Profile

Cover photo
Gary Beason
Lives in Carrollton, TX
1,395 followers|1,897,172 views
AboutPostsCollectionsPhotosYouTubeReviews

Stream

Gary Beason

Shared publicly  - 
 
Today, we took a break from chores and screens with a game of Blueprints. It was fast to teach (fewer than 10 minutes), and for our first game, we played it about 45 minutes. I thought the family would like it, which they did. My 13-year-old daughter twice won 1st place for best building and tied with my son for first overall. I was only 1 victory point behind them, while my wife came in with 5 victory points. 

It's a nice strategy game, but it has a bit of luck with the dice rolls and with drawing the dice out of the bag. Everyone gave it a thumbs up and wanted to play again. It's another good game for our family: Easy to set up, quick to refresh on the rules, a 30-40 minute game with variety and some depth. It's something we can play on a weeknight or even a busy weekend. 

One negative, especially for first-time players, is understanding the difference between the building score and the victory points. For example, my son passed up playing a 5th green die (which would have earned him 2 victory points) to get a higher building score. 

While the shared dice pool is the only way to interact with players, it's pretty significant: We often messed up each other's straights or matching color/value runs by drawing the die another person needed. 

Having played a lot of dominoes, I fell right into counting the dice colors played and who was drawing what. It's just enough variety that you can't track everything, but you can get a read on probably one pattern that each player is going after. 

Game summary 
The goal is collect the most victory points by a) placing 1st, 2nd, or 3rd with your building score and/or b) getting prizes for buildings with certain dice (5+ of a color, 4+ of the same value, 5+ high, or 1-6 straight). 

The game last 3 rounds, and each player gets a blueprint card instructing the footprint and height of your building. You score with your building depending on the dice color.

+ Green - Multiplies the more green you have. 1 green die scores 2, 2 scores 5, 3 scores 10, etc.
+ Clear - Scores the shown face value. 
+ Orange - Scores 2 for each adjacent die.
+ Black - Scores depending on the level of the die. Level 1 scores 2; level 2 scores 3; level 3 scores 5; and levels 4-6 score 8 each. 
4
Geoff Paulsen's profile photoGary Beason's profile photoButty Geezer's profile photo
5 comments
 
The way to live
Add a comment...

Gary Beason

Shared publicly  - 
 
Last night, we chose the light, dice-rolling The Adventurers: The Temple of Chac over a euro game. We had a pretty good game with three of us tying and having to use a second tie-breaker to find the winner. It's not a heavy strategy game, but I think the 5 of us did have rather different strategies. The player who collected the most treasures early on really wasn't that far behind the rest of us. 

I thought the theme played out well, but I'm not sure how much replay it has. But it's a game that I'd like to play again and that my wife and kids would enjoy. If you know the rules, I think the game could play in 1 hour or so. 

Quick summary
The goal is to collect treasure cards and make it out with the most total number of points from treasures. The temple has 4 different areas: a crushing walls room, a lava room, a river & falls, and a bridge area. The problem is that the more treasure you have, the fewer actions you're likely to have. While each area has its own danger, the biggest is a boulder that rolls down the main corridor of the temple. Dice rolls determine how far the boulder moves, open locked treasures, get you across the bridge and out of the river, and other checks. 

Favorite moment
One player jumped on the rickety bridge to grab the 5-point idol. He had to make a stability check. But another player jumped on the bridge with him. Wait . . . what are the rules? It increases the challenge: " The bridge is hardly going to resist such a load,
but who would dare all cross at once?" We waved goodbye to our competitive companions as they plummeted to their deaths.

The two guys had fun with that, but I thought it captured how the game felt like a dangerous temple. 

Not so favorite things
I didn't really read the manual so I don't know how bad it was. (Game manuals seem to be just various degrees of badness, never really being good.) But the terminology made the game more confusing in places than it should have been. 

As cool as the character art and minis were, they actually had little differentiation except for a special ability, which wasn't unique. 

I would like to see some to vary the board other than the glyph tiles (which are focused on the lava room). Even a two-sided board would have been nice. Or a modular board where you could choose 4 of 6 different areas. Something.

The first room also wasn't very deadly. You draw 3 cards from a deck to see if one or both of the walls moved. We never drew more than 1 wall move card, and half the time, there was no movement. 

The game also had little player interaction. I don't know that I'd want a Colt Express level of screwing others, but even a one-time ability could be interesting. I could even see disposing a treasure that could affect other players. 
1
Add a comment...

Gary Beason

Shared publicly  - 
 
I finally got around to getting Stan Lee to autograph a couple of comics that my brother and I have had since we were kids. Plus, my daughter wanted to meet Stan. 

The kids had fun (as my daughter dressed as a Dalek and my son as Dr. Doom). We had a nice chat with Neal Adams, and as usual, we enjoyed talking with several independent creators and trying new comics. 
4
Add a comment...

Gary Beason

Shared publicly  - 
 
This is an interesting reenactment group that must like challenges: It is focused on the 1st century Britons, for whom there's not really a written history. In most cases, the Romans are the best sources about them or references to lost works, such as the Greek Pytheas's travel descriptions from the 4th century B.C.E. 
iron age and celtic kit, clothing and equipment guide.
2
Add a comment...

Gary Beason

Shared publicly  - 
 
Skimming George Martin's posts about the Hugo's, I'm thinking fans of Song of Fire and Ice should be the first to tamp out this controversy so he can get back to finishing the series. Isn't that enough common ground?




1
Add a comment...

Gary Beason

Shared publicly  - 
 
For Easter, we're going to play a board game . . . one where you respawn after dying, of course. 
3
Add a comment...

Gary Beason

Shared publicly  - 
 
Red glasses, raccoon tails, leg warmers, basketballs. 
1
Chris Zúniga's profile photo
 
Dig!
Add a comment...
In their circles
73 people
Have them in circles
1,395 people
Clare Bernier's profile photo
Ian “Tech” Neack's profile photo
Mix Tor's profile photo
Elizabeth Tucker's profile photo
Christopher Murray's profile photo
Darrel Valles's profile photo
Rajeesh Narayanan's profile photo
Quincy Dawson's profile photo
Robin Thompson's profile photo

Gary Beason

Shared publicly  - 
 
Today, my wife had a half day off, so the family played a couple of board games: Colt Express and The Adventurers: Temple of Chac, which I borrowed from friends. Though the dog fell asleep, we had a pretty good time. As the kids get older, it does get harder to get big chunks of time together like this, even during summer vacation since the kids are actually doing a bit (theater & music camps, karate, driver's ed, SAT prep). 

The Adventurers was a little more hard for the family to get a good handle on because of the changes in actions. But it wound up a very close game: 18, 23, 24 and 24 points. Actually, my son would have tied for first except that he had horrible rolls trying to get out of the river and died. At first we scoffed at the boulder, which was barely moving thanks to terrible rolls. Then it picked up speed and was right on my daughter's bee-hind. 

But I think Colt Express was the preferred game, one that we'd definitely play again. Again, it was a fairly close game . . . until the last round when my son picked up loot, and a couple of us miscalculated our actions and grabbed nothing.

(After my third time to play, I still think the game needs more prizes besides gunslinger.)
3
Add a comment...

Gary Beason

Shared publicly  - 
 
Every summer, we do 1-2 family projects that we research and share with each other (like lost works of art, "forgotten" civilizations). This summer, we're each going to do a short comic story (6-8 pages), including my wife who already has a story in mind. 

The point is to create something to completion, while learning more about storytelling techniques and process.

We're all going to read the first 100 pages of Scott McCloud's Making Comics and the Timing and Frames chapters of Eisner's Comics and Sequential Art, plus a couple of references like Woods' 22 panels. They're quick reads, but it's a lot of good basic info. 

We each then write a script, create at least 1 character design, and then create a comic. 
Making Comics Online Features. 5 1/2 · Chapter Five and a Half. An online extension to Making Comics' Chapter on Tools, Techniques and Technology. NEW: Check out my YouTube How-To Videos on digital lettering techniques. Also check out the process tag on my daily blog for more thoughts on ...
6
Kevin McGee's profile photo
 
Sounds like fun.
Add a comment...

Gary Beason

Shared publicly  - 
 
As I try to reconnect to my battle.net account, I now remember why I stopped using it. It's such a clunky, painful authentication process. 
1
Add a comment...

Gary Beason

Shared publicly  - 
 
When I picked up my daughter to go to the dentist, the middle school had student art up. Even though the student didn't finish this piece, the detailed doodles nevertheless grabbed my attention. 
2
Add a comment...

Gary Beason

Shared publicly  - 
 
My son's art project -- a clay d6 with non numerical faces.
4
Add a comment...
Gary's Collections
People
In their circles
73 people
Have them in circles
1,395 people
Clare Bernier's profile photo
Ian “Tech” Neack's profile photo
Mix Tor's profile photo
Elizabeth Tucker's profile photo
Christopher Murray's profile photo
Darrel Valles's profile photo
Rajeesh Narayanan's profile photo
Quincy Dawson's profile photo
Robin Thompson's profile photo
Work
Occupation
Technical writer (software)
Links
Contributor to
Story
Introduction
I've tried to develop different talents and mastered none of them.  I enjoy talking about them regardless.
  • Games (board and video) 
  • Science fiction and literature
  • Rhetoric 
  • Comic books (art)
  • Technology
  • Unitarian-Universalism
Places
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Currently
Carrollton, TX
Previously
Longview, TX - College Station, Texas - Lafayette, Indiana - Nacogdoches, Texas - Deer Park, Tx
Great service, friendly people. I had a small job---a broken case handle. They treated me well and fixed it will ahead of the original estimate.
Public - 2 weeks ago
reviewed 2 weeks ago
I've lived in Carrollton for more than 12 years and thought that I had eaten at Joe's. But I realized recently that I hadn't. It's not the same as the Joe's Pizza and Pasta further north in Carrollton (which is a bit nicer but informal setting). But Joe's on Beltline is good, basic Italian food. The service can be good and friendly (though one time they were simply indifferent). It's mainly a serve-yourself place anyway. The pizza is good, and I've had a couple of pasta dishes that were good, too. The sauce is tasty, a lot better than some other nearby places with bland sauces and overcooked pasta.
• • •
Quality: Very GoodAppeal: GoodService: Good
Public - 3 years ago
reviewed 3 years ago
2 reviews
Map
Map
Map