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Topics - Erik Luken

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Announcements / Policy change
« on: February 26, 2018, 02:12:31 PM »
I am contemplating a measure to thin out some inactive type accounts.

My idea is if your email bounces due to it not existing anymore, and you have not logged into the site in 3 months or more, I will delete the account.


Announcements / Site Down
« on: January 12, 2018, 05:29:08 PM »
As you all may have noticed, the site was down. I am unsure how long it was down for as I am fighting a cold. Everything is upgraded and should be working. Please let me know if I missed any modifications.

Announcements / That time of year
« on: January 09, 2018, 02:08:09 PM »
It is that time of year again. Anyone willing to donate to help keep the site up and alive is more than welcome to. Paypal donations (for the site only!) can be sent to

Donations to Steve can be sent to @Steve Walmsley correct me if I am wrong. :)

FAQ / MOVED: Insight of a new player.
« on: December 22, 2017, 04:33:43 PM »

Announcements / Out of Town
« on: October 01, 2017, 07:07:29 PM »
I'll be out of town at a game convention Oct 5 to Oct 9. As usual, don't burn the place down, and @sloanjh wields the Hammer of Chastisement (TM).

Aurora Chat / MOVED: My they are healthy eaters...
« on: September 21, 2017, 05:03:18 PM »

Installation / MOVED: Error 399 [WINDOWS 10]
« on: August 04, 2017, 01:34:01 PM »

Game/Book Reviews / Fleet Commander: Genesis
« on: July 28, 2017, 02:23:56 AM »
This is a board game. (

It is a quick play, around 45-60 minutes for 2 players. I expect 3-4 players will push that time out a bit. The mechanics are interesting. You have 9 dice, 3 red, 3 blue, and 3 green. These provide you options to attack (red), move (blue), and defend (green). Each die has 2 faces with a +, 2 with x and a single 9 pip side, and 1 side with a symbol. These tell you what directions you may move/attack/defend. The + is orthogonal on the map grid, the x is diagonal and the 9 pip shows any direction. The special symbol is used to fire off special weapons (requiring 2 special symbols), or a withdrawal (blue), counter-attack (red), and a drain (green). Up to 2 specials and 2 normal dice may be stored between turns. These stored dice are available to use in conjunction with your rolled dice. This can be important as you are only rolling 3 dice per turn. So you need to decide if you are going to move, attack or defend. Or some combination of the three.

The basic scenario is a simple slug-fest on a 5x5 map grid. Each side deploys to their side and begin to slug it out.

Ships are based on size, a abstraction that allows for equalization of fleets and the basis for damage and hull points. Size 1 ships are frigates. Six hull points, and 1 point of damage. They however may move twice for each blue die. This allows them to perform hit and run pack tactics. Size 2 ships are destroyers. Twelve hull points and 2 points of damage. Their special is the ability to perform long-range attacks (2 squares) on a single red die. Size 3 ships are cruisers. 18 hull points and 3 damage. They have depolarized shields. They may block from any direction with any green die. Battleships are size 4. 24 hull and 4 points of damage. These ships mount variable special weapons. Vortex gates allowing teleports, long range missiles, Heavy duty beams that fire across the map, mine layers. Each special weapon requires 2 special die results to activate. But even without the specials, they pack a heavy wallop. Size 5 ships. Heavy battleships, dreadnoughts and carriers. Carriers and Dreadnoughts are faction specific. Carriers have an attack of 0, but may deploy up to 6 fighter squadrons, giving them a support attack value of 1 per fighter. Dreadnoughts pack some heavy duty missiles that clobber you from across the map. Heavy Battleships are just that, upscaled battleships.

When attacking a square, any friendly forces adjacent to that square may support the attack. This means you could potentially kill a destroyer or frigate in one shot. Of course, enough green dice stored can block some of that.

Overall, I've rated this game 9/10 on BGG. It was a Kickstarter that finally arrived 10 months late, but the component quality is excellent. The cardboard pieces are nice and thick, and the ship minis are sturdy and don't look or feel very fragile.

The Kickstarter included a number of expansions, Avatar - Leaders for your fleets, Forge - The size 5 ships, Salvation - Tech ships with tech abilities than can change the battlefield, and Pirates - New leaders. There was also 3 KS only leaders, a 2-player pack basically doubling the amount of ships you get.

The KS ran 119 euro, and I expect if you bought the bundle retail now, it'd be in the 200-250 range. But it was well worth the cash and wait.

Installation / MOVED: Can'T create account
« on: July 19, 2017, 12:20:51 PM »

Testing / test
« on: June 23, 2017, 01:11:40 PM »

Announcements / Out of Town
« on: May 17, 2017, 11:09:21 AM »
Tomorrow, Thursday May 18 I will be out of town. I will have limited access to computers and such. I will be back June 4th.

Don't burn the place down while I'm gone ;)

Via Astrum / New version released
« on: April 26, 2017, 03:01:03 AM »
I've released a new version to The changelog is:
1.   Re-added Street Rat "education"
2.   Removed Career event dependency on Career success rolls.
3.   Removed last remaining vestiges of Wealth mechanic.
4.   Changed how Unskilled rolls work.
5.   Added distance and deviation to Thrown skill.
6.   Cleaned up Psionics chapter to use AP.
7.   Modified some talents from using straight percentage modifiers to varying levels of difficulty steps.
8.   Added a consolidated attack level table to the combat chapter.
9.   Added Blast discs, Razor discs, Shock Glove, Plasma Knife, Plasma sword, plasma grenades, plastoid armor, force cuffs, rad reader, jump boots, stealth glider, medwrap, and toxshots.
10.   Added creatures to the Xenobestiary chapter.
11.   Changed Challenging difficulty to 210.
12.   Changed Impossible difficulty to 270.
13.   Removed class reference in robot/AI section
14.   Changed network security ratings to difficulty levels.
15.   Added Chapter 16. Creating a Universe.
16.   Added a number of skills.
17.   Added some psionic skills.
18.   Added bows and arrows.
19.   Added recon versions of exoskeletal armor and powersuit armor.
20.   Added some more cybernetics
21.   Added bionetics (biological based cyberware).
22.   Added biomonitor equipment.
23.   Finished the xenobestiary.

The file can be found here - Unless you've already downloaded it, then it should show as updated in your library.

Announcements / Spam Attempts
« on: January 24, 2017, 01:21:06 PM »
Just as an FYI, I implemented a new anti-spam feature. In the last week, this feature blocked 710 spam attempts, both bot registrations and guest posts. It does make my life a lot easier :D

Announcements / Gmail
« on: January 18, 2017, 10:41:08 AM »
It seems that google has decided that the domain is a spam domain, even though none of the blacklists list it. So if you have a gmail address, I won't be able to send you any email.

Game/Book Reviews / Civilization 6
« on: October 27, 2016, 04:12:59 PM »
So who has fallen into Crack VI?

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