Tuesday, September 14, 2010
Tuesday, January 05, 2010
Gone with the wind
I'm going to preserve this blog, since it's one of the few sites that actively ties in to the gatlingEngine and CCGW, but this blog will go into a hiatus and will not get updated frequently (basically like it has been for a while now). If anyone would like to contact me (and see my random musings online), add me as your friend on Facebook, but please let me know who you are (i.e. gEngine username), otherwise I'm just going to delete your friend request.
Also, to the members of the MND customs dev team, I'm open to finishing up the cards on Facebook :)
Friday, November 06, 2009
Happy 8th Anniversary
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
-+@ Sailor SOL @+-
Images from Sandwich Shop, with a card that was made in honour of me. I am honoured to have a sandwich named after me. Anyways, what prompted this set of images was because Kev, the creator of the game, left a comment on my blog saying Hi... and he's just one of 4 people who have done so this week (not counting nipa, who would make it 5)! I miss being able to play Sandwich shop on gEngine, although one of these days, I should really print out the cards and introduce it to my gaming group!
Picks-at-Flies sent me an email earlier in the week talking about Rage and B5 and other miscellaneous stuff. It was good to catch up with him, and to talk about fond times that we shared together and remembered. Sadly, according to him Rage has fallen off the radar now that Fenris & himself aren't working much on it. I wonder if that has anything to do with gEngine going under, but I don't think I want to pick on old wounds, so I'll stay clear of that topic with him.
Some couple from Insiider also contacted me this week asking about the custom MND cards. I didn't realise that half the cards on the custom cards site has no text! I gave the the text for the small expansions but will have to build up the text for the big/main expansions. It was good times working on those cards and although I think I've moved on, it's still nice to know that there are people who wish to play with those cards. They also asked me if I was still making them... well I'm not but I still have ideas locked up there somewhere, so who knows what I may do in future? I wonder if any of the old gang would be interested in working on custom cards... Mal? Bobby? Frei? Ninja?
Doug messaged me earlier and that was a ... well, I was going to say pleasant, but with Doug it's never pleasant, so it's a sorta unpleasant surprise. He was curious about people and basically just wanted to kill time. Oh well, same old. What's new was his spelling and grammar - I could actually understand him a lot better today and according to him, he's back in school. Good for him. Also according to him, he offered a grand to Ed to buy CCGW. I think that was funny. And weird. And so Doug.
It's definately interesting, but weird to have all these people contacting me all in one week. Well, the end of April and the beginning of May is usually a busy time on gEngine, and I guess with it gone this year, well...
Friday, March 27, 2009
-+@ Mines of Moira @+-
Wow, I haven't seen these cards for ages, literally. I haven't been playing for at least 2 years now. Wow, how time flies. I remember I used to play this every day. Oh well, things change with time.
I went in today to play a game on LotR Online and was surprised to see there were about half a dozen players there. A game was ongoing when I entered and I joined the second that was already setup.
I played a Fellowship block game, which for those with Nostalgia, is the best of the block. However, since I started with the Tower block (Helm's Deep is my favourite place in the whole story!), there wasn't much nostalgia for me to play with the Fellowship block. I chose my Hobbit - Wounding Orc deck, and played rather badly IMO. I guess I'm getting rusty with the game. My opponent I think is a former World champion and I was beaten when his Frodo got to site 9. I did manage to kill all his other companions though, but that was not enough for me to win. Oh well.
There's still about a year running for those who has online cards, although no more new sign-ups are allowed. I saw on the forums people pleading for accounts to play. Wow, I can't believe that there'll still be demand for it, but it was one of the top CCG of its time, thanks to the huge movie tie-in, and I think it's still immensely popular, eventhough there have been no new cards for 2 years now. Wow. 2 years...
It's good to know that some sites stay up and running, eventhough their owners no longer have the time and resources to maintain the site. I wonder though, what will happen after 2010. I think by then the demand for "dead" CCGs may become great again. Well, maybe I'll be able to play Wildstorms again!
Sunday, March 01, 2009
-+@ Invaders @+-
Holmberg actually has a few nice Invader pictures on his site as well (link is on my blog to the right). Here's a nice group shot of 4 Invaders:
That's a nice image. Here's some more of his scratch pad:
Perhaps if there are people making custom cards out there that's not me, some of these would probably make good card images! Please do make sure you ask Holmberg for his permission firsth though!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
-+@ Something Pink @+-
What did arrive was in a small envelope of hard card. When I saw it I wondered what it could be. When I saw the writing (it's funny how I can recognise the writing even though I've only seen it a couple of times before) and where it's sent from I had a good idea what was inside. Here's a photo (with the names and addressed censored):
If you have a closer look, you can probably make out the German stamps underneath the Finnish postmark. Also under the address, Hans im Glück is visible. That should give a good clue what is inside. Yay, my blank tiles from Europe has finally arrived! Thanks nipa!
I had my first surprise when I opened the box. Something pink? Eeek... did nipa send the parcel meant for someone else to me by mistake? Erm... pink... now why is that colour significant? Of course it's significant... it's the colour mostly associated with Geishas!
What's a Geisha? A joke between the few of us at the now defunct CCGW. Stuff like - I walked into the hotel room and saw that there was a Geisha on my pillow. Heh. Oh well, those were the days which I will remember fondly. Here's a close-up of the chocolate bar:
I think the packaging used to have pictures of Geishas on it, but that was supposed to be sexist or racist or whatever, so that got removed. Apparently Geisha is the most popular of the candies made in Finland with really unappropriate names. I don't remember what they are, but I'm sure somewhere on the internet...
Anyways, the story is this: I wrote HiG to ask them if they would sell me those blank tiles - i.e. send them outside Europe. I even told them I'd pay more. They wrote back and said the tiles were not for sale, but were only available as a replacement. They also said that they would not be shipping them outside of Europe. So much for that.
Not long after that, they put out an announcement that there were going to limit the total number of sheets of 12 tiles to 5 per person. Ouch. That's gonna put a crimp in anyone's style. The story is that they did not want others to get those tiles, make bad quality fan tiles on them and then sell those tiles on ebay, because that would just be 1. copyright infringement and 2. dumb buyers will complain to HiG about the badly made tiles asking for a replacement... which won't be available as HiG didn't make those tiles.
Anyways, to cut my story short, I had to find a. a European, b. willing get the sheets for me, c. willing to ship to me, d. doesn't want it for themselves and e. can accept Paypal. Well, since I am still talking to one on a regular basis (the other being Martin, but we hardly talk anymore since, well, he's busy with work and all), I sent an IM to nipa asking him if he would help me get the 5 sheets. He agreed, agreed to scam HiG by using 2 separate addresses to get me 10 sheets.
I paid him a week ago after he has sent it and I must say I'm really happy with the result. He even threw in a Geisha! here are the 10 sheets as the "before" picture. I shall be happy making custom tiles from these! Kiitos Tomi!
Wednesday, February 04, 2009
=(*)= King's Gate =(*)=
This is a tile laying game, where there are ten locations and player has to win points printed on the locations by having the most strength around the location. It's a 4 player game with red, yellow, blue and green tiles for the players, each of which have either a number from 1 to 5, or a cup or a dragon (some of these tiles are shown in the image above).
The game starts with a location being laid (and the locations are marked 1 to 10 to show the order that they are to be used) and each player plays one tile per turn around the location during their turn, usually, but there are exceptions. The tile with the 1 has a star on it to remind players that they can put as many 1 tiles as they have in hand (max of 6 tiles in hand) during a turn. The cup, is a bonus tile that has a strength of zero, but can be played in addition with another tile, if the location permits. Most locations permit the placement of multiple tiles, if the tiles themselves allow it. However, two locations only permit a limited amount of tiles to be played and there are some locations (marked by black circles) allow a player to do nasty things to the tiles around that location. The dragon, for example, removes a tile from play.
When all 10 spaces around the location is filled, players calculate who has the strongest strength around it by summing up the number of their tiles around the location and get points as printed on the tile. The last player gets no points. The player who completed the tile then gets to place the next location touching at least one of the existing tiles. This goes on until all players run out of tiles, or location 10 is completed, whichever comes first.
Gamewise, it's pretty boring, but there are twists with the personalities that can be won. I've never played with the personalities, since I've always played this game with little kids who want to feel grown up by playing a grown-up game so I have no idea how they factor into the game. There aren't a lot of tiles anyways, and in a 3 player game, the game ends after about half an hour at location 8, so games are relatively short.
There is some Strategy with this game. Whoever wins early and scores all the low points will generally lose later when the higher scoring locations are placed. The cup and the multiple 1s adds an interesting twist as it means one cannot count on who might finish the location. And of course, a 3, with the sword icon, cannot be displaced by a dragon or a higher scoring number while a location with a black circle is being played, so it is good to horde 3s until such a time as it proves useful.
What is gorgeous about this game is the artwork, which ensures that no matter which way the tiles are placed, as long as they are upright, the images are "completed" along the edge that are placed. Although the art may seem dull at first sight, the details that it contains is excrutiatingly well done and one gets to enjoy the scenery "in between turns" which, due to the tile laying nature of the game, is different every game.
The other thing that the box contains, besides a tray that doesn't seem to hold the tiles too well, are gold coins with 1 and 5s on them to allow a player to keep track of the score. I find these tokens useful for teaching maths to the younger players, i.e. I have 4 points (4x1) and I score 4 more points. How many point would I have? 8. What would be the most efficient way to deal with the tokens? Take away a 1 and add a 5, literally 4-1+5=8.
Overall, this is a boring game, unless one is playing it for educational purposes. Oh, and the game I played? I lost to the youngest player. Go figure!
Labels: Game Review
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
=(*)= Switzerland to Ride =(*)=
Apologies first for the blurry cards. I must have saved the smaller resolution and image size...
What's TtR Switzerland all about? Well, first and foremost it's a 3-player game, and that was the main reason why it saw play over the past few days - because there were only 3 players available. So that's a plus in its book.
TtR Switzerland also takes to it only one feature from TtR Europe - the tunnels. This made it a lot easier to explain to a first time gamer the rules since there were only tunnels to explain, and there weren't any ferries or stations or the other ancillary rules from TtR Europe. The streamlined multicoloured locomotives drawing (i.e. just like a normal card) also made play a lot more smoother, as players didn't have to stop and ask how many cards they had to take after taking one of those locomotives.
The other plus of course, are the multi-route tickets, two of which are shown above. The players I was with simply loved the fact that it is almost impossible to block those cards as there are 3 possible end destinations. One complaint however, was for the multi-route tickets with originated in Switzerland. The names of the cities, unlike the normal route tickets, were not geographically marked and it took a while to locate them. Otherwise, they were fine.
The other complaint in the game, although not a big complaint, is that the names of some of the places were a bit hard to pronounce. "Brno" - is that Birno, Bruno, Beerino? Well, it's definately not on the list of destinations that a regular person outside of Europe would have generally heard of, let alone pronounce.
Even with the double routes open in a 3-player game, some of the routes were still heavily utilised and blocked. Geneva, for example, saw all 4 routes getting used up on both games, while competition was tough at Bern, Basel and Zurich. The eastern part of the map was sparingly used, especially the south-eastern part. Apparenlty Italy isn't that popular as it is miles from the cities mentioned above.
I won the first game, and drew first on the 2nd after the longest route was taken into account (yes, we were playing with the longest route and most destinations bonuses). We were also playing with the new replacement cards which felt so much nicer not only in terms of the smooth finishing, but also because there are no typos (which came with the original cards in the box).
Overall, this game is great for beginners who have played TtR the original, but have not yet got any experience with the other maps yet. I would strongly recommend getting the replacement tickets and the 1910 cards for more fun. The group I was playing with was so enthusiastic about the map that they are looking forward to the Nordic map, which I explained, will have something more (ferries, 9-card routes). Switzerland is a logical fit in progression between TtR and Nordic with Europe and Marklin after those (although not necessary in that order).
I think Switzerland probably made my gaming group TtR fanatics!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
=(*)= San Juan =(*)=
So I had a chance to play this game over the holidays (was that 2 weeks ago? Blimey!) and although I enjoyed the company and the playing, I didn't really enjoy the game.
This is a card game, and it entails drawing cards to hands, taking actions in rounds, building buildings, producing more cards and trading produce. Sounds a lot like a CCG, but it's not. It's a card game. The object of the game is to score the most victory points (printed on almost every card. The game ends when one player has built 12 buildings.
The graphics are great for a card game, but is subpar when compared to the images in a typical CCG, or at least the CCGs I'm used to. The gameplay is relatively fast, thanks to the simplicity of the rules (again, when compared to the CCG). I was also told that the game is a lot simpler than it's parent Puerto Rico. There are tactics and strategy involved in the game, but as I played it only once, I could only vaguely sketch out them tactics and strategies.
The gameplay uses almost nothing new to a CCG player - the cards in your hand function as buildings, resources and produce depending on how they are played. Building can only happen in the building round and Produce can only be produced during the production round. One thing that might be new to a CCG player is that the turns do not consists of fixed rounds. There are as many rounds in a turn as there are players and during each turn, each player gets to pick which rounds are in the turn. It's not really novel, though. One of the rounds in a turn that you may pick is the "Draw" round - this is the only card game where one is not guaranteed to draw every round, which makes cards in hands all the more important.
To make a long story short, I finished with 12 buildings and won the game. And I'm saying that not to boast but to illustrate the point that I didn't enjoy the game not because I lost (I didn't!) but because it's a bit skimpy for my taste. At the end of the game, I commented that it feels very much like a game of Citadels, but is less exciting and has more resource management (not exactly in those words) and everyone who was playing with me agreed that it was so. Ah well! This is not something I will get for my own collection. I'll stick with Citadels, thank you very much.
I think this game is meant for hardcore Puerto Rico lovers who are looking for a quicker and lighter version of the game (hence the simplicity and cards as opposed to board). For the average Gamer though, I'd recommend checking out Citadels.
Labels: Game Review
_.%~ Ancient of Days ~%._
A new year, a new leaf for the blog? Not really. I'll still retain this blog as my personal comments blog, but instead of focusing on the stuff I do at CCG Workshop (RIP!), I'm just gonna post about the games that I play and perhaps put up a few reviews or something. Nothing has been fixed yet, but it will definately include stuff that I'm doing at... ah, but that will be telling!
Just for those who have noticed (which will probably mean none of my one regular reader), the titles have gotten new symbols. Here are some of the symbols which I will be using as part of this "redesigned" (ha ha ha) blog.
_.%~ [title] ~%._ will contain posts about the site (formerly ~ [title] ~ )
-+@ [title] @+- will have my usual ramblings
=(*)= [title] =(*)= will be reviews of expansions, games, whatever
And just to start the year, here's an avalanche of images from Ancient of Days, the fan-made MND set that never will be.
Labels: MND - Ancient of Days