Saturday, January 22, 2011


Unlike the rolling stones I can get some satisfaction yesterday for example I had a truely excelent day. I woke up late, hung out with Jessica, then after she left I watched Snatch. Holy crap I forgot how much fun that movie was. That movie isn't exactly brilliant but it most certainly is fun, and fun movies are the ones I end up watching the most. You can't watch Hate every day you will end up killing yourself.

After that I spent some quality time with my new Supercard2, by stress testing the snes emulator. It is miles away better than what is already out there I can say that much right now. It can run starfox. Granted it is so slow that it is totally unplayable but the fact that they took the time to emulate the Superfx chip is pretty cool. It also doesn't run The Secret of Evermore which is disapointing as I do truely love that game. However, even at the height of SNES emulation they had problems with that game so I didn't have to many high hopes. I does however, perfectly run Bahamut Lagoon which is a Square game that harkens back to a time when Square actually made more games than Final Fantasy and those games were amazing. The biggest problem though with all the games I tested is that the emulator will hickup every so often which means any and all action games are pretty much out. Still, lmake ike I said it is an amazing effort and with any luck they will update it so that it can take advantage of the extra ram provided by ezflash. That would pretty much make it near perfect. Still as it stands right now I am more than happy with it.

While I messed with my flashcard I tried to download and play Vindictus. It ended badly, which is a shame. I shouldn't have any problem running it and yet even with all the settings on minimum the game is so choppy that it is compleatly unplayable. I was really looking foward to playing it too and once again I find myself seriously reconsidering upgrading my computer rather than procuring a next gen system. Which are proving to be a disapointment at the moment.

Lastly I finnished The Big Nowhere. I read well over 150 pages of that book and twords the end I realized that I had two choices, I could either finnish the book tomarow or I could stay up until 4. I think I made the right choice though I am paying for it right now. Ugh.

All in all it was a really good day. I am thinking of taking a couple of day off next month just to sort of recharge my batteries. I haven't decided on anything and I might just wait until my birthday and take my week off. All will be decided later.

I wanna talk a little bit more about Dominion. I decided to grab Intrigue and Alchemy expansions first. I didn't do so well on my most recent games. First and foremost the biggest, most painful discovery I made was that the Buercrat just isn't that effective of a card. The attack aspect of it isn't something I was very concerned about. I was more interested in drawing some silver. I can't remodel silver into gold, and it isn't really fast enough to make a mine worthwhile. With 4 gold I could get something like a Spy, a Villiage, or a Throne room. Throne rooms are flipping amazing and when you combine them with Woodcutters you have enough +coins from the cards that you don't even need the extra buy action.

As far as attack cards go Thieves are by far the most effective stand alone attacker. Instead of the one silver from Bureaucrat the thief can provide you with all sorts of pretties. Combine that with some decent card draw and possibly a mine and and you got the money train set up. The +draw is pretty much essential because once you start gathering victory points you don't want to be caught out in the cold.

I really wanna try a combination of a Milita and maybe something else, like a Spy. The spy is pretty much my favorite card in the game. It gives you a nice lil plus action and an extra card which if you do it right is another spy. That is the thing about attack cards though you need to go big or go home. A lot of people are right you do need some big money to get to victory it is more of a matter of how you are going to get there. The middle part of the game is pretty much a game of chicken, which ends when someone buys their first Duchy or Province. As soon as that happens the land grab begins and you are either already set or dead in the water.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Annnnd off We Go

This one is going to be about the geeky side of my life. A few things to catch up on here and there.

Tribune!: I honestly can't remeber if I've written about this game before or not but I am going to do so now because I really like it. The game has some roman trappings to them but really it could be pretty much about anything. Essentially you have a certain number of victory conditions to meet usually 4 or 5. You use both cards and money to secure these victory conditions and potentially deny other people getting their victory conditions. Money is constant whereas the cards are an even mix of visible and non visible cards. The visible ones are more expensive but the trade off being you know what you are going to get.

Anyway I find the game to be great. A lot of the criticisms I read about it before buying it were mostly focused on the fact that the game is boring. There is no direct conflict and the game is more about manuvering than anything else. This same complaint is levied at Dominion and I it pop up numerous times during all sorts of reviews. People got themselves some serious agression issues. Sure Tribune does lack any sort of real conflict. Groups are taken over either by having more cards than the player holding the group or a higher number of cards. Either way the resoution is automatic and swift.

Tribune and Dominion is less about rolling dice until the other side dies (warhammer), or combat (Warmatchine & Malifaux). Instead these games are about efficency. It is about getting the most out of each move as possible. In Tribune Travanta kept taking risks with the face down cards and they never paid off, whereas my usage of face down cards was always to help me plan for my next couple of turns. Eitherway.

Dominion suffers from something similar. From everything I've read about Dominion...

Saturday, January 15, 2011

System Wars

Edition Wars

The other day I was looking at my D&D 4th edition book and I was trying to figure out where exactly it goes wrong for me. See, the problem with me is that I don’t like 2nd/3rd/3.5/ or the 4th edition rules. I will freely admit that 3rd edition is better than second edition but hey that really wasn’t very hard. However, to me system is only half of the game. I still believe that is true even with all the forge theory running about my head. A system and a game share relationship that is different from game to game and even from GM to GM. The forge struggles to universalize our play experience by producing laser focused rules. As a result we have all the game but not the same sort of blank slate variety that D&D can provide us. They also hide the goal of unification with excessive artyness. I do love me some artyness. I love me artyness all night and all day long. Still this isn’t about the forge so much as it is about why it is I don’t like 4th edition and why if given the choice I will end up running 3rd.

I finally realized it as I started looking over the Paladin once again. 4th edition commit’s the cardnial sin of role playing game design. It fails to capture my imagination. See I can deal with a bad system. Hell I rewrote asylum’s system in the middle of a game sessions. I’ve rebuild SLA’s system from the ground up twice. I take a little of this and a bunch of that and smoosh it together until I get something that works. I tend to shy away from 3.5 because as the gm you are expected to not do that. You are expected to follow the rules. I railed against this for many years but ultimately I feel that this is fair. I railed against it because I did. However, since I stopped telling everyone how they should feel and just started doing my own thing I find that it works out and if I wanna run D&D I should just learn the damn rules. I got most of it down but jesus when you get into multicasting, and stuff like that my head just claims that it doesn’t care and takes a nap.

3.5 captures my imagination though. I’ve wanted to run a game featuring a group of wandering paladins following different faiths but united under one cause, I’ve wanted to run an evil campaign where charecters start off at a certain level and they start building their evil lair, populating it with monsters, dealing with local heroes, subduing local villians, getting kings under their thumb et cetera. I think that would be really fun. I wanted to run a game set in the planescape game setting oh and I still wanna run an epic level campain because the epic level source material is fucking cool. My favorite is the true death assaisn’s guild which is a guild that kills someone, and then makes absolutely sure that this person is never coming back…ever. This could include traveling to heaven and destroying the soul. God now does that sound fun or what?

Prestige classes are neat. They just are. The way they work annoys me, and I wish to god that they just used character kits instead of prestige classes but what the hell can’t have everything and I man oh man I love me some prestige classes. That whole assasin thing I just mentioned? Prestige class that’s right. If I were to run a troop of wandering paladins when they start to prestige out they would all become radically different. Some could focus on mounted combat, others on melee, ranged combat, or any other wide variety of things.

The point is that what the system lacks it makes up for in spunk. I want to create worlds and little imaginary people to run around in them. This is something that I want to do, like right now. I am excited.

4th edition didn’t do this for me. My charecters have never felt like a collection of numbers but instead people who I have build out of dice, clay, ambition, and thought. My 4th ed character I didn’t care about one way or the other. The combat feels even more like a game than 3.5 and that is my main complaint about 3.5 combat. The power system, which is supposed to make charecters feel more dynamic, instead makes everyone seem more static. The way everyone just sort of clicks together feels more like I am putting together figures for game of Descent/Talisman/ or Castel Ravenloft instead of getting ready for an rpg. Extra books feel more like expansion packs rather than lists of options that will more than likely never be used even though they are cool. Stuff to keep in your back pocket for a rainy day.

Some people do feel this with 4th and please for the love of god more power to them. D&D is the thing that pretty much single handedly keeps our entire hobby alive. If it dies I am confident that everything else would go along with it. It is the MAIN way we get new people into the hobby and it is soon to be the only way since white wolf is going all retarded on us. I am not dooming and glooming but lets face it when I describe shadow run to a non role player that are going to say “Oh kind of like D&D” this is because people know what it is without knowing to much about it.

Anyway system wars they get intense, worse than political debates. I know I’ve seen them. They are all really unnecessary though because ultimately the problem isn’t system in origin. The problem is that I don’t want to tell a story with 4th edition charecters, even if it is easier to run.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

It is the New Year!

I don't really have anything to say about it positive or negative. A lot of retrospectives have been going around and this year was pretty good it is just that at this paticular moment I have nothing to say on the topic. This is because I am sleepy. I could be spending this time grinding in Pokemon but after looking at my gaming library backlog I am starting to have a hard time justifying to myself the desire to play pokemon which makes me a bit of a sad panda. Still I will carry on and it is by far the best iteration of the series so is just that I really want to start sticking my teeth into Victoria 2 or grab a guide and tackle persona 3, or maybe some other things. The point is that pokemon really strains my ability to justify the amount of time I spend playing the game versus the amount of time I could be spending doing other things.

Either way considering how this is one of the bigger problems in my life at the moment I think I am going to be okay :P.

I am also getting sick so I think it might be best if I stick to bullet points and short snippy ideas. Also for awhile this will be about the Malifaux game I played on tuesday:

- The Dreamer vs Lady Justice is actually a really interesting match up and I liked it alot.
-While I came out the winner, Cory really really got card screwed and things would of turned out very differently if I hadn't managed to kill Lady J with Lord Chompy in one activation.
-Both Masters are glass cannons with unusually sturdy crews, Death Marials don't go down easily or without a fight, and Oogie Boogie men don't die :).
-Because of the whole placement thing, the Dreamer Crew is shockingly fast, I would say faster than Kirai and as fast as Colette.
-The trick is getting everyone where they need to be. Cory made it easy by bunching his figures up. That won't happen again.
-Does hard to kill work with OggieBoogie flips? I think so... actually maybe not the wording is similar to falling damage
-Daydreams are essential to the dreamer list and killing them is just one of those horrible things to do.
-Cory's usage of the human shield for Lady J was pretty brilliant especially seeing as she can charge around them. I must remeber to do this for lillith.
-Daydreams are very effective units in of themselves and next game I need to be more agressive with summoning nightmares through the dreamer rather than sacking the daydreams.
-I totally misused Coppilus and I was given a brutal reminder that Lady J hurts like a bitch.
-I keep forgetting about the Judge's stupid slow to die. Whoever kills the judge usually gets slammed with either bullets and blades or blades and bullets. I hate those spells.
-The Teddy was a lil disapointing :( and I think I might switch him out for a hooded rider
-I want to play a couple of more games using the teddy before I finalize my choice though.
-It is just that he is the slowest thing in the crew by at least an inch.
-The Trick with him I think is to go big with out of control then either get the toss trigger off and follow up with a second charge or to finnish them off with an attack.
-His claws should be paired. Actually paired weapons+charge is RETARDED. You flip so many cards!
-All in all the Dreamer is a BLAST to play and I can't wait to try it again which will prolly be tuesday.