Games, milkshakes, and power armor

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How to not seem like a tool in online games

This is a pet peeve of mine that I feel like venting about. Whether on Xbox/Windows Live, Playstation Network, Steam or other online games, your screen name is the first experience your fellow gamers are going to have with you. It is the very first impression anyone who interacts with you online is going to get. I completely understand how difficult it can be to find a name that hasn't been taken yet, and people are more than welcome to call themselves whatever they want but there's a line between a decent name and seeming like an ass. Here's a few things I feel like ought to be avoided to not seem like a douche on online games.

Offender #1: tHe RAnDoM CaPItAlIzEr
The one thing that you need to strive for in a screen name/tag/psID is clarity. Especially in fast paced games like shooters, the last thing your team mates want to do is take their eyes off of what's going on in-game to struggle to read your mess of a gamertag so they can call out to you and say what's going on. One of the easiest ways to make me want to not bother telling you about the enemy who's about to give you a hot lead enema is to capitalize random letters in your tag. Capital letters belong at the start of words and names, nowhere else.

Offender #2: Mr.L3375P34K
H0w m4ny 0f y0u c4n r34d p30pl3 wh0 7yp3 l1k3 7h15? L33t is a relic from the 90's that has got to die. This goes back to my earlier subject of clarity. I don't want to have to determine what the fuck your tag is supposed to be while I'm trying to not get the hell shot out of me. I'm fine with the odd zero instead of an "o," but god damn it half of your name should not be numbers/random symbols.
Offender #3: The super stoner.
Let's get one thing straight. I am a fan of weed. However flaunting being the stoner lifestyle not only makes you look like a dumbass but also makes you the type of stoner who the only ones who want to play with are other guys who have that kind of tags. By all means, smoke weed, especially while gaming, but think for a minute what kind of message you're sending out about yourself before you hit 'accept' on the tag "super420weedstonerman." This goes for all you guys who use those "joint ops" and "blunt trauma" tags on CoD. Sorry to tell you guys but that shit has never been cool. Ever.
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Offender #4: The guy who adds numbers on the end of his name.
This is mainly a peeve of mine when it comes to MMORPG's and the like. On xbox live I can usually understand it, but if you're going to be in a thematic roleplaying enviroment for the love of god show a little imagination and pick something that actually looks like a real name. Nothing breaks the immersion like having the game system announce on a server message along the lines of "Killbasher662 has slain the Black Dragon of Memnoth!" You want to play in a world of swords and sorcery and high adventure, I can respect that. I can't respect that if you don't pick a name that seems like you mean it.
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Offender #5: The overcompensator
HardCoreGangstaKilla, SuperDeathMaker, shit like that. If you have to make a name for yourself that brags about how awesome you are, don't. It doesn't make you seem hardcore. It makes you look like a kid. If you have to announce your mad skills to the world, all I can say is you had better have the moves to cash the check your name is writing for you.

Offender #6: The innuendo/penis symbol.

Just no. You can bet your ass I'll report you for sheer stupidity even if your tag wasn't offensive. If I want to see dicks on the internet I'll go watch porn.
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Like I said, I can totally understand how hard it is to pick a quality screen name, but the extra effort always is worth it in the end when you don't seem like a dumbass in game. That's all for now. +1, like, follow, etc., you guys know the drill. Until next time!

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Sunday, August 28, 2011

Newbiehammer #2: Picking the right army/ Army overview, part one: Space Marines

Ghevrix here, better late than ever and back from a small hiatus with a brand new post to my fledgeling Warhammer guide for new players, and the subject is one that will effect your gaming experience during your entire time playing this game: Your army.

As I said in my last post, Warhammer 40k has a ton of armies to choose from, each with it's own units and style of play. Since all the armies and their units are so different and have a number of strategies available to them, I'll have to stick to a short overview of the army and their strategies. Some armies have an asterisk (*) next to their name, these denote an army that hasn't had their codex rulebook updated to the latest rulebook. This doesn't necessarily make them worse than the rest. I've seen plenty of killer army lists made from races with outdated rules. That said, they may not take advantage of the rules the in the same way as they used to. Remember the real thing that matters in a choice of army is how much you like it and have fun playing.

Today I'm providing a list and quick description of each army here, as well as starting my slightly more in-depth overviews of the armies after Since there are so many armies, I'm going to break it down over multiple posts.

-Space Marines (Including Blood Angels, Dark Angels*, Space Wolves, Grey Knights and Black Templars,* who have their own books)

-Chaos Space Marines (All the awesome of Space Marines, but a lot more evil)

-Inquisition* (Hunters of aliens, heretics, mutants and traitors against humanity, or anyone they perceive as such)

-Imperial Guard (Standard humans, lots of tanks, artillery and large squads for meat grinder, attrition-style warfare)

-Daemons of Chaos (Hordes of inter-dimensional, bloodthirsty beasts driven to destroy)

-Orks (Pretty much the same Orks you get when you think of fantasy orcs/orks, just in space. And with guns. They use weight of numbers and sheer aggression. Also they pay in knocked-out teeth and believe vehicles painted red go faster. One of the only armies with a sense of humor)

-Tau* (As high-tech an army as you can get. A highly-advanced alien race with laser carbines and battlesuits. For the Gundam lovers out there)

-Tyranids (Slavering, numberless hordes of extra-galactic beasts here to eat your entire planet and all it's neighbors. The least human of all the armies, and the most fang and claw-reliant. That makes them no less hard to kill)

-Eldar (Space elves. Yep. You heard me. The last of a dying race that used to rule the galaxy long before humanity came along. One of the most advanced armies to play, these guys are heavily reliant on inter-unit synergy and extremely mobile skimmer vehicles to win)

-Dark Eldar (Evil Space elves. Pirates and raiders who live in dark, corrupted cities on hidden worlds, leaving only to collect slaves for their twisted pleasures. They fight understandably similar to regular Eldar, using skimmers to cart lethal but fragile troops around the field, however that's pretty much where the similarities end)

-Necrons* (Ancient zombie robots from space is the prevalent theme here. Legions of metallic skeletons making their way inexorably across the field, laying waste to anything they come across. The only army more sturdy and harder to outright kill than Space Marines, since after these things get killed, there's a 50/50 chance they come back from the dead the next turn)

Now for the army overviews. I'll just to Space Marines this time but I may do multiple armies in a single post in the future.

Space Marines

Space Marines, or Adeptus Astartes, as some of the ubernerds will occasionally refer to them as, are the classic posterboys for Warhammer 40,000. Eight foot tall, relentless post-human supersoldiers, genetically and surgically enhanced and armored with humanity's best arms and armor for the express purpose of securing mankind's interstellar empire. These guys are taken in as preteens, enhanced, and heavily trained to kick ass and chew bubblegum, and there is no gum in the grim, dark future of the 41st millenium. No gum anywhere. They're organized into Chapters of 1000 men, each Chapter an army unto itself. It may not seem like much, but a full company of 100 is usually enough to bring an entire planet and it's neighbors into compliance.

Space Marines generally don't field large numbers on the story battlefield, but what they do bring to the table is bigger, stronger, faster, angrier, and a whole lot harder to kill than almost anything else in the story. This is well reflected on the gaming table. A Space Marine army is smaller and more elite than most other races, however the standard troops have the best armor of any unit in an equivalent position in other armies. They can field elite units that can fill a variety of roles, from rapid-moving bike and Assault squads to heavy weapon-toting Devastator squads to stalwart, heavily-armored Terminator squads. In some cases there are special characters who will give the entire army special rules, affecting the entire play style of your force!

Story-wise there are over a thousand Space Marine Chapters, with it's own style of warfare. On the table, there are multiple ways to paint and play these guys. Some prefer to armor up and flood the field with mobile tanks and ground units, others prefer to focus on infantry and bringing weight of fire from protected positions, while in other players still prefer to play aggressively and focus on getting into close combat with their jet pack or Terminator-armored warriors. More often, you'll face hybrid armies that mesh some or all of these different styles of play. Best thing to do is to identify their lynchpin unit, the squad(s) or unit(s) that do the heavy lifting, so to speak for his army, and take it out of the game as efficiently as possible. Normally this will be the leaders or special characters of the army, or a particularly badass close combat unit or vehicle. Whatever it is you'll figure out fast simply by the amount of damage it does, which will be far and away that which their standard units could put out.

Units to watch for:


The cream of the crop, literally the elites of the elites. These guys come in two flavors, the close combat specialist Vanguard and the more tactically-oriented Sternguard. Vanguard are equipped with jetpacks, like a normal Assault squad, but can hit much harder and faster than anything a standard Assault squad can dish out. Sternguard are an entirely different flavor of beast. Instead of relying on close-in fighting, these veterans like to take their foes down at range, using a variety of specialized ammunition that has a much more lethal effect on their targets. The best, most general advice I can give to take on these units is to not engage them in their preferred method. In short, shoot the ones that like to assault, and assault the ones that like to shoot. Vanguard who can't get close can't use their big fancy swords and Sternguard that are stuck in close combat can't use their special ammo.


Basically a Space Marine that proves himself to be a badass among badasses and actually manages to get messed up bad enough, he may be chosen to be put in a Dreadnaught. A Dreadnaught, or just a dread for short, is a two story tall bad day on two legs. Half life-support system half tank, this thing is hard to kill and can be equipped with a huge variety of weapons that can let it fill any role from anti-infantry, anti-vehicle, to one of the heaviest-hitting close combat units available. If you see one of these things in your opponent's army, first thing to do is take a good look at what weapons it has equipped. If it has one or both arms ending in a fist-looking attachment, avoid close combat unless you're sure you can break it open, because if not, it will have a fun time doing the same to you. The second thing you should do is hit it with anti-tank weapons, because standard weapons won't scratch that armor.


Black-armored, skull-faced warriors. These guys are the spiritual guardians of their given Chapter. On the field, these guys are close combat monsters. Usually attached to another unit, Chaplains buff out the entire squad they're in with their special rules. These guys are almost never running around alone. The only chance you'll have to get at him is to whittle down the squad he's in and gang up on him. Flood him with armor save rolls and he'll go down eventually.


Put the idea of the quiet bookworm out of your head, because these guys can cause some commotion. Librarians are psychic warriors who use their abilities to reinforce their already prodigious combat skills. On the table, these guys are wild cards. Each rulebook has a list of available psychic powers that the Librarian can use every turn, which can do anything from directly damage enemies, to reinforce other squads, to warp whole units across the battlefield. You can never really know what to expect from a Librarian until he starts using his powers, but whatever you do, keep your big, scary single-man units away from them, because their close combat weapons can instant-kill anything that it causes a wound to.

-Special Characters
The head honchos of the Space Marines. These guys take no nonsense from anything. Invariably harder than anything else in the army in close combat, and usually have special rules that they can pass on to certain units in the army or even the whole army. These guys are a priority target in almost any case, but there's pretty much no easy way to bring them down.
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Tips for playing Space Marines:

-Don't think your units are impervious
They are famous for being hard to kill and knowing no fear, but they are not impervious, they can and will die. Especially if you get too enamored with their awesomeness and send them out with no support. All 40k armies rely on inter-unit teamwork to win, Space Marines are no different. Using one unit to soften up an enemy unit before sending another in to finish cleaning up is a common tactic.

-Don't be afraid to gang up on units

Seriously. Causing a few wounds to a bunch of enemy squads is a lot less useful than causing a lot of wounds to one or two.

Tips for facing Space Marines

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-Definitely gang up on units
It bears repeating. Doubly so for facing Space Marines. Unless it's below half strength, chances are a given Space Marine squad is a threat in some form or another.

-Watch for elite units

Reread what I said about lynchpin units. If a Space Marine army loses it's focal point it loses the main ability to do damage. Even so, don't underestimate the army, because there may be more than one lynchpin and even if not, Space Marines are still deadly.

-AP3 or higher weapons are your friend

This is for newer players who have at least browsed the rulebook. For those or haven't, AP refers to a stat of weapons that determines how well a weapon bypasses armor. Basically a scale from 6 to 1, the lower the better. AP 3 is enough to get past Space Marine armor. Some good examples are plasma guns, which are AP 2, or an Eldar weapon called a Reaper Launcher, which is AP3. Weapons like these will not give Space Marines the chance to use their armor to protect them from getting damaged or killed.

-Don't dance to his tune

This is pretty much the same advice for facing Veterans: Don't let him play to his strengths as much as possible. If you see a unit made for close combat, shoot the hell out of it. If it has a big, scary gun, tie it up in close combat. Unbalance your opponent and keep him on the back foot, reacting to your moves instead of simply reacting to his and you'll have a lot easier time of beating them.
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This is far from a comprehensive list of the units available to Space Marine players. I may go into the units from the Chapter-specific codices, the Blood Angels, Black Templars, etc., in the future, since these armies play differently enough from generic Space Marines to warrant their own books. However, no matter what Space Marine army you're playing or playing against, these units are always a good idea to pick up to use or, conversely, keep an eye out for on the table. Tune in next week for a breakdown of the Chaos Space Marines and their twisted tools of destruction.

All pics/art are copyright to their artists or owners. All Warhammer 40k stuff is copyright Games Workshop

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Wednesday, August 24, 2011

This is what you're doing for Halloween.

Got plans for Halloween yet? Now you do. In case the picture didn't give you a hint, it involves zombies. What better way to celebrate Halloween than with a three-day, nerf zombie tag event? That's right, zombie hunters, dig up your nerf guns and look behind your couch for your plastic foam darts because at the end of October the living dead are rising in your local city. Like I said before, this is a three day long event, starting the 29th and ending the 31st.

This event is going to be held in large areas in a given city, with people playing as surviors or zombies, with zombies trying to "bite" the survivors and teams of survivors competing to stay alive against the zombies and even other teams of survivors! In the final day each team of both survivors and humans can all make flags, and fight against each other to collect other groups flags.
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I know you paintball and airsoft fans like to scoff at nerf guns but I think that this thing looks like a ton of fun, especially if a big enough group can be gathered. That's why any of you that are interested in this and think it's as cool as I do should definitely start telling their friends. I'm serious. The bigger this thing gets the more better it's going to be. Tell your friends, post it to facebook.

The event main page
with rules and link to find your local event
Zombie event meetup group
Facebook event
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This is a worldwide event. So far the biggest group is around 50. I bet if you guys try to get your friends in it, and spread the word that this could definitely be big! I'm looking forward to assembling my team and unloading some orange foam fury. I'm gonna try to swing getting one of those battery powered gatling guns. I want to see if I could convince one of my friends to shave their head in order to make a nerf Heavy Weapons Guy cosplay. I'll probably bring this up again as it gets closer to the event. I want to see some zombies, come

Do a Thriller dance, I dare you.
Ha ha. Cry some more.
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Sunday, August 21, 2011

Newbiehammer: Intro to Warhammer 40k

I've been thinking a lot about what sort of Warhammer content I'd like to put on my blog, and I've decided that a weekly "newbie guide" for fledgeling wargamers is a good place to start. I'm going to get around to more advanced stuff in the future, and I'm not limiting my blog to strictly Warhammer things, either. However, for those who are interested in the hobby and yet don't know where to start, I think every Sunday (I know it's technically Monday, shut up) I'm going to post some great basic tips for getting your army started, as well as some painting techniques I've picked up along the way, as well as tactics and strategies for gameplay. So nubs, listen up and check me out every sunday from now on for useful info, and heck, even you older hats may want to check it out, who knows? I may post something interesting for you, too!

Part 1: So you want to try Warhammer

What is Warhammer 40k?

Warhammer 40k (short for 40,000) is a tabletop war game made by the UK company Games Workshop, set in the distant future of the 41st millenium. The human race has left Earth (now renamed Terra) and has gone on to colonize the entire milky way. The gameplay itself is centered around the endless wars and battles that humanity and all the other races of the galaxy fight against one another. Whether for planetary territory, slaves, principle, honor, or the simple love of warfare or xenophobic hatred for all the other inhabitants of space.

The game is played using collected armies of plastic, pewter or resin figures that every player collects and paints, building their own fierce warhosts, proud regiments of soldiers, or slavering bestial hordes to bring to battle against their friends and rivals on tabletop landscapes. As I've mentioned before, Warhammer 40k does everything big. From the battles to the robots to the guns to the explosions and more. There's war machines the size of buildings shooting weapons big enough to atomize entire platoons of soldiers, cataclysmic, planet-ending wars, grudges that last tens of thousands of years and, my personal favorite, eight-foot tall genetically altered super soldiers encased in powered armor made for the express purpose of ruining anybody that stands in the way of humanity's domination of the stars.

Sounds cool? Yeah, I thought so too.

(Before I continue I should mention that Warhammer 40k, or just 40k as I'll sometimes refer to it, is not the only game system made by Games Workshop. Not counting the various systems based off of the 40k background, there's also Warhammer Fantasy, which brings a more classic, swords and sorcery aspect to the fore, as well as Warhammer Lord of the Rings, for you Tolkien fans. However, since my experience is pretty much centered around 40k that will be the focus of my blog posts. That said, things like painting tips and tutorials can and definitely should be applied to other systems as well.)

Okay, you convinced me! Where do I start?
Get online and find yourself a local hobby shop. Your first stop should be the Games Workshop website. This place has a store locator which will help you find your local GW outlet. These places are where all the magic happens. Here you'll find gaming tables, other players to play, a painting area and hobby specialists whose express job it is to answer your questions and introduce you to the game and hobby, and make sure you have fun doing it. In addition, every GW has it's own introductory table, where the specialists will walk you through a small game for so you can get a feeling for the rules and how the game plays.
If you can't find a GW nearby, don't fret! Just to a web search for local hobby shops, chances are you'll find one around you somewhere that sells Warhammer and has a gaming table or two. At the very least you'll be able to find other people who would be all to eager to have some fresh blood in their hobby group and a place to play at their house!
The website also has painting tutorials for individual armies, as well as showcases and places to check out and if you want, order everything you'd need to get started online.

Woah, this stuff is expensive!

Again, fear not! There's a starter set available that includes basically everything you'd find on the introductory table at Games Workshop, including enough models for two small armies, the rules for those models, dice, measuring sticks, as well as a small, abridged version of the rules that will teach you everything that you'll find in the big, head-sized core rulebook, and the whole box goes for about the same price as said rulebook. That said, I would still recommend getting or at least opening the big book and checking it out, aside from the rules there's also a ton of background story, as well as tips on painting, making your own gaming table, and setting up special types of games. Every Games Workshop generally has a store copy of the rulebook, as well as the codexes (we'll get to those) for each army in the game that anyone can pick up and read whenever they like. The store will usually have it's own common supply of dice, tape measures paints for people to use while they're there. However, don't let that detract you from getting your own eventually!

Pretty much everything you need to start.

If you find that neither of the two armies in the core starter set appeals to you, there are battleforces for each army that have just about everything you need to get started with any of the numerous races in 40k, and the price of the battleforce boxes are usually a great deal compared to the price of buying each of the units inside it seperately. After that all you'll need is that army's codex, which is a sub rulebook that outlines all the units available for that race, tips on how to play them, as well as backstory for the whole army. Basically everything you need to know about them to get started.
If you still find the prices to be unreasonable, take a look at online sites like ebay or amazon. You can typically find someone selling their army there. This provides you with an army that's likely cheaper than what you'd find in the shop, and usually has the added bonus of already being painted. However, nothing makes an army more satisfying to both see and use than collecting, building, and painting an army yourself, in my opinion.

Which army should I pick?

That's entirely up to you! The whole game is set up so that no one race is outright "better" than the others. The choice of what army to pick should come down to whatever you think is the most awesome, and would most enjoy playing. Every army has it's own unique theme and style, strengths and weaknesses. Races like Orks or the monstrous Tyranids seek to overwhelm their foes with outright brutality and weight of numbers, whereas the regiments of regular humans in the Imperial Guard would use coordinated massed fire, and great squadrons of tanks to crush their foes. Or perhaps your play style is drawn more towards the hardened elites of the Space Marines, who use the combination of their gene-enhanced toughness, powered armor and superior weapons to bring opponents down with surgical strikes using smaller, tougher units and superior equipment, or even their insidious counterparts, the Chaos Space Marines, who use dark powers drawn from a chaotic other dimension to break their victims. Perhaps your interest may even lie in Daemons, who come from that very same nether realm in great hordes of otherworldy creatures to wreak carnage and slaughter in the name of their dark god masters.
With each army comes it's own strategies and it's own powerful units. Just pick one you think sounds the most awesome and go with it!

Now what?

Play some games! The best way to get familiar with it is by doing it, even if the only thing you have to bring to the GW is a box full of unpainted starter minis I can guarantee you the guys who work at the shop will find someone who will play with you. Even while you're at home, invite a couple mates over and play a few missions from the starter box, or from the back of the big rule book. The best thing about this hobby is that it's multi-faceted. Immerse yourself in every aspect of it. Painting minis, building different army lists, playing, learning the backstory, all of these things can be enjoyable. Immerse yourself in the hobby as much as you feel comfortable with. If you like sci-fi fantasy and board games, I bet you'll like this.

Last-minute tips:

-Don't get overwhelmed!

There's a lot of different aspects of this game to absorb. Take your time to learn it all, pace yourself. If you overload yourself with information or push yourself too hard to work on something then you're going to burn yourself out and not have fun. It's a game and a hobby, not a job. You don't need to know or do everything at once right off the bat.
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-Stick with it

Just like with any other game, when you start playing, chances are you're going to lose a few times. Don't let it get to you, just take it in stride. Instead, turn your losses to your advantage. After every game think to yourself: "What did I do right?" "What went wrong?" "What unit really hurt me?" "What could I do to differently next time?" And always keep in mind that this is in the end, a dice game. Sometimes the dice will love you, sometimes they just won't work the way you want them to. Recognize that it's just the way things go and keep on keepin on.

-Read the lore

I've said before that Warhammer 40k has one of the most expansive backstories for any game I've ever played. Immerse yourself in the fluff (slang term for anything backstory-related to the game), especially the fluff of your army. Why is it fighting? Where did it come from? Who are it's allies? Who are it's mortal foes? It's fascinating to read and adds a whole new level of involvement with the game that will increase your enjoyment of it a hundred times over.

-Find some 40k forums

There's a number of online forums dedicated to Warhammer 40k. To name a few:
Bolter and Chainsword
Here you can connect with other fans of the game, get tactic and strategic help, tips for building an army list or what units to buy next, find model painting and converting tutorials, get info on upcoming events and maybe even find other hobby groups in your area!
Which sort of brings me to my next tip:

-Ignore the internet-posted tournament lists
You're probably going to stumble upon army lists posted online that people take to tournaments. Try to ignore these, at least for the time being. Tournament lists are often made by "powergamers," who are on a whole other competitive level than the people you find regularly around your local shop, and are more concerned with exploiting an army's rules to win at all costs rather than building a fun, thematic list. Too often you'll wind up with a cookie cutter list that the only people who will want to play against are other powergamers who know exactly how your list works and how to beat it.

And finally:
-Ask questions
Don't be embarrassed about not understanding something. If an opponent's unit is plowing through your whole army, ask your opponent to see that unit's rules. It's generally considered good gaming manners to let your opponent look at your rulebook or army list if they're having trouble understanding. If you're still not convinced, ask one of the specialists working at the shop to take a look at your game, if your opponent can't satisfactorily explain it, chances are the guys who work at the Games Workshop can.

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Anyway, that's my first bit of guide for anyone who's interested at getting started in the awesome world of Warhammer 40k. Tune in this time next week for even more tips and tricks to help you up your game either on the table or with a brush. Comment, follow, +1, you know what to do.

All GW, Warhammer and Warhammer 40k stuff is copywright Games Workshop and all that goodness.

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Saturday, August 20, 2011

I wanted a ten dollar movie, not a fifteen dollar migrane.

Anyone else getting tired of 3D movies? It seems like the cinematic fad that just won't die. First it was Dreamworks and Disney putting all their animated films in 3D, which is great for the kiddies and all, but after a while it seems like every director and his dog has to make his movies in 3D format. I'm sick of it. As it is, despite all the "advances" in the technology, I still find myself lifting up my glasses over and over again throughout the movie, trying to tell the difference aside from the slight double-image. Thus far I really haven't seen any movie in 3D that's wow-ed me. Furthermore while it was cool at first, seeing pickaxes/swords/rocks/debris/people thrown at me after again and again and again just for an excuse to exploit the tech for all of about three seconds feels like the movie's just scrabbling for attention.
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"Look at me! Look at meeeeeee! Do you see this thing that is obviously flying at your head! Is this not so amazing and lifelike that you feel like you must duck and avoid it?!" No. No it doesn't.

Even more galling than that is the four or five dollar markup you pay to SEE this bullshit. Five dollars for a pair of questionably functional, 80's-reminiscent glasses that god knows how many people have worn before you and the possibility of giving myself and my date a headache. You realize few things put a damper on the possibility of getting laid at the end of the night like a 3D-induced migrane? Great. Now you're cockblocking me. Thanks a lot, 3D. Now go drink some paint thinner and remove yourself from my cinematic experience.
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You want to impress me? Here.

That's Sony's 360 Autostereoscopic display. In plain english, it's an honest to goodness, space age-looking holographic display. Make a movie on THAT, Pixar. Then I'll pay your fucking sixteen dollars.

In other news, in case you were wondering, no, I haven't seen the new Conan. Call me a stickler but I don't think we needed the remake. Although I will applaud them for finding an actor even uglier than Scwartzenegger to play him. Seriously, the guy's like a combination of Troy Polamalu and Donkey Kong.
Tell me I'm wrong. He could probably kill a man with his eyebrow ridge alone.

I'm sure everyone's raving about it for a reason, and I was enticed by the inclusion of Ron Pearlman, but I'm perfectly comfortable in the minority. I'll sit here, waiting for a new Conan starring Schwartzenegger. I want to see the old, floppy Conan that looks like he's smuggling deflated balloons under his arm skin. Call me weird, but I think it would be hilarious.
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Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Well, check out me and my bad self!

It's been exactly one week since I went public with this blogging thing and I don't think I'm being too full of myself when I say I've gotten off to a great start! Almost 50 followers and almost 1700 views!. I just wanted to say thanks to all my followers, commenters, and dare I say, fans out there who've given me and my blog such a warm start off. I'll do my best to live up to the attention and post a little something interesting each day.
As for today, the topic is promising game releases. In this case we're talking about Prototype 2.

I was a big fan of both Prototype and InFamous, two superhero sandbox games featuring gravelly-voiced protagonists that are spontaneously given superpowers in events that happen to nuke the living shit out of the city that they happen to be residing in. Both games came out at around the same time, and on the surface, look identical: You have superpowers, the city around you is in shambles, and look at all these people wandering around waiting for you to ruin their shit with ever more interesting powers as you progress the story. Now, that's where the similarities end. Aside from the different powers each "hero" has (and I add the quotations because both of the main characters can make a very large business of not only being colossal pricks, but nuking everything for blocks around).

Above: Cole McGrath of InFamous at the end of his evil ending. Below: Alex Mercer of Prototype, pretty much just being Alex.

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Now as I said I like both games, but for different reasons. Prototype was awesome in that it took everything that made the sandbox genre good too heart. It gives you a huge play area, an easy way to get around said area from the start of the game (whereas InFamous makes you wait for a good three or four levels in), and a huge population of people, soldiers, mutants and monsters to try out your ever-increasing repertoire of moves on. Mercer is by all accounts more awesome than your average person. He runs faster, jumps farther and can literally morph his body into anything from blades to claws to whips to body armor to other people to giant fists that look for all the world like Hulk Hands, which are always awesome (I would like to take this moment to apologize to my readers whose parents never loved them enough to buy them Hulk Hands). Aside from that, you can also use a handful of guns, tanks, and helicopters in your various adventures. While it doesn't have the attention to story or mission variety that InFamous offers it doesn't detract from the simple pleasure you get from stealthing into a military base disguised as a C.O. and progressively wreaking havoc inside until everyone is dead, then going outside and blowing the place up for giggles.
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To those people who haven't kept their ears to the ground for this in Prototype 2 you in fact DON'T reprise your role as the throat-punching Alex Mercer, but start afresh as James Heller. Apparently Heller was a soldier, one of many that were sent to kill and were summarily mowed down by Mercer (who by himself probably accounted for more casualties than Vietnam by the end of Prototype), but for some reason that of course had NOTHING TO DO AT ALL with the sudden lack of protagonist in the new game, Mercer infects with the same virus that changed him, instead of killing and eating Heller outright like he did for pretty much everything that looked at him crossways since the start of the first game. So, from what I can tell, the game starts and you take control of Heller with one objective: Find and kill Alex Mercer.
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Anyway, all that said I have high hopes for the sequel. Hopefully Radical games and Sucker Punch will cooperate a little better and release their games more tastefully spaced apart. Or maybe they thrive on competition? Who knows. As I said, the first game was an endless amount of fun, since you pretty much start the game as an unstoppable killing machine and build from there. From what I've seen Prototype 2 promises more of the same mass-dismembering, monster killing, helicopter punching goodness, and it's dialed up to eleven, and judging from it's predecessor, that's exactly what it ought to be.

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Monday, August 15, 2011

Well, I tried LoL and...

The verdict is...

I need a new computer. It's the weirdest thing, I played a game with my friend online, and he had us on a team against bots, and it played alright. I played through the tutorial, all fine. However when I try to play a game on my own, all by myself with bots my framerate drops down to literally ONE frame per second. I dare not go online for fear of dragging a team down before inevitably quitting when i can no longer figure out what is going on.

From the amount of time I could play the game reminded me a lot of Warcraft 3, only without the base building. The gameplay is team based, with two teams spawning at bases on opposite ends of the map, and are connected by straight lanes that span the map. The two teams fight to push the other back down the lane into their base and finally destroying it. This may sound simple but there's almost as much micro-management as in Warcraft, it's just centered more on your individual hero, which abilities you level up as it increases, and which items you purchase as you gather gold. Not only that, but how well your hero works as part of a team. In fact, this game just got added to the roster of the MLG pro video gaming circuit.

Like in Warcraft, each level has creeps at different places around the map, ranging from a pack of wolves, to golems, and a dragon. Defeating these creeps will give your hero gold and experience, as well as handy stat buffs that will help you as you push down your lane against the enemy heroes. Once one team pushes all the way forward and destroys the center of the other team's base, they win.

I can see how this game can get addicting. As you play you gain access to more and more ways to increase your character's stats and customize them to your playstyle. As you would expect from a pro circuit game, the fanbase is fiercely competitive, to say the least. The roster of heroes to play with is absolutely huge. With more characters and skins for those characters added regularly. All of those heroes has different stats, abilities and roles, so with teams of up to five, you can get some really unexpected teams. Especially in the upper ranks. If I had any way to, I'd definitely continue playing this game, at least until I got too frustrated with losing all the time, heh.
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Anyway, aside from that I went over to my friend's house yesterday for our favorite activities of pokemon battles and rounds of Mortal Kombat. I beat the elite four of White version. Notice how I said "beat the elite four" instead of "beat the game." I was pleasantly surprised to find that grinding out capturing and hunting down each and every of the admittedly numerous pokemon is not the only thing to look forward to after the champion is defeated. Not only that, but there are still challenging pokemon battles yet to do! The elite four's teams all get a big jump in level after you beat the main story. Not only that, but you get access to the national dex, which for some reason causes pokemon from the previous versions to start appearing, even in places you've already explored. There are still quite a few side missions and areas to explore that you can't get to until after the main story. Plus hidden away in one of those very inaccessible towns is Cynthia, the champion from Diamond and Pearl, waiting to battle you (With an infuriatingly annoying level 78 Garchomp that I still can't beat).

That son of a bitch right there (Not my game but that's him all right).
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As for Mortal Kombat, I admit I laughed my ass off when I saw they were adding Freddy Krueger to the roster. Now that I thought about it, am I the only one who thinks it's a little fucked up that they added a burned up child molester from hell to a game where you can turn your opponents into babies if you beat them hard enough?

...Just a thought.
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Friday, August 12, 2011

The entire reason I'm thinking of trying League Of Legends

I literally just found these guys today and I've lost count of how many times I've listened this in the last couple hours. These guys are a nerd-rap group called Area of Defect and they just released their LoL-themed album: QWER, today. Not, I don't even play LoL currently but I'm finding myself hooked despite the fact that I barely understand half the terms their using. I think I would definitely recommend this to my friends, and if you get the album the cover art is drawn by Tim Buckley, the hand behind the famous Ctrl-Alt-Del webcomic. I think they're doing a giveaway thing to promote the release, there's a link to details in the vid I believe. I'll probably post again later in the meantime check out AoD because this has me grooving to nerd raps like I haven't done in months.
I'll probably post again later tonight with some content of my own. Cheers.
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Edit: Fixed, thank you HTML code. Now I just need to figure out how to make it smaller so I can fit it on the top of my page without it getting covered up by stuff.
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Warhammer post #1!

I thought now would be as good a time as any to put my warhammer money where my mouth is and post some pics of some of my recent work. I don't have my own digital camera yet but luckily the manager at my hobby shop is gracious enough to let me use his iPhone with it's super-sexy hi-res cam. Both of these are entries I made in my regional painting competition at my local Games Workshop. I managed to place top three with both of them. All in all even though I didn't take first I' pretty satisfied with how these guys turned out.
The Assault Squad I entered into best group/squad category. For those unfamiliar with Warhammer 40k These guys use jetpacks to get in close fast and then chop people up in hand to hand combat. I know what you're thinking and yes, those swords are in fact chainsaws and also yes, that guy's fist is huge.
Side view to highlight the hand-painted green drops. In my army the color of these things indicate which of the army's ten companies they belong to, in this case the 4th.
Other side view to show off the Chapter symbol. Basically the insignia for the whole army.
The squad sergeant. The fist is actually a huge glove that makes his punches understandably even more potent in combat. Notice the eyebrows, five o'clock shadow and you can even juuust see the graying, Mr. Fantastic-style sideburns which a lot of painters never really seem to put on their minis. This guy himself is more than likely what carried this squad to the top three in my comp. I'm very happy with it.
And last but certainly not least is the squad's special weapon trooper. His gun makes him slightly less effective in close combat than his comerades but he's incredibly good at killing any tanks that try to stop the squad. If you look he's actually carrying a heavier version of the pistol weapon the sergeant is carrying. Between them both this squad is very deadly to armor and infantry units in-game.
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This is actually a special character from an entirely different army. I picked him as my entry into best single mini because the sculpt itself is discontinued, I believe, and my friend had a spare. The base he's standing on was special made by yours truly. He's technically a bad guy, but it's a complicated deal. Those who know 40k, specifically Dark Angels lore, will understand much better.
side viewOpposite side view, showing off his sweet-ass cape lining.
Back view, more cape and the sword.
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Thursday, August 11, 2011

I didn't enjoy the new Fallout games.

My level of interest in Fallout 3 (That is to say, dead)
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There's a good chance that I'm going to infuriate people with this post. For those select few who don't know, Fallout 3 is a video game that was released around two years ago to an audience of longtime fans, and is still to this day sworn by as the greatest game in the history of history by a good number of gamers. As you no doubt noticed by the title, I am not one of those so-inclined people. The game starts off with a character creation process that is admittedly original. You flash forward through different points in your childhood (your birth, a birthday, etc.) and it culminates in a personality test type of thing which drops a character class from a ridiculously long list on your lap. The introduction and character creation alone drags on for hours before finally getting to the action, and makes the process and introduction/tutorial levels from games like Dragon Age: Origins or Kingdom Hearts II seem comparatively exciting and fast paced. Suddenly for some reason that's beyond you your father leaves the vault which sheltered you and countless other families from the radioactive, post-apocalyptic wasteland that the world has become, an event which coincides with the community leader going banana-pants crazy and the whole vault going to hell, so you decide to take off after your dad. So, after hours of being stuck underground in linear corridors with clearly defined objectives, the game drops you in the middle of the desert and basically says "Well, off you go!" asbestos, illinois attorney

If the character creation system seemed overwhelming it's nothing compared to the sheer shitstorm of missions you get flooded with upon reaching the very first town. Immediately you're inundated with mission after mission from every person too lazy to leave their radiation-scoured hovel to handle things for themselves, and in the end you need to decide whether you want to help people, or for no reason whatsoever be a total asshole and detonate the huge bomb that these people for some reason decided would be a great thing to make the centerpiece of their village. I honestly stopped playing at the first town simply because I was dumped so many missions all at once I couldn't figure out what the hell to actually DO. I saw no way of actually telling which mission would advance the story and which would simply pay me a few bottlecaps (Seriously? THAT'S what they use for currency in the future?) and a pat on the back. new york mesothelioma lawyers, tax attourneys

Personally, I think Borderlands did everything Fallout 3 did but on a much more manageable scale, with an environment that both was out to kill you and still managed to make itself endearing. The characters are much more quirky and memorable (cl4p tp anyone?) and while I did like the 50's modern art style Fallout took, I liked the cell-shaded, much more colorful and flavorful world of Pandora much more. Each area had it's very own character and feel, a quality that, between what I've played and seen others play, is seemingly absent from the world of Fallout 3. The classes and character customization still lets you create a character that works well for the type of play style you want to use, not to mention it's a simple matter to alter what points go where. Not to mention the world is huge, but has a fast travel system AND go carts that allow you to zip along the dunes and run things over. Not only that, but Borderlands has guns for MILES! Seriously the guns can do anything in that game. I've seen shotguns that shoot rockets made out of acid, sniper rifles that heal you when you kill someone with them, and pistols that shoot incendiary bullets with rapid fire so fast you can empty the clip in a split second (Granted, not great for ammo conservation, but damn if it's not impressive to watch). Plus on top of all that, Borderlands is multiplayer, something that Bethesda decided not to include in their game. I respect Bethesda for wanting to devote their full attention to a great single player experience, and by wide accounts that's exactly what they did, but I enjoy shooting mutants with friends a lot more than by myself. insurance, home, car

I've heard Fallout 3 be called Oblivion with guns in the past. If that's the case than Borderlands is Diablo with guns. Guess which of those two I played more, as well?

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Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Well, here goes! I couldn't quite decide what exactly I wanted to blog about, so I'll make it about a little of whatever comes to my mind, whether that's a little or a lot. I guess I could write a little more about me, but I think that kind of got covered in the "about me" section. As I've said I'm a big Warhammer nerd, and that will probably feature a lot around here considering how much of my day I devote to painting/building/strategizing my Warhammer 40,000 army. Perhaps a bi-weekly Warhammer post is in order? What makes me so interested in it, you may be asking? I think it's probably the background. Warhammer 40,000 has an IMMENSE backstory spanning tens of thousands of years, spanning multiple races and the setting is a huge, dystopic, Orwellian fantasy where innocence and trust is replaced by paranoia and war. Everything in the game is larger than life, the battles, the robots, the explosions, even the soldiers. This game is what started the Space Marine motif. Eight-foot tall super soldiers in powered armor with artificial organs and a warrior culture I find endlessly interesting to read about. Anyway, enough about that. I'll gush more about my favorite hobby in later posts.
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More about me? Well, aside from my occasional jobs painting various small plastic/pewter/resin figures a lot of my time is spent browsing the internet, playing video games, watching movies, swearing, exercising so I don't turn into a hambeast, and taking care of my dad, who's got a lot of mobility issues currently. I'm a total gamer nerd. An aspect of my personality that's been hindered somewhat due to a busted 360 and lack of spare money for games for my ds and/or PS3. I play shooters, RPGs, MMOs, when I can find interesting ones, and action platformers. I'll occasionally I'll play RTS games but I can never seem to get the hang of resource management..
Anyway enough for now about me. Simon says the topic of the day is:
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I've been on a horror movie kick for the past couple weeks. Mostly foreign horror movies recently. I don't know what it is about Japanese/Chinese/Korean directors but they can come up with some disturbing angles for supernatural movies. A lot of American horror movies run something like "Group of young adults end up in a house that's rumored to be haunted on a dare/scary slumber party/booze-fueled excuse to expose tits and have a sex scene when all of a sudden HOLY SHIT SURPRISE KIDS the house is haunted and everyone dies except the spunky heroine and maybe the meathead (or conversely, the awkward nerdy guy) she likes and they have to go and release the trapped spirit/banish the demon/just burn the whole motherfucker down before the evil spook kills her too. Then at the end it's everything's smiles and unicorns until OHMYGAWD hint that the spirit's totally not vanquished after all, end credits." I think my propensity towards Asian horror has something to do with the directors having a lot more scary shit to work with culturally than just ghosts or demons. Yes, there are those but it's less of a crutch for the genre. For instance the other night I saw a movie anthology that had a short story about a television star who goes looking for a beauty treatment and somehow ends up getting convinced to eat dumplings made out of unborn baby fetuses. You read that right. Aborted baby cannibalism. How many American directors would have the sack to make a film about that? It's a genuinely disturbing idea and it's fascinating to watch the woman's degeneration as she's somehow cursed by eating these dumplings. That's just one example, don't even get me started on the differences between the American and original Japanese versions of "Grudge." free, travel

Anyway, I think that's quite enough for now. Like/subscribe/comment/ do your thang and I hope you guys like my new blog. More to come tomorrow!