Tag Archive: Eldritch Horror


38

Nope, not the flat number, nor my lucky number.  But the number of successful orbits of the sun whilst maintaining my status as a passenger on planet Earf.

Like most people, I’ve taken the opportunity to bunk off work (read: taken  a couple of days off) to mark the event.  And  it’s been a quiet old day so far, noise from the street excepted.  The last two days were spent in Dublin with work.  I had a quiet, pleasant stay although the rain felt quite incessant at times.  There was allegedly some snow on Tuesday morning but it had melted by the time I emerged from my hotel room.

So what’s been new, hip and happening?  Answer: not much.  More of the same, really.  Am I in a rut?  Perhaps, though I’m not rushing out to embrace the new.  Is there anything that’s truly new?  Apart from picking up a new mobile last weekend, no.  Letting February slide by as quickly as possible, I guess.

Continuing to enjoy Star Trek Timelines and the recent events have given my inventory a chance to rest and rebuild following a succession of missions which have drained them dry of all the really useful stuff.   And finally have a couple of friends playing it although they are not quite as into it as I.  Still, good times.

On the Xbone,  I downloaded the free copy of The Force Unleashed and replayed that, forgetting how much fun it was to throw Felucians into Rancors.  And to fry that bitch  Shaak Ti.  GTA continues to be my most played game although I’ve been trying to get into Banjo Kazooie Nuts and Bolts again.  It’s just hard to like it.

Board games: lots of 7 Wonders, finally got around to breaking in “Under the Pyramids” expansion for Eldritch Horror and whilst in Dublin, I treated myself to “The Dreamlands” as it was cheaper there thanks to the collapse in GBP. I was particularly proud of this game with Joey and Scott:

 

Finally folks, I was doing a YouTube crawl and stumbled across this parody music video.  I almost wet myself cackling as I think I’ve experienced every one of these deaths:

So that’s your lot, just a quick update before my second coffee of the day and hopefully, a decision about what to do with the rest of my time today.  And if anyone else is celebrating a birthday today (Ron Howard, Harry Belafonte,  Dirk Benedict, George Eads, Doris Hare and of course, Frederich Chopin), PISCEANS ROOL!

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A tale of two shopping trips: 

Saturday I decided to try and find the board game shop (Leisure Games) in Finchley. The shop is near Finchley Central station which is zone 4 but being a cheapskate, I got off at East Finchley which is zone 3 and walked twenty minutes up the road to save myself about 40p. Pleased at my choice as I passed by the continental market which tours London on a semi-regular basis which was nice to see, all the familiar stalls were there. Was tempted to stop off at most of the stalls, particularly the Charcuterie willpower won out and slipped past without buying anything.

After walking through the leafy suburbs, arrived at my destination. Leisure Games is nicely stocked and large windows let in a goodly amount of natural light which can only be a good thing. Definitely a geek’s paradise (albeit out of the way) with plenty of supplies for RPGs, War Gamers and a vast range of card, board and other types of games. Definitely better stocked than Orc’s Nest but more floor space can generally do that for ya. I bought one Batman Fluxx (The Animated Series) and Expansion Packs for The Good, The Bad and The Munchkin & Eldritch Horror (Strange Relics). I’m probably going to go back – though maybe drag someone with me. And then call in to the Baskin Robbins on the way home. All in all, a most successful day.

Sunday was…well, I went out with one goal in mind. To find a shirt that fits that I like, ideally denim to supplement (and eventually replace my 16 year old Levis shirt). I went in to many clothes shops between home and Oxford Street (and back again), I tried on what…well over a dozen shirts and the only ones that fit me in my size were those made by Ralph Lauren. The pricing of the shirts didn’t faze me but the styles did which is why I left them on the hangar (think golfing retiree). Almost all of the other XL shirts I tried on were too tight in the chest – two I couldn’t even get my arms in. And when I tried some XXL shirts in comparison, just to be sure I hadn’t ballooned or wasn’t deluding myself, it was like a five year old wearing his dad’s jumper for a laugh. Except the Rag and Bone shirt I tried on in XXL which again, couldn’t squeeze arms into. WTF is wrong with the state of clothing these days? Does globalisation mean sending the work to third world countries and slapping any old label on them just in the ruthless pursuit of a bargain? I don’t want a life of wearing nothing but sweaters and hoodies and t-shirts. I need some nice stuff too.

Anyway, the experience took most of the day and the only thing I went home with was a bag full of salad items for dinner.

 

T’other day, I was reading on TVTropes the comments/page relating to the Sega/Nintendo wars of the early 90s. Of course we in the UK missed out on a lot of it – except perhaps in the pages of the computer media where Sega and Nintendo fan boys (and girls too) would just trash each other, chiefly to no other avail than to prove Freud correct. Did it ultimately matter though in the development of 4th Generation consoles? On paper, it was no-contest. The Megadrive (or Genesis to the rest of the world) was a lousy console compared with the SNES; weaker processes, lousy RAM, poor colour palette and yet it was more than able to hold its own against Nintendo’s offering. Of course, Sega’s winning strategy was superior marketing, particularly in North America. They didn’t so much promote themselves so much as reassure existing owners that their product was the superior one. Nintendo appeared to use the power of momentum to help their cause and when Streetfighter 2 was released…no contest. But those days feel wholly removed from today’s “Console Wars” are more than about the machine and the games but what multimedia experiences are on offer.

It’s still fun to speculate what would have happened had Commodore not run out of money for the CD32 or had the judge in the case not barred the console from being shipped to North America over allegations of infringements. Perhaps it’s more partisan of me but I think it would have kept up with the Playstation as games such as GTA would have had a simultaneous release and Commodore was still backed by many developers – or at least those who hadn’t been gobbled up by Sony (like Psygnosis). Would a three-way war with Sega have helped the Saturn? Not impossible I guess. More competition means more opportunity for software houses. Would it have also kept Commodore in the PC market? Say an “Amiga 10K” powered by Intel or AMD? Who can say?I finally reached the now infamous torture scene in GTA V and having played through it, I admit I was left thoroughly uncomfortable by it all. I should acknowledge the creativity and design of Rockstar for making this scene so realistic and awkward – it’s difficult to invest emotion into a video game character, particularly an NPC. But conversely, it was OTT, even for the world of GTA which is an exercise in hyperbole. All in all, I was pleased when the victim of the torture was helped to escape in a cut scene and I hope that if there is a GTA VI, we learn his character has a better time of it outside of Los Santos.

Dr Do(o)m and I played a game of Eldritch Horror on Saturday, chiefly as I wanted to relearn the rules ahead of Thursday. I was Chun-Li and he was the Shaman (as opposed to Ebenezeer Goode’s Shamen). We lasted one hour and a giant spider consumed the world. So sorry folks. Still, I think the nuances are sorted out so bring on the challenge. It’s been what – four months but I finally broke out the Talisman Woodlands expansion pack with Dr Do(o)m and Brendan and we just didn’t finish the game. It plays a little differently compared with the other three board-adding expansion packs as the use of fate has been overhauled whilst the new characters have special abilities involving the use of tokens (I was the ancient oak and I could get stronger as the game progressed). Also, as one progressed through the woodlands, there were game-changing effects in play with a different goal for each player. That said, progress seemed to be slow and measured. It’s not a region in Talisman you can just blindly enter and expect to progress through like the Highlands or the Dungeon for example but you need to build up a little before wandering around blithely. I also feel that this expansion needs to be played with one of the other boards – no other reason than a gut instinct. Using the card-only expansions wasn’t enough.

I also downloaded a copy of Picross 6 for the 3DS, I think the first major purchase (major???) for that console in six months. I was also pleased at the number of free puzzles unlocked as I own titles 1-5 (they give freebies). It’ll keep me busy for a while at least. My oft-repeated rant to Nintendo still stands however – release more damn games through the Virtual Console Service! I don’t care about independent titles being squeezed out third party developers, I want to play the games of yesteryear either for the first time or on a nostalgia trip. And if they can put some Master System games on there too…perfect.

For the first time in my fifteen year career, I have received the top box marking on my annual report. The cynic in me says that it’ll be another fifteen years before I get another one but for now, I’m happy with the result. Of course, there’s the financial reward to go with it which I sheepishly confess to starting to spend. As a reward for going to bed early and avoiding the junk food, I went to Forbidden Planet and thought I’d treat myself to the new Star Wars Risk. Somehow, I ended up walking out with that, Eldritch Horror and the Expansion – I blame Joey entirely – nothing to do with me guv’nor.

I dunno what I’m having for lunch/dinner today but it will NOT be Quorn related as I’ve eaten that every day for the past six. Need some variety! Tempted to throw together a salad this evening and source something vaguely interesting after twelve. Don’t get me wrong, I do love the versatility Quorn (and similar products) allow you in the kitchen but you can get fed up of variations along a theme after a while. It’s one of the few things I actually miss about Casa Trevelyan, the large kitchen where I could store loads of food rather than a small pantry.

So, Vlad the Mad will be attending the D-Day anniversary today – don’t know why. Despite Stalin begging the Allies to open up a second front against Germany, the first thing they did was to attack Finland. Guess some things never change.

Speaking of the D-Day landings, I’m surprised EA or Activision haven’t bothered to (re)release another stinking WW2 title in an attempt to cash in but I suppose that the World Cup spin off games take priority this month. Still would like to see a decent WW1 type game; although most of the combat was fairly static on the Western Front, the Eastern Front and the Middle East were a little more fluid – or just have an Alternative History type game where the player can re-write history by winning battles (including stopping the looting of a Belgian Chateau by a Bavarian regiment which among its ranks included one Private Hitler…)

Played a game of Civ IV last night as Peter the Great (random choice). Got totally pwned on Science for some reason, probably the fact I only churned out seven cities compared with my rivals and was locked in quite a lengthy struggle with the Incans in a stalemate. Finally chased them out though and declared war on them several turns later after they squandered their resources, forcing them into a submission. Ultimately came out top in the Space Race ahead of the Portuguese programme. Tried a quick Rhye’s as Mali, failed the first UHV so gave up.

It’s the board games afternoon/day at the Vauxhall Griffin tomorrow. Despite drumming up a fair amount of interest, no teams have actually registered for the competition. Plan B is to just play games. My fear is that a hundred people turn up (well, a lot of people) expecting to take part in a competition which we’re just not ready for. And the weather is going to be utterly lousy. Otherwise – another quiet one.

Yog Sothoth

Another 6 day delay…

Sorry people but the world was destroyed last night. Yog- Sothoth wasn’t stopped in time by our plucky band of investigators in Eldritch Horror. We were ready to solve the final mystery and take him/her/it on but he awoke from his slumber and the other-worldly gates opened en masse. My stupid musician was devoured having taken on a Dark Pact and Jad’s expedition leader was killed by one of his allies part way through the game.

Tuesday: Thorpe Park Day. Although I worried about making the right train, getting breakfast and the like, I needn’t have bothered as Xian and Daniel missed the planned train and we had to wait thirty minutes for the next one. Starbucks got my name wrong not once but twice over coffee orders. I’m thinking of calling myself something really boring and generic like Tony just so they can’t bugger that one up (probably will spell it Toni…). I don’t know how they shovelled away so much food on the train out there but I think it caught up with them by the time we got to the park.

The park was not as busy as anticipated – many of the rides had queues of around five minutes so as a result, we felt safe in only buying one set of queue-jump tickets and that was only to get on Colossus and Nemesis. We tried the new rides of Swarm and the water slide – not bad but not up to the hype either. Daniel got soaked on the ride (so did I to be fair – he just made more noise) and bought himself a new outfit at the shop. We had a Pizza Hut lunch (big mistake) and went on more rides. Unfortunately, the queues meant that the rides lasted that little bit longer and I swear when I went on Samurai, they sent the ride backwards as well as forward.

I’m not young any more, it played merry hell with my equilibrium and a stomach stuffed full of pizza.

Twice.

Missed the bowl the second time.

No instant recovery either – felt very feverish, hot then cold then hot again and autopilot kicked in, demanding to be taken home to rest. The others were feeling similarly wiped out so we left the park and headed for home. Two hours on my bed reading/finishing off the third instalment of the Moneypenny Diaries and I was about recovered enough to head over to the quiz. Of course we lost – kept messing up between choices of two answers where we were uncertain but the food was good and we stuffed our faces on Haribo. Then home to bed early and eight hours sleep.