Armada surrender

I am having a very hard time settling down and anteing up for a space combat miniatures game. After a great deal of exploration and consideration I had settled on Star Wars: Armada. Its fleet combat action with the concomitant large vessels, lots of fighters, and played on a big table is what I am looking for. And I really like the setting. So a few weeks back I bought the starter kit, but since it arrived the box has been unopened. Why?

Even after buying it I remained a little uneasy about the large number of custom components: the specialized dice, unique movement jigs, uncommon vessel stands, specific crew & vessel cards, the tokens, etc. What happens when Fantasy Flight Games discontinues the game? Can the game stand up without the support of the manufacturer? Should I care as long as I enjoyed the game for a few years (my ROI)? A specific game is not eternal afterall.

On Tuesday I was in northern Massachusetts and so drove over to Hobby Bunker to get a couple of back issues of Wargames Illustrated. The shelves had lots of X-Wing, lots of Star Trek Attack Wing, and almost no Armada. I should have asked the staff about the discrepancy, but my gut told me that Armada just did not have the following of the other games. Having others to play with is also what I want in my space combat miniatures game.

I returned Armada today, and I am back to not knowing what to choose.

ps If you are a D&D Attack Wing player and looking for more components Hobby Bunker has a dozen or more in their remainders sale.

pps Wargames Illustrated US subscription price is far too high at £80.00 / year (currently $114). So I choose to just buy a few issues a year to get my glossy magazine fix.

Update: I have bought Star Wars: The Force Awakens X-Wing Miniatures Game Core Set. Seeing the X-Wing Builder tool and some of its results, for example, herehere, and here (by way of The Woofboot Chronicles), put me over the top. I picked up the newer version of the core set as I have read that the manual is much improved over the original (and there are very few new rules or rules changes between the two).

Listen to Wikipedia

Listen to Wikipedia is wonderful and a good example of an ambient display. Reminds me of listening to the music of the stars in Carl Sagan's Cosmos series.


A year or so ago I bought the d0x3d! board game. The theme is network security and the players are hackers cooperating to retrieve stolen information and escape the network before detection. The mechanics are very similar to Forbidden Island. I finally organized my coworkers and bribed them with a selection of Rhode Island beers and we played it today. It was a lot of fun and I would recommend it to other engineering types that might be adverse to playing a board game. Most telling was Mike's comment that playing the game together was the best team building exercise we had ever done. That was not my intention, but I am glad the game play achieved that also.

Regarding the beers, the two winners were Captain's Daughter and Revival White Electric Coffee Stout.

Looking for laser cutting service

Anyone know of a laser cutting service in South Kingstown or vicinity? AS220 Labs has a low cost service (4 hours / $25), but I normally only need an hour and don't want the cost of driving to and parking in Providence. Does URI have a maker space or have plans to create one?

Playstation 4 Tax

Macintosh users once talked about the "Microsoft Tax." This was the additional hardware you needed to buy in order to effectively use a Microsoft Word upgrade. Today I discovered a "Playstation 4 Tax". This is the additional wireless networking hardware you have the buy in order to play Call of Duty with teammates and not effectively block other family members from using the internet. I am thinking my son will need to pay this tax.

FYI: How bad are things (in schools)?

Tom Hoffman's How bad are things (in schools)? posting (and the one it draws from) is related to the complexity of childhood's problems that often come up when talking about social engineering education reform. The "script" he talks about is a small computer program that when run prints the condition(s) of a random stranger. Well worth reading.

Too much beer and ardent talk

The planning and execution of 9/11 took several years to complete. Oklahoma City took 2 years. These guys' plan seemed to be based on drinking too much beer and speaking too ardently the night before. Blockade the facility and let 'em starve. I give them 5 days before they quite.

Update: Their humiliation will likely to be the spark that sets this fiasco on fire. And that outcome WILL cause serious problems for this country.

Update: Regarding humiliation, "Hungry and cold, Ammon soon found his limbs entwined with Trevor’s. He was unsure where he ended and Trevor began. ‘It’s for warmth,’ he told himself. He pulled out his Magnum and gripped the barrel, locking eyes with Ammon. Ryan held the cold steel to his brother’s naked flank. Ammon gasped with pleasure and desire." Y'all Qaeda erotica fan-fiction.