Sunday, March 30, 2008

Judgement Day

I've been revising since mid-January. That's two and a half months. I think that's the longest I've ever revised for anything, including my finals at Oxford. At last, it's nearly over. I had a relaxing day with Sue yesterday, pottering around Highgate, reading the papers and cooking a nice meal back home. Today it's one last look through my mindmaps for module 1 (yes, I have made a mindmap for *every* lecture in the course)then an early night and the first exam tomorrow.....

Friday, March 28, 2008

That was easy.....

Shiny new template only took about 20 minutes to get up and running. And the new customization features are a whole lot easier than fiddling with the template code. However, I see my little avatar on the right has confused things. And I would really like to be able to pull over my bloglines list and my google bookmarks without having to use code. One day soon perhaps.....

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Hooked on victory?

I got a big jolt of dopamine - and whatever other euphoric chemicals my brain rewards me with - when I won the readers' game of Euphrat & Tigris the other week. And when I lost the next one by a similarly impressive margin I received an equivalent dose of dysphoria. (See how I'm thinking neuroscience these days? That's what 2 months of solid revision has done to me.) I can't deny that the big win (13/5/4/4!) was an especially memorable and pleasurable gaming experience, whereas the loss left me slightly grumpy and less motivated to play again. So I was wondering how important winning is to my enjoyment of the hobby. If I never win another game, will I continue gaming? I like to think that I'm a fair-minded opponent who gets most of his enjoyment from the playing not the winning - but how long would I last without an occasional dose of victory to keep me interested? We've all met people who take this too far - gamers for whom winning seems to be their only motivation for playing, and who are prepared to be very unpleasant opponents in order to get what they crave - but I'm not sure that I'm high-minded enough to do without the occasional win myself.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

I won! I'm starting to like this game.....

I'm starting to come to terms with Combat Commander:Europe. It helps that I've finally - third try - managed to beat Marty. It was quite a satisfying win as well - it didn't feel too random or gamey. My main line of attack was held up by wire for several turns. By the time I finally cleared it (OK that bit was random) I had saved up a pretty deadly hand of fire combos, and caught his defenders in a deadly storm of FT and HMG attacks. They crumbled and fled.

So I'm starting to figure out which levers to press to make things go my way. Never give up the initiative card - if you do you'll never get that crushing attack result you're after. Never forget it's a card game - the state of your hand is just as important as the position of your troops on the map.

Nevertheless, it still feels lacking in authenticity compared with Up Front! or ASLSK. I don't think it will ever draw me into the same visceral experience that its towering forbears can do.

Anyone for another readers' game?

Anyone for Euphrat & Tigris on the BGG server? It's called Insula with password "nimrods".