Thursday, May 21, 2015

A Digital Departure: 7 Days To Die

Side tracked once again...

PC gaming reviews on my historical miniatures blog is a definite departure from my usual. And this post highlights my current PC gaming interest. Not to worry since I’m still an avid miniaturist and am taking a break from multiple projects on my work bench crying out to me in their tiny little, miniature voices. But as stipulated in my blog profile, "Like most gamers I’m ADD and my areas of interest cover a wide range of periods and scales [and game types]. I do everything from Ancients to Zombies and everything and anything in between that catches my eye." And with that little disclaimer aside…

My first ever foray into early access gaming: 7 Days To Die. It is still in Alpha and just released 11.4 via Steam. We're now all waiting for the soon-to-be released Alpha 12 with bated breath.

The best way to survive and kill more Zombies in this game is to construct a secure base for raiding and scavenging. In this latest multiplayer, cooperative game, my buddy, George, and I have finally come up with an effective design for the construction of our latest, secured base. Being an architect, this game fulfills the builder in me because the crafting feature is very intuitive. For some of you who don't know what this game is about wikipedia describes it as “"7 Days to Die is an open world, voxel-based sandbox game created by The Fun Pimps. It is a mash up of first-person shooter, survival horror, and role-playing games combining combat, crafting, looting, mining, exploration, and character growth." 

'The Fortress' as seen from the north side. Note the additional 'firing platforms' attached to the building exterior, the entry bridge on the left and the 2nd floor connector bridge to the house on the right. 

Featured in this post is our secondary base named aptly ‘The Fortress’. Our first base called ‘Alpha’ (not pictured) was very successful and is very similar to this structure. We used Alpha as our model to complete The Fortress.

From here, our goal is to eventually raid the ‘Hub City’ (so called because of it's central location on the map - coordinates 0,0) for valuable loot. That’s easier said than done since the hub city has been fully upgraded with newer and meaner zombie bad-asses (burning zombie and feral zombie) along with the plethora of the rank and file, dogs, hornets and barf cops. Visibility has also been cut down markedly by foggy and smoky conditions.

The dreaded 'Feral Zombie' which takes multiple head shots to put down depending on one's level.
Barf or vomit cops!

Zombie dogs attended by rank and file zombies.

Rank and file!

Our Fortress is an existing structure modified by using lessons learned from past games. It is a residential, mixed use, 3 story masonry building with retail at ground floor and two upper floors of living quarters, hence, mixed use. We settled on the roof placing our forge, cooking fires, sleeping mattresses (this is another option to using beds or sleeping bags for re-spawning points noted on your compass as your ‘home’) and storage containers. It gives a good commanding view of the immediate vicinity. However the game produces a fog that obscures vision during the wee hours and there's nothing scarier than the sound of hornets buzzing announcing the arrival of a running zombie train. We've found that the roof offered the best security and safety.

My gaming buddy shown here in his gaming avatar as Monty XXX standing on the 3rd floor firing platform.
We've supplemented this structure with expanded firing platforms along the edges (where I've had many a mishap and fatality falling off and impaling myself on those spikes below). 

Another significant defense feature are the addition of a series of bridges connecting our fortress with surrounding houses. This extends the outer perimeter and the neighboring roofs also make excellent firing platforms.

Vertical ladders shown at the building edges at strategic located for easy access to all levels and points of our base for defense and repair.

Additional loopholes (firing positions) triangular in shape have been added for easy defense at blind spots. But nothing beats my all-time favorite: a field of metal reinforced, log spikes 5 rows deep planted all along the base of our fortress. They have proven to be quite an effective deterrent to those pesky zombies time and time again.

Game clock on the upper left shows 11:31 pm and you can see the foggy mist coming in.

So aside from the building structure (masonry or reinforced concrete being the strongest), added firing platforms and loop holes to mitigate blind spots and defilades, and log spikes, the best way of securing and isolating our fortress from Zombie breaches IMHO was to locate our building entries to the second floor. I’ve put in stairs because my clumsiness was a common occurrence (read: constant breaking of my legs!!!) on vertical ladders during my panicked rush to get inside.

Just a parting shot of a collection of my gaming group's Gladiator minis posed on another scratch built arena (not mine). This is a historical miniatures gaming blog, after all.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Little Katy aka KATYUSHA Part 2

Here's another attempt at finishing this model...

Not this model... She doesn't need finishing...

Clearly the most difficult part of this model: rocket launcher frame.
Here's a tip: use tacky putty to figure out how all these pieces fit
since this model came without instructions. 

Great detail on the parts.

The cab assembly was frustrating with lots of needed sanding to make the pieces fit.

Numerous tries to get the sub-assemblies to fit together.

The completed cab with un-fill-able gaps.

The gaps very evident here.

I haven't given up and will continue to soldier through... This Katy is one tough bitch! And like most females, she's frustrating to figure out although I know that the outcome will be beautiful.


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