Thursday, July 30, 2020

Cavalock and The Lockdown Booze Collage

Like some folks out there, I did resort to some boozy entertainment during the Lockdown as evident from these snapshots I took at home. I almost forgot bout them until I chanced upon them in me phone's photo album. All good stuff but I gotta give a shout-out to the French Cider at the bottom left from So France. If you like cider, give this bottle a try. Been ages since I had a good cider, can't find any decent cider from the US anymore and this French cider is pretty excellent.

Well, this is Gen Con weekend and like I mentioned in me last post, me and five other guys should be in the US right now. Instead we are all still here for obvious reasons. So rather than spend hundreds and hundreds of dollars on games at Gen Con, I have been spending a tiny fraction of that amount on getting games from Amazon. One of them is Warfighter: The WWII Tactical Combat Card Game, definitely the most complex game in my collection. I have yet to play and have been busy pouring over 50 over pages of rules as well as watching instructional YouTube videos on how to play it. 

Now I got it for a couple reasons. First off, I'm a huge WWII nut since my teenage years, there was a time when I knew stuff bout D-Day's Operation Torch and Operation Barbarossa on the Eastern Front. I think I mentioned this in a much earlier blog. Anyway the other reason is the many favourable reviews the game has gotten. It's also solo-able, meaning I can play it by myself. Since the pandemic is making us all spend a lot more time indoors, I have been playing more solo games than ever before. Hope to finish understanding the rules and getting it to the table real soon.

Friday, July 24, 2020

Cavalock and The Failed Gen Con Expedition

So me and the guys were supposed to be on a flight to the US this week to attend the world's biggest boadrgame convention GenCon but obviously that ain't happening. It would had been me third time attaining the event (2014 and 2016) and this year was gonna really cool cos our old gamer friends who have never been before would be joining us. Oh well, c'est la vie. At least SQ has started the refund process for our tickets. Unfortunately the same can't be said for our domestic flights to Indianapolis.

I thought I'd share a little boardgame that just arrived from local Amazon last week. Read some good reviews about it and it was on sale so why not. Abomination, the Heir of Frankenstein is a worker placement, resource management game with a unique and slightly morbid theme. Set several years after the events in the classic novel Frankenstein, the creature is now in Paris and forcing scientists (the players) to build another creature. Players will then place their scientist and assistants tokens at locations around a map of Paris. Many places to go including the Morgue to acquire bodies or University to give lectures (gain money) or even commit murder in a dark alley for fresh body parts (lost humanity).

It ain't that easy cos you will need to build the individual body parts first. For instance, a Leg will need a certain number of Organs, Muscles, Bones and Blood. These four resources are only available in limited quantities in the random bodies you find. That body you just stole from the Hospital might provide you with only a few Organs and no Blood. Even after getting all the body parts you need, you will need to deliver an electric charge to them to give them LIFE!!!! It's not a short game and the resource management part can be a real brain burner. Then you still have keep an eye out on your Humanity, Reputation and Expertise levels. You'll lose Humanity depending on how you source your cadavers and losing Humanity means losing points at the end of the game, while you need to increase your Expertise cos that means you get smarter and you need to be smart enough to build different body parts like the Head of the creature. So everything's connected and you got to balance them all. If anyone wants to play, let me know. A very challenging yet fun game and I hope to try the solo rules version soon.

Now here's an unexpected find at Marks & Spencer. Ravoili is usually my go-to dish at Italian joints, followed by tortellini and gnocchi, so when we saw this made-in-Italy ricotta and spinach ravioli, we figured why not? Turned out great, blindfold me and I'll probably think I'm in a restaurant! Will very likely grab another pack next time we are there. 

Oh, and you know it's the new normal when after over a decade, the Wash-Pole Patriot suddenly changes his act. Hah!  

Monday, July 20, 2020

Cavalock and The All-Tokyo Flashback Post

From visiting the new Tokyo Starbucks Reserve Roastery to hand-carrying a freshly baked apple pie home from Japan, it's certainly fun to look back at last July's trip to Japan. And since we definitely won't be leaving the country anytime soon, I figured a little look back might be a way to beat the stay-at-home blues. Gawd knows I still got a whole buncha pix that I haven't posted from that trip. Hah!  

I remember this drink. The first beer of the day as well as the trip. Nothing like a little lunchtime buzz to into the holiday mood. Ah, the Tokyo Starbucks Reserve Roastery is definitely one of those places that I might very well visit again if given the opportunity. It's a nice neighbourhood and I will always want to drop by the Traveler's Notebook flagship store around the corner. 

Some of the things the Baker-at-Home and myself have been doing to quell the wanderlust is to watch the Japanese cable channel WakuWaku as well as other food and travel shows like Somebody Feed Phil on Netflix. We really prefer shows on WakuWaku where it's just the hosts and guests exploring neighbourhoods in Tokyo or parts of Hokkaido. The Baker-at-Home would be making mental notes of where to visit next time while I would be squinting at the subtitles. Meanwhile here are just more random pix from July 2019 of the old normal where travelling and enjoying ourselves in a foreign land was almost second nature to us. 

Friday, July 17, 2020

Cavalock and The Post Election Photoshoot

So we really liked UOUO over at Sunshine Plaza, the Japanese restaurant we discovered couple weeks back, so much that I brought three of my friends over for dinner there earlier this week. Yup, keeping it small with just four guys in the group. Been ages since I met some of them. Everyone liked the place a lot and it was all very affordable. The fish remains form the sashimi platter was cooked into a hearty broth that we enjoyed immensely. Introduced them to the oysters in ponzu that I had the last time, and it was a hit. Nice place to hang out, decent prices and of cos, great fresh food. 

The day after our local Elections, me 85-year-old Dad headed out to snap these bird pix, over 600 of them. I also wanna say thanks to all the strangers who have helped him with his equipment when he's alone at train stations and bus-stops. 

Sunday, July 12, 2020

Cavalock and The Supreme Sake Surprise

It was our first dinning out experience with friends since the Lockdown (sorta) ended bout a month ago, and the four of us decided on Yakiniku at Osaka Yakiniku DonDon at Tanjong Pagar. My second time there and it was all things meaty meaty meaty once again. Plus the frozen towel, who can resist doing campfire marshmallow scene with that! We had sort ribs, ox tongues and more short ribs.

Some new dishes we had, or at least I had cos the rest had them on previous visits, were the potato salad and cow bowels. Potato salad was good, not that crazy bout the bowels. Too chewy and fatty even for me. And the sake was a winner too. We drank the whole bottle and it was quite possibility the most expensive sake we ever ordered. Was the Kokuryu 2020 and you can read bout it here. But I gotta say it was worth every drop for me at least. Slept like a babe that night and even woke up with more hair on me chest. 

In other news, I found my favourite brush at Bras Basah Complex last week! Since the pandemic and no more flights to Japan this year, I was afraid I wouldn't be able to get a new brush. I bought this during my last trip to Tokyo and been using it to paint most of the figures during Lockdown. I really like how firm the bristles are and they are more durable other brushes that I have had. I already know what new figures I'll be getting later in the year and figured with all that painting down the road, I'm gonna need another new brush eventually. Really glad I found it at Bras Basah.

Tuesday, July 07, 2020

Cavalock and The Stormcast Battle Report

Always a joy to discover a new Japanese restaurant especially during these hard times and also one that's just a train stop away from home. It was the Baker-at-Home who found UOUO at Sunshine Plaza and our weekend dinner there was fantastic. Friendly Japanese staff, really fresh seafood even though sushi ain't on the menu, their sashimi and grilled fish are all amazing as well as reasonably priced too. Like I always say, you kinda know you are in a decent Japanese restaurant when the Japanese guests way outnumber the locals. Best of all, I finally had a whisky highball after three months. 

As expected, I have been playing more solo tabletop games lately. Managed to get Warhammer: Age of Sigmar to the dinning/gaming table last week with an official solo scenario. Games Workshop in the UK was coming up with solo scenarios during the early part of the pandemic and uploading them online. So for this afternoon's game, I'm playing Stormcast Eternals, that's the good guys in golden armor versus the trolls' or Troggoths' whose movements and actions are decided via dice rolls. 

Our mission is to take control of the objective in the centre of the board. It's all taking place in the middle of a swamp which could deal us damage whenever we make a move or charge action. At the start, my leader on his flying mount was able to use the its ability to 'ride the wind' across the swamp to engage the three Fellwater Troggoths.

He got off to a good start by taking down two of the Fellwater Troggoths but the explosive that he detonated also dealt damage to himself, which allowed the surviving Fellwater Troggoth to club him to death! And just like that, I lost my leader that early in the game. Meanwhile my other two units of Stormcast Eternals have just reached the other Troggoths, namely a huge Dankhold Troggoth with his massive hammer and a unit of three Rockgut Troggoths at the other far end of the board. The big guy grabbed one of my ten Stormcast Sequitors while swinging his hammer and taking out half of my unit, and I'm now down to five Sequitors from ten at the beginning. 

Over at the other corner of the board, my five Stormcast Eternals Evocators slayed two of the purple Rockgut Troggoths before they could hurl their boulders but later lost two Evocators in the preceding skirmish. Finally my other unit of surviving Stormcast Eternals Sequitors managed to kill the giant Troggoth. Just as the lone Fellwater Troggoth tried to lunge at the five Sequitors, he froze in horror (thanks to a lucky dice roll) and the remaining golden boys immediately made short work of him. 

The three Evocators charged at the last Rockgut Troggoth who tried to retreat to the edge of the board but not before we cornered him and righteously finished him off. Final outcome, Stormcast won but lost almost half of its units. All in all, great hour-long fun on a hot, sleepy weekday afternoon.