Tuesday

[gaming] Incan Gold

Here's a fast (about 15 minutes) and fun game that I'm currently in love with- Incan Gold.

There are 5 rounds, which can last anywhere from 3 seconds to a few minutes (depending on what cards are turned over). The ancient temple (and rumored artifacts) are revealed in ascending order. Here we have already turned over cards 1-3:

Incan Gold


Your action choices are simple- either continue exploring or head back to camp with the treasure you've found so far. The "press you luck" mechanic is what makes this little game so intense.

Here's a path of treasures and hazards. You can see a player's tent in the background, with some turquoise sitting outside of it.

Incan Gold


If you flee- I mean, head back to camp, you get to tuck your treasure safely away inside your tent, keeping the exact amount secret from other players until the end of the game:

Incan Gold


Here are the two actions cards. Everyone secretly chooses one, then reveals them together- you never know who's going to stay or who's going to go. The one on the left is the "back to camp" card, the one on the right is the "continue exploring" card.

Incan Gold


Here's something I noticed recently. The guy's bag in the "back to camp" card has a tear in it!

Incan Gold


I hope he didn't drop too many treasures on his way out.

But the BEST best part of the game is the NEW gems I got. I went to Gemstar Gemstone in Enfield with my sister to replace the plastic turquoise, obsidian and gold pieces.

Here's the pieces that came with the game:

Incan Gold


Here are the pieces that we got:

Incan Gold


So much prettier and heavier and nicer. Gemstar did have real turquoise nuggets but buying enough would have put me WAY over budget. As it is, I spent more on the gems than I did on the game itself.

But it was so worth it:

Incan Gold

Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

This weekend, Dollar came to get me to point out Murderface:

Passed out


Passed out, on the messy spare bed in the craft room (I have lots of projects going). What I like about this picture is that it looks like MF made the mess himself and then collapsed in exhaustion.

Friday

[gaming] Games from my collection

I've started to update my BoardGameGeek account and found a widget to show random games from my collection. Scroll down and look to the left-side column. You can click on these games to learn more.

BoardGameGeek, the website, can see a little intimidating because there is so. much. information. Lots and lots of info, images, trading, forums, files, stats, etc. It can seem overwhelming but there isn't a better resource for researching a boardgame.

So I've got Ravelry for all my fiber crafts, BGG for all my boardgame needs... Now I need an equivalent for cooking...

Wednesday

[gaming] Zooloretto

Sorry for not posting in a few weeks. We've been chillaxing with lots of game-playing. My current favorite boardgame is Zooloretto. I have all the available expansions (XXL, Exotic) and we play with them all- minus the building sites, which I feel is too... aggressive for some players. (Seriously, Dollar would considering it a combat action).

Anyway, the game is basically you filling up a zoo. That's the basic game. With the XXL expansion, you can have a petting zoo and fill it with baby animals. You have a savings book to make more money. You have a secret job board that gives you bonuses for specific animals. You can buy extra mini enclosures for a few kinds of animals. You can send full enclosures of animals to international zoos. There are pavilions to buy, a souvenir shop to win, a restaurant, and a polar bear and gorilla that help you.

As if that wasn't enough, I got the Exotic expansion that adds a track around your main board, to fill with exotic animals only. This expansion also introduces visitors to your park! Yay for meeples! They move around your zoo when you get new exotic animals or vendors. When an opponent places an exotic animal, a visitor color of his/her choice will move forward and yours will actually move BACK and head for the exit. "Did you hear Dollar's Zoo just got another koala? Let's leave Amy's Zoo and head over there!" I like that aspect of the game- fickle visitors subject to the lure of new animals.

Here are our finished boards from a 4-player game. I made some scoring spreadsheets to help tally things up at the end (because of all the expansions) and I'm always surprised at how close the scores are at the end of gameplay.

Zooloretto


Zooloretto


Zooloretto


Zooloretto

Tuesday

[gaming] New Games

Fury of Dracula. This is a co-op game where vampire hunters work together trying to track down Dracula across Europe. His current and previous locations are hidden (unless you have a card that reveals one) so you have to go from city to city, seeing if he's been there. I like that the game has the hunters working together but it was so long. After more than 3 hours of play, we finally had Dracula cornered- until he magically disappeared to another unknown location. Very frustrating and we called it quits after that. Do you know how many fights with Dracula or his minions I got into? None. I was all loaded up with a pistol, rifle, crucifix, etc. And I didn't get into one fight. But it was a good game- this was only the 2nd time I've played and it was a lot more interesting and fun than the 1st time.

Incan Gold. Previously knows as Diamant, I just got the 2009 edition. This is a fast and fun game...

"You and your fellow adventurers explore the ruins of an ancient Incan temple, looking for turquoise, obsidian and gold. At every turn, you must decide whether to play it safe by returning to camp with the treasure you've gathered so far; or to be a truly intrepid adventurer and keep on exploring. Going further into the ruins means risking your treasure by falling victim to giant spiders, wandering mummies, fire spouts and venomous snakes! But priceless Incan artifacts are rumored to exist here... and you can be the one to discover them if you conquer your fears and forge ahead!"

It's the press-your-luck element that makes this game fun. And the little pop-up paper tents that you hide your treasure under are very cute. The finishing touch would be replacing the plastic turquoise, obsidian and gold pieces with real little nuggets of turquoise, obsidian and pyrite. Perhaps a trip to Gemstar Gemstone in Enfield?

Shear Panic! As an avid knitter and gamer, I felt obliged to own this game. Plus, I love the tagline: "The best game ewe ever herd!" I haven't played this yet, but the pieces are very nice and I've read many good reviews. The game comes with rules for a two-player variant, so I'd like to try that with Dollar.

Other games we've pulled out recently: Alhambra, Memoir '44, Puerto Rico. I also recently taught Dollar how to play Backgammon. The weather is going to be pretty crappy for the rest of the week, so boardgames sound like just the thing.

Friday

[knitting] Clover Tweed Dishcloths

Clover Tweed Dishcloth


Pattern: Clover Tweed Dishcloth (rav)

Yarn: Lily Sugar 'n Cream cotton

Needles: US 7

I love dishcloths that use two colors. This is a great pattern, very easy and the resulting cloths are very stretchy. I would recommend using either two solid colors or one solid color and a variegated with very few colors or minor color changes. I the above blue/green worked well (there is only slight pooling), but I tried a variegated with 4 or 5 colors and the pattern worked up very muddled.

Thursday

[knitting] Selbu Modern

Here's the June hat selection for the White River Yarns Hat Club:

Selbu Modern


Pattern: Selbu Modern (rav)

Needles: US 1 (ribbing), US 4 (body)

Yarn: Knit Picks Palette, light gray, light blue, less than 1 ball of each.

Notes: I didn't go about this pattern the right way. The light blue and light gray looked different enough when I held them next to one another, but worked up... You can see there's not enough contrast. And I did this hat in 2 days. Talk about binge knitting. The pattern is clear and easy and fun and I just couldn't stop. I ended up stressing out one of my forearms and I don't even like the finished hat all that much. I think I'll do the pattern again, but I'll take my time. The one nice thing about the hat is that I only used $2 worth of yarn (Palette is so cheap!).

Wednesday

[knitting] Shishi Shawl

I finished my shawl this weekend:

Shishi Shawl


Pattern: Simple Yet Effective Shawl (rav)

Yarn: Plymouth Mushishi, 2 skeins

Needles: US 10

Notes: I added some random *k2tog, yo* rows. I saw some other projects on Ravelry that had some and I think it helps to balance the spine of yarn-overs up the middle.

Shishi Shawl


This yarn is great. It retails at around $30 per skein, but each skein is a whopping 250g and 491 yards. The fiber content is 95% wool and 5% silk. It is so so so so soft. Every time I worked on this, people would want to touch it (or the cat would want to be on it).

Shishi Shawl


I have 90g leftover from the 2nd skein that I'm not quite sure what to do with. The yarn comes with a couple patterns to knit or crochet, so I may do the suggested knit hat.

I love this shawl :)

Tuesday

[knitting] Turtle Tracks Cowl

A new bamboo cowl:

Turtle Tracks Cowl


Pattern: Turtle Tracks Cowl

Yarn: Frog Tree Meriboo (70% merino, 30% bamboo), 1.2 balls.

Needles: US 6

This yarn was very nice to work with. Very shiny from the bamboo and it's so so so soft (perfect for something that will be worn around the neck). The yarn is a loose two-ply, which creates a nubbley texture:

Turtle Tracks Cowl


You don't get the smooth stitch definition from a tightly-plied, round yarn. I was worried it wouldn't work for this pattern, but I like it. You can still see the turtle tracks.

This pattern was very easy and would be a good stash-busting project. I had too balls of meriboo and only used a small bit of the 2nd, so I have leftovers, but it's totally do-able with one ball.

I did a regular long-tail cast on and a sewn bind off for stretchiness. I made the larger size but only cast on 98 stitches (99 wouldn't work with the 1x1 ribbing) and increased to 99 when I was ready to start the pattern. I decreased one stitch when I was ready to do the ribbing at the end.

Monday

[misc] Murderface Monday

It was another beautiful weekend here. Murderface likes to roll around on a freshly cut lawn:

Muderface Outside


Muderface Outside


I had a nice catnip plant outside, up off the ground so MF wouldn't wreck it. I would tear off a leaf or two to give to him. I went outside Saturday morning and it was wrecked. I blame the neighbor's cat. I put the pot on the ground and let MF have the remains. Which I felt bad about because the plant was for him.

Muderface Outside


Muderface Outside


When MF is outside, likes to lay in and along the cedar trees we have lining the edge of our yard.

Muderface Outside


What a handsome kitty :)