Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Tannhäuser Tuesday Derailed

The creeping crud has knocked me on my ass and I have been unable to complete a Tannhäuser article (or anything else) for the past 5 days. Feeling a bit better today.

Hopefully, I'll be back on track next week.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Airship 27 goes PDF!!!

Pulp Publisher Airship 27 has gone from zero to massive in the pdf ebook department in a matter of weeks. You can get many of the titles that I have talked about on these very pages at  their new ebook store

Here's the best part...

Each Ebook is just 3 BUCKS!!!!!

Go crazy pulp fans!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Tannhäuser Tuesday - Oksana Revealed

Fantasy Flight's Tannhäuser marathon continues with the release of Oksana Gusarenko, who is affiliated with the New Guard and can fight with either the Union or with the Matriarchy, but she will not join a team that includes Zor'ka.

Oksana was banished from her order after attempting to overcome the will of the ancient god Vetchorka. The psychic feedback from this caused the destruction of Project SVAROG and her banishment. While exiled at a Kizhi monastery, she uncovered a trove of abandoned projects and set out to build her own weapons, including her own Voïvodes.

Oksana always comes with her two Voïvodes (they replace a trooper on the team). She also selects equipment differently than other Heroes.

Oksana Gusarenko is an interesting character. She does not follow the normal Equipment Pack rules. Instead she gets always gets the following tokens: Vesper and Lucifer. Vesper is her power staff - it can be used like a normal Hand-to-Hand weapon, or she can use it to attack any character that is on any path that is adjacent to her.

Lucifer (the glove) allows her to activate "a pair" of Voïvodes. These can be any Voïvodes and they can be anywhere on the board - even if they have already been activated. Those Voïvodes can be activated again in the same turn.

Oksana's 3rd token is any single Voïvode token. Each  Voï-vode on her team may take ad- vantage of this token. 

Her last spot is left for a bonus token or for placing items picked up during the game.

Oksana's Voïvodes each get 2 tokens from either the Oksana booklet or from the Voïvodes in the Core Rulebook (page 63). These tokens include:

Displacement Module - The Voïvode can pass through other

characters with out doing a Bull Rush on  them.

F.A.S. - This Voïvode can 'repair' characters that have the capacity to be repaired. My Moeller robot, for instance. Oh, and Voïvodes.

Stroboscopic Lamp - All non- Voïvode characters on the same path are -2 on their Combat value.

 Oksana also gets 4 Challenges like the other expansion packs  plus 3 bonus and 3 crate tokens.

The token for "Call in the Troops" uses a picture of Ikarus Faith, interestingly enough.

Fantasy Flight has kept up the quality on these new releases and I think they provide some good variety for the game.
Further expansions beyond the ones already accounced are  the big question and I am curious as to  what FFG   will come up with. The Pathfinding System is unique, but seems limited to in- door maps or tight spaces. Only the future will tell...

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Pulp of the Week - Leviathan

Pulp of the Week
by Scott Westerfeld

When I heard about Scott Westerfeld's Steampunk ( think science fiction alternate history) Great War story I had a feeling that Leviathan would be right up my alley. When I opened up the book at the school book fair and saw the amazing illustrations of Walkers and Zeppelins I bought the book. I had fears that it might step in some of the same paths as one of my upcoming stories (takes place in my alt history WW I), but this is not the case at all.

Now that I have read Leviathan I can happily yell from the mountaintops that this is a fantastic tale, a brilliant alternate history, but, alas, it is not a complete novel. Westerfeld has broken a giant novel into three parts and this is part one. The next part, Behemouth is already out, and the third part, Goliath, will be coming soon enough.

Leviathan takes place in an alternate history Europe at the cusp of the Great War. Germany has mobilized and the rest of the continent is scrambling to counter their offenses. Science has made significant advances in this world, and Germany and Austria have developed walking tanks. There are small mobile scouts and massive ones, like aircraft carriers for walkers.
Keith Thompson's Brilliant Metaphorical Map
The British have embraced evolutionary biology, spearheaded by Darwin, who's research discovered the life threads that we call DNA. Their technology is biological, great riding beasts and living Zeppelins that create their own hydrogen.

The story follows two young teenagers, the Austrian prince Alek, and the British girl Deryn. Alek is on the run to save his life and Deryn has always dreamed of flying in the air corp. Unfortunately, she is a girl and there are no girls allowed. Being a flat-chested young lady, she cuts her hair short and calls herself Dylan when she enlists.

Needless to say, events conspire to draw the two together and Deryn's ruse works - mostly due to the fact that the whole story takes place over a short time and in a time of crisis.

For some reason the Publishing Industry has decide that if your focal characters are teens, the book is in the YA genre. To me, this is a pulp SF adventure story, and a darn good one. Thank goodness for the strength of the YA market, because great books like this are getting published and it is up to our kids to tell us where to look because the adult SF shelves are sparse for this kind of pulp SF adventure.

Reader beware, this book is a great read, but fit is incomplete. Fortunately part 2 of the trilogy, Behemouth is already out, and Goliath will be out in September. All together they total about 260,000 words, which is about the length of an epic fantasy book. I don't begrudge Westerfeld using the trilogy format, especially as I am loath to read giant books - pulp is short and punchy.

Scott Westerfeld insisted the books be extensively illustrated in the style of novels from the early 1900s and as you can see, the art by Keith Thompson is gorgeous and is a reminder of what good art can do for the story telling. There are many places where paragraphs of description are left out, unneeded because we have just seen a picture.

I give Leviathan a 9 out of 10 and I'm looking forward to the next book in the series.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Tannhäuser Tuesday - Catch Up Day

Here are some images of recent Tannhäuser developements. I finally got the FFG Daedalus Pack. The tokens are different than the TOY french one and there is a new map on the back.

The Fantasy Flight Tannhäuser Daedalus Pack

New Fantasy Flight Tannhäuser Labyrinth board

A few new Tannhäuser finished adventurers on the forest camp map

Tannhäuser Indiana Jones with the whip crosses a bridge

Tannhäuser Indiana Jones with the machete

Tannhäuser Pat Savage?

Tannhäuser Doc Savage

Tannhäuser Indiana Jones

The Indiana Jones figures are a mash-up of Reaper minis parts, Pat is a Reaper minis Cowgirl, but I am thinking that the figure is a decent fit because that is what Pat Savage would have looked like when we first meet her in Brand of the Werewolf. I am marginally happy with the paint jobs on these figures, but very happy they are done. I have come to realize that I suck at the eyes. I think I am too impatient, but they are not good. The rest of the paint jobs are serviceable. I may try out a painting service for the minis of Doc's men.

I am most pleased with the ripped shirt on Doc Savage. I used the heavy foil from a wine bottle and carefully tore it into tiny strips and superglued it to the figure prior to painting.

Next up will be to make a page for the Tannhäuser BPRD and to get going on the Rising Sun Faction.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Tannhäuser Tuesday - The Bat Man Pt 2

Welcome to the second week of Batman here at Tannhäuser Tuesday. Here is my take of The Bat Man. You can see Miah's take HERE.