Every gaming club has one. No I don’t mean the rules monger whom everyone thinks takes the hobby a little too seriously and should really get out more. I mean the ‘party’ game. The game that you can happily get twenty-two people playing at once. Obviously being gamers it’s unlikely to be an eleven aside kick-about but I digress.
I was in a club in a city in the south-west when it was decided to play a party game. As an added bonus the game would decide the greatest hero of them all. Rules were sought and models were collected to represent some of the greatest sci-fi personas and teams ever. The game also had some obligatory fluff in the form of a tenuous scenario regarding capturing an ancient relic.
The game began, and the hordes of gamers marshalled their minis. A team of Count Dracula and Frankenstein’s Monster set out to guard the relic. Van Helsing turned up to destroy the vampire, but was soon seen off by Captain Kirk and Spock. Blake’s Seven took cover in a bunker and set about surpressing Buck Rogers and Twiki. An almighty Jedi council stormed the field, but Dirty Harry was in a bad mood and blasted Yoda and company into a galaxy far far away. The game played out like a twistedly insane royal rumble until the Cybermen turned up via parachute in turn three. Then the real carnage began. TV and film stars began fading. Batman and Robin got cyber-pounded, even the Daleks failed to stop the metal menace. Hot favourite to win, Leman Russ, flying into the fight on the back of Y Ddraig Goch (the Welsh dragon) was soon unseated and found a steel bootprint in his primarchs.
So there you have it. Over the course of one afternoon the members of that club established beyond question that Cybermen truly are the most terrifying creation ever. Make of that what you will, but I suppose it means that if you field an army of them in any game you will definitely win. Unless of course your opponent has that meddling Doctor…
Well what has this got to do with gaming I hear you cry? Absolutely nothing to be honest, but gaming has been a bit on the backburner for the past few weeks. Besides, it’s never a bad move to have other interests and hopefully appeal to our vast non-gaming audience. I hope all you googlebots are paying attention! For all you hardcore gamers out there, I assure you that ZombiePirateXXX should be assembling his Space Hulk models as we speak. Once we get around to playing it then I am sure service will be resumed as normal.
If you ever talk to an old person, they will generally say that things were better in ‘the old days’. Personally I have never felt that being bombed, eating rations or being an unwashed beflared hippie particularily appealing, but then to use a phrase “Like woah, I wasn’t there, man”. But I do recall the nineties with particular clarity, and I do recall these were good days. In the nineties the average joe thought spam was a canned meat, tweet is what the birds did, anyone with a mobile phone was a bit posh, and CDs were still considered a pretty neat idea.
They were simpler times. Most importantly though is that the kids didn’t listen to emo. Music was more upbeat. Dance music was big. Yes you had the occasional emo song on the radio but it was yet to become a way of life. One of the more popular bands of the era (especially with teenage intellectual girls or so it seemed) were The Smashing Pumpkins. They were quite big at the time (apparently), and Mellon Collie was their biggest release to date. Naturally I completely ignored it. I was too busy bashing my eardrums out to the sounds of the Prodigy to really care about some whiny guy from Chicago. A few years elapsed, and eventually my guitaring exploits (remember, this is the nineties and with no Guitar Hero we actually had to learn to play), and I ended up in a university covers band. The drummer, being Belgian, was allowed to suggest we play ‘Bullet With Butterfly Wings’ as part of our setlist. So I got hold of the album which I had been happily ignoring for all these years. We learned to play the song successfully.
Skip on another year or two and I am making a road trip to Norwich. Now to those of you who haven’t been there, Norwich sits at the bottom of a space-time distortion in east anglia. It takes an eternity to reach it from any direction. Colman’s mustard was actually made by bronze age anglo-saxons but has taken several hundred years getting it out of the county to the rest of us. Anyway, I digress. My car had a newly installed cd player. Guess what the only album I had with me was? You guessed it, Mellon Collie. So I listened. For what seemed like days. And I loved it. I still listen to it to this day, both discs. It is what an album should be, it is a musical journey, where every song is a part of a much greater audioscape. It’s a true piece of genius. To be honest I’m still not a Smashing Pumpkins fan, but for these 2 hours or so, Billy Corgan is one of the greatest musicians of our era.