Sunday, 30 July 2017

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Monday, 24 July 2017

Meeple Madness #26 (NSFW)

Guards Against Insanity - The Internet Now Makes Not Trusting Anything That Can Bleed For A Week And Not Die Obsolete.
 Why not check out their website, or Facebook feed?

Expo '17: The Haul - Part #10

After my last post in this short series, it is is time to return to the familiar realm of the unfamiliar with our next item, The Front Nine. A game designed by Nick Case and published by A-Muse-Ment. A game that I know very little about.

But from the little I picked up discussing the finer points of this game with the stall holder at the UK Games Expo this year, I believe the game plays a little something like this..

Players spend their turns gaining and managing resources (sand, water, and probably other stuff), which they then use to build holes on their golf course; which is where things start to get interesting. The hole cards are physically laid end-to-end, with the end of one hole leading directly to the beginning of the next. So it is my understanding that if you can't lay the the hole, then you can't play the hole.

This gives the game a certain "take that" quality, as players vie for real table space; which is something that the game really runs with in one of its expansions (although I can't recall which one off the top of my head as I bought them both on the day); where rules and resources for fly-tipping and constructing electric pylons on your opponents courses are added.

However, whilst I'm familiar with these small details of the game; quite how you win, what the overall goal of the game is, or how you even play it still remains a mystery to me (as I haven't sat down with the rules just yet). It does look like fun though.

Meeple Madness #25 (NSFW)

Guards Against Insanity - If The Catholic Church Is Wrong, I Don't Want To Be Right.
 Why not check out their website, or Facebook feed?

Saturday, 22 July 2017

Expo '17: The Haul - Part #9

Our next item from the haul is Codinca, a tile swapping strategy game; designed by Leonard Boyd and David Brashaw, and published by Backspindle Games.

Unlike a lot of the items that i have looked at previously from the haul, Codinca is a game that I don't anticipate having too much in the way of surprises up its sleeve. It is what it is. Which is an abstract strategy game where you swap tiles in order to form the patterns present on the cards you were dealt at the beginning of the game with the tiles of your color.. And that's about it.

You do have a few special cards at your disposal each game that you can use to manipulate the tiles in ways you couldn't with the standard two actions you get a turn, but largely you're simply trying to form your patterns before your opponent does following only a couple of simple rules (or at least as I recall from my demo game), which are:

1: As an action you can flip a tile or swap it with an adjacent tile.
2: You can't manipulate the same tiles that the last player did.

Other than though, you can go about resolving your key cards (which contain the patterns that you need to form in order to win the game), in any order; and you're even free to move any piece on the board following these basic rules, including your opponents tiles.

In terms of actual gameplay this freedom can lead to instances of purposely moving tiles that give you no direct advantage, so as to make your opponent believe you're playing for a pattern that you're not; and likewise swapping tiles to prevent patterns forming that you believe your opponent is playing for.

In summary, for such a simple game that has what could be said to be the bare minimum of rules, there is a surprising amount of depth and complexity.

Meeple Madness #23 (NSFW)

Guards Against Insanity - Tearing The Mask Off Nature And Staring At The Face Of God. The Happiest Place On Earth.
 Why not check out their website, or Facebook feed?

A Slow Week For Blogging (NSFW)

It's been a bit of a slow week for blogging..

Hell, it's been a slow week in general. I don't quite know what's gotten into me but over the past week I just seem to have had no energy to speak of at all. Even on Monday, a day were traditionally you're quite well rested from the weekend I woke up feeling like I'd spent most of the Sunday prior doing hard labor.. I hadn't.

It was only down hill from there too, to the point where I was just coming home from work and going straight to bed; and at it's peak on Friday I almost considered phoning in sick as I was just too exhausted to move.

Having just slept for close to 14 hours straight however, I am feeling a lot more like the old me; and am not only ready to do some blogging, but also quite eager.

I also found this nice little video that nicely sums up my week of hell.. Enjoy!


Sunday, 16 July 2017

Meeple Madness #20 (NSFW)

Guards Against Insanity - Why Am I Bleeding? A Bleeding Asshole.
 Why not check out their website, or Facebook feed?

Expo '17: The Haul - Part #8

Next up from this years expo haul is Creature College. A board game of battling monsters for 2-6 players; designed by Orhan Ertughrul, and published by Happy Otter Games.

Creature College is a game that in essence tries to capture elements of the very popular Pokemon franchise; and bring them together as a board game. Specifically the acquisition of battling of fantastical creatures.. Which could have been a nice little game had the designer stopped there.

Instead however you are bidding in auctions, rolling dice, collecting cards, gaining both positive and negative VP, and tracking resources.. In short, it's a real cacophony of mechanics; and even the beautiful illustrations of the creatures on the cards isn't going to save a game from that level of "noise".

At this point, I had thought that I would go through a turn step-by-step in order to illustrate my point; but it does occur to me that making a noise about the noise is just, well, noisy. So instead I found the below YouTube video.

Once you've given it a watch, I'd love to hear your thoughts; so please feel free to comment below.

Meeple Madness #19 (NSFW)

Guards Against Insanity - Trust Me, I'm The Final Solution.
 Why not check out their website, or Facebook feed?

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

Something Pleasant In the Post!

As you may be aware, I posted up a few days ago about a very generous give away that Tim Shorts of Gothridge Manor was running; where he was offering up items normally reserved for Patreon. He was even picking up the tab for the postage!

To say I have been looking forward to these would be an understatement. Work is crap at the moment, so knowing I have something to look forward to has really helped keep me going; so I was overjoyed when I got home from the daily grind this evening to be greeted by a small white envelope on the door mat.

Opening it up eagerly I found two small adventures, one the size of an index card, and the other contained in an A5 sized folded pamphlet; along with another index sized card containing a NPC - all of which I promptly sat down with and began to read through.

I have to say that I am very impressed (not that I doubted I would be), and amazed just how much adventure you can fit into a very small space. Seriously, I'm really digging these micro adventures; and the NPC has a certain quality about him that brings him forth from the page.

Which leaves me only two things to do as a result:

1 - Work out how Patreon works, so I can get more of the same in the future, and..
2 - See if there's some way I can get the whole back catalogue of these adventures; as what I have seen so far really makes me want more. LOTS more!

Meeple Madness #17 (NSFW)

Guards Against Insanity - And All Because The Lady Loves A Mouth So Sensitive It Can Feel The Sperm Wriggling.
 Why not check out their website, or Facebook feed?

Saturday, 8 July 2017

Expo '17: The Haul - Part #7

This year I made a conscious decision, that with the exception of a few items on my mental shopping list; I was going to do as little research on the latest releases and, what was new.  I wanted to my trip to the UK Games Expo to have an element of wonder about it, and I wanted to be surprised by what I found on the day.

Little did I know that I'd still be consciously trying to keep myself in the dark about some of my purchases over a month down the line!

But why?

Well, the purchases in question are a trio of games designed by Inka and Markus Brand that recently saw an English language release via Kosmos; in the "Exit: The Game" series of titles. Each of which recreates a themed escape room experience, in the comfort of your own home, for a  fraction of the price that you may pay to attend such an event.

There is a catch however.

The catch being that much like the real life experience; these are one-shots. To which you might think, "Fine, I'll donate it to a friend or charity once I'm done with it".. I know I did. That's however where there's another catch. Some of the games opponents apparently get (intentionally) destroyed during the playthrough (something which I only found out today in trying to gather some information together for this post); and honestly I'm not sure how I feel about that.

On the one hand, I know that if I'm unwilling to destroy certain components I won't be able to play the games; which sucks. However, on the other hand; wanton and wilful destruction of games just seems wrong - even if that is how the game is intended to be played.

It's a bit like destroying a book, which is something else I'd never want to do (or indeed have done). No matter what your opinion of the authors work is; there is something sacred about the written word, something important, and something permanent. To destroy it feels wrong, and that's how I feel about the idea of tearing into these games.

So, I'm curious. How would YOU feel about playing a game that you had to destroy parts of to win? Would it make a difference if it wasn't your copy of the game? Please feel free to post your thoughts on a comment below, and I look forward to reading them all.

Meeple Madness #14 (NSFW)

Guards Against Insanity - On My Signal, Unleash Mediocrity.
 Why not check out their website, or Facebook feed?

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

Meeple Madness #12 (NSFW)

Guards Against Insanity - The True Art Of Seduction Lies In Using Anal Prolapse And Vaginal Flatulence In A Way That Ensures The Internal Moral Debate Of Whether It's OK To Sleep With Your Stepsister.
Why not check out their website, or Facebook feed?

Freebies!

Well, how's this for keeping focused, and on track. Only one post into the month, and I'm already going off on a tangent.

It's a good one though, as I'm sure you'll all agree; relating to a number of freebies that Tim Shorts of Gothridge Manor is offering up for.. Well, free!

There's no catch either. Normally this is stuff that Tim offers via Patreon, but as he has a few going spare; he is offering them out to anyone who's interested in them. Which I certainly am! I was lucky to win a copy of The Manor (Tim's zine) a number of years back in a contest hosted over at Tenkar's Tavern; and I was really happy with my prize.

Don't get me wrong, winning something is always nice; but The Manor has a real old-school feel about it that I really love, and the quality of the material inside was excellent. A nice little map, and a random encounter table to seed it, some art, a poem, and probably plenty more that I've forgotten since my last read.

In short, I don't think you'll be disappointed if you're lucky enough to get a freebie; as the quality and creativity that goes into them is top notch.

Enough already! How do I get my freebies!?

All you have to do is drop a comment on this post requesting them, followed by sending Tim an e-mail with your address to the e-mail address included in the same post.

That's all there is to it!

You could of course follow the blog whilst you're there, add it to your feed, or see what else is available via his Patreon; but as Tim says, "There is no obligation". Having followed the blog both here, and at my old digs for a number of years though I'd certainly recommend it; as there has been some really great stuff posted over that time, and it would have been a shame to miss it.

Monday, 3 July 2017

In The Pipeline: July 2017

Dr Nick Riviera - The Simpsons - Matt Groening
Hi Everybody!

There's no way to sugar coat it. Last month was not a good month for blogging. What with a general lack of drive and energy, coupled with some recursive tech issues not a lot got done.

It probably doesn't help that I've been overextending myself either. So, it's time to get real; and time to get blogging.

In terms of real talk, I've taken a look over my output for the past few months and averaging out the numbers, it looks like I can churn out somewhere in the region of 19 (rounding off) posts a month.

So using this as a benchmark for what's possible, and knowing roughly how much time and effort goes into each post; I should be able to plan this month a little better (and actually hit a target for a bloody change!)

Expo '17

Top of my list of blogging priorities for this month is to wrap up my series of posts around the UK Games Expo 2017. It's crazy to think this is still going, and there is still so much more to write nearly a month after the expo itself concluded!

Then again, it has grown somewhat from the three posts I originally envisioned when I set about this task. Something which is probably for the best in hindsight. I would have struggled to edit what I have already written to fit into that limited three post space, and by my count there are still another 10 posts to go!

So, whilst it is taking longer (a lot longer) to write up than I thought it would; breaking this feature down into more manageable chunks still seems like the right thing to have done.

Meeple Madness

As well as the the Expo '17 posts, there will also be plenty more from Meeple Madness in the coming month. Being relatively quick to put together, I see no reason why I can't get 20 of these posted up in July.

Which just about accounts for all the time I have free this month.

In addition to this there will no doubt be miscellaneous posts about this, that, and the other; but nothing related to any of my regular features. At least nothing planned. It would be nice to get a couple of Meeple Arcade posts up, catch up on some 10 x 10 Challenge gaming, and continue with my One Man And His Dice adventure; but I feel it's important to be realistic.

In short, there are a LOT of things that I would like to do; but there simply isn't enough time to do it in. Not immediately anyhow.

The thing about blog posts though is they don't go anywhere (well, unless they get deleted of course). So everything you write can be used as a foundation for a future piece of work. You don't need to try and build Rome in a day (which is probably for the best given my piss poor D.I.Y skills).

So going forward the plan is (rather sensibly) to take things one step (and one post) at a time; and to see how things go.