Author Topic: Simon visits geoo, Ramond, Peter in Vienna, September 2023  (Read 1510 times)

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Offline Simon

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Simon visits geoo, Ramond, Peter in Vienna, September 2023
« on: September 24, 2023, 09:35:56 AM »

I'm back from a 3-week vacation to Vienna.

geoo, Ramond, and Peter live in/near Vienna. I've been there in 2015, and I've always promised them a re-visit. This September, we finally did it. Thanks to Peter and geoo for hosting me for over a week each at their places!

We took long walks, swam in the Danube, rode bicycles, raced Lix singleplayer, cooked Gargantua Blargg's spicy stew, and played a heap of board games. I'll post the stories here after I've got the photos off my laptop computer.

Sneak (card game) already got its own topic for playtesting/development. Nobody of us had played before; we discovered Sneak during my vacation in one of my books.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: September 25, 2023, 12:32:01 AM by Simon »

Offline Ste Woz Ere

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Re: Simon visits geoo, Ramond, Peter in Vienna, September 2023
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2023, 08:48:18 PM »
I'm a big board gamer, I wonder how many other folks on here are, too.
Tribes of Steel - a whole new Lemmings 2 game! (120-level pack)
Currently a WIP - all tribes are complete, testing and feedback is welcome!

Offline Simon

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Re: Simon visits geoo, Ramond, Peter in Vienna, September 2023
« Reply #2 on: October 24, 2023, 04:02:27 AM »
All right, it took me a month, but here come the first photos.

Happy meetup on the first day after I arrived by train from Germany to Vienna.

From left to right: Ramond, Simon, Peter, Georg a.k.a. geoo.

For the first week and a half, I stayed at Peter's. I gave him this big box of marzipan goodies for his hospitality. Thanks, Peter, for hosting me! This kind of marzipan, Niederegger, is a German speciality. It's a fine gift for Christmas. But because September worked best for us, we had the treat ahead of the season.

RAMBots is a robot-programming game for 4 players with Icehouse pieces.

Rules for Rambots

Very hard! If you put larger pieces in your program, you get more work done per round, but other people's smaller pieces will execute before your large pieces do. By then, the board won't necessarily be what you expect it to be.

The interplay of different people's programs is chaotic by nature, but there is no luck involved. If you guess exactly what other people "wrote", you know exactly what will happen and can take advantage. It's rare to successfully take advantage of that, but it's magnificent when you nail it.

Learning game of Twilight Imperium 4 (TI4) with Ramond and Peter. Both of them had played before. I promised Peter to learn one whopping game, and we agreed on TI4. I've read the rules beforehand, but it still took this practice game to drill home the nuances. You
  • amass plastic space fleets (fun),
  • send your plastic to war against other people's plastic (fun fun fun),
  • roll dice to resolve battles (exciting, ask IchoTolot for how that goes with me),
  • and play overpowered randomly drawn event cards on each other (frowning grumpy Simon).
My main criticism of TI4 involves these cards. But that's a topic for future blog posts; short version: I prefer games where I understand the full design, know all possible things that can happen, know all probabilities, and can decide all rules corner cases, even if it's a lot of work to learn it all.

Lots of direct confrontation, lots of diplomacy, lots of rules lawyering. You have be able to take a beating from an opponent and then still plan constructively in the future with the same opponent. Played to conclusion, it takes the whole day.

Look how happy Peter is in the photo: He successfully talked me into attacking Ramond's purple fleet, and Peter's green pieces aren't involved.

Peter has the luxury of knowing enough people in Vienna to arrange complete 6-player TI4 games. We played one during my stay (me, Peter, and 4 other friends), but didn't take photos of it. If I ever come back, I'm sure he'll reel me into another one, and I'll be happy to join.

I'm a big board gamer, I wonder how many other folks on here are, too.

I too believe we have many forumers who play, and merely don't talk about it much.

Here in Germany, IchoTolot has been over the most, both for shorter games, and for two-day slogs of Axis & Allies Global 1940. Georg is happy to play shorter games.

Soon: More photos, more games, fancy dinners, and cute animals from the zoo.

-- Simon
« Last Edit: October 24, 2023, 07:41:27 AM by Simon »

Offline Simon

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Re: Simon visits geoo, Ramond, Peter in Vienna, September 2023
« Reply #3 on: October 26, 2023, 02:29:25 AM »
To be good at games, you need to eat a lot of healthy food.

Mushroom, mushroom. We're cooking the Blargg Stew a.k.a. Gargantua Blargg's Lava Pot.

Our 2015 recipe for the Blargg Stew says "for about 5 people". We found that misleading. We increased the ingredients by 25 percent, and it barely served 4 hungry people. Thus:

For 3 hungry people or for 4 people:
  • 1 bottle of white wine
  • 500 g of goulash, we chose lean beef goulash
  • 1,000 g of carrots
  • 500 g of mushrooms
  • 1,200 ml of puréed tomatoes
  • 100 ml of olive oil
  • 5 onions
  • 1 Gargantua Blargg
  • 1 bulb of garlic
  • 3 bundles of parsley
  • some leaves of laurel
  • some allspice, some pepper, some salt, some herbes de provence, some oregano or marjoram
  • bread (don't put it into the pot; serve the stew with bread)
None of us drink wine -- I don't drink any alcohol at all. Georg only ever buys wine to pour it into these dishes.

Georg cutting parsley. When he described the recipe in 2015, he told us: "Put in lots of parsley. When you think you've added enough parsley, add twice that amount again."

The stew takes 2-3 hours on the stove. Its volume decreases to almost half of the original volume. Remember the mushroom-filled pot from the first photo? The photo here shows the same pot, about an hour in.

Most of the alcohol will vanish during those 2-3 hours. You'll smell the wine in the kitchen and in the living room. If you're playing video games, it's mandatory now to sing along to the game music and make up a song about garlic, wine, and chubby video game characters.

Tasty! Serve with bread, and enjoy.

Playing Tetris Attack via Peter's video projector on the wall of the living room.

Peter is strong at Tetris Attack versus mode. He's best of us at seeing horizontal chains. He routinely wins at difficulty level 8 when I compete at level 7, and it's about 50:50 when I play level 6.

In two-player versus mode, both players pick characters, such as the ever-popular Gargantua Blargg which gave the stew its name.

Character choice has no effect on the rules of the game, there are no special powers or moves. Still, character choice affects the music and the background outside the two playing fields. It's not random: Tetris Attack will always pick song and background for the character of the player in the lead -- the player with more game points, regardless of stars. (You need to win twice, earning two stars, to get a game point.) If the two players tie for game points, Tetris Attack will pick song and background of the left player.

Tetris Attack should be modified to remove entirely the waiting between losing and the countdown for the next match. When you lose, there should be a big, short explosion, and your new tiles appear immediately.

Re chubby video game characters: Is Lip fat? We didn't agree on this. You tell me!

-- Simon
« Last Edit: October 26, 2023, 01:33:00 PM by Simon »

Offline Ramon

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Re: Simon visits geoo, Ramond, Peter in Vienna, September 2023
« Reply #4 on: November 04, 2023, 07:26:16 AM »
Good times :lix-grin: :lix-evil: :lix-cool: :lix-tongue: (there's one Lix for each of us, feel free to arrange as you see fit)