The Enemy's Gate is Down

A bit of heresy from the casual gamer. I know my views don't line up with much of the geek here. But hey I'm used to being counterculture to the counterculture.

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So I sleeved for the first time.

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Mr. Cat. Hold on I think I know my next move, just give me another minute....NO!!!!!!!
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I wonder if Catholics aren't allowed to sleeve.

Anyway...

I finally received my Indie-go-go'ed expansion and cards for my copy of Among the Stars. Basically came with extra cards, mini die for the casino cards, 2 extra races, and a ton of sleeves.

I've never sleeved my cards before.

The worst set of cards I own in my collection is Ticket to Ride 1910. I have even bought an extra set of cards just in case. (still wrapped in its shrink wrap). But my 1910 cars are getting pretty gross, the game gets a ton of playtime and people hold their cards in their hands while sweating out [literally] trying to make their routes. So the cards get kind of grungy...and I'm quite all right with that. But also now that they are so grungy, I don't mind shuffling rough with them. So I don't feel I have lost money buying a 2nd set of TTR 1910 cards.

Anyway back to Among the Stars. Artipia sent 2 free sets of card sleeves. The cards in this game are about just over 2 inch sized squares, almost to where I would call them tiles.

I spent about an hour when I got the expansion sleeving the cards/tiles to where it felt like I was packing cheese slices.

So I have played the game twice with the cheese slices, er I mean ...tiles...cards? The sleeves aren't bad, squares are kind of hard to shuffle anyway and the cards kind of slide around more making shuffling seem easier. But I don't really see any huge benefit to the sleeving. If they were magic cards that I just blew 100 bucks per card on maybe, but I don't see myself doing that. No if I spend 100 bucks on 1 magic card...kill me. And I think I would be more concerned with deck boxes over deck sleeving.

So anyone else have any benefits they have run into with sleeving I know it can be somewhat polarizing. But I'm curious to see have sleeved cards fared that much better than unsleeved cards.

Reading through this again, there are a TON of innuendos that can be taken from just sleeving.

That's what <blank> <blank>. Oh and flash your legs.
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Sun Mar 24, 2013 7:01 pm
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My old home has the world's largest chess piece

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I know Saint Louis was trying to attract many chess prodigies but I find this a neat little investment to their intrest in cultivating the chess culture.

http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/metro/the-world-s-largest...

Giant chess piece unveiled as part of the 2012 US Chess Championships.




I had a friend of mine tell me he wishes his wife would let him go to see something like this. I left him with the quote:


Queen takes man's bishop to keep King in check, while forcing him to move pawns around in the mini van.
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Tue May 8, 2012 12:58 am
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My multi-state FLGS Easter adventure

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Mr. Cat. Hold on I think I know my next move, just give me another minute....NO!!!!!!!
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So over the weekend my wife and I traveled from Indy to STL (Notice my flag location has both listed).

I hit up an old familiar Gameshop near my house "Game Preserve" looking for a game that stood out that I could take to STL for some easter gatherings we had with friends and family. I usually rely on them for something quick as they have a pretty decent stock, but have been shying away from them as all of their "game nights" are either miniatures, RPGs, or Magic tournaments. No board gaming sessions, but their weeks are packed with event nights. Like I said lamentably no board game sessions =(

So our trip to STL was new game-less we have the old copy of Pastiche we are bringing down for someone who enjoyed it greatly last time they were up here, as we have the full "International edition" with the expansions. But while picking up something for the fam at the bakery I stopped by the "Game Night" store in its new location at Watson, moved from the old South County mall. I looked around and they had a very expansive stock, with one side of the building being their game, and the other side a playable selection of boardgames and miniature setups on the walls. it was expansive enough that I had to ask which side was their stock on. it was really that big. I looked around at all their stock, and was there for a while. I picked up some lighter filler games as we would be hanging around larger groups of people through out the Easter weekend. I ended picking up a copy of "For Sale" and "A Fistful of Penguins". We had a good conversation on how Monsterocalypse just seemed to not catch on in the STL area.

My last stop was trying to stop by Fantasy Comics in Maplewood. Across from the Schaflay Brewery. No alterier motive there. But lamentably I got there later than I wanted and the shop was closed, so got to put some tears in my beer, before we headed out with our group caught up on old times and knocked out a couple rounds of "For Sale". The old comic shop used to be my FLGS when our friend got us interested in boardgaming.

Anyways a bit long winded, but that was the extent of my FLGS adventure. Now I'm back home and I'll think I'll make it a point to try and write about some of the other FLGSs I visit.
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Mon Apr 9, 2012 3:03 am
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Damn the shelves, get me another table - when games get too big for their britches.

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So I picked up a copy of Alhambra Big Box on sale for a myself B-day present and I have been extremely happy with it so far. Yes it took a month plus to get here but that is another story.

My wife and I have played Alhambra a couple of times now and she has developed a love hate relation ship with the game. She thinks it is terrific but still not used to the mechanics of the tile placement and scoring. But she looks over at that large coffin of scenarios and cringes. We are also still playing without any of the expansions to get the feel of it.

I looked at the box and thought are there any other games where you can have too much of a good thing. Can it be that a game looks so large and daunting that you just don't want to pull it out from gameshelf to table?


I've noticed that games that take too long or too many decisions to even set up or take too much table space tend to be shied away from. Old favorites such as Dominion (all the boxes now) and Thunderstone, deciding the cards, tends to leave us second guessing lugging everything out. It hink the game setup can be the most daunting as you can fall into the trap of being "bored with possibility".

I've also discovered we tend to play the games we put some organization effort into. Where I can set up Stone Age in less than a minute, and I can setup LeHavre and Loyang in about 2 minutes or less. All of these games (and others) I have set aside into an easy setup and player packets set up with everything a player needs without having to fish around or break things out.

One thing we did to help is we now have a side table (2.5' X 1.5')by the dining room table. Not only does it help with placing unused game items that would otherwise clog up the table. It also does the same for dinners as well, being able to place bulky items off to the side.

Now if I can just get a table to have little messages march along the edge of the table, like taunts to other players or keeping track of what round it is. Freeplay over.
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Sat Mar 17, 2012 4:39 pm
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Days of Wonder Please make this then procede to shut up and take my money.

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Mr. Cat. Hold on I think I know my next move, just give me another minute....NO!!!!!!!
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#!/bin/sh
Declare
TTR=Ticket To Ride
DOW=Days of Wonder

#TODO - Send complaints about using acronyms to /dev/null
#Don't worry I still spell it out below for those.

I recently bought the Ticket To Ride(TTR) Asia Expansion and everyone whom I have played the game with has loved it. Except for the extra box to lug around and that the components are not all in one box.

But TTR-Asia is a fun little addition to our existing TTR collection.

The problem is I don't think Days of Wonder(DOW) is milking the TTR craze enough. I still have a TTR need to be fulfilled that I am willing to throw money at.

The worse part of it all is Days of Wonder has a carrying solution for Memoir 44 but not Ticket To Ride. Why don't we have a purchasable well engineered way to organize multiple TTR's neatly into one convenient box or carrying case? Also why is there no way to purchase TTR trains in other fun colors? Because I would buy them.

Why are there no other colored trains, stations, and point markers, TTR can make depot cards and silos if they want. But I can see myself, as well as other people buying these. Who wouldn't want specialized color trains like neon colors to play under blacklight like Neroshima Hex, or perhaps translucent or marbled trains. Or they could do a train for the cure...who wouldn't want a set of breast cancer awareness pink trains?

Technically do we need any more breast cancer awareness? We have pro football players wearing pink during games now how much more aware can you make people? We need research and a cure now. Anyways I'll get off my tangent.

So DOW get all abord the milking my money train and start making TTR extra player trains and a carrying solution. As said in Futuramaese, "Shut up and take my money".
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Fri Jan 6, 2012 2:07 am
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Please God do not let this movie turn out bad...or turn into a bad vid/board game

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I used to write more blog entries, then I took an arrow to the knee.

I found out Harrison Ford had just been cast for Colonel Graff. I remember the audio book with Orson Scott Card mentioning the dilemma of pulling off this movie with child actors and most of the action happening in Ender's head. It makes for a great book but not a great movie. There was also the issue of the movie industry trying to make this a "date" movie.

Then I though to myself, "well it is actually Ender's 'Game'". Why hasn't it been migrated to a video game or board game? And I thought there would actually be 2 games that could come out of this. The obvious choices where 1st battleroom, and 2nd is the fleet command simulations. Both of which would be weighty or boring. Battleroom would be 41 persons on each team. It sounds like trying to get 2 old school WoW raids together that or Alterac Valley. Probably not going to work as its "own" game to stand on its own legs.

The 2nd is the fleet command. You could probably pull this off but with it, it is just another space sim, you aren't supposed to command units, you are supposed to tell people what to do. Nothing personal but I do not want a game called "Upper Management".

I thought of the fantasy game as a game to pull off, but I do not think there is enough there to stand on its own either. It would just be a side scroller Dixit, that someone else watching you play woudl have to figure out

This is probably one of those cases I am glad there is no game of Ender's Game...game, because I can see the train wreck coming. I can only hope that the Movie will not meet a similar fate as the bugger homeworld.

Just remember the Enemy's Gate is down, and hopefully on the big screen without sucking like a gravity well.
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Thu Dec 22, 2011 1:11 pm
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Can't talk ....(nom nom nom)....game playing. Core Worlds, Fresco expansions, and a bit of non BG tomfoolery.

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Mr. Cat. Hold on I think I know my next move, just give me another minute....NO!!!!!!!
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Perhaps we all found awesome games we can't write about now. So here are some blurbs about what I am playing. I miss not hearing a new Drakkenstrike or new UFBRT review in a while now. No amount of eggnog can fill that void.

Playing Core Worlds and I think I need a few more weeks to take it all in. I would consider it medium. Yes there are some great tactics and strategies in buying and holding cards, but so far everything boils down to one simple principle, keep a balance of energy and actions to do what you need to. I almost wish there was a action heavy strategy and energy heavy strategy to work along side the balance you MUST maintain to get done what you need to. Still this is turning out to be an awesome game.

Also I do not know why the RftG fans are miffed when people compare Core Worlds to RftG. They both have a tableau mechanic. Where Core Worlds just gets used up and reshuffled. Sort of like how RftG Colony Ship card works. But with attack values.

Queen BGG expansion-mania: I picked up the BGG Fresco and Alhambra expansions. Fresco was obvious because we love Fresco and Alhambra because I have not bought the game...yet.

Shameless plug for checking out my Fresco Review but I hope to add a review of my expansions after we got the new BGG expansion under our belt along with the Glaziers expansion that I have been too lazy to write up. They are a bit pricy but add some tweaks on the games if you find your Fresco games tilting a certain way.

Also I picked up Enders Game and Enders Shadow on audiobook to pass the time when I travel. I must admit I didn't think either would turn out so well, but I really enjoy the voice acting on the original book and the Bean novel is quite dark. So in this case...the enemy's gate....is downloadable.

And lastly another not a board game tidbit. I blame Skyrim for everything...I just got the game about a week ago due to some work and some traveling, finally got to sit down a whole day with the thing and get my smithing up to 100. I look like an undead dragon-kin in all my armor. Too bad they did not take a page from WoW and create armor set bonuses.

Now to let all the crazy where she float out of me and crash into the walls, or I'll just go play more Fresco, Core Worlds, and Skyrim.
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Sun Dec 11, 2011 3:20 pm
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Surviving gaming over the holidays with extended family

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Ok gaming over the holiday.

Since I am the gamer of the family, I am now perpetually tasked with bringing games to my wife's parents house when we visit for Thanks-turkey-black-campout-friday-merry-chris-festi-kwanza-rama-ikah-kippur-advent.

Family holiday gaming would descend into spurts of CSPAN like excitement, if I did not supply the games. I basically replaced Apples to Apples with a small shell script which I will write up in a session report later. Yes they do play Rumikub as well, but that has a sentimental value where they used to always play with generations of family where 2 of those generations are passed away. And I do take some enjoyment of playing a card game turned tile placement. Rumikub really isn't a horrible game.

Anyways we have started buying games for the parents to get them into gaming and also so we don't have to bring down as many games. So each of our parents has at least ticket to ride, and a copy of qwirkle. Not heavy games but enjoyable enough to quell the boredom and playing of bad games.

But also over this past week of vacation with the parents, aside from the few games I brought down. But at night I have been sneaking in solo games of Race for the Galaxy under the desk lot at night to keep my sanity.

Now I know why they isolated kids in battleschool. Happy gaming.
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Fri Nov 25, 2011 3:27 pm
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So what should we expect in game expansions?

Drinky Drinky
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Expansions are a funny thing. To a game we enjoy, it should be more of a good thing, but that is not always the case.

- Should expansions be standalone modules able to "stand" on their own like Dominion:Intrigue?
- Should expansions be a patch like in Kingsburg?
- Should they be a completely different but same game like one of the Ticket to Rides?
- Should expansions compliment as more of the same game like Thunderstone?
- Should expansions add onto a campaign like Memoir?
- Or should they add new capabilities to the game like Race for the Galaxy?
- Should an "expansion" just expand your chances at an existing game like Magic the gathering?
- Should expansions not mess with the number of players like pillars of the earth, stone age, or cosmic encounter?


It is weird, as to why was I so put off by the useless cards put out by the Ascension expansion, where as I did not care about the extra coin and victory cards in Dominion:Intrigue that were already in the original Dominion. I guess it was also a matter of cost, where I payed the same price for another expansion, I payed pretty close to the same price of the original Ascension for a slimmed down version of the game.


Should cost be a factor and what I should expect in an expansion?


Should you have to pay for a slightly flawed game, where the gameplay is "fixed" in an expansion? Such as in Kingsburg or World of Warcraft boardgames? Vid games give free patch updates, why don't board games. Even LeHavre I had to buy the expansion (which I wanted regardless) to get cards updated cards that were originally printed incorrectly.

With expansions there is different kind of pull. There is obviously a game I enjoy so much I want more of it. For instance Fresco, I love this game, so I bought the expansion. It oddly got to a point where the expansion put a damper on the enjoyment of the base game. The Fresco expansion made the game too fiddly. But I still enjoyed it, and still play it. Ditto with Race for the Galaxy, some expansions added great gameplay, others seemed to add more overhead that pulled away from the great stuff they were adding.


I'm curious to hear some of the other geek thoughts. What expansions have you been disappointed or overjoyed with? Was there an expansion that essentially brought an old game back from the dead in your collection?


So flash your legs and remember the enemy's gate is down.


2+2 = BS(2)+n Once the teachers figure out what "n" is then I'll finish...
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Sat Oct 22, 2011 8:42 pm
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So why do people respond so poorly to negative game reviews?

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First off, I like a good negative review.

Sometimes I am more Demosthenes than Locke.


I am curious as to why in the BGG forums, if someone torches a game in a review with good reason, it gets responded to poorly? If one of the established games has flaws I want to know about, why does it seem that people come out of the woodwork to quash information about it like a tyrant trying to dispose of a dissident passing information via G-mail? Go look at any game with a negative review, and there is more often than not posts stating how wrong the reviewer was and usually more than positive reviews.


Now I'm not talking trolling where people will just light a flaming box of poo on an Arkham Horror fan's front porch, yell "Arkham sucks", and run. "Now quit telling me how to run my life devil woman."


For Example: Agricola - Highly rated on BGG's game list. Great game, but it is not for everyone. I for instance am glad someone wrote a review citing the negative points of the game. They made me realize I would much prefer LeHavre instead. If you want to try and sway me to Agricola, you will have to wait until next turn, since I already said something about Agricola this turn. Agricola is an awesome game, but you need to know the bad points about it before plunking down a fairly large sum buying it.


You would figure everyone would want to know when games screw something up, be it a card print, go cheaper on expansion pieces, change the size of something that makes playing the game noticably different, or a mechanic that is just erksome enough that will turn people off of the game. That or you bought a crappy game and you just want others to be miserable with along you. Misery loves company I guess.


To the other launchies, see that right there, Yell stuff like that over the forums and your enemy will lose their concentration and go crazy. And remember...The enemy's gate is down.
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Sun Sep 25, 2011 8:58 pm
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