Friday, January 9, 2015

Progress Report 1/9/15 - A new year begins.

Well here we are in 2015. The future? It doesn't feel like anything has changed dramatically. I realized I am going into my 8th year of this blog and this hobby. Don't have a lot to show for it on the painted model front but I will always have the memories (thanks to the blog posts). 

Started the year off painting in my living quarters (aka a hotel room) a bit. Not easy and probably not something I will continue to do in the remaining month or so of my time away from home. I did manage to get some skin painting done of my Deadzone plague minis though.

Going with a neon green/bright pink kind of infection look. The rest of the outfits will be dark greys/blacks/whites and maybe a little prison orange. Also spent a bit of time working on my Undead Mordheim warband with additions to the Vampire leader. Still need a name and backstory for this fellow but I am thinking it is something like the Cursed Company. He isn't too happy about being a vampiric undead warrior but he makes the best of it by going out and merc'n it up.

Also managed to get into a start up game of Risk Legacy and played a few games of that. Expect some kind of battle/game reports for that coming up soon. In the meantime... stay warm and keep painting!! 

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Beer Review - Highland Brewing Company Gaelic Ale

Highland Brewing Company - Gaelic Ale

Beer Type: American Amber/Red Ale - 5.80% ABV

12 brown bottle featuring a highland looking fellow with bagpipes on a a suitably gaelic background. Beer pours a dark amber color with no head to speak of.      

Smell: Malt followed by dark dried fruit like prunes or raisins. Something a hint spiced?        

First Drink: Big malt up front then mellowing out to feature a bit of hops and the sweet dried fruit flavors. 

Mouthfeel: Smooth and crisp but a bit lighter than I expected.    

Last Drink: The malt in the front is quite strong! It mellows out to get a bit more citrus and sweet fruit flavor and isn't as noticeable towards the end.         

Drinkability: It isn't my favorite red/amber but it has a few things going for it. I wish the malt wasn't as strong in the balance but maybe that is intentional?        

Notes: A beer from Asheville, NC that I didn't get to try while I was there! Luckily a friend gave me this bottle as a gift. Hooray for beer gifts!       

Verdict: 3.5 out of 5. It's got some good depth and it's worth giving a try.

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

A New Year - 2015 Hobby Resolutions.

Well it is 2015 already!? Man time really moves. Hard to believe it has been a year since I last wrote a list of hobby related resolutions back in 2014. I suppose the first order of business is to revisit them!

A list of things I resolved to accomplish with my hobby in 2014:
  • Update this blog at least twice a week all year: (FAIL) - Well I tried for a bit, and I was making good progress too, but eventually the accumulated RL stopped me from getting this done. While I did manage to play more RPG games and board games I didn't catalog any of those experiences here on the blog. Nor did I get nearly enough beer reviews up!! I have quite the back log waiting to be posted...
  • Finish painting all of the Blood Bowl teams I have started: (FAIL) - Not even close. In actuality I don't think I finished even one additional team!! I blame the not really attending any tournaments this year and not having a local league at the moment.
  • Play some WHFB somewhere, somehow: (FAIL) - Nope. While I did manage to get out some of my WoC minis and assemble and paint them I didn't get a single game in. I did have plans to do so a few times!! That sort of counts right? I did manage to build and mostly paint a Mordheim warband and play a short test game of that though.   
  • Attend as many Blood Bowl tournaments as possible: (WIN) - "as possible" being the key here! I did get to go to ZBX which was a lot of fun and Chaos Cup too. Aside from those and Dog Bowl here in Kalamazoo I didn't do too hot on getting out to tournaments with any regularity. A combination of not having money to travel and not being able to get time off for work really stuck it to me this time around. 
  • Paint something just for the heck of it: (WIN) - Well I count my Rebs faction from Deadzone here as I painted it up (and built a bunch of terrain) without any plans to play the game nor any players to play it with! Just liked the look of that faction and wanted to see them painted up.
  • Start cataloging the various game design/theory/ideas I have as they come up: (FAIL) - Didn't manage to do this exactly as I had written out but I did start and mostly complete a design document for a game I have been working on throughout the year as inspiration strikes. Hoping to get it more fleshed out and playtested this year and possibly even released!? 
Well there you have 2014 and my hobby resolutions in a nutshell. Not the greatest nor most productive of years but I am not displeased with my progress. At least I have a few minis painted that weren't painted last year!!

Now... on to this year's 2015 Hobby Resolutions! 

The future is looking good...
  • Spend at least 15 minutes every day working on hobby:  Something I have been trying to do anyway so it makes sense to put it on this list. Those 15 minutes a day really add up! Especially when things like a new job/new routine/new year conspire to eat up my painting and modeling time. 

  • Finish painting at least one of the Blood Bowl teams I have started: Well I couldn't manage to paint them all this year but I should be able to at least finish one!! Right!?!

  • Play some Mordheim and/or Deadzone: Got the minis, they are painted, just need time and players. It shall be done!!!

  • Attend at least 4 Blood Bowl tournaments: I managed to go to that many in 2014 and it didn't feel like enough. This year I will make it to at least that many and maybe more?!

  • Prototype and playtest "the game" I have been designing: Cool idea, fun gameplay mechanics, at least in my mind. Need to get it on the tabletop and see how it works in reality.

  • Update Drinkin' and Modelin' at least once a week: Totally doable and should be the minimum requirement for having a blog anyway!!!

And there we have it. A list of things. Good things! Happy things! I will feel so awesome and accomplished when I manage to get them all done with zero FAILS on my list at the end of 2015. Here is to the future and hoping you have a great one too. 

Friday, December 26, 2014

Beer Review - Bell's Kalamazoo IPA.

Bell's Brewing Company - Kalamazoo IPA

Beer Type: American IPA - 6.00% ABV

Appearance: 22 brown bottle with a photo of the tower at the Kalamazoo State Hospital on it. There were a few other label choices but this is the one that screams KALAMAZOO to me so I snagged it. Beer poured an orange/amber color with a thin off white head and no real lacing.     

Smell: Not a lot going on? Caramel malt and just a faint aroma of hops.        

First Drink: A little citrus or other fruit up front followed by a strange combination of hop bitterness that reminded me of rusty metal. 

Mouthfeel: Pretty light for an IPA, especially after some of the doubles I have been drinking, but the carbonation has a bit of bite.   

Last Drink: A little more pine and grassy flavors coming though in the hops now but nothing remarkable.         

Drinkability: First time I have seen this brew and I was super stoked to see this IPA with my hometown's name in it. Not sure I will be so excited the next time.        

Notes: This beer uses "crystal malt" and I expected more toffee/sweet flavors to come through due to that.       

Verdict: 3 out of 5. Just okay and not worthy of the name in my opinion. Kalamazoo is far better. Perhaps Two Hearted is the real Kalamazoo IPA?

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Beer Review - New Belgium Hoppy Bock Lager.

New Belgium Brewing Company - Hoppy Bock Lager

Beer Type: Maibock/Helles Bock - 6.90% ABV

Appearance: 22 oz. brown bottle with a brown and red (kinda ugly when compared to the standard New Belgium) label. Beer poured a clear straw/yellow color with a nice beige head.     

Smell: Biscuity malt and a lot of floral hops come through first. Smells a bit funky which is not something you expect in a lager?        

First Drink: Hops in the front that quickly mellow out with malt and finishes with a bitter citrus.

Mouthfeel: Plenty of carbonation on this which is actually quite nice. Feels a little light overall.    

Last Drink: Sweet malt and bitter citrus left at the end and not too much in between.       

Drinkability: Not sure what the story on this one is. If it's a new thing they are trying to do (something called Hop Kitchen) or just a one off beer, either way I guess this wouldn't be the first beer I released?         

Notes: A more bitter and sweet lager? A hoppy bock? Something in between? So far this is a one off brewing and limited edition. Not sure I would go for this again.      

Verdict: 3 out of 5. Got craft but maybe not enough for what I want.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Beer Review - Founders Double Trouble Ale.

Founders Brewing Company - Founders Double Trouble Ale

Beer Type: American Double/Imperial IPA - 9.40% ABV

Lil' 12 oz. brown bottle with a two headed/faced man on it and the comforting Founders logo. Beer poured a crystal clear orange/copper color with a nice white head.    

Smell: A lot of citrus - lemons and grapefruit mostly. A little bit of other fruit aromas like mango or another tropical fruit.        

First Drink: First is the sweet malt and then here comes the hops! Bitter and I can't taste much else.

Mouthfeel: Medium bodied with a nice creamy texture and just the right amount of carbonation.   

Last Drink:
Getting a little more honey and sweet flavors coming through now but still mostly just resinous hops!       

Drinkability: This is a hoppy beer but different from other syrupy doubles and imperial style IPA I have had.        

Notes: Been too long since I had one of these! Not my favorite Founders brew but it is a unique representation in this style I think.     

Verdict: 4 out of 5. Plenty of hops without too much malt.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Beer Review - Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute Ale.

Lagunitas Brewing Company - Lagunitas Sucks Brown Shugga Substitute Ale

Beer Type: American Double/Imperial IPA - 7.85% ABV

Appearance: Squat 12 oz. brown bottle with the "classic" white label and some text (plus a big red splotch on it). Beer poured a clear straw/yellow-orange color with just a trace of head.    

Smell: Fruit up front with a bit of citrus and tart apple followed by a bit of dank hops and a little malt.       

First Drink: Hops to the front! Quickly followed by flavors of grapefruit and oranges plus sweet malty goodness. Tasty!

Mouthfeel: Nice crisp medium body with just the right amount of carbonation.   

Last Drink: Plenty of smooth malt flavor rides out the hops and leaves a pleasant bitter finish that doesn't last too long.      

Drinkability: If you dig hoppy beers you are going to like this for sure. Not the best I have had but damn far from the worst.       

Notes: Took me a long time to find this beer here in Michigan! Super bummer. Glad I got to taste some and I hope they make this all the time!    

Verdict: 4.25 out of 5. Great balance of hops and sweetness make this one to recommend.