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Family Gaming

Games Played October 28, 2006

One key to happiness – GAMES

We managed to play only four games in October that counted in our family records. It was a very busy month for all of us, on other activities, and it felt good to get back together and play two games this weekend, anyway.

I have begun giving serious thought to the challenge of modifying our Eurogames that are mostly designed for 5 or 6 players, to allow simultaneous play by our 7 or 8 regular players. It is an intriguing issue.

This week, I brought out Around the World in 80 Days. With one simple modification, it worked perfectly for seven players, although it was designed for a maximum of six. It was Kassi’s first time to play this game, but she learns new games quickly, and she did well for a first time. I trailed the pack throughout the game, until the last turn, sometimes by as many as four cities. However, I drew some good event cards, as well as travel cards, so I was able to make a quick run at the end. I had hoped to do better than I did. I was holding an Elephant card and was ready to move from Bombay to Calcutta, but Sue’s play just before my turn resulted in her drawing the Storm event card, so I had to discard the Elephant card and take a full 12 days for that leg of the trip. It appeared that Katrina had it wrapped up, with a total of 76 days, after Sue finished with 80 and Joel with 79. But, I was able to use an event card on the last turn that brought me to London in 75 days. Joel had just played the Express Train event card, and I was holding the Princess card, which allowed my to use his played Express Train in my turn. That saved me just enough days to beat Katrina. Results: Me first (75 days); Katrina second (76); Joel third (79); Sue fourth (80); Kassi fifth; Mason sixth; Dan last. I believe this will definitely be a game we all play in the future.

As (almost) always, we played Bohnanza, although Natalia chose not to play this time. I had no idea who might win, since many stacks of gold looked similar in size, so I was very surprised to learn that I won by beating Joel and Dan by one gold. Results: Me first; Joel and Dan (tied) second; Kassi fourth; Sue and Katrina (tied fifth); Mason last.

We expect to play more games next weekend, and I hope to have at least one or two more modified for more players by then. It was an interesting month of gaming for the family – of the four games that counted in our records, Katrina won two and I won two. I still trail everyone badly in wins this year (at least Katrina, Mason, Sue, Dan, and Joel), but it feels good to be winning a few, although it’s late in the year. At least I wasn’t completely shut out of wins in 2006.

— Gerald … near Denver, Colorado
aka gamesgrandpa — A grandpa who is a mile high on gaming


October 30, 2006 Posted by | Games | 1 Comment

Games Played October 14, 2006

One key to happiness – GAMES

Mason and Kassi were not with us this weekend, and the rest of us had a busy morning visiting the Arborteum’s fall festival and pumpkin patch. We went to the Cavaliere home after lunch and played four games, before deciding we were tired and needed to go home.

We played Elfenland, first time with just four players. I do like this game, but could not get things arranged the way I needed them this time. Katrina scored very well in the first round, and no one caught up later. Results: Katrina first; Sue second; me third; Dan last.

Six of us played For Sale, and it was a close finish. Results: Joel first; Sue second; Dan third; Natalia, Katrina, and me (tied) last.

This was also the first time we played Station Master with just 5 players. That is a really neat game, with frequent (and often large) changes in scores. Sue was outstanding, finishing with a score of 337! Results: Sue first; me second; Joel third; Katrina fourth; Dan last.

The fourth game we played was Ticket to Ride. Joel really enjoys this game and always wants to play when Mason or someone else is not present for games, but he had some bad luck today. Results: Me first; Dan second; Sue and Katrina (tied) third; Joel last.

It was a fun day, although the results won’t count in our family gaming records. Sue and I will be out of town next weekend, so our next family gaming day should be October 28.

— Gerald … near Denver, Colorado
aka gamesgrandpa — A grandpa who is a mile high on gaming

October 16, 2006 Posted by | Games | Leave a comment

Games Played October 7, 2006

One key to happiness – GAMES

We only managed to play two games on Saturday, but still had fun. It was my birthday, so we all went out to eat some great Chinese food. When we came home, I performed a short magic show for the family (which Natalia and Joel enjoyed), opened my gifts, and then we played two games. My gifts included two new games – Hoity Toity and Dragon’s Gold. I’m looking forward to trying them both, but it will probably be at least three weeks before we get them out. Mason will not be with us next weekend, and the following weekend, Sue and I will be out of town.

First game we played was Bohnanza, with all eight of us. It was our typical fun trading game. It was an interesting finish, because Natalia did not do nearly as well as she usually does, and Katrina won the game, with Kassi second. That was really neat. Results: Katrina first; Kassi second; Joel, Dan, and Sue (tied) third; Mason and me (tied) sixth; Natalia last. For only her second game of Bohnanza, I believe Kassi has caught on to the game very well!

The other game we played was, naturally, Settlers of Catan. Katrina won both games we played today, which is much better than she has been doing lately. At the end of the game, she had nine points, including a VP card, but couldn’t build or upgrade anywhere. So, she bought a Development Card at the last moment of her turn, and it was another VP card! She has won this way more than once. Nice finish. Results: Katrina first; Dan and me (tied) second; Kassi and Sue (tied) fourth; Mason last. Poor Mason! Both times we’ve played this with Kassi, Mason has finished last, and it’s his favorite game, one he wins about half the time.

We won’t be playing games next weekend that count in our records, and won’t play at all the next weekend, so our next planned full family game day is October 28. I’m looking forward to it, and hope to maybe play one of the new games.

— Gerald … near Denver, Colorado
aka gamesgrandpa — A grandpa who is a mile high on gaming

October 9, 2006 Posted by | Games | Leave a comment

Games Played September 30, 2006

One key to happiness – GAMES

This was an unusual game day for us, but much fun. After we watched Joel’s last two flag football games for the season and ate great hamburgers at a Red Robin restaurant, we adjourned to the Cavaliere home for games. Mason surprised us by bringing and introducing his new girlfriend, Kassi. Kassi is a delightful person who fit right in with us all. The amazing news is that she knew what Settlers of Catan is and had even played a couple of games some time ago. Her brother really likes Settlers and had introduced her to it. Additionally, she is a great player of Nertz (her family, like ours, called this game by a different name, but the rules are essentially the same). Nertz, of course, is a favorite game of Natalia’s, so we played it to start the day. Since it was Kassi’s first time to play with us, we didn’t keep score, but she was certainly doing better than several of us.

Naturally, I had taken Settlers of Catan for game day, since it appears to be Mason’s favorite game. Kassi indicated that she didn’t remember the specifics of the game, but was willing to join in. Since it accommodates only 6 players, Joel volunteered to “help” Kassi re-learn the game, and they made a formidable team. In fact, they won the game! Results: Joel and Kassi (team) first; Dan second; Katrina third; me fourth; Sue fifth; Mason last. Poor Mason, playing his favorite game, lost badly to his girlfriend and Joel.

Next, we decided to try Bohnanza with eight players. It worked great. I know there must be a limit to the number of players in this game, but we haven’t hit it, yet. Kassi caught on quickly, very quickly. Results: Joel first; Mason and Kassi (tied) second; Dan, Sue, and me (tied) fourth; Natalia fifth; Katrina last (new low record score of 4, and she also held the previous low score of 5). Looks like Bohnanza will be a game we can all play together and enjoy very much.

Since we were on a roll, we decided to try another game with eight players – Trumpet. Again, the number of players worked fine, especially for a game designed for a maximum of six players. Kassi is a card player, so she had no trouble learning Trumpet, although she didn’t finish as well in this game as in the others. Results: Joel first (three games in a row today!); Sue second; Dan third; Natalia fourth; Mason fifth; me sixth; Kassi seventh; Katrina last (maybe Katrina was just being a good host today).

After Trumpet, Sue and I decided to call it a day. It was a lot of fun, and we look forward to including Kassi in more game days, if she is available. She is a natural game player.

— Gerald … near Denver, Colorado
aka gamesgrandpa — A grandpa who is a mile high on gaming

October 3, 2006 Posted by | Games | Leave a comment