Friday, December 31, 2010
2010 has seen a marked decrease in my board gaming. This has mainly been due to a resurgence in my exploration of the video game genre. I've very much enjoyed online multiplayer gaming action first with a Microsoft Xbox 360 in the early part of the year and then since May with a Sony PlayStation 3. Online shooter games such as Call of Duty give me an adrenalin rush that I just can't get sitting at a table playing a board game. Don't get me wrong, some board games can be very tense and exciting, it's just a different sort of rush to a video game.
Another reason for a reduction in board gaming is that after 8 or so years I just feel like a bit of a break. Mum still comes around every Saturday morning but I haven't initiated the playing of any board games since July. I'm sure though that we will see further Gaming with Grandma sessions in 2011. My younger daughter Georgia turns five next month and will be starting a full-time Preparatory Year at the same school as her older sister Maddie. Georgie's reaching a maturity level where she'll soon be able to join in games with us.
So here's a look at my board gaming plays in 2010. Top of the list is Blue Max, the majority of these games being played online at fellow Brisbane gamer Justin Walduck's Hexcell Games site. I recommend Hexcell Games which offers free multiplayer Blue Max games as well as Deduce or Die games.
2010 was definitely the year of the Western for me. I played the Red Dead Redemption video game for several months and had a fantastic time. I also watched a ton of western films which I also greatly enjoyed. I have to say that I'm now pretty much over anything western related for the time being. My western fad has passed but I'm sure it will return in the future. Unfortunately the enthusiasm this time for all things western didn't extend to painting the many 25mm western miniatures I have. Ah well, perhaps in 2011.
The early part of the year did see me devote substantial time to painting some Lord of the Rings 25mm miniatures. I fully painted and based 112 miniatures, comprising 88 Warriors of Minas Tirith and 24 Mordor Orcs an accomplishment of which I was very satisfied. I still have hundreds of these miniatures sitting in a cupboard and look forward to painting more in 2011.
Off-topic, but on the work front 2010 saw me move to a new building which was one train-stop further and at the other end of Brisbane's central business district. I also travelled a lot more with work in 2010 than the year before, flying a total of almost 9,500 km (5,900 miles). 2010 also saw my work area restructured and although I am still doing the same role I have been integrated into a different Government department. Change is a constant in the Australian Public Service and I look forward to the challenges that await me in 2011.
I also look forward to where my gaming interests will take me in 2011. I can see my video gaming continuing due to it's accessibility and immediacy however what other gaming will I be doing? I'd love to get back into role playing games at some point, especially with my daughters. Perhaps when Georgie can read and write. I'd also like to spend more time painting miniatures and playing with different miniatures rules.
Time. Time is the issue. Still, as long as you're playing games with your friends or family then it's time well spent.
Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
Ratty was with us through most of our major adult life events; joining us through several moves, our engagement, our wedding, the purchase of our first home, and the birth of our two daughters. He was a great cat, he lived a pleasant life and he was much loved. We were all with him at the end. We miss you Ratty.
Monday, December 20, 2010
The video highlights the game play of both main protagonists of the games, Altair in the 12th century Holy Land and Ezio in 15th century Italy. Both characters are genetic memories of 21st century Desmond Miles, who, with the aid of a machine called the 'Animus' relives their adventures.
What is striking for me is the editing of the video showing the characters of Altair and Ezio morphing from one to the other and from city to city. All this perfectly choreographed to the haunting song Beautiful Lies by B-Complex.
So, if you don't mind a little computer-generated bloody assassinations then I recommend viewing this well-edited Assassin's Creed video. And yes, all the vision is actual game play.
Sunday, October 31, 2010
From the site:
The Undead Nightmare has been unleashed upon the world of Red Dead Redemption, with an entirely new single-player storyline, as well as brand new multiplayer content.
Seemingly overnight, a zombie plague ravages the once bountiful frontier, decimating the landscape and reawakening the dead. In towns, settlements, and outposts throughout the world, the uninfected citizens are left to fight for survival against waves of the undead. John Marston must ride out into the vast and terrifying world and survive long enough to find a cure.
Undead Nightmare Debut Trailer
Undead Nightmare Official Trailer
Undead Nightmare - Undead Overrun Multiplayer
Undead Nightmare - Weapons
Undead Nightmare - Graveyards
Undead Nightmare Official TV Commercial
Awesome Halloween fun!
Saturday, October 23, 2010
First, the Hobbit films have finally been given the green light, with Peter Jackson confirmed as director, producer and co-writer.
And second, actor Martin Freeman has been confirmed to play the lead role of Bilbo Baggins. Freeman is an excellent choice in my opinion.
For those of you who aren't already aware, the Hobbit will be in two parts, with the first film hopefully released in late 2012.
With this latest news my excitement level has just been kicked up a notch!
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Friday, September 10, 2010
Oh, and she's a Doctor Who fan, starting with the last two episodes of the 10th Doctor (David Tennant), and continuing on with the new series of the 11th Doctor (Matt Smith). She even got me back into watching Doctor Who again (I'd stopped when the 6th Doctor (Colin Baker) came on the scene in 1984) and we have watched the show together religiously every Sunday evening.
A geek is born...
Tuesday, August 31, 2010
Then back in June this year I came across a review of Tusk on The Ooh Shiny Complex blog. This again got me interested and I was excited to learn that the rules also included Victorian hunters and dinosaurs.
Well, just today I saw a post on Tim's Wargaming Stuff blog where he talks about using the rules for a Star Wars-themed hunting party of Tusken Raiders. He even included a link to the rules at Wargame Vault where you can download the pdf version of the rules for US$4.95.
I'd felt I'd put off purchasing these rules for too long and the little voice inside my head was telling me that I hadn't purchased much gaming material this year. So I made a quick trip to Wargame Vault, input my credit card details and downloaded the rules.
Here's the blurb on the rules:
Tusk is the widely acclaimed set of Mammoth hunting rules written by Matthew (Aeronef, Scudbusters) Hartley.
Tusk includes rules for cavemen hunting mammoths using stone age weapons, fire, dogs and also heroes called Og! The mammoths are controlled by a reaction table so Tusk makes for an excellent solo game as well as one played by two or more players (whether in competition to get the mammoths or in co-operation).
Beyond mammoths, Tusk also includes rules for pre-historic beasts to allow you to recreate Hollywood-esque cavemen versus dinosaur battles.
Additional rules allow you to include Victorian adventurers who discover beasts from forgotten ages on distant plateau in South America or Central Asia.
I'm sure I've got some plastic mammoth and dinosaur models around here somewhere...
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Maddie organised their armies the previous evening. We had decided on armies with a maximum point value of 600. She took Raelin the Kyrie Warrior, Kelda the Kyrie Warrior, Jorhdawn, Chardris, Warriors of Ashra and Fyorlag Spiders x4 (600 points). Jackson's army consisted of Charos, Sonlen, Ulginesh and Venoc Vipers x2 (600 points). I was very impressed with her army creation skills.
I ran two armies. The first consisted of Tor-Kul-Na, Ne-Gok-Sa, Grok Riders, Marro Drudge x2 and Marrden Nagrubs x2 (600 points). My second army was made up of Taelord the Kyrie Warrior, Deathwalker 8000, Krug & Mimring (580 points).
Each army had an artifact glyph sitting on its base line. Victory would be achieved by either of two ways. Either totally wipe out the opposing army, or grab the opponents glyph and throw it into the well in the middle of the raised tower in the centre of the board. The first team to achieve either of these objectives would be declared the winner.
This strategy worked fairly well and Deathwalker 8000 was able to pick off several enemy. His downfall came when the mighty dragon Charos flew to the top of the tower and destroyed him a few turns later. The fighting was fierce and due to my fast moving attacks the battles were all on my opponents' side of the board. During the entire game they never did make it on to my side.
There were many ferocious battles. Brave warriors fell on both sides. At one point one of my Marrden Nagrubs grabbed my opponents' artifact and headed back to the central tower. The fighting was fierce but in the end I prevailed and totally destroyed both their armies.
I have to say I didn't pull any punches and was playing to win. However, every turn I gave Maddie and Jackson advice on their options and tips on tactics. I wanted them to learn the game as well as give me a challenge. When I gave them options and explained the tactics they invariably chose the best moves. After a while I didn't have to tell them to look for terrain height advantage or remember to use their character's special abilities or any other tips. In the end they were conspiring and even asked me to leave the room on occasions so they could assess the battlefield and make plans.
It was a great game and we all had fun. They even helped me pack everything away...with a little persuasion.
Saturday, August 28, 2010
Tomorrow morning these ruins will echo with the sounds of battle. Weapons will be clashed, magic will be wielded and blood will be spilled.
From the chaos of combat one side will emerge victorious...
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
Friday, August 20, 2010
I'm quite chuffed as this is also my first ever Platinum Trophy. However, there are still further trophies that have been released with downloadable content for this game so the trophy hunting will continue.
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
You see, when I got my PS3 back in May this year my brother invited me to join the PS3 gamer clan of which he is a member - the Mop & Bucket clan. A clan (or guild) is group of players who play online games together. The Mop & Bucket clan have members from all around Australia and they are a great bunch of guys and gals.
I just wanted to say "thanks Bro!", it was a pleasant surprise and I'll wear it with pride. It's my shout next time you're in Brisbane.
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
On his website Phil Barker has made the HOTT rules available for free download. He writes:
Some time in 2009, these rules went out-of-print and the copyright reverted to the three authors. They are now unavailable from any supplier I have been able to find. I have consulted Phil and Richard and we are agreed that until it is possible to publish a new edition of HOTT, we will make it available at this website. Anyone who wishes to play HOTT, has our permission to download a single copy of HOTT version 2 for his/her personal use. (Also page 23, sorry for the omission. I'll redo the whole thing soon. )
The rules are available via the links above or go to Phil's site and click on the History of W.R.G. link at the top of the page. The HOTT rules are about half-way down the page. Don't forget to download the separate page 23.
I already own a published set of these rules and have a few Lord of the Rings-inspired 15mm armies in various stages of completion. This is a rules set that I've read and admire and I intend on playing in the future. I don't know when I'll get around to playing but it's definitely on my 'to do' list.
Check them out.
Monday, August 16, 2010
- Pale rider (1985)
- The Missouri Breaks (1976)
- The Gunfighter (1950)
- The Treasure of the Sierra Madre (1948)
- Also Starring Pancho Villa as Himself (2003)
Saturday, July 24, 2010
Our first game was Liar's Dice (AKA Bluff). This was a fairly quick game with Grandma winning with 2 dice left.
Our second game was an old favourite, Gulo Gulo. 4 year old Georgia joined us for this and amazed us all with her skill of nimbly plucking the eggs from the bowl. Maddie led for most of the game but I overtook her right at the end when she missed a purple egg after being the first to find Gulo Junior. Final scores were 1st Wayne, 2nd Georgia, 3rd Maddie and 4th Grandma.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Now I'll mainly concentrate on playing Red Dead Redemption online in the fantastic multiplayer free roam and various co-op challenges. Rockstar Games have already announced further support for this great game with another four DLC packs scheduled for release over the next six months. Yeehaw!
Thursday, July 15, 2010
One thing I've noticed since pursuing an interest in the Western genre of films is that the majority of these films are 40 to 50 years old, and hence most of the actors are now deceased. I've been enjoying following up with a little research into these actors' lives and deaths after they made these films. Some of their life stories are fascinating.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
We'd placed all our people one at a time at the beginning of the game and then I realised that I'd forgotten to place the ships at their designated starting points. Rather than go through the initial people placement process again we just left the people where they were. I suspect that the placement of people would have looked different had we all known where the ships were going to be. I'll read the set up rules more clearly next time.
Maddie made an early start and was able to get a ship with two of her people and one of mine to the safety of one of the outlying island harbours. As the outer parts of Atlantis started to sink that's when all manner of sea creatures were attracted to the screams of the terrified Atlanteons. There is a sense of evil enjoyment as one sends a sea serpent to destroy a ship filled with your opponent's people. Maddie's now at an age where she's less likely to take personally a move that hinders her, and can even take pleasure in 'take that' moves she makes herself.
Final scores were Maddie and me sharing 1st place with 4, and Grandma coming 2nd with 2. I'm not aware of a tie-break mechanic in Atlantis although Maddie reached her score before I did. I was just happy to share the win.
Sunday, July 04, 2010
- The Magnificent Seven (1960)
- The Long Riders (1980)
- The Searchers (1956)
- Young Guns (1988)
- Young Guns II (1990)
- The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance (1962)
- High Noon (1952)
Luckily I have a local Video store that has Tuesday $1 weekly movie specials.
Friday, July 02, 2010
I have been taking my time in reading this series by Bernard Cornwell. I've been savouring the journey, not rushing from book to book for I know it will eventually end. Sword Song is the fourth in the series and there is only one further book published at this point in time.
Wednesday, June 23, 2010
Rats are social creatures and we wanted Mollie not to be alone. We picked up Millie today. Maddie is now the proud owner of two young rats.
Friday, June 18, 2010
Maddie had the opportunity to choose Mollie and she made a great choice. Mollie really is a little cutie and is already bonding well with her new owner.
Saturday, June 12, 2010
Wednesday, June 09, 2010
Using the world of Red Dead Redemption as a virtual film studio and created entirely with in-game assets and technology, John Hillcoat re-imagines protagonist John Marston’s pursuit of justice and salvation.
The film can be viewed at the Red Dead Redemption site and in the VIDEOS section of RockstarGames.com.
Saturday, May 22, 2010
Maddie chose the games we were to play. First up was PitchCar Mini. The colours of the four drivers were Wayne (tan), Grandma (yellow), Maddie (pink) and Georgia (blue). The starting grid was 1st Maddie, 2nd Georgia, 3rd Grandma and 4th Wayne.
Maddie led for pretty much the entire three laps with me in second and slowly gaining on her each lap. Georgia and Grandma kept trading 3rd and 4th position. It was on the last bend of the final lap that the major drama of the race happened. Maddie ran off the road and I was able to overtake her and win on my next go. She took 2nd with Georgia 3rd and Grandma 4th.
Maddie then chose Diamant. This is my home-made version and we use glass stones to represent the rubies and diamonds. Maddie and Grandma took an early lead which they held for the first four caves. On the final cave I pushed my luck further than the other three and was lucky to come away with a big score that handed me the overall win. Final scores were 1st Wayne 47, 2nd Maddie 39, 3rd Grandma 29 and 4th Georgia 15.
Thursday, May 20, 2010
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
High praise indeed from Seth Schiesel of the New York Times when he wrote "In the more than 1,100 articles I have written for this newspaper since 1996, I have never before called anything a tour de force. Yet there is no more succinct and appropriate way to describe Red Dead Redemption."
Here are some links to just a few of the many reviews of Red Dead Redemption.
New York Times review
Computer and Video Games review
Edge Online review
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
I did a double-take at the train station in the city this morning. One of the electronic posters was advertising Red Dead Redemption. Here's a photo I took with my phone camera.
Monday, May 17, 2010
All links will take you to the Reddead.Wikia page with a game screenshot of the particular weapon.
German Semi-Automatic Pistol
Colt Single Action Army
American Semi-Automatic Pistol
American Magnum Revolver
Civil War-Era Revolver
German Mauser C96 - Automatic Pistol
Smith & Wesson Schofield No. 3 Revolver
Pre-Civil War Lever-Action Pistol
German Luger P08 Semi-Automatic pistol
American Army Semi-Automatic Pistol
A very old but very powerful cap and ball pistol
Sharps 1874 Long Range
Evans Repeating Rifle
Spencer Model 1860 Carbine
1860 Henry Rifle
Italian Carcano M1891 Rifle
Winchester Repeater Model 1873
Winchester 1892 Saddle Ring Carbine
More powerful than the 1873 and 1892
Early American Lever-Action Rifle
American Semi-automatic rifle with magazine
Remington No.1 Rolling Block Sporting Rifle
1873 Trapdoor Springfield Cavalry Carbine
Krag-Jørgensen/Springfield Model 1892-99
Browning Auto 5
Sawed Off Shotgun
Side by Side Shotgun
10-gauge lever-action shotgun
12-gauge pump-action shotgun
Over and Under Shotgun
In addition to firearms, the player can obtain various thrown weapons:
These weapons are stationary and cannot be directly moved by the player from the location of deployment:
Additional Weapons and Equipment
Other than the above, there are other types of weapons and equipment the player can use.
Sunday, May 16, 2010
All pictures are clickable for a larger image.
It appears that hunting and then selling the meat, fur and other parts will gain you cash in the game.
You can hunt all sorts of animals, from the very small...
...to the very large.
And sometimes, the hunter...
...becomes the hunted!
And you will probably learn the hard way that hunting cougars with only a knife may not be such a good idea.
Saturday, May 15, 2010
The world of Red Dead Redemption is huge. It comprises three main areas, West Elizabeth (The North), New Austin (the Frontier), and Nuevo Paraiso (Northern Mexico).
The North (West Elizabeth) - Home to the bustling Blackwater, one of the many modern, burgeoning new townships that sprung up across America in the dying days of the Old West. West Elizabeth may provide a taste of early 20th century modernity, but also its fair share of wilderness and danger. From the wolves prowling the snows of Nekoti Rock to the fierce Grizzlies in the forests above Manzanita to the ruthless card sharks at the tables in Blackwater - traveling the North requires caution and wile.
The Frontier (New Austin) - The last outpost of the American frontier to be mapped, conquered and settled. New Austin is home to scattered townships and forts - but far from tamed. Savage outlaws and wild animals still roam the open spaces, and wary travelers share the newly cut roads with as many bandits as farmers. Trains and coaches move quickly between the larger towns, but a sidearm is a necessity when traveling by horseback.
Northern Mexico (Nuevo Paraiso) - South of the border, across the San Luis River from New Austin, lies the Mexican province of Nuevo Paraiso. Red soil, enormous mesas and scorching midday sun make passing through these lands an unforgettable journey. In quieter times, the locals are not likely to bother a stranger - but there is talk of a civil war brewing in the hills, and mounted army patrols are quick to extinguish any signs of trouble. Tread carefully.
I enjoy exploring open game worlds. Red Dead Redemption is looking like it will be one of the largest and most beautiful worlds yet produced.