May Geekiness

Another month has passed by, and I just don’t know where the time has gone. It only seems like last week that I was publishing my first post, this will be my 14th!

So far things haven’t gone too badly. I’ve managed to gain a few followers, thank you all, both here and on Board Game Geek (BGG). Also a big ‘thank you’ to all the lovely people out there who have commented on my posts. The feedback on the reviews I placed on BGG has been especially rewarding. The Arkham Horror review became one of the ‘Hot Reviews‘, and as I write, still is.

I can’t believe how much work goes into maintaining a regular blog site, hats off to all those regular bloggers out there. For me, it’s not the thinking up of ideas for posts, but all the editing – hopefully my writing has improved over the last month – especially when doing the reviews.

A review like Arkham or This War, takes me about a week to write, and that’s not including all the play testing that goes into it. Fortunately, all the games I’ve reviewed so far are ones I already new quite well. Photos take a few hours – Setting up, shooting, tidying away, editing – but the results are well worth the effort.

My news page hasn’t been going as well as I would have liked, mainly down to a technical glitch – my iPad! I had hoped to add thing to the page as I get them, using my iPad or phone to quickly add them to the page. But no! I found my phone just too small to use effectively, and my iPad just too damn old. I can’t put the app on it because it’s an iPad 3 and doesn’t support IOS 11, and using it to type over the Internet is soooo slooow!

Time for a new apple product – iPad, iPad Pro, Mac Air, or Mac book?

So, other than writing posts for The Solo Meeple, what else have I been up to this month?

I’ve spent a couple of weekends playing Magic: The Gathering with my daughter, Yasmin. She wanted to build some new decks with the deck-building set she had for Christmas.

She put together quite a good deck based around undead, mainly zombies and vampires. Unfortunately for her, I built probably the best deck I ever have done! It’s a green deck that contains instants and enchantments that buff up my creatures, and enable me to choose which creature fights which. There are also creatures with the Renown trait (when it deals damage, if it isn’t renown, put x amount of +1/+1 counters on it). But the best thing about the deck is that it has 4 of nearly each type of card, making it predictable in play.

We played countless games, both using these decks and others, and so far my green deck remains undefeated.

I love getting Yasmin involved in games like this. I think it helps promote strategic and logical thinking, puzzle solving, and determination to succeed, amongst lots other things that I’ll be covering in a later post.

We’ve also been playing Dungeons & Dragons: Temple of Elemental Evil The Board Game – that’s a mouthful! We have been running through the campaign, and have just completed scenario 4. Yasmin plays Nymmestra, the Elf Wizard, and Talon, the Human Ranger. I got to play Alaeros, the Human Fighter, and Barrowin, the Dwarf Cleric.

This has turned out to be quite a fun game – once we figured out the strategy of playing it, that is! You have to play aggressively, otherwise you just get swamped and have the… well, you have it beaten out of you!

Downfall, and Frustration, have also put in an appearance. Yasmin enjoys playing the older games, especially these two. I like downfall, it has a fair amount of skill involved in it – Yasmin is yet to beat me (I never, ever, let her win – am I cruel?). Frustration is right at the other end of the spectrum, pure luck – she beat me 4-3 last weekend – and will be appearing in a ‘remember when post’ at some point in the future.

Gloomhaven has finally been put away for a short break – I keep looking at the box longingly, but other things just need to be done. This War of Mine took its place at the table as I thrashed it out to write the review. I don’t think it will be seeing the light of day for some time now though, I’ve lost the joy I had for the game, it just frustrates me too much.

After some of the comments I received about the 2-player variant of Tokaido. I decided to get it back to the table, and ensure what I wrote was valid.

“The 2-player version just felt a little deflated, and there isn’t enough depth to develop any tension in the game.”

We played over half-a-dozen games, and yes, I stick by what I said. Okay, we managed to get a bit of banter going, but once you’ve figured out the strategy, the game just becomes predictable. If I were planning to play a 2-player game, there are much more involving games I would pick than this one.

Finally, I’ve been playing one of my favourite games of the last year, Flamme Rouge. Only I’ve been playing it solo, no changes to the rules, no solo bot taking the role of the others, just me – playing all four teams!

Why? I hear you ask. Well, I’ve been analysing the game. Working out the game mechanism, and how to get the best out of it. What tactics are the best to use – how should you approach hills? When should you start your run in to the finish? Things like that. Oh, and there’s the small case of wanting to beat the wife (at Flamme Rouge that is, not literally!) I don’t know how she does it, pure luck she claims, but she keeps beating me. It’s like she knows exactly what cards I will play and blocks me at the top of a hill, every time. I don’t think I’ve beaten her yet… Oh, but I will, oh yes…Ha, ha, ha! Sorry, a bit mad professor there!

Painting wise, once again I’ve had a slow month. The Gnoll archers are almost finished and I’ve primed up some Bugbears – all from D&D The Temple of Elemental Evil. And that’s about it. I really must try harder, especially as I know what Will be coming with Time of Legends: Joan of Arc when it gets delivered – around 600 miniatures!

Talking about Kickstarter pledges – The Graphic Novel Adventures books are on a slow boat to delivery. They should be on my doorstep some time in July. 1066, Tears of Many Mothers, should be out around August – I’m looking forward to meeting the team at the Expo, and hopefully getting to play a demo of 1066.

In between all this I’ve managed to wedge in a few episodes of Star Trek: Deep Space 9. I’m up to series 2 episode 15. Okay, I admit it – I’m a Trekkie! There are those who like Star Wars, and there are those who like Star Trek, ‘and never the twain shall meet’! Star Wars is a sci-fi opera – where as Star Trek is sci-fi – if you want to go one further you have Babylon 5, which is a lot better in terms of Sci-fi accuracy (just watch how those ships manoeuvre around space!). But I’ve always had a soft spot for Star Trek, especially DS9. I like the story veins that run through it, especially in the later series. I like the way the characters are developed leading to a greater emotional connection than any of the other Star Trek series’ (though I haven’t seen them all, just the Original, the Next Generation, DS9 and Voyager).

I’ve also been re-reading Ben Kane’s The Forgotten Legion trilogy. If you like fast paced books set in ancient Rome, then these are well worth a look. He keeps the action rolling along, alternating from one main character to another, twisting their plot lines together. I’m a big Bernard Cornwell fan, and whilst these aren’t so steeped in facts as are Cornwell’s books, they do have a familiar feel. I think if you like one author, then you’ll like the other.

So, that’s May done and dusted, what do we have to look forward to in June?

Next week I will post my UK Games Expo 2018 round-up, taking a look at what I purchased, and all the other things I got up to whilst there.

There will be a review of Flamme Rouge coming over the next two weeks, and I’m yet to decide what the next one after that will be.

Picking up The Brush: Part II will be coming along, ‘Tools of the Trade’, as well as my next Remember when instalment.

I’m slowly adding thing to my ‘Newbies Glossary‘, so that will continue. And I’m also putting together a few painting resources, but I doubt that will be ready in June.

Other than that, you’ll just have to wait and see!

Thanks for reading, and once again, thanks to all those who’ve been following me.

Justin

The Solo Meeple

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