Saturday, January 28, 2012

Traveller OGL: Alienist [RPG Peek-a-Review]

Considering I haven't been doing a lot of roleplaying game coverage in my blog, I figured it's about time I did. And what better than to start off with one of my fave indie RPG publishers? Postmortem Studios is the small-but-mighty ship James "Grim" Desborough calls his own, and he always gets very talented folks to work with him. This has culminated into a steady stream of numerous releases for the RPG market, most, if not all, being carried by one of the best places to find e-versions of an incredible variety of RPG products: RPG NOW.

One thing first, though. You may notice I have earmarked this entry "Peek-a-Review". What the hell does that mean, anyway? Simple: I don't usually like doing super long and comprehensive reviews. Or maybe I haven't playtested them (as is the case here). I guess I'm, um, sorry if that bothers you. What I prefer is talking about the item, maybe whine about it if it offends my delicate sensibilities, or maybe I unleash the hyperbolese and go gibber-faced insane. Who knows. But if you want a review that reads like a badass Homeric poem, I simply cannot recommend enough.

Anyway, on to Alienist, dammit.

The Copy
"A full career path for the Traveller OGL Many people are fascinated by alien cultures but for some it becomes an obsession and for a few, exceptional people they become a part of the culture that fascinates them. Accepted in a way that most never could be. Caught between their own people and their obsession, the Alienist is a bridge between disparate cultures separated by light years, psychology and even biology."

What You Get
The Alienist PDF is a rather short affair, and is pretty no-frills. There isn't even a credits page. It clocks in at nine pages, six of which are what I call "Meat Pages"; as in, ones with rules and aren't OGL licence stuff or the cover. The Meat Pages are breviloquent* concerning the description of the Alienist class, and it still manages to be well-written. Then you get a few pages of charts which are laid out in a way that almost made me go cross-eyed at first... However, when I look at the specific part of the chart I need to read, it's not so bad. Charts and tables are available for Skills & Training, Career Progress, Ranks and Benefits, Mustering Out Benefits, Mishaps, and Events. You probably won't be surprised when I say the Mishaps and Events ones are my favourites. And, indeed, reading through them was interesting, but not as entertaining as I had hoped. Then again, Postmortem most likely made the right decision in that case. There are some new rules and new equipment, too, with the new skill "Integration" making perfect sense when an Alienist is immersing themselves in an alien culture (I hear this becomes problematic for those Alienists visiting LV-426). The major standout in the equipment section is "Bodyswap" (TL 14, by the way), in which someone who feels they are born to the wrong species-- called "xenodismorphia"-- can, well, you know, fully integrate themselves. Pretty neat, really. There are a few more items and then that's it... roll License Agreement. To me, everything looks fairly balanced and it's excessively unlikely it will break anything.
(*Yes, this is a word. I find it friendlier sounding than "laconic".)

Art und Layout
Overall, the art and layout remain cost-effective without looking too cheap. The cover art is decent enough, and doesn't make me want to kill myself. Always a good thing, I suppose. It's really not bad, man. In fact, I dig it. Have you seen some of the art in indie games out there? Yee-ikes. There is not much more art to be had aside from the cool cyberspacepunky border bits; which I love, honestly. The layout is simple, single column style, which you should be able to read with ease. There is the aforementioned problem with the tables and the like, which look a bit crammed to me. But once you need to find a particular listing, you should have no problem. As for the editing? It's good. Being the nitpicking editor bastard (and obvious hypocrite) I am, I like the cut of this product's editing jib.

Bang For Your Buck
There is no other way to say it: This mofo be fiddy cents, dawg. That's right: 50 cents. Bang/Buck-wise, this is rockin' and rockin' hard.

The Bottom Line
Look, I promise that next time I'll have something cooler for my "in conclusion" title thing... But the bottom line is that if you play Mongoose's Traveller, you should totally check this out. It's cheap, it's informative and to the point, and I really don't know when the last time I saw something so cool and nifty that's dropped right into any Traveller game for the price of making a crazy homeless dude leave you alone. Personally, I'd put it in my Traveller game if I were running one. And that reminds me: I need to run one. I am dying to do a Judge Dredd or Strontium Dog game. The Alienist class would work well with them, too. I'll let y'all know how that works out when I get there.

Lethality: The vessel had a crew of six brave souls who went to go check out that alien world and ended up on the dead and/or bugshit poopers side of things. One man made it back. He was carrying two arms, one of which still clutched a ray gun. Or maybe it was a newer model hairdryer.

If you play Traveller you would be doing yourself a disfavour not buying this.

You can purchase it here.

Wow, this was MUCH longer than I anticipated. I would like to thank Postmortum Studios for sending review material my way. I will be featuring and reviewing more of their products in the near future, including talking about one of them on the upcoming MouthFist Podcast.


Comments are always welcome. Except from you. Yeah, you. You know I'm talking about you-- yeah, over there. And, of course, there's the email option.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Total Party Kill 1/27/12: Mouthfisting the Zombie Dickheads for Science

First, the banner:


And hey, how about another banner I found in the images dead elephant graveyard for this blog?

Just gaming, though? Shame.

Anyhow, welcome to another Friday here at Diary of a Grognerd. After the jump, you will find links to everything that went up here since last Friday, links to neat things around the intardnets and ultrawebs, and a couple featured "X of the Week!" items.

And... get ready... get ready... steady... JUMP

Midnight Mini pr0n: Reaper 012312--GO!

Hello, you magnificent creatures of bastarddom--

Wait. Is there two d's in "bastarddom"? That's gonna bug me.

Welcome to another Midnight Mini pr0n! Tonight's pr0n features an old favourite of mine and many of yours': Reaper Minatures.

Reaper is one of those outfits who produce consistently awesome and affordable minis. They have an incredible selection to pick from and they even have very nice paints. Just go and poke around their site for a while. You'll spend hours there... and then? And then you'll want to order stuff.

And then?

And then you'll notice they give free shipping on orders of $25 or more for the USA... and CANADA! This means a lot to me, as I complain a lot about shipping from the US to here.

This Midnight, I invite you to take a look at what new treats Reaper has to offer today (or, technically, yesterday, but whatevs).


Now I will show you what I love. Now, I'm no miniatures racist. I love them all... but there ARE ones I prefer more than others.

You know, kinda like how I am with my kids*.
(*Obvious joke is obvious. Right? Pleasedon'thurtme.)

"Damn your hammers of war! I said GO THAT WAY!!"

Looking above this text, you may instantly understand why the combination of Reaper Miniatures and designer Bobby Jackson are a match made in heaven. You can go directly to the listing for "Erik Proudfoot, Intergalactic Marine" here. You will also want to see more of Mr. Jackson's Intergalactic Marines-- and don't worry, I got yor back. Just GO HERE.

Moving right along, another standout new fig for me from Reaper is "Shadowguard, DkRch", also by-- wait for it... waaaait-- Bobby Jackson! Check it:

"Yep. I'm totally badass, yo."

But all minis can't be swaggering badass mofos created by Bobby Jackson (who, I bet, has laser shooting eyes and a chainsaw fist). This next one is nicely crafted by one Patrick Keith. It is very badass in its own subtle way.

"Bitch, where my shoes at?"

It's hard to find a great female miniature these days, you know? Well done, Mr. Keith. Quite elegant. The entry for "Trinia Sabor" is HERE.

While all the new minis Reaper are offering as of today [ed: yesterday-- okay, well technically technically, this week] are, in fact, freaking neat-o, these three really grabbed me.

My thanks to @minireaper, which is where you find Reaper Miniatures on ze Twitter. They are a most-follow for minis-fans, by the by, as they are incredibly helpful and communicative. I'm assuming they also must love tacos, too.

I hope you've enjoyed this latest dose of pr0n! I do have one question to leave you with:

Midnight Mini pr0n will always happen at Midnight when I post it-- but which timezone should I use for the posting time? Right now it's posted with my timezone, PST, in mind. Thoughts? Go ahead and sound off your vote in the comments. Or email me if yer shy.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Behold! The Enemy of All Mini-Kind

Recently, I've gotten into painting miniatures again. While I have loved minis since a very young age, I do go through periods where I don't feel like painting them. Oh, I'll buy them. Then they'll sit in a box while I wish very, very hard for them to paint themselves, or "Why can't I get these pre-painted", which all leads to the fact that I'm too damned cheap to pay someone to paint them for me.

Well, like I said already: Recently, I've gotten into painting miniatures again... And I will be happy to show my terrible painting skills off soon, but in the meantime I would like to show you some photos depicting one of the greatest threats to minis and mini supplies out there.

Many of you can feel the dread because you already know what I'm talking about...

What am I talking about?



Behold their frightening power... the way they move around a modelling workspace with such predatory grace. They are also REALLY VERY TOTALLY curious... of anything breakable, natch.


The way they poke around and then, when you catch them in the act, they just... they just...


They just look at you.

But then, how can we get mad at them, like, ever?

They blur before they pounce.

They're SO CUTE. Gah, I can't stand it.

Also, you'll be pleased to know that Luna also bats at me to get my attention when I'm writing. It's just adorable. She's very distracting and fuzzy, you know.

Incidentally, my lovely girlfriend also does her art things right next to me. It's probably sickeningly sweet, with her drawing and me painting. Awww, nerd love. But, more importantly, she is vastly more talented than I at Art. I will show off some of her Art soon here in Ze Blog.

Daken: Dark Wolverine #20 [Comic Review]

"These men? They are meat simply waiting to stop moving."

Rather than waiting until the end of the week to post a clump of comic book reviews ("reviews", really), I figure I can just post them individually and such. This also means it looks like I have more content and I'm doing more than trying to figure out the exact rules for a FATAL RPG LARP.

(That's right-- big, big letters.)

Today, let's look at the latest issue of Daken: Dark Wolverine, shall we? Beginning the near-senseless ramblings... NOW!

I was never much interested in reading Daken. Nope. The very thought of reading anything Wolverine related bores the shit out of me. And this is hilarious when you take into account that I'm 1) wearing a Wolverine t-shit, and 2) it's John Byrne's Wolverine on my t-shirt (this will be REALLY funny to those of you who know me as "the guy who murdered All The Rage"). Indeed, I didn't even know who the hell Daken is, exactly, until I looked him up on The Mighty Wikipedia.

Let's see... ah, yes, I knew he was Wolverine's son already... uh-huh... Oh, his name is Akihiro and Daken is his codename. Well, that makes perfect sense. Uh-huh... reading some more... I see. I see. So, Daken is Wolverine as a young man without re-booting Wolverine, maybe? It doesn't matter. From my quick research I can conclude that he is Wolverine, but younger and more interesting. And not Canadian.

There's a window here for me to crack a "And making him not-Canadian increases the interesting-factor of Daken three-fold", but I'll refrain. Don't worry, though, I also picked up the latest issue of Alpha Flight to check it out.

You may be asking yourself "But why did you buy Daken, Steve?" That's a very good question! Truth be told, I read the new Ghost Rider series on a whim, noticed that I still really enjoy Rob Williams' writing (he's a true gem from the 2000 AD stable-- also known as Great Britain), and saw him mention Daken on Twitter. I was, like, "Well, shit, I'll buy a copy and check it out, especially since it's a standalone."

Yes, this issue is a standalone; which means you don't need too much back story to know what's going on. It's also a love story, billed as a "love story of two psychopaths" or something like that. I suppose it is, too, and I also suppose that my idea of a "psychopath" deviates heavily from the vanilla bedsheets of mainstream superhero comics, but Williams does an excellent job with what he has. The art, headed up by Alessandro Vitti, is incredibly well done, as well as incredibly fitting for the book. I should also mention the colour-job by Cris Peter and Rachelle Rosenberg; it's excellent and totally enhances the mood of the overall story.

For more look-sees, I recommend heading over to Comic Book Resources for a preview.

If I may be honest, I would read more superhero comics if they were written like this. There's just enough edge to the story to appeal to my rather askew and violent tastes, and the dialog is consistent and interesting enough to draw me in. Your mileage may vary, of course, and I know a couple people out there that would find this comic to be offensive. It's certainly not for small children. But then again, if your 5 year old is reading this, a) nice to see your kid is as good a reader as I was at that age-- don't let them get a History degree or something just as useless, and b) you probably have other parent/child issues to worry over.

Oh, the story? Uh, Daken and this woman named Donna Kiel (she's FBI) deal with their feelings for each other... and they're kinda messed up and violent. And something about redemption. It reminds me a bit of my last relationship, actually. Too bad I don't have cool claws, a saner partner for that whole ordeal, or Wolverine for a dad.

It's a bit of a problem, you know? Growing up and telling my father "Dad, why can't you be Wolverine? I mean, the military thing is cool and all, but NATO didn't issue you an adamantium skeleton. I suppose the flight suits are cool, yeah" kinda got old after a while.

No, my father doesn't hate me. He probably should, though.

Nutshell version: This is one heck of a great standalone comic. Even if you don't read Daken, it's worth some ducats dropped down on it. No, it won't cure cancer or even make one bit prettier*, but you can be rest assured that this comic is in good hands.
(*chances are nothing would help in that department; sorry)

Also, am I to understand that Daken: Dark Wolverine #21 is the last issue? I should probably find that out and update. Oh, wait, just Googled that noise... Poop, looks like it. More confirmation here. It also looks like the trend of "Marvel always cancels the titles I read" soldiers on. Remember Irredeemable Ant-Man? One of my fave comics EVAR. And what happened to it? Murdered hardcore by cancellation.

UPDATE: #23 is the last issue of Daken: Dark Wolverine. Upside is I have some back issues and/or trades to purchase and read.

Lethality: While armed with only the best in vorpal weaponry, five out of six of the stalwart adventures were brutally killed. One crazed survivor came back to tell everyone "Goddammit, I might have to read Daken now."

Epilogue: I can't be the only one out there who envisions a group of orks chanting "DAKEN DAKEN DAKEN". And is it "Day-ken" or "Dack-en"? Hmmm...


Questions? Comments? You know the drill. Say something. SAY SOMETHING. Or email me.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Pimpstarter: Flying Fortress Volume 1

Here's a feature I'd like to do regularly: Showcase neat things to back through Kickstarter. I'll call it... "Pimpstarter", which feeds into my my nearly psychotic need to be funny, as well as making a terrible play on words.

Now, if you don't know what Kickstarter is, you may need to sit down, take a deep breath, and muse about what century you live in.

Oh, I kid, I kid. I'll forgive you if you don't know. The best place to get all the info you need is the Kickstarter website. But, in a nutshell, Kickstarter allows for people to pitch in pledges of money in order to fund a project. If the project meets its funding goal, the people who pledged are charged (through Amazon Payments) the amount they pledged. There are rewards for different amounts pledged, varying in coolness, type and-- no doubt-- size.


I would like to recommend you throw money-pledges towards Flying Fortress Volume 1.

What is it? A weird war WWII comic book. However, it's best that the creators tell you (from the Kickstarter site):

"It's 1943 and a top World War Two B-17 Bomber crew is given a secret mission to destroy Hitler’s Eagles Nest compound in the German Black Forest. Unimaginable terrors await them as the operation unravels and the crew discovers a hidden land of medieval knights and undead monsters dislodged in time..."

Yup. Pretty similar to something I would come up with. Certainly something I'd love to read.

Image from the Flying Fortress Kickstarter site

And pledging can get you all kinds of cool stuff, yeah, like a neat-o polyvinyl replica bomber jacket. But what you are REALLY doing it for is to see the creators get this baby off the ground.

See what I did there? Well, the point still stands, dammit. Check it out, pledge 'em your hard earned money and help get this project funded. Also: It's a weird war comic for gawd's sake.


It's allcaps like that.

As it should be.


Questions? Comments? Leave a comment, then, or drop me a goddamned email.

Mini Profile: Epic Wargaming

Once in a while, I'm going to want to profile certain companies and people. It's good to get the Good Word out there, right? To kick this off, I would like to start with paper miniatures and wargaming rules outfit Epic Wargaming and the very likable guy behind it, Dave...

...and Dave was nice enough to send me the following, explaining what Epic Wargaming is all about:

"I started Epic because I love wargaming, but I’m not a fan of painting and the cost of it. So, that left me with print-and-play wargaming, but I soon found there isn't that much of it out there and thus decided to write my own game: Three Plains."

Read this fir-- No! Don't do THAT first!

"Three Plains is an old-world fantasy setting with Orcs, Elves and Goblins all fighting it out. Why? Because that’s my thing, simply."

And what's a fantasy game without Orcs, I ask?

"Three Plains is game not too different from Warhammer Fantasy Battles, but has more depth and realism than WFB, or so I believe. Characters and elite troops in Warhammer just dominated the field and as I got older I wanted to see more realistic games, where troops get tired and characters can be slain by the hands of commoners, and that’s what Three Plains is all about really. I know that mixing the words realistic and fantasy together sounds silly, but that's what Three Plains is. For instance, take the 'March Over Rule': it means you can march straight over characters which would otherwise hold up entire units of men."

Look at all those spearmen!!

"Reading this you might think it’s all my own work, but you would be wrong, as many people have put something in the game over the years now; far too many to mention. Then again, the game testers Tom, Alex, Matty and Trish have really shaped the game and brought it on more recently. 

"At the moment I would say the game is half finished, as I have some massive plans for it next year, like adding 3 more armies and adding a siege game on to it as well. So, we have our work cut out for us and, eh, better get back to it..."

I really dig this Imperial Elf dude a lot.

As you can no doubt see, Epic Wargaming and Three Plains are labors of love. Did you know "labor of love" abbreviates to "LOL"? It does. And no, I haven't gotten sick of that joke. But my point here is, it's nice to see that while Dave and his comrades are having oodles of fun with this, it's still not a laughing matter.

Because wargaming is deadly serious.

Well, okay, more like deadly expensive. And I know, I know-- there are those of you saying "Paper minis? PAH. Poop to that, I proclaim!". Think about it, though... 

1) They're cheap. Sometimes free. And the look pretty darned good. 
2) They are crazy easy to transport.
3) If you bash them up, you can always print out new ones.
4) If you aren't using paper terrain at all you are either insane or rich and insane. Or both.
5) They save you tons of time, because you don't have to paint or assemble them.
6) They also save you time.
7) Have I mentioned the time-saving measures?
8) Oh, and they're cheap.
8b) In the case of Epic Wargaming, they're FREE.

Just because they're inexpensive doesn't mean they have to suck, though. Epic Wargaming shows that you can get good looking little dudes on the cheap AND not be pointed and laughed at. Be sure to check out their terrain, too.

You can always use more terrain.

So there you go. Now, be off with you, as you are itching to get to the EPIC WARGAMING SITE.

When I get a little time I'll set some of these neat paper minis and terrain up and take some pics.


Big thanks to Dave for sending me his thoughts and images. As per usual, if you have any questions for me, drop me a comment or an email.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Total Party Kill 1/20/12: Necromancing the Bones

Ahhh, the old banner. Thanks to Elliot (I think) for this one.

Happy Friday, you glorious band of brother, sister and brother/sister nerds.

Look, I have no idea if I will do this every Friday, but I did want to do two things concerning this blog:

1) Have an end-of-the-week roundup post, compiling my posts throughout the week, complete with short descriptors so you can peruse at your leisure.
2) Bring back Total Party Kill, an occasional column I did in the past some people seemed to dig.

So. Here I am, wondering what to do... Ah! I know: I'll make Total Party Kill (TPK) the roundup with some new material.



More after ze jump!! Comics, minis (well A mini), games and links, oh my! /takeivoice

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

My Dream Car

As per a conversation with my girlfriend earlier, I had an idea. This is eerily similar to the process in which I came up with my "Is This Depeche Mode?" Flowchart, which you can find over at my Depressalin Blog.

(Do you think two links are enough?)

So, there we were, walking through the snow. Night walks in the snow are the best, aren't they? So, yeah, there we were and this camo-painted VW bug goes rolling by. Then we start talking about what we would do with our fave types of car... And I decided I would get a Mad Max Interceptor-like vehicle and paint it woodland camouflage or something. Or maybe the camo the Germans wore in WWI.

But I do need one very important feature covered concerning my dream car.

Created using this.

Retro Game Safari: Fallout Tactics

Howdy! This here is something I like to call Retro Game Safari. I suppose it could apply to whatever games out there that are old, but right now I'm focusing on videogames. The first RGS here will cover my thoughts on Fallout Tactics: Brotherhood of Steel-- but everyone just calls it Fallout Tactics or, more simply, FOT.

The point here isn't to provide a comprehensive review, like you can find here, here, here, or a zillion other places. Let's be honest, kids: Since its release into the gaming wilds in 2001, this game has been reviewed to death. No, no in depth review from me. The point here is to provide my sentimental thoughts or personal critical take on this particular ancient relic of gaming history.

What's that you say? Not ancient? Dude, this is from 2001, which in PC gaming terms is, like, forever ago. Luckily it's not TOO forever ago, and is still quite playable. Oh, sure, people will rave about how Ultima IV is the best game ever and that you should totally play the Gold Box SSI AD&D CRPGs (like Pool of Radiance and Secret of the Silver Blades) again. I don't know about you, but I feel those games are best left shrouded in the mists of rose-tinted memories. Have you went back and played any of those titles? Have you? Personally, after I attempted playing through a couple, I quickly backed away and now burn myself with a cigarette every time I think about playing through the original Bard's Tales and Wasteland...

...And speaking of Wasteland, let's talk Fallout Tactics!

VrrrrrrrrrmmmmmMMMMMMM: Time machine, bitches.

More after ze JUMP!

Midnight Mini pr0n: Sexy Sexy Shock Troopers

OOooooYEAH! It's time to get down with another Mini pr0n-- at Midnight, even.         

Have a short one in store for you (again), but I'd like to keep these short, you know? Cuz... well, cuz I'm kinda busy and lazy and busy being lazy.

Wargames Factory stormed the market not all that long ago with very decently designed and affordable plastic kits. I've dug what they've thrown at us so far, but the one I really, REALLY geek out over is their Greatcoat Shock Troopers.

Bring on the SEXY.

Or Shock Troops. Or Greatcoat Troopers-- whatevs. It's from their Alien Suns line, which also has...

buh-LAM! Now THAT is Bitch Puddin'.

Anyways, let's keep this about the Greatcoats. Essentially "Ze Germans" of Spaaaaace... And it never gets old.

"Und keep zem up!"

No. I am not being sarcastic. Not being sarcastic there, either. I don't know about you, but I love this shit. And if you're not participating in any official "tourneys" or whatever, and you like like playing something that sounds akin to "Imperial Guard" or "Traitor Guardsmen", then these cheap and well-done plastic minis will do nicely.

"Und zen I shot Herr Gaunt in ze face."

Personally, I can find all kinds of uses for them. From Weird War type RPG stuff to Dark Heresy and Rogue Trader RPG goodness to Judge Dredd and Traveller and Gamma World. In fact-- well, in fact, I can't help but wonder what mixing up some of these plastic kits with other kits Wargames factory has to offer... Like this:

"Sssshocktrooper brainssss..."

Mixed up with a bit of this:

"Vendi, vidi, vici-- time to take Space France!"

All in all, a great selection of stuff. See for yourself!

And the best part? I'm in Canada and ordering one of these sets only costs me just over $25 when shipping is thrown in. Awesome!! I can see myself ordering lots of these in the future.

I mean, it's important that I construct my Undead Space Roman Shock Troops, right?

(Quick Update: All pictures pulled from the Wargames Factory's site!)

Monday, January 16, 2012

Midnight Mini pr0n: Crudely Cute Crooked Corn Dolls

Got a very short installment of The Mini pr0n for you...

Check these out:

"...and if we hear ANY more 'Thriller in Indiana' jokes..."

Brought to you by the fine, twisted minds of Crooked Dice Game Design Studio. They not only have minis, but they also do games, as well.

Read more about their amazing Corn Dolls, dammit.

You can see more more of what they have to offer, like A Clockwork Orange-ish minis, in their miniatures section here. Good prices and decent shipping rates, if you ask me. Hopefully I'll get around to ordering the Corn Dolls when I get a chance.

I can see a serious What the Fucking Fuck Moment occurring in a Dark Heresy game when I toss these guys at my players...

That's all the Midnight Mini pr0n you get for now. Sleep tight!


Questions? Suggestions? Adoring words of love and raccoons? Hit me as hard as you can in the comments or email me.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

ULTRAMARINES: Well, it coulda been Dragonlance

Ultramarine? Your mom is an Ultramarine!
"My mother is an Imperial Fist. Dick."

Last night my girlfriend and I watched Ultramarines: A Warhammer 40,00 Movie. Now, I've seen it before. I liked it before about as much as I liked it again: "Meh" comes to mind. And truth be told, I hate it when people "meh" things. Have a fucking opinion or don't, but don't be all like "meh".

Well, I do have an opinion, and aside from whining on Facebook once or twice, I don't think I've said anything on this subject as of yet.

What exactly is Ultramarines? Here, read the synopsis. My lazy ass will not be bothered to write it out for you. I'll wait.

zzzzZZZZZ--huh??? Oh, uh, welcome back!

Now if you plan on seeing it before you're tainted by opinions and such, I recommend the stopping of the readings of this entry right now and go watch the film. Then come back and decide if you think I taste like taint or not. Go. Now.

As for the rest of you... (or you who has come back-- welcome back, again, blah blah etc)

Tasting taint-- in Ultramarines, you totally can according to the Apothecary.

My girlfriend knows nothing about Warhammer 40k and so while she felt some scenes were cool and neat-o, nothing really grabbed her. Also, the animation was jerky, bland and bothersome. Sadly, I have to completely agree. There were moments of "FETH YEAH!", but they were few and far between. If you've had no experience with Warhammer 40,000, then you are better off not watching Ultramarines, as it will leave you confused... and stuck listening to the hyper-jabber of some mouth-fapping rabid fanboy.

For the record: I'd like to say "I'm sorry" to my girlfriend.

It has good voice acting and some decent action sequences, but overall it feels shallow and hollow. I have a feeling the script, penned by The Mighty Dan Abnett, was probably stronger-- or was intended to be better-- before we see what we, well, saw. I don't expect award-winning storytelling, mind, just action pulp with a rollicking good shoot 'em up, decapitations and whirring blades of death & dismemberment and such.

Ultramarines at least has the death and dismemberment down.

Get some.

In a nutshell, the story is thus (Spoilers! for you whiners out there):

-Young Marines go on first combat mission (weren't they Scouts for years first??).
-Said Marines are led by a kick-ass Captain and have a grizzled vet as an Apothecary.
- An "Apothecary" is a medic guy who patches up the wounded and collects a fallen Marine's gene seed.
- No, "gene seed" is not a euphemism.
-They go someplace.
-Someplace where other Marines have been slaughtered.
-Chaos Space Marines fresh from the Chaos Space Marine Factory show up.
-Stuff happens. Boom bang biff pow. Captain dies.
-Also: Violence.
-They try to get back with the MacGuffin they found.
-Big fight happens. Action. Dead Captain shows up to hand out asses like candy corn.
-Surprise! More violence.
-Surviving Marines go back to Homebaseshipplace.
-Surprise! Captain turns out to be the daemon.
-Did I mention the daemon?
-Oh, and have I mentioned Brits spell "demon" as "daemon"?
-But it's pronounced "dee-mon". Go fig.
-You don't see it coming, but lots of more violence stuff happens.
-Daemon Captain is defeated by Sean Pertwee voiced protagonist...
-...With a special-- wait--just--wait--WARHAMMER, foreshadowed earlier.
-Everyone has a good laugh, snorts coke off hookers' tits and enjoys a donkey show*.
-Full circle-- new Marines are sworn in by the two surviving protagonists.
-Surprise! They swear on a WARHAMMER.

(*I may or may not be making this part up.)

Aside from a metric sump-ton of what I perceived to be oversights, errors, and blatant plot-problems (e.g: Why does an entire company of Imperial Fists defend a Shrine World; and just them? Aren't there only 1000 Imperial Fists anywhere to begin with? Can someone help me with this one??), I was also left feeling sad that there's no sense of scale. The Adeptus Astartes-- Space Marines to you non-geeks-- stand, on average, 8 feet tall (and taller), are enormous ass-beating Angels of Death and Dooooom, but we have no sense of scale since they seem to be the only dudes we see. I suppose we also see some tech-servitor dudes, too, but they don't count. Some Guardsmen, say, on the Shrine World, would have been perfect for scale purposes. I will hand it to the production crew for coming up with clever ways to illustrate the heavy power armour and just how nimble Battle Brothers (Space Marines) are when they're wearing it.

Scale Fail here? Nope. That's a BIG ship, man.

Girlfriend just pointed out "And didn't they die rather easily? Like TOO easily?"

The simple answer for her is: Yes.

Ultramarines does have a very important thing going for it: It's not Dragonlance.

Let me explain.

Dragonlance was one of the worst animated disasters of several lifetimes. Like Ultramarines, it was one of those animated features with cool celebrity voices you got excited to see. You didn't care if it looked like it was going to be a G.I. JOE cartoon from the 80's, by the looks of it. You don't care that Lucy Lawless and Kiefer Sutherland were probably going to semaphore it in, not really giving a shit.

Well. I will say the actors actually did a good job on Dragonlance-- with what they had to work with.

What resulted was something too horrible to ever talk about, but I'm sure I'll suck it up at some point and do a write up on Dragonlance, anyway. To put it as eloquently as possible: Dragonlance sucked so bad that a crack team of physicists were assigned to repairing the damage to our universe that it caused. In other words, it sucked and instantly became the windowless white van of animated adaptations where beloved properties are concerned.

It made the Dungeons & Dragons movie look like Children of Men.

Pictured: Better than Dragonlance.

Anyways, enough about that steaming pile of shit. I suppose it's my special way of saying "Ultramarines is pretty terribad, but it's not a steaming pile of shit, and you can watch it a second time without ever feeling the need to kill yourself or your loved ones."

As a hardcore Warhammer (40k and Fantasy) fan since 1987, I have to say I was pretty disappointed. Does that mean I didn't buy it on DVD? No. In fact, here, order it. Have some fun with it. But only get it if you're okay with it being worse than any Black Library book you've ever read.

I happily bought the Mutant Chronicles film. I may have a problem. What? WHAT? There's a 2-disc collector's edition???? Yes, I will buy this, no doubt.

Whoops! Getting really sidetracked here... So, yeah, Ultramarines also offers some excellent voice work all around, and includes epic-awesome talent like Terrance Stamp, John Hurt and Sean Pertwee. In a nutshell, if the animation and story had been tighter, I would have wet myself in complete satisfaction. However, when the opening cutscenes from the Dawn of War videogame kick your rump where action animation is concerned... well... um... yeah.

But I judge harshly. I still would like to thank the cast and crew of Ultramarines for finally putting a Warhammer 40k feature out.

I just wish I wasn't so put out by it.

Kneel before Severus.

(Images pulled from the Ultramarines movie website*. Give it a visit! Nice site.)
(*Except the BloodRayne one, which is yoinked from Wikipedia.)


Lethality: Six players showed up to play today and only one watched their Halfling acrobat die horribly. The rest of the group had some close calls, and the snooty High Elf lost an ear and part of his upper lip. All told, they still made out like drunken bandits. The DM is fuming and plotting something involving man-eating, intelligent falling rocks to unleash on the party next game session.


Questions? Comments? Rotten fruit or suggestions or suggestions for rotten fruit? Then drop me a line and such. Don't be shy... No, really, I'm starting to really creep my girlfriend out and she's-- she's looking right at me, isn't she... poop.

Midnight Mini pr0n: Back for the Space S****n Attack!

It's good to be back. And Happy Midnight, everyone in the Pacific Standard Time Zone! Chances are, though, that you're reading this the next morning because you don't live in the same time zone as me and other Awesome People. Chances are that I'm writing this much earlier, updating it piece by piece as I work on other stuff (like your mom--BAM) and then having the damned thing post at Midnight.

Really, it doesn't matter. I like using the name "Midnight Mini pr0n" and you will like it, too, like it or not.

Tonight I would like to geek out over discovering Mega Miniatures. Now, I may have discovered them before, but it's been a while, so give me a break, okay? Let's get to it!

Note: All pictures are pulled from the Mega Miniatures site and eBay store. If anyone over at Mega Miniatures has a problem with this, please contact me: synabetic (at) gmail (dot) com.
Part of me dreads saying this, but I hope this company doesn't get nailed by You-Know-Who... I mean-- dare I say it?-- they have Space Skaven-esque figures and Sci-Fi Beastmen available! I guess it should be stated right freaking now that this is my opinion and my opinion only. Period. I am certain Mega Miniatures had no intention of their miniatures looking like or reminding anyone of a particular miniatures line. Got that? Good.

First, I encourage every goddamned nerd reading this to look through their eBay store and PDF catalogs. There is some epic stuff to be had! I am going to document my wish list. Deep breath. Prepare the sacrificial altar with the requisite baby hearts. I'm gonna freak right the heck out.

Looksss, man-thing things! Space Skav-- er Ratmen! I've been kitbashing rodent-doods like this for years, but I was excessively pleased to see this selection. My Rogue Trader RPG players, on the other paw, will most probably be displeased. The sculpts appear decent and I was reading that these are tin minis, and while I used to be pretty resistant to the "tin movement", I'm sure these will be just fine. Oh, and the price. A great price, and they also offer affordable shipping rates. But wait-- there's more!

Man, those rat-dudes look badass! I foresee spending in my future... I'll report on what they're like in person when I finally get around to feeding my habit.

While you're here, reading, do know that individually these Space Ratmen are running $2.50 a piece for the average sized ones, $4.99 for the large ones and $1.50 for the smaller ones. To save space and time, I have not included the 15mm Ratguys, but you should totally check them out, yo.

Moving on...

This has to be shown Big Picture style.

Feast on the Motherfething Awesomeness. What I see here is a miniatures line that will appeal to fans of Undead, The Terminator, Necrons and Westworld. You could even do Galaxy Rangers meets Deadlands in Spaaaace, pardner.

In other words: I love them.

Yeah, sure, some of the sculpts look a little goofy, but overall they're magnificent and give me all kinds of gaming ideas. They also give me ideas on top of already formed Evil Ideas I have for my Rogue Trader RPG group (perhaps you're getting the impression that said group is going to hate-love me-- good).

There are many, many more minis to be had by the fine folks over at Mega Miniatures, including classic Grenadier models from Ye Olden Days of Yore. Yeah, a buddy and I nerded it up over them on Facebook last night.

My girlfriend probably thinks I'm pathetically weird.

I will show you some more things of beauty. Truth be told, I am a man who appreciates devices of execution. Don't judge my violent solutions to society's problems, you bigots. I'm perfectly normal having wanted gallows and headsman playsets since I was seven.

Nice. For those of you who don't have the same kind of gallows humour I do: Sorry.
The dropped shoe is a very, very neat touch, by the way.

I wouldn't recommend this as a way to get a head in life.

Speaking of heads, I think they have mounted ones available through their catalog. Really, this is one of the first places to-- wait for it-- head to when you want something other than paper scenery. By the way, WorldWorks produces some of the best paper terrain stuff on the market, as does Fat Dragon Games.

Anyone looking for good tips on some stocks?

Oh, I kill me. What's that? You want to do this to me, don't you:

Tempting to make a rack joke about the lady in the stocks, too...

Right, I understand. But when you're all done doing what you do, make sure you get the proper equipment to clean it up:

Hee hee hee...

I really need to get me these things. Be sure to check out the rest of Mega Miniature's scenery.

Oh! And for you child haters out there...

Yeah, yeah, cry me a river kid. That'll teach you to never steal another man's Veritech fighter again.

That's all for now, folks, I hope you dug this one. It's a bit long in the exacto-bladed tooth, but I figured I'd throw in a bunch of images. As for an image to leave you on, here's some Skeletons.

Everyone loves Skeletons.

Thanks, Mega Miniatures, for producing some excellent things to choose from! I'll totally blame you when my girlfriend complains I haven't bought her flowers lately or haven't taken her out to the tapas bar in a long, long while.

Questions? Suggestions? Comments? Leave a comment damn it. Or if you're Intardnets shy, shoot me an email: synabetic(at)gmail(dot)com

Saturday, January 14, 2012

And We're Back. Sort of.

So, there I was taking a break from reading this wonderful book I'm editing and I was thinking "I really should update my Depressalin blog". Yeah, that's a link. Go and check it out-- not for the faint of heart.

Anyways, lately I've been thinking about miniatures a lot. I also linked to this blog recently when talking to someone. And then, when I was thinking about that other, more personal blog I do, I thought about this one. It's been a long time since I updated it... But I should. I mean, where else would I freak out about miniatures and gaming? I could do it over at Depressalin, but then it becomes unfocused nonsense. And there's enough of that.

I also think I become more productive when I'm not smoking.

Anyways, again, I think I'll bring this blogthing back, if only for doing Midnight Mini Pr0n again. I really enjoyed wigging out about miniatures and such. I might even do Total Party Kill again... and you probably don't know what that is. I know what it is. I know.

I'll see about doing a miniatures post at midnight. Then again, I may forget. Anyways, again again, I hope to entertain at least two or three nerds out there.

Maybe four. Dream big, kids... dream big!