Some printing updates receive news of other printing problems, and D&D night turns in to an interesting board game night instead.

Printer problems

After sending through to John some updates in DataTech that affect a part of the printing process, I received a response from him of some errors when trying to print anything. This had me worried and concerned, for the error he was getting seemed to be unrelated to what I was updating.

I stopped around to his place on the way to D&D night in New Brighton, and found that he’d moved his computing stuff out to the shed, and it didn’t take long to realise that it was his computer system itself that was having problems, in regard to how the printers were set up. After a quick fix from the DOS prompt to redirect lpt1 out to one of his usb printers, all was then going well.

net use lpt1 \\main-pc\lexmark /persistent:yes

There are other solutions for the Clipper language to print to windows printers, but it requires setting up a monitoring program called Printfil on the machine. It’s an added level of complexity, but it does have the handy benefit of allowing you to also print to a wide range of different printers. So this is an option that I’ll definitely be looking at in the near future.

Board games

Due to some of the group not being able to make it, we changed plans from a D&D evening to one of board games.

King’s Gate is what we had a good go at tonight, which is a tile laying game. The king is dying, and we are nobles vying for influence to become king ourself. We all have  a stack of our own shuffled district tiles, and we start with the first 6 tiles from the stack. Each tile has an influence score from 0 to 5 on them. Players take turns to place districts from their hand around a location on the table. Some locations can be safe and others can be dangerous. At dangerous locations tiles can be replaced by higher-scoring tiles. Each location has victory points that go to the players with the most influence, as well as a special character that goes to the person with the most influence.

When placing districts, you can place as many 1-score tiles as you like, or just one of the 2 to 5 scoring tiles at a time. There are also a few special tiles that score 0, that have special aspect about them such a pub that can also be placed at the same time, or a dragon that can remove a tiles.

When no more tiles can be placed around the location a tally of influence for each player is made, with the highest score gaining the most victory points from the location, and so on until you get to the last player who receives no points at all. The person with the most influence also gains a special character from the location, each of which has different effects.

The person who placed the last tile gets to choose where the next location is placed, which is where quite a bit of strategy is involved. You want to place the new location where you already have tiles to add to your score, so keeping the pub aside, or placing multiple 1’s can result in you scoring less now, but with the advantage of gaining in the next round from where you place the new location.

Also as the game progresses, the special characters can radically change the course of the game. One may change a dangerous location to a safe oe, or vice versa, another may change the scoring rules to being the number of tiles instead of the number on the tiles.

While at first giving the impression of simple game, this one devolves in to a level of complexity that is challenging and enjoyable to partake in.