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Reviews

Sunday, June 21, 2015 - 15:38 by oxgoth

According to the blurb Orctions is a game for 3 to 8 players and takes about 90 minutes to play. And like all great games Orctions combines fun with strategy. Based around 6 Orction techniques and a worker placement mechanic Orctions blends a fantasy world of Orcs with classic Roman Gladiators.

I picked this up at the Board game expo in Birmingham a couple of weeks ago at it's release. Incidentally if you didn't go to the expo make sure you go next year, it was epic. :)

First of all I must say I am impressed with build and art quality, the box and every thing in it has a very nice feel and looks pretty dam good. The rules were a nice easy read (something that can be easy to mess up with complicated rulebooks sometimes) BUT if I have a small niggle it's the order of some...

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015 - 19:43 by David

And that ladies and gentlemen is how you start an episode.

Usually the Battle of Waterloo would be the climax of a show  Here we have thousands of troops, battle squares, siege, storming of castle gates etc. Some brilliant effects are in play here, money has been spent and it all shows.

In all of this carnage we find Strange at his military duty, putting out burning buildings and squishing French soldiers. The battle is won, the Napoleonic wars are over, Strange goes home. 

All the stress has taken its toll now though and all Strange wants to do is settle down with Arabella, finish his book, have a kid or two and fade into obscurity. 

Unfortunately, though, Napoleon wasn’t his only foe.

Norrell and his new best buddy Lascelles are...

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Sunday, June 14, 2015 - 18:56 by David

I knew this moment would come.

By reviewing things you are offering a personal opinion on something that someone has put time and effort into. I dont believe that people entirely set out to make bad products, so I tend to be a bit more positive about things. But I always knew that one day I'd see something that others enjoy that I didn't.

So here we are. Jurassic World.

I will make two comparisons with the original film. 

Firstly, the dinosaurs look SLIGHTLY better than they did twenty years ago. 

Secondly, there's a scene in the original where Laura Dern explores a huge pile of dino-crap. I felt like they'd just picked that pile up and recycled it into the script.

The plot centers around...

Geez, do you need me to tell you?...

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Sunday, June 14, 2015 - 11:36 by David

They should have called this Trouble and Strife.

Everyone falls out with someone. 

There's a change in emphasis this week. 

From the action driven piece last week, we get a more character based episode. Everything moves along though. Plot threads are tugged across the board. 

Firstly, Childermass is lying on a doctors table with a bullet in his torso after the assassination attempt on his master. As he moves in and out of death he's treated to a vision with a bird of ominous aspect. A raven, hmmm,I wonder what that could represent?

Lady Pole continues to be thoroughly crapped on. Since it was her shot at Norrell that hit Childermass, the general consensus is that what little sanity she had has now left, and she's away with the faeries....

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Sunday, June 14, 2015 - 11:32 by David

Warning!

Do not watch this program and Game Of Thrones on the same day. 

We all know that GoT has a habit of putting you through the emotional wringer on a regular basis. This show can hit you in the gut too. 

Here's a few highlights.

War, zombies, insanity, attempted suicide,slavery, attempted murder, emotional torture. 

Many things struck me after this episode, the usual high production values, outstanding performances, moral questions, and I was left at the end of the episode drained but wanting the next installment immediately. 

This is fantastic stuff. It is often said that fantasy is puerile and childish. Not GoT, not this. 

The themes are adult, the characters do terrible things. Even the good characters...

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015 - 22:47 by David

How is Lady Pole?

Alive.

Having been resurrected by Mr Norrell last week she's happy and light on her feet. Ready to dance in fact. 

This remarkable accomplishment from Mr Norrell has given him the connections to turn his talents to thwarting the dastardly Napoleon. The magic starts to get BIG. We have thousands of conjured ships blockading French ports. The British Government is delighted. Talk turns to returning dead politicians and war heroes from the grave. Decomposition could be a factor so we don't get to see Zombie Nelson!

Elsewhere, Segundus and Honeyfoot encounter Strange and the stage is set for the magicians to get together. When Strange proves his sorcerous ability Norrell is delighted. 

So a master and apprentice relationship is...

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Tuesday, June 2, 2015 - 12:59 by Spindles

Amanda Fucking Palmer.

Three words that are pretty much all you'll ever need to describe this seemingly unstoppable force of an artist.

You need more than that? Okay...

It was back in 2007 that I was first introduced to her music. I'm not quite sure how it came about, but I think it was the result of Googling 'Dark Cabaret' as a musical genre and discovering Projekt Records' A Dark Cabaret album. It was on this collection of songs on which the first track was a little ditty called Coin Operated Boy by a band I'd never heard of called The Dresden Dolls. It was an amusing tune, musing on the benefits and drawbacks of an artificial partner over a real relationship, but it was the the inventive piano arrangement and an edge of dark power in her voice that sent me...

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Wednesday, May 20, 2015 - 17:16 by David

Welcome to an alternative history.

It's 19th century England, but not the one we're familiar with. 

There used to be magic, but it is now a non-existent curio, studied by theoretical magicians, not a single actual user has been found for 300 years. Claiming to be able to perform magic is strictly the province of charlatans.

Amateur magician John Segundus can't do magic either. His attempts fail, his peers at the local club deride his efforts. No gentleman would lower himself to even try.

Until Mr Norrell. 

Norrell is a Yorkshire scholar of magic who has self-studied himself up to practitioner level, and he's on a mission to bring spell use back to England. He's also loyal to his realm and thinks that his talents can be of use countering the...

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Tuesday, May 19, 2015 - 12:32 by David

If the truth is stranger than fiction, then surely science truths must be stranger than science fiction?

In a cosy anteroom of Chelsea Old Town Hall we get a demonstration of this. Pop-Up Screens are treating us to a series of films with an analysis of their premise from a scientific perspective.

The event covers five films: Alien, Apollo 13, Terminator 2, Good Will Hunting and Shaun Of The Dead. All well known films, touching on various disciplines from materials science, mathematics, virology and others.It's a bright, sunny London afternoon, so it's obviously time for a bright, sunny London zombie film.

The format of the day comprises an introduction to the major scientific themes of the movie in the form of a discussion between interviewer Helen Arney,...

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Monday, May 18, 2015 - 21:34 by Spindles

Viruses that kill off people above a certain age are not a new idea in the realms of science fiction and genre television. You only have to look to long running series such as Stargate Atlantis, Star Trek and Deep Space Nine for examples of individual episodes and then there's full series such as The Tribe and Jeremiah that address the concept. But, with most of these series being at least over ten year's old, it was about time for someone to buff the dust off this trope and give it another try.

In Between, we are introduced to the small town of Pretty Lake, population somewhere around eight thousand and rapidly declining. The stage is set with a bunch of varied kids from differing backgrounds who are promptly faced with the reality of all the town residents aged twenty two and...

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