Saturday, December 20, 2014

MASH, Grand Budapest Hotel & Card Games

Started my day by recording six new episodes of my MASH 4077 Podcast with my buddies Meds and Al. It's always fun getting together with those guys to talk about one of my favorite TV comedies of all time. If you're a MASH fan and not listening to our podcast.. then what are you waiting for? You can download or take a listen to it HERE.

My buddy Will texted a group of us and asked if we wanted to come over and watch a movie. I was up for it so I headedover. Will and I got to catch up for a bit and just chat. We were then joined by Dallas, and then Robert and Cait and finally Will's girlfriend Becca joined in the fun. We ordered some Chinese food for dinner and watched The Grand Budapest Hotel. Here's a quick synopsis: In the 1930s, the Grand Budapest Hotel is a popular European ski resort, presided over by concierge Gustave. Zero, a junior lobby boy, becomes Gustave's friend and protege. Gustave prides himself on providing first-class service to the hotel's guests, including satisfying the sexual needs of the many elderly women who stay there. When one of Gustave's lovers dies mysteriously, Gustave finds himself the recipient of a priceless painting and the chief suspect in her murder.

This is a Wes Anderson film and until recently I wasn't a big fan of his films. But his 2012 film Moonrise Kingdom wasn't bad so I kind of knew what to expect with his sytle of movie and it didn't disappoint. This is one quirky film, it's very stylized and the cinematography is very interesting. What's crazy about this film is it starts with someone telling a story in 2014, then goes back in time about 30 years to the 1980's and someone else starts to tell a story and then it goes back in time another 20 years to the 1960's and then another person starts to tell a story that goes back another 30 years to the 1930's and this is where the main story takes place. 

As for the story it's as I said very quirky but interesting. This movie is slow but it always kept me interest. By the end I enjoyed the film and so did everyone who watched it (at least I think they did).

Becca had to leave for the evening so Dallas, Robert, Will, Cait and I played a few board/card games. First up was Chrononauts.  In Chrononauts, each player becomes a time traveler, with a unique identity and a secret mission. During the game, players travel backwards and forwards through history, doing all those things people have always dreamed of using a time machine to do: Visiting the great moments of the past, peeking into the
future, collecting up impossible artifacts and priceless works of art (at the moment just before history records their destruction), coming to grips with the paradoxes of time travel, and of course, changing pivotal events and altering the course of history itself.

This was a quick game to understand and was a lot of fun. The games themselves went very quick and the only real downside to this game is that you don't know what the other person's "secret" mission is so you can't really do anything to prevent them from winning. You're playing along until someone says.. I win. We played a few games of this before moving on to Sentinels of the Multiverse.

Sentinels of the Multiverse is a cooperative, fixed-deck card game with a comic book flavor. Each player plays as one of ten heroes, against one of four villains, and the battle takes place in one of four different dynamic environments. Each player, after selecting one of the heroes, plays a deck of 40 cards against the villain and environment decks, which "play themselves", requiring the players to put the top card of the appropriate deck into play on the villain and environment turns. On each player's turn, they may play a card from their hand, use a power printed on one of their cards in play, and draw a card from their deck. Each round starts with the villain turn, continues clockwise around the table, then concludes with the environment turn. Each villain has various advantages, such as starting with certain cards in play, as specified by the villain character card. Play continues until the heroes reduce the villain to 0 or fewer HP, or until the villain defeats the heroes, either via a win condition or by reducing all the heroes to 0 or fewer HP.

Once you understand how to play this game it's not to bad. I played the hero Legacy. His HP was pretty high so most of my powers consisted of adding HP to other players or taking "hits" for other players when they are attacked. It was fun but I think I enjoyed Chrononauts little more. But I do like playing cooperative games.

Overall it was a fantastic evening of good food, good times and good company.

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