Friday, March 22, 2013

PAX Blues

As some of you might know, I'm not going to PAX East this year.  It is was it is and I'm trying to come to peace with it.

I was going to steer clear of all Twitters, RvB, and everything else this weekend. PAX news was going to do nothing but bum me out.

I shouldn't be at work.
I should be here at all.
I should be in Boston.

These are the thoughts that have dominated my head since yesterday. I so badly want to be there it was actually affecting me physically.

Then I talked to a couple of friends here. They were asking about weekend plans, what we were doing, where we were playing games, could we get in a round of golf, who's D&D campaign we were playing, the usual stuff.

I realized that the usual stuff is pretty awesome. I'll be hanging out with Lisa tonight, playing board games tomorrow, then D&D on Sunday. The reason that a lot of people get excited for things like PAX and RTX and the like is that they don't get to do the kinds of group gaming that I am so lucky to get to partake just about every weekend. I play games with my friends all the time, and not everyone gets that visceral in-person gaming thrill.

I'm thankful that I get to game as much as I do, and I'm lucky to have the kinds of friends I do here. Still, I miss all my far-flung friends, and I'm going to get shit-faced on Saturday night to pad my mild sorrows. :D

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Hot Streak

It's no secret that I'm a big fan of League of Legends, and lately it seems like I've been having a good run at it.  5 ranked wins, all playing support.  The above shot was the most recent effort, and I'm particularly proud of the not dying part.

The thing is, I'm really getting a handle of how to play support in LoL. Now I just need to figure out how to play top and ADC and I'm set.  :P

As well, thing went well in our gaming session last night.  I've mentioned Keyflower before, and I finally managed to pull out a win. YAY.  Also won Fresco.  Double YAY.

More on the point of Fresco, this was one of the first times I felt like the game was speaking to me.  I played game exactly as I wanted to, and ended up leading for most of the game, including the end where being in the lead is the most important.

Hopefully I don't crash and burn here.  Still, I'll enjoy the streak while it lasts.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Finding my groove again

I've gone a fortnight without winning.

Now I've won 4 games tonight.

Played Keyflower to a 3rd place finish, scoring 60 to 65, 64, and 41.  Also played Race for the Galaxy to a pitiful 3/3 finish, 48 to 42 to 38 to 15 finish.  Ugh. Prestige can suck a nut.

BUT.  I won 7 Wonders 86 to 63 to 63, then Guillotine 19 to 13 to 13 to 11, then Bluff and poker.

It's been a really good night.

Also drunk.  :P

Friday, January 25, 2013

Running on Empty

As far as Dungeons & Dragons players go, I'm VERY lucky.

The little group has 3 of the most inventive, engaging, and entertaining story-tellers I've ever seen.  Every one one of the campaigns that these guys are running has done something to take.  It's really hard to put into words how grateful I am for the chance to take part in their adventures and violently kill lots and lots of monsters.

And while I trip over my own words trying to thank them, I feel like I should run my own campaign once in a while.  It's the least I can do, to let these guys who put so much into their worlds just sit back and all be players for once.  My problem is that I'm nowhere near as good as my buddies.  Where their encounters are well made and I dare say inspired, my stuff is thrown together at the last minute.

But that doesn't mean we can't have fun!  I threw together a skill challenge, featuring an innocent band of down-trodden travelers.  Then it was off to my sole combat encounter featuring my monster crush of the week, rakshasas.  Try saying that three times fast.

All my hang ups aside, my players had fun and that's really the whole point.  Maybe I'll run a session again sometime soon?

Nah.  I love killing monsters too much.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Taking Stock

One of the very few resolutions that I made for myself this year was to record every board game that I played over the next 365 days.  As an extra measure of potential self-torture, I also decided to record how I did in those games.  I'm not a particularly hyper-competitive, but I do like winning and I'd love to know if I'm actually any good at this stuff.  Yes, there's a bit of narcissism involved, but it could be fun, right?  RIGHT???

Last week, we played the newest "Key" game, Keyflower, along with some Blokus, my new game crush Got It, and the super slick worker placement game Stone Age.  As expected, I won the puzzle and math game, but struggled with the economic games, placing 4th in Keyflower and 3rd in Stone Age.

I say struggled, but I actually didn't do THAT bad at either game.  Keyflower was new, but I had fun and I'm ready to give it another shot.  Not Ito make excuses, but I tried a new approach to Stone Age and I think I did about as good as that particular strategy allows.

But puzzle games are my bag, and I feel like any game of Ubongo, or Ricochet Robots or the like is mine to lose.  Maybe this is an arrogant attitude to have, but that's what I'm hoping this year of tracking games plays might shed some light on.

This week was more of the same, although with a couple of unexpected results.  We kicked off with some 3 player Magic: The Gathering, where 2 of us got stomped.  Cue the cries of mana screwage and lousy draws here.  Next up was a game of Ubongo Extreme, and after a tie-breaking play-off I managed to take the victory.  After that was a game of the light civilization game 7 Wonders, where I not only won but scored my highest score to date (72).

The last game of the night was the strangest, but the most satisfying.  Anyone who's into games knows that Le Havre is no joke.  As one of the deepest and most re-playable economic games out, it takes a lot of effort to put together a winning run, especially against good players.  The game ended with no clear leader and despite a valiant effort, I managed a last place finish.  Still, the fact that the scores were 284 to 264 to 254 was a testament to a well-played game.  This was one loss that I don't feel particularly bad about, and I can't wait to give it another go.

After yesterday, I'm going to try and include scores in my records for the year.  Sometimes a loss is easier to accept with some context, especially if you're talking about a very narrow margin.  Games are all about having fun, and a job well done is fun no matter where you place.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Wow. It's really been that long, eh?

It's sad that it took copious amounts of pear cider to warrant a post here.

 How's my year been? Strange. A mediocre PAX East was tempered by an outstanding live show of Late Nite JengaJam with my friends. Then I got a new role at work. That was game-changing. I went from borderline quitting to actually caring about what I do. It's been weird to say the least. Then there was RTX and our LNJJ Panel, for which I have few words other than awesome! PAX Prime was great, and BGG.CON was the best so far. Oh yeah, AND I HOSTED RT PHILLY! How cool was that?!?! I didn't even get booed off the stage or nothing!

 It's been a year of ups and downs. I'm glad to see so many of my friends doing awesome, but I selfishly wish I could talk to them more. And then there's my tiny super awesome wife. She puts up with a lot, and sometimes I don't know why. But she's there for me, and I couldn't ask for a better partner.

 I guess I should write about games, at least a little. Got It! has me smitten, and the new Edition of Descent is great! Twilight Imperium surprisingly had a new awesome expansion, and new stuff for Agriola is still fun! 

My first resolution is to revive this blog, but with some new approaches. First off, no more dry-as-fuck reviews. If I review a game, I'll figure out a better way to frame it. Talk of the session, of the players, some angle that's more interesting than whether I liked the game or not.

 Here's to 2013!!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Midnight Movie Review: The Best Week of January

This week, a bunch of interesting movies all come out. Here's my initial take on this cinematic swarm! Enjoy!