Tag Archives: Strategy

Gaming when you’re not Gaming

I love my games. I love the social time of playing a game, for sure. And the challenge while playing, for sure. But there’s more than that for me.

I love my game systems.

I love my deck building, my RPG builds, my character creation, my army building. For many games, maybe for most that have this sort of external component, I spend as much or more time on these aspects than I do actually playing the game.

My early experience was probably just in playing party-based video game RPGs. Figuring out which party would be best, creating the characters, playing a bit… then deciding there was something missing, and heading back to the drawing board.

It carried on into Magic: the Gathering. We would play at lunch at school, and whenever we could sneak a game. So we played most days… and most nights, I was home, changing my deck, or building from scratch. I would rebuild to try to meet my friends’ challenges, or to try out some new card I got, to try some interesting-seeming combo, or just to try to take them by surprise. You change it that often, and you change it for all the reasons you might…

I moved on from Magic to Warhammer, where I was constantly building new armies, new lists. Sometimes, that drove my purchases… sometimes, my purchases led to my army building. Oh, so many of those armies never got played – unlike Magic, I wasn’t getting anything close to daily games. It’s hard, then, to decide what to actually bring to bear when you do finally get a game in…

From there I moved on to MMOs, to Final Fantasy XI and then even moreso to World of Warcraft. In FFXI, you could switch around jobs on your one character, but you also always needed to be working with your party… so I didn’t need to strategize too much, but did some between gaming sessions with friends. In WoW, I did a lot of playing with friends, but also plenty on my own. You played different jobs by playing different characters, so lots of characters… and even more characters that I dreamed up, built skill trees for, and planned out all the way to maximum level. A moving target, as they released patches and expansions and changed the game…

So why am I saying all of this?

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Warmachine vs. Warhammer

Platypus Con is coming up this weekend! The gaming convention that is starting this year in our home town is finally here, and yeah, I don’t know how ready I am for it. I conned (pun!) a friend into helping with leading some tabletop war gaming demos, we have our time slots and tables will be there for us. I have a Warmachine army – the game system that we decided on – and he has several.

So I’ve done a lot of construction, so that’s the important starting point. Models are primed and have even then been airbrushed yellow, and I’ve started doing some painting as well! I’ve moved to trying out Instagram for my pictures of these – give our Instagram a look, and I’ll also share some more here on Friday!

Here's a preview of what I've painted so far!

Here’s a preview of what I’ve painted so far!

I’ve also now gotten in three games – hopefully enough to know the rules and be able to run a good demo! We’ve gotten smoother with our playing, I’m not taking forever on my strategy decisions, and I’m even 2/3 for wins… This also means that I now have a feel for it to be able to compare it to the tabletop war game I learned on: Warhammer Fantasy. So if you’ll indulge me – or if you found this blog post specifically to read this discussion – that’s what the focus will be for the rest of the post!

Update: It was pointed out to me that I have not played Warhammer Fantasy for almost a decade. The core rules have changed since then, so some of my thoughts are out-of-date. It also sounds like my wonderful Lizardmen are going away… And that the biggest change is a bigger focus on the named Character leaders. Perhaps a move to be more like Warmachine?…

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Introducing Comparative Opinions on: Words With Friends

So wait, did Holly play Stools - or Geeks?

So wait, did Holly play Stools – or Geeks?

So I have two things to introduce here. One is that Holly and I have recently picked up the hit mobile online gaming sensation, Words With Friends. Are we way behind on this bandwagon? Maybe. Well, probably. But as we like mobile gaming and mobile board games especially, this game deserves some consideration.

The other thing I want to introduce is a new recurring segment on the blog, Comparative Opinions. When we asked what people wanted to read more of on the blog, and when we thought about what sets us apart from a lot of other blogs, it was the fact that we are an even-partners writing duo, each creating half the content. But usually, both experiencing the media or culture that we’re writing about. So while it may not make sense for every topic or every post, sometimes we can both talk about a subject, and that’s the idea here.

We’ve done it before – for instance, we both wrote about King of the Nerds, and both wrote about the Damsels in Distress. And we both did a LitFlix for Ender’s Game, giving you a couple of perspectives. So today and tomorrow, you will get my thoughts, and then Holly’s thoughts, on playing Words With Friends. Hope you enjoy, and let us know in the comments if there are other topics you’d like to see us both tackle!

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XCOM: Enemy Unknown Review!

As we mentioned a few times here on the blog, our big Christmas present for the year was a PS3, complete with borrowing games from people, getting our hands on some of our own, and a membership with PlayStation Plus which has free games available.

Meanwhile, as you may have noticed around and about the end-of-year reviews lately, at least and especially on Apple, there’s this little game called XCOM: Enemy Unknown. Which on the Mac store has won game of the year, and for iPad, is runner up for game of the year. A game that is that high up for both of those platforms? Really? I wanted to know more when I saw it.

And I recognized the name – from our PlayStation Plus. This game is available free on PS3 with PlayStation Plus right now – whereas otherwise it’s still $40! This seemed like the perfect way to explore this game, and break in the new PS3. I have to say, then, that this game has sucked me in and stolen most of my game time since we got it. Read on for some of the fun aspects of this game, and for some wisdom from my play through!

Screenshot from iTunes

Game of the Year all the years! Screenshot from iTunes.

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