Friday afternoon and me, the GF and the Smurf are leaving for a end of school holiday weekend to a Center Parcs resort. The plan is to spend two days of no stress, then on the way back drop by at the Brick Mania Lego event in Helchteren, Limburg, organised by BeLUG.
This is the same organisers of BM Antwerp and the likes, and the LUG I`m a member off, so with the shopping list in hand (the kid is hoping for Harry Potter sets, I`m after Lord of the Rings). This is also the very first time it is organised in Limburg, but I already read that day one had 1.119 visitors. Day 2, judging by the crowd this afternoon, is going to top if not break that number...
It`s hard to say, but I fear many wargame shows (my older hobby) can only dream of those numbers in what was essentially a school gym venue...
It`s also hard to say, but this was NOT how we imagined to start the vacation...
Apparently, something about the cooling causing the engine to overheat. Luckily my parents where fast at the scene to collect the kid, so after standing by the highway for 3 hours, the car was towed to the garage. An hour later, we could borrow the mother-in-law`s car, and then returned to my parents to wait out evening traffic and have chinese for dinner.
Then we where off and an hour later we where at our destination and did enjoy a nice weekend with the three of us, but of course you are here to read about all those lovely little bricks...
The first major set up was a pirate display, with villagers gathering in the stockade while ships loomed on the horizon.
Another mightily impressive display was the Menenpoort of Ieper (Ypres), where every day the military taptoo is blown to remember the fallen of WW1. I saw this being featured already on local television on a show called `Iedereen Beroemd` and on the BeLUG forum, but seeing it in real life is mightily impressive!
There where a lot of other displays as well, both known from Antwerp like this Star Wars display
Some other familiar and new builds where around, which I`ll be showing here with the necessary comments poked in between...
I really liked this submarine build, even though for some odd reason I`m not a fan of current day military building. Can`t put a finger on it why, which is not to say I don`t like staring flabbergasted at some of those builds.
A medieval scene incorporating known sets, like the mill set I also possess
Noah`s Ark of a sort
More bagpipers as a scottish fanfare is on parade
Strong the Birck in you is!
Now, this next display was really, really awesome, as Poseidon tried to drag a viking longship down a whirlpool
Of course, no event is complete with traders, though as you can see by the Smurf`s face, no Harry Potter sets where to be found...
On that same note, I didn`t find any Lego LOTR neither, bit of a bummer as I had hopes with them being more recent.
But of course, there was loot to be hauled home, and Smurf bought (and got) the following:
Including at least a Peter Pippeling minifig, and the Milhouse to complete his Simpsons series to full now.
And me? Well, I took along all this, and those 6 base plates where a bargain as I paid only 5 euros for them, allowing me to start building at fuller speed again for Age of Mitgardia :-)
And I got my Shakespeare from the Lego Movie series.
The Minifig bags yielded the following:
For me to use in builds that meant a Cavewoman and 2 Vikings (still no Cleopatra though), the Smurf received the Sherlock, a Sailor, the Punk Rocker, the Lawn Gnome and the Artist for his collection. The rest? They go on my MiniatureTrading and Bricklink pages to help get the ones I need.
It was a good afternoon, taking a quick hour interval on our way home, but putting smiles on faces and I could collect the flyers and posters to start helping in advertising the next event, BrickMania Antwerp.
The game that started the whole MMO experience (in a way) for me. It was back in 2003 or 2004, and Nemesis had this.
I went to a recently opened, small chance of success store called `Media Markt` and snatched a copy as well... and the rest as they say, is history.
For that time, the game was big. It`s universe had an open choice environment, you did have to follow the storyline to progress, but then again, it was perfectly possible to privateer, trade or do other things as long as you didn`t land on the next station or planet to progress the story.
It had almost 50 star systems, reachable by official jumpgates or smuggling warp holes for the not so law abiding amongst us. You had `mates` that did occassional missions with you...
It was the follow up to the 2000 game Starlancer, and is set about 800 years after this game, and the newly colonised Syrius system has 4 major powers, resembling current day USA, UK, Japan and Germany, as well as a heap of independant factions like the Junkers.
You will be running from and joining with about each and every faction during the storyline as you go through the steps to unravel an alien invasion, and once defeated the game remains a side quest orientated open roam world.
But then came the MMO part... it had an online feature that could host about 100 players in a game, and it had some FANTASTIC mods. Nemesis and me, as well as some more TSA members from that time, jumped in the WTS mod that put together Babylon 5, Star Trek, Star Wars, Andromeda Ascendant (heck, it was though this game I learned about that series...) etc etc in one open universe.
The ship levels where upped, the enemies got a bit stronger and most importantly, there where a lot more systems to explore and factions to gain rep with to buy the new vessels. Okay, at times it was laughable if your humongous Omega Destroyer had to dock with a tiny starbase...
But 10+ years ago, this was the bomb for sci-fi lovers... and it has perhaps still my best remembered game memories with a Federation FLEET (I flew a Sovereign class) of 7 vessels coming out of warp at the same time to tackle some player privateers attacking a convoy.
We where the good guys ;-) and the chat reactions of seeing two Defiant class, two Galaxy class, a Constitution class, an Intrepid class and a Sovereign class jump in within a few seconds of time span to tackle half a dozen fighters with phasers and quantum torpedoes... aaaah... the memories. Pity screenshots have long gotten lost over the course of all those years.
I actually loved this game so much, I`m considering to try and recreate one of it`s ships as next year `big Lego project`, like I did for my WoW inspired Blood Elf build this year. I think the nominee is going to be this one, the Stilleto. A criminal faction medium fighter, it was the vessel I played most of mid to late game with, and I really like her `build up` with the underslung weapon pod...
Now, I did discover a few nice facts about the game. 1. there STILL is a rather lively player community out there 2. Thanks to crowdfunding, a sequel called Star Citizen, is scheduled to come out in 2015. I`m keeping my eyes open on that!