Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Despite my best intentions, we have been unable to finish our AWI battle, so the battle report will have to wait.  Instead, this entry will be a short article describing our last monthly board game day.  On the first Sunday in June we played the following:

We got started with a four-player game of Tobago.  My friend Billy loaned me the game, so that I could learn it for game day.  I like the logic puzzle nature of the game, as players work collectively to determine the location of treasures on the island.  This mechanic is what sets this game apart, as I haven't seen anything quite like it before.  I played the game twice during the week with my sons, and from my three plays, I can say that I do like the game, but I probably won't be looking to pick it up.  The game is fairly light, the sort of fare I like to play with my family and folks that aren't hobby gamers.  But it has the rules complexity of a more middle-weight game.  This mismatch between the depth of play and the learning curve means it would not likely get played very often at my house.

I always bring my crokinole board and set it up, and it saw a number of plays throughout the day.  It's one of the Mayday Games boards, from their first shipment.  There were reports of some serious problems with the quality of these boards, but mine had no issues and I've been really happy with it.  As you can see from the picture, it's a game that can be enjoyed by all ages.  You can explain how to play in a few minutes, so it's also a great option for people who might be a bit daunted to learn a new strategy game.

I didn't have a chance to join the game of Lords of Vegas, but my sons said they quite enjoyed it.  I like dice games and area control mechanics, both featured in this one.  I will have to give it a try in the future.  The components looked to be very nice quality as well.


I forgot to take a photo of this game in progress.  It's a very light card game for 2-4 players.  The box claims it's for ages 13+, but I taught my eight-year-old nephew the game and he picked it up just fine.  The age range on the box probably has more to do with the avoiding entanglement with the CPSIA law than the complexity of the game.  It's a nice little filler and I like it best as a four-player partnership game.

This is a perennial favorite at game days.  Simple rules and engaging tactical play are what makes this game shine.  It also scales well, with an easy change of playable board area, for 2-4 players.  I'm tempted to pick up a copy of the newest printing by FFG, simply because of the peg-and-hole score tracks.  My only complaint about the game is how easy it is to accidentally shift the little cubes used to keep score in the original version.  Well, I suppose I also complain that the orange cube looks nothing like the orange color on the tiles, and the orange plastic peg in the new edition looks to be much better matched.  I'm slowly talking myself into a purchase here.

TTR is a family favorite.  I wasn't a part of this game, but in my most recent play I achieved something I've never done before.  I was able to use all my trains and managed to have them all in a continuous route.  We were playing the "Mega" game with the 1910 tickets.  I believe they decided to use the standard tickets plus the Mystery Express tickets for this game.

As I write this up, I see I had a day of pretty light games.  I'm quite fond of Yspahan, though I've played it more online at Yucata lately than over the board.  So it was a pleasure to roll some actual dice for a change.  I'm afraid I rather ran away with this game, but my opponents got a first-hand view of how to work the caravan for serious points.


I had not ever played this before.  It was a good way to end a day of gaming; chaotic, silly, and plenty of opportunity for screwing with other players.  There was a lot of laughter and half-earnest finger-pointing.  I was thinking whether I already had a game in my collection that fit into this category - perhaps Survive: Escape from Atlantis! though it's about twice as long in playing time.

It was a terrific day of gaming and my thanks to everyone who came and played.

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