RogerBW's Blog

Divergent, Veronica Roth 28 February 2014

Young adult novel, read because a film based on it is coming out soon and I want to be able to complain about the film-making separately from the writing. (And because last time I did this I read The Hunger Games, which I quite enjoyed.) Here be spoilers.

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The Force Z Scenario 27 February 2014

This is the scenario I mentioned when reviewing Fire on the Waters: Force Z plus Hood vs the Japanese invasion fleet. I played it with Mongoose's Victory at Sea, but this version is generic; it should work with any WWII naval/air game.

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Reading Boardgames Social 25 February 2014 26 February 2014

This group usually meets on Wednesday evenings, which I can't make, but has one Tuesday a month.

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Operation Mincemeat, Ben Macintyre 25 February 2014

This is the story of the well-known deception operation in the Second World War: dropping a dead fake courier into the sea near Spain, in the hope that his deceptive paperwork would be taken seriously by the Germans and misdirect them as to the location of Allied landings in the Mediterranean.

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Uxbridge Boardgames 23 February 2014 24 February 2014 - 1 comment

Since a planned session at home had to be called off, I went along to Uxbridge for an afternoon of games.

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Doctor Who Re-Watch, series 9 23 February 2014 - 4 comments

As always, spoilers abound. See Wikipedia for production details

Doctor Who - Jon Pertwee
Jo Grant - Katy Manning

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Steadfast, Mercedes Lackey 22 February 2014

The ninth and so far final book in Lackey's Elemental Masters series. This time our heroine is a circus acrobat fleeing from an abusive husband.

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Speed map of trips to and from Cambridge 21 February 2014

Pretty much every Wednesday evening, I drive to Cambridge and back. Since I leave at about the same time, I have some fairly consistent data about traffic patterns. (Images follow.)

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Thought on Don Giovanni 20 February 2014

Don Giovanni is one of my favourite operas; I met it first through the splendidly-overblown Joseph Losey film in the 1980s, and have continued to enjoy it since.

Something I find in it, though, doesn't seem to have been talked about much:

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Home from the Sea, Mercedes Lackey 19 February 2014

The eighth book (or, if you believe the publisher, seventh) in Lackey's Elemental Masters series. This time our heroine is a Welsh fisherman's daughter, and as one might expect from the title and that set-up the main supernatural beings are "selch", a variant of selkies.

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Bookmonth, January 2014 19 February 2014 - 6 comments

Stealing the idea from Vatine, here's what I've read in January.

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Will and Fright Checks 18 February 2014 - 3 comments

Broadly speaking your resistance to intimidation, magical and psionic effects, and frightening and stressful situations, is determined by your Will stat. By default this is equal to your IQ; you can buy it up or down for five points per +/-1, and may find this referred to as "strong will" or "weak will".

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Introduction to the Instrumented Life 17 February 2014

I don't like being spied on. But I don't mind gathering my own data. In July of 2012 I bought a USB GPS receiver (a GlobalSat BU-353, the cheapest available device that had a good score on the gpsd compatibility list) for use with a Raspberry Pi, and I have it running for most car trips I make. (Images follow.)

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Fortune's Pawn, Rachel Bach 16 February 2014

First of a projected trilogy. I learned about it from a half-chapter free sample in the back of Ancillary Justice.

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Doctor Who Re-Watch, series 8 15 February 2014 - 2 comments

As always, spoilers abound. See Wikipedia for production details

Doctor Who - Jon Pertwee
Jo Grant - Katy Manning

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Caproni Ca.60 14 February 2014 - 1 comment

The Caproni Ca.60, called the Noviplano or Capronissimo, was a prototype flying-boat airliner. Built in 1921,

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Too Fat Lardies' Christmas Special 2013 13 February 2014

I'm a recent convert to Too Fat Lardies (in spite of one of their regular contributors being a chap I knew at school), so the only game of theirs I've played so far is Chain of Command. I am hugely impressed with it; at a glance it seems very random, but as I played it I came to realise that I was having to make the same hard decisions as a commander on the scene.

Anyway, since that is the only Lard system I play (doubtless this will change), most of the Christmas Special isn't directly useful to me. So what is? (Ignoring "it might be useful later" or "ooh, that's interesting", at least for now...)

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Three Men in a Boat, Jerome K. Jerome 12 February 2014 - 2 comments

A classic, of course. But one I hadn't read until now.

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Floods at Marlow, One Month Later 11 February 2014 - 6 comments

More panic and despondency in Marlow. The waters today were higher than on either of our previous visits.

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Doctor Who Re-Watch, series 7 11 February 2014 - 3 comments

(First written in January 2014)

As always, spoilers abound. See Wikipedia for production details

Doctor Who - Jon Pertwee
Liz Shaw - Caroline John

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Fire on the Waters 10 February 2014

I've been looking around for a WWII naval combat system that felt right to me, and I think I've found it.

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86th Academy Awards Predictions 09 February 2014

For the last few years I've been making predictions of the Academy Award winners. I'm almost always wrong. Let's see what happens when I do it in public.

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Ancillary Justice, Ann Leckie 08 February 2014

This first novel marks Leckie as someone to watch.

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On Campaign Systems 07 February 2014 - 4 comments

I've been interested for some time in campaign systems, by which I mean ways of linking together individual tactical games to create some sort of larger narrative.

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Chain of Command: At the Sharp End 06 February 2014

At the Sharp End is the campaign supplement for the excellent Chain of Command platoon-level wargame.

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A Choice of Evils, Elizabeth Ferrars 05 February 2014

Eighth and final book in Ferrars' Andrew Basnett series.

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Doctor Who Re-Watch, series 6 04 February 2014 - 4 comments

(First written in December 2013)

As always, spoilers abound. See Wikipedia for production details

Doctor Who - Patrick Troughton
Jamie McCrimmon - Frazer Hines
Zoe Heriot - Wendy Padbury

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Uxbridge Boardgames 2 February 2014 03 February 2014

Thanks to Manuel, the group has survived the loss of its coffee-bar venue; we met at his home. I played six different games, and enjoyed them all in different ways.

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Mirror Mirror, J. D. Robb and others 02 February 2014

I picked up this collection of novellas for the Robb story, as I was clearly intended to. All the stories here are loosely based on, or more properly inspired by, fairy stories (something of a coincidence given the Elemental Masters series I've also been reading).

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Introducing Tin Soldier 01 February 2014

Tin Soldier is my answer to the problems I see in BattleTech.

Why didn't I just write house rules? Well, I started to, but the game is such a blunt instrument that it's hard to have subtle effects.

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