The Tao of Gaming

Boardgames and lesser pursuits

Archive for the ‘Misc’ Category

Some Links — Non-scary edition

A few things I enjoyed from the last few years to offer entré down the binge watching rabbit hole …

Written by taogaming

April 20, 2020 at 11:20 am

Posted in Linky Love

Stepping on the borderline between ‘clever’ and ‘justifiable homicide’

Ladies and Gentlemen, I never knew that Wei-Hwa Huang created a maze where the participants did not initially realize they were in on. Fascinating stuff/ (H/T to Futility Closet).

(Here’s a description of the maze).

Written by taogaming

November 26, 2019 at 9:28 pm

Your super ‘List o’ the Decade’ aggregator

Written by taogaming

November 21, 2019 at 8:42 pm

Posted in Linky Love

Tiny Islands

A little browser based “Roll and Write” (but with cards!). Enjoy.

Written by taogaming

November 20, 2019 at 7:44 pm

Sigh …. List of the Decade are upon us.

I’ve started seeing Best X of the Decade list, and I suppose its a small blessing that they waited until the decade was 98% complete. Gotta get those clicks, girl. But the videogame list of the decade by Polygon (100-51, 50-11, 10-1) I’ll link to, since I didn’t play many video games and so some of these are now on my list. I did play Universal Paperclips (and wrote about it), barely touched Civ VI, love Limbo, respect but don’t love Kerbal Space Program,  loved Portal 2 (who didn’t?), tried Fortnite, and was saddened but not surprised to see Factorio didn’t make it. And I’m secure enough in my geekdom to admit  I perused the anime list to see what I may watch next on Netflix.

Written by taogaming

November 8, 2019 at 5:15 pm

Posted in Linky Love

Links of Belated Labor Day

  • The computers probably have a better understanding of the homogeneous rubrics …. at the World Championships of Europa Universalis IV (I played I or II, and the board game was run 3 nights a week at a game store twenty five years ago, but I did not partake).
  • I played 20+ hours into the Krastorio mod … then decided it is over my complexity + grindy threshold. 0.17 is about to be declared stable, so I went back to that…. then yesterday’s Friday Factorio Facts had a new link mod called Industrial Revolution that looks excellent (seriously, the steampunk is strong with it) but also has insane number of intermediates. I played a few hours and may keep going with it, although Dicey Dungeons has been most of my computer gaming this week. I’ve beaten about half of the scenarios (including the Elimination Rounds, which are basically “Normal rules, but all the opponents are powered up”).
  • Slate Star Codex summarizes a paper arguing that psychiatry is complex because our bodies treat random chemical changes as the work of parasites and are chock-a-block full of defenses. (Also a discussion of said defenses).
  • A music video recorded in a single shot on a lego train. (Not quite OK GO level, but good).
  • I’ve been playing blitz chess against the computer (a low level) at And for some weird variants, try Chesses. (The few I tried were interesting, but didn’t really work).
  • Horror Movie or Grad School?
  • Adele vs Survivor — Rolling with the Tiger

Written by taogaming

September 7, 2019 at 8:08 pm

Posted in Linky Love

A few random links

A few links of interest (collected over the last month or two):


  • How did war become a game (video on the history of Kriegspiel)
  • As mentioned in the comments, the Defunctland videos on Jim Henson’s career are excellent. (Here’s the first video…. but you can just watch the shows you are interested in…)

Written by taogaming

June 21, 2019 at 5:40 pm

Posted in Linky Love

Links o’ the mornin’

Written by taogaming

March 22, 2019 at 6:51 pm

Posted in Linky Love

But you know that I know…

The Rueful Rabbit — for all of his flaws — does quite well at bridge. Mostly due to his amazing luck, but also because he knows an important fact: what is good for declarer must be bad for the defender.

If you throw in R.R. to let him cash his winners (for a suicide squeeze), he declines to cash them. “After all,” he’ll later say, “Papa seemed quite keen for me to win my tricks, and he’s quite a good player you know. So while I couldn’t quite work out exactly why, it seemed right to not do it.”

And then the Hog will chortle about Greek Gifts.

To imagine that I never heard the story about why the Soviet Union built a space shuttle (tip of the hat to S.S.C.). (Actually I had no idea they built one at all).

The short answer — the Soviets figured that NASA was grossly wrong about the cost-benefit analysis and assumed that there must be a really cool (military) use that they couldn’t figure out. So — in order to not be caught flat footed —  they figured they’d build a copy just to be ready.

(Of course the actual answer was that NASA was just engaged in routine overbidding).

Vhojha Moi!

Also of interest (albeit technical), a model of how increasing competition can lead to reduced merit of outcomes (but also on how pool sizes matter). One of the more meta-game-theory things I’ve read recently. This also had a link to the Blotto game, which I have played (in some forms) but never knew had a name. And — bonus! — the author is a boardgamer (who sadly rarely writes about such things).

But I did read his (spoiler-ific) review of The Three Body Problem trilogy, which I read last year, and which contains the following worthwhile advice, which brings us back full circle to his Ruefulness.

If your opponent is doing something that makes no sense, whose purpose you can’t understand, which you have no explanation for why they might do it, assume it is highly dangerous. They are the enemy. They have a reasons they chose to take this action. That might be ‘they are an idiot who is flailing around and doesn’t know anything better to do.’ Maybe. Be skeptical.


Written by taogaming

February 2, 2019 at 9:13 pm

Posted in Linky Love, Non-Gaming

We are somewhat amused

As the person who coined “JASE,” I’m amused.

Speaking of, I was invited into a game of Newton last night and after 10 minutes of point salady rules I bailed.

Open Thread — Newton: JASE or not?

Also — if any of my more mathematical readers has an explination as to how this works (note — I am assuming it does), that would be lovely.

Written by taogaming

January 15, 2019 at 5:30 pm

Posted in Linky Love

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