Film: Riddick – Rule the Dark

I finally got this at the w/e and watched it, it’s the third installment in the Riddick franchse. I watched Pitch Black and thoroughly enjoyed it. the second film, The Chronicles of Riddick was less enjoyable. It was packed with great ideas, but was really two films/concepts boiled down into one and both stories ultimately lost some of their potency.

riddick-slice1

This film was an indepoendent release and returns to the Pitch Black approach, a bit too closely, but is saved from a straight retread for a couple of reasons.

Riddick’ tiring of the Necromungers that he ended up leading at the end of Chronicles. So he cuts a deal with Vaako (Karl Urban’s character), but Vaako’s sidekick double crosses both of them and Riddick is left for dead on an un-named desert planet. Obviously Riddick isn’t about to give up. Cue various deadly interactions with the local wildlife, which start to become boring. Riddick rescues a local Jackal like pup and raises it, before finding a deserted Merc (mercenary) base whose rescue beacon he triggers.

riddick-jordi-molla-katee-sackhoff-david-bautista-600x251

This is where it gets interesting. Two mercenary gangs arrive to claim the bounty on Riddick’s head. One is lead by hot headed Santanna who arrives first and makes some rather “brave” claims about his intentions WRT Riddick. The second band of mercenaries, is lead by Boss Johns, the father of the merc Johns that Riddick killed in Pitch Black. These guys are rather more professional, and include Dahl (Katie Sackhoff) as a competent ruthless sidekick.

Though the overall pot of the film is a bit of a re-hash of Pitch Black in terms of alien predators besieging the humans (also in the dark with rain), the interaction between the two mercenary ganags and Riddick saves the day. Their different approaches and outlook are well done. The “jet bikes” are also a novel concept (not land speeders) along with the power nodes being incompatible.

It would make for an excellent Laserburn scenario with two highly different sets of mercenaries pitted against a real (anti-) Hero character. Again worth getting is its about £5 or £7 cheap.

PS: There is a Directors cut with an additional secne at the end involving the Necromungers.
PPS: There are very few images for this film on the ‘net, and no decent trailers without advertisement breaks.

Laserburn: The Weapons Factory

We played the scenario I’d written up: The Weapons Factory.

We built gangs of about 5,000 points and each fielded about 10 men each.

The table, as set up, with the factory in the middle.

We start deployment…

Rich deploys his troops including a sniper on the roof of the building.

I waste three recruits out on the far flank, who made little contribution until they got KO’d in an explosion later…

Feline supervision is needed, apparently !

Turn 2 and the first casualty – Rich’s sniper gets a head shot to my guy Lance – after Lance Henrikson one of only two actors to have been killed by an Alien, Predator, and Terminator.

A firefight ensued across the central open area. My guys caused a fair amount of damage to Rich’s team as I had a heavy bolter and my leader involved, so Rich started lobbing smoke grenades, which we improvised by using cotton wool balls stuck to paper templates.

Rich sent forth his minions.

They got Tobbac’A, before one got killed outright (standing in the open).

But this was evened up, when Rich fired on the dangerous materials loaded onto a truck, that blew up and KO’d my 3 flanking guys.

More smoke grenades were deployed, as after looting the weapons factory, Rich conceeded the game.

He got the weapons, I got the glory (experience points).

A good game and complaimnts about the layout of the rule book aside its still a nifty game that is enjoyable.

Further feline supervision was needed !

More photos are here

Laserburn: Aftermath

Byakhee Rich & I played a game of Laserburn today (Weapons Factory), here’s some thoughts:

  • How do we play this game again ? (After 6 months)
  • Even after 30 years of playing them of and on, its still difficult to follow the rules. They’re all in the rule book but just not in a logical or sensible order – they need editing.
  • Setting up gang rosters – we forgot to amend Initiative stats for the weapons and armour
  • Initiative, surprising how big an effect the modifiers had
  • Game was dominated by the three guys who had a chance to hit anything (it would have been four, but he got shot in the face in the second round)
  • Anybody of regular skill level with an inaccurate weapon can’t hit a barn door at 5 paces (cruel)
  • This affects tactics – I certainly wasted three guys who were flanking for most of the game and had little input
  • Cover isn’t much use
  • You’re harder to hit moving at walking pace
  • Move, shoot, move (into cover) is a good option
  • Out of sight is the best option (How not to be seen)
  • Being in the open is a death sentence, being out of sight is best because then you can’t be shot !
  • Take a chance (on me) and do the reaction roll (Rich got lucky on that many times…but when it really counted !)
  • Duckback ! Where the hell is that in the rules ? Turns out it is on p10, but we couldn’t find it when playing Grrr
  • Left leg – the most common location for being hit
  • Laserrs vs Armour = no damage
  • Morale & Unit coherence, applied by the players not the rules, maybe they need to be beefed up
  • Along with the deployment rules these are all missing because it is more like an adjunct to a RPG as opposed to a wargames system.

Next up, some photos of the game. 🙂

(Now editted for the typos, and a new link added)

Laserburn: Scenarios & Deployment rules

I’ve written up two scenarios Byakhee Rich & I will play tomorrow. I’ll trawl the records and brain cell to add some more as there seem to be very few Laserburn scenarios written up.

One thing that struck me when writing them up and reading the Laserburn rule book was the complete absence of deployment rules. Its totally up to the umpire to decide when designing the scenario – but what happens when there is no umpire ? Who chooses sides ? Who sets up first ? In what order ? How far in ? etc. Now having played different rules sets and different scenarios there are any number of options.

Some ideas for deployment rules:

  • Dice to choose side of table
  • Dice to choose deployment zone(s)
  • Play out the scouting rules as per Chain of Command
  • Hidden movement
  • Scouts & Vanguard movement (WHFB)
  • Place units alternately
  • Place all units in one go
  • Place units in an Initiative determined order (high first or low first)

It got me thinking as to how these rules would affect the way scenarios are run and how the balance of gamesmanship would change. If one side places all its units first, that could give the other side an unfair advantage (advanced intel). This is something that hasn’t come up in AVBCW yet where we simply all pile in all at the same time. Is this better or worse ? On what terms ? In terms of the chaos of war ? In terms of fairness ? Or does it disrespect advanced intel and hence undermine military prowess ? How far do you go when designing a scenario to favour one side or the other ?

I’ve longed to write up some inter war rules sets, and indeed to expand the Laserburn rules so if you have any ideas, chuck them in to the comments. I want to break out of the IGUGO rules and fixed deployment zones and get a really fluid battle going.

Thanks !

Laserburn: Scenery

My mate Byakhee JP, made me some terrain pieces for Laserburn and delivered them today whilst we had a conflab about our planned AVBCW Big Game.

A total surprise for me.
And a welcome one. 🙂

He pushed out all the stops.

A broken pin tack.
Some bases I’d given him.
Scavenged pieces from bins at work.
All the high end stuff.

😉

Just as any wargamer would want their scenery pieces made !!!! 😀

Paint Log 2012

In order to remind myself how much I have done and taking a leaf out of Roughage’s blog, I have been keeping a log (spreadsheet) of all my painting (sad git).

Last year I painted the equivalent of more than 900 figures which is pretty good going. Since I started the log (2010), I have painted 2200 figures:

Figure Equivalents

Year

Total

Scenery

15mm

AVBCW

BoB

Warhammer

2010

749

116

121

512

2011

581

163

43

349

26

2012

912

262

20

196

226

208

2013

49

8

0

0

26

15

2014

0

2015

0

Total

2291

549

184

545

252

761

%

24

8

24

46

33

I am doing this to keep myself motivated and remind myself just how much I have done, as I grind my way through the endless unpainted, unassembled desolation that the Playroom seems to hold in a TARDIS like style.

So when I commented about the Lustrian scenery, I remembered that I had a terrain piece by that company featuring The Hounds of Tindalos. So that is one of today’s easy wins for painting – hopefully photographed shortly.

In rummaging to find that, I came across another piece of scenery I dimly remember buying, and now needs some attention, for quite what purpose I have no idea but it’ll come to me in time and should be an easy paint, after I’ve watched some more DVDs to remind me of colour schemes. 😉

The current hiatus on AVBCW is due to me having an artistic block on the BUF Cavalry, the diea of painting more black, and more horses both at the same time has really dented my enthusiasm to paint them. Maybe after my current WHFB binge over the w/e I’ll get back to them.

NB: Not all my painting gets a posting – sometimes the latest batch of 10 DE Spearmen aren’t worth it.

Laserburn: Command & Control and ‘Bots

Some more GZG items that In have unearthed in the Playroom, or bought at Colours:

I envisage this as the Command & Control vehicle for an Imperial Police unit controlling some drones and robots.

Foundry Arctic Grey, with white highlight. Windows GW foundation blue, and the lighter blue Fundry Deep Blue. Yellow for lights.

They come armed with different weapons on the underside – though both of these are the same, and I have a heavier drone stacked up ready for assembly:

Here are some small wheeled ‘bots which I imagine would be the eyes and ears of the Imperial Police, going forward and spotting the ne’er do wells: