Thoughts From The Gameroom

The ramblings of a Euro-gamer from South Dakota

Archive for July, 2007

Laying In The Field — Part 2

Posted by sodaklady on July 27, 2007

red-meeple.jpgToday started like any other day, guarding our field. I could see Yolanda’s father in the next field across the road and, trying to make a good impression, I raised my arm to him in greeting. It was very quiet, as usual, until I noticed a stranger leaving the city. He was dressed all in green but didn’t look like anyone I knew.

As this stranger crossed the meadow, whistling a catchy tune—the kind that gets into your grain and stays there—a couple of very large birds swooped at him from out of nowhere. He pulled out a long, shiny sword and quickly killed them both, finishing them off with an impressive flourish.

I admit, this almost scared the sawdust out of me. I’ve never seen anything like this before and I didn’t know whether to run for the city or hide. There wasn’t time to run so I just kept lying there, watching this stranger as he wandered around the meadow. Once he stopped to pick up a bug, looked at it, and let it go. Then he came to a long patch of grass and he took his sword and, with a sweeping gesture, cut it all down. There, in the cut area, was a green jewel! Splinters! I didn’t know there was jewels hiding in our field.

He finally wandered close enough to me that I thought I should stand up and introduce myself. The stranger, whose name is Link, said he was on a quest to save the people of Hyrule from the Twilight, a spreading darkness full of evil creatures. He told me about some of his adventures so far and it gave me shivers, like someone was rubbing my skin with sandpaper.

“That sounds very dangerous,” I said.

“It IS dangerous,” he told me, “but I’m very good with a sword and I’ve made friends everywhere I go.”

“I bet some of those friends are girls,” I said, thinking this would be a good way to impress Yolanda.

“Oh, yeah. The girls fall all over a heroic adventurer. It’s a perk.”

“So how do you become a heroic adventurer?”

“First,” he said, “you need a really cool outfit.” I thought I could manage that with the help of my mom.

“Then you need a theme song. Something catchy that sounds like you’re off on a heroic quest.” Well, I make up lots of songs while I’m lying around the field so I guess I could think of something that sounds heroic and adventuresome.

“Finally, you need to learn to use a sword so you can kill evil creatures.”

“Wait! My people don’t kill,” I told him honestly. “We don’t like direct confrontation. When we have a dispute, we just outnumber the other guy to win. I don’t think I could kill anything. Is there something else I could do instead?”

“No. You definitely have to kill the bad guys if you’re a heroic adventurer.”

“Oh.”

I was totally bummed. I guess I’ll have to come up with some other idea to impress Yolanda. I’ve heard that humor is a good way to win a woman’s heart. Maybe I’ll tell Yolanda all the funny answers I’ve thought of for “Why did the meeple cross the road?”

Posted in Humor | 1 Comment »

Laying In The Field — A Meeple Blog

Posted by sodaklady on July 27, 2007

Red MeepleMy name is Reginald Eugene Daniel but my friends and family call me Red. My father’s a farmer and I help him a lot by keeping watch over his fields. Not much happens around here usually but it’s a good place to watch what’s going on in the city and surrounding area.

Last week someone finally bought the farm near us. His name is Beauregard Lionel Ulysses Eddrick (we just call him Blue) and he wanted us to share our field with him. Pop got so mad he turned maroon! It didn’t take long for him to call our cousin, Richard Elliot David, to come and help me guard the field. We managed to keep that old Blue from stealing our farm and being able to sell to the surrounding cities. It wasn’t all hard work, though. We went down to the river and made mud balls to throw at Blue. Now *that* was fun!

My mom’s second cousin once removed on her father’s side is one of the city guards. He says the city is growing so big that they might have to increase the number of guards. Boy, I’d sure like to do that. They get to wear a cool looking uniform and the girls just fall all over them. But Pop says he needs me here on the farm.

When I feel down about that or just feel like talking, I sometimes go and visit the priest in the nearby monastery, Father Gregory. He’s a real nice guy and very helpful even if he is old and his skin is kinda green. He’s very easy to talk to and I even told him about this girl I met who tends the pigs in the field across the road. Her name is Yolanda Eileen something. Her shape is wonderfully flat and she has blonde hair. She’s beautiful.

The most interesting thing that’s ever happened to me was the day I met a thief on the road. We talked for a long time about what it’s like to be a thief and I felt so sorry for him that I shared my lunch with him. I thought he could probably use it since he didn’t look too healthy. His skin was kinda gray looking and there was a big bump on his head. He said thank you very politely and then rode off towards the city. I think about him once in a while and hope he’s doing o.k.

Well, I better get to bed so I’ll be ready for another day of guarding the field. I hope I dream about Yolanda. I wonder what our kids would look like.

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Game Day: DreamBlade & Descent

Posted by sodaklady on July 2, 2007

DreamBlade

When Mike arrived yesterday, there were just the two of us until Cori and/or Richard could join us so I showed Mike the free sample version I’d made of DreamBlade.

 This game came to my attention by way of another blog, iMosse.net.   Mosse’s enthusiasm for the game after being less than impressed with the interactive demo made me curious enough to look for more information.  What I found was some very pleased gamers and a downloadable Virtual Starter.

 
Homemade DreamBlade         

 
The game is played on a board of 5 X 5 “cells”, creatures being brought into the game from your reserve according to the roll of 2 dice, which limits your selection but still offers enough choice of pieces.  On your turn, you have two actions and can choose between:    move (shift) or attack (strike).  Each player has cells that will award him points if his piece(s) are the only ones in it at the end of the round.  You also get one point for each enemy character you’ve killed in the round.  The player with the most points wins the round.  You must win 6 rounds to win the game.

 I had tried out a few turns in a solo game after I finished my do-it-yourself project and thought it moved a bit slow.  Then I discovered I’d made a mistake with the rules, moving only 1 piece each time I chose the “shift” action.  Well, that would make a difference, wouldn’t it?!   So this game did not get relegated to the trash can and it continued to occupy a part of my mind.  Maybe it was the concept of putting together pieces that would enhance each other, maybe it was the feeling that there was a unique game here, or maybe it was the dice.  Yeah, I have a love/hate relationship with dice; I love them, they hate me.  So with Mike as a fellow experimenter, we gave it another try.

 I set up the paper pieces and dug out a fistful of dice while Mike read the rules.  Maybe I’ve mentioned before that Mike is great at reading and digesting rules so this is a better method than my trying to explain a game I’m not yet totally familiar with.

  Mike won the first roll for initiative, and every one after that for that matter.  Mike won the second round by taking possession of one of his scoring cells while I hadn’t reached one of mine due to forgetting to spawn in my spawn row instead of my portal.  Mike continued to win the initiative and kill off my creatures for the next 3 rounds, winning all but one round, which was a tie.

 I was feeling a bit helpless by now.  I couldn’t win the initiative and was not allowed to run from a fight and couldn’t roll well when I did attack.  That’s when we realized that we had missed a crucial rule.  Since Mike had the initiative, my creatures should have been granted a “deathblow” when they were killed, as a way to balance my being second player.  It was too late in the game to fix the mess we’d made of it but we had gotten a feel for how it worked and decided it was, indeed, kind of a neat game.

Descent:  Journeys In The Dark

Cori was now ready to play with us and Richard was due home shortly so Mike and I set up Descent.  I and my family had never played before, though we had a basic knowledge of the characters from our previous playing of Runebound.  I chose a character for Richard, a hunky dude with a reach of 2 spaces and the ability to cleave, who should be great in melee.  For myself, I chose a sexy lass who was fair in melee and good with ranged weapons, with the ability to shoot from the aspect of an adjacent square.  Cori covered the magical arena with another sexy lass who turned out to have quite an attitude.  We made a formidable band but, sadly, clueless as to what awaited us.

 Our band of heroes took a vote and pushed Richard toward the first door.  We were greeted by bow-wielding skeletons and hairy, beastmen; not a large obstacle for such a talented bunch as we were.  We cleared the room and headed towards the next door.  Our first surprise as novice adventurers came when Mike spawned a couple of beastmen and huge bat-like creatures right behind Cori.  She took the brunt of their mindless hate and then returned their attack with an area blast, killing two of the beastmen and a bat.  As a necromancer, she then revived one of the beastmen which killed the second bat.  

When it was time to open the next door, we again took a vote.  I found myself facing more skeletons and a room full of hellhounds waiting to breath fire on any brave explorer.  I took out a skeleton then stepped aside to allow our hulking brute-force comrade to step in and cleave another skeleton and two hellhounds.  What a man!  I think I’ll marry him if we make it out of here alive.  Cori set off down the hallway to show the last hellhound the error of his fire-breathing ways.

 We cleared the hallway and next room which was guarded by an Ogre but not without mishap.  The ceiling fell in on Cori, causing some minor sprains and putting her in a foul mood.  Her mood was improved when the treasure chest held a spell for Burn.  This determined lady had just become very dangerous!

The next room was so full of demonic creatures you couldn’t spit without hitting one.  Spiders, bats, beastmen and a wizard or two milled about waiting for fresh meat.  So far we had been lucky, suffering only minor bruising and sprains…well, I was developing a headache but I think that was just the bad air in the place.  We gave it all we had; cleaving, and burning, and necromancing fallen enemies, and shooting arrows around corners.  The enemies were falling without too much trouble, except for the wizard who wouldn’t stay dead after all the work I’d gone through to kill him the first time and Richard’s bad luck to be caught in a web for three turns.

 Finally the room was quiet, albeit messy.  We looted the room and headed to town before opening the Red Door.  I opened the door, Cori right behind me, and found a beastman, two spiders, two manticores and a large, very ugly giant.  I took a shot, doing little damage, and fell back to allow Cori to Burn.  This is one mean spell and she took out the beastman, one spider and one of the manticores, and burned the second manticore to within an inch of death in a fierce Battle attack.  This enchantress then resurrected the beastman, who proceeded to kill the second manticore.    Richard took out the second spider but then we heard a sound behind us and found several creatures had come in behind us. 

Since I couldn’t penetrate the giant’s shields but did manage to ensnare him in a web, I set about to clear the room behind us of monsters while Richard stepped up to confront the giant, now only 1 space away.  Unfortunately for our muscle-bound hero, the giant did not play fair and turned him into a monkey.  So the marriage is off.

 In a desperate act, Cori sent her Burn spell towards the giant, eliminating the monkey as well.  It was a blessing, really, since he was doomed to a boring life of nit-picking.  Cori continued to fight with her Burn spell and I continued to attack smaller prey.  We fought as ones returned from the dead and finally managed to prevail, watching the giant breathe his last through the wall of flames that had engulfed him.

 We headed home to await our next chance encounter with a creepy old dude spouting information about adventure and loot.

 (Poetic license filled in where memory failed.)

Posted in Do-It-Yourself Games, Game-related Thoughts, New Game, Session reports | 5 Comments »