We started our hosting duties for summer 2021 at the start of July, hosting gaming-running-drinking friends from Oregon and Indiana. There’s so much to do here, rain or shine, that we probably averaged about a game played per day but still managed a variety of playings.
The repeat winner of the week was Fort, the cute deck building game that Greg got me as a gift last fall. This game shines with 3 or 4 players and consistently plays in about an hour. What makes this distinct from other deck builders is that the cards you don’t play on a given turn go into your “yard” and can be drafted away by your opponents. These are the friends you decided not to play with on that day… they can be fickle!
We played the light Stonemaier civilization game Tapestry with five players. After a 2-player play a few years ago with Jacob I was ho-hum on the game but it has grown on me. Small decision space on turns leads to fast play so very little downtime even with larger player counts.
I backed the Pax Renaissance 2nd Edition and Pax Viking kickstarters last year and we gave Pax Viking a run. Greg did a fine job teaching the game, though we had a few rules issues towards the end of the game so called it before a true finish. Like many Pax games, this one takes some patience in learning how to make the different choices work together. There are so many paths to success in this game, but I love the big sandbox to play in.
Greg and I have a tradition of playing Viticulture at least once per year and this was our final big game of the visit. We pulled out many of the expansion options: Tuscany board, Mamas and Papas (or Mamas and Mamas etc.), Patrons, and the Rhine Valley Visitors. This remains one of my top 5 games of all time.
Jim and family were able to stay for a few extra days so we had an open slot for a longer two player game. We thought about playing a wargame but instead opted for Fields of Arle, the very fine Rosenberg one- or two-player game. Jim played very well in his first go and came close to beating me.
We are in the midst of “wave 3” of visitors now, but now I’m looking forward most to Jacob and Kaitlin arriving next weekend. That means golf, water sports, beer tasting, and I’m sure lots of gaming. And our final guests will be Matthew and Lauren, a perfect bookend on our post-COVID lake summer.