Day 225 – China and Smallworld

Tonight was good.

Ken has returned from China once more. He brought stories of all the places he’s seen. He brought feedback on his tour operator. He brought a terracotta warrior and horse.

Sadly/luckily not the full-size versions, but scale replicas for somewhere in the living room I think. One thing I didn’t know about them is that apparently the originals are all unique; although the bodies may be standard categories, each terracotta warrior has a unique face and hands modelled on real people when they were created.

I’m not sure whether that has something to do with artistic integrity, superstition or the whim of the emperor, but it’s kinda cool to think that the 8000+ statues all have unique features.

There was the obligatory slide show from Ken’s new camera, which sadly didn’t want to work over HDMI on the television. Too late we realised we could have attached it via USB considering every media device is also a computer today.

We had our usual mix of cheese, fruit and chocolate for appetizers.
Kiwi-berries are weird and delicious.

We decanted a bottle of overdue wine that proved very drinkable.

We ordered a multitude of pide delivered to the door.

And then we played Smallworld Underworld for 3. I think I may have mentioned this board game before; it has an interesting premise. Everyone tries to spread their races as far across the board as they can on their own turn… but the game board is purposely designed to be too small to fit everyone. As you conquer lands you start running low on troops and have to let your civilization fall into decline in favour of a fresh new race with more troops.

I came last despite a strong start. My troops were no match for Ken’s Adventurous Spiderines and his Flocking Flames (careful with that pronunciation there). The field wasn’t too wide, me losing at 93, Abbey in second on 95 and Ken on… I think 113 he said?

A very enjoyable evening.

And now I need some very enjoyable sleep to be fresh for a long day.

Day 155 – Finishing Wednesdays

Tonight was the last Wednesday Night Regulars for the year. As of next week, Mr. Ken will be away for XMAS and NYE.

But that’s okay, because he brought very nice Champagne for the occasion, so he is forgiven. And he obliged with two games of 7 Wonders, both of which I lost; once to Abbey and once to Ken. But I had fun.

And we had Upper Crust pizza from Crust, which is excellent.

Black Bean Burrito
Black Bean Burrito

Behold the Black Bean Burrito; a spicy vegetarian combination sliced into 8 pieces, each served with a dollop of Avocado Salsa.

Pulled Pork & Slaw
Pulled Pork & Slaw

And the Pulled Pork & Slaw; shredded salty/tasty pork sliced into 8 pieces, each served with a dollop of Coleslaw and Pear.

One thing that never fails to impress is how close to the sales images on the site the actual finished product arrives. And edible too!

Day 113 – Building Emp… Kingdoms

A very satisfying victory…

With a final score of 31-64-87, clearly my Kingdom was best. My strategy of racing to the finish was more effective than I had anticipated.

Setting up the Board
Setting up the Board

The goals of the game were somewhat conflicting this time around. On the one hand “Citizens” was encouraging building a single big settlement, whereas “Hermits” would have favoured many individual houses all over the board. I chose to go conservative with “Citizens” all over the centre of the board. This also left me enough room to maximize bonus points from the “Lords” goal on at least 2 of the quadrants.

Ken not-Duncan takes a Panorama
Ken not-Duncan takes a Panorama

I’m sure none of that meant anything to non-board-gamers.

I should arrange to convert a few more of my friends. They never like the idea of board games, until they actually play a few. And Risk or Monopoly don’t count. Those are dull!

I’ve seen people who claim not to like any games at all get hyper-competitive, before asking if they can come do it again sometime.

Nothing but Settlements as Far as the Lens can See
Nothing but Settlements as Far as the Lens can See

It can seem a bit daunting at first, but that’s just the first game, maybe the second… most of the games we have are actually fairly simple rules-wise. What’s complicated is the ways in which the rules interact, and the creative ways your friends will find to stab you in the back.

As I said…

It’s fun!