The ManCabin v3.0
It's been three years in row, so I guess we've got something of an event on our hands. A little backstory; I was a non-traditional college student, going in at age thirty, so it was kind of a big deal for me and my family. Upon graduating with my undergrad in Anthropology, as a graduation present, my wife and daughter gave me a cabin for the weekend up in the Smoky Mountains for me and my buddies to geek out in. Very cool. Well a year later, and I subsequently plowed through my Master's in Education and graduated a second time, thus a second cabin! So once again we packed up the XBox360, a bunch o' boardgames, and a metric ton of food and drink and headed again into the mountains.
We had no celebratory reason this year, but we had to do it again! So most of the original crew, plus a few guest appearances made plans and got yet another cabin with the intent of enjoying good food, fine drink, and nothing but gaming. Of course this year we all pitched in, which was nice for me! The big joke this year was doing a schedule and a "sign up matrix", but all jokes aside, there were a bunch of games to be played. I think our headcount at its height was at ten? Understandably, the entire affair blew by rather quickly, so my memory's a tad suspect, I did keep some notes though, heh.
In the previous two years we took some liquor with us, sure, but also a keg (Harp both years I think). For the sake of calories, ahem, we tripled the Scotch and Bourbon allotment, and left the keg behind (though we still had beer mind you). For food we go all out, and this year was no different making sure steaks we're at the top of the list. Sadly though, we didn't do ribs, which I enjoy quite a bit. This year I was able to bring some of my homegrown peppers though to juice up a little homemade salsa, woohoo!
A stack o' games
You'll have to excuse the blurriness of my pics, I was using my phone because I forgot a proper camera! The above pile of games is just the tip of the iceberg too. We also brought along a host of RPG's, my XBox360 with a ton of music games, and even had a Wii thrown in there for good measure. Only two games come to mind that were missing to my lament; Shadows Over Camelot, and Last Night on Earth (with its expansion).
Wiht the pending release of the video game, plus all the teams I've been cranking out lately, we were in the mood for some serious Blood Bowl! We had a lot of gear on hand for some pure mayhem on the pitch and at one point we were sporting three games simultaneously. It was good because we had a few players who had never had a chance to play before, so they got to try their hands at it too. We had an obscene amount of teams on hand to pick from as well, I think we were pushing twenty completed teams out of the box.
I've only reported on this game once before, but man, if I knew it was this good, we would've been playing it much more all along. I can safely say that if this game wasn't the MVP of the weekend, it's near the tip of a top five list. We had a lot of people rotating in and out of this one, and many were still coming back for more.
I know I've posted a couple of times about this one. It's a fun game, a blast really, and I was really looking forward to it maxed out with eight player. Well, we did just that, but it wasn't the frenetic, zany fun I thought it might have been, too many players bogged it all down. There's a reason BBG suggests that it's best with four peeps.
Settlers of Catan
Well, if Galaxy Trucker wasn't quite first place, this one was. Oddly enough, there were a good number of people at the cabin who hadn't played this gem either. Like a knucklehead, after our last big game of Cities and Knights, I left all the pieces of one color behind, arrgh! We were only able to play five player games, but play them we did. The Settlers table was on fire, with many different players rotating in and out of this one too.
You can't have a gaming weekend without everyone's favorite Meeplecentric winner, Carcassonne! This game is pretty amazing, no matter how many times I play it, it stays awesome. It was Spiel des Jahres after all (so was Catan), with an incredibly easy learning curve, easy setup, and amazingly infinite replay value.
Ca$h 'n Gun$
And now for something completely different. Ca$h 'n Gun$ is just plain fun, that's all there is to it. You play gangsters/crooks/mobsters/whatever and your goal is to split up the loot after a heist, of course your number one negotiating tool is the pistolero. You have a deck of cards in front of you ranging from bluff to full auto, and on the count of three, you point your foam pistol at another player. Before the action cards are revealed you can choose to duck down or stay in the 'negotiation'. Whoever is left standing at the end of each round splits the pot evenly. At the end of the game, those who are left alive compare their fat stacks o' cash and the big winner is (obviously) the one with the most dough.
You can't have a trip to the Smokies without a bear sighting! This was taken off the back deck, but we saw this fellow early on walking about ten yards in front of our front door. Judging from the little log book left in the cabin, the last few families staying in the same place had also seen bears, multiple ones at times. Pretty cool...
That's a Wrap!
What a blast! I get in a lot of gaming, sure, but once a year I really look forward to this, I'm sure we'll continue the tradition next year. A lot of our gaming buddies who have moved on show up for it too, coming from many states away. What would I change for next year? I don't know, maybe less gaming and more hanging out, haha! I will say this, don't try to use Splenda as a substitute for sugar when making Sangria!
Like I said, I kept a tally of the games being played just for posterity. We played a ton of Rock Band, Rock Band 2, Guitar Hero World Tour, Wii Golf and the like, but I'm not counting those below. Here's the breakdown of what all went down:
Carcassonne: four plays
Munchkin: one play
Robo Rally: one play
Blood Bowl: three plays
Galaxy Trucker: six plays
Settlers of Catan: six plays
Red November: one play
Ca$h 'n Gun$: four plays