Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Life without revision

Finished my last exam yesterday. Gosh it's been a long haul. I feel a bit bewildered and at a loose end - not sure how to get through a day without revising any more. Maybe I'll just do an hour or two today, just in case......

I've got the day off today - lab project starts tomorrow. So today is a pottering day. I think I'll be spending at least part of it soloing through an ASL Starter Kit scenario. Maybe I should get out in the sunshine at some point as well (sunshine? I vaguely remember that.)

Irresponsibly, I spent some potential revision time on Sunday creating my first ever geeklist. I'm so proud - 16 thumbs!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Getting my mind off brains....

A man can't be always revising for his neuroscience exams, so this week I have managed to fit in soloing an entire game of Clash of Giants II in between all the anxiety, depression, psychosis and amnesia. I played the Ypres scenario and had a fantastic time. The Germans managed to take Ypres but at the cost of seeing their left wing collapse and the French swarm back into Lille. This game was such fun solo I can't imagine how great it must be face-to-face! With a simple rule-set it very precisely captures the feel of WW1 mobile warfare - the constant worries about keeping in contact with friendly units on your left and right, the difficulties of co-ordinating large-scale movements, the slight superiority of defence over attack and the tendency for things to bog down. I like the combat system and the way that troop quality is separated out from raw manpower. And the chit-pull mechanic generates friction and anxiety aplenty.

In my opinion this is an absolutely classic operational-level wargame. I enjoy strategic wargames (like Paths of Glory or Europe Engulfed), and I've had mixed experiences with tactical wargames (ASLSK cool, GBOH not so cool). But for me this sort of thing is the apex of cardboard and paper wargaming: the traditional hex-and-counter operational wargame.

Saturday, April 05, 2008

Euphrat & Tigris: always something new

I've been playing it for a decade but this game still holds surprises. I challenged Phil to a quick two-player match after lunch today in his trendy Shoreditch flat. Never seen a game go like this before. Every monument was on the board well before the end, and we made a serious dent in the cube supply. Final score 30:13 to me. I've never scored anything remotely this high in E&T before. How can such simple rules produce so much variety?

Friday, April 04, 2008

Two done, two to go

This morning's exam must have degraded all the structural proteins (like GFAP, actin, tubulin etc) in my brain. It feels like there's just mush in there this afternoon.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Spreading the word

Sue's family have been visiting this week (with strict instructions to keep out of my way during the day when I am revising). We played Through the Desert on Monday evening and Ticket to Ride Marklin last night. Leaving out the passenger rules speeded up setup and made a nice playable game that the less enthusiastic gamers (sister-in-law Maggie and niece-in-law Sarah who always wants to know "is it like Risk?") still enjoyed. Everyone was playing very nicely until nephew-in-law Tom suddenly figured out how to be nasty, and spent the rest of the game gleefully blocking his mother's routes. Sarah, who had spent most of the game stressing about completing her long route, won by a nice margin.

So Ticket to Ride lived up to its reputation as an ideal gateway game (ie a great game for people who don't like games).