PC & Console games? meh.

I’m a bit gamed out.

I should probably clarify that a little more, I guess.

I’ve entered a ‘meh’ phase on computer games. I used to state that I wouldn’t buy games and leave them to rot, every game I purchased would be played, or at least tried. There are currently 67 games on my steam list. Its a small list when compared to some I guess, but I’ve played (for at least an hour) over ninety percent of the games.

I think my downfall happened when I started getting humble bundles. That said though, I’ve at least tried some of them. I was pleasantly surprised by Deux Ex Human Revolution. Yes it was very much an on-the-rails shooter, but it was enjoyable enough. Thief, on the other hand, I found quite dull. I guess it depends on my mood, but I’m not really a stealth gamer (unless I’m playing fallout).

All that said, though, I’m struggling to find anything that I really want to play at the moment. I’ve several games on the go, but none that scream “Play me! you’ll not realise its 4am, and work is in 4 hours!”

I’ve spent my quota of gaming time on MMO’s (its no secret if you’ve read my older posts) But even they have paled for me. ‘The Secret World’ is one I often return to, if only to run a mission or two before logging off. However, I’ve never really been that interested in the end game. Its a real shame, because I’m finally in a Cabal (guild in any other game) which carries out raids and nightly dungeon runs. I just don’t seem to have the interest that I did before though.

In World of Warcraft, we’d do dungeon runs each night, and Raids twice a week. It just doesnt appeal though at the moment. I think my issue is that there’s no new big MMO, and all the people I historically played with have moved on to other things.

That said though, I’m starting to interact more on other things. Board games, and pen & paper RPG’s have made a resurgence. It’s still a struggle to force myself to leave the house, but if I’m out for work anyway, I can almost trick myself into going.

I think that may be the secret to socializing for me. Tricking my brain into not knowing what I’m doing till I’m there. It’s a good thing my brains stupid. I can get away with murder*.



*not literal murder… honest.

Geeky post! (Boardgames)

You’re probably going to want to skip this post unless you have an interest in board games. I give you permission! you don’t even have to feign interest whilst secretly longing to be hit by a car.

Yesterday was our monthly board game meet up. We meet on the last Sunday of the month. Yesterday I only took a few games along, contrary to my normal practise of filling my bag with games. I took Pandemic (we’d not played in ages) Smash up, Saboteur, Quirkle, and a game of my own design. You can ignore the first four games for now, because I’m going to talk about my game.

Essentially my game is a pathbuilding game, built around circuitboards. It’s gone through a few revisions after some horrible playtests, and come out as something I quite like. I’m sure theres some more revisions to be had, but its played incredibly well with both 2 and 4 players so far, and I’m happy with the overall outcome. My original ruleset allowed players to lay tiles anywhere, and pretty much ended up with people trying to ruin each others circuits, rather than build their own. It also used a board with limited space, meaning that the game could potentially be over very quickly. I’ve moved now though to a card based system, with only the table size as the restriction.

The game played incredibly well yesterday, with the only two comments being “I’m surprised theres not more opportunity to screw people over” (though the term ‘piss in someones well’ may have been used) and “I’m not sure the name is catchy enough.”

Naming the game has been a bit tough. I’ve gone through a few different options in my head. ‘Drained’ ‘Juice’ ‘Out of Juice’ and ‘Bottom Grade Science’ (I quite liked the last one, and went so far as to write up the ruleset/backstory with it in mind).

None of them sat well with the others, and as with anything, it was tough to get a consensus on what made for a good game name. Some liked puns, Others wanted something with a bit of WHAM. Circuit Freak (or something similar) came up, but to me that felt too… I dunno, too in your face?

My original prototype was laser printed on postcards, guillotined down to size, and laminated. So as a result its pretty plain. I’m no graphics designer though, and struggled to come up with something stylized in a manner I was happy with. When I was working on the bottom grade science angle, I decided to use graph paper as a background, and made up my cards with a nice background.

I’ve bitten the bullet today, and ordered a few sets from a prototype games company.

Score-wise I’m torn. To date we’ve just kept score with pen and paper (everyone starts at 100 power, and needs to get down to 0.)

I’ve a nice design for a scorecard, but if each set of cards is only costing a few quid, do I really want to double that to add a scorecard?

I’ve mocked one up, and will try it out at some stage.

Now I just need to learn to program, because in my head this would work equally good as an app!

Board games Board games.

So I think I’ve written before about Board games, and my (not newfound, but refound i guess) love for them.

Recently I’ve been trying to sneak in 2 sessions a month (Yay) and we’ve tried out a few games we’ve not played before. (And I’ve ordered some new ones for myself.

In case anyone ever reads this (and I pretty much doubt that, as I dont advertise) I’m going to list out my games, and thoughts on each. I’ll probably do a follow up post on other games I play, but don’t own.

In order of appearance… (When I bought them…)



There’ve been a million different version (May be exagerating) of Munchkin. We have Star Munchkin,
Super Munchkin, Munchkin foo, and a few other smaller packs. The basics of the game are the same though.

Two decks of cards. Room cards, and Treasure cards. Room cards may be monsters, or they may be traps or modifiers of some kind (Henchmen, boosts to monsters/players etc) Treasure cards tend to be weapons, armour, or similar. The idea is to open a door, fight the monster if its there, take the loot if its not. Fighting monsters (and some loot/treasure cards) cause you to go up a level. The first person to level 10 wins.

Sounds simple? It is. The fun comes in when people start playing off cards against each other, alliances are formed and broken, and its generally a huge chuckle!



Robo rally.

This is a marmite game (You either love it, or hate it). I personally love it. It appeals to the mathematician/programmer that lives in my brain. The robots in a factory got bored, and started playing wargames against each other. The board (theres about 10 different ones) is set up with a series of waypoints, and the robots need to move around the board, navigating to them in order. The board contains dangers likeRoboRally conveyor belts, shunters (things which push robots one square) Pitfalls, and, of course, Lasers. The robots themselves are also armed with Lasers. The clever part though, is how the robots move. Each player is dealt 9 cards for each round. Each round encompasses 5 movement phases. and for each of these 5 movements, you pick a card. Now, the cards are things like Move forward 1, 2 or 3, Turn left/right, Uturn or backup 1. You select your movements in secret, then play through the 5 movements at the same time as everyone else. This ends up with people negatively interacting with other robots/board elements, and throws awesome spanners in the works. As robots get more damage, they’re given less movement cards each turn, eventually locking movements in place, unable to be changed. There are other minor rules too, but this is the basics of the game. Its huge amounts of fun, but gets mixed groans whenever I bring it to the game group.



Small World.smallworld

This game forms a stable part of pretty much every gaming session we play. Its universally loved, almost to the same level as I’m universally ganged up upon when I play it!

The game is limited to a number of rounds (dependant on the number of players) and a specific board is used based upon player numbers. Then each player picks a race (with preset random modifier) and they have to grab as much territory as possible, before decaring that race in decline, and picking a new one. The fun part is with the race abilities, and modifiers. You very rarely get the same modifiers with the same race. So Races that may be awesome one game, could be almost worthless the next. The challenge comes in deciding which to go with.



Castle Panic.castlepanic

I got this one specifically to play with my kids. I wanted something co-operative to play that would mean we could all win, or lose, together. The board shows a series of concentric circles, with 6 towers in the centre, surrounded by walls. Monsters slowly move in from the outside of the board (or quickly if you’re unlucky) and together you must play cards to kill them, before they smash down the walls and destroy your castle. This was fun the first few times, but after a while, it became a little repetitive. I think the problem may have been me though. I’ve found that with most co-op games, as long as one person knows the right tactics to win, the other people just become an extension of their will.



Forbidden Island.ForbiddenIsland

This is another Co-Op game that I bought to play with the kids. Its a random tiled island, and the island slowly sinks. (dependant on cards turned on each players turn) Players are scrambling across the island to flip tiles back to dry land, until they’ve gathered 4 of the right relic cards, enabling them to claim one of the four required relics to win the game. Each player has a different ability that aids them in some way, but again, it suffers a little from the same issue of Castle Panic tactic wise.






Forbidden Desert.ForbiddenDesert

This ones slightly different to Forb. Island, but instead of sinking, the tiles start to fill with Sand. Mechanics for finding the items are also slightly different, and the location for the parts you’re looking from are more random. However, the end result is pretty similar.






Also known to our group as “The Panda game”. Everyone loves the Panda game. This is a tile laying/card playing game. The emperor has been given a panda, and the panda likes to eat bamboo, therefore each of his advisors are vying to keep the panda happy (by feeding him), keep the emperor (by placement of gardens) happy, and keep the gardener happy (by growing bamboo). each card will have an objective on (grow a stack of four pink bamboo, feed the Panda two bits of yellow bamboo, Place three yellow gardens in a straight row). and the winner is the person with the highest point when the end objective has been met.




I’m realising now how long this post is, and that I’m probably going to have to split my list into 2, or 3 posts to stop it being tl:dr.

Still to come:

Dixit, Sabateur, Smash Up, King of Tokyo, Once upon a Time, Gloom, Frag, Fluxx, Hey Thats my fish, Pandemic, Cards against Humanity, Order of the Stick the board game, Munchkin the board game.

Ok, looking at that list, I’m thinking two more posts at least!


When I set out to write something, it very rarely ends up being about what I mean to write about.

In my lunch hour today, I thought I’d write a quick bit on Sportsmanship for my youngest. She loves playing games with me, and really hates losing. We play games like “Hey, thats my Fish”, and “King of Tokyo”. She loves both for different reasons. The first, because you’re a penguin on an ever decreasing ice-flow, which when the iceflow vanishes, she likes to pretend the penguin is eaten by an Orca. We have the app to thank for this, as this is exactly what happens on it :). The second (King of Tokyo) she loves because it features giant monsters attacking Tokyo. She loves making the noises, and is actually pretty good at it. When we first started playing, she’d get very upset when she lost, and we would be careful not to win. There were two problems with that though, the first being that its not teaching a good lesson by letting her win every time, and the second problem is… Well, I’m very competitive.

I struggle with losing on purpose, even to a six year old! Sure, I can do it, and quite often do, but my brain doesn’t like it.

So, anyway, I sat down to write something quickly to explain why its ok not to win, and completely the wrong thing came out!

So, here follows Sportmanship.

The importance of of good sportsmanship
Should never be over-looked,
when playing board games with your friends
(its something on which I’m hooked)

But, though winning isnt everything
Through either skill or luck
Theres really no feeling quite like
stitching someone up.

When playing as Commando Ghouls
In ‘Small World’ any where.
I wouldn’t expect them to stop conquest
and plait each others hair.

In Carccassone, when building towns
or roads, or… anything
I really dont expect a knock
and a voice saying “let me in”.

No, instead it is much funnier
to take a town by force
and add a meeple to a nearby town
and join it up of course.

Nothing compares, in Survive- Escape
to adding to someone’s raft
and sailing it to a monsters mouth
then trying not to laugh.

Or adding plus ten in a Munchkin game
to the level of a monsters score
then when the player equals it
adding at least ten more!

I think, perhaps, I may need help.
or to play a co-op game
I still enjoy them just as much
but it isnt quite the same.

In castle panic, I miss the orcs
and can almost hear them call
leave your tower, come join us
as we march towards the wall.

In Pandemic, its not the research
or medic that I find bold.
I’d rather be the virus’s (virii? virus? whatever)
Thats wiping out the world.

But, I digress. Back to sportsmanship.
I’ve taught it to my Horde
So when I win at anything
They will not flip the board!


Of games, bookshops, and my lack of culture.

Two-ish years ago, Cal introduced me to our local independent bookshop. They ran regular events and she thought I should get out more, (I reckon she just wanted peace and quiet at home).
I looked at the various events they ran, Book groups don’t appeal to me (I guess answering ‘I liked it because it was funny’ isn’t sufficient analysis for some). I don’t knit (I wouldn’t have the patience) Comedy night sounded fun, but the thought of fifty people crammed into a small bookshop made me jittery. Board games though, That appealed.Munchcard1
For some years I’d been playing small games of munchkin with

friends, but the circle of people who would come round to play had shrunk, and family were a bit bored of it now.
I turned up, not sure what to expect, and was quickly drawn into a

game of Carcassonne. (I can’t believe that was in my tablet

dictionary…) I lost atrociously, and introduced them to munchkin. It didn’t go down well, though in hindsight I don’t think we knew each other week enough to staff each other in the back as the game requires.
We’ve been having together now for a bout two years, and though we only meet once a month, I’m really quite happy that I have this new circle of friends. That said though, I often feel incredibly uncultured around them! They’re all fans of art, music and theatre… And me, I’m just a gamer who likes to pewpew