The Jaded Gamer

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Absence and return

Alec Chapman
United Kingdom
Lincolnshire
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Anyway, how's your sex life?
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"She said the same thing about waffles."
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Microbadge: Offline from The Geek for a while
Gaming and the BGG blogging community has had to do without yours truly for a little while - I'm a little disappointed it didn't all collapse without me, but you can rest easy now.

Over the last year we have been recording, tinkering with and generally smacking about the single most important project of my life so far - it is a full album of music and all the details about it can be reached at the following site

bitterpolitics.weebly.com
(youtube, Spotify, iTunes and Amazon links all present on there)

Sorry for the self promotion, but every little helps - and Spotify is virtually free anyway. I'd suggest you begin by listening for free and then buy the ones you like. It's a bit, um, eclectic.

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So onto gaming - I have serious withdrawal symptoms caused by, variously, the work with the music and my usual opponents having screenwriting courses and new girlfriends getting in the way. Selfish scumbags!

I've also relaxed my trading rules a bit and reorganised my gaming shelves. This means I have managed to shift some RPG books (which would NEVER get used) and obtain a couple of new games - Stronghold, Flash Point: Fire Rescue and Hanabi.

Flash Point is obviously another variant on the Pandemic co-op genre (puire co-op in this case, unless they decide to introduce a rather tasteless Arsonist expansion) which involves putting out fires rather than curing diseases. It uses dice instead of cards and I prefer this greatly - sure, the price of using dice is streakiness and an increased feeling of randomness - I find I actually prefer those to shuffling things back into the deck and waiting for them. Also, I sort of own Pandemic anyway, in the form of Defenders Of The Realm, so there was no reason to get the big P in the collection.

Of course, I am increasing the number of co-ops in my collection deliberately, since they are the only type of game I can reliably get Mrs Algo to play with me. Flash Point was going pretty well until the Dog died first, then she described it as the "darkest game (she'd) ever played. Especially when I explained that burning to death was "the dog's karma for drinking out of the toilet".

Hanabi went down pretty well too. With the simple act of turning your cards around so you can see everyone's but your own, I think it's one of the most impressive designs of recent years - and despite her tendency to cheat quite outrageously - "That one is VERY blue" - she really enjoys it, with just the right amount of stress and tension being generated.

Stronghold is a silly idea for the collection, really, since I may get to play it very little (Mrs A took one look and just gave a big sigh) as it isn't really solo-able. I mean, sure you could solo it as there is very little necessary hidden information on the board - but I doubt it would be that much fun. The idea of the game is simple but a little misleading, the equipment and setting imply a siege mentality but that is exactly wrong. The invading forces need to smash the defence as quickly as possible to achieve victory. I like the bits, the clarity of production and the rules, while being organised pretty poorly and failing to give any sense of what playing the game is actually like, do manage to answer every question, once you know where to look.
I'll monitor this one as I go forward as it is likely to be either a real favourite or go the way of all the other games I've traded over the years.

I've also put feelers out to obtain the rest of the GIPF collection. I'm enjoying abstracts right now (Go especially, natch) and I haven't met a Gipf game I didn't enjoy. Yet.
So it's TZAAR and DVONN to find - as well as making / obtaining the potentials sets. But that's for another day.

For now, how are you lot doing? What did I miss?
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