Welp, nutso time, game time

Here we are in a global pandemic with no end in sight (yet) outside of China, everything is locked down for the most part. Who would have thought?

People are going to stay at home and wait to see if they get sick then furtively go out to places they have to and then wait to see if they get sick. Luckily for humanity itself, many people are immune (or, based on projections before quarantine, all of Wuhan would have gotten infected: which it didn’t).

Here are some articles that have helped me put things into perspective. I freaked out about a month ago when I myself had a cold with some shortness of breath and cough. I’m sure it wasn’t corona… except….i’m around kids a lot, I was at a couple chess tournaments with some very rich (ie: world travelling) people and tons of kids…scouts, etc.

First is the Levitt article. This one, when things looked REALLY bad, was an important analysis and remains so today. What he says about the media and many other viral experts is dead on and of course, those same experts can’t rescind because they’d have terrible egg on their faces if their projections are totally wrong. Remember when this was written (well over a month ago) and put it in context. He was doing analysis when his friends in China were very scared and hit the numbers almost exactly, which is really crazy if you think about it: here is his Slowdown article

Levitt’s data analysis in detail. This is a more recent PDF of his findings. One thing that really helps if you are having anxiety about this– look at the data rather than the news. The 80% infection rates with 3.4% death rate that the media has been reporting and leaders are quoting is criminal. Of course, no one but total idiot trumpers are discounting that this is dangerous and action must be taken but the other extreme is just as bad.

Already spread everywhere article. This is basically saying, before you have your first TESTED death of corona, it’s already spread everywhere as 40% of people that get it (which is probably less than 10-5% of people in a population anyway) don’t show symptoms at all. So shutting down everything isn’t really going to do much– though social distancing, hand washing, masks, in some cases like when you are sick, will.

Japan’s data. Japan is the most crowded yet ultra-modern society on the planet. Their applied technology is likely second to none and the people are happy and care about each other. They know they live in a place with terrifying natural disasters which can also fall quickly into famine and were the only country so far that has been nuked (ok, Ukraine got nuked too, but differently). I’m very interested to see how this plays out there. If the ‘already spread’ article is accurate, then there’s a massive amount of people there that have been exposed, and few deaths because of it so far.

Everything is crazy and the challenge here will be to stave off boredom at home (and starvation if you are workers in types of work that cannot work from home or aren’t salaried) and that leaves LOTS of indoor games to be played, including, of course, le video games.

What I’ve been playing.

Stellaris

This game is a fucking beast with so much crap to keep track of. I never thought after playing it for a couple hours that I would be able to stand the pace, but it has grown on me a lot and I dare say I’m starting to love it. I have played it many, many more hours than the newMOO and the other MOO clones, though not even close to MOO1…

The main thing is to just focus on a few planets as research only planets and have the rest of them support those two, then bust out onto the scene with terrifying ships. The economy in this one can be really hard to balance out and it’s very different than MOO with the wars vs normal opponents (you can’t just wipe them out) so be warned.

Torchlight 2

We have been hammering away at the best ARPG ever made (you know, because diablo 3 is a total failure) on the LAN and online. It’s a great game and totally stands the test of time. I just wish there had been an expansion to this with a couple more character classes to the base game. Someday, we may get a comparable torchlight 3. We’ll see about that shit.

BRUTAL DOOM

Playing this with my son is awesome, the pixelated gore is just incredible to witness and everything looks so good. I think he will get used to the pace compared to the slow-ass Fortnite that he’s used to. Where it all began.

Board Games

DungeonQuest

This is my son’s favorite game and it’s awesome, random and has tons of cards. Dying on turn 2 is great, making it to the dragon and dying is great. Making it out of the dungeon and winning with a mere 50 gold is great. It’s just a really fun experience every time: a dice with death where your choices matter but…. then they don’t at all. You can get ground down by the dungeon or instantly get killed or skip through the dungeon like it’s a field of daisies with no problems at all with all the treasure you can carry.

The quest for El Dorado

This is a deck builder race game by Knizia. Excellent, tight and fun with the different board set ups. This has grown on me every time I’ve played it. I think about the expansion and then realize that Knizia’s stuff almost never needs an expansion and forgo the thought.

COSMIC ENCOUNTER

Cosmic is one of the few games my whole family will get in on. This is really the crown jewel of social interaction games. Sure there’s a bunch of mechanics and you need to make sure that you keep the number of expansions you use very low or it becomes overwhelming. Cosmic is the art of the deal in space war format. I’ve got every expansion of course, an while it is fun to have so many, lots of them are just not that useful for casual play. When we play I just cut out all the red lantern aliens and most of the yellows and totally it’s fine. 100 or so aliens for this game is PLENTY so that you never have the same game twice and have good variety.

So stay home (for a bit), wash your hands and do some gaming.

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