Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Puss in Boots

The real Puss in Boots doesn't buckle the swashes like the storybook version.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

GUNSHIP: FIRST STRIKE... a quick and dirty review.

I got GUNSHIP: FIRST STRIKE for my birthday, and it's loads of starship battling fun that's easy on your pocket book. In this game, you are the commander of a starship carrier group that has just joined battle with an enemy carrier group. You trade fire with up to 3 other opponents' carrier groups using cards, dice, and ship boards. The object is to destroy your opponents' "Assault Carriers" before they destroy yours.

While the mechanics and cards are simple enough that i was able to easily teach my 6 and 7 year old sons how to play, there are enough subtle strategic nuances, action sequences, and suspenseful moments to make it a romp for adults. As  parts started blowing off of everyone's gunships, my 6 and 7 year olds weren't the only ones acting like they had ants in their pants. Gunship is a game where, with a little luck, it's possible to lose every battle but still win the war if you exploit the right opening at the right moment. This was evidenced during a 2-on-2 when little Mikey ultimately sacrificed his Gunship (the "Hero" unit in this game) to make a glorious kitchen sink attack of "thruster bombs" and torpedoes on our Assault Carrier that so badly damaged it, that it was dead in 2 turns.

There rules are modular enough that there are rules variants, including campaign play, as described on the game's site,  and still more variants you can make up yourself. After only playing the game twice, I was able to create a 2-on-1 variant that was extremely fun.

Reviewer's advice: this game is a must buy for sci-fi fans and gamers, young and old, that have a fetish for ship-to-ship combat.

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

A new adage...

Never put off 'til tomorrow what you can con someone else into doing today.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Sarcoid Wars: Battle of the Brawn, Day 1

The Sarcoid came out of remission, making a night raid on the Allies' front line at the ruin of Lungston. Simultaneously, The Sarcoid  launched a brutal surprise blitzkrieg on Heartland, gaining a foothold halfway though the Muscle Escarpment and inflicting substantial damage on the region. Gains made by the Allies on Spleen Beach and Liver Ridge were lost, on what was thought before the 'Krieg to be strategically unimportant ground.

This is day 1 of the Allies' counterattack.

The Allies launched their offensive after enlisting the aid of the fabled Prednisonian Guard. The Sarcoid sent in their allies, the infamous Diabetesian Mercenaries to meet them. Even though the allies took nearly zero carbs and sugar, the battle wasn't going well. The Blood Glucose Line shot up the Escarpment to 6.8 anyway. There were also troubling reports that the capricious and opportunistic Lupus Empire may be making a pact with The Sarcoid, and joining battle against the allies.

The Allies set out from the smoking ruin of Lungston, and marched/charged for a kilometer to hit the Diabetesians in their flank... the Lungston standard flying. Before the Allies were even able to meet the Diabetesians in battle, The Sarcoid's mines and artillery pounded them all along Muscle Escarpment; shrapnel slashing along the embattled Allied ranks. Meanwhile, the enemy stabbed at the beleaguered resistance in Heartland, but the Allies made it to the Diebetesian flank.

The Lungston standard was shredded, rattling in the wind. The allies were still hurting and exhausted, but with a defiant "Fuck you!", they lifted the weight of their packs and began to fight the Diabetesians. Their strength, much diminished by The Sarcoid's initial blitz, wasn't able to hold out for as long as they could have, once upon a time. They were forced to fall back to a defensive position, lest the battle cost so much that they wouldn't be able to hold their ground tomorrow.

The troops felt surprisingly good after the battle, and couldn't wait for the intelligence reports to come in. When the reports finally came in, they showed that at the end of this first engagement, the Diabetesians' Blood Glucose Line was now...



Monday, July 15, 2013

Crop Dusting the Apple Store

My advice to a friend's wife on how to effectively crop dust the Apple store:

"You just didn't leave fast enough. I crop dust the Apple store regularly. Try to let it out a little at a time so you leave an evenly distributed stink ribbon in a continuous path until you leave the store. That way nobody gets left out, and there's a much higher chance of an innocent getting blamed."

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

CHEEEEEEEEESE!!!!! (Part Deux)


Saturday, March 30, 2013

Do people even PLAY those anymore?

The saddest thing I've done in recent memory:

Browsing through the "games" aisle at Wal-Mart.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Over da' Boards: Final Stages

I'm confident that the rules for Over da' Boards are complete.

Correction and change notes from Over da' Boards playtesting sessions have gone from double sided 8.5x11 pages half the size of the rulebook, to a couple of blurbs on a couple of post-it notes. The last finishing touches for what will hopefully be the final stages of playtesting are being made tomorrow. If all goes well, it will go off to the proofer and the editor, then Ben and I will finalize the formatting and style for print and publish.

The first iteration of my game was played 30 years ago on my parents' kitchen table with my little brother. Very soon all of you will be able to jump into this tabletop time machine, and see what came out of the imagination of a ten year old me.

I hope you all have as much fun playing it as I've had making it.

Game on. :)


Sunday, February 24, 2013

Board Game Review: Mice and Mystics

On  Mice and Mystics...

I just finished two sessions of Mice and Mystics with my wife and 2 young sons. The mechanics and artwork are superb, but there are a LOT of questions left unanswered by the rulebook and adventure book (called the storybook). Learning the game was daunting with the rulebook alone, but fortunately Plaid Hat provides an instructional video on their site: .

The game says it's co-op, and suggests everyone at the table is a player with no need for a GM. When playing the game we found that the game runs a LOT smoother, more quickly, and the players have much  better time when it's run by a pseudo-GM... a concept hinted at, but not fleshed out in the rulebook. In the rulebook version, the pseudo-GM reads the "chapter" (adventure) beforehand, but that's all. I added the duties of reading the story text aloud, gradually revealing the map tiles, placing antagonists, and rolling for antagonists. If you want to know exactly how this was done, leave a comment below and I'll elaborate.

Bottom line: I'd say this game is a MUST buy for any lover of co-op games, dungeon crawling, and The Secret of Nimh (It captures the ambiance of the movie perfectly), even with the required initial FAQ hunting, and the steep price to box content ratio of the base set.

Oh... and the outcome of our games? The dice were not kind to us this day, but tomorrow is another day and we will happily brave the fantastic world of Mice and Mystics again! :)

Game on.


Saturday, February 2, 2013

Shared Weave Games News

Shared Weave Games news:

Well, more tweaking needs to be done on Over da' Boards after playtesting with Hofer . It never seems to end, though I think I can see the finished product now, and this is a new feeling.

Designed 2 more panels for The Sacred Ice with Benjamin Hofer last night concurrently with the playtest, to further build the pre-launch buffer. I think Chantal Black has the fifth panel in hand for coloring and inking.

Another development: Hosting for the site is now decided, so soon it's point the domains and start building. Thanks to Justin Fitzpatrick for his company's services!

Monday, January 7, 2013

For fuck's sake internet...

Took me a bit to put these thoughts into words. I was mad. REALLY mad at something I read recently. 

I'm generally pretty good about avoiding the bullshit on the internet (avoid the comments... fer chrissake avoid the comments), but sometimes it invades your space. One of my favourite web-comic writers and game artists, John Kovalic, was trolled on Facebook by some asshat for being mad at a teenager that broke multiple driving laws and slammed into his wife's minivan (with his wife and child inside), and started to, but was talked out of, fleeing the scene.

I never would have expected someone would:
A. Troll a genuinely good guy like John Kovalic.
B. Troll ANYONE at a time like that
C. Troll ANYONE at a time like that for THAT REASON.

Speaking as a husband and father who also watched his wife's car get destroyed with his wife and child inside, I can not only empathize with John, I can honestly sympathize with the way he felt at that moment. I can also say I know the rage he felt when he found out that it was an irresponsible, narcissistic asshole whose choice to break the law (the driver that hit my wife's car was drunk, and DID flee the scene) caused the accident.

John, feeling the way you do about the incident is normal. Healthy. Human. What's not is that ass-jack (who I'm not going to name because I don't want any site he may own getting views), and people like him.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Completing the old: a resolution.

I've said for the last 3 years that it was "going to be my year".
Those of you who know me know that the last 3 years kicked me in the teeth, just like the two prior.
So... I'm not going to announce that this is my year. I'm just going to say that I'm going to fight hard to improve my lot, and deal with the obstacles that come my way as best I can.
Things I want to accomplish:
1. Get Shared Weave Games up online and Over da' Boards on the market.
2. Write my remaining MCITP exams.
3. Keep losing weight until I get back down to my fighting weight.
I've made significant progress on all three already, but they're not done so I'm not resolving anything new until they are.
I guess this is not going to be a year of bringing in the new per se, but more of a year of completing the old. I find I'm very comfortable with that.
Happy new year all! :)