Lending a hand

February 24, 2010

A friend posted a link on Facebook late Tuesday night that reminded me why I love the Warmachine/Privateer Press community.

I’ve met several people through the Intarblagnet I consider good friends as a result of Warmachine and Privateer Press โ€” I’ve met some of you in person and still need to meet the rest of you. My standing as a member of the Press Gang and my ability to travel last year allowed me to meet some of the fantastic folks at Privateer Press who make the game many of us love.

Chris Walton didn’t ask me to write this post, he won’t know it exists until I send him the link. Tuesday night, he posted a link to his deviantART journal explaining a near-tragic event for his girlfriend’s two cats. Read his journal, and then go bid on this:

Not Everyone Dies by Chris Walton

"Not Everyone Dies" โ€” original artwork by Chris Walton from No Quarter Magazine #28.

Link to the auction is here.

I’ve been fortunate enough to see some of Chris’ original work up close and personal. He does a fantastic job, and the art he did for the Butcher story is stunning.

I know that I have a special place in my heart for Chris after he donated the artwork for the Breast Cancer Brawl: Boise T-shirts and sent several pieces of concept art for us to use as prizes.

If you’re able, bid on the artwork. If you can’t, you can donate directly to the cause via Paypal by sending money to sizzlesays at gmail dot com.

Thanks for reading.

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A year in the trenches

October 16, 2009
Group shot. Location was our awesome waiter's idea. Seriously, Ben kicked ass!

Gencon 2009... after the show.

Oct. 16 marks my 1-year anniversary as a member of the Press Gang. It will remain a bittersweet day for me because shortly after finding out I had been accepted into the gang, I received word my grandfather died.

The email from Biggie proved a great comfort to me that day. I was going to be able to officially run events for my favorite game, hang out in the PG forum and do… cool stuff.

Looking through my Purple Tourney Notebook o Doom, I ran two events before I was “official.” In the past 12 months, I’ve run 10 events, not including a ton of Monsterpocalypse stuff. Some tourneys have been small, some large, some better than others. From what I can tell, folks are having a good time and they’re still playing the game, which are the most important things. I’m fortunate to have an awesome store to operate out of and a great group of players.

From my standpoint as a PG, the past 12 months have been gamer geek heaven. In February, I was able to attend Templecon in Providence, RI. As my first convention, Templecon will always have a special place in my heart. That’s where I met Kevin and Biggie and had my first meeting with Devilsquid, Tamwulf and CptCaine โ€” PGs who became my friends and running partners at future shows.

I didn’t play many games, but that wasn’t the point. I was traveling across the country to be at a convention with 56 hours of Warmachine and be surrounded by folks who love the game. It was great, and I can’t wait until Templecon 2010.

Fast-forward to May and the Privateer Press Invitational, an event that is highly anticipated by the Gang. This was our shot to visit the Mothership, our chance to meet the folks who make the game we love. And it didn’t disappoint. More friendships formed, bombing down the road in the Walkaway Insurance Van… the stuff of legend. From a gaming standpoint, Theater of War Live was insane. It was my first time meeting Chris Walton, Michael “Scrappers” Faciane, PPS_Jack, Matt and DC.

At this point, I figured I was done with cons for the year. I knew PAX was in September, and figured that would be doable. Then I got the opportunity to go to Gencon. So of course I went! Even though there was tons of stuff to see, I had plenty of fun working the Privateer booth and running events with Kevin. I got the chance to talk at length with Doug Seacat and Chris and Mike. I got to see Ron Kruzie paint up close and work with PPS_Dave, PPS_Ed and PPS_Jack. I was able to hang out with Simon during some of the tournaments, and he gave me a cool messenger bag. ๐Ÿ™‚ Of course, there was more wreaking havoc with CptCaine and Devilsquid and the insanity of painting models for Tamwulf’s Retribution army for Hardcore. It was a hectic show, but well worth the trip. Breaking down the booth with no A/C was a little rough, but it was a lot of fun. Of course, the real fun was the dinner afterward.

With about two weeks to recover, it was time to hit the road with Dicewraith and attack PAX. While Gencon is older, PAX is nuttier. So many people, so many gamer geeks and the Privateer booth was in an awesome spot where those folks walked by everyday. Another long, hectic weekend, but this time there was a great deal more rum consumed, Rock Band (with me buzzed enough to sing!) and more Retribution. There was also a great deal of hilarity with Dave, Mike and DC, plus dinner with Biggie and then dinner with the gang after tear-down.

I know there’s a lot of name dropping in this post; that’s not the intent. Part of what makes me so passionate about promoting Privateer’s games is knowing the people who make those games. I’ve mentioned it before, but it bears repeating. When I can tell a player, “DC said this about model X,” that carries more weight than reading something on the forums. Or if I can say, “Scrappers is fantastic, I beat the guy who made the game, ” they might be interested where they weren’t before. The thing I love about Privateer Press is how hard they work and the fact they make time for their players. Really, all anyone needs to do is write an email and chances are, you’ll get a response โ€” you don’t need to be a PG. Hell, you can call if you want; you will talk to someone who can answer your questions, just ask. And believe me, asking goes a long way.

Every time I look at the Breast Cancer Brawl: Boise artwork, I’m blown away. It’s a stunning piece of work that Chris Walton has donated to my event that will be on our shirts, for starters. This whole thing came about through a few PMs on the forums, some discussions at Gencon, and then some followup PMs. I didn’t meet Chris until the Invitational in May. I certainly didn’t expect him to stay late at work a few weeks ago to make a logo for the event, but that’s what he did. In all honesty, my feelings wouldn’t have been hurt if he said “no” because those guys are super busy. But he didn’t, and in eight days, I’ll show off the art and you’ll be able to see why I’m so excited about it.

I’m very fortunate to be where I am right now. I’ve made some lifelong friends and met the people responsible for the game that’s been my hobby for the past 4 years. I’ve traveled to places I never would have considered visiting, I’ve met cool people and done some crazy things. If my second year as a PG is even a quarter as fun as my first, I’ll be a very happy ‘Ferret.

Thanks for indulging me on this one. I’ve been thinking about this a lot and figured this was as good a time as any to write about it. Chances are, I’ll be scarce for the next week or so.

~ Jen


BCB: Boise update

October 13, 2009

BCB logocBreast Cancer Brawl: Boise is rapidly approaching. The added wrinkle to all of this is that the LGS is also hosting an ‘Ard Boyz semi-final due to some issues with communication. But we’re gonna make it work โ€” BCB gets the gaming area at the store, the WHFB guys get one of the vacant store fronts. We’ve got room for 20 tables, which means a maximum of 40 (forty!!) Warmachine/Hordes players!

The good news is, I’ll have help running tourney ops (thanks, Scott!). I’m dragging the Powerbook with me and I’ll be running the tourney software we used at Gencon (thanks, Shav!). That will make my life a lot easier. The other good news is we’ve received two donations already and my players sound like they’re ready to open their wallets for the cause. Shirts are at the printer’s, and Project: Rabid Wombat is under way. Just a few moreย  details to finish with that. I’ve got to find a few more things to include in the player packets, but some of that is stuff I can do at the last minute.

Prize support has been ordered โ€” we’re getting in the gorgeous Steamroller trophies for the top three finishers. And we’ve also got autographed prints from Matt Wilson for our most generous donors. Khador for the Cure will be ready, and I’ll post pics over at Project: Paint Pink. Cygnus of Awareness will be there too, there’s a pink-themed Circle army and an Ashlynn-led Merc force done up in pink. All will be available for auction locally first; the stuff that doesn’t go to locals will be put on eBay. Stay tuned for details.

No word on if we’ll have visitors from Seattle. I’m hoping we do, but if we don’t, it won’t be the end of the world. It just means I’ll have to mail off thank-you gifts (I’m talking to you, Chris Walton). ๐Ÿ˜‰

On the painting side of things, I’ve been juggling several deadlines and I’ve managed to meet two of them. The first was painting the Retribution “boxed set” which was shown in an earlier post. The other was painting up a model for the PG mini exchange. Here are pics:

Paladin of the Wall

Paladin of the Wall

I've gotten pretty good at painting cloaks.

I've gotten pretty good at painting cloaks.

I blame Graham 100 percent for my new inclination to paint armor as … armor. His insistence that I paint his Sword Knight and Stormguard in full plate isn’t a bad thing, and I think it works well on the paladin. In fact, it works well enough with the Menoth White Base/Highlight that I’m seriously considering repainting my Protectorate. After all, three armies done up with gray as a base is a bit much. So we’ll see.

For the record, it was *very* difficult to put this guy in the mail. I really wanted to keep him. That doesn’t happen too often with commissions for me. But this was the fist paladin I’ve actually completed โ€” I own four. Vilmon and his boys will look like this one. Then I’ll decide what to do with the rest of the army. ๐Ÿ˜›

And now better pics of the Angry Elvesโ„ข.

Pink-haired, pointy-eared, anime assassin!

Pink-haired, pointy-eared, anime assassin!

Kiki the Chimera

Kiki the Chimera

Merv Griffon

Merv Griffon

Monty Manticore

Monty Manticore

The whole gang

The whole gang


You say you want some Retribution…

August 24, 2009

retI’ve had a full week with the New Shiny away from Gencon and the hype surrounding the release of the Retribution of Scyrah.

I’ve made no secret of my Retribution leanings in this blog and I’m happy to have been a fairly early supporter of the newest Warmachine faction.

What I didn’t expect was how much I’d love playing the faction and what it would do to my approach to Warmachine.

Theorymachine in a vacuum sucks. Let’s just get that out of the way. When there’s no dice, no opponent, no scenario, you can manipulate just about any combo to fit your needs. I hear there’s been a lot of talk on the forums about the Retribution being “teh borked” and “overpowered.” I’ve also heard a lot of talk about the plastic kits would suck and how awful the Retribution models are.

Well opinions are like assholes, everyone’s got one, and in this space, I really don’t care what the forums say. If I did, I’d be posting there and not on my blog.

Here are a few things to bear in mind about my approach to Warmachine.

  1. I’m not a tournament player. I’ll play in a tournament to support the community and maybe win best of faction, but I have no illusions about being the top dog.
  2. I play for fun. If I happen to win a game, that’s an added bonus. I like the game, I like the social aspect of it. I play to push some pewter around a table and interact with another human being.
  3. I’m not an assassination-style player. It’s more fun for me to play 4-5 rounds and kill a bunch of your stuff rather than killing you in Turn 2.

Having said that, here’s my take on the Retribution after playing three games with the Angry Elves.

The Dodge Viper begs you to drive it fast. Good luck going slow in one of these. I tried. ;)

The Dodge Viper begs you to drive it fast. Good luck going slow in one of these. I tried. The only thing that slowed me down was being forced to keep it in 2nd. ๐Ÿ˜‰

I wanna go fast!

I’ve been fortunate to get behind the wheel of a Dodge Viper similar to the one in the photo. The car begs you to go fast. Like 70 mph in second gear fast. Some cars are built for speed, others to get you from point A to point B. Warmachine armies are similar — some are designed to win by attrition, others to deliver a precise, surgical strike and take out annoying enemy models.

The Retribution is a lot like driving the Viper, only instead of speeding, the army wants to you kill the enemy warcaster. Badly. Like Turn 2 badly. It’s not that they’re an “easy button” or “point and click” faction, it’s more of them having the right tools for the job.

Here’s the first list I ran with the Retribution:

Kaelyssa
– Chimera
– Gorgon
– Hydra
Dawnguard Invictors (10)
Dawnguard Sentinels (8)
Dawnguard Sentinels (8)
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution
Lady Aiyanna & Master Holt
Narn, Mage Hunter of Ios

I took this against an Ashlynn list with Steelhead Halberdiers, Stannis and Steelie cav. Ashlynn also had four ‘jacks, which was nice to see. This was the game I also discovered my new favorite infantry unit, the Dawnguard Sentinels.

IMG_1834

Paint job from Hardcore at Gencon.

The thing I like about the Sentinels the fact they can take a beating and dish one out. Defensive Line gives them ARM 17, and the fact they’re Weapon Masters with Reach just makes me giggle. Seriously, this is what I wish my Sword Knights were like. And yes, they do make me feel like I’m cheating on Cygnar.

One unit took a hit from the Mule (not a crit, thankfully!). The guy directly hit died, the others just laughed.

The best 37 points you can put in your Retribution army.

The best 37 points you can put in your Retribution army.

In terms of the “I wanna kill stuff” aspect of the army, Narn is perfect for this. In two of the three games, he was in my opponent’s deployment zone, threatening their casters on Turn 2. This isn’t something I typically do. I thought it would be fun to try against Ashlynn, just to see if I could do it. Turn 2, there he is, face to face with that Llaelese hooker. Granted, she killed him, but I threw him there as a distraction. Def 15 isn’t anything to sneeze at. His armor is lacking, but hey, I’ll take it given that he has Acrobatics and Stealth.

In game 2 against Asphyxious, I waited a little longer to send Narn in — mostly because he had a Deathripper and some Bane Knights to hold up. Then he skittered in close to Gaspy. It took five swings — and Gaspy’s feat! — to kill Narn. Best 37 points I’ve ever spent. ๐Ÿ™‚ I got Narn in against Caine in my 3rd game, just to force my opponent to use the focus to kill bald headed, pointy-eared bastard. That was focus spent on boosting the hit rather than anything else the drunken Cygaran might have done.

Kaelyssa on her own is worth delivering for the kill. In the game agasint Gaspy, she did the deed on her own — without casting the spell that lets her shoot through buildings! Siphon is pretty amazing and I can’t wait to take her against a Hordes army.

Vyros is one that I’d like to get in melee because he’s such a beatstick. Between the Sentinels and the Invictors, there are some solid options for warcaster delivery.

The current paint scheme. The one I'm really sticking with. Honest.

The current paint scheme. The one I'm really sticking with. Honest.

Pretty balanced

With the troops and solos available in the initial release, it’s pretty easy to build a balanced force. Invictors can shoot the crap outta stuff — POW12 CRA is very, very nice! — and they’re solid in melee (Flank! WTF?). Sentinels have proven their worth, which is why I’m painting them as if they’re wearing plate. ARM 17 is enough to give some ‘jacks pause, and the fact that my two base trooper units have Defensive Line makes me a very happy ferret.

As for the Myrmidons, I’m still trying to get a feel for them. They die pretty easily in Mk I, but I like what I’ve seen so far. They’re still very cool models and one of the reasons why I’m playing Retribution to begin with. I can see delivering the Hydra for assassination in a Kaelyssa list and may have to try it in a future game. The Gorgon is a nice little utility ‘jack and Combo Strike makes me giggle.

Add the character Mage Hunters into the mix and you’ve got several options for assassination runs and a solid delivery system. Which brings us to the next point.

I see dead people

As mentioned earlier, I don’t look for the assassination run early in the game. With the Angry Elves on the board, I start looking for kill lanes and ways to deliver models to the assassination. I don’t usually do this with any of the other factions I play. Maybe it’s because I’ve looked at those armies the wrong way, or I don’t want to play them that way. Regardless of my shortcomings with the other armies, the Retribution has me looking for ways to kill things. So in that sense, they’ve helped me grow as a player in getting me to look at the board in a new way.

The fun thing for me will be finding new and different ways to kill things. I suspect this will grow more challenging when things like the Mage Hunter Strike Team and various UAs come out. Oh, and that Nayl guy. He should be fun. ๐Ÿ™‚

angryelves


My First Gencon

August 21, 2009
Gorghadra. You know you want one.

Gorghadra. You know you want one.

From a gamer geek stand point, 2009 has been a great year. February marked Templecon, my first gaming convention and that show set the bar for the rest of the year. Fifty-six hours of Warmachine (not that I played that much) and my first opportunity to meet up with folks like CptCaine and Devilsquid and a host of memorable characters. Then came the Invitational in May, where I got to hang out with CptCaine and Devilsquid yet again and add another chapter to our zany adventures.

This time last week, I was recovering from my first full day at Gencon, billed as the Best Four Days in Gaming. I have to admit, for sheer size and scope, it’s hard to disagree. The Indiana Convention Center and surrounding hotels were like a giant LGS, which is a good thing and a bad thing. The good โ€” 24-hour gaming, awesome booths and merchandise and a chance to hang out with old friends and make new ones. The bad โ€” gamer funk, people wearing things they shouldn’t and stuff that frightened me enough where I don’t want to unearth those repressed memories.

We were warned. And we bought a lot of it.

We were warned. And we bought a lot of it.

The Heavy Myrmidon kits were in short supply. I'm happy to have snagged my one.

The Heavy Myrmidon kits were in short supply. I'm happy to have snagged my one.

New faction shirts.

New faction shirts.

I headed to Gencon with a very short to-do list โ€” demo some games for the LGS, work for Privateer Press and hang out with friends. I’m happy to report I was able to complete all of those tasks. Most of my time was spent in the Event Hall assisting PPS_Kevin with tournament ops โ€” as the guy in charge of organized play, he gets to be head judge and adjudicate whatever tournaments are running. I stepped in to help early Friday morning, the day of two Total War tourneys (2000 points), two Steamroller tourneys (750 points) and Day 2 of Masters. Oh, there were two Tour of Duty sessions running, but Polar Bear had those under control.

Anyway, we had five events to juggle. It took a bit, but we worked out a system and eventually got things running smoothly. It was stressful, but the tourney management software we were testing was a huge help (thanks Ben!) and made keeping track of results a lot easier. Once we got the events down to a dull roar, it was time for the PG party, which was great fun, at least until we bought the bar out of Woodchuck (bastards!). When we were done with the party, it was back to the Event Hall to help Tamwulf get ready for Saturday’s Hardcore tourney. He had the crazy ideea of running The Retribution for Hardcore โ€” which he did. My small part in the operation was painting up six Dawnguard Sentinels, which I managed to finish in the wee hours of Saturday. I think we got back to the hotel around 3:30 a.m. I passed out around 4 a.m. and was up just before 7 a.m. to be at the Event Hall by 8.

Tamwulf assembles his new army.

Tamwulf assembles his new army.

Cap'n Jack signs a Retribution book while Dave goofs off.

Cap'n Jack signs a Retribution book while Dave goofs off.

Real pirates wear pink!

Real pirates wear pink!

We had 66 players for Hardcore. And learning from Friday, Kevin got a system in place that helped the day go smoothly. Things were going well until right before the final round, when the fire alarm went off. At the time, we thought some dumbass had pulled it. Later, we found out there was a fire in a kitchen on the second floor. But since the alarm went off, we were forced to evacuate. I had the laptop we were running Hardcore on and we all waited for the all-clear in the muggy Indiana night. Some folks started a game of Red Rover โ€” from the convention center to the hotel across the street โ€” and that provided a bit of entertainment. We got back in and started the final round. I think we got out of there by around 11, I don’t really remember other than that it was a very long day.

Tamwulf before the start of Hardcore.

Tamwulf before the start of Hardcore.

Sunday was a light day for me. The morning involved doing a demo for Arcane Legions and finishing up some ninja shopping and getting some stuff for myself. Things were OK at the booth and I worked in the Event Hall for Kevin one more time for the Masters and Total War finals. Once those were done, it was time to pack up terrain and tear down the booth. The worst thing about the whole experience was that they turned off the A/C, I guess in the hopes we’d work faster. We got things broken down and packed up with enough time to get cleaned up for dinner.

Dinner was a lot of fun because it was all about the people aspect of these events that I’ve come to enjoy. It was nice to relax with some adult beverages and great food, swapping stories and giving each other shit. It was really one of the more memorable parts of the whole trip.

The 'ferret and the 'bear

The 'ferret and the 'bear

CptCaine and Chris.

CptCaine and Chris.

Ed and the most amazing cartoon evar!

Ed and the most amazing cartoon evar!

Initially, I wasn’t keen on going to Gencon. I didn’t think there would be enough that I would be interested in. It would have been easy to spend more time wandering the Exhibit Hall and maybe getting in on a D&D session or something like that. But honestly, it was worth the trip to visit with my Press Gang brethern and talk to folks like Doug Seacat, Chris Walton and Ron Kruzie. I’m still amazed at the access we’re afforded to the people who make this “silly little game” we all love. I love that I can talk to Chris about The Retribution or get pointers from Ron on painting. And for the record Doug, the story is great. ๐Ÿ™‚ I love the fact that Warmachine and the Press Gang are responsible for enduring friendships, amazing firsts and great memories. I feel priviledged to be part of this group and I’m thankful for the love and support I’ve gotten through some of my darker days.

So will I be there for Gencon 2010? Wallet willing, you bet. The challenge of topping 2009 will make it worth the trip. ๐Ÿ™‚

Group shot. Location was our awesome waiter's idea. Seriously, Ben kicked ass!

Group shot. Location was our awesome waiter's idea. Seriously, Ben kicked ass!


So what if… ?

August 6, 2009

coverHad a thought cross my mind this evening: What if I don’t bring an army to Gencon?

I’ve been wrestling over which case to take, which models to pack and frankly, I don’t want to haul a ton of crap with me. But the funny thing is, I’m bringing a new army home with me. So why not play with it while I’m there?

I’m not abandoning the Trolls, not in the least. And it’s not about being afraid to lose with them because Morrow knows I lose way more games than I win. I’m fine with this as long as you don’t rub my face in it.

I’ve never claimed to be a tournament player, I’m not the best player at my LGS. Warmachine and Hordes have always been about fun to me. I’m a Press Ganger because I’m organized, enthusiastic about the game and understand what it takes to build a community.

This is my first Gencon. I think it would be a ton of fun to build and play with the New Shiny as soon as I can. When am I going to get this chance again? I’m already stoked about helping a PG buddy paint his army for Hardcore. Why not assemble my own models while he’s putting his together?

dawnguard-sentinels-concept

Statwise, these guys are damn near Sword Knights with a few interesting wrinkles. I was going to do a Mage Hunter army, but Dawnguard... damn.

And since Wendell rocks and iBodger has all of the Retribution models included, I came up with this:

Army Name: Angry Elves
Retribution
744/750 points, 21 VP, 31 models

Dawnlord Vyros 67 points, 5 VP
* Chimera 72 points, 2 VP
* Gorgon 64 points, 2 VP
* Griffon 58 points, 2 VP

Dahlia Hallyr 107 points, 1 VP
* Skarath
10 Dawnguard Invictors 127 points, 2 VP
9 Dawnguard Sentinels 105 points, 2 VP
Eiryss, Angel of Retribution 38 points, 1 VP
Lady Aiyana & Master Holt 43 points, 2 VP
Lanyssa Ryssyl 26 points, 1 VP
Narn, Mage Hunter of Ios 37 points, 1 VP

The list is based on the Merc/Minion models I own, and what I know I’ll be picking up at Gencon. Yes, I am running three light ‘Jacks. I will not be changing this.

Thoughts, comments on my list?


Cryxy goodness!

July 14, 2009

Hey, it’s been almost a month since I’ve posted anything in this space.

For starters, things in the personal lifeย  have taken a strange turn in that my stepdad has been missing since June 20. His single-engine Beechcraft Bonanza never arrived at its destination and the search was called off July 10. Needless to say, blogging and painting have taken a backseat.

But I’ve actually worked up something I thought was worth sharing, so here we go.

I got tired of this thing mocking me from the painting desk.

I got tired of this thing mocking me from the painting desk.

She's really tiny, especially for Warmachine scale

She's really tiny, especially for Warmachine scale

"If I hold really still, maybe it won't see me..."

"If I hold really still, maybe it won't see me..."

The obligatory shot from the GF9 Cryx table at the LGS.

The obligatory shot from the GF9 Cryx table at the LGS.

"RAWR" in Helljack means "nom nom nom" โ€” unlike Dinosaur, which means "I love you."

"RAWR" in Helljack means "nom nom nom" โ€” unlike Dinosaur, where "RAWR" means "I love you." Gotta watch out for those subtle language variances.

And I painted these Bile Thralls about two months ago but don’t think I ever posted pics. Well, I just did in the forums, but that doesn’t count. ๐Ÿ˜›

*urp* Hi, my name is Vicki and I'll be your *BLART*

*urp* Hi, my name is Vicki and I'll be your *BLART*

Gotta love those skinny little legs and those fat bellies...

Gotta love those skinny little legs and those fat bellies...

Mmmm... back fat and pus. Yum. o_O

Mmmm... back fat and pus. Yum. o_O

In painting these guys, I discovered some interesting things about the P3 paint line:

  • Trollblood base is VERY good for painting things other than Trolls
  • Turquoise ink isn’t just for Cygnar any more
  • Morrow White + water + Future Floor Wax = great way to get “ghostly” effect (use a brush with a very good tip, paint in very, very thin layers)
  • I need to use more Radiant Platinum
  • Meridius Blue is another very under-used color
  • Necrotite Green can be very distracting

Anyway, I have more Cryx to build in the morning, so I need to hit the rack.

I’ll try to be more regular about posting stuff. ๐Ÿ˜› (Famous last words, I know…)


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