We started out the night with five players. Not many games immediately come to mind with that number. Fortunately, we picked a new game to play. And after reading all of the rules and waiting for everyone to shut up and stop interrupting during the rules explination, we started playing. Manila is a game that uses dice to move three ships into harbor. There are three dice roles, during which each player can place one piece to bet on what the final outcome will be. You can bet that a certain number of ships will arrive safely or that a certain number will fail to arrive. You can bet that a cargo will arrive. And there are a couple of different power spots to place your token at. The first is a pilot that can either help or hinder a ship. Another is a pirate that can board a ship or get its bounty. The last is the insurance agent who pays for ships that fail to make it into port.
The other aspect to this game has a Modern Art feel to it. You start the game with two wares. If you win the action to become harbor master, you may buy another ware. And when ships make it into port, their wares increase in price. So you are trying to increase the value of cards that you hold and hurt the other cards.
In this game, I was never harbor master. You save money by not paying for it. But you are at the mercy of who wins and therefore which order you go in. You want to go sooner rather than later. Doug was to my left and he won a number of times. This meant that I went last a number of times. But it was good in that Doug was helping the cargoes that I held. Late in the game, I decided to bet on some extreme long shots. I paid 2 dollars for a 15 dollar reward if none of the boats made it. And luckily they all failed to make it! This happened twice, which I think is the reason why I won the game. Everyone in this game was trying to get two ships into port. Another possible strategy is to place all three as far away as possible and hope that none of them make it in. But noone tried that approach.
Two people left for the night. Which left us with three. Jon suggested this trick taking game. I was a little rusty in the strategy but fortunately, everyone was as well. Doug was giving me too many tricks with the junk that I was collecting and not trying to hurt me. So I think that that helped me win the game.
I get into my truck at 6:30pm to drive to yoga and I am greeted with a fricking blast furnance! I regret taking my 3 week vacation during September. I wanted to have nice and warm temperatures for the morning bike ride, but then it gets far too hot in the afternoon. It is supposed to be fall and yet we are having record breaking days. Global warming does exist!
During my bike trips I notice piles of beer laying beside the road. I wonder if, at night, a pickup truck full of people pulls off the road and turn off its engine. The people then sit and drink beer and take pot shots at stop signs. I just wish they would clean up after themselves!
I came across some Texas sized portions today. Apart from being amusing, what purpose do they serve? I guess it could be a meal for two. But I bet that there are people out there that order this and eat it themselves.
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With all the news currently about hurricanes and levies, I wonder what is being built here in Round Rock. There was an existing feature that seems like it is a retaining wall. It is made from earth and is at least twenty feet high. And just recently, they have built a concrete wall along it.
I need to investigate what would happen in a flood around here…
While we were waiting for Adam and Mike to show up, we decided to play a quick filler game. I pulled out Diamant. It is a good push your luck game with an element of chicken thrown in. I don’t understand why the Grimms hate this game so much.
Struggle of Empires
So now we had six people. Our options were to split up into two three player games or one six. Medici and Union Pacific were brought up. But fortunately, I remembered that we have not yet played Struggle of Empires. And fortunately, everyone was interested in playing. So we struggled through reading the rules and then started the game. I picked blue which turned out to be France.
The first thing that you do after setting up the board is to detemine the two sides for a war. The game is played over three wars and during each war, you get five turns of two actions apiece. Looking at our starting positions, I deternimed that Mike and Adam were threats to me. So my goal was to get them on my side. And fortunately, that turned out to be the case. I only had to bid three gold to make that happen.
Since Mike was my ally, he asked me for help in defeating John. He told me that he would help me in defeating the Germans during my turn. So I agreed. He rolled badly and caused both him to loose and myself to take a loss of one army unit. I decided to wait on attacking those Germans and going after the Central Europeans. He then decided to attack again. He asked me for help once again. But this time, he made it clear that he was not honoring the previous agreement. Since he wasn’t going to help me out, I knew he wasn’t going to honor this agreement either so I decided not to help him. Three times later on during the game I asked for him to hold up his end of the bargain. And three times he refused! So let it be known from this time forward that Mike is a welcher!
While we were playing, we determined that this game was going to take quite a while to play. So we decided to stop after the first war and call it as a learning game. Too bad. Because after Doug was determined to be the leader, everyone picked on him. And then it was Adam and Mike’s turn. Which left me winning the game!
And here I thought that I won the Hurricane Lottery. In the middle of June, I made reservations for a trip to Florida. I wanted to spend some of my frequent flyer miles, and I reliazed that I could only book a trip starting at September for 25K miles (50K for an earlier trip). So I did. In the middle of Hurrican season. During the most active month even. Perhaps I was mad…
But, I was fortunate! A week before the trip, Hurricane Ophelia was off the coast of Florida but it finally moved north. Weather was sunny and hot. And then on Sunday, there were tropical depressions moving towards Florida. Tropical depression #1 turned into Hurricane Rita and went through the Florida Keys. On Monday, I flew back home and the rain from Rita was starting to hit the coast.
And now on Wednesday, Rita is a category 5 storm that is headed for Austin! Well, the wildly inaccurate storm tracking information has it going like a hundred miles east of us. And it turns into a category 1 storm when it is this far inland.
When I went to the grocery store today, most of the bottled water was bought out. The panic buying had begun in earnest. People were advising to buy gas now while the refineries were still in one piece and gas was only expensive (after all it could become astronomical). Sigh…
I was driving towards the airport today and I heard a loud crack. I look down on my windshield and notice this large rock sitting there. Some car in front of me must have kicked it up.
I feel like I am playing pinball and my truck is a paddle!
My battery died today. I don’t seem to have a good experience with batteries. They don’t seem to last a long time. Two to three years at most. Well, at least it died today. It would have been much worse if I started the truck tomorrow and it would have died.