Monday, 11 December 2017

Battle Brothers: Heavy Casualties

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

Having saved Lazenfeste, Gander purchases 9 war dogs and recruits the bowyer / archer pair of Eberhard and Hartmut "One Shot" before leading the company to the twin ports of Meerburg and Holnisland where they are joined by Sir Lancel Hildebrand, Sir Albrecht Kettilmund and Sir Donatus Donbert, all of whom have lost their companies in this war.

Sir Donatus has restarted building his though, introducing his small militia of Bernhard the traveler, Torkel the fisherman, Thorben an ex caravan guard and Hanke his sergeant. The Spears then conduct a rapid strike operation on a nearby "Long Spears" goblin camp, eradicating it at the cost of Corynx getting fatally skewered, Eberhard being out archered, and Hartmut getting eaten by the mount of a goblin wolf rider.

Upon their return the find the twin ports under attack by hordes of orcs and jump right into the fray. Sigmar and Bernhard are butchered by orc berserkers. Bertram, Thorben, Torkel, Sir Donatus, Sir Albrecht and Sid are also all killed in action. With the remaining orcs scattered, the survivors hit the tavern to drown their losses in ale.

But not before leaving a warning for all the other orcs.

Thursday, 7 December 2017

Battle Brothers: The Green Sea

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

Unwilling to lose any more cities, Gander marches the Spears back to the Western front - hiring the sell swords Oghren and Adam Chaplin on the way. Even with House Ruhmolt soldiers, the clash against goblin forces costs Emile and Stargazer their lives. Hakon also has his shield destroyed in the melee and his throat cut from ear to ear. Sid is traumatized by the experience.

Despite their victories, word arrives that Reinbruch - a village just across the mountains - has also fallen, and now the horde marches upon House Folsach's stronghold of Lazenfeste. The Spears are contracted to destroy the orcs forward war camp, gaining volunteers Sigmar the vagabond and Bertram the miller to fill out the long axe row at the back. Ironically, the Spears of the Church no longer use Spears.

Maybe this caught the orc warlords by surprise?

The war camp is easily destroyed, but since it was just one of many Lazenfeste falls under siege and the Spears rush to aid it with a company of House Folsach soldiers. They are terribly outnumbered, but find victory on the field, losing Harlech, Oghren and one of Sid's eyes to orc warriors as well as all but one of the House Folsach soldiers.

Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Battle Brothers: The Ruins of Kragenheim

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

After rescuing the survivors of Stakendorf, Stargazer injures himself while training as the Spears are sent to clear the Ruins of Kragenheim. The resident goblins have superior positioning and a shaman to boot who continually casts AoE root spells. The magic and the net throwing skirmishers makes advancing an arduous task. Hakon is pretty much useless the entire fight as he never succeeds in freeing himself.

The fleet footed gobbos get to work dismantling the rest of the team, dismembering Sir Wilhelm, cutting down Arl Eamon, Reimund, and Gaius, removing one of Raven's ears and breaking Sunbro's elbow before Gander finally reaches the shaman and impales it with the company battle standard. The remaining enemies are subsequently cut down easily.

And their corpses put on display.

Weakened and in low morale, Gander pulls the Spears back to the safer Eastern cities for an easy nachzehrer hunt and to resupply rations. While doing this the horde advances and destroys Gerworld village.

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Battle Brothers: Deviant Scum

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

The Spears are soon on the road once more and run into Sir Wilhelm Erkenbrand with a group of refugees who claim the greenskins (orcs and goblins) have now combined forces (Gander previously thought they were always allies), and a great horde of them now marches upon the lands of man.

Having lost his company and the backing of the Houses (partially his fault for being a traitor), Sir Wilhelm asks to join the Spears in his quest for vengeance. Gander accepts the hammer wielding knight who is quick to show his skills against a few bandits.

A fitting end to bandits who surrender.

They also encounter a monk who shares his ale with the company, and a man hanging upside down and being flogged for screwing a dead horse. The man begs the Spears to let him join, but when he is cut down he falls awkwardly and breaks his neck (lol).

He isn't the only deviant around though, as the Spears are next tasked with rescuing prisoners from the greenskins. Sir Siegfried Baranor and his men assist making the combat easy (2 soldiers die), but finding the naked and tortured victims afterwards shakes most of the men to their core. Eager for vengeance, one survivor named Hakon joins the Spears.

Sunday, 3 December 2017

Battle Brothers: Many Masks

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

The Spear's banditry continues as they do the same ruse at Kielseng, before moving on to guard caravans and hunt more dire wolves. On the road, Sahkarov convinces a "war" band of children to disperse shortly before running into House Grimmund soldiers who attempt to arrest Emile. Using their legendary renown, Gander makes them back off.

The very next day they are side by side with the same troops, led by Sir Wilhelm Erkenbrand of House Grimmund (previously of House Ruhmolt, guess they pay better up North?) to successfully defend against more marauding greenskins.

Afterwards the Spears do a bunch of easy envoy escort missions, with Harlech taking the opportunity to learn some moves from Arl Eamon. Gander also spends a bit of coin on upgrading the Spears equipment, including a magic helm, and accepts a task to defend Wiesendorf from roaming bandits - who turn out to be undead!

The Spears still honor their contract, and despite Arl Eamon losing an eye and the enemy necromancer having an undead hero who manages to stand up even after Stargazer beheads him, they undead are no match for the mercenaries. Raven gains a few more coins afterwards by using his juggling talents in the village.

Happy times among all the killing.

Fighting a headless foe takes its toll on Stargazer though, who drowns his nightmares with ale. He is now a drunkard.

Battle Brothers: Skinny Brigands

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

The peace after the invasion is pleasant, but coin hard to come by once more for a mercenary band. Harlech tries his hand at a tournament, jousting against Sir Albrecht but only wins himself a broken shoulder. Raven and Sir Erland also injure each other again when quarreling about status, Emile continues thieving, and Stargazer pockets a magic knife from a corpse in the woods.

To keep them busy, Gander returns the Spears to hunting dire wolves and courier work, as well as "posing" as bandits and raiding Erzberg, slaying a good number of peasants as part of an extortion racket for House Folsach. Gander feels guilty about this afterwards, with Sid consoling him saying money is money.

The ultimate motivator.

Almost right afterwards the Spears are back at Erzberg, defending it from rampaging green skins with the Hungry Hounds and soldiers led by Sir Wilhelm Erkenbrand. There are a few allied losses, and Corynx suffers a broken elbow thanks to a goblin pike. On a more positive note, Sir Erland manages to get a traveling troupe to perform for free upping morale, and Raven Fat Bastard is no longer fat! Needing a more appropriate name, the Spears re-dub him Raven Skinny Bastard.

Friday, 1 December 2017

Thor: Ragnarok

Aka. Asgard gets caned.

Thor (Chris Hemsworth) experiences a lot of loss in this film (its titled Ragnarok after all) but he somehow manages to be a cheeky and funny fellow throughout. Eventually finding himself a gladiator at an alien arena, he not only has to regain his freedom but make it back to Asgard to save his home and his people.

The action pieces in this film are quite good, and the CGI is superb as to be expected. It's also very humorous, especially the cameo filled stage play and Korg (played by the director himself, Taika Waititi). Thumbs up from me for the main villain as well.

Plot wise, while Thor himself grows a lot there are a few things which felt off for me ... Karl Urban's extended extra and that other wizard probably didn't need to be here for example. The female lead also felt lacking. It's like the studio just needed to put a colored female to balance out the cast.

Easy way to test: If you removed those characters or switched them with throw away ones, could you still tell the same story?

Literally the best thing she did.

All up, Thor: Ragnarok is a very entertaining film and one I wouldn't mind watching again. I give it four melt sticks out of five and can easily recommend it to any action fan.

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Today I Smiled: Less is More

As a break from my Battle Brothers play through, I thought I'd share a few "less is more" lessons I am in the process of learning: the first being "use less words" which is frustratingly challenging! I find it's akin to developing a "clean" and efficient board game system which is so far eluding me. For the record, I'm up to "Game 17".

Apparently I should also do less in Neverwinter Online. After helping someone amidst a swarm or dinosaurs, I got angrily told off for kill stealing. Sigh. On a positive note, I'm improving when fighting T-Rexes. The secret is to stand between its legs as the "charge attack" is the only one you need to evade or block from that position. Easier than evading flaming bats, which to my surprise was a weapon being developed by the USA.

Now I shall leave you with the Adventures of Business cat. You can find more at his home page. As a bonus, here's another music clip from Walk off the Earth - Taekwondo. Have a good day everyone!

Battle Brothers: Back to the Dirt

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

With the artifact in the hands of the experts, the Spears are assigned to defend Erzberg on the Western border from the undead hordes. Eight waves of them! Fortunately they aren't alone as the another mercenary band - the Hungry Hounds, as well as Sir Albrecht Kettilmund's forces are present, along with the Erzberg militia.

This results in the easiest defense task ever, even against the vampires in the end waves and while 3 mercs, 2 soldiers and most of the militia are slain the Spears come out mostly unscathed acting as the rear guard.

"We didn't have to do anything!"

Corynx keeps himself busy by burning a few witches in the town too. Soon after, heralds announce the invasion is over, as the dead are back to being dead (apart from those really haunted places). Gaius supposes the artifact they recovered played its part and Gander gets a dream of being an ancient emperor and tells his "wife" to rest.

Afterwards, the Spears celebrate with the rest of the populace, having survived another crisis!

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Battle Brothers: Piecemeal Bonemeal

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

To help them in the war against the undead, the Spears recruit Corynx of the Great Swamp, an elderly witch hunter who has come out of retirement. Two large forces of undead attempt to block them from returning the artifact they took from the mountains, but thanks to Corynx's cleverness - they are led straight into the forces of Sir Wilhelm Erkenbrand of House Ruhmolt and are easily vanquished.

Dead bones, the way they're supposed to be.

Alas the artifact once returned, is found to only be a piece of a whole so the team is sent North again, recruiting the old sword master Arl Eamon on the way. They escort a caravan back up to the mountains and then head off into the snows to destroy a ruin with more skeletons. Corynx suffers a weakened heart in the battle, after finding this was the wrong place. The artifact is in another ruin!

Fortunately the "correct" ruin isn't much farther, and after defeating the skeletons there the Spears head back to the low lands with yet another magical shield in addition to the artifact. There is a small celebration upon their return, and Gander takes the time to play dice with Emile during the festivities.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Battle Brothers: Slightly Winning

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

Camping just beyond sight of the artifact's resting place - the Spears spend a few days in low morale to repair their gear and recover from lesser injuries. Gander then raises the banner and leads the remaining men back into the fray where fortunately the skeletons they previously destroyed were still scattered on the snow.

Using the same tactic, the team is victorious this time with Sunbro again being the MVP, though Agdan falls in battle and has to be re-slain. During this, Stargazer discovers you can actually swipe weapons off the ground - meaning when Agdan reanimated, he was defenseless. A good trick to know for next time.

Because unarmed zombies are not really a threat.

Gander notes none of the brothers who fell earlier are to be found anywhere, which makes him both sad and worried. Still, the gem artifact is located as well as a magical shield which now goes to the second most experienced brother, Stargazer. Finding this rare artifact lifts spirits tremendously.

The Spears decide their next ambition is to end this cursed undead plague, and begin the long march back to hand in the artifact. Rumors in the towns they pass is that they are already "slightly winning"! Gander is happy to hear the company is also now considered legendary.

Battle Brothers: Graveless Dead

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

Fortunately with the truce, traveling through House Grimmund's lands isn't bad - while the towns increase their prices due to the Spears involvement in the noble war, at least their soldiers are also more keen on fighting the undead than holding grudges.

On the march the company avoids wandering groups of undead and nachzerers until they start climbing the higher mountains of the North. There they meet Alfgeir the crusader who asks to join them in their virtuous quest - Gander readily agrees. Not much farther they find the ruined site of the artifact, guarded by a large force of skeletons.

Those backline pike skeletons are dangerous!

With long axes at the ready, the front line shield wall serves as a distraction while the heavy weapons flank the more dangerous spear men. This works well, until the shield wall breaks and everything goes to hell as people forget how to fight. Raz and Gillian are downed. Craizee is killed, reanimates and backstabs Alfgeir, slaying the crusader. With morale teetering on the brink, Gander orders a retreat - abandoning his fallen allies.

They would be the first four (of the currently thirty two losses) he could not dig graves for since joining the Spears of the Church.

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Battle Brothers: Senior Sergeant

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

The remaining Spears from the siege use their pay first at the tavern, naming Sergeant Gander as the new commander since he's now the most senior (experience wise) in the company. Still reeling from the losses at Wiesendorf, he decides to take the company dire wolf hunting first, an easy job - followed by ousting some goblins at nearby ruins.

He doesn't look pleased at his promotion.

Carelessness leads to Fanatic being flanked at taking an arrow through the jugular, so after the victory Gander follows Sahkarov's advice in recruiting more men, gaining Raz the cat like sell sword and Harlech the incestuous bastard (not making that up).

The local councilman then pleads with the Spears to recover an artifact from the North Eastern mountains which might help in the war against the dead. With Majorn's reasoning still in his mind, Gander accepts and the company begins the long trek into House Grimmund territory.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Battle Brothers: The Siege of Wiesendorf

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

By the time the company reaches Wiesendorf, it is already under siege by zombies. Fortunately Sir Donatus Donbert and his men are already there thinning the herd. After the easy fight, Donatus bids the Spears good luck as he has orders to protect another town further East. The Spears and the local militia hunker down to build defenses.

I suppose it's a little like the opening intro for Neverwinter Online.

It's not long till the next wave arrives, skeleton warriors who - while fortunately don't reanimate when slain - are much better fighters than the zombies. Gander's trauma from the earlier vampire encounter flares up here, and due to him fleeing Gillian suffers a broken elbow and a diseased wound while R4W3C is shield bashed off his high ground, right into a skeleton swarm who hack him to pieces.

There is not much of a rest after breaking that wave when the next arrives, even more skeletons who are better equipped. The local militia die in droves as the Spears scramble with armor and shield breaking axes. Kruglov is impaled by an ancient spear man through the heart.

Defeating them only leads to the final wave of undead with even more skeleton warriors and pikemen. With all the militia dead (and re-killed thanks to zombification) the Spears throw everything they have with Sunbro earning his keep in kills. In the battle, Tolik is cut down, Majorn sacrifices himself (bleeds out) to slay the final spearman, and Faltran is disemboweled.

Friday, 24 November 2017

Battle Brothers: The Nightmare Begins

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

After a nightmarish sleep, Gander is woken up at the tavern by Stargazer who says refugees from all over are claiming the dead are rising across the land. Behind him are the new recruits, Agdan, a cultist friend of Fanatic and Sir Erland an adventurous noble and his squires Gillian Laddersmith and Reimund the Secret Son, a bastard child of the King. Not so secret if it's in his name I guess.

Nightmares involving Rome?

They immediately report in to Faltran, who is still deep in his cups, and decides to ignore the undead threat to do training missions instead: catching thieves and escorting a caravan both proving to be easy. They also accompany Sir Erland's friend Sir Siegfried Baranor of House Ruhmolt and his troops in hunting another nachzerer swarm in the swamp which again is relatively safe given the number of allies.

The newbies do pretty well, despite the "surprise" that any slain human raises as a zombie now and a small altercation between Raven and Sir Erland on who gets to eat first - low born or high born. Faltran lets them sort it out with their fists. Unconvinced by their new commander, Majorn has a quiet discussion with him and Gander or the duty of every living person to fight the undead.

His words took root because not a day later the Spears accepted a contract to defend the town of Wiesendorf from an undead horde marching towards it.

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Battle Brothers: Raiding the Raiders

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

The Spears return to a border village just in time to defend it against a necromancer and his thralls, then Big Mike gets the company back to doing the regular contracts to regain morale. A gem caravan escort tempts Colonel Vodka to simply steal it but Big Mike keeps him in line.

On the same run a large group of scraggly kids are pilfering a dead merchant. Redbeard single handedly scares them off easily, leaving the Spears free loot. The company is then asked to fight back against the green skin raiders, to destroy a goblin and orc camp in the Western Wildlands.

The goblin camp in the mountains is easy, with Faltran throwing the last goblin wolf rider off a cliff. The orc camp in the swamp is much more difficult as it has berserkers and heavily armored warriors! Redbeard and Colonel Vodka are cleaved to death while Pioyer and Big Mike are beheaded. Emile is lucky all he lost was an ear.

That armor is tough to get through.

Left as defacto leader, Faltran the Drunkard immediately brought the survivors back to the nearest tavern to find better morale at the bottom of many, many jugs of ale. It's surprising they could still fight so well when a band of orcs which had followed them attacked. Fortunately the town militia were on hand to assist and while four militia men perished, no more Spears were lost that day.

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Battle Brothers: The Western Wildlands

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

Hearing about their planned expedition to the wildlands, the hedge knight Redbeard Reborn joins the Spears just before they head out. Their first stop isn't even on the border though, it is at the newly built tomb of Sir Magnus, which was already crawling with zombies and geists!

The living will never outnumber the dead.

The banshees terrify Kruglov and Emile who abandon their position like cowards, leaving Bes to be surrounded and torn apart by the zombie hoard before the others can clear them out. Despite the loss, the company continues Westward and find themselves in green skin lands - careful to avoid combat this far out.

On their travels they find a great goblin city, a massive orc war camp, and beyond... a black monolith which Sid, Sahkarov and a few others claim to be the "Wish Granter". Curiosity gets the better of them and they approach, only to find it defended by an army of ancient skeletons led by vampires!

There are simply too many so the Spears retreat despite Majorn's blood lust to destroy them. "Another time," assures Big Mike as the disheartened company makes their way back to civilized lands - their objective of finding 8 new locations complete. With low morale, a question about the Sun from Emile leads Sahkarov and new cultist R4W3C into a brawl based on beliefs. Big Mike is too tired to stop them.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Battle Brothers: Relative Peace

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

The days after the war are peaceful, with the roads patrolled by various House soldiers once more. The Spears help clean up the wandering brigand and orc groups, getting paid per head as well as hunting more direwolf packs.

In their down time, Mole helps a boy get a ball out of a tree, Raven's juggling entertains the troops, Big Mike plays more dice with Pioyer and Emile, Faltran manages to break his nose while training and Fanatic converts R4W3C to the cult of Davkul. Majorn also keeps busy burning random witches he finds in villages.

Sir Donatus Donbert of House Folsach then invites them to go on a nachzerer hunt with his legion and showcases how overwhelming numbers can handle even a swarm of over 20 of the ghouls. Big Mike is impressed.

I love the large scale battles!

Afterwards the company holds a meeting about what they should do next, and Emile comes up with the idea of exploring the Western wild lands, since some maps he's been stealing this whole time are not sufficient for cartography purposes. As maps might be valuable to the right person, Big Mike agrees and the Spears begin purchasing supplies for their adventure.

Monday, 20 November 2017

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

It's all about reconnecting with family. In space.

When Starlord and crew find themselves in hot water (again) it gives him a chance to find out more about his mysterious space dad. That sums up the main plot for this film and the opening credits set the tone perfectly - crazy aliens fighting and dancing and generally being silly with a tad of seriousness going on in the background.

There's always time for dancing!

There are other subplots also dealing with family but all are wrapped up in a very humorous and entertaining package with witty and clever writing, backed by really good effects and equally good action pieces. Drax (Dave Bautista) in particular is a stand out as is the climax which did hit me in the feels.

I really liked this movie and can easily recommend it to anyone. Action, comedy, and just enough drama mix into a very enjoyable film. I feel this is better than part one and give it four and a half batteries out of five, and wouldn't hesitate to watch it again.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Battle Brothers: Good Times

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

Despite the mounting injuries, the Spears take on a contract to eliminate a small orc encampment. On the way Majorn finds a necromatic site he declares they must cleanse, so the Spears take on the usual zombies and necromancer, but this time with two fallen heroes flanking the mage.

They are quite sturdy which is bad given the lesser zombies keep standing up, but Raven manages to axe the shield off one which enables the Spears to pincushion it to death. The other is peppered with arrows until Bes singlehandedly defeats it  - much to Sunbro's amazement.

Useful when you actually have people that can shoot.

At the orc camp the team encounters berserkers leading the regular orcs. These scary creatures don't wear armor though, making them prime archery practice. Fanatic was foolish enough to let one get close and knock him on the head, leaving him with permanent brain damage (ironically one of the best permanent injuries to have in this game).

Apprehending some thieves afterwards, Big Mike is happy to report to the company they now have over 50,000 coins in funding. Gander further cheers everyone up with a cow tipping session (lol) and as icing on the cake, Sunbro reports the nobles are discussing terms. The war is over!

When he asks with true concern if the Fabled Spears of the Church are now going to disband, he is met with laughter and cheer. "Not bloody likely!"

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Battle Brothers: The Toll of War

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

As the war rages on, the Spears hear that House Folsach managed to retake Wiesendorf village House Grimmund had claimed from them earlier - only to lose the town of Hagenmoors to House Ruhmolt in the East. At the Western border the Spears keep busy by repelling green skin invaders and assisting a House Folsach village against Grimmund soldiers.

The local militia assisting the Spears are killed to the last man, while Pioyer gains a broken knee and Tolik a partially collapsed lung. All these battles are getting to Faltran though who has taken heavily to drinking to ease his pain (and is now a drunkard).

That's some hefty impairment.

On the road the Spears try hand out food to some refugees as well, when more Grimmund soldiers show up and try to claim it. A quick scuffle sees the soldiers dead, but leaves Majorn with an injured shoulder and Kruglov with a maimed foot.

While he isn't losing people Big Mike knows that with all these permanent injuries piling up the Spears are becoming less effective at fighting. He can't bring himself to fire anyone though, not after what they've all been through.

Battle Brothers: Supply Line

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

Having made enemies of all the mountain towns of House Grimmund, the Spears spend some time back in the low lands - defending the Western border against goblin raiders who now come mounted on wolves. Pioyer loses an eye in one such skirmish.

Damn their pointy pikes!

After some days they are asked to help a large and important supply caravan reach Gerwold - the town they helped take earlier. As such Faltran and Big Mike feel indebted to do the task. It's smooth sailing at first until they reach the foot hills where a large and well equipped bandit force ambushes them.

Kamots is clubbed to death from behind and Sir Julien is beheaded before the bandits are fought off. The survivors then have to deal with a Grimmund militia force also sent to stop the caravan. While the militia captain is fantastic in keeping his forces from fleeing, they simply don't have the equipment to win the battle.

Finally the caravan reaches Gerwold, and the Spears are paid. Thanks to their now glorious name, the veteran knight and survivor of horrors, Sunbro Forever joins the company. Big Mike, also now recovered fully from Hoggart's torture, decides to take up arms on the field beside the men he commands.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Battle Brothers: For Glory!

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

With the Spears of the Church eager to spill more House Grimmund blood, Big Mike could only distract them momentarily with a contract to fetch the Elderstone (again) from a skeleton infested manor. The company made good use of the rotation skill to destroy their tireless and fearless enemy, with Bes being the stand out combatant.

Finally they are offered a contract from House Ruhmolt to assist in a besieging Gerwold - a House Grimmund city, which Faltran practically jumps at to get revenge for Bloodfire. The Spears meet up with Sir Albrecht Kettilmund's forces just as a Grimmund relief force attacks in attempt to lift the siege. They do not break the lines and are killed to the last man.

Look at all the free loot!

Seeing this, the remaining defenders of the city led by Sir Magnus "the Black" attack and are surprised when all of the spears use ranged weapons while Sir Albrecht and his remaining troops take the brunt of the attack. Most of the Ruhmolt soldiers are killed, but with the spears still all fresh and his troops dropping in equal measure Sir Magnus eventually surrenders.

Victorious, Gaius raises the Ruhmolt banner over the town, before departing back down the mountain and out of enemy territory. Sir Albrecht remains and publicly executes Sir Magnus a few days after the Spears depart.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Battle Brothers: Picking a Side

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

As the Noble war rages on elsewhere, the Spears next find themselves attacking a bandit forest base - making use of the tall grass to advance out of sight from the enemy archers. Mostly. Russ breaks from cover early and dies for it, as the rest of the company pincer the bandit position and wipe them out.

My battle strategy for the forest fight.

They then hit a goblin camp where a slow, advancing shield wall proves to be a good tactic when lacking war dogs to distract and run down the nimble archers. Alas Fox, poisoned by an arrow to the knee, is run through with a pike in the melee.

On the way back to civilization another acquaintance of Sid, Colonel Vodka, is met at a small village working as a grave digger. He joins the Spears. While Big Mike plays dice with Pioyer (who has a lot more coin than he's letting on), Faltran and a few others patrol around the town and find soldiers of House Grimmund about to hang one of their own.

The soon to be executed soldier, Gaius Caligula Augustus "the Honorable", pleads for help since he is about to be killed for disobeying orders to kill women and children. Faltran doesn't think twice, slaying the Grimmund bastards and freeing Gaius to join the Spears - much to Big Mike's chagrin.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Battle Brothers: Davkul is Coming

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

Finding another necromantic ruin in the swamp, Majorn is pleased when he and the Spears wipe out the zombies and their necromaster while suffering only minor wounds against a force twice their number. While camped, Fanatic converts Kamots to the cult of Davkul which leads to blows against Sahkarov who still had hope for the poor fisherman. Not anymore.

I'll beat the heresy out of you!

By happenstance the company also runs into a blood sacrifice to Davkul on the way back to town. The man, another cultist named Mole, is bleeding and speared to the ground but not yet gone. Gander removes the spears while Fanatic urges him to join the Spears so he does.

To combat the growing number of cultists in the ranks, Big Mike recruits Raven Fatbastard - a merchant business acquaintance of Sid as well as Emile the thief and Bes, a retired soldier. Together they defeat more bandits and wolf packs. On their journeys Faltran notices House Grimmund forces taking Wiesendorf village from House Folsach. Mike reminds all of them to march on and to not get involved.

Luckily they run into a troupe of traveling performers whom Sir Julien convinces to perform for free. This greatly raises in the morale of the troops.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Battle Brothers: Almost Werewolves

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

Having success against goblins last time, the Spears were tasked to protect a town from orcs and subsequently to destroy their nearby camp. William Beardguy does not survive the latter, and on the Spears return they find that the noble houses have declared war on each other!

The brothers argued which side they should fight for, either the religious House Folsach or the old kings House Ruhmolt - House of the ocean. Not one wanted to fight for the bastards of House Grimmund. Big Mike calmed them down though, saying it would be more profitable to remain neutral.

As he expected, with the soldiers fighting each other, brigandry became rife among the towns leading to many "House neutral" contracts. One dire wolf hunt even turned out to be bandits in wolf coats! Russ was pleased when he managed to keep one of those for himself. Pioyer less so as he lost his nose in that battle.

Even the in game footprints change from beast to man.

Sid reminded him that at least he survived, unlike Donk79 who was cut down by the brigands in that fetid swamp.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Battle Brothers: Dogs of War

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

After Big Mike berates Donk79 for trying to beg for coin from the new recruits, he purchases six war dogs who are summarily lost over the course of the next few missions - most while defending a town against goblin raiders.

As expected they are fast but physically weak, relying on poisoned arrows and flanking tactics which are negated by the hounds in this case. Big Mike can tell it would be problematic if they didn't have the dogs to run down these vermin but at the same time didn't want to get more since they all ended up dying on the field.

Instead he hires an odd cultist named Fanatic, and when the team comes across a merchant of wild, caged maltreated beasts - including a ragged jungle man, they set them free. Russ the wild man joins the Spears and Tolik gains a falcon fried which is useful for battle field scouting (somehow).

The most dangerous animal.

At the next town Faltran is pleased to learn that the Spears are now famous, while Majorn stops a witch burning when his senses detect the torch bearer to be some sort of demonic puppet! Majorn slays it in single combat.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

Battle Brothers: Filling the Ranks

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

Fox, a caravan hand, joins the Spears and earns his place early as he manages to slay the bandit leader "Roderick the Slaughterer". In the same battle Sid loses a finger to a crossbow bolt, and has an elbow broken by Roderick, leaving him less effective in combat. The peddler is just happy to be alive.

That would sting.

Gander is named Sergeant shortly after, for his high resolve, and Kamots shares a story of his past revealing he is not that bright. Sahkarov takes it upon himself to try teach him, but fails and is left dissatisfied.

A few bandits (35+ since they are getting paid by head), courier deliveries and direwolf hunts later the Spears recruit a dangerous looking man named Stargazer and the disowned noble Sir Julien, who apparently was disgraced by losing his forces overseas.

They also help a deserter, William Beardguy, escape from the soldiers looking for him - in return he joins the Spears, claiming he had left due to money issues. Big Mike assures him he won't have that problem working for the Spears.

Monday, 6 November 2017

Battle Brothers: Professional Killers

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

After word spread of their vampire run in, the Spears are now considered "Professionals" and even purchased their own supply cart to help carry loot. While being couriers and hunting dire wolves were still the staple jobs, the nobles of House Folsach - the House of the Valley, requested they clear out some greenskins nearby.

These young orcs are fearsome but are no match for the Spears, even with their "stun" charge moves mainly because it still makes them hit the spear wall. On the way back Majorn spots a necromantic ritual though, and urges the Spears to investigate. They do so and find zombies, and of course, a necromancer!

Physically the necromancer is just a guy in robes, but he can continuously raise the fallen and buff one zombie per round to go "crazy". This is particularly bad if said zombie is armored and is holding a meat cleaver as Tartarus finds out, when he is relentlessly hacked into.

The usually slow zombies get an action buff from necromancers.

Dead, he stands up almost immediately to fight against his living brothers, and it is up to Gander to put him down. By that point Craizee had reached the Necromancer and made him a corpse too. At least the ancient coins they find on him are worth a bit of currency.

Sunday, 5 November 2017

Battle Brothers: A Surprise in the Darkness

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

Another caravan contract is drawn up for the Spears, this one much shorter and much safer on paper. Before setting out Tolik the Tiny joins the company, and as expected is made the butt of some jokes courtesy of his nickname and Coppertopper's sense of humor.

Meanwhile Sid is beginning to question how some of these men came here as he recognizes them from another land but such tales are forgotten when in the middle of the night, three of the caravan hands reveal themselves to be... vampires!

Literally a cat out of the bag moment when they show up.

These bastards can vanish and appear at will in a swarm of bats, and as expected hit like a truck. Big Mike gets the Spears to bunch up quickly into a turtle formation which negates their divide and conquer (and feed on the loners) tactics and ultimately leads to the Spears victory, but it isn't without cost.

Gander is traumatized, Sid has a weakened heart, Tartarus has a broken knee and a missing nose, and Coppertopper is dead - being victim #1 when his morale broke and tried to flee from the group.

In light of this Big Mike hires Majorn the Vampire Hunter at the very next town. It's strange since Majorn looks a little bit like a vampire himself.

Saturday, 4 November 2017

Battle Brothers: The Last Spear

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

Finally, Big Mike manages to secure a contract to defend a caravan to the Southern lands which the Spears are all eager to get back to. They are almost to the foot of the mountains when soldiers of House Grimmund stop them and demand they hand all the cargo over.

Gotta say the art for this game is pretty good too.

Unfamiliar with the politics in this land, Big Mike wasn't sure what to do so Bloodfire steps forward instead, declaring that they were paid to take the caravan and its goods back South, and that's what they were going to do.

The soldiers are unimpressed, and with sudden speed kill Bloodfire where he stands. The rest of the company and the other caravan hands go on the offensive, but it is a very tough battle despite the enemy being outnumbered 3 to 1 (their superior gear makes up for it).

Most of the caravan hands perish, and numerous Spears are injured but they survive the skirmish - killing the soldiers to the last man. After earning their coin, Big Mike treats all of them to a round at the tavern, but even this doesn't cheer up Faltran who is now the last original Spear of the Church.

Friday, 3 November 2017

Battle Brothers: The Hungry Mountains (Part II)

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

While resting at town, most of the men are amused to watch Lapp help a boy get his cat out of a tree with his pet rat. He-Alve is not one of them, and Big Mike notices him getting the shakes thanks to his spartan diet (he eats very little). Mike forces He-Alve to eat a full meal which makes him physically better, but less happy with Mike's leadership.

Big Mike needn't have worried though, as during the next direwolf hunt in the mountains, Sid's cowardice left He-Alve, fattened as he was, to be wolf food. He is replaced by Tartarus the flagellant pilgrim, just in time to attack Red Eagles Den of bandits.

Aguila Roja (Red Eagle) is actually a Spanish show.
Has anyone watched it?

These ones are definitely better armed than the previous rabble the Spears have faced and put up a difficult fight as they hold the superior high ground. Lapp catches a throwing axe to the carotid artery (a fatal wound) while DogHow is gutted in battle. King, the dog, is also slain as he tries to run down the enemy archers.

Despite the losses, the battle is a victory, which inspired Pioyer the vagabond and R4W3C the farmer to join the Spears. For all his years of command, Big Mike isn't sure he'll ever get used to losing people.

Thursday, 2 November 2017

Battle Brothers: The Hungry Mountains (Part I)

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

After the celebrations where Kamots manages to get lucky with a local girl, the Spears head back on the road for caravan defense. So far these have paid well for little risk as the soldiers of the towns keep the roads pretty clear. One particular contract is quite the marathon though, heading all the way up into the cold Northern lands of House Grimmund.

It is on that journey that the Spears first encounter the ghoulish creatures called Nachzehrers. These beasts rush headlong into the spear wall too, but they have a penchant for eating dead bodies, even that of their own kin. This results in them growing - bigger, slower, but far more powerful.

All hail the chubby!

One grows so big, it swallows Donk79 whole and beheads Paleshade with a casual backhand. Fortunately they aren't invincible, and with enough damage the monsters are slain with Donk79 saved before turning into Nachzehrer shit.

With these dark events, Big Mike recruits Sahkarov - a man of science turned into a man of faith, to join the company. He also buys King the war dog (an actual dog) to lift the spirits of the men.

Wednesday, 1 November 2017

Battle Brothers: Spear Wall

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

With the string of recent victories, morale is high as a banner for the Spears is created. The Nord Craizee is recruited as the company goes to hunt the rampant dire wolf packs roaming the forests.

The large white flags means their morale is breaking.

These critters are fast, but are easy prey as they keep lunging against the front line spearwall. The same tactic works well on zombies encountered at some random ruins, the only difference is - they get back up, making for a marathon battle but one still won by caution.

The company eventually arrives at Wiesendorf who not only have hauntings at the graveyard, but also a fort of bandits raiding their supply lines. With a quick scouting run it turns out the "hauntings" are also bandits, so the Spears set out to rout both locations.

These bandits are wise to the spear wall method, and counter with delays or ranged attacks forcing the Spears to charge. Ultimately this leads to the death of S***A who is piked while spear walling (pikes out range spears), and Moaning Knight (one of the original three) who takes an arrow to the knee... and another to the face.

Coppertopper the messenger and He-Alve the strange, scaled one are recruited as replacements, but Faltran and Bloodfire know they'll never be able to replace their fallen comrade.

Tuesday, 31 October 2017

Battle Brothers: Matters of Morale

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

With the company finding their footing once more, refilling the ranks became the first ambition the companions agreed on. To this end they sailed to the busy port of Holnisland to recruit: S***A, DogHow and Lapp the rat catchers, Paleshade of Londor and Arpalan the student and "Sid" Sidorivich the manic peddler - who quickly attempts to sell Lapp a rat!

Big Mike is careful to choose the easy pay contracts of courier work and on the one occasion they run into bandits, he times it that another merc group called the Cold Hands are there to assist.

He knew they couldn't evade the danger for too long though, and sure enough the next contract - to retrieve the Elderstone from a burial site in the mountains leads to problems when the skeletons there awake and chant "the false king must die".

Followed by "Trick or Treat"?

It is a scary battle, and Arpalan not yet finding his feet in combat is stabbed fatally by a spear wielding skellie. The rest of the company is injured but victorious. Big Mike decides to get their mind off their fallen comrade by immediately attacking a small bandit hideout and decimating it easily.

This trick works, which results in the original three Spears having a greater respect for the man.

Monday, 30 October 2017

Battle Brothers: Hunting Hoggart

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

There aren't many promising recruits at Kielseng but nevertheless Big Mike recruits Donk79 the beggar, Gander the grave digger and Kamots the fisherman, outfitting them with some basic shields and spears to fit in with the Spears of the Church motif.

The original trio weren't particularly impressed, until they see Big Mike's tactics in action. It turns out Hoggart hadn't gone far, having returned with reinforcements at a local graveyard in preparation to raid Kielseng. The Spears raided them first, not losing a man this time. Kamots net throwing was of particular value as he disabled Hoggart for most of the combat.

Kamots doing his best Spiderman impression!

As dusk fell, four geists also manifested - screaming terrible wails that rattled the Spears morale. Fortunately they were rather weak, dissipating with one hit each for an easy victory.

Upon returning Hoggart's head to the town hall at Kielseng, the money earned lit a bright smile among the company, and a burning desire to do more. From there, it didn't take much more to convince Big Mike to hang around as the resident strategist.

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Battle Brothers: Broken Spear

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

Big Mike had long lost track of the number of days he had been held captive, suffering untold tortures to the hands of the pirates that had kidnapped him. Their leader, Hoggart the Weasel, had sold off his companions one by one on the long sail away from the radiated lands and now only he was left.

He was sure that death would find him soon. Indeed, it would be a mercy - but it would not be this day, for suddenly battle erupted at the pirates beach camp as a mercenary band came hunting for his head. Unfortunately they attacked with no strategy, and were cut down at the same measure as they did the pirates.

It's like they were just running into those arrows.

While Hoggart managed to escape to his vessel and flee, the three remaining mercenaries freed Big Mike, and returned to the nearby fishing village of Kielseng with an air of failure as their target had escaped, meaning they were not going to get paid for their losses.

"That's it then - we're the last of the Spears of the Church," moaned the Moaning Knight. "I say we call it quits." His companions Faltran and Bloodfire nodded in agreement. 

Big Mike, hobbling behind shook his head as ideas of revenge crept into his head. "No, not yet. You saved me from that bastard. Let me help you take him down."

Bloodfire laughed at him. "You? Just look at you - you can barely walk, and the three of us will be hard pressed to get anywhere against the rest of Hoggart's gang."

"I've commanded armies before," Big Mike said with a commanding tone. "I might not be able to join you on the field, but with my battlefield experience I can guide you to victory. As for our lack of numbers..."

Big Mike tossed a heavy purse at their feet. "I managed to swipe some of their cache during their battle. We can recruit more men with that. What say you? Will we help each other get revenge on that weasel?"

After a brief discussion, Faltran shook Big Mike's hand. "You have a deal."

Friday, 27 October 2017

Doctor Strange

Magicians sure are weird, but that doesn't necessarily make them interesting.

Dr. Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) is an arrogant surgeon who gets his craft taken away from him due to an accident. Intent on regaining his lost skill he goes looking for a cure which leads him to a place of martial art magicians who, predictably, are suffering a crisis of their own.

This movie has crazy fantastic visuals, almost to the point of "whoa that's too much" since the mirror realms are a bit like Inception x 10 (careful all of you that suffer from motion sickness). That's perhaps the biggest strength this film has going for it, as all other areas for me seem weaker than the usual Marvel fare. The main actors are ok but some supporting roles are a bit off, with comedy bits seeming more forced.

Unintentionally using movie magic to create vertigo.

The plot suffers from some pacing issues as well with some slow bits that could have been removed, and some holes that are just not explained or simply ignored. Suspension of disbelief is quite challenging in more than a few segments (common when trying to explain mass oddities in the real world) and even the music seems weaker than the other superhero stuff I've seen... cartoon stuff included.

Still, I do quite like how he deals with the big bad - so bonus points for that. All up, I found Doctor Strange to be an entertaining action flick, but not one I'd want to watch again. I give it three library books out of five.

Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Thought of the Day: All things are Poison

"All things are poison, and nothing is without poison, the dosage alone makes it so a thing is not a poison."  -Paracelsus 

I know that's a quote on toxicology, but I wonder if it is true for all consumable vices, video games included. My addiction is in full swing at the moment, evidenced by 7 days of no blog posts. Gotta get my schedule back on. Blergh!

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Wonder Woman

Finally, DC puts out another good superhero movie!

Growing up on the isle of Themyscira, home of warrior women Amazons, Dianna (Gal Gadot) had always wanted to join their ranks - eventually undergoing training despite her mother, the Queen's, protests.

Out of love, vital information is with held from her and when an opportunity to leave the sheltered isle comes calling, in the form of Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), she goes to fulfill her mission of protecting the world from the God of War, in the middle of World War I. Those poor, poor Nazis.

I have to admit, this movie does have all the things I'm looking for in a superhero flick with good effects, nice camera work, explosions, nice eye candy (so much eye candy lol), a body count, good acting all around, a decent bad guy and most importantly a decent story!

There are nice funny bits, "war is hell" bits, and a good dose of "girl (em)power(ment)" all done without any viscera. I particularly like the artsy part near the beginning of the film. I can't really flaw this movie and while it doesn't beat my favorite (The Dark Knight, I'm a Batman fan), I also have no reason to not give it five god killers out of five. Highly recommend it and yes, I would definitely watch it again. :)

Saturday, 14 October 2017

Boyka: Undisputed

Boyka's "gift" from God is beating the hell out of other people!

The Undisputed series is an interesting one as it gets better with each subsequent movie. While the first one is very ho hum, it picks up quickly in the 2nd which introduces Scott Adkins character of Yuri Boyka as an antagonist.

He's clearly the favored character since in movies 3 and 4 (this one), he has advanced to protagonist stature, and given his fighting ability it's easy to see why. As a fighting movie, a shallow plot is to be expected, but the fight scenes and tight camera work make everything a joy to watch.

It helps that all the fighters have great athleticism too!

I'm surprised I haven't done reviews for any of this series yet, but for fans of martial arts you will definitely enjoy this. If you haven't seen any of the Undisputed series, I'll score them below:

Undisputed I - Two fists out of five. (Note: No Boyka in this movie)
Undisputed II: Last Man Standing - Three knees out of five.
Undisputed III: Redemption - Four shins our of five.
Boyka: Undisputed (IV) - Four spines out of five.

The first movie can be skipped and the second is not bad, but the last two I highly recommend and would definitely watch again in a heart beat as they are among my favorite martial arts movies. :)

Monday, 9 October 2017

Today I Sighed: Where to Find Time?

Seems that I'm back in a "so much to do and not enough time too lazy to do it" phase at the moment, with my gaming addiction strangling out most other things once more. Thanks Neverwinter Online. Lol. At least I've got Chult done now, along with the long outstanding Tyranny of Dragons (thanks to the Linu improvement).

This leaves the Storm King's Thunder, the Day of the Dungeon Master event (too many dice required), and the PvP campaigns (no interest in that, so no biggie) unfinished. All that is also eating into my blogging time, which is annoying since I want to continue the Fate of Heroes story at some point.

I did do something different last weekend by attending Comic Con where I was surprised at how many people purchase boxes of random gear. That is, you get a box but don't know what's inside it. Haven't these guys played MMOs? Lol.

I also learned that the world of war gaming is very varied if this list is anything to go by, and that for each kick ass "good guy", there are psychos to balance it out.

In honor of one of our guild mates who has left I'm putting her favorite bands up here as my closing musical numbers: If these Trees could Talk and Explosions in the Sky. If that's too heavy for you, perhaps you'd enjoy this piece from the Eurovision Choir contest instead.

And as a bonus for bird lovers: here's a live feed for some roosting Peregrine Falcons.

Friday, 6 October 2017

Neverwinter Online: Tomb of Annihilation

Where dinosaurs are worse than dragons!

Now that I've finished the campaign, apart from the titular dungeon itself, I am fairly confident when saying that this is one of the better campaigns to date. Cryptic expanded on the good idea of letting people do "what" they want from the River District and included a "when" they want too. That is, players can pick a (small) variety of things to do during the span of a week to advance the campaign, instead of the stressful and rigid dailies from campaigns before.

That's perhaps the best feature for me, as it makes it easy to alt through it - and still have time to catch up on other campaigns! The new zones are also quite pretty and the monsters suitably dangerous. Though the dinosaurs do have a large detection range I've worked out paths that can get you into almost all the areas without drawing any aggro. It does involve jumping off cliffs and almost never following the road but it works.

It's a pretty place.

The new hunt mechanic is pretty fun too, especially when accompanied by some guildies. The only downside is the limitation of only being able to carry one lure type at a time, which makes "grinding" hunts a bit of a chore though I suppose that may have been intentional. Definitely a good module, and while not one new players can access right away due to a high iLevel suggestion (for good reason), it's certainly one worth working towards and looking forward to. :)

Wednesday, 4 October 2017

Shadows Over Camelot

Join the Knights of the Round Table and save Camelot from doom!

With invaders all around and magic items slowly slipping from reach, Camelot is in need of 3 to 7 (8 with the Merlin's Company Expansion) brave knights of the round table to save it. The mechanics of this coop/semi-coop game are simple. On your turn you do something bad, then do something good - and complete quests by playing poker. Sounds odd but it's a pretty decent system.

The other fun thing is that the game encourages the lack of sharing information by hiding cards from your allies and speaking in character. So no "I am running out of cards to help here", instead its "My friends, I will soon need to travel elsewhere" or some other nonsense. It's silly, but one of the best things of the game is this silliness. The very first win my group had happened when on the brink of winning (or losing) a war, Guinevere tried to call all of us off the field so my brother controlling King Arthur killed her with Excalibur. "Silence thou unfaithful strumpet!"

Other than everything trying to kill us, it's a pretty place!

The artwork is pretty cool and the game can feel oppressive at times but it seems to me that if the knights are really working as a team, the game is comparatively easy when compared to Arkham/Eldrich Horror or Xenoshyft. I guess that's why it has the traitor "feature" where one knight actually works for the bad guys (in secret) which I've not yet tried since my regular players prefer full co-op.

Currently I give this game three siege engines out of five (full co-op only). It's a fun two hour(ish) romp once people know how to play with quick setup and quick cleanup after. However if you are really looking for a full cooperative game, I'd recommend going for any of the D&D board games instead.

Saturday, 30 September 2017

Justice League Dark

Aka "Batman meets Constantine".

When people start having waking nightmares and killing each other, the Justice League springs into action to try stop the madness. And by that I mean, Batman alone decides to investigate. I suppose the rest *could* be trying to keep the peace but we don't really see that. It is totally understandable though to make room for the more mystical powered heroes he teams up with, the most notable being Zatanna and Constantine.

Facial expressions: Determined, Determined, Determined, and Batman.

There's a bit of slowness during the introduction of these newbies, but the fun gradually picks up pace as the team faces more absurd characters and challenges such as: demons, ghosts, wizards, shit monsters... etc. Even Batman isn't impressed (which is hilarious). While the story is definitely out there, it works towards a very satisfactory ending.

Not a bad outing for this Justice League movie. Not fantastic, but not bad. I'd definitely watch it again and hope they make more of this "Dark" series. All up I give it three magic spells out of five. If you like Justice League and/or the Constantine TV show, you'll probably like this.

Friday, 29 September 2017

Shin Gojira

Toxic dumping creates a rampaging monstrosity - again!

After his stint in the US, this Godzilla reboot returns him to Japanese waters where he not so promptly begins to rampage across miniature cities - much like most of the gigantic foes in say... Power Rangers. Of course, the CGI makes this much better than it sounds, but the feel of a "guy in a suit" rampaging in a mini-city is still there. Not that the movie ever explains why it is doing this.

Maybe he's just looking for a sweet roll.

Instead it focuses on the many aspects of the government debating and organizing on how to handle this threat. Indeed, at least 50% of this movie is "let's have a meeting" followed by "let's have another meeting in a different room, with slightly different people". There are so many people that I can't honestly name a single of their names, not even the protagonist. The female lead(?) stands out for having the worst engrish in the film, which isn't really a positive. Why is she even speaking English to a cast of Japanese speakers anyway?

As cool as Godzilla's sections are (despite how quirky he looks), it keeps getting tempered with what I find as boring bureaucracy which is a shame. I give it 2 lazers out of five, and have no intention of watching it again.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Sheltered: Black Vengeance

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

Of the attack force, Carol Black is really the only one to return to the bunker with Timothy Redshoes and Mary dying from their injuries on the way back, and William Beardguy abandoning her during to try escape the region on his own. She learns from Michael Gray and Margaret Cleaner that Skrmischa and Carol Hattier had since returned with the last car part, repaired it and left with some supplies - leaving the bunker to them as agreed.

Enraged at the loss of her sister, Carol tries to convince her two remaining allies to go back to Glenchester and extract vengeance but they decline, quite rightly pointing out that they can just shut the hatch and survive indefinitely in this fully self sustaining bunker. Carol hears none of it though, and loads up with armor and as many bullets as she can carry. That turns out to be a big number, as the bunker is quite stocked with ammo, just not firearms. She then departs, leaving Michael and Margaret to their "Crypt".

With no intention of surviving this suicide mission, Carol attacks the Marauders head on with guns blazing. The crazed bastards seem to be popping out of the woodwork with their axes and blades and crowbars, but because none of them had guns of their own the playing field was quite even. Ultimately Carol's aim and grit and ammo out lasted the Marauders until at last, the walls and roads ran red with their blood. She had killed them all.

And became legend.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Sheltered: The Battle of Glenchester

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

The battle at Glenchester City against Janet's crew is furious, with Carolyn, Cynthia and Helen Harvey being beaten to death by Janet's lackeys and Janet personally gunning down Christine and Elizabeth Armygal before Martha Black can put a shotgun shell into Janet's head.

No one takes cover in this game.

The rest of the forces do well in their own battles, but as the remnants of Janet's lackeys try to scatter away a new and more dangerous faction calling themselves "the Marauders" arrvie on their bikes, having been attracted to the fighting... and the fresh meat. Apparently Janet's group -was- protecting the city after all.

Still exhausted from combat, the group is no match for these axe-wielding Marauders and are routed. Karen Road, Edward Montgomery, Cannibal Joyce and Daniel Darksin all fall to their axes. Martha Black is also separated from her sister, captured and later forced to watch her former allies be cooked over a bonfire and endure horrific torture before she too becomes the main course for the ravenous Marauders.

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Sheltered: Meat Unraided

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

With the addition of Mary, Cannibal Joyce, Edward Montgomery, Timothy Redshoes and Daniel Darksin - the army, led by the Black sisters move out in force and in high spirits despite only having 3 firearms between them.

At the same time Skrmischa and Carol Hattier go to search for that last missing car part, leaving only new comers Mark and Michael Gray to guard the base when the two surviving raiders from before return and bust down the door, timing their attack when the base is at its weakest, looking to steal more loot!

The auto rifle hits hard, but doesn't hit often.

Mark dies via pick axe to the face, but with both intruders weakened via the autorifle turret, Michael beats them to death with a metal pipe. He then recruits passerby Margaret Cleaner to assist in harvesting the bodies and fitting them into the fridge. The dead would not go to waste, not on his watch!

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Sheltered: Declaration of War

Part of the Fate of Heroes series - spoilers ahead!

With Big Mike holding down the fort and trading with ex-bunker buddy Frances, Skrmischa leads a retaliatory strike force to attack Janet's crew. This does not go well at all, as Janet has superior numbers and firepower. Paul is carved up by a knife and Amy is shot by Janet herself - once in each eye.

Skrmischa and Christine are captured, stripped and after a few days of humiliation are sent back to their bunker in shame. Janet's emissary arrives sometime later to request for tribute again, only to be vehemently denied once more.

Instead, Skrmischa gets on the radio and starts recruiting people for the upcoming war, starting with William Beardguy, Elizabeth Armygal, Karen Road and the sisters, Martha and Carol Black (another Carol!). What's in it for them? Skrmischa offers them the bunker and the lion's share of the supplies, as she plans to leave on the RV once the last missing part is found.

Dianne, Big Mike and Brenda are not thrilled at this turn of events and all of them decide to pack up and leave with Frances in hopes of reaching greener pastures before the war begins.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Today I Smiled: Night Time View

It's great that we have a(nother?) bard in the guild in Neverwinter Online, not that there's an actual bard class mind you. She just roleplays as a bard who happens to have a youtube music channel called Night Time View. Give her a listen! :)

For the non-music inclined, I've come across interesting knowledge such as "How to make a Golden Cloak of Nope Spider Silk", what exactly a "Fatberg" is (eww), and that forget Drop Bears - even the plants in Australia want to kill you. For those mathematically inclined, here's an interesting channel for you: vsauce.

I'm going to wrap this up with one more link on a game I can no longer play due to it being enhanced so much, my graphics card can no longer handle it. It's gone from randomly generated "cell" spaceships, to larger randomly generated planet sections, to being able to fly and fight in space, Warframe is progressing to having an open world. Behold the Plains of Eidolon!

Have a good day everyone! :)