Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Babies on the way

My wife is having a girl.
Alex, age 3, says she is having a boy baby.
Cori, age 2, says she is having a baby horsie.

I hope they're not too disappointed.

To Court A King - what's the value added?

I've been obsessing about To Court A King. Tom Lehmann's cute little dice-rolling game has been described by some as "Yahtzee:The Gathering," referencing seeking dice combinations and variable player powers. After playing it at Marty's, I've been looking over the excellent fan-created reference cards over at the BoardGameGeek.

The real question: do I buy it? I have been trying to describe it to my wife, but she's not all that interested. She's got a point - we already have Can't Stop, an excellent dice-rolling game that is easier to explain and shorter. The variable powers aren't much of a draw for her, but on the other hand, she hasn't played yet, so it may be a function of my poor descriptive skills.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Trip down to Marty's place

Marty Hoff had a get-together down in Clear Lake. Lee's folks came into town to help her with the girls, so after getting Cori settled in for a nap, I went and picked up Larry for a drive across town (70 miles roundtrip).

We stopped at Jack-In-The-Box first for sirloin burgers. I had coupons from an ad circular, so we saved enough to make them worth considering. It's definitely a higher quality meat in the burger, and I will definitely eat more sirloin burgers in the future.

Once we got to Marty's, Kevin Nunn, his wife Debra, another Debra, Larry, and I played Kevin's game The Great Migration. He's self-publishing it through A.P.E. Games, so I'll get a signed-and-numbered copy of it soon. Get your copy now before they're all gone - he's only printing 200 ever!

Hector, Larry, Gene, Lewis, and I played To Court The King. I mentioned this a few months ago... it's the Euro-remake of Yahtzee. I'm glad to have played this - you start with three dice and recruit peasants and noblemen to get more dice and get ways of changing the dice numbers, all in an attempt to roll at least 7 of a kind. I think it took a little too long as a 5-player game. Marty commented from the other table that it does make a nice 3 or 4, though. Larry flat-out didn't like it.

Lewis, Debra, and I played Attika, then Yspahan. I like Attika a lot, but Yspahan hasn't done it for me after several tries. The whole thing just doesn't gel.

Random observation: several of the folks at the gaming party are headed to the Boardgamegeek convention in Dallas in November. Maybe in a dozen years when the girls can come with me, it'd be a fun trip. As it stands, not so much.

After Yspahan wrapped up (Lewis crushed us), it was time to grab Larry from the Crokinole table and head home to get the girls to bed.

Larry and I enjoyed looking over Marty's game collection - he's got them on open shelves for an uncrowded feeling that is a nice mix between efficient storage and game display.

Ra and more Ra

  • Played Ra over at Larry's with Larry and his brother Phil. High scoring game, I won 76-56-56.
  • It ended up that Tim and RJ came over. That rocked. We played Puerto Rico (I won 49-47-35?) and Ra (I lost, 40-39-27).

Ra has the virtue of being an auction game that doesn't require much advance strategy, which means I don't have to do a lot of hand-wringing before bidding. It's back in print at a reasonable price, too, thanks to the good folks at Uberplay.

Mom and Grandparents visit

Cori turned two and we had a birthday party for her two weekends ago. Mom and her folks flew in from Iowa and Beth made it in for a few rounds of Skip-Bo. My thrift-store copy kept us entertained just fine. Lee's sister Laura and our nephews joined us to make Cheerio necklaces and eat cupcakes.

Grandma Blois made pillows for the girls with big photos of them on each (err, Alex got an Alex-pillow, and Cori got a Cori-pillow). The girls have slept with them every night after that, and they're a big hit during the day, too.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Chris has a board game party (retrospective)

Chris had a board game party a couple weeks ago.

I taught Nobody But Us Chickens to 5 other people. Played Ra with Ed and Larry and RJ. Taught David Blue Moon City. Played San Juan and Lord Of The Rings: The Confrontation with Larry.

This was a nice balance between teaching, learning new games, and enjoying old favorites. The only one that was new-ish to me was LotR: The Confrontation. It's rough stuff - the Fellowship of the Ring is trying to get Frodo to Mordor, and the bad guys are in the way. I've played it a few times and never seen the good guys win. I almost saw that happen once. I suspect that it requires a great deal of luck and skill to happen at all. Larry and I enjoyed playing it - it's like Stratego with all the tedium stripped out.

Chris has a wide range of people (old Rice U alumni, church friends, gaming buddies) who attend his parties, which takes a certain level of panache to pull off. Chris managed brilliantly, again. The fact that quite a few of his church friends are beautiful women doesn't hurt, either.