The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

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

Two reviews of ‘Seeing Like a State’

I haven’t read the book (by James C. Scott). But I am a fan of Scott Alexander, so I naturally saw his review a few months ago. Nice, but no real reason for me to mention it. (The fact that the book nicely confirms what I already believed means that I should be somewhat cautious.)

(Seeing like a State points out how well-meaning scientific technocrats — of all economic beliefs — often do horrible damage to systems they are trying to improve, and provides examples of how governments do things to increase their visibility into systems — usually for purposes of taxation. Like I said, “nicely confirms what I already believed”. I believe Nassim Talib’s Antifragile covers the same ground.)

Anyway, I come back to the country I see that Scott has pointed to a review by Samzdat and that is quite useful for people on both sides of the political discussion, as it tries to explain the phenomenom of increased political divisiveness even in an improving society. (It does this by introducing the concept of legibility to the conversation, and goes in a surprising direction that seems correct, at least on first glance).

Anyway, this may be of interest. I’m definitely going to be reading through Samzdat. The article on Polyani’s Great Transformation extends this further (and contains some very interesting thoughts on economics that, strangely enough, I just encountered in Paradise Lost). And the next book to be discussed is Hoffer’s The True Believer, which I did read (30 years ago, vhoj’ha moi!).


Written by taogaming

June 20, 2017 at 8:04 pm

A lot of research on the question of Kickstarters

is a nice thing, and the resulting article is worth a read.

(Intelligent curmudgeonry leads to the same result much faster, but you have to appreciate the effort of doing the math).

In other news, AlphaGo is retiring undefeated. (The main news from Game 2 is that according to AlphaGo’s analysis, Ke Jie was ‘playing perfectly’ through the first hundred moves. Ke Jie thought he was winning and said his excitement may have led to the mistakes that cost him the game). I’d like to see Deepmind work on something of more value (AI medicine, or driving) but the last two years of Go has been interesting.

Played a few games of non-basic High Frontier (just with basic rules + supports. Nothing else) and its still quite demanding. I may play a few tries at the Advanced Solitaire CEO. Apart from one game of 7 wonders duel and two sessions of bridge, I have played literally nothing else the last month.

Written by taogaming

May 27, 2017 at 10:54 pm

Posted in Linky Love, Session Reports

Tagged with ,

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