Thursday, April 5, 2012

2012 Vs. Jack & Jill

* = And BOOM goes the dynamite...

I had been on a real role blogging wise, but then a strange thing happened lately. I've grown slightly disinterested, I've found my attention drawn elsewhere, and the change in format here on the ole blogger has pissed me off to no end. I'm going to try and get back in the saddle after a few 'sick' days at home trying to get my head back on straight. So I'm sure the 3 of you that read this, and that I don't talk to on a daily basis, are wondering what the hell I've been up to. Let me give you the rundown.

Last week we recieved another Paizo/Wizkids Rise Of The Runelords preview!

First up is Azaven, who is a Lich. It's strange to say this but I both love and hate this mini at the same time. The pose is a tad static, but regal. The paint job seems very simple, it's hard telling from a photo. However I like the idea of the skin hanging off the now skull face. I like the skeletal hand, but the staff just looks 'meh'. Overall this is most likley a mini I'm going to be passing on unless I can get it cheap.
What we have here is an Alu Demon, known to most of us as a Succubus. Now I know your probably just as surprised as I am since we just had a Succubus in the last set. However this one will be a Common I believe, and as anyone who runs a fantasy game can tell you, you can NEVER have enough Succubi. I'm not huge on the 'flying' lift-off of the mini, but it isn't a deal killer. The face could also use some more detail, however that could again be the product of a poor picture. I'm beginning to worry that we'll see a drop off in quality from the previous set, just like we saw one comparing Heroes & Monsters to the Iconic Hero's set.
Last but not least this week is the Yeth Hound. This is a must buy for me, I mean c'mon thier demon dogs! They'd have a ton of alternate uses as hellhounds or goblin dogs. I think they are also going to be Commons, so that ensures I'll be scooping up a slew of them. As for the mini, it's a nice simple paint job on a functional sculpt, it's what I'm looking for in my Monsters en masse. Overall, it's another week where I'm not necessarily disappointed, just not wowed. Thank goodness for Auggies Miniatures and thier mammoth selection of singles.

While Young Justice has continued to chug along with excellent episodes I have to admit that I was really looking forward to last Sunday and the return of Avengers: Earth's Mightest Heroes as well as to the premier of Ultimate Spider-Man. My excitement for Avengers was only heightened by the release of the next two images on the World Wide Web.

First off we get a HUGE shot of not only the Fantastic Four, more on them in a second, but of a bunch of different Marvel Heroes. I know that Vision and Ms. Marvel are slated to join the team this season, but I see Luke Cage, Falcon, War Machine, Wolverine, Winter Solider, Quake, Iron Fist, Doc Samson, and Yellowjacket(!?). Who for those of you well versed in the Marvel Universe like myself have to be confused since we have both Antman and Yellowjacket in the same picture, unusual since Hank Pym wore both costumes originally. Does this mean we'll get Scott Lang as Antman OR does mean the Skrull Invasion is ON! Well if you don't want this spoiled for you at all then skip down a bit. Seriously.
So the first episode this season was 'The Private War Of Doctor Doom', and it was good, but not great. I think I've set the bar so high for this show that when it doesn't live up to what I'm hoping for I'm slightly let down. First off, the Fantastic Four were slightly annoying. I almost always think Johnny Storm is annoying, but that's his thing so I let it slide. However, he was cringe worthy here. I wanted The Thing to be more than a punchline for The Hulk, pun intended. I liked the constant conflict between them, but by the end of the episode I was slightly sick of it. As for Reed, I get he's supposed to be a hyper-obsessed genius but up until his slightly creepy, "There are 19 ways I could seal you inside that armor" comment he made to Stark after Tony had made repetitive comments about macking on Sue, Mr. Fantastic came off as completely boring. The big saving grace for the episode was the assault on Doom's Castle. They got Doom down perfectly as he basically held his own against both teams united, that 5 to 7 minutes was pure Nerd Joy. The ending was equally cool as we learn Doom not only KNOWS about the Skrull invasion, but shows us that Sue Storm is a Skrull. So the infiltration has been going on for some time, and we now know that both the Avengers & the Fantastic Four are compromised. That brings the Known Skrull count to Captain America, Sue Storm, & Madame Viper. I have to say I did dig all the Fantastic Four references in the show, especially about how they aren't 'heroes' but 'explorers'. I just wanted more out of their appearence. I know we're getting an X-Men episode as well this season, hopefully it's a tad more realized, maybe a two parter.

Spoilers off.

I'd be remiss if I didn't talk a bit about Ultimate Spider-Man. It's not to bad. It's bit comedic, but I sort of dig that, it's choice of villains in the first two episodes, The Frightful Four, was inspired I thought. They've set up the Peter, Harry Obsorne, & Norman Osborne perfectly. We recieved some great foreshadowing of Doc Ock and Curt Conners. The part I wanted to desperately like was the addition of Power Man, Iron Fist, White Tiger, & Nova, and unfortunately this is the aspect I found myself not caring that much for. First off I HATE the laid back surfer voice they gave Iron Fist. I'm not overly familiar with the White Tiger, but I have to say she's grating at best thus far on the cartoon. Power Man is tolerable, which leads me to my main point of frustration, Nova. Why the hell didn't we just get Richard Rider? Instead we get a mouthy, short, cocky kid. If there was ONE character that I thought went through a significant 'Hero's Journey' in the Marvel Universe since his first appearence, it's been Nova. So it confuses me why Marvel seems so determined to eliminate him. Who knows, maybe this guy will grow on me, hell maybe this show will as well, but currently it leaves a lot to be desired from me outside the lunchroom fight. I had such high hopes, I still do, but it's going to have to significantly improve for me not get bored with it fast. Let me finish by talking about the second image. It's the Guardians Of The Galaxy who will ALSO be making an appearence on Avengers this season! I'm really excited and hoping that we get a full blown modern Kree/Skrull War. I love where this show is going, what they are trying to get done, and I'm intrigued by the speculation that this show will be changing once it's first 52 Episodes, this means last season and this season, end. Perhaps they are setting us up for a Marvel Universe toon, similar to Justic League Unlimited, where we are able to see teams put together of characters that normally wouldn't get much run, like maybe Maddrox, Werewolf By Night, and the Silver Surfer! With Marvel putting a block of shows together on Disney XD to attempt to match up with Cartoon Network's DC Nation it truly is a GREAT time to be a fan of comic cartoons.

FAKE SPORTS NEWS! I have rediscovered my love of RAW Vs Smackdown 2008. As I've taken a break from NCAA Football for some reason, and my schedule has screwed up our rat killing on Baldur's Gate, I've turned to my primary video game love, 'Rasslin! Luckily I had already made a CAW, Create-A-Wrestler for those that don't know, of myself so I was ready to jump right in and play. It took me a bit to refamilarize myself with the controls of the game, and to get the fatigue system down. I jumped into a 'season' pretty quickly taking an offer from GM Teddy Long to join the Smackdown roster, remember this is from 2008. There I fueded with immediately for the number 1 contendership with a myriad of guys; Matt Hardy, M.V.P., Shane Helms, Mr. Anderson, Mark Henry, & Booker T.

This led to me facing M.V.P. at a Pay-Per-View to see who the #1 Contender would be, I won of course. This brought me to month 2. I decided to start 'Invading' other shows. That's the cool thing in the season show is you can just show up on RAW or ECW and start beating the shit out of people. Thus far I have screwed Randy Orton, the Undertaker, & Ric Flair out of wins. I then became embroiled in a fued with Shane Helms & Booker T over a movie roll. It really was annoying. Eventually, Rowdy Roddy Piper was injected into it and then he betrayed me. So at The Great American Bash it was a Fatal 4-Way Ladder Match for the movie contract. I dominated the match, and yet lost because the small, quick guy, Shane Helms because that little bitch can climb a ladder faster than me. It was frustrating. I like the game, I'm not a fan of the way they force you into feuds and storylines rather than allowing you to pick rivals. I also wish I could have had ECW as a show option, since I like that roster the best of the three shows. Perhaps I can just keep 'Invading' until it starts some sort of issue. I think I'll try to make Bryan Danielson at some point, YES! Otherwise I think I'm going to avoid going CAW crazy. That is unless I can get a few buddies to get invested in the game as well, then we may have a re-birth of the old Piedmont Wrestling League. If that was to happen you can only imagine how excited I would be. Oh, and Shane Helms MUST DIE!

D&D took place last Saturday. I have very mixed feelings on it. On the one hand I thought that I did a really good job making it a 'Run & Gun' style adventure since PC's took the stance of being brutal rather than sneaky. I also felt like I was able to 'railroad' them into the Kenku 'Nest' without actually 'railroading' them. The tension was ratched it up quiet high by the last encounter as the PC' hadn't really rested, were low on resources, hit points, and powers. As for what I did poorly, there was WAY to much off-topic stuff at the beginning causing the Role Playing portion to lag. I didn't think it was that bad, but a few of my players pointed out that they hated it. As a DM I want to 'stretch' my players a bit, I have one particular PC who hates that, so there is a bit of a constant tug of war there where I try to get him to do a bit more and he tries to push the issue to combat.

Without Mike, out with another Sinus Infection, the group was a tad low on fire power so I allowed them to use their two 'companions'. This was a problem. In the last encounter those two extra characters turned the tide QUICKLY. While there was some tension, without them it would have come down to a final 'turn', with them the PC's were able to dictate the battle pretty well. I can't fault them for being inventive and working together though. I gave them the 'tools' and they used them. It was a strange session. I liked it and yet hated it at the same time. I loved the pace once they hit the Outpost. The idea of quickly moving from room to room running into waves of cultists & Foulspawn was fun. The room full of starving Intellect Devourers was a solid, nasty Encounter. The 'Boss Fight' was great in theory, but the way it evolved it lacked the punch I wanted, again I felt like by the last two turns the PC's knew they were going to win and they were able to coast. I wanted a much greater sense of urgency. Perhaps I should have had the slowly materializing Eye Tyrant blast them once a round. As for what I didn't like was my interaction with the players. It was just weird. There was a lot of complaining, both real and joking. The group of us were a bit wacky, to the point of being unhinged at some points, and it made me giggly. It was just a very bi-polar session, and that falls to me. We've got another session coming up here pretty quick. I had an idea of what I wanted to do, but I'm thinking of ditching it as a Role Playing heavy session just seems like it won't work. I'm not sure what I want to do now. Maybe I'll just throw together another 'Hack N Slash' slog and get them to the Monestary. I'm just not sure any more, I've got to find a way to 're-capture' the fun.

Monday night I did the 'Fairly Secret Interview' with The Fairly Secret Army, Dave & Greg.

I had a pretty long list of questions ranging from the absurd to musical to ultra-serious. I anticipated it taking two hours or so. It was over three hours and in all reality, we could have kept going and I would have been fine with that. It was fascinating to ask those two questions and be able to follow-up after they were done. It was pretty fun as well. I'm not sure how Dave is going to divide it up, but there was talk of putting it on The Fairly Secret Blog.
The fact is I had a really good time. It's a damn shame that Dave, Mike, myself and others aren't doing a podcast about comics, music, books, etc. like this. I just want to say thanks again to Dave & Greg for their time and the opportunity.

How about we wrap this up with some...


- We are knee deep into the second season of Tosh.0! I don't know how I missed out on this show. It's thoroughly enjoyable to watch him destroy dumb people on the internet(s).

- It sounds as if Tuesday nights might become Board Gaming Night again.

- Oh Kentucky. I'd love to congratulate you on your National title, but you and I both know that in three to five years it won't matter. The fact that Calipari's prediliction for cheating and ruining programs was only touched upon in a humorous manner by ESPN & CBS doesn't surprise me, but it does just finalize my opinion of the people they employee. They don't care about the integrity of the game, so when they go on those rants about it, I'm looking at you Digger 'Pompous Windbag' Phelps, they are lies. Just like this title Kentucky.

- Sunday I'm painting.

- Brock Lesnar went back to WWE. I guess he got tired of getting punched in the face for real. Actually, I'm not upset with the guy at all. He wanted to prove a point when he went to the UFC and he did. He proved that he was a legit fighter. Now I think he recognizes that there a LOT of young, big, strong guys in that division who can hang with him, so it's a good time to get out. Not to mention he had to see just how much cash a guy like The Rock gets when he periodicly comes back into Vince's fold. He's going to get him some of that cash and not get killed in the process. For about two months the WWE had me back when C.M. Punk gave his rant. They quickly killed that, as they usually do. However when I look at their roster I can't help but be intrigued, especially since they have another 'King Of The Indies' in Bryan Danielson, whom they call Daniel Bryan, on their roster. I'm not sure if I'm prepared to give them another shot, but I'm sort of interested again.

- We are three weeks away from the NFL Draft. I'm trying to find a way to get Dave to watch it with me.

- No one wants to play the D&D Adventure System Games with me. This isn't a whining complaint, it's just become a fact. I finished my latest three decks, but I'm having problems becoming motivated to make more. I need a solid cohort in this. Perhaps someone to help me design 'modules'. Maybe it's just that the season has changed and therefor my interests have as well. I'm not sure.

- It's almost time to mow again.

- If you haven't heard the Greg Williams 'Bounty Gate' recording from the pre-game 49er's playoff game then it just solidifies his guilt. It also serves to remind us that he's a pretty shady guy. I don't get how Saints fans can be defending him and this team. If this had happened and affected them they'd be pissed right now. I hope the Commissioner looks at these phony appeals and doesn't even waste a day on contemplating that his original punishment fits the crime.

- We're off to 'The Cloud' this weekend.

- I just want to point out that according to the Supreme Court, by a 5 to 4 vote, it is lawful for the Police to strip search you NO MATTER your crime. Jaywalking, strip search. Run a stop sign, strip search. Protest, strip search. This is the same 5 to 4 Conservative group that thinks that the Health Care Mandate violates our rights. So if I understand this correctly these non-elected officials think that a strip search and cavity search don't violate me, BUT the government wanting me to have affordable health care does? It is blatantly obvious that these folks want me to only have things, like rights, health care, freedom of speech (see Arizona's "stellar" new law), safety from being shot, religion, etc. IF and only IF it is on their terms, and IF and only IF it is their way. That's not choice. If it wasn't so idiotic, disingenious, and dangerous it would be sad.

- I think I have the HTML issue sorted out on this F'Ning thing.

- Hey by the by if you don't think this looks cool;

then you either have NO soul, or don't understand the LOVE that is LEGOs! I'd love to say that 'I wish they had this when I was a kid', but that would be a lie. I'm glad this is out now, because now I can afford this stuff to have around to play with when I have kids, and now with my nephews and niece.

Well I think I'm out of things to blather on and on about...

"Like Marlon Brando, but bigger.
You'll find that creature
At the bottom of the deep down
Susquehanna river.

This one I had stood right on up to me,
Tore out his hook and declared himself a prodigy.
This one I had it looked bright like a sun
Went around three times, and departed with the dove

But oh no, fishing ain't what it used to be.
I've seen some bad years, but this one is just killing me.
One little nibble in thirteen years,
I really pack 'em in.
This one I had, I seen it in dreams,
All shacked up with lightning and horizon beams.

Well I bring 'em on up, and then I pack 'em on in
In all the places I've been,
And I swear it's never been like this before,
Least not since 19 and 44.
But today, I made a sick discovery,
Lead box in sassafras cove.
Well I brought him on up and then I packed him on in, oh yes,
Now I'm really cashing in.

Wash of the Chesapeake and Appalachian blue range,
I have discovered the body of john Wilkes booth.
Yes, it's true, I have Mr. Booth.
Everybody got to make a living somehow.
Do I hear a million?

Well I bring 'em on up and then I pack 'em on in."

* = This is from one of the art guys on the Avengers, apparently it may or may not have anything to do with this season. I just think it looks awesome, especially that crazy version of the X-Men.


  1. Looks much better sweetie!!

    By the by, I did not "hate" the roleplaying stuff in the beginning, I just thought it went on for too long. I'm a big fan of killing, roleplaying, killing, roleplaying... and so on. Everytime we kill things I get more adventurous in my roleplaying. Hmmm, what does that say about me?

  2. Thank you, I think so a too.
    Who said I was referring to you?