Dominion

Jul. 26th, 2009 09:45 pm
logisticslad: (Default)
Last night, we tried the game Dominion. It was fairly easy to learn, although we took a little while to grasp how they were using the "Discard" pile and the "Deck." We played the Intro game and then played it again, much more quickly as we had gotten the hang of it. We all enjoyed it quite a bit. Given all the different combinations, it appears that the game can be replayed in interesting ways. The mix of cards created some intriguing effects - one of my friends was able to chain 12 actions together in one turn! I think this is a winner, although probably more for gamer geeks rather than social gamers.
logisticslad: (Default)
My brother and sister-in-law are in the midst of having an addition put onto their house and the contractors were breaking through into the kitchen this week. So we had decided to hold Thanksgiving at my place. Now, as many of you know, I CAN cook, but I really don't enjoy it in its own right. So my suggestion was to arrange to buy the various T-day goodies from my local co-op and serve that for dinner. My parents and brother were completely ok with this idea, however, my sister-in-law exclaimed that it would not feel like Thanksgiving to her if someone did not provide home cooking. Several of my friends offered to teach me how to make various parts of the meal and [profile] puzzld1 even offered to help me cook it, but I decided that the stakes were too high to try to raise my cooking karma for such a food important day. So my sister-in-law contrived to make the cooked dishes at her place, my parents agreed to bring salad and appetizers, and I was in charge of beverages. Meanwhile, I had spent the week cleaning my place. I bought new dishes (to go with my new cookware that I had recently bought). I had a friend come over and figure out how to change the fluorescent light in the kitchen fixture that had baffled me for the last 2.5 yrs. I had borrowed a carpet cleaner and solution to clean the kitchen floor, when my brother called to say that two of the three kids were recovering from strep throat and that they didn't want to risk traveling under those circumstances. Also, the kitchen breakthrough was far less disruptive than had been feared, so cooking there was not a problem. So they felt it would be easier for all concerned if we had Thanksgiving at their place after all. Since the point of switching was to make things easier in the first place, I quickly agreed.

So I halted my frantic cleaning and drove the hour to Hightstown on T-day. Except that I had the misfortune of getting stuck in traffic and having to reroute at the earliest exit, so it took me over two hours to make it there. When I got there, I realized that I had forgotten to bring the wine with me, so I went to a local wine shop that was still open and bought a nice German Riesling to go with dinner (not that my family noticed the difference in quality, but I did). The kids were delighted to see me and my folks, but were also extremely rambunctious, which lead to a number of time outs throughout the day. My 6 yr old nephew is now into Pokemon cards, so I brought some cards with me and he explained to me how to play. He also arranged some trades so that he could have three powerful cards that I couldn't use yet, while he gave me three weaker cards which would allow me to use other powerful cards that I had. As the indulgent uncle, I was completely ok with this somewhat lopsided trade, and impressed with his logic in arranging it. He then used his newly acquired cards to soundly stomp me in a game, which made him very happy. I'm thrilled to death to be encouraging a young gamer in the family!

Dinner itself was delicious, however, the kids fought during it and were punished with time outs, which lead to the middle one melting down, which set the baby off crying, too. This made the dinner experience much less pleasant, but my family coped well and my brother archly expressed his thanks for the wine to help get him through :-) When it got to my turn to express what I was thankful for, I got a laugh by saying that I was thankful that we weren't at my house after all :-) This lightened the mood and we did our best to polish off the food. After dinner we all watched the classic Charlie Brown Thanksgiving special and the new one about the Pilgrims and then it was off to bed. The kids could not believe that my brother and I had watched the same show when we were their age. All in all, it was a good holiday, and maybe we really will have it at my house someday.
logisticslad: (Default)
Last weekend was Swarthmore's Alumni weekend. it wasn't my class' year to get together, but since I knew many people across the classes and the sci-fi club that I used to be part of always has a gaming/hang out room, I went up for the day on Saturday. I was delighted to see [profile] dwvanstone and his handsome beau, [personal profile] eclectic_boy, who arranged for a yummy BBQ, my former housemates [profile] grr_plus1 and [personal profile] ruthling, the lovely [profile] metasilk with pictures of her son, [personal profile] mst3kforall who is actually in my class, [profile] nutmegger and his lovely wife, [personal profile] jedediah who is New Jed to my Jed Classic, and [profile] syndicatedebby sans [profile] jhp64 who was home with the kids. In addition, I hung out with a number of folk who don't have blogs such as Jim H., Anne M., David SG, Neil O, Sylvia W., and Jay S. It was good to see everyone and recapture memories and reaffirm the camaraderie we had all shared during our college years and beyond.

In the gaming room, I got to watch two games that I had heard of but had not seen. Transamerica looked like it was easy to learn and kind of fun, but did not seem to require much complex strategy. Order of the Stick looked overly involved with too many rules and modifiers, but definitely captured the spirit of the webcomic. I think it would be more fun if everyone actually knew the basics of how to play (which did not seem to be all that intuitive).

In the midst of the heat, I drove over to see [personal profile] blueflamedfire and [profile] cuddlebunni3 to drop off stuff for June Pride. My brother had invited me up for a family visit on Sunday, so I decided to do that instead. It was fun to see them and I look forward to seeing their new place. Sunday also turned out well with the rambunctious nephews telling me that they wished that I lived with them all the time (melt). Of course, my brother pointed out that he and I had lived together growing up for quite awhile and that we were both much happier to no longer do so. In any event, the weekend was very centering for me with prepared me to face another week at work.

Gary Gygax

Mar. 4th, 2008 05:49 pm
logisticslad: (Default)
E. Gary Gygax, one of the creators of Dungeons and Dragons, died of a heart attack today. His creation has given me many hours of enjoyment and spawned the popularity of role plaing games. He will be missed.

ETA: His passing seems to be bringing out a lot of geeky gallows humor and I'm ok with that. My brother just said that it was a shame he couldn't find a high enough level cleric.

New Games!

Jul. 29th, 2007 11:24 am
logisticslad: (Default)
Last night visited my friends L&S in NJ and I played Zombies!!!, a game in which you build a town by laying out card tiles and fight zombies that are trying to eat everyone's brains. The goal is to either kill 25 zombies or to reach the Helipad and flee the zombie-infested town. There are cards that can be used to supply weapons or to impede your opponents. It was pretty fun, although we all agreed that rolling one die for movement was very slow, so we are considering the house rule of rolling two dice for next time.

Went to their game store in NJ looking for the new Order of the Stick graphic novel Start of Darkness, but they were sold out :-( Not to worry, I am sure that I will find it somewhere soon. I did buy some new games, though. I bought Carcassonne, which I've heard good things about on the order of "if you like Settlers of Catan, you'll like this, too" and its Princess and Dragon expansion for a fantasy flavor. I bought the new Munchkin 5 expansion De-Ranged (the new cards are hilarious!). And I bought a set of Treehouse, the quick logic game that [profile] dennisdduquette and [profile] sympullminedead taught me when they last visited. This haul should satisfy my geeky gamer cravings for awhile!
logisticslad: (Default)
Why can't gay dwarves get married in Middle-earth?
By Katherine Glover

http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2007/04/28/gay_dwarves/index.html


I've played Fable on my friend's X-Box and enjoyed discovering that one can marry either a man or a woman in every town!
logisticslad: (Default)
I spent the evening learning how to play Texas Hold 'Em and it was loads of fun. I've been wanting to play ever since I got hooked on Bravo's Celebrity Poker Show Down (note that I'm not interested in watching real poker players in tournaments - for me it's all about the goofy celebrities). So when some friends invited me over to play, I dug my car out of the icy snow mounds on my street and off I went. I ended up being the chip leader when we called the game, so I won the prize of some yummy Lindt chocolate truffles! Definite incentive to play again.
logisticslad: (Default)
I actually took two days off work this week and enjoyed a quick visit from [personal profile] moonpuppy61 (who I blame for bringing the snow on Wednesday on his way down from Boston :-) We went to the Flower Show and enjoyed it immensely. The theme this year was Ireland and my favorite display was the enormous entrance archway and wall covered with flowers. There was a recreation of an Irish cottage. There was a wishing tree and a faerie ring. There was a display of plants arranged to look like celtic knots. There was a cool display about the Alphabet of the Trees used by Druids featuring each symbol and the plant or tree that it represented. I didn't like the "When dinosaurs ruled Ireland" exhibit nor did I like the one with the lawn gnome leprechauns, not the one where everything was pink. We saw some lovely orchids and flower arrangements. I loved the intricate jewelry made from plants. Even though we went in the afternoon during the snowstorm, it was quite crowded and overstimulating. We could not get close enough to see the live Irish dance troupe and that was ok. We took a break and went to Chinatown for dinner and then returned to shop for a hanging plant for my bathroom. I settled on a hybrid fuschia called "Swingtime" that doesn't need much sun or water (so I have a small chance of keeping it alive).

I introduced [personal profile] moonpuppy61 to one of my favorite computer games, Heroes of Might and Magic III, which we played well into the night. Then on Thursday, [profile] puzzld1 brought new baby Eliza over to meet [personal profile] moonpuppy61 and my cats. She has grown even more cute over the last week! Baby Squeee!!! So this delightful break in my routine has finally succeeded in snapping me out of my funk from last week. I was able to go back to work on Friday to be very productive and to arrange the farewell party for my departing employee. I'm now actually looking forward to the start of teaching my class next week.

Munchkin

Feb. 1st, 2007 06:30 pm
logisticslad: (salem)
I'm taking a break from my endless grading of papers to talk about the game called Munchkin:

It's a fun filled card game that is based on D&D without all that icky roleplaying stuff. One has cards for classes and races, traps, monsters, items and stuff. The cards have a wicked sense of humor and are very punny. [profile] puzzld1 got me hooked and so I now have Munchkin and its three expansion sets, Super Munchkin and its expansion set, Star Munchkin and its expansion, and Munchkin Blender that is supposed to let one play with any combination of decks. So far, I've found that: it is unwieldly to play with Munchkin and all its expansions together; it doesn't work well as a two player game; and that their are a lot of cards on the table to keep track of for both Super and Star Munchkin. I haven't tried Blender, yet. Does anyone have any favorite combinations? How are the other variants: Munchkin Bites and the Kung Fu one? What is the max number of players that has worked for you (I've played with up to 5)?

Solstice

Dec. 23rd, 2006 10:12 am
logisticslad: (Default)
Had a lovely Solstice gathering hosted by my friend J. who had recently lost his partner. He had asked us to all light candles dedicated to Brigid for health, hearth, and healing the night before and I was glad to do so. His place looked magical with dozens of candles all sparkling helping to keep away the darkness and bring back the light. Since it was also the last night of Hannukah and Shabbat we lit even more candles and said prayers, which fit very well with the theme of the evening. Hosting this dinner was part of his own healing and I was very happy to be there for him. We had delicious cheese fondue for dinner, with green apples, bread, and turkey ham for dipping. Then we played a 6 player game of Seafarers of Cattan, which was a lot of fun, but ended early by mutual consent so that we would have time to enjoy the dessert, chocolate fondue. We dipped cheesecake, strawberries, poundcake, bananas, and orange slices and discussed the many other yummy options available for dipping (I was sad that we didn't have double chocolate oreos for the ultimate chocolate buzz :-) S. found the pickle on the tree and received the pickle prize of a lovely moon fairy. The second pickle prize of Lindt chocolate was sent home with me to be given to [profile] puzzld1 and M., who unfortunately could not make it this year. They were both missed by all. Despite the difficulties that he has been facing, J. made this event a celebration with his chosen family and friends and I think it was really good for him to have done.
logisticslad: (Default)
Happy Rosh Hashana, everyone! Tonight I had friends over for dinner and games. Several had to cancel at the last minute, so we scrapped plans for D&D, but we managed to have enough for a satisfying game of Lord of the Rings. It is important to defeat the Dark Lord at the start of the year! I lit candles and served the traditional apples and honey. We debated between ordering out for traditional chinese food, but were daring and went for pizza instead. Tomorrow is holiday with my family and here's hoping that we can keep the family drama to a minimum.

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