Monday, August 31, 2009

Custom GMT Combat Commander Counters

Personalized Combat Commander Heroes. This looks like fun, though $14.99 might be more than I'm willing to spend. Still, actually being able to fight Hornsfan Hero of the Reich might just add that little extra something to the game.


Sunday, August 30, 2009

Middle Earth Quest and other Dark Tower Adventures

Chris and I played FFG's new Middle Earth Quest today. Chris played the forces of goodness and light, taking the helm to control not-Eomer and not-Faramir-if-Faramir-were-a-woman. I was thus forced, totally out of character, to play the Dark Lord Sauron. Making a long story short... after a tense, close fought battle, darkness won via a final fight between the Rohan character vs. Ring Wraiths by a nose. The fight came down to Chris needing to guess the correct combat card to play against my hidden combat card, but guessing badly. Alas, now the Lord of the Rings trilogy never happened, the End. All-in-all, the game is no War of the Ring, but I think it does a wonderful job at modeling the subject matter and feels like you're really in that critical time leading up to the Fellowship of the Ring.

Keeping with the Dark Tower theme, we then played the old Milton Bradley Dark Tower game. I had only actually ever played the on-line flash version, so playing Chris' fully functional and in excellent condition copy was a true treat. Chris had some really bad luck early on with plagues, getting lost in the wilderness, and being heavily beset by brigands (aka Orcs) and dragons, while I zipped around snagging keys in rapid succession. My first journey into the Dark Tower ended in utter defeat, so by the time I mustered for a second assault, Chris was hot on my heels. Luckily I was able to pull victory off just in the nick of time. Hooray!

Lastly, we stuck to the electronic board game theme by playing a quick game of Chris' Clue FX. The game is essentially Clue, only with out the roll/move mechanic, and suspects running around in the bushes, hiding and needing to be found in order to shake clues out of them. Overall, I think its a good, light family game, the sort of which I'm now much more interested in. Chris secured a solid, Holmesian victory!

Thanks for the wonderful day of gaming, Chris!


Monday and Labor Day Weekend

Despite many, many BSG games, I doubt that anyone is burned out. But I'll bring along other games just in case. (I still haven't played Uruk, or Master of Venice, despite owning both for 10 days!). So I'll bring them on Monday.

For Labor Day Weekend Jacqui and I will host a BanklerCon. We'll throw open the house from about 1pm Sunday and the full day Monday (We're not hosting on Saturday, which I'm sure someone else will handle).

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Friday, August 28, 2009

"Good omen have been more than confirmed."

Every now and then, we just need to nudge certain pictures or videos a bit further down the page...just to make loading this page in the browser a little less jarring. (Disclaimer: I'm sure Dean Stockwell is a very nice man whose family loves him very much.)

My work here is done. You can thank me later.

Anyway, this is from an XB Live Arcade game called Shadow Complex. It's downloadable for $15 and easily worth twice that. Read the first six reviews and see if you can still resist. But my favorite review is the seventh on the list, from some website called Game Vandal. I think all my base are belong to them.

Another game getting pretty strong reviews is Batman: Arkham Asylum. It's a tad more expensive, so I haven't played it yet, but one review called it "This year's Bioshock," so I'm sure it's just a matter of time before I get it.

Oh, and after debating back and forth about my work obligations and when to get them done, I've decided to have people over for gaming tomorrow at 9am. I know a few people have evening obligations (UFC fights, concerts in Gruene, Cowboys preseason football, etc.) but I'm sure we can get some stuff played before then to tide us over until Monday.

Good omen have been more than confirmed.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

By your command -- Tinkering with Pegasus

Now that the gang has many games of the BSG expansion, is there consensus on the cylon leaders? We all (basically) agree they don't work, but they are intriguing. One idea I've had is to make two decks for the "Sympathetic Cylon" and "Hostile Cylon." A "Pro" and "Con" deck. The "Pro" deck would by like the standard victory conditions from the 4/6 or 5 deck, but balanced out. These should be things that are all under the leader's (somewhat) control. The "Con" deck would be pretty hard to achieve, but would require the leader switching sides (to the cylon side in 4/6, in the human side in 5), but would give the side he's abandoned some strong leverage to compensate for having an odd number. To take the "Con 5" example ... "You win with the humans if Galactica has 4 or 5 damage." Sure, the cylon player is 1 v 4, but at some point Galactica is going to become ripe for the pickings. Making these two decks (instead of one) means that just because you know a leader's "Pro" condition, you can't automatically guess his "Con." This would take a lot of work. But right now I don't have a better idea, other than playing with five.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

1805 Sea of Glory: Gaming with the Designer

This week on Aug 26 I will be participating in a Vassal learning game of GMT's about to be released 1805 Sea of Glory. I've been eagerly anticipating this strategic block game of naval Napoleonic warfare for probably close to two years now, so getting to learn the game with the designer should be a real treat. There were six slots total available for the game, so if anyone else is interested, there might still be a chance to sign up. Go to ConsimWorld for the details. The game looks like great fun for you Hornblowers out there. In any event, I should have a physical copy of the game later this month, so this game should have me well prepped to offer one of my legendary rules instruction sessions...

In unrelated news, A&A: 50th Anniversary now goes for $497 on Amazon... though I hope no one is actually paying such a hideous price.

Speaking of A&A, has anyone else been following the designer's notes on the upcoming A&A: Pacific re-release for this fall? Apparently the game starts in 1939, providing the Japanese player the option of deciding when/how to spring Pearl Harbor. The game will be designed from the ground up to be linked to A&A: Europe, to be released next year. I doubt I'll ever get Asia/Europe Engulfed to the table in their combined form, but this might actually be a monster I'd consider playing.

My copy of Middle Earth Quest should arrive tomorrow, UPS willing, along with lots of sleeves, the new Runebound: Arctic Wastes, and the new Formula D track.

The new Lock 'n Load: Band of Heroes looks very shiny and pretty. Now that I own about 5-6 games in the series, its probably time to learn to play...

The game I've been killing time with this past week is the old school PC game Age of Wonders: Shadow Magic. The game still have a huge on-line following, and the fan-made maps and upgrade patch/mod are amazing. Anyway, I'm just trying to milk the last few months out of this dog of a PC before the jump to quad core happens.

Okay, final ramble... what is everyone reading these days? I'm onto the New Space Opera anthology edited by Gardner Dozois. Good stuff!


Where's the Toaster, the Silent Treatment, and Monday

Thanks to Jeff, Amy and Ian for hosting. In particular, Ian helped us figure out the differences between monkeys and giraffes, and knows the answer to "Where's the toaster?" Some thanks go to Papa Johns, who managed to get our pizza their quickly despite (because of?) having no phone service. Next time we know "Bacon + Mushroom FTW."

As for games played -- well, I played a game of BSG (as Cavil), a few games of Roll Through the Ages, and the St. Petersburg expansion. I taught Snow Tails, and saw that Warhammer Invasion (and many other games of BSG) hit the table. We also saw the Chicken Hat. Don't know what happened later.

As for Monday, I'll be at Dragon's Lair at the normal time, with my new games (Roll through the ages, Uruk, Snow Tails, Masters of Venice) as well as any old games I feel like inflicting on people.

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Saturday, August 22, 2009

Possible last call

If anybody else wants to jump in to the free auction fantasy football league please do so or email me so I can help you do so as soon as you can. I am planning to open the league to the public tomorrow afternoon to be sure we can fill it. We are still trying to move the auction to Tuesday night September 1 at 8pm CST. If you know somebody who would like to join please invite them or forward their information.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Sign Up for the 2009 War of the Ring Online Tournament!

For anybody who plays War of the Ring and does'nt know that there is a Java version of the game that you can play online, there is. And now they are holding a tournament.

Here is the link for the tournament:

Here is the link to download the Java Version of the game:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Game Order

I will be placing a Boards and Bits order in about a week for card sleeves and some games. If anyone wants anything let me know before I order.

Space Hulk?

Anyone pre-ordering this? It actually looks like a heavier variation of the Nexus Ops in a way, but it's two player.

Space Hulk from Games Workshop


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Painting in Middle Earth

A couple of days painting is worth a lifetime of gaming....

.... especially in Middle Earth.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Wilescon Redux

I'm sure you all recall that Amy and I had planned to host a few weeks back, but had to cancel at the last minute due to me having The Plague. We've rescheduled with our friends from out of town, and we'll be giving it another shot this Saturday.

Doors open at 8:30 AM
Post a comment if you're coming.
If you need directions, speak up.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Maybe I will keep BattleLore after all...

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Saturday, August 15, 2009

Monday Gaming

The weekend isn't over, but monday already looms. I'll be at DLair at the normal time ... but what to bring? I'm in an economic game mood, so I'll bring Le Havre, Age of Steam, Wabash, Indonesia and the like. But I'll play whatever.


Thursday, August 13, 2009

The True Meaning of Arbor Day

Our discussion of the XBox update missed on big point... before Tuesday, setting up your XBox to stream directly from Netflix involved, well, it seemed pretty complicated. But I set it up on Tuesday in about 2 minutes (1 of which involved going to my computer) with no fuss. And last night I streamed a TV show (30 Rock) and it took about 15 seconds to start and had quite acceptable quality. I wouldn't watch a movie full of 'splosions on it, but for a sitcom it's just fine.

This turns Netflix into a clear winner vs Blockbuster (since both let you have 2 DVDs at a time for $14, but Netflix lets you stream a few thousand titles as well).

Oh, and the first discs I watched ... Torchwood: Children of Earth (Season 3). A 5 hour miniseries that requires no prior knowledge of the world (which is good, since I had none). Quite creepy, although it could have lost an hour or so


Middle Earth Quest

Swung by Dragon's Lair today to find that Middle Earth Quest had just come off the truck. He had not even put it in the computer yet. And he only had one copy. While purchasing the game another LOTR fan called to the store to see if they had a copy of the new game. Sadly the store had to tell him it was just purchased. This truely looks like a masterpiece. 40 pages of rules and the painting of 10 character figures now stand in my way of playing. Wish me luck!

friday evening???

anyone interested in eurogaming (agricola; le havre; etc) friday night?

Sunday, August 09, 2009

XBox Update

Here's a video showing what changes are coming in Tuesday's XB Dashboard Update. Nothing too substantial, especially since I don't subscribe to Netflix (I would consider it if they'd put more halfway decent movies online), but the games on demand is a nice feature and probably what I'm most interested in out of this new update. It would be nice if they would discount the games since distribution will be so much cheaper, but my guess is that they'll still be more expensive than used games from Gamestop. Although I know some people see Gamespot's used game reselling as morally dubious (money out of the hands of developers, into the hands of greedy ol' Gamestop), they have found a market able to be exploited, and its hard to fault them for doing so. Personally, I'm looking forward to the day that I get rid of my game DVDs and have everything streamed online, but we're not getting close to that day until Microsoft figures out better storage options than what they've got now. And what are they going to do about games that have more-than-rudimentary instruction manuals?

The development of paid avatar upgrades was never in doubt--I saw that coming from a mile away. Many people will get nickel-and-dimed to death here (a giant Q-tip for $2?!?--watch the video), although I think most of our group just doesn't care that much. We'll see.

Sorting achievements--I think that will help Simon more than the rest of us.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Busy Hands

Robotics has advanced a bit since I was in grad school. Thankfully I wasn't attacked by this robot...

Smashy Smashy

Monday nights have been Rock-N as of late, and I see no reason why this monday will be any different, especially as we may have a newcomer. Will there be eleventy-one games of Battlestar on Monday? Probably not. But there will probably be some, even though we're all waiting for the expansion ... and you know what that means.

In any case, I'm sure other games will be played. I wouldn't mind playing Automobile, Rob. Just saying. I'll be there at 5:30, I think. Perhaps a touch earlier. Of course, the next week will have the Pegasus expansion, or Jon will have to answer to the star chamber...

Anyway, RSVP in the comments ...


Tuesday, August 04, 2009

By your command

Last night had about 7 gamers, two cylons, and a sleeper or two. (Pretty much the typical distribution). Dennis, Michael, Steve and I started with a bizarre little game of BSG which began like a Bill Cosby Routine. ("The Cylons have won the toss, so they get to kick first. Humanity, you sit here while all the cylons in the world pop up on the board.") Galactica was almost wiped out before the first jump, we'd lost all the raptors. Ye Gods.

As is so often the case, a terrible first jump means that the role of the cylons went to the care-bear understudies for the next few jumps. In fact, by the time we jumped to distance 8 I thought humanity had it nearly locked up ... but hitting 5 non-jump events in the first six cards (leading with a fleet) did us in. There are interesting strategy implications in not scouting that I'm still thinking about...

There were lots of other BSG games played (4, I think), but also a game of Ave Caesar, Glory to Rome, and several games of Wabash Cannonball...

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Sunday, August 02, 2009

Mashup Gaming

I'll be at DLair Monday night at the typical time.

Reports on consumption of mass popular culture? See below!

We just got Wii Sports Resort. Reports later, but my general feeling is WSR is an admission that "Hey, the motion controller thing didn't quite work, but now with that adapter it almost works!" But I'll make sure to get the kids off that for 1v100 Family Trivia tonight...

And I finally listened to my copy of Girl Talk's Feed the Animals. Catchy, clever and 1-2 moments of true beauty.

The new Harry Potter movie does, in fact, exist. It is exactly what you think it will be.

And I'm slowly catching up with the new season of Burn Notice, which is probably the most fun anyone on TV is allowed to have.