Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Shall we play a game? (part deux)


Monday, June 29, 2009

What is your Favorite Color?

I am now taking a brief intermission from frolicking about the house in celebration of Heroscape Wave 9's arrival.... long may my addiction reign. Finally we have dwarves, Native Americans, and of course more aliens with guns and blades. I wish we'd get more licensed content, i.e., more Marvel stuff... Terminator... Conan... etc., but in the mean time I'm just happy the game is still alive.

Oh... wait... back to the point. A bunch of us have been tasting MtG again through the wonders of X-Box Live. Some of us never quit playing.

My question for group discussion is, what is your favorite deck color (or color combo) in Magic (the card game, video game, or whatever version you've played)? Why?

For me its always been White, with perhaps a taste of green just because I like the big monsters. I like White because I tend to treat my cards like they're my little children. I hate seeing them destroyed, consumed, or otherwise violated, and the White deck seems to try to protect its own. I suppose my second favorite is pure Black, just because death, poison, and decay are fun to inflict sometimes. Least favorite: Blue, simply because I always feel like Blue decks are somehow breaking the game unfairly, e.g., Timewalking.

My big splurge into MtG was way back in grad school in the mid-90's when Magic was still in its first few incarnations. Budget constraints and 18XX games cured me of this disease, but I'm but I've always enjoyed the game. If you see me on XBL, I'm always up for a game. As Chris knows, I suck, so I might help your ego a bit while we're at it. Back to unlocking more White cards...

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Full of Win

I have no intention of consistently turning the blog into a vehicle for advertising commercial products. BUT...

Pepsi is teaming up with Rock Band to have a series of contests at pepsi.yahoo.com/rockband. Some are sweepstakes, some are instant win chances. You enter by getting codes from Pepsi products and putting them into the proper place in the website. Then it gives you a choice of which chance you want to take.

Well, I've already got a Rock Band set, and I wasn't particularly struck by the sweepstakes prizes and my chances at them, so I clicked on Instant Win try for a Rock Band downloadable track.

Result: Winner winner, chicken dinner.

I have no idea what track I've won. I don't know if I get to choose any track, or from a limited set of tracks (although from the description, it appears I have SOME choice in the matter). Anyway, I know some in our crowd like to download Rock Band tracks, and this is about as easy of a way to win some if you don't mind drinking Pepsi for a while.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

There goes the neighborhood: An Introduction

Greetings, everyone!

I am moving to San Antonio from Sacramento, CA in mid-August. I work as an IT Ops Analyst for USAA. Once the fog of moving lifts, I'll be interested in getting into some board gaming, or any other sort of gaming, really. I enjoy rpgs, Magic The Gathering as well. On the boardgame front, I'll try anything once, but have a fondness for cooperative games like Arkham Horror or Battlestar Galactica.

I'll also be happy to hear of any recommendations of game stores, etc. So far, the Dragon's Lair seems pleasant.

I look forward to meeting all of you!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

The Eye of Sauron ...

Is looking at you ... yes, you ... and reminding you that you only have a few days left to vote on the SABG Top50 for this year. (I'll probably post the results Friday and once I've started the geeklist...) Lots of new games have jumped onto the list, but will the perennials bloom again? Your vote could decide.

The eye's reminding me that I have songs to unlock. And buy. Me precious songs... And why does the eye speak in the voice of Bruce Buffer?

Oh, and we're having gaming Monday night. You know. If you are into that sort of thing. Sure, we're probably having massive 4th of July weekend gaming if we can ever get our act together, but what are the odds of that? Best to stock up with monday night...

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Gaming Thoughts

FFG continues to churn out game news at a dizzying pace (although not the one I want most). Coming in the fall: Battlelore Heroes. It looks like the game will be in good hands with FFG. I'm still not particularly enthusiastic about investing any more in this game, but I'll give it some thought.

Warriors of God is back in stock, for a while at least.

And a certain $200 board game will apparently follow suit.

Texas and LSU square off tonight for the CWS championship.

As far as gaming this weekend, I'm kind of between a rock and a hard place. I was supposed to take some electronic stuff to get recycled this weekend at some recycling event that only sweeps through town every now and then. (By the way, anyone interested in taking a free 27" TV off my hands before I donate it to charity? It works fine, but it's a bit heavy.) It's on Saturday at 9am. I would like to play games as well, but I work on Sunday, so Saturday is it for me as far as gaming options go. I might host--haven't decided yet--but if I did, it would either be a late start or I'd have to wait another few months to drop off my electronic garbage. I might go somewhere else if there was gaming there. I guess I should ask if anyone's around this weekend to play.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Since we have a few in our group....

Happy Father's Day. There was been a flurry of babies this past year, so we have a lot of new fathers. But also some established fathers.

So Happy Father's Day. Keep up the good work. :)

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Good news everybody!

I managed to beat another six songs on Rock Band on expert. This is what you do when everyone is out of town. That, and plan for Monday. I'll be a touch later than normal, but still there before six. And we have an out of town guest, I think...

Sadly, that means that I'm probably as far as I'm going to get on Expert Guitar. Train Kept a Rollin almost killed me on Hard...

And remember, I'm going to publish the SABG Top 50 around the 4th of July, so get your votes in.

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Weekend planning

I will be reuniting with members of my clan this weekend in a small East Texas town I've never heard of. Unless they are hardcore Settlers: Cities & Knights gamers, I'm probably not getting any gaming in this weekend. I figure I'd put it out there in case anyone else wanted to take the lead in planning something.

Monday, June 15, 2009

One vs. 40,000

Brief recap: Sunday had another good turnout, with games being played including the new (to most of our group) Knizia game Ivanhoe, a 30-45 minute medieval tournament card game that combines suited card play (yes, Michael, like Uno) with a back-and-forth "take that" that reminded me of Blue Moon. We also got in several games of Dominion and a game of vanilla BSG that ended in a human win with the dials at 1-3-1-1 after the humans cruised along for the first half of the game (the sleeper phase arrived even before Helo got his second turn, briefly making him an admiral in absentia when Steve the sympathizer got brigged). We got in a lot of Rock Band, and finished up with several plays of 1 vs. 100 Extended Edition, where we competed against 40,000 other contestants (with names like NotoriousBONG) answering a series of 37 trivia questions. We finished in the top 10 twice (that's the top 0.025 percent, for those who are counting) in five or six attempts, which was a nice way to end the night. Supposedly we'll get chances to win Microsoft points that can be used to purchase online stuff when this game goes live--should be a lot of fun. Glad to see Brian about to finally join the XBOX crowd as well. (Now we need to work on Tiffany, Scott, and Travis.) We also watched more of the Texas first-round College World Series baseball game (which actually was a great game) than we did of the NBA Championship clinching game (which was not).

Anyway, a Monday planning post is probably moot at this point, but for lurkers, we should be there starting at 5pm. (Brian, if you see this post before you set out, can you bring Tribune? I wouldn't mind playing that again.)

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Sunday Hardcore Grind

Since its apparently tough to find anyone in San Antonio willing to play the hardcore grind that is Settlers Cities and Knights, I decided to settle in with the brand new release of Stone Soup, version 0.5. You may remember a post where I describe this essentially as Angband on steroids. The new version greatly improves the user interface, making the game even faster and more exciting, though just as horribly difficult.

My most recent character:

Ben the Chopper (level 8, -3/68 HPs)
Began as a Mountain Dwarf Fighter on June 14, 2009.
Was a Follower of The Shining One.
Slain by a killer bee (5 damage)
... on Level 8 of the Dungeon.
The game lasted 00:34:09 (6314 turns).

Ben the Mountain Dwarf had a super-powered magical mace that pretty much leveled anything in its path. Unfortunately it had a terrible side effect of giving off horribly mutating radiation when used too frequently:

The +6,+5 mace of Khutauh (weapon) {freeze, MUT AC+4 Stlth+}
(You found it on level 6 of the Dungeon)
It has been specially enchanted to freeze those struck by it, causing extra
injury to most foes and up to double damage against particularly
susceptible opponents.
It affects your AC (+4).
It makes you much more stealthy.
It emits mutagenic radiation.

I eventually succumbed to yet another stupid death (poison from killer bees this time) unrelated to these side effects, but the weapon was taking its toll on me nonetheless. Here is a summary of what this wonder weapon had done to me thus far:

Innate Abilities, Weirdness & Mutations
You now digest meat inefficiently. (Food consumption is a key mechanic)
You are weak (Str -1).
Your body is slowly deteriorating.
You are partially covered in blue scales (AC +1).

Anyway.... hope the board game session went well!


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Sunday Sunday Sunday!

While I know many of us try to leave Sunday open for NASCAR and Monster Truck Rallies, it turns out that there is also gaming this Sunday. Fairly short notice, but I figured I'd try to pull something together. Come one, come all. Gates open at 9am.
DISCLAIMER: the first hundred people do not get a can of Natural Light as mentioned in the clip. I'm not made of money like these Monster Truck promoters, you know.

Friday, June 12, 2009

In which we are dissed as posers

It's right here, but you'll have to look carefully, it's subtle. Let me help you ...
I’ve been unable to find anyone in [San Antonio] who plays Cities & Knights Of Catan. Settlers players are a dime a dozen in any city with a large underground geek population, but very few have the courage to step up their game to the hardcore grind that is C&K,
Geek pissing wars are always a lose-lose, so I'll just note that someone has already pointed the author to this website. I am packing plenty of snark, though, should any wars erupt, as you would expect.


Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Holy Frak!

There is an expansion for BSG on the way. The article alludes to more expansion(s), so perhaps we'll get to play out the finale.... okay, still no spoilers here. Thoughts?

Slightly Off Center Video Game Musings

I hope our occasional forays into the world of video games on this blog aren't overly annoying. The truth is, at least for me, video games are the form of gaming that fits best into my life at the moment. They take up almost no physical space; the cost/benefit ratio is good, particularly if you enjoy as much old school stuff as I do, and you can get a quick fix in just a few minutes. Wireless surround sound headphones are amazing for sleeping baby and spousal compatibility. Still, I don't think I'll be bringing UFC home any time soon.

One diversion that's distracted me from nightly reading recently is my Nintendo DS. Yes, 99% of the games are unbearably kiddie focused. Still, there are some real gems in the mix too. Peggle is an absolute blast as a hand-held game. The DS has couple very good Chess games. I do like the Wario game, though no other game makes me as conscious that I'm totally wasting time as this one. Puzzle Quest and its new child Puzzle Kingdoms are good. CoD: Modern War and WaW both are good on the DS. Dark Spire is a totally old school Wizardry clone dungeon crawl. Angband sort of works, though its still more of a novelty. I tried the unholy Pokemon Dungeon (aka Angband rethemed with Pokemon). Whoever did created this abomination needs to suffer greatly. Currently I'm giving FFIV and Chronotrigger, two of the highest rated RPGs of all time, a try, but I'm not quite a JRPGer, I'm afraid. Anyone else killing time this way?

So, the countdown to the hi-def, XBL-enabled re-release of MvC2 on 06/29/2009 is officially underway. For those among the uninitiated, the attached video provides a good taste of the insanity. My favorite is the Iron Man Ion Cannon power move. Anyway, enjoy, or at least please excuse the interruption to our regularly scheduled programming.


Getting out the Vote

Just a friendly reminder that we're voting for the Top50 during the month. I'm planning on publishing the results around the 4th of July, so email me your 20 Favorite games....


Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Back in SA

I will be back in San Antonio the week of June 21st and I hope to be able to meet up with you guys again . In case you're wondering who in the world I am, I'm Roy and I dropped by the store a couple of months ago. Just let me know if you are interest in meeting at the store. I'm pretty much open to any kind of games and I should be availible Sunday afternoon and probably after 5pm each weekday.

fryere on BGG.

Upcoming games. I want them.

1) Alea Expansion

Now we have all, maybe not all, but we have discussed the Alea expansion box.

1. New buildings for Puerto Rico
2. New buildings for San Juan
3. A new 'gimmick' for both San Juan and Puerto Rico
4. Nine new cards for Notre Dame
5. A small set of new events for In the Year of the Dragon
6. Building the Chinese wall for In the Year of the Dragon
7. Material for a 6th player in Witch's Brew
8. 'Magic abilities' for Witch's Brew
9. Amulets for Witch's Brew. For a more exciting game with less players.
10. A new table for Louis XIV

Alea Expansion of Wonderful

2) Agricola

There is also a Agricola expansion being released at Essen.

"Agricola - Die Moorbauern

First expansion for Agricola by Lookout Games.
New actions, new special cards, new type of animal.

In short: You start with some forest and marsh chits on your board. You need to remove them to use the space, but you get stuff for it. There are special actions that help you remove the tiles and receive the extra stuff, among which there is a new type of resource you need to pay each harvest (heat markers for your rooms). That's the basic idea. There are a lot of new improvements and a new type of animal - horses."

3) Did you know Agricola and Le Havre are part of a trilogy? I didn't. The last one is out at Essen.

At the Gates of Loyang

4) Dominion: Intrigue is out this summer. And the Seaside expansion, which is still mysterious, is set for an Essen release.

Discuss. :)

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Monday Planning

Sunday means Monday planning. Let's do it. As far as I know at this point, I'm in at the usual time.

And since the Second Most Interesting Man in the World is traveling to exotic locales for the next few weeks, I thought I would post this when I ran across it today:
The Most Interesting Pitchmen in the World.

Plus, we always need more embedded videos. Watch for the line about the beard.


Saturday, June 06, 2009

The game of the day...

...wasn't a boardgame. Welcome to the world of MMA.

Dennis brought over his UFC 2009 Undisputed for the XB360, and some of the gang fired it up while others ran to Taco Cabana for food. The game was an instant hit, with people taking turns throughout the afternoon pounding on each other, pulling knees and arms in ways they don't bend, and dropping people on their heads. The game has a lot going for it--great graphics, quick playing time, many options for moves and maneuvers, and competition
distilled down to its most basic form. We will see if it has staying power in the SABG video game rotation, but at least today I think it saw more play time than Rock Band. I was just amazed today as I thought about how far games have come in the past 25 years. Remember Karate Champ?

We got in a variety of boardgames as well today. We started with a 5-player game of Small World that moved pretty fast and saw Dennis prove insurmountable with his Formidable Sorcerers. The Galactica once again sailed through the ether and ran into the unassailable variant Cylons. Meanwhile, Tiff, Brian and I (with Ben joining later) got in some games of Dominion. We got Talisman to the table again, with Dennis running just ahead of me into the Plain of Peril and grabbing the Crown of Command for the win. Dennnis, Ben and I also got one of my new games, Memoir '44: Tigers in the Snow, to the table, with the German Tigers proving just barely too strong for their British counterparts. Brian and Dennis played a quick game of Ace of Aces (the dogfighting picturebooks), and Brian, Dennis, and I finished up with Through The Ages, with Dennis again pulling away for the win.

Thanks to all who came. I'm sure we'll do it again soon. Practice your kung-fu.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Check this out

You know you want to. It will be fun. HEEHEE.

We interrupt this blog...

Following is an exerpt from The Name of the Rose that I thought you might enjoy:

"To find the way out of a labyrinth," William recited, "there is only one means. At every new junction, never seen before, the path we have taken will be marked with three signs. If, because of previous signs on some of the paths of the juction, you see that the juction has already been visited, you will make only one mark on the path you have taken. If all the apertures have already breen marked, then you must retrace your steps . But if one or two apertures of the junction are still without signs, you will choose any one, making two signs on it, Proceeding through an aperture that bears only one sign , you will make two more, so that now the aperature bears three. All the parts of the labyrinth must have been visited if, arriving at a junction, you never take a passage with three signs, unless none of the other passages is now without signs."

"...And by observing this rule you get out?"

"Almost never, as far as I know. But we will try it, all the same."

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

I love games even more than taffy...

...and I'm a man who enjoys his taffy.

I'll host gaming this weekend at the standard 9am. Believe it or not, there's NO NBA game this Saturday, as the rest of the games fall on Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays until someone wins the whole thing. Too bad--they were a fun way to wind down after gaming. Maybe we'll just watch more Rap Chop over and over again. (Dammmmn you Michael! Damn you, sir!)

For those of you who are not enlightened/sick to death of it, no problem!

And Michael, have you ever seen Vince from Slap Chop and Beavis in the same place at the same time? Just saying...

Bad Decisions

Any decision other than "hit them with the club" is a bad decision. I wish SABGJeff would learn that. He throws away the club voluntarily and turns easy wins into nailbiters.

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Tuesday, June 02, 2009

Session Report in Brief

It started with 5.
I arrived, making 6, and Small World was being played.
We were going to play Gargon and then there were seven.
So there was Metropolys and Caylus Magna Carta.
And then there were eight.
Then there was Quirkle and Small World. During which there were seven.
And then there were none. Slowly we all wandered off.

The end, until next time.