Snow Continues to Fall in Sherwood

We are getting no relief here. We thought Sunday was crazy – about 10″ of snow followed by a hard crunchy shell of ice about 1″ thick. This is a photo of our composter on Sunday morning.

Composter on Sunday

We received about another 6″ overnight – here’s our composter this morning:

Composter on Monday

And the snow is still coming down…

Salishan Gaming 2008

I hosted what has become an annual gaming event at our Salishan home earlier
this month (read about 2005, early 2007, and late 2007) earlier this month. Doug (part 1, part 2, part 3, and part 4) and Mike (report 1, report 2, wrap-up) already did excellent writeups on the details – read below for photos and some color commentary.

The weather was spectacular with the usual variety of quiet sunny day to
raging rainstorms. Doug, JD, and I took some time out to walk on the beach and
get some nice sunset photos.

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The weekend kicked off with a game of After the Flood where I taught and schooled
Doug and Mike. One of my favorites from 2008 but I suspect it will be
difficult to get this out more than 1-2 times per year given the nature of the
game.

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Ironically enough (you know why I say ironically if you know the story behind
Martin Wallace and John Bohrer’s falling out) we played Age of Scheme (read Lorna’s commentary about our play). Decent game that
feels a bit like Wabash Cannonball but has enough distinct about it to make it
interesting. Don’t think I need to add it to my collection though, especially
if I get my hands on a copy of Chicago Express.

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Ken, Ben, and Doug played a very long game of Starcraft: the Boardgame. I need to get this
on the table again – Jacob even asked for this last night.

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One of the longer games scheduled for the weekend was
FAB:Bulge with Mike and Eric.
Turned out to not take as long as expected – I think this gave them time to
play Le Havre (pictured below).

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I taught Lorna, Ben, and Matt how to play After the Flood on Friday (the
report on Age of Scheme above by Lorna also includes comments on this game).

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While After the Flood happened, I played Le Havre with Ken and KC. We played
the short game but messed up the start, not giving us any of the required
starting materials. Talk about a slow, incredibly constrained game! We were
barely able to keep up with food production, let along build out our cities.

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One of the highlights for everyone was playing Battlestar Galactica. This is a game I
can’t wait to introduce to my family (Julie is a big BSG fan) – tense
cooperative gameplay at its best. Could this surpass Lord of the Rings as our
favorite co-op game? We’ll see…

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Ken Crangle made it for Saturday only but maximized his gaming experience,
walking through several of the Conflict of Heroes scenarios with Doug and
joining me for a great game of Battlestar Galactica on Saturday evening.

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Things wound down on Sunday and Ben took the opportunity to teach his new
prototype to KC and Rita. Looked big and fun – wish I knew more about it.

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I spent the morning doing laundry, cleaning, and playing
Indonesia! Despite messing up
a critical rule (we somehow forgot that adjacent crops to cities still need to
be transported via ship) we had a blast. I’m convinced this is a game that can
and should be played on standard Tuesday night gaming session.

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That’s it – heavy on photos, light on the writing but Doug and Mike covered
the details better than I could have. Thanks to all of my wonderful guests and
I look forward to a repeat in 2009.

Thanksgiving in Salishan

I’m back at Salishan this weekend – three trips in less than a month after not visiting for over two months! We had a great Thanksgiving weekend here with the grandparents. Julie and I spent Tuesday night before Thanksgiving in Newport using a free hotel night that was soon to expire. We had a nice dinner, a great run in the morning around the bay, and a nice walk through old town.

Chris and Julie in Newport

The weather was great on Wednesday so Jacob, Matthew, and David played 9 holes of golf in Agate Beach (Matthew won our game of Lone Wolf) and were treated to a beautiful sunset on the drive back to Salishan.

Sunset near Agate Beach

I also snapped a nice shot of the boys with grandpa.

Jacob, David, and Matthew near Agate Beach

One of the highlights of the weekend for me was a burrowing owl sighting on the main road of Salishan spit. The owl was very welcoming to me, allowing me to get within about 10 feet as I GI-crawled towards it.

Burrowing Owl

We had some great gaming as well, including a game of 18AL that was David’s indoctrination to 18XX. He also managed to win by about $40. He wasn’t so fond of Agricola, which we played on Saturday morning before driving back to Sherwood. David wasn’t quite so fond of Agricola. It can be a brutal game for newcomers and he never quite got control of the engine. Maybe I’ll talk him into another play some day…

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BGG.CON 2008 Wrapup

(Don’t forget to check out my 2007 BGG.CON wrap-up)

BGG.CON continues to impress and remains at the top of my list of conventions to travel to, surpassing Origins, Gen Con, and even Essen. Jim and I solved the food issue this year by always eating in at the hotel (despite many generous offers from those with vehicles!) and I fully expect to return next year.

Already Own and Thrilled I Do

Agricola – Deserves to be at the top of the geek. This will be the first longish game to make my dime list in a single year.

After the Flood – This will be the game to play with my wargaming buddies when we have three people.

Canal Mania – Evergreen game of canal building in the UK. A game I’m always willing to play and it gets better with time.

Dominion – How will this hold up over time? Reports are that it is showing its age and may lack replayability. I’m still having a ball playing it.

Race for the Galaxy – Renewed interest with the recent expansion will keep this in heavy rotation.

Games I Played and Must Own

Steam over Holland – Hard to come by but I’ll keep hoping.

Le Havre – I’m fairly certain this will get acquired soon – it should get more play this week at Mike’s and then this coming weekend at Salishan.

We the People – Technically I already have this on order (Washington’s War) – hopefully the new version holds up with this classic.

Chicago Express – High production quality combined with a solid game make this an easy decision.

Battle for Hill 218 – Great two player abstract? wargame? – who cares, this is a fun game.

Game I’ll Need to Try Again Before I Buy

Batavia – I’m worried that this is in the Thebes niche and won’t get played as much as it should.

Cities – Fun little game but will it grow old quickly?

Municipium – Just didn’t jump out at me and say “play me again!”

Games I’m Glad I Tried But Won’t Acquire

Toledo – Lighter Wallace fair but not distinct enough from other similar games to hold my interest.

Energie Poker – What can I say – I’m not a collector!

Wealth of Nations – There are better games in this genre.

Supernova – Partly because I’m not a big fan of multi-player sci-fi wargames, partly because there are better options out there when I feel like playing this sort of game.

Comuni – Reminds me of a slightly deeper version of In the Year of the Dragon, and neither one is up my alley.