Thursday, December 31, 2015

Battlefleet Gothic Additional Ships Compendium 2.0: Major Update! All Imperial Factions 100% Completed.

I promised I would have it to you by the New Year, and so I deliver. The latest draft of the ASC 2.0, 100% Imperial Complete. Chaos is next!

This update saw 5 SM, 1 INQ, 4 RT and the Navis Mercantilis added since the last one, among other minor corrections. Totals to date: 56 Vessels, 5 Fleet Lists, and the modular Navis Mercantilis. Tons of heavily researched fluff and a lot of cool pictures. 30324 words, averaging to 467.14 words per page so far (including all the picture pages)

Some example pages!

For those who don't know, the ASC 2.0 (Additional Ships Compendium 2.0) is a list of expanded vessels for use with BFG:Revised (and subsequent "BFG:2015" project) Fleet Lists. These are intended for fun and friendly play and are not official. If you wish to play in the context of unmodified BFG, you may have to do some basic stat/point changes.

You can learn more of all of these projects, as well as find other resources for them here

AND as always, feed back is most welcome! Please be constructive with it though, and remember, these are extra ships for fun!

Sunday, December 27, 2015

Heroforge Miniatures Review - Schlemazal

I've been keeping an eye on Hero Forge Miniatures since their kickstarter went live. For those of you who haven't heard of them before, Hero Forge makes custom 3D-printed miniatures designed with a web interface where you can pick from libraries of parts (heads, torsos, limbs, weapons, armor, handheld items, etc) with options for fantasy, scifi, western, modern or east-asian genre styles and quite a few different poses.
A dwarven rogue I threw together using the Hero Forge interface.
Though their parts libraries aren't massive (yet), the concept always had me really interested, so when I was recently commissioned by a friend to paint a pair of Hero Forge minis, I figured it would be a good time to post my thoughts about the end product. Both miniatures were printed with their 'Ultra Detail Plastic' which boasts a good paintability and a high level of detail, but low durability (as opposed to their 'Strong Plastic', which is supposed to be much less detailed and rougher, but more durable. Also cheaper, though I haven't seen the end product).

Straight off the bat, I got to see that one-star durability in action. One miniature was posed with only one leg on the base, and it had snapped at the ankle in transit from the commissioner (I do want to stress this was not from the company, it was repackaged to send to me), requiring me to pin the leg. Later, a short tumble snapped the quarterstaff off, though some superglue easily repaired the problem. The detail held by the plastic was actually impressive, though the sculpts themselves are limited due to the fact that all the parts are meant to be modular and somewhat generic in their system. There was, however, definitely a rough surface texture to both models.

Spray primer worked just fine on the two, though a thinner layer is recommended or you start to lose what detail is present. Once primed, I had very little difficulty with painting. It was basically the same as working with any other wargaming miniature. The rough texture remained present throughout, though in the end I think the only place the models suffered for it were in the faces where a little roughness can make a huge difference in the final appearance.

Overall, I enjoyed working with these two miniatures. At $25 each, I think they're probably a bit too expensive for most applications - the rough surface, fragility, and the medium level of detail born of modular parts work against the customization for value. While Hero Forge has a cheaper plastic variant, given the roughness present in their higher end material, I'm not really sure I want to see what those look like. That being said, if you're looking for a miniature for an RPG character and can't find one that fits, or you need a specific set of weapons, gear and posing, Hero Forge is definitely a solid choice. Hopefully they'll continue to build their parts library and increase the level of detail they can manage.

I'll leave you here with some more pictures of the completed miniatures:
This is labeled as the 'Come at me bro' pose. Bonus points for style.
The bamboo flooring base was really well made

Friday, December 25, 2015

Inquisition Warning! General Directive 264-A-XCIV: Annual December Chaos Incursion

Begin Transmission
Repetition of General Directive 264-A-XCIV
To: Distribution, Sectorium Primus
From: Office of The Grand Inquisitor, Ebineezar Grinchanius
Re: Annual December Chaos Incursion

This purpose of this notice is to remind the forgetful of the annual visitation by the minion of Chaos known to the unworthy as Santa Claus.
+++ The Emperor's Light Banishes the Shadows of Heresy +++

As the diligent will recall, the incursion occurs regularly every 8742 to 8766 Terran hours, roughly corresponding to a Terran year. This trespass has occurred with disturbing regularity since at least the Horus Heresy, and perhaps longer, as many records were misplaced.

+++ Love and Obey the Emperor +++

The faithful will recognize the target on sight, as his garb and gear mark him immediately as an agent of the abominations. Santa Claus is a corpulent, bloated creature approximating the human form. It wears a crimson tunic the color of fresh blood, marking him as a possible follower of Khorne. It is bearded, mocking the honorable Squats, and its hair is a sallow shade of gray, betraying its unnatural age. Be advised that despite the creatures fearsome name, no claws have been observed, and the former is likely a ruse.
The target has been observed in the company of smaller creatures having the appearance of thin (less than 30 kg, approx.), stunted (1.5 meters) humanoids with pointed ears. Their appearance suggests the involvement of the decadent Eldar, and although that race denies involvement (*reference the Rudolphian Campaign [index 4111-BGE-MMXCII-Primus], specifically the Battle of Yukon Coneliaus IV [ibid., index 6]*), agents are advised to be prepared for their involvement, as the Eldar are known for their deceitful ways.
Santa Claus is conveyed by means of a grav-sled powered by unnatural livestock as detailed below. The target's vehicle is a grav-sled. It has superfluous runners which are used only on landing and take-off. Despite the appearance, no frozen water is necessary for its operation (another ruse). The vehicle's resemblance to the foul Palanquin of Nurgle should not be discounted, even though the colors continue to be reminiscent of Khorne.
The device is powered by the unholy ministrations of eight or nine quadrupeds. Ordo Malleus scholars have identified these creatures as warped versions of an extinct species of Terran mammal known as a Moose (reference 900002-ER-CIV). These beings single-mindedly pull the target's vehicle during its yearly invasion. They are outfitted with belled harnesses which are apparently imbued with the ability of flight. These beasts have been likened to the Fiends of Slaanesh, and such a comparison should not be dismissed too lightly, as the creatures shed a luminous substance as effluent as they move. Inquisitors should take care to avoid exposure. Perhaps more disturbing is the variable number of the minion-creatures.
On occasion, a ninth Moose has been observed, placed before the other Mooses. This creature radiates a sickly reddish glow from its snout, as a psychic beacon to other followers of the Vile Ones. This Chaotic device has allowed the target to navigate despite our best efforts to jam its navigation systems.

+++ Blessed is the Virtue of Blind Faith +++

Santa Claus gains entry to the domiciles of loyal Imperial Citizens (see below) and leaves small Chaos Rewards to tempt the faithful. Inquisitors are reminded to confiscate and incinerate these items before any lasting damage is done. As a localized temporal distortion field is in effect around the target, these items are secreted in the habitations of the Imperium at exactly 2400 hours in every location defiled by the creature. It is therefore possible to gain entry to the citizens' quarters and remove the items (often cunningly hidden in footwear) before the citizens are aware of the heresy that has been committed upon them. In other cases, removal of the items after the citizens have discovered them is possible. In such situations, small children are occasionally loath to surrender the items, as the tainting of the juveniles has already begun. Executions of the above are to be handled in the most expedient manner possible.
Often, juveniles that are well within the Emperor's Grace are given small blocks of graphite ore rather than the more tempting gifts visited upon the less faithful. The identity of these individuals are to be recorded, as future recruitment into the Inquisition or Adeptus Terra is possible [Note: Inquisitors or other agents who do *not* receive the graphite stones should be watched carefully].
Santa Claus enters the domiciles be way of heating ducts and waste vents. The size of the opening is not a factor, as the creature can adjust its mass and displacement by means of psychic manipulation. Mining these openings with frag, krak and other demolitions has proven unsuccessful. The creature egresses by the same means, after ritually caressing his nostrils. No mucus has ever been recovered.

+++ The Death of Emperor's Enemies is the Only Gift We Can Give +++

Although all previous attempts at the destruction of Santa Claus have failed, Inquisitors are urged to make such an attempt whenever possible. However, of more importance is the suppression of cultist activity associated with the yearly incursion.
The Tainted have been known to erect shrines in their homes in the form of shrubbery adorned with baubles and lights [Note: the shrubbery is often highly inflammable, and offers a discrete method of executing the offending heretics without calling undue attention to the operation].
Other warning signs include: Hallucinations involving sugared candies during slumber; Excessive singing; References to “a magical time of year” (note the influence of Tzeentch); The construction of effigies made of snow; and The performance of Slaaneshi rituals while underneath plant clippings of the genus Phoradendron flavescens.
Once again, executions should be handled in an expedient manner.

+++The Emperor Protects+++
End Transmission

Sunday, December 6, 2015

Star Wars Force Awakens: Who is that dead guy? (prediction)



So there are 11 days left until the premier of Force Awakens, and everyone is very VERY eager to learn WHAT HAPPENS!!!!

Now before starting, repeat this mantra to yourself a few time:
"Everything that is old is new again."

This is a very important concept for Ep 7 (and apparently JJ Abrams movies. KHAAAAANNN!!!!)

But there is one really big question with a lot of fan theories. I am going to throw my own into the mix here and try to give a good amount of supporting evidence.

Who is the dead guy in the fore ground she is crying over? Spilled Blue Milk? Stop here if you find yourself saying NOPE! I don't want to know more! Mind you this is all speculation BUT...
I think it is LUKE SKYWALKER! BAM Sorry if this ruins EVERYTHING for you, but there it is. Now for WHY I think it is him.

First of all I am going to get all the clone wars stuff out of the way. And I mean clone wars as in the TV show. With Disney purchasing the rights to star wars and nuking the expanded universe, there is very little Canon left, but the computer animated show is one of the largest chunks.

Now we all remember this from the end of Return of the Jedi right?
Either version, doesn't matter for the argument I am making. You have Anakin, Yoda, and Obi-Wan, all as spooky force ghosts. We are just left to assume this is something that happens to Jedi.

WRONG!!! In the clone wars series it becomes well established that a person, jedi included, loose their identity and become one with the living force when they die. SO how are there Ghosts? Well apparently at some point Qui-Gon Jinn learned how to prepare himself for this and return as a ghost. When he did, he made himself only known to two people, Yoda and Obi-wan.
So Obi-Wan kinda rejected this at first, and took it as a consequence of them being in force heaven where he, Asoka and Anakin all meet Force God, Force Angel and Force Devil (yes I am not making that up, look up the Episode "Overlords" S3 Ep15 on Netflix). However, later Jinny ghost here leads Yoda to Dagobah, a place VERY STRONG IN THE FORCE (Enough so to hide him from Vader) at the very end of the Clone Wars and teaches him how to commune better with the force and prep him for Ghost mode one day. Then at the end of Episode 3, you have Yoda telling Obi-Wan to go commune with Qui-Gon on Tatooine, and it you remember, Obi-Wan is SHOCKED. This is because it is NOT SUPPOSED TO BE POSSIBLE. But it obviously is, so they all 3 learn.

But what about Anakin!?!?! Well Anakin is THE ONE. And not like Neo. More like Jesus.
That is Anakin with Force God. If Anakin was a virgin birth, does that make Force God his dad?

ANYWAY, let us assume by him being THE ONE and balancing the force that he is able to have this Ghost ability to come back and pow wow with Yoda and Obi-Wan at the end of RotJ.

SO the only four people who know how to do this spiffy ghost trick are Qui-gon, Obi-Wan, Yoda and Anakin/Vader. 3 of the 4 know Luke PERSONALLY and the first one was Yoda's padawan, Obi-Wan's master and the one who found and saw the potential in Anakin. All three of whom have a profound and, if the end of RotJ is anything to go off of, long lasting effect on Luke. SO it is easy to believe that Luke learns the spiffy ghost trick too.

Well if you noticed, you only see Luke once in the trailers, even though we KNOW Mark Hamill is in the movie. You don't even see his face, just his robot hand and his favourite droid.
Now I want you to repeat the mantra from the beginning.
"Everything that is old is new again."
"Everything that is old is new again."
"Everything that is old is new again."

Okay, NOW in the original trilogy, Obi-Wan dies and becomes a Ghost/disembodied voice that guides Luke. With an obvious "I glow blue and you can see through me" effect...
SO if the same happens to Luke, and he becomes either a ghost or a voice (and remember, Mark Hamill is a BIG TIME voice actor) then they can't really go showing that in the trailers can they? It would give a MAJOR plot point away. However, it would be in the footsteps of the original and part of the "Everything that is old is new again." approach.

NEXT- Death Reactions
Look at this face:
Now say the mantra....
Now look at these...
SO the reaction of Rey seems, to me at least, to be a good blend of all of these. Outrage, loss, sadness, despair. Yes these are all typical death emotions, but the firs two should really display how important it is to echo things in Star Wars. Obi-Wan and Luke both shout "NO!!!" and are shocked by the death of their master, it basically the exact same way. So I can see how these 4 deaths would be proper motivation and direction for the death of Luke as witnessed by Rey in episode 7. 

NOW- Leia and the lightsaber.
So there is this scene.
Now that is Leia on the left. For sure. First of all in the trailer the Luke voice over says "My sister has it" at this very part. And then, even more obvious about it is the clothes. They are hers, and you see her wearing them a few times in the trailers.
Above though you see what appears to be someone handing her Anakin's lightsaber. The one Luke lost on cloud city with his hand. WHO KNOWS how it got found, but apparently Orange Skin Alien in the bottom right got it. But why give it to Leia and not Luke? And if it was so that she could give it to Luke, then why does Leia instead give it to Finn (that black Stormtrooper turned Jedi)?
I didn't make this, just found it.
 To reinforce this concept, we have this scene.
Now this could be a tearful reunion, however, it more so seems like she is very distraught, much like the "Hold me" scene from RotJ (remember: "Everything that is old is new again.") and she is more so mourning the loss of her brother, and so of course hugs the man who was the next closest to both of them, Han. To me this is that kind of embrace. One where you see someone you have experienced mutual loss with. That just is the vibe I get.

AND LASTLY- Ren and (toasted) Vader...
So finally there is this guy:
Kylo Ren. Somewhat of a Vader nut it seems, promising to "Finish what you started"... to this guy...
To me that means only one thing
This is big. This is a complete running theme through EVERYTHING that is canon that is left. From Darth Maul saying "At last we will have our revenge" to Order 66 and the destruction of the Jedi Temple/Order, to the YEARS of Vader and the Inquisitors (from Star Wars Rebels, the current TV show that is canon) hunting and killing ALL the remaining Jedi and abducting force sensitive children to prevent new Jedi from being trained. This seems to be an over arching Sith/Darkside goal, and so a pretty important thing to finish.
One of the Inquisitors
And if Luke is the last Jedi- of course Kylo is going to kill him, just like Vader killed Obi-"Everything that is old is new again."- and then had to hunt down the last apprentice (Luke), which in this case appears to be Finn.

SO That is my case for why Luke is the mysterious dead guy. But don't worry, that doesn't mean he won't be in the movie. He will likely just be blue ghost, just like all his pals.