On the Dread Terror of (C)RPGs!

This will be a short post on Computer/console-Role-Playing Games (RPGs), which are why I’m so scarce this week; as opposed to last week, when it was due to me attending a convention.

Rush and Irina Sykes. Protagonist and sister.

Rush and Irina Sykes. Protagonist and sister.


The Last Remnant, Square Enix‘s less than stellar last game, is the one I’m currently spending too much time on, which is exactly the point: These games work their magic on me in such a manner that even when they are less than stellar, my days are lost to them.

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Geekorner Blog Month in Review: August (And Tail of July)

This may or may not be a permanent feature. But since many of the people currently reading this blog did not read this blog when it was new, it’ll be here this time.
And don’t worry, we’re going to resume normal postings tomorrow or the day after.

August in review (and yes, details are lacking, since WordPress only shows me top 40 clicks/referers, and only “past 30 days” and such, can’t tell it to look at August as a month…):

Hits: 1,955 hits in August, the first full month of posts.
129 hits in July.
Note, at the beginning of August/end of July, I had 30 hits on the “hot” days, 10 on the rest, and a couple with 1-2, from August 6th or so, I’ve had a minimum of 30 hits per day, and from August 13th, almost all days had over 50 hits per day. I aimed at 500-600 hits total, for the month.

Comments: 154 comments in August (including my own).
6 comments in July.

Notable Referers: Note, if your site linked through numerous sites, I can’t see it, can only see the top 40 individual pages who referred. Also, counts some early September data.
Wordpress news (I made the fifth comment, mostly “bounces”, one time-visitors): 300.
Animenano: 166.
Gunstray: 28.
Taikutsu Remedy (Snark’s site): 28.
(It’s not random that Gunstray and Taikutsu Remedy lead to so many hits here, it’s in their site’s setup.)

Notable posts (doesn’t include posts people read off the blog’s main page):
Figure Friday (1): 151 hits.
[TIL]: Element Hunters: 122 hits.
My Room, July 2009: 116 hits.

One more QUESTION before we continue; would you guys be interested in hearing how one can gain a nice level of activity on one’s blog without too much effort (1.5-2k hits a month)? Or do you think you’re all there and it’s superflous?

And now, after the “read more” tag, a description of all the last couple of months’ entries. Please check to see if there are entries you’ve missed which you would’ve enjoyed reading. Thank you.

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Settlers of Catan – Benchmark Boardgame

In Israel, at least when I was a child, there’s a culture of board-games. We have, or had, an Israeli company called “Kodkod”, which released games, and I think some of them were originals.
I’ve definitely played strategy games as a kid, I’ve played Talisman many times, I’ve seen used copies of Risk at the library (missing parts, so never got to play it), etc.

So people in Israel don’t see board-games as weird, and in recent years the german style board-games had also begun arriving. Anyway, I’m going to talk on one of the best-known board games across the world, The Settlers of Catan.

I’ve played my first game of this in an Israeli RPG/TCG/etc convention many years ago. I won BTW, then lost the second game we’ve played with different people, and each game went totally different.
In one game, there were like a total of 3 cards bought across the board, and in the other a lot more were bought.

Anyway, in this game you play a bunch of nobles who have towns and build roads, trying to gain control of the small island they are on. Resources are had by dice coming with territory numbers you have a settlement bordering, and rolling a 7 on a 2d6 results in “The Thief” coming to visit.

I’ve never played the game with its supplements, which I know I should. We’ve owned the game for about two years but didn’t get to play it at home yet, which fills me with great shame. Must cook up some board-game knight, even if once a month.

I much prefer playing the game as an ultra diplomatic game. A game where you make pacts with people, where you backstab people, where people try to stop other people when they realize it’s too late, except it’s… too late. In such a game, victory is also about strategy, but more about playing your fellow-players; identifying what your goals are, how to get others to aid you, how you can help them gain their goals without helping them too much or disrupting yourself, etc.
I’ve also seen games of it which sadly went the other way. People asking who needs something but not caring for any alliances at all, not caring to play it as a social game, but each player doing their own thing, and the trades being as impersonal as a face-less bid system.

I consider Settlers of Catan my board-game benchmark. It is not “The Perfect Game” that I deduce points from deviation to, but I think it is a very good game, if rather basic, and serves as a good game to compare other games to to see what they do different, and this sometimes helps identify what I like or dislike about them, both for being similar and for being different.

Score:, 4/5 wood for sheep. It’s entirely possible that after playing with the Knights and Castles add-on, which most people consider mandatory, I could only think of playing the basic game as an abomination not worthy of more than 2.5/5. But I’m not there yet.

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