Top 5 Weapons I Would Choose In The Hunger Games

18 05 2016

Katniss Everdeen

I love The Hunger Games, by that I of course mean the combination of the Film and the Book, not necessarily the setting of jumping into an arena and having to kill people. A few years ago, after the release of the first one, I remember an interview that was conducted on some of the cast members who were asked how they would act inside the arena. Now for me, I would more than likely just hide in the corner, and cry my eyes out until I was either dead, or just go mad and become some kind of psychopath. In my head though, it’s a completely different story as I would see myself being like Blade and just be invincible going round killing everyone, but that is very unlikely. Anyway I thought I would do a post on what my ideal weapon choices would be in the arena.

M110A2 Self-Propelled Howitzer

Now I decided to sort of be semi-realistic in my choices. For one, I know I cannot bring anything in to the ring, so it prevents my 3 main options: Godzilla, a M110A2 Self-Propelled Howitzer and Lisbeth Salander; although fair point, Lisbeth Salander would receive double points for having access to a cool leather jacket.

Lisbeth Salander

It’s certainly better than wearing those swimming outfits in Catching fire. I mean, what would you prefer; the swimming costumes from Catching Fire, or a Cool Leather Jacket?

Anyway, under the point that I can’t necessarily take anything in, this list is made up of choices I would choose if they became available in the arena themselves. Now, I do realise that this list may seem a little bit rushed. I have had these dreams for a while of what I would choose, but have only just decided to do this as a post, and in the end, I don’t think I have used my imagination all that much, and this list is made up of more practical stuff mixed with things from Movies, and so I may eventually regret my choices (apart from the leather jacket), and do another one of these in the future with either some additional thought, a selection of weapons from the films/books, things I just made up. Anyway, here are my choices of what I was able to simple cobble together.

Mortis

5. Mortis – What could be better than if one of the choices was the robot Mortis from Robot Wars? What could be better than Mortis, the best robot in all of Robot Wars? Now he would be ranked higher if it wasn’t for the case of a remote-controlled robot being relatively impractical as you would spend most of your time behind the robot directing it rather than looking out for the girl from district 6 creeping up on you. But forgetting that bit, its axe would be so deadly an attack, you don’t necessarily need to kill anybody, just puncture them and let them bleed out. It’s a grim idea, but it might be easier on your conscience.

M4A1

4. M4A1 Assault Rifle – Ok, this one is mostly based on what fun I could get out of MW2 Multiplayer, but yeah. Why not choose a Gun? It makes complete and total sense; you can get it over with good and quick as long as your aim is good and true. Why not add the attachable grenade launcher, then that way you can set fire to any forestry around you and force people out before shooting them. Ok, it relies on you not wasting ammo; but why on earth would the Capitol only give you one clip?

Crossbow

3. CrossbowKatniss Everdeen had her bow and arrows; I would have my Crossbow (even though I should point out this is all hypothetical and I don’t actually own one). It’s similar to the above mentioned Gun, but this time it’s a bit more quiet and lethal. Yes, I can see a Crossbow coming quite handy in the Hunger Games, and I don’t mean just some old relic of a device, no! I mean a proper modern beast of a weapon, similar to the one used in Brainiac: Science Abuse for testing armour in a modern civil war, or like at the end of Reign of Fire when Christian Bale’s character kills the Big Dragon.

Quarriors

2. Quarriors Dice – If you have no idea what those 2 words mixed together mean, it’s obvious you have not played my Favourite Board Game. In Quarriors (using a similar sort of game play to Dominion, if you know what that is), you roll and collect dice to attack other people. Dice can be used to summon spells, and summon monsters. Just imagine it, you roll the dice, and in a similar vein to Yu-Gi-Oh, Monsters and Spells come out of the dice to attack your enemies.

Heimdall

1. Equipment from Thor – When I think about me being in The Hunger Games, one thing that always comes to mind is the film Thor, quite possibly because the night on the day that I first saw The Hunger Games, I went home and watched some scenes from Thor. Anyway, I have decided to call this bit Equipment of Thor (I know it does not sound all that exciting), because there are 3 things I can think of that would be quite useful to have in The Hunger Games. As to how you would get them is relatively obvious, basically you will be covered in lightning like Thor and receive the equipment as it is bonded to your body. Anyway, the items in question; Heimdall’s Armour, Heimdall’s Sword, and Thor’s Hammer. It’s all you really need isn’t it, just the basics, and the hammer could prove to be a useful escape route as you could just plough through a wall or the roof, or better yet, send the hammer flying and destroy the Capitol, end of The Hunger Games, everyone is free, let’s go home. Basically, all this time, I just see myself becoming Thor while also receiving some equipment from the mighty Heimdall too.

GENEPOOL





In An Attempt To Cure Writer’s Block

8 07 2015

Pen and Paper

Since finishing University a few weeks ago (and while waiting for Graduation in just over a week’s time), I have been trying to do a number of things to keep myself productive and busy. I have been looking for work, trying to come up with a career plan, writing weekly blog posts, coming up with ideas for stories and board games, reading when I can, playing games, baking cakes, volunteering at Barnardo’s and at The Dukes play in the park again. One thing though that I have wanted to continue since finishing, I have found rather hard, and that is writing stories. I like writing stories, I like all kinds of writing, and when I am in the zone, I just can’t stop. Starting is an entirely different matter however.

Darkmouth (Harper Collins - 2015)

I have kept up with my blog writing, and right now am writing a series of film reviews to be shown in a few weeks’ time, but writing large pieces of work is proving to be rather difficult. Writing big projects at University (in hindsight) was easier, as I was motivated to get the work done as best as I could, but now I need to find new motivation and am finding it hard. I am constantly coming up with ideas for projects, either it be stories, blog posts or board games, but getting round to actually doing them is what I am struggling with. Writing short stories shouldn’t necessarily be too much of a problem as they are small, quick stories to write, however, starting them is as difficult as any other project. Ideas for them are hard as they need to be concise, small, and not necessarily involve big incidents, or big things happening……….which is kind of what I like. Back in May I even came up with a plan to write at least one short story a month, but in June I (technically) did not write one.

A Cake and some Cake Pops I made recently.

I say technically; basically, last month I entered Preston’s first Short Story Slam. A writing/performing contest where writers write short stories to then read out. Writer’s need to write 3 stories of no more than 200 words that can be read in 4 minutes or less. It’s a head to head sort of thing (as far as I understand it) and I need to write 3 short stories for it. A week ago I wrote one story for it, I still have another 2 to write (at time of writing) but coming up with ideas for such a small word count I am finding tough, and even when I do have an idea, simply sitting down behind my laptop to write it is proving tricky. It was only when I had a voice going through my head telling me to write the first story that I finally did it (The Slam is at the end of July, so I still have some time). Even when it isn’t that though, writing in general (when it is not for my blog) I am finding tough. I can develop ideas quite nicely, (I prefer to do it in my head where I can visualise it, while find that writing it down can usually mean I end up leaving and forgetting about it), but that’s still not writing it.

Rory's Story Cubes: Prehistoria

In an attempt to cure what I think is writer’s block; I have started doing little exercises to get me writing again. While my mind wanders onto other ideas of approaching it, for now, this one is working. I have had Rory’s Story Cubes for over a year now. First I got a small expansion in the form of Rory’s Story Cubes: Prehistoria, but discovered using them rather hard, so I bought a copy of the base set, and was able to get going with them. To begin with I just used them as a little game to play with friends and at the Writer’s Society at University. Basically, the base set is a box of 9 dice, with each side on all the dice being a different image (54 images in total). You roll them, and then use the 9 images to make a story. It has to start with “Once Upon A Time” and can either be done as one continuous story as a group, or several stories. There are other versions of the base set and several expansions, all of which can be mixed and matched to create a diverse range of stories. Recently, I decided to use them to help me write some short stories. I use them in the same way as you normally would play with them; roll them and look at the pictures rolled (sometimes re-rolling if I can’t think of anything). Instead of telling the story to someone though, I would instead write my story in a Word Document.

Story Dice 1

I have been taking the pictures of the images I have rolled, considering possibly putting my stories online at a later date (with a photo of the dice to show what images I have to work with). I actually rather enjoy coming up with stories this way; they can be about anything and there are no restrictions as to the length of the story, nor the genre it is in. It really does help me to get back into writing short stories. While I have not done one for about a week (due to being busy with my current weekly schedule), I look forward to writing another one, and hopefully with time, be able to write some without assistance, possibly even bigger ones. Right now though, I have a Short Story Slam to enter.

Story Dice 2

GENEPOOL





King of Tokyo

10 06 2015

King of Tokyo box

King of Tokyo is a dice rolling game for up to 6 players released by IELLO and designed by Magic: The Gathering creator Richard Garfield. In King of Tokyo, players take on the role of one of several giant monsters (who happen to not look like any other monsters in particular) who are fighting for ultimate control of Movie Monster paradise; Tokyo City. The first monster to reach 20 points, or alternatively, be the only one with any remaining health, wins to become the true king of Tokyo (but not King of the Monsters, that title has already been claimed).

King of Tokyo bits and bobs

The game comes with a large collection of components including a small board, power cards, character cards, character pieces, stands, tokens and little green cubes. The game is set up with the small board (a picture of Tokyo with the locations Tokyo and Tokyo Bay on it) placed in the middle. Players then choose which monster they want to be: Giga Zaur, The King, Cyber Bunny, Meka Dragon, Kraken, Alienoid, and take the corresponding character card/board, piece and stand. The character boards themselves have two rotating dials on them. One representing health (starting at 10) and the other representing point score (starting at 0). Players then put their character pieces in the stands and place them near the board. The way the game works is mainly through its dice. 6 black ones with green symbols on them (and 2 extra green ones with black symbols on them). On a players turn, they roll all 6 dice, and compare the results. If they want to they can re-roll any number of dice, if still not happy, they can re-roll one more time. After that, they are stuck with what they whether they like them or not. If players roll a claw, this counts for an attack. If a player is the first one to roll a claw, they take Tokyo. If players roll a heart, they can heal themselves. If they roll a lightning bolt, they get some energy. If they roll 3 of any number, they score points equal to that number (so 3 3’s equals 3 points), plus any extra of that number equals one extra (so 4 2’s equals 3 points). Simple right, well yes in theory, but it’s a little bit trickier than that.

King of Tokyo dice

You see, when a player’s monster is in Tokyo, they can’t heal, so rolling hearts is pretty pointless. Also, when someone is in Tokyo, if they roll a claw or any number of claws, then they deal that much damage to every monster outside of Tokyo, however, monsters not in Tokyo that roll claws, only deal damage to the monster currently in Tokyo; so if you are in Tokyo and are taking too much damage, you might want to yield Tokyo to the monster currently attacking you. If you decide to do so, you still take that damage. Yielding Tokyo though presents another problem. When you take Tokyo you get a point, and every time it comes round to your turn, you get an additional 2 points if you are still there. So players (or monsters) will have to decide when they have taken enough damage to yield or to hold Tokyo for a bit longer to attain more points.

King of Tokyo energy cubes

Monsters though do have options and opportunities. When a player rolls a lightning bolt they get a little green cube. These can they be used to buy power cards. Power cards have special abilities, some more complicated than others which can help you, or hinder you if someone else buys them. Some cards are permanent, while others are one use only. These power cards range from things like dealing additional damage, poisoning, growing an extra head, getting bigger, get bonus health, reduce other player’s points, coming back to life and deciding to become an omnivore. Alternatively, players have the option to spend 2 energy to wipe out the current selection of three cards to reveal three new ones and then choose from them.

King of Tokyo power cards

King of Tokyo is a nicely designed game. The monster character cards deliver a nice way to keep both score and keep an eye on the health statistics. The use of dials is also more aesthetically pleasing and easier to use rather than having a card and using a small wooden cube. The artwork for Tokyo and the Monster characters is simple but effective. The little cubes are a wonderful addition. Their clear plastic see-through look makes them that little bit more special and thanks to them being all the same, there is no need to worry about general currency values. The power cards are also cheap which means they can be bought relatively quickly if the right dice are being rolled. The power cards also deliver an extra dimension to the game meaning that those who want to bide their time to get stronger can, while those who just want to roll point numbers and claws can too. It is also very easy to understand and does not rely on confusion between hit points and defence points when rolling claws, instead just saying you get hit, and how much health you subsequently lose. Additionally, I also like the many references to Monster Movies, many a time I have played this and have gotten into noting the references from the creatures and power cards and just enjoy reliving the memories of watching them. I am also always discovering new things. The power card deck is so big and has so many different cards in it, that every time I play it I am discovering new powers and abilities. I like that.

King of Tokyo monsters

The game though I find does have one little disadvantage. It’s more of a rule that I still don’t understand no matter how many times I have played it; that being the area of Tokyo Bay. Tokyo Bay is used when playing with between 5 and 6 players. The idea is that there is another area of Tokyo, but I don’t understand why it is there, what the advantage of it is, how you get there and how you stay there. I can see the advantage of having two monsters in Tokyo, but this just leads to which monster attacks who when rolling dice. Having a second monster in with more players would also mean two monsters gaining points, but then how does one remain in Tokyo Bay if they are ousted by someone fleeing Tokyo. I just don’t understand the point of having it on the board, and subsequently since, don’t include it when I play it. I also find it hard to understand the part of the rules booklet that explains it.

King of Tokyo board

While I do find the inclusion of Tokyo Bay confusing and or somewhat disappointing, it is a minor glitch in what is generally an easy, and very fun game. I just like the idea of being a Giant Monster and fighting for control of Tokyo (like a certain Giant Monster of whom I am a massive fan of). The game’s mechanics of dice rolling are nice and easy to just pick up and play, the character/monster cards are very easy to use and the addition of power cards are easy to understand and acquire (except for the batteries one). The artwork is terrific and the use of the monster stands are brilliant. The designer could have just used the cards as counters, but instead provides the stands to give a third dimension to both look and gameplay. When added to the board the monsters look huge. King of Tokyo is a game I rank among my favourite board games and is one I feel that everyone should try at least once. It’s not just its theme, but also how easy it is to play and how much enjoyment I have always managed to get out of it. I just can’t get enough out of being a Giant Monster and thrashing Tokyo, it’s so much fun.

Cyber Bunny vs Giga Zaur

GENEPOOL





Machi Koro

3 12 2014

 

Machi Koro 1

Machi Koro is a City Building/Set Collection card game for 2-4 players designed by Masao Suganuma whose other titles include Candy Chaser and Diamonsters. The game is set in the fictional Japanese city of Machi Koro and involves the player having to build a city from nothing more than a Wheatfield and a Bakery. On each turn one player roles a dice and depending on what buildings they have built, they gain income and can build up their town. The only problem is, is that there are three other players out to do the same thing.

Machi Koro 2

Players start with a Wheat Field, a Bakery, 3 coins and 3 un-built Landmarks and ends when all four different landmarks are built. In order to build those landmarks however, players need to pay for their construction, and they’re not cheap. They range from 4 coins to 22 coins and the starting ‘establishments’ the player controls produce no more than 1 coin. So the player will need to build up their settlement into a city in order to be able to produce more money so that they can eventually build their landmarks, which consist of an Amusement Park, a Radio Tower, a Shopping Mall and a Train Station. On a players turn they roll a dice, and if the number on the dice matches (when using two dice, it’s summed together) a number on one of the establishment cards in their city, then they perform that action. Most of these involve collecting money from the bank, or sometimes other players, and then using that money to build another establishment to increase the size of their city and hopefully produce more money. There are four different types of establishment card though, and each colour does something different:

  • Blue (Primary Industry): Receive money from the bank during anyone’s turn.
  • Green (Secondary Industry): Receive money from the bank on your turn only.
  • Red (Restaurants): Take money from the player who rolled the dice.
  • Purple (Major Establishment): Take money from all other players but only during your turn.

This system of establishments means that players will need to decide carefully about which establishments they construct during their turn. Blue cards will create income for the players during anyone else’s turn (including their own) provided that the correct dice number is rolled. Green on the other hand provides you alone with money for the green cards you have, and also means that no one else will make money either, however it is the same the other way around. Green does also offer some multipliers depending on what other establishments you have, but they can only work during your turn which is equally bad. Red only works on other players turn, which is a bit annoying, however if the number on the dice matches the number on one of your red cards, then you receive money from them; that is, if they have any money. Purple meanwhile work a lot like red, but only provide money on your turn and only when you roll the same number as it, however if you are successful, not only do you take money from other players, slowing them down as a result, but you also increase your coffers.

Machi Koro 3

Cards can also be bought and used several times over. For instance, you can have more than one Wheatfield, or more than one Café, or more than one Cheese Factory meaning that the effects of buildings can be multiplied. So for instance, if someone rolls a one and a player has four Wheatfield’s, they will receive four coins, one for each Wheatfield.  This applies to many establishments, the ones with multipliers especially meaning that if you have more than one multiplier, you just use it over and over again. However, this rule of more than 1 type of building does have one other little rule. A player cannot build more than 1 of each different landmark and purple building. So a player can’t have more than 1 Radio Tower, or more than 1 TV Station. They can build several different purple buildings and landmarks but only one of each. These buildings provide extra little abilities though that the other coloured buildings don’t provide; from being able to roll an extra dice (which allows the player to activate the abilities of the higher number buildings, provided they rolled that number), to having an extra turn.

Machi Koro 4

In a sense Machi Koro is an ‘engine building game’. By that I mean a game where the player builds up an engine or a formula that as it gets bigger, it pays out more as a result. When you begin you have a small settlement, as the game continues, you have a fully working city which provides more income allowing you to build much bigger things more quickly, where as in later on you start off relatively slowly. The games use of dice and different colour/type cards means that it really comes down to luck as to who gets money and when. The mechanic of stacking cards improves chances of more pay-out while the diversity of establishments improves chances while also allowing room for creativity in the gameplay and themes for its setting. Another thing the game also offers is that some buildings are not held down to one number, nor the only card with that number on them. Some buildings have 2 numbers increasing the chance of them being used, while some have the same number as other establishments, bringing with it the possibility of more than one being activated at the same time. The relatively slow pace of the game (as in being allowed to build no more than 1 building per turn) also means that it is not a quick game either. While it is quicker than most games and in a sense is a quick (possible party) card game, it is not a quick 5 minute or 10 minute game and can last to close to half an hour for most games; allowing the game and players to breathe, take their time and fully enjoy the experience, of which it is an enjoyable one at that. Although I would say that another landmark or two would benefit the gameplay also; allowing room for those who would prefer perhaps a longer game as well as more red cards to fully utilize the ability to take other people’s hard-earned (rolled) Cash.

Machi Koro 5

With a very basic yet beautifully colourful look and a very quick but complete instruction booklet, Machi Koro is a terrifically fun game and one that can be enjoyed many times over and over again in one sitting. Its main mechanics work well together and provide hours of replay enjoyment too as you’ll want to try other techniques and make a better gameplay system while also remembering chances of probability and the luck of the dice roll. From hard-core enthusiasts to casual gamers, Machi Koro a terrific addition to anyone’s board game collection.

Machi Koro 6

GENEPOOL





The MONOPOLY Experiment

13 10 2010

Monopoly (Hasbro)

I Like Monopoly; I look forward to whenever I can play a game. I like it when I winning (most of the time) and I like it when I am losing (hardly ever). Today when I was paying for my food at the Gallery (University of Teesside) I said to the cashier that if Monopoly was real, I would be Rich. Now I bet most people who are good at Monopoly would say that. But I started to wonder.

In real life, towns and cities aren’t usually arranged in a large square with places freely open to build House’s, Flats and Hotels. You don’t go to Prison for simply going into a box that just tells you to go for no good reason. Parking is hardly ever free and land costs more than a few hundred pounds. I began to think more, what would happen if you got some people together and gave them money to buy land and start making businesses. What would happen, would some people be better at starting up businesses like Houses and Hotels while others struggle and go bankrupt or would something completely different happen, would they all succeed, would they all fail, will those good at Monopoly do well in the real world or will they fail, would those who are bad at Monopoly do badly or would they succeed. So I have come up with the Monopoly Experiment.

Now I have only just thought of it today but from what I have thought I have come up with some good ideas.

The Experiment is in 4 stages.

Stage 1: The Board

The First part of the Experiment would involve the players having a normal game of Monopoly. They would buy properties, trade, make deals, pay tax, pay rent, everything involved in playing Monopoly and just keep playing until some of them have gone bankrupt or if it has gone on for a long time. It is at this stage that those Good and Those bad would be revealed and potential Favourites for the real world would appear. This is the basic game of Monopoly and will in a way prepare them for what would happen next.

Stage 2: Real World

The Second part would involve giving players Real Money equal to the amount they used in the Board game and they would have to go out and buy land to build houses, flats and hotels (possibly other businesses as well). This part will continue until some people go bankrupt or until the game has gone on for a while. Then their results would be examined next to how well they did in the first stage. Would those good at the board game do and how well would those who are bad at the board game do.

Stage 3: The Board Again

The Third part is on the Board Again, by that I mean that after the real world experiment would those who did well in the real world do well on the board, would those who did well on the board still be good at the game. Will some people who were bad at the board game originally improve after being in a real world experiment and will those who did well at the board originally do worse after being in the Real World.

Stage 4: The Results

The Final Stage is where all the results would be compiled together and the players would be told how they got on. How many will do well at the board game, How many will do well in the real world and who wouldn’t be so lucky.

I think this would be an interesting Experiment and Interesting look at the board game and how it compares to the real world. What do you think?

GENEPOOL

Off-Topic: I have recently been reading the debut smash hit novel MogWorld by internet sensation Ben “YAHTZEE” Croshaw. It’s Interesting and very funny.








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