Author Archive

The Kingdom Death: Monster boardgame burst onto the gaming scene in 2013.  The second Kickstarter, which took in $12 million, finally ended the availability problem.  One of my friends was able to get a copy last month and we have given it a pretty good look.

It is a heavy, and it’s all the rage, but there is also a curious backlash against it.  The gaming elite sometimes push against it, but mostly ignore it, so it’s not included in the mainstream discussion.

However those who do play it are quite passionate.  There is a good bit of content if you choose to find it, although by the games very nature you may not want to do that as a key part of the game is surprise and figuring out how to overcome the challenges.

We’ve played 3 or 4 times and I get the appeal of the game, even if we are poor players.

It’s a survival crafting game.    Here is the official description:  ‘Cooperative board game set in a nightmare-horror world. Fight for your life, scavenge, craft, and band together to survive. ‘

You start out with nothing; and have to fight always more difficult creatures using materials gathered from the previous kills to craft ever better items.

I think part of the push against it is the raw horrible nature of the game and it’s graphic presentation.  I suppose some would even find it offensive.

I just really enjoy it.  Our settlement is almost wiped out, however, and we can’t seem to figure out how to succeed.  We’ve lost over half of our population, and it’s only year 4.

If I were to have a complaint, it would be that the game is slightly too luck driven.  Even the most brilliant strategy can fail with a bad draw or roll.  A series of bad draws and rolls can lead to an eventual, inevitable wipe.   It’s not fair at all, and is realistic in that way, I suppose.  Perhaps later luck plays less of a role, but for us, bad luck has been devastating.

The best part of the game is the AI system.  The actions of the creatures are determined by a sort of programming deck that is created, and it’s pretty varied and interesting.  So the more you play, the more you can predict what the creature might do, and then you can out think it, which is actually like life, where experience counts so much.

Overall I find the game to be a refreshing change, although I am thinking frustration will lead us to move on before too long.

 

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Brandon Sanderson is my favorite author.

I have read a bunch of his stuff.  However, the Stormlight Archive has been out of reach for me.

Three or four times I have started reading the first book, The Way of Kings.  Each time I puttered out, overwhelmed, frankly, with the huge number of people, places, and pages.

It’s just a very intimidating book.  It’s 1000 pages or so, the first of 10 novels.  10!  This is his magna opus, a task requiring 20 years, and I want in.

So my first New Year’s resolution (I love New Year’s resolutions!!) is to read this first book.  And I started early.  As of this writing, I’m 19% through.

I’m doing a few things differently this time.

First, I am reading the summary of each chapter after I finish them.  I do this each morning.  This is really helping me!  All the important names are in this summary, and finally, after a couple hundred pages, the names are starting to repeat.

Second, I have a three copies of the map, above, printed out and set where I do most of my reading.  When a location is announced, such as the Shattered Plains, I find it on the map.  This is also really helping me!  I ordered a poster sized map, and will be hanging it up on the wall.

Third, I am determined to break the habit of only reading right before bed.  I need to read throughout the day.  The chapter lengths are very good for me; each one is 20ish minutes or so, that’s about my current attention span.

Fourth, I have the Graphic Audio version of the first part of the first book.  It was expensive.  I love these guys and try to get them money so that they do not go away.  But they make it hard.  5 parts for the first book!  So expensive.  $149 for the first two books.  On the other hand, that’s 74 hours of content!  WOW!  I might do it.  I have listened to the Mistborn books this way a few times, I just really enjoy them.  If they put them on sale, I will probably do it.

So far, I am really enjoying the book, and when a name comes up that I don’t remember, I stop reading and go look it up.  I’m not going to get lost in this book this time.  Fortunately, the fan base for this series is massive, and the content about it is astonishing.  There is no issue finding out anything about the book that I am confused about.  Sometimes this can lead to a spoiler, but for me it’s a necessary evil as the alternative is I will get lost and then put the book down.  Not this time!

I’m pretty excited about this first New Year’s resolution.

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It’s been a good year for us.  There is much to be thankful for:

  1.  My parents coming for Thanksgiving.
  2. A good, well paying job with excellent benefits, great co-workers and a good manager.
  3. A nice house
  4. Wonderful family life.  Our last full year with Paige before she heads off to college.  Big changes coming, today I need to just enjoy while all four of us are here.
  5. Plentiful friends.
  6. We are all healthy and happy

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I live in Pasadena, TX, and the Texas Renaissance Festival is a couple of hours away.   We usually go once per year, although sometimes twice.

We like to make it into an event.  This year we stayed at La Torretta resort, which is close to the Faire.

We arrived on Friday night and I was impressed with the resort.

Here we are at the dinner place, which was ok but overpriced.  The weaked part of the resort.

Draco recorded a bunch of stuff, I wonder if we will ever see the footage.  Here he is threatening me with his camcorder.  I like this guy.

Gandalf inquired and we found out there is a fantastic room which we essentially hijacked for ourselves.  Boy it was perfect.

A fun game called Elixir.  We played games until past midnight on Friday, it was really wonderful.

The next day we actually went to the faire.  We’ve been so many times, nobody cares about actually seeing anything, it’s about hanging out.  Here we are about to throw some axes.

A shot of Patti and me.  It’s blurry, but the only one we got of us.

A toast to friendship with some hot mold wine.

Knife game.

A very good Gandalf the white!

 

A cool new dragon, I don’t remember seeing this before.  It was cool.

I was able to get my axe in a star!  Nice.

Saturday night was more games, I got to play Xwing with Alex, and it was very fun.  He beat me pretty bad.  Was fun, my IG-88s will be back.

Sunday morning we played some disc golf.  It was a perfect course.  So nice, it was cool and just was so much fun.

Overall it was one of those weekends that will be remembered forever.  It was so great.  I’m very lucky to have friends such as these.  We’ve traveled with them before with great success, and maybe a Star Wars Disney 2020 trip is a good thing to plan with them.

 

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I was finally for the first time able to hit one million DPS on a boss battle.

Our weekly casual raids are great, part of the reason being that my daughter is also having a great time there with me.

These raids aren’t about damage meters, but everyone is looking all the time anyway.  LOL.  So here is the pic just after the boss died, and me sitting at the top.  Yippie!!!

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Last night we had quite a lovely feast with the family before our game night.

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The past three Fridays have been really fun with this new guild I joined.  It’s pretty casual and that’s just how I like it.  It’s full of old people, of which I am one, and I have to admit, sometimes it is nice to be around people my own age in this game full of young people.  It’s not that I don’t like young people.   I do.  However it’s nice to have a few people around who have used a VHS player before.

They use Mumble, and stubbornly so.  It’s a Discord world, but after using Mumble for a while I have to admit it works pretty well.

Anyway, we’ve been doing Nighthold for three weeks in a row and my daughter has joined us for two of those.

As a shadow priest, my DPS is frustrating.  My AOE is basically non-existant and so I suffer with my contribution in everything except boss fights.  I can dish in boss fights, though, but for any trash I just am at the bottom of the meter.

But the group doesn’t call anyone out for anything; dps, stepping in goo, adds, and I really like that.  Because we only have done normal, that’s really fine.  If we do heroic, as discussed by our raid leader, I think that we will have problems.  I’d rather just do normal all the time, but we’ll see.  I just want to see the fights, that’s all.  I’m so new that it isn’t for me to offer my opinion.  I will follow.

Here are a few pictures.

First pic is the Astromancer!  WHAT A FUN FIGHT!  He is soooo cool.  Love the places he takes us, the stuff he says.  An inspired design.

This next one is us on break.  I aggroed here the first time out, and it was a little messy, but nobody gave me crap.

Here we are facing Gul’dan.  I like this one because I play Gul’dan in Heroes of the Storm so it’s fun to face him here.

Vanity pic.  My DPS on the Gul’dan fight.  #2.  I will take that position happily!  I just want to pull my weight, and I do on the boss fights if nothing else.  I like that the guild doesn’t call this stuff out, but it’s still nice to see the good numbers.

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I’ve been playing World of Warcraft and really enjoying it.

My shadow priest is not good but I like him.

I can’t do very good damage against trash, but against bosses I can do ok.  Here is one final result against some boss and I was pretty happy.

I joined a guild and it is so far really pretty fun.  I’ve done two raids with them.  Here is a pic of the group.

One of the things I do like about Shadow Priests is the epic weapon.  Mine talks to me, and doesn’t actually say nice things.  Here is what she said to me yesterday:

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Just a pic of Baggy, he’s a great cat.

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We are at Disney Florida.

It's day 2, and since I have been here so many times, I'm really not interested in getting it all done.

I just want to go at a more leisurely pace this time.

Just happy to have the family together for another family trip.

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