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  1. ... well that went well bleakly. It turns out This War Of Mine is as depressing as people say. My rag-tag assortment of civilians caught up in a war were made up of Boris, Cveta and Bruno - and they ultimately fell to misery (upped and left the party), wounds (killed by the military, whilst out scavenging for food) and suicide (brought on by extreme hunger). The gameplay, exploring the shelter, and doing out for raids is a painful set of 'there's never enough actions available to do what I want', and this is exacerbated with your character's actions being simultaneous so rewards from one can't be used to pay for the others. (Though there are up to three actions per day, this is often reduced to just one or two, thanks to the the fatigue/illness/wounds and misery states reducing the number of actions available). The 'book of scripts' is passably written, and I think the designers making a thing in the rules of a player reads it to themselves and paraphrases is a cop-out interesting way of getting around whether it should be writen as "I approached the house and I saw..." vs "We approached the house and we saw...". The narrative elements are generally bleak, with some moral choice available for your actions in places (without the obviously predictable 'good path will give you morale boost, bad path will reward you financially' that I'd anticipated). One moment (I won't spoil, but it wasn't the death of a character) of quite matter-of-fact writing did connect with me, and made me ... not well-up exactly ... but in that direction. So kudos on a game for making me feel that. I can really see how the game is going to be difficult to win. I only survived part way into 'chapter two', of a three act game. As a solo endeavour I thought it worked pretty well - not sure how I'd like to share the not-very-fun narrative with other people. Thinking of the people I game with there's one who I definitely wouldn't play it with, as I can't imagine him taking it seriously. I'll definitely give it another go, when I'm in the mood for something a bit downbeat, and brutal (emotionally and gameplay wise). Perhaps the take-away is that in a scenario like this, there are no winners.
  2. I'm setting off on a solo "This war of mine". Wish me luck!
  3. I've been playing 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis, (which was less than £15 in various online offers last week). This cold war themed, card management and influence/area-control game is played out on a map representing the different politically significant battlegrounds across the ... hang on, I'm describing Twilight Struggle aren't I? Well, yes - I very nearly am. This is ever so derivative of T.S., but plays out in a much smaller timeframe. There's just about enough difference to make it its own game. There are a lot of difficult choices with how to play cards. Very similarly to T.S. the cards can be played for influence on the map, or for their Events (belonging to the USA, USSR or either (U.N.)), but if played for the influence, and the card belongs to the opponent's side, they have the option of also triggering the event. (This mechanism is entirely borrowed from Twilight Struggle). Anyway, despite its obvious parentage this is a good game in its own right, and is similarly engaging to T.S. - albeit with a shorter play time, and no dice rolls. It's never going to have the same level of depth and strategy that T.S. has (or have so many words written about how-to-play and online strategy guides), but equally the decisions made are meaningful, and there is a strong bluffing element along with card play strategy there. I'd definitely recommend it, perhaps as a gateway to Twilight Struggle, or something similar but less hard work (insofar as it doesn't last as long).
  4. Introduced my 10 year old nephew to XWing Miniatures (1.0) this week. Was fun to see that he 'got' it quite easily, despite the 14+ on the box. Or first game we didn't play Target Lock rules (replacing it with barrel rolls instead). Anyway his Luke in an X wing, with R2D2 and a Y-Wing beat my Tie Fighter and my Tie Advanced carrying Darth Vader. Very pleased to pick up a bundle of 1.0 stuff on eBay. £15 got me a starter set, plus tie advanced, tie interceptor, slave one, millennium falcon, Ywing etc. I think that'll be his birthday, and Xmas presents sorted!
  5. I love Snowdonia. It's so good. The deluxe master edition turned up here yesterday. I need to audit the components etc, but I'll be almost sorry to see my original edition go it's been such a good friend. I can't warrant keeping it though. Or the now duplicated expansions I bought for it. Addendum: I do wonder if there's actually a worker placement game that I like more than Snowdonia. Hmm. Also: Tony Boydell, designer, is very funny and was really lovely when I chatted to him at length at ukgames expo a few years ago. I asked him about how he came to have made Igor the Stream Engine game (which struck me as an odd licensed game) and he told me all about it coming out of approaching the Ivor rights holder in order to do a limited run Ivor promo card for Snowdonia. And led to meeting with Peter Firmin (who originally drew Ivor), and him doing lots of new art for the Ivor game. Much to Tony's star-stuck amazement.
  6. That should be alright then. As long as your players aren't obsessed on how to "win". Make it about reflecting back afterwards and laughing about the crazy things that happened on your adventures.
  7. Mine would be to choose who you're playing with carefully. Don't invite super-competitive goal driven player, invite people who enjoy the ride rather than the outcome. (I've one friend like this, he's no longer invited to anything rpg ish)
  8. Well, Mr Robot's first season was excellent. The second season was ... Okay. But really lacked the focus of s1. It's not that I hated the second series, but I wasn't gripped like s1.
  9. Mr Robot Westworld True Blood Heroes None of these great series 1s should have been sullied by the rubbish that came after.
  10. A day of Android Netrunner (just unrevised core). The mind games here, when you know the cards so well, is so much more satisfying than the playing-someone-you've-never -met-and-them-kicking-your-arse-with-cards-you've-never-seen-before.
  11. Everyone Dobbles at some point or another. Moderately interesting story: My co-worker (52 years old) has recently been introduced to the joys of Dobble having meet someone for a date (from some Internet dating site) who brought it along. He was so impressed with it as an icebreaker he bought his own copy (and we had a few games at work) and took it on subsequent first date with another lady... Who also has brought a copy along in the date. Yep, Dobble seems to be the dating accessory of choice. (He and this lady have had further dates. I suspect they have progressed passed playing glorified snap).
  12. Played through the first two cases of Detective: City Of Angels. I played this solo, so I can then play as the 'chisel' (game master) for fiends later. The solo mode is fun. There's a paragraph book to look up responses to each person you question; and you can ask each suspect about any other characters, the victim, or any clues/evidence you may have revealed. Each case comes with a table of response references - so it's akin to Tales Of The Arabian Nights, (but actually makes some sense). The setting is L.A.Noire style hard-boiled style, with typical tropes. And surprising string language ("you prick") that seems to limit the audience unnecessarily. The writing on each paragraph is very succinct (a couple of lines for each entry) rather than the Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective verbose paragraphs. I'm looking forward to playing it with others, to see how that goes, and how the bribing/money things work. As a solo game with this kind of setting I think Gumshoe (long out of print, Sherlock Holmes Consulting Detective 2.0 by West End Games, set in 1930s San Francisco) is probably the benchmark, but Detective:CoA is fun so far and I'm eager to try the Classic multiplayer mode. (Why oh why doesn't someone republish Gumshoe, and write some more cases, eh? Eh? Ystari can you hear me?)
  13. I'm umming and ahhing about that one. Do I need it? Do I?
  14. I don't think there's a game that makes me think quite so hard. And feel so clever when I can *just* afford to do the thing I want to by comboing the cards just so. This. You have to be so reactive, and pay attention to how what you're planning might just benefit your opponent more. I'm sure RFTG is my most played game (I don't log my plays). Had a quick few games if Tides Of Madness again the other day. I think it's the perfect game for it's length, and has a good degree of play again. I won all of the games I played by forcing madness upon my opponent, them having played for high scoring cards that left them vulnerable to that later on. Mwa ha ha. Will they never learn?
  15. Have you been Mage Knighting solo? Or have you been brave/foolhardy enough to multiplayer it? I've mainly enjoyed it solo. (And I think way the massive puzzle of how to optimise your hand is brilliant). I've not been brave enough to try player vs player multiplayer yet.
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