Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mad Max: Fury Road "Four Horsemen" Theory [SPOILERS!!]

Sorry for the delay in posting lately. I would like to say that I AM working on several gaming projects right now, so there will be new content coming soon. When? I can't really say.

Anyway, if you've read the blog enough you know I'm a big movie wathcer and from time to time I like to share theories about them. Totally non-gaming related stuff but some find it amusing....Anyway, just got back home from seeing Mad Max: Fury Road in theaters. As a guy who grew up in the 80s and was always too young to watch the original trilogy in the theaters, this was something I waiting 20 years to do and I must say the movie doesn't disappoint. George Miller took his sweet ass time making this movie and the result is simply amazing - an action movie with style and substance that starts in high gear and redlines through 2 hours of insanity.

If you're on the fence about paying the theater admission, DO IT. Absolutely worth the cost of a ticket.

Anyway, unto my theory....SPOILERS AHEAD!

So I just got done watching Fury Road and have been thinking about the motto scrawled on the wall behind Immortan Joe as he enters the harem chamber - "Who Killed The World?"
It is apparent that the three main warlords are representative of their chosen "commodity" - water, weapons, & gasoline. But, I believe they actually represent something greater - the cause of the apocalypse itself and each of them is in fact a representation of one of the four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.
Immortan Joe represents Conquest/Pestilence. We know that he pursues and enslaves people in the Wasteland (i.e. Furiosa's origin) and then turns those conquered people so they view him as god-like and the path to heaven. In this way, he assumes the same duality as the Christian horseman - as both a righteous figure (some interpret Conquest as Jesus spreading the gospel) and an evil figure (some interpret Conquest as a false prophet), and also as an infectious influence like the modern "Pestilence" (he "turns" his slaves into followers).
IJ and his followers also embody Pestilence by their own bodies. They are covered in festering sores, are mis-shapen and/or disabled, and have tumors from the nuclear radiation (side note: I find it interesting that Fury Road is the first time Miller has basically beaten everyone over the head with "It was global thermonuclear war, dummies!", when the series has only ever strongly hinted at that before).
The Bullet Farmer represents War. This is an easy one but hear me out. The Christian horseman isn't simply the embodiment of all war, it is the embodiment of unchecked aggression and "non-righteous" conflict. In a modern sense, War is simply unchecked militarism and internecine warfare. The Bullet Farmer doesn't merely represent these qualities, he actively pursues them. When the rest of the group is stuck in the mud and the three warlords have a talk, The People Eater tells him to wait and not hurt the "wives", but instead he goes riding off alone (unchecked aggression) and fires wildly with no regard to who he hits (collateral damage/internecine warfare/"friendly fire").
The People Eater represents Famine. "But he's fat!", you say. Read on, this requires more backstory of the Christian horseman. Famine is generally shown carrying weighing scales to measure grain during a famine. When he appears Saint John hears an exclamation on the prices of grain, but it then concludes:
and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine
Why does the voice say this? It's generally interpreted to mean that luxury goods should remain unaffected by famine, meaning the rich will not suffer, while the poor will. In this way, Famine also embodies the injustice and gluttony of the rich. We see this reflected in the characters surrounding The People Eater - many will resort to eating mutant salamanders, whereas TPE is extremely obese and has major gout, he is obviously well-fed.
TPE also embodies Famine in his name. Throughout history there are recurring episodes of cannibalism practiced by people who were not getting enough nutrients.
So, I bet you're wondering "who's the fourth Horsemen???"'s Max. Max is Death. Nowhere is this more clear than Max's visions of the dead people he has been unable to "save". He carries the dead with him, leaves people dead in his own path, but can also never be killed himself. Max and Death are both remorseless forces of nature, and that is especially true in Fury Road.
Well, that's my theory. Hope you all enjoyed it.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Operation Herkules "What If?" Unofficial Bolt Action Supplement Released!

Well, everyone here it is - the totally unofficial supplement for Operazione C3 "Herkules", the joint Italian-German invasion of British-held Malta. PDF includes a short historical overview, breakdown of forces assigned for the invasion, breakdown of units defending the island, an Italian Reinforced Platoon list, German Fallschirmjager/Kriegsmarine Reinforced Platoon list, and British/Maltese Reinforced Platoon list.

Special thanks to everyone who proofed and reviewed the final draft - all of them are WWPD members!  ;)

Comments and critiques are welcome.

If you enjoy this, please let me know as I'd like to release another for the Siege of Budapest, 1944-45.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Adepticon 2015 Recap - FOW Early War Combat Patrol

In addition to running both my annual Necromunda tournaments (which none of the pictures I took turned out of!), I decided to take on one more event and branch out into something completely different for myself. This year's Adepticon was the inaugural FOW Combat Patrol tournament on Sunday. Mostly this event was an excuse for me to expand my collection of 15mm terrain, but I ended up being pleasantly surprised with both the players and the support I received from Battlefront.

FOW Combat Patrol is meant for new players to get experience playing Flames of War  in a tournament setting and for veteran players to get a chance to play in a time period that is less widespread than Mid and Late War. Players choose a 1000pt force, with only 1 HQ platoon and 1 Combat Platoon mandatory, and take them through a series of four linked scenarios. The spirit of these scenarios are geared towards fast play and limited objectives.

I had four players for this event (that's actually more than the first year I ran Necromunda!) - 1 German Czech Panzer Company, 2 French Combat Squadrons, & 1 Greek Infantry Company. I had five table set up, each representing a different country involved in the Early War battles - France, Greece/Albania, Finland, Byelorussia, & Egypt/Libya. When the dust had settled, the Greeks emerged the overall victors! However, all the players walked away with an award and some great prizes.

Though I undertook this event with the awesome assistance of the Adepticon crew, I was lucky enough to be approached by members of the Battlefront staff on the day of the event who provided even more prize support and guidance. More than likely this event will return in some form or another (with the news of the upcoming Cold War Gone Hot expansion - "Red Dawn" anyone?) at future Adepticons.....stay tuned!

Big thanks to the Adepticon staff (Hank, Matt, Rich, & Jamie), David Griffin at Battlefront, and everyone who signed up to play! 

French and Vichy AFVs duke it out for control of the chateau's wine cellars

Stukas divebomb a Greek artillery position

German Pz38(t)'s move to outflank defending Greek infantry

French AFVs take on Greek infantry in Finland (?)

Greek CV33s enter the table behind a decimated French AMD platoon

German Recce vehicles push hard on the French left flank

French tanks attempt to outmaneuver the steel rain of Greek artillery

Heavy French artillery ideally placed to engage the wily Germans

Stukas dive-bomb the surrounded Greek infantry 

A wall of Czech steel

Free & Vichy French tank forces fight one last bitter battle in Algeria

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Adepticon Saga Grand Melee 2015 - Every Warband Ever!

I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to play in the inaugural US Saga Grand Melee this year at Adepticon. All I can say if it was one of the best events I've ever played in - well-organized with amazing terran. I was only able to play a fraction of the players who signed up but every player was amazing - all-around great sportsman who offered good games and lots of friendly banter. Unfortunately, because I lost track of time, I didn't get any in-game pics.

I DID get pictures of every warband from the first day and all of them were great. My apologies for some of the poor pictures - the lighting in the ballroom was very poor and it was difficult to get good, balanced pics.

These Skraelings took first place overall

"Not the face!"

The Scots' Spiritual Advisor

These Irish won best painted overall

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Italians @ Malta, 1942: Paracuditisti Weapons Teams & Squads

While they aren't 100%, I'm pleased to be finished with this batch of my Bolt Action Italians for Adepticon. I won't be fielding all of them this weekend, but I feel like this is a solid start to my larger Italian force. Below are the remaining weapons teams - an 81mm medium mortar team, a Breda medium machinegun team, and a Breda light mortar team. 

Below is the completed Officer and Forward Artillery Observer. The FAO is probably my favorite Airborne mini - lots of character.

First Squad

Second Squad

This is the graphic I'll be using for my display board during the tournament and a picture of the entire army together.