Sunday, July 30, 2017

Quick Thoughts on New Space Marine Codex: Salamanders Captain Tu-Shan= Return of Vulkan?


Got pulled right back into Warhammer 40K and away from Warmahordes this weekend with the purchase of the new Space Marine codex.  Reading this reminds me how much Games Workshop is top dog in the tabletop wargaming industry.  The vast amount of information and quality of the fluff of the codex can't be beat.  It goes without saying that the Space Marines are GW's bestseller, so naturally the codex is an awesome tome of genetically-engineered super human action.  I mean, who wasn't pulled into Warhammer 40K because of the Space Marines?  And if not, which wargamers still don't own a Space Marine army?

The new codex is 208 pages of space mahreen badassness.  The paper is thick, thick stock and the art is beautiful, even if a lot of it is rehashed from other Warhammer publications. 
After a quick read through here are my initial thoughts on it:
  • It doesn't appear that the mini-marines are going anywhere in the near future as they still occupy the majority of the codex.  
  • The Primaris marines account for seven new units with the Intercessors as Troops, Reivers as Elites, Aggressors as Elites, Redemptor Dreadnoughts as Elites, Inceptors as Fast Attack, Hellblasters as Heavy and Repulsor as a transport.
  • Only the Primaris marines can ride in the Repulsor and other marines cannot ride in it.  That makes no sense at all.
  • The Primaris marines cannot ride in any other transports, i.e., the Land Raiders and Stormravens.  That doesn't make any sense at all either.
  • Gravis armor is a +3 save but wearers get an extra point of toughness when donning it.
  • The Primaris chaplain looks like pimp in his trench coat and with his stick.  All he needs is a feather hat to replace his iron halo-looking rosarius.
  • There's a new cheaper HQ for both Primaris and mini-marines called the Lieutenant.
  • The Tartaros Terminators are the most expensive terminators per terminator point-wise.
  • Tu-Shan is referred to as a Captain... Is that any way connected to Vulkan coming back (read the below)?

  • Power fists and thunderhammers got nerfed a bit by only being a -3 armor modifier instead of AP2 under the previous system.
  • Terminator armor got a bit better in melee by still being able to withstand attacks by power fists and thunderhammers.
  • Salamanders are pretty darn good with their re-rolls chapter trait, +1 to wound rolls with flamers stratagem and +1 strength Warlord trait.

Thanks for the read and For the Emperor!!!

Monday, July 24, 2017

Precious Pearl- As-Seen-On-TV; Pearl Opening, Japan Pavilion Epcot Disney World

Here's one of those reviews with that theme song "one of these things doesn't fit with the others." Actually forget that, the review relates to Disney, one of my all time favorites.  We have to start all the way back to 2015 for this one.  In the summer of 2015, the little ones did that open a live oyster at Epcot's Japan Pavilion in Disney World.  It was a fun experience.  For around 15 bucks or so, you pick a live oyster and a pretty staff member opens it and you keep the pearl inside.  Here's a few pictures of our experience doing it.
Well, sister remembered how much fun we had at Epcot and purchased some pearl oysters for the girls from a company called Precious Pearl, which is here.  Lucky the girls have such a good aunt...  With the job situation, sister, brother-in-law, Mom, Dad and other friends have been really generous to help us have a fun summer.  If any of my buds go through the same situation when I'm on my feet, I'm totally going to step up.  Anyhoo, pictures of our oyster opening:
Like for all cans, watch out for the sharp inner parts around the inside of the opened lid.
Cute heart-shaped packaging to put your new pearl into.
The actual opening is difficult, so wifey had to do it for the little one. You get a little guitar pick-like shovel tool to open the oyster in the box.  
Treasure!!! 
Our pearl looks like "Success" so I better encourage the little one to open that business.  
The pearl in the Precious Pearl oyster out-sized the Disney pearl by a great deal.  However, the fun of opening oysters on vacation in Orlando beats the hell out of opening pearls in sister's apartment regardless if you have donuts from the Doughnut Vault.  But I was actually impressed by the Precious Pearl experience because we got a big pearl out of it.  The cool thing too is that the Precious Pearl includes a necklace so you can immediately wear the pearl (not shown).

So where does this review lead?  I want to go back to Disney World right away lol!!!  Nothing beats hanging out in the World Showcase.  But let's focus on the job first...

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Doughnut Vault; Chicago, River North


Mini-Review!!! Visited sister's River North place downtown and got some gems at the Doughnut Vault.  Brother-in-law and I left the kids with wifey and sis and we took a three-block jaunt to the shop. 

About a block away from the shop, I saw a long line outside and rolled my eyes.  I hate lines, and worse yet, the line consisted of sophisticated city Millennials who definitely would smirk at grown men playing with Warhammer and Star Wars figures...  But upon getting close to them, I heard Blackhawk talk and maybe even Disney Parks talk (which is was what brother-in-law and I were talking about) and felt more at ease.  And it got me thinking that we are all in line because we like fine donuts and dammit, I need to stop making generalizations about people.  Along these lines, there's a lot of "generalization" problems going on right now especially between conservatives and liberals in our great country.  Can't we all just enjoy donuts!!??!!!

Anyhoo, the shop isn't bigger than two large Starbucks tables.  Seriously.  It goes without saying that the donuts are freshly made each day, and we left the shop with this...
Doughnut Vault excels at the small assortment of donuts it has- the Old Fashioned, Gingerbread Stack and the Glazed (and a few daily specials).   The donuts are huge, fluffy and made of pure awesomeness (chestnut-flavored iced donuts are a staple of the menu, yeah!!!).  As a reward for waiting through my rambling, here is what you came for- pictures of the donuts!!!
We chose two chestnut glazed, one vanilla glazed, a chocolate glazed, one old fashioned, half a short stack and two confetti donut holes.  From my comment above, you probably could guess that my favorite was the chestnut glazed.
If you are in the River North area, be sure to drop by for one (or two) of these guys and coffee.  Be prepared to wait though; it is well worth it.  Thank you for the read.



Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Catachan Jungle Fighters: Arnold & Sly Take on the WH 40K Universe


Along with the 1982 Kenner Toys catalog, I found some more Warhammer 40K miniatures in the recent unpacking of boxes.  I remember acquiring these guys in maybe 2000 or so.  The whole crew looks like members from Arnold's special forces unit from Predator. 

This reminded me that much of the Warhammer 40K lore has its roots in 1980's sci-fi.  Necrons?  Terminator Endoskeletons.  Tyranids?  Aliens.  Space Marines?  Stormtroopers.  Catachan Jungle Fighters?  Rambo and Predator/Commando.  All of these are a much appreciated homage to great sci-fi.  In fact, there is even a Catachan character named Sly Marbo (Sly= Sylvester Stallone and Marbo=Rambo), as shown below.
I think I remember reading something in the fluff about the Deathworld planet, Catachan, having higher gravity than other planets and as a result the Catachans developed a larger amount of muscle mass.  Looking at them now, they look a bit comical.  I mean, these guys are so pumped, I wonder if they can twist around to shoot the Tau or swift Eldar.  And their hands are bigger than their heads!!!  But they still do look bad-ass.  The Catachan below looks like he is flexing with a grenade and the one behind him looks strikingly similar to Arnold from T2. 
Hans and Franz anyone?
Do any of you Warhammer 40K junkies remember the Catachan Jungle Fighter codex?  I used to have it...
,

More muscles...
And more...
In any event, the Catachans are a little too 80's-early 90's to integrate with my Cadian and Scion Astra Militarum force and I ended up putting them along with Colonel Straken here and here on eBay.  They just don't fit it in for some reason, appearing a bit too cartoony for Pops and Warhammer 40K circa 2017.  I wonder if they'll get retconned out of the fluff like the non-Primaris Space Marines will at one point.  Oh well.  Thanks for the read and have a good evening.


Sunday, July 9, 2017

1982 Star Wars Fan Club Information; 1982 Kenner Star Wars Catalog

While getting some items ready for eBay tonight, I found a great piece of Star Wars history in one of my many boxes of toys- a 1982 Kenner Star Wars catalog.  Along with instructions and decals, these adverts used to come with boxed toys to unveil upcoming treasures in the year.  I think these types of catalogs ended around the late 1990s.  What caught my eye tonight was information about the 1982 Star Wars Fan Club.  I'll delve more deeply into the other products in the catalog in future posts.
For five dollars in 1982 (six dollars for Canadians and seven for the rest of the world), a Star Wars Club member would get an Empire Strikes Back membership kit which included a wall poster, 6 movie photos, a Darth Vader decal, a membership card, a patch and a pencil.  In addition, members received four issues of the Bantha Tracks official club newsletter.  Curious about the fan club cost in 2017 dollars, I used the U.S. Inflation Calendar Site to determine how much five 1982 dollars would be today.  It would be:
...12.68  That was a pretty good value!!! I'm thinking that modern day pricing would have a membership like this costing around 20 bucks.  To join, you had to fill out the application form on the back of the catalog and no cash payment.  You had to hold onto your Abe Lincolns... only checks or money orders were accepted.
With SATISFACTION GUARANTEED writing near the bottom of the application, a member could feel confident that the Force would flow through a membership.  Can you imagine the pain it would be to cancel a membership back in pre-internet days and expensive long distance calling days?  No toll-free number on the form!  The time involved to get your 12.68 back would probably not be worth it.  Were any of you part of this club?  If so, were you satisfied?

In any event, we'll talk more about this later:
It relates directly to my May the Fourth Be With You post about Star Wars Micro Collection.  Thanks for the read and have a good night.





Friday, July 7, 2017

Unboxing Privateer Press' Widower's Wood Game

Unlucky me.  World's biggest reptile men fan.  Huge Hordes Minions fan because of the Gatormen, giant acid spitting turtles and other denizens of the swamp.  Hater of metal miniatures.  Misser of the Widower's Wood Kickstarter featuring plastic Hordes Minions.

I remember searching the internet one night in April of 2017 and running into the Widower's Wood Kickstarter of March 2016 and seeing all those plastic Kickstarter exclusive Bog Trogs, Gatormen and reptilian war beasts.  That night I decided I must have that Kickstarter Exclusive set... At any cost!!!

Well, June of 2017 rolled around and someone named Pops heavily overpaid for the Widower's Wood Kickstarter Exclusive set (at the cost of trading an entire Forgeworld Death Korps of Krieg platoon  with a Demolisher and Sentinel).  Enough about poor me.  Let's get to the unboxing of this awesome set.
Big, big box.  I hit the Kickstarter Exclusive box first.
Extra missions and character cards for the Kickstarter Exclusive heroes.  Oddly, the Kickstarter Exclusive figures were put in the box nude without a plastic bag.  None of them were damaged though (however, my Wrastler was missing his Ironback Spitter shell on his shoulder (PP sent me a replacement for free)).  Here are the Kickstarter Exclusive figures:
The figures are made of a much harder plastic than the Undercity figures and Unleashed figures and are the same size as their Warmahordes counterparts.
Here's shoulder-to-shoulder Warmahordes and Widower's Wood Wrastlers:
Next I opened the actual Widower's Wood game itself.
The board is made of really heavy, nice cardboard.  It'll last a long time.  All the cards have great artwork.
I ended the opening bonanza by opening the Dead Men Walking expansion set.
All the cardboard counters are printed on the same heavy cardboard as the main board.  Ignore the Start Your Own Business book in the background of the picture lol.  Someday I'll have my own game company muwahahahaha!!! 

I'm not going to lie, I'm probably never going to play the game.  Acquiring Widower's Wood was all for the plastic miniatures.  That said, there won't be a review of the game itself.  But the minis and quality of the game materials make Widower's Wood an exceptional game set to me.  I started painting the Ironback Spitter so you can expect a blog entry about my work on it in the near future. Also, I'm getting rid of some of the miniatures I'm not interested in on eBay, and you can check them out here.

Here are some of my favorites from the game.  First, Rasheldonak the Warlock.
Next, the Tatzylwurm Heavy War Beast.
And what's a swamp adventure without zombie Bog Trog Shamblers?
Finally, the game's protagonist, Olo, the Croak Raider.
Thanks for the read, and when Widower's Wood hits the shelf, go grab yourself a copy for some Hordes Minion Swamp Action Love!!!






Saturday, July 1, 2017

White Castle; Everywhere in the North (I think)

Quick review of White Castle before my unboxing of Privateer Press' Widower's Wood.  I haven't been to White Castle in about three years.  Yes, the sliders quenched my three-year desire for those small little square burgers.  Nothing has changed about them since my childhood or three years ago.  They are the same mild tasting, juicy square patties smothered in sweeter-tasting onions, all surrounded by soft, moist buns. 

Why the three-year hiatus?  Well, first living in Japan until last October didn't allow us the chance to get our slider fix.  Second, we had an incident where my little one got sick at a White Castle in 2014 due to eating too quickly.  That said, the little one proudly ate three sliders this time and proudly stated she'd be happy to come back again.
We shook up the continuity by ordering Fish Nibbers, which are tasty golden breaded nuggets of white fish (I think).  They were piping hot and much better than the Van De Camp Fish Sticks from the frozen food isle.
White Castle treated us by having one of those million-flavor combination Coke machines.  I went nuts and ordered Cherry Vanilla Coke.
I was able to feed my four-person family for under 25 bucks!!!
Meal for four for under twenty-five bucks? Success!!! What will you order?
Thanks for the read!!!

Happy Birthday to Me: Turning the Big 40; Bob Chinn's Crab House, Wheeling, Illinois

I'm officially a middle-aged man.  On August 12, I turned the big 40.  If you've been following my blog, you'll know that I r...