Sunday, June 24, 2007


Starslip Crisis


Thursday, June 21, 2007


Telecomms humour

“WARNING: Do not look into fibre optic cable with remaining good eye.”

Sunday, June 17, 2007


Sherman's Lagoon

Sherman's Lagoon

Monday, June 11, 2007


Something to look forward to when my daughter starts to bring boyfriends home...

Please visit the comic's website - XKCD - it is well worth the hours you will invest.

Some of it is VERY educational, like the Electromagnetic Spectrum and the Map of the Internet.

Sunday, June 03, 2007


The shame...

One aspect of the Expo I wanted to join in with was the Tournament. Not because I expected to win anything but so I could guarantee a game of something I wanted to play. As this was the organisation's first Expo, I had no idea how much there would be on offer to opportunistically turn up for.
So Saturday afternoon was On The Underground from JKLM Games and Sunday was Ticket To Ride. Railway games are regularly popular (Railway Rivals and the 18XX series spring to mind from the past) and these appealed to us more than the other tournament games on offer (Puerto Rico, Settlers of Catan).
Each afternoon session was 3 hours long which was long enough for 3 rounds of each game. The organiser had some magical scoring system which I didn't pretend to understand. As we were a family group, the seats were arranged to that we didn't play each other much.
Surprisingly, despite the variation in scores in each round, the three of us ended up grouped together in the table:
Overall railway game winner - Richard Biddle (330.97 and 372.42 points respectively for a 700+ total).

Results - On the Underground (12 players, 3 tables of 4)

PosNameRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
8Sue Breakwell62.24100.0083.66245.90
9Samantha Breakwell118.6457.5265.42241.58
10John Breakwell73.4565.4290.12228.99


Results - Ticket to Ride (10 players, 2 tables of 5)

PosNameRound 1Round 2Round 3Total
7Sue Breakwell91.4868.1967.12226.79
8John Breakwell64.8562.5360.55187.93
9Samantha Breakwell 86.1517.8273.70177.67



Sue Breakwell245.90226.79472.69
Samantha Breakwell 241.58177.67419.25
John Breakwell228.99187.93416.92



Richard and Jan, a very happy pair of people demonstrating Heroscape (from Hasbro).


Hour of Glory

Nicely design tabletop set - no idea about the game mechanics, though, as I never played it.



Some of the games make me realise that I am just not in the same spending league as their intended market. Manorhouse Workshop's Mindstalkers is an obvious example.

The demo game using the flat tiles was okay - the game mechanics were reasonably simple and it didn't take long to pick it up. On the face of it, not really much different from other tabletop game systems. I couldn't see how the one box would keep me occupied for very long and the need for variety would mean further expenditure on figures and scenery.

The boxed set went for £50 if I recall correctly:

which contains 8 figures, dice, counters and four "3D scenery elements" like:

I mentioned to the guy demonstrating the game that the figures looks very well painted and wondered how they could manage that quality in volume. He admitted that he'd painted the figures and that they shipped unpainted. Similarly the resin "scenery elements" which look fantastic above are plain black in the box (as you can just see on the far right in the top photo). So an additional reason why this is not a game for me is that the level of painting needed to make the pieces look acceptable is way beyond me. Defintely a product for the rich figure-painter.


Rush Hour

This is a great puzzle game and the giant demo set they used at the stall looks even more fun, especially for kids. I thoroughly recommend Rush Hour (in its normal, much more portable size) with the expansion packs - try it online. Samantha bought the Safari variant at the Expo - the same basic concepts but with animal pieces instead of traffic and some square pieces where all the original set are rectangular.


Looking for investors

I spent a short while playing Luboš Žižnavský at the game he had invented and brought along to try and attract investment. Quite a simple game to pick up but obviously simple does not always mean easy. As you can hopefully see, the pieces are tetrahedrons (or triangular-based pyramids, or d4s, or caltrops, or whatever you want to call them). One side is plain with a number on it and the remaining 3 sides are your side's colour. The object of the game is to roll the pyramids to the centre of the board (a big grid of triangles) and take over the central hexagon. Each turn you can move 3 spaces with any pyramid (or combination of pyramids) of any player by tilting the piece over in the direction you want it to fall. If a pyramid is resting on its base then other players can't move it which prevents stalemates to some extent. The number of the base is used to score the pyramids in the hexagon when the six triangle spaces have been filled. Needless to say, I lost but it was fun to try out a new game.

If you are a game publisher and want to get in contact with Lubos then ping
an email to

Lubos demonstrates his game

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