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Perhaps a new tradition? We'll see...

Last night Jacob, Matthew and I played our two favorite cooperative games (ok, our only two): Lord of the Rings and Vanished Planet.

Lord of the Rings ranks as one of our favorite family games, and is the game responsible for getting me back into the gaming hobby. It was a gift from Julie's brother for Christmas 2002, and after doing some searching on the web for this Knizia guy I eventually found BoardGameGeek and the rest is history.

Jacob, Matthew and I work our way through Shelob's lair.

We always play on the easy setting with Sauron starting as far away as possible. This session played very quickly with the fellowship racing to Mt. Doom and destroying the ring, matching our best ever score of 79.

Jacob requested that we play Vanished Planet, the cooperative game released in 2003. This game doesn't have the best reputation, but we quite like it. My biggest complaint is the fiddly nature of the game and lack of consistency in colors and symbols. A group that plans well together can outperform those that play this as multi-player solitaire.

Jacob, Matthew, and I try and save the universe from the creature.

In this session we were victorious, saving the universe with about 1-2 creature growths to spare. We only played with a single creature growth card in the event deck; next time we'll try 2 or 3.

Oh yeah, we finally broke out The Amazing Labyrinth last weekend. This is a classic Ravensburger game, and I wanted to teach Julie so that she could play it during the school gaming program at Archer Glen elementary. Lately they've been playing Blokus and The Legend of Landlock, so this should add some nice variety.

Matthew and I wait seemingly forever for Julie to get off the phone and make her move.

I like the game, though it is a bit long. Fortunately it is easy to shorten the game by using fewer treasures. Also, Julie had a problem in class with some students peeking ahead into their treasure stacks, so she will probably have players draw from a common pile the next time she plays. Then she can easily control the time as well by choosing a smaller target like 4 treasures.

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