A business course finally begins, info about board games of Carcassonne are enjoyed and Monopoly, and a stinker of a pub quiz question turns up.

Business course plans

After a delay of several months, the small business course that I was planned to attend back in June is at last occurring. The organiser for in touch with me a few days ago asking if I am still interested – it’s almost as if they’re aware of the long delay that’s been in place.

Board games

Today at the community centre I had the opportunity to have a good go at Carcassonne and the New Zealand edition of Monopoly.


Carcassone is a 2-5 player tile-based game set in early Southern France, where you place tiles that have combinations of city, road, cloister, and grassland. When playing a tile, the edges that it connects to must match up, so a city edge can only connect with another city edge. When you place a tile, you can decide to place one of your 7 followers (or meeples) on it. If placed in a city then he is a knight, on a road he is a thief, in a cloister he is a monk, and laying down on grassland he is a farmer. Keep in mind though that you are not allowed to place your meeple on an area that has already been claimed by someone else.

When an area is complete, you gain points for completing that area. Knights get two points per tile of the city and bonus two points for any pennants on tiles of that city. Roads are complete when they connect between any two features, such as a cloister to a t-intersection, and gain 1 point for each tile. Monks gain a whole 9 points when all eight tiles surrounding that cloister have been placed. After getting your score, your meeple can be removed from the tile and put aside for you to then use him elsewhere. Farmers wait until the end of the game, and they gain 4 points for each completed city that their grassland connects to.

It’s an interesting game of strategy and wit, for you don’t want to have too many farmers early on reducing your ability to earn points throughout the game, and occasionally you an play your own tile to foil your opponents plans.

New Zealand Monopoly

Monopoly, I have found, is a game that involved very little in the way of decisions or choices. For the first half of the game there is virtually no choice involved at all. Every property that you land on has to be either purchased or auctioned off by the bank, and because nobody likes auctioning off this results in people mortgaging themselves in order to obtain the property. Choices come later on, such as when in jail do you pay to get out sooner, or when choosing to negotiate with another player about obtaining their property, or when building up apartments and hotels on completed sets of properties.

Because vast amounts of the game are based entirely on luck, not skill, it has people asking if the game was meant to teach you about the evils of capitalism, and it seems that the answer is a resounding yes.

Pub quiz

Tonight’s Pub Quiz had some new faces, and a few regulars like Travis and Ross weren’t able to make it tonight so it all balanced out nicely. The place was also packed with new teams due in part to the school holidays.

At one stage we were asked a stinker of a question about the title of the new Morgan Spurlock movie. Someone knew that it was about the One Direction band, but that wasn’t the actual title of the movie. 1D or This Is Us were the accepted variations instead. In retrospect it is worthy of note that iMDB gives the title of the movie asĀ One Direction: This Is Us, but given the 3.2 rating of the movie I’m not likely to be enjoying that one.