Monday, December 31, 2007

Friday, December 28, 2007

The Film Crew: Hollywood After Dark - Review

"Rue McClanahan stripping!"

Yes, really.

I'm not kidding.

The Film Crew is a current movie riffing project by former MST3k alumni Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett. The first movie out of the gate they "riffed" was this one (which I got for Christmas). The premise of the host segments is that the three of them have been hired by billionaire "Mr. Honcho" to make sure that all movies in existence have commentaries. No bots and no silhouette theater seats.

Well, in true MST style, this movie is skin-peelingly painful and incredibly bleak. There seems to be several semi-related plot elements, but not really a cohesive plot. For those who know me, this is exactly what I look for in a bad movie. (Yes, I can tell the difference between good and bad movies, it just doesn't have much bearing on whether or not I like it). There is a fair amount of titillating semi-nudity (if you've seen Ed Wood's 'nudie' flicks, you know what to expect). Rue is the hot and sexy female star of the film. I have nothing against Rue, but I think that they should have picked a different hair stylist/makeup artist for her. She had too much of a "Barbara Bush" look for this film (and sadly, we didn't even get to see her breasts).

But, that isn't why you watch this movie. You watch it for the commentary. The commentary is funny after it gets going. I got the impression at the beginning that they were trying to get back into the groove of riffing (or perhaps it was just me). However, it was rather solid and had a number of moments where I laughed out loud (you have to watch it if you want to hear the quips). Much to my surprise, there were MST3k style host segments. Spot on and funny.

I did feel that this could seamlessly be placed in an MST3k marathon, and people would enjoy it. With the voices in question, I could almost close my eyes and imagine that the lines by Bill and Kevin were spoken by Crow and Tom. My only criticism is that while I know they are trying to keep costs down, I think they could use one or two more writers so they have a few more "riffs" to work with when picking out jokes to use. However, this criticism is minor considering the quality of production and that it's a funny as it is. It's only $15 from Amazon, check it out.

The Film Crew: Hollywood After Dark at Amazon
The Film Crew Online

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My Name is Bruce

"Bruce Campbell is the greatest actor of his generation!"

Internet Movie Database Link.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

1337 1007 w00t

What did the fat guy give you this year?

Apparently I was a VERY good person this year.
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan - Solos, Sessions & Encores
  • The Film Crew - Hollywood After Dark
  • A Red Sweater
  • An Art Book
  • Socks (gotta have socks!)
  • and much much more!
What choice items made their way into YOUR stocking? Leave a comment and tell me!

Monday, December 24, 2007

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Fantasy and 40000 Armies in the works

The Anger Sharks
Well, I think the Space Marine Army is more or less set in stone. I'll probably look at nerfing it a bit as I get better, but for now it's a good list that most of the people I know think is a good power level.

Lordship of ???????
Those who've chatted with me enough know that I'm working on a Bretonnian Army for Warhammer Fantasy Battles. I'm looking forward to a new game that provides a change of pace. The army I'm building is (in theory) rather nasty. However, I'm actually planning for an army that accurately reflects how Bretonnians WOULD fight. Medieval armies would have conscripted archers and sent off the Knights. If it's too much? Probably a work in a few more bowmen and a trebuchet.
  • Lord on Warhorse
  • Paladin Standard Bearer
  • Damsel of the Lady on Warhorse
  • Damsel of the Lady
  • 8 Knights Errant
  • 8 Knights Errant
  • 8 Knights of the Realm
  • 8 Knights of the Realm
  • 8 Knights of the Realm
  • 3 Pegasus Knights
  • 6 Grail Knights
  • 16 Peasant Bowmen
This ends up being 2248 points. If I need an even 2k, I can drop one of the units of Knights and trim a couple bowmen. The models are almost all collected, I'm just needing to meet up with someone and get the last few things I need. The models I have are almost completely assembled, I just need a few more Knights of the Realm and a unit of Grail Knights, which I plan to buy from Clay. Then I can start painting the bright colours.

The New Army - ELDAR
And so, I've decided to start building another 40k army. Chris is building a Tau Army, and so I think it's probably a good time. As nice as the Space Marines are playing, they just aren't....pretty. I want an army that looks elegant and I can make gorgeous. And so, despite all of the flack I'm getting whenever I say it, I'm looking to build an Eldar army. The Craftworld will be Ulthwe as this colour-scheme worked so well on my Chaplain.

I'm thinking that the best approach will be to create two army lists.

1. The fun list that really shows off how pretty the army can be. Furthermore, this list will reflect the fact that most of Ulthwe's Aspect Warriors have been killed off due to wars. So, there will be Wraithguard and Wraithlords and a fair amount of Guardians (the weaker infantry).

2. The 'competitive' list. If you know Eldar, you know what this list looks like.

So, what is on my shopping list? Thankfully the Apocalypse Boxes will provide a good foundation:
  1. A mess of Eldar Guardians
  2. Eldar Aspect Assault Wave
  3. Eldar Spirit Host
  4. Eldar Cloudstrike Squadron
This should start me with a nice variety of stuff that I can enjoy painting and assembling.

And no, I'm NOT taking Eldrad, I think he's too nasty unless you are doing a pure Guardian mob. Plus, local groups generally don't allow him.

What's after all this? Who knows? It will probably be back to Fantasy (assuming I like it - I haven't actually played it yet) and picking....hrm....Dark Elves? Lizardmen?

Warhammer Podcasts

During the day, I listen to podcasts while I work on MANY different subjects. Today, a podcast showed up that I'd like to recommend. Remember that you do not need an iPod NOR iTunes to listen to podcasts. In fact, if you do not have an iPod, I recommend the software Miro to listen and download them with.


Podhammer is a Warhammer Fantasy Podcast. It is extremely well done and worth a listen. The host is Australian and will cover many topics related to "The Hobby". The most recent one addresses painting tournament armies which I think applies to 40k as well.

The other one I listen to is The Drop Pod Cast. This one is more of an ensemble of Canadian Hosts that covers general Games Workshop news along with info about various video games based on the GW IP. Its not bad, but it's not as good as Podhammer.

Both are available at the Miniatures Wargame Union website.

50 Cent Video

Not game related, but...

If 50 Cent's stuff was more like this regularly, I'd probably enjoy hip-hop more.

Hip-Hop? That sounds like something a rabbit would listen to...

Monday, December 17, 2007

The Ninja Pirate Tournament on 12-16-07

While my game in 40k has been nicely improving, the tourney yesterday was one of my poorer showings.

Round 1:
Cricket is a Tyranid player who hangs out at Ninja Pirate (I've not mentioned it before, but kids today, at least the ones who hang out at NP, have somewhat nonsensical nicknames - The S.S. Pequod considers this BADASS! Kudos to the leaders of tomorrow!) Aaaanyway, as of this weekend, he has gone to Space Marines. He relies very heavily on tactical squads, a las cannon predator, and a Vindicator. I'm actually glad he's doing this, because I finally get a regular "shooty" army that I can run against to practice.

I drew him on round one.

He took turn one and was able to really neuter my forces before I could develop them. I couldn't get my Baals placed correctly, I couldn't get my squads up close enough, and I couldn't easily wrap my head around the scenario. He did very well and walked away with a crushing victory.

What did I learn? I don't think I can rely on deeps striking squads behind the gunlines to kill them.

Round 2:
A 'Bigger' bug list played by Adam. You can see pictures here. I REALLY hated this scenario. It called for the Escalation rules, which means "Infantry only". I run a 100% Jump army with vehicles. So, starting out, I had nothing on the table. ZIP, Zero. I won initiative so I was able to slow him down a round and my 3 Baals came in on Round 2. As we can see with this pic, I did rather well mowing down genestealers.

However, the scenario's secondary objective ended up turning this from a draw into a crushing victory because he'd had a large number of big bugs in the center of the table.

Adam was a hoot to play with as his bugs moved away like Curly, "Woo-Woo-Woo-Woo!"

Round 3:
The advantage of doing poorly, is that I get to play against Chris (just teasing you Chris!!!!). While he is also a Blood Angels player, he is a fun guy to play against. This was a much more straight forward scenario than previous ones. However, I was able to get my Baals where they could be best used first and take out his veteran squad which made my life a great deal easier. Had I realized that there was also an Honor guard, I'd've turned and took that next. However, despite this error, I still managed to take both main objectives and deny him the third objective. This gave me a Victorious Slaughter.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Chapter Master of The Anger Sharks

Firstly, Mike posted the battle results! Read it here.

To come up with the name of the Chapter Master of "The Anger Sharks", I've decided to turn to one of the best lists of names I could.

If you have a suggestion for the name of the General of "The Anger Sharks", please post in the comments.

Extra points are given on what makes me laugh the most.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Death to the Bugs!

On Saturday, I was hanging out at Ninja Pirate with "THE ANGER SHARKS!" hoping to get a game in. Around 8pm, in walks Mike. We decided to go ahead and have a 2000 point game. Mike is an excellent player; he has won first place at every tournament I've seen him play at. He is also a nice guy. I'd played against him twice before and both times I had been killed off of the table by round 3 (here and here). Needless to say, I was expecting a similar showing. He fielded his Tyranid Force which was a version similar to the 1500 point version I'd fought before. I made a quick tweak to throw in a 3rd Baal Pred instead of the Vindicator (a change I'm likely going to permanently make). And so, the battle began.

The Baals performed wonderfully, wiping out a squad of genestealers every round. This meant I didn't have to engage them in close combat where they would have eaten my troops for lunch (literally, since genestealers do that). They each managed to hang on until round 6 when all 3 were finally destroyed. The speeders also did well, managing to wear the shooty bugs down to less than half strength. Also, as in our last battle, Death Company came in and ate a couple of big bugs. Sadly, the Chaplain didn't make it past the first round of close combat. I'll let Mike record the details of the battle, as he will no doubt do it far more eloquently than I.

I did make a couple mistakes in on my side though. It turns out that there were two cases where I forgot to shoot before my squads assaulted the big bugs. This was a major failure in my tactics as it meant that I didn't get plasma pistol and meltagun shots off which would have nicely finished a couple of the big bugs a round quicker.

The short of it is we managed to have a more or less equal amount of points on the table by the end of the battle. We each had about 200 points or so left of the table. The DIFFERENCE was that I managed to truck my speeder deep into his deployment zone in the last round of the game (we were playing cleanse). This thousand point boost was just enough to eek me into the "Crushing Victory" range.

Yes, a "Crushing Victory" against one of the best players I know. O_O

Sunday, December 9, 2007

A Name for my Space Marine army

After playing against Chris yesterday at Ninja Pirate, Cliff made a comment that has given a name to my Space Marine Chapter. I've been trying to come up with a name for them for some time, but to no avail....

But now...I present...


Yes, really...

Saturday, December 8, 2007

The Savage Worlds of Soloman Kane

On Friday night, I was up at the Ninja Pirate and I decided to hop into a game of "The Savage World of Solomon Kane". This is a RPG based upon the Solomon Kane works of Robert Howard. It uses the "Savage Worlds" system.

I've not read the Solomon Kane books. Indeed, I was not even aware of their existence before hearing about this game. The premise of the adventure was that our group was on a journey to the New World (it is 1600) and 'weird stuff' happens. To the GM's credit, this felt like a pulp adventure as I might read in an Edgar Rice Burroughs book (most are not aware that I adore the John Carter series). The scenario was a high action mystery as one would expect of the genre. Kudos to you, Cliff!

As mentioned previously, this game uses Pinnacle Entertainment's Savage Worlds system. This is a game I've heard about quite a bit on Fear the Boot as it is Luke's favored system. It is a rather rules light system that is designed more around fast action and simplicity. The base mechanic is simply rolling a die, and trying to meet a set difficulty number. "Which die?" you ask. All of them. Your character's stats can be any of the common types of dice used in an RPG. For example, Magdalena's stats run thus

Agility - D8
Smarts - D8
Spirit - D6
Strength - D4
Vigor - D4

So, if I need to make a strength check, I'd roll a 4-sided die and try to make the target. If I need to make an Agility check, I'd roll an 8-sided die. The system even has a "critical hit" concept. If you roll the maximum on a specific die, like an 8 on a D8, you reroll and add that value to the original roll.

You also have a concept called "Bennies" that allows you to increase your chance for success. You get 3 Bennies each session. I didn't quite catch how that mechanic worked in practice and I've not read the rules yet, my apologies, dear reader.

Character creation took about 15 minutes and I had enough of the rules to be rolling in about 5 minutes. Yes, it's that simple. However, this simplicity really seemed to work to the games advantage. I'd imagine that it would be very easy to prepare a game for this system since it lends itself to allows the GM to come up with stats off of the top of his head.

I really like the Savage Worlds system. Those players who prefer a crunchier system will not like it as much, but if you prefer a system which permits you to get started in minutes and focus more on the adventure than the NPCs/Monsters, this may be the system for you. It certainly lends itself to the pulp/adventure genre.

Check it out, you might like it.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

It's beautifully hideous!

I finished my Slayer and various Bonejacks.


I went a little heavy on the Bonejacks, so much so that the rust obscures the colours. However, they look like "exquisite corpses". The Slayer Warjack though. I did a lighter coat on him. He is now the most beautiful model I've ever painted. Under bright lights, you can see the differentiation of colors. The rust effect has the most wonderfully organic quality. I'll need to touch him up a bit, but he is so wonderfully dirty and gross. As soon as I can get a good picture, I'll post it.

The rust method is worth a try.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Painting Status Part 3

I got the two solos and I've started painting my initial box in earnest.

After reading the Brushthrall method, I decided that the colours were too brights for Cryx. However, there are some other interesting things I've found.

I am going to be going with the Brushthrall method for the glowing green vents. However, I ran across a couple of interesting articles that I'm trying out: a Games Workshop Article on Battle Damage and Weathering and this article on creating rust effects.

So, I picked up a Gale Force 9 drill and *GASP* damaged my figures. I've started with the Defilers and the Deathrippers figuring that there would be no big loss if those turn out terrible. I'm going to paint those first as experiments to see if these experiments work out.

I'll be in touch.