Almost Dredd

I’ve been watching the TV show Almost Human for a while now. It’s set in 2048 and the main premise is a future where crime has soared and an undermanned police force has turned to synthetic cops to restore a bit of balance.  It stars Karl Urban and Michael Ealy and has apparently been cancelled before a second series in the way that so many promising science fiction series are… (Yes, I’m looking at you Firefly).

Almost-Human-Poster-FOX

There have been some comparisons drawn (first off by a friend of mine who’d seen a bit more than me) about the world of Almost Human and the world of Judge Dredd.  After that seed had been sown I saw other people on the internet thinking along similar lines… Let’s forget the obvious issue first of the series and the latest Dredd film sharing the same main star and instead concentrate on some other similarities.

The Wall

A few episodes into Almost Human the fact that the city is walled was first mentioned. It was never made clear what was on the other side exactly, just that you wouldn’t want to go there… A little bit like the cursed earth outside Mega-City One.

And while we’re speaking of Mega-City One, the setting of Almost Human is rather annoyingly refered to as “The City” throughout.

Psychics

Just like the Psi-Division of Judge Dredd, there are psychics in Almost Human – specifically the episode “Blood Brothers”. A pre-cursor to pre-cognitive Judge Anderson and her fellow officers perhaps?

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Prison

Prisons (or solitary confinement at least) are refered to as cubes in both universes. “Isocubes” in Dredd and simply “Cubes” in Almost Human.

Judge, Jury and Executioner

The police in Almost Human have already taken the step of using cybernetic law enforcement officers and Urban’s character also performs an incredibly “Judge Dredd-ian” execution of a corrupt police officer in episode 4 thereby avoiding all of that pesky time tied up in unecessary arrests and trials.

And finally…

Judge Dredd himself was genetically engineered and cloned from Chief Judge Fargo. Genetic engineering already exists in Almost Human as embodied by “Chromes”, engineered humans. The Judge Dredd timeline starts with this cloning in 2066 – only 18 years after the events of Almost Human. Oh, and Chief Judge is the title used to describe the senior law enforcement officer in both universes (apparently – This is so far unconfirmed by me at least… I’ll let you know when I get that far).

The problem is – I’m only 2 episodes away from the end of series 1 and it doesn’t look like it’s going to get that all important make or break second series…

Bugger.

Hopefully we’ll get a sequel to the latest Dredd film soon though. Or even a Psi-Division spin off…

Please?

 

 

Jutland Prep pt8

Big steps forward in the last couple of days. Previously there’s been a lot of sticking stuff to plastic, trying out rules, coming up with paperwork and no actual painting. Until yesterday.

We’ve broken the 100 ships assembled point now, but it’s one month tomorrow until the actual weekend of the Jutland recreation and at best some of the ships had been primered, but most of them were still bare metal on white, pristine, virgin, unblemished plastic.

So…

We started off by priming and then spraying the movement trays.  The Royal Navy’s trays are blue and the Kaiserliche Marine’s are red. Hopefully that’ll mean that we’ll be able to take things in fairly quickly with a glance over the playing area.

The original idea was to block paint the fleets red and blue as well, but since we’ve decided to go for a sea coloured table instead of the more cabinet war room-y idea, it mase sense to paint the ships properly. If we thought we had time.

First the ships, attached to their bases, were primed. Cheap and cheerful Halfords mat grey primer for this.  Then they were painted grey (which sounds silly, but necessary), then drybrushed a slightly lighter grey to bring out the highlights. Next the decks were painted, then the boats (and by boats I mean the canvas covers on the small boats mounted on the ships – the difference between a boat and a ship is a whole can of worms I’m not ready to open this afternoon…), then the bases, then a black wash applied over the whole thing – including the sea.

Grouping them together and painting a few in one go speeds the whole process up. So much so that yesterday morning we had precisely zero ships painted, and now we have fifty five ships painted.

photoSo we’ve got 150 more ships to base and 200 more ships to paint.

Which sounds bad, but I call it serious progress. Well, in the words of Martin Lawrence – “Shit just got real”.

 

Jutland Prep pt7

It’s been a while since there’s been any sort of update regarding the progress with the Jutland game in August, so I thought I’d best fill you in…

We’ve had two large (relatively speaking) play tests of the game involving about a fifth of the total fleet on a third of the eventual playing area. That’s helped us to test out the flotilla system to the point that we’re comfortable with it, streamline a critical hit system which accounts for unexpected extra damage caused when more sensitive or important areas of the ships are hit and it’s taught us exactly how many dice we’re going to need (we were rolling 50 at a time!).

We’re still working on basing the ships and producing the movement trays for the flotillas and at the moment we have 90 ships in 21 flotillas (we’ve split the lone destroyer flotilla into 2 at the moment as 11 ships on one tray seemed a little large, inflexible and impractical).  Only 160 ships to go!

This is what they look like so far. The grey ones are Royal Navy and the unpainted ones are Kaiserliche Marine.

jut

Obviously once we’ve got them all based we then have to paint them and the playing area, which is going to amount to 192 square feet. In real terms at 1:3000 that is equal to 62 square miles (39680 acres) – pretty large, but still far smaller than the actual engagement area of the real battle.

So pretty soon you will see some movement on that as well.  We’ve still got just over a month to go, the game is going to be played over a weekend on 9th and 10th August at The Historic Dockyard Chatham so come along and give it a go.

You can find the other posts relating to this project by following the links below.

Skagerrakschlacht

Jutland Prep pt1

Jutland Prep pt2

Jutland Prep pt3

Jutland Prep pt4

Jutland Prep pt5

Jutland Prep pt6

 

 

Cooperative Killing

Following on from my last post about the upcoming Assassin’s Creed game, Unity I’ve seen a bit more (and to be fair, if you’re interested you’ve probably seen it by now as well).

The game has always been crying out for a multiplayer campaign. The whole idea of the brotherhood of assassin’s (nicely echoed by the “fraternite” of the French Revolution) has been notably absent from the campaigns of the previous titles. In Unity’s campaign you’ll be able to play alongside three other assassin’s all trying to achieve the same goals. You can use different methods, routes and weapons to reach the target – you can help other players if they’re about to be detected or overwhelmed. I’m not entirely sure I’d want to play in this way with the teabagging Call of Duty crowd, but I should imagine it’s pretty rewarding being able to play with a bunch of friends.

Anyway, here’s the co op gameplay trailer that was shown at E3.

What’s also promising is that it still looks incredible. Fingers crossed the release in October still looks half as good as this. The crowds are bigger and more diverse than any previous AC game. The interiors are more detailed and one of the things that stood out for me were the lighting effects and reflections.

Liberte, Egalite, Fraternite

The upcoming Assassin’s Creed game Unity was hardly a secret by the time we got to this year’s E3. And to be honest, the franchise appears to be locked into a release schedule every bit as predictable as Call of Duty’s… The main difference however is that I’m not quite as disinterested in AC5. In fact, I still love the games (despite people complaining about the out of animus scenes or anything that now doesn’t look like it will involve naval battles).

It’s fantastic that the setting for Unity is Paris (and I imagine other cities) during the French Revolution. The early trailers looked amazing – and yes, I know that it probably won’t look anything like that when it’s actually released, but frankly if it plays well I couldn’t give a rat’s arse. I’ve seen a new trailer tonight and felt the need to share it, hence this post.

Here it is. Enjoy.

You’ll probably know the song even if you don’t know the version. It’s Lourde’s cover of Tears for Fears’ Everybody Wants to Rule the World, which was also featured on the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire. It’s good to see that they’re keeping up the AC games’ great track record when it comes to picking music for trailers and adverts (Imagine Dragons – Radioactive or Justice – Genesis just being two other songs used).

October 28th seems a very long way away…

Reference Material

As you may have already seen I’m currently painting a 1:1200 scale HMS Victory. It’s so that in the future (probably after Jutland in all honesty) we can expand the horizons of our weekly games night to include this.

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Although Games Workshop have stopped supporting the Warhammer Historical range you can still find bits and bobs floating around on certain online auction sites. It looks pretty good from a glance through the rules, but at the moment I don’t have the time – and no one has a fleet.

Although I have started a flagship.

I found the miniature while clearing out an old stock room and started it this week. Luckily for me there is a painting guide in the rule book, but we also have some pretty good reference material where I work. Stuff like this.

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This has come in really handy, especially for things like the figurehead and stern assembly.

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Now the details might not be that extreme on the miniature, but at least it means I can try to hint at them.

I’ve also assembled and started painting the masts tonight. They started off a bit scrappy…

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And by the end of the night I’ve managed to paint and tidy up the foremast (although it’s not glued in yet).

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It’s getting there slowly, but there’s no rush. All that will remain after painting and assembly is rigging the thing – and that is going to be a nightmare!