For some reason that I can’t explain, The Penguin on the Telly is one of my favorite Monty Python skits. There is just something about the absurdity of it all that cracks me up every time I watch it. For more reasons that I can’t explain, that skit the first thing that came to my mind when I was trying to think of a title for this sort of catch all post that I’m about to write. So, enjoy the Penguin on the Telly.
Adventures at PAX Prime
Brade and I once again went to PAX Prime. Being local, it’s kind of neat because I never feel rushed to see all of the things and I just kind of show up and do the things I want whenever I want and have the rest of my weekend to do whatever else I feel like. This year I actually attended more days that I had any of the other years that I went. I think the highlight of my weekend was probably dinner with a lot of WoW/Twitter folk. We had a great time, and it’s definitely something I’d do again!
So, you probably want to know what it is that I do at PAX while I’m there. I’ll tell you. I play lots of board games. No, really! I play lots and lots of board games. It’s actually very cool because many of the game companies have representatives and volunteers that sit down and teach you how to play games, so it’s a really great opportunity to see if you enjoy a game or ask questions for a game with a more complex rule set (or really crappy instruction booklet). I thought I’d tell you a little bit about what we played!
Netrunner – So we actually own Netrunner, and we’ve played through it once, but I was positive that we were missing rules when we played it at home. So while Brade was watching a DnD panel, I took the opportunity to have someone from Fantasy Flight games teach me the game. It turns out we were doing quite a few things wrong, and I can’t wait to give it another run at home! I’m also a little excited to explore some of the other corporation and runner decks past the basic starter deck. While it’s not a particularly intuitive game to learn, and the instruction manual is a little daunting, it’s definitely a super fun head to head game for two players if you are looking for something to add to your collection.
Star Wars Card Game – Brade and I are always on the lookout for two player games, and after having purchased and playing Net Runner, we decided to pick up another one of Fantasy Flight’s living card games. At the time Brade had wanted to do Star Wars – but I had convinced him that we should get the cooperative Lord of the Rings game instead. So while we were at PAX, the guy that I played Netrunner with had expressed that he wanted to check out the Star Wars game. When Brade found me after the DnD panel, I suggested that the two of them learn Star Wars. And so they did! I watched some of the play, and Brade seemed to have a really good time with the game…despite the fact that he was a Jedi and not on the dark side. Like Netrunner, it had a pretty complex set of rules and battle system, but it looked like once they got the kinks out of it, it was pretty fast paced and fun. So much so that I snuck out and bought the game for Brade while he wasn’t paying attention!
Eldritch Horror – While Brade was learning how to play Star Wars, I took the opportunity to observe some folks playing a new Arkham adventure called Eldritch Horror, which was being demo’d in the beta version. Now, it wasn’t hard for me to like the game given that Arkham Horror is probably one of my favorite games! The board was a little different than the traditional Arkham games, and the game play slightly different, but enough of it was the same that I’m pretty excited to see this released and snag up an early copy of it for my own collection!
FRAG – FRAG is a Steve Jackson game that is essentially a first person shooter board game (trust me, it makes sense when you play! I promise!). We actually own this game, but have never played it. I had gotten it for Brade for Christmas to play with his DnD group, because it looked like something they’d enjoy. While it was probably my least favorite game of the weekend, it was still a lot of fun overall. There is just something about a fast paced game that involves a lot of dice that means you know it’s going to be fun. Basically, it’s a first person shooter on a board. You get weapons, you kill people, you collect their things, you kill people, you roll a lot of dice. Hell, you can even get parting shots when someone FRAG’s you!
Pathfinder – So I guess Pathfinder is a popular pen and paper RPG, but I don’t know about this. What I do know is that they made a nifty card game with all of the funny shaped dice that can be played with two people. And that the monsters are goblins that explode. It’s pretty cool. You have a hero that has to explore different areas and complete quests found in those areas to succeed. And you sometimes run into exploding goblins. While some of the other folks thought the starter quest set was too easy, I spent most of my time confused by the dice and really enjoyed the game. Which leads me to believe that if you DnD regularly, maybe this isn’t the game for you – but if you are married to someone who DnDs regularly it’s a nice stop gap between the two that you can both enjoy. And we heard from several different people that the higher level quests are much harder and add a lot more depth to the game. Given that the game was backordered at Amazon, and that PAX was swimming in them, we decided to go ahead and pick it up to give it a run at home and see how it plays out.
Lords of Waterdeep – Brade had mentioned that this game was discussed during the DnD panel, and that a lot of the guys there had indicated that it was a family favorite on game night. So that night we went home and watched the Table Top episode of the game. The next day we made our way down to the Wizards of the Coast dungeon and learned how to play it. Despite having a very annoying know it all at our table who clearly felt he knew the rules better than the guy teaching it to us, the game was probably one of my favorites from the weekend. I really liked the game play and the sort of espionage aspect of the game. I also like that it’s fairly quick paced and only has a set number of rounds, which limits how long the game can proceed. I spend the rest of the day walking around PAX being told that the base set was sold out at every vendor that was at the expo, but they had the expansion! Not to worry, though! I was able to procure it from Amazon for local delivery :)
Gloom – While this card game wasn’t something we played at PAX, we did play it PAX weekend, so it still kind of counts! Basically, while we were watching Table Top we decided to watch the episode of this one as well, since we owned the game already. The game is a lot of fun, and the story telling aspect of the game is a hoot. There is nothing quite like making up tragedies that befall your family as you rain down horrible things on them!
We did do a few other things at PAX, like wait in a very long line to get a Cards Against Humanity box signed by the creators of the game. I also may have purchased a new headset from the Turtle Beach Booth. I’m a little bummed that we never got the time to play the Game of Thrones game – but I suppose that there is always next year!
Things that do not involve PAX
Raiding – I’m still putzing through raids every week and really enjoying myself. I’m pretty excited for the new content, and have a 5.4 post in the works that I will hopefully have complete before Tuesday to help everyone prepare for the changes coming our way! I think that T16 is looking to be a very interesting tier, so I certainly hope that it lives up to my expectations.
Movies – I recently sat down and watched Beasts of the Southern Wild and I can’t decide what I think about it. Being familiar with the regions of Louisiana where the film takes place I do recognize a lot of truth and heart in those characters. But I often felt a little lost in the story. It wasn’t until the very end of the film that I felt some sense of direction and really started to care about where the story was going and the characters themselves. As such, it’s probably a “watch once” movie for me that I’d recommend for someone looking for something different and unique – but not for multiple viewings.
Books – You all, I am stuck. I am three quarters of the way through this John Grisham books and I just can’t seem to find the energy to care enough to get to the end of it. The sad part is that I am stubborn enough to push through to the end, but it’s going to take me some time to get there – and I have some great books lined up for when I get this one finished. Bleh.
Other Games – So I finally decided to install and start the SC2 expansion, only to realize that I had the last two campaigns in the Wings of Liberty to finish. So I finished those and got started with the expansion, and I was reminded how absolutely amazing the Star Craft stories are and how wonderful those writers are for weaving such wonderful stories. I know that those campaigns are very different than something like WoW, but wouldn’t it be amazing if we had such story telling occurring there too? Anyhow…so far into the Zerg Campaign I’ve learned that I’m not a particularly great Zerg player and that Kerrigan is an amazing character. I’m pretty excited to get through more of the campaign!
Anyhow! It’s been awhile! Now that I’ve rambled on and on, I’m curious what’s new with you?