I like to think about things, and if I don't collect the thoughts somewhere then they'll all fall out of my head. Consider this my "spare-brain-thoughts farm".

Sunday, 22 January 2012

Become stronger, juggernaut.

I built my deck on the train, didn't playtest and ended up going 2-4 yesterday.
That is how pro I am.

Final decklist ended up slightly different to the planned one. I only had 3 Exxis and no Cairnes (I derped and forgot them) and I substitued the spare slots with Zudzos instead.

I figure that the deck has potential, it just needs some tweaking. And possibly ran out of something other than Shaman.
Now that I know what Grand Crusader does, I have a theoretical deck in mind.

Rekwa Proudhorn

[4] Emerald Captain
[4] Bronze Drake
[4] Bronze Warden
[4] Ruby Stalker
[2] Azure Magus
[4] Drax Felfuse
[3] Emerald Soldier
[4] Ruby Flameblade
[2] Emerald Tree Warder
[2] Sava'gin the Reckless
[2] Ruby Blazewing
[4] Cairne, Earthmother's Chosen

[4] Grand Crusader

[3] Devout Aurastone Hammer
[2] Polished Helm of Valor

[4] The Seeds of Their Demise
[4] Challenge to the Black Flight
[4] Twilight Citadel

For this, I need Cairnes, Twilight Citadels, Grand Crusaders and Sava'Gins.

To the trademobile!

Friday, 20 January 2012

As a precaution, acid should only be taken if you intend to melt

2 posts, 1 day. Glorious.
Since I need to build a deck before tomorrow, I thought that this time I might go over my decklist in text form, instead of taking it and doing terribly.

So, I'm going with some variant of Green Dragonkin beatdown.

Malaxia Wizwhirl

[4] Emerald Captain
[4] Emerald Soldier
[4] Emerald Tree Warder
[4] Exxi the Windshaper
[4] Emerald Wanderer
[4] Emerald Lifewarden
[4] Zudzo, Herald of the Elements

[4] Earthen Blast
[4] Lightning Bolt
[4] Ancestral Purge
[4] Ancestral Recovery

Equipment:[4] Dread Pirate Ring
[4] Discerning Eye of the Beast


[4] The Seeds of Their Demise
[4] The Torch Of Retribution
...That was harder than I thought it would be. I really need to get myself some rare cards again, or find my pile of rares.

I could really do with some Mottled Drakes and some more up-to-date quests to make use of.
Anyway, deliberating over whether or not I think this is runnable.

Cairne Bloodhoofs would be incredibly useful just for the stash and the ability to drop a powerhouse ally if the game becomes drawn out. This deck is severely lacking in attack, which is why I dropped the Exxi The Windshapers in there to try and get off some double attacks.

Another card this deck needs is Mottled Drake. It'd work better than the Exxis I think thanks to the obvious benefits of cheaper cost and being a dragon itself for interaction with certain cards.
Since I'm running so many Dragonkin, I could drop the Emerald Soldiers in favour of Drax Felfuse. Challenge to the Black Dragonflight and Dragon Unchained would make better quests as well.

The deck would benefit from a lot of things...like the past 2 sets.

Okay, let's try an improved list with a few borrowed cards:

Malaxia Wizwhirl

[4] Bronze Drake
[4] Emerald Captain
[4] Drax Felfuse
[4] Mottled Drake
[2] Ruby Flameblade
[2] Emerald Tree Warden
[4] Exxi the Windshaper
[4] Emerald Lifewarden
[4] Emerald Wanderer
[4] Ruby Blazewing
[1] Cairne, Earthmother's Chosen

[3] Elemental Flames
[4] Earthen Blast

[4] Prized Beastmaster's Mantle
[2] Wyrmwing Treads

[4] Challenge to the Black Dragonflight
[2] Dragon Unchained
[4] The Seeds of Their Demise

This looks to be my final build. Keeping Exxi's in with the Drakes for interaction with Drax Felfuse. I did toy with Bronze Drakonid, but I realised that Exxi is just superior in every aspect for a meager extra cost 1.
The Mantles are mostly in there for the stash, same as Ruby Blazewing and Earthen Blast.

The theory is to drop a Drax, spam cheap dragons OR stash and complete quests to lay the smackdown with Emerald Wanderer.

I won't get to see how this plays until tomorrow now, but here's hoping this second build works!

A is for the address on the letter that I wrote to my alcoholic friends

In which I deliberate over being a gluttonous whore.

As a geek/nerd/antisocialmiserablebastard I spend a lot of my time following nerdy hobbies. I review games and hardware as a job. I play a number of TCGs for leisure and competition. I engage in pen and paper roleplay sessions on a weekly basis. I run LAN parties and video gaming nights. Hell, sometimes I get to play video games for fun.

But past that, I also try to keep up with my social life. Seeing my girlfriend, going to bars and club nights with friends. Keeping up with news from colleagues and family. Looking for a part-time job to subsidise freelance journalism.

Well, believe it or not I don’t find myself with a lot of unallocated time. And I’m a terrible, terrible procrastinater. Despite having work to do, a girlfriend to see or a game that I should really finish, I can quite happily sit around for hours just watching my Twitter feed.

For instance, tomorrow I have to be at the train station early so I can catch a train to Derby for a WoW TCG tournament. When I get back to Stoke, I’m expected to head to the local pub for my social groups usual Saturday night antics and I need to be awake early the next day to make sure all my work is out of the way before I start GMing our weekly roleplay session.

I know I’m not alone in my desire to do absolutely everything I enjoy, but am dismayed by the lack of time I have left to do everything else. The obvious solution is scheduling and priorities-

I just realised, I also play wargames. Something I forgot because I don’t have time for it anymore. I love games like GorkaMorka and Infinity, but I haven’t had time for even one game in the past 6 months.

And I still want to make a webcomic.

I pray to whatever deity may be listening to give me another 6 hours in the day.

Friday, 13 January 2012

High and a winner; Got a hot hand

It's January, so I'm back on the tournament circuit for the World of Warcraft TCG.

For anyone that's previously played with or against me during last years Realm Qualifiers, you'll be quite aware that my favourite flavour of deck is Goblin. Goblin Druid. Goblin beatdown. Infinite Goblins. Gobbos galore!

Last year I was rocking the Krixel Pinchwhistle/Exxi the Windshaper/Gurubashi Arena combination along with some other usual suspects.

This year I decided to break ground with a tighter version of my Baxxel Geartooth rush deck.
Baxxel Geartooth

[4] Kloxx Dedrix
[4] Izzy Quizfiz
[4] Grazzle Grubhook
[4] Yazli Earthspark
[4] Trade Prince Gallywix
[4] Boomer
[4] Exxi the Windshaper
[4] Zakis Trickstab
[4] Tesla
[2] Loque

[4] Avatar of the Wild
[4] Disengage
[3] Blast Trap
[2] Bestial Revival
[4] Aspect of the Wild

[3] Corrosion Prevention
[3] The Essence of Emnity

Total: 61

...Okay, I said "tighter", I may have meant "Built-deck-in-30-minutes-and-not-thought-about-what-I-was-doing". I didn't have time to playtest either.

For me, playtesting was the first qualifier round due to time constraints.

For something so Ally heavy and concentrated, it performed about how I expected it to. Whilst I only went 2/3 and landed 8th place (Of 10 players...), my first games were supposedly quite close. Both my first and second games came down to a standoff, with me having a field and hand prepared to kill my opponent, and them managing to finish me off in their turn.

My 2 wins were against the same deck and against a less experienced player.

The other game was a Horde Hunter matchup that slaughtered me.

So, in 5 games I learned that compared to my old Druid deck, Hunters lack draw power. Speed was down to how fast I could drop Gallywix.
Yazli + Aspect proved to be exactly as effective as could be predicted as well.

My suggestions for the deck are few in number:
-2 Kloxx Dedrixx
-2 Zakis Trickstab
-2 Grazzle Grubhook
-1 The Essence of Emnity
+4 The Seeds of Their Demise
+1 Corrosion Prevention
+2 Gispax the Mixologist

I could be tempted to drop the Kloxx' altogether in favour of Kazbaz' or that other 2 drop Goblin protector, the 2/3 one.

This deck would benefit greatly from Cairne, Earthmother's Chosen if I could find a playset of them. The obvious stash effect and he's a beefy nature ally who can benefit from Aspect of the Wild.

I'm also toying with the idea of dropping the Loques altogether in favour of Al'Akirs. I'm not sold on the dropping a clear end-game card in favour of something just because it will stack with Aspect of the Wild. Loque is also retrievable with Bestial Revival, but Al'Akir is searchable with Gispax. If I were to run Al'Akir, I would feel the need to make room for Skywalls and Bound Vortexes. Skywall is easy, but the Bound Vortexes would be more difficult.

I'm wondering if running a couple of Zudzo, Herald of the Elements would be worth the effort of going about acquiring Zudzos .

All in all, I reckon that Aspect Hunter still has potential and it works with my Goblin theme. Whilst it remains likely that I'll be running Green Dragon beatdown at my next couple of qualifiers, I'm going to be working on an Aspect Hunter decklist for some other competitive events.

Saturday, 7 January 2012

Geekery, fitness and the eclectic boogaloo

My Fitocracy beta invite finally showed up.

With my decision to attack 12 separate new years resolutions, this was a perfect excuse to attempt the “Lose weight again” resolution.

Tonight I decided to take a crack at doing a few workouts to test my limits. It’s been a few months since I took to excercising frequently, or even on a regular basis at all. About 8 months ago I had finished the “Couch to 5k” program, and could comfortably run for 30 minutes straight.

Cue 8 months of being a fat, lazy drunkard.

During this interim, I’ve somehow managed to put on nearly 25 pounds (and it shows) through a steady diet of kebabs and alcohol.

Since Fitocracy has experience points and level ups, I wanted to see if I could break level 1 in one workout. The short answer was no. The long answer was whenthehelldidigetsobadatrunning.
I managed to do 4 25 rep sets of jumping jacks to warm up. I followed up with 20 minutes of dancing like a lunatic.

However, it was the run I was looking forward to. I used to enjoy running, even if it was a bit time consuming. So after a short break, I warmed up with a 5 minute walk and then went straight to running. It was all going well, up until about 3 minutes into the run. Suddenly I was aching, out of breath and near-ready to collapse.

So, I’m horribly out of practice, out of breath and out of shape. Hopefully using Fitocracy honourably will help me break this sedentary cycle I’ve entered (and maybe even get my cycling. dohohohoho).

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Game of the Year, 2011

Steam is being a dick, so I thought I’d post something to alleviate boredom. A fun topic, methinks.
So, a few people have asked me what my game of the year was. It’s not been too challenging a question, even considering the number of big hits that have come out this year.

As a PC gamer, there’s been quite the amount of choice for “big” games all year. Portal 2, Shogun 2, Deus Ex, Skyrim, Witcher 2, MW3, BF3, Arkham City, Asassins Creed: Revelations, and many other titles. I’ve spent a myriad of days with most of the big titles this year on both console and PC in many cases as well.

Despite all the major developers releases this year, I’ve got indie games on the brain. Coffee Stain Studio’s Sanctum has been nothing but fun since I started playing it.

Another tower defence title, Orcs Must Die from Robot Entertainment has been delightful, though the lack of multiplayer and larger maps was a little disappointing.

The third indie title I’d like to mention isn’t a tower defence, but it is one of the most favoured indie games this year. Hailing from Supergiant Games, it’s Bastion.

Bastion, though short, was the most enjoyment I’ve had out of a video game this year. As most people will tell you, the presentation was amazing and the gameplay was simple but fun, and even challenging.

I chose Bastion as my game of the year because of it’s nigh-on flawlessness. The addition of a context-sensitive narrator was a brilliant move by the design team. It’s unique and offers something new with each playthrough. Then to top things off, Supergiant Games offer free DLC to show their appreciation to everyone who bought the game.

I’d say more about Bastion, but I don’t feel I can do it justice without doing a full review.

Outside of amazing indie games, I do have another game of the year: Deus Ex: Human Revolution.
Square Enix and Eidos collaborated together to make a brilliant prequel to the original Deus Ex game.

The cutscenes (A la Squenix) were a bit tacky, but they were packaged in interesting gameplay and an addictive storyline. It left appropriate room for the DLC installment without leaving any holes in the gameplay or storyline.

More on this subject in another post.