Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Some small photos...

of some small (scale) things!

I will apologize in advance for the poor quality of these shots, I only had a few minutes after a rather good RPG session to take them!

For anyone interested, here is my Italian States fleet as it currently stands.

 The Pride of the fleet, my 'never ever been used and not likely to be' Battleship!

 Unlike these poor little guys. The oft sunk Frigates...

 My big beautiful carrier. Oh how often it has been boarded and captured by unfriendly Germans...

 A terrible shot of my deadly tiny flyers. Underestimate at your peril...

 My personal favs have to be my dirty little Destroyers. Subs and attacking flyers beware =)

 The most dangerous units in the Fleet are my Torpedo bombers, huge range and an almost infinite ability to get blown out of the sky...

 The always useful and constantly blamed Cruisers. One out of three of them is bound to end up sucking the whole game.

Last but by no means least, my beautiful attack boats. So small as to seem no threat at all... until they sink an enemy Battleship or two! (then they are subjected to a form of Naval genocide by opposing flyers...)

There you go!
Hopefully we'll be having a big four way bash soon and I can show you the Fleet in action against the other nations inferior (but somehow usually victorious...) navies.

Cool, have fun till then! =)


Saturday, 22 March 2014

Sunday full of RPG goodness.

And no, I'm not talking about rocket propelled grenades...

After a fab day of catching up with friends, nerding out with mates (Iron Kingdoms RPG!) and having a bit of a drink I even had time left to write a review of the last FF book I've read.

How good is that??

#13 Freeway Fighter

Life is lawless and dangerous. Survivors like you either live in scattered, fortified towns, or roam outside as bandits. YOUR mission is to cross the wilderness to the far-distant oil-refinery at San Anglo and bring vital supplies back to the peaceful town of New Hope. Even in the armed Dodge Interceptor you are given, the journey will be wild and perilous. Will YOU survive?

Oh yeah...
This is the one.

How cool is this book? I know I've probably exclaimed that almost every book in the FF range was my fav at one time or another - I'm an incurable over exaggerator - but this time I mean it!
Along with Joe Dever's 'Highway Warrior' series, this has to be the book I started and finished the most often.

Just look at that cover! (not mine BTW, the one I own from my spotty youth has bits of tape holding it on...) Its Mad Max without Captain annoying! If, like me, you wanted nothing more than to watch Mel Giboard burn around in a suped-up V8, then play 'Battle Cars' or 'Dark Future' but of course didn't have those games (or any friends who would have played them...) then THIS was the ultimate adventure book!

Speaking of the art, the fantastic cover was created by none other than the mighty Jim Burns who is a veteran SF and apocalyptic scene artist par excellence. His work adorns so many books I saw as a kid that I couldn't even remember half of them if I tried! Interesting then that the interior illos are supplied by one Kevin Bulmer, who like so many illustrators for this series, only got the one book to work in. I always liked the art in this book as it had a realistic edge to it - a graphic feeling. I was reminded about it a while back when I was re reading 'Bean Bandit' by Kenichi Sonoda - famous for the 'Gunsmith Cats' Manga. Sonoda always went for a photo-realistic edge to his portrayals of vehicles and weapons, and thats the feeling I get from Bulmer's work here. Funny that now in the age of the internet I get to look up the unfortunately late Mr Bulmer and discover he was world famous for his work in the field of 2d-3d graphics! Live and learn I guess =)

Ok so the book itself plays like most other FF books, with the awesome exception that you have separate stats for your Interceptor vehicle as well. So cool! There's plenty of both in car and foot-bound fighting to be had and most of the enemies look like they climbed right out of 'The Road Warrior' movie (even down to a machine gun toting 'Humongous' look alike in a motorized chariot!)
The car stats are pretty basic but allow for the use of a few special weapons (spikes, oil slick etc) and of course the most important stat of all - FUEL.

And this is the only gripe I have of the book as a whole - your reliance on finding fuel. I'm sure its been commented on in other reviews so I wont make a big deal out of it, except to say that it really is the only limiting factor of this book. The annoyance of winning the battles, getting the info/items and then outrunning a bunch of gangers only to then run dry is frustrating to say the least.
And yes, before you ask, I did cheat... quite a bit...

That aside, there's nothing wrong with this adventure, which stands alone in its choice of scenario. 


Saturday, 15 March 2014

Look, it's not my fault!

I just get busy alright??

Lots to photograph and post including my now completed Italian States Naval Force for Dystopian Wars. Just finished reading the first book in David Cornwall's 'Grail Quest' series (very good!) A few other projects nearing completion (and one that IS actually finished but I cant post right now - complicated)

In the meantime here's a review thing.

#12 Space Assassin

Sigh... Finally have enough time to write!

This book was a firm fav of mine as a lad. Although the FF world of 'Titan' was and is an extremely rich and diverse world to adventure through, I always seemed drawn to the books that departed from it. Space Assassin has to be one of the best of them. Written by Andrew Chapman (the first of three excellent books) Space Assassin puts you in the space boots of an intergalactic killer, something that I couldn't take seriously myself, I mean you are meant to be the good guy and lets face it, most of the time the book is going to give you the choice of turning the other cheek or talking your way out.
You do however, get to do this...

I know right??
That has to be one of the most graphic images in the WHOLE SERIES! Kind of a brief Tarantino moment before the story settles down again to a familiar FF rhythm.
Don't get me wrong, I was a bloodthirsty violence obsessed teen once too. Its just that randomly blowing away cute mouse scientists has a way of making you feel bad... For a bit.

There's plenty more to kill where they came from though. The basic mechanics of the game are, well basic really. There are a few weapons to choose from at the start and you get the opportunity to pick up a few more on your travels (but NEVER the hallowed disintegrator) TBH, the items are really what makes this game so cool, Chapman has dotted the book with all sorts of weird stuff that may/may not be useful at any given time. A lot of thought has gone into this, and a lot of sections are put aside with the varying results of your decisions, some of them quite humorous (and usually fatal...)
The cover art is supplied by Chris Achilleos (Christos Achilleos at this time) and depicts a rather obscure event from the book. The illos are the work of Geoffrey Senior in his one and only FF debut, which is a shame as they have a quality quite unlike anything seen before (or since)
Check this out.

Aww... what a cute little... AAAAARGH!! GET IT OFF MY FACE!!

Expect lots of that. These guys though are my favourite...

 I think this is the only FF book I have ever read where I am attacked by a guy with a vacuum cleaner... Classic.

Not much more to say, great book, lots of funny 'Hitch hikers' moments, loads of shooting, scary monsters and surprising encounters. I'm going to call it done at that as I have just tried to make a cup of hot cocoa with a butter knife... Night.