Open ramble/question to Steam:  

Been playing G&K for almost a month now and I’m wondering if they rebalance the original achievement list to take into account the changes wrought by the expansion.  I played a game as the Persians and hadn’t (yet) unlocked the “From Archaemennid to Safavid”.  This I definitely managed on Saturday and yet the achievement hadn’t popped up.  Just to test, I tried the game with another Civ I hadn’t yet achieved a specific achievement with and that worked just fine. 

So Steam, do you moderate your achievement list to take into account gameplay changes? 

Another example would be the Japanese achievement “Kamikaze Attack”.  Now that HPs are out of 100 rather than 10, getting a unit to 1HP would be nigh impossible and victory would be extremely unlikely.  Granted, I could play the vanilla version to accomplish this but damn it, I don’t want to.   

And whilst I’m on my ramble, can some of the achievements be tracked better: like the “Model of a Modern Major-General” – how do you know/find out what you’ve built so you can check it off the list or do you have to sit there with pen and paper ticking them off as you go?  Does that also apply to UUs or just the vanilla set?  I know, getting too hung up and should just enjoy the game but if you’re going to have these things, at least provide a little more explanation. 

Back to the more mundane, routine recanting of the epic saga that is Joe.  Friday saw another mad dash around town quite late in the hope of tracking down a copy of Axis & Allies.  I don’t know why I had the fervent urge to possess this game, I just did.  The only store which had a copy was the WH Smiths in Stratford which I trudged to through the masses after exhausting all other options.  Just to refamiliarise myself with the game, I intended a solo-walkthrough of an opening turn but by the time I’d set everything up, I felt bored and put the wretched thing away.  Not liking the smaller board – it’s harder to cram pieces into the game’s territories. 

Similar was Age of Mythology – I again fished it out of its storage space and was all set to break the units from their plastic frames until I realised the box didn’t contain any bags which to separate the units into which just sucked.  Before I punch them all out, I’m definitely going to have to track some of these things down just to make storage easier – or just some sandwich bags, they’ll do. 

Although I gave up with the board game, I did install Axis and Allies to my PC once again, played a couple of simple map games but gave up after a shock defeat when I was Britain (the Germans somehow took London with an extremely inferior force) but I couldn’t be bothered with an RTS battle.  So I uninstalled the game and went back to Civ 5. 

There was an upside to the weekend this weekend; as I had the house to myself, I was able to clean it properly and do a couple of jobs I have wanted to do for ages.  After I put the kitchen to rights (accidentally kicking over a bucket of dirty water all over the floor and having to mop it twice), I was able to properly deep clean the shower, sinks and toilets.  Of course I stank of bleach afterwards but hey-ho.  Was also able to clean out the coffee machine properly although I worry that the grounds are going to clog up the sink.  Could just chuck them in the garden but then the stupid cats are likely to make themselves sick eating them.  I’d lob them over the fence for next door’s chickens to eat but they’d get suspicious when they have caffeinated eggs at breakfast time. 

Something I’d been meaning to do for quite a while now is to sort out the vast collection of magazines I’ve amassed.  I used to collect six or seven but have whittled those down to three regular purchases – BBC History, BBC Focus and Retro Gamer although I still have Star Trek Monthly and Star Wars Magazine in archives.  It’s been ages since I looked at any of the back issues and they take up a fair amount of space, an entire book case in fact but it’s too difficult to get rid of them.  Fair enough – getting rid of them will probably entail junking them rather than giving them to a bright, shiny new home which is part of the problem.  What I was able to do was relocate them out of the lounge book case and moved them to the tops of the Blue Billy’s in my room where they’re out of the way.  Now there’s a mostly empty book case in the lounge (where the non-archived video games sit until I get another CD/DVD wallet).  The question is – who would want copies of BBC History and BBC Focus?  And don’t say “eBay” – there are way, WAY too many collections of magazines on there that finish their auctions without a single bid. 

Alas I have still failed to match six numbers on the lottery as that’s the only viable “escape from work” plan I’m capable of formulating which isn’t likely to result in some form of custodial term.  Bought a couple of scratch cards and won the sum of £2.  It’s not even enough for a bottle of Kopparberg from Sainsbury’s unless I have that alcohol-free crap.   

Finally, just wanted to mention I bought the Countdown app on my iPad – horrible, utterly horrible.  Not like the DS version at all, no achievements, the numbers round doesn’t work well and it’s truncated so you can’t play a proper game.  I did buy Picross-E for the 3DS on download and have been grinding my way through the puzzles pretty quickly.  It seems more of a taster for a new game to come but I’m happy enough solving the problems.  There’s nothing new to this version compared with the DS or even GB versions but you can’t really enhance a nonogram that much.  Still would like Picross 3D back if I can source another copy.

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