Pokemon Legends: Arceus hits on the 28th, which means it's time to ritually cleanse our decrepit equipment and prepare ourselves mentally, physically, and spiritually. It's such a whacked out interpretation of the series I genuinely wonder how people are gonna take it. On the one hand, it's hard to imagine a lightning mouse as controversial. On the other, people have played these games their whole life and the developer appears to have made Breath of the Wild. I'm just saying, there's sides to this thing.
In the deepest, most isolated portion of the pandemic, the thing I missed most was Mensousai Mugen. It's a ramen shop in a Melbourne, Australia laneway that I found a few years back at PAX Aus that I would I would try to fit into the trip an annoying number of times (sorry, Kiko). They are always projecting Seven Samurai directly onto the wall in the basement, and it's dipping ramen, and… if there is a subject I am truly expert at, it's eating at this restaurant.
The other thing that I missed was boardgaming in general and wargaming in specific. They do the same thing for me, in either case. It's a structured but surprising mode of social interaction that also clearly indicates when it's fucking over! Most interactions can barely hit one of those.
My friend Eric and I used to play in the garage, with the door open on a fold-out card table with masks, seated on opposite sides. It felt like we were both working on an antique clock. I'm sure this is something I'm doing wrong: I guess I'd rather win than lose, but I mostly just want to play. The game is telling a weird little story down there and you can hear it if you bring your ear down close. I think that being a canny opponent makes for a better story and I care about that way more than winning.
Anyhow, I had a chance to try out a new list - this is what a dork calls their specific army configuration - in a place that was being built around us as we played, Waystone Wargaming Speakeasy, which is a lot of words I've never seen together before. I'd heard about it over at Mox Boarding House, which is a place I'd put up against any game store in the world. Somebody there was mentioning that a couple employees had left the store to do their own thing, so we got hold of them to see how things were shaping up. They're promoting it on Kickstarter, which I've seen a couple other young venues do; if you're local and you like to throw handfuls of plastic at your friends it might be something you find of use. I'd love for this world to be a place where such a gentle, precious creature could survive.