Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Mars Attacks

Disclaimer - I am a Mantic Pathfinder, and have been asked to post about the Kickstarter.

First off - to get the requirements out of the way - go and pledge for the Mars Attacks Kickstarter before it ends Nov 10, 2013 at 6:59 EST.  It looks to be a fun, light hearted game, and a great transition from traditional board games to miniature games.

Ok - now for something real.

I first heard about Mars Attacks back in 1978.  I was a whopping 13 the summer that Star Wars had just come out, and I couldn't get enough of it.  So much so that when I found a magazine (you remember what those were) call "Space Wars" I had to have it.  Looking back realistically, it was a quick and dirty rag put out to capitalize on Star Wars without actually having to pay any royalties or anything.  I ate it up, and bought several issues.  Living in a small town that was the biggest within 2 hour drive - and still did not even have a McDonalds until I was in high school, this was great.  In the third issue was an article by James Trever and Len Brown, about these Topps trading cards issued in 1962 - Mars Attacks.

To my 13 year old brain these were some of the coolest things ever - and to make them even better, they were completely unobtainable!  "Although unintentional, that article saw the price of 1962 MA cards go from $1 to $10 almost over night!".  And this was way before the internet - it just wasn't going to happen.  But those cool cards - from the #1 The Invasion Begins to such classics like #36 Destroying a Dog I was hooked.

I know they reprinted and reissued the cards later, but I had grown older and wasn't into it anymore.  I did greatly enjoy the 1996 movie - as campy as the cards - but being an adult now it wasn't like I was going to collect it or anything.

I then became a Matic Pathfinder, responsible for demoing their games and bascially being a cheerleader for the company, in exchange for some a bit of free product and maybe some sneak peaks.  And what does Mantic go and do but make a licensing agreement with Topps to make hybrid board/miniature game out of Mars Attacks, and put up a Kickstarter for it.

Yes, my 13 year old inner child freaked.  Martians.  Death Rays.  Flying Saucers.  Giant Robots.  Giant Bugs.  This must be mine - and I have to have it to demo anyway, right?  Yeah, like I needed that excuse.

I did the first Mantic Kickstarter for Kings of War, and wish I had been able to do DreadBall and Dead Zone if for no other reason than the fantastic deal on the games and miniatures.  Now my wife questions how many more I need, not realizing that if I ever get all my miniatures painted then I'll die - so I have to keep buying more as I paint more. (That's my story and I'm sticking to it).

This isn't intended to be a "hard core" game - it is more a beer and pretzels version.  I don't see where they will have multiple factions to collect, and all the miniatures in the base game are colored plastic and pre-assembled (except for the clear martial helmets) so it can be played right out of the box.    It is using the latest Topps IP (intellectual property) for this, so has figures from the recent comics and the new cards that just came out for the 50th anniversary.

I'm not that excited about the martian or the human models - I don't really like painting humans (and the martians are pretty much humans) as I find them boring.  Giant stompy robot - that is cool.  Giant Bugs - they currently only have one funded (in the Attack from Space! expansion) but have another one as a future stretch goal (based on the silhouette in the Martian Attack Force expansion).  Flying saucers are also cool.  And they even have some other awesome stuff - such as models for flaming cows from the original #22 Burning Cattle card (now an event that happens in the game).

The $475 stretch goal is for team and solo play rules - so that you can do games with (instead of against) your friends, or even when you are by yourself (and now that I'm an empty nester, that is more often than not).

Even if I wasn't a pathfinder, I would want this game, because it takes me back to when I was a 13 year old boy, and the summer was filled with Star Wars and martian Death Rays.

New Direction (and not that boy band)

Ok, where do I start?  At one point several years ago I was updating this semi-regularly (did 99 posts back in 2007) but that hasn't been happening - what 2 posts last year, and this is the first for this year.  So much for my dozens of readers (yes, I did have one entry with a whopping 31 views.  Have to be careful I don't get a big head on that one).

I think that this was an outlet for my frustrations, anger and bad feelings - mostly from work.  Well for a little over 4 1/2 years (4 years, 7 months, 1 week to be exact) my work stress has been pretty much gone.  That is what comes from working for a great company.  How great you say?  We have been awarded "Best Place to Work" from the Dayton Business Journal for the last two years, as well as winning it for the Dayton Daily News this past year and a similar (ok, now I'm being lazy) award for Greene county.  A healthy, growing company.  Respect for everyone the company and the work they do.  Not perfect, but I have no desire to even look anywhere else.

Better than working with a bunch of monkeys trying to f**k a basketball (and I still don't know where I heard that term).  But much less need to share it and get it out of my system.

But I do need to update this more - I feel guilty when I don't because I know both of my remaining readers are hanging on every word.  I won't write about work - I don't have any coworkers that I can complain about, and as for what I do - I like and want to keep my job, so I don't need to be publicly blasting it on the interwebs.

So if not work, then fun?  What do I do for fun.  Beer.  And Games.  More games than beer, but I do a little home brewing.  I tried to start a blog on that - did a whopping 2 entries there.  I don't know enough, and with my job going well I don't drink enough to be able to really talk about beer.

That leaves games.  Not those new fangled flashy video games (get off my lawn!) but real board and miniature games.  Games that (usually) require a flesh and blood person to play with.  And not Monopoly (what may be the WORST board game ever made).  Games like Settlers of Catan, Pandemic, Flashpoint.  Board games that you might see on Table Top (I have all but 2 of the games they did on their first season).

I also love miniature games.  I've been playing Warhammer Fantasy Battles for over 12 years now, and have created several fun, themed armies, including The United Greenskin Postal Service, The Grateful Undead, Da Beach Boyz, The Drunk Dwarves and The Fire Eaters Ogre Tribe.  When it still existed, I also played Confrontation (with Wolfen and Ophidians ).  I have started playing Mantic's Kings of War, fielding Abyssal Dwarfs, and started demoing this game at Origins and GenCon this past summer, which has led me to become a Mantic Pathfinder (basically a volunteer who does demos of their games).

I've actually won a few awards; mostly "favorite army/general's choice" (voted on by all the players in a tournament for any reason they like), a few "best painted" and even fewer (I think 3) overall winner awards. (One was for a Confrontation tournament - where the award was a Scourge Bearer statue that I painted up and use as my avatar EVERYWHERE).

So games mostly, but not restricted to, miniatures will be my main focus for this blog.  It will probably still include the annual Christmas letter and anything else I thik of - but you have seen how much I do other stuff lately.

I'll try to keep it funny and interesting (yes, I missed both those goals with this post, didn't I?), but I will warn both of my readers (boy, that is making a big assumption that two people will still be able to find this at all) that there will be some 'advertising' as part of me being a pathfinder.