Day 5- Wednesday, 14th January 2009

20 Jan

OK … holiday …

We’re staying at the usual house, which belongs to friends of my parents. As a child, I spent many happy holidays here as a guest. And some weird ones too. When we decided, three or four years ago, to hire a house for a couple of weeks, I thought of this. It’s got several advantages: it has lots of rooms with lots of beds, so we can have visitors; it’s central, with a good view of the beach from the living room; it’s got a fairly large (for here) garden, so the kids can run around and play; and it is by far the cheapest house in Lorne (traditionally a VERY expensive place to stay). Of course, there are disadvantages too: It’s on a steep, steep hill; the walls are not even remotely soundproof (sometimes I think they conduct sound!); and it’s just uncomfortable. But we can see the beach from the living room! And there’s a nice big table for games in between beach visits.

Fraser, as usual, is way ahead of me on the game count, but mine aren’t shabby either.

Played so far:

  • (Sunday) Pick Picknic – me, Fraser and Otto (her first game, we think). Otto was very good and scrupulously honest about blindly distributing the cubes, but not so good at getting stuff (heh) – she was too keen to play her foxes early. Final result was a win for me (58), followed by Fraser (53) and Otto (38).
  • (Sunday) Caylus Magna Carta – I have the only signed copy of this from the Esztergom Sacred Goose Festival. Yay, me. This was our first play,  and Fraser beat me 49:37. Initial feeling left me a little cold – I prefer “real” Caylus – but I suspect that this will play better with more than two, and where Fraser doesn’t dominate from the start – ours was a VERY one-sided game. Trading all my (craptastic) cards was a good move but I needed to do it about 5 turns before I actually did it … oops … Will definitely play again.
  • (Sunday) Mystery Rummy 2: What the Monkey Saw. Win for the good guy 116:107 (I think that’s the only time I’ve beaten Fraser at Mystery Rummy since he had it on heavy rotation at work). M. Dupin liked Fraser much more than he loves me, but the monkey liked me better. Yay, me.
  • (Monday) Blink – with Otto. She’s out of practice at this one but still managed to defeat me (playing 1-handed) in the first game. Yay, her!
  • (Monday) Once upon a time – we took this out to dinner with us. Again, it just doesn’t work as a game, but it is a nice activity and has definitely taught Otto a lot about narrative – she made up a meaningful story involving a King, an old woman and a ring. Then we made up some more stories together, which was nice.
  • (Monday) Agricola – because it was out (Otto had been playing with it). The last time I played Agricola, I think, was at Hanno’s place in Germany. This was my first game with an English language set – OMGexciting! 🙂 I thought Fraser dominated, which usually means the game is pretty close, but suggested that the bonus might do it for him – sure enough, he won 39:37 with a 2-point bonus. Sigh.

Tuesday was a hot hot hot day, so we staggered the beach trips to avoid the high UV time in the middle of the day (I realise that this may sound weird to non-Australians, but trust me, it is kind of necessary). What better way to spend the time between than with our traditional beach game …

  • (Tuesday) Puerto Rico. Melissa 44; Fraser 37; Biggie 45. Oops – I triggered end of game a round too early – I would have won by quite a lot if I’d had another round of shipping. Memo to self: When you have harbour and wharf, worry about nothing EXCEPT shipping.

Otto, meanwhile, wanted to play something else. Hence the threats: “I want to play it. Otherwise, I’ll go and play by myself.”

We thought you could make a whole range of threats like this:

  • “Give me all your money or I will give you all of mine!”
  • “Get out of the car or I will wash it for you!”
  • “Buy me some lunch or I will give you an ice cream!”

Instead, we played a grudge match:

  • (Tuesday) Puerto Rico. Melissa 65; Fraser 55; Biggie 51. I can retire for the year now.

We actually had a rules question come up – I thought wharf use was optional, but the rules read as though it isn’t. We got around it, but it was an interesting question.

Quote of the game: Fraser: “I’ll build whatever I damn well want.” He had 15 doubloons … he was right.

Then it was time for more sunscreen and back to the beach, followed by take away dinner and ice creams. Disappointment of the week was that the advertised cooking dough ice cream was not actually cookie dough ice cream but cookies n cream ice cream (which is good but not nearly as good as cookie dough ice cream would have been).

  • (Tuesday) Agricola – all K deck, all the time. This time, Fraser thrashed me 43:38. Big sigh.

Wednesday, my brother and niece arrived for a few days, not far ahead of a cool change. He was looking forward to a chance to try out some new games – or else he was being super tactful 🙂

  • (Wednesday) Blink – new for Dave. He won.
  • Agricola (Family game) – also new for Dave. Results Fraser 32, me 29, Dave 25. I really tanked. Ugh. More importantly, though, Dave not only “got it”, he enjoyed it too. Yay!

Then it was time to break out the big guns – the game I brought specifically for Dave.

  • Manimals Dinos. Fraser and I had played regular Manimals, but Dinos gave us a new slant on it. Dave won with 23 to my 21 and Fraser’s 10. Who knew that Triceratopses (Triceratopteri?) had beaks? And WTF is up with the dinosaur that is neither primarily herbiverous nor primarily carniverous. Was there really a balanced diet in the Triassic? (Confession: We really enjoyed playing this. I suspect it will come out again tonight. Hee.

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    Posted by on January 20, 2009 in children, family, grand plans, travel


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