Looking through my game journal at the last week’s gaming …
Christmas Day – December 25th
- Sorts for Kids. Sorts did well in last year’s Boardgames Australia Best Australian Game award (I think it was a runner-up?) so when the children’s version came out we were keen to get a look, and picked up a copy for the kids for Christmas. Early thoughts: (1) the 7+ age range may be a touch on the low side; (2) it would be great for Out-of-school-hours care programs; (3) It’s still very good for the Bigster’s age group; (4) doesn’t work so well with groups of children and adults as the general knowledge questions are very simple; (5) earlier comments notwithstanding, it works well and deserves to do well.
- Once upon a Time. This is a classic but we hadn’t played it before. I picked it up because I thought it would be something that would work for both the girls. Otto paired up with me, as it happened. We all enjoyed it but at first check it seemed more of an activity than a game. Afterwards, Otto and I enjoyed dealing a hand and making up a story to match. Would it be more game-like with more people? We could see the, errm, Attribut-like potential already. I think I won every “game” that we played.
- Mystery Rummy 2: Murders in the Rue Morgue. This was a very generous gift from Eric Burgess, as I blogged already. “Go put it under the monkey” has now entered our vocabulary. Another fun game in this excellent series. I won by a smidge (107 to Fraser’s 104).
- Powerboats. After the kids were tucked up in bed, we felt it would be right to add a bit of meat to the day’s light gaming. This was one that I’d picked up in OMGESSEN! but never played; Fraser had, I think, played it at BGGcon. Assembling the board gave us a moment of stupidity, but then it was smooth sailing … for Fraser, at least. Note to self: This is NOT demolition derby!
Race A: Fraser wins by a lot, M sinks.
Race B: Fraser asks, “Did I get your dice?” ; Melissa comments, “Ooops I am going the wrong way!”; Melissa sinks again.
Race C: Melissa only has 1 speed; Fraser asks, “OMG what have I done?”; Melissa finally wins a game.
I will suck at this game forever, but it’s fun.
- Dominion. Why not finish Christmas with my latest addiction? We played 3 games with the same cardset, which meant I got better and Fraser got worse. He’s now declared the chapel a fun-murdering strategy and we are never to play with it again. I guess that’s a feature – there are enough cards that vetoing one type doesn’t really restrict your options.
Boxing Day – December 26th
We tempted Vince to come over and join us for dinner (leftovers) and some gaming.
- The 3 commandments. We started with this, another from my OMGESSEN! haul that was still in its shrink. Fraser in particular was very lukewarm about this – he really hates games with a “funny” component (the “sing gregorian chants” card in Mystery of the Abbey pretty much ensured that he would never play it again). We st uck to cards that actually described the layout and/or movement of pieces. With 3, it fell a bit flat, especially with a level of mistrust of the game (Fraser was very dubious about it and I think Vince was too). On the third round, I think we were starting to get the hang of it. Verdict was that it would be worth trying again (and probably would play better) with more players. Results: Fraser won; Vince and I tied for 2nd.
- Otto tore out the next page of my game journal and used it to record her online play of “Doras Sfari” with players Dora, Boots and a Witch. It’s hard to be annoyed when it was being put to its proper purpose.
- Sylla was our next game – Fraser and I had played it once before, and I played it last time we had games here. I think F may have played it at BGGcon too – anyway, we were still in the “exploring how the game works” phase. I feel pretty confident that I could teach this now. Once again, Vince invested heavily in Vestal Virgins. He used them (ka- ching) to go heavily after Res Publica tokens, finishing with more than twice as many as me or Fraser. I tried to resist this by dropping their value whenever I could, as I was well ahead on the straight VP track, but it wasn’t enough. Result: Vince 87; Melissa 77; Fraser 59.
- Palais Royale was our final game for the evening. For me, this is a very marginal title. I think it’s a very nice game, but I have others that are nice too. It reminds me a lot of Louis XIV, but I’d probably rather play Louis. Where I think it will shine is with less experienced gamers who might be overwhelmed by something like Louis – thinking, of course, of the Bigster here. Result Fraser 70; Melissa 63; Vince 62.
- Shirley Barber’s Fairies Go Fish! What would a Christmas break be without Fraser’s favourite game? Actually, this was one that we’d found while reorganising the game shelves, and Otto was keen to give it a try. She and the Bigster tied to win the first game; I won the second.
We discussed what to play next.
Melissa: Well, we could play the Donkey Poo game …
Otto: Yay! Donkey Poo!
- Lost Cities won out over donkey poo. Results: Fraser 150; Melissa 124. This despite a fairly massive recovery from me in the last round.
- With the Bigster back at the table, we agreed to a game of Settlers. Otto was my Special Helper and was also Keeper of the Tally. <maternal pride>She understood how the Tally worked straight away and even kept track of the 5s without being reminded </maternal pride>. as usual, there were some weirdly unbalanced die rolls – of 89 rolls (a long game), 3s were rolled 9 times. Results: Fraser 10; Melissa & Otto 8; Bigster 6.
There’s a gap in my life, or at least in my game journal, for a few days, before
- Mystery Rummy 1: Jack the Ripper. We found this when we reorganised the game shelves – in a box with the other card games we took to the beach last January. Oops! Fraser won this one convincingly (some would say, embarassingly), 136 to 59. Nuff said.
and now we come to the last day of the year. After the crazy year we’ve had, and with the Bigster about to go away for a few days (and therefore needing her rest), we decided to have a low-key evening at home, with just the 4 of us.
- Dora the Explorer’s My First Uno was the first game to come out after dinner. Fraser’s mad Swiping skills saw him win convincingly.
- Uno: Car go was the next game out. This is, as far as I can tell, normal Uno with round cards and a “travel pack” to stop them floating around. Fraser won the first game, I won the second. Then we packed the children off to bed.
- Le Havre was our choice to see in the new year. This was only my third full game of it, and Fraser’s ?fifth? – and I am ashamed to say we made a couple of mistakes, mainly because I relied on memory which was not a good thing to do. They hurt me than they hurt Fraser, but I still managed a convincing win 279:223. We paused half way through when we heard loud noises – “those are either fireworks or a thunderstorm” – to wish one another happiness for 2009. I need to play this more – those are still fairly woeful scores, I think.
And now, it’s 2009. Don’t tell the Bigster, but I think we might manage an Agricola for her today.