Saturday, September 22, 2012

| Order of Operations Prevails!

You have two different Halberds, and each is treated individually, me thinks.  If you had ONE mega Halberd, we'll call it a Guisarme-Guisarme-Awl-Pike-Fauchard, then I think you could call it 4 damage.  As it stands, I think it's:

Number of Halberds * {Number of rooms * [(2 damage) - (1 * active shields)]}

Then Rockmen's damage resistance if/then statements and then a whole 'negative results = 0' statement somewhere....

Either way, the Halberd is my weapon of choice.  I have tried to move away from any dependence on missiles because the cost of upkeep (ammunition) is just too much and depends on regular visits to stores.  I am bouncing between 1 mega-ion cannon and the Halberd as a baseline, with any other weapons as gravy, OR a crap ton of multiple fire lasers with the Halberd once the shields are dropped - I'm leaning towards liking the latter a bit more.

I've also explored teleporting crew to wreak havoc, and I like it!  I think it distracts the crew enough so they don't repair their shield/weapon systems fast enough and lets me continue to rain down hell.  Just don't get the bright idea of teleporting your crew to a drone, because I discovered AFTER the fact that the drones don't use O2 and my crew can't hold their breath long enough for the teleporters to recharge and bring them home...

PS I had to teach Chrome that 'teleporters', 'fauchard', and 'guisarme' are words.  I thought that Google had enough nerd-cred to bake those right into the spell-checker, but I guess not.  Jocks.

Friday, September 21, 2012

| Fun with math (order of operations)

Yeah, so.. I figured I'd try out a fun build with as many Halberd / Pike Beams as I could bolt on and power up. By some stroke of luck I managed to find THREE Halberd Beams. Got 2 powered, was just about to get the 3rd powered. What I found with two of these things powered was that firing on a ship with a single shield often meant it got cut into pieces on the first volley (cue madman laughter here).

I *ALSO* learned that the halberd doesn't bring down shields, only the ablative shielding on some ships.

Here's the really unfortunate math (fun with order of operations):

If you have 2 x Halberds firing (puting out 2 damage each per each room hit in the strike) versus 2 shields (absorbing 2 damage), the game doesn't treat that as:

[4 damage x number of rooms] - 2 damage absorbed.

Further, it doesn't even treat it as:

[4 damage - 2 damage absorbed] x number of rooms.

What the game actually does is:

[2 damage - 2 damage absorbed] x 2 x whatever (if rooms are even an issue here).

So, basically.. you get absolutely zero damage out of two Halberds firing simultaneously because the shield absorbs 100% of their output.

My initial giddy elation at creating the ultimate death machine was ended quickly when I did no damage in 3 volleys and found myself getting destroyed by a nasty boarding party (my crew were mostly noodle-armed Zoltans). HMS Botswana was blown to smithereens by fucking boarding drones. I think I could solve for the 2-shield layer issue somewhat with an ion bomb or cannon but even then, that's not gonna do me any good later on in the game against 3 and 4 shield-layered ships.


| Top score for me right now is

The one and only HMS Schweaty, at 3779. Was close to beating the second of the final battles. I found that having the cloaking ability was, literally, a life saver. I can't even imagine how ridiculous the next battle might be. Maybe God himself coming on screen and flicking your spaceship off the page with a Simpson's avi of the "AH HA!" kid.


| FTL "ah hah" moment for me

When up against opponents with shields, don't set your weapons to auto-fire when ready. Let them all power up to green, hit pause. Then select the slowest traveling weapon (missiles), launch that, repause. Then select the lasers, fire those. Select the beam weapon of your choice, get the aiming reticule clicked to anchor it, stretch the firing line but don't click to set it. Unpause, wait for the lasers to reach the edge of the screen, then click on second anchor point for the beam weapon and it will all hit at the same time.


I was wiping fighters, frigates and cruisers with three and four shields with this methodology in about 3 shots. Absolutely nasty cheese.

I was on the, eh, "second" fight with the Boss and got cocky. Didn't concentrate on bringing the shields down first and went for the... module in question too early. Unfortunately, that meant that my attack to disable the module didn't go well. Worse, I got turned into swiss cheese quite rapidly. :(

I really thought the HMS Schweaty was going to win it for me.

I think my ideal setup now would be two of the 5-shot lasers and a 1-bar quick missile for sneaking in a pre-shot on their shields. That would be 4 bars for each of the 5 shot cannons and 1 bar for the missile battery, for the max of 9.

Alternative would be 2x3-shot cannons and a Halberd Beam. Nasty. Even with some misses, the 6 shots from the cannons should be enough to overwhelm the shield and then the beam weapon would cut into the ship something fierce in that second or two before they recharge.

| Wipeout is rad.

I skipped Easy and went straight to hard(err... normal!) So far, my best score is 973! Sector 4. I think the most dudes I've ever had was 6. In the hangar screen, rename the ship and leave it blank - good little easter egg there.

There's a free Xbla game that's basically "Wipeout with your avatars" - fun little time waster.  Doritos Crash Course.

| Welcome to The FTL Team

Highest score on Easy: 3520

Without giving away any spoilers, I'll just say that the final boss is a ridiculous son of a bitch with a lot of trixie tricks up it's massive sleeve.

'Easy' my ass.


Haha, yes! Me and the kiddos laugh hysterically at that show. There are very few compelling reasons to keep "TV" and that show is one of them, although I have to imagine you can watch it online somewhere, no?

We've been toying with the idea of going to no TV whatsoever. I just don't know. There's a lot of content stream-able on Netflix or Hulu or whatever these days and you don't have to pay $75-125 a month for the privilege of doing so.

| Good tips (sweet tits)

I'd also add that your FIRST and IMMEDIATE priority has to be getting a 2-layered shield up and running.

It isn't often, but there are times when you should sell off items at a store/vendor site to purchase a powerful weapon / buff. In particular, if you run across the pre-charge buff that allows you to pre-power as many weapons as you like before jumping to light speed. It's usually around 110 quid, so I try to keep above 100 in cash on hand as I move around star systems (after the first two systems which are more or less spent in a frenzy to upgrade the ship). The Pegasus missile system (shoots two missiles at a time) is HUGE for getting past enemies with a defense drone.

Your crew will specialize if you leave them in one station while you battle... and you will receive very powerful buffs for them as you progress through the game. In particular, the pilot and engine rooms, weapons, and shields.

Be aware of your crew members' strengths and weaknesses. Some are great at support, some are awesome at fighting. As Eric said, don't be afraid to let boarders wreak a little bit of havoc while they're on your ship. I like to rotate crews in and out of the fight to wear them down. It helps a LOT if you vent the bad guys' compartment to space and weaken them or outright kill them.

Dont take anyone for granted. I've been killed by average enemies many times now because I didn't max-out my attack to solidify the upperhand (at least early on in the fight). If you can get enough fire on target to destroy their shields and weapons systems, just keep pounding them. If they don't have enough weapons to hurt you (enemies without missile systems are a prime example). Target their shield system and keep pounding it until they blow up.

Things I'm curious to try out: If you kill a crew / capture a space ship mostly intact, do you get a scrap / systems bonus on your salvage attempt? I dunno. I need to practice fighting with the teleporter. I haven't really done that at all.

Regarding the final boss level (SPOILER ALERT): Yeah, that's a bitch. I've only been there twice so far. I think there are multiple fights with the final boss. The first one I now think is pretty easy. Basically take down the shield generator and then pound away on weapons control, keep going back and forth. The second one (after you blow one "wing" off) is where things got hairy for me. He sends out a SWARM of drones to attack you and it swiss-cheesed my ride badly. I think this is where I either need overwhelming firepower to neutralize the drone control room immediately, or need to get good with the teleporter so I can send in crew to disable it. Then, I have no idea what's next. Will probably take a failed attempt or two at the next scene (or for however many there are?). One thing is for sure, beating the "EASY" level is a bitch. I can't imagine making it to the end on Normal, lol.

I can't shake the feeling that there's something fundamentally missing in my FTL skillset that would make "Easy" EASY and "Normal" just sort of a challenge. I dunno.

| Questioning My Values

Because we cut cable like two years ago I had no idea this show existed until I stumbled across the iOS game.  I'm rethinking the whole 'no TV' thing...


Yes. I have been laughing hysterically.  I know you will too, Enron.

And again

| All I learned I learned from Star Trek, er, FTL

 - I too grant mercy 90% of the time, unless the Rebel "scum" are working me over in the final, or next to final, system.  Then I go for the kill if I can, simply because I know that there is NO WAY I will be able to get satisfaction from attacking the final capital ship as that fight has been an absolute joke the first 3 times I have made it to the end.

 - Fires: Rockmen are impervious to fire, so send them in to put the fires out, or open the doors to space and that room to suffocate the fire.  Sure, your O2 levels drop, but that way you can sort of forget about the fires and keep fighting.

 - Boarding parties:  If possible, vent the ship and gently direct the assaulting scum to fight you in the medical bay.  Sometimes they will run toward your other rooms, but I always abandon them to try and corral the bastards into the medbay.  Your crew cannot be killed (in my experience) while fighting while being healed in the medbay.  Hopefully your ship can withstand the pounding it takes while you abandon all systems mid-fight...

 - Lasers rule: You draw a little line with a laser across enemy rooms, and to do damage you only need a tiny bit of the line to touch a room, NOT the icon of the system in the room. That means you can usually hit 4 rooms, sometimes only 3, and each room takes 1 or 2 hull damage AND system damage... nice.

 - Crew: The different races you can have as crew will occasionally grant you different blue colored responses to some RPG interactions and will often allow quests to begin.  It pays to have a varied crew.  And it pays to have A LOT of crew....

 - No matter how badass you think you are (and I REALLY thought I was last night) all it takes is one ship, one bad combination of disasters to reduce your 8 crewed, 3 shielded WITH a super alien soaking shield, rad weaponed, cloaked ship to a scattered mess of metal and bio material....

Great write-ups.  DCC and Ffftl..

Curse you all and my non-existent will and especially Steam.  All this talk of  gaming pushed me to a game buying binge.  It didn't help that I took a few vacation days off and had too much time to get into trouble.  Plus buying games in the middle of the night in your underwear is the pinnacle of our civilization.

So I got Dreadball.  That scare tactic of limited supplies set me on buy, buy, buy mode.  Brilliant marketing!

I also got Borderlands 2, Torchlight 2 aaand FTL...

I'm enjoying Borderlands 2 so far.  Playing a jerk sniper.

Torchlight 2 is also fun.  A lot more generous with the magic items than Diablo.  Play fuels the crack addict brain center much better.  Plus pets!  They have a bunch, eight I think.

So, FTL has been brutal to me.  My first crew burned to death by the second jump.  Are these ships made of cardboard?  That fire spread right quick!  The last game I got three sectors? out before being blasted to bits by a customs ship.  A customs ship!  That never happens in Star Trek.

Speaking of Star Trek.  I've been playing the game like that.  So I'm the good guy and always spare a ship when they surrender.  Do you get better loot if you just blast them like Han Solo?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Great writeups! I won't lie, I got misty-eyed at the sad fate of the Yeehaw! TEXAS. As for the Xactioners, it just goes to show: leave the team, pay the price.

I am looking forward to Friday! Not just for the usual reasons, but also because the iWife will return from her business trip. Been a long week. Been fun spending more time than usual with the kid, not as fun having to leave work early to get to daycare everyday and be tired all the time.

Off to shoot some stuff and grab guns!

| I no haz stealth ship

But did unlock the Rock Cruiser (can you smell what I'm cookin'?).. and the shield guys. Can remember their names. Shield one is awesome until you get boarded and then it's very very bad. The Rock Cruiser is crazy fun, comes standard with two powerful missile launchers that obliterate opponents... until you run out of ammo or run into a ship with defense drones, lol. I think the best equipment I've seen so far is the Pegasus 2-shot missile system, the 5-shot pulse laser and the fire cannon. Total destruction. The best add on item has to be the one that pre-charges all your weapons before a battle. Holy shit that first barrage before they can do anything about it is just murder.

| Stealth ship

Just wait until all you FTLers get the stealth ship unlocked.  It is a whole new level of helplessness and ineptitude.... no shield to start, two weak lasers, and super quick duration cloaking with like a 25 second recharge = instadeath against anything with a shield, a drone, and actually any other armament at all.  I have lost three games in a row to the first ship I came up against in normal mode.

It's horrible...

| Dreadball - $348k - 10 days to do

PS, they have limited the 'Striker!" level (which is the one of everything, plus full teams, plus bonus minis up the wazoo, etc.) to 249 more backers at the time of this message.

Just a friendly reminder to those who were on the fence...


"Remember the YEEHAW!" will be the rallying cry for future crews.

Things were going along really well, had full weapons bay, had gone through several star systems and was pretty well destroying whatever I ran into in short order. Then, ran into an energy/ion fighter that had my number. Stupid ion gun kept turning off my shields, weapons, drone control. Then the fires and the ruptured hull. Couldn't get back on top of that battle and the YEEHAW was destroyed.

It's funny how fun this little game is. It's like Oregon Trail in space with some added combat mechanics. The difficulty scale is crazy though, and I love it for the uncompromising randomness. I don't even really get angry when I die because for the most part, it felt fair and expected. Like I was happy just to not get iced in the first few rounds of combat, let alone make it through several star systems, lol.

Best gaming value in a while, for me. Maybe since Minecraft.

| Love it!

Nice write up! It captures the feel and internal role-playing of the game completely!

Unfortunately, I have become engrossed in the stupid game to the point where it has invaded my dreams - I had FTL dreams last night where my sleep troubles could only be managed by shifting my FTL crew around the ship to assist with getting me to restful sleep.

Same thing happened with Advanced Heroquest in high school, and the same thing happened with Doom II...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

| These are the voyages of the USS Texas YEEHAW

...and her crew, Batma, Ntheride, and Chuck Norris.

Stardate 10.51. We are on a diplomatic mission to Alderan the Federation Fleet HQ to deliver secret plans.

We decide to pass up the chance to ditch our hasty pursuers by going through the closest nebula and instead set course for the path around. Hopefully we may run into some out-of-the-way salvage or settlements that will allow us to take on new crew and improve our modest spacecraft, the USS Texas YEEHAW.

10.54: Our first stop is a planet with six-legged animal-like lifeforms that we have never encountered before. All attempts at communicating with them as sentient beings fail, so we return to the ship and move on.

10.56: Unfortunately, we miscalculated our navigation and are unable to avoid the southern tip of the nebula. Looks like we're going in.

A pirate ship has followed us into the nebula and has closed the distance to engagement range. We cannot escape, time to turn and fight. We begin to power up forward missile bays and bring the Burst Lasers online. This pirate has a shield system active, so the missile will be targeted to take that down and the Lasers timed to hit their weapon systems after we take down their shields.

Confounded weapons system on this bucket are too slow, the pirate ship has launched an attack drone which is pelting our shield with a constant stream of laser fire, and they have managed to get a missile off the rails and it has impacted into our rear quarter, detonating directly in our Oxygen Generator compartment.

Sgt. Chuck Norris and Pvt. N'theride are dispatched to check out the damage and get our Oxygen back online. We won't have to worry about returning fire if we can't breathe.

As Chuck and N'theride leap out of their chairs and begin sprinting aft with repair kits and fire extinguishers, the combat computer's female voice, aka "Bitching Betty" calmly reports that our Artemis Missile is away and streaking towards its assigned target. A second later, a similar affirmative report confirmed by the whine-thump-whine-thump of the burst laser springing to life. Just seconds before impact, their pilot spots our inbound missile, streaking through space, and manages to slide his ship out of the performance envelope of our Artemis Missile, which explodes harmlessly just 200m off her aft. His maneuvering, however, has provided a large silhouette and the burst laser has hit home! One bounced harmlessly off their still-active shields, one fired just wide of the ship but the third shot went scorching through their shield and ripped into their weapons bay with satisfying eruption of fire and sparks. What luck! This should hopefully buy us the time we need to repair our Oxygen system and power up our next volley.

11.05: Lt. Chuck and Pvt. N'theride arrive at the aft deck and are pleasantly surprised that there are no breaches in the hull and no fires to extinguish, which could be especially deadly with explosive Oxygen gas spilling into the compartment. They begin work on repairing our life support systems. If they are unable to do so in the next few minutes, all is lost.

11.11: For the pilot, Lt. Batma, seconds are minutes and minutes are lifetimes as he monitors the ship's systems, nervously tapping on the readout on the ship's oxygen levels that is down to 84% and falling faster and faster. The ship is still being peppered by laser fire from the pirate ship's attack drone orbiting the USS Texas YEEHAW. Lt. Batma checks the sensors, which still show the enemy's ship's weapon systems as offline. Betty interrupts his near panicked train of thought with her sullen "Weapon Ready" report. He mashes the authorization to launch button and another missile is off the rails with their shield system targeted. As before, the burst laser is synced with this launch so the laser fire impacts just after the shield generator is brought offline. This time, he selects their attack drone control tower in hopes of getting that gnat silenced for a bit.

11.18: Chuck and N'theride report in to Lt. Batma over the radio that they have successfully repaired life support and oxygen levels are climbing back up into the high 80%'s. At the same time, the enemy pilot has again swerved hard to avoid the powerful Artemis Missile and left himself open to take his chances with the burst laser. Not his lucky day. The burst laser scorches through their shield system again and impacts directly into their control tower, sending sheets of sparks and flame into the surrounding space.

11.24: N'theride has been ordered to man the weapons bay and see if he can calibrate the next missile launch for better accuracy. Chuck has been sent to the sensor bay to try and improve on the quality of our view of the enemy ship, which is being disrupted by the nebula we are flying through. All weapon systems are now trained on their shield system to try and cripple the pirate craft. Sensors are reporting that the enemy craft's weapon system and drone control towers are both completely offline. While we can't see their crew on sensors because of the nebula interference, we can still track their movements somewhat by the frequency and number of internal airlocks opening and closing. Scurrying around the ship trying to keep her in one piece, it is readily apparent that the pirate scum are in serious trouble.

11.25: Nearly simultaneously, as Betty reports all weapons ready, Batma mashes the launch-auth button and the third volley is on its way. There is no evasive maneuver this time and the Artemis Missile strikes dead center into the craft's shield generator, detonating and nearly ripping the entire craft apart. Just as the missile impacts, Betty reports that the enemy ship is attempting to make an emergency jump to light speed and escape, followed in a blink of an eye by her follow up report that the threat from the enemy ship has been terminated by the follow-up volley of laser fire. She has broken into several pieces and gone dark, except for the scorch marks left by our weapons.

11.32: We send out a shuttle to see what salvage we can quickly recover from the wreckage. In addition to finding quite a haul of usable general-materials, we are pleasantly surprised that a powerful weapon, a Halberd Beam, has been recovered mostly intact! It appears this ship was transporting a large shipment of weaponry in its bays. Our crew sets out to install the new weapon on the USS Texas YEEHAW for ad-hoc use in our flight across this star system. We will need to improve our reactor's output if we are to properly utilize this new weapon as it alone requires as much energy as our entire current weapons bay. We use most of the remaining materials we salvaged to double our shield's strength in anticipation of the battles to come, but like the newly acquired weapon, will need to make substantial improvements to our reactor in order to fully utilize it.

11.36: Set course to exit the nebula and be underway towards the Fleet HQ once more.

| Made it to the end (FTL)

Granted, playing through on Easy first, just to see how hairy things get as you progress. I made some noober mistakes on layout and weapon choices along the way and basically wound up looking like a missile frigate... with no missiles. LOL

The result was predictable, we done got vaporized.

I think what's so fun about the game is the total randomness of it. The system layouts, the encounters, the loot and gear you can buy along the way.. you never really know how it's going to go, so you have to be ready to adapt and adjust when something goes unexpectedly good or horrifically bad. Although, to be fair, when things go horrifically bad, that's usually a GAME OVER point.

I've had more than enough battles where I thought I had shit under control and then all of a sudden a missile / asteroid gets through the defenses and WRECKS MY SHIT.

I love it that it is so unforgiving, and randomly rewarding at the same time. I think I've only survived one solar-flare battle, ever. Probably means I don't put enough of my loot into improving my engines. Can't make that jump to light speed before half my fucking ship is on fire, lol.
I, for one, would love a playthrough! Roguelikes are always great for this kind of thing.

I finally tried out my airbrush tonight! It was super fun to finally try out after spending a few months getting the pieces together. The air compressor makes a really pleasant sound (it's not like a LOUD tire air compressor sound, it's kinda like a very large, purring cat.)

Anyway this is a great way to paint things extremely quickly and badly! It barely took me 5 minutes to basecoat a light warjack. The poor thing looks terrible, and needs to be stripped/repainted pronto for further airbrush torment, but it's obvious that after some practice this will be a really quick way to get things table-ready.

Pro tips, airbrush usage:
- Nighttime is not the right time! Especially if you've just got a single, dim patio light for illumination
- If possible, avoid spraying downward into a shadowy box. Eye level, Beau Jevel!
- Vaporized cleaning alcohol fumes = free headache!

| FT-Swell

Picked up FTL this afternoon and just did my first (short) play-through. Funny Business, iRudy and two of his favorite comedian's ship, made it through a few fights and into the next system before succumbing to a fatal disease on a planet we were trying to quell rioting. Fun!

| FTL continues to impress

And Dreadball continues to go batshit in the funding and kickstarter gimmes!  I pledged last week and its up at 326k now....


| Tales of the FTL

This morning, the HMS XAction Team hit the stars, with a star team of ex-Action Teamers at the helm (JP, Rich, and Paul) what could possibly go wrong?  What are the chances it could all go to hell on the first system?

They saw a distant beacon, near the entry point of the pursuit fleet, but figured the fleet was still so far back, they had plenty of time to explore and still make it out of the system in time.  Well, that distant star had a Federation (or is it Rebel?) scout which spun up it's FTL to jump and tell the pursuing fleet.  The HMS XAction Team could not disable the engines in time and the ship jumped (which greatly accelerated the pursuit).  When it was the XATs turn to jump, the only path from the distant star was through the pursuing fleet zone...

Jumping into the zone was met with an immediate attack by an elite fighter and a warning that the ship needed to jump before the cruisers could fire, so the race for survival was on!  Multiple fires due to attacking fire and SOLAR FLARES, hull damaged to 50%, the O2 chamber being taken offline multiple times, was all the XAT needed to suffer through before jumping.... the only other system to jump to was already overrun by the pursuing fleet as well....

Throw in an attack drone and a boarding party, the XATs goose was cooked.

The XAT never made it back to the base....

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

| Answer: YES, JERK!

LOL, bought it and have been playing with the kiddos. Crazy fun! Can see this taking up a lot of fun time with the kids. Good grey-area moralistic decision making to teach from as well.

| I am SO close to pulling the trigger on FTL


Sounds like it's a lot of fun. Are you exploring the galaxy in search of items / resources to improve your ship and just keep wandering around, or do you get specific mission tasks to undertake and complete?

| Bordirtywhorelands

I'm worried that FTL is going to consume a big chunk of my time as I exhaust my exploration of the game.  I see how it's a Rogue-like, but so far I have a much stronger attachment to each game, and I've only played one so far.  My crew started at 3 and then through adventures expanded to 6 before my inevitable end... I was sad as each crewman learns skills from the locations they work in, and each were heroes during different parts of the mission - one alien crewman held off 3 pirates that boarded the ship while the other crew came to his rescue, but kept getting hurt so they had to cycle out to the infirmary to heal, all the while the alien crewman battled.  Another, while during a firefight, rushed from the engine room to repair the damaged sensor array that was blinding my view to the ship, then discovered that there was a fire in two of the compartments, then ran to the damaged 'door control module' which then enabled me to open the doors to vent the fire into space!

Pretty fun!

Unfortunately, The Starless Sea met their end when they had run out of fuel and turned on their distress beacon, hoping for help.  A well armed pirate came to the "rescue" and opened fire on the poor ship that had an already damaged hull, a crew size that had been reduced to 3 again (while the ships systems had increased in their need to be crew-managed), and no missiles...

I was sad, and obsessed with starting a new mission (with a freshly unlocked ship for reaching the 5th system [level]) as soon as I find some time tonight!  It would be a dream on the iPad....

| BorderLawesome

Okay, I spent probably a few dozen too many hours playing that damn game. But it was pretty much tout de sweet. Anyone who didn't like Borderlands, will not like Borderlands 2. It is pretty much the same game with more content and minor tweaks: better AI, some character class adjustments and a more cohesive plot. Looks like team jEnr0n will be playing by our sexy lonesomes, while continuously looping the Bike Shop episode in the background. Ahhhhhh yeah. I will still keep digging holes in Minecraft though.

I do remember the bike shop video at Kubla. In fact, that search remained on my phone for quite a while. Creepy, but inadvertent. Back on the iPhone 1, I didn't watch much YouTube on it. YouTube was slow as hell for videos on cellular and my house didn't have WiFi at the time. So I didn't watch videos on it really much at all. I don't remember being mad, but if I got all butthurt about that, then I probably deserved it. Anyway, did I trash the hotel room in blinding, seething anger? If I did, I'm soowrry Dr. Venkman.

Re: "We're Sailors on the moon, we carry a harpoon". Thanks for the nice write up Mr. jr0n. I look forward to our next session of killing and being killed.

Also delayed reaction: F the NHL players and the Owners and Gary Buttman and Donald Fuhr. Another lockout... 7 years after the last, 3rd under Buttman's watch. Come on!


| BorderRADS

Well, I guess you'll miss out when me and enr0n are laughing and having a good time, shootin', lootin', and jerkin' off (to the picture-in-picture bike shop episode). Sucks to be you!

| BorderBLANDS

I think at one of the Kubla's I tried/succeeded(?) to pull up that Dudley clip on his phone and he got HELLUV angry! If I actually did that (the memories fade like sand through the hourglass), I'm totally sorry. What a dick.

B-Lands 2 has really good reviews so far, but for whatever reason, the first game was not a hit for me either. I will wait to hear what jawn and enron's mini-reviews say.

Monday, September 17, 2012

| Playing FTL Now!

The intrepid crew of The Sunless Sea -  Icon, Jasmine, and Captain Rascal have begun their journey through space!

Pretty fun indie resource management/rpg game.  Space combat is fairly interesting so far, although I have found targeting the opposition weapon systems is a fairly solid and consistent proposition... I have been boarded once and my crew was able to fight off the pirates with no losses!  I have also added two alien crew members via quests and events.

Fun game if you like the syfy, not sure its worth $10 if you don't.

PS OMG, Enron played so much Borderlands.  It fell 100% flat for me.  Diff'rent Strokes for different folks, I guess.   Enron likes the bicycle shop episode and I don't.  It's cool, I guess it's a matter of disgusting, perverted, worse-than-Hitler tastes, but whatevs.
Nice write up on DCC Jawn! Had a blast and can't wait to continue the game.

I was planning on buying FTL. Cheaper than Borderlands 2 by a bunch and I wasn't a fan of BLands 1 (Enron was forever playing that game!) - If I get it I'll give my impressions. Rogue-Like in space.
I am strongly interested in that game and would've picked it up if not for Borderlands 2 overriding it. It sounds like half the fun is seeing what terrible ways your crew can die! (Not unlike DCC, actually.)

You should do a playthrough and post pictures!

| Any of you guys play FTL?

Game Review

Sounds kinda fun. And it's only $9, so I'm considering it :D

LOL, loved this line from the review:

"Your initial ship -- the Kestrel Cruiser -- is the bucket of junk other buckets of junk look down on and say, "Man, that is one bucket of junk." To give a hint of this, you start with three crew members to manage four stations, with another four having to be kept in good repair if you want things like oxygen to be part of shipboard life. Your engine provides just enough power for two peashooter-grade weapons and a shield that barely deflects insults."

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sorry to take over the page with this. :)

Sailors on the Starless Sea, Session 1

Abductions! Over two dozen missing from the village, and rumors of bestial half-men in the woods. Could they be responsible?

Desperate, the village’s bravest, if not brightest, assemble to investigate the likeliest source of the trouble: the terrifying, abandoned keep on the hill. A former bastion of chaos, destroyed in ages past, the keep is thickly overgrown and pestilent. A ragged pennant flies from its battlements: a crimson skull on a black field.

Choosing to scout the hill rather than assault directly, the group adjoins to the northwest corner of the hill, where they find a section of wall that has crumbled down the hill. Rascal, the dwarven stonemason, identifies a safe path among the precarious stones. He tests the path, then urges the rest of the party up to join him in the courtyard of the keep.

The vast courtyard is muddy and filthy and the keep and battlements are mostly in ruins. In the northeastern corner a sinkhole has swallowed the walls. On the eastern wall a burned building is barred from the outside, REPENT written above the door in flaking red paint. In the southeastern corner is the only surviving tower of the keep. The mud of the courtyard is littered with tracks of men as well as of a myriad of strange beasts -- hawk-taloned, snake-tracked and more unrecognizable things. In the middle of the courtyard is a well made of black stone and this is where the party turns its attention.

The elven falconer Aviar Leafypants and Slapper the trapper investigate the well. Its walls are decorated with glyphs devoted to Chaos. As the two look into the well a peculiar visual effect causes the depths of the well to seem to move away even as it gets closer. Slapper is overcome by the vertiginous effect and tumbles into the well! Aviar scrambles to catch him, and would have if not for the errant lightning strike in his childhood that reduced his reflexes. Slapper makes one last grab for the well’s chain, misses, and his screams echo for long moments before fading away. Unknown to the rest of the party, the well is a wormhole leading into a nexus of pure chaos, and Slapper falls for several days before eventually being torn apart by its ravages.

Moving on, the party checks out the eastern building. It appears to be a recently burned chapel, its bronze double doors decorated with leering demons. It is barred shut from the outside. While examining the doorway, the miller/baker Dusty LeBuns spots a glyph-inscribed flagstone in the mud of the courtyard, but chooses not to waste time examining it. Instead the party tentatively unbars the door and moves into the building. It is a ruined temple to chaos, with fallen timbers and burned skeletons. Everything is still warm to the touch as though the carnage had happened recently. On the eastern wall of the room was a fountain of a toad of demonic mien, black ichor spilling from its mouth.

Aviar is first into the room and notices a golden censer emitting incense. He gingerly picks it up. The roguish Lucky LeSnare searches the room and found a small, locked iron coffer, which he puts into his pack, as well as three scorched but functional chain shirts, which the party splits up. He also notices a mace in a corner of the room, but this is forgotten in the chaos that ensues when Erasmus Cooper (the cooper) investigates the fountain. As Erasmus approaches, the hot, black, tar-like ichor animates and attacks! The party bravely leaps to his defense, rapidly pounding the ooze insensate with swords, spears, staves, and even a handful of Dusty’s flour.

The party departs and re-bars the chapel, then girds their courage and investigates the southeastern tower. The door is barred from within; listening at it reveals the sounds of human groans and bestial muttering. Jasmine, the porn star/trapper, Aviar and the halfling trader Lefty “The Gambler” McTiggy use the bar from the chapel door as a ram and smash down the door. Within is a tower covered with rotting hides of many beasts -- some with four legs, some with two -- as well as a group of hellishly mutated beast-men! Their chaotic features are inconsistent and warped. Horrifyingly, some of the party’s fellow villagers have been mutated in this way, among them the former Mayor Maggot, now ironically mutated so that flies, maggot and larvae are oozing from his orifices. The party storms the tower and attacks! As the halfling mariner, Tripod McSalty, stands in the middle of the room, the largest beastman of them all, a brute with the head of a bull, leaps down wildly swinging his axe. Ambush!

The party of brave little adventurers comports itself well, killing all six beastmen and their fell champion. Sadly, there is one loss: Icon, the indentured servant, is stabbed through by a beastman’s rusty spear. Freed from his life of servitude by sweet death, he passes into the other lands with a smile on his face. Free -- free at last! As Jasmine loots Icon’s body, she finds a locket on his corpse. Its contents? A crudely-drawn image of Jasmine herself! This poignant moment gives the players themselves pause.

The party turns its attention to the captured villagers chained to the walls. There are only a few here! They tell the party that some of the villagers were taken outside to the well and transformed into beastmen. The rest of the captives were taken downstairs into the depths of the tower only an hour ago! Make haste, brave party, who knows what fell purpose these abominations intend!?

The party gives the villagers cursory instructions for exiting the keep and hurry downstairs. They descend a long, twisted stone staircase. The air grows dank and wet as they proceed. Aviar hurriedly scoops a few gold coins off the staircase. Shortly the group enters a long room, lined with grim mosaics displaying fell scenes, brackish water running down the walls and collecting into a long pool. Ed Tedsen, Lucky and Digby find themselves under a compulsion to stare into the black pool. As they do, skulls bob up from the bottom of the pool, eyes glowing with unknown magical purpose! The three tuck away their newfound skulls.

The party also finds a series of alcoves in the rooms, containing time-worn, hooded robes lined with symbol of chaos in silver stitching. What a find! Several party members stow away robes.

The party hurries down the long steps. Winding around and around, they find themselves on a black sand beach, at a dark, underground sea. A tremendous standing stone etched in glyphs towers nearby. In the distance across the sea is the golden glow of a distant pyramid. As the party stares agog at this mind-boggling site, a dragon longship sails out of the inky blackness, parking itself some fifty feet offshore.

And here, the adventure ends! FOR NOW.

| Yeah..

Wound up getting the Supercharged Mini Coop. Love it so much. Needs a little TLC (it's 8-9 years old and has gone through multiple owners). Stuff like I need to replace the power port / cigarette lighter, get a new battery for the keyless fob, get one of the windows retinted (some dings in the tint).

Overall, feel like we got a great deal on it and am looking forward to keeping this one for a long, long time. :D

| DCC & Borderlands 2, Electric Boogaloo

DCC was pretty damn fun yesterday. Next session is tentatively scheduled for Saturday, Sept 29th, so pencil that in boys. r00d, sorry you had technical difficulties, but it did add a comical element to the game when you were biting the camera. I have never had my phone or iPad do that, but isn't it like 692 degrees in LA right now? That may have set the phone over the top. We did surprisingly well the first go around, here's hoping for some more spectacular deaths next session when we fight the longship.

Borderlands! In commemoration of the upcoming Borderlands 2 release, I fired up Borderlands 1 last night for a little bit. I am pretty excited about 2 coming out and will pick it up on Tuesday. Hopefully it will live up to the glory of the original release.

fArt, YAY car. What did you end up picking? Merc(in) or Coop?

Seeing Raiders on the big screen was great fun. That is still an awesome classic.


| Where in the world was fArt at 2pm yesterday?

BUYING HIS NEW BABY! We drove all the way up to freaking Anacortes, WA... which is aboot as far north as you can go and not be in Canada. Test drove the car, got them to drop the price some more, and walked out an hour or two later with new wheels. So awesome. YAY!

I see that Borderlands 2 releases Tuesday! Anyone thinking of jumping in? I think I'll preorder it today since apparently you get some free class and whatnots. I'll be playing it over PC this time around. Yay, mindless shooting!

Update: actually I see there's a four-pack available for $180. So if 4 of us pitched in that would cut the cost down to $45 (frmo $60), if anyone's interested.
Thanks very much for playing, guys! And yes, it would be great to pack in Art and Ryan into the next game! The more the merrier...

Rude your technical issues were hilarious. Every time you went to talk there would be this disturbing closeup of your mouth, which would usually become the focus of my screen... good times. :) I guess we're not QUITE in the future where we play on our iPads yet. I'm sure this stuff will be more doable soon though! I've never seen that overheating issue before.

I think we decided to play again on Saturday the 29th, going for 2 PM again.

I'll finish up a session report later in the day. Elzar, what were your character's full names again?

Yesterday was my parents/the babysitters last night in town, so after the game, the cyber-Wife and I went out to dinner and then caught a showing of Raiders of the Lost Ark with Enron! They're playing it at theaters all over the place and it was GREAT! I don't remember if I saw that one in the theater or not back in the day, I was probably a touch young for it, but man, it was so cool on the big screen. Belloq's head exploding on a super-sized screen was the balls.

| Demonic Toe

Thanks for the great Dungeon Crawl Classic session today J-dawg. Was hoping for the ENTIRE Action Team to show up, but we were only missing Jael, Art, and RyRy, so that's pretty darn impressive. Sorry for my horrible technical difficulties - I thought the iPad would have been a much smoother way to "hangout" and let me take it outside for a change of pace, but the sound issues were ridiculous. Next time I'll try to use a proper laptop or just stick to the desktop.

Edit: Fun facts - I used the iPhone's Hangout app when I had the bluetooth going, but then the phone shut itself down after about 40 minutes with the warning "phone too hot, functionality will return once it cools down" - I'd never seen that! So I had to switch back to the iPad (where the mic is next to the camera - MotoByke commented on me talking into the camera, lol) - anyways, the iPad was ON FIRE - so fucking hot. It held out for the entire session, but being basically silenced was a huge bummer for me.