Monthly Archives: April 2015

Things Get Legendary


Yesterday an idea hit me, wait Avengers: Age of Ultron is out this week. We were due to celebrate this fact by playing Marvel Legendary on Thursday but due to unforeseen circumstances our host has had to cancel the themed evening of game playing. The idea that hit me was more a question, “is there an Ultron mastermind card in Legendary?” I was hoping so, I couldn't remember who the masterminds were. If Ultron was a mastermind I could play solo on Thursday and play the movie!

So I pulled out the Legendary box with everything in, opened it up. Then thought I really should sleeve these cards. Which then saw me get sidetracked looking for official sleeves. I had a heart attack when I saw a place on Amazon (UK for any international readers) selling a pack of fifty sleeves (I'm assuming that was one pack it didn't say otherwise) for twenty six pounds plus postage. That wasn't just daylight robbery, it was a mugging that ends up with the victim dead, and then the mugger peeing on the corpse. I think this South Park clip of Cartman quotes from the Humancentipad episode sums it up. BTW this is definitely NSFW!


These are sleeves that should not cost more than three or four pounds (yes twice the US price, yes that Cartman stuff is relevant for this as well too about us in the UK). To sleeve all your cards you need an aweful lot of sleeves. At the price on Amazon I'd have needed to become a mastermind myself and come up with cunning scheme to rob the Bank of England to buy enough to sleeve all the cards.

I could get generic sleeves, but having official sleeves with the art work on is just nicer. Maybe my FLGS might get them in (if the monopolistic UK distributor that has sewn up distribution for the majority if not all the major game companies has decided we in the UK are allowed to buy them, the seem to have deemed us unworthy on many accessories).

Any way I managed to focus again and looked through the masterminds for Legendary. Ultron wasn't one of them. Bugger. That poured cold water on that idea right away.

I think Upper Deck are missing a trick in not selling mini expansions that tie in with the movies and shows. The expansions don't have to be packaged anything more fancy than the foils packets similar to the ones used by the likes of White Wizard for the Gambit and Crisis expansions.

For the soon to be out Avengers: Age of Ultron they could of introduced a mini expansion containing Ultron as a mastermind, one or two scheme cards, and henchman cards, all for five coins of the realm or five pound. Then we could have been playing Marvel Legendary this week recreating the movie by going up against Ultron.

Later in the year Upper Deck could of released a couple of Antman related packs to tie in with (what looks promising in the trailers) Antman movie. Or we could of had a Winter Soldier pack. I do hope they do something for Civil War.

But nope Upper Deck havent announced anything like this, however we are getting a Secret Wars expansion in the Summer.

I missed a trick last weekend or did I? Well as I have pointed out previously Daredevil hit Netflix last week. Thirteen episodes in a Netflix exclusive series tied in to the Marvel cinematic universe. Just don't go watching it expecting guest appearances from Captain America or Thor. This is set at the street level with our heroes living in the world they are defending, and not operating on some grand scale alien invading level that Capt and Thor live in. Daredevil is darker, grittier and it's fantastic. Being on Netflix we benefit from their binge model of watching, so we got all thirteen episodes available to watch at the same time.
So last Friday I watched eight of the episodes and then finished off the final five episodes on the Saturday. It is such a great series. The look, the way they portray the characters, the story arcs, the character interactions. Everything about this series is just miles ahead of the other superhero tv series on at the moment or before it.
Don't get me wrong I love Gotham (and wow the penguin is amazing in this series, the actor playing him has created a performance that defines the character for me as did Heath Ledger for The Joker), I love The Flash and it's fan service and nods to the eighties series. I'm a very loving person and that love carries over to Arrow and Marvel Agents of Shield.
I even liked Constantine, the actor who played Constantine was really good. However Constantine although so much better than the Keanu Reeves Constantine movie, needed to be darker and grittier. It had thirteen episodes but failed for me to achieve the same impact and development that we have seen with Daredevil.
In Daredevil the stand out casting for me has to be Vincent D'Onofrio (he of Law and Order Criminal Intent fame) as Wilson Fisk or not called by this name yet in the series King Pin. The performance as Fisk is nothing but amazing, and for me steals the show. Vincent plays Fisk so well giving the character a menacing threatening presence however he also brings a vulnerability to Fisk. This is a character defining performance, that if anyone else plays King Pin will have a hard time topping.
I'm looking forward to the other four series that Netflix have the licence for hitting their streaming service. And I've crossed everything hoping that we will see more seasons of Daredevil.

So what was the opportunity I missed? Playing Marvel Legendary with King Pin as the mastermind with Daredevil and other street level heroes hoping to foil his scheme. But have I missed it? Nah I can play it today while re watching the series.

I'm going to finish this long post with a warning for those that have Marvel Legendary but not bought the Spider-Man Paint the Town Red and/or the Fantastic Four expansions. BUY THEM NOW! Upper Deck have said these will not be reprinted. The Spider-Man one surprised me, but not the Fantastic Four one. Well Marvel are going nuclear with the film studio that hold the rights for doing Fantastic Four movies, and that side of things will just get uglier.


A Star Wars Celebration

Over in the US of A there is a three day Star Wars celebration currently going on. Already we are getting to see the new teaser trailer for Episode 7, a trailer for the new Battlefront video game, and fan pictures of the ships and figures that make up the Fantasy Flight Games offerings that will be joining their official licenced boardgames later this year (hopefully) from their stand. Naturally at these sort of events there are panels, cosplay and more. And yes I wish I was there.

Above is my “fleet” for when I get to play X-Wing miniatures. Definitely not the largest “fleet” out there by a long shot. However considering the number of expansions they have released, the amount I get to play the game (hardly ever), and the number of other games in my collection that release regular expansions I think my “fleet” is very large. Naturally it could be bigger, for starters the Scum and Villiany ships could be there, but I'll add to the “fleet” when resources permit. One thing that anyone who sees these models up close does say is “wow, those models are amazing”. FFG do knock it out of the park with the X-Wing models.
All your farms belong to us!
It's funny to think what an impact and impression Star Wars and the franchise has had on western society. Who would of thought in 1977 after falling in love with Olivia Newton John as Sandy in Grease, and her bad girl look in the song “You're the one that I want” from the end of the movie. Which seemed to be constantly on tv and Top of the Pops. That the clip that rivaled it for being on tv all the time that year of Han and Luke operating the guns on the Falcon shooting at tie fighters ending with Han saying to Luke “great kid, don't get cocky” would be such an amazing film and still fueling the imagination of people decades later.
Some of my rare childhood memories that I have are linked to Star Wars. I remember queuing up round the corner with my family waiting to get into the cinema at Kings Lynn to see the rest of the movie that went along with that clip. Lucas really did capture the people's imagination everywhere. Marvel comics hit a home run with the comic strip adaption that made it over here in a UK comic book edition. I missed the first issue but got the following ones.
My friends and I were mad for anything Star Wars, it was all our playground conversation was for a long time. I even made my own tie fighter in class using a ping pong ball, cardboard, paper mâché and paint. I remember being jealous of those that had official merchandise, but still I had my tie fighter.

Back in the late seventies we had panini sticker books for football, and from time to time the odd hit movie. It was never like this day and age where there seems to be a sticker book to collect for everything that could even remotely be pimped to the public. We also had bubble gum cards and I remember collecting the cards and stickers for Empire Strikes Back. Well not exactly the cards but definitely the sticker book.

If seventies Darren had access to the stuff modern Darren has he would of been in a fanboys dream world. Back then we never had a foggiest the journey we would be taking with Han, Luke and Leia over the years. Let alone the constant fiddling Lucas would do to the movies we loved so much. South Park did such an amazing job of capturing what every fan was thinking (the clip below is definitely not safe for work) about Lucas and Spielberg because they did the same with another beloved character of theirs Indy.

On the video game front the first Star Wars game I played was a Commodore 64 port of the classic Star Wars arcade game in all its wireframe goodness. From there I progressed to the Atari ST port of the Return of the Jedi arcade game. After that in the nineties while working in Byfleet for a credit card company on my first pc, an Amstrad 16Mhz 386sx clam shell laptop I got taken totally away into the Star Wars universe and lived every fans dream of being able to pilot an X-Wing in the groundbreaking game X-Wing. Naturally the follow up X-Wing vs Tie Fighter was more of the same amazing goodness. And then the Star Wars franchise jumped on the Doom band wagon with the amazing Dark Jedi Knight, a rather cool Star Wars FPS.

My only brushes with the Star Wars games during the Sony console dominated late nineties and early noughties was by proxy of my boys when they played them. However I'm getting a chance to play some of those games now thanks to a recent Humble Bundle that gave me a crap load of them for under a tenner. But the Humble Bundle folks also gave me a load of Star Wars comics (including the original Marvel ones) recently as well, also for a criminally low price. TOP TIP keep an eye on the Humble Bundles, sign up for their alerts they have some great value deals on regularly.

In the late nineties I collected the cards that made up the Star Wars collectable card game that was out at the time. Didn't get to play the game sadly. Plus in a box when there were the anniversary celebrations and special editions released I collected the Tazos and little plastic busts that Walkers did as part of the promotions that Lucas film had given them the licence for.

Now days it seems we are spoilt for good quality Star Wars related boardgames. the main plus side is that we don't have to put up with thinly rebranded editions of Risk and Monopoly. But can experience the rich tapestry of the Star Wars universe with X-Wing miniatures, Armada, Imperial Assualt or the Living Card Game to name some of them. FFG have done such a great job bringing the Star Wars universe to the table top, although I think none gamers and gamers will agree not always cheaply.

Having implied that rebranded versions of Monopoly and Risk are just cashing in (well I'm not a Monopoly fan), one cashin that I would love to see is the Star Wars theme being applied to Love Letter. I think it would work very well, and I love Love Letter especially the Batman Love Letter, and a Star Wars themed version would be awesome.

I don't know if the above words make any sense or form some sort of coherent narrative, or even have a point. But I hope you enjoyed them, what are your experiences of Star Wars growing up and of the games (which ever media).

Finally if you haven't seen the movie Fanboys it's worth a watch, it's been out a while.


Chip chip

Everyone seems to be doing a kickstarter podcast or YouTube video. So who am I to not jump on a band wagon. Here's a relatively short post of kickstarter projects I think are worth backing at the moment.

Project Sidologie looks amazing. Back in the day as hip and trendy people say the Commodore 64 battled with the ZX Spectrum for supremacy of these emerald isles. In those heady ground breaking days of the home computer there was a flourishing demo scene on the Commodore 64, helped by the Commodore owned Compunet dial up network where demo writers distributed their latest opus on the 64. These demos pushed the limits of the hardware and then stepped over them often doing what people thought impossible. Some of these demo writers went on to be recruited into the games industry.

It was on Compunet that I sent my only piece of fan mail to Jeff Minter, and he replied! Anyway I have some fond memories of the demos from this time. To hear Axelf, Stairway to Heaven, Zoolook or Rendevous IV blaring out of the speakers of the tv, generated on the computer sitting in front of you was amazing. So amazing, the memories are still with me now as I write about this walk down memory lane, and the notes of these famous tunes as they sounded on the SID Chip playing in my ears.

Even now when I'm not listening to audio books or podcasts on the way into work I listen to the chip tunes from my childhood. If you were next to my car you would hear the likes of Hubbard, Galway et al and their classic tunes emanating from my car stereo.

Into this nostalgia comes Project Sidologie being Jarre inspired Commodore 64 music remixes. I'm looking forward to hearing these albums. Jarre was a big influence at the time for some of the musicians creating tunes on the Commodore 64 and the demo writers. This kickstarter is a tribute to this fact.

One Night Resistance will be sooo cool. Resistance is a favourite with students when I take it in. I'm looking forward to this hitting the shops. It will be interesting to see what students think when they play this.

The other games in the list are cards games (I seem to be into those at the moment). The Apocrypha Adventure game looks cool, plus can be played as a card game or RPG. So two games for the price of one. Best Treehouse Ever looked a fun little card game about building the best treehouse strangely enough. I think along with A Chaotic Life a fun “filler game” to use on a game night or like I have done with other small games something that can fit in a pocket and be taken down the pub to play with friends over an alcoholic beverage.

I hope these words have helped and that seeing the list has given you an idea of something to back that will reward you with hours of fun gameplay.


Catan Day is getting closer

Is getting closer! 24th of this very month in fact. I'm hoping to play the game in the meat world, but if my plans to do so are as unsuccessful as my plans for a gaming night last night (ie no one came) then in reality I will end up playing the app version as my part in the day.

Don't forget you don't have much longer a day if that to get the games in the Humble Bundle Tabletop deal, of which Catan is one of the included games (don't forget Ticket to Ride and Smallworld). Quick aside on this its a pity the expansions you get on Ticket to Ride and Smallworld don't carry across your account onto the iOS version. I did try it to see if they were, but this deal isn't as generous as White Wizard are with Star Realms and their buy on one platform get on all policy.

Here are some clips that will hopefully if you haven't played the game get you interested in playing the game.

Or if you are a Trekkie there is a Star Trek themed version of the game. Which the episode of Tabletop below shows being played with Jerri Ryan who played Seven of Nine in Voyager. Oh and we can't forget Will Wheaton was also a Trek alumni. And let's face it who wouldn't love to play Star Trek Catan with a cast member of one of the many series.


Casual Tournament Número Five

SPOILER ALERT: this story does not have a happy ending so if you want a happy ending this is not the post you are looking for and you need to move on and find a story with one. We don't do safe boring stories here. These stories are edgy and will give you nightmares. You have been warned.

Yep yesterday saw the start of the Fifth Star Realms Casual Sunday Tournament. So how I do?

Things were starting really well with me winning the first game. The cards had been kind to me. Somehow I had won against the script for these tournaments, I was adlibing. The second game saw the natural order of things re-establish itself with me clocking up a loss.

The final deciding game. Crunch time. Through out the game I was chasing the game having a slower start, and being on the receiving end of more damage whittling down my authority. But I was starting to pull myself back into the game. Through luck of the draw and the card gods our authority got to the state of 8 v 11 in favour of Jovel. Sitting in my hand for my next turn was a minimum of 14 points of damage plus a card draw. I needed Jovel to have a draw of cards that I normally get in this situation, one that is all credits and no damage, or very little damage. Sadly for me but great for Jovel the cards fell kindly for him. Once more a final knock out blow is delivered to me, giving Jovel the tie breaking win and a well deserved place in the second round of this tournament.

My biggest fear from my constant poor showing in these casual tournaments is that when the next invitational tournament is held I won't get an invite. But to be fair based on my performance in these casual events I don't deserve an invite. It's up to me to up my game and earn that potential invite. Or at least make the organisers seriously consider giving me an invite.

An OMG WTF Just Happened? Moment

How many times have I been on the receiving end of what I call “OMG WTF Just happened?” moment. I think I've mention at least one of them on this blog. Today the worm turned and I got to do my own “OMG WTF Just happened?” moment on some-one (name removed to protect the innocent).

I define the “OMG WTF just happened?” moment as that moment in the game when you are sitting on an authority score that you think you have at least another turn, maybe two or more with a bit of luck. When the cards align against you with your opponent who then gets a combo just working with cards and attack just racking up. Before you know it in a blink of an eye there is more damage than you have authority clocked up, and you have lost the game.


My International Tabletop Day 2015

Yesterday was International Tabletop Day, a day to celebrate boardgames by playing boardgames. So how did I spend this auspicious of days?
The most obvious thing to start this answer off with is I played some turns in the app version of Star Realms. Well it is my addiction and the games I'm playing go on whether its Tabletop Day or not. I think on the whole I broke even in the wins and loses columns.
Later in the day I got invited out to the pub to pick some leaflets that I had committed to deliver over the weekend for Sam. Sam is running for the local council on the Tory ticket. But I decided to take some games with me to play (just in case the opportunity arose). As the yellow dice bag (and yes it's the official one) above shows I took Zombie Dice along with the little score pad. But the Age of War game box I decided could be used to carry more than just the Age of War game.
So what games did I manage to squeeze into the small game box? Well Age of War for starters, Roll For It, Poker Dice and Batman Love Letter. So I think I squeezed a lot of game into a small box.
Did I get to play anything while out then? Hell Yeah! We played Batman Love Letter. Which Sam won. But it's one of those games where the mistakes give you the laughs and talking points. Like James who sat next to me, not keeping his card to himself at one point allowing me to play a Batman card to guess his card! I have to say I do love playing Love Letter.
There was a quick game of Zombie a Dice which James won. Followed by a game of Roll For It, which I house ruled that we played until some-one got 30 points instead of 40. And that game was won by a mate of James.

I would of gone to my FLGS but the announcement about what they had planned was very last minute, and seeing as it's just under an hours drive not worth a speculative visit (parking also costs), no mention of which promos they had or were giving away, or details on games being played. I feel a post coming on about game stores in general in the near future.

Geek n Sundry Live Feed

When I got home I decided to watch some of the live stream of the Geek n Sundry Tabletop day event. Which is basically Felicia Day or Will Wheaton sitting round a table with guests playing games. For whatever reason it was going out over Twitch (yes I know they broadcast on it). Anyway Felicia and three others were playing Batman a Love Letter when I “tuned” in. I didn't recognise a single one of the guests Felicia was playing with. If you thought Celebrity Big Brother on Channel 5 had obscure celebrities on it, the fame whores that it finds are major A List stars compared to the “celebs” that were sitting round this table. Maybe in the echo chamber that is Los Angeles these people have some standing on the celebrity scale. But outside in the real world they do not register.
Apparently for the next game Splendor the guests with Felicia were presenters on the twitch channel. So as I said in the echo chamber they may be “somebody” but for the rest of us its a game of “who the feck is that?” I think maybe in future instead of choosing nobodies from the echo chamber that Felicia and Will would be better off having members of the public attending plucked from the playing area and join them.
Of course trying to guess what the echo chamber “celebs” are famous for is a great game to play while watching. While guessing you are not allowed to look them up on the Internet to find out. You have until the end of the game being played to make a guess, using clues obviously from their playful banter between each other during the game.


I mentioned the other day that it was now possible to get the first data pack in the new Android:Netrunner cycle. The Valley arrived on International Tabletop Day. The first thing you notice is that the packaging has changed. The cardboard box is gone and replaced by a plastic case. I'll try and look at the cards during the week.
Plus Han, Leia and the Emperor arrived.


Crystal Maze Post

The forces of good gather to consider options to get Han out of the pickle he's got himself in. Obi Wan said Han shouldn't have failed his Crystal Maze challenge. But Luke and Chewie didn't like this change to the original Crystal Maze format. The ramifications of failing the challenge had a lot more serious consequences than just being trapped in a room.

I decided to add a spare black cloak to the Jedi Luke minifig to finish it off. I may get a black hood at some point to use with it.
A Darth Vader wearing a medal arrived escorted by two Stormtroopers. Wasn't happy with the state of one of the Stormtrooper helmets. I think bad feedback may be due.
Once again I've added to a minifig. This time Vader really did need a lightsaber.
Is it obvious what minifigs I'll be using on a certain day next month? I bet it is.
Some minifig props also landed through the door, four blasters for the Stormtroopers, and a trophy. I think there will be some end of year awards this year.
I also created a new minifig called The Establishment that was inspired by the cover of the book by Owen Jones. It was a simple figure to create, a Lone Ranger head(!) for the mask, a bowler hat, suit torso and plain black legs. Captures the cover rather well I think.

The second volume of Snowpiercer also arrived.

Android:Netrunner SanSan Cycle Data Packs

Super cool news saw that the first data pack in the SanSan Cycle is out to buy! The data pack is called The Valley, and that's all I know about it. I've not seen any spoilers for cards for this data pack, or cycle so I have absolutely no idea what to expect. This is going to be an unusual experience for me. Usually something I play I'm up on any spoilers. I don't recognise myself.



Weekly Humble Bundle

I think the image I swiped from the Humble Bundle site for this weeks weekly bundle says it all really.
Pay what you want for the following games:
  • Small World 2
  • Talisman Digital Edition
  • Magnifico

If you pay over seven dollars you unlock the following on top of the above:

  • Catan Creators Edition
  • Ticket to Ride
  • 100% Orange Juice
  • Soundtracks from the games

Plus if you splash out more than thirty two dollars you get the Humble tabletop box. Which is something that continues the Humble Bundle trend of having some physical element for people to opt for. For me this wasn't something that appealed to me. But its contents may be attractive enough to you to go for this.

Click HERE to splash out for these great digital versions of tabletop games. Don't forget a percentage (that you decide) also goes towards charity, and that these are DRM free and also on Steam (not 100%).


Remember remember


This Saturday is International Tabletop Day. It's smack dam in the middle of an awesome weekend that starts on Friday with DareDevil hitting Netflix. Then on the other side is the start of the new season of A Game of Thrones on the Sunday (plus a pub quiz at the Kings Head). How's that for a weekend sandwich of awesome?

If you have an Amazon Prime account you still have time to order a game or two in to play if you don't have any games. If you don't have a Prime account then you could always pop along to your local game store and pick something up.

If you are a none gamer and want some suggestions what to buy and play I would say you can't go far wrong with one or two of the following games: Ticket to Ride, Carcassonne, Catan, Fluxx, Splendor, Machi Koro, Tokaido, Star Realms, Munchkin, Harbour, Love Letter, King of New York, Cash n Guns 2, Resistance, Zombie Dice, Age of War, Bang the Dice Game, Lost Cities, Tiny Epic Kingdoms, Pandemic The Cure, Pandemic.

Some of the above suggestions are quick games, some are two player, some are group games. I think that they are all games that can be learnt easily and quickly, are accessible.

Or if you have some games already why not choose one of them to play? And yes despite my opinion on games like Monopoly, Cluedo, etc I'm including these to here. It's about having fun playing games, and if that's what floats your boat.

If you are lucky your local gamestore will be taking part and have stuff going on. I have no idea what either the local stores to me are doing on Saturday. I know one said they are doing something but what I have no idea.

I'll probably end up playing a solo game or two while watching the live feed of Will Wheaton and pals. I'm not going to count taking my turns at Star Realms.

I've been looking forward to this day, and feel I've let myself down not having anything planned. I did try organising something but very little interest was shown. And saying very little is being economical with the truth, no interest was shown.

But don't cry for me Argentina. I'm a big boy now, I can handle rejection.

What are your plans for the day? What games are you planning on playing? You can find out more here.


Heinz 57 Post

About Last Night

Last night Sam (a friend) messaged me via that NSA friendly site Facebook inviting me along to the Kings Head and to bring along Munchkin. The pub was a little busier than was expected, but Sam, Duncan and myself sat down to play a game of Munchkin.
As the photo above shows my Munchkin character was an Elven Thief dressed in leather armour. That's one of the things I love about the game the crazy race and class combos that paint such vivid pictures (greatly enabled by the great art work on the cards) that become more vivid when you start adding on the accessories like armour and weapons.
The game started slowly mainly due to work (Sam having to serve customers) and very few monsters turning up in the Door pile of cards to fight. Once we started fighting monsters and levelling up, it becomes the case of stockpiling cards to stop your nearest rival from stepping over the winning line.
That arms race finally happened in our game between Sam and myself. I used my salvo of cards to stop Sam crossing over the line, depleting my arsenal. Then it was Sam's turn to use up her arsenal to stop me crossing the winning line. Which she successfully did. But then all sides are wondering did the other person have anything left to stop them when their turn comes around again. Back to Sam's turn and she draws a curse. Then it's my turn I too draw a curse, but protected from its effects by some magic footwear. Back to Sam and still no monster for her to fight. Which was lucky for me, I had nothing to stop her with in my hand. My turn. A level one monster (I forget which one) I very easily had more than enough to defeat the monster. Phew Sam was in the same situation as myself nothing left to stop me winning. We had both used everything we had in our previous exchange of blows. I crawled across the finish line to win.

When Worlds Collide

In the world of Minecraft skeletons are a minor irritation. They don't have it easy especially when they are on the surface, as soon as it turns daylight they burn up. Well one skeleton had had enough of the status quo. He reached out for some help. A pan-dimensional portal opened up and four Stormtroopers turned up to help even the odds up for the skeleton.

Luckily for Steve two other figures followed the Stormtroopers through the pan-dimensional portal, Jedi Luke and Stormtrooper Han.
So I have a nice little minifig Stormtrooper army building up.

Competition My Arse

The Pixel Tactics playmat from Level 99 arrived today but only after I had to pick it up from its kidnappers the Royal Mail. They had taken it hostage and were demanding a ransom before they would release it.
The ransom exchange took place at the nearest sorting office. Not exactly neutral territory but when a gun is being held at your head you have to go along with the demands of the man with the gun in their hand.
The thing about this kidnapper is that they are meant to be working in a competitive market place (except the last mile where they have a monopoly) for delivery of mail. But I call shenanigans on that. There is no competition in reality. If there was competition then the ransom fee I had to pay today would be a lot lower than it was.
I don't mind paying the tax on the goods I bought from outside of the UK. That is fair. What I do object to paying is the ripoff fee that the Royal Mail charge. The “handling” fee is total bs. It's like the extortionate fees banks charge. There is no way that the costs to the Royal Mail is that much.
However the “competition” only match or go higher on the costs they charge. A competitive market should see these costs dropping not remain stagnant and at a profiteering price.
I'm really resentful of this exploitation of a situation that the Royal Mail use to unfairly profit at my expense.

The playmat itself from Level 99 is lovely. Similar material to all my other playmats, but thinner. The thinness did strike me at first, but it doesn't detract from what a nice playmat it is.

Some Light Reading

I really did enjoy the movie Snowpiercer starring Chris Evans. It's one of those films that snuck out last year and didn't get the exposure the movie really deserved. Just go rent the movie you won't regret it.

The film was based on a French graphic novel. So I finally caved and ordered the source material to read. The second volume is in the postal system somewhere.

Star Realms An Easter Miracle Happens

A couple of days back I decided to check what if any my ranking was in the Star Realms Leaderboards. Bloody hell how did I get that high? Surely something was wrong with their leaderboard? Ok it dropped down after a couple of loses, but even then it was way higher than I was expecting.
Another loss and a further drop. But I tell you I won't see this again me higher up in the rankings than TheCutter.

Naturally on the monthly and lifetime leaderboard I don't even make a dent. That was more like it. The natural order of things is at least restored on those two leaderboards.