Tuesday, July 18, 2017
I was going to stop buying miniatures for the Batman Miniature Game and save up for some of the Games Workshop boxed sets. But then Fun Again Games had a summer sale so I ordered a few more. I ordered the Modern Batman as it comes with a Robin. I already have the Ben Affleck Batman, and now the Armored Batman from the DC Universe Trinity set. This one goes with the World’s Finest card in the DC Universe and is supposed to be the best Batman for the points in the Batman Miniature game. I also got a Ravager, who is a Free Agent, so she can work with any team. She also used to be one of the best figures in the DC Universe game. In addition, as a Justice League Grey, she will work with either team. I also picked up a Lobo, another Free Agent who can also be used in DC Universe. I don’t know if he is good, and I wasn’t a huge fan of him in the day, but I’m looking forward to painting him. I am pretty sure this will be the game that gets me to start painting again.
Friday, July 14, 2017
With a bit more searching, I was able to get more figures for the Marvel Universe Miniature game. I think I’m good now. I have all 5 starters, 13 of the 20 single figures, the 3 sets of markers, and the spray template. Of the Spider-Man game figures, that work with the Batman Miniature game but also have cards to use with the Marvel Universe game, I don’t have any of the 3 starters, but do have 4 of the 5 individual figures. I was even able to pick up a figure that I can use for the Incredible Hulk. It seems a bit big to me – closer to 1/32 scale, but that matches pretty close to how big the Knight Models figure is. I had been looking for one from the Dollar Store or Dollar Tree but hadn’t been able to find one. This one was about $10- more than I had wanted to spend, but still much less than the actual figure. At that price I have to think about if I really want to rebase or repaint him. I have all the key figures I had wanted except Jean Grey. There are still two other figures that I am interested in, Loki and Elektra, but those both seem to be rare and expensive, so I will substitute Heroclix figures. I would also substitute for the rest of the figures I need unless the price drops on them significantly. These are Thanos, Doctor Octopus, Incredible Hulk, Venom, Hulkbuster MK44, and the other sculpt of Black Widow. If I run across the Spider-Man starters at a good price, I would get them as well – Superior Spider-Man, Spider Robots, and Goblin Cult. Now I just have to paint them.
Friday, July 7, 2017
We did a trip to Thunder Bay to visit relatives for the Canada Day long weekend. It’s a bit of a drive – with the Ontario part being mostly one lane each way and only 90 km/h. I’ve done it once in the early spring and it was harrowing. As the semis would pass, they would splash slush on your windshield and you could not see for 3 – 4 seconds. You had to hope there wasn’t a turn or a drifting cars until you could see again. Thunder Bay has two great gaming stores. Thunder Games is located underneath a strip mall. It mainly focuses on miniature games, and has a large Games Workshop section, including many older books and games. This time I was able to get a copy of Kill Team, and the hardcover Imperial Agents codex. They also had the revised Dark Angels and Tau but I passed on them for now. I did pick up a Season One for Blood Bowl. I don’t have the newest version of Blood Bowl yet, but I know that I’ll end up getting it eventually. The other good store is The Game Shelf – which is attached to a used book store called The Book Shelf. It reminds me of a Sentry Box-lite. They had a bunch of Warhammer books that I could have picked up at the Book Shelf but I left them this time. I did find a hardcover Farsight Enclaves for $6.95 so I grabbed it. Going through to the Game Shelf part I picked up some Heroclix starters. I also got another Dust building, and I picked up the Trinity set for DC Universe Miniature game. I’ll probably have to pop back to Thunder Bay next year for a wedding, so I’m already looking forward to going back to these two stores to fill in more gaps from my lists.
Tuesday, July 4, 2017
I was able to pick up the remainders of the Knight Models Watchmen as well as a Rick Flag to complete my Suicide Squad team. BM – Watchmen – Nite Owl – 1 BM – Watchmen – Ozymandius – 1 BM – Rick Flag - 1 June figures bought - 3, figures painted – 0 Running total 2017 – figures bought 78, figures painted 0
Saturday, June 24, 2017
At Epcot, Cheryl went to ride the Test Track. I went to buy my Figment shirt and would catch up with Shan and the kids by the China pavilion. The cast members really seem to have a fondness for Figment. I got a lot of compliments about my hat and shirt when I wore it on Tuesday. I popped into the Mexican pavilion and rushed over to China to meet them. They weren't there yet so I worked my way back. We met and got a picture with fiesta Donald. We went over to China. Shan finally got to see two of her terracotta warriors. We got pictures with Mulan and saw some displays for Disney Shanghai. We had lunch at the Chinese Pavilion and I picked up some coins at the gift shop. At Germany, I got some daytime pictures of the outdoor train set, took a couple shots at Italy, and then we made it back to Japan for Gabrielle. While waiting, we sat by the kids area listening to Aoi welcome the kids. She had a lovely Australian accent due to going to school in Oz. We took a water express over to Hollywood Studios, where I was again randomly chosen for the metal detector. That was three-for-three today. I think that I was only not chosen once during all our visits. D3 parted from us and went back to the room while we went in. Gaby and Cheryl went off to ride the Aerosmith Rocking Roller Coaster as single riders while Shan an I found a spot for the fireworks display. They made it back in time. The show jumped around a bit but was awesome - with fire, lasers, as well as projection and fireworks. On the bus back to the resort we were packed in pretty tight. We were up at the front with some British kids and we all sang along to the music on the ride back. The bus driver encouraged us and even flashed the lights. Getting drinks at the resort, after being at the arcade, Gaby overheard some kids talking about meeting Stitch the next day. We went to the concierge and checked - there are character meets with Stitch - including a breakfast at the Polynesian. Back to the room we went with my daughter in tears that she had missed Stitch. We rushed back to the office to book it but it was too late. It was after 11pm and the concierge desk was closed. On a mission, Gaby rushed back to the room so that Shan could book it, and then we packed as much as we could in preparation for heading home. In packing, I found my pool shoes which I thought that I hadn't packed, but I did.
Sunday, June 18, 2017
On the Monday we went back to the Magic Kingdom. We had a character meeting with Tink, who was adorable. Then we went through to Cinderella's Castle Royal Table for our big character breakfast. We got to meet Cinderella in her throne room before brunch, and saw Snow White, Aurora, Ariel, and Jasmine during the breakfast. Shan and I had the beef tenderloin and egg frittatas - it was amazing. It's a pricey experience - the princesses were also available to meet next door where Cheryl saw them. Outside the castle they have the sword in the stone so we tried our luck. We made our way around to meet Merida - being stuck outside by the rain before finally meeting her. I had some concerns. They swapped out the one with the crazy eyes just before us, but the one that we met was lovely. All of us but D3 used Cheryl's Fast Pass and rode the 7 Dwarfs' Mine Car roller coaster. Shannon always closes her eyes on the coasters, so to her they are all dark rides. We then finally rode the carousel. It's a big one - 5 horses deep. Shan had worries that the belt might not fit but adults didn't need to wear them. We didn't see Gaston's statue, but went back around and rode the Haunted Mansion again. The gift shop is across the street from the mansion but we never did make it inside this trip. We just missed the paddlewheel and almost went on the Bear Country Jamboree but decided to get the Riverboat first. After finally riding the Riverboat, we waited about 10 minutes and watched the Bear Country Jamboree. We made it around in time to catch the parade again, before making it around to the Tiki Room, which only had a 10 minute wait. We were going to do Splash Mountain, but we were Cheryl-ed again, as all outside rides were shut down due to lightning within 7 miles. We couldn't even finish our train ride around the park. We made it back to the front of the park and took the Monorail over to Epcot.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
Knight Models also seems to have stopped selling their Watchmen figures for the Batman Miniature Game so I picked up some of those. A few more of the figures from the Marvel Universe miniature game came in. BM – Watchmen – The Comedian – 1 BM – Watchmen – Rorschach – 1 BM – Watchmen – Silk Spectre – 1 May figures bought - 3, figures painted – 0 Running total 2017 – figures bought 75, figures painted 0
Friday, May 19, 2017
On Sunday we had a slower day. We had breakfast at the resort and then took the ferry to Disney Springs - a shopping mall/street. They have boat/cars that you can rent but it was too wet for the hot air balloon, so Shan missed her chance. We popped into a few stores, D3 got some Star Wars books, a Boba Fett overshirt, as well as some Lego at the Lego store. I got an Imperial soldier hat, but was unable to find any Tron cycles. D3 and I went to the Coke store while the girls shopped and they joined us at the Coke Experience restaurant to try an International tray - 16 beverages from around the world. Some were quite vile. We did make it to the arcade but didn't do the whole experience. They did have a Mario Brothers game that I was able to play by myself, with my daughter, and again with my son. I was able to put up a decent high score. We went to Blaze Pizza for supper. You could order a personal pizza with a variety of individual toppings. We went back to the resort on the ferry.
Monday, May 15, 2017
One of the sellers that I had bought the Emma and Jean figures from flaked on me so I still need to get those two to complete my key figures for the Marvel Universe miniature game. I need others as well, but the rest are much more pricey. Knight Models also seems to no longer be producing their Watchmen figures for the Batman Miniature Game so I picked up some of those as well. I got the Comedian, Rorschach, and Silk Spectre figures. The first two are the main ones I had wanted from the Watchmen and the third will be harder to get later. I’ll probably try to get Nite Owl and Ozymandias to complete the set if I don’t have to chase them down. On the top of my list right now is the Kill Team set from Warhammer 40K, and the last three codices I need in hardcover. I’m particularly looking for Imperial Agents in hardcover, but also need the revised Tau, and Dark Angels to complete my set and might settle for those in sofcover.
Friday, May 5, 2017
A few more of the figures from the Marvel Universe miniature game came in. SM/MU – Punisher – 1 MU – Nightcrawler – 1 MU – Deadpool – 1 MU – Nova – 1 MU – The Thing – 1 Apr figures bought - 5, figures painted – 0 Running total 2017 – figures bought 72, figures painted 0
Wednesday, May 3, 2017
Jan Silver Screens on the Prairie by Russ Gourluck Doctor Who Miniatures Game 2nd edition by Graeme Dawson In Her Majesty’s Name – Steampunk Skirmish Wargaming Rules by Craig Cartmell & Charles Murton Heroes, Villains and Fiends by Charles Murton & Craig Cartmell Sleeping Dragon, Rising Sun by Craig Cartmell & Charles Murton The World’s Great Religions: Volume 1: Religions of the East by The Editors of Life The Smart Approach to Kid’s Rooms by Megan Connelly John Hughes: A Life in Film by Kirk Honeycutt The World’s Great Religions: Volume 2: Religions of the West by the Editors of Life The Flash and the Arrow by Knight Models Honours of War by Keith Flint Feb The World’s Great Religions: Volume 3: The Glories of Christendom by the Editors of Life Tabletop Wargames by Rick Priestley & John Lambshead Time/Life Books: The Epic of Flight: Knights of the Air by Ezra Bowen No Strings Attached: The Inside Story of Jim Henson’s Creature Shop by Matt Bacon Always Fresh: The Untold Story of Tim Hortons by the Man Who Created a Canadian Empire by Ron Joyce with Robert Thompson Mar Codex Dark Angels (6th edition) by Jeremy Vetock The New Dinosaurs: An Alternative Evolution by Dougal Dixon Assassin’s Creed Unity: Abstergo Entertainment Employee Handbook by Christie Golden The Making of Dune by Ed Naha Walt Disney Imagineering – A behind the Dreams Look at Making MORE Magic Real by the Imagineers Apr Walt Disney World: The First Decade Watchmen – The Art of the Film by Peter Aperlo Watching the Watchmen by Dave Gibbens, Chip Kidd, Mike Esel DK Star Wars Character Encyclopedia: Updated and Expanded by Simon Beecroft and Pablo Hidalgo The Disney Book: A Celebration of the World of Disney by Jim Fanning Beautiful Creatures: The Official Illustrated Movie Companion by Mark Cotla Vaz Kirby: King of Comics by Mark Evanier Sorry, Wrong Answer: Trivia Questions That Even Know-It-Alls Get Wrong by Rod L. Evans, Ph.D. Codex Tau Empire (6th edition) by Jeremy Vetock
Saturday, April 29, 2017
Cheryl, Gee, and I rode the Expedition Everest. It way very cool. The Wilderness Explorer badge station near there was very hard to find. Cheryl and the kids left before us. They got lost for a bit on the way out. Shan waited around for me and I finished up a few more badges. We checked in at the Wilderness Explorer Station on the way out. I guess they had seen me working away at them. I didn't get them all but they made me an honorary Senior Explorer. We had supper back at the resort and made it back to the pack for the night show. It was the Jungle Book - partially projected on water sprays and singing and dancing Bollywood-style, followed by fire dancers, It could have been due to the rain, but we didn't think that it was as good as Fantasmic, On the way out, we caught a few vignettes projected on the giant Tree of Life. We would have stayed a bit longer and watched more of them but the kids were getting tired.
Wednesday, April 26, 2017
On the Saturday we got up early for the ride to The Animated Kingdom. I took the new camera that we got from cashing in Air Miles points. We had just got it before we left but the safari was a rare chance to use it. Even though I haven't really got comfortable with it. Gee used my regular camera on the safari while I used the new one. We started in Africa at the Harambe Wildlife Reserve. It wasn't high on my list of attractions but it was quite good. Finishing that, we went on the Gorilla Walk. During the walk I picked up a Wilderness Explorer book from Jocelynne, a Troop Leader. There were many spots along the park to answer questions or do events to get stickers. While the kids weren't interested, it harkened back to my Boy Scout days and I did as many as I could throughout the day, much to my wife's chagrin. We had lunch at the Yak & Yeti - a mix of Indian and Asian foods. Next on our visit was the Maharajah Jungle Trek to see the tigers. The bats and the komodo dragons were away at the vet. We did the It's Not Easy to be a Bug Show. Again, the large spiders were not announced with enough warning for Gee. It was hard to find the badge coming out of that one. It was tucked in on the path out from the show. We worked our way around Dinoland USA. It's built up like an old-time Dino-themed amusement park. We didn't do any of the rides but I had to go into the Dig area to get the badge. It rained heavily a few times that day. We did remember to bring the Dollarama ponchos. A few people asked if we were Canadians - seeing the maple leafs. Our response - "Maybe".
Tuesday, April 25, 2017
Games Workshop just announced that there will soon be a new edition of Warhammer 40,000 released and that it will be incompatible with the current codices. I only need three current codices – Imperial Agents, Dark Angels, and Tau. I am missing several of the supplements though. I am currently reading through the old codices – having just finished Dark Angles, and Tau from the sixth edition. It sounds very similar to what they did with the Warhammer game, where they had a big ‘end of days’ event spread across a few books, coinciding with large figure releases, and then wiped out the old ruleset and army books and started fresh with Age of Sigmar. I wasn’t active in Warhammer at the time, so I didn’t get the end times books or models, and didn’t make the jump to the new system. I would have to chase down the end times books and a lot of the army lists from the last few editions to complete the sets. I had liked the narrative that had been building in the old Warhammer world and don’t really have any ties to the new one. For me, it was a very good point to make a clean break. I am closely tied to the Warhammer 40,000 narrative, from the early days of Rouge Trader, all the way through the grim dark present future, with the additions of the Tyranids, Dark Eldar, Tau, and Necrons, as well as the loss of the Dwarves along the way. A lot of fine details have modified along the way, examples being the Genestealers/Tyranids, the Space Wolves/Dark Angels history, the Chaos gods. A lot of the big picture has stayed the same. Depending on how much it changes, this could be the last of my placeholder sets. It remains seen to see if that is because we part ways or if the new set will be a clean start. The nice thing about having all the sets along way is that I can always go back and play with the rules from my favorite edition.
Monday, April 3, 2017
With the line being discontinued, I made a mad scramble to pick up a bunch of Marvel Universe miniatures as well as some of the Spider-Man version of the Batman Miniatures game that could also be used in Marvel Universe. SM/MU Spider-Man – 1 SM/MU Daredevil – 1 SM/MU – Green Goblin -1 MU – Avengers starter – 4 MU – X-Men starter – 4 MU – Brotherhood of Evil Mutants starter – 4 MU – Guardians starter – 4 MU – Dark Avengers starter – 4 MU – Black Panther - 1 MU – Groot – 1 MU – Sabretooth – 1 MU – Hawkeye – 1 MU – Vision – 1 MU – Dr. Doom – 1 MU – Gambit – 1 BM – Objectives Game Markers - 4 Mar figures bought - 34, figures painted – 0 Running total 2017 – figures bought 67, figures painted 0
Friday, March 31, 2017
The kids and I posed in the handprints in front of Mann's Chinese Theatre. We were unable to get seats for the Sci-Fi Drive In theatre. We did take pictures with the speederbike and then caught some of the Jedi training before riding the Star Tours. It was good to finally ride it after all these years. I'm the gift shop I picked up a Medal of Yavin. It's not the Master Replica's one, but it's the closest I will come to having one. Next we popped into the Launch Bay to see Star Wars props and reproductions. I took many photos of a reproduction Rey outfit and a Dejerik table. We walked around some more and then made it over to the Fantasmic show. They project images on water/mist as well as have live action - including a wonderful Malificent dragon. We took a few more shots on the way out and then headed back to the room early. The park closes early. It's timed so you can either see Fantasmic or the park's fireworks. We looked around the arcade back at the resort and got to bed early for the early day tomorrow.
Monday, March 27, 2017
On the Friday we went to Hollywood Studios. I was randomly selected again to go through the metal detectors. We made our way around to the Muppet side. We had breakfast tickets to Mama Melrose's Ristorante Italiano. The brunch was the grouper for D3 and I with a lovely desert. The meal here was $45 each and gave us tickets to the Fantasmic fireworks show. We had killed some time in the Muppet gift shop already and, after the brunch we went to Muppet Vision 3D. The wait was about 10 minutes. We had a fast pass for the Indiana Jones Stunt Show. We made our way back to the main stage in time for the March of The First Order. We then walked in to see Walt Disney - One Man's Dream. They had a bunch of props and displays to see before the show and we saw the rest of them afterward. I took shots of the Rocketeer jetpack, a helmet from Tron, as well as the dioramas. We then made our way over to the Twilight Zone Tower of Terror. Cheryl, Gaby, and I rode. It was good. At the gift shop I bought a door sign and a robe. We went in to the Pixar section but did not go on any rides.
Monday, March 13, 2017
I’m late to the party with this one. I had been looking at it but hadn’t bought any when it was cancelled. Since then, there has been a mad flurry on the figures and I have been able to order a bunch of the figures I wanted but there are still about half of the figures from the line that I haven’t been able to get. It doesn’t help that the figures are about $25-$30 each with the exchange. Since I play Games Workshop games though, the price doesn’t shock me as much as it should. For that price, it would be cheaper to get action figures and upscale the game to fit. The scale wouldn’t be too outrageous as it’s supposed to fit on a 3 foot by 3 foot board so a 9’ by 9’ or 10’ by 10’ area would work. It could probably be a tighter game on an 8’ by 8’ board. Not too bad for a convention but a much too big for my game room. I had been looking at trying the system by getting the DC Universe Trinity set but the news of the cancellation changed my timeline on that. With a flurry of purchases from four different online stores, I was able to get all 5 of the Marvel Universe starter sets and a bunch of the individual figures I wanted. I am still missing 3 key figures, 5 figures that I’m interested in, and 9 figures that I don’t care as much about but would finish the sets. There would also be 3 sets of Marvel Legends – which would be the Superior Spider-Man, Goblin Cult, and Spider Robots gangs for use with the Batman Miniature Game rules. I am not overly looking to get those but would pick them up if found cheaply. So, after spending about $500, I have 28 of the 53 figures total ordered – but that total includes 12 from the Legends starters that I’m not really interested in. I also have ordered all three token sets but have not been able to get the spray template. There are also some unreleased figures that have cards but not miniatures. For those, and the ones I cannot find, I can always use Heroclix figures.
Wednesday, March 1, 2017
I bought the Suicide Squad Starter for Batman Miniature Game. In addition to the Joker team and Suicide Squad team it came with the extra Ben Affleck Batman figure. BM Suicide Squad Starter – 13 BM Affleck Batman – 1 Feb figures bought - 14, figures painted – 0 Running total 2017 – figures bought 33, figures painted 0
Tuesday, February 28, 2017
In Toon Lagoon, Gaby, Cheryl, and Shan went on Popeye & Bluto's Bilge-Rat Barges. It was a raft ride where you can get very wet - and they did. There was also places where the crown can fire water jets on the riders. It was only a 20 minute wait. Back at Super Hero Island, after a 10 to 20 minute wait, Gaby went as a single rider on The Incredible Hulk ride. I did not. Then we crossed over into Suess Landing to finish up our day. We started on the Caro-Suess-el. Shan loves carousels and was worried about not fitting on this due to the lap belts but she had no problem. It was a quick wait - less than 10 minutes, but Cheryl sat out. After a brief 5 minute wait we all did the Cat in the Hat ride. You ride a "couch" through the Cat in the hat story - with animatronic characters. We bought some shirts in the gift shop. We were able to make it to the High in the Sky Suess Trolley Train Ride! It was a longer 30 minute wait for a slow trolley ride through Suess Landing on an elevated track. This went through the top of Circus McGurkus restaurant, the Café Stoo-Penduous, and closed out the gift shop afterwards. Gaby got an Ash Katchem Pokémon hat on the way out and we ended up getting snagged by a gypsy cab for the ride home. It worked out okay and still cost the same. We had another late dinner back at the Resort - pasta. I had the chicken alfredo with a fruit cup for the next day. We finished up the day at the pool. David3 did not come to the pool.
Monday, February 27, 2017
On the Thursday, we got up and had breakfast at the resort. I had the special - eggs, bacon, sausage, and a small Mickey waffle. We took the taxi back to Universal - another $40 after tip. Today we are staying in the Islands of Adventure. We went clockwise this time, through Super Hero Island, Toon Lagoon, and headed straight for Skull Island, stopping for the occasional picture. We went on the Reign of Kong ride, and David3 sat out. The wait was about 40 minutes. The holding areas were well decorated but the ride was not nearly as good - being video screens again. Next was the Jurassic Park section. We all went on the Jurassic Park River Adventure. It was great. We all got quite wet - which was good on a hot day. It was only a 20 to 30 minute wait. Afterwards we had lunch. My son and I had the meatball sub and caesar salad and we bought two refillable mugs. They were a bit pricey at about $12 each but they turned out to be well worth it. We popped in briefly to the Discovery Center but didn't go downstairs as we had to make it to the Lost Continent for the Sinbad Stunt Show. We zipped through Hogsmeade and made it to the show on time. It was good. We ended up sitting in the splash zone and got a bit damp again. D3 thought that the final fire effect was a bit much for the small children. Next was Poseidon's Fury - another interactive show - this one was a walk through. I thought it was pretty well acted but Shan was a bit disappointed in the effects. We went back anti-clockwise, heading back through Hogsmeade. Gaby, Cheryl, and I rode the Dragon Challenge - first the Blue Dragon, and then the Red. About half-way back you get a chance to re-ride so we did and tried the other. The wait was only about 20 minutes for the first ride and we were able to walk on for the second. We looked around at some of the shops - less on tis side of the park. We tried the seats for the Forbidden Journey. I would fit modified but Shan would not. We all got the tour - the walk-in part - but Shan and David3 did not ride. Because we had a mixed group like this, we got to skip ahead a bit and only had about a 20 minute wait. It was another motion and screen ride - pretty good. Gaby thinks that they should warn about the large spiders though. The Dragons and then this accelerated Cheryl's motion sickness. But she was able to hold it together until after the ride ended. After a 15 minute wait, Gaby and I rode the Flight of the Hippogriff. It was a rather simple roller coaster. Then we left Hogsmeade and headed back to Jurassic Pack. It was just after 5pm and the visitor center had just closed but we took a rest with the drink refills. We skipped over the Pteranodon Flyers - which seem to be a swing coaster - but alas more for the kids. Adults were not allowed on without one.
Friday, February 17, 2017
I did pick up the Flash and Arrow expansion on sale from Miniature Market in January. It has the rules for speedsters, new teams, and vehicles. It only give I got the Black Flash model as a bonus and also purchased a Heath Ledger Joker. The other Jokers look too skinny and I’m not a big fan of the Jared Leto Joker. I was going to wait to get the Suicide Squad box but Knight Models posted that purchases from them or retailers until Feb 15 would also include a Ben Affleck Batman figure as well as a Bombshell Harley Quinn figure. So I ordered one from a MeepleMart at the end of January. The shipping was super fast – it came within a week but it did not have the extra Harley. There was a bunch of finger pointing between both companies. Knight Models said that MeepleMart should have received a box of the extra figures to send and MeepleMart said that they did not get them and that I should check with Knight Models. So as a result, even though I bought the set they said during the time they said, Knight Models isn't honoring what they said it would include. I'm disappointed in their customer service in this regard. Aside from that, the set is great. In contains thirteen figures – enough for two teams – Joker and Task Force X. It also includes a streamlined rulebook, counters, dice, and two stand-up buildings that can be combined into one taller building. Knight Models also just announced that they are stopping their Marvel Universe line. They are still keeping the DC Universe line which has the same rules. It allows you to use a lot of the major figures from the Batman Miniature game in an easier skirmish game. The Marvel version was on my list to get some teams and try but now it is going to be harder to get so I may have to rethink that. The nice thing was that if I was building scenery for the Batman Miniatures game anyways, I could also use it for the Universe games. I was going to get the DC Universe Starter for the rules (which are also available online from their site). I put that aside to get the Suicide Squad set first due to the promos. I might still get some starters of the Marvel set, and a few of the figures if they are still available in a few months.
Monday, February 13, 2017
I picked up a copy of The Flash and The Arrow expansion book for the Batman Miniatures game. It was on sale and still included the Black Flash figure. At the same time I picked up a Heath Ledger Joker figure. I picked up the Suicide Squad set but am not a big fan of the Jared Leto Joker so I can always use the Heath as a replacement. I also bought the new version of The Lost Patrol. It comes with 5 Space Marine Scouts and 12 Genestealers. I don't have the original version but I do already have figures painted that I can use for this. Batman Miniatures - Heath Ledger Joker Batman Miniatures - Black Flash 5 Space Maine Scouts 12 Genestealers Jan figures bought - 19, figures painted – 0 Running total 2017 – figures bought 19, figures painted - 0
Monday, January 30, 2017
After Diagon Alley, we moved on to the Men-in-Black shooter ride. We all went on it. It was about a 30 minute wait and we liked it better than the Buzz Lightyear ride at Disney. In the gift shop afterwards, I was able to buy a Noisy Cricket, which was the one item on my list to buy at Universal. Universal is pretty tight about letting you take bags on the rides. They do have lockers by the rides that you can use for free - as long as you claim your items within an hour. Having done a bunch of shopping at Diagon Alley we had a lot of bags to store. Note that some of the wand boxes are too long for the lockers but will fit diagonally if there is not much else in them. Coming out we found that the lockers were not working and had to get someone to override them for us. Luckily we were able to describe the contents well enough to get our items back. We walked through Springfield and took a bunch of pictures but didn't stop. The same at Woody Woodpecker's Kidzone. We were at the right time to catch the minions for Shan and then stopped in to see the Horror Make-Up show. There were lots of good props in the lobby and I took a lot of photos. Even though we tell them to hang on to each other in the crowds, D3 got separated from us in getting to our seats and sat on the other side of the theatre. The show was good - nice and funny. Nothing really new to anyone with even a passing interest in make up but enough humor and crowd participation to keep it moving. It emptied into the gift shop, as they all do. I was trying on the Terminator Leather Jacket ($165 US) when the Terminator show let out into the same gift shop and we had to wait until they cleared before we could get a picture. I did not get the jacket but D3 got a Fallout shirt and hat. We got outside in time to catch the parade, and took a few shots of the stars on the sidewalk. Then we had burgers and fries, with chocolate shakes at Mel's Diner across the street. We took some shots of the kids with the old cars outside the diner. Up the street we heard a commotion, and Shan was able to get a picture with Megatron. The actor was very good - very animated, We all went on the Transformers ride. There was a lot of good theming inside the waiting line - with knobs to turn and switches to flip. We sat in a Bumblebee and got moved from scene to scene to watch the 3D show. Afterwards, there was an actor outside in a Megatron suit, but he wasn't as good. On the way out we got some photos with the Shark from Jaws (Bruce) and then caught the Hogwart's Express back to the Islands of Adventure to leave. The parks closed at 8pm and 8:30pm this week so we had an early night back home. We took a taxi back but now believe it was one of the unregistered ones. Back at Riverside, we picked up our sent items from Monday at the store. I got some chicken nuggets for a snack and had some of Gaby's pasta. We all went for a swim in the pool. The water was very warm and very relaxing.
Sunday, January 29, 2017
Wednesday August 24. We got up and breakfast here at Riverside. I again had the omelette. We took a checkered cab/van to Universal Studio Parks. On the way there, Cheryl realized that she had forgotten her tickets so we got off and she had another trip back to the resort for them and back to Universal. She would meet us at Diagon Alley. Our trip only cost $40 after tip. At Universal, they have nice moving sidewalks to get the people in, and the first section is all restaurants and shops before you even get in to the ticketed place. All of which are very nicely themed. We started in the Islands of Adventure and walked through Suess Landing, past the Lost Continent and Sinbad, and popped into Hogsmede long enough to take the Hogwart's Express train over to Universal Studios Florida, getting there just as it started to rain. We waited it out a bit but it didn't stop so we went on to Diagon Alley. We looked around and went into Ollivander's. We were able to get into the wand demo and Gee was able to have a wand selected for her. We were the only ones in that showing. The kids picked out interactive wands - Gaby got Hermione's and D3 got the generic one with the skull end. The rain was still coming down so we bought four ponchos as well. We had brought eight ones from the Dollar Store to Florida but had none with us that day. Gaby and Cheryl had gone on the Escape from Gringot's tour by the time I got out. I went on the single rider line which had a wait of 40 minutes and was done before them. Shan and D3 had taken the tour part of the ride while waiting. I also picked up a key at the Gringot's Money Exchange. By the time they finally got out the rain had mostly stopped. We looked around some more and Cheryl and the kids tried out their interactive wands at the fountain, and by the blacksmith. We got Butterbeers for Gaby and D3, Butterbeer ice cream for me, and Shan had the lemonade and got some meat pastries. We looked around a bit more. I bought some Bertie's Beans for the boxes. I keep hoping Gaby will do a Harry Potter-themed party one year. While waiting for the Dragon to spout fire, I caught some wizards fighting a Dementor. After a longer wait than had been up to that point, I finally got another flame picture - head-on this time - and joined the rest out by the Knight Bus.
Friday, January 20, 2017
I had another year of keeping up with the Fast Forces/Starter sets. I was even able to pick up the few sets that I had missed along the way. The only new set I picked up was the TMNT gravity feed – of which I got most of the set. While the dollar wasn’t great, I was mostly caught up with Warhammer 40K codices so I filled in some gaps from Troll and Toad. I was able to complete three more old sets – Sinister, Supernova, and Batman Alpha. I picked up some maps, and filled in a few more gaps. At the beginning of the year I focused more on completing some of the older WizKids sets. I have decided that I will focus on completing the nine WizKids sets I have left, and a select few of Neca sets. I’ll still keep up on the starters and fast forces sets. If the dollar improves and I get a good chance, I will even try to get of the bigger figures I am missing. I was finally able to get an AVX – X-men set, and I picked up an Avengers: Civil War set to confirm I have one. I also picked up the AVX OP kit with the Phoenix fragments. I’ll probably try to complete the rest of that set, as well as the few remaining figures I need from Batman Classic TV, and TMNT. I’ll even work away at the first few Neca sets, and maybe some of the smaller gravity feed sets. With the figures I’ve picked up, I am now close on Ultimates (0+3), Mutant Mayhem (3+2), Legacy (0+4), Armor Wars (3+0), Origin (4+0), Mutations & Monsters (1/5), Crisis (0/5), Secret Invasion (0/1), Arkham Asylum (0/3), Hammer of Thor (3/8), Brave and Bold (8/7) and Batman Classic TV (5), and TMNT (4+3). I still need the older larger figures - Spectre, both green Fooms, and both of the Phoenixes as well as the original Manhattan and Galactus but have been picking up a lot of the new individual bigger figures and sets. I picked up the Ant Man boxed set and have a line on the Foom (with pants). Neca only put out another 5 sets in 2016, and another 5 Fast Forces sets. I only collected one of these sets, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. I was able to keep up with the Fast Forces sets – I still need to pick up the last one from December – TMNT – Heroes in a Half Shell. I did pick up the TMNT big boxed starter which was on top of the 5 sets above. I now need 1764 heroclix figures. That still seems like an incredible amount. I now need 1020 Marvel figures and 737 DC figures. My REV total is now 1378 and my Unique/SuperRare total is 360 plus 26 Giant figures and 13 Team bases. But I have come to an acceptance of it. I am less interested in completing all the Neca sets of which I need 1730 figures (1367 REV and 337 Super rares) and am going to focus on completing the WizKids sets of which I only need 34 figures (11 REV and 23 Uniques). I will still get a few Necas as available, and then switch to some of the smaller Gravity Feed sets. Strikezone remains a source and I have completed a lot of the older ones from Troll and Toad. My goal for this year is to complete 4 of the remaining 9 Wizkids sets and maybe 2 of the Neca sets that I am close to finishing. I will also check a few of the local places to see what I can get.
Friday, January 13, 2017
Inspired by The Dice Tower and their top 10 lists, I have put together my top 10 games for 2016 as well. Note that these are games that I have played for the first time in 2016 not necessarily games that were released in 2016. With all the games that I already have, I got another 38 games plus several expansions last year. Some were purchased at the thrift stores and conventions, and some were new. The new games were Betrayal at House on the Hill, Black Ops, Dragon Rampant, Dust, En Garde!, Ender’s Game:Battle School, For Sale!, Geek Out!, Kings & Things, Legendary: Big Trouble in Little China, Lion Rampant, Magic: The Gathering – Arena of the Planeswalkers: Shadows over Innistrad, Mars Attacks: 10 Minute Takedown, Mission Red Planet, OGRE: Objective 218, On the Seven Seas, Sons of Anarchy: Men of Mayhem, Star Trek Fleet Captains, Sushi Go Party!, The Horus Heresy: Betrayal at Calth, Timeline Challenge, TMNT HeroClix: Mouser Mayhem Starter Set, X-Men: Mutant Revolution. The ones I picked up not new were 221B Baker Street: The Master Detective Game, Attack of the Mutants, Blood Royale, Bunco Deluxe, Clue (2-6), Cranium Ziggity, Dune, Electronic Mystery Mansion, Inner Circle, Loopin’ Louie, Monopoly Hotels, Set, Showdown Yahtzee, Uno Hearts. A lot of these did not hit the table this year. Some games from previous years were finally played. Games that I played for the first time that did not make my list were: Hanabi, Loopin’ Louie, Telestrations, There’s a Moose in the House 13 – Archer – Once you Go Blackmail – Another Love Letter variation. The extra hidden card mechanism doesn’t work as smooth as the Batman variation does but it does speed up the rounds. 12 – Codenames – Basically it is like team password. I think it is okay for 4 or more players but I’m not as impressed as a lot of people seem to be with this one. 11 – Legendary: Big Trouble in Little China – a deck building game. I’ve only played the intro game a couple of times. There is a lot going on here and it seems like it has a lot of variation available. Not as easy to play as a single player even though listed as capable of such on the box. This involves a lot of set up to start. 10 – Mission Red Planet – A worker placement game that seems like it would be very complex but was actually pretty easy to pick up. It seems like there should be more to it but it’s certainly worth a few more plays to check. 9 – 13 Dead End Drive – An interesting marriage of the good elements of Clue and Mousetrap. More time spent on the set up for the board than it is worth but still a fun little game. 8 – For Sale! – A very simple auction game in two parts. In the first part you bid on properties, and in the second part you sell those properties. It is easy to explain, plays quick, and you can usually get a few games in as one game leads to another. 7 – Storage Wars – It’s not a bad game for a mass market license. I’m not a big fan of regular auction mechanics and that does form a big part of this game. Otherwise it is a quick game for up to 6 players. 6 – Inner Circle – A game from my youth that I am not sure I ever actually played but always wanted to. You maneuver your pieces to get on to the spots that remain when the boards are lifted away trying to be the only player to get to the final spot on the fourth board. 5 – OGRE: Objective 218 – A very small game in the OGRE universe. Still feels like a tight little war game even though it is more about maintaining a supply chain. 4 – Yahtzee: Free For All – An interesting variation which allows a bit more player interaction in that you get 1 round to steal points from another player before they can score them. Also pretty quick. 3 – Pandemic: Contagion – A much smaller version on Pandemic where you play as the viruses. Very tight on your resource management as you only have so many cubes and turns with which to work. 2 – Timeline Challenge – It includes 5 variations of how you can use Timeline cards built into the game. More than one player can score each round so it moves along nicely. There are two points where the bottom players get to play 1 round to get a chance to gain bonus points. It includes some new Timeline cards but you can add other Timeline decks that you already have to it. 1 – King of Tokyo – A giant monster battle contained in a quick, dice-rolling game that is both cute and brutal. I am looking forward to playing with the expansions but right now the base game is more than enough fun.
Friday, January 6, 2017
I ended up not getting any more figures to paint in the last few months of 2016. The final total for 2016 is: Batman Miniatures Containers – 2 Police Call Box – 1 Mexican Bandits – 16 The Horus Heresy: Betrayal at Calth – 38 40K – Ork Burnas/Lootas – 5 Running total 2016 – figures bought 62, figures painted 0 This means 2016 squeeked in as my second lightest year for buying figures in the last seven years. I have already ordered some figures for the Batman Miniatures game, so those are on the way. Also, I'm very likely to get some Games Workshop games this year - likely the new Blood Bowl at least. So 2017 will probably be a miniature heavy year. With help from the family in reorganizing the storage locker, it's a bit easier for me to finish sorting the boxes at home to open up my workspace. Could 2017 be the year I finally put numbers in my figures painted column? I certainly hope so.
Tuesday, January 3, 2017
Sept Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Parts One and Two by J.K. Rowling, John Tiffany & Jack Thorne Pusher Aces of World War I by Jon Guttman Poster Art of the Disney Parks by Danny Handke and Vanessa Hunt The Haunted Mansion: Imagineering a Disney Classic by Jason Surrell Knightsbridge: The Art of Keith Parkinson by Keith Parkinson Jewelry: Fundamentals of Metalsmithing by Tim McCreight Walt Disney World – Twenty-Five Years by Disney Kingdom Editions History of Movie Musicals by Thomas G. Aylesworth The Films of Sean Connery by Lee Pfeiffer and Philip Lisa Oct How to Cheat Your Friends at Poker by Penn Jillette and Mickey D. Lynn Special Effects in Film and Television by Jake Hamilton Don’t Shoot, It’s Only Me by Bob Hope with Melville Shavelson King of Comedy: The Life and Art of Jerry Lewis by Shawn Levy Nov Vincent Price: A Daughter’s Biography by Victoria Price The Art of Superman Returns by Daniel Wallace Stuntman!: my car-crashing, plane-jumping, bone-breaking, death-defying Hollywood life by Hal Needham Walt Disney Imagineering: a behind the dreams look at making the magic real by the Imagineers Leo Mol Sculpture Garden by Paul Duval The Encyclopedia of Immaturity by the Editors of Klutz Marvel: Absolutely Everything you need to know . . . by Adam Bray, Lorraine Cink, John Sazaklis, and Sven Wilson Dec Creative Play Direction by Robert Cotien and John Harrop Star Wars Character Encyclopedia by DK Books Maps of the Disney Parks by Kevin and Susan Neary Canada by Mike Myers