Monday, September 19

Saturday, August 13

Ten Years

So it's that time of year again when we start thinking about our local game convention, Nuke Con, coming up Sept. 30-Oct. 2. 
And the call for GMs came out, and I want to GM again, but what should it be?
And then it hit me. Since this is the ten year anniversary of my favorite game, I will GM Carcassonne. Maybe there are gamers who still haven't played it (I know that's hard to believe, but I've still never actually played regular Catan with real live people, so it's possible), and it's a great intro game for anyone that might be coming to the con just to check things out.
So that's a great excuse for me to add a couple things to my Carcassonne collection. I did pick up the ten year anniversary edition shown above, not my own photo. It has clear meeples!! So cool. And the box is shaped like a freakin' meeple! How could I pass that up? And I picked up the catapult expansion too. It seems so silly and fun. And hopefully also intriguing to new gamers.
Our personal family game day is tomorrow, I wonder if I can get anyone to go a'catapulting with me?

Monday, August 8

Awesome Dice!

Isn't this the coolest?
Dice used as the art medium. 
Thanks Dude Craft!

Thursday, November 25


The box
The game is Odds'R, a party game for up to four players or teams. And my choice for game of the day for Thanksaturgiving this year.
Put out by Eagle Games in 2002, no longer in print. So if it's no longer in print, how did I even find out about it??
Well, I do loves me The Spiel, as I've mentioned before, and their back-shelf spotlight a few episodes shined on this game, including letting me know that there were some for sale through the BGG marketplace.
I tried out the BGG marketplace for the first time, to much luck, and got the game still in shrink, for a decent price, and dealt with another BGG user for the sale, which makes me feel better than giving money to some random eBay user. (Like I know a BGG user will buy more games, an eBay user might only be in it for the money)
The board
It's a trivia game at it's base. But it has a lot of other elements.
There's a lottery to start, and each time you ask a question, you first read the winning lottery number. You have three opportunities to buy lottery tickets, so it seems like it's a small chance of winning, but still an interesting addition.
After the lottery, the trivia question, in one of 15 categories is read, and the multiple choice answers are shown to all of the non-answering players or teams. And everyone bets on if the answering player or team will get the answer right.
The winning of the game is who has the most money, not who's answered the most questions, so the lottery and the betting are key. Game ends when one player gets to the center, and they get a bonus for getting there, but they are still not necessarily the winner. I like that element a lot, no wedgie hogging.
The grab bag tokens and cow chip
Other fun twists are different odd spots you might land on.
There are grab bag spaces, where you'll pull one of 15 tokens out of the velvet bag. The "GrabBag is full of goodies-and gotchas!" according to the box. Since I like being as surprised with a new game as my guests, I try not to read too much of the specifics, so we'll see how that plays out.
There's a cow chip to flip, and it's just a heads-or-tails win-some-money or get nothin' space.
And there's a space where you get to use a special die in addition to the moving dice. The special die will let you know if you are going ahead or backwards on the moving dice. This was one of the gotta-have-it things about this game, I love specialty dice! And bonus that you only use the extra die if you land on the space, not all the time.
The pawns
And then there's the pawns. Another gotta-have-it part of this game. Your pawn starts off as a candle stick looking kind of thing, with rings you add for each answer you get wrong.
If you get too many wrong, you get the dunce cap placed on top.
There are spaces where you could sell your ding-rings for cash, so it's not that bad to get a few rings, as long as you're going to land on the right space to have them removed.
This seems like fun, I only hope that no one feels bad for having too many rings. But I think playing in teams will help that. I love the colors, nice and bright. I'm thinking of how to incorporate these fun pawns into other games too. Or they could even be used as a counter in some games. It would be easy to see from across the table how many rings your opponent has.
The Meeples playing with the colors
So if you listened to the same Spiel episode, you already knew all of this. ;p
I don't have any actual play experience yet, since we'll be playing Saturday. But I do hope to do mini-reviews with any/all who play. And take more photos.
I hope you and yours are having a great Thanksgiving, whether you're celebrating today or Thanksaturgiving like we do.
What games will you be playing while you digest?

Wednesday, November 24

Guess the Game?

The Meeples are on the loose!
They opened up a new game, and discovered they matched the playing pieces.
What game are these from?

Friday, October 8

Nuke Con Wrap Up

Last weekend was Nuke Con 2010, and I'm still trying to catch up on sleep, chores, how to talk to non-gamers, stuff like that. The BFF and I wondered if it seemed lighter in turnout than other years, but chatting with others, we discovered that turnout was still strong. He and I figured out later that it what seemed different was less miniature war gaming. Other years, there are several tables completely decked out with homemade displays, suitcases full of miniatures, and people with measuring tapes walking around the table looking for the best angle. This year, there only seemed to be a few of these kinds of tables, I think that was the only difference.
And more diversity in games, it seemed. I did my part in stretching the diversity, volunteering to lead two newish European games. I had to sign up to GM a month early to get in the program, so I've been thinking about teaching games, and how (and why) we all learn games, and I'll go on more on that thinking in another post or three, but now the play-by-play (pun intended) of my weekend at Nuke Con 2010!
Cast of characters on this trip: Me. The BFF (that's Boy Friend Forever). Dawn Child, my 19-year-old, almost too old for me to still state his age, doesn't live at home anymore, but still games a lot! and The Munchkin, my 17-year-old who does still live at home.
First thing, straight after check-in, I rushed to the concession stand to buy a t-shirt. I had procrastinated through the on-line purchase time, and didn't want to miss out. This year is the 20th anniversary, so the theme was "It Was 20 Years Ago Today..." with a cute Sgt. Pepper's done in gaming logo. I had to have one!
Friday night, The BFF and I pretty much stuck together, starting with Temple of the Beastmen. Out-of-print old, but still very enjoyable. Searching for treasures and avoiding the beastmen through five levels, where the beastmen are x times more plentiful on each lower level (so level 5 with ten beastmen, makes them actually fifty), and each character having specific strengths and a specific goal. I won, thanks to the kind player who traded me some treasure for my 'boy'.
Side note: The prizes were awesome this year! I don't remember having second and third place prizes on very many games other years, this year, I think all games did.
So when I was victorious in the game of Beastmen, I won Warhammer Invasion! Quite a prize. The kids tried it out sometime over the weekend.
Next, The BFF and I went to a panel on Zombie Defense and Education put on by the Omaha Chapter of the Zombie Research Society. If you're interested in anything Zombie, check out their site, their Facebook, and their podcast. But since it's not specifically game related, I won't go into great details, but just to sum up: Awesome panel!
After that, we playtested The Nightly Misadventures of Pizza Guy. I love playtesting. A few years ago, I got to playtest a couple new games in development by the creator of House on Haunted Hill. His games were scribbles on index cards, Pizza Guy was very well fleshed out, lots of nicely typed and well-thought-out playsheets, cards, tip charts. My favorite part was the hilarious descriptions of the art that is hoped to be on each card, I LOL-ed. There were great ideas in Pizza Guy, and some parts that need to be worked through more. As a good playtester, I gave all my ideas and opinions to the designer. I hope to someday buy the finished product.
Then it was on to Fiasco, a GM-less RPG. Dawn Child, a very seasoned RPG-er, joined The BFF and I along with three others. I always play one RPG at Nuke Con, despite feeling like I'm not very good at it. How will I improve if I avoid it? Being GM-less, and the unique way that it is able to be GM-less, made it easier for me to get into it. I did still get the bad RPG-er blues about 2/3 into it, when I just ran out of ideas and steam. We bought the pdf, and are going to try it at our family game day this weekend. I think I will be able to get into it a bit more with just family, but we'll see.
While the three of us were RPG-ing, The Munchkin was Zombie LARPing, which he said was great fun, and he won a cool t-shirt.
Saturday started with Mythos, a Collectable Card Game, luckily with pre-made decks. I am on record as not liking CCGs, but it's not the game play (usually) that I don't like, it's trying to build a deck. I have no idea how to do that. But since the decks were pre-made, I was happy to try it out (or again, I think I played it a few years ago). I really liked how this played, when you have a properly made deck, you're trying to bring out specific things for victory points, and you fight with the other players. We had six people ready to play, so the GM put us in two groups of three, and The BFF and I each won in our trio. Since we already have a bunch of the cards, we're going to find the pre-made deck lists on-line, because I will definitely
play this again.
Next, we tried out Ruin by Buffalo Games. It would be good for a younger crowd, or party gamers. It was a fun twist on the Sorry type of game.
Saturday, I didn't do as much gaming myself, since I was leading games at different times, and I didn't want to be late for my own game!
I GM-ed Fresco, ironically being all the way in Omaha, to teach the game to two of our buddies from our Lincoln FLGS. Later, I GM-ed Dixit, and I was happy to find people excited about playing, and they loved it!
Sunday, The BFF and I joined in a huge game of Zombies!!! with three home grown expansions we play tested. My favorite was the Zoo. This game took most of the part of the day that we were awake and not driving! Then the pooped out gamers headed back home.
Can't wait for next year!!

Tuesday, September 14

Gamey Weekend

Agricola bits with Bohnanza on the table
The second weekend of the month is the gamiest. This month was no exception.
Owl House Game day, hosted by James (who is now a contributor on The Gaming Gang site), was on Saturday, and our own SSG@B&S (Second Sunday Gaming at Bryan and Shells') was Sunday.
Saturday, we had six players, and among other games, we learned Bohnanza, and  taught one of our newest games, Forbidden Island.
I've been interested in learning Bohnanza for a while, especially since the farmers in Agricola enjoy playing it. The uniqueness in this game is not being able to rearrange your cards, which was a very interesting thing to have to try to think through. I need a few more games under my belt to get the strategy down. A more thorough review can be found on The Game of The Day blog, I didn't mind the beans as much as he did. They were cute, and not everything can be zombies or robutts.

Forbidden Island was my suggestion to play, both Saturday and Sunday. After playing it with three and with two, I was interested to see how it played with more, and both times we had six, the max players...or so I thought.
I will readily admit, that I was the rules reader on this game, and I taught it the first time we played, and on Saturday (with help from The BFF), just checking a few specifics in the rule book. Saturday, we lost twice, and in a big way, but it was a fun experience.

Sunday, with my children and parents all present, that makes six again, so we sat down to play. That's when my dad actually read on the tin that it says 2-4 players!!

Since there are six pawn/roles, I just assumed up to six could play. No wonder we got creamed so hard on Saturday!
As we already had it out, and I was mostly done explaining the rules to the newbies when the mistake was noticed, we decided to go ahead and try it, not expecting a less watery death than any previous game.
We did allow one small cheat, starting the water marker at a make-believe level 1, just below the Novice level 2, but other than that, we really just got lucky with the cards we drew, and as you can see, we all six got to Fool's Landing just in the nick of time!

My kids went off to game in another part of the house, and The BFF and my parents and I got out Gemlok. I was a bit surprised by a couple things Sunday. One: that my folks actually read this blog (hi folks!), and B) that my mom really picked up the gauntlet that I unknowingly threw down when I said I didn't think she'd like the game, and she played her heart out!
She was ahead most of the game, but had an unfortunate roll of two Gemloks at once, when she didn't have anything good to 'lock', otherwise, I'm sure she would have won.
As it ended up, the perceived strongest player was rather picked on by the rest, allowing ME to win by one point!
Hah! It's good to not be a threat sometimes!

Monday, September 6


The BFF had a B&N coupon burning a hole in his pocket, and we needed to get out of the house, so yesterday we ventured out and The BFF picked up Gemlok. The first thing I thought of when seeing the picture on the box was 'Bejeweled: the Board Game'. But it's not.
The second thought when looking at the box was: gotta get these dice! Cool, funky, movement with arrows dice. And the surprise when the box was opened, the dice are huger than I expected. (yeah, I know that's not a real word, but it's fun)
Huge dice with regular sized Meeple for comparison

It's a pretty solid little game. Reminded me a bit of some of the tactics in chess, the movement only, the what's-the-other-player gonna-do Analysis Paralysis is gone, with every player only able to do what the roll of the dice tell him/her to do.
The two dice are different except for the one Gemlok side, so there are ten possibilities of how to move. You have to take the two or three steps laid out on the dice face, but you can turn the die any direction to start the movement (that was the one part that alluded me for about 1/2 the first game).
If you land on yourself or an opponent on your last movement, you get to bump, them/you, up to three spaces.

CU of game play
The board is set up with smaller point value gems sprinkled around the outside, with plenty of empty spaces, the center is a four by four cluster of higher end gems. I like that the colors of the gems seem to represent actual gems and dollar values, I'm not sure what 4 is, though, Opal? When you bump, of course, you want to bump your opponent out into the boondocks, and yourself closer to the center squares (and Paul Lynde). If and when you roll a Gemlok, with the exception of your very first roll, you have to/get to lock one of your gems. (Thus the name. Drink.) You don't want to get the Gemlok side when you're sitting in the sand, but you are aching for it when you're sitting atop one of the diamond 9 pointers (the highest point gem). Of course, as dice go, you can sing 'Luck Be A Lady Tonight' all you want, Big Jule, but you know those dice ain't gonna roll how you want them to.
After ten rounds, either player can declare the game end, but the other player(s) get another turn to try to bump you. I tried this tactic the first game, and sure enough, The BFF bumped me off TWO separate seven point jems, left me sitting in sand, and he beat me by less than that 14 points. So second game, I waited and let him call it quits, and that time he only beat my by two points. ;p You're supposed to play a four game series, but we were done after two, only because it was a long weened, and we were ready for relaxation, not thinking.
The other game ending condition would be if someone gets all eight of their gems locked. Which I think would be really hard with the two player game that we played, probably even harder with three or four. We're interested to see just how different the game will be with three or four. Next weekend is our family game day, we really think my dad and older son will like this. Maybe The Munchkin can get Grandma to play something else for a while. Or I'm sure she'd be happy with Plants vs. Zombies.

P.S. Now that The BFF has started his own gaming (and movie) blog, I hope this won't turn into a who-can-blog-it-first competition. But I did blog it first this time. With photos. ;p

Meeples swimmin' in Gems
Be careful letting your Meeples out along with any kind of gems or gem-like bits. They are soooo money hungry, they jumped intot he gems like they were Uncle Scrooge McDuck.

Monday, August 30

Forbidden Island

I was so excited when we went to the new and improved game section of B & N this weekend. There are lots of good 'gamer' games that they haven't had before. Agricola, Dominion, Alhambra, Castle Panic, all the Munchkins, Word on the Street (which will probably be my next game purchase there), all sorts of stuff. And the B & N Onyx editions of some old favorites, including Stratigo, and more kid's games.
It seems that Barnes and Nobel are getting into the game business seriously. And good sales are always included, so we perused the 30% off table too.
I had been wanting to pick up Forbidden Island since I heard about it on the Spiel. Great bits, cooperative game play, and it comes in a TIN!! (I collect useful tins to store things in, so any game in a tin is a bonus!)
With an e-mail coupon to save on the already very reasonable price of Forbidden Island, I was able to pick up a little Connect Four carabiner key chain from the sale table for basically free.
We tried it tonight twice, first The BFF, The Munchkin, and I, and we didn't even come close to winning. The second time, The Munchkin opting for season four of Angel he's watching on Netflix, so we tried it two player. We had some great luck, like drawing no Waters Rise cards for most of the Treasure Deck, then drawing two at once, which actually makes the water rising not as bad. But second time through the Treasure Deck, the Waters Rise cards came up too quick, and bit us in the ass. We opted to play through our plan as if we hadn't gotten the last one at just the wrong time, and we would have won if that last card had been even one card lower in the deck!!
It's a very compelling game. We're excited to try it four, five, and six player, to see if it's better or worse. Also excited to push that 10+ age suggestion, we have some very bright game players at our church game day, that are 7 or 8 that I think would really bring something to the game.

Wednesday, March 10

Kickstart some Games!

Have you seen the new site, Kickstarter? A little like Kiva, but instead of giving someone a loan to start their business, you're investing in a project.
There's tons of awesome projects, crafts, films, books, and I was most excited when I saw there are some board games too. A great outlet for game designers!

Wednesday, February 17


Two Sundays in a row now, we've had a game of Android. Both of my kids, The BFF, and me.
The BFF got this game on a great sale, 50% off, and I hadn't heard much about it before he brought it home.
It plays 2-5, and it has so many different parts to the game, we've likened it to playing 3-4 games at once.
It's kind of a mystery, because you're trying to figure out who's guilty, but it's no Clue. Who ends up being guilty is determined by how much/what kind of evidence is put on each suspect.
So there's putting evidence onto suspects (my least-best part of playing this game), plus there's points to get on the board, your own character's plot to resolve (or not), a conspiracy grid to resolve by playing puzzle pieces, and probably something else I'm not remembering.
There really are so many different things to do. But it doesn't seem over complicated, once you dredge through the rules.
Oh, and the picture is with my new camera! Woot! is awesome!!

Saturday, January 9

Awesome Cupcakes

Game Cupcakes

Check out these cupcakes! One hundred differently decorated cupcakes in game themes. With a little guessing game element. I got most of them, with the exception of a few video games.
Also wonderful inspiration because I got a cupcake carrier for Christmas. I've been wanting one for a while. And it has a cupcake 'tree' for serving. And since tomorrow is our family game day, I decided to add to the monthly tradition, and always make cupcakes for it.
Blogged with the Flock Browser

Friday, January 1

Bunnies & New Year

Happy Two Thousand Ten!!
Waiting to ring in the new year, The Artist Extreeme and I played 1 1/2 games of Killer Bunnies last night. We have the blue starter, along with the yellow, red, and violet expansions. We haven't played the violet much, so there were lots of new cards we hadn't played before.
It takes so much shuffling, and the first game went pretty quickly, so we decided to just use the second half of the giant deck for the second game. A half hour or so later, we decided that all the 'free carrot' cards and bunnies must have been in the first half of the deck, and all the weapons were in the second half of the deck.
I do really enjoy this game, and would love to keep adding in the expansions, but how the heck to you properly shuffle it??

On the new year: no actual resolutions, as resolutions are things that usually get broken. But a plan to remember to post game sessions more often. And to put my Spiel Game Journal into action!

Monday, December 7

Dominating Dominion

The BFF found an iPod app that randomly picks which card sets to use, which completely solves one of my problems with this game. (who gets to pick, and possible arguements) So he and I and the Artist Extreeme played two quick games yesterday afternoon, while the snow fell.
I didn't take the time to write down which cards we played, but the first game we had four or five attacking cards with no defensive cards out. Crazily, we ended with a three-way tie!! With 42 points each. Hmm, maybe there IS something to that number...
The second game the gardens came into play, so I decided to try my flying-under-the-radar strategy. For me, this is almost a game within a game and it works with several games. It's basically all about seeing how long you can play a certain way before the other players notice. In this case it was buying as many garden cards as I could, starting with the very first turn. Garden cards are the ones that give you one extra victory point for every ten cards in your final deck and by the time The BFF figured out what I was doing, he and The Artist Extreeme each had two, and I had ALL the rest! (that's eight, for those of you playing along at home)
When we each counted our number of cards, we each had 50 (rounded down), so my gardens alone gave me almost as many victory points as my total victory points from the first game. Final scores were great for all of us, 58, 62, and 68.
And the snow continued to fall...

Wednesday, November 18

Exploding Dice

We played a game of Deadlands Sunday afternoon, The BFF, The Artist Extreeme, and me. This was the second time we played, the first was last month including The Rawk Star, so this was the first three-player game.
It went well, except for one little thing we forgot, which was actually a big thing. If you roll a six, you get to roll again, and add the six to whatever the next number is. And if the second number is another six, you get to keep going.
So for the first 3/4 of the game, we were all getting creamed in fights because some of the NPCs start at 7 even.
Pretty embarrassing to be looking for a rules clarification on something completely different, and realizing that you messed up a basic rule.
But it did serve to remind us why we play, not to win, or even get the rules right, but for the fun of being together.

Monday, October 5

Nuke Con 9

This year we made a lesser attack on the Nuke Con weekend, four of us went for just Saturday: me, The BFF (BoyFriend Forever), his son Yehaw McKickass, and my younger son the Artist Extreeme. Going for one day only, we completely packed the day with gaming fun. I, for one, am still pretty tired!

Since a few things we had wanted to try (separately) were full, it ended up that The BFF and I played all our games together, which was great for playing his favorite overall game, "I-Beat-You!". We played all new-to-us games this year, not wanting to waste our one day playing stuff we've played before.

We played:
* an unscheduled Kingsburg with our LGS buddies (my must-have of the day)
* when no GM showed up for Shadows Over Camelot, we filled some empty slots on Are You Smarter Than a Con Guest (super fun! but made me feel dumb)
* On The Underground (train-ish game of the London underground) (which The BFF kept reminding me that he has actually BEEN on!)
* Chicago Express (train-ish game mostly auction-y)
* The RPG Don't Rest Your Head (I'm not experienced at RPGs. I'm especially shy in a con setting, but I really liked the story, and the folks we played with)
* Robo Rally for the Brain Dead (which I proved to be by 10:00, and could not 'get' the part about when the conveyor belt turned you or not)

The kids played D&Ds most of the day, broken up with one Race For The Galaxy session, which is a fav for them both.

We also made some purchases, of course! The BFF bought Small World and Dead Lands, and I bought Silent But Deadly Night in a great tin, Martian Fluxx, and some blank Fluxx cards that the Artist Extreeme and I are going to design!

More in-depth reactions coming soon...

Tuesday, May 12

Sunday, April 19

Inspiring Gaming Cakes

In case you don't read the blog Cake Wrecks: Most of the week they present photos of the most awfully funny awful cakes. On Sundays, for a change, they post wonderful cakes, and today's theme is games!
Check them out!
My favorite, of course is this Carcassonne cake! Inspiring...I might have to try one myself.

Saturday, April 18

Also Last Weekend

Last Saturday was the first Family Game Day at my church. Organized by myself and a gaming friend met through yet another gaming podcast, Garrett's Games and Geekiness. We had twenty folks total, including the organizers and the baby, which was a great turn out for the first time, I think.
The age range was younger than I had hoped, one part of my plan is to get more teenagers involved (including MINE!), but that will come in later months. It was nice that the youngsters attending were roughly in the same age range, around K-3, so they could play the same types of games. I got to play Jumpin' Monkeys, Bat Man Uno (The BFF, when told this, replied 'you hate Uno' which is true, but I adore these kiddos!), my thrift store gold find Poppa's Pizza Topple, and even played a little Seismic, after taking out all the earthquakes and workers. It actually was great as a puzzle game, with it's hexagon pieces, and different amounts and styles of roads on each piece.
Also exciting was seeing a table of adults playing together, their children all at different tables playing other games.
A nice time was had by all. And next month, maybe I can drag my own kids? *fingers crossed*

Game Session: Killer Bunnies in Space

OK, I know that's not the real title of the game, but that's what I keep calling it. It's Killer Bunnies and the Journey to Jupiter. There, happy? ;p
Our monthly family game day, SSG@B&S (Second Sunday Gaming at Bryan and Shelly's) happened to fall on Easter, and without really thinking about it, I had been having a hankering to try Killer Bunnies in Space again. Then I also had a hankering to make deviled Killer Bunnies and deviled eggs...On Easter...stereotypical much, shell?
Those present for our gaming, The BFF, The Artist Extreeme, and myself, agreed we all wanted to try KB and the J to J again, so we reread some of the spacey rules, and got the game set up. We have a good sized table, but this is one game that makes us wish for a larger one! There is so much stuff, and we didn't even have room for the organizing/cheat sheets we like to use for regular KB.
The game itself is fine, on the second playing, not counting the rules issues, it went much faster. We didn't get into any one-on-one combat, mostly because you have to be right next to the other player, and we were mostly all over the board. I almost wish the game would have taken longer, so we could have each gotten more ships on the board. I think each player getting 2-3 ships out there would be awesome, as it was, we each barely got a second ship out, and each lost the second ship pretty quickly. In the end, we each had two carrots, having decided at the beginning to play only six (duh! six carrots divided by three players...wasn't the best planning) The BFF had the 'magic' carrot, so he officially won.
Now about those rules issues. Or a sidebar dovetailed before the rules issues. I've been listening to and LOVING The Speil podcast for a few months now, including listening to the old shows, one of their segments is the Game Sommelier, trying to find the right game for the right group, and I've been attempting to think in sommelier terms when I'm picking games. [/sidebar]
This game, with these players, the sommelier didn't do such a great job. For one, all three of us tend to be 'rules lawyers', a phrase we've coined in our house, sometimes there can be more looking up clarification of rules than actually playing, or so it seems. I've tried to implement the idea (that I think I got from the On Board Games podcast) of just play it for now how the players agree the rule should be played, and take the extra time to look it up LATER, and most times that works ok most of the time. Unfortunately, we also had the Problem of Three working against us that day. The problem of three was first taught to me by my dad, who once, thirty something years ago, wouldn't let me do some activity with the two neighbor girls, because there would be three of us, and (paraphrasing) "when there's three, it's too easy for two to gang up against the other one." Even at that tender age, I knew this to be true, I had seen it already with these same girls, and it's something that I've always kept in mind with my own kids, and in the rest of my life.
In the case of a rules-lawyery kind of game, combined with the Problem of Three, it wasn't the most fun game session we've had. Another learning curve for the game sommelier in me.
After we ate (sandwiches and deviled eggs, of course), we played Dominion, which was a much better choice game for the three of us.

Thursday, April 9


So I ordered meeples a couple weeks ago, from Meeple People, the coolest meeple website on the interwebs! I ordered one hundred meeples, and I got a few extras, they are so awesome!
More photos will be coming, that's part of the reason I bought them.

Tuesday, March 24


What happens when games sit too close together on the shelf? They intermingle! Oh, NO!!! Scooby Doo and the gang (and the ghosts) from Scooby Doo Hide and Shriek have invaded Ghost Stories! Will they rip the fake mask off Wu-Feng only to hear him hollar "You meddlin' kids!!" (while shaking his fist, of course)

Monday, March 23

2 Player Ghost Stories

The BFF and I tried Ghost Stories yesterday as a two-player game. My overall reaction: wait for another two people.
The first game, we played by the official two player rules, each player takes one random board, across from each other, and the other two boards are randomly placed on the sides. The two non-player boards still play, but in a modified way; they only do their 'bad' stuff!
Backing up a little, in regular play, each player has two phases, the Yin where they have to do ghosty stuff, draw an additional ghost card, move ghosties up, haunt villagers, roll the curse die, fun bad stuff like that. The Yin phase is followed (again, in regular play) by the Yang phase, in which you get to move your pawn and either use the villager power you land on, or try to exercise the ghosty in front of you. So in normal four player mode, all four players get both phases.
Except in two player, you get all four times worth of bad stuff, with only two times worth of good stuffs! Sure, you can occasionally use abilities from the two non-player boards, but that doesn't work out very often. So without a full compliment of good things that can happen, the game was pretty slanted straight down into hell. It definitely made me not want to try the solo play (right on the week I have time to try solo games!)
The second time we played two player, we did it our own way: we each played as two players. We both had assumed that this would be the official rule until we read it. So it felt much more balanced, getting four times the good along with four times the bad. We still didn't win! We were doing a little better at the beginning, keeping the villagers unhaunted, and killing off the ghosties as they came out, but a couple times when drawing the required ghost caused another, then ANOTHER ghost to come out, and all-of-a-sudden we were down to the big baddy. And he was really big and really bad. We actually got the last 10 ghosties on the board after him, so we actually lost on the ghost deck being expired.
Funny side note: The BFF always wants to play green in whatever game we are playing (I always want purple, if you're keeping score), but with all four times of playing Ghost Stories, we've handed out the boards completely randomly, like shuffled behind my back and tell me when to stop and tell me a number and I'll count from there, randomly. And every time he's gotten green. At least in the last game, he got to play something in addition to green, but green still came up for him first.
Green must want to play him, too.

Sunday, March 22

Ghost Stories Links

The very helpful videos we watched to help us understand game play.
The latest podcast at The Spiel features cooperative games including Ghost Stories and Pandemic.

Monday, March 16

Ghost Story

Sunday we played two new games, Ghost Story and Zombiegeddon. Ghost Story was part of the last game order, waiting behind Dominion, Call of Cthlulu card game, and World of Warcraft miniatures to be played. Zombiegeddon was purchased Saturday night after seeing The Watchmen*, we love the theatre that's in the same mall as the big box hobby and game store, and the chain craft store.
The BFF and I both read through the rules (huge complaint on the white print on black background), and we checked out some videos for more clarification. The rules by themselves were a bit confusing, explaining things that hadn't happened yet, but we got them figured out. The bits are beautiful, with symbols instead of words, which is good and bad. It looks simple and no words to clutter up the art, but we had to keep looking up what the symbols mean. But it was our first couple of plays, we were just getting the symbols into our heads.
We played four player, The BFF, Rawk Star, Yehaw McK, and me, and it worked great with four. I honestly didn't take time to read the rules for 1-3 yet, but I imagine it will be a handicapped game.
We lost the first game. I should say we got creamed the first game! In your ghost deck, you put one random big bad ghosty in towards the bottom. The first game, we didn't get through 1/3 of the deck, never even saw the big baddy. The second game, we were killin' ghosts left and right, using our abilities to our best advantage, but getting so worn down...and then the big baddy came out, and he wasn't that big or that bad, and we actually won. It was a much uncelebrated win, we all felt like we hadn't won at all, and I still am thinking that we must have done something wrong to be able to kill the big bad guy so easily. But I guess it was just luck that we got an easy one, plus working well together to even get to him.
It is, in it's cooperativeness, much like Pandemic. You really have to work together to use everyone's abilities at the right time, and cooperatively plan ahead. It was a good gaming experience for the gamers playing. Great pretty bits, and a good solid game. With the different levels of difficulty, it will be a game that can come out a lot, I imagine.

*Mini Review: I loved the movie. I actually collected The Watchmen twenty years ago, waiting each month for the next one to come out. It was my first and only experience with being a comic book nerd, really, driving at least an hour to get the next one, waiting patiently for that next edition. Again, I loved the movie. It was like reading the comic with action between the cells. They were very true to the comic, it was much appreciated. One voice I had heard a little differently in my head than it ended up on the screen, but that's the beauty of getting to know characters on their own, letting them show themselves to you, before just watching and being told what the characters are.