more games

I missed games night at David F’s last night but since going last week I have played a few times with a few different people.

Last week at David F’s we played Tempus, a new “civilization building” game that I liked a lot. In fact Brian had an extra copy I will be buying from him. It was basically a territory control game with an interesting mechanic that made the desirable territories change from round to round (epoch to epoch). This forced you to plan carefully which territories you wanted to try to control, with what resources, and at which time. Very enjoyable play (for me – I read that Aaron F doesn’t care for it), very nice artwork and informational graphics…and the cards were not too fiddly. As a side night it was fun playing with Greg who was visiting from Florida.

lotus_bloom.jpgSpeaking of fiddly cards, Eric spent some time with us last weekend and taught Billy how to construct a Magic: the Gathering deck. We then played a lot of Magic over the next few days. It reminded me how much I like that game and all the mechanics around the deck construction…it looks like the next expansion, Time Spiral, will be coming out soon with a lot of fun time-based effects that I like…maybe I should check out the pre-release tournament (insert giant sucking sound here)….

Lastly Bob and Dave stopped in for a quick visit on the way from Maine to get Dave back to Williams and we played a game of OltreMare. This is a very nice set-collection game with a few nice mechanics to make it interesting…it shares a scoring mechanism with Bohnanza and card stacking with Mama Mia but the mechanic of the cards as (1) your resources, (2) controlling your actions, and (3) determining what you can do on your next turn is pretty cool, and unique, as far as I know.

Technorati Tags: board games, card games, magic: the gathering

games night

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I finally returned to Tuesday night games night at David F’s house. It has been a long time. I played two new games that were pretty good….Cleopatra and the Society of Architects had some of the coolest pieces I have seen in a long time and the game play was pretty good too, although it seemed like it was a bit too hard to calculate what the best scoring move was for each turn. I tried to play defensively, i.e. not setting up the other players for good scoring opportunites at the sacrifice of poorer scoring for me – I came in second 🙂 – although probably mainly due to Aaron F’s poor choice for two early sanctuaries. The second game, Blue Moon City , from my favorite game designer Reiner Knizia, was interesting but my play suffered greatly from really bad card draw. I think I want to try it again too see if it less random as this one play was. Maybe I’ll try to go to Unity Games this wekend and play some more…

lunch

Further proof that this blog is correct…

I had lunch at the Cambridge Brewing Company with some friends from my ADL days today (I had the spinach salad). It is always good to see George, Peter, and especially Allison. We chatted about the weather, Lego Mindstorms, atomic force microscopes, other old friends, upcoming vacations, artificial sweeteners, cryptic crosswords (guess who brough that up), cockney dialects, an intersting old science experiment I read about, preservation of old documents, Google (GooglePages in particular)…basic geek discussions over lunch….and now we are back to doing it monthly!

keith emerson

If Carl Palmer in my hometown wasn’t enough, last night I saw Keith Emerson as well, in the same venue. Many thanks to David K for offering me the 4th row center ticket! …Keith’s band and presentation of the works of ELP are very different from Carl’s. Keith has a very solid rhythm section of Phil Williams on Bass and Pete Riley on Drums…they were very good, not over-the-top flashy like Carl and his Bass player were (not that there was anything wrong with that 😉 ). Keith’s band was fronted by Keith, of course, but he also shares the spotlight with a guitar-player singer Marc Bonilla. Marc did Greg Lake’s vocals very well and played a guitar that was very much like a slightly rough—edged Steve Morse. Keith’s performance was great, of course… I really appreciate a performer who brings a lot of equipment on the road with them in order to get the authentic sounds of their material…in Keith’s case it included a classic original Moog Synthesizer and a Baby Grand piano…and the band overall was very tight. They move between classical, jazz, country-pickin’ and rock with ease. Highlights for me were the very laid-back “From the Beginning”, a nice, slightly re-arranged “Lucky Man” and the encore-opener “Fanfare for a Common Man”…I also liked the extended prog-pieces that I embarrassingly admit I don’t remember the name of.  Keith’s story about forgetting the Moog solo for “Lucky Man” and having to get the transcription from Keyboard Player magazine was classic! Again, another gem at the Regent!

 Technorati Tags: ELP, Progressive Rock, Keith Emerson

fangio

while it was a couple of weeks ago already i feel i have to enter something about my friend greg…greg has been part of the tuesday night gaming group at david f’s house for a very long time…two weeks ago was his last night as he is moving into full retirement down in florida…we will miss him dearly as we was one of the brighter personalities in the group…who else could have channeled the persona of juan manuel fangio for playing formula de…it was, in his words “brilliant!”…thanks for all the great challenging gaming greg…

life

today was the last day of school for my second-grader…life moves on…my friend and former colleague rene is moving to california so she had a big shindig at her house the other night…it was fun meeting some very intersting people – i still have to google that russian novel i got in the middle of discussing…rene was not dealing with this life change all that well but i think her belief in her destiny will prevail and she will rise above her concerns…i have been having a difficult time with my work lately but i have so far managed to be zen-like about my approach to the difficulties…life moves on…

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