All Good Things Must Come to and End. In short, SIGH!
Training the Husband
I bought a few games to entice the husband to play more games. The first game I tried was Patchwork and instantly I knew that my plans were a mistake because he wiped the floor with me…twice!!! I shouldn’t be surprised because he’s a chess coach and abstract games would be his forte.
Next game we played was Roll Player. I wanted to play a good quick game before going to bed. Roll Player was a perfect choice. It’s an engaging dice rolling and card drafting game. The dice manipulation is pretty easy to understand but the choices can be pretty tough. You can choose to re-roll a die, change a 1 into a six, move a die from one slot to another and so on. But, you get to use each power twice (more with certain cards) so you have to be really wise with the choices you make. My husband loved it and won again! I’m sensing a pattern now.
Peloponnes was next on our list. It’s pretty easy to teach and learn but I soon realised that it wasn’t as good with two players because there’s less tension in terms of bidding for the tiles. I still do want to try the expansion in two-player mode just to see if there will be a big improvement in gameplay.
Now speaking of bidding, holy cow! Isle of Skye is da bomb! The auction was simple enough to follow – get rid of one tile and then set prices for the other tiles. This is particularly tricky because when your opponent chooses a tile whatever money is set for the remaining tile you lose. So you don’t want to be too greedy since it can bite you in the butt big time. Another thing that makes Isle of Skye so pleasurably challenging is that you have to take into consideration what’s going to score this round – it could be the number of sheep on your farms or the number of ships you own, and how you can balance getting what you want with blocking what your opponent needs. I don’t know why I let this game sit on my shelf that long!
Family Game Day
I made the suggestion to my husband to play more games together as a family. My son is a teenager now and like any teenager is on his computer all the time talking to his friends on discord. I just thought that setting aside a regular time and date where we sit around, as a family, to chat and have fun is important because my son is growing up so fast. Soon enough he’ll be out in the world living his own life and I don’t want to regret not spending more time with him.
I chose Azul for game day because I had been hearing and reading great reviews. The game did not disappoint! You don’t even have to try and make this game pretty in photographs. It’s just absolutely stunning. I’m not into abstracts but I didn’t mind the lack of theme in this one because you are engrossed in how tactical it is. It’s also very brutal because with the right moves you can force players to take tiles that will give them negative points. The game we played was tense. There was a lot of laughing and pointing when somebody was forced to take tiles they didn’t want. This was good since we all wanted to play it again because we wanted to do better than our first go. Scoring is a bit fiddly but after the first few turns you get the hang of it and can focus on planning for long term. This is an excellent game. One of the few abstracts I really really enjoy. It scales really well too. It was as good with two as with three players. I get why it’s sold out everywhere. Grab a copy as quick as you can. It’s sooo worth it.
The day I first fell in love with Pfister
I organised a game day with my friend who had been convincing me to try Great Western Trail and Mombasa since the beginning of time. I tend to get distracted by shiny new games and so I put these games at the bottom of my list. My God how stupid I was because Great Western Trail is so good that it killed one if not a few games on my top ten list. There really is nothing to criticise about this game. A follower on my Instagram feed described it as constructible free-form rondels, which is just absolutely perfect. This is what was beautiful about the game. You get to create this chain of actions up to Kansas and you have to do it as efficiently as possible. Your opponent also has the ability to put obstacles in your path and so you have to adjust your plans when that happens. It’s a worker placement game where you create the world that you play in. Absolute genius! I can’t wait to get my hands on Mombasa now.
We were playing in a boardgame café and so we ended up choosing a few games in their library. I’m glad we did because we ended up playing El Grande. One of the best, if not the best, area control games I’ve ever played. The rules are simple: most Meeples/Caballeros in an area wins, you play initiative cards that may or may not let you get more Meeples/Caballeros into your pool, then you choose from actions cards that may or may not mess with your opponents plans, and then you get to put Meeples/Caballeros onto the board. The most fun part of the game is the Castillo. You all get to drop Meeples into the Castillo and secretly choose where you want them to go. This brings a little bit of controlled chaos that makes the game all the more exciting. My friend was right. If games stick around for ages there’s a good reason why. It’s because they’re so good they stand the test of time. I can’t wait to play this again and discover the six expansions. (Of course, I bought the game immediately. I wouldn’t be true to myself if I did otherwise).
Before the day ended, we played to filler games that served their purpose. They were both quick, simple and fun and capped what was a great gaming day by ending on a whimsical note. First, was
Odin’s Ravens where we got to race across hills, valleys, rivers, mountains and plains and second was Guillotine where were got to chop off filthy nobles’ heads! Fantasy and macabre was a surprisingly joyful combination. I will really miss having these long game days when I go back to work the week after.
But, before I go into a bout of sadness, I do have a gaming convention I’m going to. More about this in my next post