Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Retro Space Hulk

The new sold-out amazing version of Space Hulk by Games Workshop got me thinking about my old Space Terminator and Genestealer figures. I dug these out of the vault and will give them a whirl...

I think I can suffer with this to play Space Hulk...

Sunday, November 15, 2009

NaNoWriMo update - Half Way Through

Yep, it's halfway time at NaNoWriMo, and I am halfway done (by word count). I have over 25,000 words of the Dreamweavers novel written. However, I am about 3/4 of the way through the outline, so I'm sure that I will have to go back to the beginning and add descriptions and character material and lots of stuff. I know a lot more about my post-climate change Los Angeles now, so I'll have to see how that will add to the story and the characters.

I blasted through the opening and I have had some story revelations on the way, so I'm sure I'll find the places that need material to flesh out the story.

And I guess I'm gonna have to rethink the rest of the outline, but that is hard to do while you're writing.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Pulp of the Week - Batman / Doc Savage

Batman / Doc Savage Special
DC Comics
Written by Brian Azzarello, Illustrated by Phil Noto

Cover by J.G. Jones

Alternate cover by Rags Morales

This Review Contains Spoilers!

This one shot is meant as a publicity vehicle to promote DC's "First Wave" line of comic books. Unfortunately, despite beautiful art, the book falls flat. There is neither adventure nor excitement in this tale called, "Bronze Night." This story's sole purpose is to let Doc Savage and The Batman meet.

There is little else in this tale. As an introduction to DC's pulp universe, there isn't much happening. The art is lovely. There are some character bits with Batman and Doc, but these are expressed mostly in 1st person narrative. Doc and Batman find common ground - they have both lost their fathers and are crimefighters because of it. While Doc doesn't like Batman's methods, as long as Batman isn't a killer, he seems OK with it. Batman thinks Doc may not be as squeaky clean as his public persona.

Batman lives in Gotham City and Doc Savage lives in New York City. They are not the same in the First Wave Universe, so these characters may have limited interaction.

I like the way Bruce Wayne and Batman are handled here, Batman is a rookie, operating as a vigilante. He is packing twin .45s ala The Shadow and is a bit reckless.

Some of Phil Noto's incredible art

On the other hand, Doc Savage served in the War and has had some adventures. Doc operates with the cooperation of the police and has his five aids intact. I think that Doc was presented well, a person admired by many. He is the physical and intellectual peak of humanity. As in the novels, he has a dry sense of humor and is self depreciating. Doc is described as being "mixed-race", perhaps in tribute to a oft held belief among fans that his mother was Mayan.

Renny is the only one of his aids to appear in this story, and it is a brief appearance. Renny catches Batman searching Doc's hotel room and decks him.

This story doesn't alter the Doc Savage as much as many have feared. His character and mission seem intact. His father has just died at the start of this story.

In the back of the book are eight pages of character bios by Azzarello that are illustrated by the regular series artist Rags Morales that introduce of some of the other characters in the "First Wave" universe. Doc's Crew gets a full page. Their characters are described and I can only assume that their professions remain intact.

Only Long Tom is described by his profession - a master of electricity. Monk is assigned a bully role and isn't opposed to using lethal force. Monk and Ham retain their good natured arguing and status as best friends.

The Avenger and The Spirit share the next page. Richard Benson is described as a master of disguise and a man blinded by the tragedy of his family's slaughter.

The Spirit will appear as well as Ebony White who will be a "brash girl" in this series.

Black Canary is another New Yorker in this universe, and she is so enamored of Doc Savage that she goes out at night and fights crime.

Rima the Jungle Girl is a South American that is a mysterious "catalyst that drags the real main characters along to their inevitable fates." She may not be real...

The Blackhawks are the second generation, the originals have all either retired, or were killed in the war. They are ethnically diverse and are the best pilots from all over the world.

Finally, there are the villains of this world. They will be "diverse and come from different angles." "There should be major conflict between the crime factions." There are three main factions: The Syndicate, The Golden Tree, and No School.

Anton Colossi, Greek shipping magnate and war profiteer will be one of the main villains. He has a robot bodyguard and lives on the coast of Hidalgo in South America.

John Sunlight will also have some part in these stories.

All in all, I had feared that the changes to the classic characters may have been too much, but Doc Savage certainly is treated respectfully here, and I will buy the new books as they come out to see how the others fare.

Hopefully there will be more story and more adventure in the regular First Wave comics.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

NaNoWriMo 2009 Update

I am participating in the National Novel Writing Month event for the first time this year. NaNoWriMo is an event for writers and sets the goal of writing a short novel in one month. That means that you have no time for edits or rewrites, you just have to put your fingers on the keys and type an average of 1700 words a day for 30 days.

The good news is that I am on target. I have 17,280 words 1/3 of the way through the event. The bad news is that I am about 1/2 way through my outline... I guess I'll see what happens.

I am writing Dreamweavers, a science fiction, post-cyberpunk, post-climate change, conspiracy thriller. The only other book I know of in that genre is the great Glass Houses by Laura J. Mixon.

After I am finished, I am sure that there will be a period of many months of editing / rewriting while I get back to the pulp short fiction that I am writing.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

U-Chronicle Vol 2 Bonus - November 2009

By littlewars


This month I am posting the final Tokens of the Months that ToY put out before the transfer of the Tannhäuser property to Fantasy Flight. These have a bleed around them to accommodate a craft punch. You can read about mounting the tokens in my previous article. You can download additional tokens with bleed here and here. You can read descriptions of the tokens here.

I feel U-Chronic!

© 2009

These custom additions to Tannhäuser are not created by, distributed, or endorsed by Fantasy Flight Games. Tannhäuser and all related characters are trademark and © of Fantasy Flight Games. All Rights Reserved.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

U-Chronicle Vol 2 - November 2009

By littlewars

Top Story

Fantasy Flight Games has posted another "State of the Game" report for October. They are still in the process of updating the rules, for both the base game and Novgorod. Both will be included in the upcoming V2 rules, which will be made available for download as well as for sale in a print edition from FFG. They also assure players that they will not abandon the Path Finding System.

Daedalus appears to have been pushed back till the new rules are finalized. It currently appears on FFG's Upcoming page as "In Development", so I don't expect we'll see it in the near future. They do reassure players that Wolf will be available in time for Christmas. According to FFG's webstore, it looks like Yula is now currently out of stock, so you may want to snatch up her expansion if you see it at your local game store, if you haven't already.

Tannhäuser Custom Department

The Dero

The Dero faction is composed of 2 Heroes (Pilot and Scout) and 1 Trooper (Drone), with the option to play 1 Hero and 3 Troopers. The pictures on the cards depict Storm, Assault, and Grim Golems from the AT-43 game by Rackham. You only need to choose 3 minis, from a single Therian pack, that differ enough to easily keep track of who's who.

For a complete background on the Dero, and how they fit in the Tannhauser world, please check out my earlier column.

The Dero have two Affiliation Symbols; the Dero symbol and an Agarthan symbol as well. This way they could team up with any Agarthan, be it a Hyperborean Priest, a Lemurian Sorcerer, or an Atlantean Scientist.


Special Item: Construct

Combat Pack: Vril Cannon / Claws / Stealth

Stamina Pack: Vril Cannon / Irrillium Plating / Vril Battery

Mental Pack: Vril Cannon / Telepathy / Vril Battery


Special Item: Construct

Combat Pack: Flash Gun / Claws / Stealth

Stamina Pack: Flash Gun / Irrillium Plating / Vril Battery

Mental Pack: Flash Gun / Telepathy / Stealth

DERO DRONE (Trooper)

Special Item: Construct

Combat Pack: Claws / Telepathy / Stealth

Stamina Pack: Claws / Irrillium Plating / Vril Battery


Hand-to-Hand Weapon. Add 1 additional hit in the event of a successful Combat Roll.

The artificial body makes it impossible to destroy any vital systems. Automatically cancel 1 successful hit from an opponent's Combat Roll (except Natural 10's). Constructs may accomplish any Objective (regardless of Skill) and cannot be healed by any means.

Flash Gun
Automatic Weapon. If you roll at least one Natural 10 on a Combat Roll, and your target does not, on a corresponding Shock Roll, they are killed instantly.

Irrilium Plating
If you roll a Natural 10 on a Shock Roll, cancel all hits rolled in the corresponding Combat Roll.

At the start of each Game Turn, this character may enter "stealth mode" (flip the Stealth token). While in stealth mode, this character can only be targeted by Hand to Hand attacks and may only make Hand to Hand attacks.

Telepathic Range is Current Mental Value plus 1. For each Dero within range, add a 1-point bonus to this character's Current Combat Value. Additionally, any Drone within Telepathic Range of a Dero Scout or Pilot may make a free Counterattack, once per Game Turn.

Vril Battery
Adds 1 to the Current Stamina Value. Character explodes when they die; place a debris marker on their circle and make a Combat Roll for each adjacent character. Each of these characters also suffers an Automatic Wound, applied after the the Shock Roll, and cannot be countered by it.

Vril Cannon
Heavy Weapon. Adds a +1 to the result of every die (except Natural 1's). The Vril Cannon automatically cancels 1 successful Stamina Roll.

I feel U-Chronic!

© 2009

These custom additions to Tannhäuser are not created by, distributed, or endorsed by Fantasy Flight Games. Tannhäuser and all related characters are trademark and © of Fantasy Flight Games. All Rights Reserved.