Monday, March 28, 2011

just placed a game order

Well, I got my tax return back, and most of the year I am notoriously stingy, but I think it's time for my once-a-year self-indulgence.

I just placed an order on Amazon for 4 items:

1"Deluxe Pit"
Winning Moves; Toy; $13.60

1"In A Pickle"
Gamewright; Toy; $10.07

1"Carcassonne: The River"
Rio Grande Games; Toy; $8.95

Rio Grande Games; Toy; $24.66

Plus FREE Super Saver Shipping

It's possible I over-paid, although I think it worked out well. Especially with the free shipping.

Also, I want to order the game Ubongo, and have contacted my local crack dealer:
and also Nuclear War

Also, my crack dealer has (but hasn't make the drop-off yet) Citadels and Kill Doctor Lucky.

Man, I am going to be spoiled.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Games: [Alien] Abduction

This is one of my favorite games that I own. Produced by Eden Studios. Almost no one but me (and my old store out in Tulsa) seems to know of it.

Real quick: note to self that I need to use some "speed house rules setup" to introduce people, because last night and the other night both sucked as far as having the players having a good time.

If we set up the map before play begins, then the game is a matter of a race to the Exit, which makes sense to most people, and it eliminates half of the confusion.

Yesterday I also played my revised "house rules" Star Trek game (previously Star Trek: The Customizable Card Game) with a new person. It worked beautifully, even though we only played a few hands before the gentleman had to leave. No points were scored, although we came close. Maybe 15 minutes.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Childhood: Who is Gargamel?

Well, in a recent TV show I watched, an athiest was questioning his friend, and suggested that he might as well worship Gargamel.

And I thought to myself: who is Gargamel?
I knew he was a cartoon arch-villan of unspeakable evil, but I couldn't immediately place him. Was he a Disney villan from a movie I saw as a kid? Then today I Googled him, and I wonder how I ever forgot.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Games: Havoc

"Cry Havoc, and Let Slip the Dogs of War!"

Sorry, I just had to. Ha ha.

Well, oddly enough, that actually sums up the game of Havoc decently well, at least in theme. You fight a series of battles against other players, not with weaponry or troops in miniature, but with poker-type combinations of cards. In fact, poker terms are used, such as straight flush and the like. Then the Dogs of War come out, adding another dimension to the game (more stategy rather than simply poker-type luck), allowing you to "loot" the discard pile, retreiving formerly used cards.

The theme is supposedly the Hundred Years War, although that is barely in evidence besides the limited card art and the presence of some cards named for actual battle sites. And, the whole dogs of war thing, for apparently dogs were in actual fact used to "retreive" dropped weaponry from the vacated battlefeild. Could have been done better, though.

Apparently, it is yet another well-designed and yet decidedly out-of-print game. Like Nuclear War. Or Seven Ages.

We also played Ticket to Ride last night. I liked it a lot better this time than earlier games, perhaps because I won handily. I have a renewed sense that it is especially notable as a game for mixed company (gamers and non).

See you next game night!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Games: Kill Doctor Lucky

Oh, before I get to Kill Doctor Lucky, let me quickly add that Carcassone: Hunters and Gatherers is a *great* game and my family loves it. I gave it to my 16 year old sister for a present, and she ran with it, so to speak.

Also, Blokus is a great game, and I have now played the square and trigon varieties. Very appropriate to my thinking with other boardgames mentioned herein and yet quite different.

Okay, a friend brought a game he had just bought, Kill Doctor Lucky and we played it a few nights ago. I was very pleased. It has a bit of dark humor, but nothing grotesque. Part of the dark humor are the goals and winning conditions: be the first to Kill Doctor Lucky. It was early (and aptly) described to me as "reverse Clue." It is a game I intend to buy if I get the chance. It was more fun with all the people playing, although with fewer people playing it becomes perhaps more strategic. WIth many players, there was so much going on (or that could go on) between your turns that stategy was hard to accomplish. "House rules" are very much called for in two point. First, a turn order marker (like the Cheiftain from Stone Age) is called for. We improvised with a salt shaker. Second, with more players, the hallways become too power if a player can see (and thus prevent action) along it's entire length. With fewer players, I doubt it would be an issue in the same manner. Our "gentleman's agreement" to require a player to designate a position when in hallways for line-of-sight worked well.

Apparently, I played a more recent addition of the game, distinguished in part by the illustrated playing peices depicting the characters.

Fossil Fish Found Alive!

Discovering the coelacanth has always been a fascinating story to me. And yes, it is a story, full of suprises, heros, betrayal, accidents, twists of fate, bitter defeats, and long-lasting struggle.

It was never well-told for me, however, until I found this so-called children's book at the local library. Scientific publishing is very frugal with the colorful photos. Although not entirely absent, I have found that scientific literature could benefit greatly from storytelling flare and pictures that tell that story. Storytelling wouldn't require any sacrifice of truthful relation, although I'm sure that's a fear (and a justified one).

Anyway, this book appears to be one of the most updated sources around, with the saga followed though 2002. Printed 2010, IIRC. As only a mere collection of avaialable known facts and photos, it is valuable. It is moreso through the storytelling skill of the author, whom I commend.