close-combat

My character, a drow alchemist, was standing on the enemy’s ship facing the main guy, Derran, a seriously overpowered enemy that we really aren’t supposed to kill, just beat up and wait for him to run off. Everyone else is still on our ship fighting his friend, Sam.

For most of these battles, I just kind of sit in the back and throw a bomb here and there. I’ve got such low stats that I’ll miss every attack and die quickly in close combat against weak enemies.

Magus: You should run. He’s going to kill you if you get close.

Me: I’ll be fine.

DM: no, no you won’t. You are going to die. Run now.

Me: don’t worry about it. I walk towards him so I’m in the center of the ship.

DM: His weakest attack is enough to kill you. Are you sure you’re not going to run?

Me: It’ll work out. I use levitate as a free action.

DM: Why?

Me: Levitate gets me to 20 feet, right?

DM: yeah, you are now 20 feet above the deck of the ship.

Me: awesome. I use my Elemental body extract.

Magus: you know that ends you levitation, right?

Me: That’s the point.

DM: Wait, why? What exactly did you just turn into?

Me: Large water elemental.

DM: How’s that going to help you?

Me: I weigh 2,250 lbs

DM:… and you just fell 20 feet.

Me: Exactly.

DM: how much force do you land with?

Me: a little over thirty tons.

Magus: I think you broke the ship…

Inquisitor: I think you killed the ship!

Me: And you people were worried about me.

DM: You successfully split the ship in half. Derran is pissed off. He succeeds in his reflex save, casts water walk, runs to his friend and uses his magic boots to vanish.

Me: Awesome. Can I loot the ship now?

DM: The ship is sinking.

Me: And I’m a water elemental.

DM: … I think we’re going to continue this next week.

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Star Wars Battlefront to launch with 12 maps

Star Wars Battlefront will launch on November 17 with 12 maps, Electronic Arts confirmed in a blog post.

“Of the 12 multiplayer maps in Star Wars Battlefront (there are even more locations when you include the Star Wars Battlefront Missions), some feel immediately familiar — such as the lush forests of Endor or the tundra of Hoth that allow you to re-live your favorite moments from the films,” the post reads.

“Some of the maps support our epic modes like Walker Assault, while others are tailored to more intimate, close quarters combat. Our goal is to bring a variety of battle fantasies to life, with map design catering to the modes that will play out on those maps. Above all, we want you to create new memories of your own in new places you’ve never seen before.”

The blog post itself details the creation process of Sullust, one of the planets featured in the game.

Of course, that 12 map count will expand to 13 in December. Users who pre-order the game will get the “Battle of Jakku” map free on December 1, while users who don’t can also get it for free, albeit a week later on December 8.

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Pre-Orders: Imperial Knights

This week it’s all about the new Knights and there new Codex, so let’s have a look at the book and the new variations.

  • Codex: Imperial Knights

Guided by a Noble pilot, an Imperial Knight moves with a speed and grace that should not be possible from such a towering engine of war. Enemy fire pinging harmlessly off its thick armour, ion shields flashing with brilliant light, the Imperial Knight unleashes incredibly powerful weaponry, able to wipe entire battalions off the map with a single volley of explosive chain-gun fire. Should any enemy survive this bullet hell, the Knight also wields terrifying close-combat capabilities - smashing through the thickest armour with its enormous gauntlets and crushing foes under its massive feet. To see a squadron of Imperial Knights is to gaze upon the full splendour - and might - of the Imperium.

This 120-page, full-colour hardback book contains:
Full rules for five Imperial Knights: Paladin and Errant are joined by three new types - Warden, Gallant and Crusader;
Two unique Detachments – the Household Detachment (Primary Detachment of Imperial Knights) and the Oathsworn Detachment (an Allied Detachment of Imperial Knights);
Extensive background material, colour schemes and heraldry for Imperial Knights from a number of different Knight worlds;
A new system of ranking, with rules and bonuses available for using their formations and detachments;
Five entirely new formations, allowing you to field efficient squadrons of Knights.

The new ‘dex looks good and with the release of the new Knights and the new formations and detachments it should be an improvement on the old one.

  • Imperial Knight Gallant

Designed to smash apart enemies at close range, very few enemies can withstand the initial assault of the Imperial Knight Gallant. The ground shakes as the Knight Gallant stomps forward, closing in on their prey - with deceptive speed this hulking robotic form is within range, and unleashes the fury of both reaper chainsword and thunderstrike gauntlet. A Knight Gallant will slam into enemy lines like a tidal wave, and come out of the other side unscathed.

The Imperial Knight Gallant is an incredible piece of work! Imposingly tall, wielding terrifying close-range weapons(the legendary reaper chainsword and thunderstrike gauntlet are included along with a heavy stubber and ion shield), it includes a variety of faceplates, weapons that are interchangeable with any other Imperial Knight models you might own and an amazing variety of posing options, making your Knight Gallant totally unique.

Includes one Citadel 170mm Oval Base.

This is one of the models I am most intrigued about with its clsoe combat weapons and ability to slam and toss models with the thunderstrike gauntlet, as well as the epic missile pod on top.

  • Imperial Knight Warden

An imposingly tall, heavily armed engine of war, nothing announces its presence on the battlefield quite like an Imperial Knight Warden. Carrying itself into the thick of the action with heavy, thudding steps, the distinctive drone of the avenger gatling cannon sounding a terrible clarion call, the Knight is capable of unleashing a furious hellstorm of large-calibre shells that can tear apart even the most impressively-armoured foe. Should any enemy be brave - or foolish - enough to engage a Warden at close quarters, they’ll find themselves at the mercy of some of the Imperium’s most fearsome close-combat weaponry; the Reaper chainsword is the stuff of hushed legend amongst the Emperor’s enemies.

This is a serious, serious bit of kit! Everything you need in order to build one Imperial Knight Warden is included in this box; one complete 147-component Imperial Knight kit and this seventy-four-component upgrade kit. It features three completely new faceplates, a new tilting plate/shield, a set of new Adeptus Mechanicus icons and a frankly insane amount of weaponry: a chest pintle Meltagun, a gatling cannon assembly (with heavy flamer), the infamous Reaper chainsword, a thunderstrike gauntlet, a thermal cannon and a rapid-fire battle cannon - on top of this there are carapace options including rocket pods, missile pods and an anti-air twin Icarus cannon.

This kit shares the impressive posing options with the standard Imperial Knight, with head, arm and waist joints, and can be built as a Knight Errant, Paladin, Warden, Gallant or Crusader - the weapons are all interchangeable and can be used with any other Imperial Knight models you might own.

In total, this multi-part plastic kit comes with 221 components and stands tall on a Citadel 170mm Oval Base.

This is the absolutely all the options version with a variety of weapons and the face of a Cylon dog.

  • Imperial Knight Crusader

Carrying more firepower than a tank squadron, the Imperial Knight Crusader strides into battle with the confidence two main guns will give you. Capable of smashing holes in even the hardiest defence line, the Knight Crusader offers support to its close-range brethren, standing further back and unleashing scathing torrents of firepower to obliterate threats and terrify the enemy.

This awesome kit contains everything necessary to build one Imperial Knight Crusader - it includes gatling cannons, a heavy flamer, a heavy stubber, a thermal cannon, and ion shield; more weaponry than is really fair to the enemy! There’s a selection of faceplates, incredible posing options, and any weapons you choose not to attach are compatible with any other Imperial Knight models you might own. Includes a Citadel 170mm Oval base.

All the guns! Much like the AK-47 in its own way, as Sam will explain:

  • Warhammer 40,000 Datacards: Imperial Knights

A set of six large-format cards detailing the Heirlooms of the Knightly Houses from Codex: Imperial Knights,collected together for easy reference. Also included are thirty-six Tactical Objective cards, including the six unique Tactical Objectives found in Codex: Imperial Knights.

  • The Exalted Court of House Terryn

High King Tybalt marches to war amidst the thunder of immense armoured monsters shaking the earth. Servo motors whine, reaper chainswords scream and the battle cry is sounded - ‘Glory in Honour!’ The Exalted Court, a selection of Nobles chosen for their unyielding bravery and skill at arms, lays waste to any army foolish enough to stand in their way.

This is an absolutely immense bundle for the die-hard Imperial Knights collector. It includes a set of rules - exclusive to this web bundle* - that allow you to field the five Knights in your games of Warhammer 40,000. You get everything necessary to build two Imperial Knight Crusaders, a Knight Warden, a Knight Paladin, and a Knight Errant. This is well over a thousand components, an astonishing amount of weaponry(interchangeable with any other Knights you might own). You’ll crush everything in your path.

The Exalted Court of House Terryn contains five Imperial Knight Wardens and an exclusive datasheet

So this is an exclusive web bundle with an exclusive datatsheet? Really? Why?

Imperial Knights are back in force with all sorts of new bits and bobs, which only make them stronger and more of an effective army.

What do you guys think?

- Darth Sebious

Reference Entry 001: Sangheili Armor

Jul Madama’s Covenant

The Sangheili fighting under the reforming Covenant comprise from various origins, however many choose to don armor of the Hesduros design. The skin tight mesh layer does not cover their neck, shoulder, and in most cases even their arms.


Swords of Sanghelios

Looking at the majority of Sangheili who fought during the Human-Covenant War we see that their armor is more concealing than those worn by Jul’s faction. While some within his faction do wear uniforms worn during the Covenant’s crusade against humanity, most have shifted away to the more ceremonial look that warriors of Hesduros pride themselves on.

Sangheili from their home world of Sanghelios prefer to wear a mesh layer that covers almost their entire body, only stopping at their neck if they are not in a sealed combat harness. At times some will use gauntlets that can emit a small energy blade for close quarter combat and they always wear arm guards.

dave and jade doing various summery activities and being really cute though

  • jade keeps her water guns well stocked, much to poor dave’s dismay
  • he retaliates with water balloons and by tackling her because when he gets into close range combat, he can get the water gun and empty it on her
  • (of course this just means that jade makes sure to empty the guns on him as fast as she can before running)
  • dave makes the weirdest things out of pool noodles
  • jade gets tangled in them while trying to use them for practical flotation
  • they walk down to baskin robbins hand in hand and share a banana split and take a lot of selfies in the process
  • jade makes them both flower crowns!
  • teasing john and rose because they aren’t accustomed to heat and humidity like the island girl and texan boy are
  • they build some wicked sand castles on the beach and run around having way too much fun
  • jade spends a ridiculously long time trying to wash the sand out of her hair at the beach boardwalk showers
  • jade steals dave’s shades at least once
  • hand-holding and picnics where they wander to the side of the fountain in the park and dabble their feet in the water, sitting side by side on the brim and chatting
So about Black Widow in AoU...

(Spoilers)

It ocurred to me that maybe Whedon just didn’t know what to do with Widow. Not Natasha, I mean Widow- in the big battles, specifically. She can fire a gun and is pretty good in close combat, but that’s not really much beside the other Avengers. It doesn’t need to be- her other skills are useful if played right.

She was mocked after Avengers for her “pew pew” gun play, but her real worth in the final battle was in not getting caught up in just hitting things and using her head to ultimately close the portal. People talk about Tony saving the day, but it’s Nat’s hand that ends the actual cosmic threat.

In AoU, though, how to play Widow being Widow in a land battle and without duplicating her combat role in Avengers? Whedon appears to have resolved this by using her to wrangle the Hulk. That much actually makes a little sense- she certainly knows about manipulation and conditioning and is not too sensitive about it (unlike perhaps Hawkeye) to use her skills on Banner/Hulk. So she works with him as Bruce and as Hulk so they have a way of de-Hulking after a fight. Great, totally sensical. This combat pairing also resolves the question of how Widow gets around vertically in a fight- she hops onto or is carried by the Hulk.

After that, deciding to mix that combat pairing with a romantic thread narratively does the job of having the personal character arcs for both Bruce and Nat take up the same space since they happen together. And from there making them have basically the same personal arc dilemma (I am a monster, woe is me) is pretty natural. So it saves time, it is synergistic with the combat pairing stuff, and it finally answers the question of who Nat would be with if not Clint or Steve. The entire thing is a big convenient writer’s fixit.

Do I mind this? Well, yes. While I enjoy Nat’s close non-romantic friendships with Clint and Steve, I always imagined she’d have a friend-with-benefits relationship with someone- she doesn’t seem the type to open herself up for any visible romantic connection. If she were to fall for someone, her line about meeting a non-fighter who doesn’t want to fight because he’ll win is actually really apt, but besides that charming yin-yang notion (which personally feels better applied to her and Bucky) Bruce and Nat have no discernible character-based chemistry.

Is it a disservice to Nat? If it is, it is as much a disservice to Bruce- as I said before their personal character arcs happen at the same time. There is no scene I can remember where Bruce explores his personal shit where Nat doesn’t also. This actually reveals some missed opportunities with Bruce- anytime he’s not with Nat (so, with Tony) is about Tony’s angst and never acknowledges his own. It’s like Bruce’s personal arc is momentarily gone when, back in the lab before Vision is born, Tony is convincing Bruce to help him. And I don’t remember any one-on-one time between Bruce and anyone else. A least Nat and Steve’s friendship from CA:TWS is honored, that’s nice.

Back to Nat’s vs Bruce’s character arcs- If one was too short or underdeveloped the other was as well. Nat’s fears about being a monster don’t seem contrived, they’re pretty consistent with the “red in my ledger” and “dark past” stuff from Avengers and CA:TWS, so that’s okay.

What I don’t understand is why she actually likes Bruce. In the first lullaby scene, and the flirting at the party after, I honestly thought she was just charming Bruce to strengthen his fondness and deep ties with her so he’s more receptive (and protective?) of her when in Hulk mode. If only taken that far (as something she put on for Bruce instead of being sincere) it even nicely follows up the helplessness Nat felt when she was pursued by the Hulk in Avengers. Something deeply consistent with her comic character (as I’ve seen it) is she would never allow herself to be vulnerable to something twice if it were in her power- and it is, with Bruce highly available to her and as vulnerable to her charms as anyone. Pretty acceptable to imagine after that horror she would do what is easily within her abilities to make Hulk more predisposed to her next time he’s on a rampage.

But taking it farther, suggesting she actually has feelings for Bruce? Just doesn’t feel right to me. That’s highly subjective, I know. Maybe you saw it and it felt right- great, then it’s totally valid. But for me, I didn’t feel it.

End of the day, whatever. I want to like the movie, and I really do like a lot of it, so I’ll probably end up trying to reconcile all this or find some way to rationalize it into making great sense or something. Maybe just mentally gloss over the whole thing. Not like the poorer-quality parts of the movie are going to reshoot themselves. May as well delight as much as I can in the movie we have.

I should say I think this film is a tremendous masterpiece of an accomplishment. Whedon had about 11 main chatacters to serve, a prior film to outdo, and three preceding films-worth of characters and mythology to acknowledge. He had the limitations of not having Ant-Man to create Ultron, of having the SHIELD dissolution and Hydra resurgence to deal with, and of making the action, drama, and comedy all as fully done as possible. This movie should not have been possible, and if possible it should have been an absolute mess. It wasn’t, it was a rollicking ride from start to finish that really did serve (at least a little) an impressive number of the main characters. It also had totally kickass action and the standard (mostly fantastic) Marvel humor. I’ll probably end up seeing this film 3 times in theatres, maybe 4. While there are elements I could criticize, I really enjoy this movie.