January 16, 2010

A New Year (thank goodness)

by Susan Rozmiarek

Well, I can't let Ed take over this blog completely with his Descent reports, so I better get with it and post something.

My blogging dropped off significantly this past year. Frankly, it's been a pretty bad year, both personally and for gaming. Ed, the primary breadwinner of our household, spent almost the whole year unemployed. Not only did this take a huge bite out of our game buying budget, but it also meant that we weren't able to attend the gaming conventions that we normally do. We also spent much of the year unable to attend our regular gaming nights due to our son's soccer practice and game schedule (he doesn't drive yet but should have his license by this summer). So, there hasn't been much gaming to even talk about. We are very behind on this past year's new releases although given the constant parade of new ones, I don't really mind. Also taking a bite out of blogging time is my job at my local library. It was very part-time at the start of 2009 and then went full-time for a few months that practically killed me. It is now a more manageable 20 hrs./week. Another reason my time has been limited will probably earn me a lot of flack - I'm a full blown World of Warcraft addict. I play online with a bunch of Gulf Gamers and we have a lot of fun. We use Skype and it's almost like playing with them in person. I really enjoy it but OMG, is it ever a time sink. It's not nicknamed World of Warcrack for nothing! Finally, working in a library has gotten me back into reading more than ever. I've always been a huge reader but had slowed down in the past few years. Working in a building full of books and having to keep up with the latest literature (using that term loosely given some of the popular fiction published) has renewed my interest. Oh, and I've also gotten back into another old love, gardening, although since it seems so difficult to grow anything but weeds and cactus here, we'll see how long I stick with it.

So, given how diverse my current activities and interests are, I will probably start adding a few other topics to my blog posts, as well as just general, personal posts. My poor family and non-gaming friends occasionally visit here and often have no clue what I'm talking about. I suppose I could just use a separate blog (there is another one on this site) but I'm going to try mixing it up for a change. Yes, I do want to start back to blogging more often! My primary focus will still probably remain on gaming. The blog is titled The Game Ranch, after all. You might also notice that my writing style is more informal at times. Alas, I think Facebook and Twitter have ruined me.

To start the year off, here's a post from October that never made it up:

October could have been a pretty sparse month for gaming. A welcome shot in the arm came from our Fresno friend Mark Jackson, who blew in for a quick visit. Games that hit the table:

Arkham Horror: Yay! My current favorite! Mark had never played this so we gave the base game a whirl. It was an uphill battle with lots of mayhem and terror from monster surges, but in the end we saved Arkham by defeating Hastur.

Journey to the Center of the Earth: This was probably my last playing of this game. Very "meh" and just doesn't deliver any of the excitement that the theme suggests. I was happy to play it one more time, though, to cement my feelings before reviewing it.

Gangster: On the other hand, each time this one comes out I have to wonder how this little gem has managed to slip by most people and not get the attention it deserves. It's a great lightweight area majority game with a little bit of "take that", some luck to provide a few surprises, and enough strategy to keep me engaged.

Zahltag: Mark brought this fluffy card game of managing a hand of workers and bidding for city contracts. Although we have loads of other card games that fit in this niche, I really liked Zahltag and would pick up a copy if I had the chance.

We had a great time visiting with Mark and wish we could get together more often. BTW, Mark often writes about games on his most excellent blog.

Playing Journey to the Center of the Earth with Ed and Mark

The exclamation point to end October and the perfect way to spend Halloween afternoon was a monster game of Arkham Horror - eight players (nine actually, with two sharing a character) and every expansion. That's right - ALL of them, big and small. It was quite the experience although I think that I'd rather just play the expansions one or two at a time in order to fully absorb the flavor that each brings to the game. But, given that Arkham Horror is currently my favorite game, I had to try this at least once.

Posted by Susan Rozmiarek at January 16, 2010 3:53 PM


It's good to be reading entries from both of you again. Cerainly hope 2010 turns out to be a better year for you. Hang in there....

Posted by: gamesgrandpa on January 16, 2010 7:14 PM

So sorry to hear it was a rough year, Susan. Is Ed employed now or at least have some strong leads? Being unemployed sucks; you work just as hard trying to find work as you do when you have a job, but you don't get paid for it! Hope you guys have turned the corner and that the new decade will bring better things. If not, I hear there's good money in being an Evil Overlord! :-)

Posted by: Larry Levy on January 17, 2010 9:22 AM

Thanks to both of you for the words of encouragement!

Ed still hasn't found a job. It's hard to even get an interview as there are so few jobs and soooo many people applying for them. He's only had a handful of interviews in the past 10 months although he has been one of the top three candidates for two jobs. On the upside, he has an interview this Thursday. Yay!

If only there were evil overlord positions in Austin. He is well qualified for that job!!

Posted by: Susan on January 17, 2010 7:06 PM
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