Thursday, February 25, 2010


Nancy Pelosi
Circle I Limbo

Circle II Whirling in a Dark & Stormy Wind

DMV Employees, Bernie Madoff
Circle III Mud, Rain, Cold, Hail & Snow

Parents who bring squalling brats to R-rated movies
Circle IV Rolling Weights

Circle V Stuck in Mud, Mangled

River Styx

NAMBLA Members
Circle VI Buried for Eternity

River Phlegyas

Militant Vegans, PETA Members
Circle VII Burning Sands

Circle IIX Immersed in Excrement

Circle IX Frozen in Ice

Design your own hell

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Risk Variations

So, I bought Risk recently. And...despite only playing it once, I decided that this is the most EPIC BOARD GAME EVER.
So a few days ago I drafted the instructions for the new version (which only has two types of units) which I've called Risk: World Eater.
Yeah, I like WH40K.

Anyways, since I tweaked some rules in the new Risk game (placing a city in Ontario instead of a city in Central America aka let's NOT give Mexico its own territory even though it's like four times the size of the other countries in Central America combined? C'mon. ) in order to make it more playable, I decided to look up other such variations.

One of these is the following:

Risk: Nuclear War
At the beginning of the game, before players have set their pieces, shuffle the deck of countries and remove 4 territory cards. Now place a marker [maybe a penny] on each of those four territories. Those four territories are now nuclear wastelands. No troops can be drawn from there and the terrain is impassible. People can still control continents, though.
This adds an interesting take on the game, particularly if certain territories like Central America or the Australias are destroyed in a nuclear war.

So after I read that and some other interesting variations*1 got to COOL*2 it could be to add a d20 (20-sided die) to the game? A die that's rolled at the beginning of every turn and could help, hinder, or downright fuck with someone's turn or plans.

So, for those of you Risk players that happen to have D20s lying around, here's my very own variation:

Risk: World Eater - Global Conflict

Play is normal. After the third full turn, a D20 comes into play. The roll of the 20-sided die precedes the drafting period. For those playing the old risk board (where a soldier = 1 troop, cavalry = 5, artillery = 10), whenever I mention "three" troops in my variations, the equivalent will be cavalry.

1 – “Voluntary Enlistment”
Remove one unit from the units you draft this turn.
2 – “Recruitment Drive”
Add one unit to the units you draft this turn.
3 – “Draft Dodgers”
Remove three units from the units you draft this turn.
4 – “Patriotic Zeal”
Add three units to the units drafted this turn.
5 – “Swine Flu”
Remove one troop from every territory the player controls in North America.
6 – “Give me your tired, your poor…”
Add one troop to every territory the player controls in North America.
7-“Black Death”
Remove one troop from every territory the player controls in Europe.
8 – “The Renaissance”
Add one troop to every territory the player controls in Europe.
9 – “9/11”
Remove the city from Eastern United States for the duration of the game. If city is already destroyed, remove three troops.
10 – “Missile Defense”
Grants player immunity from any D20 attack, useable at will. [Suggestion: To write it down on a piece of paper that is discarded after use.]
11 – “The Bush Administration”
Remove the city from the Middle East for the duration of the game. If city is already destroyed, remove three troops.
12 – “World Cup Fever”
Add one troop to every territory the player controls in South America.
13 – “Tibia”
Remove one troop from every territory the player controls in South America.
14 – “Blood Diamonds”
Add one troop to every territory the player controls in Africa.
15 – “The Middle Passage”
Remove one troop from every territory the player controls in Africa.
16 – “The Silk Road”
Add one troop to every territory the player controls in Asia.
17 – “The Mongol Horde”
Remove one troop from every territory player controls in Asia.
18 – “Fifth Column”
When attacking a territory in this turn, the player removes one troop from the territory he is attacking and adds one troop to his attacking country.
[i.e., Player 1 rolls a 18. His southern Europe with 4 troops attacks Player 2’s Western Europe with three troops. Player 1 employs Fifth Column and the rule is now 5 troops attacking 2 troops.]
19 – “Captain Trips”
Player loses one troop from every territory under his control.
20 – “The Internationale”
Player adds one troop to every territory under his control.

So, there you have it. Feel free to employ it in your own time and have fun with it. If anyone asks, direct them over here. As I develop this further, I plan to add more things.
For example, when I get back from my trip and I try out Risk: World Eater - Global Conflict, I'm going to develop "Risk: World Eater - Gods and Generals" which I might or might not combine with another d20 (or maybe a d4, d8, or d12) to create an epic game of Risk.


*1 - Some variations include a NPC "zombie army" which I thought was infinitely awesome. I need to do some more research on this in order to be able to grasp how to play it. Shouldn't be so difficult.
*2 - To me, things like this are cool. I hope that my excitement for them makes others turn to them and see THEM as cool, too. I make no promises, though. But, give it a shot :D

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Wal Mart

I don't praise Wal Mart for its low prices [thanks to cheap Chinese labor], for its globalism, its job-exporting, its zeal for undermining the rights of workers.
I praise it because Wal Mart is the face of America.
What do I mean by that?

Going to Wal Mart at any time of day lets you see what America REALLY looks like. Americans in their unadultered, unfiltered selves. Life beyond the lenses of Hollywood or tourist guides.
It's so....real. And if you ago anytime after midnight, you get to see an even harsher version of reality. It's people wearing coats and sweatpants. It's craptacular and typo-laden tattoos, it's chanclas and torn jeans and guts that should have their own zip codes, it's faces that could make even someone who's weathered 2 girls 1 cup fall to his knees and empty out his stomach on the tile floor.

It's beautiful. Having been to other countries, what they are is what you see.
America isn't. You have to scratch at the surface so that you can see what's inside. It may not be the prettiest, but it's the realest you'll see people. Reality, to me, will always come before any notion of artistic beauty. Here's another thing: It's inviting.
Some of you may scoff at these nightmarish creatures, but the truth is, you are subconsciously drawn to them. A thing that the United States has that no other country has is that anyone can become an American. I could move to France right now, live there the rest of my life and die there but I would never be considered a Frenchman.
That's not the case for the United States. Anyone can and WIL eventually be drawn into the eldritch fold of these Walmartians.

America isn't Miami Beach. It isn't the concrete jungle of New York or the liberal paradise of Los Angeles. America isn't a warmongering president whose verbal gaffes will be remembered in centuries to come. America isn't her wars or it's arrogant and hypocritical foreign policies.
What is it then?

This is America.
(Image courtesy of

Murals, Parking, Smoking, oh my!

Seeing as how this will be a regularly updated blog, I intend to use bits and pieces from The Collegian, my alma mater's hard-hitting newspaper in a weekly news update on campus. Why? I still care about the campus, and I think the internet should be exposed to the great and...sometimes not-so-great things that the fairest of South Texas does.


Lots of interesting little pieces in this week's Collegian.

: happy dance :

"UTB/TSC Provost Alan Artibise said the New Library mural project is on hold “indefinitely.”

Asked why the mural was on hold, Artibise replied because of the community’s reaction.
“In terms of this economic time, we just didn’t think it was appropriate to--even though we had the funding set aside from the bond project--to be seen to be spending it on that,” he said. “I have no doubt that ultimately it will be put up.”

Damn right it wasn't appropriate. Six hundred thousand dollars for a couple of splashes of paint on the wall? I think I speak for the rest of the community when I ask: WHAT THE FARK WAS THE TSC BOARD THINKING?

I'm glad people spoke up. Here's hoping that the funds will be used for something constructive...maybe add another project to the construction laundry list? I hear it's the thing to do.

Don't get me wrong, though. I love the expansionist mood the university's in. Even as my last semester was ending, my heart swelled with pride every time I drove by the Arts Center or the REK Center. And the thought of more things being added just makes me all giddy. I hope they keep up the good work and don't get sidetracked with silly murals. As it is, we're already better than that other university in Edinburg.

As to whether or not there should be more parking? Eh. Who cares, really? I attended UTB/TSC for three and a half years, and every semester was the same old song and dance when it came to parking.

1st-3rd week: Parking lots at 199% full. People parking on grass and/or at the river levee.
4-6th week: Parking lots 90% full. Students tentatively carry on with their semester.
7th week: Students: "Oh. We actually have to show up for class? Fuck it." More spaces free up.
Midterms week: Students: "Eh, what the hell, let's just take the midterms for the lulz." Parking lots at 80%.
Post-deadline to withdraw with a W (March 31): Parking lots at 30% on good days, 40% on normal days.
Finals week: In a stats-skewing turn of events, parking lots fill back up to 90% as students hope against hope that a good final grade will make up a month's worth of absences.

All that said, I have two gripes with this parking scenario.

1. Griping about parking

Look. Walking is NOT bad. It's healthy. It's comfortable. It gives you an extra minute or two to think up an excuse explaining your tardiness. People will go to great lengths and the occasional, legally questionable driving maneuver just to find a space "close" to their class. What they don't realize is that the guy who parked "far away" and walked rather than wait for someone to leave their class precisely 15 minutes earlier, got to his class first.

Leave your house earlier. Five minutes of sleep mean NOTHING. Eat lunch faster. Don't go for a "quick snack at McDonald's/Pizza Hut/UMix/Subway/Subway in front of Porter/Burger King" because you and 500 other students are thinking the SAME thing.

2. Parking Citation Officers
I have no problem with Campus Police officers. They do their job as best they can and are professional about it. The people working for them, giving the citations and selling the permits? Not so much.
The only bitching about parking I will tolerate is when said bitching involves the unprofessional attitudes of the people charging students, faculty and staff for their tickets. Because that is a legitimate complaint. Between having my teeth pulled by a drunk dentist and rusty pliers and dealing with the parking people, I'll take the drunk dentist. Without anesthesia.

The little things build up: Clocking out at from 11 a.m. to noon even though you're supposed to work from 9-5, clocking out at 4:45 p.m. even though there's a long line of students who just barely got out of class, and just the way they treat you, overall. It's as if selling you a parking ticket physically hurts them and your mere presence is offensive to their sight. If you have any such stories, feel free to tell me about them and I just might feature them here :p

And finally...smoking.
The Collegian reports that "University officials plan to implement a “tobacco-free campus” policy that is expected to take effect by Sept. 1."

The only thing I have to say about that is that it's easier trying to tell the sun not to set in the evening.

This concludes this week's update on the Eagleheart's blog. Until next update!


Tuesday, February 9, 2010