Thoughts, Words, Works

Some Unofficial Board Game Translations @

Side-by-side comparison of a Brigare card with and without translation insert

I recently returned from a vacation in Japan, where among other things I hit up Yellow Submarine in Akihabara and bought some board games that can (currently) only be found in Japan. As a bit of a pet project, I've translated one of them, "Brigare" from Domina Games, including putting together inserts that you can sleeve into the cards. I'm also sharing a translation I made for another Japanese board game, "San Jose" by Studio Turbine, which I did after my previous trip to Japan, before the pandemic.

A few notes about these translations follow.

→ Read the whole thing


San Jose, CA Voter's Guide for Nov. 2018 @

Voting is my American civic duty, which I take seriously. Voting is also a huge pain: frustrating research into contradicting statements and esoteric rules. You have to read between the lines, predict the outcomes of complicated legal mechanisms, and judge both the sincerity and expertise of candidates while having very little to base your judgments on. It's no wonder people get overwhelmed. That said, I've done my best to research the issues on my ballot and come up with some simple recommendations. I'm sharing them here so if you're looking for a quick summary to make voting easier, I've got you covered.

→ Read the whole thing


My Star Wars Books @

Star Wars books I contributed to

Aside from my day job documenting the cutting-edge finance technology at Ripple, I've been fortunate enough to be contracted by Fantasy Flight Games as a contributor for several books in their Star Wars role-playing line. Working with them has been an absolute pleasure, so I figured I'd share some of the writing and development credits I've earned.

→ Read the whole thing


The Myth of Real Money @

The only basis for good Society is unlimited credit.

Oscar Wilde1

While working in the world of digital finance, I've come to realize that most people aren't really aware of how money truly works. I mean, people have some knowledge of how they use it, but the lack of deeper understanding becomes a real problem when you try to explain how digital money works — no comparison makes sense if you're lost on both sides of the equation. To amend that issue, allow me to share some shocking truths about so-called real money that I've pieced together while investigating the mysteries of digital cryptocurrency.

→ Read the whole thing


7 Wonders: Wonder Tier List @

I've previously discussed the excellent board game 7 Wonders, and my thoughts on the game's strategy. As part of that post, I asserted that the various Wonder boards, while they do make an impact on the game, are usually not the determining factor in who wins or loses. That said, in any game with variable player powers, there are bound to be inequalities, and a tier listing is inevitable. Thus, in this post I present my take on the different Wonder boards, discussing each side individually, and create a general tier listing out of all of them. My list includes all the boards released up to this point including the base set, Leaders and Cities expansions, the official Wonder Pack, and the promotional Catan wonder. I do not rate the promo version of Mannekin Pis, since the version contained in the Wonder Pack is a very similar, rebalanced version.

→ Read the whole thing


Playing Games Well: 7 Wonders @

7 Wonders is a wonderful game, a civilization builder set in ancient times powered by a drafting mechanic that's elegant but extremely deep. Best of all, it plays quickly with anywhere from three to a whopping seven players, thanks to the powers of simultaneous play. The expansions, Leaders and Cities, and the Wonder Pack mini-expansion, add more variety while not changing the game much — something that sits well with me since it keeps the game fresh but keeps the burden on new players relatively low. It also means that the expansions haven't (thus far) revolutionized the game strategy, which is nice for experienced players and strategy bloggers (ha!). Hence, it's something I've played plenty, and I'm excited to discuss my strategies for the game and thoughts on how to play well. For clarity's sake: I will not be addressing the 2-player variant, nor the team variant introduced by the Cities expansion, since I have not played enough of either.

→ Read the whole thing