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Gathering of Engineers

Ludographic considerations from the Silicon Forest

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Viral Blogging

(sorry for the delay in my post - I had written this up Saturday night and completely spaced posting it today.)

I saw this post over on Alfred's blog, and thought it would be a good first “free” post of the new year. We did our intros back when we first started GoE but this gives a good snapshot of where I currently am in my gaming (and somewhat related) life.

How long have you been gaming?
My whole life, really. I have vague memories of receiving the Winnie the Pooh boardgame when I was three. I used to play rummy with my Grandmother around age 6 or 7 (and I'd read her cards via the reflection in her glasses until she got a new pair with convex lenses).

What was your first Euro game? Settlers of Catan. It was probably mid-1996 or so, and it marked the beginning of the end for my interest in role-playing.

Which game sucked you in? Again, Settlers. Part of it was the company, though. We had a great group of friends, and while I've moved out of state many of them still game together. Probably the most played game at that time after Settlers would have been RoboRally.

What is your favorite game? I've got one for every type. De Bellis Multitudinis is my favorite miniatures game, Cribbage is my favorite card game with a standard deck, Wyatt Earp is my favorite card game with a non-standard deck, The Musket & Pike Battle System is my favorite wargame, and Power Grid is probably my favorite eurogame.

What is your least favorite game? War! Age of Imperialism. It is probably the poster child for why Glenn Drover should stick to producing games and stop designing them.

Open or closed holdings? Depends on the game, but generally closed. From my experience, open holdings usually provides more information than can be processed quickly enough to keep a game going smoothly.

To gamble or not to gamble? I hardly ever gamble. Exceptions would be things like NCAA tournament pools and the occasional lottery ticket. I'll occasionally play black jack if I find myself in a casino but that's about once every other year at most.

How much luck do you like in your games? I had sort of a revelation the other day about my feelings on luck in games. I don't mind luck at all. Particularly when you look at the fact that my favorite game (DBM) usually involves 100 or so die rolls per person in a typical game. What I don't like is if the range of possible outcomes is inappropriately wide. For example (and I'm working from memory here) War! Age of Imperialism gives you two ways to conquer a neutral territory. One involves flipping over a disk to see how tough the territory is – the number can go as high as 11 (IIRC – it might be 10) and you have to roll that number or higher on two dice. That's a 1 in 6 shot. It's entirely possible that half or more of the territories around your forces have high-number disks in them. You're completely at the mercy of the dice in this case. And this is a game that takes a number of hours to play – absolutely no fun.

Last three games played? I haven't managed a single game in 2006. Sigh. That means the last three
games I played were over Mike's: Rommel in the Desert, Blokus, and Phoenix. (update – played two games just before posting this. Bus and 6 Nimmt!)

Last three games purchased? Pizza Box Football, El Caballero, and Europe Engulfed. (if you count charges for preordered games that will ship relatively soon, add Here I Stand to the list and remove EE.)
Packrat or trader? Packrat, by all means. I stun my wife with my ability to retain stuff.

What game are you thinking about right now? Roads & Boats. We were supposed to have a game of it today (I'm writing this Saturday night), but for a variety of reasons, it didn't happen.

What's your favorite mechanic? Opposed die rolls for combat resolution. I'm not a huge fan of combat result tables. (that being said, the game I'm designing is sort of a blend of the two – roll for the offensive result, then roll for the defensive reaction to that result.)

What is your favorite Theme? I'm a sucker for anything historical set prior to the American Revolution. Some specific favorites are the Crusades, anything involving Byzantium, and the Great Northern War.

Who is your favorite Designer? Martin Wallace. Ben Hull's my favorite wargame designer.

Best Gaming experience? The first time I went to Historicon. Talk about a kid in a candy store... Imagine a 6-court tennis barn packed with dealers. And the experience doesn't even include the actual games (though I played 13 games of DBM that weekend...)

Worst Gaming experience? It's really hard to think of anything bad enough to qualify. It might have been the first time a member of an old gaming group offered to host a Saturday gathering. At his place of work. A dog groomer/kennel. The place stunk. Jodie and I bugged out early because we couldn't stand the smell any longer.

Favorite game for 2? De Bellis Multitudinis if we're talking miniatures or wargames, but if not, probably St. Petersburg.

For 3? Age of Steam on the Scandinavia map.

For 5? Power Grid

For 6? It's probably either Tanz der Hornochsen or Union Pacific, but Here I Stand will likely take this spot after it's released.

Favorite party game? Probably Attribute. I've played Apples to Apples more, though.

Do you value Theme or Mechanics more? Theme and mechanics are (to me) like blondes and brunettes respectively. Theme makes me look, mechanics keep me interested.

What color do you want to be? Blue. If not available, I try to take an uncommon color.

What is your favorite movie? Buckaroo Banzai.
Wherever you go, there you are.

What is your favorite book? This is really tough... It's probably Robert Massie's biography of Peter the Great, but Rushdie's Satanic Verses and Stephenson's Snow Crash are right behind.

Last 3 books read? I do a lot of reference and rule reading, but I'm not going to count those (even though the DAK series and game-specific rules are probably as long as many books). I think the last three books I read to completion were The Northern Wars 1558-1721 by Robert Frost, The Battle that Shook Europe by Peter Englund, and Harry Potter 6 (though that one was on audio). I've currently got three books going simultaneously, and swap between them depending on my mood.

Last 3 movies watched? I'm not going to count movies requested, nay, demanded by my daughter. (she LOVES Jungle Book and just got hooked on Toy Story). The last three movies I remember voluntarily watching all the way through would probably be Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Constantine. I quit watching The 40 Year Old Virgin halfway through. It had its moments but was rather silly. There's probably another one, but I just can't think of it.

Favorite alcoholic beverage (or non-alcoholic if you don’t drink)? Drambuie. I absolutely love the stuff. Jodie refers to it as cough syrup. I'll even occasionally order it as dessert.

Who are the three most important people in your life? This one is pretty straightforward – Jodie, my wife, is #1. Megan, my daughter, is #2. My mother would have to be #3, though (and don't tell her this) our pending child will become #2a. Mom gets bumped to #4. I think she'll understand, though.


  • At 11:14 PM, Blogger dave said…

    "Theme and mechanics are (to me) like blondes and brunettes respectively. Theme makes me look, mechanics keep me interested."

    And I suppose redheads are "good bits"? :-)

  • At 7:30 AM, Blogger Eric said…

    You could say that... If I do, I'll get in trouble ;)


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