6.22.2013

Warhammer 40,000

On Thursday night I had a chance to chat with some old friends about our shared hobby, Warhammer 40,000. This podcast was directed specifically to people who are NOT familiar with this tabletop wargame, so if you've been wondering what all my toy soldier talk and pictures are about, this will be worth a listen:



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I've also scheduled our episode for next week:
Swords and Space XIII: World War Z and the Zombie Craze 06/25 by AMDG Radio | Blog Talk Radio 
 

6.19.2013

Some Follow-up on the Alien Show

First, here's the embed for ease of listening if you're interested in the show:

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Lots of reference was made during this episode to Dr. E. Michael Jones' book Monsters from the Id, but I neglected to provide a link. Don't buy it from Amazon where they're asking for something like $70 for a used copy. You can get a new paperback version for $24.95 from Fidelity Press: http://www.culturewars.com/books.htm

The main thesis of his work is that, the moral order, when suppressed, reasserts itself in the form of an avenging monster. The eponymous alien from the film is the epitome of this -- the unstoppable, remorseless reassertion of order. One of the guests mused that the characters in the film hadn't done anything wrong to merit this wrath, but it occurs to me that they simply represent modern humanity. This would be subconscious on the part of the movie-makers, their very purposeful imagery otherwise, notwithstanding.

I tried to do a more obvious and straight-forward take on this in All the Gods of the Gentiles, where characters' sins lead directly to the unleashing of the monsters.

6.18.2013

New This Week






A busy week at Swords and Space this week:


  1. I've been trying something different with my writing. Instead of waiting for the ever elusive hour of time to write, I've decided to take what I get (which is usually 20-30 minutes) and write what I can. It makes for slow but steady progress. I've written more in the last week than the past several months this way so hopefully new fiction will soon be in the offing.
  2. Tonight I'm back on the air with a show on 1979's Alien. I'll be discussing the film with Matthew Zepf of Brav's Index and Jason Frazier from The Culture of Comics. Aside from discussing the aspects that make it classic sci-fi, we're going to delve a bit "deeper" by taking a look at Dr. E. Michael Jones' analysis in his book Monsters from the Id (a fascinating read):

    Swords and Space XI: Alien 06/18 by AMDG Radio | Blog Talk Radio
  3. Later this week, on Thursday, I'll be broadcasting again, this time doing the Warhammer 40,000 show that was scheduled a few weeks back, but had to be postponed due to family duties:

    Swords & Space XII: Warhammer 40,000 06/20 by AMDG Radio | Blog Talk Radio

6.09.2013

The Races of Twilight Imperium


On 29 July, I'll be hosting an evening of epic gaming -- TWILIGHT IMPERIUM. I say epic because this game truly is, and I'm expecting 6-8 hours of interstellar warfare, trade, politics, and technological research.

I'll be joined by a couple of my regular Swords and Space Radio co-hosts, Stephen Heiner and Matthew Zepf, along with some other good friends. It will be everyone's first time deciding the fate of the galaxy, so I wanted to put together a quick summary of the races from the core game.

My plan is for everyone to choose their race ahead of time. The rules actually call for random selection, but I think it would be a lot more fun for everyone if they get to play a race that matches their personality/play style. And since I went to all the effort of writing this up, thought I'd share it with the inerwebs so that others can make use of the summaries:


BARONY OF LETNEV
In a word: Military industrialists
Background: Proud and fierce underground dwellers on the polluted, heavily industrialized world of Arc Prime, who seek to impose their strict, elitist military rule to bring order to the galaxy.
Pros/Cons: Can have a bigger fleet than others, can exchange trade goods for a temporary boost in combat, poor trade agreements, excellent home system, good starting fleet.
Style: For the player militarily aggressive to the maximum with little regard for politics and trade (except maybe by coercion).


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EMIRATES OF HACAN
In a word: Mercantilists
Background: Generally laid-back and peaceful inhabitants of three desert-swept planets who developed a space presence when offworlders discovered a ravenous hunger for the many exotic goods and spices on said homeworlds.
Pros/Cons: Can trade action cards, don't need trademaster's permission to forge trade agreements, get bonus trade goods, excellent trade agreements, good home system (3 planets!), decent starting fleet.
Style: For the player who wants to forge an economic powerhouse, doing lots of wheeling-and-dealing on the diplomatic stage, but still nothing to sniff at warfare-wise, since all that filthy lucre can be used to build massive fleets.

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FEDERATION OF SOL 
In a word: Colonizers
Background: One of the newest races to enter the Imperium, and also one of the first to rebel against it; the Twilight Wars were touched-off when a Sol fleet opened fire of the Barony of Letnev's blockade of the Quann wormhole. The humans represent the most numerous and most diverse species of the galaxy.
Pros/Cons:  Can deploy free ground troops each turn, receive bonus command counters, good trade agreements, decent homeworld, mediocre starting fleet.
Style: For the player who isn't entirely sure what his style is, or who likes to be a jack-of-all-trades; well-rounded, flexible, and adaptable. Probably a good pick for rookie gamers.

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L1Z1X MINDNET
In a Word: Warlike cyborgs
Background: The remnants of the Lazax, ancient rulers of the Imperium, returned in cyborg form thirsty for revenge. They come from their remote, wealthy world, a nightmare planet of technology ready to reclaim the empire they fled from generations ago.
Pros/Cons: Cheaper and more powerful dreadnaughts, twice as much starting techonology as everyone else (save the Universities of Jol-Nar), poor trade agreements, good home system, powerful starting fleet.
Style: For a player who wants to play a military aggressive style, but without the need to be quite as aggressive as Letnev since you've got good technology and buff to capital ships. Come recommended on the interwebs for the less experienced gamer.

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MENTAK COALITION
In a word: Space pirates
Background: The rag-tag inhabitants of a prison-planet who overthrew their Lazax masters when the Imperium began to crumble, and now terrorize the space-lanes with lightening raids, taking what they want then leaving.
Pros/Cons: Can steal trade goods from other players, get free shots before battle begins, poor trade agreements, decent homeworld, strong starting fleet.
Style: For the player who doesn't mind pissing-off the other players via dirty tricks like stealing trade goods and striking out for aggressive raids with their cruisers (which get a sneak attack before enemy can shoot back).

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SARDAKK N'ORR
In a word: Warrior bugs
Background: Repugnant insectoids who inhabit massive skyscrapers on their crowded homeworlds surrounded by great network of orbital space stations and massive complements of fleet units.
Pros/Cons: Get +1 to all combat rolls, decent trade agreements, mediocre home system, weak starting fleet.
Style: For the players who likes the idea of swarming the enemy with lots of cheap ships that hit harder than anyone else's ship-for-ship.

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UNIVERSITIES OF JOL'NAR
In a word: Technologists
Background: Although physically weak and aquatic, the Hylar (inhabitants of the twin planets Jol and Nar) are a proud people, often to the point of abrasiveness and arrogance. In the Imperium of old they were the chief technologists and now utilize the resources of they homeworlds building a secret force with which their will replace the Lazax as rulers of the galaxy.
Pros/Cons: -1 to all combat rolls, can re-roll dice, can get free tech everytime the Technology card is played, twice as much starting techonology as everyone else, good trade agreements, mediocre home system, mediocre starting fleet.
Style: For the "brains over brawn" player who doesn't mind commanding weaklings in combat who will eventually lay the smack-down with lots of fancy toys.

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XXCHA KINGDOM
In a Word: Politicians
Background: Ancient race of space turtles who would rather smoke water-pipes and discuss philosophy and politics under the giant trees of their arboreal villages, but after one of their twin homeworlds was decimated by the Letnev and humans, they've vowed "never again!"
Pros/Cons: Can veto political agendas, enemies get a -1 to hit in the first round of combat against them, good trade agreements, mediocre home system, weak starting fleet.
Style: For someone who prefers political wrangling to brute force, but with a decent stick to beat people with using a defensive military, waiting for that perfect moment to strike.


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