The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Less Deep Thought than before

You know, after I bought my new game, I happened upon some old advice of mine. But the reason I noticed it was a thought that popped into my head about SW: Rebellion.

Written by taogaming

January 3, 2017 at 9:58 am

Posted in Linky Love

Weekday update

With a holiday mid-week game day, I’ve decided to officially add another game to my Fifty-by-Fifty list. In all honesty, I probably had fifty plays of the game within a few years of owning it, and I’ve owned it a few decades, but after that I only played yearly….

And I finally won the second “New Hope” scenario on Factorio.

Written by taogaming

December 29, 2016 at 11:26 am

Posted in Misc

Radley Balko for Supreme Court and other thoughts on the Election

(Don’t worry, gaming content later)

Read the rest of this entry »

Written by taogaming

November 9, 2016 at 9:19 am

Posted in Misc, Non-Gaming

Tagged with

Bah — Finance Majors

Or — as we call them around here — idjits.

I mean, how else can you explain the fact that when presented with a game rigged in their favor and offered the chance to bet real money repeatedly playing the game … in any amount they choose … as many times as they could play in 30 minutes

A full third of them lost money! More than a quarter of them went broke! Some of the test subjects were making a living working in investment firms!

Idiots, I say.

Certainly not gamers.

Definitely not gamers with a background in engineering or math.

Of the 61 subjects, 18 subjects bet their entire bankroll on one flip, which increased the probability of ruin from close to 0% using [the optimal strategy] to 40% if their all-in flip was on heads, or 60% if they bet it all on tails, which amazingly some of them did.

Read the full paper (Rational Decision-Making under Uncertainty: Observed Betting Patterns on a Biased Coin) then consider where your retirement savings are.

(Mine are in index funds).

Written by taogaming

November 4, 2016 at 8:34 pm

Posted in Misc, Strategy, Thoughts about Thinking

Tagged with

Sweet Saturnalia

Some random thoughts for a random day:

  • Man, Attika is good. It’s been too long.
  • Luke Cage — fine.
  • I suppose I should say good — I finished in six days, although today was a sick day … but all of Netflix’s Marvel shows could stand to lose 3-5 episodes. More tone than plot (not that I’m against that), Luke Cage easily had the best ensemble cast of any of them.
  • The CW superhero shows are now dropping, so that will be next (I’ve heard that Arrow tanked last year, so I’ll start with Flash).
  • Played Eclipse vs the TaoLing when he got home from school (since I was home). I was about to get schooled (I randomly took the Orbital guys, Aidan picked Hydran) after The Boy drew not one but two “Advanced Research” double pink tiles early on. But the worm turned. On Turn 4 the Hydran super cruisers (Anti-Matter Cannons and +6 to hit and initiative, using the discovery power to fuel it!) attacked two aliens and rolled — snake eyes. Then the Aliens wipe two cruisers (because they had zero hull). Down ten material and then lose a world because the Hydran’s banked on that orange planet to cover expenses…. Even then I might have lost except he had another minor set back so I could use the GCDS as a screen for most of the game.
  • 1846 is charging, so looks like I’ll get a new game in a moth or so. And Jump Drive maybe this year…
  • My 50 by 50 geeklist hasn’t had any additions in a while, but several games are inching their way towards fifty. (I’ve played six games that were in the 25-49 category this week). In fact, I almost played my fiftieth game of a title today, but I wasn’t in the mood. Still, it will take a concerted effort to finish in time….
  • If you know Mrs. Tao, you may want to shoot her a congratulatory email, as her new job title is “Intern.” (She’s starting work as a programmer).

Written by taogaming

October 5, 2016 at 10:01 pm

Posted in Eclipse, Misc, Session Reports

Tagged with , , ,

Another Bridge Note

Apparently someone just proved that the current algorithm used to deal ACBL tournament hands are insecure. If you enter in the exact card for three boards in a row, a program can correctly predict the rest of the hands (for the 36 deals) because it can compute the supposedly random seed for each hand.

Crypto is hard. The ACBL is already migrating towards a better hand generator.

Written by taogaming

September 14, 2016 at 5:25 pm

Posted in Bridge, Misc

Tagged with

A Small Chess Puzzle, Answered

So … that puzzle.

White to play and win


The first move is relatively easy to find.

  1. a7! (Threatening to queen the pawn)

The obvious reply does not work.

  1. … Rg8?
  2. Bg3+ And either the rook must take the bishop (and the pawn queens), or the bishop moves to B8, protecting the pawn.

So, the entire threat is based on the unfortunate position of Black’s King, as Pedro pointed out.

Black can counter with a few checks, and if White isn’t careful, Black wins.

  1. … Rg1+
  2. Ka2 Rg2+
  3. Ka3? Rg8!
  4. Bg3? Rxg3+ and now Black wins by going back to g8 after white moves

(Even if White avoids Bg3? now Black can play …Ra8 and ….Rxa7 to draw).

After I had been shown that response (…Rg1+) I started thinking again about handling it, and I got it eventually.

  1. a7! Rg1+
  2. Be1! Rxe1
  3. Kb2 Re2
  4. Kb3 Re3
  5. Kb4 Re4
  6. Kb5

And Black’s King is again in an unfortunate position. Note that White must not stay on the A column (although Ka2 is ok) because if (for example, 5. Ka4 then …Re1 6. a8=Q Ra1+ wins the Queen)

Written by taogaming

September 11, 2016 at 3:26 pm

Posted in Misc

Tagged with