Spring 2018 LAN was goood

The weather this weekend was pure shit.  rain, then snow, then rain, then snow, then a lot of snow and all shit until late today.

We played all day Friday and Saturday and I think my eyes bled while I slept fitfully last night with the retinal burn.   Here’s what we got in on.

Zandorum Doom 2: both Free for All and vs the Monsters.  If you are an FPS player and haven’t played doom multiplayer to see just how fast an FPS can (and probably should) be, play Doom 2!  However, all the tricky giant maps with all the key searching was fucking annoying when playing with 5+ people.  Getting lost in Doom isn’t so bad because you rocket through the level, but when there’s a hidden door that leads to the other 50% of a level where everyone else is at, and you can’t find the fucking thing even with the map, it’s real annoying.

Quake Super8.  Maurice!Bastard got the multiplayer working with this excellent visual mod for Quake.  This one looks THE BEST and closest to my favorite Quake renderer:  Verite Quake, built specifically for the Verite video card.

Unreal Tournament 4:  This was the most balanced deathmatch that we played.  I had a ton of fun with this and it worked very well for the LAN, which is a rarity with new FPS games which are nearly all anti-LAN (Quake Champions for example) and take forever to get from one map to the next so players can get their ‘prizes for playing.’  This is most of a UT game, basically the team that was working on it went to go work on fortnight and it may never be worked on again.  Remember what happened to UT3 after Gears of War came out…

Quake 3: While far more balanced than Quake, I still like the original Quake better.  Q3 is super tight deathmatch though.

PUBG and the goddamn pubg event.  There was an event this weekend where you could drop into a small area of the first pubg map with a group of 10 players and fight until a certain number of kills were scored by a team.  While it gave a chance to use a bunch of weapons and constantly fight.  It was pretty frustrating most of the time.

Company of Heroes.  This was the only RTS we played and since people had seen me on steam playing PA:Titans, that was a no go.  People were OVER concerned at my skill at COH as well and it became obvious only after I was soundly beaten in a 3 vs 1 game.  This isn’t a super hardcore RTS and is pretty n00b friendly with the pacing and defensive nature of the game, so good for the LAN.  I really expected to be playing Dawn of War 3 instead of this but man– what happened to that game? Aesthetically awesome, but the gameplay was trash.

There was a mess of video captured during the proceedings, so I’ll get some posted as soon as possible for your viewing pleasure.  mraak.

Quake haiku 1997

Man oh man I submitted these over 20 years ago and found them again on accident during the LAN.  Reposted again with some notations and context.

– I hook far above,
– Dark shaft in House of Chthon.
– Ride the lift for me!
—- littlemute[WM]

There is a single lift to get from the bottom level to the top level in the map the House of Cthon.  If the server has the grappling hook, the level becomes a contest on who can get the rocket launcher and sit at the very top of the lift (where you cannot be hit from either level unless directly below) and just camp for frags the whole time.  Great stuff.

– Server a chat-room!
– My macros end the babble,
– I am nuked again.
—- littlemute[WM]

The thing that quake also did was have an easy way to chat with other people in real time.  This was not something that was all that easy to do in 1996, so people would use the quake server as a place to chat with each other rather than play.  You could bind keys to macros and spam them over and over and over (they fixed this in later versions of the game) which would lead either to a denial of service attack from someone else or getting booted from the server.

– Lava-less level,
– The shame of negative frags.
– Reconnect again.
—- littlemute[WM]

You could reconnect to the server to instantly reset your score to zero.  Pretty useless unless you are at negative frags….

from: https://www.quakewiki.net/archives/que/haiku/97-07.htm

Losing stuff with ideas in it !

Well, I found my notebook with my FASERIP BPRD notes in it in my daughter’s room after a few weeks of looking and even starting over in another notebook! I have a lot of notebooks and they have random ideas in them all over the place. I realize that most of them are places of dead roads that nothing will come out of except the fervent act of creation itself in the moment and that’s just dandy, but sometimes I have stuff written down that I aim to do things with, like finish a LotFP module the cartography of which ALSO was in the lost notebook! (one demand I have of my non work notebooks is that they are all graph paper). So now I need to finish off the maps and get this thing done.

Another issue is playtesting. I’ve had the thing read over by a few people and it’s been playtested once in 5E, but I haven’t done it, mainly because my roll20 group does not generally like the character thresher that is LotFP. It’s something I gotta do. It’s not a long adventure: 3-4 set pieces and some ‘connective tissue’ between if the characters take the bait.

This points to an organizational issue of keeping everything straight paper wise when you run and play 5-6 different RPG’s in a given year (13th Age, Into the Odd, lotFP, Mythras, FASERIP and Dungeon Crawl Classics in 2017). What I’ve started doing after my ‘trapper keeper’ idea sorta failed (it got filled with stuff from all sorts of games and it’s a fuckin mess) is get one of those zipper folders and put all of the crap for that game you are running inside. It has to be totally self contained except for the rulebook (which shit for most games you don’t even need if you’ve played enough), but if you have a small rulebook like the LotFP or Into the Odd books, throw it in there too. So, that’s all character sheets, the module, any previous module the characters have run through (trust me on that one, you’ll need it),  and all session notes. The key is to have EVERYTHING there, even if you have to throw a 95% empty notebook in there (what are they? 2$?), it’s worth it so you can grab and go even if it has been years since the last time you’ve run it.

Zipper thingy with the Kid’s campaign modules and notes, cat.

Confrontation Kickstarter in April

While I was looking for easy ways to fix a Succubus Golgoth busted off her base from AT-43, I found this little surprise out on the interweb tubes.

Note the word “CLASSIC” which likely means 3.5 Conf. and not the AT-43 based version that came out with the plastics.

Not much other information is out there, we’ll have to wait and see with April right around the corner here.

MAAAAT 2018

Today was maat’s birthday.  We played a bunch of games at 42 Alehouse last night (well, 3) including a massive 6 player game of RISING SUN which was chaos incarnate.

Then we busted out the STUDY IN EMERALD and it was pure gold. The first game was a grind with two restorationists and three loyalists, but the second game saw Cthulhu destroy London, destroying all of Shawn’s agents and ending the game (as he was a restorationist), and yet he still won on points!  Pure gold.

We love you matt even though you take too long to take your damn turns.

Films of the 2018 ski trip

We went skiing in Oregon in February.  At night we played RPG’s and a few board games and watched terrible, terrible movies.   Steve managed to bring some DVD’s filled with some of the worst films in the scifi genre in addition to the ‘Miami boob’ DVD’s that must have graced skinimax back in the day.  Here’s what we watched and the average grade for each.

Raiders of Atlantis
Rating:  C

I liked this movie, despite it being, you know, terrible.  It had some Italians that pretended to be in Miami and Atlantis rose up out of the ocean to unleash some sort of human control mechanism that gave rise to a biker gang that attacked everyone with silly go cart things.   This is sort of an island mad max with aliens and shit.  The Italian actress in here (Gioia Scola) is a looker.

Robo Vampire
Rating: F+

Unwatchable.

Horror High
Rating: F

Unwatchable

Galaxina
Rating: C

An interesting sci fi movie that a couple people really liked. The android lady is played by a beautiful woman who was murdered just as her career was getting rolling (the movie Star 80 was based on her life and murder). Overall I thought this was poorly paced and overacted, yet with some interesting parts. The space ship designs were cool.

Deadly Prey
Rating: D

This is a ridiculous film, with almost all scenes taking place within a few hundred yards off a road somewhere in California. People may enjoy this for the comedy of it, because it does take itself so seriously, it’s hard not to laugh. There were some good fight scenes here and there, but overall this was pretty boring.

Hard Ticket to Hawaii
Rating: C

This film has the famous scene where the skateboarder with a fuck-doll and a shotgun gets blown up by a rocket launcher. Let me tell you that it is the best scene in the film and the rest is pretty forgettable. I like boobs and this has a lot of them often, but it’s just not enough, even compared to some of the other Andy Sidaris films we suffered through. The concept of taking playboy and penthouse actresses and throwing them headlong into films like this I do appreciate and approve of. You could strike gold: look at Marilyn Chambers in Rabid— despite her ‘park a couple of mac trucks in there vag,’ she was a descent actress.

The Eliminators
Rating: C

Well shit this has Security officer Natasha Yar from Star Trek the next generation. She gets her WHITE tanktop wet while nearly drowning inside a crashed airplane too. Otherwise this is a strange cyborg movie that has a few solid scenes, including a very comical bar fight that ends up being highly entertaining. I could barely sit through this one, but it’s not unwatchable. The pursuit of the ‘heroes’ by a pissed off lesbian boat tour captain was the highlight for me.

The Dungeonmaster
Rating: D+

I don’t know about the other guys, but this movie is one I wished I hadn’t watched. Sure it has Bull from night court and he does a hammy good job, but overall a lot of the vignettes are trash. Generally disappointing, but has some funny parts. It has WASP playing a song in it. Great.

Rolling Vengance
Rating: C-

This is some sort of coming of age film for a young truck driver in a truck driver family in Ohio that runs afoul of some hillbillies that end up killing accidentally then on purpose his entire family, and then they rape his girlfriend outside his barn. He gets revenge by running them all over with a monster truck with the help of the local police. Fucksakes.

Hands of Steel
Rating: D+

This is a near-future cyborg movie from 1986. The plot isn’t that bad: a critical anti-pollution activist is nearly killed by a mind-wiped cyborg that botches the assassination on purpose and escapes. Yet, the critical scene is an arm wrestling one so you can imagine where this ends up.

HUNDRA
Rating: C (I rated it higher!)

This is my favorite film from the ski trip and one I want to force others to watch as soon as possible, especially women. Hundra is a full bore warrior woman of a tribe of women who only need men to mate with and make more women! She has to confront some VERY hard choices when things go wrong for her tribe and while this starts out just like Conan the Barbarian, it soon takes a very strange and incredible turn when Hundra goes to see a seer who tells her things she does not want to hear. Laurene Landon is awesome. Absolutely recommended.

Prisoner 984
Rating: D-

Unwatchable.

There were a couple more I’ll throw up onto another post.

March 2018: I loathe most of the top 10 games on BoardGamegeek

Boardgamegeek has a ranking of games that’s been around for a long time.  During living memory, Twilight Struggle has been the top game with the usual suspects filling out the other slots (Brass, Agricola, Power Grid, Caylus, etc.).

I had a peek at the top 10 games today and of the games I’ve played or know enough about, all of them are absolutely terrible.  Not only that, Cosmic Encounter has dropped out of the top 100 games which indicates to me that something has gone very, very wrong with the BGG algorithm (all of the top 10 games are from 2012 or later except for one).

1: Gloomhaven

This solves a problem for many gamers without game masters to play a real RPG or to avoid continuing to play with a group’s really awful GM, but after two excruciating plays of this, I can say I hated every moment of this game, from the set up to the leveling up to the combat.  Like Mage Knight, everything about this one stinks.

FAR Better games:  Descent, The Others, Massive Darkness, Dead of Winter, Heroquest, Advanced Heroquest, Talisman

2: Pandemic Legacy: Season 1

Legacy games (where the game changes forever as you play) are great fun, Pandemic is not.  What Pandemic is, unfortunately, is a solo game where one player plays against the board like CHAINSAW WARRIOR, except it pretends to be coop instead of like CHAINSAW WARRIOR, it’s supposed to be solo.  All the other players are not only superfluous, but hamper attempts to win the game.   Needless to say, Pandemic is the ultimate quarterbacker game.  No thank you.

FAR better games:  The Others, Dead of Winter, Descent, A Study in Emerald

3: Through the Ages

Never played, can’t comment.

4: Twilight Struggle

This is a good game, but it’s 2 player and a bit programmed.  I’ve only played it once and while I would play it again, the subject matter isn’t all that interesting to me.  I was surprised this stayed on the top of the pack for so long, and I’m surprised it’s number 4 at this point.

Somewhat better games: MTG, Pokemon CCG, Seasons, Advanced Squad Leader

5:  Terraforming Mars

Never played, can’t comment

6: Star Wars: Rebellion

This is a lot like Twilight Struggle and is probably a good 2 player game.  I watched a multiplayer game being played though and it looked painful to me.  Very painful.  It was simply a quarterback on both sides and one of the players on each side were not needed at all, and they knew it.

Better games:  Pericles, Eclipse, Fief, All the Quartermaster General games.

7: Terra Mystica

Played this once and out of my mouth came ‘never again.’  This is like an accountants Fantasy Empire game, a game that is so dry in play that it’s akin to getting an I.V. of gin for a few hours, or a gin suppository.   This is by far the worst game in the top 10. So dry, so tedious, so boring.

Way better games: everything else in the top 300 games on BGG is better than this and probably a few hundred games sub 300 as well.

8: Scythe

Another game I’ve had to sit through a few times in mental pain and anguish.  This looks like a Euro/Ameritrash mash up, but it’s not AT ALL.  It is a garbage euro with nice pieces and cool art.  I know a lot of people that talk about how they love this game, but then does it hit the table?  Very rarely because it’s just not very good.  This company’s previous game (Euphoria) is pretty solid, so I don’t know why they went so wrong with this one.  There’s just so little interaction for what this game looks like, it’s sad.

Better Games:  Eclipse, Nexus Ops, Blood Rage, Rising Sun, Fief, Struggle of Empires and even Twilight Imperium 2nd edition, Caylus, many others.

9: Great Western Trail

Haven’t played, can’t comment.  I want to play this one though!

10: 7 Wonders Duel

Another 2 player game in the top 10.  This is a good game, fun, fast to play but with a really messy and confusing set up.  Is this the 10th best board game every made?  Nope.   I can see why this one ranks high though.

Slightly better games:  Netrunner, MTG, Seasons

I bet we see only games released in the last 5 years in the top 10 going forward because I think that’s what the algorithm is built off of.

Garycon 2018

Always a fun, mellow con where you can get food and drink no problem, from where ever you are in the Hotel.  We showed up on Saturday only and hit the board game library and then commenced to playing DCC until my kids nearly fell asleep at the table.   This is one Convention where you can just basically show up and fairly easily get into games.

This con is getting … bigger.  We’ll have to see how long it remains at the Grand Geneva which itself is huge– I think it would not be as unique or fun if it moved.  Hopefully it stays a smallish/medium con in the next few years and doesn’t approach the monstrosity that Gencon has become.  However, if you want to experience what GENCON was like in the early years– Gary Con is definitely it.

The GM’s view running People of the PIT!