Coffee Roaster

I’ve never roasted coffee. I do enjoy a good cup of coffee, and we’re lucky to have some very well regarded roasters in Dublin, like 3fe, Roasted Brown and Coffee Angel. Given my lack of coffee roasting experience, what follows is a wholly groundless assertion: it’s an art. Sure, you can measure the roasting time, the temperature, but I bet it’s never 100% exactly right every time. Neither is a game of Coffee Roaster, a solo game from Japan. Sure, you can math out some bits, try to count and make sure you’re as close as possible, but things don’t always go as expected, and you end up with a horrible cup of coffee from an over-roasted bean. Continue reading

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Shogi and I

Today I’m going to talk about something a little different. It’s still a board game, but it’s not a hot off the shelf release from Essen, or a Kickstarter reward or my latest adventure in solo gaming. It’s about shogi, Japanese chess, the game which I have undoubtedly played the most in the past 10 years. Many people compare the game Go to chess, but shogi is much closer. Several of the pieces move the same, lending a sense of familiarity to those who’ve played chess. But it’s also hugely different, and in my humble opinion, better by far.

Before we go on, I want to say that I won’t be using the Japanese names for pieces etc, just the names in English that I know them as, as taught to me. It may not be technically correct, but to me the words carry more than just meaning. Continue reading

First Impressions: Honshu

 

Honshu is the main island of Japan. Why is this game called Honshu? No idea. What is this game’s connection to Japan? Seriously, no idea. But it doesn’t matter because what lies inside the box with the lovely art is a smart game. It mixes common mechanics so well that it could become one of my favourite games. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves: I’ve only played it a few times, so let me just talk about my first impressions. Continue reading

Board Games for Lunch

There are games for all people, all occasions and all tastes. We have covered a number of them, from the comedic stylings of Last Will, to the po-faced politics, warfare and diplomacy of Rex. Today, I’m going to talk about three small, quick games that sit in my desk at work, that frequently get played with a few colleagues during our lunch hour. So, grab your sandwich and your cup of tea and get ready to play some games. Continue reading