February 2012

Dylan’s youth basketball game today. Dylan’s team won, 31-25. They are 8-2 now! Nice to see Dylan hustle, and enjoy himself. Good game, Dylan!

Board game night: We played 1812: Invasion of Canada, and Lancaster. For 1812, this was the first time playing for 4 of the 5 of us. Cody had brought the game, and taught us. Lots of fun! Let’s classify it as a “light” territory-control game. Two sides, American and British. The American side has two armies: Regular and Militia. The Canadian side has three: Canadian Militia, British (Redcoats), and Indian. I played Canadian, with Steve and Phil playing Indian, British. Cody and Pete played American. My faction liked to flee from battle a lot (you use specialized dice, and two of the sides cause your one of your armies to “flee” the battle. That’s better than being killed, but not helpful for the current battle. Lots of “French” analogies bandied about. :)

The game lasted about 90 minutes (British defeated the Americans); it would have been only about an hour, but it was our first play. Highly recommended! 8/10 stars.

Next we played Lancaster. Phil, Steve, Pat and I had played before; Cody joined us. I’d classify this as another light game. Basically you try to advance your knights’ by winning counties or fighting with France, etc. Most victory points at end of game wins. Multiple strategies to gain points; you basically compete with other knights to win counties, or defeat the French. While Cody was not a real fan, the rest of us like the game (we’ll be playing again). :) Recommended. 7.5/10

Fun night!

Last night we (George, Steve and I) played Through the Ages. George brought the game (it’s one of his favorites) and he was happy to teach Steve and I as we had never played. This one’s a keeper.

A civilization-building game, this first time through was rather long, at about 4 hours. I was enjoying myself so much it really didn’t feel like 4 hours! The game has, I believe, 4 “Ages”: Ancient, I, II, III. As it was, we didn’t get to finish the game (it was close to 1AM); we stopped at the end of the Age II. George won by a wide margin (89 Culture points vs. my 54 and Steve’s 51). We will definitely be playing this one again as all of us enjoyed it.

George did mention that the first game is usually long as everyone is learning the rules – and the 2nd game is just as long due to players refining their strategy, etc. So by the 3rd or 4th game we’ll get a whole game in at one sitting I assume. By then I think I will at least have an idea of what cards are in each Age, so I will be better able to decide on which Leader to grab, etc. George was using James Cook – who was actually quite useful for accumulating Culture (Victory points), especially if you grabbed Territory.

I did like my Joan of Arc (see pix), as she minimized the number of times I was attacked: I got 5 Culture any time that happened. She also gave me a Military strength for each Smiley I had in a Temple. But George was able to increase his per-turn yield of Culture, and this is critical for winning the game. It’s hard to pass someone who gets 15 Culture per turn when you only get 5. I’ll change focus next time around.

This is one I’ll definitely get a copy of, and hopefully play more often. I’d put this in my top 3 –I like it even more than War of the Ring.

Rating: 8.5/10. Keeper.

Last week we played Civilization: The Card Game. This was included as an add-on with a box-set of the Video game series. Steve had had it around and never played it. So we did! It was a fairly fun game, easy to learn. There is a bit of down-time when it is not your turn, but not enough to diminish the game. The game lasted about 3 hours. If the production values for the game were better I would get a copy, but the cards are quite thin; reminds me of a print-and-play copy. As a freebie add-on that’s fine though.

Rating: 6.5/10