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    RPGs and the best of the rest, has to be interesting though these days to get a look in.
    Board games.
    Reading history, fiction in translation, science fiction or more or less anything if stuck on the proverbial Desert Island.
    Watching interesting films.
    Football and in particular supporting Arsenal & Sutton Utd.
    Listening to all sorts of music, but nothing particularly recent (see Mafia III soundtrack for reference)

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  1. No, will have to add that to the list of potentials!
  2. Cosmic’s Black Hole awards for Stellar Solo Board gaming experiences I’ve decided to cut back to categories of games which are either designed for solo play or which aren't in any way diminished by it, so leaving out all the Euros etc which can still be enjoyable to explore, particularly the more complex ones. I find solo modes can often get a little too predictable too quickly. The main criteria for inclusion in this prestigious company (no particular order): High production and design quality Replay-ability Complimentary game mechanics and theme Spoiled only for length / gushing. A Legacy Games Only 2 outright recommendations in this category (I’ve not played Pandemic, find Charterstone to be so-so, would avoid Seafall) B RPG style campaign co-op games. These are for replaying with different parties and choosing different outcomes, with far more of a story or CyoA vibe than Gloomhaven possesses. Inevitability, they they tend to improve in later acts and more sophisticated additional characters, so rapidly become expensive. I haven’t played the Shadows of Brimstone games or they might also figure. C Puzzle type games for the soloist Potentially the longest list, could be anything from 15 minute "quickies" to 90-120 minutes. For the moment, these 3 are highly recommended. I might revisit this to add a fourth category of “Explora-thon” for lengthy solo rambles if either HEXXplore or 7th continent deliver as anticipated. I should also get Mage Knight out again one of these days. Bonus pic of Black Sonata at completion, with successful identification at Blackfriars.
  3. Cosmic_Guru

    League 1, 2, Non League Football 2018-19 Season

    Sutton Utd 2: Maidstone Utd 2 Disappointing end to the home campaign with 2 penalties conceded, one depriving us of top scorer come emergency centre back "Gooner" Eastmond for the final match, and one in the final seconds. We lost player of the year (and sole defender) Dale Bennett to injury and then most players seemed to take it in turns to take knocks, so goodness knows what sort of team (or bench) we will field on Saturday. Brett Williams scored a nice goal and enjoyed giving some back to the crowd who had been giving him constant grief. We'll be finishing 10th at worst and can't have any complaints at all. Like all clubs we'll be hoping for better luck with injuries next season, and to prune the squad judiciously. Finally, a curious fact that with a party of Forres Mechanics fans in attendance, there were 3 groups of fans in the same amber & chocolate colours in the ground (by the same manufacturer too for bonus points).
  4. Cosmic_Guru

    What are you playing?

    I put my AP markers on my character card each day to keep track of them (also the purple +1 marker). I also use two sets of markers for the two tunnels and the 4 square skull tokens to mark destinations I want to travel to to "discover" (another bad term) my rumour card i.e to convert the rumour into a useable asset. After floundering around a bit with a couple of solo characters (dwarven fighter had to be easiest surely?) and then playing a "competitive" 3H game since that seemed the easiest way to actually reach the boss fight (you only needing 2 bits of experience for each stage of levelling, and also for one character to be able to power level those lagging behind), I had a look at the card decks and that helped me realise what is going on and why the dwarven fighter class is so tough to play as a first game. The terrain type decks are asymmetrical! The mountains are crawling with enemies compared to other locations, and dying or serious injury in this is so problematical because of AP loss (I suppose this is rationalised as a sort of stamina loss, won't kick in though if you fight before supper!). I also had a look through the various asset decks to see how they fit into different categories because the variety is initially bewildering. Now it's random solo mixes all the way, and from it's initial complexity the game resolves itself into a quest to, in particular, get those early and by far the most tricky levels accomplished efficiently by uncovering encounters, after which, if all goes smoothly, the minions and other Boss buffs can be dealt with, with the luxury of high AP.
  5. Cosmic_Guru

    What are you playing?

    I was thinking that a group playing co-operatively would want to stay in close contact and do a lot of swapping of rumour or asset cards so as to play to each other's strengths and thus expedite levelling up. I don't think that Hall or Nothing do the best rule books. They seem to like lists, and then repeating or summarising those lists which don't become any clearer in so doing (1066 is the same). The folded up player checklist is helpful though once you've cracked the basics. Some of the terminology is a little strange too. I just think of completed encounters as my character's experience gain (not a term used at all), which may either be immediately converted into a rumour card or be kept in hand for use later that day to level up. I also think the naming of Boss "plot" cards is a bit strange; minion would be better.
  6. Cosmic_Guru

    Prey (2017) - Update and Mooncrash DLC available now!

    There's a very easy way to deal with them right there in the room but I don't think you get the research headset thingy until later, so perhaps don't realise.
  7. Cosmic_Guru

    The Kickstarter Group Thread

    I think it all depends on the circumstances. I imagine that every developer acting in good faith is straining every sinew to ensure "backlog" doesn't happen with their schedule, because it is important to consumers. For example I've just received Black Sonata, the game which was held up in Germany for several weeks owing to a basic error in international freight documentation, but it's such a beaut that I've immediately backed Side Room Games current KS https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/771559871/maquis. I might well not have done so otherwise. They won't make the same mistake again. Similarly Gloom of Kilforth (second print) only just squeeked home before the second game in the franchise went live. Each case should probably be reviewed in some detail on its merits by someone who understands the process to consider the underlying causes of the delays and also how communication with backers has been handled. That's probably a fairly time intensive process though, not well suited to the age of the algorithm. For me as a backer it seems fair for KS to have the option to pull projects for a length of time where the evidence suggests the developers have basic design or manufacture shit to sort out on current projects and shouldn't be overextending.
  8. I have an urge to revisit this under different headings so as to award a maximum of 3 "Cosmic Black Hole awards for excellent solo play" to each: A Legacy games B Campaign co-op games (replay ability through different paths or teams) C Solo P/F puzzlers / high scorers / similar with playtime <90 minutes D Heavier others E Medium weight others F Maybe a 6th category for "explore-athons" such as Mage Knight, Hex-explore (kickstarter) and City of Kings
  9. Cosmic_Guru

    UK Games Expo

    Just booked up to attend Friday (lunchtime till closing) for the first time!
  10. Cosmic_Guru

    Xbox One backwards compatibility

    Looking forward to seeing the difference to these. Fable 2 was good without the benefit of bing upgraded but 3 had a really rotten "port" over or whatever the process is. The colours were way off all the time so all the benefit of using dyes on clothing evaporated. Also many sound glitches. It's a much smaller game than you expect too - if you stick to questing rather than farting or fucking you barrel through it - a couple of sessions took me to the city. The areas are tiny (which was fine for the earlier games you didnt expect anything else, they seemed large enough at the time and that's all that counts, but this came out several years later when expectations were changing).
  11. Cosmic_Guru

    CRPG Book Project

    This has arrived! There was a problem with the printer not wrapping the books individually and some appear to have been marked on the covers as a result, but Bitmap gave us the choice of getting a small refund and having it as is, or waiting for the second print run. I took a chance and luckily my copy seems absolutely fine. It's a high quality full colour hard back with a bookmark, so will be lovely to dip in and out of. Its also nice to know any profits are going to charity. Edit - just read a few entries over lunch and keep getting a sense of déja vu. A game called Darklands for example reads like a progenitor for Kingdom Come Deliverance in it's medieval verisimilitude. A game called Realms of Arkania: Blade of Destiny had you requiring suitable clothing for winter, to guard whilst camping etc (c.f. Outward). There's truly nowt new in gaming
  12. Cosmic_Guru

    League 1, 2, Non League Football 2018-19 Season

    But it's an aspiration, and at least the Trophy and Vase finals are combined now. That would make a fine day out and most NL clubs, except Boreham Wood, would bring a good few. I was reading about that North Ferriby - Wrexham final in WSC recently, unfortunately not stuck off the record , - another reminder that however tough things get from time to time with your lot there are many clubs in worse positions (WSC is brilliant for that sort of coverage).
  13. Cosmic_Guru

    League 1, 2, Non League Football 2018-19 Season

    Sutton Utd 1: Leyton Orient 2 Sutton probably should have come away with at least a point from this match, despite only having one fit outfield defender available and a goalie who went off at HT (which proved catastrophic). I didn't think O's were particularly good to be honest, certainly not the best footballing side we have seen here; we worked hard and in the second half scored from a sweet Ayunga strike. Then they pulled one back from a neat free kick routine, went down to 10 men and out replacement goalie seemed to gift them a penalty (other end from me). O's fans dominated the ground too with 1,300 of them turning up. Picked up my season ticket for next year (#24!). Just the one home fixture left now on Easter Monday. Next up - 3 points for Wrexham on Friday. No attacking player has scored more than 4 league goals this season. Our leading scorer is now DM (and emergency centre half) Craig Eastmond with 7. Os had Jay Simpson on the bench who was once at Arsenal, never played a first team match for them, but who I chatted with one day on the Victoria line (fun fact).
  14. Cosmic_Guru

    Outward - Below Gothic Morrowind? (RPG / rogue like)

    The marsh area put me in immediate mind of Morrowind - its probably my least favourite area, dark even during daylight hours and very easy to get lost if you go off the main north-south highway. You can't put this game into the "so simple / basic it falls over if you try to do anything " box (aka Zenith), despite some initial appearances. The landscapes are striking, particularly the desert, and little details like the desert being cold at night are great. You have to turn the voice acting off though or it's just a nasty one-line bark each time by about 4 actors. I would like to know more about the world and its history but that seems almost entirely absent - very strange in an RPG. It's not a cod medieval setting at all. Character skill building, combat, exploration, inventory management and the remorseless march of time coupled with the single save slot make this a really interesting game. Magic, ranged, 2H, sword and board, duel wielding and stealth approaches are all supported, and enemies have different AI behaviours. I even talked down a boss after carefully seeding the room with traps just in case that option wasn't available....
  15. Cosmic_Guru

    Outward - Below Gothic Morrowind? (RPG / rogue like)

    Another decent review here https://www.pcgamer.com/outward-review/ I'm definitely going to explore magic with my final character. The desert based one has now changed to duel wielding with an Assassin's sword and a venomous dagger, with extra damage + re-usable pressure plates and a few fireballs also in her armoury. She however forgot one of the basics - to put a lantern in her pocket which meant a very uncomfortable time in pitch darkness trying to retrieve her backpack in desert rose cave.

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