Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Board Stiff with Kickstarter

If ever a falser statement was made.. I can't ever be bored with Kickstarter. It is the reason I haven't paid off student loans, truth be told, and now I'm going to try and spread that joy to you.
Today’s article is going to come in two parts, both revolving around the world of Kickstarter. The first bit is about how to find and back games on the site, where I’ll give you stuff to look for on the project pages. The second part of the soapbox today will be about putting your own projects on Kickstarter. I haven’t posted anything myself, but I can rant offer suggestions about what is good and bad to have on your project page, as well as any things you might need to be prepared for.
Click over to GrE to read up on how I find the newest and greatest games coming out from Indie Developers and big companies alike.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Board Stiff with Power Grid

I make it all about family in this week's column over at GamesAreEvil. I also keep it real, so, you know, curse words. Lil' bit. Just a few.

Players gonna hate.
Power Grid! It’s a game about building a – wait, you guessed it – power grid! Players take on the role of a power company CEO? Board? I don’t know who runs companies, but that guy. You play as that guy. You try and build the most effective power company on whichever map you decide to play on. To do this, you need to buy power plants, buy resources to fuel those plants, build substations in cities, and then burn your resources to power those cities. 
You know the drill. Click here to read moreeeeee.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Recipe: Eggplant Parmesan Towers & A Semi-Vegetarian Rant

After living in Nor Cal for almost 5 years now, it's not all that surprising that I've become a bit of a vegetarian. I'm not a real vegetarian, thanks to bacon and pork belly, but it's a close call. Since I stopped eating meat every meal and started treating it like, well, a treat, I feel a lot healthier. A lot of people push no-meat days like Meatless Monday and that's fine, but for me I rather eat meat in a less-American fashion, meaning maybe once a week? And, when I do have meat, I like for it to actually be meat. Not mass produced, genetically altered, chemically injected, processed meat-like substances like you get at McDonalds and other fast-food joints.

There are also environmental reasons I don't eat a lot of meat anymore, and I could get out my soap box and write up a huge post about how Americans waste more resources like water and grain to raise livestock than you know, healthy humans, but I don't feel like picking a fight on the internet at the moment. Right now I feel like writing a recipe.

Trader Joe's, the grocery store I frequent the most, has a huge fresh produce section and a lot of delicious pre-made meals. I don't remember the last time I bought meat, or a pre-made meal from TJ's that had meat in it, and that's not due to consciously avoiding it. My favorite dish they sell is their Eggplant Parmesan Towers, which are basically like lasagna with eggplant instead of pasta, and happen to be vegetarian. Anywho, while I'm in Colorado, I don't have access to a Trader Joe's, and thus, no nomalicious eggplant towers.. so I decided I would make my own delicious version of the dish.

Eggplant Parmesan Towers

Preheat oven to 350°F
2 medium sized eggplants (or 1 large)
1 bag of baby Spinach
16ox marinera
1 cup Mozzarella shredded cheese 
1 cup Parmesan shredded cheese
2 eggs
Salt, Pepper, Oregano, Basil

Peel eggplant(s).

Slice eggplant(s) into 1/2 inch slices.

Coat bottom of casserole dish with a thin layer of marinera.

In a shallow bowl, scramble your two eggs. In another, mix your parmesan cheese with some salt, pepper, oregano and basil herbs (I don't have measurements for this.. I just sprinkle some in.)
Using your right hand, dip a slice of eggplant into the egg, flip it, then put it into the parmesan once it's nicely coated in egg. Then, using your left hand, coat the slice with the cheese mixture on both sides. Once there's a somewhat-coating layer of cheese and spices, put the slice in the casserole dish.

After you've got one layer of eggplant in the dish, time to add toppings! Spoon some marinera onto each slice of eggplant, then cover with some spinach and mozzarella.
I didn't pre-cook my spinach for this dish, but if I did it again, I'd steam them at least until they started to wilt.

Repeat the eggplant coating and layering process for another layer.

If your dish is high enough and you have enough eggplant, feel free to try for a triple layer tower. I only had another parmesan to make two triple layer towers.

Stick in the oven and bake for 30 to 35 minutes at 350°F, or until the cheese on top starts to brown.

Plate, serve, devour.

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Board Stiff with Story Telling, Part 3 – Fiasco

As we all learned in my last post, I spent a good chunk of last week getting to Colorado and then suffering from the snow I had brought with me. Uncertain if I'd be able to write my Board Stiff piece for this week, I enlisted the aid of my friend Mitch to do a guest post for me.
The game does the heavy lifting for you, providing inciting incidents and dizzying twists, while you get to do the fun part; pretending to be someone else and causing as much trouble for your friends as you possibly can. 
Shuffle over to GrE and have a gander at Mitch's artful telling of Fiasco.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Board Stiff with Story Telling (and Backlogs)

First thing's first. This repost is a bit late, as I spent most all of yesterday driving through Wyoming. But I'm in Colorado now, enjoying the beautiful May weather...

Yeah. That's snow. I escaped the freezing cold of my mother's house and found safe harbor at a local Starbucks. That's not what this post is about, though! It's about Board Stiff!
Dear minions, 
It has come to my attention that your performance as of late has been.. concerning. The dungeons look clean, the moat has ducks, and last week I heard a prisoner describe the food as ‘decent.’ This kind of shoddy workmanship in our line of business is appalling, and frankly, rude to our enemies...
You can finish reading all about the Dark Overlord's disappointment over at GamesAreEvil, where I take a look at Aye, Dark Overlord.

Second thing – I realized looking back that I didn't post two of my Board Stiff reviews from March.

Seasons and A Few Acres of Snow are two of my favorite games right now, and they both bring some unique features to the table. Both use selective card drafting, or deck building, and both are games where you're battling against your opponent(s). In Seasons, you're a wizard casting magical items and familiar to best your enemies. In A Few Acres of Snow, you take on the role of the French or the British in the American theater of the Seven Years War. I recommend both completely, so head over and take a look at Seasons and A Few Acres of Snow.