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Farting Cows And The End Of The World / Online Demo
« Last post by Dragon on July 20, 2022, 20:26:07 »
I've been working on an online demo of my board game. It's not a fully functional version of my board game yet, although my plan is to make it so. Right now it's just a demo that allows adding some pieces and some movement of the pieces around the board. Thatís all for now.
Table-top Games / Re: Board Games For Sale (eBay)
« Last post by Dragon on July 17, 2022, 21:19:42 »
Avalon Hill Princess Ryan's Star Marines boardgame with unpainted metal figure

Avalon Hill's game of heroic search and rescue, Princess Ryan's Star Marines, the 1997 board game of futuristic combat and strategy. This game is for 1 to 6 players, includes an unpainted metal figure with black plastic base. The box is slightly crushed in on the bottom, game board and cards are in good condition, cards are bagged, and includes sales booklet of board games from Avalon Hill.

Game Description (from the box):
The Star Marines must cooperate to defeat powerful Guard forces in combat across ever-changing terrain in a race against time. But watch your back because each Marine has his own agenda. Only one Marine can win.
Table-top Games / Catan Junior
« Last post by Dragon on July 17, 2022, 14:43:54 »
Catan Junior is a nice introduction for kids coming into the Catan Universe. It still has some of the basic mechanics of original game, collecting resources, trading (1:1 in the marketplace or 2:1 in the stockpile, with Advanced Rules allowing for 1:1 trades with other players), building, and a Robber/Pirate to block other players from gaining resources. There are less locations than the original though, starting places are preset, and the odds for any location producing resources are the same since only 1 die is rolled. The double-sided board, for 2 players on one side and 3 or 4 players on the other, provides a few more locations for more players while it keeps the 2-player game closer for more competition. The game feels just long enough to give a small taste of Catan and leaving the target audience some desire to play again.

Yesterday I played Catan Junior against Grace. We hadnít played this in a couple years, so I had to refresh the rules for myself and explain the rules to her again. She started the first round of the game rolling a 6 which triggers the Ghost Captain (Pirate/Robber). I got the first Coco The Parrot tile, which is similar to getting Development cards and was able to snag the Pirate Island and hold onto it for the whole game.
Just got an Echo Link to hook up to my stereo so that I could play music from my multi-disc CD player to other rooms. Unfortunately, the instructions were a bit lacking. Hooking up the Audio In and Audio Out was not a big deal, but when trying to get the sound going to and from it, that's where it was missing details.

RCA cables connected up like so:
Stereo CD Player (Audio Out) -> Echo Link (Audio In)
Echo Link (Audio Out) -> Stereo Receiver (CD Audio In)

Quote from:
Posted by u/HealthyandHappy1 year agoQuestion
Cd player broadcasted throughout multiple echo devices?

(SOLVED) Resolution at bottom for anyone with same problem. Line in multi room is possible!

I had asked this question here previously, and my understanding of the answer I received was that I could broadcast the cd player from the echo amp to a group in the house.

I have the amp in my possession, but I seem to not understand how to actually broadcast the cd player beyond the amp itself. I have multiple echo studios around the house that I would like to broadcast the cd to in addition to the speakers plugged into the amp for my uncle.

Perhaps I had asked this incorrectly, because it doesn't seem possible through the limited scope of my tinkering.

If this isn't possible, any recommendations on what I should do for my uncle would be appreciated. His cd player is important to him, he's an elderly guy, and wants to listen to those cds across the home.

Appreciate all the help.

Edit: I just saw this in the reviews and will attempt it. If it works I'll update this thread and leave it up for anyone wondering the same thing in the future.


To set up the Echo Link with line in:

    Create a multi-room music group with your Echo Link Go to Devices> Select the + sign in the top right corner> Setup Multi-Room Music group> select the Echo Link and ALL Echos you wish to connect with. Link must be included in the group with the other Echos
    Plug the RCA cable into the Line in ports on the back of the Echo Link.
    Plug the other end of the cable into the record player.
    In the Alexa app Go to Devices> Echo & Alexa> Echo Link> select Line in distribution
    Select the new group you've created and select done.

When I had plugged everything in, I hooked the Audio In from my CD player and Audio Out to my Receiver to go to my speakers. I setup Groups (as described above) after having all the wires plugged in but they didn't show up as an option under the Line In Distribution until after I unplugged the Audio Out wires - only Local Speakers were listed and a plus icon (+) under Multi-Room Music appeared. After clicking the plus icon, I was able to create a new group (multiple times) but no group showed up in the Multi-Room Music section even after saving.  Only after unplugging the Audio Out and selecting the Everywhere Group on the Alexa App, was I able to plug the wires back into Audio Out and actually have it play from my stereo through the Echo Link to my Echo Smart Speaker in the other room.
Another thing that I noticed is that it works best using controls by switching Link In Distribution to Local Speakers to verify it was playing before switching to Multi-Room Music through the Amazon App rather than voice commands through the Echo Smart Speaker. With a couple attempts I was able to get the music playing through the Echo Link to play on the Echo Smart Speaker using voice commands, but it wasn't consistent. Sometimes it would just start playing random music out to both devices.
While looking for some info about a server slowing down at work, I came across some interesting stuff tonight. Just thought I'd record the links here:

It's quite a rabbit hole.
Rival Troops / Rival Troops is DEAL OF THE DAY on July 11, 2022
« Last post by Dragon on July 11, 2022, 16:44:07 »
Today my game, Rival Troops, was selected as DEAL OF THE DAY on The Game Crafter!
SAVE 28% if you buy it from right now!
Table-top Games / Love Letter
« Last post by Dragon on July 10, 2022, 17:26:37 »
Love Letter is another quick deduction card game. The game is for 2-4 players with each player getting 1 card at the beginning of the game and then drawing 1 new card each turn then deciding which of the 2 to reveal and play. Each card has a rank and a special ability, and your goal is to be the player holding the highest valued card at the end of each round. Some cards knock other cards out during the round, so some rounds end before the last card is drawn, but other times all the cards in the deck get drawn (aside from one or more that get removed randomly at the beginning) and at that point, many times the player holding the Rank 8 card is the winner of the round. The game usually lasts about half an hour or less after one player has won a set number of rounds.

In the original game, the game has a medieval theme and the Princess is Rank 8, the highest ranking card, while other cards include Guards, the King and the Prince along with other similar characters. Holding the Princess card represents getting a letter sent directly to the Princess rather than going through an alternate person in order to get your note of affection to her.

In Love Letter: Batman Edition, which I own, it's pretty much the same as the original, except the artwork is totally Batman themed, with Batman being the Rank 1 card that has the ability to call out others and knock them out, and the Joker being the Rank 8 card as the biggest villain in Gotham trying to avoid getting caught. Another change in this game is that when Batman knocks someone out, he gets another token (victory point) in addition to the player who wins each round, so the victory point requirement is higher than the original game.

There are many other themes that have been put onto other versions of the Love Letter game, including The Hobbit and a Christmas themed version called Letters To Santa. Some of the versions have the same cards with different art work, others have new rules. The Hobbit is one of my favorites, although I don't own it currently due to it being out of print, but I'm a big fan of the theme and I like the way the additional cards and even the way that the Rank 3 cards each handle their attack in a different way.

Yesterday I played Love Letter: Batman Edition (aka Batman Love Letter) with Janai and Isaac. We were going to play the game with Beth also, but she was unavailable until after our game was over. (As I mentioned before, they are fairly quick games.) I don't remember if Isaac got any points, but Janai won a couple rounds before I managed to knock them both out and win enough rounds for a total victory.

I recently got a new set of card sleeves to hide the backs of the cards because they were getting some wear that was starting to give clues that are undesirable in that game and I definitely recommend getting some opaque backed sleeves for this game, if not at the start, at least for down the road because that will spoil some fun in the game. Overall, Love Letter, any version, is a great game to have for any game collection and is easy and fun, usually with plenty of laughs in my experience.
Table-top Games / Carcassonne
« Last post by Dragon on July 10, 2022, 16:49:41 »
Carcassonne is a game that we've been playing for nearly 20 years and is still a great one. The rules have changed slightly over the years, with different scoring rules for farmers between how we originally learned and official rules in versions 1, 2, and 3, and my wife got confused and frustrated to the point where she didn't want to play for a while. Eventually, I found that the official rules in version 3 were most similar to way we intuitively played initially and she was happy to play again. Many years ago I wrote a review of it on my website, so for anyone unfamiliar with this game, here is my original review.

Quote from:
I've had Carcassonne for a few months now. Since my birthday in September we've been playing Carcassonne quite often. Although I have developed some good methods in playing, I'm not unbeatable. (I like to think it's because my wife has caught onto my methods.) The game does have a random element that might turn people off - drawing tiles. I like to think of it as a game of odds though, since you can look at the available tile positions and figure whether or not you have a chance at getting the specific tile (or tiles) that you need to complete what you're building.

For those completely unfamiliar with the game, Carcassonne is named after a French city. You are building up the land with roads, cities, cloisters (monasteries), and surrounding farmland. You draw a tile on your turn and match it up with tiles that currently exist on the table - roads with roads, cities with cities, and fields with fields.

After placing a tile you have the option to place one of your 7 followers on that tile, possibly as a knight (in the city), a thief (on the road), a monk (in a cloister), or as a farmer (in the field). The knights, thieves, and monks have the potential of returning back to you in order to score during the game and for placing again. Farmers, on the other hand, are permanently placed until the end of the game. Farmers are the biggest gamble for points because if you place them too early they could potentially cost you some quick points and if you try to place them too late in the game you might not find a suitable space to get the big points.

Only one follower is allowed to be placed in any one area, so normally if you don't get in first you won't get it at all. Fortunately, for some players, you may find a way to place your follower in an area that is not connected to anything else yet and then throughout the course of the game you may connect them. In that case, whichever player has more followers in an area gets all the points for it. If there is a tie both players get the same points when that area is scored.

In the end of the game, after every tile has been placed, the players will score any areas that haven't been scored yet (for less points than if the areas had been completed) and then the farms will be scored. The player with the most points wins.

As many times as I've played this game with family and friends, I still haven't gotten bored of it. Carcassonne has actually replaced The Settlers Of Catan for us in some ways. Overall, I highly recommend this to anyone interested in a solid strategy game that is welcoming for families and strategy gamers alike.

Last night we played Carcassonne again for the first time in months, even though it was one of our most played games during 2021. We used The River to start us off, and Beth was the first player. I played 2nd and Isaac was 3rd around the table. We all started going for farmers pretty early in the game, but after putting two farmers in myself, Isaac had 4 farmers on the table and it looked like I was going to be cut out of any benefits there, so I switched up my strategy to focus on everything other the farmers. I got lots of points with the Knights, even completing a city with Beth, a few Monks, and had "The Longest Road" (I joked that I was going for "The Largest Army" next) which earned 10 points for me in the end. In my earlier view of my farmers, I totally missed that they weren't completely cut out of the points and in the end Isaac and I tied for the largest farm land, but he was 1-point ahead of me going into that. It was a high scoring game for us, and still very close - Isaac won with 103, I had 102, and Beth had 95 points.
Table-top Games / The Resistance
« Last post by Dragon on July 10, 2022, 16:18:16 »
For those unfamiliar with The Resistance, it is a social deduction game for a large number of players, from 5 to 10 people. If you've ever played the classic Werewolf or Mafia party game, you should have an idea of how role-playing can fit into game of deduction. Everyone gets a secret identity at the beginning of the game to determine which team they are on. Similar to Werewolf, the smaller team will find out who they are working with, but the larger team needs to figure out who everyone is.  Unlike Werewolf, a moderator isn't needed to run the game the whole time since there is only one point at the beginning when everyone needs to close their eyes and give the chance for the Spies (Red Team) to see who they are working with. After that, cards are played in secret, which helps to keep identities hidden.

The Resistance (Blue Team) is tasked with doing a series of missions with each person on the mission having a chance to disrupt the plan and cause the mission to fail. The Resistance always want the mission to be successful - they win by having 3 successful missions, but the Spies want to cause the missions to fail - they win by having 3 failed missions. There's not a random chance of failing or succeeding the mission, it's based on what each player selected for the mission decided on their own, but a single point of failure (in most cases) will cause the entire mission to fail. Each round, there is a new captain for the mission, and the captain must choose who will go on the mission based on the required number for the mission. If the captain is on the Blue Team (The Resistance), that player will usually want everyone on the mission to also be from the Blue Team, but if the captain is on the Red Team (Spies), they usually aren't going to want the mission to go without a Spy in the group because that will mean that they don't have a chance to sabotage the mission. Once the captain decides who to send, everyone around the table must vote on whether or not the captains proposal goes through, with a majority vote winning. The way that the mission results go, the captains selections, and even the voting to accept the proposals are all indicators about who is on which team.

On July 4th this year, we had the pleasure of seeing our niece and her baby girl and this was one of the games that we played with the group. We played 3 times with 6 players, Autumn, Tim, Lena, Isaac, Beth, and myself, with Grace playing the 3rd game on Beth's team.

We played through the 1st game with me and Tim as Spies. I had secretly dealt the cards, but really gave a huge clue in my turn that I was on the Spy team because we were just going to play a "practice round" so I played a Fail card in a mission where it was just me and Autumn. There were so many questions still that I just decided to keep going and since the games are pretty short anyway, I figured I could get them all to play again afterward. The Resistance won.

Game #2, I believe Tim and Autumn were dealt the Spy cards. The rest of us were easily able to determine that the two of them were Spies, so The Resistance won that game also.

After the second game, Tim proposed a variation rule because he noticed that we were getting clues about who was a spy based on the pre-mission votes and with only 6-players in the game, it was pretty easy to see. His proposal was to play all voting tiles in secret, the same way we play the mission cards because it was so hard to win as a Spy. We agreed to try this variation out, although I think with more players and/or more experience, this variation may not be necessary to balance out the win ratio. We talked about changing up some other things, using other variations or a different number of players, but Tim just said he wanted to keep the changes minimal, so we went with that. Sort of... Beth offered to have Grace play, and she accepted, but since she hadn't played the game at first and wasn't paying attention, it was a matter of teaching her while we were going... which was kind of frustrating all around especially since we were trying to go with the momentum we had. Beth suggested just playing along side Grace, but at various points she picked up cards and things got a bit mixed up. 

Game #3, I'm pretty sure that Tim and Autumn again were dealt the Spy cards. I know Tim was for sure because later in the game Isaac commented about how unlikely it was that Tim was a Spy all 3 times, but he actually was. In the 3rd game, it was very close. In Mission #4, we had some trouble getting everyone to agree on who to send for the mission. The captain's proposal had been refused multiple times and it had gotten around to me. I tried to talk the group through some things before making my proposal because I felt like someone on The Resistance side was voting with the Spies because of something that we didn't understand, because we kept having 3 votes to Approve and 3 votes to Reject, which went in favor of Reject for a tie. It was finally at a point that if we didn't get a mission to be accepted, I felt like it was going to be in control of the Spies and we were just going to have a failed mission because of it being rejected too many times. (Unfortunately, at this point the tiles got mixed up, between the hidden voting and the Beth/Grace combo, but I decided to take what I had, trying not to slow down the game that had already run longer than usual - we got 3 Reject and 3 Approve votes even though after the game everyone on The Resistance team said they had voted to Approve the mission at that point.) After being Rejected again, Autumn was captain and even though it didn't look good, the rest of us sent the group out on the mission knowing that Spies were in it. The Spies won in the end.

For anyone interested in trying this Variant that we played, I do think it was a good option for the 6-player game, but maybe have everyone hold onto their "discard" until all the "result" cards/tiles have been collected - Players all turn voting tiles in secretly, so that voting is anonymous the same way the mission cards are played.
Table-top Games / Trains
« Last post by Dragon on July 10, 2022, 15:15:41 »
Trains is a combination of a deck-building card game and a territory-claiming board game. Players each start with railroad tracks in one spot on the board, at a different location than other players, and then use their cards to expand their railway, build stations in cities around the board, and buy more cards which allow more growth. We also played with some special route cards, which I believe were an expansion to the base game. The special route cards added an element like Ticket To Ride and similar games, giving bonus points to a player who is able to make the first connection between two specified cities.

Mac was the one who introduced us to this game a few years ago, and it was nice to see him again on June 20th and get to play this with him. Even though Mac is the one that is most familiar with this game, we all had a pretty close game. Isaac won with 60 points, Mac had 58, while Beth and I tied at 55.

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