Sunday, June 17, 2018

Father’s Day 2018

Happy Father's Day, Dad! Thanks for always being there and for setting such a great example.

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Catastrophe at Tau Epsilon

For some time, Stephen and I have talked about trying out the campaign rules of A Call to Arms: Starfleet. To that end, we each assembled a 1,500 point fleet last night and had at each other, introducing crew quality and scout rules, since those play a large role in the campaign game. 

It's a good thing this was a test run and not the beginning of our actual campaign, because boy, the Klingons came at my fleet with fangs bared and made short work of us, losing only one small ship while wiping out all eight of my starships. The way I see it, I made three fundamental mistakes: 

1) Though I considered it, I decided not to field a scout ship. Steve fielded two, which gave him a consistent bonus to initiative and the ability to jam my ships, reducing their defensive and offensive firepower. Against this, I had no defence. 
2) I spread my ships out in a not-so-clever attempt to flank the Klingons, while Steve held his ships in a well-disciplined line. This allowed Steve's Klingons to pick off my ships one-by-one. 
3) I recognized one turn too late - and possibly two turns too late - that the battle was lost. Had I attempted to retreat one or two turns earlier than I did, I might have saved three or four of my starships. As it was, I lost all eight. Actually, even worse - given the shape the ships were in at the last turn, you'd probably have to consider the last three ships not destroyed, but captured - including my dreadnought and a Constitution-class heavy cruiser. Admiral Woods will be lucky to keep his job after this..! 

Despite this humbling result, it was great fun managing a task force of this size and experimenting with the various strengths and weaknesses of the different starships. I'll try to keep this experience in mind when Steve and I start the real campaign later this year. 

Thursday, June 14, 2018

Not very highbrow and, sadly, not terribly well-written, Jamie Lendino's Adventure: The Atari 2600 at the Dawn of Console Gaming is a brisk but shallow overview of the seminal video game machine's rise and fall. The work consists mostly of brief reviews of the most popular or influential games released for the 2600, with a smattering of history peppered in...but one really wishes for a more serious, in-depth, academic treatment of the subject. The book is mainly of interest to Atari fans looking for a dose of nostalgia, or retro-gaming enthusiasts looking for key game titles to pursue. 

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Special Guest Star

It's always great to see my old friend Steven Neumann, who I've known since - gasp - 1987. Steve has lived in lotus land for some time now, so his visits are a rare pleasure. Safe journey home, Steve! 

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Star Trek: The Motion Picture Toy Movie

YouTube user dyna74 has created and published a series of adaptations of the first few Star Trek feature films, using action figures to recreate the visuals and those old cheesy record adaptations for the dialogue, music and sound effects. The results are quite charming.