Monthly Archives: December 2005

Lone Star Game Day 12/31/2005

Game #1


Well, if I can’t successfully order this game from the developer, I am reduced to playing it at cons when people bring it. I had a hard time trying to get this game started. There wasn’t much interest from the Houston crowd in wanting to play this game. Fortunately, Tim and Mary showed up and wanted to play. So I started to explain the rules. But then Mary bowed out and left. So, we found another new player. So I started to explain the rules. And then the new player said that someone who was not here yet wanted to play. When the other new person showed up, we restarted the rules. Sigh. Needless to say, this took a good chunk of time.

The good news was that I finally was able to finish out the game and see how the entire game works and flows.

Cant Stop

After an early dinner, we came back and started this game. I went first, so I tried pushing my luck… too hard… and bombed out. This is not too bad because it is equivalent to going last. The bad thing was that I busted out again. So I was now in catch up mode. At least I was able to take the seven column from someone who was too timid and left their piece one square away from completing it. During the end of the game, the columns three through eight were locked up. This caused us to bomb out early since many rolls of the dice were now bad for us.

Game #3a
Game #3b

Tanz der Hornochsen

I haven’t heard about this third version of the negative bulls game. I have played both card games in the family though. This game has the same feel. You buy tiles (1-99) and try to place them on the board. At the end of each run, there are negative points. Some twists are that there are negative points on some of the spaces running up to the ends. Another twist is that there are “happy cows” which turns a negative score into a positive score.

Game #4


I didn’t think I would be playing this game at a convention. But, when two people came up to me looking to play a game and I suggested this game and they didn’t object, I played it. Both of them were newbies, and this game takes a little bit of playing before you get your head wrapped around the strategy. In this game, I was dealt the one card five out of six times! And I was able to use it effectively four times.

Game #4

Techno Witches

And here is another game I didn’t think that I would be playing. A new person came up to me to play a game with me courtesy of the social butterfly contest that was being held during the con. So she suggested this game. It is a game that you need to have a very good spacial memory to effectively play it. You choose a piece from a pile of differently shaped pieces. You use this piece to create a flight plan for your witch character on a broom. At some point, you decide to fly. Then you start laying down the pieces and as long as they dont lay over obstacles on the table, you continue flying. If you run out of pieces, you then place your character at the end of the chain and start again. The goal was to run over a cat. And luckily enough, I did for the win.

Lone Star Game Day 12/30/2005

Game #1

St. Petersburg

Today was the first day of what I hope to be the annual Lone Star Game Fest. Marty and I travelled down from Austin at 9am and we arrived at 12pm. After settling in, we jumped right into gaming starting with St. Petersburg. This is a lightweight and somewhat meaty game that hasn’t been spoiled for me by the computer version. As long as I don’t play with someone who has played the computer version many times and knows exactly the winning strategy, I enjoy this game.

This game came down to Aristocrates. And, unfortunately, I had bad luck in trying to get unqiue Aristocrats. Marty had the better luck in this so was able to win the game.

Game #2


Ah… another playing for me of this game. And after playing it, I still want to play it again. At least until I win it. After that, I don’t know. It is hard for a game to rise above the many others in terms of replayability. And I have questions if this game can do it. It does have some interesting game mechanics. But it does lack in good artwork.

Game #3


Another playing of Caylus and my oppinion of it remains unchanged. Although I still haven’t changed my strategy at all. So perphaps that is a bad thing? Marty went for the blue victory building and I went for the victory favors. My fatal mistake was not being able to place a piece first on the last round of the game. That cost me winning the favor of the king which cost me five points. Coincidently enough, I lost the game by five points. 😉

Game #4


Another playing of Lexio. And this time, the tiles hated me. Let me rephrase this: they absolutely hated me. 😉 I payed out everyone on every hand. Unsuprisingly enough, I ended up in last place. Still a good game for me. Although I think that we should play more hands than just five.

Game Day 12/29/2005

Game #1


Ahh… The last week of the year. And therefore the last Thursday gaming of the year. It was a good thing that we had a long game day and played some meaty games. We started with Antiquity. I definately want to play this some more. I didn’t get my economy snowballing enough. And I am sure that there are some optimizations that I can do with my actions. However, I still have fun playing this game and look foreward to playing it again.

Game #2

Mc Multi

We finished pretty quickly. So we started up a lighter but still meaty game of Mc Multi. And this one was a tight one! I knew Adam was going to call the ending condition soon. But I could not get enough money to do it my self. So when I did, it came down to how much I could sell. And fortunately, I could sell enough to beat him. But just barely. If he would have rolled better, he could have won.

The enonomy did act differently in this game. The recession/booms were very shallow. We did not dive all the way down and then move back up in the economy.

Game #3a
Game #3b

Familenbande x 2

Since it was almost starting time for the normal session, we played this light and quick game. And boy was it quick! We got two plays in. The first game started off badly for someone with people who had lots of noses and mouths! Fortunately I was rooting for mouths. ;-O

Game #4


And the meat-fest continued with Caylus. Doug was new to this game. And once again my strategy seemed to be not building any buildings and trying to use the victory scoring tract as much as possible. Adam did do better than me though and won the game.

Game #5


Interestingly enough, there was interest in 6 player Wizard. I wonder if this is the perfect trick taking game for 6? Three for Bottle Imp, Sticheln, that junk trick taking game, or Die Steven Segal? Four for Tichu! Five for Mu! Six for…? Certinaly not Sticheln! Way too random…

The cards were not the greatest for me. But I was able to make all but one of my hands. Which was good enough for second.

Game #6


We played a quick game of Exxtra to wind down the night. Initially, the dice loved me and gave me a 76 to knock off Jon’s 75. However they petered off after that. And there was nothing we could do to stop Helen from winning.

Disc Golf 12/28/2005

Pease Park #1
Pease Park #2
Pease Park #3
Pease Park #4

We finally went to the venerable Pease Park for some disc golfing. I was in bad form today, so it was tough for me. There are a lot of trees and adjacent river areas (although very low from the drought). And I found many of them. It was so bad that when I went to retrieve a lost disc from the river, I lost my glasses in the river! Sigh. I blame John becase he lost his disc retriever. 😉

Still, it was fun. And I would do it again when I get better at this and have more control. We went to Huts for a good burger, onion rings, and malted shakes.

Disc Golf 12/27/2005

There was another warm and non-wintery day so another round of disc golf was played. Roxana joined us again. But unfortunately she did not wear her helmet like she was jokingly threatening. We played at Cat Hollow again.

Good shot

And just to show that I don’t always toot my own horn, here is a really nice throw by my partner John. It almost landed in the hole.

This time, I tried taking videos of everyone throwing their disc:

Disc Golf 12/26/2005

Hole #1

Ahhh…. The end of the year, and I only have to work one more day. Well, perhaps I’ll break it up into two half days instead. So hopefully, I’ll get lots of disc golf and gaming in. And today was a beautiful day out. At least temperature-wise and sunny-wise. The only problem was the wind. Which ranged from annoying to problematic to a freakin’ nightmare.

Good shot

I was pretty erratic today. I had some horrible throws that were way off course. And then I had some good approach shots. Like the one above. Where my second throw lies next to the other’s third throws.

Fishing for discs

Another aspect of my erraticness was my water throws. One was easily retrievable by stick. The other needed a tool and a retrieval by John.

Game Day 12/25/2005

Chocolate Grimm

Jon was kind enough to invite me over for some good food and gaming. And, of course, I get to play with Chocolaté Grimm too.

Game #1


I thought that we would attempt to increase the number of three player games that we would simultaneously. Which was something like 10 games at one time? But Doug’s friend, Matt, was here. So we played normal games instead (that is, one at a time). And the first one was Cartagena (but played without Matt). This game was played quite tactically as we tried not to set up the person going next with an opportunity to get a lot of cards. Jon took an early lead while I concentrated on getting cards. Fortunately, I was able to pick a good time to make a run for the boat as Jon could not get all of his pieces out in time. Doug was holding up the rear during the whole game but was able to sneak out more people to snatch second place from Jon.

Game #2

Puerto Rico

The next game we played was a meaty classic, Puerto Rico. When it first came out, we tried to play it often enough to try out different strategies. However, as the number of new games increased, this game started to collect dust. And it was good to bring it out.

I went last in this game, so I started with corn. And as new plantations came out, I kept getting to pick another corn plantation. So my strategy became crystal clear for me: ship as often as possible. I planned on not building much and saving for a wharf. But, I was able to get a coffee plantation while everyone else took tobacco. So I spent my money on a coffee roaster and was able to trade my coffee for some money. My next building was the wharf. This game was a little worring to me because we were calling out for so many new slaves, err colonists (8-10 each turn). And I worried a little more when Matt was able to build a Fortress and then man it with another Mayor action. But it was all for nothing as I won handily.

Game #3


We introduced Roxana to this game. Doug was not so willing to play. While Jon was explaining the rules, I printed out the color cheat sheet for them. At least Doug was able to call Tichu a couple of times. But we were able to set him each time. So I think that he hates the game even more now. And newbie Roxana even called and made Tichu once!

Roxana and I started off strong. And the kept the lead for a while. However, Doug and Jon were able to catch up with a couple of 12s and GrandTichus/Tichus. They only needed 95 points to win (where we needed 405). During the next two hands, we kept them from scoring enough points for the win. And on the final hand, I desperately called GrandTichu. Roxana passed me an Ace. Doug surprised me by calling Tichu and laying out a straight from Mahjong to Queen with the Phoenix on top. He had one card left. Fortunately, I had an ace bomb to stop him. I only had to worry about playing one lowish single card by him. And when he passed, I knew I was good.

The scorecard for a game of Tichu

GT or T bet made or lost

This team scored more points than the other or one twoed

GT/T Team #1 GT/T GT/T Team #2 GT/T
MarkH & Roxana Doug & Jon
  T- 40  
  T- 135  
  565     535 GT+
  595     905 T+
T+   970  
GT+ 1060   T-


$45 to feed a family of 4-6 for a week link via

McLibel link1 link2 via

BMW turbosteamer link via

A better use for a Crokinole board link via

Ramps create power as cars pass… great idea! link via

The Wizard of Oil link via

Bedside table defense link via

The Chronic of Narnia rap link via

“There is no room for doubt or question about whether the President has the prerogative to order surveillance without asking the FISC — even if the FISC is a toothless organization that never turns down requests, it is a federal crime, punishable by up to five years imprisonment, to conduct electronic surveillance against US citizens without court authorization.” link via

“This is indefinite dictatorial power. And I don’t use that term lightly; the very definition of a dictatorship is a system that puts a ruler above the law. In the weeks after 9/11, while America and the world were grieving, Bush built a legal rationale for a dictatorship. Then he immediately started using it to avoid the law.” link via

The New York Times knew the president broke the law for a year (even before the elections) before revealing it link via

Converting a parking spot into a temporary park link via

Robot saves the day with radiation scare link via

Lego Star Wars Rebel Attack Cruiser link via

The IBM power of 10 video link via

Pokemon gene renamed due to legal pressure from Nintendo’s Pokemon USA link via

Geranium leaf film link via

Disc Golf 12/24/2005

Disc Golf Sign
Start hole #1

Another sunny and beautiful day for disc golf… err, except for the high wind advisory. And another new course for us to try. This one only had 9 holes, so we played it twice. Another good thing about the course is that there is no water around. I like that since I usually find the water with my sinking discs.

I came early and practiced. Since it was so windy, I used my arrow putter for the whole course. And it performed pretty well. Well, except for the time that it caught the wind and flew way off course. Or the time where it rolled and kept rolling far off course.

On the second hole, Adam had an amusing putt. He hit the goal with the disc and the disc bounced up into the wind. And then it came back to the goal, hit it, and bounced off a second time! Jon also had an amusing throw that kept no more than a couple of inches off of the ground for a ways. He must of had some help from ground effect wind. Either that or Star Wars hovercraft special effects.

Where you throw for the second hole, you have this cross. And for the ninth hole you have to avoid three large crosses.

Start hole #2

Game Day 12/22/2005

Game #1a
Game #1b

Manifest Destiny

Ahh, another meaty and long (why am I suddenly reminded of Dan’s dice tower?) game day. I am one happy camper. We started out with Manifest Destiny. And I was hesitant to play at first. After all, I did not want to ruin my perfect record against Adam. But we played anyways. The game was going good after a while (3 hours?). However, the game started to get towards the end and the nasty cards came out! Boy, did they ever! Jon really threw a nasty card at me. I was the only one in North USA and he played what Adam terms the “black death card.” I had to vacate all but two of those areas! And loose my cities! Gah!

Which really brought home the feeling that why would I want to spend three hours playing this game if in the last rounds, I can have nasty random cards thrown at me which move me to third place. Now really, why??

Game #2


Coincidently enough, we ended around 6pm. So we started another game of Lexio. And did this game ever make up for the bad aftertaste in my mouth. I ruled at this game! Sadly, we could not cause Adam to loose all of his money.

Game #3a
Game #3b


O.M.F.G.! I have wanted to play this game for a long time. When Adam walked in the door with Antiquity and Titan and we had five players, I was really tempted to throw someone else out. Like Mike. But now we had six players and everyone agreed to play! Woo woo!

Fortunately, I was not anhilated early and survived to the final two (with Doug). We played for a little bit, but soon realized that we would not end the game early (like before 6am). So we called it a tie!