maniacmarshall: (Rassilon)
Well, this should be an interesting week with plenty of travel... I get off work on Thurs Nov 15th at 7pm, which gives me just about enough time to dash home, pack the car, and take a nap, because on Friday morning I have to get up no later than 2am and head for St. Louis where Rachel and I will be catching a 6:10 flight to Atlanta. Once in Atlanta at about 8:40, we'll be picked up at the airport by her parents. 

That should get us back to their place around 10 or so... at which point we'll probably lunch then nap... then, hopefully, well have dinner or something with a couple of Rachel's friends (if she ever gets around to asking them... she never got around to inviting anyone to Archon... which actually turned out to be a good thing considering that this was the worst Archon in years thanks to NASFiC screwing it up). We have a particular couple in mind, with an alternate if they are unable to. If that doesn't work out, we might just end up doing something with Kim and Mike. 

On Saturday, we've got an open morning (we'll likely need it if we end up going out with Rachel's friends Friday night!) then we're heading over to the Atlanta Gallifreyans meeting at 4:30. (It will be different than CIA meetings for sure. Those go from about 1:30-5:30 at the Library, then we go have dinner somewhere afterwards).  Kim tells me these break up anywhere from late to really really late heh.  We're PLANNING to play Kingmaker after the meeting, depending on how late the meeting runs. Hopefully we could get a full game of 6-8. I mean, what better game to play after a Doctor Who meeting than a game about British history? :) If the meeting runs too long, then we'll likely play some card games after the meeting depending on when it breaks up, then we'll probably offer to take Kim and Mike to dinner somewhere that night, then go back to Rachel's parents for the evening.

Sunday afternoon we're meeting up with Kim and Mike again. If we didn't have a chance to play Kingmaker the night before, we're going to play it then. If we did, well, then I don't know what we're going to do. I'll let the others decide. Sunday night, however, we do have definite plans... in fact, the reason we're coming down this weekend... so we can go to The Police Concert! More fun will be had than is allowed by law in 9 states... and the District of Columbia.

Rachel and I saw them up at Wrigley Field earlier in the year and they TOTALLY kicked ass. They were there July 5th and I had some days off in a row, so we planed a 4 day Chicago trip around it.  Actually, she ALSO saw them July 2nd at Scott Trade Center in St. Louis, but I had to work that day. Once (or in her case twice) was just NOT enough. Seeing them again in Atlanta on a weekend with the Atlanta Gallifreyans meeting was just too good to pass up.  We managed to get 4 good tickets to the Sunday show, so we're going with Mike and Kim. After the concert, It'll be goodbye and back to Rachel's parents for a nap, then, I'll have to be up by 6am. Rachel will be taking me to the airport to catch a 9:10 flight back to St. Louis, which will land about 9:40. She'll be staying behind to spend time with her parents, but I... I have to try to get back to work in Quincy by 1pm or so on Monday. It's at least a 2 hour drive back to Quincy from there, so it will be a tight squeeze on time.

So, while she's lounging around, it'll be slaving away at work for me for 3 days. Then, when I get off at 7 on Wed night before thanksgiving, it will be BACK to Atlanta for me... this time by car LOL! It's about a 12 hour drive, so, with the time difference, I should get there some time around 8 in the morning... just in time to take a nap before Turkey Dinner!

We'll have the Friday and Saturday after Thanksgiving to spend in Atlanta... no idea what we're going to do those days... it's possible we'll just hang around the house... I know last year I got a lot of writing done... speaking of writing... that reminds me, I need to repost something that I HOPE someone will actually take the time to read and comment on. I know it was really long, and I expect that everyone who even bothered to open the cuts probably just freaked and said "I'm not reading that..." but this story is really, really important to me, and I really need my friends to give me advice and help me decide what I should do with it. I know that [personal profile] auntiemeesh is going to do so, and I love her to bits and pieces for it, but I had hoped to get more than one response...

That reminds me... I have a Christmas story to work on... I need to do that Sunday...

Ok, I'll stop hijacking my own post now <_<

We'll leave for home around midnight between Saturday and Sunday, then it'll be back to the grind for me for 4 days. Lots of travel, yeah, but... if all goes well, we'll get to see some of Rachel's friends... heck, I guess the two we're hoping to see I really consider my friends too now... Kim, Mike, the Police, and the cool people at the Doctor Who fan club... that kind of stuff is worth almost any kind of travel. There is just nothing quite like getting to spend time with friends you care about is there?

Kingmaker

Oct. 19th, 2007 03:59 pm
maniacmarshall: (Default)
No, not the Doctor Who Audio Adventure... yet! I haven't finished listening to it yet. I'll try to get my impressions of that posted either tomorrow or Sunday since [personal profile] eve11 was "hypothetically" nice enough to provide me the means to "hypothetically" listen to it without my copy (which I have never managed to find time to listen to) here.

So, the last couple years since I started going to con's again, I've gotten really into playing a lot of the games I used to play when I was in high school. One of these games is Kingmaker. It's an old Avalon Hill game from the mid to late 70's, and is set during the War of the Roses. I know [personal profile] eve11 has expressed some interest in it (at least she said it sounded like fun), so I might post some pictures of it later if anyone requests them. Not that you can't find  them on the net if you search...

Well, all 3 copies of the game I ordered arrived late last week...

I got a nice 2nd edition copy that was indeed near mint, as advertised.  I probably overpaid for it unfortunately. A couple of 2nd edition games had sold for around that price the couple days before, and, of course, all the similar ones since have gone for about half what that one sold for... oh well, it's only 20-30 bucks wasted. It had a tiny spot in one of the folds where the board has started to lift ever so slightly, but otherwise looked like it had just come out of the shrink wrap. No complaints about the condition of the game except... well, the blank cards were all nonexistent. I was hoping that the 23 blanks would be there.  No idea what happened to them. Perhaps they were auctioned separately at some point, or just disposed of by the original owner. (My reason for wanting these will become clear later).

The next day, I got a still shrink wrapped 2nd edition game, which showed up as a "buy it now" right after I overpaid for the other one (story of my life) and at a cheaper price too. I originally picked this one up with the idea of giving it to my friend [personal profile] acciochocolate who lost her copy in a fire. Of course, I discovered after the fact that she would prefer a first edition game... No biggie, I could use the extra event deck and even the extra mercenary cards for the crown deck if I decide to keep it. Besides, the other copy I was bidding on was a 1st edition copy.

Finally, I opened up the very used 1st edition copy. There were some surprises here, mostly good. It said it was in fair condition and contained the expansion cards, which was my main reason for buying it. I think the 25 expansion cards add a lot to the variety and fun of the game. The cheapest I've seen the expansion cards sell for this month is 60 bucks, which is more than I paid for any of the 3 copies of the game, and definitely a LOT less than I paid for the entire game here.

First, I was astonished at the board itself. The main advantage of the 2nd edition was the mounted board, which was larger than the board used in the first edition... that's why I wanted a second edition copy for myself... except, no, it wasn't. Here is what I thought I knew going in...

The first edition board (original printing) was not mounted (generally considered a disadvantage, since the 2nd edition board looked sharper), and was smaller. Also, it had less cross referencing coordinates, but the ones it had accurate were accurate to what was printed on the crown cards and in the rules.

The second edition board was mounted, larger, and had more cross referencing coordinates, which made it easier to find things if you had the coordinates. The problem was, the coordinates  on the Crown cards were NOT updated between printings,  and thus you HAD to consult the rulebook to find the accurate ones... Also, the mounted board has become somewhat of a DISADVANTAGE over the years, because the glue has lifted a bit at the folds (which I had not considered... meh)

Apparently, unknown to me, there were MULTIPLE printings of first edition, and, somewhere along the line, the first edition board was changed to match the look of the 2nd edition board, which had larger spaces, and a lot more room in Ireland and France, but with the grid coordinates also changed on the board like second edition. This was a problem, because not only were the crown cards not updated, but the RULES were not updated either... wow. Well, I know the main reason [personal profile] acciochocolate preferred 1st edition was that it had accurate coordinates on the crown cards, so this will disappoint her.

Second, for a "very used" game, all the cards were in pretty darn good shape.

The third surprise was a mixed bag and had to do with the blank cards again. It was both a good and a bad surprise. The blank cards WERE present, but they had been used... and used for what I wanted to use them for, which was to make what is generally referred to as "expansion set 2." You see, Avalon Hill used to have it's own monthly magazine called The General. It was in The General where expansion set 1 first appeared, and Avalon Hill subsequently made the cards for it which could be ordered. About 2 years later, another article appeared in The General with rules for a second expansion set, which the author suggested could be made from your blank cards. Avalon Hill almost immediately declare their intention NOT to make this set, though they signed off on the article saying the cards and rules were in fact official optional rules. 

Well, if someone had made the set for me, what am I complaining about? Well, yeah, they made the set, BUT, for most of the cards they did so by gluing a black and white cut out of the card from a photocopy... I could forgive the photocopy, but the glue must have been lathered on. The cards themselves were warped as heck. We're trying the famous "put them under a jillion pounds of books" plan, which HAS worked somewhat... The exceptions to the warped cards were the cards that called for multiple copies, which were magic markered for the ship mutinies, and just penciled for the others, so, there ARE still 7 or so pretty much flat cards that could be used (the ship mutiny ones would just have to be retained for that use) AND there SHOULD be enough blanks in my shrink wrapped game to make a complete set (differing accounts say there will be either 16 or 22... if there is 22 I'm DEFINITELY good with the extra flat cards.

On the other hand, the Fourth surprise was a good one. Included in the game was a copy of the article about expansion set two, and some rules interpretations and a timed game scoring from the folks Genghis Con, an annual gaming con in Denver, which is one of the better gaming conventions in the US. These rules were written for an event at Genghis Con VI, which was 23 years ago! One of the things about Kingmaker that is both good AND bad is that the rules are somewhat vague, and that there are many variant rules. I found both of these to be very useful as a potential starting place for writing up my own set of rules interpretations (and I must say I liked them better than the rules we used this year at Gencon!)

Rachel and I have already played 2 learning games... she won the first one and SHOULD have won the second one had she not made a really bad mistake near the end... she won't make THAT mistake again I can assure you. She's learning the rules, and I'm kind of learning which optional rules and which rules interpretations I like best. It's MUCH more fun with at least 4 people than it is with 2, but hopefully we'll have some friends to play it with soon.

I will be bringing both the unopened copy of the game, and the 1st edition one with me when I go to Atlanta, and I'll let Kim tell me which one she wants.

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maniacmarshall

March 2012

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