Dr Horrible

Consumption of Media

As you probably know, I’m a big consumer when it comes to media, be it TV, books, or more recently podcasts. I’m something of an addict. I’m the guy who stays up to 2am after having watched “just one more” episode of a favourite TV show several times.

Here’s what I’ve been watching / reading / listening to, and what I’m planning.

Podcasts

Okay, so I was late to the podcast party. Mainly because it’s just listening, and I often struggle to work out what to do with my eyes while listening. However, the two Podcasts I regularly listen to are: The BS Report by Bill Simmons (focuses on US pop culture, particularly sports and TV, two of my favourite subjects); and Harmontown by Dan Harmon (former and current show runner of Community). My podcast listening waxes and wanes – Harmontown got old for me, just for too many “I f***ed your Mama” raps. The BS report is tough, because it’s hard to winnow out the podcasts you want to listen to (for me, those on basketball, NFL, and TV shows I watch) from those you don’t (those on baseball, hockey, and TV shows I don’t watch).

Books

I’ve been trying to re-read the Wheel of Time from start to finish. Well, I haven’t read the finish, I got up to about The Tower of Midnight or something and lost interest. But now that it’s finished, I want to know what happened. So I’m reading it.

Of course, I found holes in my collection of books (I think I borrowed various volumes from people). So I’m stalled at book 11, Knife of Dreams (looking to go purchase a 2nd hand copy today).

So in the mean time, I’m on to the second book of The Dresden Files, Full Moon. I read the first book in the series a few months ago. For those not familiar with The Dresden Files, it’s basically noir detective meets Harry Potter (Harry Dresden, the protagonist, is a modern day wizard for hire).

TV

So, I’m up to speed on Castle (or, I should say, up to speed with where TV in NZ is showing it, which is mid season 5). I’m happy to watch it at TV pace. I’m also watching Elementary and Arrow when they show. And Game of Thrones (season 2, episode 3) – having read the books, I’m not in a ‘I must know what happens next’ mindset. Just started to watch Breaking Bad again (from the beginning) as I look to push through to new material (I’ve only watched up to end of season 2).

In terms of the future, I’m feeling like I should go back and watch The Sopranos. I mean, I caught odd episodes while it was on – I know who Tony, Big Pussy, Uncle Junior, Christopher, etc are. But I feel like I should watch it from start to finish. Everyone always gushes about it. Also, I’ve heard good things about The Shield.
Dr Horrible

Eclipse: 9 player game recap

I thought I’d share a game recap of the 9 player game of Eclipse we played.

The Set upCollapse )

1st Turn, All your actions are belong to usCollapse )

2nd Turn, Big badda boomCollapse )

3rd Turn, Big trouble in little star systemCollapse )

4th Turn, Get that ship moving!Collapse )

5th Turn, Continued conquestCollapse )

6th Turn, StagnationCollapse )

7th turn, Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!Collapse )

8th Turn, Game Over ManCollapse )

In hindsight I should possibly have allied with the Humans, and gone to take on the Space Pirates, leaving a Dreadnaught to hold that border. But really, the Eridani need a bit of luck to do well in the game. Losing the interceptor in the turn 2 meant not only the loss of the ship, but loss of the income from those 2 worlds for a turn, which would have really helped. I also suffered from not being able to pick up the tech I wanted early on – I think I could have afforded Advanced Robotics in Turn 3, but couldn’t get it until turn 5, and could afford Quantum Grid in turn 5 but couldn’t get it until turn 7. Also, despite the Eridani having less actions than everyone else I only ended up as the first player on one or two occasions – a couple of times a guy on the other side of the table getting screwed over (he was wiped out in about turn 5 or 6) passed early, meaning the tech I wanted was gone by the time I got a chance to research.

The 9 player game seemed particularly brutal. This is the first game I’ve ever seen a player completely eliminated prior to the end of the game (and in this case, 2 players). I think 6 of the 9 players held the Traitor card (one of them twice).
Dr Horrible

Eclipse: Eridani Empire

The Eridani have to be one of the toughest races to play in Eclipse. They’re meant to represent a civilisation in decline or stagnation, probably something like the Centauri in Babylon 5.

They have a few benefits: they start with a huge resource of cash, as well as 2 battle victory tokens, plus several technologies already researched (Plasma Cannons, Gauss Shields, Fusion Drives). Their ships are generally of standard design, although their Dreadnaught does have +1 power source.

The downside, though, is huge. They start with 2 less influence discs than the other races. That means that while the other races might normally have 3-4 actions a turn, once your cash runs out you’re down to 1-2.

Read more...Collapse )

All in all I think the downside of the Eridani is just too much to overcome. I found myself spending a lot of energy trying turn around my economy, which ended up meaning my military was underpowered.
Dr Horrible

Eclipse: Rise of the Ancients expansion

We played a 9 player game of Eclipse on Sunday, using the expansion. I’ll attempt to provide my insight into the new developments.

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So all in all – a lot to absorb. As you no doubt gathered from my summary above, I certainly didn’t manage to absorb it all (I had to use the internet while writing this to work out some of the things). My first reaction is that I don’t really like it. Part of the elegance of Eclipse was its simplicity, and the expansion has done away with that.
Dr Horrible

Eclipse: The Hydran Progress

So far I’ve played a few games as the Hydran Progress. I identified them early on as a potential favourite. Their big bonus is that they get to take two technologies for every research action they do. Given there are 24 different technologies and only 9 turns of the game, having that ability to get two at once seems to make sense for me. I can fill up my technology tracks with only 11 actions, while other races will need 21 actions! Win the Science! Have the most scientifically advanced (and therefore best) fleet on the board!

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So, the lessons I guess I learned in terms of playing the Hydran are:
1) Try to get lots of Science production early.
2) You don’t need to research too much early on, you are probably better exploring to get more resources, knowing that you can “catch up” on technology later more easily with your racial ability. Money will let you explore faster, and minerals can be converted to money or science once you unlock the Orbital technology, so explore!

The lessons I learned overall are:
1) Science is a tool, not a legitimate path to victory. You are better off saving your Science and buying a few key technologies, and maybe trying to complete 1 tree rather than all 3.
2) Battle Early, battle often. Fights will get you victory points, plus the system you claim will get you victory points, plus (if it’s ancient ships) the discovery tile will earn you victory points. Move, battle, claim the system and you could get 5-6 victory points in a turn. As all the battle VP are drawn from the same pool (and excess discarded), you have the best chance of getting a high number early (as other people will not discard the high numbers).