Exemplary Performance

I’ve had some good games since I started playing World of Tanks again.  Here are some awards I recently earned:

The Arsonist award is not easy to get, especially with an SPG.  With a single shot, you have to almost destroy a tank and score a critical hit on the fuel tank and have the fuel tank rupture and catch fire and have the fire do enough damage to finish off the tank.

arsonist

I was wondering if I’d ever get the Bombardier award, as it entails destroying two tanks with one shot.  High-explosive artillery shells FTW!

bombardier

I was not expecting the Battle Buddy award; I had no idea it existed.  I guess it says something about an arty player since SPGs are typically not very accurate and often fire high-explosive shells which cause splash damage. It’s very easy to damage allies if one is not careful.

buddy

Destroying a third of the enemy team by yourself is a decent accomplishment.

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The Raider award is earned when you capture the enemy base — you have to make it to the enemy flag and stay close to it for a minute or two — and do it without ever being spotted by the enemy.  This is fairly humiliating to the enemy.  It’s especially so when the enemy does it with a terribly slow SPG.

raider

The game also has a campaign for each class of tank.  Each campaign consists of fifteen missions, and each mission consists of a primary win condition and a secondary win condition. These missions are just a goal you can set for yourself — you don’t have do them.

The reward for completing a mission is typically a pile of credits and/or some in-game consumable.  Completing a mission with honors (i.e. fulfilling both primary and secondary conditions) rewards additional credits.   The reward for completing every mission in a campaign includes a female crew member (and this is the only way to get them).

I had completed the entire campaign a few days ago, but the game gives you the option to retry any mission which you did not complete with honors the first time.  Tonight I managed to finally complete the entire campaign with honors.

recommendation

arty_campaign

The results of the game wherein I completed the final mission with honors:

exemplary

And, finally, here’s a photo of my favorite tank — the Hummel:

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More World of Tanks

I started playing World of Tanks again after a long absence. As usual, the quality of the graphics and sound have noticeably increased since the last time I played.

I play German tanks almost exclusively, focusing primarily on the SPG line (“self-propelled guns” — aka artillery, or “arty”). The highest tier SPG I have is the G.W. Tiger (tier 9), but I’ve kept the SPGs from the three previous tiers — G.W. Tiger (P), G.W. Panther, and Hummel — because they’re so much fun to play.

The Hummel is my favorite tank to play in the entire game.

wot_favorite_tank

I recently completed the final mission of the SPG campaign, which earned me my first female crew member.

war_gods.jpg

I also like the German tank destroyers, and am currently building experience on the Jagdpanther and Jagdpanther II. A second line of tank destroyers has appeared in the game’s research tree, so I’ve started along that one as well with the boxy Pz. Sfl. IVc (the “toaster”).

wot_ruins

I like the Jagdpanther, but the lower tier StuG III is probably my favorite tank destroyer.

wot_field

I used to play light tanks a lot, but they’ve fallen out of favor for me after I earned my Mastery badge with the VK 28.01 after I killed five tanks in one game with it a few years ago:

shot_438

I used to play medium tanks a lot, too, but that tapered off quite a bit once I researched my first heavy tank.  After discovering that I’m just not very good at playing heavy tanks, my focus moved primarily to SPGs and tank destroyers.

Here are a couple more photos from the game as it looks now:

And here are some videos I just made:

(Here’s my full World of Tanks video playlist containing older videos)

I Flew an X-wing Today!

I was at my brother’s place today and got to try the Star Wars: Battlefront – X-wing VR demo on his PS4. It was incredible!

Here’s a video of my play-through of the demo (The first seven minutes or so are just me getting used to being in a virtual world with an X-wing starfighter – jump to about 8:00 to see the start of the game):

It’s disappointing that there’s nothing more to the demo than one simple mission. There’s really no reason why the demo could not have had an “infinite play” mode.

Sadly, there appears to be no news of any actual full game like this being developed.

Still, I’m sure someday I’ll be able to fly a properly simulated X-wing fighter — there’s just too much money to be had in selling such a game.

Snowtrooper Update

Progress on my snowtrooper costume has been very slow these past few months. However, the largest hurdle has been overcome, and things should hopefully be picking up speed.

I painted the details on the backpack with enamel paint. It still needs a little touching up here and there, but it’s mostly good to go.

painting-2

backpack

Pants have also been purchased.  I had to go to a specialty uniform store to get the right kind of pants without a zipper or side pockets.

pants

 

The thing that stalled progress for the longest time was the duster.

A few months ago I went to my parent’s place to get my mom to help me with the sewing.  I had purchased a pattern for a simple coat that was pretty close to what I needed.  I figured we could start with that and make any minor adjustments as required.

Unfortunately the pattern was just a bit too complicated.  We realized the duster would actually be pretty simple to make if we just made a sort of plain shirt and sewed a skirt onto it.  So, I cut up a t-shirt to act as a template for cutting the real cloth in order to get the right dimensions, and we (well, mostly my mom) sewed it all together.

duster_0duster_1duster_2

Several hours, many broken threads, and one busted sewing machine needle later we had a finished duster. Sadly, the first duster didn’t turn out quite right.  The skirt was too short, the sleeves too loose, and we discovered the front flaps could have been done a but better.

A second attempt was made about two months later.  This time all the shortcomings were corrected.  I also bought tougher thread, and we used velcro strips that didn’t have a sticky backing, which is what caused so many headaches the first time.

The end result of this second attempt was perfect!

duster_completeduster_front

The most difficult part of the costume — the long, flowing coat — is now done.

esb_ss

Earth vs Soup

So, I tried to make some soup last night, and things got a little out of control.  It turns out, however, that it’s pretty much impossible to screw up soup.

I stopped by the grocery store on the way home yesterday to buy some veggies, and used some chicken stock I had in the cupboard at home.  I bought the stock a long, long time ago with the intention of making soup, but I never got around to it until now.  The stock was a month past its best before date, but it didn’t taste off.  It was a little less than two cups worth.

I thought I had a raw chicken breast frozen at home so I didn’t buy any at the store.  When I got home, however, I discovered that I did not.  Instead, I ended up using a pre-seasoned frozen chicken breast.While the chicken breast was boiling in the broth, I cut up a handful of baby carrots and let that all sit covered for a bit.  Then I measured out a little rice and dropped that in, too.  The soup smelled very “carroty” by then, and it looked like I put way too much in, so I fished some carrots out with a strainer.

I took the chicken breast out as it has mostly cooked through, and then I added some mini seashell pasta.  I went to cut up the chicken breast and it basically fell apart.  I guess the marinade and seasoning they used for the chicken really softened it up.  I ended up cutting it into chunks and shreds, then tossed that back in a bit later.

After a few more minutes, I added onion and celery.  At this point I realized I had put in way too much rice and pasta, so I added another cup of water.

After some more cooking, I added some slices of a red bell pepper and a can of sliced mushrooms.  I was putting too much of every ingredient in, so I added another cup of water.

At this point, I had to transfer the soup (stew?) into a larger pot.  I was just going crazy, throwing everything I had on hand into the soup.

I eventually added two more cups of water, half a small can of tomato paste, a teaspoon of salt, and a variety of seasonings.  I figured I was somehow making a chicken gumbo, so I put some Cajun seasoning into it.

By this time, the carrots were nice and soft, but the celery was still a little too hard.  I covered the whole thing and let it simmer for a good long while to get the celery to soften up.  Two more cups of water were needed again at the end to thin the soup out.

In the end, my endeavor resulted in four times the amount of soup I originally expected, and it actually tasted really, really good.  It honestly tastes like it could be one of those delicious newer Campbell’s Chunky Soup flavors.

 homemadesoup

I believe this are all the ingredients that went into my soup:

  • 2 cups of chicken soup stock
  • 6 cups of water (may vary)
  • 1 Mediterranean seasoned chicken breast (from a 900g box of frozen breasts, can’t remember the brand)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of sliced baby carrots (not sure how much)
  • 1/2 a celery stick, sliced
  • 1/4 of a medium-sized red bell pepper
  • 1 slice of medium-sized red onion, diced (maybe too little?)
  • 1/3 cup of long grain rice
  • 1/3 cup of mini pasta shells
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • two pinches of dried oregano
  • two pinches of dried basil
  • a small amount of Club House La Grille Spicy Pepper Medley seasoning (two or three light shakes)
  • a little-more-than-a-small amount of Club House Cajun seasoning (a teaspoon?  tablespoon?)
  • approx 75g, or half a small tin (smallest tin I could find, slightly smaller than other small tins) of tomato paste
  • a can of sliced mushrooms, drained

(Earth vs Soup??)