Monday, November 12, 2012

Playlist: Nov. 5 through Nov. 18

Yeah, I know... I didn't post last week. I also did not live up to my promise of continuing my Combat Mission AAR. I've been a bad person. 

It's not that it was busy for me though, that's the thing. I'm really in this very odd in-between-projects-thing with my freelance work, while at the same time just waiting for the other shoe to drop at the day job on a multi-year project. That's put me in a big tense knot creatively. It's very frustrating, but I'm working through it.

I have a few board game reviews pending for Armchair General and Paste, and those are all fine and good. But the feature-length things are eluding me, as they usually do, coming into the holiday season. That's usually AAA reviews season, and I am not as inclined to play in that space. I just don't have the time to commit to solid play throughs prior to general release of a AAA game. That's just a fact.

I have a few articles that have been simmering, for months now, at Gamers With Jobs. Erik Hanson and company have been very patient with me, but my navel gazing powers that they like over there are weak now for whatever reason. One of the pieces I'm working on is pretty dark, pretty personal, so that's new territory for me on the internet. People that know me know that I will go into the dark places of my soul preeeetty much at the drop of a hat, but that's not something that I have shared online to date in my published work. Hoping to get it done by the end of the year.

In my free time I've been playing a ton of XCOM. I had to put aside the Ironman mode, too many restarts from scratch to make it an effective use of my time. I've been grinding away at the mid-game terror and story missions and really enjoying them. My commandos are powerful, but their armor is slightly behind the tech curve. So they all pack a punch, and are pretty nimble on the battlefield, but they're very fragile. I've fielded my first S.H.I.V. and love the flexibility and cover (both physical and fire support) that it provides. Looking forward to downing a battleship soon. I lust after the blaster launcher I've heard rumors of.

Had a solid evening of A House Divided from Mayfair. Very dynamic system of play that I'm excited to write about. It's a very light old school wargame, and the combat mechanics are not unlike Axis and Allies. Logistics and movement of your forces is really where the meat of the game lies, and the board is a riot of railways, rivers, and roads all with their own benefits for infantry and cavalry. But the creativity and planning required to pull an offensive campaign together really requires the strategic vision of a general, and the optional rules make for a complex affair. I can see myself playing this game a lot in my free time.

Plans for this coming weekend include a game of Mice and Mystics with actual 7 and 10 year olds. Very much looking forward to that.

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