Wait, before you go any further- go read Alexander Awesome's interview with Bruno Cathala about Cyclades...it ties into my article this week in a way. I bumped off the top spot, but y'all need to go check it out. Second expansion, what?
On the Table
I’ve been thinking a lot about DoaM games lately and Nate’s review of City of Remnants, one of my favorite examples of the genre over the past couple of years, spurred me into thinking about how the genre has grown. Particularly in the last ten years or so, and particularly in light of hybridization. I don’t think any other genre has benefitted more from hybridization with Eurogame concepts than the DoaM games. Article is at NHS, of course.
Z-Man was kind enough to send a copy of Terra Mystica, so I plunked around with it by myself last night. AT dogmatists will despise it. I’m not sure what to make of it yet. The design is really interesting and surprisingly complex. It’s definitely a hardcore Eurogame, almost like an ultra advanced version of Kingdom Builder. I like the mechanics and there’s LOTS to dig into to (literally, since you have to have shovels to terraform), but the theme is very shaky. Don’t be fooled into thinking it’s a more complex Small World, because it isn’t. There’s not really any conflict other than competition for space, a couple of cult tracks that are really races, and some limited advantages. It does that Eclipse thing where all the bookkeeping is handled by your player card, which is kind of nice. Definitely one to explore for a while, not sure if it will ultimately be any fun though. The deciding factor may be if it plays in under two hours or if it bogs down in AP.
Finally got the Blood Bowl expansion, yay football vampires. Also picked up the new Star Wars LCG set, which is very cool. Totally love that game now. The Hoth stuff is pretty cool, you can in fact stage a Tauntaun versus Star Destroyer battle.
On the Consoles
Still loving Injustice, I’m really getting into the S.T.A.R. Labs missions. Some of them are really quite unexpected, like a Flash versus Superman around the world 200 times race and one where you have to sneak by guards as Catwoman’s cat, Isis. There’s also kind of a shmup with Shazam. Like the Mortal Kombat challenge tower, it’s always surprising, fun, and challenging.
I messed around with Monaco on the laptop. At first I meh’d it, but once you realize that it’s kind of a souped-up Pac Man with special characters and stealth, it really comes together. Neat game. I think I want it on XBLA though rather than PC.
Eclipse, duh. It really does feel like a really good Master of Orion style game on the iPad. Yet it’s smoother playing, finishes in under an hour, and brings those board gamey elements to the front. Pretty much essential.
Picked up Star Command, which is kind of a cuter version of FTL. Some things I like better than FTL. Only did the first two battles. I like it, maybe a lot, but I’d be pissed if I waited for it as long as those Kickstarting it had to to finally get the game.
On the Comics Rack
This week I am just in love with Hawkman. I’ve never really read any Hawkman material outside of appearances with other characters or in teams. I went for the Timothy Truman (Grimjack) Hawkworld miniseries, and just loved it. It’s a cool, gritty sci-fi crime story with a heavy leftist political edge. Art is awesome, if you like Truman’s work on Grimjack, you’ll like this. The ongoing series from 1990-1993 picks up John Ostrander (also Grimjack) and Truman is still on board, but they have a different penciller who sucks. The writing is still good, and I actually like the weirdly blunt political messaging. There’s this whole part where Katar and Shayera are given the Declaration of Indepedence to read after shooting a bad guy, sparking ruminations about Thanagarian and Earth social justice. It’s kooky and ham handed, but I love it for whatever reason.
Still reading JSA- I really, really like this series. It’s probably the best Geoff Johns material I’ve read, mainly because it stays so far away from most of his excesses. I love the Golden Age characters, particularly how these classic goofball villains show up in modern times with 50-60 year old grudges (with an editor’s note stating that something happened in, like, Flash Comics #4). I love that it’s not the big, massive, overexposed heroes and instead it’s folks like Wildcat, Mr. Terrific, Star Spangled Kid, Sand, and so forth. 20 issues in, I’ll probably read the whole thing because it’s exactly the kind of comic I want to read right now.
Read more of the Sinestro Corps War thing. So dumb. But you can read an issue in like five minutes, so it’s a great timekiller while waiting in line somewhere. The big turnaround comes when the Guardians switch off the rings’ prohibition against lethal force. “Damn cool”. GROAN!
On the Screen
I didn’t really watch much of anything this week. Netflix has really been sorry lately. I’m trying Hulu Plus, which makes zero sense for me since I don’t watch TV shows. I thought I’d be impressed by their Criterion selection, and I am somewhat, but I had no idea that 80% of the Criterion Collection is now obscure Japanese crime, samurai, and drama films. I can only take so much.
Still keenly focused on Chrome, mostly Chronicles I&II and Half Machine Lip Moves. I did jaunt over to the Hawkwind selection for some more hippie/biker/traveller space rock. “Space Ritual” is still the one to hear from those guys, unless you want to do the Moorcock thing with “Chronicles of the Black Sword”.