Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Necessary Roughness Vs. Slap Shot

* = With all the crap out there in the theatres I DARE you to say you wouldn't pay to see a road movie starring Pee Wee Herman & Darth Vader. I DARE YOU!

This week is tiring, and it's only Tuesday. I think it's the post-Easter hang over. Just the travel, the celebrating, the sleeping in beds that aren't yours and are not built for you. All of it tends to wear one done. Not to mention I haven't been what I'd call overly focused or goal orientated lately. In fact I didn't really get much of anything I had planned the last few days. So my goals this week are modest at best. However before we get to that there is something that I have to take care of first. It's another week so you get another pre-requisite helping of Rise Of The Runelords previews!

First up is the Goblin Commando. As I love Goblins and it's a Common I'll be picking this one up. That being said I'm not much of a fan of this mini. It's really static, the weapon doesn't look that great, and there is really nothing there to set this mini apart from any of the Goblins we've already got. So as long as it's cheap I'll be picking it up, but I'm certainly not that excited over it.
Next we get a variation on the Goblin Commando, we get same said Goblin on a Goblin Dog. I like this mini. First off it's cavalry, and since we don't have a lot of decent minis in this catagory it's always nice to get an addition. Now this one is an Uncommon so you know that it'll be a bit more preicy, not much I'm sure but some. I like the Goblin's pose, but the Goblin Dog's stance leaves a lot to be desired. It's a decent mini that fits a need area, but isn't a 'must have'.
RIPNUGGET! That's right his name is Ripnugget, and he's a Goblin Chieftan riding a giant Gecko. I'm not sure whether this little guy is an Uncommon or Rare, but it is a mini I like quiet a bit. First off we've seen Goblins on Wolves, Worgs, giant Spiders, but I've never seen one on a giant Gecko. That in itself makes it pretty cool. Secondly, the name Ripnugget is just fantastic. Last but not least, visually it's a decent mini. I like the color on the Gecko, I like the bit in the open mouth, I wish we had a bit better view of Ripnugget himself as it looks like he has no eyes, but I do love the pose. It's bizarrely regal. If this little guy's a Rare, then I'll be waiting for awhile, if I luck out and he's an Uncommon then I'll be picking him up in my first wave of purchases.
Last in our preview is another HUGE mini, Ceoptra, who is a Lamia Harridan. For those that don't know what a Lamia is, it's an attractive lady with the lower body of an animal who wants to kill you. This particular Lamia is ENORMOUS! I believe there are four Huge minis in this set and they've set it up so you can buy them in single blind boosters. It's not a bad idea, while it's costly for the consumer you are know that you are getting one of four huge, well painted, impressive minis. Of course I'll be playing a less 'blind' game on the secondary market with these minis. Thus far I'm not sure how I feel about purchasing this or any of the other Huge(s) that have been shown. I will say that I love the pose and the paint job quiet a bit. Overall it's continuing to appear that I'll be dipping deep into the Common and Uncommon pool of minis, which should bode well for my bank account, as well as giving me plenty of options in regards to conversions to the D&D Adventure System.

Speaking of Dungeon and Dragons, and especially miniatures, I watched some of the coverage from PAX East from last weekend. I noticed a few things. First when it comes to DnD Next (5E) I was really disappointed with the tone of the questions asked by the vast majority of the crowd. Look I get it Edition Warriors you hate WotC, you love Paizo, and everything after the Edition you play is shit. You've littered the Interweb(s) with your venom do you have to use it to be snarky to the guys trying to build an Edition for everyone? It actually made me cringe in a few spots, to Mike Mearls credit he laughed it off pretty well. I think my question is if you have everything but your Edition so much WHY do you go to a FRIGGIN' seminar where they are talking about the next Edition? Are you a glutton for punishment, or do you just enjoy bitching that much? Now I'm not saying kiss the ass of the corporate beast that has made cottage industry of shitting on it's customers and even it's developers. In fact a lot of Nerd Rage can rightly be pointed at WotC and more specifically their corporate pay masters at Hasbro, but let's take it down a notch when talking to the guys who are developing the game. That's like slapping a Production Assistant on Transformers because you hate Michael Bay with a rage that eclipses the power of 1,000 exploding suns. Sure it feels good in the short term, but it serves NO purposes when 'The Bay' continues to shit on our collective childhoods by threatening to make a messed up version of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. DAMN YOU MICHAEL BAY, DAMN YOU! But I digress, with the Paizo style open playtest model you'd think more D&D players would be interested in an Edition that they have a hand in finalizing. You would hardly know it based on 50% of the questions that were asked. On an exciting and yet slightly frustrating note we got our first full look at D&D Dungeon Command, the new D&D Skirmish game.

This one is full of pre-paints, although painted to a much higher quality than most of us saw in the last few sets, modular cards like in the D&D Adventure System games, and a card combat system, so no dice. I'm excited by this game, and most of the stuff I've read in review has been very positive, however the idea of dropping around $30 for 12 minis, cards, tiles, etc. isn't horrendous UNTIL you find out that 11 of the 12 are re-paints. Granted they are MUCH better painted, but still 95% re-paints? C'mon man. I do like the idea however that you know what your getting in a faction box, the minis will come with cards to make them D&D Adventure System compatible, the tiles are double sided and seem to be compatible, and again the game looks short and slick. So I'm in, but I'm in with a tad bit of frustration. Last, but not least on the PAX East front was this;
That is one HUGE statue of Lolth. There is also floating around the web a pretty cool little 'trailer' for 'Rise Of The Underdark'. The basic premise seems to be that Lolth is tired of having her Drow plot and plan and is instead unleashing them on the surface world! So we get World War Drow! I loved the little trailer, as the art was decent, it set a mood, but better than that was the lady who did the voice over for Lolth she was sultry and yet E-V-I-L-! I've never really used the Drow as a huge enemy in my campaigns, in fact beyond a companion in the last campaign and Mighty Mike's Drow with a vow of silence in our current campaign they've just been sort of unseen boogie men. I've avoided them so much that I've come up with the Drahajr, evil humans who fanatically worship Lolth and live in the Underdark, so I didn't have to use them. Now however I'm thinking about having them show up, en masse. What if the Drahjar have to come to the PC's, hat in hand, relaying to their sworn infidel enemies, that the Drow are organized and planning to overrun not only them, but the surface world as a whole? Are the enemies of my enemies my friend? What if the entity the Drahjar were worshipping wasn't Lolth at all? Coupling this with Paizo's brilliant Second Darkness Adventure Path could really give a good DM, and not that I'm that good, a great Paragon Tier meta-story. Something to think on. Getting back to what WotC is doing is it appears they are going line wide with their D&D products dealing with this Drow Invasion. From DDO, which is their online game, to D&D Encounters, to card releases, books, and even Dungeon Command, it appears as if the last HUGE gasp of 4E will be with the Drow finally bringing Lolth's master plan to fruition. I for one am intrigued.

Huh, there was an awful lot of Nerdery up there, well let's finish strong with some...


- A guy who works for us is bringing me a leg of goat. I'm going to grill the beejezus out of it.

- D&D is Saturday, only a two week turn around this time. I think I'm prepped. I have a really solid idea of what I want to get done. I just have to find a way to 'sell' it to the players. Of all the sessions we've played THIS one is going to be the most challenging for me to get everyone invested.

- FAKE SPORTS NEWS! So I got screwed over at the PPV and was 'let go' from Smackdown. I'm now on RAW and have been feuding with invading dudes from ECW. In the process I got into a heated rivalry with ECW Champion Bobby Lashley. We culminated our 'war' with an ECW 'Rules' match at the next PPV where I beat the shit(s) out of him. So I've stopped the big match losing streak and am now the #1 contender for the WWE title. Maybe tonight I'll play another month's worth of my 'season'.

- By the by if your interested, and YOU SHOULD BE, here is the link to the Interview I did with Dave & Greg, The Fairly Secret Army. Be warned it's long, AND AWESOME! The Fairly Secret Blog

- I've been reading again, slowly but surely and this weekend finished Michael Moorcock's 'The Jewel In The Skull' (*** out of 5).

This is the first in the Dorian Hawkmoon books in Moorcock's 'Eternal Champion' cycles. I so desperately wanted to LOVE this book, but alas I found myself only liking it. I think it's Moorcock's writing. Ideas wise he's off the charts, his imagery, and the feel of his characters. However there is a lot of repetition in the conflicts, and the actual storytelling seems sort of stilted to me. I just wanted so much more. I'll be reading the other two books in this series, but I'm afraid I'll find them to be much like Moorcock's Elric books, fantasticly EPIC in premise and 'Meh' in follow-through.

- Joe & Cassandra have impressed me as they've really taken some time in the last two weeks to try and flesh out their characters. This is really hard for folks who don't like or don't 'enjoy' the Role Playing aspect of D&D. I applaud thier effort, ideas, and desire to immerse themselves in the game a bit more.

- DCM, a small pre-paints mini company, is making villagers! This is really cool, and I will be giving them my cash.

- Down in the 'Old Stomping Grounds' there was a Tool Lottery at my grandfathers Saturday. My brother made sure to grab up stuff for us. We were talking last night and after talking to L.O.M., my nephew, we are seriously contemplating a trip down very soon. It's made me very aware of 'time' as a concept to know that this little version of my brother is growing up and yet we don't really know one another. I'm his uncle but am a non-entity. It's strange because I'm not sure I felt tht way before he was born. Suffice to say we're are going to go south to visit, I'm hoping that will be the start of a yearly sojourn to be more of a active part in my family.

- Last time that Half-Priced book had coupons I finagled my wife into helping me pick up a crap load of Marvel Essentials and DC Showcases for like $5 a pop. I've just finished these two;
The Essential Werewolf By Night volume 2 (**** out of 5) is just a perfect example of Marvel in the 70's. It's crazy, one moment almost a daytime melodrama the next a horror book, and the next the formerly out of control murderous werewolf is teaming-up with Iron Man. I LOVED IT! There is something to be said when Marvel and DC give characters thier own little niches in thier collective multi-verses, but it's even better when we see how those little subsections fit together. I'm reading Tomb Of Dracula right now as well, and while it takes itself a bit more 'serious' than Werewolf By Night, this book has a HIGH fun factor.
What to say about The Essential Thor volume 5 (*** out of 5)? While it doesn't reach quiet the height of Cosmic Wonder and Shakespearen Tragedy that it did under Kirby's watchful eye, it's still damn entertaining. My biggest complaint is that once you've read a lot of Thor it all starts to be a bit paint-by-numbers. Thor pisses off Odin, gets exiled, is attacked by new menace, a journey happens, said menace attacks Asgard, Thor saves the day, and in the end Father & Son reconcile. Don't get me wrong if you're going to use a formula you can do a LOT worse. I think I'm going to just have to dig deeper and pick up earlier Essentials volumes of the God Of Thunder if I want that top shelf Kirby goodness.

- We've begun to brainstorm the Driveway Grill Contest for the summer, and currently the most interesting is Pizza. I think that has a lot of potential.

I can't believe how tired I am. Well at least there's not that much time left in the day...

"So You Say You Want To Go To Heaven,

Well I Got The Plans.

It Walks Like The Sasquatch

And It Breeds Like Kubla Khan.

In Original Dialect,

It's Really Quite Cryptical.

There Are Many Copies Around,

But This My Man Is The Original.

It's Given Me Powers,

But Kept Me Low.

Many Have Scorned This,

Modern Day Pharisees Fat With Espressos.

Be Leary Of Timothy,

Clear Light And All That.

If You Want Light Go Stare At The Sun.

Hell, That Boy Don't Know Crap.

If You Want To Know Paradise,

And You Want To Know Hell,

Want To Drink That Cool Clear Liquor,

Better Dig A Little Deeper In The Well.

If You Want To Know Paradise,

And You Want To Know Hell,

Want To Drink That Cool Clear Liquor,

Better Dig A Little Deeper In The Well.

You Want A Mantra?

You Want To Know?

You Want That Mantra?

Well Here You Go.

One For The Money,

Two For The Show,

And A Knickknackpaddywack

Give The Lord A Handclap.



Still Want That Mantra?

Still Want To Know?

Still Want That Mantra?

Well Here You Go.

It Is Written.

I Have Spoken.

So Put This In Your Pipe

And Smoke It.



Ooeeooahah, B-I-N-G-O,

Ooeeooahah, E-I-E-I-O.

* = Words to live by...

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