Writings about games and other stuff

A blog about my relationship with the gaming hobby and about living with depression. And probably about other things, too.

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Wonderful weekend at the summer place

Linda Stenström
Finland
Siuntio
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This weekend me and the husband went to our family summer place. We haven't been there at all this year, before this weekend, and I realised I really missed the place. It's a small cottage hidden away in the middle of nowhere. It's such a peaceful and beautiful place.



Isn't it wonderful?

Anyway, we went there on Friday evening and left on Sunday. We spent a lot of time tending to the place, cleaning, mowing grass etc. that needs to be done. But most importantly, we got to spend some time together. We have a good relationship, and we see each other every day, but even then spending a weekend like this does so much good both for the relationship and for yourself. There are no distractions like TV or computers at this summer place, so you really have to be present, not only physically, but mentally as well.

Of course, we got a chance to play some games, as there is not much else to do indoors. First we played a game that has been in our collection for I don't know how long, but we have never played before. This game was Shadows over Camelot: the Card Game, a co-op game where there might be a traitor among the players. We only tried it once, because it was pretty clear that even if you can play with only two players, this game would benefit from more players. There was not much of a game in it with only two.

After that we played a couple of rounds of Splendor. I can't remember whether I've written about this game before, but it's a really nice game. It's pretty quick and easy, and in my opinion very pretty. The object of the game is to buy cards in order to be able to buy more expensive cards, and the first player to reach a certain number of points wins.

For the rest of the evening we played Star Realms, which is probably my favourite game right now. It's a deck building game, but unlike Dominion etc, the point is not to collect victory points, but to destroy your opponents. We own all the available expansions for the game (I think), and we had those mixed in. We played a couple of games against each other, but then we decided to try the co-op challenges that come in some of the expansion packs. The challenges are really hard, but we agreed that is probably good, because then there is a replay value. No point in playing a challenge that you always beat easily.

So, that was my weekend. Hope you all have a good weekend too!

Also, I wanted to say that all the support and care I get from you people here warms my heart. Thank you all for your kind words. You know who you are.
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Mon Aug 31, 2015 7:29 pm
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Not so sure right now

Linda Stenström
Finland
Siuntio
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So, it's been a while. Everything's been good. My emotions have calmed down a bit, I don't really feel as strongly about leaving the meds as I did first. But it's been good.

Except now I'm not so sure. During this last week or so, it has felt as if I had a dark cloud in my chest. Just a feeling of anxiety or hopelessness, I don't know.

Maybe I should just go and see a doctor on Monday. But I keep thinking, everyone has bad days. Maybe it will pass? But what if it doesn't?
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Sat Aug 15, 2015 2:39 pm
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Situation update

Linda Stenström
Finland
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When was it that I wrote that long post? A couple of weeks ago, perhaps. Anyway, things are pretty good now.

The withdrawal symptoms are gone, I'm still happy and energetic, so I guess everythings as good as can be.

There's one thing I've noticed, though. It's a slight difference between the state I'm in now, and how I felt when I still took the medicines. It's as if I feel more emotions now, as if my emotions were, I can't even find the word to describe it, but as if I didn't really feel anything as strongly while I took the medicines.

It's a little surprising, but then again not. I've always been an emotional person. Kind of feels as if a part of me that has been sleeping, is waking up now.
I guess feeling very strongly was very difficult during my worst periods, because the bad feelings were so strong. But now it's just a relief to notice that this particular part of my personality is still there. A little scary that the medicines can make such things "go to sleep" like that...

I'm not sure I understand what I'm trying to write... Good thing if you do.
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Wed Jul 8, 2015 3:07 pm
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Things are getting better

Linda Stenström
Finland
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So, a little update since last weeks post.

As the title says, things are getting better. Haven't really had any symptoms at all for the last few days. And the last two nights I slept better than in ages.

Most of the symptoms were physical. Very annoying, yes, but not really that scary. The scary part were the emotional symptoms. But those have calmed down, too. I feel pretty stable right now. Of course I can't tell what the future will be like, but at least it feels like I will be OK without the meds. What I think is this. The meds gave me the energy I needed to fix things in my life. Once I had the energy, I've learned to deal with the challenges in life, and feel much more confident now. So I really think it's gonna be OK.

Also, I really have to show you guys something totally unrelated to this. I'm a huge Tigger-fan, and as a sort of tribute I did this:

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Mon Jun 29, 2015 3:52 pm
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Second try at getting off the meds

Linda Stenström
Finland
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I was a bit hesitant about writing about this. First I considered posting it on Facebook. But a lot of people I know, don't know about my depression. And to be honest, I'm not sure I want everyone to know. People are so prejudiced. I know there are people who would think I'm half-witted if they knew I have problems with my mental health.
Then I thought about writing here. Then again I thought no, this is a board gaming website, not a mental disorder forum. But I've written about my condition here before, and got so much wonderful response. And I really need to get this out of me. So, here we go. Bear with me.

For those who don't know what I'm going on about, a quick summary of the situation: I suffer from mental problems. I've had problems with anxiety pretty much my whole life, and at some point developed depression. And even if I knew in my heart that I wasn't OK, I kept fighting, trying to hide the truth from myself and everyone else.
A few years ago it all got too heavy. I desperately needed help. So I went to see a doctor, who sent me to a psychiatrist. I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety issues, and started taking SSRI-medication. Life got better, I was happier, felt more confident, and got the strength to deal with things. I didn't go to therapy, but I've seen my psychiatrist regularly. At some point he told me I'm pretty much symptom free. Even if I don't really think mental issues can be cured the same way as for example an infection, I was still as well as I could be, which was a relief. The doctor advised me to stop my medication at one point, which ended up in a disaster, and I continued taking the pills. So, that's what I've been sharing here so far. Read my older posts if you like.

So, now to the part I wanted to write about. Last time I tried to stop taking the medication, I kind of wanted to, but then again didn't. I did it anyway, and the symptoms I experienced where horrible. It felt like the anxiety came back a hundred times worse, I totally broke down.
Well, my doctor told me to continue the meds for a while, and my condition got stable pretty quick. But my doctor still had the opinion that I really should stop taking the pills, since I don't need them anymore. It's been over 18 months since that last try. Last time I saw my doctor, would it have been in February, he again told me that I was fine, and that he really recommended I stop the meds. I was hesitant, after my last experience I was kind of scared.

But I've been thinking about it. It would be nice to get off the meds. I was hesitant about taking them in the first place, and even if I didn't really want to stop taking them last time I tried, part of me still wanted to get rid of them.
So I've been thinking about this thing, and talking to friends who also suffer from these same things. And also, I've been reading a lot about it online. (I know one shouldn't take the Internet too seriously, but there's a lot of useful information out there, if one can sort it out from among all the c**p. And I am quite critical towards what I read online.)
I started realising my doctor probably was right. Since I was well, and had been so for so long, the meds didn't do anything for me anymore. So I started thinking about it. The logical thing to do would have been to make an appointment with my doctor and discuss the matter. But I didn't, I guess mainly because his office isn't exactly in the neighborhood. And also, his bills are a bit heavy on my wallet.
So I thought, I'll just wait till my next appointment, a few months shouldn't matter that much. I also considered stopping on my own, but since I knew it wasn't a good idea, I didn't. I felt I could have done it, I have that much experience of the meds now, but still, it's really not recommended.

One thing that's been on my mind a lot was the question of what really happened last time I tried to stop. I should have been fine, there should have been no problem at all. And it was horrible.
Well, after all my reading and discussing with friends, and just thinking about it, I started to realise some things. What I experienced, what felt like the condition hitting me a hundred times harder than it ever had before, was probably just withdrawal symptoms. It's a fact that SSRI-medication is addictive. I just didn't know how bad the symptoms would be. Also, even if I wanted to stop the medication, at the same time I didn't. The meds were not simply physically addictive, but mentally as well. I was scared of how I would survive without them. After all, the meds was what pulled me out of my misery.

One of the things I learned from my "research", was that the withdrawal symptoms of SSRI-medication, or at least the particular drug I've been taking, can be very severe. And the problem is, it's not a very well known problem. Patients who have experienced it, know it, of course, but from what I understand, there are a lot of doctors who are unaware or ignorant about this problem. Which of course leads to treating the symptoms wrong.
I was thinking of my case. If I had known what to expect, maybe I would have been able to suffer through the experience. The doctors who treated me then, well, to be honest, I'm not sure whether the knew enough about it either. Maybe putting me back on the meds was not the right thing to do. I don't know. But I've read stories much worse than mine.

Anyway, I decided I need to stop the meds. As I said before, I was kind of putting it of because of the doctors office being so far away, and bills, and other excuses... Well, even if I knew better what I could expect, it still scared me. But on the other hand, I started developing this aversion towards the meds. Something that causes such horrible symptoms, even if it helped me, is not something I want to have in my system unless really necessary. So I decided to contact my doctor. At some point. Just need to gather courage to deal with this...

Of course, life doesn't always work the way we plan. Neither did it in this case. Nothing dramatic, don't worry. It was just that it's summer. I don't know about elsewhere, but here in Finland, people kind of crawl out in the sun in the summer. People are happy and energetic. So am I. In the summer, we do things we might not do the rest of the year. Spend lots of time outdoor, go to places, simply do more stuff because there is the energy to do it. People are on vacation, most people have there vacation in July, but June is also an option, and I started my vacation in June. Out with work and regular life, in with doing all those things that don't seem to get done the rest of the year. And apparently, also, forgetting to take the meds.

I'm not generally sloppy, and I've taken care to take my pills every day. But now that I don't really need them, apparently I did forget. Several times I realised I hadn't taken the pill the day before, and even if I noticed it, I still didn't remember. At some point a couple of weeks ago I noticed I had forgotten the meds for like three days.
And I started considering. What if now is the time? Stopping the meds cold turkey isn't something one should do, I know that. When getting off the meds, the dose should gradually be lowered over a period of time.
But I did that the last time, and it didn't help. So I decided, now that I've forgotten the meds so much lately, why not stop altogether? I'm going to have to suffer through the withdrawal symptoms anyway. And now that I'm on vacation, I have time to deal with it. No need to go to work and keep up appearances.

So the decision was made. And for the record, I don't advice or recommend for anyone to do the same. Always consult your doctor first! Do as I say, not as I do.
This time I was prepared. I knew there was a huge risk of symptoms. But simply knowing what is going on can be a huge help. Last time, I didn't know, and the fear made the anxiety and the symptoms so much worse.

Soo... I've been off the meds for a couple of weeks now. I've had symptoms, but not as bad as I expected. Knowing what caused them also made it easier. Had I experienced the symptoms I've had, without knowing why, well that would have been scary.

In case you wonder what these symptoms are, that are so horrible, let me tell you. Not interested? I'll tell you anyway, because I kind of think it's important.
First there were headaches, nausea and fatigue. For a few days I felt really lightheaded, almost out of touch with reality. I also experience emotional extremes. I feel like crying for nothing, or I laugh hysterically. I guess I feel more sensitive and vulnerable than usual. I also have the brain zaps, that are really scary if you don't know what's happening. Feels like electric shocks in your brain, or something like that. Then there's the insomnia, which I'm not quite sure about. I often suffer from insomnia in the early summer, because of this midnight sun we have here. But usually I get used to it after a couple of weeks, so that it doesn't bother me this far into the summer anymore. So that might be a symptom. And then there was one symptom I wasn't prepared for. More research taught me that it is common enough, I just hadn't happened to read about it before. Fortunately I understood what caused it, because it was scary. I'll try to explain. It's happened a couple times, the second time was last night, but it passed much quicker this second time, thank goodness for that. Anyway, so I've had this insomnia, lying in bed simply unable to catch sleep. Then one night a few days ago, I started feeling like I was absolutely unable to be still in bed. It was not the usual tossing and turning, but an almost violent urge to move all the time. Almost like my whole body was crawling or something. Even if I was dead tired, I just had to turn, turn, turn, shake my arms and legs. I tried to be still, but I felt like a pressure in my chest, like my heart was going to explode if I didn't move. And I was simply unable to stay still, I shook my arms and legs involuntarily. Scary, don't you think? Well, it did pass. I got up, had a glass of water, walked around a little. I was so exhausted I just got back to bed, and waited for it to go away, which it did. I have no idea for how long this went on, it could have been ten minutes, it could have been an hour or more. But it sure felt like an eternity. Tonight it happened again. Now I recognised it, tried to stay in bed for a while, I was really tired. Got up after a while though, walked around in the apartment a little, drank a little water. It passed quicker this time, but it still wasn't very pleasant.

Why am I telling you this? I'm not sure myself, I just knew I needed to write this down.
I feel a little confused, not sure what to think of this myself. I know stopping the meds like I did is something one really shouldn't do, and I do have my doubts about whether it was the right decision. But the more I think of it, the more I just want to get it out of my system. I'm also wondering, how long will it take? Some of the symptoms are gone already, the headaches, dizziness and nausea. The emotional symptoms are still there, but getting better. I still feel very sensitive, but the hysterical laughing attacks are gone. The brain zaps are gone. But apparently, what I've been experiencing at night, whatever that might be called, isn't gone. But I guess it's comforting that it passed quicker last night than the first time.

I also find myself wondering, once the symptoms pass, will I feel the same as when I took the meds and was well? Or will I find that it affected me in some way I didn't notice, because before the meds it was a very long time since I had been really well? Time will show.

Also, I notice that the meds I at some point saw a rescue, now have gotten a status of some sort of poison in my mind. Can it really be healthy, if it affects you that much? I keep wondering, if, when I started taking the meds, I had known what I know now, would I have been as willing to start the medication? I don't exactly regret it, the medication did help me a lot after all. But I can't help wondering, could there have been some other way? Therapy perhaps? If a was in that same situation now, knowing what I know now, would I choose differently? I really don't know.

And lastly. From my research online, I learned that there really isn't enough knowledge about these things. A lot of people take these medicines, in a lot of cases for the wrong reasons I guess. I don't know what research has been done, but it seems that the side effects of these meds aren't well enough known. And, what I've experienced myself now, it seems there really isn't enough knowledge about the withdrawal symptoms, and the way the meds affect people. I think that's not how it should be.

If you managed to read this, thank you. I would love to hear your thoughts on this, since in my opinion, these are things that really should be lifted up and brought to awareness of people.

EDIT: Corrected some typos and other mistakes. Also, SSRI is short for Selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors. SSRI-meds are a common type of medicines used to treat depression and other mental disorders.
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Fri Jun 26, 2015 11:55 am
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Blog silence

Linda Stenström
Finland
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It's been a while again. I'm not good at updating a blog regularly... Besides, since Easter, I haven't played many games. There's no time, no one to play with... May is always busy at work, and now that I'm on vacation, everyone else is still at work. Boooring.

Maybe I'll write stupid stuff like this just to pass time.

I did start a new blog, in Finnish, about my nails. I'll celebrate if I can manage to keep up the interest in that for more than a week.
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Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:08 pm
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Games played during the Easter holidays 2015

Linda Stenström
Finland
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During the Easter holiday this year, I got to play a lot of games, both old and new to me.

On Friday I played Carcassonne: South Seas with my friend M. We played one game just the two of us, and for a second game, her 9-year old son joined us. I spend a lot of time with them, so it's fun to see him grow up. Not long ago we only played children's games with him, and now he's old enough to join in more difficult games.
Carcassonne: South Seas is one of the newer stand alone Carcassonne games, and a new favourite for us. It feels so fresh I guess, still being Carcassonne.

On Saturday we went to see my sister and her boyfriend. On the way there we stopped at the game store, but I already wrote another post about that. Sissy bought Blue Moon from us, and since her bf didn't know the game, we played one match to show him. During the evening we ended up playing four games total, so that all standard people decks were used once each. Blue Moon is a great card game for two players, and one of our favourites.

Most of the games we bought, we left in the car, but I grabbed Spot It! and Tenzi with me. Spot It! is by the way called Dobble here in Finland. Dobble is a fun little party game consisting of a deck of cards. On all the cards are various symbols/pictures, but any two cards always has one, and only one, symbol in common. There are rules for five mini games. In all of them the object is either to get rid of cards or collect cards by spotting that same symbol. It was really fun, and we ended up playing all five mini games several times with different people, with everything from two to five players. (Sissy and her bf had another friend over, too.)
We also tried Tenzi. It's not really much of a game. All players get ten dice each, and on the call of go, all players start rolling, putting aside and re-rolling their dice until they all show the same number. Fastest player wins. We played this two times, and I dare say it took less than a minute. But hey, the colours of the dice were so pretty, and I kind of collect dice, for no particular reason at all.

We also played two of sissy's games, Bohnanza and Kangaroo. Kangaroo is actually a kids' game, where you play cards to take kangaroos, but it's fun, and we played it twice. Bohnanza is an old favourite. I also own the game, and when me and the siblings were younger and spent more time at mum's place during the summers, we played it a lot. Now we played one three player game (sissy, hubby and me), and it was still great fun.

Then it was already late and time to go home. We still had like three bags of new games to open, and that of course, could not wait to Sunday.
Oh, and I almost forgot, before we went anywhere on Saturday, hubby and me played Can't Stop once. Classic dice game, which hubby ended up winning, because I couldn't stop rolling the dice when I should have.

On Sunday a friend, J, came over. Before he came, hubby and me tried Blue Moon Legends, which we bought to replace Blue Moon. It's really the same game, just more conveniently packed in one box instead of ten. The new card design is more clear, and the change to standard card size was welcome. But I have to admit we felt a little nostalgic about the old version with the big cards.

Well, then J arrived and it was time to start playing the new games. First in line was Orcs Orcs Orcs. The players stand in a tower in the middle of the game board, and orcs approach from all directions. There's a deck building system, much like in Dominion. You collect cards, and those are the cards you play with. On your turn, you either attack orcs, or learn new spells by picking up more cards for your deck. To win the game, you have to collect dead orcs. The orcs start out with different values, but if an orc comes too close to the tower and actually runs into it, the value of that kind of orc is decreased. It was a really fun game, and not like anything I have played before. OK, so there was that Dominion-like deck building, but it didn't feel like Dominion at all.

Next in line was Carcassonne: Gold Rush, the newest stand alone Carcassonne game. After going through the rules, we were a little afraid it would just be a re-themed version of basic Carcassonne, but we were proved wrong. The mountains, which seem to work much like cities, are actually very different. By placing your tent in a mountain, you can mine gold there, even if another player has a follower there. This allows players to take advatage of each others mountains in a kind of non-aggressive way. That has been a problem with the Carcassonne games, you can play aggressively and ruin features for other players, and there are even a few expansions that allow you to attack other players, but the all feel very aggressive. The mountains in Gold Rush allows for more player interaction with actually destroying things completely for others.

Next was Splendor, a game were you collect gem chips to buy cards, in order to buy more valuable cards. Easy, but very nice, and very beautiful.

Next in line was Escape: Zombie City. It's a real time game with a soundtrack that sets the time frame for the game. There are no game turns, instead all players just play as fast as they can. It's a co-op game, and the object is to explore the city to find certain items, then return to the start space and take the escape van to escape the city. Before you can escape, you need to find the exit, though. Also, twice during the game all players have to return to the start space in order to escape zombie attacks. Everything is done by rolling dice, and the soundtrack with ominous sounds tell you when the zombies attack. It was a hilarious, chaotic game, unlike anything else. (Space Alert also uses the soundtrack system, but otherwise they are nothing like each other.) We played Escape: Zombie City three times, it was so much fun. Also, a game never last more than fifteen minutes. If you haven't escaped by then, you lose the game.

J also brought a game, Love Letter. Both me and hubby had heard lots about it, so we were happy to try it. It's a very simple game, or so it seems... It consists of a deck of cards with numbers 1-8. All players are dealt one card, and on your turn you draw a card and discard a card. The object is to be the one with the highest value card when the game ends. Simple enough? Only all the cards have special powers, which for example forces other players to reveal their cards or drops them out of the game round. Not so simple anymore. One round, my starting card was the Princess, which is the highest value card in the game and therefore the card you want to have at the end. Drawing and discarding cards and just keeping the Princess seemed simple enough, only hubby and J of course played cards that made me reveal the Princess, and once the knew I had her, they tried to force me to discard her. I was lucky, I managed to keep her for the whole round and won.

Next was Eminent Domain. It felt a little like a mix between Dominion and Race for the Galaxy, yet nothing like them. The actions you choose to do, also determines what cards you get, which in turn affects what you can do later in the game. Very nice game.

The last game before J left was an older one, Discworld: Ankh-Morpork. J, who is a Discworld fan just like me, wanted to try it. In the beginning of the game all players are dealt a role, which they keep secret. The role determines the winning conditions for that player, which can be having majority in a certain amount of city districts, or having a certain amount of money. Therefore, the winning conditions for all players are different, and the game ends when a player has reached his goal. On your turn you play cards to spread your minions in the city, build houses, assassinate other players' minions, collect money etc., all to reach your personal goal. If you are too obvious with what you're doing, the other players will be able to guess which role you have and try to stop you. J managed to fool us big time. Both hubby and me thought he was going for majority in a number of districts, when actually he's goal was something else, I can't remember what. So we tried to stop him from reaching majority, and he did whatever was his goal and won. Discworld: Ankh-Morpork is a great game, and for me all the references to Terry Pratchett's works are so funny. I don't know though if the game would be as much fun for someone who doesn't really care about Discworld.

After J left, hubby and me played one last game, Carcassonne. We bought two new expansions, Hills and Sheep and The School, and we threw in both. The School is just two tiles, and it affects the scoring during a few turns in the beginning. Not that special, but a must-have for a collector. Hills and Sheep on the other hand was a nice surprise. Many of the Carcassonne expansions feel like someone has been trying too hard. There are lots of rules and lots of stuff, and it makes the game more complicated without really adding much fun or challenge. Well, Hills and Sheep sort of kept it simple. There were a few different aspects, all affecting the scoring, but the rules were simple and there was not too many new components.

On Sunday hubby and me played a few games, just the two of us. We tried one of the modules from the new Alhambra expansion, The Falconers. It seems to me The Falconers followed the trend of Hills and Sheep. Simpler than some of the previous expansions, still adding something to the game.

Then we played Splendor, and it worked just as well with only two players as it did with three.

Last game for the Easter Holidays was Chang Cheng, a game which has been in our collection for a long time, and never been played. It's even on our for sale list, because games that don't get played take up space for no reason. Well, we decided to give it a try. The players compete in building the Great Wall of China, earning points for having the majority in different regions within the wall, but also losing points for having majorities in regions outside the wall. It was a nice game, but it felt a little too abstract and dry for me. I don't know if it's just a phase I'm going through, but right now I don't want to play games that feel were abstract and still pretend to have a theme. But anyway, Chang Cheng was OK, and hubby liked it very much, so we might keep it.

That were the games for the Easter Holidays. A lot of fun new games, and a few old favourites. And I'm really happy that we managed to play all the new games and expansions we bought. My To Play-list is long enough as it is.
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Sun Apr 12, 2015 10:30 am
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The grief and relief of downsizing the collection

Linda Stenström
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As I have mentioned every now and then, we are trying to downsize our collection. We started the project last fall, and managed to sell some games. Now we sat down and looked through our collection again. Before we sold any games, we had over 500 items in the collection. We sold some, but bought some new. Right now, according to BGG, we have 463 games in our collection, of which 121 are expansions. That's a lot.

The reason we're downsizing is because several hundred games is a lot. It's too much. We don't have time to play them all, and we've run out of storage space ages ago.

But. Choosing which games to sell isn't easy. Most of the games aren't bad, we just don't have time to play them. Or we have several very similar games. And we are emotionally attached to many of the games. Putting them up for sell is sad. I think especially hubby would like to keep the collection huge, if we only had the storage space for that. And getting rid of games is sad for me, too. I've noticed something, though. I guess I have some OCD-like tendencies, I like things to be neat and in order. (I'm not saying I have OCD, that's a condition to be taken seriously, but I do certainly have some OCD tendencies.) Anyway, a huge collection is overwhelming. I can't keep it in order on the shelf, and even less in my head. Downsizing the collection is sort of a relief for me. It's more manageable, and not so stressful. And that I only realised once we started writing off games...
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Tue Apr 7, 2015 6:59 pm
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Quick post on nothing in particular

Linda Stenström
Finland
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I think we have set a record when it comes to playing new games. We bought eleven new games and expansions, and of those we have played ten. The last one I hope we will have time to play later today. We have played a lot of games during this Easter weekend, and I'm working on a post on my impressions of the games.
By the way, don't expect proper reviews from me. I like to write about my opinions on and impressions of games, but I'm not good at writing reviews in any language, not even Swedish.

Today I also tried to print the boards for FITS official expansion, but it didn't work. I got the boards printed in two or three different sizes, all wrong. Argh. I'll have to put hubby to work.

Also, I've been doing a little clean-up in my BGG collection, checking that all info is correct. That wasn't exactly a quick project. Apparently, I have over 600 items in my collection (owned games, played games, wishlist...)

And then, a dilemma. Z-Man seems to have released a second edition of Carcassonne. Should I get it or not? I kind of want it, but I already own Carcassonne...
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Mon Apr 6, 2015 12:50 pm
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Got rid of one game - bought a lot of new ones

Linda Stenström
Finland
Siuntio
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Keeping our collection down to reasonable numbers just seems to be impossible. Last fall we chose well over a hundred games from our collection that are up for sale, and as I wrote a couple of days ago, I did some spring cleaning and arranged the games that are left in a neater order in the shelves. Everything fit perfectly. Until we went shopping. Now it's a mess again...

But we actually managed to get rid of one game. We used to own Blue Moon and all the expansion decks for it. It's one of our favourite two-player games, but we decided to put it up for sale. The reason was Blue Moon Legends. I wanted Blue Moon Legends, but I couldn't buy it as long as we owned Blue Moon. We agreed with hubby that if we manage to sell away Blue Moon, then we can buy Blue Moon Legends.

So, yesterday we went to visit my sister and her boyfriend. Sissy asked me a while ago if we would be willing to sell Blue Moon, since it's one of her favourite games. And of course we would, that solved our Blue Moon Legends problem.
Our favourite game store, Lautapelit.fi, was one the way there, so we decided to go there and pick up the order we placed a couple of days ago. Problem with going to the actual store is that we always end up buying more games than we intended.

Therefore, we ended up getting rid of one game (Blue Moon + expansion decks), and getting something like three bags of new ones. What did we buy?

First of, Blue Moon Legends. It's basically Blue Moon, all in one box. But that was one of the reasons I wanted it. Storing and pulling out a game that is in ten different small boxes is difficult. Also, in Legends the rules are all in one place. Another reason I wanted Legends is that there are five promo cards for Blue Moon, of which we had one. The other four were more or less impossible to obtain. And these promos are included in Legends. When I opened Legends, I also noticed there's a difference in card size between the games. Blue Moon had big cards, Blue Moon Legends has standard size cards. That's a plus for Legends.

The other items in our original order that I had chosen were additions to game families I collect. There was the sixth expansion set for Alhambra, The Falconers. I have the previous expansions, and even if I don't even play Alhambra that often, this was a must-have. A quick look at the rules gave the impression that the modules in this expansion are simpler than in some of the previous expansions. In some expansions there are lots of rules and components and small details to remember, even though the expansions don't add that much depth or new aspects to the game. The Falconers seems to keep it simple.

Then there was three Carcassonne items. Carcassonne is my big love when it comes to board games. There was the new stand-alone game, Carcassonne: Gold Rush. Seems to be one of those games that has the Carcassonne feeling, still being different enough to be interesting. Second Carcassonne item was the new big expansion, Hills & Sheep. It seemed to follow the trend of The Falconers, keeping it simple. Last Carcassonne item was the mini expansion The School. I don't think it adds very much to the game play, but I wanted it because...Carcassonne. (Can you by the way imagine just how crazy it drives me to know that there are a bunch of mini expansions for Carcassonne that are pretty much impossible for me to get my hands on?)

Those were the games I had planned to buy. But going in to the game store is never that simple. I bought two more games, Spot It! and Tenzi. Tenzi isn't even much of a game, and hubby kept teasing me all day about how I made him pay almost 20 euros for a pack of dice. The rules are simple. The players get ten dice each. At the call of Go!, all players start rolling, putting aside and re-rolling their dice until all ten dice show the same number. Fastest to having the same number on all ten dice wins the game. Well, I saw the game first thing when we walked in to the store, and thought that I need those wonderfully coloured dice. Only afterwards did I realise it was actually a game and not just a pack of dice. Spot It! is a game I have played before. Me and hubby don't really like party games, and so we don't have many of them. A super easy and fast game like Spot It! is the perfect way for us to fill that gap in the collection.

Last of all, hubby chose four games. Eminent Domain, Orcs Orcs Orcs, Escape: Zombie City and Splendor. I haven't had time to look at those myself yet.

So now we have a lot of new games to play. A friend is coming over later today, hopefully we'll get the chance to play a few games.
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Sun Apr 5, 2015 11:21 am
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