Monday, June 19, 2017

New 8th Edition Warhammer 40K Books: Quest for the Tomes

40ka

Not too long ago, I received an email from Games Workshop (via the general mailing list) saying, “Get these codices while you can,” because a new edition was about to come out.  Get these expiring and about to be useless $50 books before we take them off the shelves because they won’t be valid anymore. 

I thought, “You sons-a-bitches.”

I wanted to fax them a picture of my middle finger.  Or my pale, hairy ass.

The cycle of new 40K editions over the last several years has come across to me (and others) as greedy ways to boost short-term sales.  Kind of like all those terribly pricy text books you had to buy in college.  “We changed 3 things and rearranged some tables, come buy all our books all over again.”

So when the new rumors went to flying, I was naturally skeptical.  Very skeptical.
I’ve been stationed in Japan for nearly 3 years now and in that time have only played once.  So I wasn’t too worried about a new edition.  Haven’t been playing, and now not planning on playing.  Screw those greedy corporate bastards.

But then I started actually reading the rumors and leaks.  That this edition wasn’t just bolting on a few new rules to the clunky old machine, haphazardly spraying on an uneven coat of paint, and charging $200 for a new go.

This was “the edition you asked for.”

No, really.

So between getting actual gamer feedback and simplifying the rules to look more like their well-received Age Of Sigmar redesign of WH Fantasy, the game was starting to sound pretty good.  (I was also skeptical of the Age of Sigmar reboot of WH Fantasy, btw, though I was never a huge fan of the Fantasy system anyway: even more complex than 40,000 Rules and seemed to require a calculator to even play the game!)

If they could thin 40,000 Rules down to 8 to 12 pages, that was an amazing revelation to me.  I was now interested.  And the more I saw, despite my own hardened pessimism, the more I liked the way it was looking.

Within a week, I was actually excited.

40ktau

Getting the books themselves, then, proved to be a worthy quest.  (Relatively speaking.)
I had to find locales in Japan, and books in English.  There are 3 or 4 GW stores in Tokyo, but that’s a ways to go for me.  In my store search, I also got a few other pings for non-GW stores, one much closer to my base.  Long story short, I ended up journeying to a city I’d never been to before, in a foreign land, using a paper map as a guide (I’m not into the whole cellphone omniscience thing).  I’d called the day before and spoken to a woman who kind of spoke English and reserved me some books.  Namely, the Rule Book, the Marines Index, Eldar Index, and Chaos Index.  A hefty, blind purchase.  But I figured that I hadn’t spent any hobby money for a long time, so why not?
I was pleasantly surprised to find that the new datasheets were being combined into affordable softbacks with multiple related armies all in one book.  Given the easy of access, I figured I had to buy those books.  With three affordable tomes, I had all colors of Space Marines, Eldar, and Chaos Marines and demons all covered, plus Necrons for good measure.  Easy peasy.
But I ended up paying more than the listed market price for everything.  I don’t know if the markup was simply because we are in Japan or if my shop owners charged a little more, but I honestly didn’t mind.

This was a very small little hobby shop owned and operated by a very nice elderly couple.  The husband didn’t speak English and the wife just barely enough.  The shop was more about model airplanes and trains and modeling supplies than it was a gaming shop, though they did have a rather impressive selection of Warhammer stuff, as well as a rack full of Citadel paints.  There were a couple small displays of painted models too, most of which had been painted by the owner.  His wife bragged that he was a beginner, but, damn, did they look nice!  Way nicer than my meager, atrophied painting skills could manage, and I made sure he knew as much.

I spent about half an hour on the trains getting there, and a little more time walking the streets, so I took my time to check out all the nice toys on their shelves.  Saw some cool new stuff I wouldn’t mind having (like the 30K style termie models), but I’m not in a hurry to buy more.  Not using all the stuff I have now.  When it came time to pay, I found out they only took cash.  Darn it.  So then it was a quest to find an ATM that would take my American card.  The two bigger banks with whole lobbies full of ATM machines didn’t work.  It looked grim, my long quest cross country for naught.  Then I found a little booth with a single machine and that one worked out.

So my mighty quest was a success.  I might have paid a bit more, but it went to the mom and pop shop of a really nice elderly couple, so money well spent.   In fact, the venerable Papa-san rounded down the total price for me, threw in a couple of (no doubt expensive) Citadel-brand paint brushes (after I told him about my waning painting skills), and a few odd sprues to boot!  I didn’t even find out about the sprues until I got home and opened up the tiny plastic bonus bag.  Three marines and one of the cool Age of Sigmar space marine wannabe guys with a hammer and shield.  (Which I think could make cool special space marine units too—especially the winged guys for angelic vanguard vets.)

So there’s my long-winded story about how I fell back into love (obsession) with the new 40K and made the perilous journey of a lifetime to score the new books on opening day in a strange land.
I’m sure I’ll be blogging further about my impressions as I get into the books.  I’m actually about to take 2 weeks of leave to relax with the family and supposedly to get some writing projects done.  So much for all that…  I’m sure this new distraction will impede those lines of progress.  But at least I’ll enjoy being delayed!

As I get acquainted with the new rules and datasheets, I'll be posting about my impressions.  So, more to come…

On my new blog site, that is.  Click here to go there (or just remove the "blogspot" from this URL).  This may well be the last post that goes to this blog site.  Please find my newest exploits at my new wesbite: BrinksChaosTheory.com

Friday, April 28, 2017

JDBrink Patreon vid-show





Patreon video, take two!  Much improved.  This time, no me, no sound, just the important parts...

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Cool Book Covers

supertile10
I've done a lot of work to get my Patreon page up over the last couple of weeks.  One of the items I was tooling with in the wee hours of the morning was this composite image of some of my book covers.  And I just think it's a cool ensemble and wanted to post it.  So...  there it is. :)
Now I have to get to bed and try to get some sleep.  Tomorrow is my first day back on day shifts and I expect my body is going to be thoroughly confused...

BTW, not really using this blogspot website much anymore (as you may have noticed).  Catch me now at my new cyber-den: BrinksChaosTheory.com

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Sexy Superhero 5-Day Freebie


silk-spider-mini
Need a date for Valentine’s Day?
Well, I can’t really help you there.  But you could curl up with a free ebook featuring a femme fatale superheroine in high-heeled boots and a corset!
Friday, February 10th through Tuesday, February 14thSilk Spider: Behind the Eight-Ball will be free to download on Amazon, no strings (or webs) attached.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Book #2 in Sci-Fi Series

This feels like a Two-Face reference already.  But on this day, 2/2 (2017) I have Book #2 in the Cold Stars sci-fi series of stories up and ready to roll.
(In ebook form, anyway; paperback coming in the next couple weeks.)
Fantasy deep space nebula with planet
     A naval scientist leads the expedition to explore a ghost ship in space. Only he can unlock its secrets. And once he does, the universe will never be the same.
     A young sniper in training faces his final exam. And now he’ll find out whether he’s predator or prey.
     A sarcastic bounty hunter and beautiful assassin join forces, but their quarry is far more dangerous than either imagined.
     Three tales of military science fiction, mysterious space opera, and daring pulp adventure, delivered to you from between the Cold Stars and the Endless Dark.     
Three exciting stories--about 100 pages in the forth-coming print version--for three bucks.  (Well, $2.99.)
Find it on AmazonB&NiBooksKoboSmashwords, and more, right now.
Book #1, by the way, was the novelette The Thorne Legacy… (Only two bucks!)

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Urban Fantasy Giveaway: One-Eyed Jacks are Wild

oneeyedjacks
I've got TEN ebook copies of One-Eyed Jacks lined up to go.  Simply follow the link, click the button to follow me on Amazon (meaning you'll get an email from Amazon when I have new releases, stuff like that), and then sit back and relax.
Ten winners will be drawn from all entrants on February 1st.  And then, well... if you're one of the lucky ten, you'll have yourself a free ebook.  Easy as that!
Clock's ticking.  Draw your lucky card right now.  You've got nothing to lose!

BTW, anyone notice this blog doesn't do much anymore?  That's 'cuz I've move all the action to another place: new website here!

Thursday, November 24, 2016

Black Friday: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, & Superhero EBooks

I considered calling this the "Blackest Friday" sale, just to put some over-the-top dramatic spin on it, but decided that was too much.  (We get enough exaggerated crap fed to us as it is, don't we?)  But I do keep changing the name of this sale.
That's because it's good for all seasons!  Election building, victories and woes, and now Christmas shopping season.  Which itself gets more and more exaggerated and out of control every year.  Now they say Black Friday is leaking into Thursday, Wednesday, all over the damn place.  Pretty soon it'll be Black November!  And the All-Hallows-Eve Discount Zombie-a-Thon!  And then Non-Denominational Shopping Frenzy September!
Makes me tired just thinking about it.  But the point is:
For a limited time
(and already there, you don't have to wait till Friday),
EVERY J. D. BRINK TITLE IS $0.99. 
(Unless it’s free, and some of them are!)
massivemontage3
You can find them all on Amazon and anywhere else you find books!  Try these links, and if you’re fave spot is not one of these big ones, try the Fugitive Fiction button farm or your favorite web-dimension directly.  (Be aware that some websites may be slower to catch up to the price change than others.)
Treat them like Christmas presents: grab as many as you can, then forget about half of them by New Years!
And once you've read these books, if you don't mind, spend a couple of minutes tracing back where you found it and leave a quick review.  Or you could drop one on Goodreads.  Good or bad, a review is great for your fellow readers, and for your author too!
Thanks and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Space Marine

spacemarineIn the last couple days I've started playing the old Xbox Space Marine game again.  (If you ask me something like "the first one or second one?" it's probably the first, 'cuz I'm not aware that there was more than one.)
This is a really cool game, though the game play isn't the best.  The marine you control can't jump or climb anything — your path is pretty much 2D, walking only where they want you to. The targeting isn't the best as, even in sniper mode, nudging the stick generally makes a big jump and it's hard to be precise.  So I'm not going to say it's the bestest game ever.
But the visuals and very cool and the 40K-ness of it is fantastic.  It really captures the feel of the 41st millennium.   The marine armor is great, very detailed, looks like a model come to life.  But my favorite part is the bolters.  They aren't spraying light machinegun fire; they're launching mini-RPGs like a bolter should!  And at a high rate of speed!  
sm2
The challenge level is kind of weird.  It seems like you walk through large areas with no resistance, and most of the time the killing is pretty open and low-threat, but then you'll hit certain boss-type combats that are just murder to get through!  That's when I quit playing years ago, when I hit that wall over and over again and couldn't get past it.  Orks and gretchen and squigbombs in waves, and those damn squigs get right up on you and blow up.  And again, targeting isn't that easy, so you shoot the hell out of a bunch of gretchen that couldn't hurt you if they had plasma pistols in each hand, but you miss the squigs that blow your legs off.  And then when you finally make it past the squigbombs and take them all out before they get you, this big mutha of an ork comes in and beats the hell out of you! 
sm3FINALLY this morning I got past that part, first try of the day.  Then, eventually, I came to a really cool ork dropship that reminds me very much of a Reaver boat in Firefly.  You have to plasma cannon the thing while it's shooting you with some megashoota type double-barrelled machinegun and the best shot in all of orkdom is manning the thing!  And THEN, if that crackshot doesn't gun you down, they drop orks to engage you while you're trying your damnedest to shoot down the ship with an overheated plasma cannon.  
It's hard.  But it's fun!
I know this is all old news to most anyone who will read this, but since I buy mostly old games on the cheap and never quite get around to playing them (got two on clearance last Xmas that I haven't even opened yet), I'm pleasantly surprised right now to come back to the year 40,000!

(This post, btw, is simul-cast on my new blog too, BrinksChaosTheory.com.)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

The End of Circus Sale: 99-Cent Ebooks

I originally (just days ago) called this the "End of Civilization" sale, before the actual election results.  
Now, in the aftermath of the election, you may or may not think that first title is appropriate.  Either way, I prefer not to offend anyone's political sensibilities.  
But we can all agree that no matter who you voted for, we're all just really damn glad the Most Ridiculous Show on Earth is finally over!  So I'm changing the name, but not the deal.
From now until the end of the year,
EVERY J. D. BRINK TITLE WILL BE $0.99. 
(Unless it’s already free, and a few are!)
massivemontage3
You can find them all on Amazon and anywhere else you find books!  Try these links, and if you’re fave spot is not one of these big ones, try the Fugitive Fiction button farm or your favorite web-dimension directly.  (Be aware that some websites may be slower to catch up to the price change than others.)
Treat them like Pokemon: collect them all while they're cheap!  And once you've read them, if you don't mind, spend a couple of minutes tracing back where you found it and leave a quick review.  Or you could drop one on Goodreads.  Good or bad, a review is great for your fellow readers, and for the author too! 

Monday, November 7, 2016

End of Civilization Sale!

With the election finally (finally!) coming around the bend, we can see Armageddon closing fast.  As such, I figured it was time to throw an End of Civilization Sale! 
From now until the end of the year (and life as we know it),
EVERY J. D. BRINK TITLE WILL BE $0.99. 
(Unless it’s already free, and a few are!)
massivemontage3
You can find them all on Amazon and anywhere else you find books!  Try these links, and if you’re fave spot is not one of these big ones, try the Fugitive Fiction button farm or your favorite web-dimension directly.  (Be aware that some websites may be slower to catch up to the price change than others.)
All I ask in return is that you get out there and vote!  (Notice I haven’t said anything about which candidate—the way this thing is going, we’re doomed either way…)
Well, I might also ask that once you’ve read one of my books or stories, that you stop back where you found it, or on Goodreads, and leave a quick review.  Good or bad, a review would really help me out!  And other readers, too.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Casting Call: Nathan Fillion or Chris Pratt?

Who will play the Jack of Spades? film
Honestly, probably neither of these guys, but that’s the fun of a fancast, right?  Today I’m going to cast the would-be movie of my new book, One-Eyed Jacks. (Which you can still pre-order at a reduced price until Halloween…)
Here’s the book description:
Rails End, California. 1980s. As a former Vegas magician, Jack knows the world is full of shallow illusions. That’s why he’s grinding out a new life for himself as a smuggler, counterfeiter and debt collector for a local crime boss, and trying to stay off of everyone else’s radar.
Unfortunately, keeping a low profile just isn’t in the cards for the Jack of Spades. After a little trouble in Chinatown, Jack’s employer decides to send him on a working vacation. He’s to retrieve some stolen museum pieces on the island of Saipan. But Jack’s not the only person on the job and the other interested parties are more than they appear.  Hell, they may even be more than human…
Urban fantasy, crime-noir, and Asian myth merge in this darkly entertaining novel of pulp adventure.
jacks-mama-miniThe story takes place sometime in the 1980s, and Edgar casts Steve McQueen and Tom Selleck in the two top roles.  (McQueen passed away in 1980, but Edgar refuses to accept that.)  If this book were being made into a movie today, here’s how I see it breaking down…
(Images omitted, unfortunately, because I’m not sure where the world stands on copyright and the internet at this point.)
JACK:  Our hero and narrator, the Jack of Spades.  He’s calm and collected with a sense of humor and sense of adventure.  He’s also the Wanderer, the Dark Stranger.
My top two picks would be Chris Pratt of Guardians of the Galaxy and The Magnificent Seven (although their names were different, as far as I’m concerned, Pratt played Steve McQueen’s character from the original movie).  He’s funny and charming and has a good disposition for this role.  Though, honestly, he may be a little too beefy for Jack’s part.
Not that Nathan Fillion is out of shape either, but I think he’s got more wisdom and subtly.  I can definitely see Jack being more akin to Malcolm Reynolds of Firefly than Star Lord on Guardians of the Galaxy.  I think Fillion might be the better pick for this role.
EDGAR:  Eddie is Jack’s partner in crime (literally) and the comic relief of the book.  He’s also a Mexican American who thinks he’s Magnum, P. I.  Therefore, Edgar would like to see Tom Selleck play his part, but…  He’s giving himself too much credit.  I’m thinking Michael Peña, who provided great comic relief in Ant-Man.  I can definitely see him as the tough but not tough looking sidekick to the Jack of Spades.
FELIX:  Felix Caterina, also known as Felix the Cat on the street, is Jack and Eddie’s employer.  He’s a relatively small crime boss, an older guy with a fast temper but a good heart underneath.  Let’s put Clint Eastwood in that part.  That would go great with one of his lines and make it very ironic: “You think you’re Clint Fucking Eastwood, Jack?”
I can’t tell you much about the rest of the characters without ruining the surprise, so these will be quickies.
ALMA:  Just a casino girl or more than meets the eye?  I have to admit that I don’t know any Filipina actresses off the top of my head, so I asked Google for help.  And they gave me many choices, but I picked the lovely Angel Locsin.  (I hope she speaks English…)
NAGASHI:  The mysterious Japanese man who seems to be watching everybody.  There are only a few Japanese actors I can think of, one of whom has that eerie quiet down to a science.  Hiroyuki Sanada, from SyFy’s Helix series.
PETEY JACKSON:  I wrote this story before I knew director Peter Jackson was a person, okay?  Just so you know.  And this casting is overkill for the role, but who cares?  We have an infinite budget!  Forest Whitaker of the up-coming Rogue One would make a cool cigar-smoking scoundrel!
MING & POH: Felix’s underworld contact from Hong Kong and her bodyguard. Lucy Liu can be both tough and sexy.  And Ken Wantanabe, from The Last Samurai and Batman Begins, has a nice, threatening presence.
All right, get those agents on the phone and let's get this thing moving!
In the meantime, here are some places you can find One-Eyed Jacks.  Give it a read and let me know who you would cast in the movie!