Sunday, April 02, 2006

Weekend Gaming

April Fool

I couldn't fool anyone with yesterday's news about Derk, owing in part to my obviously poor Photoshop skills. My skills are not generally so bad; I just didn't take the time to do it better.

Surely it was otherwise believable that "let's go to a pork BBQ" Derk would convert to Judaism, right?

Other April Fools around the game web include Boardgamegeek, whose opening page allegedly showed Aldie's control screen, including buttons for "Randomize ratings" and "Annoy users", and so on, as well as Boardgamenews with a fake ad and news story. Update: And an amusing Boardgame Babylon episode.

I posted mine a wee bit early because April 1 was shabbat, and I knew that I wouldn't be able to post it on the right date. But I postdated the posting date correctly. Post posted post.

Anyhoo ...


Dvira (the 7 year old) was dropped off to play with me by her mom. I was hoping to also play with either Saarya, who was home for shabbat (but he went to sleep), or the visiting American, Charlie (but he never showed up). So it ended up just being the two of us.

We played The Menorah Game three times, and I won three times. I'm actually a little surprised at that, because I didn't expect that skill could win so frequently in this game, but it still does.

We then played Havoc twice. In the first game, she trounced me in the first four battles. I warned her that she was seriously depleting her hand, but, being her first game, she didn't see it through all the way. I then took the remaining battles, pretty much, and won 36 to 29.

In the second game, we started out similarly, but this time she didn't need to spend as much effort. I won a battle or two in return, but she kept pulling in matches and I kept pulling in junk. She lost one more battle, but won the last one, keeping her lead by about 8 points.

After that I taught her how to play Oh Heck and Gin Rummy, games that I hope she can also play with her friends and family.


We changed the clocks on Thursday, which means that we had an extra hour on shabbat. Which means that Rachel and I will be playing our usual shabbat afternoon PR games. Rachel won the last two times, so it was only fair that I won these two games.

I'll just mention two buildings:

Trade School 4/2: If you pay an extra doubloon when you buy a building it comes with a colonist from the supply.

This is a very nice building at its cost and a good replacement for Hospice. That extra doubloon offers temptation to spend money and also increases your options during the builder phase. It requires some finesse to use, and makes the University's feature finally available at a reasonable cost.

Giant Production Building 10/5: Take one extra barrel of each type of good you produce during Craftsman.

A big building without a VP bonus, this can nevertheless produce a good amount of extra bonus points if bought early enough. You'll find that a lot of what you produce goes to waste, but who cares? Notice that it is also worth one extra VP straight up. This makes a nice departure from the usual ten pointers.

We alternated ownership of these buildings during the two games, but I won each by about 4 points. In the first game I had Factory even though I was producing only two goods, Corn and Indigo. It still gave me a doubloon during each Craftsman, and it prevented Rachel from taking it. In the second game, I managed to block boats with goods that Rachel wasn't producing.

Saturday night we went to a Jazz concert at our local shul by some local talent; very nice. And I took Saarya back to school in preparation for his three day tiyul. It started this morning, right when it started raining a very late winter rainstorm. Rain is a blessing here, but I do hope that his trip isn't all washed out.


I received another rejection letter for the Menorah Game. I wasn't expecting any more, actually. This one came from Out of the Box:

Thank you for submitting your game for our consideration. I do apologize for the delay in responding, but we been growing quickly and time is very short.

Since we are now distributing Rio Grande games, we have added over 130 card and board game titles. I feel that your submission falls in the Rio Grande genre of gaming. As such, it is not necessarily a good fit as an Out of the Box publication, as we are well represented in this area.

Jay (Rio Grande) wrote to me in November to tell me that he wasn't doing any new games for 6-8 months, so I don't expect to hear more from him for a while.

If you like my game and want Jay to publish it, you can feel free to write to him. Actually, I haven't heard from a bunch of people who bought the game. Anyone ever play it?


And in the news: Dominoes to be the next poker on ESPN? Just read and be amazed how the criteria for choosing dominoes is, quote, "the competition, the trash-talking, the color, and it's old school". In other words, Ethnic people who fight with each other. I have to add that to my list of why people play games.

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