Alabama CAGE Match banner near completion





Tonight I am uploading some quick pictures of my newest custom banner for The Alabama CAGE Match.  As for progress I am almost done. I painted the wings white and outlined them with black, and outlined every thing else with black too. I finished the chalice except for the gems with more highlights, and I did the halo on top with some bronze and silver. I need to do some more highlights on it and the blood drop.

For the words I started by tracing the size of the scroll on some paper, then laid out the letters on the paper to save trial and error.  Once satisfied, I redrew the letters on the scroll and painted them black.  For things like this you want Soft Body acrylic paint because it flows easier.

All that is left is the yellow hammer on the grey circle, words on the lower scroll, name plaques, and a fist in the lower left with a few other highlights and I am done!  I will be finished tomorrow.

Oh, I added some red shading in the X. Thought it was a nice touch. :)

Jawaballs

Alabama CAGE match banner progress

Here are some more WIP pics.




This banner has presented a challenge to me.  My seamstress sewed it a bit differently, and as such as the paint dries it has been wrinkling the fabric, kind of warping it.  It seems there is some slack in the surface and when the paint pulls on the slack it fights against the seams.  It is not a major issue, except that it is making it hard for me to make straight lines!  Every piece of art is difference, and sometimes we have to go with what is presented to us.  This one does not want to have straight lines, so, I am going to embrace that.  :)

On this one I have done most of the painting of the chalice. I have to do final highlights to bring out the details. On the white I have started doing some grey shading and the scrolling is mostly complete. I am still undecided on the wings, whether I am going to make them highlighted black or shaded white. I will do the black first and see how they come out. I kinda like the black wing shapes as is now. I think some simple highlights to define the wings will really work.

The halo at the top will get some gold metallic treatment and on the bottom picture I actually painted the circle at the bottom right grey in prep for the yellow hammer to be painted on top. I should be done with this by next Friday. Holidays present a tough obstacle to getting jobs done.  Plus SWTOR is out. :)

I have a commission for seven more of these coming up soon! It's gona be a busy 2012 for me!

If you would like a banner for yourself or your club, let me know!

Jawaballs

Blood Angels Vindicators? 2k list help.

Hey folks, I recently got an email from a reader asking about a list:




Hey,
I'm relatively new to Warhammer 40K and right from the beginning I was drawn to the Blood Angels. I was actually wondering if you might be able to give me some pointers on my list.
2000 pts. list
HQ
Captain - Combi Melta - 110 pts.
Troops
(5) Assault Squad – Meltagun - 110 pts.
Razorback - TLLC, EA - 70 pts.
(5) Assault Squad – Meltagun - 110 pts.
Razorback - TLLC, EA - 70 pts.
(5) Assault Squad – Meltagun - 110 pts.
Razorback - TLLC, EA - 70 pts.
(5) Assault Squad – Meltagun - 110 pts.
Razorback - TLLC, EA - 70 pts.
(5) Assault Squad – Meltagun - 110 pts.
Razorback - TLLC, EA - 70 pts.
Fast Attack
Baal Predator - TLAS, EA, HKM - 140 pts.
Baal Predator - TLAS, EA, HKM - 140 pts.
Baal Predator - TLAS, EA, HKM - 140 pts.
Heavy Support
Vindicator - Siege Shield, EA - 170 pts.
Vindicator - Siege Shield, EA -170 pts.
Vindicator - Siege Shield, EA -170 pts.

Total – 1940 pts.
 My response?  My first reaction was to tell him to simply swap out the captain for a Librarian and go with it. There is NO reason, other than fluff, to play a BA Captain.  Not when you can get a Librarian for the same price who is incredibly more effective. The rest of his list is not bad. Razorspam is still effective. Baal Predators can be very effective, though I suggest he changes out the HK missiles and give them heavy bolters to help do their jobs and mow down infantry.  
But the glaring problem? The Vindicators. Especially his kitted out at 170 points a piece.
The Vindicator, probably more than any other 40k unit, is suffering from 4th ed over rating. Not that this reader would know, I think he is newer to the game and does not really know about the Vindicator of old, but  the Vindicator is just not that scary. 
In 4th Ed the vindicator was one of the most feared tanks in the game.  Cover saves were hard to come by and AP 2 was not as readily available. (Nowadays it is not uncommon to see over 20 plasma guns in a guard army.)  But most important, was the Ordinance Damage Chart.  In 4th Edition there were three damage tables.  Glancing Hits, Penetrating Hits, and Ordinance.  Vindicators rolled on the ordinance chart which pretty much meant that a hit was a kill. But not only that, a 6 on the ordinance chart was a fantastic explosion that not only obliterated the transport you were shooting at, but all of the troops inside.  
Holy Crap! They were truly feared. Some of the strongest Marine lists, including the one played by Danny Internets, had three of them.  The Vindicator made people pee their pants.
Fast Forward to the new BA Codex and 5th Ed.  Among the top five whining complaints about the book was FAST VINDICATORS!  Matt Ward must be insane right?  But who cares about fast vindicators now?  The consolidation of the damage charts into one single chart with modifiers effectively neutered the feared Vindicator. Gone was the threat of exploding entire squads at a time while they hid in their rhino.  Easy to get cover saves finished them off.  The first time I dropped a vindicator pie plate on a squad of orks I figured it out.  I must have gotten 19 orks under that circle, but only about 4 died.  The guy had wrapped the rest around a low rising crater, effectively obscuring, at least partially, 50% of the bases.  
Welcome to 5th Edition, and So long Vindicator!  But I still see it popping up here and there. 
If you are going to play one, only Blood Angels should because of it's movement.  But why bother?  They are more expensive. They don't come with a Storm Bolter.  (I don't believe they do, I don't remember off hand and don't have my codex here.)  So they are a single weapon destroyed away from becoming an expensive battering ram.  
Siege Shield? Waste of points.  If you are playing a BAV, you should be taking advantage of it's strength, fast movement. So that thing should never be moving less than 12".  I am speaking in generalities here and there will always be circumstances that contradict what I am saying, but for the most part here is how a vindicator breaks down in combat. On Turn One you move it 12" and hopefully get into range.  (Siege Shield only works if you move up to 6")  Maybe you get a turn one shot. Then you should be in range of something, and if you moved it right, should be in range the rest of the game. This means that you don't really need to move more than a few inches again, so your siege shield is useful right?  
Not really. It is worth the risk to not spend the points.  Odds are that if you DO get immobilized, you are still going to be in range of something for the rest of the game after that first movement.  But that brings me back to the 12" thing.  If you are in range to shoot your vindi gun, you are probably in range to get assaulted by something nasty.  You really should be moving that thing at least 7" to force your opponent to hit on a 6 in the assault.  (No shield)  So if you spend the points on the shield, you will likely only get a chance to use it once but should probably not use it at all.  (Again, there are always circumstances that will defy this, I am speaking generally.)  
Extra armor is a good investment.  I always support taking it.
But getting back to Vindicator range, it's short range necessitates exposing it to melta fire.  You have to play them aggressively, this means that they die quick. Plus, getting back to their over rated fear factor, they really die quick because they previously made people pee their pants.  That fear lingers.  This is not necessarily a bad thing, as this can help force battlefield control. Just don't count on your vindicator getting off more than one or two shots.
Alternative?
The Auto/Las pred of course.  You don't need extra armor because you probably won't move them far from where you deployed them.  Being able to move if stunned really matters little in this case. But the advantage to these is the four high strength shots.  The vindicator gives you one single shot, IF you manage to not scatter the hole off the top of the tank.  The Predator is a transport killer, is effective at least at silencing other predators, and can even take down land raiders.  I played a 7 land raider redeemer list at Hardboys and proceeded to blast him off the table with my predators.  
With Vindicator scatter, I imagine the average number of models you are going to get under the pie plate is around 4 when shooting at a well placed 10 man squad.  (Again, generalities, this is not based on proof, just experience.)  Give them cover saves and the number of dead is cut in half.  Cover saves apply to auto/las preds too, but the average of shots you can place on a well placed 10 man squad of marines?  4.  The predator can be just as effective as the Vindi at anti troop.  
Of course we only ever hear about those big blasts that kill 10 man squads of marines in a single shot.  The truth is, this just does not happen much.  
|When I play against them, I ignore them.  Sure I have to play smart, but I let them hang until I feel like dealing with them.  If I go up against an opponent who has spent 25% of his points on three vindicators in a tournament, I would just smile.

My final advice for this list? Take auto/las preds instead, use all the extra points to turn you Captain into Mephiston.  Drop the HK missiles, and give a couple power weapons to squads. Try to squeeze in a priest.  Have fun! :)
Jawaballs

Alabama CAGE Match Banner Commission!

Here are some WIP pics of my banner for the Alabama CAGE Match state wide tournament. Visit the site and if you are an Alabamer, get out to one of the participating stores!




I'm not sure how well the pencil lines show up for you, but here is the next step. I printed out the image that we came up with. Since what they wanted was pretty straightforward, I did not need to do any sketch work. I was able to work right from the image.  In this case the challenge was making the lines in the X line up. I started with the wings and chalice, then drew the scroll on the bottom.  Then I framed it with the box, and drew the X in the background.  I didn't bother making all of the lines on the chalice and wings dark since I will be painting them as black shapes then painting on details after.

In my last post I put out a mention for ideas on what to write in the scrolling at the bottom, well I got this submission straight from one of the boys:


Jawa,
I tired to post as a comment on your page but it wouldn't let me using my google account login. So I figured I'd just email ya a good quote.
and a idea or two. Good spot on knowing were the Yellowhammer, I love the idea of the Yellow thunderhammer.
"My dead and wounded were nearly as great in number as those still on duty. They literally covered the ground. The blood stood in puddles in some places on the rocks; the ground was soaked with the blood of as brave men as ever fell on the red field of battle."
Good qoute from Oates from Little Big Top that applies to AL history.  Couldbe used in 40K though I would drop it to just,
"The blood stood in puddles, in some places on the rocks; the ground was soaked with the blood of, as brave men as ever fell on the red field of battle."
Just a thought, being from AL and all. For the blood drops Im not sure the state flower wouldn't mesh well I'd say do something Crimson Tide but I'm sure an Auburn fan would cry. Maybe do a Crimson power Fist smashing into a Orange power Fist. Since we are a state divided.
It's awesome to hear that you are doing the banner for this tournament, hopefully I will get a chance to see it. If I can get my army ready in time for the CC event in Tuscaloosa.
If this was posted like 5 times, sorry my PC showed it not being able to be posted as a comment so I tired a few times, I wasn't trying to spam ya. THanks again for doing the banner, it will make this tournament all the more awesome now.
Thanks,
Matt.

Thanks for the input Matt, I think it is this sort communication that makes some of these banners really special. Chandler from Feast of Blades and I spoke a lot as his banner developed and I think the final design was great as a result. 

I think that the stylized fist idea is a good one. I will do some sketching for that and put up pics soon.  Any way, more to come soon as I start working!  Now the fun part begins.

Jawaballs

New Banner Project: Alabama CAGE Match!

Hey folks, my next full sized banner project is a custom one for the Alabama CAGE match.

Information about the Alabama CAGE match can be found HERE. But in short it is a member of a growing community of elite gaming GTs that focus on producing a "State Champion".  Feast of Blades is pioneering the concept by offering a huge invitational GT where the state champs from all over the country meet to duke it out for the ultimate title. It would be cool if the Alabama winner could go to Feast of Blades and parade in this banner!

So what am I doing?  I am working with the boys from Alabama to create their custom image.



First they wanted to base their banner on the Alabama State Flag:




The Alabama State Flag is a white field with a red X. This screams Death Company! So they chose the Blood Angels banner here to start:


It's a perfect way to begin!  This sets a good idea for me to go on visually.

From here we talked about content and I gave some advice. Through our back and forth we arrived at something like this:


These guys made my job easy!

I am replacing the angled arrow in the bottom right with a yellow thunder hammer because, well, obviously the Alabama state bird is the Yellow Hammer!  Instead of Blood Angels it will say Alabama CAGE Match.  I will do some appropriate scrolling below, with little empty name slots for winners.  I don't know what I will write in the large central scroll. I will either go with something inspirational from GW canon, or I will check out the Alabama history books and see if I can find a snippet from a Civil War battle or something.  I'm not sold on the blood drops though.  I think I may look for something more appropriate for these guys.

So step one for me is to get the banner made.  Unfortunately, I had told the guys I hoped I would get the banner done by the end of November, and I did not get the banner in my hands until Friday December 9.  Some times shit happens!  Believe me, finding reliable people to work for you is the hardest part of business.  But the fault is partly mine, I did not communicate my desires to the seamstress well enough, and it took a long time to get this one done. Mostly because the bottom was different from any banner she has done before.  It took forever to get that going.

So, here is the banner all sewn:


I need to break out an iron!  And one of the kids in my room wiped their grubby hands on it on the way out the door... oh the dangers of mixing work and play.

I learned from experience not to use pure white fabric. I did a Templars banner some time ago on pure white, and it picked up every bit of dust and dirt within 10 feet of it.  So I suggested an off white color.

Next step?  I need to draw the image on the banner, after I iron it of course.  From here it should go pretty quick. I just need to get it sketched out on the fabric and paint!

More on that next time!

So check out the Alabama CAGE Match and if you live in Alabama, get yourself to one of the events.

Jawaballs

Craftworld Ulthwe Eldar: Warlock Mark 1 Part Two

Here are some updated pics of my Warlock Mark 1.




The first two are updated ones and the one on the white base is the old on previously posted. I added more edging with a mix of my base black with a bit of bone color, and I also enhanced the black shadows on the robe.

Baby steps!

I've definitely considered going blues as suggested before, but I really want to take on the challenge of painting black.  I think it will make me grow as a painter and give me another weapon to use in my quest to win a Golden Demon some day.  (Haha, some day a long way away.)

I also added a few more edges on the sword.  Being a witchblade and not a power sword I wanted to keep it toned down.

I can say that the camera definitely is not doing this model justice. The contrast between the lights and darks is way too extreme in these pics.  The camera is not picking up some of the subtle shades of black.  Maybe a really thinned down black wash will help...

More to come, this is fun!

Jawaballs

Craftworld Ulthwe Eldar: Warlock Mark I

Here is my first attempt at painting black for my new Craftworld Ulthwe Eldar army!  I got a set of colors called Andrea Color, Black Set which is a series of 6 shades of grey intended to make it easier to get a nice black.










The paint is a bit thick in some spots. This was a previously painted Iyanden warlock that I Sprayed black, then did several base coats of grey.  I went with blue eyes, sword and sword gems to balance out the orange/red gems on his helmet. (Orange and Blue are complimentary colors after all.)

So what do you think? Should I push the shadows and highlights on the robe even harder? I botched the bone hands, but thats ok, I spent a lot of time on the helmet using the Andread White paint set.  I think maybe a few grey/bone highlights on the extreme edges of the robe?

Enjoy, lots more coming!  I tapped my friend the one and only Dave Taylor for advice on painting my Fire Dragon Wave Serpent.  Look for that soon!

Jawaballs

How to paint Necrons!

I have had this one for a while, but figured I would throw it out here for you!  I have a deluxe How to Paint Necrons video set available!  This set of videos is actually three tutorials.

Tutorial One:
You learn how to quickly and easily paint a tabletop level in no time at all.

Tutorial Two:
You learn how to bring tabletop to the next level by learning advanced highlighting techniques in painting a Metallic necron.

Tutorial Three:
You learn how to paint a bone colored necron that can easily compete for Best Painted at any tournament you go to!





The pictures show the bone colored and the phase one Necrons. CLICK HERE and you can purchase the video set directly from my site as a digital download. OR email me and we can arrange a physical purchase.

Enjoy! :)

Jawaballs

Craftworld Ulthwe Eldar: Black Guardian Biker, Eldrad, Guardians

Here are a few more WIP pics of my Craftworld Ulthwe Eldar army.


Here is an image of my first five Black Guardians.  The one on the right is complete except for a banner I will do last. I like to put a banner in each of my squads.  

I know, nothing great as far as conversions.  It's just using High Elf models as Eldar. Nothing ground breaking, but I have yet to see any thing like these at any tournament I have gone to. So to me they are special.




Here is a close up of the standard bearer.  For these guys I am using Dire Avenger heads and weapons with High Elf Phoenix Guard bodies.  But rather than just swap out Dire Avenger arms, I am cutting the arms to fit the Phoenix Guard upper arms.  You can see that the upper arm has a bit of scale armor helping it blend with the rest of the body. It looked silly with the Dire Avenger's jacked shoulders jutting out of the PG torso. 


Here is what I mean. I used the upper arm bit from the PG and glued it into place on this guy. I also used the DA ammo belt.


Here is an example where I fit the DA forearm to the PG upper arm.  I tried to cut it so that the forearm looks like it is coming out of the scale upper arm.  


Here is another close up of the other Black Guardians.  


And here is a Black Guardian on a Jetbike!  For him I used a silver helm mounted model.  The legs took a lot of cutting and fitting to make them sit right on the bike.  I did the same thing with the left arm, cutting the silver helm arm and Eldar arm and fitting them. This took a lot of careful slicing a sliver at a time from the arm to make sure it fit right.  I only had one crack at it.  I have not attacked the banner pole arm yet since I need access to the chest and dash details.  For my bikers I am using the DA Exarch heads. I like the unique biker look.  

A closer look.  Once it dries I will shave the flashing. I did not glue the canopy to allow me to paint details.


Thanks to Dave from Battle for Salvation I have Storm Guardian bits!  I traded him some Black Reach orks for his SG bits, just enough to fill out a squad of 10!  I know, Storm Guardians suck. Well this is an Ulthwe army!  It pretty much demands the use of them.  I will be doing the same PG treatment with these guys, however, I am interested in different heads for them. I have two rules, no topknots (Eliminating the Storm Guardian heads) and must have helmets. Any suggestions?  High Elf Silverhelms might work, but with the body being all PG I think I should use Eldar heads.  I could go with Banshee heads... Or perhaps even something simple like Dark Eldar warriors... What do you think?




And of course, a Failcast Eldrad!  Actually this finecast is not too bad.  There is a bubble under his right arm, and the sword is bent as well as his helmet crest.  Neither of the bends should be too bad to fix after warming the model and bending it. I've never tried.  The bubble is not noticeable if you are not looking. 

What's next? Well I am sort of in a holding pattern. The last thing I want to do is assemble 30 models and have them sitting on my table. That is demoralizing and always a bad idea.  I am waiting for my new paints to arrive. I ordered some special sets for painting black, bone and white.  Once I get them I will do a few normal guardian testers, then rock out on these guys.  So as not to get bored I will jump around a bit. These 5 guardians, the biker, a warlock, and then the Forgeworld Wraithseer.  By that time I should have received any Xmas presents from the wife, and purchased the rest of the models she fails to buy me from Spiky Bits. Oh hey Rob, my wife will be calling! Take care of her.  :)

What is down the pipes? Well I am hoping for some great news for the Eldar as the next 6 months unfolds.  I am not just doing this army as a side trek. I want to compete with it.  I am going to get owned for sure if I play this army in 5th ed.  I am seriously hoping for some 6th ed New Codex love. At that point I will be keeping the paint scheme, and theme, but going full min/max competitive list.  That probably means dropping the guardians in favor of Dire Avengers. But wait... I am already using DA parts... smart huh?  

At this point any discussion about what might be in this army in 6 months is pointless. I have not been keeping up with the rumors.  All I can do is hope for some wicked codex creep.  What has to happen? Eldar have to be made cheaper, and making them a bit better in the assault would not hurt.  They would actually be competitive now if their point costs were not so out of reach.  A wave serpent costs as much as a vendetta. A Falcon costs 50 points more than a ac/lc pred.  Sure they have advantages, but I think you can see what I mean as far as costs.  By the way, I am just pointing out obvious flaws and stating examples of the flaw.  In other words the first person that calls me an Eldar whiner is getting a /smack.

What I love about the Eldar is the variety. I love the different aspects and their varied colors.  They really do allow you to paint any color you want.  This is a nightmare trying to tie them all into a cohesive force, but it is possible.  

Ok, back to work for me. The wife is home in two hours and this is the only free time I get!  :)

Jawaballs


User submitted work!

Brian, an 11 year old from Hong Kong, submitted this poetry. Pretty outstanding. Better than I could do! Thanks Brian! If you want to see your creative work published on my blog, send it in!  My email is on the top right. Jawaballs


Ode To Blood Angels


Brian

14/11/2011


O Angels of Blood,
I honor thee!
The blood you bring to the battlefield.
Will never quench your eternal thirst,
No matter Tau or Orks or Chaos
All perish under your mighty force.

O Angels of Fury,
I honor thee!
The way your crimson drop pods scream through the sky,
The way your blazing jump packs roar through the sky.
As they rage upon your enemy.
The din of thine cannons,
Is music to my ears.
The roar of your boltguns,
Reap death on foes.

O Angels of Vengeance,
I honor thee!
Every blow you make,
Is the end to thine enemy.
Every bolt you fire,
Will turn blistering defeat into a glorious victory.
March on Angels,
Fight on Angels,
Revenge on the traitors who caused your agony!

O Angles of Bravery,
I honor thee!
You move in unison,
With your battle-brothers.
Never retreat,
Never submit.
Only to victory.

O Angels of Glory,
I honor thee!
How your primarch,
Sacrificed himself for humanity.
Not in defeat.
So pick up your bolters!
And pick up your spirits!
For The Love of The Emperor and Sanguinius!
Smite Thine Enemies!!

Eldar Ulthwe: Black Guardians

Here are some quick shots of my Black Guardians. Eldar Craftworld Ulthwe, according to the fluff, mostly employs Guardians to do their fighting because their aspects were wiped out I guess. While I will be using some aspect warriors, I also have two squads of Guardians. One storm guardian and one regular.


I hope in the new codex they have upgraded stats for things like these.  It sucks to have such a cool thing as "The Black Guardian" in the fluff but in game play they are no better than regular ones.

I used High Elf Phoenix Guard as the bodies and Dire Avenger heads. One of these guys will have Dire Avenger arms holding a rifle, and the other will be holding a banner in one hand and a rifle in the other.  When I paint things like this, I usually paint the body first then attach the arms and finish them.  That way I can get at the details without them being blocked.

More to come!

Jawaballs

Ulthwe army begins!

My first Warlock conversion.







Ulthwe is a craftworld known for it's psychic mutants... er gifted users of the warp.  So my army will have at least 6 of them including a Seer Council to join Eldrad.  This one was converted from a High Elf mage. My conversion skills are not the strongest, but I think I will improve through the course of this army.  For example, after the locks are done, I have 20 guardians to convert. Ulthwe is also known for their uber guardians who take the place of aspect warriors.  So, mine will be much more unique than standard guardians.

Let me know what you think!

Jawaballs

The Conflict GT 2012

Hey guys,

So my next big event is coming up in January, The Conflict GT!  Click HERE for tickets.

Why should you go to The Conflict?  Well, it is close!  The Conflict is held at the Palisades Mall in Nanuet, NY, just north of New York City. It is convenient to all of the north east, from DC to Maine!  For me it is an hour away, which means I don't have to drive forever to get there.  So I can actually go home in the evening and not have massive wife agro.  To put it straight, if you live in the greater New York City area, you should be at The Conflict.

The 2010 Conflict Loot. Note the cup! Players
organize themselves into teams of 4. Each team totals
their overall score. The highest total wins the cup!


To be sure, it has had it's share of problems in the past. But last year's conflict was massive jump in the right direction. I had been pretty critical of the event, but TO Aaron Fishkow took every word I said to heart, as well as every one else's, and made it right. He sought out opinion, and listened.  He eliminated what was bad, and improved what was good.  Simple right?

The biggest two improvements are adding a new venue, and dropping the comp system.

The previous venue was Toywiz, which was not a bad place, but not really big enough for the numbers of players.  I believe there were close to 200 including Fantasy and 40k?

The new venue, a meeting hall at The Palisades Mall about 5 miles away from Toywiz, is immensely better. The room is much bigger and spacious, and the mall itself is great because there are limitless food options as appropriate for one of the biggest malls in New York State.

Probably the most important change Aaron made for last year though, was changing the rules. The previous incarnations had a comp system, which was poorly implemented. As such, there were more than a few unhappy players. Comp is a touchy subject, and time limits on tournament games are pretty much a form of comp as it is since guys simply cannot play some armies. But once dudes found out that they probably could not win the Conflict if they played Vulcan, interest dwindled pretty fast.  It is not that comp was a totally horrible thing, it is that it was implemented in an inconsistent and arbitrary way.  Those two words spell doom for a 40k GT.

So, Aaron sacked it all. The Conflict is a battle point GT. Guys go there knowing that they are going to beat face, or get their faces beaten.  Mixing in stealth comp was a bad combo.  Da Boyz have a pretty good hold over the Comp GT thing and all guys going there should understand the expectations.  Such is how it should be for any GT.  That was something Aaron learned, and he made every effort to make last years Conflict as transparent as possible.

End result? A great GT!  Last year went off without a hitch.  Well, sorta. In my opinion, last year Aaron went over board the other way. The old saying is true, "If you want something done right, do it yourself." But Aaron tried to do way too much by himself.  He needs to do what Mike Brandt did at The Nova.  Get 2 or 3 guys you can absolutely trust, jaw their ears off to make sure they are on absolutely the same page as you, and let them run their respective parts of the show. Then Aaron should set back and watch the magic happen. He needs to be the welcoming face to The Conflict, and appoint some brute to be the Rules Judge for example.  He should also appoint a paint judge.  I know, easier said than done, but it would help a lot.  That way when dudes like me whine about our paint scores, we won't accuse the TO of playing favorites and so forth.  :)

Most importantly is the last part I touched on. The TO should appear to remain unbiased.  He should not get personally involved in settling rules disputes and paint scores.  Yes, he is the final word, but should only be tapped by a rules judge who needs a final ruling.  Know what I mean?  Brandt was a master at this.  He walked around Nova and shook hands with a smile, while his trusted henchmen took the beef.  He only got involved with rulings when absolutely necessary.

So any way, what is new for this year?  Well, Aaron added more stuff!  There is a doubles tournament for both 40k and Fantasy, but also there are tournaments for Flames of War and Warmachines!  Once again we see Privateer Press getting some love.

It seems The Conflict is becoming more than just a GT.  How bout a hobby event right in our New York City back yard!  Aaron has refined the rules, and organized the time so that things happen smooth and well.  This year's Conflict is shaping up to be the best one yet!

One of my favorite things? The point totals.  The Conflict is a 1750 tournament.  In my opinion, a much needed total in the days of 2k events.  40k becomes less competitive at 2k points with a couple armies able to bring every thing but the kitchen sink. 1750 helps to level the playing field a bit because for some armies, that extra 250 points just doesnt buy very much. In fact, I actually think it will help my army. I will only lose The Sanguinor. But I know that I will be facing much more manageable sized armies across the table!

So there you go, I hope to see you all at The Conflict GT on January 13, 14 and 15.

Jawaballs

Eldar Ulthwe, the next Jawa-project

So, I finally decided upon my next major army project. I am putting the finishing touches up on a lingering commission this week, and am clearing the slate for a while so I can focus on my own stuff, sorta.

I will be painting a NMM GK terminator to be given away as a charity promotion at Templecon in February. That won't take a day though.

And of course, there is the 2012 "Heroes" project.  I have no clue what it is going to be yet!

Before that though, I want to try to pump out an Eldar army.  I have always wanted to, and at one point had a good start to an Iyanden army.  But as my interests grew, the Eldar faded to the back burner and beyond.



So why Ulthwe?  At Nova I was speaking with a fantastic painter and modeler named Dan and we started thinking about doing a team army project based on the Horus Heresy.  He was planning an Emperor's Children army, so I thought that doing the confrontation between Eldrad and Fulgrim!  My Eldar army was instantly born.  Plus, if the rumors are true, they should be getting some outstanding love next summer with a new book and an appearance in the next box set.  By the way, I will be trading away any chaos crap I get in the new box sets for your Eldar.  :)  Bottom line here, 2012 is going to be the year for the Eldar. It's a great time to start.

My army is going to be fairly diverse and fun. So, I don't plan to win a lot of games with it at first. Oh well! This is the age of artsy Jawaballs I guess.  I like a lot of the Eldar units, and plan on using as many as I can.  I like that the Ulthwe focus on their super guardians, but it would not Eldar without aspect units, so here we go with my first draft of a list:

Eldrad of course
Eldrads Warlock council (converted)

Avatar

Guardian jet bikes with warlock

2 squads of guardians converted from various high elf and eldar parts

Fire Dragons with serpent. (Gotta have the dragons!)

Pathfinders of course

Harlequins

2 wraith lords. I ordered the Forgeworld Wraithseer model. cant wait to paint it!

1 Falcon grav tank.  This is gona be the ride for the harlies.  I am going to paint it all decked out in harlequin stuff. It should be sick!

Wraithguard with lock in a serpent

As you can see there is quite a variety, chosen for artistic purposes. I plan on doing some sweet conversions for the guardians and warlocks.  Also, I plan on doing some sweet hand painting on the serps.  I love them for their large open spaces.  They are like blank canvases. Jetbikes are also great for this purpose.  I love the eldar because they have a lot of great imagry and use banners.  Lots of chances to make this army truly special.

As the army evolves, I will of course add to it. Especially when the new dex drops and new competitive Eldar lists pop up.  My considerable ego cant take yet another year of beat downs in the GT circuit, no matter how pretty the army is!  :)  I have to have an army that competes.

Now, to figure out how to paint these things, and that is where you come in.  I suck at web searching. I looked up "how to paint ulthwe" "painting ulthwe master class" and you name it.  You see, I need these to look special.  Black spray with grey highlights just wont work.  I plan on doing blended and shaded black, but i have no idea how!  I am not too worried about the bone color, though suggestions are welcome.

So, perhaps those of you who are adept at web searches, or more familiar with the forums can help! I need masterclass level tutorials for painting black.  I'm talking Golden demon level difficulty.  Honestly, a tutorial on bone color would not hurt either. Most of what I have found relies heavily on washes.  I prefer to use washes as an accent, not primary painting tool.  What do you guys think? Feel free to share links. In fact, we can make this a new resource for painting Ulthwe and or black.  Share your links and information, and I will edit them into the copy of this post.  Or email them to me. we can make this a work in progress!

So there you have it. The new Jawa army, a community project!  This is a chance for me to do something completely new, and for you to help!

Now to give my wife my wish list, and the Spikey Bits phone number. :)

Jawaballs

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episode 6

"What's the world coming to sir?"

"The world aint coming to nothing son, it's the same as it always was."

The opening lines from Hell On Wheels.


SPOILER ALERT:  And once again, I welcome your comments, but please keep them to only discussing this show, not the comic.  Thanks!

The Shooting Line




I don't think any words I could have chosen for the last episode of The Walking Dead until February could have been more appropriate. The episode makes a pretty huge political statement hidden within zombie drama.  People killing people.  When Rick was helping Scowl pull the zombies out of the swamp, scowl was preaching about the fact that there are a lot of sick people roaming around out there, and Rick picked up on his meaning. He was not talking about zombies.

The world is the same as it always was. Zombies, indians, survivors whatever. It is all just about people killing people. Or as Carl puts it, "every thing is just food for something else."  The walking dead got all philosophical on us!

Last week I said that in order for the series to move on/survive, they need to wrap up two loose ends pretty quickly that have really put a cork in Season Two. The zombie barn and Sophia being gone.  Who would have guessed that they would wrap them up both at the same time!  Seriously though, were any of you surprised that Sophia was zombified and in the barn? She had been missing for weeks. The fact that they had not found her, or found her body meant that she must be a zombie walking around at this point.

The question is, did Scowl know that she was in the barn?  If you caught the sneak peak of the new episode you see him deny it and blame Otis, but really?  It makes more sense now. It is one thing to have a barn full of zombies, but Scowl was being ever more persistent that the gang had to leave, especially once they found out.  It was really bordering on crazy. Which is why Rick could not understand.  Now that they know about the zombies, of course Scowl would not want them to find out that he had been keeping the little girl that they were looking for locked up.

A couple of important things happened in this show.

Rick Takes Charge:

Shane had been going on for weeks about how Rick needs to take charge and make the tough decision. Here is the difference between the two of them. Shane takes the easy way out, as Dale points out in their confrontation. When the world goes to shit, it is easy to let loose your human morals and become an animal. Hell, it may even be necessary. Shane says that Rick does not have the tools to survive in the new reality. But is it Rick's lack of tools, or his possession of the one tool that Shane lacks that divides them? Rick has morals. Shane does not.  Shane is also a coward in a lot of ways as I spoke about a few weeks ago.

The way Shane dealt with the barn at the end of the episode displays this fact.  To give kudos to AMC once again, the final 10 minutes of this episode were some of the finest I have ever seen on ANY tv program.  Shane busted open the doors in a psycho anti rule melt down.  When he cannot handle things, he resorts to violent outburst. Case in point. The inability of Scowl to see the zombies for what they were sent Shane over the edge. Shane started shooting Scowls neighbor zombie in the chest to prove his point.  He shot that chick 8 times before finally ending it by putting a bullet in her head.  At this point, every one was just standing bye and watching. Rick was trying to get some one to take the rod attached to the zombie he had. Every one just stood there in a daze. The only one who was trying to act, aside from Shane, could not.

It actually amazed me how every one else just stood there all slack jawed. Even Scowl. I kept waiting for him to attack Shane, or even scream. But he just stood there staring. His world unraveling right before his eyes.  Exactly what he feared was going to happen did.  Now people he cared about were being shot right before his eyes, hell he was even the accessory to the killing by holding the zombie there for Shane to shoot!  But was his inaction bad acting or good?  None of us can imagine ourselves in the same situation. I guess that is animal nature.  When things become too hot for some of us, we shut down. Scowl's look and in fact all of them, reminded me of the beheading video I had the misfortune to have watched.  Disbelief. Somethings are just too insane to wrap our minds around. "This isn't happening!"

But it did. Shane busted open the barn. Every one stood there except for Rick until Shane finally killed the other tethered zombie. Then every one lined up and started shooting.  The chaos of the scene was delicious. I honestly cant imagine it any differently.

In the end though, it was not Shane being decisive. It was Shane being a coward. He knew he could break down the doors because he had a dozen guns behind him.  He was not making the tough call. He was taking the fast track out of responsibility. One way or another, opening those doors was going to allow them to move on and force the decision from Rick. The only brave decision to happen here was Rick's. Hence the division between the two.  When the time came to be in charge, Rick stepped up and put a bullet in Sophia zombie's head. No hesitation.  In a split second, Rick made the only decision of the season that has any real consequence or ramification. He shot Sophia. Sometimes a leader has to make the tough call.

Glen the ladies man:


So let me get this straight. All you have to do when a chick is pissed off at you is tell her your thoughts, and she starts making out with you and doing your laundry?  Perhaps Glen knows a bit more about women than I thought. "I don't always drink beer, but when I do I drink Dos Equis!"

Glen took a couple of steps in character progression.  First of all, he wanted to step up and be a group leader. He is young and he wanted Dale's support first, but when it was time he blurted out the secrets he was keeping.  But more than that, he became a man in other ways. Glen is our little Luke Skywalker and is coming of age. All good stories need one.  You see, the audience needs some one they can associate with. In our case, the audience is a bunch of ravenous nerds.  What are some other examples of good Television characters inserted for the audience to latch onto?

Stargate Universe: The nerd genius.  Don't remember his name.
Battlestar Galactica (the new one): Tough one, but definitely Starbuck
Heroes: At first Peter, but actually Sylar in a weird way took over that role, and that of the vilian. (Unique)

In movies we can tap an endless list of characters like Rocky and Marty McFly.

So Glen is coming of age. He has a pretty clear obstacle to overcome. The fact that he is considered a goofy kid. Rick even refers to him as their group's "go to town" guy.  He is not really respected for what he brings to the table. Father figure? He has two, though only Dale is the true mentor. Rick is too busy dealing with other stuff.  Love interest? CHECK.

Good drama is created by taking these characters and allowing us to see how they grow and respond.  Eventually they win the day and get the girl. Today was Glen's day.  He established himself as a man with the group by finally spilling his guts, and then supporting Shane when it mattered and taking up arms. He established himself as a man with Becky by setting her straight and showing her that he is more than just zombie bait.  He played it right when the zombies were charging out of the barn by nodding to Becky for support, as if he needed it, then joining the gun line and getting the job done.  Now all we need him to do is confront Vader and the circle will be complete!

Foreshadowing:


As you figured out, I am a little weird in that when I watch something, I like to analyze it and break it down.  I like to get in the heads of the characters and try to figure out what makes them tick.  Good acting makes this easy.  But also, I like to try to watch shows for blatant tricks of story telling. In this case, foreshadowing is something I always try to catch, to see if I predicted the future right.

Well I saw a couple of glimpses involving Carl that scream FORESHADOWING!  First of all, Carl aggressively talked down Shane.  Even swearing at him!  He, wearing Rick's hat, spoke his mind and put Shane in his place.  Then later, Shane and Carl shared a little scene where Shane handed him a gun.  Carl's dressing down of Shane made Shane understand that he was not a boy any more and worthy of carrying heat. But more importantly, sets the stage for the future.

A few weeks ago I predicted that it was going to come to a head between Rick and Shane.  I predicted that Daryl was going to have to make moral decisions regarding this confrontation, and the show has been dropping hints lately about which way he might go, but I more importantly predicted that it would be Glen who steps up and backs up Rick, perhaps even shooting Shane.  Now I am convinced that the confrontation is still going to happen, but it won't be Glen or Daryl that steps up to help. It will be Carl.

Carl confronting Shane while wearing Rick's hat foreshadows the inevitable battle that will occur. And Shane handing Carl the gun, foreshadows how it will go down.  Neither of those scenes were important for the story, other than to set the stage for what is to come.

In fact, this episode did a lot of stage setting.  How about a little mature loving between Sophia's mom and Daryl? How bout a great big fizzle between Dale and Shane.  Dale definitely did not have the minerals to do what it takes in the new world. Who will?

It's easy to say by the way, but if it were me, I think I would have pulled that trigger when Dale did not.  The world is gone, it is now Wild West time.  You are a predator, or prey. Dale is prey. Shane is a predator. The only problem is, there is always a bigger predator.  Every one is food for something!  They always say that if you are going to level a gun at some one, you better be prepared to use it.  Dale was not.  I'm pretty sure that in an end of the world situation, I would have pulled the trigger. When you are facing a bigger predator, and you are prey, you need to act not hide if you have the chance. That is one decision that will come back to bite Dale in the ass.

So where does this leave us?  Waiting for February!  The barn and Sophia are resolved. All of the secrets are out. The group is now free to go, a little stronger, and a little weaker.  The preview for next episode shows them looking for Scowl who disappears and talking about Benning again.  But frankly I don't care.  No matter what they do, I will be watching.

Jawaballs

Battle report part one Jawaballs Blood Angels vs Ted Nagle Space Wolves

BAAL PRIME:

With a startle, High Priest Corbulo awoke.  He took a moment to gather his thoughts and consolidate his dream, then leaped from his rejuvenation vestibule. "Lord Mephiston must be notified."  He grumbled as he strode from the chamber, the Blood Chalice ever dangling from his hip in it's sacred satchel.

After stopping to gather one of his subordinates, Corbulo took a calculated risk, he only knocked once before entering Lord Mephiston's chamber reverie. A lessser Blood Angel could have his throat sundered for such a transgression, and Sanguinary Priest Estrode made no attempt at hiding the fact that he lagged behind several feet, but Corbulo was different. A veteran of countless engagements at the side of Mephiston, his presence was too familiar not to announce itself to Mephiston's keen senses. No doubt the master Librarian already knew he was there.

"What is it that interrupts my meditations priest?" The menace in Mephiston's voice sent a shiver down Estrode's back. "Lord Mephiston, I must speak to you immediately."  Corbulo stated with the authority few but the head Sanguinary Priest could carry in the presence of the risen one. Mephiston replied, "Is not Dante Lord of the Blood Angels? shouldn't he hear your pressing concerns?" "Respectfully Sir, You are in command. Lord Dante is off world, investigating rumors of the Grey Knights." Corbulo stammered, his immense confidence shaken by Mephiston's impossibly oppressive aura.  He heard Estrode shuffle uncomfortably behind him.

"It seems sir that the Grey Knights must have uncovered some ancient and incredible cache of technology. Every time they have been sighted in recent engagements, they have been bristling with incredible numbers of Psy cannons!"

"They seem to have even more disposable ancient weaponry than the veteran squads of the Imperial Guard."  Corbulo lamented, dreaming of a Blood Angels armory stocked full of ancient Plasma and Melta weapons.  "In addition to that" the priest added, "It seems that all of their rank and file knights have been replaced with none other than Purifiers." Mephiston let go a long, disgusted hiss. "But I was under the impression that Purifiers were soldiers of the highest regard. Their training regiment kills ninety nine percent of them. Only one in a million men even has the fortitude and talent to enter the training."

"How could it be that so many Grey Knight strike forces are entirely staffed with such Astartes? Where do they get the men??"

"I don't know sir." Corbulo replied. "That is what Lord Dante has gone to sort out. He will surely get to the bottom of this."

"Indeed" quipped the librarian as his anger began to subside. "Now, what brings you to my chamber?

Estrode's skin began to crawl slightly less.

"A vision came to me in my sleep sir." "A son of Russ, corrupted by the taint of chaos. His men are unaware." Corbulo informed his master.

"The Space Wolves continued insubordination already borders on heresy. Their silly infatuation with adorning their armor with animal pelts wreaks of warp taint. But they are loyal."  Mephiston mused.

"But your talented fore sight is not necessary for me to also sense the corruption in their captain."  Mephiston motioned the priests over to his personal com system and fingered the appropriate code to activate the holo emitter. An image of a Space Wolf captain named Nagle sprang to life in the display.



"Thats the one sir, nothing good will come from this one's actions."  Corbulo snarled with contempt. "Shall I muster my strike force and intercept the tainted captain?

"High Priest, you are a capable commander, and have brought much glory to our chapter, but you are needed here." Mephiston commented as he eyed the current location of Nagle's army flashing on the holo projection.

MECHANICON... MECHANICON... MECHANICON


Mephiston continued, "Yes, this Mechanicon seems to be ripe with taint. Every year we are sending forces to put down insurrection and warp spawn."  With a touch of a finger, a record of recent Bloood Angels exploits sprang up on the display. "Two years ago Lord Dante and yourself went to meet the threat with good results, and last year, my own Codicer Marle descended upon Mechanicon and swept the field, claiming victory in the name of Sanguinius."

"No Priest, this time, I will investigate Mechanicon personally, and put an end to this threat once and for all" the librarian ensured. "Prepare the battle barge Tycho for an immediate departure. Two assault squads and our terminators from the First Company should be enough, along with some of your assault priests, chaplain Hamme, and a few neophytes from the scout reserves.  Oh, and have the techpriests arouse my old friend Dreadnought Lythan. I'm sure he would not mind some field service."  Mephiston commanded.

"Immediately sir." Corbulo assured the librarian.

"Oh and Corbulo," Mephiston smiled, "Send along your new priest there, Estrode." Estrode's pride swelled at the mention of his name, only to be chased with bile as he realized he would be spending extended time in Mephiston's presence.  And that the librarian knew his name.


More to come...

Jawaballs

The Walking Dead Season 2 Episod 6?

WARNING: Spoiler alert. Don't read this article if you have not seen this episode.

First thing first.  Once again, I ask that if you have knowledge of the comic book, you keep it to yourself.  In this particular discussion we are talking about a Television series. Knowing about the future based on the comic does nothing four our discussion here.  Plus, they are two very different medium. I have made the point a few times before, but to be short, we are responding to THIS story. Not the one told in comic book form. Frankly, I don't discuss movies with guys who have read "the book first". You simply cannot compare! I have never heard an account of some one who "likes the movie more". So please don't comment about what is going to happen based on the comic book, or how the book explains what is going on in peoples heads.

I can't be much more clear than that!

Now on with the show.

It opens up with ominous words from Scowl.  Dale approaches him with the news that Glen has spilled about walkers being in the barn.  Of course Scowl plays the "that is my wife" point of view.  This leaves little room to play with. It presents two points of view. Scowl's, upon which he wants to preserve walkers in an attempt to save them, or Rick's, who knows that walkers are simply shells of their previous selves and need to be put down.  This reinforces the duality of human nature.  We are the most creative and most destructive species on the planet.  At some point, that conflict is going to come to a head.



Overall, I loved the episode.  After abandoning any sort of expectations of what I wanted the show to be, I can sit back and enjoy it for what it is.  Great writing and great drama.

Very little happened in this show plot or action wise, but several little plots did start to bubble up.

Dale is a Jedi:


The guy has been around since the start, and as I mentioned before, always seems to be the one that every body goes to when they need to get something off their chest.  But he seems to be very manipulative in how he uses his knowledge.  First of all, he squeezed out of Glen the two big secrets.  But instead of confronting them directly and sharing them with the leadership of the group, he goes behind the scenes and pulls strings.  Kind of like how Obi Wan manipulated Luke into going with him telling him the story of his farther "from a certain point of view."  So instead of talking to Rick about the zombies he goes to Scowl!  Nothing good could come from that. Plus, who is Dale in the dynamics of the farm? He is the guy who stands around the camper and cooks Spam. Now he  thinks he is the guy who has to go confront weird farmer dude concerning the gaggle of zombies in the barn?

Oh and talk about freaky scenes by the way, how about the chick breaking the chicken's leg then feeding it to the zombies!  I got shivers when she callously snapped it's bones and it started shrieking.  Great stuff.

Then Dale needs to approach Lori about the baby. This is ok though. It is in his character to be concerned about the women in the party. It makes sense that once he hears about her pregnancy, he would open up discussion about it.

But then he confronts Shane in a weird jealousy thing. What was he thinking? Sure, he saw Shane level his gun at Rick and that definitely caused some trepidation. But I don't think that Shane's story left any thing for Dale to be suspicious about.  If Shane was a little vague, could it not simply be because it was a horrible experience and Shane feels bad that the guy gave his life for him?  It is definitely not something that should have raised Dale's hackles.  I think the writers are giving him some sort of meta gaming spidey sense.

At any rate, the dude is setting himself up for a fall, as Shane points out in no uncertain terms.



Shane is Cool:


Aside from Daryl, who spent the episode poking holes in his tent with an arrow, Shane is my next most favorite character.  I like his pragmatic outlook on reality.  Times are a changing and Shane is ready for the change!  He is not holding onto any old world moralistic view like Rick.  He is taking action and getting things done.

Speaking of Shane allow me to side track for a minute. Have any of you really sprained an ankle like Shane did? That was pretty bad! I know when I sustained a sprain like that I was limping for days.  Most times when you roll an ankle, you can still function well for a while because of adrenaline and lack of immediate swelling. Only after do you really start to limp. It takes a pretty serious sprain to render you almost unable to walk. An injury like that can be worse than a break and take weeks to go away. Shane seems to be totally recovered! My point is that the show seems to disregard continuity. As far as I know, the entire season so far has only spanned a few days.  In that time, Carl was shot in the gut and has recovered. (It took his father months to recover from a similar injury.)  Daryl got an arrow through the gut, and was shot in the head but only seems to be laid up because he was forced to stay put. Shane suffered an ankle sprain which should have had him limping for a week. These guys have some serious regenerative abilities! They are like Wolverine.

Back to Shane, I like the point of view that he introduces to the group. I also like how he does things. Going to the housing development had nothing to do with looking for Sophia. It was about putting the blonde in a situation that would force her hand.  He knows that sometimes potential is not realized until it is forced out. And he knew that he would likely find walkers in that town. So he convinced her to go so he could see how she performs.  Of course, it was convenient that a horde of walkers would attack when there were none only minutes before.  The Walking Plot points did their job. I mean seriously, they drove in and didn't see a single walker. Before they entered the house, they scanned the area, still no walkers.  They were inside for at most a minute.  They entered the house, cleared the rooms, stopped to ponder the sealed up door and pile of dead, then went down to the garage and gawked at the burned bodies. In that time a dozen walkers came from out of nowhere, sprinted up to the house, and started clawing their way into the precise spot that they were standing.  It is like the walkers were hiding behind the house across the street, and waited for them to go inside, knowing they were going to be in the garage where they could corner them. Sigh.

I loved the scene that played out in the house.  We got to catch a glimpse of a battle that happened in that home as the occupants tried to mount a home defense. They had a good zombie plan. They walled off the hallway that lead to the stairs to the basement/garage.  I would love to see that scene played out! Maybe in webisode form.  There was a pile of dead walkers in the kitchen. It must have been a nasty gun fight! And how did the garage get burned out? How did they bash through the sealed up wall?  So many opportunities to tell a great story!

I chuckled when Shane left the blonde to fend for herself on the street. And predictably, she found her way and became a marksman.  I know I'm breaking my own rules, but apparently in the comic she is some sort of sniper.  Honestly I wish I didn't know that because it takes away from any sort of speculation I could make about this scene.  Please stop commenting about the comic!

So, Shane berates the blonde, puts her in harms way, then gets some action.  Cool.

Sex sells!


When in doubt, sex it up.  Probably one the best examples of writers sexing up a show, I refer to Star Trek: Voyager.  It was not a great show, but I sorta liked it.  The first couple seasons were ho hum.  All they had for sexual tension was the weird relationship between Nelix and the young, sprite looking Kes. It was awkward at best.  Ratings were lumping.  What do they do? Hire a hot blonde, put her in a skin tight body suit, slap on a couple of borg implants, and have her kick all sorts of ass, and they got rid of pixie girl.  Blammo! Ratings shot up.  Then they started having the rest of the crew get some. Bellana and Tom, even Chakotay and the Captain. Sex added the unavoidable drama that comes along with sex.

I wish this was Andrea...


Is it any surprise that in season two of TWD the writers upped the ante?  In the first season, there were two scenes where Shane and Lori got busy. But both were sorta secondary and reactive. They were more about setting the stage than pushing the plot.  You almost didnt even think about it.  This year? Glen scores with the cute farmers daughter. Every nerds dream!  It is the zombie apocalypse, and the nerdy kid is in a survival situation with a hot chick way out of his league.  Probably one of the smartest decisions the writers have made. You have got to root for the little guy!  Go get that babe!

In contrast to that nerd dream cutie though, we get Shane and the Blonde. You had to know they were gona screw for a while now. There was just too much sexual tension for them not to.  I knew the minute he was coaching her on shooting and she got all emotional that they were gona do it.  After she started shooting zombie head shots, you could almost see the lust in her eyes. I want to say Thank You to the writers for Shane's line "Well come on then!".  TV Glory. But I have to say I was a little weirded out. Honestly though, she got what she needed. Maybe now she will shut her trap and start toeing the line.  Or big papa Shane is gona give her the daddy treatment.

Hopefully we will see what the comic readers have promised and she will start kicking ass and taking names.  Any thing will be a nice change from the annoying, distracting, bumbling character that she was before.  The question is, who is

And hopefully Glen will get much more action from Becky.  I am enjoying the way she is in total control over him. He is just a goofy kid, and she is a woman that knows what she wants.  It is good to watch the poor kid squirm, trying to figure out what is going on in her head.

I think I'm jealous of a TV character!


The Walking Drama:


The show ended with a confrontation between Rick and Lori. True to character, and despite what we expected, Rick remained calm and cool. I enjoyed their conversation and how it got some major issues out in the air.  I also enjoy how they resolved some of these things in this episode. This will set the stage for a pretty good cliff hanger episode this weekend before going into the mid season break.  There are really no loose ends to tie up, except for two. Find the girl, and burn the barn.  They wanted to get the Andrea thing the baby thing, the shane/lori thing all out of the way for now, so they can focus on one thing... how will Rick respond when he finds a barn full of Walkers.  Undoubtedly, there will be a breakout.  I suspect that it won't happen until the end of the episode which will leave every one in peril in classic cliff hanger fashion.

The question is, who is gona buy it?

Time for a poll! Fill it out to the right.

At any rate, the show is fantastic. Especially once I set aside what I hoped the show to be, and accept what it is.  Great drama.  The writers are doing every thing right. Create interesting and compelling plot lines, on a shoe string budget.  That is how a show survives.  Well done AMC.

Jawaballs!