01/09/2011–Ground Zero, Red Orchestra and Kindle

I’m writing this while sat at my desk at work archiving mail boxes by primarily watching progress bars fill up. I’ve been moved again for the second time so now I’ve got a window view and a big desk. Its rather nice but I’m only here for one more week so its all good.


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So the great Ground Zero was the last weekend and boy it did not disappoint. If you haven’t been reading the rest of the blog (and if not, what the hell), Ground Zero is a weekend long event of airsofting which is basically a music festival if you shoot each other rather than listened to music.

The airsoft side of the weekend was great with one or two exceptions. I managed to wreck my feet on the first day so I limited how much running around I did on the second day and my batteries on my L86 died halfway through the first day but apart from that it was really good fun. I’ll put some more pictures in a gallery and link to it below but I heartily recommend it to any UK airsofters.


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Red Orchestra 2 has had its beta released on Wednesday and I’ve had a little play on it. For those not in the know, Red Orchestra is a super realistic take on the Russian front of World War 2. Originally a Unreal Tournament mod, it then became a retail product and now the sequel is about to be released in mid September.

I’m going to write an in depth article on it straight after I finish this update but put briefly it has a quite steep learning curve, even if you’re used to playing the original. The new progression system in multiplayer is one major point but also parts of the gameplay. I do rather like the cover system though – seems to be the most well done first person system I’ve seen. Also I’m a huge fan of the weapons you have to deploy – using the MGs last night was great fun, especially when you provide a proper base of fire. Overall, I’m looking forward to the full release, even if it is just to use the anti-tank rifle on people and see them gib.

 


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Having received my latest paycheck, I’ve finally bought myself a Kindle. For a long time, I realised I needed an ebook reader of some description, in order to save me money on text books and have them readable when I’m away from my PC or doing something full screen. It also is space saving, so I can jump on the train and have something to read without a load of paper shoved into a bag. I eventually decided to get a kindle over a tablet due to its simplicity – Kindle’s have great battery life, a good screen (although lacking in a backlight) and the ability (if you pay for the 3G version) to buy books on the road.

It has literally just arrived (I’m writing this at work on the 1st of September and my Dad turned round and emailed me when it dropped through the door) so I haven’t got round to looking at it yet. But I already have several Kindle books sat ready to read. Pride and Prejudice and Zombies was a book I started reading when I was using the kindle app on my Hero (before I realised it was not a good idea) so I’m going to start it again. I also have a trashy sci-fi novel to read and the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes which is surprisingly readable.

However, most the books I’ll be reading will be Black Library (Games Workshop) ebooks. They are a little more expensive than most of the books on the kindle store but I love them. Although I have never really got round to buying an army for the games, I love the setting and the backstory. The Black Library gave away five books (including the first Gaunt’s Ghost book) last year when they first opened their online store last year. I’ve also grabbed three other books.

Blood Pact is the latest released Gaunt’s Ghost book. I’ve only read a chapter or two but supposedly its the final part of the story arc that started in Traitor General. Its a rather different start than many of the other books but its an enjoyable read. However, I’m going to wait a little bit before digging in to it.

For the Emperor is the first part of the Ciaphas Cain series. If the Gaunt’s Ghost books are Sharpe, Ciaphas Cain is Flashman, the bounder and cad of the Victorian British Army. Its present a non-GrimDark version of the world, where rioting guardsmen are put down via simply ordering them to clean up the mess. Its presented as a collected autobiography written by Cain with a few others adding articles to help set the scene. Even the very first section is great fun so I think I might be grabbing the rest of the series throughout the year.

The final book of this first batch is Double Eagle. I ended up reading this at work while watching some task work themselves out. Its an air combat novel set in the Sabbat Worlds (the same area as the Gaunts Ghost’s books) and actually features several characters from earlier novels which nicely links them together. Its heavily inspired by the events in Northern France in 1940, and with a few tweaks could be a novel about the battle of Britain. It also presents a side not normally seen in the 40k universe – that of both air combat and the home front. I thoroughly recommend it.

I really wish the Black Library would put their stuff straight onto Amazon as it means it could be included as part of the Whispernet sync stuff. But for the moment I’m just glad there is a easy way to buy all the boxes without taking up a load of space. I’m also going to fill my Kindle with PDF RPG rulebooks as well. This is an easy way for me to turn up to gaming and play one of many different RPGs and saves me having to drag a huge bag of rulebooks and source books around with me while still letting me pass it around to players. The Kindle is going to be a very handy tool to have for both studies and free time at Uni.


Finally, I’ve got most of my stuff for my uni flat sorted out. The internet has gone in and, after a few teething problems, seems to be working fine. Its stupidly fast compared to my home internet as long as you’re using the wire. Wireless on the other hand is as fickle as a stoat and twice as annoying when it suddenly cuts out. However, I already have a plan to sort it out involving powerline (something that I may write something more about as it needs the press) so it should be all good in time for the start of term.

I’m also going to slowly start taking more of my gear up there, starting with my airsoft stuff and continuing with my desktop PC and other oversized items. It means I can easily move in on the 17th ish and be ready to go pretty quickly.

Thats it for now, more news and writings coming soon (once work finishes)