Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Some new titles to the board game collection.

Why do I continue to do it?  That's what I continually ask myself after I buy a game and the euphoria of the new rush has washed away.  I only get to play games at the club once if I'm lucky and it's not always the game I bring along so why or why do I continually buy more games...

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Retail Changes - Penneys Limited

Recently we had some flooding in Queensland thanks to Cyclone Debbie and as is my usual run of bad luck I suffered water damage in the house.  This time in an area that I had thought was water proofed, it just goes to show you that no plan is ever perfect.

As part of the clean up I had to open many soggy boxes of papers and books and rescue what I could.  Amongst them was an interesting nugget I thought I would share.  For people my age and older Penneys was a land mark building in the Brisbane CBD, it was absorbed into Coles (according to it's website in 1956?).

The Staff Guid and a Staff Magazine

I found this passage in the booklet really interesting to read about some things you do not do!
Interesting as to whether staff tell Managers these days if competitors sell identical goods cheaper?

No smoking! But it's not for your health reasons, but for the safety of stock.

Use imagination as to the wants and needs of the customer...
...every customer leaving... goes away feeling friendly and satisfied.
Co-operates and works with fellow employees...
Do not press them to buy... not handle the line... direct... to where the line may be obtained.

From the Magazine of Penneys Personnel
Examples of Good and Bad Work!

Yes they celebrated staff milestones!
It's an interesting time shot from over 60 years ago.  Pity our practices in many ways have changed, not always for the better.

Sunday, April 2, 2017

Warmachine Awards from 2005

When Warmachine came out it was a breath of fresh air into a (at the time) stale gaming industry.  The community was small(ish) in Brisbane but was friendly and competitive, good people to game with.  The current community doesn't seem to me to be the same, but it's just the way the game has evolved over time and who's been attracted to the game.  Then I'm always that old stick in the mud...

Monday, March 20, 2017

Why I can't afford conventions!


I’m not exactly being hounded to attend but I am getting a few invitations to attend the convention.  In honesty I decided to sit down and do the sums to justify why I could not attend, on top of some other issues I had.

The event is being held at Brisbane Table Tennis Centre located at Windsor which is a 22.3 km trip, and a 29 minutes journey with the traffic being favourable.  Clearly if the traffic were to be otherwise then the time or distance will change.  This is if I were to travel by motor vehicle from my residence.

Parking is an issue.  The venue indicates parking for 50 vehicles, yet does not indicate whether it is paid parking to be there?  No where can I find any indication of free parking?  All I know is that people who have attended other exhibitions at the venue have complained about the parking options at the Centre and the surrounds.  This negative feedback I have received from others raises a red flag before I even step foot out the door.

If I were to take an Uber the fare would be $31-40 fare one way.  Clearly using Uber would be prohibitively expensive - $160 for the weekend, not an option to consider.  I would think that a full tank of petrol, say $50 for the weekend should cover the period for my personal vehicle.

Consulting Translink a bus will take me an 1 hour and 20 minutes approx, with between 2-3 bus changes and even a train depending on the route chosen and times.  Some walking would be involved somewhere between 1-2 km.  The costing of bus fares I’m unsure of how to calculate as the different zones you pass though have different costs.  Gocards I’ve never used since the last time I was on a bus was in the 1990’s.  The Translink indicates $3.90 for the trip or $1.56 for Concession Card holder which I am.

The event I’m interested in playing in costs $50 to play in for the 2 days which on the whole seems a reasonable amount.  I could not see any additional costs, but then I did not follow through the transaction to its completion, just enough to find out what the cost was as the site did not openly show each events costs (which I found annoying).

The last item to consider is keeping yourself alive - which means food and water.  In this case it means a 2l bottle of Pepsi Max for the day.  Yet some food would be needed so I’d probably do a food run at Coles or Woolworths and allocate say $10 each day. 

Let’s look then at private versus public transport.

$50 Event Fee, $50 Fuel, 2 hours lost in transit, $25 Food&Drink, Parking Cost – unknown if venue filled and it is free parking.  Parking at cost elsewhere then additional expense?
TOTAL: $125
PRO: Quick, familiar, plenty of room for my gear, not restrained by timetables (apart from the event).
CON: Parking, expense of running the car for the journey and the distance. Not a local or central venue for me.

$50 Event Fee, $8 (maybe), 6 hours in transit, $25 Food&Drink, Parking Cost – Nil
TOTAL: $83
PRO: Cost, its cheap transport cost.
CON: Hours lost in transit, hoping the public transport system is on time and running, transporting gear, dealing with my mental health issues of travelling.

Firstly this is not in any way to be seen as an attack on BrisCon.  This is my way of explaining why so many events are fast becoming the playground of the persons with disposable incomes or cash.  If I was in a different position then this little piece of diatribe would not have been written. 

Times change and the dispersal of the gaming community goes with it.  Demographics is not what it was twenty, thirty or forty years ago.  Like schools whose numbers grow and diminish based on aging populations and movement, so does the gamer.  To expect certain locations to be suitable to the greater Brisbane population is a difficult matter to determine, it’s not something that a census poll is likely to ask.

For me the cost of these events are very much to be weighed against my everyday living expenses.  As a pensioner I have a very limited budget, so to lash out for an event for the prospect of nothing but camaraderie is a big ask; then I really have to justify it.  If I was a competitive player, likely to win top places and come home with a prize(s) for my effort then I’d justify the expense.  Yet as a man known as one of the unluckiest players in Brisbane, I can’t really convince myself it’s worth it.

For me that $125/$83 is a new game I haven’t played, or admission to my local game club for the next 12/8 meets.  It’s less stress and disappointment, better not to see things you know you cannot afford anymore.  There comes a time in life where the pain of not going outweighs any benefits you may get from going (and that’s probably my therapist telling me that).

So growing old as a penniless pensioner and a gamer sucks big time.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Star Wars Galaxy of Heroes

Galaxy of Heroes is my daily grind, apart from Pokemon GO (which I only play when I go shopping or am out).  Galaxy of Heroes (GoH) unlike Pokemon GO can be played at home without the need to be seeking out pokemon, there is enough activities happening that I can fill in a half hour to an hour a day without any problems, longer if I so require.

I enjoy the game, it has character development, guilds that you can join.  The game is essentially free, though you can spend money if you desire upgrades faster than the rest of players.  I got introduced to the game last year just after Pokemon GO, and have found that it has supplanted it as my daily game of phone games.

Below is the web address for EA if you are interested in knowing more about the game.

My current team! I'm almost Level 85 (Max), just under 7000 points before I'm there. Yes there is a Jedi among the Sith/Dark Side, but I don't have a healer amongst the Dark Siders of worth to keep the team working in prolonged battles...

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Crimson Skies (2003) by Wizkids

Thank goodness for clubs, that's all I can say, as well as to friends who have old games they are happy to part with.  How did I end up with Crimson Skies you may ask?  Well it's a long story... no not really.  When I posted my articles about my board game collection another friend on facebook mentioned his desire to obtain the pen and paper board game version of Crimson Skies.  I posted an expression of interest out there seeking a copy of him, what I got was a friend asking if I wanted his sets of the clix version of the game.  Being the hoarder and collector I could not help myself, I said yes, the price was more than fair and it is now with me waiting for a chance to be played sometime in the future...

Some closer shots of the contents, not the best, sorry in advance.

Below is courtesy of Wikipedia
Wiki link
Collector NumberFactionPilotPlane
001Broadway BombersHeather 'Ivy' IverianE-1C Avenger
002Broadway BombersKenneth 'Iron Horse' Vanderbilt 3E-1C Avenger
003Broadway BombersLt. Eugene 'Money Man' Windthorpe 3F6 Brigand
004Broadway BombersNancy 'Market Maker' MorganF6 Brigand
005Hollywood KnightsLt. Steve 'Glamour Boy' GardnerBloodhawk
006Hollywood KnightsLt. Carmen 'Killer' FloresBloodhawk
007Hollywood KnightsLt. Winifred 'Brandy' NoonanFirebrand
008Hollywood KnightsLt. Karl 'Wrongway' GrunerFirebrand
009Broadway BombersLoyle 'Showstopper' CrawfordE1C Avenger
010Hollywood KnightsCharlotte 'Charlie' SteeleBloodhawk
011Fortune HuntersRobert 'Buck' DeereP21 Mk 3 Devastator
012Fortune HuntersEllen Sue 'Tex' RyderP21 Mk 3 Devastator
013Fortune Hunters'Brooklyn' Betty CharlesFB14 'Vampire'
014Fortune Hunters'Big John' WashingtonFB14 'Vampire'
015Fortune HuntersNathan ZacharyP21 Mk 3 Devastator
016Fortune HuntersMaria SanchezFB14 'Vampire'
017Red Skull LegionHenrietta 'Hettyhawk' CorbettPeacemaker 370
018Red Skull LegionRafael 'Fencer' HerreraPeacemaker 370
019Red Skull LegionHarry 'Lucky' KenyonS2B Kestrel
020Red Skull LegionLuthor 'PryBar' PrymonS2B Kestrel
021Red Skull LegionJonathan 'Genghis' KahnS2B Kestrel
022Rajin’ CajunsLouis 'Wild Card' ThibodeauxPeacemaker 370
023Black SwansWilliam 'Fenn' FennelJ2 Fury
024Black SwansJudith 'Valkyrie' DuChampJ2 Fury
025Black SwansEdward 'Mad Eddie' SearsM210 Raven
026Black SwansYulia 'The Architect' ChelekhovaM210 Raven
027Never Released
028Never Released
029Never Released
030Never Released
031Hollywood KnightsCharlotte “Charlie” SteeleCoyote
032Blake Air SecurityPaladin BlakePR1 Defender
101Broadway BombersLoyle 'Showstopper' CrawfordF6 Brigand
102Hollywood KnightsCharlotte 'Charlie' SteeleFirebrand
103Broadway BombersCarlton 'Carpetbagger' HawthorneE-1C Avenger
104Hollywood KnightsCaptain Norm HoustonBloodhawk
458PromotionalSanta “St. Nick” ClausSanta’s Holiday Flyer
Based on the above chart I'm only missing the planes below the "Never Released" section.  From my days of running organised play events for Wizkids I'm going to have a punt and guess the last six planes were prize support and clearly the last a promotional. While it would be nice to get them all, I'm not busting a gut these days.  CMGs or anything collectable has passed me by, sure it will annoy the hell out of me that it's incomplete, but I can now live with it.  Who knows, I may even complete it on the off chance, like picking up this game like I did this weekend just past!

Till next time, keep gaming!

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

The Lord of the Rings Radio Dramatisation BBC Radio 4

I can remember many years ago when radio still played a part in my daily life.  Thankfully Australia when I was young still had strong cultural ties with Britain and we still received much in the way of entertain programming.  The Lord of the Rings dramatisation was one of the best radio plays I had listened to apart from The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.  I can recall the delimma that was the choice of either staying home and listening to the next episode or going to my game club!  It was so hard a choice.  I think in the end I bought a 90 minute play tape, put the device on slow record (can't remember the exact terminology but it doubled the recording time on the tape, a 45 minute side became 90 minutes) and hoped that when I came home I had recorded the entire episode.  In the 1980's the broadcasting authorities were notorious for not keeping to broadcasting times.

So for a long time I cherished my taped recording of the radio play.  Eventually someone in Brisbane had this appear on their shelf and when I saw it I just had to have it.  The fact that it was apparently a limited numbered edition was of no concern to me, I'd have been happy with just an ordinary copy at the time.  What did excite me more was that there was a CD of theme and incidental music included, if you have not listened to this then I suggest you find yourself a copy, it is well worth the listen.  I have included the wiki link below rather than plagiarise, so read and find out what interested me.  Find a copy, listen and enjoy, I certainly did.

Wiki Link