Saturday, May 29, 2010

Whose Move is it now?

So, way back in 1994, shortly after I left that note on my dorm room door, I discovered a little game store in Davis Square (gateway to the Red Line) called Your Move Games. It was less creepy than the other store on the block that sold Magic cards (Davis Square Collectibles), and upstairs from Yee's Village, a Chinese restaurant my friends fondly remember for the scorpion bowls. Right across the street from Osco.
I remember, after being a "regular customer" for awhile, I tried to introduce myself to Rob, and he said something about not being good with names; so I continued as a semi-anonymous customer, occasionally participating in Magic tournaments, buying stuff, and with some distinct memories of people (probably Dave Z and Ben P long before we would meet) in the back room getting overly excited about cheap "Jyhad" cards, whatever that was.
So when I started playing VTES a few years later and asking questions, and Prescott answered my newsgroup post with a message about the Your Move Games weekly playgroup, I was more than willing to start playing there.
That was in early 2001.
About 75% of my weeks since then, at least one evening has been spent in that store. And many whole Saturdays and Sundays. Through two locations, 3 drugstores across the street/next door, and never a non-scary bathroom, it has been another "home" for me. A default location that I could count on.

Will I miss it?
Ironically, not really.
Pardon me if I cheese up for a minute, but it is and always has been about the people and the friendships I have made. I surely won't miss the stinky crowded basement, although I will accidentally end up driving in that direction on my way to whereever we start playing VTES again a few times. And I won't miss their selection of products; let's be honest here, in my 15 years as a customer I haven't exactly pulled my own weight in keeping them around.

But it's still a notable loss. And there are stories there.
It's worth saying goodbye.

Goodbye, Your Move Games.

I leave you with my favorite Your Move Games story, funniest because I found it through a completely unrelated blog:

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


After reading reviews, seeing the components, and feeling the need for a fast 2-player game, I could not resist picking up Ninja versus Ninja.

My wife Talita agreed to help me try it out, and it is definitely easy to learn and fast to play.

Component-wise, the ninja pieces are awesome. There's absolutely no need for the game to have a separate Shadow Ninja and Ninja Master piece, and that is why they're great. :) The dice are cute, but a little annoying to actually roll.

Gameplay-wise, like I said, it is fast. I won't go over the rules here; they're simple enough.
We played 2 games in a few minutes; even my wife suggested that we add a house rule to play to more than 7 points. At one point, I was robbed of a win by a die roll of 2 (if I had rolled a 3, I could have gotten home and scored my mission), but I don't think the randomness is too intrusive.

Overall, it is a good game, and it's filling the niche I bought it for. I'm sure that it will be a good solution for at least a few weeks, for the 2 people sitting out of VTES games (or between turns in Battlestar Galactica, or whatever), and again it's a game my wife will play which is always a plus :) . And Eli will be able to play when he's maybe 4 or 5.

On a scale of "GR" to "GRRRRR", I give it a solid GRRRR

Monday, May 24, 2010

Pining for SGS (but not SGS)

Being naive and dorky (and when "the web" was still in its infancy), I clearly remember one of the first things I did when I moved into the dorms in college: I took out a Magic card from my box, pasted it on my door, and wrote something to the effect of "If you know what this is, let me know!" One knock on the door later (from a guy postering for Film Series who I would later know as Juj) would eventually lead me to something I never could have imagined: a still-forming Gaming Club (the eponymous Strategic Gaming Society).
A weekly meeting of fellow dorks and geeks, getting introduced to games (including German imports like the original "Die Siedler") and having hours on end to try them and play them and even leave boards on a table in a locked conference room for a week.
For more than 4 years I was attached to this club (yes, I overstayed my welcome, the Film Series Curse that would take me some time to escape), I held every named position for some time, and I established some friendships that still last (cue sappy music)...

Sorry, where was I?

Oh yes.
Now, I'm old. I'm in my mid-30s, I have (in no particular order) a job, a mortgage, a wife and a toddler. I have "responsibilities". I have gamer friends with their own "responsibilities". The pact to meet monthly to play our old-folks D&D game cannot be kept up. I get to game on most Monday nights but the focus is usually on VTES.
I just don't have too much time to try out new boardgames (that support more than 2 people and/or that my lovely wife isn't interested in; thankfully she likes some Gamer games!) or to play the 3+-hour games too many individual times. Sometimes I wish I still had that flexibility.

Trying to organize my own "board game day" is only serving to prove my point. Gathering folks from several different gaming circles, even, on the one day in the near future that I can finally take one day to do such a thing, and I'm answered with a handful of (legitimate) No answers. Now, hopefully I can still enact this plan, and maybe there's even a prayer of making it something regular, but I can't help thinking about the days when I could just walk into a room in the Campus Center and say "What are we playing today?"

Friday, May 21, 2010

Treat your Maman Right!

Even though this isn't strictly going to be a "VTES blog", I figure I should start with a VTES post about something I came up with.
It's a Module for any Group 4 Compatible deck, featuring a powerful defensive Imbued, Maman Boumba.

The module is something like this (this is the 10 card version that I include in 90-card decks):

3 Maman Boumba

3 Angel of Berlin
1 Rose Foundation

2 React with Conviction
2 Second Sight
2 Strike with Conviction
Maman serves as both combat defense (that you can sell around the table) and vote defense (5 un-cancelable votes against a referendum) EDIT: and minor bleed defense (reduce by 1), even here.
The Angels of Berlin allow you to use her end-combat ability multiple times per turn, which incidentally also works while she's sitting in the incapacitated region.
You can take the occasional "bleed for 2 at 1 stealth" action with her, but that's really not her primary function.
If you want, you can drop a Secure Haven on her to protect her from Pillowface actions, but that's purely optional; in a deck that needs her, you're likely to be using Secure Havens anyway, and you'll want to put them on your big vampires.


It's a gaming blog, and something useful to finally do with one of the domains I've been paying for.
In the meantime, here's all the content you're going to get: