Archive for October, 2012

Mercs is pretty okay I guess

Sunday, October 21st, 2012

Finally got my first full game of Mercs in, thanks to the fact that less than half of my ostensible D&D players showed up. Actually, no, exactly half of my players showed up. You might think that’s hard since I now number them at seven, but one of them showed up 3 hours late. Now, he did warn me he would be a few minutes late, and I quote: 

I may be a few minutes late…

That too me does not suggest 3 hours late. No, in my mind that means maybe 20 minutes, maybe even half an hour. Ahh well.

So back to Mercs, I think the game does have potential. I really do like the quick nature of the game, and the lack of having to spend half an hour building an army list. I’ve still got some reservations about the rules, however most of that is I think that the design is too obvious. For example there are several units that have -1 speed from what they should and the Speedy Ability (which gives them +1 speed). The reason for this apparently is so that when the one faction that can take units from other factions (the mercenary faction if you will) takes these guys their movement is reduced. Of course this means that if you take the Goliath the only way he can move at all is by bounding.

Aardman Delivers yet again….

Saturday, October 20th, 2012

Just finished watching Pirates: Band of Misfits… I’ll admit I do have a soft spot in my heart for Claymation, but Aardman’s particular brand of humour is also pretty tops in my book. Possibly my favorite gag is the “Surprisingly Curvaceous Pirate” who never actually got outed. I also really enjoyed the red dots on the maps. And the disintegrating disguises. I could go on, but it’s hard to say much more w/out spoilers, and they really are worth not being spoiled.

Yes, it’s a kids movie. Go watch it anyways… it’s only an hour and  a half, and it’s funny and excellent.

I forgot how awesome Dominion was

Friday, October 19th, 2012

So Thursdays happens to be my only completely “off” day. I work at neither of my jobs, so end up spending it hanging out down at FNG when I can playing board and card games. Tonight we warmed up with a little Tsuro of the Seas … which is kind of fun, but decidedly random … way more so than Tsuro. 

Then we cracked out Dominion. Since most of the folks hadn’t played before we started w/ the First Game setup … and I managed to get some fun/annoying Village/Moat combos, going … playing my entire deck at least 3 times during the course of the game but I ended up not being quite fast enough and I was a few points behind at the end of the game.

Next we played an almost entirely random set … I use the app to set a minimum of 3 cards from Dark Ages (because I haven’t played that much)  and no cards costing potions. The next few games we modified the setup slightly by removing several cards and then putting new ones in… so we changed the setup a little but not too much.

For the most part I didn’t fare too well over the course of the night … but I did manage a pretty fantastic victory in the last game. We had Goons and Urchin/Mercs out, so most of the game was played w/ 3 or 4 card hands … frustrating… but I went urchin heavy, pared my deck way down, got some farming villages for actions, some cultists for cards, and then right near the end of the game managed to get a bevy of Cities. On my penultimate turn I picked up 2 Goons and some more cultists. We were 2 piles down, and Cities and Goons both only had 1 card left so anyone could have bought it … except that everyone (except my) deck was filled with ruins from all the Cultists running around. I’d been mercenarying pretty mercilessly and so had a fairly well tuned deck at this point. Final turn was 3 Cities, 2 Goons, 2 Quarry, 1 Silver and a Mercenary for 13 dollars. I bought a Colony, the last City (ending the game) and 4 copper for a total of 22 points. Which coincidentally was my final score. And won me the game. 

Risky, but very satisfying.

As always, random picture is random:

Depressed all day + 12 hour day = short post

Thursday, October 18th, 2012

So basically I felt like crap all day. And ended up going and working an extra 2 hours at FNG after I got off of my regular job. Spent most of the time I had at home optimizing my new computer and fiddling w/ my wall-papers and other stupid stuff. Didn’t really get to play any games (besides some casual crap on Kongregate).

Here’s one pane from Signal to Noise, the main reason I picked up the Humble indie EbOok bundle:

What’s next, the Humble Indie Mix-tape?

Wednesday, October 17th, 2012

So I just bought the Humble eBook Bundle because Pete-Damn-It is this the type of thing that needs to become a)Legit, b)Common Place, and c)Easy. Like to the point where book publishers don’t try and pull stupid ass bullshit like DRM or limited number of reads or anything like that.

When you have a digital product, be it Movies, Music, Books, Videogames or whatever, there are really three types of people.

1) People who want it, and care enough about it that they want to reward the content creators so that stuff like it is created in the future (or even just to say thanks!).

2) People who don’t want it, and won’t buy it no matter what.

3) People who want it, but don’t want to pay for it.

Draconian DRM (which in many people’s opinion is ANY DRM) does one thing and one thing only, it moves people from category 1 to category 3. It never moves people from 3 to 1, because the technology to “steal” a product is always going to be superior to the technology to prevent that theft. 

I have bought games before where the DRM was such a pain in the ass, that I then had to go online and acquire a cracked copy of the game so I could actually play it. And that frankly is ridiculous. I don’t need music CDs putting what amounts to spy-ware on my computer. Over 95% of my music I have legitimate physical copies of, even though I mostly just use Google Play and Pandora these days … I don’t even own a CD player. I do have several discs that have attempted to install DRM onto my computer.

I especially love the granularity of assigning where the money goes that you’re allowed with the Indie Bundles. Buying the bundle primarily for one or two of the contents? Push the majority of the money to them. Like Charity? You can do it. Want the Humble Bundles to keep happening? You can make it so. Just hate that one guy? You can cut him out of the loop (at least, as far as your portion goes).

I’m looking forwards to the day when these bundles stop being so humble, and become ubiquitous. 

Just Finished season 2 of Downton Abbey

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012

And in particular, the Xmas episode. I’ve really enjoyed the show, especially seeing what life was like a hundred years ago… though I do have some concerns about historical accuracy… mostly brought on by watching (again) the Xmas episode… see when they were putting lights on the tree it REALLY REALLY looked like they were those standard green wire LED lights … The bulbs where just to small for me to really believe it…

And I just popped in The Extremely Best Marigold Hotel and in the first few minutes there are already 3 actors from Downton Abbey… How interesting.

Here’s your random picture for the day:

Change isn’t uniformly bad.

Monday, October 15th, 2012

So every day at work, we add up (using a calculator) all of the money spent on Fines, Prints and Faxes. This is generally a ton of small transactions … .20 or .60 cents, maybe a couple dollar transactions and a few larger ones (generally faxes).

And of course this has to be done twice (since the everything is doubled checked for accuracy by a second person). And if there’s an error… it might be four or more times that all of these transactions (which can easily be more than a dozen) have to be calculated.

Now once we’ve got all this information figured out, we have to put it into an excel spreadsheet. I figured, why not save a bunch of effort, and make a temporary worksheet, where you just list each transaction, and let excel add it up for you. This has the added advantages that the second check person doesn’t have to enter anything, just compare the number you entered to those on the sheet, and if there errors it’ll be much easier to spot them by comparing the paper copy to what’s on the screen than it would be to re-enter them all into the calculator.

So I (tried) to explain this to my semi-boss and she seemed rather put off that I was trying to change things… explaining that I shouldn’t be doing anything that would create more work. Thing is, I’ve already revised the form/through-put 2-3 times now, and each time has made dealing with the daily deposit easier, and less error-prone. I’m fairly confident that if I can make the form do what I want it to (which I can, I just need to figure out how), this also would make things easier, more efficient, and harder to make mistakes (or at least, easier to detect them).

Ugh. Sometimes I just don’t get people.

Regardless, I do wish I had one of these:

Upgrade Complete!

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

So the new computer is finally up and running. I even got to play a little X-Com. The old computer is installed by the credenza and is now set up as a fancy shmancy media server, but I’ve also shared the majority of the drives over the LAN so I can still get to all my old stuff. Surely there are problems with this setup, but I haven’t encountered them yet … I am feeding my desktop images off of the old machine, and that’ll surely choke as soon as the old machine goes to sleep. We’ll jump that hurdle shortly. I’m sure this still a ton to do, but it’ll have to wait.

I’m not far into the new X-Com, but aside from tutorial annoyances, it seems to be pretty damn fine as far as updates to cherished franchises go. Can’t wait to finish my first game, and start one w/out the tutorial. Of course that’ll likely resolve in failure… but I do like hard games.

Anyways, here’s a pic of my setup:

And here’s the old computer hooked up as a media server:

Two posts for the price of one

Saturday, October 13th, 2012

So of course when the store owner leaves the country everything gets messed up. First off, we didn’t have any new DCI cards, so one player in the Draft tonight is playing using mine. Second, Conrad is working his other job, and will didn’t realize he was covering the 6 to close shift… so I’m heading back soon as I get my computer assembled and started.


Happy belated discover and misname a continent day.

Friday, October 12th, 2012

So will be starting to assemble my new ‘puter in a couple of hours, and I expect I will be distracted enough that I won’t think to post here, so I’m going to go ahead and write today’s post early. One of the joys of working for the government is we have non-closed holiday’s where we get time off, so I’ve got today off for Columbus day.

And yeah, I happen to think Columbus day is about the stupidest holiday in existence.  Or at least, the stupidest officially recognized one. Regardless, that does mean I have almost two whole days off in a row (a rarity), with just a one hour fill in shift at FNG for one of the few times we need two people on duty at the store.

For today’s picture you get all the parts for my new computer laid out ready to be put together. Soon, my precious, soon!

New Computer bits