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Saturday, June 18, 2016

An Old West Town- Part II

Work continues apace over at Dogs of War Online on my western town of Timber Ridge. As noted its been a busy week(s) so I didn't get as much progress as I would have liked, but did get some solid work in with the Marshal's office and a corral rounding to form.

In addition the the various forms/places of inspiration that has already been mentioned: Tombstone, Pale Rider, etc I came up with another one: from 1951-1999 in North Hudson NY there existed a great little amusement park called Frontiertown. My own memories of it are vague as in going there as a little kid around maybe 4-5 years old so somewhere around the late 1970s; perhaps a future blog post. Its a sad testament in a way; the decline of Frontiertown mirrors America's shifting views and movement away from westerns, but I digress.

The Marshal's office is close to completion at about 60% complete in terms of painting and the corral up next. Take a peak over at Dogs of War Online for all the photos, but here is one of the town proper as it begins to take shape.


It looks like the minis will be the last thing I get for the gangs/posses as still look over the miniature lines. Right now Black Scorpion minis are leading the pack, but I still have time to decide. I want them to be a bit larger so they will be at least 28mm with Black Scorpion being 30mm in scale.

I've looked at the classic lines from Wargames Foundry and a few other but will still be mulling it over.

I'm also considering what I want to do for wagons and various sundry items. Obviously scale model rail road terrain makes the most sense. Various miniature manufacturers make wagons and carts but like the minis I have time to decide.

Saturday, June 4, 2016

"You tell um' I comin' for um, and Hell's com'in with me!" Start of my Western Town

Over on Dogs of War Online I've embarked on the creation of a western town, for such games as Warhammer Historical- Legends of the Old West, my game Hurled into Eternity and perhaps even Boot Hill.

The start of the Town of Timber Ridge...
Unlike most towns people have created out there on the web, this one is not set in the American South West, but rather in more northerly climes. (As an aside, I love the movie Tombstone and hence the title of this post, but I wanted a look and feel that was something different for an Old West town).

A major inspiration for this is one of my favorite movies of all time: Unforgiven. I've only just started on the town itself so there is not much to show just yet. I anticipate with the pace I'm going at that I'll complete it by the fall of this year, but we'll see what happens.

Here's a single pic with the rest over at Dogs of War Online. Let me know what you think.

Thus, the start of the town of Timber Ridge, a logging encampment, but full of cut-throats, desperadoes and gunmen! I haven't decided fully on minis yet but the 30mm minis of Black Scorpion are the leading contenders. They will come later and perhaps I'll even be adding wagons, carts horses and townsfolk to the setting.

Tuesday, February 9, 2016

Dogs of War Online 3.0

Just a quick heads up, and sort of a shame-less plug... (hey it's my blog , right?)

I've been spending a lot of time dusting off the forum over at Dogs of War Online After years of neglect in my very busy life, the forum has been updated to the new version of MyBB, the CSS theme updated and new features added to the site with the Wiki and User Map functions updated as well.

Now, this may seem like a fools errand as Dogs of War was/are probably the least supported army for Warhammer Fantasy Battle out there and with the changes to the game via the Age of Sigmar, but... I look at the situation as no different then the state chaos dwarfs around 2007. For years we had a very vibrant community and were quite content to create tons of material on our own all free of GW, now that is even more magnified. Warhammer Fantasy Battle is now free of GW stifling anything they don't like, the community can really create what they want.

So with all this said the site has been dusted off after years of neglect from me. We still have a small cadre of folks who post there but are looking for more, to build up the community of like minded individuals. But its not just Warhammer or even Dogs of War, stop by and participate in the OT forums, discussions of other RPGs even. So whether you pay Kings of War, Age of Sigmar or 9th Age or even some other war game, stop on over.

I'm still an administrator over at Chaos Dwarfs Online and in a lot of ways we're "sister-sites" of a kind, sharing similar goals and outlooks. But given my newly freed up time I figured it would be best to devote my time to building a great community at Dogs of War Online as well.


As a personal note: its the only place you find my army blog as I assemble my force of Nippon using 2nd/3rd edition rules. I've blogged about Nippon here and here, as I've wanted a Nippon force since the late 80's and have been working ever so slowly to assemble one. Now with my renewed interest in Warhammer it's really gathering steam now. I'm building the force under 2nd/3rd edition rules, but I'm also looking to configure them to be able to be used in Kings of War, and 9th Age, possibly even as a 3rd edition "Count As" Empire force . Or even a 5th Edition Dogs of War force! Sky is the limit.

So as the bard said "Cry havoc and let slip the Dogs of War!"


Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Warhammer 3rd edition, back to the best edition




I've now just exited a really busy period in my life, having left my part time job of ten years. So what do I do with this "abundance" of time? I'm going back to the coolest edition of Warhammer, that being 3rd edition, that's what (aside from the never play-tested rules for Siege)!

I say going back because I really never played all that much in terms of the new editions (a fair amount of 5th edition games) but not much else. So with GW unleashing the Age of Sigmar or the fan driven 9th Age... Why bother with any of that? Its been interesting that GW avoided "Edition Wars" that plagued D&D for so long. Are we now at that point? I'm sure people probably kept playing editions they liked previously, I simply wonder if it's more pronounced now with the Age of Sigmar retro-con.

So with this in mind I  dusted off my 3rd edition books this weekend and started looking through everything. That old familiar feeling came back, what a great game it is! A mess, large and unwieldy to be sure but oh so much fun. There is actual strategy in the game, there is actual consideration of movement and formation, lost of random fun and devastating and cool spells.

The main reason I did this was as I get back into the hobby after a nearly three year absence I've started working on my Army of Nippon (which can be found here). The Warhammer Armies Book has Nippon as mercenary contingent that can only be hired by Dark Elves? What the Hell is that? But imagine my suprise when I was tipped off to the fact that 2nd edtion Warhammer Fantasy battle had them as a full army in Ravening Hordes!

So armed with this knowledge I've commenced an Army of Nippon and plan on tinkering with the 2nd edition army list. I may not have to do much as it appears that gamers were to use the 2nd Edition Ravening Hordes until Warhammer Armies came out. I've been working on terrain and securing minis. Right now I'm focused on acquiring ninja; I don't know of anyone who has one of each of the entire lineup, so I might be the first? Big shout out to my brothers over at the Oldhammer forum. I feel at home there with my like of the older editions of the game. Shameless plug: for those looking to help me out with trades or purchases my want list is here.

On a side note: I really like the look of the art and presentation in 2nd Edition as it mirrors up to the presentation of 1st edition Warhammer Fantasy Role-play which is another favorite of mine from back in the day. You can read my thoughts on some classic campaigns from back in the day here and here.

In a way I've gone home as it were, so I guess you CAN go back.





Thursday, December 31, 2015

Episode VII- The Force Awakens, a Review




A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away... 

The kids and I just back from viewing Episode VII the Force Awakens. In general, all three of us liked it, but like a lot of people I found there were definitely some weak points in the story. I will say to start off that my earlier trepidation here was largely incorrect, but not entirely unfounded. I liked Episode VII, it was good, but not Empire Strikes Back good. I will also note I was fairly accurate on my initial musings from a year ago.

Some Brief Notes
Note: if you haven't seen Episode VII yet, you'll want to stop reading now as its spoiler time. Also of importance is that while I'll be mentioning the Star Wars Expanded Universe in passing, I'm doing so for two reasons: 1 to provide contrast and 2, to delineate where some ideas may have been used from. Its been years since I read the EU and I certainly did not read all of them.

The Movie itself
Before I kick off my review: A few points off the top of my head: the movie is really well done in terms of look and feel, the cinematography is excellent. Its noticeable right from the beginning as it was actually shot on film as opposed to digital, its warmth shows throughout. In fact the Kodak logo was prominently displayed in the end credits.

The familiar screen crawl was great to see on the big screen for the first time in more then a decade!
  • The start of the movie with the focus on Finn was nice touch as for his "origin story" as it were. It progressed well and reminded me of Episode I, II and III as well as IV where they got to the action right away. 
  • I also liked the introduction of Poe Dameron right off the bat too; bad that he wasn't in the film more. I have a feeling we have our "Core Three" characters going forward. 
  • The Storm troopers actually hitting something was a nice surprise!
  • Max Von Sydow's appearance and the initial village were well-done as was the fight and the introduction of the New Order and the fact that they too were looking for Luke Skywalker. It was cool to see he knew of Leia, but it isn't implicitly said how. He was a minor character so it didn't have to be spelt out.
The early sections were great for their visuals of the crashes Star Destroyers and other detritus littering Jakku. Even if it is just a clone of of the desert world of Tatooine, the weathered look,

coupled with the shots on actual film made it look directly from original trilogy. The haze of the desert looks very believable, the sand, the dust. But again we're talking about Tatooine II.

I did like Rey's initial reluctance to embrace her destiny and her "home" inside of a AT-AT. She is looking to the past, counting days until... what we don't know (later on we know she is hoping her parent(s) come back for her. Rey's isolation is palpable as she lives alone and scavenges alone. A fringer for sure and a very closed one, well done. Even Luke as orphan at least had has Aunt and Uncle in the Lars family, she has nothing.

The initial interactions with Finn and Rey were good as were the depictions of how they meet. Finn in a rare moment is fast on his feet (more on that below). The referring to the Falcon as junk when Finn and Rey "acquire it" was a good nod to "What a piece of junk!" in a New Hope. The initial battles with the Falcon and the Tie Fighters is very good and visually stunning. But after that the action slows...

The middle sections tended to drag a bit (at least it seemed that way to me), but Han and Chewy getting the Falcon back was cool to see if a bit jilted in its execution. Han trying to talk his way out of the situation is heartwarming in the sense the old scoundrel is back and sets the stage for references to the previous movies throughout.

One middle section scene I especially liked the various factions/gangsters having the same opinion of Solo and the dialogue matching perfectly. Solo has gone back to his old ways and owning money seems to be a big part of how he operates, even thirty years later!

Leia's reunion with Han was over all too quick and felt too rushed, as if JJ Abrams was pushing the story through that particular plot line; knowing he had to have it in but was in a hurry to get it over. with. I don't think it really helped in the tracking down of Kylo Ren as it was up to Han not Leia to redeem him. Her dialogue while understandable is not really necessary.Then again she is barely in the movie so they had to include her. A quick point: some people have been dogging Carrie Fisher for any number of reasons in regards to the movie, but news flash. She is not the slave girl from 30 years ago anymore... If anything it was her voice that made me pause, it was gravely. Other then that she was good , not sure about great.

The biggest part that stood out in the middle is the finding of Luke's saber and the implication that it means going forward for the next movie. The dream sequence and Rey's reluctance were well played. The imagery was very vivid as it the movie viewer was right there in her place.

Then there is the death of Han. To a point, this was all known going in for anyone paying attention: all of this was alluded to thirty years ago when Harrison Ford wanted Han to go out in blaze of glory in Return of the Jedi only to be denied. The scene left me a bit mixed in terms of reaction, in some regards it was emotional in others it seemed a tad contrived. If anything the emotion is carried by Chewbacca throughout the scene.

All of this builds to the ending which is rather like: "Haven't we seen all this before... twice even?" Indeed it was. The problem is that because its Star Wars we're going to watch it again regardless. So we have the space battle going on while we have a light saber duel, re-hashedx3. I hope going forward this is the last time we hear about planet killing weapons. Poe and his interactions with BB8 were cool; I hope the two of them pair up to allow for the familiarity of the two droids, R2 and 3PO to shine through going forward with the new characters.

Then there is the end which takes place in a whirlwind and certainly a minuscule amount of time compared to the rest of the story. But in the end it is somewhat satisfying: there he finally is: Luke Skywalker, the Jedi Master; looking every bit the part and looking at Rey and his father's light saber...

Dislikes
One of the bad guys. Strangely, despite the weak name I liked the concept of Snoke; I rather disliked Kylo Ren. After the physically intimidating presence of Vader we get a watered down version. Snoke was mysterious, obviously derived from the Emperor in terms of imagery, but Kylo?

Kylo suffer from an uneven character and his powers, like-wise precisely because his eventual antagonist in Rey was so unskilled he is largely has to be brough down to her level. In the movie we have him force mind reading, stopping blaster bolts, raging out and having been trained by the only Jedi left in Luke, to get "beat" by Rey? Think about it, he has abilities never seen before, flings her about and dispatched Finn with ease, but then they have to bring him down to almost a neophyte. If anything the fight was a "tie". I get he was wounded, but the story could not have progressed as a New Hope did with Rey just learning her force abilities and having to face the new "Vader." So in a way the "Jedi fight" is a let down here which for me is a shame as that is what I look forward to in each movie. With no Obi-Wan to kill off, (Han takes that role) but for a different reason.

So we get this uneven bad guy with what level of power exactly?

The New Order. I liked the idea of the Star Killer base (warmed over as it is) but the whole organization left me cold. They seemed rather stiff and not that interesting which is odd given how they were envisioned (what would have happened if some factions survived Nazi Germany after World War II). The speech by General Hux was anything other then inspiring or threatening to me.

Gwendoline Christie (aka Brienne of Tarth in the TV adaption of Game of Thrones) as Captain fan-boy sake (which I never got)

Phasma was definitely underused. I hope there is more of her going forward but I also hope she doesn't get the "Boba Fett" effect of being popular for the sake of it...  Suffice of to say she looks more bad-ass then Kylo Ren.

The soundtrack was uneven throughout to me. This was unusual as in most cases music at its best fits the movie and you don't think much about it but there were times where it was actually making me notice it, and not in a good way. In fact it might have been the weakest soundtrack out of all of the movies.

Predictions for Episode VIII
These will hardly be "earth shattering" or is that Starkiller/Death Star caused? :)

1. The likelihood that Rey will not be named Skywalker as her surname? That approaches zero in my opinion. There are just too many things point to the fact that Luke is her father: the innate piloting skills, the innate mechanical aptitude just like her grandfather Anakin and her natural understanding of the Force without any training?  The ability to grab the light saber with the Force, the unskilled use of a Jedi mind trick, the intuitive understanding of BB8 and Chewy. All of these and many more equal one thing: Rey Skywalker.

An aside on Rey: with everything she can do so well she could slide into Mary Sue territory, Daisy Rey plays her well, but it does happen. I don't have strong feelings on this per say, but it was a bit over the top at times. It doesn't detract from her character in terms of warmth, but there it is. Some like it, some don't, but she excels at everything and fails at nothing? Seems dull.

While this movie is not based on the Star Wars Expanded Universe per say, (aka the flood of books after Return of the Jedi), there is the fact of Jacen and Jaina Solo who were twin brother and sister who appeared in a number of stories. Jacen turned into a Sith Lord (Darth Caedus) and then Jaina kills him in a duel. Why do I mention this in relation to the new movie? A movie that has little to do with the EU? Simply because if Rey is Luke's daughter, then she will be facing off against her cousin Kylo Ren (aka Ben Solo) in Episode VIII. Which if not a direct lift is a rather striking parallel.

2. Finn- Finn is well positioned to become the new Han Solo. The Millennium Falcon needs a new Captain, he's already a wise-cracking bit of a rogue and he does not seem to be force sensitive (that's Rey's path). He can't seem to do anything on his own right now (Rey does literally everything) but perhaps that's so his character can grow, after all he worked in sanitation as a Storm Trooper...

His back-story being a large blank canvas means that they will be able to take his character in any direction they choose. I'm also pleased that he really had "little" to do with the storm troopers per say. A huge section of Episodes II and III had to do with the creation of the clones who would become the Storm Troopers. I think having him as part of the New Order storm troopers make sense as he was "raised" by the New Order not cloned (as was alluded to in the movie no less).

Plus they already have him interacting with Chewie. I think he'll be a good fit. I also think they did a good job by throwing a curve ball of showing him with a light saber. As I noted above, he's probably not the one who becomes heavily involved with the Force, but that was to deflect attention away from Rey.

3. While Episode VII was a passing the torch movie with the death of Solo I wonder if the same fate is in store for Luke? I think not. Episode VII really revolved around Han, but I imagine that Episode VIII will have far more to do with Luke being the central character. He was barely on the screen but his presence was felt throughout the whole movie and Daisy Ridley as Rey performed beautifully here with her reaction to the name of Luke Skywalker, you could feel her wonderment.

4. R2!!!!!! Damn it, I understand he was vital to the way Episode VII unfolded but he's the real hero! BB8 was nice and all but how magically was it when R2 finally wakes up! Its as if you feel the passage of time R2 has been in a low powered state at Luke's orders waiting for the right time and then bam!

With that BB8 was missing his 3PO. What made R2 so memorable in the first six movies was his interactions and how ridiculously brave they were, more so when pointed out by C3PO.

5. The Resistance AND the New Republic?  I'm unclear as to the relationship between the two. One thing is for certain that after millennia of rule of the Old Republic and then a several decades by the Empire that there is no one singular over arcing authority as there was in the past. I think this will be a benefit going forward for future film installments. Sweep away the New Republic to set the stage going forward for Episodes VIII and IX?

In summing it all up, I was entertained by it and despite knowing what was coming in terms of the story. I liked it l,but it certainly wasn't great. It also did not fit with my expectations that it wouldn't feel like Star Wars, it did but in a sort of reheated fashion.

Lastly, with all this said, this is how I rank the movies  as of now after viewing Episode VII.

1. Empire Strikes Back ('natch).

2. A New Hope

3. Revenge of the Sith

4. The Force Awakens

5. Attack of the Clones

6. Phantom Meance

7. Return of the Jedi*

* For those that follow by blog, you know why I rank RoJ so low... '

To close, those calling it "A Newer Hope" are right, it certainly derivative, but an entertaining movie none-the-less. 8 out of 10.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

STAR WARS Episode VII, still not sure what to think.


Less then 17 days to go til The Force Awakens hits the big screen and I still don't know what to make of the reboot. That's right I said reboot because that's basically what it is. Now that Disney has the keys to the kingdom, err...galaxy you can bet they are going to run with it for all its worth.

But why say reboot?

Because I have a feeling this movie is going to be nothing more then a "pass the torch" movie. By clearing out the old characters Disney and JJ Abrams are going to be able to create what they want: a generation of fans unencumbered by the expectations of the original movies. If (and that's a mighty big if) Han makes it out of the last scene will be shocking. I know this is hardly controversial as Harrison Ford wanted Solo to die in Return of the Jedi. I know the internet has been rife with the speculation and in some cases for years, but to me I have this feeling that Episode VII will revolve around tying up the loose ends of the old generation of characters.

The main thing that makes this fee "re-booty" is the character of Rey, why don't we call her Rey Skywalker? I have a suspicion that we will be very shortly. And if not, expect her character arc to be the present day telling of Luke Skywalker. And if Kylo Ren does indeed turn out to be Luke, will we see Kylo/Luke telling Rey "I am your father" in Episode VIII? If that happens I promise you I won't be surprised.

To close I'm still on the fence on this one. I wonder if like a previous generation of fans with the prequels this will be "the bridge to far" for me. Maybe I'm getting old, but I wanted to see the further adventures of Luke, Leia and Han and I am left with this feeling that based on Abrams work with Star Trek he's going to do the same thing with Star Wars. The difference(s) compared to what changed in Trek is this is going to be much more massive in my opinion.

It looks, like Star Wars, it sounds like Star Wars, problem is it doesn't feel like Star Wars. I expect it will be a big hit (any Star Wars movie is). But to counter and paraphrase Han in trailer #2 "Chewie, it doesn't feel like home." I'll be taking the kids to see it, but for the first time I'm actually not looking forward to seeing a Star Wars movie, weird but true.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

The case for the Snake


As those who follow my blog (and know me in real life) sometimes life gets crazy busy. But,  I wanted to take a moment off the beaten path and talk about the passing of man whose life was a legend in the NFL and sadly did not live to see his enshrinement in the NFL Hall of fame.

I'm talking about one man: The Snake, Kenneth Michael Stabler.

 The Snake played in one of if not the best eras of all of pro football. It was a time where the rules were no where near as restrictive as they are today. A time ruled by such team as the "Steel Curtain" Pittsburgh Steelers, the undefeated Miami Dolphins, the NFC has teams such as the Dallas Cowboys, the Purple "People Eater Defense" of the Minnesota Vikings and the "Over the Hill Gang" of the Washington Redskins. Then there were the next tier teams like the Browns, Patriots, Bills and Denver who were above average talent wise. In short this was time when there were teams that would DESTROY some of today's teams. A time where you could actually touch a QB or hit a receiver. 

Unto this stage came the winningest team in not only football, but from 1966 to 1985 the winnigest team in all of professional sports: The Raiders. And from 1972 to 1979 the man leading the Silver and Black offense was Ken Stabler. 

The Snake was the first left-handed QB who rose to real prominence in the NFL. The Snake was also known to call his own plays, to have a great command presence, and to know where to put the ball. He was also the QB with the fastest time to 50 wins, a QB other teams feared and fearless in the 4th Quarter.

But here is the rub: he is also the only QB of the All-Decades team- 1970s, NOT in the Hall of Fame, and one of only two players with that accolade, the other being Drew Pearson, WR of the Cowboys. Let that sink in. One of the best QBs of the decade when the NFL eclisped baseball as America's sport is not enshrined. What the Hell Hall of Fame?

The prevailing reason why he's not in is usually he only had a few good years in Oakland? What???? there are QBs I'll talk about in a minute who didn't have a single good season or even win a Super Bowl, yet they are in. To put it sustainably the sports hacks who vote on the Super Bowl are a bunch of idiots or worse.

Now people will talk of his mediocre to sub-par years in Houston and New Orleans. To me if Archie Manning is in playing for the hapless Saints of the 60s and 70s or the injury shortened career of Gayle Sayers allows him in the Ken should be in, let alone Joe Namath (see more below).

To get a sense of how good he was during his run with the Raiders, lets look at his time with the Raiders as a starter via his stats. While his stats look pedestrian today, keep in mind it wasn't until the late 1970s that the "Mel Blount Rule" was enacted.

Year Age Tm Pos No. G GS QBrec Cmp Att Cmp% Yds TD TD% Int Int% Lng Y/A AY/A Y/C Y/G Rate Sk
1973 28 OAK QB 12 14 11 8-2-1 163 260 62.7 1997 14 5.4 10 3.8 80 7.7 7 12.3 142.6 88.3 34
1974 29 OAK QB 12 14 13 11-2 178 310 57.4 2469 26 8.4 12 3.9 67 8 7.9 13.9 176.4 94.9 18
1975 30 OAK QB 12 14 13 10-3 171 293 58.4 2296 16 5.5 24 8.2 53 7.8 5.2 13.4 164 67.4 19
1976 31 OAK QB 12 12 12 11-1 194 291 66.7 2737 27 9.3 17 5.8 88 9.4 8.6 14.1 228.1 103.4 19
1977 32 OAK QB 12 13 13 10-3 169 294 57.5 2176 20 6.8 20 6.8 44 7.4 5.7 12.9 167.4 75.2 16
1978 33 OAK QB 12 16 16 9-7 237 406 58.4 2944 16 3.9 30 7.4 49 7.3 4.7 12.4 184 63.3 37
1979 34 OAK QB 12 16 16 9-7 304 498 61 3615 26 5.2 22 4.4 66 7.3 6.3 11.9 225.9 82.2 34


In his time in Oakland he went 68-25-1 as a starter. To put his playing time in career consider those of his contemporaries during a 10 year span of their careers: Ron Jaworski, Terry Bradshaw*, Steve McNair, Joe Namath*, Steve Grogan, Brian Sipe, Drew Bledsoe, Tony Romo, Ken Anderson, Randall Cunningham

The most notable is Kenny Anderson who was the FIRST West Coast Offense QB under Bill Walsh when Bill was the OC of the Bengals, but that's for another time. Two other names jump out: Bradshaw and Namath...The  others? He was as good, if not better.

Now its as simple as this, if Joe Namath is in the Hall of Fame there is no reason to keep the Snake out. Joe is in for guaranteeing a win in Super Bowl III, that's about it. "Joe Willie" was a big as they come, but outside of Super Bowl III he didn't do much including some dreadful seasons with the LA Rams, like Stabler's dreadful seasons with Houston and New Orleans. NOTE: I'm actually a fan of Broadway Joe, I am glad he conquered his demons, but Hall of Fame?

Consider Jim Kelly, QB of the Buffalo Bills from 1986-1996 who is in the Hall of Fame. And I ask for what? Losing four straight Super Bowls? For holding no passing records at his retirement, for having one of the most dismal playoff records of any QB in modern history? Simply put, Jim Kelly being in the Hall of Fame is a huge injustice to Stabler. Basically the Hall of Fame Voters are saying its a greater achievement to lose four straight Super Bowls then win one in what might considered the mostly highly competitive era the NFL has ever seen.

Every argument to keep him out has a precedence for someone who is in that I can think of in more detail:

Too short of a time where he was good: The knock is he "only" had 5 good years. Fortunately there is a precedence for this: see Gale Sayers, he's in the Hall of Fame. Gale was a phenomenal player who had basically two good seasons. As electrifying as they were he's marginal career wise. If you put him in whats the case for keeping out Terrell Davis? Ugh and I'm a Raiders fan saying that!

Didn't win enough Super Bowls: Dan Fouts, Dan Marino, Jim Kelly and Fran Tarkenton who are a combined 0-9 in Super Bowls (and Fouts never made it to a Super Bowl). All are in the Hall of Fame. Fouts is particularly puzzling because like Kelly he was a dismal playoff QB. At least the argument can be made that Fouts had no defense worth anything, unlike Kelly who actually had a very good D.

Tarkenton was 0-3 in the big game. He scrambled like crazy, and like Kelly he had a very good D so its largely moot from the excuse department. Tark held most of the QB passing records on his retirement so perhaps you can apply the "Dan Marino rule" as to why he is in.

The Snake on the other hand had the "misfortune" of playing at a time when the AFC had two other powerhouses in Miami and Steelers. Oh and look at that: Twice when the Steelers won the Super Bowl they had to beat the Raiders in the AFCCG to do it. Oh look in 1979 when the Steelers won the Super Bowl, who was the QB they faced in the AFC Championship Game? Ken Stabler.

Oh and one more point on this they made it to 5 straight AFC championship games against the likes of the Dolphins and Steelers with the winners going on to win the Super Bowl. "Jim Kelly lost 4  straight Super Bowls" that's at least better then the AFFCG loses I hear some wags say, Kelly didn't play teams anywhere near as good as the teams of the 1970s in the AFC championship games.

He was bad in New Orleans and Houston: Even Archie Manning was bad in New Orleans; they wouldn't become good for another 30 years after the Snake stopped playing for them. To lay that at Stabler's feet with no weapons around him? Oh and by the way? Manning is in the Hall of Fame despite never having a regular season better then 8-8 and having a dreadful TD to INT ratio as well?. Now his teams in New Orleans were terrible... but he sure didn't help. None of that has to do with the Snake. But to take another tack, Manning's career win/loss record is 35-101-3 and you get into the NFL Hall of Fame? Yeah... See Joe Namath above.

As far as Houston who did they have outside of Stabler, Earl Campbell and Dave Casper? Crickets... They peaked in 1980 and went downhill from there. Houston was a never quite made it team in the late 1970s.

His career stats particularly his TD to INT ratio is bad: Joe Namath is in for stats that are about even and Joe only had two winning seasons over his entire career.

Jim Kelly threw a rate of 1 INT once every 19.5 passes attempted in the post season which is downright horrific. Stabler has 194 TDs vs 222 INTs at a time when receivers and QBs could actually be hit.Stabler was a big time QB, Kelly was a big time dud.

Stabler was money in the playoffs Kelly threw a pick in 14 of his 17 playoffs starts...

He didn't win enough "Big Games": The Raider played against some of the greatest dynasties of all time during the Snake's time in the 70s at the helm of the Raiders: the a-fore mentioned Dolphins, Steelers, Skins, Cowboys, etc. Tom Brady would be crying in his Uggs or to the officials (more then he usually does) if Jack Lambert dared to hit him. But, Stabler was 1-0 in the Super Bowl. So which is it NFL Hall of Fame voters? Either a SB win matters or it doesn't. Oh that's right, you selectively apply criteria for one player then not for another. 

Until the injustice of his snub of the Hall of Fame is corrected the Hall will continue to be a joke, and even when I visit this upcoming August, I will be holding my nose. The vindictive sports writers who kept him out due to an incident "allegedly" involving Stabler and a reporter has no basis of proof, but the likes of Paul Zimmerman of Sports Illustrated used this to foil Ken from making it in. I was only around 8 when this happened, but it seems to me that certain NFL writers (Zimmerman) with the "Ken Stabler will never make it into the Hall of Fame as long as I'm alive") quote on record should have never been in the position to decide or wield that much power. Stabler will long be remembered after people forget the douch-baggery of Paul Zimmerman.

To add further to his legend consider the some of the plays he was a part or his participation led to: the Immaculate Reception (or As we Raider fans call it the Immaculate Deception), the Holy Roller, Ghost to the Post, and the Sea of Hands. And to add further, while I can't stand Alabama he did have the Run in the Mud.

And way you slice it Ken Stabler was a QB for the ages. RIP Kenny. you will be missed, and you rode astride the NFL like a Colossus, towering over all. You'll get your due one day, too bad you weren't around to see it when the injustice is corrected.

To close, a video:

Postscript: My only personal bias regarding players or QBs are Kelly and Fouts. Kelly was/is massively overrated, and Fouts played for a division rival and was/is an ass-hat in regards to his announcing of Raiders games, hey I'm human. Gale Sayers, awesome player but HOF?