Monday, November 28, 2011

Interval Error: Integer greater than 30--Whatthefrak?!

Bah, this blog has not been updated in far, far too long. With only one blog update in October and none so far in November, I have well and truly earned a big kick in the Star Wars Essentials. Worse, I totally missed the opportunity to make a timely post for Armistice Day. Thanksgiving, too. And there are at least five or six partially done articles awaiting me in my Blogger queue. Really unacceptable.

Now I could blame the fact that most of the past month and a half has been going through the painful transition of losing one job, searching for another, and getting settled into a new job--as this is my fourth week in a completely new, exciting field. And truly, time flies when you're waiting on a paycheck. Except when it doesn't. Concurrently, I could blame my laxity on my eight-month son--I'm sure he's been draining my batteries. Nerd dads can always blame their kids, right? Audumla and I are beginning to look for a house, too, and are getting into property-hunting frenzy over one piece of real estate we'd like to make our own Jotunheim in particular. It's not easy, let me tell you. Plus, I've been feeling ill, and I haven't had much time at home.


Eh, I'm a nerd. You know the truth. I've been playing around:

GMing my GURPS campaign with my game-serfs players. I've recently added a friend to our group, and the next session should see a sixth player joining our clutch of nerds. The game itself is on the edge of the slippery slope towards epic conflict, and as such I might start putting summaries of our sessions on the blog here in the future. I'd say the near future, but who the heck knows? Not you guys reading at home, that's for sure. In the meantime, I'll give you a snippet of where each of the player characters is in their personal development. Ten Green Gem Vine, warrior-monk of the emperor's guard, is moving towards becoming a bit more of a diplomatic sage and less of a combat troll--not necessarily because we've had like 3 session dry-spells without any combat. He's also investing in his teenage acolyte's sword-fighting skills. Vera Wealwa, the falconer huntress, has had to all but give up on her primary livelihood whilst in the capital city and is instead living on housekeeping skills--ignominy most foul! Keagan Na Anyon, the blowhard blacksmith, has recently had his foot shot off by a dwarven hand gonne--thankfully, the Heron Guard should be able to mend the wound and reattach the foot. Should. The beggar known only as Crow continues to operate on his own terms, and spent most of First Day celebration sparring with other Provincial ex-pats. The mysterious temptress Danlyra has revealed her last name is Filorin--a noble house from the eastern kingdom of Gower--and is metaphorically showing some ankle of her secretive past.

Playing the long-neglected Fallout: New Vegas. After trying--and failing, FAILING*--to get all of Deus Ex: Human Revolution's achievements in 2.6 playthroughs, I decided to move onto an older game that had been sitting unfinished on my game shelf for far too long. That's the newest Fallout game, Fallout: New Vegas. It's a fun improvement on Fallout 3's awesome system, and there's no inferior point of comparison in graphics, scale of sandbox, depth of story, or richness of challenges between the two games. It was especially fun to be playing a game with a proper economy and a huge list of purchasable equipment after Deus Ex's lackluster inventory system and paltry gear selection. Also, there's no being forced to shoot tied-down women in the face, so that's another way that Fallout was a refreshing change of pace from Deus Ex. Powering through about 100 hours of gameplay, I was able to beat one of the DLC (downloadable content for you old folks and jocks) quests and get about halfway through the game's main plot. It's expansive, fun, and engrossing. I can't wait to go back to New Vegas, but for now I've been waylaid by the newest pretty thing...

Since Armistice Day, playing Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim. This one I've been waiting on for a while now, and the wife and I even schlepped out to the nearest GameStop for a midnight release of the game. And we bought the huge special edition game guide, which clocks in at about 700 pages--with two bookmark ribbons. Two! It's made by Bethesda, the same geniuses who made Fallout 3, Fallout: New Vegas, and Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion. Unlike those previous three games--all of which were based on the same utilitarian game engine--Skyrim is based on a new game engine that makes everything prettier, more crisp, and a lot more dynamic. The Scandinavian-themed setting is full of cloud-choked, snow-capped mountains that you can freely explore, and the characters are detailed to a new, fabulous degree that helps to make everyone appear distinct even amongst members of their own race. There's a huge bevy of quests that is almost overwhelming for completionists like myself. It's been a fun, engaging little not-so-little derailment in my personal life.

Reviving my wargame juices. I played role-playing games at a young age, but it was the wargame Warhammer 40,000 that first really got me into a lot of the games and hobbies I play today. After many years of being a willing pawn in Games Workshop's soulless nerd farm, I'm no longer a true fan of their products. I've even divested myself of my first army (space marines, go figure) via eBay over the silent interim. But I still have hundreds of minis and find the occasional need to purchase other companies' minis to represent RPG characters or to flesh out some other wargame system. One such system that I'm finally starting to get around to playing after owning for over a year is Two Hour Wargames' All Things Zombie. Now, Two Hour Wargames is a small game company that makes rules sets but not miniatures. I like companies like this, because if they don't make rules tailored to their own miniatures it means I can use my own vast stable of models, and these sorts of rules sets tend to be more inclusive because of their generic nature. The Two Hour Wargames rules sets also have the unique advantage of being playable competitively, cooperatively, or even solo. That's a huge bonus for me, and I've gotten to play a more involved cooperative game in the past couple of weeks that has helped to cement my enthusiasm for this system. Expect to read more about it in the future. I've also fallen in love with a generic space battles game that does a great job of simulating Battlestar Galactica fleet action. Expect to hear more about it--Colonial Fleet Battles--in the coming weeks as well.

Netflix. Darn you, Netflix. What days I have had at home when one of the above distractions haven't grabbed my free time by the ruge have inevitably been lost to the lure of the Netflix Instant Watch. At the click of a few buttons, I can spam a day watching Frasier or Malcolm in the Middle episodes back-to-back-to-back, watching a half season or more in one sitting. Its insidious convenience means that I'll watch crap movies not worth a complete viewing (Season of the Witch, why would you do that to Ron Perlman?!) in the hopes of finding that unknown gem you didn't know you were missing out on (Ironclad, you scratch my siege-warfare itch). On the bright side, there's a lot of fodder for future blog posts, but it's certainly no help in meeting a personal deadline.

In conclusion: I'm still here. The blog will still be getting updated--more regularly, I assure you. A perfect storm of life hiccups and nerd traps have momentarily pulled me away from the keyboard, but I will keep updating, and I will expand the breadth and scope of the Nerdery.


*Insert angry, impotent fist-shaking here. Shake harder, boy!

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