Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mucho Weekly Gaming

Last night we didn't have a plan for our mid-week game, total gamer apathy. Andy didn't have anything lined up, Chri3' zombpocalypse pet project hasn't launched yet, and Chrispy was MIA. My big plan was to work on the garden when I got home, so I certainly didn't have anything ready either. In preparation for our annual gaming cabinfest, we decided to test drive a couple of games and brush up on some rusty ones we hadn't played in a while. What started as a night with zero planning turned into a super night of no less than four games.

First up was Martians!!! which is a game I've surprisingly played a lot with my daughter lately. We don't play with cards in our hand, but for the most part everything else is the same (we also play cooperatively). For last night's game we played competitively however, which looked to be more fun actually. The rules are quick to pick up, and we were rolling through Backwoods, USA in no time crunching the alien menace. It's a tile-laying game, which has one big drawback; you can dead-end yourselves and the board no longer expands. This happened very early in the game, and we only had seven tiles to work with. Since no new tiles were being laid down, resources like bullets and health weren't going to replenish. Consequently, martians don't spawn either (except on crop circles of which we had two), so the only end-game available to us was to see who could kill x30 martians first. It was rough, and we eventually called it since it was next to impossible to meet the high body count with so little visible tiles.

We next broke out a kid's game called Sherlock. It's a memory card game that won some parent's choice award at one point. You may remember me talking about it a while back when I bought some games for family game night. It's so funny to see adults play this game, our memory being whittle away so long ago. Andy and I were struggling, big time. Chri3 on the other hand had some mnemonic trickery up his sleeve and he was just blazing away. The nature of the game relies all on memory, so if you've got it, it should be no problem. There's is a subtle layer of strategy involved as well, so all in all, it's a great party game for all ages. Although Chri3 was rockin' the memory, his margin of victory was slight.

Next up was another kid's game, Duck Duck Bruce. It seems incredibly childish in scope, but this one is another great party game for all ages. For the record, I was horrible at it, I had all the worst luck and trailed both Andy and Chri3 in the points race by at least thirty. It's a greed game where you lay down cards, hoping to get the highest number (1-4) of each 'suit'. If you lay down doubles of the suit, you lose those cards, if the dog Bruce shows up, you lose the whole row, but can then try to steal cards from someone else. Trust me, it's fun.

After these we were warmed up and launched into the award-winning Dominion. Here's the last time we played it. What a fun game this one is. I know that's an obvious statement, but really, this is such a good game. It requires little to no prep, and by the second or third turn, you've not only got the hang of it, but you're planning strategies and really in the flow. Somehow I pulled out the win on this one, but Chri3 who had never played the game before came in a very close second. If you don't know about Dominion, check it out here.

Up next we need to refresh our memories on Small World, as well as really refresh our memories on Shadows Over Camelot. There's some other games we still need to test drive too; Martian Flux, Versus (I dont' think this is the name, but it's a card game pitting fictional and historical figures against one another in amusing situations), and another one Andy picked up whose name escapes me right now, but I think it was a story RPG.


  1. I picked up Axis and Allies Spring 1942 last week half price at Target and tried it with my father and brother in law. Little to complicated of a game for everyone to be trying to learn at once especially for peopl like my father in law who is not really a boardgame player.

  2. We played the Axis and Allies Anniversary edition a little while back, and it's learning curve was insanely high, even for veteran gamers at the table.

    Gaming with the fam can be pretty rewarding. Let me know if you have any better boardgame candidates.

  3. Sherlock was hard core. Chri3 had a handicap, though, as he was sober. I'm going to get that and DDB.

  4. Beth and I just ordered both of the Dominion expansions. Hopefully they'll be here soon and I can report on them