Tag Archive: Boss Monster


Good times for Cardassia

I was accused (not for the first time, definitely not the last) of being too negative at work yesterday. My response – when people stop doing stupid things with weak, vacillating decision making processes in play, then perhaps I might just let up rather than pour scorn. But as people follow the path of least resistance, as well as generally being apathetic, I have to make enough noise for ten just to ensure that objections to ill-considered decisions are properly logged. My beef this time: micro-management and the general high-levels of control freaks employed by the organisation. Gets people stressed, work is quickly bottle-necked and outputs go awry. But the solution proffered is to…nope, I’m going to put the lid back on the jar. Get back in the bottle, genie. 

I mean Hullo readers.

It’s October therefore autumn is here – at least in this hemisphere. There are clear skies and the promise of the next 60 hours without work. All in all, these are good times for Cardassia, and the Dominion. Or was that a bit too Gul Dukat?

On Friday as part of Inclusion Week, there was a de-stress session one afternoon where colleagues were invited to play board games. Friday is deadsville around here – people taking days off, working from home etc so the office is nowhere near full capacity but still, a respectable number of people turned out to play a few games. I brought in Avalon and taught it to a bunch of people and they all really enjoyed it. We played three games and there’s talk of doing that and other games on a regular basis. Am somewhat sceptical whether this will come off but I choose to remain a little optimistic. Albeit with the usual caution, caveats etc.

Post-pay day weekend: yeah, was really not in the mood to cook so ordered Mexican food from hungryhouse. I was handed off the wrong order and it took a while to resolve but that was all sorted out nicely and I’m pleased to say it was so filling, I could only manage half of it (the Quesadillas) leaving the child-sized burrito for lunch the next day. Totally worth it – Big Mama’s Burrito’s in Battersea.

I went out to Finchley to Games Quest on Saturday (after the aforementioned burrito) to see what was new, hip and happening – or at least as these things go. Bought one new card game (Twilight Squabble which is a 15 minute version of the bigger game), a mini-expansion for Boss Monster (the one with the aliens), a copy of Resistance (inspired by the Avalon example above) and some card protectors which ran out pretty damn quickly as I protected cards for Bang!, Archer Love Letter and Batman Love Letter. Just a word on Card Protectors – make sure you take an example of the cards you wish to protect otherwise you might end up a bit screwed. My goal was to try and protect my 7 Wonders Cards but the sleeves were too small. Fortunately, Bang! was the right size (and I was only able to protect the characters, role and help cards, not the ones you actually play with.

Post board game shop, I had a coffee in Costa where I spent thirty minutes waiting for my iPad to make a move on Twilight Struggle, didn’t have the wherewithal to stay out (i.e. visit Orc’s Nest & FP) so went home. Just as I exited Oval station, the massive, nasty downpour that blighted London for two hours began. Was thoroughly soaked by the time I made it through the front door. So spent the rest of the evening feeling slightly damp.

Clearly, I must have been desperate for something to do on Sunday as I washed the sofa covers. The flat was covered in feathers as one of the cushions has/had split (cheap Ikea furniture) and days later, the damn things still keep popping up, just when you think you’ve nabbed the last one. I managed to con (beg) Dr Do(o)m into a game of Twilight Struggle – I won, principally as he forgot that scorecards can be played in the headline round. Which wasn’t really fair but they should really make a more comprehensive cheat sheet.

The latest GTA Online addition has been released as of Tuesday which allows players to form their own motorcycle gangs. In summary, motorcycle gangs work kinda like Corporations but with bikes, up to 8 players in a chapter and the ability to run your own enterprises across Los Santos and Blaine County. And I’m pleased to say that this is in line with a suggestion that I made to Rockstar about a month ago (see earlier blog entry). I’m sure they’ve had similar suggestions and were probably working on it already but I said roughly that I would like to see Corporation missions extend the entirety of the map and perhaps one way around having to do missions where the player was forced to drive/fly/said 10km was to have smaller businesses like drug labs in Blaine County/Paleto Bay where these things could be assembled before being brought to the city. And behold, that’s pretty much what’s in the Bikers Expansion. Whether or not my suggestion was read/heeded, I’m happy to have (possibly) been a tiny part of what looks to be an interesting twist on the online experience. Only issue is that I’ve spent almost the entirety of my online bank balance on setting up my Biker Chapter (I ripped off Robocop and called my gang the “Splatterpunks”, buying in some bikes and suitable attire so more grinding is needed to generate cash.

To Scott and Joey’s on Monday for some last minute gaming action. I was on the way to Zeitgeist as I had one of those rare days where I could not go on with my evening without a beer and a pretzel, though it was only the former that was required. Received the invite, downed a Köstritzer quickly and headed off to Clapham Junction. We played the space alien game which involves hunting humans, a couple games of Secret Hitler and a round of Room 25 which I was a guard and messed up madly. Met some new gamers which is always nice and when I got home, I was so tired I passed out as soon as I hit the bed.

The latest season of the Griffin Quiz finished on Tuesday. We will not know how we did until the next week as points need to be tallied up properly. Would have won the damn quiz too if it wasn’t for our 3 point deduction. Not that I need another half box of San Miguel or Bulmer’s. Pub was utterly rammed with folk and I finally told Andy to buy a book on successful pronunciations. Because he stumbles over English, let alone when questions have words in French, German or Latin.

And looking ahead to the rest of the week/weekend: should be quiet times. Wednesday’s session has been moved to Thursday (today) and Griffin Games on Sunday. I knew few Librans/Scorpios so only one birthday and that’s Dr Do(o)m this month. No other activities planned save for the Quiz prize lunch at the London Steakhouse in Chelsea in a couple of weeks’ time. Probably for the best, I suspect everyone is quietly building up funds for the last week of December.

And finally, there’s been a fair amount of mirth all round at the latest Think! campaign on safer cycling in London. Y’see, cyclists are being encouraged not to cycle on the left-hand side of lorries as quite often that’s in the middle of the blind-spot, leading to accidents, fatalities etc. But being the militant sort, several cyclists have taken to social meeja in order to protest this high-handed approach by the government. How dare cyclists be told what to do. How dare people try and gently persuade others that their lives are not worth throwing away in traffic accidents which are preventable. You may be interested to learn that there’s even a petition online to sack the current Minister responsible for this heinous campaign. I think the number of signatures is still in single figures… 

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The weather has turned and cooler temperatures are drifting in. Start of the inexorable march towards autumn or false dawn? Only time will tell. 

Wednesday saw the gang come round for some hot gaming action. I successfully inflicted Star Trek: Five Year Mission on them and it went down rather well, I thought. ST:FYM is a dice rolling game for 3-7 people whereby each player takes on the role of a member of the Enterprise crew (either NCC-1701 or NCC-1701-D) and they attempt to resolve events, scoring a set number of points before five events fail. At least, that’s the official explanation – I cooked up a far better back story in my head.

So, the game is played over a season of TOS or TNG and in order not to get cancelled, you need to complete a set number of good episodes. If there are five stinkers, the show is cancelled and no amount of letter-writing will save the show this time.

Whichever explanation you prefer, here’s how the game is played: Each player draws an alert card (blue = easiest, yellow = middling, red = hardest) at the start of their turn, rolls their dice and attempts to place the dice on the cards. To make the game more challenging, the dice come in three colours and sometimes the dice have to roll a particular way. Dice that cannot be placed have their scores frozen and carried over to the next turn. If a card is completed, it is either scored, given to the player if a particular reward is on offer or just set aside. It’s here that the scoring takes place. Some cards have additional symbols such as “Prime Directive” where that card has to be cleared before any other otherwise it’s an automatic fail. And the speed round where you have three minutes to resolve a card before it automatically fails (timer provided in the game.

Each of the characters has a unique power which can be used once per turn, this power can be useful or useless depending on which way the game is going. And finally there is the Enterprise herself – cards can cause damage to the Enterprise and certain dice rolls can help to restore the shields of the vessel. If the Enterprise takes six “hits”, it’s game over.

With both the original crew and Next Gen crew, there’s a good amount of variety for players and a large number of cards that can be played through giving each game a lot of variety although the basic principle remains the same – roll dice and score. To cut down on the randomness of the dice, the reward cards can allow modifications of die results and players when the refresh their dice from the pool can choose from whatever is in the pot rather than being stuck with the same five dice total.

We played our first game on Lieutenant difficulty (12 points to win) and our second on Lieutenant Commander (14). However, we found this kind of easy once we got in the flow of things so experienced gamers might want to start at least at 14 points for victory before working their way up the difficulty track. That said, the speed rounds and some of the truly nasty cards (we seemed to draw blue cards which spawned yellow cards which spawned red cards) keep things interesting as dice games have the problem of waning interest given the (overt) random-factor. All in all, it’s something I’ll definitely be taking with me on Sunday.

After ST:FYM, we had a quick game of Boss Monster which I won although several expansion pack cards were lodged in the main deck with no obvious identification marks that they were expansion pack! Kind of ambivalent about Boss Monster these days. It just seems to be missing something. Oh the expansion is a nice addition and I admit to not having played BM2 but compared with similar-ish games, it just lacks that je ne sais quoi. Minions, I suspect, the game needs minions. And not the Weetabix-Men rip-off.

No other real gen to impart as this week has been pretty peaceable. I guess my bank balance will thank me for my thriftiness. Until I get the urge to splurge and end up with an armful of debt because I just couldn’t say no. This weekend is going to be a gaming heavy experience. Planning some GTA time this evening, Borough market (this might be where the spending comes in) & Joey’s tomorrow for games and Griffin on Sunday (weather looks miserable so it won’t be a repeat sweat-fest like last month).