Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Got My Butt Handed To Me

Another game of Scrabble against Scrabblette at scrabulous.com. A glorious victory to her - 368 to 295 using Australian scoring rules. My best word (and only bingo) was BEETING which I'm not very proud of because it's only in the dictionary and we can't find out what it means. I had a chance to play TIDALLY but couldn't figure out where to put it and had to play DELAY instead. There weren't many turns in this game - about 11 each. Scrabblette keeps making long words and using up all the letters. I got stuck with loads of vowels and struggled badly in the beginning, which is how I ended up making RIB and ARIA. There's always next time...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Return of Return of the Heroes

With things gradually returning to normal around our house, I'm back to playing with myself. In particular, thanks to Andy Josefson's very nice translation and rewrite of the Return of the Heroes rules, I decided to try that one again. It's a stunning game - stunningly beautiful map cards, and stunningly bad rules. Anyway, with the rewritten rules it makes enough sense to play. I'm trying to decide whether Scrabblette was trying for the best shot of the game room decor or the best shot of my messy hair...

Anyway, onto the game. I was able to set the game up without spending 15 minutes searching through the manual for the section where it tells you what coloured tiles go in the bag and what gets left out. Already I was enjoying myself. I was the priestess. I set the royal castle (area J) and the Dark Tower (area H) at opposite corners of the board, and put my home tile (M) in another corner. The temple was close to my home, and the white village was in the 4th corner of the board.

With home, the temple and the castle all along one edge of the board, it was quite a while before I needed to go much away from that row of tiles. Solitaire rules start the big market on the board, so I went shopping and bought a magic staff and a pair of boots which I needed to give to a ranger should I ever meet him.

While I was traipsing around the solitaire rules dictated that servants of the Nameless One regularly appeared, and I started to notice that the locations they appeared in reminded me of the appearance of the dark riders in Lord of the Rings - a shadowy figure is seen around Don Hobiro's home, an evil being is seen in the very grounds of the royal castle, and so on. I started to warm to the game. The solitaire rules also suggest that you should complete the game in 45 turns or die trying... but as it turned out I forgot the quest I was supposed to be doing and didn't even complete the second part of it (take the orb to the king) until turn 48. The king wasn't even present for a long time - how was I supposed to do that quest? I did spend a lot of time completing tasks and investigating random encounters in the hope that tiles I needed would come out of the bag.

Anyway, I discovered that I could easily defeat some of the servants, and beat up quite a few of them until turn 55 when I finally completed my quest and hence was allowed to attack the Dark Tower. I immediately set off, but on turn 60 a troll beat me up at the base of the Dark Tower itself. The troll had 2 hit points, and the 2 hit point monsters are very dangerous indeed. Furthermore, he could only be hit by red and green which were my weak points. Early in the game I'd been badly beaten up by the knight as well, but I was still amazed that someone who thought she could challenge the Nameless One could be beaten by a troll.

Then followed a miserable period as I suffered 2 defeats and got lost in the forest on my way to the temple for healing. I risked my last life point fighting a servant of the Nameless One, but my armour had been destroyed. After being healed I passed through the market to buy some new armour then travelled to the white village for some more healing (inflicted by 4 servants) before attacking the Dark Tower from the direction that didn't have a troll.

This time it was easy - I defeated another servant, then a guard, and the Nameless One was revealed to me as the Deep One. I hit him 6 times in a row and victory was mine! So then I had this Dark Tower of which I was undisputed master, and what's a girl to do? Muahahahaha.

  • completed quest +5000
  • defeated Nameless One +5000
  • 1 magic item +1000
  • 24 experience cubes +12000
  • 8 gold pieces +800
  • 42 turns too long -21000
Which all adds up to 2800. Hmm. Well, at least it was positive.

Overall, I enjoyed this adventure. I think next time I will be stressing less about whether the game is going to suck and consequently will have more fun and be more involved in the story. I know a guy who has In the Shadow of the Dragon for sale... I've been looking for an excuse to buy that :-).

Friday, August 17, 2007

Flat Pack Philosophy

I'll let the pictures tell the story. Photos by Scrabblette.

I have some more work to do on drawers (which is much easier since I bought an electric screwdriver yesterday), and the table arrives Tuesday. It looks very nice with the spotlights on, but we couldn't get a good photo in the low light.

Is "Stockholm Syndrome" when you can't help thinking you have to go back to Ikea to get some more stuff?

My New Games Room

I got all the games unpacked and put them in the games room. Yes, I HAVE A GAMES ROOM!

Here's some gratuitous photos of a bad way to store games.

Now some furniture would be good.

What's a Good Game for a Total Newbie?

And when I say "a total newbie", you don't get much newer than this. This is my baby sister with her daughter Trixi, born 4:45am this morning.

Friday, August 10, 2007

If You Leave Me, Can I Come Too?

My dog seems to be wondering what the heck is going on in our house. She spends a lot of time waiting for us to do something she understands.

We're moving house. This is boxes ready to go in the garage. These are mostly games, but that garage is now full of everything. I can't believe how much stuff I have.

I'm sure when my dog gets to the new place she'll love it. The man is coming to sort out the fences tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The Girl Is Good

Friendless vs Scrabblette playing via Scrabulous on facebook.com. A narrow victory - 381 to 377. Friendless got 3 bingos to Scrabblette's 1, but Scrabblette's lowest scoring play for the game was 21 points. This is one of the tensest and toughest games I've played.