surrealcouchuniverse

"You're not drunk if you can lie on the floor without holding on." – Dean Martin


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Why I Love- Legacy: The Testament of Duke De Crecy (Board Game)

In this new semi-regular series, I will be looking at various things I love and why I love them. In this case, it will be Legacy: The Testament of Duke de Crecy by Portal Games.

The biggest part I love about this is building out your family tree. Although this part could have been more developed, it is a nice visual having this sprawling family tree present. It does make it take up allot of table space however.

Another reason I like this is the system to acquire friends cards (a face-up display). Here, you are never allowed to leave just one. Instead, you receive that one for free and the display refreshes. This is a really good way to make whoever waited have an advantage (a fresh display and first pick), while also giving the person refreshing the display an advantage to doing this (a free card, which can be used in their economy).

And the final reason I love this is that it feels like a decent euro-game with choices…. but it plays very quickly. You still get the feeling of building your engine and taking advantage of things, but it goes by so quickly that it doesn’t burn you out.

This game isn’t perfect. As mentioned before, the game takes allot of table space with a mechanic it doesn’t do much with. There are also very unfortunate instances of luck playing a big role and key times in the game (the random action chit at the beginning of each round, one of the starting objectives being ridiculously easy to get points with, your starting hand to set yourself up in the first age). I would love a second edition to smooth out these problems.

The expansion (five families) addresses some of these by adding an offering phase (you offer a bonus, you get it if no-one pays for it, otherwise you can do a special action later). However, this does increase the time and complexity (and table space) and leads this this game to compete with much heavier games.

However, I would heartily recommend giving this game a try.

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WWE THOUGHTS: BOOKING YOURSELF INTO A CORNER

Current WWE mainstream programming (Raw and Smackdown, and the PPV’s) have effectively booked themselves into a corner. This isn’t a big problem when the execution is great (such as Omega vs Jericho), but the execution here is also incredibly poor. It is like going to see a predictable movie that is acted poorly and has poor special effects.

For examples of this, we can just look at the ever popular Roman Reigns. For the last year, everyone knew he was going to face Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania. This led to Brock going from an unpredictable beast to having formulaic matches burying Samoa Joe and Braun Strowman. If WWE gave up on the dream of having Roman dethrone the beast, then they could have used Brock to build other people’s stars up. It is similar with Reigns pointless intercontinental title reign devaluing the belt.

Away from Reigns, it is no better. Did people ever think that we would be put in a situation where people like Nakamura, Balor, and Owens would actually need to be built up. Zayn and Owens have won barely any matches since becoming a duo, so what was the point of that. Nakamura has been damaged by the Jinder Mahal experiment and being fed into RKO’s. And Balor has been buried and should seek a release from the company to build his star up somewhere else.

It is all the same. It is either 50:50 booking, predictable bookings, or things being done illogically and with no thoughts beyond getting ratings for the night. Asuka vs Jax is coming up and, instead of being there first match with a feud around it, it is a repeat of a match they gave away. Similar, Jax was shoved into a love-tryst-thing with Enzo as a knee-jerk reaction to the body-shaming rumors. Oh, and Triple H is part of the Shield despite a blood feud with Seth Rollins.

All up, WWE seem to have set themselves up in a corner. Wins and losses don’t really mean anything anymore, they devalue their major stars and championships, and seem to do things as knee-jerk reactions. They have a roster and talent that is the best in the world, and yet NXT consistently outdoes them with a roster of nobodies. Yet even that talent which is built up is wasted, but that is another issue.


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Solo Board Gaming vs Solo Activities

I have recently been playing more solo board games. In fact, I have even brought games with the purpose of playing them solo. For the most part, they have been good. However, I do enjoy solo gaming, and one of the key features of this is a win/loss condition.

Solo activities, on the other hand, I find boring quickly. Some games I have tried recently (such as La Granja and Feast for Odin) were definitely more on the activity side. I have no interest in constantly trying to better my score, instead wanting a clear goal and some antagonistic AI to fight against.

On the other hand, games that give an AI to play against, good choices and clear win/loss conditions have been very fun to play. In particular, games such as Adventuria. I also like a game that you can set-up and pack-up in a short time by yourself, as it highlights one of the strengths of solo play (low downtime and faster pace, normally).


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Pokemon: XY Thoughts

So I have been binge-watching a fair bit of Pokemon: XY lately. This has been a combination of me getting back into the game and trying to see what is happening with the Pokemon series. All in all, it was not impressive.

The thing that stood out most for me is how much the battles have fallen. It seems like it is so easy to command a Pokemon to “dodge” incoming attacks that it reduces allot of the tension in the show. It also makes Pokemon battles a chore to sit through, as rather than smart tactics you just having people yelling dodge several times an episode.

I also feel that they should let Ash go as a main character. After all his battle experiences and things he has achieved, it is hard to believe that random people can challenge him anymore. Not only that, but people who have only trained hard for a month or so.

The final bad point is that is a feel good show now. People don’t lose or take losses seriously. People may train for a bit and then they will be the equal of a gym leader or Ash. Team Rocket is the same: they do some really bad things and nearly kill allot of people but they just blast off and take no consequences. And it is grating to see them show up and interrupt the story.

All in all, it feels like the Pokemon series needs a bit of an overhaul. Not so much the concept, but maybe a new character, less Team Rocket, and more interesting points. But hey, at least it isn’t dark and gritty.