Category: General (Page 3 of 15)

Shakespeare and Tapas with Preston

Preston and I went to see “As You Like It” by the Shakespeare Theater Company in D.C. on Saturday. This was my first time at this venue, the Lansburgh Theatre. Great theater; small and intimate (I think it only holds 500?). Ok, 500 may not be intimate, but it is small by some standards. The Shakespeare Company makes a few free tickets available for some (all?) of the shows on a first-come basis. I got lucky and snagged some – when we arrived and got the tickets at will call they were great: ~5th row, center!

Preston had a perfect view. The only issue I had was parking – this is in downtown DC after all. But we managed to find a parking garage a couple of blocks away, and made it to our seats just as the curtain rose! Perfect timing.

After the play we went next door to Jaleo for dinner.

This was Preston’s first exposure to Spanish tapas, and he was a trooper and tried a bunch of different tapas. He liked the presentation of the Croquetas de Pollo (traditional chicken fritters), but was not a fan of the taste. They surprised me too, as the interior (while tasty) had the consistency of thick clam chowder. Why are they served in a sneaker?

He loved the Gambas al ajillo (shrimp sauteed with garlic), though he did comment that they were a bit spicy. He chowed down on the bread they came with.

He tried the Chorizo casero con pure de patatas al aceite de oliva (house made traditional chorizo with olive oil mashed potatoes and cider sauce), but really liked the mashed potatoes (we ordered more on the side).

Finally, he tried the Pollo al ajillo con salsa verde (grilled marinated chicken with parsley puree and garlic sauce). This was a nice grilled chicken; I really liked the salsa verde (almost like a parsley pesto).

I liked them all, my favorite being either the chorizo/mashed or the shrimp (great spicy sauce). I probably won’t get Croquetas de Pollo again, though. :)

Bento Boxes – no more boring lunches

Inspiration hit; I saw some cute bentobox lunches online and decided I’d try my hand. This past week the kids had these for lunch:

Cuba Libre Board Game

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.

Game Night: Dead of Winter and Nexus Ops


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!”. :)

Game Night: Hyperborea

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. :)

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