondays: Reznik2 and Durst

Finally Finished

After months of procrastination and loss of interest in painting, I finished my two Protectorate Warcasters that have been sitting on my table. I found some painting inspiration and they were completed in no time. Reznik2 was a pain but worth it. He looks great on the battle field and hopefully I build a better list for him in MK3. So far, I’m 0-2 but I know I can play him better.

I also finished Durst. I should have finished him a lot sooner but I dropped him and he came apart. I was bummed about it but I dropped him in some cleaner and assembled him. My clumsiness might have been a blessing in disguise however because I pinned him in more places. Hopefully he’s more durable. I haven’t played him in any lists yet but I’m sure I can find something great.

I’m not sure what’s next for the painting table. I have a Devout and Testament assembled but I need to prime them. I really want to put Thyra and unit of Daughters together as well. I also have some Guild Ball models to paint! So many models, so little time. Let me know what you think about the models. Leave a comment at the bottom. Thanks for reading!

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Loot Crate July 2016 Theme: Futuristic

Images taken from the Loot Crate Email.

July’s theme is Futuristic. I’m only a fan of a few franchises on this list, Rick and Morty and Futurama. The other three are just okay. I played one or two of the Megaman games but I didn’t watch the cartoons or other media. I’m not a reader of Valiant comics and didn’t watch Star Trek TNG. This doesn’t mean I think those franchises are bad, I’m just not familiar with them enough to be excited. I hope the shirt is awesome and I can’t wait to see what Loot Crate puts in the box. Don’t let me down Loot Crate!

If you’re into these franchises and want to sign up use this LINK, also use the promo code SAVE3 for $3 off any subscription. I also get credit towards more Loot Crates if you use the link. If you have any questions, leave a comment at the bottom.

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Loot Crate September 2015 Theme: Summon

I haven’t received my Loot Crate for August but I’m sure it’s in the mail. Loot Crate has released the new theme for next month and it’s Summon. From the picture it looks like some Pokemon, Hearthstone and Simpsons items. Not sure what they mean by “Supernatural”. I think it might mean the TV show or it could be a general term. Either way, it looks like an interesting theme and I hope they have some cool stuff this month.

If you want to sign up use this link, also use the promo code SAVE3 for $3 off any subscription. I also get credit towards more Loot Crates if you use the link. If you have any questions, leave a comment at the bottom.

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Book Review: Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

Ready Player One by Ernest Cline

I received my copy of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline in the February Loot Crate. I didn’t know much about the book or the author. I read the sales copy but I wasn’t excited to read it. I read an article about Steven Spielberg being tapped to direct a movie adaptation, so I decided to give it a read.

Ready Player One is a science fiction novel written by Ernest Cline, set in the year 2044. The world is overpopulated, going through an energy crisis and dealing with wide spread poverty. The population escapes this reality by going into a virtual one called “OASIS” (Ontologically Anthropocentric Sensory Immersive Simulation). The OASIS is a hyper realistic open world game where people can go on quests, work, and even attend school. At the beginning of the book one of the creators of OASIS,billionaire James Halliday, dies and leaves his estate to the first person to find the virtual easter egg he has hidden somewhere in OASIS. In his announcement video, Halliday uses many 80’s pop culture references which people interpret as clues. This leads to a resurgence in everything 80’s, from video games to music and movies.

 The narrator of the book is Wade Watts, a high school student and full time egg hunter (gunter). He dreams of finding Halliday’s egg and escaping his life of poverty. He is well versed in 80’s movies, music and video games. He meets a few people along the way, his best friend “Aech” and “Art3mis”. They usually discuss 80’s trivia trying to outdo each other with a “who knows more” contest. The main antagonist of this story is Nolan Sorrento the head of the Oology Department at Innovative Online Industries (IOI). IOI is the typical greedy corporation. They want to destroy the open and free version of the OASIS and turn it into a “pay to play” world. Wade and his friends must find the egg before IOI or else the OASIS as they know it will cease to exist.

Ready Player One is one of my favorite books. It’s a great story about gamers and how gamers can change the world. I loved the pop culture references in this book. It brings back memories of my childhood especially the gaming references. Cline does an excellent job building the world especially OASIS. However, the book primarily appeals to people who enjoy copious amounts of pop culture references. The writing is okay at best with the exposition spanning more than a few chapters. The book also feels like a young adult novel but the target demographic would be 80’s and 90’s kids. Even with the books shortcomings, I would still recommend this book to friends. I might re-read the book before the movie comes out. This is a book any nerd will enjoy.

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Loot Crate July 2015 Theme: Heroes 2

What’s better than Heroes? How about HEROES 2! In a world where bad eggs and madmen run amok ... This month, we have several brave and bold items from DC Entertainment (including an exclusive figure!), a licensed Legend of Zelda wearable, an enterprising Star Trek item with a whiff of whimsy and our very first hardcover Looter Edition book! It's the loot you deserve and the loot you need right now!  Make sure you join us for another mighty month!
Next month’s crate is going to be a second hero themed crate. Last August was the first “Hero” crate which had the Funko Groot and TMNT figure. This month we will get a DC Figure (Hopefully Funko), a Zelda wearable, a Star Trek item and a hardcover book. I’m actually looking forward to the book since it’s hardcover. I hope next month’s crate is as good as the last few Crates.  

If you want to sign up use this link, also use the promo code SAVE3 for $3 off any subscription. I also get credit towards more Loot Crates if you use the link. If you have any questions, leave a comment at the bottom.

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