dinsdag 12 december 2017

The Orville season 1

Aaaah, The Orville, Seth McFarlane's hommage slash parody on Star Trek and perhaps a series that never had such differentiating ratings on Rotten Tomatoes in the past years.

Critics gave it 21%... viewers 93%, that`s a big difference!

And I actually understand it.  Noshi, who doesn`t like Star Trek, was totally enjoying this show and the fact it`s a mixture between comedy and some seriousness and adventure.  And that is indeed a true statement, as it are in essence not only episodes that look as if they could be from the 90s Trek with the special effects, costumes and sorts of stories.  It also has a decent humor twist (Isaac is superb for example) wihtout devolving into a slapstick buts-tits jokes show.

The setting of a captain who finally gets his ship to set out and explore, only to be saddled up with his cheated on him ex-wife makes for a special dynamic, and while the series quickly gets over the difference, it keeps bringing it up from time to time without it becoming a guiding red line in the series (think Voyager / Maquis).  This causes funny episodes, but not overarch and hinder the series.

Add in a whole plethora of famous "genre actors" (heck, even a DS9 regular is on the core crew) and even Charlize Theron, and you get some nice interactions on the screen. 

While originally scheduled for a 13 episode run, season 1 ended after 12 as Fox`s christmas period schedule would have created a long gap between the last episode and the one before from past week.  As a result the 13th will be the opening episode of the already confirmed season 2... so more Star Trek-esque humour is on the way.

And yes, I liked it as well, for just that reason as many other viewers.  It`s ties to 90s Trek are strong enough to play on the nostalgia feeling, while the Galaxy Quest sort of storytelling.

It was fun, period.

zondag 10 december 2017

The Haul Report 111

So I wanted to keep it calm until after the christmas and new year season...

I failed...

Well, it is not entirely my fault, due to opportunities.  The eyecatcher this week is this Knight for 40k, who I already went paintcrazy on last night and he is 75% done now.  But Nemesis had found a deal on our clubs board, and this resulted in me getting one from him for a measly fraction of the price.  no way in hell that I would have that passing over...

In the more regular purchases, I picked up the newest copy of White Dwarf this week, together with a pack of Khorne dice from my loyalty card programme.

In the meantime, la mama had found another set of cheap brushes for the undercoating and varnishing parts, so I`m set with those for a few months now.

My Blood Bowl team arrived as well, a measly 5 days after ordering from Gaspez Arts.  I went for the bondage team, who`ll be playing as a sort of Slaaneshi Amazons (the first fluff wise, the second rule wise), and I took some loose characters to go with them.  The fact they had a 20% discount last week is an excellent added bonus.

And finally, our cluborder of Chapter Approved books had arrived as well, so I could collect that one on friday to round out a hefty week of hauls.

Well, until next week, and I won`t make any promises to myself...

Blair Witch

A direct sequel to the cult movie from years ago, which revolutionised the horror genre, Blair Witch has a fantastic horror moment as well.

Namely when you see at the clock and realise you just waisted an hour and a half...

Where the original film was great due to it's found footage concept and the fact you didn`t know what to expect, this one, well, definitly is not. 

When james, the younger brother of Heather from the first movie, finds online material that might help him find closure in what might have happened to his missing sibling, he and his friends, together with a couple that claims to have found the footage, go out and search.

Quickly it`s revealed the tape was a fake for some ghosthunters, but then things start to get weird.  Not in the creepy spooky way of the first, no, now we get time distortion, perpetual night and a house that is there but isn`t.  Don`t ask.  Google it or so, because it ain`t even worth the watch...

This was truly a bad movie.  No real jump scares like the first, and it is all repetition in essence.  Apart from more frantic running around by flashlight, the "new thing" is that the Blair Witch is apparently some sort of left behind alien or such.  And to be honest, it kinda sucks to see it... ruins a bit the mythos.

No, this wasn`t a great film at all, nor a even a moderatly good one...

zaterdag 9 december 2017

The Divided Union

The Divided Union is a now 30 year old (it`s from 1987), 5 part documentary series about the American Civil War.

Back in the days it aired on Channel 4, but you can find it on YouTube as well these days.

While it is one of the many documentary series about this war, what, from the likes I`ve seen before on the campaign, is that it doesn`t really focus on the battles.  In fact, most battles get at best a 10 minute recounting in the series.  But instead, it focusses (like in episode 1) the political run up to the war, and (in episode 5) the situation for the african american 100 years after the war.

This makes it a bit different from many other series, as it has other experts as such that shed a light on  the conflict, as it doesn`t go into the battle tactics and generals as much, but in the fate of slave and civilian alike during the conflict.

It`s worth a watch, even though you probably won`t find it in HD images I fear...

Stranger Things season 2

Building further on the 80s venerating sci-fi series, season 2 of Stranger Things picks up where we left, with a seemingly okay Will and a disappeared El.

And it adds some names to the cast, with Sean Astin (Samwise) and Paul Reiser (Aliens' Burke) as most iconic figureheads.

But not everyhting is actually alright with Will, as we saw in the closing moments of the first season.  And let it be Dustin who finds the little beast his friend coughed up and keep it as a pet he names Dart.

In the meantime, a new girl arrives in town, Max, while it turns out that Chief Hopper is actually hiding Eleven for her own sake.  In the nearby Hawkins lab, scientists and military are trying to keep the portal to the upside down under control.  And the fate of Barbara Holland still remains a mystery.

The scene as such is set for another 9 episodes of hommage and action, the greatest for me having been episode 7 that goes totally Aliens and the cooling tower scene from there, including beasts not showing up on infrared and motion trackers.  Just bloody awesome as you know Burke is in this season...

But neither me, nor Noshi, do actually get the whole hype around the series.  Yes, it is enjoyable and yes, it is not for the braindead, but the final 30 seconds bothered me even before season 3 was announced.  I mean, this series now has a height, and they should have ended it there, what can they do.  Have Will getting possessed YET again?  Have Eleven go over her current power level and seal the portal once more? 

I think the story has been told, the loose ends have been wrapped in season 2s finale, and they should have just let it be there tbh...

But I distress, because for the purpose of this little piece of opinion, I actually liked season 2 MORE then season 1... but that is probably because nostalgia is a strong mistress...

On the Painting Desk 24 - Knight!!!

Hello everyone to another instalment of on the painting desk.

Compared to last week, some things have gone... and some big ones have come!

I managed to finish 4 units the past week, though truth to be told, two of them as you could see last week needed just some finishing touches and basing.  As such, the Dark Apostle and the anti-tank Havoc squad where quickly finished.

The other two units I got done where two small units of 10 Cultists, being the Commissar's regiment and the Cult of the Snake, which can be found on this blog on this weeks posts. 

So of course, that meant space on the table to add something new, and that was at first only Lucius, who is also moving far to the front on the to do list.  Not only will he be in all probability the "supreme commander" of the Chaos forces in the big battle in May, I`ve taken it to myself to "give Lucius some love" from the first of January until the actual big battle.  Meaning no matter how useless he might be, I`m hugging him along in each and every game I`ll play during that period.

But then there is also that "other" little guy you can see on the video.  You could read earlier this week how I got him for cheap, and how I`m going to go paintcrazy on him after glueing and tuning him in just under 5 hours past tuesday.  He needs to be on the field of battle by the end of april, when we are doing a special all Knights only game at TSA.

Time to fire up the brushes, as today will be my only paint day of the whole week :-)

Emperor's Children vs Orks: 1500 points battle report

Welcome everyone to the rematch between the Emperor's Children and the Orks of Vincent, who came back with a bigger waaaagh then before.

And boy do those boyz pack a punch, I admit I severly underestimated them after my previous win over them.

We didn`t play with Tactical Objective cards this time round, just a rather standard "6 objectives to be grabbed" mission with the usual victory points additions like killing the warlord etc.

My army was the same as last time versus the Imperial Guard, as I didn`t have time to make a list, while his consisted of a LOT of Boyz, spread over two units of 30 and one of 10 (which, in his first turn, merged with the other one to make a large 40 ork blob... ouch).  A unit of Bikers, a big cannon, am even bigger dreadnought, a unit of rocket launchers, a bunch of lootas, and a mob of Nobz where his other units.  Leading this waaagh was the warlord, a painboy and a mek on a bike with a forcefield generator.

My force deployed with a solid firebase in the centre, a small controlling force on it`s right flank and a daemon princess and support on the left, while the Warlord, Terminators and Raptors stayed in reserve.  His line spread over the whole table... but most of the weight was over on my right, not good...

Turn one saw my Terminators, Warlord and Raptors appear, and tactical placing with some good charges and pushing back enemies actually securing three objectives (okay, so there was no-one near the one the Warlord snatched, so that was tactical zero), while a squad of Marines and of cultists secured the two near my deployment zone.  My shooting had been so-so, putting down some boyz left and right, but close combat pushed back units and I ended as such in a 0 - 5 lead at the end of my first turn.

And this sounds lame, but the game was won at that point.  He could only get back 4 points of all the remaining victory point conditions, and it really is recommended to play with Tactical Objective cards in the future, as those can generate far more conditions to grab points.  Now, the game was over before he had a chance to even move a single figure, and that pulled the tension out of the game, and made me far less thoughtfull of how I used my units.  It didn`t matter if he slaughtered them all after all now, so I used it as a good learning exercise for my own army units that didn`t got to do much in previous games.

His first turn had a large mass of mobs, formed from two seperate units with the Mob Up stratagem, get together and thunder onto the Raptors.  On the other side, mobs, the mekboy, and nobz ganged up on the Terminators, and boy do they pack a punch.  I also wonder where they store all that wargear of choppas, big choppas and more, as they usually only wear a loincloth and a shoulder pad...

His shooting also took out my Rapier, after the rather traumatizing experience he had with that little machine the previous time we met on the battlefield.

His bikers charged my Warlord, but that didn`t go as they planned...

But after that, it went downwards for the Pink Phalanx as Willie tends to call them.  The Orks just surged over the battlefield, slaughtering all my not really for combat equipped squads one by one.  My Daemon Princess went down unceremoniously to the brutal assault of 30+ boyz, that is a LOT of dice they throw out and no way that you can keep saving them all.

Same story for my Marine squad on the right.  A single lone trooper lived to tell the tale after the charge of the 1 wound remaining dreadnought and the mekboy when they where finally taken down.  But right about then, the next green wave arrived and he was torn to pieces.

Next to him, the Cultists didn`t fare much better, ripped to pieces by boyz who then consolidated into the Havocs next to them, and they underwent the same fate before the last two of them disengaged and where ignored in favour of juicier targets.  Both Ork units, being the Boyz and the Nobz, then consolidated into the other Havoc squad and by the end of the battle they where butchered as well.

In the meantime, the Havocs and the Marines in the centre had combined their firepower to shoot down the Warlord, but after the Warlord fell to the not so large Boyz mob, the Marines where caught by them and all slaughtered except the Aspiring Champion... who with seeing 8 of his brothers fell decided it was time to go home.  But the 40 man mob had been reduced to a single Nob, and he bottled out as well... only took me like a gazillion shots to bring that tide down.

The battle ended there, and on morality points, I was soundly trashed, having only an aspiring champion and a plasmagun left from a Havoc squad, while boys and nobs ran around in my deployment zone, covered by untouched rocket troops and lootas.  But the harsh reality of victory points told a different story: 6 - 4 to the Emperor's Children.

Now, as I said above, if the game hadn`t virtually ended in turn one, I would have done things left and right differently.  The best example being that I never cast the Delightful Agonies, a bit my favorite power, to bail out troops in impeding trouble of being charged.  Nor did I go around with my highly mobile princess to snipe enemies with Smite, instead tossing her into the middle of a fight she wouldn`t be able to win anyways.  I don`t claim that might have made a difference, but it would have been a whole other game instead of the toss them forward now and don`t look back I tried out.

But it was a great game, and a fun opponent and evening, which after all is the most important thing of the whole affair!