GenCon 2016!

Hey everybody!
It’s GenCon 2016, the best four days in gaming, and this is my attempt to round up all of the stuff that I think looks particularly amazing as the weekend rolls on!

Warhammer 40k Death Masque

Let’s start with something not announced at the con, but is definitely worth a mention all the same – Death Masque, the new boxed game for Warhammer 40k that appears to be replacing the current intro box, Dark Vengeance. Games Workshop are really pushing Deathwatch stuff, it seems, following the Overkill boxed game earlier in the year. Along with the game, which features Harlequins vs Deathwatch Marines, they’ve got the new codex and data cards available for pre-order this weekend, to allow for quite the launch for the latest additions to the 40k line. I really like the whole Deathwatch idea and lore, so will no doubt be picking up the codex next weekend, though the box set might have to wait for a while. Especially seeing as how I’ve got so many other projects on the go!

Fantasy Flight Games are always the company I’m most interested in at GenCon, so let’s move on to see what they’re currently up to. In recent years, they’ve taken to making most of their announcements in the weeks leading up to the convention, saving just one or two showstoppers for the actual event itself, and 2016 is no different there. I’ve already talked about the new Star Wars dice game here, but let’s take a look at what else is going on…

Imperial Assault is getting a new small-box expansion later in the year, centred on Jabba’s Palace. Looks amazing, though this is a game I have unfortunately barely played, so I’m questioning the need to actually buy this when it launches. You can bet your ass, of course, if I manage to make this game into a regular thing, I’ll be snapping it up! Jabba is also one of the new hero/villain releases accompanying the game, as well as a new Luke Skywalker.

Mansions of Madness is a Descent-style game that I’ve owned for years but never gotten round to featuring on the blog. It’s a really great, thematic game, but there hadn’t been any news on it for a long time, until FFG announced the new second edition a couple of weeks ago. Looks to involve an app similar to the Road to Legend app for Descent, though I’m currently undecided – I’m not about to go buy the second edition, owning all of first edition anyway, but I’m not sure if it would be the same experience. The game launched at GenCon, anyway, and seems to be getting a lot of hype from folks across the internet, so there is that!

More exciting from my perspective is the new Arkham Horror LCG. I’d heard about this recently as a rumour, but the announcement last week really got me excited for what looks to be an awesome gameplay experience! Looks similar to Elder Sign in parts, though the RPG-like feel to the whole thing has got me incredibly excited, so this is definitely on the Christmas list!

Doom is a classic of the boardgame world, though I’ve never had the opportunity to play it previously. All I can say on this right now is, the miniatures look incredible! And speaking of miniatures…

Runewars Miniatures Game

I was honestly not expecting this, and I’m still not entirely recovered from my shock following yesterday’s announcement! The “original” Runewars is a game I’ve played but once, though it’s still fantastic, and I’ve been wanting to feature it on the blog for a while now. Set in the same universe as Rune Age and Battlelore, it’s a game I’d thought dead, especially given the popularity of Battlelore nowadays.

It’s not just the fact that this is a new game set in the Terrinoth universe, this is a huge deal for FFG. A rank-and-file miniatures war game is a huge thing for any company, and to see them do this really warms my heart, as it feels like we’re seeing more games that have that juggernaut feel to them from the company. Horus Heresy, Runewars, and Twilight Imperium are all games that fit the classic mould, and it looks like FFG are perhaps making a return to that style of game here.

Very exciting times are ahead, I feel!

What’s been going on at the In-Flight Report this year, then?

Interesting stuff there, looks like FFG are making a lot of these app-driven games since X-Com…

Announced a while back, Legend of the Five Rings has another year to go before it arrives, but that should allow for FFG to make it pretty awesome. I’m not slavering for it, but it’s probably going to be picked up when it comes out, so there is that! Any LCG from Fantasy Flight is amazing, after all!

Looks like a pair of “expansions” to second edition of Mansions of Madness, which feature content from the first edition core set and expansions. Seems like second edition might be worth looking into more deeply after all!

X-Wing Wave X

Wave 10 for X-Wing (sorry, Wave X!) is coming, with ships from Rebels and The Force Awakens. I’m genuinely surprised they’ve managed to keep going so long with this game, I thought they would have shifted to a cards-only supplement style of expansion before now!

This is here because I still can’t get over my shock!

I’ve been seeing a lot of positive vibes around this game across Twitter, so I’m thinking that I’ll definitely try it out once it’s released…

I still can’t get over this Runewars announcement…

While there was a lot of amazing stuff coming out of the In-Flight Report this year, I’m more surprised by what hasn’t been announced at GenCon this year – a new big box expansion for Eldritch Horror, and anything about Warhammer Quest the card game. I find this lack of anything fairly suspicious, so it’ll bear keeping an eye on in the future, I think…

But what about the other companies out there?

Star Wars and Carcassonne… I don’t even… I mean, why?! Carcassonne is a good game, but I feel that perhaps some of the expansions for the main game have shown just how far that game can be taken, so instead we’re getting a lot of re-skins, which I suppose are okay if you like the theme, but seriously, why don’t you just get the main game? Hm.

Legendary meets Buffy as the next IP @upperdeckent

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Having recently bought the boxset to rediscover my love for Buffy, this is perhaps some of the most exciting news to come out of Gen Con for me this year! A co-op game sounds super interesting, and I love the Legendary thing, so definitely going to snap this one up when it comes out, that’s for sure!

Mythic Battles Pantheon from Mythic Games/Monolith…#gencon2016

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Okay, so I had the game Mythic Battles, and I sold it after having never played it in the 2+ years of ownership. These miniatures look so incredibly beautiful, however, that I may have to keep an eye on this bad boy…

The Trederra invasion is on! (Brimstone)

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Flying Frog haven’t officially shared anything (yet), but a few people have been posting up pictures of the stuff they’re picking up as part of wave 1.5 of Shadows of Brimstone, and it does look kinda neat, I have to say. I’m still a bit bummed by the fact that I don’t have a lot of the stuff that I backed, but as many others have pointed out, the kickstarter was a hell of a deal, so I’m not complaining too loudly!

What’s very interesting, to me, is this news:

It’s interesting to me because I don’t have a lot of games with this theme, but it’s something I would like to explore in more depth. The fact that it’s going to be a kickstarter is not exactly getting my juices going, but y’know, I think FFP might have learnt from the Shadows of Brimstone experience, and perhaps things will be better this time around. I’m cautiously optimistic, though I might pass until it actually hits retail, so I guess we’ll see how things pan out. Of course, I’m quite sad they’ve had to put all of their other games on hold while they fulfill the SoB pledges, as I’m keen to see where they take Fortune & Glory, and A Touch of Evil, next!

Of course, FFP don’t have the only Oriental-themed game coming soon:

My favourite game designer, Eric Lang, has come up with, well…

…with beautiful minis, as always!

I should try to contain myself, though that might be very difficult!

That’s all for now! I’ll be updating here whenever I find more interesting stuff to share, so don’t think it’s over yet!

Catching up with FFG

Some very exciting things have been coming out of FFG over the past couple of days, some of it already announced at GenCon, but some new. Let’s take a look!

Under the Pyramids

To start with, the very exciting news about Under the Pyramids, the new big box expansion for Eldritch Horror. Last year saw Mountains of Madness come out, which brought a sideboard to the game, along with a lot of additional bumph that you can see in my blog here. Under the Pyramids seems to be following that template, with a new board that depicts – unsurprisingly – the Egyptian desert. Two new Ancient Ones, of which only Nephren-ka has been spoiled, along with eight more investigators and a whole host of other new bits. I’m guessing Nyarlathotep will be the second Ancient One, though given the breadth of lore for him in the mythos, he may be better-placed in a box by himself. We’ll see, though.

Something that sounds like a lot of fun is the Museum Heist adventure – no idea how this will work mechanically, but it just sounds like a lot of fun!

Hoping we’ll get this for Christmas!

Descent Treaty of Champions

Just announced today is the seventh hero and monster collection for Descent – Treaty of Champions! Looks very much like more of the same, really, though take a look at those miniatures! Those demon lords look absolutely amazing. Interestingly, while I said this was more of the same, there is a new monster group, the Crow Hag! An interesting-looking mini, some strange cultist-like character with a huge mace of some sort… interesting!

Always great to have exciting options for a game, anyway!

Warhammer Conquest What Lurks Below

Have I mentioned the new cycle for Warhammer Conquest? I’m not sure…  At any rate, the next cycle is expected to begin at some point, and it mainly deals with interacting with the position of planets. Capitalizing on the fact the deluxe expansion, The Great Devourer, will be released by the time this hits, we’ll also be getting Tyranid cards, and the fourth pack, What Lurks Below, brings a new Warlord to the faction. In keeping with the first cycle, it also looks like the Space Marines will be focusing on a new chapter, this time Black Templars. Interesting, as I’d have thought we’d be seeing something like Blood Angels or Dark Angels first. At any rate, I wasn’t actually intending to keep buying Conquest packs after the Warlord cycle ended, but FFG are always so very good at keeping me hooked on their card-crack!

Imperial Assault Return to Hoth

I realise I’ve not mentioned the other big, exciting expansion announced back in GenCon, Return to Hoth! I’ve actually played the skirmish game once, and thoroughly enjoyed it, but have wanted to play more before featuring it on the blog. Anyway, it’s a really exciting game, and Return to Hoth looks like it has some very good additions to this! The miniatures include HK-droids, Wampas, and a Mon Calamari hero, all of which look excellent.

The associated ally and villain packs also look good – Princess Leia, Dengar, and some Snowtrooper chaps, all look fantastic! Interestingly, there is a lot in this box that seems to support the skirmish game, including a four-player variant, which makes me wonder if FFG are keen to support this aspect above anything else. It does kinda make sense, given the opportunity for organised play. The skirmish game is certainly the more popular aspect as far as what I’m seeing locally, at any rate.

Another one for the Christmas list, anyway – all four of these things are coming before the end of the year, anyway.

Finally…

X Wing Imperial Raider

The Imperial Raider is apparently in stock at my local store, though it is so overdue that I don’t think I’ll actually believe it until I’ve seen it with my own hands!

New Star Wars stuff!

Hey everybody!

After the heady excitement of my Birthday Week, and the exploration of the Indiana Jones franchise, it’s back to Star Wars, my original true love, and some exciting news for gaming, following the Anaheim shenanigans last weekend!

X-Wing Wave 7

Let’s start with Wave 7 for X-Wing! Releases for this game continue apace, as we get new ships for all three of the current factions. The K-Wing makes an appearance for the rebels, something I’ve been particularly pleased about since I’m a big fan of the Black Fleet Crisis trilogy. It also gets a new move, SLAM, which basically allows it to move twice, so long as both movements are at the same speed. The Imperials get the TIE Punisher, though most people will probably know it better as the TIE Interdictor from the Galactic Battlegrounds game. It’s basically an advanced version of the TIE Bomber (from Wave 3), and both this and the K-Wing have some pretty snazzy ordnance they bring to the table. Very useful is the Advanced Ordnance card, which lets you use missiles and bombs twice, so that’ll most likely become a staple!

Scum takes up half of this wave, which makes sense, given they’re still quite far behind the other factions so far. Black Sun’s Kihraxz fighter makes its appearance, which has got me excited to build a Black Sun squadron, and Trandoshan bounty hunter Bossk’s ship Hound’s Tooth rounds out the experience. He has the ability to escape his destroyed ship in the headhunter Nashtah Pup, which is a nice addition – I was surprised at first that we don’t actually get a headhunter model, but it would most likely drive the price of the expansion up to include it and, as was pointed out to me, most Scum players will have Most Wanted anyway.

So it’s a pretty exciting release, and since I’ve started to play this game, I’m really looking forward to it!

X Wing Imperial Raider

Speaking of X-Wing, we’ve also had a more in-depth look at the Imperial Raider, which I feel has been on the horizon for months already!

Announced back in December (I think – it seems longer!), it’s something that I’m pretty excited to get my hands on, even though I don’t foresee any epic play on the cards anytime soon. There are some interesting bits and pieces there, though – and who knows, now that the Imperials have a big ship as well, maybe we’ll see more epic play games…

Imperial Assault reinforcements

More reinforcements have been announced for Imperial Assault, too. As someone mentioned on facebook, this is where the skirmish game really begins, and I can definitely see that. Up to now, we seem to have been having the lieutenant-like expansions similar to the Descent model, which basically replace tokens from the base game with actual miniatures, but with new chaps that we can bring to the table, it begins to feel much more like a miniatures battle game, much like the previous Star Wars Miniatures games from Wizards of the Coast and West End Games. Even though I haven’t been able to play with the base game yet, I’m hoping I can sell the idea to Tony with the skirmish side, then hook him in with the scenario-driven game. We shall see!

Imperial Assault Reinforcements

The miniatures do look great, though I’m not going to paint them – the manager at the local store has done his store copy, and that looks fantastic, but they’re too small and detailed for me!

Again, I’m pretty excited for these guys, even though I’ve yet to play the game. Star Wars Miniatures was one of my favourite games, back in the day – which is surprising, given that it’s got basically no story to it, and you’re just trying to wipe out your opponent before he wipes you out. But I played a lot of that game back in the day, and it’s really exciting to think we might get that sort of experience again, though on a much more sensible scale (as opposed to the blind-buy from Wizards).

And finally…

Making splendid use of my amazon vouchers, I’ve decided to go for the latest novels in hardcover. It seems Del Rey is moving to all their books coming out in hardcover now, so it’ll help to distinguish them from my now-Legends novels.

More Star Wars!

Well, this was unexpected…

So soon after the GAMA Trade Show stuff for Armada and Imperial Assault, we’re given yet more Star Wars goodness from FFG at this weekend’s Star Wars Celebration in Anaheim!

Yes, I still haven’t played Imperial Assault, and while the expansion model of lots of small packs of miniatures is a little worrying for the bank balance, it is nevertheless pretty exciting to see the game expand in this modular way, as you can pick and choose what you want – especially for the skirmish play, but also adding in actual miniatures for the scenario stuff is cool.

Next deluxe for the LCG is, of course, a welcome announcement, and by the looks of it, we’ll be getting Imperials and Smugglers. As a side note, Imperial Entanglements always reminds me more of the West End Games supplement than Obi-Wan’s line in A New Hope, and I always feel happy to see stuff like that 🙂

Wave 7 for X-Wing was a bit of a surprise, though a lot of folks will probably think it’s long overdue. My guess would be we’re getting one rebel, one imperial, and two scum ships, the Kihraxz Assault Fighter being affiliated with Black Sun of course (and already in the LCG, to boot!)

Anyhow, it’s good to see all the lines looking healthy, and the promise of lots more Star Wars games to come!

But wait – that’s not all!

The Lando story sounds like it could be good. Of course, I’m a big fan of AC Crispin’s Han Solo trilogy, and don’t really relish the idea of that being wiped away, but the comic is set sometime between Rebel Dawn and The Empire Strikes Back, so it’s possible that nothing will contradict the Bantam series there.

The Shattered Empire has already been briefly mentioned as part of the run-up to December’s film, and while I’m intrigued to see what Disney have decided to do with the post-Jedi era, the EU fan within me feels a bit insulted that the press release begins:

“The world has been wondering what happened after the fall of the Empire since the credits first rolled on ‘Return of the Jedi’ in 1983,”

We’ve known what has happened since 1990, and Heir to the Empire, thank you very much! Bah! So it’s with a degree of trepidation, and some scepticism, that I’ll most likely be reading this book when it comes out in September.

So while I’m still a bit sad about the loss of the EU as I knew it, the one bright spot on the horizon comes from this article on sw.com about the upcoming novel Aftermath, part of a trilogy that bridges the gap between episodes VI and VII with both new characters and “familiar faces”. Maybe Talon Karrde and Mara Jade live, after all? For all my love of the EU that I’ve just discussed, it’s something that I actually feel Bantam didn’t do all that well – the Empire fell at Endor insofar as the Emperor and Vader died, but what happened to the galaxy at large? Somehow, that epic sweep that the new trailer seems to sum up so nicely in the depiction of a crashed Star Destroyer was lost, and instead we got the X-Wing series, which was basically a set of novels showcasing just how awesome Corran Horn is as a person. But I’ve had that rant before. We do somehow lack that immediate sense of, just what the hell happened next?

Y’know, this may be the first Star Wars novel I buy in hardcover…

Star Wars: Aftermath

A sparse week

Hey everyone!

It has been a bit of a sparse week for gaming news, I have to say. The most exciting thing, for me, was a look at two of the upcoming ally packs for Imperial Assault, here. To my shame, Imperial Assault remains unplayed since I got it at Xmas, so just how excited I am for more content for a (currently) unplayed game is a bit of an issue. But we’ll see. Of course, I got another game of X-Wing in at the local games shop, a hilarious adventure among the asteroids that you can read about here!

Desperate Allies

I was pretty excited about this one, actually, which perhaps is a bit strange given the fact that I haven’t played a role-playing game in years!

I’ve been on a bit of a nostalgia trip of late, started off by my D&D week earlier in the year, and since then, I’ve been looking back with fondness at my Star Wars RPG days. I’ve not properly looked over the latest incarnation of the game from FFG, but I recall feeling positive about it when Edge of the Empire first appeared, so even though my chances of playing soon are pretty slim, I’m nevertheless thinking of featuring a look at the thing here on my blog sometime soon.

While West End Games did an awful lot to make a credible universe, tying in very closely with the Bantam novels of the 90s, then Wizards of the Coast largely ignored all of that as they just kept churning out movie-related material, it seems FFG is going on its own way of providing adventures almost unconnected to previous material, and it looks pretty amazing for it!

On the subject of Star Wars, I read the first issue in the new Marvel series today!

Star Wars #1

Y’know, that was actually a really great book! I’ve been a Star Wars fan for decades, of course, and have grown accustomed to being a Dark Horse Comics fan, so was initially very wary of them moving back to Marvel. But a good story is a good story, whoever is publishing it, and this was a lot of fun! It’s not very long, almost half the book is taken up with previews and adverts for the other two comic lines promised from Marvel – Darth Vader (which looks superb, let me tell you!) and Princess Leia (artwork looks a bit cheap…)

Going back to D&D week, I also finished reading The Halfling’s Gem, which turned out to be pretty good in the end! Being pulled into Tarterus near the end seemed a bit extraneous, but maybe that’s just me. After, what, eighteen months or so of being left, it was good to finally finish the trilogy! I’ve since moved onto The Legacy, the seventh book in the series, and while I’m only a couple of chapters in, it’s definitely setting up a compelling story. I had kinda spoiled myself for this book through the adventure system game. [SPOILER ALERT!] In the game, Drizzt’s brother Dinin Do’Urden appears as a drider, and after starting to read the Dark Elf trilogy I was a little confused, before finding out that happens in the course of book seven. Plus, the cover does kinda give it away!

The Legacy

I really loved the Dark Elf trilogy, books one and two in particular were just too awesome for words, and a big part of my enjoyment came from the setting. Menzoberranzan is one of the most interesting locations I’ve ever had the pleasure to read about, and the whole adventures in the Underdark was a real joy, so the interruption on the surface for the last three books has been a bit unwelcome, really! Good to get back underground, even if it is currently only for part of the book. The Legacy takes place nearly twenty years after Drizzt left the Underdark in Sojourn, and it’s fun to see what has been happening with the drow characters in the time Drizzt has been away. Promises to be a good read, anyway!

I’ve also been painting more Necrons this weekend! I must admit, I’m quite pleased with myself! Having had such a slow start to painting this year, I’m glad to finally be creating again! I’ve made up a batch of Immortals, and have been painting them as Pyrrhian Eternals, the dedicated Immortals of Anrakyr the Traveller! I’ve recently begun to use my flickr account once more, where you can head over to check out my album here!

Pyrrhian Eternals

Off for the holidays!

Yep, I’m done for the festive period now!
It was my birthday on Thursday, and I’d bought the second Shield of Baal campaign book for myself, so picked that up today – that was exciting stuff! I mean: Necrons!

Shield of Baal Exterminatus

So far, I’ve been really enjoying this campaign. Of course, I’m still not a player of the game, as I’m taking my time with building up my Necron army while I wait for the new codex to hit (I think I’ve gone on about this for quite some time now), however I’ve been digesting the novellas that have been published to support all this bumph, and have so far been really impressed! I finished the Deathstorm novella this morning, which is one of the best tie-in stories I’ve ever read, to be honest! I also picked up the third novella in this series this morning, so once I’ve read that, I’ll be bringing some words of wisdom to you all on that!

Shield of Baal

On the subject of Warhammer, I’ve managed to do a little more painting today. I’ve currently got nearly twenty individual miniatures on the go, but have been finding it consistently difficult to get moving for any length of time with them. Today, anyway, I turned my attention to an idea for a scarab base that had excited me when it first came to me earlier in the month. I’ve not yet read Damnos, but I’ve nevertheless been somehow aware of the enmity between the Necrons and Ultramarines, so it really was a no-brainer to come up with the colour scheme…

Necron scarab base

The base colours are done, so I’m going to do some washing and highlighting soon (hopefully tomorrow), then glue those scarabs onto the poor bloke, and job done! For my second painting effort of a space marine, I don’t think it’s half bad, anyway!

Necrons

Imperial Assault

There was a minor flurry of releases from Fantasy Flight last week. Imperial Assault is probably the most notable here, of course – £80 of game, and it looks like you really get some bang for that buck! Down at my local games shop, the manager gave me a quick tour of the game on Wednesday – you basically get a game like Descent, with tiles and miniatures and cards and tokens, but then you get (I think) four rulebooks to suppose the other style of play, skirmish play. On top of that, you also get two mini-expansions, the Luke Skywalker ally pack, and the Darth Vader villain pack. These are apparently similar to the lieutenant packs for Descent, with cards for various bits as well as miniatures, which replace tokens in the main game.

It looks like an absolutely fantastic game, but kinda scares me as being a potential money-sink. It could just be due to the terms of their license agreement, but the game is also listed under “miniatures” rather than “board games” on FFG’s site, as X-Wing is, which makes me wonder if these ally/villain packs are going to be the de facto method of expansion… Hm! We’ll see if Santa has decided I’ve been a particularly good boy this year I suppose…

Mountains of Madness

Mountains of Madness has also been released, which kinda excites me much more than Imperial Assault – aside from the fact that it can be played solo, which is always exciting, I had the base game last xmas, so it’s a nice little repeat of that to have the first big-box expansion this year! It’s currently nestled under my tree, awaiting the big day, so I’m really very excited by this!

The next co-op scenario for Descent, Nature’s Ire, has also been made available, though it’ll most likely be a while before it makes its way over the Atlantic. Same for the next batch of Nightmare Scenarios for Lord of the Rings. I used to snap up the print-on-demand stuff as soon as it was released directly from the company, but postage has recently become ridiculous to get these things over here, so I’m now biding my time waiting for retailers in the UK to get them, though this seems to be taking much longer than usual…

Battlelore Hernfar Guardians

From new releases to new announcements, and we’ve seen a new preview for the upcoming Battlelore expansion, the Hernfar Guardians army pack. I’m not a big Daqan Lords fan, I admit, as I tend not to go for the Empire types where fantasy is concerned. However, I have lately begun to revise my position, and I’m looking forward to seeing this expansion hit the shelves. Of course, Battlelore is another of these games that is really lots of fun to play, but  never get to put on the table these days. So whether I rush to buy this – and the Warband of Scorn for the Uthuk, will remain to be seen…

Battlelore Hernfar Guardians

I was so impressed with the Imperial Raider news, of course, that I devoted an entire separate blog to it, but suffice it to say, I’m still getting fairly excited about X-Wing these days…

That actually brings me onto the subject of the other starship game from FFG, Armada. Take a moment, if you will, to refresh your memory of my earlier comments on the game…

However…

Let me take you back to Gen Con this August, where Armada was demo’d at the Fantasy Flight booth, a video that I didn’t even look at because I wasn’t feeling the love at that time:

First reaction, there are more nuances to this game than I was initially aware of. It’s not just a re-implemented X-Wing – while there are undeniably similarities to the earlier game, Armada does seem like it could be an enjoyable wargame rather than the dogfighting game of X-Wing. I mean, X-Wing feels like a really nice, well thought-out skirmish game between a group of starships, but Armada really succeeds with having the sense of the players being admirals in charge of rival fleets.

Star Wars Armada

I’ve been discussing it with the game store manager today, as he’s got his pre-orders up for the game, and I must admit, I’m beginning to think I’ll actually get it. Of course, whether I also get the expansion packs will remain to be seen, but they do look very pretty…

Star Wars Armada

The inevitable problem, of course, is scaring up someone who would be willing to play this game with me. My regular gaming buddy is no fan of X-Wing, so I doubt he’ll get into this one. It’s a hell of a lot of money to drop on something that might never actually see a play, of course, as well. So…hm. I’m at least feeling a lot more open to the idea of the game than I was in the summer, so that, if nothing else, is worth writing about!