Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Playlist: Oct. 29 through Nov. 4

Over the weekend I had the absolute pleasure of participating in International Gamers With Jobs Day (IGWJ Day) at Penguin Con. Named for community member and organizer OilyPenguin (who I now know is named Brian), it is a chance for GWJrs to gather under one roof in the midwest, roll some dice, play some 8-bit games, and generally share in our hobbies together over a homebrew or four. And this year it was held in a castle, owned by another community member.

It was flat out phenomenal.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Playlist: Oct. 22 through Oct. 28

Slow week last week. Feels like when the day job is slow that my freelance work slows as well.

I did get some stick time with War of the Roses. For the first hour I was beginning to wonder why the hell that I'd asked to review this broken, shitty game. By the end of the second hour I was white knuckling my mouse, fully engrossed and locked in mortal combat with a claymore-wielding warrior in red enameled armor. The game is deceptively complex, requires more than a little bit of skill, and the only thing I think it is lacking is an enemy lock-on button. As it stands it's a bit dizzying to play. More soon in my review for

Thursday, October 18, 2012

The WarZ Alpha

Spent a few hours inside The WarZ last night.

That pause was a big long sigh while I gather my thoughts and organize my words carefully in my mind.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Playlist: Oct. 15 through Oct. 21

A personal goal for me this year was to add one more publication to my freelance portfolio, and I've overachieved by adding two. ArsTechnica earlier this year was kind enough to let me put up some articles there, and most recently Garrett Martin at has given me some space to put out board game reviews. This lead me to a unique achievement last week by having two pieces show up at on two different sites, one at Armchair General and another at Paste. Do check out the Paste piece especially, where I talk about a game called All Things Zombie. Quite a treat that one. 

Anyway, pretty exciting time for me so pardon if I gush a bit. On to this week's business.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Playlist: Oct. 8 through Oct. 14

"Big sky is in the AO. Reading you five by five."
Things went remarkably well last week. Got lots of XCOM played, and put up my review at ArsTechnica. It was well received, although my spelling remains atrocious. Their PR team told me that I'd be getting new retail code eventually, but not even the fear of losing my save games could stop me from staying up way too late last night playing more. Such a luxurious game. I also got invited to the Gamers With Jobs podcast, which is always a hoot and a half. It'll be up Wednesday as per usual with a big chunk of time devoted to XCOM.

Went at least four more rounds in my Combat Mission game, which is a lot of game in an already busy week. Much to update there this week when I get around to it. Things are going more or less to plan, but my entrenchment was not able to hold up and score any hits on the US tanks. Very sad to lose those men in that way, but their artillery was just awesome whereas mine was horrid.

Played some Zombicide, and need to get that written up this week. If Last Night On Earth is a campy B-movie, Zombicide is straight up Left For Dead-style undead murdering. Literally hundreds of bodies in the streets. It was insane.

Did not get around to A House Divided, and managed to contract two or three more reviews on top of that. So I'll be pretty busy through October. Stay tuned!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Playlist: Oct 1 through Oct 7

Finally got A House Divided out on the table in front of me. It's a big, operational map of the Civil War with each turn divided by the months within each year of the campaign. There's special rules for supply, for generals, for draft riots... For being a light wargame, it's pretty dense. Walkthroughs that I'm seeing are saying a quick game is 4-6 hours. Sounds like I need to commit one Saturday to beating this things into submission. Just have to find a friend to help.

Features I'm excited to explore include using rivers asymmetrically (Union forces had a naval advantage that stretched to the rivers, it would seem) as well as using cavalry forces to cut supply and generally harass forces at the flanks. Also, the number of "recruiting cities" you have under your control effectively sets an upper limit on the number of forces you can field at any one time. Promoting units puts more militia back in your draft pool, but without fighting you can't promote. Therefore if you turtle up your units are that much weaker when the guns start going off. 

Put Zombicide on the table as well. You know a miniatures-focused company is behind a game when every single mini has it's own vacu-formed cubby. This is the most densely packed box I've yet seen, and the sculpts are really unique. Only thing that's bothered me so far is that every female sculpt, zombie or otherwise, has their underwear showing. Not sure that's necessary.

Also hoping to get some review code for War of the Roses and XCOM in this week but I'm trying to push that to the back of my mind.