Monday, December 31, 2007

New Years Eve

Wild party time. Count down to midnight.

9pm - So far we have played Caveman, PacMan, and Dig Dug. And we ate pie.

11pm - We played Klax, watched Monty Python and drank champagne.

1am - Watched MST3000 & watched the ball drop. Put the Z girl to bed. Now time for sleep.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

What I have been doing this week.

It took a lot longer to recover from the concussion than I thought it would. I really didn't start thinking clearly until at least Wed or Thur. I also had to rest a lot, and got frequent sudden headaches that felt like an ice pick through the ear. This is a shame, because there were plenty of gaming opportunities. I also don't remember much of the week. I am not sure if that is because of the concussion or a side effect from the narcotics (a.k.a. the silver lining to smacking your head on the concrete).

Dan came up from NY on Friday the 21 and stayed for about four days. Francie came over a couple of times to play. Sat the 22nd was the game club's monthly meeting. Yesterday one of the game club guys got a place nearby for another day of gaming. So I know that I played a bunch of games. I also know that I passed on a bunch of games to lie down in the dark until the flashing lights stopped. However, I don't remember much of what we played.

What I do remember is that Last Night on Earth made us laugh all week. I think we played about three times, and the Zombies won every time. Z won Red Dragon Inn and wants to play again. Dan gave me Curse of the Dark Pharaoh, and we played an awesome game of Arkham Horror with just the base game and the one expansion. Dan brought up Goldland and Francie finally played. She really liked it. I knew she would. She is such a Kramer whore.

Aside from playing games, and ordering delivery all week, I have also been working on the F:AT website. I think it is nearly done. It's nothing fancy, but it is a step up from blogger. Blogger basically sucks. I'm thinking of eventually moving to wordpress myself.

Anyway, that's it. My head is starting to hurt again. Hope every one (all three of you that occasionally read this) had a happy holiday and have a happy new year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Guess what I got today!

I got a concussion. Slipped on the ice and knocked myself cold. Yay me. My head hurts like I'm playing Torres. Al says I have to get ugly boots that actually have some thing called traction.

Boo! Ugly boots!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Yay Zombies.

Just spoke to Al on the phone. There is a box from the game store sitting on our front porch. Yes, Last Night on Earth has finally arrived. Just another half hour of stupid work, then the commute home, then we really have to eat dinner? Can we just skip it and go straight to the Zombies. No. That would be wrong. Plus Al & Z get wicked cranky when they are hungry. So dinner, and then the family thing, and getting Z to bed, and then, finally ZOMBIES.

Monday, December 17, 2007

My Mistake

So I made the mistake of replying to a couple of threads in the general forum on BGG. I've decided that far too many of the Geeks are social retards who believe that conversation is a competitive game. I'm going back to confining myself to the parent's forum. At least the parent's have enough social skills to attract a member of the opposite sex willing to breed with them.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Playing with Francie

Francie is finally back home. Tonight we played Age of Discovery again. It's an hour of crunching numbers, but I like it. I like boats.

Francie may be up for CGC game night tomorrow. It depends upon how the knee is doing. She is also worried about doing the stairs. It's in the basement of an old textile mill, and the stairs are pretty crappy. I got my heel stuck in a knot hole once. I'm worried about the temperature. It has been wicked cold here. If we go I'll have to bring gloves.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Age of Discovery and Fire & Ax

Went to Elliscon yesterday with Al and Z. Didn't get there until 4 pm because, well, I'm a slug and slept until 12:20 p.m. Bought some "used" games for $10 each - no shrink, banged up boxes, but unpunched. Mystery of the Abbey, The Hobbit, and Monster Mash I. Played half a game of Fire and Axe: A Viking Saga with the CGC guys. We had to quit before we were finished because Elliscon was closing. The CGC guys were not happy that we didn't finish, and I felt kind of responsible because I was the one who really wanted to play and talked them into it, even though it was getting late. I did point out to them that now five of us know how to play, so we can play on a Thursday night. It was only half a game so I don't know what I think about it. Raiding is fun, but it is clearly not a good path to victory.

I found out that three, yes, THREE of the CGC guys have StarCraft but NONE of them have played it yet. Gamer dudes bewilder me sometimes. So it looks like I may get a chance to play sometime in the next month. Yay!

Today I went to visit Francie. The people from work sent her a "Get Well" fruit basket with three games. We flailed through Age of Discovery. I think that I like it. We'll probably play again over Thanksgiving break.

Friday, November 16, 2007


Going to Elliscon tomorrow. Francie won't go with me because she is totally lame. I mean really lame. She's recovering from knee surgery.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

And More Playing Children's Games

Saturday, Z "took a tone" with me, so I banned Disney channel for a week. If you take the TV away, you have to actually pay attention to your child for an extra hour every evening. Last night Z wanted to play Once Upon a Time, but we couldn't find it. She noticed the Icehouse stashes in the card game drawer, and decided she wanted to play "that game." So I taught Al and Z how to play a modified Zendo. I expected the game to crash and burn, but Z and Al really enjoyed it. Z wasn't too bad at it either. Z wanted to play Zendo again tonight, but my brain was too burnt from work, so we played Castle Keep and Clue instead. Al really dislikes Clue. He was so miserable.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Biting My Tongue

I'm guessing I shouldn't recommend Sword and Skull to this lady.

Mothers in Gaming
So as the Organizer of Orange County Board Gamers in California, the wife of a long time gamer, and the mother to 2 up and coming gaming boys, I spend a lot of time CHOOSING games for my kids.

I am VERY consciencious about what is "appropriate" for them to be playing, not just where their skill level is at.

My sons are 3 and 6 and we started them off with. Snails Pace race, and Chicken Cha Cha Cha. We then moved on to Jr. Labyrinth. I love the game Jr. Labyrinth for what it teaches about spacial reasoning and logic, but have always been bothered by the "pistol" as an item the kids are supposed to collect. So we just removed that token. Although it is still on the board, the kids are no longer trying to "pick it up".

But it isn't just guns. It's things that "teach" violence that I'm concerned about. Boys are all about jumping, kicking, running, climbing, throwing, moving, and playing. But in the continued effort to raise boys with good charater and values. I feel the need to be "choosy".

Recently I played Mr. Jack, and I enjoyed the game. I thought in general, it would be a good deduction game for kids. Even the "Cartoony" graphics made it FEEL appropiate for kids. HOWEVER, I was VERY dissapointed that they choose to make the villian "Jack the Ripper" instead of Sherlock (who is a charater in the game) Holmes' arch nemises Professor Moriarty. Jack, who's only claim to fame is the Murder of female prostitutes, is depicted as a dark figure with a bloody knife throughout the game. There is even a dead body on the front cover of the box.
Moriarty, although a murderer, was also a villian known for underworld crime. This latter theme could have easily been replace to make it more accessable for kids, and the murder aspect played down. I think the suggested agae of "9 and up" is rediculous. I believe strongly, content SHOULD be taken into account when these age recomendations are made. However as it is, I would definately not recomend it to other mothers for their children age 9.

Likewise am by no means a "puritanical" sexually repressed woman, but I find a lot of the disrespectful "oogling" art of women in some games not something I want my sons to think is "ok" way to represent women.

Also just to be clear, I have NO problem with these themes for adults. They have the education and maturity to understand these issues. In fact, once the kids have gone to bed I'm the first one to bring out BANG!

Just some thoughts for the day.
Heather Hughes

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Z Girl

Z added all her games to her Boardgame Geek user ID and rated them all. She gave about a third of her games a 10. Kids feel strongly about stuff. There is not a lot of middle ground. She also edited her own profile. I think she was a bit nervous about my seeing what she wrote about me, but I can't fault the child for being honest. Truth is, it made me laugh. At least she didn't say I drink and I smoke and I tell dirty jokes.

The upshot of this is that I took Z's games off my account, so I can sort through the adult and family games we have a bit more easily.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sword & Skull

Played Sword and Skull with Z and Al today. Sword and Skull is a great mainstreamy, kid's game with a Talismany/Monopoly feel. I know some gamersnoots who think these type of games are a waste of time, and want their kids to play "intellectually challenging" Euro games. But kids just really enjoy these roll and move and get stuff type games. These games are really designed for kids to play with other kids. I think the -ology games may also fall into this category. I know Ghost really likes Dragonology: The Game. I am thinking of getting one of the -ology games for Z to play with the other kids on game club days.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

So Cool!

UPS arrived today. The stupid game I got looks so cool. Z saw it and said, "Ewww! That's an ugly man game." I just finished going over the rules with Al. Now he's reading Z her bedtime story. As soon as he is done, we are going to kick some ass. Total bloodbath.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Shipping Notice

I got an e-mail that our group game order shipped. Only two of the games are mine, and both are nothing really special. One is a card game to play with some newbie gamer friends, and the other is a silly, inexpensive impulse buy. But it kind of makes up for the no Mordred until December.

That reminds me, I need to invite Ron & Holly over again to play. They want to play Ticket to Ride again. *sigh* Introducing newbies to games requires some patience, but it is worth it in the long run. I think Holly will be playing Railroad Tycoon in no time. I also have gotten friendly with our new neighbors, a nice goth couple with a little girl in first grade. I'm thinking of inviting the wife to join our ladies after school game group. Too bad Holly works full time, she would be a great addition to the group. Maybe we can get together in the evenings once in a while so Holly can join us.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

A Family Game Day

This morning started with a flat tire, a cat with an oozeing incision, and a child that had to be picked up at Sunday school. Triple A and a vet with Sunday emergency hours salvaged the day. By noon the tire was changed, the cat was medicated, and Z was home watching Wizard Oz, while I enjoyed a well earned Bloody Mary followed by a nap on the sofa.

I was awakened by the sound of something being dumped on the coffee table next to my head, and Z poking me in the arm.

"Play with me," she said.

I opened my eyes to a large stack of games inches from my face. Well why not?

We started with Mastermind. Z had never played before. It was gratifying to watch her learn and see her excitement build as she caught on to how solve the puzzle. Mastermind was my favorite game when I was Z's age, and I believe it played a large part in developing my own approach to problem solving.

After several rounds, Al joined us, so we needed a three player game. Z choose Capt'n Clever. I beat Z by one treasure, which frustrated her to no end. Losing with grace is a skill we continue to work on.

Z and Al tried to convince me to play Twister with them. I agreed to man the spinner, but there was no way I was going to risk injury on the mat. Z lost twice, but laughed each time.

Z then pulled out O Zoo le Mio, but then changed her mind and choose Blurt instead. Blurt gives me a headache. Actually, that's not entirely correct. A small child yelling out answers 18 inches from my ear gives me a headache. I am seriously considering donating this game to Z's school. Teachers are accustomed to yelling children, aren't they.

Horse Show, O Zoo le Mio, Creepy Freaks and Sword and Skull are currently stacked up on the sideboard waiting to be played, but I don't think we will get to them tonight. I think it is bath time.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Waiting for Games

Alas, KingPut's prediction that Mordred would take so long to ship, that it would arrive as a Halloween gift rather than a birthday gift was incorrect. Halloween has come and gone and Mordred has yet to appear on my front porch. (ETA: I just read that Mordred isn't expected to arrive until late November. Looks as if it will be a December Holiday gift.)

We are trying to put together a group order in time for the holidays, and it's a bitch waiting for everything that everyone wants to be in stock. Last Night on Earth still hasn't arrived at our favorite on-line game retailer. They were promising the end of October. Also out of stock are Ingenious, Memoir '44 - Winter/Desert Board Map , and Cities and Knights of Catan.

I am hoping everything that we want to order that is out of stock comes in, before everything that we want that is in stock sells out. That was what happened last year when we tried to do a group order for the holiday. We finally had a moment in time when everything except one game was in all at the same time and hit the buy button. Too bad for Deb. She didn't get Memoir '44 for Christmas last year.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Recomendations from KingPut

The best game reviews come from gamers who know you well. Here's what KingPut has to say about games from 2007.

Note: KingPut is the organizer of a successful open family game night, and my personal expert on games that appeal to children, families and casual gamers, but don't make you want to bang your head against the table to relive the boredom.

KingPut says...

With the holidays coming up I've made the following list of newer games I've played this year. Most of the newer euro type games I've played over the last year have been crappy to barely tolerable. I wouldn't recommend buying any of them. I'd have Francie and you try Thebes and Zooloretto. They might be good purchases for her. They're in my Francie type games that Uba would tolerate category.

3 games that I'd like to play again:

Age of Empires III - I saw your review of this. After 3 plays its still my favorite game from 2007. Designer Glen Drover who worked Railroad Tycoon and Conquest of Empires with Wallace is the most Wallace-like designer out there. Of course he borrowed from Caylus and Puerto Rico so I can understand your low rating of this game.

Way out West - Older Martin Wallace game. I finally got to play this with Mike and Robert while drinking Hot Cider and Makers Mark. The game is a simpler and flawed Wallace game. But it has enough Wallace craziness to make it a lot of fun. It was fun playing with the 2 brothers.

Imperial - I liked this game but I also like multi player war-games that aren't really war-games.

I'm not sure if you'd like it. I thought it was ok:

Fire and Ice - On the negative side. There is very little player interaction and it's a little long for many people. On the good side. you get to load up a boat with Vikings and sail around Europe and Trade, Raid or Settle areas. Ameritrash people hate this game because it's not a wargame (risk like game) or an adventure game. It's still a Hybrid Eurogame.

Games Francie would like or love and you and Al can tolerate:

Thebes - The best of these type of games. The game of competitive archeology. This is a travel around the board searching and digging for stuff game. It has a Ticket to Ride, Around the World in 80 days feel. Fast pace. Plays in 60 minutes. A lot of luck involved in the game but that's OK. Nice graphics and components.

Zooloretto - I really didn't enjoy this but Z, Francie, G etc might and you might be able to tolerate it.

Crappy Games I don't think you should play:

Pillers of the Earth
Norte Dame
Lenardo (thats right we played it)
A number of other forgettable games

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Me at WBC

See that slightly woman shaped black blob just left of center in the picture above. That's me at WBC. It's not a very good picture. It makes me look like a brunette. You can tell it's me by the shoes and the black lace covered box on the table. The box is actually my purse, but Malloc dubbed it the tardis. It can hold a lot of game supplies and still have room for a lipstick and beer. Also I'm not that fat. I'm wearing a coat. It was effing freezing in that room.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Insane Clown Game/Insane Clown Shoes

Today I popped into the mall to see if I might possibly find a copy of the insane clown game. The game errand was a failure, but I did find a pair of black and white stripe, peep-toe, platform wedges. Z says, "Those are sooooo cute." They are so comfortable too. I think I may wear them for Trashfest, since I expect I will have to be doing much standing.

They are good for game night too. I won't have to worry about getting my heels stuck in all the cracks and knot holes. Playing in a game store basement kind of blows.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

That's what you get for playing outdoors.

My eyelids are sun burnt. It is friggin' Oct, and I get sunburned. I'm totally happy, sitting inside, trimming chits and pushing pawns, but nooooo. It is beautiful day. Let's go outside. Let's get some exercise. And what does it get me. If it isn't sunburn, it's Lyme disease. If it isn't Lyme Disease, it's poison ivy. If it isn't poison ivy, it's a broken bone. That is why I should always just stay inside and play games. None of this physical pain stuff.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Blue Moon City

Al and I each had five offerings on the Washington Monument. Whoever could get 12 crystals and get to the center first would win. Al had 11 crystals and was four spaces (two turns) from the center and two spaces (one turn) from my position. I had 12 crystals and was two spaces (one turn) from the center. It was Al's turn. He turned to me and said, "Clearly, you are 'going up' next turn. I have no choice. I must now land on you, kill you, and take a crystal. Where are the dice?"

Return of the Heroes

I just played a very frustrating game of Return of the Heroes. It was the first time that we played with the Under the Shadow of the Dragon expansion, which made the game much longer and more complicated.

The primary issue, however, was that Z decided she wasn't going to listen to anyones advice, and ended up in difficult situations that made her cranky and whiny. The first mistake she made was playing the hobbit, which is one of the new characters. The hobbit has only three hit points and only moves 2 spaces. Then she wouldn't listen to any advise about were to place her manor house, and placed it next to the White Village, where you can get healed. Therefore, she had fewer areas on the board where she could heal than the other players did. She also completely fixated on fighting the dragon to win the game. She focused on her dragon quest, and ignored doing other small quests.

Her character got killed one space away from her manor house, which resulted in major tears. We decided that since she didn't start the game with the bonus that we sometimes give her, that her bonus would be a one time "you don't lose your last life" potion. She got impatient with moving slowly, so she kept using the teleporter, which shot her everywhere on the board except where she needed to go, and ended up taking her longer to get anywhere than if she had just moved there normally. Finally she got impatient for her dragon quest chits to come out, so she spent all her gold at the mystic to pull the chits she wanted from the bag. She then didn't have the gold that she needed to actually complete one stage of her quest.

We finally ended up conceding the game to Al, which is the nice way of saying, we had to quit before we all ended up in a bad mood.

We separated out the expansion from the base game, and decided that we would just play the base game until Z gets a little older. Al also wants to try Shadow of the Dragon as a stand alone. He thinks that since it is only 9 tiles, it may play more quickly than Return of the Heroes, which would be a good thing. Although it says that it is only a two player game, Al says we should try it with three.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Game Night

Last night the mini guys were absurdly loud. As in painful. I hate having to share a space with them. Plus they hogged all the tables, including putting things covered in wet paint on one of the tables we usually use. We ended up squished around one table. Fortunately, there were only 6 of us last night.

I played Through the Desert with Francie and Todd. Todd hadn't played in a while and forgot how the game scored. As a result, he lost. I beat Francie by about 15 points. She was all like, "Well, if you hadn't squeaked out the largest purple caravan by one camel, I would have gotten it, and the game would have been closer." So what. The game is still boring.

Then 5 of us played Taj Mahal. The mini guys got extra loud at this point, so I couldn't hear all the rules. I flailed through the game by watching what the other players were doing. Taj is beyond boring. Taj makes me wish I was playing Through the Desert. Towards the end, Dave joined the table to watch and we talked about Battletech and Mechwarriors, so the night wasn't a total loss. Dave told me that the mini guy that had been screaming like a rubber ducky being axe murdered, had been getting his robot blown up, so I sort of forgive him for being so loud, but next time scream like a man! Somehow I didn't come in last in Taj, but I think that the guy who did lose was playing unusually poorly due to sleep deprivation as a result of owning an infant.

Dave got a free Q-Workshop D8 green elvish die with some magazine he picked up at the game store. He gave it to me because he prefers the red ones. So yay!

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

The 300

I watched this this weekend. I am supposed to be working, but I am distracted by images of Spartans marching through my head. I think I may have to get 300: The Board Game. It has pictures.

Fortress: Ameritrash

Okay, I know many people think that some of the stuff that goes on at F:AT is childish and rude, but I laughed so much yesterday that my co-workers started staring. Driving home from work, I was thinking "Assclown. What the hell is an assclown?" It made me laugh so hard I almost rear ended the car in front of me. When I got home I read Juniper's game descriptions to Al. More laughing. It is dumb shit, but a few stupid laughs improves my day.

Juniper's Game Descriptions and Other Nonsense

Monday, October 1, 2007

Your Dream Home

I got a wet bar. Cool. My friend got a formal dining room - LOSER.

Click here to Build YOUR Dream Home!

Your home is a

Philanthropic Wizard's Manor

Your kitchen is manned by a team of Keebler Drow Elves. There's a Chocolatessen, which is rapidly becoming your favorite room of the house. Having one is also becoming a trend among your wealthy neighbors. Your master bedroom is decorated to look like the treetop village of the Galadhrim. Your study has every fantasy novel ever written, including multiple editions of the Silmarillion and advance copies of Dungeons and Dragons Fifth Edition. One of your garages holds your collection of ferraris, and is measured in acreage.

Your home also includes a roost for griffons. You've never actually seen a griffon, but you keep the roost ready anyway. Your guests enjoy your home theater with hi-def plasma screen TV, and the thrones you watch it from. Outside is the moat that protects your home from goblin invaders and extended family.

And, you have a pet -- a unicorn named "Shadowhooves".

Below is a snippet of the blueprints:

Build YOUR Dream Home!

Friday, September 28, 2007

House Tour

Al's Cave

My Boudoir

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Wacklepudding Cards

Downloaded the English translation of the Wacklepudding cards. Formated them to fit on lables just slightly longer than standard playing cards. Sliced off the extra with the papercutter (Z had to help me find that). Stuck them on an old deck of cards. They came out all kinds of awesome. Or well, at least useable.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Games with Francie

The school year has begun, it is getting dark earlier, and the rainy weather is at hand. We are getting back into our little gaming routine. Tonight we went over to Francie's and played Settlers while the girls played dolls. Francie now has the hang of the game. Al and I both made some risky choices that didn't work out for us. Francie played a solid, conservative game and won.

Francie likes to play a game to death; until she knows every strategy; until she doesn't even have to think about her moves. Then she likes to play it some more and beat everyone. Then she is ready to move onto something new.

Me on the other hand, I like the challenge of the new. I like variety. I have a half dozen games in my cupboard that I really want to play, but haven't had the time for; yet despite this, I hear the sirens' call of new games. I keep going over my wish list and loading and reloading my cart at Thoughthammer. We won't be placing an order until November for our holiday gifts, but I can't help myself.

Here's what's in the cart now:

Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game Last Night on Earth: The Zombie Game
For me. I know no one will play this with me except Al. Will LNoE be my new Buffy?

Warrior Knights: Crown and Glory Expansion Warrior Knights: Crown and Glory Expansion
A gift for Al. He loves his Warrior Knights. He carries it to Game Club nearly every week, but no one will play with him. Poor Al.

Memoir '44:  Winter/Desert Board Map Memoir '44: Winter/Desert Board Map
Also for Al. He keeps picking this up at the game store, and then putting it back down again. Think he wants it? Yeah, I think so.

Ticket to Ride: Switzerland (Swiss Map Expansion) Ticket to Ride: Switzerland (Swiss Map Expansion)
A gift for Francie. She plays a lot of two player with S. This will make her happy.

Settlers of Canaan Settlers of Canaan
A gift for the Temple. They have a small collection of games. Most of them are standard mainstream games. I think this would be a good addition.

Cities & Knights of Catan, The Cities & Knights of Catan, The
Because by December, Francie will finally be ready for this.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Game Group Sat

Drove the 40 minutes to spend the day playing a big, long, complicated multiplayer game... but the game never happened. Instead, I spent all day playing short games waiting for the real game to start. But by the time everyone was there, and not playing another game, it was too late. So instead of spending 6 hours playing one really good game, I spent 6 hours playing crap.

The low point of the day was Manitou, a buffalo hunting themed card game. BLEGH!

The highlight of the day was watching the kids play Ca$h 'n Gun$ and All Wound Up. Wind up zombies and foam guns are fun.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

No games this weekend

I didn't play any games this weekend. We talked about playing, but just never did. Some weekends are like that.

I did:
Put together my Lego Harry Potter Hogwarts Castle. I was greedy and didn't let anyone help me.

Go mountain biking.

Put our Warrior Knight counters into 1/2 cup Gladware containers. They fit perfectly in the box.

Read "World War Z."

Watch Dr. Who.

Bored now. Need to go find Al and make him play with me.

Friday, September 14, 2007


Francie played Yspahan last night at game night. She has found her new true love and wants me to add it to our game order. Crap. She's going to make me play with her and it is going to suck isn't it. She also guilted me into promising to play Torres with her soon. I guess it only fair, since I made her play Warrior Knights and Struggle of Empires.

Also in the news - Francie finally plays Settlers of Catan.

A couple of years ago I introduced Francie to Settlers of Catan. She played it once, declared that she hated it and refused to play again. I told her that the only reason that she hated it was that we have the Mayfair first edition with the less than intuitive textured color swatches on the cards. A few months ago Francie picked up an unpunched more recent edition for $2 at a yard sale. I've been trying to convince her that she should try playing it, since the resources on both the board and cards are more clearly illustrated. But would she listen to me...noooooo. Last night Francie announced that S had finally twisted her arm into playing it and that they really liked it. Duh. She confessed that I was indeed correct and it was my ugly edition that had put her off. Yay. So now we have an light family game that we can play together. I was really getting tired of the same old same old. Plus, now that we have enough people who like to play, I can finally justify getting the expansions.

Age of Empires III

First, I am checking, and ... yes I am posting this to the correct blog.

Played Age of Empires III: The Age of Discovery tonight. Boy was this one big sucking disappointment, and I came into it with low expectations. The only thing this game is good for is cannibalizing it for bits to use in Struggle of Empires.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Struggle of Empires

We played two wars of Struggle of Empires tonight. We weren't able to play the entire game because we got a late start. This guy Scott was repairing Harry the Lego Hippo when he got swarmed by bees. We invited Scott in and gave him some beer and pie, and let him sit a while. We tried to get Scott to play Settlers with us, but he decided it was getting late, and he needed to get home and take care of his bee stings. So we didn't get started playing until about 9 pm. Francie said that we have to start gaming earlier, because she starts falling asleep at about 10:30 pm. I told her that Scott vs the bees wasn't exactly part of the original plan for the evening *cough cough*

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Struggle of Empires

I spent this evening teaching myself Struggle of Empires. Francie stopped by and saw the game laid out on the table. I told her it was like Nexus Ops with action points like Railroad Tycoon, and an 18th century theme instead of a Sci-Fi theme, but it scores like Mission: Red Planet. She said that she's in and is coming over tomorrow to learn how to play.

More Mordred

Finally a picture of the new edition. The large cylinders are wonking ugly, but I like the board and the little evil dudes.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Arkham Horror?

Yesterday we were playing games at a friend's house. I mentioned something about "Arkham Horror."

One of the kids overhears me and pipes up, "We learned that in Hebrew School."

Looks of confusion and disbelief are exchanged among the adults.

The child continues, "You know, so we can do it at Bar Mitzvahs."

The child then proves it by getting up and demonstrating a few steps of the Arkham Hora.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

This & That

Went to game night Thursday. Can't remember what I said but, one of the guys responded with much surprise and pleasure, "YOU play long games!" I had always suspected that a couple of the guys in the club were ATers, but the environment of the game night precludes playing anything long or complex. Therefore, we always end up playing shortish Euros, card games and fillers. My suspicions were confirmed. A few of the guys get together unofficially about once a month at someones house to play games like TI3. It turns out that they are often short a player or two. We happily exchanged e-mail addresses.

I confessed to Al about ordering Mordred, and he just laughed and said, "So does this mean I don't have go shopping for your birthday gift?" Win - win.

Cartagena is better than Cartagena II.

I think I am sun burnt again.

Gladware mini rounds (4 oz) are better than ziplock bags for any bits that get piled up next to a board, such as money. Just pull off the lid and put the bowl next to the board. Makes set up and clean up of Arkham Horror much easier.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007


I just ordered a copy of Martin Wallace's Mordred . It was rather expensive, information about the game is scant, it has a mediocre rating on BGG. It seems like a crazy thing to do. This game could be really awful. For the same amount of money we could get something really cool that we know we like. So why did I do it?

  1. Mr. Wallace says that once the boat sails with the pre-orders there will be no more copies sent to the U.S. This could be BS, but it would suck if a month or two from now, or even a year or two from now to decide I really liked the game and wanted it and be kicking myself for not getting it when I had the chance.
  2. I can always sell it or trade it if I hate it. Right? This is of course the all purpose rationalization for plunking money down on an unknown.
  3. My birthday is in two weeks. I'm sure to get some cash as gifts - more rationalization.
  4. The profits go to charity.

So, other than the whole "buy it now or else" plus rationalize the expense, why am I even interested in this game to begin with?

I play with a lot of different people with extremely different tastes in games. Finding something that everyone likes and wants to play is difficult. Just this past week we had something of a debacle at my house for exactly this reason. Martin Wallace, however, seems to have been able to produce a number of games that please everyone - the wargamer, the eurogamer, and the ATers. The problem with the ones that everyone likes is that they are often too long to play frequently. Struggle of Empires isn't the kind of game you play on a school night, after dinner, with your friends who have to leave by 9 to get their kids to bed. Railroad Tycoon isn't the type of game you haul to game night, and try to play on the tiny table in the corner which is the only table available because all the people playing miniatures have hogged up all the space in the shop (plus those mini guys are so loud that it is impossible to explain rules to anyone anyway).

The scant information that I have been able to scrape together about Mordred seems to indicate that it could be the 45 minute game that could keep a mixed group happy. It seems like it would be easy to teach at a noisy game night. It has dice and action points. It has combat and building. It is semi-cooperative. It has city and castle bits (I am really, really, really hoping these aren't just different size cubes). On the other hand, it could be another, dry, abstract disappointment like Tempus. I guess I will just have to wait and see.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

On our way to WBC

We actually got on the road before 11:30 am this morning. We are not morning people, and when on vacation I usually sleep until 10 am. We had two minor set backs that nearly threw us off schedule.
  1. Huge pool of water in middle of kitchen floor. Moment of panic that it was a plumbing leak. Relief that it was just spillage from Z trying to set up the cat's water bowl contraption.
  2. Z couldn't get her boots on. Told her to just carry them into the car and keep trying while we drove. That somehow did the trick and suddenly she was able to get them on by herself.
So we got Z to my mom's in time for her to be taken to her lesson so we didn't have to drive 20 minutes in the opposite direction before starting our trip. No time for tearful goodbyes since I was a bad mother and had forgotten to do Z's hair, so Mama hustled her into the bathroom to do up her braids. And any parent who hasn't once hustled their child into the car with no shoes on and uncombed hair is just plain lying.

I only forgot two things. I remembered them when we hit the PA border, but now I have forgotten what they were. I'm not stupid, just wicked disorganized and tad forgetful.

I used the 7 hour drive to re-read some game rules. I had just finished reviewing all the rules for "Fury of Dracula" from the point of view of playing Dracula, when Al announced that he wanted to try being Dracula. So I gave him a Dracula lesson while he drove. Then I had to start over reviewing the Hunter rules for myself. I also got through "History of the World" and "Warrior Knights." I'm just going to flail through "Warrior Knights" when we play. I know people who can read rules and understand their strategic implications. I'm not one of them.

Tomorrow - peaches and "Fury of Dracula"


Sunday, July 29, 2007

Packing for Vacation

Okay, now I'm just procrastinating. I should be packing and getting the house in order. So far I pulled out the games we are taking and stacked them on the dining room table and made a pile of clothes in the middle of my boudoir. Then I got sidetracked trying to decide which lipstick to pack, and painted my nails. See, this is why I always forget stuff. Al is giving me a hard time about needing to bring 4 pairs of shoes for a 5 day trip and says I can't put any in his suitcase. But I do get points for finding our badge holders. Yay me!

Friday, July 27, 2007

Countdown to WBC

We are hitting the road to PA on Tue. I have to get my act together and get organized. I have packing anxiety. I always forget to pack something important, like prescription meds or a bottle opener. Last year we had to go on a church key hunt. You would think that in a room full of gamers, at least one of them would be able to open a bottle of beer without a church key. I guess none of them were drummers or bass players. After some hunting, we finally found a dollar store that not only carried a wide selection of kitchen utensils, but also sold dice, glass beads, zip lock bags and rubber bands. I picked up some scissors, tape and soap too while we were there. The soap at the hotel was too flowery.

So far the games that I am bringing, subject to change, are:

Fury of Dracula
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Betrayal At House on the Hill
Funny Friends
Villa Paletti
Cosmic Encounter
Fairy Tale
Grave Robbers from Outer Space
History of the World
Lord of the Rings
Primordial Soup
Arkham Horror
King Put's copy of Puerto Rico

game list updated 07/27 with KP's requests.
game list updated again on 07/27 with Al's requests.

Game Dates:

Wed Night: Fury of Dracula

Fri or Sat: Warrior Knights

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Freedom of Expression

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

You can express what you want. However, you can't express it in spray paint on the side of a public building. No newspaper is obliged to print it.

Removing comments from a blog, deleting a post from a message board, even banning a member from a forum isn't an infringement on freedom of expression anymore than a publisher rejecting a manuscript, or a store owner removing graffiti from the side of their building. You still have the legal right to go express yourself somewhere else.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Arkham Horror

I have such a friggin' headache. We started a game of Arkham on Monday and are about half way to being slaughtered, but haven't been able to finish the game because I can hardly see straight. It's this weather.

I had the brilliant idea that we should play the singer and the musician. We put on some Robert Johnson and some Bessie Smith to create the mood. I love me some Robert Johnson. However, playing these two characters turned out to be a very bad idea because their stats are too similar. Al made short work of a several of the undead. However, on the second turn I got sat upon by a Star Vampire. I struggled along for a few more turns, and then the headache hit, and has been in and out for the past two days. I'm thinking we should just pack it in. We are sooo losing anyway.

Is it giving up if it's been three days and you need the table back?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

King Put

I am copying this post made by my brother on BGG so that I can always find it and re-read it and LMAO. I can so hear him saying, “I can’t do any worse than you did fighting that giant rat. "

Yesterday, I answered this question with a one word answer “Beer”. Well I’d like to explain that answer more clearly. Back in 1989 life was simple. I was single living in house with 4 other guys. Once or twice a month me and my friends would buy a case of cheap beer take it back to the house and play games. The games we played were Risk, Rise and Fall, Diplomacy, Supremacy and few other AH games. For us playing the game was secondary to hanging out drinking cheap beer. Fast forward to 2001 after getting married, having 2 kids and giving up playing board games. This is about when I was introduced to my first Euro game.

My first thought was “Wow, this is great. Now I can relive my youth. I can play these great games, hang out with people and drink beer.” We’ll I soon learned that Euro gamers don’t drink beer and hangout. In fact drinking beer while playing Euro games is frowned on. You wouldn’t want to play Princes of Florence and over bid for a jester just because you have a good beer buzz going. You don’t want some sober tea toddler telling you that you could have gotten 7 VPs if you had done some move when you only got 5 VPs.

Then there’s the whole bathroom thing. The 8th law of thermodynamics says for every beer you drink, you’ll have to use the bathroom. The turns in most Euro games are very quick. Take Puerto Rico for example. There is no mathematical way I could use the bathroom in time for the guy next to me to ship his indigo.

Americatrash games are just the opposite as Euros, they were designed to drink beer to. A couple of times I tried to play an Americatrash game in the middle of the afternoon without a beer. We’ll after sitting there for 30 minutes waiting for one of the other players to roll the dice 20 times and use 6 spells I was ready to explode with boredom. If instead, I using my 30 minutes of waiting time for good use like drinking a beer, using the bathroom and making fun of the player for having to use 6 spells to kill a giant rat I’d have be having a great time. Then when it was my turn I’d have a good beer buzz going and I announce “I’m ready to go kill the great evil demon with my +1 sword and a four leaf clover”. The other players would yell “that impossible with only a +1 sword you’d have to roll about twenty 6 in row and use up your four leaf clover” And I’d I yell back “I don’t care I have a good beer buzz going and I can’t do any worse than you did fighting that giant rat. If I lose the battle I just lose a turn and then I’ll teleport back to the monks who will heal me besides by that time I’ll have to go to the bathroom again.”

Friday, July 13, 2007

Busy Playing

I have been so busy playing, I haven't been keeping up with my blog. I also haven't finished writing anything for F:AT. I have several things started, but haven't had the focus to pull anyof them together into something that makes sense. Maybe I should just throw up my mad ramblings, and let people connect the dots by themselves.

D came up for a visit at the end of June. We spent 5 days playing. He borrowed some games from some very nice guys. The biggest hit was Kapitän Wackelpudding. Although it is impossible to find a copy, I happened across a couple of Wackelpudding type dice in a bargin bin last weekend (29 cents each). I gave them to Z and told her that she could make up her own game with her blocks.

Thursday, June 21, 2007


Idiots. Idiots. Idiots. Friggin' dense morons. Willfully obtuse. Forget about. I can't be bothered.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Big Box o' Games

Our order from Superhero Gameland arrived today. I love the name of that store - Superhero Gameland, it sounds like geek Six Flags. Al and Z were all "Oooh and Ahhh," over Under the Shadow of the Dragon. It looks very cool. The artwork on the new tiles is beautiful. Z went crazy over the new Hobbit character and the unicorn. My job is to read the rules and teach them, how to play.

I've started putting index cards with notes into our games, since I'm the one who has to remember all the set-up rules, and all the little niggly rules. I'll have to make one for Return of the Heroes, since the expansion adds a few easily forgotten rules.

In other dragon related news, my mom went to the library to pick up a book she had reserved. When she got there, she discovered that it was the wrong book. She came home with a book that contains the first three books of the Dragonriders of Pern series. She is most of the way through the first book. She likes it, but finds it a bit confusing. I guess it would be confusing if you thought you were reading an historical romance.

She was saying, "I just don't understand what all this dread stuff is, and now they are going back in time, and there are dragons and golden eggs."

"It's not dread, mom. It's thread, " I told her.

I find this amusing. My mom is turning into a fantasy geek in her retirement. I told her that when she finishes the books she has to come over and play Dragonriders of Pern with me. She just rolled her eyes. She's one of those people that can never remember game rules, although she plays Rummy constantly.


I found a dusty, marked down copy of Evo hidden behind a copy of Descent at a comic & game store this weekend. When we went to pay for it, the clerk said, "I've been working here for years and have never seen this game." It's really easy to lose a game or two behind those coffin sized FFG games. The clerk was a really sweet guy. He even let me use the bathroom, although he wasn't supposed to. Nice beard too.

I think that I really like Evo. I usually don't like bidding games, but the bidding mechanic in Evo is more like playing chicken than like bidding. I'm pretty good at playing chicken. I also find most spawning games fascinating. Francie hated it. I think that was mostly because my three horned green dinos kept munching her soft, weak, one-horned pink dinos. I think that she also didn't quite grasp the climate change probability factor. Al crushed the both of us. I want to play again, but we need to find a third player. Maybe I'll bring it to game night on Thursday.


We played Tikal for the first time this weekend. I didn't think it was as terrible as KingPut thought I would. It does have pretty colors and treasure. The language independant player aid amused me. "This turn, I'm going to shovel a circle and jump a tent." I crushed Al and Francie, by at least 20 points. Unfortunately, this is another one of those puzzle games that I'm good at, but which doesn't amuse me. It's about as much fun as writing the logic section of the GMAT exam. Where are the restless natives with poison darts and the snake pits?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Buying Games

Francie has been bugging me to place a game order because she wants Tikal and Colosseum. So, while biking on Saturday, we all finally agreed on what we wanted to order. After we finished biking, I stopped at Tuesday Mornings to pick up a vacuum cleaner. What do I see? Tikal for $15. So I picked it up for Francie. That threw off the game order because we didn't make the minimum for free shipping. I was going to bag the order until after WBC, but Al and Z really, really wanted Under the Shadow of the Dragon and Francie and S really, really wanted Colosseum. So, with Al's blessing, I returned the vacuum cleaner, and added the Arkham Horror - Dunwich Horror Expansion (Yay!) to our part of the order to make the free shipping. You gotta' love a man that says "Screw the carpet. Get the games."

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Hell Rail

Finally taught Francie Hell Rail tonight, and she loved it. I knew that she would. It is a good little half hour, portable game for her. Although she did point out that, unfortunately she probably couldn't play it with her daughter, due to the fact that she really didn't want to have to explain what all the different sins were. I don't particularly care for Hell Rail. It is too much of a puzzle game for my taste. I just really enjoy introducing someone to a game I know that they will like.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Viking Games

KingPut e-mailed me a list of the Viking games he played this weekend. Is he just rubbing it in that our plans to play cool games with Dan this weekend got flushed?

Here is what he has to say:

Midgard = Viking Mission Red Planet (area control but not as good as MRP) = 6.5

Wikinger = Viking Alahambra = 7.0

Fire and Axe: A Viking Saga = Viking Hybrid game AT / Euro = 7.5 (best map and pieces)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

No Descent This Weekend

Dan changed his plans and couldn't visit this weekend, so no Descent for me.

Francie did come by, carrying her beloved copy of Cleopatra and the Society of Accountants. We made a deal that I would play Cleopatra with her, if she learned HellRail. So we play Cleopatra , and then I pull out HellRail. I start going over the rules with her, and then she's all like, "I'm too tired to learn a new game. It'd getting late. I have to go." Bitch. Just kidding. I love Francie. She has promised me that next time she absolutely will learn HellRail.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Buffy CCG

Al and Z got me a couple boxes of BTVS CCG boosters for Mother's Day, and I picked up another box for myself this week. I have been trying to build some decks now that I have nearly all the cards, and enough duplicates to make something decent. Al asked me to build him a Spike deck, which I finished last night. We tried it out, and he beat my Willow deck in 3 turns. I wasn't even close. I think I have to work on a new deck for myself. The thing that I don't like about CCG's is that most of the "game" is in building the deck. Building a strong deck isn't too hard. What is challenging is building a couple of decks that are well balanced against each other.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Weekend House Guest

D is visiting for the weekend and he's bringing Descent. How big is that box? I'm thinking it is going to be a bitch to carry it on the bus, let alone the subway. D gets extra friend points for this. Hmm, I guest that means I should change the sheets in the guest room and pick up some Captn' Crunch.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


If you ever have the chance to surprise a kid by dumping out 50 packs of boosters in front of them, go for it.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Pirate Games

Today Z said, "I want to play the pirate game."
So I got out Sword and Skull.
Z says, " No, not that one. The other pirate game. The one with the cards"
So I got out Dead Man's Treasure.
Z says, "Not that one. The one with the cards and the boat."
So I got out Capt'n Clever.
Z says, "No not that one. The one with the cards and the boat and the little pirate guys."
So I got out Cartagena.
Z says, "That's the one."
And we played.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Harry Potter TCG

I picked up a starter set of the Harry Potter Trading Card Game last weekend (see ultimate geek day). It was an impulse buy at the counter for $4.99.

Z really likes Harry Potter and we have a few Harry Potter themed games. They mostly suck. But hope springs eternal.

Tonight Z and I played. It's a kid's game, but it was still pretty fun. You get to have a wizards' duel. How fun is that! Z really liked it. It is fast (about 10 - 15 minutes) and easy and captures the flavor of the books. The best Harry Potter themed game I've played. So I ordered a couple boxes of boosters ($2 a box) for Z. She is going to be tripping ripping open those packs.