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Jason Panella

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Everything posted by Jason Panella

  1. Keep in mind that this is a Living Card Game, with (as of now) over 50 expansions. They want you to buy more stuff, including more Core Sets. And, as someone who owns most of those expansions, it's very much a deckbuilder. Certain "types" of decks have different strategies, but that's stuff that's not really evident in the core set or its encounters. The rules in the core set are trash (FFG recently released a completely new version that has much, much better rules, from what I've seen), and the game is more of lifestyle choice than one-and-done deckbuilder. If you just want a single game box to play on occasion, Legendary is probably the better choice. But--looking at the whole expanse of what's been released for both games--the amount of diversity in quests, cards, and options in the whole of LotR blows Legendary out of the water. Oh, and I should add—I think Legendary is a really good game (especially the Encounters version of the system), but the nuance of LotR, which really starts becoming clear with the third big-box expansion and its connected quests--is right up my gaming alley. EDITED: Also, the game does have a tableau-building aspect—you're playing cards that (hopefully) stay on the table for a bit—but deckbuilding is a huge focus. If you're just playing with the Core Set, you're probably not seeing this; there are barely enough cards in the Core Set to make a "real" deck (at 50 player cards), let alone a good one. Once you begin adding more cards to the card pool, card draw and deck fishing become more and more important.
  2. They have Patchwork? I need to check their collection out more often.
  3. Really thorough look at these games, Ken. Thanks. I'm interested in Betrayal Legacy. Betrayal at House on the Hill is a really flawed game, but it's still goofy fun. The Legacy version is, from what I've read, a soft reboot and refinement of the existing rules, which can only be a good thing.
  4. Which season are you playing? I played season 1 on its release—it wasn't my favorite game, but it was hands down the best board gaming experience of my life. I've heard raves about season 2, but don't have a consistent enough gaming group to play it just yet.
  5. My wife and I bought the super-special Blu-ray version on deep discount not long after one of her many surgeries a few years ago, and we plowed through the trilogy as she recovered. I think Fellowship still holds up as a genuinely good movie (with major flaws). The other two? Ugh. All of the criticism here for the past few pages is accurate, I believe. It's interesting how bulletproof the movies are in fantasy geek culture, too (outside of Tolkien fans, that is). Last year, I made a comment while playing D&D with my regular group about how hokey and goofily gratuitous the Helm's Deep / Battle of the Hornburg section of the Two Towers film was, and I immediately got pushback from everyone else. Tolkien's version was too boring and short, they said. Ooooooookay.
  6. Perhaps I'm missing something, but the linked article doesn't seem to be written by Chaon (or mention him).
  7. I've been listening to Omnibus regularly, and it's jumped to the top of my "favorites" list. From the website: I think what makes this a tad different from other "wow, crazy history/facts!"-type shows (which the How Stuff Works network seems to thrive on) is the hosts. Ken and John are Ken Jennings, of Jeopardy! fame, and John Roderick, the frontman of the band The Long Winters. They've been friends for a long time, and their banter is wonderful. If you're looking for an episode to start with, I'd recommend the one detailing the history of Milli Vanilli.
  8. I played Sagrada at Origins this past year and absolutely loved it. I'm thinking of asking for it for Christmas.
  9. As Justin predicted, Netflix opted to give the show a 2-hour finale. I broke my A&F hiatus just to report this! I grew to love this show, warts and all. And man, there were a lot of warts. The show was able to reach emotional highs so often, though, that I fell for it hard.
  10. Jason Panella

    2016 lists

    My favorites of 2016. Tweaked slightly from the version I posted on Facebook a few weeks ago: 1. Pinegrove — Cardinal 2. Mitski — Puberty 2 3. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds — Skeleton Tree 4. David Bowie — Blackstar 5. Adam Torres — Pearls to Swine 6. Eric Bachmann — Eric Bachmann 7. Miranda Lambert — The Weight of These Wings 8. Kevin Devine — Instigator 9. Sleep Experiments — Passages 10. Lucy Dacus — No Burden 11. Starflyer 59 — Slow 12. Tortoise — The Catastrophist 13. Anohni — HOPELESSNESS 14. Sturgill Simpson — A Sailor’s Guide to Earth 15. A Tribe Called Quest — We got it from Here….Thank You 4 Your service 16. Frank Ocean — Blonde 17. Teenage Fanclub — Here 18. Chance the Rapper — Coloring Book 19. Jeff Parker — The New Breed 20. Lydia Loveless — Real 21. John K. Samson — Winter Wheat 22. Paul Simon — Stranger To Stranger 23. Leonard Cohen — You Want It Darker. 24. Vince Gill — Down To My Last Bad Habit 25. Cass McCombs — Mangy Love 26. Brad Mehldau Trio — Blues and Ballads 27. Angel Olsen — My Woman 28. Nada Surf — You Know Who You Are 29. Wussy — Forever Sounds 30. PUP — The Dream is Over Favorite EPs: Adam Remnant — When I Was a Boy EP Mint Mile — The Bliss Point EP Honorable mentions: Mary Halvorson Octet — Away With You Solange — A Seat At the Table Mick Harvey — Delirium Tremens Drive-by Truckers — American Band Mogwai — Atomic Deftones — Gore Shearwater — Jet Plane and Oxbow De La Soul — and the Anonymous Nobody…. Neko Case, Laura Veirs, k.d. lang — case/veirs/lang
  11. Jason Panella

    Home Alone

    I return to A&F just to defend Home Alone 2. Objectively, it's not a good movie, let alone a great one. And having a general idea of what you like and don't like, Peter, I'm sure you'd loathe this one as well. But man, do I love this movie. I've watched it at least yearly since the mid-'90s, sometimes more than four times in a season. It's a carbon copy of the first Home Alone, maybe with some more weird cruelty in it, but I adore it. I love the jokes, I love the pacing, and I love how it treats NYC. I love Brenda Flicker in it. I love how it makes fun of Florida, a state I generally loathe. I love how it takes the traps from the first time and shoots them into the stratosphere (I mean, Marv and Harry would've been dead this time around before the even entered Uncle Peter's house). I've used so many lines from this movie in day-to-day conversation that I've basically become a walking HA2 quote generator. I think it has a few genuine moments in it, but I really won't try to argue for them. Is it better or worst than Die Hard 2? Good question. That said, I'm also of the mind that Die Hard 2 is one of the worst sequels of all time, so I might not be the right person to ask.
  12. Doing my quarterly pop-in to A&F to update this thread. Film festival reviews so far are mostly positive. Lots of reviews are noting how funny the film is.
  13. We rarely play with the expansions, and with the two-player, we've NEVER made it past age 8 before someone won with achievements.
  14. This is (sometimes) my favorite game. Or, it's the one I get to the table the most often. Yes, there's definitely some luck, but it's rare for the game to actually make it to the age 10 cards that are overly luck-based. I found the game plays much better as a 2- or 3-player game than with 4, too.
  15. There was a time when I thought commenting on *everything* would make me part of the crowd. :-)
  16. The music section is one the few I look at when I occasionally pop in, Joel, and what brought me to A&F to begin with back in the day. I've always valued the weird little gems that would pop up there that weren't the usual Over the Rhine/Lucinda Williams/whatever roots stuff (not that those are bad). In a lot of ways, the music forum was how I discovered many favorites in the late '00s.
  17. I basically bowed out of A&F a year ago, though I've popped in here and there since. Since everyone is doing lists... I agree that a lot of my casual conversations or friendly banter have moved to social media. Thems the facts. Like others have noted, I was single when I first started posting. Now I've married, have a time-consuming job, and I commit my little free time to other hobbies in lieu of movie-watching (D&D, board games, cooking). I never see films in the theater these days (just don't have the time to drive to and from Pittsburgh for the limited release ones, nor the money). To be blunt—I've always felt like an outsider here. Which isn't a problem, per se, but you can only spend so much time trying to fit in before realizing it's not going to work. My interests have strayed more and more toward the niche since I joined in 2006, and my initial enthusiasm for whatever droopy arthouse was the go-to A&F pick of the year has shifted toward weird junk that gets no traction on the forum. Which is fine! (And I still like plenty of droopy arthouse movies.) I just learned to not even try. Seeing personality clashes on the forum over the years has bummed me out. And I direct this at myself—a decent number of the posters here drive me crazy, which is probably one of those "it's me, not you" kind of things. Keeping a distance has been healthy for me, though, and it's been I'd like to keep it that way. I love A&F and what it's meant over the years, but it's been better for me in the long run to keep some distance. I'll still pop in to check on game-related posts or see if there's anything that jumps out in the music or TV forums, but that's probably it. But hey, say hi on Facebook or Twitter!
  18. Wanted to pop back in this thread to say that, for the first time ever, I'm running a game of D&D. Every few months, I get together with some friends from college and play board games. Someone mentioned making the theme of this get-together "dungeon crawls," so I offered to DM D&D, since no one (outside of me) had any experience with tabletop RPGs. So, I'm preparing things. I have a good intro adventure to run, and I'm borrowing various vinyl maps off of friends and gathering index cards and markers. I also made pregenerated characters that fit lots of the classic fantasy archetypes: elf wizard, human fighter, and so on. I'm surprisingly nervous, but also really excited.
  19. Finally finished the first season. I loved it, though I'm sure some of that comes from my admiration of the source material. I'm quite excited for season 2. From what I've read, Abraham and Franck weren't happy (in hindsight) with a few of the plot choices they made in Leviathan Wakes, and they were able to correct them a bit on the show. Probably a wise choice.
  20. Oh great! I own vol. 1, but have yet to start it. Anyway, with the series. Watched all the way through episode four, since they're all available on Syfy's website. Each episode gets better, I think, and episode four caps with one of the more sense moments of the book. They really nail it, too. I've also grown interested in the characters in the context of the show as well. While Syfy already renewed the show for season 2, hopefully it actually builds up a sizable fanbase.
  21. I also finished episode two last night. They've made some interesting adaptation choices--they're stretching Holden's story (that's the freighter office) out a little, truncating Miller's (the detective), and completely fabricating Chrisjen Avasarala's story (that's the politician). It's a bit clunky (they really, really didn't need to bring Avasarala into the narrative yet), but it's still effective. Glad they're also trying to fix a few of the first novel's problems, the biggest being how bland Holden's crew is initially. Amos is one of my favorite characters in the series, but his personality doesn't really form 'til the end of the novel. And yeah, Abraham's fantasy work is excellent. The Long Price Quartet is one of the most interesting set of books I've read.
  22. I sadly don't have SyFy (or any cable channel...actually, I've never had access to even basic cable in my life!). I'm hoping to either watch over a friends' house or just catch the rest when it comes out on video. (Or, maybe, I can just buy the episodes from Amazon!)
  23. Got to see the pilot for this tonight. (It debuts December 15, I think?) It suffers from some serious "tell don't show" in spots, but overall it's a pretty good entry into this story. Casting is fantastic, and the show—SyFy's most expensive project to date—looks like a million bucks. The comparisons to the new Battlestar Galactic are apt, but it's also got hints of cyberpunk and horror. The books are quite good, the third actually getting into some serious theological nitty gritty (one of the viewpoint characters for that book is a Christian pastor, and the authors handle her surprisingly well). I hope this show takes off, if only so more people will read the fine novels. Judging from the buzz, I think it will be at least a modest hit.
  24. Yeah, Eremyjohnstone's posts elsewhere are all bizarre word soup-type things.
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