Sunday, February 25, 2007

Seasonal Weekend Gaming

Shabbat lasts 25 hours from sundown Friday evening until stars out Saturday night.

In the winter, that means early start times of 4 or 5 pm and early end times of 5 or 6 pm, while in the summer, shabbat might start at 7 or 8 pm and end at 8 or 9 pm. This depends on where you live, of course. Times might be earlier or much later. Above the arctic circle, special rules apply.

Theoretically, regardless of the time of year, shabbat should be a good time for gaming. No electric use that wasn't set to run before shabbat started, and no work to go to (usually). No major travel.

In the winter, game time means after dinner on Friday evening; shabbat is too short on Saturday. You might play after shabbat on Saturday night, of course. In the summer, dinner is so late that you can't play on Friday night, but you will probably have time on Saturday afternoon, after lunch and a nap.

Of course, you have to have gamers in your area or family, and your meals can't be too long.

Friday evening we ate out until around 10:30. Nice conversation and all that, but too late to game when we got home. Saturday was too short for gaming, factoring in shul, lunch, nap, and Rachel's weekly lecture (currently, we are working through Job).

However, this week's lecture was at Nadine's house, and despite the fact that it finished only a short time before the end of shabbat, we decided to play our regular game of Puerto Rico. One is allowed to end shabbat later (not earlier). So we just ate into our Saturday night a bit.

Which is not a big deal, since the Third Ear video store's copy of the last disk of West Wing's Season 7 is currently out for repair anyway.

Puerto Rico

Rachel drew corn, which prompted both Nadine and I to proclaim her the winner before the game started. And so it was.

Of course, I helped it along a bit by refusing to do what's normal. I opened with Builder/Small Market. Nadine left Rachel the other Small Market, opting for a manned indigo instead.

I took several corns in the next few rounds, an early Large Market, and then a tobacco to give me some shipping and trading leeway. Unfortunately, despite good plays on my part to manipulate the Trading House in my favor, it's just not a strong enough strategy to beat the usual strategy, which Rachel always favors.

Rachel produced everything but coffee, plus Factory and Harbor. That's still pretty unbeatable. I could have done the same, but chose not to, which is why I lost.

Nadine had a coffee monopoly, and even locked a boat, but she had a very slow start, and so wasn't able to catch up with building points.

Game News

CSI games has a nice article on competition as a vehicle for moving a story.

There's a Rugby inspired board game in the works, based on Aberflyarff RFC, the creation of the late legendary cartoonist Gren.

Here you can watch a two-hour game of Risk time lapsed into less than two minutes.


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