DunDraCon is done, but that’s my next post.
I was in Virginia the week before. Before getting more into that, let’s see what today’s Ultimate Combat! flavor text provides us.
A tornado of power focused in the fist.
Um, not so relevant in any way I can think of. C’est dommage.
Calling upon your inner reserves brings extra power to bear.
Two Mantra of Power in this pack. So broken. Though, I made some minimal effort to find a rulebook for how power is spent as I started wondering about the timing and correctness of playing the best card in the game. In some way, I feel like rules consistency would dictate that I’ve been doing power spending wrong, but I just am not sure which way it is wrong.
Celestial aid purges pain.
Yup, call upon higher powers to win your martial arts match. I may need to call upon some celestial aid.
In the blink of an eye an asset can become a liability.
Guess this card. Come on. Even though people aren’t into guessing like I’m into guessing. Based on what I’ve written about UC!, this shouldn’t be impossible to figure out.
The berserker welcomes pain to inflict pain.
Got a pain theme going. I could claim pain at the moment, though it’s pretty trivial in the grand scheme of things.
So, Virginia. This was to celebrate the new Earth Pig. Did dim sum at a Vietnamese place that was covering for my family’s usual dim sum place.
Got in Friday night around 11PM, got to sleep around 1AM. My alarm went off at 5AM (I was partially awake), felt mostly fine up until I started on a long, boring ride South. Now, when I drove to Raleigh last year, it wasn’t so boring, but I had more sleep and it was something novel. This was same highwaying.
Got to Emporia, about 160 miles. Ordered breakfast at the meetup spot and, after we ate, divvied up True Dungeon tokens. Yup, this is a gaming blog. Had to get to the all important gamingness of gamingiosity. Far fewer tokens to deal with, more value.
Felt pretty good (had coffee which I hardly ever have because I didn’t want to die driving back) … up until the point that I started a long tedious drive back to Annandale. Multiple playings of Joan Jett’s I Love Rock n’ Roll as I jumped constantly between stations for stimulation.
Took a bit of a shut eye, then headed over to my father’s place.
For a bunch of mahjong with some movie playing in the background.
I did really well in the lucky seat. Both Saturday and Sunday, it was the seat of the big chip leader. Whether that speaks to our skill or the feng shui of the Earth Pig year is not so terribly important.
Sunday, got up later than 5AM (I know, weird to not get up then while on vacation and going from Pacific to Eastern time zones), talked a bit about the SF Giants, Bryce Harper, and other things. Went to dim sum. Afterwards, to the father’s place for … mahjong and movies.
Speaking of movies, I don’t like watching parts of things. To not only be playing something, but to be crashing tiles while actors are offering lines would drive me nuts if I actually wanted to watch the movies. Big Trouble in Little China is a fine movie that others like way more than me. Romancing the Stone was my idea and a movie I’d be happy to actually watch normally not having seen it in ages.
I did not sit in the Earth Pig Luck seat. I was hurting blue time. I got a couple hands at the end to recover blue and red chips to where I was down less than a thousand (points, out of five thousand). But, my talking about playing mahjong isn’t to go into my supreme ability to not suck at the game.
Everyone my siblings play with play our family style, so it’s easy to play. The young ‘uns just play for chips if they play for anything because, unlike me, they weren’t playing as an eight-year old with great uncles and great aunts for money.
Over the two days, I played two rounds of winds. That was pretty normal when I was growing up for one session. I found the play very Earth Pig unusual in certain ways.
At least four hands were won with all pungs. I won twice with all pungs, my father at least once and my sister-in-law at least once. I almost never win with all pungs playing our style, as our style heavily incentivizes speed and only gives all pungs one fan.
What put me way up on Saturday was one suit pure, pinghu clear. I use pinghu because I’m not entirely sure what the best spelling would be as we always call all chows with no points gained from the eye phonetically punghu, but I can’t internet a spelling like that. I’ve seen the Cantonese as peng woo, which is kind of close. Mandarin pinghu works for the second syllable but totally not the first.
Anyway, five fans. I may have gone many years with virtually no mahjong play, but I’ve played a fair heft amount, especially in that key 8-12 age range. I’ve gone for all one suit hands many a time, including in silly cases for the challenge. I even made what I consider a suboptimal decision in that hand and still Earth Pigged my way to victory.
Truly celestial aid purges pain … or whatever.
We didn’t play Codenames though my brother who was hosting me for the weekend talked about playing it a couple of times. One of our Chinese cousins who hadn’t played before was shown how to play mahjong.
Just a wallbuildingfest of wallbuildingness.
Anything about TD? I’d like to get some 2019 rares. Quite a few are used for transmutes. Some are just good. I had some thought at some point about something related to reading the forums but lost that somewhat at sometime.
We head to the airport about 7AM Monday morning.
I read a book during the travel to and fro. Pirate story. Resonated reasonably well but not great. Read some reviews that I thought pointed out the shortcomings of what’s a perfectly decent story. The protagonists are underdeveloped. One person did a good job of sarcastically pointing out the Mary Sueness of the puppeteer hero. The fantasy aspects got anime level ridiculous – this is my original thought. The ending dragged, partially because the love interest is so irrelevant. Still, nice to read a book that I didn’t dislike. It reminded me of my Solomon Kane GMing but didn’t particularly stimulate me to want to run something, play a piratey game, or even world build much.
Was this length of trip the right length? Felt like wasted days on traveling. Half the trip was essentially traveling, whereas my December trip to hang with family where I used zero vacation days didn’t feel like I was wasting time traveling. Of course, I had connecting flights on this trip and didn’t on that trip, so hanging out in Denver and eating twice at the same sports bar was time not spent explaining how True Dungeon works or getting snowed on.
Because it has little to do with DunDraCon, I should note that I played Shadowfist Thursday night. We played two games. I was incapable of playing any cards for several turns in the first game and it ended dumbly as I stopped a Reascended victory with Onslaught of the Turtle only to have the next player waltz in when little was left in play. Second game, I played cards, enough hitters to get them taken out. I didn’t actually do a whole lot with my Lotus/Dragon deck, but the game was less dumb.
I’m not always happy when I play mahjong, as losing sucks and hands that “should” win don’t while hands that shouldn’t win … also don’t, but it’s just such a pleasant thing to do. I would compare with how playing V:TES for 20+ years is just doing something I enjoy doing that I have mental investment in. Plus family bonding.