Nerdlife 13: Never Tell Me the Odds

Sorry about the delay on this one but I got sucked into a wormhole and spent most of the last couple evening messing around with MegaMek and trying (er… failing) to get the hang of it. That campaign editor is just taunting me at this point. Sadly I’m not that familiar with the Battletech Tabletop rules.

Anyway let’s begin.

How to make Warhammer Adventures NOT suck [11 mins]

Arch Warhammer outlines his modest proposal for how to go about writing a children’s story in the Warhammer 40k universe while still staying faithful to established lore.


Cody Fernandez on the Punisher, antiheroes and how the character effected him as teenager.

An excellent take on vigilantes and the contrast between heroes who wear white hat and those who feel they must wear the grey hat.




Edible six pack holders? This is actually a good idea.


How the Crusades begin in Spain [22 mins]

The video is a little dry but this might be interesting to anyone who plays Crusader Kings or is interested in medieval history. Of note is how Pope Urban II seemed to consider the Reconquista of Spain to be equal in importance to retaking the Holy Land. Also a castle actually named “Deus Vult.”


Tim Simon on how Byzantium and Gondor from LotR are connected.

and yes this was Tolkien’s intention.



Strangely this would make for some pretty exciting comics. The character interaction between Knighty Knight and Detective Horse would no doubt be memorable.


J. D. Cohen Declares the Short Story dead and begins a murder investigation.

One thing I’m going to add it that it has proven to quite difficult to start writing short stories when you’ve grown up not reading them.


Mecha Warriors [song]

I just love the little stories this guy comes up with for his songs.


A quick note on worldbuilding.

Food, art and music. Food is the easiest but only becomes a concern when the characters don’t have a steady reliable supply of it. Or if they are moving between multiple cultures. Art and music are best left for the slower parts of the story and again would only be noticed if the character is operating outside his usual culture.



A typical day on any internet gaming forum.


Anthony M. On the nature of parody and what makes a good one.

The old maxim is that the best parodies are done out of a love for the source material. Which is why so much of the modern subversive comedy of recent years falls flat.



Where’s my tactical buzzbombs?


The Rocket Robin Hood opening and theme song.


This was a horrible cartoon but damn if that theme song didn’t inspire young boys. Also you do have to respect the sheer pulpiness of the premise.



Well okay when you look at it this way…


Amanda S, Green critiques the internal economics of Star Trek.


Military History Visualized on German Flak Towers in WWII [8 mins]

So basically a form of Nazi castle. These flak towers might also work transferred over to a sci-fi setting as spaceport cities would need to be defended against pirates and Marine raiders.



I case you we’re wondering just how ridiculous Disney Star Wars is.


Cameron Mount goes over the history of The Green Hornet and what made the character popular.

Quick note if you dig around on Youtube it is possible to find the old movie serials. Sometimes even edited together into a single movie.


1933 US Army Cavalry Training Film [10 mins]

A very interesting look at how interwar cavalry units operated. The horse handling procedures are also a great deal more involved than I would have envisioned. Each platoon also has two light machine guns organized into a weapons squad that breaks apart into fireteams to support the rifle platoons. This is logically the only way to do things but actually seeing how it was done is strangely satisfying.


An article covering the flaws in more contemporary vampire stories, while giving a few suggestions.

“The most common complaint I hear about Twilight (other than Kristen Stewart’s acting) is the vampire as a romantic figure. I wholeheartedly agree; casting a vampire character as a romantic figure is akin to putting a mosquito on the cover of People magazine.“




Jim Fear on how Realism destroys Sci-fi, Fantasy and Horror Stories.

These genres are fundamentally based on wonder and fantastic elements. Even Low Fantasy which uses supernatural elements very sparingly needs to sell those elements when they are encountered. Besides if I wanted reality I’d look out the window.




Battletech Lore: Origin of the Battlemech [14 mins]

Strangely topically at the moment. As there does seem to be a BattleTech revival of sorts in the works.



A neat piece of history.






J. D. Cohen Declares the Short Story dead and begins a murder investigation.

One thing I’m going to add it that it has proven to quite difficult to start writing short stories when you’ve grown up not reading them.








Jon Mollison on how the new wave of Independent Crowd-funded comics are rekindling his love for the medium.

Seriously – those of us following a policy of, “Don’t Give Money To People Who Hate You” are being boxed into ever tighter corners. Can’t watch TV. Can’t go to the movies. Can’t even enjoy vast swathes of tabletop gaming.”


— Wolfman out—

The womp rats died for nothing,

Nerdlife 13: Never Tell Me the Odds

2 thoughts on “Nerdlife 13: Never Tell Me the Odds

  1. Food, art and music. Food is the easiest but only becomes a concern when the characters don’t have a steady reliable supply of it. Or if they are moving between multiple cultures. Art and music are best left for the slower parts of the story and again would only be noticed if the character is operating outside his usual culture.

    One I’d put just below food and before art: children. Let me quote a long email I put in a group list once:

    “Where da babies at?”

    No, this isn’t about whether things are appropriate for children and concerns for their stories, it’s world building pure and simple. Let’s take two concrete examples which aren’t even that heavily SJW, but pretty friendly to them.


    First, the anime “Attack on Titan.” The set up is similar to the Night Lands where a remnant of humanity is besieged in the world’s last city by giant monsters (who are pretty much zombies). The largest difference being that the technology is black powder/steampunk level rather than futuristic.

    All fine, I was quite enjoying the first few episodes. Until it was revealed that the military is all volunteer.

    And allows women.

    That is not an immediate problem, in such a situation one could see a rationale for maybe having women learn to shoot and defend themselves (we have that today). But they’re all young women of the ages 18-30. Prime fertile years for females. In a world that humanity is fighting against extinction.

    Just think about it logically. Let’s assume pressures of natural selection have caused women to develop a much greater and stronger muscle structure than the ones we know – fine, different world, different rules. But if the strongest women (decided by co-ed training exercises) are put into the military where they frequently die, then the weaker women, who did not go into the military, will be the ones bearing offspring. It wouldn’t take many generations before humanity as a whole is just plain weaker than their ancestors. The only real excuse the show has is that with the military being voluntary, most women would probably avoid service to actually breed. But again, with the military men also being shown as not producing offspring, one has to wonder how any military standard is maintained in this world as the generations should be getting weaker.

    Yes there are twists and turns that reveal a lot of the world building in Attack on Titan was a lie but that still doesn’t explain why the culture acts contrary to what it should believe – except for the excuse of the author’s meta-knowledge bleeding into characters who shouldn’t have it. For example, during one attack a large cart full of goods is shown having trouble in the evacuation. A cart full of stuff – not a cart full of children which one would think would be a priority. Actually it would be more fitting for all children born to be shipped to the middle of the city and raised communally – which would not only be fitting for the culture, but also fit within the revealed lie. But again, there is no acknowledgement or consideration of babies in the story.

    Let’s consider another story. The card game, Magic: the Gathering, has been having stories that go along with their sets for years. Two of their sets deal with a world based upon Egypt & its mythology. The world, Amonkhet, is a paradise where undead servants cater to every need of the populace, which frees up the populace to train for ritualistic trials.

    The catch? Fighting through the trials ends up killing a lot of people (those people become the new serving mummies for the populace), with the final champion… also being killed. The problem? EVERYBODY trains for the trials. Similar to Logan’s Run, the heroes in the story find only 1 person around 30 years old in Amonkhet. A direct quote:

    Packs of young joggers maneuvered in swarms through the city streets. Some pairs were lifting weights in the uncountable dozens of training arenas that lined the limestone thoroughfare. Others were sparring with rehearsed motions in carefully roped-off gymnasiums. There were no shops, no wares being sold, no bakers nor butchers nor builders nor police.

    Every resident was awake, training, and not one could have been over the age of twenty.
    “I feel old for the first time in my life,” Chandra said, half-kidding. She and Nissa stopped momentarily to watch an eight-year old spot a six-year-old while they bench pressed a weighted bar.
    The child huffed with effort while trying to lift the bar with both clenched fists touching each other.
    “Don’ do it that way, you’ll lose contwoll of the bar!” the standing child chided.

    Where do the children come from? In the midst of all that training, who’s screwing to make more warriors? The story does establish the servant mummies take care of raising children, but there’s no hint at who is procreating in the first place. No pregnant women exercising, no hint of sexual desire at all. Indeed when we get a look at trainee life, they seem to sleep in communal housing like soldiers in barracks (which would make screwing pretty awkward I’d think). The winner of the trials doesn’t even get a night of debauchery as a reward and to try and maintain the city’s numbers, but rather goes on to their “final reward” immediately. So where the hell are these children coming from?

    (Ok, yes, it makes sense for the Naga in the city – they would conceptually lay eggs and maintain their number that way – perhaps the Aven too – but the other races appear to be mammals.)


    So I say when worldbuilding, also consider where and how families are operating. They don’t have to be front and center, but there should be a logical place for them.


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