What´s my/your current reading/viewing/playing amusement?

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Re: What´s my/your current reading/viewing/playing amusement

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Oct 26, 2016 11:46 pm

It turns out Forbidden Planet had Life's Lottery, but I didn't see it there two nights ago. They actually had two copies there on sale at a two pound discount, and one of them was signed. Oh well. I'm still reading the lengthy introductory part of the story. I'm six years old now, but I have yet to get to my first real choice. I do get to grow up watching Doctor Who and seeing all of those episodes that are still missing today, at least. Also, while at Forbidden Planet I found Highway to Hell, Max Brallier's sequel to his (also interactive) Can You Survive the Zombie Apocalypse? That's next on my list to read. And I found Harry Turtldeove's alternate history book Bombs Away, where the Korean War turns into WWIII. Both books had a one pound discount.
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Re: What´s my/your current reading/viewing/playing amusement

Postby kabukiman » Tue Nov 08, 2016 5:15 pm

I have finished Baldur's gate 2.
The end of chapter nine was easy actually: I used a solar to keep the minions occupied, and then my characters attacked the main boss.
In the pocket plane I had a minor boss that was easy to kill.
Then the last chapter: I'm not entering in details, but the first fights were actually the harder. In the last combat, I used the strength potions and heal potions so my mages could use the anti magic spells. So I finally win.
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Re: What´s my/your current reading/viewing/playing amusement

Postby Mr. Handy » Wed Nov 09, 2016 5:54 am

Thank you for not dropping major spoilers. Of course, I'd probably forget anyway by the time I actually get to play it. I've made more progress in Ultima VI, having pieced together the map and found the tunnels where the late unlamented Captain Hawkins buried his treasure, including the rest of the silver tablet. I'm still searching for it. I also played some more turns of Civilization IV on my laptop while traveling, and I'm well into the medieval era now. I'm about to build the Hagia Sophia, if nobody beats me to it in the next couple of turns. Then I plan to build the Sistine Chapel, which is a must-have when going for a cultural victory, as I just finished researching Music, as well as cathedrals (for more culture). I got to Music first, which gave me a Great Artist (also helpful for culture). Since I have marble, I don't think anyone can beat me to it. I may miss out on the Spiral Minaret, though, as someone else got Divine Right. Now I'm working my way towards getting caravels. There are still five other civs I haven't met yet on other landmasses.

I'm about four episodes into Upstairs, Downstairs Season 2, and it's now December 1909. How many brushes with scandal can this family take? There's still plenty more to go, too. I also bought some more box sets on sale from BBC America, and I have them lined up to watch next: the complete collections of Land Girls, Yes, Minister, and Yes, Prime Minister.

I had a fulfilling and happy life in my first read through of Life's Lottery. I ended up with Rowena, which takes a lot of determination, but she's worth it! I also just finished Highway to Hell successfully. It's harder than the first book, as it took me a few tries after some deaths early on, but once I got past Indiana I managed to get through the rest of the journey in one try. I plan to start reading Bombs Away tomorrow, and I also bought a gamebook in a box set with custom dice called Midnight Legion, which has a science fiction theme (you play an android).

Still no time yet to play Star Trek Frontiers, but I have a long weekend coming. I started playing CardVentures #1: Stowaway 52, but it's taking longer than it said it would on the box. That's mainly because I'm doing well, but it looks insanely hard to win, as that requires a perfect score. I also got to playtest a bunch of games in development at Metatopia last weekend.
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Re: What´s my/your current reading/viewing/playing amusement

Postby DrPeterson » Wed Nov 09, 2016 2:21 pm

I just bought the Deluxe Edition of Kim on Steam.

It's a topdown game and the style is that of colour drawings. It looks pretty in a nineties adventure à la Dreamweb sort of way.
Haven't played yet, but it's on the to-do.

I also dabble in the occasional Civ IV, as my computer won't allow for a newer iteration.

And currently I'm reading both Avenue of Mysteries by John Irving, a magical realism novel set in both the past and the now as well as in Mexico and the Philippines, and the SAS survival handbook, because, you know, you can never be too well-versed in bush craft.
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Re: What´s my/your current reading/viewing/playing amusement

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu Nov 10, 2016 5:53 am

I have so many games on Steam and GoG that I haven't had time to play yet. I only buy games when they're at a steep discount, 75% or more off, as it'll probably be a long time before I can play them anyway. Kim looks like a cool game. The Civilization series is my favorite. My desktop can handle Civ V and Civilization Beyond Earth (with difficulty). I prefer Civ IV, though the other games introduce some new features that I like, and I play them as well. Civ VI just came out a few weeks ago, but I'm waiting until the price comes down and the bugs are fixed before I buy it. It won't work on my desktop, but it might on my laptop, which is less than three years old. One nice feature about Civ IV is that you can play multiplayer games by email, which you can't do in later iterations. I had a friend from another board who played PBEM Civ IV with me, but I haven't heard from him in months. I think he dropped out due to health issues. We would use Steam chat to notify each other when we'd sent the saved games, and we could play at our own pace, which was usually one turn per day once we got past the early game. We could play that way too if you like, as time zones don't matter so much with PBEM. I had a little time to play Ultima VI, and I finally got to the bottom level of the cave. The treasure is down here somewhere, but I have a tough fight to deal with before I can find it.

I've watched most of the fifth episode of Upstairs Downstairs Season 2, which is an award-winning one featuring a visit to the house by King Edward VII.

I started reading Bombs Away today, I'm about 25 pages in. The Cold War hasn't gone hot yet, but it will soon. So far it has introduced some of the main characters and set up the situation where history diverges. I've also read the rules for Midnight Legion and will soon be ready to play.
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Re: What´s my/your current reading/viewing/playing amusement

Postby kabukiman » Fri Nov 18, 2016 1:26 pm

Playing civ by multiplayer seems fun.

I started playing Rome total war: barbarian invasion (it's about the late empire). The roman empire is split between west and east; I have choose the west roman empire. There are several minor barbarian kingdoms in my border ((alamani, franks), the celts in Britain (I'm in war), the berbers (in north africa and we are in war), and east roman empire (my ally)
So, I start with a huge army with good units inside cities and just one field army; I don't have money and by looking at the budget page, I see I will be in debt in the next turn. So, I decide to sell several buildings: in the smaller cities, I keep only the traders (that increase the revenues). I decide to also keep 6 cities (each in a different area of the empire) with the ability of building good troops, just in case. And in each city I will build units of peasants to freed the good units and still keep units in the cities. This way, I passed from 1000 denari to 23.000. I don't make any religious change: everyone will follow his own religion (I have already problems enough).

First turn: I have 19.000. Not bad : half the money was spent with the new units. I continue like this for another turn, and 3 cities revolt (1 in Gaul, another in Germania and another in the danube). I use my small field army who join the units that we expelled from the city from Gaul and I make a siege: next turn I attack the city and my comitatensis (good foot units) win easily the peasants (since I had sold the buildings, they can only recruit peasants, beside the chief who have an elite unit). I have 3 choice: forgive the population (I earn very few money), sell half of them as slaves ((half the population is divided in my other cities and I earn more money) and exterminate (kill 90% of the population and earn a lot of money). They are traitors, so they will pay: exterminate.
By now, all my cities have a huge number of peasants inside, so all the good units they had form 3 big field armies. Two go to Germania, and conquer the rebel city easily; the third army go to Britain to take care of the celts. My financial problems are finished: I don't earn money, but I don't loose any too.
My campaign in Britain seems easy: my field army receives reinforcements fro the local cities. I meet a small celtic army, and I find a nasty surprise: they have chariots, and have good moral. They send their peasants in the front line so, my archers won't hit their best troops. My comitatensis smash their infantry, and my 6 units of light cavalry isolate the chariots. I win, but this won't be easy. In the next turn I find their great army: I have receive reinforcements (some more cavalry and archers). This battle is actually easier: they simply charge without much tactics. They nearly destroy my archers who were in the front line, but there already disorganized and my army surrounded them. After that, in the next turn I conquered their city. I'm feeling magnanimous (they aren't traitors, they are an enemy), so I decide to sell them as slaves. And then my army goes to Ireland.
My armies in the continent were lucky too: they conquered the alamani (I was in war with them and I only sold them as slaves- they are a fair enemy). I conquer the last rebel city (and I exterminate them). I'm now in peace in most of the empire. I will not attack the barbarians in the border: they could have attack me when I was in trouble but they respected peace and made actually some trade agreements: I couldn't ask for better neighbors. So now, I build markets in all my cities (or forums or some other building that earns money), and earn 5000 denari by turn (an elite unit cost 500), so my financial problems seem solved for now.
So, what will I do next? Wait for the next chapter.
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Re: What´s my/your current reading/viewing/playing amusement

Postby evil_scientist » Sat Nov 19, 2016 1:28 pm

I'm playing a game called Infra Arcana. It's a "roguelike" (RPG with randomly generated levels, punishing gameplay, no saves, usually with ASCII-based or simple graphics), Lovecraftian horror game. It's available for free: https://sites.google.com/site/infraarcana/

Infra Arcana is a Roguelike set in the early 20th century. The goal is to explore the lair of a dreaded cult called The Church of Starry Wisdom. Buried deep beneath their hallowed grounds lies an artifact called The Shining Trapezohedron - a window to all secrets of the universe. Your ultimate goal is to unearth this artifact.

The theme and inspiration for this game comes mainly from the horror fiction writer H.P. Lovecraft. There is a Lore section on this site that describes some of his mythology. The game also draws flavor from various B-horror movies, as well as the first-person shooter PC game Blood.

Infra Arcana adheres to the virtues of the Roguelike genre - high replay value and challenging tactical gameplay.


There are four different classes: War Veteran (tough fighter, but with a fragile sanity...), Rogue (sneaky thief), Occultist (can cast spells), Ghoul (heals by munching on corpses...). Play style is actually quite different with the various classes. My favorites are the Occultist and the Ghoul.
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Re: What´s my/your current reading/viewing/playing amusement

Postby Mr. Handy » Mon Nov 21, 2016 7:24 am

Mutiplayer Civ IV is a lot of fun! Dr Peterson was interested too, and I created a game for us and sent him the saved game from the first turn, but I haven't heard back from him about it yet. You could play too if you like. Infra Arcana looks very interesting, and I've downloaded it, but I don't know when I'll get a chance to play it. I love NetHack, and combining it with the Mythos seems like it will be awesome. My game of Ultima VI is progressing, and I'm getting much further. I'm now exploring the Gargoyle city in the Underworld, and I roughly know what I need to do in order to save both their world and Britannia.

I've finished Upstairs Downstairs Season 2, but I'm putting it on hold before I proceed to Season 3, as I just got Season 6 of Game of Thrones and have Season 2 of Outlander coming.

I started Midnight Legion and got pretty far, but now I'm about to make a dangerous decision. There are some things about the story that don't seem to make sense, but there's an explanation for them in the game.

I finished both CardVentures games. In my first game of Stowaway 52, I got 211 out of 300 points in my first game, but you need a perfect score to count it as a win. In my next two games I scored much worse, so I've put that one aside. I got a good score in Jump Ship!, where you don't need a perfect score to count it as a victory. I also played Random Encounter: Plains of the Troll King, which seemed ridiculously easy, but I think I was just lucky. I hope to have time over Thanksgiving weekend to play Star Trek Frontiers. While at Philcon, I played a great board game called The Captain Is Dead. It's a cooperative game a little like Pandemic, but it has a science fiction theme. You're all crew members on a starship that ran into hostile aliens, and now everything is going wrong and, well, the captain is dead. You have to repair the jump core so you can get out of there before the ship is destroyed. We came close in our first game, but we died horribly. In our second game, we did much better and managed to survive with a little breathing room.
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Re: What´s my/your current reading/viewing/playing amusement

Postby kabukiman » Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:50 am

I don't have civ IV, just V
In rome total war
The berberians declared me war, and tried to conquer Carthage, but my troops managed to repulsed the invasion. I conquered Ireland and destroyed the celt faction.
Now the real problems: the goths (an horde), have appear near Salona; they tried to conquer it, but lacking decent siege machines, they were easily defeated. They have 4 huge armies, with much better troops than I have, so I will try to bribe them or defend my cities, because in a regular battle I don't have a chance. It was one thing to defeat small barbarian tribes or rebels, another those huge armies.
Last edited by kabukiman on Mon Nov 21, 2016 11:03 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: What´s my/your current reading/viewing/playing amusement

Postby evil_scientist » Mon Nov 21, 2016 10:54 am

Mr. Handy wrote:Infra Arcana looks very interesting, and I've downloaded it, but I don't know when I'll get a chance to play it. I love NetHack, and combining it with the Mythos seems like it will be awesome.

Just a quick tip: you can skip the intro level (in the Options menu). You die a lot in this game, and going through level 0 (the short wilderness screen) to get to the dungeon entrance gets boring. The dungeon levels, on the other hand, are never boring ;)
"I feel as if my soul would be torn out of my body," she gasped. "I am being drawn into a whirlpool. What is happening? What does it mean?" - The Secrets of Dr. Taverner
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Re: What´s my/your current reading/viewing/playing amusement

Postby Mr. Handy » Tue Nov 22, 2016 6:04 am

Multiplayer in Civ V wouldn't work well in this case. We'd both have to be online at the same time, which is very difficult with the time zone difference. The complete Civ IV goes on sale at 75% off every so often, for a total of $7.50. If you ever do get it, we could play multiplayer Civ IV by email. Make sure you get the Beyond the Sword expansion with it if you ever do buy it; it adds so much to the game.

I'm almost done exploring the Gargoyle city in Ultima VI. I have to get to the Temple of Singularity in order to be able to visit the Codex of Ultimate Wisdom, but to do that I have to be able to fly. This will mean building a hot air balloon, but I still need to find plans that will let me do it. I have one of the items I need for the endgame, but I still need to find a couple more.

I got killed in Midnight Legion and had to start over, but I've found some new options and goodies.
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Re: What´s my/your current reading/viewing/playing amusement

Postby Dave » Wed May 10, 2017 12:39 pm

It's been a long time since I posted!

I'm currently watching Fortitude, season 2. It's very close to what I was hoping for with my Antarctica 1983 scenario. Which is really fun to see. The fact that I stole the idea from John Carpenter doesn't matter. In a way, anything set in a polar climate along with death, will be in the footsteps of The Thing.

Check it out!

Not som much reading atm as I'm moving, or rather, trying to sell our house and then moving.

Peace!
/Dave

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Re: What´s my/your current reading/viewing/playing amusement

Postby Mr. Handy » Thu May 11, 2017 4:22 am

Welcome back, Dave!

I finished Ultima VI months ago and started on Worlds of Ultima: Savage Empire, though I put that on hold a while back. I've gotten back into Dreamfall Chapters now that the bug that caused it to keep crashing on my laptop is fixed. I'm currently in Chapter 3 (of 13), exploring Azadi-occupied Marcuria and doing work for the Resistance.

I've long since finished Upstairs Downstairs (including Thomas & Sarah and the 2011-2 Upstairs Downstairs series), Game of Thrones Season 6, and Outlander Season 2. I also recently watched Land Girls, a three-season drama set in WWII England. Currently I'm watching Yes, Minister, with Yes, Prime Minister ready to watch when I finish that.

I also completed Midnight Legion successfully long ago, though I had to do something that seemed unnecessarily reckless in order to progress (similar actions had gotten me killed before). Earlier this year I read Blackout and All Clear, Connie Willis's two part novel of time travelers in WWII England. It was excellent, and it gave me all sorts of useful information for The Horror in the Blackout, the latest adventure in my Doctor Who/Call of Cthulhu campaign that I'm just starting, which is set in London in September 1940. Then I read Declare by Tim Powers, which was also awesome. Currently, I'm reading Outlander. I'm almost halfway done and getting close to the point where I had stopped reading back in 2003. At that time, my condition had gotten so bad that I couldn't get much reading done for years, and I had stopped in the middle. Now I'm getting back into it, and I'm planning to read the other books in the series after I finish.

I've played a bunch of board games in the meantime. More recently I played Black Orchestra, a cooperative game where the players must conspire to kill Hitler. I managed it quite early in the solo game I played, but it took a good deal longer in the multiplayer game I played with friends. I've also played a few games of Days of Ire: Budapest 1956, which is about the Hungarian uprising against the Soviets. It's fun, but extremely hard. I haven't managed to win yet, though I came extremely close in my third game. I also played Zephyr: Winds of Change, a steampunk game of aerial exploration and combat, winning the simplest of the missions, which was still rather tough. Next up is Endure the Stars, a cooperative science fiction game set on a colony ship overrun by genetically engineered creatures designed for planetary exploration that have run amok. It seems very similar to Zombicide in some ways.
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Re: What´s my/your current reading/viewing/playing amusement

Postby evil_scientist » Thu May 11, 2017 11:38 am

Mr. Handy wrote:Then I read Declare by Tim Powers, which was also awesome.

Great book! I read it last month too.
Spoiler:
I like how the agents' reaction to supernatural is depicted. Most of them just try to ignore it as long as possible, the main protagonist is afraid and ashamed of being a witness to these things...
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Re: What´s my/your current reading/viewing/playing amusement

Postby Mr. Handy » Fri May 12, 2017 2:31 am

I liked that aspect too, and also that it is at the same time so grounded in the real world.
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Re: What´s my/your current reading/viewing/playing amusement

Postby carnage_lee » Fri May 12, 2017 5:32 pm

evil_scientist wrote:
Mr. Handy wrote:Then I read Declare by Tim Powers, which was also awesome.

Great book! I read it last month too.


Hmmm, I didn't finish this book, gave up 2/3 of the way through. I'll add it back on the 'reading pile' and give it another go. Not liking it did surprise me as I love all the other Powers' books I've read (especially 'The Anubis Gates').
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Re: What´s my/your current reading/viewing/playing amusement

Postby evil_scientist » Fri May 12, 2017 8:58 pm

Mr. Handy wrote:I liked that aspect too, and also that it is at the same time so grounded in the real world.

Yes! I've read some non-fiction books about Philby and about the Cambridge spy ring before, so I could definitely enjoy this layer too.
carnage_lee wrote:Hmmm, I didn't finish this book, gave up 2/3 of the way through. I'll add it back on the 'reading pile' and give it another go. Not liking it did surprise me as I love all the other Powers' books I've read (especially 'The Anubis Gates').

The Anubis Gates is more dynamic, yeah.
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Re: What´s my/your current reading/viewing/playing amusement

Postby Mr. Handy » Sat May 13, 2017 4:16 am

I'll have to read The Anubis Gates and his other books at some point - after my Outlander marathon, that is. Declare was definitely a slower read for me than the Connie Willis books, which I breezed through rather quickly. They did contain a lot of dialogue, in contrast to Declare, which I can usually read faster than blocks of descriptive prose. Outlander is also taking me a long time. After almost six weeks, I'm only halfway done the first book, which clocks in at 850 pages in paperback.
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