Thursday, January 29, 2015

Panini Z: or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Play Cards

So the Dragonball Z collectible card game is back, and despite my best intentions, I got sucked back in. For those who are aware that I enjoy the Retro format of the DBZ game, that may be a little confusing; after all, if I already like the game, why not play the new one? I have a checkered past with "Collectible" Games, having flirted with Pokemon CCG, Magic: The Gathering, Heroclix and others. Unlike my beloved miniatures and role-playing games, the blind packaging and secondary market always seems, to me, to lead to the person who has spend the most money on the game being the winner. That's why I like Retro DBZ, the cards are cheap, proxies are legal and there's little-to-no metagaming. 

So what's my beef then? Not much really, just the usual lack of disposable income. That said, Panini have cleverly stacked the booster boxes so that a deck can be built from just boosters; so one box later and here I am. So I pull out and sort all my cards and it looks like I can build either a Trunks or Captain Ginyu deck. Damn. I already have both a Trunks and Ginyu Force deck in Retro. Ginyu is the deck of choice at the moment, so being a rebel, I have to play Trunks. 

Perhaps some small explanation is in order. Back in the days when I played Pokemon, I was aware of the accepted "Meta", the handful of deck builds that one "had" to play in order to win. My attitude to the concept has always been "fuck that"; why go with the illusion of choice when I could have actual choice? When Reshiram and Zekrom were all the rage in Pokemon, I was running Victini and completely blindsiding my opponents. Ok, so I only won around 50% of the time, but I'm also that sucker that plays for fun more than the joy that comes with winning a game for children. For those in the know, I'm running Trunks Orange. Yeah, that's right, Trunks Orange. And I'm winning games too, how'd ya like them zenzus? 

At the end of the day, I'd still rather play Retro. The game is just more fun and less swingy. Plus I can run things like Ginyu Force with Saibermen and Spirit Bomb. On the plus side, with more people playing the game, I can sucker a few into Retro, maybe I should make that Mr Popo deck...

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Miniatures Finished: X-Men, Illuminati and Costumed Madmen

Sometimes it feels like everything gets done at once. 

 Storm and Cyclops in some of their more iconic costumes. 

 Stephen Strange and Reed Richards debate metaphysics. 

 Nite Owl II and the Sentry, Golden Guardian of Good!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Doctor Doom and Doctor Manhatten

Had this fun and pretty interesting article come up on the Lead Adventure forum; it relates to two themes important to this blog, The Secret History of World War Two and Mad Scientists. 


Sunday, January 11, 2015

Miniatures Finished: Black Widow, Big Daddy, Quick Civilians

The pile of miniatures to finish for Little Wars gets steadily smaller, with Big Daddy and a new, improved, Black Widow joining the fight! 

 Finally figuring out how to get depth when painting black. 

 Big Daddy from RAFM. Not much of a fan myself, but the figure was too nice not to pick up. 

 Reaper Not Black Widow (Natalia?) great sculpt and very fun to paint. May get another to do up a Molotov Cocktease. 

 Also was inspired by the LAF and tried dipping some Heroclix for fast and easy results. Pepper Pots, Moria McTaggart, Justin Hammer and Frank Drake became civilians pretty quick. May have to order some more cheap clix that look like normal people. 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Miniatures Finished: Lo-Pan, Hawkman, Rocket, Iron Fist

Not long into the new year, and I'm already cracking, with a few new supers to add to the roster: 

 David Lo-Pan, like nothing you can understand. 

 Carter Hall, Hawkman. If I get time, I'll go back over the skin on this figure, it never seemed to dry right. 

 Iron Fist and Rocket Racoon, ready for action! 

Different basing on some of these figures, as I intend to use Lo-Pan for fantasy games and Iron Fist in a little Pulp Alley. 

Monday, January 5, 2015

Superhero Media: Big Hero 6

I never read the comics, but I was excited for Marvel and Disney's first animated colaberation, hoping that it would lead to animated adaptations like Power Pack, A-Next and Howard the Duck. I was not disappointed, the film was a heck of a lot of fun, stuck within normal Superhero tropes and brought something to the genre. 

 In the city of San Fransokyo, a young genius (Hiro) sets out to avenge the death of his brother with the help of a robot nursemaid and four science nerds. As a plot, it isn't brilliant, but the charm of the film is in the visual style and the relationship between Hiro and Bimax. More than anything, Big Hero 6 reminds me of Black Summer; a team of geniuses pooling their wisdom in order to become heroes and save the city. If I had a complaint, it would be the broad strokes with which the characters are painted; boy genius, girly-girl, neat-freak, hippie, tomboy, but somehow it works because the ride doesn't slow down enough for anyone to notice. 

I want a Bimax mini. Not even in the battle armour, just the cuddly vinyl version wandering around the table, helping people out. 
8 out of 10 as a fun film to watch with the family or those who haven't got the Superhero bug yet. 

Friday, January 2, 2015

Berlin: 1998

In an alternate universe, Earth is ravaged by World War Three between the Western Earth Treaty Organisation and the Global Socialist State. When an alien space craft crashes in the radioactive wasteland that was once Berlin, two teams of superheroes race to capture the technology for themselves. 

The radioactive wasteland that was once Berlin. 
A light flashes and a wheezing sound fills the air...
Something starts to stir in the crashed ship...
The distant hum of jets can be heard in the street. 
The WETO Super Soliders: Hulk, Aquaman, The Doctor and Snake Plissken. 
The Earth Defense League (Defending the universe from the Earth); Lobo, Groot, Ronan the Accuser and Hawkman. 
GSS Superheroes; Crimson Dynamo, Kraven the Hunter, Green arrow and Wonder Woman. 
Hulk makes straight for the ship. 
Kraven tries the back alleys. 
Only to come face-to-face with Ronan the Accuser! 
The Doctor takes cover behind the rampaging Hulk. 
Green Arrow lines up his shot. 
The Doctor falls under a barrage of arrows! 
Hawkman rushes to his Leader's aid, as Ronan struggles to hit the agile Russian Noble. 
Snake slithers through the cover of some tank traps. 

Groot looks for some humans to prune. 
Glorious Socialist Warrior Crimson Dynamo moves to secure spaceship whilst comrades distract capitalists and aliens. 
The Main Man waits in ambush. 

Hulk mad that funny British man was shot! 
Hulk throws a nearby ruin at Green Arrow, somehow missing. 
In the shadow of a ruined building, aliens and superhumans clash, wielding whatever comes to hand. 
Hawkman smashes a drum over Wonder Woman's head. She laughs. 

Aquaman hunts for the missing archer. 
Green arrow has moved to ambush Snake. 
Towering titans of power meet in the ruins. 
Green Arrow and Snake exchange fire, bullets and arrows fly. 
Dynamo opens fire on the tree-like Groot. 
Groot takes exception and Soviet Technology clashes with alien might. 
The earth quakes as powerful warriors pound on each other with all their might. 
Aquaman remonstrates with Green Arrow for the shafts loosed in his direction. 
Somehow, Kraven continues to endure the best the Kree Void Navy can throw at him. 
The street becomes a battlefield as the "less" dangerous Super-people clash. 
A grappling arrow helps Green Arrow relocate to a better vantage point. 
The mighty Hawkman proves to be too much for the Amazon Princess. 
Hulk smashes a nearby building over Lobo's head!

Hulk is strongest one there is! 
Hulk also makes a good target. 
The mighty accuser is laid low by the King of the Jungle. 
Surrounded by foul aliens, Crimson Dynamo targets his orbital strike on his own location!
Hawkman cannot withstand the barrage, though Groot is left standing. 
The WETO heroes regroup and prepare to take the ship.

Hulk guards the prize as Green Arrow fells Plissken... or does he? 
"Snake? Snake! Snaaaaake!"

A recovered Hawkman and Groot prove to be too much for the Dyamo. 
"Snake Plissken? I heard you were dead!" 
Kraven falls to Atlantean might and American sass. 
Groot starts for the two interlopers that want his ship.

Hulk and Hawkman battle in the ruins. 

"I! AM! GROOT!" 
"Hulk smash aliens with building!" 
Snake wonders if discretion may not be the better part of valor. 
Snake empties a magazine into Groot and is surprised as anyone when the creature falls. 

So the idea of this game was to have a little fun and start playtesting some heroes for the big game in 2015. In the first regard, the game was a big success. As for the second, maybe I need to start bringing someone else in on this, instead of trying to do it all myself. Hulk, Plissken and Groot worked well, Wonder Woman really needs more work and many of the others really didn't get a fair go.
Looks like I'll have to play more games... what a shame. :)