Thursday, October 29, 2009

Attention Wolf and Party!


We should get to work. Give me a task. Someone. Please.
(I just failed a 'control-your-excitement' roll.)

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rob just figured out how to edit a title so it don't look weird on RSS feeds. hooray!

I thought you guys might like this video

Google Wave, RPGs, and the Future of Online Communication

You may or may not have heard of Google Wave, it's an ambitious attempt by Google to reinvent email that has not yet been released to the public. It's got a number of features for group communication, but adds complexity. Some people have wondered what it's really good for, or speculated that it is doomed to failure. Ars Technica has today posted a story about pen and paper roleplaying using Wave which makes the medium seem a little more compelling. I'm thinking that we might at least do some character creation for our 4E game when I get my invite and send invites to you guys. And yes, it is named after the communication medium in Firefly.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Methinks Dock was luring me into the open.

I have always been a sucker for simple, cute and cheesy lyrics that pretend to be deep. For example:
"The silence isn't so bad
'til I look at my hands and feel sad
'Cause the spaces between my fingers
Are right where your's fit perfectly.

You see, stuff like that makes me smile and then giggle. And that makes Karri laugh. At me.
Then he finishes off with an old and tired rhyme. Rhyming for crying our loud:

"Oh, if my voice could reach back through the past
I'd whisper in your ear,
"Oh, darling I wish you were here"

Auto-tuning makes it sound new again - but it isn't. However, I might be okay with that anyway.

Unfortunately the reality of this situation that Dock and I know we are to old and male for always comes along and shames us back into being wistful thirty-somethings.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wolf, get this while you are at it.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

If You See One Opera This Year

The Metropolitan Opera is running its "Live in HD" series this year, where they beam performances to movie theaters so we can get some culture out in the sticks. As much as I love the Minnesota Opera and all the great stuff they do, if you only see one this year it's got to be the Met's Les Contes d'Hoffman (the Tales of Hoffman). This recommendation is partly because Hoffman is my favorite opera by a long shot, and partly because the design of the production is based on the work of Franz Kafka. The mere thought of this synthesis makes me want to lie down with a damp cloth over my eyes. It also makes me want to see it. A lot.

For those of you with wives who are interested in dancing, Hoffman has more of it than any opera I can think of. The one warning I would give you is that Hoffman is written in an older style- that is, it has a really long overture and a tedious (by my modern sensibilities) prologue, but once you're past them the rest of it is absolutely riveting.

The live date is December 19, and the encore date is January 6. Ticket prices probably vary by location, but tickets at Block E are around $20 with discounts for students, seniors and kids.

Link to tickets

Friday, October 16, 2009

Tim 1 - AVK 0

The skirmish was unfolding the way they always did. Not the plan, plans are worthless once contact is made. ‘Stealers were massing and flanking. Space Marines were on the move setting up positions and firing lanes. If it wasn’t for the Space Marine’s zealousness this worship experience would be one of many thousands of exercises in meaninglessness.

Radio silence had been broken. There was no element of surprise to be had. It’s unnecessary when the swarm knows where you’re going. Well communicated and coordinated maneuvers and firing runs were more beneficial to the task at hand.

Unfortunately the risk of counterproductive com-chatter comes along at times like this as well. It is amazing how many Space Marines still have so little faith this far into the war. Their panicked cries into the com system could start to eat away at a squad from the inside like a cancer.

The Flamer was experiencing just such a crisis of belief. He had watched as the Sergeant went out in a blaze of unfortunately impotent bravado. His leader’s last act, meant to inspire, left him in a stupor. In desperation he pulled the trigger, flooding the hall that led to his objective with fire. Unbelievably most of the Genestealers escaped the blast causing the Flamer to cry out, “How do you kill what can dodge righteous flames?”

The rear guard heard the entire exchange. They were in position and ready to fight off the flanking ‘Stealers that were now charging down the hall. Watching the enemy crawl over itself in an attempt to get to your throat while your leader’s com link goes dead and your squad mate ends up worthless will test the most hardened of warriors. Thankfully, the rear guard’s faith was strong.

With an encouraging glance at his partner he drew down and bolted the bug that was winning the race for his neck. Finally - a blessing from the gods! With renewed fervor and sustained fire he stood his ground as the enemy continued their assault. Suddenly there was silence. Not until he caught the look of terror on his partner’s face did he realize the silence was because his Storm Bolter had jammed. He wasn’t being blessed. He was being tested.

Before his partner died he would witness a pillar of the faith who will only be known and rewarded in death. The rear guard lowered his thunder and his head. He closed his eyes on life with a prayer of thanks on his lips unto death.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Essen 2009

The best part about Essen is none of the games suck yet. On paper, they all sound good. Here's my Top 30 exciting games:

Dungeon Lords: Looks like Dungeon Keeper and done by Vlaada (Galaxy Trucker, Through the Ages). Yes please.

Dominion: Seaside: Hey look, an expansion. Where's my wallet?
Campaign Manager 2008: Followup to 1960, but we lived the campaign. Must have.
Alcazar: Kramer, castle-building, and lots of wood. Sign me up.
Luna Llena: "Semi-cooperative" game with werewolves. If I get to hang Hose I'll buy it.
Thunderstone: Dominion-type, with a better theme. Worth a look.
Savannah Tails: Ostrich racing and quicksand. The Lamont's are fulfilling my dreams one game at a time.
Day & Night: 2p assymetric card/tile game. Hype is growing. Watch it.
Vampire der Nacht: Glow in the dark dexterity game. Lots of potential there.
Funkenschlag - Fabrikmanager: Follow up to Power Grid. Guaranteed to be quirky. Watch list.
Rise of Empires: Martin Wallace + Civ makes it worth watching for.
At the Gates of Loyang: Uwe's next work after Le Havre. Chances are good.
Macao: #13 in the Alea set. Must keep the shelf full.
Opera: Budget-managing for and Opera house? It's not German-regional elections, but...
Agricola: Farmers of the Moor I'll try one more expansion for sure.
Albion: Wrede's first non-carc game, on my watchlist
Skyline 3000: Re-implementation of Capitol, which is a great game that no one has played. Watch it.
Krysis: 2-4p card game set in the 30s. Great art. High ratings. Watch it.
Stronghold: Worker placement during a siege. Sounds painful and interesting.
Carson City: City-building in the old west. Watch it.
Peloponnes: Great-looking civ game. Watch list.
Vasco da Gama: Looks like a true navigation game, which the world needs.
Chaos in the Old World: Great theme. Dock probably can't resist.
Tricky Trek: Predatory animal-racing. That can't be as much fun as it sounds.
Greed, Incorporated: Another big Splotter game. Hoping Dock buys this one.
Pocket Battles: Celts vs. Romans: Interesting for the name more than anything else.
Imperial 2030: Fix to Imperial, in the future.
Samurai: The Card Game: Skeptical
7: 7-player co-operative fantasy. That never ends well.
Ticket to Ride: Europa 1912: Another unnecessary expansion. I think I can resist.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I Welcome Myself to Last Week

I finally got around to listening to the first few Penny Arcade/PvP D&D podcast sessions. Series 1 is a basic primer on 4e and was super fun. It then gets even better when Wil Wheaton joins the party for Series 2 & 3, and they actually do some role-playing.

I also didn't know how to manually add a podcast subscription to iTunes, so these instructions were handy...

  1. From the dropdown menus, select Advanced --- Subscribe to Podcast
  2. When prompted for a URL, enter and click OK.
So I'm not going to attempt another campaign-over-IP, but I think someone should start another one and we should have a session at each of the quarterly main events: Con of the Dorks, Wolf-fest, BGGcon/PAX/Gencon, and DockCon.

Going to pick up the 4e PHB this weekend.

Monday, October 5, 2009

What are the chances?

If you have an hour and would like to learn about Stochasticity and be entertained at the same time listen to this. (If you didn't just listen to it on MPR.) Radiolab is so cool.

Warhammer: Invasion

Tim, I think you mentioned this game last Thursday night. This is Eric Lang's new LCG, he's on quite a roll with the new FFG Warhammer license. It looks interesting, and the initial impressions seem positive. I may try to pick it up before Thursday.

Awkward (say it in your head, or aloud, like wolf does)

I mean c'mon, what would you say?
"Sorry about that one time I ... you know."
"It's okay. It worked out ..."

What's really awkward isn't the cosplay post shrouded in a FFVII joke pointing to the GameSpot TGS09 gallery. It is that I recognized a couple of the professional cosplayers by name. (for those that wont be following the link THEIR NAMES AREN'T POSTED)


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