Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Dominion Expansion Sets


Expansions

An overview of each expansion:
  • Intrigue: The first expansion, and the most natural. Comes with another set of Treasure/Victory cards, allowing you to support multiple games and/or a 5-6p game (though 5-6p games of Dominion are generally not that much fun). Focuses on interaction and card choices.
  • Seaside: Focused on duration cards, which last between turns. Along with Prosperity, has probably the most powerful Action cards.
  • Alchemy: Introduces Potions, a different kind of “currency”, and emphasizes Action chains, leading to much longer games. Probably not a great first expansion.
  • Prosperity: Adds Colonies and Platinums, and a lot of other over-the-top cards. Probably the most popular expansion, and certainly the most well-received.
  • Cornucopia: A small expansion that focuses on card variety. A more advanced set.
  • Hinterlands: Introduces cards that trigger when you gain or buy them. A more advanced set.
  • Dark Ages: The most complex set so far, with a big emphasis on card interactions. It introduces many new mechanics (including gaining from the trash).

Releases

Name Re­lease Date Type Cards Kinds of King­dom card Theme
Dom­in­ion (Base game) Oc­to­ber 2008 Stand­a­lone 500 25 The ori­gin­al game.
In­trigue July 2009 Stand­a­lone 500 25 Decisions among multiple possible effects. Hybrid cards that are both Victory cards and another type.
Sea­side Oc­to­ber 2009 Ex­pan­sion 300 26 Cards with effects that happen on the player's next turn.
Al­che­my May 2010 Ex­pan­sion 150 12 The Potion Treasure as an alternate card cost, with cards that require a Potion as well as Coin to be bought. Decks with large numbers of Action cards.
Pros­per­i­ty Oc­to­ber 2010 Ex­pan­sion 300 25 Expensive cards and Treasures that do something when played in the Buy phase. Higher-value basic Treasure and Victory cards. VP tokens.
Cor­nu­co­pi­a June 2011 Ex­pan­sion 150 13 Cards that are more useful when there is variety in the player's deck.
Hin­ter­lands Oc­to­ber 2011 Ex­pan­sion 300 26 Cards that have an additional effect when bought or otherwise gained.
Dark Ages August 2012 Ex­pan­sion 500 35 Cards that have an additional effect when trashed. Cards that care about the Trash. Cards that upgrade themselves. Ways to upgrade other cards.
Guilds June 2013 Ex­pan­sion 150 13 Coin tokens that can be saved to spend later. Cards you can get more out of by paying extra for them.
Adventures April 2015 Ex­pan­sion 400 30 Cards that can be saved for the right moment. Events, which give you something to buy besides cards. Tokens that can modify cards.
Base Cards June 2012 Re­place­ment Cards 250 0 (A set of all the basic cards—Treasures, Victory, and Curse cards—from the standalones and expansions with new design and different art. No Kingdom Cards.)

Sources






Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Top 5 Super Bowl Ads of the Year



It was a fierce battle, though only one team could come out on top. Oh wait, we're talking about the ads! The votes are in and here are the Top 5.
1 Lost Dog
Budweiser
That collective "Awww" you heard wasn't about Tom Brady's grin. America's pup was back to pull our heartstrings. Now let's go collectively feel some feelings (and maybe grab a Bud).
2 The Brady Bunch
Snickers
Bad-guy actor Danny Trejo takes on a famous "Brady Bunch" scene, proving that even Marcia, Marcia, Marcia isn't herself when she's hungry. Stick around, because you won't believe who plays Jan.
3 Revenge
Clash of the Clans
The Best Use of a Celebrity award goes to this spot featuring an angry Liam Neeson — we're talking "Taken" levels of aggression — chewing out his nemesis in a mobile game. If only.
4 Pill
Fiat
Fiat has come out with a new model that's bigger, wider, and, well, sexier. Their game-day spot credits the new changes to a frisky couple, a series of unlikely events, and a little blue pill.
5 My Bold Dad
Toyota
Toyota's tribute to dads may have caused more than a few of us to tear up during the game. We dare you to hold back those feelings as a father shows his daughter he's always there for her.


Monday, February 23, 2015

The ABCs of Dominion


My coworkers have got me hooked on the game of Dominion. Dominion is a simple deck building card game. I think what makes Dominion fun is the rules are very simple to learn but the variations of game play are expansive, which follows the "a minute to learn, a lifetime to master" mantra.

Each turn involves 3 simple steps. You play an action, buy and then cleanup. What gives Dominion the game play variety are the various actions, and each new game played can use different action cards.

About.com succinctly summarized the ABCs of the game play rules. Your turn consists of four phases:

A)ction: You may play one action card from your hand. Follow the directions on the card, which may instruct you to draw additional cards, gain spending power for your upcoming Buy phase, or give you extra actions to play additional action cards.

B)uy: You may purchase any one card in a pile on the table. To do so, play treasure cards from your hand until the value is at least as high as the purchase price of the card you want to buy.

C)leanup: The card you purchased, all cards that you played, and any cards remaining in your hand, are all placed in your discard pile.

D)raw: Draw five cards from your deck to replenish your hand. If there are not enough cards in your deck, shuffle your discard pile, and it becomes the base of your draw pile.



Sunday, February 22, 2015

Kindlegen - Convert EPUB to Kindle MOBI



In trying to expand my Kindle library, I have found that most e-books, or magazines, found online come in PDF format. PDF is not supported on the Kindle and wouldn't read well on the tiny screen, due to PDFs not being designed to reflow the text on a smaller screen. A few e-books will actually come in the e-book reader friendly format, .epub (Electronic Publication), which does support reflow. The trouble is that Kindle doesn't support the EPUB format. Kindle only naively supports the .mobi (Mobipocket) format (and a few other archaic proprietary formats).

Luckily, I was able to use the free Kindlegen, provided by Amazon, to convert the .epub e-book. Kindlegen is supported on Windows, OSX, and Linux.  Kindlegen is a command line tool, but is fairly simple to use. Be aware that the generated .mobi file will be significantly larger than the EPUB format (about 2x-3x larger).

Kindlegen can convert the following formats to the .mobi format:
  • .opf
  • .htm
  • .html
  • .epub
  • .xhtml
  • .zip
  • directory source files
The only trouble I ran into, during conversion, is you have to specify the full path to the file you are converting. If you don't specify the full file path, even though the file is in the same folder, you will get an error about not finding the file specified. You may also notice the .mobi file is built with warnings, due to missing desired headers, but those can generally be safely ignored.

Converting an .epub book to mobi:

C:\temp>kindlegen.exe "c:\temp\pg11.epub"

*************************************************************
 Amazon kindlegen(Windows) V2.9 build 1029-0897292
 A command line e-book compiler
 Copyright Amazon.com and its Affiliates 2014
*************************************************************

Info(prcgen):I1047: Added metadata dc:Title        "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"
Info(prcgen):I1047: Added metadata dc:Date         "2008-06-27"
Info(prcgen):I1047: Added metadata dc:Creator      "Lewis Carroll"
Info(prcgen):I1047: Added metadata dc:Subject      "Fantasy"
Info(prcgen):I1047: Added metadata dc:Rights       "Public domain in the USA."
Info(prcgen):I1047: Added metadata dc:Source       "http://www.gutenberg.org/files/11/11-h/11-h.htm"
...
Info(prcgen):I1037: Mobi file built with WARNINGS!

Converting an html book to .mobi:
C:\temp>kindlegen.exe "c:\temp\Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll.htm" -o alice.mobi

*************************************************************
 Amazon kindlegen(Windows) V2.9 build 1029-0897292
 A command line e-book compiler
 Copyright Amazon.com and its Affiliates 2014
*************************************************************

Info(prcgen):I1047: Added metadata dc:Title        "
      Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll
    "
Info(prcgen):I1002: Parsing files  0000002
Warning(htmlprocessor):W28003: Value specified for CSS property in content is not supported by Kindle readers. Please re
fer Kindle Publishing Guidelines about usage of property: 'position: absolute' in file: c:\users\kenneth\documents\Alice
's Adventures in Wonderland, by Lewis Carroll.htm
...
Info(prcgen):I1037: Mobi file built with WARNINGS!



Wednesday, February 11, 2015