First Post of the Year

Half way through Jan and not a post to be seen.  I need to get on that.

The final stretch of the holidays was a blur, followed by the stomach flu, then more work than I expected.  Being able to write has been a challenge, one I need to actively make time for.  Still, some minor updates.

Grim Dawn

I’ve played a ton of this game.  The higher difficulties are quite challenging compared to normal mode, which is nice.  My lightning shaman is fun to play, though I’m looking at building a pure tank for the next run through.  While the maps themselves are not randomized, the enemies generally are, and the loot certainly is.  I rather enjoy that depth in the game, especially the ability to re-configure your skill layout.  That’s one of my pet peeves in Path of Exile, you’re stuck with a specific item set based on your locked-in skills.  Mind you, leveling in PoE is a lot faster than in Grim Dawn, so it sort of works out.

New Tablet

My youngest daughter took a couple tries but successfully broke my table in the fall – or at least the digitizer.  I’ve been unable to repair it, so I spent some time looking for a replacement.  I don’t generally like to buy equipment unless there’s a good deal to be had, and I’m not one for a $90 tablet either.  Things worked out when I found the Nvidia Shield Table K1 for $199.  Spec-wise, it’s comparable to tablets in the $400 range, and it has an optional controller (which works great).  I ordered it shortly after the holidays and I am quite impressed with it.  The only real downside is the lack of a charger.  Since it’s a tablet, it needs a solid 2ma plug, and cell phones are not often above 1.  I have 1 charger that’s making due but the other ones are darn slow to charge it up.

Games play and look amazing.  Spending some quality time with KOTOR now.  For a game that came out in 2003, it’s aged remarkable well.  The tablet controls are more than adequate, with the exception of swoop racing.  For that, I absolutely need a controller to get ace times.  Otherwise though, superb port and worth every penny.  Now if only I could get XCOM to work on it…I’m sure there’s an APK somewhere.

Force Awakens

I was able to see this with my family at a VIP cinema.  It’s one of those that you sit in leather recliners, they serve food and beer and overall a much better experience.  I’ll be honest, I had shivers watching it.  It’s not the best movie ever made, far from it, but it hits every single note required for a solid boost of nostalgia and “newness” to make it work.  It was enough to convert my wife to Star Wars fan and my kids are certainly interested as well.

I won’t post any spoilers but it’s fair to say that’s it’s eerily similar to Ep4 in the paces.  There’s only minor merchandising in the movie (BB8 notably, and he’s a great R2 surrogate), the acting is pretty solid, and the visuals are impressive.  I look forward to the next installment.

Board Games

This is in 2 parts actually.  Over the holidays my kids got some board games and I wanted some as well.  Junior Monopoly is pretty good at teaching counting and the games are fairly quick.  Junior Catan is about trading gains today for gains tomorrow, which is interesting to see a kid figure out (even adults).  The staples of Uno, Trouble, Perfection, Kerplunk and Rebound are also additions to the pile.

For myself, I picked up an expansion to Imperial Assault, Twin Shadows.  That came with 2 heroes, 2 villains and some extra baddies (Wampas!).  There was a pretty big sale on acrylic paints at the craft shop over the holidays, so I’m making my way through all the miniatures now.  I’d say I’m about ¾ of the way through now, in terms of actual miniatures, but only half of the way through painting, as what’s left is individual models.  Painting 9 Storm Troopers is slightly more work than painting a single hero.

It’s remarkable how much skill progress I’ve had these past weeks though.  Looking at what I started doing, compared to what I’m doing now… it’s neat.  I can paint twice as fast and it looks a whole lot better.  I’ll post a picture of my Nexu (the cat from Ep2) soon to show an example.  To finish them off, I need to restock on some flock and rocks to fill out the bases.

The next post up should deal with 2016 predictions.

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