Can't buy a commentNo, seriously, check out my last several posts. It's painfully obvious. Other than the wedding announcement, I couldn't provoke a response if I insulted all your mothers at once. It's sad but true.
Also, National Delurkering Week is pretty much over, and none of you ungrateful lurking mofos delurked. You don't write, you don't call, you don't leave comments... where's the love?
First off, it's both necessary and urgent that I throw a little love Tony Collett's way. Just as he did once before when my Vision HeroClix figure went down in action, so too has he come through this time, with a surprise replacement Deathbird fig for the score. I'm deeply grateful to Tony for his continuing thoughtfulness and enduring friendship, and hope to show him how appreciative I am by kicking his butt all over the basement in our next clix game, which should be coming up sometime soon, if news I'm hearing of imminent visitation plans comes to fruition. In the meantime, thanks, Tony, and maybe you'll be facing a squardon of Shi'ar when next you seat yourself across from me in Gaming Area A.
Let's see -- I'm fighting some kind of low grade cold germ. Sometimes I'm winning, sometimes it is. It's cold and damp and rainy here and has been for days now and will be for days yet to come. I had Thursday come up as my floating day off this week, and wound up calling in sick on Friday because I still felt a little bit punk, and with the mandatory overtime, another 12 hour shift didn't appeal even in the slightest. Monday through Wednesday were also 12 hour shifts (11.5, to be technical, I was there from 8 to 8, with a half hour for lunch), so with the 8 hours paid sick time, I'll have at least full time money for the week, and frankly, I enjoyed the break, even with a runny nose and a sore throat.
But now, at 5:23 p.m. on a Sunday afternoon, work looms like a Roman work party equipped with a cross, a hammer, and four bronze spikes.
As somebody or other once sang, sooner or later you'll be clockin' in again.
As to the weather, James Kunstler, who likes nothing more than saying the doom, has wondered recently on his own blog what the summer temperatures will be like, if this is the kind of winter we're having. Billmon seems to have pulled the plug on his own blog, and prior to that, he'd made infrequent joking references to hauling stakes for the Arctic, to head off global warming. I'm wondering now if those references were as joking as I thought.
Me, if I were going to move to a pole, I'd go south. Assuming a complete global meltdown, there's a sizable landmass underneath the Antarctic ice cap. Up at the top o' the world (ma)there's nothing but forty degree saltwater all the way down.
I tuned in the Ravens/Colts game yesterday fervently hoping I'd get to see Peyton and his boys get their asses handed to them, but nooooooooo, the fucking Bawmore Birds couldn't score a touchdown if it was a pizza topping and they had a Domino's gift card. The Colts couldn't score a touchdown, either, but they kept getting close enough to kick goddam field goals, and eventually, that salted the game away for them. I have no idea who they'll be playing next, but I suspect if whoever it is can score a friggin' touchdown, they'll win in a walk.
Today I have the Chargers/Patriots on in the background, for much the same reason as yesterday. If my hatred of the Colts is mostly fueled by (a) the fact that they're a buncha goddam Hoosiers and (b) my heartfelt loathing of Tony Dungy, my vitriolic, rage fueled revulsion for the Patriots comes from my football roots as a Buffalo Bills fan. You can't be a Bills fan without utterly despising the goddam Patriots and the cocksucking Pittsburg Steelers, and while I've recovered a little bit from the Steelers odium, I will take my malevolence for the shiteating Patriots to my grave with me.
So I badly, badly want to see the Chargers hogtie the Patriots and then use them for a pinata, but so far, it's looking very much like hotshot rookie quarterback Philip Rivers can't fucking throw. Hey, the Bucs got one of those hotshot rookie quarterbacks who can't throw, too; why aren't they in the play offs? Oh, yeah... the Chargers actually have a team in addition to the QB. I forgot.
So, as with the last expansion WizKids has finally given us plastic versions of all the participants, I'm replaying the classic Avengers-Defenders War down in Gaming Area A. Actually, I'm on the second game. In the first game, the Defenders went as first player, and fired up by the chance to launch the first attack, they came in fast and concentrated their attacks on Thor and the Black Panther, figuring to take out the biggest figure, and the unpleasant Outwitter, quickly. They did manage to knock Thor most of the way down his dial (Dr. Strange's Outwit and Psychic Blast, combined with the Experienced Sub-Mariner's Charge, Damage Value of 4, and a 3D Mailbox did the honors there), but the goddam rookie Black Panther proved elusive, somehow dodging the Vet FF Hawkeye's opening barrage, requiring the Silver Surfer to also push himself and move up the board to cosmically fry T'Challa's uppity ass for him. This put the very nearly useless rookie Panther on his last click of life, where he remained for the rest of the game, as he wisely chose to stick to the back and preserve his own victory points. Unfortunately, the idiot running the Defenders (that would be me) had overlooked that the Iron Man on the Avengers squad was the New Guy Night LE from Supernova, and he not only had Outwit in his opening slot, but he also enjoyed an 8 range and 2 targets. Soaring into the sky, The Cool Exec With The Heart of Steel hurled a disuptive pulse of ionized particles at both the Sub-Mariner and the Silver Surfer, stripping both of their Invulnerability for the remainder of the turn. He then dealt both Defenders death, or at least, two clicks of damage, with either hand as the result of a normal ranged attack.
This set up Namor to be taken out of play by Captain America's shield closely followed by Thor's uru hammer, and for the Silver Surfer to be knocked most of the way down his dial by THE FRIGGIN' SWORDSMAN, whose Leap/Climb allowed him to make a close combat attack on the Skyrider of the Spaceways, even as the former Herald of Galacuts soared hundreds of feet above the battlefield. Don't ask me. I don't know.
Anyway, that game ended up in such an ignominously unbalanced victory for the Avengers that I immediately set it up again to give the Defenders a mulligan. This time, the Defenders are doing better, as most of their heavy blasters (Hawkeye and the Silver Surfer) are sticking to the periphery and hurling high damage range strikes into the fray where it seems it will help most, while heavier hitters like the Veteran Valkyrie, the Raging Hulk (at 201 points, I felt he was the most appropriate Hulk to represent the green powerhouse we saw grapple Thor to a standstill in DEFENDERS #10) and the Experienced Sub-Mariner mix it up in the scrum. The Experienced FF Dr. Strange hovers around and uses his Outwit and/or Probability Control to judiciously influence events here and there, occasionally taking a more active hand with a shot of Psychic Blast.
To date in this game, the Swordsman, Mantis, Captain America, and Iron Man have fallen from the Avengers side. The Defenders have only lost Hawkeye. However, a judiciously launched tag-team attack by the Black Panther and a 3-D dumpster armed Thor has pummeled the Savage Hulk past his best clicks towards the end of his dial. The Hulk responded by picking up that same 3-D dumpster and making Thor wear it for a hat at high velocity, so the Thunder God's within three clicks of unconsciousness, too. Given that Dr. Strange and the Silver Surfer are still near the starts of their dials, and the Sub-Mariner is somewhere around mid-dial (but poised to pick up a Hot Wheels car and give Thor a high colonic with it on the Defenders next turn), I'm thinking things look better for the Defenders this time around.
It's not that I like the Defenders more than the Avengers. It's just that in the original crossover, the Defenders beat the Avengers like a rug, which they should have, given that Dr. Strange and the Silver Surfer are pretty much omnipotent, and the Hulk and the Sub-Mariner are among the strongest mortals in the Marvel Universe. Hawkeye and Valkyrie don't polish that apple much, but in the comics version of the conflict, Valkyrie did kick the Swordsman's scrofulous ass for him (which she certainly should have) while somehow or other, Hawkeye the Archer managed to outwit the Invincible Iron Man.
However, setting up the battle in clix form is a whole different thing, because, to put it gently, the clix versions of Dr. Strange and the Silver Surfer do not really adequately represent the characters as they are portrayed in the comics. The Experienced Hulk from Infinity Challenge, who has the actual Defenders TA, is nearly useless, too, which is why I substituted the Savage Hulk for him. The Experienced Sub-Mariner is far from the most useful version of Namor available, but if you use him sparingly, he's okay.
The Avengers, on the other hand, at least in clix form, are surprisingly effective pieces. The new Vet Thor from Supernova is a romper stomper, and the Iron Man LE is very useful, too. The Experienced Vision from Supernova can leave a dent in an opponent if he gets a chance, and his opening click of Perplex is handy as well. The Veteran Captain America from Armor Wars is very capable, especially on his opening slot with an Inspiring Command Feat Card on him. What's surprised me the most, though, is how solidly the Experienced Mantis and the Experienced Swordsman perform up close and personal. They can and will fold up after a few shots from the opposition, but they'll do some damage first.
Of course, all reported results are greatly influenced by my House Rules, specifically, in this case, by my homegrown Avengers and Defenders TAs. In the second game, I deliberately held all my Defenders except the Hulk and the Valkyrie back. This forced the Avengers to engage those two first. The Savage Hulk is a piece nobody wants to hit, as five or six clicks of damage will only move him onto his most unpleasant slots, stats and powers wise. The Valkyrie, on the other hand, starts out with a hard to hit 18 Defense Value, and with the Defenders TA on her, she can add +3 to that as long as the Defenders continue to have 6 members on the board. (The presumption is, the Defenders are fighting in such a way that they can choose to protect one of their members each turn. The Avengers TA reverses this; once per turn, the Avengers can choose one of their members to receive a +1 to Attack value for every 2 Avengers on the board. The Avengers have, in fact, used this ability to attack Valkyrie on several occasions, and with the Scarlet Witch letting them reroll attacks when necessary, they've had some success with it -- but if they're focusing on the Valkyrie, they aren't focusing on her more dangerous teammates. Which is proving a mistake.)
Anyway, what makes me most confident for the Defenders' eventual victory is that somewhere down his dial, the Silver Surfer has some Support, which will let him heal himself or his teammates should it be necessary when and if it comes up. This is a vital power, and the Avengers have none of it.
Hey, the Chargers are beating the Patriots. I like that.