Thursday, January 24, 2013

Date Night Vs. The Book Of Eli

* = I don't own a cat, but I imagine that this is the actual thought process the feline mind goes through.  Perhaps that is the reason why I don't own a cat.  Although I would make an exception for WillyWilly is the Shiznittlepittlick!

I don’t have a lot to talk about his week as I’ve been ill with the flu, and my plan of withdrawing from society at large is a swinging success. If it wasn’t for being miserable because it feels like there is a ball of mucus the size of a volleyball lodged in the front of my face I’d be pretty happy right now. I’ve noticed my stress level has dropped dramatically, I had a fever a few times in the last five days and NO seizure, and I spent some serious time hanging out with my incredible wife. All things considered I have nothing to complain about.

SO, that means I’m going to complain; don’t you people have my shtick figured out yet? THQ has fleeced me out of about $80 and untold hours of my life with a game that doesn’t work.
If I could take legal action with any hope of being reimbursed I would. I have tried everything with this F’Ning game and nothing works. I’m to the point where I’m going to have to start deleting CAW’s that cause the game to freeze which is messed up. I’ve e-mailed about a patch and got the run around. The company went bankrupt and was chopped up and sold today. The chances of those assholes that made the game coming up with a patch now are virtually zero. I really hope that the folks responsible for this shit never get another job in this field again, because they and the folks at what was THQ responsible for quality control are nothing more than amoral THEIVES!

There is something else annoying me beyond the blatant lies and duplicity by the company that used to be known as THQ, and that is the bizarre Grognard irritation with the art direction of D&D 5E.
Listen ancient and knowledgeable ones, just because you don’t like it doesn’t mean it isn’t good. Is it a tad and I quote ‘Disney’ compared to Erol Otus? OF COURSE IT IS! I, for the life of me, will never understand Edition Warriors and their almost inescapable need to point out even the minutia of anything and everything not their ‘D&D’ and comment on it. More than anything else I can’t understand the continued beating of the dead horse. You guys WON! Seriously, you did. You got the old school PDF’s back, you effectively killed 4E, you have a thriving and amazing community that produces Retro-clones at a break neck pace, and now WotC is even moving the game ‘back to its roots’ to appease you and attempt to stave off the growing juggernaut that is Paizo. You fought ‘the law’ and YOU won. Can you bask in that for a little while before flooding the Interweb(s) with the dislike of the new concept art, which for the record I don’t love and I don’t hate, it is just ok. There is a place in the world for inclusion into this hobby, a place where all Editions live in harmony and only hate games made by White Wolf. THAT is the world I want to live in.

Oh and before someone gets upset by the White Wolf comment, I’m joking. I dig on their fluff, and Adventure is a smashing game and setting. I was just giving an example; I save my true hate for GURPS.

So I found this match online and thought it so awesome that I’m putting it here, so enjoy the wonder and magic that was Kevin Steen & El Generico battling Tyler Black & ‘The Zombie Princess’ Jimmy Jacobs back in the day in Ring Of Honor;

The Age of the Fall (Jimmy Jacobs(c) & Tyler... by 25COOLPIN17

Anywho, my last complaint isn’t really a compliant at all it is more of me just whining than anything else. Auggies Miniatures, THE place to buy miniatures on the secondary market of the Interweb(s), is NOT carrying Paizo’s Pathfinder Battles Shattered Star set. I pimp sites like Miniature Market and Cool Stuff Inc. all the time, and I honestly love them. They have great deals and incentives, I’ve never had a bad experience with either of them, and by and large their prices are excellent. However they pale in comparison to Auggies when it comes to miniatures prices. Auggies routinely has low prices, AMAZING customer service, and a great selection. When I read on Plastic Crypt, yeah that’s right I frequent a message board for pre-painted miniature enthusiasts what of it (?), that he wasn’t carrying this set due to his issues with Alliance and Diamond distribution I was sad. No, I was beyond sad, I was SUPER sad. Now I must haunt the Internet(s) looking for deals for the minis I want, my heart is heavy and my wallet will be light. I’ll still support Auggies every chance I get, but damn if it is not a shame that because of some asshattery at the distribution level that I can’t give that cat my money.

Speaking of the Shattered Star set it is our LAST set of previews!
First up is Portioque, who is the other Derro in this set. I believe this one is a Common. Considering I own a crap load of the previous DDM Derro mini, and frankly am in love with the idea of mobs of crazy Underdark Far Realm infected gnomes this one is a given MUST BUY for me. When it comes to this mini I do like it, it’s a tad ‘normal headed’ for me and my personal Derro tastes, I do like the strange color choice, and love the creepy hook weapon. The pointing stance also works really well for a ‘gang leader’ type, or even some type of Derro Invoker. Perhaps of the variety that has been shipwrecked for a long period of time and forced to slowly eat most of its own crew while shipwrecked on an island in a vast Underdark Sea. I’m not saying this might happen, I’m just sayin’.
Second up is the Clockwork Automaton. I think this might also be a Common. I’m not that guy who says keep your peanut butter out of my chocolate when it comes to ‘Magic Robots’ in my fantasy games. Hell, I don’t even mind if you throw in some full blown Sci-Fi in my Fantasy, it all depends on how well it is integrated. All that being said I sort of dig this mini. I think the pose is a tad static, and the color choices are just mediocre, but it conveys a mood there. It looks like an ancient guardian that could at any moment awakens and uses that pole arm to take off your greedy head. The cogs in the joints and the awkward elements to the rest of the sculpt don’t detract from it at all in fact they only serve to enhance it. This one is a MUST BUY for me as well, assuming I can find it. And then assuming I can find it cheap.
Next up is Tower Girl, I don’t get the name, but I also haven’t read the Adventure Path. I’m guessing that she fits the theme of Commons as well. Well that sure is a generic female thief isn’t it? See the thing is I don’t hate this mini; I just don’t particularly like it either. It is just sort of there. It is a generic pose, that looks like an old Mage Knight figure I might still have. In addition it really doesn’t fill a niche that wasn’t already filled. It’s just a gal with a knife. Now I’m not saying we don’t need more female minis, ‘cause we do. In fact I applaud the fact that Wizkids and Paizo seem to be making a focused effort to give us some amazing female miniatures that don’t fall into the scantily clad Frazetta leg candy we are used to. However, I just had hoped that they would continue to give us stuff we hadn’t seen before. This one just feels like a lot of been there, done that. I think it will most likely be a PASS for me, unless I can find it for under a buck.
After that we have Sheila, who I believe might be an Uncommon. Again, this falls into my ‘Tower Girl’ commentary. We get a passive stance female NPC or wizard leanin’ on a staff. I just have come to expect and want more, especially for the price. However, I think for a pre-paint the paint job is top notch here. The staff is cool looking without being over the top, and there is a regal standing brought out by the crown and paint job here that save this mini from having too much of that ‘samey’ feeling to her. Unless she fit a specific campaign need I think I’d have to PASS here as well.
They followed up with Ardathanatus, who I think is also an Uncommon. THAT’s what I’m talkin’ about! While I don’t think this is a Hellknight, think a fantasy ‘evilJudge Dredd, it certainly would fit most of the requirements. Do you have kick ass body covering armor, CHECK! Do you have a large, aggressive weapon for dispensing righteous anger and judgement, YUP! Can I see your stone jawed visage staring daggers in me, NOPE! And most importantly, do you have a rockin’, metal cape, YES I DO! Then while you may not be called a Hellknight, but you sir are a FRIGGIN’ HELLKNIGHT! My only real complaint here is that the minis is a bit trim for my taste in very dangerous guys with massive pole arms that want to chop off folks heads. As far as paint, it is hard to get armor wrong, and I dig the light and dark of the cape work. It all makes for a very effective mini that should get a lot of use at any table. It is a MUST BUY, if I can find it cheap.
We leave the land of humans for a bit and are given the albino troglodyte Xulgath. I believe this thing of obscene beauty is an Uncommon. I want to go on record as saying I HATE what WotC did to my beloved troglodytes in 4E. They went from sort of Lizard Folk versions of Underdark, smelly Sleestacks to these brutish louts who looked terrible in miniature form. And yes I know I'm 'Edition Warring' right here, RIGHT after talking about how annoying it is, but its my blog so I'll 'Edition War' if I want to.  ("You would too if it happened to you!")This is what I want out of my troglodytes; creepy, brutish weapons, an almost nastier version of Lizard Folk. They have captured that here in this mini, although I have to say I’m not completely sold on the polka dots. I don’t hate it; I just sort of don’t dig it. I like the pose, I dig the Stone Age weapon, and that pauldron is boss! I have to admit it is a MUST BUY, if for no other reason than that even a ‘meh’ paint job puts this version of a troglodyte LIGHTYEARS ahead of what WotC gave us in 4E.
Our last preview is the Cleric Of Zon Kuthon, who I think is an Uncommon. Erik Mona stated in his write up how hard it is to do ‘chains’ in pre-painted plastic, and I’d just like to add that chains in general are a pain in the ass. I have put together many a mini and felt like I had a decent handle on the chains aspect only to look at it later and be completely dissatisfied. So while this is as static a pose as you can possibly get, it works here. The chains being wrapped around this guy, the fact that it appears as if there is a slight paint variation between the chain color and the armor color, and that fantastically pale and zoned out expression that only a religious zealot can have make this one a MUST BUY for me. The red loin cloth only makes the black armor pop even more and adds a perfect sense of dread to a cleric of an evil deity. I need to read up on this Zon Kuthon since my only knowledge of this is from the kick ass book, City Of The Fallen Sky. If he’s as cool as his clerics he might be making a serious appearance in my next D&D Campaign.

Overall this set has a lot to love, LOTS of Lovecraftian goodness to it and has a lot of niche monsters that either needed an update or hadn’t had effective representation in the pre-painted miniature world. The thing that is killing me here is the potential cost. With Auggies being off the table these leaves me to try and find other avenues to meet my minis addiction, most other options tend to be much less cost effective. I’m contemplating doing the Brick route from my local comic book store, Hot Comics Richfield & New Hope, MN locations (SHILL!). The cost is perfect, but the random element is annoying. I’m thinking two Bricks will get me most of what I want and then I can sell what I don’t like on Ebay to re-coup my costs a bit. It is something to contemplate. It is just annoying that a company I like, Paizo, and one that I tolerate, Wizkids, have such a wonderful product that is such a pain in the ass to get my grubby paws on.

How ‘bout we start to wrap this up with some…


- I’ve been painting while watching CHIKARA almost every night for a while now, and am averaging at least two minis a night. Last night I finished eight. I’m trying to build little ‘Gangs’ or themes when I paint, it makes it easier to stay focused and sort of a challenge to find color themes that work well together. I’m also experimenting more with dry brushing, which I am HORRIBLE at, again. I’ve found that sometimes I get amazing results, like the cleric/cultist leader of The Yellow Sign that I painted last night, other times it’s splotchy and uneven, like the two Beast Men I just finished. Some of it might be my brush choices, and some of it is just my skill and patience. I figure if I just slow down and take my time I’ll be far more satisfied with the results. I’m eager to show off my progress on Saturday at the second Painting Miniatures & CHIKARA get together.
- Speaking of CHIKARA, I just finished the Anniversario weekend where Mike Quackenbush FINALLY beats Chris Hero.
That feud literally went on for like 2 years, across multiple promotions, and across multiple continents. There is a wonderful story being told here of Quackenbush overcoming a larger, equally competent opponent, and simply being the better man. You finally get to see Hero pay for all his betrayals, cheap tactics, and questionable deeds. And while the match is to me only a **** out of 5 Stars, the submission ending is outstanding. Really this was the only way to put Quackenbush over Hero, he had to make him quit. My main issue with the ending comes from the dreaded ‘CHIKARA Special’ submission hold, I have seen it implemented a lot and I just can’t figure out what it is supposed to be doing to the person in the hold. That being said ‘Quack’s’ promo after the match where he talks about coming up with something Hero had never seen and how he was going to teach the move to EVERYONE since it was a sure way to beat him was out-FRIGGIN’-standing. It is a great ending to a great feud, which spawned so many sub-feuds and stories. I’m eager to see where things go from here.
- My wife made chili in a bread bowl last weekend and it was delicious. So much so that I wish to have it again as soon as possible.
- On a side note my wife is amazing. She took care of me when I was sick, she puts up with my crap, and she is one of the best people I know. On days like today where I had to go to work without her, it reminds me just how much her simple presence means to me.
- This is making me openly weep;

It is the ‘Vampire’ level pledge rewards for the Reaper Bones Kickstarter. I will be receiving this PLUS a bunch of other stuff. I can’t wait till March to get my hands on it. I’m also terribly intimidated by the thought of painting all that. Perhaps I’ll be shocked by my improving skills and knock out some amazing stuff, or at least one can hope.
- So know how I pimp stuff on my blog?  Well allow me to pimp 'Diamond' Dave Wheeler's work.  First off you should go to his website, Mindblowstudios and check out his stuff.  Here's an example;

That's right dude makes Custom Action Figures!  Oh and he's an artist, has a line of comics, loves CHIKARA, and slow jams while walking down the beach.  So if you are in need of some kick ass art being done, OR want your own Action Figure go on over to Mindblownstudios and talk to 'Diamond' Dave Wheeler, he does commission work!  Go on, you KNOW you want to!
- A guy I work with gave me a mix CD of his favorite band, Alexisonfire, and I have yet to listen to it. I am officially an asshole. I’m going to try and do it tonight so I can talk about it not only with him, but also on the Podcast.
- Yeah, that’s right myself and the newly dubbed ‘Golden Palomino’ David are knocking out a Podcast tomorrow night. There is a high chance of a guest, possibly some music talk since folks really dug the last ‘music-centric’ episode, and I’m sure we’ll make each other uncomfortable BECAUSE THAT’S HOW WE ‘DO’!
- Speaking of David, there was loose scuttlebutt that he may start blogging on a consistent basis. I for one really hopes he does, and if you listen to the Podcast and agree that the ‘Chubby Funster’ should bless us all with his wit and wisdom weekly in blog form let him know. Together we can peer pressure the HELL out of him.
- While being all hopped up on cough medicine the other night I had a dream that I was starring in a Nazi Vampire Apocalypse movie with Heather Graham as Eva Braun. It also had John Krasinski, Rainn Wilson, & Mila Kunis in it. It took place in the Eagle’s Nest in Germany. It was strangely vivid and bizarrely self-aware; I hope to dream a sequel someday.
- I miss my father.

I think that’s all I got…

“Tell me now
Who's in charge here?
I thought help was on the way
It took so many years to get out of here
Now I'm back where I belong
Now I'm back where I belong
Next to you
Stuck to you

Here's the rub....
There's no difference
Between poison and the cure
When the one tastes so great it's a crying shame
That I'm back where I belong
Now I'm back where I belong
Next to you
Stuck with you

Say goodnight to your mother
Say a prayer for your father
Wake me when the thunderclouds are rolling in
Take me to a hazy Sunday morning

I heard your eyes and I touched your tongue
When we were kids we never felt so young
Take me to a hazy Sunday morning

I heard your eyes and I touched your tongue
When we were kids we never felt so young
Take me to a hazy Sunday morning”

* = Everytime I'm down I just need to see a picture of Batman punching a horse and life is much better...

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