Board Games January 14/21

Been a bit busy at work and home and completely forgot to post about these.

January 14

Kingdom Builder
Kingdom Builder

Our co-op student for the term is very interested in boardgames so we’ve invited him to join us. The night started off with a few games of Kingdom Builder, it’s very similar to Small World but more passive in terms of what you can do to your opponents. You’re placing tiles down onto the board to score points based on a few set game mechanics and 3 randomly chosen rules. Everyone places 3 of their houses down per turn plus any additional houses if they acquired special tokens. There are certain rules to follow when placing down houses so finding a good strategy early is key.

Settlers of Catan
Settlers of Catan

Ending the night with Catan. I’ve walked through half of the tutorial online and various videos but never really played a game. Mike, our co-op student, hasn’t played it either so we had to play a round. I’m sure there are others who can explain the game better than I can.

January 21

Splendor
Splendor

I had just recently purchased Splendor to continue my theme of gambling/betting and poker chips. I’ve upgraded my copy of Camel Up to use poker chips now. Splendor is a game where you’re acquiring gem mines (cards) for the cost of gems (poker chips). Both the gems and mines can be used to contribute to purchasing future gem mines with the owned mines being permanent resources while you put the gems back to the communal pile. I’ll be playing this game with my cousins/friends in the future so I’ll have more to post.

Dominion
Dominion

We’ve played Dominion at Games on Tap before but we wanted to introduce it to Mike. Dominion is a deck building game where the objective is to collect as many Victory (green) cards as possible. Victory cards have no other value during the game so collecting the cheap 1 Victory cards would hurt a deck during the game play. Other than the 6 static piles there are 10 other decks of cards which have special effects that may aid with collecting more cards or put your opponents at a disadvantage.

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Carcassonne

Carcassonne is another game that I feel that shares with a similar vibe to Small World. You’re building the map each turn with the option to claim the field/city/road you just played if nobody else has claims to a connected area. Scoring is based on how big the city or how long the road gets once it’s completed.

Fluxx
Fluxx

We ended with Fluxx which I have posted about before.

Foods

I’ll be posting about foods soon, a mass amount of the new Kit Kats are acquired and been tasted by many at work now.

January 7 Boardgames

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As promised, I will be doing a boardgame post every week or so starting in 2016. We play at Games On Tap in Waterloo every Thursday night. If you’re interested in joining our group, feel free to bug me personally somewhere on social mediums.

We played a few games last Thursday, Libertalia was the only game I haven’t played before. The game itself is pretty simple once you get the hang of it. Each player has the same roster of characters that they will strategically play in order to gain loot. Each character has special effects that will grant them abilities during specific phases of the round. The replay value exists because of the random nature of the character rosters you’ll get. Game can play up to 6 and the more players the better.

I introduced the group to Guillotine, a game published by Wizards of the Coast. I liked the game because of the very simple rules and concept. Guillotine has action cards (hand) and nobles (they form a line up in front of a guillotine). You play an action card to possibly manipulate the line up, and you collection the next noble in the line up. Loop until the line up is done, loop 3 times. Very easy game to explain.

We ended the night with Fluxx, a favourite of ours. The game is also another one of those simple to teach games and starts off with the basic rules of ‘Draw 1, Play 1’. The game doesn’t stay that way though, you’ll add more rules to complement the basic rule and you can end up drawing 5 cards and playing 3, or only allowed to keep 0 cards at the end of your turn. To win the game, one of the rules that will be added determine the conditions to win. Those conditions consist usually of having played keepers and sometimes creeper cards in front of you. The game quickly turns into a very complicated mess with too many rules on the table and someone screwing your winning conditions over.

I’m going to delay the Kit Kat post since I haven’t been able to secure a Mint one yet. However, I did happen to find some Ginger Ale and Root Beer at a grocery store that I don’t frequent in my hunt for the Mint Kit Kat.

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Bao Sandwich Bar

A recent post on Reddit came to my attention yesterday and I knew I had to pay them a visit. They sell banh mi, the Vietnamese sub, as well as bao and a few other items, but the banh mi is why I went.

It’s a comfort food, I’ve eaten too many of them to count since my childhood. It’s so simple: french bread, pate, mayonnaise, cold cuts, carrots, daikon, cucumber, and cilantro.

I was running errands today and decided to end my trip at the shop, which is conveniently located near Wilfrid Laurier, but not the easiest to find. It’s in the back of a building and you have to walk all the way around.

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Five Spices Pork
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Crackling Pork

There was some confusion when I ordered my sandwiches. I thought there would be some kind of traditional meat available but the “banh mi 2.0” style is with much different meats. I got the Five Spices Babe and Crackle Belly on banh mi. Both of them were quite good, I liked the Crackle Belly more than the Five Spices sandwich. Looking at their menu again, I should definitely give the Dynasty Duck and Seoul Beef one a try on my next visit.

Quick preview of my next food post:

kitkat

Board Games

Starting in 2016, I plan on doing my take on board games here. It’ll feature games that I am introduced to during our gaming nights after work and won’t necessarily be new games, I haven’t even played Settlers of Catan yet.

Fever-Tree Premium Ginger Ale

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Saw this at my grocery store and decided to pick it up. Fever Tree is more for mixed drinks but I figure the drink can’t be too bad by itself.

200ml per bottle, $6.99 for the 4-pack.

And it waasn’t great. It’s quite clean and crisp. On a scale from 1 to 5, with Canada Dry Ginger Ale at 3, I’d give this one a 2. It was a bit disappointing to drink and the high cost just lowered its score even more.

Orville Redenbacher’s Sweet Peppermint Popcorn

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Sometimes popcorn can be good. The cheese/butter flavours are enjoyable while watching a movie. The chocolate/caramel ones are a wonderful dessert.

This one, however, wasn’t exactly meant to be a popcorn flavour. The taste was a bit off, it was like chewing gum while eating popcorn. Eating a whole handful made it almost feel that way since I didn’t want to have to swallow it.

0/5

Chip update

It’s been a while, things have been busy for me. Lays released their Do Us a Flavour chips in Canada: Butter Chicken, Montreal Smoked Meat, PEI Scalloped Potatoes, Cowboy BBQ Beans.

Picked up at a Wal-Mart though they were available in almost every major store I went to.

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From left to right on my shopping cart:

PEI Scalloped Potatoes

I have something against potato flavoured potato chips. There’s really nothing you’re adding or taking away by making it a chip. In this case, it’s pretty much just cheese flavoured.

Montreal Smoked Meat

The flavour is actually the whole sandwich, not just the meat. It was very similar to the sandwich, I can taste a hint of pickle in addition to the spices.

Butter Chicken

Quite a buttery taste but heavier on the spices. I haven’t had butter chicken before so I’m unsure of the taste accuracy.

Cowboy BBQ Beans

The wavy chip actually makes the chip taste worse. I’m not sure what the intentions were but I couldn’t taste any BBQ in it.

Doritos Collisions (Habanero + Guacamole)

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I have a beef with these Doritos. The bag portrays an even split between the two flavors. In each of the 3 bags I purchased, the ratio was roughly 70/30 in favour of the Habaneros. The habanero chips weren’t too spicy and the guacamole chips were okay. The main complain is the unevenness of it.

But this gives me an idea….

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Lays had a Grilled Cheese and Ketchup flavour 2 years ago which tasted nothing like what I ate for a lot of my undergrad. If Lays combined two different chips (1:1 ratio!) into the bag, it might actually work out for them!

Do Us A Flavor Round 2

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Finally had time to do the last two flavors and here are my thoughts.

West Coast Truffle Fries

I remembered having truffle fries at a restaurant once but I couldn’t remember what it tasted like. After trying the chips, there’s a hint of sour cream/onion taste but less of the sour cream and more so on the onion.

Southern Biscuits and Gravy

Never really had biscuits and gravy so I’m also going in blind for these. The taste was a bit mild, there’s a hint of gravy flavor but then the chip takes over.

My Rankings

  1. Greektown Gyro
  2. Truffle Fries
  3. New York Reuben
  4. Biscuits and Gravy

Bonus Chips

One of my colleagues at work was visiting Buffalo and picked up some chips, Tops has pretty unique flavors and the one I sampled was much better than most of the Lays.

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Cheddar & Horseradish is not something I’d particularly enjoy but as the chip guy at the office I had to try one. I immediately smelled the horseradish as the bag was being passed around. The chip itself had a decent cheesy taste to it and the horseradish kicks in right after. It’s quite pungent and well done.

Coming up next

Lays Do Us A Flavour for the Canadian flavours.