Friday, June 23, 2017

Mansions of Madness 1st edition. Ugh!


We were invited by the library game guy to try out the 1st edition of mansions of Madness from the Fantasy Flight people.  I knew going in that there would be a lot of rules, wonky dice and tiny cards to be handed out to players. You know all the Fantasy Flight staples. My lady has been looking at this game for some time and I have always sort of dodged the issue. 

Why?





  • Well first it is an expensive game.
  • Second, it is in its 2nd Edition now, so why bother buying the 1st Edition?
  • Third, there look to be a lot of moving pieces and tokens. We have that already in spades with Shadows of Brimstone.
  • Fourth, we have so many games already. Do we need to add another big game to the mix?
  • Fifth, we have Betrayal at house on the Hill. This should scratch the itch for playing a sweeping house exploration game that has a lot of cards and tokens.
  • Sixth, I don’t want to invest the money of time into this game without a play first. Well this was the only point she heard and we were about to get a chance to play Mansions of Madness.

General point of the game….
This is set in a Lovecraftian universe and based off the Arkham Horror game, or maybe it is the other way around? It looks like every game players are tasked with dealing with unnamed horrors from beyond and a creepy house that they dwell within.
Players choose one of multiple characters. These all have various stats, abilities and seem to fill various archetypes (ranged fighter, melee fighter, mage, jack o’ all, and intellect / skill guy). The characters are tasked with exploring a creepy mansion to discover its secrets. These characters can do multiple “actions” per turn but it mostly seems to be walking, searching and jumping at shadows. Well until there is someone/thing to fight.
The point of the mansion search is pulled from a book of missions. We played the first mission and that was to figure out what happened to the owner and his dying wife.
The mansion is built using tiles (much like a few games we play, so in our wheel house). We choose a character that has various random stats in various attributes, a set of special abilities, some random gear, an amount of health and sanity. I chose the old man who is the smarty pants and “wizard” of our group. The other players nab the “fighters” one being punchy and one being shooty. My lady grabs some woman who is the “scientist” of our group. We then head into the creepy old house……
…..and promptly split the party and then proceed to shit the bed!


Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Dear WB and DC comic book movies,


First I would like to say bang-up job with Wonder Woman. You gave ladies and little girls a comic book movie they can rally around. The fellas seem to have liked it as well.

Now if you could please just stop making movies over 2 hours long that would be really helpful. You have; Batman v. Supes, Suicide Squad, Watchmen and Wonder Woman all clocked in over two hours and Justice League is rumored to be almost three hours (2h 50 mins).  Seriously that will three plus hours in the theater if you get there for previews? Who has time for that? Can’t you get a movie done in ninety minutes and change? Can we get ninety minutes, or even one hundred if need be, of tight storytelling and a good pace? Ok, even if for some insane reason then you can’t cut time below two hours, and then keep the pace high to make the film not drag.

Can you also stop with the slow motion? Why do we need to have every combat suddenly shift to slow motion? It is just stupid. Is there a point to it? Are audiences confused by the action and need an abrupt slow motion sequence to drive home the fact that combat is happening? Is this some Zach Snyder holdover from 300 and Sucker Punch that you as a company enjoy and think everyone else does too? Little secret for you….we don’t need it, don’t like it and it needs to stop.

Speaking of…can you just dump Zach Snyder? His style. His choice of color pallet. His story arc choices. They are all pretty much drek. Sure his Dawn of the Dead take was fun. His take on 300 was a great comic to screen adaptation. However, after that it has been pretty dreadful. Maybe cut him loose and let someone else take over. His influence is leaked into Wonder Woman. Well at least I hope that was him behind the slow motion nonsense and the big stupid fight at the climax of that film.

I thank you for your time and if you could shore up these three issues, it could really help improve your DC comic book universe of films.

Once again, good job with Wonder Woman, my family really enjoyed it.

Sincerely, 

The Smith household

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Wonder Woman


The Wonder Woman movie is out and everyone is losing their minds over it!

We finally checked it out over the weekend.
It was pretty good, not nearly as world shattering as some would have you believe.

Alright we start off with a little Diana on Themyscira/ Paradise Island as a little amazon kid. We get the whole little backstory here like every super hero origin movie. Here it is who the amazons are, the whole Zeus and Ares stuff, Diana was molded from clay the super-secret sword and a tiny training montage. Eventually Diana grows up and is an ass kicker.

Now the crux of the movie kicks into gear as elements of WWI stumble upon the island of amazons. One Steve Trevor crashes a plane into the ocean. Of course Diana saves him, just as a few rowboats full of Germans arrive. This leads to an Amazon vs. German battle on the beach. A bunch of ladies die and all the Germans die. Steve is captured and questioned by the first appearance of the magic lasso we all know and love.  He spills the beans about the giant world war outside the island that the girls are oblivious to. Of course Diana goes crazy blaming Ares for this giant war and wants to ride off to destroy him since that is sort of their raison d'etre. Queen Hippolyta/ mom say no. Diana enlist and Steve Trevor. She nabs some gear and off she goes to stop Ares and WWI.
Image result for wonder woman antiope
President on Netflix and ass-kicking Amazon in movies.
Robin Wright is killing in this year!

Now the story shifts to some fish-out-of- water with Diana in the human world. This is also where the comedy hits start as we get sex talks, awkward scenes with suppressed women in England, horrible fashion and all that stuff that was going on with the ladies in the early 1900’s.

Of course we have to get our heroine and her bans of miscreants to the front lines of the war. Why? Because a crazy German scientist, on Dr. Poison (ugh that is a beyond pulpy and terrible name) and German general Ludendorff are whipping up a weapon to prolong the war. The same war Germany is ready to end via an armistice. Of course this general must be Ares so it gives Diana more motivation to get to the front and find this guy.


Fun look.
Terrible name.

Jump ahead to the front lines where Steve, Diana and the merry band of many colors decide to join the war effort. Here is the second action sequence the trailers hyped up. Wonder Woman climbs from the trenches and assails the German lines after sprinting all badass through a hail of machinegun fire. Then it is off to clear a small village of Germans and this continues the Wonder Woman kicking ass sequence.
Take that you non-Nazi!

Then move forward to the climax where the German Generalissimo is faced down, there is a crisis of faith,  then a twist (that is not surprising and a bit disappointing)  and followed by another combat that resolves the film.

That is Wonder Woman.


Friday, June 16, 2017

Another ghost gunslinger



A second simple Pistol Wraith kit bash.

Seriously simple as the GW Wraith and a couple undead pirate arms gives you this!


 Some browns, white, bone, metal and various greys and you're done.

Now to hunt down solos, get some back arc shots on unsuspecting warcasters/ warlocks,
scare some small squishy units like that damn group of Menoth singers!

 

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Infinity, trying again



Had the opportunity to try the Infinity tabletop game again.
A guy I work with has been slowly collecting forces from five of the factions: the Nomads, the Chinese/Japanese army, the very similar but not Chinese/Japanese ocean force, gorilla aliens, space hackers, the Islamic faction and the American/Scotsmen with werewolves.

Yeah I am not really up to snuff when it comes to the factions in this game. I know even less about the models themselves besides that the names are mostly terrible to remember and at times say out loud.

Alright right off the top. This is not competitive play.
These forces are very piecemeal. They are lower points and mostly a mish-mosh of what units he has primed and assembled. So they are probably not ideal, correct, have not the proper synergy etc. etc. etc. We don’t care and are just trying the game out to see if we want to continue to play it.
This is a chance to play a tabletop game where I don’t have to purchase of paint more models.


First game I chose the American’s from space and faced off against the not Chinese/Japanese Ocean guys. We just ran with three guys each this game and played kill I believe Annihilation. I had a heavy machine gunner, a flamethrower guy and some rifle grunt. It was a stupid fast game with only three guys each and three turns. I ended up winning by killing two of the enemy on the second turn and avoiding any return  fire the final turn.


My initial deployment 


Friday, June 9, 2017

D&D post game 6-3-17


Late on this write-up been lazy and playing through Mass Effect: Andromeda.

We left the party on a lift awaiting a trip down to find the lost forge of Durgeddin.

As the party regained their composure, the bard decided to stay behind and study the rooms further, or write a poem about their battles or to compose a song retelling their adventure. So yeah our bard had to work and would miss this game.
Dust off the 4th Edition paladin! The model is weapon appropriate too!
Polearm paladin!
However, as the party prepared they heard the sound of someone in armor approaching. Low and be hold what arrives than a ½ eleven  armored holy warrior. A paladin had been sent from lord Farruth, a friend of the group, to aid in their quest. Lord Farruth had met this paladin and saw his potential. He, somehow, knew where this party was and that they could use the additional help.
How and why does he know this? I have no idea, but I needed a hook to explain the paladin arriving.

The group decided to pull one of the three levers in the lift. The doors slowly started to close and chains began to rattle. As  the doors were about to close three giant albino lizards crested the stairway in the center of the room. Following them was a lightly armored elf. His skin the color of night. He raised a small weapon and aimed just as the doors slammed shut.





After 20+ minutes the lift came to a halt  and the doors opened to a room three statues and the sound of distant hammering. Eventually, the group found a switch to open a hidden door. They traveled found themselves in a giant room full of pillars and a voice warning them to leave. Of course they didn’t heed the warning and were soon ambushed by rough grey skinned dwarves that could increase in size or turn invisible at will, Duergar. After dispatching them they began to search the area.

There were two sets of doors to the north and both were barred shut from this side. One set did have an orcish warning about some bringer of death eating the sunlight or some such nonsense. The paladin was stricken with a foreboding sense of evil…but that was scoffed at and the doors bashed open. As the doors apart a wave of fear washed over the monk and he would not enter the room. A small speech, and a spell, from the paladin changed his mind.


Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Metallica ( bit of a rant ) and Volbeat in concert



This past weekend we hit St. Louis for a concert, Volbeat and Metallica.

Now I am a big fan of Volbeat.

Metallica and I…well…have a strenuous relationship at best. When it comes to them their first five albums (and yes I’m counting Garage Days in this) is some of my favorite music of all time. Then the Black album arrived. It was the first time I heard Metallica on the top 40 radio stations. This really shook my foundations as a fan. Top 40 radio Metallica? It was now mass consumption Metallica?  I had no idea what was happening. This seemed to against their M.O. for so many years.

Then the over playing of Enter Sandman, Sad but True, Nothing Else Matters and Unforgiven started. People were running those songs into the ground. It was pretty awful to see people who decried them as garbage and noise now becoming “fans” of them. I was so confused. This trend continued, and still does today.

Then the Napster event happened and seeing Lars throw a hissy bitch fit about losing money by people downloading songs was beyond pathetic! Nothing makes me sicker than famous people complaining about their “problems.” Nothing is more metal than whining about illegally downloaded music and lost money.

Then the Some Kind of Monster documentary came out. That didn’t help matters either. Seeing a band you really like seem to fall apart was weak sauce. I don’t need to see and know about their personal issues with one another. I don’t need to see Metallica’s dirty laundry aired for monetary gain. Plus Jason Newstead left the band about this time and I really liked that guy on bass.

Then add in the much weaker albums: Load and Re-Load. Then the abysmal Death Magnetic and St. Anger arrive.  By this time I was done with Metallica and any music from them past 1989.

Now this being said I did see them in 1999 after they put out the orchestra album. It was a good show and probably the only time I would get to see them.

Jump ahead to present day. My special lady and her brother are huge fans still, but they still think 4 of the last five albums are garbage. They seem to like the newest Hardwired. I have heard five songs and can only really say one is enjoyable, Now That We’re Dead. I was told we were going and that I would have a good time. This was Sunday night in St. Louis at Busch Stadium.

Did I?

Yeah we were this close. No phone zoom here on the pics.