Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Motivational poster....

One of my favourite little quick card games is Circus Flohcati, not only because it's an easy-to-explain game of pushing your luck, but also because it retains some strategy in its quick play.  That, and it's easy enough for my 5-year-old nephew to play on his own and still win (he's a smart kid, now 6).

Yesterday my lovely sister made sure to remind me of all the games of "Fleas" that he beat me at last summer.  Someone please uninstall her Photoshop....

Click on the picture to see a bigger image of Alex rubbing it in

Monday, April 25, 2011

More images from upcoming 7 Wonders: Leaders....

The Geek points us to new images of cards and pieces from the upcoming expansion to my favourite game of 2010.  Take a look....

It's hard to say whether this will change the game all that much or bring a little more depth of strategy, but I'll probably pick it up anyways. We're still playing 7 Wonders and a little more variety sure wouldn't hurt.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

You tell me: Dominion Cornucopia preview....

Dale Yu, one of the lead developers of the Dominion series, has posted pics of the new cards on the Opinionated Gamers website. 

After looking at the deck, I know at least one player who will HATE them.  But she always plays a "few action cards, lots of treasure" strategy.  What do you think of the new cards?  Or do you even buy Dominion expansions anymore?  (Cuz if you don't have Prosperity, you sure are missing out....)

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

An apt description of Monopoly....

(Thanks to Tao of Gaming for the link....)

Dinosaur Comics, an online comic, nails this one on the head:
The object of Monopoly is to fully explore the sensations of boredom, sorrow and rage.  In this sense, EVERYONE's a winner, as it'll become clear in the first 30 minutes that you've lost, yet the game will grind on for hours and hours after that.  It is during this time that you will explore these emotions.  It is during this time that you will wonder what you did to deserve this. 

It is is during this time that you will begin to despise the Brothers Parker.
*snork*  I think I just sprayed coffee out my nose on the keyboard...

Monday, April 18, 2011

A day at the museum...

Okay, more like an hour and a half.  But we will definitely be back to the ROM (Royal Ontario Museum) in Toronto very soon!  What a spectacular display of wildlife, history, and geology and we didn't have time to see even half of it.  But I did manage to find very quickly the display of 'Chinese traditional toys and games' and was pretty excited. 

Oh, and they let you take pictures.  So here's a bunch! 

Figurines of characters playing Liubo, a ancient game whose rules are lost
Descriptions for some of the pieces

Drawings of people playing games

Chinese Chess (Xiangqi) and Mahjong

A board for a simple 'roll and move' game
2000-year old Go (Weiqi) pieces

Playing cards
Another beautifully-illustrated board for a 'roll and move' game

Friday, April 15, 2011

Brilliant marketing....

Days of Wonder never ceases to impress with their ongoing campaigns.  The videos to drum up excitement for Cargo Noir, the contest to invent a Ticket To Ride map...  They just always have something going for fans.

Well, a quick peek at the hidden pic on BGG or the creepy shadowy figure on the Small World page suggests another, darker expansion on the way.

Ok, I'll bite.  I'm excited.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Trolls or gangsters? Hmmmm....

Was in the FLGS last week and found myself staring at copies of Cargo Noir and Trollhalla.  And I was flummoxed (I know, good word, eh!)  Both are games of set collection and both have been described as great gateway games.  But Cargo Noir has had some negative reactions with the positive which has held me back whereas so far I have yet to hear dissenting opinions about the troll game.  Hmmmm...  That combined with the $10 dollar price difference (yes, I'm looking at you, Days of Wonder) may just sway me towards Trollhalla.  Anyone played either of these and wanna pipe in?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Not your mother's Monopoly....

The Geek is all abuzz over a certain Monopoly clone from the early 80s catered more to a demographic that I suppose I belong to.

I suppose the tacky stereotypes in Gay Monopoly would be pretty offensive if it hadn't been so obviously created by people were part of the club.  How can you tell?  Maybe it's the suggestive Tom of Finland artwork on the board.  Or maybe it's the fact that instead of The Parker Brothers, they called themselves The Parker Sisters.  Haha!  And the tokens crack me up, too...

Funniest comment on the Geek:
 Can merely looking at a boardgame make a person gay?

I can not speak to that particular matter. However, I do know that I played St. Petersburg once, and now all I do is bribe nobles, exploit the serfs, and finance opulent construction projects for the Czar. Then I merely saw a picture of Roads to Leningrad and felt inexorably compelled to lay siege to the city until the citizens resorted to cannibalism.

Don't get me started about the time I hovered my mouse over a religious website and became an omnipotent deity.
As always, games provide that often unnecessary reflection of real life...

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hive mind....

So the partner and I played tons of Hive last week on vacation.  It's portable and can be set up anywhere so it was perfect for the beach, the cafe, the bar, whatever.  But near the end of the week, Vince decided to ruin the game for me.  He observed that whoever places their queen bee first always seems to win as they can move their pieces first.  Sigh.  A few more rounds and we had confirmed that he was pretty much right.  At least for two fairly evenly balanced players (us) it was true.

After scouring the Geek, I found one variant suggested which balances out the players a little better.  The suggestion, which has been approved by the designer John Yianni, is to not allow either player to place the queen bee on their first move.  We'll have to try this as I'd hate to see this lovely game become a relic...

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

First Play: Mord Im Arosa...

Back for a day now and headed to the UW games night for the evening.  7 Wonders definitely got played.  A lot.  As well, I also participated in a 4-player game of Innovation.  I'm still not sure what I think of it.  I do know now that it needs to be played fast.  VERY fast.  Every 3 or 4-player game I've played so far has clocked in at about 90 minutes which is way too long but there has always been someone new to the game.  That and the math group tends to overanalyze their choices.  Just sayin'.  But I still wanna play it again and I guess that is a good sign.

The winner of the night for me, though, is a cute little dexterity-ish game about murders in a hotel.  In Mord Im Arosa, players place cubes in a hotel (tower) and try to listen to what level they drop to.  They then take turns revealing levels and trying to guess which opponents' cubes will be revealed there.  That's a bit of an oversimplification but the game really is pretty simple.  And silly.  But, boy, did the 6 of us "serious gamers" enjoy it!  It's quite nasty as you try and guess your opponent's pieces to cause them to gain unwanted points and by the end we were all very quiet listening to each cube fall and trying to locate exactly where they landed. 

A blast, an absolute blast, and a reminder to me that not every game I play has to be deep or elegantly designed or streamlined or loaded with different strategies.  It just has to be fun.  And that's really why we keep moving cubes and rolling dice and playing cards and counting scores, right?  Because it's supposed to be fun.  And this lovely game delivers that in spades.