Game Day 06/22/2006

Dark Clouds

During the drive home, I noticed some small, really dark clouds along with grey and white clouds. At least, the perspective made it seem that way that they were all together. But wouldn’t they all have the same amount of moisture in them and therefore be the same color?

Game #1


Ed brought another new game called Tsuro. It is like Metro in that you build paths and each tile contains 4 points that are connected to four other points that form 4 roads. Instead of placing the tile anywhere on the board, you are required to place it in front of your piece (this prevents other people from directly hosing you). Your piece and any other pieces then start moving and stop when they come to the end of the road. If a piece moves to the end of the board, it falls of and the game is over for that person. So, there is some screwage of other people in this game but only if your piece ends up next to a square that someone else must play on.

Since you only have three tiles in your hand, you must hope that the other person must be forced to move their piece the best that they can and your piece will still be able to move. And that was the position that I was in a couple of times. I knew my placement would put me next to someone, and I hoped that they could do nothing about it. Ed seemed to be in a good position in this game. He was off alone in a big empty section. But that didn’t last long. Surprisingly, I won the game. It came down to having (or drawing) exactly the tile I needed to get myself out of the situation that I was in.

Game #2

Vegas Showdown

I finally got to play John’s game, Vegas Showdown. I have seen it being played on the other tables a lot recently, so it must be good. It is basically a bidding game. In your casino, there is a number of people that come into it and an amount of money that they spend. Your income during the game is the minimum of these two. And at the end of the game, there are extra points for majorities in either of these two. With your money, there are three types of tiles that you fight over. Yellow tiles mostly generate income (and some times give you people or victory points). These are the slot machines. Blue tiles mostly generate people (and some times give you income or victory points). These are the restaurants. And green tiles give you victory points (and some times give you people).

There is a area each for one of a set of basic tiles (one yellow, green and blue) and four areas where more advanced tiles can appear. Each of these areas has a line of numbers that represent possible bids. The advanced tiles start off at a large bid (like 44 for example) and get reduced each turn that they remain on the board. When you bid for a tile, you place your marker on one of the bids. If you are out bid, you get to place again. This continues until everyone has placed.

You then pay for your tile and place it on the board. There are doors which allow people to travel in from one of two sides. Yellow tiles are placed so that they can be reached by a path to one side of the board. Blues from the other side. And greens can connect to a yellow or blue. You also get points if you fill up your yellow or blue areas. And can get points if you can travel from one end of the board to the other.

And that was basically it. A simple game. With simple and drab artwork. And cheap materials. But it works alright. Not on the thematic level of Volle Hutte though.

Game #3


Two games of Tichu tonight. Both extremely one sided. The second game started with a Grand Tichu call because Mike thought he was still playing the first game (the 1000 point delta had already been obtained). Mike only had the Phoenix and the Dog when he made the call. When an Ace was wished for, our team had them all! And he still made it! The other extreme was when Adam called Grand Tichu. I passed him an Ace. Mike made the Ace wish. Adam bombed with Aces. And consequently lost the call. Sigh.

An interesting hand of mine. What bomb potential… What would you pass and why? I went for the four bomb and was passed a 4! Which was good enough to set Jon’s Grand Tichu call.

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 & AdamR MikeA & Jon
T+   5  
  400   T-
  600     0  
  600   T+ 300  
T+ 760     440  
    275 GT-
    110 GT-
  GT- -65  

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 & AdamR MikeA & Jon
  GT+ 200  
  T- 130  
  305 T+  
  305     395  
  245 T- T+
  290   GT+
  115 GT-  
GT-   930  
New Tichu picture taking setup

I have been itching to record more detail on our Tichu games. Right now, I have an XML file of our game scores along with the Tichu/GrandTichu calls. The next step that I want to record is the actual cards played during the game. So, tonight, I tried to record that information on the ThinkPad during the game. Adam was also helpful and recorded as well. This does slow the game down a bit (and take a bit of my concentration away from the game). Mike and Jon were impatient with this. So I gave up after three hands.

So for the next game night, I am going to set up this contraption. A tripod positioned over the table with a remote controller attached. I played around later with the settings. With the kitchen fluorescent light, the fan’s fluorescent light, and the big halogen light half on, I can get a 1/60″ 2.8 picture. But the entire table is not in focus with that wide aperature. Stepping down to a 16, the shutter speed moves to 1/2″. And with the halogen light on full, I can get a 4/10″ 22 picture. Which is good enough.

Tich hand test photo

To give this picture which is 850K. The cards are readable. And the ISO was only 400. I could double it and halve the shutter speed if necessary. I think this should work…