Saturday, July 31, 2010

Not 'just another' Claymore

Convention off the starboard bow
August is waiting at the door and so Claymore is manoeuvring itself into position again on the local convention calendar.

My plans aren't in place yet but my intention is to attend as ever. The success of last year's new venue means that I await 2010's Claymore with anticipation tangible enough to feel quite novel.

Zombies and Daleks, oh my!
This year's programme of participation games looks interesting all round. I can honestly say that I'd be happy to play in any of the games in this year's programme. Needs as needs must though, so here is my shortlist of 3 games for the day:
Daleks, zombies and an alt-history British civil war? Truly messieurs convention organisers, you are spoiling us.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Rain starts play

Get down, deeper and down!
Tuesday's visit to G3 was just the icing on the cake of what had been a bumper few days gaming for yours truly. Such a big night took priority over the weekend's gaming here at RD/KA!, which- thanks to my trip to Edinburgh and the recent good weather, saw our first Sunday session in a month. Donald, Gav and I made three on the day. First choice was down to Donald, which put him in the Overlord's Seat of Power for a long-awaited return to Descent, my favourite dungeonbash boardgame.

A dynamic duo?
With only 2 heroes a solid tank was a priority. Gav chose that role and quickly settled on Mordrog. I decided to run a rogue , choosing Kirga for his ability to keep the spawning monsters at bay. And so we had a pair of scurvy greenskin 'heroes' we hoped would be fit to tackle the best that the Overlord could throw at us.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

A big night out

Small beginnings?
In part 1 of my 2010 gaming wishlist last December, I wrote of how I needed to find new opponents to maintain my regular fix of WW2 tacsim gaming. I finally took steps towards this end last month when I posted an 'Opponents wanted' thread on BGG. The thread resulted in one reply which I confess wasn't encouraging, but it was enough.

And so it was that last night saw me lugging a big bag full of Memoir'44 down to a local municipal hall- conveniently located a few minutes away, there to attend the very same Glasgow Games Group (G3) which had been my old stomping ground in the years before I started blogging, and whose 10th anniversary celebrations I had attended back in June 2008.

As you can imagine dear readers, returning to an old haunt like this involved meeting with a few familiar faces. The first was Barry, whom I'd introduced to Memoir'44 when it was still new back in the days before I took my break from the club. What a pleasant surprise that was. This led to another entertaining little moment when, chatting to Barry about what had brought me back to G3, I mentioned the person I was to meet that night. He was lurking nearby earwigging, naturally enough, and so I was introduced to Gregor.

Thursday, July 08, 2010

"Trapped in the netherspace, the void between the worlds"

- MAJOR Doctor Who season 5 spoilers ahead -

Oh. My. Goodness!
I may only have written about Doctor Who once before here at RD/KA!- at the end of David Tennant's first season back in 2007, but everyone who knows me knows only too well that I am a devoted fan of the show, albeit not a Whovian geek as such. As I set to writing this I've just come from watching for the 3rd time the 2-part finale to Matt Smith's first season as the inimitable Doctor, to refresh in my mind what made this season so striking as to prompt me to give vent to my enthusiasm for what has been 13 weeks of truly matchless television.

Brace yourselves dear readers!
In light of what I said last Sunday about the pointless sound and fury so often aroused in geek culture by clashes of tastes driven by blind partisanship, I want to begin with a warning and a clarification. If you don't like Doctor Who, or you do but don't share my high appreciation of the merits of this season: that's all well and good, but I don't care. Mule headed blind partisanship? No. I simply can't. This is just the blunt end of my critique of what I was hinting at last Sunday when I referred to how "personal tastes are justified against other people's by being raised to the level of intellectual generalisations".

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Death becomes them all

Again with the old pals routine
My old pal Rob- whose job regularly takes him to Sweden for weeks at a time, was back in town last week so we decided a trip to the cinema was in order. We chose to go see Black Death, a film which has been on my 'would like to see' list ever since I noticed its release. Regular readers should have no difficulty in guessing why a film set in plague-ridden medieval England should appeal to me, but I'll come back to that later.

The critic's eye
There is a lengthy review on the IMDb Black Death page in which I think the reviewer is quite quite wrong. The IMDb page correctly tags Black Death with the horror and mystery genres. These features of the movie are nowhere addressed in that review; poor form and a shame, because these were the movie's strengths.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

A welcome return?

Sometimes we just can't help ourselves
Geek culture can sometimes be less a cultural panorama than a minefield for the unwary. I'm talking of course of the irrational passions and prejudices which can be oh so easily aroused by our own version of 'brand loyalty'. Sure, so-called 'mainstream' culture is no more free of blind partisanship than any other social sphere in which personal tastes are justified against other people's by being raised to the level of intellectual generalisations, or just by plain mule headedness. Mainsream culture though lacks the wide spectrum offered by edition wars- RPGs and miniatures games; new writers and/or artists- comics and books; the full range of cross-media adaptions (which rarely stray beyond prose into movies in the mainstream)- most any geek medium into most any other; Euros versus Ameritrash- boardgames; 'old-school' versus 'indie'- RPGs again. And this is just a selection. I'm sure readers could easily add to this list.

The recent Black Library Warhammer novel Bloodborn is a case in point for yours truly. Its author is Nathan Long, of whom I first heard- as I imagine would have most of my readers who recognise his name, when he took over writing the Gotrek and Felix series from Bill King, with the novel Orcslayer. You can imagine then, dear readers, that the geek spasms so induced meant that this was hardly the best introduction a reader could have to a new writer. This misbegotten mentality was only encouraged when I heard that Nathan Long was going to be writing a Gotrek and Felix spin-off series featuring Ulrika the Vampire.

Saturday, July 03, 2010

Conflict of Heroes on tour

Kingdom of Adventure
Friday afternoon a week ago saw a traveller- somewhat weary thanks to insufficient sleep the previous night, hauling his heavy luggage through the door of Kingdom of Adventure in sunny Kirkcaldy, there to be greeted by David, the cheerful and friendly store proprietor. My luggage was stowed in the back office and David proceeded to show me round his shop.

Kingdom of Adventure is a really nice wee shop. The ground floor is bright, airy and spacious. There is a smaller upstairs gaming room whose 6 tables make it more cramped, naturally enough, and which lacks the full length floor-to-ceiling window which gives the ground floor such a pleasant aspect. For all that this is no poky wee hole either.

David hard at work keeping his customers happy over a cardgame