Sunday, December 7, 2014

New York 1998: Three out of Four ain't bad.

With the last club meeting for the year set for December 12, I'm throwing together a little Ultimate Alliance game to both keep the masses entertained and play-test for the big game in May. 
Four teams, crossed objectives and a whole lot of carnage. In an alternate, WW3 Europe, superheroes are the front-line soldiers and no one is tied into copyright or continuity.
An alien spacecraft has crashed in war-torn Berlin and Metahumans from both sides (and more!) have been sent in to recover it.

 WETO (Western Earth Treaty Organisation) Methuman "Alpha Team" 

The Doctor: An alien exile trapped on Earth, The Doctor was in the employ of the United Nations before that entity was superseded by WETO. Unable to leave the planet under the conditions of his exile, The Doctor has moved from UNIT Scientific Adviser to Alpha Team's leader. Despite his aged appearance, The Doctor is quite spry, a master of martial arts and a literal Genius. 

The Hulk: Bruce Banner is the greatest hero the Confederated States of America has ever produced. Once a 90-pound weakling, the brilliant Banner invented a process using Gamma Radiation whereby he was transformed into the Incredible Hulk! Unfortunately, the process seems to not work on any of the other volunteers, so the Hulk has become the most powerful weapon in the WETO arnsenel. 

Aquaman: Atlantis signing the WETO Treaty meant not only unparallelled naval superiority, but also every sea creature within Aquaman's call is a potential solider against communism. Maligned at the start of the War for his "useless powers", Aquaman has outlived many other heroes and proven himself to be a valuable asset in any conflict. Many a "Red" has rued the day they laughed at Curry, only to find themselves looking down the wrong end of a giant squid. 

Snake Plissken: Special Forces Legend, "Snake" Plissken has a reputation for being able to get out of any situation, no matter how dangerous or ridiculous. Despite his lack of superhuman powers, Snake has been a part of more successful missions than any other operative of WETO. Self-reliant, unflappable and stealthy, Snake is a valued asset for the Alpha Team. I heard he was dead, though? 

 MOFO (Mutant Official Freedom Organisation) 

Leonardo: The last survivor of a cadre of mutated animals, Leo has taken on a quest of his own devising, to create an independent Mutant State in the radioactive wastelands left by the war. A brave warrior and dependable leader, Leo keeps the otherwise troublesome MOFOs focused on their goals. WETO and GSS incursions into what Leo considers "his" territory will be met with nothing less than deadly force. 

Wolverine: Older than dirt and with a body count rivaling Smersh, Wolverine is the most wanted independent metahuman in Europe, Asia and Antarctica. With a reputation for killing everything and everything in his path, many wonder just what deal Leo has struck with Wolverine in order to keep such a creature focused on the enemy and not on the hundreds of mutants around him every day. 

Liz Sherman: A fire-controlling psychic with an axe to grind against the CSA, Liz threw in her lot with MOFO after her former employers tried to have her killed. Liz cares little for nations or ideology, so long as she gets to light a few soldiers on fire and watch them burn. 

Killer Croc: Croc likes to eat girls. Goes on "special dates" with the chewy bits, Nobody likes Croc. 
Global Soviet State 

Crimson Dynamo: CD was a joke in the Motherland until his defeat of the arch-capitalist Iron Man cemented his status as the number one hero in the Global Soviet State. Made from state-of-the-art 1980s technology, CD is a walking (flying, for short distances) tank, with enough firepower to take on the mightiest of capitalist super-pigs. With Crimson Dynamo, the sunrise is always red for the GSS. 

Wonder Woman: Many were surprised when Themyscira turned Socialist (seeing as it has a hereditary monarchy), but the real shock came when Diana started dropping WETO jets from the sky with her bare hands. More than a rival to the West's greatest heroes, Wonder Woman strikes fear into WETO soldiers with her bulletproof bodice and lasso of truth. Those boots are made for crushing skulls. 

Green Arrow: Former Industrialist Oliver Queen defected to GSS to further his dreams of Socialism, the rights of the worker and the progression of the glorious five year plan. Queen was hardly a major propaganda coup, with his boxing glove and buzz saw arrows, however, his skill is more than enough to silence most critics. 

Kraven the Hunter: Descended from Russian nobility, Sergi Kravenoff was living, in exile, in the CSA when the war broke out. GSS security forces offered the White Russian a pardon, as they were desperate for more metahumans to compete with the West. Kraven is well-aware of the tokenism of his position, but feels that the compromise is worth it to have his family's estates and titles returned. 

Still haven't finished the alien team for the game, hope to have them finished before the week is out. 

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Miniatures Finished: 3 Snakes, a Time Lord, a Merc, a Herald and a God

Getting a confirmed date for Little Wars Melbourne was just the kick in the pants I needed to get back to mashing out minis for Ultimate Alliance: Annihilation. Lots of progress to share! 

 Three snakes: Solid Snake, Snake Plissken and Snake Eyes. 

 Solid Snake (forgot the manufacturer sorry) and the ubiquitus Box; his "Invisible" marker. 

 Snake Plissken (Hasslefree), I heard he was dead? Snake Eyes (Reaper), I've never heard a peep out of him. 

 The [3rd] Doctor (Crooked Dice) and Grifter (USX). 

 Terrax the Tamer (Clix), perhaps the most feared Herald of Galactus! 

 Annihilus, the Death that Walks! Can't have Annihilation without this bad boy!

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Miniatures Finished: Gamera

The big boy finally got a coat of paint yesterday. 

 Gamera, the Children's friend! 

 Over 60m of flying, fire-breathing, Atlantean bio-weapon! 

 Obligatory scale shot. 

With the Annihilation wave due to hit the Earth on May 31, 2015, Gamera, ancient defender of the planet has risen to prepare for the threat. 

Or, in other words; 


Thursday, November 20, 2014

Superhero Media: Supers Music

Promised something a bit different, and here it is; a quick list of songs inspired by Superheroes and Villains. And take a look, there are no Soundtrack songs of symphonic Themes here, only guitars, drums and vocals, just like dad used to make. Without any further ado: 

Freeza - Maximum Hormone (Frieza, Dragonball Z)
First things first, I can't stand Metal. Sound and fury signifying nothing as far as I'm concerned. Music for time-signature geeks. However, I have a soft spot for one of the most reviled Dragonball Z characters; reviled that is, by the casual fans who got sick of the seemingly-endless fight between Frieza and Goku. A super-powerful alien creature, born to a dynasty of despots, able to survive in vacuum, transform and wield incredible power. Frieza could stack up pretty well against Annihilus or Darkseid or anyone suitably powerful, plus the whole "your arrogance will be your downfall" thing ties perfectly into comic-style mythos. 

The Hammer - The War Horsemen (Thor, The Avengers)
Bet you'd never thought you'd hear a Hip-Hop song about a walking White-Power icon like Thor, but this is pretty awesome. With the legendary Chuck D as MC, The Hammer is not only about Thor, but specifically about the Chris Hemsworth portrayal of the character in the Marvel Studios Films. As a song, the novelty can wear off pretty quick with repeated listening, but still makes a nice little treat. This is the kind of song that I imagine would exist within the Marvel Universe itself, where Thor is real and flying around. 

Ghost Rider - The Rollins Band (Ghost Rider, Marvel Comics)
Although technically a cover of an older Suicide song, the Rollins Band version is drastically different and "feels" more in-keeping with the tone of the Ghost Rider comics. A hellish dirge about a flaming figure driving through the desert on a motorcycle meting out justice. Oddly, this song was featured on The Crow soundtrack, but I can imagine Eric Draven reading early Ghost Rider comics and getting a kick out of the imagery. 

Of course, these aren't the only songs that work with heroes, just a few that people are less likely to be aware of. Deadpool and Dragonball get a lot of references in Hip Hop, and who could forget the Ramones cover of the Spider-man theme? Anything you like or want to see get a bit more play? I'm a music nerd at heart so I'd love to hear them.

Coming soon...

"In the distant Future of 1998, the Third World War rages in Europe. The proliferation of Superhumans on both sides keeps the conflict at a stalemate from the radioactive wastelands of France to the trenches of Japan. When an alien spacecraft crashes in the ruins of Berlin, the prize of unknown technology is too great to resist. WETO (Western Earth Treaty Organization) and GSS (Global Socialist State) heroes rush to the site to claim the craft, but what other forces are in play?"
Impact Berlin: 1998
An Ultimate Alliance game for 4-20 players.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wish List - Part 2: Legacy

Stuck at home sick today, so I've got some time to think and write a little; this wish list is a little more esoteric. A "think piece" if you will, about how some iconic, but less traditional, comic characters may interact with the big names I already have. 

1. The Crow 

I've both seen the Brandon Lee film and read the original Graphic Novel and whilst I see how it became a cult classic, to be fair; it has dated. That said, an undead (more so in the film) vigilante driven by love and revenge is an extremely evocative and primal image. For those of a certain generation Eric Draven is more important and iconic than The Avengers and Batman and I can imagine he'd play in a unique fashion, only being stunned or slowed by attacks that would kill many other characters. I also imagine that he'd be fun to team up with Ghost Rider and Deadman. 

2. Magnus, Robot Fighter 
I stumbled across Magnus through some 90s Valiant comics that I won at an arcade. It was the first time I had read an indy comic that featured a genuine superhuman, having been exposed only to The Phantom outside of Marvel/DC at that stage. At that stage, Magnus was fighting other superhumans more than robots, but the character stuck in my head despite the poor quality of the comics. Given that the license for Magnus has been picked up again in the last couple of years, I wouldn't be surprised if a film studio starts up a Magnus project to cash in on the success of Marvel Studios. A super-powered man from the future who fights evil robots is a pretty easy sell to Middle America. 

3. The Maxx 
Ok, let's face it, the Maxx is weird. Between the multiple universes, the flat-out crazy and the antagonist being a straight-up rapist, it's hardly a comic that most would find enjoyable. That said, I have a remarkably high tolerance for weird and crazy in my comics; bring on the Man-Thing/Maxx/Ducktor Strange crossover I say! Can't be any worse than the time the Maxx met Sonic the Hedgehog right? Yeah, that happened: . Come to think of it, I watched the Maxx animated show at about the same age I got really into comics, and almost all of my homebrew heroes have some kind of complex or emotional issue in their personality makeup. Perhaps it's time for a good, hard, psychological look at my Equalisers setting... 

4.The Spirit 
Few things say "Legacy of Comics" more than The Spirit. I am, of course, talking about the original, Will Eisner creation, not the abortive, nonsensical Frank Miller effort.The prototypical costumed hero, The Spirit is the direct ancestor of characters like Batman, The Question, The Angel, The Green Hornet and so many more, so I feel he deserves more respect than he tends to get. As well as a fun and iconic superhero, The Spirit would be great for Pulp, Weird World War Two and even Interwar gaming, as he is essentially just a man in a mask. Great iconic look too. 

5. Spawn 
I hate Spawn. I have never read anything with him in it that I enjoyed and I find the character a good example of everything wrong with 90s comics. That said, Spawn, and Image Comics in general, have an important place in the history of comics that tie into major events like the Speculator Boom and the rise of creator-owned content. Essentially I feel that I should have an Image Tentpole in my collection, and as I don't care for any Image character, Spawn is the obvious choice.

Saturday, November 8, 2014

Miniatures Finished - Turtles, X-men and Bugs

Sorry for the repeated "Minis Finished" posts and not much else recently, got some other stuff on the back-burner that'll be showing up pretty soon. 

First up, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! 
 From My Way Miniatures in Russia. Not cheap, but some of the nicest figures I've ever worked with.
 Mikey and Don closeup.
 Leo and Raph.

 Two more X-men, Colossus and the Bouncing Beast!
 Never been a big X-Men fan, but I think these are great sculpts; the sense of movement in Beast is amazing for a Clix.
Pitor Rasputin is ready for action!

Also, the Annihilation Wave has arrived!
 A mix of Mantic Zzor, RAFM Mi-Go and Tyranid bits, the Wave are Annihilus' foot soldiers in his war on our universe.

A simple colour scheme helps keep the diverse minis united. There are 22 at the moment, if I can get more suitable figures cheaply, I may consider expanding the wave.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Miniatures Finished: Kitty Pryde, Nova, Darkseid

Newly completed, two heroes and a master villain: 
 Nova (Richard Rider), Kathryn "Kitty" Pryde and Darkseid. As per usual, all rebased Heroclix. 


Monday, October 20, 2014

And now this blog belongs to Thanos!

Foolish humans, did you truly believe that I would not discover this bastion of super powers and take it for my own? I have deposed Hat Guy and now all of his former power belongs to Thanos of Titian! 

No alliance of heroes can ever hope to defeat me! Hold your children close, your end comes soon!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Miniatures Finished: Groot, Hank Pym, Howard the Duck

A few new "heroes" to the roster this week, starting with everyone's favorite wife-beating drug addict, Hank Pym: 

 Playing with Hank will enable size changing, so I went with Ant-Man, Hank Pym and Giant Man, each having unique abilities to create a fun character. 

 Also finished, Groot and Howard the Duck. Groot adds some much-needed Super Strength to the Guardians, whilst Howard will largely be used as a glorified civilian.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Heroclix Victorian Regionals 2014

I had the pleasure yesterday (12/10/14) of running the Victorian Heroclix Regionals. Even though I didn't play, and don't tend to play Heroclix, it was a pleasure because of the great crowd that play the game in my area these days.
I played a fair bit of Heroclix back when it came out in 2003-4 because in my 40K-centic wargames universe, it was the only game that allowed me to play Spider-man and Doctor Doom. As is my story with most collectible games (the blind-packaged ones), I got sick of having to buy so much to keep up with the other people playing, so I moved onto other things.

The game is still very much driven (at the tournament level) by the expensive and rare figures, and things like relics, resources and tactics add a great deal of complication to the game. That said, the basic system and the combat dials have improved over the years and watching some of the games got me a little inspired to maybe try some clix again, perhaps in a style a little more like my Narrative Ultimate Alliance games. 

Anyway, without further ado, here are the standings for the event: 

1st - Steve Austen
2nd - Ryan Dessens
3rd - Chris Dessens
4th - Earl Dacanay
5th - Clinton Gale
6th - Faisal Jalal  

And a few pictures, I didn't get too many because I may have got distracted playing RetroDBZ.