RogerBW's Blog

Doctor Who Re-Watch, series 5 31 January 2014 - 3 comments

(First written in June 2013)

As always, spoilers abound. See Wikipedia for production details

Doctor Who (sic) - Patrick Troughton
Jamie McCrimmon - Frazer Hines
Victoria Waterfield - Deborah Watling
Zoe Heriot - Wendy Padbury

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Unnatural Issue, Mercedes Lackey 30 January 2014 - 3 comments

The seventh book (or, if you believe the publisher, sixth) in Lackey's Elemental Masters series; for a change, it's not just more of the same.

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Keeping and Improving your kit 29 January 2014

There are various ways to get and keep good equipment in GURPS, other than just laying down money for it. Here are most of them.

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A Sea of Troubles, Donna Leon 28 January 2014 - 1 comment

The tenth book in Leon's Commissario Brunetti series, as with other series entries I've been reading lately, offers more of the same: descriptions of the seamy underside of Venice interspersed with lightweight police work.

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Doctor Who Re-Watch, series 4 27 January 2014 - 3 comments

(First written in November 2012)

As before, spoilers abound. See Wikipedia for production details

Doctor Who (sic) - William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton
Ben Jackson - Michael Craze
Polly - Anneke Wills
Jamie McCrimmon - Frazer Hines
Victoria Waterfield - Deborah Watling

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Operation Crossbow 26 January 2014

1965, dir. Michael Anderson, George Peppard, Sophia Loren: IMDb / allmovie

This is a highly-fictionalised account, a triple-stranded story of the German V-weapon development programme, the British efforts (the actual Crossbow) to work out what was going on and develop countermeasures, and as part of that a mission to insert agents into the rocket development and construction programmes.

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Ready Player One, Ernest Cline 25 January 2014 - 1 comment

Ready Player One is a young adult SF novel, the first by this author. Set in the future, it deals with its protagonist's efforts in a pervasive virtual world to win a contest based in the videogaming and related culture of the 1980s.

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Five Favourite 'Mechs from Technical Readout 3025 24 January 2014

I saw this at The Battletech State forwarded from a sarna.net blog post, and thought I'd join in. "What are your five favourite 'Mechs from the original 3025 Technical Readout?"

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Doctor Who Re-Watch, series 3 23 January 2014 - 11 comments

(First written in April 2012)

As before, spoilers abound. See Wikipedia for production details

Doctor Who (sic) - William Hartnell
Vicki - Maureen O'Brien
Steven Taylor - Peter Purves
Katarina - Adrienne Hill
Sara Kingdom - Jean Marsh
Dodo Chaplet - Jackie Lane
Ben Jackson - Michael Craze
Polly - Anneke Wills

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What's Wrong with BattleTech? 22 January 2014

I've written a set of rules that replace BattleTech. Why would I do such a foolhardy thing? Here I'm planning to write a bit about what's wrong with BattleTech.

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The Vault, Peter Lovesey 21 January 2014

The Vault is the sixth book in Lovesey's Peter Diamond series. I'm definitely liking Lovesey: like any good author of detective fiction, he plays fair with the reader, giving all the necessary clues while hiding them under a chaff-screen of red herrings and misdirection.

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Have you opted out of care.data yet? 20 January 2014

(Readers not in England, if any, please ignore.)

Have you even heard of care.data?

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Chain of Command, Game 2 20 January 2014

Yesterday I played my second game of Chain of Command, and got reasonably thoroughly thrashed. But it was still a very enjoyable experience. (Always a sign of a good wargame, that.) Be warned, this is a fairly image-heavy post.

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Doctor Who Re-Watch, series 2 19 January 2014 - 4 comments

(First written in February 2012)

As before, spoilers abound. See Wikipedia for production details

Doctor Who (sic) - William Hartnell
Susan Foreman - Carole Ann Ford
Barbara Wright - Jacqueline Hill
Ian Chesterton - William Russell
Vicki - Maureen O'Brien

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Floods at Marlow, One Week Later 18 January 2014

Since we happened to be in Marlow again today, we thought we'd see how things were getting on. The water seemed generally to be between nine inches and a foot lower than last week.

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Explosions in GURPS 4th edition 18 January 2014

Explosions in GURPS confuse many people. Here's how they work, broken down at greater length than was available in the rules.

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Thankless in Death, J. D. Robb 17 January 2014 - 2 comments

Thankless in Death is the forty-sixth of J. D. Robb's In Death series. It's also, for me, the first disappointment.

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Doctor Who Re-Watch, series 1 16 January 2014

(First written in December 2011)

I've recently started watching Doctor Who from the beginning. I've seen occasional episodes and stories here and there (e.g. back when I had a television and the BBC would do anniversary specials), but my experience as a regular viewer starts towards the end of the Sarah Jane Smith era.

I'm not going to worry about listing alternative titles or any of that guff. See Wikipedia for that. I am interested primarily in the progress and development of the show as a show rather than in constructing complex fanwank explanations for why decisions that were made differently the second time they came up, or dodgy effects shots, aren't really mistakes.

So here are my thoughts on re-watching the first series... spoilers abound, obviously.

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Hail in Loudwater 16 January 2014

Had a five-minute hailstorm just before noon today.

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Rapid Fire and Shotguns in GURPS 4th edition 15 January 2014

GURPS 4th edition introduced a completely new mechanism for the resolution of attacks with rapid-firing and automatic weapons, and uses the same one for shotgun pellet hits (which are after all a similar sort of multi-projectile attack). Here's how it works.

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Notorious Nineteen, Janet Evanovich 14 January 2014

As one can see from the title, this is the nineteenth full novel in Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. And, well, it feels like a nineteenth novel: it's tired.

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Alternative Invaders in Torg (part 2) 13 January 2014 - 2 comments

OK, we've taken out American and European industry. We still need to deal with China, which the original game completely neglected, and Japan. I'm wondering here about a blend: wuxia action with conspiracy thriller in the style of some modern Asian action films.

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Floods at Marlow 12 January 2014 - 1 comment

My wife heard about the flooding at Marlow, and we thought we'd go to see what we could see. Several of the houses along the waterfront were inaccessible by foot, though I didn't see any water actually above door-sills. While I wasn't feeling in a particularly journalistic mood, I took a few pictures with my phone.

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Mrs Miniver, Jan Struther 12 January 2014 - 2 comments

Yes, I'm talking about the book, or more accurately the collection of newspaper columns, not the film. The film is a wartime story, made as part of the Allied propaganda effort. The columns are earlier and more interesting:

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Firefly the game 11 January 2014

Firefly is a 1-5 player boardgame of travelling through space, taking jobs, trying to make enough money to keep flying. I played it on the Sunday of Stabcon and bought a copy before the game was over. What's good about it?

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Alternative Invaders in Torg (part 1) 10 January 2014 - 5 comments

I'm running Torg at the moment. Because I didn't want it to turn into a research-fest, I'm running it pretty much as it was written.

But this raised the question: what would be a more representative, and more interesting, set of worlds to choose as invaders? One of the original ideas of Torg was that the worlds should be representative of popular role-playing genres, but this doesn't seem to have made it into the final game -- cyberpunk may well have been big, but lost-world fantasy with dinosaurs? Really?

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Roger finally blogs 09 January 2014

Yes, Roger has finally started blogging. I expect to write about games, computers, beer, and other things I find interesting. You may find you want to follow entries by tag (they will appear as I post the entries) rather than reading the whole thing.

Because I'm using Steve Kemp's excellent chronicle software, comments won't be published immediately as they're entered, but any that I approve will be pushed to the site when I rebuild it.

I plan to use this as a platform for bloviation and pontification. Because I don't have enough of those already.

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