I made a lucky find today at the house. A dozen or so metal Micro Machine Star Wars Figures. I found them in a box in the attic, which probably should have burned to ash but didn't thanks to the asbestos popcorn ceiling we had.
Thursday, March 10, 2022
Thursday, October 28, 2021
Saturday, June 5, 2021
Disney's gots its hooks in Star Wars. That was a development that I never saw coming. So, what to like about this?
Disney has a mix record on movies. With 5 in the can, only 2 are notable.
Rogue One was excellent as it presented a very different take on the world. It nearly didn't make it judging by the refilming, but it was very good. It captured the ideas very well and threw a bunch of stuff at the audience that meshed clearly with the original film. I could have done without the bit at the end with Vader, but otherwise, it was a decent Star Wars story. Which was a good thing because "A Star Wars Story" was in the title.
The next best film is also the most dogged. Solo. Again, this tried to diverge from the typical Star Wars setting it was very good in that respect. 99% of their battle was making people believe Alden Ehrenreich and Harrison Ford are the same person. That's a bad idea, but they did their best. It also suffers from the shoehorned villain ending. It was loaded with flaws, but was a passable story and fun romp.
Ramming killer villains into the end of films seems to be the Disney Double Gainer. Usually Disney kills the villain in the end, but in these films they live. New ground, I guess.
All the other live action movies wer dren. Yeah, I said dren. They were almost as bad as the prequels.
But the prequels and sequels give a hint as what could be good about the Star Wars universe. There is a running concept in the newer Star Wars films and spin offs. The galaxy is strange. There are things you wouldn't believe out that.
Now that's an idea right from the first film and occasionally Disney can nail it.
Where Disney seems to get into trouble is Disney-fying things. Force Ghosts that act like people is a very bad one. Zero mystery anymore, they hang in the Force StarWarsBucks while waiting to drop knowledge on us.
The other part is misunderstanding which movie the characters are in. Some of them are dead obvious like the need for fuel. More jarring is when they pull a classic sci-fi trope out and in dump it in the film, like Rey's Mirror Cave moment. It's good sci-fi, but bad movie making to assume that Star Wars is science fiction. It's more fantasy, but tightly defined fantasy. In introduces a lot of nonsense into films that don't have enough room for it.
But what is good about these new creations?
Before watching The Bad Batch, I went back to The Clone Wars series to see how they worked in that series. It wasn't a bad transition from one series to the other. The Bad Batch are introduced as anti-heroes to rescue Echo from the Separatists. In the end, they accept Echo into the misfit band. The entire ensemble are misfits, so Echo fits right in. They also diverge from pretty much everything else in Star Wars.
Tech is a genius in a world that seems to be lacking them. Hunter is a low-fi tramp like character thrust into a high tech world. Wrecker is the team meat shield, apparently having survived many things that would normally kill people. He has a massive scar on the side of his head which is clearly going to haunt him. Crosshair is a stormtrooper who can actually handle a weapon.
As divergent characters, they don't diverge much. Yes, they take off their helmets and armor, but in ways that make sense. They have mighty backpacks which seem to include a lot of the kit they need for missions. But aside from beefing up their profile, not much is made of them. They have interesting powers, but not that interesting. Tech is no more profound than Han Solo, but he has a better execution rate. Echo is basically a living R2-D2 which they already toyed with. Wrecker is a talking Chewie and Hunter is basically Luke without a lightsaber. The every dad.
It remains to be seen what Omega and Crosshair will become. And that is actually the key to Star Wars.
"What will you become?"
Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Happy Star Wars Day!
Design: Bill Slavicsek
Pages: 2 32 page booklets, and 16 page character sheets folio.
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Thursday, March 11, 2021
This is a preview of my spring modeling series. I am short a few TIE fighters, but I shall press on.
|All fighters launch!|
What are we looking at? 16 Bandai Star Wars model sets, in 1:144 scale. I really like this scale for gaming. In reality, this is 26 different models, not counting the 2 I already completed.
I figure I'll kick out 2 a week for 13 weeks, then revisit when I paint them. Behind the scenes, I'll be building one of each first, then painting them as examples. As I said, I am rather light on TIE fighters and heavy on TIE Advanced models.
I really wish they made B-Wings in this scale.
Like I mentioned the last time, unless these models are on sale on Amazon, you are better off elsewhere. My personal preference is Hobby Lobby due to the 40% off coupon. But they only have X-Wings and TIE's. For a bigger selection, try The Big Bad Toy Store. They are super consistent with pricing and shipping, but I go with Amazon for the random price drops.
Thursday, March 4, 2021
Title: Dark Forces
Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Wednesday, March 3, 2021
The force user can grab a loose object and pull it to themselves. This requires one level of force use. At low levels, this is a full round action. At higher levels, it is a move action. The object will end up in their hand or in a desired landing place near them. If two force users are contesting the control of an object, the one with higher die roll wins, no matter the DC requirement or level difference.
|Sometimes this feat is used as Jedi drinking game.|
|It wasn't a person, so it wasn't that Dark.|
Monday, March 1, 2021
Sunday, February 14, 2021
Credits: A Game by Jay Little
Rule Set: Unique to set
Pages: 24, 16 and 4 page booklets
Number of players: 2*
I picked this game up for my son a few years back and we played it a lot. My son has his X-Wing and TIE models on a shelf in his room. I started this post at 4:45 am, which is why you won't see images of those parts in this review. I'll see what I can do when my son and our sun gets up.
As I understand it, this system is full of power creep which really doesn't effect the gameplay of this set. This is also the first edition rules, which is different than what is currently on the market. So on to the game review.
This version of X-Wing was produced for Star Wars: The Force Awakens. I had to guess at the date because there isn't one on the box. The box is solid, it will hold up well on the shelf. Inside are 3 booklets, totalling 44 pages of information for game play. The graphics are incredible and a valued addition to the game as they present gameplay information, not random photos from a at the time unreleased movie. It's a good thing the box is as sturdy as it is, it's loaded with parts. 3 painted models, cards, dice, tokens, templates, etc. It's a lot of parts, but nothing extraneous.
The first play guide has you in the seat of your beloved X-Wing or TIE fighter and blowing the snot out of your enemy in minutes. The instructional method is a familiar one: learn the basics as you play, add more rules, play again, then master the all rules and go crazy with new adventures.
The first session can be played in 10-30 minutes as you learn the rules. Its really nice. My first impression of the game was that it was a copy of Top Gun**. There are some similarities, both where made for a movie, both had some cool tokens and a move, react, shoot, repeat method of play. But that is where it ends.
There is one thing missing from the box that sets this game apart from the others: A Game Board. There isn't one. Players are told to find a good sized table, lay down some felt or a black table cloth and have at it. Sure, you can buy one but the rules clearly state it isn't necessary. Movement templates guide the ships, unlocking them from the play space. The lack of a board is actually a strength. Not having a grid or hexes to lock your pieces down gives the game the same fluid dynamic of Star Wars space combat. You feel like you're in the cockpit.
This game brings back a lot of memories in one tiny box. I have already mentioned that it felt a bit like a better planned out version of a Top Gun** Movie game from the late 80s, which was an apparent skin of the Aerotech game (which is available via the Battletech Compendium at DriveThru. It has the movement guides like the turn keys of Car Wars. Combat is handled with dice where each player rolls dice at the same time like Risk, with the twist that the defender's dice eliminates the attacker's damage. There is a I-go-you-go approach to terrain, which is a hell of an old school call out to games like WRG. And it's Star Wars themed.
First edition games may seem rough, but this one isn't. Gameplay and rules are tight, with carefully considered options. Gameplay pops and snaps into place naturally, it's like something from the Spice Mines of Kessel. And since it's a vehicle for selling models as add-ons, it very successful at that.
*While intended as a two player game, there are 3 models which could be divided among 3 players. For complex missions, one could add a game host. My initial playthrough was with 3 young children each having a model and myself acting as a gamehost, so 4 people can be involved. Whatever you do, it just works out.
** I wish I could point you to the Top Gun game I had back in the 80s/90s, but I have never seen one except the one I bought from the shelf of my local Hobby Shop back when the movie was hot. Since I lost my copy, I don't even have a picture. It was pretty cool at the time, coming with about a dozen tiny plastic airplane tokens.
Wednesday, February 10, 2021
|Luke calls to Leia|
|Swinging a lightsaber at an illusion is bad.|
|Better than being there.|
|Ezra uses this ability on nearly every animal he encounters.|
Friday, February 5, 2021
So, yeah. That's not Star Wars.
Neither is my Star Wars campaign, or so I have been told. The players are force adepts with no lightsabers. That isn't cool. I have been issued an order to get them lightsabers.
Ok, fine. I see my mistake. For a couple of sessions, I proved that Star Wars can exist without Jedi and lightsabers, but the players are annoyed with this. I saw this coming and had a plotline where the characters build lightsabers from some junk they receive from a bounty hunter, La'ow Houd.
I was told "no deal", that is also not Star Wars. Jedi spend zero screen time building lightsabers.
In our discussion, I outlined the concept of La'ow and his desire to destroy a prison or at least free the prisoners. The players like this but asked "why us?". I explained they were the only rebels around. They asked "So, are we going to find help in the Prison?"
The players asked what makes the prison a bad target in a war? Wouldn't someone else simply bomb the snot out of it, satisfying the goals I laid out? And why does this bounty hunter have a sailboat for us to hang out on? Ooh. Wouldn't someone, the Rebellion or the Empire attacking the city serve the player's goals? Won't the sailboat be a good way for the party to escape that end? That was awkward, because they are right.
By group consensus, we decided that the prison is on the edge of bay. On one side of the bay, the Droid Army is modifying a castle ruins to be a prison. That's what I had and I am all onboard with this.
The players are exactly right. I did want to investigate the lives of common people in Star Wars, but without some small details, it doesn't work. But with the player's feedback it can continue. So, "this is the way".
Monday, February 1, 2021
The list so far is:
2 First Order TIEs,
2 Classic TIEs,
2 New Style X-Wings,
2 AT-STs, and
I'm going to be real honest, Amazon's prices are not the best at first look. They fluctuate so some days they are a steal and others they are a rip off. If Amazon isn't working for you, try out Hobby Lobby or The Big Bad Toy Store. They are super consistent with pricing and shipping, but I go with Amazon for the random price drops.