About Me

Hey there, as you can see this is blog is all about gaming. And that's what I've been doing for pretty much all of my life. Currently I'm completely enveloped in Warhammer 40,000 and I'm breaking into the new Warhammer Fantasy system with the release of the new 8th edition.

Follow me as I build new armies, find newer and better ways to destroy my enemy, learn more about the rules, and just complain about the things that don't go my way :)

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Ultramarines the Movie the Review!

"Is there something on my face?"

SPOILERS

I spent my Saturday going to the free showing of Ultramarines at my somewhat local Movie Studio Grill, I only passed 5 others along the way but that was just fine with me. It was Ultramarines, a movie about a game I've been playing for over a decade now, what wouldn't you do to see this thing for Free!

Now let me be honest, in real life I'm a 3D Modeler and Computer Animator, so my opinion might become a little biased. So I'm going to start off my review with Appearance and follow it up by Story, Entertainment Value, Dialogue, and Fan Coolness. Let's get this review started.

Appearance
Let me just say that just looking at this movie turns me off. The Models are great and true to the Universe but the textures are the first thing that start to fail. Why is it that the marines look like they're undead? Then it get's worse when the marines start to move and jump around. Since when does a 8 foot tall man wearing a freaking tank not shake the ground but look as if he is wearing ballet slippers.

Then we get to the compositing and editing. About 70% of the movie is hidden is dust effects, hiding almost the entire environment and most of the action that takes place in the movie. The editing is also quite bad, leaving pauses in dialog and between scenes where the characters simply stair at each other.

Story
The story leaves something to be wanting. If felt very much like a hack job of Aliens 2. Let's take a small group of novices out and pit them up against some bad guys and watch them all get killed while we bring the alien (demon possessed) infected guy back on Board and have him kill the rest of us until he gets beaten by a hammer. Sure there was foreshadowing but does that make it any better. No not really.

Entertainment
When you start trying to figure out how long the movie has been going so you know when it'll end you know something is going wrong. Like I mentioned earlier the movie had some really weird editing that continued to pull you out of the story. Every once in a while it would break the 4th wall and put you into what felt like a First Person Shooter experience. Does anyone remember that in Doom, did you remember like it, exactly.

There were a couple of bits that were interesting to see, but again the graphics of the movie got in the way. It was either to dark, or there was dust in the way, or something else. Much of the movie just distracted from itself.

Dialogue
So the voice acting was one of the higher points of the movie. There wasn't much I could complain about here other then how some of it was edited. Long pauses between words in a sentence to add emphasis was a common trait of the movie and really stole the moment by making me actually laugh out loud. "It must be.... Chaos" Yeah dramatic little quarks like that, and you just have to laugh.

The script was a little off putting to me too, I understand that you would want to use terms and the like from the game, but hearing them say in unison "And we Shall Know No Fear" again and again and again just got cheesy. If you're going to do that in a movie, don't make it a motto, make it a chant. Jarhead did this very well, "This is my weapon, there are many like it but this one is mine..." Yeah it worked there, but no in this movie. And maybe it didn't work for me because it's the name of a game rule, it'd be like if everytime I got punched I yelled out Feel No Pain. Or When I come back to life, We'll Be Back. Make me smile thinking of Arnold saying that everytime he is shot down and stands back up.

Fan Coolness
If you enjoy seeing the toys you play with on the big screen then this will probably get you going. I've got to say it was cool seeing guys in power armor and Bolters with the shells doing the rocket thing. Are thunderhawks cool, hell yeah, would I have loved to see it do more, hell yeah. It is worth seeing once just because you play 40k... maybe.

Overall this movie met my expectations of no expectations. The graphics were just as bad as they looked in the trailers, and the flow of the movie was just as bad too. Other then a couple good one-liners and seeing Space Marines on the big screen I don't think I would've wasted my time with this movie. I give this movie 2 out of 5 Aquilas.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Henchmen Heavy Bolter Spam


While looking at what could be the premise of the Upcoming Grey Knights codex I noticed that the use of Inquisitor Coteaz could allow someone to spam Heavy Bolters and Plasma Cannons like crazy. Today however I would just like to evaluate the points and see if it's worth doing?

In the New Grey Knight codex it appears we'll have the ability to take a heavy bolter on a BS 3 Servitor for all of 10 points. One hitch though, if an Inquisitor is not in the unit, the servitors do not work unless you can roll a 4+ each turn.

The Breakdown, in 6 turns we can assume it'll fire 3 times, with a hit rate of 4.5 so for ten points we'll be spending 2.2 points a hit.

A Space Marine Devastator with Heavy Bolter will run 32 points. It will fire all 6 turns and will have 12 hits through out the game at 2.66 points a hit.

We can see that it's possible for players to run a Heavy Bolter Servitor at a better cost for firepower then Space Marines. Will this be useful I do not know, but at least we know that they are not completely useless.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

The Rumored Grey Knights Leaked Codex



If you've not heard about it, then this will be news to you. There happens to be something people are calling the leaked Grey Knights codex. Now I'm not going to say if you click the picture above you'll find it, but I'm not saying you won't either ;) I'm not even saying if you found something it would actually be a leaked Grey Knights codex, it could just be a fan-dex or something else... who knows what you might find.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Can Winners have Fun and Get Prizes?

"If winning isn't everything, why do they keep score?" - Vince Lombardi

Once again I have run into
that part of the hobby that feels you can not have anything good to do with the hobby if you're interested in Winning and getting Prizes. After a local event was posted up involving a painting contest and games over a period of time I noticed that they were awarding prizes but there was no mention of what the prize would be. During my inquiry I mentioned how I had felt unfair about the prize support at the location before, after getting first place in a different painting event there, the store credit reward had not even covered the model cost needed for the entry fee (all of $15 bucks).

"Winning isn't everything... it's the only thing." - Vincent van Gogh

The response to my inquiry was, "Then you probably aren't the hobbyist we are looking for. Move along. Seriously. If you care that much about the prizes instead of the fun, this probably isn't for you." I'll be the first to admit that I enjoy a good prize but I would never claim that prizes are more important then fun, I do however believe if an establishment is trying to make sales off a competition for the chance of a reward the reward should be worth the efforts and at least the entry fee of the competition.

To put it another way, do you go out and buy a 1 dollar lottery ticket for the small chance to win a max payout of 50 cents. No you don't, and you never would, so if a store is holding a competition, in my mind the prize should be worth the cost, time and effort. While time and effort can be hard to judge and rewarded cost is quite easy. To me I feel "worked over" if a store charges people to enter and then hands out a significant amount less in prizes, it then feels like they're taking advantage of the competition for their benefit.

"Winning is nice if you don't lose your integrity in the process." - Arnold Horshak

Does this mean there always has to be a prize, of course not. I enjoy playing games, I enjoy meeting new people, I enjoy background of the game, and I enjoy winning, all of these things are fun to me, and unless my opponent is being a jerk, I'm almost always going to have fun, win or lose. Do I have more fun when winning, yup, just like I have more fun when I'm going faster in my car, or getting more chocolate syrup on my ice cream. Winning adds to the fun of the game to me but it's not everything. Would I pay to play in an event that didn't have any prize support, I sure would and have done it many times, it's no different then paying and then not winning an event that has the prize support, as long as I had fun then that's what matters to me.

"You will never win if you never begin." - Helen Rowland

Prizes are a part of most competitions, whether it's money, store credit or trophies depends on the event. So why did I inquire about the prizes, why is it that I'm even concerned about prizes. To be honest it's a great bonus to winning a tournament, especially if you're unemployed and have no budget to spend on the hobby. It helps me to get new toys and have more fun by trying out more and more stuff. Plus knowing what the prizes might be allows me to know how much effort and stress to put into an event. Playing in an event with a $500 reward is quite a bit different then playing in one with a nice little trophy, one I'll try my best and play my hardest in and will stress over and the other I'll play more for fun.

So can winners have fun and get prizes, sure thing, just the same way others can have fun in every other aspect of the game.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

40ks Most Expensive Unit


For those who don't know the Dark Eldar second wave is out for pre-order and it's full of beasts. These guys look amazing and I'd love to run a pack of these an army. But then I started looking at the price tag and was blown away. This could vary well be the most expensive unit to purchase for it's point value. Let's check by comparing it to other GW Models..

  • Land Raider - 250pts - $62 - 24.8 cents a point
  • SM 5 man Tactical Squad with Rhino - 125 pts - 44.4 cents a point
  • Valkyrie - 100pts - $62 - 62 cents a point
  • Eldar Jetbikes - 66pts - $45 - 68 cents a point
  • WarWalker - 40pts - $30 - 75 cents a point
  • Beast Master and 5 Khymerae - 72pts - $85 - $1.18 a point
I'm not sure about you, but at that rate a Dark Eldar army can get expensive real fast. What other units break the $1 a point mark? Do you think about cost vs points when you build your armies?

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Vegas Invitational Dilemma


I received my Vegas Invitation in my email last night. I can't tell you how excited I was to get it. For one I wasn't in the top 2 of my qualifying event but was third, and 2nd I had completely forgotten about it.

But here's the dilemma, the Tournament ends on the same day I start my summer job. Yeah I know right, it took me about twenty minutes to find the dates for my summer job, where I'll be teaching 3D Modeling and Animation at a summer camp for teenagers, but it starts June 19th, and Throne of Skulls is June 17th - 19th.

So here are a couple of my choices:

1. Reply to the email and tell them I'm not going, and delete it from my Inbox like it never happened (crying myself to sleep).

2. Email my future boss, being as nonchalant as possible, inquiring about the starting dates and kind of mention the invitational and see if he doesn't recommend himself I come in a day later.

3. Show up for the event on the 17th for the non- tournament stuff, and leave Saturday night, after the first day of the tournament and forfeit the second day.

What would you do?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Missions Creep

Have you started to notice how tournaments are shoving in more and more objectives in a game? It's only been a couple weeks since my last tournament but it seems to me that every one I go to has at least 3 different objectives in each game. That's 3 times more objectives then what the 40k rule book has in it's games. It gets even worse when you start to see your Primary, Secondary, Tertiary Missions backed up by 2-3 bonus point objectives.

This wouldn't be to bad, if all of the objectives could be balanced out in a game. What I've started to notice happening is that very competitive players are no longer building their army lists to try to accomplish missions, but rather to table the opponent. Here's why. If you build your army for the in book objetives you have to have a balance of mobility, survivability, and fire power. These 3 items will accomplish the different objective types in the main game. Mobility to capture multiple objectives, Survivability to capture your opponent's objective, and fire power to gain more Kill Points then your opponent.

But Competitive gamers have learned the Skeletal Key of tournament games. If you build your list for fire power only, then all you have to do it table your opponent to win the game. They know that this tactic is the dynamite to your Rock, Paper, Scissors.

What can we do to curve these dynamite players and try to bring tournament armies back to the all-comer lists we used to see. For starters I believe if we began shrinking the number of objectives and stop rewarding those dynamite players for blowing a person up more then the other player who can only accomplish 1 out of 3 we'll start to see army lists at the top tables that are more well rounded.

We can also start creating missions that actually require the objective to be obtained, and on a table result only minimal points are scored. I can hear competitive players screaming now, "But I wiped them out, that's way harder then the mission!" But what if the mission was capture the flag? You don't gain anything by base camping unless you actually are able to get the flag back to your base. If we start to build missions with this mentality then maybe we could see something other then the normal net list across the table.

As I gain more time, I'm going to try to start creating missions like this. And maybe, just maybe the overall tournament environment can be changed a little (hopefully for the better).