Sunday, December 28, 2014

Bringing this blog back to life, and a movie review.

So I realized that I still had a blog that I have not been posting to in several months.  Unfortunately life threw me two major health curve balls.  Not for me but for people in my immediate family.  Things have slightly improved on that front, but this part of my hobby life has been dead in the water for several months.  I am afraid that my hobby resolutions are going to be on the two year plan.  Believe that, and I have a bridge to sell you, real cheap. 

With that in mind I am starting to paint regularly once again, and I have assembled and primed quite a bit of my space marines that I had in stock.  With some discipline I can get them up as a painted force.  That along with one or two more projects that I have hobby wise this winter and spring are in the works.  Hopefully more later on this blog.

I noticed that I did not review the previous two moves of the Hobbit when I was going back in my blog, and I just mentioned the first movie in a post without actually reading it.  Now that the whole trilogy is done, I figured that I would discuss the movie as a whole.  The first thing that I have to say is that the whole damn movie series is too long.  I am just going to call them move one, two, and three, since their names are too much to repeat throughout this posting. 

The first one is just right, but could have been cut and moved up in the story line.  The last two has way too much useless scenes.  The second move could live without about a third of the move, and the last move could live without two thirds of it.  I would call the third movie basically fantasy combat porn for two hours and 30 min of actual storyline.  Movie two and three basically became the Legolas show, who was never in the book to begin with.  I would expect for him to have a part in this series of the move, but it was basically three hours grand total of screen time between movie two and three, and I may be underestimating that.  This whole move series could have been just two movies and we could all be on with our lives by now buying the extended CD's and watching it on Netflix, but NNNNOOOOOOO.(One of John Belushi's classic phrases, I am told)   Perhaps that is the reason to string out fans for an extra movie.  My only question is does Orlando Bloom have embarrassing or incriminating pictures of Peter Jackson? 

On the other hand, there were things that I did like from the move.  As a Dwarf guy, the battle of five armies was awesome with few exceptions.  I totally liked how they put the dwarf army together.  Barring the pikedwarfs, I almost blurted out, "Hey, I have one of those!"  On an overall note, I did like the portrayal of the dwarves throughout the series for the most part.  There were parts where I would have gone a less comical way with them, but overall it was as how I would have envisioned them to be.  One glaring example of this is the barrel ride from movie two, but that whole scene was overdone in general and should have been on the conceptual chopping block.  I liked how the Wood Elves army was put together, however I was expecting less armor on the elves, but small potatoes.  Since this was on one of the previews that I have seen, I am not a fan of Dwarves using cavalry, even if they are commanders.  That is my only problem with how the dwarves are portrayed.  Since other items can be considered spoilers, I will not say that much more.   

Bottom line this movie series goes way off line compared to the story, even more that the LOTR series.  If you are looking for a movie that follows the story line in the book, don't go.  Honestly, you should know by now that Peter Jackson does not follow the book, and that there is no way that he could fit the hobbit into three movies without going off the book.  However if you want to see the end of the series and honestly don't care or have never read the book then by all means go.  In short, I am not planning on getting the DVD's any time soon if anyone is asking. 

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Alternative Systems: Armies of Arcana


Like many people I have had several months where I was not able to do much with my hobby.  It is not specifically because I did not have the time, nor initiative to do anything.  I have actually worked on getting a lot of my space marines built up and ready for priming.  However, we have had record cold even down here in the South of the US and good luck getting primer on anyone's models.  Now I have to look forward to getting pollen on my models if I go out and prime the models until the next month or so. 

On another note, I have been reading up on Armies of Arcana, which is the next installment of my posts on alternative systems.  Armies of Arcana is a system that I wanted to review for a while, and I would say that it is a system that does show a lot promise on many fronts, and provides a few interesting ideas. 

How it works

This is a game that is very different from the standard GW games on many fronts.  Instead of a turn system where you do all of your phases of the game and wait for your opponent to finish their turn, it is phase based system in that you each do your movement phase, and move on to magic, shooting, and Close Combat.  You roll who goes first per turn as opposed to at the start of the game.  Movement is virtually the same as in WFB of yesteryear, but you can skirmish any unit that you want and neither march nor charge moves are allowed.(Something that I will talk about later)  Magic is actually more like how 40k Psykers work but within the confines of one phase rather than throughout the game.  Shooting and Close Combat phases are more streamlined as opposed to GW's, where it is boiled down to one roll for every attack basically.  To wound rolls are more like modifiers to the to hit roll.  Other than that it is pretty similar to how WFB plays.  Fleeing works more like it did back in the 3rd edition of WFB where you actually have to kill everyone in a unit rather than just destroy the whole unit by outrunning them.  Catching up to a fleeing unit will not scatter them as in WFB but rather you get a free attack without any response. 

What I like

After reading through this game system, I really do like how they handled what is called "Step up" in WFB.  You are allowed to attack back but with a -1 to your roll.  I would equate this to a -1 to hit and you cant use any modifiers by your weapon.  It has been a while since I read the 8th edition of WFB, but I don't seem to recall step-up working like that, and honestly if it worked like that I would have no problem with it.  I am more intrigued as to how the phased based way of playing works more than anything else.  Everyone complains that your guys "just stand there and take it" when it is not your turn.  This is a way to alleviate that issue.  They also have a way to create that specific monster or army that is not already in the rules, and new armies are popping up every time from online.  Likewise they already have Roman and Greek army lists available, so if you ever wanted to see how your friends Greek army matches up against your Elves, there is a way to play that.  Most importantly, they are not using this book to sell miniatures like GW seems to do with their Basic Rule Book. 

What I don't like

I am not a fan of the lack of a marching or charging move.  That seems to me like it can get boring.  It seems that moving your normal move for a charge is unreasonable given that a charge is supposed to represent your troops running in to combat.  On another note they have their units move with more movement than what you see in WFB.  They have artillery shoot every other turn as a rule.  That seems unreasonable to me.  As much as I find it interesting that you only roll once when you attack, I think that it provides for not as much nuance as we used to have. 


Overall I would definitely like to test drive this set of rules from what I have read.  It has a lot of interesting ideas and concepts that I want to try. 

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Happy New Year

With this new year, I took a look at what I was able to accomplish this year on the gaming front and it was rather slim.  I did play a few games of 40K and got more involved in that, however my painting did not go far, nor did my historical or fantasy gaming went far.  I have a few rule systems that I have not been able to make a review as I have promised as well as do much in the form of blogging.  With all of that in mind I have decided to have a few new year resolutions on the gaming front. 

1:  Figure out a way to play WFB from the previous editions:  I do have a few friends who like the game from previous editions more than what we have now.  I need to link up with them and try to set up a few games with them.  I have a few other ideas on this front as well.  I want to try to do a game a quarter if I can, but honestly I believe that I can do one per quarter of historical easier.  If I can do either I would be happy. 

2:  Actually Paint some models:  I have done almost no painting, which is mainly due to my current living situation is not that conducive to painting.  I will try to figure out something however.  My goal is to paint up my battle company of Space Marines, which has other problems than me not spending the time on them as I want to.  I will actually make them a FULL battle company as well, but for now I just got a few models that I am somewhat happy with after priming and base coating. 

3:  Read and review more alternative game systems:  This is just me finding the time to sit down and read the damn systems and write about them. 

4:  Blog more DAMN IT!  If I am doing my first three resolutions I will have plenty of things to blog about. 

Lets see if I am able to do it.  On another note I hit 10,000 hits on this blog.  I want to thank everyone for reading what I have to say.  I do appreciate that you are reading and a few are actually creating a dialogue.  That many hits after 2 years does not seems like much to some, but I consider it an achievement.  Thank You!