25 July 2011

Board Games

Collaborating with other Companies is not unfamiliar for Game Developers. Tokens and Measuring tapes are very popular. Games Cases are magnificent things to pick up, and the case I have for my Warmachine stuff is the best investment that I never made (Friend bought it for me). I'm even considering getting an expansion bay to pack some of my other games.

While browsing the Mercs Minis forums, the developers announced products for their game. A game Bag developed by Battle Foam, the same guys who made the Warmachine/Hordes Case, and Tokens and 2D game maps by Gale Force 9. Made of Super Durable, Wet Erasable, Full Color Vinyl, the single sided maps look absolutely fantastic.

I had an Epiphany though.

I thought back to board games, which had thick cardboard with similar Vinyl stuck on over the top. Then the cardboard would fold over a few times in a particular pattern very nicely to fit back into the box without a complaint.

I've seen it happen a few times, not just into halves, but into Quarters. And I bet, if done right, one could fold them up into sixths. Which would be convenient for Mercs because their boards are 2x3 feet. Easy to pack, and you can make it double sided so instead of selling two individual maps you can sell one map with individual sides.

That's one thing one could say that Monsterpocalypse got right. They got double sided maps, with different maps each side, but they aren't cardboard. I think they're probably the same material as the Mercs Maps.

But that's just my opinion though. Packaged like a Board Game would be cool and would make travelling a little easier.

13 July 2011

Kinda is but isn't a Game Warning? But it's in THREE DEEEEEEEEEEEE

Mum doesn't skimp out when she goes to get something. I think I've mentioned that before about Mums new TV. How it was about a grand and a half and she got two Tellys for herself? Yeah, I forgot a few details. Particularly on Mums 42” telly and how it was 3D.

Y'see, I asked mum if she was watching anything in particular last night. Luckily not, so I asked if I could hog the TV for the night and finish off Killzone 3 since I was borrowing it from a mate, and I've had it for long enough that I should probably give it back.

While I was playing, I voiced a thought:
“I wonder if this tv is 3D capable...”
“Yes it is!”
So I checked out the settings and plugged it into 3D mode. And call me a little sick, but it was hilarious watching Sevchecko run up to a Helghast Grunt, grab him on both sides of the helmet, then force both thumbs through the helmet lenses.

I'm sure there's a name for that execution move

When I first heard about Three-Dee-Tee-Vee I originally thought that it was a Nothing thing. Something that could be entertaining on the odd occasion, but not something that I'd do all the time. Three-Dee at the Cinema doesn't change much for me most times, and I get kinda annoyed by having to wear two pair of glasses (Myopia, y'see). So it's fun when you want a cinema experience at home.

There I was though, giggling my head off as an LMG and just MOWING through the Helghast and approaching the MAWLR so that we can stop it from making it's approach to Earth.

Designer 3D glasses

But a little while ago, I remember my mate Kel talking about something he saw on the News a little while ago. A few troops out on the field recorded a battle scenario from a camera stuck on their helmet, and then uploaded it to the net. I can't remember the ordeal on the News about it (possibly the shock and horror of having a soldier upload videos in the first place), but Kel was shocked at how glaringly similar it was to a video game.

I remember seeing the video not long after and agreed, it was rather scary. I could play Call of Duty, or Battlefield and get a similar experience because you play a very similar role. And the conditions are much the same, give or take. Though if you shoot someone in the thigh, they'll still be running around shooting the shit out of you until you riddle them with enough holes that they fall over and phase out.

That's not the same as in real life, but the fact of the matter is that First Person Shooters are exactly that: First Person. You're seeing through the eyes of a character, experiencing their story. Adding in visual depth enhances that effect. Your brain is telling you “He's 12 metres away, you can still clock him with your LMG.”

Scary? I'm not sure. But is it right to make a game that draws from Real-Life aspects MORE realistic?

05 July 2011

“You're Big. Fought Bigger.”

So up for a couple of big games in the next coming months. First and Foremost: Warmachine.

Unbound Rules have long been released and I'm running over them now. Though I'm kinda surprised at how much, or how little, you can activate in your turn. In turn, it also means that designing a list could be finnickey.

The trick is that when you activate a Warcaster or Warlock, you activate their entire battlegroup. Then after that, you can activate up to 4 Units, 4 Solos, 2 Battle Engines and 2 independent Warjacks or Wild Warbeasts. That can work out to be a fairly large portion of your army. Though I suppose if the player wants, they could just not activate that much and save them for later turns.

But trying out the Unbound rules sounds fun none the less.

Next is Dystopian Wars. The other day, I saw someone playing the Naval and Ground forces in one game across a large table. I'll have a dabble in that, thank you, because I have both those Battle Groups, and when the Aerial Battle Group comes out I'll chuck that in for size. I think that works out to be about a 2200 point game?

Lastly, when I eventually invest into a Megacon, I want to play Mercs. Better yet, I invest in two Megacon and play them as a team game, Six Models a squad, 12 models a player. Makes for a massive game, considering the size of a standard game.

Robots Kicking the Shit out of each other 3 (Spoilers)

Before anyone moves on to read the rest of this, there's spoilers. So just in case you didn't get the idea...
So at this rate, every year a Transformers movie comes out on my birthday. And last year, I screwed up by buying tickets for everyone. I bought a bucketload of tickets, cos that's what I do. Instead, I decided to leave it and do NOTHING and save myself from embarrassment and poverty.

On top of that, last years Transformers left a nasty taste in my mouth, probably caused by Michael Bays raging boner for the Military which he shoved down to the back of my throat and fired his fucking Railgun. Just like he did to Devastator, right into his arse.

I may be regressing, but that was a extremely disappointing appearance of the gargantuan Decepticon.

But I powered on through and pushed it into the back of my mind. I wanted to see the Third iteration because of completion, and the small hope that Mr Bay would be kind and not repeat his previous mistakes.

And now I have very small complaints. It was a pretty fun movie. I still left my brain at the door, but it snuck in and watched what it could and nit picked on only a few things to get a headache about. The first was Wikipedia's* attitude. He acted like a petulant child. Made me want to get a bigger boot to kick him with.
"I saved your lives twice. Make me mean something."
The only person who wanted to give him a job was John Malkovich, who had an awesome photo of him doing kung fu to a camera.
* - Okay, I don't remember how to spell his name.
The other was significantly later into the movie. Now, Optimus Prime. Leader of the Autobots. Kick arse Cybertronian warrior, and he shows it. He slaughters dozens (or maybe just 1 dozen) of Decepticons...

And he's foiled by Steel Cabling.

Cybertronians, Decepticons and Autobots alike, cause Indiscriminate destruction. They even blatantly display it when Ironhide gives the boot a couple of Decepticons into a nearby diner for pretty much no reason. He'd already incapacitated the bloody things and could've just coup de graced it with some fistwork. But no, he decides to give him the boot into some poor sap's diner.

What kind of short circuit does Optimus have to have to get tangled in a bunch of steel cables? He could just shoot where the cables are holding onto and then jump off! Because he didn't do this, he was taken from the fight for about 20 minutes.

To which he comes back and tears apart 7 Decepticons in quick succession. But he could've done that earlier, couldn't he. If he'd gotten out of the Steel Cabling.

Lastly there's Starscream, Aarons favourite character. He's vicious, he's conniving, he's got lips designed to kiss arse. He's also a giant Robot. Granted, a robot with some sort of nervous system, but when it comes right down to it, he's a Robot.

So when he gets one of his eyes hit with a fancy grapping hook, which clamps around something its been shot at, then it isn't likely that he'll feel it. He'll just know that he has lost an eye. He won't flail around the place like a little kit with a scraped knee. He'll use his remaining eye to crush Whip O'licorice* with his boot.
* - Still no idea
The girl... well the writers just snapped the entire thing. All the lovey dovey crap in the second movie with Megan Fox in the second flick? Gone. Flushed down the Dunny. She dumped him before he received a medal of honour. Probably because he was being an Arse.

To which he moved onto the new girl, whose only fault is that someone got a bike pump and overloaded the PSI on those lips.


Funny enough, I kinda liked the plot. Megatron made a long term investment in the 60s and now he was seeking to reap the benefits. Laserbeak sowed the seeds of Deception, and so he now claims the rewards by sewing new seeds into the Autobots tempting them into getting to the Ark on the Dark Side of the Moon. In turn the last Prime who was on the Ark was revived by the ever faithful Optimus, to which he turned about and revealed his intentions as being Aligned with Megatron.

Where it faultered was the "Superweapon". Now the Sun-killing device in Transformers 2 was what would call a Superweapon. A mass teleporting device is not quite what I would call a Superweapon, though it was put to good use I'll admit. Teleporting a large number of Decepticons to a planet which can't defend itself from such an invasion is what I would call a good use.

New characters? Well Shockwave was awesome. A Cyclops with a mass of Giant Mechanical Boring Worms is extremely cool. I don't know why, but I was in awe at such a cool weapon of destruction led by a one eyed, Malicious, Killing Robot!

The Worms defeat? It was constricting a half bent skyscraper when Optimus finally got freed from the cabling, by the Irish and Scottish Comedic Relief, and started his spree.

Shockwave's defeat? This was very cool. And it has to do with the Military! The Military were PROPERLY represented! They weren't relentlessly excessive this time! It was COOL.

Their first real scene was an action scene with these Gliders that I don't know the name of and haven't got the internet turned on. But they were like flying Possoms, streaking across the sky high above roads and even through buildings, dodging the majority of enemy flier attacks, and even taking out one of them!

Then returning back to Shockwaves defeat, they organise a rather cool ambush. Snipers up about a dozen storeys; demo crews on the ground. Snipers take out their eyes, blinding them, and then the demo crew run up, park some explosives on their feet, and BAM! Destroyed Decepticon. Done.

Actually, I'm not sure if that was how Shockwave was defeated. But it happened. And I liked it.

The smaller comedic relief, Wheelie and Brains, have a few good lines half of which were swearwords, the good ones cinematically cut off before they're finished. But one of the cooler lines which I realised later in the movie was "Oh I seen this episode, it's the one where Spock Goes Nuts".

The funny part is that Sentinel Prime, the previous Autobot leader turned very cranky bad guy, is voiced by, the one and only, Leonard Nimoy. Scott got so excited when he leaned over to say "IT'S SPOCK!"

I think that just about sums up my opinion on the flick.

Edit: OH! AND DUTCH! WOO! He's fkn HILARIOUS! He starts off as your little efficient gay assistant, and then he occasionally brings out "his old self" which is what I assume is a Killing Machine. The look of regret when he goes too far is perfect!

04 July 2011

Unbound Mercenaries in a Dystopian War

Y'know, for a weekend that wasn't particularly busy, it felt really long.

We'll start friday night. I usually go and play games with the Lads. That night I didn't plan on drinking, I'd been doing it a fair bit lately (nothing excessive, maybe a glass of rum and lemonade a night) so I thought I'd best give it a rest for a bit. It doesn't help that I'm sick still too, with a cough that was worse than when I had the friggin Cold.

But that plan went out the window when Gregg brought about an 18 year old Dalmore, direct from Scotland. And because I've been getting into drinking with a bit of Kulcha after the last few weeks of nice Scotch's, I wasn't going to miss out on the chance to try some more.

The night seemed to drag a bit though, and I think it was because I was tired. Some late nights this week were catching up with me, so I was drifting off slowly as the night was coming to a close at something close to midnight.

Saturday morning I set my alarm for 6:30 so I could get in early to get to Blind Pig down at Mount Gravatt. This is the far side of town to me at Bracken Ridge, y'see. And using the internet planner, I found that I could take two busses and I'm there.

However, I don't know any landmarks around there. I'd been to the new Blind Pig venue once before and the only thing I could remember was that it was near a School on Cavendish Road.. So when I saw a school, I got off the bus and looked around.

No hall. Fair enough. I might have the wrong place. I found a nearby street and used the maps program on my phone.Shit.

Well that's about a 4-5km walk right there. And when I thought of taking a bus, the bastard drove straight past as I thought it, didn't it.

So I trudged along, and all the while I thought to myself “SHIT! I hope I'm there in time for the Sausages!” Bec, the Club Owner of the Blind Pig, cooks up some sausages and onion, pulls up some loaves of bread and a bucket of cheese, and for 2 bucks a pop we get a good feed. And I don't know why, and I won't ask why, but they're fkn good.

By the time I got there, I was invigorated. Exhausted, but Invigorated. I'd walked for about a half hour going up and down hills with a bag that was surprisingly heavy, but I got there. And with plenty of time for sausages inna bun.

Now going to somewhere called the Blind Pig was not just for playing games. I also wanted to pick up a couple of books. Particularly the Dystopian Wars rulebook so that I have one rather than taking the word of fellow players, and the MERCS Mini's Rulebook so that I could have an indepth look into the game.

I did plan on playing a game of Dystopian Wars, but John was in battle with another guy (who I didn't catch the name of) and playing a rather epic game involving both the land and navy starter boxes. The table looked pretty awesome and they were having great fun. I'll have to give that a go next time I head there.

Next model investment though I think should be towards a Mercs squad, though. I found out Dr D has invested in it, so I'll have a guaranteed opponent when I want to play so long as I give him a heads up. Bec has made some amazing tables, so I imagine we'll be able to grab one that's cluttered with stuff and give it a go. Worst case scenario, we have some cool models for a Sci fi game.

I did get a laugh out of Roy though. His daughter is learning French and she was showing a translation sheet to one of the other youngins there. I had a look and started saying all the words that were in french.
"Lemme guess, you're french."
"No no, I learnt all my french from Peter Sellers."
That night, I passed out early at about 7 or 8pm. Went to bed and just knocked out, and next morning I got myself ready to see Transformers 3 with Scotty. Now I have another spoiler filled blogpost ready for Transformers 3 to come so I won't ramble on about it here. But overall, my opinion of the flick is that it was actually rather fun. Better than number 2, but not quite better than number one.

Scott and I finished up with a bit of window shopping before we went home and tested “Portal 2 Cooperative Play”.

I discovered that Scott kinda slows down here. He's not a quick thinker. While I was looking at the Puzzle and going “BAM! Here's how to solve it” he was sitting about thinking about how it works. It surprised me because while he does a similar thing with his Wargames, these puzzles are a lot simpler to figure out. Or so I believe when it comes down to looking at it for a few moments and figuring it out in that time.

But we had fun, I used Scott as a Slingshot and killed him a few times. With each murd-DEATH! Death I mean to say... my maniacal laughter got louder. Oh it was very entertaining. And I will do it more and more. Because he's expendable. Mwahahaha.

Oh and on top of that, I finally got the Unbound rules for Warmachine. So I'm thinking one Blind Pig I'll organise a 150point game against someone. Organisation is key to this one, because gotta get the rules set down and understood between us before it starts.

I'm also thinking of getting a set of Coins to use as “Activation Counters”. I have trouble remembering most things, so trying to track what I've activated out of a large force (And I mean a large force) means I'm liable to activate something twice. So must have a look about for two faced coins to use as activation counters. Something about the size of a 5c piece would do, I think. Heck, I could just use 5c pieces. I've got enough of em.