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Subject: Geek of the Week #105 - Peter Gifford (UniversalHead) rss

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The Geek of the Week for this week is Peter Gifford, better known here as UniversalHead. He is a freelance graphic designer, drummer in a remarkable band (The Telltales) that I am sure will only grow in acclaim, blogger, traveler, gamer, and head-shaving Australian. His rules summaries for many games are beautiful, functional, and indispensable at tables around the world. He appreciates a different kind of game than many of us here, but his passion for gaming is certainly recognizable.

Here is how Peter describes himself:

Quote:
I'm slightly disturbed about how pleased I am to made 105th Geek of the Week (and first of year 3, so I'm told?) ... Boardgamegeek has become my second home on the 'net in the last three years and my game buying and playing has increased exponentially as a result. Thank you David for nominating me! (And for buying my band's CDs - cheers mate.)

Just a quick plug, Peter's band makes some great music, and you should listen to the songs they have online, then buy the albums. Support your fellow geek. http://www.thetelltales.com/

Quote:
Anyway, here's more than you wanted to know about me, me, me ... it's all about meeeeee ...!

Born in Melbourne, Australia in 1965 (eek!) but I've lived most of my life in Sydney. A normal childhood punctuated by the usual gaming pursuits (ie Monopoly, Game of Life); though I do remember a period when I used to go around to the neighbour's house and play boardgames with an older girl there - hold on, I just then re-discovered the game we used to play; it was called 'Hey, Hey, Witch Way?' (http://www.boardgamegeek.com/game/12010) - there, just bought a copy on eBay! Other big childhood hits were '3D' games like 'Haunted House' ('Which Witch? in the US), 'Mousetrap', 'Sea Diver', 'Drag Strip' and 'Ghost Train'.

I was lucky to be just the right age for the Dungeons & Dragons 'golden years'. I wandered into the school library at age 12, first year of high school 1978, and saw some guys huddled around a table with maps and books and asked what they were doing. It turned out they were playing a game called 'Empire of the Petal Throne', a role-playing game set in an imaginary world called Tekumel. I was captivated. We soon started playing Advanced Dungeons & Dragons, and I settled into the role of 'Game Master'. I tried playing a character a few times but didn't enjoy it - I liked to control the world, create the adventures, and especially draw the maps and design character sheets - pursuits that lead to my later profession as a graphic designer, I'm sure. Later on our gaming group moved on to Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay, a brilliant role-playing system, (it gave me great pleasure, many years later, to design the cover for the first Realms of Sorcery book for WFRP) and had a campaign that ran many years. We tried to revive it recently with the new edition, but it just takes too much time to prepare these days.

Anyhow, things started to get interesting about age 15 - my parents divorced, I lived briefly in New Zealand with mum, then back to Sydney to live with my dad (who eventually married an American and moved to California). About this time I began to show an interest in drumming, and was soon annoying the neighbours by bashing a full drum kit. Through my brother I discovered progressive rock - Gabriel-era Genesis, Yes, Rush etc - terribly unfashionable at the time but a huge influence on my imagination and emotions (and drumming). The end of Genesis's 'Supper's Ready' used to transport me to another world!

My later teen years and early twenties were dominated by playing in a band and the attendant social life; mainly a band called Alternative Carparks (after an obscure British comedy show skit). I'm still friends with those guys now and up until very recently (The Telltales - www.thetelltales.com) played with the bass player in several bands. That very old friend is also my main gaming opponent, in fact. We've spent a lot of time over a board or terrain, drinking beer and laughing our heads off.

I always felt I was walking a fine line between 'cool guy' and 'geek' (looks like that line's been crossed!) - while I've always loved games, sci fi and fantasy, avoided team sports (I love individual things like climbing and scuba diving though), all the geeky stuff, I also tried hard to be cool by playing in a band, having a full-on social life etc. In the end this probably was responsible for a lot of angst and unnecessary effort, but eventually I think I achieved a happy medium - and grew out of worrying about it!

I took a year off after school (working in a games and gifts store!) and played with the band, then did a four year Bachelor of Arts (Visual Communication) degree, then after a few jobs got one at a studio that was on the 'cutting edge' of new technology (ie tiny B&W Macs). My boss slapped the Adobe Illustrator manuals on my desk and I've never looked back. After getting fired from a small advertising studio I decided I was sick of bosses calling me a prima donna (I would passionately defend my designs, usually versus commercial concerns) and decided to start my own design business in 1994 (www.universalhead.com).

'Universal Head' came from a little doodle of a cartoon head simultaneously looking left and right that I drew in art college in a boring class. It's been my moniker ever since. Also I started losing my hair at 23 and have had a shaved head for many years so it's appropriate! I've now worked for myself for 13 years or so (sometimes sharing a studio, currently at home) and couldn't imagine doing otherwise - nor could I imagine doing anything but graphic design, which I'm passionate about. It's been a fascinating couple of decades in my industry with the advent of computer technology, watching graphic design go from obscurity to the job 'everyone wanted to do and thought they could', but I also feel lucky that I was part of the last batch of designers who learnt their trade before computers. I love what computers allow you to do, but more important is balance, typography, colour, space, ideas - all the basics a designer should embrace and understand before going anywhere near a computer.

Whoops - ranting. The decline of traditional design skills is a bit of soap box subject for me.

I often make websites in my own time, notably an official one for that world of Tekumel which got me into gaming (www.tekumel.com). This has grown to something like 350 pages. The site was also responsible for me getting some interesting work, most notably on the websites for the computer games Myst 3 and RealMyst. When I was in the US I was given a tour of the Cyan studios just as they were starting to make the real-time 3D Uru stuff. A few years later I worked for a year on a computer adventure game called 'The Omega Stone', mostly recreating the Mayan site of Chichen Itza in 3D. The client kindly flew me there to meet them and research the site, While I was there I had one of the most amazing experiences of my life, next to seeing the first pyramids and walking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu - scuba diving in the crystal clear water of an underground cenote.

I've done a decent amount of travelling over the years and hope to do much more (no kids and no plans to have them). Two year-long trips, one at 25 (the UK, Europe and Egypt) and one at 35 (North and South America, the UK, Turkey) and trips to India and Mexico have been the highlights. Some of the traveling has been on my own (most of a 3 month trip in South America), some with girl/friends. I love documenting my trips and have kept detailed diaries, some of which are online for others to read at www.petergifford.com. My girlfriend and I are planning a trip to Southern Spain and Morocco next year.

Now, back to games! I was a big Games Workshop fan in the heady early days, and have a pretty comprehensive collection of their boxed games - just about everything up to and including Battlefleet Gothic. I have every issue of White Dwarf from 1-250 except issues 2 and 3 (I'll get them eventually!) Early on I played a bit of Warhammer and W40K - painting figures more than playing really - but enjoyed games like Man O War, Space Hulk and Necromunda a lot more than the Warhammer stuff. I still paint figures and have a huge backlog to get through - almost finished all the BattleLore ones but the Descent and War of the Ring hordes clamber for attention ...

In my early 30s, convinced that I was too old to be playing games, I foolishly sold most of my old role-playing stuff. Luckily I held onto the Games Workshop big box games. But once I had finally found the love of my life (it took me until the age of 38) and she said something offhand like "why don't you put these games on display" I re-embraced my love of gaming. Not only did I discover and buy new games, but I got onto eBay and re-bought every AD&D, Gamma World, Star Frontiers, Chill and Tekumel product I used to own, and a few old boxed games I didn't, just for old time's sake. Cost me a fortune.

The aforementioned bass playing friend and I still get together for a game night (with quite a few beers and a good yarn about our pasts, presents and futures) every few weeks or so, and occasionally my girlfriend - she doesn't mind the occasional game but hates anything 'with modifiers' (eg Arkham Horror) - and I get to play a game like Ticket to Ride or Puerto Rico with he and his wife or another couple (we're slowly introducing some friends to gaming). I've recently discovered some good local gamers here on Boardgamegeek (the BoardGameGlebers) and it's a great pleasure to play with some new people as obsessed about games as I am.

Recently I started a site for BattleLore at www.battleloremaster.com - I really enjoyed Memoir '44 and instantly thought a fantasy version would be a big hit. I had lunch with Eric Hautemont, the CEO of Days of Wonder, when he was here recently - lovely guy and very supportive of my efforts. Also I've begun to do a bit of design for games, most recently the remake of Prophecy for Z-Man Games. And of course, I have a notebook full of ideas about a game of my own (I'm not telling!).

I'm probably best known here at BGG for making rules summaries and reference sheets, which I started doing as an easy way of quickly re-learning the rules to games I hadn't played in a while, and has now become an essential task everytime I buy a new game. I enjoy the discipline of summarising the rules, and I like to make attractive reference sheets that make the whole game experience smoother. I'm a big fan of theme in games, and like to immerse myself in the experience and not get bogged down with looking up rules. Most of the sheets are at my blog site www.headlesshollow.com, the blog part of which I don't update nearly enough.

Apart from the general sociable, enjoyable aspects of board gaming, I love the fact that I'm into my 40s now and games still stimulate my imagination almost as much as they did when I was a kid. I still get a big thrill ripping the shrink wrap off a new game.

I've now crapped on for so long there are probably no questions left to ask me. Sorry about that.

And now, the Two Truths and a Lie ...

1. Starting at the age of 12, I've written a letter to myself to be opened in a decade; each time they're put back in the envelope with a new one for the next decade. It's due to be opened again this year at 42.
2. While living in the UK I joined a well-known country Shakespeare company and played a role in 'Twelfth Night'.
3. Our band Alternative Carparks was third on the bill with Simple Minds when they played the Coogee Hotel in 1983.

I am going to wing a guess here, as these all seem pretty plausible to me, and go with 'A' as the lie, as I am betting you started it at 10 or 15, and not 12.

A few questions to start things off:

1. Theme seems to be pretty important to you. Many of the games you rate highly are very thematic. Are there any games that have thinner themes, or perhaps even abstract games, that appeal to you?

2. You rate several 2-player games very highly as well. Do you prefer to play 2-player games, or is that just where your opportunities lie?

3. How did you and your band mates end up together?

4. Are there more Telltales albums in the works? When is your North American Tour?

5. You own a lot of old GW games. Do you still play them? Did you paint them all (look through his images, he is a gifted minis painter)? Do you paint all your new games (well, the ones with minis, only, I mean)? How long does it take you? Do you find you enjoy playing with painted minis more, or is there another reason you choose to do so?

6. Most of the "thumbs" you have received are for your images, and most of those are for you painted minis. I suspect, however, that if more people thumbed files that they use, this would not be true, How long does it typically take you to do one of your reference sheets? What is the process you go through th make them?

7. You have been to some really interesting destinations. Where would you like to go back to, and why?

8. what upcoming games are you most excited about? What recent game have you not played that you would like to play?

That's all for now, Peter. Enjoy your week!
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Congrats Peter!

1) I see Necromunda is on your "Top 10." What is your gang name (and type) and do you where do you rank Necromunda in the top 5 GW games? (of course you already talked about it above, but just wondering)
2) What do you think was the biggest sleeper of 2006?
3) What's your favorite Patrick O'Brian book? Why?

I think #3 is the lie... #1 seems plausible and #2 could be likely if you wanted to try Shakespeare.

Have a fun week!

-DK
 
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Congrats on becoming Geek of the Week!

Sixteen questions some of which are a bit heavier – but I like hearing answers to those sorts of things as I think they’re revealing of other aspects of a person’s thinking. As usual there’s a mixed bunch of stuff here: 7 are games related and 9 aren’t.

I like to try to check out my games correlation with each GotW if I can remember – but we only have 16 games in common so the stats don’t really calculate. For anyone who’s not aware of it, here’s the correlation to use:

http://www.lautapelaaja.net/bgg/correlation.php

Anyway, the questions…Answer briefly/in any way/leave out as you feel fit. I realise some questions might not grab you.

1. Which 2006/2007 releases have you not played yet but are desperate to try?
2. Wargames – you seem to enjoy lighter fair like Memoir and Wings of War. Is there anything heavier you’d like to try?
3. Are there any kids’ games or Party Games that deserve to be rated higher than they are and why? Are there any you’d like to try out and maybe bring the kid out in yourself?
4. Which 5 games would you say were the most pure fun you ever played? You can define “fun” in anyway you feel is right.
5. You are a big fan of the Memoir “system” I see. Have you the urge to try Battle Cry or Command and Colours Ancients?
6. You rate both the new and the old Fury of Draculas very highly. How would you describe the differences between the two games? (I’ve only played the FF version)
7. Do you ever feel that Euro game design is getting a bit stale these days? Have you ever groaned either aloud or inside when you’ve seen yet another game with the same mechanic you’ve played scores of times already? Name names if you like!
8. As a fellow Kate Bush fan, what are your three favourite tracks of hers and how did you feel about Aerial?
9. Which are the most interesting places you have visited, and where would you most like to go in the future (apart from Essen)?
10. Should the melting glaciers of Greenland keep us all awake at night? …Where do you stand on the whole global warming issue? Is it the biggest problem facing mankind which some folks are choosing to ignore at their peril or a colossal red-herring that gets way too much media-coverage?
11. What thing about the modern world most pleases you, and what most worries you?
12. What are the best 5/10 albums of all time?
13. What is the most trendy piece of clothing you own or have ever owned?
14. Who were your 5 greatest people of the 20th Century? Name 10 if you really want to.
15. Which films and songs bring a tear to your eye?
16. When have you been most scared in your life? I mean really scared.

I'm going for number 2 as the lie.
 
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Thankyou so much Dave! First of all I'd like to thank the Academy ... oh hold on, old joke. It's a great honour to be named 105th GotW, a strange thing that anyone should be vaguely interested in asking me questions, but I will do my best to be honest, interesting and worthy of the title! I can tell there's going to be a lot of procrastination from work this week ...

BeyondMonopoly wrote:
1. Theme seems to be pretty important to you. Many of the games you rate highly are very thematic. Are there any games that have thinner themes, or perhaps even abstract games, that appeal to you?


You know, I just went through my collection and if there's one defining factor is is definitely theme. I love giving my imagination a workout. In my collection there's a few where the theme is pretty thin and yet I still really enjoy the way they work however - Babel, Blue Moon, Colossal Arena - hmm, Ok, not that many at all really.

I'm starting to play a few more thinly-themed Euros with the BoardgameGlebers, and while they're interesting, I can't seem to get quite as excited about them. I'm not an accomplished strategist and would rather laugh my head off when some unexpected dice roll turns my favourite character into a fireball than tote up numbers and probabilities in my head. Euro games just don't seem as fun (argh, don't hurt me!).

Quote:
2. You rate several 2-player games very highly as well. Do you prefer to play 2-player games, or is that just where your opportunities lie?


I can't deny that 3+-player games are far more sociable and a lot of fun, but I do like the one-on-one action (hmmm, hold on, that didn't come out quite right!) of a good 2-player game. Plus, they're ideal for playing with my girlfriend or with a mate. And there's less downtime.

Quote:
3. How did you and your band mates end up together?


For the Telltales, the bass player, keyboard player and I go back to high school (not the same school, but we all hung out together after a friend swapped schools and we all got to know each other). The bass player and I played together in our first band 25 years ago! The lead singer is the younger brother of the keyboard player and entered the picture with a whole batch of good songs, prompting us to form this band.

Quote:
4. Are there more Telltales albums in the works? When is your North American Tour?


If only! Well, I'm sad to say that I bowed out of working on the third album, which is currently at mixing stage. I'm very proud of our first two but, due to a bit of a bad back, and getting tired of lugging around drums and all the time spent in smelly little studios and rehearsal rooms, this new album has come down to the bass player and the lead singer and some session musos. It's a thankless job, and unfortunately the thrill of playing live starts to pall after about 5,000 gigs!

Quote:
5. You own a lot of old GW games. Do you still play them? Did you paint them all (look through his images, he is a gifted minis painter)? Do you paint all your new games (well, the ones with minis, only, I mean)? How long does it take you? Do you find you enjoy playing with painted minis more, or is there another reason you choose to do so?


Some of the old GW games still occasionally see the table, notably Man O War, Necromunda, Space Hulk and Blood Bowl. I have a few fleets painted for MOW, a couple of gangs for Necro, plenty of figures for SH and a couple of old teams for BB. All of the games have unpainted figures that deserve some painting time! In fact I just bought a Dark Elf fleet for MOW that cost me 120 bloody US dollars! They're getting crazily expensive.

I occasionally play the 'wargame' ones too - Horus Heresy, Battle for Armageddon and Eldar Attack. They're quite fun. A lot of the others pine for attention but are not heard ...

I do try and paint the figures in new games, but there's a big backlog, and understandably I can only leave the paints out on the dining room table for so long before my lovely girlfriend gets a bit miffed! I've finished the character figs and almost finished the leader figs for WotR, and am determined to just do a very rough job (a couple of base colours and a wash) for the rest of the figures, or I'll be there until doomsday. Descent is another one which will take a long, long time to finish also. I'm currently busy painting the specialist packs for BattleLore, and man, am I sick of painting tartan.

I have a bad habit of treating every figure like a 'hero' figure, and painting way too much detail on them all.

I definitely enjoy playing with painted minis more, there's no comparison. A fully painted game with a well-organised foamcore storage system and rules summaries and player aids all ready is a joy to behold and play! BattleLore, for example, when painted, is just fantastic. Doom looks brilliant - ahh, there's just no other way to go.

Quote:
6. Most of the "thumbs" you have received are for your images, and most of those are for you painted minis. I suspect, however, that if more people thumbed files that they use, this would not be true, How long does it typically take you to do one of your reference sheets? What is the process you go through th make them?


Quite a while actually, usually when I should be doing paint work! I've got a nice template going now, but it still involves a good number of hours. First I make a background in Photoshop, which usually involves scanning and manipulating the game logo art and background, or making a background from scratch. The summary is written in InDesign by carefully going through the rules and re-writing them to be as clear and 'free of fluff' and unnecessary expression as possible - paring it down to the essentials. One of the trickiest things is to get all the info to line up perfectly in columns and in the space available! Once finished I save as a PDF file. Personally, I like to print them out on double-sided matt card, laminate and trim them.

The idea is to have something that can be referenced before or during a game that makes it unnecessary to hunt through rulebooks.

Reference sheets take longer - more art has to be scanned in, info has to be carefully expressed to fit in small spaces; it takes a while. The Tide of Iron one, for example, took ages.

Quote:
7. You have been to some really interesting destinations. Where would you like to go back to, and why?


Tough one, they were all fascinating in different ways. I think India, because 6 weeks is definitely not enough to cover such a huge and fascinating country. There are large areas of the south I didn't go anywhere near. Of course by the end of the trip I was so sick of India I could hardly wait to leave, but that was only because it is such a difficult and challenging country to travel through. Once you're home you quickly forget the perpetual feeling of being run-down and/or sick, the hassling, the endless cries for baksheesh, the 14 hour bus journeys, and all you can remember is the amazing feeling of being continually stimulated by sights, smells, sounds and tastes unlike anything you've ever experienced. Highly recommended.

And, of course, Egypt. I was only ten days there on the smell of a credit card and have a lot more to do and see in that fascinating country - I only got to Cairo and Luxor.

Quote:
8. what upcoming games are you most excited about? What recent game have you not played that you would like to play?


I'm trying to take a break from buying new games at the moment, as I don't want to get into the habit of just buying new ones as soon as they're released. I just bought Last Night on Earth and I'm dying (bad pun!) to give that a run. I bought a mint copy of Dune aw hile back that I still haven't played and would love to.

Tannhauser is on order though I must admit reviews so far have not been great and it may be just another miniature combat game, of which I have many. As for upcoming, I have my eye on Starcraft and Dust by FFG. I'm really looking forward to the new FFG versions of Dune, Cosmic Encounter and Borderlands. Also I can hardly wait until DOW brings out a Heroes expansion for BattleLore.
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DKahnt wrote:
Congrats Peter!


Thank you sir!

Quote:
1) I see Necromunda is on your "Top 10." What is your gang name (and type) and do you where do you rank Necromunda in the top 5 GW games? (of course you already talked about it above, but just wondering)


Good old Necromunda. I must take some photos of my terrain, as I based the supplied card terrain on thin wooden boards and added various plastic bits, industrial sewerage etc; they look pretty good.

I usually play Delaque - I liked the little bald guys; and the gang's name is 'The Killers of Murthe' (The Murthe, Lodermulch, Gundarcos, Vullgnatz, Underherd, Slat, Ukko and Cugel). While I'd loved to be organised enough to have a campaign going, we usually just have one-off games (my friend plays a Redemptionist gang called 'The Eternal Fires of Damnation' - Reverend Purger, Firefont, Dogmatosk, Reginald, Rimey, Rickard, Roger, Robert). I'll get a photo of the Delaque gang up this week (edit: have uploaded a few pics).

Where do I rank it in the top 5? Ummm - say third behind Man O War and Space Hulk. Must fiddle with my top 10.

This may be because it's just seen more table time of course. But for some reason, Necromunda just comes together as a great miniatures skirmish game - the theme, the rules, the terrain. Love those high gangway fights when someone gets pushed off and falls to their death!

Quote:
2) What do you think was the biggest sleeper of 2006?


Tough one ... well, BattleLore would have to be the hit of 2006, but as for a sleeper hit, I'm not sure. I have about nine games from 2006 and none of them really seem to deserve that label. Argh! My first lamely answered question!

Quote:
3) What's your favorite Patrick O'Brian book? Why?


This one is really tough! I'm only on my first read through - a baby in O'Brian fan terms - and up to book 18, The Yellow Admiral. O'Brian is my favourite read before sleep. Reading them all in a row, they tend to blur together, so it's tough to say, but I loved Desolation Island, it's a classic scene loved by many, but when they are being chased by a Dutch ship through the southern ocean in an incredible storm and Aubrey is firing the stern chaser and is knocked unconscious just as the Dutch ship's mast is hit and it is swamped by a huge wave - what a scene! My heart was in my mouth reading it. HMS Surprise was also a beauty too - "Jack, you have debauched my sloth."

I'll need a few more read-throughs of the series before I can immediately put my finger on my favourite book - they are all so good.

The bottle stands by you sir!
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Admiral Fisher wrote:
Congrats on becoming Geek of the Week! Sixteen questions some of which are a bit heavier – but I like hearing answers to those sorts of things as I think they’re revealing of other aspects of a person’s thinking.


Many thanks. Ahh, some challenging stuff here. I see my prospects for solid work today beginning to dwindle ... luckily I'm the boss!

Quote:
1. Which 2006/2007 releases have you not played yet but are desperate to try?


Last Night on Earth - on the table any day now I hope, I've been waiting for a decent zombie game. Starcraft looks fun, but I'm saving it up as a big purchase when I really deserve a treat. Duel in the Dark is one I hope to get soon - lovely treatment of the theme and looks like an interesting game.

Quote:
2. Wargames – you seem to enjoy lighter fair like Memoir and Wings of War. Is there anything heavier you’d like to try?


I think Tide of Iron is about as heavy as I get when it comes to wargames, and my wargaming friends are even surprised I got that close to Squad Leader. I wouldn't say no to a wargame based in a particularly interesting period that I know something about though - for example the Persian or Peloponnesian wars. I may get the reprint of Hannibal when it's released. I just try to avoid games that get me too close to accountancy or hard work.

Quote:
3. Are there any kids’ games or Party Games that deserve to be rated higher than they are and why? Are there any you’d like to try out and maybe bring the kid out in yourself?


I certainly have no problem bringing out the kid in myself! I just bought the base set and all the expansions for Battleground: Crossbows and Catapults and it's great fun. I also just got a copy of Vampire Hunter on ebay because I couldn't resist a game that could be played in the dark with a black light. I mean, who could?

Quote:
4. Which 5 games would you say were the most pure fun you ever played? You can define “fun” in anyway you feel is right.


'Fun' for me usually means laughing my head off and not having to work too hard, so my top 5 by that definition would be pretty simple, easy, thematic games with wild and amusing swings of fortune like Heroscape, Ave Caesar, Battlecars, Doom and Man O War.

Quote:
5. You are a big fan of the Memoir “system” I see. Have you the urge to try Battle Cry or Command and Colours Ancients?


Definitely. Not Battle Cry so much, partly because I don't know much about the American Civil War but mostly because I've heard the system has been improved in subsequent games. Certainly C&C Ancients - though I do wish it had better production and maybe figures instead of blocks. I was going to buy it just before BattleLore came out and took up all my attention, but I do find ancient historical battles fascinating and may get it at some time in the future.

Quote:
6. You rate both the new and the old Fury of Draculas very highly. How would you describe the differences between the two games? (I’ve only played the FF version)


The original version was a huge hit with us back in the day and dripped with theme. The new version, I must admit, I haven't had as much luck with, but mainly because I've played it with the wrong people in all but one case. The new version introduces the whole idea of Dracula's trail (represented by cards), which didn't exist in the original, so subsequently it was harder to find Drac before. Of course the trail means there's a bit more book-keeping for the Dracula player to do. I still find the combat system in both to be a little lacking.

The main problem is both is that you need players who know the game and play it in a particular way - ie. they're not frustrated to the point of spontaneous combustion if Dracula escapes their grasp after a long hunt. I still think both games have slight problems but when it all comes together they're a blast.

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7. Do you ever feel that Euro game design is getting a bit stale these days? Have you ever groaned either aloud or inside when you’ve seen yet another game with the same mechanic you’ve played scores of times already? Name names if you like!


Well, to be honest yeah. But then I'm not a huge Euro fan am I? No doubt people more versed in the variety of Euros will be able to easily shoot me down here, and there's no doubt that non-Euro/Ameritrash/theme-is-vital games recycle mechanics just as badly, but there's seems to be a lot of rehash in the Caylus/Puerto Rico mould. And I do dislike a game that feels it could just as well be completely re-themed, or in fact have no theme at all, without any change to the mechanics.

I played Yspahan the other day, which was OK, but it really seems like about four stock-standard Euro mechanics stuck together with scotch tape with some camels thrown in. At least a thematic game has the theme to fall back on if the mechanics are rehashed. I have quite a few dungeon crawl-type games for example, that are relatively similar in mechanics, but a grim bughunt in an alien spacecraft just feels really different than an expedition into a fantasy dungeon.

There also seems to be games, eg Antike, where there's a big stage where players just build up their little empires without much player interaction until a certain point. I like a lot of player interaction - even Puerto Rico feels like multi-player solitaire sometimes.

And besides, slicing three zombies in half with a chainsaw is just so much more amusing than trading barrels of grain, y'know?

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8. As a fellow Kate Bush fan, what are your three favourite tracks of hers and how did you feel about Aerial?


Ahh, Kate, lovely Kate. What a shame she has to age like the rest of us, but then what a joy that she's still making great music (despite the fact we have to wait bloody ten years for it!) Three favourite tracks .. so difficult ... The Man With the Child in His Eyes, Wow, Rocket's Tail. And many others.

I liked Aerial - and was very relieved when I first heard King of the Mountain, because I was worried we were going to get more of the unfortunate pop like Constellation of the Heart from The Red Shoes.

There are a few missteps in my opinion - Bertie is just horrible stuff that Bertie is going to hate his mother for when he goes to school and gets beaten up about it, Mrs. Bartolozzi is pretty tedious, and I wish the last track Aerial would break out of the solid on-the-beat bass drum and explode into something and it never does ... but on the whole it's an interesting return to form for Kate and certainly head and shoulders above most of the crap being passed off as music these days. She's got more invention and originality in one song than most musicians have in their whole career - always did.

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9. Which are the most interesting places you have visited, and where would you most like to go in the future (apart from Essen)?


Luxor in Egypt, while touristy, was heaven for an Egyptophile like me. I went to see the monuments and the Valley of the Kings, but was surprised by how friendly and fascinating the people were as well. I was only there a few days but made some great friends.

Cuzco in Peru is an amazing traveller's hub and a great place to stay. The Sacred Valley of the Incas is nearby, there are Incan ruins everywhere, you can do the Inca Trail to Macchu Piccu, and on top of all that the bars and night life are excellent!

The Kailasa temple in Ellora, India is absolutely astounding - it's a huge temple cut out of the mountainside to a depth of 100 feet, carved into incredible detail. Also in India - the Great Stupa at Sanchi, which I promised myself in high school I would circumambulate one day and did - the golden sandstone of the Jaisalmer fort in Rajasthan, and of course the Taj Mahal, which is stunning.

The Galapagos Islands were totally different from anywhere I'd ever been and an amazing experience. It was like going back in time to a world where animals hadn't learnt to be afraid of you. And swimming with sea lions was unforgettable.

I could go on and on ..!

It's been difficult choosing where to go next year, as my girlfriend and I don't want to repeat ourselves (yet) and we've both been to places the other hasn't, so we've decided on southern Spain (Andalusia) and Morocco. There's some fascinating Moorish architecture and history and Morocco should be challenging and stimulating. We must ride camels in the Sahara.

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10. Should the melting glaciers of Greenland keep us all awake at night? …Where do you stand on the whole global warming issue? Is it the biggest problem facing mankind which some folks are choosing to ignore at their peril or a colossal red-herring that gets way too much media-coverage?


Let's not having anything keep us awake at night - a good sleep is too precious and worry won't change a thing.

With the limited information at my disposal, I think global warming is an absolutely crucial issue. Anything that brings the focus of world leaders and the public into treating our environment with more care and concern is a good thing, regardless. Of course convincing third-world countries that we pillaged the environment for our own gain and sorry, you can't, even though you're trapped in a system which rewards such activity - well, that's trickier. The challenge of the 'first world' is to create ways to bring all countries the benefits of prosperity without destroying the environment at the same time. This requires long-term thinking, but big business so often thinks only in the short-term.

I also don't think the human race is the be-all and end-all of the universe - in fact we're hardly a drop in the bucket in evolutionary terms - and the planet could shrug us off in an instant if it chose to. Something we should keep in mind and quickly learn to start co-operating with the natural world instead of raping and pillaging it. I live and hope that we'll wake up to ourselves in time and one day, probably many hundreds of years in the future, we'll be able to look back at this period in our history with disbelief at how short-sighted and ignorant we once were.

However, back to the global warming issue, I don't like media coverage that uses fear to get ratings or sell product, and the media so often latches onto the latest issue to do that. Choices should be made through education, not ignorance and exploitation.

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11. What thing about the modern world most pleases you, and what most worries you?


I'm pleased that, in the wide view, the human race is better off than ever before in history in terms of reducing disease, ignorance, war and abuse of human rights - though sometimes it may not seem like it. I'm pleased that despite all the stupidity and greed and bigotry, some intelligent, compassionate people still work quietly away in the background to improve the human race.

I'm most worried about ignorant, backward thinking, small-minded people, bureaucrats, committees, mobs, those who force their beliefs on other people, the denial of human rights, the blending of church and state, and the use of fear-mongering to gain power over others.

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12. What are the best 5/10 albums of all time?


The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway Genesis
Peter Gabriel 4 Peter Gabriel
The Dreaming Kate Bush
Yessongs Yes
English Settlement XTC
The Pretenders The Pretenders

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13. What is the most trendy piece of clothing you own or have ever owned?


That would have to be the balloon-legged jeans with the red zips up the front that I wore to my art college interview. Offset by my shock of permed peroxided blonde hair, they were damn trendy.

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14. Who were your 5 greatest people of the 20th Century? Name 10 if you really want to.


Freakin' heck this is getting tough!

In no particular order of merit and pretty much off the top of my head:
Albert Einstein
Bob Dylan
H.G. Wells
Captain Robert Scott
Nelson Mandela
Steve Jobs
Mahatma Ghandi
Sir Edmund Hilary
the Beatles
Monty Python
J.R.R. Tolkien
Sir David Attenborough

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15. Which films and songs bring a tear to your eye?


A lot - I'm a complete sook and I cry at the drop of a hat, especially when it comes to things like nobility, courage and self-sacrifice for some reason. My worst outbreak was when I first saw the film Gattaca in the cinema - I almost gave myself an embolism holding back the hysterical sobs and my face was soaked with tears by the end. I cry in Buffy and Angel episodes. Hopeless.

The last book that made me cry was a bit in the second book (The Subtle Knife) of the His Dark Materials trilogy by Philip Pullman.

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16. When have you been most scared in your life? I mean really scared.


I'm lucky, I don't think I've every been totally terrified (touch wood). When I went to Egypt and was still a relatively inexperienced traveller I rode around the pyramids (first on a camel and then a horse), and when we were riding back to the gates we went through a dark shanty-town alleyway with our guides that was completely isolated. I saw some shadowy mounted figures coming towards us, thought I heard my guide signalling to them and suddenly was convinced we were about to be mugged! All I could think of was that I had to protect the girl I was with, so I surreptitiously got my penknife out of my bag and into my pocket. Silly now when I look back on it.

Another time in India we were trying to catch a train at night in a country town and we got into a big altercation with the stationmaster who tried to put us on a military train packed with soldiers - who were having a good look at our girlfriends I can tell you. When we refused a big fat military officer got off the train to demand what the hold-up was and an argument started ... it all seemed very hairy there for a while. Another train showed up and we ran for it and got the hell out of there!

When diving in a underground cenote in Mexico I lost my guide for about 5 seconds - enough time for me to do a 180 degree revolution as I hung in the blackness in an underwater cave. Cold, sheer terror rippled through my body for half a second. Then I saw him ahead of me. Whew.

But I've been lucky, nothing serious has happened to me - may that continue!

Thankyou for your stimulating questions David!
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UniversalHead wrote:

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway Genesis
The Dreaming Kate Bush


Hell yeah. TLLDoB was my favorite LP from 1987 thru 2006, and The Dreaming has always been my favorite album of hers.

UniversalHead wrote:

I'm a complete sook and I cry at the drop of a hat[...]


Right with you there, although for different reasons from yours. I think I embarrass my wife in the theaters...
 
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Awesome. Simply awesome.

Congratulations Peter!

You would have been my choice for a Geek of the Week successor too - David beat me to it (damn!) but I can't complain because it is a great choice and it is totally well deserved.

The amount of useful and amazing contributions you have made in the form of rules summaries and reference sheets alone is more than enough to warrant this recognition, but you have also contributed some of the nicest pictures on BGG as well.

I have also thoroughly enjoyed "working" with you these past few weeks as well. I won't divulge any information about this next project of his because that is completely up to Peter to make it public, suffice to say, he does all the work and I just get to look at it first! laugh

I'm a big fan of all your black foamcore work too. For those who don't know, Peter has designed several cool foamcore projects to either enhance gameplay or improve storage for various games. I particularly like the Doom: The Boardgame foamcore card tray for the Invader player (1st image).



I've yet to tackle any of these projects for myself, but I have bought the foamcore and the Doom tray is calling...

I also think it's cool that one of your all-time favorite games is also my number one game, Man O' War. I've enjoyed your excellent MOW pictures very much and the only thing I'd suggest is...MORE!

Anyways, I've usually got a looooong list of questions that I've posted from past GotW threads, but I can't seem to find it at this exact minute (I'll post them for you later this week), so I'll just ask a few here off the top of my head.

1. You can only have 1 of each pair for the rest of your life (give us a reason why too!):

Doom: The Boardgame or Fury of Dracula (second edition)
Memoir '44 or BattleLore
Tide of Iron or War of the Ring (First Edition)
Battlecars or Man O' War

2. Here's a bunch of Man O' War questions... (you knew this was coming!)...
A. I'm always happy to introduce new people to Man O' War as it inevitably is a huge hit and I'm curious if your experiences in that regard is similar.
B. Do you have enough fleets for friends to use?
C. Are there any fleets you are still trying to obtain?
D. Have you ever run a Man O War campaign? (Details if you have!)

3. Let's hear about one of your most enjoyable Blood Bowl (Third Edition) games.

That should get you started. I'll be posting that much longer list of questions as soon as I remember where it is!

Again, it's GREAT to see you getting some very well deserved recognition - enjoy your week!

Congratulations!

Scott

...and #1 is the lie. I think you do this, but the age is off.




 
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Congrats UH! This is the SECOND "gleber" to be so honoured!!

Now...as a player who has shared a board with you on a couple of occasions (not enough given our love of similar games) the first thing that struck me was your use of the "game cloth". For the uninitiated it is a black drape for the table that UH would simply NOT be caught playing without! This so impressed me I instantly went out and got my own You also have (like most good geeks) an aversion to game bits getting sullied with "snack hands"...on pain of death! While this is a common concern here I am starting to think that this sort of concern runs deep in the psyche. That it is born of a horrible story from a young geeks playing days. What was the board warping, card soaking, mini-maiming story that set you on the way to game-anal behaviour?

Now a few of my favourite questions...

1. You love the dice...do you have a favourite set? I know you colour matched for your Arkham Horror set...is this a regular thing for you?

2. In the world of d6...favourite size? Round corners or straight edge? Pips or numbers? Favourite symbol/pic to replace a side? If a side IS replaced should it be the 1 or the 6?

3. Do you have preferred "rolling style"?

4. Tabletop or Dicetower?

5.Highest score you ever attained in Yahtzee?

And to end this session...has there ever been a game you simply could NOT (or would not)reduce to an aid?

More as the week progresses....enjoy your week!

PS: I think #2 is the lie. #1 sounds like something you would do...and #3, well...EVERY body has had a gig at the Coogee Bay Hotel!
 
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Thanks for the answers:

"English Settlement XTC" - aha, another XTC fan. There are quite a few of us here. On the whole, the band seem to have been more appreciated outside than inside the UK. I think British music got over poppy and commercial and their more angular take got ignord over here. You should get the micor badge, as clicking on XTC on the interests page has never worked (something about needing words not letters).

It seems also that mnay XTC fans are also Kate Bush fans. Again, I guess it's the different perspective both come in at.
 
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manowarplayer wrote:
Awesome. Simply awesome...


Thanks Scott, a glass of wine with you sir!

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I have also thoroughly enjoyed "working" with you these past few weeks as well. I won't divulge any information about this next project ...


Oh let's divulge. Man O' War fans out there may have noticed these card-sized ship templates I designed ages ago:



Well, with the selfless and comprehensive aid of Mr Di Bartolo, I've finally done a complete set of these templates for all the races and nations of MOW. Not too exciting for non-MOW players, certainly, but for those of who have spent many a game trying to fit all the hugely oversized templates on a table, it is cause for rejoicing.

We're almost finished and they'll be made available very soon (for existing owners of MOW only, of course!).

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I'm a big fan of all your black foamcore work too.


I must point out that the Fury of Dracula design is by Netlimpopo - I just mounted it on foamcore.

I love the stuff. I first started using it to reinforce the flimsy cardboard the big box GW game boxes are made out of, then I started making figure trays, then BGGer MVDZIGN inspired me to start making game aids and card holders. There's got to be the potential for a fashion range, surely ...

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1. You can only have 1 of each pair for the rest of your life (give us a reason why too!):


Doom: The Boardgame or Fury of Dracula
Definitely Doom - I've enjoyed many hours of fun with this classic scifi dungeon crawl and love its smooth mechanics and sense of impending - well, doom. I can never understand complaints that it is imbalanced as every game we've played has come right down to the wire - but then again, we almost always play 2-player. It's a shame FFG made things more complex with Descent as I think they bogged down the game system.

Memoir '44 or BattleLore
BattleLore. As much as I have a big soft spot for M'44, BattleLore just has more variety with the addition of Lore cards and battle back and pursuit moves. Though I do still really enjoy a game of M'44 - it's always easy on the brain but a lot of fun.

Tide of Iron or War of the Ring
So far, WotR, but then I've only played TOI twice and WotR once. I like TOI, but we just haven't yet got into the flow of it, and it still feels a little clunky. My one experience of WotR though was a really enjoyable 6-hour game. I loved the mix of moving huge sweeping armies with the very small fellowship journey, and the feeling of a story developing. I anticipate many more plays of it.

Battlecars or Man O' War
Man O' War, though you're putting it up against one of my old favourites. But MOW has much more variety. Battlecars has a lot of nostalgia value though and has always been a good laugh.

Quote:
2. Here's a bunch of Man O War questions... (you knew this was coming!)...


Argh! Wish I'd played more recently. When it comes to MOW, you're the pope ...

Quote:
A. I'm always happy to introduce new people to Man O War as it inevitably is a huge hit and I'm curious if your experiences in that regard is similar.


(Embarrassed pause, shuffle ...) I haven't introduced it to anyone.

Quote:
B. Do you have enough fleets for friends to use?


Yes, so far. I have basic fleets for the Imperial, Skaven, Dwarf, Chaos Dwarf, Orc, Slaanesh, Nurgle, all the monsters, a few flyers and now Dark Elf (at last!)

Quote:
C. Are there any fleets you are still trying to obtain?


Yes, I'd love an Elf fleet. But I'll have to pay a mint for one.

Quote:
D. Have you ever run a Man O War campaign? (Details if you have!)


Argh! Sorry, no - one-off games every one.

Quote:
3. Let's hear about one of your most enjoyable Blood Bowl - Third Edition games.


Awww, letting you down again. We haven't played recently enough for me to regale you with any details. We usually just play Orcs vs Humans as they're the only teams I have painted.

I'll try to do better with the rest of your questions!
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ozjesting wrote:
Congrats UH! This is the SECOND "gleber" to be so honoured!!


Eeeeexxxcellent. Who was the first? Our plan for world domination progresses pleasingly ...

Quote:
Now...as a player who has shared a board with you on a couple of occasions (not enough given our love of similar games) the first thing that struck me was your use of the "game cloth".


Ahh, yes. And it must be black. And slightly 'felty'. Not only is it the perfect surface for game components, but it increases the contrast and impact of the board and cards. It's essential!

Quote:
You also have (like most good geeks) an aversion to game bits getting sullied with "snack hands"... What was the board warping, card soaking, mini-maiming story that set you on the way to game-anal behaviour?


Game-anal! Ouch! Let me see now ... you'll be happy to learn the police were never involved. It quite possibly the glass of red wine that was spilled over my copy of Rogue Trooper that caused it to forever after be christened 'Rogue Drinker'.

Yes, I can't deny it, I'm a tad protective of my games. Two young kids belonging to a friend played my copy of Wings of War recently and I felt like the proverbial cat on a hot tin roof as they happily bent the cards ... I'm told this laissez faire attitude to gaming is all part of the fun, but I can't understand it ... I mean, the damn things are expensive ... and they may be worth a fortune in years to come, but only in good condition ... ack, my oxygen mask, quick!

Quote:
1. You love the dice...do you have a favourite set? I know you colour matched for your Arkham Horror set...is this a regular thing for you?


Strangely enough, that's the only instance of getting a special set of dice for a game ... perhaps that's a whole world of customisation I've missed right there!

I do have a special place in my heart for my old bag of D&D dice which is still floating around somewhere. There's a d20 in there in particular that saw a lot of rolling.

Quote:
2. In the world of d6...favourite size? Round corners or straight edge? Pips or numbers? Favourite symbol/pic to replace a side? If a side IS replaced should it be the 1 or the 6?


Hmmm, round corners, but not too round. Numbers instead of pips. I do like the big oversized black dot on the 1 side of the Last Night on Earth dice. It's kind of final.

Quote:
3. Do you have preferred "rolling style"?
4. Tabletop or Dicetower?


Handful, give them a shake, smooth rolling motion out of the side of the palm. Best surface for aural feedback - the plastic clattering you get when you roll them across Heroscape tiles. Takes me right back.

Groan or cheer as appropriate.

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5.Highest score you ever attained in Yahtzee?


What is this common game of which you speak. Ptah!

Quote:
And to end this session...has there ever been a game you simply could NOT (or would not)reduce to an aid?


I must admit some of the Days of Wonder games are beating me to the punch - I couldn't think of anything that needed doing reference-wise to Colosseum, Cleopatra, Shadows Over Camelot ...

Every game needs a rules summary though - even Lost Cities!
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It was our Math Trade wiz sbszine who was GotW not all that long ago.

Which I suppose makes me wonder why YOU have no games on the trade list. But as I read your bio my thought is that you simply have nothing you wish to let go of just yet

Non-game questions.

Of these 5,000 gigs...surely there are some horror (tell)tales...from the relatively protected view of the drummers seat. Please regale us with some of the horrible things punters have inflicted upon your band mates

Of course it is also nice to hear about the outrageous good fortune of the performer...so most outlandish perk? Great rider? Truly unbelievable gig?

Iron Maiden had two members who were fans and participants in fencing...and both wrote songs about the "game". I am not across your bands catalogue...but did any of your gameness make in into the lyrics? Maybe just a soundcheck song about Doom?

Your dream "jam" band?

ps: You claim the classic connection to Game of Life, Monopoly and Moustrap yet "ptah" on the best teacher of dice probability and rolling style in Yahtzee??? Curious indeed







 
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Congratulations Peter.

If you guy's haven't checked out the images of UniversalHead's miniatures, you really should do so. They are simply amazing and breathtaking. The level of detail and the expert craftsmanship is truly something to behold.

Also a really down to earth guy.
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Congratulations Peter!

It's always been a joy to see and use your designs, and I was thrilled to see you enjoy quite a few of the same games as I do - especially that Man O'War is so high on your list. Your game sheets are life-savers, and I'm really looking forward to using the card-sized ship templates.

But why oh why do you have to do everything so perfectly!? Not enough that you do amazing graphic design, beautiful web pages and useful game sheets. No, you also have to be amazingly good at painting miniatures - as can be seen in your recent pictures for the War of the Ring game. What's a struggling painter who's only managed 50% of his WotR minis so far to cling to?

Looking forward to seeing even more of your stuff on BGG!

Ciao,
Ralf from Profantasy (aka Uthoroc)

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Congratulations Peter. As a fellow Tekumel fan, could I draw you out a bit on this topic?

What was it that grabbed you enough about Tekumel to create a BIG website about it? Have you played the new rules by Joe Saul? Do you really play the miniatures rules like Qadardalikoi? What do you think of the new miniatures by fellow Aussies at Eureka Miniatures? Finally, have you ever met Professor Barker and did you purposely leave him off the list of greatest men of the 20th century ?
 
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Congratz Peter,

A well deserved nod. Bravo sir!

I was pleased to see our 6 hour marathon War of the Rings game get a mention in earlier dispatches. It had a strong impact on me also, and I will have my chance for revenge one day...

There has been much written about Peter's painting abilities. I was particularly taken by his Fury of Dracula set a few of us played one rainy Easter. "Oh yeah, I painted these up yesterday" The pics are on the site, check em out. I dragged my wife all over Sydney the following week looking for a copy of the game to buy, after 6 months I've still not finished the 5 figures the game contains.

I just have one question for you UH:

You mention that you have purchased "Last Night on Earth", there has been some discussion on the merits/failings of using photography rather than illustration in the graphic design of this game. What is your opinion of this?
 
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Peter,

Congratulations on your ascendance to GotW! I read your profile with interest, and of course your introductory remarks drew attention as well. I find that if I'm remotely curious, and your history piques my curiosity, that I can learn a lot, even if our game interests don't overlap a great deal.

I, too, spent a bit of time in the RPG world, and I actually own a copy of EPT, but have never actually entered the world of Tekumel. Since time is too short these days (a good thing), I probably never will. Your discussion about that and about the D&D days bring back memories. I will definitely give BattleLore and Doom a try, though the cost may be prohibitive, just because I love the genre. I've set up Magic Realm many times myself, but lack the courage to force it on my game group.

One of my hobbies is acting, and the creative director of our community theater also has a band, which have, in his words, "singers, musicians, and a drummer." That's always tickled me, because if I were a musician, I would be a drummer. I have a bit of a tin ear but a decent sense of rhythm, so I am very sympathetic to the plight of a drummer, and am therefore quite envious of you, sonny.

I think the lie is #2; I think you'd have talked more about the theater experience were it a truth. But then, I usually am wrong about such things.

Again, congratulations, lad.
 
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Congrats

a) Have you ever been mistaken for the nude nut in the umbilical brothers?
b) If you went to someones house and there was food, drinks and toddlers at the game table but not playing your games, do you lose all concentration worried about the poor poor games or do you park your gamanality and enjoy the game?
c) Have you ever partaken of the rooms after a gig at Selinas?
d) Knowing the suburb you live in, how the hell do you store all your stuff? Any storing tips?
e) As you are not planning on not having children, what are your plans for your games and accessories when you pass over to the other side?

 
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Rob Robinson
England
Rotherham
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I fight lost wars, see light, fear sight
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I open my mind, need flesh, fear mine
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Who are your favourite musicians...

Lead Guitarist?
Bass Guitarist?
Drummist?
Lyricist?
Vocalist?
Ivory/Synth tinkler?
 
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Universal Head
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ozjesting wrote:
Which I suppose makes me wonder why YOU have no games on the trade list. But as I read your bio my thought is that you simply have nothing you wish to let go of just yet

Yep, I'm quite pleased with my collection, there's virtually no unwanted stuff. Plus I fear repeating the mistake I made in my twenties of selling games that I'd later want back.

Quote:
Of these 5,000 gigs...surely there are some horror (tell)tales...from the relatively protected view of the drummers seat. Please regale us with some of the horrible things punters have inflicted upon your band mates

I have a terrible memory, so I emailled the bass player to trawl his and he came up with:
- people in the crowd grabbing the mike stand and bashing him in the teeth with the mike
- having to wait until 3am after a gig for two bikies to get their car started after they blocked the gate at that party we played out near Windsor
- lugging out in the rain a hundred times
- the Macquarie Centre ice rink gig where the stage consisted of road cases stacked up on the ice
- playing to a crowd of 2 at Dr Redbirds in Nth Sydney on a Wednesday night
- playing to a crowd of 2 outside at Darling Harbour on a Saturday morning
- driving to Newcastle and getting utterly trashed only to get lost trying to find the hotel
- forgetting half your drum kit for the gig at the Ivanhoe in Manly
- playing the Sunday at the folk festival so hungover we could barely see and having the power cut on us mid-gig
- the time my drum kit partly fell off the drum riser and crashed to the ground in the middle of a song

... there are many, many more ...

Quote:
Of course it is also nice to hear about the outrageous good fortune of the performer...so most outlandish perk? Great rider? Truly unbelievable gig?

Perks? The band? You'll be very, very lucky if you get a couple of free drinks. and you hardly ever make more than about $5 each.

We did a great 'farewell' (for the band at the time) gig at a small pub called Alberts Tavern in the 80s - 350 people jammed into a room designed for 200 - all the windows fogged up and dripped condensation, I remember. There have been many fantastic gigs I must say, but it's all a bit of a blur! Just generally that time when the band all 'locks' together and it sounds fantastic. You're often at the whim of the mixing desk, equipment and the room, so it's a special thing when it all comes together. Playing well is the easiest part!

Best gig is easy - the one where I first met the love of my life, at the launch gig for the first Telltales CD. Fantastic gig, too. It was very easy to impress her because as we were sitting there talking people kept coming up and saying "hey Peter, mate, fantastic gig, great night!"

These questions are quite funny though because the life of a (part-time, non-commerical successful) musician is about 5% wonderful memorable moments, and about 95% beer, lugging heavy equipment, exhaustion and hard work!

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... did any of your gameness make it into the lyrics? Maybe just a soundcheck song about Doom?

Not that I can recall, but I we did have a long-running joke where if I was doing the soundcheck at the mike I'd start reciting key facts from the Persian Wars. And of course the bass player and I are always talking about recent game sessions.

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Your dream "jam" band?

Oh man, too hard. Kate Bush and Peter Gabriel on vocals, Dave Gregory, Dave Gilmour and the guy from Radiohead on guitars, Rick Wakeman or Tony Banks on keyboards, Geddy Lee on bass, Brian Eno and Trevor Horn on production - jeeez, what a mess!

(I can hear the younger BGGers groaning from here...)

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ps: You claim the classic connection to Game of Life, Monopoly and Moustrap yet "ptah" on the best teacher of dice probability and rolling style in Yahtzee??? Curious indeed

I was about ten when I played those games! Besides, just rolling for rolling sake is no fun at all - there has to be some violent and amusing outcome!
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Duke Leto wrote:
Congratulations Peter. If you guy's haven't checked out the images of UniversalHead's miniatures, you really should do so. They are simply amazing and breathtaking ... Also a really down to earth guy.

Thank you very much sir! Very kind. I was down to earth, before I received all this positive reinforcement - I haven't been so praised since mum sent me off to my first day at kindy ...
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Uthoroc wrote:
Congratulations Peter! But why oh why do you have to do everything so perfectly!? Not enough that you do amazing graphic design, beautiful web pages and useful game sheets. No, you also have to be amazingly good at painting miniatures ...

Ah Ralf, didn't know you were here on the 'Geek! Thankyou for the fullsome and entirely undeserved praise. If you've done 50% of the WotR minis you're way ahead of me mate, it takes me far too long to just get a few leaders painted!

I have been painting minis since about 1980, so I've had a little practice!
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Kolumel wrote:
Congratulations Peter. As a fellow Tekumel fan, could I draw you out a bit on this topic?

Certainly!

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What was it that grabbed you enough about Tekumel to create a BIG website about it?

Nostalgia had a lot to do with it. As the first RPG (and 'real' game) I'd ever played, a lot of the magic of being 12 years old and discovering games still clinged to the whole Tekumel melieu. Also, I've always been fascinated by its very non-Western take on fantasy. As a person interested in ancient cultures like Egypt, Maya, India etc, it really clicked with me.

As for making the website, I was stunned to discover that it (back then when I started the site, and still today) hadn't received the widespread recognition it deserved, considering it's a world as fully developed as Tolkien's Middle-earth and possibly as complex. Also it had never really received a good visual treatment, since most of the published work featured amateur illustrators and designers.

I first made the site around when I went to India, and the trip had a big influence on the design. You can see bits of my photos in some of the embellishments.

If anyone is interested in complex, fully-realised fantasy worlds, I highly recommend checking out Tekumel.

Quote:
Have you played the new rules by Joe Saul? Do you really play the miniatures rules like Qadardalikoi?

Funnily, enough, I haven't actually played any Tekumel games since back then when I was a kid! I'm more interested in the world for its own sake, rather than the games. The new RPG rules seem great, though I wish I'd had a shot at designing the book - I was offered the work by the original publishers but the payment was completely unrealistic and we didn't see eye to eye. Hopefully I'll get a chance to redo it one day, now that the rights have gone back to the authors.

Quote:
What do you think of the new miniatures by fellow Aussies at Eureka Miniatures?

Very nice indeeed. In fact, I'm just about to update the site with new Yan Koryani miniatures.

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Finally, have you ever met Professor Barker and did you purposely leave him off the list of greatest men of the 20th century?

We haven't met unfortunately, but we have corresponded. How strange it was when he first wrote, as he was my hero back in early high school! He certainly is a great man, but perhaps I shouldn't really put him in the same category as Ghandi!
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Muzza wrote:
A well deserved nod. Bravo sir!

Thanks mate. Time for a WotR rematch dammit!

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I dragged my wife all over Sydney the following week looking for a copy of the game Fury of Dracula) to buy, after 6 months I've still not finished the 5 figures the game contains.

I had a good incentive - the need to impress newly-met BoardgameGlebers!

Quote:
You mention that you have purchased "Last Night on Earth", there has been some discussion on the merits/failings of using photography rather than illustration in the graphic design of this game. What is your opinion of this?

Good question - when I first saw the game I thought 'cheap!' But now that I have it I'm quite impressed with the photographic treatment. The design of the game is on the whole good (though the typography needs a bit of work, and the board illustration could be better) but I think the photography really works for a game of this genre. I think the same approach would probably fail miserably for a fantasy game, for example, but for a tongue-in-cheek zombie game with B-movie stereotypes, the posed photos look great. Also, they were smart to employ what look like relatively experienced actors, and to be careful in their lighting setups - that makes all the difference.

I just hope it doesn't become a trend for other publishers - some bodybuilder dressed up as Conan the Barbarian would never work ...

Hey, by the way, my rules summary for this game just got approved.
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