Saturday, February 01, 2014

Gaming with Grandma - 130

Another Saturday morning gaming session with my mother Sue (AKA Grandma), and elder daughter, Maddie (12).

The game of choice today was Clash of the Gladiators, a game I acquired in an Australian BoardGameGeek math trade in May 2008.  Sadly, this game has languished, unplayed, on my game shelf since that date.  This morning would be our first play of this Reiner Knizia designed game.

Clash of the Gladiators


Clash of the Gladiators is a game for two to five players.  Players select from five different types of gladiators to create a team of four gladiators.  Each type of gladiator (spear holder, net caster, swordsman, prong bearer and shield carrier) have different effects on combat.  The number of gladiator teams a player may field is based on the number of players in the game (2-3 players four teams each, 4-5 players three teams each).

The object of the game is to kill opposing gladiators and animals.  The game ends when only one player has gladiators on the board at which time the points are calculated.  Points are granted for all opposing gladiators and animals you have killed (gladiators = 1 point each, animals = 2 points each) and the player with the most points is the winner.

The rules are fairly simple and once players become familiar with the combat effects of each type of gladiator, the battles also play out quickly.

We had a fun game and although I was the first player to lose all my gladiators, there is a great rule that allows a player to continue playing (and gaining points) by using the animals to attack the remaining players.

Final scores were Maddie and I sharing the win with 21 points each, and Grandma with 15 points.

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 - My year of gaming

The majority of my gaming over this year has certainly been video games.  Unfortunately my board game plays have fallen, partly due to my mother only visiting on alternate Saturdays, and partly due to my own board game burnout.

Here is a combined list of video and board games I played in 2013.

ArmA II: Operation Arrowhead 46
Grand Theft Auto V 25
Minecraft 12
The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar 8
Pass the Pigs 7
Formula Motor Racing 6
The Last of Us 5
Battlefield 3 4
Make 'n' Break CHALLENGE 4
Haunted Castle 3
Jenga 3
UNO Stacko 3
Blokus Duo 2
Château Roquefort 2
Gulo Gulo 2
PitchCar Mini 2
Reiner Knizia's Amazing Flea Circus 2
Blood Bowl: Chaos Edition 1
Cartagena 1
Coda 1
Forbidden Island 1
Hey, That's My Fish! 1
Pick Picknic 1
Pow Wow 1
Quicksand 1
Der schwarze Pirat 1
WobBally

Happy New Year and good gaming to all for 2014!

Monday, December 31, 2012

2012 - My year of gaming


The majority of my gaming over this year has shifted from board games to video games.  2011 was the first year I decided to record the plays of video games via the VideoGameGeek website.  The method I choose to record my plays was that if I played a specific video game on a particular day I would record only a single play, regardless if I played the game for 5 minutes or 5 hours.  This allows me to easily track how much I use a game on a daily basis over the full year.  

Here is a combined list of video and board games I played in 2012.

ArmA II: Operation Arrowhead 58
Minecraft 42
The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar 40
Battlefield 3 20
Pass the Pigs 19
Just Cause 2 11
Max Payne 3 9
Grand Theft Auto IV 8
Call of Duty: Black Ops II 5
Call of Duty: Black Ops 4
Pick Picknic 4
Alien Swarm 3
Diablo II 3
Die Mauer 3
PitchCar Mini 3
Sherlock 3
The aMAZEing Labyrinth 2
Battlefield: Bad Company 2 2
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 2
Gran Turismo 5 2
Haunted Castle 2
Portal 2 2
Risk Express 2
Der schwarze Pirat 2
The Settlers of Catan 2
Snorta! 2
UNO Stacko 2
ArmA II 1
Batman: Arkham Asylum 1
Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers 1
Cartagena 1
Château Roquefort 1
Dungeons & Dragons Online 1
Formula Motor Racing 1
Gotham City Impostors 1
Half-Life 2 1
Heroscape Expansion Set: Defenders of Kinsland 1
Heroscape Expansion Set: Malliddon's Prophecy 1
Heroscape Expansion Set: Road to the Forgotten Forest 1
Heroscape Expansion Set: Thora's Vengeance 1
Heroscape Expansion Set: Ticalla Jungle 1
Heroscape Expansion Set: Utgar's Rage 1
Heroscape Master Set: Rise of the Valkyrie 1
Heroscape Master Set: Swarm of the Marro 1
Just Dance 2 1
Lord of the Rings 1
Microsoft Flight 1
No Thanks! 1
Samba De Amigo 1
Scrabble 1
Through the Desert 1
Tutankhamen 1
Wii Sports Resort 1


ArmA II: Operation Arrowhead was certainly my most played PC video game over the course of 2012.  The main reason for this was to play the DayZ mod for this game.  DayZ is a zombie survival game which I find so much fun to play.

Minecraft was another game I spent a lot of time playing in 2012 on PC.  This game was a lot of fun playing multiplayer with my daughters Maddie and Georgia.

Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar or LOTRO is a great PC game that Maddie and I play together online. 


Happy New Year and good gaming to all for 2013!

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

The Hobbit - A Long Awaited Viewing

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey was released on 14 December 2012 but unfortunately here in Australia we had to wait a further 12 days until it opened on Boxing Day 26 December 2012.

Gandalf and a hobbit girl

My wife had pre-booked tickets for me and Maddie (our family's two LOTR fans) to see the first session on Boxing Day at our local cinema.  The version of The Hobbit we saw was the 3D and 48 frames per second (FPS) version.

It was wonderful to return to Peter Jackson's version of Middle-Earth after almost a decade.  We both very much enjoyed the film and can't wait for the next one in the trilogy to be released in a years time.

There were some reports in the media of people not liking the higher frame rate, however I found no problem with the 48 FPS frame rate. 

Roll on December 2013 for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Gaming with Grandma - 129

Another Saturday morning gaming session with my mother Sue (AKA Grandma), wife Debbie and two daughters, Maddie (11) and Georgia (6.5).

The game we played today was Carcassonne: Hunters and Gatherers. I'm trying to introduce the girls to more grown up games and this game is recommended for 8 years and up.  As this was the first game for Maddie and Georgia, on their respective turns I explained the options and benefits for their tile placement and let them choose where to place it.  In fact we were all involved in advising on tile placement on each turn.  Maddie found the game not that interesting (despite eventually winning) and Georgia found it all a little too complex.  Grandma and Debbie picked it up fairly quickly and enjoyed the game play.



Final scores were Maddie 72, Wayne 64, Georgia 61, Grandma 58 and Debbie 40.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Gaming with Grandma - 128

Another Saturday morning gaming session with my mother Sue (AKA Grandma) and two daughters, Maddie (11) and Georgia (6.5).  Our special guest today was my wife Debbie (AKA Mummy) who normally works most weekends but is currently recovering from recent surgery and was able to join us as a 5th player.

Our first game today was a game I'd been wanting to play since I received in a BoardGameGeek Math Trade back in 2008.  Die Mauer (translated as 'The Wall' in German) is a game in which each player is given a matching set of 7 wooden pieces (a tower, a gate and 5 wall pieces of different lengths) which they hold hidden in their hand.  On a turn, players secretly select a single piece and all reveal at the same time.  Depending on what type and the number of pieces revealed, as well as who is the Master Builder for that round (an orange piece that is rotated to the left player at the end of each round), determines the effect of building on that round.  There are a couple of simple building restrictions and we all picked this game up after a few quick rounds, with the exception of Georgia who at 6 years old struggled a little bit.



We played three rounds. Final scores were 1st Wayne - 16, 2nd Grandma - 17, 3rd Debbie - 26, 4th Maddie - 30 and 5th Georgia - 53.  I should point out that although I won overall, Grandma did win two of the three rounds but just missed out on taking 1st place overall when final scores were calculated.  All the adults enjoyed this game but the kids weren't that enamoured.  This would be a good pub or camping game and only needs a small flat surface.

Because Georgia came last we let her choose the next game.  She chose Pick Picknic.  In this game players are dealt a hand of cards representing either fowl or foxes of differing numerical strengths.  A playing area of 6 boards is laid out representing the enclosures of 6 types of fowl.  Each round a single coloured wooden cube is randomly deposited on each board.  These cubes are in three colours of differing values (green = 1, blue = 2, and yellow = 3) and are the victory points players are attempting to acquire.  Each turn players secretly choose a card from their hand and all then reveal at the same time.  Depending on what type of card (fowl or fox), and how many are played on a specific board, determines the outcome of the round.  Foxes eat fowls and this is another way players can acquire victory points.


The mechanics of this game are similar to Die Mauer but perhaps more thematically suited to children.  That's not to say adults can't enjoy this game, and I find it's a great game for parents and children to play together.

Final scores were 1st Debbie - 58, 2nd Wayne - 36, 3rd Georgia - 35, 4th Maddie - 28 and 5th Grandma - 9.  It was great to see Deb win and Georgia so close to beating me for 2nd place.

Friday, July 06, 2012

The Hobbit - It's a Wrap!

Principle photography has now finished on the set of The Hobbit films according to Peter Jackson's Facebook page.



http://www-images.theonering.org/torwp/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/PJ-Hobbit-Wrap.jpg

I eagerly await the first of the two films, The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, which will be released on 14 December 2012.

Monday, June 25, 2012

The C Word

I'll never forget the moment my wife rang me at work in late April this year to tearfully tell me that she had received the results of recent medical examination - cancer had been found in her bowel.

The last couple of months have been pretty surreal for our family.  We have tried to remain positive, take one day at a time and just focus on doing what we need to do.  I've taken time off work to support my wife and look after our two children.

My wife has now had surgery to remove the specific section of her colon, she has spent time recovering in hospital and is now home with us again.  The best news of all, and such a relief, is that further tests have shown that the cancer was caught early and most importantly has not spread.

So there you go,  a little unexpected road bump on our journey through life that is now thankfully behind us.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Gaming with Grandma - 127

Another Saturday gaming session with my mother (AKA Grandma) and daughters Maddie (10) and Georgia (6).  This morning we played three board games.

Our first game was PitchCar Mini and it was chosen by Georgia.  The girls wanted to have teams so it was Maddie and Georgia vs Grandma and me.

It was an exciting 3 lap race with the lead changing several times.  We use a house rule where if a player is in last place after their flick, they can take a second flick.  We find this works well and keeps everyone in with a chance.  The final scores were 1st Georgia, 2nd Wayne, 3rd Grandma and 4th Maddie.

 PitchCar Mini

 The second game was Der schwarze Pirat (The Black Pirate).  In this game players use a rubber bellows to blow wooden ships around the board in search of golden treasure on the many islands.  This is a game we all enjoy and everyone gets to talk like a pirate.  Final scores were 1st Grandma with 13 gold, 2nd Wayne with 9 gold, 3rd Maddie with 8 gold and 4th Georgia with 6 gold.

Der schwarze Pirat

Our final game of the morning was Burg Appenzell (AKA Chateau Roquefort).  In this game players have 4 mice each to scamper under the roofs of the castle in search of cheese.  This is a game which uses action points to move, run or slide a piece of ceiling tile.  The sliding mechanic allows you to move pieces of the board horizontally and vertically which adds to the strategy.  This was the first time Georgia has played this game and she soon got the hang of it.  Both girls were leading for the majority of the time but I made a quick burst at the end to claim my 4th piece of cheese and the sweet (or should that be cheesy) victory.  Final scores were 1st Wayne with 4 pieces of cheese, 2nd Maddie and Georgia with 3 cheeses each and 4th Grandma with 1 piece of cheese.

 Burg Appenzell


Friday, February 10, 2012

The Fellowship - 1

These are plastic 25mm miniatures from Games Workshop's Lord of the Rings line.  They are the Fellowship models from the Mines of Moria boxed set which was released in 2005.



These are pre-owned models that I won on eBay a couple of years ago.  I've stripped them of their previous paint jobs and cleaned off any excess mold lines that were still remaining.  I've also washed them and glued on a base of sand.  The next step will be to spray paint them with an undercoat of black paint.


Friday, January 27, 2012

Warriors of Rohan - 1


It's been over 10 months since I did any work on my miniature wargame hobby.  Back in March 2010 I stripped the paint off 13 Warriors of Rohan I'd won on eBay.  Today was a planned day off work so I bought a new CFL bulb for my desk lamp and started preparing the miniatures for painting.



These are plastic miniatures and are 25mm scale.  After washing them in soapy water and drying them off I pulled out my trusty craft blade and cleaned off any flash I could see.  I then did some minor conversions.  One of the spearmen had a broken spear so I removed the remaining shaft, cut off and repositioned his right arm, inserted an axe I'd made earlier, removed his shield, and in his left hand inserted a metal wire to be used as a banner pole.  The other conversion I did was to remove the plastic arrow from one of the archers and replace it with a thin piece of wire.

After that I dabbled some PVA glue on the surface of the bases and sprinkled some sand/gravel over the top.  I'll leave the miniatures to dry overnight and the next step will be to undercoat them with spray paint.

I find this part of the hobby relaxing and it was all the more enjoyable while listening to the Lord of the Rings movie soundtracks.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Brisbane Short-necked Turtle


This is a Brisbane Short-necked Turtle that I spotted in a local creek near where I live.  I took these photos on 14 March 2009. 




The Brisbane Short-necked Turtle (Emydura signata) is a freshwater species that inhabits standing water bodies and permanent slow-moving streams.  Its carapace (upper shell) is approximately 20-23 cm long.  A distinguishing feature of this turtle is that it has a white stripe along the side of its face.




This particular turtle has its shell coated with algae, giving it excellent camouflage.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

2011 - My year of gaming

The majority of my gaming over this year has shifted from board games to video games.  2011 was the first year I decided to record the plays of video games via the VideoGameGeek website.  It's a bit more difficult to record what constitutes an actual play of a video game.  The method I chose to record my plays was that if I played a specific video game on a particular day I would record only a single play, regardless if I played the game for 5 minutes or 5 hours.  This allows me to easily track how much I use a game on a daily basis over the full year.  For example, I played Call of Duty: Black Ops over 30.4% of the days in 2011.

 Here's a combined list of video and board games I played in 2011.



Call of Duty: Black Ops 111
Minecraft 78
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 27
Battlefield 3 25
Uncharted 2: Among Thieves 16
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 14
Assassin's Creed II 13
Call of Duty: World at War 13
Forbidden Island 6
Red Dead Redemption 6
Batman: Arkham Asylum 5
Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare 5
Mario Kart Wii 5
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune 5
LittleBIGPlanet 3
Portal 3
Commands & Colors: Napoleonics 2
Haunted Castle 2
Monopoly 2
Der schwarze Pirat 2
Terminator Salvation 2
Wii Fit 2
Battle Line 1
Battlefield 1943 1
Burnout Paradise 1
Dead Nation 1
For Sale 1
Gears of War 2 1
Half-Life 2 1
HeroQuest 1
Hey, That's My Fish! 1
It's Mine! 1
The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar 1
PitchCar Mini 1
R.U.S.E. 1
Snail Game 1
Super Smash Bros. 1
Vegas Stakes 1
Wii Play 1
Wii Sports 1
Wii Sports Resort 1

Call of Duty: Black Ops was certainly my most utilised video game over the course of 2011.  This was due to the accessible online multiplayer gameplay as well as many enjoyable evenings spent playing the excellent Black Ops Zombie maps with my brother.

Minecraft was another game I spent a lot of time playing in 2011 on PC.  This game was a lot of fun playing single player as well as multiplayer with my daughter Maddie.

Other gaming highlights for me in 2011 were playing and completing Uncharted 2: Drake's Fortune, Assassin's Creed 2 and Portal.  I also recently obtained Battlefield 3 which has quickly become my First Person Shooter (FPS) of choice, quickly racking up 25 plays in just over 6 weeks.

Happy New Year and good gaming to all for 2012!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

The cake is a lie...

Portal is a 2007 single-player first-person puzzle-platform video game that was developed by Valve Corporation. 

On and off over the last three days my 10 year old daughter Maddie and I have played this excellent, mind-burning game on our PS3.  Although I used the controller while Maddie watched, we were effectively playing together.  Maddie offered many smart ideas for us to progress and if she was not with me I would have taken a lot longer to finish, if at all.

We made a pact at the beginning that we wouldn't cheat by looking for tips on the Internet and I'm proud to say we successfully completed the game this morning.

The cake is a lie...

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The first trailer for The Hobbit

The first trailer for The Hobbit is now online!



Thursday, December 01, 2011

The Hobbit - 1 year to go


They're filming The Hobbit on location in New Zealand at the moment.  I'm very excited and can't wait for the December 2012 release of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, the first of the two parts of The Hobbit film.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Echidna

This is a short-beaked echidna, also known as a spiny anteater because of its diet of ants and termites.  I spotted this echidna on the side of the road while holidaying in northern New South Wales back on 24 August 2011.  I just had to stop to take some photos.


They roll into a defensive ball when they feel threatened


The echidna is a monotreme, a mammal that lays eggs as opposed to giving birth to live young.  Among living mammals only the platypus and the echidna are monotremes and both are indigenous to Australia and New Guinea.


 You can see the face in this photo

Did you know that male echidnas have a four-headed penis?  During mating, the heads on one side "shut down" and do not grow in size; the other two are used to release semen into the female's two-branched reproductive tract. The heads used are swapped each time the mammal copulates.  Fascinating.

It's not often one gets the chance to get this close to an echidna in the wild so I felt quite privileged.  

Oh, and before you ask, I didn't roll him over to check out his four-headed penis.




Saturday, November 19, 2011

Minecraft

Today the full version of Minecraft was released.  It was originally released as an alpha on 17 May 2009, then with a beta version on 20 December 2011, and we first downloaded it on 21 March 2011.  We (Maddie and I) have had many enjoyable hours playing this game.



Maddie spent most of the day playing on our online server with her friends.








Saturday, November 12, 2011

Gaming with Grandma - 126


Another Saturday morning gaming session with my mother (AKA Grandma) and my two daughters, 10 year old Maddie and 5 year old Georgia.

Our starting positions, me green, Georgia red, Grandma yellow and Maddie blue.

The one and only game we played this morning was a present for my recent birthday, Fantasy Flight's edition of Hey, That's My Fish!.  This is a fun abstract game in which players' penguins try to grab the most fish from quickly thawing ice floes.  Each turn, a player moves one penguin in a straight line over hex-shaped ice tiles with 1, 2 or 3 fish on them. The player then collects the hex from where the penguin started its movement from the table, thereby creating a gap which penguins can't cross on future turns. When a penguin can't move, it's removed from play with its owner claiming the tile on which it stands. The player who collects the most fish wins.

The final scores were me 29, Georgia 24, Grandma 21 and Maddie 17.




Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Call of Duty - Modern Warfare 3


I picked up my pre-ordered Call of Duty: Modern Wafare 3 Hardened Edition this morning.  I've been a fan of the Call of Duty series for several years now, having played Call of Duty 2, Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare, Call of Duty: World at War, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 and Call of Duty: Black Ops.



Traditionally these games are released the week of my birthday so as special present to myself I took the week off work and treated myself to the next installment in the Call of Duty series.

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

RIP Mollie

Maddie found one of her pet rats, Mollie, dead in the cage this evening.  Mollie was Maddie's first pet and about 18 months old.  Understandbly, Maddie was a bit upset this evening.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Dragon Pass

My wife surprised me this afternoon with a present - an old board game she had picked up at an op shop for $2.  It was Dragon Pass, a fantasy wargame produced by Avalon Hill in 1984.  For a 27 year old board game the box was in reasonable condition.


I carefully removed the sticky tape from the lid and opened the box.  The two counter sheets were partly punched and there were loose counters at the bottom of the box (not a good sign).  However, the board and rule book were in great condition.  I sat down and replaced the counters into the counter sheets and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was 100% complete.  Sweet. 

A nice little find. I'll likely list this on eBay to fund future game purchases. 


Monday, October 24, 2011

The Queen visits Brisbane


Queen Elizabeth II and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh visited my hometown of Brisbane, Australia today.  After arriving at the airport they took a cruise on the luxury motor yacht Pure Adrenalin along the Brisbane River to South Bank.  It was here that Her Majesty officially opened Rain Bank, an initiative to improve water efficiency throughout the Parklands at Rainforest Green.



From my vantage point in my office I was able to view the yacht as it motored up the river and docked at South Bank. The Queen was just a tiny speck but I could just make her out...barely.


You can see the white yacht docked at South Bank in front of the Brisbane Wheel.  Thousands of people can be seen on Victoria Bridge and in the Parklands waiting to view the Queen. 

I took these pictures with my iPhone 4.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Gaming with Grandma - 125

Another Sunday morning gaming session with my mother (AKA Grandma) and my two daughters Maddie (10) & Georgia (5).

Last weekend we introduced Maddie to Monopoly in a game with my wife, father-in-law and me.  Maddie loved it.  I guess when I was a kid I also enjoyed the play money, the randomness of movement and cards and people paying me rent.  Maddie also ended up winning her first game of Monopoly.  She has been bugging us to play it again all week.

So this morning Grandma, Maddie, Georgia and I sat down for a three player game of Monopoly (Georgia was my dice roller).  After several turns we all had a good portfolio of properties but no one had a monopoly of any one colour.  Then Maddie offered me Vine Street (for an exorbitant price) and I was able to compete the set of brown properties.  After that I quickly put a hotel on each and sat back and waited.  It wasn't long before these properties started raking in the cash.



I then bought out another property from Maddie when she offered it to obtain more cash.  I then had another monopoly on a colour range and was able to build more hotels.  It wasn't long before it was game over with Maddie going out.

Let's just say Maddie didn't enjoy this game as much as her first.  Learning to enjoy playing games even when you don't win is a sign of maturity.  Maddie is only 10 after all.  That said, I didn't really enjoy this game either and I won, but then I'm not a fan of Monopoly.







Friday, October 21, 2011

F/A-18F Super Hornet Formation Flyover

I took an early lunch break to see an historic flyover of 20 of the new RAAF F/A-18F Super Hornets.  I decided to view the flyover with hundreds of other office workers from the centre of Victoria Bridge in Brisbane.  The Department of Defence said the flyover was part of a welcoming ceremony for four new Super Hornets and may never be repeated.  Here's the video I filmed with my iPhone 4.



The one-off performance was arranged to welcome four new Super Hornet jets.  A fleet of 16 jets left Amberley after 10am (AEST) for a point off North Stradbroke Island, before speeding south to cross the coast at Southport and continuing south to Tweed Heads.  They then turned and headed north to a point off the Sunshine Coast where they were joined by the four new Super Hornets.  The formation flew over Noosa Heads and headed south, passing over Brisbane's CBD en route to Ipswich and the RAAF base at Amberley.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Gaming with Grandma - 124


Another Sunday morning gaming session with my mother (AKA Grandma) and my two daughters Maddie (10) & Georgia (5).

Our first game of the morning was Haunted Castle.  This is a fast-paced card game where each round a card showing seven characters is flipped.  There are a possible eight characters so the object is to be the first to identify the missing characters on each card.  If you are correct you keep the card as a point.  We played two games.  Scores from Game 1 were me 16, Grandma 8, Maddie 5 and Georgia 4.  Scores from Game 2 were me 17, Maddie 8, Grandma 7 and Georgia 1.



Our second game was The Simpsons Slam Dunk Card Game (AKA It's Mine).  This is always a fast, tense game and being able to slam your hand on the table and yell out "Slam dunk!" is cool.  Understanding the scoring system and knowing when to claim a row of cards is the key to this game and therefore Georgia sat this one out.  I cleaned up in this game with the final score being me 58, Grandma 21 and Maddie 7.





Our final game of the morning was For Sale.   This is one of Maddie's favourite games and we've played it many times before.  It's been a while since we last played it though.  At the end I felt sure I was going to win. However, after we added up the scores Grandma took the win with $82K, me $79K and Maddie $52K.


Hot Slug Sex

Here's some gastropod porn for you. I noticed these two Red Triangle Slugs getting it on at the rear of my house this morning. We've had a couple of storms over the last few days and these slugs tend to come out after rain.


Slugs are hermaphrodites, having both male and female genitalia. These two have followed the normal Red Triangle Slug sex position (they only have one) by encircling each other and exchanging sperm through their protruded genitalia. In a few days they will lay around 30 eggs in a hole in the ground, or beneath the cover of an object such as a fallen log.

The hole you can see in the distinctive red triangle marking is a breathing pore.

These slugs feed only on algae so you don't have to worry about them eating your plants. I find them not only beautiful to look at, but also helpful to have in my yard.

I've blogged about Red Triangle Slugs in a previous post.

Sunday, October 09, 2011

Gaming with Grandma - 123

Another Sunday morning gaming session with my 10 year old daughter Maddie, 5 year old daughter Georgia and my mother (AKA Grandma).

Our game today was HeroQuest. This is a game I've owned for quite some time but have been waiting for the 'right time' to play with Grandma and the girls. HeroQuest states on the box it is for ages 10 and up so my only concern was with Georgia being half that age. I wasn't worried she would be able to understand the game it was more keeping her interested throughout the entire playing time. Maddie volunteered to update Georgia's character sheet for her during the game.

Oddly enough I've never played HeroQuest before. I've read the rules a number of times and so for our first game I took on the role of the Game Master. Maddie chose the Elf, naming her Elirrian (and choosing one of my 25mm pewter miniatures to represent her), Georgia was the Barbarian, naming her Lora, and Grandma was the Wizard, naming her character Zelda.

I chose to run the adventurers through the first quest which was called The Trial. The party was tasked with journying to the east and entering the catacombs which contain Fellmarg's Tomb. The had to seek out and destroy Verag, a foul Gargoyle who hides in the catacombs.


Georgia, playing the Barbarian, was the main slayer of the monsters and this kept her involved for the majority of the game. Grandma and Maddie used their spells to good effect at crucial times and also waded into battle when they could. They had fun exploring the catacombs and defeating the foul guardians of the tomb. However, they were battered and bruised when they faced Verag the Gargoyle and his minions in the climactic battle. After a hard fought combat there were cheers all round when they prevailed.

They all enjoyed the game although it took about 90 minutes and Georgia's attention began to wander towards the end. We'll definitely be playing HeroQuest again though.

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Steve Jobs

I haven't really been an Apple fan until the last couple of years, although the first computer I bought was an Apple IIe back in 1986. I love and use my Apple iPhone every day and it was via that Apple product that I found out about his death today. Sad news.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Gaming with Grandma - 122

It's been a good half year or so since we've sat down to play a board game. I guess in part it's due to me exploring other gaming interests and giving board games a break, but it's also been a busy time over the last six months with my wife now working from home and the addition of a new puppy to the household. However, today the board game itch was back and as it was a nice spring morning we decided to play at the table on our back deck.

Maddie (10) and Georgia (5.5) chose Der Schwarze Pirat, a dexterity game we'd played several times before. In this game players use a rubber bellows to blow their little wooden ships around the board in search of treasure. This is always a fun game and Grandma ended up ruling the waves and coming first with a score of 20, Georgia was 2nd on 9, Maddie 3rd on 4 with me coming last on 3.

Der Schwarze Pirat

Our next game was PitchCar Mini. Maddie chose to sit this one out. In this racing game players flick little wooden discs representing their cars around a modular race track. Competition is always fierce in our house but we do allow a house rule that gives the player in last place two flicks. This tends to keep the race fairly tight and allows for lots of opportunities for overtaking from behind. It this game Georgia pulled off an incredible win, with me in 2nd place and Grandma in 3rd.

Pitchcar