This morning the monthly Reiki session was being held at the community centre. This month the office area was cramped due to harbouring vast amounts of junk that’s intended to be put out later in the month for sale, so Reiki was held in the common room area instead, which resulted in there being no common-area for people to wait and/or have a cuppa tea or chat, so I suspect that plans will be changing next month back to being in the office area. I gave Reiki a try a few months ago and found that it has no real benefit over taking a restful lie down for half an hour, which is an opinion that I’ve since learned is now backed up by the following research – Effects of reiki in clinical practice: a systematic review of randomised clinical trials which finds that “the evidence is insufficient to suggest that reiki is an effective treatment for any condition. Therefore the value of reiki remains unproven.”

Initial improvements

This afternoon was used to rework the structuring of DataTech code in the _appx file, by breaking apart large functions in to smaller ones so that with well-named functions it’s easier to understand what is happening in the code. Apparently _appx is used to manage the startup of the program by initialising the main and menu sections, and it also displays alert prompts on the screen and handles the details of receiving selection choices.

Because many of these functions are only accessed from within this one file and not from other ones, they can also be made into static functions which also helps to reduce the memory footprint.

Board games

Tonight was a board games evening out in Halswell with Luke and Lydia, and because I didn’t have much in the way of games to bring with me I brought instead a small tuppaware container that was only 3×5 inches (8×13 cm) and was greatly surprised at how fully it filled the dinner plate when laid out.

Castle of the Devil

When I arrived people had already started playing Castle of the Devil which is a deduction game that reminds me of Inkognito. With the Castle you are passengers in a carriage rushing to the Devil’s Castle. Each person is a member of a secret association but you don’t know who the others are, or whether they’re friend or foe. You win by finding out who your allies are and jointly collect three specific artifacts that your group needs.


After I arrived, I and others split off while the above was going on to instead play the dice-bluffing game Perudo (video review), also called Liar’s Dice and and has been mentioned here before, which is always interesting and challenging.

Shadow Hunters

Then we got involved with Shadow Hunters which I consider to be the best game of the evening (video review). With Shadow Hunters each person is a special unknown person who may be in one of three different groups, Shadow, Hunters, or Neutral. Shadow and hunters need to kill all of the players in the other group, and neutral have different win conditions, such as to remain alive by the end of the game. Nobody knows who is who at first, and each have a special ability, but this is often not used until later because using it results in revealing who you are to everybody else. One of the people is even allowed to lie, which can help to throw some delicious confusion in the mix.

The game consists of trying to figure out who you can attack or help to defend. There are three sets of cards used in the game, the White cards, the Black cards, and the Hermit cards. The white cards tend to be beneficial and helpful, the black cards are used for attacking such as increasing an attack bonus, and the hermit cards are used to learn about your other players. For example, a hermit card is looked at, and then passed to someone that you want to learn about. The card may tell them “If you are a Shadow or a Hunter, lose one health” to which the person can either do that or say “no effect”, before handing the hermit card back so that you can review the information on there before discarding it.

It’s an intriguing mechanism because the first half of the game consists of trying to gain clues about who is who, and once you have some idea about a few people to then take action without letting on to others that you know, so that your opponents don’t gang up on you. Towards the end it become clear who most of the people are and things heat up as you try to prevent others from achieving their own win condition. It’s a fun game.

Ca$h ‘n Gun$

After finishing a few games of Shadow Hunters, we moved on to Ca$h ‘n Gun$ which is a silly gangster game of bluffing and negotiation, where the aim is to end the game having taken the most money from the bank. Each player has a hand of 8 cards that consist of 2 Bang cards, 5 Click Click cards, and one Bang Bang Bang card. Each round load your gun with one of the cards by placing the card face down on the table, then everyone chooses someone to aim. People can then choose to chicken out but take a shame token which will cost them money at the end of the game. Anyone who played the Bang Bang Bang card gets to go first and get the jump on who they were aiming at. Then those with Bang cards reveal them and take out the person they were aiming at for that round. Whoever gets wounded gets a wound token and once you have three wounds you die and are out of the game.

Those who chickened out or get wounded turn down their player card, for they are no longer involved with splitting the pot for this round, and the remaining people with Click Click cards reveal them to prove their good intentions before splitting up the booty from the bank. If any of it can’t be evenly split then it remains in the pot and gets added to by the next round. At the end of the game, people who are still alive count up their money and whoever has the most, wins. This type of game seems to be more of a drinking game, and was perhaps the weakest of what was played tonight.

King of Tokyo

The evening was ended with King of Tokyo (video review) which is a monster game where you roll 6 dice to collect energy to buy power cards, 3 or more identical numbers with which to add on to your victory points, or attacks which you met out to other players. If you are outside of Tokyo then any attacks occur to players in Tokyo. If you are in Tokyo then your attacks fall to everyone outside of Tokyo. When in Tokyo and you are attacked, you can choose to vacate and the person who attacked you must more in there instead. It’s an interesting dilemma, because staying until the your next round means that you gain bonus victory points, but you risk losing lots of health in the process. Ultimately though this game suffers from being too random due to the dice rolls, but it’s an entertaining way to pass the time too.