Thursday, 22 February 2018

Aaron’s Spoiler-Free review of February (A.K.A. – The Blackcoat’s Daughter)

Horror movie themes seem to have been done to death in recent years, with some films tending to stick to one theme at a time, but thankfully for us, there are still some writers and directors out there that like to stir the pot a bit, and February is a great example of this.

February is the light-hearted coming-of- age tale (Ha! Yeah, right...) about two young girls who are left behind at the catholic boarding school over their winter break who begin to realise there is more in the air than what it seems, and dark presences begin to pop up all up and about the place. It sounds like I’m trying to sell you a piece of mediocrity here, but as mentioned, this is spoiler-free, so bear with me, I think it’s a grizzly.

First and foremost, the acting in this film is superb from our almost all-female cast, proving once and for all that young blood can still shine through, especially in genre films. There is a real sense of dread throughout this film, and a large part of that, I think, is how it manages to keep the viewer guessing throughout, leaving them with a sense of unease which is shared by those on screen, which really sucks you into the atmosphere and story as it unravels before you.

That being said, this film is of course not without flaws, borrowing many a cliché that others in its stead have near-nigh fucked to death over a barrel of the horror fan’s tears, but never the less manages to steer away from over-the- top action sequences that can make a good horror movie bad in an instant (Insidious, I’m looking at you, mister!). If you’re looking for a splatter-gore fest with a plot-by- numbers storyline being hand-fed to you (which there is absolutely nothing wrong with), then this probably isn’t your bag. However, if you like a bit of ambiguity and psychological storytelling in your horror diet, then this might just be up your alley.

Aaron's Spoiler-Free Verdict: A rewarding slow-burner with one hell of a pay off! – 7.5/10


Aaron James Waters is a best-selling Pulp Fiction writer who has written more books than he's actually read.

He's also the rotten apple of the group who thinks this whole Star Wars thing needs to hurry up and die already.

You can find Aaron's debut novel on Amazon!





Wednesday, 21 February 2018

Tabletop Review - Star Wars Armada "Profundity" Expansion

Designed by Michael Gernes and Sam Stewart, expanding upon the Star Wars: Armada system originally designed by James Kniffen and Christian T. Petersen.
  Published by Fantasy Flight Games

The Profundity is a long overdue addition to the Armada roster, considering its prominent role in the Battle of Scarif (as seen at the climax of Rogue One), and now it’s here, and...it doesn’t offer anything groundbreaking, but it’s still a welcome addition.  The modified MC75 is capable of chucking out some serious short range firepower, and with nine hull points, it’s not that far off of being able to face up to an Imperial Star Destroyer.

The model itself is excellent, with plenty of detail and some nice wash and weathering work, really making it “pop” on the table.  It’s also really big.  Not as wide as an ISD, but easily as long.

There’s some most welcome additions in terms of characters throw in here, as well. Admiral Raddus allows you to keep one ship in reserve, to be brought onto the tabletop at the start of any later turn. Bail Organa’s ability is intriguing, offering different power-ups depending on if you’re the first or second player, which could throw in some interesting bluffing tactics during fleet construction. Also, and perhaps rather unusually, we have Jyn Erso, who’s capable of filling an enemy ship with the new “Raid” tokens (see the review of the Chimaera for details on these), which could throw a serious spanner in the works for the Imperial player.

Rebel players will want to add the Profundity to their collection, and players who particularly enjoy fleet building will enjoy the new strategies and upgrades that are now on offer. More casual players may want to give this one a miss however, as while there’s plenty to recommend, there’s nothing to deem it essential.


One of the founding members of E14, Brad Harmer-Barnes boasts an impressive track record in the entertainment industry. A comedian since the age of 12, Harmer created the comedy club Rock N' Rant which entertained the people of Chatham for over five years.

A recurring guest on the Crazy Train podcast, Brad published his first novel, North Sea Hunters, in 2017, and you can now find all of his books from Severed Press via Amazon using the links below!


Tuesday, 20 February 2018

Tabletop Review - Star Wars Armada: "Chimaera" Expansion

Star Wars - Armada: Chimaera Expansion Pack
Designed by Michael Gernes and Sam Stewart, expanding upon the Star Wars: Armada system, originally designed by James Kniffen and Christian T. Petersen
Published by Fantasy Flight Games

Can we just take a moment to reflect on how awesome it is that we have Grand Admiral Thrawn in Armada now? And in the Chimaera, no less? It’s been a bumpy road bringing one of the Expanded Universe’s finest characters back into continuity, but we’re finally here now, and this expansion pack is an absolute doozy. What surprised me was not only do you get an Imperial Star Destroyer in the box (covered in Thrawn’s nice little detailing artwork), but there’s also two Mandalorian Gauntlet Fighters. They’re pretty nippy little dudes, and able to do seed enemy ships with the new “Raid” tokens.

“Raid” tokens, when given to an enemy ship, stop them from being able to issue a particular order. So a “Raid: Navigate” token, can’t resolve a Navigate order. The only way to get rid of them is to discard tokens or dials, meaning that with a few lucky shots, the effectiveness of an enemy ship can be severely reduced.

Not only that, but there are also extra bases included, allowing you to upgrade up to two other Imperial Class Star Destroyer models you already own into refitted models, with various extra upgrades. If you’re playing a 300 point game, you’d only ever be able to field two, but it’s nice to have the option there, in case you like to play with higher points costs, such as can be found in The Corellian Conflict.

So, what do we get in terms of upgrades?

In terms of characters, there’s Thrawn, and some supporting characters from Rebels, including Captain Brunson and Governor Price. There’s also a new Darth Vader upgrade card that lets you go Rogue One on a nearby ship, sending the Dark Lord of the Sith on a boarding mission to smash up some crew or equipment. There’s also the option to fire off chaff, which - as a semi-regular player of modern jet age games - I absolutely love, and there’s always room for more countermeasures in Armada.

This is an excellent expansion, and definitely worth picking up if you’re a dedicated Imperial player, a fan of Grand Admiral Thrawn, or just want to grab the new upgrades. There’s a lot more gameplay here than it first appears.


One of the founding members of E14, Brad Harmer-Barnes boasts an impressive track record in the entertainment industry. A comedian since the age of 12, Harmer created the comedy club Rock N' Rant which entertained the people of Chatham for over five years.

A recurring guest on the Crazy Train podcast, Brad published his first novel, North Sea Hunters, in 2017, and you can now find all of his books from Severed Press via Amazon using the links below!