Thursday, April 06, 2006

I, Slacker

Holy crap. I looked back at yesterday’s post and just realized I hadn’t written squat during the entire month of March. What a slacker.

Time flies when you’ve got a Baby of Mass Destruction in the middle of everything. March was First Birthday time for the BMD. Preparations absorbed a lot of time. Recovery from the whole thing absorbed a lot more. By the time he’s seven or eight, I’m seriously hoping that I’ll be able to sleep past 7 a.m. on weekends again. I miss my sleep-in mornings.

Oh yes. The obligatory baby’s first birthday photo:

After I finish the family income tax ordeal, I should have some time to get caught up on the gaming front. Last month’s small amount of gaming time was devoted to a couple of Avalanche Press games: Red Vengeance and Defiant Russia. I spent some time converting both of them to Cyberboard gameboxes (for personal use only…) and then played both of them several times.

Of the two, I found Red Vengeance to be more enjoyable. Defiant Russia struck me as more a ‘historically based’ game because there’s really very little about it that’s going to simulate the historical flow of events. No Germans are getting to Minsk by the end of June. A bad turn of luck in the early game can also pretty much short-circuit even the best German plans. Absent really wild swings of luck, I think the game is moderately competitve (with a slight balance tilt toward the Soviets) – it just doesn’t do much in the way of educating you about the actual campaign.

Red Vengeance does a better job all-around, I think. There’s more open maneuver, more opportunities for both sides to do things. Game balance hinges in areas away from the main ‘front’ on the road to Berlin, but I think that just makes the players’ decision-making more interesting. It’s still not entirely instructional as a simulation, but it is more reflective of history than DR. I think it’s quite a little gem of a game and a real ‘player.’

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