Thursday, March 27, 2014

The Board Game Group Ecosystem

Games from my third game night.

Having two very-fun game nights under my belt, I thought this next one could be the one I break out the bigger guns. People have enjoyed Escape twice over, and got a taste of Pandemic the week before. So, I gathered my selection and headed over with much excitement.

By the end of the night, we only played one game of Cheaty Mages and Spot-It.

Monday, March 17, 2014


[I revel in describing this mechanic EVERY time I play this game. Kudos to Matt Leacock for this. And a special nod to Leigh Alexander and her Travelogue. Her writing styles has re-awaken the writing muse in me to write this...incomparable tripe of my own design. But that's fine - because this is what I deeply feel whenever I teach this mechanic. Every. Single. Time.]

Everyone's up to speed. They all know what needs to be done. I casually remarked there's something more, and that I'll go over it when we get there. No one noticed how I dragged out the word "when."

With the patience of a wise, old man, I carefully watched everyone's draw phase until the forsaken card appeared. When it did, I would take the card by the edge, like greeting an expected friend, gently laying it in front of me like a delicate but deadly flower. Some people would utter their "oh no"s - something I hung to like a dog's jaw on delicious meat - and I would calm their fears, lulling them to a false sense of security.

Like a story told a million times, my words crafted from my mouth with age as I accentuated each step audibly and sharply. "First, we increase the infection rate." I gazed across the horizon of indifferent faces. "Then, I draw the bottom card of the infection deck and infect that city with 3 cubes." I got my first "what the," making me smirk a little. "Then finally," I said, with an heir of gloom as I gathered the discarded pile, "I shuffle the discarded cards and place them on TOP of the deck, to 'intensify' the infections."

For an ever-so-brief moment, I paused. To everyone else, it's a scant 3 seconds, but it's all the time I needed to scour the looks on their faces. Most of them were still unfazed; those were the ones that break the fastest.

I focused on them as the first outbreak occurs on a re-infected city again. From there, the walls of confidence tore down, brick by brick. Cities fell as more got infected. Different-colored cubes began trickling to cities of un-matching color. Panic ensued as turns dragged on. People's moods soured as hope burns down like a slow-burning wooden match. Silent prayers muttered breathlessly as each infection card revealed itself.

This. This was my Pandemic.

Friday, March 7, 2014

My First Successful Game Night

Yes, we even played Spot-It.

Unless you have a dedicated group of friends who LOVE board games and are willing to put time aside to play, gathering friends for game nights is a chore. People have work to do, appointments to keep, and errands to run. And even if you get willing participants, pinpointing the precise moment in which everyone's free time is in unison is a game in itself. Frankly, I have better odds getting a bulls-eye on a dartboard.

Playing Games With Myself

"My wife doesn't play much board games with me."

I've often uttered this phrase to friends and acquaintances many times, whether the conversation led to it or not. It was a fact I accepted readily, and one I was all too aware of on a constant basis. The words rolled out of my mouth with ease the more and more I said them, and it became an involuntary reflex.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

It's not called "Bad"will...

I found this, still sealed, in a local Goodwill.

Some people may not be well off, but no one's THAT desperate.

Tokaido Kickstarter - It's All About Change

[The following originated from a comment I posted in a Shut Up and Sit Down article. I've modified this with new views and perspectives since, so it'll look different than the original.]

Being an owner of Tokaido, I was going to fund the Tokaido Kickstarter's collectors pledge of getting the improved components, but then I hesitated.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Yugioh, Netrunner, and the Art of Losing the "Winning" Game

A Guinness World Record pic of largest Yugioh tournament held in 2012, in Long Beach, California.

The following is, word for word, a comment I posted after reading this insightful Netrunner article written by Leigh Alexander on Shut Up And Sit Down, a board gaming site everyone should be aware of. The article itself is a brilliant read, and I encourage everyone to read it. I've added some subheadings for emphasis, but that is all.