Going backward and writing this Sunday morning, I was in bed after midnight, having finished a late-night spicy chicken sandwich from Popeye’s, a guilty pleasure. On the drive back from Portland, I ran into construction moving roadblocks, never seen one before, and coasted on 217 for twenty minutes at 10 mph (16 km) until the Beaverton exit. It appears the construction folks were reopening 217.
I reached the Volvo Cave in Air Volvo in nearly non-existent traffic (usually Saturday night is full of fast-moving racing cars, but I had heard that there finally was a push to eliminate on-street illegal Portland drag races–during the pandemic I have driven by quite a few near the river). It was an easy trip.
Before this, I played board games at Richard’s, my usual Saturday night gaming in Portland. We were three: Richard, Caroline, and me. I taught them how to play the Portland Area-created board game Vindication; Richard had played once before but needed a refresh.
Richard’s copy of the game, which just arrived last week, contained everything, but Richard left out the promotional additions. So we were playing the most basic version–my copy includes all the promotional items. I exclude the Academy location, which we played with for this basic version. So with this fresh copy and all the cards sleeved in nice plastic protectors, I taught the game, and we played a longish three-person game.
Vindication is an excellent resource management and exploration game with the theme that you are a wretched person, thrown overboard for your sins, and found by a helpful companion on the beach. Deciding to vindicate yourself, you choose to improve yourself, fulfill your potential, explore this island, and find new paths to honor. The player with the most honor wins (victory points). There are a lot of rules; as I taught the game, I understood the volume of information I was sharing, information overload! But the game is positive and uses bright colors, and I enjoy doing the mechanics. Everyone liked it.
I won the game by about ten points, even trying to help. I thought I was second, but we split the end-of-game masteries evenly, a surprise to me, and none of the monsters and other end-of-game points from my fellow gamers were enough to overcome my lead. On the other hand, we had very high scores as the game-ending trigger was late, I had one of everything, and that was one of the conditions (Vindication, when I was involved in its early development, had no way to end, and we suggested to Marc–the designer–he consider random conditions and that is what happens now).
Next, we played Wingspan, which I have been playing a lot lately. Richard’s copy includes the Europe and Asia extension and these bring into the game some extraordinary new powers and requirements. And Richard seemed to get every one of them this game. I struggled with a weird mix of bird card options and adjusted and pulled out a second-place score below my best score (Richard using Board Game Geek’s site to track plays by player). Caroline had not played Wingspan for a while and was getting tired. Still, she scored just a few points below me.
All uplifting and pleasant games tonight. Caroline is looking for a group to play Dominant Species, a favorite for Richard a few years ago. So I expect to return to that one, not my favorite, soon. I only started to pass on word games as I am so terrible at them. Everything else I try (Well there is an EV game not on my list as it seems like work to me).
Before this, more Vindication with Evan. At The 649 Taphouse, we grabbed a table, got out the now giant box for Vindication, set it up, and started into the two-person game. My copy, upgraded multiple times and now in the final organization in the vast white box, has all the promotional content added in; I have removed the Academy location and replaced it with a location that gives more Sacred Quests–I think an improvement and provide a chance to use the Sacred Quests cards more. Also, the promotional cards include more cursed and treacherous cards that make taking random cards more risky–I like that.
Evan had some trouble getting organized in this play, I have had that problem before in two-person games, and I won by more than ten points. The random nature of the placing of locations can be tricky in some games. Evan could not get vindicated or increase his movement rate and struggled then. In both games, I pushed using a Monastery and thus moving my Potential to Influence early to stop having sequencing and travel issues later in the game. Luckily in each game on Saturday, I was near a Monastery, so my plans worked.
Before this, we had Mexican food and a beer (which I did not finish). My chicken taco was great, and the food at Tapatio, Mexican Restaurant, seemed to have improved. Recommended.
Before this, I spent part of the morning and the early afternoon with Susie. Susie was sleeping in her chair when I got there, and she decided to stay instead of heading to the mall. We then moved Susie, Anassa doing the moving–the nurse aide for the weekends, to her rocking chair and watched two episodes of Poker Face on the Peacock network. Evan was with us and was first concerned that the episode spent twenty or more minutes without the show’s star, but then it took off. The character representing the detective in the story has lines that are almost quotes from the old detective show Columbo (I laugh when I hear them). The last episode was more aligned with the movies Kill Bill and was a bit dark for the show–a dark comedy. It was good. So an exciting mix for this remake of The Rockford Files and Columbo. Susie stayed awake for the show and seemed sharper and more responsive.
We called Leta, Susie’s mother, from Susie’s room at the hummingbird house. Leta was happy to hear from us; I was a bit late calling as I first watched the shows with Susie. Leta was happy to see Susie on FaceTime and that nothing was wrong.
After the call, I headed out with a kiss from Susie. Susie was not happy to see us go, but she was getting hungry and needed a nap. Anassa took over as we left. Again, Susie seemed to speak with a clear voice today and seemed to be following along. All a surprise and started on St. V day.
Before this, I was working online, getting dressed, and doing all those boring things that I sometimes include in the blog–not today. I am also picking up the house and organizing the messes I created during the pandemic. I tripped and barely caught myself from taking myself out by crashing into my work table in the office! I was perfectly aligned to have my head connected, breaking my neck. As poetic as it would be to have my body discovered buried in a pile of modeling, electronic components, and figure painting supplies, I am happy to have another day. I skipped my exercises after that as my body did not enjoy the prevention process. I will be more careful wearing my slippers.
I woke, as usual, thirty minutes early, fell completely asleep minutes before my alarm, and then was blasted into Saturday morning.
Thanks for reading.