Category Archive 'Games'
13 Nov 2017

Tetris

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HT: Karen L. Myers.

02 Nov 2015

New From Parker Brothers

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BernieSandersMonopoly

28 Jan 2015

Shaggy Buffalo Story

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buffalow

From Gerard van der Leun:

He’d hunted big game for years all over the United States. Hunting was a way of life to him. But, in all those years, he’d never shot a buffalo. He’d put his name in for the lottery that gave out yearly licenses to shoot buffalo, but year after year the winning number had eluded him. As he failed, again and again, his need to add a buffalo, an American bison, to his life bag grew to obsessive proportions. Finally, he could stand it no longer. He determined that he would buy a couple of young buffalo, raise them, and then shoot them. It seemed like a plan.

When the buffalo purchase was completed the question arose about where these buffalo were to be raised. He wasn’t a rich man and the cost to two baby buffalo maxed out his credit cards. The only viable option was to raise them on his front lawn in Moab, Utah. Accordingly, the buffalo were delivered and put out to pasture, or “out to lawn” as the case may be.

Besides grass the lawn also contained, courtesy of his kids, a couple of soccer balls. Shortly after the buffalo became his lawn ornaments, he was out walking among them when one of them discovered a soccer ball and butted it over to him with its nose. Without thinking he kicked it back towards the other buffalo, who passed it to the first buffalo who butted it back to him. An hour or so of passing and kicking the soccer ball between man and buffalo ensued.

When he went out on his lawn the next morning, they were waiting for him. One seemed to be playing midlawn while the other hung back by the water trough which had become some sort of goal. The forward buffalo butted the ball towards him. Without thinking he returned the kick over the head of the forward. No good. With a speed belying its bulk, the defensive buffalo moved quickly and butted it through his legs to the porch. When it bounced off the barbecue, they seemed to do a brief victory prance. The game was afoot.

Read the whole thing.

03 Nov 2014

10 Hours Walking in Skyrim

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Wow! Worse than NYC.

22 Jul 2014

The Meaning of Life

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21 Jul 2014

Diplomacy

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stab

David Hill goes back in time to relive the scheming, the negotiations, and the double-dealing of the old-time board game Diplomacy.

If you’ve ever heard of Diplomacy, chances are you know it as “the game that ruins friendships.” It’s also likely you’ve never finished an entire game. That’s because Diplomacy requires seven players and seven or eight hours to complete. Games played by postal mail, the way most played for the first 30 years of its existence, could take longer than a year to finish. Despite this, Diplomacy is one of the most popular strategic board games in history. Since its invention in 1954 by Harvard grad Allan B. Calhamer, Diplomacy has sold over 300,000 copies and was inducted into Games Magazine’s hall of fame alongside Monopoly, Clue, and Scrabble.

The game is incredibly simple. The game board is a map of 1914 Europe divided into 19 sea regions and 56 land regions, 34 of which contain what are known as “supply centers.” Each player plays as a major power (Austria-Hungary, Turkey, Italy, England, France, Russia, Germany) with three pieces on the board (four for Russia) known as “home supply centers.” Each piece can move one space at a time, and each piece has equal strength. When two pieces try to move to the same space, neither moves. If two pieces move to the same space but one of those pieces has “support” from a third piece, the piece with support will win the standoff and take the space. The goal is to control 18 supply centers, which rarely happens. What’s more common is for two or more players to agree to end the game in a draw. Aside from a few other special situations, that’s pretty much it for rules.

There are two things that make Diplomacy so unique and challenging. The first is that, unlike in most board games, players don’t take turns moving. Everyone writes down their moves and puts them in a box. The moves are then read aloud, every piece on the board moving simultaneously. The second is that prior to each move the players are given time to negotiate with each other, as a group or privately. The result is something like a cross between Risk, poker, and Survivor — with no dice or cards or cameras. There’s no element of luck. The only variable factor in the game is each player’s ability to convince others to do what they want. The core game mechanic, then, is negotiation. This is both what draws and repels people to Diplomacy in equal force; because when it comes to those negotiations, anything goes. And anything usually does.

Read the whole thing.

It’s been decades since I’ve played Diplomacy, but I remember that Hill is right about the game taking much too long. What he does not mention is how uneven the initial positions of the various countries are. England is sitting pretty, but nobody I ever saw ever won playing Turkey.

30 Apr 2014

The Damned German Language

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GermanScrabble

“Floor Sanding Machine Rental”

07 Feb 2014

Makarov Shooting Game

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Short but pleasant enough Russian shooting game. You are a Russian Federation officer with gold braid on your sleeve, practicing shooting your Makarov. Hit “start” (the button near the trigger). Control your wobbling grip, line up the sights on the bullseye, and quickly trigger off the three rounds you’ve been allotted. This is a rapid fire game. You are being timed, and do not have enough seconds to line up individual shots.

I found it pretty easy to get a good group in the vicinity of the ten-ring. This game makes me wonder if real Makarovs have such nice trigger pulls.

02 Nov 2013

Girls’ Game

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No chainsaw, no BFG, you have to destroy your adversary with gossip! It was inevitable. An experienced (female) professional game designer is trying to Kickstart a Massively Multiplayer Roleplaying Game set in the world of Jane Austen.

Will you get points, I wonder, if you successfully seduce (and ruin) one of the flightier young ladies? What if you (nefarious laugh) nail one of the very smart and principled ones?

Suggested caption: You have seduced, ruined, and abandoned Elizabeth Bennett. You become a member of the Hellfire Club, are awarded a cameo appearance in Pierce Egan’s Life in London, and are chosen by the Tory Party to represent Old Sarum in the House of Commons. You manage to evade a challenge to duel from FitzWilliam Darcy, and die (hiding from your creditors) in Calais at a great old age. Miss Bennett is obliged to leave respectable society, but becomes wealthy by becoming mistress to the Prince Regent.

15 Aug 2013

What D&D Character Am I?

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Over 900,000 people have taken the quiz.

———————————-

My results:

You Are A:

Neutral Good Human Wizard (8th Level)

Ability Scores:
Strength- 15
Dexterity- 15
Constitution- 19
Intelligence- 20
Wisdom- 18
Charisma- 17

Alignment:
Neutral Good- A neutral good character does the best that a good person can do. He is devoted to helping others. He works with kings and magistrates but does not feel beholden to them. Neutral good is the best alignment you can be because it means doing what is good without bias for or against order. However, neutral good can be a dangerous alignment when it advances mediocrity by limiting the actions of the truly capable.

Race:
Humans are the most adaptable of the common races. Short generations and a penchant for migration and conquest have made them physically diverse as well. Humans are often unorthodox in their dress, sporting unusual hairstyles, fanciful clothes, tattoos, and the like.

Class:
Wizards- Wizards are arcane spellcasters who depend on intensive study to create their magic. To wizards, magic is not a talent but a difficult, rewarding art. When they are prepared for battle, wizards can use their spells to devastating effect. When caught by surprise, they are vulnerable. The wizard’s strength is her spells, everything else is secondary. She learns new spells as she experiments and grows in experience, and she can also learn them from other wizards. In addition, over time a wizard learns to manipulate her spells so they go farther, work better, or are improved in some other way. A wizard can call a familiar- a small, magical, animal companion that serves her. With a high Intelligence, wizards are capable of casting very high levels of spells.

Hat tip to Leah Librescu (FB).

30 Jul 2013

Largest Space Battle in History Took Place on Sunday

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On Sunday night, the largest space battle in history took place, on the server of Eve Online.

The Verge breathlessly reported the approach of the battle fleets.

In less than an hour, a battle of interstellar proportions will break out in the MMORPG Eve Online, a spacefaring simulation with its own politics, economies, and wars — all controlled exclusively by players. Between three and four thousand pilots are set to do battle in one of the largest fights ever on Eve, which you can watch live below or on Twitch.tv.

The battle is expected to rival the legendary Battle of Asakai as one of the most epic battles in Eve history — which totalled equivalent to $20,000 in losses for the losing team. Today’s battle doesn’t yet have its own name, but is taking place in a system known as 6VDT between two of the largest player alliances in the game, TEST Alliance and the CFC. In order to keep lag to a minimum, since the battle takes place on just one server, Eve’s developers will likely slow down time more than 90 percent so its server can process all player actions. This means today’s battle could take several hours to reach its explosive conclusion.

Update, 3:20PM ET: The Verge’s war correspondent in Eve Online is bringing us live updates of the action about to unfold in deep space. As you can see below, the CFC is preparing to meet the TEST Alliance in battle. Intelligence suggests that the TEST Alliance is now staging its fleet.

Today’s battle could be the culmination of months of conflict, propaganda, and preparation.

———————————-

Eurogamer reported the outcome:

More than 4000 people took to sci-fi MMO Eve Online last night for the game’s largest ever virtual space battle.

Two of EVE’s biggest rival factions – TEST Alliance and the Goonswarm-led CFC – went head-to-head in a fight that lasted more than five hours and cost more than 2900 ships.

The CFC eventually smashed TEST and sent it fleeing from Fountain, the area of virtual space where the two sides drew their battle lines.

The battle was the culmination of a two-month campaign by the CFC to invade the Fountain area – TEST’s traditional home region – and was directly sparked by TEST’s decision to make an Alamo-style final stand.

09 Apr 2013

Where the Stauton Chess Set Came From

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Smithsonian’s Design Decoded explains the architectural origin of today’s standard Staunton-style chess men.

Prior to 1849, there was no such thing as a “normal chess set.” At least not like we think of it today. Over the centuries that chess had been played, innumerable varieties of sets of pieces were created, with regional differences in designation and appearance. As the game proliferated throughout southern Europe in the early 11th century, the rules began to evolve, the movement of the pieces were formalized, and the pieces themselves were drastically transformed from their origins in 6th century India. Originally conceived of as a field of battle, the symbolic meaning of the game changed as it gained popularity in Europe, and the pieces became stand-ins for a royal court instead of an army. Thus, the original chessmen, known as counselor, infantry, cavalry, elephants, and chariots, became the queen, pawn, knight, bishop, and rook, respectively. By the 19th century, chess clubs and competitions began to appear all around the world, it became necessary to use a standardized set that would enable players from different cultures to compete without getting confused.

In 1849, that challenge would be met by the “Staunton” Chess Set.

The Staunton chess pieces are the ones we know and love today, the ones we simply think of as chess pieces. Prior to its invention, there were a wide variety of popular styles in England, such as The St George, The English Barleycorn, and the Northern Upright. To say nothing of the regional and cultural variations. But the Staunton quickly would surpass them all. Howard Staunton was a chess authority who organized many tournaments and clubs in London, and was widely considered to be one of the best players in the world. Despite its name, the iconic set was not designed by Howard Staunton.

According to the most widely told origin story, the Staunton set was designed by architect Nathan Cook, who looked at a variety of popular chess sets and distilled their common traits while also, more importantly, looking at the city around him. Victorian London’s Neoclassical architecture had been influenced by a renewed interest in the ruins of ancient Greece and Rome, which captured the popular imagination after the rediscovery of Pompeii in the 18th century. The work of architects like Christopher Wren, William Chambers, John Soane, and many others inspired the column-like, tripartite division of king, queen, and bishop. A row of Staunton pawns evokes Italianate balustrades enclosing of stairways and balconies.

I like the Lewes chessmen best.

08 Jan 2013

Chinese Father Hires Virtual Assassins

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Typical hired assassin.

The Next Web describes an ingenious solution adopted by a Chinese father to a widespread parental problem.

What would you do if your adult son was playing video games all day instead of looking for work? Well, one Chinese father resorted to desperate measures when he reportedly hired in-game hitmen to attack his son whenever he logged on to his favorite game, according to the People’s Daily.

After being killed repeatedly in an online game, 23-year-old Xiao Feng figured out that the high-level griefers had been put up to the task by his dad, who says he hoped the trick would cause his son to lose interest in the game. Xiao Feng maintains that he’s not going to settle for just any job and that he hasn’t found the right fit yet.

Hat tip to Rob Long.

18 Oct 2012

If I’d Been There, I’d Have Rooted For Dartmouth

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Dartmouth’s water bottle kicking tee.

Cringe-making behavior by the Yale football coach.

USAToday:

Dartmouth arrived at its game against Yale on Oct. 6 with a full complement of players, all in uniform, to go with many sets of shoulder pads, several footballs and a coaching staff. The Big Green were ready for an important, potentially season-defining Ivy League game.

Dartmouth brought it all, minus one key on-field component: a kicking tee.

After combing through equipment bag after equipment bag roughly an hour before the start of the game against the Bulldogs, Dartmouth players and coaches realized that someone – and we’re not naming names – forgot to include that one vital piece of kicking paraphernalia.

(I will say this: No one is ever truly responsible for packing the equipment. Or everyone is responsible. You know what I mean. Again, we’re not naming names.)

So the Big Green did what any team would do in such a pickle: Dartmouth asked Yale, a brother Ivy, if it could spare a tee.

At first, the Yale equipment manager lent the Big Green a substitute tee. About fifteen minutes before kickoff, however, Yale head coach Tony Reno came over to Dartmouth’s sideline and said that the Bulldogs wanted their tee back, recounted Dartmouth kicker R.C. Willenbrock.

Desperate times call for desperate measures. You need a kicking tee to, you know, kick off. So the Big Green improvised.

Willenbrock came upon inspiration in the form of a water bottle, one he cut down to size, taped and molded before testing as a makeshift tee. Success!

Absolutely pathetic.

And Dartmouth deservedly won, after this disgraceful case of bad sportsmanship, 34-14.

Reading this, I profoundly wished I were president of Yale, so I could have fired that coach so fast his head would spin.

No wonder Yale is losing at football. We have a coach who doesn’t even understand why educational institutions like Yale encouraged young men to play competitive games in the first place.

Hat tip to Tristyn Bloom.

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