A most excellent Friday 

Friday was turning into a pretty good day. External moderators for the two awarding bodies we use for our courses passed the units they had been verifying. This basically means they agree with how we’ve marked the students work, and that the work produced meets the criteria for the mark given.

I find it a little stressful in the run up and during the actual moderation. It’s making sure everything is “perfect” and easy for the moderator. Then the waiting. If the moderator finds something wrong or disagrees with the marking I don’t want it to be mine. I don’t want to let the team down. I don’t want to let my line manager down.

That last bit is very important. I didn’t think I’d be lucky enough to have a manager like I have now, again! When my manager and friend Julie unexpectedly died on 4th June 2014, it hit me pretty hard. She had been the best manager I’d had in a life time of working. She had inspired, encouraged and supported. I’d have done anything for her. Yes I’m a blindly loyal foot soldier. It had been earnt. I’d grown professionally and had been doing new things, thanks to Julie. But lightning has struck twice. My current manager in her own style is the same, and earnt the same loyalty. So yes I wouldn’t want to let her down either. 

When we heard the good news from both moderators there was a feeling of great relief and happiness. 

I took in my V60 drip, Hario coffee server that works with my V60, and a Pact Coffee to work to make coffee for the team. It was Darren’s Pop Up Coffee Shop this morning.

The coffee I took in was a limited edition roast called El Campanario. The photo below tells you all you need to know about this amazing coffee. 

Making coffee with the V60 is very theatrical. The V60 on top of the server, pouring hot water precisely over the filter to clean it with a goose neck metal jug, the bloom, the pouring over the coffee. Pure theatre. Plus I love the whole process, and find it therapeutic.

But it is also very precise. Baristas weigh and time when using the V60 so they get consistency. I weigh at home when brewing coffee this way. But no scales at work were used. 

However the most important factor that trumps everything else is having a great coffee. I think the El Campanario roast is just that.

Now they said they liked the coffee I made. But there is always a bit of me that says “liar, you are just saying that to be kind to me”. Although I was fairly happy with the final product I was putting out. I think that says a lot about me. 

A bloody great start to the weekend.

The celebratory pint of Thatchers cider at The White Lion once I got there tasted extra nice. I’d just been served when Edmund turned up. Drinks in hand we retired to the restaurant area and that awesome large heavy wooden table, 

While waiting for others to turn up I taught Edmund Onitama. I won the first game, and then lose the next two games. 

Near the end of the third game Chris arrived with his newly arrived copy of Terraforming Mars. Plus news that Jonathan was not going to make it due to some life stuff cropping up. There was no sign of Debbie and Nath who said they were coming. 

Terraforming Mars was on the short list of remaining must play games of 2016 I hadn’t played (Clank and Vast are the remaining ones I think). So this opportunity to play it was very much appreciated. It’s also one Jonathan wants to try. And also joins a short list of games he’s missed out on playing that he wants to play! So it might have been insensitive posting a photo of the game to show him what he was missing. But also funny. 

Yeah, Terraforming Mars is good fun. I really enjoyed it. 

It’s basically an engine building game. You buy cards into your hand, then pay to use them. Some of those cards are one off use and are not part of your engine. The others go in front of you and make up your engine for the game.

Now I won. But I wasn’t expecting to. Chris had far more cards in his engine. But the difference between mine and his cards, and Edmunds was I was adding a lot of cards that had victory points on them.

Edmund and I had also done much more terraforming of Mars than Chris. So we were further up the terraforming track than Chris. Mine was mainly due to planting forests (more points at the end) and placing oceans. 

I realised after my final turn I could have had an extra five points and claimed a milestone. Having milestones you can claim is a nice touch. As is sponsoring an award. Which means at the end the player that had the majority in what the award is for, for instance science symbols gets 8 points (?) and the runner up gets 2 (?). Only three awards can be sponsored and the cost goes up for doing so each time. So it pays to be early for the award you want to go for.

There could have been a drafting element to the game (one of Jonathan’s favourite game mechanics – not!) – but we decided that variant could wait for a future play. 

I thought the different coloured and sized cubes representing money would be confusing, and I’d keep forgetting the values. But I didn’t. The cubes were also multi use and also represented resources such as plants and energy!

I had heard that the production quality of the game wasn’t great. But I didn’t have a problem with it. It’s not Stegmaier games quality but it’s ok. Not as bad as I had been led to believe. 

There is a take that element in the game. It’s not massive, and mainly as far as I can see it’s a remove resources thing mainly. Slowing an opponents engine down.

The question for me really is I liked the game. But how much? Enough to want in my collection? I think it’s border line, leaning to yes. It may not be top of the purchase list (Great Western Trail is higher up).

An amazing Friday. 

Other gaming this week…

Dale and I have played a couple of games of Star Wars: Destiny. These games were our first where we constructed our decks. I played both games with Jyn and Rey. My deck is leaning towards being a control deck. Where I’m denying my opponent the ability of doing stuff by forcing them to discard cards, removing dice etc. 

Dale’s first deck was Kylo and two tie pilots. But his deck was a third invalid cards we noticed while playing. His second attempt at a deck was Kylo and death trooper I think. As Dale said yesterday his deck is more an agro deck. 

Although Dale won both games they were very very close games. They came down to if I hadn’t been taken out on Dale’s action I’d have taken Dale out on my action.

2 thoughts on “A most excellent Friday 

  1. Looking forward to having a game of Terraforming Mars. Glad you all seemed to enjoy it. What was the play time like with three players?

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