Que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be, but first I need more coffee.

Month: October 2016

To NaNoWriMo or Not to NaNoWriMo

I've thought about participating, but I've been too lazy. I did start unofficially one year, but gave up after a few days. On the other hand if I don't give it a shot this year, I may never do it. And I want to write a novel.

If you are thinking of giving it a try you also only have a day to decide. Here's the link: http://nanowrimo.org

Update: Apparently, I'd signed up for an account in a previous year. I'd forgot. I reset my password and I had signed up four years ago.

15 + 8

23 days until the election. I don't know how it's going to turn out. Odds are Hillary Clinton will win, but by how much? It needs to be by a good deal more than the margin of error and a comfortable lead in the Electoral College. There will be chaos, there will be violent incidents, but let us hope they will not reduce the vote. Not one of the pollsters seems to have taken into account or acknowledged voting suppression efforts by various Republican controlled states. Courts have ordered a number of them to restore voting rights but have refused to do so. Herr Drumpf is organizing "poll watchers" to scare away or intimidiate minority voters. If it is a close election, close as it was in 2000, it could lead to a constitutional crisis.

Herr Drumpf has overshadowed all the other things, dark money from the likes of the Koch brothers, downticket candidates. The two most important things goin on right now are the protests in North Dakota against the DAPL going through the Standing Rock Reservation and TPP (Trans Pacific Partnership) ratification process. It needs to be stopped too. Locally, Democrats need to retake the Arizona state legislature or win enough seats to create a gridlock to prevent Governor Ducey from continuing to turn this state into another Kansas or Oklahoma, a financial ruin.

It's not over til it's over. I'll probably do some heavy drinking on election night, but I hope it will be celebratory in nature.

RinCon 2016

I attended my first gaming convention ever this past weekend. I've known about it since moving to Tucson but was hesitant to go. I was worried that I'd be twice as old as the other games and feel out of place. There used to be one in Tulsa but I never attended. I did game at a few conventions back in the late 1980's (mostly Star Fleet Battles) and gamed at one convention in 2000. I did a lot of gaming in the mid to late 80's (again mostly Star Fleet Battles). I have attended literary science fiction conventions off and on since 1978, so there's a lot of overlap. I haven't done much gaming since the early 90's, but I still have most of my games (I did get rid of Star Fleet Battles though).

Anyway, there were plenty of gamers my age and all age groups seem to be represented, about a quarter of the gamers were women and there were some people of color. Most of the attendees were local and there was a fair contingent from the Phoenix area, but people came from El Paso and Los Angeles. If I were to guess there were probably about 200 people in attendance.

A lot has changed in the gaming world. I pretty much stopped before Magic The Gathering took off. I never really got into role playing though I did try D&D very early on in high school when it was brand new. I got introduced to Star Fleet Battles in college plus some other games, Car Wars, OGRE/GEV, Illuminati, Kingmaker, Titan, Talisman, Cosmic Encounter, Tales of the Arabian Nights, Globbo, Call of Cthulhu (The only roll playing game that appealed to me. I got tired of 80th level dark half-elves in D&D. CoC was self-limiting, the more powerful a character became the more insane he became. I only played it a few times). Battletech had become pretty popular back then too but I never got into it. I was spoiled by SFB which was a better gaming system, but I had a fair number of gaming friends who got into BT.

I didn't want to be that gamer who hated all new games because he thought the old games were better. There were plenty of older Napoleonic minitiatures/Avalon Hill Games folks who didn't like the new games I was playing at the time. So I tried a bunch of new games this weekend. I didn't pre-register, so I had to sign up with what was available. I'm glad I did. None were combat games. That's mostly what I played back in the day were combat tactical games, very few builder or cooperative games.

Most of the games I played were in beta, getting ready to go to Kickstarter, Castle Mania, CO-OP, Excavate! and Capital City. I also played Gangster Dice, and Viticulture. GD had been a Kickstarter. All except Viticulture played in less than an hour and were card based games. Viticulture was what is known as a euro game. It was a new term I learned. It could also be called a German game. These are resource based games that are more with building things and economics than with combat. I like to call them German games because they had lots of rules and were no fun. Viticulture was interesting, you ran a vinyard in 19th century Italy. It was the most complex game but not as complex as  SFB.

Some of the old games I would like to play again. I could use the old versions I have or get new versions. Some of them are still in print from different game publishers. They are Tales of the Arabian Nights, Talismen, and Cosmic Encounter. What I'm trying to find out is are the new versions worth buying? How do they compare to the new versions/editions? And now that I'm likely to get plugged back into gaming culture, I'll be able to find other people to play with.

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