So the new Aphex…

$_57

It’s Musak for the space ports she would show up in.

It’s very complex.  I wanted to give it a few listens (many listens for certain tracks) to give my complete layman’s take on it.  For starters, it’s not the best Aphex Twin record ever, but I would slap it squarely in the Analord/Tuss paradigm of his work– if you liked The Tuss stuff especially, this will be an excellent listen for you.  And I do mean excellent.

What’s best about SYRO is that similar to much of Aphex Twin’s later work, it rewards careful and repeated listens.  There are things going on that you will absolutely not catch the first time through, and many of the changes are incredibly subtle.  It’s challenging, and I love that about it.  That said, this means the album is not easy to get into, and defies casual listening a bit.  Who gets an Aphex record for casual listening anyway?

Favorite tracks?  At first my favorite track on the record was the Japanese ONLY track called  MARCHROMT30A edit 2b 96 [104.98].  Get this for sure if you can.    Other than that, PAPAT4 is excellent and the middle of the album is just fantastic throughout.  However, the first two tracks are probably my favorites (minipops and XMAS_EVE10).  XMAS is an absolute MONSTER electronic track at over 10 minutes.   Like Druqks’ Mt Saint michel mix+st micha, XMAS has many complicated and layered changes leading to a point where you think the track is over after culminating it’s core melody, but it keeps going into places beyond.  It’s one you will listen to over and over and over and keep finding new stuff going on.   Minipops is probably the poster-child for this record, if there was one track that captures the essence of the entire album, this one is it.

That said, there is one stinker on the record– that Aphex Twin likely slapped on their to troll the fans.  I won’t spoil it, but you can likely guess (it’s not the last track!).    The final track is a song that I heard first played from a piano swinging in the air last year on some video on youtube.  It’s very pretty and Druqksesque but quite a contrast from the rest of the album.  The second to last track (let’s just call it WASR10 for short) is just OK.  The rest of it is pretty awesome and rewards careful attention.  Still, not his absolute best record (which is Come to Daddy IMO), but highly recommended.

Cosmic Encounter for the iPad/Android Kickstarter

xenophile

Yeah!

There is only one best board game in existence and it’s Cosmic Encounter.   What’s more, the Fantasy Flight version is absolutely superb and everyone should have it and play it.  That said, we can’t always get together to game in person, quite rarely actually, and while I played the current online version, it was really JUST the mechanics and is missing the biggest part– human interaction.

So I’m really quite excited about the direction the Cosmic Encounter iPad version is going.  First, they’ve stated that they won’t have a game engine powering the game– the pieces will be there but the PLAYERS figure out what to do with it.  That will free us up to handle all the crazy stuff, and they won’t have to program what amounts to an insane amount of edge cases that Cosmic Encounter would require.  In fact, Cosmic is a game of almost ALL edge cases!   Secondly the focus on Voice.  It’s going to be key for Cosmic to be fun in it’s (near to) true form that players can wheel and deal, and a little text box just isn’t going to cut it.

Anyway, I’ve gotten fucking hammered with Kickstarters lately (Feng Shui and the 13th Age Glorantha Kickstarters) and a few of the video game ones I’ve backed have been failures (Planetary Annihilation is a great example) so I was a little hesitant– but this is the king of all board games and could be a great experiment in both implementation of a social game and the evolution of Cosmic.

Here’s the link.

Army Fucked

This is like a train wreck that I couldn’t look away from.  I watched nearly the entire 2 hours.  There are two videos, skip through some of the army review once you get the gist.  Mouth you will fucking love this.  This guy is being GENEROUS with his critique of these paintjobs splattered across such an amazing army to boot.  All of it looks like absolute hack shit–the vehicle models– my god what an atrocity against those sculpts.  I have no idea who the painting service is, but they won’t be around long.

Server poop

Not sure what happened but the server this site is hosted on pooped out and I lost about a month (which was 2-3 posts really).  All seems to be back to normal but those posts are long gone apparently.   I’m going to put a picture of a hot chick here for now until I make it up to my 2-3 reader while I recompose the dreck posted before.

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Economic impact of murderhoboing – take 2!

Couple weeks ago I had a link to a lady anal-ysing the hyperinflation potential of murderhoboing in a serf/peasant economic model around the 14th Century.  While it was interesting and certainly sparked some discussions, this follow up really takes the topic to the mat!  Very much worth reading if you want to try to simulate the economic effects of that 500 GP that your characters splash into a small economy after killing a bunch of non-humans.  See particularly the bits on Venal Offices– especially since 16th Century Europe has gotten a lot of play recently due to LoTFP’s influence.

Here is the link (thanks SHINE)

And here is the obligatory picture of Alice, Melissa and the Flame Princess after doing their thing:

hobos

Shadowfist Victory (not me this time!)

Hero

Hero

Steve the Burger and Fries was the winner of this year’s World Championship at Gencon of Shadowfist. He played with a Purist/Architect deck (below) with write up.

Purist/Architects

Total Cards:  51

 Feng Shui Sites (10)

Dockyard (4)
Martyr’s Tomb (2)
Manufactured Island
Gambling House (2)
Lagrange Four

 Sites (1)

Drug Lab

Foundation Characters (10)

Mathmagician (5)
DNA Mage (5)

Other Characters (10)

Dr. Timbul Damiri (3)
Damon Winter
Bonechill (2)
Primus (2)
Shards of Warped Reflection

Elsa Winterhaagen

 Events (13)

Imprisoned (2)
Nerve Gas (2)
Expendable Unit (2)
Uncontrolled Mutation (2)
Pocket Demon (2)
Cellular Reinvigoration
Secret Pact
IKTV Special Report

 States (2)

Material Transendence (2)

 Edges (5)

Evil Brain in a Jar (2)
Rise of the NeoBuro (2)
Paradox Cube

Here’s how it all played out……I needed to get some tuning in before the tournament, so the night before, we played 4 games, all 3 man with Matt and Mouth.  After taking serious beatings from both of them in 3 of the games, and barely eeking out a less than impressive victory in the 4th, we looked at slimming the deck down a bit.  I ended up taking out 3 vivisectors and 2 Paradox Gardens, and adding an IKTV special report.

So I rolled into the tournament far from confident.  There were nine players, so It was three-man the whole way….another problem for my less than fast deck….

Game 1 (Monarchs, Jammers)

The Jammer deck got off to a very fast start, getting out 3 big maques and a horde of other monkeys early, all helped by my first hitter destroying himself on an uncovered Temple of Angry Spirits.  I was being run off the table.  The Jammers burned for power 3 times, and with the monarch deck starting slowly as well, I just couldn’t get going.  There seem to be a lot of new cards with monkey designators, and there were hordes of token characters all over the place.  I managed, through a combination of my opponents’ unwillingness to just end it & a few denial cards, to hold off an outright win, and we were timed out.  Looked like the end of the road for me, with a permanent spot at the losers table.

Game 2 (Monarchs, Hand)

The Monarchs followed me to the losers table, along with a hand deck.  I had a horrible start in this one (no architect resources), but was helped by the fact that the Monarch player was using resources to smash the hand player with early events and attacks.  Now most of those events were cancelled by Confucian stabilities, but none-the-less, my opponents were stymying each other, and I was able to recover a bit.  Another strange thing was that the Hand player had two revealed proving grounds, which didn’t help him.  Anyways, it was time for his Iron Monkey to cause problems, but alas, a nerve gas smoked him with no power gained or sites taken.  Even with Rise of the Neoburo out, I had 3 or 4 turns in a row where I could not draw any hitters, so I just played sites.  Finally, with the table cleared, an exposed proving ground with 1 body, and only 1 fighting characters in play, I went for the win with a mathmagician(!?)……and a cellular reinvigoration……..very silly, but it worked, and I had a chance again with a win under my belt.

Game 3 (Jammers, Lotus)

The monkeys were back, I had a new Lotus opponent, and my deck had not yet shown any signs of getting out any of my combos.  Again, the Jammers were out quickly, but we held him down a little to prevent that overpowering start.  The lotus looked to be well positioned with a hitter out and one of my sites burned for power.  Then, he tried to play spirit wrack on a Jammers character, and had his hitter smoked by who’s the monkey now.  This allowed me to get Damon Winter out, and load up on cards.  He was smoked, but Bonechill followed several times, thanks to Dr. Timbul, and I settled on toasting a big maque, and turning into a size 14 hitter.  Along with rise of the neoburo and material transcending the reverend Adam Wither into a useless edge, I gained some traction.  This game ended with time being called also, but I scored good points.

When the total points were added up, John and Willow were 1-2, and I was tied for 3rd with Troy.  There was some posturing back and forth about who should get in, and what the tiebreakers were.  When no one could decide, John and Willow were ok with a 4-man final.

Game 4 (The final-Jammers-Troy, Monarchs-Willow, Architects-John)

What a game.  I definitely appreciated playing with three very accomplished players, and I hope everyone wasn’t too annoyed with my constant fumbling and bumbling of the rules…..Things started with some early attacks that were thwarted.  I attacked the monarchs with Bonechill hoping for a lucky site grab, only to reduce it to 1.  The Architects were thwarted, but the jammers got the site.  With the Monarchs kneecapped, I drew a nice run of cards, played secret pact, which allowed me to throw out Damon Winter.  I attacked the Monarchs again, hoping for a squishy site, and found it, burning for power.  Then I was able to play IKTV special report right away after that, and had 8 power before my turn started again.  That was what I needed, as I played Rise of the Neoburo, Dr. Timbul, Material Transcended him, and played a Paradox Cube (copying Timbul) that turn.  That definitely drew some attention.  I was very lucky in that no one had edge hate cards, so my stacked Timbuls would remain for the rest of the game.  Things went on with no one able to gain the upper hand for a while.  An amazing 3 neutron bombs were dropped, and even more amazingly, all were cancelled.  Eventually Damon Winter was smoked (along with several Gnarled Annihilators, Fakhir-al-din, and lots of monkeys), but replaced with Primus (and my whole deck was in my hand anyways).  A few turns later and I was finally I was able to find the architect’s endless corridor turned, and sacrificed Primus, then returned him to play so no architect nasty cards could be played.  I went for the win with 5 or 6 buffed monkeys able to block, but threw down a cellular re-invigoration that couldn’t be countered……and that was it!

 

New APHEX TWIN this year

The blimp over London with the APHEX logo was not a fan-made thingy– it was a harbinger of what was to cum– a new Aphex record.   Of course it’s possible that this is all fan-stuff rather than the real deal, but it appears that there will be a new record in 2014 and you know, that’s just fucking GREAT both for the new Twin stuff but the fact that we might see some new WISP records on Rephlex.

GO ELECTRONICA!