Thursday, 30 August 2012

Pulp Monsters Rules Preview - The Wytchbot

The big beasts and bots are coming to Pulp City! Battle will be joined by every Supreme conceivable! The city could be on the brink of falling... Devon Peterson has produced a preview of the forth-coming Monster's rules (which will be a free downloadable set of rules to expand Pulp City gaming options); he shows how the rules were used to build the Wytchbot:
Building the Wytchbot_preview


Welcome to Scotty Kahn the latest Follower of the blog. As always, I check out the blogs of anyone who joins and I was immediately impressed on seeing Scotty's Workshop (click for the link), with some bold colours and nice crisp painting of models that I like (Infinity and Warmachine among them). Then annoyance followed when I realized how quick a painter Scotty is on reading - I jest about the annoyance, but I am envious that he can achieve great results so quickly whereas i cannot sustain painting for any period of time before becoming 'distracted'.

Thanks for joining Scotty Kahn, I really appreciate it, and I will be Following your own blog with interest going forwards.

On the blog front for myself, I really do need to get some minis painted soon. There has been lots going on with working with Maciej and Devon to refine the redeveloped Pulp City rules, but as that slows down to mainly play-testing, I hope to get some stuff done soon (the Hadrons ideally, maybe some Ninjas). And as soon as those minis are cast up, keep an eye out for the contests.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

A Small Thing...

Doc Cosmos
It is amazing how one small thing can be anxiety-provoking. The small thing I am talking about is shipping the mini I commissioned from James Van Schaik; sent off to be cast in resin!

This is the first time I have done this, get a mini cast up, and  just the thought of sending it overseas has me concerned until I learn it has has arrived safely. Then there is the possibility that there may be problems in casting (but then the casters are very well regarded in the industry, so I am sure there will be no problems there). Worries all around then!

Finally there will. be getting the thing back to the UK (or at least 25 copies).

Despite my anxiety, I cannot wait to get 'Doc Cosmos' in hand and ready to paint, and copies into the hands of a few friends.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

20 Questions

Okay, saw this on Angry Lurker, Laughing Ferret and Brummie's blogs (click names for links to theirs), so thought I would follow suit!

The questions:

1.  Favourite Wargaming period and why?
Supers. I am a massive comic book superheroes fan. It has just been a shame that it took tabletop gaming so long to catch up with my 'other hobby'!

2.  Next period, money no object?
I find time and motivation more of an obstacle than money, so assuming none of those was an obstacle - then probably something like a sci-fi game at a small scale; maybe Epic, DZC, Heavy Gear or something like that.

3.  Favourite 5 films? 
In approximate order of preference, first to fifth:

  1. Dazed and Confused (brilliant soundtrack and just makes me feel good when I watch it)
  2. The Empire Strikes Back
  3. Elf (annual Christmas movie for the wife and me)
  4. Shaun of the Dead
  5. Avengers

4.  Favourite 5 TV series?
In approximate order of preference, first to fifth:

  1. West Wing
  2. M*A*S*H
  3. Band of Brothers
  4. Doctor Who (from 2005 onwards)
  5. Desperate Housewives (really!)

5.  Favourite book and author?
Favourite book is probably either Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintainence (Robert Pirsig) or The Thief of Always (Clive Barker). But my favourite author is definitely Clive Barker - incredible mastery of language.

6.  Greatest General? Can’t count yourself!!
Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke for the thesis that: no plan survives contact with the enemy.

7.  Favourite Wargames rules?
Now? Pulp City Supreme Edition. It has been a focused labour from 3 guys to make the best game we can, even if it means doing some things in a radical way. I am biased.

8.  Favourite Sport and team?
Football; Liverpool FC.

9.  If you had a only use once time machine, when and where would you go?
Messing with time = bad idea. So nope, would not use it.

10. Last meal on Death Row?
Tough one. Forgoing my weekly curry, it would be sirloin steak with new potatoes, mange tout, in a peppercorn sauce.

11. Fantasy relationship and why?
If I was not married, and not in a relationship (phew caveats out of the way successfully I think!), then Thandie Newton. If I have to explain, then I am not sure you would understand anyway.

12. If your life were a movie, who would play you?
Who cares. It would be a dull movie.

13. Favourite Comic  Superhero?
Cap. Captain America. If one super-hero were real, I would want it to be cap. I think the world could or would be a better place for him.

14. Favourite Military quote?
(See #6 - Helmuth Karl Bernhard Graf von Moltke for the thesis that: no plan survives contact with the enemy.)

15. Historical destination to visit?
Stonehenge - never been, ought to go!

16. Biggest Wargaming regret?
Being such an unmotivated painter.

17. Favourite Fantasy job?
A professional games developer able to sustain a living through that job alone.

18. Favourite Song Top 5?
In approximate order of preference, first to fifth:

  1. Here Comes The Sun - the Beatles
  2. Suspicious Minds - Elvis Presley
  3. Simple Man - Lynyrd Skynyrd
  4. Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos - Public Enemy
  5. Prophecies - Philip Glass

19. Favourite Wargaming Moment?
A Terminator Wolf Priest killing a Bloodthirster of Khorne in one very  lucky attack in a tournament game; my opponent asked for referee input because he did not believe it was possible.

20. The miserable Git question, what upsets you?
Stupid people saying stupid things on television or radio.

Monday, 6 August 2012

The Dark Knight Rises

Okay, I need to admit I have enjoyed the two preceding Nolan Batman movies, and so my experience of The Dark Knight Rises was most likely coloured by those positive experiences. Which immediately leads me to say that I enjoyed it - a hell of a lot, and I do think it may be the best of the bunch.

It is not perfect - there are flaws for sure, but the same is true of pretty much any story and/or movie - but I found it absorbing to watch, as did Mrs Citizen who struggles with anything much longer than a 90 minute run time, and at two and three quarter hours, this was way past her usual comfort zone!

Structurally this felt more even and rounded than the Dark Knight which fell a bit flat for me once the Joker arc had been resolved; the Two Face stuff just prolonged the film without adding to Dark Knight in my opinion, although it does serve as the spring-board for the Dark Knight Rises and several of its character arcs.

I think Nolan does a masterful job of crafting doubt and tension around the ability and potential fragility of the Batman. We see a hero who may be truly vulnerable to the odds arrayed against him. We also see that the four principle males (Bruce Wayne/Batman, Alfred Pennyworth, Commissioner Gordon and Lucius Fox) from the trilogy are each flawed in their decisions over the course of those movies. Not from self-serving reasons, far from it, there are just motivations for all, yet each has taken a decision that is underlined in this film as being potentially harmful. Contrast that to the fate of the other male characters seen through preceding parts of the trilogy (Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow and Mayor Anthony Garcia), and it shows that Nolan has crafted a story about a (small) world (Gotham) as much about one hero.

The story is on reflection pretty straight-forwards, but various sub-plots and beats roll on which is what made the film compelling for me, even if I did anticipate two reveals (one key to the plot, the other key to the ending). the film did not sag for me as Dark Knight did after the aforementioned Joker arc ended.

This is not a super-hero film in the traditional sense. To me it is more of a thriller with super-hero trappings. Despite that I think it is well constructed and well-crafted and has some amazing set-pieces, though perhaps the sight of the truck flip from the Dark Knight is not quite topped. There are choices Nolan has made that I do not agree with. For example if you make a Batman film, accept his natural milieu is the night and roll with it - too many key day-time scenes for my taste, but hey, a minor flaw at best. The Dark Knight Rises does not have a villain as compelling as I found the Joker to be, yet it weaves a compelling narrative around a whole host of characters and even supporting players get moments to shine. I thought everyone played their parts well and the most difficult role was probably Bane. The theatrics that Ledger could use for the Joker were not available for Tom Hardy, so inevitably the character pales in some ways by comparison. The voice of Bane has been complained about, but the feel it gave me was that of melodramatic megalomaniac - almost as if Nolan was giving a knowing wink to the pulp-y origins of the Batman mythos while still attempting to retain his sense of stylistic verisimilitude. Therefore it worked for me, but I get why not for others, and Bane serves his function in the grander arc.

Lastly some have commented on ambiguity of the ending. Nonsense. It is clear for most characters and open for one in particular, and that was a good trick by Nolan. I was not let down by the ending which was signalled by Nolan through the film so to those who claim 'ambiguity' I saw piffle!

This is a film I look forwards to watching again, and re-watching the whole set from start to finish sometime. I loved it, but then I loved Batman Begins and Dark Knight, and I know neither is universally loved.

Wednesday, 1 August 2012

Amazing Spider-Man

I finally watched this today.  It has just been 'one of those things' that 'other stuff' has got in the way (like a recent job interview and the necessary preparation etc.; life stuff basically). I liked the Raimi films, and knew I wanted to see this, it has just taken longer to do so than intended.

So what are my thoughts on it? Well I enjoyed it, but even understanding the reasons for the reboot, I cannot say it is significantly better or worse than the Raimi original. Furthermore, given that the Raimi version captured a strong sense of authenticity from the source material for me (whether original or Ultimate Marvel Universe authenticity), at least, then the makers of Amazing Spider-man were always in a tricky situation: depart too far from the source material and I think the movie suffers; adhere closely and you have a lot of similar elements that Raimi already tackled. They wisely chose the latter path, but the end-product is inevitably never going to deliver the novelty of the first Raimi movie, even if CGI web-slinging is replaced with more physically-grounded stunt-work.

So what has in essence been changed is perhaps a degree of tonal shift, and with a more muted cinematic palette. And the end-product is fine, but not spectacular (forgive that pun, Spider-fans). It compares well with Spider-man but does not surpass it. Amazing Spider-man simply cannot be a great film, or even an exhilarating novelty, simply for the sense we have seen films not too dissimilar before. Not so long ago. Starring a character called Peter Parker/Spider-man.

One of the other things that bothers me is that we are in a post-Avengers world. That film set the bar for super-hero movie ambition so high, that there are new standards, and maybe same-old,same-old is just not going to cut it. It also does not help that I strongly feel the Spidey costume in this movie was fussy and inferior compared to the Raimi era suit. The zips and gathering fabric made it look poorly designed rather than engaging a sense of the 'real world', and I feel that some poor design choices were taken with it.

In the end the only point of this film is to make money since there is no new lead character to truly expose here, or an unfamiliar tale to tell. Not a bad movie, and I certainly enjoyed it, and as stated I do understand the rationale for making it, but really, it was not needed, and maybe Spider-man 4 and 5 would have been preferable.


A new 'welcome to the Pulp Citizen' post, this time to thank Coloured Dust for signing up. As ever, I really am thankful for anyone taking the time and effort to visit and read the blog, so thanks to my latest Follower and all that signed up beforehand.

I know that I have said it before, but one of the cool things when someone signs up is finding out about their blog, and so I heartily recommend Coloured Dust (click for link), even after a cursory glance. I will be Following Coloured Dusts and looking for tips that I can pick up along the way. Thanks again!

On the Pulp City front: beta testing of the Supreme Edition is under way. There has been some very positive feedback to the changes we have wrought and solutions we have created for problems we saw with the old system. Some changes have been quite soft, fine-tuning of existing concepts, while others are quite radical but very much in the Pulp City spirit. We think we have a very solid game engine on out hands, but then we are biased! I honestly think that the core mechanics offer game-play that few if any other games quite match, at least those that I have played or looked into, while it also allows us to build an integrated platform for the future of the game. Time will tell of course, but it should be an interesting journey!
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...