Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I think we can forget about those 3 points now

When I first read the tournament results from the 2011 NOVA open my first thought was "AGAIN!"  In case you haven't heard Tony Kopach won it again.  I can hardly blame you if the name doesn't ring a bell.  After all these games aren't on ESPN and not everyone follows tournament results.  He is the 17 year old kid who won* the NOVA open last year and the Adepticon Nationals this year.  He is also the one who won last year's NOVA open with a list that was 3 points over.

At this point mentioning those 3 points is old news.  He fully redeemed himself at Adepticon by proving he can earn a solid highly competitive tournament win.  Yet those 3 points are a fact and this win should finally put that controversy to rest.  Continued bitchen about these 3 points is nothing more than jealousy and useless ranting.  The simple fact is he went 8-0 with 16 total "perfect" games at both the NOVA open and Adepticon vrs the best competition in the world.  He had 24 "perfect" games if you include last years NOVA open.

The only thing I have left to say is, "Congratulations Tony Kopach, you're the best 40K player in the world today".

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Cosplayers; a few rules to follow

If you've ever heard me on TEW, read my blog posts there, or even friended me on facebook you probably know that I love cosplayers.  I have just as much fun taking their picture and asking about their questions as they enjoy people taking their picture and being asked about their costume.  If you don't know what "cosplay" is then let me highlight you; cosplayers are people who show up to conventions in costume.  Typically they pick a character from some type of media be it comics, TV, gaming, etc....

I'd say that the vast majority of cosplayers do it for the attention.  I'll freely admit that this is a broad generalization that may not stand up to detailed scrutiny for 100% of all cosplayers but it most certainly applies to 99.9% of them.  But just because they're there for "the attention" doesn't mean they're there for "bad attention".  So as I post a few pics from GenCon 2011 for you to enjoy allow me to list off a few of my own personal rules that make the experience better for everyone and give you better pictures.

#1  Ask if you can take their picture;  Just because they're in costume doesn't mean they're not human beings.  While everyone around them may be snapping pics they still appreciate someone asking for their picture.  If you want a good picture then you should ask them for one.

#2  Ask to be in the picture but don't expect to be in the picture;  This is another rule that centers on politeness.  Don't assume that they don't mind your creepy butt sliding up to them ad getting a picture with your arm all over them.  Once again they're human beings.  Let them take the lead, don't put your arm around them unless they put their arm around you first.  If they don't then you shouldn't either.

#3  Know who not to ask or to ask differently;  There are just two examples; hot girls with jealous boyfriends and children.  Both are trouble but can still be approached.  If he's in costume too then ask him to pose with her.  Don't ever ask him to step aside so you can press up against her.

Kids are a different kind of trouble.  If you're creepy with them then you deserve the legal troubles that can happen.  In this case ask mom and dad first.  This is especially true if they're little kids.
If they're unaccompanied young teens then you have a new set of problems.  Don't get in the picture with them, it's creepy.  Don't do it.  You absolutely must ask permission.

#4  Use enough camera;  I suggest using a good digital camera with enough mega-pixels.  A 3.2 mega-pixel camera will take good pics but you'll be limited in how detailed you can edit the photos later.  Using a 9.0 or higher will allow you to crop out the background and zoom in on the part you want without any real loss of image quality.  A 12.0 is ideal.  Any higher mega-pixel and it will devour too much memory and take too long to take a follow up picture.

#5  Prepare that camera;  Clear the old pics from the flash card, recharge the batteries, bring spare batteries, and clean your lens.  This is quick and simple advice that will prevent you from deleting pictures, will allow that camera to take a new picture much faster, keep it clicking all day long, and makes sure your pics are as good as you can get them.

#6  Use a camera with a short focal length;  Cons are crowded and rude people will get in front of you.  Your best defense is to be in front of them.  I don't suggest a fisheye lens but a 28mm should be enough to get you closer to your subject than the next paparazzi wannabe.

#7  Ask them to pose as their character;  You'd be surprised how few times they're asked to do that.  Typically all they do is smile for the camera so it's quite refreshing for them when someone asks them to pose in a unique and original manner.

#8  Don't only take pictures of hot girls in skimpy costumes;  Good cosplay is tough to pull off.  If someone does it well you should reward them with the positive attention they deserve.  I've found that the best cosplay costumes aren't on the hottest girls.

#9  If part of their cosplay is an act then you deserve it to them to play along;  I've been sung to, I've been acted to, I've been followed and I've been hugged.  Good cosplay is more than just an awesome costume on a hot body.  A great attitude, a sense of humor and good acting completes the package.

#10  Say thank you when you're done taking their picture;  It's rarely heard and always appreciated.  If the picture was good feel free to show it to them.  If they liked the picture too then you may also want to offer to e-mail it to them or let them know where you plan on posting it.  The sad fact is that many cosplayers rarely ever get a good picture of themselves at the con in costume.  If they were good to you then you should return the favor and be good to them.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Thank you GW but it's not enough

It's been a well known fact for well over a year now that the Sisters of Battle were going to be given a White Dwarf update.  We never knew exactly when but we knew that is was going to happen.  Rumors (God I hate them) were inaccurate as always and the end result seems to be a lackluster effort.  Allow me to explain.
Before the rumor of the WD Sisters codex update was leaked to us the staff of GW were working on it for almost a year.  That leaves the finished result that is being printed in White Dwarf the end result of a 2 1/2 to 3 year effort.  Please pardon my pessimism but I honestly can't call the finished product a productive use of designer time.  That's more than enough time to design, playtest, and print a fully finished codex.  I won't question the end result of the update but I am going to question the intention to publish a half finished effort.
Yes, I'm a critic.  Yes, I've been an anti GW rant lately.  No I'm not being unfair.  If you're going through all the effort to make a new codex why on earth would you stop halfway through the project and publish something that's going to be replaced in less than a full year?

So now that I've said my peace allow me to contradict myself.  This update makes White Dwarf worth it's purchase price.  It also refreshes an army list that is old and years out of date from the edition it was written for.

Now that it's out I sort of wish GW would do the same for the Tau, Dark Angels and Black Templars.  If they started now they could probably have all three ready and published before the end of the year.  In fact I'd be perfectly happy if GW never printed another codex again and instead relied upon White Dwarf updates.  If every issue had an update to one of their armies it would make White Dwarf relevant again.