The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Pictures from a Symphony

I’ve now played Through the Ages 10 times. Its still good to be dragged out once every few months, although I do wish for an expansion. I suspect you could do that with 20 cards; a few new leaders, wonders and technologies (perhaps replacing those that aren’t quite good enough). I suppose I could hand roll one of the online variants (just having a chart showing X is replaced by Y, and mocking up the new cards), but I’m lazy. Still, having played TtA reminds me that I need to get Seven Ages to the table. Which also reminds me that an expansion for that was supposed to come out this year.

I’m seeing lots of “Album of the decade” lists, and I’m surprised I haven’t seen such things at BGG. I think everyone should just do “Games #26-50 of the decade …” and skip the acknowledged classics. Perhaps I’ll do that. Still, readers of this blog will be able to build my top games list relatively easily.

I (hopefully) managed to snag one of the few copies of Homesteaders at BGG.Con. (Thanks to my lovely and talented assistant for that). But now I see that some of them were mispacked. Hopefully mine isn’t.

I’m not sure which other games there that I can look forward to trying, but with ~5 locals attending, it’s likely to be several. I know Loyang will be coming back. Hopefully none of my flea market games will be returning…my collection is back under 200 games, after growing to about 225.

For Bridge, I’ve been reading the articles on Danny Kleinman’s website. Danny is the (co-?) creator of Chthonic, the fictional bridge playing computer. His site also pointed me towards Marvin French’s site, which has an interesting 4 card major bidding system. While I always enjoy reading about bidding systems, those two are interesting … reasonably up to date on modern techniques, but somewhat reactionary. The sort of thing for people interested in that sort of thing … and I assume ya’ll now about JeffG’s bridge site.

I’m not sure about books of the decade, but “Human Bridge Errors, Volume 1 of Infinity” is my favorite title of the decade. Easily.

It must be random coincidence that I’ve read two Cthulu-crossover short stories in the last two collections of short stories I’ve read (one by Charlie Stross and one by Niel Gaiman), but I’m not taking any chances, anyway.

The geekbuzz from the con does mention Shipyard. Plus the usual suspects. But reviews for that (like Loyang) have been mixed.

I officially got my latest rank bump from the ACBL — NABC Master. Talk about rank inflation…every title has “Master” in it.  In this case, give me Chess’s austere “E, D, C, B, A, Expert, Master, National Master.” In Bridge, Life Master doesn’t even put you in the top flight.  (In fact, the requirements for LM are less than the requirements for B flight, although I think LMs are automatically bumped into flight B.)

Am I going to have to pre-order some stuff from GMT? An evolution game and City building game by Chad Jensen does awaken my interest… note to self — Put Combat Commander back into the bag. Still, I have time to investigate. After all, I wouldn’t want to break my New Year’s resolution (sorry guys).

Update — Added an “Obscure Game of the Decade” geeklist.

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Written by taogaming

November 21, 2009 at 10:43 am

5 Responses

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  1. The purpose of the Chess ranking system is different from that of Bridge. In Chess, the focus is entirely on measuring strength of play. In Bridge, there are significant elements of rewarding persistence (see “Silver Points.”)

    My kids used to do Irish step dancing, and it was clear that the competitions (“feisanna”) were primarily designed to give people the incentive to keep taking lessons from their certified teachers. Bridge doesn’t quite take it to this level, but there are elements of similarity.

    Eric

    November 21, 2009 at 10:47 am

  2. Apparently there was a packing error on Homesteaders at the factory, so some didnt have the right tile mix. However, Michael Mindes was working hard at making sure everyone got a copy with all the correct items.

    Alexfrog

    November 21, 2009 at 1:14 pm

  3. But the decade’s not over for another year…

    Doug Orleans

    November 22, 2009 at 12:46 am

    • I thought we had as much as we needed f that argument a decade ago!

      Anonymous

      November 22, 2009 at 2:34 pm

  4. I played Urban Sprawl about 6 months ago at a con, and it was pretty bad – very long, very complicated, *very* random, very fiddly. As typical for GMT, some clever ideas but overwrought to the point of insanity.

    Changes may have been made since, of course, but I didn’t get the impression after the game that the needed work was going to get done.

    Chris Farrell

    November 22, 2009 at 9:47 am


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