I’ve Seen a Lot of Movies This Past Month

Julie and I jumped on the MoviePass bandwagon last month and purchased two annual passes through Costco for $90 each. What is MoviePass? It is a monthly (or, in our case, annual) subscription that allows you to see a single 2D movie per day for no additional charge.

When you enroll in MoviePass, two things happen:

  • You’ll install their mobile app (Android or iOS) that you’ll use near the theater to trigger your purchase.
  • MoviePass sends you a MoviePass debit MasterCard that you use to pay for the movie.

So far for us it has been flawless, with the only problem being a few occasions where the app was sluggish and it took us a while to get the ticket authorized. There are enough of these out there that the theaters recognize the MoviePass and, in some cases, will even change the purchase price once they see the card. For example, at Cinetopia here in the Portland area even if it is a special $6 movie deal, they will still charge around $12. Looks like it is a deal worked out between Cinetopia and MoviePass and it doesn’t impact us at all.

This is what I’ve (mostly we’ve) seen:

  • The Post
  • The Shape of Water
  • 3 Billboards
  • Molly’s Game
  • Loving Vincent
  • Jumanji
  • Lady Bird
  • The Commuter (solo)
  • Den of Thieves (solo)
  • Greatest Showman
  • I, Tonya
  • 12 Strong

Julie and I have tracked the gate cost for every movie we’ve seen and we would have spent $203.45 to see all the movies we’ve seen in the past month since acquiring the pass. We never would have seen this many movies without the pass, but with a theater within walking distance this is a nice perk to have and every movie we see now is essentially free as we’ve already recouped our purchase price.

There’s an ongoing battle between MoviePass and AMC that you should be aware of if AMC theaters are your home choice. Check before purchasing the pass to make sure your theater is still supported.

Wednesday What’s Up

What I’m Contemplating

What I’m Reading

What I’m Listening To

What I’m Playing

  • Julie and I played Five Crowns in one of our closest matches ever.
  • Doug and I continued our Blitzkrieg in the West campaign in Advanced Squad Leader, finishing the third-to-last scenario BWN–4, Brush at Tilburg.
  • We played Tichu with neighbors who are really starting to enjoy the game. Much fine Indian food and quite a lot of wine consumed.
  • During the Superbowl we played Sunken Sailor, a light adult party game (mucho adult language) that is more an activity than a game. Fun but not awesome.

Thursday Things

What I’m Contemplating

What I’m Playing

  • I played Defiant Russia and wrote a short article about it.
  • I played Red7 with Julie and Ken – it has become a staple and works great even with two players.
  • Julie and I brought out Blokus and of course she crushed me. Don’t get into a land war with Russian and don’t get into an abstract game with Julie.
  • I’m ramping up my ASL play – played Advanced Squad Leader on 2018–01–13, on 2018–01–13 and on 2018–01–19
  • Julie and I played Rummikub which is a staple for us. We even have two copies, just in case.
  • I finally played the solo game Friday and enjoyed it. Will keep ramping up difficulty.
  • Ken and I also played Star Realms, and I should mention that my brother-in-law Dave and I have a continuous string of games going in iOS that has been quite fun and competitive.
  • Julie and I played the very obscure Plext followed by Boggle, two word games. I’m a bit of an ace at Boggle, and Julie beat me in Plext.
  • Sitting in a bar before a movie, Julie and I played Coin Age twice and she beat me both times.
  • I finally returned to my game group’s Tuesday night gaming and played a four hour slog of Gloomhaven. This is a very good legacy / RPG style dungeon crawl game that builds on the D&D and Descent boardgames and adds improved campaigning and a very cool combat system.

Where We are Hiking

What I’m Reading

South Pacific: Breaking the Bismarck Barrier

South Pacific early game
South Pacific early game

Chuck and I planned to spend a holiday Monday playing some wargame, and knowing that I’d be playing the full Empire of the Sun at an upcoming game convention we agreed that the leaner meaner South Pacific would be a good choice. Chuck’s played the original but it had been a while.

What a treat to have received this game in a C3i magazine. This is not your typical magazine wargame as it features what amount to the full rules of the parent but on a smaller map with a shorter playtime. Playtime is advertised at only 2 hours, but that’s with speedy play by experienced players. We took about 5–6 hours to play.

There were a few unfortunate omissions from the rules but those are easily discovered by downloading the parent game living rules. We mainly stumbled over two issues:

  • Progress of war requirements for the Allies: each turn after the first, the Allies need to control a certain number of named hexes beyond what they started the turn with. This isn’t explicit in the South Pacific rules (hint: 2 per turn after the first)
  • Lack of a terrain chart. What is jungle? What is mixed? Happily this was addressed in C3i issue #31 which includes a terrain chart.

We also screwed up the victory conditions, but that was our fault and not a problem with rules. For some reason we were both thinking that one side needed to control more ports and resource spaces than the other to win, but in reality you need to control three more. Anything else is a draw. So, I thought I won but it was actually a draw.

South Pacific near end of game
South Pacific near end of game

I’ll get to play a full scenario (1942 I think) of the full game at Game On! early next month and I think I’ll be with a very experienced player. This should help me get a better understanding of tactics and the value of standoff support with air forces; I have a feeling Chuck and I were going at that in the smartest fashion.