Day 86: Tsuro

Tsuro

My wife’s a natural at Tsuro.

In anticipation of a visit from my niece and nephew, I bought two new games, one of them being the light and easy Tsuro. My family and I had fun breaking in the game the other night. It’s easy to learn and my wife’s a natural, winning the majority of games during our brief session.

Each player receives three tiles and is required to play one. Their dragon token is then moved along one of the paths on the tile. As each tile is played, paths are joined and the token can be taken on long or short journeys around the board. Fly off the board, however, and you’re out. Last dragon on the board is the winner.

Tsuro only takes about 15-20 minutes play, so it’s perfect for non-gamers and newbies or a nice filler between longer-running games. Along with Ticket to Ride, Zombie Dice, and Pandemic, I’m adding Tsuro to my rotation for International Tabletop Day on April 11th.

Day 75: International Tabletop Day

uWuvvR1

This year’s International Tabletop Day is Saturday, April 11. It’s a day for celebrating tabletop gaming. Woo hoo!

After years of all-things-poker as my default game night, I picked up a few of the more popular games and started gaming with my wife. We both enjoyed Ticket to Ride, while I loved Pandemic enough to play solo games on a near-nightly basis. I’m excited to play Ticket to Ride with my nephew and nieces; I think they’re old enough to get into the game now.

It’s been great rediscovering my love of board games. Almost two years ago I stopped by Game Haus Cafe for the first time and was blown away. I knew that there were a lot of great games out there, but seeing hundreds and hundreds of them on the shelves really opened my eyes to the scene.

I started reading posts on boardgamegeek.com, watching episodes of Tabletop on Geek & Sundry, and posting a few screen shots of my gaming on the Google+ Board Games community. It’s been a lot of fun and I can’t wait to celebrate tabletop gaming with the rest of the world on April 11. I have an idea of where I want to host an event and I’ve got my fingers crossed that I can pull it off. If not, there’s always the comfort of my living room.

Day 69: Gaming Success

Ticket to Ride

Ticket to Ride

I’m not a hardcore gamer. I have friends who are, but outside of the increasingly rare session of poker, I don’t play video games or board games or card games or dice games.

But the times they are a-changin’.

Confession: I have a like-new copy of Carcassone sitting in storage somewhere. Or maybe I passed it along to my stepdaughter; I don’t remember. What I do remember is that when I bought it 10+ years ago, I gave it a trial run or two and it didn’t stick. Back then my idea of game night was hours-long sessions of poker: limit and no-limit Hold Em, Omaha, Stud, Draw, Razz, Badugi, and other variations. You name it, my buddies and I played it into the wee hours of the morning.

Forward to today: I don’t play much poker, but now I’m wish-listing, buying, and playing games like there’s no tomorrow. The latest and greatest addition to my collection was Ticket to Ride. Back in January I bought Pandemic and have played it dozens of times, but only as a solo game. My wife played it with me once, but wasn’t really into it. No problemo, since it played so well with one player. But when I bought Ticket to Ride last week, I was a bit nervous. What if my wife didn’t like it? The only solo variants I found online didn’t sound as good, since it’s not a cooperative game in which roles could be shared by one player.

Thankfully, my wife enjoyed Ticket to Ride. Success! We played three games over the weekend and had a blast. I had read many reviews (and watched the TTR Tabletop episode, of course) about how elegant and simple the game was to learn, and it’s true. It only took a few turns to get the hang of gameplay and after each game we discussed strategies and other nuances. Not only has it been a lot of fun, but it’s also quality time with the missus: a win-win, obviously.

Day 63: Ticket To Ride

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Ticket To Ride

 

This arrived tonight: Ticket to Ride! Back in January I wrote about my purchase of Pandemic, which was the first board game I’d bought in years (at least a decade). I’ve loved playing Pandemic; even though it’s a 2-5 player game, since it’s a cooperative game, it plays well for one person. Nearly every weeknight, I’ve managed to play a game or two before going to bed.

My wife and I played one game of Pandemic and she didn’t take to it like I did, so I decided to buy Ticket to  Ride. Once again, I did my research on games for new gamers and Ticket to Ride kept coming up. Watching the Tabletop episode on the game sealed the deal.

I hope she likes this one because it doesn’t seem like it will be a fun solo game. I could go down to the game store or connect with some local gamers, but I’m more of a homebody these days and prefer playing games with family and close friends. Thankfully, my wife likes playing Zombie Dice. I picked up a copy and we went 1-1 the other night, with the rubber match still to be played.

So, three new games in the last two months. I still have a ways to go to have a collection on par with Game Haus Cafe, but it’s been fun stocking the games shelf here at home.

Day 23: Game On

Pandemic Game Board

Pandemic Game Board

Two days ago I did something I hadn’t done in eons: I bought a board game. As my wife and I were about to finish the first half of season five of The Walking Dead, we wondered how we would get our zombie fix until the new episodes were released. Although I enjoyed Dead Trigger and hadn’t downloaded Dead Trigger 2 yet, they’re still first-person shooter games that don’t offer  multi-player modes. We had fun playing Zombie Dice with our niece and nephew, but were looking for something a bit more challenging. A quick Google search offered plenty of zombie-related fun and we settled on the board game Pandemic.

While not exactly a zombie game, Pandemic’s theme is pre-zombie apocalypse: you and your team are trying to prevent infectious diseases from spreading and killing off the Earth’s population. You travel around the world, treating diseases and trying to discover a cure before it’s too late. The diseases aren’t named, but in our games one of them is definitely a strain of Zombie-itis.

What interested me the most is Pandemic’s cooperative game-play: two to four players play together, trying to beat the game. You share resources and do what’s best for the team, instead of trying to out-maneuver or out-wit your opponents. There are no advantages to withholding resources or trying to sabotage a teammate. There are various ways to lose, but only one way to win: cure all the diseases. It’s only possible if your team works well together.

Last night I watched the Pandemic episode of Tabletop, Wil Wheaton’s Youtube gaming show, trying to get a feel for the game. I also watched the instructional video on the Pandemic website and with these two videos, I felt like I had a good grasp of the rules and game play.

During a meeting this afternoon, I received the Amazon notification that the game had arrived. Yes! When I got home, I tore open the package, checked to make sure the game was complete, reviewed the rules, and set up the board.

It’s time to save the world.