Monday, 31 October 2011

October Wrap Up

Monday, October 31, 2011

Share it Please
So what have I been up to during the month of October - beginning of autumn? Lets see...

Website Changes

As you've seen by now things are looking a bit different around here. I felt it was time for both a visual update and a structural update as well, making it easier to find content on the site. The navbar at the top of the page is now the main way to access the different content of Fire Broadside and more or less replaces the tag cloud (although that is still available further down). The links in the navbar usually go to the relevant tag, but there are a couple of new pages in there as well; I've finally got around to doing a proper About Me page where I talk (at length!) about my gaming history. There's also a new Current Projects page, or "The Navigational Chart", that I've been planning to do ever since I saw Mik's HUD page. It's a page where I'll continually list all the little projects I cook up and update them as they progress (or not, as the case might be).

There's also a new Reviews link on the navbar that drops down to reveal board, miniature and roleplaying game review sections. While I've done some reviews, or incoherant rambling about games in anyway, in the past I thought it was time to do it a bit more properly. My recent review of Mouse Guard was very well received and, more importantly, was a lot of fun to write. So from now on I'll try to do more reviews of the games I play as well as review some of the games I've written about on the blog in the past like Full Thrust, Firestorm: Armada and Infinity. I hope you'll enjoy them!

You might also have noticed the large rotating pictures at the top of the site. These are the monthly "featured posts". Basically links to some of my stuff that I think might deserve second glance or that might have some connection to what I'm currently doing. Or they might just be some articles picked at random. Hehe!

Oh, and finally there's a Contact link if you want to send me an email and complain about the atrocious lack of any miniature gaming content these last couple of months! :)

Anyway... onto the rest of the wrap up!

Roleplaying Games

This has certainly been an RPG themed month!

  • I played Mouse Guard with an entirely new group of people (RPG-wise that is). I think we all enjoyed it although the unorthodox mechanics will take some time getting used to. You can read the session report, Delivering the Mail, here.
  • We finished Mouse Guard pretty early and three of us thought that there was time for some more gaming, so I suggested Fiasco and the others agreed. We chose to use The Ice playset and the story involved a Mexican wrestler, his unwilling protegé and the wrestler's former trans-gender love interest. I'll try to write a proper session report for this later on, but suffice to say we had a great time with it! Although in the end I think the film we created was more Farrelly brothers than Coen brothers, but it doesn't really matter as long as you're having fun. Looking forward to more Fiasco!
  • Bought some games as well. Most notably The One Ring: Adventures Over the Edge of the Wild that I just finished reading through today. I'm pretty impressed with it and you should see a review of it shortly. I also got Burning Wheel Gold that I'm looking forward to reading as well as the Swedish sci-fi RPG Coriolis which is getting a second life as the new company Fria Ligan is taking over the line. In a nutshell you could liken the setting to Firefly but with the cowboy bits replaced by elements from Arab culture.
  • Have had it lying around for some time now, but finally got around to reading Lady Blackbird and I think it'll find a place in my GM folder as the perfect backup RPG since it requires zero prepp. Only thing is that you probably need the full five players to really make it shine.
  • Diaspora. Yepp, it never goes away does it! One of the participants in the Mouse Guard game, Jimmy, thought it sounded really interested and after reading the SRD he was pretty much hooked on both Diaspora and FATE in general. He's now invested in a hardcopy and we're now just sorting out who will play and we're off! In preparation I started porting over ships from another hard sci-fi RPG I really like, namely Jovian Chronicles. You can see the first ship here. Really looking forward to this.

Mini and Board Games

  • Been playing a lot of Gears of War since I got it at the end of last month. I think it's a great game that manage both to capture the feel of the videogame and also to be a good game on its own merits. You really feel the pressure! We haven't actually managed to win once in five games! Usually it's all nice and easy in the beginning and then we get overconfident and gets horribly killed when we try to do too much too quickly.
  • Had a game of Mansions of Madness with some of the "new friends". They hadn't played it or Arkham Horror before (or Call of Cthulhu for that matter) but they do know Lovecraft and I think they had a good time! We played the Inner Sanctum scenario since I thought that is one of the easier ones to understand as a new player. However, there were two things that I bungled; I should have made sure that there was at least one fighter in the group and I should have stressed the importance of focusing on following the clues rather than try to kill monsters or look for loot. Because of my little blunders they spent about four turns trying to kill a Shoggoth with their bare hands! In the end the game was a draw with one investigator managint to escape, two were killed and one joined the nefarious cult they had been trying to stop!

Video Games

  • I finished Darksiders which I began playing sometime in June. It's a Zelda-like game except you play as War (of the four horsemen) as he battles all kinds of demons and angels. I quite like it and will probably get the sequal later on.
  • Waiting for Skyrim I decided to give Dragon Age II another go as I felt the need for an RPG fix. I started playing it a couple of months ago, but the new button mashing fight system disagreed with me and I put it on ice. Now as I picked it up again the story has started to get interesting and I've realized that the fighting system does in fact have a depth similar to the first game I'm enjoying it a lot more. Not as good as the first, but definitely worth getting if you like the setting. Looking forward to the third game as it will hopefully be the "best of both worlds".
  • My friend Anders, inspired by the board game version, started playing Gears of War on his Xbox and actually got inspired enough to finally get an xbox live gold account (after four years!) allowing us to tackle the second game together. They really are some of the best co-op games around!
  • And speaking of GoW, I played the third one and experienced the end of the trilogy. A solid game in every sense of the word, but I still think my favourite in the series in the second one.

Other Geekstuff
  • Listened to Old Man's War by John Scalzi and enjoyed it greatly! It really made me want to play 3:16. I've just started listening to The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F. Hamilton and while I have still to 'get into it' I enjoyed Fallen Dragon so I'm not loosing hope.
  • Watched Duncan Jones' Source Code which is almost as great as Moon. Yesterday I went to the movies and saw Tintin in 3D. Overall I had a great time and although Spielberg and Jackson take some liberties with the material (making it quite a bit more "cartoony") it does feel like Tintin. It was also nice to see a restrained use of 3D where it was mostly there to give the movie a bit of depth and added realism. Inspired by Fiasco I also watched Burn After Reading. Great film!
  • Community is back on the air again and as great as ever!

Painting & Modelling
Nope... nothing this month. :-/

That's it for October. Roll on November!

5 kommentarer :

  1. It's looking really good Martin. As you know I recently spruced my blog up a bit and sorted a few things out. Still not 100% happy with it and I can't seem to get my '10 pages' I'm allowed on blogger to display how I want them too. I might have to pick your brain with some of what you've done as well because it's what I wanted to do but couldn't make it stick the way I wanted.

  2. Your monthly wrap-ups make me bow my head in shame! Top of the page navbars are so hot right now, you may inspire me to do one!

  3. @FG - Glad you like it! It was your little update that finally inspired me to do mine. Second time around was easier than the first time I did it. I'm mostly cheating though as I just grabbed a ready made theme off the net and tweaked it a little. I guess yours is trickier since you want your pages linked to from the main banner at the top of the site right?

    @Mik - Since I update my blog fairly infrequently it felt like a lot of the gaming stuff goes by "unnoticed" unless you also follow me on Twitter. So I thought this kind of wrap up post where I could bullet-point everything would be a nice compromise.
    Once you start to get a bit of a back catalog on your blog I think a proper navbar (or something similar) is a lot easier to navigate than a tag cloud. It's fairly easy to set up too.

  4. Aggh! That reminded me: my theater skipped showing Tintin, and now I remember that I must see it.

  5. @Joshua - You should! I was pleasantly surprised. As i mentioned it strays a fair bit from the original comic which overall is fairly realistic. Stuff like Haddock burping into the empty gas tank to supply some fumes to fly on etc. But it was acceptable and enjoyable.
    Now that they've got the introduction of both the main characters sorted I'm hoping the next one will follow the book a bit more closely.


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