Well that went well…

Apparently I’ve not posted in over a year, so my last blog post was a lie. It does look like my host have upgraded their hardware and software and my blog is slightly more responsive though.

I might start posting again.

Here’s hoping…

Tanto Cuoro: Do-maid-ion First impressions

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There are two types of board gamers, those for who the theme of a game is important and those for whom the theme of a game doesn’t matter a toss as long as the game has solid mechanics. (OK so putting everyone who participates in a hobby on a binary like that is ridiculous but I’m not exactly about to formulate an ontology of board gamers based on mechanics Vs. theme I’m just writing the opening paragraph to a shitty review, calm down…)

I bought Tanto Cuoro as a gift for a friend, partly because I’d read that it wasn’t terrible, and partly because she is obsessed with some really weird Japanese niche cultures. I wasn’t expecting the game to be that good, I didn’t even expect to play the game at all to be honest. But then I did…

Gameplay

At it’s heart Tanto Cuoro (Which is Italian for “A lot of heart” apparently) is a deck building game not dissimilar to Dominion, your goal is to assemble the a collection of maids to serve you and become the ultimate master of the house.

Each turn you get a hand of cards from you deck which contains a set of maids and or some “Love” cards which are the games currency, (Yes maids are paid in love not money, I’ll let you think of that what you will) and initially you are allowed to be “Served” by one maid per turn.

Being served by a maid means you play that maid and gain the benefits that maid provides usually this is one of:

  • Extra Love: Giving you more currency to buy maids.
  • Card Draw: Allowing you to draw more cards in the hope of getting more love to spend.
  • Extra Servings: Allowing you to play more maids
  • Extra Employment: Allowing you to hire more maids to your household.

Love is spent in the Town where you can either employ maids or purchase events, the maids you buy are added to your discard pile and are shuffled into your deck when it runs out, you can also buy private maids which don’t go into your deck but give you an ongoing effect which is usually helpful.

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Events are basically a way to screw the other player over by making their maids ill which negates their bonuses, or giving them bad habits which loses you victory points.

You can also promote maids to “chamber maids”, which takes them out of your deck permanently and may give you bonuses at the end of the game.

Once two of the piles of maids is depleted the game is over and each player tallies up the the maids in their house hold and whomever has the most victory points wins.

Opinion

I wasn’t expecting to like this game, don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think it would be a terrible game… I just didn’t think it would be for me. I actually really enjoyed playing it though. Behind the cute anime maids in skimpy maid outfits, are some pretty solid mechanics, the art is also very well done if you are into the theme then that is a bonus, but building a household of maids and then trying to figure out how to chain them to get the most victory points is actually quite fun.

I’ve not played Dominion in 5 years, so the rules for that are a little rusty in my head, but I think this might oddly have a little more depth than the games of Dominion I played, which I found surprising.

If you like deck building games and either the theme appeals to you, or you are willing to ignore it then this game is well worth a look. Also if you don’t want to invest in the physical game there is a version available for iOS and while it’s not free it’s pretty cheap (£2.49 last time I checked) it also benefits from having a tutorial built in to it and varying levels of AI.

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My crowning achievement was chaining a set of maids to add love and servings to my pool such that I managed to accrue 18 love allowing me to employ two copies of “Marianne Soleil” who is worth 6 victory points.

 

Dream Journal: The Inmates Are Running the Asylum But They Don’t Know It

Quick note about a dream I had last night, the dream was set in military hospital which was run by John Cleese. The hospital had a full compliment of staff who were all military personnel who had been sent home from “The War” for some reason or other.

The thing is it became apparent towards the end of the dream that the staff at the hospital were all actually patients being treated in a mental asylum, but they didn't know it.

Which Poem Should You Read?

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Want to read a poem but don’t know where to start? Book Riot have you covered. This flow chart will help you pick a poem to read to suit your mood.

The Road Not Taken

 

60. ROBERT FROST: The road not taken

 

Nice little pictorial story about the two paths that Robert Frost’s life might have taken. I’m not going to spout some sentimental crap about choosing your own path, but it’s interesting to think that one simple decision can change your whole life. If I’d not moved to Glasgow in 1998 I wonder where I would be now? I was 0.5% of a grade away from being accepted to a scholarship that would have seen me going to the states for University and having a career in the oil industry, 0.5% that’s it… The admission criteria was something like 90% and when all my scores were totalled up I had 89.5%

I’m glad I ended up where I ended up, and I’m happy, but I do sometimes wonder what the heck would have happened to me if I’d gotten that extra 0.5%.

Via Zen Pencils