Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Reading, Prepping, and Playing

It's this blog's equivalent of a clip show!

I'm only half joking.

Here's what has kept me occupied through the end of 2011 and is likely to keep me going through the first part of 2012:

A co-worker bought a copy of Lu Zhan Jun Qi for me for Christmas. It reminds me strongly of Stratego. In a good way. The copy I received is as pictured on the page I linked, too.  It's gorgeous.

Asmodee gifted me with a copy of Eclipse.  It scratches that Twilight Imperium itch in about half the time. Not only that, but I like it quite a bit more than TI - the rules are clearer with less errata and no need for an expansion to fix its problems.

Tonight, I hope to introduce my usual Wednesday crowd to Quebec.  It was (for me) the Game of the Show at GenCon. I hope the Wednesday crowd takes to it as quickly.

Takenoko was in the same package as both Eclipse and Quebec. My first thought was, "Cute panda figure!" And then I had a chance to play. I like this game - it's cute-looking, but don't late that deceive you.  There is a surprising amount of game in the box.

I'm enjoying Mongoose's participation in the Bits and Mortar program. I've filled in my RuneQuest II (now Legend) PDF's, and have grabbed most of my Traveller PDFs, as well. I really only need the core book most of the time.

Speaking of Traveller, I grabbed Chthonian Stars. It makes me really want to run a Traveller game.

I have also taken advantage of Pelgrane Press' participation in the Bits & Mortar program.  I have most of the Gumshoe core books (lacking only Night's Black Agents), and so got those PDF's.  And finally had a chance to read through them and spend some time thinking about them. Wow. I knew Gumshoe was an awesome system, but on re-reading, it really shines. Most games have an "automatic success" threshold somewhere in the rulebook - Gumshoe basically says, "if it's essential to drive the story, then it's an automatic success.  Players can exert themselves for extra information if they want to."

I managed to acquire another PDF reader for the table, too. A customer gifted me with a Cydle M7.  It's less powerful than my Kindle Fire, but will work as a PDF reader. We plan to use it as a cookbook in the kitchen - its built-in stand makes it ideal for that purpose.

And Cubicle 7 continues to hold my interest. I now own all of Qin: The Warring States. Well, all of it that's available in English, that is. The next book is reportedly suffering from some translation issues - which is perfectly understandable from where I'm sitting. Of course, I've spent most of the last decade working with a French publisher on translations ...

I hear from people that I don't give FFG enough credit for their good games.  And it's true - I don't. Part of that is because I'm not buying any Games-Workshop licensed products. This removes the vast majority of FFG's output from my shopping list immediately. But I've played a few of them - and, for the most part, I do enjoy their board games.  In the next year, however, two of my most-anticipated games are coming from FFG, both of them reprints of a sort (and neither of them is Merchant of Venus).

Rex: Final Days of an Empire is FFG's rethemed reprint of the old Avalon Hill/Eon Dune board game. I have a copy already, but the reprint means I may be able to actually get it to the table.

They're also reprinting WizWar.  Again: I have a copy, but it never sees the table these days. Which is a shame, because it's fun.

And, finally, a reminder of my post from yesterday: Gaming at Phoenix Games in Mukilteo for New Year's Eve. We'd love to see you there.

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