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Messages - CADmonkey

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General Chaos / Re: What Wargames are you playing?
« on: October 13, 2018, 03:24:05 PM »
what game is this...been looking for a cheapish way to do mechwarrior with friends
Mobile Frame Zero.
The pdf of the rulebook is available pay-what-you-want at that site.  The rulebook has all the rules, and building instructions for for six "typical" frames (but of course, being built from lego, you can build frames in whatever shape you want).

General Chaos / Re: What Wargames are you playing?
« on: October 10, 2018, 01:06:21 PM »
I realise these forums aren't well traffiked anymore, but I wanted to keep sharing my wargaming experiences with you folks, and this didn't seem quite right for the facebook group:

I ended my summer MF0 gaming hiatus this past Saturday.  I had scheduled an open demo session at Fandom II, the downtown FLGS.  Dispite some interest on facebook, no-one showed up looking for a demo.  But Jon and Xenovorous showed up with their frame companies, so we had an impromptu 3 player Rapid Attack skirmish.

My Company

My frame company, The Dragons.

In the rear, a support Hi-Leg:
 d6Ra  d6Ra  d8Ra  d6B  d6G  d6W  d6W
Then from left to right, a battlefield salvage Chub:
 d6Rd  d6Rd  d6G  d6Y  d6Y  d6W  d6W
and 3 hand-to-hand soldier Commisars:
 d6Rh  d6Rh  d6B  d6G  d6Y  d8G  d6W  d6W
 d6Rh  d6Rh  d6B  d6G  d6Y  d8G  d6W  d6W
 d6Rh  d6Rh  d6B  d6G  d6Y  d8G  d6W  d6W

Two Stations.  In the foreground, an electochemical fuel cell (for powering something big!); and behind that, a forest shrine.

By bringing a company with the most frames & the most systems, I had a 'score per asset' of 3 and my starting score was 21, the lowest of the three, and so my position was 'point offensive' player.

Xenovorous' Company

Xenovorous' company was tied with Jon's for the least number of frames, but it had neither the most nor the least number of systems, so his 'score per asset' was 6 and his starting score was 36, which made his position 'offensive' as well.

Jon's Company

Jon's company had both the least number of frames and least number of systems, so his 'score per asset' was 7, giving him a starting score of 42 which put him in the 'defensive' position.

(I didn't keep a record of the loadouts for Xenovorous & Jon's companies, sorry guys)

Initial Setup

In a battlefield of short sections of walls & vegitation simulating ruins in the process of being overgrown, Jon set up a perimeter in one corner, with some fairly strudy walls to hide behind.

My 'point mobile frame' can be seen facing one of Jon's initial defense frames, with the rest of the company arrange behind it, making my intentions against Jon clear.

Xenovorous' company is to one side of my axis of advance, in postition to attack either of us.

Starting scores: Jon 42; Xenovorous 36; Myself 21

End of First Round

Jon held onto his lead.  My frames pursued one of Jon's into his perimeter but couldn't engage it in hand-to-hand combat.  A lucky hit from my support frame crippled Jon's support frame, while return fire from Jon's support frame lightly damaged mine.  Xenovorous' frames advanced towards the centre.

No frames were destoyed, and no stations changed hands.

End of first round scores: Jon 42; Xenovorous 36; Myself 21

End of Second Round

Early in the second round, Xenovorous captured on of Jon's stations, lowering Jon's score to 35 and raising his to 42, thereby giving Xenovorous the initiative.  Xenovorous also opened fire on my support frame, severely damaging it.

With Jon's score still ahead of mine, I continued to concentrate on him.  My support frame finished off Jon's support frame, reducing his score even further.  My hand-to-hand frames continued their drive into Jon's perimiter (taking considerable damage as they went), finally catching up to his frame beside on of his stations.

Under pressure from both Xenovorous and myself, Jon's position was looking untenable.

End of second round scores: Jon 28; Xenovorous 42; Myself 21

End of Third Round & Game

Fire from Jon's frames destroyed one of my hand-to-hand frames, reducing my score to 18, making it seem that I would remain in last place.  Exchanges of fire between Xenovorous & myself and Jon & Xenovorous had no practical effect.  But at the end of the round, my hand-to-hand frames finally destroyed Jon's frame (which they had been persuing for the entire game) and captured Jon's remaining station, finally dragging me out of last place.

The game was called at the end of the round on account of time, with Xenovorous the winner, myself in second place and Jon in third.  We all agreed that it had been a good game.

End of third round & final scores: Jon 14; Xenovorous 42; Myself 21

It was time to pack up then, but I snapped a couple of closup shots of the aftermath:

It was great seeing Jon and Xenovorous again, and even better having a full game, and a multiplayer one at that!

Regarding my performance in the game, while I did managage to lift myself out of last place, I got the feeling during the game that attacking Jon was a misstep for me.  I've had very few multiplayer games of MF0, and in two player games where I've played point offense, charging into the defender's perimeter with a closely grouped section of soldiers has served me well.  In this game though, I think that attacking Jon this way helped Xenovorous more than me.  This thought occured to me partway through the second round, but I decided to stick with my original plan and see where it got me.  If I had attacked Xenovorous from the outset, I would have put him in a position where he couldn't possibly win without attacking Jon himself.  This strategy certainly wouldn't be a guarenteed win for me, but it could be something interesting to try next time I'm in a similar position.  I aslo think my hand-to-hand section suffered from a lack of SSRs, which I normally spread through "assault" sections like these (not everyone had SSRs, so we decided to play without them).  Next time I'll bring some extra SSRs for the use of other players.

General Chaos / Re: Best Internet Vidyas
« on: September 28, 2018, 05:10:27 PM »
WW1: The Thing Edition
More zombies than The Thing, I'd say.  Have you seen it?

General Chaos / Re: What are you reading?
« on: August 11, 2018, 07:36:45 AM »
Visiting Montréal again, and buying books.

First, I went to see “From Africa to the Americas: Face-to-Face Picasso, Past and Present” and “Here We Are Here: Black Canadian Contemporary Art” at the Montréal Museum of Fine Arts.  Picked these up at the exhibit bookstore:

MMoFA Book Haul by Bryan Rombough, on Flickr

Second, there was my usual excursion to the Canadian Centre for Architecture bookstore:

CCA Book Haul - Books by Bryan Rombough, on Flickr

CCA Book Haul - Magazines & Typography by Bryan Rombough, on Flickr

General Chaos / Re: Image Thread
« on: June 01, 2018, 05:12:57 PM »
Meanwhile, in Ontario:

Saw a newly-restored cult canuxploitation classic last night:

This kitschy cult-comedy/sci-fi/horror/musical plays like an Ed Wood film mixed with a punk rock musical. In the fictional small town of Burquitlam, B.C., local butcher Bob (Dawson) hires a mysterious hulking assistant, Abdulla the Turk (jazz musician Clarence ‘Big’ Miller), who loves butchering a bit too much. Meanwhile, a teenage genius (Andrew Gillies) from a family of Moldovan immigrants conducts strange experiments with a stolen car – and that’s just the vague outline of a plot that ranges from mildly bizarre to completely absurd. Oh, and yes, it’s a musical.

It was great, really "punches above it's weight" for such a gonzo script and low budget.  Here's a review from the Canuxploitation! site:

General Chaos / Re: What Wargames are you playing?
« on: March 08, 2018, 07:13:07 PM »
Oh dear, I may be buying this (again):

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I'm a little torn on this.  I bought the original pre-painted, blind-box, "collectible" Monsterpocalypse when it came out a decade ago.  I love kaiju, and mecha, and skirmish wargames, and I loved the game itself, but I didn't care for the local tournament scene.  I'll try not to get my hopes up, but I might not be able to resist.

General Chaos / Re: Best Internet Vidyas
« on: February 22, 2018, 06:27:14 PM »
Dun Dun Dun, Dun Dudun Dun Dudun!

<a href="" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win"></a>

RPGs / Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
« on: February 08, 2018, 08:02:02 AM »
On modern architecture, and perceptions & attitudes towards it and how those concepts have changed over time, I went to a lecture at the CCA a couple of weeks ago, and a video is now online:

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Author and critic Owen Hatherley presents and comments on a television broadcast of Open University course A305, for contemporary eyes and ears. The episode, “English Flats of the Thirties,” juxtaposes two housing schemes, one in London and one in Leeds, one public and one private, one modelled on the monumental mass housing of Red Vienna and one on the ideas of Le Corbusier. Looking at how these buildings were perceived in the 1970s, Hatherley reflects both on the changing reputation of modernist mass housing and attitudes toward working class housing and the architectural avant-garde. Why did one of the buildings become “iconic” and get preserved, while the other was demolished?

Hatherley is the author of books including Militant Modernism (2009), A Guide to the New Ruins of Great Britain (2009), and Uncommon (2011), about the pop group Pulp. He has contributed to publications including Building Design, The Guardian, Icon, Jacobin, London Review of Books, New Humanist, New Statesman, Socialist Review, and Socialist Worker.

The CCA currently has an exhibition on, The University Is Now on Air: Broadcasting Modern Architecture, which looks at one of the courses of the British Open University project: A305, History of Architecture and Design, 1890–1939 and they invited Hatherley to comment on an episode of the course broadcasts.  If you're interested in modernist architecture and how people's concept of it have changed over time, this is worth an hour of your time.

The CCA also has broadcast from that Open University course on their youtube channel: A305, History of Architecture and Design 1890–1939.  They're quite interesting on their own, with studies of a number of modern architects and buildings.  And videos from the exhibition are also online: The University Is Now on Air / L'université à l'antenne, for anyone interested in the Open University's experiment in higher education.

Edit A few things I forgot to mention: Hatherley mentions the documentary The Pruitt-Igoe Myth, I can't recall if I've mentioned it on this forum, but it's an absolute must-see for anyone who has opinions on public housing and modernist architecture.  Hartherley also mentions that this was his first trip to Canada, and he made a brief tour of Montréal and was fairly impressed by the Metro.  He also made a side trip to my home town of Ottawa, where he was less impressed with some of our architecture. :)

Edit the Second  A "Freaky Architectural Stuff" tweet I forgot to mention: Hatherley found the high-rise from David Cronenberg's Shivers (which he considers to be the best adaptation of J.G. Ballard's High-Rise) in Montréal.

RPGs / Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
« on: February 08, 2018, 07:15:57 AM »
hahaha yeah, i found out shipping containers are shit as structure components at some point during the brutalist campaign. Oh well, i guess they are more viable in a zombie apocalypse because steel is stronger than zombie claws.
They can make sense if you're cut off from other sources of steel and have a surplus of containers.

General Chaos / Re: What Wargames are you playing?
« on: February 04, 2018, 04:32:12 PM »
Looking through the February issue of WI, I was wondering if there's been any squeals from one of the RPPR players* over the new Japanese units for Konflikt ’47?  I also noticed an article about giving awards to miniatures for their "service" in wargames.  I immediatley had a flashback to an issue of KotDT where the guys started giving themselves medals for their own actions in RPGs! :D

*one of you has a Japanese army, right?

General Chaos / Re: What are you reading?
« on: February 04, 2018, 12:59:22 PM »
Read the first two volumes of Star Trek: The Classic UK Comics (didn't know there was a third, I'll have to pick that up soon).  It's a funny little piece of Star Trek licensing history produced by the publishers of Gerry Anderson-series comics adaptations, for an audience of British children.  There's a lot of "wonky" elements to the comics:  The writers and artists only saw one episode of the show before producing their first several months of work, so Kirk is refered to as "Kurt" in the first few serialised stories, and a character who only appeared in that one episode (The Corbomite Maneuver) appeared as a regular member of the bridge crew for months.  There's also a lot of other oddities that come from the British writers & artists:  The proliferation of very "Gerry Anderson-esque" vehicles and machines, the crew using a lot of British colloquialisms and the crew generally behaving more like early 20th-century British navy officers than Roddenberry's idealised, egalitarian starfleet officers.  Many of the stories fall short of Roddenberry's vison for Star Trek (even moreso than the TV series), but for the most part it's a fun alternate take on Star Trek, with some great art (Harry F. Lindfield's work is particularly gorgeous).

I also recently read Cherie Dimaline's The Marrow Thieves, an apocalyptic YA novel about an Indigenous youth living through an environmental apocalypse and genocide.  I don't normally read YA novels, but this one had won some awards and was written by a Métis author, so I gave it a try.  It's not bad, but I think YA still isn't my cup of tea.

And I've started reading Richard Wagamese's Indian Horse, the story of a residential school survivor, written by a residential school survivor.  This book has been sitting on one of my bookshelves for a while, ever since a relative of mine tried and failed to read it and gave it to me, but I was prompted to finally pick it up when I heard that there's a movie adaptation coming out this year.  The descriptions of life in a residential school are horrific, but I was braced for them by having already been exposed to stories of what went on in those places, and that setting isn't the whole of the novel.  Despite the terribly depressing nature of the subject matter, Wagamese's writing is beautiful and moving, and I'm quite enjoying this book.

RPGs / Re: Freaky Architectural Stuff for Ruin
« on: February 02, 2018, 07:57:19 PM »
This would have been more relevant while The Brutalists APs were being posted, but some recent posts on social media has brought this back to my mind, so:

Opinion: What’s Wrong With Shipping Container Housing? Everything

If you've been following any architectural blogs in the past 5-10 years, you've probably seen shipping container houses/offices/etc., they're pretty popular with architecture nerds.  Liking the look of shipping containers is a matter of taste and not objectively good or bad, but some proponents of the fad like to claim that shipping container architecture is "green" and "sustainable", which is not at all true.  From the opinion piece above, here's a list of reasons why shipping containers are an objectively bad construction material:
  • Housing is usually not a technology problem. All parts of the world have vernacular housing, and it usually works quite well for the local climate. There are certainly places with material shortages, or situations where factory built housing might be appropriate- especially when an area is recovering from a disaster. In this case prefab buildings would make sense- but doing them in containers does not.
  • If you are going through the trouble of building in factory, why not build to a dimension that is appropriate for human habitation? With only 7’ clear (2.1 m) inside a built-out container, you are left with the building code minimum room width as your typical condition. It’s hardly an ideal width, and it is not difficult to ship wider modular units: modular home builders do it all the time.
  • Insulation. All surfaces of the container need to be insulated, and this means either building a new set of walls on the inside or outside of the container. If walls are furred out on the interior, this is convenient for plumbing and electrical lines but it narrows the usable space of an already small box. It also allows for a huge amount of thermal bridging unless the floor is built up with insulation on the inside (which brings up a host of other problems).  If the exterior is insulated it no longer looks like a container, and then you have to pay to clad the entire thing over the insulation. In either scenario you’re duplicating all of the walls that you started with. Improper insulation will result in heavy condensation on the inside of the metal exterior walls.
  • Structure. You’ve seen the proposals with cantilevers everywhere. Containers stacked like Lego building blocks, or with one layer perpendicular to the next. Architects love stuff like this, just like they throw around usually misleading/meaningless phrases like “kit of parts.” Guess what- the second you don’t stack the containers on their corners, the structure that is built into the containers needs to be duplicated with heavy steel reinforcing. The rails at the top and the roof of the container are not structural at all (the roof of a container is light gauge steel, and will dent easily if you step on it). If you cut openings in the container walls, the entire structure starts to deflect and needs to be reinforced because the corrugated sides act like the flange of beam and once big pieces are removed, the beam stops working. All of this steel reinforcing is very expensive, and it’s the only way you can build a “double-wide.”
  • Stacking. One recent competition boasted that because containers can be stacked 9-high, concrete floors could be provided every 9th floor with stacks of containers in between. That load still needs to travel down through the building, and still then requires columns. Those floors every ninth floor need to hold the entire weight of 9-stories of building above, which makes it dubious that you’d really be saving much on structure. The foundation also needs to be built similarly to a “regular” site-built building, and this is one of the most expensive pieces. Stacking also requires a large crane and an area for staging the prefabricated container modules, which can be hard to arrange on a dense urban infill site.
  • Utilities and Mechanical Systems. In a large building, you’ll still need a lot of space to run utilities. Because of the problems with insulation mentioned above, you will need to install a very robust HVAC system to heat and cool the building (that Mumbai tower shown above would literally be a deathtrap without cooling). You will have a hard time taking advantage of passive strategies like thermal mass if you maintain the container aesthetic. You’ll also end up with low ceilings, as even high cube containers are only 9-’6” (2.9 m) in overall exterior height, so any ductwork or utilities start cutting in to headroom.
  • Recycling. Part of the container narrative is that it’s “green” because we have a surplus of containers that can be reused. This is somewhat true, but in reality many existing container projects use brand new containers from China (which are still very cheap to buy). Used containers need to be thoroughly cleaned because there is a risk they may have been used to transport something toxic in the past.
What you get with a container is cheap structure, if you can use the box-basically as-is. As soon as you remove anything (including the ends) you need to hire welders and buy steel. Architecture is more than structure though and structure on its own is not particularly expensive- especially when you are building a space as small as a shipping container, so the savings here are minimal. Relatively untrained people can build a room that size of simple wood framing in a day without needing to rent a crane or learning how to weld for about the same cost (or less) than buying a used container.
Most shipping container projects you read about never actually get built, and those that do are for rich clients with more money than sense, but the myth that shipping containers are a viable "solution" to anything is... annoying.

There seems to have been an uptick in "shipping container porn" on social media lately (maybe due to the Ready Player One movie coming out?), and amongst that stuff I've noticed a new --possibly sillier-- idea: OPod Tube Housing.  From an environmental/sustainability standpoint, this is at least as bad as shipping container housing.  To make these things "housing", you have to build a livable space inside a cramped, enclosed space.  And stacking them up means building a separate structure to hold them in place and carry their weight (you can only pile a few of these on top of each other before the weight of the ones on top crush the ones at the bottom), not to mention the nightmare of running services between "pods" that literally only have tangental connections (at best).  But like the shipping container fad, I don't expect that many of these will actually be built.

Hot Knives looks kind of eh,
Yeah, it's basically a bunch of drunk/stoner sketches with an afterthought of a plot*.  The viewing experience was probably improved by the alcohol being served at the candy bar.

but Sword and the Claw looks legit amazing.
It is, I highly recommend it.  This was the first time in months I've gotten out to that theatre's "Secret Cinema"** and this was one of the best ones yet!

*a pretty good description of all the movies made by this group of filmmakers
**they don't announce the name of the movie they're showing beforehand, you find out only when it starts

Saw a couple of movies last night.  First was the premiere of a campy, local, independent comedy:

<a href="" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win"></a>

Phil Caracas (Harry Knuckles, Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter) stars in a modern day slacker odyssey.

Stan (Phil Caracas) is a bumbling slacker who, despite approaching middle age, continues to be a popular party animal with no apparent responsibilities. His next-door neighbour (Gabriela Svoboda) loses her dog and the hapless Stan suddenly has purpose in his life. Find the missing pooch! His mission becomes an existential journey into the self and the dangerous world around him. His investigations uncover a labyrinth of conspiracies and skullduggery that blow his mind and will most certainly blow yours. Be prepared for the wild ride that is Hot Knives!

The other, a new restoration of the classic of Turkish cinema:

<a href="" target="_blank" class="aeva_link bbc_link new_win"></a>

They took his money. They took his family. And now, they've taken his hands. But they can never take his revenge! Exploding from the same hallucinogenic netherworld as TURKISH STAR WARS, THE SWORD AND THE CLAW stars Turkish genre legend Cuneyt Arkin in his most iconic role. It's CONAN THE BARBARIAN meets The Three Stooges meets DOLEMITE with more lo-fi bloodshed, pop-art visuals, and bizarro dubbing than the boundaries of reality can handle.
AKA: Lionman.  As usual for special screenings, a member of the theatre staff got onstage to introduce the movie beforehand. He informed us that in addition to being made from the only surviving 35mm print, the digital tranfer we were about to watch apparently had an additonal 25 minutes of film which had been cut from the original theatrical release.  He didn't know which 25 minutes had been restored, but having now seen it, I'm willing to bet it was 25 minutes of fight scenes!  The majority of the screen time of this movie seems to be insane, highly acrobatic fight scenes!

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