Thursday, September 12, 2013

Installing openfl and haxe 3.0 on Ubuntu

Making the jump from using NME and haxe for cross platform development to using openfl led to a bit of a frustration. Trying to upgrade to haxe 3.0 and get openfl to install caused collisions between the old version and the new version. Especially frustrating was running  sudo haxelib run openfl setup and getting the the dreaded:
Called from ? line 1
Called from RunScript.hx line 798
Called from helpers/PathHelper.hx line 170
Called from C:\HaxeToolkit\haxe/std/neko/_std/sys/io/Process.hx line 88
Called from C:\HaxeToolkit\haxe/std/neko/_std/sys/io/Process.hx line 96
Uncaught exception - Process creation failure : haxelib
To correct all the issues, I did the following:
  1. remove every instance of haxe/neko/openfl you can find from your computer. Most of it should be symlinks in /usr/bin and files in /usr/lib/(haxe|neko)
  2. go to and download the Linux installer from the "install haxe" step. 
  3. Unpack the tar.gz file you just downloaded run the script in a console. It will fail on the last step because haxelib isn't anywhere in the path.
  4. type ln -s /usr/lib/haxe/std/tools/haxelib/haxelib haxelib to create a symbolic link to the haxelib tool in a place where it can actually be found.
  5. continue with the setup instructions and things should work from there.
After the installation, create a directory to test the samples, then use openfl create DisplayingABitmap in that directory to download the bitmap sample. Run the sample with openfl test flash and you should see a flash window (or browser) open with the openfl logo. If, like on my machine, x-shockwave-flash mime type was associated with totem (a video player) you can change that by editing /usr/share/applications/defaults.list and replace target for application/x-shockwave-flash to point to a desktop file for a flash player (I use flashplayerdebugger.desktop.) Once that is changed, openfl test flash will open the flash player correctly.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Some Final Blood Bowl Prep

Since the team I'm playing tomorrow is 410k greater value than mine, I get some inducements to even the field a bit. Of course I needed to model them. I'll be taking a Halfling Master Chef (WIP converted from a Halfling Hot Pot I had lying around) and another apothecary, represented by the infamous Nurse Gretchin there. I also decided to make some more tokens, so I made re-roll tokens to represent the Dwarf rune for fate. I wish I had looked at my source material again, because they are almost right. Whoops. I also painted some runes (Might) on the shoulders of my Blitzers, per Tristan's suggestion.

Blood Bowl: Skalf's Stonecutters

11 players, ready to roll block dice
Blood Bowl is less than 24 hours away, and I am ready to roll. My roster is set, my team is painted, my dugout is complete. Behold "Skalf's Stonecutters." The fellows with the large shoulder pads on the left are blitzers. The blue helmeted guys on the right are runners. The slayers are front and center and the other five are blockers. From this angle you can clearly see the four 20mm and one 40mm cut-out spots for team expansion. 

 The dugout morgue was supposed to have a marking of a Dwarf ancestor face that GW is so crazy about, but done with X eyes and tongue out. The eyes and tongue are pretty obvious, but the intention of it being the ancestor face takes a bit of a stretch. I was fairly pleased with the drag marks leading to the "dump pile."
The morgue looks like it has gotten some use.
Hopefully that doesn't happen this season.
 The apothecary didn't need a mini, but I had one of these guys and figured I'd use him. He's holding a bandage and ready to fix up some Stonecutters. The roll on the table was done by gluing dental tape to the side of a toothpick, then rolling it around with some superglue, then cutting the toothpick and sliding the roll off (breaking the glue to the wood in the process.) The rune on the floor is the Dwarf rune for healing. Since taking this pic I have glued the bandage on the table down so that it looks like it's draping over the side instead of sticking out like that.
He'd really rather be on the pitch.
 Our league uses OBBLM for management, and one of the options was to upload a team logo. Of course I did just that, and replicated the logo on the big slab in the back. It turned out pretty close to the computer file I created and it's all free-hand, so that worked out pretty well. The two axes are markers for.... I dunno, turn and re-rolls? Yeah, probably that.
The glorious Stonecutters logo!
Okay, get ready for some game reports in the next week!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

For Laura

In these hundreds of faces
surely I saw yours once.
Your stolen smile
flickers through the crowd
darting between the outlines
of people walking with purpose.
The memorized face
of someone I never knew.

Monday, September 09, 2013

Blood Bowl Dwarf Dugout WIP

This week Thursday marks the beginning of the first Blood Bowl league I've played in, and I wanted to show up with the appearance of being semi-serious about it. Well, maybe committed is the right word, since "serious" doesn't seem to go with a game like Blood Bowl. So to that end (serious, committed, whatever) I have been working on a dugout/display for my Dwarf team.
During school supply shopping I found a pack of four 12" x 12" cork boards for something like $7. Add some 3/4" styrofoam I had lying around and the beginning of a board is born. I placed minis on the desired locations, including enough spaces for more team members and a Death Roller, and drew lines around them and used an xacto to cut holes. It was far easier to cut the cork over the styrofoam, even though the cutting damaged the foam a little. The damaged areas are going to be under the minis, so I didn't think anything of it. By the way, cutting 16 holes in cork with a hobby knife is harder than I thought it would be.

So this is pretty close to the final shape. Simple and functional. I'll put the team logo on the big slab in the middle and paint something to indicate the infirmary (with apothecary) and the dead player area. The turf will be the reserve area. I also need to add a place for my re-roll markers and turn marker, and eventually places for my cheerleaders, assistant coaches etc.

This is going to be fun.

Saturday, September 07, 2013

Painting with Sharpies

A long time ago, someone showed me this page wherein a d20 gamer explains his tabletop miniature painting technique of scribbling on them with markers. No, I am not kidding. He shrinks down the photos he takes to demonstrate that they look just fine from a distance. Sir, I strongly encourage you to steer clear of CoolMiniOrNot if you have a fragile ego.

Here is his functional finished work:
Rar. I represent a role-playing encounter.
But I found myself thinking back to that technique and wondering, "Could it work?" He clearly did the opposite of highlighting/shading by over-marking the skeleton with black, but could I add one more step familiar to all mini painters and make it work? Perhaps....

So on a lark I bought a pack of cheap colored markers (Sharpie equivalent but not official Sharpies) at the dollar store, which then sat ignored for a couple years. All those skeletons that came in my Reaper Bones kickstart reminded me that I had wanted to try this, and now I have lots of cheap fodder.
The Skeleton and the Markers. On sale in paperback this week.
 The brown marker had dried up completely, even in the unopened package, so I had to use yellow for the spear shaft. The shield got orange (the closest thing to red I had) and yellow edges/center. The spear tip was colored with a silver metallic Sharpie I found (not a paint marker, just a regular old Sharpie.) So at this point pretty sad looking and yet still better than the "highlighted black" example.
What I lack in contrast I make up for in affordability.
I then did what gamers have done since the dawn of time.... I gave him a liberal washing of brown, in this case Citadel Agrax Earthshade. I mean very liberal. It took a while to dry. When done, it was remarkably passable.
I've certainly seen worse on the table.
So have I revolutionized the miniature painting technique pool by using markers and dip? Not quite. Does it make a passable skeleton? Possibly. Does it look good compared to the "only marker" attempt? Oh yes.

Space Marine Captain Comparison

Can you really put a "value" on things like this? Shut up, focus on how
much you love "the GW hobby" and get out your credit card.
The more things change the more they stay the same, apparently.

New Captain features:
  • helmet with crest
  • stoic face bare head
  • sculpted base
  • combi grav gun
Old Captain features:
  • fierce face, probably yelling
  • you already own like 5 of them
  • you can still buy them cheap

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Blood Bowl in a Weekend

Well, I've done it. I've finally played Blood Bowl. And you know what? I really like it. Granted, I lost as my wife crushed my undead team with the Dwarfs that I will be using in the Block'em Blood Bowl League this Fall, but fun was had by all. I have to imagine it plays faster as the rules get to be better known too. It took us about 3 hours to play a game, including numerous kid interruptions and rules look ups.
We played on the Skaven pitch I made (which still lacks a score board) despite the fact that the Skaven team was left out of the game. They hosted I guess. The Dwarfs received first, marched relentlessly down the field and scored on turn 7 of the first half. With only 2 turns to go in the half, I didn't have the time to even the score. Second half I was able to score fairly early with the swift ghouls, but my attempt at an aggressive blitz to cause a fumble and score a second time were thwarted by the stalwart Dwarfs. Taking advantage of my over-commitment on his end of the field, Stef created a path through what little defense I had and ran through it to score again. Dwarfs win 2-1.

I was inspired enough to paint up the undead I had put together for the occasion. The skeletons are a box of Wargames Factory Skeleton Warriors, a bargain at $20 for 30 models. Unfortunately they are some of the fiddliest models I have ever worked with. Femurs would break on the sprue, and there was only the tiniest of contact points for the arms. Even the process of trimming the mold lines or the sprue connection points routinely ended with a broken piece. I resorted to chemical methods (solvent glue) to do most of that work after breaking one too many bit. Frustrating. I know I had a "version 1" box, so I'm hoping there are some improvements to the current version 2 models. I understand version 2 comes with bases too, which would have been nice.

To represent the 2 Wights the team can have, I modded a couple of the skeletons to include head spikes and a cloak made from paper grocery bag with a little freehand. Nothing spectacular, but an easily identifiable model.
The Wights
For the Mummy I used one of my recently acquired Reaper Bones models. It works fine, but is a bit small for the supposed strength 5 this model has.
The Mummy
The ghouls are your garden variety GW Vampire Counts ghouls. I am quite fond of this model, as they are an interesting mix of human and animal, bestial yet adorned with gruesome decoration.
The Ghouls
Finally, the bulk of the team, the skeletons. The undead team can have 0-16 skeletons and 0-16 zombies, but I figured I'd just stick to skeletons (mostly since I owned them already.)
The Skeletons
Admittedly, there isn't really anything very Blood Bowl-y about these minis. I could have given them shoulder pads or something, but in the end I just built them and painted them. Boooring, I know. The nice part is that I can easily add things to them later should the mood strike me. I need to get 7 of my 11 Dwarf team models painted for the league, so I don't expect the mood will strike me anytime soon.