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Sippin' Gin & Bingein' Bacon: Ramblings & Rumblings of a Wand'rin' Tow'r.

Now that I'm a daily blogger, I need CONTENT. I'm not really a daily blogger. I promise that I'll burn out on this daily business, but, for now, for whatever reason, I've gone from "I want to be off of BGG right now" to "I want to put up a new post every day to see how fast I can lose blog subscribers." That said, these were originally three short posts that could have worked for three days, but I've combined them here as one post because I'm already getting tired of the daily gimmick. I wrote all of this two mornings ago when i was ready to be online all the time; now I just want to be done with it all and get rid of all the screens around me. So it goes.


1. Gin Rummy

Parlett on Gin Rummy:

BGG Avg. Rating
BGG No. of Ratings

My favorite geekbuddy comments:
J Rummy
United States
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i had the choice of acquiring an authentic Puzzle Fighter 2 Turbo arcade machine or having children. some days i revisit that decision in my mind.
"there are many ways you can pay your rent, but that’s not really who you are, and the rest of the time you can polish a little part of your mind until it’s bright enough for someone else to notice." - Jerry Holkins
Microbadge: It's all gone pear-shapedMicrobadge: OUTAMicrobadge: TIMEMicrobadge: StoicismMicrobadge: "Things ain't what they used to be and never were." - Will Rogers

Rating: 10
incredibly elastic regarding skill!! play it like a mindless set collector or use your discards to draw a map of your opponent's hand. toss those heavy face cards or let your opponent feed you free sets? Knock quick or play for Gin? or maybe fish out an undercut?? all the double think and bluff of a trick taker but without a table full of people. i'd go so far as to say i'd prefer this over many 2-player designer games. somehow this game makes Jaipur feel too casual, too random. to me, it's on a similar level with Fox in the Forest and 7 Wonders Duel. plus it plays with a standard poker deck and doesn't need to lean at all on theme. more games like this!!
Dan Laursen
United States
Fort Myers
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Microbadge: Parent of a Boy and a GirlMicrobadge: Reiner Knizia fanMicrobadge: I have played 200 Knizia gamesMicrobadge: Philosophy enthusiastMicrobadge: Happily married for 5 years

Rating: 4
Draw and discard to create sets and runs in your hand. When you have enough, lay down your hand and compare the cards not part of any groups (deadwood). Winner gets the points in the loser's hand.

You can start with a bad hand and your opponent with a good one so that a round is over after only a few discards. Since you can't do anything when your deadwood is worth more than 10, you can be stuck without interesting decisions to make.

If things are going well, there's some tension in deciding what to discard and whether to lay your hand down now or later, but it's not frequent enough for me.

The game seems designed to emphasize a contest of probability skill and memory, with a lot of noise for gambling at the whole-game level. Normally I would welcome noise, but it's not employed to make decisions interesting at the level of the turn or round.

The fact that the rules offer a bonus for a one-sided game (you get 100 extra points if you win every round) means that the game is one-sided often enough to warrant a rule for it. But if the subjective decision-making experience and endgame tension were instead the focus, the game would be designed to allow players to make the scores as close as possible and it would keep the outcome suspenseful for as long as possible. It would not contain a rule to make a one-sided result more one-sided to make gambling on the whole game more exciting.

If you played many games in succession, the noise could even out and the points could end up close. But why would you put yourself through non-interesting decisions to find tension so far removed?
Anyone want to weigh in here with a comment on Gin Rummy?

2. Bacon

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Fun fact: Before I tried Bacon, I tried Tripe. I'll probably never play Tripe again. I'm hoping to play Bacon a lot more.

After trying Tripe, I created a game design challenge. It didn't get a lot of attention, but what contributions it did get were all excellent. I'm sharing the link again now because it was one of my favorite BGG threads of 2022: The "Leftovers from making Tripe" Contest

External image

What I'm most concerned about at this present moment is what sort of bacon Sean had in mind when he made Bacon. Are all of us U.S. players imagining pork belly fat while he intended some serious back portions? Do the author's intentions really matter at all? Can we even know or understand these intentions? What a terribly vast debate this game opens up.

Bacon currently has no negative reviews. 15 out of 15 players on BGG currently enjoy Bacon.

I enjoyed reading this list of bacon facts:
25 Awesome Bacon Facts You Should Know

3. Wandering Towers

I'm still holding out hope for a U.S. release, but I'm starting to think that Wandering Towers is just going to remain a slow burn import hit that only a small handful of U.S. players will get to play. I hope I'm wrong.

I've been a Kramer/Kiesling fan for a long time.

One of the most popular geeklists I ever made was this one:
The Unstoppable Kramer/Kiesling Juggernaut
The design range of these two, alone and together, is astounding. Clearly, they remain two giants in the hobby.

Tikal is my favorite K/K game.

The Wandering Towers might be my second favorite K/K game?
I think so.

BGG stats:
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My favorite negative comment:
PBrennan wrote:
Move your meeples, or towers containing yours (and other players') meeples around a circular board to get to the scoring spot. Or don't move and wait until the scoring spot rotates past you, being the twist, and then jump in. But only move as the cards you draw allow you. Oh what fun when all your meeples are trapped under towers and you're forced to spend actions moving towers off your pieces to allow them to move next time. Unless they're trapped again in the meantime. And oh what more fun it is memorising where your trapped meeples are. I wasn't altogether unhappy when drink was spilt on the table and the game abandoned. It's not my cup of turme.
Maybe related to all of this:
Is it okay to unironically love Yeats?
Because I always have, and I do.

The Song of Wandering Aengus

I went out to the hazel wood,
Because a fire was in my head,
And cut and peeled a hazel wand,
And hooked a berry to a thread;
And when white moths were on the wing,
And moth-like stars were flickering out,
I dropped the berry in a stream
And caught a little silver trout.

When I had laid it on the floor
I went to blow the fire a-flame,
But something rustled on the floor,
And someone called me by my name:
It had become a glimmering girl
With apple blossom in her hair
Who called me by my name and ran
And faded through the brightening air.

Though I am old with wandering
Through hollow lands and hilly lands,
I will find out where she has gone,
And kiss her lips and take her hands;
And walk among long dappled grass,
And pluck till time and times are done,
The silver apples of the moon,
The golden apples of the sun.
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Sun Dec 11, 2022 1:28 pm
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