Annnnnd I’m Back!

Well, I’m back from work!

Have been for a few days now and I didn’t get to accomplish ANYTHING that I wanted to while I was away. This was, by far, the most difficult job(s) we have been on; at least since I started working with my boss. It wasn’t difficult work, nothing really is out here, it was just a lot of work. I feel for my boss, he had several nights with little to no sleep, some consecutively! So much went wrong out there; leaks everywhere, missing parts from important equipment, broken equipment. The mud was ridiculously intense as well, even though it only lasted for a day or so after it rained.

We were on one job with another crew for a week then ended up moving to another location for two weeks, just my boss and I. Both jobs were literally in the middle of nowhere; the closest towns were about an hour and forty-five minutes away and there was no data or cellular service on either location. The last week we were out there we got satellite Internet but, it was a bit late at that point. It was all-in-all a very different experience on the job than any other I’ve been on in the North or East.

WS LogoIn the time that I’ve been back, however, I have gotten a lot of gaming in already and a couple really decent (and one extremely aggravating) conversations! I played a game of Infinity with a ‘pro’ player (someone who knows how to play) and got stomped within three turns but, I learned a lot so, I’m looking forward to getting another game in. I also got in a good number of games of Weiss Schwarz and learned a lot of that game as well. The amount of intricate strategies in the game are enormous and it’s probably one of the more complex CCGs I’ve ever played.

I’ve stayed true to my goal of making every conversation relevant and that’s been a lot of fun but, let me just talk about one I had recently that was very irritating. It was with a semi-friend of mine who I’ve gotten into it with before but, not near as bad as the other day. I’ve never given much credence to the idea that younger people think they know everything but, this guy is the epitome of just that. It started with a simple conversation about him reviewing anime (he’s a reviewer for video games and anime, pop-culture) and how it’s difficult because he has certain biases towards specific anime and he wants to remain bias free in his writing. We ended up getting into media as a whole and that’s where things started taking a deep dive into the negative. I was explaining to him that there are organizations and movements out there that are trying to help shape things to come in a more promising light but, he didn’t want to hear any of it because of MY bias towards the organizations I had mentioned. He said he doesn’t want to know anything about it from me and that he’d rather hear about it from someone who doesn’t know about it. Someone who reads about it openly and then tells him about it without bias; someone who isn’t a part.

TVP LogoI can appreciate the idea to an extent but, as I’ve seen time and time again, this leads to   more ignorance than anything else. How many web pages are dedicated to The Zeitgeist Movement being some conspiratorial organization or The Venus Project being a terrorist group, even having been investigated by the FBI? TZM Logo 2You never see official literature being cited on any of these sites; only extremists that have nothing to do with either organization projecting their own ideas upon the groups. These are people that read a bit of documentation, twisted it, and decided to make up the rest. The media is guilty of this as well, asking the same old entrapping questions that aren’t answerable to create an ‘Ah ha!’ moment. They don’t care about education, only a spotlight.

I don’t want these kind of people in my life and I’m working on figuring out the best way to let this guy know that I really don’t want to hang out with him any more. I don’t want the negativity around me, the complacency, or the ignorance.


KanColle Card Review

So, let me preface this by saying that I have yet to even play this game. I’m excited to get into it but, aside from watching a few how-to-play vids on YouTube, I don’t have much knowledge of it at all. However, I just picked up the KanColle Trial Deck today from a local game shop (Collected, TCU location) and am already quite impressed! Personally, I’ve never heard of KanColle at all until I talked to a guy there and he gave me a very quick plot point that seemed kind of cool. ‘It’s basically an anime about Japanese warships and each warship is personified by a cute anime girl’; I was sold!

As you can see, along with a 50 card deck (a full deck), the game comes with some documentation, thankfully. A sheet of rules and quick start guide, a playmat that samples the recommended way to setup your side of the play area, a bit of marketing for the anime along with some strategies on how to best play the KanColle deck, and a playbook that contains advanced rules and rule clarifications. It also comes with a few exclusive cards and a few random RRR cards (triple-rare?). All of this is packaged in a pretty nice little plastic container that seems like it could actually be reused pretty easily to carry your deck and rules around in the future if you don’t already have a dedicated card box.

I really love the fact that they put a Card List and Features section on the back of the playmat. I remember picking up a Force of Will starter with a firend of mine and we struggled through our first few games not knowing anything about how the game is supposed to work because there wasn’t the slightest hint as to what the cards or, more importantly the deck, is supposed to do. Weiss Schwarz solves this perfectly so, another huge plus there.

Alright, let’s jump into why I wanted to do this review in the first place, the cards. These are probably the nicest cards I’ve ever played with. Actually, let me take a step back and say that I don’t actively play many cards games at all but, I’ve tried a good deal of them (including everyone’s new favorite ‘Force of Will’). I’m very impressed with the quality of these cards. The art is hi-def, unlike some Pokemon cards where you can see the pixelation, and goes edge to edge making for a really eye-catching game when the play area is full.

You can see from the image above, the weight of the cards is really fantastic; they feel great between your fingers and have a lot of support when ruffling. I have mine in some cheap Ultra•Pro sleeves I had laying around but, I’m definitely going to pick up some nicer Dragon Shields when I get a chance. I imagine this is why Weiss Schwarz cards are so damn expensive ($24.95 retail).

There are just two complaints I have about my purchase. One I mentioned earlier and is possibly why I have yet to see anyone actually play this game, let alone see it on shelves; the box art itself. There just isn’t much at all; it’s not an attractive box, doesn’t catch the eye and doesn’t give anyone a reason to physically pick it up and look at it. I’m no huge educated graphic arts/marketing major but, I can imagine a number of ways to make this packaging so much more enticing. The other complaint I have, and is really quite moot, is that the playmat is cut short!