Saturday, September 07, 2013

| Riddick-cellent

Saw the new Vin Diesel movie, Riddick, this morning and enjoyed it immensely. Even though it's the third Riddick movie, it's pretty much stand alone. There's a little recap of the 2nd movie and then call backs to the first flick, but you don't have to have seen any of them for it to work. It's also happily rated R. They could have easily took out a bunch of the FUCKS to make it PG-13, but they left them in. There's some gore too, but I've seen worse.

Thursday, September 05, 2013

| jr0n plays: Path Finder Adventure Card Game

Got in four games over the last couple days. I think I am jaded by the awesome solo games I've been playing lately... I'm not exactly underwhelmed, maybe just barely whelmed.

I ran with the Elven Rogue, alleged queen of solo (and anal). That first scenario is hard! I got pretty well toasted the first two attempts, and cleaned up on the third. It was fun grabbing extra loot as a prize for beating the scenario... I scored a sweet pair of eagle-themed sunglasses. Moved on with the same character to the second scenario, which is WAY easier (and is really tailored towards the Rogue's skillset, as well). Lots of loot and allies, way fewer monsters to overcome. I'm not too sure why that wasn't the intro scenario.

Gameplay... SUPER simple. There are occasionally some tough decisions to make, but for the most part you just crank along and do the obvious thing. At times this is fun and at times it engenders malaise. It doesn't quite feel thematic enough solo. I'm thinking this will be a lot more fun with 2+ heroes so you can get some synergy going and swap loot back and forth -- either one person playing multiple heroes or multiple players. I've got a play date with enr0n on Saturday, maybe we'll break it out then?

* Probably great for the stupid fucking babies who like the Pathfinder RPG
* Fun to roll lots of dice
* It is fast

* Box is hard to open

| Not Entirely Blurstball

I used to watch games all the time.  Still remember Ron Cey gettin' beaned in the head and grabbing his batting helmet in a fetal position on home plate.  Weird.  Anyway, given that I am turning into a fairly data/metrics driven person at work, one would think that baseball would appeal to me more these days, and it might if we hadn't 'cut the cable' 4 years ago and ditched cable/satellite TV.  There isn't anyway to just leisurely watch a game, I actually have to actively steal it on the internet or go somewhere to watch one.

I love the idea of stats (I'm sort of getting into the Corsi stuff with hockey, but I digress).  I love the idea of analyzing minutia about players, but what I think misses the mark for me is that it's a sort of an 'if/then' sport where most of the time an action will elicit a fairly standard response due to the static configuration of players and the playing field which leaves little (in my mind) space for creativity.  For example, runner on first, batter hits the ball to a) the shortstop, he then throws the runner out at 2nd and tries the double play at first, or b) the firstbasemen, who tags first and then tries to turn the double at 2nd, or c) fly ball to the outfield where the runner holds to see if it is caught, then runs if there is time before the throw comes in to 2nd, etc.  NOT THAT ITS A BAD THING.  If I wanted something different from baseball I would be asking for tennis to have 3 players - it's not what the sport is.

Yes there are exciting moment and exciting plays, but much of that seems to stem from raw athleticism vs. creativity.  The throw to home from left field, the diving catch, the stolen base, etc.  It's not like throwing a ball really far, really fast and accurately gives you a lot of options on how to do it, you either possess the talent to do it, or you don't, creativity plays no part.  You can't pick a different route to run the bases, you go in the direction the rules tell you, as fast as you can.  On the other hand, pitching is an artform, but it's not enough to keep me engaged, likely because I don't know enough about it, but even if I did I'm not sure it would capture my imagination (though I did see some dude pitch a weird sinker that didn't rotate AT ALL mid-flight, which was pretty cool).

I am getting desperate for sport and some mates to share sportz with, so I might actually start attending the weekly football watching events across the street just to be involved with something that has to do with sweaty men and balls or sticks.

Also, to hell with Prima Donna players across all sports.  It's just a little bit more difficult to sympathize with a baseball playing man who has a boo boo and needs to sit on IR for two weeks when hockey players regularly lose teeth and get massive facial stitches from errant pucks and aluminum sticks (and knuckles) and then return to the game without missing a shift.  Broken jaw?  Put on a cage and get back on the ice with your team.

It's just different.  I get it.  I LOVE playing baseball boardgames, though!  And if I had some AT'ers around to watch games with, I'd be there!


| Blurnsball

As a young kid I was rather indifferent to Baseball at first. Even when I started playing little league, I was not into it, but within a few short years I started disliking the sport because I was made to play. The turning point was the day at practice I got clocked in the face by a line drive hit, while on the mound... Big nasty bloody nose. Obviously I wasn't completely coherent after that and a few pitches later the catcher threw the ball back to me while on the mound and I just straight-up missed the ball. It hit me in the face... Again... Big fat black eye. I think I was done after that. I played for a few more years, but I could never shake the instinctive flinch. Thus, I sucked at baseball and that really didn't help my self esteem at the time.

Now, the lady friend really likes going to the games. Slowly over the past 10 years she has led me to revisit my baseball prejudices and to my surprise, I went first from "meh", to "hey this isn't bad", to "Awesome lets go see a game!" So now we get out to 10-15 games a year and I will actually watch games on TV from time to time. Last year Aimey and I even got to attend a World Series game and were also in attendance for Matt Cain's perfect game mid season. This was very exciting shit.

Certainly, for someone like myself who likes stats, there is interest with that aspect in the back of my mind, but I just don't see myself as a stats hound like some of the people who follow baseball. Honestly I have come to enjoy the pacing of the game. Something soothing and summer-like about the whole affair. And your comment about PEDs "ruining" the game, I think you are spot-on. Baseball has two pillars of sanctity, tradition and stats. This is why rules are so uncommonly changed and why so many ridiculous, unwritten players rules exist. People don't want the sport rituals to change and they damn sure don't want their stats undermined by introducing inconsistencies to the decades of continuity. Maybe it is all nostalgic, get off my lawn shit or maybe it's just a bunch of closeted, numbers nerds disguised as jocks trolling everyone. Either way, it is certainly is a strong undercurrent.

Now don't get me wrong, I still really like Hockey. It is by far my favorite sport, but the games are hard to get to in SJ and honestly I don't like the Sharks. Plus, the only Kings games available on TV here are the few nationally televised games a year. Sadly, last year I had to pass on SJ vs. LA playoff tickets. Our contractor offered them to me an hour before the game was to start. I was bummed, I just had no way to get there in time or even before the second period was over. In retrospect it wasn't too bad. The Kings got blown out in that game.

For me, it is really about the history and the statistics.  I love reading about the minutia of every little thing that a player does and how it counts for something, AND there are people that keep track of it.  I think that is why people are so pissed about the steroid players - they fucked up the statistics, and therefore the history of the game.  I think that it has less to do with keeping the purity of the game in tact or morality.

I could go on, but seeing as how I (and now maybe Jr0n) are the only ones really into it, I'll digress.

Jr0n, I'm available to talk baseball anytime!
For being a guy who doesn't really like any sports, I sometimes think I could kinda get into baseball. Decent sport. Good job Ryan.

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

| That catch was pretty boss.

Also boss:

I watched this so many times:

Monday, September 02, 2013

I remember reading up on Robinson Crusoe a little before it came out. Looked good but maybe on the fiddly side. Is that not the case? I'm at my game limit for awhile I think, but I look forward to trying it with the Hurtin Cru sometime soon. Man Con 2014? Return to Cayukos Mountain?

Played some Sentinels yesterday morning. Tried 2 new heroes (Wraith and the Liberty dude) versus Citizen Dawn in Megalopolis and got my ass kicked. I struggled with a ton of new rules questions which I assume is gonna be the norm until I've played a lot more. That villain deck is interesting with how all the different "citizens" interact with each other. But this particular combo was brutal in respect to trying to keep all the damage modifiers and rules clear. At one point I had plus 4 damage for the heroes but they could only attack one guy and then when they were attacked in return I had to keep track of damage sent back!? I was overwhelmed pretty early on and just gave up. Q: Is the damage I did to Citizen Dawn still there even though she flipped? Or do I lose it? It made LOTR seem easy which is crazy talk.

Sunday, September 01, 2013

| Robinson "Motley" Crusoe

Is a blast!  It's the worker placement game I have always been looking for, but never found in Dungeon Petz/Lordz or 'Gricola.  I've played two, two-player games so far and the first time we were trounced, naturally, since we had no idea what was going on, and the second game we sacrified Friday in the 9th turn to get enough wood to light the fire to signal the ship on the 10th.  Sure, MAYBE he would have survived if we had been more careful, but we were down to 5 HP each, so rather than put him through the hell of returning to England after being rescued, we thought it would be best if he could be at peace with his ancestors...

It's a really fun game, and if you can find a copy, I highly recommend you pick one up.  It's a bit pricey retail, and unavailable online for less than $100.  I had a $25 rewards discount at my FLGS, so it was only $60 for me.

Really, really worth it.  I can see busting this one out for a long time.  As long as the mechanics don't get stale, I think the variability between the cards and the exploration between games of the same scenario will keep me coming back for more.

I want to like it.  I think there is much to the experience that I'm missing a) using the character I'm using, and b) playing solo.  I so much wanted more out of it, I began posting on BGG about it.  What I got out of that experience is that as soon as you mix in multiple players and/or characters, the game begins to blossom, and I chose the wrong solo character because he's mostly about support, so is less interesting by himself.

I was going to finish the first story deck with my dorf hunter, but I think I might reset the decks and start over from scratch with a different character to see just how much it changes with a different character.  I't not that it's a bad game, it's just there isn't much to do or much excitement.  I've played probably 8 games now (?) and can think of perhaps 3 interesting things that happened?  I hear that TOTALLY changes with more players, but it's ho-hum for me so far.
I have either the stomach flu or food poisoning. Spent last night not sleeping and barfing. Urrgh.

| I wish someone would talk about Lord of the Rings once in awhile

In that last game I mentioned, I was using the Leadership hero deck against the first quest - Road to Mirktown. The final quest card I got was "you win if you find and defeat Umbops Spawn" - He was almost the LAST card in the villain deck it turns out, so even if he had turned up sooner, I doubt I would have won.