Who hasn`t had nightmares about GW`s dreaded Orcs? Great Guitar Lessons: January 2008

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


Pictured: The Shogun Wargame by Milton Bradley (Hasbro). The newer version is
known as Samurai Blades.

Toward a History Based
Doctrine for Wargaming


Matthew Caffrey

Sadly both the medical and military professions get to bury their mistakes. Because the cost of errors can be so high student doctors are now using simulated patients to learn from their mistakes before treating real patients. For the same reason the military have used wargames for centuries. Ever more powerful computers appear to promise ever better wargames. Yet is the Emperor wearing clothes? Or to use a more contemporary expression, is the validity of "garbage in garbage out" independent of computing power? Will future wargames enlighten or mislead us?

Read More: http://www.airpower.maxwell.af.mil/airchronicles/cc/caffrey.html

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Monday, January 28, 2008

Risk: Lord of the Rings Re-Visited

Pictured: Shaun of the Dead Cards

by Sean Minch

I like Risk LOTR a lot more now that I've played three player.
I stomped pretty well in the end but only because
another guy had more a vendetta vs the other
guy at first leaving me okay to solid up my secondary
"gnarly" front before committing to too much expansion.

I think the game is a very good one for breaking
the cycle between heavy and long long term games
like Pax Britannica or A and A and the
lighter games like Settlers or the like.

Like Risk, Risk LOTR has the dice and the
territory cards which make up various sets
of reinforcements both of which are only arbitrary.
Still, Risk LOTR has a very good power card device
which can be used to stylize your own game play or
to just pound crap out of someone once in a while... also
event cards rarely but punishingly happen... ouch!

The power cards can only be got by taking certain
territories with forces accompanied
by a leader of which there can only
be two max and which can be
lost. These ideas are enough to make it
a meaty-sh game but don't
forget that, unlike Risk games that
I have played where you can take
your army and roll like the Mongols,
in this one, you can only take a
maximum of three units with you when
you win the first territory and
the next territory from there can only
be attacked by two units and
if you win you can only move in with one unit.

This seriously changes the way Risk heads have to think and really
makes things interesting, even on such a relatively small playing
area. Also, the sea routes combined with serious choke points and
fortifications add a lot to this LOTR game. I like it.

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Saturday, January 19, 2008

Risk: Lord of the Rings

Pictured Top: Risk LOTR, Pictured bottom: The very popular boardgame Risk

by Sean Minch

I'm especially glad to report that I have finally found a gamer here
in Memphis, Tennessee, USA with whom I can get some gaming done.
Yess!! And, boy, does he have some neat games, too.

Last night we
played Risk's Lord of the Rings. Oh, man.

This is a very very good
game for two to four players. The map is simple enough to understand
after a bit of time but complex enough to keep even clever people on
their toes. Also there are cards that can and sometimes must be
played that can really affect battles or create random events to
modify everything, if briefly. Yes, Guillaume, there is certainly a
randomness factor in the dice but, like most in most things, you make
your own luck (read: even though I had some awesome lucky streaks, I
still lost!). Good game. Took us about 6 hours. Oh, there is one
other component besides the regular features of winning a territory
card for taking territory on your turn which can be mixed/matched for
units later. There is a ring. It must travel across the map along a
plotted course and reach Mt. Doom in order for the game to end and
points be counted up. There are various little things that can
affect this movement... in case you are winning and want to hurry it
up or the opposite. Just a little neat touch. Also prevents
looooooong games from hell where nobody seems to be able to 'win the
game' by 'risking out' the other guys. Good game. Check it out!

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Monday, January 14, 2008

Origins of Popular Puzzle Games

Origins of Popular Puzzle Games by Riz Davis

Pictured: Games Workshop, Warhammer 40K Game

Puzzle games are widely enjoyed by many for two main reasons. They are engaging, making for ideal pastimes. At the same time, they call for logical thinking and stimulate the mind. Kids and adults alike can appreciate puzzle games - it's no wonder that several have become classics throughout the years. The following is a look at these popular puzzle games and where they came from.

Jigsaw puzzles. The inventor of the jigsaw puzzle was Englishman John Spilsbury, an engraver and mapmaker. He created the first jigsaw puzzle in 1767, when he attached a map of the world to a piece of wood and cut out each country. Teachers used Spilsbury's puzzles to teach geography - students would learn by putting the world maps back together. The name "jigsaw puzzle" was not given until 1880, although puzzles were cut by a fretsaw and not a jigsaw.

Rubik's Cube. This mechanical puzzle was invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Erno Rubik. Originally called the Magic Cube, the first test batches of the product were produced in late 1977 and released to Budapest toy shops. In early 1980, the puzzle made its international debut at toy fairs. The Ideal Toy Company renamed it "Rubik's Cube" in 1980. The Rubik's Cube is said to be the world's best-selling toy.

Crossword puzzles. The first crossword puzzle was a "word-cross" puzzle published in the New York World on December 21, 1913, by Liverpool journalist Arthur Wynne. The name of the puzzle was later changed to "crossword", and it became a regular weekly feature in the New York World. The first book of crossword puzzles appeared in 1924, which became an instant hit. Crossword puzzles were the craze of 1924.

Sudoku. In the 18th century, Swiss mathematician Leonhard Euler developed the concept of Latin squares, where numbers in a grid appear exactly once in each row and exactly once in each column. In the late 1970s, Dell Magazines in the US began publishing Sudoku puzzles using Euler's concept with a 9 by 9 square grid. The puzzle was called Number Place then, and it was developed by Howard Garnes. In the mid-1980s, Japanese puzzle company Nikoli, Inc. published a version of the puzzle, which became very popular in Japan. It was also Nikoli that gave Sudoku its current name. British and US newspapers began publishing their own Sudoku puzzles in 2005.

About the Author

Riz Davis, 26, is the Internet Marketing Associate of Gadget Epoint LTD. An internet savvy and geek by heart, she enjoys browsing the net for unusual gadgets and novelty items.

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