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K. Doyle's Profile

Customer Reviews: 156
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Helpful Votes: 855

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K. Doyle RSS Feed (Los Angeles)

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Musician's Gear Deluxe SGS Solid-Guitar-Style Hardshell Case Black
Musician's Gear Deluxe SGS Solid-Guitar-Style Hardshell Case Black
Offered by Woodwind and Brasswind
Price: $59.99
2 used & new from $59.99

3.0 out of 5 stars Lid won't stay open, a bit annoying, April 22, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
My SG fits, but the lid won't stay open by itself, that's a bit of a pain...

SKB Shaped Electric Hardshell - TSA Latch, Over-Molded Handle
SKB Shaped Electric Hardshell - TSA Latch, Over-Molded Handle
Price: Click here to see our price
12 used & new from $101.82

4.0 out of 5 stars I'm satisfied with it, April 22, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Wanted a telecaster case that wasn't the old Fender "rectangle" case. This does the trick. I'm not crazy about the latches. They're secure enough but unusual and seem a little clumsy. Good enough though.

DVD ~ David Bowie
Price: $7.50
222 used & new from $0.91

2.0 out of 5 stars Great puppets, but Bowie made me wince..., April 22, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Labyrinth (DVD)
The puppets are great here, but while I'm usually a fan of Bowie, he's painful to watch here...

The Man Who Couldn't Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought
The Man Who Couldn't Stop: OCD and the True Story of a Life Lost in Thought
by (Journalist) David Adam
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $19.71
64 used & new from $10.13

4.0 out of 5 stars Helpful to understand, April 22, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
An interesting perspective of what it's really like to have OCD. I have at least one friend who suffers from it, and while over time I've encountered some of the details recounted here, there were some that I hadn't. An engaging read if you have any interest in the subject.

Price: $15.69
39 used & new from $15.50

5.0 out of 5 stars A great game, but a Eurogame? Not so sure about that..., April 22, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Bohnanza (Toy)
A really great and unique card game. And while the designer of this game has designed several games that would properly be considered a "Eurogame" I'm not sure this one would. Just because a designer lives in Europe doesn't mean every game he designs is considered a "Eurogame" as commonly considered by the serious gaming community. But, whatever.

This game has several unique mechanics. Ultimately, it's a set collection game but the fact that you're not allowed to "sort" the cards in your hand, and generally must play them in the order received, is certainly unique. The one exception to that rule is when trading, you can trade cards from anywhere in your hand. So this means that as you see cards coming up for play in your hand that you really don't need or want, you may be more motivated to trade them away instead. And there's a lot of trading going on in this game, it's highly interactive in that regard which is one of its good points. Also, the fact that it will play 2-7 players is a big plus, this one is one we consider a "party" game to a large extent,since it's also easy to learn. Also plays in about 45 minutes.

Play consists of first, planting your next card in your bean field. but you have a limited number of "rows" you can plant in, so you may have to harvest something in order to plant. And when you harvest, you cash in on the crop, but you may not be ready to harvest because you've got more cards in your hand you'd like to plant in the row first. Be that as it may, you must plant the next card in your hand every turn, and optionally the following card can be planted. The second phase of a turn you draw two cards and show them face up. These cards you must plant too, or trade away. So at this point, trading begins, and you can trade not just the two face up cards but any cards in your hand, and you can make pretty much whatever deal you want as long as the current player who's turn it is is involved in one side of each deal. So you trade as much as you want and then everyone must plant whatever they got in trade immediately (which again, may require a harvest if the player doesn't have a row available that can take the card). The more you have of any one crop the more you get when it's harvested. You play three times through the deck, which at first looks like it will be forever because the deck is huge. However, as crops are harvested, you keep a few cards which from the harvest which essentially represent your score and it takes those cards out of the deck in the process-- so the deck gets quite a bit smaller every round, by the third time through the deck, the deck isn't nearly as big. Also, multiple cards are used from the deck each turn so they are consumed quickly. In the end, whoever has the most from their harvests wins.

The title doesn't do much for it, it's hard to remember and is often conflated with the TV western. It's usually referred to as "the bean game" because that gets the message across better, though I don't know that I would have called it that either.

Also, there are expansions for it now but I haven't tried them so I can comment.

The base game is an excellent game that has stood the test of time, we've played it quite a lot and still hits the table pretty often.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 28, 2015 10:32 PM PDT

Offered by M + L
Price: $52.84
3 used & new from $52.84

5.0 out of 5 stars This one's a real keeper!, April 22, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Tobago (Toy)
I've played games since I was a kid, and never stopped liking good ones. And I was a kid a LONG time ago now... I'm always on the lookout for not-too-heavy games with interesting components and theme. Games that take place on an island seem to attract me as well, though I'm not exactly sure why. "Survive" has been another favorite at one time, but Tobago seems to have eclipsed the game now. Not that Survive isn't fun, but Tobago has just a little more going on and once I got it, hits the table consistently when Survive might have previously.

A friend said she'd played this game at a family gathering and thought it was fun. Intrigued by the description I ended up ordering it. Well, I think it's pretty fabulous, and it's been played quite a bit since. It's about the perfect "weight" for me and my gaming friends. I'd characterize it as medium weight, or even on the "light" side of medium weight, and plays in a reasonable amount of time, about an hour. Components are great, plastic tikis, palm trees and huts, and wooden player pieces which are little land-rovers. There are cubes too, but these are used mainly to help to mark where the treasure "might" be in order to make it easier to keep track of potential treasure locations for the different maps as the treasure maps hone in on each treasure's ultimate location.

The game takes place on an island, and the goal is to locate treasures. In one sense there are semi-cooperative parts of the game with regards to locating treasures, each player adds to one of 4 treasure maps in process, narrowing down the possible location of the treasure. And every player who contributes to a treasure has a stake in it when it's found. Though ultimately, it's a competitive game as when it is time to divide up the treasure there is a game mechanic that provides later contributors to the map first pick of the treasure components (several cards with different numbers of coins on them). And in the end, whoever collects the most treasure wins.

The board is well made, designed in three double-sided interlocking parts that can be shifted in a couple of different ways to make what I think we calculated to be 32 different maps of the island to provide variation game-to-game. Treasure is identified by the type of terrain or landmarks its either in, not in, or next to, or not next to. Cards with these "clues" are contributed to each of the 4 treasure maps until only one space on the board can match all the clues for a given map. Then whoever gets to the treasure location first gets an extra stake in the treasure, and at that point it's divvy'ed up in reverse order of all player's contributions to the map. And a player who contributes more than once gets more than one piece of the treasure. A neat mechanism, it works well and is very fun.

And there's a few extra mechanisms, after a treasure is divided up, the tiki statues deploy amulets around the board (one per tiki) that if you travel to and collect, can be used for some special functions, an extra move, adding an extra clue to a map, and defending against the "poison" cards that can be hidden in the treasure (there are 2 in the game) which appear randomly and may cause you to lose some treasure if you don't have a protective amulet.

Works well, highly recommended. Could be considered a "gateway" game, as it's light enough even for some non-gamers to get into. Probably fun for kids too, though my game group is mostly geezers at this point. Fairly quick to set up. . It also looks cool and has great quality components. Highly recommended!

The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Widescreen Edition)
The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (Widescreen Edition)
DVD ~ Georgie Henley
Price: $9.08
163 used & new from $0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Well done all around, April 12, 2015
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
Good solid fantasy film with well done (not overdone) effects. The animals are undoubtedly CGI (most of them, anyway), and are very well done. There is a battle scene with some swordplay, hacking and slashing but that's brief, there's no visible gore at all, no blood or severed limbs, etc., so the younger ones are spared that. Even the demise of the witch is left to your imagination. A good story for adults as well, so I'd say it's a fine family film. I haven't read the book so I can't comment on how faithful it might be to it. Nevertheless, it was an enjoyable and entertaining film, full of magic and talking animals and mythological creatures, and the acting was also well done.

White Wizard Games Star Realms Deckbuilding Game
White Wizard Games Star Realms Deckbuilding Game
Offered by bringbackdeals
Price: $13.24
47 used & new from $9.99

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not bad, but doesn't really scratch the Dominion itch for me, April 10, 2015
Invariably, as a deck-building game, Star Realms will be compared to Dominion. The result may be positive for some people, but for me it falls a bit short. One of the factors I like most about Dominion is the way you are able to mitigate the randomness in the game by stacking your deck with lots of your favorite cards, depending on what strategy you plan to take. In Dominion, the only thing that is random is your shuffling of your own deck. And, since you have the option to buy ANY action card you can afford, and pretty much as many of them as you like, you have a lot of control over that randomness as well, minimizing the luck factor with the right deck-build. But in Star Realms, there's an additional random factor, and that is the availability of action cards-- you can't just buy any number of any action card, you have to have the luck for the cards you might want to come up as the available cards, a completely random process that you can't mitigate. That's a major step backwards in my opinion. I don't need a game to be luck free, but I like it better when the strategy stands out a little more. With Star Realms, I found that "the best option" seemed pretty darn obvious most of the time, based on the availability of action cards, unlike Dominion where there were multiple different but reasonable strategic options that you could plan for leaving you free to choose a strategy without too much concern about the random factor throwing a huge monkey-wrench in the works.

It's clear though that a big point of Star Realms is to crank up the attack options. And the differences between Star Realms and Dominion seem crafted for that purpose. And it does do that well. But for me, that's not an aspect of games that I care much about-- attack mechanisms whose success is largely driven by luck. The worst case of that for me would be a simple minded game where you attack another player and both of you roll dice to see who wins. Many games do this but also many of them attempt to reduce the luck factor somewhat by various means, allowing you to upgrade to more or different dice, or strength/hit points/health, or in the case of Star Realms, different collections of attack and defense cards in your deck. So there is some strategy in the way you build up your capabilities, but still, there's a (IMHO) huge dose of luck involved when it comes down to it, reducing strategic options. For those that like largely randomized conflict, Star Realms does effectively add this with a little strategy and may be considered a plus for the game, as they say, YMMV...

So that said, here's what I would say are the pros and cons of Star Realms vs Dominion:

Star Realms Pros:

-- more portable, especially if 2-player is enough
-- more "battle" oriented
-- cheaper, possibly even if you buy 2 copies to provide for up to 4 players
-- neater theme

Star Realms Cons:

-- more dependent on "luck"
-- Requires multiple purchase for more than 2-players
-- Point tracking mechanism is clumsy and seems tacked-on

So for some, Star Realms no doubt adds some things Dominion was missing, and does that pretty well. For me though, it takes away some of the things that make Dominion great, which is somewhat disappointing. I haven't given up on it completely, and it will likely depend on what the rest of my game group prefers, but I suspect Dominion will continue to come out first when "deck building" comes to mind, or for that matter, a game with a better mix of strategy vs randomness.
Comment Comment (1) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 27, 2015 1:58 PM PDT

Felix: The Cat In The Sack
Felix: The Cat In The Sack
Offered by world_of_games_online
Price: $49.49
5 used & new from $49.49

5.0 out of 5 stars GREAT GAME, but to heck with the scalpers!, April 7, 2015
This review is from: Felix: The Cat In The Sack (Toy)
Great game! I ended up buying the German edition because the English edition is out of print and the German edition was WAY cheaper, even when shipped to California all the way from Germany. With shipping it was like, $22. And since the cards have no text on them, it's not an issue-- the translated rules are available on the Board Game Geek website. If the publisher ever comes to his senses and re-releases it in English at the original suggested retail of $14.95, I'll probably buy another copy at that point just for a backup.

Ernie Ball P03021 Ernie Ball Slinky Nickel Plated Electric Guitar Strings, (6-pack)
Ernie Ball P03021 Ernie Ball Slinky Nickel Plated Electric Guitar Strings, (6-pack)
Price: $21.99

5.0 out of 5 stars Every time I try something else, I wish I had used these., April 1, 2015
I've been playing electric for nearly half a century now, and for the majority of that time I've used these strings of one gauge or another. Usually .010, .009 or at one time, .008. Every time I've tried something else I always end up dissapointed and come back to these. They have the best sound, and nothing else is even close. At first they seem a little more twangy, then mellow out a little, probably because the previous strings had been on too long and had gone dead. All strings will go dead after awhile, but these seem to last at least as long as any other and sound better as well. I'm through trying the others. And I've tried these on Fenders and Gibsons and several other makes, with single coil and humbuckers. These strings have stood the test of time.

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