Archive for category Games

Gameboy Extreme

OK, not really.

It looks like our LAN party is off. Nobody was interested… end of an era… etc., etc., etc.

But I’m installing the ET Quake Wars demo right now, and I’m planning on heading over to Wayne’s this coming Saturday to get some play time in. And then some horror flicks – it’s been a while for those, too. 🙂

Gute Nacht, liebe Leute!

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Seafarers of Catan

So several weeks ago we bought the Seafarers of Catan expansion pack (for Settlers of Catan), but never really got around to playing it until this weekend. It’s not completely accurate to portray the delay as laziness or lack of interest, though… it was more of a desire to not screw up the game we loved so much. We really messed up Carcassonne with all the 40 bazillion expansion packs we added that complicate the game and increase its playtime to Monopoly levels, and I think we’re going to have to cull back some of those suckers and play in the virginal state for a while. But anyway, yeah, we didn’t want to ruin Settlers, but we bit the bullet over the weekend and just jumped right into it. And… oh my gootness… it’s an absolute blast.

Seafarers of Catan

The [absolutely yet unapologetically crappy] picture above is an endgame shot of scenario iv, which is one that has the players starting out on one island (the big one on the right) and working their way toward unexplored territory on the other end of the board. It’s interesting because there are actually 14 tiles missing on that left-hand side when you start the game, and they’re only revealed once you make your way to an empty spot by road or sealane. Note the addition of the connecting frames. They give the board a more “comfortable” shape, and this scenario would be quite impossible without it because you’d have no idea where that one funky looking landtile (present in the upper left-hand-corner at the start of the game) was supposed to go.

New gold field terrain - 1:1 trading

The above shows a better shot of the funky new terrain tile. It’s called a gold field, and basically you get any resource card of your choosing when it produces, kind of like an instant 1:1 trade relationship. Pretty sweet. You’ll notice the high-frequency pip and also the two cities sitting on it… those were mine, and of course I won this particular round. 🙂

New routes over the sea

The shot above shows the new traderoutes available via shipping lanes. Just look at my convoy of little red boats! Roads and sealanes can connect only at a settlement or city, but their lengths combine to figure the owner of the longest “road.”

More reasons to hate rolling a 7 - arrgh!

Above you’ll see that poor Lynn had a pirate (the black ship) sitting next to one of her ships. Other than the booty I was able to take from her hand when I moved the guy there (hmm… I wonder now whose booty she was actually holding), this didn’t actually harm her. It basically keeps you from adding ships to or removing them from the affected tile, but she had already connected her little settlements by that time. Also notice the replacement for the harbor pieces. The one visible is the twofer on ore. They’re a nice addition, but I find them hard to see, especially given the increased size of the board (and the subsequent distance penalties afforded of same), and even harder to shuffle. If it’s not apparent, they’re like resource markers with triangles attached.

The setup was a little more complicated than that of the normal game, mostly because the placement of the harbors doesn’t make any sense whatsoever. We have to refer to the illustration in the booklet, which is sort of a downer, but we’re pros at randomizing the board and its pieces. Also frustrating will be actually separating these pieces from those of the regular Settlers set (the actual ownership of which Mayfair Games cleverly makes ABSOLUTELY necessary). I thought I would be smart and write an “S” on the backs of all the new land tiles, but 1) I later realized “S” could mean Settlers or Seafarers, and 2) you’d always know for sure that the next unknown tile would be a land one if there was an S on the back of the upside-down stack (I didn’t label waters because you can only use so many of them in the regular game anyway). So we resorted to dumping all the pieces in a sack and drawing them blind. Meh, that worked pretty well.

We also had to continue using our fudged rules since there were only the two of us instead of the requisite three or four (some scenarios require four, but I can see how this one would work quite nicely if one of our single friends dropped by):

  1. The victory point limit was raised to 14 rather than the 12 that this particular scenario called for.
  2. The safe limit for the number of cards in a player’s hand when the robber was played was raised from 7 to 9.
  3. Each player rolled twice per turn, but only a 7 on the first roll could activate the robber or pirate. A second 7 did nothing.
  4. A player rolling a 7 could always move the robber or pirate, but could only steal a card from his target if the number of victory points he actually had showing on the board was equal to or less than his opponent’s (hidden victory point cards excluded and not declared, of course!).
  5. A player using a purchased soldier card could always steal a card, regardless of how many victory points he had showing.
  6. No trading between the two players was allowed.

I can’t remember any other special rules off the top of my head, but I’m sure Lynn could correct me if called upon to do so. I think we’ll be playing this on a regular basis, and I’m really looking forward to trying it out with another couple!

And not to wantonly plant a seed, but I want to do that soon, if any of our couples-type-friends are reading this! 🙂

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3 vs 2 vs 2 vs 2 vs 2 vs 1

Most everybody ditched on Wayne’s LAN party last weekend, most with notice–which is absolutely fine–but some with none at all. Sure, it was just a BYOPC geek party, but Wayne spent weeks planning and setting up, and disappearing without so much as a simple “can’t make it” email is just lame.

But I digress big time.

We had 5 people at our peak, which put us firmly in the mini-party bracket. Still a ton of fun, of course, but gameplay is a bit different with a smaller crowd.

  • Far Cry:
    CTF maps were a bit large for both 2 vs 2 and 2 vs 3 action, but both were certainly doable. With uneven teams, it seemed more balanced with 2 defending and 3 attacking. Deathmatch maps were about right, though, and weren’t nearly as crazy as they are with 12 or more goons running around with pigstickers and autopoppers in hand. They also gave me a chance to do more boat jumps and 360 spins and whatnot at a time before gettin’ blowed away.
  • Call of Duty:
    We were evenly matched at 2 on 2 for this game, so everything was fairly balanced. Search and destroy matches were a bit too quick, but behind enemy lines maps were perfect. Well, the gameplay was, at least, but there was seldom any place to hole up in the maps we chose.
  • Enemy Territory:
    Nobody seems to like having to actually team up and solve objectives at LAN parties. Bunch of schmucks.
  • F.E.A.R. Combat:
    We were trying to run this one 2 vs 1, but gameplay was abysmal at best. Big maps and lots of ridiculous one-shot-kill weapons make it impossible for the lone man to do anything, including getting anywhere near the good guns. Deathmatch would probably have been much better.

Hopefully I’ll be able to straighten out my basement to such a degree that I can host another one at my place soon. It’s been nearly three years since my last shindig, and I’m definitely looking forward to attending a party to which I don’t have to lug all my heavy crap.

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Watch out, cause I’m gonna say frack…

  1. Judge Julius told me today that the judging for the writing workshop scholarship is behind schedule, and that a winner hasn’t yet been named. And I was all nutty scampers in the head all week for nothing.
  2. Watched 300 tonight. Oh my. Not oh my bad because I definitely enjoyed it… more like oh my intense. That’s it. It’s visually intense even when there’s nothing going on. Surprisingly enough for a movie that features so many decapitations, skewerings, tauntings and whatnot, nothing goes on for a good portion of the rolling time. One more beheading or festering mutant parade would have probably evened out the action for me.
  3. Most folks ditched Wayne’s LAN party this weekend. Just a bad time for scheduling, I guess. There will just be 4 of us in the morning, but that number will swell to a whopping 6 when my boss and my coworker Sam show up later on. I wanted my boss to meet Wayne at some point in case a job ever opened up in our department. Wayne’s a very bright and capable guy, and he’s mentally more flexible than me in some ways. I think he’d do really well in a job that actually paid him what he’s worth but I’m not sure I could pry him away from the college campus, which is an environment in which he’s always wanted to work. Long as he’s happy I won’t meddle too much I guess.

Night. I’m beat.

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