37 minutes | Feb 17, 2015

Gamer Conversations: Fithavil

This week’s guest is Dexter Schiller, the #1 ITS ranked player in the US, co-founder of the Krug podcast and owner of Shark Mounted Lasers. We talk about how he got into the hobby, his start-up of Shark Mounted Lasers, and the small electrical fires it caused, as well as how he managed to go to the International Tournament without any of his models painted. https://www.facebook.com/hexagonmill https://www.facebook.com/SharkMountedLasers http://sharkmountedlasers.com/ Intro: Today’s guest is Dexter Schiller. Fithavil on the forums. He’s a founder member of the Krug and the number one ranked ITS player in the USA in 2014. He’s also the owner of Shark Mounted Lasers, co-owner of Hexagon Mill and a gamer representative for Grex Airbrushes. Outside gaming he’s an improv comedian, single and living alone in the Denver area. Bas: Welcome to Gamer Conversations. Dexter: Hey, thanks! Bas: Gladly! So, we’ve known each other for a long time, because we’re on the Krug together. So what’s the origins on the Fidafil name? Dexter: Honestly, it was a misspelling I made back when I was like 8 and made my first Gmail account. It’s from a book called Gillad’s Blood and it’s just a character in there, and I botched the spelling on it, and I just kind of kept it, as no-one else has it. Bas: That makes life a lot easier, I found. When your name is unique, it makes your life easier. Dexter: Now, I don’t know how to say it, but it doesn’t really matter to me, so I kinda went with it. It’s nice to have a cohesive username across everything. Bas: Yep. So when did you first get involved in gaming? Dexter: I started playing D&D back when I was ten. From there I found my first gamestore, it was Valhalla’s game center in weathridge and I just happen to cross it one day and found some plastic lizardmen and bought them, started painting them. Then I started Warhammer and I grew big into that. The rest is kind of history. My first game though, miniature-wise was Warhammer Fantasy. Still wish I... you know, there was community for that. As I have ridiculous amounts of metal models that I think are gorguous, compared to this new plastic stuff. So yeah, I found Infinity when I was... oh, 4-5 years ago, I’m not really sure. They ran a demo wit hit and I thought; “Shoot, this looks cool.” And I got my ass handed to me for like the first 10 games. So that was reassuring. But it was kind of a nice change, so I loved the Skirmish level combat. That was something I never had a chance to play in, and I’ve been playing it since then. Haven’t looked back. Bas: That a really big change to go from Warhammer to Infinity. Dexter: I mean, my pocket book was happy, that’s for sure! Bas: Yes, warhammer is what.. hundred-ish models per side? Dexter: You know, it depends on the army. Some of them definitely upworths of multiple hundreds of models. I think mine was somewhere around like 68. But I was running a rather expensive army.. or whatever you wanna call it.. points-wise. So it was diminutive compared to some. Bas: I’ve been there. I painted Skavens. It takes a lot of time and effort. It’s quiet impressive.  Dexter: It’s a whole different ballgame. When you’re painting an army that is massive like that, then painting an individual model like in Inifnity. We only have 10 or 20. I really like the.. you know, because you’re not necessarily rushing to get them all done you can put a little bit more effort. There a little bit more fun to paint, simple because you don’t have the daunting task of painting 700 of them, all staring you in the face. Bas: Yes it’s nice when you paint a figure and you’re 5% done. Dexter: Exactly Bas: it a very different experience in that regard. Bas: So what attracted you to miniature gaming, initially? Dexter: Oh, wow.. I mean I’ve always been a fan of games, I always had a relatively strategic mind. I guess it was just; who doesn’t like miniatures, who was a big fan of.. you know, D&D. Of course you needed your individual models to represent your characters. Hey these are multi purpose! I can play two games with these. But really I guess the initial lure is just luck, you know. I happened to cross it, a gaming group, kinda took me in and thought me the ropes and badabingbadaboom I’ve been doing it ever since. Bas: Yeah, a lot of it, that I’ve heard from other people as well is finding a good first community. Than you’re there for life. Dexter: Yeah yeah, no, definitely. And I’ve been in it now long enough that it’s.. it’s kinda cool to see the communities come and go. Some games seem to attract a more vibrant community and I’m speaking very explisitive here of Infinity. The people it has attracted so far, and the local metas, and even in the metas abroad are just really solid people. Who love the game, but on the other hand are really neat outside of the game, you know? It’s good to go and have a beer with. It’s neat when you can enjoy them outside of gaming as well. Bas: Yeah, definitely. You were part of the initial start of the Krug. What do you still remember from that? Dexter: Well, I mean It was ramshackled to say the least. Those first few episodes. We’ve been playing for so long that the three of us.. we were really bring some unique analyses to the game. You know, I think there is a market for this and I think people’ll listen. I think it would be really cool if we got this rolling. So we went in to Joe’s basement and pocked up a platronics microphone and we all sat around that ghetto microphone and tried to have an episode and admittedly some of us had more beers in than the others, and it was horrible. It was rough and it sounded bad, but we had fun. And that was the cool part. So we finally upgraded our microphones a little bit and recorded our first few episodes. And that went  a little better. Progressively we got more comfortable, we realized what does and doesn’t work. Specifically Bluedagger from the forums, does not work on a podcast. So yeah, we’ve just been going ever since. Bas: was it the second episode we tried to record the audio studio? The second time recording? Dexter: Oh yes, yes.. you and I because Joe wasn’t able to make it that evening. So we rented out a recording studio at my university and went in there and that was ramshackled to say the least. Bas: It was interesting to go from a plantronics.. you know, I happen to have this thing laying around to okay, now we’re going into a recording studio and we have no idea what we’re doing. Dexter: Yeah, no, and I think that was kind of a eye opening moment. It was like do it for real, and we don’t know what we’re doing. Bas: Yeah, we were just plugging things together, hoping that we could get sound from one end to the other end. Oh, it was such a mess. It’s a.. you have to take small steps during this entire process. Dexter: That’s something that has been really cool with the Krug, as I feel like we had a really organic growth. With some podcast, you know, I have the feeling they bought some really nice equipment, and started, and they will grow into their equipment, while I feel like with the Krug, we kinda grow with what we had. We started out and we were rough around the edges, and our equipment was too. As we slowly gained confidence in what we’re saying and just the format and all of that sort of stuff. We upgraded again and now we’re kind of at that final plateau where you know, I think we’re all pretty confident in what we’re bringing to the table and also we have to equipment to back it up. So it’s been kind of cool, this organic growth. As the Krug has grown so has everything that kind of .. the individual components have too. Bas: So, that actually wokred out really well, and I’m happy how that turned out. So what are some of the things that you know, you would  tell yourself if you could go back to our first episode of recording the Krug in Joe’s basement? Dexter: Well, I don’t know if there is anything that I’d necessarily say. Like I said, I really have enjoyed the process as it has fallen before us. You know, yeah.. there were some tips and advice that, looking back at some of those early episodes, that is like; oh no! That was atrocious. But on the other hand, that was an excellent way to learn. So really, I think that Former Krug Self, I wouldn’t necessarily tell him anything. Bas: Yeah, I think back then we’re a lot more worried about the quality we’re producing, and honestly for me the biggest thing would be like ‘you know, just focus on the learning!’ Dexter: Yeah, and also I think part of it is, I guess that’s one thing I’d tell him. When we are initially buying all of this equipment, I put down a big chunk of money to some of the mics and stuff, and I was like.. ooooh, that’s a lot of money for some microphones, for a podcast that has a few listeners. But looking back, no regrets at all. So I guess I’d be, you know, prod me to spend that maybe more confidently. Bas: Yeah, I remember that our initial set of mics was like 1200 for the mics, and we added a fourth mic for another 400. And then with a soundboard and everything else, it went pretty quick. Dexter: Yeah, all in all we have quite a bit of money in this set up. But I think it has definitely been worth it, and the other cool thing  is it allowed us to... for example, you’re recording this podcast on some of that equipment. We have some other offshoots that I’ve been doing. So it’s been kind of cool, that now that the Colorado meta, in a way, has access to this sort of equipment, you know, if someone else wants to record something, or they have an idea, the opportunity is there. Bas: Yeah definitely is. And you know, you buy it once and it will last you a lifetime. 10:00 Dexter: Exactly! And I think with, you know, you’ve been gaming forever, I’ve been gaming forever, right? We’ll always have somethin
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