Friday, June 22, 2007

Fun in Crondall

Les invited me back to leafy Surrey on Wednesday evening for a game session. Dave and Steve also came over from Salisbury. This was my chance to finally play Nexus Ops with someone - and it did not disappoint! What a fun game - all the best bits of Axis and Allies type games, but packed into a punchy 90 minute burst of violent action! I explained carefully at the start that turtling tactics will lose you the game in this one - but Steve turtled anyway, and duly lost. Dave went for killing as many of your enemy as possible, and Les's gentle nature meant he got off to a slow start. I lost a lot of ground and was always short of money as a result, but by keeping my focus firmly on VPs I was able to win anyway. Peter(10), Dave(6), Les(5), Steve(2).

Next we were looking for a filler to take us to midnight and chose San Juan. I always enjoy this clever little game but am not very good at it. An early chapel build does not constitute a "strategy"! Dave(42), Steve(36), Peter(33), Les(29).

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

At last! Another readers' game

I've been playing quite a bit of Tigris & Euphrates by email over at .

Time to test myself against the general populace - I've created a readers' game called "Better than Titan" with password "nimrods". See you in Mesopotamia!

The end of purchasing?

Would I buy a Titan reprint? I was very lucky to pick up my copy a decade ago at the Manorcon bring-and-buy, for about £12 - a once in a lifetime bargain!If a reprint had significantly nicer graphics and presentation, and if they hadn't altered the rules or foisted plastic bits on the game, then yes, I would seriously consider it. After all, I have two copies of Civilization - another favourite - plus Advanced Civ.

I cycled to Bloomsbury today - to continue my bum-hardening program - and visited "Playin Games" while I was there. That was the little incentive I gave myself for all that exercise. I had three purchases in mind, one must-buy: ASL Starter Kit #3, and two might-buys: Mare Nostrum and Phoenicia. None were in stock, with a 1 month wait predicted for the ASLSK3. I consoled myself by purchasing some Chessex glass beads. I also had a browse, and again I had an experience which is becoming usual in game shops - while browsing through shelves of stuff that left me cold, I occasionally would see a game that I fancy buying - then realize that I already own it! A sign that my game collection is pretty well finished these days?

Next up - a visit to Les back near my ex-home in Farnham, where I am hoping to play Nexus Ops for the first time "in anger".....

Friday, June 15, 2007

Like, wow!

Valley Games are planning to reprint Titan and Republic of Rome, among other things.

Gaming bits

I've been playing Titan against the amazing Colossus program. Titan is one of the all-time greatest wargames, but surprisingly few of my gamer friends see this as clearly as I do. So Colossus fills a real need for me.

I've also been playing a lot of turn-based Tigris & Euphrates at against some Mennonite friends. Although it's work in progress and the graphics are a bit clunky, this is a solid implementation of the game. I won my first game, I lost a few, but this time I'm doing better, and feeling hopeful of another win.

Simon came over yesterday, and we played Yinsh a couple of times. I lost both games. The same thing always happens - I get so wrapped up in my own plans that I don't see the killer play coming. I need to play more defensively.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Will cycle for games

Yesterday, as part of my acclimatization process (learning to love Tottenham), I cycled to Leisure Games in Finchley, 5.5 miles away. (This was also part of my training program, preparing for cycling to the Institute of Psychiatry in South London every day (10.5 miles) when I become an indigent MSc student in September.) The ride there seemed mostly uphill - Alexandra Park, then Muswell Hill, so when I arrived I was so hot and bothered that I forgot one of the two main purposes of my trip - to ask about local game groups. I remembered the other one - to buy ASL Starter Kit #3 - but that was out of stock. I consoled myself by buying some dice bags and a Treehouse tube to replace the one I gave to Sue's nephew Tom in Cardiff. The ride back was much easier - largely downhill, with fantastic views from Muswell Hill.

Leisure Games - given its amazing selection online - seemed strangely small and scruffy. Games jammed overtightly into the shelves or stacked willy-nilly. The back half of the store given over to desks for the online operation. But very friendly service, and it's amazing what they have there if you look - I spotted a copy of IceTowers, the out-of-print boxed set with the purple and clear pyramids. Tempting, but rather superfluous given that I have Zendo and Playing with Pyramids.

Tomorrow, maybe I head south and start reconnoitring the route to the Institute. Who knows, I may even get as far as Playin Games in Bloomsbury.....

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Rewriting history

We were in Cardiff last week staying with Sue's brother and family, and I had a great time on Friday visiting Nick and playing him at Thirty Years War. One of my very favourite card-driven wargames this is, I love the epic scope and the historical flavour. We played with the 2-star Wallenstein and tournament victory optionals. I won as the Protestants with 1 VP at the end of turn 14. Nick sent Wallenstein to his death on turn 1 subduing the Hungarians. Nick's high-point was using the Cardinal Infante to chase Gustavus back to Pomerania and kill him there. However I bounced back with Torstennson and in the last couple of turns we watched the spectacle of the Swedes capturing Vienna and Munich. 8 hours in all, and a fantastic wargaming experience. Thanks Nick!