weekly roundup — February 5th

This will be a short one. In the last cou­ple weeks, I’ve been focus­ing on oth­er things and haven’t read many arti­cles or played many games.

I’m still a week or two behind in Bloomberg Busi­ness­week, but I found this arti­cle about a man who has donat­ed mil­lions to Ted Cruz’s cam­paign to be very inter­est­ing. Robert Mer­cer is a very wealthy pro­gram­mer and hedge fund man­ag­er who donates to polit­i­cal cam­paigns and sum­mits and move­ments that push for the gold stan­dard and deny cli­mate change. He and I basi­cal­ly have noth­ing in com­mon, but it would be inter­est­ing to have a con­ver­sa­tion with him (though he is also fair­ly ret­i­cent about his per­son­al beliefs, so it might be dif­fi­cult). The sto­ry is light on for­ma­tive back­ground for Mer­cer, and I would want to know why on earth… just… why.

My Face­book feed has been dom­i­nat­ed by a few out­spo­ken Sanders sup­port­ers, and it made me start think­ing that every­one was like that. I’ve tak­en mea­sures to lessen that expo­sure and talk to Clin­ton sup­port­ers more. And then I came across this piece this morn­ing, and it seemed like per­fect tim­ing. Clin­ton has been in the nation­al spot­light for 25 years. She has incred­i­ble per­se­ver­ance, and she has had to deal with so much mud-sling­ing for pret­ty much the entire time. The GOP is encour­ag­ing Sanders sup­port­ers to spew the same vit­ri­ol the right has been spew­ing for years. It’s frus­trat­ing and wor­ri­some.

In the past two weeks, I’ve played Roll for the Galaxy (this time with my hus­band), Five Tribes, Splen­dor, and Cas­tles of Mad King Lud­wig.

Splen­dor: I think near­ly every­one we’ve played this with has gone out and bought it. It’s a gem-col­lect­ing game where you buy cards with gems on them and use those to buy more expen­sive cards. It’s very straight­for­ward and easy to learn, but it is a lot of fun to play.

Cas­tles of Mad King Lud­wig: I first played this last May. Each play­er builds rooms on their cas­tle, get­ting points for rooms and var­i­ous bonus­es. Play­ers take turns as the “mas­ter builder,” when they get mon­ey from oth­ers. It’s a larg­er strat­e­gy game, but it’s not too dif­fi­cult, and it’s quite fun. It’s not ter­ri­bly fun with two play­ers (as Carl and I have found out), but with three or four, it’s quite good. One of my favorites, but not one I get to pull out much.

Five Tribes (reg. ver­sion): Play­ers drop meeples on the tiled board to per­form dif­fer­ent actions, gain resources, and take con­trol of tiles. It’s unlike oth­er games I’ve played, and it is hands down one of my favorites. Once you get the hang of it, it moves quick­ly, and it’s fun to try dif­fer­ent strate­gies each time. This time, I went the resource route, which went super well.

I’ve dis­cussed Roll for the Galaxy before, but I will say that Carl real­ly liked it, and I think we may end up adding it to our col­lec­tion.