Friday, September 18, 2009

I am a Nerd

First off, to those wonderful people who read this, expect me to be updating a little more often.

Secondly, it just struck me, yet again, how nerdy I am. Here is my nerdy story:

I decided to build myself a board game collection now that I am in Michigan, where I will not be moving long distances for around five years, a little less if I'm lucky. Although I am a bit tired of the game, there was no question that Settlers of Catan had to be in this collection. It is the first Eruogame I ever played, and recalls many fond memories of old friends and better times. To clinch the deal, it is one of the two games of which people in the math department here had heard.

So, I go to my local hobby shop, and I pick up the base Catan game, good move though I didn't realize it at the time. This was a copy of the 4th edition game from Mayfair, not the 3rd edition upon which I had been reminiscing. In addition to my slightly neurotic desire for stability, there are several aesthetic and pragmatic concerns which make the 4th edition unsatisfactory:

The terrain hexes in 3rd edition are 50 to 100 percent thicker, thus they are sturdier.
The 4th edition comes with a frame, rather than ocean hexes. Since the material is inferior it has a serious tendency to warp, disarranging the isle of Catan rather than holding it in place as intended.
The port locations on said frame are fixed, varying the locations is achieved through tiny tiles that cover and replace the previous port identity. This tiles look all sorts of tacky.
The thief now is some ridiculous mauve or burgundy color, perhaps anticipating the merchant from Cities and Knights.
One die is now red, probably anticipating the commodities from Cities and Knights. Both dice seem to be of inferior quality.

Other than that they have made some changes to the artwork, or to the names of D-cards, and color coded the Noob Cards, but nothing so insufferable as the list above.

Unwilling to abet the tarnishing of something so important in my young adult life, I resolved to acquire the 3rd edition. In addition to peace of mind, this helps me establish cred among my peer group wherein there are food, music, and OS (operating system) connoisseurs (or snobs as I like to call them). I am a board game snob, and as such I should have the good edition of a game so pivotal as Settlers.

Flash forward until two weeks ago, when I realized the possible difficulty in finding said classic items. Seeing as out of production games rarely become more common, I decided that the time had come to obtain my set. At great cost, I had Settlers and the 5-6 player expansion shipped internationally (from Canada, not Germany unfortunately, so this could be why the price looked so high, it wasn't "real dollars"). Earlier today I obtained the base game for Cities and Knights off of E-bay.

Now my problem is as follows, should I get the 5-6 player expansion for Cities and Knights, despite the fact that I feel it tends to drag on.

Join me next week when I discuss ideas for playing Cities and Knights on a large Catan with a small number of people.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Notes from a single grad student

Personal watermelons:

A) Cannot be cracked open like eggs.

B) With enough determination, a butter knife will suffice.

C) Taste amazingly good.

I should get cling wrap so I don't feel compelled to eat the whole thing, but it was delicious, and made an acceptable dinner.