Wednesday, May 30, 2012


It’s been pretty wet and rainy lately.  Which has meant that, except for cutting the lawn twice, we haven’t had to do a lot of yardwork.  This has allowed us a bit of time to try to catch up on the shows recorded on the PVR.  Now we are no longer right at our buffer limit and we even watched the rest of Boardwalk Empire.

I’m looking at connecting the laptop (which has an HDMI output) to the TV (which has RCA connections in front).  I don’t seem to be having any luck finding a HDMI to RCA cable so I might have to check to see if the VCR/DVDR has a HDMI input I can use.  This way we can watch Tabletop on the TV instead of having to crowd around the laptop.  It will also make it easier to watch The Guild as well.

Friday, May 25, 2012

Tabletop - on the list

I’ve been following Wil Wheaton’s blog for quite some time now.  It turns out that he is also a big-time gamer in addition to being an actor and author.  He recently started a youtube channel Tabletop where he plays a board game with people – actors and others.
They are running through some of the Eurogames Like Settlers of Catan, and Ticket to Ride as well as games like ZombieDice.
Two of the games that he has shown on Tabletop - Tsuro and Get Bit! I was able to try out at Keycon over the weekend.

I’ve seen Tsuro advertised before from WizKids but it never hooked me.  The theme of dragons flying on pathways in the air just didn’t make we want to pursue it.  Seeing it on Tabletop got me interested enough to play it at Keycon and it definitely makes the list.  Besides being visually elegant it also plays very well up to 8 people.  It’s simple to explain and easy to pick up.  Even though I worked out the permutations for the tiles, I’ll look to pick up a copy.

Get Bit! was also shown on Tabletop and we managed to play a bunch of games at Keycon.  You play robots swimming away from a hungry shark.  As the shark catches the last robot in line, you actually pull the limbs off the robot.  It plays up to 6 people and is also quick and easy to learn.  I’ve added it to my list even though you can no longer get the variant that allows you to play as the shark.  Also, they played it slightly wrong on Tabletop so be aware when you play it – after the shark bites off a limb, that robot is flung to the front of the line.

While they showed Ticket to Ride on Tabletop, I didn’t catch the episode until after Keycon so never had enough interest to play during the convention.  It seems interesting enough to give it a try but not enough to actually put on the list.

At the convention, I finally saw Power Grid being played.  It seems a bit too fiddly for my crowd so it doesn’t make the list.  I may change if I play it but it didn’t inspire me enough to rush out and try it yet.

In the Great Canadian Board Game Blitz I saw a bunch of other games being played that caught my eye – notably Lascaux and Acquire.

I’ve known about Acquire for decades but never played it or knew anyone who had.  I’ve heard a lot of good things about it and in seeing it played and reading the rules it seems like it might be worth trying.  I’m not putting it on the list unless I can find a deal on a copy though.

I also got to see Lascaux being played.  Besides the pretty stones, the game seems quite simple to play and devious enough to keep interesting.  It quickly made the list as well.

On Wednesday, I finally was able to get to Game Knight.  Since they moved to Osborne, I haven’t been able to find their store while driving by but with their updated website showing the actual storefront, I finally did.  They have a good selection of games but were between shipments of Tsuro and Get Bit!  They did have a copy of Lascaux left though so I snapped it up right away.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Keycon 29 - successful gaming

I first came to Keycon to play Car Wars back at Keycon 3 and used to come year after year.  I had run a local game convention called Wincon and had even run the gaming room at Keycon for a few years but haven’t attended Keycon in about a decade (kids will do that to you).  We still popped by every year to check out the dealers’ room but didn’t attend the convention.

But when Tim asked me to help by running gaming, I couldn’t say no to him.  He had always been very helpful to us and had never really asked for anything in return.  He had a specific list of games that he wanted to see so I had to comply and was glad to do so.

Just prior to the convention, Tim had to drop out of being the con chair.  Which meant that I didn’t have to run everything Tim had wanted but I still felt compelled to follow through on my commitment to run gaming.

Overall, the gaming went well.  

We had Scott from the Manitoba Pathfinder Lodge running Pathfinder Society organized play scenarios all weekend. 

Jim from Jimcon was there with a bunch of his own games and a bunch of games from Game Knight that people could borrow and play.  Together we ran the Great Canadian Board Game Blitz on Saturday starting at noon.  We weren’t sure what kind of a turn out we would have but we got eighteen players signed up.  Twelve players played in at least 3 of the 5 rounds and five players played in all 5 rounds. 

I didn’t get to see much of the rest of the convention but I was able to run my Grid Games – Disc Battles and Lightcycles on Friday night.  I finished making the grid that day using black foamcore and pin striping. 
The Disc Battles went well.  The rules held up fine until we got down to just two players when it became more of a matter of waiting for the right run of cards. 
I didn’t manage to finish the 3D trails for the Lightcycles but was able to trim down some post-it notes to use instead.  The rules still need a bit more clarifications but the basic structure seemed to work fine.

I also ran Circus Imperium on the Saturday night.  We had a great turnout with nine players and were down to a single player by the third lap due to players in HTH both knocking each other out - twice.

I was able to try out a few games and check out some rules for others.  Between this and Tabletop, I’ve added Tsuro, Lascaux, and Get Bit! to my list of games to get and I’m close to finally moving Acquire on to the list as well.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Kickstarter OGRE

I tried to get the freindly local game store to order in the Kickstarter OGRE but had trouble explaining it him about differences with Kickstarter version with bonus extras (paid for now) against the 'regular' designer's edition that he could order through regular channels.  I should have been leery when he kept saying he had three in stock already (deluxe editions).

Regardless, I did try.

So I ended up ordering directly through Kickstarter.  I picked up a prepaid gift card and placed my order.  I had a bit of issues trying to get the Amazon payment part of Kickstarter but was finally able to get it sorted out. 

So now it's just a matter of saving up to cover the duties in the fall.
I'm very excited that it when through and am looking forward to this.  I'm going to have to keep more of an eye on Kickstarter now.  Especially with Car Wars coming through later this year.

End numbers for project - 5,512 backers pledged $923,680 and ordered 5689 copies of the game.  So,I guess that shows that there is interest in this game.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Books read January - April 2012

Robot Builder’s Bonanza by Gordon McComb
Married With Zombies by Jessie Petersen
123 Robotics Experiments for the Evil Genius by Mike Predko
Flip This Zombie by Jesse Petersen
The Wizards’ Handbook: an essential guide to Wizards, Sorcerers, and Magicians and their Magic by Dr Robert Curran

Chain and Bead Jewelry Geometric Connections: a new angle on Creating Dimensional Earrings, Bracelets, and Necklaces by Scott David Plumlee
Chain and Bead Jewelry Creative Connections: New techniques for Wire-wrapping and Bead-setting by Scott David Plumlee
Picnicface’s Canada by Picnicface
The Rules With No Name by Bryan Ansell
Guerrilla Marketing Remix: The best of guerrilla marketing by Jay Conrad Levinson and Jeannie Levinson
Industrial Light & Magic: The Art of Innovation by Pamela Glintenkamp
It’s not easy being green: and other things to consider/Jim Henson, the Muppets, and friends edited by Cheryl Henson

The Doctor and the Kid: A Weird West tale by Mike Resnick
Dirty Deeds: My life inside/outside of AC/DC by Mark Evans
The Buntline Special: A Weird West tale by Mike Resnick
Eat, Slay, Love by Jesse Petersen

The Old West: The End and the Myth by Time Life Books
Brady, Brady, Brady: The Complete story of the Brady Bunch , Told by the Father/Son Team who Really Know by Sherwood Schwartz & Lloyd J Scwartz

Friday, May 4, 2012

Penny, ... penny, ...penny.

They are pressing the last pennies today.  

I still blame you.

Well, the blue party took the power from their majority win and went ahead and did it.  They have phased out part of our currency.  Granted, the pennies cost more to make then they are worth, but metal currency also lasts longer than paper currency - which is why they replaced our paper ones and twos with loonies and twonies (and why they are talking about doing the same to the five).  But most people kept socking them away in jars instead of actually using them.

 The old pennies will still be legal tender for years but they will no longer make any more new ones.  Pennies that are still in circulation can still be used.  Maybe this will get some of you to cash in some of the bowls and jars of pennies you are hording.  Purchases will be rounded off to the nearest penny for anyone paying by cash.  Payments by cheque, debit, or plastic will still be exact change.

I am so ashamed of our country for doing this.  I can't believe we let this happen.

Fair warning to you all.  The penny will remain on any scavenger hunt list I make for quite a while – so save at least one.