Kitchen Table Games

Games I've played on my kitchen table
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My top games #28

Max Jamelli
United States
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#28 on my list - Carcassonne.

There was a time (2007) that Carcassonne was a top ten game for me. I wasn't a "new" gamer, but I had never played it before and when I did I was very impressed. The first thing Carc did for me was introduce me to the Meeple. What a fun component the meeple is! There are many varieties of the meeple, but I'm pretty sure he originated in the world of Carc.

Other games on my list that have meeples or versions of meeples -
Cuba (the worker meeple)
Stone Age (cave-meeples! My favorite by the way)
Vegas Showdown (population meeple)
Vikings (Vik-eeples!)
The Pillars of the Earth (worker meeples)

And so many more as well.

This is probably one of the more famous meeple pictures out there -- just awesome.

(credit Esa Kujala)
The one thing about Carcassonne that will always stick out to me is the rulebook. Carc is a fairly easy game. The toughest part is usually the farm scoring, but at it's core it's very simple. However, Carc is always the example I give to people when I tell them how awful I am at reading rules. I bought the game over Christmas break of 2007. I got it at a GO! Games store in Pittsburgh just after the holiday and got a good price on it. I went back to my in-laws house and opened it up. I struggle with rules so much, that I needed my brother in law to read and teach me how to play for the first time. Simple game, simple mechanics, struggling me.

I had always enjoyed the mechanics of "building the board" as you go along. I first encountered that with Tikal and since then many other games of that variety have appeared in my top games list. The base game comes with enough tiles to make a solid game, but the added tiles in expansions really made the game a lot better for me.

My favorite expansion has to be Carcassonne: Expansion 2 – Traders & Builders. I liked how it brought a sense of economics to the game, as well as gave people incentives to finish other people's cities. I thought that was a neat touch.

At first, Jen and her family liked the game. I think the added expansions drained us a little bit, and the fact that our table got too small for all the tiles. I rated, and still would rate, Carc as an 8. Jen gave it a 6 at last report - saying:

This game irritates me. I don't like building the board and moving it if it gets too close to the edge of the table.

United States
Gold Canyon
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I want to die peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather . . . not screaming and yelling like the passengers on his bus

gave some great advice about using a tablecloth and moving that as well as the tiles towards the middle, but we don't have a tablecloth big enough to fit a game on.

I have played a few rounds on BSW with my dad. He's not the best Carc player, and often I have to remind him of the rules when we do play, but he picks them back up pretty fast.

I wanted to bring up Days of Steam as well. I GM'ed the Days of Steam event at the WBC this past year. I had to re-learn the game in order to do so, but essentially DoS has taken the concept of Carc and created a pick up and delivery game. One big difference is that in DoS, you have a hand of 3 tiles to choose from. I like that and would be interested in seeing how that would change Carc if you played with that variant.

Currently I'm a Middle School Computer Arts teacher. Technically, I'm a long term sub, meaning I sub for the same teacher every day. I'm here until Thanksgiving. {hopefully} when I get a full time job I'd like to initiate a board game club. Carcassonne will definitely be one of the first games I teach because it's easy to teach and learn and one of the better gateway games out there.

Final Thoughts

I love Carc-art. I think it's awesome. I saw this picture and was floored:

(credit Henning Förthmann)

I found this back in 2008 and used it as my wallpaper at work. I had several co-workers ask me about what it was and where it was from. I never got to play a game with them, but it got them thinking at least.

(credit Christopher Taylor-Davies

Some of my other favorites:

The power grid guy with a meeple - brilliant!

(credit Franco Marchiori)

I just found this one actually -- this is incredible and underrated here. Give this man some thumbs.

(credit Rosco DuBellieu)
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