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Thursday, August 31, 2006


Audio Blogger does not seem to be working.

That is all.

Sunday, August 20, 2006


Kenai Vacation Highlights: Rain, Rain, Rain / Quick Thoughts on Tempus

Secondary Highlights:


They have a Dairy Queen. I should point out it is the only one in Alaska.


Kids had a blast playing on the beach in 55 degree weather, in the drizzly rain with a stiff wind.


Nice little town that caters to cruise ship passengers. The Sea Life Center was pretty cool, and indoors (out of the rain).


There are gamers in Anchorage. Wooooo Hoooooo.

Sean, a fellow I met at Alaska's only game convention, set up a Saturday evening game with a couple fellows I had never met. Cisco, a fellow I met on Boardgamegeek, was able to play also. Paul hosted, and Gene was nice enough to chauffeur Sean and me to and from Paul's house.

All four were stand-up guys and fun to play with. We spent an enjoyable evening playing Railroad Tycoon and Tempus. Well, enjoyable except for Tempus. I was hoping for more. The game worked, all the parts fit together well, but it wasn't fun. Automatic advancement to the next era was an interesting idea to streamline a civilization building game, but much of the tension (all of the tension?) was removed. Although I agonized over a few decisions in the game, I found that the thought involved was mostly wasted, and any choice would have been equally beneficial.

These thoughts could change with more play, but I have a sinking feeling that Tempus will ultimately be no better than 4/10.

Tempus reminds me of New England, the game that was named Game of the Year by Games Magazine a few years back. New England was a well polished game with a clever bidding mechanism, and it caused quite a buzz in the boardgame community. When the curtain was pulled back, New England turned out to be more tedious than shopping with your wife and mother-in-law, but it did have a clever bidding mechanism.

At worst Tempus may be as bad as New England.

We also played two games of Railroad Tycoon. Cisco was familiar with the rules, but I was the only one who had played. The game went over well with the group and a second game was immediately called for. These two games of Railroad Tycoon cemented my opinion that it is a slightly better than average game, but mostly whetted my appetite to play Age of Steam again, and soon.

All in all I had a very good time. I was very pleased to make everyone's acquaintance, and I hope to return to Anchorage in the near future for another game or two.

Thirteen hundred miles in five days with three kids. Between Dairy Queen and meeting three gamers, it was a fine vacation. I wasn't even too irritated that the rain had washed out a bridge between Anchorage and Fairbanks adding 100 miles to the trip home.


Quote of the evening, "I haven't been called me a 'punk' since I captured Kursk and held it... In the wintertime."

Wednesday, August 16, 2006


Hark and Forsooth (I always thought that would be a great name for 2 dogs)...

...my geekbuddies (the people whose opinion I respect on BGG) panned Parthenon, and universally for the hosage factor of the different cards (or for being too random, for those of you who live in the this millennium).

I'll be living it up down south for the next few days, but look for audio reviews to return when I do.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Thurn and Taxis, Parthenon

I've played Thurn and Taxis a few time now. It first struck me as a rather average game. It has solidified in my view as a rather average game. It was rather fun to play, I will play again, but I foresee Thurn and Taxis burnout by a dozen plays.

I wonder if it would have won the Spiel des Jahres if it was set in Africa, or North America instead of the area in and around southern Germany. Seems a shade too simplistic to appeal to avid gamers like me, and a shade too (I hesitate to say "heavy") much thinking involved for casual gamers.

I've played with a 12 year old kid, he grasped the game and did quite well. Seems like a good game to play for gamer families with young teenagers.


How, oh how, did Parthenon: Rise of the Aegean (2005) slip under my radar? Bought it on a whim at the local store.

So far I have only played a partial, learning game, but I was impressed. Seemed like Settlers of Catan (Seafarers of Catan, actually) on steroids. A friend of mine suggests a strong resemblance in game play to Mare Nostrum, but I don't see that in any thing other than the aesthetics. Perhaps.

I am frequently disappointed when I rave about games after a partial play, but I can't wait to play Parthenon again. Could be that some of the "bad luck" cards are too bad and could really hose a player beyond recovery. We shall have to see.

Good gaming,

Friday, August 11, 2006



Since Boardgamegeek is down for who knows how long:

If the guys from Anchorage who contacted me via Geekmail are reading this, contact me here with an e-mail address, please. We will arrange something.

On that note, if anyone down south is interested in a game next week give me a holler. We'll be spending a couple days on the Kenai, too.


Thursday, August 03, 2006



For those who care about such things:

I'm still working 7 days a week, two 8 hour days, and five 12 hour days.

The middle of this month I plan on taking a mini-vacation with my family. When I come back, around the 25th, I will be down to six days each week, with the flexibility to take an occasional, extra day off for gaming. Perhaps more importantly, the kids will be in school so I will have a better opportunity to sleep during the day.

Once school starts I will be back to gaming one evening each week with kids, probably on the 8 hour day.

Next week will be another bad one. Four days at one job and five days at the other.

With all the hours I am working I have been able to acquire games at a frantic pace, I just don't have time to play them.

See you then.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006



..."I had some chicken there the other day... and it was rancid!"

"Oh. My. God! No way! They have such good food there."

"It's true. It was rancid."

"So what did you do with it?"

"I had Joe taste it, and even he wouldn't eat it."

"Joe eats anything!"

"I know. I know!"

"Do you know what he ate last week? A.... Burned....(gag)... POPTART! Oh my God! (gagging sounds) I want to gag (gagging) just telling you this story (more gagging sounds)."

"A Poptart? Ga. Roooossss."

"I know. I know. The man has an iron gut. It was all black around (gagging) the edges and he didn't even (yet more gagging) pick it off!"

"Stop! (gag) You're making me sick now. (Gagging sounds)."

The women having this conversation were well into their 40s. And I mean well into their 40s.

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