Sunday, June 30, 2013

General Update June 2013

Here's a general status update for my life at present:

  • Minecraft:  I still haven't been playing it much.  I'll get back into the swing of it soon enough, perhaps with the long weekend coming up.  
  • Board Games:  more Sentinels of the Multiverse for me, for the most part
  • Tabletop RPGs:  I now have even fewer prospects for available RPG players.  
  • Reading:  I've finished The King in Yellow, and am working on A Feast for Crows during lunch breaks.  
  • Webcomics:  I'm still way behind.  
  • Western Print Comics:  I really should contact the local comic shop & see if they're carrying Mouse Guard yet.  If nothing else, hearing about it might get them to do so.  
  • Wesnoth:  I've got a hankering to play The Battle for Wesnoth again, so I've gone and gotten it again, this time for my gaming PC.  
That's all for now.  Hopefully, more coherent updates will be coming shortly.  

Regarding Google Reader

I've been using Google Reader for my RSS feeds for a long time now.  I think that it started because I needed an RSS reader and already had a Google account, so it was a natural fit.
I've been meaning to switch for a while now, ever since Google announced that it would be shuttering Reader because it couldn't figure out where to put the ads.  Fortunately, I remembered that this morning, since tomorrow is the big day.  I've already copied everything (not just Reader subscriptions) via Google Takeout - it's a good backup to have, anyway - and I've gone ahead and switched to The Old Reader, since it was based on Google Reader ages ago and, well, my main preference would be to just keep Google Reader, so I want something as close to it as possible.
There are lots of other RSS readers out there, of course.  Have you remembered to switch?
(Also, if you feel like commenting, let me know which RSS reader you use and why.)

Spite for Spite

As I mentioned previously, I've been enjoying Sentinels of the Multiverse.
To give some context for what I'm about to describe:  The rule book actually gives difficulty ratings for the various villains.  The base game contains two difficulty-1 villains and two difficulty-3 villains.  I've beaten them all, though the difficulty-3 villains are, of course, harder.
The Rook City expansion contains two difficulty-2 villains and two difficulty-4 villains.  One of the difficulty-2 villains, Plague Rat, does seem to go into that spot, though he's closer to the 3s than to the 1s, I think.
The other difficulty-2 villain, Spite, remains unthwarted, at least in any game that I've played against him.  His Drug cards combo to make him a real pain.  The most annoying is the one drug that reduces the first damage that he takes each turn.  The way that the game normally plays, the best way to deal with that is to use a one-shot card to eat that, then use a power to do damage.  However, Spite has another card that damages a hero whenever that hero uses a power, in addition to making that player mill 5 cards.
Spite has 5 of these things.
Strangely, one of Spite's Drug cards whose name I actually remember - Demon's Kiss - is the least annoying because it merely does damage to every Hero target.  Yes, that's the good one.
In strategizing about this, I think that the best approach is actually to use a team of just 3 Heroes (the minimum), because his damage reduction card works at H-2, which would be 1.  That way, rather than trying a one-two punch, each hero could just know that their damage is -1, with a +1 on there if they happen to hit twice in one turn.
The moral of the story is that I might just have to ignore the printed difficulty ratings.  ;P

Sudden Short Story 50

"A decision has been reached," spoke the image of a woman on a lonely Earth-like planet on a remote star in the Sculptor Dwarf Galaxy.
"I expected as much," said the man helping his equipment to put itself away.  "Would I be correct in thinking that the entire Milky Way, including its satellites, is to be incorporated into humanity?"
"The satellite galaxies will indeed be included.  Technically, you have a choice in the matter:  You are permitted to leave the affected area."
"OK," he said, hoisting a smallish now-boxed machine into a hatch on his ship, "I'll do that, then."
"The resources of the entirety of the galaxy will join humanity.  This includes stars, planets, asteroids, comets, nebulae, dust, and gas.  You may be able to leech off uncaptured light energy for a time, but there will eventually be nowhere in the main galaxy or its satellites from which to derive resources, unless you rejoin humanity."
The rest of the machines had put themselves away.  The ship was now as heavily laden as it could be, save for the weight of one human body and its clothing and accoutrements.
"I know.  That's why I'm going to Andromeda.  I'm going to sling around a few stars on my way out, unless you can give me a better boost."
"The gravitational energy from this stellar neighborhood will not be needed for some time, so you may do as you wish, for now."
He walked around to the door to climb in, taking full advantage of the feeling of being in a body.
"She's not out there, you know," spoke the image.  "You will be the first human to have left the galaxy.  We know that you are an idealist, but you will not find love in another galaxy."
"I don't intend to," said he, "but, as you said, I'm an idealist."
And with that, he climbed aboard his ship, shut the door, and left, not to set foot upon a planet again for a very long time.