The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Moving Right Along

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TV — Been watching Longmire. Started a few weeks ago, almost finished with the series. With Arrow and Flash hitting Netflix next week I’ll have something to watch. Rick and Morty S2 started strong, with the first half being amazing (particularly Auto Erotic Assimilation and Total Rickall). I’ve watched both new Doctor Who episodes and there was 10 minutes I enjoyed. I’m not quite done with it, but I’m definitely watching on inertia. It looks like we’re at 2-3 good episodes a year. Ah well.

Reading — I got new glasses. That, coupled with my blinding headaches that caused me to get my eyes checked, means I haven’t been reading much at all. Although my writing also meant that. Eh.

Movies — Saw the Martian in theaters. It was fine, I would have waited to see it but a bunch of us from work went. A rather refreshing movie in that it was exactly what it promised, without anything extra thrown in or any glaring plot-required stupidity. I’m looking at you, Prometheus. Incidentally, my vow to never pay money to see a movie whose finale is split in two did not appear to hurt the Hunger Games, but man did that preview look like the movie had nothing in it.

Games — Nothing new on that front. I am actually playing games tomorrow. Odd. I’m told I should try Triumph and Tragedy and I’d like to, although I can’t bring myself to read the rules.

Bridge — Managed 2nd in the top bracket of a KO last weekend, then did mediocre in the top bracket of the bracketed swiss. (And it annoys me that they call it a bracketed swiss instead of a round-robin). To be fair, in the swiss I pitched one match because of a blinding headache (3N making 4 turned into 3N off five, and letting a doubled contract make and…..) then my glasses arrived later that day.

Top Golf — So, I did that. And now I have done that. (About time, since it’s maybe 5 minutes from my house). I believe if it had existed a decade and change ago it would be a supposedly fun thing that he’ll never do again.

So, open thread. What’s up, pussycat?

Written by taogaming

October 3, 2015 at 8:44 pm

Posted in Misc

Bridgey Stuff

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Pop quiz hotshot — You hold 9 almost solid spades (missing the jack), no hearts, and Kx in both minors. Amazingly, the first two seats pass to you, nobody vulnerable.

What do you do? What do you do?

This is more poker than bridge, but it happened. I’ve posted a poll at Bridgewinners.

Fortunately this was back when I was still somewhat into it, before the strain on my eyes gave me a nasty headache. In other news, I feel 20 years older with my new glasses.

Written by taogaming

September 29, 2015 at 8:00 pm

Posted in Bridge

FFG + L5R = OMG or WTF?

So, Fantasy Flight bought Legend of the Five Rings and announced that they’d turn it into an LCG (presumably among other things) at Gencon in 2017.

The part of me that is slightly over half my current age feel like honor has been restored, that an evil in the world has been lifted, and that destiny fulfilled. I tried to get back into L5R a few years ago, but it didn’t take. The part of me that is my current age remembers that I’m several packs behind in Netrunner, and that I fell behind earlier caught up (at the cost of, oh, $50) and played only a handful of games. Still Netrunner is going strong (there was a tournament on Monday with over a dozen people) and the expense is negligible compared to Bridge (for example).

So, in this case I’m going to pretend I’m 3/4 my current age and settle for cautious optimism. If nothing else when I pull my old T-shirts out of the drawer people will know what they mean.

I just need them to buy Shadowfist to complete the Trifecta.

Written by taogaming

September 12, 2015 at 8:13 am

Posted in Ramblings

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So, Bridge exploded

I’ve never been to a national Bridge tournament. Hell, I think I’ve been to one regional where I traveled more than an hour. Honestly, I only give the ACBL money its convenient but I’d be completely happy if the whole thing burned to the ground as long as I could find games. (Which reminds me, I need to ping the near experts I play with and see if we can restart our weekly game after a summer hiatus).

But at this last National tournament something interesting happened. Mike Passel – a Texas pro and #2 on the all time masterpoint list – was accused of cheating, suspended for some amount of time, and had 25% of his points taken. Then the official story was that it wasn’t cheating, just an irregularity, but the suspension/25% stood.

Now all the Texas players I know say that Passel is the only one who wasn’t cheating. Passell’s side of the story sounds like a relatively minor affair. (Yes, yes, you should always call the director for any incident, but I tend to be of the “if I can fix it myself I do.” Other’s have pointed out that’s against Bridge Law. But like real law – which it aspires to be – Bridge Law is an ass).

Then Boye Brogeland (a world class player) announces that four members of his team offered to vacate the 2014 Spingold championship, because their teammates (3rd pair) cheated. (He goes on to accuse the pair of cheating against him this year, which is what triggered him to look into it, which does give the whole thing a whiff of sour grapes). Kit Woolsey – instrumental in catching the coughing German pair – comes out tenatively in agreement, but would like some other experts to judge as well.

Then the ACBL granted a stay on Mike Passell.

Me, I need some popcorn.

Update Sunday Evening — Seen on Hmmm

Due to recent events, we are getting a lot of traffic. This has caused our site to become unstable. We are actively working on this, and hope to be back online in the next few hours.

Written by taogaming

August 29, 2015 at 4:53 pm

Posted in Bridge

Two more QG and thoughts after the strategy guide

Our first game of QG had what would seem to be a near ideal UK opening:

  1. Build Navy in the North Sea+ Plane
  2. Build Army N. Africa + Plane. Then US plays Arsenal of Democracy to let the UK build Indian Ocean + India.
  3. Increased Common Wealth Support to build an Army in Australia. (This may have been T4). Now the UK is generating 6 points a turn (wah!), has the N. African chokepoint with two supply paths (!) and has bottled the Italians in the Med. In fact, the Italians had to reallocate resources to get into the med at all.

The Axis won. To be sure, the other two allies were new players (in particularly, Russia released General Winter too early and was kicked out of Moscow a second time, and Germany was generating 10 points a turn (and played Plunder on the final turn for 16 points) because as the UK, once I’d built up I didn’t actually have any good place to attack, and Italy and Japan both worked to kick me out of India. The US had practically bombed Japan out of the game by T10, but it wasn’t enough.

I consider this an excellent sign for the game.

In my second game as Germany I got a deadly opening hand:

  • 4x Land Battles
  • 2x Economic Warfare
  • 1x Build Navy
  • 2x Sea Battles (all I have!)
  • 1x Deploy Airforce
  • Operation Weserübung  (Bolster — Play at victory step, discard the top card of your deck to build an army in Scandanavia)
  • Production Initiative  (Search your deck for a status and play it).

I decided to chuck the EW, Sea Battle, Bolster and a land battle, and then go dig for Blitzkrieg (after battle, build).

In hindsight, I could have gone for the EW opening (keep both EW, Build Navy, Bolster, Production Initiative, Deploy AF and 1 Land Battles) On T1 play Build Navy and Bolster, then I can hit UK for EW – with a bonus because the  whenever I have a spare turn. Very risky, but it’s what the cards said. Pitching 3 land battles early is galling, though. But I would have dumped my hand on T1 (Navy, AF, Bolster) and gotten 3 new cards, then I could decide which status to fetch.

In any case, I got hit with Enigma and didn’t see a build army for a long time. I should have probably sucked it up and fetched one, but the idea of chucking 2-3 battles for it was galling, so that game was a route.

Still love it, though.

Written by taogaming

August 17, 2015 at 10:55 pm

Posted in Session Reports

Tagged with

Your Sunday Reading — The Sea of Crises

Go read The Sea of Crises, by Brian Phillips, on Grantland.

A sumo wrestling tournament.
A failed coup ending in seppuku.
A search for a forgotten man.
How one writer’s trip to Japan became
a journey through oblivion.

Written by taogaming

August 16, 2015 at 10:15 am

Posted in TV & Media

International Gamers Awards

Hey, let’s discuss things! So, the IGA

General Strategy, Multiplayer:

  • Have not played — Aquasphere, Deus, Elysium, Hyperborea, KraftWagon, Orleans, Panamax,
  • Five Tribes — Meh
  • La Ganja — Meh
  • Quartermaster General — My pick, obviously.
  • Roll for the Galaxy — I played a burst of 20-ish games, and I’ll probably play a burst when the expansion comes out. Any game I play twenty times is intriguing and probably pretty decent, but I’m mentally comparing this to Race, and few games stand up to that scrutiny. Roll is no exception.
  • Voyages of Marco Polo — I enjoyed my single game of this, and I haven’t played another. I’m not sure anyone local owns it.

Two Player Games:

  • Baseball Highlights: 2045 — I guess I don’t need to read the rest of this category, and in fact the only other game I’ve played is Star Realms, which (like Roll) was a burst of 20 games over a few weeks and done. Then again, I’ve had a tough time getting BH2045 back to the table, but I’m still pushing it.
  • Games I haven’t played — Fields of Arle, Patchwork, Star Wars Armada, Wir Sind das Volk


Written by taogaming

August 15, 2015 at 8:45 am

Posted in Ramblings

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