New Samurai Shodown character!

And we are on to season 2 DLC for Samurai Shodown. This is a NEW NEW character, not just one of the old ones coming back and it’s a bit odd. I’ve been happy with the choices so far, despite the last set of characters getting too into the waifu region, especially with Iroha.

So this guy is a knight. He unlocks tomorrow so I haven’t gotten a game with him yet, but will as soon as possible. Unlike samurai swords, the European longsword is much more of a club you can stab with. Extremely well made (never discount the Europeans for their steel forging– they were amazing) but not really for cutting bodies in any subtle way, Knights would brute their way in combat, using the pommel, punching and using the heavy sword as a club mostly vs other armored enemies. With that, I’m curious how this guy fights.

While I would like to see many of the old characters come back (Sieger, Gen-An, Caffeine Nicotine, etc.), Darli Dagger was brand new to the series and she has grown on me a ton– a big-hit female character in games is pretty rare!

Dead CCG update, 2020

The 90’s CCG splooge brought many terrible games trying to cash in on MTG’s success. Out of the cascade of dreck came a few good games– some of which are supported to this day. I think I did this a few years ago where I went through the status of some of my favorites. The genre of multiplayer CCG’s is long dead as evident by Fantasy Flight (FFG) making Legends of the Five Rings two player only… bah!

Let’s start with the bad news:

Shadowfist

Shadowfist’s new kickstarter was supposed to start in Spring 2020. We have four days left until Summer and based on shadowfist.com and the reddit group, there have been no updates at all since Fall of 2019. This one may stay dead, which is sad because as a multiplayer CCG, it is the absolute best, including the theme.

Blood Wars

This sucked 2 player, but was significantly better multiplayer. I just check from time to time if anyone is going to rehash it from the dead as the subject matter is pretty excellent. Nope, still dead. Don’t discount this one if you find it for cheap.

Good news…

Jyhad / Vampire the Eternal Struggle

Garfield’s multiplayer masterpiece is set for a reboot (again). It’s amazing how this thing keeps going as post-Jyhad it descended into a complete mess of a game with horrifying degeneracy. It is quite fun with the right group and they are keeping this one going!

On The Edge

This is one of the pre-cursors to Shadowfist and is notable as it’s likely the only William S. Burrough’s inspired card game (or board game for that matter). Perfectly encapsulates the conspiracy-fanatic 90’s to a T and with my favorite CCG card ever made, this game is only sort of dead. A guy from Wisconsin put out a custom set of cards with permission of the original designers– which is really cool.

Netrunner

This game died, came back in force, died again, sadly as FFG had a great model and great support. This is the only 2 player game on this list. It was fun, but for me it’s been eclipsed by Keyforge because I can reach into a box, pull out an unopened deck and be taken for a ride for 4-10 games with people that have done the same. That said, this game is being kept alive by it’s fans, which is really confusing as apparently the license was in dispute between FFG and WOTC. It’s called the NISEI project and will probably continue for awhile until the people that run it realize it’s a LOT of work and no money– and there’s always the possibility that WOTC or whoever will totally reboot the game at some point, making all your fan expansions moot.

FUCK YES.

Rage

This is never going to come back as it was a fun, but not very good game compared to the others on this list. This is one we have to get some plays in at some point to verify the above sentence.

Good Sleeves

Usually I buy good sleeves for my CCG or TCG cards and shit ones for my board games… If I am going to sleeve a deck, that means it’s been played a few times at least and I’m pretty satisfied with the build. Or, if it’s Keyforge, it’s been in the top 2 in one of our home tournaments or just has an awesome name which is half the reason to play a deck. In searching for really good sleeves, I found these: Ryker clear matte. Seem normal right? Nope. They have a slippery side and a rough side which I had never seen before. The face of the card goes on the smooth side and you can tell easily if cards are on the wrong side when you shuffle due to the rough side. For Keyforge, you can face your ‘home’ card making it very easy to find if you shffle it into your deck just by FEELS. Highly recommended.

Cthulhu presidential campaign gets a new slogan!

Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn. Cthulhu has been using “Why settle for the lesser evil” since the DOLE vs CLINTON campaign in 1996. But not it’s moved on (owing to maybe Cthulhu may not be the lesser evil?) in 2016 to the even more more appropriate for 2020: NO LIVES MATTER. Let’s see if he can win this time.

Huzzah!

Cosmic Encounter Duel is out!

I have no idea how this plays, but am very curious. I don’t play a ton of 2-player games, preferring the 3+ for most of my board gaming, but of course, it has to be purchase because it’s Cosmic Encounter.

I LOVE the titles on the ‘attack’ cards (a few listed above). They should put that into every new version of Cosmic from now on.

More info.

Since all the cons are cancelled, it opens up ops for new cons

Like I said in a previous post about Gencon cancelling, this opens the door for new cons to spring up that are more nimble and maybe actually looking at the C-19 data from the CDC? And here is the first– Appleton, WI. Not sure on the date– will be based on the virus (a non factor pretty soon here it looks like) and local ordinances for health and safety. Get that cash up inside there! Thanks for the tip off SHINE.

Blood Machines – yep

This is a film of note, not because of story or dialog, but because of visuals, sound and ship design. This has spoilers, which does not matter because it’s the experience of watching what happens rather than what actually happens.

The characters are two guys —some sort of space scavengers (Vascan and Lago), one young, one old, and their ship which is a female AI (Tracy) that that apparently at least one of the guys has sex with. The AI doesn’t always let them do what they want (this doesn’t have a ton of explanation) and there is an admiral or something like that who is on a larger mothership that is giving them their orders.

The ship design is absolutely top drawer.

These scavengers shoot down a space ship that crashes on a planet. They have their ship land on the planet and the young one gets out of the ship to start retrieval and is confronted with some amazonian style women. The old man has a heart problem and is reluctantly saved by the ship’s medical system. The guy on the planet fights the amazons and the women get the drop on him and start some ritual on the destroyed ship that releases a naked woman with a glowing downside cross on her stomach and crotch regions who flies off into space. The scavengers escape the planet after capturing one of the amazons, and they follow the naked woman who flies off into space and heads into a strange warp. This leads to a spaceship grave-yard with some massive space ship/death star thing in the middle of it which the naked lady heads for and goes inside. The scavengers land on the planetoid and the young guy heads inside with the amazonian. He finds a room with the naked lady and the amazonian gets the drop on him in a strange sex scene (the only one in the film and it’s fully clothed the whole time) and kills him. Then a clone of the young guy goes back to the ship and tells the Admiral to come to where they are as soon as possible to capture this entity. This kills the old man member of the crew who has a heart attack after realizing that the young guy is a clone. The clone blows his own head off with a laser weapon. The admiral shows up and the amazonian woman puts on a glowing gas mask and conjures up a PILE of naked women ghosts from ALL the ships in the spaceship graveyard who then attack the admirals ship with pieces of their ships. The admiral’s ship is sucked into the planetoid and the whole mess morphs into, you guessed it, a GIANT NAKED WOMAN. The amazonian goes back to the scavenger’s ship and does something to the old man that died of a heard attack so he wakes up with glowing eyes. The other guy wakes up INSIDE the giant space woman trapped in her flesh. The end.

This film was made for about 100K and while it has issues with plot, dialog, some pacing problems it is undeniably visionary and really one huge horny trip out Flash Gordonesque music video for 50 minutes.

There are a lot of interesting shots and sequences in this film but my favorite one of them is where a ‘sun’ is rising over the ass cheek of the naked ghost girl like the beginning of G-force or any other sci fi film you’ve ever seen. I just laughed outloud at this. 50 minutes, recommended.

Will Gencon’s cancellation open the way for local summer cons?

Gencon just announced it’s cancellation, while at the same time scout camps are firing up and kids will be at camp in a couple weeks across the country- outdoor events in contrast to a major indoor one mostly in closed rooms with recycled air. What Gencon likely doesn’t want is to have a super-spreader event, however unlikely that is during the middle of summer, and have everyone go home and spread it around– a lot like what happens with Con Crud. Again, very unlikely, but I can see why they cancelled it. Indoors, people pressed together, people talking and yelling and getting real close. Sucks, but here we are. Gives me an excuse to finally not go after going since 1994 every…. single… time and instead stay home and game with almost the same friends that I game with at Gencon anyway. I will REALLY miss the auction though… fuck.

That said, a lot has changed in the last couple months and a lot will change in June and July. You have extremes of people who say they will never go to a bar again in 2020 and stay at home until 2021, i.e.:, the bed wetters, and others that are already out at the bars partying and going to underground speakeasy’s and secret restaurants, i.e.: the ‘get it in my body herd immunity folks’. We’ll have to see which extreme ages the best. Most will choose the middle ground, stick to small gatherings, look at the local situation and wait a bit.

What they thought would happen.
What actually happened.

My question is, will the cancellation of Gencon open the way for local cons at the same time to step up and fill the gape? They would have to be set up very quickly and frankly for the group of people most effected by the panic even more than your typical facebook Karen– nerds that are on the computers all day long with the horror of bringing every named death, every celebrity infection, every horrifying hospital and morgue story, every panic porn story about kids dying at age 9 (which was debunked, the woman was actually 94) right at their finger tips at any moment.

I’m hesitant to say yes. I think there will be small cons, maybe a beer stand, some tables at a game store an some stuff in the parking lot. There likely won’t be anything on campuses as they will sadly be closed most of the summer (and many won’t ever reopen anyway as they’ll be out of business), but it’s possible that in some places people set up conventions, especially down south where they are drinking a whole bottle of ‘I don’t give a fuck.’ If they do happen, and people divert this year to these cons, they may just continue to do so?

Would it be the year to bring Gencon back to Lake Geneva? Maybe as an all outdoor event in the summer heat? Maybe have age and health screenings in order to be able to go to any group events? You have to be under 40 and fit– and this isn’t really the demographic unfortunately– but FAR more so than when I went to gencon in the late 80’s/ early 90’s. You can’t age or health stratify any event, from sports to cons or even going to the grocery store. For liability: if you have the event and keep certain people out:litigation!, or if you have the event and someone gets sick: litigation!, all events will likely be cancelled regardless of the progress of the virus itself.