Boardgaming for Everyone!

Where Has the Time Gone? April 15, 2011

Filed under: What We're Playing — hoamer @ 9:12 AM

Our latest game play was a round of Risk.  Not one of the many new incarnations of Risk (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Godstorm, Black Ops…check them all out here), or even the regular board, but THE Risk.  The classic, vintage risk that my Dad and his brothers played when they were kids, circa 1959.  The pieces are wood, and not cut all to the same size.  The board is embellished with a jaunty whale and two smiling dolphins, and the back of the box shows one very happy middle class family having a go at the game.  (Pictures to come as soon as I get the board back out and aim a camera at it. It will give you a little laugh.)

How did it play?  Like Risk.  Plenty of gotchas and good-humored attacking, until one player was eliminated and the other two players, pieces huddled in small enclaves, conceded the game to the red swath covering the board.  Could we have gone on until there was a complete victory?  Sure.  But it was getting late, we all had to get up the next morning like responsible adults, and it’s just not as much fun to drag it out into a marathon session like we would have in our youth.  We kept it light. 

Sometimes, with all the amazing, complex, and strategic games out there, the back to basics are a great time.


Good Deal on Classic Games March 10, 2011

Filed under: What We're Playing — hoamer @ 12:23 PM

Okay, so I would really rather see you all playing great eurogames, BUT this is a pretty good deal on a package of classic boardgames.   Check it out from Hip2Save.  The deal from WalMart includes Clue, Sorry, Monopoly Deal and Scrabble Slam all packaged together for $10 (free shipping site to store, or $0.97 to your home).

We’ve been playing games lately, but I am ashamed to say that I just haven’t mustered up the get-go to write about them.  The one I’ve been most into these days is Founding Fathers.  We’ve played this two player and four player.  I enjoyed it as a two-player game, but thought the four-player was a little bogged down.  Nate and I would both like to try this three player and see if  that’s the magic number for a really good game.  Each player is trying to earn points by passing Constitutional articles, debating, and generally helping or obstructing the process of creating the Constitution through event actions on the delegate cards.  Every card has information about a particular founding father (we spent half the time in our first game reading and saying, “Hey, did you know…”).  Articles can be passed historically, with small or large state, Federalist or Anti-federalist leaning, or can be defeated.  There are many ways to earn points besides having delegates on the winning side of the article.  More to come on this game after we’ve given it a 3-player try.

Also in the game line-up lately: Ticket to Ride 7 Wonders, and one round of Conflict of Heroes (a game far more enjoyable to the boys than to me – I would far rather play Memoir 44).

Happy Gaming!


Games, Games, and More Games Reprisal February 4, 2011

Filed under: What We're Playing — hoamer @ 6:27 PM

     Finally!  A week has gone by, and I have a little time to sit down and tell you about our gaming weekend.  If you’ll remember, Friday night was a large group of adults and kids.  The evening was a fun time of fellowship and games for kids and grownups alike.  We ended up breaking into men’s and women’s tables to start out the evening.  The guys sat down to a two hour game of Power Grid, while the women played through two rounds of Incan Gold (interspersed with plenty of chatting).  Notably, one player in Incan Gold had a whopping 31 points worth of treasure that she lost to a hazard (don’t get too greedy!)  We lost a few couples after Power Grid ended, so we were able to combine into one table of 6 for two fun games of Seven Wonders.

     Saturday night was a smaller group (of both kids and adults).  We had a tasty dinner together, chatted for a bit, then got down to gaming.  We stuck to one table and eight player games, which can be hard to come by, but are lots of fun.  By request, we started with Robo Rally, a game whose rules seems complex, but which plays pretty easily.  There was lots of twirling, whirling, lasering, and starting over as everyone got the hang of moving their robots through a factory to gain flags for a win.

    Incan Gold made another appearance Saturday – it really is a great game to get new gamers going, and it’s a nice, light game to start an evening.  It’s fun to see which players press their luck at all costs, and who plays more conservatively.

     We wrapped up Saturday night with another good large-group game, Wits and Wagers.  This is a trivia game, but nothing like your usual trivia.  Winning the game depends upon betting the odds of a correct answer.  It’s a bit like Trivial Pursuit meets Balderdash, with betting thrown in.  All players write a numerical answer to a question (i.e. “In what year was the Eiffel Tower built), all answers are sorted from least to greatest, and players bet on the correct answer.  Depending on the location of the answer on the play board, correct bets get varying payouts.  This is a fantastic game for a group, and can be found at Target stores (and possibly Wal-Mart, alth0ugh I have not been able to verify that one).

    Thanks to all the couples and kids who got together to enjoy some games, and to the wonderful families who opened up their houses to the crowds!  It’s always a blast!


Games, Games, and More Games January 28, 2011

Filed under: What We're Playing — hoamer @ 2:24 PM

     We started our gaming weekend early by getting in a game of Vikings with our neighbors last night.  The components in Vikings are a lot of fun – how can anyone not like little wooden viking pieces!  We opted to add in the advanced components, and were all soundly walloped by Nate, who wasn’t afraid to lay down some cash early, and really got his rhythm down in this game (very important in Vikings).

     But that’s just the beginning of a busy gaming weekend!

     This evening, we will be gaming with a group of 12 adults (and 20 kids!  Wow!), some of whom are old pros, and some who are new to Euro-style games.  It’s always fun to introduce new games to new faces, but it can be a bit of a challenge with a group this large.  We want to try to keep as many people together tonight, so the plan is to split into two groups of six.  That is a challenge, too, since many Euro games cap out at 5 players (and more often, 4 players). 

     Here are our thoughts on what’s going into the game tub for tonight: Seven Wonders (plays up to 7), Around the World in 80 Days (although this one is sometimes a little harder for the newbie to grasp), Cable Car, Grenada, Incan Gold (fast and easy to pick up), Trans America, Winner’s Circle, Power Grid, Antike, and Chicago Express.  These represent a pretty good selection of mostly easier games that can accommodate 6 players at the table.

     We continue the gaming weekend Saturday night with another group of mostly new players, but this time will only have 8 adults (and 12 kids).  We’ll still have to split into two tables, but will have more options, since we’ll be able to pull out games for 4.  We had a request for Saturday evening, Robo Rally.  It’s a fun game, and basically pretty easy as far as mechanics, but the rules can be a little daunting to read and grasp. 

     I know I promised a blurb on how to start out in some of these games, and it is coming – really!  It’s in the works, as I continue to figure out how to make the most of the tools for the blog.  I want to really get more pictures in my posts, and that will take time for me to figure out!  Be patient and you will be rewarded.

     I’ll post pictures from our game nights as soon as the weekend winds down, so you can take a look at what we played!


A quick look at what we’re playing January 15, 2011

Filed under: What We're Playing — hoamer @ 9:13 PM
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Thursday night we sat down to play a couple of games, and I thought I’d share a little about one of  them with you.

We started the evening off with Roll Through the Ages , a quick civilization-building game.  We played this two-player, but it works equally well with up to four people.  Your goal in this game is to increase the number of cities in your civilization, develop nifty abilities (like farming and medicine) to help your civilization gain strength, and build wonders to increase the beauty of your lands.  And it’s all done with a roll of the dice and some good record-keeping.

In the box, you will find:

  • record keeping/score sheets
  • seven wooden dice
  • four goods and food peg boards
  • pegs
  • rules 

Here are the basics for play.  Roll the dice and assign the results to your record sheet; feed your people; grow your civilization.  Really.  It’s that easy.

Nate started out by developing agriculture and a quarry so that he could gather food and stone goods faster.  I took the path of early city building in order to roll more dice (and therefore get more of everything) sooner.  The early goods-developments really paid off for Nate, since he was able to buy much higher priced developments sooner and with more frequency.  Rolling more dice gave me plenty of people to assign, and had I concentrated more on building wonders, I may have ended the game with a better score.  I tried to do a little bit of everything, instead.  We both ended the game with 5 developments, but Nate’s were higher scoring advancements, and he had a better score for his wonders.  Sadly, because I was rolling more dice, I also had more  of a chance for disaster to strike, which equals minus points at the end of the game.  Nate beat me and it wasn’t even close.  Oh well!  I’ll know better next time.

Want to find out more about Roll Through the Ages?  Check it out on Board Game Geek.