Movie Night – She (1984?)
Haha, this one was bonkers! It claims to be a post-apocalyptic version of H Rider Haggard’s She, but that’s a pretty ridiculous stretch. There is indeed a character named She, and there is a journey undertaken by a couple of friends, but that’s about as close as it gets. The first chunk of it was pretty much just a mess, but after about 20 minutes it leveled off a little; the movie remained pretty insane but the plotting turned into something relatively followable.
It all starts with Tom, Dick, and Tom’s sister Hari (can’t make this up) traveling to a neighbouring valley to sell soap at a post-apocalyptic market. Unfortunately the Norks (kinda nazi footballers) show up and kidnap Hari. The movie flits back and forth between Tom and Dick (spending their time getting poisoned and sold and mostly running around in circles) and She, the living goddess of the something-or-others (a clan of amazon warriors). They mostly seem to be buying or stealing men for her to sleep with and then kill. Eventually Tom and Dick convince She and her right hand woman to assist in their quest to rescue Hari from the Norks, which is where the movie finally finds its plot. It’s not an amazing plot – mostly it just follows our intrepid heroes as they stumble from one band of weirdos to another – but it’s simple enough that the movie finds a certain bizarre groove to settle into.
Cruel mutants, hippie werewolves, a weird cult led by a telekinetic, a strange ‘doctor’ with a tutu-clad giant for an assistant, and of course our Nazi footballers/gladiators/punks. Lots of escapes and mediocre fight choreography serve to shove Tom, Dick, and She (and her right hand, to a lesser extent) from one weird post-apocalyptic community to the next.
It generally doesn’t make a whole lot of sense; this one seems to fall more along the lines of ‘viewing experience’ than ‘tour de force’. Eventually our heroes find their way, disguised, into a gladiatorial arena and nearly kill each other before recognizing one another and stealing Hari away from the Norks. They make their escape from the Nork fortress to a nearby bridge (where they earlier fought a duplicating man), and set a series of traps while the Norks delay pursuit. I’ve already forgotten why they delay. The Norks are certainly in no hurry. Probably busy generating inspired graffiti.
Norks have horses, so they’re loaded with pursuit confidence, I guess.
She, Tom, Dick, and Hari go all Swiss Family Robinson on the Norks until She’s right hand turns up out of the blue (she left the party about 35 minutes ago and hasn’t even been mentioned since) with the entire Amazon army and kick the snot out of whoever’s left.
Happy endings ensue.
Certainly not one to watch with any seriousness, but as a goofy parade of chaos it was decently entertaining. I expect I’ll watch it again some day.
Any recommendations for weird bad scifi/fantasy films I shouldn’t miss?
Frostgrave: Ghost Archipelago – Qadira
This miniature has been sitting on the shelf for a while now, waiting for me to be ready for it.
Each arm was a separate piece, with the join being just under the bangle – looking item on each upper arm. I knew I was going to want to pin them in place, but I’ve never had a small enough drill bit for the task. I’ve used a coworker’s on occasion, but I wanted to be able to work on this one at home. A while back my last micro bit finally broke, and I found myself ordering more. I bought a whole pile of them at once, and when they finally arrived a few months later (ah, international shipping), I decided it was finally time to tackle this model.
I used a 0.6mm bit and a piece of a staple for the task, and I’m very happy with the results.
I painted this one at the same time as I was working on the viking Bondi and Shaggy. I was originally planning to base it for use in regular Frostgrave, but in the end I decided that was probably pushing the ‘insufficiently dressed for the weather’ thing a bit too far (I already have a bunch of those, haha), and decided she’d make a pretty great Heritor or Warden for F:GA.
I definitely ran into some hiccups applying the washes, and had to repaint/rewash a couple of flesh areas, but came out pretty decently. Used a lot of different shades on this one, which is something I’ve been making an effort to do; I used to just wash the whole miniature in a single shade, and with a few exceptions, this is well worth the effort.
The water ended up drying a little further (and hence more clear), but I definitely should have kept the matte clear coat off of it. Something to keep in mind for next time.
Mordheim – Week 5/8: Magicked by Wood Elves
I was out sick for week 4,but back in action for week 5, up against an unofficial wood elves list. As one might guess, my dwarves had a rough go of it. I think I could have done better with the benefit of hindsight, but winning this one would have been a long shot any day of the week.
I deployed in two melee groups (plus a couple of thunderers up high in a central third area with good sightlines), but this was a straight skirmish with no loot, so I’d have been better off bulking all the melee into one clump. I could have focused my limited strengths a lot better.
Eventually I was spread really thin with terrible lines on everybody (too close as the crow flies to run, but too far by usable routes to close the gap). Especially at dwarf speed. I will certainly be hoping to avoid elves during the final few sessions.
Nonetheless, had a lot of fun, and it was my first time playing this particular player; it was nice to finally face off after chatting so many times. I did well of my Wyrdstone rolls, too, so I’m still doing pretty well overall. I think the wood elves are winning, but I’m surprisingly close behind the leaders for somebody that’s almost exclusively lost. Grin.
Mordheim – Week 3/8: Another struggle, another dead beardling.
This weekend the Tall Order faced off against some Beastmen Raiders, and it could have gone better. It started well, but was a pretty weird confrontation. They had no ranged attacks but huge charge ranges. I got a few shots in early, but forgot my noble’s BS5 and then had some trouble in close combat. Before long my noble, pit fighter, dog, and the beardlings were all either out or down. A lot more down than out when my turn started, so I opted to retreat.
After my disappointing retreat (I usually push things far beyond any reasonable point), we crunched the numbers and levelled our warbands. It came to our attention that the Beastmen Raiders were almost double my own rating, which made me feel a bit better. Hayl Stormcannon, my engineer, got Eagle Eyes so he should be more effective at shooting in the future, and Shank (my lone surviving Clansman) became a Hero.
Herring, one of my two beardlings, was killed.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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 – Meet the Headtakers: Morrigan
Soldier Type: Apprentice Necromancer
Miniature: old Reaper miniature, necromancer?
Backstory: The eldest child of a shaman from one of the prominent barbarian tribes to the Southwest of Felstad, Morrigan was expected to do great things. She has real talent for magic and wizardry, but is a bit obsessed with the darker aspects of the Art, aspects *not* embraced by her tribe. Her less talented brother was named the shaman’s apprentice because of this obsession, leaving Morrigan without further training. When She (Who Will Not be Named) traveled through the region, Morrigan thought she sensed a bit of a kindred spirit and latched on immediately. While Morrigan is a little on the intense side, she is a devoted follower with an almost desperate need to learn.
Anja’s cousin, Morrigan also had previous dealings with Rikkits, who she occasionally hired to obtain items she couldn’t get her hands on through normal channels.
Frostgrave – Meet the Headtakers: Skrixx Aeon’k
Name: Skrixx Aeon’k
Soldier Type: Scaled Folk Knight
Miniature: GW Skink Chief
Backstory: A mercenary from the Southlands lying beyond the Hellstorm Seas, Skrixx is an oddity in the North. In the Southlands, Skrixx Aeon’k was a promising young warrior, the direct scion of a prominent tribal elder. He was skilled in combat, if a bit reckless, his greatest weakness being a steadfast refusal to think before he acted. As one might expect, this flaw would inevitably be his downfall.
Cursed by a shaman in his homelands in a twisted act of vengeance, Skrixx’s blood runs hot throughout his body. He came North to cool his body and prevent his imminent death, preferring the exile of his own design over the slow death planned for him by the shaman. He’s worked previously with both Beatrice and Jaeger in the regions immediately surrounding Felstad.
Frostgrave – Meet the Headtakers: Ekaterina
Name: Ekaterina Dragunova
AKA: Katie the Wolf
Soldier Type: Human Treasure Hunter
Miniature: Kalyna from Hasslefree Miniatures (HFH085)
Backstory: Ekaterina was abducted and ransomed at a very young age by bandits. Her family couldn’t – or wouldn’t – pay, and the bandit assigned to be her executioner couldn’t bring himself to complete his task. He abandoned her in the woods, instead, expecting that the end result would be basically the same.
Shortly after being abandoned she found a wolf cub in a snare, and not really knowing any better at such a young age, she freed it. The cub’s mother was nearby, and spared Ekaterina. Whether this initial act was gratitude or pity would never be entirely clear to the child; as she grew older Ekaterina came to believe that maybe her adoptive ‘mother’ had just realised what a powerful ally a tame human would be. Of course, as it turns out, an angry, abandoned young girl raised by wolves is anything but tame.
Eventually Ekaterina would rejoin society, and even be recognized for who she was (she would have been the spitting image of her mother if not for the terribly cold eyes of her father and some hard edges courtesy of her feral upbringing). Abandoning the birth name that she had long since forgotten, she found a new home in the urban underground, hiring herself out as a mercenary. She had worked with Rikkits before he began running with Xaalia’s crew; Xaalia never felt comfortable working with her and avoided hiring her. Loads of natural talent, and all the moral ambiguity one might expect from a terror raised among wolves, but a lack of respect for other people in general means that Katie the Wolf is undisciplined, and rarely takes direction well. She can be loyal to a fault, but the few that have ever managed to take advantage of that trait met their own ends badly enough that often only the truly desperate will hire her.
Morrigan suggested her as a potential replacement for Rikkits after his untimely demise, and Xaalia reluctantly put She in touch.
Frostgrave – the Total Eclipse
Just two of us this time, the Headtakers vs the Coldsnaps (Chris’ Crew has a name! They were the Resurrection in the previous report). Both of our wizards wanted the big payout this time (maybe it was all that untold power we could feel coursing through our veins during the eclipse?), so it was another fantastically bloody battle!
Moving up the right were Morrigan, Skrixx Aeon’k, Beatrice and Jaeger. It was Jaeger’s first hunt since his bad injury sidelined him, so he was not taking it slow.
She (Who Will Not be Named), Xaalia, and Katie the Wolf advanced up the left; Alistair, Prince of Shadows was right behind them. The darkness falling over Felstad as a result of the eclipse limited his effectiveness as an archer, so he had to advance much earlier than usual. He just wasn’t going to accomplish anything from the backfield today. Anja and Reichenbach tore up the midfield and settled in behind the Mermaid Inn & Tavern.
The next turn was a big one for both the Headtakers and the Coldsnaps, as we each began to dominate a different portion of the board. Katie the Wolf and Xaalia (wielding Dreamcrusher) both charged Gunderson as part of She’s wizard phase. The didn’t have enough to attack right away, but were both able to get into contact simultaneously.
Bearchest was tucked behind the Mermaid’s outhouse, trying to keep out of Alistair’s sightline, when Anja and Reichenbach charged in from either side; Anja felled him in one swing.
On the other side of the block, things were going much less well for the Headtakers. The Coldsnaps’ apprentice phase brought a lot of opportunity for them, and their dice made the most of that opportunity. Bagley ran in and took Beatrice down before anybody even had time to react. Jaeger and Skrixx had both gone after treasure while Beatrice had approached the bridge; Jaeger was at the wrong end of the bridge when things went south and Skrixx was just out of reach… he couldn’t get involved fast enough.
Morrigan set herself up with some bad sightlines, but was able to see Theo (Swarthy’s replacement) and lock him in place with a Bones of the Earth. It gave Anja and Reichenbach a chance to close in, but Anja dropped her guard and Theo was able to kill poor Reichenbach when the hound went to attack.
Jaeger tried to back Morrigan up against Dean (hired to replace Blondie), but Bagley ran up and joined in, taking Jaeger out of the game before he could impact the situation at all. The treasure he dropped would remain on the board until the battle’s conclusion.
Anja refused to back down, even when she got swarmed by a summoned zombie and Baldy the archer. Despite their perceived advantage, she just kept swinging her magic axe, riding her Strength buff to multiple victories. I need to make use of the Strength spell more often. She also got lucky; after she lost a round of combat to Baldy (weak efforts on both parts meant no injuries at all), he took the opportunity to retreat a step… She wasn’t far away and Struck him Dead with a word.
Truman was charged by wolves; Horny Pete ran and saved himself, and Truman the apprentice Witch went down in a flurry of teeth and claws. It wasn’t pretty.
Much of the endgame came down to this disastrous mess here. Before his death Truman had cast a Plague of Insects on She (Who Will Not be Named), and it wound up affecting this entire melee. Anja was barely able to stand when she hacked Dean’s legs out from under him, and moments later was knocked senseless by Bagley. She (Who Will Not be Named) managed to separate herself from the Bagley as the wolves joined the fray.
By now Katie the Wolf had left hauling treasure, but Xaalia dropped hers to come and support the Necromancer She. Horny Pete was approaching from the other direction. Bagley defended himself against the wolves, but She cast Strike Dead again, this time on Pete. Alone now, Bagley was set upon by Xaalia and torn up pretty badly. As the only survivors left on the board, She and Xaalia collected the remaining treasures…
Niynt Mae, Year of the Scaled Phoenix
-under the Solar Eclipse
the Coldsnaps (formerly the Resurrection)
Lazarus the Arcane One, Witch, Health Stolen by She (Who Will Not be Named)
Bagley, treasure hunter, cut down by Anja
Baldy, archer, Struck Dead by She
Gunderson, thief, stabbed by Katie the Wolf
Theo, ranger, dragged under by the Bones of the Earth
Dean, ranger, axed by Anja
Horny Pete, archer, Struck Dead by She
Truman, apprentice Witch, mauled by wolves
Bagley, treasure hunter, thrashed by Xaalia
Podrick, apothecary, slashed by Katie the Wolf
Wren the Unseen, ranger, badly wounded at the Eldritch Fields
Morrigan, Apprentice Necromancer, knocked down by Dean
Anja, Captain, knocked senseless by Bagley
Jaeger, barbarian, slashed by Bagley
Alistair, archer, nicked by Dean
Beatrice, infantryman, stabbed by Bagley
Reichenbach, war hound, killed by Theo