Friday, 2 October 2015

One hundred!



My 100th post! I was truly surprised when I noticed the post count as it really does not feel like I have submitted a hundred posts already. Admittedly, some of the earlier posts when I first started this blog were poached from my Battleshed Carnage Facebook group, so I initially felt a bit guilty claiming one hundred posts on this blog. But, dammit', I'm always being hard on myself and I did write them, regardless the forum, so I'm counting them!

Writing this blog was initially - and still is for the most part - a casual and fun aide memoir, sharing my activities and thoughts within our fascinating hobby. One thing writing this blog has achieved above all is re-awaken a latent interest in story writing and most importantly, helped develop the discipline to write regularly.

I've had a plethora of story and character ideas bubbling away over the last couple of years and latterly I've managed to filter out a couple of projects that I intend to run with, just to see where they go. No clues just yet!

Above all, a big thank you to all my readers and followers for taking valuable time to read this blog, especially with countless alternatives out there. Your interest is very much appreciated! Thank you.

Now, back to business...




In early June this year, I posted about news of a Ridley Scott film in development based upon Andy Weir's best-seller, The Martian. Scroll forwards to last night and The Teenager and I were sharing a smuggled bag of illicit sweets at the local Vue cinema, eagerly anticipating the start of the film - after enduring what seemed like hours of inane adverts nicked from television.

As I mentioned in my original post, I was excited that such a cracking good read was to be brought to the big screen but I was also in some trepidation on how it would transfer, given it's quite a nerdy SF adventure. Would it be dumbed-down too much? Is Matt Damon right for the role? Will Ridley Scott be on form? You can see I often ponder life's big issues.

Well - no, yes and yes! Some compromises have inevitably been made, given the subject matter, but I think the science and essence of the story has more or less survived the Hollywood treatment. Matt Damon was good, although personally I think he came off a bit too cocksure for the role. Tom Hanks, for example, would have been better, but then that would be a bit too much Castaway on Mars! And I'm old school.

I did feel some sections from the book, particularly the first third, (I'm trying not to reveal spoilers here!), were rushed for the big screen adaptation and invariably lost a lot of impact, especially the sense of isolation and daunting scale of the problem solving required just to survive.  One notable challenge from the protagonist's long drive to the MAV was omitted from the film and I think the theme of international cooperation was somewhat diluted.  

However, overall I think Ridley Scott has done a fine job bringing this book to film, even with all the restraints and compromises it entailed. All supported by Ridley's trademark stunning special effects and grandiose Martian vistas. So I can happily recommend a trip to the cinema to see The Martian, or better still - go read the book!

Work In Progress - single 2'x2' Citadel Gameboard section with some Khador making themselves at home

Finally, incentivised by my recent flirtation with Frostgrave I've started work on some of the Citadel Gameborads I luckily inherited, which have been stored unused in the Battleshed gathering dust for a long, long time. I have two 'sets' of these Gameboards, comprising of six 2'x2' modular moulded hard plastic boards. 

I have no idea why I haven't used these boards in the past, as they are superbly detailed and versatile, although some don't escape Games Workshop's penchant for skulls. I think I simply forgot they were there! Anyway, as I have two sets, I plan to make one set of winter boards and the other spring / summer. Lots of flocking will be involved.

I'll start with the winter boards, as they are easier to develop! Of course, they aren't specifically for any particular game system, although they will lend themselves particularly well for games such as SoBH, Saga, Frostgrave, Warmachine and Age of Sigmar.