Sunday, March 29, 2009

Battles update

On Saturday I went to the Shoppe to play a few games. Planned on a bit of Warmachine as well as a game of War of the Ring with Heath in the evening.

I was the odd man out for WM to start, but Dan L. showed up late and we played a 350 MM/TC. I played Cygnar with Haley, Lancer, Hunter and Cent. Dan played Circle with Baulder, Woldwarden, Woldwyrd, and Warp Wolf. I was going good, having taken out the Wyrd with the hunter and using Temporal Barrier effectively to kill the Warp Wolf with the Cent. What I forgot was Baulder's combo to place a wood and jump. I placed Haley too close and it all aligned good for Haley to get crushed by Baulder's big stone sword.

Game two we played a 2v2. Mike and I played Cygnar with Striker (w/ Squire), Haley, Sword Knights x2 (one w/ UA), min Trencher, min Long Gunner, Alyanna and Holt, Jr. Cent with UA of SK, Lancer and Cent with Haley, Striker with Lancer and Hunter. We played against Doug and Adam that had Skorn. They played Makeda & Xerxis, 3 Cyclops, Titan Cannoneer, Ancestral Guardian,
Extoller, Void Spirit x2, Cataphract Arcuarii, Cetrati x2, Ferox, and Praetorian Swordsmen.

Mike and I loaded the righ flank heavy with the Sword Knights and most of the 'Jacks. Trencher, Long Gunners, and A&H took the left flank. Adam and Doug focused the big Cetrati forces in the middle with the Ferox on our left. The plan for Mike and I was to snipe the long gunners for 7" and have them ping all day long. Didn't happen. The Ferox ran up to engage the trenchers then leaped over the next turn to eat the long gunners. Holt stood his ground versus the Ferox, even if his 'Job' died. On the right flank the sword knights swooped in to roll up the flank. Striker Earthquaked the two ends of the Cetratie that ususally clipped the Titam if not Xerxis too. That with Temple Barrier and enough reach 'Jacks the two SK units did a pretty good job of sweeping the right. In the end we called the game with a 1/2 dead titan and Makeda left and two mostly full SK units + 'Jacks swooping in. It was a solid game.

Afterwards, Heath and I played a 1500 point game of War of the Ring. My Dwarf List was 3 companies of Warriors w/ Hand weapons & Shield, 3 companies of Warriors w/ Great weapons, 2 company of archers, 3 company of Rangers w/ bow upgrade, 2 companies of the Elite Rangers w/ throwing weapons, a Ballista, Gandalf and Balin. Heath had Warg Riders, 2 unit of Hurki Troopers, 1 big block of Pikeman, a specialty scout unit, a Troll, 2 companies of crossbowmen, Sappers, and Bezerkers.

My Lines - Ambushes on the left of this picture, but off screen, hiding in woods.

Heath's Lines

One of the cool aspects of this game is that things die... In droves... Heath had some great luck running getting a '6' on a lot of his magic test that usually gave him far better results then my own. More pics can be found here. I did several errors in placement. I should have had my Vault Wardens in the middle, so the flanks were protected. As I had them it allowed the unit of scouts to get through the woods and eliminate their big 10 Defense. Magic is another new point we added. I could get zero luck on the damn rolls. When you cast a spell, a roll of a '1' means it failed, end of magic. I must have gotten six ones. When I did get the magic combo off I wanted, it was pretty cool, but I think I got it only once in the last minutes of the game.

In the end I had my 3 companies of Rangers with bows left. Heath had his crossbowmen and a small unit of Hurki that Lurtz zipped too to get out of range.

Solid game, can't wait for the book so I can actually read through the rules better.

To the bridge of Khazad-dum!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Review: Storm Front

I made it back to the Big O! fine today. One of the few benefits to going on business trips is plenty of time to read. It may be a game book, a RPG module or in some cases, I'll actually read a bit of fiction. I had heard good things about The Dresden Files by Jim Butcher, but I had not ever gotten around to reading it. I sometimes get in a fiction rut where I want to reread books that I know I like. I must have read The Stand about a six times as well as the entire of the Horatio Hornblower series at least twice, so branching into a new series is always a risky proposition that must be weighed carefully.

Having not provided a review of novel since high school, so many moons ago, I am sure that Ms. Jewel would not approve of the following format, but it is the one that I'll follow none the less. I'll hit some points in basics/background, writing style, plot, character development, and geek factor..

Basics/Background: The Dresden Files is a story set in modern Chicago, with the lead character, Harry Blackstone Copperfield Dresden, that works a professional wizard. He encounters the huge amount of suspicion and ridicule one would expect from someone that who would state they were a wizard in our own word. He has interactions with the full spectrum of characters from police to the mob in the pursuit of his job.

Writing Style: Butcher uses the first person for the entire book. I've never been a huge fan of first person novels as it is so limiting in the descriptions that can be provided since it is only the main characters point of view that enables what the reader knows. I know that is the point, but their is so much stuff in the story that would be good to know. Imagine if Lord of the Rings was only in the first person, in this case Frodo. We wouldn't know anything about Saurman, the three hunters, or the Battle of Pelennor Fields. With that said, and acknowledging my own prejudice on the style, it was pretty well done. Butcher is consistent in Dresden's view of the world and his 'view' of those around him, but still is able to explain the details. The fault, is the lack of the 'bad guys' motivation until the very end when the 'mystery' is solved. But then, that is the point, isn't it?

Plot: I found the plot to be a bit simplistic. I 'knew' that a connection between the two cases was present as soon as the second one was raised. Maybe I was suppose to, but not the exact details. Their was no 'real' surprise for me. Even the 'Bond Girl' set up was evident in the tagging of the tramp to be set up. Let me caveat this with the fact that Butcher is a published novelist, which is far better then I'll ever be, mainly because my writing sucks, but that is another story.

Character Development: This is Butchers true strength. He does an outstanding job of detailing each of the characters and their associated flaws. Dresden is drawn well and the mental image that is developed is fleshed out in both his back story and the world he lives in. Secondary characters receive some development as needed. I would like to see more information on Mac and his Pub, but that might come in further stories.

Geek Factor: The book is loaded with geekiness. Come on, it is about a wizard in Chicago, how could it not be geeky? The involvement of a vampire whore house, a wizard's pub, and a 'special crimes unit' geared to look at 'strange' crimes all point to sweet, sweet geekdom.

With all that said, is it worth looking into the second book? I think so. I'll get it from the library if available or half price books if not. Storm Front was Butcher's first book, in theory, all the aspects I like should get better and those I don't should improve, right? I'll let you know. I give Storm Front 3.25 Kalshazzak out of 5.

No new game news, but here are few funnies that you might like.
For the Battletech video, you might have to pause to catch all the text, but it is supremely funny for a miniature gamer. As for Naked Dawn, if you watched Red Dawn as a kid, then the geek factor should be turned up to an 11. Best Line? I would say 'You feel that? That wind tickling your balls? That's Freedom, That's America'


Thursday, March 26, 2009

End of the Race

I should go on travel more often. How else am I going to top this many blog postings in a single week? I'm getting ready to pack up the suitcase as I head back to the Big O! on Friday. Thought I would update you on my epic struggle versus the Race for the Galaxy Solo Robot. The end tally is as follows:
Robot: 16 wins, 6 losses
jp: 6 wins, 16 losses

Yes, yes, I was smashed by a random card flipping robot. Often badly. Here are some tidbits that might only interest me:
  • The player that had the "Old Earth" home world lost every time. Robot lost twice and I lost three times.
  • The most played home world was "Doomed World" with one player having it for eight games. Robot was 3-2 and I was 1-2 with the "Doomed World".
  • Biggest disparity was with the use of "Ancient Race". The Robot won both his games while I lost the two that I played with the home world. It also had the largest disparity of points per game with the Robot having 48 per game while I had my lowest average of 24.5.
  • Full stats can be found here. I think I'll try to keep tracking the games I play to see if I get better, which I think I am, and if the numbers start to average.
It will be good to get home, but the weekend is shaping up to be very busy. Playing WM/HD in the early afternoon and hopefully War of the Rings with Heath on Saturday in the late afternoon. What I am really looking forward to game wise is the following Saturday and being able to run the D&D game. We are very close to finishing the Thunderspire and I need to decide if we are going to continue the series or if I start my own adventure path... Decisions, decisions.

Leaving on a jet plane

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Roles and the Ki Power Source

With the conversation with Rob started up, I got to thinking on how they would cover the four basic classes for a Ki power source. What I hope doesn't happen is that PHB 3 becomes 'Oriental Adventures' for 4e. I liked OA when it was released for 1e, but I just don't see it fitting into the current setting. Wizards would have to make an alternate setting, which would 'spoil' the classes for the classic setting. I feel that they can reach into other cultures past Japan and China to acquire more Ki power classes that would make the book diverse enough, but still fit within the context of the points of light setting. It may be a reach at times, namely because the concept of Ki is a pretty heavy Chinese/Japanese concept, but if the book also includes another new power source (elemental?) maybe it will help dilute the issue too.

Below are some of my thoughts, feel free to chime in with yours.

Monk - This is a no brainer. The question for me, is will it be a Striker or a Defender? I think it would make a real interesting change to make it a Defender and let another class take on the Striker roll, but I'll most likely be wrong. Plus the concept of 'monk' can be taken from Japan to China, to India, to middle ages. In fact it would be quite fun to run him as an traditinal monk with the circle haircut and brown robes! Of course he would have to have the beer making ritual.

Immortal - This would be the Striker class for me. I think it would be cool to see powers that would stare down the bad guy. Builds would both have bow/ranged abilities but have a strong melee use that could follow Sword (Samurai) or Spear (Persian style).

Dervish or Sufist - I would see this one being a 'combat controler' that would sweep through an enemy line doing lots of little hits (bye-bye minions) and enemy movement for better position. This combined with Ki magic actions could be a cool list.

Mystic - Could be a leader with the healing and buff capabilities from the Ki power source.

So what is missing? Ninja? Yea, I know. But I think you can play the ninja using the current rouge. You get throwing stars, heavy stealth, hand crossbows, any small weapon you like... What more do you need? Heck Eldacar just needs to dress in black Gi and Tabi's and I would have a Halfling Ninja in the party right now.

So those are some quick thoughts... Anyone else have an idea?

Hiya Karate Chop

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Update 2

Race for the Galaxy Robot sucks!

'Nuf Said

Sore Loser

TIPR mini update #1

A few quickies to add:
  • Chic-fil-A is yummy and officially the busiest restaurant within walking distance of my hotel.
  • The Hotel, a Hampton, has yummy snacks of Popcorn, peanuts, brownies, and cookies for free.
  • I started reading "Storm Front" book one of The Dresden Files at dinner. It is pretty good so far. I'll update you on it when I get it finished, but it is a story of a private investigator/wizard in Chicago.
  • I may be getting burnt out on the WM/HD stuff. I've got Metamorphosis with me here and I just can't bring myself to open it up and read the fluff.
  • Pandora is nice for giving you background music while wasting time in a hotel room.
  • I'm breaking out Race for the Galaxy in moments
update out!

Trip In Progress Report

Greetings from the east coast. Spent the day yesterday in the DC area and had a good meeting. Meeting today was in Maryland as is the conference I am at the rest of the week so I transplanted hotels. I read most of the good parts of the Player's Handbook 2 on the plane on Sunday and thought I would give you my quick thoughts on the product.

Races: Much has been written in better blogs then mine on the new core races for D&D. For my part, I think they are pretty good and diverse adds to the mix. If I had to pick my favorite I would have to say the Half Orc was the one that I enjoyed the most and wouldn't mind playing. He would make an excellent rouge. On the other end of the scale is the Shifters. In fact Shifters are the only other race I just don't get. Maybe it is the art, but they look like Furries. Below is my rank listing, top to bottom, of the new additions.

  • Half-Orc -- A great return, and the turn on the fluff was well done too. +2 Dex was a surprise for most, but I see how it fits with this incarnation.
  • Deva -- At first, I wasn't real excited about the 'undying' soul thing. Plus they are purple, but I can see the role playing potential as a DM. If I need to add a plot hook, how easy is it to have your Deva suddenly have a flashback to his/her/its past!
  • Goliath --Big Bad Bruisers... How long until Mark wants to play a Goliath? :) The wanderlust fluff is very cool.
  • Gnome -- What can you say. They are Gnomes. OK
  • A
  • N
  • D
  • Shifters -- Bring up the rear. I'm a werewolf, but I'm not. Fine.
The classes are a bigger set with eight new types. I don't think their is one that I really 'love' or 'hate', but here are some general thoughts.
  • I'm not a fan of the Druid's "In form of..." power. Your armor/cloths/stuff/ merges into your body? Really? You still get bonuses too? Really? I think the Druid was the weakest of the lot because of that 'easy out' that WotC took. If you read my take on the Shifters, you must be thinking that I hate werewolfs and such, but nothing could be further from the truth, I guess I just hate poorly executed werewolf type things. Don't make a cool think suck is all I am asking... That and to win the lottery!
  • Bard has always been a weird class for me. The 4e version continues to stretch the concept, but making it a leader I thought was the best thing. Also integrating magic and art together helped.
  • Avengers are going to rock.
  • Warden's could be cool to play
  • Invoker is an interesting concept as well. The protector of the entire pantheon is a neat idea.
I skimmed the powers, to be honest, I don't have the patience to read every single power... I'll catch them when I need them. The rest of the book has some neat little adds. Magic and feats, mostly for the new races/classes as well as some background creation stuff that was 'so-so'.

What would have been a great add to the classes for me is the Monk. Not sure how, or if, WotC is going to add the Monk type. Will they make him a divine power or will we see a new power source a'la Primal. Can you say 'Ka' anyone? How that would unfold is beyond me.

The rest of my free time on his trip has been me getting my butt handed to me by the damn robot player in the solo version of Race for the Galaxy. Each game takes about 15-20 mins or so. I played a total of 13 games over two nights in the hotel room. The score so far is Robot 9 wins, JP 4 wins. Stupid Robot. What makes it worst if you total the VP's up (yes I am tracking that! Shesh!) it is 503 to 446... Advantage Robot. Like I said. Stupid Robot. The key seems that you have to create the end condition quickly, not allowing the Robot's culture counter to increase and that can be problematic if you just don't have the cards. I did have a cool combo by selling cards, I was getting 10 cards a sell of with all the bonuses, but the ability to sell off a card in the consume phase as well. I had to discard 12 cards to get back to 10 in one turn!

I had a bit of time and I swung by the GW store in a mall here in Maryland. I hadn't been in one in a long time. They were pushing hard for the War of the Ring, and even made the comment that the infantry trays were going like hotcakes and they were having a hard time keeping up.

Anyways, I'll post more on the Me vs. Robot battle for the Galaxy.

Having Chic-fil-A for Dinner!

Sunday, March 22, 2009


On Saturday I escaped in the late afternoon after being the good partner to the Other Half. [I was too being a good partner!] Unfortunately, the gang was scattered to the distant winds with other activities! Rob and 1/2 the crew were at a Flames of War tournament, which I hear Heath won... again... The other gang and half the first gang went to Lincoln. Some to play in a WARMACHINE tournament and some to just shop. Seemed they all had a good time as well. No idea on the results.

With everyone else on the road or busy, Steve and I hooked up for a few hours of Race for the Galaxy! Two player can be tough. You either get cards early and a strategy starts to form, or you spend countless actions searching for a pattern in the cards. Steve and I played 6 games. I had one super strong win with the luck of the Aliens jumping at me left and right, then I had a few close wins that were all within 1-3 VP of each other. Steve had one strong win that he dismantled me pretty well too and a second solid win. End results is John 4, Steve 2. I can smell a re-match in the works!

I was hoping that they guys would swing by afterwards and we could expand to multiple players, but the cards didn't pan out. Instead they came back a bit late and wanted to watch 'The Gamers: Dorkness Rising". I had not seen it, but understood the concept. It was very funny. I enjoyed it as only a geek/nerd could enjoy a piece of low quality cinema. Don't get me wrong. They did a far better job of filming that then I ever would have been able to accomplish, but Iron Man this is not. The best part, in my mind, was the ninja/pirate thingy. At first I was like... What the heck is this thing... Then it donned on me what they were trying to accomplish and I started smiling and cracked up laughing when they jumped out of the game mode and back to the real world.

I won't be doing much gaming this week. Traveling for work is a pain. I did pack Race for the Galaxy to try the Robot Solo game again. I hadn't done that in a while. I also brought my Player's Handbook II with me to read, which I mostly did on the airplane as well as Metamorphosis to read the fluff. Saturday morning I'm meeting Mike, Jeff, and Doug at the Shoppe for a few rounds of Warmachine, then hopefully a game of War of the Ring with Heath in the late afternoon. The next Saturday my 'Monthly' D&D game goes into action. We are likely to enter the big climatic ending... That can only mean player death in a jp campaign! :) The next Saturday is the Schism at the Shoppe. A couple of busy Saturdays coming your way.

Everything's better with pirates!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Don't Panic

Alrighty then...

The Elder had a job placement meeting today after getting hired at a local 'specialty gift distributor' that I planned to take off a bit early for work. Got to work VERY early at 630 plus stayed to 6 the night before. While I am at work the following goes down:

- Elder in tears that the shift she was promised won't be via her local friend... Panic ensues because...
- Elder pops that she has decided to stay in the Big O for another six months and get an apartment with said local friend that also was suppose to get the same shift, but...
- Said shift conflicts with school currently in progress...
- The Other Half thinks the Elder ought to drop the new job, and just find a new one...
- Elder is not just bent upon this job, but nearly hell bent! The hopes of the free world may just depend on this job! Oh, and she is staying because the boy friend's mother (all back in Colorado) lost her job and the job market is very bad in the Springs. More panic ensues...
- Elder forgets birth certificate half way to the placement session, turn car around back to house, get certificate and back again. Lucky I have a thing for being late and this made us only about 10 mins early after a bite to eat.
- Elder comes back to car after placement thingy... Big misunderstanding, still gets the same shift... All is right in the world... Thank God! Can you say "Drama!" boys and girls? Good kid, but man...

Not much of a gaming update.

Played a quick game of Race for the Galaxy after the Drama above and before I dropped her off at work. I got smoked. She played the 6 cost development card that grants -2 to building other developments then proceeded to drop no less then four 6-cost development cards... 68 VP to my 43 VP. I was kicking her tail with a mining world plan, and kept hunting for the mining 6-cost development, but she had in her hand, waiting to play.

Tonight I 'plan' to get off this dang box and go base my War of the Rings Dwarves. Any second now...

At least I know where my towel is...

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Ah.... What?

I don't watch much TV. Haven't in years to be honest. For the past four years I have been hooked on Lost. I blame The Other Half as she forced me to watch the first episode when it first came on, and I don't think I have missed an episode yet, even when I have to travel for work.

Lost is one of the series that you kind of get sucked into and if you come late, you are totally lost... No pun intended. It has just enough Science Fiction elements to keep a true geek like myself enthralled, but enough of the high drama to keep it intriguing.

We just finished the latest episode tonight, and the Losties finally made it back to the Island, but it is 1977... Don't ask, long story! :) But Hurley (played by Jorge Garcia), one of my favorite characters, didn't get it and thus his best quote in weeks and the title of this post. :)

So, why do I bring up my one true TV addiction? I don't know, other then it would be a great setting for a game. I could see it as a spectacular setting for a cloak and dagger RPG setting with lots of backstabbing and intrigue. But I really think it would rock as a cooperative game. All the Losties working together to get off the island, but one is secretly a Hostile plotting against the players. Throw in a four toed statue and a pit of dead Dahrma folks, and you got yourself a humdinger of great plot line!

On other gaming news, I spent Tuesday night playing Race for the Galaxy. We got three four player and one five player games in over the course of the evening. I love this game. It is different everytime, you aren't sure if your going to win until the end. First was a learning game with Smitty, Erik, Eric, and I. Eric won with a mining strategy. Second & third game was Norm, Erik, Smitty, and I with Smitty number two and me number three. Last game was same players but added College Dan to the mix. I one that in a suprise finsih using aliens 6 point development card. Good times!

Hoping to get a bit more board game action over the weekend before I head out on my trip. We shall see.


Sunday, March 15, 2009

War of the Ring Pt I


I went down to the shoppe on Sunday afternoon. I was suppose to play Shoppie Paul a game of the new Games Workshop's War of the Ring game, but alas he did not show. I did watch a game between Heath and Jeffy-Jeffy. Heath is running Uruk-hai and Jeff is running Dwarves like I am.

It was good to watch a game and see how some of the mechanics worked out. Heath and Jeff played for eight rounds, then packed up for food, leaving poor sad jp to sit all alone. Their was much sadness. :( However, Little John borrowed Heath's Uruk-hai, and he and I played a 1000 point game. My list consisted of:
  • Balin
  • 2 companies of Warriors w/ Great Weapons, Banner, Hornblower, Capt, and Shield Bearer (Common)
  • 2 companies of Warriors w/ Hand Weapon & Shield (HW&S), Banner, Hornblower, Capt, and Shield Bearer (Common)
  • 2 companies of Archers w/ bows & Shield Bearer (Point Filler) (Common)
  • 2 companies of Scouts w/ hand weapon, thrown axes, and Capt (Common)
  • 3 companies of Vault Warden w/ Tower shields and Pig Stickers (Pikes :) (rare)
  • 1 company of Ballista (rare)

You must have one common formation (group of like companies) for each rare formation + your total number of rare companies must not exceed your number of common companies.

Common Formations: 4 -- Rare Formations: 2
Common Companies: 8 -- Rare Companies 4

So all is right in the world.

I placed Balin with the great weapon company and had him lead the efforts with the Vault Warden on his right flank. The Rangers went far left and Archers far right. HW&S stayed center to defend the Ballista.

Observations from the game:
  • Lots of kooky special rules, and that is OK. It was a ton of fun. The Uruk-hai had a berzerker unit that could beat themselves up and Sappers that explode when reduced to 50%. I need more time with my list to see mine, but they are there.
  • Vault Warden are great, but could really use a hero, which they can't have by rule.
  • Bigger formations are helpful to keep you General alive
  • The combats are quick. Calculating the dice took some practice, but a single roll to determine a dead guy is way quicker then other games (hence why you need bigger formations)
  • At 1K we had quite a bit of stuff on the table. 1500 and 2K are just going to fill a 4x6 to the brim
  • Neither player had magic on the field. Low end shamans are 100 points so I expect we will see more at higher games.
  • More heroes equals more Might. Might allows you to modify die rolls and do the heroic and epic special powers. More Might is Good.
  • More games are needed... Not to mention getting my grubby hands on the book when it is released!
All my assembled miniatures is just about 1K. I'll most likely add another company of warriors to both the HW&S and Great Weapons to make the beefier. I'll also take either Gandalf or the Great Eagle with the other coming in at 2K.

I still have plenty of plastic dwarves left. I used the basic warrior set to make my Vault Wardens. I'll post a pic when I get it painted, but I was happy with the way it turned out. Besides it would have cost me $120 for a full formation vice the ~$37 using the plastic kits! They don't have enough armor and the shield isn't quite long enough, but, in the end, it will suffice. I'm doing the same thing with the Shield Bearer, using an old WFB Empire shield for them to make them different.

I'm not sure when I'll get a second game in... Not looking good on the horizon for ANY gaming to be honest. Stupid business trips and the like getting in the way of the important things in life like gaming! Bah!

And I don't like these dark birds, they look like spies of evil.

Friday, March 13, 2009

One Week, One Scolding

Adam, a true gentlemen if ever one existed or at least he fakes it pretty well, let it be known in a PM that he didn't want me to stop posting. I thought, gee, I just posted... Last week. Doh!

Game News First (After all, you must have priorities!)

On Saturday the intrepid adventures took on the rest of the Gnolls and the associated tasks. The other rooms were a mix of traps and creatures that made the encounters very interesting. The Mirror Pillared room was an odd one as 1/2 the characters got trapped in the mirror and it took nearly the full encounter to figure out how to get them out. That left the halfling rouge, and the two Dragonborns to finish off the exploding skeletons. The other combo room consisted of a large blood pool with demons that loved being in blood along with a pair of statues that whipped the snot out of everything they hit. The party collected all the artifacts and triggered the glyphs, which triggered the green dragon and a bunch of other traps... But it opened the door to the inner sanctum as well. A very draining fight left the party low on powers, but they needed to press on versus the Gnoll priest. They caught him in mid ritual (funny how that happens all the time), but couldn't stop him from killing the last two sacrifices and rededicated the temple to Yeenoghu. In the end we got five encounters for the evening and that was some solid playing. Lots of Fun. I won't be able to hit it again until April it looks like due to work and home, but hopefully early April.

Tuesday was the last of the league play for Warmachine. I got a game in with Erik at 750. I ran Haley w/ Sword Knights, Precursors, Thorn, GMA+Maj+Hunt, and a few other things. He ran Karchev with six jacks and some mechanics. I got some good turns off, but just had too many activations and was able to keep him at bay to win by scenario. Also played two games of Pandemic with Becky, Mike and new Guy Alex (who from this point forward is no longer the new guy). Those were fun. I truly like that game.

Wednesday the Eldest and I played some games. I guilted her into not going out every night and we played Pandemic at easy and won, but lost at medium twice. I think she liked it. We then played Race for the Galaxy. I won that one by a good 10 vp. I got a lucky draw on some alien tech + the 6 point Dev card for aliens and it really all added up.

Next gaming 'may' be on Sunday. I may try to sneak down to the Shoppe for a few hours and try a learning game of War of the Rings. I've got to get The Other Half OK with that first. (Wish me luck!)

On the home front, the Eldest made it back on Saturday Night late and promptly went out with her friends. She's looking for a new job, trying the usual suspects for Omaha... OTC/Omaha Steaks/Your Call Center Here... No bites yet, but hopefully soon.

Saturday The Other Half and I are going to try and hit the Joslyn since we missed it on V-Day. Then some very good Belgium beer and food at Darios Brasserie. If you haven't tried some of the Trappist ales before... mmmm... It's yummy!

I guess that should get me off the hook with Adam. I'll update on Sunday if I get a chance to go play.

I have been put on notice

Friday, March 6, 2009

I'm too old for this...

Thursday was a LONG day. I was up by 5am, even early for me, but I was up and I hit the day. It ended when I got home around 315am on Friday morning, fought my way through the three dogs (on of ours, two we are sitting), answered The Other Half's brief questions, but on the breathing machine and off to bed it was closer to 345. The Other Half kept pestering me (Sorry Honey, you were) all morning and wouldn't just let me rest, so up we got for some Breakfast.

The main reason for telling you this is to filter the Watchman review that is forthcoming. I picked up Steve around 730 and after some chit chat, we headed over to the theater to pick up the tickets I had pre-purchased. We got to Hooters which was very quite, got a table and Heath and Becky arrived shortly afterward. The Hooter girls were a little sub-par, and our waitress was even pregnant, which is OK I guess, just not what you expect when you go to a Hooters.

Heath had brought Traders of Carthage and taught us how to play. Interesting game that is pretty fun. The victory points structure is a bit odd, but we finally figured it out and still didn't need a degree in math. We finished with a game of Pandemic on the easy setting. First time Steve had played so we played open handed. We did pretty good with all but the Researcher on the board. Near the end of the game Heath kept making trips to the LBR, and Heath and Becky opted out of the show. We closed down Hooters at 1030 (Yes... Last call was at 1030? WTF?).

Steve and I made our way over to the theater, got to the Imax and found a pair of seats on the back of the main landing on the right hand side aisle. All in all pretty good seats. We had about an hour to burn so we had some good conversations on D&D, the multiple campaigns that are on going, video games and upcoming movies. Good times. The crowd was wound up tight. I think I might have been the oldest person in the room. Mostly 20'ish types with body tats and piercings. We had one annoying kid (18?) near us that must have been consuming prior to the start, but he fell asleep about 20 mins into the show and never made a peep again. At midnight, with all tickets sold out, the show began. Only one preview, Harry Potter, which looked pretty good, but I haven't been following the series so it is hard to say.

The Watchmen

It was good. Not great, not best movie ever, but a solid flick. If, I had not read the book, I might have been confused and not understood some of the nuisances. I'm sure plenty of girl friends were disappointed and didn't 'get' some of it, but that is OK as the movie wasn't made for them. We saw Cashew at the show. Why he was in CB instead of Lincoln to see it is beyond me, but he came up to me afterward and told me it was 'horrible and he felt betrayed' and I was like... 'What?' I think Cashew is retarded, but that is just me. Could it have been better? Yes, but short of some serious lengthening (five hours anyone), I'm not sure what they could have done. Could it have been worse? Oh god yes it could have been soooo much worse.

Acting: By and large I thought the ensemble cast did a great job.
  • Jackie Earle Haley had the strongest performance by a long stretch. I was worried when I saw that he was cast, as I didn't think he had the stature for it, but man did he rock as Rorschach. He captured the tortured conflict that poor Walter faced. I hope that the even longer directors version has more of his story line with the psychiatrist to help bring out his troubled past more. The classic scene in the chow line in the prison was just way too cool for words.
  • In a close, very close second, was Jeffery Dean Morgan who played the Comedian. He had the best range in the film, taking him from a young arrogant punk full of piss and vinegar to a crusty and jaded old man that has been broken by something bigger then himself. His intro fight scene was really well done and showed that despite his age, that the Comedian was still ready for a fight.
  • Of all the main characters the one I liked the least was Adrian Viedt (Ozymandias). You would think that the 'smartest man on earth' would be a better speaker or at least get a better screen writer. The character was just too cold. I get that Dr. Manhattan was cold, I understood that as he was detaching from humanity and I think that Billy Crudup did a very good job, but Viedt... Just didn't connect. The few scenes he had were so disconnected it made it hard for someone trying to follow the story, that didn't read the book, could easily get lost.
Story: Zack Snyder did an outstanding job of cramming one of the most dense books into a story on the screen. There are so many sub plots and back stories going on that you can run out of creative ways to express them, but I felt that Zack hit the big ones that needed to be addressed and covered the depth of story well. Now I will admit that I have read the book about once a year or so for the past two decades I get the story. Someone trying to catch it cold, might disagree. My biggest complaint was the modification to the ending. I get it, I do. Post 9-11 he was trying to reach beyond NY as the epicenter of the disaster, but I think he failed to sell the point that Dr. Manhattan was the cause. I thought he could have kept the squid approach, but broached it globally... But that might have been more then the audience could grasp.

Action: Wow. This is Zack's true calling. He can pull some kick ass action scenes. This along with top notch effects (Antarctica building the main exception) was just great. If your an action/effects grunt, then this should make you happy.

With all that said, can I recommend this movie? Yes and no. If you liked the comic and you have an open mind that it isn't 100% the comic, then by all means, go and enjoy the movie. If you can't separate the comic from the movie or if you feel it will 'rape your childhood' or some other stupid notion, then do us all a favor and just stay away.

In the end, I would give it 4 Giant Blue Nuclear Physicists out of 5. Let me know what you thought about the show.

None of you understand. I'm not locked up in here with you. You're locked up in here with me.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

A whole week... Wow...

What can I say... I'm behind the curve yet again. :) So let me catch you up on the happenings this week.

Thursday I got to sneak out for some Paint Night action at Casa Rob&Steve. Paint night is a bit of a stretch. Steve was basing his Italians for Flames of War and I put together Epic Cain for a 750 point Warmachine Tournament on the Saturday. After that 'painting' I twisted arms to play Race for the Galaxy. Steve, Paul, Eric and Rob all seemed to enjoy the game and I may be able to talk them into it again in the future.

As stated the Warmachine tournament was down at the Shoppe. James volunteered to run the event for me, which was great, so I could play. I played my new Epic Cain list with Sword Knights and GMA. Fun list, bad player. I could have one the first round by scenario, but I got greedy and went for Caster Kill. That allowed Epic Gorshade to return the favor. Game two, I put Cain WAY too out front that led him to get squished by halberds led by Ashlyn. Final game was versus Skarre and I didn't even come close as she put the hurt down on old Cain with a roll of 17 on the first Skarre Bomb... jp not do so good as a player, but he did have fun.

On another note, I did find out that Tyler from Lincoln picked up his colors and will be running WM out in that area. His first event is on the 21st of March and I'm working to see if that is something I'll be able to swing or not.

After the tournament, I had to stick and run a MonPoc event. I think that will be the last time I double dip as it makes for a way too long day. The event went fine, hodgepodge of items thrown in for support.

On Tuesday, I got to have some B-Day cake complements of Ms. Becky. I also went all in for the 'War of the Ring' picking up several plastic box sets and movement trays using my discount. I spent some time with the preview rule book and I must say, I like the system. Becky, Heath, Mike and I finished off the night with two games of Pandemic. We lost both games... I blame Becky as she drew at least six of the eight epidemic cards that showed up!

Tomorrow night Steve, Becky, Heath, and I are off to the Watchman after a quick stop at Hooters for dinner. I am very excited, despite the middle of the road average over at Rotten Tomatoes. I'll post my review on Friday as I'm taking the day of after being up until 3am!

That is about it for tonight, I'll let you know Friday my thoughts on the Movie.

Giddy as a School Girl