xnera: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)
It is only the 18th and I already have my five stars in Nerdopolis. For Nerdopolis University: Pluto and Friends, I made a crocheted pumpkin treat bowl which is orange like Jupiter. The pattern pic looked so big, so I was surprised at how small this turned out. It'd be good for holding Hershey's Kisses. For Carousel Nerdception: Sidekicks and Pets, I made another baby chocobo. The eyes turned out better on this one, I think, but still no where as cute as the pattern pic, which used felted eyes. Eventually I'd like to make felted eyes myself. For Wildcard: Boo! I made a Tunisian scarf. It had two new stitches in it. I had to watch a video to figure out the twisted stitch, and I did the shells wrong at first due to misreading where the repeat was. But I eventually got it, and it turned out nice. It's destined for the frog pond, though, because I used yarn earmarked for a shawl. Finally, my last two stars were in Area 51: Oldest WIP. My oldest WIPs are Summit Seekers projects, so instead I made a knitted pumpkin and finished a Seraphina's Shawl that I started in a fit of anxiety on September 30th.

I also started my Harvest which is coming along nicely. I haven't worked on it for a week, though, because I'm trying to finish my Meandering shawl by the ministry meeting this Friday. As if I didn't have enough to do, I saw someone post a nice crocheted shawl that features a butterfly stitch, and started one myself, which I'm also going to try to finish for the meeting.
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This week features a casual video game I've been spending a lot of time with lately. Picross is a puzzle game for the Nintendo DS. You are presented with a blank grid, and need to fill in the grid using the clues located along the top and left of the grid. For example, a clue of "5 1" means that there are five squares in a row filled in, followed by at least one blank space, then one square filled in. Once all the clues are complete, you end up with a picture that fits that level's theme.

There are three modes: Easy, Normal, and Free. Easy mode features fifteen puzzles that can be solved within a minute or two. Both Normal and Free mode have ten levels of fifteen puzzles each. In Normal mode which features beginner-to-intermediate puzzles, you are penalized for making mistakes. The first mistake adds two minutes to your time, the second four minutes, and each additional mistake after that costs eight minutes. You have a total of sixty minutes to complete the puzzle. Free mode features intermediate-to-advanced puzzles, and does not penalize mistakes--but doesn't warn you if you do make a mistake.

The levels of fifteen puzzles are further divided into three groups of five puzzles. After each group, you have a chance to play a timed mini-game. The first mini-game is Catch, in which you must tap the moving tiles within the time limit. The second mini-game is Sketch, in which you must replicate the image shown on the top screen. The final mini-game is Hit, in which you must tap the blinking squares before time runs out.

There is also Daily Picross, a set of five timed challenges. The first challenge is Nonstop Time Attack, in which you must solve five puzzles in succession as quickly as possible. The second challenge is No X Marks, which also has fie puzzles to solve but prohibits the use of X marks to mark blank spaces. Next is Error Search, in which you must find the errors located in the puzzle. The errors can be a space filled in erroneously, or a missing fill. In Memory, you are shown a grid and numbers for fifteen seconds, then must fill in the grid from memory. Finally is Secret, in which three of the clues are missing from the grid and shown on the top screen. You must determine where the missing clues belong and solve the puzzle. I've been playing Daily Picross for over 444 days now.
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Munchkin on Board Game Geek

Munchkin is a card game for 3-6 players. It's a parody of role playing games with the object of getting your character up from level 1 to level 10. There are two decks of cards: Door cards and Treasure cards. Door cards hide monsters, and treasures are the loot the monsters drop.

At the start of your turn, you may play as many cards as you'd like, trade items with other players, or sell items (worth a total of 1000 gold pieces) for levels. The player then draws a card from the Door deck. If it's a monster, you must fight it. If it's a curse card, it takes effect immediately. Any other card can be put in your hand or played immediately.

When fighting a monster, your combat strength (your level plus any modifiers from cards) must be greater than the monster's strength in order to beat it. If you cannot beat it, you can ask for help from other players. If you succeed in beating the monster, you get Treasure cards and go up a level. There's also the option to run away from a monster if it's too tough. To do so, you roll a die: if the result is a 5 or 6, you successfully run away but do not get any treasure or go up a level.

If a player did not pull a monster from the Door deck, she can go Looking For Trouble and play a monster from her hand and fight it. Or she can Loot the Room and draw a second card from the Door deck and place it in her hand.

Players can hinder each other by making monsters tougher, or by playing other cards such as level-stealing cards. Throughout the game, you never know if someone will help you or backstab you.

Munchkin was featured on Tabletop. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V6oMBSiL7Zs
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Castle Panic at Board Game Geek

Castle Panic is a collaborative board game for 1-6 players. Rather than have the players against each other, players work together to try to beat the game itself.

The game is divided into three arcs: a blue arc, a red arc, and a green arc. Each arc is further divided by three zones, which are targeted by swordsmen, knights, or archers. The bad guys are trolls, orcs, and goblins which come out of the forest and attack the castle in the middle of the board.

Every turn, the active player will draw cards, and then trade a card with another person to better their chances of fighting off the bad guys. Each monster has a set amount of hit points. Attacking a monster knocks down the hit points by one. This is shown by turning the monster's piece so that the current number of hit points is pointing towards the castle. A card can only attack a monster in its specific color arc and zone. For example, a red archer can only attack monsters who are in the red archer zone. Hero cards can attack monsters in any of the three zones in their color. At the end of the turn, the monsters are advanced one zone, and two new monster tokens are placed on the board. A die is rolled to determine which zone the new monsters start out in.

Not all monster tokens contain monsters. Some instruct you to discard cards, draw more monster tokens, or move the monster tokens on the board. There are also four boss tokens which have special powers. For example, a Healer token makes all monster tokens on the board regain 1 hit point.

There are also a variety of cards including the knights, archers, swordsmen and heroes. Some cards let you draw more cards from the deck, or scavenge the discard pile. A Tar card will stop a monster from advancing for 1 turn.

The castle is surrounded by walls, which can kill off monsters with 1 hit point remaining. The wall is removed from the board afterwards. Players can rebuild a wall by playing both a brick card and a mortar card.

The game is won if at least one tower is left standing at the end of the game.

Castle Panic was featured on Tabletop. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MpuTGWFkBYs
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Fourteen years is not all of my life, but it's a pretty big chunk of it! Yes, it's been that long since I started listening to Final Fantasy music full-time (and that means it's been thirteen years since I've been on a date, lolsob).

Mom was playing the Symphonic Suite at dinner the other night, and asked if there's any concerts coming up. So I checked after dinner, and sure enough, Distant Worlds is coming back to Chicago on December 26th. So we'll be going, yay!

I also made a CD of Final Fantasy songs with lyrics in them. It is SO GOOD and I've listened to it a bunch already. Here are the songs, with YouTube links:

1) The Prelude. I don't know the lyrics to this one, but I wanted something to represent FF1 & 2, and this fits! Plus, it's pretty.
2) The Breeze, from Final Fantasy III.
3) Tsuki no Akari, from Final Fantasy IV DS.
4) Home, Sweet Home from Final Fantasy V
5) Maria & Draco from Final Fantasy VI. I would love to know who decided there should be an opera in the middle of the game. It works pretty darn well with the plot, plus it's so epic, even in its digitized voices. This version is from the Distant Worlds CD.
6) Why, from Crisis Core: Final Fantasy VII. I could have chosen One-Winged Angel instead, but (a) I'm rather sick of that song, and (b) "Why" fits in better with the rest of the tracks.
7) Eyes on Me, from Final Fantasy VIII. Frankly, I'm getting a little tired of this one, too, but it's still a lovely song, and deserved a place on the list.
8) Melodies of Life, from Final Fantasy IX. It was a no-brainer to choose the English version of the song, because I love it.
9) Suteki da Ne, from Final Fantasy X. I was torn between the English and Japanese versions. If I had room on the disc, I'd have both. But I only had room for one. Although I don't like some of the phrasing on the English version, I eventually went with it because I know the lyrics better than the Japanese version.
10) Memoria de la Stono/Distant Worlds from Final Fantasy XI
11) Kiss Me Goodbye, from Final Fantasy XII. I love this song. I hadn't heard it in a while, and got chills when listening to it. I don't know why; it's certainly not profound or anything. It's a simple song. But it's SO GOOD.
12) Kimi ga Irukara, from Final Fantasy XIII. I don't like "My Hands" (the ending song in the English game) very much, so I went with the ending song from the Japanese game instead.
13) Answers, from Final Fantasy XIV. It's such a powerful song.
xnera: The Ninth Doctor says, "Fantastic!" (fantastic!)
I don't get to go shopping often these days due to lack of money, so when I do get to, it's a big deal.

My parents gave me $50 for my birthday, yay! I quickly planned what to do with it: either buy enough yarn to make Harvest for myself, or buy The World Ends With You.

I went to Joann after my therapy session on Tuesday to scope out yarn. I had planned on using Lion Brand Wool-Ease, which is what I used for my Grande Mocha, as the price is pretty cheap and I like the yarn. Well, my local Joann had the yarn for $5 a ball, and it was only $3.50 on their website. Plus they only had four skeins of the Pumpkin in stock, which is the color I planned on using. At least I got to see the color in person and verified that I did indeed like it.

So I stopped at Walgreens on the way home and bought a Vanilla Visa card. The next day I went to Joann.com to check things out. The yarn was no longer on sale, so no longer 3.50, but was still only 3.99, cheaper than in in store. I ordered 9 balls, plus the first pair of needles I'll need (a size 8 in 36 inches). I'll also need a size 6 in 36 inches, and a size 8 in 16 inches and DPNs. I have enough money left over to buy one pair of needles, but I'll have to ask mom for the money for the other needles... or just wait until Christmas and use the money I get then. It depends on how fast I knit the sweater, I think.

I'm excited. I want the yarn OMG NOW, but they haven't processed my order yet, grr. I did use a coupon for 15% off and 3.99 shipping, so maybe it's slowed due to the cheap shipping, but it did say I could expect it in 3-7 business days. So probably sometime next week.

In other news, Nerdopolis is gearing up for tournament 1.3. Sign-ups end tomorrow. We have 11 people on team Co-op so far. A few months ago, I had a dream that we ended up in third place in tournament 1.2. Well, we did end up in third--third from last, that is, LOL. But I think that was better than the previous tournament, and we moved up in the rankings ever round, so I'm pretty pleased.
xnera: Icon of Noctis from Final Fantasy Versus 13, wearing a suit and looking upwards. (suit)
So enough time has passed (and better games have been played) since I played Infinite Undiscovery that I'm able to look at it critically, and wonder why I liked it so much when I first played it.

The game has flaws. Here's a few of them.

Aya's damsel-in-distress moment - Early on in the game, Aya gets sick and has to be carried to town by Capell. I'm of the opinion that damsel-in-distress storylines cheapen female characters, robbing them of some of their strength. Because it becomes not about Aya, but about how strong and tender Capell is.

The romance between Capell and Aya - It's simply unbelievable. It felt like it got tacked onto the game because of "oh shit, we need some romance!". Aya spends most of the game putting Capell down. What on earth could he possibly see in her, then? Heck if I know.

Lunar Rain - Lunar Rain is a phenomenon that makes you blessed characters feel really, really good. So good they turn into monsters and start attacking the party, which can be troublesome. To get around this, I used a party of Capell (who's unblessed), Touma (who is a noble and not affected by the lunar rain), and Gustav (who is a bear). I felt constrained by this, and thought it unfair that I couldn't use all my party members like I wanted to.

Achievements - I've played other games (Lost Odyssey comes to mind) where the achievements were obtained as you naturally played the game. Some did require grinding, but I am not opposed to grinding for achievements. What I am opposed to is the sheer difficulty of the achievements in Infinite Undiscovery. There's one early achievement I tried to get (blowing up all the barrels in a building you are escaping) but couldn't as I was constantly being attacked by enemies, who would kill me. I actually had the thought that "I should play the game on Easy to get this achievement". That... should not be. Worse, there is another battle where the walkthrough states to play it one way to get an achievement, then reset your game and play it again to get the battle bonus. In other words, the achievement is in direct odds with the desired outcome of the battle. THIS SHOULDN'T BE! ARGH!

Difficulty - I've tried the bonus dungeon on Normal mode (it is not available on easy) and it is stupid hard. I could not make it past the first level. Okay, some folks will say that this is a bonus dungeon and thus shouldn't count, but when I play a game, I like to play all it has to offer, you know? Also: there are four levels of difficulty to the game: easy, normal, hard, and infinite. Infinite mode is so difficult that there is a special walkthrough for beating the very first battle of the game. Which is NOT a boss fight, mind you, but a regular fight again regular mobs. I think this is a bit much.

Downloadable Content - I don't have the DLC, because my xbox is not hooked up to the Internet. But I'm aware of the DLC. There's two (free) downloads that add items to the shops. These items are required to make the ultimate weapons of the game. To make the ultimate weapons without these items requires planning and stockpiling of materials from the very beginning of the game, along with some difficult battles in the optional dungeon after the end of the game. In other words, if you don't have the DLC you're pretty much shit out of luck. I think this is preposterous, and that the DLC should have been included with the game itself.

The entire premise of the game - The. Moon. Is. Chained. BWUH?!?! How is this even possible? And wouldn't this cause problems with tides? Somehow I overlooked how preposterous this premise was when I played the game, probably because I liked Capell and enjoyed the battle system. But seriously, this is a silly storyline.

So yeah, that's my current thoughts on the game. At this point I don't know if I would replay it. I'm really burned by my lack of the DLC, because not having the ultimate weapons makes the bonus dungeon difficult.
xnera: The Ninth Doctor says, "Fantastic!" (fantastic!)
It's my birthday! Yay! To celebrate, I spent the past few days finishing my Wavedeck shawl as a birthday present to myself. I'm pretty pleased with it, but there's some errors in it. So I'm probably going to make another one, and whichever one is better I'll keep for myself. The other will go to the shawl ministry.

I'm also working on a crocheted shawl for the ministry, the Silver Bells shawl. I'm not really a fan of pink, but I do like this soft pink. I probably should have made it wider, but I was concerned about running out of yarn. The pattern says it took 1000 yards, and I've only got the one skein of Red Heart Giant.

There's also the two scarves I'm making for the Red Heart group on Ravelry. I'm making a drop stitch scarf in a sunshine print. The color changes are very short, so it's coming out kind of busy. I do like it, though. The other scarf is a crocheted mesh stitch scarf in Real Teal. Love the color.

My parents went on vacation the beginning of this month. I spent most of the time in front of the computer, reading various threads on Ravelry. Also, eating. It appears that when left to my own devices, I default to overeating *sighs*. I did go to the library while they were gone and rented Skyrim, but was meh about playing it. I finally fired it up the day they came back, and played about two hours. It's brown. Why do games feel they need to be brown? I do not like brown. I also didn't like the combat. I felt like I wasn't hitting anything. I did successfully hit a chicken -- which put a bounty on my head and got me attacked by a townsperson. So, I wasn't too impressed with Skyrim. I might give it another chance and rent it again in the future, but so far it is not on my to-buy list.

Also while my parents were gone, the U.S. Puzzle Championship took place. I find I have less of an attention span for it the older I get. I lasted about an hour and fifteen minutes before I gave up. I only submitted answers for two puzzles: the battleships, which was easy, and four of the ten differences in the picture puzzle. I did try the Sudoku but didn't make much headway, and was intrigued by a crossword-type puzzle but had no clue how to start it.

I had been playing Final Fantasy Tactics A2: Grimoire of the Rift before my parents left on vacation, but wasn't in the mood for it when they returned. I was enjoying the gameplay, but the story was sparse, and I was wanting something with more meat to it. So I started a new game of Final Fantasy XIII. It's been about a year since I played it, because I had bought a new xbox controller with my birthday money last year and played it then. I'm enjoying it.

I'm going to the library today to see if I can find a copy of The Scorch Trials (the second book in the Maze Runner series). The movie is coming out soon, so it will probably be hard to find the book, but one was due back recently, so maybe I'll get lucky.
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Go is a strategy game dating back thousands of years. It originally developed in China, and from there made its way to Japan where it became popular. Most Go terms are in Japanese today.

Two players, Black and White, battle it out on a board made up of a 19x19 grid. Stones are places on the cross-hairs of the grid, one stone per turn. Black always goes first. Since this gives Black an advantage, White gets a handicap (or komi) of six-and-a-half points.

The object of the game is to capture the most territory. This is done by surrounding territory with your stones. Players can capture their opponent's stones by completely surrounding the stones. The captured stones are then removed from the board.

One safe way of capturing territory is by making eyes - a group of stones with a hole in the center. You can learn more about how to play the game by reading The Way to Go, published by the American Go Association.

Those interested in Go would enjoy reading **Hikaru no Go**, a manga about the game (waves to Shady Cels). Hikaru is a sixth-grade student who discovers an old Go board in his grandfather's attic. He becomes haunted by Sai, the ghost residing in the board. To quell Sai's emotions (which are making Hikaru sick), Hikaru begins to learn how to play the game. The manga follows his progression in the world of Go as he battles his rival, Akira Toya.
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Lara Croft can give the athletes on American Ninja Warrior a run for their money. She can traverse all sorts of terrain, glide down zip lines, hang by her fingertips, and climb sheer rock walls using only an axe. She's also quite deadly; she's able to kill using a bow and arrows, a shotgun, a revolver, or her handy axe.

The game is a reboot of the series and serves as an origin story for Lara. As the game opens, she's an archeologist on a ship, searching for the lost civilization of Yamatai. Her instincts tell her that Yamatai is located in the Dragon's Triangle off the coast of Japan. Disaster strikes, and she and her crew are shipwrecked on an island. Could this be the fabled Yamatai? The story plays out as she attempts to survive and find a way off the island, while uncovering the island's secrets in the process.

The gameplay is quite intuitive. Lara automatically ducks behind walls and crates. Pull the left trigger to pop up, use the left analog stick to aim, and pull the right trigger to shoot. You can change weapons using the directional pad. The X button is used for special actions, such as using your climbing axe. Some of the tombs have puzzles to be solved, but the puzzles fit well in the setting: none of them felt like they were puzzles for puzzles' sake. At times, the things Lara survives can feel quite amazing--I kept asking her why she wasn't dead yet (though I did die many, many times over the course of the game).

The game was released for a wide variety of platforms, including Microsoft Windows, OS X, PlayStation 3 & 4, Xbox 360, and Xbox One. I really enjoyed this game. I borrowed it from my library, and it's now on my must-buy list.

Here's a video of the opening and beginning of gameplay: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GcGXl__FIM
xnera: Icon of Riku from Kingdom Hearts, in Heartless attire. (dark riku)
I finished Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days yesterday. I think I enjoyed it more this playthrough than I did the first time. I wouldn't say I disliked it the first time, just that I got more out of it this time. It takes place concurrently with Chain of Memories and tells the story of what was going on in Organization XIII. I like Roxas more than I like Sora (but Riku will always be my favorite). The gameplay is similar to other Kingdom Hearts games. One thing that is different is how you develop your character: you have panels that you install, for instance a level up panel, a Cure panel, a Potion panel, etc. The game is divided into missions; each mission has a goal that must be reached. I rather liked this approach.

Once I finished the story I still wanted to play video games, so I fired up Mission Mode and started making my way through that, playing as Riku. I was doing okay with the Twilight Town missions until I got to the one where I had to kill six giant Heartless, which did me in.

Earlier this year I was at a video game store and saw they had Kingdom Hearts Re:coded. I am kicking myself for not buying it. I didn't even know that game was released in the U.S. It's probably long gone from the store by now.
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Citadels at Board Game Geek

Citadels is a game of medieval cities, nobles, and intrigue. It’s for 2 to 7 players. Each round you secretly choose the role of a noble. There are eight nobles in the basic game: (1) Assassin; (2) Thief; (3) Magician; (4) King; (5) Bishop; (6) Merchant; (7) Architect; and (8) Warlord. Turns are taken in that order once the roles are revealed. On your turn, you may take either two gold from the bank, or draw two district cards. Then you may build a district card in front of you. Districts have gold costs associated with them; for example, a manor is worth 3 gold.

Each character also has a power, and may use that power during her turn. For example, the Assassin (who goes first) can murder another character, so that character is unable to take their turn during that round.

Play continues until one player has built eight districts. The round is finished out, then points are added up. There are four ways to get points:

* Points equal to the total costs of all districts in a player’s city;
* +3 points if a player has districts of each of the five colors;
* +4 for the first player to build eight districts
* +2 for each subsequent player to build eight districts

The player with the most points wins!
xnera: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)
Fiasco is a GM-less tabletop RPG for 3-5 players. Its stories take place at the intersection of greed, fear, and lust. You’ll play ordinary people with powerful ambition and poor impulse control.

It starts with a setup phase. Four dice are rolled for each player. The dice are grouped in the center of the table, for the use of all the players. These dice are used to establish the relationships, needs, and objects of each character, along with the location the game takes place in. You first start out with more general definitions, then can use further dice to refine the definition some more. For example, you might use a 4 to define a relationship as the broad category of romance, then use a 6 to refine it further as "Estranged and you both hate it."

Once the setup phase is done, Act 1 starts. Players take turns roleplaying scenes. Dice are given to the player depending on how the scene will end for their character. A good ending gets a white die, and a bad ending gets a red die. The player then passes the die onto another player of her choice. When doing scenes, one option is to do a resolve: the player chooses the outcome for their character after the others set up the scene.

At the end of Act 1, the Tilt is performed. Like the setup, the Tilt is chosen from a table based on dice rolled. The Tilt introduces two new elements into the game.

Play continues with Act 2. Like Act 1, dice are rewarded based on how the scene will end, but this time the player keeps the die. At the end of Act 2, the Aftermath is performed. The dice collected during the game are rolled. The color of dice with a lesser total are subtracted from the dice with the greater total, and the result read off the Aftermath table. The final scenes are then roleplayed, based off the result from the table.

Fiasco was featured on Wil Wheaton's Tabletop. You can watch it here:

Setup: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuJizhyf-y4

Part 1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WXJxQ0NbFtk

Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Aj7NcdDh-WM
xnera: Icon of Noctis from Final Fantasy Versus 13, wearing a suit and looking upwards. (suit)
I finished my second Four Job Fiesta run! I was playing as a Black Mage, Summoner, Beastmaster, and Dragoon. I did take notes but I won't bore you with all the details. Neo Exdeath took a few tries, mostly due to being unlucky. The hardest fight was actually the crystals in the Forest of Moore. I tried taking them out one by one, as recommended in the Caves of Narshe walkthrough. I kept dying to Aqua Breath, though. Finally, after about 11 attempts, I said screw it, and changed my ability on my beastmaster and dragoon from !Black to !Summon, and sicced Titan on the crystals. That killed off the fire and wind crystals. The water crystal was killed off by a Jump from the Dragoon. Which left the earth crystal. I melee'd it, and ending up winning with only Galuf, my dragoon, standing.

After the Four Job Fiesta I considered knitting some more, but I've got a big pile of nope when it comes to knitting right now. Instead I started up Chrono Trigger. I've been playing it mostly without a walkthrough (I am usually a copious walkthrough user) because my way of reading walkthroughs, my PSP, is dead. I've been doing okay, though I did have some problems with Giga Gaia that required extra leveling to beat. Death Peak caused me fits. It took over 200 attempts to make it past the first screen... and then I missed the save point, and died to the Lavos Spawn, so had to make the climb AGAIN, ugh. Luckily I managed the climb in only five tries the second time. I'm now stuck in Geno Dome. I can't make the run fast enough to open the door with the robot behind it. Ugh.

So I put Chrono Trigger down, and picked up Kingdom Hearts 358/2 Days, which I've played before. I considered playing Proud mode, but chickened out and started a standard game. Play is going pretty well, though I really hate the "Don't get caught!" mini-games. I suck at those.

I went to the library today and while there I checked out the games they have. There's Tomb Raider for the Xbox 360. I think I might go back tomorrow and get it. Games only have a week's rental, and I didn't want to get it today because I can't use mom's car next Monday to return it. She's off on Tuesdays, though, so that works.
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Canasta is a card game for two-to-four players. It is played with two decks of 54 cards (jokers included). Deuces and jokers are wild cards and can substitute for any other rank card.

Each player is dealt 11 cards to start. The rest of the cards are put in a pile face-down on the table, and the top card is turned face-up next to the pile to start the discard pile.

Play begins with a player drawing a card from the stock pile. She then tries to make meld by laying down cards of similar rank in groups of three or more cards. The total requires for meld varies based on a person's score - at the beginning of the game, meld is 50 points. One example of an easy meld is three aces, which are worth 20 points each for a total of 60 points. Meld cannot have more than 3 wild cards. Players must discard a card at the end of their turn.

As play continues, players try to make canastas - seven cards of the same rank. A canasta can have up to 3 wild cards. A canasta is considered natural if it contains no wild cards, and gets a 200 point bonus.

Play continues until one player discards all her cards. She can only do so if she has two or more canastas on the table. At the end of play, points are added up based on the number of canastas and the point values of the cards. Points are deducted for any cards remaining in hand.

There is more to the game, including special handling of threes, the ability to pick up the discard pile, and freezing the discard pile. For a complete set of rules, see the Bicycle website: http://www.bicyclecards.com/card-games/rule/canasta
xnera: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)
Acquire at Board Game Geek

Acquire is a board game for 2 to 6 players. It is a game of corporate acquisitions. A tile is places on the board each turn. When a tile touches one or more other tiles, a corporation is formed. The founder receives a free stock of that corporation. Other players may buy stock in the corporation on their turn. They are limited to 3 stock purchases each turn.

When a player places a tile so that it connects two (or more) corporations, a merger takes place. The smaller corporation is absorbed by the larger corporation. A corporation of 11 tiles or more is considered safe and cannot be absorbed.

At the time of a merger, the majority and minority stock holders of the defunct company get paid bonuses. Players must then decide what to do with the stock of the defunct company. They can hold it, hoping another company with the same name is started later. They can sell the stock back for a price depending on the number of tiles of the company. Or they can trade the stock at a 2-for-1 ratio.

Play continues until all corporations are safe or one corporation as 41 or more tiles. Majority and minority stockholder bonuses are paid for all active corporations, and all stocks are sold back. The player with the most money wins.
xnera: The Ninth Doctor says, "Fantastic!" (fantastic!)
When I last posted, I was in the Barrier Tower farming Reflect Rings. I did indeed leave the tower after a while to buy more phoenix downs and eye drops. The fight with Atomos went much easier than I had expected, thanks to my Berserker and my Ranger's Rapid Fire. I won on the first try!

Cateblepos - lost on first try due to petrification (got unlucky), won on second try thanks to 3000+ hit from Berserker. Level 35.

The Crystals - had to use hi-potions several times. Lenna, my knight, was using Flametongue and I worried she would heal the Fire crystal, but I got lucky--she never hit it. Won on first try, level 38.

Died to Carbuncle on first try due to Break / deaths. Won on second try, basically Rapid Fire'd him to death. Level 40.

Gilgamesh fight was easy. Was never in any danger.

Won against Exdeath on first try. Basically Rapid Fire'd him to death while Knight and Samurai played medics.

Melusine was no problem. Five attack rounds and she was death. Level 41.

Wendigo went down fast, thanks to Rapid Fire helping me figure out which was the true enemy.

Fork Tower - sent my Berserker and Samurai up the Tower of Prowess. No problem with Minotaur. This left my Knight and Ranger, equipped with Reflect Rings, climbing the Tower of Magic. The Reflect Rings took care of the enemies on the way up. As for Omniscient... well, I'll just copy this from Ravelry:
Yay, the boring shawl is finished! It is very squishy and will make someone happy, but I am never knitting another one. I really struggled this past week and a half with getting it done. It’s Four Job Fiesta time, and all I have wanted to do was play Final Fantasy V. I tried making bargains with myself -- “okay, knit three rows and then you can play for a bit” -- but my play time was getting longer and longer, and the knitting was going by the wayside…

Then I reached Omniscient.

Omniscient lives atop the Tower of Magic, a place where magic = yay and melee = nay. My team? A berserker, a knight, a samurai, and a ranger. Not a magic user to be found. Some enemies in the tower counter melee attacks with a 9999 damage spell, insta-killing the party. Omniscient is sneakier. Upon melee damage, he simply casts Return, which starts the battle over like it never took place. How on earth was I going to beat this boss? Why, by letting him waste all his MP, of course, thereby allowing me to melee to my heart’s content without fear of Return.

Just one snag: he has 30,000 MP.

Obviously this was going to take a while. My party was equipped with Reflect Rings, which made his spells a non-issue, with the the exception of Drain, counter-acted nicely with a hi-potion. And since Omniscient doesn’t cast Drain that often, there are large stretches where the battle runs itself, without need for my intervention.

Meaning I could knit while the Epic Battle with Omniscient was taking place.

Omniscient saved my project. (Having a Race to the Top date helped greatly, too!) Without this heinous boss, I am not so sure I would have finished it. It took about nine hours, but at the end both the shawl and Omniscient were done for.

Yup, I let the game play itself for NINE HOURS while Omniscient's MP slowly drained. LOL. What can I say, I was determined to complete all four tablets before entering the Interdimensional Rift, and to do so, you have to beat Fork Tower.

Next I took on Odin, who was no problem for my team. Plenty of damage dealers with big hits, so we successfully won in a minute's time.

The triplets went down pretty fast. Had to kill each of them several times, but managed to kill them successfully in a short amount of time.

Calofisteri went down in 2 attack rounds. Level 45.

Tried Omega several times, but he is truly a killing machine. I never got to take a second turn. So I made my way past him and continued on.

Apanda was down in 3 attack rounds.

Azulmagia took only 2 attack rounds.

Catastrophe also went down in 2 attack rounds, but used Earth Shaker on us, halving our HP.

I forgot to equip Reflect Rings for Halicarnissus but turned out not to need them, because I killed her before she could cast Holy, yay!

Died to Twintania on first try. Coral Rings a go for the second try, in which I won easily in 3 attack rounds.

Lost Krile and Lenna to Necrophobe but Gilgamesh showed up to save the day.

Exdeath went down in 3 attack rounds. Lost to Neo Exdeath on first try. Lots of deaths. Left with only Berserker standing, who went down on next attack round. Tried again, lost. Didn't win until my fourth try. I kept getting unlucky with Grand Cross, with sets status effects. He would zombie two of my characters, and I couldn't recover fast enough before they killed the rest of the party. I definitely got lucky on my fourth try - Grand Cross merely set poison on Lenna. I kept Bartz, my Bersker, healed up so he could do most of the damage. Krile, my Samurai, acted as healer. Lenna was second in damage as the Brave Blade was doing 4900 damage a turn. I used Rapid Fire when I could if I didn't have to heal. All characters were standing at the end.


I definitely had fun with this challenge, and will play again next year. Hopefully next year I'll have a source of income and can donate some money - the Fiesta aims to raise money for Child's Play.
xnera: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)
Quoridor at Board Game Geek

Quoridor is a board game for 2 or 4 people. Players sit opposite one another at the game board. Your goal is to move your pawn to the opposite side of the board. The first person to do so is the winner.

At each turn, you may move your pawn one space, or place a wall. This wall is intended to slow down your opponent. Walls must be placed so that there's always a path through; you cannot completely block your opponent's pawn. Walls remain in place until the end of the game.

This simple strategy game is easy to learn and a lot of fun. It as one of my favorite games to play at Mensa meetings.
xnera: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)
Fluxx at Board Game Geek

Fluxx is a card game of changing rules for two or more players. One of the fun things about Fluxx is that new players can join the game at any time. The game starts with each person being dealt three cards. One player then goes first. The basic rule is "Draw 1 card, play 1 card". In Fluxx version 3.0 (the version I own), there are four types of cards: (1) Keepers; (2) New Rule; (3) Action; and (4) Goals. Keepers are played face-up in front of you. New Rule cards are played in the center of the table. New Rules take effect immediately; for example, if a New Rule says you can only have 1 card in your hand, everybody must immediately discard cards until they have 1 card remaining. There can be multiple New Rules in play at a time, but if a New Rule contradicts an older rule, the older rule is discarded.

Action cards are followed as written when played. An example would be "Draw 2 cards and use 'em" in which you draw two cards and play them in the order you choose.

Goal cards describe the current goal of the game. One of my favorite goals is "The person who has both the Milk and Cookies Keeper cards is the winner."

Play continues, with each person playing a Keeper, New Rule, Action, or GOal card until the current goal is met.

Fluxx was featured on an episode of **Tabletop**, Wil Wheaton's board game webseries. You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oj6C1CBXPvc
xnera: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)
When last we left, I had just finished World 1. I changed Galuf to Samurai as soon as I had control of him. He had no problem in Exdeath's basement, and beat Gilgamesh with just one hit!

Lost Galuf and Faris to Gilgamesh(2) but won on the first try.

Tyrannosaur almost killed me. I was left with just Galuf standing. He used a phoenix down on Bartz, my Berserker, who killed it.

The Killer Bow one-shot Dragon Pod! I was surprised, and happy. I hate that fight.

The fight with Golem went quick. I was level 24.

Beat Gilgamesh and Enkidu on the first try, level 26.

Now for the Barrier Tower. I bought 99 eye drops as the Neons there like to cast Flash. I fear I don't have enough phoenix downs for the fight with Atomos, though. The plan is to farm four Reflect Rings, then use the gil I earned while farming to load up on phoenix downs. Atomos is my least favorite boss, so I'm not looking forward to this fight. The good thing is that my party hits hard, which should help a lot.


xnera: Photo of my cat sniffing a vase of roses  (Default)

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