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Messages - wedgeski

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1
General / Re: Message from Dan Abnett - UNWT Award ceremony
« on: 07 July, 2020, 10:43:44 AM »
Brilliant response. Kudos to Colin for making all this happen. :)

2
Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 06 July, 2020, 03:56:42 PM »
I think the first one might also be one of, if not my favourite Werewolf film.  Saying that, I haven't seen An American Werewolf in London.  I have been told countless times that I should but I never really think to. 
All I can say is...you really should. :)

3
Games / Re: The Board Game Thread
« on: 06 July, 2020, 03:54:01 PM »
I thought I'd post about the games we've been playing with our board game group during lock-down. We identified 3 or 4 games that everyone owned, set up a Discord channel, plonked the laptop and webcam at the end of the table, and dove in. We're now down to just us, and one other couple, but our weekly video-conferenced game sessions have been a welcome and familiar anchor in the weirdness of the last few months.

Playing remotely from each-other is actually quite simple if you both own the game, and one side of the call is responsible for calling out game state. You don't need overhead cams, or for that matter the ability to see the other party's board at all. I know there are digital shared tabletops out there, but I find the entire experience is dramatically diminished when you're not hunched over an actual board, squinting at tiny card text and trying desperately to wring every point you can from the last round.

Lords of Waterdeep. This may be one of the most predictable in the list, but this game is just astonishingly good (especially if everyone in your board game group also plays D&D with you!). The Skullport expansion makes things more varied and unpredictable, at the cost of taking some of the finesse out of a good victory (IMO).

For remote play, agree ahead of time what you might want to take out of the Lords, Buildings, and Intrigue decks (we remove the strongest PvP elements, and there are a couple of Lords which we've come to feel don't compete very well). Intrigue is a wrinkle, as they're held as concealed hands, but everyone just draws from their own (full) deck and the odd duplicate makes little difference. One party on the call is responsible for dealing Quests and Buildings, and everyone keeps their board state in line.

We must have played 40 to 50 games of this since buying it, with about a dozen of them during lock-down. I'm constantly amazed at how fresh and exciting a clear board feels just as the game starts, and how engrossed everyone is by the time they place their last agent. It's an absolute classic!

Galaxy Trucker. Piece together your space-ship under the clock, then watch it succumb piece by piece to the rigors of space travel during the cargo run. A relatively recent addition to our rotation, where the biggest compromise is that, in a four player game with two instances of the game in play, everyone has twice as many pieces to choose from. This changes the kind of ships you build, but not massively to the detriment of the game.

For remote play, one party deals and announces the mission events. Easy as that.

Trucker is a phenomenal game. There's no experience in board games that I've yet found to match the sheer delight of assembling your starship at the start of every round (despite my frustrating tendency to have one illegal piece at some vital junction and having half my ship snap off before we even get going!). There is also a *ton* of mastery to bring to bear in knowing what kind of misfortunes will befall your crew before they reach their destination (and even a game mode where you can see what those misfortunes are ahead of time, hinting at what kind of build you should aim for).

Don't put those crew pods next to each-other folks. Anyone who has played will know why.

Trucker commits one unfortunate board-gaming crime, which is the possibility of being removed from play for entire rounds due to sheer bad luck in the early events. We've seen this enough to regard it as a flaw, but we haven't decided what to do about it yet.

Elder Sign. Quality dice-pooling in a Lovecraftian nightmare. This is one of my favourite co-operative games, great looking with a constantly changing board, and full of crunchy probability analysis.

Again, very simple to run with two remote parties who both own the game. Simply have one side of the call announce new rooms, monsters, and other drawable effects, while the other side keeps its board state inline. Bonus points for narrating the room descriptions in your best Vincent Price.

Unexpectedly, one thing that's becoming apparent the more we master Elder Sign is that, amazingly for a modern board game, and especially for a Cthulhu-based board game at that, it's actually a bit easy! Of our last five games, we lost only one. We'll move into the expansions soon, and hopefully they'll re-inject the utter futility of standing against the Old Ones that we're all looking for.

4
Film & TV / Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« on: 06 July, 2020, 11:46:41 AM »
Double-post alert.

5
Film & TV / Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« on: 06 July, 2020, 11:46:08 AM »
Some of the changes make sense.  Others seem to be focused on ticking boxes.  Overall personally I found that it worked about as well as the books: disengage brain, sit back, enjoy the ride ...
The Hunt for Red October is the only book of his I've read, and I did that purely because I love the film so much. Alec Baldwin is still has the best depiction of Ryan, IMO: hard-edged, uncompromising, having total belief in his own rightness. I assume it's true to the character as he evolved in the books, and I see some of that in the TV series as well.

6
Prog / Re: Prog 2188: Chronoclysm!
« on: 06 July, 2020, 11:18:26 AM »
FOTF - next series of The Brink!!!!!!
IKR! And shouldn't we have heard about a collected Volume 4 by now?

7
Film & TV / Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« on: 06 July, 2020, 11:14:44 AM »
We've exhausted our Netflix backlog, so we've switched over to Prime, and started with Jack Ryan, having completed season 1 over the weekend. Light spoilers below, but nothing you won't get from the first episode.

Can't deny it, we really enjoyed this. It's a reboot, of course, of the CIA's most notorious boy scout, but it's hitting all the right notes, with undeniable influence from the likes of Zero Dark Thirty. They've adjusted the backstory (I think; my knowledge of this character is pulled entirely from the film sequence) so that he was actually deployed before getting injured, which goes some way to explain why he gets flown by private jet to CIA black sites instead of the people who should actually be doing that.

Of course the terrorists are ISIS (or at least some offshoot), and the attempt to humanise the resident sheikh couldn't even be called half-hearted, but his wife and children, and their struggles, bring a dimension I've never seen to a trope which is as tired these days as villainous Russkies were in 80's action flicks.

The cast is great, it looks fantastic, it's often sphinter-clenchingly tense, and the action is spectacular. We expected little, and got more than we bargained for. We've already skated straight into season 2. Recommended.

8
Games / Re: Last game played...
« on: 03 July, 2020, 11:48:04 AM »
XCOM 2. Way more then I should.
Man, I need to get back to that. I abandoned my game years ago cos I thought they'd ramped the difficulty into unfun levels, but I feel like giving it another go.

9
Announcements / Re: Judge Dredd Uprising - immersive experience
« on: 30 June, 2020, 12:01:47 PM »
Sounds interesting! Is this as well as, or instead of, the TV series?

I did the War of the Worlds immersive experience, which was a blast, so a Judge Dredd one should be amazing! I always wished I’d been able to do Alien War in the Trocadero before it closed down.
I did that! My mate and I took a trip to London especially to do it. It was fantastic, a totally unique experience, and we were absolutely buzzing when we came out.

Hopefully this new Dredd experience lives up to it! From the sounds of it, I'll be making multiple trips.

10
Off Topic / Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
« on: 29 June, 2020, 01:37:44 PM »
The Surface is a Windows machine so you'll be able to get the app from the Windows marketplace.

Not that it ever works. :grumble:
It would refresh my collection about 1 time in 10. All the rest of the occasions I tried it, it would simply time out or do nothing. That was several months ago -- it may have been fixed by now. In the meantime I'm just manually downloading PDF's from the store.

11
Off Topic / Re: Large Tablet for reading comics - Surface Pro?
« on: 29 June, 2020, 10:30:01 AM »
The Surface is a Windows machine so you'll be able to get the app from the Windows marketplace.

Not that it ever works. :grumble:

12
Film & TV / Re: Last movie watched...
« on: 26 June, 2020, 02:53:01 PM »
That said. I've actually never seen his 48h. Gonne try hunt it down at some 2nd hand store.
You won't regret it. A fantastic film, and maybe his best performance.

13
General / Re: FINAL - Dan Abnett or Pat Mills - For the Godpleton Cup
« on: 25 June, 2020, 09:53:53 AM »
Putting aside the respect due Mr. Mills, Dan Abnett represents everything great about the prog since I resubscribed a few years ago. Brink has quickly become one of my favourite strips of all time, in this or any other publication, and would almost be enough to secure my vote by itself, to say nothing of Grey Area which is also high in the list. I will gamely resist the temptation of allowing his writing credit for Alien: Isolation, which IMO is in the running for video game of the century, to influence the decision any further, since he crossed the line before it became a factor. :)

My vote goes to Dan Abnett.

14
Film & TV / Re: Current TV Boxset Addiction
« on: 24 June, 2020, 09:44:52 AM »
The Expanse is an absolute joy. It's the kind of space opera I love to read (although, ironically, I hadn't found my way to the books before the TV series started), but which hasn't found its way to film or TV until recent years. Long may that trend continue (Apple previewed next year's Foundation series yesterday and it looks fantastic).

15
Classifieds / Re: Andy's Big Clearout
« on: 23 June, 2020, 12:00:20 PM »
I'll take the Mega-Collection America pls.

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