Sunday, September 2, 2012

Game on!

I'm almost set for the first play test tomorrow of my Row Well and Live! ancient naval rules.

It's been a whirlwind of little tasks this last week. Among the many things to finish (mostly within the last few days) are:

  • The rules. These are a full draft, but I've been tweaking and reworking them—including a complete revision of the shooting and boarding rules. I spent a good portion of today going back through and editing heavily.
  • Ship cards. I've been toying with these for a long time and probably even now don't have it right. They've been through several permutations and I've only just gotten an acceptable version. I'm at work now competing them.
  • Counters. So many counters to make for shooting attenuation, ship damage, etc. I print these from Adobe Illustrator, cut them out and glue them to small plywood bases from Litko. Each counter is double sided. I got it down to a system, but it still takes time to cut, glue, trim, and finish each counter.
  • Terrain. I finished another two island pieces beyond the three I posted about earlier. This task, too, is down to a system. With all the foam I have left, I can see making several more islands. (But there is still that storage issue...)
  • Ship models. I've been working on another dozen for some time. These were completed just today—mostly, there are still a few last touches to do in the morning.
  • Checklist. My big fear is that I will rush out to go to Tacoma tomorrow and forget something. I've got it all written down, so I'm set—unless I forgot to write something down.

In the midst of all this game-prep activity are other things like socialization with human beings, work around the house (who was I kidding about a "deep clean"?), and various randomizations.

Many randomizations come from my cats. I live to serve, or so they believe. They also have disdain for my computer time. It is a meaningless exercise from which they try to seduce me every time I sit down to it.

Their main tactic is to walk across the desk as I'm working or to sit on my lap. It's nice to have a cat purring away on one's lap, but it makes working at a computer a little awkward.

Rhiannon's favorite tactic is chair theft. While working this morning on my rules, Rhiannon (a.k.a. Ree, a.k.a. sweet pea, a.k.a. Miss Fussypants, etc.) was ensconced on my lap, but I had to get up. Ree protested this, as she often does (I live not only to serve, but to be a warm resting place whose sittings and risings are ordained by my feline masters). As soon as I got up, she grabbed the chair and would not be moved. Second only to actual leather, pleather retains heat well enough to be a desirable warm spot once the human's rear end has vacated it.

I busied myself with other things, hoping she would move herself once she saw me active elsewhere, but no. The only thing to do was to roll my desk chair away with Ree on it and use my painting table chair, which is smaller and much less comfy.

It also provides no lap-space. A deficiency Maebh (a.k.a. Mavis, a.k.a. Maebh the Merciless, a.k.a. Miss Fluffybottom, etc.) noticed with significant disapprobation. She paced from one thigh to the other, but found no suitable resting place. Eventually, she sat on the desk emitting her squeaky purr, nuzzling my face, and—most importantly—impeding my work.

At long last giving up (or merely executing a devious tactical withdrawal), she wandered off to snuggle with Grendel, who couldn't be bothered to bother me. As the day wears on—and after their dinner—the cats siesta until later in the day. It's the perfect time for getting things done.

My stuff is staged for loading in my inconvenient car:

  • Ships. Two cigar boxes full.
  • Counters. A nice plastic container with 10 compartments.
  • Dice. My love 'em/hate 'em ancient dice. I'm up to 24 now, so I can use them in bucket o' dice games. I also have small dice for marking continuing turns and fire levels.
  • Mat. Rolled around a heavy 5' long cardboard tube I got from Creation Station.
  • Rules. Forgetting these would be a big faux pas.
  • Ship cards. See above.
  • Clown hair. This is actually a red-dyed cotton fluff produced by Flames of War to mark burning things. We typically used it for naval games to mark shipboard fires.
  • Wet erase markers. For use on the ship cards, which are in plastic sleeves.
  • Plastic sleeves. I found 5x8 clear pockets at Office Depot. I know I have some already, but like most things, they're lost somewhere.
  • Terrain. The islands I made and the rocks I bought.
  • Camera and tripod. I want to record the play test no matter how desultory or triumphant.
What else? We'll see tomorrow...

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