Age of Empires 3 – it’s an evil, evil game. Every time I play a quick skirmish, this is followed up about fifteen seconds later with another one then another and another one after that. It takes a supreme effort of will to break the cycle and ignore it. Perhaps it’s a good thing that Microsoft pulled apart Ensemble Studios before they could begin work on what could have been Age of Empires 4. And it’s a good thing I’ve not installed Rise of Nations to my laptop otherwise I’d be in another vicious circle of RTS gaming.

Speaking of RTS, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Age of Empires 2 has been remade in HD for the PC. Gameplay looked a little slow on the video but rather than mess around with patches and compatibility mode, they’ve rebuilt the game for today’s PC market. I much preferred the Expansion pack (though you couldn’t play the original missions with the Expansion tweaks, annoyingly enough). Comes out next month folks, expect some gushing after I get back from Berlin.

I’ve also decided to through caution to the wind and downloaded Lords of Midnight to my iPad. This is a game originally released on the Commodore 64 which I lost many days to back in the day. It was one of my first tastes of Turn Based Strategy which was released as a Zzap 64 Covertape (or was it Commodore Force) followed by Doomdark’s Revenge. This one I was able to complete, chiefly thanks to the game guide and foldable map given away in another issue of the magazine. Alas I was never able to get Squire Morkin to destroy the Ice Crown – stupid sod kept getting killed before he could get to the Tower of…whatever it was. But I was able to win by running around recruiting like mad, have all my forces converge on Xajorkith where I held out over 60 days of constant attacking and then liberated forts and citadels one by one until I made it to Ushgarak.

No board games this week, alas; I’ll have to contain my sorrow for another time though the mission in the next five calendar days is to nail down a date for the next Board Games day. And the next dinner party. It occurred to me that Board games are for the “tens (ugh)” what Poker was to the noughties. Just an excuse to drink a lot and have fun. What I’d like to be able to do is sit down and play Axis and Allies though it’ll almost certainly take ages to get through a game.

Right – that’s it for now; if I get home at a decent hour and I can be bothered after I finish eating etc, I’ll try and post a birthday party review. Otherwise…I’ve got Doomdark to crush and Age of Empires 3 to resist.