Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
And then he goes on to apply that to ministry and proceeds to shine a bright light into the often dark & musty corners where our motivations hide. Like I said earlier, a MUST read.
“How much life insurance do you have?”
According to a recent blog by Seth Godin, Zig Ziglar liked to say that with that one question, you could tell if someone was a successful life insurance agent. “If they’re not willing to buy it with their own money, how can they honestly persuade someone else to do so?”
Godin went on to note that if you are in the music business, but you never buy tickets or downloads, can you really empathize with the people you’re selling to?
His favorite: If you work for a non-profit and you don’t give money to charity, what exactly are you doing in this job? “And the shame of it,” Godin adds, “is that this inaction on their part keeps them from experiencing the very emotion that they try so hard to sell.”
Monday, December 28, 2009
3. That parents with screaming kids will take them to Sunday School. Hot topic, hot topic, but pastors of the world, I got your back. Imagine if you were at work, in a cubicle and someone came over and said, “Hey, I’m going to sit my screaming 2 year old right here on your filing cabinet. He’s going to scream and throw whatever objects are within his grasp for the next 30 minutes while you work.”Posted using ShareThis
Friday, December 25, 2009
While they were there, the time came for her to give birth. She gave birth to a son, her firstborn. She wrapped him in a blanket and laid him in a manger, because there was no room in the hostel.There were sheepherders camping in the neighborhood. They had set night watches over their sheep. Suddenly, God's angel stood among them and God's glory blazed around them. They were terrified. The angel said, "Don't be afraid. I'm here to announce a great and joyful event that is meant for everybody, worldwide: A Savior has just been born in David's town, a Savior who is Messiah and Master. This is what you're to look for: a baby wrapped in a blanket and lying in a manger."
At once the angel was joined by a huge angelic choir singing God's praises:
Glory to God in the heavenly heights, Peace to all men and women on earth who please him.
As the angel choir withdrew into heaven, the sheepherders talked it over. "Let's get over to Bethlehem as fast as we can and see for ourselves what God has revealed to us." They left, running, and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in the manger. Seeing was believing. They told everyone they met what the angels had said about this child. All who heard the sheepherders were impressed.
Mary kept all these things to herself, holding them dear, deep within herself. The sheepherders returned and let loose, glorifying and praising God for everything they had heard and seen. It turned out exactly the way they'd been told!
from Luke 2 (The Message)
Monday, December 21, 2009
- Ark (Rio Grande) - not really a kid's game (despite the charming art)... this is a card placement game where you are one of Noah's helpers trying to load the ark so that the wrong animals don't get put in the same cabin. I'm a big fan of this game & think it got sadly overlooked a few years back when it was released. $14.03 is a nice price... and the Ark Extra Mix expansion is only $3.99 with Prime shipping as well! (I haven't reviewed this game... but I'd be honored to teach it to anyone who asks. You could also read Susan L's excellent review.)
- Can You See What I See? (Gamewright) - a game for the preschoolers in your house... this is a sturdy & enjoyable bingo-ish game that has inspired deep love in my 4 year old. $15.00 is a good price. (Read my review!)
- Dancing Dice (Mayfair) - as long as you have family members/friends who don't cheat (there's a lot of hidden actions taken in this game), this is a very fun dice game about marathon dancing that's actually more enjoyable with more players! You'll need a big stocking to fit it in, but it's a big deal at only $10! (I haven't reviewed this game - but I really like it, as does my lovely wife, Shari - the non-gamer in the family. You can read Eric V's review, though.)
- Duck Duck Bruce (Gamewright) - originally published in Germany as "Kleine Fische", (Little Fish), this is a great push-your-luck game that works with kids as young as four & has whimsical duck/dog art to make it even more enjoyable. Well worth $9.55... and you can find this even cheaper sometimes in Target or other stores that carry Gamewright card games. (Read my review!)
- Ka-Ching! (Gamewright) - originally released in Germany as "Combit", I like this less abstract version better. It's a two-player game of investment chicken... not so much for the kids but great for ages 10+ who like quick-moving but think-y games. The price is right, too - $8.97. (I haven't reviewed this... but I'd be happy to get a copy for Christmas! Meanwhile, read Tom Vasel's review.)
- Keep It Steady (Haba) - better known by the German name (Zitternix), this is a very clever game of vertical Pick-Up-Stix. A favorite with adults & kids... $17.00. (I haven't reviewed Zitternix, but I'm very glad I own a copy - thanks to Dave Vander Ark for showing it to me originally!)
- Pig Pile (R&R Games) - it's lighter than air & extremely silly (you keep score with plastic piggies!) but it's become a family favorite in the "better than Uno" light card game genre. A bit pricey at $20.54 but it can be there by Christmas! (I haven't reviewed this game - I've just been playing it consistently since it was released. Neil Thomson has a nice review of it on the Geek.)
- Pirate's Blast (Haba) - another game possibly better known by the German title (Das Schwarze Pirat: Das Duell). Translated, that's "The Black Pirate: The Duel" and it's a two-player version of the award-winning "The Black Pirate" game. This is a dexterity game of sorts - where two players use air pumps to blow their ships about the table... and fire on them with tiny wooden cannons! This is a STEAL at $12.97! (Read my review!)
- Pocket Battles: Celts vs. Romans (Z-Man Games) - the first in a planned series of small tile-based 30 minute wargames, this is the only stocking stuffer on the list that I haven't played. I want to - a lot - but it just came out. It would be a treat for any gamer on your list - for example, me! $15.00 is a little higher than you see it in the standard online gaming locations - but Amazon Prime = free 2 day shipping, so it pretty much evens out. (Of course, I haven't reviewed it... but Mike Siggins has.)
- The Suitcase Detectives (Haba) - a clever & creatively designed smuggling game... can you find the stolen items?! A great deal at $14.54! (Read my review!)
Friday, December 18, 2009
- I really, really am tempted to buy Small World in order to buy the expansions... I have a serious expansion fever problem.
- I'm curious - for those of us who are not fans of Ticket to Ride: Europe (but love the original game), is the 1912 expansion worth the money?
- Didn't know that Trendy had been reprinted as Horse Fair... you should go buy this game immediately.
- I'll 2nd & 3rd Eric's suggestion of Wits & Wagers (and Say Anything!) as great party games.
- Eric mentioned Ring-O Flamingo... I'll be doing a review of the game later this weekend. Short preview: my review is positive.
- Finally, where we disagree: Monopoly is NOT tedious unless the players make it that way.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
- taking pictures of Braeden & Shari riding Dumbo from the elephant in front of them - which is almost a perfect echo of a picture my dad took of my mom & me 40 years ago
- riding Heimlich's Chew Chew Train enough times that we memorized all the dialogue... (btw, one of the downsides of low crowds - if your kid likes a ride, you're going to get to see a lot of it)
- Braeden getting his picture taken with Mickey... and as he left, turning around & running back to hug him and tell him, "I love you, Mickey."
- designer: Brigitte Pokornik
- publisher: Haba
- date: 2009
- BoardGameGeek rank/rating: not ranked/4.33
- age: 6+
- # of players: 1-4
- print status: in print
- cost: $21.59 (maukilo.com)
My feelings about this game have been a veritable roller coaster of highs & lows:
- LOW (looking at the cover when Haba shipped it to me) - who in the world OK'd the English name? Maybe it's me, but it just sounds wrong. (Though not as wrong as Pocket Rockets - which actually sounds like a decent kids game but won't be entering my house because I don't want to have to keep my boys from loudly talking about their "pocket rockets" and not realize what kind of problems they're causing me & their mother.)
- HIGH (opening the box for the first time) - the cow is very, very cute & well-made. The tiles are thick & chunky... and there's a wooden fork in here! As usual, excellent components from Haba.
- LOW (after our first play) - did we do something wrong? Why wasn't this any fun? The idea seemed promising... but our first play left us cold.
- HIGH (after playing with our problem "fixed") - Aha! The primary audience for this game is kids... this is a dexterity game that little guys (for example, my 4 year old) can play.
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
- designer: Wolfgang Dirscherl
- publisher: Haba
- date: 2008
- BoardGameGeek rank/rating: not ranked/5.36
- age: 7+
- # of players: 2-4
- print status: in print
- cost: $28.79 (maukilo.com)
BTW, these are not your average kids game poker chips - or even the nicer Hasbro/Avalon Hill chips that you find in Vegas Showdown and Axis & Allies: D-Day. These are the real deal - they've got weight/heft (or whatever poker players like to say about good chips) and are custom printed for this game. (How do I know they're custom printed? I'm guessing not too many standard poker chip sets include a dog poop chip.)
The game itself is a race game (be the first to zoom across the board) powered by a push-your-luck mechanic. The first player (which rotates each turn) rolls two dice that tell the dogs (aka "players") what the prizes will be for this round. It's either a number of spaces or a golden bone... and there are golden bones scattered along the track.
Then the players reach into their bag & grab (sight unseen) one of their chips. They are revealed... and then the game begins in earnest! The players must now decide if they will:
- reach into their bag & fake drawing out a chip (in other words, choosing to stand with the number on their chip) OR
- reach into their bag & draw out another chip
Those next chips (or empty hands) are revealed... and the process is repeated until all of the players have stopped drawing chips... or found their dog poop tile. (Finding doo-doo puts you in deep doo-doo, at least for that round - you're knocked out of the running.)
The two players with the highest totals will get prizes, with the highest total choosing first. If there's a tie, the player closest clockwise to the "first player" goes first.
There is one other wrinkle (which can be ignored when playing with younger children) - there is a 2x chip which multiplies the value of all your other chips. I like that simply removing this chip makes the game easily playable with kids who can do basic addition.
Press-your-luck games are always interesting with kids... just like adults, some are unable to quit drawing chips until things go wrong, while others are completely unwilling to take risks. This would be a wonderful game to train kids in judging probabilities & rate of return (though if you use those particular words in trying to teach the underlying concepts to a 6 year old, you need your examined).
My 8 year old son loves this game - and only partly because he gets to use the word "poop" when we play. He isn't perfect at judging the odds, but he's old enough to figure out his chances for himself. My 4 year old son is less enthused by it... but he's willing to play. I myself think it's good light fun - but it IS a press-your-luck game, so if you're turned off by those kind of things, run away now.And while the rules say it will work with 2 players, it's not nearly as fun as playing with 3 or 4.
Monday, December 14, 2009
- Braeden & I pulled out Sub Search again, which is great fun. Our game last night was a nail-biter: both of us were down to one sub & one surface ship each... and I managed to sink his sub before he could torpedo my PT boat.
- I also taught him to play Phantoms of the Ice... it's basically the card game "War" on steroids, but the pun-tacular names (Stu Late and Behind Hugh, for example) are right up his alley. I'm guessing we'll end up playing it again this afternoon with his best friend, Canaan.
- And in serious "blast from the distant past" mode, Canaan & I taught him how to play Chinese Checkers. Man, I haven't played that since I was in middle school.
And, since my life isn't busy enough, the Five & Dime Report is waiting just around the corner.
Saturday, December 05, 2009
- Race for the Galaxy 302 (264 using The Gathering Storm expansion) - This is a 30 minute card game that scales well from 2-6 players AND has a very addictive official solitaire version. I figure about half of those plays are multiplayer games. (Braeden is also learning how to play this - we just added the first expansion last week.)
- StreetSoccer 136 - A lot of these game were/are online (I've got 2 going right now) at mastermoves.eu... I dearly love this backgammon-ish soccer game.
- Lost Cities 116 - At one time, Shari's favorite card game - though now she likes Lost Cities: The Board Game better (less tension).
- The Settlers of Catan 102 - I know for certain that I've played this at least 50 more times (pre-'98) than are recorded here... and would have played it a lot more if my local group (the Fresno Gamers) wasn't pretty much burned out on it. It's still in my top ten games after all these years.
- Carcassonne 100 - I play some of this online - but I think this tile-layer is actually more fun in person. Braeden enjoyed himself tonight & is ready for more.
- Can't Stop 90 - great push your luck dice game... I think it is Sid Sackson's greatest work. I don't get to play it much anymore, though.
- Memoir '44 90 - Another one of my top ten games... the Campaign Book has kicked my number of plays up big-time, for which I am very grateful. I should cross the 100 threshold sometime in early 2010.
- The Whole Enchilada - this is the list of all 100 games
- The Kid Games 100 Geeklist - if you like using the Boardgamegeek website, this is how you find the list of the top 100 games arranged in BGG ranking order.
- Kid Games 100: Designers & Kid Games 100: Publishers
- How It All Started (actually from 2005)
- Most Played Games
- Fresh Faces
- Lo, How the Mighty Have Fallen
- Joining the "In" Crowd
- Decay Rates
- Eleven Year Pix
- Ten Year Pix
- Nine Year Pix
- Eight Year Pix
- Seven Year Pix
- Six Year Pix
- Five Year Pix
- Four Year Pix
"We must fight to keep Christ in Christmas!"I just have to ask, who in the heck are "we" supposed to be fighting? Santa? His elves? Jack Skellington? The evil forces of commercialism? And, please, AFA, claiming credit for getting the Gap to use the word "Christmas" in one of their TV ads? Re-donk-u-lous. Irate conservative Christians, despite the panic talk you hear from some liberals, are not a power group. A noisy group, yes, but not a powerful one. I have an important suggestion. If you believe that Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ, then celebrate it that way. Keeping Christ in Christmas starts with you, not with some trumped-up media campaign. I'm afraid that all people outside the Bible Bubble are hearing is "Your version of Christmas stinks & we have plans to snatch it out of your hands." Is there no way for us to be marked by what we believe in instead of what we're against?! Sigh. photo on Flickr by mtsofan
Thursday, December 03, 2009
- Dec. 3 Elmhurst, IL
- Dec. 4 Lincoln, NE
- Dec. 5 Topeka, KS
- Dec. 9 Louisville, KY
- Dec. 11 Cleburne, TX
- Dec. 12 Jackson, TN
- Dec. 13 Huntsville, AL
- Dec. 14 Birmingham, AL
- Dec. 16 Charlotte, NC
- Dec. 17 Nashville, TN - Ryman
- Dec. 18 Kokomo, IN
- Dec. 19 Montague, MI
- Dec. 20 Milford, OH
Monday, November 30, 2009
- First, all the signs are good for continued support of the game & system by Wizards of the Coast/Hasbro... with a new Master Set coming out early next year and two more waves of figures definite, you should be able to feed your addiction for a long time to come.
- Second, you need to know two web addresses: Heroscapers.com (a fan-run site... they have the most extensive collection of commentary, rulings, variants & maps for Heroscape out there) and Heroscape.com (the official site of the game).
- Master Sets (which contain a decent amount of terrain as well as a variety of figures)
- Large Expansion Sets (which focus on larger figures or specialized terrain)
- Waves (which are sets of 4 figure packs, sometimes tied together thematically)
There are 3 Master Sets:
- Rise of the Valkryie - this was the first set & probably the most important one for you to own. It contains a CHUNK of terrain as well as an interesting mix of characters.
- Swarm of the Marro - this was the second set... it's not as vital as Rise (#1) but still has some good stuff in it - not the least of which is the amazing Marro Hive. This would be my second purchase if I was jumping into the game.
- Marvel Heroscape - unless you want to play Heroscape with Marvel characters, I don't recommend this set. There is very little terrain & the villians vs heroes battles don't have much oomph to them - their range & movement is such that there's nowhere to hide and you just end up dicing it out. (Note: my son & I had a great time fighting a monster battle of Marvels vs Heroscapes... but that's not quite the same thing.) It doesn't look like they will be doing a 2nd Marvel set, either - sigh.
There is a fourth Master set on the way - Battle for the Underdark - which is tied to the current D&D universe but will be fully compatible with Heroscape. (Word on the street is that the next two Waves will also be D&D connected.) I don't mind as long as support for the game continues - bring on the Dora the Explorer & Diego Heroscape figs if that will keep it going!
There are 8 Large Expansion Sets... we'll start with the three that contain large characters: Orm's Return, Raknar's Vision & Acquilla Alliance. The reason I don't break them out is that they all contain 5 large figures (some of them 2 space figures) and are roughly equal in value. If you feel a need to give every faction (Heroscape divides the different characters into six different factions) a dragon (or dragon-ish) mini, then you'll want all three of these. I wouldn't start by buying these... but part of the joy of Heroscape is playing with the big figures against squads of smaller figs.
The 5 Large Expansion Sets that are terrain-based are:
- Road to the Forgotten Forest - this one has trees, roads & a bridge. You need at least one if not two of these.
- Volcarren Wasteland - this one adds lava & volcanic rock... and while it's nice to look at, we haven't found much use for it in game terms. Don't worry about getting this one.
- Thaelenk Tundra - this one adds snow & ice & some cool-looking "glacier" pieces... I have one of these & wish I had two.
- Fortress of the Archkyrie - this one gives you a bunch of pieces to build a castle with... one of these is nice (two would be better) but I'd put this farther down my list after getting more characters/squads.
- Ticalla Jungle - this one adds palm trees & jungle bushes... I bought two and have used them a good bit, as they add some interesting cover issues to the game.
To sum up, you need at least one of Forgotten Forest, Tundra & Jungle... with plans to get Fortress & more terrain down the line.
Now we move onto the Waves... since each wave has 4 packs, I'll try to specify which ones I like & don't like in each set, then give you a buy/don't bother list at the end. Also, each Wave has at least one pack of "heroes" (individual figures) which is pretty much a guaranteed buy each time.
- Wave One (Malliddon's Prophecy) - All three of the squad packs (Snipers/Vipers, Orc Gruts & Romans) work better if you have two of each pack. (Hey - no one said that this was going to be a cheap obsession, right?!)
- Wave Two (Utgar's Rage) - the Minions of Utgar aren't all that great... and the Marro Drones that they're packaged w/really need 3 sets (seriously!) to be worth using, so you can wait on that pack. The other two packs are good to go out of the box (Swog Rider/Knights and Wolves/Massachusets Line).
- Wave Three (Jandar's Oath) - the biggest problem here is that the Gorillanators (how cool are heavily armed gorillas!?) don't really shine until the addition of the Nakita Agents in Wave 6. Otherwise, a fine set of squad packs.
- Wave Four (Zanafor's Discovery) - there were two packs of heroes this time... and another group (the Gladiatrons) who need a pack from another Wave (the Blastatrons from Wave 5) to work well. The Arnoc Vipers are cool but are paired with the Sacred Band - sigh. I'd buy the hero packs & wait on the squads here.
- Wave Five (Thora's Vengeance) - a solid set of squads & heroes... we don't use the gladiators much, but they look really good.
- Wave Six (Dawn of Darkness) - Zombies are here... and you may want two of them. (Can't skimp on the zombies, right?!) You don't need two of anything else... but this could well be one of my favorite waves.
- Wave Seven (Fields of Valor) - The Ashigaru Spearman & Yari need Kato Katsuro (a hero from Wave 8) to work well... but are very effective with him. The Vampire clan (found in one squad pack + the hero pack) is fun to play with. I love the Templar Cavalry, but their use has to be confined to certain boards with large open spaces.
- Wave Eight (Defenders of Kinsland) - Finally the Elves become a group worth putting together, thanks to the addition of a number of elf heroes... but overall you need to purchase Waves 7 & 8 together.
- Wave Nine (Blackmoon Siege) - a great wave - I wouldn't miss out on any of these packs.
- Wave Ten (Valkrill's Gambit) - the Heroes of Renown pack has two heroes & one squad that were only available through cons and/or special purchase previously - and the Warriors of Feldspar are repaints of the Yeti & Lava guys to make them (respectively) Sasquatch & Granite guys. The other two packs are reprints of earlier packs that are hard to find.
Finally, there are two figures that were released only at the summer conventions (Master Win Choo & Agent Skahen) that are difficult/impossible to find. There were also five "flagbearers" sold in individual boxes (along with a bag of faction dice) through Toys-R-Expensive that are now out of print. None of these are essential, though I will admit that the faction dice are pretty cool.
So, to sum up your buying list (with pricing & links from Wargamers HQ, who have done a great job in the past for me):
- Buy Rise of the Valkryie ($30)
- Buy Swarm of the Marro ($30)
- Buy at least one Road to the Forgotten Forest ($18)
You've now spent roughly $70 and you've got enough to play a number of very enjoyable games of Heroscape. From there, do your reading (see the links above) and buy more terrain & figures. Anticipate tossing down $40 every 8 months or so for the newest wave or expansion.
And have fun!
Saturday, November 28, 2009
- Casino Hot Dog - "The poop chip!"
- Hungry Wolves - "Awesome... making noises & running around the table."
- Turtle Twiddle - "The soccer game is my favorite."
- Fleet Fins - "I like the SPEED."
- At Full Throttle - "Very quick."
- Castle Knights - "The pictures are funny."
- Tolle Torte - "It's almost exactly like Fleet Fins except the stuff is moving."
- The Suitcase Detectives - "I like being the crook & hiding the stuff."
- Maus nach haus (Hula Hippos) - "The aim & luck part..."
- Karambolage - "I like the aiming." (He's actually pretty good at this.)
- Drops & Co. - "I like that you have to get rid of all the candy."
- Maus nach Haus - "I like that there is a hippo one now."
- Fleet Fins - "I like that there's really scary teeth guys on the fish."
- Marrakesh - "I like that it's really fun & really, really want to get the spices."
- Cheese Snatching - "I like it because you're the same guy running away from the cat. You don't get any cheese if he catches you."
- Chicken Squabble - "I really like to win because I won last night."
- Animal Upon Animal - "I like the new animals (in the expansion) - they are all good."
- Orchard: the Card Game - "I really like that you don't want the raven... you really want fruit."
- Charly at the Zoo - "I really like that he gets to sleep but I don't win very much."
- Little Thunder Witch - "I really would like to win."
Friday, November 27, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
- A very interesting deck-building card game that frankly lost a lot of points with me for how long it takes to set up & put away (sorting & re-sorting cards) and for the constant shuffling that really requires you spend a small fortune to put plastic card sleeves on the game. That said, Dominion is a BLAST to play online where the computer does the set-up, shuffling & score-keeping for you.
- For Card Game, I'd probably have chosen Race for the Galaxy: The Gathering Storm or Witch's Brew. For Game of the Year, I'd have to go with Pandemic.
Gamer's Game: Le Havre
- This probably violates some kind of Geek law... but I haven't played Le Havre yet. I'm not against the game, or the theme... and I'm a huge fan of the designer. I just look at it set up at various cons & game nights and think to myself, "I'm not sure I want to get into that."
- Of the nominees, I'd much prefered to see Endeavor or Space Alert win. (And don't give me any grief about Space Alert not being a "gamer's game" - YOU try teaching it to a bunch of non-gamers.)
Family Game: Pandemic
- In a category filled with great games, it's nice to see them pick the one that is original, fun & appealing to a wide variety of folks. Pandemic is great - and made even better by the addition of the expansion, Pandemic: On The Brink... which won Best Expansion, naturally.
- If Pandemic was put on the injured reserve list & couldn't play, I'd go with Fast Flowing Forest Fellers or Snow Tails - both splendid racing games.
2-Player Game and Best Artwork & Presentation: Space Hulk (3rd Edition)
- A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away, I owned Space Hulk (the 1st edition) and played it. A lot. I never painted the minis (discretion is the better part of valor and/or I flunked out of kindergarden art) but that didn't lessen the fun we had with it. Eventually, though, the amount of cash I could score by selling it & the one expansion I had (about $400) outweighed how little I was playing it, and it went bye-bye thanks to eBay. Can't ever see myself plunking down $100 to own it again... esp. since one of the guys in my group so kindly opened his wallet and purchased it (thanks, Will!).
- My dark horse (in other words: NOT going to win) favorite for 2 player games was Shanghaien... and as pretty as Space Hulk is (or can be in the right hands), Dixit or Tales of the Arabian Nights are much more stunning straight out of the box. (For that matter, Timber Tom is breathtaking, but never got a wide enough release to be considered.)
Wargame: Combat Commander: Pacific
- I used to be a pretty serious wargamer back in the day (Squad Leader, Wooden Ships & Iron Men, Third Reich, Air Assault on Crete, etc.) but those days are pretty far gone. That said, I think is probably a pretty good pick and I'm looking forward to one of the guys in my group who's a major GMT nut (hi, Mike!) teaching me the system.
- The games I've played from the nominees aren't "wargames" in the strictest sense of the term. However, I voted for Small World here because I really do enjoy it.
Party Game: Time's Up! Deluxe
- I know it's considered cool in some circles now to trash R&R Games and Peter Sarrett for releasing a commercial version of the public domain game, Celebrities. I will not join in - because Peter took a good game and made it great by not simply picking an interesting set of names but also by tweaking the deck so that similar names/occupations/backgrounds appear... thus making for sweet, sweet confusion & much fun. Time's Up is "da bomb."
- The nomination list for this category was as if the collective minds of the Geek had been smoking dope: Two thirds of the list aren't even really party games! Of the ones that actually are "party" games, I was partial to Dixit. (Hint: a game isn't a party game just because it can seat 6-8 players.)
Children's Game: Sorry! Sliders
- I really like Sorry! Sliders (played it this weekend, in fact) but I've become concerned that the scoring system coupled with the "death corners" means that the game can completely bog down if you're playing defensively.
- Just because gamer kids from gamer families can play the game does NOT make it a children's game: Aquaretto, Dixit, FITS, and Pack & Stack all spring to mind. I think the hands-down winner should have been Fluch der Mumie (noting that I haven't yet been able to try Das Magische Labyrinth or Zoowaboo.)
Print & Play: Dune Express
- Commenting on this one is pretty well pointless, as I seldom play Print'n'Play games. I have not played Dune Express.
- The one I wanted to win was Roll Through The Ages: The Late Bronze Age, which is an excellent PnP expansion for a great dice game.
Innovative: Space Alert
- A real-time cooperative game with enough soundtracks to keep it replayable that morphs the whole Robo-Rally programmed movement mechanic into a Keystone Kops-like ballet of death on a slow-moving recon spaceship... yep, Space Alert deserves this award.
- Other notable games that could have won if Space Alert was sucked into a black hole include Pandemic, Powerboats, Roll Through The Ages & Timber Tom. (Tales of the Arabian Nights was innovative 24 years ago, thanks.)
Monday, November 23, 2009
- designer: Klaus Miltenberger & Udo Peise
- publisher: Haba
- date: 2008
- BoardGameGeek rank/rating: not ranked/6.04
- age: 5+
- # of players: 2
- print status: in print
- cost: $12.59 (maukilo.com)
- cool wooden animal pieces... this time around it's an octopus, a goose, a lioness & a squirrel.
- they're both stacking games
- all players have an identical set of pieces to begin the game
- dice determine how to place the pieces
- they're made by Haba (ok, that one's painfully obvious)
And the differences:
- The Duel is a race game - the two players both build in real-time, seeing which one can complete their assignment first.
- the big alligator is AWOL - you simply use any flat surface (which makes this a great restaurant game)
- there are two dice (of different sizes) rather than one
Game play is very simple - each player rolls one of the dice. The big die shows what animal has to go on the bottom of the stack & the small die shows which animal goes on the top. Question marks are "wild cards" (so to speak) and matching dice mean you can put the indicated animal at the top or the bottom.
As soon as the objective is clear, players begin building as fast as they can. No animal can touch more than 2 other animals & (just like the original game) they must be on their narrow sides. The first one to finish gets a gold coin (aka "wooden token"). The first player to accumulate 3 gold coins wins the game.
The stacking is trickier than with the original game - the octopus in particular can be difficult to get into position. And, of course, some combos are harder than others... it all depends on the dice.
I think the age number from Haba will work fine on a kid vs. kid level - but more than the original game, this game will reward better fine motor skills (aka "age"). When playing with adults, you could easily handicap it by requiring the older player to get more coins in order to win.
A number of folks over on Boardgamegeek have bought two copies of this to act as "Animal Upon Animal - The Expansion"... which is very cool if not a little pricey. Jeff Goris made some really good suggestions on how to use a single copy to expand the game in a discussion over there that is worth reading.
Do I like The Duel more/better than the original game? No. Have we had fun with it & am I glad I own it? Yes.
Saturday, November 21, 2009
- Get - ACQUIRE
- Bad touch - A TOUCH OF EVIL
- Hooks and crooks - BY HOOK OR BY CROOK
- Manic Channel - CANAL MANIA
- Chikinchachacha - CHICKEN CHA CHA CHA
- Cause of the Universe - COSMIC ENCOUNTER
- Drop: Dark Tour - DESCENT: JOURNEYS IN THE DARK
- Banihamu the needs of the Devil - DEVIL BUNNY NEEDS A HAM
- Foreign - DIPLOMACY
- Town dying - DICE TOWN
- Control: conspiracy - DOMINION: INTRIGUE
- Erugurande - EL GRANDE
- Social - HIGH SOCIETY
- Hyundai - MODERN ART
- Mutation: Castle Siege - MUTANT CHRONICLES: SIEGE OF THE CITADEL
- The plot of the Queen - QUEEN'S GAMBIT
- Gyarakushiresu - RACE FOR THE GALAXY
- Role, through the Middle Ages - ROLL THROUGH THE AGES
- Snow Fairy - SNOW TAILS
- Warning capacity - SPACE ALERT
- Neolithic - STONE AGE
- Iron flow - TIDE OF IRON
- The Night of Power - TWILIGHT IMPERIUM
- Crucible - WITCH OF SALEM
- Bet wisdom - WITS AND WAGERS