Mar 212017

Hello there Top Men and Top Women! Time to blog. I’m feeling a little more coherent this week so let’s see if we can blog a bit more than last time.

I dipped my toe back into the D&D waters on Saturday. The opportunity just sorta dropped into my lap. I was talking to one friend about dropping out of the D&D game I was supposed to join  when another friend mentioned he’d always wanted to try playing. Fast forward a couple of weeks and there we were on Saturday making characters. There will be five, maybe six, player characters and me as the Dungeon Master. I haven’t DM’d in years. The last time was actually when I was giving a go at an Age of Animus RPG system (look it up, there are write-ups on the site). We started late so we didn’t finish, but we have the start of a direction. It’s kinda exciting and terrifying at the same time.

I got to play Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Shadows of the Past last week. I’m digging the game system. I was playing the villains with three Criq members playing the Turtles. I misread the rules and ended up playing at half strength for the first round. The Turtles couldn’t roll movement icons for the life of them so I very easily could have run away and won the scenario but I didn’t want our first experience be so anticlimactic so I stuck around for a bit to give the Turtles a chance. In the end, it came down to one ranged attack from Raphael. If it hit, I lost. If it missed, I’d be able to run away on my next turn.  Wouldn’t you know it, they hit and that was all she wrote. Still, I very much enjoyed the game. I look forward to playing again.

The fight between Barnaby and Fang has begun. I got to try my hand at drawing combat scenes again and I have to say, I’m pretty terrible at it. Actually coming up with new and different battle poses was super difficult. One strip in (the one that goes up tomorrow) and I felt I’d run out of juice for the fight. That pushed me to find a different path to get to the desired conclusion. I’m there now and while it’s not as grandiose as I would have liked, it’s at least something I felt I could draw. How does it end? Well, you’ll just have to read along and see, won’t you? (That’s what they call a hook.)

Montreal Comic Con has announced Nathan Filion as a guest of honor. There was a time when that announcement would have filled me excitement. Sadly that time seems to have passed as I have little to no interest whatsoever in going. It feels like a part of me has died. My wallet will thank me for it though, so there’s that.

That’s all for this week. Have a good seven and we’ll do this all again next Monday. Carja V.


Mar 142017

Hello there Top Men and Top Women. This week’s blog isn’t going to be very long so let’s get right to it.

Yesterday my gaming group held a special game day to end the March Break. It was a nice time overall. It ended with a super long game of Stone Age. Why was it super long? Because the end game condition wasn’t explained properly (or we simply misunderstood). What should have taken about an hour to an hour and a half ended up taking over three and a half hours…I didn’t get home until close to midnight and I am simply burnt today. I don’t know how I made it through work to be perfectly honest but I somehow managed.

This Saturday I delve back into D&D with some friends from work, at least half of which have never played before. I’ll be helping them make characters and then at a later date to be determined, I’ll run them through an adventure. If it goes well, it could become a recurring thing. If not, well we gave it a try. I’ll finally have gotten to try out 5th Edition.

As promised, that concludes this week’s blog. Have a good seven and we’ll do this all again next Monday. Carja V.

Mar 062017

Hello Top Men and Top Women! Not a lot to blog about this week, so let’s get right to it.

As all of you Topsters know, I’m a bit of a wrestling fan. But did you know that there is a local wrestling scene in my hometown? Well I did, but for some reason I hadn’t attended a show since sometime in 1999 or 2000 when a friend of mine was wrestling on the card. After one or two shows I stopped going. It wasn’t that the shows were bad, I don’t know, I just didn’t go. Well that changed this past weekend when I went to my first local show in 16+ years and I have to say it was a fun time. The venue is actually worse than back in the day, but the matches were entertaining so that’s a win. I will definitely have to go back.

Going from the local indie wrestling scene to the big time, last night was WWE Fastlane which was…a disappointment. At least my guy Cesaro made the card but it was a throwaway last-minute match that did him no favors. The worst thing was they took the belt off of Kevin Owens who has been the singular best thing on Raw, to put it on Goldberg, so they can add even more hype to the already-way-too-overhyped-doesn’t-have-a-chance-to-deliver match between him and Brock Lesnar at Wrestlemania in four weeks. Well darn.

Between wrestling shows, I spent Sunday afternoon at Les Dés Truqués and had myself a nice time chatting about board games (go figure) and got to play a couple while I was at it. One was a pirate-themed dice game with nifty plastic gold coins and the other was Atlantis, a nicely done game about fleeing the sinking island. I enjoyed both. Incidentally, for those curious, the games I couldn’t remember last week were King’s Forge and Ugo!. We discussed the idea of setting up some campaign games (like Mice and Mystics or TMNT) for Sunday afternoons so I might just get an opportunity to play through those yet.

That’s all for this week. Have a good seven and we’ll do this all again next Monday. Carja V.

Feb 272017

Hey there Top Men and Top Women, glad to have you back for another blog post.Let’s get to it.

I started training for my new job last week. The schedule isn’t the best. We’re going from 8 to 4 and the bus schedule has me arriving and leaving on the half hour. That leaves me with a half hour to kill before and after my work day every day. Fortunately that should end soon, like Wednesday. As for what I think of the work I’ll be doing…I’m reserving judgement still.

I went a little crazy on Kickstarter this past week. I hadn’t backed anything since July and now I’ve backed two projects and pre-ordered a third that successfully funded. I’d tagged a few that were interesting over the past few months, but ultimately didn’t pull the trigger on any of them. These three really spoke to me though I guess. Too Many Bones should actually be shipping soonish, while Quodd Heroes and By Order of the Queen will arrive late in the year.

I spent the day at Les Dés Truqués, the new gaming café in town. It wasn’t the plan. I had lunch and was sorting my Destiny cards and the place was starting to fill up. I didn’t want to hold up a table, so I started packing up. That’s when the owner arrived with some friends who were there to game with other folk. I was other folk and so I gamed with them for the rest of the day and evening. My two favorites are ironically the ones whose names I can’t remember. One was a nifty crafting game that used dice as resources and the other was a neat little trick-taking game. Other games I played included Kharnage, which I didn’t care for at all, Dogs of War and Planetarium which were alright and Eggs and Empires which I’ve mentioned before. I also did a little promotion for Lords of Waterdeep as I helped teach it to a couple who were looking for a new light to medium-weight game to play. Good day. Good day.

It’s looking like I may run a small D&D session in the near future. I was going to start playing in a campaign with some people at work but the closer we got to it, the less I felt like it was going to work for me so I pulled out (and not as gracefully as I would have wanted to). I was talking about it with some other co-workers and one of them mentioned he’d always wanted to give D&D a try. And so as I closed the door on one opportunity, another one opened up. Weird.

Episode 85 of Critical Role aired a couple of weeks ago and it packed quite the punch. Sam Riegel is amazing. It’s amazing how much you can become invested in a group of characters. I won’t say more because I wouldn’t want to spoil things for somebody thinking about watching the show. It’s a huge time investment (each episode is between 2 and 4 hours), but so much fun.

Raw is about to start and I have yet to have supper so that’s all for this week. Have a good seven and we’ll do this all again next Monday. Carja V.

Feb 132017


Woo boy! What a week, what a weekend, what a Monday. Details? Sure.

So last week was conversion week, when our IT sector performs their big update to prepare for the upcoming year. It’s a quiet week really since several key systems are down. I took the opportunity to schedule myself an extra long weekend knowing that the first day after conversion is always full of surprises. I had Thursday and Friday off and got some gaming in there as one does.

This weekend was Shawi-Con. What is Shawi-Con? you may ask? Why it’s Shawinigan’s pop culture convention. This was the second iteration of the con and after sitting out the first one last year, I thought I’d brave the con waters once again. I’ve just about lost my passion for cons in general but this one is a) small and b) local so it didn’t require a really big investment. The biggest selling point was getting to spend time with my dearest friends…and Fab (I kid! I kid! He’s the one most likely to read this so I make with the playful jab so as not to get all sentimental and whatnot). There wasn’t a great deal in the way of panels, but I did attend one on the history of wrestling in Quebec that was quite interesting (to me). They did such a great job that I went and bought their book on the subject. Good stuff!

Today was, as expected, a little chaotic. I wasn’t at my desk for even a minute when I started getting reports of things not working properly. I spent the better part of the day getting us on track. Then the latest bombshell was dropped.

As part of the agency’s reorganization, it was decided last November that our office would change designations. That means that my current job is going away and I’ll be learning something brand spanking new to do for the next who-knows-how-many years of my career? Two weeks ago, I was told I was going to one section, most likely in March, but that turned out to be a mistake and I was actually going to another, possibly in April, but at the latest in September. Since it’s happening one way or another, I gave my preference for sooner rather than later and that’s what going to happen…next week. Turns out my new sector has an urgent workload arriving sooner than expected and the April date was pushed forward to Monday. I’m still a little shocked to tell the truth. Interesting days ahead.

Game-wise I got to try a classic last Wednesday. Citadels is a role-selection game where every round players draft one of eight roles and use the powers accorded by this role to best advance themselves in the building of their individual cities. The game ends when (at least) one player builds their eighth building. Each building is worth a set number of points and there are bonus points for getting to eight (which I was not able to do) and also for having at least one of each of the five building types (which I WAS able to do). Even though I had seven buildings, they were worth a good number of points each and with the colour bonus I was able to win by one point. Huzzah! It’s a good game but there’s a good deal of “Take that” to it which means it’s not ideal for play with my family (they’re not big on that sort of thing). I will therefore probably not be adding it to my collection (though there’s a really spiffy new edition that just came out for it).

That’s about all there is to report this week. Have a great seven and we’ll do this all again next Monday. Carja V.


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