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Abandon hope all ye who enter here

Random musings on all things boardgame related. I can't promise any kind of focus or coherence, but I can promise that you'll be entertained.

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A random act of kindness

I will not rest until Biblios is in the Top 100. - Steve Oksienik
United States
Howell
Michigan
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Well I been watchin' while you been coughin, I've been drinking life while you've been nauseous, and so I drink to health while you kill yourself and I got just one thing that I can offer... Go on and save yourself and take it out on me
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I recently decided that I just had to have a game. Somehow, I had lived my entire life without playing Cosmic Encounter and I just felt incomplete. I knew I needed it, but the big problem was that it's not available anywhere right now. It seems to be stuck in a publishing black hole. With no other option, I took a chance and fished for a copy by posting in the game's forums.

Imagine my surprise when a complete stranger offers to send me his copy. The only thing he asked for in exchange was that I donate whatever I felt the game was worth to a charity of my choice. I was flabbergasted. I try my best to treat other humans well, but this was something different. This was unbridled kindness and generosity the likes of which isn't seen very often in everyday life. I almost didn't know how to react. After some discussions, my fellow Geek and I came to an arrangement that we both feel good about.

I've learned a valuable lesson from this: giving is awesome. In one instant, several people were touched by this act of kindness. The stranger made me happy, I made him happy, and in turn many people who receive benefits from the charities I'm going to give to are happy. That's truly awesome. Plus, it got me thinking more about charities and that I really need to do more to help. I've got plenty I can offer from clothes, to money, to my knowledge. I can help others just like this person helped me.

If you can give anything to help another person then do it. You never know what kind of good you'll be creating.
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Sat Mar 5, 2011 7:14 pm
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A whole lotta dice

I will not rest until Biblios is in the Top 100. - Steve Oksienik
United States
Howell
Michigan
flag msg tools
Well I been watchin' while you been coughin, I've been drinking life while you've been nauseous, and so I drink to health while you kill yourself and I got just one thing that I can offer... Go on and save yourself and take it out on me
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I have a real soft-spot for dice. There's just something about them. I'm not sure if it's the tactile sensation, the sound they make, or the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune that they come with but there's just something fun about dice. It may be rooted in my childhood because I sure did spend a lot of time playing Yahtzee and Monopoly as a kid.

When my wife and I started playing games, she was instantly drawn to games with dice. If it has dice, she'll play it. I haven't met a dice game she doesn't like. She even though Treehouse was good, so that's saying something. Her dice affection came to full fruition the first time we attended the WBC. There's a great vendor there who has the most spectacular array of dice. Needless to say, we buy a bunch every time we are there.

I've played some truly awesome dice games, the best of which is the Knizia masterpiece Ra: The Dice Game. It's truly the best use of dice I've ever seen. There's player interaction, press-your-luck, and a variety of ways to score points. It scales perfectly from 2 to 4.

I've also played some dogs which were so bad I can't remember. That's saying something.

We've picked up a couple dice games recently and have had a chance to play them both. Level X was first and it worked really well. The rules are very easy and it's visually attractive. We were even able to get my father-in-law to sit and play. He actually seemed to enjoy it which is quite an accomplishment. My wife felt it played a little slow so when we got a chance to try it again we gave everyone their own set of dice and told them to be ready to go when your turn comes. It went much quicker but she wasn't too impressed. I though it was a fun game, maybe a bit light, but perfect for just killing some time or playing while chatting.

The other dice game we've acquired was Excape, designed by Reiner Knizia. This game was awesome! There's the obvious "roll to get something better" mechanism, but it also has a betting system in which you wager your roll on a chart. This does a marvelous job of creating player interaction and there's lots of "gotcha" moments. Excape plays up to 6 which is a big plus. It's more gamey than Level X, but not enough so that you couldn't use it as an introduction to other games.

I think part of the appeal of dice is that you just don't know what is going to happen. It's thrilling to roll your dice and have the miracle 1-in-a-million roll come up. I've never seen anything elicit emotion from gamers quite as much as a clutch die roll. It's truly awesome as everyone hangs on that moment and then the result comes up. Cheers and jeers abound and you thank (or curse) the dice gods.

I love dice games. I always have and I probably always will. As long as there are dice there will always be folks trying to use them in new ways. Lucky for them, I'll be there trying almost everything they come up with.
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Mon Feb 28, 2011 1:51 am
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"Why not?"

I will not rest until Biblios is in the Top 100. - Steve Oksienik
United States
Howell
Michigan
flag msg tools
Well I been watchin' while you been coughin, I've been drinking life while you've been nauseous, and so I drink to health while you kill yourself and I got just one thing that I can offer... Go on and save yourself and take it out on me
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I swore that I was done buying games. I say this all the time. Inevitably I find myself roaming through the debris and detritus of BGG and up pops something new.

I've seen the ads for Survive: Escape from Atlantis! all over the place around here. It gets a lot of good press and has for years. I'm a sucker for sea life so I figured "why not?" and ordered it. I ordered the Giant Squid as well because, hey, "why not?". It's only $4 so throw it in. Then I couldn't justify shipping one game so I bought Excape because my wife and I love dice games. It was only $20 so hey, "why not?". $63 later I've got some new toys that I can't wait to play with but I'm left wondering: Why is it that it's so easy to drop extra money on things you want but not on things you should?

Why is it that when I'm paying off a credit card and I have an extra $20 I don't just say "why not?" and drop it in there? That's not very smart.

Even worse, when you're eating something truly awesome you justify eating too much by saying "why not?". That last one may be just me.

Man, I love games. I really do. They've brought me so much happiness. The thought of adding more to my collection makes me think of new fun experiences and maybe new potential friends. That's enough to justify it in my mind. If cardboard can actually bring cool people into your life or improve the relationships you've got with the ones that are already there then hey, "why not?"
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Sat Feb 26, 2011 6:05 pm
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Welcome to the fun

I will not rest until Biblios is in the Top 100. - Steve Oksienik
United States
Howell
Michigan
flag msg tools
Well I been watchin' while you been coughin, I've been drinking life while you've been nauseous, and so I drink to health while you kill yourself and I got just one thing that I can offer... Go on and save yourself and take it out on me
mbmbmbmbmb
If you've even bothered to click on my blog, then "Thank You". I appreciate that you cared enough to check.

This is the first post, an introduction to what you'll find in my blog. The answer: Anything and everything. I'm going to be game related most of the time because I have a lot of random gaming thoughts. I've also got a lot of random non-gaming thoughts. I want to get them out of my head and I want to make you think.

My sincere hope is that you find something in each of these blogs to make you think a bit. I'm no philosopher, but I'm a bit nutty so maybe I can rattle your noggin just a bit.

Thanks for checking in and I sincerely hope you come back once I have something pertinent to write.

Steve
stormseeker75
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Sat Feb 19, 2011 2:49 pm
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