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About HokieStone

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  • Birthday 12/21/1971

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  1. HokieStone

    Ant-Man and the Wasp and the Spoilers

    Just saw it tonight...generally in agreement with the folks here. I do wish they'd had some throwaway line or something in that mid-credits scene referring to Infinity War... Janet - "What in the world is happening in New York? What did I miss in the last 30 years?!?!" Hank - "We can't do anything about that, let's just worry about our research into the quantum field" Hope - "Yeah....<looking at Scott>...I'm sure 'Cap' has a handle on it..."
  2. HokieStone

    Board games!

    Had a buddy in town this weekend. Played "Roll Player" 3 times over the weekend. It's really a fun game. I'm gonna have to look into the expansion. Got in a bunch of others as well, including blowing the dust off of "Eclipse" and "Panamax". I like Eclipse a lot...but it gets to the table to little, we have to relearn the rules every time. Our 5 player game took something like 4 hours. My one complaint is that in the last few rounds, it turned into a slug fest. I don't know if you can get away with no combat at all. I walled myself off, and built my empire for 6 rounds, but that go everyone's attention, and they turned on me. Panamax is another one where we have to relearn the rules each time. But man...such a good game. My issue with this one, though...I think some of the game end scoring bonuses are out of whack. There are two bonuses for cruise ship passengers. One gives you 5 points for every passenger you have, the other just lets you score the passengers again (the highest one is worth 5, the rest go down from there). So, the first card is objectively better than the 2nd. Still...love the mechanics of the game.
  3. HokieStone

    Board games!

    Well, if you're new to hobby board games (i.e. looking to step up from Monopoly, etc.) - then it's definitely a good start. It's over 20 years old now, and I think a lot of "hard core" gamers have sort of left it behind. But it still sells very well, and has a big presence at conventions. I don't seek it out, but I would definitely still play. In fact, now that I think about it...I'm not sure the last time I actually played. Kind of makes me itch to play it again. So, I don't think it's overrated, per se - but I do think 20 years of more designs have left it feeling a little bit dated.
  4. HokieStone

    Board games!

    Yep - I didn't realize there was a UK edition. I've since seen the pictures. To be honest, I prefer the the multi-level hexes in the Stronghold edition, and the meeples are an upgrade as well over the generic pawns. But the sea creatures - and the boats - in the Waddingtons version are definitely top notch! I'd forgotten the dolphins in the Stronghold version were an add on. It made me look in my box...and I discovered I didn't have the rules for them...so I printed some off. At least next time I play, I won't be surprised by missing rules... Gloomhaven has been a disappointment for me. It's a combat-fest, with the "story" just being some cards you read now and again. Now...we are only 3 sessions in, so maybe more will come. To be honest, I would probably be selling it....but my 13 year old son seems to love it, so we'll keep slogging through it. Got to play a few games the last two days that I brought home from the Origins Game Fair that just happened in Columbus, Ohio. "Roll Player" is a game, where the entire game is to build a D&D character. It's from Thunderworks Games, and designer Keith Matejka. It's heavier and more thinky than you might imagine. It's a dice selection mechanism, where you are trying to get the best possible ability scores - higher scores are required for certain abilities based on your class. As you place the dice, where you place them allows you to do certain things. For example, placing a die in "Strength" allows you to flip any die you already have on your board. "Junk Orbit" from Renegade Games and designer Daniel Solis is a quirky and fun game about sending your spaceship in orbit around Earth, the Moon and Mars to collect "junk" and deliver it to it's named destination (cities on the 3 worlds). You move by ejecting junk a certain distance from your spaceship, and your ship moves that many spaces in the opposite direction. The whole action/reaction thing. The "box" is a big fat cylinder - which is neat...but I know will cause some people nightmares as they try to store it on a shelf. "Ancestree" is a quick "7 Wonders lite" from Calliope Games and designer Eric Lang. Over three rounds, you draft family members for your family tree. They come in 5 different color tiles (representing the Americas, Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East. At the end of three rounds, you score based on how many generations (not necessarily number of tiles) you have of each color - simply comparing to your neighbors like resolving conflict in 7 Wonders. You also get points for having rich people in your family tree (but they are generally harder to connect) - and at the end of the game, there is a scoring scale for the number of marriages you have. Lastly, I picked up "Century: Eastern Wonders", by Plan B Games and designer Emerson Matsuuchi. This is a follow-up to last year's "Century: Spice Road". It involves a similar theme of upgrading cubes to buy victory points (in this case tiles instead of cards). In fact, instead of any cards, you sail your ship around the "ocean", establishing trading posts, where you can do the cube...er...spice conversion. Played the game standalone tonight - I am looking forward to combining it with Spice Road and see what that game is like. Had a fun time overall at Origins this year, but it definitely felt like a "working" convention for me. As some of you may recall, I had my first game - "Santa's Workshop" - published by Rio Grande late last year. This is the first major convention since then (at least here in the U.S.). So, I spent some time at the Rio Grande room - they had a horde of volunteers teaching games, but I did a little teaching of SW, and answered questions. People seemed to like the game, and several asked me to sign copies, which of course is both flattering and slightly odd. I also spent a lot of time meeting with other publishers about having another game published. Nothing was signed but a few them were very interested and took copies with them, so I'm hopeful something will come of that later this summer. Also spend a lot of time in the "Unpub Room", playtesting other people's prototypes, and managed to get in one play of yet another game I'm working on, that's still very early in the process. I did miss out on a few things...didn't get to demo as many games as I would have liked...saw "Reef" from Plan B Games, which got a lot of buzz...but it didn't really draw me in. And missed seeing the new Fireball Island prototype in action. But, still it was a great con. Gen Con is not in the works for me, but I'm hoping to make it to Pax Unplugged late in the year.
  5. HokieStone

    Board games!

    Are you playing the Stronghold Games version of the game? I think the production value is fantastic...and certainly much better than the 1980s Parker Brothers version. There are dolphins in the game, so I'm a little confused. No octopus in the base game, but they do sell a giant squid expansion. I'm on my way back from Origins Game Fair...happy to give a summary once I'm not typing on my phone.
  6. I just don't understand... You pull up in the Land Rover, and just stop 100 yards away, and watch while the caravan pulls up, then keep watching while they unload the zombies, then just sit there while the zombies surround your car. Why didn't they drive for the gate? I honestly don't understand...did someone in the writers room at any point say "hey...why are they just sitting there letting the zombies surround them?" Dumb.
  7. It was killing me who the actor was that played the guy that Melba killed. Looked on IMDB - he was Carl, the janitor from "The Breakfast Club"! And in a couple of the other brat pack movies as well...and a zillion episodes of various tv shows over the last 30 years. Hm...maybe I'm showing my age...
  8. HokieStone

    Unpopular Opinions, Part Deux

    I *like* a lot of the additions/changes in the Star Wars Special Editions. (No, not having Greedo shoot first...nobody likes that).
  9. HokieStone

    SOLO: A Spoiler Story (contains spoilers)

    Just a response to all of the above, starting with Caligula's comment - I for one put the sequels at about the same level as the prequels. There are parts of the prequels that are much better than anything the sequels have done. And I feel this way for many of the same reasons Felice and Werthead state. First, as Felice says, they are flawed in different ways. In my mind, the prequels have a compelling story - the fall of Anakin Skywalker, and the rise of the Emperor. And the "core" of the story we see is good - how Palpatine manipulates things into a war...in which he's the leader of both sides! But, the execution of the prequels was of course horrible. From bad casting decisions (both Anakins) to awful secondary characters (Jar Jar) to a lack of a coherent villain (Darth Maul should not have been killed in TPM...and we see them clumsily trying to remedy that in the cartoons and now Solo). The sequels have almost the opposite problem. They have a very likeable cast, with no obvious duds in acting ability...but they have absolutely no worthwhile story. TFA was of course a blatant rip off of Star Wars (sorry, I'm too old to call it ANH). Throw in Wertheads comments about making everything a BIGGER version of what came before. Bleh. And while I like Daisy Ridley's performance, I'm in the camp that Rey is too good at everything. She's like a Super Duper Luke. Yes...it was pretty unrealistic that he could hop in an X-Wing fresh off the farm...but at least he was shown being clumsy with a lightsaber in Star Wars, and still struggling to use the Force 3 years later in ESB (barely being able to summon his lightsaber in the Wampa cave). And to Werthead's point about worldbuilding. The original movies didn't need much backstory...you could just accept that there was evil Empire. The prequels didn't need much backstory to them...you knew there was a peaceful republic...the interesting part was how it was all going to come crashing down. The sequels on the other hand...they have 6 movies that came before them. Last we saw, the Empire was defeated. Of course we're going to wonder how the "First Order" came about...and who Snoke is. But none of that is about Solo...which is the point of this thread. I think it did somewhat show us what life was like in the Empire - the recruiting pitches, etc. - and give us some insight into the underworld aspects. So it's filling in that "life in the Empire" aspect. It doesn't need much setup, because we know the situation already. Any more one-off stories set in this time period will benefit from the same thing...no need to give us a lot of backstory, we already know the general state of affairs.
  10. HokieStone

    SOLO: A Spoiler Story (contains spoilers)

    Just got back from seeing it - I enjoyed it, and my first reaction is that it's neck and neck with Rogue One for being the best Star Wars movie outside the original trilogy. After thinking about it a bit though, there are enough issues that put it solidly below R1 for me. Still enjoy it much better than the dreck of the prequels and sequels. I don't have much of a problem with Han being a "good guy" here...as someone upthread mentioned, I think he'll turn into the more embittered Han in the intervening years. We already knew that he had done "good" in his past since he had rescued Chewbacca. Speaking of which...I didn't quite get out of that what I was expecting. He didn't exactly rescue Chewie, as much as they worked together to escape the prison (also, I did find the "he hasn't eaten in 3 days" line to be odd...I don't think they meant Chewie was eating people, just that he was likely to be really angry because of hunger. That's what I'm telling myself anyway). Also, he didn't really help Chewie free the other Wookies...he just tossed him that weapon and basically said "good luck". So...nothing that would really merit the "life debt" thing. As for Han funding the Rebellion - that's not the sense I got. At least not funding the entire Rebellion. I took it as meaning that hyperfuel stuff would be enough to maybe help that local cell get off the ground. Too many things about Qi-Ra were just a little too convenient. Han goes through all this stuff just to try and get back to find her...and she just happens to be on the yacht of the crime boss? Shades of Rey and Finn just happening upon the Millennium Falcon in the TFA, and then just happening to run into Han Solo right after they steal it (who just happened to have lost(?) the Falcon previously, but somehow he was near where it was being kept). Also having Qi-Ra be the one who knew Lando was a little too convenient. I wish the Han-Lando meeting had been a little more organic. Donald Glover was really good as Lando...but perhaps not as "great" as I thought he would be. Based on the previews, I thought he was going to absolutely steal the movie, but I don't feel that he did. Lastly, the Darth Maul stuff. People who haven't seen the cartoons are going to be confused. As they should be. One of the (few) great things about "The Phantom Menace" was Darth Maul...and one of the worst decisions of that movie was to kill him off. He should have been a terror in all 3 of the prequels. And the powers that be eventually recognized that, and came up with the convoluted way to resurrect him. But it's awkward as hell. And yeah, they're treading a thin line with any potential Solo sequel, and Han's obliviousness of the Force in the original movie. (And yes, the lightsaber twirl was eye-rolling). The movie was full of easter eggs, but my favorite may have been the appearance of the "tusk helmet" that Lando would later wear when infiltrating Jabba's palace. Also...were those Ewok gliders on Lando's "Hawaiian shirt" in the last scene?
  11. Well yeah...but it begs the question as to what she's been doing since then. I imagine they'll send her off to space, or somehow have her incapacitated, and the post-credits scene may be her coming back somehow, ala Captain America. Maybe that's why Fury wasn't in Age of Ultron much...he was tracking her down...or something. I'm sure they'll have some rationale...guess we'll see.
  12. Between her standalone movie, and IW2, I'll be curious about how Capt. Marvel is handled. Specifically, if she's so powerful, and Fury can page her...why wasn't she called in during Avengers 1 or 2? Hopefully there will be a reason.
  13. Not only is season 6 only supposed to be 13 episodes, but I read that it is not expected to air until the summer of 2019. Conveniently, this will allow them to not start until after IW2 is released. So, it will be curious how that will affect the show. I suspect we'll get nothing more than a "Wow, that Thanos stuff was crazy! It's a shame about <insert post-IW2 dead Avengers>". Or something to that effect. But if IW2 does something really crazy with going back in time or something...I suspect that might be a convenient way to "cure" Coulson, somehow... The only thing that could really screw things up is if the movie side of things decides they're going to resurrect Coulson by time travel hijinks that enable them to stop Loki from stabbing him in Avengers 1. Would they be as brazen to really just throw the TV side under the bus like that, though?
  14. So...little hints and references to Infinity War in the last two episodes....and then they decide to completely ignore it. Ok then. I replayed it a few times, but couldn't undertand what Mack said to Fitz before he died. Speaking of which...Simmons seemed to get over that real quick. But I'm not quite sure I followed...are they going to try to retrieve the Fitz that was frozen and put into that capsule?
  15. HokieStone

    Will Jon come back to life?

    This. I haven't read the book in quite a while, but I recall it being pretty clear that he warged into Ghost before dying. Similar to the Wildling (I don't remember which one) who warged into his bird in the prologue and watched his human self being killed.