Sunday, August 18, 2013

10 Questions for Gamers, Hobbyists & Likewise Interested Folks: This One Goes to 11

Just spotted another question and answer thing on Sean's Wargames Corner which he saw on Laughing Ferret's blog.  I always enjoy these as it means I can post without doing any painting.  Although I did actually start my Roman Marines yesterday, in the first real bout of painting I have managed for two months.These questions are different in that in many cases you are provided with alternatives.  There are also eleven questions rather than ten.  This, I gather, is something to do with This is Spinal Tap, a film, I am afraid, which I have never found remotely funny.  But then I don't have a sense of humour.  My answers will be, of course, inordinately rambling.

1. Dinosaurs or Dragons? 

Well, this was easy.  Dinosaurs of course.  But only  Ray Harryhausen stop motion ones.  I have never been at all interested in dragons.  I couldn't care less what Smaug looks like in the next Hobbit film.  I have never seen any of the films about dragons.  Girls like dragons. Especially Goth chicks.  Anyway, most dragon legends were based on people finding dinosaur bones.  Dragons are nonsense.  Dinosaurs were real!

2. In an RPG would you rather be a Player or DM? 

Come on in...the water is lovely

I had to think about this one.  I used to play Dungeons & Dragons when I was at college and I never enjoyed the bizarre, science-based puzzles set by the beardy, chemist Dungeon Master.  So I would much rather create a scenario and make others suffer.  Oddly, I was thinking about just such a thing today around a Jason and the Argonauts game and the often seen scenario of a hero finding a naked girl bathing in a pool. Does he watch her unseen?  Does he try to engage her in, er, conversation.  Does he think she is an evil water nymph ( as they often were in Victorian paintings)? Is she benign?  Malign? Does she just go like a bomb?  Are there other nymphs lurking?  Yes, DM for me.  Anyway, I like being in charge.

3. You have a Time Machine: you can only take a trip to the future or the past. Return or not is your choice. Which direction & how far? 

The Legatus as he would be in the sixties

When there was a similar question in another one of these questionnaires I voted for London in the nineteen twenties.  That was posited as a one way trip, however.  I am afraid that I intellectualise it too much and think that if you go back too far the state of medicine will mean that you won't last long.  Without twentieth century medicine I would have died at the age of two, the age of six, or the age of ten.  So no Roman times for me, much as I would love to see a legion on the march, drink Falernian wine  and own a few slave girls. That would, however, be the option for the there and back again visit, I think.  For the non-return option if not the twenties maybe London in the swinging sixties; so dropping back to where I would have been if I had been born fifteen or twenty years earlier.  It would then mean living through the seventies again, unfortunately.  I wouldn't want to visit the future.  I am already living in it and its ghastly.

4. Favorite Online Comic 

Don Lawrence's Storm series are some of a half dozen of so graphic novels I own.  Can't think why I like them.

This is an entire world I have no knowledge of.  "Comics," my mother informed me when a relative gave me a Superman annual for Christmas when I was small, "are for stupid Americans who can't read."  Now, given I am interested in graphic design, had a place at art school and even own a number of "graphic novels" I should have got over this inculcated prejudice against comics. But I haven't.

 5. Of these Empires which do you feel is the BEST Empire and the WORST Empire? Roman, Mongol, Spanish, Russian, British, American. 

Now, you chaps, just see to reason and we'll set you up with a proper bureaucracy and a decent railway system

The British Empire was, of course, the best as, on balance, it brought more good than harm despite what all The Guardian reading, corduroy wearing, apologist pinkos say.  Although my recent experiences in South America have left me with a somewhat jaded view of the Spanish, despite admiration for the individual conquistadors' achievements, really the Mongols were in a class of their own as regards the brutal suppression of those they conquered.  I might add the Belgians to the naughty list, given their dreadful behaviour in the Congo. I would not accept that the Americans have ever had an Empire apart from, perhaps, a popular cultural one.  But you cannot build a real empire on Coca-Cola, Starbucks and iPads (especially when you don't know when to use capital letters and can't spell properly).

6. Who wins the fight? Roman Gladiator or Samurai ? 

Yes, even Beyonce would beat a Samurai!

Gladiator.  They were trained full time to fight.  Japanese Samurai were part of an, effete, feudal elite who have benefited disproportionately from their own publicity (most of the large Samurai families had to be courted by the US after WW2 to keep the country running) as fighting men: much of it driven by a post war need to rebuild their national confidence. I even remember reading a piece by Kim Siddorn arguing that the much vaunted Samurai sword was overrated as a fighting weapon.  So I would go with a retiarus and a net, I think.  That would soon entrap your silly horned helmet!   Anyway, most gladiators were Australian and everyone knows they are good in a fight.

7. Who wins the fight? Darth Vader or Witch King? 

The Force is weak in those with pointy hats. 

Darth Vader, despite not being Australian. I never found the Witch King very terrifying, largely because he had a silly pointy helmet whereas old Darth had a very scary helmet indeed.  Also Vader had a Death Star whereas the Witch King only has a tower with a disembodied eye. Stormtroopers couldn't shoot any better than orcs, though, but they were a lot cleaner.  Finally, the Germans in World War 1 gave up on pointy helmets and adopted ones looking more like Darths's.  Case closed.

 8. Who wins the dogfight? Starbuck in Colonial Vyper or Luke Skywalker in X-Wing?

Starbuck, of course.  Skywalker is only any good when George Smiley is telling him what to do, whereas Starbuck can take on eight Cylons at once and hot-wire a crashed Cylon fighter.

Also, Skywalker does not look like this.

 9. Who wins the battle of wits? Tyrion Lannister or Wesley?

I was confused by this as I had no idea who Wesley was.  Not the Founder of Methodism, presumably?  Surely not the annoying son of Beverly Crusher?  I sent the link to S in Vancouver who said it was a character from The Princess Bride (another film I haven't seen) called Westley.  Therefore, as he can't even spell his own name right, we give it to the dwarf, even if the latter seems to have modelled his vocal delivery on Richard Wilson.  Believe it or don't.

10. Money & Time no object, what movie or novel would you like to have the armies and terrain in miniature to recreate and expand on, and in what scale?

Despite saying earlier that I didn't like comics it would have to be The Trigan Empire from Look and Learn magazine in the sixties and seventies.  Hover tanks, Atmosphere craft!  Romans with guns (essentially)!  28mm, of course.

11. Human Beings die off. What species rises to take our place, becoming the next sentient species with a global civilization?

Chinese scientists have already genetically engineered the first woman/cat hybrid (actually wasn't that Julie Newmar?) to see what the new life form will look like.  So far, so good.

Women.  Finally they will evolve into creatures that can navigate, assemble flat pack furniture (four hours at my sister's house yesterday undoing all the bits she had got wrong and rebuilding them!) explain the offside rule, compose music, get dressed and out the house in less than an hour, make decisions and stop defining themselves by the way they look.  Wait, sorry, human beings.  Thought it said men.  In that case: Cats. Cats always look like they are thinking intelligent thoughts (unlike dogs who always look stupid).  Dolphins, for example, won't be able to make wheels as they have no hands.  Cats are deliberately restricting the size of their brains until....The Day.  Except Harry the cat next door who still gets fooled into leaving our kitchen when we throw a piece of chicken skin outside the back door, even after about five hundred times.


  1. Hilarious, what more can I say! ;-)

  2. Very fun answers!

    Nice to see another vote for Dinosaurs.. seems they were losing out to Dragons.

    2: Waterhouse, I'm a fan of his art.

    3: England in the 60's would be a lot of fun.. I'd love to see The Who, Beatles, Small Faces...

    7: but pointy helmets would hurt more, so wouldn't they be scarier?

    8: Concludes with the best reasoning I think there could be

    9. Wesley has a T? That can't be a name.. isn't that just a direction?

    11. I'm not sure cats don't think they're already there.

    And great pictures!

  3. Laughing Ferret, re 7. Only if you bent down at the waist and presented the points towards the enemy. This is not a good position to assume in front of someone with a light saber.