Creative counting takes place at the food co-op, satellite images of MH370 debris are made public, and board games of Endeavor, Asara, and Love Letter.

Food co-op

After not being able to go last week to the food co-op due to holding down the fort at the community centre, they were pleased to see me back there again today.

I seem to end up on the weighing side of things, and was weighing tomatoes today. Fortunately I’ve been able to shortcut the process, for we have 354 food packs that need to come from 11 crates of tomatoes, which by a rough calculation in my head is 11*30 (330) plus another couple of 11’s, we’ll make it 3 lots of 11 for safety sake, so 33 food packs are needed from each crate. I can do that without weighing.

Since weighing out 500g of tomatoes from the first box resulted in 5 tomatoes more often than not, for the second crate I didn’t weigh and found that with 5 tomatoes each time we get only 31 packs. I’m short by about 10 tomatoes, so if every third one somes down to 4 tomatoes instead, things will balance themself out nicely.

By doing 5 smaller tomatoes for the first two lots, then 4 larger tomatoes, I can happily follow a pattern of 5, 5, 4, 5, 5, 4, … and we end up with a nice and simple system that works, and saves me from having to weigh things out every time.

Satellite images from Sunday have been released by the Malaysian government showing debris and its coordinates.

Yesterday we were thinking that some serious evidence must be out there for the families to be given free tickets to Australia, and for the all sorts of other additional resources to narrow in on the area. Things are starting to coalesce now that this information has been made public.

A satellite photo, showing the locations and coordinates of unknown objects reported by the Malaysian Remote Sensing Agency in the Indian Ocean.

Board games

My Wednesday nights aren’t going to involve dungeons and dragons for the next month, so it was off to enjoy some board games tonight, where I find myself at Saffron’s place in Hoon Hay.

Endeavor

The Endeavor shipping game involving the colonisation of land, and earning the most glory for your empire. Each player has tracking board that lets them keep track of industry, culture, finance, and politics, building tiles, and asset cards. The aim is to use citizens that you get each round to occupy different cities and the connections between them, with the aim of having the highest score from your different tracks and cities.

Each round you buy a building depending on your level of industry, then receive people based on your level of culture. You have space for 8 buildings, so the game lasts for 8 rounds. Some buildings have a place for a person that needs to be filled before you can use that building, which is where your level of finance becomes useful. The higher your finance, the more people you can retain in those buildings for the next round. Lastly with politics, that determines how many cards you can retain from trade. You can have as many as you like throughout the course of your turn, but at the end of your turn you must discard down to what your political level dictates.

It’s a challenging game to play, but I found it to be rather muted in its presentation. I have no doubt though that with another play or two I’ll also pick up on more subtle aspects of the game.

Asara

Asara is a pretty tower building game that uses coloured cards to determine the  play of things. The playfield contains different stacks of tower parts such as a base, middle, window, top, and fancy lighting, and in front of each stack is an array of several visible parts from each stack. Some of the tower come with additional bling that gives bonus points too. With 5 different colours of towers that range in price and availability, from the cheap brown to the vibrant and expensive white towers, your aim is to score the most victory points among the other players.

The game is played in 4 rounds, where for each round you gain money and cards. When you want to buy a tower piece you place a coloured card in that area, and anyone else who wants to buy must use the same colour. If you can’t use the same colour then you can instead use two upside down cards. Other parts of the board let you peek at the top 3 or 5 tiles of a stack, or to trade in a card for a few more, or to obtain more money.

Once you have gathered your parts you need to build your tower, which is done by paying to build a certain number of pieces. This becomes limited though for once someone has built a certain number, someone else wanting to build the same amount will have to pay for a larger amount.

At the end of each round scores are taken for the number of towers and the amount of bling, and at the end of the game points are also received for the types of towers, and bonus points are given for the top two players that have the most, or the highest.

Love Letter

Love Letter is perhaps the most interesting game of the night, and the simplest to play. Eligible young men seek to woo the princess, and we must rely on others to take our love letter to her. The game is a bluffing/deduction game played with 16 cards, and the aim is to win 4 rounds (5 rounds with 3 players). Each round a random person is removed from the 16, and one card is given to each player. On each turn a card is drawn and one is chosen to lay down in front of you. This is an important mechanic, for knowing what others have played allows you to form conclusions about the cards that remain in play.

The three top cards are the Princess, the Countess, and the King. If you have you play the princess then you’ve lost the round, with the Countess you must discard the King or Prince if you have them, and the King lets you trade hands with another player. Other cards exist such as the Prince which forces a player to discard and redraw, the Handmaid that protects you for a turn, the Baron which lets you compare hands with someone else forcing the lower valued player out of the round, and the Priest that lets you look at another hand.

The last type of card the Guard, lets you try and guess the card of another player, forcing them out too. The last person left wins that round, and after winning 4 rounds (or 5 with 3 players) is declared the winner.

Must-buy games

Love Letter is a highly enjoyable game and makes it on to my must buy list too, which currently stands at:

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