Topic “Battlestar Galactica”

Toy Traders

Toy Traders ExteriorYesterday my friends introduced me to a store that has my vote as THE best toy store in the greater Vancouver area. It come up in conversation at Sunday's Dublin Crossing brunch when I asked if there were any good toy stores in Langley (I had a birthday present to buy). "Didn't I know about Toy Traders" they asked, a little surprised? Well no, I didn't. That's fixed, now.

Toy Traders is located on the Langley Bypass across from Willowbrook Mall. I'd have never found it on my own. If by some remote chance I had seen the store front but only peeked through the door, I'd have walked away. As you enter the store your first sight is toys for kids under 10. It isn't until you walk past the first row of shelves and see a full sized R2D2 that you get an inkling of the figurine and action figure goodness that awaits you.

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BSG Location Scouting: Boundary Bay - Our Poor Dead Earth

Boundary Bay Park Entrance SignOne of the kicks being a Battlestar Galactica fan in Vancouver is recognizing the local locations. Among the different events organized by the local BSG fan group, The 13th Colony, are location scouting road trips. It's the BSG fan version of geocashing, and a nice way to get outside. Yesterday we did a road trip to Earth, otherwise known as Boundary Bay Regional Park [ Google Map ], and checked out spots where some key scenes took place. As always, our magnificent President Val had everything organized, including screen-shots so we could match the landscape.

We were scouting three primary shots. Val already had two of the three nailed. The third? The episodes were shot two years ago in the fall or winter. Everything has grown and, being late spring, is green and leafy! I'm positive we're close but couldn't say for sure.

So here's the recon report.

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A Fistful of Cubits

Val (aka Space Pug, aka Madam President), organizer of The 13th Colony (Vancouver's Battlestar Galactica Fan Club) semi-regularly shows up with the coolest things. At the BSG event today — a location scouting road trip to Boundary Bay, pictures coming soon — she came packing a wad of Caprican cubits! Although I'm not sure I can name the source (don't want any Taurans coming after me) I can say the drinks are on Val if we ever get to Caprica!

Val holding cubits

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13 Weeks of Battlestar Galactica

Val with BSG Poster
13th Colony Leader (and possible Cylon) Val
with "13 Weeks of BSG" Poster
The end is near for Battlestar Galactica fans! If you're in Vancouver, you don't have to experience it alone!

With rollicking good stories worthy of the Peabody award, a writer's strike, and the general insanity that is network television, it's been quite a ride for fans of the "re-imagined" Battlestar Galactica. And now we're at the beginning of the end. The start of 2009 brings the end of Season 4, and with it, the end of the series.

The local BSG fan club, The 13th Colony has arranged a special treat: 13 Weeks of BSG! It's 13 fan viewing parties, one a week, for the 2 Season 4.0 marathon refreshers and the 10 final episodes! And just for good measure, there's a final post-mortem get together to wrap everything up. I've even heard there will be prizes.

All of the viewings are at LaFontana Cafe, 3701 Hastings St, in Burnaby (Google Map). It’s just a couple of blocks from the Kootenay Bus Loop on Hastings Street, so easy to access even if you don’t have a car.

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BSG - The Board Game

BSG Game BoardLast Saturday's rainy weather provided the perfect backdrop for a group of Battlestar Galactica geeks, including yours truly, to try out the BSG board game. Spacepug played host, graciously volunteering her apartment. It goes without question the company was great, but how was the game?

BSG the board game was fun once we got past the learning curve; but that learning curve is a bitch! None of us had played before and it took about an hour to make it through the first round. Once we got rolling the game became quite engaging.

Players assume the persona of one of the Galactica crew. Six isn't a crew member, so no character in a red dress, but Boomer/Sharon/Eight is definitely up for grabs (so to speak). Each character has unique skills and abilities. In addition, one player becomes President and another Admiral, giving them some extra abilities (including a couple of nukes).

Each character is given "loyalty" cards, seen only by them, determining if they're a Cylon. Humans work towards getting the Galactica to Kobol before running out of resources or getting destroyed in combat. And Cylons don't.

The game board consists of a rendered Galactica surrounded by six regions of space, Colonial One, and locations in Cylon space. The internal locations facilitate actions, the external locations gets populated by Basestars, Raiders and Vipers for space combat.

BSG Game BoardA player's turn consists of drawing skill cards, taking a movement, taking an action, a "crisis", and the "jump" phase. Sounds easy, but there's a rich/complex set of actions available. The movement/action phase has a player working alone to do what they need to do. During each player's crisis all players participate to solve the crisis, or perhaps make it worse. Participation is designed so you can say one thing and do another; handy for fraking up the works if you're a Cylon and no one knows it yet!

About half way through the game, more loyalty cards are handed out in the "sleeper" phase. Are you really a Cylon but didn't know it? Welcome to the new reality, complete with distrust at no extra charge. Much like the four from the final five, one of our Saturday players had a hard time making the shift.

Once over the learning curve I started really enjoying the game. The little details that add to the complexity really helped immerse me in the game. As Starbuck, I was flying Vipers and killing Raiders, oh yah! And the game is relentless just like the show. There are no breathers. With each player getting a crisis every turn, you're in a race against time to jump before running out of resources or getting blown out of the galaxy. Even when it wasn't my turn I was actively involved in solving the crisis phases in everyone else's turn, and eventually cursing Spacepug who started on my side as President and later became a Cylon sympathizer. And there was palpable relief among us humans when we left those Basestars and Raiders behind after a jump. Well, except for the time a Toaster raiding party got aboard.

I don't think this game will appeal to someone who isn't a BSG fan, or at least a Science Fiction fan. If you like board games, BSG, and games that let you do evil to your friends, check this one out!

TV Omnimbus – Robots Funny, Cute and Dangerous

Robot Chicken

Robot ChickenRobot Chicken Season 3 is on the air in Canada, premiering last Friday on Teletoons Canada (who has such a lame website I'm not going to link to it).

What more needs saying!

Joss Whedon's new show: Dollhouse

Joss Whedon PhotoWith the writers strike now over, information on Joss Whedon's new TV show, Dollhouse, has once again begun to trickle out. The latest news for hungry fans is the dramatis personae.

If you're hearing about Dollhouse for the first time you'll be happy to hear there's at least one TV series slated for Fall 2008 with a good pedigree. I quote the fan site (such is the drawing power of Joss Whedon that Dollhouse already has a fan site) Dollverse:

Dollhouse is a FOX series created by Joss Whedon (Angel, Firefly) and starring and produced by Eliza Dushku. The concept is change; it follows a top-secret world of people programmed with different personalities, abilities and memories depending on their mission.

Ok, the raw concept has been done in any 20 science fiction stories but anyone who's seen Joss Whedon's stuff knows we'll get something unique and quite probably exceptional. I haven't found an official website, but if you're interested in more information.

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Battlestar Galactica Starwars Birthday Pegasus Refresher

Tonight was the Battlestar Galactica Pegasus Refresher. Val (the Meetup Group organizer) is super creative and went all out on the treats. Val happens to have also be a Starwars fan and the proud owner of a light saber, which lights up and does the sounds effects. Get a group of fans together and the odds of it being left alone are infinitesimal. As it turns out we also celebrated Starwars fanboy Yves (aka Jedi Yves) birthday. Three guesses how he cut the cake:

Cutting the cake Jedi style

Oh, and we also watched the BSG Pegasus episodes in anticipation of the upcoming BSG movie: Razor. I'll let Val fill you in on that.

Vancouver Battlestar Galactica Fan Club Blog

For any Vancouver Battlestar Galactica fans out there. The local fan club, The 13th Colony, now has a blog in addition to their Meet-Up site. Check out http://13thcolony.wordpress.com/ for ongoing BSG goodness.

The 13th Colony Banner

Battlestar Galactica Season 3 Finale Party

Calling all Battlestar Galactica fans!

The season finale is soon upon us. The 13th Colony, Vancouver's Battlestar Galactica Fan Club, is having a dinner viewing of the season finale.

From the website:

BSG PatchOur location is 80s Restaurant in North Vancouver. They have a separate area of the restaurant (turn right at the top of the stairs) with a large projection screen. Our deal is that everyone who shows up will order off the menu. They are a family restaurant, with menu selections from burgers to prime rib, for between $7 and $15. They also serve beer and wine.

In order to have our dinner & dessert finished by the time the show starts at 7pm, I would suggest arriving between 5:30pm and 6pm.

Full information here: http://battlestargalactica.meetup.com/16/calendar/5556328/

P.S. If you haven't seen it yet, make your own BSG video: http://www.scifi.com/battlestar/videomaker/. Sadly, the contest isn't open to Canadians. It's fun playing with the clips, though!

We found Earth, but where can we find coffee?!

Battlestar Galactica PatchRight out of the launch bay it was clear the "re-imagined" Battlestar Galatica (BSG) was sometime different. One look at Katee Sackhoff's Starbuck made it real clear ("Oh my god, Starbuck is a woman?!"). That it was simply great drama quickly became apparent, but going on to win a Peabody award was icing on the cake.

Given the affinity great shows have for attracting fan groups, especially science fiction shows, it's surprising and a little ironic there isn't a Vancouver BSG fan group (it is filmed here, after all). That's just changed. A fan group named The 13th Colony has just started with Meetup as its home: http://battlestargalactica.meetup.com/16/

Their inaugural coffee and chat is scheduled for Saturday, February 10 at 2:00pm.

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