Day 351 – I Want To Play A Game

15 – 100 Principles of Game Design

If you don’t know of the wealth of board games that exist beyond Risk, Stratego and Monopoly, you’re missing out on a lot of fun.

I have written about them often enough over the past year; almost every Wednesday some (variable) friends come over and we have some snacks, some dinner and some board games. Most of them have a strategic angle (the games), even when it’s just about building railway tracks. Some of them are collaborative. Some of them are really really tough.

It’s fun…

And inevitably it leads to making up of new house-rules and variants.
Or entirely new games essentially.
Continue reading Day 351 – I Want To Play A Game

Day 333.5 – Reddit

A bonus post with no associated 100.

I went to the Global Reddit Meetup Day 2014 – Sydney in Glebe today. I must admit I’m not an avid Redditor myself, and I mostly lurk when I do head over, but it seemed like a fun outing and a chance to meet some new people (see my 100 goals).

I knew I knew exactly one person at the meet before I went.
The rest’d be a surprise.
Continue reading Day 333.5 – Reddit

Day 171 – Contemplating Holidays

Holidays have a habit of flying past.
I don’t like the sound that particular “deadline” makes as it whooshes by

And there are plenty of things I’d like to do (more) of over my 3 weeks off:

  • The projects in my sidebar
  • A trip down the coast at the beach
  • More photography
  • More/different gym classes
  • More Wet’n’Wild
  • More time with (new?) friends
  • More reading
  • More writing
  • … and then some

I don’t think I have enough time for all of it. But I should make sure I fit in a decent mix of everything. I want to avoid ending the holiday feeling there are too many things I completely didn’t touch on.

I think I should put together a “balanced diet” in my activities to neither end up with a sugary entertainment high and subsequent crash, nor an over-self-improvement hangover.

Day 50b – Winner x2

Okay, so I wasn’t cheating in the game before, although my pacifism was causing Ken some grief. I was however cheating a little with my post, but here is the make-up post to settle that debt.

I ended up winning both games of 7 Wonders we played. This time we had two expansions included, which added a bit of time and complexity to the games we played.

What is annoying about this game is that you start the first turn with a hand of 8 cards (7 in the base game), and you get to play one card of the hand and then the rest of your hand gets passed along to your neighbour. Both games there were hands we wanted to keep completely… so you end up calculating which cards you may get back after they have been around the table, and which cards you have to get rid of so your neighbour cannot play them.

In the first game, I ended up hiding the bricks that Ken and Abbey needed to get into the later stages of building their own wonders, which proved very effective. In the second game I was less devious, but equally effective by picking a simpler strategy… I think they were expecting sneakiness and thereby didn’t notice how quickly I was accumulating simple points.

Day 35 – No More Holly-Days

Today is a sad day.

I found out that my Gym Buddy Holly (yes, I am totally writing this post for the chance to make bad puns alone) is likely going to give up her membership sometime in the near future. She has a perfectly good excuse of course. 😉 And I’m happy for her for the reason that caused it, but it’s still a sad day.

I really don’t mind going to the gym alone. I feel a little anti-social as-is because when I’m in a class I tend to focus very single-mindedly on the exercises. I’m not one of those chat-in-the-back-of-the-class types. But once I get comfortable around someone it’s hard to give up their company again.

I guess I’ll be back to solving problems in my head while lifting weights, running around, folding in half and balancing in awkward positions.

One more Thursday class to go to first though.

Better make it a good one! (I assume I will be aching all through my long weekend)

Alhambra!

Last Wednesday we had our usual Wednesday-night-games again after a brief hiatus forced by my Melbourne trip. Ken arrived just as I finished up my 365 post for Wednesday.

Cheese and Fruit
Cheese and Fruit

We had our usual cheese and fruit to start.

We had Thai food from the local restaurant.

We had Alhambra for our game of the night.

Keeper of the Seraglios
Keeper of the Seraglios

And I managed to collect the most Seraglios, as for some reason I almost always seem to do. They are of little value early in the game, which makes them easy to collect for big gains later. Bring Me All The Women! 😉

I think I managed to have a particularly good run this time though… I didn’t think I was having much luck collecting money, yet my Alhambra was growing quicker than those of Ken and Abbey.

Winner!
Winner!

For any connoisseurs; we went around the track past 120, which is the only reason we’re so low on the track. The field wasn’t very widely spread either.

We did a lot of mutual overtaking, but I managed to stay ahead in the end.

The Winning City
The Winning City

Admire my winning city in its full glory; an excess of internal walls this time, and some extra walls from one of our many extensions (we have the Big Box set with all 20 extensions to the main game).

Dominion – Addendum

Okay; now that I have met my posting deadline, I can tell the full story a little more relaxed-ly(?!).

Most Wednesday nights with friends we actually have… you know… dinner. Sometimes, like tonight, there is just not enough room for snacks and dinner to co-exist in my stomach. We opened a rose that wasn’t entirely convincing, but not sufficiently un-convincing to move on to something else instead.

There was cheese. There is always cheese. Ken is our cheesy friend. Oh, also dip. And Ritter Sport chocolate, which is hard to resist and should never be left near me. I ate almost the entire block of marzipan-filled chocolate before anyone had the presence of mind to save me by removing it from my reach.

The dog looked on hopefully. But no crackers for him tonight.

He got honey-rice-puffs instead.
Don’t even ask.

And Fruit as Well
And Fruit as Well

As I was starting to fill up on chocolate and cheese and assorted fruit, Abbey suggested that we hadn’t actually had dinner yet. Abbey voiced some concern over carby pastizzi for dinner, but frankly, Wednesday is our night of sin and we eat whatever anyone puts on the table. I wasn’t going to argue.

I only managed two or three pastizzi, but I think I managed to hide that fact from the others.

And then the baking began.

And then the gaming began.

Dominion and Dominion Intrigue
Dominion and Dominion Intrigue

Dominion is a game with deceptively simple rules:

  1. You have five cards
  2. You can play one action card
  3. You can buy one new card
  4. Then you discard anything left
  5. And you draw five new cards
  6. When you run out, reshuffle the discards and start from the top

Once you deplete three stacks of cards from the supply, the game ends, and then the person with the most victory points on the cards in the deck they have collected wins.

Victory Points in Multiple Denominations
Victory Points in Multiple Denominations

However…

Each of Dominion and Dominion: Intrigue has 25 types of cards over-and-above the standard money and victory-point cards. At the start of the game you select 10 cards for the game. The manufacturers provided some standard recommended combinations, but we decided to randomly draw 10.

As a result, you play every game by a different set of rules. Every game is different. No strategy works twice in a row.

It’s a game of learning to adapt to circumstances.

We chose 5 cards randomly out of the two sets of 25. Using just this selection method, there are (25! / (5! x 20!))^2 = 2,822,796,900 different rules combinations possible. Oh, and there are about 5-6 more extensions to the game with anywhere from 15-25 new cards each.

It’s a great way to stretch the mind.

Action Cards A-Plenty
Action Cards A-Plenty

The first game I won handily with 106 to 90. It was really lucky that I caught on to Ken’s strategy early on when he was collecting a powerful combination of Duchy’s (3 points) and Dukes (+1 bonus point for each Duchy) which enhance each other for scoring purposes. I managed to keep pace with his buying while monopolizing the Provinces (6 points) which narrowly put me over the top.

The second game was all Ken’s. I wasn’t sure how many points either of us had, but I had the sneaking feeling that Ken had managed to get many more Provinces than I did (8 to 4), and we were racing for snapping up the remaining points towards the end. He won about 68 to 56.

This is another game that is great to play with a larger group, because the rounds are very quick, meaning that everybody stays more easily engaged with the game.

Ken's Wood-based Tea
Ken’s Wood-based Tea

And then it was time for tea with whatever remained of the snacks/chocolate. Ken tried the tea that was supposedly Rooibos-like with a hint of wood and honey. When I tried it all I got was wood and not much else.

Spearmint Tea for Me
Spearmint Tea for Me

And I got myself a cup of spearmint… but not before inhaling the box of loose-leaf tea first. I was expecting tea-bags, but I mentholated my eyes instead. It was a very refreshing experience that I don’t wish to ever repeat.

And by the time Ken was getting ready to go home, it was already around 10 to midnight. So, I had to excuse myself and rush to the study to do my 365-duty and quickly edit a picture and write a brief post.

This longer post is mainly because I felt guilty about the rush-job the other post was.

I think I have managed to ramble here instead.

Good night!

Day 15 – Dominion Over All

I have only just pushed my friend out of the door, and I have a very small window to get a post up, so this’ll be a short first post followed by a longer photo-rapportage. (I just cannot photo-edit fast enough to integrate it all into a quick post… I can type pretty quickly though)

Tonight as almost all Wednesday nights, we had a friend over (usually there is a few more takers) for snacks, dinner and board games. Dinner was a bit light-on, but that’s because the snacks were heavy.

Abbey had to bake tonight, so it was a game for two. Dominion seemed like a good option because it involves relatively limited direct interaction between players and lends itself well to any number of players.

I won one, and Ken won one.

I enjoyed both though.

Now on to photos to share. Hold on for another post shortly!