Lucky 13

Apr. 9th, 2006 02:12 pm
melanoman: (Default)
Yesterday night there were 13 people for games at my place. I may need to consider getting more table/chair space somehow. Perhaps a folding set that can be moved into the center of the kids room. The existing space handled the 5-4-4 split well enough, but even one more person would have been an issue. Time to go furniture shopping again.

The three games selected were El Grande, Power Grid, and cards (hearts and oh hell).

Gender balance was 10:3 m:f, which is pretty typical. The monday group is somewhat more more estrogen enriched (around 9:6).

I'm pretty happy with the Saturday group composition, as everyone there genuinely likes the games. Well, time to get ready to see the SHARKS maul Dallas. They might even win the game, as well.

Power Grid

Dec. 26th, 2005 11:58 pm
melanoman: (Default)
I played a 6-player game of power-grid today. It was the second time I'd managed a break-away win in step 2 while everyone else was jockeying for step 3 position. The difference is that this time I was up against some decent players (Albert, Eric H, Jessie M, Erica, and Bill). If I have time I'll explore the boundaries of when this strategy fails, and see if I can use the opposite of that as a criteria for choosing when to use it. It's deadly effective when the opportunity arises.

The key steps involve early capacity, a huge resource buy in the middle game (but not too early), and an all-at-once jump to the final goal from about 5-6 cities back. Basically I run on two big power plants and save up cash in the middle game, using the cheap resources in place of the extra 1-2 run rate. I maximize my moves for access rather than price in the late stages of the early game, then take the cheap ones in the middle game to free cash for the resource buy. The end game become the cash buildup followed by a lightning strike.

The obvious counter is not to let big plants go cheap early, but the group keeps letting me get away with that part. After that they need to either limit my ability to place cities for access, or else double-buy resources so the big buy in the middle game doesn't work.

Einstein

Dec. 26th, 2005 11:53 pm
melanoman: (Default)
Ok. I figured out a way to click a lot less, but its really memory intensive. It netted me a 2:16 time, but made the game not be relaxing.
melanoman: (Default)
For the "White Elephant" gift, I gave a copy of "Give Me the Brain" (the new full color edition, the the Cheapass original). One of the other teachers made the comment that he had played the game and adored it. We talked a little later on and apperently he plays games like Torres and Puerto Rico on a weekly basis. He's invited me to his gaming group, and I'll probably give it a shot after work some day. If he turns out to be cool and clueful, I'll invite him to a Saturday session next year.
melanoman: (Default)
I had a great visit with the kids this weekend. Both kids were very cooperative at getting things ready for gaming with the grownups, a big treat they hadn't had in quite a while due to awkward custody arrangements, now partially fixed. Our read-in-the-car book (Seventh Son) is really taking off, and both Richard and Moira are excited about it (just reached chapter 8). We played Caylus, Bohnanza, Oh Hell, and Apples to Apples. Getting the kids calmed down enough to get them in bed was a bit of a challenge, but we eventually managed it.

I played a game of Einstein and hit 3:15, so something clicked since I last played it over a week ago. Richard made some progress on his Wesnoth adventure, and we all went Xmas shopping, then drove over to Granny and Papa's house for Sunday dinner, and to watch the Sharks' massive winning streak get broken with a 5-4 loss to Anaheim.
melanoman: (Default)
Why on earth would I be starting a second blog? I already have a blog, but that one is different from this one in two ways. First, my blog at Yahoo is a single-topic thing to which I'm controlling the access. Not tightly, but I figure I don't really want to share it with anyone who doesn't know me well enough to know what what it is about. And anyone who has known me for more than a month or two can guess what the blog is about. I'm not worried about hackers getting at it, not because I don't think they can, but because I doubt any hacker worth his or her salt would give a damn about a personal blog.

This blog is for everything else in my life. So what does that comprise?

I've left my job making gazillions of dollars in high tech to go back to teaching, which is basically like taking a vow of poverty, but I'm okay with that for a little while at least. I can do without the stress right now, and have some savings to coast on until I get something that pays actual money a year or five down the road.

[personal profile] stoneself has convinced me to train for a triathlon. I already run, but the swimming is going to be a major challenge as I hadn't swum laps in more than a decade until we started a few weeks ago. My swim form is pathetic, but I'm learning from [personal profile] stoneself and this book called "Total Immersion" This Thursday will be my first time in the pool since buying the book. I'm paying [personal profile] stoneself back by teaching him to run without bouncing.

I play a lot of boardgames. The German kind, not Monopoly. Either you know what that is or you'll have to wait for a post where I have more time to explain it. The short version is that the games are mostly designed as adult level challenges for a social context. Kids can play most of them but often at a very different standard of play, the same way kids can play chess. Some people get really serious about the games and hold tournaments, but I've distanced myself from that world. Stories of when I wasn't so distant from that world can also wait.

I have two kids. Richard is 12 and Moira is 8. I just wrote a bunch about them elsewhere so I probably won't have much to say about them in these pages.

I also play poker seriously. Yes, in a real casino. Yes, for real money like you see on television. No, I haven't been on tv myself, but at the level I'm playing there is a real chance of that next year when the World Poker Tour comes to San Jose.

What else? I read, but not as much or as seriously as when I was in school. That might change as I get back into teaching, but it hasn't yet. I've been renting a lot of movies. I got the all-you-can-rent deal at blockbuster a couple months ago and have been tearing through everything available. That was really cool at first as I went through all the sundance official selections and suchlike. Then I got to the bad movies, and the sparkle started wearing off pretty quickly, save for a little discovery that some good cable TV shows end up at blockbuster, so now I know what everyone was talking about with the Sopranos and Deadwood and a few others. That's about bottomed out too now, so I'm thinking I'll expire my deal at the end of the month.

That's plenty for a first entry. I'll stop rambling and get some sleep now.

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