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.



Friday, June 2, 2017

Chicken sludge throwers done

  Two Defilers done.


Nabbed these almost a year ago at GenCon. Figured I should get them painted.



Thursday, June 1, 2017

Warmachine video?


Not sure why this was put out, but those Deathrippers are awesome!

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Memorial weekend hiking.

Hit McCormick's Creek in Indiana this weekend for some hiking.
Down just a little past Terre Haute.
Nice little park.
Trails are mostly easy, one slightly moderate due to rocks and water.



 

Dead mudbug...or is it?


Bunch of butterflies just sitting around.


Thursday, May 25, 2017

Alien Covenant

Alien Covenant


The next movie about our favorite twin mouthed acid blood having silicon based lifeform is back in theaters. This time though there is more going on than the standard people find egg, egg hatches, alien bursts forth, insanity ensues, girl crew member saves the day.

Well……there is all that going on but more too!

The human colony ship, Covenant, is on a long ass space mission to land and colonize a planet Origae-6. It is Oregon trail in space!!!!!! Anyway along the way the ship is damaged and they happen to discover a much closer and just as habitable Earth-like planet. Well of course everyone expect one person wants to check it out and maybe just colonize there instead. Off goes the landing party sans red shirts, but totally full of red shirt characters.

What a pretty world! Nothing could go wrong here.

Once on this new planet they find sustainable plant life, water, no animals and a ship that we have all see multiple times. Yup, there is a Navigator ship crashed here. Well exploration starts. Then a couple crew members run afoul of some spore producing flora. Well of course these spores are alien eggy spores and soon enough there are bodies breaking open to unleash bitey albino versions of the xenomorph we all love!

As the crew is being attacked by a pair of these creatures a robed figure arrives to save them and bring them to a strange alien city, that has more of a necropolis vibe. Who is this stranger?

 Related image
Well stop reading if you don’t want to know! Just go see the movie!

Monday, May 22, 2017

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword....ugh..review

Alright first let me say I love my wife.
Second I think I might have to reevaluate our relationship after she wanted me to go with her to see King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.


I am a firm believer that there isn’t  a really fantastic movie about King Arthur. Sure Monty Python’s The Holy Grail is a comedy classic, but it is not a good King Arthur movie.
Excalibur from the early 80’s has Patrick Stewart, great suits of platemail and some good lines…but it really isn’t good. These two movies are the only two I can watch more than once. The rest of the list is full of high quality stinkers about King Arthur and Camelot. We have these turds: First Knight, King Arthur (Clive Owen), The Last Legion, Merlin (the miniseries), Disney’s the Sword and the Sorcerer (fun for kids but not really great and doesn’t hold up at all), Prince valiant ( which I couldn’t finish due to how terrible it was) and the Mists of Avalon miniseries (which I didn’t make it through either due to utter boredom). There a more out, but I have not and will not see them.

Yes there isn’t  a truly top to bottom good King Arthur movie and this newest version is pretty bad too.

Alright I like the following films by Guy Ritchie: Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels, Snatch, the first of his Sherlock Holmes film and a couple moments in Rock N Rolla. So Guy Ritchie is alright by me. Well….I guess until this movie was unleashed.

Okee dokee then.

We have the typical Arthurian legend stuff. King with super sword. King dies. Sword goes in rock. Only next king can remove sword. Guys does this. Shenanigans ensue. Round table. Knights. Roll credits.

That is how it should go right? Well here Arthur’s parents die. He is cast away to London or Londonium/ Londinium. He is raised in a brothel and runs the streets like Aladdin. He makes buddies who become his crew. They act like some version of Robin Hood but  they keep the money instead. He learns fighting from some Asian karate master  who has a dojo in London. He grows up. He completely forgets everything about his childhood family trauma along the way.


Jump to evil Jude Law, Arthur’s uncle, is running the country. He is also trying to become a super wizard by building a tower. How does that work? There is a petty rebellion he is trying to put down as well. Then the waters part and the lost sword in the stone reappears. 


All men of a discerning age are nabbed to try and remove said sword. Arthur does. He doesn’t want it or the kingdom. Uncle comes calling for sword/Arthur. Arthur is whisked away by the petty rebellion. A female wizard is introduced. No Merlin here! Arthur begins training with the sword. Plans are made to over throw uncle. Arthur has  minor hiss fit about sword, king and various duties. Uncle king needs overthrown. Arthur gets poisoned by wizard for a dream sequence while travelling to face uncle king.  A giant snake arrives to eat castle guards. Uncle becomes guy from a molly Hatchet album cover.


Fight ensues. Uncle dies. Arthur is king. His buddies…can you guess… they all become his knights. A round table is being fashioned. Roll credits.

Sound like a kind of lame and hurried overview. Well it was.

Friday, May 19, 2017

New Cryx arrivals

Just arrived more bonejacks!
 
Why?

First, I am putting the finishing touches on two Defilers right now so that means I need more robots to paint!

Second I love me some bonejacks! Sure they a squishier now, but having 3 and soon 5+ makes for descent little swarm.

That and I have been putting off getting a Stalker for a long time. I did a proxy run a few times and though they were a fun threat. Sure they are stupid fragile, but they are pretty cheap and make a great threat against squishy casters and those all-important (and annoying) solos or small units (like the damn Menoth choir).

I also nabbed two of the older metal Deathrippers. I am either going to try and kit bash them into Ripjaws or if that looks to fail I’ll have two more Deathrippers. Sure bonejacks aren’t as cool in this edition says the interweb, but having 4+ on the table works for me.

Plus I was able to get all three of these guys for $13.00. That is with shipping. How awesome is that?! Very since all three of these guys would have run me $25 plus. I love me a free market economy and the interweb! It was like getting a free Stalker with the purchase of two Deathrippers.

It is a mystery on how some places can stay in business with competition out there like this.



Wednesday, May 17, 2017

D&D post game 5-13-17

I bought Tales from the Yawning Portal a while back. I tied this month’s game to the Forge of Fury. I had to tweak it a bit as the party is higher than the suggested levels, but they also have no healing either. Well they have a bard with some songs and single cure spell, but that really doesn’t cut it in terms of party healer.


I removed the orcs from the module and swapped for bugbears. Bugbears look like they can take a hit and give a nice shot back. They looked to be ok in small groups and not too weak or too overpowering. Other than that I ran the first bit in the mountain stronghold as written. Not my forte, modules as some are just horribly written, railroad the group into situations, involve too many skill checks or have too much talking ( our guys like a bit more action and less chatty).

After the dragon defeat the group interrogated the dwarf and elf that were prisoners of the dragon. They had been captive for nigh 20 years and had little recollection of anything else. They were pretty useless. The thief and monk searched for the horde of treasure the dragon must have. The ½ orc and bard questioned the prisoners. Then the mage just strolled in while reading a book. It seems he was busy studying some dwarf history and came upon the tale of a master craftsmen from the clan Durgeddin. It also seems that the group was officially hired (well the mage was and he spoke for the party) to find proof of the hidden/lost forge of Durgeddin. Being that it might be in the region (miles and miles and miles and miles away if that counts as near), he took the contract and our adventuring party had received their first official ( insert name ) guild work.


Tuesday, May 16, 2017

2 more robot doctors/ robot bomb makers are complete.




Previously I had finished two thrall bombs and now their associated creators are complete.
Family picture day!

I swapped out the necrotech giant scissors on a stick weapon head for a 40K ork chainsaw and an old Necromuunda buzz saw arm weapon bit.

A tiny conversion to differentiate them a little.


Friday, May 12, 2017

D&D pre-game 5-13-17


After a short hiatus we are back gaming this coming weekend.
A quick recap!

Previously the party was sent to discover/ clear-out/ investigate the dwarven ruin known as the Halls of Healing.They were hired by the archeologist Lukas Fudderer (who died tragically due to a trap during the adventure).
They found a dwarf and elf charmed prisoners, they battled ogres, giants, hordes of grimlok, and eventually a green dragon.


It is post dragon battle where the party will start up again this coming weekend.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2


The Guardians o’ the Galaxy are back and…well…then they all kind of split off and do their own stuff while fulfilling a larger story during the film.

The film opens with the group saving the home world of the Sovereign from some Cthulhu-esque interdimensional being. Why do this? Well the Sovereign have Gammora’s sister and quasi-villain from the first movie, Nebula as a prisoner. So it is job with Nebula as payment. Of course the group cheeses the Sovereign off and they are on the run. While fleeing for their lives they are saved by a guy, who happens to be Star Lord’s dad, one Ego the Living Planet. Well the humanoid version of the sentient planet the inhabits the comic pages. Ego also comes with a female companion, Mantis, who is a different take on the comic character as well.

 

The party now splits so that Rocket and Groot are guarding Nebula. Star Lord, Gammora and Drax all head off to Ego’s home world to chill there. This is where the film shifts to little pieces of a larger puzzle. Star Lord reconnects with his father Ego. Drax and Mantis pair off…well so that Mantis can learn about stuff and Drax so he can…well be a springboard for some great comedic work. Gammora and Nebula (after escaping and coming for revenge) pair off for their own little sister story. Rocket, Groot and Yandu ( after a Ravager mutiny ) go off on their adventure of revenge and redemption. All this set against the Sovereign seeking revenge against the Guardians and a plot of galactic father son supremacy. It seems like a mess on paper, but on the screen it works really damn well. 

Friday, May 5, 2017

Fate of the Furious

Well here we are another year and another Fast (insert verb/nouns here) movie. Here we have Fate of the Furious, a title that should have been saved for another film as it sounds lie it will be a cliffhanger type of ending. Sadly it is not and by the end everything is 99% fine.
 

The plot is pretty thin, but we aren’t here for plot now are we? We are here for action action action! There is a super militarized computer hacker genius named Cipher. They are after weapons, EMP devices, nukes and all the bad villain clich├ęs.  The Rock, now a stay at home dad and soccer coach, is recruited to stop this Cipher and associated goons. He of course nabs Domenic Toretto and the other Fast members to help.


This is where the film goes akimbo as Domenic Toretto goes rouge and  turns on his team. Why? Well Cipher, now Charlize Theron, has some leverage over him. This lands the team hiding and The Rock in prison with previous film bad guy, Jason Statham. Of course this leads to the building of a buddy cop type friendship between these two characters as guess what? They have to work together to stop Cipher and rouge Dom.


This is accomplished by Kurt Russell returning as Mr. Nobody and appearing and disappearing throughout the film like the Dungeon Master from that 80’s D&D cartoon. He aslos drags along Clint Eastwood’s kid as his go between (and as a probable new team member for the future films). Kurt Russell and Clint Eastwood kid set The Rock and Co. up with weapons and cars to stop Cipher and the now evil Dom.