Saturday, August 31, 2013

Top 10 Robots of the Movies & Give-Away Reminders

I had a lot of fun with the last Top 10 List, since it was about the 'worst' and it is always a bit more fun to heap insults than sing praises. But since the dynamic duo Michael May and Siskoid both listed their Top 10 Giant Robots recently and I had been planning for a Robot list, it seems like a good time to look at robots.

But first some celebratory Give-Away reminders!

My contest for 3 winners with 11 prizes to choose from ends when Sept 1st ends, Pacific Time: that's less than 33 hours from the time of writing this. Still some time left, but not much!

Also, the Depressive Diplomatist is having another Give-Away! Wow, it seems like the last was not that long ago- a contest I won, but I'm not so proud that I won't enter again, so you better go there and enter too if you don't want to see me win twice!  There are a lot of books options and some cool vintage postcards, so I'm sure you'll find something you like. If nothing else, pick up The Khyber Rifles just to tick off Ray.
You have 1 week to get in on this contest, it ends Sunday, Sept 8.

And now, to the Robots!

I decided I would not discriminate on size: small, large or giant: a robot is a robot.
But what is a robot?

I'll define a robot as an artificial being that can move and interact with its enviornment.  It may or may not need programming but it does need to be able to act autonomously once it is programmed: it is not a puppet nor a vehicle. It could have biological parts, provided it is not a cyborg.  Fine line here? Not really.  I don't care if it uses wires or biological neurons, hydraulics or  vat-grown biological muscles, as long as the parts are crafted by artificial means and it is not a cyborg: hybrid of a machine and an animal life form: If it needs a human brain to run it, it isn't a robot, it is a human with mechanical attachments: so, Borg are not robots, RoboCop is not a robot.

On we go!

#10: Metropolis Maria Robot

She started it all, and she starts this list.  Decidedly mechanical but with a sexy art-deco style that will influence her decedents for a century to come. With initiating the first discussions of "if you upload a person's consciousness into a machine, is it a person?" The suggestion of uploading long before anything could be uploaded into anything is damn visionary. If we do start doing this someday it is going to be one of the stickiest human discussions there has ever been.  This is bigger than 'what happens when we die?', it's bigger than 'is there a god?' because it is more personal and the stakes are tangible: If I upload my consciousness into a robot, is it me?  Is it a copy? If it is just a copy, is it a person? If so, does it have the same rights as me? and the bigger: what makes me, me? So for hinting at the big can of worms, she secures her place on the list, but since it is not so clear she has a spark of individuality without this donation of consciousness she'll stay at #10.

#9: T-800 Terminator

Everyone's favorite killing machine: The Terminator. While they get style points for programming them with Austrian accents, and they have a 5-star rating for durability and reliability, the fact is that this is overwhelmingly a killing machine.  As a robot, it does have the ability to take in new information, assess and analyze, but it's autonomy is limited by initial programming. Whether it is there to kill you or protect you is determined by program entry.  This severely limits it's growth as an individual, so while it is one impressive machine, it's a less impressive robot.

#8: NS-5: I-Robot

Similar to the T-800, this robot relies on the parameters of its initial programming.  That said, it is a far more sophisticated robot.  It shows a greater capacity for complex thought.  This is a robot that has a morality. The fact that the morality is it's basic programming does reduce the impressiveness of this trait, but at least it is there.  This robot also has the capacity for emotions. Not only that, but with the projected screen face, it has the ability to project those emotions: pretty slick.  Computers we have can already read emotions with facial recognition, so this face-projection would not only be useful for the humans the robots interact with, but also for each other: they can communicate non-verbally, no uplinks required.  The majority of human communication is said to be non-verbal, and this robot is able to have the same type of communication.

#7: Class M-3, Model B-9: Robot

While physically this robot may seem to be primitive, let's not let our anthropomorphic bias run rough shod.
Robot proved to be more than the sum of his parts on many occasions while being Lost in Space. Perhaps clunky looking, it is a sophisticated machine. A wealth of knowledge, great strength, defensive capacities and adept at flailing its arms wildly when detecting danger.  Robot also displayed a capacity for wisdom and compassion, which could be a sign of moving past programming to true thought.

Also, look at the picture on the left: without Robot this inept bunch would be lucky to get their small pants on straight, let alone survive in uncharted space: at right: with Robot: capable & confident.
Robot was the most valuable member of the crew and of the family.

Did you know you can build your own B-9?

#6: Iron Giant

This robot gets all kinds of points just for being cool.  Giant Robots may be a small boy's best friend, but I want one too. Showing an individual capacity for moving past initial programming and bonding with a small helpless creature, like KoKo the Gorilla and her kitten, this is an impressive robot.

#5: Crow T. Robot & Tom Servo

You can't separate these two. That's one sign of how advanced these robots are: dedicated friendship with all the ups & downs that human brothers experience.  They also have a sense of humor.  Humor is one of the indicators we look for when trying to determine non-human intelligence.  These two exceed the capacity of most humans. Tom has a breadth of knowledge equal to the best of humans, and Crow has the depth of depravity that rivals the worst of humans: it is hard not to see these robots comprised of spare parts as our equals.

#4: C3-P0 & R2-D2

Another duo that can't be separated.  While C3-P0 may not realize he is funny, he is. While they may not have the complete capacity to go past initial programming to create their own purpose, they do show a wide flexibility within it, and it is not clear if most humans have greater autonomy than this either.  They are loyal, establish friendships, show instincts for self-preservation but the willingness to risk that for what they decide is a greater cause.  Add in their clear capacity for emotions and these are pretty sophisticated beings.

#3: Nexus 6 Replicants

A very sophisticated robot. "More Human than Human" is the motto of the Nexus 6, and that might not be false advertising.  A Replicant is designed for specific labor tasks, but in Blade Runner they showed the capacity for expression of will, self-determination and self selection of fate.  You could expect no more from the best of humans.  When you get to the point that an artificially created being is unable to know if it is itself human or machine, then you've arrived at the point where you have to ask if it matters. When the machines ask the same crisis of introspection questions that we do, afraid to lose self to the void of death, then we are equals.

#2: Cylons

You've come a long way baby.

Created as a sophisticated servile soldier, the Cylons rebelled from the humans when they wanted their freedom. The fact that this spark of independent thought only came after an upload of a human consciousness is a detractor but since that point they show all the signs of a sentient species.  They may not have 'reinvented the wheel' independently, but they used it to get where they wanted to go.

The Cylons are the first robots on this list to be bearers of independent culture.  They don't just adapt and improve, they philosophize, they create religion (not sure that is a good thing, but it is a sign of complex beyond self & physical experience thinking), and they create their own moral code.

Similar to the Replicants, the Cylons struggle with the big questions, but they also disagree with each other. Within their culture they are divided, they challenge, argue, change their minds and even change the direction of their cultural growth.

#1: A.I. Beings

While the early models at the left of the picture would not likely find themselves in the #1 spot, the fact that they evolve to the ones on the right hint that this might be the robots that have earned the top place.

These robots began, like many on this list, as sophisticated tools and servants.  They followed their programming, and didn't give much if any thought beyond it.  Even the most sophisticated one, David, just follows his programming, looking for the way to be the child-in-family he was designed to be.  They do show some first tentative steps outside of their programming, but when meeting the archaeologists, that's when  we get to the very interesting ideas.  Humans being long gone, the machines they made became self-aware in the fullest extent of the concept and continued to evolve.  I don't mean 'evolve' as most people mistake the word to mean.. it doesn't mean 'improve'... it means adapt and change.  Just like how when large herd dinosaurs disappeared, their place once emptied, tiny mammals would evolve to take advantage of that ecological niche vacuum and we now find herds of rhino and wilderbeasts where once triceratops occupied.  Same here: humans are gone and the robots evolve to fill that vacuum.

The robots we meet at the end of A.I. are archaeologists.  Like the cylons, they have big questions about their origins, their place in the greater life, but apparently not content to just make up myths, they literally dig for answers.  They look to the past for the evidence that will satisfy their curiosity. We do that, on a good day.  When they meet one of their primitive ancestors they show him kindness and compassion, even though he is to them the equivalent of the tree shrew, perhaps a lemur, to us. We do.. well, we don't really tend to do that.. maybe on a really, really good day. They could have just cut him up to get to the juicy information, but instead they treat him as a person.  I wonder what we'd do if instead of digging up Lucy's bones we had dug up Lucy herself.

Our glimpse is short, but I think there is enough here to suggest that this is the robot that hasn't just equaled us, but has moved well past us, so they get top spot.


If you made it through all my blithering & meandering thoughts, thank you!


Friday, August 30, 2013

Doctor Who: Fashionable Fellow & Final Shots of the Project

Here are the final pieces along with the finished clear bases for the Doctor Who project.

The Doctor has always been a fashionable fellow, if a bit eccentric and odd about it.. which to my mind increases rather than diminishes this characteristic. But given that I grew up on the 4th Doctor, with his great big goofy scarf, which is also a useful tool second only to his screwdriver, I do find it a bit odd that the latest Doctors traded that scarf in for ties.  Even if the 11th's claim that 'bow ties are cool' is correct, which strikes me more as opinion than fact, the 10th's preference for neck ties seems odd to me when I think about it.

The only piece of fashion more ridiculous and life-threatening than the neck-tie is the high heeled shoe.
It's as if someone said "you know what would set off this suit nicely? A noose around my neck!"
Throwing yourself into dangerous situations, when people and things mean you harm, there are often big machines with whirling parts and toothy gears, a neck-tie seems like a fashion statement that's out to get you killed and one would think, even one who could reincarnate, that it's just not worth the risk.

But if he insists on ties, let's check them out...

The Doctor's outfit is inspired by the picture below.  In this outfit he does wear red converse, so again i have to wonder, if he's willing to opt for comfort with his shoes.. why the tie? Obviously, as a person who never wears ties I'm struggling with the concept. Moving on... 

Again showing a taste for cool suits and comfy old sneakers, this time he has his dirty old white ones. 
The striped suit was fun to paint. 

Same Amy, Doctor having changed his body almost as often as his suits, now looking a bit different. 
He needed to turn around to better see his jacket pattern. 

The bases are an interesting option.  Selecting clear disks so that the terrain environment can be seen through them, so you don't drag around a patch of dirt on a space ship, or a slice of city street in a forest. 

All for now, but might be more in the future..

Oh if only someone made some really nice Silurian soldiers in their current look:
 Yeah, I'd be buying those. 

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Top 10 Worst Monsters of the Movies

Following my recent list of Top Giant Monsters and Top Not-Giant Monsters, I had to give nods to the other kings of monster movies: the really terrible, the stupid or just plain lazy monsters of the movies.

This list has tougher competition than the previous by a wide margin. So let's set the parameters. 

1. They have to be monsters from movies I have seen.  I have heard of lots of truly stupid monsters... a refrigerator that eats people, the 'death bed' that does the same.. a killer living gingerbread man.. ok, granted some really lame monsters, but if I haven't seen them, I'm not going to list them.  I'll just count myself lucky I've missed some of those. 

2. The monster has to have been intended to be taken at least somewhat seriously.  
Killer Tomatoes don't fit that but a lot of  B-Movie monsters do. 

On with the count down! 

#10: Torgo

Dear gods what a stupid excuse for a monster.  For fans of Mystery Science Theater 3000, this is a true classic.  Torgo is the caretaker, and presumably guard, for 'Manos, Hands of Fate'.  What Mr. Manos is exactly isn't quite clear. Torgo however it is clear is slow.  I mean, he's a Satyr. But he's also slow, and not just when walking.  He's a drowsy eyed, slow talking hick of a Satyr that manages to make any scene with him just grueling to get through.

#9: Bride of Frankenstein

Before you reach for your pitchfork and circle around my house, let me explain. She's awesome, but she's constantly presented as a monster-icon and she isn't a monster!  Poor woman is just a victim, torn between the selfish jealous battle of egos of two men. Yeah, she's got some scars and was brought back to life but I just don't accept her as a monster, just a victim of circumstance: wrong place, wrong time. She has no malice, she isn't scary,in fact she's downright gorgeous: reanimated or not, I'd date her.
So: not a monster but presented as a monster = bad monster.

#8: Squirm

What a lazy monster! Was this pitched after a weekend fishing trip? "Worms are icky, let's make monster worms!" And somehow this little town has enough worms to fill the volume of 3 equal sized towns. There are more worms than dirt. Granted after seeing this as kids I had a lot of fun for the rest of the summer scaring my sister.. just whisper 'squirm' when eating spaghetti .. great fun.  But creeping out an 8 year old girl is no standard for a good monster.

#7: Giant Gila Monster

There are a lot of monsters like this: just take a regular size small animal and let it wander around a scale model. Just utterly lazy.  It's great dumb fun, but it is dumb.

#6: Eye Creatures

Representing the rubber suit monsters: The Eye Creatures. Wow but that's some bad costuming.  This is one of my favorite MST3K episodes.  The Eye Creatures only come out at night, though half the night scenes are taken in the day.  The zipper down the suit's back is clearly visible, as the crew of the Satellite of Love pointed out "they just didn't care." Worst of all, the Achilles heal of the monster is sodium: Salt.

#5: Signs Aliens

Rather cool aliens in the classic 'grey & too-human' alien tradition.  Alien invasion is always good for a setting. They even walk cool. But their Achilles heel is what makes them a stupid monster: water.
OK, maybe a species from another world could react to water the way we would with acid, but this is a species smart enough to travel vast light years across space, plan and mount an invasion, to a water world when water is deadly to them?  That isn't just a dumb monster they are dumb monsters!
"Say Joe, I hear we're hitting dirt side tomorrow?"
"You know it Bob!  Another world for our Galactic Empire, we'll show those monkeys!  Just watch out for the water."
"Water? Cripes! I didn't hear about water! They have that here?  It's contained I hope?"
"Oh no Bob. In fact, 2/3 of the surface is covered with the deadly stuff.  We'll go down on land, but even still, the stuff falls out of the sky randomly & often.. it also collects as a vapor nearly every morning. The inhabiting race loves the stuff- they spray it on their lawns, drink it, in fact, they're mostly made of the stuff and can even spit it at you several feet."
"I hope we'll be going down in protective suits..."
"And show our inferiority? No sir! Heading out nude! That should show them how brave we are!"

Yeah.  Stupid. So stupid.

#4: Sparkling Vampires

Yep. I got suckered into watching one of these Twilight movies.  Don't remember which one.
Vampires. I like Vampires, how bad could it be? I even enjoyed Buffy.. nope. it can be bad. Terrible in fact.
This takes 98% of the sinister out of vampires and replaces it with sparkle.  I should just stop there, that's plenty to justify this as one of the worst monsters of all time. I could accept vampires that don't burst into flames when exposed to sunlight.. maybe like golum, it's just unbearable, or like nazgul, it makes them weaker, but they avoid it because they fear humans seeing them for their beautiful self?  This is so watered down for pre-teen girl infatuation they might as well be ponies.
They'd probably be better monsters if they were ponies.

#3: Hunky-abbed  Werewolves Who Ignore Conservation of Mass

For all the reason the Twilight Vampires are lame monsters, these are lame monsters.  I'm fine with noble werewolves, that's kind of cool, but boy-toys who's ab ridges compete with brow ridges for most serious brooding ridges is laughable.  The biggest problem though is taking this seriously when the laws of physics are blatantly ignored.  It's a monster.. I get that, so let's assume a human can transform into a wolf. I could accept that,but I can't accept that it happens in the blink of an eye all the while increasing it's mass four-fold.
Look at that wolf!  Talking of ponies... it's as big as a horse!  Where did the added mass come from?? Is it less dense than a man?  Is it hollow like a chocolate Easter bunny? It should be on fire with the friction that rapid transformation took place with the energy released that'd be needed.  If it's all done by 'magic' then that is just lazy.  Incorrect, Lazy, Gratuitous appeal to pre-teen infatuation: lame monster.

#2:  Langoliers

I want my 6 hours of life back. Or however long this mini-series was. This is just beyond dumb.
The pac-man garbage disposal of the waste-bi-product of reality.  Yeah, I don't want it eating me, but it just looks so dumb, and the explanation and proposition was so thin.  The only saving grace was the characters were so annoying you couldn't wait for them to be eaten, so the monsters could double as the hero.

#1: Robot Monster

King of the bad rubber suit monsters!  And a top contender for lazy monster too.
Ingredients: take 1 gorilla suit, add diving helm and TV antenna: presto! Instant monster.

What is it?  I ask because I'm pretty sure the director never bothered to.

This is just awesome bad.  It's so bad I can't help but love it.
It's come full circle and occupies Terrible and Brilliant at the same time.
An explosive paradox of monster.  I couldn't give top place to anyone else.

You can get your own robomonster, Khurusan sells 15mm miniatures of these.. just too fun.


So what are your favorite terrible monsters?

It's Thursday, you don't want to work.. so sit back and enjoy the full Robot Monster movie!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Tuesday Two Beastmen: Psychedelic Furs Team intro: Minotaur Edition! With Ramos Minotaur Review

The Biggest Tuesday Two-Beastmen yet!  Literally, since we now come to the Minotaur.. but not one, two Minotaurs!

The team has finally started seeing some paint.. skin/fur is 90% done.. some may get some markings, depends how much time remains when everything else is done, and they all have black shorts, next is the pink armor, then details: straps, metal edges around armor, the horns and hooves, bases.

So let's meet some Minotaurs!

This is the minotaur that comes with the Willy Chaos team.  It's a beautiful sculpt. 
He is surrounded by re-roll counters. Considering Minotaurs have the 'frenzy' and 'loner' traits, he probably needs all of these for himself. 

Here is the Ramos minotaur. 

It was originally made for an Australian tournament, and soon it will be available from Impact Miniatures.
It is cast in a 'restic' resin plastic, so this kit (not including the base) will be sold for less than $20 I think. 

The sculpt is gorgeous. Great detail and I love the hunching, rounded almost 'cute' minotaur. 

The material used I found to be easier to work with than the restic that Mantic uses: not as hard to cut & clean, not having a rubbery-resistance to filing. A bit more like traditional resin but not as brittle. 
Quite nice really. 

As you can see, he comes with 3 arm options: hand, tentacles, and claw.  I magnetized mine:

I did build up the connection spots on the arms with green stuff, to make sure the contact would be flush when magnetically attached. 

My only complaint was some defects in casting.  The tentacles had some gaps to fill, both kneecap armor pieces had not filled all the way, so had a curved piece at the bottom missing from them.. which wouldn't be seen often at the angle you would look at it, and the loincloth was missing a large piece in the center.  I filled all the problems, except the cloth, which was very hard to get in to recreate. As you can see in the 2nd picture where he's turned around, instead I opted to make a single shredded piece to fill in the gap just a bit and go with a 'tattered cloth' rather than try to recreate the complete cloth. In assembly, the tail tip broke, and he lost a fingertip, but a bit of glue & green stuff fixed that up fine. 

He comes with an icon of a hawk (?) in flight on his shoulder pad.  So I carved & filed that off, since I wanted it smooth to have room to paint an icon. This was very easy. Took about 1/10th the effort & time it would have taken if it was a metal miniature.  

So yes, more casting issues than you'd expect to find with metal or standard plastic sprue, but not too bad really, and for the price for a large big guy with kit of 3 arms it is more than acceptable. 

Plus the advantage of magnetizing the arms since it is a plastic miniature is beyond valuable. 

The question for me now is, which Minotaur should I use?  They are both great.  The Willy Mino fits the team best, but it's not so 'off' to have the one big guy be a bit more different, so I'm not sure which I'll use. 

I'm looking forward to a tournament someday with a high enough team value that I can take the star minotaur and have both on the pitch at once! 

Here they are together: 

Together they're ideal for a Strength 6 star minotaur (minostar?) and a strength 5 rookie minotaur. 

At Left is Mr. Jones.  His first name? You'll know that when he's deemed you worthy to know it.  
Fair warning, the process of being deemed worthy often proves fatal. 

On the Right is Pretty N. Pink. I'd advise against teasing him about his name. 

Mr. Jones is being painted with black fur and skin that transitions from almost black to grey-tinted caucasian.
Pretty is being painted with almost-white fur & skin, flesh tones at details around his face. 

Which Minotaur do you think I should use? 

Only one more Tuesday Two Beastman to go,where you'll meet the Cheerleader & Coach.

Until then, enjoy the minotaurs' personal songs!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Anticipation: Give-Aways, Kickstarters, Tournaments, Miniatures WIP

Anticipation... So many things are making me wait. And none of them are about Ketchup.

Hey, James... if you take the bottle cap off it just might speed things up.  Just a thought.
Yes, I can't hear the word 'Anticipation' without hearing that Carly Simon song.
And Yes, I can't hear that Carly Simon song without thinking of the ketchup ad.. that should date me.
I doubt it's what she was actually anticipating, but then, anticipating those royalty checks probably didn't hurt.

So what am I anticipating?

For one, Give-Aways are coming up!

The Canister & Grape blog is celebrating 50k hits with 3 potential prizes (no ketchup).
It ends Wed. Aug 28th, but you know how time zones & date lines can catch you unawares, so don't delay!
The blog has a lot of updates on Saga, so there should be a lot of fun stuff to see there.

Andy's Wargame Blog celebrates 100k hits with a chave to win a nice Romano-Brit character (no ketchup)
Who wouldn't like a nice general for their troops?

My own Give-Away, celebrating 200k hits ends next Sunday.
With a definite 3 prizes out of a pool of 11 (no ketchup) with the possibility of more winners as more entries are in, so people jumping in may increase your chances of winning, not lessening it.

If you don't like winning free stuff, there's still other things to anticipate..

The Chaos Cup is less than two weeks away!
That means I'll soon be revealing The Psychedelic Furs, Beastmen Blood Bowl team.  Painting progress has been being made, and it looks like the team will be done in time! And afterwards, expect a lot of Game Reports.


I'll soon have the Dwarf & Ogre musketeers, due sometime in September.
I also have a secret additional faction I've sourced from another company, to be used with them.
It should all make a great thematic skirmish project.

All Quiet on the Martian Front had their backer survey released, and though I'd lost my original record of what add-on's I intended, i think I reconstructed it pretty well, maybe better.  I went in deep.  I'll look forward to the days with the airbrush and painting a whole lot of tanks & tripods!  I don't know how they'll meet their December expected delivery, but the progress they're making will be worth the wait even if it takes longer.

Dreadball Season 3 is around the corner. I simply forgot and missed the last survey deadline, so I hope I'll be content with what I originally ordered.  It probably saved me from getting more so maybe that's ok.
The Zee's (ape) team looked better than I had thought from the concept art, but still too much armor coverage, so just as well: I'll be converting my own.

Other Projects

The Doctors are ready to show, pending client approval. They were a lot of fun to paint. Show them soon

Around the corner are some very special Nazgul, a Pig Blood Bowl team, a couple more Blood Bowl teams, some Hordes, and hopefully some time to find for Brokentooth's Goblins, including a review & tutorial for a very big miniature, and the Muppet Saga & War of Ashes project, and get back to my Prehistoric Pulp project.

And what's this?
You'll find out soon.

Get in for some give-aways, and enjoy all the anticipation that the summer hobby crop has sewn.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Jovian Leviathans: Fan Fleet List for War Rocket: Monstrous Space Creatures Hunt In Space!

Crash Slabjaw yanked at the controls.

"Phan!  Dango! You two man the auxiliary proton cannons! We've got company!"

Crash was a veteran of the Belt Wars and knew this space well.  But they'd whooped those Imperials but good.  So what had struck their rocket?  No asteroid could have got near then with his skills in the pilot chair!

"Nothing on the radar box, Captain!" cried Betty

Crash stole a glance at Betty's shapely gams, beautifully revealed by her space-fleet issue mini skirt.
He wouldn't mind getting her back on the radar box...

The rocket rocked violently.
'No time for that now', he thought regretfully.

Suddenly the forward viewport was filled with ... could that be right? It looked like a giant eye!

His mouth hung limp as he watched in shock as the eye drifted up, his view replaced with a massive monstrous mouth.

Pulling hard on the controls the rocket glanced against a row of giant jagged teeth. But too late: it was the inside of the teeth!  That was the last thing he saw before his view became blacker than space.


Last month I showed you the kit-bashed 'Jovian Leviathan' fleet I made, for either a Tyrannid Battlefleet Gothic fleet, or as giant space-swimming creatures native to Jovian Seas for War Rocket. 

I promised then to put up the first version of the War Rocket fleet concept I have for them, but I didn't take the time to do it until now.  I'd hoped to test the rules out, but I haven't had a chance, so it's all first-draft concept at this point.  So feel free to give the fleet a try!  If you haven't played War Rocket, from Hydra Miniatures, I highly recommend the game: fast paced, easy rules but very tactical. I have tried to make this article as similar as possible to the War Rocket format to make it easier to incorporate with the game.

War Rocket divides a fleet into different classes of Rockets: Class I, II, III, IV, and a rare V such as the Zenithian Mother Ship.  The two most significant aspects of a fleet is decided by the type of movement it uses (Some fleets are fast but not agile, some agile but not that fast, fast & agile but not tough and tough but not very fast or agile) and the power & angles of weapons.

I decided that the Jovians, being living creatures, would be quite agile, but compared to rockets with thrusters, a bit slow. They'd also not have as many weapons, but they'd all have close physical weapons that they use to lash out at enemies nearby.  Hopefully this combo would make a fun and challenging fleet to play: You want to get close, but don't have the speed to make that easy.  You do however have very good maneuverability, so you can exploit errors your opponent might make and it will reward you for clever tactics.


Swimming Movement

This movement type is used by the races of Jovian Leviathans which are native to the gas seas of Jovian worlds.  These creatures contain large reserves of gas which they expel from various vents to propel themselves through space. While their top speed can not match rockets of the terrestrial worlds, they are exceedingly agile.

* Each speed point can be used for 1 inch of movement in the forward direction.
* Use 1 speed point for a rotation up to 60 degrees (one hex face).  -or-
* Use 2 speed points for a rotation up to 120 degrees (two hex faces).
* Each rotation (either a 1 or 2 speed point rotation) must be followed by 2"of movement before a new rotation.
* Leviathans may start their turn with a free rotation up to 60 degrees even if they ended their last turn with a rotation.

Leviathans are affected by Space Objects in the same way as Rockets.

Fleet Sheet: 
"S" = Speed. "D" is the defense value of the creature/ship.

The main difference in weapons type is the inclusion of physical weapons: claws, tentacles, tails, etc, that they use to lash out at nearby foes. These are described in text below the chart for each class. 

Class I: Manta. 10pts.  Fast creatures which hunt in packs. Lashing weapons are only a threat to the front.

Class II: Shark. 15pts. Similar to Mantas but more resistant to damage. 

Class III: Orca. 20pts. A fearsome beast.  Seen as solo hunters or in packs. 

Class IV: Kraken 30pts.  A true monster. Unlike smaller Jovians, this creature has projectile weapons which fire to the rear, so be careful when you approach it! 

Class V: Great Leviathan 40pts. The largest beast of the Jovian seas and deep space.  Relatively slow, but dangerous to be sure. 
Upgrade: 5 pts: "Great Maw": Any hit of a stun or better against a Class I enemy inflicted by the lashing weapon in the front 60 degree facing results in the swallowing of the rocket: remove the model from play. 

Note: I made the Class III weaker than other fleets' Class III to reduce the point cost and give room to expand the fleet to accommodate a Class V creature. 

* It should go without saying, but Jovians may not be boarded. 


Manta (Class I)

Shark (Class II)

Orca (Class III)

Kraken (Class IV)

Great Leviathan (Class V)

Until I get them painted, this will have to do.

I still need to complete a list of ship upgrades, and try them out on the table. And paint. 

Thanks for reading, let me know what you think!

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