Wednesday, July 25, 2012

STO: Making a Show

As I think I've mentioned before, I'm working on a show. Specifically, a machinima. What's a machinima, I'm sure you're asking. It's basically a show of some sort using a video game as the primary source of visual material. It can be an on-going show like Red vs. Blue (which used Halo and Halo 2 and basically started the genre), a one-off deal, or just a bunch of random skits put together like the G-Mod Idiot Box (which is essentially a skit comedy show using Garry's Mod for various games by Valve).

In my case, I'm doing an on-going show based on the video game Star Trek Online. I'll say it now: I love Star Trek. I grew up on The Next Generation, seen all the shows and movies, and I've been playing the game for over 2 1/2 years, since closed beta. Out of this love, I've decided to do a proper machinima show based on the game. So, I'd like to talk about that a little bit.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

40K: The Flesh is Weak! (Iron Hands, pt. 1)

One of the First Founding Chapters of Space Marines in 40K is the Iron Hands. And I frigging love them. Easily my favorite of the Legions. That much should be obvious with my own Chapter, the Lords of Oblivion, being descended from them. I love the character, and their primarch, Ferrus Manus, is just awesome. They abhor weakness, and Ferrus was always known for pushing himself to the absolute limit of his abilities, something I like to think I can find relatable.

The Iron Hands themselves favor purging their weaknesses through biomechanical augmentation, so a lot of them are more machine than man. The Lords of Oblivion shift this paradigm a little by focusing on mental weakness instead of physical weakness, which is part of why they wind up with so many psykers. Temperament-wise, the Iron Hands are kind of presented in a contradictory fashion in some of the fluff, somehow both cold and mechanical yet prone to berzerker fits of anger at the drop of a hat. Personally, I like to think of them as almost like Vulcan Space Marines, and perhaps what some perceive as rage is just cold fury.

Monday, July 16, 2012

ACTA: Reference Cards

Quick update today. I've finished the next round of reference cards for ACTA: Star Fleet. Mongoose was supposed to put some out in May, but they're still nowhere to be seen, so I made my own in the meantime. While Mongoose's are definitely prettier, I think mine are a little better functionally; there's more pertinent information, plus they're one-sided so you can see everything at once (The Mongoose ones are double-sided). My cards are also fully updated for the errata/FAQs.

You can download the cards here, as a PDF. Just take 'em to your local photocopy shop, print 'em off, laminate them, and play away! I've got most of the Federation fleet (both squad boxes plus the Ramius), and the Klingon fleet box done, I'll add more when I'm able (i.e. rest of the Federation, all of the Romulans, and then the Gorn/Kzinti as they get released. I guess I should do cards for the variants as well).

Let me do a quick run-through of the cards.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

ACTA: thlIngan maH! (We are Klingons!)

I'm gonna start including category tags in my subject lines, so you can better find specific topics/settings. Though it'll probably be easy to guess what each post is about as it is.

Anyway, earlier this week a Klingon Fleet Box for ACTA was delivered, along with a few other goodies. I'm going to be running intro games at my local store this weekend, and I needed to spice it up and give people a choice besides Federation ships. Also, this gives me two full fleets, so now when I pester friends to play with me, I can provide them with all the ships they need as well. Mua ha ha.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Red Alert! Shields Up! Fire Phasers!

Earlier this year, Mongoose Publishing released an adaptation of their A Call to Arms rule system for Star Fleet Battles, a long-running (30+ years) tabletop game based on Star Trek (the original series). SFB was originally designed back when The Original Series was all there was for Star Trek, and vastly expanded on the lore. Unfortunately, the movies and later shows completely ignored SFB, and so SFB's lore, and ACTA's by extension, is wildly contradicted by the movies and shows, but the game itself is still tons of fun.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Sixth Edition! New Lists! Excitement! Maybe Some Romance!

Yes, it's finally here! Sixth edition of Warhammer 40K is upon us. I haven't had much time to go over the rules yet, as I'm still waiting for my copy to show up. Thanks GW! >.>

I did, however, get to look over the book a little at my local store and get in a couple turns of playing. So far I'm liking what I see! Although I thought 5th edition was pretty well-designed (certainly a vast improvement over the abomination of 4th!), I've noticed in the last year that the meta-game has practically split the game into two versions: those who played for tournaments with a very strict meta-game, and those who took whatever without any specific consideration to certain lists. Building a strong army for one version didn't necessarily guarantee success in the other version. Additionally, list-building darn near became more important than actual tactics, and the game was heading towards a glorified rock-paper-scissors game.