Sunday, January 26, 2014

play more games

Yeah, incorrigible . . . that’s me and board games these days.

Still, what an awesome hobby, eh? Also, international TableTop day this year is . . . April 5th!

So my weekly trek to the game store in the big city saw me scooping up another couple of games . . . and one expansion for a friend.

Let me elaborate.

About two weeks ago I knew the grand total of nothing about Shadworift the deck building card game.

As of today, I’m thinking it may be one of the most brilliant co-op deck builders around - yes, I know Legendary seems to be holding that title currently, but still, this game is really cool.

You are basically defending a town of villagers from an incursion of monsters coming through, you guessed it, shadow rifts.

The monsters (six different kinds in this base set to fight against, like wow) are intent on killing all the villagers and destroying the town.

It is up to the players (yeah, us, the heroes) to put a stop to it.

We can win the game in one of two ways - seal all the shadow rifts, or build all eight walls to keep the monsters at bay for ever . . .

Sounds like a cake walk . . . um, yeah.

Get to try it out later today as our game group in gathering for some board and card game fun - can’t wait.

And the other game I picked up on discount because the box was slightly damaged is called Claustrophobia, a two player dungeon romp light. This tile laying board game has some pretty cool mechanics and the beauty is that you can finish a game in well under one hour.

No kidding.

And my Firefly the board game solo play is being uploaded to the tubes of You this week. It doesn’t work so well solo, but the play through I’m doing should let others know if it is a good game for them or not.

And I was looking forward to playing with my new old racket this week but the tennis aerobics got cancelled and I have to wait for Monday night now . . . oh, well, it’s good to be excited about hitting the courts.

Speaking of courts, when our club moves locations in two years they are going to build new ones with indoor courts - not clay! I am so excited about this as indoor courts are my all-time favourite, with clay being my least liked surface.

I can’t wait for that to happen too.

Well, once more the page is full, and I must away. Oh, and the expansion I mentioned is the card pack for Dungeon Roll which is 8 more characters for that base game doubling the number of character choices.

Now, I’m off - have a great week. And as Wil commands - Play More Games!

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, January 19, 2014

what an Awesome week

Some weeks are pretty dull for me, and not so great - in fact, some kinda suck hard.

However, once in a while a week comes along that just fills my cup with happy juice - this week was one of those!

Where to start?

Okay, first off, as you know, I’ve been dabbling in doing playthroughs of games I enjoy over on the YouTubes - and my first playthrough was of Dawn of the Zeds 2nd edition which is a solo game put out by Victory Point Games where you must fend off waves of zombies intent on overrunning your town center and having themselves a brain smorgasbord.

I really, really like it - challenging and fun and tense and all things great for a session of solo board gaming.

Now, an expansion is looming called “The director’s cut” and I have been asked to be an “official” playtester for that game.

Yeah, needed a few minutes to find my jaw when I read the email from the designer of the game - so, um, yes and please and thank you.

Soon, I will get my copy of the expansion and a new map and start playing it - looking for issues and reporting back. I think I may even show up on the box or rules or somewhere as an official playtester. That is just plain awesome.

Good news of the week number 1.

Next came tennis aerobics on Friday. I was hitting the ball well, getting my exercise and sweating a lot when the tennis pro running the session says - “hey, I have a racket for you” and during a break he goes and gets it.

It is a pristine Dunlop Max 200G - the exact same racket I love, love, love manufactured back in the 80s. And yes, I got it for the grand total of nothing! I was floored - like really, you are just going to give this to me?

Yes, he says - it seemed one of the members of the club was cleaning out his house and getting rid of old stuff and so I ended up with this awesome racket for nothing.

They go on Ebay for about 140 bucks - no kidding - and I got it for free. And yes, I use them all the time. I had two of them, now I have 3. I could not be more happy about this. Just Wow!

Good news of the week number 2.

But it doesn’t stop there - My YouTube efforts of presenting board game playthroughs is really picking up steam. I’m now over 10,000 views of my videos and just topped 100 subscribers to my channel. Again, I’m like - seriously?

Good news of the week number 3.

And, to top it all off, after changing my email to gmail and sending it out to all my contacts, my long lost but good friend Al sends me a response wanting to reconnect and catch up.

We used to chat once a week, no joke, a few years ago, then he moved out to California to be with his daughter (Alyson Hannigan) and we kinda lost touch - you may know his daughter as Lily on “How I Met Your Mother”, or “Willow” from Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I was so overjoyed for Al’s move all those years ago so he could spend time with his daughter and grandkids (two now) and I like to think I played a small role in making this happen - I could be deluding myself, but I like to think I helped.

Good news of the week number 4.

Anyhow, what more can I say - I have had a purely awesome week, and I can only hope anyone reading this catches some of the magic fairy dust that must have rained down on me.

Now, I’ll just be on my way with a big smile on my face.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, January 12, 2014

oh the eldritch horror!

Um, well, yeah - as of yesterday there is this new board game in my collection . . .

. . . and it looks awesome!

I am probably in the vast minority when I say that Arkham Horror is not in my top ten board games . . . no, really, it may not even crack my top fifty.

I find it okay as a co-op game, but it just doesn’t really do it for me in any meaningful way. It’s so very random and sometimes so very long and dare I say it . . . kinda boring at times . . . there, I said it.

But, after reviewing all the rules and watching some videos of Eldritch Horror, I’m pretty stoked about this Cthulhu Mythos game.

The reason is, it seems as though the designing team at Fantasy Flight took all the things that bogged down Arkham Horror and got rid of them in this, the global, version of the game.

It’s shares a lot of mechanics with Arkham Horror but is much more polished with specific cards for specific old ones thus eliminating the out of place encounters.

Spells have unknown results when you use them and collecting clue tokens is a task not a “land on the space and snag one”, which is very cool and thematic. And these clues are directly linked to the old one you are playing against - well done!

So whereas I find Arkham Horror kinda random and sometimes flat, it looks like Eldritch Horror has fixed almost all the things I didn’t really care for in Arkham Horror.

Now, all I need to do is get some friends together and take down some ancient evil on a global scale - it will be fun, and looking very hard to do as the game is relentless.

And tennis is going along for me at a casual pace. This is good as the risk of injury is low, but I may need to get out to some tennis aerobics to get the urge to kill the ball out of my system.

And on the writing front - yes you read correctly, Writing Front - I’m working on a novel this year with the goal of having it finished by year’s end. No excuses anymore! It’s going to be one novel a year for me from now on.

I mean, I’ve already completed two novels before and have a pretty good handle on what is involved. I’m taking this month to iron out the plot so when I turn up the heat on cranking out chapters starting February I won’t be scratching my head about what happens next.

And my YouTube Zombicide play through is coming along fairly well. Some are thrown by my alternate spawning rules, but I find with fewer than 6 characters in the game (I'm using three) if the spawn areas spawn every time you get swamped and killed in about three turns - which is not fun, and I play games mostly to have fun, so there you have it.

And if none of that made any sense to you, don’t sweat it.

Well, once again my page is full so I will away . . .

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, January 05, 2014

here I go again

I’m gearing up to do yet another YouTube video board game series - this time it will be another Zombie game.

And it is - Zombicide.

There are videos out there of gameplay, but I’m going to introduce the concept of variable difficulty based on the number of players.

Zombicide is a fun, fast-paced co-op game, but, let me tell you, if you don’t play with six characters at once you are as good as dead.

Trust me on this.

Why? Because the game does not have variable difficulty incorporated into the rules. If you play with anything less than 6 characters, you are going to get swamped and lose - guaranteed! I'm going to do my playthrough with 3.

So, my house rule is a simple one. You roll one 6 sided dice for each spawn point. Add 1 for each player for a possible spawn, and you are set to go. This means one character, spawns happen at each location on a 1 in 6. Three equates to 3 in 6, et cetera.

Simple, play tested by me, and makes the game just as challenging, but not impossible - hence fun and exciting!

You see, sometimes you don’t want to play multiple characters in this game and I really hate the fact that it forces you to do so.

How fast do you die if you ignore playing with the full 6 characters? Well, case in point was last weekend when we (four of us) played one character each and got totally swamped and chomped in little over a half dozen turns.

It was less than fun, but my simple house rule solves the issue while retaining the difficulty.

I’m going to get the first episode up sometime tomorrow - at least that is my plan.

And as a recap for last year, I read 54 books. This year I’m making my total goal only 26, which sounds like not much, but I plan on reading some honking big books so page count will be the thing I actually pay attention to.

Which reminds me, I cracked 17,000 pages this year, with my actual goal in any give year being 20,000 - so, missed it by that much!

Well, as you were.

Until next Sunday . . .