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Amparo Bertram

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05:05 pm: Love is in the air...er, ground?
I spent most of my weekend working in the yard. On Monday I planted out a bunch of oca, which will have to share space with the raspberries. I won't be able to plant out the rest until I harvest the potatoes to free up space. That will probably be in another two weeks or so.

I also harvested the carrots. I had extremely poor germination this year, so there weren't too many of them, but the ones that did sprout grew pretty well. I was really surprised when I pulled up two of the larger ones and found that they had twined around each other. Carrot love!

I was beginning to get jealous of mangaroo living so close to a game shop. I looked up one reasonably near me and decided to pay it a visit. Sadly, they didn't have the game I was looking for. However, that didn't stop me from buying two other games that I had my eye on: Agricola (which I bought as a present for my brother last year, but never actually played myself) and Takenoko (which just looks adorable). I was lucky to have escaped without buying half a dozen other games.

I spent most of today weeding the front yard and finding more places to squeeze in some bean plants. I began this season thinking that I would prefer pole beans. Their advantages are that they have a higher yield over the length of the summer than bush beans, and the beans mature gradually over time so I won't be flooded with more than I can handle all at once. That probably still makes them superior for harvesting snap beans. I'm coming to think, though, that if I want to grow dry beans, bush beans would probably be better. It's no problem if dry beans mature all at once, because they're already dry and won't go bad, even if it takes me a while to get around to shelling them. The yield per plant may be lower, but because they don't need any kind of trellis, I can scatter them here and there throughout my yard, which means I can have more plants. (Trying to place bamboo stakes or twine everywhere for the pole beans is getting to be a huge pain.)

My summer flowers are now beginning to bloom. Notably, two of my bright red poppies opened today. I had such horrible luck with the poppies last year (with only one plant surviving to display more than one flower), I'm happy to see that these are doing okay.

Comments

[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:May 15th, 2013 01:39 am (UTC)
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LOL! at carrot love.

Now I am curious: what game was the store missing?
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:May 15th, 2013 02:05 am (UTC)
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what game was the store missing?

The Castles of Burgundy

I went ahead and ordered it online anyway...no saving money this month, it seems.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:May 16th, 2013 01:51 pm (UTC)
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P.S. If you want to know what games I've been getting, I made a profile at Boardgamegeek, and I'm going to try to keep it updated. You can view my collection here.

I attempted the solo version of Agricola. It took me about 90 minutes just to read the rules and punch out/set up all the pieces. Then I played slowly over two evenings. The goal score for solo play is 50, and I only made 30. I can see this will require practice.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:May 15th, 2013 01:37 pm (UTC)
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Aww, love the carrot love (the flower is such a nice touch).

Takenoko is indeed adorable, but it's more complicated than I expected it to be. We only had a chance to play it once, though; maybe it'll get better as we get more familiar with the rules.

mereflair also just got Ticket to Ride, which is REALLY addictive to me. Luckily I found an iphone app to give me my fix without buying my own $50 copy (still really want to get the Asia map, though).
[User Picture]
From:mangaroo
Date:May 15th, 2013 04:25 pm (UTC)
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Now I can never play Ticket to Ride with you because it's a competitive game and you're gaining railroad baron skillz.

In other news, I've tried playing Shadows of Camelot alone. Since I'm playing alone, I'm willing to let knights die. I know the cards in everyone's hands, so I know how best to deploy all knights. When Sir Peekaboo uses his special skill of checking the evil card pile before drawing, "everyone" knows what's waiting on the top of the deck.

And I still lost.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:May 15th, 2013 05:07 pm (UTC)
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Now I can never play Ticket to Ride with you

:(

And I still lost.

I probably shouldn't laugh, but I did. That game is HARD. I can't wait for the Tabletop episode.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:May 15th, 2013 10:20 pm (UTC)
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That game is HARD. I can't wait for the Tabletop episode.

I'm looking forward to that as well. I was reading some online reviews, though, and apparently the game gets easier with more players. Some people were saying that once they hit 6+ players, they actually have to make up rules to make the game more challenging, or else they finish with only like 1 black sword and there's no suspense.
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:May 16th, 2013 12:13 pm (UTC)
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Interesting. I guess that makes sense, because you'd be able to have people fighting multiple quests and siege engines at the same time. Hopefully we'll get the change to play in a big group sometime.
[User Picture]
From:spacealien_vamp
Date:May 17th, 2013 06:14 pm (UTC)
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We only had a chance to play it once, though; maybe it'll get better as we get more familiar with the rules.

I haven't tried playing Takenoko yet, but apparently it has some balance issues. I ran across suggestions for fixing problems.

This same person, by the way, has a YouTube account where he posts board game runthroughs. They're totally low-budget (he just uses an iPhone to film himself playing), but his enthusiasm is fantastic, and he explains all of the thought processes that go into each move in the game. His videos convinced me to buy Castles of Burgundy and to back the Snowdonia Kickstarter. (Other games will have to go on my wishlist for the future. Let another paycheck or two come through first...)
[User Picture]
From:wednesday_10_00
Date:May 17th, 2013 07:06 pm (UTC)
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Your link isn't working for me, but I think I found the thread you mean anyway. I'll keep those house rules in mind for future reference, though personally I prefer to play the game through a few times before I decide if I want to change the rules or not. If I did any variations, though, I think I'd be more likely to just not require irrigation for plot objectives; that's way less complicated than all of that fussing with the scoring (I saw it suggested elsewhere, too, when I was looking for that thread).

Also, I believe you that he's a great reviewer (I was meaning to watch his Castles of Burgundy video anyway because there were a lot of comments about how it made people want to buy it), but I couldn't help but roll my eye when he said Takenoko was "clearly" meant for families with young kids (even though it's rated for kids 13 and up?). Whatever.
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