Mark Johnson's occasional & opinionated podcast about family strategy boardgames

Thursday, November 16, 2006

I must be doing something right

My best chance for playing games with Molly is when she's bored, having exhausted all other options. That sounds bad, but when that happens she's not reduced to playing a boardgame with dad--she looks forward to it. She just looks forward to it after everything else falls through. :-) Hey, I'll take it. Recently her friends have been busy doing other things, so we've had several days over the past couple weeks where we've played some titles. Our existing wooden faves sitting on the table, Pylos and Diam, were recently joined by a couple more I ordered. Batik, another from Gigamic, is 80% placement strategy, 20% dexterity, an interesting combination. Also attractive and quick-playing, it was an instant hit. The other was Katamino, which is mostly a simple game wrapped around a nice set of pentominoes. After playing it with her for a while I could understand why it has stickers for various parent & educational awards.

That's all good enough, but I had to chuckle when she excitedly asked yesterday if the box received in the mail was a new game. Between being the game-order guy with my group and participating in math trades, there's a steady trickle of games coming and going around this house. She's never shown much interest in that before, but now she's excited by the prospect! (Ironically, this particular box wasn't a game, it was something I'd ordered for Christmas.)


P.S. Tonight we tried Alaska, an old Ravensburger title I'd picked up in a math trade earlier this year.

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Sunday, November 12, 2006

Not at BGG.con

Nope, I didn't make it back to BGG.con this year. I never manage to be a regular attendee of conventions--even though I've been to many of them once. Last year it was BGG.con, the year before was the Gathering, before that was Essen, and before that was Kublacon when Knizia was there. A few years prior I was lucky enough to go to Gulf Games. All of these have been great fun, and hopefully someday I'll return to a few of them. BGG.con, especially, has a lot of my local friends this year, plus lots more internet friends and listeners. Who knows? Maybe I'll make it back in 2007.

In the meantime, we're still playing games here on the home front. Friday night was SCB, and even with a small turnout of 3 gamers (others were at BGG.con!) we had a good time. In fact, 3-players doesn't restrict your game night at all, something I may bring up in a podcast. Better yet, my daughter Molly was excited that games were at our house, and played several light openers with us. I knew she'd ask for Cloud 9, a solid favorite, but we've played that a lot lately and I wanted to try something else. Looking over the shelves I spotted a couple more she'd learned in the past: Dancing Dice and Hick Hack in Gackelwack. To that I added Raj, which I think is fast fun with nice, plastic tiles.

Raj kind of underwhelmed her (it did with Sam when I tried it him, too), so I wonder why I keep hanging onto this one. I need them to try it with the full complement of players, so more people get zapped by ties. Dancing Dice, on the other hand, was a hit. Again. This one is definitely a keeper among dice games--we played again last night with just the family. Hick Hack was another good one, a title I hadn't touched in a couple years, probably. The more the merrier with this game.

Then it was time for just the grown-ups. We'd expected to have just 3 players, and picked two games that excel with that number: End of the Triumvirate and San Marco.

I've also played Dynasties a few times over a couple lunch hours at work. I think is a fantastic little 2-player gem. In fact, a podcast I should do in the future is one comparing three interesting 2-player games: Dynasties, Aton, and En Garde. All use pretty simple decks of numbered cards to very different, interesting ends. (I guess you could lump Lost Cities in there, but everyone knows that one. What about Clash of the Lightsabers, though?)


Friday, November 03, 2006

BGTG 65 - Oct 27, 2006 - Post-Essen Show (with Mike Siggins)

As promised, here's the post-Essen followup show. A few weeks ago I talked about the games I was interested in hearing more about at Essen. Now here's Mike Siggins, coming on the podcast to give BGTG listeners some firsthand accounts of his time at the fair, and impressions of some games. Be sure to also read Mike's column (the "Gamer's Notebook") at Funagain on the same subject.