Mark Jackson(gamemark)United States
TennesseeAm I a man or am I a muppet? If I'm a muppet then I'm a very manly muppet!
...and the boys & I got to have some serious gaming time (in addition to eating food that was bad for us & watching too much television.)
Showed up early for our local game stores Board Game Night (here's a shout-out to Crazy Squirrel Game Store in Fresno, CA!)... ended up teaching my 9 year old how to play Robo Rally on the store's old-skool WotC set. He loved it - makes me wonder if I shouldn't try to find him a copy of the newer version for his birthday later this year.
We then sat down with the store owners (hi, Jennifer & Scott) to teach them some games they were carrying but hadn't played. Gelini Nightlife was fun, as was Wacky Wacky West (we used my old-skool copy of Drunter & Druber) - I'll be curious to see if the graphics for the new version make it a little easier to see where the next tile has to be played.
We followed that up with a quick game of Tron: Light Cycles (know to mere mortals at Tsuro - still don't understand why the Disney people didn't license the game for Tron: Legacy)... and capped the afternoon off with playing a short game of PitchCar. (That's actually the first time I've played Carabande on a Pitchcar set - it's definitely lighter to cart around but that also means it slides about the table a little easier as well.)
Note: Crazy Squirrel Game Store is a great FLGS... if you're ever in the Central Valley, look them up!
My 5 year old (almost 6) has been wanting to try Star Wars: The Queen's Gambit... and this turned out to be the perfect day to teach him... the brothers took the Trade Federation & I was the given the "good guys." We played with the 4 player rules (we use a slightly modified turn sequence that doesn't let two alliance mates take turns one after the other) with me using two separate card hands.
While they managed to clear the Plains of Naboo of everything except a single Famba (ouch!), I knocked Darth Maul into the Generator Core w/out losing either Jedi. They simply ran out of time as they attempted to pump droids into the Palace to overwhelm me.
The verdict from the 5 year old? He loved it, but thought it was "long." (We even took a mid-game break to eat dinner & watch AFV.) The 9 year old didn't like that all the bonus cards got put under his little brothers stack (as per the rules).
The boys went to spend the night with a friend... so I had some friends of my own over to play games! (Thanks for indulging me, guys: Richard, Bernie & Darrell.)
The first one up was A la carte which I've played once before. The components of the newer version are fantastic - but the game still is an order of random with a side of random and extra random sauce. Not sure why it bothers me with this game when I'm a fan of things like König der Maulwürfel but it does. Still, had fun playing it.
We then played the oddest game of Industrial Waste I've ever played... 2 of us managed to get to the bottom right hand corner of the factory board (1 worker/20 Euro production) and I maxed out ALL of my tech options. Not surprisingly, I also won.
The new game for the evening was Uwe R's At the Gates of Loyang - which was a pleasant surprise. I'm not sure I'd play it with four players again - even with the nifty "only interact w/one other player" rule it still ran a bit long - but the game itself was solid and had lots of opportunities for creative play. I'd like to try it again with 2 players - I think that would be the sweet spot for me.
We ended the night with a 4 player run at a personal favorite, A Brief History of the World. I was last (though only 15 or so gold behind the leader) but had a delightful time playing. It's one of those games where you get to have really fun turns on your way to the end of the game... even if they don't add up to a win. (The other three players managed to finish extremely close - 2nd place was only 1 gold behind the leader... and 3rd place was just 2 gold behind him!)
My 9 year old has been begging to play Mutant Chronicles: Siege of the Citadel... and so Richard came back over on Sunday afternoon & we played 3 scenarios - currently, my 9 year old and his Cybertronic duo is stomping us. (What a great Ameritrash game... a neglected masterpiece!)
We then switched over to play Small World with the Small World: Tales and Legends deck - we chose the medium setting & found that it made for an interesting if swing-y run at the game. We were all sad that the Commando Leprechauns came out late in the game, however - we really wanted to see how that combo would work!
Finally, after dinner, I taught/schooled Richard in Saint Petersburg. The game has a definite learning curve - now he wants to try it with 3 players!
After homeschool work was done, I taught my 9 year old Ticket to Ride. He really liked that it was "fast" - and it was fun to show him at the end of the game that my last ticket was what won the game for me (if I'd booted it - a 20 pt run from the West Coast to the East Coast - he'd have won the game).
That night, I got to break out my newest acquisition: Space Hulk: Death Angel – The Card Game - I played two solo games and actually managed to win the second one, though I discovered the next day that I was missing some key rules and thus probably wouldn't have won. (BTW, the rulebook is atrociously organized - Universal Head has an excellent rewrite here on the Geek & there's a great thread about rules you might have missed that make learning the game MUCH easier.)
My 9 year old & I played Death Angel - losing, but having a great time. (He insisted we play again the next day and is trying to get my wife to play with us since she likes cooperative games.) The game, once we got the rules kinks worked out, does a great job of capturing the feel of the original Space Hulk in a card game format.