Wednesday, December 23, 2020

Theme Music and You: How to PROPERLY Play Admiral Raddus

If there's one thing in life and Armada that's important, it's showmanship.  That's right, the most important part of your Armada game is looking good and playing while doing so (Yeah, we're gonna get ludicrous here.  Expect regular John to only appear in these parentheticals).  We all remember the games we badly lost or crazy won, but how often do we remember how GOOD we looked doing so? Not NEARLY enough.  Today, we're going to discuss the one part of Admiral Raddus that no one has yet: how to properly make an entrance.
Better music than Mariano.  Come at me, Yankees Bros!
First, let's throw up (original card!) Raddus so everyone understands the point of this post:
This may be the last bit of actual Armada in here.  Ah well, this is my blog entry, deal with it!
So, he's bringing in a ship.  And as this isn't my ACTUAL Raddus review (that comes later after testing), I'm not going to detail the right ships to bring in and what not to bring in, short of saying "Bring something that makes an impact."  You CAN bring in a naked flotilla, but that's NOT worth 26 points of Admiral, man.  Whatever ship you bring in (debates are for another article) should make a heck of an impact.  Which means, since you're choosing that ship at the start of the round, it's going to show up and highly impact the game.

If there's one thing I learned from 1990s ATTITUDE era wrestling and 2000s MLB closers, entrance music is cool.  It makes your arrival more awesome, and it makes your opponent intimidated.  EVERYONE will remember you from your entrance music, and it will make sure you get noticed from halfway across the tournament.  People may vaguely recall how they did in game 2 of the tournament, but they'll DEFINITELY remember where they were when Raddus launched an LMC80 out of hyperspace to the Rock's Entrance theme blasting out of your phone speakers.
If you smellllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllll
What's the point of an entrance theme? Well, there are generally two things that an entrance theme does: it either scares your opponent or provides you with confidence.  The inevitability behind Enter Sandman or Hell's Bells (combined with the incredible abilities of Rivera and Hoffman, respectively) provided enough of an edge that the batters facing them had to have been intimidated by the song playing; I sincerely doubt Mariano wanted to hear Metallica 600 odd times (And I've lost my non-sports bros.  Ah well.)!  Related to choosing an entrance theme, I personally sure do enjoy Sophie B. Hawkins' As I Lay Me Down, but that strikes fear into the hearts of NO MAN (Maybe one with commitment issues?), so I'm going to tend to pick something else.  Relatedly, you don't need ME to tell you that Van Halen's Panama is great; let's pick some understated songs (side note: if any of these are super famous entrance themes for someone, uhhh, my bad?)  So, how do you choose an entrance theme? Well, let's break this down into a few different categories and throw out some good options for you (This ENTIRE post is tongue in cheek and I want to make sure you're not a jerk to your opponent in a game.  This whole post is meant in fun, so seriously, don't be a jerk to your opponent else you DESERVE to be disqualified from the tournament and/or punched in the nose.  Check with him/her first before the game to ensure they're cool with it, or seriously, DON'T DO IT.).

Classical Music
There's not a huge quantity of classical music that could work for entrance theme.  However, I'm not going to let our NPR bros go without.  First, the classic Night on Bald Mountain always says to me "Here comes the devil, I'm gonna rock your face off."
Where's Mickey with the hat?
Another alternative option is Mars, Bringer of War by Gustav Holst.
This was CERTAINLY not chosen because of the episode I'm linking to RIGHT NOW!
In reality, whatever piece you choose here should have a driving rhythm and be "Heavy", not light (like the Pines of Spring).  You could always choose Medea's Dance of Vengeance, but my one complaint with THAT is you have nothing to get your vengeance on (short of admitting you're about to lose your flagship and all).  O Fortuna is a great choice as well, though a bit overdone.  However, if YOU do want to go light and fun, may I suggest "J'ai ete au bal"? If you've ever wondered to yourself, "How CAN I incorporate a tuba solo into my arrival?" well LET ME TELL YOU!  You have several options for classical, as it brings a sense of dignity to your arrival.  Never forget that Macho Man Randy Savage entered to Pomp and Circumstance for years.
Snap into a slim gif?
If there's one thing a 31 year old white kid from the moderately affluent suburbs knows, it's rap (Can I give myself the side eye? I'm doing that now).  There are several rap groups and stars you can choose from in order to properly accentuate how cool you are in your arrival.  Keep in mind that a LOT of these lyrics are NSFW, so please be cautious if you're in a nice family store that probably doesn't want you blasting the word "B****" over and over again, let ALONE the N-word.  I'm white enough that even I'm not gonna try to rock that one out.

The OTHER thing that I haven't addressed with choosing your entrance theme is how/when to start playing it.  When Rick Vaughn came in during Major League (NSFW) (When Charlie Sheen was actually entertaining), the music punctuated his entrance.  And some of these will punctuate the heck out of your arrival.  Some of these may start slow and ramp into awesomeness, some may be loud and awesome right out of the gate.  It's up to you to choose which one suits you.

The first question you should consider is, "How does my opponent feel about the Wu-Tang clan? Does he think they're to be trifled with in some capacity?"
For the good of your children, assume most of these links are NSFW
If there's one song I enjoy that doesn't really count as rap (but IS playing on our new local oldies rap and R&B station along with old school Jay-Z and TLC) it's Montel Jordan's This is How We Do It.  And if you want to make an entrance, announcing that it's Friday night and you feel all right is a GREAT way to do it.  The party might be here on the west side, but Raddus's ship is wherever you launch it in.  If you're bringing in a large based ship, of course, nothing's more fun than Biggie's "Big Poppa" or "Hypnotize" but those are EASILY back in that NSFW spot.

But if you want me to name my all-time, number 1 rap entrance theme that never gets enough play? LL Cool J's Mama said Knock You Out.  Because sometimes it's good to be right up front with your intentions and what you plan on doing to your opponent.
We've been here for almost a year!
If we want to go the complete opposite side of rap, we head to Broadway musicals.  And there ARE some great choices to be had there as well.  The easiest way to greet your opponent is with The Book of Mormon's "Hello."  Nothing says entrance like a friendly greeting and upbeat, chipper song!
These lyrics may be more NSFW than you'd think, be careful here with this whole section of musicals

If you're in a bad spot when you bring that Raddus ship in (lots of damage, ship near death, the only way out is magic dice rolls and a heck of a lot of prayer and luck? Well let's stick with Matt and Trey and bust out Man Up.  Because sometimes you need to roll hard to save your life, and the only way of doing that is by manfully rolling all your dice.  There's also Spamalot's "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" if you DON'T think things are going to go too well for you, but you're at least committed to playing out the game.

Of course, it's not a John post without some blatherings about Hamilton.  And while I do love My Shot, Yorktown, and Right Hand Man, my recommendation for you is to go with Guns and Ships.  Because why NOT talk about America's favorite fighting Frenchman?  Eric and I will have no talk on the blog of the French losing wars, because all us American readers owe our freedom to them, and Napoleon could STILL probably come back from the past and kick all our butts.
Plus, more Daveed Diggs.
Lighter Rock/Pop
Before I mention any OTHER song, I have to bring up our local store's theme song, Wham's "Careless Whisper."  It's not an amazingly great piece of music, but it IS iconic (watch the video and understand why).  When that saxophone solo amps up, you know that....someone asked the manager to play it.  It's a goofy song, but we DO love it.  I'd FULLY endorse Taylor Swift's Bad Blood if I hadn't already seen Anthony Rizzo come into it several times right before crushing a home run.  But, as he doesn't own Taylor's songs (that's right, me and her are on a first name basis), it's a great choice for you too.
Rizzo gifs are always appropriate

And since I'm TOTALLY not just naming songs I enjoy, as goofy as it is, you want to be the only one playing a song? You want people to think you're original? You want people to think this Raddus ship dropping in is everything you need?
Shut up your face, this song is great.  Make sure to look your opponent in the eye when you ask if you're sexual.

As I said earlier, I want to hit some deeper cuts here too.  And while I could very easily recommend In the Air Tonight, let's go a little softer here with Against All Odds.  Your opponent is going to want to flee from you when your Raddus ship shows up, so why not let them know that you just want love.  That's the only reason Raddus's ship showed up.  Yup, not to blow anything up.

And our last entrant in this section, unlikely as it may seem, is Ginuwine's Pony.  Why is this here, this very sexual song that you should NOT under any circumstances let your children listen to before they're ready? Because that opening is AMAAAAAAAAAAAAAZING. As I said above, an entrance theme can strike fear into the hearts of your opponent.  That deep sounding "Yeah" at the beginning is about to become your calling card for yet another game where you just start wrecking face with the Raddus bomb.
RIP, Lil' Sebastian

Classic Rock
I think we can all agree that ANY AC/DC song works great as entrance music.  My personal favorite recommendation here would be "If You Want Blood (You've Got It)" but you do you, pick the one that suits you best.  I won't beat that dead horse (again, RIP Lil' Sebastian).

There's a lot of classic rock that I could recommend, but Led Zeppelin's When the Levee Breaks is a CLASSIC.  That slow build as you just keep shooting your opponent's ships, crushing them beneath the heel of whatever you brought in, all while a harmonica accompanies you.  Yes, that will do nicely.

We all saw Remember the Titans, and we can all agree that Up Around the Bend is pretty great, right? I don't need to say anything else to add to that? Great, moving on.
We need to discuss Ryan Gosling's terrible cornerback skills, that's one thing we DO need to say.

The last song I'll recommend is James Brown's Living in America.  If it was good enough for Apollo Creed, it's good enough for you.  I suppose you can always pick Hearts on Fire, but the true answer here, is of course Rocky IV.
Saving America, one punch at a time

You may ask me, John, where's Livin' On a Prayer? You Give Love a Bad Name? Have a Nice Day? Well i'm sorry to be the one to tell you this, but Bon Jovi is overplayed, so he gets no songs on this playlist.  Besides, Springsteen is better, anyways.
Bon Jovi didn't get no Broadway show, that's for sure.

This is really more Eric's area of expertise (metal is), but as this is my article, I'll hit on some favorites and go from there. Should you want more metal music recommendations, hitting up Eric would be the place to go.

Let's start out with a bit of a wild card, Halestorm (both my brother-in-law and Eric are nodding sagely here).  If there's one type of music I don't really know, it's electronica.  But I do know a good cover of Daft Punk when I hear one.

And while we all love Dio's Holy Diver for a subtle entrance, if you want a grand sweeping arrival, then Rainbow in the Dark is how I'd start out.  Possibly go even more Dio from there.  If we're playing "former Ozzy/bandmates", then Black Sabbath's War Pigs is always a good call.  Iron Man is more famous, but break off some old school War Pigs and just rock it out.
Told you Dio was in Black Sabbath

Dragonforce's Through the Fire and the Flames is there if you want some INSANE guitar work, but if you're a goof like me, then I have to recommend England's loudest band with their hit, "Tonight I'm Gonna Rock You Tonight."
Where's the drummer?
New Rock/Alternative
Because Eric and I along with a few of our friends played a LOT of Left 4 Dead/L4D2, I'll start this section with Electric Worry by Clutch.  It was in all the commercials, I'm sure you remember it.
"So we gotta set up to rock, and then fight zombies? This is the best day of my life!"
We'll move on from there to I Believe in a Thing Called Love by the Darkness (NSFW).  The song books and it's loud, so that passes two of my criteria for good music.  If you can launch your voice into that falsetto, well, more the better when it starts playing then!

I'ma drop my 90s coolness points here by mentioning Andrew WK's Party Hard and the fact that Andrew WK's twitter is actually pretty motivational.  Side note: did you know he has like 7 albums out? Because I did not know that, no.  Also, he's playing Chicago next year and I may have to go.

And because they've been on my running playlist for at least 3 years, Boxer by Gaslight Anthem and Chelsea Dagger by the Fratellis.  Sometimes I just gotta throw a song on here because it/the band is awesome.  I really do enjoy them, as goofy as this entire post has been, of course.

What did I miss? I'm sure there's some song that I forgot to include and that you're all silently judging me for.  The most important thing, for whatever song you pick, is that you enjoy it.  Showmanship means nothing if you hate what you're selling, which is why you gotta BELIEVE the song is going to improve you and your game.  And if none of these songs are your bag? Well, I got one last shot to throw at you:
With accompanying link, OF COURSE.


  1. In the classical section you are missing The Ride of the Valkyries. If it's good enough for Colonel Kilgore, it's good enough for you.

  2. This too. Classic and cheesy.

    You KNOW when the ship comes in

  4. There is always Danger Zone, especially appropriate if you have Rapid Launch Bays on the ship you are bringing in