To begin at the beginning
|A giant cyborg sadly
couldn't kill the turkey
hiding behind this movie
At first sight the trailer had given me real hopes for this movie, but subsequent reflection and one really bad review had brought me back to more realistic low expectations. Which was just as well: the best thing that Andy and I could find to say about the film was that it wasn't as bad as Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines (and I speak as one who lists Terminator 2: Judgment Day as a Top 5 SF/Fantasy movie sequel).
This was a real shame, because the idea of moving the story into the future and the war with the machines was good. And there were more good ideas, and some reasonable moments in the film. It's just that, as ever, the high SFX budget couldn't make up for a half-baked story. And Christian Bale growling his way through yet another movie was briefly disappointing, but rapidly and more enduringly downright annoying. Ah well, at least it filled the evening.
And so to the Expo
Wandering around a bit before heading off to the Clarendon Suites to pick up our tickets, we happened across something which gave me the occasion for my first photo of the trip.
To find, the proverbial stone's throw from the venue of Britain's first Combat Commander tournament, a place with the same name as CC's designer was a coincidence just too delicious for me to ignore! The purpose of St Chads Court turns out to be quite prosaic: it's part of the NHS. Unless, that is, there is something Chad and Kai aren't telling us all?
Wow, so this is deep space!
Attack Vector as a game rendering space combat in painstaking detail simultaneously genuinely scientifically authentic and accessibly playable. I was finally able to test this bold claim that Friday afternoon when we opened our first Expo-weekend's gaming with this unique gem from Ad Astra Games. Andy's claims were utterly vindicated in all particulars.
Attack Vector is built around a speed table more fiendish even than that of HERO system infamy and legend. The peculiar fiendishness of AV's speed table resides in two key conditions:
- You can expect to be recalculating your phases pretty much every turn as you apply positive and negative delta-g's to your ship's velocity.
- The game's rendition of manoeuvre in the Z-axis of the classic XYZ axes of Cartesian 3D space means that you'll also often be running your ship through 2 speed tables each turn.
Crucial to AV's surprisingly intuitive Newtonian physics engine is its crisp and detailed sequence of play, whose extreme clockwork proceduralism is of the sort inevitably anathema to some gamers who would otherwise love the experience of sending tens of thousands of tons of steel and hi-tech systems hurtling through space in vivid darts, swoops, spins and tumbles.
More than this I cannot say until I've played and digested more of the game and its rules. Apart, of course, from recording that Andy had the edge over me in damage dealt when we called the action over after my ship went spiralling wildly off the board edge thanks to a long thruster burn I'd tried, to see if I couldn't swing round to attack from 6 o'clock high (AKA -X/+Z). I was, of course, taken quite aback at how rapidly velocity increased under constant acceleration.
Pure dead brilliant! This system does what it says on the box. More soon I hope. ;)
UK Games Expo'09
- #2: And so to war
- #3: I eat dirt and die
- #4: Old friends and new stuff