Thursday, October 8, 2015

Rethinking the Wish List

Hey True Believers! Sorry that the posts have been more about writing than games or miniatures of late; I've been focusing on other games and my studies. One thing I have been doing though, is trying to get a bit more of a focus on the ongoing Ultimate Alliance project, now that I have the table looking pretty damn good. To that end, I'm going to be planning out my future goals here, so that I have something to work to other than pages of notes handwritten in the back of workbooks. 

1. New Roads/Pavement 

I currently have a set of cork tile roads and un-expanded foam footpaths that sit under the buildings of my city table. Together these look great, but they are easily damaged, are heavy and awkward to transport. I've seen a couple of other options, like the Hawk Wargames urban battleboards or getting a mat printed, but I'm currently discussing some lasercut MDF with a local guy, which I'm hoping will be a decent compromise. I think the Mat would be the ideal solution, but no one seems to be making a "clean" (i.e. without craters and battle-damage) urban road mats at the moment. 

2. Traffic Lights
I may finally have a lead on O-Scale Traffic lights! It's only taken four years! Still a little shocked that no one is putting this out in a lasercut. 

3. Buildings 

I'm pretty good for buildings, but I'd like to replace my abandoned building, shoe-box warehouse and foamcore skyscrapers eventually. They're nice "enough" but don't quite look up to scratch next to the Sarassia and Impudent Mortal stuff. Knights of dice are getting going locally, and my love of all things Art Deco will be having me pick up at least a couple of their things. Multiverse's Magnetic towers as well are very tempting, and Mind Games Melbourne is stocking them now, so I should have something soonish. My Cor-Sec shop that I've done up as a bank is problematic; it was warped and broken when it turned up and is slowly falling apart, even with my heavy mods to keep it together. I'm never bothering with that mob again. 

4. Heroclix 
The great thing about superhero games is that you only really need one of most characters an miniatures. The bad thing is, if you read as many comics as I do, you still want a heck of a lot of those characters. I've had a "Buy List" of heroes (mostly clix) on my desktop for a few years now, and I finally think it's getting shorter. Also, it helps that there isn't many new Clix coming out that grab my fancy; time will tell with TMNT, but we'll deal with that below. In terms of Clix, the current list is as follows:
Nick Fury (616), Ragdoll, Spiderman 2099, Batman Beyond, Cosmo, Firefly, Captain Marvel (SHAZAM), Apocalypse, Metallo, Drax the Destroyer, Prowler, Quake, Desaad, Granny Goodness, Mongul, Starlord, Gamora, Brainiac, Jackal, Vapor, Rogue, Asp, Princess Python, Sidewinder, Lizard, Calendar Man, Guy Gardner, Mojo, Doctor Bong, Cloak, Melter, Black Adam, Titanium Man, Bizaro, Baron Zemo, Mister Sinister, Taskmaster, Blood Brother, Killowog, Gabriel Air Walker, Mirror Master, Captain Cold, Gravitron, Hulkbuster and some Badoon. 
As you can see, nothing too insurmountable or too expensive on the secondary market, my main hurdle is student income. 

5. Knight Models 

I have to say, I've managed to resist the allure of Knight Models so far, but there are a few that I do plan to grab. Jim Lee Superman, Lobo, Doctor Doom and the starter set Bane are all on my radar, but I'm waiting for sale/discount stock so that I'm not dropping $100AUD on four miniatures. I have, as of this moment, no real plans to get into the Batman Miniatures game, but time may tell. 

6. TMNT 

So TMNT Heroclix are on the way. Hells to the yeah! I'm not sure how many actual boosters, I'll be buying, I'm pretty sure my focus will be more on singles, as I already have a very nice set of turtles. Basically, I'd like Bebop, Rocksteady, Shredder, Splinter, April, Casey Jones and Metalhead. You know, the secondary characters. So far, the previews only really show many variations of turtle, but hopefully there'll be common or uncommon versions of the other major characters. 

7. Dragonball/Z/GT/Super 

Did you know that there's a Dragonball Z board game and possibly collectible miniature game in the works? Jasco Games, an American company, has a card game called the Universal Fighting System that includes several Animes, Megaman and has recently picked up the rights to Mortal Kombat, Street Fighter and Dragonball Z. Last year they Kickstarted a Megaman Board Game and are set to do the same for Dragonball Z in the near future. Jasco has also announced a CMG in the works, featuring several of the properties they have access to, though specifics are thin on the ground at the moment. Unlike TMNT, Image or Dark Horse, I'd happily have just about every character from the Dragonball universe. Supreme West Kai, Bra, Mercenary Tao, Launch, Jeice, I'll take them all. Actually, almost all the main characters interest me far less than than the minor players, which will hopefully work out in my favour if the go CMG. Watch out for the Great Saiyaman mixing it up with Moon Knight at some point. 

8. Other Manufacturers 

There are a few other things out there that I'll be picking up to fill out some heroes and villains. Hasslefree do a couple of characters I'm currently without and I must pick up some Ninja at some point to serve as Hand/Foot or whatever Japanese henchmen I need access to. It's great to see that there are companies turning out the occasional knockoff for those of us that can't resist mashing their settings together. 

9. Wish List 

Because that's what it's all about at the end of the day, right? Playing all the fantasy team-ups that we'll never get to see in comics because of the crazy IP laws that the USA have created to protect Mickey Mouse. It's actually kind of amazing how many characters I've been able to find over the years from scrounging through the dark parts of the internet, but there are always more, aren't there? Here's a look at the current line-up of desire: 

 Allen the Alien (Invincible, Image Comics)
I'll cover this more with the titular character below, but Invincible is an amazing comic and you should all read it. Allen is a great secondary character from the comic with a huge fan following and an amazing back-story. I won't ruin it too much here, but Allen has some great generic "Paragon" abilities and a cool look. I'd like to see him alongside the Guardians of the Galaxy on my gaming table one day. 

 Astro Boy 
Actually, a friend is keen to sculpt up an Astro for use in my Ultimate Alliance games, so this may no longer be a fantasy in the near future. Like many born in the 1980s, I grew up with Astro Boy and his adventures are ingrained on my consciousness. Now, everybody; "Soaring high in the sky..." 

 Commander Keen (Commander Keen, ID Software) 
Yeah, still on the Commander Keen train of thought. Replaying the classic games just increased my enthusiasm, which is pretty atypical for me; what with The Maxx and Darkwing Duck falling off the Wish List pretty quick when I watched the programmes again. However, Commander Keen is just the kind of hero I'd like to see grace the table; nothing but a pogo stick, a ray gun and a bit of pluck, sounds like a winner to me. 

Doctor Dinosaur (Atomic Robo, Red 5 Comics)
I have an Atomic Robo now, so, of course, I need a Doctor Dinosaur to fight him. I thought Doctor Dinosaur was genius the minute I read his dialogue on the page and knew I must have one. In a world with Doctor Doom and Lex Luthor running their Machiavellian schemes, we need a crazy dinosaur who powers his machines with Crystals and mangles the English language. 
General Zod (As portrayed by Terrance Stamp)
C'mon, I can't be the only person that thinks this is the superior version of Zod. Modern power-armour or classic spandex doesn't do anything for me, but a widow's peak and chest hair? Brilliant. Yeah, it's camp and silly, but Silver Age Superman is camp and silly and that should be celebrated, not forgotten and shoved aside for "dark and edgy" Superman. "Kneel before Zod" is a classic line that deserves some play on the tabletop. 
Invincible (Invincible, Image Comics) 
Once again, Invincible is an amazing comic and you must read it. Go read it right now. Mark Grayson is the son of one of the most powerful heroes in the world and his powers have just kicked in. Awesome. Imagine if Superman was Peter Parker's dad and you have a vague idea of what's going on. Mark has to grow up with a great deal of "power and responsibility" and still balance his normal life. A great comic, a great character and I really want one.  
John Hours (Black Summer, Avatar Press) 
How many superheroes do you know that have murdered a sitting president? John is the leader of the Six Guns, a team of cybernetics-enhanced University nerds who took it upon themselves to clean up their city, with guns. A patently libertarian reactionary piece to the lies and crimes of the Bush Administration, Black Summer is a great read with a couple of really great characters, including John Hours, a man willing to commit the worst crime he can think of in order to set his country free. Imagine Captain America with The Punisher's morality and Mister Miracle's tech. 
Max Damage (Incorruptible, Boom) 
And I though Irredeemable was good. Max Damage is the world's most dangerous Super-criminal, but when he sees the Plutonian go on a rampage, he has an epiphany and realises that it's time to be a hero. Max's motivations are somewhat puzzling to those around him, as he destroys his lair, abandons his teenage sidekick and even burns a mountain of cash that he stole. Max knows that he is the only one who can defeat the Plutonian, but can he get past his own history and reputation to do so?  
Samus (Metroid Series, Nintendo)
I used to want a fair few Nintendo characters for Ultimate Alliance, but the frankly stupid powers they give them these days makes me cringe. For some reason, Samus has escaped relatively unscathed, I'd like to not have to put that down to misogyny, but you never know with Nintendo. Samus is a bounty hunter with an awesome set of power armour with a proud history of preventing genocide. Perhaps her motivates aren't always grand, but she's on the right side when the chips are down. 

The Crow (The Crow) 
Nothing like Gothic, harlequin, undead justice tearing up the mean streets. The Crow is in indy comics icon and one I feel needs representing in miniature. I believe he'd be one of those characters like Gamera or Snake Eyes; not many people would want to play him, but those who do will be thrilled at the option. A sculpt that looked like the above art would be really great. 
The Spirit (by Will Eisner) 
The original comic hero, how could I not? Again, not a character I'd see picked up and played all the time, but a much-needed addition to Golden Age games. So long as I manged to stay away from Frank Miller and terrible film adaptations, I think The Spirit would work well in Ultimate Alliance. 
Tom Noir (Black Summer, Avatar Press) 
The only other really interesting character from the Six Guns, Tom Noir can read and see telecommunications in the air around him and hack at the speed of thought. Drunk and injured and pulled out of retirement for one last job, Tom hates the idea of corruption and is perfectly willing to fight against Government and Police in the name of true freedom. He also looks cool, which is a good thing for a miniature. 
Watchmen (DC Comics and Alan Moore) 
I can't be the only person disappointed that the only Watchmen miniatures available, both in Clix and Knight models, are based on the terrible film rather than the original comics, right? Ok, so my Rorschach doesn't matter either way and I'd never put Doctor Manhattan on the table ("God exists, and he's American"), but everyone else would be welcome. Pudgy Nite Owl II, Dollar Bill, even Moloch and Hooded Justice would be great to have mixing it up. The sooner I can consign the film to a bitter memory, the better. 

The Venture Bros. (Adult Swim) 
Man, I could write the shit out of a Venture Brothers miniature game. Seriously, I already know the basic mechanics in my head and how it would work (a little like a Pulp Alley/7TV/Pulp City mashup) and I could bash out an alpha in a weekend. Give me a call Doc Hammer. 

Andrew W.K. (A free spirit that can never truly be contained)
Yeah, Andrew W.K., seriously. I have my reasons. 

Earthworm Jim (Universal) 
Great big muscles and a really big ray gun, Jim is a hero through and through despite his general incompetence and lack of comprehension of almost everything. Another slightly-wacky space adventurer that I'd like to have alongside Allen the Alien, Ratchet and Clank and Commander Keen. 

Mewtwo (Pokemon, Nintendo) 
There are people who look at the characters they can play in Ultimate Alliance and see the Pokemon Trainer and cringe. Then there are those who realise the potential and settle in for a fun game. As I tend to like to have at least one matching hero and villain, Mewtwo is probably the best fit for my G1 Pokemon mindset. Also, he's been known to fight the good fight when he really needs to; nothing like a villain turning hero just long enough to save the day before turning on his temporary allies. 
Ratchet and Clank (Insomniac) 
The galaxy's greatest heroes are due their own film next year and it actually looks pretty good. I guess that's what happens when Sony goes the Marvel Studios route and gets people who actually worked on the games to work on the film. I think a gravity-feed clix set of the film may be a bit much to hope for, but maybe some mircofigs? Come hell or high water, one day Ratchet and Clank are going to kick some arse on my table. 

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