The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Round numbers

Just played my 111th game of Sentinels and logged my 777th session of bridge yesterday (undoubtedly low, but round numbers are round).


Written by taogaming

December 27, 2017 at 5:12 pm

Posted in Misc

Some thoughts

  1. I picked up Civ VI as my holiday computer game (counting Portal Bridge Constructor as my pre-holiday computer game). $30 until end of the year. I like, but I prefer the old, easy to read graphics. Also, the tutorial can be multi-hour and has no save. Sheesh. But the split of research into science (technology), civics (governments and improvements) and faith (religion) plus great leaders all having their own points seems correct. It may be overgilding the lily.
  2. Speaking of, I’m about 40% of the way through P.B.C., fine for a game that cost $10. It’s difficult already.
  3. The Wild Blue Yonder Solitaire campaign does not capture any of the joy of the game. I’ll probably play both sides in an actual campaign to learn the rules (I hope). Not great solitaire, since its an action-response basis and I’ll know both hands (somewhat); acceptable as a rules exercise.
  4. I may write a Year In Review, but this wasn’t a big year for gaming (for me).

Happy Holidays!

Written by taogaming

December 23, 2017 at 10:27 pm

Posted in Misc

Follow up, links

Re: Alpha Zero — Thoughts from Ken Regan, including how this affects his thoughts that a perfect chess player would be rated ~3600 ELO, and how to generalize the algorithm to hard (non-game) problems by making the problem an opponent.

Re: Universal Paperclips — Ted Chiang (author of the story that became Arrival) on how the “Paperclip AI” that destroys the world by trying to maximize a single parameter already exists …. and is called ‘the corporation.’

As a Factorio player I’m not in much of a position to laugh at Minecraft …. (and the SouthPark episode “Informative Murder Porn” had some great Minecraft gags), but at least I can say that my game didn’t inspire a truly massive botnet that disrupted much of the US Internet last year.

And I’m taking a small bite-of-cake-sized break from Factorio to spend some time on a new game with an old friend. For Science. You Monster.

Written by taogaming

December 20, 2017 at 7:09 pm

Posted in Linky Love

Gobble Gobble

I played two games of Go against a 5-Dan (who was simultaneously playing a few other people). It wasn’t close, of course.  That got me to thinking and I created a geeklist to ask people who the best opponent they’ve played in any boardgame is.

In Factorio I’m starting to play with mods, and I recently downloaded the “Platforms” mod, which effectively makes much of the map off limits to building production stuff (although logistical stuff like belts and trains can go anywhere). It prevents you from using pre-planned blueprints — you may not have a square area for this. Amusing, but also slows the game down.

The TaoLing and I now routinely win Full Co-op with 11/11/22 cities (the last a Megapolis). May be time to switch back to Volkare scenarios, which are much harder. We’ll probably do a 4p co-op (each controlling 2p) as well.

I must admit I’m tempted by Dominion:Nocturne even though I know I’ll only play it a few times. Great ideas. Also, I’ve been billed for Wild Blue Yonder, so that will be shipping by End of Year.

Update — Played a few games of Bowling Solitaire as, well, solitaire. Ironically I’ve had the Gamut of Games book for years but never tried that until perusing the many, many, many Top 20 solitaire games geeklists. A simple but not simplistic game.

Written by taogaming

November 22, 2017 at 11:18 pm

Posted in Misc

This moment of “I’m old” is brought to you by Ars Technica

Ever since its first edition was released almost 20 years ago, Twilight Imperium has been one of the most massive propositions in tabletop gaming.

Ars Technica Review of TI4

(I have nothing to say about TI4, but a simple linear regression says I probably rate it a 5 or 6).

Written by taogaming

October 16, 2017 at 6:27 pm

Posted in Linky Love

A surprising shout out to my (Graduate) Alma Mater

from Gregg Easterbrook’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback

Obscure College Score. Carnegie Mellon 37, Thomas More 17. The Tartans of Carnegie Mellon—arguably America’s most interesting college, as its strengths are engineering and theater, quite the combo…

I honestly did not know they had a football team. I did know about the theater school ….

Written by taogaming

September 28, 2017 at 9:32 pm

Posted in Linky Love

Amazon one-day deal on board games

You probably already knew this (or missed it), but Amazon’s Gold Box has 100 board games for pretty decent prices. I mean, I’m not going to buy Grand Austria Hotel for $33 even (which reminds me: my review of Grand Austria Hotel is “Meh, would not buy even at $33”), but that’s a good price. (A careful perusal reconfirms my general curmudgeon-ness towards the current crop of Euros. I haven’t tried Isle of Skye, which is also on sale. In general, someone actively buying games will probably find a good deal, but if you heard about it from my web site, you are presumably way too late. Deal is only for Aug 18.

I might swing by Barnes and Noble since I hear they have Magic Maze … my review of Magic Maze: “B&N is right next to my favorite restaurant, and it’s hatch chili festival week.”

Still playing Factorio,  you still don’t care. Not much game news otherwise. I did try Century: Spice Road. It’s inoffensive.


Written by taogaming

August 18, 2017 at 5:02 pm

Posted in Misc