Category Archives: Fun

From the sick couch – Psylocke

While I was home sick with a cold earlier this week, I took the recommendation of some friends and started reading some comic books. Specifically, getting caught up on a mutant from the Marvel universe named PsyLocke. It was suggested that I start with the Uncanny X-Men, issues 256-258.

Covers of The Uncanny X-Men #256-258

Covers of The Uncanny X-Men #256-258

Now I’m thinking about what to read next. I’m seeing recommendations for the Captain Britain Trade Paperback for her early story, New Mutants, Mutant Massacre and Uncanny X-Force. If anyone has favorite Psylocke issues or stories, let me know.

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Making WizWar

When we attended the Carnage gaming conference in November, NatureBoy and I played a game called WizWar, and had a great time. The game itself is out of print, but rules and materials can be downloaded and used to make your own game set. Of course, having played on a beautiful three-dimensional game board, we didn’t want to play on a flat cardboard set.

For Solstice, NatureBoy and I got two silicone rubber molds ( #88 and #285 ) from Hirst Arts, and 25 pounds of a dental plaster casting stone called Merlin’s Magic from a supplier in Massachusetts.

Following the instructions on the Hirst Arts site (here and here), we’ve started creating the pieces necessary for the WizWar board.

wizwar-firstcast-01

Here are the two molds, and some Merlin’s Magic getting mixed on top of the mixing board.

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Carnage game report – Day Three

Our gaming getaway concluded on Sunday, and I’m thinking it was a good thing. Our room was located in a high-traffic area of the hotel, so we were roused frequently by late night gamer carousing — especially Beloved Wife, who is a light sleeper. Needless to say, we all were pretty tired.

NatureBoy and I were scheduled to play just one game, Star Trek Fleet Action from 10 am to 2 PM. After breakfast, packing and checking out, we headed to the dealer room where we picked up two D&D 3.5 books at 50% off: the Fiend Folio and Monster Manual III complete our monster sourcebooks collection. BW and NB also each got an oversized die. One dealer had some fun t-shirts, but we resisted the call to spend.

Star Trek Fleet Action was a mixed bag. It was a huge tactical miniatures game, with at least ten players controlling several spaceships each. All the players except one hadn’t played the game from which this homebrew rules set had been derived. The GM has lost his voice from running many games already, and the noisy room made it next to impossible to hear. And even though the players unanimously opted to go with his simplified rules, we still each received a 10-page (or so) booklet of the rules and reference charts. (I should have known when I saw that the GM had provided calculators.)

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Carnage photos

We had a really nice time, both playing games and having a weekend escape. I have a few photos that didn’t make it into the earlier posts that I’d like to share.

One thing we did to make our lives a little easier was to bring quite a bit of food that we could prepare and eat in our room.

 carnage-kitchen

Above, NatureBoy is making himself some mashed potatoes and some noodle; “a starch-filled redundancy",” he would say, quoting one of the few TV shows we watch.

Here’s the view out that window. It was breathtaking. We even got to see some loons.

View of Lake Morey

 

Here, NatureBoy is reaching for some uranium to power his nuclear power plant in Power Grid.

 Power Grid board game

The big hit of our gaming weekend was Wiz-War. Here are the photos I promised, though neither my water-logged camera nor my crappy photography skills do the game pieces justice.

This shot of the full board, shows the six colored maze segments.The segments can be shifted and rotated, and the maze exits wrap around “Pac-Man-style” (per NB).

Wia-War custom game set

 

Here, my green wizard has just placed a captured red treasure on his home space.

Close-up of Wiz-War 

 

But someone has absconded with one of my green treasures. That paper token is the “buck,” a creature obstacle summoned by an opponent wizard.

 Wiz-War close-up

 

The grey wizard and the purple wizard prepare to duel.

 wiz-war-04

 

Wiz-War was a really fun game. NB and I are looking into ways we can play at home. Thanks, again, to Game Master Earl Waters for bringing so much fun to the table.

wiz-war-05

Earl emailed me Sunday night to direct me to some of the source materials he used in creating his game. That site has lots of good stuff, and links back to another Wiz-War fan’s single PDF Wiz-War package. And the Hirst Arts site has some instructions for using their molds and other materials to create Wiz-War game sets. NatureBoy has been reviewing this site and the pdf package frequently since we got back. He especially likes the idea of a custom gelatinous cube with a figure inside. 🙂

Carnage game report – Day Two

Today, NatureBoy and I played two games that were new to us; PowerGrid in the morning, and Wiz-War this afternoon. We enjoyed them both, but Wiz-War was much more fun.

PowerGrid is a "euro-game" where players take turns purchasing power plants and power commodities, and powering cities to create income. To play successfully, you have to balance three resources. It was more of a strategy and math puzzle, which was fun in a kind of academic way. In our session, the really expensive power plants came up for auction early,and one player managed to buy the larger wind-power plants. This allowed him to use his money money strictly for buying cities.

The game ended a little earlier than expected. NB did a good job selecting his power plants, but misunderstood the winning conditions. He was kind of frustrated, but was a good sport. I enjoyed it, but I think I like Settlers of Cattan better. I would play it again, though.

Our afternoon game was Wiz-War, and it was a blast. Here’s the description from the convention book:

B35 Wiz War Classic (GM: Earl Waters Table: TH) Play the cult classic Wiz-War game. Wiz-War is a card and board game of dueling wizards and treasure-stealing. Each player represents a wizard who starts the game with two treasures and seven cards that allow the wizard to cast spells. Each wizard battles the other wizards by casting spells and trying to steal two of the opponent’s treasures to win the game. You can also win by eliminating the other wizards. Cast cool spells like fireballs, waterwalls, and the dreaded "It" spell on your opponents or turn invisible, create monsters, or even affect the board game itself to win. Try this magic mayhem on a custom made 3-D game board with movable (and removable) walls, wizards, monsters, and spell effects. 2-6 players. No experience necessary. (2-6 Players) (Saturday 1pm-5pm)

The 3-D game board consists of six maze sections cast from molds by Hirst Arts Fantasy Architecture (and some instructions for making a Wiz War board and accessories) , and beautifully painted (inked, actually); it was gorgeous. I took pictures, but I don’t have the USB cable for my camera : , so I’ll post them later. Each of the wall and door sections can be rearranged, and some game actions caused this to happen. The six square maze sections can be re-arrange, either swapped or rotated, as some cards would indicate.

Each player controls a Wizard, with a home maze section, and two treasures, all color-coded. To win the game, a player must either capture two rival wizards’ treasures or eliminate all the other wizards. On her turn, a wizard can move and use card from her hand to attack, cast spells and create effects. In some ways, the game reminded me of a Ravensburger maze game, the Amazing Labyrinth. The GM mentioned that the game rules and cards sets were available for free online. I will have to look into that. It was a lot of fun and I’d like to play again.

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Carnage Game report – Day One

We made our way to the Lake Morey Resort in Fairlee for Carnage. We’ve all been looking forward to getting away for the weekend, even Beloved Wife, who isn’t actually participating in the convention. She’s a crafting geek, though, and brought knitting to keep her content (as well as some homework).

One our way through Randolph, we stopped at Mugwort & Malachite, a new-age shop, to check it out. It was small and dark, but had some nice things. I liked a few of the Dryad Designs statuary. NB picked up a dragon calendar.

We did some meal planning, and picked up a bunch of foods that you can prepare by adding hot water. We also brought fruit, snacks, and tea. But we forgot our electric tea kettle. :O So we stopped by the Price Chopper in West Lebanon, N.H., and bought a small electric kettle and a small crock pot (both on sale).

We had pre-registered for the conference, and we got all the games we requested except for the first slot. Here’s what our schedule looks like:

Friday 1 PM to 5 PM Avon-on-the-Moor [D&D 3.5]
(had requested RoboRally: Battle Royal)
Saturday 8 am to 12 PM Powergrid [board game]
Saturday 1 PM to 5 PM Wiz-War Classic [board game]
Saturday 7 PM to 11 PM GURPS Prime Directive: the Vanished [ Star Trek RPG]
Sunday 10 am to 2 PM Star Trek Fleet Action [miniatures]

 

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