Tag Archives: gaming

Um, this isn’t as weird as it looks

Andy: (putting vacuum cleaner away in closet adjacent to room) … O_o

Me: Okay, this isn’t as weird as it looks.

Andy: It looks like you’re playing Words with Friends in the nude.

Me: Well, I am, but I’m playing against my cousin.

Andy: Okay, that’s actually weirder than it looks.

Me: No, see, I was getting in the shower and I heard Words with Friends chime so I came in here to mute it so it wouldn’t be annoying but then I decided to go ahead and take my turn and then I saw on facebook that my friend’s wife had a baby and I was like “awesome! I didn’t even know they were expecting” and … well … I was getting ready to get in the shower.

Andy: I’m pretty sure you crossed all sorts of weird lines right there.

Me: Well it’s not like I have a webcam.

Andy:  Sigh … (wanders away)

This is why people with A.D.H.D. shouldn’t multitask.

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Filed under Just a day in my life.

Pew! pew! I have a gun thingy and I’m shooting at the vagina face guy

This post is verbatim a facebook post and thread that I saved on my laptop a long time ago titled “possible blog fodder”.  Given today’s announcement regarding Disney purchasing Lucasfilms and the upcoming Star Wars: Episode 7, I thought tonight would be a good time to break it out.  So, without further ado, a facebook thread about the great divide between the casual Star Wars fan and the hardcore geek.

Also, you should go into this knowing that I personally own 2 lightsabers,  own and have created Star Wars based artwork, have Admiral Ackbar on my blog page, and own all 6 movies and 4 seasons of The Clone Wars on BluRay.  I am a casual fan.  No really.  Talk to a hardcore fan for about 2 minutes and you will agree.

With that out of the way, here’s the post.

Me: I’m still in the debating stage on joining the Star Wars RPG. I sat in for a few the other day and:

(1) as a casual fan of the movies, I felt pretty lost. I don’t know the names of all of the alien races and know zilch about weapons; and

(2) They’re playing Sith and keep talking about “taint” which makes me giggle.

I don’t really think giggling at taints and saying “pew pew I have a gun thingy and I’m shooting the vagina face guy” will have a very positive effect on my geek-fu.

Katie:   ….the little gun things are called blaster pistol, BLASTER PISTOLS!!!! amateur…

Christina:  yeah I’ve not got much more than you on that…and appears I may be playing swtor soon

Lamey: I don’t understand why you guys like to play games that require so much work. I’m exhausted just thinking about you pew pewing at vagina face.

Jason:  I think it would. Hell, I’d laugh my ass off and hand you a beer

Me: Katie, I know blasters and light sabers. I even know many of the varieties of droids and the creatures that they said the names of on the movies (bantha, tauntaun, wompa). I even know that Admiral Ackbar is Mon Calamari, but only because I find it funny. I’m sitting down there and they’re talking about vibrochainsaws and stuff. I was like holy crap, I thought I knew at least as much as the average casual fan but apparently the gulf between casual fan and hardcore geek is large enough to fit the entire fracking universe in.

Katie:  haha that is a totally true statement!

Christina:  For what it’s worth I think you should join in…

I didn’t join.  Clearly I am not the geek one might imagine I am based on my blog and / or the company I keep.  It’s okay though.  I still know all of the spells from the Harry Potter series and I’m not afraid to use them.

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Come with me and you’ll be …

in a world of surprisingly little imagination.
This will (hopefully) come as a surprise to many of you, but I am severely challenged in the suspension of belief / imagination department.  I suppose you could say I’m creative.  I like to do things with my hands.  I used to draw pretty well.  I kind of sculpt a little and am good at thinking of things to sculpt.  I can jury rig just about anything.  I’m good at stuff like that.  I can’t enjoy fiction like most people though.  Most books won’t hold my attention.  Sad movies never make me cry.  I get overly distracted by plot holes and predictability in scripts.  OMG, I do not understand pen and paper RPG’s.  People who refer to playing video games like they’re actually in them baffle me.  I just completely and utterly lack the ability to pretend I am someone else or to get immersed in a story I know didn’t really / isn’t really happening.  All of my witticisms are simply twists on existing things.  Puns, parodies, satirical jabs, and sarcasm.  Even my “art” if you can call it that, is reproduction or combining existing things in new ways.  This doesn’t really bother me or anything.  I’m just baffled by how others seem to do it so easily.

My daughter wears a fairy costume at renaissance festivals.  Her fairy has props and a back story, heck, she has a whole fairy world where different types of fairies live in different places and whatnot.  For example, she lives in a sunflower and drinks an elixir that makes her people sized so she can interact with humans when she wants to.  Flower fairies and tree fairies have bad blood between them.  They’re easy to tell apart though because tree fairies have pointy ears.  There aren’t really any rock fairies but it’s considered very posh to live in a geode.   She thinks they’re really too flashy and quite uncomfortable though, so she doesn’t really see what all the fuss is about.

I’ve worked at Ren faires for 7 years and I can’t even maintain the same accent all day, let alone come up with a back story.

It’s the same with Andy and his gamers.  They’ll play a game and then stand around and reminisce about it like it not only actually happened but like they weren’t all just there.  Or Andy will tell some story about gaming or airsoft or whatever and his friends all play along like he just got back from a tour overseas and is telling legit war stories.
I contemplated playing the Dresden Files RPG until I discovered I couldn’t just say I was Molly would have to create a character and then try to think and act like that character.  What?!?!  I totally can’t do that.

The ability to think in stories like that is just so weird and foreign to me.  Heck, even as a kid when we played Barbies I really just wanted to dress them up and fix their hair.  I never cared about whatever little scenario we were supposed to be playing out.

I’m not really sure what the point of any of this is other than it occurred to me to find it odd that the lifelong weird girl who wanted to grow up to be an artist utterly lacks an imagination.  I guess it’s a good thing I’m smart and a good technical writer or I guess I’d be screwed.  Also, I always did suck at ending things that I write so, um, the end.

 

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Board Game Review: “Four Taverns” with a bonus quick review of “X Marks the Spot”

Rather Dashing Games

Rather Dashing Games is a new, up and coming board game company co-owned by game designer Mike Richie and artist Grant Wilson.  Mike and Grant are both really great guys and the games are really great games so I wanted to take a moment to post a review and help spread the word.  Also, I dare say, they’re both rather dashing.

“Four Taverns”

I think I can honestly say “Four Taverns” is my few favorite game.

Things that rock about “Four Taverns”

  • It can be played with only 2 players (fun 2 player games are very hard to come by)
  • Although only a 4 player game, it lends itself well to future expansions to allow for a greater number of players.
  • It is brilliantly simple and very easy to teach and learn.
  • Fast game play.  It’s only about a 30 minute game so easy to play while setting up another game, waiting for another game to wrap up, etc.  Plus short games are nice when it’s getting late but you really want a rematch.
  • It consists of only a couple decks of cards and some coins, so its a game you could easily carry in your purse or backpack for impromptu games.
  • Very little set up / tear down required.
  • It’s really fun.

Things that kinda suck about “Four Taverns”

  • I’ve got nothing.  I really love this game.

Game play

“Four Taverns” is a strategic card game wherein players complete quests to gain gold and renown for his or her respective tavern.  The object of the game is to be the first to achieve 20 points of renown.

The rules are surprisingly simple and the game can be taught with just a short explanation.  In fact, Andy and I learned it by demoing it with Mike and Grant and taught it to Marley, all without ever having read the directions.  You set up three potential quests and players decide which to pursue using hero and champion cards from their hands.  Multiple players can compete for the same quest so you have to use strategy to decide which to pursue and when to bow out.  You lose a quest, you lose all the cards you played on that quest, so questing is risky business.

There are also several cards that let you do things like duplicate another player’s card, take additional cards, etc.  And of course, like many of my favorite games, there are “screw your neighbor” cards that make the game more cut-throat and interesting.  You can kill another player’s champion, steal their questing party for your own, or take half their loot when they win a quest, stuff like that.  Unlike some other games though, the strategy cards aren’t so harsh that your whole game can go to crap in one or 2 hands.  They add a fun and interesting element and occasionally cause one of your close friends to call you a douchebag.  You know, the way games should be.

So basically, game play looks a little like this:

OMG you guys, I am kicking your butts so hardcore right now.  You should be ashamed.

Awwww we’re lame and fail at life.  Well, maybe not at life but we definitely fail at questing.

I demand a rematch!

… 30 minutes later, it’s neck and neck between Marley and Andy.  I’ve been a target the whole game thanks to the hardcore butt-kicking I delivered in the previous game so I was behind.  Marley only needed to play 1 card to win when Andy pulled 2 champions and won a quest, winning the game.

NOOOOOO!!!!

I’ll get you next time, Beardy.  Just you wait.

So that’s “Four Taverns” in a nutshell.  It’s a great game with solid mechanics, quick play, and easy instructions.  Like I said, I really can’t say enough good things about it.  It’s totally my new favorite game.

“X Marks the Spot”

“X Marks the Spot” is a strategy tile placing game featuring the artwork of Nigel Sade.  “X Marks the Spot” is a game of high seas piracy where you play one of 4 real life pirates.  The goal is to strategically place tiles to be the first to form 3 “X”‘s on the board.

Marley likened the game to “extreme Connect Four” and that’s not really a bad description.  You are trying to configure your tiles while also preventing your opponents from successfully configuring theirs.

Things that rock about “X Marks the Spot”

  • Can be played with only 2 players.
  • fast game play, again about a 30 minute game
  • Parlay!  we loved this dynamic.  It allows you to barter to trade cards with another player.  We liked that it’s an open dialogue trade but also that it can lead to forced trade or open up negotiations with other players.
  • Simple and easy to teach
  • Easily transportable
  • No set up
  • history lesson – we really liked the use of real pirates with little bios.  It was a nice touch.

The only negative thing I have to say about “X Marks the Spot” is that it could use a few rule clarifications.  This is pretty commonplace with new games and most games have online clarifications.  It’s also not uncommon for games to have revised rules sheets on subsequent printings, so this is to be expected with a new game.  As it stands though, the game is definitely fun and very playable.  We were just confused about a few points (which I will also send to Rather Dashing Games for their FAQ page)

As a disclaimer, I can’t guarantee these questions weren’t answered somewhere in the published rules.  We started this game late and were getting pretty tired.

  • Can 1 tile cover 2 separate tiles at the same time?
  • Do action cards (cannon, parlay, etc.) count as one of your 2 actions?
  • If you “scuttle your ship”, do you draw back up to 4 or to 6?  It seems like if you can draw back up to 6 (if you choose to scuttle after you drew) that you’d have an unfair amount of time to strategize your next move.  Or is that an added bonus of scuttling?  Lose a turn but get more time to plan?
  • Can you play action cards at any time, or only on your turn?

These are all little, nit-picky questions but playing a game where there is any uncertainty as to the rules can put a damper on game play.

Overall though, I’d say “X-Marks the Spot” is a solid game and one I look forward to playing again.

So there you have it folks: “Four Taverns” and “X Marks the Spot”, 2 fun, solid games by Rather Dashing Games now available at ratherdashinggames.com and coming soon to GenCon.

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EPIC Weekend (part 2) More gaming con shenanigans

The second installment in the story of my epic weekend at Origins Game Fair.  If you missed part 1, we revese photo-bombed Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day, played board games with Grant Wilson, and drank rum with a modern day pirate.  You should check it out… but you don’t have to.  This posts does fine as a stand-alone.

Wherein I peddled some wares…

Sleep was fail.  I had to be at the vendor hall early because I had a load of my friend Kace’s patchwork skirts in my car and had to get them to Journeyman Leather so they could be sold.  If you’re in Ohio this fall you should come see us at Silver Squirrel at the Ohio Rennaisance Festival.  You should also buy a skirt while you’re there because they are beautiful, you can wear them year round, and they’re guaranteed to match everything in your closet.  (Can you tell I’ve been doing that pitch for 7 years?)

Wherein I was nearly exterminated …

While delivering skirts I discovered there was a Doctor Who booth run by Who North America which is semi-local (within a reasonable drive if I have other plans in the area type deal) and I was like how could practically everyone I know have been here for 3 days already and nobody thought to mention this?!?!  And then I was all like HOLY CRAP A DALEK! How did nobody think to tell me there was a Dalek here?!?!  … and also a Tardis but who doesn’t have a Tardis these days?

Wherein my cheese curds were disappointingly not squeaky…

After that it was off to lunch at North Market with a few friends.  Good food and good times were had by all.

Wherein my friends totally geek out …

While at lunch my friends Steve and Ofelia asked what I had planned for the day.  I said I had promised to go by and demo “Four Taverns” so I needed to go do that but otherwise I was free.  They said they’d like to demo the game too and could they tag along.  I said sure and off we went.

Turns out, Steve and Ofelia are huge Ghost Hunters fans and were hilariously star struck over meeting Grant Wilson.  They couldn’t stop grinning and taking pictures the whole time.  It was fun though and Grant was an awesome sport.  He even agreed to talk to Steve’s sister on the phone.

Look at Steve cheesin,! He was just a little excited. haha

While we were demoing “Four Taverns” no less than 15 people came by to see me.  It was awesome and I was reminded that at least once or twice a year I am surrounded by people who find me more awesome than awkward, and I am totally okay with that.  As for the game, it’s great and I’m going to post a review today or tomorrow. Please check it out. If you can’t wait that long, here’s a link to Rather Dashing Games. I was originally going to post the review here but this post is already a bit too long and Mike and Grant would probably rather have a review in which I’m not also geeking over Daleks and talking about nipple juju anyway.

Wherein Ofelia loves you, man …

Moving on… Saturday was also Ofelia’s birthday and you can’t have a birthday at a con without your friends getting you drunk.  Con’s, however, aren’t like Vegas.  What happens at cons ends up photographed, videotaped, blogged, and otherwise spread all over the interwebz.  That said, here’s Ofelia drunk dialing everyone she knows while her husband videotaped it.  I’m not sure what she was talking about because it was loud where we were, but at one point I was put on the phone with her sister-in-law to explain why I was being mean to her in our game.

Wherein I discover the awesome evil power of my left nipple …

The game was Risk and I always think I want to play Risk but then I remember that I totally suck at rolling dice.  I don’t care what anyone says, dice rolling is a skill and it’s a skill I don’t possess.  I even got personalized dice with my name on them.  It didn’t help.  Those dice hate me the most of all dice and it makes me sad.  I also suck at playing green no matter what the game.  I don’t know why, I just suck at green.

Anyway, we were playing Risk and Steve’s teenaged nephew was kicking my butt and I was about to die and be out of the game when it came to me.  Andy does this thing where, when he needs a good roll he rubs his dice on his nipples.  The sad thing is, it works.  This is like the whole sucking at dice and green thing.  I don’t know what weird forces rule the gaming universe.  I do know, however, that nipples are like little portals or beacons of power or something that link the gaming forces to our mortal world.

For reasons I won’t go into my left nipple is evil.  It occurred to me that if I could properly harness this power, I could sabotage everyone else’s rolls and catch back up in the game.  So, before the child could attack me again, I grabbed his dice and rubbed them on my left nipple while singing the evil nipple song (which I made up as I went).  I then made weird jinxing hand motions from my left nipple to the board and handed Michael back his dice.  He rolled all 1’s.  It was doubly awesome because 1’s totally look like nipples.  Maybe that’s why nipples are beacons through which game powers are channeled?  hmmmm

The amazing thing was, he couldn’t stop rolling 1’s.  Roll after roll 1’s kept coming up until the poor boy screamed “What have you done to these dice?!?!  Take it back!  You have to take it back!”  You don’t want to mess with my evil nipple.  It’s bad news.

So you might be thinking there’s a flaw in my bad nipple juju strategy in that I will eventually have to roll those same dice to defend my dudes.  Not so.  You see, the universe must remain in balance so for every evil nipple there must also be a good nipple.  I’m pretty sure that’s a Taoist principle.

good nipple

Believe it or not the powers of the gaming universe being channeled through my nipples was so powerful that not only did I not die, I came back and won the game!  and then I wrote “nipple” on the board.  True story.

So that’s how I spent day 2 at Origins.  I saw lots of other people and did lots of other things but it wasn’t any of those people’s birthdays so whatever, they got left out.

Please tune in tomorrow for my review of “Four Taverns” and a few more pics from the con.  G’night everybody.

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Wherein I have an EPIC weekend… (part 1)

The following took place Friday night from roughly10 PM to 3 AM.

One of the nice things about where we live is that we’re just a couple hours drive from several awesomely nerdy annual conventions.  We go to at least 2 and sometimes as many as 4 conventions a year.   Gaming cons, comic cons, anime cons, they’re all fair game because cons are nerd paradise, especially after hours.

Of all of the cons that we go to, Origins Game Fair in Columbus, Ohio is my favorite.  I’ve gone every year for 6 years running and have amassed a large posse of awesome friends from all over the world.  Thanks to social media we all keep in touch.  We continually look forward to next year when we’ll all see one another again and inevitably add a few more folks to our entourage.  Origins is smallish as far as cons go but that’s what makes it so much fun.  You can actually hang out with people and shop and game and it’s all very relaxed and groovy.

Given the awesome time I always have at Origins I was expecting good things, but what I got was a truly epic weekend.

Andy went up on Wednesday and I joined him there Friday night.  I found him sitting in the back of Big Bar playing Shadowrun with some friends.  As soon as I got there, all the guys began not so subtly saying “look behind us” and then started passing me cameras.   Gaming at the table directly behind them were Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day.  There are pics, so it’s true.

Don't look, but Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day are at the next table.

This is Andy. Oh, and that’s Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day behind him. Author Pat Rothfuss was sitting directly behind Andy but wasn’t in his seat when I took this pic.

Epic Photo Bomb
We call this one “EPIC PHOTOBOMB”!

Then I played a game at a con for the second time ever.  I lost.  Badly.

Amusingly, the only other game I had ever played at a con before Friday night was a game of Munchkin that I played with Steve Jackson. Sorry Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day, I beat you to that one by about 4 years. 😛

Here’s a link to TableTop featuring Wil Wheaton and Felicia Day playing Munchkin with Steve Jackson.

That went on until well past midnight. When we finally departed the back room, we immediately ran into some friends from Chicago. While talking to them, Grant Wilson, formerly of Ghost Hunters, and Mike Richie, game designer and President of Rather Dashing Games, came over and hung out with us for a while.  Turns out they had gotten to know Andy a bit over the few days before I got there.  Man, what a great couple of guys!  They did a game together called “Four Taverns” that I’ll review in tomorrow night’s post.  Our friend Nigel did a game for Rather Dashing as well but I’m going to get to him later and I haven’t played his game yet.

I’m throwing in a plug for Rather Dashing Games here because and Grant and Mike are both really great guys and tomorrow you can read about how it’s a really great game.   Rather Dashing Games  Go to the site.  Buy things.

I look like a huge (literally) dork here because Mike tried to steal a sip of my drink, I caught him, we both laughed and then Andy snapped the pic while we were still recovering. This is why there are never any pictures of me. Andy fails at pictures.

Andy with Mike and Grant, hanging out in Big Bar.

After that we ran into our friend and wonderful artist Nigel Sade and his adorable girlfriend Sarah and super fun cousin Steve. Well, any time we run into Nigel we can pretty much plan on hanging out all night.  So that’s what happened.  In fact, that happened every night… and that’s why all the rum’s gone.  Nigel’s a really cool artist who does a lot of sci-fi and comic themed stuff in addition to more serious artwork.  He just finished a Darth Maul that I must have and we’re currently bartering for a Daredevil tattoo design.  🙂  Check out his work.  He’s a great guy and a great artist.

Andy and Nigel

This is a pic I took of Andy and Nigel talking at like 3 AM because I was getting tired and bored. Mostly tired. Also hungry.

That ALL happened Friday night.

Stay tuned tomorrow for part 2, wherein I play and review “Four Taverns” while looking rather dashing, finally win a game of Risk thanks to my bad nipple juju, and encounter a Dalek.

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Conversations in bed: Your guys suck at Star Wars

I have a really hard time falling asleep.  The problem is, I am really easily bored and lets face it, just lying in bed waiting to fall asleep is almost as boring as watching televised sports.  So I lay there and my brain starts trying to entertain itself.  Much to Andy’s chagrin, my mouth is all too willing to follow its lead.  This is just a little taste of the night time gems with which I keep Andy awake.

Bear in mind, I’ve never actually played a tabletop RPG so I am completely talking out of my butt here.  I really have no clue how these things work aside from knowing there’s a lot of reading and dice rolling involved.

Me: Soooo, you’re playing this Star Wars RPG.  If I decided to play, how much reading would be involved?

Andy: None really.  You know the universe and the characters.  We could explain the rules.

Me: I don’t know Star Wars THAT well.  I’m only a casual fan.  I don’t mind some reading though.  I just find reading rules to be mind numbingly dull.  (Here’s where I should mention I went to law school.  Probably a poor career choice for someone so adverse to reading rules that I won’t even play RPG’s)  The only reason I’m even considering Star Wars is because the books I’ve seen lying around aren’t very thick.  I could maybe suffer through them.

Andy:  That’d be cool.  We’re still getting it together right now anyway.  None of the guys want to play the tech.  You sort of need someone with tech skills for ship repairs and hacking and stuff.

Me: So get an R2 unit.  Problem solved.  Your guys suck at Star Wars.

Andy: The problem is, you need money to buy droids.  I don’t think they could afford it.

Me: So make your first mission be on Tattooine, find a Jawa Sandcrawler and buy some piece of crap used R2.  They could chip in or something.

Andy: Even used droids cost money.

Me: Is there a rule for bargain basement, barely functional, you have to wheel it around on a dolly because it’s not even mobile droids?

Andy: No.

Me: Well there should be.  I saw episode IV and those Jawas had some real pieces of crap out there for sale.

Andy: Well there’s not.  Chester wants to play a droid, but not that kind.

Here’s where I decided that Chester, who I vaguely understand to like chaos characters, which I very vaguely understand, should play a Mandalorian, which I have very little knowledge of, because they don’t form strong alliances from what I understand so in my reasoning they could be played very chaotically if the player so chose.  Even though I really didn’t know what I was talking about, I still argued very vehemently for about 15 minutes.  Why not?  It’s not like anybody’s trying to sleep or anything.

Skipping ahead…

Me: If I play, I just want to play a wookie.  On all my turns I’ll just say Rrrrraaaaaaawwwwwwwrrrrrr and occasionally rip someone’s arms off.  It’ll go like this: You: It’s your turn.  What do you want to do?  Me: rrrrrrrraaaaaaaaawwwwwrrrr rooor rawwww ooooorrrrr roar.  You: No, seriously.  Me:  Rawww rrrr rawrr roooooo raaaaahhhh raaaaawwww.  You: Ok, fine.  Roll the dice.  Me: The wookie doesn’t want to roll the dice.  It’s best to just let the wookie win.

Andy: Why do I talk to you again?

Me: rawwwwrrrrr

Andy: I’m going to sleep.

Me: Guess what?

Andy: You’re going to fart?

Me:  Nope.  Just rrrrrraaaaaaaaawwwwwwwwrrrrrrrrr

Andy: I’m done talking to you.  Go to sleep.

By then it was after midnight and Andy has to be up at 7 AM so I decided to shut up and read for a while.

And this is why I am the best best girlfriend ever.

The End.

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