No Rain

That’s what we’ve been hoping for… a break from the rain. Don’t get me wrong, I love winter storms on the coast but we’ve been itching to get outside to do some non-rainy activities. Looks like things might get better today as we could actually see the sunrise and it is looking like we’ll see some scattered showers but no continuous rain. The boys and I plan to play some basketball outdoors this morning after breakfast, and we have a low tide mid afternoon so it’s a perfect opportunity to drive down the coast and visit the Yaquina Head tide pools.

Weathervane

Yesterday was full of rain and wind so we stayed indoors most of the day. We did see the latest Harry Potter movie and had quite a good time. Very good effects and a good treatment of the story. Now I feel caught up enough to read the latest two books. One complaint – Emma Watson as Hermione. Was she intentionally over-acting to portray the high drama of an adolescent teenage girl, or is she just having troubles acting?

Before dinner last night we got in a few games of For Sale (thanks Yehuda for the last-minute recommendation to bring this out). David has spent a career in real estate so I thought this would be a good fit. He and Jan picked up on the rules quickly and had fun playing I think – this is definitely my favorite filler and intro game.

Playing For Sale

We might also try and fit in a game of Railroad Tycoon today in between b-ball and the tide pools. The boys are anxious to play Duel of Ages again but having lugged RR Tycoon out here I’d like to see it hit the table at least once.

Duel of Ages Expansions

OK, all you Duel of Ages experts out there - what expansion brings the most bang for the buck? Tom, you said in a review on BGG that people should buy the Masters Addendum if they buy only one expansion. You also said that (1-2 years earlier) about set 2! It looks like Set 2 contains additional platters, which I think is important for replayability and bigger setups. The Masters Addendum doesn't contain platters, right? So I'm leaning towards set 2. Thoughts?

Thanksgiving at Salishan

I worked a half day on Wednesday and we hit the road by about 2pm, arriving at the coast around 4pm. Surprisingly, we beat Jan and David here by about 30 minutes; they spent a decent amount of time shopping in the midst of their drive from PDX to the coast.

Last night the boys and I took a stab at Duel of Ages. I picked this one up from Doug and I thought it might hit a sweet spot with the boys. There are a few fiddly rules that we didn't get right until our second play today, but overall it was easy to dive right in and play. Matthew and I took on Jacob with four characters on a team. The luck went Jacob's way for the first 2/3 of the game and it looked like Jacob would run away with a victory. The dice started rolling our way and Matthew and I made an amazing comeback (we were down 3-1 I think), partly due to an ill-advised attack by Jacob which allowed us to tie the game just before time ran out. We entered sudden death and Matthew and I were able to advance one of our guardians to pull out the victory. The boys (and I) came away from the game eager to play again, and we were able to get in another play today with David.

Playing Duel of Ages

Before that play we tried a 6-player game of Pickomino (aka Heckmeck Am Bratwurmeck), a game Julie chose and brought home from Essen. This is a fun little press-your-luck dice and collection game that has a nice amount of take-that and we found to be quite enjoyable.

This afternoon we played 2v2 Duel of Ages with David and Matthew defeating Jacob and me soundly. We fixed a few of our mis-played rules this time around - we weren't doing separate rolls for damage, instead using the attack roll to also determine damage. Our fun didn't diminish at all in the second playing so now I suspect I'll need to anxiously go out and get all of the expansions. Where should I start?

Julie and Jan once again prepared a tasty Thanksgiving turkey with great side dishes. Extremely well timed as well, as we sat down just as half-time for the Cowboy game started. You'd think they had been trained by the Boni Maroni.

Preparing the Turkey

Jacob was checking out the weather outside to see if it was still raining, and noticed a salamander sitting in the pine needles just outside the window. He decided to venture out to bring him in out of the cold - he was quite sluggish as you might expect. Matthew of course had to wear it.

Matthew and the Salamander

Here he is on Jacob's hand.

Jacob and the Salamander

What to Bring to the Coast for Thanksgiving?

Tomorrow afternoon we'll load up the car and drive out to the coast for Thanksgiving weekend, which we'll spend with Jan and David. We'll be sure to get some gaming in, so it is time to decide what to load up in the crate. We have a decent selection of party games out there already, but I'm hoping to get in a few meatier games. Here's what I'm thinking:

  • Railroad Tycoon - the kids are loving this one as am I, and I think it will be an easy sell to get David to play this one.
  • Time's Up - a rematch! Maybe we'll switch teams up this time, as Julie and I won handily last time.
  • Lost Valley - I managed a few plays at BGG.CON but the boys haven't played it yet and I think they'll love it.
  • Cribbage - Jacob's been enjoying this one lately so why not run with it for a while?
  • Drive - Curious to see how this plays with four players.

Probably not worth trying to bring Indonesia, Antike, Caylus, or Byzantium though I'd love to play any of these over the weekend. Hmmm… Matthew did love Caylus, maybe I should reconsider.

I wish I had a decent football boardgame to bring out during the Cowboys game on Thursday. I've heard good things about Pizza Box Football but haven't tried it yet.

Any other suggestions?

Havoc Launch Party at Rainy Day Games

KC, Rita, and I held a Havoc launch event at our friendly local game store, Rainy Day Games. We did this on Sunday to kick off National Games Week. Turnout was, well, "meh" but we did have non-stop demos going on and it was fun to just hang out with friends (the Rudes, Loops, Deans's's).

KC Giving a Havoc Demo

We did a drawing at the end and give away a gift card for RDG and a copy of Havoc with all of the expansions. Steve Ellis, owner / manager of RDG, is such a nice guy and we always have great conversations about game industry trends, distribution, game store profitability, and more.

Ken, Brandon, and Jacob played some CribbGolf, a game I picked up at Goodwill earlier this year for $1.99. As Ken put it, "this is a great way to ruin cribbage." Oh well… maybe I spent too much.

CribbGolf

Steve showed a few of us how to play Tsuro, the new abstract release from WizKids. The production on this game is very nice, and the play isn't too bad either. It reminds me a bit of Metro but it plays quickly and should be a big hit for these guys.

Tsuro Closeup

What's amazing is the price-point on this game - about $25. Just goes to show how volume production can get the cost (and price) down on what looks to be a high quality game.