Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Magic the Gathering: The Cube

A few posts ago I may have mentioned that I was making a Cube for Magic the Gathering instead of making miniature gang wars a focus. I thought I should probably expand on this and explain the reasons what, why, how and where. So without further ado it's Cube time.

... not to be confused with Hammer time

Magic the Gathering to me is a card game I have been aware of since I was a child. Indeed my first exposure to the game was at school where some kids were playing with these new cards with exciting artwork and complicated rules.

This was the card that hooked me, a literal Mind Bomb. 
Mark Tedin artwork is fantastic.

My first thoughts about Magic were how do you play this, where can I get more cards, which cards are the best? As time went on I collected from various sets and although in my late teens it subsided as a hobby for me I always tried to keep up with the latest sets. This on off collecting has left me a rather large amount of cards (Over 8000 in total) which is great but with few people to play against that is all it was, a collection.

Sunday, 11 December 2016

Gang warfare on Necromunda:

Ah December a time when the nights are long the weather is cold and harsh and in theory you should have lots of free time ... yeah well I wish I had free time but it gets eaten up very quickly. However in November I did get the chance to have another Necromunda game against a friend.

The Delaque gang known as The Crystal Meth Farmers took on the newly formed Goliath gang the Smash Slayers first in a gang fight and then a Scavengers mission.

The Gang Fight begins as the Delaque occupy an old ruin.

The first encounter was clearly something of a surprise for the Goliaths as they were hounded from the start by laser blasts and shrapnel from the well armed Delaques.

Two Goliaths foolishly try to charge down Steve with a shotgun.

It wasn't pretty due to Delaques having a good setup and use of terrain. While the Goliaths experienced mostly pain, injuries and fatal wounds.

On a warped walkway Ugmaro calmly lights up ...

As Delaque ganger Cloud dispatches another unwary Goliath

Round 1 went to the Delaques, with Sorbus the leader very pleased his carapace armour protected him. Uneasy after being reduced to a toughness of 2 in the previous underhive battle.
In the second match Scavengers was drawn and although monsters lurked in the shadows none so much as startled a nervous Juve throughout.

This part of the Underhive was much more cramped, fighting was thicker and bloodier.

With loot up for grabs and the Delaque over confident form the earlier victory something was bound to break. Despite intense fighting, shooting and knife fights over valuable goods in the ruins the main thing to break was the carapace armour and internal organs of the Delaque leader. 

Taking a direct grenade shot from Mr T Smash the leader of the Goliaths at the start obliterated the Delaque leader and clearly demoralised the gang.

Mr T Smash surveys the destruction as the Delaques bottle out!

A final result of 1 win each ended the evenings Necromunda, some enjoyable fun was had and both gangs will be back for more. The Delaque lost there leader but acquired a Bio Booster and the Goliaths used the loot creds to recruit a new ganger after one died in the gang fight mission.

Til next time ....

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Movie Review: Don't Breathe

Don't Breathe

Yes Don't Breathe a film by the director who gave us that Evil Dead remake (which I haven't seen yet). I wasn't holding my breath when I went to watch this although the trailer seemed quite good.

The basic plot is three competent 20 something burglars decide to rob a house owned by a reclusive blind man who has 300k stashed away. Alex, Ricky and Money all have there own reasons for needing the money which sets them off on this enterprise, which then goes very wrong, very quickly.

What surprised me was that the acting is all great, the setting/plot is well contained not outstaying its welcome and the thrils, tension and fear are solid. Naturally there are added twists and turns (the most disturbing of which had one guy swear out loud in the cinema) as the film progresses but as it's only 88mins long so these seem natural and add to the suspense. The gore level is kept to a minimum but there is a constant threat so it's not missed.

This film is firmly based in reality so there is no supernatural stuff here which is honestly quite refreshing. Got to mention Stephen Lang who plays the Blind Man, he is excellent throughout the film and I will remember this great villain he has portrayed here. I admit the final third leans slightly into traditional horror tropes for anyone who has watched a slasher film before will be familiar with, but its still very entertaining.

Overall I can't recommend this enough. Don't Breathe is a concise, suspenseful thriller horror with an original idea. If you need to see a decent horror film give this one a go it is really worth your time.

4 out of 5 pumpkins.

Saturday, 22 October 2016

Early painting ambition & abominations

It occurred to me the other day that a lot of what I see on the internet in regards to painted miniatures is often excellent and amazing. Images of hand crafted spawning beds of chaos daemons rising from the blood pits of slaughtered imperial guardsmen or incredible detail on a Dwarven Lords runic hammer and armour. Which is great, I love being inspired by such artwork. I remember when I first got into this hobby and looking at White dwarf or a codex Eavy Metal page and going 'Wow' to myself. You know this kind of thing:

Always liked that Eldar Warlock.

But despite wanting to paint something like that myself I have never been as skilled or patient enough to get anywhere near that kind of result. So this post is more a display of hope for any aspiring miniature hobby painter that no matter what you do it can only get better and we have all had to start somewhere. Indeed welcome to crudely painted Space Crusade 1991 Space Orks.

Gold skinned orks with black teeth have yet to really take off :)

These four fine chaps have now gone to the dettol dip to be cleaned up but I thought I should take a photo of what young me thought you could do with citadels paint. 

The biomass value of wooden ladders duel begins!

A couple years on and my painting skills didn't improve a great deal but here and there they got a little better, and although these two models are very average at least they looked ok on the tabletop and were used a lot. Dire avenger Eldar Exarch being one of my favourite models and I have always had a soft spot for the old Tyranid Warriors 

So this post was more a trip down memory lane and a reminder that painting takes time and practice but always looks better no matter the skill level than a sea of silver or grey. So get out the brushes and paint those minis up :)

Or Mr Bloodthirster might get angry!

Movie Review: Humanoids from the Deep

Humanoids from the Deep (1980) aka Monster

Sometimes you have to admire the ideas that get turned into horror movies. Dog sized carnivorous shrews, shark filled tornadoes and violent mutated bipedal celocanths. If that last one isn't recognizable then you haven't watched Humanoids from the Deep a Roger Corman horror film about a fishing company trying to make super salmon that get eaten by Celocanths that then rapidly evolve into humanoid fish men that kill the men and rape the women of a sleepy fishing village.

The plot is  your standard tale of an unseen threat slowly infiltrating a town by killing the odd person or all the dogs (if you can't stomach dogs dying on film I'd skip this one) while the residents blame the local native american at first before realizing too late it's actually the horrifying love child of the creature from the black lagoon, regenerators from resident evil and Rainbows Zippy.

Time to eat the townspeople!

Is it any good? Well the effects for are really good as you might expect from SFX supremo Rob Bottin (pre The Thing), there is a huge kill count, there is a decent amount of nudity and a surprisingly large amount of explosions for a fishing village. The highlights are probably the creatures themselves which are really creepy, the brawl between the townspeople early on and the finale at the town festival where the salmon monsters run amok killing and raping everyone. On the other hand some of the acting is not that great, the ending sequel bait is kind of off and if mutant salmon men raping women isn't your thing then this is probably best avoided.

Overall this is a decent exploitation monster movie which didn't leave me bored at all, worth checking out.

3 out of 5 Pumpkins

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Movie Review: 20 Million Miles to Earth

Over the years I have watched my fair share of films and a lot of them are from the sci-fi and horror genres, so I thought I may as well keep a record of these on here:

20 Million Miles to Earth

I like to start an October monster/horror movie viewing session with something light not too serious and not too long, so naturally I turn to 1950s B-Movies and none could be better than a Ray Harryhausen film.

20 Million Miles to Earth is a tale of man bringing back something from space. In this case a gelatinous blob that turns into an adorable club tailed reptilian creature called Ymir. You see scientists in 1950s America somehow could fly to Venus, land, study the wildlife and then fly back. Unfortunately they must have forgotten about all the sulfuric acid and intense heat and pressure of Venus because the ship crashes on returning to earth.

The film has two main stages. The first involves the crashed spaceship, rescue of the crew and Italian and american governments trying to work together. The second involves Ymir who via a small boy is sold to a scientist and then proceeds to grow and escape. Ymir is a great monster who is immune to most weapons and smashes his way through farms, labs, zoos and the Coliseum of Rome. His fight with an Elephant being a highlight.

A fun Saturday afternoon film with some great special effects, worth a watch.

3 and a half pumpkins out of 5.

Wednesday, 19 October 2016

Making some Old Ruins

It's been a little while since I last posted been mostly taking time to catch up on some video games and building a Magic the Gathering Cube (might blog about that another time).

However I haven't abandoned Necromunda and acquired some Orlocks and Van Saar models which I need to paint up. In the meantime I have been making some scenery for the gangs to fight over. Mainly this ruined building (possibly a church) inspired by another blog I found on the internet.

This is still in the early stages and since this photo was taken I have added some support to the main ladder platform and moved the small ladder to the left so a model can access either window.

Next time I hope to show a fully painted version. 

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

Rival reporter finds extra underhive photos!!

Turns out a couple more photos from the Underhive battle have surfaced but from the other end of the table. These feature the Goliaths and the Escher in the early stages of the game.

Having removed the Cawdor gang the Goliaths charge the tower!

The Escher hold the line as Plague Zombies approach!

Saturday, 9 July 2016

In the Underhive: A long time ago ...

In a blog far far away I said I would post regularly with interesting images and news.(Looks at timeline and notices it has been over a year since I did anything with this blog).

Well anyway in more recent times I have been painting up some Necromunda models and even got in a game session or two. Ideally these would have been 1v1 games but as is the case there was 5 of us so settled for a custom run to the top of the spire game.

Ah classic Necromunda scenery, still going strong.

The final resolution of this 5 gang warfare was a huge amount of injured Delaques, Goliaths, Scavvy Mutants, Escher and Cawdor gangers with the Escher gang known as the Echelon running off with the prize of 100 creds and a one in a million boltgun.

The highlight of the game though was a daring 4 man run across a gantry to the tower by the religious lunatics of Cawdor. Wait did I say daring? More like foolish as this path provided no cover whatsoever.

"Y'know Billy it's a long way down from h'eeeeeaaah!!"

The Goliath leader known as Method Man took advantage and using his grenade launcher hit all four of them sending two falling below, one trying to cling to life and the Juve non the wiser.

All in all a lot of fun was had in the depths of the underhive with everyone keen for more encounters. I'm hoping to get more 1v1 encounters going so the campaign can grow and shorter games can be played. I'll leave you with this gem of an photo below.

These pizza vending machines are wyrd!!