Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Reading rules on the train

Now I have a 50 minute train trip in to the Shell Centre at Waterloo every day, that gives me 1h40m of reading time every day. I've been frittering that away reading second-rate "classics" such as Philip Pullman's "Dark Materials" trilogy, or the real thing like Ursula LeGuin's "Wizard of Earthsea" (which explains why Pullman is seeming slightly weak by comparison). But I've decided to take a break from "litritcher" and read something more useful for a few days - game rules!

So the following rulebooks were stuffed into my bag this morning in the slot where "The Subtle Knife" usually sits:

Commands & Colors Ancients: Yes I've already played this quite a bit, but I just want to make sure I'm getting it absolutely right. I've already noticed some subtleties about elephants battling back with slightly different rules to when they are the attacker. And the current noise on BGG about leader loss makes me want to go back to the rules before I get too confused.

ASL Starter Kit 2: Time I got this punched out and on the table - it's been sitting on my shelf for at least a year. Reading the rules is a good first step.

This Accursed Civil War: Time I got this punched out and on the table - it's been sitting on my shelf for at least a year. Reading the rules is a good first step. (Sorry, am I repeating myself?)

Before next Tuesday I also need to look over the rules for War of the Ring again, as Dave is coming over to Farnham to play this with me. It will be embarrassing, not to mention time-wasting, if I am umming and ahhing over the rules.



Keith Shapley said...

Currently reading the Dark Materials trilogy for the first time having bought it for the kids (12 & 13), who've shown no interest so far, and I think its a cracking read. Not as good as Val McDermid and Michael Connelly but itll do in the meantime.

Christo said...

A long train journey could also work for sticking all the stickers on the C&C:Ancients blocks!

I alternate my commute time between reading ebooks (currently Pandora's Star by Peter Hamilton) and playing on DS (a wonderful commute companion).

Funnily enough the only rules I read on the train recently were for War of the Ring. Alas, my memory is so bad I forgot all the "I must remember that" bits by the time I came to play...

Peter said...

Hi Keith, when do you want a Memoir 44 rematch??

I'm enjoying the Pullman books too. I'm just saying they don't quite match up to the classics of the children's fantasy genre - CS Lewis, Tolkein, LeGuin, JP Martin etc

Peter said...

Hi Christo, I'm amazed and slightly shocked you would risk exposing game components to public transport. What if you lost a block? Makes me feel faint just to think of it.

What DS games do you play? Are there any good strategy games on teh platform?

Christo said...

Hi Peter

Advance Wars DS is a wonderful turn based strategy game and well worth a look. Age of Empires has been reworked for the DS as well, and is very good.

I have both but they have been relegated by Animal Crossing, a "game" that defies explanation, has no goals, takes years (literally) to unfold and is utterly compelling.

Chris Farrell said...

I recently re-read Earthsea and must say I found it less compelling than I remembered. I enjoyed it, but it seemed like a second-tier book to me. It's a lot better than other Fantasy/Sci-Fi stuff (I recently re-read the Foundation books, which were a huge disappointment), but not close to being in the same league as the best (Tolkien, Donaldson).

Anyway, I finally had a chance to play the Musket & Pike series games myself recently. They were both very intruiging and somewhat strange. I love the command rules, which seem to work wonderfully. Some of the intercept and firing rules, especially with double-sized units, seemed decidedly odd, though. Even with the oddities, I definitely want to play again, and that says something.

What I didn't get a handle on was the playing time. I think it'll be a pretty nice game if you could play a battle in 3hr. I'm not really sure that's the case, though. The intro game we played too a lot longer, but we struggled mightily with the rules the first time.

Gavin said...

Since my latest bike got stolen, I find myself doing the long journey to work by smelly Tube. Two indispensable companions: Sudoku (or Metroku as it's known in everyone's favourite paper) and my tiny Sony MP3 player.

Peter said...

Hi Chris. I'm currently in the middle of the TACW rules, trying to visualize how it will work on the table. It's kind of Great Battles of History only playable. And a great period too. Did you play the introductory scenario that came in C3i?

Peter said...

Hi Gavin. Really sorry to hear about your bike. I'm afraid I've run out of bikes I can give you, since you got 2 out of 3 stolen, I need to keep the last one for myself!