My Rambling Thoughts

Too many board game expansions

I have a small-ish board game collection, only 37 unique games. I'm counting all variations as one, e.g. Clue, Ticket-to-Ride.

But my collection is a lot bigger than that because I have way too many variations and expansions. If I can restart, I would go for base game only, or base game + one expansion only — with some exceptions. It'll take a lot of willpower! :lol:

To be clear, I have not been adding new games for a long time — two games and one expansion since 2019 — but I want to streamline my existing collection. I do not expect to add many new games in the future either.

(Note: this entry is very similar to one that I wrote in Feb 2019, Way too many duplicate games.)

GameSameVariationsExpansions
7 Wonders--2
Acquire2--
Carcassonne--2
Clue25-
For Sale2--
Fury of Dracula*-2-
Galaxy Trucker--2
Monopoly*21-
Pandemic2-2
Power Grid--9
Race for the Galaxy--5
Razzia!2--
Talisman3-9
Take 6!21-
The Resistance*-2-
Ticket to Ride223

*One copy on its way out.

Same means it is the same game, though it need not be an identical copy.

The worst offenders are Clue, Power Grid and Talisman.

Clue

  • Cluedo (1990)
  • Clue, Nostalgia wooden box (2002)
  • Clue: The Great Museum Caper (1991)
  • Clue: Super Sleuth (1995)
  • Clue Master Detective (1998)
  • Cluedo Suspect (2011) [card game]
  • Super Cluedo Challenge (1986)

At one time, I wanted to collect all major Clue variants. I have achieved my goal. I'll keep them for now.

Clue: Super Sleuth and Super Cluedo Challenge are really niche. There is not a single YouTube review video on them!

Power Grid

I sold Power Grid Deluxe after I realized it was not doing anything for me. However, I still have a ton of expansion maps:

  • The New Power Plant Cards (2007)
  • France/Italy (English first edition) (2005)
  • Benelux/Central Europe (2006)
  • China/Korea (2008)
  • Brazil/Spain & Portugal w/ box (2009)
  • Russia & Japan (2010)
  • Québec/Baden-Württemberg (2012)
  • Northern Europe/United Kingdom & Ireland (2012)
  • Australia & Indian Subcontinent (2013)

Do I really need 8 maps? The only good news is that they are rather compact. I'll keep them for now, but one thing is for sure — no more maps!

Talisman

I sold Talisman: Revised 4th Ed and all its expansions after I realized it was not the Talisman I wanted.

  • Talisman, 2nd ed (1985) [2x]
  • Talisman, 4th ed (2007)
  • Talisman Expansion Set (1986) [2x]
  • Talisman: The Adventure (1986) [2x]
  • Talisman Dungeon (1987) [2x]
  • Talisman Timescape (1988)
  • Talisman City (1989) [2x]

I will keep Talisman (2nd ed), but I have two sets of them! Maybe I should put one set on sale and see if there are any bites.

Should I get rid of Talisman (4th ed)? It would be really hard because it is the non-Revised edition.

Race for the Galaxy

I have five expansions for RftG.

  • The Gathering Storm (2008)
  • Rebel vs Imperium (2009)
  • The Brink of War (2010)
  • Alien Artifacts (2013)
  • Xeno Invasion (2015)

Technically, the first three expansions are "part" of the base game — they were developed as a whole, but were split out to cut down on game size and playing time. So, I only have two expansions. :-P

Ticket-to-Ride

Variations:

  • TtR USA (2004)
  • TtR Nordic Countries (2008)
  • TtR 10th Anniversary (2014)
  • TtR Europe 15th Anniversary (2021)

I got the Anniversary editions purely for their trains.

Expansions:

  • TtR USA 1910 (2006)
  • TtR Map Collection Vol 1: Team Asia & Legendary Asia (2011)
  • TtR Map Collection Vol 2: India & Switzerland (2011)

Do I need TtR Nordic Countries and the Map Collections?

Multiple copies

  • Acquire (Schmidt German ed) (1993)
  • Acquire (AH German large box ed) (1999)

Should I keep the 1993 version? It is a "holy grail", but one is enough. (The 1999 AH edition is also sort-of a "holy grail". The English edition was out of my price range, so I got the German edition which was much cheaper.)

  • Monopoly, Nostalgia wooden box (2001)
  • Monopoly: 80th Anniversary Edition (2015)
  • Monopoly Deal Card Game (2008)

I should keep just one Monopoly game.

Others

Special mentions: Modern Art (1992), Space Alert, Vast. I'm wondering if I should let go of these games.

Next Gen USB chargers

My Energea 2-port 17W USB charger gave up the ghost recently, so I started hunting for a new USB charger.

After some searching, I found this:

3 USB-A ports and 1 USB-C port. The listing claims it delivers a total of 48W: 18W for USB-C PD, 18W for QC 3.0 and 12W for the two USB-A ports. And it is only S$8.17!

Surely it is too good to be true?

It is.

The adapter is labelled PD+QC3.0 Quick Charger 36W. Does it deliver 36W?

Looking at the Output, it says: 5V 4.0A, 9V 2.4A, 12V 1.8A. The power is 21.6W, a more believable number.

Long story short: this is a 20W charger, shared among all four ports. If the USB-A ports are used, it is likely all ports are limited to 5V.

Also, I thought that it was fine to get USB-A ports, then use a USB-A to USB-C cable to charge USB-C devices. However, only USB-C ports support PD (Power Delivery).

With improved knowledge, I found this:

2 USB-C ports and 1 USB-A port, total power 65W. It can even charge notebooks! (Supports 15V/3A and 20V/3.25A.)

This time, it is real, because the Output states, when used alone, the output is 65W for USB-C port and 60W for USB-A port, When used together, it is 45W+20W (C1+C2), 45W+18W (C1+A), 15W (C2+A) and 45W+15W (C1+C2+A).

This is also slightly bigger and heavier, and much more expensive at S$34.42. But at least it is the real deal.

Spending on TaoBao

I discovered "by accident" that I have spent over 100,000 yuan on TaoBao recently. That's over S$20k! :horror:

(I know I spent a lot, but not by this much — with some self-denial involved. :-/)

I decided to go through all my orders to see where the money went.

YearTransformersBricksToysAstroOthersShipping
201500147.940213.52238.00
2016377.009,416.55379.300357.702,564.00
20174,440.0010,358.70001,029.773,353.70
20183,208.501,019.00768.907,5351,011.101,241.00
201913,684.333,956.76247.007362,492.673,022.36
202013,236.271,562.560371787.441,192.50
202117,248.93436.20315.8604,488.161,487.10

I was already winding down buying Lego-compatible sets in 2018, but when Lepin was raided in 2019, I bought several sets I was holding out on. I went a little overboard. :sweat: Even so, I missed Lepin 21007 (Horizon Express) which had been OOS for a while. It was one of my regrets. :-P

Assessment books 2021

The assessment books I used this year. These are meant to cover the basics and to practise regularly. I got a separate Grammar and Vocabulary book to cover English more in-depth. I did not get any Science books.

Update: I got an English Composition book that was a compilation of sample compositions. The idea is to learn what are considered decent compositions.

For next year, let's start with these first :lol::

I may get a separate Grammar and Vocabulary book later. For English, there is no sequence, so it is alright to finish one book before buying the next. There is no need to be in sync with the syllabus.

For Math, I like to follow the syllabus, so it is easy to run out of exercises (for a given topic). It is necessary to buy more books, but five may be a bit too many. :sweat:

I got one Science book for revision purposes.

I don't want to get too many assessment books because it takes time to mark and go through them. :lol:

Closing the net for the unvaccinated

Once the majority of the population is vaccinated, it is possible to put pressure on the unvaccinated.

DateAnnounced
Aug 10Aug 6 Lifted no dine-in restrictions. Allow 5 vaccinated at F&B establishments. Unvaccinated cap at 2 at coffee shops and hawker centres.
Oct 13Oct 9 Unvaccinated not allowed to dine-in at coffee shops and hawker centres. Not allowed to visit attractions.
Oct 20Oct 9 Unvaccinated not allowed to enter malls (due to one week grace period).
Dec 1Nov 20 Unvaccinated not allowed to enter libraries.
Dec 8Nov 8 Unvaccinated "by choice" has to pay own medical bills if admitted to hospital or treatment facilities for covid-19.
Jan 1Oct 27 Unvaccinated not allowed to go to workplace.
Jan 1Nov 20 Unvaccinated not allowed to use negative PET to enter venues.

Did the measures make the unvaccinated take up the vaccine?

DateTwo doseOne doseBooster
6 Aug68%79%
20 Aug78%82%
9 Oct83%85%
27 Oct84%85%14%
8 Nov85%86%18%

Somewhat. The first no dine-in restriction added some 3% (79% to 82%), the no-mall restriction added less than 1% (85% to 85%). That's it.

In a separate note, MOH says that 85% of the total population means 94% of the eligible population (12 and above). It continues to be difficult to persuade the die-hard 6%. The pressure will increase. There is no need to worry about backlash since they are the minority.

The booster take-up rate is pretty good, for now. Consider that the vaccination rate on Apr 18 is 14.9% (one dose 24%), and on May 10, 22.6% (one dose 32.6%). These are the early adopters, there is no doubt they are pro-vaccination.

How about me? When the no-mall measure was announced on Oct 9, I started to look for clinics offering non-mRNA vaccines. Unfortunately, the usual ones were all fully booked or out-of-stock. One even had appointments going to Dec! Luckily, I found one that allowed walk-in.

Yup, the no-mall restriction got me. It's not that I want to shop in malls (although it is inevitable, given that many shops are in malls), but the usual places I tabao food are in malls. I can find alternatives, but my family is quite fussy. :lol: Believe it or not, there is only one Western outlet that sells bolognese spaghetti near my place, and it is in a mall.

I was not able to enter malls for 4 weeks. Well, I lived. :-D

But the writing was on the wall. When MOH announced only vaccinated are allowed to go to workplace starting from Jan 1 2022, that was the end of holding out for all except for bosses and the retired.

MOH is closing the net, but it is not dealing with the crux of the matter: the elderly.

MOH has also stated that booster is now a must. So vaccination is not compulsary but booster is?

As long as the booster rate is high (70% of the vaccinated rate 5 months ago), the non-boosted will become "unvaccinated".

Who wants to lose access to dine-in and malls?