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  • Ghiblapalooza Episode 2 - Grave of the Fireflies

    "September 21, 1945... that was the night I died."

  • Ghiblapalooza Episode 3 - Whisper of the Heart

    Take me home country road, To the place I belong

  • Ghiblapalooza Episode 4 - My Neighbor Totoro

    "Thank you for all you've done for Mei. Please look after her and protect her forever."

  • Ghiblapalooza Episode 5 - Princess Mononoke

    "So you say you're under a curse? So what? So's the whole damn world."

  • Ghiblapalooza Episode 6 - Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind

    "There is nothing to fear."

  • Ghiblapalooza Episode 7- Kiki's Delivery Service

    "We fly with our spirit."

  • Ghiblapalooza Episode 8 - Porco Rosso

    "Farewell to freedom in the Adriatic and to days of wild abandon."

  • Ghiblapalooza Episode 9 - The Cat Returns

    "Hey, mom? Do you think cats can talk?"

  • Give Quiche a Chance

    We were watching Red Dwarf last night. Rimmer gets all his anger sucked out by a polymorph and turns into this guy pictured on the left.  The Spawn turns to me and says, "Look! Rimmer got turned into a Game Club guy!"

  • Glory to Rome

    Based on iguanaDitty's recommendation , I picked up Glory to Rome. Al really likes it, which is no surprise, as he and iguanaDitty seem to have similar tastes in games.

    We have played GtR 5 times in the last three days. We are still in the learning phase, where we are discovering the flow of the game and how things work. Although, with all the combinations of buildings, it does seem as if the flow is different each time we play. It seems like we will probably be haivng those "oh, that's how that works" moments for a long time. It's one of those games where after you play, you say, "Damn. I know what I did wrong. Let's play one more game." However, the next game you play is so different that you can't exactly apply what you learned from the previous game.             


  • GW rips off MW

    Gamez Werkshop rips off Marting Wallas!


    Marting Wallas: "You're neither getting my game, nor my money."
  • Hoarders - My Campaign Continues

    Unlike the TV show, Hoarders, I don't have an entire crew capable of clearing out my crapola in two days. Therefore, this clean-up has become more of a campaign than a one shot deal, requiring planning and logistics not unlike trying to get an RPG group together on a campaign to raid the Dragon Hoard, with the Department of Public Works as our total dick DM.

    As it turns out, actually getting the crapola off our property has turned out to be more difficult than deciding to part with our "treasures." Two pages of rules governing what, when and how to dispose of stuff has resulted in one room on our third floor becoming a designated holding pen for stuff that must wait for us to obtain the proper dump permits and then wait for the appointed dumping dates for the items based upon type. Mid-July is the earliest we will be able to get rid of the three old computer monitors, and other dead electronics. The crib mattress will cost us $12 in fees to dump. Metal costs $6 a truck load and can only be brought on certain days...

    The Permit Office closes at 3pm, except on Thursdays. The Dump is only open from noon to 4pm on Wed, Sat and Sun. The pick-up truck is my step-dad's so we can only use it when he isn't using it...

    Despite this logistical nightmare, we were able to meet or exceed all but two of my goals for last week:


    We were only able to make one dump run instead of two.

    We have not come up with an entire box of books to donate.


    One box of toys and games donated.

    One box of household items donated. PLUS we uncovered six chairs and several other larger items to donate.

    One box of clothes donated. PLUS two more large trash bags, for a total of about 100 gallons of used clothes out of the house.

    Most Difficult to Deal With:

    Stuff in my long abandoned studio from my days when I worked as a designer. But once I took the first step and threw out a basket of old paint, and several yards of faded fabric it got easier. I was eventually able to fill two garbage bags with stuff, and even decided to get rid of one of the old sewing machines, although we haven't decided whether to haul it to the Goodwill or try to sell it. I did, however, decide to keep my drafting table, all my drafting tools and a portable easel, despite the fact that I know I will probably never use them again. Oh, well, can't completely reform myself in a week. I remain motivated by the fact that once the room is cleared out I will be able to put it to use again for something. It is probably one of my favorite rooms in the house, being on the third floor, with fabulous light and a quintessential New England view out the window.

    Biggest Surprise:

    Found a bow (no arrows). Why the hell do we have a bow?

  • Hoarders and Collectors

    I've been watching Hoarders to inspire me to get the house cleaned out and organized. I'm probably not alone here as a person  whose hobbies tend to cause her to accumulate stuff. So I have decided to keep this blog to help keep me honest and keep the pressure on to get the crapola out of my house.
    Our goal for this week is to get the stuff that really is just trash out of the house. No real hard decisions here, just hard dirty work.
  • Hobby Shops Are Cool

    One of the side benefits of being a boardgamer is that many "game stores" are actually hobby shops, with games being only a small part of what they sell. Going to the "game store" means you also get to browse around and look at all the other strange and interesting things the store carries. Eventually, you come to realize that you can name pretty much anything, and there is a group of people that are "into" it, and therefore some company somewhere manufacturing it, and you can probably find it at the hobby shop. 

  • Hot Steaming Turds, Fresh From The Gathering (tm)

    Last night I got to play a lot of the swag brought back from the gathering.  A bunch of the guys in my game group go every year and always bring back interesting stuff. 

    Probably the best thing in the stack this year was Planet Steam, a complex economic euro which is sort of like Power Grid on steroids, with more brain burning.   I will probably write up a review of some sort soon.  I liked the game, so I'm not going to write about it in detail in the hot steamy turd article.

    Unfortunately, most of the other stuff brought back from the gathering sucked harder than a one legged man in an ass kicking contest. 

  • House Rules Should Stay at Home

    My house rules stay in my house , or at least within the small group of friends who tweaked or developed what ever rule it is. I'm happy to share and exchange house rules and tweaks with close friends. However, when I'm out of my own home, like at game club, or a con, I expect to play a game by the standard rules, or at least by a well known and accepted variant that is in the rule book. The simple reason for this is that these are the rules everyone knows.

    I used to be more open to house rules, but experience has now taught me that the fastest way to misery at the game table is to allow someone's home brew to take over. It is awkward enough to be playing games with people who you may not know well. It's even more awkward when everyone realizes a few turns into the game that everyone is playing by their own rules. Best case scenario, the dominate player pushes their rules on the meeker or more polite players, worst case scenario, you end up in a protracted argument  discussion about the rules. Someone always ends up feeling put out.

    Several months ago, after enduring yet another rather disappointing evening as the result of politely conceding to play by the game owner's rules, rather than by the game designer's rules, I decided that I simply will no longer play games that are prone to house rules with the general gaming public. Arkham Horror is at the top of this list, along with Talisman. 

  • How Clutter Happens - That Way Madness Lies

    I'm thinking of storing a diswasher in my basement. We just spent weeks hauling junk out of our house, and now I'm thinking of hording more junk. And not just something small, like a baby blanket or a book. I'm talking a big honking home appliance. But my thought process makes it seem like such a reasonable thing to do, and this is the way madness lies...

  • How Wiz-War Violated the "No Shit Talking First Game" Rule


    So my brother and I bust out Wiz-War today over lunch--yeah, the copy so graciously sent to me by MR. MOTO (trader of the highest calibre) as a result of our FIRST EVER SLAM BANGIN' F:AT MATH TRADE.  We seriously need to do another one o' dem.


    We have an unwritten rule, my brother and I, and it is thus:  "First games don't count."  Hey, we like to talk shit just like anybody else...but talking shit, or getting upset, over the first game of anything is fairly retarded.  What, am I going to talk trash because I drew the best card in the deck in our very first game during which neither of us even knew the damned thing existed?  "HELLO, E-TARD, I BANISH THEE WITH MY TOPDECK SKILLZ."



    Seriously, there is a ROCK card
    in this game.  It should read "YOU WIN THE

    I have to admit that I took a little effort to pimp my sixth edition game.  Not that it was in bad shape, but saying the bits for Wiz-War are a bit naff is sort of like saying Lindsay Lohan is in "slightly worse shape than she was a few years ago."  Seriously, the cards are on business card stock, uncoated.  You LOOK at these things cock-eyed and they're going to fucking twist sideways and crumple into a little ball.

    So I sleeved 'em with other CCG cards as backs.  I added a few minis for the wizards.  And a 20-sider for life totals.  VINTAGE MAGIC LIFE-TRACKING TECHNOLOGY~!



    "Write your life total on a piece of paper" my ass.
    That shit is for the Amish.


    Anyway...where was I?

    Oh yeah, so we've finished wolfing down our lunches and I've set everything up, including the GIANT SLEEVED BUSINESS CARD TOWER OF DOOM that threatens to topple over and coat the board in random CCG goodness.  And off we go.

    The first few moves are reflective of a gentler time in the realm of Wiz-War.  (Jeremy asks me, "What is this game about?  Why are they fighting?"  I bust out the wizened game sage voice.  "Because they are Wizards...and they are at War.")  He dunks one of my treasures and I do the same, a little Tit for Tat Treasure Tete-e-Tete, if you weeeeeeeeeeeeell.  Things are positively genteel.  Mostly, this is due to the "First Game" rule.  However, I now realize it was because we hadn't drawn into the good shit yet.

    I'm the first to score, pulling the "DEAL TEN DAMAGE" card.  He's able to make sure I share half the pain.  I grab it again with a re-use spell, thinking of crispier days for my wizard archnemesis.

    That's when he pisses me off.

    First of all, he shuts down my spells for like 6 turns.  Yeah, that seems fair.  So I dutifully go and retrieve my dunked treasure, knowing I can do jack all in the meantime.  I'm almost back to my base when he barrels around a corner and immobilizes me for several turns.  So now I'm paralyzed, AND I can't cast spells.  Beautiful.

    Just as I'm brimming with rage--and tossing out statements that are questioning his sexual preferences, his heritage, and other vulgar bon mots, he decides to make me his "Buddy" on the turn I'm to thaw out from all the shit he's tossed on me.




    I'm trying to figure this out.  I've been violated anally (figuratively speaking) by having my spells stripped away, been paralyzed on the spot, and NOW I think this guy is my freaking busom buddy.  I glare.  I swear.  For a friend, I say some rather untoward things to him.

    I see a solution, though:  I take my treasure that I've been carrying, walk it into a dead end, and put a wall in front of it.  Oh, and the other side of the dead end was solid stone, so it was VERY tough to get into.

    Now it's HIS turn to cast doubtful aspirations on my heritage, and what sort of genetalia I may or may not possess.  But he's still not mad enough to attack me, breaking his "BUDDY" spell.  He's going to figure out a way around this.

    Then I walk through a wall, get near him, and blow the wall out on both of us.  Giggling like a school girl, I play a number card and speed off, back toward my sector.  He's taken the bait, and I move toward a tactical position to wait for him.

    The energy is cracklin' off his fingertips as he rounds the corner, but SURPRISE!  Not only does he find me shrunk 50% (no genitals jokes, please) but it don't matter none because I reflect his spell right back at him.  Now he's angry, singed, his hopes of winning are fading.  'Cause I don't see him as a BUDDY anymore.  This man, this wizard, he gon' die.

    So I'm standing there, thinking, thinking...what would be the ultimate revenge?  How best to deal with this impudent wizard snot standing in front of me, charred face from his own lightning spell?  I had the 10-point blast in my hand, along with the doubler card.  He was down to like 7, I think.  This would more than do it.

    But I had other plans.

    "BEGONE WIF YA'S~!" I exclaimed, and teleported him into the little mini closet I'd fashioned for my treasure earlier.

    Gritting his teeth, he conceded the battle as my wizard meandered toward his other treasure to seal the deal.  The only way this could be more delicious is if I could have filled the little mini-man-made closet with water.  Or fire.  Or snot.

    Wiz-War and I...I think we're going to be good friends.

    Magic: The Gathering and Dungeon guys owe this game royalties or something.  Seriously.



    And so, this is the tale of how, for the first time in ages, the "FIRST GAME SHIT TALKING" rule was violated.  Deliciously.


  • I am an Assistant Game Designer

    Well, sort of. The Spawn designed a board game for her summer reading project. I got to help her out on account of she decided to record an interview for her other project, and the Man has all the recording equipment. He's teaching her how to do sound editing. I just taught her how to rip off Euro mechanics and slap a theme on. 


  • I am Math Girl

    I just finished our taxes. The Man says that I am Math Girl and get extra points for doing the taxes. I do all the real-life math-y stuff for our household. My job is really math-y too. Maybe that's why I hate math-y games. I like games that are as different from my real life and work as possible.