Archive for December, 2017

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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