Rants and Raves on Gaming Rants and Raves on Gaming

The Force Unleashed: Nerdrage

If you're in the same age bracket as me, you're old enough to have seen the original Star Wars trilogy in the theaters but young enough to have been a kid at the time.  There are a lot of people in this age bracket who are complaining a LOT about the newest film in the series.  "It doesn't feel like Star Wars." or "It's just a rehash of Episode 4." or "This isn't the Star Wars movie I wanted."


Stop, guys.  Please stop. 

You are NEVER going to recapture the wonder of the original trilogy.  Ever.  That isn't the fault of the filmmakers.  It isn't anyone's fault, really.  Just think about it.  When we saw the originals in the theater we were kids.  We were in absolute awe of that gigantic Star Destroyer passing overhead, chasing Leia's blockade runner.  We were hooting with joy as the AT-ATs tripped over the tow cables from the Snowspeeders.  We were mildly confused at a character with an awesome reputation like Boba Fett unceremoniously dropped into the Sarlaac's mouth. 

Do you honestly, seriously expect to feel that again?  Guys, we're in our 40s.  We're kinda old now.  We see the world through very different eyes than we did when we were kids, learning for the first time that Vader was Luke's father.  It's a lot harder to surprise us than it used to be.  It's a lot harder to impress us.  We're just not going to be blown away like we once were.  Sorry guys, but you had better get used to that right now, or don't bother going to see Episodes 8 and 9. 

If you went to see Episode 7 expecting to feel like a kid again, then you were putting some fairly unreasonable expectations on the filmmakers.  This is especially true considering that they were making the first Star Wars movies since the prequels - with which relatively few people were impressed, and the very first Star Wars film with no participation of any kind from George Lucas.  That meant they had to play it a little safe.  They had to convince us that they understand Star Wars so we'd trust them.  I think they were largely successful with that.  Was the movie perfect?  Well no... but I don't recall ever having seen a perfect movie. 

And please, don't trouble me with the plot holes.  Most of the time I think people like to point out plot holes just because it makes them feel smarter than the writers.  Episode 7's plot holes pale in comparison to Leia's idiocy in Episode 4 when she led the Empire right back to Yavin on a ship that she knew was being tracked.  All she had to do was send the Death Star plans in a friggin' e-mail...  So if you want to score points with plot holes, be ready to watch your favorites get massacred.

Was Episode 7 the most original film ever made?  Well not really... but then hollywood has been struggling overall lately to do anything original so this movie is a bit above par for the course, in my opinion.

Look, if you just want to hate the movie then fine, hate it.  Just quit acting like it's because of your astute film critic cred and just admit it's because you're getting too old for Star Wars.  As for me, I'm going to let myself love it because I don't have time to grow up and become bitter.

Warhammer Blew Up The World

Yeah by this point people are prettymuch sick of talking about it, hearing about it and reading about it, and so with my perfect sense of timing I've decided at this time to write about it.

My Warhammer mojo has basically been in a coma for the last couple of months.  Games Workshop has been long known to be tight lipped about what's coming down the pipe, but there really are times when you have got to say something for the sake of your own credibility as a company.  Even if it's just something like "Stay tuned, awesome things are coming!  Don't get rid of your armies, there are still climactic battles to be won!"  I dunno something that would at least make us, the fans, feel acknowledged even if there's no other information.

I was talking to a GW guy recently and he is of the opinion that GW does this because of the disastrous Dark Eldar release a few years ago.  (Not this most recent codex, the one before that.)  GW had hyped the army, released info, teasers, pics, etc, and then when the army was finally released, nobody bought it.  So after that, they adopted the approach of saying nothing.

I don't think I can agree with that notion.  I mean, I can understand why GW would have been frustrated by that kind of disaster, and why they would be looking for better ways to do things, but if it really was that incident that led to the current policy of "we will tell you nothing, just trust us," then it comes across as somewhat pouty, as if the company as a while got butthurt and is punishing the fans for it.

And yes, I say "fans" and not "customers" because that's what we are, when you think about it.  We like the fluff, we play the game, we want more.  

But if I could say one thing to GW about this, it would be that goodwill is a finite resource, and it's burning up        RAPIDLY right now.  A lot of people have found other games to play while we're waiting for the other shoe to drop with Fantasy.  Some of them will come back when 9th Edition drops, some won't.  Will the number of new players GW hopes to pick up outnumber the losses they're taking now?  I mean, I'm told the sales numbers aren't as bad as one might suppose for Fantasy sales, and that might even be true.  My guess is that would have to do with the sales of End Times books and models, as opposed to the main line of stuff.  I can't say for sure, I'm not privy to GW's internal sales numbers.  

People keep telling me that Fantasy is still being played, enthusiastically, around here... but I haven't seen a single Fantasy game on any table in any local game store in months.  40K, sure, but mostly when I see people playing games they're playing Warmahordes or Infinity or X-Wing.  How is this according to plan for Games Workshop?

I think the main reason I'm mad at Games Workshop isn't bing butthurt because Bretonnia got ignored, then brutalized.  (Haha your whole faction mythos was based on a lie!  SUCK IT.)  It isn't because Bretonnia didn't get any cool End Times gadgets.  I'm mad at Games Workshop because I do love their games and their products and I'm afraid that if they keep doing what they're doing, the company will fail and it'll all go away.  I'm mad at them in the same way you'd be mad at a friend or family member for ruining their life by becoming an alcoholic.  You get mad at them because you love them and hate to see them destroy themselves.

Or maybe I'm completely wrong.  Maybe GW is doing a LOT better than I think and all is truly well... I guess I wouldn't know though, would I?  Games Workshop isn't saying anything.

Warhammer 40,000 7th Edition

Today, I blogged on my blogspot account about my thoughts on Warhammer 40,000 7th edition.  It was a rather compact version of a much longer and more colorful rant I unleashed on Saturday night after I bought my copy.

I'm not going to repeat what's already been written.  A good software developer doesn't re-write code.  

That said, I'd like to add something here... I bought the 7th Edition box set on faith.  I was a bit annoyed at the short lifespan of 6th Edition (only 2 years as opposed to the ususal 4-ish) but I thought that maybe some of the things that I felt needed changing might have gotten changed.  Well, as it happens, none of the things I had an issue with got changed.  (Along with 90% of the rule set.)  It's 6th edition with a Psychic phase, basically.

So fine, whatever.  It is what it is, but I say now, and I hope someone from Games Workshop reads this:  I am not buying any more new items from GW until they've earned back my trust.  If something comes out I really want, I'll get it on the second-hand market.  I normally prefer to buy my gaming stuff brand new, but that is only when the company producing it is giving me good value for my money.  Until now, I always felt that Games Workshop did provide plenty of value for the money.

7th Ediition 40k takes a lot of quality shortcuts and it shows.  They recycled most of the content in the book from 6th Edition and other works.  The text of the rules, the example photos (retouched to contain fewer colors, I might add... cheaper to print that way.)  the artwork.  Most, if not all, of it can be found in other books.  That Hellbrute on the cover of Dark Millenium look familiar?  Yep, that's mirrored from the Codex: Chaos Space Marines book.  (It's also the cover of the Crusade of Fire book, by the way.)  

Even these things I wouldn't mind so much... I don't begrudge a company finding ways to improve their margin... but this set is just not worth $85.  Period.  If I'd known before I bought it, I'd have just stuck with my 6th Edition book and maybe taken notes on the new Psychic rules by looking at someone else's 7th Edition book.  In fact, this is exactly what I'm recommending to my friends and fellow members of the gaming club.  I'm making my copy of 7th Edition available to all the members of the Grey Council to take notes from so they can just supplement their 6th Edition books without having to go waste a bunch of money.

I have a pretty good job and I can afford little luxuries like this, but they need to be worth it.  Games Workshop stuff normally is (We'll ignore the Blood in the Badlands book for now) but this has broken my faith.  

I understand Bretonnia and Warhammer Fantasy Battles 9th Edition are coming out this year.  I've been playing Bretonnia for over 10 years now, with the same book, but I am not going to buy the new one when it comes out from any distrubutor.  I'll get mine second hand, even if it means I have to wait a while.  If they're good, I'll trust GW with my money again.  Otherwise, I've got a nearly complete Warmachine army and an Infinity army that would benefit greatly from more table time. 

Awesomecon 2016 Awesomecon 2016

Scripture Scripture

Blessed be the LORD my strength, which teacheth my hands to war, and my fingers to fight:

-Psalm 144:1

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Wise quotes from Robert E. Howard's Conan the Barbarian

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