Next week the nerdgasm of the year starts and many of my three readers will be there. This year is ALL about the RPG’s with a new big shiny D&D version just out, a new version of Runequest that will be shaking it’s booty all over, a big shiny new book for 13th Age and Exalted….uh…. guess not.
Given the high focus on RPG’s I’m eschewing my normal Shadowfist tournament for playing some Dungeon Crawl Classics and 13th Age. This isn’t due to not loving Shadowfist, but the new version of the game has moved in unfortunate directions, being simply a vanity project for the current developers and their kickstarter backers.
All that aside, I think this will be an awesome time as usual. Most importantly:
I’ve long been a proponent that Ascension is simply an exercise in random card drawing with a random outcome for the winners. We play this a lot on the iphone/ipad and while I could never imagine putting up with the complete mess of cards that this one likely generates (in comparison with the excellent iphone app that cleans all that shit up for you) but, I now have over 210 multiplayer games under my belt and I can say with 100% pseudo-statistical confidence: Ascension is a random game. Your percentage chance of winning any game of Ascension equals 1 (you) divided by the number of players. 3-man games you will win 33% of the time, 4-man games, 25%, etc. I am not a good player, but I’m not a terrible player either, I know what cards are good and will win you the game if grabbed early or grabbed late, but I don’t use any tactics, I don’t watch what other players play and I don’t really pay much attention except to execute a singular deck combo I’ve started at the beginning of a game (like draw lots of cards or kill tons of stuff).I’ve seen a lot of combos, but there are some I certainly have not seen. The fact is, regardless of 100% knowledge of combos, you don’t know if you will have access to those cards that you feel you need to win. That said, let’s look at my stats:
2 player: 42 wins, 44 losses. This is statistically 50%.
3 player: 16 wins, 47 losses: 26% wins. this should be near 33% where 1 out of every 3 games, I win! (yay!).
4 player: 13 wins 59 losses. So here we have it being statistically low at 18% of wins, it should be 25%. I’m thinking if we had a bigger data set (for me) it would even out.
So what I’m going to do in the next few months is try to get good at Ascension– if that’s even possible. Playing with all the cards in the game (on iphone) and actually paying attention to what I’m grabbing, what other people are doing to actually use some tactics.
I’d like to see all stats for all players that have ever played– I think that would be just as telling as the percentages likely match those above. So here we go, I will actively be trying to kick your ass at this point to try to disprove that this is just like a game of War– totally random winning.
I put myself on two weeks away from video games (not non video games, that would be preposterous) and the personal ban ends tonight at midnight. I usually get to play stuff a few hours at night at the most and a bit on the weekends here and there. So what did I accomplish instead? Seems like there would be a huge list right? uhhhh….not really.
1) Reading the Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2nd edition rules and first campaign
2) Reading and prepping for a session with the Atomic Robo RPG beta
3) A game of 40K 2nd edition (!?)
4) Painting 3 bestigor and getting a long way on three more. 20 more after that is still pretty daunting..
5) Finishing Undaunted Courage (biography of Louis of Louis and Clark). It’s great but the end is very sad indeed.
So during the two weeks, what game was I joneseing for the most? the new Xcom was up there– I really wanted to play that more after losing my first campaign game embarassingly. Torchlight 2 of course, but the one I really really wanted to play was Dark Souls…I’m stuck at the Capra Demon– I know HOW to beat him but I just haven’t executed properly to do it yet and this is gnawing at me something fierce!
Now however, look what’s out? Hotline Miami, Blood Bowl Chaos Edition and a Steam version of Conquest of Elysium 3 from Illwinter– all ripe and ready for the nerdery action but Dark Souls is going to be the first taste…
I got something, either some virus or god knows what off the disease bombs that live in my house and expose me to such things. While I was largely comatose until 10AM or so, I got in some hours (feverish, granted) of DARK SOULS; managing to finish off the first real boss and then get killed during an invasion almost instantly afterwards. This is how you do MMO’s frankly. You either join someone’s game to help them or kill them, all the other mucking about in stores and towns and the socialization aspect is left far behind in the chatrooms where it belongs. Fights are very fast, at most a few minutes and many over in seconds (like when I was invaded today). Having trouble with a boss? Call in someone to help. Want to kick som ass? Invade other player’s games. Otherwise the game is fantastic even if you never play it with anyone else–and comes to PC August 28th!
In addition, I spanned some time wandering around the internet and was fully titillated once again by Warlord Games “Bolt Action” by Rick Priestely. While I have a few AT-43 armies and managed to find all my old 2nd edition 40K stuff recently, I’ve never been a big fan of miniatures games with guns, much preferring the huge blocks of sword and board armed models crushing into each other. That said, Bolt Action looks great. The scale looks about what you’d expect for 25mm. ie not an out of control tank swarm game like 40K. A couple tanks, about 30-40 guys and you’re good to go. I will definitely pick the game up when it comes out later this year. But will it ever get played? Who can tell…
Maaaat is in China. I think HE thinks he’s sending a lot of pictures but there have been very few so far. I was waiting for a deluge of them, but it has not come. He was in Shanghai then went up the Yangtze and saw the clay soldiers and the Great Wall, but all I’ve gotten for pics so far are somewhat hazy. Cool but these could be in Maine or actually, the Dells for all that they are discernible.
As of last night I am officially on Xmas vacation. This means GAMING. I got in a game of Agricola and Dreamblade last night with my buddy JP who has the pleasure of having worked quite a large chunk of the last few years on that little game we call Skyrim. I pumped him for information which he was happy to give since the game was OUT– a far cry from last year when we couldn’t get him to say anything about this new ES game.
It looks like we’re going to get in on the most vicious of all games during the off week: Republic of Rome and try out the new fangled (not that it hasn’t been out for awhile) Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 3rd edition. What’s more, a big game of Cosmic Encounter is in the works as well. I promise to post something stupid every day about what ever sort of nerd crap we are all doing. I know I will be trying to plow through my beastmen army, but I started getting an interest again in EPIC 40K and pulled out all that old stuff to give it a painting improvement before hopefully getting in a game. If anyone wants to read a run down of the sad epic (pun intended) of this failed game: read here. It wasn’t because it was not a great design, it was because no one would give it a chance that played the old version.
As for useless and redundant blog posts, I also want to give a run down of 2011’s games that were great and those that were disappointments. We have had the greatest deluge of AAA class titles in human history this Fall, and there just won’t be a year like this for probably another decade.. but I digress. Vacation. Nerdery. Drinking. Yes!