Oscar Weekend SciFi Superfest 2017

Well, last weekend was the Academy Awards, which of course means M went across the road for her friend’s Oscar party, and I sat down at home with a bunch of Science Fiction movies I hadn’t seen (generally because they were before my time). This year I started with Time After Time, and it was delightful!

Look at that font! That name! That blue smoke! I can already tell this is going to be good… 

This one’s been on my list for years, but kept getting pushed aside up make way for other movies. I’m super glad I finally at down and watched it. HG Wells (Malcolm McDowell) chases Jack the Ripper (David Warner) through time and space to 1970s San Francisco, and meets a lovely and independent young lady (Mary Steenburgen). Madcap adventure, romance, and comedy ensue. Wells is charming and wonderfully naive, Jack is cruel and confident, you get the idea. I totally recommend this. 
It was so good that I decided I could go high risk with my next selection, and that is how I found myself watching Metalstorm: the Destruction of Jared-Syn.

3d, PG, 1983. I almost feel like that’s saying enough. This is one of those post-apocalyptic road rage movies that were so prevalent in the wake of Mad Max. Mostly they just make you realize what a genius George Miller was/is. Everything feels slow and unimpressive, the vehicles look lame, you get the idea. Maybe that’s more accurate though… What are the odds that everybody working on a car after the apocalypse is some sort of monster garage hero? This one isn’t what I’d call actively bad, it’s just not at all good. The bad guy is filling a giant crystal with stolen souls, the good guy always leaves his helmet in the tank-car, there’s a girl and a scoundrel and an honorable subvillain. It checks all the boxes, but does so with a crayon. 

The final movie in this 2017 Oscar trifecta was The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, and what a closer! Buckaroo Banzai (Peter Weller) is a rockstar/scientist (and brain surgeon?) who uses a rocket car and a black box to punch a dimensional home through a mountain, inspiring an interdimensional alien exiled/trapped on Earth to rally his War of the Worlds compatriots and steal the black box, triggering an interdimensional incident that could result in global thermonuclear war. Along the way we meet Buckaroo’s fan club slash militia, a romantic interest that seems to be the long lost twin of hours ex-wife, and a series of ever-less useful bureaucrats and aliens. I definitely enjoyed it, but I think I mostly just love that it exists; it was a very different era for truly creative endeavours. 

That’s it for now. I’ve gotta say, I’m truly excited to see what I dig up for next year. 

Mordheim – Week 2/8: The Tall Order Strikes Back! 

Took my Dwarf Treasure Hunters out for another spin last night, and the dice were on *my* side this time around. Faced off against some Middenheimers in a Wyrdstone Hunt and had much better luck, although there’s no ignoring that 3″ movement. The combats certainly went better this time (a lot of whiffing for both of us, but I was able to land a few at least). I grabbed a couple of the closest Wyrdstone shards, but couldn’t beat the Middenheimers to anything in the middle. I caught a couple of them in combat near the middle, but they’d already spirited the Wyrdstone away. 

Victory!

I didn’t lose anybody this time, which made a tremendous difference in the final Wyrdstone search, so I should be able to hire an extra dwarf or two. I still need to flip through the rules again and get a better feel for the various spending options. Until then! 

Mordheim – Back to the Wayback! 

A year or so ago, I wrote about playing Gorkamorka. It went well, and I ended up winning a very awesome Mordheim warband as a prize. Last year, try as I might, I was unable to make it out to the Mordheim portion of the Wayback, but this year is already better! The first session was Saturday, and I was there with bells on, for two full games; a Skirmish with J’s Sisters of Sigmar and a Wyrdstone Hunt with D’s Cult of the Possessed. And you know what I’ve learned so far? 

Dwarves are *hard*. As I may have written about previously, my one-time regular gaming group and I tried Mordheim on our own a few years back, and I fielded Skaven since that’s what I play in Fantasy (so I have lots of minis already). They were faster than most factions… Dwarf Treasure Hunters are not fast. They are super slow. A full run only nets 6 inches, which means it’s hard to get to the Wyrdstone, it’s almost impossible to effectively set up charges, and I can’t outrun *anything*.

Also, my dice *hated* me, so maybe I have a skewed sense of the difficulty involved. I’m looking forward to next time, but after 2 full games I’m in no better shape than I started (although a little more experienced). The game against the Possessed was particularly rough. I was down a Slayer (healing from a Deep Wound received during my first  battle) so I only had six Dwarfs going in. 5 got taken out, 3 died. It was a rough session. Fortunately the Engineer that *didn’t* get dropped made it out with multiple Wyrdstone markers, so I at least managed to replace the dead, more or less… 

Until next time! 

Blood Bowl – the Crookshank Skullkickers’ first games! 

When the new Blood Bowl released, I snapped up a Skaven team and dice (the latter, in part, because I knew I wouldn’t get another chance) so that is be ready if I got the chance to get into it. As time progressed I got more interested, and I got the box set for Christmas from my folks. It wasn’t until last night, though, that I finally got to play. 

I invited a few friends over to share the experience (and yes, while not intended,  I totally did this on Super Bowl Sunday), and we busted out a couple box sets (plus my skaven) and played a couple games. A rousing Blitzmania start for us. 

My first game was against an orc team called the Arrrghanauts. I’d never played before and he’d only played once, so we were pretty evenly matched in terms of experience. I used the default Skavenblight Scramblers lineup and he built up a list full of blockers and blitzers. I received the kickoff and then got the first touchdown early when my thrower rolled a 6 on a hail mary to a gutter runner that had snuck down the field during the previous turn. 

Touchdown!

The Arrrghanauts were definitely overpowering me in terms of the physical game, but I got pretty lucky on the injury rolls. Not every dice roll went my way, but some of the most crucial ones did.

Like greased lightning!

The thrower here had already moved, and the blitzer needed to Go For It twice to make the blitz happen. 1, team re-roll to 4, 1 again. So the blitzer fell on his face, and my runner made another touchdown. The game continued on a similar note. I’d have about half my team lying on the ground, but as long as I could get *somebody* through the line I’d be okay. The Arrrghanauts made a couple of solid drives up the field but my skaven were fast enough to catch up every time, turning things around when they got there. 

Seriously, these guys have earned some names and paint!

I got in a second game as well, also against Orcs. C is also a new player but she’s got a half dozen  games under her belt already, and her injury dice were treating her a little better. I won that game as well, but I struggled more to score fewer touchdowns, and she caused a full casualty. I’m excited to play an ongoing league at some point but it will definitely make my squishy rats a  bit more of a liability.

For the moment, though, the Crookshank Skullkickers are off to a strong start, with two wins in a row! 

 

Frostgrave – Thaw of the Lich Lord at Thunder 

​Fired up a Thaw of the Lich Lord campaign at Thunder Games and Gifts the last week. ‘Total Eclipse’ was a blast, with a pair of necromancers going head to head. 

Damnation Allie & Guile Malmortus

Guile Malmortus and his Death Defiers had barely begun their most recent foray into the frozen ruins of Felstad when Damnation Allie’s HeartTakers arrived from the north. Guile had his soldiers dig in and prepare for a fight, but Allie’s soldiers were particularly aggressive today and surged across the battered cobblestones to engage their competitors. Multiple zombie trolls burst onto the western edge of the battlefield, interfering with Guile Malmortus and his personal cohort, and while Guile managed to lead his men in vanquishing the zombie trolls, the Death-Defiers had rougher luck in their dealings with the HeartTakers, struggling against the savage onslaught. Striking terror into the hearts of her enemies, an infantryman named Ursa led the bloody charge, cleaving both air and foe alike with her deadly axe and advancing so quickly that only the hounds could keep up.
By the time the total eclipse occurred, the battle was largely over, with the HeartTakers grabbing anything that looked to be of value and the Death Defiers hauling their wounded from the scene of the confrontation. Spike was the only member of the HeartTakers (one of two warhounds) knocked down during the fight, and he fully recovered. The Death Defiers recovered their luck, and all 8 injured parties made full recoveries! They truly earned their name on this day!
Battle on the River is next, and is scheduled for Thursday November 24th!

Infinity – Hunger Games and a Desperado

We played Hunger Games last weekend. There were four of us, 2 Nomads, a Haqqislam, and my Ariadna . One of the Nomads is pretty new to the game, and Hunger Games made a nice light introduction for him, since he only needed a few miniatures put together for it. I brought Van Zant, an SAS, and a volunteer; the volunteer was the only model that wasn’t new to me. 

I won, but that was as much luck as anything else. I fielded the SAS poorly and he wound up facing off against Trevor’s Nomad sniper before my turn even rolled around. With a chain rifle and an assault pistol, he didn’t last long. I also lost the volunteer during the first round, but she took out 2/3 of Tyler’s Nomad force with her light grenade launcher before getting shot, so I’m calling that a win. It was a very quick and violent game, and by the time Van Zant arrived in turn two there were only a couple of soldiers left and everybody was charging around whooped up on their metachemistry rolls.

The other thing I’ve done hobby-wise is put together a desperado. 

Lots of pinning, of course . Most of the major bike parts, plus a few in the desperado himself, and one linking the two together . That one’s not fully glued yet; I’m thinking I’ll paint first and then combine them afterward (there are a *lot* of contact points between the rider and the bike and I feel like painting them afterward would be a nightmare). 

Basement Break

This past weekend was ThunderCon, a local fan convention covering all magnet of wonderful geekiness, and at which the shop I work at runs a massive Game Expo (we probably make up at least half the con). I demoed Frostgrave, Batman, and ran Star Wars Armada events (many of which were demos themselves), plus ran an After Dark Gaming Lounge and worked the shop’s massive vendor space. It was a lot of fun, but pretty exhausting, and I of course got totally sick (I still have no voice a few days later). So last night I went down to the basement to do some laundry, tidied up a bit, and then settled into some Neo Geo time. Mark of the Wolves, Last Blade, and of course Turf Masters. Felt good.

This was a very close match. The next opponent crushed me…

I think tonight’s going to be reading and sleep.