Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull

Monday, August 06, 2007

Gaming Galore!

This past weekend turned out to be a great one for gaming - all in all I played 6 different games and one of those 6 was played 3 times.

It started off on Friday night, my sister and her family was possibly going to show up early for their weekend stay, but their plans changed and they weren't able to make it until Saturday morning. I still managed to get in a great game of Railroad Tycoon (RRT) with my wife Mary, my daughter Jenna and my friend Shawn. He had only played once before and Mary and Jenna a few more times than that. RRT is one of my Top 10 Games of all time and I really look forward to playing it every time. There is always a multitude of strategic decisions to be made and the game really captures the feel of the early Railroading Era well I think.

I also introduced my RRT Event Deck (see previous post) to the others and everyone really seemed to like it. Their response was enough to motivate me to finish up the 2nd RRT Event Deck and upload it to BBG - it's still pending at the time of this writing as it awaits approval.

Jenna and I tied for 1st place, although a minor error on her part on the last turn actually cost her some points, so it was really a victory for her as far as I'm concerned. Mary seemed to really enjoy the game too, which is very satisfying as her original response to the game was considerably cooler. I think she enjoys it more now that she is more comfortable with all the aspects of it and can just plan on a strategy instead of trying to remember how to play the thing. All in all, this was one of the highlights of the weekend for me.

Saturday my sister and her family arrived. After some lunch, shopping and chit chat, we sat down to play another awesome game of Colosseum. This game is continually a crowd pleaser and everyone was in it up to the final turn. My sister Jade ended up beating me by just a few points, but she had a good plan throughout the game and executed it perfectly. Ultimately the game came down to the Emperor being in her arena for the final show and not mine - which was only a few spaces away, just around the corner!

We had some unexpected company show up at dinner time and they ended staying late, so there was no big game, but Decio (my brother in law) and I managed to play 3 games of War & Sheep - a very underrated game on BGG if you ask me. This game has a lot of randomness to it from the deck of action cards, but the movement of the sheep and wolf is total strategy. I ended up with 2 victories to Decio's 1 and declared myself masterba aaaa aaa... um... the winner.

Sunday morning, Jade and I tried a game of Lord of the Rings - The Confrontation, something neither of us had played before. It was very interesting as the Sauron player has a completely different playing strategy than the Good player does. This one came down to the wire and Frodo made it to Mt. Doom just a few turns before the Shire was overrun.

Mid-day Sunday I convinced everyone to try another new game for us, Caylus. I had just played this the prior week at game night for the Central Valley Wargamers (The CVW) and I really enjoyed it. This was a good thing as the rulebook is a bit convoluted if you ask me and I was glad to have learned it the prior week. Teaching it to the family took about 20 minutes but I know it made more sense to them than the initial rule reading had made to me.

We jumped right in and played a couple of turns before everything became 2nd nature and then the strategies began becoming more and more obvious. Mary nailed this game as she had a lead from the midway point and never looked back. Even when she denied ending the game early from the provost moved back behind the bailiff every time on the last few turns, she STILL pulled ahead with continual points for more and more earned favors.

This one was a brain burner, but it is still very satisfying for a "Heavy" Eurogame - much like Die Macher is (which is another game I think they'd like).

Finally, we played a 6 player game of Citadels - this time with my daughter Kendra and my niece joining us. Kendra had several strong turns and quickly got to 8 districts ahead of everyone else. I think the next closest person only had 6 built. She also ended up having the most points and was happy to win the one game she played in all weekend.

The weekend was a tremendous amount of fun which is usually the case when my sister comes to visit. The kids get along great, the weather was perfect and the pool was warm. Having made gamers out of both my family and hers over the years, it was very satisfying to see that something I've always been passionate about has spread to the rest of the family and that they get as much enjoyment out of gaming now as I do.

Now to just get them interested in the German election process...


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