Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The new and improved Monday

Why New and Improved, you ask? I point you to the planning thread for monday so you can listen to the excuses:
  • Can't make it
  • Work
  • Sleep
  • Rule #1
Despite all of you nattering nabobs, we had seven people show up!

Larry showed up and I taught him Jambo. This resulted in me quickly losing another game of Jambo. Sigh. By this point Ted, Rob (and his wife, whose name I undoubtedly heard) had arrived. But only Ted could stay. After considering the potential for Starcraft (or Through the Ages) we figured there just wasn't enough time. So we broke out Caylus Magna Carta. As we were setting up Travis arrived to make four. So off we went with four.

It took a bit longer than usual, being a first game for everyone but me (I think). Still, it didn't stall out. With 2 turns left, Larry had to bow out but was replaced by Jon. This was the highest scoring game of CMC I've seen, with plenty of cubes, money and gold for everyone. All the prestige buildings were built (and several more could have shown up, if they existed).

After that we broke out everyone's favorite Board2Pieces character, Ra! Despite it being Travis's first game, he was only one point behind the eventual winner. In this game, however, that was only good for 3rd, Jon taking the honors.

We ended the evening with the contractually required games of Race. No real surprises there.

So, if we can get 5+ people on a night where nobody can make it, all I can say is "We're back, baby!"

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At 7:18 PM, March 11, 2008, Blogger Ted Kostek said...

Good times Mon night.

Our schedule at home is starting to smooth out, and my tasks at work have been predictable.

As long as this holds out, I will be a bit more frequent.

At 9:56 PM, March 11, 2008, Blogger Ben said...

One of these days I need to play my copy of the Jambo expansion. I'm glad Mondays are working. I keep referring the new recruits to Mondays with instructions that someone must vouch for them after their attendance. So, if you see anyone wandering around DL looking more lost than usual, please ask them if they are looking for SABG.

At 10:22 AM, March 12, 2008, Blogger Rob said...

Starcraft needs to see some play time....

At 7:24 PM, March 12, 2008, Blogger Ben said...

Hmmmm... I may need to get a new PC. Nice video.

I wonder if Star Craft the Board Game will become the next Mare Nostrum. I own it, so I'm committed to trying really hard to like it. After two plays at BGG, I just didn't have that special feeling for it, but I'm hoping either further play and/or an expansion pack/patch will help matters.

At 9:26 PM, March 12, 2008, Blogger Chris said...

LOL, Cue....







LOL. Still, it looks like it will be a fun game. Visually, its very engrossing. PC gaming isn't dead yet, it seems (although it's still looking mighty grim). I expect that this would be fun playing with people you know.

Good to hear that there was a good Monday night crowd. We need to keep that alive.

At 10:09 PM, March 12, 2008, Blogger Rob said...

Chris... I've been a PC gamer and PC Gamer magazine subscriber since around 1995 (off and on), and every few months they talk again about the demise of computer gaming.

Crysis? HL2? Portal? COmpany of Heroes? C&C 3... and soon C$C Red Alert 3? Sins of a solar empire?

I'm still waiting.

(Now I'll admit it, me getting a 360 is a step in the wrong direction)

At 6:03 AM, March 13, 2008, Blogger Ben said...

What is killing PC gaming for me is the constant upgrade cost compared to the one-time console cost.

To keep up with the latest games, it seems you really need a major overhaul every three years or so. Sins of the Solar Empire looks fantastic, but I'm still single core.

At 12:19 PM, March 13, 2008, Blogger Simon said...

I agree with Ben about the upgrading. I also hate patches and having to keep up with versions and fixes because the games get released half-baked. Unfortunately the xbox is starting to employ this technique...

Honestly the differences between consoles and PCs are getting infinitely smaller every generation. I still prefer consoles for the controllers though. Keyboard and mouse always felt like a cheap input device for gaming to me (I know I'm probably alone on this).

At 4:45 PM, March 13, 2008, Blogger Chris said...

Nope. I gotta agree with you there. I would much rather play the equivalent game on the XBox at this point than on the PC, primarily because of the control scheme and the freedom of movement, and this is coming from someone who until recently was a diehard proponent of PC over console. It wasn't until this generation, though, that I think the best games on the console were comparable to the best games on the PC. Now, Gears of War and Call of Duty 4 rival anything on the PC (IMHO). You also get the little time waster puzzles like Bejeweled and Puzzle Quest and Settlers of Catan. Mass Effect and Bioshock are pretty much equivalent between the two. And games like Guitar Hero and EA Sports games are significantly better on the console.

Matchmaking ability is also, I think, somewhat smoother with the XBox (COD4's idea of equivalent teams notwithstanding), although probably the PC is still fine in this regard.

The main thing that PC has as an advantage right now, in my opinion, is the ability to modify the game, especially with fan-based addons. Mods for games like World of Warcraft and Oblivion just aren't available on a closed console platform unless the developer releases them officially, and where's the fun in that?

Once Microsoft figures out digital download of hi-def movies and TV on demand, a la Apple TV, then they will be a force to be reckoned with.

BTW, semi-related note:
Microsoft Not Discussing Blu-ray On Xbox 360
They think digital download is the way of the future, and I think I agree with them. I'm surprised it hasn't gathered more steam already.

At 4:46 PM, March 13, 2008, Blogger Chris said...

Oh, and it goes without saying that this thread has been officially hijacked.

At 5:14 PM, March 13, 2008, Blogger Simon said...

To continue the hijacking because I'm digging the topic at hand:

I agree with pretty much everything you just said Chris (I'm in an agreeing mood today!). Sony promised that the ps3 would allow user generated content aka “mods” to proliferate over their network, but nothing's really happened with that so far. They seem content to shoot themselves in the foot for the remainder of this generation.

As for digital downloads, I still think they are a good ways out. Maybe in a decade once bandwidth issues are eased and our digital infrastructure is greatly expanded (or worse case scenario, net neutrality dies and the corps decide what gets played and when) we will start to see downloads become more of the norm. I still think people will always want a nice hardcopy of whatever it is they spend their money on, so the average consumer might be left out. Plus if DRM rules continue to be so crappy, the risk of losing your own stuff for no good reason or having its’ functionality so limited that its basically gimped might kill the whole movement before it even begins. It will surely be interesting to see how it plays out.

I have said for a long time however, that the new disc format i.e. BluRay will never be universally popular like DVD9. There’s just no incentive to upgrade like there was for VHS to DVD which had storage, quality, and menu functionality/seeking improvements. Add to that the fact that the HD penetration rate right now is pretty low. Perhaps even sadder, I know a few people who can’t even tell the difference between BluRay and regular ol’ DVD (and even a couple that can’t tell HD from analog!).

At 6:21 PM, March 13, 2008, Blogger Ben said...

The PC is still the king in three areas IMO: turn-based strategy, real-time strategy, and MMO RPGs. I think its only a matter of time before consoles take over each of these genres, but its these three that keep me continually investing in my rig every 36 months or so. I'm downloading (legally) Warhammer 40K: Soul Storm right now, in fact.

"The Swarm" just doesn't sound as cool to me as "The Zerg." I'm a Protoss guy anyway though.

Its weird, but all I've been playing lately is Puzzle Quest on the X-Box, and Devil May Cry 3: Special Edition (i.e., the patched, easier version) on the PS2. I think I'm suffering from CoD4 sensory overload and just need to cool off the synapses a bit.

New board games received this week: Pacific Typhoon and Valkenburg Castle.

At 6:48 PM, March 13, 2008, Blogger Chris said...

I'm downloading (legally) Warhammer 40K: Soul Storm right now, in fact.

Oooh, good to know this is out. This series was very well done and is absolutely worth playing.

(says the guy who has played the first two WH40K games for probably 3 hours total...but enjoyed every minute of it)


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