talismancer: (Elmer Fudd)
Over the last year or so, I've been seen making this quote: "I feel that my board games collection is complete, There is nothing current that I want to add to it". This statement is both true from a certain point of view, and inaccurate in so many different ways.

Worse, I seem to frequently forget that there are new games coming out all the time, and thus have made the far worse and complete bollocks statement and miss the rider off the end.

The key part of this is definitely the rider on the end, and it is that "current" which makes the whole thing mis-leading. There are actually quite a few games that are not currently available that I've been keeping a close eye on. There is a Master of Orion game that's out in Russian, but not yet in English, I'll be buying it in a heart beat when it does. There are more than a few things Looney Labs could release that I'd pick up the moment I can get my hands on them. Including (But probably not limited to) the new Zendo game they're working on in a not very secret manner.

There are other things I can and will spend money on very quickly. Notably expansions for games already in my collection. My definition of "complete" apparently is a list of all the base games. I bought a couple of older Escape the Curse of the Temple expansions when they were going cheap recently. I've just had the new Star Realms expansion pack advertised to me, and have pledged to Kickstarter. I'll work out later if I can actually afford it right now, or if I should either give it a miss or make one of the other Star Realms players pick it up.

There are a couple of other things that will make me spend money on this hobby. A while back I borrowed Splendor, and despite wanting to like it, didn't. So when I was shown another game that scratched the same itch that I really did LOVE, I instantly went in search of a copy. What I didn't realise at the time was that it was so new that it hadn't really entered UK distribution. I might have mistaken it's rarity for something else, rather than that shops just hadn't got their copies yet. The game, BTW, is called Century: Spice Road. There are also a few games that I'd buy if I stopped seeing the friend who has a copy. Puerto Rico is a good example. I consider it a strong staple of the hobby, and even though I don't want to play it that often, like Catan, I consider it an important game to be able to play. While I have access to a copy, I won't buy one. But should I lose access, I'd consider it. There are actually quite a lot of games in this category including (but no way limited to) Machi Koro, Hey that's my Fish, Roll for the Galaxy, Red Dragon Inn, Caverna, Cash 'n' Guns, Hero Realms, Flash Point, and Zombie Dice.

This was originally going to just be a Facebook update, but I quite quickly realised it was a blog entry, so it ended up here instead. Much better place.
talismancer: (Dice)
This harks back to the days I used to post more MTG stuff. I've recently been getting back into the hobby (and it's costs), so there are blog posts that come from this.

This one is mainly to preserve a decklist, as I'm taking this deck apart, and wish to be able to reconstruct it later when I change my mind.

First, a story.

I started playing Magic early in 2003. I remember the Legions Pre-release from February, and due to my local group at the time, just about all play was Standard and a lot was tournament play. As a result, I started watching the professional tournament scene fairly heavily. A year after I started, Feb 2004, saw the printing of a card that was to distort that scene heavily, Acrbound Ravager. (Note, not the only card in Darksteel to distort the scene. It also saw the printing of Skullclamp!)

Worlds 2004 was dominated by the deck named after that card and it's friends in toe: Ravager Affinity. Tournament play was so heavily distorted by it that in March 2005, Wizards banned the Ravager itself, alongside Disciple of the Vault and all six of the artifact lands out of standard. (On my side notes, Skullclamp was not banned in the March 2005 bannings. Only because it had been banned in June 2004 already, shortly before the release of Fifth Dawn)

Back to worlds though. Alongside Goblins and Affinity there was one outsider deck that made it into the top 8, a deck that took a couple of neat uncommons and partnered them together in an inventive way. Designed primarily to beat Affinity with lots of artifact removal, it won by stopping Affinity from winning, and then swooping in with a horde of angels from Decree of Justice. It was such a good deck that it placed first in the tournament.

Wizards used to print gold bordered "copies" of interesting decks from each year's Worlds. Each card had a gold border, and a very different back. As they were not "real" cards, the decks were affordable where they might have a couple of hundred pounds of cards from normal sets. Late 2005, I picked a a gold bordered copy of Eternal Slide.

Over the next handful of years I played it occasionally. Never with much enthusiasm because it was a stupidly powerful deck but made of basically proxies. I felt somehow I was "cheating".

Having slowly collected a lot of the cards for the deck for other purposes, last year (I think!) I finally ordered the last £30 or so, and actually built a genuine copy of Eternal Slide. While I've maintained a lot of the same core for the deck, my version has had some significant modifications as well. It has to stand up to multiplayer, and it doesn't need the vastly concentrated artifact removal the original had, due to me not having to face Affinity itself. In fact, I generalised it from it's original formats, and removed the graveyard hate and protection from Red stuff too (goblins!). Finally, I'm not restricted to the Standard of the time as the original was, so have a few newer cards in there, where they fitted perfectly (Angelsong is my major one. Such a good fit for the deck)

However, it really is still rather too powerful for the casual environment which I play in. It's also a net deck with the stigma that goes with that. I didn't develop it, and have taken the powerful core straight into my own copy. With new cycling cards in Amonkhet, I'm dismantling my Eternal Slide to use some of the cards to build a new deck that cares about cycling, and re-use some of the more powerful cards in there that I just can't afford to replace.

Here is the decklist, along with the pile of cards that lived with it for not actually making the cut. I post this so I could potentially make this deck live again, should I ever wish to.

4 Astral Slide
4 Eternal Witness
4 Eternal Dragon
4 Wrath of God
4 Renewed Faith
4 Decree of Justice
4 Angelsong
3 Edge of Autumn
2 Akroma's Vengeance
2 Wing Shards

10 Plains
6 Forest
4 Secluded Steppe
4 Tranquil Thicket
1 Temple Garden

Cards that didn't make the cut:
Angel of Serenity
Akroma's Blessing
Sunfire Balm
Wipe Clean
Loaming Shaman
Plow Under* (*The only actual card I'd swap in against some decks. This was the sideboard, and I only own 3 copies!)


May. 11th, 2015 10:02 am
talismancer: (Elmer Fudd)
After breaking a plate a few days ago, my thoughts returned to a topic that I've had a few times since we moved in, which is crockery (plates, cups, etc). Right now, our practical day to day use of crockery is made up of a mix of three different designs. One is a box I picked up for Southampton university all those years back, has a rather smart green and black mottled border, and along side the original 20 piece box I bought then, we've found various very similar stuff in charity shops over the years. Annoyingly, a lot of it has gold on it, which makes it unsuitable for the dishwasher and microwave, so it tends not to get used. Second set we picked up when Mum was clearing Rae's place, and is a rather pretty grey on white design, with silver highlights. This is also not microwave or dishwasher safe, although that hasn't stopped us dishwashing it. The third is we have a handful of pieces of my parents spare plates, because there are several elements that the other two sets just completely lack, and so we borrowed off my parents.

This mismatch is not coherent, and I've been giving thoughts on changing it for a little while.

There are some interesting problems with buying new crockery for us. We need to find something we both reasonably like. I want to find something with a few of the more interesting options, like casserole dishes, and breakfast plates (Breakfast plates are a size of plate used for small meals or large snacks that are larger than a side plate, but not so large as a dinner plate, and will generally just about hold two slices of toast side by side). Whatever we find has to be dishwasher safe, and microwave safe, and hold no facets that will invalidate normal every day use. It needs to be interesting, have no polka dots, have it's main stuff have design only on the edge, so we can actually see our food. Oh, and to be a major production, so we have best chances of nailing down replacement parts should we break some.

We appear to have found such a set, and as a result I'm indexing here what we have found, with pictures of each piece. As there will be pics, here is probably a good place for a cut to start.

what we found )

Well that took far too long to type out. But I have a quick visual reference to what I want, which is the aim.


Aug. 31st, 2009 11:35 pm
talismancer: (Default)
Something I was doing earlier today required me to find a flash file I could upload. As someone who has not coded in Flash for a while, the only thing I could find was this:


There, having subjected myself to that, I'll subject everyone else too.

(Oh, and I realise that link isn't to the actual flash file, there's a reason for this)
talismancer: (Default)
This post is spawned from an extremely long email I sent to the SWARM mailing list today.

I'm a gamer, I play games. I actually will play most types of games, if presented right. So, here I present a list of the sorts of games I've played since joining university:

Gaming me )

So, I think that classes me as a gamer? Yes? (Anyone who still disagrees should read a certain older entry of mine)
talismancer: (Default)
Yesterday: Weapons practise. Several things have been learnt:

Despite my claiming the contrary, ghostpaw is probably right, and I should respect her for this.
Despite my claiming the contrary, I can actually fight.
I am more mobile without armour than with (dur!).
Full armour is hot.
My armour does not fit over light clothes. (Too loose)
It's amazing how much better LARP combat is when a brass marching band is playing epic in the background
I really should have warmed up and down.
I ache
My boots need repair (before someone claims "again", these are different boots)
...Yet I can still wear them happily.
Polearms still beat virtually everything else one-on-one.
That was fun.


Aug. 29th, 2009 10:35 am
talismancer: (Default)
Meme time! From [livejournal.com profile] zeke_hubris

What misconceptions have you had about me, that turned out not to be true?

What would you like to ask me about myself or my life? I'd like to clear up any misconceptions and speculations that may be floating around. Ask me anything you want, although I can't guarantee I'll answer.

Comments screened in case anonymity is required.
talismancer: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] jagjinx is organising a brighton based pub meet for the Strommers on Saturday. It'll be down at the King and Queen pub, meeting from noon, and probably dispersing by about 5pm.

I realise this clashes with D+L's party, not my fault, sorry! I'll be down the pub most likely, meet a different crowd.

ION, [livejournal.com profile] ghostpaw is organising a pagga at wild park Sunday from 2pm. I will be there too.

EDIT - OK, so this failed as an advert for anything, as I got half the details wrong. Such is me.
talismancer: (Default)
So, if I have most of the afternoon tomorrow to kill in London, what would people suggest I do?
talismancer: (Default)
OK, disregard last post.


Aug. 3rd, 2009 11:54 pm
talismancer: (Default)
"Most of all, however frayed the edges of the wound, the patient does not need to be hemmed"


New Armour

Jul. 27th, 2009 03:04 pm
talismancer: (Default)
A short while ago, I said that there was a "nice surprise for my f-list if I don't talk about it yet". Well this is it:

picture under cut )
talismancer: (Default)
FYI, there is a good reason I've been a little lax in updating recently. In part my life has been pretty boring, but more importantly, there's something going on that'll be a nice surprise for my f-list if I don't talk about it yet. I promise I'll update after Maelstrom though (10 days or so now)
talismancer: (Default)
(Besides other things, I'll try using the British spelling of "practise" this time)

OK, alternate plan, as no-one is available before, which is anyone up for a weapons practise session next Friday, around lunch time? (That's the Friday of event, on site, co-ordinate by mobile)

As yesterday and this weekend weren't options, is anyone around at other times before the event for weapons practise? I'd rather have a little more time to sort out any new problems before I got on site, for instance if I need to pick up any new kit.
talismancer: (Default)
Anyone on here up for a LARP weapons practise session either tonight (7pm-ish) or this weekend?

Depending whose interested will determine location, but Portslade, Wish Park or University are all options.

(Will check back and contact people (text where I have details, email or other means where I don't) after work today)
talismancer: (Default)
This is a simple game.

What you have to do, it take an existing Radio 4 show, remove one letter from the title, get something with some degree of meaning, and explain what the new show is about. Here follows my own list of suggestions (Word in brackets is the original):

Afternoon Lay (Play) - Where everyone turns the radio off and finds something else to do (Not mine, Clive Anderson read this one out on air, and started me off on this idea)

File o Four (on) - Clip show

Lick on (Click) - Sex show

Font Row (Front) (Row here as in an argument, the original as as in a column) - Arguments over what to call the baby

Material Word (World) - Studying the origins of words

In Our Tim (Time) - Another sex show

Money Ox (Box) - Farming show

Other ideas welcome
talismancer: (Default)
This was originally a reply to [livejournal.com profile] boggyb, but makes a fairly good post on it's own.

Telephone Preference Service. Use as a weapon:

This consists of first asking where they got your number. Then asking what country they're based in. Then asking if they're aware that there's a legal requirement for them to check any number they wish to dial against the TPS list before dialling it. Then pointing out that you're on this list, and that they're phoning you illegally. Finally, request that you're taken off whatever system they used to call you, and point out that if you receive unsolicited telemarketing from them again, you will be writing to whichever governing body covers telephone sales (I forget, I think it's Ofcom).

This can be spiced up at the start by asking for their full business name, address and postcode after asking what country they're in. Also optionally asking them to repeat their name (Never ask for full name, they'll never give it. Most will start with a name, or give a first name if asked). This is done before mentioning the TPS to ensure maximum embarrassment when they suddenly realise that you're on the TPS, aware that they're doing something illegal, and they gave you their business address!

Oh, and the phrase "You're not legally allowed" (to phone me) seems to carry a lot more weight than "it's illegal", mainly because it contains more words for the meaning to really sink in from. Also, telling them that you "wish to ask them a few questions so you're sure you're talking to a proper company, working legally, and not someone who might scam them out of a lot of money" is a good way of making them think that you might be passingly interesting in whatever junk they're selling. The phrase "legally" in the middle is the catch, as you know that you can use that to hang them later in the conversation.

This particular series of questions, carefully asked in a somewhat interested tone of voice, I've picked up from my father, who once (apparently) made the poor girl on the other end of the phone gently sob after carefully trapping her with a series of questions, making her think he was writing down the answers and would be writing to both the company and Ofcom to complain about their lack of following of the TPS. He Never wrote anything. Successfully scared the girl.

Echoes 14

May. 24th, 2009 10:00 pm
talismancer: (Default)
(Yes, that said Echoes. Anyone who wants a reminder on the Echoes series should check out http://talismancer.livejournal.com/tag/echoes )

I remind people of the absolute non-canon and non-FOIP nature of echoes. While I have taken some concepts and ideas from the Maelstrom world, I am making others up to avoid FOIP issues. If you believe what you read here and take that information IC, you'll have an interesting and incorrect view of the world. This is a work of fiction, and is made up.

Now my headers are out the way, there's a short story.

"You really are a persistent person Hessi" Allaren said as he manifested in front of her, "and fairly resourceful based on the number of people you have here."
"We try -" started Hessi.
" - Ah! Now is not the tine to talk, now is the time to listen. I was going to try and let you work this out on your own, but others ..." He indicated upwards to the heavens, "... disagree. So I will explain what it is you wish to know. I will answer three questions from you now. I promise to answer each truthfully and to the best of my knowledge. Each must be about that amulet, or related to the subject. Once I've answered three, you will spend no more time today or tomorrow looking for eidolons, but will work on this yourself. Do you agree to this?"
"OK, I will answer the next three questions asked of me. Please do not dawdle."
Hessi paused for a moment collecting her thoughts. Then she asked, as clearly as she could, "Why do you fear this amulet?"
"That amulet holds many powers. I don't know them all, but whenever I see it it fills me with a deep and horrible feeling of death, decay and corruption. I fear that touching it or getting too near may do horrible things to me, my soul, or my connection with the Huntress. I am unwilling to find out the details by experimentation."
This was... unexpected to Hessi. Her previous next question about it's powers answered, she skipped to her original third question and started thinking about the last. "What do you know of the origin and history of this amulet?" She asked her friend.
"Absolutely nothing prior to the last few weeks. It first came to my attention in the hands of the League," He indicated the few Dragonless that had joined the supplication, "Who decided they wanted to destroy it. It was stolen in a raid, by a small mokosh whose body is now on the outskirts of the festival. He was killed by the Malathians. From them it passed by death again to your pride here. Death follows that amulet. Tracing it back from the League, they appear to have bought it from a myrmidon who was also killed, although not by the League so far as I can tell, but by it's hive. The hive were less than helpful when asked, and I can't find out where they got it."
"Wow, thank you for that tale." Hessi forgot for a second that she was in a supplication. Allaren nodded in appreciation of the thanks.
"What do you know of the abilities of this amulet?" Hessi phrased her last question to expand upon the first.
"That..." Allaren seemed to be struggling, "is a difficult question. I know it can cause fear, same as you do. I know it causes this sickening feeling in eidolons, and not just me. I know something is making appearing to you harder and harder, although what is not clear. Everything else I have on it is speculation, hearsay or rumour, and has no founding that I can see."
At this point, he cocked his head, listening. The others did likewise, but could hear nothing. After a few seconds, Allaren turned to Hessi.
"I've answered what I can," He said "but now I have other duties to attend to. Keep me informed won't you?" With that, Allaren vanished.
Hessi turned to the people gathered. "I wish to thank you all for your help in this matter. Any further help understanding what Allaren said would be welcome, in the tent, with food and drink."
talismancer: (Default)
For those that have been in our house, we use touch sensitive light switches across most of the house, and along with the track lighting in the bed rooms, this limits out options for energy saving light bulbs. With a track and a touch switch, I can't use compact fluorescent bulbs for instance. Whilst discussing this with my father last night, I was told that it took him 6 months to get hold of his last purchase of incandescent bulbs. With this in mind, I took but a single bulb from him when I finally blew the last one in my room, and went out shopping today for other options. Homebase yielded a single bulb at £2, which is energy saving and dimmable, but looks otherwise like it might work. I will admit to not having tried it as I type. Focus, however, still sells boxes of 3 old fashioned incandescent light bulbs for a pound. Exactly what I've been buying (and blowing) for years. So I bought 2 boxes, and now am back up to a full set of 3 bulbs in here. (Also why I've not tried the Homebase one)

I must say, I do wonder where my father went looking to take 6 months to find what I found in a little over 30 minutes.

I must not say "I told you so" to him later, it would be rude.

But I'm happy. I think there may be a shopping trip to stock up at some point. Especially as I blow bulbs at about one every two months. So these 6 will only last me a year at that rate. I probably want two or three years supply, especially at £2 a year.


talismancer: (Default)

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