Alt-Hero #2: Rebel’s Cell Is Out

Arkhaven Comics has just released the second issue of Alt*Hero; this time following the American vigilante story and featuring the Rebel and Hammer characters that were central in the original trailer video.

This one definitely went in a different direction than I was expecting. While a certain level of dark grittiness was inevitable, shit got real very fast here.

It was also good to see that Rebel and Mike Hammer are actual multi-dimensional characters here when it would have been so easy to turn them into lazy stereotypes.

Overall while I liked Alt*Hero #1 Crackdown I couldn’t really get excited for it. I could see the European Storyline being set up for future issues and the comic was overall surprisingly funnier than I expected. In baseball terms issue #1 was a lead off single.

Issue #2 however was a RBI double, bringing home the baserunner and the bacon. Much faster pace and higher immediate stakes for the viewpoint characters. An element of humor remains however, as seen in the offhand some of the rebel superheroes are introduced to us.

Overall a clear step forward for Arkhaven and a bit of fun for the rest of us.


Looking forward to seeing the online hatescreeches… which just makes the whole fan experience ever better.


—Wolfman Out—

Alt-Hero #2: Rebel’s Cell Is Out

Direct-Fire Grenade Launcher

A very interesting weapon when considered from a Mil-SF point of view.

Forgotten Weapons presents the Inkunzi PAW [24 Mins]

Simple enough that Colonial Garrison troops can keep it maintained and no electronic parts to show up on enemy scanners.

Bit a of high recoil weapon so it looks like the genetically engineered catgirls won’t be using it but we can’t have everything, can we?

Direct-Fire Grenade Launcher

Down In a Mekhole, Without Any Meks

Still autistically spending hours fiddling around with MegaMek/MekHQ. While I still really suck at the actual giant stompy robot battles I’ve at least gotten the interface figured out.

This is one hell of a piece of software. The BattleTech Fan community has actually gotten MekHQ to the point where it is possible to play a mercenary campaign strictly against the AI and the evils of the random number generator. You do occasionally have to go into GMmode and intervene but it’s amazing how far they have already gotten.

However on the flip side there is a strange peculiar fun to be had playing a very low level campaign as a scavenger group, an outlaw clan, a group of wannabe pirates or even a petty noble house. Perverse pleasure is to be found not just in embracing the giant death robots of legend but also but fighting for scraps in their shadow.

You have to do everything manually but it is possible to abuse this engine designed solely to express the glory and honor of enormous titans pf high technology doing righteous battle against implacable foes.

You can instead retreat to the realm where squads of infantry and a handful of low-end vehicles duke it out (usually at point blank machine gun range) for prizes so petty most mechwarriors won’t ever get out of their cockpits to pick it up.

What can I say? It’s a strange solo RPG experience.

But it leads to some very memorable moments.

For example I had the case of an old venerable armored truck, that was over the course of about a half battles repeatedly shot to pieces, and then repaired (if not rebuilt) only to be shot to pieces again in the next battle.

This armored truck only had a single machine gun, which wasn’t even on a turret. Still I had to keep using it as I couldn’t afford anything better. However it slowly dawned on me that the truck was indeed doing its job as every bullet shot at it was one less attack on my other more vulnerable units.

Thus the truck has been dubbed Bulletsponge Steelpants.


Link to MegaMek Download


Link to MekHQ Download



Sadly the famed armored truck was finally completely destroyed in the very next battle, by a mechanized-hover platoon at least two of the three crew baled out.

Down In a Mekhole, Without Any Meks

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 hoe 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 by 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

Colonizing What Now?

Newest episode of Issac Arthur’s Outward Bound has been released and it discusses a planet mostly discounted in science fiction.

Colonizing Mercury [27 mins]

There’s a couple of interesting ideas thrown around here. Nomadic cities or mobile mining bases (very similar to the Nomad City mining operation ran by Lando Calrissian in Heir to the Empire.)

Mushroom Colonies: Which are interesting from an artistic or architectural stand point.

and then there’s building a planetary scale sterling engine.

Colonizing What Now?