Tuesday, March 10, 2015

My First 300 point Robotech Tactics Game.

This is also my first post in a long while. Like many I got in on the Robotech Kickstarter and after what felt like an eternity I finally got my piles and piles of plastic robot goodness. I'm still assembling it all and so I've been using proxies until I get my stuff ready, but I digress...

This was my first 300 point game but second real game of Robotech. UEDF vs Zentradi. The scenario was Pitched Battle with Head to Head deployment zones. It was a real meat grinder and came down to the wire at the very end.  As stated in the video, the first 2 rounds were pretty brutal. I lost 2 VF 1s closing in on the Zentraan Attack Squadron. I botched a chance to take out that squadron's commander when I activated my Destroids. The Zentran commander got a little overconfident and left his squadron commander open. Unfortunately for me, this meant sacrificing one of my VF 1 squadrons, but it was worth because it completely changed the game. The Zentradi Recon Squadron advanced more cautiously using the remnants of the Attack Squadron to finish off my VF1s. I split my Close Combat Squadron into two units and held the Defenders back while advancing with my Spartans. Unfortunately, the Zentradi player had learned and denied me any viable shot at his remaining commander... KKKKKKKKKKKKIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK. (my friend's last name is Kirkley) Since scoring was done by entire squadrons eliminated. The end score was 2 - 1 even if I killed more of his guys. Lessons: If you're the UEDF player, focus on units that don't respawn and KILL THE COMMANDER! If you're the Zentradi player, don't get cocky, yeah you have numbers but if you slip up and leave your commander in a vulnerable position

Here's a brief video of some of the action.

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Gamer ADD

I really hate my gamer ADD. I'm sure I can't be the only one who gets frustrated by this. If you've ever been in the middle of a project and you get a great idea for three other projects AT THE SAME TIME. I really need to focus on the Balarant unit and the Type 61 tank company... It's been too long since I posted anything.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Deloyer Government requests military support from the Commonwealth to deal with growing Junker Insurgency

August 20, 3258

Union City - In the wake of the fifth Junker attack on a mining facility in under a month, the Deloyer Government officially requested military support from the Terran Commonwealth. This comes after Weyland Industries has expressed a lack of confidence that local planetary forces can adequately handle repeated attacks on there mining facitilies.

Weyland Industries has contracted with Private Military Contractor firm, Artemis Arms, to handle the security of it's mining operations. A Weyland spokesman Casvol Armand  made it clear in a press release earlier this month.  "If the Deloyer government doesn't get a handle on the Junker situation, then Weyland will be forced to take a more direct roll in the Junker Insurrections.

"We at Weyland harbor no ill will towards the Junkers and completely understand that they feel as though they have some sort of a bone to pick. That said, taking up arms and destroying privately owned property is not the way to do so. Weyland is more than willing to meet any Junker groups with grievances."

Armand also mentioned that he believes that Weyland's chief competitor in the region, Shinahara Heavy Industries, is at the root of the problem. He claims that Shinahara has been supplying the insurgents with weapons and equipment. Unfortunately, he also says that Weyland has no proof of this, but they are in the process of getting that proof.

Meanwhile, the men of the 22nd Fleet Initial Strike Team is preparing to deploy to the troubled world. The Commander of the 22nd, Brigadier Thurgood Foster, says that his men are ready and more than able to handle the situation. Brigadier Foster feels confident that his Marines can keep the situation from escalating, but only time will tell.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Pacific Rim Review Part One

At the risk of having a review that's entirely too long, I decided to break up the review into to parts. the first part will be my review of the movie and the second part will be a synopsis for those who thought it was interesting, but wanted to know more about the movie. Enjoy.

My Review:

Well it was a brilliantly done film. It reminded me of Resident Evil: Retribution in some ways. IT seemed like there was a serious focus on making a quality product, but at the same time the material wasn't taken too seriously. There were a few moments where the filmmaker clearly had his tongue firmly planted in his cheek. There were a number of cheesy scenes in the movie, but it never seemed like they overwhelmed the overall feel of the movie. You really had to go along for the ride and just enjoy them.

I thoroughly enjoyed the story, but it wasn't without its flaws. There were two major problems with the story. The first is the fact that the story was VERY Japanese. While I loved this about the story, it was a little much for a North American audience. (sorry Canada, I meant the US) Most Americans don't have a taste for Anime let alone Japanese cinema in general. We (Americans ) all grew up watching Godzilla movies, but how many of us truly remember the stories. It was all about seeing a guy in a monster suit break some scale models. I have no delusions that the average American just wanted to see a giant monster get rocket punched in the face. The story to me was well done and well thought out. However, I have a poor track record of picking out what's cool as I've come to learn over the years. (no worries as I've made peace with it.)

The other major sticking point is the pace of the movie. Pacific Rim had a really weird pace. On one hand it seemed as though it moved much too fast, but on the other hand everything was explained. You really didn't miss anything and you could see that if they took their time then the movie would have been 3 hours long. Still the pace of the movie just didn't quite feel right.

The mecha design was well thought out. I mean piloting a giant robot must be a insanely complex task. It makes sense that it would take two people to pilot the Jaegers. And the mindmeld control system aka the "Drift" was nothing short of brillant. Unfortunately the  execution didn't quite feel right. I quickly got over it, but the way the pilots behaved just didn't seem realistic to me. Of course, it was at this point that I reminded myself "You can believe that there are Giant Robots fighting Giant Monsters, and THAT'S the part you have an issue with." Silly I know, but it still bugged me if only a little.

Also for a movie about robots fighting monsters. I expected to see more fights. Instead what I got was a bunch of best of clips. There were some REALLY good fights near the end, but it would have been nice to see some of the other Jaegers mentioned (particularly the Coyote Tango fight in defense of Sydney.). There was the sweet reward of seeing a ROCKET PUNCH TO THE FACE! Yeah... still got goosebumps from that and I saw the movie that Tuesday after opening weekend.

One of my favorite parts of the movie was the fact that there was no use of profanity and no nudity or even the hint of nudity. This is no small feat given a movie of this caliber. How many movies can you take a small child to and not worry about them seeing or hearing something that they shouldn't have? (Yeah I'm looking at you Transformers)

All in all I love the movie and in another rare first. I plan to ignore cost and buy the movie as soon as it comes out on DVD. I give the movie four and a half Giants... out of five.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Guess Who's Back?

I'd like to apologize for the long hiatus. I've got a slew of articles that are in the works. The next one should be my Pacific Rim Review... yeah I know it's late, but hey, now I don't have to worry about spoilers. :) Also I'll be doing a better job of showing pictures of my recent acquisitions (gaming related that is) And since I've been bitten by the 6mm bug. I have a project I'm calling 7 Battalions. This is where I build... you guessed it 7 Battalions of different Factions. I have quite a number of rule systems that I want to learn and what better way than to kill 2 birds with the same stone. I'll also be working on Campaign Seeds as well as Tactical Scenarios. I hope to get back into more of a regular schedule where I have at least 2 posts a month. My apologies again and stay tuned...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

ECBACC 2013 "Journey of a Black Geek"

The East Coast Black Age of Comics Convention (ECBACC)

I've been a geek pretty much all of my life. My mom was a fan of Star Trek the Original Series. This is compounded by the fact that my dad would bring home circuit boards from his job for me and my brother and tell us that they were from spaceships. Thus the seeds for a science fiction fanboy were in the making.

As everyone in the geek community knows, it's only a hop, skip and a jump from scifi to the world of comic books. Like alot of us, the tales of modern mythology captured my attention as well as my imagination. My parents always instilled in me to not get too engrossed into anything that where there wasn't any representation of people who look like you. As a black person (African American to those so inclined.), I grew up seeing a plethera of white faces doing tremdenous acts of heroism and feats of superhuman ability.

Fortunately for me, I hit my teens during the nineties. It was a time of pan-Africanism as well as neo Black nationalism. For those of us who were geeks, it meant that where were a number of Blacks invovled with the independent comic scene.

I remember my mom excitedly telling me about a Black comic book that had made the local news "Brother Man." With a bit of a sigh and groan, (really you couldn't come up with a better name than that.) I was even more dismayed when I saw that it was that iconic graffiti style art that I simply wasn't that into. That said I eventually picked up an issue and fell in love with the book. To this day, it remains my ideal of what a comic book about hero without any powers should be.

There were of course Black heros in the big two (Marvel and DC). Marvel had heroes like Falcon, Jim Rhodes (he wasn't War Machine yet), Storm, Black Panther and Cage. DC had it's own line up with John Steward Green Lantern, Black Lightning and Cyborg. DC turned it up a notch however when it started it's Milestone Media line.

For me, it was love at first sight... I mean first reading. An entire Universe of heroes as told from a primarily (altho not exclusively) non white perspective. There were white heroes and characters, of course, but the stories were more reflective of a diverse world view. Certainly, Marvel and DC as well as others (who didn't love Frank Miller's Martha Washington) tried their best. Yet, still the characters didn't quite feel authentic. Often, I felt conflicted. On the one hand, it was like Black people don't act like that. And yet on the other, you had to give them credit for the attempt.

Obviously, I don't exclusively read comics by black artists/ authors or about black characters. It is nice to see a well done comic with a well thought out story that features non white characters. Ok so the noteable exemption is Manga, but you get my point. So when I was friended by the East Coast Black Age of Comics (ECBAC), I thought oh goodie I'll hopefully get to find out about more Black Comics. However, like many things on the Book of Faces, I quickly got sidetracked by the myriad of distractions and it faded to the recesses of my FB stream only to be periodically visited from time to time.

It wasn't a surprise when I was invented to some event or another. I mean, how many of us on the Book of Faces get an invite to some event that we couldn't possiblly get to. What caught me off guard was that ECBAC was holding a convention in Philadelphia. In my head I was like. AWESOME!!! Ok ok so there is that comic something or another every year, but that somehow always sneaks up on me and I forget about it.  However, thanks to my mild addiction to the Book of Faces. I was constantly reminded of the event.

ECBACC is the first actual convention that I have been to. And I had a blast. In part two I'll talk more about what I saw while I was there. Stay tuned...

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Gundamn 40k: AMBUSH!

Sooo... I got out my 1/300 Gundam figs, Gundam 40k rules and got a game in on Friday night (May 10th). We continued our on going campaign in Africa. This time we set up an ambush scenario. I let him pick the terrain and the deployment zones. (Well it wouldn't be much of an ambush if I didn't now would it?)

I took two GMs, a Type 74 and a Ground Type Gundam. He had a Dom, Gouf, and a Zaku II. The 100mm MG continued to hurt me with it's measley strength of 6. This time I did take a Beam Spray Pistol (strength 9). The Dom had a heavy bazooka, but fortunately for me spent most of the game missing its shots. The Zaku had a 120mm MG and I forget what the Gouf had.

The objectives were really simple. It was only an ambush designed to keep Federation units operating on their toes so he really didn't have to kill all of my units. My objective was simply to fight him off and get the heck out of dodge.

The game started off not completely horribly for me as he let me have initiative for the game. (not that it helped.) The first turn was uneventful as only his Dom had a clean shot, but missed. Round two saw my MS Team mixing it up with the Gouf and Zaku II.  At the beginning of  round 2 a transport helicopter entered the battlefield. It was mostly ignored as the Mobile Suits slugged it out. Only minor damage was inflicted. A shield lost here. A Glancing hit there.

I tried my best to sneak my Type 74 off the field in an effort to at least get one of my units off the field. This was for naught as it was tag teamed by the Dom and Zaku. By this point of the game, the Gouf and one of the GMs were engaged in melee combat. The Gundam had made a play for a flanking manuever on the Dom. And the second GM tried unsuccessfully to engage the Zaku II. As the Zaku II finished off the Type 74, I tried to get my Gundam off the board. My opponent saw right through this and pounced. It really is amazing at how fragile the mass produced Gundams are.

With the Gundam out of the way, the Zeeks took a pot shot at the helicopter and was able to knock it out of the game only to crash somewhere in the distance as a brillant fireball. The Gouf finished its dance with the GM equipped with the 100mm MG and managed to turn it into a pile of  scrap (thankfully salvageable).  Down to the my final GM. I decided to make a break for it for it an get the heck out of dodge. Unfortunately, even with jump packs I was fourteen or fifteen inches from the edge of the board where I could escape. I was sweating bullets as Zeon Suits swarmed me like stink on crap, but everything was a miss and I at least had one guy escape.

At the end of the game, we rolled some dice to determine the outcome of some of the events in the game.  I had the high roll and informed the Zeon player that the missing ace was in the helicopter that he shot down. The look on his face was worth losing the game. HA! Wait that wasn't nice now was it... anywho.

The Type 74 really doesn't do much and I really haven't been able to use it's special ability of being able to pick one of my units with clear line of sight at the beginning of the game to get a free attack on my opponent. It probably would make a good spotter as it most likely won't be doing any shooting. Other than that it's pretty much a waste. I plan on getting some Type 61s. At 50pts each, they could make good filler or even maybe a good swarm army to take if reinforced with Mobile Suits.

All in all I continue to have fun with Gundam 40k. And it is helping me become better aquainted with the rules. 40k really does seem better suited for smaller scales. And Gundam 40k has me thinking about picking up an epic army and playing 40k with the movement cut in half, but leaving the weapons ranges in tact.