Next up on the games shelf are the Alhambra family of games from Alhambra family of games from Queen Games. Alhambra is a tile-placing game where you purchase tiles on your turn to place on your own (hopefully) growing city and scoring points by having more of particular city tiles than other players. The basic rules are quick to pick up, though the occasional tile placing rules trip people up from time to time (e.g. moving a piece out of a repository).
Alhambra has a pile of expansions (6 so far), as well as spawning various standalone games such as ‘Gardens of Alhambra’, ‘Alhambra: The Dice Game’, ‘Alhambra: The Card Game’, and new games such as ‘Grenada’ and ‘New York’.
Each of us has particular expansions we like, and once (see below) we attempted as many (4) as we had all at once, which took a very long time to play and to score.
By 2015 our collection of Alhambra games has grown to the set below and it’s all played with regularly with family and visitors.
The game play for Alhambra is described here in this video. There is also a version for tablets but we haven’t tried that yet.
Top of the pile of games in the lounge is Repos Production’s 7 Wonders, a game we came across back in April through friends at church. After a couple of games at their place we bought it the next day and it’s been a favourite all year. In it’s favour are:
Being able to be played with 6 players without needing expansions. (Big tick when we have 6 + others wanting to play a game).
Rule are reasonably straight-forward.
Everyone’s turn takes place at the same time – no waiting for 5 other players before your turn.
Different ways to win.
Set up is relatively quick and the game takes a relatively short time to play given it’s a set number of rounds.
Photos from that first game.
We’ve picked up some expansions for it, but to be honest I prefer the vanilla game. Overall though, probably an 8/10 and definitely the game of 2014. Wondering what 2015’s game will be.
Next up on the list to tryout is the browser-based blogging tool, ScribeFire (from http://www.scribefire.com/). This has the possibility of running just fine on both the MacBook and the Yoga, so I’m giving it a go.
First up, I’m grabbing an image I took today for a later post on boardgames. It’s of the shelves in the lounge with a few of our games on it.
And here’s a link to Will Wheaton’s boardgame video blog that I watch sometimes.
Interesting day’s cricket in the second test vs. Sri Lanka. Lots of wickets, a green pitch and a nice way to spend the afternoon with it on the background while playing board games and drinking cups of tea.
A shout out here to Guardians of the Galaxy, but the film I enjoyed most this year (and I watched an awful lot of them on long-haul flights) was Next Goal Wins, the film about the American Samoa football (soccer) team and their quest to qualify for the World Cup.
A toss-up here so I’ll have to call it a tie. On the one hand the new Constantine series has some potential to evolve into something interesting if it’s allowed to, while on the other hand I really enjoyed the cancelled series “Almost Human“.
One of my tasks for getting the blog back up and going is to look at how software for the Mac, Windows and iOS has progressed over the past few years. I like using a client to write blog posts, rather than sitting in the WordPress editor in the web browser. It allows me to write offline, to organise content and to have tools on the device I’m writing on available to do things.
In the past I’ve depended upon Ecto (version 3) on the Mac (and version 2 on Windows). I’ve been using that since Kung-Log (pre-2004) evolved into Ecto and then changed owners since then. Ecto is still available (I think) over at http://illuminex.com/ecto/ and I’ve never had any problems with it with progressive OSX upgrades. That said, it’s starting to feel ‘clunky’ and is hard to get some of the media resources with it. One thing it does have is an Amazon ‘search and insert’ function that I use – especially for book art. For example, I’ve just finished the book below yesterday (not a bad read, and I’ll come back to it later).
But once you’ve put an image etc. into a post it’s hard to reedit it without shifting into HTML mode (which is good to have, but the WYSWYG mode is feeling dated now).
So, if all else fails I’ll keep using it, but it’d be nice to see if the Lenovo Yoga I’ve just got might be a better blogging device than the trusty MacBook (or my iPhone at a pinch). [The Kindle Fire is not really in the running as it keeps getting ‘borrowed’ by people and the iPad is a version 1 iPad running iOS 5 only].
Didn’t really have much time to spend on the blog in 2014, what with life being pretty complicated. 29 posts in total and nothing really in the last few months. Spending the next few days pondering what’s next for it, as it’s been helpful over the past 10 or more years for organising my thoughts and online resources.
I’m off to the ISMRC Conference: Media, Religion and Culture in a Networked World in less that a week, so my focus will be on angels (and the demonic) in popular culture for the next two weeks. I’ll be presenting a paper titled “Upside-down Angels: The Inverting of Supernatural Good and Evil in Popular Culture” on the Wednesday and really looking forward to catching up with friends and colleagues from around the world.
So, I’ve been catching up on what is coming up in the world of angels and popular culture, and these look interesting. In particular, the new Constantine TV show looks like it will be much closer to the John Constantine of the comic books Hellblazer and Constantine (New 52 version here) rather than the Keanu Reeves US film version. The Dominion series looks average, but it could develop (though I don’t imagine either will make it on to NZ television), and still serves as some interesting research material.
Some angel popular culture trailers for those interested: