Warhammer Charity Fundraiser

In case you didn’t know, we are sponsoring a fundraiser to raise awareness a funds for fibromyalgia as fibromyalgia awareness week approaches. The link is here: please donate and share🙏

https://donate.giveasyoulive.com/fundraising/quick-painting-fibro-awareness-challenge

Lilly did a video to kickstart things off as she suffers with fibromyalgia and you can see it now in our YouTube Channel. Watch her put together Canoness Veridyan, paint and executor from Conquest the last argument of Kings and talk about how this illness affects her over all. Link below

https://youtu.be/LCMz1JAEVT4

We have a bunch of talented mini painters joining the effort. You can see them all on our Instagram account. There are live sessions coming up for 30 mins speed painting challenges. The crew paints a Bretonnia mini whilst discussing fibromyalgia and having a small hobby chat. Please go join in the conversation and give them some support. The link to our Instagram is on the side board or just follow @mana.burnt

Thanks for reading, watching and helping us raise awareness and funds for this cause💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜💜

3D Printed Minis from LichForgedMythics

Today we bring you a review of some minis that we got from a new business on Etsy called LichForgedMythics, who are a 3dprinting company based in Lichfield (UK). You can find their shop here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/LICHFORGEDMYTHICS.

LichForgedMythics print their miniatures from the Cast and Play range (https://www.castnplay.games/ ) and are selling different products on their Etsy. The key product are the mystery boxes, which is what we got. It is as simple and amazing as what it sounds: you order a box, it contains 4 random minis from the Cast and Play range, you open the box and BOOM, MINIS! They also offer some themed boxed and some big minis on their own like the werewolf that looks absolutely epic! In any case, you came here for a review, not to hear me rant about other stuff so, buckle up and pics will follow underneath.

First of all I must say that, from a delivery and service point of view, LichForgedMythics get a 12/10 best boys in the galaxy because the minis came in like a day, perfectly wrapped up, no post damage, all good. Here are some pics of them fresh out of the box.

LichForgedMythics
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Review: Coffee Talk

Hey everyone! Yes you may be surprised It is me on the videogame crusade lately, but for once in a really long time I’ve had spare time to play on my PC or the Switch and try out a few games out there. So today I wanted to talk to you about Coffee Talk, a nice little independent game by Toge Productions. And just as a head up, depending how much of a purist of videogames you are, you may not consider this as much as a traditional videogame but more of a visual novel or interactive story. In any case, there is currently a free demo on the Switch, and the game only cost me like £8.00, and it is also available on Steam.

The premise is that you run a café that stays open until dark where people come and gather. You find out about their personal stories; you help them out with a hot drink of their choice (sometimes just whatever you want) and so the narrative develops. It’s all 2d animation, (pixel art) but the characters are very well distinguished, the colours are rather pleasant and it all conjures a sincere sense of familiarity and tranquillity – it also comes with a super smooth jazz playlist so, there is that! The game play is very basic. All the dialogue is straight forward, and you don’t have any choices to make in there (which is perhaps the one thing I wished was different about this game). You have some main ingredients which depending how you combine them you create this or that hot beverage based on coffee, tea, green tea, chocolate, or milk products. You don’t know more than a couple of basic recipes to begin with, and depending how you combine things along the way you learn more, which is handy because sometimes the main characters of this story will come and ask you for a drink by it’s specific name in the game and if you haven’t discover it yet, you gotta wing it. And why does this matter? Well, because if you get the drink wrong, it actually has an impact in the narrative!  The cool thing abut this is that you won’t actually know how it is impacting the game unless you start a new game again and try to avoid making the same mistakes, so here is some interesting replayability value if you are the completionist type and you want to know all possible permutations of these stories, I think it is a great idea. There is also a challenge mode, to try and get you to speed up with your drink orders, and an endless loop where you can discover new drinks without the pressure of the narrative – or if you are a clumsy person like me, you can practice your latte art, so that the characters in the game don’t criticise you for it (LOL).

But, without a doubt, as much as I love the chill concept of making coffee to help people with their struggles, the narrative is the best part. Every character has a specific viewpoint or relatable issue, and actually I must say now that the topics addressed by the game are actually quite hard hitting with current social issues. I have just forgotten to tell you that the setting or the game takes place in an imaginary alternative reality where Seatle in the current time, is a fantasy city with orcs, elves, vampires, etc, so this is a multicultural modern fantasy society. I really appreciated this not just for the freshness of the concept art, but also because it brings new light to the genre of fantasy, and it utilises this so effectively to approach current subjects which us humans should be better at handling. Just to give you a few examples, there are reflections and digs about racial profiling, xenophobia, interracial/cultural relationships, dating and dating apps, the videogame and pop culture industry itself, the lives of freelancers such as artists and writers, personal trauma, fighting ones own demons, class divide… and much more.

I was playing the demo, and just a few minutes into it, I was so taken by the characters and the stories that I bought the game, no regrets. If you are a Netflix nerd like me and like watching random things, this game has a similar feel to the Midnight Diner ( which if you haven’t watch and you have played Coffee Talk, I sincerely recommend, or if you like wholesome humane stories all the same, go watch it). It was a very welcome change of pace for a few hours, away from killing people, building empires or being an absolute hero, and catching them all Pokémon. Sometimes, we just need a little reminder of all the good we can do in the world by just being ourselves, and Coffee Talk definitely achieves that with a certain feel-good vibe about it.

Pokemon Sword and Shield Expansions – The ACTUAL Game

Ok so now that I have clocked several countless hours on my Switch playing Pokémon Shield, I will write about this which I have been meaning to do for a while. I am, like perhaps many of you, a gen 1 Pokefan. My favourite Pokémon is Psyduck (he is the best boy SHUT UP), I used to be able to sing the whole Pokémon rap in Spanish and English, I watched the series, I went to the movies to see the film with my mum and my aunty when it came out, i bought the trading card game, I have plushies…The Whole Deal. My first Pokémon game was Pokémon Yellow, although I had played Red before in a friends Gameboy Colour, but these things were super expensive by then and we didn’t have that kind of money so by the time I had behaved well enough my parents thought this was a reasonable expense, it was Yellow. I hate Pikachu following me around EVERYWHERE. I hated grinding in the bloody tunnels to level up and I hate that my stupid Nidorino was so strong it wouldn’t listen to me because I was like 10 and I didn’t fully understand how to play a game that was actually a lot more complex than it is these days. But the struggle made it worthwhile. That’s what made the task of catching all the Pokémon fun and interesting.

Like it or not, I have compared consecutive Pokémon games to the originals, and every single time it gets EASIER…to the point it stinks. I haven’t bought many of the latest ones – Lucky enough my sister has and I have borrowed and paid some attention to them – but when I bought the Switch right the Christmas before lockdown started, I have given a voucher from work I couldn’t spend anywhere else I could care about other than PC World, so I bought Zelda (OBVS!) and Pokémon – it was free money after all. I must say, I really like the aesthetic of the game, I love the customisation and the fact that the Pokémon are from different generations and what not. I also ADORE the fact that I can play with my pokefriends and make them curries (which I am awesome at btw, no bragging just a fact) and just have that different element to the game. What I don’t appreciate so much is the fact that I finished the game originally in a little less than a week…And then I find out there are supposed to be some expansions?! WTH? Surely the unfinished game business hasn’t caught up with Nintendo? I thought to myself.

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Shadow War:Armageddon Campaign Report

So, I decided to treat myself to some new plastic crack only with the condition that I would paint it and play with it. And of course with the lockdowns, I thought, no way in hell I’m playing Warhammer 40000 properly any time soon. (Plus I don’t like the new rules, sorry). Then, my friend mentioned Kill Team and Shadow War, and it picked my interest. You see, when I started playing Warhammer nearly 20 years ago, the main difference between 40k and Fantasy was that 40k was more skirmishy like whilst Fantasy was more about big ass battles. And that’s what i liked about Shadow War: Armageddon, that is all about small missions. With just a few models (depending on the army of course) you can have a real fun game, and rather quick! (And without the fear of getting tabled on turn 2 – you 40k competitive players know what I am talking about, Damn meta!). And I must say this is being really fun. Don’t get me wrong, I am still deeply frustrated that, despite my tactic and strategic abilities the dice kill me time and time again, but hey, it’s a goood laugh and the character developments (or advances) from each model are super fun. Let me tell you how it’s going so far…

The Ork bois need name tags cause they are many and we forget who’s shooting. My fav is Shoot’ms.

It’s three of us playing: me with my sisters of battle, James who you’d know from our podcasts with his Space marines (allegedly Dark Angels although the book isn’t technically including them as a chapter but whatever), and Fergus with da Orks and I would love to say all da Dakka…but half his bois don’t even have guns (lol!) numbers are more important than boom booms and pew pew). You get to name your squad and all your characters, so let me introduce you to my list and my kick ass girls:

SISTERS OF ETERNAL FIRE

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The Witcher RPG: Kassya – Witcher Backstory

Following on from my previous post “Getting into Character: The Witcher RPG”, here is the backstory for Kassya, my Gryphon School Witcher, and the baggage she is bringing to the game we are playing.

I found this email on Google, which helped me envision who Kassya was, just a bit rougher around the edges and with the traditional Wicher eyes. Kudos to the artist because it is badass and it really helped me.

I don’t remember a lot about my life, mostly because my childhood was a haze of trials, blood and alchemy. Then there are other parts which I choose to forget. I was born in Cidaris, the location of which I actively forget everyday of my life. My parents, those people whom I’d rather think dead are very much alive. It is thanks to them that my last few years have been peaceful, and relatively quiet. They take care of…my sister, Niezska…whom in truth is my secret, the one thing I must protect and ensure stays alive. That was simply not an option around me. You see, Niezska is a young girl, probably not so young now; it’s been a while. But despite her life being short, her fate and mine is one of danger.

I spent my youth in the Kaer Y Seren. It wasn’t my choice. None of this was. I’m not sure most people choose this life of darkness and emptiness, but for my parents his was the only means for survival. So I don’t blame them; but I do hate them for it. It was there where I trained as a witcher, and it was there where I met the most despicable human to ever live: Kaehl Wryn. I don’t know much about him, only that he hates my guts and will take any opportunity to destroy anyone he sees fit. I am surprised he did actually make it through the training. It’s like that little weasel had some agenda against everyone and everything in the school, like he thought he was better than the rest of us – he always seemed like an entitled brat whose parents probably considered a gift instead of a curse. And for some reason, his hatred found a perfect landing spot on me. I always did what I had to do. I survive, and I don’t brag about it. Life is unforgiving, and that’s something I already knew before I went to the Gryphon School. Kaehl clearly didn’t. And I hope it really stings when he eventually learns that lesson if he hasn’t already.

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Getting into Character: The Witcher RPG

Hey guys! It has been a while since I have written a post, as lately I have been very focused on recording our podcasts and bringing interesting topics regarding geek culture to your ears rather than your eyes. But my writing flow is ready and back for you, so from now on, as we have reached our episode 20 benchmark, we shall be bringing you podcast and blog posts in a more balanced way. So today, to break the ice, I decided to share with you the back story for an RPG character that I literally started impersonating just yesterday. And the reason why I wanted to tell you about this is because this is really not the type of character I would play in an RPG so it has been a bit of a challenge though it has taught me a few things. So, I will share my thought on the subject with you and then leave you with the edgy backstory for my Witcher Kassya from the Gryphon School.

To Witcher or Not to Witcher; That is the Question

Being a Witcher was not my natural inclination and shouldn’t be a surprise for those of you who know me personally or have been following us for a while. I am not the kinda combat heavy player, and I tend to have characters with deep complex human emotions, ideals and wishes. I am a very emotional player: I feel my characters and so they feel too. Therefore, the prospect of an incredibly low empathy did intimidate me a little to begin with as I was making my character. I am not one to shy away from a challenge though, so I spent my time trying to fully understand who would Kassya be as a Witcher so I could come up with her back story. The book is good in the sense that it allows you to flesh out a lot of the background and life events and it is helpful to help you create a fully fleshed individual. Before deciding to be a Witcher, just rolling for my normal human details it was established that I was going to be of a nervous nature, indifferent to most people, but someone who valued honour. The dice also determined my parents were alive, I had a sibling who felt indifferent towards me but that I valued dearly and that there was a dark secret in the family that could bring its doom. In the process of trying to reconciliate this, I eventually decided to be a Witcher, and my fate was sealed: I was assigned to the Gryphon School which suits my play style better than Wolf or Bear may have, and my back story determined I was also given a child by Law of Surprise, as well as a rival Witcher. And suddenly Kassya made sense: no wonder she was so apathic and dulled inside. So, I tied all the knots together and you can see this in my back story (upcoming post).

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Coping With COVID19 With Love Nikki

So, no surprises here, the quarantine means that I have a lot of time in my hands. We have done several recordings for the podcast (yay), but I’ve also played a lot of video games. The Love Nikki Dress Up Queen Community has been very active through this entire ordeal and there have been many exciting challenges to do so I have been making lots of designs, and I’ve had to make space in my account so, I am posting up some pics from challenges I’ve completed – old and new.

A few of these come from the “Tag Challenge”, which involved doing a design with a tag that categorises clothing into a particular theme. Also, because I’m not just a basic designer (duh), I added little descriptions/titles/stories/concepts to the images to understand what was it that I was trying to create. So, here we go.

This one was from the “Chinese Classical” Tag. I called it Moonlight Serenade. It reminded me a bit of that melancholy moment in Wuxia films by the lake with a flute.

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Jugando a Saqueadores del Mar Norte

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TOTAL WAR: 3 KINGDOMS

Hello peeps, it’s me again! This may come as a surprise but, I am here to talk again about videogames. And no, I haven’t swapsies with Alex! It just happens that earlier on this year, 2 big loves of mine had a love child and made me a very happy woman with the release of Total War: 3 Kingdoms. Those of you who follow us know that I am a big Wu Xia fan, and obviously the Romance of the 3 Kingdoms has a huge impact in the Wu Xia genre – that and I am a historian by trade and Chinese culture fascinates me…enough said! As it happens, the Total War series has been one of my all-time favourites, since I was introduced to it perhaps quite late in the game (7 years ago?). My first Total War was Medieval 2, which I loved and played through many times. I have particularly fond memories of my campaign as Scotland conquering the world and countless hours of hotseat campaigns with my uni friends at the games’ society. Then I went back to Rome: Total War – about the only thing my tiny laptop could run without crashing much back in the day, and a few others, up to the release of the two editions of the Warhammer games. However, and perhaps to the shock of many people, I did not enjoy the newer Total War games because of the way the diplomacy had been changed, and a few other dynamics.

You see, I loved sending my princesses and diplomats across the map and setting up merchant shenanigans and cardinals to spread religion and what not. It was an aspect of the game I did really enjoy. I also liked the dynastic element of it, which although not as in-depth as the likes of Crusader Kings, it still added to the equation. Granted, there is no point of comparison with the way the armies work, and the 2 editions of Warhammer really made me wow at how the minis I was used to see on the table top, suddenly came to life on the screen. But, in general, i didn’t enjoy much the actual run of these two games other than the military aspect, and to me that was a let-down. The Warhammer universe has so much lore and it feels by splitting it into 2 games – and the third one to come – I was cheated. So, I was a bit so-so about the new release of any Total War games. I wasn’t too keen on Rome 2 because of the diplomacy aspect either so, when I knew 3 kingdoms was coming out, I got concerned. Would they destroy something I loved so much?

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