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Long Live The Queen! Turn 31 – 40

Previously on “Long Live The Queen!”

This is our playing order with 10 rounds between us. I think it’s enough time to actually do something, but not to push the game in a certain direction.

  1. Naithin
  2. Rakuno
  3. Paeroka
  4. Me
  5. Krikket
  6. UnwiseOwl
  7. Rambling Redshirt
  8. Kanter

Check out the coverage of the previous turns:
Turns 1-10Turns 11-20Turns 21-30

Cleopatra is the first AI we met and we discovered two city states fairly close to us. Not much happened except for the settler being done. Paeroka did her last turn before handing it over to me. This is what she left me with.

Turn 31

It’s my turn and oh boy, was I in for a treat. Paeroka left me with the responsibility to choose a location for our first settler. There were two spots with a big city logo on it, one on the coast, and one near the horses. I’d almost say the whisper of Paeroka kept replaying in my head. “Horses, horses, I like horses.” So I went with horses. For the first round, it didn’t matter much. Move the builder out of the way, and send the settler on his way. The slinger is going eh, I don’t know. What am I doing anyway?

Turn 32

I have no idea what happened, but Cleo decided to say hi to the new ruler of England. She might be from a desert civilization, but she’s ice cold. More ‘ice queen’, less ‘hot stuff’.

Cleopatra is not impressed

Not much else happened. The warrior moved northward, the scout westward, the slinger is on its way to meet the settler and keep the Carthage warriors off the spot.

Turn 33

Our slinger spotted the ocean on our left. That’s not bad if that means we only have to defend one side. Can we take Chartage as our own? I’ve never tried, but it would be a nice addition to our empire.

The settler moved into the right spot, but I couldn’t build the city yet. Next turn! The warrior is still heading North, and our scout heading South West. So far, so good.

Turn 34

Our scout discovered a barbarian camp and the scout of a new civilization, Gilgamesh of Sumeria.

Look at this chill dude. His happy face and relaxed attitude are the complete opposite of the frigid ice queen Cleopatra. Maybe we can be friends? I did decline on sharing capital locations so I don’t know where he recides yet.

The barbarians are more of a problem though. I’m glad I hadn’t moved the warrior yet, so he’s on his way back to London in case the barbarians get it in their head to come our way. Gilgamesh’s scout already had an encounter with the barbarian group outside of the camp as their health revealed.

Leeds is built and I started with another slinger since archery was well on it’s way and I wanted to be more military minded than I normally am. Who knows if it’ll pay off.

Turn 35

The warrior is still moving down, the slinger is exploring the new coast line. Not much interesting happening on that side of the map. But on the Westside…

Ok, I did something stupid. I attacked the barbarian with the scout. It was already injured so I thought I could take him. Scout survived, and he could handle another attack if the barbarians survived.

Turn 36

I ended the turn and the barbarian attacked me and lost. The other scout was nowhere to be seen. That was my kill and the scout got a promotion. But the spearman in the barbarian camp decided to take revenge for their fallen brothers and attack the scout, killing him. Well, it did give us something at least *scratches head*. I made a new scout to make up for my incompetence. (I’ll leave the actual building to other people)

Turn 37

I really don’t like the colours of the city states. Black and red somehow remind me of the enemy (barbarians) and their units crossing our borders however they feel like, I don’t know. I don’t like it.

The slinger is finding more water which is interesting but not surprising. Now I really want to usurp Chartage. It’s sensible to expand that way, or we could try to claim the whole south coast if Gilgamesh is kindly staying out of the way.

The builder was roaming around the city of London and I finally decided to get him to work on the pearls. I didn’t know what else to do with him. The next person can create another one. The warrior is still walking South to protect us from any incoming barbarians if needed.

Turn 38

I get to make decisions again as Craftmanship is finished. I decided not to change anything. Then it gave me the option to pick a new civic and I chose Military Tradition. It was one of the few with a bonus (which I like and imo it’s always worth picking one with a bonus). It should give our units some benefits too which is always welcome.

The scout is done and I send him West again. Why? I need to make sure no barbarian is going to find us.

Turn 39

Not much happening here, just moving pieces along. Archery is ready and I picked Horseback Riding to profit from our newly acquired horses. It had a bonus too so only 10 more turns.

Turn 40

More bonuses! I like those and I wish Civ 5 had them.

Still not much going on besides moving pieces on the board. I sent the slinger to Leeds for an upgrade. The archer building in London should be done soon too. Hopefully, that’s enough of an army for now and Krikket can focus on more fun stuff.

I survived! The kingdom isn’t on fire, we’re not under attack, nor have I declared war on someone. It wasn’t as bad as I thought, but I did notice I’m more consciously thinking of all the steps and that’s not a bad thing.

Next up is Krikket. Here is the direct link to the file. I don’t have much advice for you besides don’t set the world on fire. Yet.

Looking Back on Blapril

When Wilhelm suggested doing a blogging event in April, I happily agreed it would be nice for everyone. It’s a nice distraction from the outside when we focus on the world we find inside. Reading everyone’s blogs and adventures did cheer me up. The cross-blog interactions are fun made me feel part of a larger community, which is exactly the point of Blapril.

Even those with a smaller niche or blogs not focused on gaming are welcome to join the Blapril/Blaugust community. We cheer each other on, not to post more, but to enjoy blogging. Some of the participants returned to blogging after years of absence, only to find that joy again. And that’s what I love. Sharing a common passion and talking about the highs and lows.

My low came earlier this week as my headache became worse again and I wasn’t sure if I’d be able to finish the month. But here I am, writing the last Blapril post. I did it. I probably posted a few more than 31, but I haven’t counted yet. I posted here mostly, but I also posted on my other blog, Narratess. I think those count too.

One of my goals this year was to post more on Princess, with a 20-post goal. I blew that out of the water, didn’t I? Cheers to me, and I’ll get a beautiful rainbow award to celebrate too. Now all I need to do is to keep posting here.

I’ll do a round-up post for April next week after a few days off from blogging to give my head a break. There’s the Civilization posts to look forward to, and I want to introduce the other Guild Wars 2 characters. Beyond that, I don’t know what you can expect. I still have a few things in my drafts but I’m not sure if I want to write them. Yet or ever. For now, I’m satisfied with my own participation in Blapril and I’m happy so many others joined in as well. It’s been fun, guys. Let’s do it again. Just not tomorrow.

Civilization: Beyond Earth

A Round of Civilization

After the numerous posts on five favourite game series, Naithin proposed to do a succession game of Civilization since many of us named it as a favourite series.

The majority of the people voted for the sixth game, my least favourite since I’ve never even made it to the next age before dying a horrible death to an overload of barbarians. Still, I liked the idea, also because I only have so much influence on the game. All rules for the game can be found on Naithin’s blog as well as the overview of the first ten rounds.

Rakuno is next, then Paeroka, then me. All of them have played more of the game than I did, do we should at least by the time I get to play. That doesn’t mean we’ll survive though. I’ll do my best to at least finish those rounds and I’ll give a round-up here when I’ve done so. I might do two versions: one as the current right hand to the Queen, and one as a player. Writing Civilization can be interesting and I’ve heard of other blogs who thrived on it.

For now, all I can say is, I’m very excited and afraid of what I’ve to deal with. At least the difficulty isn’t that hard, so it might be manageable to survive those ten rounds. It’s also a fun way to play together, but not together, if you know what I mean. I’ve never done something like this, not with a game anyhow. I’ve done roleplaying like that on forums before.

If you’re interested in joining, you still can. Just leave a comment on one of Naithin’s posts to share your interest and he’ll put you on the roster. The more the merrier! Also more people to shift the blame to if I happen to die on one my turns.

King’s Day In Isolation

Today is kind of a weird day. Normally, people will be out celebrating the King’s birthday. People will be out trying to sell their old stuff, entertain, perform, and drink. The kids in elementary schools will celebrate with a sport’s day since the king highly values physical education opportunities for all kids. But now, those won’t happen either.

We’re stuck inside.

It doesn’t change much for me since I stay inside anyway, but it’s still weird. News about what happens always seeps into my field of vision through Facebook, Youtube, or Twitter. But now we won’t see the happy faces of little girls as they shake hands with the queen, or see how the princesses grow up. They tour around a town to connect more with the locals and check out great initiatives to support the community. It’s truly a celebration of the Dutch culture.

But not this year, as we’re stuck inside.

Oh, I know people will gather and drink with friends. They always will, and do. I see and hear people in my street drinking with their buddies outside now that it’s getting warmer. It was the same with Easter. The people who want to see each other will ignore the shelter in place.

People are going to risk getting sick and spreading the virus to celebrate. But instead of celebrating something that’s worth it (like the heroes fighting this disease on the front line), they’re going to cheer for the king, for the nation. But mostly, they’ll celebrate themselves.

I want people to stay home, to protect themselves and others. To support the nurses and doctors. And to not possibly infect the air for delivery workers. By staying home, you celebrate your nation by giving it a better chance to overcome this. I hope people will remember this coming independence day, May 5th. But I doubt they will.

The Silverwastes Guild Wars 2

Running out of juices

I’m running out of writing juices and I know I’m not the only one. Blogging every day is hard and if you dive in without building it up or preparing something, you’ll find yourself in a burnout.

I’m not at that point yet, no burnout. I’m just tired. This whole month, I’ve still been in recovery mode. My head recovering from an old injury that popped up again. Being in recovery is exhausting. Especially if you’ve been in recovery mode for months (since last November). I want to write every day, not just here, but also on my other blog and work on my books. I want to play games and read books. I want to clean my house and work on my garden.

But I can’t. I get spiking headaches when I think too much, after I do anything language related for twenty minutes. I can’t work in the garden if it’s too cold or windy because it’ll cause my muscles to tense up and I’ll injure myself. But even if the weather is good, I can’t work in it for too long because it’ll cost me more energy than I have. And I need it to heal other parts.

My life is all about finding the right balance right now. What can I do? What are my priorities? Doing Blapril was a priority and one I had confidence in I could finish. We’re nearly at the end and after I publish this, I only have two blog posts to write for Princess. But I also have two more to write for Narratess. I’ll be happy when I only have one blog to maintain and the occasional post here. No pressure, just when I feel like it.

Supporting Others In Tough Times

Small businesses and freelancers are hit hard by the lockdowns around the globe. Artists who rely on events to sell their merchandise for example. Or authors who have their events cancelled which are usually a major boost for sales. But webshops with non-essential items or products who’s production has been halted might go bust.

I see more and more campaigns to support local businesses which is always good. Keep being there if possible. If your favourite shop doesn’t have what you need, consider buying a gift card so you can buy it later. This way the store will have money to pay the overhead until this ends.

Support the efforts who lost their jobs and try to breakout in the creative industry right now. Buy from Etsy stores (don’t click the ads because then they’ll earn even less money), buy digital products, donate to patreons or ko-fis.

I’m not saying you have to give the last of your money to someone else. But if you have a little spare and want to buy something, think twice and spend it wisely. There are many people who could really use your business.

If you don’t have money spare, you can still boost their products on your blog or social media. I’ve made a list with artists and one for authors to help others discover their work. I honestly hope it helps, even if it’s just a little.

Support your favourite artist
Support your favourite author
19 Asian sff books to be released in 2020

Share your favourite small business, artist, author, freelancer in the comments below! Self promotion is allowed :)

Carole & Tuesday

I’ll just keep going with the Netflix recommendations since I really wanted to do a series just for those. So here’s my second recommendation which is perfect for the situation we’re in: Carole & Tuesday.

It’s only two seasons long and I doubt there will be a third season, although I’d welcome it. The end of the second series feels like the perfect conclusion though. It’s a nice binge for a weekend of laziness.

Part-timer Carole meets rich girl Tuesday, and each realizes they’ve found the musical partner they need. Together, they just might make it.

The two girls meet on Mars which is recently colonized. Tuesday’s mother is running for president and her politics are familiar looking at the current state of the world. Carole is an orphan who fled Earth. She has her own set of problems, and the two couldn’t be more different. The one thing they have in common is their passion for music.

The world-building is amazing. They never explicitly say something about how it’s different from Earth (it’s their daily life so they wouldn’t, right?), but you’ll see things they take for granted that we can only imagine (for now). It’s an interesting take on the future, not just our society, but the possible colonization of Mars.

I love how these two unknown girls try to make it with their pure music in a world that’s so reliant on AI and technology. The anime is filled with great music (see the playlist below) but the songs hold more meaning if you know the story. Especially the epic conclusion ‘Mother’.

It’s absolutely a feel-good anime with some drama aspects to deepen the story, but the most important element of the show is the friendship of the two girls. No matter what they’re going through, they’ll always have each other, an army of two.

Hades: A Rogue-like I Actually Enjoy

Hades is the newest game by Supergiant Games, known for their previous games, Bastion and Transistor. I loved Bastion, but I’ve never played Transistor despite owning a copy, somewhere, probably.

Hades reminds me a lot of Bastion, at least in the combat mechanics. The game itself is a rogue-like game where your character tries to escape the Underworld and his father, Hades. Dying is part of the game and you’ll die plenty of times.

But where I’d give up with other games, Hades keeps me going. Each run gives (nearly) enough currency to upgrade at least something after you die. You have a choice of different weapons and I’d suggest unlocking them early and try each weapon for their play styles. One might fit yours more than the others.

Bring offerings for the Gods. Becoming friends with the gods will help you out in the long run as they’ll be more forgiving and rewarding. But anger them, and you’ll feel their wrath. Usually by a ton of enemies spawning on your head.

The combat in this game is very dynamic. Dodging is a must and you must time it well if you want to stay alive. Learn to block and take advantage of your environment since it also works on your enemies. Expect a lot of kiting, running, dodging, timing your attacks and skills well.

Each room has a few waves of enemies or a couple of (mini) bosses. Some don’t have enemies, but have a merchant, offer healing, or a buff. Make smart choices but be prepared for the boss room. If you skipped the hard rooms and missed out on skills, you will lose that battle.

I don’t really have much to say about the art style and music, right? It’s perfect and both fit the theme of the game so well. The dark contrasts with edgy portraits. The epic music as you beat up your hundredth demon. It’s immersive and interesting. The writing is great, again, and I wish I could read back some of the dialogue. The sass of some characters is just perfect.

The game is still in early access, but it already feels like a full game. Granted, I’ve probably not played enough to notice anything missing. But it’s definitely one I’ll keep coming back to with all the updates and the full release later.

The King’s Avatar

I’ve been wanting to write about this series ever since I finished it last year. The King’s Avatar is a Chinese web series that was added Netflix last year. Since I’m watching a lot of Asian shows, Netflix recommended it to me and the premise was interesting.

When an elite gamer is forced out of his professional team, he becomes a manager of an internet cafe and reinvents himself to return to online glory.

With the current lack of sports, watching a fictional show about esports might fill a small part of that hole. You’ll see in-game footage of the battles and practices, and I’ve to say, I’m seriously impressed with the CGI. Even if none of it is real, it still looks like a game that could’ve been released last year.

This is the avatar from the main character Ye Qui

It’s a typical Chinese show aimed at a younger audience with its silly characters, humor, and character archetypes. If you’ve watched any anime, you’ll probably recognize them.

What I liked the most about this series is the character of Ye Qui, our lead. He’s incredibly good at the game, but you’ll never hear him say that. And he still struggles with his own demons.

It’s not the usual prodigy trope where the lead figures out their hidden abilities and take on the world. He already is good after paying his dues so there is no need to focus on him and his abilities. He has other goals and through those, helps others discover their talents.

The pacing of the show is pretty good too. They include a lot of in-game footage to mimic the training sessions and battles. None of this is played in real-time though. With the way it’s set up, the movement of the characters’ faces and the perfectly choreographed attacks, it’s just not possible. There are also a few mistakes that if it was real-time wouldn’t happen. And that’s okay. After all, it’s still a fiction series and a story needs to be told. Then again. Choreographing these in-game scenes is a feat on its own and they’ve done it well.

I think it’s an interesting show to check out if you’re a gamer and interested in esports. There’s a lot of drama, but you’ll be entertained until the last minute. The show is 40 episodes long, almost an hour each, so it’s perfect for binging. Bonus points for finding references to other games.

Keeping Yourself Entertained

The anxiety of what’s going on outside weighs on you more than you’d think. Writers stop writing, readers stop reading, but do gamers ever stop gaming? I don’t know.

While I was challenged with my own difficulties, and couldn’t read or write, I couldn’t imagine what it would be like for someone truly ill. When your head feels foggy and you don’t want to or can’t do what you normally do, it’s time to do something different.

My first advice would be to spend more time on self-care. I already wrote about writing as relief and keeping a gratitude journal to keep that silver lining in sight. But self-care can be so much more than that. Start working out, pick up a new hobby, learn how to cook a healthy meal. I like taking long, hot baths to relax my muscles and ease my aches. Afterward, I feel better, physically and mentally.

Self-care often isn’t productive or doesn’t feel productive, but as long as you feel better, it’s still worth investing that time. See what works for you, what makes you feel better. Knowing how to relax is a valuable skill.

Sometimes engaging in the arts can be another form of relief. Drawing (either with pen or digitally), DIY, crafts, gardening, or other ventures that challenge the hands and not the mind. Expressing inner turmoil with paint or pencil can be cathartic.

Doing something new might give you renewed energy or drain it even more. You’ll quickly find out if it’s for you or not. Don’t feel bad about giving up on your new hobby if you’re not feeling it. Maybe now is not the right time, maybe that’s never. But at least you know now and you can move on to something different. Don’t be afraid to try something new and think outside of the box!

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