Friday, October 22, 2021

Cavalock and That Traveler's Notebook Update

If you have ever beenin the army or done a reservist stint, there's always a guy in the unit who has to shower at least three or four times a day. Well, I have become that guy, here at home during this pandemic lockdown. The weather's has gotten humid as hell and I'm constantly sweating like a cat in roomful of rocking chairs. 

We are all still in this semi-lockdown here so it's only me and the Baker-at-Home dining out as and when we can. Recently we got to enjoy dinner at Allium. A cosy little restaurant located at way over at Kensington Square. First there and we really liked it. Had the nine-course dinner menu, with sake pairing. My favourite dish has got to go to the Cantonese Steamed Fish. That piece of fish was so damn fresh. The Baker-at-Home's fav was the Braised Rice, she absolutely revelled in the 'wok hay' aroma of the rice even though it was a porridge dish. 

Anyway, I got the Allium menu glued in my Traveler's Notebook. Yah, been awhile since I showed my Traveler's Notebook here. I have been filling up the pages, just not as frequent as I expected cos y'know, worldwide pandemic and stuff. This here page is kinda of what I got so far in the month of October. Had to get new earphones cos I lost me AirPods Pro at the gym. The AirPods were already a little wonky so I asked around for another brand of earphones and a friend recommended this latest pair from Sony. Used me Krisflyer Miles to get them since we sure as hell aren't gonna be redeeming any tickets soon.

Next up is The Red Cathedral, another boardgame I just purchased from Amazon. I have read so many good reviews about this game, I just had to get it. Saw it on Amazon and waited for the price to drop to a low of $49 and immediately grabbed it. 

"Autumn is not the best time to climb up on a scaffold in Moscow, but it is still far better than doing so in the winter. Tsar Ivan wants to see results and our team will prove to him that we are the best builders in the city. We are sure to finish off those decorative arches with the brightest shining stones and ensure our place on the list of the government’s trusted workers.

The Red Cathedral is a strategic, “Euro” board game in which the players take the roles of construction teams. Their job is to work together to put up St. Basil's cathedral in Moscow, as ordered by Ivan the Terrible. However, only one of them will be able to gain the favor of the Tsar.

During the game, the players can carry out one of these three actions: assign a section of the cathedral, send resources to that section to build it, or go to the game board to achieve more resources. Each of these actions has its own mechanism and requires that the players pay close attention to what the other players are doing."

It comes in a relatively small box and as far as modern boardgames go, the rules aren't that difficult. Deciding where to build and when to build is just part of what you'll be doing. You'll also have to figure out which resource to gather, like stone, brick, wood or gold to build your cathedral and in which order, while utilising a cool dice rondel system. And that's where the strategy comes in, that dice rondel is real brain-burner! There's enough tension between every move to make this a really fun game. 

Saturday, October 09, 2021

Cavalock and The Rurik: Dawn of Kiev Playback

Been way too long since I spotted a new can of Japanese beer or Grand Kirin White pale ale to be exact. This sure looks tempting but I been on a Calpis Highball trail right now. Also, Iroha Mart has a whole shelf of non-alcoholic drinks too as well as no sugar and zero calories booze. I still don't get the appeal of zero-alcohol drinks, the whole point is getting a buzz and if I'm not getting a buzz, I'm definitely not paying that much money for a can of fake beer. I mean if it's the same price as a can of soda pop, sure I suppose I would go for that.

Played a couple games of Rurik: Dawn of Kiev recently. It's a pretty massive boardgame I bought many months ago and I just got my hands on the expansion box Rurik: Stone & Blade which adds more elements to the game. So it's an area control and resource management game with some auction mechanics thrown in.

"You play as a potential successor to the throne following the death of your father, Vladimir the Great, in 1015. The people value a well-rounded leader, so you must establish your legacy by building, taxing, fighting, and accomplishing great deeds. Will you win over the hearts of the people to become the next ruler of Kievan Rus?

Rurik brings to life the ancient culture of Kievan Rus with game design by Russian designer Stanislav Kordonskiy and illustrations by Ukrainian artist Yaroslav Radeckyi."

We had a lot of fun playing this. There are plenty of decisions to make but the steps are nicely broken up so you are not overwhelmed by it all. First everyone has to bid on what actions you want to take and who gets to do it first. Then you perform the actions that you selected such as moving your men, taxing the lands, building architecture and so on. That's pretty much it, of cos there's a lot more that goes into each action. We played with four players and with the recent lockdown, just three and we all really liked it especially with the expansion that added more elements like new buildings and the option to capture prisoners for additional points. There are rules for solo play too, maybe I'll try it one of these days.

Monday, October 04, 2021

Cavalock and The Izakaya Insight Post

Well, to nobody's surprise, we are back in a mini-lockdown with gatherings limited to two only. I got money riding on the fact we'll have at least a couple lockdown flip-flops before next year's Chinese New Year. Anyway, just before this latest lockdown, me and the guys got together to check out the basement izakaya Dusokoi x Donpachi Sake Bar over at Cuppage Plaza. 

Been here a couple weeks earlier with the Baker-at-Home, and we absolutely enjoyed the food, the place as the deco and menu reminded us of our trips to Japan, our little (not-so) late night jaunts to izakayas around Shinjuku. I thought this place would be kinda cool to bring the guys to to commemorate our 2019 September trip to Tokyo. She especially liked their selection of umeshu. They got an impressive menu of izakaya food like grilled squids, all kinds of tempura as well as sashimi.

As expected, good food and good company, it's something we all need right now. All five of us had our fill of oden, tempura, oysters, monkfish liver (is this the first time I'm having it?), some pork guts stew and Japanese style bak tuh teh. And this is also one of those rare times when we guys enjoyed a bottle of sake, usually it's beer, whisky or high ball for us when we are a Japanese restaurant.

So like most folks here, the Baker-at-Home and me are just riding out this latest lockdown at home. She works from home so there's that. I haven't been to the gym in a week cos I was busy taking care of me Dad. He hasn't gone out to take any wildlife pix for obvious reasons. I wish I could say that we weren't affected by all these lockdowns, travel restrictions and so on but it has started to take its toll on us. When me and the guys were having dinner at the izakaya that evening, we couldn't help but reminisce  bout our Tokyo trip. Same with the Baker-at-Home and me. Right now, at this time of the year, the two of us would usually be in Tokyo and soaking in the Halloween mood there

I have some words and some thoughts on how the local authorities have handled the whole Covid situation here. But I know better than to say anything online. Suffice to say, they really dropped the ball with how they fumbled everything from communications to the masses to the obvious lack of foresight in many instances. 

Oh, in other news, I got to paint these nice guys, Death Guard Marines. Only two more to go.