Monday, February 26, 2007

SITS - out of the box

The Saganami Island Tactical Simulator. Even the name is a mouthful. And now I've had a good look at it. I picked it up for David for his birthday. I will say this, the box passes the critical weight vs. cost test. It's a big, heavy box. The box is a bit low on bits. Real bits that is. Most of the bits are laminated card and uninteresting plastic. Models are a separate purchase.

SITS is now, in my mind, the reigning champion of the "Most Complicated Game Ever". It make Star Fleet Battles seem like primary school maths in comparison. Newtonian physics has that effect on paper games.

The game looks cool, I think. I suspect it rewards the correct aspects of play, but so far all we were able to do was work through the tutorials about movement and aiming. That took about six hours. We still don't get some of the details about missile defense. 3d movement though. Pretty cool.

Inside the box is a mixed review. Some of it is pretty high end. The really nice laminated play cards, though on the small side, are very nicely made. The cardboard used for counters is at the other end of the scale. It's too thin to be useful. I think you would be better making some square dowel pieces and pasting the ship images on. Or scanning and printing on sticker sheet. The hex maps are big, but on regular paper stock. That means it doesn't lay flat out of the box, which is annoying but not a show stopper. If you are going to play lots, investing in a roll mat might not be a bad move. Check out this one at Paizo. Actually, a roll mat is probably a great investment no matter what, but then I might get an Oyster (beige I would have said) coloured one, which you could write on (water soluble pens only!). Good for all kinds of fig based games.

We plan on trying a second session where we may actually shoot things at each other. David thinks we may be best to play in the horizontal plane exclusively first. I think that makes a fair amount of sense. Hopefully this time I won't be looking for the Marine recruiter afterwords. I figure people who want to be on star ships, but can't handle astrogation, join the Royal Marines. They just want you to carry a gun. No thinking required.

If you're eMailing me in Russian...

You should know that your eMail is being unread and sent to the spam box. Please try to not take this personally. I do not hold it against you that you are Russian. I may hold it against you that you are foolishly trying to eMail me in a language I can not decipher.

Theoretically, I could use an on-line translate-o-tron to decode these messages, turning the whole thing into a Spy episode. On the other hand, I already get my fill of "v1agra" spam, and having spent time on the project would feel significantly let down.

So, here's hoping you haven't eMailed me your secret plans for a pocket fusion reactor.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

LAN Fest '07.1 - Revisited

Networking Cables - $12CDN for 25 ft

10/100 8 Port Ethernet Switch - $40CDN

Larry - $4500CDN

Watching David get pasted repeatedly by heavy disruptors - Priceless

LAN Gaming, it's the little things.

That and killing in the neighborhood of 3 PCs in the process. It is way too cold outside to move this equipment. Next one will be in June. Where of course it will be so warm that being locked in a room full of yelling combatants with 1 million joule producing heaters will be, in a word, "sticky".

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Foolish Mortal

I will not buy Burning Crusade. Your fancy gem-crafting does not fool me. Your all too enticing, easy to use interface does not lure me.

I have better things to do with my time. Just because I can't think of any doesn't mean they don't exist. I could take a walk, it would be better for me.

Perhaps I need to get off the internets for a while.

It's just that there's this dearth of action RPG's right now. I need the next Diablo. Soon. I haven't actually finished Oblivion, but I can't get going on it. I still find the perspective/combat clunky. And I'm done trying to play Knights of the Old Republic. I have no respect for a design that has cutsceen battles that outclass the standard encounters by about a factor of 100.

Monday, February 05, 2007

LAN Fest '07.1

'07.1 because I hope it won't be the only one. I wouldn't mind hitting this quarterly. I consider it leverage against the insane amount of money I have spent on a portable computer rig.

If I were to do it again (and I may), I would not buy a 17". I would go with a 15", which appears to reduce the weight by half. And the price by half. I thought that the full size, compressed keyboard would be cool/good, but I drag a real keyboard around anyways, so that's a moot point. I also thought the 17" wide screen would be a good compromise size vs. portability. It isn't. I'm spoiled for big displays. But if I need a big display on my desk, I can always connect an external panel at what ever monstrous dimension I want (something 20"-ish next I think), and then still have portability.

The research spent has to be on what the video will actually support relative to the native display of said panels. The down side of LCD is that unless you have one with an impressively high native resolution (1600 x 1040 or better), when you run it at less than that, it looks B.A.D. Larry is right on the edge of that. One step higher would scale down well. Actually he does one step down fair to good. BUT the video card in the box isn't quite up to supporting that top resolution with bells and whistles in most games. I often think it would be better for me to throw on a 1280x1024 panel onto his external port, because the X800 would support that better.

Fortunately, my next purchase will be better informed.