Moved

Jan. 13th, 2016 03:00 pm
mneme: (Default)
I am now a home-owner. Or co-op owner, or whatever. (still in Woodside)

Ok, to be fair, [personal profile] drcpunk and I were homeowners as of sometime November -- but it didn't feel real until tonight, when we were finally, finally moved into the new place sufficiently that we could sleep there, use the internet; all the necessities (this morning, the Internet's not working again, but that's the kind of ache and pain I'm used to dealing with on occasion, and it sounds like a technician is working on it (ETA before posting: Well, sort of. RR messed up the cable modem move big time, and so while we have some internet at the new place, we have a lot of random redirects to a site we can't usefully access. They're giving us a small credit and predicting 1-3 days in engineering (after a level 3 support person worked on it for a while before escallating it) before a fix).

It's the usual thing: The old place still has lots of detritus of our life there we'll need to retrieve, but it's now a largely managable problem; the new place is full of boxes.

On the other hand, we were apparently at the old place since 1999. We moved out in 2016 -- so around 16 or 17 years. That's a long. long time--and we had an accumulation of stuff (including stuff we had to decide that time had passed by long since) and history that is hard to let go of. But...the new place is quite a lot better. More space, more storage space; most walls are concrete rather than drywall, 9-10' ceilings rather than the 8.5' of the old place, ground floor in an elevator building (not a third floor walk-up), 5 minutes (rather than 8) walk from the subway, dishwasher and a laundry room right outside rather than no dishwasher and a laundrymat two blocks away; a few other amnenities from it being a more newly renovated home.

There are some wrinkles. The cable thing, plus there's a socket that doesn't seem to work which is inconvenient, plus while the place is very warm (overall a bonus) in winter, it might almost be too warm (we turned on the ceiling fan in the bedroom last night to somewhat counteract the heat). But we should be able to entertain more, and by being in a more permanent residence, we -should- feel free to make more modifications that make our lives easier without worrying that we will soon abandon all we've built when we move (or that the landlord will object). And from everything we've heard so far, it's a heck of a lot quieter.

Special thanks to [profile] jlighton and Sarah J for their exemplary and beyond the call of duty help with the move, including multiple nights over after helping pack, stage, and pre-move things in order to make space for the large number of boxes we needed to complete the move -- as well as the many, many other people who showed up to help out. We are blessed.
mneme: (Default)
We didn't celebrate Chanukah much this year; I think the only candle-lighting we attended was Ellen's, at the NYRSF holiday reading. I did purchase dark chocolate Chanukah gelt and shared it, mostly too late -- and I also got some US money bags of gelt that we're still going through very slowly (and also some blue Ingress NYC Resistance gelt coins that someone comissioned for the NYC Resistance holiday party). And, as the previous post showed, I designed another Dreydl game (I did eventually find a dreydl in our house; a disk design that we inherited from Lisa's father, but I'm not happy with how it spins, so I might want to get more standard tops to test with).

For December 24, we did the usual Julebord at Aquevit (we don't celebrate Christmas, but do occasionally celebrate Yule, and have habitually attended the Dec 24 Julebord for the last 10 years or so with a gathering of friends who were doing it for longer). It's a very traditionally Scandanavian Julebord -- a buffet with 9+ preparations of pickled herring, various kinds of preserved salmon, cheeses, a small selection of traditional scandanavian hot foods (Janeson's temptation, sweedish meatballs, ribs, a roast meat), venison, and a shameless selection of deserts.

Every year over the past few, people have complained about how the board was getting worse -- not bad eough not to do it next year, but enough that it was noticably worse than the glory days when the group first did it. Not this year, though -- apparently, the old head chef of the resturuant has retired, and this year the new head chef (formerly the desert chef for Aquevit) was in charge of the whole board. She changed some things -- specifically, she went almost entirely to smaller portions, but more variety (except for the rollmops; a herring preparation that by necessity can't really be shrunk), which everyone really appreciated, and the much greater variety in foods on offer couldn't but be appreciated by the crowd. As it happens, when I asked about the changes, she was standing and looking at people taking from the buffet, so I went over and contratulated/praised her -- and later, she went over and greeted our table (and got praise and congratulations from the table, which contained Lisa and I, who have been doing this for about a decade, Rich and Anne, who have done it maybe 2-5 times before, two new attendees, and Stephen Tihor and his wife, Kate (Kate's only done it maybe two times before, since before that she had to work Christmas eve as nurses don't get a lot of rest; we went over after the meal a few times to visit and comminsurate with her; Stephen has been there the entire time, of course, maybe 15+ times in all if not more).

For New Years eve, we went to our now traditional party, and I prepared a honey apply Tiramisu (with no coffee or alcohol). The party was a bit lower keyed than it's been in the past; there was a lower invite list than usual, and enough friends that don't see one another often that we mostly talked rather than playing games (I did get a few rounds of Code Words in, though; a game that's been going around where in each round, one person on each side takes the role of the spy master -- who tries to guide their team to select the words which represent the team's agents while avoiding opposing agents, innocent bystanders, and, worst of all (and triggering an instant round loss) the assassin -- using a single word and a number each turn as their only communication to their teams). Probably just as well, given that at a party by the same hosts a few months ago, the game playing turned to disaster, as someone left an open container of punch on the table right next to a large, long, cardboard-chit filled, and expensive game--which I proceeded to knock over on my way back in onto the game midway through. Not an experience I wish to repeat (and which, combined with a play-through of the new Dominion expansion a few months later which also occasioned a spilled drink, made me much more willing to enforce a "no open containers of liquid near the games" rule in general when I play. I wasn't all that pleased by the apple honey tiramisu -- I added some cinnamon on top which I thought overpowered the more subtle apple and honey flavors, and it didn't really have enough time before serving for the cookies to reach a proper moist consistency (I prepared it early afternoon, and hoped the two hours in the fridge after we arrived would be enough to put it over the edge)--plus I regretted not putting more of the homemade apple sauce (chopped, but not peeled gala apples, stewed for an hour or two while doing the other preparations, with just a touch of honey put into the mix, and then boiled almost to the point of the liquid boiling out, and slightly mashed after softening) into the dish rather than just using it as the dipping sauce for the lady fingers--but most of the tray was still gone by the time we left, so clearly not everyone agreed with me.

New Years day, we went (as we have for the last 2-3 years, I think) to the Neilsen Hayden's party--bringing a new apple tiramisu that repaired all the flaws I had with the first one (honey on top, not cinnamon, prepared the night before, the entire remainder of the apple sauce used to dip and flavor the ladyfingers and the remainder used as a layer on its own), as well as a more traditional tiramisu with kaluha, fresh coffee, and cocoa, which got praise from, of all people, Ellen Datlow. It was a lot of fun, with munches and conversations with both close friends and people in the publishing industry (and sometimes people who are both, like Moshe Feder).
mneme: (Default)
Last year, I wrote (and as far as I know, nobody has ever played, including me) Dreydl to Go -- a straightforward adapation of the traditional Dreydl game that's designed to contain actual gameplay (rather than a completely new game with radically different elements). The primary features of Dreidl are:

1. It's a gambling game.
2. the meanings of the four letters (great, ok, nothing happens, lose).
3. It can be played with a single dreydl that's passed around.

This all seems to lend itself to a push your luck game, where the primary decision you're making is how many times to spin the dreydl, given shifting circumstances.

This year, predictably enough, there are still Jewish gamers who still think that Dreydl is a boring non-game (unsurpisingly; it is) and want people to come up with a plausible alternative. So I feel inspired:

War of Lights

A simple war game, played with a Dreydl, a napkin, and 9 distinct Gelt per player.

You need:

Each player should take 9 gelt of the same color. If you don't have 9 distinct gelt for each player, you can mark them by dripping wax onto the foil, marking them distinctly with a knife -- or simplify slightly by only having each player have five gelt (placed as a horizontal cross).

Everyone also takes a napkin and divides it into 9 squares (ie, in thirds, both ways). Put one piece of gelt on each square of your napkin. All other players do the same.

Terms:
Your napkin is your base.
The center is your spawn point.
Your 4 corners are the exit/entry points.

The game is played in turns (to determine who goes first, have everyone spin the dreydl. The person who spins best (gimmel > hey > nun > shin) goes first; on a tie, the tied players spin again.

On your turn, you can do one of:

1. Move cross-napkin from a corner square to any matching opponent's corner square (1,1 to an opponent's 1,1, etc)
2. Move any piece of yours on a napkin
3. A safe Spawn (on your own napkin).
4. A risky Spawn (on your own napkin).

Moving

Moves are horizontal, diagonal, or corner to matching corner.

Whenever you move into an occupied square, spin the dreydl:

Gimel: eliminate the attacked piece, and your piece must move into the space it occupied.
Hey: eliminate the attacked piece, and your piece does not move.
Nun: Push. Nothing happens.
Shin: The attacking piece is eliminated.

Safe spawns:

To safely spawn, you must either have two pieces on opposite sides of your unoccupied center square (spawn point), and have fewer than your starting number of pieces. Take one of your eliminated pieces and place it on your spawn point.

To riskily spawn, you must have at least one piece adjacent to your spawn point, have fewer than your starting number of pieces, and spin the dreydl.

Gimmel: Spawn a piece on your spawn point, and you may move it to an adjacent empty square.
Hey: Spawn a piece on your spawn point.
Nun: Nothing happens.
Shin: The spawning piece is eliminated (parthinogenesis is risky).

A player is eliminated once they have no pieces left.

The winner of the game is the first player who occupies all (or two if there are more than 3 players in the game) opposing spawn points, or is the last player who still has pieces left.

Obviously, this game is loosely inspired by Andy Looney's Martian Coasters.
mneme: (Default)
Because [personal profile] technoshaman claimed that Let it Go was going to end up "like Band from Argo"...


Banned from Frozen
ttto "Boston Burglar" (trad) as learned from Leslie Fish's Banned from Argo

The snow is glowing brightly, not a footprint to be seen,
A land of isolation, and it looks like I'm the queen,
The wind is howling loudly, like the storm that swirls inside,
I couldn't ever keep it in, and heaven knows I tried,

So I will let it go and let it roar,
Yes I will let it go, I cannot hold back any more,
I care not what they're gonna think or what they're gonna say,
I'm never bothered by cold, anyway,

It's funny how some distance seems to make things feel so small,
And the fears that once controlled me, they can't get to me at all,
So now it's time for freedom, and to see what I can do,
I am beyond both right and wrong, the limits I'll break through,

So I will let it go, become the sky,
Yes I will let it go, and you will never see me cry,
It's here that I am gonna stand, and here that I will stay,
I'm never bothered by cold, anyway,

My power flurries through the air, and flows into the ground,
And my soul is spiralling in fractals all around,
Then suddenly one thought turns clear, just like an icy blast,
I'm never, ever going back, the past is in the past,

So I will let it go, rising like dawn,
Yes I will let it go, for good that perfect girl is gone,
Let the storm rage on, for here I stand in-the light of day,
I'm never bothered by cold, anyway,
mneme: (Default)
There's earlier version of this song earlier in my feed, but since made a few changes prior to singing this as an argument at the Business Meeting, after being recognized, as an argument at the World Science Fiction Society at the 73rd Worldcon, on the motion of the same name.

The Five Percent Solution )
mneme: (Default)
Ok, so, this was a weekend:

Friday, we danced )

Saturday, we gamed, and then danced some more )

Sunday, we got classes )

...And I helped reconstruct the ragtime camel step )

And I got some useful feedback )

Why traditional (lead/follow) Partner Dance is like a RPG

So, the thing about comparing partner dancing to RPGs is that a naive approach would be that the lead is the GM, and the follow is the player. This is, it turns out, exactly wrong.

The follow in partner dance is the GM, with a role that encompasses pretty much everything a GM does in an RPG except for scene-setting (which is handled by whoever chooses the music). The lead's role, by contrast, is pretty much exactly like that of a player in an RPG.

The follow's job is to maintain the physics model of the dance, to add styling, and to respond to what the lead does -- but not to make directional choices in the dance itself -- just like the GM's job is to maintain the physics mode of the game, to add flavor text, and to respond to what the players do, but not, generally to set narrative direction (except by picking the scenario, which as I mentioned, is much like picking the music in that it sets the scenes, but doesn't determine character choices). A good follow will maintain a consistent physics model (momentum, etc) commensurate with the style of the dance, except when they choose to creatively depart from it or when safety becomes a factor -- just like a good GM will keep the narrative and physical logic of the game world consistent unless they have a good reason to depart from them.

The lead's job is to make clear creative choices, and to communicate them clearly and directly--just like a player's job is to make clear narrative and strategic choices for their character. In both cases, the rule is "have a plan, but be prepared to improvise."

The reason it's possible (or even likely) that people will reverse these is the assumption that both the GM and the lead are "in charge". But, of course, neither the GM nor the lead are really in charge; what people do in a group or paired activity for pleasure is a matter of consensus, however roles are divided up.

In which the post is wrapped, and we get home at a reasonable hour )
mneme: (Default)
A few months ago, someone ran a "Groundhog Day" scenario at a local con as a pickup game using Monsterhearts. [personal profile] drcpunk played in it.

Now, first, it seems clear to me that people had fun at this game. It was -not- a failure, by any means.

However, it also seems clear, both based on [personal profile] drcpunk's description of play, and in what I've heard elsewhere, that the game was not ideal -- both in that it violated the implicit contract of play of Monsterhearts, and that it didn't really fulfill the promise that one -could- have in a Monsterhearts/Groundhog Day scenario.

FWIW, my purpose isn't to trash the original game. It seems to have been fun! But I want to sketch out how I'd do something similar that would fit my aesthetic better.

This is yet another very geeky RPG methods post. Be warned! )
mneme: (Default)
I'm well aware that this has been done before, but I wasn't satisfied with how, so having had an idea of doing a thing, I feel compelled to finish.

I'd be sorry, except I'm really not.

Click here to read the thing )

Dexcon 2015

Jul. 7th, 2015 02:12 pm
mneme: (Default)
Another Dexcon come and gone. This time with less stupid sleep deprivation and more late mornings, due to not wanting to put my brain on the fritz.

I came down late Wednesday, somewhat against my original plans, as something came up at work I couldn't easily skip out on--but due to trains being fast, still made it to Morristown well before 9 (games start at 10), doing an Ingress mission on the way and catching up with [personal profile] drcpunk for dinner.

A longish con report with included song follows )

When your friendship's on rails 
To be much more than pals,
That's amore.

When you cook up a dish,
Of an 'eel' of a fish,
that's a moray.

With a pattern that fades
Smoothly between two shades,
that's a moire,

With two letters that come
As a version of "mom"
That's 'M' or 'A'


more con report! )
mneme: (Default)
I've never been a Trek fan, particularly, but that hasn't stopped me from picking up bits of it, given fannish immersion (and a Next Gen watching weekly gathering before we switched to B5).

But it occurs to me that there's a set of Star Trek races that are inherently a conversation about emotion.


VULCAN: I AM SUPERIOR BECAUSE I HAVE NO EMOTIONS. JUST LOGIC.
ROMULAN: NO, I AM SUPERIOR BECAUSE I EMBRACE MY EMOTIONS, AND THEY EMPOWER ME.
BETAZOID: UM. YOU ARE BOTH LYING TO YOURSELVES, BUT YOU'RE PROBABLY HAPPIER THAT WAY.
ANDROID: DO I HAVE EMOTIONS?
BETAZOID: I CAN'T SENSE ANY, BUT MAYBE THAT'S JUST BECAUSE YOU'RE AN ANDROID.
ANDROID: NOPE. I MUST NOT HAVE ANY. THAT MAKES ME SAD.
BETAZOID: UM....
ANDROID: YUP. NO EMOTIONS AT ALL; THE BETAZOID SAYS SO, AND MY ANDROID LOGIC INTERPRETS PERFECTLY.
BETAZOID: GRRR
ANDROID: ANYWAY, ANYONE HAVE EMOTIONS I CAN BORROW?
VULCAN: YOU CAN HAVE MINE. I DON'T NEED THEM.
ROMULAN: THAT IS ILLOGICAL!a
mneme: (Default)
So apparently there's a measure that's been submitted to amend or remove the "5% rule" for the Hugo awards. This is a good idea -- that rule was put in place to avoid the case where you have, say, three works that get 50%, 25%, and 20% of the ballots -- and then the next work has 4% or less of the ballots, thus not really in the running for competing with the more important works. But in fact, when a category is saturated enough, the field gets large enough and we no longer have central places where everyone is reading the same things, we end up with situations like Best Short Story -- where for most of the last 5 years we've had fewer than 5 things on the ballot (sometimes as few as 3) with even the successful nominees not getting much more than 5% (or mabye even that; the 5% rule has an exception that you still have to have 3 nominees even if you need to bend it to do so) of the ballot, and thus no significant difference between what made the cut and what didn't -- but a much thinner field than there really should be.

They call it "The 5%" solution.

The reason for the following one verse filk, therefore, should be obvious.

(Also, thank you, [personal profile] drcpunk for remembering to write down my brainstormed chorus couplet so it was still around when I finished the verse and got around to writing the chorus).

"The Five Percent Solution"
TTTO: "I Never Do Anything Twice/The Madam's Song", by Stephen Sondheim
By Joshua Kronengold

Before I was a neo,
I don't recall the date,
We made a rule for our premier award,
Even if it made the cut, a nomination met its fate,
If one in twenty didn't think it scored

At first it proved a good rule,
Avoided the long tails,
But later, when the field ballooned in size,
If our population fails,
To all read the same tales,
Where the ballot's concerned there's too much for the prize,

Then, yes, the genre was small,
Now, though, you can't read it all,
Then, tastes were more concentrated,
The best stories rated,
And found themselves slated

We must this rule amend,
At this point, it's hard to defend,
I think that it makes no sense,
To limit works by five percent.
mneme: (oldharp)
Gwen Knighton Raftery wrote me a poem!

Josh Kronengold
In three-quarter time
Breathlessly rhyme
A drum, a hand
A harp, a man
Throw them at the light
Throw them at the light
Throw them three times
At the light
And you will find him laughing
And you will find the ladies laughing
And you will find them each with the other
Throw them at the light.
mneme: (Default)
A Sonnet to Serenity

First quatrain and last couplet by Joshua Kronengold, second quatrain and following couplet by [personal profile] batyatoon, first couplet (5-6) and editing by [personal profile] thnidu.


Deny me answer to my heart's behest,
Deprive me of my property and lot,
Remove my person, force me by duress,
To where the land shan't bear me, I care not.
For I am unencumbered by oppression,
Nor canst thou wrest the sky from my possession.

Though I be exiled to the endless dark,
And though they tell the world I'll not return;
Though thou may'st fan the flame or set the spark
That seas may boil and that the land may burn;
My will's my own, and so the skies shall be --
And neither wilt thou ever take from me.

Now nowhere can I be, since Peace I found,
But mine is that which lies above the ground.
mneme: (oldharp)
Reposting this here, since I'd somehow only put it into facebook, where it is -trivial- for it to get lost (whoops).

I should come up with a title for this at some point.
(to the tune of Santa Monica Pier, of course). And maybe a second verse (or two).

I've got half a dozen apples in my pocket, rolling round and getting bruised,
I should cut them up into pieces, and soak them up before they're stewed,
The nutmeg smells a little bit like home, like mulled cider on New Year's Eve,
I've got a cup of oatmeal measured out, and the flour is sieved.

I am a baker here, setting up all my kitchen gear,
Greased up pans and cooking shears, planning food like a brigadeer,
Oh, there's a baking pan, covered up in a spray of pam,
I have dreamed of sweets like these, all of my life.
mneme: (Default)
Anyone want to playtest this?

Dreidel-to-go (name is a work in progress).

This is a push your luck game played with dreidels.

Setup: For each round, either ante up 5 gelt per player (if playing as a gambling game) or seed the pot with 5 gelt per player. The game is played in turns, with the youngest player going first (or choose a start player randomly).

On your turn:
1. Spin the dreidel exactly three times. If you spin a Gimmel, double your winnings (or gain a single gelt in your winnings if you have none) (not including gelt that have been put aside). If you spin Hey, add a gelt to your winnings. If you spin Nun, nothing happens. Finally, if you spin Shin, put one of your winnings aside (if there are no winnings to put aside, take a gelt and immediately put it aside); if you have three gelt put aside, then your turn immediately ends and your winnings are forfeited (as are gelt that have been put aside) and returned to the pot. If you roll gimmel or hey and the pot is empty, you can put into your winnings gelt from your "put aside" pile.

2. You can choose: either take another turn (go back to 1, but do -not- take your winnings), or take your winnings (but -not- any gelt that have been put aside with Shin; those are returned to the pot).

Play until the pot runs out; players can then play another game/round. (a game may be defined as a certain number of rounds, in which case players who do not play subsequent rounds forfeit the game).

(inspired by [personal profile] nancylebov)
mneme: (Default)
[personal profile] drcpunk and I will be at Chessiecon. I'm running music, so I'm not sure how much attention I'll have to spare, but still, it should be fun.

Also, we could use lifts. We're arriving at the train station (Baltimore Penn, natch) at 10:37pm on Thanksgiving, and the light rail isn't running by then. We can take a cab, but a lift would be better, if available.

And going back, we're on a lovely 4AM (almost) train, Which is a minor, if soluble problem, as there's no light rail that late and Penn Station closes for an hour between 2AM and 3AM [for cleaning]. We can finesse this if we need to; there's a walkable Korean restaurant that's open until 4AM that we used last year for this purpose; however, if anyone has a better plan, I'd love to hear it [one where we get to sleep? Even better!)]
mneme: (Default)
The music schedule for Chessiecon is pretty solid at this point. I'm taking some risks, but I think it will be fun, and that the con will be awesome.

Some hilights:

Tom Smith. Because.

Batya. In, and out of the Funny Things (with Merav).

-Five- sometime members of Clam Chowder, doing their thing in, and out of the music room. Including Don Stallone, who hasn't been seen for...quite some time.

Familiar. Who I've never heard in person(that I know of), but sound -damned- good.

Glen Raphael, Gary Ehrlich and Roberta Rogow (because I do actually want filk on the menu).

The Usual stuff (filk circles, including a moderated 2pm Friday one; the Halelujah Chorus, caroling, Moggy, Ellen James, Sarah Pinkster, and, of course, an insturmental jam).

More lobby performance than you can shake a stick at. Because it's always good to have a choice about where to go.

There -may- end up being too much music. (is there such a thing?) There won't be too little.

If you don't have anything else you're doing on Thanksgiving Weekend this year, it's worth doing.
mneme: (Default)
I went to Dexcon this past weekend. It was a lot of fun, and I tried 3+1/2 new games (at least), 2+1/2 at least I really liked (I enjoyed Automobile and would play it again, but economic games are hardly novel to me at this point).

Scoundrels of Skullport: I like Lords of Waterdeep, though it's hardly a serious worker placement game (due to the high variance on the Intrigue and Quest cards, there's a lot of randomness there). But Scoundrels makes it a much better game, IMO -- the new buildings generally give more to everyone, so everyone can do a bit more (which makes extra actions slightly less critical, and also makes the expensive plot quests from the original game more worthwhile overall). It also dilutes the obligatory mandatory quests with more "help everyone" Intrigue cards--and provides more ways to play Intrigue cards than the very limited Waterdeep. (it also provides more ways for people to dig themselves into a very deep hole, but then that's the nature of in-game decisions). The addition of 40 point quests makes quest and resource depth a lot more interesting, overall, and I liked the game a fair bit running on a "wealth" model rather than a "scarcity" one (for various reasons, I ended up spending most of the game with far more Thieves and Warriors than I could use, which was a refreshing change).

Thebes came out in 2007, but was new to me. It uses a lovely time track mechanic (plus a great theme; love the archeology); the same one used in Village, but the game itself is very different, as you run around Europe learning about the old world, lecturing, and picking up extras like shovels, research assistants, and cars, then head for the old world and decide how much time you want to waste spend digging up dirt (and the occasional artifact). Then head back to Europe for more lecturing (if you're lucky), and if you found the good stuff and people are still interested, putting on shows of what you've found. The classic approach seems to be to max out your knowledge, then put in time on a few good digs so you get lots of artifacts, but I managed to more than squeak out a win by doing a lot of lecuring (lectures use trianular numbers, so 6 lectures got me 21 points), developing a really good shovel, and randomly digging for a week or three each at every single site to see what appeared when I pulled 3 or four tiles.

Bora Bora I actually learned back in Feburary, but I liked it then, and just ordered it; it's a worker placement+action economy game (more or less) with some interesting action mechanics, as you can take multiple men and women into your village, but only one type of male action and one type of female action can be used (in addition to your workers) in any given turn.

Also, there's Trajan. Trajan isn't worker placement, exactly -- it's an action economy game where the central mechanic is mancala, as you make moves on your personal mancala circle that determine determine what action you take, move the global time track forward (so a big pit can let you control the pace of the game -- or force you to end the turn when you'd rather let it continue for a while), as well as letting you qualify for bonus tiles.

Finally, there's Andromeda, which I tried out after Lisa's game last Saturday in June). I'd seen this a few times, but never tried it; it's good! It's a meld-making game where you build up material on various planets and use it to try to take stations near those planets by earning a certain number of pulls via a lotery system -- all your pieces pulled get to occupy one of the three stations near the planet, while all opponent's pieces pulled result in them being sent back to earth (so no station for you, but less competition next time). It was really fun, and choosing to save special cards for endgame vs spending them, and making early points vs using melds to develop, all felt like real choices.
mneme: (Default)
Adam Stewart is running a fictional tournament in his Facebook, where the current round is Indy vs Bond. For understandable reasons, Indy's been getting the worst of it.

Which I think is utterly wrong, but I could hardly sway opinion by just stating it. So instead, I wrote the way I think this would go down.




Despite Bond being a badass heartless combatant, and Indy being a two-fisted archeologist who is -not- a trained assassin, I have to go with Indy here at a walk. It comes down to what kind of story it is. Sure, yeah, Indy would be out of his depth in Bond's world of high stakes gadgets and assassination, but Indy would never be -in- that story.

Instead, it makes much more sense that Bond and Indy have clashed over an artifact which Indy wants for its historical importance, while Bond has been ordered to retrieve it for the British government to use in the Cold War. Naturally, Bond at first gets the upper hand.

"Bond, don't do this," Indy says, hanging precariously off the edge of a cliff. "That belongs in a museum."

"And so it will be," 007 replies, "or at least a copy will be. This is an immense power source, and would be deadly in the wrong hands. You've been a great help; I'm sorry it has to end this way, but I can't have you telling tales." Bond stomps down and breaks the branch Indy is holding on to.

"No, you idiot, you don't understand!" Indy says, but then he's gone.

"Now that that's settled, time to see why this is so important." *The artifact eats him*

Indy pulls himself up from the cliffside where he is fortitously still clinging. "I kept trying to tell him, but he woudln't listen. The artifact was still alive! But I think I can decode a key to keeping it safe for at least a little while if I can just remember ancient Sumerian."
mneme: (Default)
Every once in a while, Dani Colman's long post about why she doesn't like the reason other people like Frozen comes around. And I keep linking to a long post explaining why she's wrong.

That said, that long post is kinda flawed. For starters, it's really long--and as such, it can be almost as much a slog as the original post.

So I wrote my own.

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mneme: (Default)
Joshua Kronengold

January 2016

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