20 September: This Week In…

RPGs: we finally finished Epic 6-1.  It was a pretty satisfying conclusion with some genuinely fun epic stories being told.  And I guess fittingly enough, it looks like our bridges are being burned behind us as Wizards shut down their forums, which were basically the last bastion of 4e and had a huge amount of useful 4e content on them.  So, goodnight sweet prince, I guess.  On to better things, someone’s running Dungeon World in a couple of weeks.

Board games: we finally scored a 25 in Hanabi!  Took us a long time to get there.  Now we get to try it with a sixth suit…Also played Progress: Evolution of Technology, which feels like a VERY long game for its content and complexity or lack thereof.  I was a bit bored after an hour and it went on for nearly three.  Also Castles of Burgundy, which remains excellent, and surprisingly balanced, but retains major problems with its colours and really feels like it needs a reprint.  Finally, ordered Codenames which is supposed to be good, and was definitely cheap.

TV: new series of Doctor Who had some fun moments early on but just left me bored by the end.  Meeeehhhhh.

5 September: This week in…

RPGs: we played the second session of the second running of the finale of the Epic LFR campaign.  As ever with epic level 4e, it was a little slow and a little disjointed at times (particularly as I’m puppeteering our absent Bard, the party’s only leader), but mostly really good fun, and I have a whale of a time playing my character both in and out of combat situations.  My slight niggle in this regard is what we do afterwards, because there’s really not a home-play living campaign any of us are interested in doing, which either means playing a more self-generating game, or someone writing a campaign which will take more time than any of us can spare.

Board games: we played the first part of tier 2 Tuscany.  I love Viticulture, and I’m really enjoying getting my teeth into Tuscany.  We used the expanded board with all four seasons in addition to all the stuff we’ve previously used – Mamas and Papas, patrons, advanced visitors.  I felt like it changed the tactical landscape of the game a lot, in interesting ways; the stars and sellable fields in particular were interesting, but I think I still prefer the original board, purely on the basis that it’s quick enough to reliably play twice in an evening whereas I think this took a little longer even with the time for learning.  It also felt like it added to the AP which had been minimal in the base set.  Still loving the game as a whole though.  Also played Harbour, which was a neat, short, tactical tableau builder with a Le Havre-like feel.

Books: I continue to be an inveterate addict of ebook bundle sites like Humble Bundle and Storybundle.  For 12 bucks, less than the price of a single softcover book, I get 8 or more ebooks.  If even one of them is good, I’m happy, and I’ve yet to find a bundle without at least one gem that’s made me want to continue reading that author’s work or that series.  Sadly, this week’s was a proper stinker.  But the one I’ve just started, Crossfire by Nancy Kress is coming along much better so far.

TV: Enjoyed Bake Off, University Challenge, and Only Connect as usual.  Sad to see the end of the current season of the Last Leg coming.  Awaiting the new series of Doctor Who with some trepidation.  It’s been gradually diminishing in quality since it came back to the telly ten years or so ago, to the point where I’m less and less inclined to watch each new series.  I had high hopes for Peter Capaldi as the Doctor after his performance as Richelieu in the Musketeers, but he’s been under-used and poorly directed thus far and it’s really shown.

Making: laid out the arrangement for a nice collage of some highlights from our honeymoon in Nova Scotia.  Hoping to get it framed and hung in the next week or two.