The Jawaballs Video of the Month!

DaBoyz GT!

Ok Folks, sorry this took so long to get posted, but it has been sitting in queue over at Bell of Lost Souls for quite some time, so I figured they didn't want it and I would post it up here instead.


Jawaballs here!

WARNING: Pic Heavy post.

I just had the pleasure of attending DaBoyz GT in Rochester, NY and thought I would share some of the experience with you!

DaBoyz has been around for several years, and in the past I have always avoided it because it was proudly a comp heavy tournament.  In case you don't know what that means, "comp" refers to army composition. The tournament had rules in place which restricted what units you could play, or penalized you for playing certain combinations.

The goal was to promote more fair army lists and avoid some of the abusive cut throat lists that we see popping up all over the place and usually end up fighting it out for first after leaving a trail of bloodied "fluff" players in their wake.

I admire the intentions, but don't agree with being told what I can or can't play in a tournament. At DaBoyz, playing named characters was a no no and I believe playing two of them was illegal. The army I painted for The Nova Open 2011 with the intention of just putting pretty models on the table and contending for "best painted" would have been illegal at DaBoyz and overall that army had a losing record!

You didn't have to follow the comp suggestions, but failing to do so pretty much meant you had no chance of winning DaBoyz.  Some dudes defiantly went any way with nasty lists. Sometimes slaughtering all comers just to finish not even in the top five, some doing much worse.

To their credit, they were always transparent in this regard which is something I very much respect. I chose not to go because I disagreed with the rules, and it amazed me when guys that did go, despite the rules, complained about it and posted up negative press.

DaBoyz developed a devoted following none the less.

However you feel about comp, and for good or for poor, this year it did not matter. DaBoyz dropped their comp requirements. Mostly due to the unknown nature of 6th edition.  As Mike Brandt pointed out for The Nova, this fall was the Wild West in the 40k GT circuit. It would be too difficult to assign comp scores when no one knows what is unfair, or at least more unfair than any thing else.

Jay Woodcock and Shuan Kemp, the primary organizers, suggested I come check it out in light of articles I had written in the past about my comp feelings and their decision to drop it. So I agreed! Plus Goatboy and Brent went last year and I was hoping to meet up with them again. (they didn't go this year... sad face)

So off I went, packing up Brother Captain James and Bobby Sinnott of Battle for Salvation, and making the nearly seven hour drive.

This year DaBoyz was scored using a max of 348 possible points. 198 were battle points (six games at 33 points max a piece), while paint and sportsman were 80 and 60 respectively and there were ten bonus points for turning in your list early.

The GT ran fairly smooth and on time.  But it was a very relaxed affair, and almost seemed as if they were "winging" it.  It was too loose. This may have suited them well in the more jovial format they used in the past where sportsmanship and fluff were encouraged over competition, but in a situation where the rules were opened up you can be sure that the WAAC players would be making their presence known. You can't have lax rules with them around because people get their pants in a hissy.

In my opinion, things could have been tightened up a bit.  I was talking to Shuan Kemp and referenced Mike Brandt's running of The Nova. I know that DaBoyz is no Nova, and nor should it be, but Mike can definitely be used as an example of some one who runs a good event.

First, Mike predicted as many rules issues as possible and printed rulings for them, pointing out which established FAQ's were in play, and writing his own for certain circumstances.  He used the internet to get feedback to make these rulings as comprehensive as possible.

Like it or not, he left little to be debated at the start of The Nova. Smart move.

 Mike also has a team of generals who handle things like rules disputes. When there were issues, the low ranking rules judges would solve them, or pass it up the line to the rules general while Mike focused on being "The Face" of The Nova. Only if it was something extraordinary did the issue go all the way up to Mike, and in those cases, he decided with finality. But almost never made a direct response, but rather funneled it down through chain of command. The TO should be fairly hands off when it comes to the many small things that pop up. At DB, the TO Shaun was routinely forced to make rulings at individual tables. This sort of pits the TO in an adversarial role which is something I advise against. When the TO is making all the rules calls, then there is going to be a large number of dudes who beef the TO!  Never a good thing.

Also, sometimes a rules judge would make a call, but the players would override him and drag the TO into it.

Other issues cropped up with the unclear rules.

For example, what happens when the round is nearing a close? What happens if there is only ten minutes left on the clock but one of the guys wants another turn? One player may need just another assault phase and is willing to forego his shooting and moving to get to it, so pressures his opponent to squeeze in another turn, forcing that opponent to rush his turn so the guy can zoom through to the only thing that matters to him. Most times this can be quick easy and fun to resolve! Like if two dudes are just playing for pride and want to resolve a combat between Dante and Calgar. A strict enforcement of the rules would not apply. But some times a guy may want to force another turn because he will have a pure advantage.  It is unfair to the other guy who may need more time to fairly consider his turn, rather than rush through

"Oh come on dude, we can fit in another round in three minutes!"

Or it goes another way. At DB in the 5th round one of the top tables started one last turn right before the clock ticked off and were allowed to play it out, not finishing their game for at least half an hour after dice down because at the end of regulation one of them was going to lose and felt that he could win if they had another turn.

These particular guys spent the first half hour of the game arguing about how rules work. I will pick up that particular argument on my blog! It was not fair to the other 74 guys who finished their game within the time allotted, some of them no doubt rushing to do so or ending in circumstances against their liking. Plus the guys inputting all the info to the computer do need time to sort out the next round...

There should b e a pre-established decision for this situation. I believe The Nova rules that no new turns are started within 15 minutes of rounds end. I don't know how BOLS does it at Wargamescon, but I'm sure it is something similar.

A clearly defined ranking of the officers, and a thorough set of printed rules are a must. I think we can all agree that a tight ship is a must for a proper GT. At least the TO of DaBoyz recognized this and filed it away for next year!

To be fair, I just spent more time writing about this situation than was actually used to resolve it and it was really something small, but it should not have come up at all.  I like to give examples of what I witness!


More Cons? Believe me they are few and minor.

The biggest one that I saw with DaBoyz was the venue. Inconvenient. And I will say this about every event that is held outside of the place where people are staying.  The event was held in a cafeteria at the University of Rochester. At first glance, this is not a bad thing, as there is a little food court right next door, and the venue was fairly nice. There was a good amount of space, and I have definitely seen more cramped tables at other GTs.  But this place was a few miles away from the hotel.  But also, the parking lot was a good ways away from the hall, and when it filled the overflow lot was even further.






At Mechanicon for example when it was held in PA, we were able to actually leave our armies in the room over night if we dared. The room was secure. (I left mine) At the very least we could haul our gear to our room and set up our models on our display, then carry it down to the room. We were not sure about security over night at DB so we had to pack up our armies in the transports and haul them out to the cars, back and forth into the hotel, etc.

This is mostly just an inconvenience though.  To me the real issue is the fractured group. I like to go to these things for the social aspect. And I'm not just talking about 40k in between games social. Shootin the shit while we wait for our next opponent. I am talking about really getting to know friends, like drinking Whiskey with Brandt or playing Talisman with Tony Spino until 3am.  I was sad when the games broke up on Saturday night, and most every one disappeared.  Some of the best times I have had at GTs was the after hours sitting at the hotel bar, or better yet, drinking beers right in the gaming room.  And frankly, these times are the primary reason I go to GTs to begin with.

I don't know for a fact, but I believe we were not officially allowed to drink at the hall.  I could have really used a few beers during game four!

One last complaint.

And I say this about every GT that goes more than five games.  Too many games.  In my experience, six to eight game GTs are just too much. Three games in one day is plenty. First, this gives us more time to be social. But also, that fourth game is rarely played with enthusiasm or fun.  I have to say I enjoyed my fourth game on Saturday, but it was obvious that both of us were ready to be finished, and in my opinion, that was clear with the guys to my left and right.

The organizers say that five games is not enough to declare a clear winner. Conflict GT, Nova and DaBoyz all said the same. However, Mechanicon which is a five game GT, never seems to have a problem figuring out who wins!  I forget where I saw this, but just have the players keep a victory point total for each game to use as a tie breaker. I believe that is one of the last tie breakers at Nova.  Tallying that much math for 8 games may be a chore since counting when you are that burned out is tough, but if there are only five games we can handle it much easier! Too much of a good thing is not always a good thing!

Oh and it was too close to Canada. Too many Canadians. :)  Just kidding my northern bruthas!

Pros?

Atmosphere.

I referenced the laid back approach to DaBoyz. Well that happens to be one of it's best traits.  It is sort of refreshing to go to a GT and not have a bunch of guys yelling rules at you.  I don't remember where but I went to a GT where the judges were constantly shouting at the players for moving terrain because there was no place else for them to put their displays.  It became really annoying. At DaBoyz it was almost an atmosphere of "You are all adults and experienced, do the right thing."  And 99% of the guys do. It was a no sweat GT. If terrain got moved, we just moved it back. No need to get a judge to do it.

Another part of the atmosphere is the history of DaBoyz.  Having it's roots in a more fluffy approach, DaBoyz draws some hard core hobbiest players.  My first opponent, Ricky Johnson from Canada, had one of the prettiest Tau/Eldar armies I have ever seen. It was gorgeous, with all models uniquely Tau or Eldar, but at the same time, sharing a common theme.  It was a pleasure to play against that army. But also, it was amazingly deadly. This army was planned out to the model, and made the best use of points and combinations you could imagine. Every unit had a role and did it's job well, and the guy ended up taking third best overall, as well as being among the top three painted armies and scoring a lot of points for Player's Choice.  I think there were more breathtaking armies at this GT than any other I have ever been to.  Before game five they had us set up the top armies for display, and I counted at least a dozen armies that would have won best painted at any other GT.  Kudos!

Scoring!

Sure there were battle points. But DB rewards the hobby. The painter's and Sportemen who usually just get their basic points and no further reward for being outstanding at something other than beating face.

The paint score had it's basic rubric, but as an encouragement to be the best, the top ten got additional points above and beyond the rubric. Then to push it even further, the top three got even more! I believe the top three got 20 bonus points total.  That could be a huge swing, affecting the outcome of the top five players overall and I think made the difference this year.

The sportsman scoring was similarly beneficial. Instead of the standard "was your opponent on time, yes or no" checklist which usually left the winner of Sportsman up to a battle point tie breaker (a second best general), you ranked your opponents. They gave us a list and we wrote down our opponents names.  At the end of the event we ranked them, 1 through 6.  One being the best.  So if a dude managed to play six games and get all 1, then he was a truly good sport and deserved the win.  I don't know how the points broke down, but the range of sportsman scores went from 16 to 53.

Both of these aspects worked to make DaBoyz a better GT than most.

Venue!  Sure I listed it as a con, but the place was cool.  The room was huge, and had an upper catwalk type level that held more tables.  There was plenty of space. The tables themselves were a bit weak, in most cases just being some felt rolled out with terrain spread out, but the terrain was mostly good.  In only one game did I play on a terrain weak table, and I luckily got the one good ruin. The poor nid player had to charge his big bugs into my assault cannons with no cover. It did not go well for him.

There was a decent college food court attached to the building via tunnel. I felt like I was in school again for the fourth time!  It was nice to see something you don't usually see at a GT... girls! :)

Ahh college, how I miss thee.

DaBoyz was filled to the brim with great guys. I have to say that the quality of opponent has been improving steadily over the years. In the first couple years it was not uncommon to encounter some real jerks, but that is happening less and less.  The guys at DaBoyz break that rule.  There was a very small minority of "that guy" with the vast majority of guys being personable and friendly, if not well mannered while beating in my face.

Speaking of getting my face beat in, I finished three and three on the weekend, in 28th out of 76.  I was in the top ten for sportsman and fifth in painting. The latter two I consider great feats considering the huge amount of greats armies and dudes.

I will save the breakdown of all of my games for another time, but the short of it is that allies are here in force. 6th Ed is for sure The Wild Wild West and I honestly don't think there is ever going to be a single codex "Leafblower" again.

As I said, my first opponent was playing a Tau/Eldar list. Previously both armies would have been laughed off the table at a major GT. Occasionally one of them would slip into the top three or even win, but mostly they were forgotten xenos races. Well, 6th Ed has ushered in a resurgence of both.

Hers are some pics of Ricky Johnson's  beautiful and deadly army.





He had some sweet conversions and my pics don't do the army justice.  He also integrated the Tau and Dar nicely, painting them differently but utilizing the same theme.  Well done..

Here are some more pics of other armies.

A Lamenters player at his first tournament with his 
first army. Brutal choice!


My ramshackle army!



Very nice spinning display.




Best Painted Eldar





I loved this Land Raider

I hate Orks but props to these beautiful models


What the...

Ben (Do we need to bother
with his last name?) 
was in the house, taking Best General of course

Look for many more pics when I do batreps on my blog!

I think DaBoyz was an outstanding GT.  The armies were above average, most of the players were extremely well behaved, every thing ran smooth, and the TOs were definitely concerned about every one getting the most out of their weekend. They can use some spit and polish as they convert from a primarily fluffy GT to a more competitive one, but overall have a very laid back and refreshing atmosphere. 

I was not thrilled with the venue, but I want to add that DaBoyz supports the RU college gaming group and sends a lot of money towards charity.  It is definitely NOT run for profit, which cannot be said of some other GTs.  They probably got a really good deal on it. Can't beat that!  I would still prefer a self contained hotel, or at least a bar in the room!

While I was driving home I found myself grumbling about not wanting to return because of the LONG drive for me, just about 7 hours, but once I got over that, I found myself already planning my army for next year and looking forward to seeing Shaun and Jay again!  So long as next years date does not conflict with The Mechanicon, I will be there!  

Be sure to check MY BLOG often for my weekly The Walking Dead reviews, pics of my armies, batreps and more.

More to come...

Jawaballs

6th edition: A 40k post!

Ok I took some time off from the internet for a bit, but there is lots to talk about!

Now that I have had time to digest the rule book, and play in some tournaments, I want to say that I absolutely love 6th Ed.  Mostly because it is now any bodies game!

Allies have leveled the playing field folks. And they are here to stay. Embrace the madness!

But it makes sense.

WWII, The Gulf War... any major engagement the US enters is not without allies.  Why would the 41st Millennium be any different?

Allies serve the exact purpose they are supposed to. They allow armies to flush themselves out and fill holes in places they are weak.  They help each other.

In 40k this is the answer to all that was wrong with 5th Ed.  Gone are the days of "The Leafblower" where a single codex would dominate all comers.

At DaBoyz (I have a GT review in queue at BOLS, come on Larry post that sucker!)  I faced a beautifully painted Tau/Eldar army by Ricky Johnson, but not only was it pretty to behold, it was down right nasty.  Previously neither of those armies would compete alone. Sure you would see the rare exception where a good player squeaks into the top three with Eldar or Tau, probably due to soft scores, but the number of GT wins between the two is indeed small.



I love that Ricky was able to play an army he obviously cared about and do it with style. Allies is allowing players to dust off those old models that have been rotting on the shelves for years. I got to actually play Tau at Mechanicon, to unfortunate results, but I still enjoyed painting and playing them!

Some see it as a marketing ploy to move more plastic. Well DUH!  What a great idea GW!  Rather than constantly codex creeping individual books to try to sell the flavor of the month, just let us play whatever we want!  I'm honestly shocked we did not see this sooner.

Allies were a great decision that help the game, and the guys who love to make armies. I for one will get to make my Armageddon army, and now I can finally do my own Eldar that was back burnered last year, by giving them some Tau buddies.  Look to see a renewed interest in my Ulthwe army soon! Hey Eldar guys, are there any fluffy examples of Ulthwe working with Tau I can draw upon for inspiration?

6th Ed is more than just allies though. Flyers are huge too.  They can be nasty, but I have yet to see them make a huge impact in the game.  Ben Mohoelieliee played Cron Air at DaBoyz, and took Best General, but I have to believe that it would be fairly common for him to run into armies designed to blast him.  My experience vs flyers has been one of adjustment. They sure change the way I play 40k, but I have not seen them over power things. I love playing my Storm Raven now!  It adds a tactical element to the game that I believe a lot of guys have over looked.



I am not too crazy about 6th ed missions since most games I have played have been pretty heavy on just grabbing objectives.  This sorta tips the game in the favor of those combinations who can pack the hardest hitting "Troops" on the table. But again, Allies fixes this too.

I think my biggest complaint about 6th is hull points.  Sure it makes it easier to beat Leafblowers, sorta, but I hate how it completely invalidated my Drop Pod Dread army before it even saw the light of day.  Before I could drop 4 dreads on the table and reasonably expect at least one or two to survive a round of shooting. Extra armor and Smoke meant that I would get a couple into assault, backed up by a couple more next turn. Well now every STR 5 and 6 gun in the game is a dread killer.  Before I would just shrug off glances, especially DC dreads who outright ignore shaken and stun, but now multi lazers, star cannons, and even heavy bolters are bonified dread killers through hull points.

To balance HP though, come Warlord traits and new powers. I love that I can swap out codex powers for Divination.  It adds taste and variety!  Plus some beef to replace weak codex powers.

We have definitely not even cracked the surface of some of the combinations possible in 6th.  But the days of the single overpowering uber codex are over.  (replaced by overpowering uber combinations)  But at least now there are many many more choices!  Great Job GW on making some good decisions.

On a related note, I have a little rules discussion for you. The new 6th ed approach to special rules is pretty easily abused. Ricky Johnson had his Tau Suit Commander upgraded with Stabalizers, and claimed that this granted the effect to the entire squad he joined. SO, this meant that he commander could join a squad of broadsides and they could all move and shoot without penalty.  Same for Black Sun filters too I believe.  How do you guys like them apples?  Do Broadsides get the benefit of a suit commanders stabilizers?

The Walking Dead reviews soon!

Jawaballs

More for sale.

Ok folks here is the first wave of pics and prices set to move. I need cash and it is time to sell. Each of these models, except for Crowe, has appeared in many Best Painted armies. If you know my blog, you know these models!  Email me immediately so I can end the ebay auctions. I would prefer to resolve the sales outside of Ebay. Every thing will be given a once over and touched up before shipping. Some of the models have had parts replaced and need refinishing.







 Auto/Las Number 9: 125.00


Auto Las Number 10: 125.00

Hand painted Rhino A: 125.00


Hand Painted Rhino B: 125.00



Hand Painted Rhino C: 125.00


Crowe 50.00

Corbulo 75.00

5 man Forgeworld Assault Squad with matching TL Las Razorback 250.00


My original 10 man Tactical squad, you know the one: 200.00

Also Available: Space Hulk Factory Sealed 200.00 
Island of Blood opened but brand new on sprue 70.00
Space hulk, unpunched, in box, no models: 50.00
Space Hulk Genestealers 50.00 on sprue

3 more Razorbacks with Las/Plas or Asscan, your choice. 125.00 each
Dante and Sanguinor metallic gold ??
Five painted Metal Blood Knights (Gorgeous) ??
Horus Heresy board game opened, unpunched unplayed
Lizardman Stegadon opened on sprue
3 Iyanden Wraithlords!

My award winning and beloved Assault Marine/mephiston/Sanguinor army with custom
battle foam pack go transport is on the block. I am open to serious offers.

Time to score!  

Jawaballs





Space Hulk for sale!

Selling it here first! I have two Factory Sealed Space Hulk 3rd edition, plus a full set of Genestealers on sprue, and one full set of the game, unpunched, minus models in box.  Here is a list of things and my prices: All prices do not include shipping, which will be the cheapest I can do for your address.



Space Hulk 3rd Factory Sealed: Routinely sells on Ebay for 250+.  My price is 220.00 each

Space Hulk Genestealers: On sprue. 60.00

Game minus models, in box: 50.00  (there are multiple ones on ebay now with bids for this price)

I will entertain taking on a painting commission for Space Hulk as well.  I have my personal set of termies I would let go, as well as my genestealers, and I would do the ones listed above.

I won't open the factory seal on the boxes. So sorry no single termies.  I will ship overseas, but it will cost more as I have to go to the PO and fill out paperwork and wait in line. That sucks.


If you are into Fantasy, I have a couple untouched boxes of Island of Blood for reasonable prices.

I also have two 6th Ed mini rulebooks for sale, 20 bucks a piece.

I will be listing up a bunch of painted models at reasonable prices very soon.  Including my auto/las predators, dante, sanguinor, squads of infantry and more.  All of which has appeared in at least one Best Painted army!

Be looking soon for my DaBoyz writeup on BOLS, plus I owe you a Walking Dead review... So much to do!

Email me directly if you want to talk business.

Jawaballs

The Walking Dead... holy crap

HEAVY SPOILER ALERT:

Do not read any further if you do not want the episode spoiled.















Holy Crap.

Ok. Lets start with this. I have not watched Revolution since episode three. But allow me to show you how a terrible actor portrays grief/sorrow/agony at the sudden death of a loved one:


There it is. You can almost feel the anguish! (not) Actually it is a little hard to tell if she just lost her surrogate mother, just found out her pet goldfish that she won at the carnival the night before went belly up, or if she just heard Keeping Up with the Kardashians was cancelled.  

Observe true acting:


First, I suppose if her expression is supposed to emulate the shock of a 10 year old who just shot his mother in the head after watching his little sister ripped from her bleeding womb, than she is spot on. Their expressions are very similar. But for Carl's case, it is appropriate. For Charlie, it is bland. But looking more closely, you can see that Chandler Riggs is indeed a better actor. (Bear with me, I know this is just a picture, I am referring to this moment of the scene, not the image itself.) While the two of them share the same blank downward stare, his is a true look of shock, loss and disbelief. Hers? It looks like she is channeling her inner five year old, remembering what it was like when she stubbed her toe and went crying to daddy. You can see the walls he is erecting against the demons growing inside him. On her face all you can see is her disappointment in waking up on a Saturday morning to find that her little brother drank all the milk and she can't eat her Lucky Charms.

But Charlie and Carl are not why I am showing these pics. Do you want to see anguish? Take a look at Rick. His acting in this scene, while a bit exaggerated, was fantastic. You can't script this sort of scene.

I can imagine JJ Abrams telling Charlie "Ok, now go hug your uncle and look sad".  She complies. "Hmm. that's terrible. Oh well. We are out of time and over budget. Perfect! CUT! Wrap."  It doesn't matter. NBC will air the crap and the public will eat it up.

Thankfully The Walking Dead expects more, and gets it.

Andrew Lincoln channeled something few people can fathom. He portrayed the anguish of a man who has had just about every thing sane in his life ripped from his heart, one bit at a time.  You can see in his facial expression the shock and horror, the incredible disbelief, and desperate seeking for an answer that is not there, all at once.  Most lesser actors, like the chick playing Charlie, would have run up to Carl and hugged him in a sobbing embrace being all melodramatic and pathetic and using it as an opportunity to bury their face and hide the fact that they have no idea how to portray anguish. Well Andrew Lincoln tipped the scales of sorrow, and you could literally see Rick descend into madness. His unfettered flop to the ground in agony of the heart, almost wrenched my own out of my chest. I could actually feel what he was feeling. I don't think I have ever had that experience watching TV, ever.

If he fails to win an Emmy... I will probably flop on the ground myself.

This acting folks, is why we love this show and laugh at Revolution. Scenes like this, and the one that led to it, are what make TWD one of the most fantastic television shows, of any network, of any genre, ever.

Now that I got that off my chest!

This episode left me staring at the screen for a good long time.  Since my power was off for almost all of time between this episode and the week prior, I didn't get to see any previews. From what I did see, I don't remember seeing any thing that led me to believe what was going to happen here.

In the last episode, that I did not get to write about thanks to Sandy, we were treated to an entire hour of watching Andrea look all doe eyed at The Governor and Michone skulk about looking all skulky. I think that was about it!  Some more plot was revealed, including Merl showing a little more of what makes him tick. Are they actually going to turn him into an anti-hero? But the episode was forgettable at best and could have been summed up in a 3 minute flashback.

Well they made up for it this week.

First the convicts went to the group appealing to humanity. The poor guys got a dose of what the new reality of the world is. I felt that Rick's decision to expel them was correct. While they possibly could have become good members of the group, there was just too much mystery involved, and too much chance.  But all of that  didn't matter once the walkers started doing their thing.

The next 45 minutes could have been a season finale any other year for any other show. But for season three of TWD, this was just episode four!  The group gets splintered by a herd of walkers surprising them from behind.  Hershel and his daughter safely lock themselves up in a cage, while Maggie, Carl and Lori run inside and Tdog and Carol make a break in another direction.

Tdog shockingly gets bitten in the shoulder. Something I was absolutely NOT expecting. It took me several minutes to understand that we were witnessing the death of a major character!  I was like... "Wait a second, this means he is going to die!" Man this episode just got more interesting.

Then to make matters worse, Carl, Lori and Maggie make it to safety, but Lori starts going into labor. Lord when it rains it pours!  At worst at this point I am expecting more complications as walkers hear the baby being born and Tdog to have some emotional good bye like the guy from season one.

NOPE.

Just as we were adjusting to this episodes shocking events, it gets even worse!  Lori, who already had a problem pregnancy, developed complications. She was not dialated and was dripping blood.  I have a pretty good idea that Lori knew from the start that with her history, this baby was a death sentence. How could you possibly have a successful C-section performed by a vet or his untrained daughter in the middle of the wilds of a zombie apocalypse. Deciding whether or not to take the abortion pills had nothing to do with the babies life, it was her own at the time. She knew the baby would kill her. She decided then that the babies life meant more and that she would make the sacrifice.

From there it gets medieval. Tdog knows he is done. He is trying to get Carol to safety, and comes across a group of walkers between them and an exit.  So instead of going out like a punk, he charges the walkers, sacrificing himself and getting his throat torn out in the process while Carol makes a run for it!  What a way to go. Tdog proved, if only to himself, that he was NOT weak.

I love TWD for this. It is full of little personal struggles and victories.  You could see a moment of clarity in his face. His conversation with Dale on the highway was sort of a premonition. But in this case, Tdog chose his way to go.

But then came the even more unexpected.  Lori also having a moment of clarity, and also making that choice.  


She knew what to do when the time came, and made it so.

The director framed the light of the window on her face, a sort of absolution for what she has done. And this is the moment where you can see her clarity. And where you can see the last visages of Carl's childhood slip away with her last breaths.

Like the scene with Rick, Lori went a little over the top with the "you're good, stay good" stuff.  But it still felt right. And the scene where Carl comes upstairs after the gun shot... chilling.

Hulksmash said of my last article that I was reading too far into it, that there was no comparison between Carl and Shane. Well readers, I think we can officially equate Carl's shooting of his mother to Shane's shooting of the fat dude. Different circumstances yes, but same result. Just think about it, in less than a year, a 10 year old kid had to shoot two of the three people he loved most in the world. The zombie apocalypse takes another victim without a bit of flesh being taken at all. When it is Rick's turn for a bullet in the head, my money is on Carl to complete the trifecta. I think we can look forward to some seriously dark content involving Carl in the episodes to come. I can't wait!

Side note:

I wonder if he actually managed the shot, or just shot the ground, or if he failed to do her brain in. It would not be surprising to see a walker Lori after all this!  That would take huge balls for TWD and I would cheer.

So where to go from this?

The episode was literally exhausting to watch. I was drained.

The convicts earned the trust of the group, for now. What little is left of it.  But with a baby now here, they are going to need the infinitely and potentially more useful duo more than Tdog and Lori. It will be satisfying to see how they integrate with the group, and just how much more badass the group becomes.

I see leadership issues cropping up with Rick, especially as he pulls away from the baby that is probably not even his, but serves as a reminder to his friend that he killed, and the wife that he all but left while she was right next to him. That is going to leave Maggie and Glen doing most of the parenting. Hershel gets a stay of execution for now.  I was expecting him to be written off fairly quick, especially since I expected at least one of the cons to join the group. There is only so much room in the budget!  But the complete right hook of killing Tdog and Lori opens up that slot. We will see more death from the other side of the plot I'm sure.

Speaking of the other side...

Merl is going to go to the farm, then track his brother all about Atlanta. Eventually that is going to lead The Gov to the prison.  We are going to see several confrontations.

Merl vs Daryl:

Yup, Daryl and Merl are going to be happy at first, but then Daryl is going to be forced to make choices as it becomes clear that Merl is incompatible with the group. Blood is thicker than water.

But hold on!  With Rick and Carl both descending into madness, will there still be such a conflict of interests between them and Merl?  Perhaps they will find each other a bit more agreeable!

It is too hard to tell now, and impossible to predict, but we are going to see a lot of struggling when the two groups meet, both external and internal. Demons are going to come rearing their ugly heads, and death will follow.

I don't know what sort of weirdness we will see from Andrea yet, and likewise from Michone.  She is definitely going to end up in bed with The Gov. From there will we see her bad side emerge? Or will her sense of goodness pull through. I believe that previously, it was only Dale who maintained her, otherwise we would have seen her pulling a Shane. Unfettered and seemingly betrayed by the group, I think the zombie apocalypse is going to take it's toll on her.

We will see what happens when her or Michone snoop their way into the basement and find that room full of zombie heads in fish tanks.

Well there you have it. Absolutely brilliant television. If they keep this up, we will be seeing TWD mentioned a whole lot more at next year's Emmies.

I for one will be driving 90 all the way home from DaBoyz on Sunday in order to get home in time to see the show. (I don't have DVR).

Jawaballs

EDIT:
Another interesting side note... In the opening credits when they show the little scenes of things related to the characters played by the actors whose names are up on the screen, when they got to Andrea and Lori, they combined the scene. They had some shells representing Andrea and some centipedes representing Lori I presume. (Fitting)  But as things turn out, the cut scene is actually fitting for Andrea alone, with the shells and bugs, while they made it easy to edit out Lori completely!  I also wondered why there was no cutscene for Tdog, seeing as how he has been there since the start. But along that same line of thought, I don't believe there is one for Glen either... uhoh... Might this be a predictor for who bites it next?

The quiet after the storm

It was a quiet week for me after the storm. It only took three days for my power to come back, but my cable/internet took a whole week to come back. Thank the gods. Just in time for The Walking Dead, which I am crafting a post for now. :)

Later this week I will be posting my TWD review and talking about my list for DaBoyz. I have some surprise changes for you! The Tau experiment failed miserably at Mechanicon. I am taking a very different route for DaBoyz.

Oh and for those who have been asking, yes we have some WarTV coming up.  With Fritz working on some big time important stuff necessitating his presence close to home, we have been having a hard time getting together. We were going to do one last week but Sandy gave us a face palm. I think Smurf managed to get some footage up from Historicon the other day.  Check the site!  It is sorta in a holding pattern while I rework the idea, develop a site, and get content providers signed on.

So Fritz maybe I can pop over to your joint soon and we can get in some Talisman!

jawaballs