Sunday, November 09, 2014

anybody is out there

And that anybody happens to be me . . .

Yeah, seems like this blog is now a once a month instead of the once a week I was hoping for.

So, to the very few readers left reading this, I apologize . . . and my two main excuses are;

1) My dad was in hospital for almost a month - he is recovering now after heart surgery.

2) We have a new puppy - his name is Watson.

Nuff said.

Games - yes, wonderful games. I’m sure that in the past month I’ve purchased one or two.

So, I’ll talk about one of them.

Morels . . .

No, really. It’s a two player game all about collecting, selling, cooking and eating . . . mushrooms.

No, not those mushrooms either . . . and I don’t think the designer was eating mushrooms when he thought of this game . . . but I can’t be sure.

Anyhow, it’s a two player card game that lasts about half an hour, has some hard to explain mechanics but is pretty tactical and fun.

And not for everybody.

My wife and I like it pretty well, though we weren’t blown away by it.

It’s a good game if you have a half hour to wile away.

Tennis - has been happening on and off with my dad thing, and I’ve been playing okay. And by okay, I mean no injuries - which I guess is better than okay, really.

And this is the first weekend I have a free day off - and yes, I’m off to a friend’s house to game - what else would I be doing?

I’m eager to play Legendary Alien Encounters, now that I have all the cards I was missing.

I may drag along BattleLore 2nd Edition too - just in case.

Well, that’s about it for now . . .

Until the next Sunday . . . sometime down the road . . .

Sunday, October 05, 2014

no one can hear me scream

Yes, I remember, long ago I had this blog . . . I used to write in it every week . . . then . . .

Blah, blah, blah.

Not going to go there with a bunch of excuses - just suffice it to say I’ve been busy.

Now, on to the latest board/card game purchase.

Legendary: Encounters, a deck building game - set in the Alien universe.

I really, really like this deck building game. It’s a full on co-op where everybody wins or everybody loses - no middle ground here. It plays from 1-5 players.

First up I’ll talk a bit about my copy . . . which was missing 49 cards out of 600.

Um, yeah, that sucked hard!

I did immediately contact the company and replacements are on the way - but still?

And it looks like I’m just one of many in this leaking boat. This is pretty inexcusable from Upper Deck an industry giant when it comes to cards.

That aside, I managed to use proxy cards to play a few games and wow, what a fun and tense game this is.

Oh, and the game comes with a full color, totally awesome playmat that is just perfect for the game. It’s like a giant mouse pad and has space for everything you need in the game - brilliant!

Anyhow, there are a ton of reviews out there on the intertubes, so feel free to check some out if you like. For my dollar, this is a great game that really does feature co-op play where without help from your fellow players you will all lose - badly!

In short, this game comes with four scenarios, each from one of the feature films in the Alien franchise, and it does each one very well.

The aliens show up face down so you don’t know what is coming, and each movie features three different objectives you need to complete which are quite thematic and nail the events of each movie pretty closely.

I can’t wait (should be any day now) for my replacement cards to show up so I can take this off to my friends place for a play through or two.

Well, not much more to be said for this episode.

Oh, in case you are interested, I’ve been doing a complete play through of Last Night On Earth the Zombie Game on my YouTube channel as well.

And driving bus.

And . . .

Until another Sunday . . .

Sunday, September 14, 2014

tired old guy

Well, with the new job now and getting up at 5:00 am to prepare my bus, I’ve been pretty wiped out the last two weeks.

But, I am recovering . . .

And starting next week, I’ll be adding another drive onto my two drives a day by going into the big city on Saturdays again.

And this, despite more driving, I am really looking forward too.

It means once more I get to check out the mega-huge game store for the latest board and card games.

I have about ten on radar to buy this year already, and will definitely pick one up next Saturday which I will then likely blab on about the following Sunday right here.

And yeah, been about a month since my last post . . . but, like I said, I’ve been pretty wiped with the new job and all.

On the plus side my kids on the bus are great and behave themselves. That is a good thing since my total drive is just over an hour with most of them.

I did have a spate of bad luck last week with bus troubles though (brakes, electronics, lights burned out) and had to make three unscheduled trips to home base (20 min away) to get them fixed.

Those were two very long days let me tell you.

Still, my bus is now in great shape (I hope) and should last for a good while before I have to go into home base again.

But who wants to hear about work? Likely nobody, so I’ll turn off that facet.

On the book front . . . er, I’ve stalled out reading pretty much. I hope to get back to it soon.

On the tennis front, our clay courts have been resurfaced and I’m back on track. I held top spot last week with my old Max 200G rackets . . .

Man I do love those old things.

I also finished up a play through of Level 7 [Omega Protocol] board game on my YouTube channel, the second mission of 9.

Um, the commandos got slaughtered . . . just saying.

Well, my time is up again, so, if all goes well . . .

Until the next Sunday . . .

Sunday, August 24, 2014

my new office

Yup - my new office away from home this year is bright shiny yellow.

After 3 weeks of intense training (I kid you not) I have a new driver’s license class (B) and a new job starting, you guessed it, the first day of school.

So, that is my excuse for not posting here the last while since I’ve been very busy learning how to handle a 40 foot bus.

I don’t have too many kids on my route, and I’m actually driving a small van-sized bus, but I’m still fully qualified for the big boys.

My route takes me on a forty km run mostly on dirt roads through the countryside, and I’m liking the fact that the hours are steady with all weekends and holidays off.

And no, the pay is not great, but it is, well, pay.

Board games, as you may or may not know, cost money.

So, there you have it. My new office job.

As for other things in my life like tennis and reading . . . well, let’s just say they have taken a back seat the last month or so.

But - I should be getting back into both of these once I get sorted out job wise.

I did manage to do another board game play through series though this month, and am now planning another for September - so there is that.

I also managed two trips this month too - one to the Stratford and Shaw festivals (my wife and I saw 6 plays in 5 days) and the other to the great white north to visit my folks . . .

In retrospect, I have been busier this month than I have been in years . . . which, I believe, is a good thing.

Idle hands and all that.

Well, that about wraps up the big news for me.

Try as I might to post once a week here, I can’t promise anything for sure.

And so . . .

Until the next Sunday . . .

Sunday, July 27, 2014

bang

. . . the dice game.

This is one of the latest small pack games I’ve bought in the last while - and it’s a good one!

It plays from 3 to 8 people and takes around fifteen minutes to compete a game.

Very fun, very fast, and very cut-throat - but not in a mean way.

If you like chucking dice, accusing your neighbour of being an outlaw or being a deputy - then this is a great game for you and your gaming group.

And yeah, it’s been a couple weeks since I’ve posted here - sorry about that.

But, it is summer and vacation time is here, and I’ve just been darn busy with a bunch of stuff I’ll get to in a later post . . . so, there you have it.

Well, okay, some of the stuff I’ve been doing is another play through on my YouTube channel - I did Uncharted: board game.

I’m gearing up for another play through shortly - like in a couple weeks or so with the hopes that it will be all done by the end of August. When September hits I should be able to get back to a little more stable schedule.

As for posting on YouTube, I really like to have an episode uploaded each day, but I don’t know if I can pull that off for my next one since so many things are cropping up this summer.

So today is game day again and it looks like we have a crew of 8 people which is a bit of a problem.

I don’t seem to have a lot of games that accommodate 8 players and those I do have grind to a near halt if you play with that many.

Still, Bang the dice game does nicely with 8 and I also have Saboteur and Elder Sign, however two others that fit 8 are Eldritch Horror and Fortune and Glory . . . both of which would take next to forever to complete with the full 8 players.

So, if we throw in Fluxx and Zombie Dice as well then, I guess, we should be good to go.

And now that I’ve listed the 8 player games that work well with 8, it looks like we have plenty to keep the crowd happy and not falling asleep during other player’s turns.

Well, not much more to relate, even though it’s been 3 weeks, so I’ll leave off here.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, July 06, 2014

Sedition Wars

Or as I refer to it - Sedition Bores!

I really, really, really wanted to like this game.

I got if for a very low price, almost a giveaway - like 75% off retail price!

It has 50 miniatures!

It has cool modular boards!

It has 9 different missions with different objectives!

It has so very neat game mechanics!

It is pretty mediocre to awful . . . let me explain.

I’ll start with the miniatures - like I said there are 50 of them . . . but you have to assemble them yourselves.

This, was a pain in the butt. They fit together okay, but the mold lines and seams and the fact that you need SuperGlue gel to make them stick is a real detractor especially if you want to crack open the box and start playing the game.

So, not gonna happen until you spend a couple hours or more glueing ill-fitting miniatures together.

Once that chore is complete, you can get on to playing the game . . .

Um, which at first blush has some really cool game mechanics to it and looks like it will be a total blast. There are infection clouds which can infect your space marines  - there is overwatch mode like X-Com the computer game. There are unique characters with unique abilities . . .

And the entire experience just kind of falls flat on its face. So many choke points on the big grid hex boards make the missions all about, well, the choke points only. It boils down mostly to the alien player just blocking the marines - at, you guessed it, the choke points.

And it boils down to the marine player to bust through the choke points to try and scramble to the objective points . . . or lose the mission.

Yeah, very annoying, and ultimately very dull.

Now, on to the components - um, which are pretty sub-standard I’m afraid.

The tokens are one sided, mostly cut off-center and split apart after very little use.

The main boards are warped, though you can solve this by sitting heavy objects on them for a few days . . . but really, for the “original” cost of this game that is inexcusable.

So, I would not recommend buying this game. It really is not very good as a game, the components are not very good, and the miniatures, while detailed, don’t fit together so well and are a pain to assemble.

So, what is the solution?

Well, if you want a really good space marine type game against aliens hordes with well done missions, mechanics and miniatures - get yourself “Level 7 [Omega Protocol]” - it is a far superior game in every conceivable way.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, June 29, 2014

cube root of 125000

Yup, that’s how old I’m turning . . .

Believe me, I seemed only yesterday I was in diapers, then I blinked, and . . . now this!

It really is hard to believe so many years have flown by. In my mind’s eye, I’m still twenty . . . but, as you may know if you read this blog, my body has other ideas about that.

So, today I’m off to my good friend’s farm to play board games - all day - and yes, all board games of my choosing.

What could be a better celebration for reaching the half century mark?

Well, for me anyhow - maybe you would celebrate differently.

So, the two games I am really wanting to play are as follows;

Spartacus - a 2-6 player game where you play the Dominus of a gladiatorial house trying to step over and pooch others while climbing the Roman influence ladder to reach the top position in status.

It has backstabbing, hidden auctions, slaves, guards and even battles in the arena between gladiators - just awesome fun.

The second is - Level 7 Omega Protocol - this one is a 1 vs many. So, a 2-6 player game. I’ll be playing as the Overseer, the behind the scenes mastermind controlling the environment and the alien menace.

The other 2-5 will be playing elite commandos . . . I am really looking forward to this!

And the icing on the cake - whipped cream.

As in the cake being a home made “black forest” and hence the whipped cream as the icing . . .

Well, I need to go read over a few more rules so I don’t mess up the two games too much - and I also need to cut up a mess of green beans, a bit of health food to go with supper.

When you get to be my age you just can’t eat chips and candy and drink pop all day anymore . . . well, you can, but your really, really don’t want to deal with the fallout - believe me!

And just so you know, as of this day I’m technically still 49 . . . but come next Sunday . . . um, I’ll be older!

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, June 22, 2014

off the chart

So I got this great little card game some time ago - and finally had a chance to give it a go.

It’s not really a deck builder, more a deck set collector.

The idea is to collect as many victory points as you can and try to stay alive - it is a competitive game but not a really nasty take that one.

For a very low price it is pretty darn good. I’ll need to take this one to gaming day soon and get my group to give it a go.

In fact, I think I may even do a play through on my YouTube channel of this game at some point.

And speaking of that, I wrapped up my play through of Ancient Terrible Things - using the correct rules. That makes a difference, believe me.

So, this year I’m going to be reaching the half a century mark - yeah, like I had any choice . . .

And to mark the occasion I got for myself a BBQ which is really, really good.

It’s a Napoleon Prestige series, and I must say I’ve had BBQs in the past - which were all total crap compared to this one.

Super solid construction - it should last me the rest of my life.

On the tennis front, I feel as though I’m getting back in my groove again.

I’ve been consistently using my old Max 200Gs now since returning from my ankle injury - and I’m playing really well.

I don’t think I’m going to bother trying any other rackets ever again.

I find it funny though the comments I still get about how small the head size is - it 84 sq inches, which by today’s standards of club play is really, really tiny.

Still, I love the control and vibration dampening I get from these old gems.

I finished Heretics of Dune - and I liked it quite a bit, but find the series seems to be going on longer than I would like. After the original trilogy - I don’t know that you need to read any more.

Still, it was worth getting through, if you find the need to learn more about what happens in the world of Dune from the master himself.

Well, my space is used again.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, June 15, 2014

day of the dad

Another year, another Father’s Day.

Happy day to all those males who passed along their genetic material to the next generation.

Being a dad has got to be one of the most rewarding, and frustrating, things ever.

It’s a mixed bag of awesome, suffering, terror, agony and joy . . . all wrapped up in an enigma . . . or something.

I never regret having my daughter, ever - even when she drives me crazy. She is so bright, creative and makes me proud almost every day. I’m truly blessed.

So, once again to all those dads out there - enjoy your children, and don’t forget your own dad - he’s awesome too.

And let’s face it, when the eyesight goes and the drool begins - your offspring will likely be the ones looking after you  . . .

So, another week passes and I’m still making my way through “Heretics of Dune” which, like I said last week, is quite good.

I should be able to polish it off this week - distractions aside.

In the land of TV viewing this week - I watched Spartacus: Gods of the Arena . . . another fun romp with generous dollops of sex and violence, of course.

And I’ve started doing yet another board game play through on my YouTube channel - Ancient Terrible Things, a card/dice push your luck game.

Tennis happens but once a week these days, but that's okay. Less chance of breaking something.

Yes, as I age I become more and more aware of how my body is getting set to betray me.

Sigh.

So, with that, I’ll leave off for another week.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, June 08, 2014

heretics I say

So, there is this book I’m reading - as you can see from the image.

I’m quite liking it. In fact, I’m liking it a lot more than its predecessor, God Emperor of Dune.

Being a long book, I’m not likely to polish it off for a couple more weeks, still I'm ahead of my goal for 2014 so I’m not worried.

And I continue to avoid game buying as I’m so behind on getting video series up on my YouTube channel of all the games I already own and want to do play throughs of.

In fact, I may not be getting any more games until September, when I’ll be returning to the big city every week once more.

I think that is a good thing.

I’ve also started watching another TV show series after finishing off Spartacus: Blood and Sand, which I must say I thought was actually pretty damn exciting and well done - if a bit gory and sex laden.

So, the new series (courtesy of the local library of course) is Andromeda . . . I know, and I heard that groan from you all the way through space and time . . .

Yes, it’s cheesy.

Yes, it’s not the greatest.

Yes, it’s starring Kevin Sorbo.

But, despite all that I’m kinda liking it for what it is.

And the special effects are really quite good - I was actually thinking they would be about equal to Babylon 5, or Space above and beyond - but they are quite a bit better.

On a side note of cute - we have a baby bunny and her mommy hanging around our back yard. The little guy is about the size of a hamster.

We leave carrots out for them and sure enough they chew it down - yes, rabbits really do like carrots.

Well, not a whole bunch more excitement to pass along for the week, so I’ll leave it off right here.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, June 01, 2014

Jack of all Trades

So, with the new larger TV, I’ve taken to watching some shows I just never saw while they were on air.

This catch-up viewing is related to the fact that I don’t have cable, satellite or NetFlix, nor have I had any of those forms of TV going on close to two decades now . . .

No, really!

I do all my TV watching via DVDs - and our local library has a ton of them, which is fine by me since DVD sets are not cheap.

So, one such gem of a show I finally got to watch was, as the blog title suggests, “Jack of all Trades”, and I must say what a silly, fun show it is.

I’ve always been a fan of Bruce Campbell’s work anyhow, and this show is right up his ally.

And, to my surprise once I started watching it, the episodes are only one half hour long.

I had no idea, but still as a comedy, the half hour format works perfectly.

If you want some silly Bruce Campbell fun TV viewing, look no further than this show.

We have also been taking in some “Downton Abby”, which, after watching 3 episodes has me thinking - this is pretty far fetched, and nowhere even remotely as good as anything Dickens or Austin wrote.

Still, it was not intended to be. I think it is supposed to be a modernized version of those types of works - it’s watchable and pretty okay, but I am not enamored of it.

So what is next on the silly viewing schedule . . . um, Spartacus: blood and sand . . .

I admit, I don’t know too much about the show except for the over the top violence and sex, which maybe all it has going for it?

Well, this week I guess I’ll find out.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, May 25, 2014

meh week in review

Yeah, not much to report this week.

I mowed the lawn - it needs mowing again.

I finished a book - I started another one.

I . . .

Okay, that is getting tedious.

So, the week as you can deduce from the blog title, was pretty quiet and uneventful.

I did start another YouTube gameplay series though - Tomb the board game.

If you are so inclined you could check it out over on my channel - Here.

And for the first time in a long time I went into the big city and DID NOT go to the big game store - and so avoided buying yet another game or two . . .

. . . which, let’s face it, I do not really need.

As far as gameplay video series go I have, I think, over twenty still left to do . . . um, yeah.

My motivation? - Every day my channel creeps closer to 500 subscribers and 50,000 total views . . .

Wow.

Highlights for the coming week included playing tennis twice and maybe checking out a couple of auctions looking for end tables for our newly constructed viewing facilities.

I may also go on a tear and clean up some of the house . . .

And with that prattle, I’ve taken up quite enough of your valuable time for one day, so . . .

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, May 18, 2014

terrible things

Of the ancient variety . . .

So yeah, another board game enters the stockpile.

This time it’s a pretty quick dice chucker of a game - and pretty awesome all in one.

It plays 2-4 players, a minor drawback, but plays in less than an hour, coupled with dice rolling and card and token manipulation makes this a winner.

Lots of reviews on the intertubes so I’ll just say - no - it is not like Elder Sign . . . it is way better, IMO.

The grass - it is high and needs cutting.

Officially, I think this is supposed to mean spring is here, despite the last two nights of frost!

And it’s also a long weekend, which means lots of people get another day to enjoy being away from the grind.

That is good. And I’m off to play games this afternoon . . . I know, a shocker!

Anyhow, I had a pretty quiet week last week as I didn’t put up any YouTube videos of board game playthroughs - but this week I will be into another series, so there is that.

And tennis will happen again Monday - new grips on all three of my old Max 200Gs . . .

Not that it will make too much difference. So far I have not broken myself on the court since the last time (months ago now) when I crippled my ankle. Fingers crossed.

And the Gemmel book is nearly done . . . but the weather has improved, so couch time has been at a minimum . . .

Except for watching “Dead like Me” with my offspring . . . she likes it, but I cringe a little every time they drop the “F-bomb” on the show . . . still, it fits.

Oh, this past week we actually set up our basement as a viewing room - now we have places to sit and a new TV that is much larger than our old one.

The old one was a 32" which had a built in DVD player . . . which broke about two years ago . . . then the sound died . . . but, I had an external DVD player and it was hooked up to the stereo . . .

But, since it was six years old, it was time for a huge change . . . and, wow, way better.

Well, my time is once again up . . . so . . .

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, May 11, 2014

plumb the tomb

So what is with the stupid, annoying, and fuzzy image of me that Google plus puts up every time I post here on Blogger - even though I’ve tried not to have that happen!

Sorry about that chiefs . . .

I will try to figure out how to not have that happen one day.

On the board game front I do have another one to share - and it is really, really fun - but really, really lacking in the rules department clarifications, so you kinda have to just wing it.

It’s called Tomb.

The gist is you gather a party of adventurers, delve into the Tomb, raid the crypts, defeat the traps and monsters and then make off with the treasures . . . sounds easy.

But like I said, the rules are kinda broken so lots of house rules need to be invoked. Still it’s damn cool and I can’t wait to inflict try it out on my gaming group.

Oh, and it is not co-op in any way. You basically try to kill all the other player’s adventures or at least maim them so you can make off with the loot while they are left in a pool of their own blood wondering what just hit them . . . see, fun!

It’s all card driven and there is a huge pile of dice that needs to be rolled for checks against traps and the like - so dice and cards and mayhem . . . what more do you want in a game?

So this week was once again pretty uneventful. Played a little tennis, made some YouTube videos of a the Resident Evil Deck Building game . . . where I got my butt handed to me . . . and read some David Gemmel.

But, we did manage to find two comfy love seats for our TV room - and no, I don’t have Netflix or cable or satellite for whatever - just a good old fashioned DVD player and old LCD TV.

Yeah, I am behind the times people . . . give me a minute while I bang these rocks together to get the fire started to warm up my room . . .

There, that’s better.

Yeah, not much to see around here.

Well, once again the clock on the wall indicates that my time is up, and you most likely have better places on the intertubes to visit . . . so . . .

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, May 04, 2014

the darkest night

Yeah, it usually comes sometime mid-winter, but for me it came last week in the form of yet another board game . . .

Ahem . . .

Well then, this game is a pure cooperative game where four surviving heroes try to undo the evil that has befallen the land by the, you guessed it, Evil Necromancer.

And hooey, is this a nasty piece of cooperative gaming design.

My first attempt to defeat the Evil saw the land totally overrun with corruption of every kind. Which is kind of how this game works. Each turn all four (and you must always play with exactly four) heroes get to take one action - then the Evil Necromancer gets his.

Again, tons of reviews out there so I won’t go into details too much. Suffice to say the heroes have ten unique abilities, of which they start with only three. This can increase as the game progresses and events occur letting the heroes gain new powers.

I’m pretty sure it’s a fun game, but the beating you take trying to stay alive, find keys to open locked chests containing powerful artifacts to fend off the Necromancers ever increasing blights and minions is, well, just bloody hard.

I will try to get this one to the table some time this year with the gaming group . . . but I seem to have this huge backlog stockpile of games that need playing . . . so, I should, um, cool it on the purchase end for a bit . . .

. . . yeah, like that's going to happen.

Anyhow, I’ll be starting up another series of game play videos this week. And, I’m shocked that I’ve cruised right past the 400 subscriber mark on my channel, and it seems to still be growing . . . um, like, wow.

Another exciting thing (cue sarcasm)  was driving to the downtown of the Big City this weekend with the main north-south highway closed . . . can you say two grueling hours each way! I knew you could.

So, tennis is happening tomorrow - I’m glad since it’s been a week and I need to get on the courts again before I totally forget how to hit the ball.

And that Heinlein book is all read - it was quite good, oh, and titled, “The door into summer”, in case you needed to know.

Well, another week has gone by and, if I look closely, I think I can see some buds starting to show on some of the foliage around here . . . and bunnies . . . lots of bunnies hopping around our yard.

Could it be spring?

Nah, it’s probably just Mommy Nature messing with my mind.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, April 27, 2014

tower of the wizard

Holy Wow, batman!

So, I picked up The Wizard’s Tower, the expansion for Castle Panic, and man does this add a truckload of complexity to the game.

But, in a good way.

There are tons of reviews on the intertubes, so I’ll not try to cover much here, but just say it is really cool with new awesome cards and new awesome monsters and boss monsters - oh, and a Wizards’s Tower, of course, where you can get really powerful spells to cast.

It is game day today again (WooHoo, fun times two weeks in a row!), but I’m hesitant to bring the expansion along with the base game because I would really like to play it myself a bunch of times to get all the added rules down without trying to figure them out with the whole gang.

Suffice to say I am happy with it, and the level of panic just went up tenfold from the original game. So, if you thought the original Castle Panic was getting a bit stale and too easy - toss this puppy into the fire and . . . oh, yeah, I almost forgot, there are flaming boulders now too!

Well no tennis happened this week as we have visitors - but next week I’ll be hitting the courts again.

And I just didn’t get to finish the Heinlein book yet - maybe next week as well.

And just to cover off the truly mundane - I’m on the hunt for couches for the basement where we have the TV set up . . . auctions and Kijiji here I come.

Yeah, my life is all kinds of exciting!

So, short and semi-sweet this week with nothing much else to report for now. I do have a couple more games to cover off, but those can wait for other Sundays after I’ve had a chance to play them.

I’ll leave off now and let you get to it . . . whatever “it” is.

Have a great day!

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, April 20, 2014

panic attack


So, I was just checking my local Kajiji listings for board games - and what do I find for 10 bucks?

Castle Panic!

So, um, yeah . . . there was this transaction.

Castle Panic, which came out like 2009, is a pretty damn fun game I must say.

I’ve only won it once out of, oh, around 7 tries . . . twice with family, 5 solo attempts. So, it is fairly hard to beat, but really well balanced.

Each game was quick, less than 45 minutes, and down to the wire. Just superb game design and balance. Bravo!

Oh, and it’s game day today so, yeah, I will be making . . . er, asking my good friends to try this one out with me. It plays up to 6, so should be no problem fitting it in.

And continuing on the game front, I got a chance to play once through “Void Station 57", and was really happy with it. It’s tense, easy, fun and well done. For a cheap programmable RPG light, this one is an absolute winner.

I didn’t win though, so will need to try again. The gist is you only have so much oxygen, and thus time, to complete your mission. The battles are done with neat color tokens on a cardboard playmat. I plan on running my gaming group through this gem. Very cool.

And I’m absolutely blown away by the now over 400 subscribers I have on my YouTube channel, the one where I do board game play throughs . . . what else. I am kind of in shock. 400 plus, um, yeah . . .

And tennis is going well too. My new old racket is great (Max 200G forevers!) and I’m starting to get the hang of it again after not playing with it for about a year.

On the reading front, I’m half way through Heinlein’s “The Door into Summer” and it is classic old school sci-fi. I am really enjoying it. It was first published in 1956, so yeah, pretty dated, yet still somehow still relevant for today.

Well, not much else to relate except my yard needs de-cluttering of dead leaves and fallen branches and . . . did I mention it’s gaming day today?

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, April 13, 2014

fun ding

I was looking forward to this weekend - warmer weather, some gaming, a trip to the Big City Game Store.

And instead, I’m typing this up with a killer soar throat and runny nose.

I know, stop my whining already. Still, it does hamper the enjoyment factor.

So, I do have one more game of note this week. It’s a cheap game that comes in a poly bag - um, yeah, don't get all judgey . . .

It’s called, Void Station 57, by Dark City Games, and it’s a programmable (very like a choose your own adventure) solo or group RPG light game set in space - of course.

The idea is you are making for Void Station 57, an outpost on the edge of known space, for some R&R and fuel.

And when you get there, the place is deserted, and dead, and - yeah, not good. The game is basically set to a timer. You need to find fuel for your ship, and find out what the hell happened here before it is too late.

I have yet to receive it, but it looks like a ton of fun, and quick - and did I mention cheap.?

Once I play through it solo, I plan on inflicting it on our gaming group (as the DM) as a 1 off game that, from what I can gather, takes a couple to three hours to complete.

So, a double win for me.

Now, on to tennis.

Looks like, because of this sucky illness, I’ll be skipping tennis this week. No need to pass this on to anybody else.

Oh, and this virus has made the rounds through our house already - I was the last prize winner.

Oh, and for those who care, TableTop Season 3 is all funded and ready to go . . . y’know, if you are into that sort of entertainment.

Well, as you can tell, I’ve not much to relay this week.

So, I’ll make my self some hot tea and pop a couple pain killers and see what I can squeeze out of the day.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, April 06, 2014

thither and yawn

Another pretty uneventful week, without any trips to the Big City Game Store . . .

Which, I suppose, is a good thing considering.

I played two sets of two hour long sessions of tennis this week - and now both my ankles are killing me . . .

Sigh.

Oh well, at least the kink in my neck seems a little better . . .

And so yesterday was TableTopDay around the world. I watched a bit of the live stream from L.A.

It was pretty cool and certainly showed that there is a ton of love and support for board games . . . I’m not the only crazy one . . .

I actually didn’t get to play any games yesterday with others, but I did do more of my play through of Star Trek Expeditions for my YouTube channel.

That sort of counts, doesn’t it?

I have high hopes for this week in getting a lot more accomplished. I want to read a book or two, play a game or three, and clean the house a lot.

Kind of a spring cleaning, since, y’know, spring is supposed to be here and all.

Oh, and I did see a bunch of happy birds in my yard yesterday morning. A cardinal and a bright blue woodpecker, to name a couple, plus the ubiquitous robins digging through last year’s dead leaves in search of bugs.

So, there is that to cheer me up.

Not that I need cheering up, it’s just that when I look out my window and see snow banks (still!) and frost on my van’s window . . . well, seeing brightly coloured birds is an uplifting change of scene.

And yes, I digress into weather related chatter which means . . . I got nothing else . . . and so . . .

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, March 30, 2014

games day

Well, today was supposed to be games day, but it is not going to happen because some of my gaming group have actual jobs to do this day.

Oh well, guess that is what solo games are meant for.

And don’t forget, International TableTop day is April 5th!

So, maybe I’ll just have to get my group gaming fix in then.

Enough about games for this week, on to something else.

Like, say tennis.

Yeah, tennis.

I’m actually going to be playing four hours of it tomorrow . . . likely a big mistake.

Two hours in the morning and then two hours at night. They are both doubles, so not quite as deadly as singles, which I don’t play anymore - but still.

It may beat me down for the rest of the week physically - I’ll have to wait and see how I feel. Wish me luck, or at least no injuries!

On the book front I’ve started the last Paratwa book by Christopher Hinz called, um, The Paratwa.

It’s been pretty good so far, but I’ve forgotten a lot of the world since the first two books. It’s not going as quickly, read wise, as I would like. For some reason it’s just not capturing my imagination like the first in the series “Liege Killer” did.

I will finish it just because what I’ve heard is it ends the series pretty well - and I am a huge fan of series actually ending.

And I’m not going to talk about the weather this week - nope, not going to talk about it at all!

Well, another week has flown by and it looks like I’ll be needing to get on to filling in the income tax forms soon - grrrrrr.

And my furnace filter needs changing, and . . . not going to talk about the weather, nope, not going to happen!

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, March 23, 2014

dungeon zombie

No, this is not a new game, but I did buy a couple small ones yesterday in the Big City . . .

So, I got Dungeon Roll, a small quick game, easy to learn and fun to play.

I also picked up a copy of Zombie Dice, the deluxe version in the plastic screw-top canister.

Um, and why did I do this when my friends already have these two games . . . er, well, last night was games night at the church and I needed something that was easy to teach and play and could handle a lot of people.

No, I’m not going all religious on you, this was just an opportunity for me to head out and play games.

Heck, if this was a KKK gathering to play games I may have gone . . . okay, I wouldn’t . . . but games!

Enough about that. Suffice to say fun was had and lots of dice were chucked and I lost every time - with a smile on my face though because the others were having fun.

And last week I was scorching on the tennis courts. Yup, one of those weeks where my game was much better than average and I cleaned up.

This means, due to the law of non-consistency, that this week I will suck heavily.

I’ve learned to deal with it . . .

And my new play through over on the Tubes of You is Conquest of Planet Earth, a rather silly game from Flying Frog Productions in which you play an alien race intent on, you guessed it, conquering planet earth.

Fun and campy but you need to realize that you are totally at the whim of luck in this one due to card draws and dice rolls.

I should wrap it up this week sometime.

And, on the reading front I finished “Ready Player One” and I actually gave it 5 stars over on Goodreads . . . I rarely give a book 5 stars, like ever.

It just hit me the right way as I was, and still am, a pretty enthusiastic computer gamer and love those old arcade games on the 80s, and Gygax pen and paper Dungeons & Dragons modules, and Sci-Fi movies and  . . .

Well, let’s just say this book had a fun adventure cyber-story loaded with references to all those things I grew up with and I really, really liked.

So, 5 stars.

Well, times up, gotta scoot.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, March 16, 2014

the temple of Chac

So, as promised from last week’s rambling - here is yet another game I snapped up on my recent trip to the Big Game Store!

It is “The Adventurers: the temple of Chac” and it is a pretty light family game.

That is not to say it is not fun as our family does enjoy it, I merely state this fact for those wanting to know how it plays.

The mechanics are dead easy, you move more or fewer spaces depending on how much loot you are carrying, and try to get out of the temple with as much stolen loot as you can carry (more loot = less movement generally) before the boulder either crushes you or seals the entrance and you are trapped inside forever.

The boulder, as you guessed, is the timing device in the game which lasts about 45 minutes tops.

A few days ago we played a 5 player game and everybody actually escaped the temple with their original adventurer - and this was the first game for three of them.

Well done!

I tied for last . . .

Hey, nobody said that just because I own the game that I’m any good at it.

On other fronts - my play through of Mansions of Madness is complete over on my YouTube channel. I need to think of the next game to do a play through of starting next week some time.

I have so many choices - it’s going to be tough.

On the tennis front, I actually did the best on our court last week and yes, I’m back to using my dinosaur 1980's era Max 200G rackets again . . . I do have three now so will likely never switch again to something else.

On the book front I’ve managed to read 12 already this year with the goal of 36. I know this sounds low, but I look at page count not book count for my personal goal.

And that goal is 20,000 pages. So 20, 1000 page books would do it - if you follow me.

Well, not much else to say except I am looking forward to spring, which appears to be several months off based on the weather we have had recently and in the near forecast . . .

And when I transition into weather talk, you know I am stumped for content . . . so.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, March 09, 2014

in the desert

Yup, another one. Just like I said I would talk about last week.

This time it’s another great family game - Forbidden Desert.

This one is a total co-op for 1-5 players. Your helicopter crashes in the ancient ruins, the sands are building up, water is scarce - but you can build an ancient flying machine if you find the parts, that is if you don’t get buried in sand or die of thirst first.

A great game that is not easy to beat.

So, it’s March break, and it’s still very much winter here.

Not fun. Enough about that.

Off to my daughter’s concert today and looking forward to it. She switched orchestra’s at Christmas and the one she is in now she likes so very much more.

On the old guy front - I was doing tennis aerobics two days ago, did a nice backhand volley, and pulled some old guy muscle in my middle back.

Yeah, don’t get old kids - it’s not all that fun.

Two days later and I can still feel it, but it is mostly gone - and I didn’t have to take any pain killers along the way - bonus!

And I’m almost done my Mansions of Madness play through over on my YouTube channel.

I’m finding a slight addiction to posting up these game play videos . . .

Not sure what that says about me.

Maybe I don’t want to know . . .

And I did sally forth into the Big Smoke yesterday once again - and did go into the game store of Awesome . . . and yeah, two more games on my shelf.

But, telling you what they are now would just eliminate the suspense.

So, the next two weeks I will be revealing a game a week.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, March 02, 2014

the king

You knew it was only a matter of time . . . until I got another game, um, or two.

And yes, I should have picked up “King of Tokyo” about a year ago, but there were just so many other shiny objects to purchase first . . .

Ahem . . .

So, I did finally pick this up at the Gigantus Game Store in the Mega Metropolis this weekend, and we played it last night.

The indication that it is a hit with my family - my daughter wanted to play it again immediately after we finished.

We didn’t get the chance to since it was so late, but here is how it went.

I was Gigasaur, my wife was Cyberbunny and my daughter was the Kraken . . .

Which means little since all monster stats are created equal. My wife sprung out to a huge point lead but stayed one turn too long in Tokyo and was crushed (by me) and then my daughter just couldn’t put enough hurt on me to get me to leave.

And so I won by points . . . sounds dull, but it was really fun. Oh, and there are about a hundred (okay, maybe not that many) special ability cards you can buy for your monster at the end of your turn with energy cubes . . .

This is one of the best and most fun family games I’ve played. Well worth the half hour it takes to duke it out with your fellow monsters for control of Tokyo.

I’m looking forward to playing it with a larger group, but it works fine with three as we found out.

I did pick up a second game . . . but I’ll leave that mystery for next week.

Hey, I need to have some hook here to make you come back . . . er, okay.

And it is March, and it is damn cold, and I’m going out soon to shovel another pile of snow from the driveway . . . remind me of this when I bitch and moan about how hot it is in July.

Well, now that I’ve strayed into talking about the weather, it is a sure sign that I have nothing else of interest to talk about and so . . .

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, February 23, 2014

and so it went

Another week down, another week of well, not a whole bunch to relate.

I did manage another trip into the Big City game store, and walked off with a small card game, good for 3-10 players, called Saboteur . . . but that was about all.

And since it is the last Sunday of the month, this means it is game day!

Which will see our group heading out to a friend's place to have a day of game playing fun and frivolity. We are going to play Firefly as well as ShadowRift and I'll bring along Saboteur as well.

Should be a whole bunch of fun.

Oh, and at least one of our group is celebrating a birthday - and the theme will be The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy . . . so, you should be able to puzzle out her age.

Tennis has been going okay, but my body likes to complain afterwards with various aches and pains all over my body.

I think this has something to do with age - but since my mind is so addled with decrepitude, I can't be sure . . .

I finished up my Fortune and Glory play through over on the Tubes of You, and I actually won against the Crimson Hand . . . well, sort of.

I muffed up a couple rules which would likely have given the game to that vile organization - but hey, I'll take the win!

Well, as I said, not a whole bunch to relate this week again - so I will end off and go gather the necessary games for today's festivities.

Until next Sunday . . .

Sunday, February 16, 2014

I know

Yup,

missed a couple of weeks . . .

Sorry about that.

The first missed week had to do with shoveling snow . . . and then just proptly forgetting it was Sunday until it was far too late - like two days late.

The second missed week had to do with tired and busy - no excuse really, but there it is.

And, the grand total of things is - not much has transpired between the missed weeks and today.

So, I will say though that I've been cranking up a ton of YouTube game play videos the past few weeks and getting a fair number of subscribers to my channel.

I guess other folks out there like to see just how certain board games play and whether they would be a good purchase for themselves.

And I haven't bought any more games recently either . . . I know, a shocker!

Tennis, with the new old restrung racket, is going okay. I need to get those tennis muscles back in shape before I start to play well again.

So, no picture today on the post either . . . with no new game purchase, I just couldn't think of an appropriate one to paste up - so nothing for today.

Well, as I said, nothing too much has taken place the past while except game play videos and shoveling and trying to keep warm this frosty winter.

Until next Sunday . . . unless I forget - again!

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 . . .