First up was Phoenicia again. This time a fort was in the initial three cards. I had seven dollars, so I bid on it and won it. This hurt me getting my initial production ramped up for a couple of rounds. But with two forts in the game, I thought it was worth it. John went for dye houses and was able to purchase both of them. But he was unable to get a fort. Which meant he was limited in the number of workers. I went after mining. However, in a three player game, there is only one smelter. So I was only able to convert my mining into improved mining. I was eventually able to move all of my workers over to mining and keep my production in the lead. Mike was certainly lagging in production. But he was able to buy a city center.
And then came a critical round. I wanted a public works. I made a mistake in letting Mike get the first one cheaply. Mike then bid all of his money for the second. Which was more than I wanted to pay. I turned my sights on the Refugee Settlement, but John bid all of his money to get it. Mike was then able to get a City Walls to go beyond 28. John bought the Trade Fleet. And I bought the second City Walls. I was hoping to buy the Trade Fleet as well to first place guaranteed. But I was able to train enough workers to pip Mike at the end.
Next time, I will try and remember just how important the City Center/Shipyard and the Public Works are to end-game victory point generation. It is not just about ramping up your income production.
John brought out Aquadukt which is a short and simple dice fest. But not the kind of dice game that I like. On your turn, you can either place up to three of your houses randomly (with a 20 sided die), place a well, or build irrigation channels. Houses can only last on the board if they are next to a 1-sized canal or up to two away from a 2-sized canal. The strategy in this game is when and where you place the wells, and how you extend the canals. When you place houses, it is random in which of the 20 neighborhoods you can place a house. And you might have a choice on where to place the house in the neighborhood.
Today, I won two 2 mark hands. They were pretty similar in that, for the
last bone that I would play, I need it to be a “walker.” Which means that
it needed to be the top value in its suit with no trump possible.
The first hand was: 1:1 2:2 4:4 5:5 6:3 3:3 3:2. For this hand, I called
no trump, and led the 6:3 as a three. One of the opponents knew I was
going to walk a small three but my 1:1 drew out his 3:1. So when I played
my 3:3 it would draw out his last three. And I would claim with the 3:2.
The other hand was: 4:4 6:4 4:3 4:1 1:1 3:3 3:2. For this hand, I
called 4’s as trump. I needed that no one on the opposing team had all
three of the remaining 4s. Fortunately, they did not and I was able to
run trump out. Next up was to play my double 1, the double 3, and then
the 3:2. Once again, no one had “protection for threes” (meaning that
they could keep two threes and play the low one on the double three and
keep the high one to stop the 3:2).
The initial draw was amusing today. When there are more than four people waiting to play a game, we each draw one bone randomly and the people who hold the highest four bones will play. I drew a 6:5 so I was guaranteed to play. The second to the last person drew the 1:0. And, surprisingly, the last person drew the 0:0 (4% chance)!
Normally I hate the advertisements that litter my front door. Whenever I see something sticking in my door, I throw it away. But Fuddrucker’s was holding a one-day only special for a 1/3 pound hamburger, french fries, and drink for $5.00. Which is pretty cheap. So it seems that there does exist an ad that I will not throw away. I wonder if this is the start of a slippery slope?
It is so sad how accustomed I am to the huge American sized platters. Not that I eat everything on my plate — I rarely do. It is just that I expect to be served more food than is proper for a meal. When I picked up the plate, I noticed that the burger and bun was a little larger than my fist in size. It looked tiny compared to the plate and the fries. But it was more than satisfying. And I even did not finish the fries…
Had my first attempt at making breakfast tacos. With a quarter of a cup of fat, I split it between butter and lard. Which made the tortilla yellowish looking when raw. But it whitened up after cooking.
I had a bit of a panic when I couldn’t find the tortilla press. So I just rolled the dough out by hand. Fortunately, with that much fat in it, there was no problem of sticking…
Total Solar Eclipse Paths link via
Coke vending machine carried by Pepsi truck link via
Church and Gay connector link via
Pizza Hut’s Double Roll pie link via
21 amazing facts you didn’t know about pigeons link via
A Canon MPP view camera link via
Official iPhone tool link via
World’s quickest electric motorcycle link via
When Amber met Amber link via
Sport Utility Bicycles link via
Cops punished by having to wear Hello Kitty armbands link via
Papercraft stirling engine that runs on coffee link via
Root beer float cupcakes link via
Highway typography link via
When placed in the spa, these fish can feed themselves on the dead cells of the human body link via
Brand new 2 million dollar boat is destroyed during delivery link via
The little purple lie link via
A father posed for a publicity picture in a desperate attempt to find the daughter he has not seen for ten years unaware she was just a few yards behind him. link via
Logomotto link via
A 1905 version of Google street view link via
A crazy hand of poker link via
Today was the Ace Race 2007 tournament. There were 12 holes. At each hole, a tee box was marked that was 180 to 235 feet away. Almost every hole was a different approach to the basket from the normal course layout. We then played these holes three times around. You only got one throw. If it went in (called an ace) or hit the basket (called metal), it would count. At the end of the game, the highest number of aces would win. In the case of a tie, the highest number of metals would win. And in the case of a tie, a “closest to the pin” round would occur.
For a twenty dollar entry fee, we received two mid-range prototype discs, a hat, and a marker. Which was a pretty good deal. The only problem was the rain and the wind. You could only throw those prototype discs. Which gave everyone a level playing field. But the wind was the randomness in this game. It was hard enough to throw a brand new disc. Throwing it into the wind was even harder.
John tried breaking the discs in by throwing them on the concrete tees. I don’t know how much that helped, though.
We played with Damon Neth and his son, Spencer. Damon owns the Disc Nation store down in South Austin. He was a nice guy and very friendly. Luckily, I was able to hit basket number 1 on the second time around. And I was the only one in the group to do so. Unfortunately, there were other people who were able to hit metal twice. So a play-off round was held. My group was impatient to wait for the finish and they went off to the Tilted Kilt to eat.
John and I practiced for the upcoming Ace Race 2007 tournament. Tees are placed around 200 feet from the baskets. Only aces or hits of the metal basket count.
The stubby pecan tree was looking pretty ripe. Ripe enough to warn people off.
First up was Phoenicia — a game I have been waiting on for a while now. Thankfully, the publisher allowed people to play an online version for free while the game was being published. This allowed me to try it to see if it was different from Zepter which I already own. And it is. It is much more condensed and quicker. The only problem with it is how to explain the “technology tree” to new people. There is something on the board that shows what cards give discounts or abilities to other cards. But it shows farming (which does neither) and doesn’t show the granary (which gives improved storage) or five of the other cards in the game.
I took the dyer and dye house, but I was limited by the number of workers since I missed out on both forts. Doug was doing advanced mining, but he was limited by storehouses (and had to discard money). I was eventually able to end it by buying a city wall.
Next up was UR which I bought during Boulder Game’s Saturday night sale. With a FAQ, we had another go at the game. Everyone pretty much left each other alone during the beginning of the game. I had a sweet setup in the corner with Culture and Agriculture rapidly growing my civilization.
Railroad Dice 2
After John nixed To Court the King, we surprisingly settled on Railroad Dice 2! I was glad to get this game back on my radar. After a quick rules refresher (these are perhaps the most poorly translated rules that I own — and after the game was over, I noticed that we got two things wrong.), we played the game. The game bogged down towards the end as all of the simple dice were gone and we could not replace them with complex dice quickly enough. But I still like this game and consider it a fun and innovative game.
With both ends of the toll road blocked by stop and go traffic, what is the point of being able to drive 80 in the middle?