The Elder Thoughts

RPGs, miniatures, books and other rants

On Zelda again, Dawn of War III and LEGO robots

I am starting to play Dawn of War III. After the previous titles I thought I would wait until got cheap, but Steam summer sales made Amazon put it around 45% cheaper, so I ended up buying it. Just started the campaign and tried a multiplayer skirmish against computer AI controlled foe and battles can be so long now! I ended up defeated as I didn't even knew what buildings and units I can have, but it is really fun to call into battle an imperial knight, and as there are quite a few elites (special characters) on all three factions, it looks I'm going to have fun for a long time.

I am also back at hitting hard Zelda: Breath of the Wild, because first DLC came out, so apart from playing the new content and quests, I'm trying to finish all secondary "quests" (fully upgrade all clothing and armours, get many korok seeds...). I'm 2/3 through the Master Sword Trials, easy ones were quite easy, medium ones were a bit of a challenge on the first levels as you start naked, but once you grab some weapons and a shield... are doable.

Zelda current status

Still regarding videogames, I finished an X-Com 2 walkthrough. While not technically an RPG (despite the soldier stats and upgrades), it is a turn-based tactical game so if I talk about Warhammer 40k why not about it? I loved the game, it is a nice kind-of-adaptation of V, with aliens having won the original battle and convinced humans they're here to help but a resistance fighting back to uncover the dark truth. It is a very hard game (on the normal difficulty setting), mid-game you start to not suffer on every battle but at first it is hard and I restarted twice due to fatal mistakes (I played in "ironman mode" where you only have an automatic savegame and cannot go back).

As Warhammer 40,000 8th edition came out, I bought some Dark Imperium plague marines cheap from eBay and assembled them. Primaris Space Marines are not bad, but I both dislike the lore additions to justify them and prefer to keep my old miniatures instead of mixing both. I might buy a small squad of them in the future but only for painting, and surely not for my Dark Angels (I only see them for now as "new" Ultramarines). I'd prefered just a model change, but I get the commercial justifications behind it... why just replacing models if you can have both and slowly make people move towards the new ones without explicitly retiring old ones? Also they get to sell space marine players lots and lots of new minis! Is a great strategy from Games Workshop, that's for sure. Anyway, thanks to internet I have the cool models I wanted, the plage chaos marines are so awesome...

And finally, I'm retaking some old hobbies and after a bit of a cleanup of LEGO pieces, I'm assembling and programming a Star Wars R2-D2 with the Mindstorms EV3 "computer". My plan is to fully add to id original sounds and the like, but for now the prototype works and is just missing a few more pieces plus the logic:

LEGO EV3 R2-D2 photo LEGO EV3 R2-D2 photo

Sadly, all this means my painting has been on hold, and as summer is here, having both at July an August vacations, I'll do my best but don't expect to advance much on the painting topic.

Book Review: The Art of Mad Max Fury Road

The Art of Mad Max Fury Road book cover

The first time I saw Mad Max Fury Road it got me speechless. I had so much fun and adrenaline pumping watching it that it became instantly one of my all-time favourites. I've already watched it half a dozen times and it simply gets better each time. So when I read about An art book of the movie, I researched a bit what its contents were. I was primary looking at drawings, sketches and details of the vehicles (especially the War Rig), and decided to give it a go after peeking some really cool picutres and storyboards.

I think I made the right decision. Along its 176 pages, you'll find not only production insider details or elaborated descriptions, but tons of drawings, not only of the movie itself but from earlier ideas, discarded scenarios, initial drafts of the characters and vehicles... There are even cool maps of the other bad guys cities (nowhere to be seen in the movie), and of course lots of pictures of the vehicles and making ofs of some of them. Combine with it some really good stills of the movie, with high quality and nice, vivid colors (as vivid as the movie, that is), some from different angles than the ones displayed at the film.

I might be biased due to my liking of the movie, but I enjoyed every page of this art book. Now it remains to watch the movie once more, with this "extended knowledge".

Comic Book Review: Aliens: Rogue

Aliens: Rogue comic book cover

I recently read Aliens: Rogue. I as wary, because I love both Aliens and Predator worlds and I recently experienced the horror of reading recent comics who destroy the lore and setting thanks to the (more or less) recent movie Prometheus; They are so bad I'm not even going to waste time writing the reviews, just stay away from them.

Anyway, back to this title, it was a nice surprise. An aliens comic like the old ones, with twists and fresh ideas but without polluting the core concept of aliens. A scientist on the brink of madness has apparently been able to tame Aliens, by genetic engineering. And even more terrible, he's been able to "build" an alien king. But of course things never go 100% well and hell breaks loose.

Interesting and well drawn, I enjoyed it.

Comic Book Review: Warhammer 40000: Will of Iron

Warhammer 40000: Will of Iron comic book cover

Between breaks from latest Zelda videogame, I got my hands on all numbers from Warhammer 40,000 latest comic,Will of Iron. Counting the free issue that came with White Dwarf it's 5 issues. Dark Angels versus chaos with the Inquisition in between is a classic in the WH 40k lore but could result in an engaging tale. Sadly, it falls behind on this wish.

The story is lacking more thrill, more action. The plot advances but not much, and while the artwork is really great (including the alternative covers), pretty comics aren't everything when overall it feels like a bottle half-filled with air. Even reading all the issues together, I get the feeling they copied the main idea of comics of delaying by splitting action in many issues, when here should fit better a graphic novel, where story advances at a faster pacing. I've read lots of mini-series (e.g. Alien and/or Predator) and here just feels things were hacked out for the future.

Dialogs are not bad but just mentioning 2-3 classic Dark Angel topics (pretty much everyone knows now about The Fallen) feels like exploiting once and again the distinctive mark of this Space Marines chapter, instead of exploring something different. There are some known characters here and there but as satellite pieces.

Not bad but I'd say to wait until there is a second "season" so the story really progresses.

Closed for vacations at Hylure

I tried to resist. I really tried to be strong and not buy the Nintendo Switch just for the new Zelda videogame. I started to play and finally finish all previous titles. I actually finished Zelda (the NES original) and A Link Between Worlds, and started playing Zelda II and Ocarina of Time (3DS enhanced version).

But it was futile. All those reviews praising the game so much and even my girlfriend encouraging me to go for it were too much. And I can't be happier of the decision. The videogame is such a masterpiece, such a carefully designed and crafter open-world Zelda experience, that I have just stopped most of my other hobbies because all I want to do right now is to go explore more of Hylure.

Around 50 hours put at it and still so much to discover and do, it already nears Fallout 3 and GTA V on my "most time spent at" top (apart from the original Quake, that is). So probably don't expect to see much painting photos here during around one month!

Zelda: Breath of the Wild

Update: I finished the game and although I'm still finishing all secondary quests, upgrading all armours and trying to expand a bit the inventory (700 seeds is too much "exploring" for my taste), I added some screen captures of my adventures to the Assorted gallery. Some are spoilers so... beware ;)

Sample screenshot from Zelda Breath of the Wild

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