Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Mission Most Possible -- Unemployment Ends

Well, they didn't call Friday but they called the next Monday and I am hired on with 180 Connect Inc. as of next Monday. What a relief...
Now my life can get out of Emergency Mode.
Guess you're wondering what I'll be doing. Well, if you read the last blog post you wouldn't wonder.
On the way back from my drug screening appointment yesterday I happened upon a hobby shop on Tracy Blvd in Tracy, CA! No more driving to Sacramento to buy lead figures and paints! No more epic journeys to find a decent D&D book or esoteric board game.
This place is called Hobbytown USA and is a local hobby shop run by a strange motley array of characters. I stopped by and bought over $160 worth of Citadel paints, brushes and a couple lead figures. I haven't painted figures since I was in junior high school and I play D&D (3.5 edition) so I figure.... what the hell.
Well, I painted a pair of lions and a drow elf archer over two days and I am already noticing significant improvement. If I can get my webcam working (it's been on the blink since I switched to Windows XP last year) I'll show off my handiwork.
Anyway, I'm glad to see Tracy is finally growing up... (and there goes my hard-earned cash).
A couple weeks ago I bought a new board game called Twilight Imperium 3rd edition. Now, I bought the 1st edition a long time ago (mid 90's I think) and my friend Dean and I thought it was a great game. Certainly more parameters to consider than in a game like Risk, for example. It's a sci-fi game of galactic conquest replete with Destroyers, Cruisers, Planetary Defense Systems and the infamous Dreadnoughts and War Suns (Death Stars). It features a hexagonal tile grid to build the game board (the galaxy) and it insures that it's never the same game. Not to mention there are nine races and the most the game can handle is six players so there is always a variety of strategies to employ. Dean and I tried it out right out of the box (the game retailed at $80.00) and his son joined in (we later learned he might have been too young to handle the complicated rules system). The game took about five hours to play but that's taking into account the fact that we were learning the game as we went along. The rules booklet is rife with examples and pictures, but it still wasn't clear on a couple issues until we 'playtested' it a few times to try and understand what the rules were saying. I have re-read the rules since and it seems much clearer now so Dean and I will give it another go and see what happens. In that first game I played the Xxcha Kingdom (turtleheads) and Dean played the Sol Federation (Earthlings) and his son played the Sardakk N'orr (lizardheads). It was an interesting game as I tried to play the political aspect against the Sol Federation's ability to colonize new worlds at a blinding speed. In the end, we had to quit due to time constraints, but it looked like it was me versus Dean with Dean probably with the upper hand.
Anyway, the game has military tactics coupled with political and economic aspects as well as logistical command and influence peddling. I'm guessing that it's much more wild and wooly with more players. If you can get thru the rules the first time, the game runs quite smoothly and it's a HUGE improvement over the original version of the game. The game is made by Fantasy Flight Games and invented by Christian T. Petersen. If you can find it, and you like Risk type games with a sci-fi twist, check it out.

I have a D&D game this Saturday at Yuba City with the ol' gang. We have an interesting krewe. We have a 4th level warlock/1st level rogue halfling named Nash, a 4th level human cleric of the Grand Incinerator named Loni, a 4th level human fighter named Lazarus, a 2nd level wood-elf fighter named Ahern?, I can't remember, and a 2nd level half-elf who has yet to enter the game, so I don't know his name either. His last character was killed by a justiciar who tried to capture the party for a crime committed a long time ago. Anyway, they're in a drow outpost right now that has just invaded a dwarven copper mine in the North Welpromond Downs. They made short work of the drow fighters they encountered, but that's only tip of the iceberg.
I've been playing D&D since 1981, running games or DM'ing (Dungeon Mastering) since 1982. I've played with this current group since 1996 (some players for longer) and I had another group in Sacramento that I played with for 5 years but that one recently ended since the host of that game moved to So Cal.
What can I say? I'm a gaming fool.
Well, it's midnight now. Gotta get some sleep. Bye.


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