surrealcouchuniverse

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


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Infinity War: Will Thanos be a ‘Good’ Villain

I am looking forward to the Avengers: Infinity War movie. I loved the Infinity events in marvel comics, reading over them so many times (Gauntlet, War, and Crusade). I was a big fan of Thanos and his evolution throughout the series, Warlock, and the level of threat where even people like Thor were just used as distractions.

I am particularly looking forward to seeing Thanos and is crew on the big screen. However, based on recent Disney and Marvel movies as well as the latest trailer, I am concerned. Quite simply, will Thanos be a threatening and deep villain, or will he just be the leader of a bunch of mooks?

I will put this perfectly clear. Thanos looks like he was struggling to overpower Captain America. However, the difference in their power is so cosmically vast that nothing Captain America would do physically should slow Thanos. Similarly, it looks like he has an army of faceless, non-threatening mooks that will die by the droves to Falcon and his guns, amongst other things.

This is similar to all the other Disney movies recently. Stormtroopers and Kylo are consistently failing at everything to make the heroes look good, Hela’s dead army was killed by the droves, Ultron’s army of Iron-Men dying to single arrows, etc. We are told that these enemies are threatening and powerful, but we are just shown them dying by the droves and failing even with the advantage.

So I hope Thanos is good. I hope his space-faring army isn’t a pushover. I hope he gets a few big wins besides just beating down Iron Man (as per the Teaser). I am concerned he will be easily outsmarted (which is just wrong, based on the comics) and overpowered by (OMG!) a combined attack. I hope I am wrong.

But the recent Disney track record has me thinking I am going to be disappointed.

The long review embargo (similar to DC) also does not inspire confidence in the movie.

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Kickstarter Retrospective: Monster Mansion and Dragon’s Ransom

Time for another Kickstarter Retrospective where I look back at the games I have backed and where are they now.

Monster Mansion: This looked so cool. However, it came very late, had printing errors and had to wait 6 months for new components, and just wasn’t a good game. I originally got it because I thought it would be a Zombie 15′ style game. Instead, it was pretty much flip a card and see what happens. The traitor mechanics, timed mechanism, etc. all felt tacked on. This game was sold.

Dragon’s Ransom: A solo game (with a 2 player mode later added as a free pdf download), I really like this game. It is effectively defending lanes against certain heroes. I would really like an expansion of about 20 cards and an extra hero, so then you don’t see everything every game. It also relies on learning the deck and its strengths. Still a game I pull out for a simple solo game, although it has some recent competition (Fantasy Defense, Superhot, Roll Player) for the quick solo option. It is still in my collection.

So that is the next 2 retrospectives. From my very early days of using Kickstarter, I wouldn’t have backed Monster Mansion today. However, Dragon’s Ransom is still a game I would be interested in.


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UPCOMING MOVIES (26 March 2018)

So we are at a bit of a slow period for movies coming out. Here are the movies that I am most looking forward to.

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR- This is the big one. The first trailer sold me on it. The latest trailer has actually cooled my excitement on it. I wish I didn’t see it, as it seems that it has given away too much.

DEADPOOL 2- The latest trailer has sold me. It has actually jumped to my most anticipated movie. My only concern is that it has too much fan service, although I trust in Ryan Reynolds.

READY PLAYER ONE- I liked the book, but didn’t think it was anything too special. The movie looks like it is trying to sell the trailers on the promise of VR set battles. Hopefully this is a bait-and-switch and the more deeper commentary of the book makes it to the movie.

RAMPAGE- It has Dwayne ‘the rock’ Johnson. It is based on giant monsters. And hopefully it is better than Pacific Rim 2. I will see how the reviews for this look.

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY- The latest trailer looks silly, and not in a good way. This will be a hard pass for me unless the User Score on Rotten Tomatoes is amazing.


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SOLO GAMING ON MY TABLE

So I just thought I would share some of the games that are on my table for solo gaming lately:

GAIA PROJECT: A great game and sequel to Terra Mystica, which I didn’t actually like. This game scales down well and has a cool solo mode with an actual win and loss condition.

SUPERHOT: THE CARD GAME: An interesting game where you are managing the enemy and your resource deck to achieve objectives. I am not sure about the shelf life of the game but it is very interesting. I also find it easy to also track back to the decisions of when I won or lost, which is hard in allot of other games.

FANTASY DEFENCE: I just want to get through the campaign and unlock everything. Once again, not sure how much shelf it would have after this.

PETRICHOR and ROLL PLAYER: Two recent additions to my collection that have a solo mode and rules that seem to be pretty easy to pick up. I have read the rules and am ready to throw together some games, including solo gaming.

So that is a mix of some of the solo games that I have played lately or hope to get to the table over the next couple of days.


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Kickstarter Retrospective: Softer World and Strife

So this is a new series where I look back at my Kickstarters (2 at a time) and give a retrospective on where are they now.

 

A Softer World 4- Lets Do Something Wrong: So the first Kickstarter I backed (and how I found out about Kickstarter) was due to a webcomic I was reading (A Softer World). This is a great comic which seems to set up a normal scenario then twists it via a few photographic panels. This kickstarter gave me a flask and a book. The Kickstarter was cool, although you miss the alt-text (what you get when you leave your mouse cursor over the comic) if memory serves me correctly. All up, a good Kickstarter, although I think I eventually wore out the flask (I drank cordial from it because it looked cool, not alcohol).

Strife- Legacy of the Eternals: This was a perfect information game where the conceit was that it was like war (play a card to beat the other), but your champion inherits traits from your last champion (i.e. bonus power, an ability, etc.). It was a better idea than it was in execution. The rulebook needed more examples and the special ability rules needed to be a bit clearer. There was a follow-up Strife that could be combined, but it didn’t interest me too much. I did sell this off eventually as better games for 2 players were available.


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Favorite Foods: Toasties

Toasties are great. They are so easy to make. All you need is some cheese, some bread, some butter or spray-on oil, and then whatever other toppings you want.

Some of my favorite toasties are ham, cheese and tomato. Bacon, cheese and barbeque sauce is also good and feels breakfast-y for those early mornings. You can even mix up the cheese with some spinach and feta. Of course, changing the sauce of any of these also is a completely new taste. And they are so simple to make, you won’t be scared to experiment.

A wide range of flavors, easy to make and quick to eat, Toasties are pretty good.


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BOARD GAMES IN, BOARD GAMES OUT

So after some movement in my collection, I have updated the games that are in and out of my collection:

The games that have come in have mainly been Kickstarters. This includes Superhot, City of Kings, and Empires of the Void 2. The Terraforming Mars expansions, This War of Mine, and Star Wars: Imperial Assault are also into my collection mainly to see what the fuss is about. All these games look really good and I should get some play out of them as they all have decent solo modes.

Aristeia!

The games I have sold off have mainly been due to a lack of table time and no real plans to see them on the table. The hardest loss was Feast for Odin, as it took allot to find it at a decent price. However, it was a big game and I never really had much luck getting it to the table.

In The Name of Odin is another game I enjoyed but it didn’t have many legs. The gameplay felt a bit dry and for the same sort of game, Raiders of the North Sea excites me more. It also had the problem of being a race game with a first player advantage and awkward end-game. Sigh, just a bit more testing please….

The new Unlock games have also been sold. This is obvious as we played them all. This set has really cooled me on Unlock, which isn’t too good for my opinion of Space Cowboys. That is because I sold TIME Stories for the same reason (the latest scenarios were quite poor).

Final Fantasy TCG Starter Sets, Tiny Epic Quest, and ZPocalypse all went away as well. Once again, the effort to try getting them to the table wasn’t worth the enjoyment I was getting out of the games.

So that is a brief summary of some of the games that went in and went out of my collection. Some of the former darlings have left the collections, while some cool games have come in.