Wednesday, August 29, 2007

What is it exactly?

Well, I finally poured through the rules and tried out a solo game of Arkham Horror. I played three investigators and played enough to have a vague idea of how the game flowed, though I didn't seal any gates. So, the $10,000,000 questions is - wha'd ya think? Well, I can see why the AZ group mostly hated it (I say mostly, because there were some who would play it). What did I see? Its not a game, its more like an activity - an interactive story. Yes, you do some stuff and your choices make some sort of difference. Sort of. As a solo game, this is probably ok, so I'll keep it. I'm not likely to pull it out otherwise - there are just too many other games I'd rather play. The game is very thematic, and has lots of flavor, but didn't feel like it'd be that great with more players. So, solo it is - no harm in that.


Aug 29
I went first and promptly got screwed by yellow. I hate the first couple turns of this game, because I always feel like I hosed myself (or got hosed). Maybe it because I tend to play this game more on a tactical than strategic level and there just are not many tactical opportunities in the first couple turns (unless you get lucky). I also tend to loathe committing certain tiles early in the game, because I feel like they are going to better serve me in the mid to late game stealing things from other players. This game has been two moves so far, and I already hate my position ;).
Sept 1
I'm so screwed. Some of it is bad draws - the only extras I was getting were my ships, so I haven't been able to do much as far as getting good positions. I made one mistake that helped the leader. I'll be lucky to not end up in last place at this point. I have like 2 pieces to everyone elses 6 or 7.
Sept 4
Well, I got back in for a second. I placed two pieces and took 4 more giving me a total of 6 and majority in Buddhas (which lasted until the next guy played). So its my turn again. I have one hat, three Buddhas, and two rice. I can flat out take a hat, but I think if I do that, I will lose out on my chance at two other pieces. I'm taking my chance and trying to lock up two more. At best I'll get one more turn I think. The really interesting part is that nobody has used their swap yet. I just got mine, so it was never an option for me until now, and I won't likely use it, unless my plans are hosed up and I need it to get something.
Sept 4 cont.
Yellow just screwed me. I was going for a lock on two pieces, but of course by using his swap tile, yellow took one of those. He now has two majorities and I have the other. Yellow won't keep both, but I think will end up with 1 majority and a score of 4. Green likely needs to take a hat this turn, or risk not getting a majority. Green likely gets a majority and a score of 3. I just don't see anything else for him. Blue has a good chance to screw us both. A lot depends on which tile he doesn't have left. His 6 tiles include the swap and the wild that can be played at any time. If he has both, he could play them and get two more Buddhas, giving him that majority (and taking it from me). The best I could do then is re-tie Buddhas and give Yellow the win. If he doesn't have that wild, I might be able to sneak a majority, but I won't likely have enough others to win. I need to get two pieces, and I can't. I hope it doesn't come down to king-making.
Sept 4 cont - part deux
It came down to a king maker play I think. I couldn't win (unless everyone else played really dumb - then I might have caused a push). I went for what I thought was my slimmest chance and the next player did exactly what I thought he would. Now looking at the game, Blue should win regardless of what green does. It should be official tomorrow.

Tangathon + Hansa = Crazy Delicious

Well, maybe not. There was/is a Tangathon going on. For those not familiar, Tanga is a site that normally has one "deal" a day (much like Woot). The difference being that Tanga often has boardgames. On occassion, Tanga runs a "Tangathon" where they list an item they only have a couple of and once it sells out (or sits for 4 hours), they list something else. They have been running a lot of these Tangathons recently, and they often get stuck on crap. Yesterday someone posted a message that they started a game of Hansa on MaBiWeb to have something to do while they waited. I checked and sure enough, it was plain old Hansa, so I joined in. Though it doesn't have as many options I sure did like it better than the Changing Winds variant. I must have liked it a lot better because I ran away with this one. Final scores:
Charles: 60
frankinla: 35
Zhaneel779: 41

Monday, August 27, 2007

Its Just a Game

You know what the problem is with eBay and boardgamers? The two are not a healthy mix. Boardgamers really just see eBay as an auction game (what you say?!?). What I mean is its the ultimate test of your auction/bidding skills - with the score being kept in your own money. The problem is - I don't think everyone really understands the rules. Here's a good example - a recently expired auction for a NIS Age of Steam. This beauty went for a whopping $122.50. Can you believe it? Its a bit of cardboard with a few painted wooden bits. Now, don't get me wrong - Age of Steam is my favorite game and I own a lot of maps for the game - bringing my total AoS collection alone close to (well, based on that price) maybe $340 worth of AoS (I did not pay that much for it, its just worth about that now). At any rate, its still just a game. Trust me, if my copy had burned in a fire I would not pay $125 for a new copy. Its being reprinted 2nd ed. and as a new 3rd ed. next year! WTF?!
Back to the point at hand. First of all (and maybe I shouldn't even bother sharing this) - people don't understand eBay. You don't get good prices by bidding until the last damn second. That's right. All you get by bidding early is you run the risk of paying more. By placing your max bid at the last possible second, you give yourself a chance of winning without actually paying your highest bid. Looking at that auction, with 3.5 hours left, one guy put in a bid of $120. Of course, eBay shows this as just enough to beat the previous high bidder by showing $70. This is all well and good, except that he put the bid in too early. Everyone did. If everyone had stayed off this, the max bids might have been considerably lower and a $120 might have won. As it is, someone dropped in and sniped it out for $122.50. The second lesson to learn from this - bid strange highest amounts. If $120 is your top bid, bid $120.61 so you don't lose to the guy who shoots for sniping you just higher than your highest bid. I don't understand how people that can be sharks at and love a game like Age of Steam can suck so badly at a game that costs them in real cash...

Samurai Tourney

So I'm in this Samurai tourney on MaBiWeb. This post is because I'm bored and these guys don't play super fast, so it might be another 8 hours before I find out if my master plan works or not.
Well, here's the shot after my 12th turn of the game. This game started out funny - I expected to get hosed, but ended up taking pieces in bunches and roared out to a lead. Blue cashed in the last couple turns to be the threat. So my last turn I used my "replay" tile to play my 4 Buddha again and get another Buddha - thus putting that majority in contention for Blue (he now has none). My analysis of the situation is this: Blue cannot win. He doesn't have the pieces to get that last Buddha, unless yellow swaps and "gives" it to him somehow. Since she has a lock on it now, Yellow isn't likely to give it away. Blue has no wild and no rice influence tokens, so shouldn't be able to take my majority away either. So, as far as I can tell, I should be able to win this game. However, there is one small chance I don't win. If Yellow has the swap and were to move rice such that blue could win it, I'm pretty sure Green would win by grabbing a hat majority :( - let's hope she doesn't play kingmaker.

**UPDATE: Well, I think this will serve as my session report too. Its Blue's turn now, and about the only thing he can do now is end the game by grabbing another hat (and giving the last Buddha to Yellow) - he can't get a majority of anything in one move and I doubt he could he two with his pieces. If he doesn't end the game, I will. Green and I should end with one majority each, and I'll have 6 others to his 3. This one was a good tense game - I used the majority of my pieces, including my wild 3 this time! Hopefully I'm on a 4-player win streak! Here are the official results:
Final score (majorities - others - total):
snoozefest: 0 - 10 - 10
Charles: 1 - 6 - 11
tammykins: 0 - 4 - 4
mdp: 1 - 3 - 7
Winner: Charles

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Dice Tower part I

I recently found some fairly straight forward instructions for creating a foamboard dice tower. Basically, you need a sheet of foamboard, some Elmer's glue, toothpicks, wire cutters, and push pins (I used nails - whatever). I pretty much followed the instructions, except that I didn't bother brushing on the glue - I just drew a bead on the edge of the stuff and went about construction. The picture on the left shows the "completed" tower before finishing. Now, at this point I decided that I was going to spray it with this faux rock spray paint. First though I wanted to smooth out the edges. As you can see, in a few spaces, the foam tore out of the board (if you do this project, be sure you heed only a single piece of advice - use a super new and super sharp blade). I also had the holes to patch - which of course inspired me to just use dry wall spackle. After mostly leveling everything off and painting the result came out pretty decently. So, what do I think about this project? Well, its pretty simple to put together both time and effort wise. Does it work? It works great - for about 5 dice. I think I'm going to go back and redo the templates at about 50% larger size. The other thing I'm considering is eliminating the dice catcher. I have a tray from a Yahtzee Deluxe game (which I bought from a thrift store solely for the dice tray). I may try and figure out a good way to have the tower sit on the lip of the tray - this should allow for more dice in addition to the the bigger size. I'd also at the very least like to find a way to make the "mouth" look better. I like the way this one looks, but I'm not keen on the idea of trying that in foamboard. The other thing I'm considering is trying this out using boards like you can get at craft stores - 3/8 (3/16?) thick boards that are easy to cut with hand tools or small power tools. If my template works out well in foam, I may progress to wood next...

To Be Continued (someday)...

** Update - I found this on eBay: a guy selling these towers for $20. Sheesh.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Review - Memoir 44

This is part two in a series of four I’m doing on the Richard Borg Command and Colors system. Each review will look at the game in its own light, as well as how it compares to the others in the series. Read part 1 - Battle Cry - here.

The second game in Richard Borg's series of Command and Colors games to be released was Memoir '44 by Days of Wonder in 2004. At first glance, the game appears to be not much more than a Battle Cry knockoff with a WWII theme. In many ways, that is an apt description as it uses nearly the same system as its predecessor. The keyword is nearly, as there are some small changes which make for a game different enough that it easily stands on its own. In each game, players take opposing sides - for the base game this is understandably enough the Axis and the Allies. The game includes a large number of scenarios and to DoW's credit, there is good support on their website for the Memoir community, including the ability to download a large number of official and fan made scenarios. The game board is set up according to the scenario chosen - typically this means adding some tiles to indicate terrain and possibly some additional pieces to mark razor wire and sandbags. The game board is double sided, one side having a beach landing terrain for use in those type of scenarios. The game board is divided into three sections of hexes(left and right flanks, and of course the middle). After setting out the terrain, the units are placed according to the scenario and the game begins. As with Battle Cry, the setup for each scenario is set and doesn’t allow for any player configuration. The scenarios also indicate how many command cards each side starts with and which side moves first.

Each player takes his turn by playing a command card from their hand. The card indicates which section (left right middle) the player may order units, and how many units may receive orders. Some cards have various different powers (such as an air strike). For regular orders, the player first chooses which units to order, then the selected units may move. Units have different movement restrictions on how far they may move, and if they can participate in combat if they move. After all movement is completed, combat is resolved. The player rolls dice depending on their distance from the unit being attacked and may need to modify the number of dice rolled based on terrain. The die have unit symbols indicating if a unit has been hit or must retreat or been missed altogether. For this game, the die have two sides indicating infantry, one side for tanks, one side for missed attacks (star), one wildcard hit (grenade) and one retreat symbol (flag). If the symbol matches the unit under attack, that unit loses a “portion” of its strength. Infantry have 4 strength, Tanks 3, and Artillery 2. Each flag is the number of spaces a unit must retreat back to their side. If a unit is blocked from retreating, it loses strength. Unlike in Battle Cry, if a unit must retreat off the back of the board, it is not lost. A unit always fights at the same power, regardless of how “wounded” it has become. When a unit is completely reduced in strength, the opposing player receives a piece from that unit indicating a victory point. Scenarios are played to a set number of units being destroyed.

Besides the retreat rules (unit not destroyed when it has to retreat off the backside of the field), Memoir introduced the concept of taking ground and armor overruns. When an infantry unit in close combat (adjacent combat) forces another unit to retreat or destroys the unit, they may move into the space previously occupied by the enemy. For armor overruns, tanks may take ground and then get a second additional attack. If the attack forces a second retreat or destroys a unit, it may take ground a second time. These changes seem to considerably shorter the game, as a "tank blitz" can decimate a side in short order. It also allows a player to get their units in and behind the enemy to cut of retreats.

The true key concept that Memoir introduced was the Overlord variation. Here, you can play 8-players in two teams using two Memoir sets. The boards are placed together making a huge battle field with 3 players on each section (per side) and one "general" on each side controlling the strategic part of the game through the cards. Once orders are sent down, the battle commanders control the troops. Its a fun and exciting way to enjoy this two player game with a lot of people.

DoW did quite a good job with the components to this game. The plastic army pieces are quite good and there are a lot of them. The board and terrain hexes are of better quality that Battle Cry and will stand up for many plays. There are nice wooden dice and they are colorfully screened. The cards are carry the colors and look and feel of WWII and are of good stock to hold up for a number of plays. The instruction book is on nice thick glossy paper and explains the simple system well and with detailed examples. The scenarios are easy to setup and come with historical context. The scenarios are not all balanced, but if played where both players play each side and total the scores, should be fine.

- Excellent quality in the game - the box, pieces, board, instructions - all of it.
- Expansion of the C&C system from Battle Cry changes things enough to make it different rather than a simple re-theme.
- Huge support online for scenarios.
- Games are played out quickly.
- Balance. A large part of this series is the balance factor. Though a scenario may be biased, by each player playing both sides and the winner being determined by the total of the two scores, any imbalance from the basic setup is neutralized.
- Easy to play via Email. This one plays very well over VASSAL, as each player’s turn is mostly self contained and requires little feedback (in over 18 games, direction of retreat has almost never been an issue). In fact, nearly all my playings have been via email/vassal.
- Overlord supports playing 8 players. A great variation.
- Its widely available and there are a large number of expansions and extras that have been put out by DOW to keep the game going.

- It’s not a simulation. True war gamers cringe when people call this a war game (even a light war game).
- It can take as long to setup as it does to play.
- This one feels like the least strategic of the series. Often simply using your units efficiently is enough to win. Sometimes the scenario is so stacked against you it doesn't matter what you do.
- The entire game system is full of random goodness. From the cards to the dice that determine casualties. A well played game doesn’t always mean victory.

This one is a 7.5 for me, just below Battle Cry. I enjoy this one for its differences from the others in the series – the quick advances allow for fast resolutions. The pace of play is good, though again, setup time makes whipping this one out not nearly as likely. I actually enjoy this online via VASSAL more than in person - with the exception of Overlord. With all the scenarios available and the expansion packs out there, this one has a lot of replayability. Of course, with the BattleLore system now in full swing, this one has dropped off the radar a bit for me. Fans of WWII combat over fantasy might prefer the simpler system that Memoir offers over that of BattleLore and C&C:Ancients. I'd guess that other than for Overlord, this one doesn't get pulled out too often, though it is still a fun game.

Friday, Aug. 17, 2007

Justin Easley came over for a little two-player goodness Friday night and I introduced him to a trio of games. First up was BattleLore. Justin has played Battle Cry before, so he had the basics of the command and colors system under his belt already. I started us on Agincourt as a warm up so that he could get a handle on the slight differences between Battle Cry and BattleLore. I played as the French standards and Justin was the English (pig dogs) pennants. Through a bit of luck I smashed Justin 3-1 in the warm up. After he had the basics, we jumped to the first basic scenario incorporating lore - Wizards and Lore. Though off to a fast start, Justin used his lore to climb back into the game leading to a 5-5 tie. As we raced to the last point, I thought I had a very good shot with a lore card that would give one unit +3 dice for the round - and I had a Darken the Sky card (allows ranged units 2 attacks). I figured that putting 10 dice on a unit gave me a good shot at finishing it off. Unfortunately for me, Justin had the lore card to cancel mine and I had to put that plan on hold. My next lore card however was very similar - +2 dice and lore symbols were hits. It didn't matter. Justin demolish the last unit he needed for a win before we could "fight in the shade".
Justin next asked to try out Crokinole. As I don't get this off my wall as often as I should, I was happy to oblige. I explained how the game is played and also explained that I suck at the game (true). We played the alternate scoring (most points scored in a round is worth 2, ties are 1). We managed to spaz around back and forth the whole game and I managed to drop a 20pt shot on the last round to seal this game.
After spending a bit chatting, we looked for something shorter to end the night. Justin asked to try Ingenious. Again, this is a game I really like that I don't get to play enough, so I was happy to pull this one out too (despite it being buried in my stack of games). I explained the scoring and how to play and off we went. My experience let me take advantage of the baord, while Justin's lack of the same hurt him some. In the end, I had a low score of 9 to Justin's 6. He did enjoy it (as did I), so hopefully we'll get another shot at playing it.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Results of the Christmas in August Math Trade

The results are in and frankly, quite surprising I think, given my recent record of trades getting done. I had three games up for trade and I have all three going out the door. Here are the results:
  • Downfall of Pompeii for HeroScape: Crest of the Valkyrie (the full Flagbearer series)
  • Carcassonne + Traders and Builders for Cluzzle
  • Funkenschlag Atolla Modulis for RoboRally
    So, how'd I do? Well, I've seen the flagbearer series going for around $70 on ebay. If you get lucky, you can find these pretty cheap at ToysRUs - I'm never lucky. Cluzzle isn't hard to get and not terribly expensive, but I'm getting rid of something I won't play (Carc) for something I'm much more likely to play. And lastly, I'm trading up - handmade copy of Atolla Modulis for RoboRally - the WotC edition that is worth maybe $50. I'm going to see if I can't re-trade it for something else - I don't really care about owning it that much, but its possibly worth decent trade fodder or ebay-ing.
    **Update: I worked out a "trade" for RoboRally with my friend Jason Maxwell. He gets Roborally, and I get a new C&C:Ancients expansion. This works out well for the guy trading Roborally too, in that he doesn't have to ship now - he and Jason are both in Phoenix Metro area.
  • Sunday, August 12, 2007


    I finally got my C&C:Ancients stickers all applied. I had got through the Romans when my daughter (just over 2 years) took it upon herself to help daddy by starting to apply the Carthaginians. In all fairness, she actually did apply a few stickers to blocks - she also applied a bunch to a construction paper flower she had sitting nearby. So, I came home from work and was suitably mad at her and my wife for letting her get into the stuff in the first place. I was mostly mad that I left things out where Ainsley could get them. After I cooled off, I realized it was a little funny that she had tried to sticker the blocks like she had watched daddy do. So, a quick email to GMT later, and I was told they would send me some new sheets sans charge (thanks to Letitia at GMT). They arrived very quickly, so I set about to finish before something else could go wrong. There was only one small problem - two of the three sheets they sent were not cut. I didn't care, and a ruler and Exacto knife later, I was sticker-ing away. I had originally intended to put the armies into separate Plano boxes like the ones a number of guys have on the BGG. My friend Jason Maxwell did this with his set and it makes setup very fast. However, in between the time I got the game and I finished, I got my Plano bag for BattleLore. Since BattleLore only took up two of the 4 boxes inside, I decided to see if I could get C&C:Ancients into one box. I had to hack up some dividers and tape them in place in some of the lower areas to divide them up enough, but I was able to get all the armies in! Now I can take the bag and play either game.

    Tuesday, August 07, 2007

    August 7, 2007 - Samurai

    I haven't played many 4-player games of Samurai as of late. No particular reason for it other than maybe not finding enough interest by folks to play 4-players on line. Tammy Smolka started a few games on MaBiWeb a while back and this particular game finally ended. To start, I played mostly to myself in the northern island on the map, letting the others fight it out. I jumped out only to grab a couple pieces that were available to me because of my hand at the time. Before I realized it, I had a lot of pieces. In what was probably a first for me, I won a game with two majorities (unheard of in 4-player). Interestingly enough - I, yet again, ended the game with my wild-3 in my hand and unplaced. The sad part is that this only improves my 4-player winning percentage to 20% - gah.
    Final score (majorities-others-total):
    Kevin Devine: 0 - 7 - 7
    Tammy: 1 - 4 - 9
    Charles: 2 - 3 - 11
    xaviercool: 0 - 8 - 8
    Winner: Charles

    Math Trades Again

    Here we go again. Another Math Trade. I had zero trades in the "Ask and you shall receive" trade. Oh well. I've already got three things in the list. We'll just have to see how this one goes. I usually get pretty aggressive on my want lists, only listing higher end wants. I did put Carcassone + T&B in this time - I'd like to dump this (since I got Carc:The Ark), so I may put in a more reasonable list. I also put up Atolla - we'll see what's in the trade listings.

    Monday, August 06, 2007

    BattleLore Bag

    I was looking at the tackle boxes at Dick's Sporting Goods' brick and mortar store and found this bag. The sucker is not bad sized, but in terms of the game, its huge. I fit all the army pieces and most of the game parts into two of the four included trays/boxes. I've sleeve my cards and they are in card tins, and those two tins and all the little bags of other parts (dice and misc tokens and counters) easily fit in one of the two side pockets. I think I may just go ahead and throw C&C:Ancients in here as well so that I can easily tote both games around. The front pocket (not the one in the middle of the front) is big enough to hold a fifth tray/box if I really needed the space.
    **Interesting side note. This is one of the few things that I have not been able to locate on the internet. The best I could find was an OLD reference to an old ebay auction long since gone. I can't even find reference on Plano's site (nor Dick's, Cabella's, Bass Pro, Amazon, nor Ebay).

    Sunday, August 05, 2007

    Um Krone und Kragen

    Or: To Court the King. Tonight I talked my wife into a quick game of To Court the King. This was the first time either of us had tried this, but I had traded for this because my wife likes Yahtzee. I've read the basics of the game, and really, the game comes down to this - roll the dice and try to get a pattern that matches the cards available (one card might be the total of the dice is at least 15, the next might be a three of a kind, the next might be two pair). After you get cards, you can use them in the future rounds to influence the dice. Each card has a special action that can be used once a round (one action lets you add more dice, one lets you modify a dice, etc). When someone gets a seven of a kind, they can call for a final round, and everyone tries to roll their "best". At any rate, its interesting with a neat twist. I can see where it gets compared to Yahtzee, though its not really like that game at all (other than there are dice and rounds of rolling). Its a bit luck based, but the luck is really mitigated by your cards, which let you "fix" bad rolls. It also plays faster than I thought it would. A nice quick two player game, To Court The King also plays up to five. Stephanie and I played pretty randomly, and in the end I won with 7-5s.

    Saturday, August 04, 2007

    Game Night

    Friday August 3, 2007
    I headed out to the Game Shoppe to meet up with some folks for a bit of gaming. I got there about 6:00 and had planned to play a quick introduction game of Twilight Struggle with Justin Easley so that he could get a feel for the game. We played through the first couple turns while we waited for the rest of the gang to show up. I had a crazy first turn as the US, gaining 6 VP. My hand only had a single USSR event, which Justin forced me to discard right away. I tried to point out a few things I thought were relevant to how the game usually plays, but mostly was just hoping to give him a feel for the flow of the game.
    By then, my friend from work, Steve, had shown up and about the same time, Bob came in, so we sat down and figured out what to play. I had brought Antike in case 6 showed up, and everyone agreed to try it out (Antike is not new to me, but was to everyone else). I explained the rules (which are not terribly complicated, except possibly for the conquering a city part) and we got going. I picked the "German" side (i.e. the side with contiguous water) and we all drew our starting positions. Playing were: Steve Wicklund, Adam Wisniewski, Justin Easly, Mike Garrett, Bob Huntsman, and myself. This game started as a rush for units to feed city expansion. Interestingly, nobody took any advances for a long time. I pushed to an early lead through cities(10), sea zones(7), and an advance. Everyone (as is typical) kept pace, except for Steve, who look like he was going to do really well getting to 10 cities very quickly and having a lot of territory. Steve somehow got stuck after his initial push and never recovered. Bob started building temples and scoring a huge amount in resources - his temples were fueling marble and he started a building spree, only spending money to double up his city defenses. Adam looked like he was going to be hurt the worst, as he had grabbed 6 zones, and then ended up stuck in his corner of the map. However, he had gold, and started spending it buying up all the advancements and took the lead near the end of the game. Being on the opposite corner of the map, I could do nothing to stop him from building more temples to score the last point he needed for a win. I've played this game a number of times now, and its been different each time. A lot of people on the BGG feel like this game becomes a stalemate as people build up huge armies and won't risk fights. In our game, there wasn't much combat, because we really hadn't gotten to the point that anyone was ready to start going after temple kills - we were still busy picking other low hanging fruit when Adam won with what was pretty much an advancement victory strategy (albeit a strategy he had been forced into). I'm thinking about upping my rating on this one again - like Age of Empires III (see how I work in a reference to the game despite not playing it) there are multiple ways to win and you cannot focus on only one nor can you go after too many.
    After the heavier game, we elected to play the lighter Hoity Toity. I have not ever played this (despite owning a copy as well as a copy of Adel) and was interested to try it. Mike likes this (which is a bit of a surprise given his take on most Euro-fare) and agreed to explain it to the rest of us. The game has often been described as a bit of a rock-paper-scissors game, which is as good a description as any. You have a hand of artwork which you have to "exhibit" at a castle to score points. Of course, when you get to the castle, you have the option of trying to show (score points), play a thief (steal cards from someone doing an exhibit), or playing a detective (to catch a thief). The detective scores points if he catches a thief, but gets nothing otherwise. A thief that is caught still gets the goods, but is taken from the player an put in jail, limiting the player's choices later. Most of the game is about guessing what another player might do. I started the game doing nothing for about three turns. Bob's first show caused him to lose two cards - hosing him for the rest of the game. The rest of the guys raced around the track, with Justin being the eventual winner (easily I might add). I suck at these games, but this one is light and not terribly long. It still won't be one I up and suggest, though I'm ok playing it.

    Getting Closer

    Playing around again with the look here. I like this better - the other background was giving me a headache. The page still doesn't quite lay out like I want, but I'll have to work on that another time.

    Ok, the colors are more like I want and I've now got a little dice image for each post heading. I don't quite care for the title banner, but I'm not sure what I want to do with that quite yet. Maybe I just need to bust out the camera and a game or two or 30 and come up with an image to use.

    I think I know how to fix the side widget items to layout better, but I'll have to play with that a bit to know for sure.

    So far this has been super tedious - I put in a chunk of stuff, see what it does. Go find an xml template that does what I want and try and figure out the piece that is like what I need. Bah!

    *Update* - add new graphic for the header. Becky took a couple interesting shots of our Antike game, so I played with the gamma and brightness and then dropped some lettering on it.

    *Update 8-8* - Added side widget header graphics. Not sure they came out quite like I wanted, so I may have to play with it a bit, but I figured out how to get them to display like I wanted, and that was the important part.