cuba libre boxFor Wednesday game night, Rob, Pete and I played Cuba Libre. I played the Revolutionary Directorate (Directorio, “Student Uprising”, Yellow). Pete was the Government (Blue), and Rob was the 26July faction (i.e. Castro/Che, Red). The Syndicate faction (Green; Organized Crime) was played by an AI. The AI system (flowchart, dice for some decisions, etc.) worked well, and we definitely had to watch out for the Syndicate. As it was, the Syndicate AI player beat me…

This was the first time play for me (and I think Rob also?) but Pete had played a couple of solo games to get the feel. He did a great job teaching us. I’ll definitely play this one again.

This is the 2nd in the COIN (“CounterInsurgent/Insurgent) series from GMT. I have “A Distant Plain“, the 3rd in the series and this play of Cuba Libre *really* makes me want to get ADP to the table!

Rating: 8/10.


Saturday I hosted my first Game Night. Unfortunately the timing was a bit off, as Euroquest was this past weekend as well, and many from my gaming group were there. But Pat and George came over and we enjoyed a game of Dead of Winter and then Nexus Ops. Sat around for a bit after Nexus Ops just chatting. The guys ended up leaving ~2AM.

I never did hear (or see) the kids, but in the morning Olivia said “Dad, last night I heard dice rolling and laughter!”. :)

Scorecard.  Point salad!  James won, I came in last.  Spread was only 10 points though
We got in a four-player game of Hyperborea last night. This was my second play; first play was last weekend vs. Dylan. I lost to Dylan, so I figured last night I’d play the faction he played (Blue). I lost again. But it was a fun time. At least Steve said he’d like to play again (and he already picked his next faction: Yellow).

The game is a twist on the deck-builder game, where here you build a collection of “cubes” of various colors. You blindly pick cubes from your collected supply out of a bag; these are used on your turn to take actions. You place cubes on either your player board, or “Advanced Tech” cards in order to do actions. You continue to do actions on your turn (any order) until you have no more you can or wish to do. You then draw 3 cubes for as prep for your next turn (so you can attempt to plan during downtime) and play moves to next player. We played a “medium” length game, where the end game is triggered when 2 of 3 possible conditions met (12 gems collected, 5 adv. tech acquired, or all your minions on the board.). I hit 12 gems first, then Steve, and Steve ended the game by acquiring 5 tech.

There is some “attack” ability in the game, but isn’t very complicated: simply use an “attack” action while in the same hex as your target. Done. Unless the target placed a fort in the hex on their previous turn – the fort soaks up one attack. But forts were rarely placed this game.

Now that I have the mechanics down, and have a better idea of strategy, my next play should end more favorably. :)

William Gibson.  Reading his new book, The Peripheral
William Gibson at Politics and Prose, Washington, DC (November 8, 2014)

Where Flynne and her brother, Burton, live, jobs outside the drug business are rare. Fortunately, Burton has his veteran’s benefits, for neural damage he suffered from implants during his time in the USMC’s elite Haptic Recon force. Then one night Burton has to go out, but there’s a job he’s supposed to do—a job Flynne didn’t know he had. Beta-testing part of a new game, he tells her. The job seems to be simple: work a perimeter around the image of a tower building. Little buglike things turn up. He’s supposed to get in their way, edge them back. That’s all there is to it. He’s offering Flynne a good price to take over for him. What she sees, though, isn’t what Burton told her to expect. It might be a game, but it might also be murder.
–blurb from The Peripheral.

Love the silver ink that Mr. Gibson used on the black background!

I must be getting old. I had my older son Dylan go next door during the talk to reserve a table for us (knowing it would be a long wait). The restaurant beeper naturally went off (Dylan came to get me) while I was waiting in line to get my copy of The Peripheral signed. So, I had Dylan wait in line to get the book signed for me while Preston and I went next door to order dinner. And yes, he was thrilled to do that for me – I could tell by his glare. Right.
I didn’t get to say ‘Hi” to Mr. Gibson this time. Last time I saw him was in 2007; right here at Politics and Prose! – See my previous blog post from 2007 (and compare the pictures).

I would have just stayed in line but we needed to have dinner and get Preston home for bedtime. Dylan got back to the table about 5 minutes before his pizza: “That line moved about 2 inches every 5 minutes, Dad!”.

Love the silver ink that Mr. Gibson used on the black background!

Dinner at Comet Pizza next door was very good. The wait for the table was 45 minutes, but we were in the bookstore, so no worries. The waiter was very apologetic for the wait and we had excellent service. I love their wood-fired pizza. So does Preston.

We have been coming on Saturdays the past few times we have been here, and thus it has been way too crowded to get a ping-pong table. But this time we got the best table yet – table at rear, just before the ping-pong area. This is MUCH preferred over the main dining area, which is crowded, and poorly lit (we like to play games like Roll For It while waiting).

Preston ate a whole cheese pizza himself!White pie:  olive oil, garlic, mozzarella.  Plus basil, olives and fennel sausage.  Delicious!

Preston ate a whole cheese pizza himself!

Yes, I did something nice for Dylan for being my proxy – he got the book he wanted. :)

I have a lot more pictures from our day on Block Island, RI in August. However this one was just used for his birthday invites and I kinda like it:

Preston finding Treasures on Block Island

Preston finding Treasures on Block Island

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