Monday, July 30, 2012

It's the Magic: Sundown for Strategema

So, when October fifth rolls around, Return to Ravnica will come out. When it does, Karn, Venser, and the rest of Scars of Mirrodin block (and M12) will rotate out of the standard format. This means that I'll have to replace my Strategema deck (an event which Terry describes as "Karning Karn").

Actually, in order to best use the resources at my disposal, I'm trying to take the two dozen standard decks I have and narrow them down to fifteen decks with an even distribution of colors and color combinations (White, White/Blue, White/Black, White/Red, etc.)

However, I'm rubbish at Red and Red/Green decks, so I thought I'd publicly work on the decks so that readers, friends, and random passers-by could offer input on the deck creation process. My rules for the decks are as follows:

1) I'm primarily using cards from Innistrad and M13. I'm not against using cards from the soon-to-be rotated Scars of Mirrodin and M12, but I'd like to have some roughly equivalent replacements marked for when October comes.

2) Splashing colors is fine. Green has a renewed interest in handling non-Green mana, so I won't rule that out.

3) In order to decide which decks get which cards, I'm using five tiers to prioritize which decks get cards of a particular color when they both need it. For example, my White/Blue, Black/Red, and Mono-Green decks get first pull at the colors of their type. The Mono-Red and Red/Green decks are way down at the bottom of their colors and get last pull at their colors. These decks won't be competitive, but... No. They just won't be competitive.

4) I only use cards I've pulled. I have a sufficient collection of Innistrad and M13 and buying specific cards isn't economically feasible right now, so the decks will largely be based on the cards I currently have at my disposal.

In fact, choosing which of the cards at my disposal should be used as the foundations of these decks is the first step of this process. Listed below are my selected cards and reasons for choosing them. If you have another card that might make a basis for a good deck, go ahead and let me know.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Prime Minister of Norway on the effects of Breivik massacre

Friday, July 27, 2012

Minecraft Tour, Part 5 of Infinity

If it's one compulsion that no Minecraft player can resist, it's sharing their Minecraft world. We spend stupid amounts of time collecting resources to make functional structures, fantastic monuments, and the occasional erection that melds both into something whose magnitude is reinforced with every use. Sometimes, the exotic landscape generated from basic blocks through simple algorithms is worth sharing with others.

Sometimes--just sometimes--when you pop out of the nether in an unknown location, you have stacks of netherrack and want to build roads that meet civilization. This netherrack road leads to the eastern edge of the lake where the railroad ends. Netherrack is a good substance; it burns forever, creating eternal light and a barrier against enemies when you fire it up. However, it's hell to walk on when it's covered in flames.

Just past the netherrack road is a simple dirt fortress on the other side of a shallow lake. It', so cool.

Built from an innocuous hillside, it shows the utility of burning netherrack. The checkered patterns keep spiders from climbing the walls.

I don't know how, but &*#^ing chickens always get into my $*#^ing structures and never leave.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Timewalking Archive Trap: 40k, Part 1 of 4

Like anyone whose desire to say something is matched only by their desire to waste time saying it on the internet, I've been blogging for a while. Timewalking Archive Trap presents select treasures from yesteryear for the enjoyment of my readers and the easing of my creative duties. 

This one is dated 15 October 2007:

I played some Warhammer 40k yesterday for the first time. I didn't really like it.

'The Guys' started showing interest in Warhammer about 3 months after I sold my dust-covered, all-but-forgotten starter box to someone else. It was the wargamer equivalent of finally throwing away my little black book, only to have that hookup whore on the side end up in all of my classes at school. At any rate, I managed to be supportive, given that after getting interested in April, Terry and Derek played their first game a few weeks ago. It isn't entirely fair to say that though; I've got a library of hundreds of Battletech that I've never fielded, which parallels Terry's contentment honing his mini-painting and landscaping techniques without ever rolling initiative.

So Terry's been the number one guy on this; subsidizing minis, going over the rules, downloading army builders. He's spent the last few months going through the books at a leisurely, but characteristically thorough pace. There was a time--and I think many gamers can parrot this sentence with honesty--we'd rip open a new game system or sourcebook every week, devouring it, as Russo's zombies devour brains. Derek, the number two guy in 40k, was never so fond of that. He's really the type of guy that's more inclined to focus on the essential information and let practice do the teaching.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

This Week

The first panel of Friday's Shortpacked says it all.

Syria's in an open civil war, complete with fighting in the capitol, suicide bombings, and refugees.

Punishing heat and drought across the world, with dire warnings about food prices to come.

The London Olympics seem to be disintegrating on arrival with attempted torch thefts, clothing issues, preemptive arrests, customs and public transportation protests, and manpower, competence, and cost issues in the security force.

Of course, there was also the shooting at the premiere of The Dark Knight Rises that left 12 dead and 58 injured.

Hell of a week.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Minecraft Tour, Part 4

If it's one compulsion that no Minecraft player can resist, it's sharing their Minecraft world. We spend stupid amounts of time collecting resources to make functional structures, fantastic monuments, and the occasional erection that melds both into something whose magnitude is reinforced with every use. Sometimes, the exotic landscape generated from basic blocks through simple algorithms is worth sharing with others.

Just to the east of my main base, there are some hills, but past that is my first village. 

Villages are pregenerated and consist of some roads and buildings and the occasional villager. Sometimes they have chests with nice stuff in them. If this one ever possessed something nice or memorable, I've long since forgotten it.

I wonder what it looks like when an entire village burns down.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


To mark my embargo on the internet which is in effect from today until I actually see The Dark Knight, I'm sharing a video put out by The Hub to mark their Batman: The Animated Series Rises marathon.
Of course, I only know about this courtesy of Comics Alliance's Andy Khouri.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

#Dirty Laundry

So, Thomas Jane, the star of the 2004 Punisher movie, made a Punisher fan film.

I only found out about this through a Comics Alliance article.

Like Chris Sims says, it provides a bridge from Frank Castle being a guy who's avenging his family to him being a guy who's going to start wasting crooks on a regular basis. 

It reads like one chapter in the hero's journey, so despite the fact that it's a satisfactory and self-contained story, it does feel like something is missing (something besides a full sequel to the 2004 Punisher movie). None the less, it's a fun ten minutes.

Monday, July 16, 2012

It's The Magic: The Great Dominarian Planeswalker Showdown

I'm not in a financial position to sample the newly-released M13, I haven't gotten out to play FNM, and I'm not gettin' any play at home, so there hasn't been much to explore on the Magic front. However, while reviewing the new set's planeswalkers (now, with the fortifying power of Bolas!) I thought about which planeswalker would win in a fight.

Then I thought, "Bolas always wins a duel." Because I owned and played with Bolas versus Ajani. Then I realized that most Jaces are useless in a standup fight. In the end, I decided that a tournament of four-way free-for-all games, played with standard decks constructed exclusively from commons would be the way to go. The twist: Each deck's planeswalker begins in play and when its planeswalker leaves play, it loses.

There were eight first-round games and the winners were forwarded to the finals. The finals consisted of two rounds of four-player games, with the top two planeswalkers advancing to the championship round.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Minecraft Tour, Part 03

I missed last week, leaving everyone riveted about the wonders awaiting us in the far west of my minecraft world. 

Sadly, it's only now I realize that there are no wonders; just a funny base with no walls and some nice roads. If you play minecraft, you'll understand. If you don't...

Look! Dogs!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

For Posting at a Local Game Store


Two 30-something roleplayers
One of us is free Saturdays and Sundays.
The other is available any time.
Experienced with:
D&D 3.5 & 4.0
Old World of Darkness
New World of Darkness
     Okay, everything White Wolf ever
          even Adventure
               not Street Fighter
Warhammer Fantasy RPG
Mutants & Masterminds

Call or Text: (XXX) XXX-XXX

Any thoughts?


Monday, July 09, 2012

I feel pretty bad offering up excuses to you guys every week about why I don't have things blogged.

I'm sorry about Friday and I'm sorry about today. I'd promise that I'm buckling down and really going to try and get some posts out this week, but that was the plan for last week, so my credibility with myself is running low.

No matter how questionable in quality *cough* Wednesday *cough* I'm going to keep posting stuff and doing whatever I can to keep from going on a full on lazy/unmotivated/uninspired hiatus.

Just a fair warning; there might be a lot of navel-gazing and YouTube videos in the future.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

They Pontificate

I've noticed a lot of political stuff going up on the social media lately. I don't like it all and I've spent most of Wednesday trying to clean it up. I eventually gave up and went with parsing down the meaning of some of these pictures in something more clear:

Monday, July 02, 2012

Standard Tour of San Antonio: Cards and Crafts,

While the internet is full of ways to find game stores in your area, it does very little to tell you about the real character of those stores: their atmosphere, their product, their staff, or anything else a curious gamer might want to know. To help others out, I've started a week-by-week tour of the stores in my area, playing a Friday Night Magic at each one and sharing the results with you.

This week I went to Cards & Crafts
, located at 8104 Tezel Road, right by the Little Caesar's. In a breach of tradition, I'm covering the Friday Night Magic before giving an overview of the store.

Cards & Crafts is geared to play Magic: the Gathering. They have much of their floors space dedicated to a play area. An accessory wall and boosters for recent sets are on display, as well as an almost holy grail of an organized collection of cards from older sets. That last one is almost a holy grail because Cards an Crafts has what I can only describe as Mecca in a Holy Grail, surrounded by a Wailing Wall: individual tokens for sale. While they were (predictably) out of Goats, it's a really big deal.

It's not just Magic though. They've got a room dedicated to their baseball cards and sports memorabilia collection. I can't honestly judge it's quality, but if you're into that kind of thing, you should certainly check it out. The store also carries other CCGs; Legend of the Five Rings, Naruto, the Universal Fighting System, and Spellfire (&#$*ing Spellfire). It has a breadth of collectible cards like Buffy, Smallville--I didn't even know there were Smallville cards. Despite not selling any tabletop minis (that I noticed, anyway), they have a good selection of mini-mats and terrain for mini play.

It's also one of--if not the--most intimate location I've been to. The staff are laid back, knowledgeable, and eager to answer questions. The FNM I attended there was professionally handled (in fact, this is the only store that used "Match Record Cards, which was awesome!), even if the players were a bit young. Most importantly, I had a pretty good time while playing.