Tuesday, 18 June 2013

Afghanistan Distraction

Having seen Paul's post on the Airfix Scorpion/Scimitar kit a while back I said I should post some pictures of my own. It's a pretty simple paint job but I'm happy with it. Looks alright for the British in Afghanistan right now, but not perfect. Obviously the kit itself is far too old for that, but I'm not bothered modernising the subject. Anyway, pictures. As usual, click to embiggen.

The weathering went a bit wrong here. It just looks like I got bored painting parts of it and gave up, since the colours are too close to the base. I will probably go over this again with some Tamiya pigments at some stage.

These are Elheim's British Infantry in Assault Vest. I need to re-hilight the patches of British Uniform on the sand, and go over the webbing another time to make it stand out more. Otherwise they're finished to a decent standard, even though there are a few things I missed first time around.

Revell's plastic German KSK group. I had bought these on impulse a few years back and did nothing with them so spotting that they were deployed to Afghanistan in the FoF "Enduring Freedom" book I decided to just paint up a fireteam and some options quickly. On the left is a battering ram used to indicate that the fireteam has the "Specialist Breaching Gear" rule for house clearing, then there's a sniper team on a single base. To the right of the sniper team is a quick conversion I'm pretty proud of, it's the little bit of sprue at the end of the Airfix Lee/Grant kit's 37mm gun, stuck in under where the mag was to turn the gun into an MG36 for some fire support (+2D). There's also an MP5 user for bonus short-range firepower.

Wednesday, 22 May 2013

The State of Licences

So Microsoft had their new Xbox reveal and I find myself highly suspicious of pretty much everything they said. I was working for the company as phone support during the Kinect launch and the disparity between hype and delivered product there was hillarious. But that's not what I want to talk about today. Today what is irritating me is the downplaying of the issue with how MS look to be trying to prevent the use of second-hand games in the console. As it stands, it appears that the idea is to have all the media on the disc and to have a seperate code which will allow for a licence to be associated with the person's Xbox LIVE account.

Now ignoring that this is, essentially, the death of bringing games over to a friend's house for the evening there are more pressing concerns at work. Specifically, Microsoft's treatment of player accounts and how the concept of ownership is being eroded here. As the fabled Xbox "Terms of Service" currently stand, there is very little to prevent MS or the game's publisher from revoking a player's ability to play a game they paid good money for with no reason given nor any right of appeal whatsoever, but obviously that would be terrible business and will never happen (*cough*). What WILL happen is bans for various behaviours that may or may not be anticipated and covered in the ToS of a game or the overall service and how that would potentially result in a total loss of a significant amount of what used to be called "property". Witness the previous shenanigans with the Call of Duty "infected" lobbies, which would cause any player entering them to spread the modified gamestate to other lobbies they entered if they had not exited the game in the interim. This could, and if you believe some people did, affect players who had no intention of breaking the rules.

More likely to be a problem, any number of teenaged gamers have, quite frankly, shit for brains. They forget their passwords and disable their accounts in ways that render them totally inaccessible to those unwilling to read a popup box and follow instructions. These morons (also known as "the target market") are quite likely to find their library of games to be entirely defunct, and literally just taking up space. There is a similar complaint to be made about buying a game that requires a Steam account at the moment, but at least in that situation the disc can be used or discarded at your whim, and the game licence MAY be somewhat cheaper if you dig around the bargin bins. In the case proposed by this new console, the disc would only be necessary for initial install, but what happens when the console's limited hard drive space is full and you make some room for a new purchase? If the disc is now inaccessible will it be possible to download it via the LIVE service? At this point, who knows?

In many ways, the saddest thing about this is the knowledge that soon it may be entirely impossible to have a game sitting on your shelf available to lend to a curious aquaintance so you can share an experience. It isolates us as gamers, just that little bit more. And all just to add a few more dollars to the least significant digits of some seven figure numbers....

Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Posteth The First

I've been posting non-existantly over on Project Arnhem for a variety of reasons. Some of them are due to project burnout, others are thanks to distractions like my Force on Force "palate cleanser" which has turned into its own monster project and finally there's a bunch of real life stuff that has happened, starting with the death of a camera, which has made finding the time to photograph stuff difficult at best. So this blog here is going to be just random posting about whatever it is I happen to be up to at any given moment, probably in rant form, and not always miniature or gaming related.