Friday, December 31, 2010

2010 - My year of gaming

As the end of 2010 draws near I find myself reflecting on my gaming habits. Gaming for me crosses many different genres. I don't consider myself a board gamer, or a role player, a miniatures gamer or even a video gamer, though at stages in my life I have focused solely on each of these game types. Rather, at this point in my life I consider myself a gamer with multi-faceted tastes, a 'multi-gamer' if you will.

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.

Blue Max 28
PitchCar Mini 6
Battle Line 2
Diamant 2
Escape from Atlantis 2
Liar's Dice 2
500 2
Antike 1
Cartagena 1
Cloud 9 1
The Downfall of Pompeii 1
For Sale 1
Gulo Gulo 1
Hearts 1
Heroscape Expansion Set: Defenders of Kinsland 1
Heroscape Expansion Set: Fortress of the Archkyrie 1
Heroscape Expansion Set: Malliddon's Prophecy 1
Heroscape Expansion Set: Orm's Return 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
Ingenious 1
King Me! 1
Money Money Money 1
Pass the Pigs 1
Quicksand 1
Red November 1
Der schwarze Pirat 1
Wanted! 1

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

Goodbye old friend

Our much loved family pet died today. He came into our lives 15 and a half years ago when my wife (then girlfriend) and I discovered a bedraggled tiny black kitten near the garage of the block of units in which were living. At first I thought he was a rat, being small and thin, with a long skinny tail. He was affectionately known as Ratty from then on.

Enjoying the warmth of the sun on our back deck

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

Assassin's Creed: Beautiful Lies

I came across a YouTube video the other day that really impressed me. It's made by a fan of the video games Assassin's Creed and Assassin's Creed II and it's a lot better than a lot of professionally made trailers.

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.