Boardgaming nostalgia I

Space Crusade

Space Crusade (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For some reason I stumbled upon a rehash of a board game: the Horus heresy board game. I was quite surprised there actually is a board game about the Horus heresy, all the more as it hasn’t been done by Citadel (seeing as they produce nearly everything Games Workshop churns out). Being the little google-Wikipedia-whatever sport, I clicked on and stumbled upon the previous incarnation of the game. With its accompanying artwork. And a wave of nostalgia struck me: It looked VERY familiar.My interest in warhammer 40k, and its expanded universe can be traced all the way back to a game based upon this game and universe: Space Crusade (or Star Quest as it was known in the Netherlands). Although it had been around for some time, it wasn’t until it hit the bargain bin that my interest was peeked. Well, to be fair, my family also didn’t have the budget to get it at its normal price, hence it wasn’t even a consideration till the price dropped.

I loved this game. I remember hanging over the rule book and the tiny background book for hours on end. Reading everything, reareading it, and flipping the book over again. I studied the Space marine models for weeks. And I studied the box art on the sides of the box. Always wondering if I could ever imitate the way they had painted the models up. I played this game till the cards bent. Afterwards, a booster with new models came out, and ofcourse I had to have it. With a friend of mine we played this every time I came over. He even managed to crank out his own adventures to be played out. And so we extended the game play of the game by several weeks.

The demise of the game in my interest corner started when I took the bold step of painting the miniatures. I didn’t have the expert model paint to do so, and with the thick Revell model paint (all you airplane model builders will know what I mean), I splashed on the cours as best I could. A few years back I re-examined the results. Lets just say, it wasn’t all that good.

The second step was the fact I stumbled upon an expansion pack when I was on vacation with my parents in Sauerland (a region in Germany). It wasn’t known to us in the Netherlands, and I had to have it. But like all things kids want. The answer was no (and for good reason in hind sight). Could have, would have, should have, but the interest faded.

Last but not least was the fact the local toy store started carrying leaflets and models for the 40k tabletop game. This was everything I loved about Space Crusade and more. More history, more fluff and more models to, well, drool over. And a well fleshed out range of models, not limited to what the board game could provide. Space crusade dissapeared to the top of the cupboard, and never came back out (well, not counting the times I accidentally pulled it out trying to get something else just right underneath the box).

I loved Space crusade. In hindsight it was a very limited game. You only had a limited number of scenarios, with little to no maneuvering space. And playing as the “good guys” (the Space Marines), especially after the first expansion, it was next to impossible to lose. The only way would be a particularly unlucky round with the dice. But the dice heavely favoured the Marine player. The game is set up around the Space marines. In space they find derelict conglemorates of abandoned and shipwrecked spacecraft. Boarding these wrecks with a small team of marines, super engineered humans, the insides of the ship, or more accurately Hulk, is explored in a series of mission. The enemy gets control over a wide array of alines. From goblins and orcs, through to chaos marines and alien like genestealers. Unknown to the marine player, the enemy can set up his pawns with hidden counters on the board called “blips”. Only when the marine player gets line of sight will it be revealed what is actually underneath a “blip”. And from there on players take turns squaring their forces off against one another, shooting and meleeing as they go. Everything decided by a properiety set of dice courtesy of Milton Bradley (the producers of the game).

Although too straight forward, it was a good game to get into tabletop gaming. I never went beyond the painting, modelling and fluff stage of full scale miniature warfare, the board game still delivered that side of the hobby in spades as well. A small trip down memory lane well deserved (and if you have a box sitting at home, I’ll play ya!).

Father’s day, looking back

Father’s day is an interesting day. Dating back all the way to 1910, it was first celebrated in Spokane. After a slow start, it was until the 1930’s, and with the backing of trade groups (I see similarities with Valentine’s day here), it was brought to national awareness in the US. And from there on it spread out over the globe.

Originally portrayed as a companion to mother’s day, commercial hype has brought it to the level of being the panultimate day to celebrate being a dad. Lavish gifts are being promoted as something that has to be bought to celebrate this day. Though the core value is the one that matters: appreciating the fact your father is your father. And for me personally, that is the thought that counts.

It is rather painfull then that I am one of an ever growing number of fathers who rarely get to see their child(ren). Just a few years back my ex and me broke up, with our son staying behind with her. The unfortunate side effect of having a full-time job, and not living close to your child after the break up. A break up usually leads to weird situation. What to do with the remnants of the family during holidays, and commemorative days? And Father’s day is not unlike the others. This year (as the previous years) I did not get to see my son. It was not “our” weekend. And though I am acceptant of this fact (it happens), in the back of your mind it still stings. I am sure a lot of divorced fathers feel this as well.

I do not feel sad. It stings, but I know deep in their heart, even if you do not get to see your child(ren), the love for you will still be there. Just keep giving them the love they deserve. And remember that as a divorced father, despite everything (including a new partner for your ex), your are not alone. There are more fathers like you out there who feel like you do. Despite everything (good or bad) keep believing everything will be alright.

One of those days

Once in a while it happens. You wake up, get out of bed and get ready to go to work. And the unmistakable feeling of, for a lack of better words, “something” keeps gnawing at the back of your mind. One of those days that you just don’t feel like anything, and nothing can truly satisfy you intelectually or emtionally. And today is one of those days, for me at least. Not that there isn’t anything to look forward to, hell everything is going great. I am positive, good things are looming at the horizon, and above it all I am healthy and well. But in the end all I can say, let’s just mope around till this days passes and something interesting walks by. And enjoy doing so!

Black Library Audio Drama: Butcher’s Nails

Angron and Lorgar begin a secretive mission together, but World Eaters’ berserk fury soon attracts the attention of xenos raiders who will not allow him to follow this bloody path.

Running at approximately 73 minutes, this latest audio drama published by The Black Library in the Horus Heresy series depicts an engagement between the World Eaters and the Word Bearers versus an Eldar fleet. Although briefly touched upon in previous books and audio shorts, a publication in this series focusing solely on the World Eaters (Lorgars legion features, but mostly as a side-show) deepens the lore of the Hersy even further. Written by the excellent author, Aaron Demski-Bowden, we get a deeper look into what makes this legion, and especially the primarch Angron, tick.

I enjoy listening to audiobooks on my long commutes. Although I do not have the luxury of being able to devote all my attention to the story (seeing as I play this through my car stereo, as opposed to those who listen to these drama’s on a more portable media), it makes the long rides more bearable. In fact, many a time I am wishing for the road to be longer so I don’t have to interrupt what I am listening at.

Buther’s Nails is one of those excellent audio drama’s. It grips the listener straight from the get go, and propels him/her right into the action. The World Eaters, now commonly depicted as violence chasing madmen, do benefit from the Horus Heresy series as a whole. This drama, and other shorts before it, including “cameo’s” in other books, give each representative of this legion a lot more depth beyond the mindless savagery they become known for in the current universe of Warhammer 40K. I was quite pleasantly surprised that this drama featured less violence, gore and battle scenes than one would expect. Granted, it does depict one long skirmish, but the deeper layer Aaron Demski-Bowden has managed to weave into the story adds an overwhelming sense of tragedy associated with Angron and his legion. An overwhelming sense of what-if was left behind in my mind, as well as a huge amount of despise for the main characters brother Lorgar. It is very tempting to write spoilers on the story as a whole, suffice it to say that Lorgars role in the downfall of the traitor legions, and as an architect of the current state of chaos,deepens even further.

The voice casting was pretty good. The voice for Lorgar was spot on for what I would have expected. I was surprised by the choice for Kharn, I do hope they stick with that for the rest of the series, for it IS distinctive. Changing it up would only hurt his character. I felt Angron was slightly off. While depicting his pain and madness, I felt it missed some of the oomph and boom I would expect for what the character represents. After all, we are talking about post-humans here, with Angron being a demigod towering over his space marines. The story itself was flowing quite nicely, with never a dull moment that I wished would go faster, or that would obstruct the flow of the narrative. In fact, the story was so well written, that at the end I was worrying I had missed something on the road as the road seemed much shorter than it really was.

I highly recommend this short to everyone interested in the Warhammer 40K universe. Though I do admit: with some of the already established lore in mind, especially the back story of Angron, and where he and his fellow space marines end up is slightly mandatory. It makes everything all the more dramatic and tragic, and enhances the experience as a whole.

Een eerste post

Tussen de honderdduizenden lopende blogs ook een blog neer gaan zetten, met daarbij de focus op jezelf, wat je meemaakt, en hoe je over je werkveld denkt. Een moeilijke stap, vooral omdat je waarschijnlijk niet veel zult opvallen. Maar aan de andere kant, wel zeer zinvol. Net als ieder ander mens op deze aardbol heb ook ik een eigen visie, vanuit een eigen perspectief, op hoe de zaken zijn zoals ze zijn. En in plaats van het naast de koffie automaat te ventileren bij enkele collega’s, wat is er dan niet mooier om het in een blog te vatten waarmee je meer mensen potentieel kunt bereiken, en het stuk wat je weer wil geven ook makkelijker teruggehaald kan worden?


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