the crafties has a new look!

Guys, I redesigned my whole site! If you are reading through an RSS feed, I implore you to pop over and tell me what you think. I may not love it 100% but I am 100% proud of it, and really, what’s more important?

I put this look together using GIMP. It is a free program that competes with big box items like Adobe Photoshop. I followed a tutorial at Gimp-tutorials.net. Truthfully, that tutorial is what gave me the gumption to do it.

The color scheme was largely influenced by my sewing box:

sewing box pattern

I originally played around in my comfort zone with scrapping paper, giving this result:

site layout in paper

Then I tweaked it as you can see. I got the images (Photoshop brushes) from all over the net, and I have tried to list them all here:

Little dude on tree branch – Madly-Insane
Tree branch – Pink Pueblo
Font – John Martz
Birds and berries – Pixels & Ice Cream
Arrows – HG Designs
Faded swirly-mabob – Tobss
Secret Worm – obscureBT

A huge thank you to everyone who offers their artwork for free of charge! Id love to contact them all but I couldnt always find the contact info, so if you are one of the artists, say hello:)

But most important of all is that I never would have spent the time to make it work with the WordPress back room, so to speak. I’ve had sites before where I manually worked with them in HTML (read as DreamWeaver) but never have I tried to make it fit within some sort of pre-existing template, nor do I care to really delve into that arena. However, lucky for me, my brother spent a lot of time helping me! He learned it all on his own for his site then continually pointed me in the right directions. Boy helped too when I got in a pinch, but if it weren’t for bro, this change wouldn’t have happened. So, show a big hand of applause to DanFromIndiana, yay!

I also would like to point out that I can’t share a life with boy and have sloppy code (even though he scoffs at calling css and html “code”), so everything has been validated at W3C (although some of my older posts do fail…). I checked different browsers and operating systems and whatnot. You might even notice that it looks good on mobile devices! If you notice an issue though, please let me know. I did find the colors to be kinda skewed on some monitors, but I’ll let that go for now. No rain on this parade!

I have a lot of extra work to do, such as formatting older posts’ photos and such, but I hope to be back in action with regular posts now that this beast has been brought down:D

Honestly though, what do you guys think? (Are you thinking cute? Are you thinking gawdy? Say it!!)

Game Review: Pandemic

boardgame_pandemic

Quick Stats:

Ranked # 26
2-4 players
Age 10 and up
60 minutes play time
Rated 7.69 out of 10 stars

Learning curve: Easy smeasy.

Re-playability: Since the epidemic cards throw out curve-balls, the games stress level changes up each time. I like it.

My personal thoughts: This is a game where all the players are a team and you fight against the boardgame itself. In our experience, the boardgame almost always wins. That makes it fun, because you think to youself – we got this! we got it! we….we lost. The only flaw with this game that Ive seen is that each player gets a random role to play, which gives them certain abilities. Because you must work as a team, some roles dont really get to decide what they are going to do because there is just one option to make the team succeed. Therefore, certain roles can be a bit boring to play, in and of themselves. However, because there is a lot of talking to strategize the game, the players stuck with those roles still can add a lot of value to attaining the goal (just because they dont get to do much with their little wooden piece doesnt mean they are doing nothing).

I would play it again, and it happens to be one of Tofs favorites. Hes even played it by himself to see if he could beat the game. (If you look at the review at BBG.com, youll see that it has been recommended to play 1 player.)

Pandemic review at BoardGameGeek.com

Game Review: Through the Ages

boardgame_through_the_ages

Quick stats:

Ranked #4
2-4 players
Age 12 and up
240 minutes play time
Rated 8.30 out of 10 stars

So far, we have only played it twice. Based on that:

Learning curve: Follow the card for turn order and everything makes sense. Youll get it in just a few turns.

Re-playability: The way new cards are selected and moved makes it a gamble for strategy, so each game will be different which is good. Theres also different directions you can focus on – culture, military, philosophy, science, farming, mining, etc.

My personal thoughts: The first time we played it, we did not play with any warfare cards. The second time, we played the whole game. I won the first one hands down with my focus in culture. It was fun, and boy tried to keep up but my strategy was solid. The second time, I stuck to the culture route while he and tofer went with full on battle. I was eons ahead with culture. Until the end, that is. Boy played three war cards in a row against me (that shouldnt even be allowed!). It was stupid on my part to not have any military going, but what was more stupid is that the defense cards do not work in war (which i didnt know until i tried to use them and wasnt allowed to – perhaps my strategy would have been slightly less devoid of military, but those are the risks you take when learning new games). We all agreed that with war (and combining it with Captain ADD and his focus on powergaming) the game dragged on much passed our attention spans,  and was more difficult to stay caught up (you cant focus on any one area but need to focus on everything all at once – if you fall behind anywhere, you will suffer horribly and spend the entire game trying to catch up that one path). This means, in my opinion, that by playing war, you really need to all have the same strategy which lowers the fun factor.

That said, i would play again, but only the peaceful way (which is written into the directions as one version of play available).

Though the Ages: A Story of Civilzation review at BoardGameGeek.com.