Monday, March 16, 2020

Isolation and I

A little more waffle for March.

Sunday, March 15, 2020

A View of One Room

One of the games rooms at home. Killing a bit of time and thought I'd share.
Enjoy

Monday, March 9, 2020

4AD and Fortress of the Warlord

My latest work with the Fantasy Grounds engine and Four Against Darkness.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

March of Madness

My latest waffle of madness. Enjoy or curse - it's up to you if you want to invest you time listening to an exile on a lost continent at the arse end of the world!

Monday, February 24, 2020

4AD for Fantasy Grounds

I recently obtained Fantasy Grounds!
It was on a whim.  One of the Humble Bundle packages I bought for some role play pack contained some content that required Fantasy Grounds.  Me having no idea, and not really knowing what it was didn't really care at the time.
While doodling around I stumbled across Fantasy Grounds on Steam for a really cheap price I think it was Cyber Monday or some such sale and being a sucker I bought it without really knowing what I was really letting myself into.
After watching the "how to" on YouTube and finding out the potential this little sucker has I have gone the whole hog and went Ultimate.  Mind you I haven't work out how to host yet.  Little steps, little steps.

(Addendum: I clocked over 240hrs on this engine to date just playing with creation!)

What I have found it that it appears I can create solo mode games easily on this.  Still experimenting, but here is my work with Four Against Darkness.


Sunday, February 16, 2020

4AD PDF Printed Format

A brief video on how I store my 4AD booklets that I print from PDF purchases.

Saturday, February 15, 2020

February Feed - The Written Report


February Feed – The Written Report?

Didn't want to listen and watch me waffle on for 20 odd minutes (yes I do drone on). Then here is a precise of what was in my vlog.

Health
My friends and long time followers will know I’ve been battling long term health issues of which mental health plays a significant role these days.  I’ve been undertaking 5 weeks of daily therapy to my brain in the hopes that the areas afflicted with my malady can be treated.  It became apparent halfway through the regime that the course was not having the desired affect but that I would complete the full treatment in the hope that changes may occur.  Needless to say at the end of the five weeks I am feeling worse than when I started the process.  This means further reading of the entrails of chickens and divining a future that was written in stone and cannot be avoided.

Games
Thankfully I have a circle of bad friends who pretend to let me lose at every game I play.  I do this spectacularly well.  I’ve played 19 games this year, 14 games with 9 people.
  1. Risk Legacy (5 games)
  2. Animal Kingdoms (2 games)
  3. Age of Civilisation
  4. Carnival of Monsters
  5. Downsize
  6. Hero Realms
  7. Paladins of the Western Kingdom
  8. Railroad Ink: Deep Blue Edition
  9. Roll Player
  10. Roll Player: Monster
  11. Sorcerer City
  12. Spirit Island
  13. Tiny Epic Galaxies
  14. Undaunted: Normandy

Image Source: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/256513/animal-kingdoms

Image Source: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/256513/animal-kingdoms
In Animal Kingdoms, each player takes on the role of a house leader, battling to gain control of the five kingdoms. Cards in your hand represent noble beasts that have pledged their allegiance to you. Over the course of three ages, you must deploy your beasts to the various territories – making sure that you adhere to each kingdom’s decree – to try and improve your influential position in the kingdoms. The house that gains the most influence by the end of the third age is declared the one true leader of the realm.
—description from the publisher
Image Source: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/268864/undaunted-normandy
June, 1944: Through the D-Day landings, the Allies have seized a foothold on the beaches of Normandy. Now you must lead your troops forward as you push deeper into France and drive the German forces back. You will face intense resistance, machine gun fire, and mortar bombardment, but a great commander can turn the situation to their advantage!
Undaunted: Normandy is a deck-building game that places you and your opponent in command of American or German forces, fighting through a series of missions critical to the outcome of World War II. Use your cards to seize the initiative, bolster your forces, or control your troops on the battlefield. Strong leadership can turn the tide of battle in your favor, but reckless decisions could prove catastrophic as every casualty you take removes a card from your deck. Take charge amidst the chaos of battle, hold fast in the face of opposition, and remain undaunted.
—description from the publisher
Image Source: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/286156/wayfinders
Engines purring, goggles down — the seaplane is set for take-off! Welcome to the whimsical world of Wayfinders in which intrepid explorers race to chart new paths through the skies.
You will need to think on your feet and outfit your planes with the right gear to arrive safely — but building hangars on islands and stocking them with parts can help you zip around with ease! Be sure to be keen in your planning and you will unlock the charms of the islands. Wheels up — adventure awaits!
description from the publisher

My Biased Opinions
Virtue signalling and demanding rights for certain groups within industries without merit is anathema to me. There is no free meal at any table to a person who does not have a promise to meet the criteria to perform.  This has been the way of the world from the day people competed for resources and self importance. 
As can be seen from the woeful low ratings of the Oscars – people are not interested in elitist virtue signalling individuals telling the rest of the world how to behave, or how unequal or unfair things are.  When I buy a game I do not want to be confronted by the creators or companies ideology dogma.  The recent kerfuffle on content and consent annoyed me no end.  As a onetime quality manager and document controller part of me agrees with it inclusion purely on the “doing it by the book” way that I’d approach to document production and control.  However that being said, I also would look at the way in which meaning and intent is conveyed to the greater community.  If the level of absurdity continues will there be warning signs on the covers of all books or games “warning, contents may disturb or offend.”

TV Series
I love my period detective series many of them I tie them to my love of Call of Cthulhu or narrative style miniature games.  I am a man mired in the past, having lived so much of my time there!  Two series that I have acquired thanks to sales (usually two for the price of one) have been Father Brown and The Murdoch Mysteries.  I only acquired (yesterday) I Zombie which my wife and I particularly love.  Long time followers will also know I have a particular fondness for Rex Stout’s Nero Wolf detective series which was dramatised well on TV and was even better as a radio series in the golden age of radio.

Image Source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt2215842/?ref_=tt_sims_tt
The series is set during the mid-1950s, in the fictional Cotswold village Kembleford, where Father Brown, priest at St Mary's Catholic Church, solves murder cases. A bumbling police inspector, who often arrests the wrong suspect, gets annoyed by Father Brown's success.

Father Brown uses the distinctive skills of his close friends as well as his own wits to solve cases, occasionally to the neglect of his more mundane parish duties. His vocation as a priest often gives him an insight to the truth, so that justice (but sometimes, not the letter of the law) may be served. His commitment to obeying the Seal of the Confessional often presents unique circumstances. The time period is when Britain was still struggling with deprivations and other hardships in the aftermath of the Second World War. At that time the country still applied the death penalty as a sentence for capital crimes such as murder. Father Brown opposes capital punishment.

(Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Father_Brown_(2013_TV_series) )

Image Source: https://www.imdb.com/title/tt1091909/?ref_=nv_sr_srsg_0
The series takes place in Toronto starting in 1895 and follows Detective William Murdoch (Yannick Bisson) of the Toronto Constabulary, who solves many of his cases using methods of detection that were unusual at the time. These methods include fingerprinting (referred to as "finger marks" in the series), blood testing, surveillance, and trace evidence.

Some episodes feature anachronistic technology whereby Murdoch sometimes uses the existing technology of his time to improvise a crude prototype of a technology that would be more readily recognizable to the show's 21st-century audience. In one episode, for instance, he creates a primitive version of sonar to locate a sunken ship in Lake Ontario. In still another, a foreign police officer has a photograph that Murdoch needs as evidence, so Murdoch asks the other officer to overlay the photograph with a grid numerically coded for the colour in each square, and to transmit the numerical data to Murdoch via telegraph—with the end result that the foreign officer has essentially sent Murdoch a bitmap image they call a "facsimile"—a telefax. This aspect of the show has been described as introducing elements of the steampunk genre of science fiction, although it is not a standard theme of all episodes.

Detective Murdoch is assisted by the three other main characters: Inspector Brackenreid (Thomas Craig), Doctor Julia Ogden (Hélène Joy), and the inexperienced but eager Constable George Crabtree (Jonny Harris), who aspires to be a mystery novel writer. Brackenreid, Murdoch's immediate superior, is a blunt and sceptical Yorkshireman with a fondness for whisky who prefers conventional methods of detection over Murdoch's eccentric methods, though he is typically pleased and proud when Murdoch is successful despite the odds. Crabtree is often unable to grasp the more advanced methods, but his enthusiasm and loyalty make him a good assistant. Like Crabtree, Dr. Ogden is a great supporter of Murdoch's methods. Her skill in pathology usually helps by revealing a great deal of useful evidence to aid Murdoch in solving cases. Throughout the series, Murdoch's growing infatuation with her, and his inability to express his feelings, provide a light subplot. In the fifth season, after Dr. Ogden is married to Dr. Darcy Garland (a colleague she met in Buffalo), a new doctor is introduced, Doctor Emily Grace (Georgina Reilly). She and George Crabtree show some romantic interest in each other.

Real history is an important element in most episodes, and the plots, though fictitious, sometimes involve real people, such as Buffalo Bill Cody, Annie Oakley, H G Wells, Nikola Tesla, Wilfrid Laurier, Jack London, Arthur Conan Doyle, Queen Victoria, Theodore Roosevelt, Oliver Mowat, Orville and Wilbur Wright, Henry Ford, Sir Winston Churchill, Bat Masterson, Alexander Graham Bell, Emma Goldman, H. P. Lovecraft, Harry Houdini, Thomas Edison and Helen Keller. Future events are often foreshadowed. For example, it is implied that secret British-American government co-operation has produced a highly advanced aircraft similar to an airship, and Crabtree and Murdoch allude to the building of a secret government facility in Nevada and New Mexico "at Concession 51" (an allusion to Area 51). Characters also refer to actual inventions of the 19th century and extrapolate from them to future inventions such as microwave ovens, night-vision goggles, computers, the games "Cluedo" (marketed as "Clue" in the U.S.) and "Hangman", the toy Silly Putty, and a silencer for small arms.

Another underlying theme of the series involves the fact that Murdoch is a Roman Catholic in what was at the time a predominantly Protestant city and the prejudices that he occasionally encounters as a result. Other subplots that overarch multiple episodes include women's suffrage movement in Canada, a movement that was taking place during the time the series is set in, and the discrimination towards racial minorities in Toronto at that time.


Till next time
The Honourable John