October 20th, 2012


Seattle Trip Report

I went to Seattle last weekend -- well, a long weekend, Friday evening to Wednesday morning, as is my usual wont. I'm not going to do a full day-by-day writeup, but I wanted to touch on most of the days because I like to be able to have reminders of my trips.

I arrived late Friday afternoon. terrycloth wanted pancakes for dinner, and I am not one of those people who thinks certain foods are only suitable for certain times of day, so we went to IHOP for dinner. Afterwards, we went back to his place and I coerced him into playing Eminent Domain, which is a bit like a simplified Race for the Galaxy. Since I only play Eminent Domain when I'm visiting terrycloth, I have much less play time on it and a much greater addiction to it. @_@ Before the visit was over, Terry was heartily sick of Eminent Domain.

Saturday, I had leftover pancakes for breakfast, made Terry play more Eminent Domain, and emailed chipuni, misseli, shaterri and quarrel to coordinate seeing them while I was in town. We went to Crossroads for lunch so I could have my obligatory Thai-iced-bubble-tea and piroshky. I don't get a piroshky every time I go to the local mall, but the bubble tea is mandatory. Sometimes two. c_c After lunch I had a nap, then we headed out to Tom's for board games. Let's see if I can remember what we did. We almost played Agricola. I am always happy to play Agricola despite being fully aware that it is a cruel, cruel game that makes all the players hate life. Even the winning player. I have no explanation for my fondness for it. Terry was unenthusiastic about it and Tom has a million other games, so we played other ones instead.

We started with Seven Wonders, playtesting some new boards Tom had. Seven Wonders is a building game and I adore it. In the first game, Terry thought that the board Tom was playtesting was ridiculously overpowered, and Terry joked that now Tom would play it badly just to prove Terry wrong. At the end of the game, Tom came in last and was talking about all of the misplays he'd made over the course of the game, so apparently Terry was right. :D I managed to win the first game, and we generally agreed that the point values for my board ought to be reduced a little for the final version. We played a second game, and I don't recall who won it -- Ed, maybe.

Next was Cargo Noir, a kind of bidding game with a smuggling theme. I didn't do as badly as I thought I was going to, but we messed up the rules in about five different ways that completely hosed Sean, who should've won. So it was rather unfair overall. After that, we played Betrayal at House on the Hill, and lost to the evil little girl whom Ed was playing.

By then it was around 8PM, and Tom and Sean went upstairs to join the birthday celebration for one of Sean's daughters. Terry and I were not really clear on whether or not we should stick around for this or if we were even welcome, so we headed out.

At home again, we gave the Schlock Mercenary board game, Capital Offensive, a try. Buying this game was more the triumph of hope over experience on my part, because it's the kind of direct PvP wargame that I usually dislike. Each player has certain forces on the map (the beginning scenario is Tagon, Elf and Schlock vs the snake-lawyers of the Collective) and they maneuver their own forces about the map, trying to accomplish their goals and assisting in this by taking out the enemy forces. We played through the beginning scenario twice, so each of us could play both sides. Terry won both times. I didn't hate the game -- it seems a reasonably good representative of the genre -- but it's not a genre I like very much, and this was not an exception, alas.

Sunday, we met Eli and Chip for lunch at a little Puerto Rican place in Ballard. I had never had Puerto Rican before! I had a quite yummy potato-garlic empanilla. :9 And a flan-chocolate cake combination which was not very flan-like but was delicious so WIN. We also went to a nearby farmer's market, and a little chocolate shop called Hot Cakes. At one point, I asked Chip about his Twilight Sparkle pin, and he and Terry started talking about MLP:FIM generally. I looked at Eli across the table. "I think I need to apologize here, for getting them started on ponies."

Eli laughed. "It happens."

Then a little later, Eli and I started neeping about "Pride and Prejudice" while Chip was in the bathroom. ("I don't know why they call it the 'Colin Firth' production. The woman who played Elizabeth Bennet had a larger part and did a magnificent job with the role, much more interesting to watch overall." "Yes, but you say 'Colin Firth' and everyone instantly thinks of the scene of him swimming in his underclothes." "Hah! I laughed so hard when I saw them setting up the character like that. That was just cruel.") And then I told Terry we'd paid him back for the ponies. :D

After chocolate, we went our separate ways: Terry and I were off to xodiac's house to play MOAR BOARDGAMES. For a change of pace, absolutely everyone had provided snacks, to the degree that Terry's pie-and-ice-cream went untouched for several hours because we'd all filled up on Chex Mix and stuff.

We started with a cooperative superheroes card game that I'm not sure I ever found out the name of, in a six-player version that we won fairly handily. Next was 4X-style boardgame whose name also escapes me -- the theme was 'a disaster is going to befall the Earth, so your goal is to find planets to colonize, evacuate people to them, and make as much money as possible on the way'. It was not a bad game, but ran longer than I prefer. Games like Dominion, Eminent Domain, Ascension, and Race for the Galaxy have spoiled me for games that take longer than an hour to play. We played a couple of games of Dominion after it. I also realized that we were in grave danger of having to take the pie home, at which point Terry would probably eat all of it in one day, so I cut it open and thereby convinced everyone else to have some too.

Monday was a pretty lazy day. We met Shaterri and Quarrel for dinner at Din Tai Fung, a little restaurant specializing in dumplings. Mmm, dumplings. They had truffle dumplings for like four times the price of any other menu item. I was terribly curious about them, and convinced the others to try them with me. They were, in fact, delicious. We got an assortment of other dumplings too -- two kinds of pork, shrimp, and sesame for dessert. Plus a couple of steamed pork buns and a giant beef-noodle soup that Terry ordered. Lovely overall. The sesame dumplings were especially tasty. :9 After dinner, because you can never play too many games (if you are me), Shaterri had Terry and I playtest a boardgame he's been working on. I will not go into details (I don't know if Shaterri wants it discussed or not) except to say that it was a close game, Terry won, and I liked it. :)

Tuesday was Terry's birthday! To fight back the aura of total lethargy, and to escape from MOAR BOARDGAMES, we went for a hike. I discovered that the region has some trees whose deadwood can be very easily converted into a decent walking stick. It was nice to get outside for a while, the forest was beautiful, and the weather pleasant for it -- not raining, and nicely cool for walking. At home, Terry showed me an episode of "Gravity Falls", which was cute. There was one sequence in it that particularly made me laugh, because it reminded me of Crow-Woman. n_n We had lunch at Haiku -- all-you-can-eat sushi. And barbecque pork steamed buns. :9

Wednesday, we got up too early and I flew home. Terry pointed out that these trips always seem like I have plenty of time when I'm there, and then suddenly I'm leaving again. *sigh*