Posts Tagged ‘board games’

Book to game to book

Saturday, 15 January 2011

NaBloPoMo Jan2011We’re just finished setting up for my first game of Samurai Swords and it reminded me I hadn’t discussed this book yet. The game was originally titled “Shogun” itself, until the Clavell estate apparently objected and it was renamed. It is decidedly set at the time and along the theme of the book. We also have another game with a related theme, Ran, as well as a few real classic Japanese games, but we haven’t played the former yet, nor the latter in awhile.


Cover via Amazon

50. Shogun by James Clavell

I must say I liked this book. I feel like it’s awhile since I’ve read a historical novel where I knew so little of the ‘real’ history being referenced, so I really can’t comment on its authenticity. I would now like to learn more about 16th century Japan, but don’t really know where to start. Suggestions are welcome!

One thing I liked is that while there is a central Western character, the book really isn’t about him. What it is about is power and politics at a time of technological change and increasing outside influence. At its core, though, is how much will and can the Samurai leadership use and accept non-Samurai ideas, inventions, manners and people, while definitively retaining their own culture and powerbase.

Uses for teddy bears

Sunday, 15 August 2010

NaBloPoMo August logoThis post really needs photos, but our teddy collection (mostly bears) has been very useful this weekend. My DH wanted to show me what a six-player game of Risk was like, so we double-soloed it (each of us controlling 3 players, but often discussing who should do what), with Lily, Yudel, Smudge, Sam, Perach and Yehuda as the players on Friday evening. Then on Saturday afternoon we played Castle Risk the same way (except that the unnamed little koala replaced Yudel).

Sam won both games, and interestingly, he’s the one with nearly a quarter-century’s experience (that’s how long my DH has had him, and Sam’s always helped with game soloing in this manner).

Tonight I cut into all that fabric I bought, to make a simple stretchy wrap for baby-wearing, and Smudge (as the most human shaped of the lot) has been acting as practice model. I think we’ll need a lot of practice before anyone who can’t be dropped gets worn in it, though! (As my DH said, “Smudge is a very brave bear.”)

So that’s this weekend’s crafting too, although getting to make something by roughly measuring and then cutting a not-very-straight line seems excessively easy! 😉

I’m going to post this now, as I haven’t even taken any of the pictures I need (the games were on Shabbat, so none got taken then), but I’ll plan to add some in later.

Late again

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

My friend’s over, so I don’t really have blogging time…

We did play Settlers of Catan, though – first time with three players. It worked well, and I like the game better now.

Happy Gamers

Saturday, 20 February 2010

This is pretty much going to be another placeholder post, since we just got home after a wonderful Shabbat with friends. It was lovely to see and spend time with them, we were very well fed, and we got in four games of Cosmic Encounter (two each night, with the adults), which we’d been wanting to play ‘for real’ (we’ve tried it at home, but it really isn’t a game for two) for ages. Everyone seemed to enjoy it, so hopefully we can do that again soon!

Doing what I want

Saturday, 6 February 2010

Okay, I think part of the reason catching up with the booklist (what there is of it) is taking so long is that it is so long since I read some of those books. So maybe I’ll just tell you about this year’s books for now instead. (All 6 of them so far…)

The first four are Librivox audiobooks. For now I’ll leave out number 4, as it’s the sequel to a couple from 2009 that I haven’t discussed yet.

1. Miss Pim’s Camouflage by Dorothy Tennant, Lady Stanley

This is a propaganda wish-fulfilment novel about World War I. Specifically, Miss Pim is the middle aged and unfortunately female (considering she has the soul of a general) scion of an English military family, who feels limited in doing her bit for the war effort by simply growing vegetables and joining local committees. One day she discovers that with a simple movement she can become invisible, and under the guidance of her local vicar she offers her services to the War Department and is sent behind enemy lines to spy on the dastardly Germans. Usefully she speaks fluent and nearly accent-less French and German and gets to do all sorts of helpful things, including telling us all just how terrible the Imperial Germans are. (This novel basically suggests the WWI Germans were committing Nazi-style atrocities on a vast scale, which doesn’t sound like history as I learned it.)

2. Ophelia, the Rose of Elsinore by Mary Cowden Clarke

This may be part of a series of novellas about the apparent girlhoods of Shakespeare’s heroines, but it’s decidedly not for children. Abuse of all kinds is implicit in this one. Some of it is interesting in relationship to the Ophelia of Hamlet (which is also at the end of the 2009 list), but some of it has not very much to do with that at all.

3. Pygmalion by George Bernard Shaw

It was interesting to finally hear the actual story/play of this. (It’s a well-edited-together group reading of the play.) I’ve never even seen My Fair Lady, but it’s one of those stories one simply will hear discussed. This was both more thoughtful (in the early story) and less (in the later one) than I had anticipated. I do like the Professor’s mother far more than I like him.

5. Mansfield Park by Jane Austen

It’s been years since I read this, and I remember liking it more than some of the other Austen novels. This one is far more about ethics, I think, than are, say, Emma or Pride and Prejudice, and I like the way most of the characters are given the opportunity to grow over the course of the novel. In particular, that the castigation is really for those who fail to fulfil that opportunity, more than for their lack of morals in the first place. (I think all the young people we get to know at all in this book are shown to have had inadequate parenting.)

6. Invitation to Go by John Fairbairn

And this is the one I really wanted to get to discussing today. We got to talking about Go last night, and how I wanted greater clarity on the rules and strategy, so when I couldn’t sleep I ended up spending much of the night and most of the morning reading this clear little book, including working through its examples and problems on the board. I need a whole lot more practice (soloing, playing the game with my husband, and really preferably playing with someone with more experience) to be any good, but this did give me a lot more confidence to see what’s going on, after the event at least!

Alquerque Board

Thursday, 4 February 2010
Tapestry Crochet Alquerque Board

Tapestry Crochet Alquerque Board

This picture might be a bit big, but I want it usable for anyone who’d like to use it. This is the chart I used for the Alquerque board on the back of my DH’s tallit bag (which I still have to do the top of). I’ve uploaded it on BGG as well, but thought it should be here. It’s using Carol Ventura‘s Tapestry Crochet graph paper (available free on Ravelry) for right-handed in the round work.


Wednesday, 3 February 2010

I should be posting my book reviews. Goodness, I should be reading! However, I seem to be in a variety of other fun and interesting places online instead… Ravelry obviously, and Facebook (obviously for those who read this through there, although I amn’t going to link to that profile from WordPress) – not that I’ve been so active on FB lately, and a Jewish site I amn’t going to link to at all. And then today my dear DH got me on to his favourite site, affectionately known as BGG. Let’s see what this little widget of theirs does:

Nothing apparently, as it doesn’t appear to be working (for me at least). It should tell you what board games I’ve played recently, but seeing as I’ve only told it about one so far (Tigris and Euphrates) that isn’t entirely accurate. It’s a beginning however.

Still working on the crochet projects I can’t discuss, and doing some other useful stuff.