$10.00

"Roll dice and kick ass!"

Snapshots from JMcL63's lands of adventure (Go to Blogger to find RD/KA! in all its fully-illustrated technicolour glory- jmcl63.blogspot.com).

Archive for meanwhile...

1 , 2  Next »  

Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

New bloggery update

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
flag msg tools
"Roll dice and kick ass!"
mbmbmbmbmb
I've rehosted "A bit political on yer ass!" to blogger. It already includes new content on Scotland's 2014 independence referendum. Don't forget to update your bookmarks.
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Sat Jan 3, 2015 9:17 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

New life on the blogging front

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
flag msg tools
"Roll dice and kick ass!"
mbmbmbmbmb
"A bit political on yer ass!"- my alternative blog about society and stuff. Enter at your peril. Enjoy. Oh, don't forget to update your bookmarks to follow.
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Fri Jan 2, 2015 12:10 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Ulrika the Vampire: the trilogy complete

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
flag msg tools
"Roll dice and kick ass!"
mbmbmbmbmb
High hopes

The first volume of Nathan Long's Ulrika the Vampire series- Bloodborn, which I reviewed back in 2010, exceeded expectations sufficiently to ensure that picking up further volumes was a no-brainer for me. Volumes 2- Bloodforged, and 3- Bloodsworn, were duly added to my Warhammer Fantasy fiction bookshelf last year. I didn't know what to expect from these books but my hopes were pretty high after the first volume. Would Nathan Long be able to sustain my interest and excitement as he further developed the tale of the tragic destiny of one of my favourite characters in my favourite fantasy world?

Vivid characterisation

Freshly blooded and still bearing emotional hallmarks of her human identity- a proud young women of position, mature beyond her years by virtue of her martial experience, Ulrika chafes under the yoke of her new elders and betters- the Bloodlines: creatures for whom a year passes in the blink of an eye; who have nothing better to do than bicker, scheme and intrigue while human generations live and die as pawns in their powerplays, and as their prey and cattle. Among these, her new kind, Ulrika finds herself cast down to the status of a mere infant. Intrepid and independent she instinctively rebels against this subservience, launching herself on a quest to survive without surrendering to total damnation.
Read more »
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Mon Oct 7, 2013 5:46 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Guilty pleasures and morbid imaginings

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
flag msg tools
"Roll dice and kick ass!"
mbmbmbmbmb
A guilty secret

The oft-mentioned mellowing effects of age are a true fact, well observed in the case of yours truly. A phenomenon which began with my increasing squeamishness in my mid-30s, the most extreme example of this effect is the case of one of the most hated figures in recent times here in Britain- the late Margaret Thatcher. I shared this hatred quite viscerally, to the extent that, back in the early/mid-80s I used break out into fits of apoplectic rage at the mere sight of her on the TV, and the sound of her in her prime still sends shivers down my spine. And yes, I went to the local party on the day of her death. I didn't sing, I didn't dance, but I'd promised myself I'd turn out and that was a promise I could not but keep, but that's another story.

"Who's got the last laugh now you mad old bat?"

I blame ex-Chancellor and former Prime Minister Gordon Brown for spoiling my party (no, no, not the Labour Party- that had stopped being 'my' party 20 years before the moment in question). No, Brown spoiled my Thatcher's 'death-day' party when, on the occasion of becoming prime minister in 2007, he followed his predecessor Tony Blair's lead by inviting Thatcher for a photo opportunity on the steps of 10 Downing Street. The moment was truly pathetic, this one-time demented ranter cut down by senile dementia and rolled out for all the world like an old-time mummified Soviet Communist Party General Secretary to give her doddering seal of approval to the latest simpering heir to her so-called 'revolution'. And in that moment I couldn't help myself, I felt sorry for her.
Read more »
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Mon Sep 23, 2013 9:10 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Adventures in cabbage #1: "Go for your greens!"

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
flag msg tools
"Roll dice and kick ass!"
mbmbmbmbmb
I blog therefore I am

It is a truism that our hyperconnected world — this mighty engine of commerce, knowledge and communication in which codebots endlessly war over the dupes, the data and the users' processing power and into whose coffers even our free activity is given — a truism that this incredible techo-social spectacle- the crowning scientific and technical achievement of the 20th century; that this is the original Cyberpunks' mid-80s low-life visions made virtual flesh (virtual by virtue of the lack of ubiquitious direct neural jacking with its resulting sensory immersion- that emotionally empty screen so beloved of the trolls who soil and poison the social networks). When my pal's copy of William Gibson's Neuromancer circulated round to me back in 1984 little did I realise that I was about to experience with unsurpassed intensity a delicious cultural trope- getting in ahead of the avalanche unleashed by a new voice at the cutting edge of a genre-redefining honest-to-god artistic revolution. No sudden impact this. It was a slow-burning mind-bomb the full impact of which only became evident when, after a month's apparent indifference, I suddenly realised that I couldn't get the damn book out of my mind.

Read more »
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Mon Sep 2, 2013 12:36 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
8 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Combat Commander: RSG radio variant reprised

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
flag msg tools
"Roll dice and kick ass!"
mbmbmbmbmb
This is just not on chaps
I wrote back in December 2008 about my frustration with the way that Combat Commander: Mediterrean’s updated Random Scenario Generator allows only the attacker to start with a radio. This just didn’t work for me at a basic level of historical authenticity. My general reading has taught me that the German army used their company and battalion 81mm mortars as immediate on-call defensive artillery fire. And George R. Blackburn’s monumental The Guns of War is chock full of examples of British and Commonwealth forces in Europe in 1944-45 using artillery directed by an attached Forward Observation Officer to break up attacks in progress. So I just can’t go along with the idea that defenders can only get access to radios via the Reinforcement event, which has a mere 3% chance even with the Americans for whom it is most likely.

All that said I could see that the essential issue was simple enough: while it was plain that either the attacker or the defender starting with a radio worked well enough, making radios available to both sides risks turning the game into a rather uninteresting exchange of big guns: the choice being mutually available, escalation would be very tempting because why not, after all? The idea that the points cost alone of selecting a radio would be sufficient disincentive just didn’t add up for me. More important perhaps is the fact that most of the ‘Artillery Request’ cards are also prime ‘Defender Only’ actions; eg. 6/9 in the American deck, including the 2 ‘Hidden Wire’ actions. On the other hand though, 6/9 ‘Artillery Request’ cards in the American deck are ‘Dig In’ or ‘Hidden Entrenchment’ actions. It is easy to imagine how keen a defender with a radio would be to use these for the artillery strikes. So the alternative uses of the defender’s ‘Artillery Request’ cards strike me as little more of disincentive for artillery escalation than does the points cost.
Read more »
Twitter Facebook
7 Comments
Tue Jul 16, 2013 10:22 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Thrillseekers!

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
flag msg tools
"Roll dice and kick ass!"
mbmbmbmbmb
At the mercy of the machine?

Me old mucker, Gav

Gav and I spent a day at Alton Towers last week. This was a bit of a turn up for the books: the trip had looked likely for September; I’d never hitherto been on a roller coaster; and I last rode a fairground ‘flyer’ ride back in 1991- a specific date I remember because it was just after my arrival in Glasgow at the dog end of Glasgow’s year as European City of Culture, and the fair was one of the popular attractions of that year. I also remember that ride because all I could think about while I was on it were the nut and bolt upon which my safety depended, and the physics of shear stresses: the ride reminded us all of both often enough to be sure. That sucked all the fun out of things for yours truly I can assure you dear readers.

Anyway, long story short, Gav persuaded me to go to my first theme park. And so we were off on a 30-hour red-eye coach round trip from Glasgow. Twenty-plus years since I crapped-out on a regular fairground ride, heading off to ride ultra-modern roller coasters? I confess I was a bit nervy but, as Gav pointed out when I quipped the heading above, roller coasters are safer than buses. Which is true, yadda, yadda, yadda.
Read more »
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Fri Jun 28, 2013 12:01 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Analogue gamer finally grokks digital? #2. In which, getting neither rules nor manual, I am confounded

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
flag msg tools
"Roll dice and kick ass!"
mbmbmbmbmb
Analogue and digital: opposing skill sets?
Fundamental property or fleeting perception?

Far from original, my closing remarks last time echo truisms familiar from many online discussions of, eg. how to get more younger people to play wargames (a common enough theme on the BGG Wargames subforum). Once this notion rears its head in any thread it won’t be long before someone observes that the ‘plug-and-play’ nature of computer games’ has ‘spoiled’ younger people when it comes to reading rules for a game, especially those more-or-less complex ones you’ll find in ‘heavy duty’ wargames. And these are games like, eg. the 32 pages of detailed case point of Unhappy king Charles or the similar 28 pages of Twilight Struggle — ie. average complexity medium-sized wargames with clear and concise rules — not ASL’s legendary monumental tome or some such monstrosity.

The basic disconnect

Read more »
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Fri Jun 21, 2013 3:21 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
11 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Analogue gamer finally grokks digital? #1. In which I neither got nor 'get' computer games

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
flag msg tools
"Roll dice and kick ass!"
mbmbmbmbmb
My sorry excuse for a computer game collection…
Give me the damn instruction manual!

I noted the paucity of my digital gaming experience last September in my review of Death Ray Manta. Getting a bit more precise: as far as I can remember I’ve only ever owned 5 or 6 computer games, and only 5 which I can remember for sure:-
- Quake 2: played a few times but abandoned in frustration when I couldn’t get past the first level (I ended up running around banging on the walls hoping to find the secrets I knew I hadn’t uncovered).
- Abe’s Oddysee: this charmed me but otherwise ditto because I couldn’t solve the problems of the more difficult screens- running around in endless frustrated circles was no fun, however cute.
- Close Combat III: The Russian Front: my most-played computer game and my favourite, naturally enough- abandoned after I'd played the scenarios when I couldn’t fathom the campaign game.
- Panzer General 3D Assault: played once or twice- meh, I'd rather'd've had a rulebook, and probably a map, counters and a FtF opponent to boot.
- Combat Mission: Shock Force: out of the shrink, but otherwise the CD-ROM hasn’t even been inserted into the computer.
Of all of these I still own the wargames.
Read more »
Twitter Facebook
5 Comments
Tue Jun 18, 2013 10:53 pm
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls
Recommend
15 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide

Confessions of a one-time would-be career gamer

John McLintock
Scotland
Glasgow
Lanarkshire
flag msg tools
"Roll dice and kick ass!"
mbmbmbmbmb
“He’s not dead yet!”
Emerging later than usual from the incommunicado of the long darkness of my annual slough of despond, I found myself drawn back into social networking via BoardGameGeek, as is my wont. One thread which attracted my attention was Deep or Wide: What kind of wargamer are you?, to which I added my tuppenceworth, you can be sure (deep, as we shall see). Before I knew where I was I’d been prompted to make an unexpected return to the keyboard for the benefit of my readers here at RD/KA!.









Never mind the depth, feel the width?
‘Deep’ play- ie. playing a game many times to experience the full breadth of its content and to master its nuances, has been a strong characteristic of my gaming geek since I was a young adult. A quick survey of my 10 most played games shows how strong. Look at my 5 all-time favourite wargames:
- Up Front.
- Space Hulk.
- Combat Commander.
- SL/ASL.
- C&C.

What these games all have in common is that they are as much systems as they are games, and that they are driven by scenarios which gives them great replay value. This makes them ideal for deep play even if they might be simple by comparison to a multimap monster game, eg. the infamous Case Blue (10 maps with a total area of 49 square feet, 3640 counters and 288 pages of rules and scenarios).
Read more »
Twitter Facebook
0 Comments
Fri Jun 7, 2013 3:52 am
Post Rolls
  • [+] Dice rolls

1 , 2  Next »  

Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.