About ravingnerd

I am Ravingnerd. I have returned to this blog after an extensive absences. I lost the passion for quite some time. However recently got the urge to start this back up. Join me as I discuss, Comics, Star Trek, Civilization, and much more!

What’s Next for Marvel?

It was announced earlier this week that Marvel would be doing a line wide relaunch starting in May. While Legacy just launched late Fall, the poor reviews and even poorer sales have driven Marvel to freshen things up. While little is known about it currently, I will discuss what we do know and what I hope comes out of the event. So first off things will start with Avengers #1/691. Marvel has bounced around between legacy numbering and new numbering, so now we have the best of both worlds. I am a fan of the idea. It will clearly mark what issue it is in the current series, while still pointing out the overall legacy of the title itself.

All Star Writer Jason Aaron will team up with Ed Mcguinness to bring the flagship Avengers book. The book will split time between the current Avengers roster (Captain America (Steve), Iron Man (Tony), Odinson, Ghost Rider (Robbie Reyes), Black Panther, Captain Marvel, She Hulk, and Doctor Strange (in what is called a rotating spot). There are things to like and dislike about this team. First off, getting Marvel’s big three back together ahead of Infinity War. The downside is that they feel the need to incorporate the newest Ghost Rider. I guess they want to draw as many parallels between the current roster and Avengers BC which they will be splitting time covering. For anyone who missed it, Avengers BC is the first team up. With the Phoenix Entity, Odin, a brute with the Starbrand (which is telling, as it looks like the current Hulk will be getting it), an early Black Panther, and an early Ghost Rider. While I am all for getting the original gang back together, I am concerned about the recent efforts to include newer characters. The likes of Ironheart, appear to be missing, which is unfortunate. Only time will tell who all the core characters are and where the others may be going.

One thing I do like about the new initiative is that this will be the only Avengers book. Gone are the days of Avengers, Mighty, New, Secret, All New, etc. I believe it will help stream line the audience into one book and drive excellent demand for it, rather than split it up among a half a dozen teams. This should also help with event fatigue. As there will, hopefully, be less of a desire to do multi series crossovers. Something that has become a nuisance for modern comic readers. I am curious to see if this will impact the current X-mean line. As they currently have Weapon X, Blue, Gold, and Red. I expect not, as multiple X titles have been a staple since the 90’s.

This now brings us to upcoming projects. It had previously been announced that Dan Slott would take over the Iron Man title, and it would be expected that Aaron may step back from his long Thor run. I am expecting that these will be apart of it. That was part of what made Marvel Now so exciting back in 2012. It featured long time creators going to different books. Bendis went from Avengers to X-Men, Aaron to Thor, etc. I am curious to see what all they have planned. Though contrary to this Ta-Neihisi Coates will continue his Black Panther run, just with a change of direction and a new number.

Marvel’s new status quo will be quite the different one, and they will have to restructure having lost some of their key creators. Brian Michael Bendis, Jeff Lemire, John Romita Jr, Tom King, and several others have all signed exclusives with other companies and they will no longer be able to use their immense talents. That said, they have recruited what I believe to be the next generation of lead writers. Matthew Rosenberg and Donny Cates have recently gone full time with Marvel. And they join Charles Soule, Jason Aaron, Al Ewing, Dan Slott, Mark Waid an many more. I am excited to see books in new creators hands and at the idea of having Marvel books on the shelf that people can enjoy (and that I can sell).

Now for my personal wish list. This is in no way me trying to predict what will happen, just my personal wants. I don’t read much Marvel, but the concepts listed below would definitely peak my interest. First thing first. Restore the X-Men. I want Cyclops back, I want Madrox back, I want them all back. I like the idea of keeping the color coded teams. I just want a few tweaks to them. Give Cyclops Blue, Wolverine Gold, and Jean can keep Red. While my personal ship will always be Scott and Jean together, but if it means a happy (and well represented Scott, I can accept him and Emma). Next on my bucket list would be a Doom title. He has made enemies of Marvels underworld as of late, and I would like a book where he tries to regain street cred as a villain, in light of his more recent super heroics. Seeing Hank Pym somewhere and not fused with Ultron or being represented like a maniac would also be a welcome sight for me. Finally, I’d love a new Defenders team. In the wake of Bendis’ departure, I would love to see a drastically different team. I would like to see Moon Knight, Daredevil, Misty Knight, Colleen Wing, and Cloak and Dagger.

Long winded rant, but that’s what I do. What would you like to see from the new Marvel? What do you think of the changes and what would you like to see?


Civilization 6 First Look: The Zulu


Well apparently I incorrectly counted the amount of Civ’s that would be featured in the Rise and Fall expansion, as tomorrow people will be able to play with Shaka of the Zulu as well as the other new Civ’s. To recap, Rise and Fall adds Korea, The Netherlands, Mongolia, a new leader for India, The Cree, Georgia, Scotland, and the Mapuche.

You can watch the full teaser here.

The Zulu’s unique ability is Isibongo. Units upgrade to Armies and Corps when they capture cities. Additionally cities with garrisoned units provide extra loyalty. Their unique infrastructure is the Ikanda. Which is a replaces the Encampment District. It provides +1 housing and once you unlock the ability to make Army’s and Corpse, you can build them outright. They can also be built much cheaper than normal. The Zulu once again wield their Impi warriors. This time around the Impi replace the Pikeman. The Civ 6 version of the Impi have several unique benefits. They have an increased Flanking bonus, are less expensive than similar era units, earn experience faster, and cost less maintenance. As expected, the Zulu are focused on doing one thing. Fighting. Shaka’s unique ability only aides this further. His Amabutho ability unlocks the building of Army and Corps units earlier than normal and have extra combat strength.

The Zulu are easily one of the most aggressive Civ’s in the game. He should be instantly feared when you see him, and should not be trifled with in the renaissance or Industrial era. Once he has his Impi, things will be very, very difficult for you. Fortunately their bonuses are all geared towards these mid game benefits. If you encounter him early, swift and decisive military action in the Classic or Medieval should bring you success. They will be unaffected by most normal maps, save Island plates (all non naval Civ’s have a hard time with that). However, TSL maps are where things get really interesting for them. They will spawn in South Africa and should have little problem laying waste to the Kongo just north of them. Nubia lies ahead of that, with Cleopatra and Saladin at the peninsula. All the African Civs have early to mid game benefits. Given the passive nature of the Kongo, I expect the more aggressive Zulu AI to steam roll them. Once they reach Nubia and Egypt, both of their unique units will be obsolete. Leaving the Impi armies free to lay waste to them. However, despite how well poised they are to take Africa, they will realistically need to put some time into building a navy to escort their Impi to wherever other Civilizations lie.

The Zulu, like all the other Civs, release tomorrow when Rise and Fall goes live. I will have to wait until the weekend before I can dive into it, but I can’t wait to do so!

Civilization 6 First Look: The Mapuche


Here it is! The last New Civ in the Rise and Fall expansion. The Mapuche, led by Lautaru join Queen Seondeok of Korea, Queen Wilhelmina of Netherlands, Lord Genghis Khan of Mongolia, Emperor Chandragupta of India, Poundmaker of the Cree, Queen Tamar of Georgia, and King Robert of Scotland. Quite the lineup of leaders. Of course you can watch the full release teaser here.

The Mapuche’s unique ability is Toqui. Units trained in a city with an established Governor gain 25 % combat experience. Their units also gain +10 strength when fighting Civilizations in a Golden Age. Their ability is pretty straight forward and to the point. Their unique infrastructure is the Chemamull. This tile improvement provides culture based on the appeal of the tile it is built in. From the teaser it looks like the ability will be +3 for breathtaking, +2 for Charming, and +1 for Average. Later on in the game, the Chemamull will also provide Tourism to They have no building restrictions though, so Lautaro can start racking up culture early. This ability is very nice, early culture is hard to come by. For a Civ that looks to be more aggressive in nature it is nice that their unique improvement will help to boost their cultural output.

Their unique unit is the Malón Raider. This light cavalry unit Gains additional combat strength when near friendly territory and requires less movement to pillage. This will not only make the Mapuche excellent defenders, but good aggressors towards their neighbors. The secondary bonus will allow the unit to pillage and then move. Giving you pillage benefits while also being able to ride away out of harm. This combines will with their unique ability. You will probably want one of your cities to build a Stable so that your Raiders can cause havoc for your neighbors.

Malon Raider

also is that a top hat?

Finally is Lautaro’s unique ability, Swift Hawk. When you defeat an enemy unit within the borders of an enemy city, that city loses 5 loyalty. This means that The Mapuche need only destroy units, with enough pressure, they can capture a city 100% in tact. This aggressive/passive ability will be very fun to play around with. Combined with their Raiders and you can use hit and run tactics to devastate enemy units and crush their morale.

All of the Mapuche’s abilities point towards one thing. Being able to kill Pedro. Every player has that one Civ that somehow shows up on every map, and pesters you endlessly. Pedro of Brazil is mine. I tend to build Wonders and Attract Great People, and that is exactly what Pedro does. So we always end up coming to blows. Whether that be on the field of battle, or in the cultural arena. So having a Civilization so fine tuned to crush Pedro is heartwarming for me to see. All the better, as they are neighbors in TSL games. No longer will Pedro run amok in South America while you toil away in other parts of the world. They will finally have to face a threat who is very good at dealing with them. The Mapuche should have little problem facing off against Pedro. Their next neighbors would be the Aztec’s. Yet by the time the two forces meet, they should have the upper hand as Eagle Warriors will be less relevant. The Swift Hawk ability too should give them the best opportunity to capture the Aztec capital. It is nestled perfectly between mountains, and is very hard for the AI to conquer.

On normal maps they will be fun to play with, and annoying to play against. The closer you are to Lautaro, the worse it will be for you. With all the new Civ’s announced and just a few days to go, who will you lead when Civilization 6 Rise and Fall releases?

Civilization 6 First Look: Scotland


We are coming down to the wire! Just a few short days until Rise and Fall is released and we all can get our hands on the newest leaders, mechanics, and units. Before then I will do my best to get out the final Civ, the Mapuche, covered. Until then, let’s talk about Scotland!

You can see my write ups on Korea, The Netherlands, Mongolia, Chandragupta, The Cree, and Georgia here. You can see the full Scotland teaser here.

Scotland’s Unique ability is Scottish Enlightenment. Happy Cities Produce +5 Production and +5 Science. They also gain +1 Great Scientist and Engineer points per Campus/Industrial Zone. Ecstatic Cities double all these yields. This is a huge boon. It is already good to keep your cities happy, and if you are doing so, they will work for you extra hard. This will allow Scotland to quickly climb the tech tree and build things faster. Extra production means faster Wonders, which means more happiness. This goes hand in hand with their unique structure, the Golf Course. This provides a free amenity and gold. It also provides culture if adjacent to a city and further boost if next to an Entertainment Complex. A free amenity is incredibly powerful, and as such Scotland can only build one Golf Course per city. That said, the additional yields of gold and culture will help you keep up with the Civics tree, which will probably be far behind your Tech tree.

Scotland’s unique unit is the Highlander. The Highlander replaces the Ranger, and gains a combat bonus when fighting on hills or in woods. The full bonus is not yet known, but the video shows off a ranged strength of 90 (it is occupying both a hill and a forest). Given that the Ranger has a ranged strength of 60, it would appear likely that the Highlanders base is at 70. Giving +10 per hill and woods. While it may not appear like a great unit at first, in reality it is exceptional. It has the ability to attack at strength of 90 if you utilize surroundings. If not, you are still likely to be able to attack with a strength of 80. The dominant unit at the time Highlanders will be relevant? Musketmen. Which have 55 melee strength and no ranged capabilities. Scotland’s Highlander army can defend admirably against an attack by the Musketman, and finish them off with superior fire power on your turn. The highlander can also move one tile faster than a Musketman, and promotes from a Scout. By the time you unlock the tech to build the Highlander, Scouts will be dirt cheap. If you economy is in the right place, you can easily churn out Scouts in preparation, and then promote them all when Rifling has been researched. The downside to them is that they have the Recon promotion tree. Meaning few combat bonuses when fighting, and they cannot promote to the Infantry unit. That said, this unit is incredible.

Robert the Bruce’s unique ability is Bannockburn. They can declare a War of Liberation after unlocking the Defensive Tactics Civic instead of the Diplomatic Service Civic. Which is the difference between the Classical Era and the Renaissance Era. They also gain +100 production and +2 movement for the first 10 turns of the war. Scotland will be a powerhouse when liberating city states, or attacking aggressive civ’s that have conquered their neighbors. The best part? You don’t have to actually liberate the cities you take. Of course, if you don’t, the world will hate you.

Scotland looks like a fantastic Civ. They excel at Production and Science and make them poised as an excellent Space Race candidate. Not because of their insane outputs, like Korea, but because they have the infrastructure to back it up. Scotland will make the use of most all terrains, but cities near hills and woods will be especially defensive once the Highlander comes into play. TSL maps will be very tricky. They will naturally start off north of London and be hard pressed to expand. Fortunately neither England or Scotland has any early game bonus, so they will be on even footing when they inevitably go to war. Yet with Scotland’s Production, they should be able to curve ahead of England Production wise. Provided they are happy. After that, the world is their oyster. They will need sailing to get anywhere, but can thrive on any part of the map. They will have to watch out for Norway and The Netherlands as the Scottish Navy will be nothing to boast about.

Scotland is my hands down pick to play first when Rise and Fall launches this week. Stay tuned for the Mapuche, and who are you most excited to play in Civilization 6 Rise and Fall?

Civilization 6 First Look: Georgia


Georgia joins the Civilization franchise with the new Rise and Fall expansion. Led by Tamar, Georgia looks to be the religion heavy Civ of the expansion. Korea is Science, Netherlands are a toolbox, Mongolia and Chandragupta both provide aggression, and The Cree are diplomatic.

You can watch the full Georgia teaser here.

Georgia’s unique Civ ability is Strength in Unity. It’s short and simple, when making a dedication in a Golden Age you also make a normal age dedication. This allows you to accumulate Era score faster and help propel you into multiple sustained Golden Ages. It reminds me a bit of Persia from Civ 5. I expect Tamar will spend most of the game in a golden age. Which will be a boon for her city loyalty. The unique structure is the Tsikhe. It replaces the Renaissance Era walls and is built at a cheaper production value. It also provides the city that builds it additional faith output (from the video it looks like +3 faith). Cheaper defenses are never a bad thing, and when they provide you with extra faith.

Their unique unit is also pretty straight forward Khevsureti. The replacement for the Swordsman has additional combat strength when attacking on hills, and they suffer no movement penalty on hills. Given that a Swordsman is base 36 strenght, it looks like they get a +4 buff as their attack is 40 in the video. Tamar’s unique ability is Glory of the World, Kingdom, and Faith. Tamar can declare a Protectorate War after gaining the Theocracy Civic. This should be easy to do as I expect anyone playing Georgia to be deep in the Faith based civics. After declaring a Protectorate war her gain a faith boost for the first 10 turns of the war. This ability also doubles envoys sent to City States following your religion. While Georgia isn’t the most religious of Civ’s, they will be knee deep in the Civic’s necessary for a flourishing religion.

Georgia is going to be an excellent addition to the franchise. They will be the most fun on a TSL Map. They are well suited to deal with the all the threats that surround them. And they will be surrounded. They will have to contend with Russia, Poland, Rome, Scythia, and Greece. Their Tsikhe will keep your cities faith, and keep your religion fueled. Their ability to perpetuate Golden Ages will also give them a huge edge against their foes. Combined with the fact they can win over almost any city state, they will have a fantastic time outpacing enemy civ’s.

The final two expansions have already been named. Scotland and the Mapuche. Both look to be like a ton of fun. Who will you play first when Rise and Fall drops?

Civilization 6 First Look: the Cree


Joining the Civilization franchise for the first time is the Cree. Though new, native Civ’s like the Iroquois and Shoshone have existed in previous games. The Cree are led by Poundmaker and will occupy the Northern portion of North America, roughly Canada. The Cree join Korea, the Netherlands, Mongolia, and a new leader for India

You can watch the official release trailer here.

The Cree are a fascinating entry into the game. They have many unique benefits, and despite being an early game Civ, their early game can set them up to succeed as the Ages go by. Their unique ability is the Nihithaw. This gives the Cree a free Trader (and Trade route capacity) when you research the Pottery tech. As Pottery is an opening technology, where as Foreign Trade is a second tier Civic. Not only that, Foreign Trade only unlocks the ability to build traders, where The Cree gains one. This free early game trader will allow the Cree to grow faster economically. Not only do they gain normal trader benefits, but all Cree traders will claim the first three tiles of unclaimed territory on their routes. This means you will be expanding your borders for free, albeit often not strategically. Helping their early game cause is their unique improvement, the Mekewap. Which provides a standard bonus of +1 Housing and +1 Production. It will also generate +1 Gold per adjacent Luxury Resources and +1 Food per adjacent Bonus Resources. They cannot be built side by side, but realistically you wouldn’t want to. The Mekewap not only provides early game production, something most Civ’s are starved for. It also provides them with further growth opportunities. Mapping out where to place them will be key, so make sure to map out spots before building districts or other improvements.

Their unique unit is the Okihtcitaw, which replaces the Scout. It has double the combat strength of a normal Scout (20, up from 10) and comes with a free promotion. The first promotions are all movement based, so you can get a lot of early ground with them. Two things stand out with them. The first is that they have the same strength as warriors, meaning that they can go toe to toe with any Civ early game (except the Aztec’s). The second is that one of the first four Policy Cards is Survey. Which grants double experience to Recon units (which this counts as). Their one downside is that they follow the recon promotion tree, so they won’t promote into Swordsman. Finally, to top off all the great early game benefits, is Poundmakers ability Favorable Terms. Alliances all grant shared visibility for him, while his trade routes grant +1 Food in the Sending city per Camp and Pasture in the receiving city. It also provides +1 Gold per Camp and Pasture in the Receiving City. This will not only allow the Cree to snowball large amounts of internal benefits, but your cities can even gain food benefits from international routes.

The Cree are one of the best earliest game Civilizations in the game. They will be a ton of fun to play with, and frustrating to discover in the fog of war. They really don’t have any specific benefits that will force them into one place or another. With their Mekewap’s they can make the most of any situation. On any randomized map they will do just fine, and likely excel well above their neighbors. With all of their benefits, they are likely to land in a Golden Age in the very first era, further enabling their game drive. They are also pretty safe on TSL maps. They will have Teddy to the South, but have the strength to take him out early game. By the time borders expand far enough South to meet the Aztec’s, they will likely be well positioned to contend with the Eagle Warriors. They have the utility to expand faster and further than America.

The Cree was going to be my first foray into Rise and Fall, but with the announcement of Scotland this morning, I may have found a new favorite.

Civilization 6 First Look: India


We have most of the Civilizations announced that are coming out with the Rise and Fall expansion for Civilization 6. The next leader I will discuss, is another leader for an existing Civ. Chandragupta will also lead India with the new expansion, and he does things quite a bit differently from Gandhi. You can read about Korea, The Dutch, and Mongolia by clicking the links. Click this link to see the announcement video.

As an additional leader, he will still get India’s Dharma ability. Which states that India gets the follower belief of any religion with at least one follower present in their cities.. This means that India welcomes other religions, just not too much of them. This helps a normally passive India expand their religion and all around be friendlier to everyone else. For Chandragupta it is just a benefit to the grand conquests he will want to undergo. He will use India’s Varu unique unit to do so. The Varu replaces the Horseman. It has higher strength at 40 at the cost of half the movement at 2. Not only are they powerful, but they inflict a -5 strength on adjacent enemy units. Something that stacks for each adjacent Varu. He can use India’s Stepwell to help his conquered cities grow.

Chandragupta’s leader ability is Arthashastra which is dependent on unlocking the Military Training Civic. Once unlocked, you can declare a War of Territorial Expansion. Once Chandragupta does so his units will get 2 additional movement and a combat bonus during the first 10 turns after it is declared. This will help the Varu led army to quickly pounce on neighboring civilizations.

Chandragupta allows you to play India far more aggressively than you ever have been. With one leader ability, you have turned a passive and religious nation into a domination master. Chandragupta will flourish on most map types, being hindered only by maps heavy on islands and mountains. TSL Maps will pose an interesting challenge for India. They have China to the East, Khmer to the Southeast, Persia to the West, Scythia to the Northwest, and Mongolia to the Northeast. Gandhi was always adept at staving off China, but they should be able to easily neutralized now. Persia should also have their fair share of problems with India now as well. The Khmer are well suited as they will be in on the religious game and likely provide your empire with much beneficial follower beliefs. Then they should be quickly crushed. Mongolia and Scythia all field faster ranged armies. They all poise problems but Chandragupta’s unique ability will help them stabilize against them.

There are only 2 more unannounced Civ’s, as the Cree and Georgia are both making their first appearances to the franchise with the expansion. Keep a look out for their first looks soon.