Friday, December 28, 2007


This here is what I call a mashup post. That's a post where I have about 4 things I been meaning to write down, but keep putting off, because I'm a lazy git, so I'm finally incentivised to post, but I'm going to cheap out and post them all as part of one incoherent mess. That's not helping.

Real Blogs - Apparently, the fellow who coined the term "blog" thinks what I got here is not. A blog that is. I apologize, as I can not think of his name, nor be bothered to suss it out, but there was a brief article about him and his 10 pointers for new bloggers (hence my interest as I consider myself new to the field). His original concept however, was that a blog would be a Web Log of links you have visited. Which seems both pointless and boring to me. Admittedly, I do on a number of occasions include interesting foot note style links to supplement my thoughts, that's not really what he meant. He also suggests that if your posts are mostly "you" content that you should reconsider as most people will not find you as interesting as you do.

And my thought on that was "but they'd much rather go read stuff I read, eh?". So, out of respect, this is not a blog. It's a web accessible journal. WAJ for short. Say it with a long A. Waaa-j. I'm sure that will catch on.

World of Bloody Consuming my Free Time Warcraft - Bugger. That's probably all I should say there, but I won't because I'm in full WAJ mode now. I have fallen right back in. And why? VOIP, Voice Over IP for the less savvy. WoW is, as I've probably mentioned, not the best CRPG. Taken for just the single player experience, it's a poor almalgum of Action RPG and Classic RPG. Note quite enough plot and story to be a full on RPG, but too much class interdependency and time lapse combat makes it not quite an action RPG (Diablo). No it's all about the MMO part. And when you can actually chat with the people you're playing with, and maintaining HOTAS, that's almost like D&D.

Well, without the funky smelling room in your parents basement. Actually, I haven't been to your basement. Maybe your experience is just like D&D.

Warhammer - While at the annual family holiday get on, one of my cousins mentioned he was thinking about getting into the table top racket. Said he had been playing a take over the world game with his friends, but they were getting bored with it so thought they would try WH.

"You know the game, the one with the world?" He asked.

"Oh, Axis & Allies?" I asked.

"Uh, no. It has the dice and the pieces" He replied.

I gave one of those sideways looks I reserve for people who I think are obviously trying to mock me. And then, recognizing the source for what it was I deduced the answer. "You mean Risk."

"Ya! That's it!" I tried to stay encouraging after that, knowing full well that unless I devoted some serious coaching, my cousin was going to get lost in the gap. We actually discussed this briefly. I'm not sure there is a mid way step between Risk and actual strategy games. And certainly not much of a bridge between this and table top war games. I gave him the usual warnings about cost and time, something a game like WH demands a great deal of. I briefly considered sending him a set of alternate rules for the pieces of Risk. I think I may buy him a copy of Settlers of Cattan.

What you could do, to take Risk to the next level, and yet probably not change it so much that anyone who played before didn't understand, is make a supply change and a combat change. The supply rules for Risk are messed up. Ignore the cards, or at least use them limitedly. Like they always represent 21 points when cashed in. The new sets have three kinds of pieces (at least, the last set I bought did) intended to represent 1, 5 and 10 armies. Forget that, it's dumb (simplistic is what I mean, but I want to be inflammatory). If you're going to play like that you may as well invest in a set of stock six sided dice and roll them for an hour or two. Whoever rolls the most 6s wins.

The infantry units are 1 unit of infantry and they work just like you're used to. Each one you commit to battle is a d6 for you to roll and they cost 1 point for you to buy. They're the least expensive and have the best all around chance in combat.

The cavalry units are 1 unit of cavalry. They cost 2 points each, but they roll a d8 when attacking someone else's country. When some one attacks your cavalry they roll a d6, like infantry. If it's your turn your cavalry roll d8, if its not your turn they roll d6 is probably the easiest way to see it.

The cannon units are 1 battery of artillery. They cost 2 points each, and only roll a d4 when they are attacking. However, artillery is a support piece. If the artillery piece is not alone then each of your die receives a +1. Artillery by itself, not so effective. Artillery used as part of combined arms...

Leave everything else the same. Instead of the numbers for sets and normal supply and continent bonus being ARMIES, they are points you spend on Infantry or Cavalry or Artillery.
I really need to try that out.

World in Conflict - When I can get out from under the thumb of the gorilla, this game rocks. I also gave the single player demo of Crysis a shot, in spite of being disappointed with the multi player beta, and have to say I did it a disservice. I will be picking it up. I also have a taste for Hellgate London, but that's lower on my list. I have the demo of Call of Duty 4 for the PC, but need to evade the gorilla to get it installed. I did get Guitar Hero III for the 360, but as my 360 is being monopolized for watching House, MD just now, I'm not getting to use it much.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

A StarCraft MMO

How much of the market can Bliz control? How much more market can there be? I'm the wrong guy to even guess, but the rumor is gathering steam.

Does this mean that Diablo III, for lack of a better term, is never going to appear? Did I mention I really need something in the ACRPG (Action Computer Role Playing Game) genre? Not that I don't think a Star Craft MMO would be cool. Actually, I don't. In a bit of an ironic twist, I've never really been all that fond of Star Craft. There are two actual reasons.

The first is, Star Craft, much more than War Craft, is a pale shadow of it's 40k ancestor. Dawn of War really nails it. I would be much more interested in a Dawn of War epic scale game with ships than in Star Craft 2. Now that I have Dawn of War, and especially Dark Crusade, I can't go back. The second is the Kerrington plot. I never liked the human/zerg hybrid idea. I thought it cheeped out on the zerg. The Tyranids are a giant hive mind. They're stealing your genes. They're making new tyranid bio forms. They're not interested in your puny human intelligence.

Monday, December 10, 2007

JP's Birthday Season

In case you've started unpacking your tree for that other holiday, I think you need to be aware that this year, JP's Birthday Season falls between Hanukkah and that holiday which I have a hard time supporting. Actually it's always before the holiday who shall not be named, but if I'm doing the calendar math right this year Hanukkah finishes first.

Days of note in the JP's Birthday Season:

November 12 - First day of JP's Birthday Shopping Season
I know that some big box stores like to start with the stuff for that holiday after Remembrance Day (Memorial Day down south). That's because of my refusal to pay shelving and marketing fees. It's a consumerists world.

December 14 - JP's Birthday Eve
Traditionally celebrated at a pub with several pints of over priced stout. Not to be confused with St. Patrick's Day, which is in March and involves considerably more green. This year, as the 14th falls on a Friday, several may in fact slide nicely into too many.

December 15 - JP's Birthday Day
Traditionally celebrated with an overpriced meal at a crowded restaurant, has more recently become a venue for Geek. The more geek the merrier. This year will be some full on geek involving multiple high powered desk top PCs harnessed to play games.

December 16 - JP's Boxing Day
There are no JP's Boxing Day sales, however this is the day JP begins his preparations for the other holiday season. There are many boxes involved.

David has been put in charge of building a repertoire of JP's Birthday Season Carols. I'm sure we'll all be surprised.

Oh, and Happy Festivus, if I don't see you before.

Friday, December 07, 2007

'Nuf! (1.1)

Ok, I've hit my Facebook threshold. I crossed the drama line and I'm quit (Prock will back me up on this). When you can actually offend someone by emailing them a request to have a terrible, compressed picture of yourself show up on their side bar, it's not cool any more.

I spend vastly too much time worrying about what other people think about me. Far too much time to be involved in a social networking web where ALL I do is worry about what other people are thinking about me. The emotional investment is just too high. And the email is choking my inbox.

I've sent an apology to the offended party (I'm too polite to just ignore these things), which may or may not have been the correct thing. It does seem like the right thing. That's what my social learning has taught me, when you hurt someone say sorry. So - sorry. (There, now I've apologized twice for something I hardly consider my fault. Yes, Canadian to the core.)

If you've come here as one of my Facebook contacts - I can be reached through the comments below or by email. If you don't have my email ... well I didn't know you that well, did I. But feel free to comment anyways. It is, after all, a live journal posted on the World Wide Web. (That, by the way, is what is referred to in the trade as "Shamelessly begging for readership".)(I know parenthetical belongs in sentences.)(Now I'm just trying to annoy you.)

Now to my regular readers (both Davids and that other guy): Sorry. I know you expect less drama and more geek. I'll be back to my regular cryptic game stuff by next post. Promise. Sorry.

December 7, 1941

"Yesterday, December 7, 1941 - a date which will live in infamy."

Important to note that, allthough the infamous attack which triggered United States involvement in World War II occured on the 7th, President Roosevelt's address to Congress was made on the 8th.