Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Episode 600

Read the comic here.

Longtime readers may wonder why the Minnesota Wash and Fox settled in isn't the one in the Cola-Zombie universe.

Simple answer: Brick World (the Cola-Zombie universe introduced back in Episode One) doesn't have a Minnesota. Ergo, they settled somewhere else.

Longer answer: At that point Wash and Fox had quit the strip, so they'd be living outside of that universe.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Episode 599

Read the comic here.

Out of town at the moment - strip will be integrated with the normal page flow late today.

Comic is now posted normally.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Episode 597

Read the comic here.

With today's strip we're back to a normal m-f schedule for Brick House.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Advent Madness: VS Day 25 - Part 3

Advent Madness Day Twenty Five - Part Thee - The FINAL EPISODE


The final of three Christmas-Day rounds.

As agreed to at the beginning of the game, the final turn begins with a die roll to see who will get to act first. To Player A's mounting horror, Player B wins the roll.

Santa is already in Player B's control (in the hands of her Jester HERO), but she's trapped in Player A's Staging Area - a great distance from the center of the table.

Remember: Whichever side of the center line Santa occupies at the end of this turn will determine the winner.

Player B sees an opening to end things quickly - she tries a HEROic Teleport with Santa back to her own Staging Area!

Player A uses her ZOMBIE HERO to mentally disrupt the teleport sequence - adding one die in opposition to Player B's teleport roll. She needn't have worried - Player A flubs her roll with a 1 - the final FEAT result is 1-6 - Not only did the Jester's teleport go wrong, but he lost his grip on Santa in the process!

Player A decides on the endpoint of the Jester's teleport - the unused Staging Area 2 on her side of the table. The Jester is effectively out of the game!

Player B has one last chance - The Knight moves to Santa ----

Worker: "Does it look like they're making out to you?"

AHEM. Player B declares that she's going to have her HERO Knight THROW Santa across the center line. It's an insane move - and just right for the climax of the Advent Wars.

Players A and B agree on a ratio of die-roll to inches of movement - and Player B picks up the dice...


There's nothing Player A can do. Her HERO has already used his FEAT for this turn. All of her forces are back in her Staging area. No one can reach Santa, much less get him back across the center line.

"I guess that's it, then."


And there you have it. Twenty seven rounds of mayhem brought to you by LEGO's Advent Calendars and Reasonably Clever. I'd like to thank Players A and B for their willingness to drive over to my house and be photographed playing such a silly game.

If the rumors are true and there's both Pirate and CITY Advent calendars in 2009 maybe I can have them both back for a rematch...

The Stinger After the Credits

Advent Madness: VS Day 25 - Part 2

Advent Madness Day Twenty Five - Part Two


The second of three Christmas-Day rounds.

As the turn opens, Player B's HERO Knight has Santa in his grip - but he's deep within Player A's territory. And it's Player A's turn to act.

Player A, now at a 0-2 HERO disadvantage, tries a HEROic REVIVE on the sadly Mutilated Dead Zombie HERO. The roll fails 2-3. Player B, however, decides to let the Zombie revive anyway - but with the penalty of NO ARMS.

Player A uses her Movement Phase to adjust the positions of Emo-boy, Train/Construction Man, and the Crook.

The Crook and Worker combine their attack on the Jester - who falls to a roll of 13-25.

Player A also combines the attacks of Emo-Boy, Siege Cat, the Chef, and Grissom to take out that pesky HERO Knight. The roll of 22-11 means he's down yet again! Santa is blown clear again and staggers about until Emo-boy loads him onto the red cart.

It's a bad starting position for Player B - can she recover?

Player B begins her turn by trying a HEROic REVIVE on her Jester. A super impressive roll of 20-1 later he's back in the KAOS KART and ready to take action! He jets over to the fallen Knight...

Who ALSO tries a HEROic REVIVE. A roll of 4-3 and he's back in the action as well.

The Archery Cart tries a combined range attack with the White Skeleton - it's close, but Emo-Boy loses on a roll of 12-11! Santa Bounces free yet again!

The Jester is ready and scoops up Santa!

The Mind-Controlled Snoball-Gal uses a Grate-Smash on the Jet-grill on the HERO Knight - but it fails 14-18.

One round to go. And Player B has the ball.

Advent Madness: VS Day 25 - Part 1

Advent Madness Day Twenty Five - Part One


The first of three Christmas-Day rounds. The final battle between Castle and CITY for the FATE OF THE WORLD.

(Well, okay, really just the glory of having control of Santa Claus - but that's still pretty darn cool.)

As the turn opens, Player B has Santa loaded on her Maid's Hover Board - and is ready to jet towards the center line...and victory.

Player A wastes no time in stopping that attempt cold. Combined fire from The Snow-Mech, Grissom, Chef, Emo-Boy and Siege Cat take down both the Maid and her Board with a roll of devastating roll of 37-11. Santa is again thrown clear - landing Dazed and Confused amongst the loose bricks of Player A's Staging Area.

Sadly, none of Player A's forces are in range to pick up Santa, so she ends her turn.

Player B begins with a HEROic DASH to reclaim Santa. The roll succeeds!

Meanwhile the Jester moves up in the KAOS KART. The Archery Cart is already in range of the Snow-Mech however...

...and a combined attack roll from the Siege Arrow and White Skeleton Archer earn a 20-6 Knockout Blow.

The Snow-Mech is melted - and his hat joins the lineup of the fallen.

The Martian Commander, too far away to hit anyone with his lone remaining spear - decides to try a HEROic MIND CONTROL of the Snowball Girl. An 8-5 roll means he has gained control of her as a ZOMBIE!

The Alien-controlled Jet-Grill moves up and tries a Grill-Slam on the Knight - but it fails, 14-18.

With only two rounds left Player A seems to have a slight edge - even if Santa remains in Player B's direct control. It's a long way to the center of the table...

The next round will be posted at noon! See you then!

Holiday Episode

Read the comic here.

Merry Christmas to all my readers - may today be happy for you, no matter how you choose to celebrate it. Heck, have a happy day even if you'd rather not celebrate. Everyone could use a happy day once in a while.

Brick House picks back up tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Advent Madness: VS Day 24

Advent Madness Day Twenty Four


If you haven't already, you'll want to check out the CITY and Castle daily reveals to see what forces our Players will be deploying today...

Turn 24 - the final found of reinforcements from the Advent Calendars. Player A pulls her tenth min-figure from her box - along with its Snowman Sidekick.

Continuing her trademark re-evaluation of the parts, however, that friendly Snowman becomes a formidable SNOW-MECH - armed with ranged attack Spear Gun and close-combat broom. The Snowball-Gal immediately replaced the fallen Aquaman on the Jet-Grill.

Player A was starting this turn at a disadvantage - Player B had just managed to wrest Santa Claus from her grasp. Could she stop Player B's escape?

Player A decides to forgo her movement phase - her vehicles and figures all have their targets in range. She starts off by launching a mass-attack at the Bomber Bucket's piloting Troll.

It's a massive roll - and the Troll falls with a roll of 23-10! More than enough to remove the Troll - and the excess damage carries over to the Bomber Bucket....and it's payload of BOMBS.

With a mighty KA-WHAM the bombs ignite - vaporizing the Troll. But what of Santa?!?

Luckily for both Players, Santa was merely flung from the exploding Bomber Bucket - and sent smashing into Player A's defensive wall! That had to hurt! For the remainder of the game Santa will be treated as "unconcious".

Last turn, Player B used her White Skeleton's turn to rebuild the Archery Cart. This turn Player A launches a small attack from the Snowmobile's Train-Construction Driver at the Skeleton. The attack fails to land by a roll of 3-16.

The Martian Commander, however, has better luck with his dice and finally regains consciousness. He'll be ready to take a part in the final Christmas Day rounds.

As agreed at the begining of the Advent War, Player B's ninth and final minifigure also gets the "HERO" status attached to it. Here we see the Jester emerging from his plastic cacoon.

And here he is taking command of Player B's Kaos Kart. His first action is to try a HEROic Feat and use the Kaos Kart's Chaos Gems to teleport over to the unconcious Santa.

Unfortunately, the dice aren't with Player B and the teleport goes awry! It's up to Player A to decide where the failed teleport ends up...

..and she chooses to leave him right by the Alien Commander. Too bad the Commander used this turn returning to life - he'll have to wait for next round to attack the Jester.

Player B now moves to "Plan B" - the Wench moves up on her Hoverboard and wedges Santa up against the Chaos Gem engine. This will slow down her movement rate to just 5" - but Player B has still regained control of Santa.

Player B finishes her turn by moving up her HERO knight and Skeleton to try and cover the Maid's retreat.

There are just three turns left - and no more reinforcements. Those final three turns will be posted tomorrow at 2:00 am, Noon, and 4:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.

Can Player B make it all the way past the centerline with Santa in tow? Will Player A regain control?

All that matters is which side of the table Santa is on at the end of turn 25-C.

It's going to be a hell of a fight.

Episode 596

Read the comic here.

I'm soooo glad to be done with the Advent items. There were some great things to come out of this year's run...stuff that's sure to make 2009 much more entertaining. But, wow, does December take a lot out of me.

Time for a drink...and it looks like Ian has that covered for me over in The Adventures of the S-Team...

Advent Madness: CITY Day 24

Advent Madness Day Twenty Four
(Open the Doors Here)

Snowball Girl and Snowman

You know, LEGO didn't do too bad with the CITY Advent this year. Sure there were a few repeat sub-themes, and there were days where the mini-models made no sense at all - but, looking back at the calendar as a whole... It was a fun trip.

And this trip comes to an end with Day 24 - a final self-contained sub-theme to keep everyone happy and busy while they eye the rectangular boxes under the tree and hope they contain more LEGO sets.

This year Santa is again strangely absent - in his place is a wintery duo of a Snowman and mini-figure. Maybe she's the snowman's sculptor. Maybe she's a random passer-by. All I know for sure is that the extra parts that don't go directly into the Snowman's construction leaves me wondering if the LEGO designers didn't end the calendar with some juvenile humor about snowballs.

As far as Snowmen go, this is an interesting take on their construction. It's certainly recognizable - while somehow remaining extremely abstract in form. The tophat and broom give the Snowman instant credibility - despite the fact that he has no face.

The accompanying mini-figure is pretty unimpressive - standard hair, head, torso and legs. An overall is probably not the best outfit for playing in snow, but I guess the designers had their reasons.

Leaked set information for 2009 suggests that this time next year we'll be wrapping up the 2009 CITY Advent. Will it improve on the 2008 release? Or will we spend the Holidays weeping for lost opportunities?

Tell you what. You show up again to read about the Advent next year - and I'll take the time to write about it. Deal?

Advent Madness: CASTLE Day 24

Advent Madness Day Twenty Four

(Open the Doors Here)


Here we are - the grand finale of the Castle Advent Calendar. The final door hides a new mini-figure - an awesome addition to any Castle Collection - The Jester.

I can't claim to be surprised to get this guy - he's figured prominently on the front of the Castle Advent box after all.

When news of this set was first leaked back in January it was a tossup which figure would generate more excitement - the Wench or the Jester. (No one really noticed the new Witch over in the corner - mostly due to the leaked image being too low-res to make out any details.)

Later in 2008 we would see the Jester hat turn up as part of the Batman line - recolored to Black and Red for Harley Quinn. But the blue-and-red version would remain a Castle Advent exclusive - along with an all new "Big Grin" face that wasn't shown on the box front!

Since today completes the Castle Advent, I wanted to close with a few observations about the calendar as a whole. While I regularly whine about the repetition of the CITY calendar, I'm sure I'd be equally grumpy if I were to see a Castle-only offering year after year. There's only so much you can do with one theme in the scope of an Advent run - you might get away with two years, but after that you're going to be sucking fumes, and the calendar will suffer for it.

But, fresh out of the gate, this calendar had just about everything you could want. New figures with unique and hard to find parts. A few interesting Mini-Models. Solid sub-themes. Sure, it had a few days where you couldn't help but feel cheated - but those days just helped the truly awesome kits stand out that much more.

From the news that's already leaked for the 2009 Advent Season it doesn't look like we'll have to worry about what a second year of Castle would look like. From what we've seen it isn't being developed.

But...there is word of an alternate to the ever-present CITY option. Just a rumor at this stage...but still....

Advent Pirates.

See you next year, Matey!

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Advent Madness: VS Day 23

Advent Madness Day Twenty Three


If you haven't already, you'll want to check out the CITY and Castle daily reveals to see what forces our Players will be deploying today...

Player A was glad to add yet another vehicle to her armada - and luckily the Train/Construction worker was on hand to pilot it. Meanwhile, the cat climbs quietly back onto the Missile Launcher, effectively negating Player B's attack last round.

Player A also moves the Crook and Grissom mins slightly - but not enough to justify their own photo.

The action begins as Player A uses a combined shot from the Worker and Emo's Siege Weapon against the Witch. The dice are with Player A as the round starts - a 22-5 smashing victory!

The cart is destroyed - and the Witch melts away as if she were in Oz. What a world!

Player A's remaining forces open fire in unison on Player B's HERO Knight - but the dice turn on Player A and the Knight Survives 15-20.

Player B, meanwhile, has been busy creating her ultimate vehicle - the KAOS KART. It's a treasure chest powered by Chaos Gems and filled with bombs to chuck at foes. Too bad she's once again trapped without a pilot as her forces are all across the table attacking Player A's forces.

Here's a closeup of the KAOS KART. Note the jets on the chest's lid. Assuming she can get a pilot for it, this vehicle will have the max movement rate of 15"/turn.

Player B completes her movement phase - her forces have closed in on the Jet-Grill that protects Santa and are ready to combine their ranged attacks...

It's a 21-9 Knock out! Aquaman in Decapitated! The Jet-Grill's protective grill is blown open...

...And that means the Troll can scoop up Santa! Player B has regained control of Saint Nick! But can Player B get him back to her side of the table before the end of the game?

There are just four turns left - one more reinforcement round on the 24th - then three turns on the 25th to decide Santa's final fate.

Trust me: It's going to be a wild ride.