danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
Here follows a short and fluffy update on my holiday.

Family Visits

My sister and brother in law were in town for Easter. My youngest brother popped in for the weekend on his way to working offshore. He dropped off his dog for dad and the Captain to look after. Bluebird visisted for her last Easter holiday before the access arrangements expire. Dad had returned from Australia.

So I cooked lunch. Dad cooked lunch. Then I cooked lunch again. Lunch was eaten. One of the lunch was a pre-birthday tea for BB, who turns 18 soon.

Then BB went on a three day Introduction to Cookery course at the New Town Cookery School. It seemed to do the job of introducing her to foundational techniques so she can cook with confidence when at uni. Money well spent if it helps her manage her budget and eat properly, healthily and enjoyably. Judging by the quality of the food that came back she's learnt a lot.


Caught up with some old uni friends and their four children on Sunday. A pleasant lunch and a short walk followed by an ice cream. Four children are ruinously expensive.

Andy nearly joined us for one of the lunches after setting fire to his kitchen.


Enjoyed some wine from Naked Wine and had a Grasshoper now that I've tracked down some white Creme de Cacao. Delicous stuff. Had a delicious bottle of Moet et Chandon 1998 to celebrate BB's birthday. Very delicious.


Took delivery of my new painting station from Hobby Zone of Poland. The painting station itself is superb. Took about an hour to assemble with a little help from MLW. Holds all my paint. It should allow me to do painting in shorter bursts and the tidy up quickly so that I can do more in the evening without MLW feeling like she's living a Warhammer shop.

However, it doesn't fit in the box that I thought it would by about 5mm. I'd clearly measured the internal dimensions of the box incorrectly. This is a bit of a blow but good will triumph over evil. I've found an online bespoke cardboard box shop so I can have a box that fits perfectly in to the space I want to put it, which will contain the painting station and some other things and be out of the way and tiday.


My Lovely Wife and I spent a few days in the garden. Mostly this was tidying up after the winter. The flat is on a corner over looking a park so lots of leaves get blown into it. Excellent mulch but there is a need to clear them away. A bit of pruning. Well quite a lot of pruning. MLW had stern words with the Naughty Clematis and I tackled the Excellent Good Rose. I'm redirecting its energies along the wall. I did manage to get myself entangled in it with a nasty combination of thorns under my arm and in my wrist.

Other pruning and staking and re-shaping happened. Generally the garden looks like someone cares for it now.

We got the trellis for the Corner Clematis up on the wall. This has been a job in the offing for several years. I hope the Corner Clematis now thrives in a it's blowsy purple way. Along side the Corner Clematis went a bird house. Bets are invited on how long this survives being stolen.

We also planted some plants. We have a new flowering cherry with interesting gnarly branches to replace the dead Yellow Broome. A nice white early flowering upright shrub and a striking evergreen perential with bright green and white leaves. Some new wallflowers and some bedding plants for the planters.

Board Games

With my sister and brother in law up there were board games.

I played the following

Power Grid for the first time. Long game but interesting. Put aside three hours or more to play it. We broke our session with dinner.

Blueprint - second time. A game based on architecture. Short game (30 minutes or so). Nice mechanic. Not deep. I feel it's going to be a pleasant warm up game, or one The Captain can join in with.

Camel Up - a short funny betting game based on a camel race. The Captain did really well with the betting and the counting. Particularly when the game is for 8 year olds and older.

Ticket to Ride Europe with the 1912 expansion pack. We tried one of the new sets of card. It worked well and Bluebird through a combination of luck and judgement managed the family highest ever score with a series of about a dozen new route draws towards the end of the game. For a few minutes I thought she was going to top 200 points.

Tsuro came out for some Captain gaming.

Machi Koro with the Harbour and the (new to me) Millionaire's Row Expansion Packs. The game works very well with the Harbour expansion. I consider that the base game. Millionaire's Row changes the ethos of the game. The base game doesn't have many opportunities to agrressively interfere with other players. Millionaire's Row gives you the opportunity to disrupt them in several ways. It makes the game more interactive but sneakier. I liked it, the rest of the family less so.

I return to work having had a good week off.
danieldwilliam: (coffee)
I have acquired, played or experienced some new board games.

The following are now in my house.

Dominion - Intrigue

Also Dystopian Wars

I've played the following

Exploding Kittens
Lost Cities
Sheep Farm (my sister's work in progress game).


is mental. It's a card game. The rules change depending on what rules you cards you play. It's silly but fun. Useful I think for my games nights as a starter game or for late arrivals.


is beautiful. It is a tile placement game. You have to create paths for your counter to follow. If your path leads off the board or in to another player you are out. Last person standing wins. (The Captain can just about manage this game)

Dominion - Intrigue

is a Dominion expansion. I think I don't get to play enough Dominion.


is a mystery. I've not played it. It looks complex.


is a game of deck building, using decks to purchase tiles to convert to points with a palace building theme. The Captain can just about play it although it's a little too long for him and (frustratingly) I interpreted the rules incorrectly the first time we played. These rules are now baked in his head as the RULES but they don't work brilliantly and because the game is both a little complex for him and a little long he can get aggitated.

Dystopian Wars has finally arrived and looks great. I'm looking forward to painting up the ships and trying out the game. The Captain was very taken with the ships and has helped my unpack them. They are made on a 3D printer. They look gorgeous. Mum was impressed by the detail. They are the first objects I recall holding that were 3D printed. Certainly the first objects I've knowingly owned that were 3D printed that were cost competitive with objects made using other production methods.

I played Exploding Kittens in the pub with Andy, Nicky and her husband.

It's fun and silly and quick (again, perhaps one for the begining of games nights) but as Andy says, it's basically Russian Roulette.

Lost Cities is a quick and simple deck building game which I played a couple of times with Andy. I liked it.

My sister's game had some play testing. It's certainly a workable game right now and a few tweaks will make it quicker and more dynamic. I'm looking forward to trying it again.

So a pleasant few weeks of board gaming over Christmas.
danieldwilliam: (machievelli)
I spent the weekend with my sister , my brother-in-law and Bluebird in Bristol. Well most of the weekend.

I have the quarterly Unlock Democracy Council meeting on Saturday in London, so I got up early, went to London for the day.

A useful and interesting conversation about our strategy immediately after the election and for the coming year. I may have used the words capability and resource about a dozen times. Even when not being an accountant I’m such an accountant.

In between Unlock duties I managed to eat some food, chat with my family, drink some beer and play some board games

On Friday we played Forbidden Island which is a co-operative game based on treasure hunting on a sinking island. You have to work as a team to pick up four MacGuffins and escape the island before it sinks beneath the sea. Quite a simple game but good fun.

On Saturday night we played the Village. This is a competitive game where you try and steer a mediaeval family through three generations of toil. It’s very complicated. Complicated to the point where I was struggling to keep a track of what was going on. Very enjoyable.

We also managed a few rounds of Kingdom Builder, which was fine, enjoyable, but not as exciting as the others.

Finally on Sunday we played Pandemic. Another co-operative game, you have to work together to contain and cure four diseases that threaten to run out of control. This was definitely the pick of the bunch.

It’s made me think about developing a board game of my own and on the trip back from Bristol I made really good progress turning some vague ideas I’ve had into the mechanics for a game. More anon.

Listened to Rumours, whilst trying to explain why Lindsey Bellingham is a bell-end then ear-wormed myself with the Corrs entire back catalogue.

On the journey back I finished Battle Cry of Freedom. Thoughts anon.


danieldwilliam: (Default)

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