So here we are, less then an hour before the year 2011 comes to an end, and what better way to wave it out with a final review of the year. As a matter of fact, the first post of 2012 will also be one, to go back to back with the New Year celebrations.
Why I chose this as the last and first of the things I post about on my blog? Because I love them personally. Every time I post about a Myth Cloth means I`m one more cloth closer to the full collection (I guess I`m about half way there currently), so it`s not for a rating boost at on average 50 views for each, but as a pesonal memento of the one thing in my collection I am by far the most proud off owning.
Ikki, older brother of Shun, and the bronze saint of Phoenix. A strong warrior, his power is fueled by his rage and hatred, and it was already early on established in both the manga and the anime that his powers as a bronze saint rivalled and even surpassed even the Silver Saints, who are supposed to be the `warrior caste` of Athena`s army.
Originally the first major antagonist of the bronze saints, he commanded the Black Saints to attack the heroes and steal the Gold cloth from the Galaxian Tournament to become even stronger and fearsomer then he already is... but turns to the side of our heroes afterwards and turns out to be a most trusted ally, though he often goes his own way and arrives ad hoc from the others.
He is immortal just like it`s cloth, as he is time and again reborn from his own ashes, but however he does age, so there is an actual limit to his immortality. He can die of old age, but that is like about it, and no matter how many times his cloth is shattered, it always ressurects itself, something the other bronze cloths can not do and need to be repaired when having sustained to much damage.
He also has a very cool attack with his Genmakhen, which forces his opponents to see illusions in order to shatter their mind or beat them up, or to extract the truth from then if needed like he did with Mime in the Asgard arc.
So onto the cloth of this rather cool fella then... and I am ashamed to say it, this is BY FAR the worst model in my collection.
I can`t really put my finger on it, but something is `off` with the proportions of head / chest / helmet piece, which results in him looking rather goofy. If that is not the worst they can do, the face doesn`t resemble Ikki at all, and to add even further shame: it is all coloured wrong. The horns are bright yellow and the armour is a purplish blue.
I rate this, ow my poor little heart and wallet, an desastrous 0 out of 5 stars...
The Phoenix ressurects from his own ashes, does he not?
Soon after the 2nd series Cloths, BanDai brought out a limited set of the five bronzes with slightly improved colouring. And this is certainly true for the Phoenix. The model is exactly the same, but at least the horns are orange now, and his cloth is a dark blue instead of the purple of the original.
This raises his score to a still miserable 1 out of 5, but better then nothing? If he self ressurects 4 more times, we`d be getting somewhere...
No, this is a definite `no buy` advice from me to whomever might look for some tips, apart from `having it in your collection` like I do. But rest assured, he is way back in the cabinet hidden behind other Saints...
And so the Society finshes another year of ranting, bragging, showing Myth cloths, gaming and a gazillion other things you can probably live without just as well. It was all in all from a blogging point a good year, with some new faces signing up, and some familiar faces staying on board through all the rough waters.
So as we prepare to step into the new year and I`m going to grab my coat to watch the fireworks (at least it stopped raining for the moment), I thank you all for looking around in here, and raise a toast to the comming year. May the gamer gods in whatever field of intrest smile upon you and most importantly, make sure y`all stay in good health.
So the year is up, and as I sit here in my office counting away the last ticking hours of the year (and nothing to do as it is holiday period), I ponder upon the things to come in the new year.
Not much use to look back on the past year; I did that a few weeks ago already; so what will 2012 hopefully bring to the gaming table and this wee little blog?
First of all, let's have a look at the two 'main projects' I have lined up for 2012. Compared to the projects I tried to launch the past year, these might to see mightily modest and smaller scaled, but then as said, I have to spend less time on the hobby side of things.
The first thing I plan to do this year is the Project Gundanium. It isn't by all certain this will actually make the convention circuit, but gaming with 1/144 scale GunPla models has a certain appeal. The rules are currently being worked out in a second draft, and my mobile suits are being build.
Secondly is a 6 episode Zombie Nation serial, which will handle about the Marvel-verse taking on a horde of zombies animated by an ancient artifact and controlled by an uber-villain.
Beat up the catchers!
I registred for a Blood Bowl league kicking off in february, and the Vongalazthag Violators will take to the pitch... which I ordered the magma field from Impact Miniatures. One has to play his home games in style now, doesn't it...
Now I realise Chaos Dwarfs aren't the most succesful team in the world of Blood Bowl with being a mix between stalwart Dwarf blockers, but only half a team, and crappy Hobgoblin linemen. So I set a very special goal for myself, to place the record of beaten up or killed fancy-pancy catchers in the whole League. Even if I lose 4-0n the next game my opponents won't have any of those girly dirty dancers around. Shoudl pay off in the long run as well to not end up last in the League.
To the Old World
But there is more in store for my Chaos Dwarfs, as the whole restoration project continues to update their paint and base jobs. Even the Mordheim band is being formed, and I hope to be battleworthy by the end of the first quarter of 2012. More news to follow in time. Same goes for Uncharted Seas where the Shroud Mage fleet still awaits to set sail (steam?)for 16 months now.
The Lead Painter's Vow
To actually paint more then I buy... that is going to be a gigantic flop the comming year. In order to help with that, I will be running in a lot of painting competitions or equivalents the comming year.
The Lead Painter²s League, Brushslave, Artisan Competition, the Golden Hat competition... even G-Shot perhaps at the end of the year if I feel confident enough for that are all goals for the year, and I'll be entering with anime or superhero models where able in a further motivation to get things all painted up. Of course, never the recycling of models from one to the other, that wouldn't be productive.
And finally... the non-gaming gaming, the world of PS3!
Things I'd like to achieve this year is to beat and bash two more games after I recently did with Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3, namely the same for Dynasty Warriors Gundam 2 and the long awaited Saint Seiya Sanctuary Battle.
After that; I'll refocus though on beating Andy ;)
But... what about those other things we read about here?
Well, if they weren't up there, that doesn't mean it wouldn't happen. I'll be playing 6mm Future War Commander for sure with my Gundam force, but probably 'just for the pictures'. Warhammer 40.000 will be in the pipeline; but the Tau just have to wait for paintworks until the Chaos Dwarfs are battleworthy.
But the rest... is doubtful. And are tales for later...
May all your dice fall as required in 2012 and ciao ciao
A question often heard, - or better in this age of blogs and forums, read -, is if someone knows " a manufacturer producing hero x or villain y", usually swiftly followed by "... but not of those crappy Heroclix things".
Why not? What is wrong with these models? Is it because they are collectible and produced by some billion conglomerate instead of the garden shed variety of our regular suppliers to our addiction?
It seems that these are the most common complaints when involving Heroclix:
* It is collectible * The sculpts are awful * It`s a hell to strip them for painting * The model is bend
As you might have moticed if you read my blog, I got a lot of the buggers, and a lot of them are repainted... so let me allow myself to try and give another view on those woes...
It is Collectible
Yeah, true... in a way. We`re looking here for models of our favorite heroes and villains, so who cares if it is the limited edition superstat version of a model? A common Spider-Man is just as good to paint up as limited edition Spider-man dressed Peter Parker (okay, the Bombastic Bag-Man version excluded). Go to webstores like Troll and Toad or eBay re-sellers and you can probably find almost every hero or villain you need for less then a euro a piece. I even call that good value for money, I regurarely order a heap from TnT and at 0.49 dollarcents a model, wargaming becomes actually cheap. Of course, I rebase them on standard 20 on 20mm bases and not on their clix bases, so once more a point up for the common over rare version of figures.
The Sculpts are Awful
Agreed, especcially in the first series of the clix ranges. But they steadily improved, and with the arrival of Generation 2 (those with stat cards and such) the models are in my opinion on par or even better then some regular plastic, resin and metal models out there. And remember, you can get minimum 24 heroclix models for the price of one GW resin Failcast model... Take a look at these two figures, Hobgoblin is from the earliest edition of the game and is rather bulky, though the paint job camouflages a lot. Green Goblin on the other hand is a Generation 2 model, and is finer in scultp, better in detail (the scales for one) and uses clear plastic `special effects` for the smoke of the glider.
It`s a hell to strip them for painting
To be honest, I don`t even strip them, nor undercoat them at all. I paint directly over the `stock colour` of the models, but I do correct their out of the lines mistakes. This is a problem as such easily avoidable and shouldn`t be an issue at all, and as my Alpha Flight entry proved last year in the Lead Painter`s League, even with three extra layers and a varnish coat, the details and models still weren`t un-deatailed. You might better want to thin your paints a tat like for any model me thinks then.
The Model is bend
Let me explain a handy tip here for those things. The Hair Dryer technique. Warm your model for about 10 seconds with a hair dryer, the plastic will go soft, then straighten the bend part and submerge the model in ice cold water. The model stiffens immediatly. It might be that several sessions are needed depending the sort of plastic, especcially the Bandai japanese `Gundam` plastic or the thickness of the plastic part, but in 95% of the cases this is a sufficient technique.
Bonus Value: Spoiled for Choice!!!
One thing you get with the collectible series, is a great selection of literally hundreds of various heroes and villains. Let`s say some regular wargame company would make the models, you`d end up with a range probably consisting of the A-listers like Captain America, Iron Man, the Hulk, Spider-man, the core X-men like Cyclops, Storm, Wolverine,... and some ubervillains like Magneto or Doctor Doom. Maybe a limited edition of a large model like the Sentinel of the `hero of the year` depending what is in the cinema`s...
But you wouldn`t get to see B-listers, C-listers or even less known A-list heroes or villains in that range. People like Whirlwind, Justice, or even Doctor Strange would probably not make the cut to be commercially viable.
So yes, all in all, I hope this has shed a tat of positive light on your views of Heroclix. The range is a blessing more then a curse for all your superhero gaming lovers out there!
So I finally did it, I scored my Platinum trophy in Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3. A game on Playstation 3 based on the popular Gundam franchise, and running on the hack and slash Dynasty Warriors engine.
It took me over 150+ gaming hours since I bought this in june, and I must say I really, really enjoyed the game a LOT. Not only did I finish it way back ago, I now have finished each and every mission in the game (including DLC), have all pilots upgraded at least to thier level 3 SP attack (around level 36), and each and every suit has it`s special equipment (which I only found out as such yesterday you get that as a reward as well with the Platinum Trophy), on level 4 with at minimum 6 upgrade slots.
Yes, I grinded this game a lot! And I liked it due to the feel it gave you that like in the series, your piloting that monstrous machine versus heaps of mobile suits. And usually come out on top.
So what suits did I play the most then? Most reviews (or almost all) state you have to use the Knight Gundam, but being a `purist` I played the suits I liked and only played pilots in their suits (or the one they come with in the game, like LunaMaria in the red Zaku of Char).
So the most used suit for me was the Unicorn with Banagher Links. You have this one as one of the choices from early on, and it is a gorgeous suit. I played it much `till I unlocked Kira, and returned to it in the end phase of the game (Retunr of the True Dynasty Warrior) due to his savage `musou` special attack as he pops in Destroy mode.
Second was, oh suprise suprise, Kira Yamato in the Strike Freedom. I just love the Freedom Gundam, so as soon as it unlocked, I started running around in it. Only for the last scenario I had to put it aside as his ranged special attack takes to `long` to finish in a scenario that basically has you running around fleeing enemy aces to weaken the oppossing force and then guerilla strike the enemy.
Finally, the third most used for me was Lockon Stratos in the Cherudim, a DLC that got released here in august when I already had finished 3/4ths of the game. He was used the most for the mop up grinds, to unlock friendship levels and the likes. An Irishman in a long range suit... that should have been me piloting that Celestial Being machine ;)
My main partner strike was Athrun Zala in the Justice, who like Duo Maxwell in the Deathscythe has a nice circular attack that `sucks` enemies in for a short while, giving you the chance to get out or lign up the perfect attack.
Operator wise? As soon as I could the lovely LunaMaria Hawke of course, her one-liners are also hilarious in the game. `You know, I`m not all that great. In marksmanship I mean...`
So what now?
Welllll, Gundam 2 arrived finally in the mail yesterday, but I`m not going to grind that one into dust just yet.
February sees the arrival of my other `anime fetish` with Saint Seiya: Sanctuary Battle whose one month it is out in asia now has resulted in it being actually the best selling PS3 title worldwide... whiping things like Modern Warfare or FIFA of the table. It seems a lot of people had the same idea as myself for that franchise, namely, get Get GET!!! And which I will be grinding to pieces like Gundam 3...
And what about your challenge?
Now the playing field is level in my challenge with Creepy Corridor Andy. We both now have a platinum award (though technically, his wife owns his one hehehe) so we can start the challenge in all earnest. He is about a full level ahead of me (meaning in less then a month I closed an additional 1.5 levels) and I `out gold` him by 5, but he has 1 more silver at current and no less then 152 bronze trophies on me. Which means I still have to close up slightly under 2000 points, not plausible to happen I think before the end of the year, so it`ll be in pursuit some more in 2012.
Recently an age old point was raised by a fellow casual game Magic player in our group. Could one make his own art for Magic cards by using one of the many software programs out there and include these cards in a deck? My personal initial reaction was `no` as I`m of the kind that believes that if one wants to play with the top value decks, one should invest. It is an intresting point to think about, because where does one draw the line?
So I`ve been pondering over the whole thing for a few days now, and as I see it in a wargame background, there are two sorts of `proxies` in my mind set. I call them the `alternate models proxy` and the `lame-ass proxy`.
Mind you, the following ideas are completely my own, and are to be `induced` by myself, and myself alone, when building my forces, and are in no way any sort of forced rulings for people I could play against, we all seek in the hobby what we want in the end and I am not God. No matter how close to that I might be ;)
The Alternate Model Proxy
You know the phenomena. You like a set of rules but hate the accompanying miniature range, or like certain models but don`t get all wet over the ruleset they come from. So you start looking for other ways to still get that game played.
I actually encourage this sort of thinking, as it sets one outside the lined boundaries of thing a or thing b, and I have been known to do this on many an occassion not sticking with official figure lines, playing Future War Commander with my Gundams as the huge walkers comes to mind for one.
I think that, as long as one sees to use `count as` models and link them to the relevant and closest list in a game, this HAS to be applauded. Take for example that you have a fleet of Klingon Bird of Prey`s, and you want to play Call to Arms in the Babylon 5 set. Exchanging them for fast but fragile lists like the Centauri or the Interstellar Alliance is more then okay in my book. However, I would have a serious frown on my face if those small and agile vessels represented flying bricks like the Narn or Pak`ma`ra (and yes, I probably wouldn`t fight that game).
Alternate models are in my opinion a great way to visually enhance your games and to post around on the internet, showing other people perhaps the umpteenth game of Dwarf vs Elf, but in a visually more intresting way then all the things they have seen time and time over again.
Supporting creativity is a great thing, and if that creativity makes for an improved visual appeal as well as the fact people think and reason about how the given models can be best represented ruleswise without having to make up Uberunit X or Cheeselist Y is an added bonus that avoids discussions at the gaming table.
The Lame-Ass Proxy
You want to test a unit or model before you buy and HOPEFULLY paint the models in question. This is all okay in my book, but once again, when is a test ended and begins the real force?
You can have said unit overperform in it`s first game, giving you a great feel about them, buy and paint them, and then have them whiped off the face of the earth each and every time afterwards. Opposite, how many times should a unit be tested before it might actually do something satisfying to your tastes?
I don`t mind personally that a unit of nappies suddenly shows up out of the blue in an army to try out some new unit, but if that unit keeps popping up and over in the same scifi game as the same old same old unit, I once again start frowning...
If you like the unit THAT much, I am of the opinion that you just as gladly want to buy the models, and give them HOPEFULLY a lovely paintjob as they apparently are the hingestone you`ve build your army on.
So when said unit keeps being absent and stays represented by a unit of unrepresented, painted for something else, and just grabbed along models, I call that a rather lame approach, and won`t be personally fighting that force for long.
Then again, I`m an adherer of generel WYSIWYG, in that you build a character for example in a skirmish game with the gear on the model, and not to build an ubercharacter on paper and then just pop down a model for it... I have seen Ghouls with clubs represent zombies with SMG`s in Pulp games (isn`t that so Looney...), not my kind of gaming at all. But the whole WYSIWIG viewpoint is for another post in the far, far future...
So concluding this to the Magic case, I personally would have no problem with altered art on the ubercommon cards and things like basic lands, but as soon as one starts with cards from the `Power Nine`, I doubt I would play the matches. Alternate vs Lame-Ass you see...
Yes, I know I`ve been quiet for my doing the last week, but this is due to the `Playstation 3 Challenge` I started with Creepy Corridor Andy, you can read the details here but that doesn`t stop me from painting... which is kind of the trade off against the time he loses with Family Life.
Past weekend I painted up yet another heap of Heroclix models (I really should start painting my Chaos Dwarf army though... that`ll be one of the to do`s for 2012), this time a threesome from the `mercenary hero business` of the Marvelverse.
The guy in white is Moon Knight, Marc Spector, a `slightly` unhinged fella who`s powers wane and wax with the moon. Currently though, he is without any special powers, relying on his streetwise, martial arts and experience to get things done.
The blue fella with the red cloak is Kyle Richmond aka Nighthawk. Son of a rich businessman, he uses his financial powers Tony Stark style to support his team and trade. His powers come from an alchemical potion, which doubles these at night.
Finally, the gunslinger is Paladin, current mainstay together with Mysti Knight of the newest incarnation of Heroes for Hire. I kinda like this character myself, he even (shortly) managed to best Captain America in the Civil War. He has enhanced human abilities, and even though he is `in it for the money`, making his allegiances doubtful at times, he is down to the core an okay guy.
So, I discovered my PS3 after more then a year as a viable gaming platform instead of a very good BluRay player. Truth to be told, I did way back in June, but until a few weeks ago I played like only a single game, Dynasty Warriors Gundam 3. Because heck, it has Gundam`s in it!
In February, the next `here I will spend hundreds of hours on` game is comming to the EU release, Saint Seiya: Sanctuary Battle, because hey, it has Saints in it!
But I have committed myself to a nice little side-goal of my Centennial Gamer plan (currently at 87%), namely to catch up with Andy from the Creepy Corridor, and his as current 350+ trophees on his track.
At first, I thought it the handiest to grind all games to as much as plausible trophees as possible, but seeing the problems with the older games to get the online achievements - something I must talk to Andy about soon, to set up private online sessions perhaps for both with the the missing, shared games - I decided in the end to first finish the storylines of all the `trophee supported` games I have lying around, then move on afterwards to the hunt and grind.
Now, for those not in the know, PS3 has 4 sorts of trophees in most retail games, and 3 in the smaller PSN ones.
Bronze usually is awarded for common goals like finishing levels, smack up x opponents of the common kind, etc
Silver is mostly awarded to execute things like non likely combo`s, find hidden missions or bosses etc
Gold is there for the hard work, like unlock all characters or complete all missions
Platinum usually is only a single award in most (retail) games, awarded for unlocking all other trophees in a given game.
With Gundam 3 for example, I`m only a single mission away from all trophees, which would unlock the final gold and as such platimun trophy, the `Altar of the Mass Produced...` mission. You have to use a commom suit and clear out the field, then defeat the Dark Gundam. One day I will succeed in that, probably when the AI has a glitch and doesn`t pile all other aces into one square at once... needless to say, it is a hard one, probably why the game is rated on average 8.5 / 10 to fully complete all trophees.
But even though Andy has one benefit, well, actually 3, as he employs wife and kids in the hunt, I think it might be do-able to at least near to within one or two levels with him, then get the ultimate goal: nag him about it ;)
So far I finished the following games in `story mode` for the PS3:
* Spider-man Shattered Dimensions * Final Fantasy XIII
And the ones I still need to play other then a quick look whats it about:
* Majin and the Forbidden Kingdom * James Cameron`s Avatar * Saint`s Row the Third * Spider-man Edge of Time * Alice: Madness Returns * American McGee`s Alice (only has 6 hidden trophees though) * Alien vs Predator (but not at night, or when tired, or when it is all silent...) * Prince of Persia * Mini Ninjas * Sacred 2 Fallen Angel * X-Men Origins - Wolverine * Transformers - War for Cybertron * Transformers - Revenge of the Fallen * Bayonetta * Wet * FIFA 2011 * Mirror`s Edge * Darksiders * Agarest Zero - Generations of War
The other games I have don`t have any trophy support as far as I know and could find on the internet, so those are going to be nice in betweeners I will go on and finish (like the older Gundam games Dynasty Warriors Gundam and Mobile Suit Gundam: Target in Sight)...
... what do you mean, I seem to like comic and anime inspired games :-D
The Thunderbolts were initially a new incarnation of the Masters of Evil, a villainous counterpart to the heroic Avengers. The team was formed by Baron Zemo on accident, as Zemo's attempt to save his father's former bodyguard Goliath (Erik Josten) resulted in him summoning the help of several of his former allies from the fourth incarnation of the Masters of Evil: Beetle, Fixer, Goliath, and Screaming Mimi.
Since then, the Thunderbolts seem to have been a comic series where Marvel could temporarily dump villains into to have them `something to do` instead of spending time in a drawer before hero x or y needed another `baddy of the month`... but it has turned into a highly enjoyable title actually! Even though some argue that their membership roster is as afar down the road at 44 from start to present day, I can only argue in `go count the X-Men then...`
Of course, the `controlled villain program` that appeared during the Civil War did boost this number quite a lot as well, even though The Punisher did diminish it somewhat afterwards...
So in this first batch for the team, I managed to paint up 4 members, including two `founding fathers`
Abner Jenkins, ex- The Beetle is now Mach IV, a highly skilled but powerless mechanic
The Fixer, ex- Techno, is a child prodigy with technologies, and now has his spine working due to his techno-pack after events involving his ressurection. He is one of the more `evil` members of the team, and betrayed them on at least two critical occassions where he chose his own hide and goals over that of the team.
Swordsman `2` Unfortunaly, I can`t tell to much about this fella out of my mind, he was in the Civil War TPB of the Thunderbolts, but haven`t read to much about him after that though. I`ll take a look into him later on, but the actual model used here is that of the original Swordsman, the carnival artist and competitor of Hawkeye, but that version was never in the `bolts... yea, complicated I know.
Mr Hyde Dr. Calvin Zabo was a morally abject but brilliant medical researcher who was fascinated by the effect of hormones on human physiology. One of his favorite stories was R.L. Stevenson's 1886 classic, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. He was convinced that the experiment in the story could actually be performed and obsessed with the idea of unleashing his full bestial nature in a superhuman form.
Well, ranting is over, so back to the core business of the Society, painting and posting wargame miniatures.
I have been thinking at first to overdo the whole `concept` of the how and when I blog, changing perhaps to a weekly schedule with all the things I did the past week like games, miniatures, statuettes etc etc and haul that in one big, column like post, but that would only make it highly unhandy to search something.
From Russia comes Natasha Romanoff, super spy, adventurer and feisty redhead. She has been artificially enhanced by the Red Room`s variant of Captain America`s super-soldier serum, making her a perfect killing and intelligence machine. Ad hoc member of various teams, she often sides with the Avengers, and that is a good thing as we could witness in Iron Man 2 hehehehe
Some further trivia from the Marvel Database:
She had romantic relationships with Hawkeye and Daredevil.
Natasha does not particularly have a social life; she dedicates most of her time to her espionage work.
She has great deal of respect for Captain America as he understands her and she has worked with him on multiple occasions in both superheroics and espionage. Natasha is often his first choice as a second-in-command officer in the Avengers enabling her to utilize all of talents.
While she has a lot of respect for her colleages in the Avengers, Captain America , Falcon, Hawkeye, Bucky Barnes, Black Panther and Mockingbird are among the few she considers actual peers.
In the film Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back, a group of female jewel thieves rob a jewel in slick, leather jumpsuits. According to the DVD audio commentary, director Kevin Smith claimed the costume designer had based these suits on that of Marvel's Black Widow.
And so 2011 comes to a close... What I hear you say, it`s only the 11th of december, do you use some obscure alien calendar system? No I don`t, but I won`t be attending my club anymore this year, so my year is, frankly put, over.
And what a crap year it was! 2012 will be my 15th anniversary as a member of the Tin Soldiers of Antwerp, but even though I will pay membership fees out of support for a club close to my heart, they wont be seeing me much at all.
Do you like to know more?
The problem is, the so-called `Far Side` and some things that have been bugging me, no, make that even downright irritate me, over the last year. As most can probably confirm, and I am with my own flaws, I`m a number cruncher, a gaming idealist and a campaign control freak. I try to link every game system together, melt them into a campaign or competition format or the likes, and reward some points for people to `stay involved`, and this has worked great for years, creating a spirit a friendly competition. It all blew up in my face big time this year.
Of the previous two campaigns played this year, not one got finished. People wanted during campaign one to move onwards to campaign two... only to not finish that because they rather wanted to play campaign one.
Hundreds of things have gotten started, yet none at all have even reached the first mile in the journey to get finished.
Examples? Pulp never got restarted. Uncharted Seas never set sail (pun intended), Babylon 5 was a disaster, the utterings of a Mordheim game where burried faster then roadkill ran over by an Abrams tank... the list goes on. I`m still waiting for a Round Top orbat...
In short, I created a monster by letting some people take the competition feel to far.
But that is not by far all that went on...
Do you like to know more?
Another thing that frustrates me to no end is the, well, downright cheating in games that is going on by a minority. And even though it is a minority, in a group of about 8 regulars that does effect the atmosphere no end.
An example? Selective line of sight comes to mind. Units firing happily through each other even though that is rulewise not allowed (I`m talking Future War Commander here for example, but I have seen it in other games by other people as well), scenery that is generally only lovingly bought and painted even though one could just as well imagine houses made of thin air, as they don`t seem to have any effect on the game as is. Units doing acrobatics to literally `hang to the side` of a house in order to claim it`s cover bonus is one of those things...
But believe it or not, it does not end there...
Do you want to know more?
Rules... why are they written? We have some people openly stating that they just `want to play a game` and don`t bother at all to read, let alone learn, any given ruleset of the game at hand being played.
They could just as well go sit across each other and roll 5 dice each, and high score wins. Though I wouldn`t be suprised if someone tried to sneak in a 6th dice...
Now don`t get me wrong, I understand COMPLETELY that people don`t have the level of commitment I have displayed over the years, as I`m a poor lonely geek who dedicates far to much time to his hobby. Yes, this even has costed me relationships, but hey, they knew the full package from the start.
But if you can`t even be arsed to read a ruleset, and just `do things` as you go along wether it is allowed or not by any given set... those people don`t necessarily break the rules, but they do bend them three times over...
So that`s it for your rant then? Unfortunatly... no Do you like to know more?
Because it is easy to be shooting me after this blogpost. I`m rabbling on about the things that went wrong, or are still going wrong, and I know there are more people agreeing on these points. Heck, check my Facebook page, it is all in the open there if you like as I don`t like the Cloak and Dagger game of doing it all behind backs and stuff.
But in the end, it all comes down to one or two people. You have a lot of people giving comments on the sidelines about whatever game your trying to think up, but the fact is, this year for example, only two people catered for `something to play` amongst the whole group. As recent ago as yesterday, and I admit that was THE drop that spilled my bucket and is the direct reason of this post, I came up with a handicap system for giving `low rankers` a chance in campaigns and such, or at least don`t loose each one with a huge margin. One person send me a PM about how unfair that system was. That must have been about the first and only `contribution` of person x in the whole year to the groups efforts.
Needless to say, that drained every last point of Willpower from myself, and that is why I throw in the towel as 'guru' of the FAR SIDE. This journey has taken about 7 years, so now either someone else takes it all over and `tirez sa plan` with it, or the whole thing dies screaming like the Beast of Betlehem, to quote Bob Geldoff, I don`t care at all (The Great Song of Indifference you musical barbarians).
or not quite exactly...
Do you like to know more?
OF COURSE YOU DO, because you`ve stuck with me this far, you know that there is always some good news in my brabbling and bubbling!
And I`m not talking of the clean out of almost all my miniatures because of my cruel mistress called
I will still be gaming in 2012! It will only be... well... different. No paperwork for others, no stress, just going to do my own thing. Well, not my own own of course, but with people more aiming at the sort of game I look for, even though if that should limit my options of opponents. There will be the whole GW shaboodle, though my painting progress is nowhere near the amount I had planned to have completed by now. But it will be done, no doubt about that because I `feel like it` to paint them all up, all the thousands of points of rank and file troops.
But my main focus will be on two projects for 2012. Gundanium still is on the planned track, the rules are being polished out and I planned on one point to make the rules more `all situation coverable`, but in the end decided that since it`s a demo game, it needed a simple framework and a well mouthed gamesmaster to solve the occassional special situation.
The second thing I`m going to be doing, and that is about the only thing I tend to go organising, is the Zombie Nation serial, a set of 5 linked battles involving heroes and villains from the Marvelverse. I have the rough outlines of the scenarios already on my computer, as well as the specific heroes and / or villains that can be `selected` by the players to try and solve the game with. Kind of like in a videogame where you pick a character, but I can already tell this, certain skills will be needed each time for a game, so it will help if you know roughly what said Marvel inhabitant has in his powerscheme.... `cause players won`t get to see the playsheet before they have selected a character. You can end up with the right guy in the totally wrong place as such
And that is about it for my planning for the new year. Like I said, the Far Side is essentially a foregone conclusion, and it is time for me to move on towards new horizons and explore new frontiers. I`ll take my dose of stress in my, well, highly stressed work environment, so I`m going to try and relax some in 2012, and who knows, even try that strange thing people keep talking about, that `social life` business. If I can just figure out on which console that game comes...
For the thirtiest review, it`s time for a little special thing. One of the recent year limited editions from Tamashii Nation (part of Bandai for that matter by the way) is a broken version of Pegasus.
Now, Seiya is an oddity in the fanpolls. On the one side, he is the main protagonist and his Meteor Punch has beenr ated `all time fan favorite` attack of all saints. On the other hand, Seiya himself has been voted the least popular of the five main bronzes. That`s what you get for claiming the spotlights TO much.
Now personally, I don`t like him either all that much...
This cloth however is rather cool. It shows Seiya as we see him the most on the screen, namely beaten up in a battered cloth.
The set comes with two `damage` levels. All parts have a look with cracks running all over the armour, and his clothing underneath has cuts in it. If you select `level a` damage, it is cracked on the other pieces as well. Damage level B, as I selected here, has more severe damage on the interchangeable parts, which are the forearms, central chest piece and shoulder pads of the armour. There are splinters and chunks missing out of the cloth in this version, and it comes with a second face and hair, that looks as if he had all senses removed like in the fight with Saga for one.
It`s a cool little variation gimmick on the Pegasus cloth in my opinion, and not to shabby looking in ones collection, I`m rating this set with a 3 out of 5 stars in my book.
I don`t know how I managed it, but in the last long weekend (I had yesterday of from work), I managed to paint 13 Heroclix models, score 19 trophies on my Playstation 3, finished two games on said console with Marvel: Ultimate Alliance 2 and Red Johnson`s Chronicles, watched 12 episodes of season 2 of Stargate: Destiny (yes, this show is cancelled waaaaay before it`s time)... and went cityshopping to the United Kingdom`s Canterbury.
Needless to say, my boss better won`t be nagging to much today, and I`m on the plane to the UK tonight to top it off, so sleeping is on the agenda for tomorrow evening hehehe.
But at least I managed to paint up more villains for the intended Zombie Fest serial I`m planning to run in 2012 at TSA, using the SuperSystem rules. Will be a few months still, as being the genious that I am *cough* I made a large order for a friend at Maelstrom`s fro Ralgard Uncharted Seas ships with their recent X-mas voucher, yet forgot the one thing I actually was going to make the order for: Mantic games zombies for making up the horde...
The series will feature an alternate scheduling of games involving heroes and villains, each time building up as more `iconic` or `A listers` get introduced into the fold, can`t give to much details though as, well, it's no further at the moment then a stack of scribblings hoovering around in my mind, and a paint schedule of about 60, as such still non ordered, zombies x-D
Anywyas, here are the first two repainted Heroclix models (the ones I actually already based, the others will appear when I get around to it during the comming weekend probably), of the `not so good intentions` kind, aka villains
Kang the Conqueror
Time traveller, alternate dimensions master out to control all dimensions, Nathaniel Richards has forged himself an armour inspired by Doctor Doom, whom he met on Earth - 689.
His powers are derived from his armour, though he himself possesses superior intellect and has stopped aging chronologically around the age of 40, even though he is over 70 years old at the moment.
Quentin Beck, former stunt man and special effects wizard, uses power of chemicals, holographs and hypnotism to fight his opponents. He`s recently running around back from the dead after commiting suicide to prevent Daredevil from killing him, and not granting the satisfaction to defender of Hell`s Kitchen.
And now off to the shower for a hot soak before I`m going to start a verrrrry long working day...
The Gamma robe, this giant but kind hearted man is the first of the God Warriors the bronze saints face on the field of battle. Armed with two giant axes for his Mjolnir attack, he knocks out Hyoga and Shun first, and nearly kills Seiya before that last one is saved by Shiryu. His loyalty for Hilda comes from the the early days, when he was attacked by guards and the princess saved hislife by ordering them to stop. When Seiya finally defeats him, he puts his thrust in the bronze saints to return his beloved monarch back to the light, as he had noticed a darker mood having fallen over her.
The Gamma robe represents the Midgardsnake Jormungard.
As you all know by now, yes I like the Asgardian clothes and as such am a little biased when having a look at them. However, it is justified in case of Thor, who is one of the rarer to get and as such more expensive clothes out there, going around 140 euros plus shipping on the average website.
The model has a very good facial sculpture, and the colouring of the cloth is dead gorgeous, a thing I noticed is amongst the forte of the asgard line. Surely, they do have bright and contrasting colours compared to for example the Gold saints or the near monotonous bronze saints, but the more colours, the more chances to screw things up. Which fortunatly isn`t the case with this series!
Mountain of a Man
Remember how I said it was nice that Geki of the Bear was a good head taller then the other bronzes? Well, Thor towers far above him! In the anime, he is supposed to be a true giant standing at 2m35 and the model represents this, as the mannequin comes in the box with the lower legs bend backwards. This means the model as such is that whole section longer then the other basic saints out there!
The usual parts come in die cast metal, so no surprises there, and assembles smoothly, so I`m going to rate Thor with a hefty 4 out of 5 stars, it is a spectacular model and for once one should say `size matters`!
... so there you are, `stuck` in London as your return flight has been cancelled and you suddenly have hours to spare.
You take the DLR and the metro to disappear into the centre of town and go shopping for goodies. I managed to get me some nice thingies like a few PS3 games, a couple of manga and marvel comics, and a nice set of Gashapon models I only paid 5 pounds, the `Heroines of Gundam` series
So, I`m a Marvel man in the first place, and barely have any Dc stable comics. I don`t know how that happened exactly, as both have their real strong stories, and both have their ultimate crap stories. But I guess I like the X-Men just a lot more then I like the Justice League I think.
However, when i was shopping for Heroclix`s half a year ago in bulk lots, I managed to scoop up a couple of DC models as well, and I repainted two of them the last week. Both being minor characters, I would estimate B, or even C until recently, listers, Animal Man and Booster Gold have joined my ranks of future SuperSystem combattants.
"Buddy" Baker, aka Animal Man, has the power to copy abilities of animals. He didn`t have to high a mainstay in the comic line, until Mark Miller (of Ultimate Marvel`s universe fame) gave him a make-over and sales rised high.
Michael Jon Carter, aka Booster Gold, is a 25th century thief / timetraveller gone hero, kind of like Cpt Harkness of the Who-niverse. SyFy just recently ordered a pilot for a series involving Booster, so chances are if this takes of he will become a lot more popular in the not so far future...
The final instalment of the first batch of nine, but not the last cloth I have standing in my cabinet at all though.
When the bronze saints entered Elysium, and their cloths and the gold cloths send to help them where shattered, they managed to awaken their ultimate cosmo. This resulted in their bronze clothes, which had been repaired with blood of the godess Athena, to awaken to their divine state, equalling the kamuii armours of the gods themselves.
Shiryu`s cloth awakened together with Hyoga`s in the fight against Hypnos, and their combined attack defeated the God of Sleep easily, as they had observed his attack earlier and a Saint of Athena cannot be harmed by an attack he already witnessed.
The cloth is like the Hypnos cloth I reviewed earlier this week, sheer awesomeness, even though I`m not a fan of those God clothes at all. The downside on Shiryu is the same as on his normal bronze cloth, the click in claws to keep the shoulder guards in place. This can result in some frustrating balancing when assembling the model until it literally `all falls into place`.
The facial sculpt however is completely spot on, and the colouring of the cloth is absolutely gorgeous in it`s rich and vibrant light green and silver with golden details.
It also comes with a tail for the headpiece, using the same principle of interlocking pieces like Milo of Scorpio to give it flexibility. It is a heavy model with the large pieces cast in metal, but it is, just like Hypnos, perfectly balanced for display.
The God Cloths are top of the line in the series, both anime and manga alike, and after now reviewing two it also goes for the Myth Cloths. I am however only granting Shiryu a 4 due to the bloody shoulder lock system, but mind you, it is worth having this model in your collection!
Roight, let me put this straight, I don`t like the twins. Not one bid at all. In fact, the best moment for me was when the injured Manigoldo (and not only because of him, that was a bonus) smacked Thanatos on the cheek to fulfill his statement that he as a mortal could lay a hand on a god.
Glad I was when they where sealed away / defeated, depending if you watch The Lost Canvas or the Elysium chapter of the original series.
The twin Gods are the servants of Hades, protecting his body in Elysium and grooming the host for the next incarnation of Hades. They run many plots over a long period of years in order to achieve this goal, and Hypnos is the more relaxed and subtle of the two.
He focusses on manipulating people and his main attack is to put people, and even the Godess Athena, in a deep sleep they cannot awaken from (although Shun proves otherwise) except by his willing.
He is finally defeated by Hyoga and Shiryu when their cloths, having reached the divine state, combine their Cosmo to shatter the Eternal Drowsiness, then detroy his Kamuii.
The cloth on the other hand, I like...
It comes in a box the size of the God bornze cloths, but is even fatter, and it contains a LOT of parts, including even small rings to lock pieces in place like on the front of the chest piece.
The option of the white cloak is also included to wear over the kamuii, but then you cannot attach the whole `butterfly wing` construction, so I opted to not use the robe. It also contains a lot of metal pieces, so the model is quite heavy once completed.
An example of the incredible detail on this model is the waist section, as the robe is three layers of interlocking pieces over each other, with an `under robe`, then the large parts with all the moveable flaps at the bottom, and then on top of that hip guards. The helmet piece consists also of seperate wings attached to the headband.
Facial and hair sculpt are spot on (no glasses though for the Lost Canvas fans) and to top it all off, the model even is well balanced when not using the special Bandai stands.
It`s a great model. Sure, it is one of the more expensive clothes out there, going around the 100 euros mark on most websites, but it is worthwhile each and every penny for the collector and fan alike.
I`m rating this one no less then the 5 out of 5, for even though as I said I don`t like the character of Hypnos, there isn`t much not to like on the Myth cloth of Hypnos!
I do however, plan to make a voyage to my personal holy land, Japan, in the second half of 2013, and I know myself. Aikiba district, the walhalla of all things anime, manga and videogame, is going to be my candy store, and I`ll be a very happy kid rabbling through it.
But that is going to cost buckets full of that lovely thing called money, so I`m gearing up to start saving some funds together with all my overdue, bought for some project I for the love of God can`t remember anymore, wargame thingies.
This bloke will be the first, I have some more Empire models and once they all are done, I`ll probably throw them on some barter forum or something, or even the evil bay. So if I can manage to get some regiments tweaked in between all the `regular` to do stuff, my goal of having around 5k `shopping pocket money` should be doable.
One of the Marina Generals of Poseidon, Krishna defended the Indian Ocean Pillar against Shiryu.
The scales come with the Golden Lance, a weapon said to be able to pierce the hardest material, it quickly makes short work of the Dragon cloth and the fabled Dragon shield. Shiryu finds himself grotesquely overpowered when the soul of Shura reaches out to him and tells him of the weapon hidden now in the Dragon Saint`s right arm: Excalibur.
Shiryu manages to break the lance with this fabled attack and the power of the Gold saints running in his cloth. Krishna then, like Shaka, starts using his spiritual energy to battle the dragon saint, but Shiryu manages to defeat him by hitting his chakra points.
The Chrysaor cloth was a welcome suprise to me. I`m not all that fond of the Poseidon designs, and didn`t had to many warm feelings when I added this gy to the collection, but assembly proved me wrong.
The combination of the colouring, together with the `halo` like device behind Krishna`s head, gives this model a certain regal look, dignified as it may.
The assembly itself doesn`t give to much problems, it follows the pattern we have gotten used to with the generals with thier chest locking over waist armour, and the usual parts are in metal. He also comes with two `zen` hands, for those who want to build him in his barechested pose as he fights once the Golden Lance had been destroyed.
Facial sculpt and hair sculpt are finely executed, the only drawback is, like I said with others before, a drawback generated by me not using the special stands Bandai has for the line. If you want to stabilize him for display without the clamp stands, you have to spread his legs just a bit to far open resulting in the waist armour not nicely closing together. But that isn`t an influence on his rating, and against even my own expectations, I`m granting this model a royal 4 out of 5, it is definitly worth the buy!
With the Library of Blue project now 3 / 4 ths done, I started to gather together all the various Magic Cards cluttering around and put them orderly together in boxes... and then you realise that they start to tally up together quite massively
All this was gathered together SINCE Crisis, where I dumped the previous lot, the size of the plastic case in the picture, on the Bring and Buy, so this is what I managed to get together in only 2 weeks time. Yes, buying joblots tends to do this to a collection, as well as playing in sanctioned and non-sanctioned draft events.
So now it is time to start loosing some of those cards. Quite a lot in fact, so i`m going to trade them off for things outside the Library. I realise that the cards needed there aren`t around in my gaming groups, so I`ll be buying the missing pieces off from sites like MTG.be and such. These boxes full of commons, uncommons and rares will get till like new year to be traded away, otherwise I`ll just have to look around for a way to get them to go somewhere, but those are worries I`m not worrying about for now.
Of course, Magic blue isn`t the only card sets I collect. Last week, i FINALLY completed my Saint Seiya english version collection so I now have each and every card of that game printed in english (2 starter series and 1 set of boosters)...
... so the time has come to complete another of my card collections. Yes, i`m a collector first and a player second.
The second edition of Decipher`s Star Trek CCG, black borders. And probably after the core set of 400+ cards, I`m starting the various expansions of this now long defunct game, so it shouldn`t be to expensive to get them, though it might prove a challenge to actually find the ones I still need.
Roight, off to make a checklist for the Trekkie cards then it is, ciao ciao
Sweet Shun, gentle Shun... girly Shun. This impression of Shun being a girl at first wasn`t helped for my generation of Club Dorothee viewers, when the saint was initially portrayed with a female voice. After a few episodes, the frenchies saw their mistake and he got a more manly voice, but the fact that he sported a double D equipped pink cloth didn`t help either of course.
Shun is a pacifist, not happy to kill his opponents and trying to force them to surrender with the use of his Nebula Chains, but he has on the other hand the most deadly, not lethal to himself, attack of the fabulous five with his Nebula Storm. This attack was first seen in his battle vs Pisces Aphrodite as he can raise the power of the attack indefinitly.
Shun fights out of loyalty. Loyalty to Athena, to his frieds and most of all, out of a loyalty to prove himself to his brother, the Phoenix saint Ikki, who had taken his place as an orphan as Shun was first picked to go after the Phoenix cloth.
When the other bronze saints frequently gotten the aid of their master`s gold cloths in times of severe peril, Shun can pull a better a rabbit out of his hat, the incredibly strong Ikki, a man who cannot be more different then his brother as Nachi once remarked.
Now, I don`t like this cloth at all. The facial sculpt is not accurate, and for some reason it just looks `wrong` in an out of scale way, not really representing the delicate nature of Shun. I can`t quite put my finger on it why this is the case, it is just something that caught my eye when placing him in the display cabinet after assembly.
The cloth does come with three sets of chains, two metal and one plastic. One of the metal versions is the longer one that winds across the cloth when in object mode, the shorter one is the one I used around the arms. The third, a plastic one, can be bend and positioned to represent attacks like the Rolling Defense, but as it is normal with plastics, looks not shiny and rather out of place if added to the model.
The legs, underarms and chest of the model are also metal parts, and it is a very simple assembly to make a cloth out of a humanoid object, not to much this or that`s to go around. But still, not really a top cloth for my tastes, so I`m going to have to rate this one only a measly 1 out of 5 on my `Tomsche Scale of Subjective Saint Ratings` or `TSSSR` for short ;)
I had it burried for years. My `competitive spirit` was burried deep down together with the last tournament I played, when I witnessed some disgusting rulings and plays by `the local team`.
I founded `the Far Side` then, it`s goal to play other things in a friendly campaing like spirit and I managed for years to take the units that i found that looked `cool` over the units that are worth their points in gold.
But I feel my `Spiritia Competitia` reawekening recently. Partly fired back up by Magic: The Gathering (though I still only play mono Blue over the more effective decks possible), partly by the planned return to Games Workshop games.
I don`t blame those games per se though, I blame myself as I start to feel that gnawing feeling underneath to play competitively again, see some fresh opponents and rumble a bit around in smaller tournaments.
I played my very first sanctioned DCI last week, ending 7th out of 12. I`m rebuilding and repainting my Warhammer and Warhammer 40.000 forces.
Mind you, when i was younger, I played sports (korfball, soccer, some other thingies) and I am the first to admit I had to have it more of my `grinta` (that`s bulldoggy determination for those not knowing) then of talent. The same went with wargames, the refusal to just give up if things started to go sour netted me a good amount of `come back against all odds` wins.
So I`m appologising in advance to my regular game group. I know myself, I know that if it blazes back to it`s old heights, I`ll be building my forces again with the `destruction above all else` philosophy in mind.
Yes, I`m going to come after you, your asses will all be owned. I am after all, the leader in the alltime Far Side board!
I AM SUPREME!!!!
Editorial: yes, this was pure psych propaganda to scare the heck out of you for the 6mm Future War Commander campaign starting friday