Archive for January, 2017

The 5 Hows: Carcassonne

This is a guide for how to play the game Carcassonne. It’s a fun, slightly involved tile game.

image of Carcassonne game
This is just a big-picture view; you will still need the rule book to learn the details of actually playing.

1. How do I win?
You win by having the most points at the end of the game.

2. How do I get points?
By claiming various features of land. Features are buildings, roads, and fields. The number of points increases as the size of the feature increases (length of road, area of building/city, etc.)

3. How do I claim something?
By placing your marker (meeple) on it. You can claim only one feature per turn, and it must be on the land tile that you just played that turn.

4. How does the game end?
You play until all the tiles are gone. After someone plays the last tile, you add up final points. You should have some points before then, as you count the cities and roads as they are completed/closed during the game.

5. How do I share a feature with someone to get some of their points?
You can’t share a feature directly; if someone already has claimed it, you can’t also claim it. You’ll have to start a new item, claim it, and then connect yours to his (and hope he doesn’t block you).

There, now go play Carcassonne.

Likewise, if a man sells a dwelling house in a walled city, then his redemption right remains valid until a full year from its sale; his right of redemption lasts a full year.

Leviticus 25:29

The 5 Hows: Kingdom Builder

This is a guide for how to play the game Kingdom Builder. It’s a fun, slightly involved board game.

image of Kingdom Builder game
Now I have played it a few times and explained it a few times and so I will attempt to explain it here.

1. How do I win?
You win by having the most points at the end of the game.

2. How do I get points?
This is a tricky question. Big picture answer: you get points by fulfilling the conditions of the goal cards. Now what the goal cards are depends on what was dealt. There are many goal cards, but you randomly choose a few of them to be in play. So your goals and tactics will change from game to game.

3. How do I fulfill the goal cards?
By building houses. The game board is a set of land tiles (similar concept to Settlers of Catan, but different execution) and each turn you get to place a number of houses on the board. Everyone gets the same minimum number of houses per turn – there are no coins or resource to collect in order to buy houses – but you can earn an extra house or two per turn depending on what extras you have unlocked.

4. How do I unlock these extra thingies?
There are a few special locations on the board tiles. If you build a house next to one of these spots, you earn its ability (which is usually either moving or adding a house).

5. How does the game end?
You play until someone runs out of house tokens. Then you finish the round so that everyone has the same number of plays. Then you total up your points.

There, now go play Kingdom Builder.

See, I have appointed you this day over the nations and over the kingdoms, To pluck up and to break down, To destroy and to overthrow, To build and to plant.

Jeremiah 1:10

The 5 Hows: Machi Koro

This is a guide for how to play the game Machi Koro. It’s a fun, involved card game.

image of Machi Koro card game
Now I have played it a few times and explained it a few times and so I will attempt to explain it here.

1. How do I win?
You win by being the first player to build all your goal cards.

2. How do I build goal cards?
By buying them with coins.

3. How do I get coins?
You earn coins based on what business cards you have, combined with what was rolled on the dice.

4. How do I get business cards?
By buying them with coins. You start with a couple of businesses, and those can earn you coins. The more coins you get, the more businesses you can buy, which in turn lets you earn more coins.

Each card has a value (what it costs to buy the card) and a rank (what number must be rolled in order for you to use the card).

5. How would you describe this game?
It’s a cross between Settlers of Catan and Dominion. It’s like Settlers in that your prosperity depends on what numbers you and the other players roll on the dice. But the game is easier and quicker than Settlers. And it’s like Dominion in that you advance by gaining cards and those cards have different capabilities and you can choose what characteristics you prefer.

There, now go play Machi Koro.

Woe to him who builds a city with bloodshed And founds a town with violence!

Habakkuk 2:12

The 5 Hows: Sushi Go

This is a guide for how to play the game Sushi Go. It’s a fun, simple card game.

image of Sushi Go card game
Now I have played it a few times and explained it a few times and so I will attempt to explain it here.

1. How do I win?
You win by having the most points at the end of the game.

2. How do I get points?
By having played cards that earn points

3. How do I play cards?
Everyone has a hand of cards. You pick one you want to play in that hand and turn that card face up. You do that several turns and when you’re done, you have a bunch of face-up cards. Those are your points.

4. How do I know which cards to play?
The cards have different point values. You’ll want to pick things with higher points. There are some combinations that earn higher points, so look for those.

5. How is that hard?
Because each time you play a card, you pass your cards to the left. So you can’t plan much because the set of cards you have changes each turn.

There, now go play Sushi Go.

So Saul said to his servants, “Provide for me now a man who can play well and bring him to me.”

1 Samuel 16:17

Bulb Trouble

There are a number of fun things that happen when you drive a 15-year-old car. One of which is replacing light bulbs.

One headlight stopped working. Not knowing exactly how old the bulb was (worst case: 15 years), I stopped by the parts store and bought a pair of headlight bulbs.

After I got home, I opened the back of the headlight and started to replace the bulb. Once I finally unplugged the bulb from the connector, I was greeted by a lump of melted and burned plastic. The connector of the wiring harness was partially gone and the terminals were not making a solid connection. I put the new bulb on just for fun but it didn’t fare any better. So I adjusted the terminals on the connector and plugged the old bulb back in. Success! So I left the old bulbs in place.

Since I didn’t trust the connector (something is not right if plastic is melting and charring), I ordered a replacement wiring connector. The bulb stopped working a couple days later again, so I swapped out the old connector for the new connector and the bulb has been fine ever since.

Then a couple weeks later, the turn signal starting blinking rapidly. That usually means one of the bulbs burned out, so I went and bought replacement turn signal bulbs. However, the new bulb didn’t work either.


I put the old bulb back in and it didn’t work. I set the assembly down so I could figure out what was going on and the old bulb started working again. Turns out the wiring harness was a little flaky. The bulb stopped and started working a couple more times as I reinstalled the turn signal assembly. But I got it stable and everything was good.

For a couple days.

Then the turn signal started blinking rapidly again, telling me that the wiring harness flaked out again. So I ordered a replacement turn signal connector and wiring. And I drove for a few days with a bad turn signal while I waited for the equipment to come in the mail.

Finally, the connector arrived. I went out to the car and turned on the signal. I was surprised to see that the front turn signal was fine and the back turn signal was bad. Of course, the back turn signal uses a different bulb than the front. So now I had to stop at the parts store and get a new bulb.

I replaced the back bulb and everything was fine.

So now I have a spare set of headlights and a spare turn signal connector, so I’ll be prepared in case they ever go out.

Moral of the story: diagnose the problem before buying replacement parts, not after.

Behold this; we have investigated it, and so it is. Hear it, and know for yourself.

Job 5:27

All-Haiku Bowl Results, 2016

Okay, okay, it is 2017 at this point, but the results are headlines as 2016 because they match with the 2016 predictions made in 2016 for the 2016 season. Also, the results are not all-haiku, just the predictions were. A more accurate title would be “Results for the All-Haiku Predictions made in 2016”.

Before the bowl games commenced for this past college football season, I made some predictions. Here, for your reading enjoyment, is the tally of those predictions. Note that the results are not in haiku form, in contrast to the predictions.

Football Hindsight

Here are some entries for the Hindsight is 20/20 Department:

  • Maybe a college team that didn’t win its conference shouldn’t be in the playoffs ahead of the team that beat it and did win the conference.
  • Maybe the Heisman should be awarded after the bowl games.
  • Maybe we shouldn’t doubt the Packers, especially if Aaron Rogers makes a declaration as such.

Regarding the second point: maybe Lamar Jackson had a lackluster bowl performance because he’s not that good. Or maybe it was because LSU was looking to shutdown the Heisman winner. Or maybe it was because Jackson already won the Heisman so he wasn’t very motivated. There may be other reasons too, but all of them reinforce the idea that the Heisman should come later.

When the men of Ai turned back and looked, behold, the smoke of the city ascended to the sky, and they had no place to flee this way or that, for the people who had been fleeing to the wilderness turned against the pursuers.

Joshua 8:20