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Thursday, 24 March 2011

“I think it's wrong that only one company makes the game Monopoly.”- Steven Wright

Ok, hello people!
Sorry that I haven't updated this in a while. I kept forgetting etc...
I would say that I am now fairly settled in the US, the moment the Marvel and DC posters went up in my room I knew I was at home.
So, I have been here over a month now, the time really does fly by. I have been given my project at work for this year. I am getting very used to the lots of slight differences in the US and keep accidentally saying things like "restroom" and "sidewalk" and saying things in an American accent, so I may have lost my wonderful British accent by the time I return. (Sorry)

Okay, so this weekend was ConnCon! This is a gaming convention held in Stamford, CT every year. I managed to play 10 new board games which meant that I stayed up until 3:30am and got up at 7:30am for more gaming both nights! My weekend involved playing these board games, watching bits of Harry Potter (which was on abc family all day) and sleeping. Probably in that order!
Still it was an amazing weekend and I really enjoyed myself, despite not doing all too well in the games!
I'll speak a little about the games in a bit.

You can ignore the next bit if you don't really like board games (also you're silly)

During the weekend I got to play, in some kind of order: Stone Age, Civilization, Amun Re, Dungeon Lords, Alien Frontiers, The Adventurers, Dominion and Le Havre.
My awards for these are as follows:

Superest-duperest: Dungeon Lords. This is a game where you are a Dungeon Lord, who has to build a dungeon which is going to be attacked by a party, so you have to hire monsters and build traps to keep their thieving hands of your hard earned treasure! Despite doing fairly badly, I had great fun playing this game and have in fact bought it for myself, so if anyone fancys a game, come to New Haven!

Most Disappointing: Civ. This is the board game version of the pc game, where you are one of the world super-powers building up your civilization to victory. I was expecting this to be a fantastic game, despite never being a fan of the pc game series, I thought I would enjoy this. However, it did not feel like there was much development in the game and some of the victory conditions are far easier than the others, so it was a bit rubbish.

Okay you can come back now, I'll finish these later. 
Crazy confusing Mall
During this weekend I also got the opportunity to go in to downtown Stamford, which is a bit bigger than New Haven, in that it has a Mall! The Mall was pretty cool (as shown) and is, as expected, very similar to a shopping center in the UK, but seemed to be that you went up floors to get to more expensive shops, as if poor people are afraid of magical risey-stairs or uppy-down boxes. I'm not sure if this is the reason, or whether it's just Stamford, but I thought it was a bit strange. There was also a queue most of the way round the bottom  floor of the  Mall to get into the Apple shop. I had no 
idea why and didn't really want to find out!

Back to finish off my board game awards:

Best Euro game: Le Havre, a game where you have to ship items from a French Port, using the money to buy buildings, which makes it easier to ship more etc... This was a really good game, I would recommend it highly, but probably not for more than 3 players, it would take aggggeeeesssss.

Best game teacher: Eric Summerers, yup Eric from The Dice Tower Podcast taught us how to play Alien Frontiers, which was cool. He's a really nice guy.

Best ending: Wrath of Ashardalon: D&D 4th Ed.: The board game. We took on the final campaign in the book, where you have to take on a boss (which for us was a Beholder) and then the Red Dragon Ashardalon himself! The guy who was running it said he had never even reached Ashardalon, so we didn't have high hopes. So we beat the Beholder and then set off in search for Ashardalon (with not much hp left). We were all nearly dead and in corridors filled with magma, so the mage ran out of the corridor ahead of everyone and right into Ashardalon! Fortunately we transported him to the Astral Plane just in time, and began whacking at Ashardalon. The mage died halfway through the battle, and we had no revives left (in this game you all lose if someone is dead at the start of their turn) So the battle came down to the theif performing his whirlwind attack, of 4 attacks which needed 7s (on a d20) to hit and we still needed to do 3hp worth of damage to Ashardalon.
First d20 roll: 6 NOOOOO!!!
Second one: 17 YAAYY!!
Third roll: 11 YAY!
Drumroll.... Get out the MASSIVE D20.... shake in hands... roll....
19!!!   Everyone jumped up cheering! We probably had the whole con looking at us. But no-one cared, it was AWESOME. [ I WANT THIS GAME! Will probably get it (all of them maybe) when I return to England and play with you guys at GameSoc ]

This isn't Ashardalon, its the Lich Dragon we took out in Castle Ravenloft

Okay, board games finished now, you all you sad people can start reading again. 

I'm off to the Yale Badminton club now, get some exercise in to help me deal with the large portions here in the US! I'll post on here again soon hopefully. 
On a side note people should start booking when they want to come see me. Space on my floor is in great demand and I want to see you all, so let me know asap!
Thanks people. See ya! 

(also I didn't get to the badminton club due to some sleet. grrr... especially when you're all having such lovely weather in England!)

Achievement Unlocked!

We killed Ashardalon! (This is the moment the Mage crapped himself!) 

Tuesday, 1 March 2011

"Home is not where you live but where they understand you." ~Christian Morgenstern

Hello again people.
I have now moved into my new apartment and have been here for over 2 weeks, thus it is probably time for a new blog post. I know how all you people in England just sit waiting at your computers for the next thrilling installment!

Okay, first new development. I finally have my new laptop! The pic on the right shows the massive improvement over my little laptop!
For those of you not interested in pc crap avoid the next paragraph, but those of you interested can read the specs below:
intel corei7- 1.83 Ghz- 8threads. auto overclock.
6gb RAM
1GB NVidea GeForce GTS 360M
64GB SSD (for OS)
18.4" HD Display.
Blu-ray player.
Face recognition login- this is terribly slow to login but is really cool nonetheless.

Secondly (yes it is secondly, since I would rather be a hobo with an awesome laptop than have a house with nothing to do in it!), I have a new apartment. These pictures have gone up on facebook, but just in case you didn't see them here is one of the lounge. It is a really really nice 2-bed apartment which I am sharing with a really awesome guy, who isn't around very much as he is out for work. This does mean that I have to actually get around to buying food and cooking and stuff, which I haven't actually done yet at all.
Also, the apartment has a movie projector (to the left of this pic)!

Thus everybody at home has to sort out some kind of timetable for who is coming to visit me and when. I have an airbed and sleeping bag here for you to stay on (or for some people I might give up my bed if I'm feeling very kind) Certain people may get to share the bed with me... (don't get too excited Jonny, we both know I don't agree with putting out on the first date, just squeeze and HONKA!) anyway....

Work at the lab is going well, I will put up pictures of my workspace shortly, when I actually take them. I should have fast wifi by tomorrow eve, so all of you missing me should add my Skype (matt.hinton) to talk with me (and see my amazing sexy headset). It was really good chatting with some of you at Elle's birthday, a catch up was awesome, even if some of you were quite drunk.

I'm playing a magic draft this evening, which should be awesome. I'm looking forward to playing magic again. Haven't played in ages.

I'll sign off here and will post again, as usual when anything interesting happens. Hopefully you enjoyed reading up on my life.

Achievement Unlocked!
P.S. if anybody feels like trying out league of legends then I would recommend it and you can come and play with me.