Friday, May 17, 2013

Grumpier Old Men Vs. Battle From Beyond The Stars

And now back to our regularly scheduled programming…

I’m not sure how I’d like to attack the Blog today after the last few days, so I decided to go back to the old reliable a heaping dose of…


- It was another week so we were knee deep in the throes of another Skull & Shackles Preview!
First up is Kroop! He’s obviously the ship’s cook, a Medium Human with a really great looking bird on his shoulder. I love this miniature. The pose is fantastic it isn’t as dynamic as many, but gets across the message. Also that bottle in hand is a fantastic touch along with the cleaver in his belt. He looks like a drunk, but one you wouldn’t want to cross. He is a PERFECT example of what I want in an NPC miniature. The paint job gives him a dirty and almost gross demeanor, but doesn’t take away from that inviting grin. I truly love this mini, it is a MUST BUY!
Next up is the Bilge Rat Swarm. I believe this is a Medium miniature. What to say? Well I have a few different Rat Swarms in miniature form and they all suffer from a similar issue of bulge and feeling like a piece of brown colored plastic. This one is no different. I think swarms are hard to pull off to begin with and this one suffers from the same issues. The sculpt is trying to show you the movement of the swarm, the paint job is suitably dirty and nasty, but in the end it just looks like a hunk of plastic. Couple that with the fact that I already have more than a few Rat Swarms and this one becomes a PASS.
Lastly is Gilbrok, who looks to be some sort of Medium Human Shaman, or perhaps a Witch Doctor. He would also possibly make a good PC Druid. There is a lot to like about this guy, but I think we all know where it starts and stops; MONKEY! Yeah that’s right he has a Monkey on his shoulder. You don’t need anything else. Hell I’d buy the Rat Swarm if it had a Monkey on it. Ok, enough Monkey Love. I like the pose, it is defiant and yet decrepit. The paint job suitably makes him old, gaunt, and dirty. He also appears to have some sort of energy emanating from him as well. All of this comes together to make this bad boy a MUST BUY! Not a bad week of previews. This set definitely has a lot going for it.

- If it doesn’t rain tonight I’m going to enjoy a nice fire. My father-in-law hooked us up with a serious pile of wood. So much so I wish I had a chainsaw to trim some of it down to a more manageable size. Either way it’s going to get burned up in the company of folks who I enjoy. And if not it sounds like we’ll have a chill board game night.

- Speaking of miniatures it looks as if my Reaper Bones Kickstarter won’t be here until maybe June or July. They are dealing with getting all the items off the slow boat from China for those of us who took a lot of the add-ons. I took a boatload of them of course. I could lie and say I’m not slightly miffed, but I won’t. I can’t be too upset though since it was such an insane deal, and I’ve contributed to other Kickstarters that had far less logistical challenges and yet have struggled just as mightily, I’m looking at you ‘Storm The Castle’. Either way I’m excited about everything I’ve pledged my hard earned scratch to and can’t wait to get that bountiful box this summer.

- Last night was the 2nd brainstorming session for the 3rd D&D Group, aka Evil Underdark Conquistadors! It was really cool to meet some of the players for the first time, brainstorm some crazy evil PC’s, and just generally nerd out. It was so much fun that I lost my voice, I’m hoping it comes back before tomorrow. The reality is the 3rd Group has the potential to be a powder keg of awesome sauce.

- The other day I finally finished reading Richard Lee Byers’ ‘Year Of Rogue Dragons’ (**** out of 5) trilogy.
I have to admit that I was thoroughly entertained by this series from start to finish. Even though I was pretty sure I know how a few of the long range plots were going to pan out Mr. Byers did a wonderful job of making me doubt the outcomes. The premise is simple, and in its simplicity beautiful. A group of Dragon Hunters run across a woman in need who changes their plans just as ‘The Rage’ sets in on all Dragons across The Forgotten Realms. The thing is this isn’t the normal every 1000 year ‘Rage’ that all the Dragons suffer. Oh no, this is different.  The Lich Sammaster has co-opted ‘The Rage’ to further his own Cult Of The Dragon. His goal you ask? He wants to turn all Dragons into Dracoliches and allow them to rule The Forgotten Realms and eclipse the Gawds themselves. So he finds a way to make 'The Rage' permenant as a way of giving the Dragons only one option to remain sane.  The thing is Sammaster has tried these world conquest schemes before and has always been thwarted by the forces of ‘Good’, but this time he’s taken that into account and his plan for an ‘Endless Rage’ puts the entire Realms on its collective ass. From there we get a nice three book romp with easy to digest and yet interesting characters, a LOT of Dragon killin’, and even some romance. I have to say anyone who reads through this tome and can’t find a character they love has no soul. For me it was Dorn, the half-golem Dragon hunter driven by his need to kill the beasts that took his family from him and left him literally half a man. His arc was the one that I enjoyed the most. The thing is every character has their moments to shine, their plot thread to follow, and there ending. It’s a fun read, and I look forward to hearing what Cassandra thinks after she finishes it.

- Holy crap that’s El Generico with no mask, color me intrigued.

- The Deadzone Kickstarter is almost to half a million dollars. While we wait for it to end and eventually for our stuff to arrive I picked up some Cultists and some Mantic Zombie Troopers that Mike and assembled. It was a fun time even though ‘The Mighty One’ had a sinus infection. I’ve also got back to gluing what I had left to get done with my forces. I think we’re going to use the Deadzone Alpha Rules to get in some games in the very near future. I really look forward to Mighty Mike and I spending the summer trying to kill one another with tiny plastic ‘men’.

- On a side note, thank you to Cassandra, Mick, Lady Christy, Fraser Fraser, Joe, ‘Mighty’ Mike and anyone else who took time out of their lives to just be really cool about this ‘thing’. I am humbled by your comments. I will endeavor to try and live up to that.

- Diamond Dave Wheeler, I can’t wait for you to get back in a few weeks. The potential of an every two weeks Smackdown on WWE ’13 between you, Mike, myself, and anyone else who wants in sounds incredible.

- Last Saturday Cassandra and I watched movies as I tried to knock the pain and swelling out of my right knee, which worked wonders by the by. First up was Snow White & The Huntsman (** ½ out of 5).
I love bad movies, I LOVE THEM! What I don’t like is bad acting in the midst of a cast who are killing it. This movie is a perfect example of that. Charlize Theron KILLS it as Rena, the wicked witch queen. She radiates menace and insecurity and threatens to steal the movie in every moment she chews the scenery. Chris Hemmsworth is fun as the Woodsman. It is sort of him doing ‘Thor lite’. The set pieces are good; the story is decent, the dwarves are fun, so that leaves us with one glaring issue. One black hole of personality and acting that ‘Sam Worthington’s’ the HELL out of this flick. Kristen Stewart. She is virtually unwatchable in this flick. She is a female modern John Agar. She gives us one and only one emotional state throughout the film, petulant confusion. Every scene she was in made Cassandra and I groan. Oh and can someone please tell me how she was the ‘fairest of them all’? GAH! She just murdered this flick which was a damn shame.

- Cassandra then went to the store and left me with the challenge of digesting D&D 3: The Book Of Vile Darkness (*** out of 5).
You know the beauty of a bad movie that knows it’s a bad movie? It just GOES with it. This is a bad movie that could have been decent if it had some script re-working, more money, and a better cast. All that being said they just ran with it, and I dug it. The concept is easy; good guy has to pretend to be bad to infiltrates bad mercenaries and prevent their dastardly goals. The ‘Party’ itself was fun as we got a crazy Shadar-Kai Witch with a soft side, a Goliath Barbarian living to plunder and then go back and kill his old tribe, a dastardly Human Assassin of Zehir preaching the word of his Gawd, a nasty Human Vermin Mage whose motivations are nebulous at best, and our main character a warrior who failed to become a Paladin. He has joined this group to find his kidnapped father and stop their nefarious plot. In the interim he must become the very thing he hates. I’ll be honest this is a ‘Sci-Fi Channel’ quality flick, so if aren’t down with those production values just skip this one. However if you are like me and like to movie slum it then give this one a go. I had fun with it, you might too.

- Saturday is the 1st D&D Group getting back on track after last month. With all the chaos going in my personal life my outlet has been thinking about running D&D. I think I have a dozy of an idea for Saturday that made me rework some of my original ideas. I’m going to push the envelope a bit, hopefully give the PC’s some “ohh ahh” moments, and just have a rippin’ good time.

- Last night I finished re-watching Season 4.1 of The Venture Brothers. How do I live without new episodes of that show?

I think that’s all I got…

"Curse with me
Profane and discreet
Make her move
Cross veins and chamomile

Soft and sweet
Seasalt silver-meat
Buried deep
In crowskin overcoat

Save your breath
This may be the last
There is no novelty here on the earth

Forever threadbare and faded
Drunken and arcane...
Curse the day

There's rotgutted whiskey in ladies
For to ease the pain...
Or drown away

Save her!
You've crushed all the bones and the cradles
All along the way...
Along the way"

* = I've had my fill of Haterade this week...

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