Sunday, April 20, 2008

Clay & Rockets

Well, Game Day at the Marion Library went pretty well. Jenn and I had a nice time and saw lots of familiar faces and some new ones too!

Things started out small, so we gathered together who we had present for a quick game of "Hey! That's My Fish!", followed by the aforementioned Clay -O-Rama extravaganza. (photos forthcoming at some point) Lots of clay was tossed around and smushed and mushed, and in the end, everyone had a good time. Our friend, Adam, won the day with his large-mouthed Catmandu. This was the second in his streak of wins that day. (he had also won at HTMF! earlier).

During Clay-O-Rama, more gamers arrived, and our groups began to split. A quick game of "Mr. Jack", and then "Ticket to Ride: Marklin". I had heard good things about Marklin, so I gave it a shot. Similar in a lot of respects to "Ticket to Ride", but the map is of Germany, so I didn't know where the towns were. Plus the game adds passengers and freight to the mix, which give you more strategic options than regular TTR. A very good game, but not the one a newbie to TTR should start out with. I held my own, and didn't end up last in the point counts, but didn't win either. You can always tell a good game when you spend time thinking about what you could have done differently hours later. I definitely want to try "Ticket to Ride: Europe" now, and see what else I'm missing.

More games were played after a quick break for lunch, including Carcassone, Bohnanza, Ark of the Covenant, Thurn and Taxis and Starfarers of Catan, plus there was some definite jigsaw puzzle action going on as well. Starfarers was one of the games I had gotten for my birthday, and I hadn't had a chance to play it yet, so we broke it out.

If you haven't seen Starfarers of Catan, the game is very cool. The object of the game is to explore space to obtain more resources to build colonies on strange, new worlds. Plus, there are pirates to fight, icy wildernesses to conquer and strange, alien races to make trade deals with. And the plastic bits are cool. (Have I mentioned the bits yet?) Each player has thier own plastic rocketship that represents their fleet. As the game goes on, you add bits to the rocket to improve your ships: Boosters to increase speed, Cannons to fight pirates, Freight Rings to make trade easier. Plus, the rockets are also part of the game mechanics! To determine how far your ships can travel in a turn, you pick the rocket up, shake it, and look at the colored beads that line up in the little window on the bottom. Colored bead indicate how far the ships can travel, and a black bead indicates that something unexpected has happened (pirate attack, a chance to rescue a fellow space traveler, wily space merchants, etc)

The game was a lot of fun, though I got some rules wrong in my skim of them. (I had resources trading at 4:1 instead of 3:1, and Trade Goods at 4:1 instead of 2:1, plus we had players with no rockets on the board shaking their mothership to see if they had an encounter. (They don't have to do that), and some other things here and there) Altogether a good game, though, and Adam once again prevailed by a huge margin. I'll definitely play this again and again and will keep an eye out for a deal on the 5-6 player expansion set!

Overall a good day, with a bit of overindulgence on mexican food after we got home. (Ooof..) I was thankful that Jenn was there with me. She usually doesn't go to these events with me, but did this time and had a good time. I just enjoyed the fact that she was there with me, and we got to share the day together. Marriage is a pretty cool thing. I don't know how I lived before I met Jenn, I really don't.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Game Day Goodness!

Just a reminder of the CRGCON gameday event at the Marion Library this Saturday from 9:45am-4:15pm in meeting room A. For those of you who haven't been to any of these events, they involve a number of different games that spread across a broad spectrum of interests. And did I mention it is a FREE event? Lots of entertainment suitable for all ages, and it doesn't cost a dime! It will be a good time, and I hope to see lots of folks there! Remember, there will be Clay-O-Rama mayhem, as well as lots of other dice-rolling, card-flopping goodness. Game On, Dudes!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Sun, Fun and Hobbits

Today was a pretty good day. It was warm and sunny, so we got outside to conquer some things that needed doing (cleaning gutters, picking up sticks, etc), Moses got some walking done and I even got over to Wal-Mart to get some errands done. With a nice warm breeze coming in the windows this afternoon, I decided that while Jenn worked on her shop , I would play a solo game of Lord of the Rings, which I've mentioned before in my Top 5 Boardgames.

Since LotR is effectively a solitaire game played by a group, it isn't difficult to play solo. So, I set up the game with Frodo and Sam headed off to drop the Ring into Mt. Doom. Things went very smoothly as the hobbits crept through Moria without so much as causing the Balrog to turn over in his sleep. After recuperating in Lothlorien, the two then faced the perils of Helm's Deep. (I know that in the books and films, Frodo and Sam never came anywhere near Helm's Deep. However, they might have come that way if they had stuck with Aragorn and gone to Minas Tirith instead of heading off to Mordor.)

Helm's Deep proved very challenging, and as the Uruk-Hai attacked, the Eye of Sauron was drawn thither, and he moved quite a bit down the Corruption track toward the hobbits, and they, in turn, moved up the track towards the Dark Lord. But, a judicious allocation of resources allowed the hobbits to escape and venture on towards the Pass of Cirith Ungol and Shelob's Lair.

Things seemed promising as the hobbits encountered Faramir, gaining some aid from him and were guided on their way by the treacherous Gollum. However, it wasn't long before Sauron advanced even more, perhaps sensing the presence of the Ring nearing his realm. Sam, unable to take the strain, fell into darkness and was destroyed. Alone, Frodo moved onward, and though he gained more ground, was unable to recover from the loss of his faithful Sam. Shelob attacked and Frodo finally fell as well. Recovered by Gollum, the Ring quickly found its way back to its dark master.

And so, I lost. Made it nearly halfway through the Shelob's Lair board and onto Mordor. But, all in all, a good way to spend a quiet afternoon.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Love is Fleeting....

Poor penguins...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Games and Libraries, What Could Be Better?

Don't know what to do with yourself on the 19th of April? Like to play games? Then make sure to come down to the Marion Public Library for a CRGCon Game Day! We'll be playing games of all sorts from 9:45am-4:15pm in Meeting Room A, and we hope you can join us! This is a free event, and the whole family is welcome to join in! This month's game day will feature a session of Clay-O-Rama, where you make a monster out of clay to beat the stuffing out of other clay monsters. What could be cooler? Bring a game of your own to share, if you like!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008


This is a very cute image I found today on Boardgamegeek, which uses the pieces from "Hey, That's My Fish", which I bought a month or so ago. We've played it a lot with both adults and kids, and it has turned out to be a big winner. 2008

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