Sunday, October 21, 2012

Infiltration: the game that almost got away

Feel the hype, sigh
Infiltration: are you
up for a caper?
The social media advertising for Infiltration passed before my eyes registered but ignored, a disinterest no doubt prompted by its being set in FFG’s Android universe: Android — “a board game of murder and conspiracy set in a dystopian future” about which the consensus is that its attempt to marry narrative to a competitive boardgame failed because of the clunky complexities of Kevin Wilson’s design methods (as seen in, eg. Arkham Horror or Descent, whose heavy status-tracking and bean-counting mechanics are exactly what would suck all the fun out of playing a co-op against a pseudo-narrative solitaire engine) — was one of a handful of later FFG releases enjoying certain novel features sparking an initial interest which quickly waned when I realised what I’d be buying. That is to say: a big box of toys and other shiny stuff thrown together into the interminable clunk of too, too many cards and counters presided over by a rulebook both poorly organised and frustratingly vague.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

September games round-up: not writing, gaming!

Getting back on track
Write-ups of gaming sessions have been a staple here at RD/KA! since the earliest days (the first use of the ‘got game’ label dates to my 5th post back in August 2005, and the label itself is second only to ‘boardgames’ as the most used label). As well as being satisfying to write, these posts have also driven the development of my use of graphics on the blog, which in turn means that they have been the engine of my learning how to use the GIMP. These posts don’t come without their problems:
  • They’ve taken ever longer to prepare the more graphic-intensive they’ve become.
  • Writing them is very much ‘of the moment’; ie. they have to be written very soon after the gaming session, when my memory is fresh.
  • Taking notes during a game- for the sake of adding detail to a session write-up, can be more than just distracting: it can also disrupt my enjoyment of a game and my attention to the flow of the game- at the expense of my decision-making.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Black Hearted Press: classic supernatural re-imagined and sociopathic Significant Others

A small confession
When, last month, I wrote thanking “John and David of Black Hearted Press for the small gesture of faith they showed in an unknown blogger” I was talking about the free review copies they’d given me of comics published by their Glasgow-based independent comics publisher, Black Hearted Press. There I was just sitting quietly in the Scotia when Jim Stewart- of The Astounding Ganjaman fame, pointed this guy in my direction, telling John (for John Farman it was) that I was someone he should talk to. The next thing I knew I had 3 free comics and an article to write. My introduction to David Braysher soon followed, and a fourth comic had been added to the pile of what was my first officially commissioned review.

Tuesday, October 09, 2012

To tweak perfection?

Old news is good news
That cover, the true
story of which can
be found here
Word broke on the internet some weeks ago of news that at first sight seemed almost too good to be true: Valley Games have acquired the rights to Up Front and are working with designer Courtney Allen on a new edition, to be funded via Kickstarter later this year for a planned publication date in 2013. The initial excitement felt by fans of this all-time classic will have been quickly tempered by healthy scepticism upon all-too-immediate recall of the vapourware that was MMP’s ill-fated Up Front 2000. The lapse- in March 2011, of MMP’s licence with Hasbro was nothing less than a mercy killing. No one really believed anymore that MMP were going to bring this one home, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who’s ultimately relieved that some of MMP’s more esoteric suggestions for their new edition of Up Front (first announced in an ad in ASL Journal #2) didn’t see the light of day.