Shouting At An Abyss That Just Stares Back – Contrarian Commenters


Adam yells about people on the internet, knowing full well the futility of it.

I am an individual pretty much consistently consumed with rage. Anger is the only basic emotion I have mastered, and I am known for my misanthropy and fury. I’ve decided to turn this into a semi regular article called ‘Shouting At An Abyss That Just Stares Back’ in which I will discuss something that has irked me particularly that comes under the umbrella of topics that The Lost Lighthouse covers, really as an outlet. I won’t as a general rule rant about every day occurrences, mainly because I live in London and really don’t have time to write a new article every time something pisses me off, which averages out about once every 37 minutes. I’ll also round off each instalment with a list of the things I’m enjoying at the moment, to end on a positive.

So the thing that has been p*****g me off this week is people that are intentionally contrary or combative in comments threads for no f*****g reason. I know comments are a wretched hive of scum and villainy at the best of times, and a shower of c***s the rest of the time, but for now I specifically mean someone who reads an article or a comment from someone else, then contradicts or points out something totally f*****g pointless for no other reason than making themselves look better or to p**s people off. I’m not just talking general internet trolls either (though I f*****g hate those time and space wasters too).

One example of what I mean was when finishing a recent game, there was a particularly great story moment that was both natural and unique in its own way, for which the developers received a fair few deserved pats on the back including from the LGBT community for the particular story elements involved. Even the majority of the comments were particularly positive for once, nothing heinously homophobic. But then some d**k starts saying how it isn’t a big deal at all saying (paraphrasing) “Oh my god, why are people praising this? This should be something that is happening everywhere already, this isn’t newsworthy”. Correct, it should be something that should be accepted. It would be great if one day we don’t need a news report about LGBT issues in games (or other media too really, gay superheroes make news headlines) highlighting the achievements of those willing to push the boundaries to include this stuff, because those boundaries will have already been pushed and this will be as acceptable and expected as anything else in the media we consume. But we aren’t there yet, so the people that get us closer to that absolutely should get the props they deserve. It just struck me as someone being contrary ostensibly just to show how much more progressive they are, so progressive in fact that they don’t even care about the issue.

Another recent example was following the very sad news of Harold Ramis passing away, on a retrospective piece looking at his career. The piece was on a relatively nerdy website, so there was a focus on Ghostbusters and his role as Egon Spengler in both the article and the comments. Then some p***k decides to intentionally rile people up/try to make themselves look more knowledgeable or insightful by pointing out that Ghostbusters wasn’t the only thing he ever did (something clearly discussed in the article) and that it wasn’t that great anyway. It being that sort of site, of course there would be an Egon focus because that is the role that meant the most to people like us. That is what people will miss the most. Being contrary and arsey about it specifically in that forum doesn’t achieve anything. I guess I don’t post opinions often enough in comments threads, but I really see it in the same way as in normal conversation. If I don’t have something positive or interesting to add to a discussion, on or offline, I just don’t f*****g say anything! Just because you don’t have to open your mouth to say something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t give the same level of basic thought about what you are saying as you would if you were verbalising it

Maybe my problem is just a larger one with comment threads. They can be full of pointless little fan-boy wars that don’t hurt anyone, or they can be minefields of the most deplorable arseholes that use the anonymity of the internet and hide behind cowardly little prefaces like “I’m not (blank) but…” to be disgustingly prejudiced against people they have never and will never meet based on their gender, race, sexuality or religion. Spouting toxic s**t about any of that stuff isn’t acceptable in a group conversation, why should it be OK just because you’ve got a witty username concealing your real identity? Anyway there are much better reasons to hate someone, like their personality. Or how s**t their witty username is.

*Disclaimer – rants can and will stray off topic, and then end abruptly.*

What I’m playing – Mass Effect 3 Insanity playthrough

What I’m reading – Bad Pharma by Ben Goldacre

The Last of Us: American Dreams by Neil Druckmann, Faith Erin Hicks and Rachelle Rosenberg

What I’m listening to – Altered State by Tesseract, Something Witchy (new He Is Legend track), Howlin’ Wolf: The Collection

What I’m watching – Star Trek the Next Generation Season 2

Some Motherf*****s Are Always Trying To Ice Skate Uphill

Adam takes a look back on one of his favourite action trilogies for no apparent reason.

After re-watching the Blade trilogy recently, I decided to do a very timely retrospective about why I enjoy it so much, because this website is all about bleeding edge stories and breaking news. Blade II was one of the first comic book films I saw and really responded to. My Dad and I rented it from Blockbuster (remember when that was a thing?) when I was about 14 on a weekend when my Mum was away visiting her folks, and as an 18-rated film that really reflects my Dad’s approach to parenting (he also bought me Doom II when I was about 7). We both loved it.

So I obviously watched them out of order, but I got hold of Blade very soon after so lets start there. I am of the opinion that the first Blade film has one of the best opening scenes in any film. It opens with some clueless moron being lured into a secret club which turns out to be full of vampires. The sprinklers start spraying blood all over the revellers, and their intended victim is knocked to the ground. Things are looking bad for him as he crawls through the blood, when he arrives at a pair of unblemished boots. Everyone backs off from this newcomer, as the camera pans up to the only man who has ever managed to wear sunglasses indoors without looking like a d**k. It being fairly clear that this is our titular character Blade (Wesley Snipes), we are then treated to an excellent action scene in which he dispatches half of the clubgoers with a dizzying array of fantastic weapons, including a badass sword and a throwing glaive. Even if the rest of the film was s**t it wouldn’t matter.


We are soon introduced to several other characters, including Blade’s friend and mentor Whistler (played for some reason by country singer Kris Kristofferson) and the big bad Deacon Frost who is trying to turn himself into a vampire god. The film culminates with another pretty decent fight, with some now pretty shonky looking special effects (it was 1998 admittedly) and an excellent victory line of “Some motherf*****s are always trying to ice skate uphill”.  Everyone should check out the alternate scene in the DVD extras “La Magra”, in which Blade basically fights a blood tornado with Frost’s face occasionally poking out to taunt him. They claim it is unfinished, but I can’t think of any “finishing” that would make it not s**t.

Blade II came out in 2002, and starts off again with a great couple of scenes, one with Blade hunting down vamps to discover the whereabouts of Whistler, and another setting up the threat of the film,“Reapers”, which are a new breed of vampires who hunt other the normal kind and have faces that are a terrifying combination of the Sarlac and very aggressive female genitalia. The vampires panic and recruit Blade to help them kill the reapers for reasons, teaming him up with a squad trained to hunt him that includes Ron Perlman and Danny John Jules which is excellent. Blade also picks up a new tech sidekick played by Norman Reedus, long before he became a one man zombie killing machine. Shockingly they betray him, even though he says “You obviously… do not know… who you are F*****G WITH!”. Also somewhat predictably, the vampires plans go to s**t because they were idiotic anyway, Blade takes a swim in a pool of very thin blood and once again kicks all sorts of ass (throwing a suplex into one of the fights for good measure). The special effects are considerably better, but seem to be overused in the last fight and don’t quite look right, but it is still a fun smack down.


Blade Trinity then came out in 2004. Despite some issues with plot holes (and a weird scene introducing a really cool weapon that is never used in the film), I saw it a couple of times in the cinema. 17 year old me thought it was a brilliant film, and to be honest 25 year old me still enjoys the hell out of it. The film opens with another hunt, with Blade getting filmed killing a human. The FBI rock up and arrest him, then he gets sprung by a group called the Nightstalkers. The only two properly fleshed out members are the ones on the posters, Jessica Biel playing Abigail Whistler (sponsored by Apple) and Ryan Reynolds playing Hannibal King. Reynolds gets a lot of flak for some of the poor films he’s been in, but he is the best part of this film (also one of the only good things in the Green Lantern film, and before the film goes to shit he plays a great Wade Wilson in X Men Origins: Wolverine). Consistently funny, has a great brawling fight with Triple H (who is not terrible in this) and he delivers with excellent venom what remains my favourite ever insult – “you c**k-juggling thunderc**t!”. The films plays out with Blade fighting Dracula (or Drake, whatever) because why not, when asked “are you ready to die?” responds with “I was born ready motherf****r”, then we get a keep fighting the good fight sort of ending. Definitely the weakest of the three, but a very easy watch.

So there are some thoughts on a trilogy that I have always had a lot of time for. They may be a bit cheesy and predictable, but they are brilliantly stylish and violent vampire flicks that were some of my favourite action films growing up, and even now I think they are incredibly fun to watch.

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture Ep 2 – Hooked On A Feeling

Welcome back ladies and gentlemen, for the first “proper” episode of The Weekly Rapture, brought to you by The Lost Lighthouse. This week we chat briefly about our general excitement levels after seeing the Guardians of the Galaxy and Godzilla trailers, Gary tiggles his gooch and Adam decides he hates 2014.
We also have our main talking point, which for this week is the topic of the next-gen consoles. We discuss how well the PS4 and Xbox One seem to be doing so far, along with the games, graphics and price comparison between the two, as well as talking about which we are more likely to buy if we can ever scrape together enough doubloons from the ocean floor to afford it. We also briefly touch on the WiiU and Steam Boxes.
If you have any thoughts. questions or opinions on our terribly misinformed blather you can as always get in touch through Facebook or on Twitter @lost_lighthouse, email us at or sound off in the ‘leave a reply’ box at the bottom of the podcast page on the website.

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Gary’s Top Three 2-Player Games


The dreaded top 3 list! They are difficult for anyone to write, particularly when the subject is something they are passionate about. I was toying for ages with this one. 2-player games are something of a precise art form. It needs to be engaging enough to keep both players hooked. With more than 2 players you tend to get the banter between the other participants while one person decides what they are going to do. With 2-player games you don’t get that grace. So with a lot of thought, here are my top 3 in reverse order:

3. Cube Quest

This is a perfect little game that doesn’t take itself too seriously. In a nutshell, two waring armies made up of cubes are secretly set up on opposite sides of these nifty mouse mat battlefields. Then the generals – you and a friend – take it in turns to flick the warriors (cubes) at each other to try and knock the other player’s king off the table. How are the glorious kings represented you ask? Well…they are just other cubes…with a crown sticker on.

2. X-Wing

Is it a board game or a miniatures game? Well it says miniatures game in the title but it’s made by one of the biggest board game publishers around, Fantasy Flight Games (FFG). Ether way I don’t care, it’s awesome! Do you want to be looking up one of a hundred possible manoeuvres then cross referencing it with your opponent’s? No, of course not. You want be snapping necks and cashing cheques! X-Wing uses an innovative manoeuvre dial system so your opponent’s move is a secret to you and your’s are to him. They’re then revealed in order of who has the best piloting skill. I highly recommend picking up the core set. It is futile to resist.

1. Netrunner

Yes yes I know it’s a card game but I still think it counts. Netrunner has exceeded all expectations I had. Also published by FFG, it will have you pulling your best poker face all game. It’s an LCG (living card game) not a CCG (collectible card game) like Magic: The Gathering. Which means you won’t be spending lots of money trying to find that illusive rare. You can just find the card you want from the expansion it’s in.

I very much consider this game a combo of risk management and high-powered bluffing. If you read easier than a Beatrix Potter book then it’s time to get practicing, as you’ll have nowhere to hide. One player represents the “runner”, a cyberpunk hacker who wants to show the corporation as the dirty, lying, stealing thugs they are, while taking a few credits for themselves along the way. The other player represents the aforementioned dirty, lying, stealing “corporation”, trying to secretly score “agenda” points.

This, to me, is the best card game on the market and I can’t get enough of it. You can pick up the core set for around £30. Well worth it in my opinion. I have two! I wanted three of each card – I know, I know, WHAT A NERD!

Well that’s my top three 2-player board games, though none of them really uses a board. Oh well they are all awesome anyhow. X-Wing and the Netrunner core game can both be picked up from Element Games.

See ya soon, cockers!


What are your top three 2-player games?

The Lost Lighthouse: The Weekly Rapture 1 – Statement of Intent

Hi there folks, and welcome to the first episode of The Weekly Rapture, the weekly podcast brought to you by The Lost Lighthouse.

This being our inaugural episode, it is just a short one really just to explain what we are planning to do with the podcast and what the site (which you can find at since you asked) is all about. Those familiar with our old podcast probably won’t be surprised at how quickly we stray off topic and ramble a lot.

Next episode’s topic will be the next gen consoles. We will chat about the systems and how well they seem to be doing, which we are more likely to go for and why, and the games we are looking forward to the most.
Please send us any questions you guys have, opinions on the games, and if any of you have already got a PS4 or Xbox One, let us know how your experiences have been with it so far!
You can get in touch through Facebook, via email (, on Twitter @lost_lighthouse or drop us a reply on the podcast page of the website.

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Seven Seas Of R’lyeh

I walked down the aisle, as casual as a person being watched could. How long had it been? 3 maybe 4 aisles. His eyes burning into the back of my head. I reached for the tome. I’d spent my last few pounds buying an intolerable hog dog from a portable vendor, trying to hide the urgency of my mission from my pursuer. It hadn’t worked. I swiftly placed the book in my jacket and began exiting. Had I done it? Was the stalker just a physical manifestation of my paranoia? I could see the door. I had done it. That’s what I thought until a strong, authoritative hand grabbed my shoulder and asked me to come to the security office. Well, I thought to myself, that’s the last time I try to steal a book from Waterstones.

I arrived late to the Cthulhu mythos party, and hadn’t even brought a bottle of wine! But I haven’t looked back since. I love everything from the 1920s setting to the themes of mind-shattering paranoia. H.P. Lovecraft had been sold to me by a different medium – board games! I love Eldritch Horror and Elder Sign and that’s why I decided I must read some Lovecraft immediately.

After a small amount of research I found the best item to start with was “The Call Of Cthulhu”, a short story with only 32 pages. Now I love short stories and this has become one of my favourites. It’s based on the diary of an ill-fated professor and his grand nephew, who’s the narrator of the tale. He finds out as much as he can about the ancient one Cthulhu and the place he slumbers, the corpse city of R’lyeh. I won’t spoil anything but it’s a great nighttime read!

Second up was “The Dunwich Horror”. I purchased the Penguin publication edition, which had a collection of other Lovecraft stories included. This tale is of the long forgotten hamlet of Dunwich and its rather backwards inhabitants. There are many old families based in this region, with even older secrets. It introduces another of the ancient ones with their own macabre way of forcing their will upon Dunwich. This story is amazing but the other stories included match up to it incredibly well.

Classic horror fans should really give these books a go! The language is challenging at times but it’s worth persevering with. I highly recommend both.

If you’re a fan of Cthulhu already, what stories would you recommend to our readers?

Malifaux: An Introduction


Our own wargaming expert Ben is here to introduce the exciting world of Malifaux

Malifaux is a tabletop miniatures game you may have heard of, if not, it’s a game done by Wyrd games, you can check those guys out here

A very simple summary for those that don’t know of Malifaux, it’s a skirmish based, objective driven, strange steam-punk themed game without the use of dice.

For those of you that do know about the game, you may know about me from the various Malifaux things I’m associated with.

So let’s get to the point shall we?

Actually Skirmish

A major issue a lot of people have with tabletop wargames, is the sheer amount of space it takes up.
Now admittedly Malifaux still needs a 3 foot square table to play on typically, maybe even a little more space to keep your stat cards and all those things.
This however is less than the 8*4 that some mass wargames require.

I say “actually” skirmish in reference to the amount of miniatures you need to play a game (note, you’ll want more in your collection, geeks tend to be kleptomaniacs too).

A typical “crew” (what us Malifaux folks refer to our forces as) will have around 8-10 miniatures tops in a standard game, there is the possibility to fit in around 15 miniatures, but I am yet to see it and it probably isn’t advisable.

Now 8-10 miniatures, that is probably obvious to anyone who’s seen Warhammer and the like that it’s a lot less than those games (8-10 doesn’t even make much of a unit in some cases) but actually, even in comparison to a few other skirmish games this is still the low end.

What does that mean?
Well if you’re really into the painting you have a lot less models to paint, but it means you have a lot more time you can realistically spend on them, doing your best work.
I currently am running a painting competition on twitter, each month the category has a theme but has always been single miniature(so far), now even if you only painted for this, you could get a crew done in half a year.
If you dislike painting, then the lack of models you have to bother with is great or cheaper if you’re paying someone else to do it.

Transporting your crew is far simpler, no giant suit cases, smaller ones, that you can even ride the bus with, is possible.
If you don’t mind the larger cases, it’s something you are used to, then you can easily bring a lot of your collection, gives you more options and chances to show other friends.

Investment, when I say this, I don’t mean financially, but emotionally.
Each single miniature will become more important to you, the characters will have a much greater chance for you to be emotionally invested in them, growing in your mind, but that’s the next bit.

The themes and background

Now in the quick intro, I threw out “steam punk”, now where this is the strongest of themes in Malifaux and sets the time period, the characters and themes span a lot more than that.

Steam punk is your thing? Well it may be your bag, we have steam powered robots, clockwork guns, goggles and all.
You like animals? There’s a beast master, who almost has a menagerie rather than a crew, there’s hounds, there is even a master of pigs!

What about Cthulu? I know there’s a lot of geeks out there who love it, well, Malifaux has tentacle monsters like “The Nothing Beast” or even strange amphibious guys like “Silurids”.

Military? Outcasts have the Freikorps.

Ninjas? There’s an Asian themed faction the Ten Thunders.

Zombies? The Resurrectionists.

Little goblin like guys? Well there is the Gremlins.

If that wasn’t enough for you take a look, each of these factions have 7 masters.
Each with their own rich backgrounds and themes, each with their own style and minions that fit better with them.

The stories are so rich in this game, that I would even recommend buying the older books just for background.

It really is very engaging.

Back to the gaming side.

Look ma, no dice!

One of the big things you may already know about Malifaux, or are still taken back by from the intro to this blog, is that the game forgoes the use of dice completely.

Instead of dice, the game uses a deck of cards 4 full suits and 2 jokers for 54 cards.

In the briefest possible way to explain this, rather than having to roll a value on a dice to succeed in an action, the Space Marine needs a 3 or higher to hit his target, you need to flip a card.
Sometimes this is to get a certain number, but more often it’s in addition to your relevant stat vs. your opponents and their deck.
I flip an 8 with my shooting value of 6, my opponent flipped a 2 with their defense of 5.

I hit!

Well, it’s not quite that simple.

First off, the deck has 4 suits (face cards are 11-13), sometimes a more difficult action may require you to flip a specific one of these. Sometimes, flipping a certain suit may give you an additional bonus (a trigger we call it) and not just while attacking.

However, it isn’t just flipping cards, Malifaux, allows you to somewhat control your own fate, with the “control hand”.
Typically you start a turn with 6 cards in your hand, what these cards do is allow you to “cheat fate”.
Mechanically what this means is you can replace the card you flipped with one in your hand.
This is an important resource to use carefully, as you don’t draw a new hand until the next turn in most cases.
What “cheating” can mean though, is you can pass that test you failed, try and out do your opponent in a duel and many more things.
The totals you make matter as the degree of success or failure can sometimes effect further things, like the amount of damage you may be dishing out.

Controlling fate, simply gives you more control in the game.
You can plan a head further (strategy) or mess up your opponents plans on the fly.
Having 4 lots of 1-13 which you are drawing through, also allows you to predict luck a little, rather than just cross fingers and get superstitious.
You can’t have the game where you get only aces (which are ones, which is bad) as there is only 4.

However luck is still a factor, variance can make games fun.

Also, you still have your equivalents to criticals in the form of the Jokers.
Red is good, you will learn to love this card as it is whatever suit you want it to be and counts as a 14 plus a few more benefits, but as quick as you will learn to love the red joker, you will soon despise the Black Joker.
The Black Joker, is zero, no suit, nothing, you can’t cheat fate when it appears and at the wrong time it can mess everything up.
But hey, variance is fun right? Right?

Using cards over dice actually creates a lot more interesting mechanical interactions, but that could do with it’s own blog post one day.

Strategies, Schemes and a whole load of bluffing.

You’ll hear some Malifaux players tell you that you can win the game even if you get tabled, which to the typical wargamer would sound crazy.
I can lose all my figures yet win the game?
The reason for this madness, is actually one of Malifaux is biggest strengths.

It’s scenarios, or Strategies and Schemes.
These are randomized like many other games and give you a lot of variation regardless of how many different opponents or crews you may get to use.

The “strategies” are what you would typically see as the main mission of the game.
The big difference is only 1 of the 5 are solely about killing your opponents crew, the rest are about vying for power of areas, either quarters of the tables, the centre of the board, the typical objective based type things you may see in other games.
This is something both you and your opponent are going for, to score a maximum of 4 points from.

The “schemes” is where everything gets very cool.
First a pool of 5 schemes gets determined at the beginning of the game.
These range from, Assassinating your opponents leader, to framing your one of your opponents models for killing yours, to giving your opponents a cursed object, to planting some evidence, to
Ok I could go on for ages, there is after all, 19 different schemes.

What makes these even cooler and more exciting is two things.
First is the fact that you may have generated 5 schemes, but you are only picking 2, your opponent does not need to pick the same which gives the game some asymmetry to it.
You can pick what you think is easiest, more fun, more thematic, it is entirely up to you.
The second, is that some of the schemes are hidden, only once they are scored are they revealed to your opponent.
This means, your opponent may have to be playing a guessing game and the best bit of that.
You can bluff.

Not only in Malifaux can you bluff powerful cards in your ìcontrol handî but you can pretend to be going for one scheme you actually have no interest in at all.

The schemes themselves are worth up to 3 victory points each, meaning you can score 10 total in a game and the schemes take up the greater part of that.
Some schemes that can be hidden can achieve these higher scores by being revealed, but then, there is no bluffing that.

All in all, the way this mission system is set up, makes the game so diverse and so interesting in comparison to a lot of straight forward and kill games we have out there.

Now this is not everyone’s cup of tea, but it definitely makes it possible, that Malifaux is the best miniatures game out there and more importantly, maybe the right one for you.

Thank you for reading, what is a fairly lengthy “sales pitch” as such.
Malifaux is a fantastic game that has been growing immensely over the past couple of years.
It’s recently had a second edition launch and this has seen the game become even better and even more beginner friendly.

One part I did not mention, was how great the community is for this game.
You’ll be hard pressed to find a group of war gamers more friendly and welcoming than the Malifaux scene.

All I hope is this gives you a spark of interest, maybe just to find out more, maybe to go find your local “Henchman” to run you a demo or maybe even, just to buy some figures and try out the game with some friends.

-Ben (@psientologist)

You can find more from Ben at the Malibros or Malifools sites.