Alec Chapman(ALGO)United Kingdom
Let me tell you about my wife’s favourite games. I need not expound on her many virtues as a human being other than to point out that when I bought a microbadge about my relationship status I did not choose “married”, but “I’m in love!”
She’s a big Arkham Horror fan. This is a combination of liking co-operative gaming, dice rolling and fighting monsters as well as storytelling – hence the big love for this enormous game. We took it on our annual holiday a couple of years ago, played a fantastic victorious game while thunder and lightning tore up the sky outside the apartment, and later had a rare row over me attempting to enforce a rules interpretation with which she didn’t agree. Can’t even remember what it was now (probably had to do with investigator death), but the fact she cared enough to fight me on it proves this game’s a winner. Sadly, I have cooled a little on the experience because of the massive set up and playing time, but I’m starting to hanker after another battle with the Mythos now.
Eurorails. This was a big surprise, but a pleasant one, which takes advantage of her obsession with maps and non-confrontational gameplay. In Eurorails, you have a train and a wipe off (plastic based) crayon. Each turn you build track by actually drawing onto the board (shock horror to a large part of my psyche) and paying costs depending on where you have drawn (prices are different to cross rivers, build into mountains or towns etc). As you build, you are trying to build a continent spanning network of track to enable you to deliver goods for profit.
Two player Eurorails played nicely is a friendly race to £250,000,000 (or dollars or euros!). With the so called “honeymoon rules” designed for two competitive players it can get vicious and blocktastic. Epic playing time here, but tempered by a virtually immediate set up and optional faster trains. I got Empire Builder (i.e. North American Rails) as well for a little variety and was given the fantasy version Iron Dragon as a thank you for hosting the world’s first semi-co-operative pub quiz night at London On Board. I’m sorry to say I think Iron Dragon is the wrong side of arcane for us with its orcs and fictional location, but I may pick up British Rails at some point (after my 10x100 plays are done) to continue the love.
Code 777. Totally logic based, non-confrontational, brain melting fun. Through a series of standard questions you have to work out what the three numbers on your rack are based on what you can see on your opponent’s racks. She really likes it, I have to be in the mood for its virtually silent, thoughtful nature and it relies on all the questions being answered correctly or the whole thing falls down.
Of the games in the 10:100 list, she will only play Mah Jong and Mr Jack readily and perhaps Puzzle Strike or Small World if in the mood, but every game session is a pleasure in any case.
That said, I have an inkling she may play Twilight Struggle… nah, probably not.