May 2012

Dylan and I played another round of Power Grid: First Sparks tonight. This is a fun game I picked up last week; third time playing. Some of the mechanics are similar to the regular “Power Grid” game, but overall this is “Power Grid light”, playing in an hour or less. One significant change is the removal of bidding for technology (power plants in the regular game).

My first play was with Dylan, and I (barely) won. This play he trounced me. I placed my initial clans too far to one end of the (elongated this time) “board”, and ended up where each turn I could only feed the clans I had, but had no resources left to expand or buy new “technology” to get more resources. At that point Dylan placed 5 clans to end the game and win. Hmmm. I do like this game. Only took about an hour.

Next time, better starting position! The board changes each game, as board tiles are chosen randomly and placed by players in turn to form the playing area. The previous games were more “square” than tonight’s “elongated” one. Tonight was tough for me due to poor initial placement on my part. Dylan was able to put some obstacles in my path (clans) making expansion more expensive. I keep underestimating his ability for strategic play in these games! Also, this time we correctly refilled the resources (harvest), so didn’t run out of bears or mammoths. Fun game!

[Update 6/21/2012]: Bummer. Before the little eggs hatched, I went to check on them and the eggs were gone. Part of the nest was broken off. Appears some critter (I’ll go on record as blaming some neighborhood *cat*) got them. Must have been a new Robin mom, as I assume most robins build nests in trees, not bushes easily found by cats. Oh well.

We have a Robin family living in the bush right in front of our house! I can remember one of my chemistry professors telling me to wait until the reaction turned “robin’s egg blue” color to indicate it was done. More than 20 years later I now see what color he was referring to. :)

I haven’t mentioned the presence of the nest to Preston or Olivia – it is at their level, only a few feet off the ground, so too tempting for them to disturb the little eggs. Preston has noticed “a bird living in the bush”, but hasn’t seen the nest yet. :)

No pictures of the mom robin yet, as she flutters away to the tree across the yard when we go by. She chirps at us from her perch there until we leave the nest area. We’ve been careful not to touch it. I just hope no neighborhood cats find the little eggs!

Recently at our weekly board game night we played a quick game of Tongiaki. It’s a semi-cooperative tile (and boat) laying game. You basically try to grow your population and move to as many new islands as possible. Each tile laid has a number of beaches, and each beach has a certain number of berths for boats. Once a beach is full, those boats must sail for new territory. This gets tricky, because if the next tile drawn is a water tile, and there are fewer different colors of boats than the number on the tile, the all the boats are lost. This means you do want to mix up colors (players), just in case.

When the last tile (of either water or island) is placed (there are 16 of each), the game ends. You add up the points for islands you have a boat on – most points wins. Fun, if sometimes frustrating (all my boats sank due to water tile!) game.

Right. I’m not a marketing person, however if you are trying to sell me something then at least take the time to use buzzwords that are familiar to most people. I received an email in my work inbox from some outside company, looking to sell me their “boutique” services.

I am not in the least interested in calling them for a number of reasons, not least being that I suspect “Disruptive Ideation” and the other highlighted bits below were randomly generated.

  • Whitespace Opportunity Identification / Disruptive Ideation
  • Market Access / Market Landscaping / Emerging Market Analysis
  • Technology Scouting / New Product Validation
  • Market Adjacency Mapping
  • Key Innovation Leader Studies
  • Market Landscape Analysis
  • Transaction Opportunity Identification
  • Voice of the Customer Studies