Monday, September 24, 2012

976-EVIL Vs. Warlock

* = FINALLY, something Bill-O and I can agree with.  OR how Cassandra and I will now answer each other during any discussion....  Either way it's the truth.

Another week, another blog. So I guess I lied last week when I said there would be a podcast. Circumstances beyond the control of myself and David led to it being pushed back to this week. Since these particular uncontrollable circumstances were good, I am contractually obligated to not be a curmudgeon about them. Actually, I’m quite happy about them, but more about that later. Saturday we had a Board Game Day at the house. I was quite reserved in my optimism about turn out and in all honesty about fun.

Lately when I’ve set that bar high it has only led to disappointment, so I am trying to curb my enthusiasm a bit and be more realistic. In doing so I VASTLY underestimated my friends. We had a really solid turnout, games going both upstairs and down. We started off with a nice friendly game of King’s Gate (**** out of 5). If you’ve never had the chance to play this little game I highly recommend it. It requires some forward thinking, a bit of gambling, math of course since it’s a Euro game, and a desire to have a good time. On Saturday we had all that in spades. While I didn’t win, I didn’t take last, which is always a good thing. What made it really exciting is that the game came down to the last tile placement and only about 10 points separated the winner from the loser.

We followed this up with the Bat-shite insanity of Cards Against Humanity (Infinite *’s out of 5!).
If you like Apples To Apples and have NO moral center then THIS game is for you. I was both shocked and awed by the breadth and scope of the cards as far as being potentially offensive, and when I right that everyone reading this should understand that it means I literally laughed till I thought I was going to have a seizure. You know a game is good when people can’t even read the cards because they are guffawing. That’s what this game does, it makes you feel like you’re going to hell for your selections, and it makes you perfectly ok with that. This is a game I can’t wait to own and more importantly can’t wait to play again.

I then got the opportunity to play ‘Mwahahahaha!’ (*** ½ out of 5), which is a game I’ve been eyeing up for some time.
I LOVE the artwork and the idea of playing a crazy super villain bent on world domination. The game seemed to be a bit of a mix of Munchkin (***** out of 5) and Cosmic Encounter (**** ½ out of 5). Now the only reason I didn’t rate it higher was the insanely long play time. It really was the game that would not end. On the plus side I liked the mechanics, although there is a LOT, going on in the three phases and people with less of an attention span WILL slow the game down significantly, I found the actual game play to be balanced, fun, and inventive. The wheeling and dealing, as well as the screwing of each other, is what has me comparing it to Cosmic Encounter. There is a social dynamic at work in both of these games which I love, it encourages you to cooperate AS LONG as it benefits you and then rewards you for eventually betraying your fellow players. It’s a solid game that I am VERY excited about trying again.

We then turned the lights down low, busted out the LED candles and played a few hours of Werewolves Of Millers Hollow (Infinite *’s out of 5!). 
I adore this game. It’s a social game and you NEED at least 8 people and a story teller to get it going, but the more players the better the experience it becomes. We played about 6 games and each one got a little bit better and more intriguing than the one before it. The game consists of randomly drawling lots to see who is the werewolf or werewolves and who the villagers are. Every ‘night’ one villager is killed and every day the villagers vote on who they think is the Wolf amongst them and lynch him or her until either the wolf(s) are dead or everyone in the village is. I said it was fun not uplifting. I especially loved having David’s new lady paramour Jen, and her 11 year old daughter win as the two werewolves! That was really funny, slightly creepy in a cool way, and maybe the highlight of that night’s games.

Which brings me to David’s love life; I think he was pretty nervous having us meet Jen. You could sort of tell as he was a bit reserved and really stayed pretty much at her side. I have to say though he has nothing to worry about. He has stumbled into someone just about perfect for him. She’s easy on the eyes, smart, witty, funny, and very personable. They sort of vibe together in a cute way that made me feel like our little Davey is “alls growed up”. I was a bit worried about the fact that she has a daughter and that for the vast amount of time I’ve known Dave he’s been pretty anti-kid, however I was blown away. Haley is eleven or so and she’s a girl so that’s like trying to figure out a rubix cube in the dark blindfolded, although she’s very smart, engaging, and played games with all of adults in a relatively mature way considering most of the people in the room weren’t that mature themselves. Dave and Haley seemed to like one another, have a good time together, and he has this sort of glow when he’s around them. It’s a good glow. It’s the kind people get when they get their lives back on track and are truly happy. He seems TRULY happy to be with Jen and to be in Haley’s life and that is amazing for all of them. I look forward to getting to know them as they and Dave move forward.

I have finished a few books lately. First up was the Dragonlance anthology ‘Relics & Omens’ (** ½ out of 5).
I think I’ve been sort of pecking at this book for about a year. I’d read a bit here and there, almost forcing myself to go forward, but honestly not really being overjoyed with any of the tales with the exception of ‘Island Of Night’ by Roger E. Moore. That one stood out. It was about a former cleric of the Dark Goddess whose crew crashes on an island. He’s lamenting his goddess leaving him and wondering just when the crew will mutiny when they come upon a lone gnome. The cleric is a cruel and methodical man; little does he realize that the Island is FAR more cruel and methodical. I won’t spoil it for you, but let me say that anyone who loves Zombies will LOVE this story. A decent book, but far more forgettable than anything else.

I finished Piers Anthony’s ‘Sos The Rope’ (**** ½ out of 5).
I had never read anything by Mr. Anthony, but his name seemed to pop up on so many lists of authors a Geek like me should read so when Paizo ran its insane Planetary Stores for $3 a pop I picked up two of his tales. I have to admit I was enthralled by this tale of a post-apocalyptic world and the main character’s, Sos, place in it. The importance of honor, its place in a true society, as well as what we sacrifice for friendship and belonging are things that resonate with me on a personal level. There is a bizarre 70’s-ish feel to this tale, which shouldn’t surprise me since was written in 1968. It’s got an existential protagonist struggling through the bleak reality of what man has become. It’s a hard book to explain or to summarize effectively, just like it was a hard book to put down. I thoroughly enjoyed this tale, highly recommend it and look forward to my next tale of Piers AnthonySteppe’.

Well it was another week so we were blessed with another Shattered Star miniatures preview! First up is the Iron Golem.
I love this mini! It has oodles of personality even with its very simple overall paint scheme. The pose is dynamic and full of real and implied action. The little touches of the orange glow to the eyes and the mouth are really amazing. I know a lot of Grognards hated the Cylon-looking later edition Iron Golems and vastly prefer this Ray Harryhausen version; however I feel like any fantasy world has room for both. I know I hope I do. This one, as long as it isn’t crazy expensive, is a MUST BUY for me.

Secondly is the Alchemic Golem. This thing is crazy, and I mean crazy in a fantastic way. There is such a strange Weird Science thing going on here that makes me love this mini even more. The translucent colored spot, the brain in a dome, those bizarre and ungainly syringe hands, and that posture that makes the thing look like it’s either going to start loping after you in a disturbingly quick way or topple over all mesh perfectly. This is again a MUST BUY! On a side note I’ve been picking up some of the Rise Of The Runelords minis from Auggies when I can get them cheap. Overall I have not been disappointed by anything other than the high prices these singles are fetching online. I don’t want to buy random boosters, but if I have to pay $2.50 to $4.00 for a Common and more for Uncommons then I may not have much of a choice. I’m not sure the reason for the crazy prices, but it’s a damn shame because I WANT to give them my money, just not all of it.

How ‘bout we wrap this bad boy up with some…


- Holy crap the Vikings and Chiefs won this weekend in upsets. On a side note the team of El Iron Fisto and the Koala are 1 & 2 in Fantasy Football, this makes me sad.
- We are testing out our pizzas for Driveway Pizza War tonight. I feel good about my choices I just hope that it works.
- Hey, if you dig miniatures and have some disposable cash go to Dungeon Crawler Miniatures Kickstarter.
They have Pirates; they are going to make pygmies. Did you hear me? PYGMIES! That is friggin’ cool as hell. They are a small company and having painted some of their ‘Natural’, i.e. unpainted, minis they make a great figure. They deserve your business so go forth and make it happen.
- I have Cassandra hooked on Torchlight I, I am hooked on Torchlight II. We may never spend time together without that game on ever again.
- Maybe we’ll get the Podcast done tomorrow night; I certainly hope so because I have lots to spout off at the mouth about…

I think that’s all I got.

“Ah caught you smiling at me, That's the way it should be,
Like a leaf is to a tree, so fine.

Ah all the good times we had, I sang love songs so glad
Always smiling, never sad, so fine.

As we walk down the country lanes, I'll be singing a song,
Hear me calling your name.
Hear the wind within the trees, Telling Mother Nature 'bout you and me.

Well if the sun shines so bright, Or on our way it's darkest night
The road we choose is always right, so fine.

Ah can your love be so strong When so many loves go wrong
Will our love go on and on...

My, my la de la come on now it ain't too far,
Tell your friends all around the world,
Ain't no companion like a blue eyed merle.
Come on now well let me tell you,
What you're missing, missing, 'round them brick walls.

So of one thing I am sure, It's a friendship so pure,
Angels singing all around my door, so fine.
Yeah, ain't but one thing to do Spend my natural life with you,
You're the finest dog I knew, so fine.

When you're old and your eyes are dim, There ain't no old Shep gonna happen again,
We'll still go walking down country lanes, I'll sing the same old songs,
Hear me call your name.”

* = I was worried that this might be Steve's M.O. Saturday, however I was pleasantly surprised when he only tried to mame Terry...

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