Geek Etymology – Orcs!

Here I am back at it again taking a look at the origins behind some of our favourite geekiest words. Today I’ll be tackling a seemingly straightforward word, and that is ‘orc’. As everybody should know, this is yet another fantasy creature, and should prove to have a relatively simple history behind it, but where does the word actually come from?

Orcs_-_Two_Towers
Orcs from LotR: The Two Towers

Before we start, we should first define what an orc actually is. Orcs, sometimes spelled ‘orks’ tend to be brutish and violent, if not evil, humanoid creatures that are generally depicted with somewhat animalistic features such as tusks, snouts, or sometimes with an ape-like appearance. They are popularly depicted as green-skinned but also are sometimes black, grey or brown in colour. They are also commonly seen as large muscular figures, usually much larger than a human, but are also often small and scrawny and akin to a goblin. It can be hard to define their appearance overall, as they are depicted with a very wide range of characteristics, often even within the same piece of fiction.
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Me and My Worker Placement Games: Champions of Midgard V Lords of Waterdeep

 

 

…Well actually the title should have a caveat; I am, technically speaking, not the owner of my copy of Lord of Waterdeep, but it lives with my board games so we will take octopus as a domestic animal and boat as an aquatic one ;p. As far as worker placement games go there are loads to choose from, but these are the ones that have ended in my hands. Champions of Midgard became a Christmas present two years ago because you know Vikings for the Viking obsessed girl. Then Lord of Waterdeep was presented and sold to me as “the good stuff”, particularly with the expansion. And, well, my opinion may be biased but I have sincere problems with one of these two games, and this is what I am going to talk about today, what makes, in my opinion, and engaging worker placement game, and what makes a dyer of an evening.

Lord of Waterdeep does have an advantage over Champions of Midgard that is worth considering, which is the fact that it can cater for more players. The basic Champions game is 2 to 4 players, whilst Lords takes up to 5. Champions of Midgard has 2 expansions that will up your number of players as well as other juicy stuff, and Lords has Scoundrels of Skullport that puts it up to 6 alongside other mechanics. I have never played without the expansion for Lords, and I have never tried the expansion for Champions, and I must say, already without the expansion Champions is a good game, whilst I have been advised by more than one person that playing Lords without Scoundrels is a bit meh. Pricing is a contested issue for sure. On the official Wizards of the Coast website for Lords the price given is $49.99, plus $39.99 if you want to play with the expansion…That is already the better part of 80 quid. Basic set for Champions from Grey Fox Games is $59.99, add more for the expansions if you want, and depending on which one. So, I feel if you’re going to invest decent money on a game, you should keep these things in mind. 

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DC – DAWN OF SUPER HEROES (Exhibition at the O2 London, 31/3/2018)

Hello Peoples! Hope you had an awesome Easter break – we certainly did and, in fact, we are bringing you some stuff from our visit to the exhibition that is currently being hosted at the O2: DC – Dawn of Super Heroes. This is just in the same place where we went to see the Star Wars Identities exhibition last year – and you can learn more about that one clicking on this link:

Of course, this exhibition was a completely different kettle of fish, and they are not really comparable in the same way – SW Identities was incredibly interactive and that was super cool! But, I think the display do what they have to do here. So, what can you expect from this? In essence; a lot of amazing original comic prints, from finished works to sketches, very high res story boarding images from the DC films, and some pretty badass costumes – the originals from the movies as well. One thing that I didn’t find as useful or as well done was the use of the audio guide. It is your traditional elongated telephone like device, which is not the most comfortable of things. In addition, the numbers for the audio guide were particularly hidden or not located next to the stuff they were supposed to be talking about, which made it a little annoyed and confusing at stages (and of course because technology hats me, my device was on its way out and you had to attack the buttons to make them play anything…but that’s probably just me and bad luck). That is perhaps my biggest criticism and I think they could have made better use of that resource. However, they did have a fair amount of screen where they were playing clips and videos from different interviews with artists, directors and producers from the DC Universe which were absolutely top stuff. So that is my piece on that.

In terms of what the exhibition is about, this is really a walk through how the DC superhero franchises have made their way from paper to the screen, with a focus on their recent productions leading up to the Justice League movie. So you got a lot of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman…JL and that is kinda it. So if you are hoping to go see lots of bizarre and obscure characters, then I’d hate to disappoint. However, like I said, what they have is good. Hell, I even stopped for the 2 and a half rooms dedicated to the Man of Steel and found it thoroughly interesting so, you know!

And that is all I can say on that front, it is cool but beware of what you are gonna go see, essentially. It is available until September at the O2 so you still have plenty of time and if you book in advance you have a good chance of getting a god deal on your tickets. And without more hesitation, here are some pictures of the things I took as highlights of the exhibit 😀 (yes, I know, it is mostly Batman…not my fault he is best :p)

See? I told you there was some Superman stuff…There were a fair few versions of his costume through the ages, but I just don’t find it that interesting…
Batman is best – always. We took several pictures with the Dark Knight because that statue is screaming “photograph me!”

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