Day 351 – I Want To Play A Game

15 – 100 Principles of Game Design

If you don’t know of the wealth of board games that exist beyond Risk, Stratego and Monopoly, you’re missing out on a lot of fun.

I have written about them often enough over the past year; almost every Wednesday some (variable) friends come over and we have some snacks, some dinner and some board games. Most of them have a strategic angle (the games), even when it’s just about building railway tracks. Some of them are collaborative. Some of them are really really tough.

It’s fun…

And inevitably it leads to making up of new house-rules and variants.
Or entirely new games essentially.
Continue reading Day 351 – I Want To Play A Game

Day 113 – Building Emp… Kingdoms

A very satisfying victory…

With a final score of 31-64-87, clearly my Kingdom was best. My strategy of racing to the finish was more effective than I had anticipated.

Setting up the Board
Setting up the Board

The goals of the game were somewhat conflicting this time around. On the one hand “Citizens” was encouraging building a single big settlement, whereas “Hermits” would have favoured many individual houses all over the board. I chose to go conservative with “Citizens” all over the centre of the board. This also left me enough room to maximize bonus points from the “Lords” goal on at least 2 of the quadrants.

Ken not-Duncan takes a Panorama
Ken not-Duncan takes a Panorama

I’m sure none of that meant anything to non-board-gamers.

I should arrange to convert a few more of my friends. They never like the idea of board games, until they actually play a few. And Risk or Monopoly don’t count. Those are dull!

I’ve seen people who claim not to like any games at all get hyper-competitive, before asking if they can come do it again sometime.

Nothing but Settlements as Far as the Lens can See
Nothing but Settlements as Far as the Lens can See

It can seem a bit daunting at first, but that’s just the first game, maybe the second… most of the games we have are actually fairly simple rules-wise. What’s complicated is the ways in which the rules interact, and the creative ways your friends will find to stab you in the back.

As I said…

It’s fun!

Day 107 – Post-Game Analysis

Last night the world returned to normal…
…we had a Wednesday for 4
…we had a cheese platter
…we had a dinner together
…we had a game of Trains
…Abbey fell asleep halfway through

Cheese and Fruit and Paste, Oh My!
Cheese and Fruit and Paste, Oh My!

Obviously, last week also had a Wednesday after Ken’s return from holidays, but that was mostly consumed with talk about said holiday. So this week felt more real than last week.

And with four it also feels a bit more real; Lexi came along as well… which was as well, because once dinner had been had, Abbey fell asleep on the lounge. If not for Lexi it would have been a one-on-one match of Trains between Ken and myself and that is just not as much fun.

Grey Geese in Glasses
Grey Geese in Glasses

We availed ourselves of the bounty of Ken’s travel; he brought back a goose in a bottle from the airport duty free. It was definitely good vodka, but I’m not sure if it was substantially better than Smirnoff Black. I must admit I am a little out of Vodka practice, so my taste buds may not have been as discerning as they could have been.

Cappuccino Crisp
Cappuccino Crisp

And as much as everyone else was enjoying the “New” Cappuccino Crisp chocolate, I was pretty certain myself that I had bought it at least once before. But why spoil the illusion by saying something? 🙂

I tried to restrain myself from having too much chocolate, or too much food, and in the end it looks like it might have been a successful tactic. Last night the scales only registered 1kg that hadn’t been there in the morning, which is not bad for a Wednesday.

G(ame) & T(ea)
G(ame) & T(ea)

I didn’t win the game.

This is after all Ticket to Ride. Ken always wins. (almost)

But it was a very enjoyable evening. And a tiring day all up.

Day 100 – Return to Tradition

Last night was the first Wednesday we had in five weeks. For some reason with Mr.Ken in Asia, the regular Wednesday Festivities just do not come together like they ought to.

This also means that this morning I am 1kg heavier than I should be. A few days will take care of that though.

Jade Egg for Luck
Jade Egg for Luck

Ken returned from Malaysia and Vietnam with some lucky gifts. Or I am choosing to interpret them as lucky, although there was some suggestion that Jade may instead be for wealth. I’ll happily take either if it works, or the Jade for its own sake if it doesn’t.

Apparently I have been brainwashed though, because at first the colour of the egg threw me. I was sure it was Jade, but it just wasn’t as green as I felt it should be. But the above colouring is the natural one, so I’ll assume that the Jade I’ve seen in the past has all been treated with something.

Jade Horse for Wealth
Jade Horse for Wealth

It may actually be that Jade is for wealth. The horse seems to have caught some money at least. 3,000 Dong which translates to about 15 cents. As you might imagine, Ken was a multi-millionaire while travelling.

What surprised me is that apparently it is quite easy to get by with English and gesturing in Malaysia. When Ken ran into trouble trying to get a “horse”, finding a specimen to point at and then explaining the size requirements in English was apparently a very effective combination.

A Game of Tsuro
A Game of Tsuro

But most importantly, the return of Wednesdays means the return of board games. We talked most of the evening about Ken’s travels, so we needed a nice quick game for the end of the evening.

Tsuro takes about 15-20 minutes for a full game with 3 players. It can accommodate up to 8 though.

Everybody starts at the edge of the board with their stone and gets three tiles with crisscrossing paths on them to start with.

A Clash of Stones
A Clash of Stones

As the game progresses you put down a tile each turn next to where your stone is, and then move them to the next edge along the newly created paths.

You may not cause your own stone to crash into the edge unless you have no other alternative.

When you hit the edge, you lose.

A Feast for Jerry
A Feast for Jerry

Which means that at the start of the game, everybody starts off doing their own thing at the edge, but as you get closer to others the tile placements get more sneaky and nasty.

The aim is to place a tile that moves you forward but crashes someone else into the edge of the board.

There are enough tiles in the game to fill all but one space on the board. This *almost* guarantees that there will be only one survivor.

Although, technically it is possible to finish an 8 player game in an 8-way-draw with all the players standing around the last remaining open spot in the middle of the board with no further tiles to play.

I don’t know what the odds of that outcome theoretically are… but I know Wednesdays, and I doubt it’ll ever actually happen.